Monday, February 4, 2019

sorry, the polar vortex hit.

Haven't had school now for 10 days. That's right, 6 snow days in a row. Today was ice though. It's bad, bad, bad here. Main roads are clear, but the back roads are just like ice rinks.

I wonder if we'll ever get back to school.

I am sadly not joking.

yes, it's icy

Saturday, January 26, 2019

My New aesthetic- Modern brutalist farmhouse

Whatever it's called, t's leaning very heavily on 1970's organic boho, with metal and rustic elements... I finally found someone whose room I would LOVE to just  copy and live in.... of course, it's in Europe.

yvonne-kwakkel.

and her style is TO DIE FOR....

I mean...just LOOK at that... the color of the walls, the gorgeous color of that sofa.... I am in LOVE.


I adore  everything about this! 

This is going in my new look book. 



Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Do you really need all that stuff anyway?

Everyone seems to be talking about de-cluttering, "sparking joy" and minimalism these days.  Thrift stores are being inundated with donations. People are posting before and afters like crazy on facebook.  But, this is just treating the symptoms of a much larger problem...WHY do we have so MUCH stuff?

I will never be a minimalist.   I don't want to be a minimalist.  I happen to like my stuff...and I think I have pretty cool stuff. It's taken me a long time to accumulate my collection of things and that process is still ongoing... and a wholesale purge isn't ever going to happen..... BUT, I want my cool stuff to look good where it lives too...and sometimes it doesn't because it's so surrounded by other stuff.

I think that people are rushing right now to go out and "clean off surfaces" that they aren't seeing the bigger picture at all. We all own far too much stuff...and we keep buying far too much stuff. How many times have you gone out to buy an ingredient for cooking simply because you cannot find it in your pantry? I couldn't find tape at Christmas, so I ended up buying another 3 pack...then I found the two rolls I already had. Now I have 5 rolls of tape that I really don't need. Eventually, we are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff we have. My Grandpa used to call it "10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag". Over consumption isn't a new idea, and we aren't the first generation to have to deal with this...but there are now MORE of us with this problem.

I am going to write down my program that I use to organize and prioritize my stuff.  I didn't invent the wheel here..I took some bits and pieces of many systems and made it into something that worse for me. It may not work for you.... and if it doesn't...that's ok.... just find something that you can do that will make your space easier and cleaner , so that it works for you...not against you.

First Steps.

Near your front door, set up three small boxes or bags. Mark them Donate, throw away, Decisions.

Go through your house, room by room...and find everything that is in the wrong room that is just out in the open, or where you know you've hidden it.   If you keep all your lipstick in the bathroom and you have a tube on your bedside table, just move it to the room or place it should live. Do you drop your work bag on the dining table instead of the closet or hook where it should live?  Move it. You will find a lot of random items near doors, in junk drawers and on table surfaces.....At this point though, you do NOT have to find it's permanent home...just the general vicinity or room iteself.  I find this usually takes me around 10 to 15 minutes per room....  If you find something that has no place to live, now is the time to first utilize the three boxes.  If you know you don't want to donate or throw away an object right now, just put it in the decisions box.... after this is done...congratulate yourself, because you have just started to unclutter your house.

 Your space may appear to be more cluttered after this step...but it's important.....because before you unclutter...you need to start understanding just how much you own. It's also important, because this is actually the step where I find the most garbage. Candy wrappers, bags, receipts that I don't keep, the little bits of stuff that you get daily, and then drop off in places when you empty your pockets or purse. It's where I find the most money too.... mostly random change and dollar bills floating around the house. I set up a jar where I just put all that while I am cleaning. Last spring I found close to 70 bucks in change alone.  This step can be done in stages... as long as you realize that every day you do this, you risk more little bits wandering around your house. I try to do this all in one day (actually one night ) I just go from room to room with a basket and get it done.

Filling a garbage bag of little bits is very satisfying...and will get you going to the next step, which is actually finding out what you own, and deciding if everything is going to stay or go....because you cannot really declutter anything, if you don't know what all is supposed to live there...can you?






Saturday, January 19, 2019

Does it matter what is popular or trending in design today?

Since I started this blog,  I have been thinking about his question. Does it really matter? Yes, and no. Some people want to be on the cutting edge of all things new and hip. Popularity means everything to them. Some people find that perfect sofa, and a place for everything they own, and never change a single thing again. Is one right or wrong? I don't think so...

