Art and Way Talented Friends

Some of you asked about this photo, below, and the unique piece of artwork that sits on top of the desk in my guest room. I am so glad you asked! It's one of my very favorite pieces.

Remember Sarah? She's "my first spouse," as I called her in this post. We lived together in Casablanca, Morocco, from 1999-2000 and taught English and traveled to France and Spain and did all sorts of pre-husband, pre-baby, pre-settled-down types of things.

Ah, yes. Here we are today, very settled down. Sarah and her husband and adorable son just visited Colorado for a little mountain vacation, and we spent a few days with them. Love!

Anyway, back to the painting! When Brent and I got married, Sarah painted that canvas for me as a wedding gift. It's our love story in French. How cool is that? French was significant to us because when Sarah and I lived in Morocco, she spoke it fluently. I stumbled my way through it and managed to get to the post office or buy some fruit from a street vendor, but that's about it. Nevertheless, a good portion of our overseas life was conducted in French. Want to know the English translation? Here it is (and yes, I had to send Sarah a photo of the painting to get her to translate it for me!):
Once upon a time, there was a boy, wearing glasses and adorable curly hair, I love the way he made me laugh...There was something special about her, the way her blue eyes sparkle, her beautiful smile...Now, standing before friends and family, everything else disappears as we declare our love...forever.
Yep. Told you. Now head on over to Sarah's blog, The Life of Blights, and tell her how amazing she is! :)


Loft to Guest Room Transformation!

I just returned from a paint-free weekend and am happy to share my new guest room with you all! When we bought this house, we loved the idea of this loft area at the top of our stairs:

However, over the course of time we saw that it would be better used as another bedroom. "We" (like how I include myself in the equation, even though all I did was provide pizza and other snacks to the people who did all the work?) completed the half-wall, added a closet and a door. Here's a "during" view, with a shot of our friend James, who worked with my husband to get the job done:

And here's a peek through the doorway today!

I still plan on using the room for my sewing and other projects, so this table had to stay. Doesn't normally look this clean, though!

My antique bed and my husband's grandfather's desk look like they were made for each other!

A shot of the lovely closet which now houses all my junk. Looks serene and organized from the outside, though! :)
The wall color is Valspar's "Shadow Blue," but with a twist. I put it on the wall and it was way too dark for me. So I bought a 3 gallon bucket and added 1 gallon of "Shadow Blue" to 1 1/2 gallons of plain white. If I could do it again I might even add 2 full gallons of white. Much better!

You might recognize the curtains, since they're made from the same toile material I used in the master bedroom, and the lamp on my work table, which is the twin to this one. Because you never know how you might want to use things differently in another house, I love to give myself options by having two or four of something. Pairs are good!

And with that, I am off to take care of my pair of children, who at this moment are dismantling our DVD collection, one by one. Have a great day!


Armoire at Last!

*Updated to add: I did use one coat of Kilz primer before I started painting. No sanding or other preparation, except where we used the wood filler on the crown molding. In retrospect, I should have done two coats of primer, but live and learn!

OK, not that you have been sitting around with baited breath, but I feel like this project has taken forever! My husband and I tag-teamed on this armoire, purchased on Craig's List over a year ago for $100. Here it is in it's "before" state. Along with my cute husband, ready to get to work!

And here's the after! We (well, he) added crown molding to the top of the armoire to give it more height, and also to keep it from looking so boxy. Then I came along and painted five coats of Behr's "Country Dairy." I may never pick up a paint brush again, I am so sick of painting!

Here's a shot of the original interior. The guy who owned it before had a real gift with woodworking, wouldn't you say?

My husband removed the entire back and replaced it with a panel of wainscoting. We also bought a few more boards so we could add more shelving. Then I painted the inside with a pretty robin's egg blue, which I blogged about here if you'd like to know the "recipe!"

Strange how therapeutic it is for me to open those doors and see our stuff all organized. Sad, I know!

We changed out the hardware, and I went back to rough the edges up with some sandpaper. The "antiqued" effect looks great in our new guest room, which I am excited to show you next week!

Now that it's done (just like so many projects), I am thrilled...but many mutterings were heard throughout my house in the past few weeks! We are off to enjoy the weekend and stay far away from paint brushes and wood filler.

