Sunday, August 30, 2009

Room Makeover

I forgot to take pictures of the "BEFORE" in the daughter's room....She had painted in a dark taupe color, and after she went back to college, I told her I was going to be doing a makeover. We picked out fabric together, and I decided to take a week off work and well, work...but at home. A labor of love if you will. I tore out the carpet as there were beautiful hardwoods that had been covered up and painted it a fresh color called "Mystic Sea", a very pale blue/green that has tranquil written all over it. I am convinced that for punishment of bad people, they should be assigned taking up carpet strip tack, because those things were surely invented by the devil himself. I conquered it though, and Phase II will consist of me renting a belt sander from Home Depot and redoing our floor. Bob Villa watch out!

This is a lovely picture that Auntie Barbara bought for my daughter, and the Eiffel tower has a lovely touch of glitter on it....just love it!

Sorry for the GLARE.....a Fleur de Lis switch plate purchased at Provence on the Prairie!

A tiara places on top of the mirror to remind her of the goddess that she is each and everyday!

This is a antique mirror I had in the basement for 5 years....I am glad it has finally found a place in our home as it was my brother Lee's and hold great sentimental value to me.

These are the curtains I sewed, and got such a deal on the tassel trim. I thought they turned out real cute.

Words to live by....I had to show the toggle bolts who was boss and miraculously won the battle!

A vintage Parisian postcard holder that I found at a winery of all places that just had to come home with me!

Also in Phase II will be a toile duvet to complete the looks. It incorporates all the colors and will be the final touch on this project.

SPECIAL NOTE: I was actually tossing and turning last night....thinking about my blog friends and my book recommendation by Bill Bryson on my August 20th post. I was only into the first chapter that I found so hilarious when I made my recommendation. There were things about traveling with my parents as a child that I could relate to that struck my funny bone....after reading more of his book, which I am enjoying still, I discovered that some of the things he has commented on were plain, down right offensive, and he also uses some language that I wasn't expecting. I value all of my blog friendships and would hate to think anyone ran out to buy the same book and had ill thoughts about my recommendation so just wanted to clear the air. Alrighty then...I feel a little better now!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weekend Getaway

Here are some happy pictures to share of our weekend getaway. We had a lovely drive to and fro, perfect weather, and a wonderful time. Not being technically savvy, the pictures are not uploaded in the correct sequence of sorry for any confusion. This was taken in Lindsborg, Kansas which was a lovely little Swedish Community about 3+ hours west of Kansas City. Very charming with lovely flowers all along the store fronts.
Slojd in Swedish translates to "Crafts". I just loved all the wrought iron and wood signs throughout the town.

This beauty was actually in an antique store in Palexico, Kansas. This particular store specializes in refurbishing these beautiful wood burning stoves. The picture doesn't do it justice, it was HUGE and really a sight for the eyes to behold in person.

This picture was also taken in Palexico....a lovely Antique store with an out of control morning glory vine. Dan-the-Man asked me how come I couldn't get ours to grow like that at home. Guess I'll have to find out what Miracle Grow has to offer to get our vines to take off like that!

This is another cure Antique shop in Palexico.....they carried a nice selection of Western themed
items and furniture.

Back to Lindsborg (I told you the photos were not in sequence!). This is the Swedish Crown where we had lunch. Dan-the-Man had his sights set on some Swedish meatballs!

This was a cute little place where we had Swedish pancakes with lingo berries. I got the feeling this was every one's favorite hang out in town! The owner seemed to know everyone except us!
If we stayed a little longer, I'm sure we would have been on a first name basis too!

This is a Bed and Breakfast in Lindsborg. All of the homes in the town were very well kept and this B & B was no exception.

The whole purpose for our trip was for Dan-the-man and I to attend a military officers function in Salina, Kansas. It was nice for Dan to get to reconnect with some people from his past, and for each of the officers to be recognized for all of their hard work and dedication serving our country.
I am deliriously proud of him, and am always overwhelmed hearing the speeches, recognizing the sacrifices these men and women make for us to enjoy the freedom we have in our country.

