Sunday, August 31, 2014

Well....I guess the parade got to me after all!

 Well, I thought I was far too lazy to do anything about all of the new colors and ideas from the Parade of Homes, but I guess I underestimated my ability to be swayed like a sheep. I immediately thought my decor was too dark, and originally wanted to paint all of the kitchen cupboards to white, pull the stone off the fireplace and replace it with glass tile, and possibly yank out all of the carpet. I calmed down soon, but there were a few pieces in my house that had been bugging me for a while that the Parade got me to do something about. The first was my headboard. Here's what the before looked like (above). I've since changed the curtains and bedding, but the headboard stayed dark. 

 Here's the after. I painted the copper tile in the center a cream, and the headboard to grey. I went back and forth about antiquing it, but finally went for it with some encouragement from my friend. 
 Here's the glazing up close. I didn't go crazy, just a bit around the edges.
The final bedroom. I was kind of sad about the mirror. I was going to just refinish it to match, but wet... and fell apart. I HAD to buy a new one!
 Next was the desk in the dining room. This is a really old picture! Wow. Jeff's grandpa made this desk by hand, so the pulls needed to stay. 
I just brightened it up a bit. Cream, with antiquing around the edges. I kept the black top, and I'm not sure it was the best decision, but it's done so... Anyway, notice my little toast and protein hot chocolate ritual there? I'm watching "Gambit" on Netflix instant. That was a fun show (It has Snape in it!).
Next I'm recovering the dining room chairs in this fabric. I will show you when they are done. I'm also touching up paint around the house (finally after years living here!).
 We've been getting some amazing weather around here. This sunset was particularly spectacular. 
 So dramatic you! Geez. Calm down.
 I've been getting in around 30 miles up and down the canyon on my bike on weekends. My friend Sadie says September is the best time of year for biking. I'd stick the end of this year's August onto that. 
 Things have been calming down a little (today anyway) on the Primary visiting front, so I was able to take a little walk in the sunshine.
 When I got to this Virginia creeper, a little mouse grey bird was sitting on top of the railing. He might have been eating the berries, and I wondered if they weren't poisonous like I'd thought. As I got closer, he tensed, but I hoped he'd stay. He took off right when I was opposite him. Made me a little sad.

I got home and picked some of everything in the garden. I steamed some stuff, and left some raw. I always think of Laura Ingall's Pa saying "as long as the garden holds out we can eat like kings!"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Goodbye summer.

 It's hard to think school starts this week. I feel like I missed most of summer being gone from Utah in July. I know I'm spoiled, and I don't deserve to say that, but I can't help feeling that way anyway. Utah county especially is vintage Americana at its finest in July. Kids and fireworks and parades and pioneers, carnivals, and corn, it all happens in July. At least I got the leftover piece of August that the school district didn't pilfer from us. I've never thought going back to school in August was fair or even moral. September is fall, fall is back to school. Duh.  But we savored.
 Barbecues with friends...

 Cousin and family fun nights.
 Roasting marshmallows.
 Badminton --may be the only time I've played in my life.

 Watching the fields turn gold and shiny platinum blond.
 Clouds of harvest chaff.

I'd drive by this field every morning dropping Tia off at driver's ed, and every morning something new would be happening. One day a little black and white cat was out there hunting and made an amazing picture with the gold, black , and white. I DIDN'T STOP. I'm still kicking myself for not taking that picture. I talk about it so much Tia suggested we kidnap the neighbor's cat and throw it in the field so I can take its picture.

 Best time of year in my yard. 

 These shots were all Tia's. We get a lot of hummingbirds and butterflies around these bushes. Last weekend I actually went and looked at a house in a community with tiny lots and shared parks because I've had it up to my earlobes taking care of my yard. We decided it would be dumb to trade in for less land (for the same prices!) even though I was tempted. Kai said .."wait, we could take our butterfly bushes with us right? ...and our fruit trees? and our strawberries?" Sigh. We're not moving. At least I know he likes it here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Something special about those littles.

Last Friday, I served as a guide for the open house of our new church building about 8 blocks away. I wasn't too excited about this job, which consisted of standing in a room and greeting people for an hour and a half, but quickly realized I was in for a good time. On a rolling bulletin board, the Primary kids had all drawn pictures of their families. In between chatting with many friends who came through that night, I looked at these pictures and was touched by so many of them. 

Look at this one where the Dad carries the baby on his shoulders. Look at the smiles, the big hands and many fingers everyone has. This kid feels happy and powerful --thinks his family is powerful.

Not a lot of detail in this one, but one thing this child felt important to include was everyone holding hands. So sweet.

