behind the fence... life around the house

{ changes. }

In December 2012, my husband accepted a new position with his company. With it came the agreement to move to Columbus, Ohio.  With our oldest still in high school, the company graciously allowed us to remain in Kansas City until graduation.  


(Lottie wants a valentine.)

What this means is that for over a year now, we have been in a holding pattern. For a person like me, who likes to upgrade and change things around in her home, it has been tricky. It hasn't stopped me, of course, but my focus has been on Resale. Neutral. General Appeal. Cleaning out. Paring down. Organizing. 

See why I haven't blogged about it? Want to get excited about my cleaned out linen closet? Yup. It's been riveting, I tell you. The photos are compelling, award-winning stuff. 

I still have a long way to go.

My pemberlie project was a lot of fun, but it also meant that for a year I could greenlight any project. My garage is still full of potential items. Random things. It was a workshop of misfit old lamps, extra chairs, homemade chalk paints, wooden frames, I accumulated some extra used furniture that I just kind of liked. I had put boring house maintenance projects on hold.


(there has been work in the mud/laundry room -- amazing!)

Shoot, I put fun personal upholstery projects on hold.  I've had a glorious floral wingback in my kitchen for years now. She needs some attention.  Especially because she is positioned right next to my floral curtains. And now the dog has claimed it as her chair and I have no idea what to do with either of them.


(snow day fairy fort)

We have an agent coming by for the first time tomorrow to look at our house and give us her straight shooter opinions. Staging, updates, timing, the whole she-bang. 

Are you ready for a bunch of before and afters? Because I think I am. 

People, when this house goes on the market, I want it to sell Quickly. With three kids and a puppy, keeping this place showable will be by best trick of all.

Stay warm, friends!

{ un-pause }

{Fidget always says 'un-pause' instead of 'play.'  I think it's cute.}

Well.  That was a nice long break. 

basil, parsley & new kitchen samples.

We happened to run into some friends last night while we were out for a long-overdue dinner date, and blogging came up.  My friend, Lina, has a fun blog of her own that is chock full of healthy living tips and daily life humor that goes along with having four kids.  Talking about blogging made me miss it. Enough to pop in today and check in with the world.  Hi.

I have enjoyed my time away.  I haven't felt the pressure (and why is there pressure?  That's so silly.) to blog, or to create something so I could talk about it.  I have watched movies and read books and taken lots of naps while the littlest one napped as well.  I kind of took a break from my camera and the need to document stuff all the time. 

And I had a little secret.

We're expecting again(!) and I really, really, really felt horrible.  So, while I dealt the hormones and the nausea and the motion sickness and the exhaustion, I pretty much anchored the couch to the living room floor and kept up with the world on my iphone.


And I finally felt good enough to go out to dinner last night. Hooray!

(Now that I'm not wallowing in my crappiness, I am beginning to get excited about little #4.  A fourth girl?  Or a first boy?  No telling. We'll be finding out in a few weeks, though.  Crazy.)

At any rate, I feel better and am starting to look around the house for stuff to do.  The sunshine and warmer temps are energizing.  The kitchen remodel is underway. (As in, most things have been picked out and the people are lined up and we are ready to move on this thing. Finally.) There are some slipcover projects that I have been meaning to tackle.  And we will have a bedroom shuffle to manage, so there are new bedroom projects as well. 

to be slipcovered

Today I am going to tackle this chair.  I've been meaning to for a while.  The old slipcover was linen and was so worn that it tore -- right across the seat -- last November.  I've been letting it sit around sans cover for a bit and now it is covered with the markings left behind by grimy fingers and little wet washcloths.  Lovely. The new fabric is an unbleached canvas that I've already washed and dried, so it should be nice and practical.  This chair gets lots of use.

The sunshine in the kitchen is so wonderful that I'm going to bring the sewing machine up from my basement studio and work in here.  I cannot justify sitting in the basement on a gorgeous first day of spring like this.

