The Sea Views in Curacao

Curacao 2 - Playa Knip panoramic

The beauty of Curacao was definitely not only in the buildings and décor.  The water was just as beautiful.  The picture above is from Playa Knip.  When we arrived at that beach one morning, no one else was there.  We were beginning to wonder if we should be there, but while we tried to decide we took advantage of the empty beach and snapped some beautiful pictures.  Soon enough people began to show up a the pretty beach.  We spent the day enjoying the sand, sun and water.  The snorkeling at this spot was pretty good too.

Curacao 2 - Snorkeling fish and coral

Curacao 2 - snorkeling - fish

Another morning, we set out for another beach, Playa Forti.  We were told it was a good spot to collect sea glass, so we wanted to get there early in the morning, because we thought the selection would get picked over.  Turns out, you could not walk on the beach without at least flip flops because it was just covered in coral and some sea glass.  We walked along and collected some to bring home, and took some pictures of the peaceful location.

Curacao 2 - Playa Forti

And, this was the view from the parking area above before walking down to Playa Forti.

Curacao 2 - View at Playa Forti

Since there wasn’t really anywhere to relax there, we had to find another beach for the day.  We headed to Santa Maria Beach.  It was a much larger beach than any of the others that we went to, but we found a little spot to hang out for the day off to the side of this dock.

Curacao 2 - Dock and water at Santa Maria Beach

Some of the other sea views we captured were taken while we were on a catamaran exploring around the island.

Curacao 2 - Homes along the water from catamaran

Curacao 2 - close up of homes and boats from water

And, we spent each chance we could exploring the water snorkeling.  We found some beautiful coral and fish.

Curacao 2 - Snorkeling Elk Horn Coral

Curacao 2 - Snorkeling Fish and Brain Coral

Curacao 2 - Snorkeling coral varieties

Curacao 2 - Snorkeling Trunk Fish

From above water, we found rocks that were very populated with beautiful snails.

Curacao 2 - Snails on Rocks

We tried to capture sunset pictures, but each chance we had it would disappear behind the clouds when it got closer to the water.

Curacao 2 - sun starting to set over the sea

The light at that time of day is always our favorite time to take pictures.  This was outside of our resort on the stairs built into the cliff leading into the water.

Curacao 2 - Leslie on stairs to water at Marazul Dive Resort

The flowers and palm trees around the resort were amazing.

Curacao 2 - Flowers and palm tree with water in background

Has anyone else traveled to Curacao?  Any other snorkelers?

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DIY Spring Wreath

Spring Wreath - DIY Spring Wreath at Puddy's House

Our front door had been bare since I took down our Christmas wreath.  I had been searching for something wintery and never found what I wanted, so I waited long enough to just move on to a Spring wreath.  I didn’t have any spring flowers in my supplies, and I actually considered just buying a wreath, but when I looked at the store they were really pricey and just seemed sparse.  I like a full wreath.  I knew I had a bare grapevine wreath in my supplies, either from Goodwill or a yardsale.  It seemed like it might be a little small, I think it is the 12″ size, but I decided to give it a try.

Spring Wreath - plain grapevine wreath - before

I went to Michael’s and the spring flowers were on sale 50% off.  I bought 3 bunches – Hydrangeas, berries, and then what they label as bush grass with mini flower spray.  I spent $17.99 on all 3.  Not necessarily cheap, at least from my perspective, but still better than the cost of the wreaths I saw and didn’t like.

Spring Wreath - 3 bunches of flowers berries and spray

I used my wire cutters to separate each individual flower, spray or berry spray.  For each stem of the bush flower sprays, I separated into 3 little stems so that I would have more options for filling my wreath.

Spring Wreath - flower spray - separated into 3 individual sprays

I ended up separating all the leaves from the hydrangea stems too.  I hadn’t used leaves in wreaths I created in the past, but I felt like this one needed it.

Spring Wreath - individual leaves

I started with the hydrangeas as my base and spread them around the wreath, just inserting the stems in between the grapevines.  I didn’t use anything else to hold them in.  This is when I realized I needed the leaves – it looked bare without them in between the hydrangeas.  Then, I started adding in the flower sprays.

Spring Wreath - In process with hydrangea flowers leaves

And, then I just started alternating between adding the berries and the flower stems.  My process is not an exact science, it is just stuff it in and if it doesn’t look right, pull it out and put it in another spot.

Spring Wreath - In process with hydrangea flowers leaves spray and berries

After a bit of rearranging and about an hour from beginning to end, I had a new wreath for our front door, just in time to welcome Spring.

Spring Wreath - DIY wreath After

Do you hang something on your front door year-round?  Any one else make a new Spring Wreath?

