Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

During the summer, I keep the same decorations up from Memorial Day until my fall decorations go up. Because of Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, nearly everything has a patriotic theme.
Because I save decorations from one year to the next, much of this may look familiar to people. The wreath on my front door and the garland on my dining room chandelier are identical... and most of my other decorations are the same, I've just switched around what is displayed together. (If anyone wants to see last years decorations, they are HERE!)

This year I decided to add even more crepe-paper to my decorating. I love the way it looks draped from my fireplace and kitchen cabinet-niche.

In my living room is our beach vignette full of soft, Florida sand and seashells from our visits to my sister and my wooden bowl of vintage spools.

The faux pearls and glass marbles I used from our Titanic display looked so pretty that I poured them into my giant seashell to extend their "stay" within the house, and I chose to pull out all but the red and white spools this time, and sprinkled my blue buttons throughout the thread bowl. (the doily was made by my grandmother years ago)



      In the dining room, many of the decorations were assembled with my husband in mind. He is an avid WWII history-buff and LOVES researching what it was like during the war.

Atop the china cupboard are my flags, and the tiny blackboard I made last winter. The top of the sewing machine holds a few of my husbands favorite books and the canteen his grandfather found while cleaning out a troop-train during World War II.

And on my little hutch, I decided to do something completely new. I reprinted photos of several of our family relatives who have served our country and created a true "Memorial" display along with their rank, the branch of military they served in, and which war they are associated with.
I LOVE how the hutch turned out and that it's so personal! There is my husband's Grandmother & Great-Grandmother, his uncle, both my parents, and several second-cousin type relations represented, and the
photos are from WWI through an active serviceman.

We have an awful lot to be thankful for in this country, but the one thing I can't even begin to imagine living without are the many MANY freedoms that we take for granted on a daily basis.

I want my children to grow up knowing that our freedom came with a price - and to know some of the stories of those who have helped to pay that price... whether it's their distant-cousin who was killed in action over China during WWII, their great uncle who seems to have been EVERYWHERE during WWII or their grandparents who met, fell in love, and were married during the Vietnam War.

These are just a few of our heroes, and we are MOST grateful for the sacrifices they gave to this country.

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My new Laundry / Pantry Hallway

I can't believe I never shared this! Here I sit ready to share my nearly-completed closet renovation, and I never shared what we did in the laundry hall!

Last fall we took on a "small" project that I've been begging to do for years. We completely redid our laundry hallway! Here's what things looked like to start with. As you can see, there are brackets over the chest-freezer (far right hand corner) where I USED to have shelves, but they fell down years ago & things have been piled helter-skelter ever since.

The teeny tiny cupboards above the washer & dryer weren't really big enough to use for storage, but WERE in the way of any truly useful storage options. 

Our "pantry" was three mismatched bookshelves, and I couldn't open the washing machine lid OR the freezer lid without rearranging boxes & baskets of miscellaneous "stuff."

Also, because the dryer vented straight down instead of out (which we discovered was a fire-hazard that never should have been installed that way in the first place) I couldn't open the dryer door all the way because it banged into the opposite wall!

These next two photos show the hallway stripped out, and ready to paint.

You can also see the doorway halfway down the hall. it went to the master bath, but in 12 years we  we had used this door just a few times, and I had HUGE plans for the space.

Originally I had planned on painting this space bright yellow to match my kitchen. However I forgot I'd already used up my yellow paint with a project at church, so instead I decided to use up the two gallons of red paint we had purchased for the living room before changing our mind.

It took us FOUR coats of paint to cover this thoroughly, despite the tiny area we were painting! Note to the wise... definitely use primer when using red paint.

Next you can see my plans for that doorway... shelves for my canning! Each shelf was measured to ideally hold quarts, pints & half-pints with JUST enough room to squeeze the next-largest size onto them just in case we canned in any one size than I planned. (This turned out to be perfect over the winter, after we picked up 1.5 bushels of tomatoes!)

You can also see the Coca-Cola baker's rack I found on Craigslist for $25. I love that it matched the color scheme perfectly AND added just a bit of visual interest!

And here are my finished canning shelves -complete with fabric shelf-liners trimmed in rick rack.

To the right, we finally got the dryer re-routed properly and pushed back into place.

Above, are my new shelves which run wall-to-wall. We mounted them on white beadboard so the room wouldn't appear TOO dark. The bins were purchased at Ikea, and the chalkboard labels were a fun "splurge" from Etsy.

And on top of the dryer, you can see my new ironing board! It's a sheet of plywood cut to the dimensions of the top of my dryer, covered in batting & cotton fabric. I LOVE how it looks, and it's ever so much more convenient than my clunky old metal ironing board to move about!

Including the cost of re-routing the dryer, this entire renovation cost us just under $150... but is worth SO much more to me! Laundry is no longer a juggling-act, and getting to the freezer is MUCH easier. And when I walk back to grab a jar of homemade applesauce, I just grin at my beautiful canning-shelves.

We've redone several rooms in the past few years, but this is by far my favorite renovation to date!