Big on Large Scale Portrait Photos

191a583268c0a5820bdac147173f39aaPhoto via V&S

I love spending my free time checking out beautiful homes all over the internet and lately something big has really caught my eye. I am captivated by  large-scale portrait photography. Whether it’s an old Hollywood shot, something artistic, or even a beautiful shot of your own child I love the drama of these close up over sized prints. What an easy way to make a big statement.

If you think you need one for yourself, Online photo developers that will enlarged your photos are easy to find, even local places with photo centers can blow up your favorite photo. I have a framing shop near my house with a giant plotter that will even print them our while you wait. If you don’t have your own photo, places like Anewall sell images like the one above of Mary Eaton in sizes up to 54″x68″. Now that’s a statement!

still_life_inspiration_5228287addf2b33c99a97513Photo via Svenska Mäklarhuset

painted ceilingPhoto by Florian Braun via Fashion Communications

white-tulipsPhoto via House and Home

51bcaadddbd0cb1eb40010ab._w.1280_h.1280_s.fit_Photo via Apartment Therapy

09bd5b87653af2cd649653467f14631fPhoto via Elle Decor

36307a866dba5fb2fcb96aec4a8e94e3Photo via Fenton and Fenton

Just beautiful, and if you’re looking to fill some vertical space what better way to do it?

January Cure – The Living Room


Week three of the January Cure over at Apartment Therapy is now complete and I a proud to say I have stuck with it and really tried to accomplish all the tasks. Last year I barely got the projects off the ground but this year sharing my progress with you guys has been a big motivator for me. Not that I would be in big trouble if I failed, but because I am just competitive enough that I don’t want to fail if someone is watching. So thanks for all that perceived judgement, with that in the back of my mind week three was a busy one. That means taking big steps towards a cleaner more functional home. Here are some of the tasks that I worked on this week.

Monday was  The Media Fast, the idea is that for a few hours during your main block of “home time” to take a break from television, computer, tablet and smart phone. I will admit that I did not do this consciously but during one of my big cleaning days this week I got so involved I did not so much as check a text for hours, but since that was by accident I don’t think it really counts. I still plan to take an evening with the entire family to really unplug but I will not lie, I have not done it yet.

Tuesday was Bathroom Cabinet Clean Out. Let me start by saying we are in a rental and when we moved in the previous tenants left a ton of cleaning products in the house. Instead of clearing everything out I kept some of it around thinking I may need them, since the previous tenants knew the house better than I maybe these were MUST HAVE items. In my bathroom clean out this week I found a few items in abundance that are definitely NOT must haves, nor did I buy. First was the Anti Schimmel  which is close to the American product Tilex for removing mildew. I have been in the house a year and a half now and have seen very little mildew which I understand can be a problem in German homes since they are stone and very well sealed. The only spot that seems to attract mildew is the ceiling in the bathroom and I am not about to stand around and spray bleach over my head (okay so I tried it once, didn’t work out so well.)

The second item that I seem to have in abundance is Ant and Roach spray. Now I don’t know what kind of living conditions the previous tenants were used to but I have not seen a single roach or ant in this house. Not even one. Flies yes, gnats sure, maybe a bee that flew in by mistake but those German cockroaches we have in the States have defiantly migrated out of this part of Germany, or at least from my house. Maybe this would explain why all three cans are almost completely full.

I decided on saving one bottle of each product just in case I should have a sudden mildew, ant, and roach infestation but the rest will have to find a new home. I need that space for the important stuff like my flat-iron!

DSC06939Wednesday’s job was Create a Landing Strip and start using it, a place for things to land and be filtered as they come in the door. I really needed help moving this out of the kitchen. The kids are constantly dumping their backpacks in the middle of the kitchen floor which only adds to the chaos in this small space. I do have a landing strip elsewhere but I have to admit I have let it get a bit out of control and it does not function as well as it could. Too many coats, hats piled high, and nowhere to ditch the backpacks and bags after school.  I decided the easiest fix was to move the coat rack higher on the wall and add a lower shelf for my purse and the kids backpacks when they get home from school. I of course had to leave a little room for Stella, this is her favorite spot in the house. I also did a quick sort through the coats to leave only the ones we wear every day, coats that are worn only on occasion were put elsewhere, another basket for hats and scarves and we were looking pretty good.  Now lets see if we can stick to the using it part!landing stripThursday was time to Clear a Closet. Ha, Ha, jokes on them because guess what? I don’t have any closets! I do have a few wardrobes though so I guess I don’t get off on a technicality. Really though, if I don’t get the joy of a closet should I have to suffer the misery of closet cleaning? I guess it couldn’t hurt, besides it could use little work in there and since I don’t have a closet that means there is absolutely no room for things that are not getting used. After a two bags of donation items and a lot of organizing I have my two BRIMES wardrobes looking pretty good.

