Friday, October 27, 2006

Sharing My Client’s Office Makeover

Shelley’s office is overlooking the Houston Galleria area on the 23 floor, just off Post Oak Blvd. I will have to say, that when I first walked into this office, it was overwhelming. There was just so much “stuff” everywhere. We had a real challenge to decluttering and creating a great work space that would be a serene place for Shelley. Her boss, for whom she conducts his affairs, gave Shelley the freedom to have her office done to her taste.

We used art that Shelley found online and ordered. This became our inspiration pieces. We chose paint colors for the walls and purchased other accessories for the office to flow with our color scheme.

Problem: The door from the hallway forced the room arrangement that made Shelley’s office area a walk through area.
Solution: We had the building management to move the door opening to the other end of the room. This allowed Shelley’s area to be the center focal point when entering the room and also gave her a sky view, which she did not have before.

Her boss had 2 file boxes that he wanted out on an entry table because he needed access to them frequently.

Solution: I found some wonderful legal size file boxes at Pottery Barn (a little pricey, but worth it). They were fabric covered in a jute and we chose a color to fit in.

Problem: Shelley had an array of rubber stamps that needed to be out because of their frequent uses.
Solution: I found 2 enameled baskets that matched our colors to keep on her desk, which also housed some note pads.

Problem: Her “to be filed” box needed to allow larger notebook binders.

Solution: I found 2 more baskets at Marshall’s, one for her “to be filed” and the other for out going mail.

Problem: All of the mail, papers to be reviewed, signed, etc. went into a tickler divider file. This file had to stay on her desk because it was the work horse of her communication with her boss.
Shelley purchased a new file and I covered it in raw silk, wired ribbon and acid free lining paper. (See photo)

This was a challenging, but fun project. Art pieces were custom framed at Hobby Lobby. Hope this office makeover was an inspiration for you to try. Let me know how it comes out! (Press my profile to get to my “email me” address.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Which Garden Will You Tend?

A lady had a dream one night of coming to an old wooden gate. Laying close by in the rubble, she noticed the key that was somewhat hidden from view. She opens the gate to find a garden. It was grown over and totally dead.

Beyond that garden, she saw an archway leading to another garden. She could see the sun shining on it’s beautiful flowers and greenery. An invisible force seemed to have drawn her to the beautiful garden. As she entered in, she began to tend to the beautiful garden.

Suddenly, she turned around to find the once dead garden now was also a beautiful garden full of beautiful flowers and plants.

When she awoke, she felt like the dream meant that if she would begin to nurture the good and positive things of her life, she would soon realize that the negative things in her life would also soon come to life.

I believe that this is so true with our lives. We tend to put too much focus on the negative, smothering out all the good that is around us. I want to practice counting my blessings and focusing on the good that God is doing in my life.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phil. 4:8

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Meet My Hubby

In 1974 I married the man of my dreams. Gary, 21, from a fabulous family, out of the most fantastic church and home grown by the world's greatest pastor, James Kilgore.

Once I made my start living for God at age 14, I prayed for direction for my life. I could never imagine myself, married, having a home and children and living a "normal" life. I knew that my entire life must be dedicated and full time for the work of God. When I met Gary, we shared the same passions for kingdom work and more than that, we fell head over heels in love. It has been that love and our commitment to our vows we took in marriage, that has carried us through every rocky road.

Our first six months married, we traveled full time preaching revivals in churches. I would play my accordion, piano or organ and sing, then Gary would preach.

In the fall of 1974 God called us to a college town in Brookings, South Dakota. We pioneered a new United Pentecostal Church we called "The Voice of Truth".

From there, we traveled, pastored in Winston-Salem, NC, Marksville, LA, pioneered another new work in the Clear Lake area of Houston, TX and presently pastory in Crosby, TX.

Gary is so much like his pastor, full of compassion and very close to God. When you live with a preacher, you know him like no one else. I can say that he practices what he preaches.

I am blessed to have a husband who is a great Daddy and Dad to our 11 year old daughter, Hannah, and our 20 year old son, Aaron.

We are pretty much together 24/7. When we are apart, we thank God for cell phones. lol

Gary's ministry and what he is at the core is faith in a faithful God, possessing a positive mental attitude, guarding the words of your mouth, and declaring the good things that God has for our lives.

In the past few years, Gary has experience what has been diagnosed as post polio syndrome. It is trying to progress daily. I, first hand, see his struggles, and I also see him "pressing on", waiting for the promise of God to come. This has been a true test. It is in these kind of times when we prove God's faithfulness in our lives. We just keep doing what is right, then God comes through. We have seen it too many times to throw in the towel now! I will someday write of the miracle working power of God in his life.

Learn more about Gary in his own blog: or a google search, Gary Madden. He is all over the internet with his many recent entrepreneur endeavors.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Meet My Mother

Since I enjoy writing about home life, I think it is necessary to give honor where honor is due. My mother is my inspiration. In all of my travels, I observe woman everywhere I go, take notes and learn from them. I have been blessed to have been trained by the best. My memories of home are all good. I am thankful that I do not have any "baggage" that I take with me from my past.

My mother married at 17, had 3 girls and 10 years later a son. She was the classic SAHM (stay at home mom). After my Dad died from Leukemia, she sold her home in the New Orleans suburb, and moved to her home roots, Alexandria, La.

