Saturday, August 30, 2008


Before my home becomes bathed in the smell of pumpkins and cinnamon for Fall and cranberry and pine for Christmas, I thought I'd enjoy a fragrance that I always love . . . the smell of a spa. Back in the old days I pampered myself with monthly facials, and the smell of the half-darkened room where I reclined in comfort, warm moist towels on my face, soothing music . . . it had to be one of the most wonderfully calming and relaxing hours of the month.

Eucalyptus candles come closest to smelling like a spa, but most are rather costly. I found these aromatherapy candles at Bath & Body Works and this one, Eucalyptus Spearmint, is heavenly. I sat last night with it lit, reading in my chair, and it really took the stress away. And only $10.50.

More Thrift Store Finds

Stopped at Goodwill this evening (thrifing is the best escape from overwhelming home projects) and found this framed needlepoint scene, the sisal door mat, the rag rug, cloth napkins (I like to pick these up cheap and pack one in Harleigh's lunch vs. a paper one; 99% of the time the napkin finds its way home, but if it doesn't, it's no big deal), and these vintage pillow cases.

OH . . . . . . . . MY . . . . . . . . GOSH . . . . . . . .

. . . . . this project is taking me FOREVER to finish. I had removed the batting backing days ago and thought that the remnants that stuck (where it had been adhered to the frame with glue) would be easy enough to get off. But after failed attempts using WD-40, Goo Be Gone, and turpentine, I had to resort to sanding. It took me 3 hours, and I still have some flyaway hairs of batting that keep peeking from behind the frame.

And then the painting. In hindsight I should have painted the screen frame with a paintbrush, but I chose spray paint. Not always the easiest. In this case, since there are so many angles and such small pieces, when I spray, 25% of the spray goes on the wood and 75% into blank space. I've used two cans of primer and am onto my 4th can of topcoat and there's a ton more to do.

But tonite I'll take a break from the frame and begin cutting out the scrapbook paper to fit the individual panes. This is definitely one of those projects that winds up taking 10 times longer than you initially envisioned. I hope it's one that turns out soooo good, that is was worth all the time and effort.

The Last Summer Pedicure

Harleigh and I went to get pedicures today. I think it's one of the most fun mother/daughter things to do. Relaxing in a massaging recliner, getting our calves and feet rubbed, chatting up a storm. My ode to the last of summer . . . blue polish with sunflowers on my big toenails. Call me crazy (or, as the Asian gal working on me said, "you are a wild Mom!).

[Not a big fan of posting pictures of feet, but these toes were just too darn cute not to share.]

The Slow Goodbye to Summer

I am beginning to feel Fall in the air. Saying goodbye to summer is bitter sweet. Pumpkins, changing leaves, crisp evenings to sit outside stoking the chiminea fire, the upcoming holidays . . . wonderful arms to rush into after leaving summer behind. But we say goodbye to things we love . . . lightening bugs, flowers in the garden, seashells and white sand, patriotic holidays that bring us parades and festivals. Here are some pix at my kitchen windowsill, some flowers making their last appearance of the season.

Pretty Gifts

I found these beautiful luggage tags made out of inlaid rubber that I just couldn't pass up for my Candy Spelling Gift Closet. Items like these are perfect to have on hand for office birthday gifts or to use as a gift tag on a wrapped package, or even stand alone to be stuffed with cash or check for the high school graduate who will sure to be traveling.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thrift Store Finds

Awhile back I found this paint-by-number which fits in nicely with my collection (albeit small) of desert paintings. I put it atop a bookshelf in our rumpus room. The plant is one that was from my Nana's assisted living apartment. When she as moved to a room in the nursing home section, my sister gave me this. It reminds me so much of the plants around my Nana and Pap Pap's home. (I even remember my Nana telling me that she used furniture polish on the leaves of her plants to keep them shiny!)

Today, stopping at a new thrift store in our area, on my way to Ace (gotta love a man in a red vest), I picked up this shabby chic basket and plopped Nana's plant down into it. I love all these colors.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


C is for church O McElman_071026_2468_N T E N T M E N T32

I found this fun flickr site (by Erik Kastner) via Kim at Calamity Kim. I love how with blogging, you click on one person, who leads you to another, and then you find something wonderful, that leads you to more wonderful. Calamity Kim is just that . . . a wonderful blog (and, of course, I'm sure, a great person)!

Shoji Screen . . . next steps

Bought the primer and paint today for the frame and will tackle the painting tomorrow morning. In the meantime, with the day off from work and daughter at school I took advantage of leisurely strolls through the aisles of Hobby Lobby and Michael's. So much fun to see all the Halloween decorations! Have been debating the look I want for the screen and have been thwarted by the fact that I'm usually quite the coward when it comes to injecting color into my home. Well, I'm taking a stance on this little project and am going all out with color.

