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The Library: My Office Away from Home

Hello Monday

Since this weekend was a bust, I decided to show you our library, my office away from home.

I mean, I could talk about how FringeMan came down with the stomach bug, but that’s not a good Monday morning topic.  Let’s just say I declared the second floor of our house a contamination zone and I slept on the couch.  The kids and I stayed as far away from home as possible, so of course that meant at least one trip to the library.

Library: my office away from home

This room is my office away from home.  I plant myself here every time I come to the library.  Usually the entire table is covered with my junk, a few books, and a random magazine or two.  I use the power strip on the floor to plug in my laptop and I go to town.

They have a coffee machine too.  What more do you need?

Books – Coffee – WiFi

Antique bookcases in the public libraryThese bookcases are in my office.  They help me feel smart.

vintage book caes - library

Our library is part old house and part 70’s mod addition.  If you walk from room to room too quickly, you end up in a time warp.

I’ll just show you the old part today.

conference room in library

sitting area in libraryIsn’t this a pretty little nook?  It’s the perfect place for a game of chess or lunch with a friend.  At Christmas, they had a pretty tree right in front of those windows.

vintage lighting fixture on old tray ceiling

The ceilings and moldings are the true masterpieces.  They just don’t build modern houses with such artistic details.

antique lighting fixture, mirror, American flag

As the story goes, and I hope I remember all the facts, our library had a great big fire that made their building unusable.  A family in town donated this house to be used as the new library.  Some time after the addition was built.

antinque light fixture in library

The library is right in the center of town and we often walk to it.

reflection of a women in the mirror

You would think I wouldn’t have any late fees, but I do.

I have long history with libraries.  I’ll leave it at that.

libraries conference room antique furniture

vintage Jaddte lampThis lamp looks like Jadite, but I’m not sure.  Maybe I should convince them to let me bring it the antiques roadshow or something.

collection of vintage ceramic dogs

The library also has random collections of old things, like these ugly ceramic dogs.  They change the collections out from time to time so the patrons can enjoy them.

antique bronze statue of a man

And no library tour would be complete without a naked man on the mantel.

Yes, this is in my office.

So that completes my library tour, at least the really old portion of it.  Despite the antiques, the card catalog is computerized and the librarians are absolute dolls.  They teach us the history of the town and area, get us whatever books we want, and know us by name.

I love my library.

What about you?  Do you visit your library very often?


Satan Cupcakes & A Kitchen Fail

Yesterday several people searched the web for “Satan Cupcakes” and landed on my blog.

I had to let that sink in for a second.  I mean, I know my cooking isn’t the greatest.  I’ve screwed up Pillsbury slice & bake cookies, but Satan cupcakes, really?

The kids love my cupcakes, but I know that’s not saying much.  Give a kid enough sugar and he’ll like anything.

birthday party cupcakes child's party

Then I had to ponder the idea that someone knew just what their friend wanted for their birthday – a Satan Cupcake.

It’s not quite my idea of celebrating, but I can kind of understand how they landed on my blog.  After all, I’ve had my share of kitchen fires, and just yesterday, I did this.

burned sponge

Microwave your sponge on high for five minutes.

Then walk out of the room.

The germs definitely die.

Linking to Mercy Ink’s Heart & Home link-up.  Visit for some fantastic reads.  I promise they are not as wonky as mine. 🙂


Mommy Super-Powers

I’m a mommy with a super-power, and I’m pretty sure I am not alone in all this super-power goodness.

We’re all gifted in different areas, but I suspect someone else may have the same super-power as me, or not.  The range of super-mommy powers is far and wide.

Wanna know what my power is?

Super Mommy

I have super-vision.

Yes, I wear glasses, but they don’t even interfere with with this super-vision.  I can look through all the scratches and smudges on my lens and I can still spot things with my super-vision.

Wanna know what I can see?

Piles of clean clothes, folded and waiting to be put away.

No one else in my house can see these piles.  They don’t have super-vision.

