Monday, August 31, 2009

Little Red Nook

Red isn't my favorite color, but I do like it to accent an otherwise neutral palette. In rearranging my house I decided to gather up some red items that were scattered around and group them together, making my Little Red Nook. The top shelf doesn't hold anything of real sentimental value, aside from the wall-hanging (described below), but the bottom shelf is another story. Bottom left is a plate that my sister, Gwen, gave me on I either my 23rd or 24th birthday, I can't remember exactly. In the middle are framed photos of "our boys" with Gideon on the left, Johnathan in the center and Daniel on the right. I love having all of their baby pictures beside each other. It's comforting to see them all there together. Bottom right is Aaron and I at our couple's shower before we got married. I look at that picture and think oh how young we were, and what wonderful bliss life was, untainted and full of promise! Life is still wonderful, but just different from the one I imagined way back then.

This little wall-hanging, along with the burlap-curtained shelf in my previous post, was the beginning of my obsession with creating with burlap. I got the idea from a blog that I love to read called The Lettered Cottage. Layla, the Lettered Cottage gal, created a burlap backdrop for a hutch in her kitchen. Once I saw her idea my own brain started churning out ideas of my own, and since I have made little "burlap beauties" to accent my own home's growing character.

Yesterday Aaron and I both took quizzes to find out our decorating style. And, although I profess that my style is Country Cottage, the quiz that I took also added French Eclectic to the mix...hmm, never really thought of that before, but I sure did love some of the French-styled decorated rooms that I looked at. Aaron's "style" is a mix of Rustic & Wine Country...which just means that he likes a lot of darker, richer looking furniture items and accessories. Funny, so many of the rooms that I just loved where ones that he hated! I have a feeling that both of our styles will have to mesh, and although I have already told Aaron that I would like to make our home primarily reflect me and my preferences, it is his home too, and I'm willing to adjust my "style" to fit his likes in as well. So, I will just say this---after finally settling on what exactly my home decorating style is, I will be on the quest to make our house into a home that reflects what our lives are really all about---faith, family, friends. A place where you can relax and where quaint simplicity meets rustic sophistication. This is my quest...and it continues...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another Blog Hi-jacking! (From Working my Camera Magic on Ruby Moon Designs)

I have been so anxious about getting up some pictures of my newly completed projects around our home that I have willed my camera to function, albeit improperly, but still, I did manage to snag a few photos of some of my recent masterpieces! I had to remove the batteries in between each shot, turning the camera off and on and listening to a horrible squeal that it made, protesting its use when not in proper working order. However, even with all the trouble it was giving me, I didn't give up, and got a few shots taken "old-school" style since my screen was blank. Obviously the pictures aren't the greatest, but hey, they're all I have right now, so I'm making them work!

A "burlap beauty"...HOME...pretty much says it all!

An old, ugly, book-laden shelf unit takes on a quainter appeal with the burlap curtain I made to hide the bulky medical books and board games on the bottom two shelves. The book case used to stand flat against the wall, but I tucked it into the corner, added a lamp behind it to fill in the empty space and displayed some of my vintage/antique books on the upper shelves along with pictures and items of sentimental value. Top of book case - an old canning jar filled with vintage spools from my great-grandparents. Basket on top right holds small volumes of poetry and essays, also from my great-grandparents. Top shelf - amidst antique books is a photo of my sister, Gloria, in a handmade pottery dish that she made me years ago. Framed picture of my great-grandpa, Dr. Robert Norwood, D.O. sits slightly below an old bell that used to be in his medical practice clinic. Vintage clock sits in the corner. Second shelf - Vintage Inspired childrens books rest with an antique horse figurine sitting on top of them along with C-A-R blocks.

Sun room corner that I added an old clock to...given to me by my grandpa, Papa. It doesn't currently work, but I have the time set to 9:09...the time that Johnathan came into this world on April 1st, 2008! The best single minute of my life!

Tea lights nestle in coffee beans and smell delicious when the candles are burning!

Inside the glass jars are some vintage recipe cards from my great-grandmother, Grace. Cinnamon sticks and Wine corks lend their appeal to the ensemble.

