Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mustard Yellow Table {love it or hate it?}

Lately I've been loving bright, mustard yellow. I think it started with a scarf I got last summer and now it has resulted in a little table transformation in our living room. Scott and I originally picked up this sturdy end table a few years ago from friends who were moving and I refinished it in a creamy white. I pretty quickly realized the white was too "antique" for me and the table just looked blah.

After collecting some images of little French tables on Pinterest and mulling it over (secretly) for quite a while, I decided to paint it a bright mustard yellow. 

 Scott said, "It's very yellow." I said, "Trust your wife."

Next, I sanded off some of the new paint, revealing some of the old white paint 
and the pale bare wood underneath.

Then, in order to give it a more aged look, I stained the exposed wood.

A final coat of wipe-on polyeurethane finished the job and gave it a hard, durable seal.

The whole project took just a few hours, with most of that time spent waiting for the paint to dry. I bought only a little sample jar of Valspar's "jackson square" paint (from the allen + roth collection at Lowe's) and that was plenty to do the job. The stain and polyeurethane were leftovers from other projects.

And now I have a much more interesting little corner in our living room.

I'm pretty sure a lot of people would think this kind of furniture refinishing is rather unfortunate--
who would want this garish, mismatched table in their home?

Well, call me crazy, but I do!
So what do you think?
Love it, or hate it?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Free and Fast Table Setting {Pure Style Pretty}

 In the many (lovely and inspiring) hours (that I will never get back) viewing home decor-ish ideas in the vast reaches of the interwebs, I have landed on a few brilliant concepts that have made their way into my home.

One of these is the beautiful design sense of Lauren Liess, through her blog Pure Style Home. Lauren's style is a little vintage, a little traditional, a little modern, a bit of kitsch, and lots of simple, natural, comfort.

She often features twigs and clippings and random natural objects she picks up on the side of the road. 
I love how she encourages the discovery of beauty in quirky unexpected places 
and then (boldly) brings that living design into the home.

This Christmas Eve, just before dinner was ready, I had a Pure Style Home moment. I pulled out my wrinkled (relaxed/casual!) tablecloth and napkins, assembled a collection of mercury glass votives, and went out into the yard with some garden shears, ready to bring in any pretty thing that might work.

The result was a mixture of eugenia clippings and ferns in a low vase for a centerpiece 
and single ferns on each napkin for place settings.

Don't you think it's kind of thrilling to create something free and fast and beautiful, or is that just me?
(You can find a link to Lauren's blog ~ Pure Style Home ~ on the sidebar.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Some thoughts on peace {and a little bit of Christmas decor}

The Christmas season is a strange paradox. This time set aside to reflect on and remember 
the silent night, the coming of the Prince of Peace
is so full, brimming over with scurrying here and there, performances, purchases, post office visits, 
and any number of (good and lovely) celebrations and gatherings. 

Anyone who has spent time with me lately knows that I've felt too busy. I think I need to learn to choose more narrowly, saying no to some of the good to preserve some more of the peace and rest 
that I would love to know in this season. It's a perennial problem. I was in the same mood last year when I wrote these two posts.

 Much as I want our home to be warm and festive 
I just don't have much to give to the decorating this year. So I kept it simple.

~ Christmas cards taped on a garage sale frame~

~ a (very) short stack of red books ~

~ stockings ~
(Anyone know where I can find a third like these?)

~ nativity ~ 

~and a festooned goose~

~  plus the  Fu Manchu and homemade wreath ~

Now the big events are over, the shopping is (almost) done, 
the Christmas forecast is warm and sunny and my wonderful parents are joining us for the weekend. 

I'm hoping to take some deep breaths and enjoy the slower pace, and my dear ones, 
and the many reminders of the Savior's birth, who has brought us true peace, 
lasting peace, and by his blood has reconciled us to God.

May you and yours know the everlasting peace of the Savior, 
who is Christ the Lord, this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

DIY Boxwood Wreath

I love spontaneous projects. 
I've been wanting to hang some simple boxwood wreaths 
in the windows in the dining room, but the price tag was a bit steep for me. 
Today as I drove up the driveway, I suddenly saw that I have a wealth of boxwood 
all around my yard just waiting to be harvested.  I unbuckled baby boy, 
postponed big brother's math lesson, and went to work.

First I clipped a bunch of boxwood and washed it.

Then I shaped a metal hanger into a circle.

Next, I gathered the twigs into little bundles and tied them with fishing line.

In order to get a sense of how much I needed, I arranged the bundles around the wire circle.

Then I attached the bundles to the hanger with floral tape.

Add a bit of ribbon, and ta da!

{a quick and easy boxwood wreath}

I love creating new things from stuff I already have!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Odds and Ends

Yay for the genius bar at the mac store and for a fixed computer! 
Here are some of the odds and ends of what's been happening around here lately . . .

Miles Standish, Squanto, and friends had several difficult voyages and a great feast.

I painted a landscape of the Snake River and the wheat fields of eastern Washington. 

Scott's family is from a little town among these hills 
and the painting is an early Christmas present for his mom. 

And it blended great with our autumn decor!

Christmas decorating has commenced.  I had a moment of missing my unloved chandelier 
while I figured out how to Christmas-ify the dining room. 

But then the cardinal with the Fu Manchu took up residence on the lantern, 
and all is right with the world.

And, here is this week's meal plan:

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