So as I scoured the scrapbook paper aisles, I honed in on, simply, what I liked. Didn't matter what papers went with other papers or even what colors are in my bedroom. This screen is going to make me happy. You can see I even bought some origami paper and in the lower right corner you can see a filagree stencil paper (in black!). Yes, I will take that giant leap and throw in some black. Watch out, girls, I'm on a roll.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Three Random Things

We've had really bad rainstorms here the past two days. And, of course, Gideon had been bathed this past weekend and so I've been a bit obsessed about not letting him run amuck out in the wetness and mud. Here is the double rainbow in this evening's sky (the second one is tad bit lighter). Quite a site to behold (and yes, I was driving and taking a picture, something I will never do again, because three different people around me almost had accidents because they were taking pictures with their cell phones).Here's our beautiful and clean dog, still smelling of shampoo and much more snuggly than when he was in his pre-bath state.And my Shoji screen, stripped of all the backing, which was sort of a white batting of some sort. I will be painting it a matte white and doing something with scrapbook paper . . . soon to be unveiled.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

White Slipcovers Are My Friends

Had a bit of anxiousness about dressing my chair and ottoman in white, especially since daughter watches TV in chair (which means lots of feet on cushions, hard leaning on arms of said chair, and eating and drinking while camped in chair), and big dog uses the ottoman as his perch. But I have loved the look of the white slipcovers and so far so good when it comes to wearability. The saving grace was spraying it with Scotchgard, and the ottoman (dog is dirtier than daughter) needs a washing now, but I'm diggin' the look of it.

And I think what I like most about it is that with it being white, I can accessorize it with whatever accent throws I have. Here is one my Nana made. Have always loved ivory and white together, and of course pink flowers look lovely in any setting.

Check back in with me later when Harleigh dribbles chocolate ice cream on the chair and Gideon comes inside from a muddy backyard and makes a bee-line for the ottoman. But for now, all is good.

Football Season Begins!

We girls here at Chateau Gahan have always lived for high school football season. Down here in the good ol' South, it's the pulse of Friday nights. Before Harleigh transferred to private school (where, alas, there is no football team or marching band), what we loved most about Norcross High were the basketball and football teams and the marching band. Tonite was the first game of the season and Norcross played Camden at the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons. We lost terribly, but Harleigh and I had a blast. 1) We'd never been to the Dome before, 2) it warmed my heart to think of these kids playing in an NFL venue, 3) Harleigh got to see all her NHS bandmates, and 4) she and I got to hoot and holler. Made for a great evening.

We'll be back to small-town highschool football fields next week and the weeks to come, but perhaps we'll find ourselves back at the Dome playing a State championship game.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's such the little things at the end of the day

The girls at the office all went out after work tonite to some drinky outdoorsy social thingy in town. I love these gals dearly and, as they know, I am comfortable — to a fault — when it comes to working a room, but . . . at my age (and thankfully my contentment level with my life and most importantly, me), there is one thing that trumps going out socially: nesting at home.

This is what I love coming home to every day:

1) A 16-year-old daughter who fills me in on every detail of her day (and then is usually off to run her own errands, which does afford me some quiet alone time)
2) A big old snuggly dog who just needs the ball (in his case, it's a volleyball because it suits his size better) to be tossed a few hundred times while I sit in a chair and maybe, if I am so inclined, while I water plants.
3) A house that is usually cluttered with "1 dog, 2 girls" things but yet embraces me with such a big bear hug that I don't ever want to leave.
4) And my big chair in the "ken" (the room off the kitchen that is supposed to be the dining area, but that I've made into a sitting room). The picture shows the table next to my chair. The radio, an old General Electric that I do believe I've had since I was in my twenties, gets turned on to NPR. The glasses go on so that I can read whatever book or magazine needs attention (and the selection has NOTHING to do with work, mind you). And I am happy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Way too fun. You gotta try it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

This won't win me Mother of the Year, but it works . . .

I work full time (actually, now at work with all that we've got going on, it's overly-full time).
I have a 16-year-old daughter who, thankfully, drives now and has her own car. She goes to school, has extra-curricular activities, works out at the gym, takes voice lessons, babysits . . . she's all over the place.
I have a big dog who, rightly so, needs lots of attention.
I have a home, yard, and my own fun projects and interests that keep me busy when I'm not working.

Weekends are our true commitment to mother/daughter time, when we enjoy eating meals together, shopping, going to the movies, lying in bed just talking and laughing. Harleigh is just plain ol' fun to be with and I wouldn't want any remnants of our chaotic and stressful week to creep into OUR weekend time.

One thing that has gotten totally out of whack has been our weekday dinner time. As a meal shared together, it is close to non existent. Which I can deal with. But I really started feeling guilty about us not eating a balanced dinner. Left to her own devices, Harleigh's dinner would consist of a handful of doritos washed down with an energy drink. Mine would be eating corn out a can while standing at the kitchen counter going through the day's mail.

