Sunday, March 16, 2014

A little sprucing

After the Christmas tree came down, I decided to do a little sprucing up in the living room (and subsequently the breakfast room as I've already talked about).  In the corner of the living room, where the big Christmas tree goes,  I have always had a big fake ficus tree.  It was a really nice fake ficus tree when I got it back in 2003, but 11 years later, it had seen better days.  It was literally falling apart.

While I would have loved to have found a large fiddle leaf fig to replace the ficus, they are (1) hard to find, (2) expensive, (3) take more light that I could give it, and (4) I would probably kill it ASAP.  But it would have been pretty...
Image from pinterest, but I couldn't find original source

After researching into, and looking for a fiddle leaf fig, I decided to change course and look for a chair.  I couldn't kill a chair.  I found a nice chair for a good price at Homegoods, and then one thing led to another and I was doing a more substantial sprucing than I originally planned.  I needed new artwork.  I needed new curtains.  I needed a new side table.  I needed something to put on the side table.

Luckily, I have a lot of stuff stored that I'm not currently using, so that's always a great place to start.  And for what I don't have, I have a knack for finding things on the cheap.  

Here's a glimpse of some of the changes (some things are still in the works)...

I didn't love the legs on the chair, so I bought new legs.  They have been stained, but I keep forgetting to buy a poly to put on them.  Eventually, this chair will looked even better with the spindle legs I bought for it.  

I next decided that I wanted new curtains.  They were just a solid beige.  They were in the house when I bought it 9 years ago.  I decided I had gotten plenty of use out of them, so I started the hunt for new curtains.  Man!  Curtains are so expensive!

The curtains I settled on were a great deal from Kirklands.  If you need some pretty curtains, but don't want to spend a ton, take a look at Kirklands.  I originally bought both beige and red curtains.  I hung one of each on the two windows in my living room.  I took photos and put it to a vote amongst my friends and family.  The red overwhelmingly won the vote.  They were really pretty, but the red was all I could see when I looked at the room.  I decided I didn't want the curtains to be that overpowering, so I went with the boring beige.

I had a big empty wall space above the chair, which the old ficus had hidden.  I decided to turn the large wall in my living room into a gallery wall.  This is still a work in progress.  I had the painting of Taos pueblo that my Meme painted for me back in the 90's.  It had been stored and unused for a while, so I decided to frame it and get it on display.  I found those two Ikat pictures at Kirklands.

Once I got all of that done, I decided that I needed a side table.  After a couple of months of looking, I found this table at Homegoods last week.
I hit up my CRAP accessories closet and quickly styled it.  I don't know if it will stay this way, but I can live with it for a bit and see what I might want to change.

I had this herb pot from Anthropologie and some fake grass for texture.  If I get brave, I might try to put something live in the pot!

I love books, and I particularly love these old compilations of the works of Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde.  They are from 1950.
 I thought this little coral ceramic bird is a nice pop of color and great for spring.

So that's some of the sprucing that I've been doing in my living room.  I'll update you on the gallery wall when I get it to where I want it to be!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ban Bossy

A woman who is dedicated, assertive, tough, or persuasive = a woman who is bossy, pushy, shrill, or bitchy.

I've been the recipient of this kind of thinking, but I must confess I've been the purveyor of this sentiment as well.  The Ban Bossy movement that has come about this week thanks to Sheryl Sandberg, Condoleeza Rice, and Ana Marie Chavez, is one of my favorite things in a long time.  LOVE IT!  

It's something that women, in addition to not earning equal pay for equal work in this country, have to deal with.  It's something that I deal with.  It's also something that has been on my mind for a while.  I won't even start on the situation here in Texas, but I will say that I find it hard to stomach the fact that the Republican candidate for Governor, Greg Abbott, does not appear to support the Texas Equal Pay Act.

But sometimes, you see things, that give you a glimmer of hope that times may be changing.  I saw this tweet by Addisu Demissie back in January and retweeted it.  This is a man that gets it...

It's a pervasive problem.  Here is how it affected me last week during ONE DAY:

I had to chew out a client pretty good on the phone (for his own benefit, not mine), and I have no doubt that "what a bitch" ran through his mind about a hundred times.  That's what his attitude said anyway. If I was a male attorney, I guarantee he would have seen me as no-nonsense.  

