Monday, August 30, 2010

Finished mural!

Hi y'all!  So- the hospital mural was completed last week!  Very exciting.  Even better news- it looks like I'm going to painting a couple more in the hospital in the next month or so- I'm hoping it will brighten up the atmosphere on the units a bit:)

Take a look (I only included shots of the walls that I did on my own- this was a collaborative mural with fellow staff-member/painter.)  It was a really cool experience working with another person on this project, albeit challenging merging 2 styles into one 4-walled landscape.

The best part of this project by FAR- was all of the feedback we got from the patients.  After the second day of work we decided to leave the door open (the fumes were starting to burn my eyes)- patients and staff would come in and out, some would stay and chat for a bit, some would critique our work, some would give us suggestions.  In all- the feedback was very positive, and it made me feel really good about the work that I was putting into this piece. Just the distraction of something like this being done on a psych unit was good for the patients and helped pass the time.  A " labor of love" for sure!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dr. Z

So- I just had to share this amazing kid, sibling, parenting moment that I had this morning.  All I can say is- I am truly blessed to be able to observe them nearly every day- they fascinate me and warm my heart.

(I apologize that a lot of these shots are blurry- my camera is not the greatest:) But you'll get  the idea...

These pictures do not capture the focus and determination (on both parts), Moses was taking the whole exam quite seriously, as was Zel (hence the tight grip on the curls)- too funny really- I was so happy I had my camera near by.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer's almost over...

...and I am really looking forward to fresh crispy apples, cozy sweaters, and fires in the fireplace this fall!  I do love the ever changing New England weather- I am always grateful for the arrival of a new season (even winter!) but about a month in, I find myself looking forward to the next season.

Here's some summer yard pics of my angel babies

It was a good summer!

Friday, August 20, 2010

a work in progress....

I really do love interior design- I'd say the majority of blogs that I read are design blogs.  In my own home it gives me a great sense of satisfaction- changing things around, rearranging furniture, painting walls, hanging art, reupholstering furniture.  Unfortunately- it requires a good amount of time, and an even better amount of $- both of which I am short on.  So all I can do right now is plan in my little brain, all of the things that I want to do:)

I believe that I am the type of person that will own many houses in my lifetime.  I look at our home as a constant work in progress- and although I long for each space to be "complete"- I do enjoy the lack of completion and the constant work that I can put into the spaces.  If they were all complete- where would I put my creative energy????

Project #1- Mosie's Room

So- below is the room of the little guy.  I have been meaning and planning on making window treatments for his room for months now. 

I even have the fabric from my go-to online fabric store Premiere Prints, everything is less than 10$ a yard- and they have some fabulous prints.

This is Ele in brown.

Now I just need to decide on the design of the window treatment?  I'm thinking a simple valance mounted right under the top molding?  I am also seriously debating repainting his room....I feel like the blue/greens are a little dark.  The stripes would stay, but I might do the upper and lower in one shade of pale aqua? I will also be repainting the trim- painting the top moulding white.

Project #2- Entryway/staircase/hallway

I have been slowly working on a photo display on the landing of our staircase.  It is a serious work-in-progress.  I look at it as a  collection that I can slowly add to. 

Although- as I was laying in bed last night I was finally getting a chance to read the latest Living, and came across an article on a staircase picture display.  It was gorgeous- and now I'm thinking I may want to alter mine slightly...we shall see.

The second part of this project involves finishing the entryway mural, painting all of the trim and the disgustingly marked-up stair risers, painting the banister rungs, getting a rug for in front of the door, and the main landing, and getting 3 new light fixtures.

Phew!  This one will be a while!

But don't you just love the vintage pineapple wallpaper??? Very Martha I think!  I really like the contrast of the black frames against it too.

Project #3- Living room couch pillows

In an ideal world- I would be getting a whole new couch.  This babdboy has seen better days.  But my budget dictates that I will be making new pillow covers to spruce it up until we can purchase a new couch- at which time I will be repainting the walls, making/buying new window treatments, and redoing the fireplace/mantel situation.


I recently went to Homegoods and purchased 6 pillows- all with horribly hideous covers on the clearance shelf- all of which were under $8 a pop!  that's cheaper then what it would be to buy naked pillow inserts- a great way to save $!
My old inserts have been thrown out (not something I would typically do- but we were in a deep cleaning mode at the time)- and it was a blessing in disguise really- because even though they were expensive, down pillows from PB- we all hated to lay on them because the feathers would poke your neck through the covers- not very inviting!

