Weird Spaces and A Plan

My front hallway has been in a state of disrepair and flux for many many years now. I had done some funky “looks like leather but it’s made out of paper bags” treatment in the area below the chair rail (known as the dado) but I’d ripped that off. And an idea to put up bas relief type joint compound diamonds around the top of the room has now left me wishing I hadn’t. Because those are going to have to be sanded off. Lots of dust. I have been planning a remodel and these pictures sprinkled throughout are my inspirational pics. Yet I wondered what was the deeper meaning of my inability to decide what to do next.

After reading the following article from Kathleen Shannon at Braid Creative, I realized this state of my entry way representative of how I was feeling about me.

“No weird spaces.” by Kathleen Shannon

This has become my mantra as I settle into our new-to-us 1950s mid-century modern ranch my family and I just moved into. You see, we lived in our last house for six years and there was always that one room that was never quite right – it felt awkward, lifeless, and unfinished. In our new house I want every room to feel comfortable, full of life, and conducive for creativity – whether it’s cooking, writing, or playing.

darker floors on

Darker Floors

When I went through coaching training with Martha Beck she taught us the most interesting concept about the spaces we create. We all know our surroundings impact our attitude, but Martha Beck taught us that the spaces we live in are actually metaphors for our life. This showed up true for me when that one room that always felt funny to me finally found its purpose when I had a baby and it became his nursery (I got goosebumps when I finally made this realization). And every creative I know who is having a difficult time finding focus, clarity, and even clients has weird office space. For example, one of the creatives I’m coaching right now is officing out of her laundry room – yet the rest of her home could grace the pages of Dwell magazine, easily! I wonder how that alone is impacting her creative business.

looks a lot like my hallway but not on

Try this: take a mental tour of your home and office (whether or not you office out of your home.) Identify your favorite space – what do you love about it and why? Now identify your least favorite space (it doesn’t have to be a room – it can even be a closet or a drawer). What about that space isn’t working for you? How does it feel? How are these spaces metaphors for your life?

Now do this: give some love to your spaces this week. Do a few things to make the weird spaces not so weird. Put on some music, light a candle, and start decluttering and decorating. another kilim rug on

She asked if this struck a chord with anyone and of course I replied with this.

    The weird spaces piece got me thinking. I really believe this is absolutely true. My entryway/hallway is wounded. I began to reinvent it but have not finished the vision. And the same is exactly true for me.  After taking the Braid Branding course, I am still working to see myself as a new entity, artist, entrepreneur, and creative and writer with a “career”. It’s becoming clearer as I work hard to raise my esteem and create projects I like and make connections.
    So my feeling is I need to do something with the entryway even if it’s wrong. Add color and sparkle until a clearer vision comes. Because it’ll never be exact, it’ll always be a work in progress.
    Thanks Kathleen for this thought parallel.
Love it.

painted floor idea on

Kathleen’s gracious reply was this:

So glad this email struck a chord. 

I love your site – “Practicing the art and mystery of housewifery” is so intriguing! I can see a parallel in “inviting people in” and your entryway when it comes to the work you capture, shape, and share. 
Have a great week, Shalagh. 

 painted front door on Shalavee.comI was originally really inspired by the idea of painting the inside of the front door a happy color. I love love the painted ombre steps idea and I feel like the right rug will make the most cheerful impact. another ombre stairs shot on

I’m hoping that by posting this post I’ll further my process along. And you’ll get to see the before pictures of the hallway when …wait for it… I do my next video walk through. Soon people. Soon. Just a few styling tweaks in the living room.

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here. Yesterday’s post, go here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Floor Cloth and Summer Solstice Decorations

I had hoped that some day I would be known for my event decorating skills. I love how just the right decorations can make you feel like you are somewhere special. Ms. Debbie asked me to decorate the sanctuary for the Summer solstice service and of course I said yes.Jendalyn mandala inspration for my floor cloth on


sun floor cloth

After doing a search on Pinterest, I was inspired by a sunburst mandala by Jendalyn and multiple floor cloth tutorials which made me think this would be great idea. Yes, a great idea if you paint. Which I am sure I could do. Until now.Setting Up the sanctuary on

Turns out Ms. Debbie wanted a service in the round so the attention would be in the middle. The floor cloth concept was a go. But the design needed something else to balance it out visually overhead. This is a vaulting space and knowing that my earlier project of decoratively festooned wreaths hanging from the chandeliers worked out really well, they needed to have an encore appearance and be redesigned. They were super cool.Summer chandeliers on Shalavee.comI kept thinking I would come up with all new everything this time. I envisioned new streamers and who knows what inspiration. But the floor cloth took up so much time and worry and thought and in the end, it really was quite simple to make. I just let the design process take over and the floor cloth filled with color and pattern and then I was done. Especially when Mark suggested I might be. Because I may have kept painting it.

