Monday, May 23, 2016

Is it possible that spring or summer is finally here!

The state of things....

Sorry I'll be on my soapbox for a moment... BEWARE RANT COMING! 

1.  Never, ever, ever, EVER let your parents get a reverse mortgage... NEVER EVER. And don't you do it either!  PLEASE!!!!
There are things they don't tell you.  Sounds like a great deal - stay in your house and we'll pay you back the equity on your home in monthly installments.... nice.  The problem 1:  You no longer own your home so unless you've got other retirement you've got nothing to sell and live in say Assisted Living with.  Nursing and Assisted Living homes are CRAZY expensive.  The problem 2: The reverse mortgage really expects you to die before the loan ends, sad but true.  Just like a regular mortgage you can take this thing out for X number of years.  If you live longer and want to 'extend' the mortgage why you can do that but you now begin to accrue interest due on the loan AND you become upside down.... needless to say my mother is now not only homeless but will probably have to declare bankruptcy because of this reverse mortgage process.... so please DO NOT DO IT... DO NOT LET YOUR PARENTS DO IT!  Just take out a conventional loan if you need the money that badly.

2.  It has been raining and snowing here in Colorado and is FINALLY drying out this week.  I thought I'd been transported to someplace else.  It was crazy!  But now the sun has come back for 3 days and it's been in the 70's and even 80 on Saturday so I've got everything blooming in my garden. It is an explosion of flowers.  If you follow me on Instagram you've seen some of my garden.  Check it out @Vicdenni on Instagram. 

BUT I've FINALLY gotten the porch together and the house flipped around.  If you have been here before you know that I flip my living/dining room around in the summer.  Now my dining room is in the living area and vice versa. 

I think it makes my new living area very cozy.
So welcome to my 'summer' home!
I added a summer picture of one of my favorite places in Colorado, The San Juan Mountains.  That is Mt. Sneffels.  I took it 2 years ago in early September, a bit too early for the Aspen but if you look closely at the photo you can see that they are just starting to turn. 
 I filled this mason jar full of sand and shells I collected on a trip to Mexico along with some shells that are very old and unique in the front.  This is my husband favorite thing of all my summer décor, he just loves the shells in the jar. 

 See my dinning is now where my living room was.  What do you think of my camera collection?  It is growing and growing.  I bought the larger camera with the large flash this year at a flea market. The thing must weigh 10lbs... I can't imagine having to carry it around to take pictures with! 
 The buffet, yes with the broken leg, sits behind the table. 
 Love my lilacs! They smell so amazing! 
 This is a photo my husbands Grandmother gave us.  It is of the Denison homestead in Mystic CT. Yep my husband can trace his family back to the Revolutionary war... pretty cool!!!
 Above the buffet, yes with the broken leg, LOL!  I have a shelf that I added a sculpture of a sailboat.  My husband did a lot of sailing as a kid and teenager with his Grandmother. 
 If you turn around you've got my china cabinet - I think I want to paint it but gosh I'm afraid to paint any of this crazy old furniture, yes even the buffet with the broken leg!!  That large Ficus will go outside with the other plants once it stays above 50 at night. 
 Here is a close up of my little living area.  I got the mason jar lantern at Kirkland's. 
 Here is my side table with its omage to the sea.  A fish bowl filled with sand dollars and a small turtle, both from Home Goods.  The conch shell is a find from our honeymoon 26 years ago! 


Down the hallway - we've got a ranch style home - so down the hall is the bedrooms and at the end I hung a mirror and put the old front entry table under it.  I added a light and some rocks along with a 3-D print (fancy.. I just hot glued shells to a flat canvas) and a bowl with sand dollars.  The dog balls are extra.
 Sweet

