Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Blessings

Pardon this Christmas interruption while I bring you a little bit of Thanksgiving, remember that holiday? It's the one that comes first and gives us a chance to count our blessings. Totally not worth overlooking in my book!

Enjoy your pretty table, enjoy your yummy food but most of all enjoy the people who are sitting next to you. Be grateful they're healthy enough to celebrate Thanksgiving with you. Slow down the pace long enough to truly count your blessings. There are far more to be counted than we could ever imagine!

Blessed beyond belief.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Two words...Library.Ladder.

It's been less than a week since my original post on library ladders and look what has taken up residence in our living room!
I decided to start searching Craigslist, thinking it'd take forever for one to pop up. I was oh so surprised when I ran across this Monday. In a matter of minutes of seeing the post I was literally on my way to pick it up.

See that pretty little "P" on the wheel cover? That's one of the reasons I moved so fast. 

And, here's what that "P" stands for... Putnam Rolling Ladders have been around since the early 1900's and have quite the reputation in the world of personal libraries. They're known for their superior quality and craftsmanship. Putnam Ladders' clientele includes people like President George Bush and Diane von Furstenburg. I'm pretty sure they didn't buy theirs off of Craigslist. What do you think? ;)

Of course, when you get top quality you pay top dollar, so the $100 price tag attached to the craigslist post had me hearing angels singing! Have I mentioned that I received a quote from my carpenter for $1000 just for the ladder? Yikes! I bet my carpenter's version wouldn't have those pretty brass bars on the underneath side of each rung or the awesome patina this one proudly wears.

The treads are in excellent shape. They look worn in this photo but it's really just dirt. With a little elbow grease it'll soon be evident that this particular ladder has barely been used.

I have absolutely no idea when the "library" will be built (may be years from now) to go along with this ladder, but it was too good to pass up. The picture above is similar to the idea rattling around in my brain as to what our wall will look like when it comes to fruition. It will certainly have books but won't necessarily resemble an actual library wall. I like to think of it more as a place for our family treasures!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A promise through ducks?

It started with Sally...
Sally was the lonely mallard hen that showed up in our pond when we first moved in. She was awesome and I saw her as a gift. It took me back to the days when Bryn and Reed were itty bitty and I found myself wondering what I was supposed to do with them at 9am and they'd been up so long already that if felt like the day should be close to ending but it was merely just beginning. Remember those days?

Well, ducks were my answer! We had a pond in a nearby neighborhood and we spent hours upon hours feeding them along with the "turlies" and "bishies" (turtles and fish for those of you who need the translation).  The ducks were my saving grace during a time when I felt a bit overwhelmed.

Getting back to Sally, she flew away after only a few weeks. I was sad because I had high hopes of her finding a male friend and letting us enjoy their babies come spring. But life goes on, with or without ducks.

Life goes on and so do those ugly feelings of being overwhelmed. In light of being transparent, I'll admit that our move hasn't been the easiest thing for me. Some days I'm fine and others I struggle to be content. It seems this move has highlighted many of my not so pleasant personality traits, namely being impatient.

I was sitting in bible study last week and the question was asked, "What's God doing in your life right now?" I gave it some thought and suddenly it hit me...ducks...
 Look what's on our pond now! Not just one duck, but 10. The number fluctuates daily so it's a treat to look out every morning and count their little heads.

What's this have to do with God's work, you ask? I see it as his promise to me. He's telling me he carried me through those times of feeling overwhelmed when Bryn and Reed were little and he's going to carry me through this season of life as well.

I snapped these pictures this morning after I took the kids to school because I need a visual reminder of how God's the only one who can make the leaves change colors. When I'm frustrated that my bathroom paint colors haven't been selected, I need to turn my focus elsewhere. I need to focus on the beauty that's currently surrounding me and not get bogged down about the mildew we spent the weekend scraping out of our shower.

I need to appreciate this view as I'm driving up and down this driveway a thousand times a day playing chauffeur for the two most precious gifts I have, instead of grumbling that all I do these days is drive in circles. I need to find joy in this season of life before it's gone and I wonder where it went.