Stop the madness, I said.

Finished Floor cloth on

And so after all the angsting I did, I think it turned out pretty darn well. I fought with the rough surface of the pre-made drop cloth but it was 6 x 9 which I squared off and I knew it needed lines. I bought large oil paint Sharpies and acrylic paints andended up using some house paint for the blue background. Bob’s your Uncle and there you have it.Setting up the sanctuary on

Happy Summer Solstice and Happy Father’s Day everyone!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Getting Out Of My Way Again

My life’s forest has always been invisible but for my own trees. I’ve always known I can’t see me but now I believe I’ve blocked my view. I need to get the heck out of my way. Maybe you knew this about me and I thank you for keeping it on the down low until I figured it out. I can tell you I have stood at the edge staring at where I thought my forest was for a long while. But there’s no chance to appreciate the beautiful forest if it’s invisible.

I feel like I’ve been waiting for others to tell me what I have that is of worth. To tell me what’s interesting about me. As Po’s Dad in Kung Fu Panda said, to tell me what my “secret ingredient” is. But what I really have craved is my recognition. My affirmation of me and that internal faith that whatever “it” is, it’s there.

Like the child who is so desperate for her parent to like her and pay attention to her. “Please, Mama, can you tell me what you like about me. Tell me what I’m good at.” As Supertramp sang, “please tell me who I am.” Whether you have kids or not, you are your own parent for the rest of your life. And that parenting includes giving yourself the recognition you crave.

Hansel and Gretel in the forest in

I have often felt so impatient about my blog, my writing, and finding my purpose. I wanted to hire someone to help me get on with it. Hurry up and become already. And then it began to happen. I started to hear what people were saying, what they enjoyed, and which things inspired them. And slowly, the person that I already am, that I want to be, that I want to work hard to become better at being, is emerging. She’s just been hiding among the trees in the invisible forest.

It’s dawning on me that I’m not too sucky. And I may have a talent or two that are slightly impressive. If I step back and give myself the time and space to see it, I just may see the forest for how really beautiful it is. Purpose and positivity only help when you recognize and value them.

I find danger to my self-esteem comes when I’ve compared myself to others who are in another league. For example, in the design world, people who constantly devote their lives, money, and extreme experience to design are going to have great spaces. And of course stuff done on the fly cheaply is going to look sucky compared to people with a lot of money, experience, and taste. So I think I can’t even stick my pinky toe into that stream of water with those people. And it’s such a good excuse to avoid doing this kind of work or anything that you love.

more of my forest on

Yet my vision and creations are good, just practiced in a smaller league way. Experienced blogger and coach Kathleen Shannon points out that we’re all at different levels of doing, blogging, or writing. I’m a B girl looking up to the A girls who don’t really see me because they’re looking upwards to their A girls. Kinda like it was in high school when you admired your upperclassmen and they didn’t know you existed. But I can shine if I hang with other B girls and I look pretty kickin’ to the C girls. It’s me comparing my Bananas to their Apples that’s freaking me out.

Who cares what anyone thinks really. If it’s crap, it’s still my crap to be proud of. And I suddenly felt a bit better when I realized all of this. And I’m ready to put that part of myself out for review. Because not only is everybody doing it, but I’m an original. I’d like to give myself a hard time for having to do everything so differently but that is what keeps my style so interesting and endearing. Did you catch Fiona’s bedroom makeover? Stay tuned for more design fun.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Fiona’s Room Reveal

And in the nick of time, I’ve finished decorating Fiona’s room. Finished as much as it will be this week. And of course, the moment the big girl bed goes in, the room shifts about again. 

Her birthday party is on Sunday and the surest way to finish an unfinished house project is to throw a party. That and commit to the room reveal online to your readers. Accountability people, it works every time. I was finishing styling the room and taking pictures while we had us a code red snowstorm today.

Into Fiona's room on

The closet nook Fiona's room on

There’s a closet turned desk nook on the left as you enter. The worst for first. 

I really haven’t rethought this cubby space out yet.  I’m making do with it for now.

Welcome to Fiona's redecorated room on

Beyond the chair, the changing table/dresser is to the left as you enter.

One of the two other projects in the room that I’m most proud of are the parent silhouettes I created.

The idea was based on these online beauties,

My inspiration for the Mom and Dad Silouettes on

Lily Bun Interiors via Decor Pad

Although children love to gaze at themselves, they also love their Mommy and Daddy. I thought the different colors were wonderful but I felt I just needed the gold and black and white for the traditional feeling.