So I went out and bought divided plastic containers. And for the past two weeks have taken an hour on Sunday to make up meals. Neither one of us cares about eating the same thing every night, so I stick to two menus, which makes it really easy. Last week it was black beans/rice/chicken and meatloaf/rice/squash. This week it is salmon/mashed potatoes/cauliflower and broccoli and chicken/mashed potatoes and gravy/green beans. I change the combos around, stick to steaming the veggies, using fat-free gravy, buying fresh fish and chicken . . . the dinners are good for us and taste good too.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Gideon's First Visit to the Dog Park

Gideon has never been to a dog park before. And for purely selfish reasons on my part. I am scared to death of dog fights. I have no idea why. Have no past bad experiences, but I really do need to quit being a big baby about it. Anywho . . .

We are new members of — an online community of Old English Sheepdog owners from around the globe — and they have a section on their website for posting OES playdates at area dog parks. I saw one for a group that meets 5 minutes from where we live! I couldn't believe that there are more OES's out there in our area. They posted a play date for this evening and I sucked it up and decided we'd go. We had a blast. Three other OES's and their owners showed up (they do a big sheepie play date in late October where 40-50 sheepies show up!). It was great to share stories of our "kids" as well as swap info about the breed.

Gideon was not nearly as playful as the others. He stayed close to me or Harleigh, seeming more of a momma's boy than I would have liked. But he seemed to enjoy himself and is now zonked out asleep.

Here are pix. One of the OES, Sunshine, is a rescue dog whose tail was never docked. A few pictures show a breed I've never seen before, a Tibetan Mastiff, otherwise known as the "lion dog." His name is Aslan and he is just as regal and as gentle a giant as the lion in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Lakewood in Cumming

Harleigh and I decided to check-out the sister location of the long-gone and gigantic Lakewood Antiques Market. Lakewood Antiques Market in Cumming is much, much smaller than we anticipated and lacks the charm of the original location. I know, we're spoiled by all the memories that the big Lakewood created for us. I don't think we'll go back to the Cumming location, but it was a nice way to spend a few hours this afternoon. We did manage to come home with two finds. For my birthday coming up in September, Harleigh bought me two pins that I fell in love with. Can't show them here because she whisked them into her purse as soon as she paid for them; dang nab it, have to wait until the big day.

And yes, we did get funnel cake.

Our dear Mr. Henson, always victorious . . .

Harleigh's band director from middle school, Mr. Troy Henson, passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was just 34 years old. This man was one of the most beloved teachers I have ever come to know. The kids adored him. It was Mr. Henson who encouraged Harleigh to take-up the oboe, since the school owned one and there was no oboe player in the band. It was playing in Mr. Henson's band that made her middle school years such joyful ones. He created a comradery amongst the kids that lasted right up through high school and beyond. The concerts these kids performed always brought tears to my eyes, as his passion for music and the children resounded in every note that was played.

Thank you, Mr. Henson, for the music.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Housewarming Gift

I came across this today and forgot that I had put it aside about a month ago when doing some down-n-dirty cleaning here at Chateau Gahan. This is a housewarming gift a friend of mine, Kelly, had given us back in 1999 when we moved into our "home." (And how sweet it was to say that word . . . home.)

Kelly bough the Visitor's Journal (this and other fun journals can be found at this site), and done some fancy work to create a new cover for it. She even photoshopped "Chateau Gahan" onto the gate sign. I've loved having it. My houseguests — whether it be for just dinner or an overnight visit — have enjoyed writing in it and I've loved looking through the entries. Makes me feel like the proprietor of a B&B.

Two Shell Crosses for Sale

When I did my 200th Post Giveaway, I had an overwhelming response to the shell cross included in the package. That particular one was a small cross, but most of what I've crafted have been larger ones (13" x 9"). Some people thought they'd be perfect for a beach house, one gal is doing a nursery in a seaside theme, others collect shells, some — like me — adore anything beachy, a few collect crosses, some live in coastal communities, others have beach- or ocean-themed rooms in their homes.

It is a project I love doing. My heart goes into each and every one. I'm selling two here. Both are the large version. I debated on price, and with the help from some blog friends and chatting with my family, I'm going to offer one at $40, the other at $45. That does not include the shipping, which I can figure and then communicate to whoever wishes to purchase one.

Simply leave me a comment; first come, first served. Tell me which cross you'd like to purchase. Make sure you also leave me your email address if your name doesn't automatically link to a blogger profile that contains your email address.

And I do plan on making many more.

Crosss 1: The Sea Urchin Crown — $40 plus shipping
Cross 2: Broken — $45 plus shipping
I found this twisted piece of coral (?) on the Florida coast, and it seemed to work perfectly here to symbolize Christ's twisted body. I used lots of broken shells and shell fragments to piece this cross together.

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