September 9, 2014

Blog Tour Bus Stops at My Kentucky Living




I want to say “thank you” to Kim from Curtain Queen Creates for featuring My Kentucky Living on her blog during this blog tour.

 I have been blogging for almost a year and a half and have made so many “virtual”blog friends. I have visited many blogs and have had many visits from more established bloggers, who have encouraged me by leaving such kind comments. The home and lifestyle blog niche has so many kind and nurturing people. I encounter, almost every day, the kindness, the warmth, and the general helpfullness that fellow bloggers show to me and one another.  I am making some nice friends, whom I hope to meet someday...at a conference.

My husband, our eleven year old golden retriever Mikey, and I have downsized from a large Georgian style house on 80 acres. Yes…we lived in the country. It was a great place to rear our family. Our children had 80 acres on which to roam and be safe...until the coyotes and bears came to the farm. (that's another story) Our house had four staircases from the basement to the old fashioned attic…and way too many stairs!  We now live in a downsized one story house, with an unfinished basement. (yea! for storage) We live in a wonderful neighborhood with great neighbors! Even Mikey loves his new neighborhood. He has a hill and a large tree in the front yard under which he likes to rest and keep an eye on the neighborhood activity. 

My Kentucky Living is my story of downsizing and decorating our new home...and making My Kentucky Life in a new home. 

Mikey...our golden fur baby. He is such a sweet boy! 
He assists me with most of my photo shoots. 
His support is unconditional.



And the downsizing story begins... 



Welcome to our Kentucky home

                              The Sitting Room


The Entry... 

Upon entering our home you will first come to the more formal part of the house....the sitting room, aka petite living room, and the dining room. Both are much smaller than in the other house but I have figured out how to make them work. The dining table which used to use both leaves...now has none.  We have had a few dinners at the house, and thanks to today's less formal entertaining we seat people by using both the kitchen and dining room tables. And there is also the plate on the knee system too. 

Our old home was very traditional...and so is the new home. I had to choose which furniture would come to the new house, and for the most part I am pleased with my choices. One regret I have is that we had to sell the baby grand...which is the piano my children played during their years of piano lessons. I remember hearing the tinkling of piano keys while I prepared dinner. Oh well...seasons and changes!  I have integrated my traditional pieces into our new spaces, and I am pretty pleased with of  most rooms. 

Sitting Room with new orange pillows. 
I am always changing pillows.

Our house is full of color. I mean strong color!  Ours is not a neutral or taupe house.  I have shades of yellow/gold, black, and green.  I know that it probably sounds a little crazy, but it works for us.  All of our rooms have a punch of color somewhere.  The parlor has purple wing back chairs and and a golden yellow color on the walls, with a black hand tied wool oriental. The dining room has the same wall color, but has an indigo Persian wool rug. 


Dining room with blue and white pieces.

The Kitchen...

Did I mention that I like color?


A Few of my Baskets...


Some of my Pottery...
I love pottery.


We did a mini renovation on the kitchen after we moved in. We added black pearl granite countertops and backsplash, and added a new refrigerator and range. I brought the drapes from the old house...and find that they work very well in the new house. 



                              Kitchen Drapes...

The Master Suite...

I also brought these  master bedroom drapes with me. I had the bedroom painted to match the fabric. Hearts of Palm, by Sherwin Williams if you like the color. The large light fixture (below) is something we purchased and had installed just before we moved.







I made this shower curtain from fabric that matches the drapes above. 
The lighting makes the color different in each shot! 



Entry to the master suite.



The Great Room...


The great room has a masculine feel. After all, I have a sitting room. I opted to hang hubby's collection of historical prints, and I included a few other items from his military years.  This room has the only newly purchased furniture...a leather sofa and matching chair. Hubby told me that he always wanted leather. I am ok with leather, but I am glad that he is happy with the selection. 

 Masculine Touches in the Great Room

Now that I have given you a quick home tour...

I will answer the questions that each of us has and 

this will let you get to know a little more about me, 

and my story.





What am I working on? 

I always seem to have several things going on at the same time. Is there such a thing as design ADD? First this, then that. So...I have been working on several projects, and continue to, but all of them fall into the category of working on my house. Also, I am still pulling things from storage that have been there too long. Then I must integrate those items into the "stash." 

Last week's project was  having new marble tile installed in our hall/guest bathroom..and there was a hitch. Isn't there always some kind of hitch in home projects. The company sent enough marble tile...but there was a problem the boxes of marble did not all match. Some boxes had a white shade of marble, while the other boxes for the job had a grey marble. Hmmm. The installer called the company. I think he was scratching his head too! Like...how does this happen. The matching shade of tile was on its way pronto. Just an example of how things go with redoing things in a house. 

For the last year and a half I have been turning our smaller Kentucky house into a comfortable and cozy well styled home. I was determined to not let the smaller square footage affect the style and quality of our house. We downsized from a 4500 square foot house to an appx twenty four hundred square foot house.  When we bought our new home it was a nice house that had a wonderful floor plan and excellent wood trim. (Yeah! Crown trim and tray ceilings!) There was no landscaping, but I knew that I could fix that. 

My story on the house was getting it ready to move into in a one month time period! That is the amount of time from closing on one house to closing on the new house. I did it. Carpet was pulled up. Hardwood was put down. New paint was put in every room. New granite was put on kitchen cabinets. Then we moved in. New appliances were installed. Landscaping was added to the front of 
the house after moving in.  Almost every light fixture, and all faucets, have been changed! My plan was to turn this builder house into more of a custom home. 