Happy Saturday!


Making Do with Making Merry

A few weeks ago, when I posted about my renegade son pulling the plant over on himself, some of you asked to see more of the space in question. Here is the site of destruction (post-dirt-all-over-the-floor):

It's just a little space between our eat-in kitchen and the family room. But when we were deciding where to put things, I liked the idea of having a wine rack here, to define the space as one for eating, drinking and being merry!

Sometimes when we have large parties, I put a little table under the wine rack and set up the beverage station there. It keeps people out of the kitchen and spreads the party out a bit. I dream of the day that I could have a butler's pantry or some space that's a little more designed for entertaining. In the meantime...it's not perfect, but this works!

How are you "making do" with the spaces in your house?


Reflections (Ha! Get it?) on a Mirror

OK, so this project has been in the works since July. Remember this photo? I asked you all what to do about this mirror here.

Here's a close up of exactly how disgusting this thing was. But hey, it was $10 at Goodwill. But...gross.

My husband took it apart for me, and I sanded it, cleaned it, and painted it (the paint was Behr's "Country Dairy"). I added a little antiquing polish because, really, it's what I do to everything. (Remember this post?)

It's not exactly what I would have chosen if I had all the mirrors in the world to pick from, but not bad for $10!

And yep, that's a shot of my new guest room, still unfinished, but getting closer all the time. Hopefully I can show it to you soon!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! I think we can all agree that these hats are adorable and oh-so-sassy (or manly, as the case may be...Marili Jean has some great stuff for little boys too!). And the winner is...

...comment #55, given by Kara of Moddy's Thoughts, Prayers & Adventures. Congratulations, Kara! Email me at buzzingsofaqueenbee@hotmail.com so I can tell you how to claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone for entering. I will be back tomorrow with some more house-related fun!


Sassy Hat Giveaway!

**Comments are now closed! I will be back Thursday morning to announce the winner!

I haven't done a giveaway for awhile. What do you say to winning some free stuff?

You may remember this photo below, which I used for my Christmas card this year. So many people loved Nina's adorable hat! (And don't even get me started on Henry's little "newsboy" look. His hat is from Janie and Jack, in case you're looking for one.)

Anyway, back to Nina's hat. It is one that I purchased locally and posted about a few months ago, from a little shop called Marili Jean. Every single time I put her in this hat, people stop me to tell me how cute she is. (Of course I agree!)

Well, Laurie, the talented owner of Marili Jean, has offered to give another one of these cuties away! Just in time for Valentines' Day. Don't you just love her?

So, here's how to enter to win: hop over to Marili Jean's website and take a look at all the sassy little numbers she has to offer. Then come back here and tell me which one is your favorite.

I will close the comments on Wednesday night. The winner will receive a $20 merchandise credit for anything at Marili Jean.

Now go and enjoy the cuteness!


The Evolution of a Lamp

I bought these two lamps back in May at a garage sale. $8 for the pair. (Man do I miss garage sale season!)

The color of the wood looked a little dated to me, so I took some paint to them. I brushed it on lightly so that the brown of the original lamp would still come through. Then I covered the bottom (metal) portion with a hammered metal spray paint. (I'm sorry I don't remember the names of the paints I used...I did this part last summer!)

They are now a deep brownish-black. One lives in my upstairs hallway, and the other in my new guest room (still a work in progress!).

I loved everything about these lamps, but the lampshades I bought at W*lMart were a little too gold for me. So I covered the shades with a little burlap (using my method described here) and presto! The evolution is complete.

And it only took me eight months.


Mossing It Up

I've been adding moss to stuff lately. Well, not just lately, but more than usual lately. Make sense? :)

Our last name starts with a "G." (I found this one at Hobby Lobby.) Add a little floral moss from W*lMart...

It hangs over my kitchen sink now...but please excuse my photo! I couldn't get a clear shot unless I closed the blinds, and then of course the lighting looks sad and ugly, but you get the idea.
I also had this little urn that I picked up at Goodwill for $3.

One of those little Styrofoam balls was the perfect size for the top.

Isn't everything (in decorating, anyway!) better with moss?