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Wallpaper Day

First of all, I was writing about my Dining Room last week and how bored I was with it, and a friend emailed me some pictures of wallpapered panels in a DR. She said she was bored with hers and wanted to consider papering some of it. I guess we were on the same brain wave that day.

On top of that, another good friend Sara said that she was thinking about considering some wallpaper for a large, dominant wall in her kitchen around the dining area. Do all people think like this, or just us?

No matter what the odds, we decided it was high time to check out some wallpaper stores around town.

First stop, Wallpaper Plus on Roswell Road between Sandy Springs and Buckhead.

I learned a whole lot, thanks to a great designer who was there and gave us some tips. Here are a few things that I learned about wallpaper and or fabric (they had TONS of that too in amazing books for custom ordering).

1. Don't cover a chair in linen fabric unless you're an "okay with wrinkles" type. Not me. I love the iron, I practically sleep with an iron...just in case.

2. The "young" people are using a wallpaper these days that is floral patterned with velvet accents. I forget the real name of it though.

3. Lots of people are using natural fibered wallpapers and you can get them in lots of colors, not just neutrals.

4. Don't put fabric on a wall where there is a good chance any food smells would be absorbed, like in a Keeping Room or Dining Room.

5. Accent walls papered are going to be around for a while!


Serving others is hard

I can't believe how hard it is to honestly serve another person completely, with no thought of myself.  I am embarrassed at my inability to do this at all. I completely want to do things for others on my time, in my way, and certainly want to be sure it is noticed. If anything comes in the way of that, then look out, my attitude really changes. I hate that this is true about myself and I want to be different. I know it's not possible to muster up a new attitude, but then again those are the fruits of true faith. I have to believe and trust who I am in Christ and not what I do, have done, or will do. I also am free in that position to love others more with no need to prove myself through my works. I am blown away to think of Jesus Christ, living an entire life of service with no hint of selfishness, irritation or annoyance at the needs and requests of others.


Rachel and Jesse's wedding

I'm loving these pictures of my friends who were married last year. Their photographer, Jason Thrasher, just informed them that they are the first gallery on his wedding site. How fun. He did a great job and is testing out a new finish on his photos. Can't believe it's almost been a year! I love the laughing photo (soooo Rachel) and the city of Atlanta at night!


Dining Room love

My Dining Room is boring. White walls, dark table and chairs and one narrow white piece that doesn't stand out at all. I think it's time to rethink it. Here are a few Dining Rooms that I really like.

These two are very different. One is classic and the other very industrial-modern. My client who just purchased her first home today, but is currently living in a really cool loft space, said that when she tried to change her address, they wouldn't because the post office said that she did not live in a "legitimate" home. There are businesses mixed into the community but isn't that what makes lofts so cool? I think this would be my Dining Room if I lived in one. Where has the post office been the last decade? This is my tribute to the end of her time there. Congratulations on your first home!


A visit to the "countryside" of Atlanta

It's always nice to have a day off at the same time as one of your good friends. And since I've had a whole lot of days off in a row, it just so happened that last week my friend Nurse Natalie, also had a free day. She works in the ER at the city hospital and her stories will make straight hair curly. I really wish I hadn't asked the day we started talking about the most disgusting thing she'd ever seen....and I'll leave it at that.

So, on special occasions such as this, we decide to venture all the way out of the city to a place called Woodstock. You really need a full tank of gas to get there. She was looking for some sort of auction store of amazing furnishing finds called Big Jim's. We had vague directions and a gps. After stopping off for a Starbucks to put us in the right mood, it was time to venture out. An hour later we ended up on a road that was pretty much going no where, and stopped into a little gift shop to ask for directions. We both came out with purchases, of course. Entering the cute little boutique the lady looked up at us like were were the first human contact in over a week. When it comes to the self-employed business person in a sore economy there is a special place in my heart. Translated, I had to spend some money. So I considered a really cute chandelier for my outdoor patio space but decided it was too small in scale for the size of the patio overall, found a fun little turquoise beaded necklace that was totally reasonable, Natalie found a clutch, and then we were off again to head towards Big Jim's.

According to Ms. Boutique's directions, we landed ourselves here:

A few signs seemed promising but no one was home. Turns out they are open every Monday, First weekend, which includes Thursday-Monday of that weekend from 11-5? Am I reading that right? Well, we weren't sure but I doubt I'll be back any time soon with these crazy hours. I would expect a sign like this in China, not Woodstock.

We did make some progress the rest of the day, found some lunch, some mirrors and bookshelves and I do love that inexpensive necklace.

We also found one more cool shop in Roswell with all kinds of vintagey things. I was loving it until we came across a bed with three dead animals on it..all of a sudden I was horrified, is this what it feels like to be a Democrat?

Like I said, I haven't taken the necklace off since.

Finally, if you are very astute, you will notice that Natalie and I were wearing the very same color J. Crew tank the entire day. I guess good friends think alike.

Feelin the music

Tonight I went to the Mary Chapin Carpenter concert at Chastain Park. I grew up just down the road from there so it brought back memories of the middle school days when friends and I would stand outside the gate hoping to get in at the last second for cheap, back when no one really good came to Chastain, and my brother was off in the woods with his friends smoking a joint at the same time (now he's graduated from seminary so I feel like I can say that about him). I wasn't sure if I knew any of her songs, the ticket was free and it looked like rain. Ended up having a fun evening with a really nice dinner, great wine and the place all to ourselves. The music wasn't amazing- too many slow songs, not loud enough- but the people watching was first class. First class in a really self righteous way.  It was quite a crowd and us four girls were in the minority on multiple levels. I found myself welling up with pride around a mostly sloppy bunch of Indigo Girlish, socks with sandals sort of crowd and wasn't believing how deep and far my own thoughts could go into arrogance and just a general sense of lifting myself up above them all. I can't believe how quickly any moment can reveal the depths of what junk lies in my heart and mind about other people and how far I am from love. I am not even aware of it most of the time because it is more of a condition of the soul of constantly sizing up the people around me, placing them in their "proper" categories and then exalting myself (or conversely feeling lowly or not good enough, when in the opposite scenario). I looked out over the crowd of people and thought that if I could see their souls for only a second, could I have compassion. Only Jesus can look upon any crowd and instantly love them, and really mean it.

