Thursday, July 31, 2008

Staycation? Not me!

With gas prices at $4/gallon and up, we had resigned ourselves to staying closer to home this summer. Things can change in a flash, however, so we're gearing up to visit my husband's uncle in western North Carolina. We're driving, so we'll get to see a lot of things along the way, including relatives on my side of the family, and a couple of best cyber-buds.

I'll be posting some along the road, making sure I link next week's "Home of the Week" to Julia's Hooked On Houses blog. See y'all when we get back!

The E-Mail Exchange

Because of the high gas prices, we're pinching pennies like everyone else. One of the things my husband and I try to do is take our lunch to work most days. Yesterday, shortly before I had to leave for a committee meeting, I received this e-mail from my husband:

Subject Line -- I wish....

You could buy my lunch. I'm starved!

Me: I have a committee meeting. You have NO money? And NOTHING to eat????
He: I was born a poor black child... (A reference from the movie, "The Jerk". I did not see this e-mail before I had to leave).

On the way to the meeting, I called him to say that we will have sub sandwiches at this meeting and always order extras. I could drop one off for him after the meeting, and so I did.

When I got back to the office, I responded to his e-mail:

Me: Thank goodness for your sugah mama.

He: You may get some sweetness from the Sugah Daddy 2 nite!

I love how, after more than 22 years of marriage, we can still make each other chuckle. :-)

We're gearing up for an ambitious 10-day road trip, leaving tomorrow. I'll try to post some from the road.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home of the Week for July 30

Spicewood is just west of Austin. There's not much to the town of Spicewood, but it is an up and coming area for residential construction. I believe Willie Nelson lives out there.

This amazing waterfront estate has views for miles on over 4+ private acres. The home boasts 8 bedroom, 13 living areas, 14 baths, 2 gourmet kitchens with 8 refrigerators and 7 dishwashers. Can you say par-tay?!

Listing Price:
Annual Taxes:

I wish there were more interior views, but with outdoor views like this house has, I don't imagine one would spend that much time inside.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Inspiration continues

I must be on a mirror kick this week. Of course, I've been checking Craigslist for simple, rectangular mirrors. I won't get anything like that now, because I really don't need a project right before leaving for a long road trip.

I did find this, though.

The description says the mirror's 3-4 feet tall and that it was created by an artisan in Rockport, TX. Well, at $125, how could I pass it up? So now that puppy's mine. It's closer to 3' tall, but I still think it's worth what I paid, especially after googling "shell mirror" and seeing what else is out there.

I plan to hang it above my living room sofa. Now I just need to figure out what to flank it with. Any suggestions?

The more I study the "Something's Gotta Give" living room, the more I like it. I can't do a large dhurrie rug, though, because of the three cats and one dog. I am interested in one of those indoor/outdoor rugs that can be hosed off. And look what I found at Ballard's.
The pic doesn't show it, but it's available in blue. And it's on sale. Plus I have a 10% off code for being a new homeowner. That means I can get this rug for $125 plus S&H!

Now, I also love the dark, dark wood floor in the "Something's Gotta Give House." Again, with the three cats and one dog, wood floors are probably not the most practical thing. Currently, we have carpet, and let me tell you, that's not practical either. Very soon, we will be pulling up the carpet and laying vinyl plank strips by Novalis. Lest you think they'll look cheapy, we have a relative who put this in her mountain home kitchen, and it looks fabulous. In fact, her kitchen floor abuts the real wood floors at both entrances, and you'd never know one was not wood.

Currently, the Novalis doesn't come as dark as I would like, but I'm okay with the Gunstock color. I just can't tell you how excited I will be to put away the Resolve carpet spray!

It usually takes me a while to get a house situated before moving on to accessories, but it looks like the living room won't take much longer to get presentable. Stay tuned for updates and pics.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Creative License

Do you ever look at something and think, "I can do that!"? I do it all the time, and it gets me into trouble. The garage in our Amarillo house was packed to the gills with all sorts of "future" projects that I never got around to. It was so packed, in fact, that we had TWO garage sales before we moved, and each one netted over $1000. You know it's bad when your garage sale customers ask if you've ever had an antique store, and you haven't. LOL

I'm bound and determined not to the make the same mistake at our new house. Seriously, I really don't think I'll be doing any more furniture rehabs anytime soon. Still, I can't help but be intrigued when I look at this mirror in the Ballard's catalog. Even though geometry isn't my strong suit, how hard could it be to find a simple, secondhand mirror, pencil in the design and go over it with that faux leading stuff from the craft store?

Then I saw the same design in a larger mirror and thought how neat that would look on mirrored closet doors. That couldn't be all that hard, could it? Why don't you try it and let me know how it works out, okay?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Did You Lose A Pie?

I recently lost my keys at Blues on the Green, here in Austin. On a whim, and nearly two weeks after the free concert (Los Lonely Boys, by the way, so maybe worth the lost keys), I decided to check Craigslist. Ta da! Found them! Apparently lost keys aren't all that are posted on Craigslist. Did you happen to lose a pie? LOL

Found pie
Reply to:
Date: 2008-07-21, 10:37PM CDT

FOUND: a pie, on a bench, in Zilker Park, today. I looked to see if someone was nearby, but there wasn't. I'm not sure who would leave a pie in the park, but there it was.

It appears to be a pistachio cream pie with a pretty tall mound of whipped cream on top. One slice was missing, perhaps an eighth of the pie. I did not take the slice. I'm sorry if you left a whole pie. Perhaps a less honest person found it before me and helped themself to a slice of the pistachio cream pie.

