Thursday, April 21, 2016

He Said, She Shed: Ideas for My Getaway Shed

Ella Claire's Beautiful Retreat
The warmer weather has me looking outdoors and eyeing our outbuilding for a make-over.  It's time and I can't wait to sort out the "stuff" and make it a space for creating.  Or napping.  Whatever.

It's time to tackle the She-Shed!

Here are some ideas from my Pinterest board for my Getaway Shed.

from House Beautiful
I love this light and bright artist studio.  And it's so organized!!

from Kloter Farms
This pink reading nook is perfect for a lazy afternoon (link has great DIY tips!)

from link for more stunning sheds!
It's always been a dream of mind to take pottery lessons.
A backyard pottery studio would be heaven!

from Finding Silver Pennies
I love the natutical theme of this shed.  I could close my eyes and hear the ocean...

from Finding Silver Pennies

And if you want to know how to get that shiplap look,
she has a tutorial over at the Home Depot blog.

from the Little Yellow Bicycle

Love the space and the name of the blog.

from Studio 5
As much as I like looking at the white interiors, I think I want a little more color in mine.  
This more whimsical one from Studio 5 caught my eye.

Home Sweet Treehouse
And, of course, I couldn't resist the Junk Gypsy sister's treehouse makeover.  
I kinda love it.

Do you have a backyard retreat?  I'd love to hear about some of your ideas!
Sometimes, we just need to get away!

100 Things 2 Do

Remember to check out my Pinterest board for more inspiring shed ideas!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Babies and Birthdays

Sweet Homeland of the Soul

Baby showers are not something I attend much anymore.  Most of my friends are long past bringing new little ones into the world and we're not yet to the point of having baby showers for grandbabies.  This weekend, though, I got to go to two celebrations of looking forward to new life and one gathering celebrating a milestone birthday that reflected on a life well lived and much more to come.  

My sweet friend, H, will be bringing home her 5th child in a few weeks.  It was fun seeing people I probably hadn't seen since her last shower, a few years ago, as well as some much-needed catch up time with two of my closest friends.  I was struck by the generations represented there--mamas, grandmas, great-grandmas and sisters and the friends of these women and girls.  As the two older sisters of this already-loved little boy took photos of their mama and helped with gifts, it was clear he will be surrounded by a circle of women that will love and cherish and guide him.  And that same circle will be there for his mother when she's tired and needs encouragement or just a pick-me-up from Starbucks.  

The other baby shower was for a new mom.  She doesn't have the experience of having four older children, but she has a group of women surrounding her, as well.  The girls she teaches who are so excited for this new tiny dancer, her mama and family, her fellow teachers and dozens of dance moms who make up that particular part of her "family"; we're all there to cheer her on and share her happiness at this "new chapter", as her mom described it.  This little one is already surrounded with love and a whole group of ladies ready to cheer her on as she takes her first steps and performs her first dance.

And to cap the weekend off, the "milestone" birthday.  You know, the kind ending in a zero.  The people gathered at this party have been friends for decades.  We have worshiped, laughed and cried together.  We have prayed each other through cancer and health scares.  We've had our own baby showers and weddings and funerals.  We have walked this journey together through the mountain tops and valleys and the long stretches of flat road that have no end in sight.  We have done life together in every meaning of the phrase.  

Celebrating a brand new life or celebrating a milestone birthday--both reminded me that we need people.  We need those precious people surrounding us, loving us, supporting us, praying for us, and just giving us that little thumbs up, when we need it. My hope for you is that you will find those people in your life and that you will take the time to nurture those people and allow them to bless you as well.  Open your hearts and lives and allow the people God has placed in your way to become part of your family.  We all need that circle of care.  Be that for others, as well.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Pinterest Projects I Actually Completed: Sweet Petunias and a Freshly Painted Front Door

Welcome to my new front door!  Well, not new, but the color is definitely an improvement.  I shared some pinterest ideas for painted front doors last week.  The weather finally cooperated yesterday and I was able to get some pictures of the finished project.