DSC06930Once I cleared out the excess a little organization was all I needed. I installed extra shelves for folded clothing and shoes. For jewelry I added cup hooks on the inside of the door across the top, no more tangled necklaces. Voila!

Before my clean out I could barely find a hanger when I was putting clothes away. I know I did a good job because now I suddenly have a ton of hangers left over.

DSC06937My final weekend project was to show the Living room a little love. While this was just a basic cleaning project it was a big deal getting everyone to stay out of the living room on a Sunday afternoon since this is where the main TV and gaming consoles are. I managed with several “I’m board” comments from other rooms of the house. I guess I forced them into a media fast too.DSC06948Since I was making everyone else miserable I took the job to heart, moving furniture, washing slip covers, and wiping down all that media. Those things get so gross with dust. By Sunday evening I was enjoying my media again in a clean fresh living room.

And of course to finish off the project I had to buy my weekly flowers. I know, I keep buying tulips but they are so pretty this time of year. DSC06961One more week to go, lets see if I can finish strong.

Anyone else still hanging in there?

It’s Friday, High Five!

Library by Tracey Garet2015 has gotten off to a rocky start but hopefully things are beginning to smooth out. The cat was back at the vet yesterday for a check up and he is recovering well, stitches will come out next week. On top of that the chimney sweep showed up first thing that morning, which if you don’t know are a sign of good luck in Germany, and it was lucky for him because if he had shown up an hour later I would not have been home. Stars aligned, good omen right? High Five! And here are a few more…

friday1. This library wall by Tracey Garet has me missing my built ins and all my books in storage.

2. I love installation art and these rope walls are a beautiful way to divide space.

3. Can you see a smell? This candle line hired photographer Sully Sullivan to create a whole line of sent mood boards to represent how each candle smells. How creative!

4. The New Zealand designer Jon Jansen’s Contour Chair. I love it!

5. A pop of color on interior doors, love this idea. While black is lovely I have not seen many in bold colors like these amazing red ones.

For may locals not much exciting going on this weekend which is fine by me because it looks like it’s gonna be a cold and snowy one. My recommendation cuddle up at home with some hot coco and a movie and rest of for all those great spring markets around the corner.

Have a great weekend,


Master Bedroom in Aqua and Blush

DSC06884Finally, the master bedroom is complete (minus my dream bed which I must have once we return to the States.) I received my beautiful fabric for the curtains and pillows from a while ago but I needed to find a few days to get the sewing done. When the January Cure put the bedroom on my weekend to-do list it was just the motivation I needed to get the job done.

DSC06883Most of the bedding you have seen in my previous posts but I had not completed the throw pillows. The linen and fabric I used you can see below.

Master Bedroom in Aqua and Blush1/2/3/4/5

DSC06893Loving the mix with my new (old) rug, but what I am really loving are my new curtains.

DSC06880I made the valance in three parts rather than one long panel so as not to waste fabric and the curtains are basic unlined panels since we have internal roll down shades on the windows. I am so pleased with the results!


And of course my accidentally perfect match chair that I pulled in from the hallway makes the look complete. DSC06909

So happy to have a new retreat and since I have everything else sorted out I can start dreaming about that new bed…

January Cure – Taking Action

masterAn unexciting Monday has passed and the week is looking good so far. As I promised today I will share my progress in week two of the January Cure with Apartment Therapy. This week was busy at the house so it was fortunate many of the tasks over lapped or were things I was already working on.

Monday was easy, Get your Get together, together. Choose a date and time for a get-together and make the plans. This one is easy since we always have someone stopping by but maybe an official get together is  in order.

Tuesday, do a Surface Sweep which is a quick three-minute clean of one room of your house. I remember a show I watched as a kid where each episode two clowns were doing different tasks but the film was sped up to look like they were moving really fast. My sister and I loved to clean our room like these clowns so I figured why not try the surface sweep exercise with my kids who are 9 and 14. I set the timer on my phone for five minutes (a couple extra minutes of cleaning never hurts) and let them at it. When I came back I was amazed how much they accomplished in just 5 minutes. At the start I could barely see the floor in my sons room and by the end the room was pretty darn presentable. I think the 5 minute sweet just might become a regular activity, they actually asked “are we were gonna do this every day.” Why that’s a great idea. The kids know they only have to do it for 5 minutes so less complaints. They are also a bit competitive so if I pronounce a winner at the end, who accomplished the most in 5 minutes, it gets them even more motivated. A side note: be sure to set the disclaimer that sweeping things under the bed does not count as cleaning.

