Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween From Our Family Characters!

Happy Halloween from me and all the characters in our family!  And let me tell you, our family is full of little costumed characters excited to go trick-or-treating this evening!  
I'm down at Doc Holiday cottage this week to spend time with two little princesses.  Yesterday we had a class party and the children trick-or-treated at a nearby nursing home.
Ella dressed as her current crush, Rapunzel aka Tangled.
 Little sister Charlotte was dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast.   She is just beginning to learn about princess power and it was fun to watch her transform into princess mode---she felt so beautiful dressed in her gown and crown!  Her GG decided to go royal too!

If the crown fits, wear it!  Right?
Their mom (my daughter) Kristen is the room mother so she organized the party.
All the kids loved the goodies provided by the parents and the plastic creepy crawlies decorating the party tables!

Now that we are all warmed up, we are ready for the Big Event tonight--candy here we come!  It's good to be a princess :)
What are you and yours doing tonight?  Are any characters you know dressing up?
Be safe out there and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Coral Cottage Is In Cottage Style Magazine! Woohooo!

Wheeeee!  Yippeeeee!  Ahem.  
I'd like to be cool, calm, and collected but I can't seem to pull it off!  Finally, after all these months of waiting---
The Coral Cottage has been published in Cottage Style magazine's Fall/Winter 2013 issue! 

I can't give enough thanks to Nancy Milligan, the writer of the article (who I shared about here), for loving our cottage and writing such a great story!  Also a million thanks to Sandra Mohlman, our talented stylist, and to Richard Leo Johnson whose amazing photography showed the Coral Cottage off so beautifully!  You can read more about the photo shoot here.
I'm under contract with HGTV magazine to avoid sharing pictures of the Coral Cottage on my blog until their article comes out in June so---sorry!  I can't post any....but Jane Coslick, who was my guide and hand-holder through the amazing and confusing world of home restoration at Tybee,  has posted some on her blog so hop over there for a look.
Hope some of you will pick up a copy if you see Cottage Style on your news stand.  The 
Coral Cottage article is first and there are lots of other wonderful cottages featured in the magazine--the whole magazine is a great read!  
Wheeee!  Wooohooo! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Get It Together!

I had fun in this post and this one showing you some of the pretties that I found for the living room at Doc Holiday cottage.  Now it's time to get it together and show you how they 
look in the room!

I've already changed some things around since this photo was taken in July.  The rustic wood coffee table now resides on the front porch.  And see the burlap pillow on the sofa that has 
the phrase "Happy All Around" stenciled on it?  It has been re-located to one of 
the master bedrooms. 

Yes, despite the voting results I used Look #5 because back in the summer at move-in time my budget needed all the help it could get and I already owned the pillow.  But that is the beauty of this little cottage--the color scheme is carried throughout so the furniture and most of the accessories can move around and find a new life in any of the other rooms.

There is an undercurrent of watery blue throughout the entire house and punches of other colors like yellow, lime green and coral are used in varying degrees so that the rooms each have their own personality!  

This beautiful painting by Bellamy Murphy was my inspiration piece:

 I love the pops of yellow in the painting, the lamp and the pillows.  And if you 
turn in the other direction...

Don't you love the way the yellow bar stools play with the starfish pillows?  It's important to keep your line of sight in mind when you have rooms with an open concept like in this 
living room/dining room combo.

There are also a few touches of coral sprinkled about in the front door, the pillows on the sofa...

...the painting and the mirror (a thrift store find that we painted)....just enough to be interesting and carry your eye through the space.

On the opposite wall from the sofa are the DIY painted pieces posted about here and here

 I still have some final touches to do before everything is complete but overall I'm happy--and
 I think my room is happy too!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

He Sells Seashells!

Last week one of my favorite blog friends, Julie, asked to see a close-up of this mirror that was shown from a distance over the seahorse stenciled chest that I posted about here

I promised her a closer look at this absolutely fabulous seashell-encrusted mirror and so here we go!  It was my big splurge (an anniversary present from my hubby) when I was decorating Coast Awhile Cottage....and when we sold the cottage, the mirror stayed with its mama (me-a)!
I can remember the day that it arrived.  It had been crated up within an inch of its life in a big box made of hunks of styrofoam and then that was packed in sturdy cardboard.  Henry (my husband) tackled the job of unpacking it.  He saw it first and when he came to tell me it was ready to view, he was clearly in awe--all he could say was something like "Whooooaa...Woooow--you've got to see this!"

Can you imagine all the time and talent involved in placing and gluing each shell so precisely?

 Not to mention the patience you would need?


