August 31, 2015

End of Summer Welcome

It's too early for pumpkins and the leaves are still green on the trees but you can definitely feel Fall in the air here in Michigan.  Our town's population has increased by about 10,000 this weekend as college classes start today.  So Big Rapids is hopping!

I'm hosting a Bible study in my home this Fall and Winter so it's so much fun to decorate knowing that others will enjoy it weekly.  "Others" being women - that is!  Not 6'4" basketball players that don't notice anything except how many cows I have in my kitchen! lol

I was at the market this week and spotted a bucket full of sunflowers.  And what says 'end of Summer' and French Country more than sunflowers, dried Lavender and ripe apples?

There's fresh wood in the basket next to the fireplace. (Our fireplace actually has a gas log that puts out wonderful heat, but one day my daughter said, "Every time I see that basket of wood, I keep thinking the fire is real!"  So that's enough reason for me to keep it there!)

And the throws in the basket next to the couch are freshly washed.  I love when guests pile onto our couch Indian-style,  wrapped in a throw, and we share our lives with each other.

There's a new 'Welcome Sign' and some beautiful multi-colored mums at our front door to greet our guests as they arrive.

Please don't notice that one of my mums is all broken.  It was the victim of a basketball. lol  (I'm going to pretend like I didn't notice. I'll miss him so much when he moves out!)

I made the Welcome sign and will share with you how I did it later this week.  When the leaves turn and the pumpkins are ripe, I'll add them to the mix.

And I love when the first thing my guests say when they enter my house is how good it smells! I always have a scented candle, or two, burning. I match them to the seasons and this time of year it smells like spiced apples, spiced oranges or caramel.  And I don't even have to bake!  ;)

On another topic, one of my other son's friends told me recently how much he liked the rug at the front door!  lol  He said it felt so good on his feet.  You would have been so proud of me!  I just smiled and said, 'Thank you!' and didn't tell him how mad I was at it.  My Dirt Rug

Our Bible study group is going to be reading and discussing two books that I have gained so much from - "There Were Two Trees in the Garden" by Rick Joyner and  "What the Bible Says About Child Training" by Richard Fugate (links to Amazon)  God willing, I'm going to post our topics on my other blog Summits of Rubies.  And I'd love to have you follow along and share if you'd like!

Have a great day!

love and blessings~

 "I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You."
 Psalms 22:22

August 28, 2015

End of Summer French Blue Shutters

The weather has really been cool here in Michigan the last week.  I think fall is so beautiful, especially here,  but the summers here are short and mild and autumn is followed by a long, cold, snowy winter.  And I honestly get a little sad when I realize summer is ending.  So I cheered myself up with a little paint!

Recently I changed my rug in my living room.  I'm really happy with this rug in here but the jute rug that was here before was medium brown and added a little more contrasting color to this room.  The wool rug is the same color as the furniture and has washed things out a bit.

The thought that 'I can re-paint my shutters' has always been in back of my mind and this seemed like a good time to see if changing them would add a little more color drama to the room.

I painted all the shutters in this area.
I am really liking the contrast now.  The shutters were originally painted SW Interesting Aqua and SW Rain and darkened a little with SW Seal.

The new color I mixed here at home but is more of a French Blue.  I left some of the old, lighter and darker colors showing - giving them a worn look.
 My Endless Summer hydrangeas were starting to fade so I filled this copper pot and put them on the dining room table to dry.  I love the beautiful mix of colors!
My Strawberry Shortcake hydrangeas are all still beautiful and slowly turning pink at the bottom of each bloom.
I think the darker color is perfect and gives a new dimension to these rooms.  

The shutters in the family room are still the lighter color.  I always want these rooms to coordinate, because they're open to each other, but I like that there's also a difference now.

Have a wonderful weekend!

love and blessings~

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  Philippians 4:8

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August 24, 2015

Spray Painting a Brass Sink

When I told my daughter a couple of years ago that I was going to start blogging, she told me, "You should call your blog, 'There's a spray paint for that! hahahaha!'" She's a funny girl.

Obviously, I didn't follow her advice - but there's some truth in her statement.

There are a lot of things in our house that have been spray painted.  A couple of times. My spray paint collection is pretty impressive.  My husband will occasionally look at something in our house and ask me, "How many colors has THIS been?"  He's a funny guy.

But this is the first time I've ever spray painted a sink.

A couple of years ago we redecorated our main floor bathroom.  We spray painted all of our towel racks and hardware oiled bronze. They've held up perfectly.

We never use this sink. It looks really shiny in this picture.  I had scrubbed it for about 10 minutes. You might be able to tell that it's still not perfect. It stays shiny like this for about 3 hours.  Then it tarnishes.

This area in our dining room is obviously for mixing and serving drinks and we have never used it for that in the 12 years we've lived here.  I occasionally set a plant in it to water it well but otherwise...nothing. So I felt pretty confidant that it wasn't going to get a lot of wear and tear.  I certainly wouldn't advise doing this with a sink you use daily.

We tried to get this sink out.  Either to replace it or paint the time we weren't sure which.  But we soon found out that it was in there for good.  So I went to Plan B.

We removed the faucet so that we could paint that separately. I taped off the sink and surrounded it with trash bags to protect the cabinet.

