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You know how a month ago everyone was putting up pictures of their fall mantlepieces? 


Yes, I finally, actually decorated for fall!  Just in time for Christmas…hmm.  I’m absolutely not the seasonal decorating type, so this was kind of a fun departure for me even though I only did two things.  I made a pennant swag like everyone else on Pinterest, out of cloth scraps and yellowish paper, and I didn’t even iron them before hot gluing to spare raffia twine.   Then I stuck two dead branches in vases.  Voila!  Fall in Southern California.

You know, looking at this photo really makes me want to paint the walls in the living room something besides off-white.  It’s like looking at a plate of beige food.  Even with some parsley and a sprinkle of paprika, it needs more color.  Maybe the Chief will let me repaint… after we finish the skylight, the dining room, and the bedroom move!  Might be a while :)


I feel like celebrating.

I’ve been working on the farmhouse table for weeks now, and it’s coming along slowly but steadily.  This weekend I’d hoped to finish and when it became clear that it was not to be, I decided to let it go and tackle a bunch of Little Things that have been on the edge of my consciousness for some time.

You know the ones.  The things that will take five or ten minutes but you never seem to get around to them because there are Bigger Things that you have your attention on.  It finally gets to the point where you’re saying to yourself, “Ugh, I haven’t repotted the orchid for three and a half months now!”  The pain of ignoring these things gets worse than the pain of stopping for ten minutes to take care of them.  I just did four Little Thing projects, and I can tell you, this is the MOST accomplishment I’ve felt over a weekend in a while!

1. I switched out a piece of art that my husband didn’t like for one that makes us both smile.  It is fancy.

2. I repotted the orchid!

3.  I bought a memory card (and a second battery) for my shiny awesome new camera so that it is usuable.

4. I dusted the house and discovered for the first time in my life that dusting with the vaccuum brush attachment goes faster and doesn’t use half a roll of paper towels.  Not sexy, I know, but I hate dusting and I love clean shining surfaces, and I want to know why no one ever told me to use my vaccuum before.

Bonus/teaser: I also finished the underside of that farmhouse table :)  (Those are stain tests at the top where it’s darker.)

Have you ever taken a break from the Big Things to get a bunch of those Little Things straightened out? Dosen’t it feel good not to have them chattering at you every time you walk by?

I really love those simple black iron-looking candle bulb chandeliers, the ones that are rustic enough to be at home in a cottage kitchen but clean-lined enough to look modern.  Those trendy iron lanterns are a close second, but I’ve decided that in the kitchen, I would like a wheel-shaped iron chandelier over the farmhouse dining table and then a pretty crystal chandelier over the island. 

Possibly vice versa, because sparkly lighting over a rustic table (like ours) is a lovely contrast:

But the primitive iron chandy over a rustic table also does it for me.

The other night was I out doing neighborhood errands after getting home from work and I went to Lowe’s to get stain for the farmhouse table that I’m almost done paint stripping.  Normally I don’t want to go out again after getting home, but this night I had some extra zip, so after getting my stain I browsed the tile and lighting aisles for some window shopping.   And then I saw it.

The dining chandelier of my dreams.


Well, almost!  The within-budget version of the dining chandelier of my dreams!  Floor Model On Clearance!  For $54 instead of $219!  And I had part of that on a gift card!  Can you tell I was EXCITED!!  Here’s the real McCoy of which we are now proud owners:

I texted a picture to the Chief and called to see what he thought of it.  I hoped that the spiky points of the candleholders would appeal to his appreciation of gothic style, and no one could call its style too girly.  He liked it!  He even said, when I feared it was too tall for our 8′ ceilings, that he could easily cut off the swoopy bottom part if I wanted.  He’s very skilled working with both metal and electricity, which is a huge blessing for us at times like these.  So I bought the chandelier and brought it home. 

The Chief looked at it and said it would be a piece of cake to take off the bottom part, hurrah, because that will make it just the right style and height.  So here’s what it will look like when he’s through with it.

Picture it over a table that looks like this.  Yesssss.  Um, images are not to scale :)

Also, I will spray paint it matte black, because it currently has a shiny finish and that looks cheap!  Whoever heard of shiny wrought iron? Well I guess you could shellac it but really, we are going for the raw matte iron look.

I’m super thrilled with this find, and thanks to Mom for the old gift card leftover that helped us say yes to this light!

I’m getting a fun candy apple red digital camera for my birthday!  My birthday was June 25. 

Today is Nov. 1.  My husband’s birthday will be Nov. 6  It has taken me this long to pull the trigger on using my birthday money, received four months ago, for the purposes for which it was intended.  It did take me some time to figure out just which camera to go for – I read lots of reviews!  Mostly I’ve just been procrastinating.

Voila, at last, here is my soon to be owned Canon Powershot Elph 300 HS!  It has a wide angle lens which will help take good room photos as I continue to document our house updates.

I am so going to find some cheerful guys listening to music in wallpapered rooms and take pictures of them.

Ok, so the truth is I’m not a very good photographer.  I remember traveling with an old boyfriend and sharing a camera as we trekked around the city.  When I took the camera back to look at the pics on my computer, basically all of his were better than mine, and he was not a photography hobbyist or artist or any such thing.  That happened again when I went on a tourist sailing trip – one of the guys on the trip offered to take some photos of me on the boat, and they were all better than mine.  So, even though I consider myself creative with a good eye, I’ve discovered that it doesn’t translate through the lens of the camera.  Oh well :)  That’s why I’m going for a basic point-and-shoot digital with some good automatic features. 

I will get it in cherry red, so I can find it quickly, especially in a dark bag.  It’s small and light which will be a good incentive to actually take it with me and pull it out.  Oh yes… I am also the worst person for thinking about taking photos to remember moments later.  I am busy enjoying the moment, not thinking how to capture it on camera.   I don’t think there are any photos of the Chief and myself together since our wedding… 2 years ago.  Eek!  The last photos I have of me are from our trip to Mexico this spring. 

Especially now that we are going to have a baby, I would like to have the ability to take photos without asking to borrow the Chief’s iPhone, which is how virtually all the photos on this blog have been taken so far.  I am thinking I need to work on the very basic skills of having a camera nearby, and pulling it out and using it.  This is like Photography 001!  And that is just where I am, so that is where I will start :)

Is anyone else camera challenged?  How is that working for ya?  Any tips or tricks for learning to get out the camera instead of forgetting it?  Or for taking pictures of people (ahemTheChiefahem) who make silly fake faces every time there is a camera pointed at them?