I am almost there…but there are still a few more projects. All in all, our house project is turning out nicely. But, is anyone ever really "finished" with a house and home? I need to keep busy, and this house is just the ticket.

As "empty nesters" we do not need a large family home anymore…and the children know where to find us! We have less to mow, less to clean, and less to heat and air-condition. My Kentucky Living is a blog about my Kentucky life in creating a stylish and comfortable home. I love design projects. I love making flower arrangements. And I love moving things around my house to create fresh new looks. My Kentucky home is turning into a fine place to live My Kentucky life!

 How does my work differ from others of its genre?
  
    I think that my blog may be a little different in blogland in that I speak from the view of an empty nester baby boomer! (I am over 50. And that is all I will say on the subject.) Kidding. But seriously, things are different for us. We have more free time. We do not need a huge house to clean and heat or cool. We do not need a huge amount of land to mow or space for kids to roam. It is just different after the birdies have flow from the nest.  I figure that there all lots of other people who have either done what we have done or are thinking of doing what we did…Downsizing. It is not for the faint of heart! :-0

I  I also speak from the point of view of a Kentucky woman. I am very much into researching Kentucky history and pioneer life...as most of my ancestors were pioneer settlers when Kentucky was still part of Virginia…pre 1800s. I like to also include bits and pieces of Kentucky history as well as what might be "happening" somewhere in the state. I like to show people why I love living in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  

           
Why do I write/create what I do? 
  
Why do I write a blog? 

    I consider myself a fairly creative person. My house is one huge art project. First off, I am a retired high school French teacher, who now teaches a few college French classes part time. I love to write. I love color and design. I love photography. I have a house to make a home.  I may not be the best…but I love trying to learn.  When I started my blog…I thought of it as my own little magazine that I could send out to friends, and they could see how my house project was going. Then little by little I had a few more readers each week. And here I am now. I have a several thousand readers per month…and they are such a nice bunch of readers! I hope you will visit me soon also.


How does your writing/creating process work? 
    
     My process begins with my taking pictures of what I have done around the house, or someplace I have been. I am always snapping pics.  I love to take photos and I practice getting the best pictures that I can. After I have the pictures that I want to use…I edit them a little to improve color and balance. Next, I begin a new blog post by adding the pics that I want to use in the post. After the pics are in the post…the story part begins. As an educator* I recognize that I probably do not always follow all of the rules and mechanics of essay writing…but in order to convey the feeling that I am talking to each of my readers individually, I just talk/write in a natural conversational tone. I find that starting with photographs and then telling about them, works for me. I convey my gift of gab to digital print. I seem to like to tell stories...and that works well when narrating my life, or part of my life, on the blog.    

      As for how the creative process of bringing my house design together goes ...well, that can be a little helter skelter! For our current house I tried to shop from my own things when pulling things together initially... whether it be wool rugs, quilts, blankets, curtains, furniture, or décor items. I am the type of person who hangs on to things. I do not get rid of something just because I am not using it this minute...because next week I may want to mixup things. I like to move my collections around the house. I move pillows around too....on a whim. I also tend to hang on to older furniture if it is a quality piece, or if it is a family piece. I love old historic pieces...and I have a couple of them in the house. They would not be valuable to others maybe, but they are valuable to me for sentimental reasons. I really have not purchased much for our new home. I have tried to keep with the idea of use and reuse what I already have. 

*I am a retired high school French teacher who was a stay-at-home mother during my the time my children were in school. Now, I teach a few French classes at a local college while fixing up our home, and writing my blog. 


Kentucky Julep
  

The next stop on the blog tour is Kentucky Julep Blog...The creator of this blog just happens to be my daughter. Her blog is very different from mine and she speaks from the point of view of a newly married thirty something year old professional. She is the director of library communications, marketing, and public relations at a very large Kentucky university. She loves to cook, bake, and decorate her home. 

When Allison, the writer behind KentuckyJulep.com, was nine years old she asked for a typewriter as a gift. Though these days her words come across the screen of a Mac instead of the paper rolled into her old Smith-Corona, she is still a writer. She’s a born and raised Kentuckian who has been out to see the world, but always circles back to the Bluegrass. The marketing director for an academic library system by day, her life outside of work is full of DIY projects, cooking, fiber arts, and a bit of running. Passionate about travel, she shares family trips with her husband and stepdaughter, and couple-y getaways with her husband, who encourages her in all her many pursuits. A fan of midcentury design and vintage shopping, she’s working to slowly recreate the décor of Sterling Cooper in her living room. 


The post that I would like to feature is one she recently did about refinishing an old mid-century chest/console that I purchased for her and then painted black. I was helping with her first post grad school apartment and ran across this great looking piece. At the time I figured that she would not like the dark brown wood grain...so I painted it. As it turns out...she loves mid-century style, so she took the piece back to its original look. It looks wonderful after her hard work! Dare I say..."Like mother, like daughter."  She is a good daughter...and I love her so much. And proud...well yes! 


Retro Refinishing....

  Kentucky Julep Blog 
Please visit to see how this old chest/dresser was brought back to its original look.

 http://kentuckyjulep.com/2014/09/01/refinishing-a-midcentury-dresser/

Thank You to everyone who is visiting me for the first time. I would like to invite you to sign up to receive my posts by email...so that we can become friends. I have lots of pins for you to take a look at also. I am look forward to your joining my great group of blog friends. 

Thanks for visiting,
My Kentucky Living
My Kentucky Living

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.

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