Remember last week when I had to observe an area that needed work? Just as I suspected on Wednesday it was action time. That means the sewing room drawers finally got tackled. They look fairly innocent in this photo.

sewing room But, you may remember this lovely mess hiding inside…

and that is only one of the drawers.


DSC06864Yes I did clean all three.

Now I don’t get a pit in my stomach every time I open a drawer.

Thursday’s task was declutter a drawer, since this was essentially my larger project I just kept going. I have a few more drawers in the sewing room that were not as bad but still needed a little TLC. I can honestly say I de-cluttered six drawers this week and even started on the junk drawer in the kitchen.


Friday is always a job for the weekend and this weekend it was the Bedroom. You guys know I have worked on updating the Master bedroom so this was the perfect push to get the job complete. It was already fairly clean behind furniture and under the bed since I recently painted and moved around all the furniture so I worked on finishing the drapes and making a few pillows. The master is now clean and complete so look for the big reveal VERY soon.

And finally my weekly favorite, flowers. This week I went for white tulips and a smile.

DSC06862It’s looking good around here guys and we still have two more weeks to go. Can’t wait to see what this week brings.

A Very “Exciting” Week

photo 1 I had originally  planned to give my January Cure update today but this week had a bumpy start (and finish) and a ton going on that I thought I would share. We’ll do January Cure tomorrow…

To put it mildly, It was very chaotic week at the Overby house. Good, bad and ugly going on all at once. You probably already know we got our list of locations for our next assignment and as most things go we must weigh the good and bad at each before we can make a decision. This time is always exciting but can be very scary, what if we choose wrong? We have never been to most of these place and have no idea what to expect. For this reason there has been lots of discussion, researching schools, housing, commutes, talking to the kids (my daughter will be a sophomore next year so this is a big move for her.)  Stressful but full of possibilities and then a decision that changes our lives. After lots of back and forth but the decision is made, for anyone who is wondering. Drum roll please….It looks like South Carolina will be our next move. The location is just outside of Columbia and very near a Chick Fil A and Myrtle Beach.  I bet the even have a Chick Fil A AT Myrtle Beach.  Now we must wait for final approval and a move date so nothing is set in stone yet but at least we have a plan… Sort of.

And that was just the beginning.  On Friday we had a veterinary emergency with our cat Ozzie who we think was hit by a car. He is an indoor/outdoor cat who came in limping and crying but otherwise intact. When I had a look I realized his rear leg was bending in an unnatural way which I knew was serious and concerned me that he could have internal injuries. After 45 minutes of bumbling around trying to find a vet in German (of course the cat needs a vet on a holiday when the American vet is closed) we finally found an English-speaking vet who could see him. The cat was calm through all this but I about passed out and was near tears. The only plus side of  it being a holiday was my husband was home for back up. Good thing because I was a hot mess and still in my bathrobe with my hair standing up!

Before I go on, let me address the fact that this is my daughter’s cat and she loves him more than anything in the world, even One Direction. If Ozzie does not survive this I don’t even want to know the outcome. This cat HAS to be okay!

At the vet we received bad news, Ozzie’s leg was badly broken just below the hip-joint which made repair difficult, very expensive and not a guarantee. The only other option was amputation which although not a perfect solution was better than a painful repair that may or may not work and be miserable for the cat. Experience also helped me know that a three-legged cat was not as big a deal as one might think. Our first dog was a tripod and most people did not even notice, he got around fine with one back leg and did not seem to mind at all. As humans this is very emotional but animals move on very easily.

Another decision is made…

OzzieThe surgery was performed Saturday morning and 24 hours later Ozzie came home. I have to say through this whole thing he has totally been himself, never lethargic, no shock and other than the cone on his head (which by the way, he really hates) he is hopping around pretty well. The cone is supposed to keep him from getting at the incision so if I am able to sit and watch him, I let him have some relief from it. Poor kitty is trying to learn to get around again and the dang cone makes him get caught and run into things, besides the fact that it is totally humiliating. Look how much he likes it…

Ozzie 2He has been home almost 24hrs now and you may be wondering how he’s doing.

In our house we have lever handles on all the doors, long ago Ozzie learned to open the doors by jumping up to pull the lever. In my daughter’s room the door opens in so besides pulling the lever with his front legs he would push-off the wall with his back legs to get the door to open. I knew recovery would be fast when this morning less than 48 hours after amputation, he opened the door and hopped out as usual.