When I consider all the time and skillful work--not to mention the material involved in creating this piece I can understand its hefty price tag.  The first time I saw a picture of the mirror, I loved it but I was sad because I just couldn't work it into our budget for decorating the cottage I was currently working on.  Coast Awhile Cottage was big and required a lot of stuff to fill it up so we had to stretch every dollar.  Story of my life :)

But you know me, the shopper.  I had a dream and I didn't want to give up the idea of having a beautiful shell mirror.  So I began regularly searching eBay for a shell mirror I could like just as much but the results were disappointing...until one day!!! 
What was that?  It looked just like the one I wanted and it was sold by "Larry the Actuary"!  It was the mirror--my mirror!  And it was listed for a much better price--an eBay starting bid price!  Imagine how thrilled I was when no one bid against me and I was able to have this mirror I had dreamed about!  I wish my picture did it justice.


If you'd like to see more from Larry the Actuary, a gallery of his work can be seen at his website,  Covered With Shells.  Take a look--it's quite a treat!  Larry's actual name is Lawrence Steinert and he is an amazing artist!

Have you ever had the experience of waiting for a purchase you couldn't afford and then having it provided for you in another way?  It doesn't happen every time but it has happened to me so often--I think it is a God-thing!  I don't deserve it but out of kindness He just up and surprises me from time to time!  And I think it is so neat to see that God cares about such small and inconsequential things as decorating a cottage--probably because He knows 
it's important to His child.

Friday, October 18, 2013

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!

 In working on Doc Holiday, our little beach cottage, my plan for the living/dining space was to try to squeeze as much out of the small space as possible.  I had learned from working with designer Jane Coslick on other projects that it would help to lighten up the dark paneled rooms with white paint--not only does it make the space seem brighter but it also makes it appear to be larger and gives a neutral backdrop for any color I want to introduce.

When it was time to select a sofa and upholstered chairs I chose white slipcovered pieces because they would blend in and take up less space visually plus the slipcovers make it easy to wash away the occasional spills of little (or big) people.  
I shopped IKEA because they specialize in small scale furniture and their goods have a nice design and reasonable price.  The only problem I had with IKEA was getting used to the strange names of the furniture!

Once I had a nice white backdrop it was time to put some color in the room--and that is where the exciting, nail-biting, rewarding, terrifying, thrilling, satisfying part of decorating comes in--the part where you give your room some personality!

I had to decide what kind of feeling my room should evoke when people walked in.  I wanted people to feel uplifted and say Ooooo--niiice and yet not feel intimidated because the room is too precious.  I wanted the room to welcome guests, invite them to relax and to have furnishings that delight them and make them feel happy as they look around. Also I wanted the room to say You're at the beach!!  without getting too cute and overly kitschy.

When I began to shop I tried to keep my objective in mind--to only buy things that met my goals.  I usually try to establish a color scheme fairly early in the game and pull the colors through the house to all the rooms to keep it cohesive.  But who am I kidding?    
My Most Important Rule:  Buy what you really love and skip the rest.

So today I want to show you some of my favorite things--things that made the cut because 
they say "happy" to me.  

This painting was my first purchase--it was my birthday/Christmas present from Henry. 
I blogged about the artist, Bellamy Murphy, way back in April when I visited her studio.  Her paintings make me smile and I'd been wanting one for several years.  The only problem was narrowing my choice down to just one...

After seeing "May Day" on Bellamy's blog I just knew.  I had found it.  The perfect painting to use as a focal point and inspiration for my bright and happy color scheme!

I love to shop for vintage pieces.  I've scored some great deals with Craig's List, eBay, and little local flea markets.  Some have needed do-overs like this cupboard I posted about here.  It now has a split personality since I separated the top and bottom, painted them, and made them into 
two pieces of furniture!   

These tables for each side of the sofa were also flea market finds.

The lamps and shades I bought to go on the side tables came from Target.  They were chosen to echo the yellow found in Bellamy's painting.

It's white, folks!  The picture makes it look sort of grey.

This little painting from Home Goods was left over from decorating a different cottage.  I liked it too much to return it and for now it has found a home above the sofa.

Then there is the matter of pillows...
A pair of these are on the sofa.

These are my faves!  I found them on Amazon but their price took my breath away.  No matter how much I loved them, I could not justify it with my tiny budget :( 

But hooray!  A few weeks later just in time to furnish Doc Holiday, one of my favorite flash sale sites, Joss and Main, offered them for less than half the Amazon price and I snagged a couple!  Sometimes it pays to wait! 
If you'd like to check out some of the great deals at Joss and Main please click my link and join up!  The deals change daily so if you don't find something you like and need today you may find it tomorrow!  At any rate, it's fun to window shop!

These are a few of my favorite things!  This post is getting long so I will wait til next week to show you a close-up of an absolutely fabulous seashell-encrusted mirror!  Then I want to put everything together and show you how it looks in the living room!
What about you?  Do you have any favorite finds or stores to share with us? 
Where do you like to shop?  Are you a flea market enthusiast or do you prefer the
fancier stores?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Happy Accident!