 

 

Master Bedroom and Bathroom

When the sun was finally shining again, I took advantage of the light and snapped some pictures of areas of our house that I have yet to share.  First up is our Master Bedroom and Bathroom.  This was the first room in the house that we painted and I still love the nice yellow color that we chose.  This is the view of the room when you enter from the hallway.

Master Bedroom - view from the door - dresser bed nightstand

The art above the bed is very special; my grandmother cross-stitched it for our wedding.  I tried to take a close up and kept getting a glare, or my reflection in the picture.

It says:

To know Love

Is to know Life

To give love

Is to Know

Happiness

Bob and Leslie

January 12, 2008

The candle sconces were a Goodwill find that I gave a quick coat of spray paint to freshen up the look.

If you walk to the bed and turn around, this is the view of the dresser and Bob’s side table.  It was definitely a bright shiny day!

Master Bedroom - dresser and side table

And, this is the view from our bed.  The door on the left is to the closet, which I’m happy to say has stayed nice and organized since I revealed my new system here.

Master Bedroom - armoire and diy side chairs

You can see that the décor so far is very simple.  It’s definitely still a work in progress, as is most of our home.  The one picture you see is from the sunrise on one of our first trips to Mexico.

The chairs are one project that I did in this room.  I found a listing on Craigslist a few years ago – it said wooden arm chairs $5 each, 30 available.  It was a local restaurant that had replaced all of their dining room chairs.  Bob went to check it out for me, and came home with 2 of the chairs.  I didn’t think to take a picture before I removed all the fabric, but picture a dark blue fabric worn very well from years in the restaurant.

Master Bedroom - side chairs- before

I stripped the fabric and prepped the chairs for painting.  I used my favorite spray paint – Rustoleum Heirloom White.  After painting, I reupholstered with new fabric and trim.  It was a challenge since the backs were two-sided covered in fabric.  I improvised a bit along the way, but am happy with the end results.  They add some color to the room, while also lightening it up a bit with all the darker wood furniture.

Master Bedroom - diy painted and reupholstered side chair

Now, back to the tour.  The Master Bathroom is through the door right beside my nightstand.  I have worked a bit more on decorating the bathroom with a beach theme of sand and shells décor.  I have taken many liberties in this space, because it is not a space that Bob uses.  We love the beach and have collected so many shells over the years.  I’ve been able to use some of that collection in this bathroom.  The double vanity is on the right as soon as you enter the door.  I got the artwork at Goodwill for a few dollars, the vase at a local consignment store, and the clock at a yardsale (it is intended to help me stay on time when I’m getting ready for work).

Master Bathroom - double sinks with thrifted art

The whirlpool tub is on the left, parallel to the sinks.  The shells are all ones that we have collected.

Master Bathroom - whirpool tub with seashell decor

The shelf is one from my childhood.  I should have taken a before picture.  It was a natural wood – very country style.  It was originally flipped the other way with a door over the one section with a heart cut out of it.  I removed the door, patched the holes, gave it a fresh coat of paint and flipped it on its end.  The shelves are filled with a combination of collected and purchased items.

Master Bathroom - sand and shells - wall and tub decor

The wall décor on the other side, features beach pictures that we have taken in frames that were given to me at my bridal shower.  Puddy loves the beach, so its nice to see pictures of him enjoying it every day.  The starfish were not harmed in the taking of this picture….I snapped the photo and released them back into the ocean.

Master Bathroom - beach pictures and tub decor sand shells and candles

There is a pocket door that separates the sink and tub area of the bathroom from the toilet and shower area.

Master Bathroom - toilet area with thrifted art

The toilet area features some yardsale art that I purchased.  The shower area is not ready to share yet.  It is just a shower stall and I have struggled to find a shower curtain that I like.  I recently found a curtain I liked at a thrift shop, but of course it is for a regular tub/shower combination.  I’m going to try to modify it to work for the shower stall.  For the price, it was worth trying to make it work, especially since I like the material.

Master Bathroom - Shower curtain before

Anyone else have a shower stall and struggle to find a curtain?  What do you do with shells you collect at the beach?  I’m looking for other ideas to use our collection.

Spiderman Birthday Party

Our grandson, Connor, requested a Spiderman Birthday Party to celebrate his 4th Birthday.  So, what did I do…started searching Pinterest immediately!  I created a new board of Birthday Ideas to start planning.  Fortunately, I realized I didn’t have a ton of time to go overboard, so I focused my effort on the cake.   My Mom always made and decorated our birthday cakes growing up, so I learned some basic cake decorating knowledge from her.  She has also equipped me with the general tools/supplies that I need.   As I searched for  ideas, I found many cakes that were awesome, but completely not in my skill set.  Then, I found this one by Delicious Meliscious:

Spiderman Birthday - Pinterest Inspiration Cake

I liked this cake a lot.  It was colorful, fit with the Spiderman décor, but was not crazy-complicated.  Plus, I showed Connor’s Mom and she had found the same one on Pinterest and liked it too!!  The only supplies I had to buy were a jar of blue and red food coloring.  I used the Wilton gel, because I’ve learned when you want very saturated colors, you need the gel.  I used my traditional Crazy Chocolate Cake and White Icing recipes.  I added the whole jar of “No Taste Red” to a bowl of icing to get a deep enough red color.  It only took about half a jar of blue to get the color right.  And, then I got to work decorating.

