30 January 2012


Rested and ready to complete our Huge Project--having determined to limit it to our great room, morning room, and study-dining room, reserving work on the master bedroom and bath for a later date.

So, we need our decorator's input for drapes and new wall-ceiling color to finish off the study-dining room.

And, a new t.v. and mounting bracket in the great room (yellow-painted chest moves to entry foyer and t.v. will be mounted just under shelf).

I've already ordered a rug for the great room (due to arrive in 3 weeks), but there's a bit of painting to be completed in this area, too. (red half-wall gets painted with the SW Blonde used in great room-morning room).

I'm curiously drawn to this fabric for the drapes, but will see what DV comes up with. 

For a bit I thought I wanted the same linen we used on the chair backs, but decided I was playing it too safe. 

I absolutely love the way the morning room drapes dramatically changed the look of our French doors, so I'm not going to hold back in the study-dining room which is becoming my preferred writing room.

26 January 2012


We're traveling again. Just a short visit with JE's family in Omaha. She had a recent birthday so we'll bake a special cake, enjoy the little ones, and just hang out together. Baby LC is six months now, and quite the charmer. JA and LE greet us with exuberance and expectation, knowing there will be gifts and treats! Of course there are.

One fun gift is a 10-episode DVD of Punky Brewster--one of their mommy's favorites from 1984 - 1988. She would have been 5 - 9 years old and not immune to adopting some of Punky's style. Flashback...

LC gets his own piggy bank, but this one is a roaring lion bank.

LE is quick to claim the iPad, and it's fun to see how self-sufficient she and JA have become finding their favorite apps--drums, talking animals, and funny photos. We also check out the educational apps: Princess Pony (memory) and Make It Pop (colors, counting, recognition, etc.).

JA has Pajama Day (celebrating the letter "p") at pre-school today and is excited to wear his skulls pj's with a guitar t-shirt. He's wondering what special activities are planned for Pajama Day... His mommy kids that there will be naps.

So, a few days with the fun kids...

20 January 2012


Thinking about taking a 6-week on-line writing course. The course preview makes me think this is exactly what I'm looking for--a time-sensitive commitment that offers the flexibility I require (desire?!).

I'm going to let this simmer a bit and see what develops...

18 January 2012


Not too original... The holiday binge has guilted me into rejoining Weight Watches with LL. Around Thanksgiving my weight was lower than I can remember it--somewhere around what it was in April of 2004 at a highly stressful juncture of my work-life. I should have been ecstatic, but reality was that by early November I was feeling close to burnout and looking for a pile of head-shaped sand to dive into.

Conversely, it was also a time when I was deeply appreciating and enjoying family life. Thanksgiving was a rare time with both our children and their families--a treat of treats. CA and I were looking forward to weeks at home. We'd made a mutual decision with D+M that we'd forego our anticipated beach trip to Hilton Head and remain in our respective homes over the Christmas and New Years holidays. Everyone was tripped out and exhausted.

But, three weeks and a few days later CA and I were on our way to the beach--Kiawah Island, SC--and looking forward to several days with D+M's family. Turns out that your soul and body can find ways to replenish in the midst of travel and a bunch of people, if you add proximity to the ocean to the formula. Our time at Kiawah was deeply nourishing for CA and I, and a enjoyable respite for D+M's family as well--creating some memorable moments that we expect will deepen into cherished memories, similar to those we're enjoying from our time at Virginia Beach last May with JE's family.

So... I'm on the cusp of cleaning up my act. While I'd spent decades as a yo-yo dieter, in recent years I've learned that loosing weight is all about healthy eating, and when I regain self-control in that area I can expect other habits and practices will fall into better patterns. I've returned to practicing yoga and expect to participate on a regular basis a couple of times a week. My sleep patterns are already looking up, and I'm back to enjoying a lot of reading--sure signs that I'm becoming more centered; more me. Ah-h-h... I've learned to love retirement and its freedoms. Life is good.

17 January 2012


Aristocrat Red
8' x 10'
Great Room

Poise Plum
4' x 6'

So, I've ordered two rugs--one for the foyer and one for the great room. I'm nervous and excited. Nervous because if one or both don't work, the return will surely be a hassle. The website assures me that the vendor adequately provides for such action with enclosed instructions and a flexible policy. I just can't imagine that two awkwardly shaped and heavy parcels can arrive and potentially depart my home without some less-than-artful wrangling and maneuvering.

