Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sitting Pretty

Phew we had quite the day here in Maryland!  Tornadoes, flooding, and high was crazy and a little frightening to boot!  Our son wasn't able to make it back home from running with our local rescue squad overnight until this afternoon because some of the roads had been flooded and they needed every available person to help out so he stayed on past his shift.

I kept myself busy finishing up a story for Romantic Country Magazine, and hoped that no big tree limbs would come down or that the water would get too high.  Luckily we only had a few limbs fall and the water didn't get precariously high.  Thankfully, I think most people made it through the storm fairly well.

After I finished my story I decided it was time to take a few pictures of my latest project.  A little change up in the living room!

I've been wanting to update our living room for a while now.  Most of the upholstered pieces in this room are almost 15 years old...sheesh I can hardly believe that little factoid!  And although it's in wonderful shape because it hardly saw any use in our last house and rarely gets used in this house, it was time for a change.

The deep jewel tone green of the sectional sofa (now divided into a couch and loveseat) was fine in our last home which was a colonial and had a much more formal feel and not nearly as much natural light as the new house.  I haven't decided what I want to do with it yet, and waver back and forth between slipcovering it in a nice neutral linen, to getting rid of it completely and starting from scratch.

Instead of jumping in with both feet when I really wasn't sure what look I wanted for this room, I decided to start with baby steps.

I knew I wanted something completely different, but because that crazy thing called money always seems to rear its ugly head every time you want to completely change out a room, I decided to try recovering the dark wing chair in the corner that I still liked, except for its dark fabric.

So off I went to see my friend Sheryl of Slipcover Cottage, and seamstress extraordinaire!  She gave me swatches of fabrics to take home and mull over in all sorts of different lighting.

I'm a pretty decisive person, and normally have an image of exactly what I want even before I start looking for fabric, but this time I really hemmed and hawed over what look I was trying to achieve.  I knew I needed something that would still go with my green sofa, but I wanted something a little funky and unexpected.

In the end I chose a fabric in a color way that I would normally walk right past.  Orange mixed with magenta is not something I usually gravitate toward, so I shocked even myself when I picked the fabric above to use for my new slipcover!
And because this chair is has an unusual shape for a wing chair, there is no separate seat cushion and the arms have a strange build to them as well, I wondered just how easy it would be for Sheryl to create something that would stay put and look good!

But I should have known better, her work is always fabulous and once again she came through with flying colors!!!

And speaking of colors, I am loving this new bold print and the bright color combo, it completely changed the whole look of the room!  I love it when a small change has a huge impact!

So instead of boring, tired, and drab...

I am enjoying a little cool, funky, and fab!!  Hmm now all I need is a new seagrass rug, and some Ikea Ektorp where are my car keys and GPS....Mr. Tide?!

I don't get compensated for telling you how great Sheryl's work is, but if you're in the market for new slipcovers I can't recommend her highly enough!
To see more transformations head over to Metamorphosis Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch!


Be sure to stop by Show and Tell Friday over at My Romantic Home

Monday, September 27, 2010

Through Rose Colored Glasses

The photo shoot last weekend was a huge success!  I hope to share a few pictures of it very soon!

After the shoot on Friday, we headed out to help our daughter move into her new apartment.  She had arranged for the moving company and had everything packed up and ready to go by the time we arrived.  It's an amazing thing to see your children all grown up and making great choices and decisions for themselves, and I know she will be very happy in her new place!

Aside from a dead battery which caused us to get home very late, it was a wonderfully productive weekend.  We even squeezed in a trip to Ikea and some shopping at Whole Foods...two of my favorite places on the planet! 

Yesterday, I even took one of the chairs in my living room to my friend Sheryl of Slipcover Cottage to have a slipcover made.  I picked a fabric that has a completely different look than what I would normally choose, and I'm so excited to see it all come coming soon!