Another attorney stopped my law partner Jennifer and me at the courthouse and asked if we had heard from a former client.  We said no, and asked why.  I guess he had gotten himself in more trouble and went to see a new attorney because "we hadn't done a good job for him".  The other attorney looked at what we did for him, which for the record was get two cases dismissed and get him deferred adjudication probation with very lenient terms on the other cases where the police involved were insisting on prison time.  He said he yelled at him and told him he was out of his freaking mind to think we didn't do a good job, and that he wasn't going to stand by and let him bad mouth us when we did an amazing job.  I also think he told him to get the heck out of his office.

After we walked away, in addition to being wicked pissed, we also discussed that it must be nice to be a man so that we could read someone the riot act like that and not be perceived as a bitch.

It's a persistent problem.  It plagues professional women.  But most importantly, we seem to continue to poison the minds of our youth in this country to believe the stereotype.  Young girls should not be cautioned against being bossy, while the boys are congratulated for being leaders.  It has to stop.

I'm so thankful for this movement, if for nothing else, it starts the conversation.  This article in Time outlines 16 Female Leaders who have had to overcome the "Bossy" stereotype, and this commercial is a pretty great conversation starter too...   

So I encourage you to BAN BOSSY! Females in my generation may always be perceived as those negative words that I've mentioned, but I sure hope that the kids growing up today won't have to endure this.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Curtains from "Outside the Box"

I've had the same valances in my kitchen and breakfast room since 2004, and after 10 years, I've grown tired of them.  I have actually been looking for new options for a couple of years now.  I just haven't found any that were the right fit... none that I loved, and if there were some I even liked, well then I didn't like them well enough to justify the price.

I thought I had looked everywhere... the internet, bed bath & beyond, lowe's, home depot, all over the place really.

Then last week, it hit me... I hadn't looked into buying valances that went with a bedding set.  I was so into looking at places that sold "kitchen" valances, I just hadn't thought outside of the box!

Dillards had been having a great sale on some of their bedding (65% off).  Then they ran an additional 40% off sale, which basically meant if you could find something, it was going to be about 80% off of the original retail price.

I hit the jackpot and found some Rose Tree valances and panels that are a great option for me right now.  They are a good heavy weight and are lined.  I like them a lot.  I probably don't LOVE them, but my like for them certainly exceeds their cost.

Here's the Deal:
Valances regular price was $50 each... I paid $10.50 each!
Set of Panels regular price were $150... I paid $31.50!

Here is a pic of the valance that I took in store...

Here they are in my breakfast room...
I plan to ditch the red chandelier shades for a different color now...

In addition to the valances on the two breakfast room windows, I have been using two balloon shades.  One over the kitchen sink, and one on the back door.
I found a pair of panels that match the valances, so I decided to grab them and convert them into balloon shades.  I haven't had a chance to do that yet, but I think it should be fairly easy to do.  Here's a "preview" of the panels hanging on the door.  Right now I just have them clipped up with binder clips so they don't drag the ground, but I think they will look good.

So if you need curtains and are unable to find some like I was, just take a look at the curtains that match bedding sets.  Sometimes you can find a great option (and deal!) by thinking outside of the box.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Portrait

I have been tempted more times than I can count, to have a portrait painted of Lola.  Usually, it is the price that puts me off the temptation.  Several weeks ago, I saw some cool images on instagram that were pictures that had somehow been turned into "paintings".

These were done with an app called Waterlogue.  I can't remember what the app cost, but I'm thinking it was $2.99.  Now that is usually more than I want to spend on an app (I'm cheap like that), but I decided it was worth it.

I took some good photos of Lola on her birthday.  I took them with my camera, then emailed them to myself, saved them on my phone, and then used Waterlogue to "paint them".  Then a few days later, I noticed that another blogger had done the same, but she had ordered a canvas print of the "painting".

So I couldn't resist doing the same.  I got the canvas in the mail this week and I'm so happy with the result!

Here is the original picture I took...

The Waterlogue "painting" that I did...

The canvas...

The model with her painting...

I think this is the neatest thing!  It is a wrapped canvas, so you don't have to frame it.  I haven't decided if I am going to frame it or not.  I think it depends on where I decide to hang it.  I'm doing a little redecorating in my living room, and creating a gallery wall of sorts, so if I decide to hang it there, then I will most likely frame it since all the other pictures on that wall are framed.  


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