Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Behr Paint

I'm so excited! Today, as I perused the aisles of Home Depot brainstorming, I ended up in the paint section (surprised?) and was thrilled to see that the new Behr paint formula is now on the shelf! It's ZERO VOC!!! I've not tried it yet, but my prayer is it will be as good as the old stuff, which was actually supposed to be low VOC. After my bout with bronchitis, I'm a little paranoid and Behr is one of my favorites. I can't tell you how happy it made me to see I could breathe easy when using the new stuff. Now to just try it out:)  Don't worry, there's two pieces of furniture waiting their turn to walk the catwalk for you. They'll be coming up soon... after I share the home improvement projects I'm currently working on.

Like what you see?
Please take the time to let me know.
Support my blogging by becoming a follower!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stinky Itchy Dogs!

How  Scottie Dog SHOULD look!
via the Westminster Kennel Club

Today I had an epiphany! Poor Scottie Dog has horrible spring allergies. He's only three, but for the last three springs (out of four), as soon as that yellow blanket of pollen descends here in the deep south, he starts scratching. And I don't mean gently! The first year, it was a bloody mess by the time I realized what was going on and got him to the vet. The second year, the steroid shot I used as a last means worked except he got a little stinky. Then last year, it all went up in smoke. The steroid shot was useless as was the Benedryl and Chlor-Trimeton! Finally, after about two months of hair/dust bunnies running away every time I passed his bed, he calmed down and life went on as usual.

It's gotten to where I dread spring in a way, even though it's my favorite time of year. It's so frustrating watching him scratch and knowing I don't know what to do to help (not to mention Hubby isn't much of a dog lover... especially of itchy, stinky, EXPENSIVE dogs!).  There is also the most unpleasant odor emanating from Scottie and his bed when all this is going on. No amount of bathing, baby powder, perfume, etc. seems to make him smell good.

"Ugh! Dude, take a bath!"

Have I mentioned how I would rather eat worms than have a house that smells like "dog"?! I don't mind the work to keep it neat, clean, hairless, and free of "eau de doggie" because the boys and I love our dog. But when NOTHING seems to work, I start to border on losing my sanity and my heart just breaks for my little, itchy, stinky companion.

So, all that to say, today I stumbled upon some info that finally connected all the dots... anyway logically. The verdict is still out on actual proof, but I'm almost sure it's a shoo-in. If you already knew this... where have you been all my life!? No, really. Just bear with my ignorance and new found information. I'm giving it the old college try and if works, you'll be hearing about it!

The initial process started like this: Scottie is itchy and stinky again. Not to mention shedding fiercely (and we thought Scottie's didn't shed!!!). This year we tried Atarax and it kept the itching in control. No steriods, no walks in the pollen, and lots of baths. But, darn it all! He's still itchy, his collar constantly plays "Jingle Bells", he STINKS and now he's got "goopy" eyes!!!!! Take him to the vet, right? Well, let me tell you how well that has worked in the past: "Scotties don't do well here in the south. This allergy problem will only get worse." then steroid shot that didn't work. I love my vet and he's good, but sometimes there comes a point when we have to be proactive for both our pets and our own health, roll up our sleeves and figure it out on our own!

I would have taken my own picture of Scottie Dog, but I value my camera more than that!

Time to hit the internet and see what I can dig up. One thing led to another and suddenly I think I know what the problem is, even though the pollen has pretty much died down and we're still stinky, itchy, goopy, and nearly hairless due to Mommy getting fed up and shaving him (Oh, my! What a pretty mental picture!).