If you are changing everything every season, I do wonder if you have a sense of your own personal style. If you wear what everyone else is wearing, and decorate how everyone else is decorating... do you want to BE like everyone else? That may be fine for some people, it might be a goal for some people...but it isn't for me. If on  the other hand, you decorate how you want...and then never change it again.... is it because your tastes never change...or because you are afraid of change?

Looking back at my own houses and my own style, I see a combination of things going on. Yes, my tastes are affected by what's popular in decor and fashion (shiplap anyone?)...but I have changed my decor, dress and my general taste in the 15 years I have lived in this house. We have gone from items we bought because we had a baby and nothing should be sharp, or hard or dangerous or breakable...to MCM furniture.  Soon after that though, I realized, my Mr. is a big man...and these spindly furnishings won't work with our lifestyle... so we had to go into another direction.

We live in the woods, in a ranch house...so when Magnolia and shiplap became a big trend, we went ahead and did some shiplap. I am from Texas, so I was already aware of what shiplap was, ,and what it looked like.  It isn't all over the house, it actually complements our lifestyle, and has made the house more architecturally interesting. I like it and it reminds me of home... and I don't think we will ever get rid of it totally. Plus, it moved my other decor into a new area.... 1970's contemporary/boho. I know....what?  Is that macrame and shag carpeting? NO!

I like to call my new style farmhouse/brutalist/boho.  My furniture is now big and chunky. It's super comfortable and no one has to worry about putting their feet up or plopping down in a chair. It's relaxed. It's looks right in the area we live in, and in our house. No shag, although I do have sheepskins, and no macrame....but only because I haven't found any I like yet!

My style lookbook is far different than it was 15 years ago...but I think it's evolved in a way that works with our family and our lifestyle...and that's what EVERYONE should strive for. Your house, your clothing, your designs... they should all work WITH you and your family... as the saying goes...
" you do you" .

                                           I love this..... 
Billy Gaylord; Architectural Digest 1975. Photo by Russell MacMasters.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Fight Club

“Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think every thing you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.” 
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club




I will add...GO OUTSIDE!  Breath some real air!  Sit still and watch the clouds go by, or an ant in the grass... but get and LIVE.




Monday, January 14, 2019

The purge 2019 - and why I am still buying things

My ideas of  'New Year, New You"  and making my life easier and better....don't just include getting rid of things. My idea also includes acquiring new items that either work better than my old ones or upgrading things we already own, or new items that we really need.  I will never be a minimalist... nor do I want to become one. I like my things. I like 'stuff'.  It just has to work for me and fit my vision of how I want to live and look, and my vision of how my house works and looks.

To that end, I sent the Mr. out to an auction this past weekend to see if we could buy some REALLY cool MCM patio furniture (which we did not get,as it went SKY high) and two 1970's upholstered chairs that I thought would look great in the living room.  He bought the chairs ( 2 for 9.00, yes, 4.50 a chair) and brought back a fabulous industrial telescoping lamp as well...but that lamp is for another day.

Here was the issue, I hate my living room. Always have, and it's been 15 years now. It's a rectangle, with a corner cut off, it has 3 HUGE windows, one small window in a silly location, a pass through to the kitchen, a large doorway into the kitchen AND an outside door. There is literally no room for furniture...but I have worked with it. The issue is, with the sofa and the day bed, we needed more seating for when we have people over so they don't crowd onto the sofas...and we have tried many, many chairs.... but I think we finally have the winners ! My room has morphed from a MCM decor, to a clear 1970's vibe, with thick chunky comfortable furniture , organic colors and BOHO elements. It's us finally, and although the room is still problematic, I no longer hate going into it.

                                                                  one of my new chairs



                                                    And the piece that started it all......

                                                     The Lane Pueblo dresser I just bought


There is more to do. The art needs to be changed a bit and hung lower. There is too much nick knack clutter hanging about.... but soon there will be an photo shoot and it will be done.... by Spring if I would hazard a guess...... so more soon. Hopefully, I will get in the hang of writing again too.....




The living room in early attempts....

Sunday, January 13, 2019

KonMari.... or not....

