Thursday, December 31, 2009

A look at the year ahead...

I am not one to make resolutions for the New Year. So much of the time, when I have done such things, well, what is that saying? "I told God my plans, and He laughed"? Yes, that would be my motto...

Here we are, at the start of a new year, and since I am not going to make resolutions...I will instead, make a list of "general suggestions" for myself, and the things I hope to accomplish (it has such a nice ring to it--"general suggestions"...kind of like the way some folks look at the Ten Commandments, but hey, let's stay on topic, shall we? ;-) ).

Suggestion #1-finish decorating the main rooms of the house. Now, this is a seriously complicated, multiple part suggestion...dare I list what it entails? Okay--just so you know what I'm facing here...
Part one, I have to paint. I have finally chosen a paint color. Ironically, it is the exact same color I used in the adjoining dining room! I had actually gotten samples, of a couple of shades of blue. But there is no way that they will work on such a large scale, on my wall. The color I will be using is a sunny shade of yellow. Not too bright, not too brown, it really is a good, almost "neutral" yellow. It goes very well with the red furniture I already have in the house, and the fabric I have long had for the valances over the windows in those rooms...
Part two, valances. I will be mistreating my windows, a la The Nester. I could sew them. That'd be nice. But you know what? I've got five children, two hands, and a sewing machine at one end of the house, while all of the children are at the opposite end. Not a good combination. So, the less time I spend fiddling with fabric, needles, and thread, the better. Now, since I have the fabric, I need to actually *do* something with it. And, get some curtain rods. I keep hoping to find some in the thrift stores, but so far, no luck. I am almost to the point of purchasing thick dowel rods, and some sort of finial to screw into the end. I cannot find anything I like well enough, in my price range. So I am beginning to think that there is no way around making my own.
Part three, new futon covers. Gotta have those. The one we have, is as old as the futon (which is older than #3, who turns 6 this coming spring. While the cover has borne up well, under the wear and tear of our family, it has been finally relegated to the "only in cases of throw up and imminent arrival of relatives" duty. It has only one way it can be put on and used, thanks to the artistic endeavors of #3, and a sharpie. Sharpie doesn't come out very well, did you know that? Yeah. I tried. No luck. Since I want to be able to change the cover out, for the change of seasons, I'm going to end up needing two--not right away, but two of them will not be cheap. Regardless of color/style. I'm going to opt for a solid, since my valance material is very...patterned. I'll add other patterns and prints in the pillows.
Part four, which really ought to be part 3B, is new pillow covers for the bolsters. I'm obnoxious, though, and I like numbers and lists. :-) Especially since a futon cover will cost me at least $100, and the bolster pillows, close to as much for the pair. It will be a multi-event operation. The bolsters, however, will at least need to 'go' with both covers reasonably well. I may end up buying two sets, one for each futon cover, but not right off. Of course, one of my children, which one, I don't know, decided that those scissors that Mommy (that'd be me) keeps up high and away from small fingers, would be a great thing to use, to slice through one of the bolster covers we have. The slice is not, however, on the cover that has the smear of mommy's lip gloss, that someone was trying to hide...and failed. Lip gloss doesn't come out well, either, by the way...just in case you didn't already figure that out.
Part six--figure out what to hang on the doggone walls. I have one large, solid wall in this family room. You can see it below, in the pictures of my Christmas tree. Once the tree goes to its storage for the next year, the rocking chair will be moved into that location. I would like to put some thing on the wall, under the tray I have already hanging there. And I want to hang something on the other side of the red dresser, to fill in that blank wall space. I've got a few ideas, that I will hopefully share as I work on the room. Bear with me if it takes a while to get there.

You'd think that that'd be enough. But we all know that I can write out something and it looks like it will take three months to do it...but we all know better than that. I mean, painting will take a couple of days, probably. Gotta move heavy bookshelves. UGH. Hanging a couple of things on the wall? Not very long. Mistreatments, ditto, probably a single afternoon, maybe two. Futon and pillow covers are more a matter of money, and shipping time, than anything else. Not much work on my part, in that regard...

The next big room? My bedroom. I soooo want to get that painted, and my desk and sewing areas arranged in there. We'll need a bigger mattress (OH YAY!!!!), and I have a good deal of hands on projects to do--painting the walls, painting and 'antiquing the dresser and bed, getting the mattress, making valances for the windows and the bathroom getting dolled up to match...I am sooo looking forward to it! I need to get some storage set up in my crafting closets (there are two, believe it or not!), which already have things in them, but they need organization and I need shelves for that...lots of things to hang on the walls, of course.

