Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gaining Inches In The Bedroom...

Oh - get your mind out of the gutter!

This isn't that kind of blog, people!


We have suddenly acquired a new piece of furniture and it has spurred on a new layout for the bedroom...

an extra 30 inches of usable space, to be exact!

Not one's for taking the easy route, we've been slaving away trying to fit together all of the pieces. One thing has led to another (as is the case with most of our makeover's) and the chain reaction is leading us, not only to a better functioning room, but a look that we like even better than the last...

The Before:

(notice how the bed is very close to the left wall)


The During:

I'm not about to call it "the after" because we still have a ways to go...

Once we're finished, I'll show you how it all turned out and the reason that this change is taking place. I'll show you the layout of the room and how what were once obstacles within the room have now become opportunities for thinking outside of the box. Most importantly, you'll see how 30 inches made such a tremendous difference in the bedroom!

P.S. I finally have pictures from the wedding! I'll be posting about the half-time show complete with lederhosen soon! You won't want to miss it!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Celebrating Owen...

Our sweet Owen is 6 years old today!

I know that it's totally cliche to say, but...

the past 6 years have gone by so fast!

Since today is all about Owen, we started off with the breakfast of his choice...

Crepes made by Daddy, filled with Nutella and topped with whipped cream, chocolate chips and a cherry!


it was time for his present!

I LOVE this picture of his face when he saw his Dad walking out with the big box...

Nothing but sheer excitement!

He's a marble track boy - has been all his life!

This is marble track number....oh, I don't even know...I've lost count! But this is the first one that has been motorized and he cannot wait to see how it all works!

He and the Will's (big and little) are in their room getting it all set up. I'm fairly certain they'll be in there for the day!

And as far as Owen is concerned, it's the perfect way to spend the day!


To my kind, caring, sweet, outgoing, friendly, loving Owen...


I love you more than words can express


Friday, September 25, 2009

This Little Light Of Mine...

Two coats of porch and floor paint - check

painted rails and banister - check

strung lights - check

We don't even have anything back up on the deck yet, but it looks party ready to me!

Doesn't it look like it's just begging to be danced on?


There's just something about those little lights...

Love 'em!

The entire "inside" of the deck is finished being painted...

meaning that the entire outside has not.

I still need to paint all of the balusters and posts around the outside.

Let me tell you how excited I am about that.

(That last sentence was thick with sarcasm, just in case you couldn't tell.)

It's shaping up to be great additional space for our

Annual Chowder Cook-Off!

But, there won't be any painting happening today...

Today my best friend, Kelly, and I are heading out to

Do The Puyallup

and ending the night listening to her

We're meeting some friends there for a Girl's Night Out.

Should be fun!

And the concert is bound to be good!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It Was Supposed To Be Catch-Up-On-Laundry Day...

When I woke up yesterday morning, I had already psyched myself up for a day of laundry. Yes, it takes psyching up for me. Laundry is easily my most despised chore. We were so wrapped up in preparations for the wedding, and then spending the weekend in Woodinville, that the amount of laundry I have as a result is...let's just say, I'll be lucky if it only takes me one day to do it all!

Anyway, I was ready for it.

Until my husband woke up.

We went out on the deck to look at the beautiful sunrise...

No harm in that, right?

The next thing I knew, he was saying "let's paint the deck today" and we were suddenly clearing everything off of it!

I'm sure by now that if you've been following our blog for any length of time, you know that we're a bit impulsive when it comes to projects for our home.

This project being no exception!

But we have good reason for doing this project without notice...

the weather has been perfect!

Slip-N-Slide kind of perfect...

So we had to take advantage of it!

So are you wondering "why bother? Fall is here. The rain is coming. No need for your deck"

I know. It doesn't make much sense does it? The nights are already really cold up here in the Pacific Northwest, the days are getting shorter and shorter, and the rain is sure to set in soon...

But around our house, when Fall arrives, it signals a party.

October is when we host our annual

Chowder Cook-Off!

This will be our third year in a row and we invite a whole lot of people: family, friends, co-workers, neighbors...

It's a fun competition and always super yummy!

With all those people here and tons of hot chowders filling the kitchen, it gets pretty hot in the house, so we want to open up the French Doors from the family room onto the deck and use it as overflow and a place to get some fresh air.

So, it's the perfect time for the deck to get a makeover!

As you can see, it was in pretty bad shape...

The floor boards are so worn that the stain has been almost completely worn off.

And if you look closely at this next picture you can see drips running down the side...

Nice, right?


The previous owners just slapped on the stain and called it good because the sides of the deck were hidden by huge rhododendrons.

I used Kilz a while back to go over the brown stain drips and it worked for a while, but we just removed a weeping tree that had sat right there in front of the deck and now you can clearly see how bad the original paint and stain job were.

(Don't worry...we follow the "remove a tree, plant a tree" rule, so we're planting the new apple tree you see up there in the photo. It will be much better for the space and provide much needed shade, which this yard is sorely lacking.)