Wine rack and shelves in our dining room. I love the Demdaco Willow Tree figurines, and have recently fallen in love with little birdie things.

I picked up this lovely blue plate at my favorite store here in CC...Gatherings. I just love it!

Bird tea light holders and glass case holding a little birdie's nest tells of one of my newest loves!

I found this old wooden frame in the garage, atop a pile of junk. I stenciled the words BLESS OUR NEST on burlap, and added the bird nest to the corner. Vintage round buttons serve as the little eggs in the nest. Yellow shelf below coordinates with our dish of the plates is displayed here in another obsession of mine...baskets!

This wall previously held a collection of plates, but I like it much better like this...a little homier and more unique than just some plates hanging on a wall.

One of my favorite spots - I usually sit here in the kitchen while Johnathan is eating, and will either have my devotional time or read from my favorite magazine...COUNTRY LIVING!

Where It All Began

(Copied from my new blog, Ruby Moon Designs, which you can view by going HERE).

Several weeks ago I was looking around my living room, feeling a little discontented with the way that things were looking. We live in a house that was built in the late 30's with wood floors and wood walls throughout. Although I like the natural look of the wood, it can get a bit dark, and for a girl who loves things to be bright and fresh looking, all of this wood can be a little much. So, wanting to make some small changes that would go a long way to refreshing the feel of the room, I decided to re-do one of the shelving nooks in our living area.

Unfortunately I don't have any "before" pics, also our camera is on the fritz so I only have one after photo...which I am surprised I could even get. I was tinkering around with the camera tonight and got it to take a picture before it crashed. So the pic isn't that great, but you can get a feel for what I tried to accomplish. Before I refreshed this little area it was fairly crowded, too many pictures and nick-nacks for such a small area. Also, since the walls are already so dark, I had way too many dark colored decor items crammed onto the shelves. I wanted to show more of the painted panel behind the shelves and brighten up the nook as much as I could.

-Top Left - A frame with a picture of me and my mom which says underneath "Her Children Rise Up & Call Her Blessed" from Proverbs of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Beside that is a glass frame with a picture of me, my mom & all my sisters in it, taken at the beach on my 25th birthday. Top Middle - A picture of my sister Glenna, eating a slice of watermelon, taken that same day at the beach. This has got to be one of my very favorite pictures of all-time, and I love how the frame has a beachy/coastal feel to it. It matches the picture just perfectly! Top Right - A picture of my sister, Gloria, next to some of my "Mema Plants"...{Pothos to be exact}. I repurposed a baby food jar, a pickle jar and a salad dressing jar as vases for my plants. I wrapped them in burlap (which I am in love with) and added some ribbon which coordinates with the colors in the frame beside them.

-Middle Left - I stenciled "LOVE" onto burlap and put it in a frame that I had already. I placed a picture of Aaron and myself on our third anniversary next to it. Middle Right - One of my favorite candles, Paris, by Tyler Candle Co. sits next to a basket with a photo of my sister Gail and I in it. Behind the photo is an antique book which matched the look I was trying to achieve.

-Bottom Left - A Basket with some of Johnathan's favorite DVD's in it. In front of the basket is a little tin that I made which holds some matches/tealights that I use in one of my wax tart warmers in the living room. Bottom Middle - A vase that I got for .01 at Michael's! I found it on the clearance shelf, and boy, you don't get any cheaper than 1 cent! Haha! I'm going to put some pothos in the vase, but just haven't gotten around to doing that yet. Bottom Right - A cute little Letter box I found at Marshall's several months ago for under 10 bucks. I like it because it's yellow, and that's not a color I use much of so it stands out a lot. Plus, it's very handy for storing outgoing mail, keys, etc. Lining the bottom shelf, which you can't really see, is a length of burlap...can you sense my obsession with my newest favorite textile?! You can not believe how much fun I've had with the 3 yards of burlap that I bought at Joann's. After I get my new camera - which is now on top of my to-do list - I will show you all my burlap beauties!

