Sunday, January 20, 2013

A project a day...

 For the New Year, I've been trying to work on a project a day.
It can be something as small as cleaning or organizing one drawer, one shelf, or a file folder up to tweaking and reorganizing an entire room (if the mood strikes).

Last week I shared my dining room hutch makeover.
(The dining room hutch actually sits to the left of the fireplace in the living room 
because there's no room for it in our tiny little dining area).
Of course that makes our already small living room really tiny,
with the sofa sitting right in front of the fireplace.

Speaking of the fireplace, I did a bit of tweaking on the mantel, trying out some new arrangements.

A piece I painted several years ago is flanked by hands, books, and busts.

This lady head planter and the vintage hat are a favorite, purchased for a song on the same day, but at different thrift stores in Cambridge. I think they were meant to find each other.
The fireplace and living room look so different today than they did in the 90's...

Back then, the fireplace was still brick. When we started switching over from a darker primitive decor to a lighter cottage style, hubby really did not want the bricks painted white (my first choice - I love that look!).  So we compromised and he built a fireplace surround/cover to go over the bricks. I think that one change has had the biggest impact in our living room makeover.
(There's a link on my sidebar showing how hubby built the fireplace cover.)

My church birdhouse is the only 'fireplace decor' that remains next to the hearth from my primitive days. Back in the 90's, an old friend and I were at a craft fair in Sturbridge, MA when we came across a young couple from upstate New York selling these awesome oversized, rustic birdhouses. It's a purchase I've never regretted! I couldn't bear to put it outside and chance it getting ruined, so it has always remained indoors. This angel has also been around for a long time. He was purchased years ago at an "after Christmas sale," and even though he was being sold as a Christmas decoration, I keep him out year-round.

The old weathered cutting board and wreath that used to hang over the mantel in our primitive days now sit above the sliders in the family room.

And although our living room is tiny, there's always room for cottage kitties! There are white ones...
... black ones...

... and one very special White and Black one! There's also a very special gray striped Tiger one, but she never ventures into the living room, preferring to spend most of her time in on the bed in Amanda's old room.
(As you can see, the snow we got Wednesday is just about gone... Yeah!!!!)

So now that the living room has been tweaked and organized, it's time to find another project.
A small one. Maybe I'll try a healthy new recipe for today's project:)
(Happy thought for today:
It's becoming more and more noticeable that the days are getting longer :)

This week I'm joining Claudia at Mockingbirdhill Cottage for Favorite Thing Saturday,
 Brenda at Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday
and Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday.
Have a wonderful week, everyone!


Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I love how your living-room looks today. Your mantel is great!

Art and Sand said...

I have been doing the project a day thing too, but most of mine have been fun projects which means the cleaning has been neglected. So today my project is to actually clean the house. I would rather be tweaking.

Love your living room look.

ohiofarmgirl said...

It looks so beautiful. It is funny how our tastes change. Dianntha

Brenda Pruitt said...

I just adore your house! It's cozy and warm and Baby is the most photogenic cat I've ever seen.

Susan said...

Donna, did you say you painted that lovely piece above the mantel? If you did, you are a very talented ARTIST!

Wow, what a transformation. The white all over makes your lovely home bright and happy looking. Great job! Susan

Donna said...

What a lovely and informative post! I adore how you transformed the fireplace. One, two, three, all together now - you were RIGHT about changing the fireplace over to a white color! Thank goodness that your hubby came up with a compromise. And the simplified decorating is so much cleaner and fresher.

I was wondering about that black cat in the 2nd photo. I thought, gee, did Baby get into some black ink? LOL.

And the painting over the fireplace is exquisite! You have incredible painting talent.

Barb said...

Your living room looks wonderful! You were so right about the fireplace!!!

Maureen Wyatt said...

Covering the fireplace brick makes such a big difference in that room! your one project a day plan has everything looking so organized and pretty.

Martha said...

I do the same thing -- go through ALL my closets, cabinets and drawers in January -- finding things misplaced in the rush of he holiday season and I NEVER have the January blahs -- too busy! Like what you did. Isn't it fun looking back and seeing what things were like 20 years ago!!!

Claudia said...

It all looks lovely, my friend. Do you use your fireplace? Oh how I wish we had one, especially at this time of year. Brrrr! Stay warm and thank you so much for joining in this week.


Olive said...

I had a country phase about that time too and I am more cottage/eclectic now. Love your hand molds and busts.

Melanie said...

Your living room is so pretty and cozy, and I especially love your fireplace. Question for you since I can't see your entire living room: could you place your sofa where it's facing the fireplace?

And YOU painted that picture on the mantle...the wooden one that says "to everything there is a purpose"??? If so, you are an incredible artist! That is amazing! Do you paint a lot of pictures?

Sandy said...

Donna, It's funny how our taste changes over the years as we evolve and like different things. What a fabulous idea your hubby had to make a cover for the brick fireplace. A great compromise that I'm sure made you very happy. I love your painting on the mantel. It looks great with the heads and the hats.

Your kitties are sweeet.

Elaine said...

I love the white fireplace and I love the way you decorated it.

A project a day is a great idea. I guess I did one today too. I organized one of my cabinets which housed all my candles. So all tealights and votives got put in a plastic container. Now everything is in one spot and I have a lot of room in the cabinet!

craftyles said...

Your living room is so cozy. I do love the fireplace cover your Hubs made. Very clever. Cute kitties too!

Christina Paul said...

Love the fireplace makeover! and that hat! Just found your blog through show and tell Friday and what a delight! Liked it even more when I saw your rescued furry friends and support of shelter adoption!- (we have 4 currently)

Debra at HOMESPUN: said...

What a difference in the fireplace!