Here are some things you would love about my Mom.

When you go to her home, it is so clean. It smells fresh, the floors are clean, the whole house is uncluttered, her sheets and towels smell so good, her beds are made with very soft covers, she always has plenty of bright white wash cloths, there is always the aroma of home made cooking: gumbo, biscuits, fried chicken tenders, real mashed potatoes, gravy, roast, garden vegetables, etc. etc. Her cooking is great!

Although she is now 75 plus, she still keeps her yard immaculate! Every time I talk to her, she generally has just mowed either the front or back yard. I really can’t figure out how she gets anything done with all the calls she receives from her kids and grandchildren.

For Christmas, she always makes hand made items that are very nice or wonderful tins of home made candy.

She is the queen of "fresh". Most of my "fresh" ideas come from her.

My mother is about 6' tall and has always been a classic dresser. Her hair is the perfect salt and pepper and great texture.

Greatest attribute: she is a Christian. Her home church now is the Pentecostals of Alexandria. This is an awesome church.

One memory I love: although we cleaned our own rooms when we
were at home, I remember times that my Mom would detail clean one of our rooms.
I like the time she dyed all the sheets on the bed and made them look new and
made some curtains.

Billie Parker Walston, widow of Loyd Walston, Belle Chasse, La.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fresh Touches for the Home

One of my yahoo group members asked the question to our group:
"How can I make my home feel more like a home? I would like ideas on decorating,

I think a lot of us strive to make our house a home. In spite of all of the beautiful decorating ideas, I really think we make our house a home when we add the "fresh touches" it needs to acquire that real "at home" feeling.

Here are some "fresh touch ideas" I have found that I think you will enjoy using. I have listed a few.

Scented candles that you light and really use. My all time most favorite is Vanilla/Orange by Trapps.

A pretty container with sharpened pencils, eraser end down.

Fresh flowers.

Clear glass canisters with food open in sight. For example: breakfast cereal, homemade cookies, candy.

Smooth jazz music playing in a freshly cleaned room.

A bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter or a small platter on your coffee table with green apples.

Current magazines on your coffee table or a place near a seating area.

Something cooking or baking that smells wonderful.

Freshly ironed pillow cases.

Freshly made ice tea in the refrigerator with a clear glass bowl of slice lemons beside it. (covered with clear wrap)

Remember that the woman generally sets the tone in the home. If you stay kind to yourself, you will find yourself treating others kindly. Our attitude towards our home and our care for it, will reflect in all the small things we do. Fresh touches are ways we can bring life in our homes. It’s the small things that really make the biggest difference.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Simple Storage Solution 101

Here is just a very simple idea...nothing earth shattering, but one, that you can actually do and I think you will find useful.

For years I tolerated the area under my vanity bathroom sink. It was very cluttered and unorganized. I think for most of us, no matter how organized we think we are, we usually have some area that we tend to ignore.

Here was my solution. It is simple and inexpensive and works great. Clear everything out and sort the items.

Purchase gallon size zipper type zip lock bags. Label each bag with a stick on computer label using your favorite font in a large font size.

Now, label each bag, fill and zip. Place all in 2 or more dish pans standing up so you can see the label that you have place near the top of the bag.

I used new white pails, size 19 - 24 font size in Incised901BT or Arial font. Some of my bags are: Hotel Samples (these are saved for emergencies or later donated to Woman’s Shelters), Cotton Balls & Q Tips, Swimming Stuff (suntan lotions, sunburn care, ear plugs, etc.), Colds & Allergies (medicines that you don’t use everyday), etc.

It is very simple to find things when I need them and super easy to put things back.

Happy Organizing!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Decorating Tip 101 - "Using What You've Got"

Number one, if you are on a limited budget or do not choose to strip a room and start from scratch, here is a suggestion.

When “using what you’ve got”, you can work with focal points. Here is an example: The art piece pictured will be my focal point. I will pull colors from this picture. You could let the picture be your inspiration for your entire room, or if limited, just decorate one area pulling together colors.

If I were to use this as my inspiration, I would hang it over my large wall over my black piano. On top of the piano, I would use my tall gold metal candle holders that would come slightly into the picture area. I would place the tallest candle on the right and beside it, the shorter candle holder on the left. Use dark red colored candles.

If you can pretend that all objects on the piano would form a triangle shape, that will help you design your stuff on the piano. The triangle shape I am using to illustrate is one with the right line being the tallest and going straight up, bottom line, straight left, following the top of the piano, and the angle going from left bottom to top right.

I use books a lot to help pull in colors. You can go to any thrift store and peek behind the paper covers and find wonderful colored fabric hardback books you can purchase for 1 - 2 dollars.

Find three books in colors that you can pull from the picture. For example: deep red or the deep gold in the left bottom corner. Moving to the left of the candle holders, in the center of the piano, stack the books laying down in a neat stack with something black on top, for example a pair of black gloves.

Now go one step lower and to your left place one single object such as a piece of red pottery.

If this were in an office, you could use black pencils in a holder, red binders, etc. Just let your inspiration piece help you pull other colors in your room i.e., rugs, pillows, etc.

Have fun. Let me know if you use this idea and succeed.

Enjoy more art inspirations from my sister, Judy on her site: