Thursday, March 31, 2011

Board & Batten Entry

Can you tell I can't stay on one project for too long?
Here is our entry last fall (viewed from the kitchen)...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Living Room Blinds

Thank you to everyone who commented on the kitchen blind remake post and a great big "Hey There!" "Howdy" to everyone!  Thanks for following!

We spend a lot of time in our yet-to-be-structurally-renovated Living Room; to make the room work, I'm constantly changing it; and though I live in the country - in a farmhouse - I'm constantly drawn to "city" life and homes.  (Think Country Mouse visits the City Mouse and thieves all City Mouse's great furniture & accessories; after asking politely, of course! :)

"School Room"

This isn't (I don't think) a classroom - but wouldn't it be a beautiful one?

contemporary dining room by Greifenstein Boyce Associates
Greifenstein Boyce Associates via Houzz

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Painted Buffet

If I ever paint my Valentine Buffet, I'd want it to look as gorgeous as this one.

The Ann Marie Sideboard by Christa at Stories of a House

So pretty!

Visit Christa at Stories of a House here

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blind Tutorial

Do your projects get done before "company is coming"?

I had been thinking about this project for a while and managed
to get them done in 4 hours one evening before an informal get-together 
at my house.  Whew!  (Thank goodness for deadlines!)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Range Hoods

Here are some inspiration photos for that elusive range hood.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kitchen Update!

My kitchen update continues!
Let me show you around (again!).
I'm not thrilled about the paint color - or really the lack of it.  
According to Decor Horoscopes: It takes Libras a long time to decide 
on a paint color.  Yeah. Yes. Uh-Huh.

(I did love that "Otter Tail" brown in the "before" photo and thought I wanted gray...I painted over the otter after the cabinet "take-down"!) 
We used Lisa's instructions (at A Vintage Vine) for the shelves we added to our kitchen.  (Though I was the only part of "we" - hubby and I - that needed the instruction!)
I "shopped my stuff" and found some pretty things to put on the new shelves.
"Springtime" bowls and platter from our wedding gifts...
(They're teenagers - 15 years old!) 
and my favorite thrifted tins for tea and coffee supplies.

Jenny at LGN posted about rolled fabric shades recently.  
And I had to try my own version, while trying to spend ALAP (as little as possible!).
These are the Bamboo Blinds remade into the rolled fabric version.
These photos make me wish I had chosen a color or pattern - 
but then I did have a budget of nada!
(I'm showing these to you without dowels- which will  improve how they roll up.)
I really love how they look in the morning -
and that they actually block the sun while sitting at the table.   
(The two windows flanking the shelves face east and we were bombarded by the sun streaming through the bamboo blinds.)

One of my favorite recent Dollar Store finds are these (bamboo!) placemats - 
the colors! Yum!

When you get really close to the blinds, you can see bits of red, black, blue...
I love that!

....I also love that they're finished (for now) and functional!
And,  though my husband had (huge) doubts about taking down the cabinet-  
I still don't!

Stay tuned for what I replaced it with!

Smothered Tacos w/ Natalie's Enchilada Sauce

My "Make It Marvelous" March is quickly coming to a close!  
We've been "Spring Breaking Stay-cation Style" and busy with a few small DIY projects lately...
Here is a great recipe that completely makes my day!  I hope you try it and love it, too!

Natalie at Endless Crafting posted this (so. so. good.) Enchilada Sauce recipe
and I'm completely addicted.  Like scooping-it-up-out-of-the-pan-with-taco-chips-addicted - so delicious!  (Canned Enchilada Sauce?  Never again!)

Sure, you can make enchiladas and pour the sauce generously over the top
- or -
you can Fry. A. Taco. and smother it with the sauce!
(Oh. Dear.)

What I used:  
White Corn Tortillas, 
Black-Eyed Beans,
Shredded Cheddar-Montery Jack Cheese
Brown Rice, 
Verde Salsa (surprisingly tasty - from Wal-Mart's World Table brand)
Heat about 2 Tablespoons of oil. 
('Til it sizzles when you drop in a bit of water-carefully!)
Drop in your shell.  
(I fry -and salt- both sides.)
(There are certain chemical imbalances I just MAY be making up for here.) 
(Admission. That would be Step 1 in my recovery process, thank you.)
Fill with your choice of toppings. 
(I also had cilantro on hand this particular day - Can we get an "Oh. My...!")
Fold and then for the magic step...
Cover - 
and remove from heat 
to allow optimal melting into warm yet crispy deliciousness.
(Re-heat your Enchilada Sauce, if necessary.)
More cheese, more cilantro.

Then smother with enchilada sauce, 
more cheese and more cilantro.
"Wah-Ha-Ha".  (Maniacal laughter.)

You'll want to pick this up at the counter and 
let the sauce drip down your arm while you gobble it down.  

However, if you manage to make it to the table, with a fork, 
you'll get fewer strange looks from the (non-taco-enchilada-eating) family 
(What is WRONG with them, anyway?)

 So delicious... So good...So Marvelous!

Stop by Natalie's blog and print yourself a copy - Only your thighs will regret it!

Thank you, Natalie!

Make It Marvelous, People!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

You Look MAHvelous!

This enchanting tree over at Bright.Bazaar  is so lovely!

Cherry blossoms take me right back to the sixth grade (ugh!).  I was a Safety Patrol student on a Washington D.C. field Trip (with about 100 other 6th graders).