I think he’s gonna make it!

photo 2So yes, lots of  “excitement” last week. This week I will take a little boredom.

Wishing everyone a very boring week!


It’s Friday, High Five!

casa_dirk_mexico_467420736_1599x1200This week was whirlwind busy, stressful but exciting at the same time. Lots going on in our house to keep me on my toes and lots going on in our lives. Mostly because there are big changes on the horizon. It is getting time for another move and we are anxiously awaiting a final decision.

For military families when it gets time for a move you are given a few choices (some of which you may have requested, but maybe none) and then you must choose between the lesser of the evils so to speak. Well the e-mail came yesterday with the list,  now we must decide. With a daughter will be heading into her sophomore year so schools are a big factor and of course the kids get a vote. (Theirs is usually based on whether there is a Chick Fil A or not so it does not weigh as strongly.) The official choices are all state side but we also have a special request out for a slot in Italy which would be bittersweet if it panned out. Long story short, we have a little clarity but are still in limbo, stressful yes? I am a supper planning nerd so all this makes me a little crazy. I get to the point where I don’t care any more, just tell me when and where.  We have been scoping schools, nearby places of interest, distance to home, houses, conveniences, weighing the pros and cons at all the locations (some get thrown out right away) and pick which we think would work for our family. Then we send our request back and wait some more for a final decision. We do all this every two to three years. It is a scary and exciting time but my family is pretty used to is. It is all the kids have ever known and to be honest it can be a really fun time. (Especially since I could sit all day and look at houses online.)

Not long now before a big announcement so stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted….

For now have a look at some High Fives for the week.

friday1.This home from Architectural Digest Espana which has the perfect mix of mid-century, traditional and glamor.

2. Time to plan our spring break trip, got to get our travel in before it’s time to go. I’m thinking maybe a luxury cruise to Greece... Well, maybe just a regular cruise to Greece.

3. British designer Tom Dixon‘s latest range of desk accessories in copper. Copper is back strong this year but I am still not fully on board but this desk set has me drooling.

4. Have you seen the new Lilly Pulitzer line for Target? I know not everyone is a fan but the outdoor items for summer are awesome, then again I love color and Lilly has that down!

5. A cell phone tower hiding in a cactus? What about a palm tree? They had the big pine Pine tree cell towers when we lived in Washington State but I think I like the cactus best.


For my locals: One of my favorite markets at the Autohof A6 in Herrieden is on Sunday. Hopefully the weather will be nice because last weekend it was definitely NOT.

Hope you have a great weekend. I have some bedroom work to do for my January Cure, I’ll let you know how it went on Monday!



My Favorite Gifts of the Season

DSC06740This month I am busy getting things around the house organized and orderly, that includes finding a place for all the lovely gifts I received for Christmas. We did not spend the holidays with family this year but I received some lovely gift in the mail that I thought it would be fun to share. Most I received this year but one or two are gifts I received last year that still bring a smile to my face.

Jonathan Adler Fish Scale Pen and Kate Spade Saturday Notepad my best friend from back home sent me. She said I could use it to help document my creative ideas, I have it next to my computer and am filling it rapidly.

Anthropologie White Poppy Vase  that my Mom got me last year. These are still available and part of series, I would love to have them all!

Marc Jacobs Salty Pretzel Studs my sister sent me since Pretzels are my new favorite snack.

Jonathan Adler Scotty Dog Giant Eraser to go with my pen and notepad. It’s not just cute, it is a really great eraser.

Vintage Bronze Icarus Statue I saw in an antique store last year and loved so much my husband surprised me with it for Christmas.

Monogram Mug from Target. These were available for Christmas and my sister sent one for each family member. Now everyone get’s there very own mug.

C. Wonder Monogram Orange Jewelry my Mom sent me which quickly found a home in my new entry hall design. Box this one is no longer available but the newer model can be purchased HERE

The January Cure – Tackling the Kitchen


As i told you last week I am participating in Apartment Therapy’s annual January Cure. Starting January 1st participants are given daily or weekend tasks to help them create a “new” cleaner and more organized home. I spent last weekend cleaning the floors which I finally completed on Monday. I was also instructed to buy flowers for the house (I was really good at that.) This week however was the first FULL week of work and there were quite a few chores to be done.  Here’s how things went:

The first assignment for the week was creating a clutter collector or and Outbox. A place that can be halfway house where things sit while their fate is being decided. Keep? Donate? Pass On? Put it in the outbox while you decide. Now this particular task is something I already do but does not have an official location. I always have a pile of stuff somewhere that will be heading out soon but I like the idea of giving it a home. I have a giant wash tub down in the basement that will make a great outbox. Probably a few of the items siting in it right now can be the first to go.

