Sunday, January 22, 2012

A little progress...

I've got a little progress to share on our family room that I first showed you here.

In that original post, I showed the floorplan we were going for and it involved a couple of occasional chairs.  Since I'm already planning on tackling one DIY chair, we decided to buy the other two. And we LOVE them.

We got this faux leather one at our local Furniture Mart.  I wasn't sure I'd like a chair with no arms, but it's really comfortable.

And this little lovely came from Target. Yep, Target.

During the chair shopping process, I realized that while I love the look of high contrast, bright, patterned furniture, actually buying it and having it in my house scares the crap out of me.  "Hi, my name is Jill and I'm scared of bold patterned furniture."

A little side story, Sparky and I were talking about the chairs we bought and the colors that we are going for in this room. I pulled out the fabric for the chair I plan to redo to see how it would go with everything else. When I asked him what he thought, his response was "it's nice."  And then said, "Is nice really what you are going for? I thought this was going to be a fun room. So far, there is no fun Jill in this room." And that folks, is why I married this wonderful man. He gets me.  And he pushes me to do things I'm scared to do. But,now I have to find new fabric for the chair. And I'm not having any luck. It's out there somewhere, I know it is.

Ok, back to the rest of the progress. Sparky got the curtain rod and curtain hung for me. (I hate hanging curtain rods. I've only done two. He's done a bajillion. He could do that bajillion in the time it takes me to do two.)

The window is eight feet long. And low. And not centered on the wall.  Awesome! Anywho, I had gotten the striped curtains at, you guessed it, Target, a looonnng time ago for a different room in the house and they didn't work. And I never took them back. I suck at taking stuff back to the store if it doesn't work. This time though, it paid off.  It's hard to tell in this picture, but the stripes are actually a couple of different shades of green.

The sheers are also from Target and I love the medallion design. (Side note, it's VERY hard to take a picture of sheers when there is bright, white snow on the ground and the sun is shining).

We also got a little something hung up on one of the bare walls. Oh, how I love stained glass windows!

This lovely hung in the house Sparky grew up in. My MIL gave it to us when we were cleaning out his dad's shop.  Sigh. It just makes me smile looking at it. And yes, this is the "back" side of the window. We liked it better than the front.

And here are a couple of shots of the whole room.

Even though not a whole lot has changed, it's amazing the difference these few things have made. This is slowly, but surely becoming one of my favorite rooms. I'm sitting in it writing this post as a matter of fact. And, it's where I hosted wine club last week too.

You might notice an extra lamp on the far end of the couch. We needed a little more light in that corner, so I grabbed one of those cheapy three legged tables and an extra lamp. It really makes a big difference!

We've still got a ways to go, but at least it's progress!
  • Paint and reupholster chair (which I've never done before)
  • Three new (or new to us) side tables
  • New lamp shades or redo the current ones
  • New lamp
  • Hang curtains
  • Update hardware on the buffet (there is a reason there's no close up of it yet)
  • Hang artwork/mirror/pictures above couch/buffet/bookshelf
  • New lamp for buffet?
  • New pillows for couch

I've got an unrelated project I'm working on too. Here's a little sneak peak:

It's looking awesome! I can't wait to show it to you when it's done!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wa, wa, wine club!

I hosted our first wine club of the New Year this past week. And took no pictures. Grrr. I had planned to take pictures before everyone got here, but I ran out of time. (I was channeling my inner Reluctant Entertainer and wanted to include the pictures in this post.)

Anywho, it was red wine this go round. I didn't give a specific varietal, it just had to be red.  The girls must have been itching for a night out, cause there were 11 of us this go round. And that means a $55 pot! Woo hoo!

I had a pretty cheese board (wish I had a picture to show you) with brie, sharp cheddar, smoked gouda, havarti and goat cheese. Cheese can get spendy, but you really don't need a whole lot of it. Even with 11 people, I had TONS of cheese left. I also had crackers, and a sliced baguette. Along with the cheese and bread, I had apples (great with the havarti), Ikea Lingonberry preserves (great with the brie), nuts and mini-quiche. One of the girls also brought pita chips and a great parmeson artichoke jalepeno dip. And of course, no wine club is complete without dark chocolate.

The wine selection was all over the place.

Red Truck California Red
Old Vine Red
Infinitus Cabernet Sauvignon Temperanillo
Bogle Merlot
Apothic Red
Montevina Barbera
120 Carmenere
Makulu Iswithi Pinotage
Chateau Saint Antoine Bordeaux Superior
Menage a Trois California Red  
ConfectionsChocolate Red Wine
Our wine club is a mix of red and white wine drinkers so it's always fun to make them drink red wine get everyone together to try new things.  With that many people, there wasn't much left of a bottle once we all got a taste.  A couple of the girls, er, ladies were appalled at the amount of wine that got dumped. It's just part of the deal. Something you have to learn to live with, or if you really feel that bad about it, I guess you have a glass of the dumped wine. Not that anyone would ever do that.  (Not me, by the way, but it did happen. Blech.)

