June 18th, 2010 | 5 Comments »

It’s nothing short of amazing, the way a small change like painting a room, or even a wall, can work wonders on one’s mental and emotional state.  The act of painting is itself soothing and therapeutic.

before

before

after

after

I love his drawings

during

after

after

Now I have a nearly clean slate with which to work.  I can do almost anything with this room!  Currently, it’s just floor space for the kids to romp (and two fully exposed corners, perfect for time outs, mwahahaha).

So many possibilities!

May 2nd, 2008 | 3 Comments »

I love colors. All colors. Especially jewel tones. But I seem to always come back to blue.

For instance. I’ve had cobalt blue forever, and was trying to change it up in the last few years by adding some striking red items in my kitchen, and some chartreuse as well. Glorious. But I found this, and couldn’t resist. At least I only got one. And even though it’s a bowl, I got it to use as a cup. I love it!

Not only is it gorgeous for tea, it works for lattes as well. (I have a thing for swirls.)

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that I have an addiction to jammies the way some women have an addiction to shoes.

My new all time faves, and the latest acquisition. See? More swirls. In blue.


So I asked Gadget what he thought of my gorgeous new jammies.

“You look like a teapot.”

Oh, the love. He went on to explain. “You’re little at the top, round in the middle, and flat on the bottom.”

“Just like a teapot!”*

My cup overfloweth. At least I knew (this time) that he was being silly in his own special way, and I accepted his comments graciously. Even without Zoloft! To be true, I am feeling as though I look like a teapot, and am constantly marveling at how my belly could possibly be protruding SO MUCH so soon. I am a woman of size, regardless of gestational state, but this… …this seems a bit extreme. (But it is what it is. And I’m beyond grateful to be carrying a lively little boy, no matter how big he and I become!)


*Showcased here is my little English teapot, purchased at a Safeway supermarket (of all places) in the London area. Note the apple green accent wall with the gorgeous Australian tiles. I spy some gum nut gnomes as well. The apple green transition took place last weekend with all the other spring freshening. It’s very happy, and looks great for the most part, but it doesn’t quite fit with that sandy beachy oatmealy color that has become the main color downstairs. So I may re-do it after a bit. Or not. I might have gotten my spring painting bent out of my system.

May 2nd, 2008 | 2 Comments »

I’ve been aching for a fresh new look around here. I did some rearranging and made a few furniture acquisitions, but it just didn’t fully satisfy the need for change. I decided to swallow the risks and brighten up the scenery with a fresh coat of paint. Luckily the weather was nice, the windows remained open all day, and the fumes were minimal. Gadget, of course, did not approve. (This seldom stops me!)

Cyclone Boy, ever the enthusiastic helper, got his own portion of wall.


He wasn’t at all pleased when I painted over his “bicycle.”

So much love! I see why graffiti is so fulfilling. Bye-bye, fire orange and butterscotch.


That woman looks ten months pregnant, not five. Gah!

Hello ocean mist and sandy beach.

I’m not sold on that blue, now that it’s up. I love the shade, and it looks great with the espresso shelving, but the couch is sage and it looks a bit meh. The couch is so comfy, though. But it’s huge and consumes the little living room. (I’ve lamented the poor floor plan of this place on several occasions.) The blue is an accent wall, shared by the dining and living areas. I can always change it so that it blends better with the furnishings, but I was so heart set on that blue. I’ll keep it for a while.

Next up, a post in which my ever loving and gracious husband declares that I look like a teapot.

April 24th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

Even though there’s a giant new bed in the household, the resident cyclone child, once he weasels his way in, has a manner of emulating the expandable gas theory, in which he manages to consume all available space.

Sure, he looks small enough in this picture, but looks can be deceiving. This sprawler’s feet manage to make contact with both parents’ faces, at least once during a night, and I still find myself perched at the uttermost edge.

There’s a new rule in town. Cyclone children who wet their pullups don’t get to sleep in the big bed. I suspect he’s being lazy when it comes to that. At least in the day time. He’s pretty much all good when it comes to number two, so I’m very thankful there, and when he returns from daycare, he seems dry and sometimes I can tell he’s had the same pullup on all day. However. Once home, the next thing I know, there’s a cyclone child running amok, wearing a wet pullup. And I’m constantly asking him if he needs to go. I think perhaps I’ll just stop letting him wear pullups at all in the day, and see if he finds it unpleasant to wet himself. Hopefully.

