~Furniture Moving & Renewal~

The living room looks empty, after Christmas, every year. This year, the siren song of Lake of the Ozarks called us away from home and packing up Christmas. This week, we completed dismantling the last bits and pieces of Christmas 2008. The last room, to get our attention, was the living room. As usual, even though the same amount of furniture was there, it seemed empty.

I had a light bulb moment. We moved furniture around today. The new arrangement is completely different than any since we built the house, in 2003. The catalyst of the big rearrange was the tables we brought home from the lake for painting. With the inclement weather, we decided to postpone taking the tables to the auto body paint shop. Instead of leaving the tables in the crowded garage, we brought them into the living room. I have to admit, they have added some warmth to the room.

After I saw the photos, in this post, I notice some things that are going to be eliminated and others that are going to be moved to other areas of the room.

The dried floral and feather arrangement, on the corner table, will be moved. I have another bird print to hang below the existing print. Perhaps I'll add a candle or two, to the coffee table. More books will be brought in. I ran out of steam, before I finished "accessorizing".
The birdcages are, most likely, temporary. I love taking photos of rooms, at the end of the day. The images make it easier for me to "see" the room. We brought the sea grass rug back. I borrowed lamps and things from other rooms. The plant beside the sofa is "practice". I brought it in from the hearth room. It sits on the back porch during warmer seasons. I like how it looks and will look around at Lowe's for another living plant for this space.
We moved the wine cabinet from beside the stairs and put it beneath the bird prints. The bench that was in front of the sofa, is now beside the stairs. That side of the room and the area beside the foyer is still a "staging area". Little accent tables and other things are stacked there.
On another note, the island paint decision has been made. Distressed black is the choice.
We've had a busy week with appointments, shopping to replenish the pantry and "home work". I've posted a little more than usual, this past week; fourteen for the month of January.
This is my 277th post. I'm not sure I can meet a goal of 300, by my 2nd anniversary, March 6. I like to post a couple of times a week and sometimes three.
I'm going around trying to catch up with everyone, so kind to stop by and leave comments this week. I appreciate you all so much. I love hearing from you!
We're planning a drive to our daughter's early today (Saturday). A little bird told us our grandchildren, Xanti, Gabi and Drew are sledding at Aunt Terrie and Uncle Steve's. Noah doesn't care much for sledding, just yet. We also heard Xanti has a new fella. We're hoping he'll be sledding, too.
I'll return with a post, sometime next week. We're taking the weekend off to enjoy.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


~Island Dreaming~

On this snowy January day, I'm sitting in front of a toasty fire, dreaming of an island.
No, not a tropical island; our kitchen island.

Our kitchen cabinets are made of Hickory. Hickory has an interesting grain and the natural color is beautiful, either left as is or stained. We chose to have our cabinets stained.
I began thinking about a paint treatment for the island a couple of years ago. I love the look of Hickory, but would like to have some contrast in this area of the kitchen. There are 2 or three accent pieces, done in black, in the hearth room and breakfast room. I have a few black accessories in the kitchen . After mulling it over, I'm leaning toward a distressed black, for the island.
The March issue of Traditional Home magazine arrived yesterday. On page 113 I found an island, in a Santa Fe home, done primarily in a distressed red. I love it, but I don't believe this treatment would work well, in our more traditional country kitchen. Perhaps I'll save page 113 in an idea file.
What are your island thoughts and ideas? I'd love to hear them!

I contributed two photos to this week's Thematic Photographic, hosted by Carmi at Written, inc. The window photo and this photo of trees in shadow on snow, taken from the hearth room window, can also be seen at Snapshots from the Back Porch, my photo blog. The Theme is Simple.
The storm that passed through, left around 6 or 7 inches of snow, mixed with sleet. There was more accumulation a few miles south of us. Even farther south, ice has done much damage. Power is still out, in many areas. Having been through several ice storms, we know the devastating effects. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this storm!


~Red & White~

More table setting can be found at: Between Naps on the Porch.

The dining room table set in red and white.

White dinner plate (Marshall's), bee hive salad plate (Nell Hill's), J's mother's 1944 wedding gift sherbet dish, white demitasse/espresso cup and saucer are from the Oneida Outlet, Osage Beach. I believe that store is closing.
Completing the setting, Target flatware and placemats and Martha Stewart napkins in red and white, purchased at Williams Sonoma several years ago. The rooster was purchased at Costco.

(The bunny chalkboard, in the prevous post, was purchased, as we remember, 5 or 6 years ago, at Cracker Barrel.)

Thanks so much for your sweet well wishes. The pain in my right arm is almost completely gone, as of this writing, Sunday evening.