No, that's not him (his legs aren't that long) but I let out a belly laugh when I saw this!
via extremefunnyhumor

It starts with allergies, but all that scratching leads to Malassezia (i.e. topical yeast infections)! Almost all dogs get it at some time, but Scotties and a few other [long hair] breeds, are more susceptible... especially in humid hot weather. If they start scratching for whatever reason (ie. allergies!), they open up the chances of getting yeast infections on the skin, particularly if their immune system is not up to par. So, I came up with a plan of action based off the linked articles and others. It is as follows:

1. Bathe him 2x a week (until he's healed up, then only as needed) with Selsun Blue shampoo or a shampoo with:
    Chlorhexidine 1%, Benzoyl Peroxide or Sulfur Ketoconazole on the affected areas,

2. Give Omega 3 & 6 capsules (reduces inflammation and itching),

3. Clean ears 1-2x daily with garlic oil drops or cold pressed extra virgin olive oil that has had a few cloves soaked in it overnight (smells MUCH better). This is if the infection is in the ears. I'm not sure it is, but we're doing it just to be safe!
* another cure for yeast in ears is with eucalyptus, tea tree and Neem Oil (never heard of this till now, but it's even at Lowe's!) in glycerin done after a vinegar misting and/or wipe down to clean - not poured in deep. It's in the linked articles somewhere.


4. Take/give probiotics and/or give 1/2 to 1 tsp of plain (NOT sweetened) yogurt on food daily (dog dose).
5. Find a dog food that is gluten free and it's first ingredient is a crude protein. Scottie Dog has always used Purina Dog Chow because that is what the breeder used who we got him from. I looked today and it's first ingredient is wheat/carbohydrates - i.e. sugar/food for the yeast! I found a fairly cheap one called Lassie that was at Ingles to try. It's gluten free and has a crude protein first.

6. Lastly, if that doesn't get it, I'll give him an oral antifungal like ketoconazole, fluconzole, or itraconazole (also called Fish Fungus Tablets? Thinking I saw that online somewhere but don't quote me!). I imagine I should be able to get these at the feed and seed, but if not, I know you can order off the internet.


I feel like I'm having a flashback to school - writing research papers!:) Regardless, I thought I'd share my findings because I know I'm not the only one dealing with this on a limited budget. I'll keep you posted on if any of it seems to work!

Oh, and the real irony to all this is... I got a phone call yesterday asking if I'd be interested in entering him in a dog show! They've obviously not seen him since his lovely haircut/shaving!

If Scottie Dog could, he'd leave me a note that goes something like this:
"I'm going into hiding until my hair grows back!"
via Scottish Terrier Love

Like what you see? 
Please take the time to let me know! 
Support my blogging by becoming a follower.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Out of the Box Uses for Placemats

Ann Sacks has some of the most beautiful tile out there in my opinion... and much of it can serve as a fantastic inspiration for out of the box thinking of using placemats & paint for a cheaper alternative. This particular one has got to be one of my absolute favorites!

For well over a year (maybe two!), I've been eyeing bamboo tile placemats readily available in large numbers at discount stores like Ross, T.J. Maxx, Homegoods, Marshalls, etc. and my mind just goes crazy with ideas! After Googling "bamboo tile placemats" it would appear that I am not the only one who sees huge potential for these things other than their intended use. The difference appears to be that I don't really want to disassemble them like others do. I like the fact that they are already in great shapes and patterns. My ideas are to use them like they are... just not necessarily on a table. And I've not just been eyeing bamboo tile mats, either. A great example is the one below that references the gorgeous Ann Sacks tile above.

The same dahlia shape as the Ann Sacks tile that can be used as a stencil, mould, or literal tile!
via Crate & Barrel

One of my favorites from my personal collection, except mine are a light natural bamboo color.
via West Elm

What I want to try is to use thin-set to literally tile with these and (depending on the tile pattern) insert some tile mosaic pieces (or anything!) for a pop of color or contrast, then grout and seal really well. You could also use them to "stamp" joint compound/cement mixture and then have a relief pattern to do with  as you like: leave plain for texture, paint or fill in with a contrasting element! These are just some inspiration pics to show you where I'm headed here:

Taishan Ivory Mosaic contemporary kitchen tile
White Onyx Mini Brick Tumbled modern kitchen tile
Noe Valley remodel modern kitchen
KitchenLab  kitchen
Cherry Hills Remodel modern kitchen
Unfortunately, due to such tight time restraints lately, I simply can't experiment with all the ideas that I get, but what I can do is share them with you and let you all do it for me! So, if you try one of my ideas, do me a favor: Send pictures of the finished product and I'll pick through to post some of my favorites. When time allows, this is one idea I plan to put to use in my own home and post after pics or even a tutorial of!

