Two Story Cottage

Colorful Wooden Silhouettes

Dear Friends,

Happy Summer!  I’m right in the thick of it between swim team, camps, and travel.  I kind of love it.  We haven’t deviated too far from a typical schedule but boy do I enjoy the snippets of down time that appear here and there.  I’m exhausted at the end of the day from fixing a thousand meals and breaking up twice as many fights but it feels wonderfully fresh.  I know by August I may feel differently but for now I’m embracing it.

I’ve made quite a few changes lately despite our all over the place schedule.  One small change that makes a big impact is the addition of wooden silhouettes of the kids.  They can be ordered from Von Jet Silhouettes and I think they are a treasure.  I’ve always loved the classic silhouette but this takes it to another level.





I went bold with my color choices but I wouldn’t change a thing.  The weathered wood on the chartreuse fits right in.  As far as art goes, it is relatively inexpensive and something I’m likely to hold on to for years to come.  I’m glad I took the plunge with this one!

Happy July,




Watercolor Project for the Non-Artist

Dear Friends,

Happy Hump Day!  Of course,  I can’t say that without being flooded by images of the Geico camel commercial.  Now I won’t be the only one with that stuck in my head.  You are welcome.

Mr. Reid’s birthday is one week from today which means he will only be 3 for a teeny bit longer.  I’m trying to treasure his last week as a sort-of toddler.  A four year old is a big kid, you know?  Of course he is still my chubby cheeked little boy but he is getting bigger by the minute.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of contributing at The Handmade Home.  I’d love for you to stop over and see the project I did with the outside of our house.


Now, I just need a picture of our middle house.   I like having a tribute to our homes because you leave a little piece of yourself everywhere you go.  Memories and milestones and whatnot.

I’m on a reminiscing kick this morning.   March is sneaking up on me I suppose.






Cheap Art for Reid’s Room {Jeep!}

Dear Friends,
I finally decided on a very loose transportation theme for Reid’s room.   I want the design to carry through for the next several years so I passed on the temptation to do strictly construction vehicles.  For him, the next best thing is a Jeep or a race car.

There is not a day that goes by that he doesn’t spot a Jeep on the road.  It could be a Jeep Wrangler or a Jeep Grand Cherokee.  He knows the Jeep look.

I looked online and anything Jeep- related is few and far between.

So, on a recent Sunday we stopped by the Jeep lot before they opened.  While the hubby stayed in the car with the kids, I ran around snapping pictures with my iPhone.

I found my two favorites and then added a couple of filters to brighten them up.  They were taken using my Camera+ app.  I love that it has so many filters to choose from.

I downloaded them to my computer and then had them printed on canvas at my local Walgreen’s.  I have never had anything printed on canvas there and I have to say I’m super impressed.  I used a 40% coupon making each canvas $20-something.   I uploaded the photos online and picked the finished product up 2 hours later.  How crazy is that?

The canvases are an inch thick which was a nice surprise.  I chose the 16 by 20 size because the picture quality went down if I did anything too much larger.  I did resize the pictures in Photoshop Elements first.  I did it according to the sizing guidelines on the Walgreen’s site.

I’m really happy with the Jeep art!  Easy and inexpensive – can’t get much better than that!

House Painting

The first house you buy is always special.  For some people it may be something to laugh about years later but for us our first house will always be my favorite.   Realistically it wasn’t right for a growing family but it will always hold a special place in my heart!

I had a local artist do a painting of our first house.  It now hangs in the kitchen and makes me smile every day. A house painting is also a great gift – I found an artist on ebay who did a watercolor for my parents and sister as a Christmas gift a couple years ago.  It made for a special present!



I should probably be up front with my readers.  All 2 of you. 🙂  I have the creativity for lots & lots of wonderful projects.  However, I can’t bake beautiful cakes and my Christmas presents look like crap.  I am not a “TRUE” Martha Stewart.   Shhh… oh & sometimes my plants shrivel and die so I don’t have a green thumb either although the effort is there.

Whew- now that you know the truth I feel much better.  Don’t expect a tutorial on beautifully wrapped gifts come December.  I CAN make a yummy cake – it just may not be that pretty.

Now that my conscience is clear I’ll move on.  I create the things in my house usually based on inspiration.  Wow, that is a new one, huh?  No, not exactly rocket science but just the way I work.  The picture on my headline is actually a painting.  It is probably the most beautiful thing I own.  The artist is Bob Ransley & when I saw it hanging in an art gallery I HAD to have it.  I visited it for weeks and said little prayers hoping it would still be there every time I stopped by.  This was back in ’04  or BK.  (Before Kids)  That was when I had an income and could spend $$ on extras like big, beautiful REAL expensive art.  I’m still glad I did though b/c I admire it at least once a day.  In fact at Christmas I take it down for my nativity display and I have to put it in the guest room so I can still feel it nearby.  A lot of what is in my house is inspired by the colors in the painting or at least the color palette.

I hope & pray we never have a fire but after the hubby, kids, and dog the painting takes precedence!

I am very inspired by art. There is another painting in my home that is a close second to my beloved Ransley piece. It is a beautiful piece by artist Thomas Andrew. I LOVE his work as well. The colors are what grab me. You can look at either painting and see layers and layers of color. I can paint a pop art piece myself but I’ve never been able to paint with the dimension of a true artist. Both paintings are full of COLOR which I try to incorporate into my decor.

This is the Thomas Andrew piece in my foyer…

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