{friday finds: cutting in along a textured ceiling}

Scalloped painting technique

A while ago Apartment Therapy had a great post on eliminating the dreaded “cutting in” process.” I start to fret about maintaining a straight line where the ceiling meets the wall even before I start painting. My living room has a coved ceiling, which is textured, so the unevenness of my paint job is more apparent to the naked eye. There’s always big talk about going back and touching up with an artist brush, but that rarely never happens.

Bill Nunn, long time Hirshfield’s customer, shares his 32 years of painting expertise in the April issue of The Family Handyman. Bill shares five pages of useful tips and photos in the issue. If the scalloped edge doesn’t do it for you, here is Bill’s great “cutting in” tip from the article.

Oh, those professionals know it all!

Here is a another bedroom photo from Apartment Therapy SF Flickr images showing the same scalloped painting technique, without the magnificent headboard to cloud your judgement. It still is a great look.

Is the scalloped technique something you would do in your home? Do you like the look?

{how to tackle spring cleaning!}

There’s new energy in the air.  It’s time to open the windows, let in some fresh air, get out in the garden, and get cranking on that spring cleaning.  I’ll admit I’m not particularly excited about spring cleaning—on a sunny day, I’d much rather kick back on the deck with a good book and a glass of lemonade.  But since I appreciate a clean house, I’d best get started.  Where do I even begin?

When I think of all the “to dos” on my spring cleaning list, it’s overwhelming.  In addition to the deep cleaning, I still have to take care of the kids, go to work, run errands, and get dinner on the table.  However, by breaking down the list into smaller, more realistic tasks, I think I can get it done, bit by bit.

I searched spring cleaning on line and came up with a “to do” list for myself.  Following are some of the things I need to do.

  • Clean and Organize Kitchen Cupboards.  When I look at my kitchen, I groan thinking of this task.  There are a lot of cupboards!  My plan of attack is to pick just one or two to tackle a day and set a time limit.  When the time is up, I’ll finish up that cupboard or drawer and then start again the next day.
  • Flip/Rotate Mattresses.  This one is pretty simple.  When I’m next changing the bedding, it’s a perfect time to flip the mattresses.  I just have to remember to do it.  Ergo, this list!
  • Clean Window Treatments.  I threw some of my curtains in the wash yesterday, the rest need to be dry cleaned.  This is something I’ll set as my goal on a day when my family is having a relatively quiet day.
  • Clean out the Oven, Fridge and Freezer.  I’ll probably break this up into two days.  The day before I’m set to get groceries I’ll clean out the fridge (this way the fridge will be emptier and easier to clean), and the next day while the kids are resting I’ll tackle the freezer and set the oven to self clean.
  • Clean the Carpets.  This’ll be a late-night job that my husband and I can do together after the kids are in bed.  We’ll have to sit down and write it on the calendar or it won’t get done—again I just need to be intentional and carve out the time for it.
  • Wash Windows.  This will need to be done on a weekend afternoon so my husband can play with the kids in the yard while I’m working on the windows.

For your spring cleaning strategy, create a list of what you want to do and break it down into smaller tasks.  To make the time pass by more enjoyably, download some podcasts (if you have an iPod) to listen to or create a “cleaning” play list with upbeat, energetic music.  You can also invest in a headset for your phone and call a friend to chat with while you’re cleaning.  If your kids are old enough to help, recruit them in the projects as well.

Then, before you know it, your house will be sparkling clean.  When I’m done, I think I’ll celebrate with a glass of lemonade and a good book.

{choosing the right paint brush}

When it comes to painting, sometimes the hardest decision you have to make is not what color to use, but what brush to use! In this video, Jen helps you choose the right paint brush for your project!

{friday finds: the priestess of waste-free living}

I ran across a most interesting article last February when it appeared in my Benjamin Moore “Google Alerts.” Go figure. It has been whispering to me ever since, and as a nod to Earth Day I thought I would share.

Michelle Slatalla writes for the New York Times and this is the story of her neighbor Bea, “the Priestess of Waste-Free Living.” I admire Bea’s commitment to our planet. I love her mantra: Refuse, refuse, refuse. Then reduce, reuse, recycle (and only in that order) . Incorporating a couple of Bea’s lifestyle choices into our own lives should not be that difficult. There’s always room for improvement.

Need more ideas? Next weekend, May 1 & 2, 2010, is the LivingGreen Expo at the State Fairgrounds.

{environmentally friendly cleaning}

While Earth Day only comes around once a year, it seems like housecleaning is an everyday event. So instead of waiting for a particular day to celebrate plant Earth, I’m trying to keep the “green” spirit alive all year round in my home by using environmentally friendly cleaning products.

In my quest to rid my family of dangerous cleaning supplies (filled with chemicals and odors), I’ve found a few products that I regularly use. I particularly like Achoo Allergy and Air Products and I order their glass cleaner all the time – it is void of harsh chemicals and odors while effectively cleaning surfaces all over my house.

I also like Mrs. Meyer’s line of eco-friendly cleaning products. There are no solvents, no bleach and no harsh fumes in their line, and they do what they are designed to do: clean my house!

Here’s another eco-friendly winner I’ve found at Hirshfield’s stores. Winning Colours® Stain Remover is ready to tackle drips, drops and disasters everywhere. It cleans up paint, grease, grim and goo. You’ll discover thousands of cleaning uses in one convenient solution. Unlike ordinary solvents that are used to clean up paint messes, glue residue and other stains, Winning Colours works great with water on a variety of surfaces including carpets and textiles.

So even though Earth Day just passed, keep your home “green” (and clean!) all year round with these products. I would also love to hear what environmentally friendly products you like to use around your home!

{energy efficient blinds make sense (and save cents!)}

We’re all budget conscious these days, so in this video Jen explains how you can save money and help the environment with Hunter Douglas energy efficient blinds. They make sense and save cents!

And don’t forget, the Hunter Douglas window fashion sales event is going on now through April 30th! Take an extra 15% off Hirshfield’s already discounted prices on HunterDouglas Window Fashions!

{the hunter douglas window fashions sales event of the year!}

Spring is here, and what better way to freshen up your home than with some fabulous new window treatments?! Now through April 30th, take an additional 15% off select Hunter Douglas window treatments, including Vignettes, Pirouette and Skyline Panel Systems! That’s right – an EXTRA 15% OFF Hirshfield’s already discounted prices on HunterDouglas Window Fashions.

If you have a quote on window treatments that’s wound up on the back burner, bring it in to Hirshfield’s. You might just be surprised on how much more you can save this April.

This is Hirshfield’s biggest sale of the year! No coupons required! Just visit any Hirshfield’s store to take advantage of this limited time offer.

New price increases for Hunter Douglas window fashions go into effect May 4th, so act now to get the best deals on the best products!

And don’t forget, Hirshfield’s Perspectives Window Fashions sale runs through April 27th! Buy 4 and get the 5th free on a wide variety of Hirshfield’s private label shades and blinds.

So frame those beautiful spring-time views outside your window with some fabulous window treatments, but act fast… these prices will be gone faster than a Minnesota summer!

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