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Inside the Hammock

I searched my blog only to discover I had forgotten to tell you about the hammock. Yes, the one inside the house.

It’s not a traditional style hammock, the type you hang between trees or suspend in a stand, but rather more like a hanging chair and it’s my favorite spot. 

My favorite spot.

My favorite spot.


It took awhile to get it right. At first, we bought a stand, but it broke. It bent under the weight of all the kids sitting in it, like a puppy pile-up.

Lounging teen.

Lounging teen.


Then we hung it from the ceiling and followed the directions to a T. My son ended up on the floor twice with the hardware barely missing his head. But I did not give up.
Hanging hammock chair.

Hanging hammock chair.

 

Finally we bolted it through the joist and used an aircraft-rated wing nut to hold it in place. We added a swivel device so the hammock could spin without unscrewing the mechanism. It’s worked and the hammock is secure now.

Inspired by Pinterest.

Inspired by Pinterest.

 

Inspired by Pinterest and because I owned one already, I threw a circular sisal rug under the hammock chair to define the space. It’s tucked away in the office area and near a window that looks out on the backyard. It’s the perfect quiet spot. 

A porch is perfect!

A porch is perfect!

 
If you have an engineer handy to help you install an indoor hammock, I highly recommend it. 

© Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2016.

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A Late Bloomer

Back in the day, in order to have green fabric, they used arsenic in the dye. Nowadays, we take this color thing for granted. We have every color in the rainbow available to us, minus the poison!

This is so technologically advanced, it blows my mind.

I have always had trouble knowing what my favorite color was. When people asked me that question, so seemingly simple, I would waffle. I had no idea. I liked them all. My kids begged me to tell them my favorite color and I couldn’t do it.

Ponies in the Marsh.

Ponies in the Marsh at Assateague State Park.

One day my husband said to me, “are you kidding me? You bought another green sweater? I think that’s a record.” It was true. I had fourteen green sweaters and it suddenly dawned on me… like a piece of information that had been hiding in the shadows, lurking.  I love green!  I knew it like I know my own name…. all of a sudden.

Green and grey eye candy.

Green and grey eye candy from Pinterest.

It hasn’t faded. Just like my color commitment phobia before, now I knew with certainty that I craved the color green. It embodies life itself. It represents the earth freshly watered and the grass after a storm. Green is a living color, the color of moss and trees, artichokes and asparagus, mojitos, margaritas and of course Kermit the Frog.

Emerald green!

Emerald green!

I held out on this life-altering decision, and like a late bloomer, am now longing for green. I want an emerald green sofa. I want to cast off the old “sofas should be neutral rule” so you can change the cheap things and instead bring green into my house like a tattoo I can’t easily get rid of. I want to commit to this color.

Green inspiration.

A painting on silk by my great grandmother Lela Knox.

  Perhaps this is a rebellion of sorts, a rebellion against the rules of design. But for me, there is no going back.

© copyright 2015 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

Clean House Junkie

I am bringing back an old post that still rings true and makes me laugh. Enjoy!

My husband will not let me play bingo. Ever. He knows I maintain a delicate balance between my religiously induced disciplines and a genetic predisposition to all sorts of addictions, including gambling. As long as I avoid temptation, I stay in balance. That is why I am no good at backgammon. I am not allowed to practice.

With a somewhat naturally addictive slant to my personality, I can take many things to an extreme that is not necessarily normal. I just read an article in “Real Simple” magazine (see link below) about how American wives are not happy because they spend too much time maintaining a clean house and helicopter parenting their children. We should instead drink wine and ignore our children like the French do and they would grow up to be well-adjusted, successful adults. I promise you I drink wine and ignore my children as much as possible, but so far the jury is out on how they will turn out.

I do love a clean house. The cleaner the house, the more I want to clean. It is never done. It causes me to crave cleanliness and to yell at everyone when they come in and drop their backpacks on the floor. The high from a clean house is cheap and leaves me wanting more. I am a clean-house junkie now craving the next fix. The problem is then I want to chase the dog with the vacuum and confine my children to their rooms. This is no good for anyone, even me, and I have to find balance.

Of course these periods of manic cleaning are more often followed by periods of complete inaction. I let things go until I am embarrassed by a neighbor who wanders over, or a friend who pops by, which causes me to spring into action. Usually just in time for their departure and once again only my family is around to witness the clean house and start the cycle all over again.

The healthiest form of cleaning for me involves changing things up. A quick rearrange of the furniture gets rid of the dust bunnies and provides a decorating change of scenery. I usually play around with the things I already have, just to see how it will look over here instead. I encourage you to try a new arrangement; you might surprise yourself. Don’t be wedded to the things you have had in the same spot for the last ten years. Change is good.

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/spend-time-00100000077167/index.html#2

© 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio

Budget Botanicals

I have a long, empty hall at the top of the stairs. It is one of two interior spaces that still need to be painted and nothing has motivated me to tackle it. It is narrow and boring, and until now, I have had no desire to take it on.

The dreary upstairs hall.

The “Biohazard” sign says it all.

Then, I saw this idea: an inexpensive way to bring nature into a windowless, upstairs hallway. An idea that has put a bee in my britches. I am aching to paint the hall now, if only to properly show off my newly created (Yes! By moi!) botanical prints.

