Sunday, November 3, 2013

"a big house on the prairie gets a loving restoration".

This is the icing on the cake for our house-hard-work.  INSPIRED HOME OMAHA magazine wrote about our home in the November-December 2013 issue that will be delivered to subscribers this week, and went online at the Inspired Home Omaha web site this weekend.  We are humbled and giddy all at the same time. 

Editor Chris Christen was gracious to feature us in her opening editorial on Page 6, and our article entitled "A Big House on the Prairie Gets a Loving Restoration" is on Pages 50-57.  Use the link below to take a peek!

Chris and I went to grade school and high school together.  We rekindled our friendship over this process which has made this whole wonderful ordeal even more magical.

Chris and Karen in Third Grade - Oakland Elementary School

Chris and Karen in 2013

It was great fun to see that Chris included 22 add'l photos on the Inspired Home Omaha web site.  You can view them by clicking on the Amazing Spaces / More Photos (22) link.

We really feel honored by the magazine article.  Mike said "It feels like a fitting capstone to this project, and I feel that we experienced God's Grace by even getting the house done."   It seems amazing that we started this little blog back in 2010 as a place to encourage Mike with the progress he was making on the house.  Back when there was so much yet to do that you could easily forget that you had done anything!  Magic happened when many of you followed us, and cheered us along the way with your loving comments & encouragement. 

Thank you!

While you are on the Inspired Home web site, I recommend you click on the SUBSCRIBE tab. For just $9.99 per year you can have this fabulous magazine delivered to your doorstep - 6 beautiful issues. As you can see, it is a gorgeous magazine chock-full of ideas & inspiration, published right here in the heartland.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

coming soon.

Look who is scheduled to be featured in the November/December issue of INSPIRED HOME?  "A Big House on the Prairie Gets a Loving Restoration" is the title.  Rumor has it that the magazine will roll off the presses this week!
I will probably tell you when it does.  Smile.

fall makes me happy.

It is amazing to me how much pleasure one can glean from something as simple as a new fall candle and some fabulous pumpkins.  Decorating for fall should never be avoided.

Look how much fun was added to the room with just 5 pumpkins?  I like to use real pumpkins and the heirloom varieties are so beautiful.  I found mine at Food4Less in Fremont for $4 each.

And my new PB pumpkin pillow covers  are pretty fun too.  A really fun thing about pumpkin decor is that it can carry you from September through November.  That is a good length of time to enjoy whatever you invested in.

My new favorite fall candle?  Yankee Candle Salted Caramel

A simple collection of fall gourds and squash can really shout "Happy Fall Everybody!"

Saturday, April 27, 2013

taking HOUSE cleaning to a new level.

I stand amazed at how dirty a house gets over the winter.  It just so happens that our upcoming Graduation Party will be OUTSIDE (Lord willing) so yesterday Mike cleaned the OUTSIDE of our house.  He found a great contraption at our local hardware store: a brush head on a long broom type handle that attaches to the garden hose!  You can brush the surfaces while water blasts and rinses.  Our goal initially was to just clean the back (east) side of the house where the party refreshments will be set up - but Mike ended going around the whole house!  I did help.  He handed the hose-broom contraption up to me and I cleaned the upstairs balconies.

Cleaning is exhausting work, but so very satisfying the next day.  (The day after that it is probably dirty again - ha.)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

a wyn-ing combination.

 Wyn shot Susanne senior composite photo against our house bricks.

Our family was blessed out of our socks to have Wyn Wiley come to Oakland to photograph our family.  While Susanne's senior pictures were the main game, we also asked him to photograph Miss Charlotte at six months.  Before he left, he captured these pics of our family in front of our house.

We are so glad he did!  Love you Wyn.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


A thrill of a lifetime and dream-come-true experience happened last Wednesday.  INSPIRED HOME magazine came to our home at 315 N. Thomas and spent the day capturing our home in photograph for a feature article.  I am still on a sweet high from the whole experience.

  INSPIRED HOME editor-in-chief Chris Christen is a native of Oakland and was a grade school and high school classmate of mine.  She took over the magazine as editor about a year ago and transformed it into a stunning and tasteful publication.  I saw my first issues right before our photo shoot and my mouth dropped open.  Why hadn't I heard of this beautiful magazine with features centered in our own state?  I would encourage you to look for it and pick it up.   Not only was it a blast to work with Chris, but we got to observe the creative expertise of photographer Jeffrey Bebee.  As someone who loves photography and dabbles at it, it was an absolute thrill to watch this man work.  I have taken thousands of photos of our house project.  You have seen many of them on this blog.  But what this man could do to capture our room spaces was AMAZING.  With his talented eyes, amazing lenses, powerhouse cameras - and his horse sense of years of experience - Jeffrey shot photographs that made me want to tear up.  He was able to capture what it feels like to stand in our living room at dusk with the fireplace glowing... he could place his camera & lens in a way that you can see the whole layout of the master bath... he could capture the light spilling into my office in the morning...  Photography is all about the light.  And Jeffrey Bebee knows about light.

Part of the thrill is that we have been gifted with the chance to restore a very magnificent home, and it feels good to have it captured in a very magnificent way.  The house deserves it.

It added to the fun to sense that editor and photographer had fun during the shoot too.  At one point Mr. Photographer said "This is a nice change from shooting new home construction in West Omaha."

Don't worry, I will be letting you know when the publication is released.

photo shoot touches.

Knowing that the INSPIRED HOME editor and photographer were arriving to shoot the whole house for a feature article, I viewed each room with a new set of eyes in anticipation of the event.   I knew that I had some visual holes in several rooms - so I set out to 'fill the blank spots' with a few additions.  I hung four framed photos in the guest room and added a large pottery vase with greenery to our bedside table.

But I had the most fun in the girls' room.  The white chest of drawers sat with nothing on it... a simple statement, but how could we add some sparkle?  I remembered that one Christmas Emily sent the younger girls a wonderful collection of classic literature - to mature their reading palettes.  The book collection with some Pottery Barn Kids bookends turned out to be a bright touch in the room that the INSPIRED HOME photographer loved.  (He had no idea that the book collection had not been in place even 24 hours - and I did not tell.)

During the photo shoot of this room, the photographer asked for 'something pink'.  I ran to my closet where I had thrown everything that resembled chaos and found the darling art jars that daughter Abby made for Niece Eleanor at Christmas.  Again, a stack of books with the playful jars added a bit of merriment.  Note: Abby glued a plastic farm animal to a jar lid, painted it a bright color, and filled it with crayons & mini pencils. Voila. Darling gift - or decoration!

The girls' room looked a bit brighter and a bit sweeter with some wonderful books and touchs of color.