 Now to the back deck!  I am so happy this has been set up! 
 My little tray vignette with an old fashioned diving helmet - Hobby Lobby.  The tray and shell dish are from Home Goods.   The glass floats are from a childhood trip to Maine.
 Want to play a game of Cribbage??  It is a fun game that the hubby and I play often.  We keep track of who wins etc... currently I am the reigning champ!
The seating area is to the left.  AHHHH still no patio couch or bench.... good thing I am so good with chairs! 
I moved my window outside and hung it against the fireplace wall.  Underneath is a bar cart I found at Home Goods in the clearance section for - $20.00 yep....nothing wrong with it either!  Can you say SCORE!
Here is my outdoor coffee table.  The plank I did 2 years ago now maybe... really easy to do.  The mason jar thing I got at Kirkland's last year and I've used it during all seasons.  I put some colored rocks in them to hold the flowers down and in the others I'll put small tea light candles.  With that and the new table lamp and the overhead lights the porch will take on a wonderful glow this summer!
This is the lamp and side table I got at the At Home Store. The lamp was $10.00 and the table was $30!  The tile coasters I did myself.  An easy project to do here

 Finally the sun is setting, the leaves are finally growing and Colorado is coming back to life!  I get to look at this amazing view every day - and this is just my north view.  You can really see the sun move in the sky here and this is where it sets for the next few weeks until it moves a bit farther north.  Then after the summer equinox it will slowly move back, all the way to the other side of Pikes Peak and farther south. 
The sun won't set until well after 9pm during the summer here and sometimes it can still be dusk at 10pm!  If you want to find me, I'll be on my back deck soaking it all in and being amazed at nature's beauty. 

I'll be back next week sharing my garden...have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.  Let's take some time this weekend to reflect on those who have lost their lives protecting our freedom. Let's also take a moment to thank those still with us that have or are serving.   Bless them they are the true hero's. 

Victoria

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Springtime garden

Snow... it happens and it happens in Colorado a lot and throughout the spring.  Springtime for most means warmer weather and rain while here in the Rocky Mountains it means 70 degree days followed by 18+ inches of snow the next day! 

Last week we had about 4 inches of snow and it and the 18+ we got the weekend before has finally melted under the Colorado sunshine.  I am confident enough that it won't snow again (April is our snowiest month) that I've re-redecorated my front for spring. 

 


 I want to re-paint my shutters and door.  I just think they are a bit too baby blue but they do stand out well against the battleship gray of the house so we'll see. But painting shutters and or your door is an easy and pretty cheap way of updating your homes look. 
I've thought about painting the brick but just like my fireplace I am cautious, oh heck, terrified!  I think the brick works for now and I like it with the colors I've got on the house. 

Last fall I bought an old screen for $5.00 at an antique store.  This spring I've brought it outside and hung one of the 3 boxwood wreathes I made last year on it.  In front I put a galvanized box filled with wood and pinecones.  Sometimes I put lights in this box for a sparkly effect.  I put this all under my metal star. 

I love lilacs... those, tulips and peonies are my favorite flowers.  I filled a metal container full of faux lilacs this year.
The look pretty real to me! 
Though my neighbors white lilac bush has lots of blooms on it this year.  She lets me cut them so I can't wait till mid May when they should be in full bloom!!!

I have a large purple bush in my backyard but this one is farther along than mine for whatever reason. 

Speaking of my backyard... my tulips made it through the snow!
So did my bleeding heart - and look it is blooming!
Whoo hoo!  I always worry about this little guy but he's hanging in there!

I don't know what kind of bulb these are but they get big purple balls on them when they bloom.
They end up about 2 feet or more tall... they seem to be good to go as well. 

Even my peony fared the 18 inches of snow well.
AND... don't know if you can see it but I got really excited to see my hydrangea coming up! They are so sensitive.  I was worried.


This upcoming weekend I'm going to the Castle Rock Antique Fair at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.  Over 600 vendors will be there and I'm super excited.  I am on the lookout for some old camera's and equipment as well as any unique stools or lights.  I'll be taking photo's and sharing on Instagram this weekend so follow me there!!! @Vicdenni on Instagram. 

What does your spring garden look like where you live?  Do you have a lot or a few plants blooming now?  I'd really love to see. 
Have a great week, thanks for reading. 
Victoria

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Go-to decorating tool

Someone on Instagram asked me what I use as my 'go-to' decorating tool. 