Monday Update: We had our regular 4 month med check ups today. Seems we are both pretty healthy. I was even congratulated by Dr Z, for a bit of weight loss. He thought that was wonderful, given the time of year. Made me smile. We came home with scrips for antibiotics and decongestants to treat the usual wintertime complaint. As I type, we are snug, cozy and medicated, awaiting the great snow storm of '09.


~We Gather Together~

When J and I visited the Historic District, in Saint Charles, Missouri just before Christmas, a sign in one of the shops caught my eye. We returned home without the sign, but I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I was reading Susie Harris' Bienvenue and learned she is making signs of all kinds. I contacted Susie and asked if she could do a custom order. She could, indeed! Susie completed the sign and mailed it while we were at the lake. When J picked up the mail, Saturday morning, the package was included in the batch. I am absolutely delighted in Susie Harris' work. The sign reads, "We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing". Perfect for our breakfast room.

Thank you so much Susie!


~Art at the Condo, Old & New~

When we began working on a little update of the condo, I was interested in finding new prints or paintings. In the end, I decided to use some of my own photos.
I borrowed granddaughter Xanti's nifty little macro lens, a couple of weeks ago. I've put one of those on a wishlist, along with a telephoto lens.

I used the macro lens to take a few photos of seashells, I have here at the lake, ordered prints from Walgreen's at 19 cents each and framed them between glass, in a Target frame.

The photos are used in the hallway, beside the "laundry" doors. Behind those sliding doors are the washer and dryer. I'm mulling over an idea or two, to pretty up the laundry closet.

The second framed photo, hanging in the hallway, is a close up I took, of the rose, written about in the previous post. The photo is in black and white.

The framed print, above, is one we purchased while visitng Door County Wisconsin a few years ago. The artist is CL Peterson. Click this Link for more about Peterson's work. This particular painting, a composite of Ephraim, Wisconsin, was commissioned by local citizens, for a fund raiser. We fell in love with this print, while visiting a gallery, in Ephraim. If you look closely, you will see Wilson's Ice Cream, in the print. Some of you will know about Wilson's. We had lunch there one day while driving the peninsula of beautiful Door County.
Atop the wine cabinet is one of the driftwood pieces, J picked up along the lake shore. The blue birds add a little whimsy. I see it's time to stock up on wine!
We're leaving for home, after lunch, today. We have a couple of appointments, next week and a few other things to take care of. Hoping to return to the lake in a week or two.
Have a wonderful weekend!


~A Blue Bath & Other Stories~

The redo of the master bath at the condo actually began when we painted the dining room, at home. We had enough leftover paint for this bath. Sherwin Williams Interesting Aqua on the walls and SW Topsail on ceiling.

I brought the monogrammed Ballard Designs shower curtain from a guest bath at home. Most of the shells, in the jar, were gathered by our family, during a vacation in Florida.

I lost a day of working on this redo, yesterday. Arthritis, in my right arm, came along to remind me, it's here to stay and only goes into hiding now and then! I took the day off, medicated myself and took naps. Yes, as BJ (Sweet Nothings) mentioned not long ago...the old gray mare ain't what she used to be! I didn't even get to do very many blog visits, before closing the computer in retreat.

The matted and framed photo, shown here, was taken by J, at Split Rock Lighthouse, MN. about 7 years ago. Below is a closeup. We walked down to the shore of Lake Superior, from the lighthouse. I wonder if we would be able to make the climb back up to the lighthouse, now. We have many wonderful memories of our visit to an incredibly beautiful state.

The bathroom was formerly painted builder white. The before photos are on the home computer. J changed out the light fixture, shown here.

In addition to the blue bathroom, this post includes answers to challenges, for photo memes. I do few memes. Because this one is an easy one and involves photography, which I love, I decided to give it a try.

The first photo challenge came from Joy of Books and Life. Joy asked me to go to the 5th folder, choose the 5th photo and post it here.

I wasn't sure, at first, if I could answer the challenge, since I'm at the lake, using the laptop. I tend to delete photos, used in the blog, from the laptop, unless it's special photography. I didn't know if I had four or five folders. I have a ton of folders with pictures of rooms, taking up space, at home and don't want to clog the laptop. Room photos are the ones I delete, leaving only special photos, trying to keep the laptop slim and trim.

The photo above, is the 5th photo of the 5th folder. It was taken in September 2008, at the lake, just as morning fog was lifting.
The second challenge is from Sheila of The Quintessential Magpie. In this meme, I was to go to the 4th folder and find the 4th photo. This photo was also taken in September 2008. In 2003, J and his brothers, in memory of their parents and brother, donated the statue, shown in this photo, to Sacred Heart Parish, Troy, Missouri. The parish planted a garden of Pope John Paul II Commemorative Roses around the statue. The rose has a lovely fragrance and bloomed into November, last year. They can be found at Jackson & Perkins.