SO much has been written lately about the KonMari method ...but I am not going to be one of those people. I don't subscribe to her method of every item has to spark joy in you, or you need to purge it. I find no joy in my socks, they are coverings for my feet. I find no joy in a mop.... it's what  I use to clean up cat messes.... but I do want to like what I own, and for what I own to work for me, not against me.

I decided long ago, when I used to tell people what to do for a living (which is a long, long story) that no system I used, would totally work for anyone else. You need to find your own way, and your own path. Pick and chose from many systems and the advice of others.  You don't have to invent the wheel again, but understand that no one system may work for your lifestyle, and your life choices.

This is what works for me.... and I am passing it on to you. When you pick up an item in your house...ANY item....this works for handbags down to wash cloths....If you were shopping today... would you BUY this item again? If the answer is no, you need to figure out why. Does it not fit your style anymore? Are you only keeping it because it was a gift? Is it a piece of crap that doesn't work but you haven't replaced it yet? Whatever reason, decide at that moment, to either keep it, donate it or throw it away, or replace it. If you keep it, find it's permanent home. If you are going to get rid of it...do that right away. Put it in a box or bag you keep by the door to donate next time you go out (more on that later) . If you want to toss it...do that right NOW. If you need to replace the item with something better.... start researching. Everything out there has an upgrade, and now your quest is to find that better item that will make your life easier.

You don't have to be a minimalist if you don't want to be....but you do need every item in your house to work FOR you. It can "spark joy" or it can be useful and solid...but your belongings should NOT cause you stress.  It's the same with cleaning methods... those methods might make you happy, or feel accomplished...but they should also NOT be causing you stress.





Friday, January 11, 2019

Why do we do what we do? Why don't we change?

Today my son said something to me that made me think... and question far too much in my life. We were out buying a new shoe rack...and he asked me why I was buying it. We have a shoe rack. There is a shoe rack in the front closet where shoes are always kept already....It seems just fine...and I suppose it is. BUT.... it doesn't work for our family.

The old rack is in the closet, and it holds my husbands shoes... well actually, some of his shoes. When he bothers to put them in the closet and on the rack. Most of the time however, my family of three as at least 11 pairs of shoes thrown helter skelter by the door. It drives me NUTS. Apparently though, I am the only person bothered by the plethora of loose shoes. I trip on them. When a mouse got in the house it HID in one of them. They look like hell...and it cannot be good for the shoes. Shoes, that I might add, cost a small freakin fortune....

SO, I bought a new rack. A larger rack. I put it in the closet, filled it up with my husbands work shoes...and realized something. That closet is DARK...and small....It's hard to reach down to the shoes because of the coats hanging above. When looking into the closet, even I cannot tell the difference between the brown and black dress shoes...let alone the cordovan ones. No wonder he never puts them in the closet.... once they are in there...they all look the same. It's hard to find a specific pair of shoes. New rack or old rack.... this isn't a solution that makes our lives easier.

So what do I do now...and why am I thinking about what my son said? It wasn't the part about the new rack.... it was the part about the shoes always being in the front closet. Why are they in the front closet? I think 15 years ago when we moved in this house, it seemed the natural place. We take our shoes off at the door. So, shoe storage would naturally be there...right? It doesn't work though. Never really has. That area is cramped, and dark. We put our shoes up there, because we ALWAYS have, not because it's the best place for them....and once we put the shoes there.... I stopped looking for better solutions.

This year, it's time I look for better solutions. Not just organizing what I have....but really thinking...is the the BEST place for this? Is this where this items WORKS best? It's time to think out of the box (as much as I hate that phrase) and put ALL the options on the table....and pick the best.  Just because something has always been done that way...doesn't mean it's the best way...or the easiest way... or the way that will be best for this family.

This year, I am looking for solutions to actual issues...... ones that will make my life, and my families lives, easier and more organized. Onward and upward 2019!


so much has changed. So much has stayed the same.

Just wondering about what to do with my old blogs. I miss writing...and not these stream of conspicuousness blogs...real honest writing. I miss documenting what I am doing. I miss...a lot of things. I have to decide if I want to keep these up... or just erase them all. Start over? I just don't know......

Monday, April 3, 2017

It's been a year. A year. I hang my head in shame......

I got a lot done though. We traveled this past year. A lot. We put up ship lap.... a lot of ship lap  We bought things for our business. A lot of things. We sold a lot through our business. A lot. The boy is growing up.... a lot. We've bought two vintage trailers to work on this year.

