Monday, April 30, 2012

Etsy Shop of the Month

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all had a good weekend.  Mine seemed to fly by, but my husband and I did have a little time for creative planning.  We talked about our next couple of projects and came up with some great ideas which I can't wait to get started on.  But...enough about that because today is all about Kelli and her fabulous Etsy Shop, RedMarionette.

I recently discovered RedMarionette when I was playing around working very hard on Pinterest.  I was putting together a new board titled "Kiddos Bath" (which you can check out here) and I found this totally amazing wreath.  Now I know wreaths are not usually found in a bathroom but this wreath is so above and beyond that it could go almost anywhere.  Take a look for yourself...

wreath in the bathroom

Right?!?!  Totally AMAZING!  So of course I had to find out who made this which is how I found Kelli.  As always I asked our Etsy shop owner to quickly describe their shop and how it came to be and Kelli's description is just as wonderful as her work...

Red Marionette was developed in 2008 by a crafty redhead with an overactive imagination. Believing that everyone should have a doppelganger in felt she frantically doodled her way into madness.

From these doodles, obnoxiously cute creatures were born. These creatures took the form of ornaments, wreaths, wall art, party favors, Holiday decor and much more.
As they are carefully hand stitched, Lola, Pete, Fortinbras and countless others quickly developed their own eccentric tastes and characteristics. Some like cupcakes or have a thing for camping. Just like snowflakes, children and stars in the sky, no two are alike.

Leaves you wanting to see more, doesn't it?  Well here you go.

Felt and Yarn Wreath - New Growth - Made to Order - Lush Green and Owl Pair

Felt Baby Mobile - Funny Farm - Made to Order - Home Decor Nursery - Chicken Cow Rabbit Sheep Bull

Fabric Wall Art - Sheldon the Orange Owl - Earth Tones Argyle

Felt Ornament - Donald the Drippy Monster

Christmas Felt Ornament - Lloyd the Purple Lion

Felt and Yarn Wreath - The Peacock - Dot and Bauble - Black Lime Green White Teal Blue

I could go on and on but instead just go to Kelli's shop here to see all her wonderful creativity!  And if you want to follow her blog you can find that here.  Hope you enjoy!  OK just one more...

Baby Mobile Felt - Monster Mayhem - Made to Order -  Home Decor Nursery

Friday, April 27, 2012

Let's Recap - Part Two

A few weeks ago I shared the upstairs recap with you but if you missed it just click here to see all the fun changes that have taken place in the bedrooms.  And today I am back to recap some of the progress that has happened on the main floor.  So let's get it started!

How about we start in the Grand Piano Room.  As you may remember this room is the first room on the right as you walk into our home.  The past owners had a beautiful grand piano parked right in the center of the room, actually that was all that was in the room, but that explains the name.  But since we don't have a grand piano we had to come up with another use.  When we first moved in it looked like this...

With a whole lot of blue paint the room has been transformed into my lovely office.

The Family Room got it's humble start with this lovely Christmas Tree

As you may remember we moved in a week before Christmas so this truly is the first picture I have.  But since this room has gone through an ongoing transformation.  Bit by bit a concept has developed and with each project it gets one step closer to being my BFF.

Here is one of my favorite before shots!  This is our sun-room the very first week we moved in...

Hehehehe, OK here is a better before pic.

And now, my daughter's favorite spot in the house...

So although the list of to-do's is long, it is fun to take a moment to look back on how far we have come.  I have to admit...I love this house and it really does feel like home and at the end of the day what more could you ask for.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My First Sewing Success!

Hope you are up for playing a game.  Don't worry, it is one of those games you used to see on Sesame Street when you were a kid so as long as you passed pre-school you should be OK.  So here it is...what is different from picture one...

and picture two????

Do you see it?  Are you ooooo-ing and ahhhhh-ing???

YES!!!!  The pillow.  The beautiful, hand crafted, perfectly engineered pillow.  OK well just don't get to close to it because I admit it is not perfect.  But it is the FIRST thing I sewed on my new sewing machine!

Now, if you are expecting a "how-to" I am sorry to disappoint.  But I feel like one pillow does not even close to make me an expert.  Really my sister-in-law did the measuring and cutting and basically said sew here, here & here.  So once I get about 5 more of these puppies under my belt I will happily break down the details for you.

But today I am just here to brag and show off my not totally perfect but good enough for me, first sewing success.

The end.  Thank you for indulging me.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I thought of about ten different things I could title this post...Christmas in April, Meet Our New Family Member, My New Best Friend, The Best Day Of My Life (OK, not really true but I was pretty darn happy), but then I figured there was only one way to say it...THE COUCH IS HERE!!!

