Tuesday, January 31, 2012

OY VEY!!! Q&A!!! Tuesday

Help me, I'm blogging and I can't get up!!!
There should be one of those alarm buttons you can wear around your neck for newly addicted bloggers.
My neck hurts.... 
My shoulders hurt....
My back hurts....
All from sitting at this @#$ computer for hours on end. 
Amy Chalmers at Maison Decor has the same problem.
That only seems fair, since she has done nothing but encourage my new obsessive behavior. 
Being very clever, I hauled the damn contraption out to my terrace by my pool.
Eat your heart out, all you guys stuck up in the cold!!!
ha ha ha ha
Here's a picture of my cool green laptop by my cool blue pool.

The cushion on my chaise is going to be one of my projects this winter. Right now I have one cheapo piled on another cheapo 'cuz I have absolutely no padding on my tush, and it was getting BRUISED!!!
Sooooo..... I am going to make one out of the same fabric I used in my outdoor cabana curtains. Only, this one will be REALLY thick.
If you guys are patient, I will be sharing pictures, as this is just something else I'm blathering on about, without showing you any images.

Today is the day you get to post your questions.
I want to remind you to enter my digital scrapbook give away.  Click on the link to go to the page for entering, and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!!!

Due to the very satisfying and ego gratifying number of questions, I haven't been able to get to all of them, so I will try to answer the few I hadn't gotten to within the next few days. In the future I may not be able to get to them all, we'll just have to see how this goes,

Now for the linky party!!!!!
This is the third one!!!!!

Please.....join this blog if you want some @#$ free advice!!!
As a matter of fact, while I'm ranting and raving.....
If you enjoy my tirades and pearls of wisdom, join my @#$ blog!!!
Amy has 1336 followers (I know, I know, she's been blogging a lot longer that I have, jeesh!)
BUT, I want to be as cool as she is.
Please link up your intended post and not just your blog home page.
Please put a link or my party button in your post so others can find it and join in. The button is on my sidebar.
(Actually, the button doesn't work, I did it myself, and I can't remember where I stored the code....Oy)

Ask decorating questions in the comments area below, this is for decorating questions ONLY!!! 
  If you have a blog with corresponding pictures, link to that post.

If you don't have a blog, and don't have pictures, leave your question in the comment section at the bottom of this post.

If you don't have a blog, but DO have pictures, email me the question with the pictures, to: betsyspeert@gmail.com.

So now go on and ask me a question.....
look down below, see where it says 
"you are next, click here to enter"?
Well then, go ahead and CLICK ALREADY!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Give Away!!!!!

OK campers.....
I will now continue showing you the Cape Cod showhouse room I did a million years ago. If you cast back in your memory, (8 days ago....) I was regaling everyone with my salty tales of tackling this space.

I buttoned the bed the same way we did the walls, so the whole room felt like it was a padded cell.
By the time I'm done setting up a showhouse room, I'm always ready for one.
We curved the half tester (the canopy), to follow the shape of the wall where it met the ceiling.

I designed and needle pointed the pillows on the bed and chair.....

It's sort of hard to read, but they say "THE MRS and THE MR"

The pillow on the club chair is another gem (I'm sooo modest) I created..."Take it easy" being the mantra in getting the room finished in time. I tell ya......
Doing a show house room is A LOT of schlepping!!!!

I created a sitting area by the window seat, it's hard to see, but the long cushion is ALSO buttoned.

I love wire baskets, they make wonderful cache alls for everything. Plus they are tres stylish (just like me)

I used some of the hobnail glass I collect for this vignette. I LOVE ME SOME HOBNAIL, don'tcha know!!!!

Who doesn't like a pretty dressing table??
(other than the people who have to dust this @#$)
I try to put one in every bedroom I do; if there's room, and the husband doesn't have a cow.
I don't wear make up or jewelry (or a bra) very often any more, but I NEED A WELL DRESSED DRESSING TABLE!!!!! 

