Monday, February 27, 2017

Prepping The House For Spring Market

This weekend, we met with our realtor to get an assessment on the house and come up with a plan for selling this spring. She said the changes look great, and we have nothing to do at this point but put the For Sale sign in the front yard. Whew! We hope to get the house listed next month.

In the meantime, I've been cleaning and purging and staging a little every day.

We hung our vintage mirror on a blank wall in the bedroom, and now it looks as if it was always meant to be there. I think we may have hung it about three or four inches too high. Shh! Don't tell my husband!)

I've been adding some pops of yellow to the house. The sunny color makes me happy, and it brings a little spring indoors.

I found this awesome pillow cover on clearance at Pottery Barn. Perfect! I love pillow much easier to store! It really picks up on the color of the leaves in my little occasional chair, too.

I'm hoping the front entryway now says "Welcome! Please buy me!"

We're nearly ready to move on, and I'm so happy to be moving closer to family once again. I'm feeling a great desire to simplify our lives and get back to the things that really matter. I think this move has the potential to do that for us. We're praying for God's will in this move, and hoping that a quick sale and a great little house in our preferred town are all part of His plan for us.

Happy Sunny Monday, cafe friends!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Treasure Hunting at Goodwill

I made a trip to two different Goodwill stores yesterday, looking for some items that I need for staging our house. For starters, I'm looking for some cheap kitchen counter stools that I can use at the island...something that I can paint black to match our current chairs and table. Something that says "Hey, this weird jut out at the end of the island? Look! A perfect spot to sit with a cup of coffee! Buy this house, and we will throw in the Goodwill stools for free!"

I'm also looking for some night stands for our bedroom. We've been telling ourselves for 20 + years that we will buy new adult bedroom furniture, and it has never happened. We are using some of those hideous pressed wood round tables with tablecloths thrown over the top. They do the job, but they don't look very pretty. Again, I'm just looking for something wood that I can transform with paint and hardware.

But you know how treasure hunting trips can go. You are looking for one thing, but end up coming home with something completely different.

I spotted these Corningware dishes, and had to have them. I've been loving this pattern, called Country Festival, for ages. It's one of those funky collectibles that can fetch a pretty high price on ebay. But I found these for $2 each! The pattern definitely has that Pennsylvania Dutch look that I love.

 And then I spotted this sweet little Longaberger crock with the same color that matches my pattern! $3? Sold!

Still looking for night stands and stools. Maybe I will have better luck at the curbside on garbage day. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Blog Break

Sorry for the extended blog break, everyone!

Sam and I took a much needed holiday over President's Day weekend. We went home to Michigan to visit family. Good times!

While we were there, we also decided to visit one of the towns that we are considering for our "elective" relocation.

Saline, Michigan is a nice small town just outside of Ann Arbor, and a short thirty minute drive to family.

It was a lovely day (sixty degrees in February!), so we walked around a bit, ate with the locals, and popped in to a shop or two.

We drove by the middle school and library, saw a few of the local parks and housing developments, and just got a feel for the place.

Saline has a lot in the "pros" column for our family.

1.) Top five rated school system in the state.
2.) Close to shopping (which also benefits my husband and his work).
3.) Thirty minute drive to Detroit Metro Airport (good for husband).
4.) Thirty minute drive to family (good for all of us!).
5.) Small town feel that borders big cities.
6.) University of Michigan, hospitals, arts and culture nearby.
7.) A small downtown core.
8.) Nearby church.

All good things. The only "con" that I can foresee is that there appears to be a very low inventory of houses, and what is currently available is pretty pricey. We may end up with another Fixer Upper house, but I'm fine with that. We've developed some good DIY skills over the years. God seems to want us to make ugly houses pretty.

We hope to go back for another scouting mission at the end of March. We also have the town of Chelsea to explore. It's a bit further out, but also absolutely adorable.

Spring is just around the corner! Much to do in the days ahead.

Blessings, cafe friends!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Adding Sunshine To The Kitchen

I was at Walmart recently, and I saw these beautiful sunny tulips and knew they had to come home with me.

Nothing says "spring is coming!" like happy flowers.

And while I was perusing the aisles with my flowers, I wandered down the aisle of home goods that feature products from the Pioneer Woman. Swoon! I love her farmhouse style! I had to bring home this placemat...

 ...and a few new dish towels. Jemma loves to grab my dish towels and play the chase me game.

Come and get me, Mom! I'm being naughty!

 Big fun!

I have to remind myself that I do NOT need more dishes. But I could seriously buy one of everything from the Pioneer Woman collection. Maybe I will in my next house!

So stinkin' cute!

I have to remind myself "You are moving soon, and you do not want to pack one more thing!"

