Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I have been absent lately due to my domestic duties...

Domestic Duty Number 1 - Volunteering

One of my best friends chaired a big charity auction here in town. She asked me to help with the decorations. Without hesitation I replied...no. Don't get me wrong. I love to help but being in charge is a big commitment. Hey, I have 3 little kids, a husband, a dog, a frog, a business and I can barely get my laundry folded and I haven't had a pedicure in months. A few days later she approached me again. Jen, can you help me with the decorations? This time I said after some hesitation. No? A week goes by and she says with less whimper and more force. Let's do this. Okay, I say. I'm in. What's the theme? Mad Men, she says. Sounds good. Big hair, parties, tight undergarments, highballs, long lunches, clean kids and manicured lawns. How hard can it be? Well...

I go to the first meeting and find out that I have $600 to decorate 75,000 square feet. That is $.008/square foot. So besides just filling it with air I have no idea where to begin. I take a trip to the charity's storage unit. There I find Dorothy's deconstructed farmhouse from the previous year. Wizard of Oz. I think, great. I don't need the farmhouse. What I really need is Oz. Hmmm. Thinking... Then it hits me. Let me do a few late 50s early 60s rooms. God knows that I have the furniture. Elated at the fact that all of my hoarding will pay off I get started on my wanna be Kip's Bay moment.

Carpentery 101. Go to big home improvement store and...look...helpless.

The girls and I bought some 4x8 pieces of plywood and nailed them on to the old farmhouse and started painting. Covington blue by Benjamin Moore was the perfect vintage blue. Add some crown and base and chair rail...

...and a few days later we had some interior walls. I wouldn't rush right out and call Habitat for Humanity or anything but, hey, it was a start.

I had an old roll of silk ikat and a few teal garden stools.

I went shopping and started. Low.

Vintage bed. Check.

I found a big roll of faux mohair used to upholster car interiors.
Hopefully, this would cover up the bars. Or something.

One cheap Regency buffet.

Laminate stools.

Plus one giant stereo.

We needed a couch for our 'living room'. My friend had been coveting a new one so we took her old one but it was the wrong color. So we painted it. She told her husband it was being cleaned.

If you have ever painted upholstery (?) then you know it's like potatoes and salt.
It just keeps taking more and more and more. Three gallons of exterior house paint later we had a crisp white sofa...with swollen ankles.

Next trip was to my storage unit.

I had an idea to make some faux back bars and fill them with bottles filled with turquoise colored water. That led to experimenting with food coloring...which I believe is very 1960s.

Thanks to my mad scientist...

They ended up looking great.

Unfortunately, while painting these back bars brown my friend's
iphone4 slipped out of her pocket and into the paint.
Due to the otter box, though, it still continues to work.

The days leading up to the auction arrived and the panels went up.
One bedroom, one living room and one dining room.

Under a giant turkey. In a giant grocery store.
It began to seem like a not so great idea.

When the furniture began to arrive, though, it started to make sense.

The art was laid out and went up.

Living room. Done.

Dining room. Done.

Bedroom. Done.

Back bars. Check. Ostrich feather chandeliers from Queen of Tarte. Check.

Faux-hair clad bars.


Flowers. Check.

Crazy person. Check.

Tables and chairs. Check.

Visit to costume store. Check.



Accessories. Check.

Pre-party party. Check.

Many cocktails. Check.

Gobs of money raised for charity. Check. Check.


    Love it!

  2. Wow, y'all did a kick ass job. Your storage space is full of eye candy.

  3. that is frickin awesome. great job on all levels. glad you raised some serious dough too! i would take any one of those rooms for my own house. diggin on the dining room.

  4. I have had to re-read this three times due to disbelief. LOOKED FABULOUS.
    I mouth is agog thinking that you pulled this off with $600.
    The colored water=absolutely smashing
    Your hair! The dress! Flawless!

    Congratulations on a job VERY well done and happy that you all were able to raise a ton.


  5. Amazing!! Just think what you could do to spruce up my house!! Girl, you're good! The only problem? Your friend is going to ask you to decorate for this event every year.

  6. Sweet! I am very impressed. Looks like a great event.

  7. AHH Mazing! Great work - You deserve a drink!

  8. Unbelievable!! Amazing! Such a fantastic job. I agree with Angeline, hope you poured yourself a scotch in a highball glass.

  9. That was so amazing! I bet they will want your help next time.

  10. AYFKM?????? That was fabulous! So much hard work but seriously unbelievable!!!

  11. That turned out beautiful and on such a tight budget too! I can not believe the iPhone still works, wow. You really pulled a rabbit out of your hat on this one, and to top it off your hard work and creativity paid off for a good cause. Congratulations!

  12. Bravo!!!! Amazing job on a tight budget and you made it look like a million!! THat was a tremendous amount of work and you rose to the occasion with flying colors, Kudos to YOU!! Kathysue


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