Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Need to Level With You

A reader recently made a sweet comment asking me to do a tour of my entire house. This request came on the heels of Silas's room unveiling.

And I gotta tell you - I cracked up.

Then I read the comment to Cory and we cracked up together.

But honestly, I've had the recent urge to just come out with it all.

I am reminded over and over and over again that it just doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter that the stairway leading upstairs is a tunnel of doom, with orangey, varnished paneling and mottled, dingy, brown carpet.

I am not defined by the state of my stairwells.

We have bigger fish to fry in this world, don't we?

I believe that God created us to be creative, and for me, that outlet is my home, my meals, my garden. This is some of the stuff that stirs me and that is probably not something that is going to change.

But you know what? Most of the homes I have felt most welcomed, relaxed and cozy in are not artfully arranged. They have no specific color palette. They are hodge-podge, in the best sort of way. They are lived in and loved in. They are a small reflection of the inspiring inhabitants, whom I adore.

So while I've shown you select portions of my home that look pretty, I can promise you, if you happen to drop by without warning, you will very likely find me without make-up, standing in a messy kitchen, surrounded by laundry piles. Heck, call ahead and I probably still won't change a thing. I do enjoy making things look nice, but it is often not my priority. And beyond that, it's not reality for me.

I will not pretend that I have a fabulous Anthropologie-inspired wardrobe. I dress 90% of the time for comfort, pure and simple. I do not pick up loaves of artisanal breads from the organic baker. My bread comes pre-sliced and costs less than $2 a loaf. My life's work is not ensuring that my home is magazine-worthy. What a waste of time and money that would be.

So come on over, anytime. You'll first see my kitchen, which I love. You'll see my living room, which can hold its own. But stick around a little longer and you'll see the junk rooms, the neglected rooms, the next-on-the-list rooms, the not-even-on-the-list rooms.

We've got 'em all.

My only hope is that you feel welcome here. You are free to put your feet on the coffee table, assuming it's not covered in Legos and Polly Pockets. If you're cold, I'll toss you my favorite blue blanket. She's not too cute, but she sure is soft. If you're hungry, I'll serve you up a steaming hot bowl. But it may be spaghetti with Prego, straight from the jar.

Mostly, I hope you feel appreciated by me. I hope you feel safe with me. I hope you laugh really hard with me. I hope you tell me a secret, and know that I'll keep it.

I hope you never feel judged, looked down upon, less than. I hope you feel cherished and important, because that is precisely what you are.

And if you happen to require a trip to the loo? Well, at least you'll know what awaits.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Harkening Korea - My Final Favorites

The time has come for me to end my Korean photo tour.

I don't know why, but posting things from even a week or two ago makes me antsy.

I don't like to be stuck in the past.

Because life just keeps moving, ya know?

And now, it's time to start talking about the garden.

And a couple of amazing recipes I've tried in the past few days.

And my utterly smoochable littlest, along with the heart-breakingly cute middle and the crack-uppingly clever oldest.

Calvin likes to always refer to Silas and Ruby collectively as "The Babies".

I don't think he has grasped that Ruby is a mere 17 months behind him...

Speaking of Silas, don't look now, but he's up taking a nap.

Why do I get so worried over these kinds of things?

He also slept through the night last night, more-or-less.

Honestly, if I tried to stop and count all of my blessings, I'd never get another thing done.

I'd just keep counting.

No laundry, no cooking, no eyebrow plucking.


I adore my life.

When I first laid eyes on Cute Maintenance boy in his Hoi Polloi hat, I never dreamed we would gather our children up from hither and yon.

God had such an exciting adventure in store for us - little did we know.

It's hard to imagine what else He has up His sleeve for us.

By the way, isn't Korea lovely?

So full of color and simplicity and life.

I wanna go back someday, with every last baby in tow.

*All but 2 images captured by the "lowly" point-and-shoot. (The other two were taken when Cory wasn't paying attention.) :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Room For Silas - The Reveal

We finished his room, with just days to spare before bringing him home.

Be ready - I'm about to show you every blasted detail.

But first, lets revisit his room prior to its rebirth, shall we?

