Monday, March 26, 2012

A Garden Gift for a Little Girl

Here is another gift idea to share with you; a gift for the little gardener.
I found this Cath Kidston looking apron at JoAnn Fabrics.  I bought two; one for my daughter and one for her friend, Mary Scott.  Her mom has a garden, so now Mary Scott will have her own tools!
 I found the straw hat in a kid size at Michaels.  I had the ribbon at home and used it to tie through the little vent holes to make the bows.
I found the coloring book at Hobby Lobby.
These came from Target.
 This pack of Sweet Pea seeds came from Michaels, too.  The package is intended for little ones to color.
Pretty pink stakes came from Michaels.
 I packaged everything in the apron, placed the apron inside the hat and tied the ribbon around the apron full of garden goodies.  Brooke signed her name to a little chalk board, used as a gift tag, for her friend Mary Scott's sixth birthday!
 Brooke models it for you!
Of course, I had to the throw the puppy in there, because he is so cute, too!

 Click here, here, and here for other gift ideas!

Note: My friend asked me when do I have time to run to all those places to put together a gift.  Often, I find something that inspires me, like the apron, and then when I am out, I look for things to go with it.  Also, because I have three kids, which means lots of friends' birthday parties, I buy things along the way and keep in my craft/decor/gift closet!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Boasting About My Weaknesses

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  You will be blessed if you do them.  ~John 13:15, 17

She came in to tell me what she had learned at school today.  "Mama, what figurative speech is this?  The fireworks went Crack! Boom!"  Of course, I can't remember the word, nor do I feel like being bothered.  "Mom, its an onomatopoeia! Don't you remember!?"  "No, I don't remember," I say.  Ashlyn continues, "Okay, Mom, guess what this is!  I'll give you choices!"  She is so excited about what she has learned: alliteration, idioms, personification, metaphors, similes, hyperboles and that long 'O' word that I can never remember.  

At the moment, I am not interested in what my fourth grader has to say.  My foot aches from an old injury, and I am angry about overdoing it, once again with the day's activities.  I really want to be left alone.  "Ashlyn, I just don't feel good right now.  Can we do this later?"  She senses the agitation in my voice, and I wonder how many times I had said that phrase to her in the last month.  Seemingly defeated, she stands up and walks out of the room.  I don't even care to follow her.  I can barely walk and am annoyed with my own weakness.

She goes to her room and empties a plastic container that holds her treasures; a small rock collection, perfume bottles, grandma's necklace and the big hoop earrings that she likes to wear with high heels around the house.  I hear her in the bathroom when she shouts, "Mom, come here!"  Frustrated because she wants me to get up and come to her, I say, "Ashlyn, can you just please come here and tell me what you want?"  Inside, I am screaming an English lesson of my own, "Do you really expect me to lug this ball and chain of a boot to the bathroom, when you can run and jump!"  I am surprised that somehow I had the strength to keep that idiom to myself.

Ashlyn comes in quietly and says gently, "Mom, I want to rub your feet.  I got a box and filled it with warm water and soap.  I got my favorite lotion to rub on your hurting foot."  Instantly, I know the one from Bath & Body.  She loves the little bottles of overwhelming fragrances.  In her sweet eyes, I can tell she really wants to do this for me.  My girls often want to play beauty salon or school, so spa was no different.  I didn't have the heart to say, "No," again.

I drag my orthotic boot that feels like a bucket of concrete to the bathroom. I see that she has pulled a chair from the kitchen and has placed two pillows for comfort.  There sits her little plastic box, emptied of her special things and full of soapy water.  Still with a remnant of annoyance, I wonder who on earth would want to touch somebody's feet?  Feet are so dirty.  Nonetheless, I put my injured foot in the water.  As Ashlyn splashes water on my foot, she comments that my Cotton Candy pink painted toes are pretty and that she doesn't recall ever seeing them painted.