On Sunday, Mr. Tide did a bit of yard work to get ready for the winter.  He planted a few tender perennials and we are keeping our fingers crossed that they might actually come back next spring.  He has also taken up the habit of snipping a few roses to bring inside each time he does some gardening.  Usually we put them in a wall mounted vase I have in the living room, but yesterday I asked him to cut a few extra to put in one of my favorite small white pitchers.

It rained all day today, a gentle reminder that cooler temps and less than ideal weather are just around the corner.  Even with the dreary weather outside today, it's hard to be down when you have a pitcher filled with fresh cut roses to look at and smell.  And I even had fun taking a few pictures and messing around with Photoshop Elements a little to give the photos a soft, wispy feel, so for now I am looking at life through rose colored glasses and loving every minute of it!

Don't forget that there is still time to register to win my latest Giveaway...You could win $65 from CSN Stores to find your own special something to make your world a little more rosey! 

A special thank you to everyone who has already entered to win, tweeted, posted, and facebooked about the giveaway!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Getaways and Giveaways

Tomorrow, I'm driving a few hours to go to a photo shoot, Mr. Tide will be tagging along and I love it when he is able to go with me on a shoot.  Even though I know I'll be fine without him, and usually have to do these things on my own, it's nice to know that he'll be there to help me out with a techie question or some lighting issue if I find myself stumped for any reason.  We're a good team that way!

After the shoot we'll be heading back down the road to help our daughter move into her new apartment.  She showed it to us last weekend and all I can say is...I want to live there!!!  I know she will be very happy there, it's right in the middle of the action, yet not party central like her last building.

Before I head out though I wanted to tell you about a Giveaway I'll be hosting with CSN Stores to keep you busy until I come back.

I thought that since I would be gone for a few days I would also leave you with a few more pictures of my fall decor.  I used yet another font on these and although I love the scripty font, I'm not loving the fact that my copyright symbol shows up as an ugly rectangle.  But it's late, and I have packing to do, so it will have to suffice for now!

This decor will last me all the way through Thanksgiving...there are no spooky witches, or ghosts to be had in these displays.  I like being able to put something out that will carry me through not one, but two holidays...I'm getting lazy in my old age I guess, hence the reason why I didn't correct my watermark!

I love white pumpkins for both Halloween and Thanksgiving, and pairing them with silver, brown, gold, or rust colored accessories makes a perfect vignette for either holiday.

And of course acorns in all shapes, sizes, and colors are a staple in my fall decorating.  I found these large white acorns years ago and I still love pulling them out each year!  

And I love this little silver squirrel nutcracker.  It was given to me by my brother and my sister in law and I just think he is the cutest thing, arms waiting to crack that perfect nut open!

I found all of the mercury glass leaves on clearance last year after the holidays.  They are actually Christmas ornaments, but I thought they would look pretty hanging from the various vintage decanters I have on my dining room buffet.  They add a little shimmer and elegance, and they look so pretty next to candlelight.

Now you're probably thinking to yourselves...that's all well and good Kat, but what about the Giveaway...I mean you did mention something about that in your title and at the top of the post right?!  Yes, yes I did!

Well you see, I've been trying to think of a clever segue to tell you about CSN's many wonderful furniture pieces.  They have a lot, trust me I've looked, and I even know some people who own pieces from several of the great lines they carry! 

And then it hit me, I decorated a table, so with the $65.00 gift card you could win with this giveaway, you could decorate your own end table, coffee table, kitchen table or anything else in your house that you want...that's the beauty of a gift card right?!  See, wasn't that clever of me afterall?!!!

Ok, so it might not have been all that clever, but the fact remains that you could win 65 smackeroos to buy anything your heart desires from CSN Stores from an end table to an egret (no not a live one silly!)...and just in time for the what's not to love about that?!

You know the drill...

1.  Visit CSN Stores by clicking HERE and then come back and leave a comment telling me what you can't live without, or what you would buy your Aunt Ethel with your gift card!

2.  Leave a second comment telling me what you plan to give me for Christmas...oops I mean that you are a follower...Please Make Sure That You Leave Me A Second Comment for that second chance to win!!

