Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

We were at a little restaurant and saw an elderly man wearing his retired vet hat with all of is service info on it. My husband went up to him and asked about it. He told us he was a front line infantryman in both Nazi Germany and the Korean War. A very nice, quiet and kind man, with a subtle pride and humbleness. We gave him our thanks and shook his hand. He and his wife were touched... so were we.

 *my little brother Jae, in special ops in aviation electronics, on the way to bootcamp*

So, a giant, respectful hug and thank you to the men and women who have served, and are currently serving in the military. For those who have died, those who have been injured, those who have experienced things we could never imagine and gave up some of their freedoms, so that we could have ours. A thank you to the husbands, wives, parents and children of those who say goodbye to their loved ones and wait every day to hear if they are safe.

No matter what our personal opinions are about certain conflicts and politics, we should at the very least recognize that there are people willing to leave their families, homes, and comfort in order with the possibility of tragic ends in order to do what they feel is best for our country.

So, I salute you and hope and pray, that wherever you are in this world, that you and your family have peace.

* You may be surprised to know, that when I was 17 or 18, I was in the process of signing up for the military. I was home alone, with the recruiter sitting at my kitchen table, laptop out and I was taking some type of an entrance exam and filling out paperwork. Then, my mom walked in the door, started freaking out... and that was the end of that. Interesting how my life would have been so different had I joined.

**A few years ago, I was starting to write a book on the stories of these heroes before they passed on, never to have their stories told. I was preparing to go and interview veterans at the VA hospitals and nursing homes. Perhaps I will pick up this project again one we are settled, as time is running out. Remembering the past has always been very important to me, (many ladies played an important part as well).. Years ago, when my father was receiving treatment at the VA, we met Dan Illerich who was rescued by headhunters after being shot down in WWII, and were fascinated by his story. You can watch his story here, or see the image gallery here of the story that just aired on pbs the other day, to our surprise.

***For interesting reading, you may enjoy the short starvation experiment log by Lester Glick, that occurred in the University of Minnesota starvation experiment in 1944. 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Homefront: Adding a Plate Wall to our White Vinage Linen Bedroom

I just blogged last week about a little redo in our bedroom, by haphazardly hanging curtains over an odd window. (Details about my daisy chandelier is in the above link.)

But, I decided I really wanted something more with the space over the headboard, so I moved the bed, added a quick fresh coat of white paint to the headboard, and went ahead with my plate hanging wall. Plate hanging post is here for lots of tips on creating your own design.

I hope you like how it turned out. I know we do, and since we will only be in our home for 2 more weeks, I figured, I may as well give it a shot before everything is packed up and stuck in storage, just to see what it would be like. I'm glad I went with my instinct to experiment. Though, it could possibly be denial.

I love these little brass owls I found at a garage sale and this oriental lantern from my in-laws. I painted this vintage letter holder a soft pink. It's so pretty with a crystal base.

I am very blessed to have a husband who supports my decorating whims, and doesn't  mind my creative chaos (so long as it's not too crazy). He prefers minimalism and clutter free spaces, so we strike a balance as I constantly putter around. His mother trained him well to appreciate (and compliment) woman's special touches in the home.

I found this vintage framed embroidery of a Bible scene the other day. I love it's simple charm. It's perfect by the bedside to help keep it fresh in our minds to read the scriptures every night.

Of all my vintage linens, this by far is my favorite set of pillow cases together. So cheerful and sweet.

If you are hesitating on moving a piece of furniture, or rearranging a picture wall or spray painting an old piece of furniture, just try it and see what happens. If you hate it, it's an easy fix... but you just may love it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pin it Forward: What Home Means to Me pt 1

 I've joined in with Victoria of sfgirlbybay's pinterest pin it forward sharing. It was a real treat to be a part of this bloggy experiment. Read here to see how it works, and here for the schedule, and you can see the sfgirlbybay boards here. I had so many I liked, I'll have to do it in two parts.

Visit my pinboard to see more of the things of what home means to me. In essence, it is a serene haven, that is not without it's crazy times, but throw in some family snuggles, faith, sweets, and lots of white and modern vintage quirkiness... and that is where my heart is.

The next blogger in my group on the list is milk & honey, so be sure to check her "what home means to me" post on May 31st. Can't wait? Visit other groups pins here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Inspired Room: Adding Character with Plates


I finally found some plate hangers. So, tomorrow, I will see about getting some of my little vintage china plates up. They are certainly not as colorful as one the ones here, but they will do where they are going. Collections, take time to grow, after all. However, I love how Liz of Mabel's House said, "Sometimes, when decorating, you need to draw a line in the sand with your toe and say to yourself, "OK... enough. Don't buy anymore of __________, you don't need them."

The thing I love about using plates, is you can change them around anytime, you can make a formal design with matching sets or all whites, or you can build a quirky collection. There are no rules, but some great ideas on how to best maximize the living sculpture.