I promise, we'll be quick about it.

"The Corner Room", as it was known, had not been touched in at least 15 years. Or maybe 115. I'm not entirely sure.

As fond as I am of vintage wallpaper, this just didn't feel like the right time or place.

Not even a creative, boyish wall-art display was able to propel the decor to full Silas Potential.

So, the wallpaper had to go. The resulting blank slate was worth the glue-caked fingernails.

The rotted linoleum, well, that was a whole 'nother story.

Long story short...

And I do mean long story short...

We had ourselves a room fit for a farmboy king.

Of course, I am always of the opinion that the fun is in the details.

The first thing I settled on was the paint color. I truly wish I could share the name with you, but the chip is in the other room and I'm now officially, chronically sleep-deprived, so I dare you to tell me that I should just get up and go find it.


After the paint, the first piece of wall decor I found was the black "S" shown in the first picture, courtesy of White Flower Farmhouse. (Be prepared to fall in love with everything you see if you click on that link.) I love its contrast against all of the white and green. It set the tone in the swooniest way.

The second thing I found was this shadow box thingy.

I bought it at a flea market. It's some type of an old, metal drawer.

The brilliant Melaine of My Sweet Savannah sells the vintagey flash cards in her Etsy shop. (Be prepared to fall in love with everything you see if you click on that link.) (Is it just me, or do you have deja vu, too?)

The cars were also dirt-cheap flea market finds.

This piece might be my favorite thing in the whole room.

I already told you all about the dresser.

What I have not told you about is the feed-sack art atop the dresser.

My Dad was cleaning out the barn a few months back and found that dirty thing, beaten and bruised, wadded up and left to die in a corner. You know your Dad gets you when he asks if you want it.

It is an actual grain sack from the grain elevator in my hometown, Pleasant Hill. It warms my heart right up.

I think it may be my favorite thing in the entire room.

The crib was Calvin's. As was the crib skirt. At this stage of the game I still really didn't have a ton of direction on where the room was going, but I knew the existing crib skirt was free and I had a hunch that white and navy stripes would work with just about anything.

The blanket was also found on Etsy. I am loving the little peeks of yellow.

The blue art cabinet was a game-changer. I found it back in July or August from my dear friends and flea market soul mates, Rhubarb Reign.

I had not planned on introducing bright blue with the green walls, but I could not possibly help myself.

I hauled it home and it barely fit. Just barely. Serendipitous is what I called it.

It's quite possibly my favorite thing of all.

The items on top came from here, there and everywhere.

If it fit, up it went.

The globe was found at a favorite local haunt, Home Again.

The curtains are good, old fashioned burlap, via JoAnn's Fabric. I told the fabric cutter lady what I was doing and she didn't even attempt to hide her disgust over burlap curtains.

Nothing revs me up like some fabric cutter disdain.

I ended up putting them only on the large window, as the other two windows are on the strange, squatty wall. I'm not sure if it was the right move, but for me, it works.

I hauled this rocking chair up from the toy room with grand plans to paint it. As the clock ticked, I decided that aqua worked quite perfectly with green, royal blue, red, tan, white, etc... etc... etc...

It's funny how a deadline will change your perspective, but quick.

I struggled and strained over fabric for the seat until I remembered this piece that I had been saving for a rainy day. Fortuitous.

I will never doubt a rainy day purchase again.

Once the crib was set up, I was at an utter loss over what to put on the long stretch of wall above.

Then, I remembered another rainy day purchase...

I found these last year in Charleston, SC.

The colors were perfect and they fit rather well with the farmboy/worker guy non-theme theme.

But mostly, they were free.

Sidenote: This delicious hardware was very recently caked in tens upon twenties of layers of paint. Did you know that you can plunk crusty hardware in a crock pot of soapy water overnight and it will come out looking like this?

It will make your house smell like dirty paint stew, but it is worth it.

So there you have it. A bright, cheery room...

...for a bright, cheery boy.

And he is definitely, positively, without a doubt, my favorite thing in the room.

PS - I'm sharing this link at Metamorphosis Monday and DIY Day (A Soft Place to Land).