Anyways, this is just a little snippet of where my new home re-decorating obsession began. There are so many other areas that I've re-done that I wish I could share right now, and believe me, as soon as I've got pics to share I'll do just that!

She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night. -Proverbs 31:18

Bed Bug!

It's 3:15 am, and I am not in bed...nope, I'm wide awake, though unhappily so because of a B-U-G. I was sleeping peacefully, when somewhere, in the midst of my semi-conscious state, the sensation that my secret fear was being played out in reality started to wake me. I'm not really sure how it all happened, but within seconds I went from sleeping soundly to jumping out of bed, seeing a shadow run across my pillow in the dark, turning on the light and not seeing anything, thinking (hoping) it was just a dream and then lifting my pillow up to check just in case...and then, to my ultimate horror seeing a huge roach run under MY covers! I pretty much freaked, and got an instant case of the heebie-jeebies , feeling bugs crawling all over me...or so it seemed. So then my dilemma became how do I go about finding the bug without dying of fright? I already felt like my heart was going to explode with the amount of anxiety that was pressing down on me. How dare a roach invade my bed! My own personal bug-free zone! And how did it get there? Did it fly on me---the day I discovered that roaches could fly was a very dark day!

In my fully-alert-albeit-paranoid state I quickly ran to get our vacuum. I had full confidence in my DYSON to be the savior that I (and my bed) needed. After assembling the hand attachment to the hose and thinking to myself, "It's just a bug, you can do this", I went poking around on the bed, hoping, praying that the bug hadn't gone too far. After just a little bit of prodding it ran out, and I fired up the vacuum and sucked it right in. I cannot tell you how much I wanted to scream, but out of fear of waking Johnathan, and of giving in to the scaredy-cat inside of me I refrained...oh, but how I wanted to scream though!

So now I'm sitting here at the computer, debating whether or not to go back to sleep in the bed that will now haunt my dreams or to try to fall asleep in Johnathan's room. Maybe I'll stick with the "lighting doesn't strike twice in the same place" theory or perhaps I'll just wait for daylight to dispel my disillusionment that my bed is a "safe" place. I will definitely be checking the covers from now on and counting down the days until we move away from this roach friendly city. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but with all the beauty that is a tropical/coastal town you also get the beast which are the yucky "tropical" bugs...and I'm just not that into bugs---especially when they are in my bed!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Baby Bookends with Jesus in the Middle

7:00 am this morning the phone rings - one of Aaron's patients was "primed" and ready to deliver her child. He rushes out the door, getting ready quicker than I've ever seen...and if you know Aaron, it really takes a lot to get him going in the mornings---he is not a morning person by any means!

Somewhere around noon, as Aaron is in his clinic, a patient comes in, needing physical and spiritual help. In the midst of helping her physical concerns, he addresses her emotional and spiritual well-being as well. The doctor visit ended with Aaron and his patient praying as she accepted Jesus into her life, asking the Holy Spirit to fill her and to help her lead a life different from the one she had led in the past.

10:00 pm this evening - 10 or so minutes ago - the phone rings again, another baby ready to come into the world, needing Dr. Aaron's help. He was out the door within a minute of the call, ready to "bookend" his day with a second baby. And, although the post says "Jesus in the Middle" I can't help but acknowledge His presence throughout the day---in the middle of everything, before and after every breath that we take, sustaining everything until tomorrow turns into eternity.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Queen Bee is Busy!

I sure have been a busy bee lately, redecorating our home and renewing my passion for creating beautiful things. My creativity has been on overdrive, and I've started an old-turned-new venture. Check out my new blog,, for more details! I'm excited about having my own creative spot here in the blogging universe. Also, check out the Ruby Moon Designs Facebook page, and become a fan!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Last night the STARS organization that I'm helping head up had family night at a local attraction-FunTrackers. It has go-carts, miniature golf and other fun games, and was the perfect place to hold a family event. We all had a great time...especially the dads who all got together to race each other on the "pro" would have thought that they were NASCAR drivers the way the were all puffed up when they finished their "race." You could definitely tell that the testosterone was running in full gear! ;)

We tried to put Johnathan on the double-rider go-cart, but he wouldn't have anything to do with it...I guess all the loud noise sort of scared him. He had fun eating though, and downed his cheeseless pizza with gusto! Maybe when he's bigger he'll enjoy riding with mommy or daddy. I took one turn myself, and had the time of my life---it sure felt good, almost like I was a kid again!

