Parlors, Purchases, and Palettes

Thanks to Black Friday deals, we are tackling our second living room next. Some people in this house like to call this room the “parlor,” because “second living room” sounds clunky. While I will agree with this assessment, I can’t get past the fact that a “parlor” is a place to sip tea and practice penmanship and plot how to eliminate Lavinia Swire from one’s life. (DowntonAbbeySeason3HereWeComeHOORAY.) Since I don’t like tea and my students can’t read cursive anyway and Ms. Swire has sadly succumbed to Spanish Fever, we clearly have nothing to do in a room named parlor.

This is my inspiration photo for the room:


Or…that’s the shot when we first moved in. It boasted nothing too offensive, but it was not my cup of tea, either. This is obvious because, again, I don’t even like tea. So come to think of it, nothing is my cup of tea. I hereby motion to change the expression to “my mug of steaming hot chocolate” or “my mug of ice cream because that’s all I consume from a mug.”

living room mood board

That’s the real plan. We ordered the Henry Sofa in Dove Gray Performance Velvet from West Elm last week during their 20% off sale, after much debate about whether or not to pull the trigger on it. Ultimately, we realized that there was no other couch in that style/color/fabric at a cheaper price, and just went for it. The other item on its way due to Black Friday sales is the rug—it is this one from Rugs USA, purchased for 75% off the list price of $733 (!).

Tuscan Terali Moroccan Trellis Rug

Everything else in the room I plan to get secondhand, like the lamps and end tables, or DIY, like the curtains and pillows. The gold nesting tables are already in my possession, scored for $6 at a giant yard sale back in October. The cat was free with purchase. Meow.


And I’m sure you’re not wondering, but my inspiration for the color scheme came from Design Seeds. If you love color and have never visited that website, you must do so. Like, yesterday. The only problem I can see with it is that you will want to use like 800 of the color palettes and sadly only have 700 or so rooms in which you can execute said palettes. I eventually settled on this one with the charcoal, gray, teal, golden yellow, and plum.


I am not 100% sure what that blue thing is coming out of that lemony object, but if it’s a fuse as the title suggests, I have a suspicion that the creator of this picture is actually my husband, who is planning on setting said lemony object on fire. This is, of course, nothing like the time he and his cousin strapped a firework to a Barbie doll and shot it across the road. Absolutely no similarity. None.

Boys these days.

Did you make any Black Friday home purchases? Have you used Design Seeds for color remediation? Is tea your cup of tea?


POSTPONED: November’s Random Acts of Craftiness

Hey all! Just a quick note to let any participants know that I am postponing November’s Random Acts of Craftiness challenge until January. This time of year is just too busy to think about a project like that, at least for me.

I also think that I’ll take a poll at some point to get ideas for future items you may be interested in using if you have chosen to participate.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! :)


The Great Chandelier Swap (and the Tragedy of Disproportionate Endowment)

Have you ever read a decorating magazine only to figure out that you’re doing everything wrong?

Yeah, me neither. I mean, obviously. My threshold for redoing things in my house is 18 million and four. This is, of course, the exact number required to meet the criteria for Perfection.

But if I was temporarily imperfect, and I did, for example, read a decorating magazine and learn that a good diameter for a ceiling light is minimally the length + width of the room (especially with high ceilings, like we have in our downstairs), I would immediately see that this is true, and that boob lights are, in general, not even close to proportionate with the rest of a body room. And let me tell you, there is nothing worse than having disproportionate boobs.*

*I do not speak from experience. 

So when I was shopping for a replacement chandelier for our dining room, I tried to keep this “rule” in mind. This meant that with our dining room having a length of 16 and a width of 13, we’d need a chandelier that was at least 29” across in order to not be dwarfed in the room. Giant chandeliers, though, are not cheap. Which is the exact opposite of me. I am cheap. One thing led to another, though, and I ended up with a Groupon for Rugs USA, and got this 34”D chandelier for 65% off, bringing the total down to $90 with my Groupon.

DSC_1106No, not 34D. 34”D. There is a difference. I think.

We then sold our previous chandelier on Craigslist for $40, bringing the total to replace it with the new one to a mere $50. That works for a cheapo like me. The finish is obviously brass now, which I like in the room, but I can easily change it with spray paint like I did with this one.


Now to find some curtains for this room. Am I the only one who struggles with picking out the right curtain material? Please say no. And my eye also thinks something is off with the chair seat fabric; maybe the color. What do you think? Boo picky eye.

din rm with chandelier


Have you heard the length + width “rule” for ceiling lights? What design rules have you abided by or broken? Are you the proud owner of any unique physical traits? My left foot is almost an entire size larger than my right foot. This makes shoe shopping somewhat difficult.

