Hearts of Palm and Mop Toddler Suits

Monday was painting day.

One of the great things about a house that has been neglected for many years is that with a bit of love and paint, it improves. It also means that a 10-year old can freely experiment with a budding sense of home improvement and color exploration. Luckily, I have a 10-year old at home who was thrilled at the prospect to take on the task and explore. She painted for hours on end and loved it. The color was “Hearts of Palm” and is a clear upgrade from beige-ish ochre color that I once liked, but grew to hate. It’s about the third time we’re painting this room. Love the color now, but then again, let’s talk in 2 years.

We have lots of rooms that need some TLC. Maybe I’ll set my daughter off on a new trajectory, now that she is having fun painting.

It’s just like the baby that mops your floors while developing its motor skills.  How very practical.

Image (c) betterthanpants.com

In case you’re concerned about my daughter’s well-being while inhaling the fumes of acrylic paint on a cold fall day, there is no need to worry….of course we used Zero VOC paint.

We did it together and had a great time.

And now, we’re done talking about dining room floors and walls.  And that’s a promise.

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Home Again

Usually, when I come back from a long trip, my house seems to me rather… improvised (read shabby) and I get anxious…..very anxious. This time was different. The improvised state of my home is the same as always, but my attitude has changed. While I usually see the imperfections, this time, I see the possibilities. It helped that that awful floor, the one I’ve hated for 3 years, was finally painted.

It’s interesting how travel helps to change one’s perception.

The suitcases are still sitting full by the door,  but with all the inspiring colors of Europe, I’ve already bought new paint to bring a little Southern Germany into my home. It’s time to bring fresh eyes to my familiar surroundings.

One of the things I noticed in Germany was that everybody was wearing prominent bracelets and with the gift giving season not too far away, a roll of old vintage leather binding in my scrap box, caught my eye.

I have always loved the color, a deep indigo blue, but never quite knew what to do with it. With my mind unclogged and fresh, I started to experiment.

The nice surprise was that sewing onto the thin leather strip wasn’t hard at all and I didn’t even need thimbles.

Below is my first attempt. These bracelets are fun to make, not too time intensive, personal, easy and comfortable. I’ll post a tutorial and better images soon.

I’m well aware that most people don’t have a vintage roll of leather binding lying around, but thrifted leather coats, jackets or bags would work well, if the leather is thin enough to stitch through.

It’s good to be home…

Manipulations of the Week

This week I manipulated many things, all except fabric. It’s the last Sunday of June and sadly I have nothing to show you. However I did  manipulate a floor – that “darn” floor, that never became, and also my sleep pattern.

Leaving on vacation is a perfect moment to start a big project, so I decided 3 days before leaving to add a little anxiety to our travel preparations and paint our dining room floor black. Laying a wood floor was the initial plan, but painting is less work, less fuss and provides instant gratification.

I’m in love with our new floor (which is less glossy than the image above suggests) and can’t wait to finish the room. We’re now in the process of choosing THE perfect wall color. Any suggestions as to what would work with a black floor?

Apparently, the way to paint floors these days, is to use either boat paint, which is toxic and takes a year to dry, or use interior wall paint and cover it with a few layers of fast drying clear coat, and that’s what I did. It was much easier than expected. I painted the last coat at 7am on Friday morning and at 9am, we were off to NYC and the airport.

Remember that I wasn’t sure if the fasting while traveling was right for me. But I tried it and it really works. I have no jet-lag to speak of and feel great. (See here what I did.)

I’ll keep you updated and will post sporadically over the summer to share impressions and discoveries.

Visit Suschna to find out what she has created for this month’s fabric manipulation and to find more links.

An Artist’s Dacha and a Tiny Porch

The Russian House
There are many interiors to love in the book “Russian House” by Ella Krasner, found through enhabiten, with the humble country dachas being my personal favorites:

The Russian House

The Russian House

The Russian House

The Russian House

The Russian House

This dacha above is very much my ideal of the perfect summer house: simple, improvised, soulful, and of humble beauty.  Just the kind of place to spend a nice Memorial Day weekend daydreaming.

Instead, you’ll find me on my tiny porch below, reading magazines and sipping tea…the next best thing.

My Porch
Enjoy your weekend!
Ella Krasner
ISBN-10: 1902686462
ISBN-13: 978-1902686462

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They Draw and Cook and I Eat Out

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Dust for Dinner

This is where I live.  In mid April there’s not a leaf on the trees. Pretty you might think. I do, too and many of the rooms are very nice. The house was built in 1872 and used as a rooming house for many years. It hasn’t been updated in any major way which attracted […] Read more »

Country Kitchens and Cottages

Every time we’re having company, I bitch (to myself) about our kitchen. It’s not big enough to cook with more than two and it has a small window into the dining room, through which people can watch me do dishes and wave, but not much else. It’s a weird shape (lot of good light though) […] Read more »

Palacios and My Humble Home

You might have guessed that this is not my home. No, it’s the “Casa de Pilatos“, a 16th-century Andalucia palace and considered one of the finest examples of Andalusian architecture of sixteenth century Sevilla: Courtyards, paintings, frescos, statues of emperors from nearby Italica and azulejos (tiles) wherever your eyes can see. Tiles are everywhere in […] Read more »