Stay tuned for an update on an old-turned-new venture of mine...I'm really excited about it! Love y'all!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Getting Back to Normal

After a pretty crazy weekend/beginning of the week, things are finally getting back to normal around here. In a nutshell, here is what we've been through in the last week...

...Last Wednesday I came down with what I thought was a bad case of food-poisoning...turns out it wasn't...just the beginning of a quick-but-oh-not-so-fun weight loss "pandemic" that swept through Corpus, felling everyone in its path! Thursday my sister Gloria came (yay!) to stay through 'til Monday. Friday afternoon Aaron came home from work early, complaining of an upset stomach and with fever...the light was starting to go off in my head that maybe, just maybe I hadn't had food poisoning after all! Friday night around midnight, Johnathan woke up, choking on his puke...sorry, TMI...and by this time I knew that my previous food poisoning assumptions were totally bogus. Friday night/early Saturday morning the A/C started making some really funky noises, and then shut off altogether. Ack! Saturday morning I awoke to the sounds of my sister, sick as a dog in the bathroom. All day Saturday was spent taking care of the sickies, calling the A/C guy to look at the unit, buying fans and such to try to keep cool, etc. It was a crazy day...and poor Gloey, she was so sick, and in a hot house to boot! No fun! Aaron and Johnathan started to mend Saturday, thankfully...Okay, so Sunday we were able to go to my aunt's house and she graciously offered to let us stay the night since our A/C wasn't going to be fixed until Tuesday...hallelujah! After one night in a house without air conditioning, I was ready to beg, borrow or steal to have a cool place to rest! Thanks to my aunt, I didn't have to do that! Sunday night the "bug" continued to hit my aunt's had already taken down my littlest cousin on Friday, and by the time that we left my aunt's yesterday afternoon to come back home, it had crushed all but my uncle with its ferocity! What a bug!

Anyways, we're back home now, like I said, with a nice cool house and without the "bug." I sure have more appreciation for things that I had previously taken for granted, and I have a HUGE mountain of thanks to give my aunt and her family. It was wonderful to be able to stay with them for a few days...and with no hard feelings for being the recipients of my tummy-bug! They are such wonderful people, and I'm proud to call them my family.

So, now that it's back to "normal" around here, I guess I should go do the pile of laundry that's waiting for me...what a wonderful thing to be able to do---in the air conditioning! Hooray!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Turns out it wasn't food poisoning after all...

...what I was convinced was food poisoning a few days ago, turns out to be a stomach bug---Aaron got it, poor Johnathan got it, and even my sweet sister came down with it...bad time to visit her adoring nephew! I feel just awful for them all, but I am glad that I had it first so that I can take care of them! And, to top off our not-so-great weekend, our air conditioning went out last night! Can you imagine?!!! Horrible timing, huh?! We already had the A/C guy come to look at it, and he said that it's pretty bad...I don't understand A/C lingo, but whatever the problem is, a part has to be ordered Monday which should come Tuesday...and then Tuesday evening the A/C guy is coming to put it in. Please pray that we find ways to stay cool, and that everyone starts to feel good soon...especially my baby and my sister. Thank you!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Johnathan's First Hair Cut!!!

Today marked the day of Johnathan's first hair cut!!! After 16 months, 1 week and 6 days his hair definitely needed it...BAD!!! I was sort of sad to see his baby curls get cut off, but he looks so adorable with his new do that my sadness was, I saved the curls, for his baby book of course! Here is a play-by-play of sorts of what went down...

