Friday, January 20, 2012

Beachy Bedroom Redo

Beachy Bedroom Decor

Well, it is almost done.  I'm posting the pictures of the  basement bedroom today.  I just about have all the decor done.  We still want to change it from a windowed room to a patio glass door room, so we can easily get in and out to go to the jacuzzi in the winter.  As it is, it's absolutely NO FUN walking down around the backyard hill in the FREAKING COLD SNOW!  (I actually thought about climbing through the window.....maybe I could get a ladder and ......uh...well....I'll think about that one.)

We took out the mini blinds and the light fixtures and bought fresh new ones.....after painting everything ice blue.....

We ripped up the old, beige carpet, and put in new wood flooring....I didn't take very many pics of it though......Oops! 
Anyway here are the "BEFORE" pictures.  We had a water pipe freeze last winter so we had a little leaking in our walls and had to fix the pipes after the winter thaw.   The plumber tore out this HUGE piece of my wall!  And then just left it that way!  It was really gross! (nightmares of things crawling out of walls in the night....eek!)
Here is the work of my crazy plumber neighbor down the street!  But at least he found the leak!  Yucky!
My hubs did a great patch job.....see if you can find it in the  "after" pictures? 
Finished "Mariner" themed room.....

Lots of Beach blue and white and shell and lighthouse decor......

Beach themed rooms are so easy because decorations are everywhere with the white and blue color scheme! 

The blue and white "Star" quilt I purchased at a quilt shop.....

We repainted all the baseboards in the room too.  It looks really nice in there now. 
You can't even see it but behind this mirror is the repaired hole in the wall you can see in the first pic.

 Here's a good picture of the new wood flooring in the Mariner bedroom. And you can see the paint color contrast between the light ice blue and the marine blue walls.
My hubs did this wood flooring.  It is a vast improvement on the carpeting we had . 

 Anyway....after patching up all the walls with some wallboard and then plaster, (my hubs is quite the handyman stud!), we painted one wall a darker marine blue, and the other 3 walls and closet a pale ice blue.
 Then I started looking for "MARINER" themed decorations all over the place.  They are easy to find.

Here's the bookcase and the dark blue wall decor......I found lots of lighthouses......So pretty!   

 I got this really neato lighthouse decoration at Christmas time at Target.  It is one of those things that has color changing lights.  The top of the lighthouse actually works and spins and changes colors. It is the neatest thing ever if you see it at night!
I made this magnet board and my idea is to collect postcards from all the beaches I travel to.......
and attach them with these shell magnets I made with shells glued to circle magnets with hot glue. 

I know this is a dumb picture in here....I gotta find something that fits.....But I love this sailboat frame.....

We got this light up dolphin night light to add some blue ambiance to the room at night....

One of my kids got this giant stuffed fish at a carnival I think....but it works in the room ! 

Lighthouse and sailboat tapestry.....I sent away for this too, from a catalog....It's pretty in person....

I made a silk flower arrangement in blue and white in a "shell" designed, ceramic planter container.

I loved the lighthouse collection on these plates....can't remember where I found them....but it looks good on a skinny wall to the side of the bed....

I got this "Beach House" frame at Bed, Bath and Beyond....I always find stuff there....

This is a Martha Stewart summer chair I got at Kmart for $45.00.  I love how wicker really goes well with a beach theme.....

My super tiny, lighthouse tea set that is maybe useful for Tinkerbell!  Way tiny that thing......I succumbed to some fancy advertising....I hate when that happens. 

Here's the table and chair and the new, white, faux wood mini blind....notice the light blue paint? So pretty! 

 The lamp I found at Pier 1 Imports for....get this.....ten bucks!  Yeah!  I love a deal!  I called all over to the surrounding cities at all the Pier 1 stores to find a match....but they were all gone.  It is really beautiful up close. The top has a sand dollar finial on it.   It's really pretty. 
I loved this beachy tray I found at Micheals.... 
 This little lighthouse "tea set" I got from a catalog, thinking it would be, you know, a real little tea set, not one for Thumbelina!!  My husband laughed at it when it came in the mail in its tiny packaging. I guess I should look at the measurements of things in the future.
 I have a collection of shells from living near the Pacific Ocean most of my life.  We spent every summer hanging out at the beach as a kid, a teenager, and as a young mother.  My kids love the beach. We have many happy memories spending time in Redondo, Torrance, Huntington and Seal Beaches.
So I guess the BEACH theme and all the shells and lighthouses have been a lot of fun for me. It brings back so many happy memories and times.  I'm a California beach girl at heart.

A set of shell pictures from T. J. Maxx  my favorite store!!!
Wall collage of beachy pictures....and a tiny, old crate I painted white and added shells and candles....