Spiderman Birthday - Cake from above

Spiderman Birthday - Happy Birthday side of cake view

Spiderman Birthday - Connor's cake

It’s definitely not perfect, but I was happy with it.  I just mixed my leftover red and blue icing together and added a few drops of green and yellow to get the color for the web and lettering.  Somehow the icing looks like it is spidery with the hints of white in the dark.  I couldn’t get that look again if I tried, but with this cake I knew it would work.  And, the most important part of the cake was it tasted delicious!

The only other décor I found time to make was a birthday banner.  I found this one from Etsy on Pinterest.

Spiderman Birthday - Pinterest Inspiration Banner

It looked so fun, but I was not about to pay $30 for a banner that would be hanging for a few hours.  I tried to find some Spiderman paper at the craft store, but I did not have any success.  I almost gave up on the idea, but decided I could just make it simpler.  I used my Cricut and cut out Happy Birthday in alternating red and blue.  I cut out black rectangles and punched holes in the upper corners.  I attached the letters to the rectangles and then began to string them on some red ribbon.  I just attached a plain rectangle to separate the words.  The plain rectangle didn’t work for me, so I found some printed blue paper in my stash.  That still wasn’t enough, so I googled Spiderman images and just printed one out on regular paper.  Fortunately, it was the perfect size Spiderman.  We hung it on the mantle to add some  décor to the living room.

Spiderman Birthday - Happy Birthday Banner

Overall, I was pleased with the cake and banner, especially with the limited amount of prep time I had.  But, the most important part was that that Birthday Boy had fun!!

The Beauty of Curacao

Curacao - Curacao sign in Willemstad

I’m finally getting time to look at all of the pictures we took in Curacao….all 485 of them!  We are very lucky to have the opportunity to spend a week on the beautiful island of Curacao.  There is so many beautiful sights to share, so I think I will divide it up into a few posts.  First, I’m sharing some of the colorful homes, beautiful architecture, and beach décor.

The town of Willemstad is filled with streets of colorful buildings.  Below is the center of Rif Ford, with a fountain in the center square and lots of shopping.

Curacao - Rif Fort in Willemstad fountain square

This was one of the hotels and casinos.  We didn’t go in, we just enjoyed the beauty from outside.

Curacao - Blue and White hotel

Bob really liked the color of this bank.

Curacao - Banco di Caribe - blue and white

We took many pictures of all the buildings in a row, but this one shows the variety of colors.  I asked Bob what color he would choose if this was the style of home we had, and his choice was salmon and yellow.  I would choose coral and yellow….so I think we are close enough to pick colors we would both like to live with for our home.  Of course, we’d have to be living somewhere where that is the style.  A coral house would stick out a bit too much in Lancaster!

Curacao - Colorful homes in Willemstad

As we walked the streets, it wasn’t just the buildings that were colorful.  We also found this beautiful alley.  It was 3-dimensional, which made it even more unique.

Curacao - 3-D Wall with sunflowers and butterflies

The churches and cemeteries were works of art too.

Curacao - Church and cemetery

I enjoyed the décor around the hotel too.  It was amazing to see a lot of the trends I see on a regular basis on other blogs, like the driftwood mirror.

Curacao - Driftwood mirror in hotel hall

The coral wall décor was hanging in the open stairwell.

Curacao - coral wall decor

The most eye-catching was the enormous coral chandelier hanging in the lounge.

Curacao - Coral Chandelier

I’ll share more of Curacao soon, with some of nature’s beauty in the beaches and wildlife.  What color house would you choose?  What do you think of the beach décor?

A touch of Easter

Easter Decorations - DIY spraypainted branches with hanging eggs

With the beautiful weather we are having right now, I knew it was time to decorate for Easter and begin preparing for Spring.  I started with reusing my spray painted branches that I’ve been using since last Easter.  I used them in the Fall and Christmas time too.  I put rocks in the bottom of the vase and hung speckled eggs on the branches.  I placed everything on a spring runner and added the candlesticks that I used at Christmas.

Easter Decorations - Dining Room Centerpiece  Branches with hanging eggs

The next area that got a touch of Easter was our mantle.  My Mom gave me her ceramic Easter village a few years ago.  Last year I used it in the foyer, but I decided to try it on the mantle this year.  I’m not sure if it will stay there or not, but I like having some decorations in the living room.