Driving back home we decided to take the scenic route vs. the interstate, and I'm always glad we do. We strolled over rolling hills, doted with farms along the way, and just outside of Topeka, Kansas came across Lake Wabaunsee. It was lined with cabins and cottages....people were on the lake in sea-doos and boats....some people floating on rafts, and we found this cabin for sale that had our wheels turning the rest of the drive home. Daydreaming about having a vacation home and imagining BBQ's our on the deck, the kids coming up wet from the lake wanting a snack, sitting out on the deck early in the morning having a hot cup of only if those darn lotto tickets would pull through for me...just once. That's all I'm asking.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Dan-the-Man, AKA "Captain Dan", retired USA ARMY r.s.v.p.'d for him and his bride (that's me) to attend a Military Officers Reunion in the middle of Kansas. Maybe not quite in the middle of Kansas, but waaaaaaaaayyyyyyy out there in Gods country where they have the Kansas State Fair, in Salina Kansas. At o'dark thirty we will wake up and hit the road in the bug-de-doo(top down), slathered with Coppertone and armed with a venti latte. We will have ample time to reach our destination and do a little site seeing along the way. After settling in to our hotel and maybe catching a nap we will prepare for the evening event. There is going to be cocktails, followed by a sit down dinner, the dancing til the wee hours. I had to buy fluff-n-fold (fancy schmancy) clothes and shudder to think in less than 24 hours time will be conversing with complete strangers that I've never met in my life. I will probably have to have a cocktail (or two...maybe three) so I can come across as relaxed and be able to break out with my moves on the dance floor as effortlessly as those folks on Dancing with the Stars (more along the lines of Chloris Leachman and Betty White) That's were the pictures come in......

I am being bribed, and I'm not too proud to admit it. Ever since we moved to Kansas five years ago, I found out about the town of Lindsborg. Home of famous artist Berger Sandzen (forgive me Berger if rearranged the spelling of your name) who lived in this quaint little Swedish town that I know will make my heart pitter patter.

I am going to be rewarded the next day soaking up the charms of this Swedish village. As luck would have it, it's only about a half hour south of Salina. You see, I am half Danish, so there will be an immediate Scandinavian bond going on. I will be scouring the streets looking for the best bakery in town, and any handmade Christmas ornaments that need to come home with me. Yes, you can all be assured the camera is coming with....I have no idea what type of roadside revelations we will find among the flint hills, but if there's something interesting along the way, I will find it, photograph it and share it with you. Tom Collins and KC and the Sunshine Band....may the luck of the Danish be with me on the dance floor!

My New Favorite Author

You know when you buy a book, and after reading the first few pages, you can tell what sort of ride your going to be in for? If there is anyone out there that wants to be curled up in ball with streams of tears coming down your face from uncontrollable laughter, this is the book for you.
Maybe it's because there are so many things I can identify with, that make it all the more funny to me, but Bill Bryson has a way with words.
He has a hugely popular book called "A Walk in the Woods" with a picture of a bear on the cover, and I had a prejudice towards buying it for some reason. I always like to support the under dogs, the obscure writers who need help with their sales, that maybe have just written their first novel. Almost like refusing to buy music in High School, if I heard it on the radio way too many times, and knew there were other bands that deserved their time in the spotlight. I thought I would scream if I heard REO Speedwagon sing "I can't fight this feeling anymore" one more time, and therefore band them altogether.
This is different. I realize I now have been punishing myself by not allowing myself to buy a Bill Bryson book before, and know, without a doubt, just like when I discovered Peter Mayle, that I will in fact read every single book he has wrote or has yet to write. Yeah, he's that good!
Again, Dan-the-Man was passed out sleeping, thunderstorms, lightening and all, as I laid in bed in absolute hysterics reading and laughing so hard, I couldn't get my windshield wipers to work fast enough to get to the next sentence. After the first two chapters, I had to put it down, for the sake of my husband being able to get a good night's sleep. Just needed to share with you all, because nothing in the world beats a great book....nothing! Except for that lucky duck in South Carolina that won the Powerball last night.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Little Enticement