Here are some pictures.... and I promise..... I want to make this my home and business sounding board.....so more posts.

we'll start with the new bathroom/laundry room. This is looking into the new bathroom. To the right is the toilet/sink...behind that wall by the black cabinet is a stand up shower. This is the Mr. and the boys bathroom...it's off the mudroom/laundry so it's the perfect place for dirty people to go into and get clean...without messing up the rest of the house!


This is the laundry room part of the room.... 





New walls. New ship lap. New ceiling. Old cabinets and rugs. The  9 behind the door is from my grandfathers gas station. 

More soon. Like really soon. I pinky promise. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

WOW! Time flies.

It's been a year. Over one maybe? We've been busy. Busy with a new business, busy with our home- we built a new bathroom/laundry room- busy with our kid....who is now 12 and doing all the things that a 12 year old boy does....sports, guitar lessons, after school activities etc..... I have to get back into writing things down..... not for anyone other than myself really. SO, I guess what I'm saying is that I am back. I have a new attitude, a new aesthetic.... a new lease on life.  After all, I officially got old this year.... I have to grow up sometime. 
One of my many new projects....shiplap! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cats on chairs...

You know how Desire to Inspire has pets on furniture Mondays?  I've had my pets on their site before, both my poor late doggy, and my rescue cats, but I wanted to post more animal photo's here....


so here you go.

RIP Tommy. No chair photos, but I couldn't let him be unrecognized for the great cat that he was.


RIP Chuy. The very best little doggy I could have ever had. He's on the Mr. Chair, by Plycraft. He was a very special doggy. I miss him every day. 


Now, we have DK  (short for Darth Kitty) on a Danish Modern rocking chair.... 





and this is Spinx (on the floor, but it's a fantastic shot of him) 


but these two will cuddle up and sleep together. Yes, on the Mr. Chair. It seems very pet friendly. 


Monday, January 19, 2015

This is why I can't read Apartment Therapy much anymore.....

This quote is from here 

 "Your home a space where you can retreat from the outside world and focus on what is healthful and centering for you. Tonight, why not make that make that retreat just a bit more intentional - a little quieter and deeper than usual - and see how it feels? This evening, take a break from what is for many of us the default way we relax at home; turn off the tv, put down the smart phone and and give a media fast a try." 


I am not bound to my technology. I do not need this hippy dippy bullshit to tell me to get off my computer, or phone, or tv. If I didn't want to have them on, I wouldn't. Sitting in my living room with the tv turned off isn't going to make me look "deeper" into myself, or my house, or anything.  

In this house, in this family, we are in charge of our lives. That includes what we bring into it- like technology. It's a tool. One we use,  and one that we are in control of, not one we have to run away from. 

So, yesterday we started cleaning up the basement, so we can start using that room. ARG, I almost typed space.   Anyway, we re-set the furniture, cleaned off the pool table, and we PURGED! 3 Boxes of garage sale merchandise, a bag of dress clothing to be donated to the first lady's attic at the University, and an entire truck load of stuff to take to the Goodwill...



There's two chairs, a few boxes of assorted stuff, baskets that my Mr. hates, and other things back there. I just hope Goodwill is open today so this stuff can get out of our lives. 

I'm working on another bag of clothing to donated myself today. I have reached my "goal" of items purged from this house, and we haven't even touched the garage yet. 


which is an utter disgrace. But, it's too cold out right now to do anything about this- and that's not an excuse. It's just too cold. But soon, this is fair game too..... 


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The roof, the roof, the roof is.....almost finished.

The roof on the house is on, tomorrow they do the garage and the final bits and pieces. It's amazing. There are two workman, and two helpers (who get the shingles and things to the dumpster) It was 9 degrees today. 9. Fahrenheit. , snowing and with the wind , it "felt like" -1 outside. They work SO hard. It's amazing. They come inside, take a break and we dry their coats and shirts in the dryer for them, then they are right back at it. Their work ethic is amazing.

Here are some updates.  (I had to wait until they were done for the day and gone, you don't take photos of the Amish)

This needs to be emptied. 

The back of the house...... 
and the front. 
The bar across the front you see is to keep the ice from falling down and beaning your head in the winter.....

Monday, December 29, 2014

We're getting a new roof. Tomorrow. In the winter.