We boarded our tour bus, luggage carefully packed and stowed, waved good-bye to our parents (It was the first time for many of us that we took a trip without our parents!), seated next to our buddies-for-the-week, and left Wisconsin on a rather bleak (bloom-less) spring day.

By the time we got close to D.C., we had endured 6th grade singing, general rowdiness and sleeping in those (lovely) bus seats.  We were tired, crabby and had already had enough of each other!

When we pulled into the D.C. and saw the cherry trees - to my 12 year old, worried self, it was magical!  The whole city was in bloom!

When I saw those trees, I realized that even though home was a long way off, and we had a whole week of "fun" together, "home" was not yet in bloom and I wouldn't miss a thing!
The Conran Shop as seen on Bright. Bazaar
Like a kid, I'd love to lay on that floor, or cozy up on that sofa (settee?).
For some reason, that yellow sofa (You had me at "yellow.") made me think of a favorite pair of yellow shoes I've been hemming and hawing about... This see furniture/think shoe thing happens to you, too, right?

So here are the shoes...and something to wear with them while window shopping!  (Or rolling in petals, because 'ya just never know when the mood will strike!)

Don't forget to head over to Bright.Bazaar to read how The Conran Shop is making their window display a complete sensory experience.  
And, most importantly:  "You are MAHvelous!"

Friday, March 4, 2011

Make It (Marvelous Tuts) March and Monster Aches

I have that monster cold that everyone seems to have and am nursing a (monster) headache today.  Blessings (ah-choo) to those of you doing the same!

I've been using Susan's tutorials over at Freshly Picked for some of the things I've by making lately (or remaking).  I think of Susan as a long lost cousin whom I hero-worshiped as we grew up together, while making our own toys...on green the sunshine... (Yeah, I'm obviously ill.) :)   

You've most likely seen Susan's (FABULOUS!) baby moccasins - and somehow she manages to do more marvelous things, like decorating her kids' room (so cute!), and posting great tutorials on her blog.

(How I wish "Tuts" (pronounced toots :)) would catch on!  Let's try it:)

Here are some fun and easy to follow (da-da-da-dah) TUTS, all Freshly Picked!

Envelope-Back Pillow Tutorial at Freshly Picked
I reversed my striped fabric- 
and switched the direction of the stripe on the back - 
just because!  :)

Curtains from Bedsheets Tutorial at Freshly Picked
(I had to make this complicated and cut slits about every 3 inches in the top rod pocket
- I like that Susan uncomplicated hers.)

and in the spirit of TMI:   I can now go out in public without my jeans falling down thanks to this little tut:

Taking Jeans In At the Side Seam Tutorial at Freshly Picked
(Previously there was a picture of my *ahem* side seam here that I got sick of looking at, and maybe you, too?)
This may work on those dress pants we all have hanging in our closet, too.
The ones that we avoid because they "fall" too much, but the next size down was too tight or too short in length.

Who is your go-to for tutorials?

May all your tuts be shared with love and may your March be marvelous!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Marvelous Morning!

Standing at my coffee maker (trying to not sway) the thought occurred to me that a little coffee-house style would be marvelous.

I opened Design Sponge and found these two images (and the bell sounded in my head - Get your splendid tail movin' girl!).

The blue and green are so fresh here.  
We have outdated atlases laying around (somewhere!) - that I'd love to take apart and frame .
I also can't wait to try a porcelain marker on some thrifted mugs.  (Did you see this DIY?)
Elias & Theresa Carlson Sneek Peek via D*S

Love the color - on easy to transform roll-up shades!  
Just one well placed shelf and some great containers to store coffee/morning smoothie goodies.

What makes your morning marvelous?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Simply Marvelous

"It is always the simple that produces the marvelous."
Amelia Barr

A simple (easy) recipe for simply marvelous cleaning:

My lovely aunt, who is clever about coming up with healthy ways of "keeping a home," gave me this recipe  for Lavender Spray.  

Use it to refresh linens, clean the bathroom or remind you of walking through a spring field...:)

Lavender Field - County Wicklow - Ireland Painting  - Lavender Field - County Wicklow - Ireland Fine Art Print
Lavender Field - County Wicklow - Ireland - John Nolan, Artist

Maybe you have a local organic food and product store nearby - I purchase  Lavendar Oil at The Tangerine, a marvelous little organic food and product store in my hometown.

Lavender Antibacterial Spray

1 cup warm water
10 drops lavendar essential oil

Combine the water and oil in a spray bottle and shake well to blend.
To use, spray into the air or on the surface you are disinfecting.

(We use this just before bedtime on the kids sheets, too - a very light spray and off to dreamland!)

Make it Marvelous!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Goodbye February!
February (especially in Wisconsin, especially this year in Wisconsin) is my least favorite month.

Short of Valentine's Day (which briefly redeems the cold, dreary weather and stuck inside feeling) February, for me, is a lost cause.  I strongly believe that one ought to simply pack up and leave after the New Year.  (Be aware, Universe, I am planning my annual escape!)
Catching up on their Vitamin D intake while Dad clears the snow for what he hopes is the last time!
Welcome Marvelous March!  I, for one, am glad March is here.
(Even though soon it will have the following result on all footwear coming anywhere near my house!)

So what's Marvelous about March?   (I don't know!  However, in the face of foreboding circumstances, I'm determined to remain positive!)
Stay tuned and Make March Marvelous with me!