Monday, September 21, 2015

Two Mantel Makeovers And A Little Life

So my mind has been foggy since my grandpa died. I’ve been keeping up with my life in my house. But I’ve not been in touch with stuff outside it. It’s kinda a 'nose to the grindstone’ time for me -- just because if I were to look up and around I’d get overwhelmed.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts on things to blog. But haven’t gotten there.

Here’s a bit of what I’ve gotten done lately in photos.

Bronson is two months old this month (2.5 right now.)

School is still going well.
4. Is “M” for “Mom” :) That’s me. 

When I can, I’ve been painting these tables. They are taking longer than I’d like but oh well.

I’m using oil based paint this time. Oil based hardens throughly, where as latex never fully will. So on a coffee table thats gonna see tons of use, oil is the way to go. (If you wanna read up on that concept, this page is great.)
But the fumes mean I can’t paint in the house, around the kids. I’ve been going in the sunroom (it has doors closing it off) with my mask at night. That combined with needing many coats is what’s taking so long. I have one table done for now. But I’m really loving it.
And the oil based paint (I’m using a $7 can of Rustoleum semi-gloss white) feels SO good to the touch once dry -- it feels like a factory finish. I think I may be an oil based paint reformer for most my furniture pieces. It’s worth the hassle.

Also for the family room.
I had been on the hunt for the right fabric for pillows. Per my normal, I made it way too hard and thought too much. I was driving myself CRAZY. I wanted tons of patterns. But it wasn’t working and then I decided less is more -- as far as how many pillows I wanted, and therefore how many patterns I could use.
I found this flower print at Joann’s. And made one pillow cover.

And then I ordered another fabric to do three other pillows in. That’s in the mail right now.

But I’m in love with the power of piping. (When I made those ottoman covers, I was changed for life. Pro-piping foreva.)

I’ve been trying to find a physical and emotional balance on how messy I let the kids make the house.
Jasmine has become quite the pillow architect. And I always have a hard to impeding creative stuff. Because I love doing creative stuff. So I don’t want to squash that in my kids. BUT as an adult (you may have noticed) most my creative-ness focuses on making my house a pretty space. So right now my creativity is at odds with their creativity.
I’m trying to figure out the physical balance.
But emotionally it helped me to put this up on our chalkboard door in our family room (our messiest room.)

The photo below shows you how the kids like to decorate my mantle -- by hanging “decorations" on an hourly basis.
But I’m using the photo to remind you of the pictures I had up on the shelf. I got those in February. And I had gotten kind board of them. Plus I was so in love with what I put in the living room I wanted to find something similar.

So now my mantle looks like this. 

I found that medal medallion at Hobby Lobby. They have a black one and a cream one.
I was torn between the two. And actually started with the cream one. Thinking it’d just be nice blending in texture against my brick.
But for some reason my family hated the cream. 
Blake, Jasmine and Ruby all voiced obvious objection to it, but professed much love for the black one.
I’m still kinda 50/50 on them. But I do see that the cream one is sorta greeny-yellowy not the right tone for the brick.
The kids kept telling me it looked old and I needed to paint it.
But once I went and got the back one they were all “ I LOVE IT!"
I was worried it would be too dark and bold. But I don’t think it’s TOO dark or bold. It is both -- but I don’t think it’s bad.
And while I’m guessing there will be strong feelings from any one on if the light or dark is better. I figured if I was 50/50 but my family members were 100%, well then I’d just defer to them.
Plus I felt I could also be sure it wasn’t bad because Joanna Gains used this same thing here. If Joanna picked the black, I should be good.

Room Flashback fun:

But to change the subject,
Here’s my living room.
We finally got this one hung up. (Reminder this medallion is from Target.) And I got my greenery styled.
I actually found this mantle really vexing to style. I think it’s just that crazy hard scale of this fireplace to this room, and the mantel isn’t very deep at all. So midway through I was getting very defeated and worrying I’d never get it “right.” 
(I will say holding a squirmy baby while you style mantel -- which requires me stepping back across the room 700 times, makes the process harder.)
But I was finally victorious. 
And I REALLY REALLY like it. This room feels SO good to me.

Room Flashback fun:

So that’s where I’m at in our house.
Other than me doing MAJOR. And I really do mean MAJOR de-cluttering.
The book “Clutter Free with Kids” has set me free.
I’ve always felt like doing this, but always felt wrong in doing so.
I feel like I’ve finally been given permission to be myself on this subject matter.
It feels SO good.
Here’s the stuff that’s heading out our doors. (And I'm not done yet.)

Think of all the time I won’t be spending cleaning those things anymore. Woohoo.

That’s set me on a path to try to have a capsule wardrobe. Which is kinda crazy doing that postpartum, but on the other hand -- makes even MORE sense postpartum.
I’ve cleared out two garbage bags of my own clothes (which is kinda shocking because I already had been paring down clothes pre-pregnancy.) But every time, after I’ve had a baby I get a HUGE de-cluttering urge, and I squashed it the other two times. I was scared I would make throwing-away mistakes. But this time I’m using this urge’s power for good. I feel like I have enough experience under my belt to trust myself.  I was way more objective in what I was keeping from my clothes. If I didn’t like it before the pregnancy (and pregnancy weight) it got thrown out. Why save it? And if I did like it, but I never wore it (I’m looking at you -- shockingly adorable quality vintage blazer that I can’t really bend my arms in, so it’s never happening) then I just admitted I was not living the life that would ever let me wear it. And if I don’t like it at a normal weight (like it’s a postpartum only piece) and it doesn’t look good on me now either -- gone. It’s less confusing getting dressed when you don’t have to ignore stuff that you don’t like.

This whole clothing concept is making me what to do more posts on the subject. So I just might.

But that’s all for right now.


  1. I love the mantles! And I agree about the black vs. white medallion- the white one is too greenish.

    1. Thank you! Yeah, I think my fam was right. :)


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