Back to the placemats. There are several different styles and colors out there. My round daisy tiled bamboo mats were actually bought for a totally different reason than for setting a table. They have such a great organic and rhythmic shape! The initial plan was to make wall art out of them, but the perfect spot hasn't presented itself yet and I haven't been able to bring myself to paint them like I'd originally planned. When placed on my dark stained dinning table, I was surprised to find I might just use them for what they were intended for! Miracles never cease:)

Doing a google search turned out lots of options and led me to expand beyond just bamboo tile. My mind just started reeling with possibilities with all of the following:

An example of some color and size options out there.
vis Skybluepink

Hello, organic penny tiles!
via West Elm

I'm not in love with the grid layout, but the color and size mean you could take this one apart to use the tiles individually.

Love this pattern. Would you believe it is at Walmart?! It looks like a West Elm product.

The ones that really catch my eye are the ones that don't  need to be disassembled like this one.
via Amazon

Another version of the daisy pattern via Crate & Barrel.

A nice brick pattern.

This one really caught my eye because it reminds me of an expensive travertine mosaic tile.
via Mrs. Lin's Kitchen

More size and color options with a bead detailing between.


Then I started looking at other types and colors of place mats or table runners, I found these beauties. My mind immediately sees a stencil, mould, stamp or wall art! What I'm looking at is form and size. Imagine adding color or using them en-mass :

This reminds me of the Dutch art that has been popular in recent years in all forms. Wouldn't be a great stencil on an accent wall?
via Crate & Barrel

These are cork and the seller on Etsy has all shapes and sizes.
via Etsy

This is a place mat and coaster set. I particularly like the coasters and immediately see 4" square tiles!

Hello wall stencil!

Another great stencil option.

The awesome thing about place mats is that most are approximately 12"x 24" so if you use them as a mosaic tile sheet, you get double the square footage (mosaic sheets are normally sold by the square foot)  at an already ridiculously low price (if you shop the discount stores and internet).

Last but not least, here is an example of using placemats as art. All these by Finn Style need is a frame!


Hang in a grid pattern behind a sofa or console and you have a fantastic modern piece of art:)

Like what you see? 
Please take the time to let me know! 
Support my blogging by becoming a follower.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quote of the Day

You know, I learned a long time ago to laugh at myself, because if I didn't I'd just cry:) As I was visiting with grandmother after church Sunday I made the most incredibly profound statement. She was having a very confusing day and was getting really frustrated with herself. She looked at me and said,

"You know, God gave me some insight today as to 
why he's allowed me to live so long (94), even though I can't seem to remember anything anymore...... 
(me waiting patiently)
..... but, I can't remember what it was!" 

I couldn't help myself and burst out laughing! Her frustrated frown turned into a smile at how funny she'd just been without even trying.

Being the genius that I am, I had to one up her with the following (unintentionally):

"Just remember, Grandmother..." (OMG! Did I seriously just say that?!) 
I tried to regain my composure and reign in the giggles.... 
"the great thing about being forgetful is you don't remember that you forgot anything!" 

With that we both went into a fit of laughter at just how ridiculous that whole conversation had been! Sometimes I just amaze myself with my intelligence (Snort, snort!).  I'm beginning to think it's genetic.

Like what you see? 
Please take the time to let me know! 
Support my blogging by becoming a follower.

Friday, April 13, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things....

As I sat here this morning proofing other upcoming posts to make sure I've not made any dumb typos (not that I EVER do!), the thought crossed my mind to do a few posts on some of my favorite things to use in interiors... be it painting furniture or designing a room.

Everyone that enjoys design is going to find that there are certain elements that will seem to repeatedly appear in the rooms or projects they put together. It's not always a conscious thing. Interior designers and those that really study their style will be very aware of it. Those that just enjoy decorating and are good at it, may or may not realize they tend to use the same elements over and over again, just in different ways.