As you know, we were told it would arrive in mid-May so you can imagine how stupid excited I was when they called last Thursday and not only said it was in but they could deliver it the very next day!  I told the man on the phone that he made my day about 5 times.  And to add the icing on the cake we were having a BBQ on Saturday so all my friends were going to get to see it right away!

What???  Quit with the chit-chat and show you the new couch...OK, OK calm down I mean it is just a couch ;)

Oh she is so pretty!  And I am so happy with the fabric!  It is so hard to see a swatch and be certain that it will look good as an entire piece of furniture.  But once again my husband made an excellent selection and we love it.  (This pic is a little more true to color.  The above shot is a little dark.)

This may sound crazy, which is nothing new, but my favorite angle of it is from the back!

This angle shows off the clean lines as well as the high back, which makes it so much more comfy then the old PB slipcover couch.  And the fabric ties the room together like a dream.  But this angle also shows that the new couch is smaller then the old couch which had a chaise.  Which is not at all a problem well at least nothing that can't be solved with a couple of end tables like this one...

Bornova Side Table

Anyone have an extra $440 laying around they don't need???  (Man Ballard Designs can be pricey!!!)  Well, I guess it will have to just  go on the someday list for now.  But in the mean time I will just enjoy how lovely my new pillows look on the new couch.

Which by the way, my sister-in-law just spotted on this website for $55 (originally $97) and I had them made for less then $20.  Fabulous!!!

So if you are wondering what I am doing over the next couple of days I will be walking around the new couch, smitten with it but to afraid to sit on it.   I'm sure by next week my daughter will once again be allowed to dive off the ottoman onto the couch as she yells "fly".  But for now back off...Mama is in love!

P.S. Do you call it a couch or a sofa?  Really what is the difference?  Does sofa sound fancier?  I have tried it out but I think I am a "couch" girl.  What are you?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Goat & The Horse

On our lovely vacation a couple weeks back the hubby and I were lucky enough to sneak away for some time in Sonoma.  We hit the road in my father-in-law's convertible Corvette and felt like we were 16 again.  You should have seen the ridiculous grins on our faces as we pulled out of the driveway.  Seriously, it was stupid!

We did a little wine tasting but what I was really looking forward to was walking through all the little shops lining the downtown Sonoma square and not worrying about little 2 year old hands grabbing all the breakable things off the shelves.  And while in a great local home store we stumbled upon our new friends.  Yup...the goat & the horse.

It is funny how when you are searching for art it is impossible to find but when it is the last thing on your mind you find just what you have needed all along.  Enter our new housemates...

We first saw the goat.  Actually my husband first saw the goat.  And it was love at first site for him.  (Never thought I would be jealous of a goat!)

But when we started talking about where he would go we thought we needed something (or someone) else to balance him out.  Enter Dusty - actually we haven't named them yet, but don't worry that will come very soon.

In our first conversation we thought we would put them in the dinning room but after buying them and walking out of the store my husband had a better idea (darn him for always coming up with the good stuff).  They would be perfect in the family room on either side of the TV!

As you may remember that spot is currently being filled by these guys...

My home made art from pictures I took in Chicago.  (Here are the details.)  But that was always only a temporary fix until we found something better.  And look...something better!

Don't they look awesome!  I love how the sides of the canvases are lined in burlap.

And I mean who doesn't want a goat starring them down every time they sit on the couch!  Actually I think he will be much more friendly once we name him.  Patience little goat, patience.

Once the couch arrives this room might just be complete.  25 days and counting!

Monday, April 16, 2012

What's Your Color Personality

It is Monday.  You are sitting at your computer wishing it was still Sunday.  I know you feel like you should start the week out right, be productive, get through that to-do list.  Well, to heck with that.  You can take 2 minutes to take a silly quiz to reveal the destiny of your home.  How about this...add "take color personality quiz" to your to-do list right now.  That way when you are done you can cross something off your list and feel that awesome sense of accomplishment which is really the main reason you have the list in the first place.

OK, sold?  Follow this link to reveal your design truth.  

What's Your Color Personality

So what is my color personality???  The funny thing is the quiz was exactly right, my color personality is "colorful gray".  (You can check out the description below.)  And "colorful gray" is exactly what I have been filling my house with!  Pretty creepy!

But even if the quiz does not get your color personality exactly right maybe it will open you up to something you haven't thought of before.  Or maybe it will give you the jumping off point you have been looking for.  So take your chances in the game of life and see what you come up with and then share it in a comment below.  I would love to hear what kind of personalities yall are!

Colorful Gray
This palette of colorful grays is a perfect balance of sophistication and serenity. Each hue bears the marking of another color (blue, green, purple, etc.), creating a neutral palette that is anything but dull. Pair with rich jewel tones for a luxe look, or with muted hues for a soothing rendition.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Pinwheel Wreath

Once again I have been Pinterest inspired.  And this time around my inspiration came in the form of a pinwheels!  Now that Spring is in the air I knew it was time to put away the Fall / Winter wreath and create something new.  And that is when I found Sabrina's adorable pinwheel wreath at Neverland Nook.  So I followed her lead and created my own.