It took me 2 seconds to respond with "lanterns."  I love lanterns and they can be so versatile to use in decorating.  So I went around my house and looked at my lanterns so I could take pictures for this post. 

I didn't find a single, not even one lantern that I've got out to use as an example.  Hmmm....

So I thought, "Okay I love candles."  Candles that's the correct answer.  Nope only 2 candles currently being used in my spring decorating.  Okay...

Flowers.. I do like flowers and I know, KNOW I use flowers in all my decorating during all the seasons.  Be it faux or fresh I use flowers all the time.  Now I've talked about using flowers several times and are flowers really a decorating tool?  NO they are an accessory so I've got to find something I use as a tool. 

So I thought books!  I know I use books to decorate with.  Books are very versatile as risers.  I know I use books.... yeah NO.  I could only find 1... ONE book that I'm currently using.
ONE.  But hey it is a cute old book that I painted white and stamped with a script stamp.  AND don't you just LOVE the dragonfly! 
It is a Christmas tree ornament I got at Big Lot's 2 years ago... LOVE. 

SOOOOOO - decorating tool.. I can do this!  My husband tried to help he said, 'How about pictures? One's we've take on our adventures.  Are pictures a tool?  Yeah they cover the walls but this isn't what I was looking for. 

My search continued through my small house to see if there is anything that stands out... I use a lot of metals....

And orbs can be a tool but that isn't what I was asked.... again - accessory not a tool! 
I walked around my living/dining/kitchen and found that I use a lot of trays and cake stands a lot. 
In my kitchen to hold sugar and creamers....

Also in the kitchen to hold fresh fruit.

 On my dinning room table.

I got the tray on my dinning table at Target.  I filled it with a seashell, (you'll always find seashells in my decorating as I'm originally from Maryland), a candle and other items... including faux flowers in a beer growler... yep that is how classy we are here.. a beer growler but isn't it CUTE! 
Just remember to think of a tray as a decorating surface like a table.  Keep things in 3's and vary the heights to keep the eye moving.  Things don't necessarily have to relate to one another - I've only got 3 things that relate in the above picture - the ornamental finial thing, the bird and the Fleur de Lis.  You'll also notice a small church thing in the vase with the faux flowers and the roof is in the same color pallet as the finial, bird and Fleur de Lis.  You could fill a tray with seashells in glass jars with sand, you could have 3 candlesticks of different heights on your tray.  Just keep things in 3's it seems to work best and vary the height to keep the eye moving on the surface. 

Speaking of pretty...
I added these dragonflies to my table to relate to the green tea light holders.  Yes these are also Christmas ornaments!  So think outside the box when decorating your table. 
I also use cake stands as risers. 
This one really isn't a cake stand but a garden riser but hey...
 This cake stand is from Southern Living at Home. 
 This cake stand I got at Home Goods. 



Cake stands or other kinds of stands are very versatile to help raise an item higher than another or spotlight an item.  The above teapot and cake stand are in my kitchen.  The cake stand highlights the pretty antique teapot. 

So whew!  I found some things that I use as decorating tools!  I was sweating a bit there! 
What tool or item do you use in your decorating?  I'd love to see and hear about them. 

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Next week I'll share the front of my house decorated for spring... wish me luck getting it done as we are expecting snow, yep snow and lots of snow this weekend ( 24+ inches)!  Follow me on Instagram and I'll share what happens!!!!  SNOW yes it is April in the Rockies! 

Victoria


Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring mantle

Happy Spring!  Or at least I hope so... here in Colorado it can snow all the way through May but since snow = drinking water here, I'll take it!

So I am still showering in the hall bathroom.

I am pretty lucky I've got a husband who once I convince him of something he is all in.  Holes in walls, knocking down walls, ripping up flooring once he gets my vision he's in 100%.  Hence our master bathroom. 

Now the bathroom is small but most houses in our neighborhood don't have a master bath so we are lucky for our small house.  But our master bathroom was well...

U G L Y

I shared a bit of the destruction and general ugliness here

The hubby is willing to take on anything and I am really lucky because he is generally really handy.  Be it a toilet removal and install or taking down a wall to laying hardwood floors he's really a handy guy. 