My recent pedicure was cheaper than physical therapy, I justify.  I rationalize to my daughter that I hadn't had a pedicure in probably five years, when her little sister was born.  I explain that all women get pedicures before delivering their children, because we are about to be up close and personal with our doctor.  I laugh out loud as to why I even worried about such a thing.  Had I worried he would think my feet were ugly, or had I hoped he would be distracted by the bright nail polish, since I saw him once a month at super club?  We laugh at the silly things people do.

Ashlyn says, "Mom, what does the lady do when you get a pedicure?"  I tell her how she rubs my feet with some bath salts and lotion and then paints my toes a pretty color.  She does her best to recreate my spa experience.

As I sit there staring down at my precious daughter, the Lord tugs at my heart.  In our laughter and her sweetness, He reminds me of one of the last things Jesus did before His crucifixion. He washed the feet of His disciples.  I am immediately overwhelmed by this humble act of kindness from my daughter.  I am ashamed of myself and my behavior and am quick to recognize that I do not deserve this.

She could have filled the bath tub with water for my spa treatment.  Instead, she emptied and used her own little plastic box that held the things precious to her.  I am not sure she understood how powerful this innocent act was or the impact it had on her mama's heart.

She dries my foot and gives me the heavy boot that I hate so much.  She asks, "How does that feel?"  "Much better," I answer and am sure she thinks I am just talking about my foot. 

For the first time, I understand the verse, "God's power is made perfect in weakness."  His Word came alive in that moment!  His power was made perfect in my weakness.  The face of Jesus had just shown through my daughter with compassion, humility, patience and a sweet, tender love for me.  God's grace is sufficient.  I look down at the ugly black contraption that surrounds my leg and, for the first time, I am thankful for my weakness.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  ~2 Corinthians 12:9

"Who on earth would want to touch somebody's feet?"  I had wondered just moments earlier.

  Jesus would, and I saw that today.

Ashlyn and I went on a canoe ride the day after the above story took place.  We were pretending that we were lost at sea and finally made it to an island (Lake Wylie has one about two miles from our house.)  Life is more fun when you add stories to your adventures! 
Later that day, we saw this beauty from God's own hand.  You can't see here, but it was a double rainbow.  God's grace is so sufficient!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Remodel in Progress

