Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Marisa's Pink/Red, London/Paris Bedroom Retreat Design Board

Ah, another year's Church Christmas Cookie Walk and Gift/Craft Fair has come and gone.  I did very well.  I sold many of my facial cloths, polish star ornaments, mugs, etc.

But the ending of another year has me itching for some change.  I have been trying to declutter and organize our home, i.e. my life, but it hasn't been going so well.   It's organized chaos around here, with three households combined into one: that means three households of stuff, six people, a dog, a cat, and even a fish all in one place.  

But my bedroom especially is in need of some help.  When I returned home last year I didn't ever fully organize and set up my bedroom because I wasn't sure at the time when I'd be moving again.  But when you work from home and your bedroom is your creative space, it gets really stifling to live somewhere that is so clearly "in transition" when you are trying to be efficient, productive, and innovative.  It is mentally draining to look around at the mess.

So, to boost my morale, I made a new inspiration board for myself.  I'm not sure if I will be revamping the bedroom this winter over my work holiday break, or if I will wait until I move into an apartment again in the late spring, but either way, this incorporates mostly things I already own with some small changes.

I could also label this, "I am a Basic White Girl and this is where I sleep."   I could have also called it, "I will never have a man in my room again."

But officially, this board is entitled, "Marisa's Pink and Red London/Paris Bedroom."   I have had a red, white and black bedroom.  And I have had a pink, white and black bedroom.   But never before had it occurred to me to combine that bright cherry red and hot pink, but I am really digging the effect.  And I will never have to decorate for Valentine's Day specifically again.

Everything here I already own, or is from Ikea, Target, Partylite Candles,, or Michael's Crafts


Monday, November 16, 2015

Jean's Woodland Spa Bedroom

I have been in a major interior design mood lately.  I have been watching and re-watching Genevieve Gorder's show "Dear Genevieve" on Netflix (hello, I miss HGTV since we canceled cable) and seriously admiring her eye for design.  One of my favorite lines she ever said: "Mama don't do papasan.  Never have, never will."  Amen.  I am not a fan either, unless it's for a porch.

Any hoo, I digress.  I had another restless night last night even though I was dead tired.  So, I took some time out to do a powerpoint slide design board (mood board, vision board, whatever you want to call it) of a bedroom idea for my mother.  She is a notoriously hard "customer."  She has excellent taste, but she's not at all into trends (you won't ever find her buying anything chevron) and she has a very specific vision for what she likes and doesn't like.  Unfortunately for her excellent taste, it often runs in opposition with whatever the color / it thing / pattern of the moment is, therefore making it difficult for her to even FIND things that she likes at the retail level.  I swear, she could look at fabric swatches for hours and hours and only find one or two she truly loved, if that.

So, with that in mind, and knowing her love for blue, I thought about what feeling I would want to evoke in a bedroom for my mother.  She has had a tumultuous couple of years in her personal life, and I kept thinking that for her, the bedroom should be a peaceful, uncluttered retreat.  Unclutter the life, unclutter the mind: I really believe that.

So here it is.  I entitled it "Jean's Woodland Spa Bedroom."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lunch Break Christmas Jackpot!!!!!!!

The Target Onespot is on point for Christmas.  It was made for me.  And it suckered me in, big time.

Red, white, black and burlap and chalkboard.  And plaid!  Is there a surer way to get me this year, than plaid?

Run, don't walk down to Target before all the good stuff is gone.  Except not to the Torrington store, because I got the last of the pillows and some other stuff.  Hopefully they restock!

Here are my picture of the haul:

Really digging the storage baskets in a flame stitch and buffalo check, plus the chalkboard signs in the front.

Black and white striped ribbon, and 2 very cute red candle tins

Red and white snowflake coasters, Snowflake straws, and red glass mini jars to use on my planned Holiday Cocoa bar, PLUS a couple of white and black plaid placemats.

$3 pillows!  Enough said.

The cutest mini trees ever.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Morrocan Inspired Red Living Room Vision Board, for Jennifer


I have been itching to do something creative today but I am tired and although I have a million projects in various non-finished states, I decided to do something easy.