Mary said a few things herself tonight before introducing one of her songs. She talked about believing that every single person on this Earth was made for a very special purpose and that your life's mission should be to figure out what that purpose is. I have no idea where she was really going with that or what she believes is the answer, but that is definitely a question that has to be pressing on the hearts and minds of all people if they are honest. My mind started to wander about how to figure out what I was made for. I really honestly and truly can't think about what it is exactly.  Everything that I think about liking or enjoying naturally seems like such a shallow thing. I like to make things more beautiful. Fix them. Clean them up. Organize them. Help them (people) with their clothes. Make a room look better, brighter, more open, more comfortable. I also like color and texture, patterns and designs. Is it wrong to have interests towards things that are not directly spiritual in nature?

"Whatever therefore you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. "


The days are flying by

What have I been doing since July started? A whole lot of nothing. I have been practicing with the new camera though, and that has been fun. All the kids are out of school these days so there are plenty of friends to visit. I had a photo shoot with best friend's kids and a pool date with one fudge pop and one super swimmer.

An awesome rose garden in this city home. Who was their realtor?

Big sister looking so J. Crew Cuts in her moccasins and long wavy hair.

A July after dinner must.

The photo shoot begins...


Two kinds of before and after

Just something I'm thinking about doing here. I wanted to post the before picture because I usually forget and then it's all new and there's nothing to show for what it used to be.  Today someone showed me their home right after purchasing it eight years ago and then a shot of what it looks like today, thanks to an iphone.  Wow. What a difference eight years of life, small projects along the way and one big renovation (putting your family in an apartment for six months) makes.  It got me to thinking about how the significance of the change is in the impact of seeing the "before" and sharing it with others. I think it parallels greatly to life and how while significant difficulty, trials and struggle exist for our growth, they should be shared along the way so that when the change comes the people in our lives who know the story can be amazed together with us! I had that experience today seeing the house and sharing in the excitement of the change.
Today I was also able to share about a relationship in my own life which has been restored to something more beautiful. This can not happen by trying harder to get things right on my own. Only in the work of Jesus Christ to die for my sin and selfishness by taking my place on the cross, am I given a new life in him. A life of freedom to love and serve others and to be a part of God's work of restoring the old things of this world into new things that display him more clearly.


Torn from the top of an order of worship 11/24/04

"Feelings are great liars. If Christians only worshiped when they felt like it, there would be precious little worship that went on. Feelings are important in many areas, but completely unreliable in matters of faith...We think that if we don't feel something there can be no authenticity in doing it. But the wisdom of God says something different, namely, that we can act ourselves into a new way of feeling much quicker than we can feel ourselves into a new way of acting. Worship is an act which develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God which is expressed in an act of worship. When we obey the command to praise God in worship, our deep, essential need to be in relationship with God is nurtured."


How to organize the average closet

Step One: Look at it. Don't be afraid of it and take a picture to own it for what it is. It's a mess and the door won't close most of the time. I usually shove something in there right before guests come over and if I'm lucky it stays closed. Unlucky and it pops open while they are standing right beside and it startles them.

Step One point Five: Get comfortable. No need for restrictive or fancy clothing here.

Step Two: Take everything out! Even if you know it is going right back in. You'll then have an empty closet and a floor or table full of junk.

Step Three: Don't panic that it now looks worse than it did before. Just set a timer for 15 to 30 minutes and then group everything you find into categories. Throw away things that you don't want or need, and make a give away pile for things that could be taken to GoodWill or repurposed.

Sometimes you end up discovering things have four Blockbuster cards and two Movie Gallery cards and those places will soon all be out of business so you can toss them thanks to Netflicks and Redbox!

The latest version of your resume is on a disk that looks like this. How will you get it back? My computer certainly doesn't have a disk drive.

You find a cute Crate & Barrel French Press Carafe still in the bag which was someones wedding gift. Sorry someone.

Eight great black and white postcards of rural village scenes that I brought back from China and forgot about. Will most likely mat and frame these. Nice find.

A collection of Minton Rose China with some unique serving pieces lovingly given to me on behalf of my grandmother Alice Francis McEwan. Beautiful!

Two great quotes that I will blog later...

Now on to Step Five: Find any empty containers, baskets, boxes or items that you could use to help with the organization as things go back into the closet. You really don't have to run to Target at this point. You have things that you can use, just have to look around for them.

Step Six: Begin placing items back into the closet based on categories and use the containers that make sense for the size of your pile. (Is this stuff too obvious?)

Step Seven: Make labels if that helps you or your family to know what goes where. I found 15 pages of different cute tags on line here but then decided it was easier and less time consuming to just draw a fake tag on half of a note card. You can get as creative as you want with it but remember that the goal is to organize the closet, not spend three hours on a tag. :)

Take a picture of your finished product to remind you of what you accomplished. You can even stick the picture on the inside of the closet door (before and after) to help you if it starts to get messy again. Do you see how much space is left now that it is organized? Well, I did cheat a little bit by not putting the vacuum cleaner back yet, but now it has a space too and the door will still close.

In the end we collected

three bags of trash

one strange pile of odds and ends

leftover paint and Christmas stuff to put up in the attic.