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Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy Birthday, America!

Every year, without fail, the red, white & blue comes out in all of us!  We wear it, sing it and decorate it.  Before you high tail it out of here, I am NOT going to sing! I would much rather share with you decorating ideas and what's happening around town for the fourth.


www.liagriffith.com
www.liagriffith.com
Deck the halls...and the porch...and the table!  I'm feeling a bit vintage-y this year, so I went hunting around Pinterest for vintage ways to make your 4th of July awesome!  Here's what I found:

The top two photos are from http://liagriffith.com/a-diy-vintage-fourth-of-july-celebration/!  This page is packed with great ideas for a great look on your table.  So gather up your old crates, vintage pitchers, mason jars, cake stands and wood tool boxes!  All these items put together on your table will make a beautiful, vintage spread.  There are many more photos on that website so check them out!

Now that your party look is spot on, let's move to your home.  Personally, I am a subtle, holiday decorator.  I like a simple look, with a splash of holiday.  This simple banner and flags across the mantle, let's everyone know it is the 4th of July without too much fuss (http://beinglds.blogspot.com/2010/05/service-boot-camp-giveaway-write-it-out.html).  I also love the vignette with the dress form!  Click on that photo to see the full picture.  It is displayed simply on a front porch with wicker furniture on:  http://missgracieshouse.blogspot.com/. What a great way to welcome your party guests into your home!

Not in the mood to host a party this year?  Well, if you live in the Kalamazoo, MI area, you are in luck!  Check out the list below of just a snippet I found of what's going on for the 4th:

*KalamazooKitty will be open at both locations from 10-2.  Stop in before the festivities and grab last minute d├ęcor and ideas!  Free paint on this day only!  See stores for details.

*Radiant Church will have ice cream and pop after services on the 4th.  Check it out for info: http://radiantchurch.tv/events/4th-of-july-celebration/

*FIREWORKS:  http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2015/06/kalamazoo_area_communities_bla.html

*Kalamazoo Farmer's Market:
http://www.peoplesfoodco-op.org/events/2015/6/27/kalamazoo-farmers-market.html

*Schoolcraft Parade & Firecracker Run:
http://www.firecracker5.com/

*Salvation Army 4th of July Sale

The History of America is getting lost.  More and more young people are unsure what we are celebrating.  Rather than teaching a history class, here are a few fun facts about the greatest place on earth:

*Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey as the National Bird.
*150 million hot dogs are consumed on the 4th of July in America.
*The 13 stars on the original flag were in a circle to represent equally among the 13 original colonies.
*The 4th of July became a national holiday in 1941.
*56 men signed the Declaration of Independence, only two became presidents.
*John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 4th of July in 1826.  James Monroe also died on the 4th of July, but in 1831.
*The first fireworks display on Independence Day took place in 1777, America's first birthday.
*The national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, was written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key.
*More than 74 million Americans will barbeque on the 4th of July.
*Calvin Coolidge was born on the 4th of July, 1872.

This is from Kalamazoo...to you!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Don't Forget Your 5th Wall!

The ceiling...that is.  There are so many awesome things you can do with your ceiling that it is just silly to leave it plain old white!  Small budget?  Let's start simple.  PAINT IT!  And I don't mean white!  Okay, every once in a while a white ceiling looks incredible, but for the most part, it should not be left that way.  If your budget only allows for paint, then that's a great start.  Picking the right color can be tricky, though. Here are your options:
*Your trim color (unless it is bright white).  This is a good option if you have dark painted walls, and I'll tell you why in a minute.
Photo by Connie Arnsman, Design by Kitty Copeland
*Your wall color.  This is my favorite option if you have light colored walls.  Painting the walls and ceiling the same color results in a very soothing space with no hard corners or drastic color changes.  Keep in mind that the light hitting your ceiling is different from the light hitting your walls.  The same color paint on your ceiling will appear darker than your walls, but it looks great!
Photo by Connie Arnsman, Design by Kitty Copeland
*A few shades lighter than your walls.  This is another great option, if your walls are neutral!  I'm not a fan of blue, red, pink or green on a ceiling!  But if you have tan, beige, gold or anything in that family on your walls, then grab your swatch card and choose a color on it that is one or two shades lighter.  Not all paint companies have graduated color cards, but a paint expert at a store can help you get a few shades lighter than your wall color. 

Painting your ceiling the right color will be a huge improvement, but if your budget allows, keep on going!  This is where it gets fun!  I can't possibly go through every option for a ceiling, so keep an eye out on Pinterest for other great ideas.  The options below are listed from easy to more difficult and using several of them together will make for an awesome ceiling!
Found on do-it-yourself-help.com
*Add crown moulding.  Okay, I lied!  Putting up crown moulding is no easy task, but it is a simple look with little material.  Remember that stacking smaller pieces of moulding is a great way to make crown look larger for less money.  Use dead wall space in your design to make it look even larger!   After it is all installed, paint all the pieces of moulding, and the wall space in between, all the same color.  Painting it trim color or ceiling color are the top 2 choices.

*Apply paintable wallpaper.  This stuff is awesome for a first-time wallpaper hanger!  It is easy to hide the seams with caulk because it all gets painted anyway.  You can find these wallpapers in stock at home improvement stores, or you can choose from hundreds in wallpaper books at your local paint store.  Go for a pattern that resembles tin ceiling tiles and it will look awesome!  After installed, paint it trim color, but FLAT!  Did I mention the most important part of painting your ceiling?  You must use flat paint!  Any other sheen will show all the imperfections on your ceiling and it will look too shiny.
From houzz.com
*Create a coffered ceiling.  This can be simple or very complex, depending on how many pieces of trim you use.  This is the one ceiling that looks great in white, if your trim is also white.  You can spend a fortune on a coffered ceiling, but there are tricks to get a great look for a whole lot less.

The ceiling shown below is simple, but very effective.  It is a combination of 5" baseboard material out of MDF and handmade corner pieces (72 to be exact).  The cost of this ceiling was well under $100, paint included.  Wanna do it?  Here's how:
Before
1. Paint your ceiling.
2. Lay out your pattern, keeping your light fixtures in mind.  This is the hardest part of the project!
4. Mark all the floor joists around the room.
5. Start adding the 5" boards around the perimeter of the room.  Use a nailgun and construction adhesive.  
"Band-Aids"
6. Add your long cross pieces, keeping them square to the perimeter.   If these pieces don't fall on a floor joist, create "band-aids" to hold them in place while the adhesive dries.  These "band-aids" are simply scrap pieces of baseboard screwed to the joist on either side.  These will be removed later.
7. Add your short pieces in between to create your squares (or rectangles).  Use a square to make sure you keep everything in line.
8. Cut your corner pieces using a jigsaw out of the 5" baseboard material.
9. Add a corner piece to every corner using the same method as before.
After
Corner Pieces
10. Caulk any gaps and fill holes, including the holes after you removed your "band-aids".
11. Paint in flat paint. Enjoy!

How many more reasons do you need to understand that the ceiling is a 5th wall in your room and should not be ignored?!  Do some research, gather your materials and go!

This is from Kalamazoo...to you!