If you can identify the color of the tag the pie was wearing, you may claim it.

I don't know about you, but I sure have a hankerin' for some pistachio cream pie.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Paris Paradise

Paris Paradise was the name my daughter gave her second room. At age 7, she was very involved in the design decisions for this room. She's an artist and a ballerina, among other things, so those talents were incorporated in her feminine retreat in several different ways.

All the furniture was secondhand. Her bed came from Goodwill, and with a fresh coat of white paint, it fit in perfectly with the Parisian theme. The nightstand was a bar stool-turned-table, skirted with fabric trimmed with baby, pink, silk roses.

You may recognize the chandelier from her previous room. Updated with a coat of white paint, the fixture was converted to a swag, so Cameron could easily access the switch from her bed. The long cord was camouflaged with yards of flowy tulle.

See the writing on the walls? Since my little, seven-year-old ballerina had her own form of curly writing, French ballet words were curly-qued on every wall. That was my favorite part of the whole room!

Cameron was a very prolific artist. She'd spread her art supplies on the kitchen floor and go crazy, creating all sorts of things. We finally decided she should keep her things contained in her own room, so I converted her closet to an art studio. It comes as no surprise that it was never cleaner than when this picture was taken! :-)

The chair is skirted with voile, gathered with black and white gingham ribbon. I added little pockets that held silk, pink rose petals.

The curtain rods were a bargain Big Lots find and a fun way for Cameron to display her art and ballet leotards.

I loved the soft wall color. It's Behr's Cream Rose, in case you're wondering.

We decorated this room right before everyone else was doing pink and black Parisian rooms. In fact, her room was inspiration for other little girls' rooms, we know.

I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse into the past and a part of my little girl's personality. We'll be finishing up her third room soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Home of the Week

Very private contemporary 19-acre estate on the south shore of Lake Travis. Main house approx 10,109 sq ft, Separate 2/1 guest house approx 1,187 sq ft, lap pool overlooking lake, Otis elevator. Designed by Donlyn Lyndon FAIA Boathouse w/hoist for 2 boats

Exterior: Concrete Block, Metal Siding, Stucco
Floor: Stained Concrete, Wood

Listing Price: $9,250,000
Annual Taxes: $66,158

This home requires very little narration, so without further ado, a Lake Travis contemporary... (click on pics for larger views)


This home has obviously had a decorator's touch and an architect's eye. Even the pics look professional and magazine quality. Could you live here?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Can I brag?

If you'll indulge me for a few moments, I feel the need to brag. I'm one of five kids. Maybe I'll share a few of those growing up stories from time to time, but for now, I just want to tell you about my sister, Lee, although most people know her as Mary. Maybe more on that story later, too, but this is just about Lee. You can read more about her and her lovely family at AndEvenIf

One of Lee's many talents is redoing homes. No, make that flipping homes. While she and her family live in them. I know. Crazy isn't it? She and her husband will take a home in need of some TLC, fix it up and sell it a few years later. They do such a great job maximizing a home's features, and Lee's decorating skills are always evident in the finished product.

They're currently on their third flip, and let me tell you, it's a huge improvement over where they started with it two years ago.

This home was built in the early 80's. When Lee and her husband bought it, it was overrun with vines, bushes and trees. You can tell from the pics that that's no longer the case.

The exterior of this dated contemporary home was given a fresh coat of neutral paint, and though you can't tell much from these pics, a corner window on the left of the house was replaced by a more attractive window that doesn't wrap around the corner.

This pic shows the fireplace. No one would ever know that the fireplace surround was added during the flip.

The house had been added onto somewhere along the way. This little area shows what probably had been a sunroom, originally. You can see the doorway to the family den, which is where the children are homeschooled, and Lee sews and crafts. The living room has a tall, vaulted ceiling. That was covered in popcorn. Buh bye, popcorn!

Not the greatest shot of the dining room, but you get the gist of Lee's decorating talents. This is the room that had the corner window. Not so contemporary now, is it?

It's so hard to get a good kitchen shot, but this room received new granite countertops, new tile flooring and a fresh coat of paint on the cabs.

Do you have a walk-in pantry? I don't and am completely envious of this one. Of all the fabulous things that were done to update this house, I think the conversion of the former wet bar, accessible from the living room, to this wonderful walk-in pantry, accessible from the kitchen, is tops!

Lee made her duvet cover from the ever-popular "Queensland" fabric. She and I both love the design and colors, though I don't have it in my new home.

Another fabulous update is this master bath. I tell ya, I don't think you could've paid me a million dollars to take a bath with the original tub area that had a carpeted step surrounding it. Yuk! But would you look at it now? It's completely spa-like and such an upgrade from where it began. I love the chairs in the bathroom. With three young kiddos, who all take their baths in the jetted tub, there's a big need for extra seating!

The columns were old, architectural finds. They were cleaned up and now frame the tub and sink areas perfectly, don't they?

This is my nephew, Mason's, room.

This retreat belongs to my nieces, Molly and Madelyn.

The kids' bath received new paint, granite countertop, new lighting and new tile flooring.

Hard to get a good view of the utility room. Suffice it to say that it too is a huge improvement.

And I don't even really know what this spot was originally. Obviously, it's an add-on from a few years back. I love the seating area it is now.

This house is on the market in Amarillo right now, folks! And it's move-in ready!