When is a half hour not 30 minutes?

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NOTE: see Monday's post for details and a "behind the scenes" update.

Let's see....when last we spoke, I had been painting the living room for 5 days, right?  I thought that it was going to take ONE weekend. Apparently, I have no sense of time.

For example, my friend, Ann, came to visit this weekend. Sometime around 9 a.m. today, we were looking for something that we couldn't find because we couldn't walk into my studio to get to the table to see if it might be there but I should probably back up a little. 

Our intent,this weekend, was to crawl (literally, through a 2 foot tall door) into the storage room and get out the tubs of Christmas decorations which are hidden behind the guest room closet, safe from anyone who might try to throw something way (given that I live in a house full of men, I don't feel that I probably need to mention names). 

However, I was still painting when Ann arrived at noon on Friday so, after finishing the painting, rehanging the drapes, moving the two ladders and rearranging the furniture for probably an hour in four or five configurations that involved moving of chairs from other rooms and taking furniture up the flight of stairs to my bedroom, we finally settled on a furniture arrangement at around 9 p.m. and started looking around for ANYTHING holiday-ish that we could use to decorate because, candidly, my back was sore and my feet hurt (probably from painting on the ladder in bare feet, but I digress) and I couldn't really even think about crawling into the cold, unheated, room and pushing the 30 or so tubs and boxes of stuff out to Ann because when we got them out, we would probably spend the rest of the evening trying to get out of the guest room.

Instead, we used the silver things that I bought at the flea market and a bunch of stuff that was hanging around in the dining room, leftover from the barn sale and we put THIS together:

Believe it or not, this decorating was done without unpacking a single box from the storage room. But more on this fact in a moment.  Today (Saturday),  around 10 a.m., we thought that we were going to finally get out some boxes and start decorating the family room but after I tried to get to the container in the studio where I keep the burlap with Ann watching (with a horrified look on her face) from the doorway of the studio, I tripped over a basket full of yarn and almost impaled myself on the loom. Ann said to me, "Hey, how about if we just take a half hour and clear a path so that you'll feel better about decorating?"  So, I thought "What the heck, it's just a half hour, I've got someone who knows the difference between fabric glue and hot glue who's willing to help me sort through some of the "clutter" (and I use that term VERY loosely), so sure, why not?"  We realized, after the first hour of cleaning that we hadn't taken any "before photos" so, I ask that you imagine what this looked like before two women spent 60 minutes "organizing" (yep, that IS a 33 gallon trash bag that is about 1/2 way full after the first hour).

As I write this, it is now 11:45 p.m., yes, that's P.M....approximately TWENTY-SIX actual half hours (or ONE "Ann" half hour) later, however, I've gotta say, we got one heck of alot accomplished in that half hour. This is how my studio looks tonight (yes, it's dark outside in the "after shots").

Tonight, I actually walked all the way to the windows on the far side of the room in the dark and I didn't even hurt myself!

Meanwhile, we still haven't gotten any of the tubs out of the storage room but we DID manage to make a really cool piece of "art" for the wall behind the sofa using a huge canvas that has spent a year "waiting for inspiration", some branches that I had painted white last year, some fishing line and a couple of plastic snowflakes. After I spent an hour describing various ideas ranging from burlap bows to pinning my wedding dress on the frame (yeah...not at all as lovely as I thought it would look), we searched Pinterest and Google Image, we looked at lace, tablecloths and even considered stretching fabric over the darned thing when Ann said to me, "Why don't we just put those sticks on it somehow?" and I said, "Ya think?"...so we found fishing line and some thumb tacks and some wire for the back of the canvas...and about a half an hour (an ACTUAL half hour...thirty minutes) we high-fived ourselves as we hung this behind my sofa:

Branches are held on the canvas using fishing line woven through them so that I can use the canvas for something else after the holidays.
Total cost the entire living room "remodel" $38 worth of paint and a $6 birds nest.  We haven't unpacked a single box of Christmas decorations and it's the end of another day. Just imagine what we'd have gotten accomplished if we had worked for an hour! ....Ah well, maybe I can talk her into staying for lunch tomorrow.

Felted Sweaters and Lace Doilies covering pillows.
Linen shopping bag stuffed with  pillow form. Handles cut and tied into bows.