Let me tell you about the trim on the windows.....
Poor June.....
She was such a trouper.....
Wanting to have a drapery treatment that was a little unusual, interesting and fun...
I found trim with white milky plastic balls. The tape they were sewn to was a cheap polyester shiny material.....
I had my workroom, Drape It, sew Brunschwig & Fils tape over the cheap white tape, leaving the balls showing. 
That was good, that was easy....they had sewing machines.
Because the panels were too full, we had to cut them in half on the day of the installation, and the trim had to be re-sewn, with no sewing machine. Just June's little nimble fingers. She was at it for hours.....
I hope I remembered to thank her.....
I'm sure I did.....
June, if you're reading this (and I know you are)....
thank you!!!!!!!
On Tuesday, before the question part of the post, I will continue this story with pictures of the bathroom.
You guys are sooooo  lucky!!!

OK campers.....
Now I am going to attempt my first give away.
If I screw this up, don't yell at me, I'm doing the best I can.
If you read my last post (and heaven help you if you didn't), I showed my efforts at using the MY Memory Suite software. I'm now starting to develop a new addiction, 'cuz the damn thing is so much fun.

I decided to play around with a header for my blog today, then got so engrossed with this new toy, that what I came up with isn't any good, but it was so much fun that I DON'T CARE!!!!

I put my pictures in what looks like film!!!!
I am soooo clever!!!!!
THEN I started playing around with different flowers.
I even used a flower for the apostrophe in my blog title!!!
I know, I know, I am soooooo clever!!!!!

It's a lucky thing that I have hired someone to redesign my blog for me, 'cuz I obviously don't have a clue.

This scrap book program is under $40.00, I think they must make their money from getting you hooked, and then you will want to upgrade with all sorts of options. So if you get easily sucked into this kind of thing, watch out.
BUT, you can do pretty much everything you need with just this basic program.
Then you can send it off to get it bound into a paper back or a hard cover book. So if you have a family reunion, or something else equally deadly, you can make copies for everyone who participated, and then you will have plenty of ammunition for future blackmail opportunities.

This is the way I'll do this (my very first) give away.
(I forgot to add this, so I added this Monday morning on the 30th of Jan.)

I'm not doing this out of altruism.....
Join my damn blog if you want to win!!!!!!!

Go visit the digital scrap booking  site: www.MyMemories.com. and choose your favorite digital paper pack or layout, then comment on my blog telling me which ones you liked.
I will tell who the lucky winner is on Thursday.
Just remember, if you don't win, you can still get a discount by clicking on the coupon on my sidebar at the right, and enter this code for the discount....STMMMS1372
It's best to copy and paste the code for accuracy, at

least that's what My Memories suggests.

Great,.... Now blogger is messing up the spacing again.



Linking to:
Sunday's Best Linky Party!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Give-a-ways and Answers!!!!!!

OMG, the reason I've been MIA, FYI is because I've been playing around with some new scrap booking software called My Memories Suite. I'm not a scrapbooker, having always been one of those people that don't bother taking pictures of events or people. (Just rooms and still lifes). (My brothers and sisters take pictures, and I'm always standing around, bored, just wanting them to hurry up and finish, already)!
The company contacted me and asked if I would be interested in doing a give-a-way.
Welllllll.....I had to think about it, because this is MY FIRST GIVE-A-WAY!!!!! and I didn't want it to be something that was silly, and that no one would want.
So I thought about it, and realized no one else was exactly knocking down my door with offers  probably a lot of my readers (all two of you) might enjoy the @#$ software, so I agreed to try it out.
I have been swallowed up in a black hole of time. The @#$ program is an absolute joy to work with.
I'm just learning how to do it, started yesterday, but here are some of my efforts.

I started out sweet (just like me)
Then I tried a couple of pictures on a page.

I played around with a different background paper.

Started getting the hang of it, and then I got a little crazy and trashy and goth!!!!

I elongated my picture, and I magically lost 10 pounds!!!
I need to figure out how to do the give-a-way, so I will let you know in the next couple of days. If you don't win the give-a-way, I will also have a code that if you enter it, (I will also figure this out) you will get a discount on the software.

