Thursday, April 24, 2014

Collecting My Thoughts

 The problem with being a collector is that eventually it all must be dealt with, either when you downsize into a smaller home or apartment, or later on when your family must absorb it or sell it.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about collections and what to do with them when the time comes to move into a smaller home.

I have helped my mother-in-law downsize four times already so you would think I would be an expert at it.
When she sold her large family home which was packed with collections and furniture, I helped her downsize to a two bedroom condo.  Several years later, she entered a retirement home and downsized again--this time to a studio apartment the size of my living room.

 Then last year, she fell and broke her leg and I had to take out rugs, chairs and clutter to make her room safe and easy to maneuver a walker.
Bless her heart, she still has some of her Belleek and Hummels that she collected over the years.
They are part of her and they make her happy!

I inherited some of her Belleek and have enjoyed using it.  It has sentimental value and I don't think I can ever sell it or donate it.
Which brings me to my point.

Downsizing in the near future and what to do with all my stuff, plus my mother-in-law's stuff, plus my grandma's stuff, plus my grown children's stuff.
You get the idea...

My name is Delores and I'm a collector.
Is there a 12 step program for that?

Step one: Do not buy more stuff!
Do not add anymore to your collections.
Ok, I can do that because I'm truly ready to downsize.

I look forward to narrowing down my collections to what is really important to me, to keep something either for its sentimental value or because I simply love it.

Books are the one thing I refuse to get rid of though!  
I envision our next house with built-in bookshelves just waiting for my book collection!

As we prepare for the inevitable job of a future downsize, I am being mindful of the stuff in my life and look forward to decluttering, organizing and simplifying our home.
And so the process begins!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Sunroom In Turmoil

What do you do with an extra gallon of custom-matched off-white paint?
Continue into the sunroom.

Although the yellow walls made sense in the sunroom, I am going for a new look.
Tommy the Painter still thinks I'm crazy, and he hates painting this heavily stuccoed wall, original to the house!

Bear hates having his own private den in turmoil.
He thinks the sunroom is his to sit and look out the window... 

...and sleep on the red sofa with Oscar!
Well I have news for them.  The red sofa went bye-bye!
I'm still undecided whether to replace it with a console or another sofa.

The new look is in process...
Stay tuned for the final reveal.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

From Mustard To Mayo

 After the kitchen cabinets were painted green, I lived with the mustard colored walls for two years--all the while trying to convince myself that it was ok, but knowing that it just wasn't.
I knew that the cabinets and walls were fighting each other but was sort of paralyzed about what to do.

All the woodwork, windows and built-ins are painted such a dark, creamy white so finding a wall color that would contrast with the moulding and yet go with the cabinets proved to be quite challenging.
Until last week when the light bulb went off.  Why not match the wall color to all that creamy woodwork?

So I pulled out a drawer, took it to the paint store and asked them to match it.
And that's how the kitchen and family room went from "mustard to mayo," or from Benjamin Moore "Dijon" to a custom color I have nicknamed "mayonnaise!"
Let's look at some before and after photos, shall we?

Although the dijon color is nice in the family room (I clearly spent some time on the staging) the linen sofas clash with the walls.

 Now the new "mayonnaise" colored walls take backstage to the sofa and green cabinets.

I know the dijon color looks great in this photo, but....

after landscapes look better with the neutral walls.

See what I mean?

In the kitchen, I tried not to let the green and gold combination bug me too much.  Eventually I stopped seeing it altogether. 

Now with the "mayo" walls, the green cabinets are crisper and cleaner.
I like how the white ironstone stands out too.

Before, the white subway tile did contrast nicely with the walls, but looking through the door into the dining room, I never liked how the wallpaper didn't seem to flow.

I've never been a fan of green and gold together!
But I love green and white together.
Or in this case, green and "mayo!"
Doesn't the dining room wallpaper look better now as you view from one room to the other?

I took the brown floral curtains down too.

Oh, how I love those curtains, but...

...the windows look better without, plus it lets in much more needed light.

I knew the kitchen was very dark, but I didn't realize how much it affected my mood until I lightened up the walls, took down the curtains and all those plates!

Can you tell I love my new kitchen?
The only question is, what took so long?
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lighten Up And Declutter

 Do you ever feel like you have too much stuff? 
I do and have finally made a commitment to deal with it.

Last week I began the process of decluttering my house and life!
Down came the majolica plates and half of the oil paintings that I've collected over the years.

I took down the plates and the Dijon colored paint.

Tommy the Painter thinks I've flipped my lid! 
 He painted the walls Dijon over ten years ago and can't wrap his mind around my plan.  I told him to think of it as going from Dijon to Mayonnaise!

The result is a cleaner, uncluttered look.

Now I'm questioning this light fixture. 
It certainly was love at first sight but that love affair is over.
I'm looking for something foo!

 The Dijon color was at its best around the mantel as it gave a warm, cozy feel to the room.

But not so much next to the green cabinets. 

Here's the cleaned up mantel in its preliminary staging.

I like how important the black mantel looks now, much crisper and cleaner.

Lightened up and decluttered.
Stay tuned for more before and after of the kitchen as it goes from Dijon to Mayonnaise!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Blood Moon Rising

Set your clocks tonight for a rare view of the Blood Moon, also called a tetrad, a lunar eclipse when the earth passes in front of the moon and blocks the sun's light.
It's the first in a series of four lunar eclipses. 

At 12:47 a.m. PDT the moon will be in total eclipse and will be seen as copper to blood red in color.
A reddish hue comes over the moon because of the way the Earth's atmosphere bends sunlight onto its surface.

Tuesday's eclipse will last just under four hours, with the partial eclipse beginning at 10:58 p.m. Monday and ending at 2:33 a.m. Tuesday. 
 Prime viewing is between 11:30 p.m. and 1:25 a.m., and to see the moon at its bloodiest, look up at 3:07 a.m.

I'm so excited to see the Blood Moon tonight.
Now if only I can stay awake!
There's another Blood Moon October 8th, just in case you miss this one.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Personalize It

My friend found these monogrammed glasses at a garage sale for $1 each and bought them for me.
I'm thrilled to say the least because I probably wouldn't go out of my way to have glasses personalized, but finding them already with an "A" on them is like finding a treasure.

It got me thinking about monograms and why we love them.
I think monograms tell your story.  They say "this is who I am, this is my mark."

I felt that way when I had the dining room chairs monogrammed. 
 I could have centered a large "A" over the stripe but instead had our first name initials embroidered on either side.

 Monogram étiquette says that you center your last name with smaller initials on either side like above.
I imagine Richard and Ronda Moore sleep here!

 I had a traditional monogram made for my cell phone.
Don't ask what the "J" stand for!

Not all monograms have to be traditional though. 
Monogramming is so personal and you can do it any way you like these days. 
For instance, for my birthday and trip to Paris, my friend personalized a passport cover with my nickname!

Recently, a new catalogue came in the mail and guess what?  It was all about monograms!
Have you heard of Mark and Graham?  They're part of the Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, West Elm, and Rejuvenation "empire."
Now you can monogram your world--or your dog's world!

 Those wine glasses you wish had your initial on them?
Now it's easy peasy.

Just look at all the examples they offer!
Whether telling your story or just marking your territory, monograms are a tradition that is here to stay.
How do you feel about monograms, yay or nay?

(I'm currently obsessed with these personalized products from Mark and Graham!)

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