Thursday, January 28, 2010

Child's Play

I think the most fun that I have decorating is when I decorate a child's room! The possibilities are endless. However, before you let your imagination go wild, there are three basic guidelines that you need to follow. Number one: Design for function. 

This means you have to plan ahead and think about what your children do in the room beside sleep. Do they study, play with their toys or just want a place to escape? Sure those Pottery Barn shelves look beautiful, but what good are they if your child can't reach them!

Guideline number two: Get your kids involved – up to a point. Ask them their favorite color and what they want to do in the room. If this sounds frightening …yikes, what if they want their room orange? ...don't worry. You can paint the walls a neutral color and fill it with orange accessories. Pillows, comforters and throw rugs are easy things to change when they change their minds (and they will change their minds).

Third, remember their ages. Pick themes carefully especially when designing an older child's room unless you don't mind redesigning and painting every couple of years. For example, when you are designing a nine-year old's room, remember that the preteen and teen years are right around the corner. Will a preteen really like painted dragons dancing across the walls?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dreaming of Dragonflies

My friend Cassie gave me this darling little scalloped-edge mirror, which I painted a very pale pink. I decided to accent it with lime green and black to give it some pizazz. The dragonflies (another favorite theme of mine) add movement to the piece and the rhinestones add some glam! I've taken some close-ups of the details so you can see them a little better. I'm finding out that mirrors are very hard to photograph. First, you have to be aware of what's going on in the reflection so it doesn't distract from the mirror's design. Then, you have to be careful not to position the flash so it creates kind of a flash back. I tried my best, but maybe I need to barter with a professional photographer to get this done a little better!

I'm off to my studio (warehouse) this week to work on a sweet little table and chair set...also painted a very pale pink. I plan to accent the pale pink with black, periwinkle and a soft green...any requests or ideas before I begin adding my final touches?

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In a Creative Mood...

I had a productive day today! I am happy to say that I finished painting two new pieces of furniture - a fun and flirty bookcase (above) and a pretty, pale pink dragonfly mirror. Now, I just have to finish sealing them with a protective coat of Vermont Naturals polywhey (environmentally-friendly) gloss. After that, I will post them on my website for sale.
Since you really can't tell from these pics, the bookcase is painted in the palest of baby blue with white, black and lime green accents ( i love lime green). After sealing the paint, I will add little rhinestones to the sides at each line cute (if I say so myself)!!!
It's funny, I start each of my projects thinking that I'm going to make them unisex, but I just can't help adding the little touches of pink or rhinestones. I wonder if it's because I have three sons???

I had so much fun just going with the flow and painting my furniture that I can't wait to start on my next project!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Day of Play (in the snow)

Yesterday, my son (home from college) talks me into going skiing with him (well, he snowboards). What he really wanted me to do is drive him up to meet his friends three and a half hours away at The Wisp. I vetoed that one and we ended up going by ourselves to a much closer ski area. Idealistically, I thought to myself, “this will be great; we’ll talk while driving up and back and have a great time skiing together.”
Of course, no sooner than we got into the car, he was in the iPod zone and I reluctantly tuned into National Public Radio (NPR). When we got to our destination and bought our lift tickets, we agreed to take one run together and then split up for a bit. That’s when I discovered that I lost my lift ticket (my VERY expensive lift ticket) and that’s when he dumped me to hit the terrain park. So much for “together time.”

Since I just bought the ticket, I knew the woman would remember me so I clomped back to the ticket window and told her what happened. She didn’t remember me.

I went to Guest Services on the off chance that some good soul would turn in a brand new lift ticket instead of selling it. Guess what? Some one did and my faith in humanity was restored. Of course, I still had to ski alone.

I had a good first run, but my right foot and leg felt oddly out of control. I looked down to find out that my archaic ski boots finally bit the dust. There was a large crack going up the middle…great. Long story; short – duct tape.

Then I get a text message: “Mom, meet me at the dining area.” I meet him and find that he wiped out and got a little rattled. We had lunch and then had a nice afternoon of skiing/snowboarding together. Of course, the whole way home, he went back to iPod land and I listened to NPR. All in all, a good day -- great snow, a tiny bit of bonding time with my son and soon…new ski boots!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside..

So, stay in and start organizing! Wait, you hate to organize? Well, you’re just not doing it right, that’s all. Okay, I know some of you reading this are actually lucky to have a minute to sit down and read this, but the trick is to take little chunks of time and organize on a small scale. If you start small – little sections of a room perhaps – and then work on that single area until finished, you’ll actually be more motivated to move on to your next assignment.
Start with one room at a time. Follow the example of those TV organizing shows. For example, mark boxes or bags: toss or “freecycle,” give away to charity, yard sale, keep and store. Once you start there’s no turning back…bet you won’t even miss the things you give away! Check out all the stuff I gathered and donated in one afternoon (on right). 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Recycling Resolutions

Happy New Year! When you make your list of resolutions for 2010, make sure you include "recycling and repurposing more often" as one of them! Of course, that's what my business is based on and I hope to share some of my new creative creations over the next year.

That said, here are some clever ways to repurpose your junk mail:

  • Shred it and use it to line a pet's cage.
  • Use pieces of it to create your own artwork or cards.
  • Use the envelopes to tuck coupons inside and write your grocery list on the outside (I've been doing this for years).
  • Make your own paper and give it as a gift (or use it to make notecards). 
  • Use it as filler when packing and shipping fragile items.
Check out this blog that I just discovered: woman makes jewelry and magnets from junk mail!

There's also another website that I absolutely's called JunkMarket Style and was created by Sue Whitney, a stay-at-home mom and self-proclaimed "junker." Sue has built a business around repurposing junk and she has many followers and oodles of ideas from some of the craziest, craftiest and cleverest women in America. Check it out at

Now, I have a question for all of my creative followers...what would you do with these wooden spools? Used to hold nautical rope, they are about 12 inches high and 10 inches wide, (too small for side tables) and they are made from pine with a cardboard center (where the rope is wound). I think that they would make darling stools for toddlers, but since they are constructed of cardboard, I'm not sure they are sturdy enough. Got any ideas?