Will was able to patch some boards that were rotting away by using deck boards from a neighbor down the street who is rebuilding their deck. They had a huge pile sitting in their driveway and they were cool with Will taking some, since the boards were of no use to them anymore.


And then we began painting...

and painting...

and painting...

and painting...

and painting...

All. Day. Long.

And then...

we did something that I've been wanting to do for a long time now and that will be the perfect addition for the Cook-Off.

here is a little peek, since it's not quite completed yet...

It's so pretty!

We have more painting to do today - a good second coat on the floor boards and finish work on the rails and stairs.

Which means, laundry is getting put off once again.

Oh well, I'd rather paint anyway!

I'll be sure to show you how it all turns out!

P.S. Don't forget! It's DIY Day over at A Soft Place To Land! Be sure to link up if you've got a DIY project to share!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Wedding Was Wonderful...

Will and I have been to many weddings...many...and I can easily say that of all those weddings, including our own, this one was the most fun!

We had a fantastic time and were sad when the clock struck midnight and the celebration had to end.

We danced and danced and danced and danced...

It was a great party!

Here is a peek at how the centerpieces for the reception tables turned out:

I had so much fun creating them!

Of course, it came with the self-imposed pressure to get the look perfectly-perfect. But in the end, the bride was thrilled with how everything looked...and since that's all that really matters, I'm sure I can say that they did, in fact, turn out


I will share more photos when I can get my hands on them. Since I was busy decorating and then pulling off the half-time show (yes, there was a half-time show) complete with dirndl and lederhosen (I'll explain later), I didn't have much free time to dig out my camera and take pictures. But once a few of the other wedding guests send them to me, I will definitely show you how it all turned out. It was gorgeous and totally worth sharing!

Oh, and one last thing...

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Hunter

We love you both!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Here Comes The Bride...

To say that the Swoveland women are a little preoccupied by the sound of wedding bells, would be an understatement.

In reality, we are totally preoccupied!

This Saturday, my husband's baby sister is walking down the aisle to say "I Do", and we all have a hand in making her vision for the wedding a reality.

Ready for my part?

Back in June I posted about an idea I had found on Apartment Therapy.

It was a gorgeous display of canning jars and candles set atop white linens with white china and white chairs.

The effect is gorgeous!

(click here to see the original post)

Not long after my post, my sister-in-law asked me if I could be in charge of recreating the look for the centerpieces at her wedding reception.

Hmm...let me think about that...


So I found 168 canning jars in varying sizes, for the cheapest price I could find...

And enough tea lights to fill each jar...

By the way, did you know that Ikea sells tea lights that are nearly twice as big as normal tea lights? I had no idea, but was thrilled when I found them! Bonus - they burn for 9 hours, which is more than twice as long as the little ones!

The Will's (big and little) and I, spent last night taking off all the lids,

(how cute is it that our seven year old wanted to help?)

placing a candle in each jar,

lighting every single wick to make them super easy to light for the reception,

and placing them all back in the boxes to make moving them most efficient...

Of course, I couldn't pack them all up without doing a mock up of what the dinner tables will look like...

It was so pretty!

The photo doesn't do it justice. It's even prettier than what I had imagined!

I cannot wait to see what the place looks like filled with the romantic glow of flickering candlelight bouncing off the glass jars!

I'm going to take it a step further and spruce it up a bit beyond just the candles and jars. Not too much, but we want to inject a bit of the wedding colors into the mix.

I'll be sure to take lots of pictures!

We have a lot more to get done before the weekend starts with the rehearsal on Friday,

wedding on Saturday,


Owen's 6th Birthday Party on Sunday!

It's a lot to cram into one weekend, but we wanted to take advantage of family being in town for the wedding. Doing his party on Sunday means that Owen will get to have his cousin here for the party, which he will love!

I hope that you all have a fantastic weekend!

I'll be back next week to show you how it all went!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hello, Storage...

Custom built storage...

Remember how the wall used to be?

When it was the dining room there was an arch - a walkway, through the room...

When we framed in and closed off the arch to create the new playroom, it presented the perfect opportunity to use the entryway as a truly functional space.

And thanks to my carpenterific husband, the idea of a built-in was turned into a reality!

Three cubbies for our three kids makes storing their shoes in the wire baskets an easy solution to scattered shoes...

Two hooks per locker mean kids and adults alike can hang up their coats and bags when they come in the front door...

And as an added bonus, I got three display boxes out of the deal that I can change with the seasons and holidays...

We built it the same height as the frame around the transom window to give the space a uniform look. This also gives the feeling that the built-in has always been there, from the time the house was built...

I found the hooks at Lowe's and after debating over which color to choose, I'm happy that I went with these one's - I love the black against the stark white...

More often than not, it looks like this:

...filled with lunch boxes,

shoes and coats...

The best part is that we use it every day!

A totally worth while project that made our home a bit more organized and gave it more of a custom feel!

P.S. I am posting this at Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

and Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage

and Furniture Feature Friday at Mustard Seed Creations

Check them out! You're sure to be inspired!