I'm trying to not make this house some cottage fantasy on feminine overdrive. The bedroom will be in "bold" pastels, if that makes any sense at all. I'll make sure to get some pictures up of the fabric, and paint colors, as I go along. If I remember. LOL. You don't want to see my room now. It is far from the restful, peaceful, oasis it *ought* to be. It is more the "please put that on my sewing table/nightstand/in the closet" catchall, that I go in once, or twice, a day. Maybe. LOL. But I still want it to be nice. It is a large room, between the bedroom, and the master bathroom, the master "suite" runs the entire width of the house. NICE. Much bigger than our old bedroom, in our NC house. I also need to get El Husbando a new nightstand, as well as chair for him to sit in, to put his shoes on. Something upholstered, and nice, but not too expensive. I may end up taking that upholstery class through the local "continuing ed" program. Expensive, but probably cheaper for me to learn how to do it myself, and reuse the skills over and over again, than to buy material and have someone else do the work.

So I have a list of decor projects. Not including the standard "keep the house clean, organize things better, finish the wool shawl I started working on last year, try to lose weight" type of decor projects. Yes, the shawl and weight loss are decor projects, when you are at home 99% of the time, you want something NICE to look at, when you pass one of the mirrors...or when you finish scrubbing the toilets and are able to stand upright once

I'd like to get to work on putting out some flower beds out front of the house, but because of the geese, that will have to wait until we can fence in an area. And fencing isn't cheap, especially the pretty, durable kind. It has *got* to be durable, thanks to the "winds that come sweeping down the plains" We had 40-60 mph winds just this last week, in the Christmas Eve snowstorm. Those are rareish, at least in this part of the state, but they are something that happens every now and again, especially in spring and summer. So, that being the way things are, its best to be prepared.

I left my English cottage garden back in North Carolina, where we had really lovely soil. Deep, rich, and perfect. Shade, some sun, but lovely all around.

Here we have clay and unremitting sunshine. There are very few places where shade is enough to keep those shade loving perennials alive during the hottest months of the year, when the sun bakes man, beast, flora, and fauna without regard to financial status, rarity, or expense. Not to mention, trying to lighten the soil, so we actually can grow something in this clay. Since most of the by-products of the chicken coop end up in the garden, I'm not sure what I want to do about the flower beds. I think I will start off working up near the mailbox, with some daylilies and iris, daffodils and such. Something that will naturalize, spread, and not require a whole lot of maintenance or effort on my part. I want it to look nice, but if I don't want to spend a lot of time/money I don't have--and I know you all understand *that*!

Anyway, folks, what are your "general suggestions" for yourselves, this year? Do you have house plans? Lifestyle changes? Or are you pretty happy with where you are, and are just looking to expand on that?

Regardless of your plans for the evening, or the upcoming year, I pray you will have a safe, and happy, New Year's Eve, and new year...


  1. love The Nester!! I SO want to paint the bathroom cabinents black! Don't even want to talk about my lack of window treatments, dont' have the guts for that yet. You'll have to post what you do for them!

  2. We have rather ugly cabinetry in our bathrooms. At one point--when the house was built--they were undoubtedly that "lovely" faux wood brown paneling "stuff". It was all over the house, but fortunately, had been professionally painted over prior to our arrival here.

    I would love to just get rid of the things, and go with something else, if for no other reason than to make the bathrooms a little more..modern? No...I'm not sure of the word I am looking for.

    I don't know that black would work (although I am going to be redoing an old piecrust table with a rockin' pedestal/Duncan Phyfe base in an ebony matte finish this year, if I can get around to it), at least not in my mudroom bathroom (main guest bath). VERY tiny. One window, under an overhang. Bad lighting. Needs a complete overhaul. is a bathroom. With a small shower. And it is right by a back entrance. All the better to throw naughty, muddy, mucky children into, as they come in from rolling around in the black clay we have here. They go in the shower, the clothes go into the washing machine (about 4 feet from the bathroom door, and the same from the door into the mudroom). Convenient, indeed.

    One day it is going to be the "boys" bathroom, if only because it is the smallest. And boys don't tend to spend toooo much time in there, at least until they "discover" girls. I have at least a decade. LOL

    Thanks for coming by, hope to see you again!

  3. Why are you not celebrating de-lurker day over here? It's a hoot!