Now, down to the rest of the questions from tuesday.....

Question #1
Ellis is freaking out that I didn't answer her question on Tuesday, so I will try to help here.
She asked: I think my dining room could really be improved by changing the fabric on the chairs.  However, I have no idea what to pick.  The room is not used very much (Christmas, Thanksgiving, other large family dinners...) but it is seen when someone walks in the front door.  I am including lots of pictures to show what I am working with. Any and all suggestions welcome!  I think I am pretty tied to the paint color since we have that dark trim all over the house, but if you have ideas....please tell.

I think this paisley is just fine. BUT if this were my house, I would change the paint color of the wood work to white and get some color on the walls. 
If you picked out the red from the paisley, and softened it to a deep dusty rose to paint over the chair rail, then painted below the chair rail in the same white as the wood work, it would give this effect.

 You would be amazed at how the room would change. The window shutters would look like a million dollars and the paneling details under the chair rail would pop.

Another BIG advantage, is at night the light would bounce off the walls and bathe every old fart in the room in a lovely youthful glow.
As to it not matching the woodwork in the rest of the house, 
That makes a nice segway into the next question 

Question #2

She asked: Betsy,
Thank you SO much for hosting this fun and informative Q & A party! My thumbnail pic to my post is #4 "Painting Woodwork". I have hated our dining room since we moved into our house 8 years ago, but have been busy with things like plumbing, wiring, etc. I want to paint the windows and trim a creamy white (and change the wall color to something lighter and more cheerful) but here is where I'm stuck. Can I leave the dark trim in the living room? The foyer separates the living room from the dining room, but I'm afraid it will be unbalanced. What do you think?

Your Color & Pattern book is one of my favorite design books in my collection and I would truly value your opinion. I could keep you busy for years!

To paint or not to paint...that is the question. :@

Thanks for your time, Vickie   
Vickie @ Ranger 911

view into her dining room

view into her living room
 If you make sure the two rooms relate visually, then you can have different trim colors in each room. HOWEVER!!!!!!!
What's with the baseboard being a different color from the rest of the trim in the room. You're worried about the trim in the two rooms being different, but not about THIS !!!!!!!!!????????
(and your question was so nice, and here I am being so mean. What can I say.....after all the advice is free!)

Question #3
Carlene @ Organized ClutterJan 20, 2012 07:24 PM
Hi Betsy, I'm no 7 in your linky. I am thinking about repainting the yellow and going to a creamy white? I have lots of gold framed art and plates on the wall?

Potato...Patado, Tomato...Tomado.

Question #4
One of my 12 Projects for 2012 is to finish redecorating the main guest room. One of the things I really need to do is place some type of window treatments on the bank of french doors and flanking windows. The doors and windows are heavily trimmed out and I love the way they came out thanks to one of my heroes, Brian the great carpenter. Anyway, I have toyed with the thought of just placing a decorative rod all the way across the top the of header with just enough panels to cover the windows. I cannot use many panels as the space at each end of the bank of windows and doors are not even. One side is wider than the other..
I really do not want to cover the trim…so what do I do? I thought about hanging woven blinds, but then it would cover most of the header trim. I thought about pleated shades, but really do not like the look of that. We live on a golf course and there are no homes that are in close range directly behind us. In all of the seasons except the winter and late fall, there is plenty of privacy from the trees. Well, with the exception of the nosey deer. In the winter, you can see faint lights from the houses beyond. So, I really want my guests to be comfortable with a real sense of privacy. So, that is my dilemma..What type of treatments do I place on those windows and doors?

Okey Dokey, this is a really good question. (Not that the others weren't) (well, some were better than others)
OK, I'm just kidding. I'm getting punchy. Oy.
I had this same dilemma in my Sunapee cabin. Here's a picture of what I did.

These draperies are lined linen panels hung from rings without any pinch pleats at the top of the curtains. This  way they can gather in a tighter smaller area when opened. It looks like you have enough room on either side of your windows to do this. I sewed a wooden wand to the lead ring that I used to pull them open and closed. These were my bedroom window treatments, giving me plenty of privacy from the bears.
I will be sharing the pictures and story of this cabin in a future post. OY there is so much to write about and share with you guys. How did I ever spend my days before I started blogging?????


