Thursday, September 30, 2010

when simplifying isn't simple

WARNING :: this post is filled with words, no pics of projects or house updates today! I'm not even
going to go back and read this so it may or may not make sense!

it's been quite a week.
in fact, it's been one of those weeks that
has forced me into near constant prayer.

we moved into town and into a smaller home for the
purpose of being close to our church
family and the community where most of our ministries
take place. it's also been or desire to simplify
our lives on a number of levels, from material possessions
to decreasing travel time for pastor j to how we spend time as a family.

while we love our home, neighborhood and proximity to the city,
not everything in our life feels
simpler. more simple? simpler? anyway. .  .

1. inner city schools. NOT a simple transition. it's been
rough in fact. really rough. it is important to us
to support our local school, to be present and encouraging, to offer
solutions and not be the parent's that just point out the problems. this is going to
require more time.

2. we have come to realize that bean is going to
need more therapy than the school can provide,
at least one to two hours outside of school.
this is going to require more time.

3. little quirks in tank's development, that we have been
only mildly concerned about have turned into larger concerns.
after being observed for three hours by a specialist
from the university we are now
getting set up to have him go through a full
developmental/psychological eval.
additionally, we found out he failed his recent hearing test
and have been referred to a specialist.
we know that he will need speech therapy at the very least.
this is going to require more time.

4. as things are, we don't have much more time. something's gotta give.


it's ironic isn't it? that as we seek to simplify our lives things get infinitely more complicated.

complicated, yet the decision that needs to be made, for me, is a simple one.

my family needs more of my attention. not the kind of attention they get inbetween
projects or the kind they get when i have so many other things on my mind.
they need my full, undivided attention.

the only way for that to happen is for me to give up some things that are  forcing me to divide my
time. namely, green seed creations, the business.

i have decided that now is not the time to develop green seed. i will be turning in my
business license, finishing up some custom orders and not accepting more, and pulling out of the shop
where i currently have some of my wares. (also ironic is that this is all
coming about the week my little blog is getting a more professional look.)

i will maintain this blog, because i think it's important for me to have
something for me. and i enjoy this, even if no one's reading i enjoy it.

one day i will want to look back at the changes we made to our sweet
cottage and this is where i will look. so, i'll continue to document what i
do around here, with the reno and other projects, like the built in's i'm
going to make for the boys bathroom.

at the moment, i can't find my camera or i would show you some of my fall
decor. it is in keeping with our theme of simplifying and i am really loving it.

i'd love for those of you that come around from time to time to keep popping in
and hope you'll understand if my posts are not terribly consistent.

Friday, September 24, 2010

bear with me. . .

green seed site is undergoing a face lift and things are a bit of a mess. the gallery is all wacky, the sidebar is disorganized, the content is hit or miss. . . feels completely congruent with the rest of my life, actually!

anyway, bear with me. . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

swimming in paint

phase two of home reno is underway.

followed by painting and then some more painting.
oh, and putting horizontal planks in the dining and sitting room.

while i am working on neutralizing our walls
i thought i would show you one of the
furniture makeovers i did the week
before we moved.

did i really redo three pieces of furniture while
packing our entire house, enrolling the kids in new schools,
and taking care of all the administrative details of moving and closing
on two houses?

uh, yes. and that may explain my fatigue!

this little table was a piece of cake though.

like so many pieces in my home this once belonged to
my grandmother. it had a marble
top that was never secured. it wasn't pretty marble either.
it was icky, with swirls of brown and lot's of stains.
(sorry, in my haste to rid myself of that slab
of marble i got rid of it before snapping a pic)
i had a table runner over it for years and
used it in our upstairs hall to hold a lamp and some of the kids' books.

there was some decorative wood inlay on the drawer that i also wasn't crazy
about along with a brass rim around  the lower shelf.

i took the easy way out and just sprayed it all!

(sorry about the poor quality pics. this piece doesn't have a home yet so i just stuck it here for the pic)

i had some wood laying around and, remarkably, one piece fit
the top perfectly.
it even  had a beveled edge on the front.
all i did was stain it and glue it down with some liquid nails.

add a couple new knobs and she's got a whole new look.

for those interested in the details of the paint job i used a spray primer (kilz), followed
by rustoleum's heirloom white, and used deft lacquer spray as a protective finish.
i sanded ever so lightly with 220 grit in between each coat.


did i mention i am painting the whole house white? alabaster, to be exact. this is new for me as i have always
had color on the wall. i made great progress today and will hopefully have some
reveals of some or our rooms in a week or so.

in other news. . . in my fatigued state i apparently put my paint roller and brush (thick with paint) in the freezer. i went to look for them after i picked the kids up from school and couldn't
find  them anywhere. later when i went in the freezer, there they were. frozen.

in between freezing paint brushes and taking care of the fam i also have some special orders
for the thomas company.
oh, and did i mention i had an emergency tooth extraction yesterday?
yeah, that was fun.

i think i'll take the rest of the night off. :)

y'all have a good one!