Yep. In the winter. The local Amish do the work, and make the metal roof. It's a brown/slate color. They'll come tomorrow and start, they say it takes about 3 days. We'll see. I won't though, I can't be here when they rip the roof off of my house. I can't bear it.


Pictures to come.


Before.


In ;the summer of course. And this was taken a few years ago, before we re did the porch.... so. just look at the roof.

Good night.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The past, 40 plus years in the making......

My Mom found this today. That's my Uncle John, me in the middle, and my little brother. According to the back of this picture, we're in my Aunts dorm room at campus. All I know, is that is one hell of a bedspread.  I have to be around..... 6 or so in this picture I'm guessing. And, I remember that pink vest I'm wearing. It was crocheted by my Grandmother. It was my favorite thing to wear for a while.  I don't remember this picture being taken, but I do have memories of that time, so for that, I'm thankful.

Friday, September 26, 2014

This weekend is the final Allegan antique market for the year.

The weather is going to be fantastic. We have many new pieces of furniture to put out, and although I am dreading the work, and I am so glad this is the last show of the season, I am looking forward to it!  Allegan here we come! 

There might be pictures(of us)  next week! 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

I don't know what to say exactly.....

my husband went to an auction tonight.... alone. He went to look at a canoe. He did not buy the canoe..... he bought 8 chairs, a table, and a boat dashboard. I am in disbelief


Monday, September 8, 2014

Bedroom project has commenced!

I just put up the very large paint sample in the room.... I like it. I'm going with it.



I like how it goes with the lamp, and with all the white that is in this room, it won't feel too dark (I hope)



In addition, we pulled up the red rug and put it in the dining room this weekend. More about that later, but here it is. I bought this wool rug (from Hold Everything) for 2 dollars at the Pottery Barn Outlet (along with a few others) when they were getting rid of all that inventory. It's one of my favorite purchases....

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My bedroom project- step one.

no. Forget that, step 2. Step one was the mood board. Step 2 is this.....

Do I even like the look I picked out? I have to say......

I do.  I still have to paint- so the room itself is still green...but I bought a sample and tried out "Man Cave" and I like it. It's DARK. It's going to take a lot of time to get used to..... and before I paint I really have to decide if I want it dark or go with white..... but I really think it's time to visit the dark side...

so here are some pictures of my initial trial run...

wait. Just in case you forgot....here is the sample board first...


and here is my trial run (minus paint color) 



The picture of the boy at the beach is leaving.... I don't know if another set of antlers will go there or a painting....


This is my favorite lamp. I love it. 


this is the paint sample near the UGLY carpeting. We have to keep the carpet. The roof estimate just came in over 8 grand. I need a roof more than I need a better looking floor. 



Possible art choices....

what do you think? I need to get the paint before September 3 so I can get the rebate..... I am so cheap. 

later! 



Monday, August 18, 2014

I put in a fire pit....

Actually, I had a fire bowl, and I put in an area around it so I wouldn't burn down the neighborhood.

I am terrified of fire. My Mom caught on fire in front of me when I was around 4 or so. She backed up into a stove, and  her apron burst into flames. My Dad was there, and put her out, but it has stayed with me since then. Although I want a fire pit area, I don't want to be too close.

I had pulled a forsythia tree/bush out of this area two years ago. It was very overgrown- about 9 ft tall or so and awful.....


I unfortunately have no before pic of the ugly tree, this is where we took it off, and my lovely Mr's behind.

It left us with a really ugly hilltop. UGLY.

This is the spring (see, no leaves) all we did was to put up a rock border to warn people not to fall over the edge...... there were a ton of daylillies planted on the hill...... well, it turns out my Mr. HATES daylillies.  It's been 11 years and he's just NOW telling me this.... so.... I pulled out the daylillies, and then we had to have the huge maple cut down off the back deck....it was rotten.  It was also HUGE...and around 90 ft + tall. It turned the back yard shade garden into a full sun desert...... plants started to die. Things turned ugly. I had to do something.....


so I decided to make one of the shade gardens into the fire pit.... I made the area larger by removing a huge chunk of grass and then put a rock border up... these photos are horrible. I don't know what setting my phone was on....but it isn't pretty. Sorry....


 We had to pull the truck back to unload the rock (which we STILL need more of btw)




 How much vegetation did I cut back?..... two wheelbarrow full



 We need some more rocks...and a better bench......but we're now good to go...and burn........