3.  Tweet, Facebook, Blog, or put a Billboard up about my Giveaway and then come back and leave a THIRD SEPARATE comment (I know you'll be tired by then so just write I Tweeted, etc.) and you'll be entered for 3 BIG chances to win!

In all seriousness though, this Giveaway will be finito come Midnight PST next Friday...October 1, 2010...So hurry, don't delay!  The winner will be announced October 2nd...but first you gotta play to win!

**For more Fall inspiration head over to the fabulous Cottage and Vine to get your Fall on with her Falling Up Link Party!**

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunshine on My Shoulders

This morning I was up with the sun.  I'm not sure why, but there was no going back to sleep, even though I was dog tired!

So with the house dark and quiet, I nudged the dogs, grabbed my camera, and off we went down to the dock.  It wasn't a spectacular sunrise, no real bells or whistles.

But theoretically speaking isn't every day that we get to see the sun rise a special day?  My dogs think so!  Mr. Quinn gazed upon the flickering rays of light as they streamed through the trees.

And I marveled at the fact that no matter how young or old, how rich or poor, how sick or well, we almost all feel better when the sun touches our skin or when we get a glimpse of its powerful rays.

Now I know the sun can damage, it can be harsh and unyielding, even deadly, but there is just something about it that draws me in.

Maybe it's the way it illuminates people, places, animals (like Miss Kylee here), even things that makes it so special.  Everything takes on a different look when it is gently kissed by its light.

Or maybe it's the life giving properties it possesses to make things grow and blossom.

Whatever it is, the sun has me greatly enamored, beholden, and truly devoted to it.

No matter how many times I see the sunrise, walk outside at high noon, or watch the sun melt out of sight in a kaleidoscope of color, I am happy it continues to shine down upon me!

I hope each of you found your own little ray of sunshine today! :-)

In case you haven't noticed, I'm having WAY too much fun with new watermark fonts!  You can go here to find your own great fonts to use!
1001 Free Fonts

or here...


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spider Webs

Hi everyone!  So glad that some of you were inspired by my Halloween decorating post yesterday and that you are getting out your fall decor!  I was inspired by so many other wonderful bloggers to get mine out, so I guess one good turn deserves another as they say!  And Grace, it's ok to put things out "before" October 1st hits...I'll even write you a note giving you permission! ;-)

Today, I thought I'd share with you how I decorated the window ledge above my kitchen sink...

You may recall that my mason jars used to be filled with white beans, but I decided to leave them empty for Halloween and drape fake cob webs over them to give them the look of an abandoned and haunted abode!

Mr. Tide reminded me that if we left the windows open each night, we would have plenty of "real" spider webs and could have saved ourselves $1.99 at Michaels buying fake ones!  Mr. Tide is always so helpful that way! *cough cough*

And of course you can't have spider webs without a spider to create them right?!  

Did you ever wonder why they are sometimes called spider webs (which can also be spelled all as one word) and other times they are referred to as cob webs?  Well apparently it goes back to the old Middle English word for spider...coppe!  So they were coppe webs, and eventually became known as cobwebs!

There are a total of three mason jars on my windowsill, each covered in strands of delicate webbing.  I love how the sunlight illuminates the individual strands during the morning hours each day!

And although I love the mason jars and spider webs, this is my favorite part of the display.  It's a vintage piece, also rescued from my parent's house.  I had it sitting on the dresser in my daughter's old bedroom, waiting to use it this Halloween, and when my daughter came home a few weekends ago she promptly brought it into our bedroom declaring it was creepy and that she didn't want it in her room!

The only creepy things around here are my cool new watermark fonts!  Did you notice the one from yesterday's post?  And this one is called "Buffied"...I love using these spooky fonts for my Halloween photos! 

Happy Haunting Everyone!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments and support about my article coming out in Romantic Country, it truly means the world to me!!!  I am working on several more articles and I'll be sure to let you know when those come out as well!