Linking to: Mod Vintage Life

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Decorating questions answered

Welcome to the second OY VEY!! Q&A!! answer post.
Boy, did I get more questions this week!!!
I'll try to get to all of them, but I'm not promising nothin'!
The ones I don't get to today, I'll continue answering tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next Tuesday at the start of the questions party. I'm figuring this out as I go.

Just remember you get what you pay for, and this advice is free.......

First I need to put up a pretty picture, so that when folks get thumbnails of my blog, they'll want to stop by.
(Amy Chalmers of Maison Decor told me to do this, and I do everything she says. Her husband is a cop, so I don't mess with her.)

'cuz if I start with a picture of a problem room, then that's what shows up on blogrolls, and NO ONE will ever come see this @#$ blog.

While I'm at it, I'm occasionally going to vent a pet peeve, and today is the FIRST one. 
It's bad enough I need to buy pants with elastic in the waste band.....I mean....we know our tummy ain't flat.
So then they go ahead and add a drawstring as if to say......."some skinny person may have to borrow your pants someday, but you're so @#$ fat that they'll need help keeping the @#$ pants up!!!"

OK, now I feel better, thanks for listening.

Question #1
 Amy @MaisonDecorJan 18, 2012 03:31 AM
Me again! Love this party~I am link #6. I got a comment saying the rectangle shape of the new painting doesn't look right under the carved arch thing on the mantle. I thought it looked fine, but I understand what she meant. You put the round wire basket there~do I have to get a framed art in a curved shape?

The issue isn't whether the painting is round or square, but all about proportion in the space under the carving detail. The negative space (space around an object) is just as important as the positive space (the object itself). You need something vertical; that was why I loved the mirror you had leaning there before it broke. If I were paranoid, I'd swear you broke it on purpose, because you could psychically feel that it was my favorite mirror in your house, and you know my issue with all your millions of other mirrors.
Think of the way you would arrange furniture in a long narrow room (like the space over the mantle), you wouldn't want to line the sofa up along the wall, but have it jut into the room to help with the spaces proportion. 
p.s. I love the vases on the top shelves of the bookcase!

Question #2

Hi Betsy,
I'm one of your blog followers and absolutely love your sense of humor.  OK, now that I've tried to butter you up a bit, I'm going to ask for your help :-)

After seeing your latest post of your cottage and how you changed the exterior, what would you suggest for this house?  This is our new house and it needs "something" done to the front...not just landscaping.  I've got several ideas rolling around in my head but wouldn't mind your expert opinion...and I don't want to influence you...in case we might just happen to have some of the same ideas. Smileycons!

There are lilies planted in that sad,dormant flower bed in front and that awful bark covering on top of the soil. (It always looks dead and it gets everywhere! It is going as soon as spring arrives in North Dakota!)  I've got lots of perennials I'm planning to retrieve from our old house this spring/summer...just to let you know I've got access to some beautiful flowers.

Thanks :-)

Connie Nikiforoff
P.S.  I absolutely hate that red door and mailbox!  I mean, since the house is a pale green, it looks like a Christmas-wanna-be color scheme!  Ick!  As soon as the weather allows, the color will be changed!

I have a ton of ideas, and they would absolutely trash your budget......
So I'm going to rein myself in, and try to think along the lines of helping someone who has a life other than just fixing up houses way beyond their neighborhood price-point.
It looks like you have single pane windows, so you could do what I did and install removable wooden window grills to give the house more of a cottagey look. It will make them look like they have mullions.

The way the little overhang is added is really cute too.

Next I would add shutters, not the plastic screw on kind, but I would save up for a decent quality wood pair, just for the big window, and hang them like the old fashioned shutters are hung, overlapping the window casing, not installed outside the casing.


Like THIS....

