Friday, February 24, 2012

Moving back.


I guess you could say I've come full circle.

My sweet lil' blog is moving back home, over at typepad, where it all began, way back in 2006. You'll find all of my future posts (and all the way back to the beginning!)....

Please update my URL address on your blog roll if you have me listed, or grab my button from my new (Old? New? Old-new?) blog. I want to thank everyone that reads my blog. I appreciate you and love hearing from you!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Welcome to the Family Room.

This picture totally reminds me of that old, old song from My Fair Lady, "Wouldn't it be Loverly?" You know,"...All I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air, with one enormous chair...Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?..." Yup, makes me wanna curl up right there (right now) with a cuppa cocoa and my laptop....


That photo up above is to let you see a peek, a morsel, a cozy lil'corner of our home. Mmmm hmm, I am finally, at long last, ready to share a few Before and After pictures of another room in the house! (Can I get a drum roll please?) Without further adieu, I give you....

The Family Room.


(I'm getting ahead of myself.)

Let's see a shot of it..Before.

Before I lived here, when it was Bachelor Pad Central.

Organized, with no shortage of audio equipment, old or new.

After...with the newly installed oh-so-terribly-wonderful-and-worth-every-penny slide-by shutters (in the open position)....
...and, with the shutters closed....

Oh! I cannot tell you just how much I am loving these slide-by (that's what I call them, anyway)wood shutters! I personally think sling glass doors are the biggest challenge in the window treatment arena, because they need to be functional, and supply privacy, and energy efficiency, and look good all at the same time, you know? Anyway, I think these babies do it fabulously. 

Yes, the whirlwind remodel was so worth working around little inconveniences like no television or internet for a couple of weeks...(I swear I'd do it all again in a new York minute!)
Let's take one last look at the After shot one more time, shall we?....(Notice please the old bi-fold shutters are re-purposed over behind the chair to cozy up the corner of the room, and the audio equipment is still intact and ready to be used at a moment's notice...)
I hope you're enjoying the tour of our what's-old-is-new-re-born-cozy-and-warm home.
Next stop? The kitchen!(Okay, you can all stop reading here.)

*Dearest Guitar Man of my dreams,
I just want to say Thank you...for being such a Team Player and stretching yourself ginormously outside of your comfort zone. I know this was all huge for you, and I want you to know just how much I love that you did this for me!*

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Catching up.


It's been another long stretch without a post. I know. Try as I may, life has been ca-razy busy, and, well...

Let's catch up, shall we?

Far too much has been going on to cover it all in one lil' blog post, so I'll just cover a couple of the highest points.

Let's see. Where do I start?

Work has been busy, with me prepping for a project I have been working on, which included quite a few evenings at home tweaking handouts, and creating props. (And you know how I love a project like that!)

We got the Sewing Queen all semi-settled in up here and she is in the middle of unpacking moving boxes and trying to find some of her sewing accessories as I type this. We are thrilled to have her here!

Then, I spent this past weekend with my two daughters, celebrating a milestone birthday for Carter and Coen's Mama. (How can she be 30 when I am only 42?!) We had a fabulous Girl's Weekend, complete with an overnight trip to the Allison Resort and Spa for some much appreciated foofifying and relaxing, laughing our heads off, as well as a marathon shopping expedition, and eating way too much.
On the home remodel front, our projects are getting buttoned down and things are looking aaaaah-mazing

Let me interupt myself here to say that my Rock n' Roll Buddy deserves a shout out here. He has been the driving force behind making this fabulous make over happen in record time, not to mention being the ultimate egg-McMuffin of bargain shopping, swinging some of the most eye popping price deals I have ever seen. Now, this is extra hard to picture if you know him, as the house has been in the exact same state as when he first moved in, back in the 80's. (We are not talking about a guy that typically embraces change here, people.)It's truly been a fun time and we are both pretty thrilled with the outcome.

Now, back to my post...