With all the wonderful fall decor floating around the interwebs, I just couldn't stand not pulling a little bit out myself.  So I asked Mr. Tide to lug the big bins out of the garage for me, and I got busy!

And today I thought I would share with you some of my halloween decorations that I arranged on my dining room table.  I love this little crackled is made of cloth and has almost a leathery feel to it!

Aside from Christmas, Halloween (and fall in general), is my favorite time to decorate my house each year!

And although I've had some of my Halloween decor for years now, I like to add to it each year and arrange things in new and inventive ways.  I inherited these footed silverplate compotes, and I love how the faux candy corn my sister M gave me looks in these tarnished dishes!  They remind me of something you'd find in a haunted mansion where no one has polished the silver for many years!

My mother was a bit of a holiday-a-holic and had all sorts of wonderful things to fill her house with for every holiday imaginable! 

I almost passed on this sweet witch, whom I've since named Esmeralda, when my sisters and I went through my mom's decorations last year...but I'm so glad I took her.  I love how unique and special she is!  And I love looking at her and thinking of how much my mother enjoyed decorating for this time of year!

And I bought this jar from Hallmark a few years ago, and have filled it with simple white beans this year instead of the usual candy corn.  I love how the label says "A fright in every BITE! Treats An INCREDIBLE edible... or is it???"...kind of like my beans which aren't much of a treat but still pretty!

And what good Halloween display would be complete without a black crow....or two?!

So there you have it, my Halloween dining table, topped with black cats, pumpkins, witches, and mysterious treats alike, all set to welcome ghosts and ghouls this holiday!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

So Excited

Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes for my daughter.  She was so thrilled to see your comments on her photography and of course the great birthday greetings!

I hope each of you is having a wonderful weekend!  I know I's absolutely glorious fall weather outside, time to pull out the fall decor and shop for pumpkins, gourds, and everything the season has to offer!

But before I head out the door, I want to show you a few gifts I recently received!  My dear friend Connie, from Hartwood Roses, sent me this gift!  I got home very late one evening last week, and I was so excited to find a package from her in my mailbox.  

She knows how much I love anything crab related, and when she heard about my rough week, she thought of me and sent me these wonderful little crab placecard holders from Pottery Barn!  Aren't they too cute?!

Connie is always busy...this weekend she is off selling her beautiful roses in Richmond, Virginia.  I hope she has a wonderful sale!

But even with all she has going on, she took the time to mail me something she knew I would treasure!  I'm not surprised though, she is just like that and I'm so lucky to be able to call her my friend!  Thank you Connie, I can't wait to use these cute crabs with my crab plates for one last taste of summer!

I also wanted to share with you something else wonderful that was sent to me this week!  The other day it was cloudy and rainy here and when I stepped out on my back patio to let the dogs out, this is what I saw in the sky!  I was so excited and ran inside to grab the camera.

Call me crazy, but my friend Dan clearly sent me this little heart shaped cloud from above...I have no doubt!  And even though it is a bit of a broken heart, if you look closely at the upper left hand corner of the cloud, you'll see almost a perfect outline of a whole symbolic and so like him to let me know that he is happy and for me to not worry or be sad.

As it slowly drifted over the field and off across the water, I couldn't help but smile, even on such a gray and dreary day, knowing that those we love really are never that far away from us!

And last, but certainly not least in my book, I was over the moon last night when I stopped by my local Giant grocery store and saw a copy of this...the new issue of Romantic Country Magazine!  It's packed with wonderful articles and great decorating ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!  

And there on page 34 was my name...Kat Warren, the author of the story on designer Dena Fishbein's gorgeous home!  And on page 16 is even one of the photos I took of Dena's beautiful bedding!  Now I know it's silly because I've been published now for 12 years in regional magazines, but I was giddy with happiness to know that I am finally in a national magazine.  Thank you Fifi for taking a chance on me!  And now my friends and family can just go to their local store and pick up a exciting!

I hope you all have a great weekend!