A Quick Update and a House Tour!

Hello!!  Sorry I know it's been awhile since I posted.  It's been a whirlwind lately with selling the house and getting everything ready for that to happen.  Some days I feel like I'm honestly living in some sort of alternate universe....we're moving AGAIN??  Really??  Who decided that?!!  At any rate, I'm trying to remember that 'everything happens for a reason.'  We're in the process of finding a new home and traveling to Chicago this weekend for a house hunt.  Wish us luck!!  

If you've ever sold a home, you understand how hard it can be and how much extra stress it adds to life.  It's a bit more challenging with the hubby working in Chicago and Hunter and I here.  Trying to keep the house in pristine condition 24/7 with an 8 year old, a dog and a cat is proving a challenge.  Not to mention I'm creative, not tidy or organized!  :-)

This time the move is a lot harder on both Hunter and I since we've only been in this home for 6 months.  We've both made connections in the area and love living here.  Hunter is a trooper, but it's times like this that make my heart break for him.  He told me this weekend, "No matter what I choose I get hit....If I choose to stay here and have Daddy commute, I won't see him.  If I choose to move then I won't have my friends."  Please keep him in your thoughts.  He's very resilient, but I know how difficult it is to move and start over and over again.  

OK, now on to something more exciting!  I've been meaning to do a tour of the house for sometime, but instead I'm going to just give you the link to our home listing.  If you know anyone who wants to move to CT or is in the area now and looking to buy....this house is amazing.  

Here's the link My Passion For Decor Home Tour.  Hope you like it as much as I do. One room missing is the office...it is was still a work in process at the time of the pictures.  

As always, thank you so much for taking time to read this post.  I love your comments and emails so please keep them coming.  I post a lot more on Facebook so if you're not already following me there, click on the furniture icons at the top of this page.  

Thank you!!!

Family Room Tour....And Some Bittersweet News

Today, I'm finally sharing a tour of my family room in our new house.  I've been meaning to take pictures for weeks, but then something else would come up and I wouldn't get around to it.  However, this week I got very serious about the tour when I found out we were moving.  Yes, you read that right...we are moving again.  My very smart, hardworking and amazing Hubby got a new job with his company in Chicago.  I'm so proud of him and how hard he has worked to achieve all he has.  It's great he's getting this amazing opportunity, but it's bittersweet.  We love our house, our neighborhood and the friendships we've formed while living in CT.  In the almost 6 months we've lived in our house, it has become our home.  I've worked many long hours turning this house into OUR home and not a house we bought from someone.  Yes, I know I can do this all again, but I have to admit it's a lot harder this time!  

SO while I can, I'm taking pictures to document the house I truly love.  Thank you to Charlotte of Ciburbanity for encouraging me to do this.  At first when I found out we were going to have to sell the house I didn't want to take anymore pictures, but Charlotte pointed out that it's a great way to document what we've done here and memories for Hunter when he gets older.

The family room is our favorite room as a family.  It's warm, cozy and a place we spend a lot of time cuddling, staring at the fire, talking and watching movies as a family.  

Here's a picture from the real estate listing.  The room was this color when we moved in and the curtains and roman shades were also here.  Everything else of course was the sellers.

This is a BIG room.  It's deceiving from this picture because you can't see the entire room.  The first thing I had to do was change the color of the walls.   The color was too greeny yellow for me.  I wanted something that was warm, cozy and had a masculine feel.  I am the only girl in a family of men.  Even the cat and dog are male!  The color I chose was the same color I chose for the kitchen ceiling...Cinder by Benjamin Moore.  It's interesting how the kitchen looks different than the family room, even though they're the same color.  The lighting is a lot different in both rooms.

Now,  no matter what I do  I have a hard time photographing this room.  Reds are hard to photograph I'm figuring out and also, this room doesn't always get a lot of light.  On the day I took these pictures the light was perfect, but the pictures still didn't turn out the way I had hoped.

When You walk into the room this is one of the first things you see....our massive brand new section that we LOVE and our new dark slate grey and tiny red polka dot chair that we also just purchased.  We had our other sofa for 15 years, so it had lived a long and happy life.  It was still in great shape, but I was ready for a change.

Here's the room looking toward the entrance from the foyer and the front entry.  This sectional is so comfy.  It's grey with silver nail head detailing.  It's a warm, grey fabric that reminds me of a nice men's suit.

This is the other side, near the other entrance to the kitchen and eating area.  You can see one of my little plaid wool chairs my friend Emily scoped out for me at an estate sale!  I love them!

Here's a little bit better picture of my cute red plaid chair.  That M I got at Hobby Lobby on clearance and I just set it there because I have no idea where I want to hang it yet.  One thing I do like to do in a room is use odd things for side tables.  I especially like to use vintage children's school chairs and small wooden stools. 

