Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DaySpring Customizable Signs

In case you haven't heard, The Nester is doing a fabulous giveaway! Check it out here.

You could win a DaySpring customizable sign from here like this one:

How cool is that? The Nester also has a code for 20% off your order!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Window Treatments

I hope you're comfy because I've got a lot of explaining to do so that you can help me with my latest dilemma that is stumping me. Thank you Amanda and Linda for hosting these wonderful parties!

I just want to start by saying that these pictures are not the greatest I've taken. There are lots of reasons for that... I'll skip those and just tell you what to ignore in each photo. =)

I use the phrase "window treatments" as often as I can because it drives my hubby crazy... in a good way. He makes fun of me for not just saying curtains (that's what he calls everything that covers or decorates a window). It makes me smile. I know that you understand the reason for the phrase "window treatments." You know that this is a broad category that includes many different window coverings... mini blinds, roman shades, curtains, valances, etc. He just doesn't get that....

My dilemma (since we moved in 7 months ago) has been : WINDOW TREATMENTS. I have bought so many different ones and returned most of them. I have extra curtain rods tucked behind my buffet and I still have two windows (in my kitchen) with no window treatments on them at all (I recently found a solution for them and can't wait to get them! Check these out from Shabby Chic Cottage).

The biggest hangup for me has been the fact that the front of our house faces South so the five windows in the front let in a lot of sun and it gets VERY hot in the summer. We have single pane wood sash windows and new vinyl ones are not in the budget right now... besides, the wood sash ones are way prettier! Those windows have to have thermal backed curtains in order to block out some of the heat. These curtains help tremendously but there is not a huge selection of them in our price range...

Enter: second biggest hangup. One of those five windows is a picture window (see below). It is nearly 90 inches wide and 77 inches tall! To put that into perspective, we would have to close up the opening some to put in a sliding glass door or French doors... We currently have FOUR black thermal backed curtains on it because two don't cover the whole thing and three doesn't work because of the hook that holds the rod up in the middle.... anyhoo. That's not the point, the point is, I don't know what to do for a valance for this particular window that we have made prettier by adding sheer embroidered curtains on top of the black thermal ones.

Things to ignore in this photo: black curtains sticking up above the top (part of reason for said valance), sheers not covering all of the black and black fence that kept our toddler away from the TV that used to be in that corner...

Most of the time we keep the curtains tied open. We close them at night and when it is sweltering hot outside (read: afternoons/evenings during July, August and September). Here is what they look like closed. Here you may notice the second reason for needing a valance...

The embroidery on these "high quality" Target curtains goes all the way to the top on one side of each curtain (where they meet in the middle) and not on the other side (the outsides), this makes the embroidery lopsided. Unfortunately, these sat around for so long before I hung them that by the time we noticed said imperfection it was way too late to return/exchange them at Target. Anyone else annoyed by their stingy return policy??? Fortunately, it is hardly noticeable in person unless you are looking at the top.

Here is a close up of the detail on the bottom of the curtain:
And the middle:
The other dilemma that has me stumped (and factor to consider in the valance debate) is the adjacent windows in this room. They are both normal sized windows that do not face South and currently have very pale pinkish/off-white wood Roman shades on them (here is the corner that used to house the television)... Please ignore the ratty pink chair that I absolutely love and that is patiently waiting for me to slipcover in black. Her twin sister is also patiently waiting...

Looking a little further to the left, you can see both the windows with my fabulous mantel makeover. You can read about that here, here and here. This picture is from the fall, hence the squash and mini pumpkins on the mantel, you can ignore those too...

And here is a closer view of the window (ignore the balled up string... again, it's there to keep the toddler out of trouble!):
And an even closer view (this is very close to the actual color):

So, my dilemma that has me stumped for these windows is whether I should hang curtains or a valance or both on top of the Roman shades... I do have curtain rods for them. They are cream and I have two extra black curtains. By the way, my living room theme, for those who didn't pick it up, is black and cream with touches of sage and dusty pink. I do not have any more of the sheer embroidered curtains and I think that might be too much of one thing in the room.

Now, that I am done writing this very long post, here is a recap in case you have forgotten the beginning already (or maybe the actual dilemmas got lost in all the other blabbering)!

Dilemmas that have me stumped:
1. Valance for picture window

2. To curtain or not to curtain the two smaller windows

I am looking forward to all your ideas and input! Thank you all in advance!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Are you a Blue Cricket Design follower?

I love her stuff! So inspiring and right now she is doing a giveaway for $50 to spend at The Vintage Pearl!

You need to check it out. I've seen these types of necklaces a lot before and every time I do, I am more convinced I want one!