Lisa Congdon of Bluelines created waves with this wall. See her home here on Apartment Therapy.

 decor pad

Design Sponge wrote an excellent plate wall post along with a video from Home Goods on how to achieve the look.

The Nester has some great tips on creating plate walls as well. She used hot glue to attach wires to the back of very small pieces here, and has designing tips here.

Bluelines has a good little article on how to build your own  plate wall, because the blog is closed, I will go ahead and post their directions here:

 english muse


Step 1: Collect, Collect!
Think ahead about where your plates will hang. Gather as many as you need to fill the space. It’s wise to get more plates than you will you use. You’ll find (like me) that when you start hanging them, you need many to choose from to achieve the right balance in your design. You may not end up using them all.
When I started collecting, I looked for plates that appealed to my design taste.
* I like both worn-out vintage and modern looks, so I found plates that fit both of these categories but that also went well together.
* I also looked for a particular color palette -- bright colors that would pop on a white wall.
* Scale was also a factor. I looked for different sizes. I know from my art background that creating an interesting balance requires a certain lack of uniformity. (Incidentally, it took me two years to gather all of the plates that I did!) I collected most of mine at thrift stores and flea markets, but others I bought on the Internet. My “wall” ended up with items from the turn of the century, mid-century, and new melamine plates (my favorites by fellow blogger Lena Corwin).

 apartment therapy

imperfectly beautiful
mabel's house

Step 2: Purchase Plate Hangers and Hardware
I used conventional plate hangers on my wall, which can be found at most hardware stores. Again, make sure you are getting the proper size hangers for the plates. (They won’t work if they are too small or too large for the plate.) One option is to buy newer ones that are invisible from the back. Get your screws or nails, hammer, and ladder ready, too.

Design Sponge adds,if you want extra support behind your plates, you can try securing the backs of the plates with “quake secure”:

hillary wallace design, country living

 Step 3: Plan Your Design
I must confess: I did not plan the design of the plate wall pictured above ahead of time -- except in my mind. I just started to hang and the design was born as I went along. Like hanging a cluster of artwork, it’s something you acquire from years of practice (I had done this many times before). That said, I recommend planning ahead if you are new to the process. To get the end result you envision:
* Make a sketch on paper
* Lay the plates on the floor to create the overall shape. While doing this, ask yourself: Is the form I see an organic one? A geometric form? A diamond shape? A circle? Visualize this shape on the wall and sketch.
* Once you’re satisfied, find a space on the floor to lay out the plates to create your basic shape. Move the plates around to balance color, size, and type of plate.
* Finally, start to hang your plates based on the shape you’ve outlined on the floor. You may find yourself changing things around once you have started, and that’s okay. It’s part of the design process. Remember to step back and look at your work often as you go. This will help you to create the right balance.

 the nester
 the nester

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Homefront: Peacock Mantel Decorating

Here is the peacock embroidered art I won at a charity auction for $6. The woman who brought it, was probably in her 70's, and told me her great aunt had made it many years ago. She is also the one who also brought the red boots I won. We were kindred spirits, I suppose. What time period would you place this design?

One lady told me the art was hideous, and I must have bid on it just for the frame. I told her that I liked things that have a bit of character, and enjoy finding ways to use things that others find "ugly". So, it's fortunate that I was resolved to say my piece without offending, or being offended.

In any case, I think the peacock is adorable. It looks perfect in my home. I would rather have a home pieced together, one little find at a time, than one that was designed quickly by buying matching mass produced accessories on a store shelf in a single afternoon. (No hate to those who do that, just not my thing at this point~ though of course, I do have some new store bought items myself.)

 Building my collections over time is therapeutic, builds great memories, and lets our home evolve naturally as we do. It is also a lot better on our budget, the environment (b/c  reusing old items cuts down on production waste of new ones, and garbage on throwing away old things), and I don't have the guilt of supporting loose regulations on pay and working conditions of impoverished employees overseas.

Okay, back to decorating! Here, you can see how the mantle arranging evolved until I felt it was just right,( it took about 5 minutes of my life). Both nice and plain, but once again, going against my "remove one item" philosophy, I decided more is more, so that's what I did, and I have no regrets.

Do you have any decorating philosophies that drive you at all, or am I just insane? Before we move, I will have to change this mantle up one at least one more time. I'm going to miss not having it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Inspired Room: Fantastical Pink Bedroom Design

Italian company Alta Moda Furniture, created this girly pink room for a Valentine's day design. While the furry touches, stuffed animals and the general aesthetic is over the top, it still draws me in. I would love to incorporate a few elements here into my own home.

From a canopy over the bed, to a dressing screen, that glorious white chair and armoire, the dramatic white tufted headboard, sequined lamp and the sweet, white deer theme, a girl could live like a queen in here. Images found via rifz10.

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