My sister Jennifer is inheriting some lovely brick red furniture (a sofa and loveseat) when she eventually moves down South this spring, and she and Joel are going to be house-hunting.  It had me thinking about Jennifer's style.

Now, while Jennifer is a traditionalist, the thing I love about her is that she is VERY far from boring.  She's not a neutral girl, if you know what I mean.  While she would not take as many design risks as I might, and in general, she is attracted to traditional or transitional furniture with a modern spin, she isn't afraid of color.

Jennifer also has a thing for Moroccan inspired prints just like I do (hello, quatrefoil for everyone.  Quatrefoil kicks chevrons behind any day of the week.)  And she also has a thing for Pier 1, so at first I browsed Pier 1 for some throw pillow inspiration.   And this is what I came up with for an inspiration room.

I used some items she already owns (some red, gold and brown mercury glass style tall candleholders, those Marrakech brown metal lanterns in small and large from Partylite, and the type of couch she will be inheriting, a Capiz shell wall clock.)  And then I inserted my own spin.   Those chocolate colored poufs seemed perfect for the children to lounge on, and I hope she would agree, that while this is sophisticated, it could also be family friendly.  That coffee table is from La Z boy, and the top lifts up and toward you to become a tv tray.   Busier patterns and darker colored couches are ideal for a little Micah Kevin and his tendency to spill.  I know, because I live with him.  I thought that rug (also entitled Marrakech) from Target was perfect to hide dog hair and stains while still remaining fun and colorful but mature.   This is definitely an adult space with room for the kids and the pets to snuggle in.

I hope you all enjoy, and Jennifer I hope you like it. 

Source List:  Media Console, Endtables and Coffee Table:  La Z Boy
Poufs, Slipper Chairs, Quatrefoil Mirror Set, Turquoise Throw Blanket, Storage Shelf with Baskets, Rug and Lamps all from Target.
Throw Pillows, Gold Quatrefoil Hurricanes, Capiz Shell Clock, Birches Painting, Tree with Bird Quad Painting, Capiz shell Vase, and Mosaic Red Tall Long Artwork, and Antique Red Bookcase all from Pier 1
Chocolate Brown Trellis Curtains: Christmas Tree Shops
Mosaic Hurricane and Marrakech Brown Lanterns: Partylite

Saturday, October 17, 2015

DIY Ornament Wreath

I have been planning out my Christmas mantel early this year, and I wanted a wreath to be the centerpiece.  Only, I didn't like anything I found in my price range and I didn't want to spend a fortune.

Finally, on Pinterest, I stumbled across this tutorial from Live, Love, DIY.  Here is the link and a picture of one of hers:

So, I took my happy butt down to the Dollar Tree today, just like the blog tutorial woman did, and bought about 150 various red and gold ornaments, (large, medium and small.)  I also bought some ribbon and a Styrofoam floral wreath form from Joann Fabric.  I probably spent about $20 total.  Still worth it, compared to the high prices of wreaths I had been scoping out.
Here are my pictures and the final product!  I am going to make a fancy bow closer to Christmas with this Bow maker thing I got at the church penny auction last year. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Recent Projects: Valances and Faux Chalkboard Holiday Pillows

Even though I haven't been great about blogging lately, I have still been doing a ton of projects!

First of all, I finally finished sewing valances for my mother's sunroom windows.  there are nine tall but skinny windows, and my mother had picked up the perfect golden colored fabric with a tiny white foliage pattern on it, that gives the effect of a texture more than a pattern, since it is so small.  Then we used satin yellow ribbon to tie them up.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

And yes, I am a Christmas junkie.  Everybody knows I am.  And yes, I already have my holiday mantel planned out (you can never be too ready, wink, wink.)  I couldn't wait to get started on these.  They came out reasonably close to my vision.  But I wasn't willing to pay 30 to 50 dollars a piece for the versions I was seeing on world market, Etsy, Zazzle or Pottery Barn either.  So, DIY it was.