It's been awhile since I've offered to pray for you. I've let this aspect of my blog slip and I shouldn't have. So, if you're feeling a little overwhelmed or you too are struggling with being content, leave a comment or send me an email and I'd be honored to lift you up. (dfrieling1@gmail.com)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Around the House

Thought I'd pop in and share a few random bits and pieces going on around here. My bathroom lights finally arrived and kid's bathroom is really coming together...
The green is a little brighter in person and they're super fun. I'm still hammering out the details but I promise a full reveal when it's worthy.

I broke one of my big design rules and ordered this fabric on a complete whim because it was super cheap...
That rule? you ask. ALWAYS order a sample when viewing fabric online. Those lovely polka dots were NOT visible at all on my computer screen nor was there a description telling me of the lovely tone on tone polka dots. 

Reed wasn't pleased to learn my plans for this fabric included the bathroom he shares with Bryn. "Mom! No, no, no!" he protested. I tried to tell him the dots would "disappear" when it's hung but I'm not sure he was buying it. (Not sure I'm buying it either. shhh!)

Because I have a million and one, half started/half done projects going on, let's move on to the office...
Looks black, but it's not. Bought a sample, slapped it on the wall then lo and behold there was a blank canvas in the same room. Next thing I know, I have a large piece of art that doesn't fit in a single room in my house!
Hummm, what do I do with this now? Add it to the other stacks of displaced items that still haven't found a place since the move. Sounds like a plan.

I guess painting this did accomplish one thing, it gave me long enough to think about the color and realize it was all wrong for the office but would look great in Bryn's room! So, I'm currently trying to muster up the energy to paint Bryn's room along with 2 bathrooms. Fun times, my friends.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Library walls and ladders

I'm currently dreaming of a library wall in our living room. We have an angled ceiling, much like several of the images below. I think it accentuates this feature in such an amazing way.

Ladder? Yes, please! John asked me if a ladder was a good idea since it'd give Reed a particularly odd angle to attempt to make it onto the upstairs landing. Ah, good think he thinks like a boy! My response?...we'll just have to threaten him with his life! ;)

Pretty sure I'd have to start raiding garage sales and thrift stores of all their books. Would you believe the city we live in does NOT have a Goodwill? I've been in withdrawal.

Love how these shelves have some negative space. That definitely adds to the visual interest.

So, my brain's working overtime trying to figure out an inexpensive way to achieve this look. John has experience building shelves...remember our guest room wall of shelves? Yeah, I still really, really miss that room. We didn't live there long enough after completing it to really enjoy it. Sadly, this wasn't one of his favorite projects to create so I'm not so sure I can persuade him to take on this booger of a job.

Hmmm, I think there's an Ikea trip in my near future. Think I can chop up some of their units and bring it together to create something fantastic? Hoping to have a lightbulb moment while shopping!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The importance of trusting your designer

  1. 1.
    being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.
    "the situation was unique in modern politics"

  1. 1.
    a unique person or thing.

To me, great design and the word unique go hand in hand. Sometimes the need to be unique is my greatest downfall as a designer. Coming up with "one of a kind" designs doesn't always happen over night. And, getting a client to buy in to one of my "unique" ideas can often be super hard. This takes trust, trust and more trust! But when that trust is achieved and a client buys in, their house suddenly becomes something spectacular and something they're very proud to show their friends and neighbors.

I'd like to hear the conversation between designer/client when this idea was pitched. "I've got it! Let's build a mini greenhouse inside your kitchen and use it as a room divider!" Sounds bizarre, right? But aren't the results stunning?!

"Let's build a bookshelf out of plus signs with tons of negative space. I promise your books will fit!" says the crazy designer.

"No, your bookshelves don't have to have books on them. Let's style them with balls, pyramids and cubes. It'll look great, I promise!"

"I know it's industrial and immediately you think warehouse, but that's what makes it so cool! And, yes, those doors are supposed to look beat up."

"Honeycombs! Honeycombs are totally in right now. Let's slap some up on your walls and use them as a shelving option."

We can certainly sound crazy sometimes with our off the wall ideas, but I think it's safe to say the pictures above prove that a little trust can take your room to the next level and result in great design. One of my favorite things to hear a client say is, "I never would've thought of that!" I know I've done my job when those words come out of their mouth. After all, that's why you hired me, right?

What's the takeaway from this post, you ask? Next time your designer throws you a hairbrained idea, reach deep down inside and allow yourself to take the journey towards something unique and fabulous.
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