Thursday, April 30, 2009

and at the end of the day

I took a walk outside and dang it, we got da best grass of any yard in the neighborhood. The inside of the house looks like a disaster, but our grass looks like carpet. And then I passed our mailbox and there she was, a bluebird. The bluebird of happiness. Harleigh and I savored a long hug today and laughed at what a day it was indeed. We wondered . . . do we suffer more home disasters and in-need-of-mendings than most? Maybe, but we're happy. 

Chateau Gahan at its finest . . .

The aftermath. (See previous post for the messy details.) And what's really fun is looking at the post before that — "Chateau Gahan by Ali Harper." Ahhhh, I remember the serenity, the beauty, how clean and homey everything was.

(Oh, and did I mention that when I moved a batch of clothes in the closet from the bottom rod to the top to clear space for the workmen, the closet system pulled out of the wall. Oh happy day.)

Putting things into perspective

Last night at 10:00, ready for bed after watching American Idol, I heard a sound from the hall closet (where the hot water heater is . . . worst place to have one, BTW). It sounded sorta like the heater when it's running, heating the water. But a little different. And I remembered that I had heard the same sound a couple hours ago. All that equaled a very long time for the heater to be running, considering I wasn't running the dishwasher or washing machine. Peeked in and there was water squirting out in a fine mist from the compression tank (that blue thing) above the heater itself. 

The linoleum floor was covered in about a half inch of water. Called the plumber and was told how to turn everything off. Thought all the water was contained to the closet. But then this morning I walked into my bedroom closet and the carpet was soaked. Went into the living room, which borders the other side of the closet, and the hardwoods were cracking and warping. The hallway carpet is wet too.
Way worse than I had thought. So today I'm at home.

The plumber just came and fixed the hot water heater. The water removal team is here pulling out baseboards, ripping up carpet and linoleum, pulling up hardwood, and setting up giant fans (which will run for three straight days, 24 hours a day). The insurance adjustor should be calling soon, and the estimator for the damage is on his way.

I've dealt with water damage before, and I suppose of all the damages to a home, water is the easiest to deal with. It will get fixed. Thank God for insurance. And maybe I'll get new carpet out of the situation.

This morning as I was slouched over the kitchen counter, phone in hand (as I have been most of the day), feeling defeated and daunted by all that lays ahead in terms of upheaval and the house being in shambles, Harleigh put the Bible in front of me, opened to Matthew 6:34. It has honestly put everything into perspective. We're healthy and happy. I've got water damage. Big deal. Not the first time. And probably not the last.

I have handed it over. And it is in good hands. The best.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chateau Gahan by Ali Harper

Ali's pictures of Harleigh were stunning (see here and here), and now she's captured Chateau Gahan . . . well, exactly as I picture it in my mind, the way I decorated it to come across, as serene and comfortable, homey and filled with nooks of prettiness. Thanks so much, Ali.  And do visit her etsy site, where she sells all of her photography. 

Welcome to Chateau Gahan . . .

[This final picture is one of my cherished Ali Harper photographs above my bed.]

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vintage Easter Tag Swap

A lovely "bouquet" of Easter tags arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago, thanks to Andrea over at Vintage Bella Studio
Andrea, thanks so much for hosting this! Just look at all these lovelies.

This one from Julie was the first one I noticed, what with the trim peeking out. 
And the back is pretty too. Lots of great stuff going on with this wonderful tag.

Wendy embellished the cross on this one with glitter glue, so the flowers appear to be 
kissed by a newly fallen rain.

Diane over at Saturday Finds frilled this one up with crepe paper, which I love.

Jessica used two straight pins and lace which I adore.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Good Morning Weekend!

Up early to the sun streaming in and warming up the wet and slightly chilly morning. Supposed to be in the low 70's today. Have cleaning to do (so much more bearable with screened doors and windows open). Ali is coming over this afternoon to do a shoot of the keys that my Dad sent as well as of Chateau Gahan.

A few flower arrangements around the house made from $5 a dozen roses from Kroger. (All you have to do is tear off the rotted petals and then puff some air into the flower to make it fill out. Voila . . . expensive roses.) The red rose arrangement is augmented with artificial what I believe are begonia carnations. While I would love to have huge bouquets of flowers everywhere, I can create the decadent feel of a house full of fresh flowers by combining real with artificial, as long as the artificial ones aren't too fake looking.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Prom Day

Harleigh's Junior/Senior Prom was this evening. Synett (who did her hair and makeup for Homecoming) did her hair and makeup again, and the hair was a perfect fit for her flowy, yellow dress.

Here's just a hint . . .

. . . of all the goodies that Courtney and I have in store for Jamie and Molly's Wedding Rehearsal Dinner. After the shower we threw for Molly, Sue (Jamie's mom) called and asked if we'd be interested in decor and floral arrangements for the rehearsal dinner. Ahhhhhhhh. YES! So Courtney and I have been busy at work on a dinner next weekend in Augusta, 100+ guests, 15 tables, placecards . . . we've been having a blast. On Sunday we have a work day at my house to complete some of the items for this event. Here are some tea-stained mailing labels that I finished today. More to come.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Every day should have these moments

Here is another train station dance done in London.