These look like you could actually build them yourselves, and save yourself some moolah!
I could spend a lot more time on this, going into landscaping ideas, but I need to get to some of the other questions. 
If you want, post some follow up questions next week.

Question #3

HouseZenGarden Blog has left a new comment on your post "My Cottage Den":

Hi Betsy!
I have always admired your design and your former home with all the dog paraphernalia. Today I showed a client a magazine tear sheet (that I have saved for years) from House Beautiful(I think, or Home and Garden, etc.)that shows your former front porch with its trellis portico. I was hoping your blog would have a better picture of it. We have been working on an idea for their Cape Cod design house and your portico was one of the best designs I've seen so far.
Anyway... do you have more photos of the portico that you could share with us? Thank you for all your inspiration through the years!
Love your blog and your spirit too.
Mary Alice Smith

Although this was not a formal question from Tuesday, I am including it here because it sort of goes with the question just above. I will repost the picture of the front of my Watertown cottage.

photo by Eric Roth for House Beautiful Magazine

Question #4

Hi, Betsy, I just linked my pics under "french flundering" ( don't even know if that's a word :) Anyway, my link is my blog post for Christmas, so outside of the added "pink" here and there, The rooms are pretty much what you see. I wanted to send you this post, because, it best shows my futile attempts at French Country Style. I do Love the All White Shabby Chic thing that's going on with a lot of Bloggers out there, but, I just can't seem to Ditch the "Cutness" in my Style Forte? What to Do? What is the Best Way to Get to the Place you Want to Go adding in your Own Style in the Mix? My "TinCanCottage" is pretty much me, but How do I incorporated that Style in my own Home? 
Fun, but with Style????? 
Burn Everything and Start Over????? Paint everything White? What to Add? What To Take Away?

I was really wanting to add more interest to my blog, by adding more pics of my 'real' Home, not just my "10ft" Cottage on Wheels, But Maybe, I'm Scaring People Away :D

Thanx for your "Free" Decorators Advise!

Blogger is giving me fits again with the font size,

 so sorry. I had to go to a smaller font.

No, you don't need to burn everything.
But get ready, 'cuz I want to change a lot of stuff!!

get rid of all the small white ones.
How the hello is anyone supposed to be able to sit down on the sofa with so many pillows?????
Pillows are to add comfort to a seating area, not to be there just for display!!!!!
And while I'm being bitchy (sorry) it would really help the room to change the window treatments. 
I would hang the draperies from the top of the transom windows and gather them tightly so that they don't cover the glass.

If you want a valence, hang it higher, at the ceiling, so the fabric is off the glass!!!!!

Doing this raises the eye and makes the ceiling feel higher and gives the room a nicer feeling of proportion.

I'd slip cover these chairs in white with a short flirty skirt.
I'd paint the china cabinet a nice chalky color.
And while I'm at it, GET THE FABRIC OFF THE WINDOWS!!!
I'd also lower the pair of prints hanging on the wall by around 10".
I know this doesn't answer all your questions, but I need to get to the next one.

Question #5

hi Betsy, and thanks! I'm "getgrounded" from previous posts, and I posted link no. 5 - my perfect living room quest. 
When you read my post, you'll see my goals of making my small builders tract home with no architectural interest look similar to a photo I found in a magazine that I fell in love with. When you see the photos, you'll see that I'm definitely not there yet. I have basically NO budget right now, so suggestions could be for DIY stuff, or feel free to lay out eventual stuff that I might someday have money for. Thanks! Robin

This is Robin's "inspiration picture"

Design by Jill Kantelberg

This is Robin's home

I think the way you used the pillows, to create the feeling of the striped sofa, is a really nice way to get the look you want on a budget, so bravo!!
The coffee table and bookcases  you found are affordable gems.(for you guys reading this, go to Robins blog to see the whole story)
OK, now on to the tweaks and money sucking ideas.
I'm not thrilled with the group of pictures between the bookcases.
The look you're going for is made up of single simple shapes.
I would hang one large item between them, maybe a mirror with a rustic wood frame in a white washed finish, (so it doesn't match the finish on the bookshelves)
I would also get rid of that clock, it is visually distracting. If you need to know the time, look at your cell phone.
being a great and wonderful blogger, I came up with an idea that solves both the above problems in ONE FELL SWOOP!!!!
I found two different clocks at Pottery Barn that would work hanging between the two cases. Choose one or hang both, one above the other!! That's the kind of whackadoodle thing I would do, and then before I knew it, I would have started a collection of clocks.