These ones are all poly fill.  Here are some fabric considerations.- all from Premiere Prints


And last but not least- Project #4- Our bedroom

I have decided to repaint it.  I do LOVE the green on the 3 walls- but I think it competes too much with the mural  So- I have been testing out some cool, pale blues-

and I have made a decision.  I am going with....

Martha Stewart 8030 Salt Glaze.  I adore this color- although it will be the least colored-color in our home.  I can't wait until next weekend when I am not working, and I can finally put it on the walls!

I will be looking for a pair of vintage yellow ceramic gourd lamps on my upcoming trip to the Brimfield antique show in September! Something like this hopefully-

 A new ceiling light fixture and a framed print above the bed will complete the bedroom ...(maybe;)

Stay tuned on the progress of all these projects!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Current project

I got a job painting a mural!  Its at the hospital where I work- and I am painting with another staff member.  We are creating a 4 walled landscape in the "time-out" room on the adult unit of the hospital.  Although doing a collaborative mural is challenging, and it's been a lot of looong hours in a non-ventilated room, its been pretty fun- and most importantly I think that the patients will really benefit from it.

Here it is- I apologize for the crappy cell phone pic! This is after 1 day of work- I'll do an update post when we have completed it!

And now- we are off for some MUCH needed R&R- me and the kids are going to stay with my parents and sisters at the beach! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


The nice thing about having a farm share- is the new veggies that we get each week- things I would never normally purchase- fennel for example.  I am not a huge fan of licorice- which is the closest associated flavor to the fennel- but there is something appealing about this veggie.
Fennel is closest in texture and consistency to celery- crunchy, but less fibrous.  It has a sweet licorice taste.  The green feathery fronds can be used as flavoring when cooking fish according to farm recipes.

I have been using the fennel the past 2 weeks in salads.  While making dinner last night- Moses grabbed a bag of greens from the fridge before I could stop him.  I saw the fennel and thought it might keep him busy (it's and interesting plant- a bulb on one end, and a feathery top)- he and Zella munched, swept, shook and enjoyed the fennel for nearly 30 min!  Fabulous!

I'm realizing that my blog has been rather food-heavy lately.  I am thinking that is because I do not have time for much else right now- (although I'd much rather be painting!)
Also- July is the month of birthdays in our family-Zella, both my Mom and Donell's Mom, both my sisters, and various uncles and cousins.

So- this past weekend we celebrated Em and Annie's bdays at Mom and Dads.  It was a lovely and relaxing day by the pool.

I made potato salad.  Not being a traditional potato salad fan (not into the hard boiled eggs) I am always looking for alternative recipes.  I decided to dress my boiled rainbow potatoes with this fabulous dressing- courtesy of mutual friend Bina- courtesy of Rachel Ray.  I have only had it on romaine lettuce before- which is divine- but it was pretty darn good on those buttery potatoes too!

I also added a handful of chopped fresh chives...

Then- per Em's request I whipped up a batch of chocolate buttercream cupcakes. 

I used  Martha Stewart recipe for the base- substituting the 3/4 cup of buttermilk with 3/4 cup sour cream.

The frosting was more complicated.  This is my 3rd batch of cupcakes in less then a month-the first 2 for Zella' birthday celebrations.  The strawberry cupcakes themselves were divine- but the frosting was disappointing.  When I made the chocolate chip cupcakes, I followed this recipe for chocolate chip buttercream to-a-T, and it was a success.  Sweet, creamy, firm, smooth.  Perfect buttercream in my opinion.  I think it's all about the way that you whip the butter and sugar together-(see the direction link and excerpt below), also having room temp butter helps.
Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)
 So- I ended up using the same basic recipe for the chocolate frosting I made for Em's cupcakes- but adding melted semisweet chocolate (not sure on the amount- I just added until it tasted chocolaty enough to me:), probably about 1/2 cup total?  They were quite good!
And lastly for today's post- Zella did some bike practice this past weekend.  This bike was a birthday gift....

I thought she would be all about it-

but she's really not:(  It lasted about 5 min.  In time maybe???

Oh- and a quick thank you to my hubby for taking the kids with him to Home Depot this weekend so I could get a little painting time to myself:)  I finished the alliums on the entryway mural!

What do you think?