I'd like you to meet Winnifred the Witch. She told me she was bored traveling to Crafts Fair after Crafts fair and would like to settle in a home so she could have a place to nestle in and cast some spells. She promised the wouldn't be anything too mischievous, or harmful in anyway, so I fell for it, hook line and sinker and brought her home from the Lenexa Community Center where we came eye to eye during a fall crafts fair. Now you can't really see just how glamorous she truly is...Hollywood move over, because Winnifred the Witch is sporting some ruby earrings, has her nails polished and insist her hair be colored "Fireside Glow" although she'll never own up to it. She has been pretty tame for the most part, but I know she has been up to a little mischief lately(gearing up for Halloween and all) because she cast a spell on my dog Trixie, telling her the last 5 pieces of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the bucket were hers.....And Trixie BELIEVED her! I'll have to keep you posted if any other shenanigans happen around Acorn Cottage.I also found these little gems at the crafts fair and thought they were the cutest things ever! They are candy bars, made with special wrappers...the pumpkin wrapper covered a Twix bar, and the Mummy covered a pack of gum. You can click on the image to enlarge it. I hope the artist can forgive me for making this post without giving her a shout out, but I have temporarily misplaced her business card.
I have noticed that once 4th of July is over, the next decorations that flood the store are Fall/Halloween. And rightfully so, my favorite season SHOULD be granted as many months as time can allow to drool over all the wares we have to choose from. I thought for those of us crafty peeps, it would be-who-of-me (is that how that's spelled?????) to share these IDEAS in case anyone is having Fall-ITIS like I am, and would like to cute project ideas to start working on! I'll put some cider on a pot to warm up and pull the pumpkin bread out of the oven...let me find some paper and scissors and you can come right over and we'll sit at the dining room table, listen to Stacey Kent 'Tis Autumn and craft OKAY??????

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cross Stitch Project

I may have shared this before, so please forgive me if I'm having a 40's-itis memory problem...but this is the latest sampler I'm working on by Prairie Schooler. You can click on the image to enlarge it. I have found that cross stitch is a perfect hobby in so many ways. 1) It's small and portable 2) When everyone else is enthralled watching football (and you aren't) I can have something to work on 3) It gives me something to do while waiting ( room for daughter's tonsillectomy) 4) It's really relaxing (except for when I get an unwelcome knot in my thread...then high anxiety occurs!) My Mom cross stitched and I had no idea the labor of love that went into her projects and now I cherish them all them more! I had no experience cross stitching, but with a little coaching from a co-worker who helped me get started (Mom's in California) I was on my way! There are so many web sites that have the most wonderful patterns no matter what you taste are. One of my favorites is called Everything Cross Stitch . If you can't find it there, you're in trouble! They have thousands upon thousands of patterns! So give it a go! Even if you've never tried it, and don't have a bomb-diggity co-worker like I do, there are easy tutorials on line as well as pamphlets available. Trust me if I can learn, anyone can do it!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I've been tagged

My Best Bud Melinda tagged me from Country Dreaming and the rules are you are supposed to post 6 random things about yourself.....then tag 6 more people. I usually don't like tags, but I always love to learn more things about my blogging friends, so I am going to be compliant. Plus if I don't, Melinda might flick me next time I see her, and she has a pretty mean flick!

Okay six random things....let's see what fascinating things I can rummage up....

-I have a complete filing system for all the things I tear out of magazines that I might find useful at some later point and time (I can hear you thinking..."She's a little OCD!") I have files for recipes, decorating, home improvement ideas, etc. since I have way too many magazine subscriptions.

-I have a sachet of dried lavender that I rub over over bed pillows before we go to sleep at night. It makes for the most heavenly of dreams.

-I feel compelled to bake everyone at work a homemade birthday cake, whether they are in my immediate area or not, because I like to celebrate their special day. I have a list in a drawer and know all their favorites.