Precious baby curls, gone forever!!!
A mouth full of fruit snacks...something---anything---to keep him distracted!
Another last picture of his long hair.
Good-bye baby hair!
Snipping away!
Eating snacks!
Here goes the bangs!
Gloria, hair cutter extraordinaire!
Wetting it down.
The finished product!!!
Me and my cute big boy!
What a sweetie!
Two happy sisters!
View from the back.
What a precious little forehead...that I can actually see!
Isn't he handsome!?!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Food Poisoning = Zero Fun!

Something really got to me yesterday, and although I am NOT going to give the gory details, just know that I have the utmost sympathy for any and all of you who have suffered through food poisoning. It is awful! Thankfully I am back on the mend today, which is good because I have my sweet sister, Gloria, is coming to visit! I am sure that she'll help me perk right up, and just knowing that she is going to be able to spend some time with us is already making me feel better! Love you, Glo!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Here are a few pics that I took of Johnathan before taking back my you can tell, they are a little fuzzy, but you can still enjoy seeing his sweet little face as he enjoys an "ice cream" cone. Also, Johnathan is turning into quite the little helper! See how good he is at washing the dishes?! ENJOY!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pillow Talk

Okay people, I think that I may be a bit of a sewing/design genius...well maybe not, but last night I made three of the most beautiful pillows I have ever seen! Haha! I drew some sketches up a few days ago of what I wanted them to look like, and after I finished sewing them yesterday evening, I surpassed even my own expectations. And---get this---they only cost about $15 dollars...and that's only because I had to buy the pillow forms and a few pieces of trim. I re-purposed some old robin's egg blue curtain fabric, made use of some sewing supplies I already had on hand, and used some lovely white antique buttons that used to be my great-grandmother's. All of that, combined with the espresso colored lace and rick-rack that I bought, turned into something simply charming! (I would post pics, but my new camera [a Nikon] just wasn't cutting it and we returned I'll be researching what kind of camera to get, and until then I will just leave you in anticipation!).

The first pillow I made is a 14x14 inch pillow. I cut out a silhouette of a cute little bird, sitting on a leafed branch out of dark brown felt and applied that to the front of my pillow fabric. Then after some hemming and such, I sewed all my fabric pieces together using the rick-rack as my trim around the edge of the pillow. This was a bit tricky, as I have never sewn any sort of piping or anything around a pillow...heck, this was my first time to even make a pillow! But, after snipping off the last lingering thread, I turned the pillow right side out, and I was filled with such satisfaction! It was just what I wanted, and more!

The second pillow (my favorite) is a 12"x16". I designed it to where the opening is in the front, two pieces of fabric overlap to create sort of what a button down shirt looks like. And then, I used 4 vintage buttons, along with the brown rick-rack to "close" or button up the pillow. I sewed a single piece of espresso-colored lace down the front opposite the buttons, covering up the ends of the "hooks" made out of rick-rack to wrap around the buttons and keep the pillow closed. The total effect is really beautiful, and it looks very vintage. I like this one because of the added fact that the buttons used to be my great-grandma, Grace's!

The third pillow is much like the second, but without the buttons and with a piece of rick-rack also sewn alongside the lace. It is simple, yet stunning and it compliments the whole set quite beautifully. I can't wait for my new bedding to come in so that I can display my pillows properly! Our new bedding is a lovely white matelasse with matching pillow shams. I am going to buy (or make) two medium sized espresso brown pillows to put in front of the white shams, and then I'll place my 3 (gorgeous!) robin's egg blue pillows in front. The whole package should be as pretty as a picture!

I really can't wait to show you guys pictures of what I've been creating. I've also made a few other things for around the house, but will talk about those things later...I need to make the most of Johnathan's nap time right now, and go do some stuff around here! I'll be back though, don't you worry! ;)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just because you have something...

Last night I had a lot of time to myself. Johnathan went down early, and Aaron was up at work until almost 11pm delivering a baby of one of his patients...(side note: Aaron performed his first unassisted C-Section! I'm talking he was the surgeon! How cool is that!!! Can you believe that he is able to do that?!!! It's so cool that he is able to do surgeries, and a major one at that! Mom and baby are doing great, and Aaron is the #1 doctor in the world...or at least in my heart!)...anyways, back to my night.