First of all, I started with 2 Hobby Lobby pillow covers.   Yes, that place hurts me in a political sense, but I'm a sucker for crafts so I apologetically compromised my belief system for $9.99 pillow covers in the shade of black that I wanted.  The border was brown jute. 


The first thing I did, was take a red sharpie, and color the borders red.  This was a little time consuming, but I did it mindlessly while watching a movie, so no big deal.

Next, I printed out two inspirational free chalkboard printouts.  I found both on Pinterest, but the links to the actual bloggers/printables are as follows.  The "Let it Snow" one is from and the Baby It's Cold Outside is from 

You know, you might never have thought of it but just search on Pinterest or google for "free printables."  You would not believe how many bloggers out there have done the creative legwork for you, and they are sharing it, very generously, for free!  It's a fantastic resource for decorating and it can save you money.  Just change out the pictures in frames you already have, seasonally.

So, using an exacto knife, I imperfectly cut out the letters to make stencils.  Then I filled in the stencils with chalk to have a vague outline.   In my perfect world, I would have had vinyl stencils and used chalk spray paint to do these properly.  I ended up free-handing much more than I wanted to.  I used matte chalk paint and a tiny paintbrush to fill in the letters myself. 

And here you go.  Finished products.  This project cost me about $25 total, which was about a fifty percent savings and then you also have the ability to tell someone, "I made that" which is always a nice feeling.


Can't wait until Christmas 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am ready.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumn Appreciation...

Wooden Pillar Holders and Pillar Trio: Partylite (discontinued); Paris print: internet; Hello Fall wooden sign: Target dollar bin section; maple leaf ribbon: Michael's Crafts; Owl tealight holder: Dollar General; Aqua Rooster Pitcher: Food Network line at Kohl's; Burlap leaves and sprays: Michael's Crafts; Brass Scroll Sconces: Partylite (discontinued);
mini pumpkin: Big Y Stores

I have been remiss in my blogging duties again!  But our house has been bustling since my last update.  My sister had her baby and while I have been trying to organize our house for Fall, it has just not been coming together as I had hoped.  Translation: I have been lazier than I'd hope to be.

But I have managed to get some Fall décor up.  Notably, I am not the best photographer anyway.  But I find that our Craftsman home, which is beautiful but rather dark thanks to all the wood trim and paneling, is particularly difficult to photograph.

So, here are the pictures and forgive my lack of skill.  I am sure you will get the idea.

Silhouette Teapot: HomeGoods; leaf jar holder: Partylite, glass clock: Thrift shop find; Autumn leaf glass tray: Pier One; white plate frame: Michael's Crafts; mini white pumpkins: Big Y stores

Fabric Photo coffee table book: Ikea; turquoise leaf metallic lampshade: Target; Leaf fabric for toss pillow: Jo-Ann's; Black sweater throw pillow: Walmart

Aqua frames: Target; Clean House sign: specialty shop in Mystic, CT; French inspired Clock: Ikea; Red painted M: letter and craft paint from Michael's Crafts
Red patterned tablerunner:  Target circa 2013, Threshold brand; Ironstone basin and pitcher: antique store finds; Pinecones; Dollar General; red and orange berry garland: Michael's Crafts

Threshold Farrah Curtains in Black: Target (discontinued in 2013)

Red Bicycle Canvas Art: HomeGoods; Red Distressed Burlap Frame: Michael's Crafts, Eiffel Tower Print: Target 2009; small wooden sign: Mystic CT specialty shop

I made that bunting banner from a recycled paper banner purchased from the Target dollar bin section, and I hand stenciled and painted the letters and leaves using Acrylic craft paint from Michael's.


Glass Cake Pedestal: HomeGoods; Glass Hand Blown Pumpkin and Glass Pumpkin Cookie Jars belong to my sister, the Beta Fish is my nephew Micah's

that beautiful Watercolor Autumn painting was done by my uncle, Jeff Messenger, who is a local artist.  The brass candlesticks have been my mother's as long as I can remember, and the brass pillar stand and snuffer are Partylite from years ago.  The Cranberry wreath came from Christmas Tree Shops in North Conway, NH.