You know those questions...'If you could only take 1 thing on a deserted island what would it be?'  I always say, "my husband"  he's MacGyver!  Give him a paperclip and some tape and he could build me a house! 

Well it did take him a bit to solder the copper piping and not have any leaks then we found out about this new thing called 'shark bite' which uses plastic piping and ends - no leaks and fast! 

But I do have bathroom walls now.
Whoo Hoo!
We are just going to put a pre formed insert in here for now.  Eventually we will gut the entire master bathroom and there will be tile in there, no tub and a bench that is heated!!  But for now to keep any further water damage from happening this is our solution. 

Hopefully this next weekend the insert will go in... I'll keep you posted and show you pictures of the finished product. 

So with snow on the ground last weekend (it snowed last Thursday and Friday) I started decorating for spring.  I started with the mantle.  For me my mantle can be difficult to decorate.  The mantle itself is a dark railroad tie and the fireplace itself is large and dark.  I'm afraid to paint it because if I mess it up it is really messed up but... I'd LOVE to be brave enough to do it. 

This is what I came up with for spring.
I kept the window pane and the 2 lanterns along with some wood.  I added a blue box, a boxwood wreath I made last year, a picture, some small birds, a banner and my favorite thing - a Target dollar spot galvanized bucket filled with faux flowers.  Super cute! 

I also decorated my shelf over my buffet.
I kept everything there that had been there since January and added a white finial. 

If you've been following me on Instagram (Vicdenni) you've seen some of my outdoor décor for spring/summer.  There will be more to come. 

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Lastly... have a great week it is going to be beautiful here in Colorado - 70's all week! 

You can still see some snow up on Pikes Peak... looks like it is snowing up there right now! 
Have a great week!
Victoria



Monday, March 28, 2016

How to change your decor for each season

I hope everyone had a blessed Easter, on a personal note our family was blessed with some family healing this Easter !  What an amazing thing!!!

Now that spring is here in most of the country, (I live in Colorado, we had a blizzard last week and are expecting more snow this week - though as I write this it is 68 degrees!), we can now concentrate on spring/summer decorating!  But exactly how do you go about decorating for a non holiday time?  Sort of like after Christmas the house looks so bare.  I'm going to tell you how I change décor from season to season, this is not the only way to do it.  This method works for me. 

One of the things that I do is that I keep certain décor items out all year 'round.  Be it pinecones (one of my go-to décor items), chunks of wood (useful as risers for items), anything dragonflies (just love them and I've got them all over the place), flowers (faux and or real) or rocks and seashells; items I have on display all year long and I just put seasonal items around them. 

Here is a fall example:
I have several of these little dragonfly plates.  My daughter got them for me one Christmas and I use them all year round. 

Here are two dragonfly plates that I am currently using.


For me, keeping some of the décor consistent makes it less harsh when you change things up for a season. 

Even when I decorate my mantle - which I have a bit of trouble doing sometimes because it is dark and it has this very dark railroad tie mantle shelf I try to keep some of the things the same. 

Then I add a bit of the unusual, a window pane.
I made the boxwood wreath last year. 

I also always use flowers be them faux or real throughout the year.  I do change the flowers up for each season but I always have flowers.

Here are the flowers I have out right now.



Here is an example from last summer.  Even on my porch I use flowers. 

These are fresh flowers from my garden.  I made the vase out of a pickle jar, spray painted it gold then turned it upside down and dripped blue paint over it.


Here is my mantle from this past Easter; notice the wood and glass hurricane candles.
Here is the mantle for St. Patrick's Day:

I kept the section of wood in the same place.  Consistency.

That is my big tip - keep a few things consistent in your décor.  You can move them around your living room, family room or wherever you are decorating but keeping a few key items always on display will help you transition from one season to another. 

I simply add seasonal items in around these items and those seasonal items always include flowers, seashells, rocks, pictures, pinecones, orbs and pieces of wood. 

I hope these tips and examples helped you.  I'd love to hear how you change up your seasonal décor. 

Until next week.... stay safe!
Victoria


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