Puzzled kid with cartoon caption

For years I did not understand how everyone walked right past the kitchen island, piled high with their clean clothes.  Now I know.

pile of laundry

They can’t see them.  They don’t have my super-mommy powers.

What are your powers?

Because I know you’ve got them.


Valentine’s Day Inspiration

If you are anything like me, holidays zip by without so much as a nod in my direction.  I mean, I am lucky to catch big days, like Christmas, Easter, and my kid’s birthdays.

The little holidays get caught up in the mix of everyday.  They are here and gone before I can wrap my head around the word celebrate.

I jump into full panic mode if my son comes home from school and tells me he wants to wear a green t-shirt the next day for St. Patty’s day.  I’m not Irish, but I have nothing against Leprechauns and my husband happens to love corned beef and cabbage.  If I miss St. Patty’s day, I miss the sales on one of my husband’s favorite meals.  Not smart.

So this year, I am determined to stay on top of the holidays, big and small.

Source: lisaleonardonline.com via Tricia on Pinterest

I kinda love February.  I mean, it’s smack in the middle of the dreariest part of winter, and I look at all the red and pink hearts as a smidgeon of hope. There is life after winter.

Not only do I get to celebrate my birthday in February, but it’s also Valentine’s Day.

Like I said, I’m not so great with holidays, so my family is lucky to get a kiss from me, but I have been learning something.  Celebrations are important, even on a spiritual level, and while Valentine’s Day isn’t exactly Biblical, the principal of celebrating is all over the Bible.

That’s another post though.  Today is all about inspiration and I am getting way too wordy.

So without further ado, here’s some inspiration.

Source: fiskars.com via Tricia on Pinterest

Source: nestofposies-blog.com via Tricia on Pinterest

This heart wreath, by Nest of Posies, is my absolute favorite.  It’s gorgeous and I’d love one just like it.

This year, I am going to do some Valentine’s Day decorating, so expect a DIY post or two filled with hearts.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?


A Knock On The Door

messy living room

There was a knock on the door.

I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but they say confession is good for the soul.  Now I don’t generally freak out over knocks.  I like people reasonably well, so company is a good thing.  In fact, we are usually happiest when our house is full of people.

I only wish someone would knock when my house is clean, but nobody ever seems to make it in the two minute window of a neat and orderly home.

My guest walks into my living room and says “Oh.  Have you guys been sick?”

“No.  Nope.  Thank the Lord, we’ve all been well.”

It’s just that apparently we do not like our beds, because that can be the only reason we have 4 blankets, a sleeping bag, and a stack of pillows strewn all around the living room.

I scooped up a ginormous stack of blankets; one flopped over my head.  Then I threw them in a corner.

It was no use trying to save good housekeeping face, anyhow.  No amount of scrambling could make my mess look better.  My living room resembled a homeless shelter without the musty, rank odor.

So the next time my house gets spick & span clean, I’m announcing it on facebook.  Please do me a favor and drop by, but be quick.  The window for clean is extremely short!


Trash -2- Treasure: DIY Pallet Wall Art

I told you about my dining room woes the other day when I woke up purposed to spread glitter and glue and freshen up our neglected dining space.  Well, one thing lead to another and the projects kept flowing.

Christmas salt shaker ornament

FringeMan even busted out the screw gun and wall mud.

I am convinced all projects would be left undone if we never had company.  Every single time we invite a whole crowd over, something else gets done.  If you’re just coming to dinner by yourself, as a couple, or one family, chances are not good for home improvement, but if you come as a pack, we’ll put on our tool belts and get to work.

There’s energy in numbers and apparently motivation too.

ornament salt and pepper shakerI originally said this mini-makeover was going to be cost free, and it almost was, but I splurged the big bucks and sacrificed $17 for the beauty of my dining room.

I had to make one of Edie’s pom-pom yarn wreaths.  I couldn’t help myself.  I cannot resist hanging shag on my wall.