-I think whoever came up with the bumper sticker "PRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS" was genius. Nothing makes me happier than sending someone a box of specially selected presents, specially gift wrapped, with a handful of glitter thrown in on top (don't comment if you work at a post office) to unsuspecting family/friends.

-I have a serious problem buying books and need to find a local chapter of book buying anonymous. I belong to a book club and order monthly as well as patronize Half Price Books and Borders on a regular basis, and fantasize about having built in bookcases through out the house. I get butterflies (the good ones) when I see home that have those floor to ceiling libraries, especially if there is a rolling ladder to access all the treasures.

-One of the best days in my entire life was when I went snorkeling at Poipu Beach in Kauai. The minute I was able to see all of the tropical fish in the water swimming around, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I floated on top of the water for HOURS mesmerized with all their beautiful colors.

Okay now to pass the assignment.....You can do it!!!! I pick the following folks:
Please forgive me if you are a tag free zone....let me know and I will select someone else.

Carrie at Cottage Cozy
Elizabeth at Gossamer Wings
Rules of the Game:
-Link to the person who tagged you
-Post the rules on your blog
-Write 6 random things about yourself
-Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them
-Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
-Let the blogger know when your post is up on your site

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wishing for Fall

This happens every year around this time.....I start craving fall. You start seeing things arrive in stores, magazine covers that are always a month ahead of schedule, school starting back up and that's enough to get me daydreaming! I start thinking about what variety of pumpkins I want to buy for the front steps, noticing the little acorns forming on our oak trees, and longing to wear a sweater and breath in that fresh autumn air. Thoughts of buying good country apple cider, burning more candles, and the Holidays occupy my mind. I long for it, I crave it and start looking at the calender thinking...only about a month to go. Is anyone else a fall lover like me?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Local Hauntings

Let me preface this story by saying this all got started when we went over to our good friends, Ken and Melinda to celebrate Ken's Birthday. You may know Melinda from her blog Country Dreaming. After a wonder meal, and everyone had settled down, story telling occurred, as it usually does when we get together. Dan-the-Man and Ken have known each other since grade school, so as you can imagine, there is never a lack of material to draw from. Ken was recounting when he was in High School, finding out about a Haunted House that was referred to as Igor's Castle....and the Urban Legend that the owner's wife and hung herself and their son tragically drowned in a fountain on the property.

Ken went on to say there was groundskeeper that had two ferocious German Shepperds that lived in a shack on the property, patrolling the property to keep vandals out.

After an evening of much laughter to the point of tears, we said our good nights and left to go home for the evening. While driving home, mind you this is about 11:oo pm, Dan-the-Man gets the notion we should drive by the castle and check it out. We wind around this hill, through thick forested trees, searching and straining our eyes in the dark for the home. We see and old stone house, with a wrought iron fence....false alarm. We keep winding around and up and down streets, when we head around a bend, and both say almost at the same time "THAT'S IT!!" OMG...It's enormous, and it's dark and it looks like a haunted castle!!!! There are two lions guarding the entrance. We stared in the silence, both of our imaginations running wild, half expecting to see a ghost walking on the widows peak.

I couldn't make out 100% if this was an old doll house, built in the likeness of the castle or a dog house for one of those ferocious German Shepperds Ken was talking about. Dan and I came home and immediately had to get on the computer to see what we could find out about the history of the house. We found a site

It was 1:00am by the time we got to bed, and I was walking to over to the hallway and went to turn on the upstairs light, when poof, it flashed a creepy blue and blew out scaring me.....timing was everything and I didn't walk upstairs until Dan-the-Man went with me.

This history of the home is pretty incredible, although the stories Ken heard were not 100% accurate. There have been four deaths at the home, two from health issues, one suicide, and a child who did drown in the fountain (which wasn't visible anywhere).

We went back the next day around dusk and I took these pictures. The architecture is amazing, and I could only imagine what the house looked like in it's glory. I could see there were at least 3 fireplaces and it sits on 25 acres. The person who owns it now lives in New York and has aspirations to restore it some day. It has now been listed on the Historical Registry and I can only hope I can go inside it someday.