Just outside the window is the backyard patio and a jacuzzi.....our next project is to push out this window and make it
a glass doorway so we can get to our jacuzzi when it snows.....without freezing our little xxxx's off! 

Cute little nautical box I found at T.J. Maxx

My magnet board....I have 1 post card so far....Salt Lake...all my postcards will be from trips...that's the goal....

Lighthouse decor is popular now too....I found lots of lighthouse pictures at
Bed, Bath and Beyond....and used a 20% off coupon too!   

The Beachy Bedroom decor is a great guest room too! 

Here's the patio decor right outside the window....hope by next summer we will have the glass french door
put in replacing the window....it just will be so much easier than walking down in the snow (or climbing out through the window! We've actually done that on a particularly snowy day!

Hope you enjoyed my Mariner Room.... I sure love it....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Words of Comfort

......the words of  comfort we share have meaning long after they are spoken........

I don't know why but lately I've been thinking about a terrible event in our family's history. It was the day my son Danny died in a car accident coming home from school in the rain. He wasn't speeding. He had a seatbelt on. It was a freak occurrence.  When these kinds of things happen to you....they change you forever. You are not the same person. Everybody who's  been through the wretched pain of it will attest to how the wound gets partially healed, somewhat, with time.  You are kinda ruined in a way, though, and you just somehow put a bandaid on it and try to move ahead as a wounded soldier. 

Remembrances or experiences reminding you of how special that person was to you, kind of rip off a portion of the bandaid you have hidden the wound under, and you are laid bare again....tears streaming down your face....no control in place.   But people along the road stop and help you. And you never forget it. You still appreciate everything. Even now I do. Life sucks sometimes, but it can be joyful still.

Maybe it's because there's a new 9 11 movie out with Tom Hanks that looks painfully sad. Maybe it's because my kid's friends are all coming home from their missions now and getting engaged, married, having a kid. It's hard to be there to celebrate for them, somehow, although I am happy for them, and I do love them. It's just hard. It rips the bandaid off for a minute. Stuff he will miss out on....stuff I'll never see.  But people's words still help me.  One of those returned missionaries gave me a few words of wisdom that helped me feel better today. It reminded me, years later now, of the people that said things to me and did simple, random, acts of kindness that I will never forget.   

I think people fear they have to be grand in their gestures when they want to help in a tragedy. But the simple truth is....every single gesture helps....and is noted.  Words of comfort were so varied and mostly welcomed.  Lots of questions were not....still aren't. Nobody wants to relive the details of the other-worldly pain. Lots of questions are not good and comforting. I guess I would figure that out. Some people don't. Only 1 note hurt me. It mentioned one time he saw Danny perform something good. It made me think "you didn't know him at all, did you?"  School and seminary teachers' notes I reread occasionally, usually at Christmas as I keep them in my card file.  Such sweet teachers I'll never forget. 

Small, heartfelt gifts were so comforting to me.  One good friend named Pat gave me a small 5 x 5 book of lighthouses and poems on the light leading us home. I loved that probably more than any other gift. I kept it in my purse and grabbed it out like spinach for Popeye, making me feel strong when I was losing it. She had lost her husband the previous year. Another guy came and mowed our lawn for a month. He'd lost his wife a few years back.

 Another one I remember was a small Christmas ornament given to me by a young girl, a very quiet girl, who came to my home all by herself. It was a statuary mother with a child in her arms.  I loved that figurine. I still do whenever I look at it.  One very good friend of mine came over late at night with her husband and 2 bags of groceries, and stayed listening to my husband after I went to bed exhausted.  Another friend came as soon as she heard, left work to be with me, ran in the house calling for me. Several couples came over, sat and talked. These comforting people were not all super close friends. They just cared. And they came and did what they could.  They all just said simply, "I'm so sorry". 

 That helped me get through it, that others cared about our pain, and wanted to somehow make it better. It felt like a warm, hand knitted shawl, being wrapped around me. 

 Some came days later when I needed a friend to talk to. Several brought cross stitched and embroidered messages that I treasure.  One sent a picture book of the Savior, and another group send a large painting of the Savior. Another sent hymns of comfort in a cd. I had so many small gestures and gifts that I treasure.  Some sent sunflowers. Others sent roses. I remember most of the flowers and some of the plants. But there were so many.

 One sent bread. I remember there were a lot of loaves of bread, but I only remember 1 person's bread because she apologized saying "I didn't know what to bring, so I brought some bread....I'm so sorry". We had like 10 or 12 loaves in our freezer. I remember many casseroles which I did taste but never finished a serving of.  No appetite. You forget, even, to eat. You are damaged. But you don't forget who sent you food. I remember even a bottle of horseradish sauce and roast beef sandwiches from my next door neighbor I didn't know very well. She did what she could with 2 little girls in tow. Another neighbor did a floral arrangement of silks because I told her I needed a few for the table of pictures I was putting together. It was beautiful with all the fall colors, and sunflowers, one of my favorite flowers still. 