Shag Wreat DIY Project

Edie’s little girls made her wreath and they did a better job than me.  Who knew there’s a science to creating yarn pom-poms.  I made four before I got the hang of it.  Now some places on my wreath look like they need a hair cut.  Oh, well.  I need a hair cut too.  We’ll both have to wait a while.

DIY Pallet Wall Art Christmas

I hung my new pom-pom wreath on a pallet my husband salvaged from a trash heap in front of a factory.  My husband intended to use it as kindling in our wood stove, but when I walked into the garage, I fell in love with those little wooden squares.

FringeMan looked at me sideways when I hauled it into the house, but I knew I could use it somewhere.

I had some leftover red paint from the table and slapped a coat on.  The boards are still rough cut and have little shards of hanging wood in places, but I decided to go with the raw look.  Besides, if you knew me, you’d know there’s no way in this world I would sand that whole entire pallet.

trash to treasure pallet wall art

I’m not sure what I’ll hang on the pallet after the holidays, but the options are about as many as my imagination will allow.

I thought about using it as a photo board, hanging the kids art from it, making one of those nifty fabric banners that are so popular, etc, etc.  I’ll have to wait for inspiration to hit me.

After glamming up the walls garbage picker style, we went out and bought a rug.  My husband cleaned out the garage and found two tools he bought for a very specific job.  The job changed and he never used these tools.  Since they weren’t common and he had no real practical use for them, we returned them and bought a cheapo rug.

dining room

We have big plans to put new flooring in our dining room, but we’ll have to throw a block party before that project gets done.

So what do you think?  Would you hang a wooden pallet on your wall?


My Dining Room Got A Face Lift

I don’t know what happened to me overnight, but I woke up purposed to give my dining room a face lift.

It might make sense if I dreamed of Martha Stewart or glue guns and Hobby Lobby, but I dreamed I was getting married.  Yes, FringeMan was the lucky groom.  Naturally after a night full of slumber and nuptials, I’d wake up ready tackle the world and my dining room.

And tackle the world I did.

DIY old map into home decorYou see this makeover needed to cost a whopping zero dollars and zero cents.  There’s no wiggle room in our budget, so I attempted to shop my house.  That’s not as easy as it sounds.  My attic is empty, as is my basement.  I have two closets.  Count them.  And, one is for the Christmas decorations, so it’s currently full of empty boxes.

I got desperate and entered the dark recesses of the laundry room.

Que up the spooky music.

It was there I found a map rolled up and sitting on a top shelf.  Then I found two circles of cardboard.

Covering the cardboard circles with the map made perfect sense.  The world is round.  It was an “Aha” moment.

DIY circle maps @ the domestic fringe

I kept looking because my space was too big for two circles, even if they were representing the entire world.  I needed a third circle.  I’ve heard people say to decorate in threes, besides, when appliances break, they go in threes.  Same principle.  I think.

The only circle I could find in the entire house was my placemat.  I hesitated, because if this didn’t work, I would ruin my entire set of four matching placemats.  Then I remembered I paid .59 cents a piece for them and felt like my home was worth risking .59 cents for.  I’m a real gambling gal.

I was also out of real estate with my map, but I had glitter a plenty, so I did what any two year old can do, I made a mess.

DIY collage wall

Turns out I kinda like it.  Once I got started hanging things, I realized I needed more, so I grabbed a blue bird my daughter created with a stencil and markers, but something was still missing, so I shopped my living room where I turned up these two framed postcards I bought in Maine a few years back.

blue bird - child art @ the domestic fringe

What do you think?  Does it work?

This is our fourth Christmas in this house and I’ve had blank dining room walls for all those years.  You see, I was waiting for the walls to get fixed and a floor to get laid before I decorated, but I am tired of waiting and I’m even more tired of white walls.

fromed sailboat postcard Maine

A wise woman once said, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”

I’m choosing to believe her.

DIY home decor glitter deer and collage wall

Eventually the walls will get fixed, and we will lay a floor and paint the ceiling, but for now, I’m embracing the perfectly imperfect and filling up my walls.

Because we all know by the time that bathroom door gets properly trimmed out, it will be time to sell the house.