Since I had some time alone, I continued my decorating quest, and I also had time to reflect on what's in my house. First of all, I was thinking that just because you have something doesn't mean you have to have it out. Certain areas of my house were looking a little too cluttered for me, and I realized that I can put things away, out of eyesight, and be okay with that. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I realized that just because you have something doesn't mean you have to keep it! Therefore, I have an ever-growing garage sale/give-away pile in my sun room. I have been gathering up stuff for months that could be used better by someone else, and I really need to have a sale sometime soon...of course that presents a problem when I have a little toddler running about. Plus, Aaron already said that I need to do the sale on a weekend that he's working...he doesn't like garage sales! ;)

Anywho, just a few thoughts I've had while cleaning/decorating/de-cluttering!

"Grammy Style"

Several months ago, when Johnathan was a wee baby, he got a pretty bad diaper rash while we were up visiting my folks. I remember changing one of his wet diapers, after my mom had changed him previously, and upon opening up the diaper I was shocked (in a good way) at how much of the diaper rash cream was still on his little bum. I guess I started to laugh or something, because my mom came over and said something like "I'm not going to let him have a rash on my watch!" She had put so much desitin on him it looked like his bottom was iced like a cake! Well, it worked, and the rash went away quick!

Anyways, Johnathan has another nappy rash, and every time I change his diaper I think of my mom, and I slather on the ointment "Grammy-Style!" The other day when I told Aaron that I thought that Johnathan's rash was getting better, he even said "the other night when I changed him, I put on the cream Grammy-Style!" So, Grammy, thanks for warming our thoughts with something as simple as putting on diaper rash cream! You're the BEST!!! We love you!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Decorating Do-Over Continued

Since my last post I have been brainstorming on ways to re-create my home to fit what I can now confidently say is my own style. And, in doing so, I have discovered a few things that I already had laying around my house that were just shouting to be used...and now that my ears have been opened to their cries, I have been able to display them properly. Poor things, they were hidden in my hope chest, but now they can grace my home with their loveliness!

My latest "creation" is the center piece for my dining room table. The table itself is fantastic. Our neighbors gave it to us since it was just sitting, unused, under a bed in their home. It is a beautiful dark-stained wood, solid as they come, with lovely carvings on the legs and has a sculpted top. Anyways, I did have a few things on the surface of the table to break up the expanse of shiny wood, but wasn't really happy with what the total package looked like. So, yesterday afternoon, after a brainstorming session, I came up with an idea that is still in the works, but what I have created so far is already making me smile! I was able to use some decorative jars that I had in the garage, some vintage recipes cards from my hope chest, some wine bottle corks, some tea light candles and a package of coffee beans. It might sound like an interesting combo, but I promise it works! I'll try to post pics when it's completed.

It's amazing what you can find around your house that can be totally transformed into something different than its original use. Or, perhaps there are things that you forgot even existed that can be used for their original purpose, and you just need a little reminder to use them. That's what I have been discovering the last couple of days. I went through my hope chest and found several "gems" that I am totally excited to use. The first thing is a set of antique/vintage recipe cards from my great-grandmother, Grace. They are now part of the ensemble that "grace" my dining room table, displayed in a glass jar. I found several recipes in her own hand writing, and one of the recipes that you can read through the jar is dated 11/02/1959...pretty cool!

I also found a set of vintage pillow cases that came from my great-grandma Norwood's home. They are simply lovely, with little birdies and flowers stitched on their edges. I totally forgot that I had these, and I can't wait to use them on our new bedding...which is another story...

...I am in love with JC Penney's online Outlet! I found some beautiful bedding...a quilt and 2 shams that totaled less than $60...with free shipping!!! Pretty amazing. They should be getting here later this week, and I have already designed some pillows that will be made out of some curtains that are going to be re-purposed for a new use! Also, I am in the works making a wall hanging to go over our bed that will be made out of an old cabinet might sound a little weird, but the design I have in my head is fool-proof! I can't wait to see it all put together. So far this past weekend has been a decorating success, and I only spent a little over 58 bucks and have gotten way more than that in return. I'm totally stoked!