I then fixed a cardboard box to further protect the room while I painted.

I stuck the paint can into the box. sprayed all around and then 'closed the window' with a rag until the mist settled.

I did this several times until the sink was perfectly painted. I used Rustoleum for metal that included a primer.

We let it dry for several hours before we reattached the faucet.

Et voila!  New sink!  And I don't know if you can tell from this picture but it really is perfect.  And because of our experience with the bathroom, I think it will be durable enough.

I had a nice comment on my From Farmhouse to French Country-Part Two that the brass sink added some 'up' to the room and I agree.  It was a very pretty sink.  But it didn't match and it was hard to keep looking nice.  I think this was a nice solution.

Previously the sink was the only brass thing in the room.  Now it ties in perfectly with the cabinet hardware.

Have a great week!  I'll be back in a couple of days with my living room's newly painted French Blue shutters!
French Shutters
love and blessings~

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12

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August 20, 2015

From "Farmhouse" to "French Country" - Part Two

Hi all!!

We have had a very busy couple of weeks here as our summer vacation comes to an end. Our middle son has been staying with us since June.  We've enjoyed his visit so much but he will be taking off for San Francisco soon.  And my husband, a college professor, and youngest son will be going back to college classes next week.

So my house will go from busy and a little chaotic at times to quiet and empty all day long. And I will get back to projects.  In the mean time, I'm fitting as much fun into the last of summer as I can.

I had made a commitment not to paint this summer but I didn't make it!  I finally broke down and finished painting the kitchen cabinets and all the cabinetry that's in the family room.  And I was so happy about it that I was sorry I waited so long - lol.

My son took this picture of me painting.  I posted it on my Gates of Crystal Facebook page and it went viral.  HA!

You know I'm just kidding.  He was actually taking a picture of his brother and I was in the background.  When I loaded my pictures onto my computer, there it was.  (I cropped out my son.)

But we've finished two projects in the kitchen that I have wanted to do for a while!  One of them is these fabulous X's!  The X's are just 2" wide pine boards.  We framed out the sides where needed and fit the x's inside.   We then caulked any gaps, primed and painted.

We added an X to all four ends of our cabinetry. When I got to the cabinet in the dining room,  it was going to be the only X that was the SW Seal Brown and I didn't like that.
But the other project was adding feet to our cabinets. So I re-re-painted this section the light Sand color and made the brown section look like an independent cabinet with the feet.

I'm so happy with this now.  I love the contrast of colors but I love having more of the lighter color.  I also repainted the bar stool area the lighter color.

I bought the feet at Lowe's.  They are furniture feet and were the perfect size.  We found out that the height between the floor and the bottom of each cabinet varied and the feet were too short in some places.

Rather than add to the top of each foot and remove the quarter-round moulding in the areas where there is hardwood floors, we added a small piece to the bottom of the feet. We had a dowling rod that was the exact width of the bottom of the foot. This made the bottom of the foot narrow enough to miss the quarter round.

The wet bar sink in this area is brass.  We've tried to pull it out to replace it but it must be "glued" in. So I have a plan to change it which I will post when it's finished.

We've ordered our new stove (gas stainless) and I've picked out tile for the back splash and am hoping to have that all put in before our stove arrives.

I love the 'custom look' the feet and X's have added.  And the French Country feel.

I told my husband he was almost done!  He doesn't believe me.  Poor man.
From Farmhouse to French Country Part One

Have a wonderful day!

love and blessings~
"For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes."  Jeremiah 31:25

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August 7, 2015

A Formal French Rug

Our main floor was decorated in French Country reds and yellows for the first decade that we lived in our house.  A little more than two years ago I made some dramatic changes to the color scheme and went to the blues and neutrals that you see now.  

For several years I had a beautiful rug in our family room that I purchased through QVC.  It's a Royal Palace 100% wool rug that measures 9x12.  When I changed our decor, I thought about selling it but just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I had purchased a jute rug at World Market for our living room that I really liked - until I realized that it was shedding. Badly.  In fact, it was like the rug was made out of dirt.  Every time I looked, our hardwood floors were covered with a layer of silt with little black dots in it.  It traveled out from under the rug and was spreading around the room, making it impossible to keep the floors clean.  And I was getting concerned that it was going to ruin the shine of the floors.

I had tried my wool rug in here before and I didn't like it but I had my furniture slip covered in a very bright white at the time.  It suddenly dawned on me the other day that now that the furniture was a more neutral shade, the rug might work!

It's a much more formal look but I think I like it.  What I really like is the size and feel of the rug.  It's obviously larger than the 'dirt rug' and is a really nice, thick quality.
Here's a picture of the jute rug.
And here's my new/old rug!
It has my fleur de lis that I love.  The beiges are good.  It's has the added interest of the red roses which I'm not sure about but all in all, I would be really happy to use this rug again.
And since I already have a jute rug (that doesn't shed) in the family room, it's nice to have something different in here.  Our Family Room
I put the dirt rug in the entry hall.  I'm mad at it and want people to wipe their feet on it.  You can't make it dirty, right?
In its defense, it looks pretty nice in here.  And I wanted a new rug for this room., win...and even win, right?!

Have a wonderful weekend!

love and blessings~
"To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice." Psalms 68:33