The biggest project for the week was to Purge the Pantry. By big project I means a big mess which also means I must share another not so lovely photo. The pantry before…photo 5Once the task got underway let me report that things got a whole lot worse before they got better. Emptying the pantry was step one which looks like you just returned from a major grocery run from the outlet grocery store where all the boxes are torn and the cans are dented. The big mess has now moved from the pantry to the counter tops.DSC06777The main problem with our pantry is not just that is messy it is just not a good depth for what we are storing there. The deep shelves allow a lot of storage but it also means things are double stacked and get lost way in the back. When you need something you have to move everything around and when the kids are the ones doing this it usually means things don’t get put back the way they were found. The second problem is you just can’t see what is on any shelf other that the one right in front of you.  I could have reorganized things just to get it cleaned up but I know it would have gone right back to a big mess in just a few days.

DSC06775Since the shelves are adjustable and the pantry can accommodate different depth shelves I decide more shelves with less depth would work better.

One trip to the hardware store for more shelving and a couple of cuts to get them to the right length and I was in business.

DSC06784By alternating deep and shallow shelves I was able to create storage that was only one item deep with more open space to see what was on the shelves below. I also adjusted the heights of the shelves so there was no wasted space. This also let me add an extra self.

DSC06785Last I rearranged things so that items used everyday are at eye level and the occasionally used items like dry goods, rarely used condiments, and my large appliances were on the top and bottom shelves. I have to say this project has only been complete a few days and the space working worlds better already.

Why didn’t I do this a year ago?

Bonus, I had an extra piece of shelving left over so I added a shelf to one of my other cabinets for better storage there as well.

The next day’s assignment gave me a bit of a break. I was to do a Mini-Meditation this entailed finding a spot in my home to sit that would give me a view of a room or area that I feel is especially problematic. Then pick a project to tackle in this area at another time. You guys saw my first January Cure post? My sewing room drawers are a nightmare, actually a few things could use some work in this room but the drawers will be project #1. (I have a feeling I will be revisiting this room very soon.)

The next day(s) it was back to hard work with A better Kitchen by Sunday Evening in other words cleaning the kitchen and de-cluttering/organizing as you go. That includes cleaning the fridge, the cabinets, and every surface! I was at this much of the weekend and I am pretty sure I only scratched the surface. The fridge and freezer are clean and I purged a bit from the cabinets but we have a very small kitchen so there is not a lot of extra.  I also cleaned surfaces that I have not cleaned since we moved in. Crazy things like the knife block, do you know how dusty those things get? The toaster, 3 lbs of crumbs in there. The cabinet under the sink, yuck, clean now.  The storage drawer under the oven, gross! Everything falls down there, and if you pull it out the floor below, even worse! I accomplished a lot this weekend in the kitchen but I think more scrubbing may still be in order.

The last task on my list is my favorite and fortunately happens every week. Bring home and enjoy your Weekly Flowers

flowerLast week was orchids, this week I chose tulips to go in my awesome new (old) West German vase I scored at the thrift shop this week for 3€ ($3.60 the exchange rate is getting better have you noticed?)

There you have it. I am tired but feeling good about the progress going on.

Ready to jump into the new week of assignment.

Wish me luck!

It’s Friday, High Five!

5decf2ac4a1572d21a5521f1be8b1d4aThe first week back into the swig of things and it has been a rough one. I have struggled with a very frustrating cough that has kept me up all night and the back to school early wake up does not help. Not the best way to start the New Year. Hopefully I can shake it soon and get a good nights rest. Otherwise I have had a very productive week getting things done around the house and working on my January Cure (more details on Monday.) I have also gathered a few high fives for you, have a look…friday1. While working on my Entry update this week and ran across this lovely House and Home photo by Donna Griffith. Love the use of vintage finds in the styling.

2. My favorite find of the week, this absolutely perfect West German double vase by Bay Keramik. I paid 3€ for mine but I have seen several online listings for $125 and up…

3. Kelly Wearstler’s, one of my favorite designers, shares her tips on Revamping Your Home on Domaine Home along with some pretty great photos.

4. I am a huge fan of Costumes and Couture, the options are endless and the brilliant creative minds behind these works of art never cease to amaze me. This  Monarch gown by  Luly Yang inspired me to start a new Costumes/Couture Pinterest board (because I had so much free time on my hands…)

5. Shapeways an online store of products made entirely by 3D printers, you can even submit your own designs to sell, I am king of in love with the Cleo bottle opener.



Hope your New Year is off to a great start.
Happy Friday,