Nah, looking at them together, I would just choose one.
I'm leaning towards the round one, the black metal brings in the feeling of the iron hinges in your inspirational picture. It also refers back in tone and texture to the coffee table, and isn't such a close match to the bookcases.
In the future, though, for a budget busting project, I would definitely clad the ceiling in wood; with its slant, I think it would be THE BOMB.
Just keep going in the direction you'er working, the next thing I would change are the table lamps.
I found these Caged Glass Table Lamps at Pottery Barn

I'd get two, one for either side of the sofa. If the tables are different heights, set one on books, to even them out.
Hope this was helpful.

Question #6.....
to be continued................

linking to:  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Decorating by the Sea

Since I blogged on 12/26/2011 begging you guys to sign up and become my followers (having no shame), you have done me proud, I tell ya, proud!!!
I went from having somewhere in the 70's, to having a whopping 295!!!!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
If you haven't become a follower (you know who you are, that's right, I'm staring right at you. Nooooo, not the person behind you..... YOU!); that's alright. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine.

Today I'm going to start sharing a showhouse room that I did on cape cod.

Traditional Home Magazine 1999

June, (my trusty sidekick, office manager,design assistant, moral supporter, and dear friend) worked with me on this room in 1998!!!
It was published in Traditional Home Magazine in 1999.
Lone agoooooo and farrrrr away.

We collaborated with my my drapery workroom, Drape It. It didn't hurt that Joe and Sally (the owners) are two more of my closest friends, so the whole project was really fun.

We started with this...............

And ended with this.............

and this.............

The walls and ceiling were crumbling plaster, so I had the brilliant idea to cover everything with blue and white ticking stripe. We upholstered the walls.....
But no.....
That wasn't enough for my tiny mind.
I wanted it to be special.....
I wanted it to be different.....
I thought (OY, there I go again), wouldn't it be cooool, if we covered the ceiling too!!??
Joe (the good sport) said "alrighty".
There was only one leetle problem.
The walls curved up to meet the ceiling.
How the @#$ were we going to make the fabric conform to the curve.
being brilliant!!!!!!!
I came up with a stupendously wonderful idea!!!
Since we were using ticking....and mattresses use ticking....and mattresses are buttoned....why not use a button detail to make the fabric cling to the curve.
I know right?  Brilliant!!
You can see the buttoning really well in this picture.

Here's a close up.....

This is how we did it...........
(Joe figured it out.) (He is such a smarty) (Even thought he does make fun of me.)
We marked out the pattern by using big push pins..... Then he used his super duper drill, and drilled screws into the wall, replacing the push pins..... Then I used his button machine, and made a gazillion buttons. I only did the top part, (the curved part that is covered in fabric), not the shank that is used to sew them onto clothes. I covered them in the ticking fabric.
Then.....I went along behind Joe, and hot glued them over the screw heads.
We did this on the 4th of July. I remember it really clearly. Just Joe and me, fabricing the walls, and getting the buttons up. It was one of the most fun 4th's I've ever had.
I know other DYI'ers will understand that. There is no thrill, like the thrill of a project that is ACTUALLY working out.

Here's the view looking into the room from the hall...

On this note, I will continue showing this room and its bathroom, and sharing the decorating details, over the next few days. 

Don't forget!!!
Tuesday is Answer Tuesday.
I'm leaning towards the name:  Q&A!! OY VEY!!
what do you guys think?
Linking to:  
Sunday's Best Linky Party!  its so very cheri 
    shabby creek cottage



French Country Cottage


Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

A diamond in the Stuff

Tickled Pink at 504 Main

<br><br><br><b>Join us every Friday...</b>


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