Thursday, September 16, 2010


a place to sit.
as you can see from the unfinished walls and lack of framing
this room is not done.

but it is an improvement over the last few days.

and even though the dry wall guys are coming back
tomorrow to sand, i just had to get this room
somewhat set up.

i couldn't take it anymore.

so, i will have a night of semi-comfort in our
sitting room and then move everything to the opposite
wall before i go to bed, so the worker-bee's
can finish up tomorrow.

you can see the doorway that was
patched up in the far right corner.

do you notice our "oops?"

we totally failed to move the light switch! it was once in an
appropriate spot, beside the door as you walked into the room.
now? it's in the middle of the wall.
it's gonna have to stay there because i really need
to start putting this house together!

i'll just consider it a design annoyance challenge.

it's a small space and i love it.
it is very cozy and i love my furniture so
much more here than i did in our last home.

this is my blog spot.

i love the view from this spot. i look into the room (once two rooms) where our wall
came down and through one of the entrances into the
kitchen. i can see my homemade island, a white chandy, and my drop cloth curtains.
it makes me smile.

after the guys finish up in this room and the big room tomorrow the painting will begin.
can't wait to get my white backdrop in here and start accessorizing!

but before that, pastor j and i are heading out to enjoy a weekend in the
mountains where we will enjoy bluegrass music o'plenty (and maybe a little antiquing/junking/thrifting for me) while the boys hang out
with some of my dear friends and their nonnie and papa.

hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

wall demo day 2 and some beam love

when i arrived home from school drop's this
morning i was greeted by this beauty!

he was waiting in the yard as the guys finished up some
prep work inside so they could get him in place.

i learned that this guy came from the very first tobacco barn built
in sc, which is estimated to be somewhere around the 1840's.

hello? how cool is that!?

i can't believe how much our space changed by taking
down one wall and changing the opening to another room.
you can see where the walls were in the picture above. i took
the pic from the opening of our new sitting room,
which you can see in the pic below.

i'm thrilled with it!

see the room beyond the beam there? that's the new sitting room, there used to be a wall
there,  too.

this guy is in the center of it all. no matter where you are standing
he demands your attention!

i'm going to throw a few coats of polyurethane on to seal him up and
then he'll be ready!

tomorrow, the dry wall guy comes to close up the original doorway
to the sitting room and cover the cross beams. by the weekend we'll have this piece of
it wrapped up. then monday the painting will begin!

Monday, September 13, 2010

making pieces work for you

the wall is almost down!! i'm loving it already!  while i'm waiting on the work to be completed  i thought i'd show you one of the pieces i worked on for our new place.                  

                                                                                              this china cabinet was passed on to pastor j and me after we bought our first home. my parents bought a table and cabinet set but only wanted the table. fortunate for us, although they did have to haul the thing down to florida for us. and then two years later we hauled it back to south carolina. in florida we used it as it was intended, for china. which we have never use, by the way. and then when we moved up here we put it in a sitting room to house some of our books.

and now that we are in a new space i knew i would once again need it for dishes. this piece has  long been on my list of things to paint, i just didn't know what i wanted to do with it. because we are in a smaller space now i am lightening up everything, and this was no exception.

so, using paint i had on hand, alabaster from sherwin williams, i got to work.

here's how it came out.

                                                                        the back of the interior has mirrors which i have never
been crazy about. i couldn't decide what to do with them until i came across some heavy duty, paintable wallpaper while packing. i purchased it months ago from lowe's because it was on clearance and i liked the pattern.
so, on it went.

the best part, no wallpaper paste involved.
i primed the mirrors when i primed the rest of the cabinet.
after cutting my paper to size i simply used spray adhesive on the back
and pressed each square into place.
it worked beautifully.
then i painted it alabaster white, let it dry, and came back and rubbed
some antique glaze over it and wiped it off haphazardly.

i'm pretty happy with how the whole piece came out. it's a real bright spot in the kitchen and is accomplishing my goal of being both functional and beautiful. i can't wait to work on the rest of the kitchen!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

home sweet home

moving day has come and gone and we are now
getting settled in to quinby cottage.