Have a nice week, friends.  Happy Spring!
miss chris

{ december } staying warm

first fire of the season

Saturday night ushered in some crazy cold weather in these parts.  Kansas City is not used to extended periods of blustery winds and temps in the single digits.  (-20F windchill!  Oh MY!)  Hubs decided it was time for our first fire and threw on a log.  We made hot chocolate and switched into our jammies, found Frosty the Snowman Comes to Town on the tv, and snuggled up for a night of staying in. 

Thank you for all of the well wishes!  Things will be slowing down here around the blog for a bit while I spend every minute soaking up the goodness of the season.  I have limited myself to one crafty gift and that is already completed.  What a relief!  I'm going to focus my energy and spirits on making things merry and bright around the house with my girls.  Food and crafts included.

Two easy tree crafts caught my eye this morning:

1) These little pom pom trees for the little fingers to decorate,


2) these little stuffed trees for the mama to make and decorate.  (In white felt!  oooh!)

Perhaps I should add some gingerbread men to the mix??  We have already planned to make our gingerbread houses this weekend.  I can't wait.  :)

Also in my head today, Tif's lovely hearth.  Amazingly peachy perfect in every way!

miss chris

{ making do } thrifted skirt holiday pillow

December always comes flying at us -- like everyone -- with a list of things to do and places to be and rehearsals and functions and wishlists and hopes and anxieties.  It's all with the very best of intentions, too.  We've started our week here with a reminder to slow down, check our priorities and take care of each other.  Everyone at the house is at various stages of some ailment, and today the littlest one is getting is the worst.  I say that, but hubs is at the doc for the flu, so maybe it's a toss up.

Anyway, I'm keeping my spirits up (take that, bronchitis!) and am thankful that it is all hitting us now and not in a few weeks when we have family in town and lots to celebrate.  We may be miserable, but we are all in this together and we'll be better before long.

The ick certainly brings holiday prep to a screaching halt, though, doesn't it?  It's really ok.  Those priorities I mentioned earlier?  I have them fully engaged and my heart is full. 

However, with a few minutes to spare this afternoon (courtesy of a schedule conflict and priority shift), I have a few minutes to sneak in and share a little holiday pillow I made last week from a thrifted skirt and shirt.  It was quick and dirty -- I didn't even make it as a cover, as I usually do.  Just sewed it together and stuffed it closed.  And then I realized it needed something, so I added a little stitchery.


Last night we went to the Christmas Cantata at our church.  (I have three talented friends who sing!  I so wish I could join them.)  Before the performance, there were some slides shown up front. 

Joy is... Dancing. Joy is... Singing.  Joy is..Love. 
Peace is... Joy at Rest. 

I loved that.  Peace is joy at rest.  So true!

Anyway, I'm not 100% sure I love the pillow (could be the ruffles that are throwing me off), but I do love that when I pass through the living room, I have a subtle reminder to exhale and savor it all.  Even the icky stuff.  Extra snuggles, you know.  Soup.  And popsicles for breakfast. 

I'm hoping you and yours are doing well or making it through whatever ick has thwarted your to-do lists... snuggles and all. 

Take care, friends.  I'm wishing you some Peace this holiday season. 
miss chris

ps:  I also finished the afghan I started in September on my dottie angel weekend in Seattle.  She's already in full use and I do love that I completed something our family can use.. perhaps she is worthy of her own post though.  Soon, perhaps.  xo


{ sunday morning } happy

On Friday morning I had a rather last minute appointment to have my upper wisdom teeth removed.  Two mornings later, I am feeling remarkably well.  Even better than before, really, as the left one had been giving me increased pain over the last two weeks and now, like magic, I have none. 

crochet!!!  and I'm not fouling it up!

The littles went to my in-laws for the weekend so that mommy could rest without too much guilt.  And I have.  It's been wonderful to sit in front of the tube and watch chick flicks and get that much closer to completing my dottie angel patchwork afghan.  It's going to be wonderful.

mini garland for a mini friend

I also took some time to finish up some hand sewing on a mini garland for a mini friend who is celebrating a birthday later this afternoon.  I can't wait to take photos of it in the proper space... am hoping it will be as darling as I have planned.  Am also hoping her mom doesn't mind that I took it into my own hands to add my touch on her daughter's new vintage inspired bedroom! 