In this photo, the paint is reading more as blue, but this is the color we painted it:

Sherwin Williams Vintage Vessel

Our door is wood, but it has a strange finish on the exterior side and it was starting to lose it's luster.  So, after seeing a beautiful painted door on the Fixer Upper, I busted out the primer and went to town on the door before I lost my nerve.

No going back now!
There are lots of tutorials out there on the best way to paint a door.  The easiest way would be to take it off the hinges and lay it flat, but, for some reason, I don't usually do things the easy way.  After lightly sanding everything and taping off the hardware, I applied a coat of Sherwin Williams primer that I already had from painting the paneling in our living room.  Here are my tried and true painting tools:  a sanding block, foam roller and a Purdy brush.  The compressed air is great for making sure all the dust is gone after you sand.

One coat of primer did a great job and then I painted it with 2 coats of paint of the first color I tried, Green Trance by SW.  It ended up being way too light.  

So, I went and got a $7 tester can of Vintage Vessel and two coats later, we were good.  The tester was an indoor/outdoor paint and the gentleman at SW said it should hold up just fine.  After choosing the wrong color the first time, I took some artwork I have hanging next to my front door and matched the color off of it.  Vintage Vessel was a perfect match.

I love this little print.  I got it at an arts/craft fair and mounted it on a gold chevron piece of scrapbook paper.  The gold frame is from a thrift store and I think it just adds a little pizzazz to the entry.
Welcome to our Home
I also added a little graphic to the brass kickplate on the front door.  This screen door is fairly new, but I think it will look better on the getaway shed.  That's a project that I intend to complete this summer and make it my "studio".  No one would mistake me for an artist, but I do like to craft and paint and little sis likes to sew.  It would be nice to have a spot to put all of that and have a fun, creative space for us.

When we move the current storm door, I plan to get a new solid glass door for the front door.  When that happens, you'll actually be able to see the vinyl address numbers.  
Vinyl address numbers from Leen the Graphics Queen

A new welcome mat from Lowe's and some pretty flowers 
in a vintage-looking olive bucket and the front entry refresh was complete.

The olive bucket was one I got from Wal-Mart about a year ago, 
but they don't seem to be available anymore.  
Here's a similar one from Target:
Threshold Galvanized Garden Basket

Here are some final pics of my spring-ified door.  
I'd love to hear about what you've done to refresh your house for spring!

Definitely looks more blue in this photo, but the picture below looks green.  
Always do a tester--you can't believe your lyin' eyes!
I refreshed my old spring wreath with new white flowers.

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Little Housekeeping for the Soul

Housekeeping.  Keeping a house.  What does that mean to you?  It sounds so grand.  A housekeeper sounds as if they have a plan; a schedule, an orderly way of doing things.  Lately, my Instagram feed has been full of photos of beautiful kitchen sinks full of bubbles (and, supposedly, some dirty dishes in there somewhere.)  It's spring and there are lots of posts about cleaning and organizing.  There's apparently something motivating about a clean sink  full of hot, soapy water and all the lovely scrubby things you can do with it.  

Truth be told, though, my sink wasn't that pretty this morning.  After breakfast was cooked and eaten and the lunches made, I took one look at that mess and it made me want to close my eyes and go back to bed.  However, comma, no Alice, Rosie the Robot or Mrs. Hughes had plans of showing up today , and those dishes weren't going anywhere until I got down to business.  So, I cleaned off the countertops, scrubbed the sink and filled it with the requisite hot, soapy bubbles.  That was a nice start and I made a pot of my favorite Irish Breakfast Tea as a treat to further fortify my resolve.  

Washing dishes is my prayer time.  I can be alone with my thoughts and I talk to God about what's going on, my friends and family who are in need, and give thanks for the blessings I've received.  It's usually quiet enough than I can listen, too.  Not that I'm hearing actual words, but my heart can hear when I'm quiet long enough to be in His presence.  With my hands submerged in the soapy water, washing and rinsing, I feel my own heart being cleansed and cleared of all the things that need to be washed away.  

As I scrubbed those dishes and cleaned the stovetop and swept the floor, the chaos of my kitchen started to disappear and order took its place.  And as I spoke the words of my heart to my Lord and listened quietly for his Word, my worries and stress took their proper place and my world felt restored.