This is back on the other side of the room by the windows and my other plaid wool chair.  Also, one of my favorite possessions, my old linen pull down map of Europe and my light up globe.  Yes, remember I have a globe obsession?  You can't really see it, but the globe is on a bent wood children's school chair.

This is one of the first things you see when you walk into the room from the front entrance....my beloved library card cabinet.  

This is on the opposite wall from the windows as you can see from the glare off the TV.  

I had really been wanting a white deer or moose head for my wall, but the prices I found were too much.  This summer while I was in Atlanta I stopped in at the Pottery Barn Kid's Outlet store and found this cute moose head for $4.99.  It was brown cardboard and when I got home I put it together, and spray painted it white.  Then one day while thrifting, I found a wood plaque and bought it to hang my moose head on.  For about $5.50 I had a much less expensive version.

With this room, I was really going for that masculine, men's club kind of vibe, without being too manly that I wouldn't feel welcome.  It ended up being a modern take on a masculine men's club...at least that's what I'm calling it :-)

The last thing I really want to point out is this amazing ottoman the hubby and I built from scratch!!  This is our first project we've ever done together using power tools, without arguing.  I had a lot of fun working with him, but it was a stretch for him to adapt to my 'go with the flow' way of building.  He likes to use plans, I like to just wing-it!  It all worked out in the end and we had a great bonding time.

The fabric I purchased at Joann's and is by HGTV Home..  The nail heads came in strips with every few spaces there was a place to hammer a nail head in.  This made it so much easier, but I won't lie....it was still hard to get it perfectly straight!  I bought them on Amazon.  The ottoman is basically 2 sheets of 1 inch plywood cut to size, then the sides are solid pine panels we cut to size.  What we really ended up making was a stage.  Yes, the hubby might have suggested keeping it a stage and just adding a pole....UGH typical man!  Instead, I added 6 inch wood legs underneath the 'stage' by attaching metal leg brackets that the wood legs screw into.  I topped the ottoman with 3 inch foam, batting and fabric.  I attached the fabric and batting to the underneath using my brand new air gun brad nailer/stapler.  WOW, what a difference that makes!!!  So much easier than my little electric staple gun.

This this is big.  It ended up being 37" X 37" square and about 15" high.  It's a perfect height for putting your feet up at the end of the day.   I'm still looking for the right tray to put on top.  I want a really big round wood tray, something unique so it might be awhile before I find the right one.

I stained the legs with General Finishes Gel Stain in Java.  If you haven't tried this stuff yet...you have to.  It's the best!  I think it's ruined me for any other kind of stain.

Well, that concludes my extremely picture heavy family room tour!  I hope you enjoyed it.  I'm sitting on the sectional right now by the fire writing this and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  Well, I might like to be on the beach since we have over a foot of snow outside right now, but that's not an option right this minute!

Thank you as always for reading.  I will be posting as much as possible.  With everything going on I might not have as much time to devote to blogging, but I'm not going anywhere....well other than to Chicago eventually!  If you know of anyone who wants to buy an amazing home in CT, let me know!

Have a great weekend!

Thank you,

It's Time For A Fun Michaels Pinterest Party!!

I have the most amazing, stupendous and wonderful (did I use enough adjectives?) opportunity to take part in a Pinterest Party at my local Michaels store.  Michaels and Hometalk have joined forces to bring these Pinterest parties to Michaels stores across the US and Canada.  Each store has been assigned a blogger that will be there to help you make one of 5 Pinterest crafts and also show you their take on one of the crafts.  All you need to do is check out the Pinterest inspired displays at your local Michaels store, then buy your supplies and meet us in the classroom to create your own amazing pin-worthy project!!  It's that easy!!

This party is happening February 16 from 1-4PM.  I know you're not doing anything as fun as this, so I know you'll all be there!!!  Here is a link to all the bloggers who are participating at Michaels locations across the US and Canada Pinterest Party Locations and Bloggers

Also, I encourage you all to join Hometalk.  Hometalk is a home and garden social networking site.  It's a great place to find inspiration and also post your own projects.  If you follow Michaels on Hometalk (http://www.hometalk.com/michaels), you'll be entered to win a $100 Michaels gift card!  Five winners will be announced on Hometalk's Facebook page on February 17.  Who doesn't love a giveaway?!!  

We were given a choice of five projects to choose from and I had a hard time picking just one.  While I was at Michaels shopping, a light bulb went off in my head!  One of the projects was using a clay pot, painting it and stenciling a design.  The idea that popped into my head was a topiary using the clay pot, a wooden dowel, a styrofoam ball, and sheet moss.  Then the idea developed further.  With wedding season approaching I thought I could make something that could be used as part of a table centerpiece.  I decided to call it a best wishes tree because people could write their congratulations, best wishes messages to the bride and groom and pin them to the tree.  It's funny how ideas form because then I thought of all the other ways this could be used!  This could be a thankfulness tree, a love note tree, and Easter blessing tree.....the possibilities are endless really!!