Mommy and Daddy Silouettes on Shalavee.comI chose two old gilded frames from my collection and we took mug shots of ourselves, I blew them up on printer paper, and then cut them out while attached to the black card stock. There is no glass in the frames, just some muslin wrapped around the backing board and I carpet taped the silhouettes to that. Voila.

Dresser and silhouettes on
Aren’t they cool? Mark hates his but the mug shot was much worse. Yeah, and don’t look at the special unstoppable crack up that wall behind Daddy’s silhouette. There’s a chimney buried inside the house to the left and this is a forever problem of the shifting house and the stationary chimney.

To the right when you enter, behind the door, is the crib and the bookshelf and that’s where my mad styling skills were put to the test. My other “took forever” project was getting the bird lamp shade wired Thanks to Mark) and then hanging it with all the little vintage Chinese lanterns I had used in my own outdoor wedding decorations. And if you look closely, that pink duct tape makes another appearance covering the cords to the lamp and the clock.

bookshelf and lanterns and crib in Fiona's bedroom on

silk roses in Fiona's room on

Fiona's room styled on

The other project I was inspired to make were the embroidery hoops and the enormous faux embroidery hoop over the crib.

Hoola hoop with frog fabric on I had this fabulous fabric with the flirty frogs. And it needed a large space to show off its killer cuteness. So I had a eureka moment and thought…hula hoop! Yesterday, I stitched it in place with thin satin ribbon. If she pulls it off the wall onto her head, no harm done.Letters on a fabric backed frame on

And those hot pink F and P letters I’d thrifted forever ago for her eventual room design ? I hot glued them onto an opened up jeans leg wrapped around the backer board again. I got the bird lantern before Fiona’s birth at Bella Luna’s in Rehoboth, Delaware.

lamp and shelf in Fiona's room on

And those are silk flowers from a floral company called Allstate. They remind me of one of my favorite roses entitled ‘Lipstick’.

view from the door of crib and bookshelf in Fiona's room on

So many items were so personal from family and friends and that is exactly the way I think we should decorate. With items that were gifted and made by the people we love and stuff we made because we loved making them, or we had something to prove. How do you think I did? Do I have what it takes?

If you missed the other projects, you can find the Picture Display Chandelier here, the painted dresser is here, and the curtains here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Curtains : Fiona’s Room

Fiona’s Room Reveal started yesterday. First up on the show and tell stage are the curtains. Ah the curtains. Long story short, they were a long story that needed an ending. I had a sewing phobia. And I got over it. Because I was silly and the room hinged on their completion. The story told in full and funnily is here.

Looks like I may be sewing afterall on

The loose Roman shade design was based on some shades I saw on the Hunted Interior but I didn’t want to have to tie them up every time thus the velcro straps. First, I did a Pinterest perusal to feel the project. hand gathered roman shade inspiration on

This one was for a boy’s room. I loved the suspender straps and if I could have found three pairs of overalls, I’d have lopped off the straps with hardware in a heartbeat and used those instead of the velcro/ fake buttons gimmick.

curtsin tie up close up on

I wanted a roman shade feeling but looser. Decided to gather them up by hand and used Velcro on ends of my jean tie ups made from Mark’s old jeans and vintage buttons. The jean fabric inspiration was from the pops of navy in the curtain fabric plus I thought it was a bit of tomboy to go with the floral. I’m good at the finger pleating but my husband is not so you’ll note a difference in the quality of pleating in the window treatment shots.

I used some beautiful silk blend curtain panels I’d gotten from the Goodwill in Bridgeville, Delaware while shopping with my bestie during our monthly shop and lunch chow down at Jimmy’s Grill (fried chicken, sweet potato, and slaw). I am a sucker for fabric especially when it feels vintage. Yet I don’t always actually use it for all my good intentions. So this was really a necessary for me to use what I’d bought. This fabric was also the inspiration for a lot of the other art and color touches in the room. Fiona's room Curtains with no rods on

Sadly, a project also can’t happen for me without some sort of crisis. At first it was the sewing machine. Then it was figuring out how to use two fabric panels to cover the three windows in the bay window configuration. I was stumped and unhappily trying to figure out a work around when it occurred to me to turn the huge fabric panels sideways. They were that big. Eureka, I had enough without piecing them together.

Also the tie-ups ended up different lengths and I mistakenly used sticky back Velcro which the sewing machine hated me more for. At first, I installed the flat wooden pieces that the fabric is stapled to with just one screw each to just “See how to do it”. This used to be known as jury rigging.  But then I spent another hour later on to correct all of my half butt jobs. I did it darn it. Next up is the rod design and second layer of the curtains which make the window ensembles completely fabulous !!!

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