Friday, December 30, 2011

Mood Board: New Year's Tablescape

Here is a mood board I created for a New Year's tablescape. Hope this inspires you to create a beautiful table for the most glamorous night of the year. 

Happy New Year!!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dish Rack

Grace Bonney from Design *Sponge inspired me to create a dish rack worthy of staying on the counter at all times. Our old dish rack was looking pretty grimey and rusty so when I was at Target today, I picked a new black dish rack and instead of buying one of those plastic mats that drain into the sink I bought instead a teal blue serving tray.

This serving tray is really practical when it comes to holding the water in and not spilling out everywhere. Our old draining style mat always seemed to drain underneath itself and end up underneath the mat creating quite the mold problem.

These cute Christmas plates are from Target also and are made of melamine. I scored them for 50% off so they came to .99 each.  They will be used as appetizer plates for the kids at our "Progressive" New Year's Eve party. And no, it's not a party for liberals only, hardy har har. It's a party where one family hosts appetizers (in which case this would be us this year) another family hosts the main course and another family hosts desserts.  So as the night "progresses" so do the people from house to house.  I think we'll have about 6 families, so hopefully I got enough plates for the kids. We're trying to "Go Green" by serving on non-disposable plates, etc. So these will come in handy for years to come.

I love how cute this tray looks holding my new dish rack. This was an easy upgrade and so clever don't you think?

Makes me just want to go in the kitchen right now and do some dishes. It's so great I have a "progressive" husband that already did them. I'm a lucky gal.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lots of new reading

Christmas wishes do come true. Especially if they are amazon wish list wishes. :)  My wonderful best friend Trisha got me Modern Vintage Style by Emily Chalmers. I can't wait to dive into this one.

My in-laws in Hawaii got me a few from a local bookstore called Fly Leaf Books when they were visiting during the Thanksgiving holiday.  The first one was not on my wish list, but a wonderful choice. They know I love to craft, so this one is very inspirational. I already skimmed through and found some that might be interesting.  Weekend Handmade by Kelly Wilkinson looks like it will be a lot of fun.

Ah, Deborah Needleman, one of the editors of my all time favorite magazines Domino takes a look at design in a book called The Perfectly Imperfect Home. This one is sure to be a page turner.

And I saved the best for last. The awe-inspiring blog by Grace Bonney called Design *Sponge in book form! I've read to page 44 so far, and am very impressed.  I've already replicated one of the ideas that I'll share with you tomorrow.  I can hardly put this book down, but alas I have a family to take care of so eventually I'll finish it.

My in-laws, deciding that they would prefer to get books from a local bookstore (bless their hearts) instead of, chose these three books. And you can't get a signed copy of Design *Sponge from Amazon. Or maybe you can I dunno. But it's pretty cool that I have a signed copy.  As a side note, Grace Bonney started a blog similiar to mine in 2004 and now she has a book out. Maybe my blog will go far? Wouldn't that be cool?

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas like we did here. Now it's time for me to go read.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas finishing touches

Here's a little glimpse into how we decorate for Christmas at the Pearson Pad. We usually just try to make whatever we have work with our current decor. It takes me all of about an hour to decorate. Here's some of the things we put up.

First off, this little pine cone garland across our entry way mirror.

Some berry Garland above our kitchen sink window.

Three vintage elfs on the shelf.

My grandmother's very colorful ring with disc drops. This looks so shiny in person and works for New Year's too.

I found this reindeer rug at Target on sale for $10. We needed a rug, and this one was too cute to pass up.

Two shiny pink trees from an old store at the Streets at Southpoint called Metropolitan. It's no longer there, but they sold the cutest stuff. The white ice stakes were a prize from a white elephant exchange when I worked at UCSD.

A berry light up topiary from Purchased as a gift from my Mom.

A red and white quilt from our Aunt Marsha a few year's back and a green throw pillow from Target with 3 mittens sewn on.

I add vintage ornaments that are too precious to risk breaking to my apothecary jars and put them up on my book case.

Here's a little wreath ornament from Pottery Barn and a silver trinket box that is engraved on all three sides and the inside from my Mom.

Our silver reindeer candle holder from Target and silver candle from Home Goods on our dining room table.

Aren't these little salt and pepper shakers adorable? They were a gift from Santa a few years back and they sit on our oven during December.

This snowman night light from Metropolitan lives in our kitchen above the counter.

Our son CAP has become quite the snowflake expert and spends his days crafting these, kinda like in the movie Elf, with super fast speed. I save the best and tape them to our eat-in-kitchen bay windows.

Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our holiday decorating.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Cathleen & Joe

Thursday, December 22, 2011

All lit up

Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny ^$#ing Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white a$$ down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of a$$holes this side of the nuthouse.

Remember the Griswold's? We're sort of that family.  We LOVE Christmas. We love our Christmas decorations and our lights and everything about the holiday season.  I thought I would share with you how our house looks with the lights on.

But first here's my home made Christmas wreath. A few years ago I made these for family with pine cones found in our very own backyard.

Now queue the drum roll please.....

Ta da!