~Monday Metamorphosis #1~

January 19th, marks the 1st Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Thank you Susan, for hosting this event. To see more metamorphosis, follow this Link.
My first Monday Metamorphosis, a "mini met", involves the fireplace, at the condo. J and our son in law, completed painting the front room and inside hallway of the condo, over the weekend. The walls are Sherwin Williams Snowflake, a very light gray. The TV cubby above the fireplace is in SW Mink. We are so pleased with this little makeover. The opening, above the fireplace, seems to recede, with the new paint color.
While the guys painted, my daughter and I went shopping. Terrie happened to mention, she thought we should think about buying a flat screen TV. After some discussion and research, we purchased a TV, Saturday evening. It's much better than the former TV, which is now in the condo master bedroom. We picked up an inexpensive shelf, to use while we await the shelf and mantel being built by a neighbor.
We had supper at Baxter's Grille. If you're at the lake, we recommend Baxter's. Wonderful food, customer service is amazing and fabulous lake views!
I thought you might like to see the view from the deck, just about an hour after the amazing sunrise, seen in the previous post, Friday morning; a sort of weather metamorphosis.
We've enjoyed the gulls, the past few days; watching them move around on the ice, as it melted and kicking up a fuss when a bald eagle flew over. We saw several eagles, today.
After a busy weekend, I hope to have time to sit down and check in with you. We're also going to do some exploring tomorrow, weather permitting. We went from 0 temperatures, on Friday, to mid 30's today. Thirties seem almost tropical, after the earlier temps.
Have a great week and I'll do my best to get around to seeing you. I miss my visits and appreciate everyone who comes by the Back Porch, even when I am so neglectful!
Sheila, at Quintessential Magpie and Joy of Books and Life have challenged me to a fun photo meme. I'll answer the challenge, later this week.


~Pink Saturday Sunrise~

Sunrise, January 16, 2009, 6 Mile Marker, Grand Glaize Arm, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.

Early Friday morning, I saw the most brilliant pink, above the treetops on the ridge, across from our cove. I quickly set the camera on the tripod and placed it just inside the sliding doors, that lead to the deck of our condo. I didn't dare step outside, in my bare feet, but didn't want to risk losing this beautiful sight, by taking the time to put on shoes!
The temperature was hovering at around 2 degrees F, a scrim of ice could be seen on the beautiful lake, at the 6 Mile Marker, of the Grand Glaize Arm.
As I photographed the sunrise, I thought, this would be a great contribution to Beverly's Pink Saturday. I seldom post something for Pink Saturday, because there isn't a lot of pink in our home. However, the glory of this sunrise inspired me to participate in this week's event.
Visit How Sweet the Sound, for more beautiful Pink Saturday, across Blogland.


~Condo Living Room Before~

The view from the kitchen.
Looking across the living room, from the bar.
I would like to paint the coffee table a light cream color or white and "distress" it. The table was a sidewalk sale purchase, just before we moved into the condo, in 2003. It's staying. The size and height of the table are wonderful. It's sturdy, too. Just the sort of table we need. The cabinet at the end of the sofa will stay, also. It has louvred doors and stores books and magazines.

The area rug is Dash & Albert Cabin Stripe. This will stay, also. We hope to replace the carpet with hard surface flooring.

If you look above the lamp, sitting on the white cabinet, beside the sofa, you will see where J ended the Sherwin Williams Snowflake, the other day. Snowflake will continue around the room.
From the bar, looking toward the "cubby dilemma". The interior of the cubby will be painted Sherwin Williams Mink. Shelving for the TV, is being constructed, as well as a mantel, in white.
The gull with sunglasses will sit on the deck, as usual, when weather warms.

The wine cabinet is being moved to another area of the room.

We are moving "artwork" and furniture from other rooms, as we do at home; using what we have, when possible, for this redo. The Pottery Barn butterflies will stay. I'm looking for a barrel shade for the lamp, beside this chair.

This is one of the pieces of driftwood, J found along the lake shore. These photos show it on each side. We're not sure how it will be used. The deck is a project for warmer weather. We moved the wicker chest to the porch, this week. It will hold bbq utensils and other things, used on the deck.

A grid of framed calendar pictures hangs over the red sofa. I have some thoughts of what I will replace these with.
The sofa is very comfortable and is holding up well. It will stay.
There you have it, the living room before and a few thoughts we have for a little makeover.
Our daughter and son in law, arrive Friday evening. We hope to complete the painting here and in the master bath room, over the weekend. I'll post a little something about the bathroom, soon.
I have several questions from readers and will answer them in a post, soon.
We will have a busy weekend. Hope yours is wonderful!