Basically, I feel like a crazy woman, because I don't know what I am doing.  I am a designer wannabe.  This lovely woman at For the Love of a House has amazing taste.  Her kitchen is my inspiration for this remodel.  For the record, she buys and trades antiques for a living.  I wipe noses, and I used to sell drugs (not on the a drug store, a CVS to be exact.)  This is not exactly the resume for the massive project we are undertaking. Thank goodness for all the wonderful blogs, Houzz, and Pinterest. With all the research I have done, I think I have earned a degree.  
I bought this Currey lantern like the one you see here at my favorite store in Charlotte, Traditions Interiors.  It is a substantial lantern at 34 inches tall and 25 inches wide. 
It will be replacing the very traditional brass chandelier that hangs in our dining room.  Because of the simple design of the lantern, it will not block the view of the lake.  Take a closer look at the one we have...
A fire hazard, don't you think?  It flickers and buzzes every time we turn it on.
My son threw a ball...well, this tells the story.
Here you can see the floors and how orange they had become.  These pine floors came out of an old hunting lodge at William Blackstock's plantation in Blackstock, SC.  In some places they were so worn. 
We added some new pine floors in a hallway leading to our bedroom.  They lack the worm holes as in the older floors, but look good and very close with the stain added.
This is where my computer with all my photos sat a month ago.  The bead board ceiling in here and the kitchen came from the hunting lodge, as well. The orange floor and dark ceiling just weren't working together.
Here the floors have been sanded.  We have added more recessed lighting and the fan will come down in the living room.  We have not resolved what to put in its place.  Here is where a real decorator would come in handy!  We face several challenges. 
When we moved here twelve years ago, this entire space was painted a dark red.  Can you even imagine?  It was awful and distracted from the view of the great outdoors.  We lived with it for seven years before painting it Benjamin Moore's Monroe Bisque.
Here are the finished floors with an English walnut stain. 
They turned out beautiful!  No more orange!
Here was the kitchen at Christmastime.  You can't see it, but there is a really ugly ceiling fan above the table.
You can see the fan in the reflection of the window!  It will be replaced with these two hanging lanterns for more light.
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These are Crestwood lanterns from Progress lighting.  If you want to see more examples of lanterns or kitchens with hanging lanterns, check out my pinterest boards, here and here.
Lemon-lime anyone? 
The walls will get a fresh coat of paint in Perfect Greige by Sherwin-Williams.
pendant light
The light fixture over the bar will be replaced with this Landmark Chadwick industrial pendant.
What can I say?  Ahhh....the sink.  The hot water handle was broken off.  The disposal was held together by duct tape.  It was time.
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We are replacing the sink with this two-bowl Shaw apron sink and this Perrin and Rowe faucet as seen here at Decor Pad
In all my photos of the kitchen, I tried to hide these cabinets and knobs.  Brass has its place, but these are dated.  The cabinet doors were hanging and the drawers did not work efficiently.
As you see in my inspiration photo at the top, I wanted the lovely soapstone.  I had my husband sold because it is non-porous and wouldn't show crayon or marker mishaps.  When we went to the showroom, the sales lady said, "I wouldn't use soapstone with young children, because it can chip off."
  Bad sales lady, bad!
And that was the end to my beautiful dream of soapstone.
We found this lovely slab of granite in Silver Silk, which I hope to get in a honed finish.  We tagged it, but a few weeks later, the store changed management, and the slab was gone.  These are the kinds of things that are making me want to check in to the third floor of our hospital (psych unit.)  Back to square one.
We chose this Artic Gray subway tile by Dal-Tile for the backsplash.  It will be honed, as well.  If you look at the Lemon-lime photo, you can see that our cabinets come right up to the casings and molding.  We chose white cabinets in a simple design like the inspiration kitchen above.  This Artic Gray has enough white, gray and hints of brown to tie everything together; or at least I like to think so.
This beautiful hand-knotted rug did not get to stay in my kitchen.  I adored it.  I bargained for it.  I begged for it.  It wasn't practical for the space with three sticky children who spill and drop food and throw basketballs at chandeliers (certainly not at the price tag that came with it.)  But, the muted colors were so perfect!

These types of projects always have a domino effect.  "Well, if we do that, than we need to do that..."  We started planning for this project about a year and a half ago.  The floors were in bad shape.  At Christmas, our refrigerator broke and leaked on these beautiful old floors and added to their advancing demise.  The disposal was broken, but held together with the tape.  And then, I caught the oven on fire.  That's another story.  Let's just say, I will be defending that I actually do have a college degree.

I chose to do a simple kitchen with soft colors for one basic reason.  Rob is not going to change one thing in this kitchen until it breaks again.  Since, I love to decorate, a monochromatic canvas will let me do just that; change the small things and add different colors at different times. 

Everything that was taken out of our house was recycled.  Habitat for Humanity and the Historic Brattonsville took the cabinets, fixtures, and faucets.  Our friend, Jesse Lee, who fishes out here and has been for a hundred years or so, took the appliances to re-wire and use; although, I think the stove was beyond repair.

I tried to pick quality and timeless pieces in the hopes that they will carry us through another 15 years, at which time my babies will be gone.  I can hardly think of it.  Yes, I will enjoy the moments of spilled milk and jelly on the rug...the marks of a family that lives here.

Thank you so much for stopping by! 

And thank you to my faithful readers who contacted me via e-mail to make sure I was okay during this extended absence.  I missed blogging and so missed the kindness that you all have shown me here at Three Pixie Lane.

P.S. Please go visit For the Love of a House blog! She is amazing, and I adore every single detail in her house.

I am joining Kim at Savvy Southern Style.
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