Am I the only goon out there who cries at stuff like this?!?!?

Majestic Feathers Tag Swap

After creating my Easter place cards using feathers, I read today's post at Jenny's Fated Follies . . . and she's doing a tag swap which she's called Majestic Feathers. I think it's fate that I participate, since the bag of feathers is already out on the craft table.And so my mind is already racing with ideas for tags that will feature fancy birds, royal hues, crowns, and majestic notions. So fun!

Stop by her blog and join in!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Placecards

Granted there were only seven of us at the Easter table today at my Mom's, but ya just gotta have placecards. I made these coconut and white chocolate nests (which taste really good, but I used a little too much chocolate and the nests turned out more solid and less "grassy"). Plopped two jelly beans in, set it on a doily in a pretty vintage bowl, garnished with a craft feather, and stuck a placecard into each.

The cards are made from paint chip cards. Whenever I go into a paint store, I always grab a bunch. I have a huge stack at home. The colors are so pretty and varied, and I wind up using them for all kinds of crafts. I made the placecards by cutting out parts of the chip cards, sticking on an Easter sticker, and writing the names with Sharpies.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fran and Freba

How many time can I watch this????? It gets funnier every time. Neil Patrick Harris is my new comedic hero.

It's in my Jansport.

I'll tell you what.

Oh, I need some lotion.

Like a Friendly's?

Hello. This is the tower.

That's perfect. You want some carrots?

Jiggle it a little.

He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed.

I'm going to post my Easter post this evening. My day begins tomorrow at 5AM and will end (with the Easter festivities) close to 4PM, so I wish everyone a Happy Easter!

These pictures are of four postcards that I received in the mail a couple of weeks ago from Melissa, a college friend. We were roommates for two years and we've become reacquainted as of recently. She has been reading my blog, was going through some of her grandmother's belongings, found these postcards, and thought I would like them. Well . . . I love them. They will be cherished. Promise.

I began the morning with dressing the altar for church. Every Saturday before Easter I enter the sanctuary alone, a cup of coffee in my hand, the silence of the church sweeter than any music, a sense of anticipation and reverence for what lays before me . . . a stripped altar. Everything gone. He did so much for me. And in my unworthiness I do my best to create an altar that celebrates His gift.

I then helped in the church kitchen where we are preparing a breakfast feast unlike any other. I swear, I eat more at this breakfast than I do at Thanksgiving. Ran to get groceries. Came home to make a pie for tomorrow. I am making the Buttermilk Pie that I chanced upon at Aunt Ruthie's Sugar Pie Farmhouse. Here is the recipe. Tomorrow morning I will start the crock pot with a macaroni and cheese recipe that I got from Harleigh's swim team banquet. A recipe to die for. Will share that as well.

I also made coconut and white chocolate nests with jelly bean "eggs." Will take pix of those tomorrow. They will be the placecards for the table setting at my Mom's.

Gideon the Bunny

He hated it but we had to do it. No Easter is complete without dressing up your dog in bunny ears.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Package from Dad

Got a big box in the mail today filled with goodies from my Dad up in Maryland. One of the events that Courtney and I are working on involves old skeleton keys. A quick call to my Dad, can he please keep an eye open for them (he goes to auctions all the time), and he remembers he has a stash somewhere in the garage. Sends me all of them! And also gifted me with a tole umbrella stand that once belonged to my Nana. And I discovered lots of other vintage items with each piece of newspaper I unwrapped.I found a place for it in my Candy Spelling gift closet; it now holds stray rolls of wrapping paper.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The one that ALMOST got away

Yesterday I was in Goodwill. On a mission to find a few things for the events that Courtney and I are working on, BUT always on the lookout for things that I personally can't live without. With already a few sweet finds in my basket, I passed by these two women whose baskets revealed the mother lode of my kind of thrifting . . . specifically, vintage glass and ceramic pieces with flowers. One piece, in particular, caught my eye — an old, cracked pitcher in all the colors I love and with flowers galore — and caused that heartbeat skip that says "dang, if only I'd been here a minute earlier." And like any true-blooded thrifter, I kept walking by her basket and looking at it, hoping I'd decide that it really isn't at all what I like, in fact, it's downright ugly (not). In other words, punishing and torturing myself.

Today, I popped into Goodwill again and lo and behold, setting on a shelf (in a section where it obviously didn't belong) was the pitcher. She must have decided that she didn't need it, or that the cracks were flaws she couldn't live with, or better yet . . . it was made for me. Look . . . isn't it beautiful. And for $3.

Home Books

I love books about making a house into a home. When Ali came to take pictures of Harleigh, she walked through the front door and said, "When I walk in your home, I feel like I'm on vacation." I consider that one of the nicest compliments I've ever gotten about Chateau Gahan. These are a few of the books that I pour through often to stir up some homey inspiration.

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