The sun is big and hot, there are also clouds to deal with, but this family is awfully close --bet they can handle it all.

Lot of kids in this family, guess who makes the biggest impression on him (or her)?

I also loved these happy arms, thrown out wide to take on the world.

There were other displays in the room that were wonderful. I truly believe this: when the Lord teaches, peace follows. Hopefully what we do in Primary (our children's group), and at home, helps facilitate this teaching.

I thought about treating my children like Christ in this picture (instead of yelling and nagging like I do when they need to do their dishes or clean their room).

Sunday I visited three congregations' Primarys. In the last one the children sang a song about families. They were a little shaky on the verses, but the music leader encouraged them when they got to the chorus: "now I know you guys know THIS part", and they did. Those littles belted out the words:

 "God gave us families, to help us become what he wants us to be. This is how he shows his love, for the family is of God". 
The 3 year old girl in the front row couldn't keep in her seat, and jumped up putting her hand on her chest singing at the top of her lungs the words which she got a little wrong: "for the family's from the heart." --at least her song was. I got a little choked up. 
Something about watching the innocence of these little people and their feelings for loving families can't be substituted for any other experience for me. It's a privilege to be around.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Date to the Parade

 In the spirit of "trying new things", Jeff and I went to the Salt Lake City Parade of Homes this last weekend. I've only been one time before with my brother and sister-in-law --years ago, but I remember getting some really good information and ideas there. When we were looking for the house we're living in now, a lot of my decisions on color, etc., were influenced by those million dollar parade homes I saw. We've got no plans right now to move, or even remodel, but I still thought it might be fun, so talked Jeff into going.
 Please excuse my ignorance on....almost everything home decor-wise, my comments will only be my opinions and impressions.  One thing I saw over and over again was great use of varieties of texture. Look at this bedroom with the leather, and soft knit, and shiny, and silky, and rough linen, all up against each other! Yum.
 I loved these lighting fixtures over the bar. Jeff hated them. Even Tia (when I showed her the picture) said she thought it was dumb to have the tops open for bugs to fall into, but I loved the chandelier effect inside a modern glass sheath like that. This kitchen interestingly enough, had TWO islands parallel to each other. It also had a separate butler's pantry, and was enormous. I would have loved this kitchen when I was catering, and had helpers, but for one cook in my own space, it would be more of a pain to reach everything than a plus.

 We saw a lot of bathrooms with big, bold wallpapers. I loved this one. Jeff hated all of the bold wallpapers. WhatEVAH! 
 Mmmmm. Blue and White. My current favorite color scheme. Did you know these were my wedding colors?
 I wanted to remember these sparkly crystal laundry room knobs. 
 And this tweedy carpet in the study. 
 Another fabulous light fixture. 
 Look how open and airy! Glitzy glamour.
 Loved this idea too for a girls' bathroom. How come I never knew you could do that? Mix up the knobs? Adorable.

I took lots of pictures of this "Frozen" room for Tia and Ari because I knew they'd love it. Walls covered in murals--
a little cubby door into what I thought was a closet, but when you looked inside...

it was a slide/climbing wall. All of my kids want this in our next house.

I want this zen-y tub,

 ...and this amazing set of drawers and cupboards for my master bath! Loving the gray too right now. 

 This was a favorite corner. This entire home was very light-filled, and had a house-wide sound system playing reggae music.

 See what I mean with the kitchen? I went with dark dark in mine, but now I'm craving light. Meh. I won't actually DO anything about it. I like this fixture too with its Edison bulbs.
 Close-up of the back-splash --we saw a lot of Moroccan tile and prints in all of the homes. I'm experimenting with settings on my phone camera here, that's why it looks strange.
 Here too --sorry. I wanted to show the textured tile. It was like a linen feel. Really pretty.

 This nursery actually made me want a baby again. So sweet I almost couldn't stand it.

 A really fun room. I'm kicking myself that I didn't take a picture of the other side. It was done in a camping theme (see the jars of s'more ingredients on the shelf?). The other wall had a big cabinet like you'd imagine in a lodge or something: arrowheads, maps, binoculars, you get the idea.
 We want these doors for our basement!! It just makes sense not to take up space with an open door, and pocket doors always have problems. Coveting.
 Clever guest room/craft room --the bed is a murphy, and folds into the wall of shelves.
But this was my favorite bedroom. Right off of the camping family room, the sign reads: "Let's Sleep Under The Stars". The bulb lights are awesome, and I really like how they used a Queen headboard along the side of a full bed to make it into a daybed kind of thing. Wonderful place for a teenage girl. Almost tempted to redecorate...easier to just dream.