However, most of all I'm excited! I've lived with these images for weeks and weeks. I've enlarged them on my iPad and carried the images from room to room considering and imagining how they'll complete our spaces. We've been redecorating for months and months, and CA agrees that, whatever it takes, we're going to finish our great room, morning room, entry, and study-dining room in the weeks ahead. Installing appropriate rugs is one of the key tasks in accomplishing that.

Here's hoping...

08 January 2012



The Craig's list chairs (6 for $250) in their new fabrics: linen-leather-chateau print.

From this...

To these...

Chateauneuf du Pape

And, from this...

To these...

05 January 2012


When Fred called me yesterday just after 9:00am, I learned that I need to finalize my fabric decisions.  I'd expected to follow-up on my upholstery plans with Fred sometime next week, as he'd indicated before Christmas that his schedule was full and it'd be January before he could start on my project. 

I've been waffling on whether to actually use the French fabric we'd purchased in Antibes last winter. CA is a oenophile and the French fabric is embossed with the labels-branding of some of our favorite chateaus. We've had a small ottoman re-upholstered with the fabric without really knowing where it'd fit in our new decor. 

But, I've recently become infatuated with the splashes of  hot pink appearing across the interior design blogger world, and have a sudden irrational desire to incorporate some of that luscious color into my world--possibly on inside back of the arm chairs (just two of the six are armchairs--the four side chairs are destined for neutral "cement" leather-linen). I've spent hours looking at fabric and found nothing that quite suits.

Yesterday morning at my house...

This afternoon at Fred's Upholstery:

That butt-sprung look/feeling is explained with one look at the 25+ year old webbing.

Learned that this furry creature is called an edge roll.
It's the only part of the existing upholstery that will be reused in this project.

Edge Roll: Thick jute cord wrapped in burlap. Used to soften frame and spring edges. 

Another look at the before;

and, after... 
While my iPhone camera angle is similar in the two photos, the shot is taken from a bit high. 
Consequently, the seat cushion appears somewhat distorted. 

The color is very off in the iPhone photo.
This color swatch is from the Greenhouse website.

Greenhouse Design Fabrics
Cement 98069

Just after noon I visit Fred's shop and quickly realize that the wine fabric is the absolute right choice for our study-dining room. I'd forgotten that I matched the Greenhouse "cement" color for the linen and the leather selection with the taupe background of the French fabric.

Fred's 30% or more into the project. He's already rebuilt the seats and installed the leather on two chairs, and installed the linen on the outside back of one arm chair. Lovely, and exciting--what a difference!

The linen cording will be next on this chair--single cording on the inside and outside back, and double cording on the leather seat.

Fred says he'll deliver the finished chairs as early as Saturday--2 days--or Monday at the latest. WOW and WOW!

Update: Just after 10:00am on Saturday morning Fred's son, Craig, delivers our six chairs. CA and I have fun placing them in various rooms and standing back to admire the changes.

04 January 2012


Fred called this morning.

He'd been on my mind, but after our last conversation I'd expected I'd have to chase him down. We'd spoken in vague terms about reupholstering my French dining chairs after the first of the year. Yes, we'd discussed fabrics several times, and come to logger heads (an antiquated expression? Are we talking turtles or Paul Bunyan????)

This is what I've had in mind:

In essence, Fred is a purist, and I'm not. I want double cushion seats on my two armchairs and Fred refuses to accommodate my vision. He insists these chairs are not designed for double cushions. He really won't compromise. Excuse me, Fred? Isn't the customer always right? Apparently not, so our chair seats will be constructed like these:

Yet, I think Fred and I have a future together. His labor is more that the previous upholsterer, but the cost is justified by his attention to detail and fervor. I mean, I expected to hunt him down and here we are on January 4th ready to roll. His son came to collect the 5 chairs--Fred already had an armchair stored in his back room--and said the fabric has arrived and the first armchair seat has been rebuilt. WHOA!

I'd been waffling a bit over my leather selection. Obviously, as they say, "The die is cast." The existing leather choice is in-play. Except, the really great news is that Fred's fabrics are downright (that's archaic, too, isn't it?) reasonable. I could say "Toss out those 3 yards!" and the $$ loss would be negligible.

Tomorrow after the gym I'll stop by for one more double-cushion conversation (with slide show in-hand), but Fred won't back down, I know. We'll do it his way...