the only pillow I made for erin's challenge

Last week was erin's pillow challenge.  I had grand plans of making 4, had 2 laid out, and made one.  Oh well! This one was big, at 24" x 24", and I added a zipper and extra touches like thrifted eyelet trim and tag, so that counts, right?  The back is solid pink, which makes me happy. (Heidi, the pink is for you.  Now there is a touch more pink in my house.)  The grey tag is a tiny scrap stowaway from my Seattle weekend

the only pillow I made for erin's challenge

Maybe it counts that I recently made two polka dotted zippered pillows for this same couch not too long ago?  That would put me at 3, which is totally not slackerish!  Right?   Right.  Ok.  I feel better.  And that's not just the painkillers talking!

holidays creeping in

I was loving the light and warmth in my living room this morning, which was the whole reason I got out my camera.  I jumped up and took a photo.  I didn't straighten any pillows or move the dogtoys or overturned laundry-basket-come-side-table out of the way.  This is just the way it was and it felt cozy. 

(I am so glad that I set about putting up a few house decs last weekend, too, as this weekend I was out of commission and I will be out of town for the next two.  All that is left are the trees -- one big and one little -- and that seems doable at this point.)

Many wishes to you for a special sunny and warm Sunday afternoon. 
miss chris

{ enjoying } autumn

an especially pretty zinnia

Things are turning cooler in these parts.  I am always ready and waiting for this to happen.  October is one of the most beautiful months in Missouri, bringing with it crisp mornings and warmish afternoons.  The skies turn a brilliant turquoise blue and color starts coming back to the landscape.

flowers at the patch

Lawns that had turned brown by the end of summer are renewed with fresh seed, rain and growth.  Trees are waking up with yellows, oranges and greens, and mums are popping up all over.


Just yesterday I could smell that somewhere close, someone was a burning a pile of leaves or some wood in the fireplace (necessary, in these parts, if you want to get rid of some wayward mud daubers that have taken refuge in your fireplace chimney, I have recently learned...)  Pumpkin is working its way back into my baking plans...

pretty little thing, making eyes at me

Last weekend, we went to the local farm to pick the equivalent of our kiddos' comined weight in pumpkins.  And watch pig races.  And stare back at the pretty horses.  Hello, beautiful. 


pumpkin patch 2010

pumpkin patch 2010

I think these two pumpkins weigh the same.

pumpkin patch 2010

There are fields of cutting flowers at the farm as well.  If you, ahem, remember your shears, you can take them home for $1/dozen.  That's my kind of farm.  I think I like the flowers as much as the pumpkins.  (I think Fidget does, too. )


miss chris

{ home } Wonderbaby's Room

15 months ago I had a baby.  Since we didn't know for certain (although Hubs 100% suspected) that our newest little bundle would be yet another girl, the nursery sat unadorned for many months.  

Many months.

And then I started picking away at it. 

Knowing that by the time it was complete, she would be quite past the new-baby stage (sigh.  Do not let me go There.), I didn't want to incorporate anything that we would have to switch out again for a few years.

Also, there was the color palette. Deep Red.  Aqua.  Bright yellow.  Pink.  An overscaled Heather Bailey Pineapple Brocade!  I could even do it from my stash, as there was serious yardage left over from a project for the teengirl that took a u-turn long ago. 


Honestly, when I shared this with others, there was often a courteous smile and nod. I am positive they thought I was creating some kind of circus-like nightmare. Giant pineapples in a baby's room. Heavens to Betsy!


Neveryoumind.  I knew what I was doing and marched on, albeit with some trepidation.


There is a mini down comforter for which I made a duvet.  Wonderbaby likes her blankets and coziness.  The bedding is simple.  I made a pink bedskirt and added coordinating ties to a simple pink yard-sale bumper.  The framed crewel piece is one of my favorite finds from a local thrift.  I've had it for years and it works perfectly in here.


The window faces east, so it is lit up with the most gorgeous sunshine in the morning.  Makes getting decent photos a bit tricky for some reason... seems like there is either a lot of light in there, or not.  At any rate, The exposure meant that the floor length curtains needed a heavy duty lining.  I tried pleating the curtains for the first time, and they are quite far from perfect, but I like how it reduced bulk at the rod.  And it gives a playful print a more tailored look.