It was a close competition, but the Apothic red ended up winning.  Remember, it was one of my go to wines?  But, the Old Vine Red,  Menage a Trois and the Makulu Iswithi Pinotage were close behind tying for second. 

The bordeaux finished in last place.  This surprised many of us, because we thought for SURE the nasty chocolate one would've gotten that honor.  (The bordeaux was mine, but I'm not bitter. Not one bit.) To be honest, the chocolate one spelled AMAZING, but didn't live up to the smell.

And, it just so happened that my order of Wine Away came a couple of days before, so I gave away a bottle to one of the second place finishers. (We drew names.) This stuff is AMAZING. Get's red wine out of anything.

We all had a great time and it was great to catch up with everyone after the holidays. We are a diverse group (well, as diverse as you can be in North Dakota), which I love!  Some with kids, some without, and a couple of grandmas, all with one thing in common...a love of wine and good company. What's better than that?

Anyone else decide to start one? I'd love to hear how it went!

So, I lied about no pictures. I do have one crappy cell phone picture.  Those bottle are all empty.  (Oh, except the Rosenblum. I decided I needed to have a glass while doing dishes. Smartie. That's me.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Picture Perfect Room?

I don't know that I'll ever have a picture perfect room, but Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors put out a challenge that I think is just the push I need to get moving on our living room. I'd already been thinking about tackling it once the Christmas tree came down. So, I guess now is as good a time as ever!

This room has a lot of great potential and I want it to set the tone for the rest of our house. It faces south, but we have an overhang so it gets a nice soft light that comes in. It's a nice quiet spot to read and drink a cup of tea or to have wine club.

When we first moved in, I wanted to create the feeling of a foyer or hallway since you walk into this room from our front door. So, I had the couch placed so the back faced the door. I thought at one point that I wanted to put a sofa table behind it.

But, it really didn't do what I was hoping it would do.  We had to move the couch to make room for the Christmas tree and after the Christmas tree was gone, we really liked the couch where it was.

It opened up the room and made it feel more welcoming. We've defnitely used it more with it arranged this way than we did before.

But, it definitely needs some help. No curtains, the walls are bare and it's just kinda blah. Uninspiring. Boring. Blech.

See that chair back there? Yeah, I've had it for a year. I've got the fabric bought and it is definitely the inspiration for the rest of the room. (Hint: it doesn't have any red.)

And yes, that is a Thomas basketball hoop stuck to the window. That's what happens when there are no curtains.  And my camera bag on the buffet.  Classy. 

But now we've got a big empty space where the couch was and not much seating. We knew we wanted to leave the couch as is. It was new when we moved in and SUPER comfy (great for naps!).  I've got the chair I'm going to refinish, but that's it. 

I started playing around with my kitchen chairs to come up with an arrangement I thought would work, but wanted to see an overall floor plan. So, I went out to and used their Arrange a Room tool (which is very cool, btw). I played around and finally settled on a final arrangement.

Lots of seating that promotes cozy conversation, but still leaves it open and inviting. Yay!

I can't wait! We've got one new chair already and the other should be here this week.  I've also got curtains that I thought of using in another room that are going to work really well in here.

But, there's a bunch of other stuff to do:

  • Paint and reupholster chair (which I've never done before)
  • Three new (or new to us) side tables
  • New lamp shades or redo the current ones
  • New lamp
  • Hang curtains
  • Update hardware on the buffet (there is a reason there's no close up of it yet)
  • Hang artwork/mirror/pictures above couch/buffet/bookshelf
  • New lamp for buffet?
  • New pillows for couch
And that's just the short list. I have some other things I want to do in there as well, but need to work them out in my head first.

Wish me us luck!

Christmas Memories

When it finally comes time to take down all of the Christmas cards we get, I get a little sad. I love looking at all those friendly faces. People that live far away that I miss so much.

Well, I don't have to be sad anymore! Thanks to Kierste at Brown Paper Packages.

This was such an easy (and cheap) project.

I started it before I even had a binder or page protectors. After the kids went to bed one night, I got all the pictures taped onto card stock. Then, I typed up a quick description of how we celebrated Christmas this year and also the label for the front and year tabs. Next, I cut a couple of of pieces of Christmas-y scrapbook paper to fit the binder. I'd picked up a binder and page protectors at Wal-mart on my way home from work on one day this week. I think the total for all of it was maybe $6.

Quick, easy and a great way to preserve all those great Christmas cards!

What do you do with all of your photo Christmas cards?