I wake up every morning to these happy yellow tulips. I can sit at my table, sip my coffee, read my morning devotion, and feel a moment of gratitude...for the puppy at my feet, the sun shining outside, and the promise of spring.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How To Customize Frames

I needed a picture frame for one of my U.F.O.s this week.

UFOs = UnFinished Objects

Those are the needle art projects that I may have finished, stitching wise, but then promptly put in a drawer and forgot about.

I had this picture frame that I bought on clearance at Designer's Desk during their store closing sale. Normally, Mill Hill picture frames can be pretty expensive, but this one was cheap. I bought it for its square shape, not for the hand painted design.

I needed a lighter colored frame for spring, so I pulled out my jar of Amy Howard one step paint and gave it two coats of creamy goodness.

I used it to frame this project from Lizzie Kate!

You can see where the paint has an aged, crackle effect. I'm not sure if it was supposed to do that, but I was fine with it. I lightly sanded some of the edges before popping in this cross stitch project, too.

I think I may have gotten the project a little crooked, but that's okay. I can fix it later. For now it, is just lightly taped to the back:

You can find some great picture frames at second hand stores and garage sales for dirt cheap. Give those old frames a few quick coats of paint, and you can totally update them in minutes.

Spring! It may still be winter on the calendar, but today I am enjoying sunshine and warmer breezes that hint to spring's arrival.

Blessed Sunday, cafe friends!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Gift For The Purple Lover

My sister, Sue, is a purple lover. Always has been, always will be. It is her birthstone (amethyst), and it was the color of her bedroom as a girl ( and a cause of the big fight between the two sisters who shared that room at the time!).

Sue's birthday is coming soon (Valentine's Day, to be exact!), and I decided to make her some purple gifts for the special occasion.

For starters, I whipped up this coffee/tea cozy using Papertrey Ink's felts and dies!

Next, I made a matching book mark using dies from PTI stamp set Tea for Two!

The flower and leaf is from the PTI die set Cup of Cheer, and I attached them to the ribbon using French knots.

Next up, I made a Tea themed card to go along with all of the gifts. That's the wonderful thing about crafting. You can take a theme and run with it!

{Today's Brew: Tea For Two stamp set and dies (PTI), Garden Garland die (PTI), flower dies from Cup of Cheer, PTI inks and card stock, MFT heart stencil, enamel dots}

And for the inside sentiment, I stamped a teapot and the heartfelt words from Stylized Sentiments stamp set (PTI).

Purple is one of those polarizing colors. People either LOVE it or they HATE it. I happen to like certain shades of purple at certain times of the year. Rich, deep plums and grapes for fall and winter, soft pastel lilacs and lavendars for spring and summer. I probably wouldn't paint a room purple, but I do wear it on occasion.

Tell me...what are your thoughts on purple?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Going Grey: An Update

My sweet friend, Marylynn, wrote to ask me how the process of going grey was working for me. The question came at the perfect time, as I was finally ready to cut off the old color!

As some of you may remember, I made the decision last summer in this post to stop coloring my hair and let it go grey naturally. I am turning fifty this month, and I considered it a birthday present to myself.

The process took some time. For a few months, I used a semi-permanent color to blend the old color with the new roots. Then last fall, I stopped using all dyes completely. As you can see, there wasn't a terrible "skunk" line of demarcation between the old and new color. I think Sandy called the effect "ombre". I like it, Sandy!

It looked a little bit like summer color meets winter color. It didn't bother me too much. Once a week or so, I would use a purple shampoo like Clairol's Shimmer Lights to tone down any brassiness.

Here you can see lots of silver sparkly strands, as well as two or three inches of natural color. The smooth, straight haircut didn't do a very good job of blending it all in, though.

I was ready to cut off the old color and see what God and the natural process had in store for me.

And here is the new 'do. Sassy!

The layers do a much better job of blending the silver strands in with my natural color. If I didn't know better, I'd think that my hair looks like it has been highlighted! Lots of dark and light colors mixed together. Natural. I couldn't have done that myself. Thanks, God!

The short 'do comes at the perfect time, too. My husband and I are planning on taking Sam to Florida at the end of the month! This hair cut will be fast, easy, and fun to style. I see funky hair bands and dangling earrings in my future!

Going grey is a personal decision. If the thought would have made me feel sad about the aging process, then I probably would not have done it. I want to be the woman that embraces this stage of life with a good attitude. I want to be healthy and happy, with a kicky, quirky, sassy frame of mind and a cute wardrobe to match. LOL!

I've never been the sort of person that clings to youth. Some of my favorite women are those seasoned silver sisters of the church. I look up to them so much, and I appreciate their models of wisdom and beauty.

Five decades on this planet. It's hard to believe. I've been blessed. Those silver strands will multiply, just like blessings. I'm choosing to call them God's highlights.

Blessings to you, cafe friends!