Fern.

Fern.

These botanical prints were made on my phone, with leaves from my yard. I braved the January rain and cold to bring in a bit of nature. I first saw the idea on Pinterest from Better Homes & Gardens. Below is the inspiration photograph:

Pinned from Better Homes & Gardens.

Pinned from Better Homes & Gardens.

Better Homes & Gardens suggested using a scanner to scan leaves and print them out. The scanned plants were a little too real looking (um, it’s January and everything is brown) so I went for photographs instead, brightened with the exposure altered to give them a fresh look. I then chose “gallery style” mats with a regular 8×10 opening, and was able to print the photographs using my printer and photo paper. I purchased the frames from Michael’s on sale for $18 each and used most of the ink in my printer, I’m sure.

Bringing in a bit of nature.

Bringing in a bit of nature.

The large mat emphasizes the prints and gives them the gallery look that I was after. I will hang all three prints in a nice even row and it will give the hall a feeling of light and air as you walk along it. Now, I am inspired to paint the walls Benjamin Moore’s Green Hydrangea. This is the same color as my downstairs hall, which will provide continuity, since you can see both halls from the front door.

Goldfinger.

Goldfinger.

Cedar?

Cedar?

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This project was simple and inexpensive. I used leaves, but you could easily use feathers or fabric. Let your imagination run wild!

Feathers would look good too!

Feathers would look good too!

The botanicals are just what is needed in this dull space. Hallways are an opportunity to show a little spunk and I can’t wait to get this one started!

The Botanicals.

The Botanicals.

Up next, PAINT! And I still need to hang up these pictures…

© copyright 2014 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

A Girl, A Rag Rug, and Life

My dear readers, Happy New Year! As I sit here on a bright, snowy morning, I am contemplating BIG CHANGE. 2014 promises to be an exciting year, and I have been in a quiet, reflective mood. Prima will be entering High School this fall, and we are wrapped up in a flurry of applications, essay writing, entrance exams and deadlines. Oh my.

Prima, growing up.

Prima, growing up.

My crafty Prima made a present for me from scrap fabric. A little braided rag rug that fits perfectly in the downstairs bathroom. I added a funky piece of original art to the wall that I found in a local store, Peg Leg Vintage. Sometimes you’ve just gotta splurge. The handmade rug, with its splash of color, is cheery in this space.

A braided rag rug.

A braided rag rug.

The book she got the idea from is called, The Prairie Girl’s Guide To Life By Jennifer Worick. Every girl, prairie or otherwise, should have this book. With tips including, “arrange wildflowers,” and “practice the art of courtship,” how can you resist? This book is the key to a happy teenage girl, or at least a less dramatic one.

The braided rug.

The braided rug.

The Prairie Girl's Guide To Life.

The Prairie Girl’s Guide To Life.

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When change is afoot, I find myself rearranging my physical space, if only to impose a little order. Sometimes, I will bring in a bit of nature. Perhaps I am trying to deflect the teenage hormones that are flying through the atmosphere and bring calm to my surroundings.

A bit of nature.

A bit of nature.

My workspace is orderly with minimal distractions, my mind is clear, and I am ready to face the adventures 2014 may bring.

My workspace.

My workspace.

Simply Turquoise had an incredible year in 2013. This blog has grown beyond my expectations. I enjoy the creative outlet it provides and hope to continue to bring ideas and family life tidbits to you throughout 2014. Thank you, dear readers, you are an inspiration to me.

© copyright 2014 Mariam d’Eustachio at SimplyTurquoise.

The Christmas Procrastinator

I am the ultimate procrastinator. In the past, I have waited so long to put up the Christmas tree, I could have gotten it from the curb. Our family celebrates Christmas in January, so the prolonged season of “cheery holiday goodness” can last practically until Spring.

This year, I have done it! Christmas by anyone’s calendar has not yet arrived. We have gotten creative with paper decorations because of the two-year-old force of destruction wandering around the house. This may be the first tree ever to be decorated with origami ninja stars. The paper boats (or hats depending on how you look at them) and snowflakes are what started it all. The older kids have gone completely crazy making wreaths and such from paper.

Origami wreath, by Secondo.

Origami wreath, by Secondo.

This tree is so pretty! The snowflake idea was inspired by The Nesting Placea blog I read periodically. She seems to decorate with paper because teenage boys may be just as hazardous to your decor as two-year-olds. I embraced the idea and left most of the glass ornaments in the box, perhaps until 2025.

Snowflakes and origami.

Snowflakes and origami.

Here is a glimpse of what we have been up to, mostly just sitting by the fire and cutting paper snowflakes. It is totally fun in a retro sort of way.

Old-fashioned fun.

Old-fashioned fun.

Origami ninja star.

Origami ninja star.

I added just a few sparkly ornaments and hung the beaded snowflakes in the windows.

A nice view of our old truck.

A nice view of our old truck.

The quick rearrange of living room furniture to fit the tree in.

Chaos!

Chaos!

Getting better....

Getting better….

I love it at night.

I love it at night.

If only I could get those Christmas cards done! Maybe next year…

©copyright Mariam d’Eustachio 2013 at Simply Turquoise.