Ok, not as spectacular as The Griswold's display of white lights, but hopefully coming close.  Some of the lights were turned off (the front Big window and the small window to the right.)  I quickly ran outside to take pics, not thinking I should check to make sure they were all turned on.

Here's our fence:

It's so hard capturing night time shots.  The flash really made the lights look less interesting. This year we actually cut back on lights, since last year we almost started our house on fire. No joke. We had too many of the old style C9 lights and we overloaded the circuit. Our bathroom outlet literally started smoking.  We had an electrician come and they had to replace the entire outlet since it was all burned up.  So after Christmas 2010, we scored some new LED lights to display. We hope to get even more after this Christmas, because we're C R A Z Y like that. 

Do you put up Christmas lights? We love driving around looking at them and we hope ours bring joy to all the people that see them.

4 more days until Santa comes! My kids couldn't be more excited.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Decorating with ornaments

When I pinned this pic of decorating with Christmas ornaments on Pinterest, I got repinned 97 times! TO me that's a lot.  I really liked this idea because I inherited a lot of ornaments that I needed to find a way to display.

Ornaments on the staircase

When you inherit a HUGE box of really old ornaments that once belonged to your Grandma, it's not a good idea to display them on a tree (especially if you have small children.) So I found a way I can enjoy them through the holiday season and know they are well protected from little hands.  Since most of my china and glassware is white and clear, the vintage ornaments add bursts of color and is sort of unexpected. We love seeing them in the china hutch.

We sort of grouped by color. Pinks and blues are the predominate colors in the mix.

I found this Noel glittery sign for around $2 after Christmas last year at Marshalls. I think it looks adorable hanging on the door knobs of the cabinet.

These long ornaments fit nicely in our water glasses.

Do you decorate with ornaments in unexpected places?  If I ever buy a two story house, I want to try hanging them from the stairs.  

Are you ready for Christmas?? It's almost here. Can't hardly believe it.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Design Temptation: Deer Heads

When I saw this Christmas mantel with deer heads I was in love.  I love the wall color, the big over sized painting, the crystal chandelier, the white fireplace, and the white Christmas decorations. I love the sparkling crystal garland across the mantle. Everything about this picture is perfection.

It inspired me to go in search of white deer heads for above my fireplace. All we have right now is a big mirror. So it could use some sprucing up. These are some I found which I'm trying hard not to buy.

Here are some antlers from Ballard Designs.

Suzanne Kasler Atelier Antler

A pair of small Alabaster Deer Heads from Naked Decor.


Iconic Z Gallerie deer heads.

Any of these beauties would look good on either side of my octagonal mirror above the fireplace. So I'll keep you posted if I go for it!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Octagonal mirror

When I found a huge octagonal mirror on Craigslist for $10 I knew I wanted it over my fireplace.  Originally it was practically falling out of a big silver frame, so we re-framed it with trim pieces. Here is the after photo once we hung it. You can read more about how we painted our brick fire place here.  

We immediately took off the old frame, which is now somewhere in our attic in case we ever want to sell or salvage it. Then we went to Lowe's to pick up some mirror mounting clips and find some trim that would work as a frame. We bought 2 pieces of 8' pine trim for around $10 a piece. Only one style had an inset on the underside to allow it to sit against the mirror on the inner edge, while being flush with the wall.

After mounting the mirror using the flush mirror clips, we cut each piece of trim at a 22.5 degree angle using a miter box, cut so that the outer edge of the groove was 1/4" longer than the length of each edge of the mirror. We then dug out little grooves on the underside of the trim pieces that sat at the top and bottom to make space for the mirror mounts, again to make it sit more flush.

Each piece was painted with one coat of interior latex paint (I usually use oil based primer for things that are already painted or stained, but for untreated wood, latex works just fine.) Then I applied 2 coats of Interior Latex white paint and 2 coats of spray satin finish sealer.

Once all the pieces were dry, Joe glued them to the mirror using some clear strong glue, adjusted them, and secured them in place with painter's tape. After the glue dried, he filled the seams with white caulk and painted the seams. Done!

We love our new mirror and how it makes the room seem larger due to the reflection.  We also love the white frame with the white fireplace and how it breaks up all the dark wall color.  

I have an idea of what to add to either side of this mirror in a post for ya' tomorrow.  

Hope you had a great weekend!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Super Toddler vs. drawer. Toddler wins.

This is how we like our kitchen drawers to look:

And this is how our drawer looked after a bout with our super-strong toddler:

Several of the drawer fronts are loose because they're mostly particle board, with wood facades. Years of tugging and slamming have taken their toll, but this is the first one ripped clear off. Peekaboo! 

Previously, I just used some short screws to close the splits, but this time some of the face snapped off. So I started with some wood glue, clamping it overnight.

The glue won't hold up to kids by itself, so I reinforced the four corners with wood screws (pre-drilling pilot holes to prevent splitting).

I drilled more pilot holes for some nails to re-fasten the front to the drawer, to make sure that the nails would go where I wanted them to.

Finally, I drove three nails through the drawer sides and into the drawer front, while my helpful assistant pushed down to keep the drawer pieces in place.

It's probably better to catch splitting drawers early, but it's not a huge deal to fix broken ones, and definitely cheaper than ordering a new one.

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