As far as the bed goes, it’s a flimsy Ikea frame, which I like in style, but hate on all other counts. And much as I abhor the phrase, “you get what you pay for,” in this case, it applies. I don’t like how it didn’t come in one set. The slats and support beam, both of which are critical to the unit, had to be purchased separately. And once constructed, the slats have very little to hold them in place, and the headboard feels like styrofoam. Very bad feng shui, for me. I was willing to put up with it, but Gadget dislodged the slats the other night while lifting the cyclone child out of the bed to put him in his own bed. Not good, and likely repeatable. So that was a happy evening, what with a sleepy and irritated spouse trying to put the flimsy ass bed back together in the late of the night. So this weekend, we’re taking it all apart, and returning it to Ikea. I hope they give us a full refund. It’s a piece of junk.

We’ll be sleeping in close proximity to the floor for a while, which will also irritate Gadget, but since I ordered a new frame that meets with his manly approval, I think he might actually suppress the expression of his displeasure. One can hope.

April 7th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

It all began with a gift. My sister bought a new dining set, and graciously gave me her old dining table, which is actually quite new. It’s a beautiful table, dark and chunky, with carvings on the sides. It didn’t match anything in my dining area. For as big as my house is, it’s not got the greatest of floor plans with which to work.

I always get a boost when I rearrange things. A fresh new look does much for my frame of mind. So, with enthusiasm and energy, I went about making the rearrangement plans. Now, I will have to say that Mister Gadget is not a fan of change, and sees little to no sense in the rearranging of furniture that is perfectly fine where it is, thank you very much. In order to minimize the unpleasantries that are certain to take place when the actual moving of furniture commences, my plans include as much prep work that I can possibly complete without his help.

So. We have a living room that has been, for the most part, useless, as we tend to convene in the family room. There is a large armoire with display cabinets that was roughly centered along one wall. It needed to move a few feet towards the front of the room. Oh, the ire this request caused! A necessary sacrifice, because once moved, it allowed me to better balance the rest of the room, so now I am much happier with the room, and even happier to say that we have actually used it since. The old table has a home in the front room as well, so now we have a friendly little corner spot where we can play games or work on puzzles. A sofa is opposite the armoire, and the armoire hides a TV, a stereo, the wii, and the PS3. Needless to say, with the PS3 there, the room gets used. I’m delighted that my sweet little boy has taken a fancy to snuggling on this couch with me, while we read about Transformers (his favorite book at the moment), so all members of the family now enjoy this room, albeit at different times.

The treadmill has been banished to the garage where it can continue to collect dust, and the house plants now live in a sitting area on the far wall. All in all, it’s become a worthy room to spend time in. Yes, the massage chair is uglier than sin, but hello? It’s a massage chair! It’s forever welcome in my home.

There was another armoire with display shelves in the dining room, but with the new table, the room was far too congested. They found a new home in the spare room. It was to be the baby’s room, but who am I kidding? We have a family sleeping room, and of course the baby will also sleep there. Just like big brother. Big brother’s room is little more than a toy room, and I’m leaning toward the idea of making it the official toy room, for both of them, rather than his room. One day there may be Tinkerbell posters alongside of Spiderman and Optimus Prime. So the master bedroom is where sleeping takes place. Someday I might make a post about my theory of the family sleeping room as a means of birth control. Not today though. Currently, the room has two beds, and soon will have the baby hammock. So, the spare room can be a comfortable place for guests to stay. It will have a queen bed along with the armoire set, so it will be quite crowded. Crowded, but comfortable. And the family sleeping room will soon have a king bed! The wild child has a way of making an appearance some time in the early hours of morning, and invariably I find a foot or a leg in my face. He’s smart, too. Rather than climb over us, he goes to the foot of the bed and stealthily climbs between us. Maybe we should invest in a bed with a footboard, rather than a bigger bed. I’d like the extra sleeping area though. If little mister busy body manages to climb into the bed, at least I will have a little more room to achieve some semblance of comfort, and hopefully avoid flailing appendages.