I have been waiting to share pictures because the plantation shutters took three weeks to be made. Since we were having them installed in every room,(pinch me!!!) there was no way to really capture any room without it looking undone due to a window without anything on it. (Unless you count the sheet we swagged across the living room window to shield us from the sun while we watched the Superbowl.)


The exciting installation was yesterday, and so I am gearing up to share our grand reveal. (Doesn't that sound dramatic? Trust me, the change is incredible and we both keep saying how it feels like we live in a brand new house.)

Here's a lil' peek at the installation process in the family room. The sliding doors got "Slide-By" shutters and my-oh-my! I adore them! The look of plantation shutters with the ease of sliding them open to go in and out the door, or let cool air in in the summer time!......
We're down to the accessorizing stage now, and I must say, that is my most favorite part of decorating. You know, adding touches that reflect our personalities really warms up a room. I can't wait to show you room!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Men at work!

I have so much to share after being without internet service for two weeks, that it's tough to figure out what to share when.

I realized after beginning my home re-no tour that I had skipped sharing one of my little Grand's Birthday here it is!

The party theme was construction, so my daughter began at the front door....

....and continued all through the downstairs. The treats were construction themed as well...

...and everyone was given a tool apron and a hard hat!
More pictures from Coen's party are over on the birthday boy's Mommy's blog!

On another note, I won't be posting for a couple of days, as I am flying with Mrs. Big Dog to the Biggest Little City today and driving back up to the Pacific Northwest tomorrow...why? The Sewing Queen of Northern Nevada is relocating up here to live!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Loo.

I know. It's a rather unusual spot to begin the re-no tour, but I've got to start somewhere and this guest bath is currently one of my favorite lil' places in the house.

It went from being a generic 1980's guest bath.... being much more of a charming little space, don't you think?

This was the only room in the house that we painted a color instead of the creamy shade of off-white that we did in the rest of the house. I will readily admit that the color I chose didn't come out exactly as I imagined. I was shooting for a warm-ish putty tone, but with the bathroom being in the center of the house with no windows for natural light, it gives off a hint of a lavender undertone when the halogen light in the toilet-tub area is turned on, rather than the heat lamp. I think I'll live with the color for a few weeks and then decide whether it will stay or get a second coat of something else. (Aaah, the beauty of paint. So affordable to change and try out...)

The old mirror was a large sheet mirror that had seen better days, so we replaced it with a fabulous mirror that Ralph already had here at the house. It compliments the new brushed nickel light fixture we snagged on clearance at good ol' Home Depot....

A few little details here and there and a spash of white with the towels and shower curtain (I just love Target for bath things, don't you?) 

I'm still on the lookout for something adorable to hang above the towel bar, but for now I printed a quote I like and framed it in an old frame I had so the space wouldn't look too bare...

I've got a few more ideas up my sleeve for this bathroom,(Brushed nickel drawer pulls and knobs, and a pom-pom rug I saw and didn't buy last trip...) but I think we're off to a pretty good start...updates will be coming as the room evolves!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Move over, Nate Berkus.

Move over, Nate Berkus...'coz Ralph is in da house, and he is renovating everything


Let me begin at the beginning.

Once upon a time, way back in the late 80's my Rock n' Roll Buddy moved into the ranch style home in Stars Hollow Camas where we live today. He brought with him his uber-large blue recliner/hide-a-bed sectional sofa, his brass and glass coffee table with matching end tables, and a whole lotta band and stereo gear. Add to that, two growing sons and, over the years, many televisions. The end.

(In a nutshell,I guess what I am saying here is that, in fairly typical man-style, his life was not about decorating and foofy-fying up his abode.)

Now, me, on the other hand...I am as passionate about decorating and nesting as my Rock n' Roll Buddy is about playing one of his favorite guitars. 


(Can you see where I am going with this?)