i don't think i have ever felt so immediately
"at home" anywhere we have lived.

the kids love it, too.
bikes, skateboards, and scooters
have already been out.

we have been greeted warmly by neighbors even though
our boys' have raised the noise level
in this quiet cul-de-sac immensely.

spinner, after meeting a little boy named frank,
started calling him franc (as in the french pronunciation)
and telling silly stories from wimpy kid without
coming up for air. frank's mom
still gave us brownies and welcomed us to the

how cute is this workshop?
it's mine!
it's a darling little shop that has electricity, a/c,
and cable hook up!
it is going to serve as my green seed workshop.
i'll show you more once i get it all set up.

love, love the doors and ornamental tee hinges!

monday we will be knocking down a wall and changing the opening to another room.

the room on the left is the dining room, on the right is the family room. these rooms share a
wall and it's coming down! it's a support wall so it is a big job but will be totally worth
it when this space is opened up. because it is a support
wall we will have a post in the far corner, which is close to the
center of the house. the column is a salvaged
piece from an old tobacco mill from a small sc
town. i'm psyched about having it.

the rest of the room will take shape around that column. fresh paint, horizontal planking,
updated fireplace.

each room will be getting a makover and it may very
well take a full year.
hopefully when it's all done we will have an
easy, breezy, light and airy, cottage farmhouse feel.

i'll be sure to document it all so check back in.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

from boys dresser to kitchen island

in between adding to this pile of stuff i am working hard on getting furniture projects done for our move. somehow, they keep adding up. a dresser here, a bookshelf there. i thought my dresser turned kitchen island was going to be my last project until we get settled but i now have our china cabinet in the garage with a coat or primer on her. pastor j almost refused to help me move it because he thought maybe paint fumes had finally gotten to my head. i assured him that it will get done. i'm movtivaed, by golly! and if i have learned anything it is to strike while the motivation is high!

alrighty, on to my dresser transformation. here is the before.

it's a simple dresser. it's pretty rustic and basic.

and now. . .
i added some bun feet, some paint, and a butcher block top. and voila, a kitchen island.

because the wood was soooo dry it would have been cruel to sand or prime her.
so, i did neither, which was fine by me!

the frame is painted with my new favorite mistint that i'm calling carolina moss for it's earthy greenish grayness. the drawers i dry brushed with white followed by carolina moss. then i sanded the heck out of them until i got the look i wanted. then i ran some stain over them. that's pretty much it.

the butcher block is ikea's numerar. my dad came over with his saw and trimmed it up for us and attached it to the dresser.

pastor j was his sidekick. we decided to use liquid nails to attach it, although many advise butcher block be screwed on due to it's tendency to expand and contract with humidity.

this is after about 3 coats of butcher block conditioner. we decided to use this over other oils because we are going to use this as a prep surface. the conditioner is safe for food while also protecting the wood. if it gets too marked up for our taste we can just sand her down a little and seal it up again.

in case i haven't said it enough, our new house has the tiniest kitchen. one of the reason's i did this is to add some workspace for us, as well as some drawer space. i think it will be perfect.


 I'm linking up to some of my usual spots this week:

and here is our china cabinet (which we use for books) mid makeover. . .

more on this later!

Friday, September 3, 2010

giveaway at dreamy whites

is this not a beautiful display of pillows? soft hues, soft fabrics, natural fibers, great sizes and beautiful stripes. what more does one want in a pillow? you want it down filled? you"re in luck (unless you have down allergies, then, sorry, no luck), these are down filled for your comfort and pleasure! 
dreamy whites is having an awesome giveaway from the store, patine, where these beautiful french ticking pillows are found. so hop on over there to find out all about it!

maybe you'll be the lucky winner!

sneak peak and an honor

it's been busy around here
but i wanted to pop in and give you a
sneak peak of my current project.

it's an old dresser, that once lived
in our closet, and before that
spent time in my parent's home,

in our next home it is going to be in the
kitchen, working double duty
as some extra counter space
and drawer storage.

it's not exactly an "island" since it won't be floating in the middle
of the kitchen like a traditional island but we'll call it that

here's a sneak peak.

so far i am really happy with how it's looking.
still have some work to do, including
installing the butcher block top.

it's ikea's numerar and i love it. the color is great
and you can't beat the price.

it should be finished up by monday!


in other news i was excited to wake up today to learn
that holly from life in the fun lane
featured one of my nightstands today on her

i have gained a lot of inspiration from holly and her whiteberry shop.
you should go check out her work, she's a talented lady!