With all the furniture moved, we made a trip to IKEA, where we purchased some shelves that better match the new table. Chez Bec inspired me in several ways. She has a shelving unit along one wall that holds dishes, and is very open and family friendly. I like the idea of not having to reach on tippy toes to retrieve a bowl, and not having to move a stack of dishes in order to reach the stack behind. I like a place for everything and everything in its place. Ideally, things would have nice drawers (like Suse’s kitchen) or cabinets in which to live, but my kitchen has shallow drawers and short shelves in the cabinets. So a handsome, open shelving unit is just the ticket. Said idea caused no small amount of chagrin, whilst in IKEA, of course. I like to have my meltdowns in public places. But we have come through the storm and the shelves are up and full of dishes. Easy to get to dishes.

Chez Bec also boasts a beautiful menu board, displayed prominently on a kitchen wall. Brilliant! My version is not nearly so fine, but it’s functional. Perhaps some day I’ll step it up and make it a thing of beauty. Function over form, for now.

Oh how I love a clean, sparkly house! I graciously invited my niece to clean my house, in exchange for a nice wage. My illustrious and industrious 11 year old niece and her best friend have a grand plan to earn money to purchase laptops, so they’ve created a babysitting (and other odd jobs) business, complete with their own web site. Very impressive for eleven year olds. I love that they’re willing to work! I’m happy to help them in their endeavor of fulfilling their dreams, and I love having anybody but me clean the toilets.

So, for this weekend’s accomplishments, I’ve got a squeaky clean house, a new dining room, and fresh looks all around. It may be a bit of early nesting. Whatever it is, it pleases me much. Now, if only I could tame the three year old cyclone (and the forty year old, for that matter) so that my home could stay this way.

Posted in corners of my home
January 1st, 2008 | 1 Comment »

I loved the Splendid Cornelius, but it had an overall dark effect which I decided to remedy with a happier blue. First I decided to go back to a white ceiling. To brighten up the room. Harry wanted to help, so rather than ruin his clothes, I just stripped him down. He’s quite an Artiste.

I almost hated to paint over this. Splendid Cornelius sure photographs nicely, but the Wild Blue Yonder, it called to me. I studied so many color chips and this one made me feel so happy. I just love some of the color names they come up with.

I moved Blue Lady above the thunderbox. Warm Gingerbread is the color I chose to contrast the Wild Blue Yonder, but once up, I’m not so happy with it. It reminds me more of putty than gingerbread. I adore how the dark dark browns look against the blue, though.

I tried a little crunched paper effect to segue, but it’s a little too loving-hands-at-home for me. Too lazy to change it though, so it will stay for a while. Besides, I doubt Home Depot is open today, and I don’t think I have any yummy dark chocolate brown paint in the garage. I thought if I could manage a drizzled look with a dark chocolate over that putty beige, it would look lovely next to that blue. And remind me of cappuccinos drizzled with chocolate, which also makes me happy.

The nebulae have moved from behind the thinking chair to the left of the sink. I adore these miniatures. And a tall bookcase has taken Blue Lady’s former place. What better place for reading material, than the reading room that gets most used in this house?

Horizontal cabinet handles were added to the cabinet doors, and these are just right for towel holders.

I had much grander plans for my holiday makeover. I planned to redo my office and repaint the entire downstairs. It took all the energy I could muster to just finish one small bathroom. To my credit, however, I did go through my files and rid myself of three waste bins full of papers that I don’t need to save. I also decided to recycle most of my magazines, which frees up quite a lot of book shelf space. And while Mr. Gadget was sleeping by the fire watching Harry, I organized and alphabetized the DVD collection. He’s so helpful.

There are a few days left to my holiday, so I may actually get the office done. Although I don’t love that Warm Gingerbread paint, I do have a gallon of it, so perhaps will use it in the office. There is quite a lot of the Wild Blue Yonder left, and I was toying with a kitchen redo, but after seeing it in the bathroom, it’s not quite the color I was envisioning. Maybe I’ll add a little white to it. Or mix some of my exterior dark blue with it.

I’ve got at least a little fresh new look for a fresh new year, and that’s a nice start.