Another was a neighbor that didn't say much. She just took a few of my photo album pictures and made a scrapbook of Danny. Her name was Holly. It was such a dear act.  When others heard about it they came over and took 3 or 4 more pictures from our pile laying out on the living room floor in a 3 x 3 foot grid for days, and they made up a page for the Danny scrapbook. It was finished to overflowing. 

 So many kids did such comforting things....coming to visit.....singing at the funeral.....leading the singing....carrying the casket... Organizing a Festival of Trees Tree at Christmas a few months later..sitting in groups at the funeral......Alta High hockey kids united together.....that was all so comforting to me. Their coach who had Danny's number 44 embroidered on everybody's team jersey. The coach died suddenly the next year. We sent a heartfelt note to his widow with money for the funeral expenses. I loved that coach. Danny loved him too. I'm sure Danny and he did a fist bump when they met in heaven.

 A dear neighbor named Laurie, her son was one of Danny's best friends, framed Dan's hockey shirt with his number 44 in a big, black frame. Maybe that's why I was weepy. I found the shirt yesterday when cleaning.  it's been stored.  We set it up next to his casket at the funeral. Another one of his best friend's family anonymously paid for the funeral plot. His home teaching companion and our home teachers each sent huge amounts of money to virtually pay half of his funeral expenses.  Like I said, people do what they can....it's all good....it's all appreciated...it helps to  bear one another's burdens. 

I loved the service my kids gave to their brother. My kids and their spouses put together a powerpoint of pictures of Dan to music for a display at the funeral. I still can't listen to the song without being sad. Associations to music are strong.  My son played an original piano solo, another son spoke about his brother playing video games with him, using the "healer" role playing, wishing he could have "healed" his brother like they did in the video game together.  And my daughter who had to travel far to come, prayed at his funeral. And did many things to support me.  It was all meaningful to me. They had always said Danny was my favorite kid. For years I heard that. I don't know if that is true, but he was very special to me, being my youngest, my baby. It all comforted me.  It was all given in love. 

I think I have forgotten that when others are in pain, it's so important not to think about it...not to worry that you have nothing to say or to add. Or that you don't know what to do. Just go and do.....whatever you can....It's like the Little Drummer Boy. Just play your drum if that's all you can think of to do.  It will make it better.... It is all helpful. It is all memorable and loving and comforting.  I know.  And I'm grateful years later for sweet, comforting gestures of love and charity.  Even now, I think back when I'm sad, and it comforts me still. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Giant Paper Snowflakes

The other day at school I saw this giant snowflake made out of paper that one of the teachers had made. It was so beautiful! I got on google last night and looked it up.  And look what I found!  This is the coolest, easiest snowflake to make ever. And so I am making these next week. They are Easy.
A Tutorial is HERE at Paper Zone Blog for how to do a cool, giant paper snowflake.  I used 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper sheets and had each student do 1/6 of the snowflake. Another one with cool photos is HERE at A Cup of Calm.
A Cup of Calm had cool pics to guide me through it! 
You start by using a perfect square of paper, just like in Japanese paper folding, or doing a square snowflake. Then you fold twice.  The side where there is a single fold you cut 4 lines almost to the edge, that line up with the side with the long side of the triangle.

Fold the square diagonally to form a triange. Then fold that triangle in half again to form a smaller triangle. Unfold carefully. Attach the 2 outside tips of the square to each other in front. Then attach the next tips in back with tape. Then the next tips in front with tape. That the last inner tips in back with tape.  Do this 4 or 5 more times.  Attach the ends together with a stapler. You will have a 5 sectioned star snowflake or a 6 sectioned snowflake.  hang up in the center of your room for quite a breathtaking display.
Just staple all the 6 parts together to form the snowflake!  All Done!  
A fun interactive snowflake making website with magic scissors that cut a new snowflake every time is called Snowflake Barkleys.com HERE is the link. It's a cool and fun website for the kids to get an idea how to cut a snowflake.
Here are some funny winter riddles to brighten up this dreary gray weather we are having. Ugh! I have to search for things to give me strength during the coldest month of the year in Utah.

Winter Riddles to give you the giggles!

Q. What did the big furry hat say to the warm wooly scarf?
A. You hang around while I go on ahead.

Q. How do you keep from getting cold feet?
A. Don't go around BRRRfooted!

Q. Where do seals go to see movies?
A. The dive in!

Q. What kinds of math of Snowy Owls like?
A. Owlgebra.

Q. Why is the slippery ice like music?
A. If you don't C Sharp, you'll B flat.

 I'm still lamenting I moved away from sunny California when it comes to the weather!  Now I'm off to organize my office drawers......yeah.....I know.....what a fun Saturday plan, right?  :O


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