PS-If you’re wondering whether or not I always speak openly about the Facts of Womanhood, of course the answer is NO yes. Can you find the hidden bra in this old post? And do you remember The Video I mention in this even older post?


Sacrifice (A Tribute in Song)

His name was Trevor. His branch was the Marines. His hometown was 10 miles from mine.

It was just a routine helicopter training, but he never again came back to that home by choice.

His story is one of so many, and his family is one of so many left behind. This is why, in the year and a half since we stood on Main Street at 2 AM and watched the military processional bring Trevor home for the last time, my parents, Rick, and I have worked to create a song in his honor and in honor of all those members of the military who don’t come home. We recorded it two weeks ago with the help of Rick’s family, and it is now available on CD, thanks to a grant that we were awarded, to be sent out to local churches and the families of those service members.

Since one of the most remarkable things about blogging is the global audience that you’d never otherwise connect with, I’m using this post as a platform for spreading the word beyond my own community. If you know of someone who we could send this song to, please contact me here or leave a comment. You can listen to it below.

Thank you to all service members and their families for the sacrifice you have made in serving our country!

This project is made possible by the NYS Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS legislature.





November Challenge Details: Eat Your Cake and Craft It, Too?

Happy Wednesday! Today, projects from last week’s craft challenge are being featured at Newly Woodwards and View Along the Way. Go check them out! I was seriously impressed with the projects this month. I know I would have a hard time choosing my favorites! Thank you to everyone who linked up. :)

And now for details about the last Random Acts of Craftiness challenge of 2012. (Remember that we’re taking a break for December and will pick back up again in January.) The challenge category for November is…

From the Grocery Store

Link party dates: Wednesday, November 28th—Sunday, December 2nd*

*This link party is staying open longer because I didn’t give you quite as much notice as last time. It’s also a busy time of year!

There are tons of possibilities for November’s category. You can use any packaging or non-food products, or even food itself! I am excited to tackle this one. Just remember that you want to aim for something fresh, not stale. Avoid the day-old section. But you could put your own spin on something that’s been done before!


November Cheerleader: I’ve invited Lady Gaga to be our cheerleader of the month. It only seemed fitting what with her inspiring meat dress. I, in fact, envision an entire meat room. I’ve always dreamed of lounging on a chaise made of ground turkey. That would be highly practical, no? (No.) Our real cheerleader this month is Karianne from Thistlewood Farms. She is a queen of creative and clever repurposing, and I’m thrilled she has agreed to cheer us on.

November Giveaway: All who link up this month are automatically entered in the giveaway. This month, it’s a handmade book from Hardcover Art. Each of Alma’s books (sketch books, photo albums, or journals) are made from vintage hardcover books. You can even send her a book that she will make into a notebook for you! Seeing this Nancy Drew one is a total blast from the past. I like to think that I could be Nancy Drew when I grow up. Do you think she and Kate Beckett trained together?

nancy drew hardcover notebook

“My Favorite Challenge Project” Link Contest: Don’t forget that when all of this madness is over in April, we will have a “My Favorite Challenge Project” link party/contest, judged by Sarah of Thrifty D├ęcor Chick. You will link up your favorite project(s), then Sarah will select 5 of HER favorite projects from that “best of” party, and then those 5 will then be voted on by YOU. The top project overall will win our final prize package, which contains 30 cans of Krylon spray paint and gift certificates to Fabric.com and Cutting Edge Stencils!

Finally, you don’t have to have participated in previous month’s challenges to participate now, so all are welcome. Drive to Wegmans immediately! They’re expecting you. ;)

Any questions? Are you in? Who plans to make a meat chaise?

*Psst…check out the September and October projects to see what participants have come up with so far!*


On (Not) Finding the Perfect Secondhand Sofa

The perfect secondhand sofa does exist, in some dimension of this universe.

That dimension is not the dimension I live in.

This is unfortunate, because we are in the market for a sofa for our second living room and we want to be mindful of our spending. And apparently, in the dimension I live in, that means limiting ourselves to jewels beyond our wildest imagination. Jewels out of The Twilight Zone. Or someone’s basement.

Take this Craigslisted jewel, for instance. Hello, DIY reupholstery job. (I hope?)


This next one “could use a light cleaning.” Or burning. A light burning. Yes. (EWlookatthosepillows.)


“Picture may show otherwise, but they are gently used.” Gently used by…dogs?


No words.



My guess? This one IS the perfect used sofa. But I’ll never know, what with the high-quality picture we have going on here.


Really, though, just when I thought my searches were in vain, I found this. Buy one floral sectional, get 15 matching accent pillows free.



I was not paid or perked by Craigslist to promote the sale of these sofas. Obviously.

Want to read more?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...