December 3rd, 2007 | 1 Comment »

I have had a huge collection of boxes that I’ve carted along with me, through the years. Every letter, ever card, every ticket stub, every theatre programme. I’ve been working my way through, and whittling my life down. My life in boxes. Pretty boxes.

It’s not that I love anyone any less, but I’ve decided to keep only those things that are most historically important to me. Because the boxes, they are a burden. A cluttered weight upon my soul. I’ve saved my journal writings and all the sappy poems that I’m embarrassed to have written. I didn’t save all the copies of letters I’d written to siblings. After (re)reading them, I (re)discovered, to my horror, that I am/was a bossy sister, meddling in their affairs and trying to tell them what to do. Well, I was earnest. I wanted the best for them. I didn’t want them dropping out of junior high school, in one case, or racking up debt without holding responsibly to a job, in another case. In my defense, I was trying to parent where parenting was lacking. I hope they forgive me. I meant well. To my (further) horror, I (re)discovered that I was a zealot for far too many years. My life as a zealot. Granted, those were the years in which I was most attuned to myself and least subject to depression and melancholy, riding the wave of self-conviction. How I wish I had found the happy medium in which I held fast to that level of self-esteem and assurance, while honoring the delicacy of the human spiritual walk. I hope the recipients of that young zeal forgive me. (And it’s not that any beliefs I hold have changed, but the level to which I share or discuss them has.)

And now, with my life reduced to the contents of these boxes, I aim to rediscover something of myself. What were my hopes and dreams in the innocence of my youth? Can I find my way back to the place called happy, if ever the place existed?

February 12th, 2007 | No Comments »

Every day I find little odds and ends tucked away here and there. Today there is a zebra and a cell phone on the file stand in the office. There are also some diapers (clean!) tucked away in nooks and crannies of the office bookcase. If I look closer, I may find more little toys stuffed in there as well, keeping them company. I found a sock stuffed between a dumptruck body and bed. There are magnetic letters stuffed inside trucks. I do try to be diligent in keeping track of the sippy cups, as it would not be a good thing at all to discover a long-curdled discarded cup tucked away in some secret place.

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There is a little bookcase in the living room. See It’s sort of antiquey, and hand made by some moderately skilled person, some time ago. I bought it at a small town auction for $10. It has wheels hiding behind the skirt.

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It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I pick up the toys and put them away. In short order, the living room typically looks like this. Every day. All the time.

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Except for the few minutes before my active little guy gets home. Then it looks like this. But only for a moment.

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I found this adorable toy chest at IKEA. It’s made of nylon. I love the details, from the handles to the lock. And look! It matches the wall, quite nicely.

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If only he would play with one thing at a time, and put things away when he’s done.  But where’s the fun in that

October 6th, 2006 | 2 Comments »

foodwheelscomp.jpgOn any given day, one can wander about my home and realize that it’s not at all uncommon to encounter a four wheeler next to a bowl of vegetables. This makes me smile.

June 2nd, 2006 | No Comments »

…or…   …corners of my home…

…or…  …Show and Tell – windows (v.late)…

In the infinite wisdom of modern home builders, our luxurious master bath with its huge window faces a very busy street.  There’s nothing more relaxing than a nice hot sudsy bath, and waving to the semi-truck drivers, or better yet, the high school kids who gather just outside that window as they wait for their bus.  It’s a beatiful, cloudy, blue sky day today.  And every day.  Thanks to the artscape window film.  I could have frosted the glass, but decided to go a bit whimsical.  It’s easily removed, should I grow tired of it.

cloudwindow2.jpg

Its sister has the stained glass pattern, because I wasn’t very thrilled with the direct line of sight from our neighbor’s busy home into my bathroom, and bedroom beyond.

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My towels are various colors that match the greens and blues in the window, but now, I may have to retire them, if I am overcome with desire once I learn more about Joke’s towels*.


*Good Grief!  Having not kept up with Joke, who is, by the way, a very entertaining fellow, it took me forever to find the towels post, and why oh why is my broadband being so darn slow   Exasperating!  And now I am hyperventilating as I realize the famous towels are on closeout, online only, and I must must must go see if I can’t live without them.