A sink full of soapy water, some pretty flowers and a pot of tea:  they're good for the soul. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

You Had Me At Hello: Ideas for a Front Porch Refresh

Fixer Upper-Chicken House
It all started with this door.  After seeing this beautiful new front porch on a recent episode of Fixer Upper, my front door would suddenly JUST.NOT.DO.  Hours of market research (otherwise known as surfing pinterest) led to these inspiration pics on my pinterest board for porches:

Southern Living
I love the yellow flowers and boots contrasted with the door.  
The beautiful brick pavers are also a big plus!

This color is Green Trance by Sherwin Williams.  This was the first color I chose.  
It's beautiful, but it turned out a lot lighter than I was expecting 
and ended up more pale/shabby chic than I was wanting. 

Thistlewood Farms
I love the black door, the oversized house numbers, the monogram and wreath.  
After the super light color, I considered black, but decided against it.  
If I had a white house, though, it would definitely be my choice.

My Sweet Savannah
Here's another awesome black door.  It looks very classic paired with the cedar shingles.  
The artwork caught my eye, as well as the boxwood planter and vinyl house numbers.

On Bliss Street
And because you always have to have another project waiting in the wings, 
I have a church pew in my garage that needs some repairs and TLC.  
Not sure if I want to paint it, but I definitely want it on my front porch.

So, what did I finally choose to paint our front door?  
Here's a peek:

Come back next week for the full reveal!

And, I couldn't end this post without mentioning Merle Haggard.  I have been a fan of his as long as I can remember.  I'm listening to his music as I type this and singing along with every word.  He was a treasure and will be missed.  As a friend of mine wrote on facebook:

"All the Federales say we could have had him any day. 
We only let him slip away..." 
RIP Lefty.

Country Living

Monday, April 4, 2016

Set the World on Fire: A Birthday Roadtrip

North Texas Bluebonnets

This weekend, my daughter and I went on a road trip.  It was her birthday, #13.  The boys both had commitments and trying to plan a weekend for all 4 of us would have postponed the celebration for several weeks.  The disappointment in her eyes at the thought of having to wait that long was enough for me, so, we packed our bags, she and I, and headed to the big city.

Loaded up and rolling down the road, we had several hours of time to talk about her plans.  At first, that meant just what stores she planned to visit and what she wanted to see.  But eventually, the plans stretched out a little further in the future.  What classes did she want to take next year?  What did she really love and was there something else she wanted to do?  What would she do if she could just do EXACTLY what she wanted and not what she felt like she was expected to do?  These questions are perfect for a newly-minted teenager trying to find her place in the world and for a forty-something mom doing the exact same thing.

We spent our time exploring fancy neighborhoods, fun chain stores and the makeup counter at a big department store.  We rounded out our shopalooza with the icing on the proverbial preppy birthday cake: the Lilly Pulitzer & Vineyard Vines stores.  We ate exactly what we wanted to and stayed up late in the hotel watching Clueless and Pitch Perfect.  And the best part of all?  We didn't set an alarm to get up in the morning.  As if...

I spend a lot of time with my kids.  Most of it is spent driving them from one place to another or cheering them on for whatever they're performing or competing in.  Archery?  A more quiet sort of cheering.  Tennis?  Politely clapping.  Dance?  Smiling and waving from the wings after the drama of the dressing room.  This weekend, though, had nothing to do with anything she was DOING.  She was just being.  Just herself.  We celebrated the person she is and the person she is becoming.  Away from the busy-ness of our routine, I was reminded of what a precious gift her dad and I were given in this beautiful child.  I want to hold on to that, to remember that in the weeks and months ahead.  She is a unique and sweet soul and we have been entrusted with her care for such a short time. My prayer is that we are able to help her find her own way in this world.  The world doesn't need more people following a trend, following the herd.  It needs more people standing up and standing out.  It needs her being who she really is and it needs you being you and me being me.  I want to give her the tools to be that confident and sure of herself.  And in helping her, I hope I can renew that same confidence for myself.  Let's do this.