We had several discussions regarding individual tastes and style over the past few months, and debated the vast differences in opinions concerning the expected life span of a pair of pinch pleat draperies, and happened.
Two and a half weeks ago, he called me at work and told me not to get too excited, but he had been thinking. Thinking that maybe we should look into some new paint, consider hiding the surround-sound inside the walls, possibly some window treatments, and yes, maybe new carpet wasn't such a wild and crazy thought.(How could a girl with Behr Paint running through her veins not get excited at this prospect?!)Let's just say I was...ehem...guardedly optimistic.

After some whirlwind research and price shopping on flooring, and bids with contractors, we were ready to begin our adventure. 
Give or take two weeks and a day, and we have a newly remodeled, redecorated, cozy haven of a home that we are both thrilled with. We added new carpet, wood flooring, painted the entire interior, got the surround sound working like a charm, and ordered shutters for every window in the house, along with a lil' surprise bonus of stainless steel kitchen appliances,all in fourteen days and nights, thankyouverymuch.

The man that three weeks ago claimed he didn't see any reason to replace a "perfectly good 27 year old carpet" in the hallway selected the hand-scraped Chilean hardwood for it's weathered time-worn beauty. This same man shocked me when he announced that "brushed nickel" is his favorite finish for ceiling fans and household hardware.(Who knew?)

Oh yeah, the Rocker's got style. (And the skills to negotiate the sweetest deals around.)

Don't be surprised if you see us someday on Nate's show in a segment of house-proud.

...Hope you enjoyed the teaser picture of the living room today. Tomorrow the real home tour begins! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Good news, bad news, good news, good news, bad news, good news.

The last two weeks have pretty much been an ear-to-ear-grinning happy blur of home projects that domino'd into more home projects, (good news!) but I haven't had television, nor internet for that entire time, (bad news!) so I couldn't share any of it with you!(God only knows what crazy looks Steven Tyler has given folks on Idol these past couple of Wednesday and Thursday evenings that I will never see, and who's still around on The Bachelor?....)

Yes, plenty of late nights and early mornings spent picking up supplies and greeting workers, all without my trusty MAC and the world wide web.

Not too worry, as I have photos to document pretty much every step of the fun progress, (good news!) starting tomorrow!

How big of an undertaking was it? Well, let's just say that in exactly two weeks we accomplished a home re-do project that would have typically taken the average home renovator two months. (Good news!) We literally got the kitchen back to operating order,and the furniture back in place just in the nick of time for our Superbowl party. We should have had our ehads examined, after pulling a nearly all-nighter (we made our way to bed at about 4:30 a.m. for a couple hours sleep before setting the last minute things up for the party....) with my Rock n' Roll Buddy tweaking the surround sound system and me hanging pictures, fluffing pillows, and removing the layer of sheet rock dust that seems to be everywhere.In the end, it was worth every minute of sleep we lost. (You'll see, starting next post!)

Now then....

I'd like to address a comment (bad news) that I got a couple of days ago from someone that signed her name Carol but chose to post as "Anonymous" rather than link to her own blog or email address so that I could reply privately. I don't get these kinds of comments to terribly often, and when I do, I usually leave them alone. I respect all of you out here in Blogland and I honestly think (I hope) most of you realize that sometimes life gets busy and...well, things happen, like no internet due to a remodel project that required you to unplug all of your electronics including your wireless modem. Couple this with not enough time after work to pop over to a nearby Starbucks to write and publish a blog post, because you're back and forth fifteen times to Home Depot with your new best friend in the canned lighting department each night till they close at nine.....


Here is her comment in it's entirety: (or read it yourself in the comment section following my last post here. )

Hi Tracey,

I'm excited to see what you're going to do with your new home. Finally. However, I've noticed that you hardly ever post anymore. How come? I've been reading your blog since before Mr. whatshisname left and you used to post every day or nearly every day. Surely, you can come up with SOMETHING for your readers....a recipe, a table presentation, a light fixture or paint color you like. I have a friend who has an acquaintance who writes a blog and she gets paid for it by how many clicks she has on her blog. I'm assuming you get paid for this blog. You are jipping your readers if you are getting paid because people are clicking to see if your posting. It's been TWELVE days since you've posted ANYTHING!!!