One thing I've learned about decorating:  No matter how much measuring and planning and dreaming you do, sometimes things don't work out the way you expect them to--you may have to change things up---and it's okay!  Just keep working til it's right.

That's just what happened with this little cupboard...

The cupboard comes in two parts but my original plan was to use them together with the TV and equipment in the top and DVDs, etc. in the bottom.  Once it was in the space--it didn't look quite right so they were separated.  I moved the lower half to another location and designer Jane Coslick suggested adding legs to the upper half. 

 So I made a trip to Lowes for the furniture legs and after a quick paint job...voila!

Much better now!

Split personality! 
Have you ever had any happy accidents in decorating?  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Family And Food--Need I Say More?

Just had a great week with my sister Crystal and her hubby Mike at Tybee Island!  My husband was attending the American College of Physicians state chapter meeting in Savannah and I tagged along and stayed to enjoy some fun family time.

Love you guys!

On the drive home I stopped for a fill-up in Metter, Georgia.  The town motto is "It's Better In Metter".   I asked one of the locals for a recommendation for lunch and they pointed across the street to a locally owned restaurant behind the Chevron station called Jomax BBQ.  

 I've noticed this place before--the parking lot is usually packed at lunch time.

The tantalizing aroma of barbecue meat smoking was in the air and there is a mouth-watering menu of selections but when I saw the chalkboard just inside the door that featured specials of the day I decided on a vegetable plate.

 I sat down and was immediately greeted by a friendly server who took my order--zipper peas, fresh creamed corn, and fried okra with a wedge of cornbread.  Mmmm mmmm!  And I splurged on sweet tea--you can always tell if a southern restaurant is the real deal by their tea...Jomax is the real deal!  The tea is perfectly sweetened and the servers keep coming 
by to refill your glass!

The dining room is clean and full of interesting tchotchkes.  If you have a sweet tooth the counter laden with homemade cakes and pies is a thing of beauty.

Thought I'd share this little hidden gem for those of you who may be traveliing along I-16.  Jomax is located at exit 104--just go north after you exit (right turn if you are headed toward Macon and left turn if you are headed toward Savannah).  The restaurant is on the left--just turn at the Chevron station and you will see it.

You'll be glad you did :)

Do you have any "off the beaten path" faves?  If so, please do share!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

DIY Tutorial: Stenciling With A Freebie Seahorse Stencil!

 I bought this piece to use in the living room at Doc Holiday.  I thought It would be great to put a TV, DVD player and cable box in the top and store other stuff in the bottom half.
I loved this little cupboard in all of it's rustic goodness but I decided the black was just not going to work in the color scheme I had planned, so I decided to paint it.  This is how it went down.

First the piece (or pieces--it came apart into two pieces) was sanded with a medium grit sandpaper and my friend Loretta brushed on Zinsser Cover Stain primer--the one with the gold label.  Then it was sanded lightly with a finer grit sandpaper to eliminate brushstrokes.

Next I painted the piece with Sherwin Williams' Duration acrylic interior paint in semi-gloss.  I had some left over from painting another piece of furniture for the Coral Cottage.  The blue is 
SW 6485 Raindrop and the white on the drawers is SW 7005 Pure White.  I let the first coat dry for a few hours and then applied a second coat using a good brush.

 I had a little bit of lighter blue paint--SW 6763 Retiring Blue--from painting a dresser so I decided to try putting some stripes on the white part of the cupboard doors and drawer. 

 After measuring I marked off the lines with Frog Tape, a painter's tape that would come up without damaging the fresh paint.

Next I found a free printable seahorse stencil online to use on the doors.  I printed it and my son Jordan cut the stencil for me using an exacto knife and blue transparency-type stencil "paper" that I got from Michael's. 

 Jordan is very meticulous and exacting in all he does and he did a 
great job getting the stencil just right!

He was supervised by Rafael and Lucy so how could he go wrong?

 I measured and placed my stencil on the cupboard door.  Then I taped it in place with 
painter's tape....

 The key to stenciling is to use paint sparingly and to apply it with an almost dry applicator.  I used a pouncer sponge but you can also use a stencil brush.

 Get as much paint off the brush as you can and then apply to the surface in an up and down motion.  If you use too much paint or brush it on in a side to side motion, paint will creep under the stencil and it won't be a clean image.

I was using latex paint and I had a little too much paint on my first attempt so it is not quite as crisp as I wish it were.  I cleaned the stencil and did a mirror image sea horse on the other door with better results.  I am still fairly happy with the overall results so I left it--after all it's handmade!

For knobs I used these glass starfish knobs from an online source.  For more info check out this recent blog post.

This is how the lower part of the cupboard turned likey?

Stay tuned and I'll show you what happened with the top of the cupboard!