The dresser was picked up for $25 and given a new life with paint.  I love love love this color.  It's not too bubble gum or cadillac.  The hardware is original.  I know, it was perfect.   I say it all the time, but  they just don't make furniture like this anymore. They don't.  It is so solid!  (Do you like the finger smudges on the mirror?!  Good.  I'm just keeping it real. )

crib corner and wall art

There are plenty of blankets that get moved around and used all over.  One is a gorgeous quilt made by Beki, another is a red baby blanket from miss laeroport, one was picked up in the nie-nie auction in 2008, and a couple others are vintage finds that I had to rescue.  They take turns in the crib and out and sometimes covering up with white rocker that has seen years of constant use.  Jade made us one as well, but babygirl has adopted that as her snuggly favorite and it is never around for a photoshoot. 


My favorite corner of the room is this, which is directly in front of you when you are walking up the stairs. The print is from Elsie, and I picked it up at the Red Velvet Art brick and mortar store when home in Springfield last year.  The red shoes are from Jen.  I made the green dress in a last minute mad dash for St. Patty's wear.  The deer was picked up antiquing with my mom in Florida two years ago.


I still love embroidery.  The simple stuff especially.  I'm breaking tradition and by putting it up there, but I really like how her name became art so easily. 


My mother in law made a cross stitch birth announcement for the wall, and it hangs by my rocker with this felt circle garland (from the Craft Hope for Haiti fundraiser) that I love but for which I can't seem to find a home.  That moves around the room and sometimes comes downstairs for parties.  Lucky garland!

The nursery is not finished, of course.  What room ever is?  I have a vinyl cuckoo clock decal on it's way from Etsy to go over the mirror, and some day I would love to replace this carpet and/or get a pretty area rug.  But for now, it's all good. 


It's a happy little space and Wonderbaby wakes up cheery every day. 

Still here!

pizza lover

It's really hard to sit down and blog when I've got this clamoring for my attention. (One year, almost!!!  Crazyness.)


Summer is here. We are out in the yard.

this morning's project. quick and dirty.

In the sandbox.


Eating freezer pops and blowing bubbles.

autumn dog

Growing sunflowers. And hydrangeas.

waiting to be planted.

It's been slim pickings around these parts, I know. Things slowing around La Fence have an inverse correlation with things ramping up to hyper-speed here around La Casa...

We'll be around. xoxo

{ stuff } And you thought I had a lot of chocolate chips

Houston, we have a problem.

not my fault!!!

And it's Not My Fault.

not my fault!!!

I have almost 22 POUNDS of gift bags.  TWENTY TWO POUNDS.

(I guess I like to weigh things around here.)

The pink bag has Halloween and Valentine bags in it.  The green bag is Baby gift bags only.

not my fault!!!

And this last one, weighing in at 14 lbs on its own, is Birthday. 

not my fault!!!

I'm sorry.  I know this sounds like I'm being all "oh, POOR me, SO MANY PEOPLE give us presents, WAAAH,"  Really, we are a family of five with generous extended family and friends.  We are!  Yay for Us!  They all love to give gifts in bags.  In nice bags.  Fancy bags. Themed bags. 

And I am a Wrapper.  So unless I donate them or remember to give the bags themselves as gifts to other people, THE BAGS NEVER LEAVE MY HOUSE.  It's like a special gift bag museum.  And I am the reluctant curator.

They were taking up way too much space in my craft studio, so they were evicted this weekend... and now they are homeless, per se.  Sitting in my laundry room.  Dreaming of living in the Spelling's Gift Wrap Room.

( Oh, and these photos does not represent the Christmas stash, most of which I donated this year.  I cannot justify the amount of square footage that it takes to store all of these bags!)

What to do, what to do.

not my fault!!!

I think I'm going to bring an extra 22 pounds to Friday Morning Coffee this week and give each of my girlfriends special gift-free gift bags.  Yay for them!!! 

What would YOU do with 22lbs of pretty gift bags???  Really, because I'd like to know. 

Thanks bunches.  xoxo