Well, thanks, Anonymous Carol.

I guess it's a good thing that it didn't turn out I hadn't posted due to a hideous family emergency.

Being snotty and snipey isn't pretty and frankly, it just isn't my style. (And it's not appealing on anyone else for that matter, Carol included.) I'm sharing this comment because I do care about all of my readers (Anonymous Carol included) and I hope you're not mad at me for being away. Please know that I was thinking of you, and that should be confirmed with the amount of photo documentation I did during our big-fat-remodel adventure..truly, you will feel like you were there with me, every exciting, dusty, messy, take-out-mealed step of the way.
On yet another note, I am at last announcing the winner of the Word of the Year Banner. (Still more good news!) I did the drawing on the 28th but had no way to share the news...
The winner is Amber, with  her word being "Bloom". Thanks to all of you who entered my giveaway, and continued to check in here for blog posts!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Go big or go home.

image that. The title should be "Go big at home".

So many of you have left comments and sent me emails asking when I  am going to share some projects from my new home. I'll be honest here and tell you that I was beginning to wonder about that one myself. 

Living with a man that last purchased a home and home decor in the late 80's, and is still enjoying it just fine, thankyouverymuch, has been, a new experience, to put it mildly. 

Three and a half months into this sharing-your-space-and-personal-tastes living arrangement, and my Rock n' Roll Buddy has decided he is up for stepping things up to twenty-twelve (Be still my beating heart!)...and he has jumped in with both feet.

What I mean by that is that we are not taking on a starter project, like changing the paint and a towel bar in a bathroom. And we are not stretching these projects out over the course of a year. No. We are changing the carpet throughout the house,  adding hardwood, painting and doing some electrical work and slight remodeling to the entire house, with an anticipated date of completion set for two weeks. (Pinch me, somebody! I am pretty sure I died and went to decorator's heaven!)

I promise to share before and after pictures, but for starters let me share my favorite purchase for the projects to date. First off, you need to know that my Rock n' Roll Buddy is, by a landslide, the best bargain shopper I have ever seen in my entire life, hands down. (My Gawd. He's very nearly perfect. As if playing a wicked guitar wasn't enough already.)

He managed to finagle the absolute deal of a lifetime on hardwood flooring. I mean, it was an even bigger savings than I think he expected to negotiate..It's Chilean Cherry hand-scraped engineered hardwood, (ooh, I love how that rolls off my tongue...)and you'll be seeing it in the entryway and long hall, as well as the kitchen and dining room. It has lil' scrapes and knot-holes and looks like it came out of a historic old building. (Does that sound like me, or what?!) Instant weathered beauty and history on the floor, adding character and personality, warmth and sophisticated charm the minute you enter our home.(Here's the picture of the flooring from the craigslist ad...)
 image 1
Yeah baby. That's what I'm talkin' about. Let the transformations begin.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A charmed life on a shoestring....

....that's how I like to live. I love making my home..homey. I absolutely thrive on creating a welcome space. Spending oodles and toodles of hard earned dollars to get a great look? Notsomuch.

I find huge satisfaction in finding things that look great...for less. Finding the diamond in the rough, the needle in the know, the Craigslist discard that's a Pottery Barn wanna-be.(with some rose-colored vision and a lil' TLC.)

I was surfing Craigslist the other day, and I came across a real treasure. (Not that I am in the market myself for a dining set, but...a steal of a deal for the right someone out there..!) I had been looking at my two favorite inspirational corporate websites, and I could see such similarity, such potential, that I just had to share.

Okay, let's just start with the table, shall we? I mean, with a coat of soft greige paint...
Craigslist Portland Awesome table AND SIX chairs Asking Price of $225 TOTAL
Restoration Hardware Table SALE Price $1885 - $2795
are you seeing the possibilities?