And here is how you can make something just as cute!

You will need:
Double sided pretty paper (you can use single sided and glue two pieces back to back)
Sewing pins with larger colored heads
Foam wreath form 
Burlap, fabric or ribbon to cover the wreath form
Ribbon or fabric to hang the wreath
Glue gun

(I found everything I needed at JoAnn's)

To get started attach a piece of ribbon or fabric to use for hanging the wreath.  I find that it is easiest to do this first when nothing is in the way.  I used a piece of scrap fabric and glued it to the foam form.

Next I wrapped the form in burlap.  I chose burlap because I had it.  You could use fabric, ribbon, actually there are tons of options!  I simply wrapped the burlap, gluing it at spots along the way to be sure it held.  

The next step...make the pinwheels!  (I needed 12 pinwheels to create my wreath.)  Cut a piece of the pretty two sided paper into a 5"x5" square.

Fold the paper into a triangle, taking one corner to the opposite corner.

Make a good crease then unfold the paper and fold it from corner to corner the opposite way.

Now when you unfold it you will have creases forming a cross through the middle.  Cut along each crease, stopping about 1/2 an inch before reaching the center.

OK, you still with me???  Almost there.  Next fold the right corner of each smaller triangle in to the middle.

Now grab one of those sewing pins and poke it through the middle catching each folded corner and the center of the pinwheel.  And all you have to do is push the pin into the foam wreath form!

Continue making more pinwheels and fill in the rest of the wreath... 

You can cover it completely or you can fill one area and leave the rest open.  So many options!!!  Just so many!!!

And don't forget, I love  to see your projects so comment below, link up to MD on Facebook or send me an email at

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How To Buy A Quality Sofa

The new sofa is due to arrive in one month and I can't wait for the big debut!  In the mean time, I want to share some of the super useful things I learned when researching the big purchase.  With big ticket items like this I really think that knowledge can help you find quality for a fair price.  And we are all about the fair price!  (BTW - I filled this post with pics of pretty sofas that inspired our purchase. I hope you like.)

Kittles, love this couch, $858, 82"

Let me first say that there are reasons to buy a less expensive, lower quality sofa but my goal in shopping and with the info below is to help you buy a sofa that will last.

So let's start at the beginning...the frame.  Go with solid wood.  Plywood and particle board (often held together by staples) will not hold up as well.  And when we are talking seating support the best quality options are the eight-way hand tied spring system or sinuous springs.  You will also see web suspension which is not always bad but less superior to the first two.  And finally, when talking construction, is the filling.    There are many different kinds of filling - down, down blends, spring wrapped foam and polyurethane - which I just listed from most expensive to least.  What matters the most is that if you don't go with down, which is pricey, you want to focus on getting a high density foam which will last longer then a lower density foam.  But above all sit down.  Be sure you sit on a couch before you buy it and remember the floor model is often a little more worn then what you will get right away but over time this is what your sofa will feel like.  

Blue couch? 

The next thing to consider, which was my main focus, is fabric and honestly what really that fabric.  So here is the big secret, that changed my sofa buying life.  Upholstered furniture has a fabric cleaning code on the tag and if you speak the right language you can decode any information you need.  

 Rockford Sofa

So let's translate...

"W" means water soluble.  And yup, you guessed it, this means you can clean this piece with water.  Now don't go grabbing the garden hose.  No sofa will do great soaking wet.  But you can use water based cleaners or foams and an upholstery / carpet cleaner using the attachments.  This is the most durable fabric but not always the most glamorous.  

"S" means solvent cleaner only.  Basically this is the equivalent to "dry-clean only".  This must be cleaned in a water-less process done by a professional.  So my recommendation if you go for a "S" fabric is make sure the covers are removable.  Then you can easily take them to the dry cleaners when needed.

"SW" means water soluble / solvent.  This piece is best maintained if dry-cleaned but can be spot cleaned with a water based product if necessary.  And if a water based product is used do your best to dry it as best you can.  

"X" means exactly cannot be cleaned!  You wont see "X" very often anymore but this code means the piece can only be vacuumed.  Um, not what I would recommend for really any sofa at all unless you plan to cover it in your grandma's best plastic ;)

love these sofas!!!

So I really hope this information was helpful.  It may not apply to you right now but remember to read it again next time you head to the furniture store.  In addition to helping you make a smarter purchase it also makes the need for an overly pushy sales person to answer your questions less essential.  You can answer all your own questions!  

Oh wait, don't go!  One more pic of a um interesting sofa...

Perhaps one of the ugliest sofas I have ever seen. And very expensive to boot.