Forcing Spring

At or about this time every year, I start longing for Spring.
Maybe it's because I grew up in Florida and we typically skipped winter and went straight to summer.
Maybe it's because I'm a lover of color and plants 
and the brown, bare branches and dry, golden grass seem like everything is lifeless.
Maybe it's because I miss all the activity of wee critters being hatched or born out in the yard. 

I thought I'd bring Spring inside and force some amaryllis bulbs to soothe my warmth-lovin' heart.
They're supposed to be red and white striped and I bought them 
in the after-Christmas clearance section at Wal-Mart for $1.25 each.
I set them on an antique tray I found at Goodwill.

The sign with my favorite word on it came from Marshall's Home Goods; it was a whopping $3.

The soup tureens were just collecting dust up in our kitchen cupboards,
so down they came to be filled with dirt and a top layer of decorative stones.

These are real nests, that I found either on the ground or abandoned, 
so don't worry that I stole someone's home.
There's a nest right now in our front door basket that I think 
still has a family of Carolina wrens in it so we've left that one alone.

This poor butterfly was found on our driveway and I kept its wings to remember
how we all get transformed into loveliness through God's grace.

I can force Spring in my dining room, 
but the rest of the outside world will have to wait on God's timing.
Which is always perfect.


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Free {from my stash} Vintage Valentine Postcard Printables

I have a fondness for vintage postcards.
I wondered if you do, too?

My sweet daughter, Miss S, scanned all these so you could also enjoy
some vintage Valentine's Day greetings.
The dates on these cards range from 1909 to 1921.
Some of them belonged to my grandmother!

To print them, right click on them and save them to your computer.

Give them away or use them in decorating!

You are loved~


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Goodbye, Toile! Hello, Wall! {easiest ever wallpaper removal tips}

The time had come to say farewell to the foyer wallpaper, in our last house.

But the foyer walls were 9 FEET tall.
I recall getting the paper up there that high, and I've experienced that hanging wallpaper
is much easier than removing it.
However, we were staging our house to sell it and it had to go. Pronto.

I dreaded the project and tried to delay it as long as possible.
Then, after I explained the dilemma to my mom,
 she showed up with a bucket, vinegar, a sponge, and...A MOP!
A MOP?!?!?!

My mom, Suzanne, has been a DIYer, painter, handy-woman since before
the "word" DIY was invented, so I figured she had some ideas and experience
on how to remedy the problem.
She'd also had her own wallpapering business awhile back.

I nodded in polite yet insincere agreement, when she explained
how mopping the walls with hot vinegar water was the quickest way
to remove the especially thick, especially well-adhered covering.
But, I trusted her, so we began.

We didn't use this
(which leaves millions of little pock marks in your wall
that you'll have to fill with spackling and then sand smooth
if you press too hard--don't remind me of why I know this).

Or this (I always wonder what fumes I'd be breathing while working).

Or even this
(you can seriously gouge your wall when it's soft from being wetted).

We simply used these.

  1. Pour 1 cup of vinegar in the bucket, fill bucket 1/2 way with the hottest water that comes from your tap.
  2. Insert mop head, wring mop, then mop directly over wallpaper. Find the seam edges, and wetting one strip at a time, work in one direction around the room. (We worked together: mom would mop the next few strips while I peeled paper and wiped the walls clean.)
  3. You may have have to dampen the hand sponge to get the edges of the wallpaper along the ceilings, doorways, or molding, if the mop isn't reaching them well.
  4. Repeat this every few minutes for 15 minutes or so, lifting up the seam to check to see if the paper is ready to let go. The backing/glue should be gray or "clear" looking and very pliable.
  5. Start peeling from the top down.
  6. Use a large hand sponge to to wipe off the remaining tid bits of paper clinging to the wall.
  7. If the paper is still stuck, repeat steps 2. through 5.
  8. As the water gets cloudy, replace it with fresh vinegar and water.
  9. Wash all the walls with fresh, cool water. Let the walls dry at least 24 hours before attempting to paint them.

It's as simple as that!
And as chemical-free as that.

The whole foyer took us 1 1/2 hours.
THAT was a miracle. And to think that I'd dreaded it for months!

Here's the transformation from red and white toile to ready-for-showings wall.

Random decorating-for-Christmas picture of the rest of the foyer.

Hey, look at me! I'm MOPPING the wall!

See the light fixture above my head?
More about that below.

The original light fixture got replaced
with a $7 yard sale brass fixture that got spray painted in Oil-Rubbed Bronze.
I also painted directly over the yellowed doorbell cover so it would blend with the wall.
We mopped the floors well with Murphy's Oil Soap and water and had the carpets cleaned.

And here are the MLS pictures.

To read the post about all the paint colors used for staging our home,
click HERE.

And see another staged home's room transformed from drab to darling
by using this wallpaper removal technique HERE.

If you've been dreading taking down wallpaper,
dread it no longer!

Go... attack it!
It won't take as long as you think it will.
Change your space into something you love and enjoy!

{P.S. If you are in the Upstate of South Carolina and are thinking about selling your home,
I HIGHLY recommend the Realtor we used.
Our home sold in 9 days with multiple offers and above asking price.
Call The Haro Group immediately!}


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