My style tends to be a big mix. Remember, I'm a design mutt with no true "interior design" pedigree (Which is subject to change one day!). I'm not a purest. I love to break some rules and use elements from all over the board. One thing that is a common thread in my designs is a certain level of practicality. Beautiful is great, but not if you can't actually live in it. I don't want a room to look like a museum - too pretty to touch or relax!

That said, what are those things that I tend to continually use in design? The first that comes to mind is lots of white - but not sterile or ALL white. It adds a touch of modern, cleanliness, crispness, brightness, and goes with everything. Whether it's a warm white or a cool white depends on the rest of the colors or elements being use. Most of the time I like a warm white. These are some great examples:

Oakley Home Builders traditional kitchen
Look how bright, clean and crisp this kitchen looks! The hardwood floors and island counter top just pop against all that white. This is one of my favorites.

West Coast Hampton traditional living room
See how great the colors of the rug and art pop off the white walls? 
All that white is grounded with a dark ebony wood floor, railings and black hardware.

Family Room contemporary media room
Here, it's the white trim and ceilings that make the wall color and neutrals pop.

Kirkland Lake View House eclectic laundry room
 I love this laundry room with it's bright white cabinetry, contrasting 
checkerboard floor and fresh green wall paint. It just screams clean and fresh to me. 

Cheery Laundry Room eclectic laundry room
Again, cheerful and bright accents to a clean white background. Fun!

Hudson Road Residence eclectic kitchen
Here is another great example of how white and 
neutral, natural colors make small colorful accents really stand out in a room.

Young Girls Room eclectic kids
This is a great use of color. The bedding and window seat 
cushion could easily be changed out to create a totally different look.

Living Room / Dining Room. eclectic living room
This time, the white is in reverse. Change just the wall color and pillows... suddenly it's a totally different room.

Master Bathroom traditional bathroom
Here, the white creates a clean and soothing mood with the soft blues and grays.

Traditional Living traditional closet
A white closet will make coordinating a wardrobe easier,
and make a room with typically no windows much brighter. Just make sure 
to have the right lighting! Bright, crisp light like halogen will show colors and skin tones best.

Lakeview Residence Bedroom traditional bedroom
I love a warm dark brown with crisp white! 
It's a great example of contrasts and how to create interest in a room with potentially little texture.

Stair traditional entry
Here, dark stain that helps to ground the bright white trim and neutral wall color.

Childrens room traditional kids
White or creamy white is great to balance all the color that tends to end up in a nursery and it's gender neutral!

Seating Area eclectic living room
Another great example of just how little color it actually takes to make 
a room bright and vibrant when balanced with lots of white as your backdrop.

Although these rooms are a mix of styles, white is used pretty liberally in each one in different ways. When I use it, it's typically to accentuate or make the other colors in the room pop or to create a feeling. Unlike when you pick out that perfect paint color for the walls, white is the absence of color. It creates more contrast and directs your eye to the actual colors in the room... be it a literal paint color or natural textures and color. The whiter, the more contrast and energy. The creamier, the more soothing.

Black can be used much the same way, but it creates a totally different mood. White creates a bright, vibrant, clean, light hearted and slightly less formal palette, whereas black can create a more serious, structured and formal mood. It's kind of like that little black cocktail dress versus a white sun dress. White reflects light, bouncing it around the room off the other elements.

I knew all those hours spent studying color theory, printing and color psychology would somehow come in handy! There. You have now been "ed-u-ma-cated". I've "learned you somethun'", as we jokingly say in the south. I'll continue to sprinkle in posts about a few more of my favorite things in decor over the next couple of weeks. If you really are just in the mood to look at pictures and not read, then jump on over to Pinterest and look at my boards. I'm constantly pinning. I think I have a new addiction!

Until then, have a great weekend!

Like what you see? Please take the time to let me know! 
Support my blogging by becoming a follower.
Follow Me on Pinterest