And the chairs

Oh. My.
craigslist 6 chairs to go with the table for a total of $225 asking price!
Restoration Hardware Chair $289-$379
Restoration Hardware Burlap Chair $1295 EACH Special SALE Price!
Re-invent them with the same greige paint treatment, and then leave the fabric as is... ...or recover it with painters drop cloth, grain sack, or even some fabulous  linen  (Stencil something great on the backs maybe?)
Restoration Hardware Chair $259 EACH SPECIAL PRICE

 So.... go to the way-cool big corporation place and get one like a few hundred other families in America for around, oh... $3400 (or tax, depending on where you live in the good ol' U. S. of A...)or find a set on a place like Craigslist, or your local Thrift Shop for  an even cooler couple of hundred bucks, and make it a complete one-of-a-kind set.


That is a savings of somewhere between...well, enough to buy a decent used car. Seriously, somebody's gotta jump on this. Quick!

Monday, January 16, 2012

On Golden Pond.

You know I pretty much never remove my rose colored glasses. That's just who I am.

I always see things in a kind of romatic-fantasy-fairy-tale kinda way. One of my best friends calls it "Tracey-ville". When I start talking about a place I love, or even the way I plan on setting up a room, or a tablescape, she will interject, "Oh, you're living in Tracey-ville again".

I'm okay with that....'coz they say that, for a thing to happen, it must first be a dream.

Here's an example of that-

Way back when, in 2007 to be exact, I wrote about a wonderful. magical little town up here in the Pacific Northwest. That charm filled little spot was Camas, Washington. I shared how I'd love to live there...and.. Wow! God heard me, and a couple of years later I found myself In sweet, sweet Camas, Washington.

Since moving up here to the Pacific Northwest, I have discovered many other wonderful places and destinations near by. I'd have to say, (and in fact, have said it so many times to my friends that they can finish my sentences about it)far and away my most favorite discovery since relocating up here has to be the incredible Birkenfeld Country Store, located in Birkenfeld, Oregon, population 12.

*sigh* Little teeny-tiny slice o' heaven on earth. That's what it is. 

Sooooo...Over the past year and a half, we've traveled the picturesque hour and forty-five minute(each way)car drive to the Birk for many band gigs. The fabulous people I told about in this blog post have become our friends.

I had tried many times to figure out just why so many amazing people lived way out there, some of them opting to drive an hour and a half each way all week into Portland for work, and then congregating at the Birk on Saturday nights for music, socializing and Wendy's world famous smokehouse burgers. 

Well, now I know.

Last weekend before the band gig, we were invited to stop in for a visit with some of our Birkie friends at their home on the Lake, which is just a few (Four? Five?)short miles from the Birk.

Oh. My.

We took a turn off the main two lane road, onto a smaller two lane road. It meandered down and around through beautiful trees and over a little dam. We both pretty much uttered breathy wow's at the same time as we made the turn and caught our first glimpse of the lake. It reminded me of the movie "On Golden Pond" and "Funny farm" both at the same time.
Peaceful, quiet beauty. Homes of various styles and sizes nestled in under the trees and on the water's edge. Everyone had little boat docks and I swear I could feel the friendliness and charm just oozing out of this little community. 

Our friends have lived on Fishawk lake for fifteen years...anyway I think that is what she said.(What do I know? I had her name wrong when I wrote about them the first time!)I hope they don't mind that I'm sharing their picture...they're just such a cute couple!
As I was drooling all over my sweater while I  looked out their living room window at the lake, she shared with us how they have a "Dock Crawl" where they do open houses at different times of the year and everyone has so much fun. (Be still my heart! It's Stars Hollow on the lake!)Summer time finds the lake filled with paddle boats and ducks out in the yard at the water's edge.

Some folks live at Fishawk Lake full time and commute to work, others are retired, and still more use their sweet Fishawk Lake-home as a get away for summers, or weeks and weekends.

I can tell you that if I were to have a get-away place, it wouldn't take me two minutes to tell you where it would be. Forget Hawaii, or Mexico, or the Caribean, or the grandness of Lake Tahoe for that matter...I'd take a lil' place on Fishawk Lake, in Birkenfeld, Oregon, thankyouverymuch.
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