So here is the finished product so you get an idea of what I did, then I will give you a quick tutorial.  Please be patient with me!  I haven't written a craft tutorial before so this will be my first!

Here are the supplies you will need to make a Best Wishes Topiary:

1 Clay Pot (I used a medium sized pot probably 6 inches in diameter)
1 square block of floral foam
1 wooden dowel
1 bag of sheet moss
1 spool of ribbon in a pattern you like
1 spool or ribbon in a coordinating pattern (if you choose)
1 container of bride confetti
1 package of colorful twine
1 package of brown paper circles or labels (non-stick)
A few push pins
A whole punch
An Exacto knife
A hot glue gun and glue sticks
Acryllic craft paint (I used 3 colors)
1 wooden embellishment if you want to use one
Paint Brushes
Plate for mixing paint

The first thing I did was cut the dowel to the size I wanted using my Exacto knife.  I could've done this quicker with a saw, but it wasn't hard to cut with the knife, it just took a little extra time.  

Once I had my dowel cut to size I mixed Raw Umber craft paint with some water on a plate.   I brushed the watered down paint onto the dowel using a small paint brush.  You don't want to let the paint dry.  I let the paint sit for a moment then wiped the paint off with a paper towel.  I did this once more until the dowel was the color I wanted.

Next it was time to paint my clay pot.  I did the same thing with my paint, I watered it down.  I wanted the pot to look a bit aged, not just painted white.  I took a larger paint brush and brushed on the watered down paint.  I did this to the whole pot (not the inside or bottom) until it was the color and effect I wanted.

You can see above that I put the paint on with lots of brush strokes, almost sloppy.  

This is the effect I got with a couple coats.  

Next I put my foam square inside the pot and hot glued the sides so the foam would stay in place. Once I was done with that it was time to work on the styrofoam ball.  I don't have pictures of this process, but it's very easy.  (My fingers were covered in hot glue and moss and there was no way I was touching my camera with that on my fingers!)  All I did was take a sheet of moss, tear it into a smaller piece and hot glue it onto the ball.  I did this until the whole ball was covered.  

For the opening of the clay pot, I cut a circle of moss a little bit larger than the clay pot and hot glued it onto the foam and the edge of the clay pot. 

Next thing I had to do was get the wood dowel into the ball and into the foam in the pot to make my topiary.  I put a bit of hot glue on one end of the dowel then pushed it into the moss covered ball.  I did the same thing on the other end of the dowel and pushed the end into the floral foam in the pot.  

It was now time to decorate my clay pot.  I put my thinner ribbon around the edge of the pot, attaching with hot glue.

Then I made a bow by hot gluing my larger, patterned ribbon into a circle and taking a smaller piece of the same ribbon and wrapping it around the middle of the circle and gluing that. I added my brown and turquoise ribbon around the middle of the bow to add some contrast and glued the bow onto the front of the ribbon lined rim of the pot.

You could stop here and have a really cute topiary, but if you want to make it a little more fun, add some embellishments to your moss covered foam ball.   I used an inexpensive wood embellishment that I painted in a hot pink craft paint and hot glued it to the front of my moss ball.

For a bit more bling I used push pins and pinned little bridal flower confetti onto the ball as well.  I also sprinkled them on the base of the topiary.  

The last step was to cut out some circles using brown card stock.  You could do this with scissors or you can even buy them pre-made.  It's a lot easier to buy them pre made, but the pre made were $5 and my paper punch was $12.99.  I used a 40% off Michaels coupon which made it a good deal.  It made more sense to buy the paper punch even if it was a bit more work.  I used the paper punch and cut a whole bunch of circles at one time.  I used my whole punch to poke a hole in the top of each circle, hot glued on a confetti flower and tied a decorative piece of twine through the hole.  I attached the circles to the tree using the push pins and I was done!

I'm really thrilled with how it turned out.  At the Michaels and Hometalk Pinterest Party on February 16 from 1-4PM I will be showing you how to make this in person.  It's a lot of fun and easy!  I will probably change it up a bit just for fun and to show you other ways this idea could be used in your own home.  

I really hope to see a bunch of you at my local Michaels store!  I would love to meet you and help you out with the craft you choose as well.  Remember to click on the link (Pinterest Party Locations) to see what bloggers will be at the different Michaels stores in the US and Canada.  Make sure you follow Micheals on Hometalk and if you haven't joined Hometalk you need to!  I hope someone I know wins one of those $100 gift cards!!  

 I really hope this tutorial was helpful.  I had a great time making this and I know it will be even better when I do it with of all of you on February 16!

As always, thank you so much for reading!  Have a great week!

Thank you,