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.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Let it snow!

After the driest December on record, and January starting off the same way (And please, do not think for one minute that I am complaining!) We got a dusting of the white stuff last night! Such a nice lil' surprise for our new year....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Baby steppin' on into Twenty-Twelve.

I bet you thought I have been just so danged busy getting myself organized that I haven't had a minute to write a post.

Oh, how I wish it were so. I have been busy, yes, but the getting organized part, notsomuch....not yet anyway. I am easing into my New Year's Resolution thing this year. You know, baby steps. (Think of the movie, What About Bob? and you'll know what I mean..)

Anyway,speaking of New Year's, I came across the sweetest lil YouTube duet from Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and even though I am rather late for New Year's Eve 2011 (or maybe I am incredibly early for New Year's Eve Twenty-Twelve?) I just had to share, 'coz I think it will make you smile.

See? Pretty cute, huh?

Back to my New Year's Resolutions... just so you know, getting organized isn't my only resolution. I also have stuff like drink more water, get on a better budget, and the rest of the typical list most of us think of when it comes to New Year's Resolutions. Actually, I always have the exact same resolutions every year. (It makes them easy to remember, and there always seems to be room for improvement.) 


Becoming more physically fit is always on the list, and this year, I have actually embraced this resolution and have started working out. In the past, I always had used the price of a gym membership as my standard excuse, but all employees were given a completely free health club membership through my job, so I felt God was trying to tell me something.) 

While I am not 100% into my fitness routine,(I'd say I am about 77% there though..) I can tell you that I am going to the gym at least three days a week (shooting for five, but...aaah.... Baby steps.)
...and I have begun to collect some semi-cute work out clothes. (As the fabulous Coco Chanel said "“I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” How can you argue with that?) 

So, I've been (and continue to be) a busy lil' bee, between work, and working out, and band gigs, and fun with family and friends...and I am striving to get organized, but I am going easy on myself so as to improve my odds for success...time will tell, and we'll see how that goes.

Baby steps.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A new word for my new year....and a giveaway to celebrate it.

The last couple of years I decided to join the growing number of bloggers and friends that chose a word to focus on for the year. (You can find my post about my word from last year here.) I'm also doing the same Banner Giveaway that I did last year as well!

For my Giveaway:
To refresh your memory on what you need to do to enter for my Giveaway, here are the rules, in three easy steps:

1. comment on this post before Friday, January 27th at midnight, sharing the word you've chosen, and why.**Make sure you leave an email address if you are commenting as "Anonymous" so I can get a hold of you if you win!**

2. Saturday, January 28th I will draw one comment and pick a winner.

3. The winner will get a custom banner sent to them in their inbox of their word for the year.

Last year, my word was BALANCE, which was the same word I used in 2010. In many ways, I think I did an admirable job of achieving that word. Okay, maybe not actually achieving it, but I definitely inched a little closer to it, and for me, that's no small feat. Having that word was a good reminder to me all year long of what I was trying to move towards, at any rate.


I am still kind of in the same mindset these days..and so many words work towards similar any rate, after thinking long and hard, I made my choice.....

My word for twenty-twelve is ORGANIZE. I think I have the Joy, Bliss, Happiness, and Trust areas in check, but I am constantly finding myself over-booked...with commitments made, work, family, chores, fun...not to mention,a gajillion ideas of more things I want to do. (See? It seems like a slight variation on last years word of Balance, I know...but for me it's about time management,and planning for things that really matter, and making time count. That, and the fact that I felt like I shouldn't pick the same word THREE years running...)

This year I plan to hone in on putting more order in my life...and striving to become more organized seems the natural progression after striving for balance.
Okay, now how about you? Are you choosing a word for the year? If you are, what is it, and why?

I'd love to hear from you and maybe you'll win my custom made banner!

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