Easter Decorations - Easter village on mantle -no lights

The nice part is there is an outlet on the mantle, so it is very easy to light it up and enjoy the glow.

Easter Decorations - Easter Village on Mantle

My craft room got a touch of Easter too on the floating shelves.  I already had gotten out some of my butterfly decorations when I took down the Christmas and Winter ones.  So, I just added the bunnies and egg.

Easter Decorations - Floating shelves in craft room with butterflies and bunnies

The final area that is ready for Easter is the foyer.  I had everything I used, other than I bought the little basket at a Church thrift shop on Saturday for 10 cents, and I created the Easter “art.”

Easter Decorations - Foyer table with DIY ar and eggs in baskets and vases

I even made use of our junk mail that I had shredded as the nest for the eggs.  This is the first I found somewhere for the little purple vase and purple candlesticks.  I’m not sure when or why I got them, but I must have known I would find a use for them some day.

Easter Decorations - Eggs in vase and candlesticks and purple thrifted vase

I made the Easter art using my Cricut.  If you are a Cricut user, it is the Celebrate with Flourish cartridge.  I realized it will come in handy for more than just scrapbooking our holiday memories. The vase of faux flowers normally sits on my desk, but I thought the touch of Spring flowers worked well with the other Easter decorations.  I used more shredded paper as filler in the basket, so that the eggs were popped to the top of the basket.

Easter Decorations - DIY Art using cricut - eggs in thrift basket - flowers in vase

Are you enjoying a taste of Spring weather where you are?  Have you decorated for Easter? What are your thoughts….should the Easter village stay on the mantle, or should I move it somewhere else?

 

 

Spring-Thing-Party

 

Garage Organization Inspiration

Sorry for the blogging hiatus.  Last week, Bob and I were enjoying the beautiful sunshine and beaches in Curacao.  We had a great time and I will have plenty of pictures and details of the island to share once I have time to finally look at all the pictures.  The rest of the time I was MIA was spent preparing to be away (at home and at work), and now trying to get caught up on everything since we returned.  It’s well worth it, but my house projects have just had to sit and wait!  Hopefully, this weekend I will get time to do some fun projects at home so that I can share.  In the meantime, I thought I’d share some garage organization inspiration pictures that I have found on Pinterest.

Since I organized our master bedroom closet, I’ve definitely caught the organization bug.  And, Bob realized how nice it is too.  So, he said we have to add organizing the garage to our to-do list.  I’m not going to do it while its cold.  But, I want to start getting ideas so I can get supplies and prepare to start once we get a nice Spring day.

At first I was drawn to just simple organization, plastic containers all stacked and neatly labeled.

Garage Organization Inspiration - Labeled plastic containers

source

Then, Pinterest got the best of me and I began to lust after creating a potting bench in the garage.  It started with more simple versions.

Garage Organization Inspiration - Shelves and Potting Bench

original source unknown

Garage Organization Inspiration -Table as Potting Bench

Marthastewart.com via Good Ideas for you

And, led up to a very feminine potting bench and workstation.

Garage Organization Inspiration - BHG Feminine Potting Table

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I got back to reality and tried to focus on the items we have in our garage that will need organized, including a bike and golf bags. I really liked this system from The Container Store.

Garage Organization Inspiration - Shelving system with bike storage via women's day

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This system from Rubbermaid has great practicality too.  We have a short section of a similar system, so we may be able to expand it.  Plus, we lost our tiki torches in the storm last Fall, but once we replace them, we will need good storage for them in the offseason.

Garage Organization Inspiration - Rubbermaid FastTrack Organization System

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We have some cabinets in the garage, and we have a cart to store our firewood for the chimnea, but all of it does not look nearly as pretty as this space.

Garage Organization Inspiration - Cabinets and shelves

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This makes me wish I had some old cabinets to repaint and put in the garage.

Garage Organization Inspiration - Cabinets and hanging shelves

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Some more practical options:

Garage Organization Inspiration - Hanging Wire baskets and shelves

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Garage Organization Inspiration - Painting and Tools hanging

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Garage Organization Inspiration - Hanging glass jars

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All of these inspiring photos are pinned to my Organization board on Pinterest.  Follow Puddy’s House on Pinterest, if you are not already.

I saw some 50 degree weather in the forecast, but I’m not quite ready for the garage project.  So, I have some more time to gather inspiration.  Is your garage organized?  Is it practical, pretty, or both?

This is the first I’ve linked to pictures from my Pinterest boards.  I did try to link to the original source in this post so that you can repin directly from the source.  I wasn’t able to find the one source, so if you know the origin, please let me know so that I can give proper credit.