No Fear Paint Selection – Warm or Cool?

February 9, 2015

   No Fear Paint Selection – Warm or Cool?  Last week we talked about choosing the right color for your walls, by selecting the same depth of color.  There is another element, to selecting that color, which will make your choice even more foolproof.

   Pull out your color fan.  If you don’t have one, get one! You will be so glad you did!  Take it to the store with you when selecting your paint, your fabric, curtains, furniture, etc.  This fan has come in handy so many times!  It is so convenient to have all of the paint chips in your home and under your lights, instead of standing in a store trying to select a couple of cards with limited choices under completely different lighting!

   Obviously, you know that red and yellow are warm colors and blue is a cool color. Red, yellow and blue can also be warmer or cooler by adding color.

   Cool blue has more yellow and looks greener.  Add red and the blue is warmer.

   Open your color fan.   In this example, we are selecting a blue color.

   Fan out the blues so they are all visible.  You will notice on the right side the blues have more yellow undertones and look greener.  As you look to the left, the colors have more red pigment and begin to look violet.

   The same idea works for reds. Warm red colors have yellow in them. Cool red has more blue added.  Want a neutral color which will go with cool or warm?  Choose one from the middle section.

   Yellows work the same way.  If you want to have a nice background color which will go with cool or warm accessories, choose one of the paint colors in the middle.  Those colors are a nice neutral.  In other words, you should not have a problem with your things clashing with your paint color.

   Doesn’t that make sense?  How easy is that?  Make your paint color choice with no fear.


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The Best Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

February 6, 2015

   The Best Chicken Pot Pie recipe can be found right here!

    This is another delicious dish using the basic chicken and broth recipe.  Back in the 60’s, frozen chicken pot pie from the grocery was one of my favorites.  Back then, there was more meat and lots of vegetables. 

   I don’t remember my mother ever making chicken pot pie.  Wait, yes I think I do…using one of those cans of biscuits on the top of the filling.  Maybe that’s wasn’t the best either.

   I like mine with lots of vegetables and meat in it.  A couple of years ago, or maybe longer, for whatever reason, I picked up a couple of pot pies from the grocery.  There is hardly anything in them now. Where are the vegetables, the meat, and where did the flavor go?   You may as well have a cup of broth and a biscuit.

   You won’t feel that way after making this recipe.  It is full of flavor, vegetables, and meat.  It reminds me of my childhood. This is one of those comfort foods, which my family loves, and I hope you enjoy, too.

Chicken Pot Pie

Begin by making the basic chicken and broth recipe. 

After straining broth, pour back into the pot, (reserving chicken) and add:

 1 cup small carrots, cut into 1/2″ – 3/4″ pieces

 1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes, with skins, cut into 3/4″ pieces

Bring broth and vegetables to a boil and simmer for 12 minutes or until tender.

Remove vegetables to a medium sized bowl or glass measuring cup.  

Measure and return 3 cups of broth to the pot.


In a small bowl combine:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

    1 tsp salt

    1/8 tsp pepper

Stir in:

           1/2 cup milk until smooth.

    Whisk into broth in the pot and bring to a boil.  

Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thick. (about 5-8 minutes)

Remove from the heat and stir in the hot broth:    

       1 cup frozen peas

        1 cup frozen corn

    Add the chicken pieces and the cooked carrots and potatoes.

 Stir gently.

Preheat oven to 350º

   Pour mixture into a casserole dish and set aside as you prepare the dough.

   ***You can use a pie crust mix if you like, but I just stir up my own.  It is really pretty easy and more convenient.  The cake flour in the recipe below makes the crust a little lighter, and my family likes that.


 1 – 1/2 cups cake flour*

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 cup cold water


   Measure flour and salt into a bowl.  Cut in shortening thoroughly.  Sprinkle in water, mixing until all flour is moistened and the dough cleans the side of the bowl. 

   Form into a ball.  On a lightly floured pastry cloth, roll out pastry into a rectangle slightly larger than your casserole dish.  Gently roll the pastry around your rolling pin and unroll on top of chicken and vegetable mixture.   

   Cut, if necessary, and crimp and press to edge of a casserole dish to seal edges. 

Brush top of pastry with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

Bake at 350º  for 35 – 45 minutes until pastry is golden brown and the mixture is bubbling.

             * No cake flour?  Not to worry!   Recipe to make your own below. 

 *I came across this tip on the internet the other day!  How many times have I needed cake flour and had to run to the store or change my plans?  Can you believe that it is just this easy?  Not to mention the savings…

 Cake Flour

1 – 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

  Place flour in a medium bowl.  Add the cornstarch and whisk together until fully incorporated.

  You now have cake flour!   Can that be much easier?

Click here to print the recipe. Chicken Pot Pie

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Master Bath Redo And A Painted Door

February 5, 2015

Master Bath Redo And A Painted Door

Paint Your White Door! on
Paint Your White Door!

    Yesterday was my birthday.  A gift to myself was applying paint to the master bath area.  I spent most of the day painting.  It was a beautiful, sun-filled day.  Thank heaven!  The doorknob, replacing the old shiny brass one, is an oil rubbed bronze.  So the old hinges needed to be painted, too.  The weather has not been cooperating with me.  Not wanting to asphyxiate my family, this was a job to do outside, or it would have already been done.

Paint your hardware, too! on
Paint your hardware, too!

  The white rubber tip of the door stop was taped off with blue painter’s tape.  A piece of Styrofoam from packing was used to lay out the hinges.  The screws were screwed into it to be sure the heads were painted.  This worked nicely but I think the paint started eating the Styrofoam, which was not a big deal.  (On occasion, I’ve used cardboard this same way.)  It was going to be thrown in the trash anyway.  

   A few light coats of paint were sprayed on each side of the hinges, allowing the paint to dry between coats.  It’s much better to spray a few light coats rather than one heavy coat.  It will prevent drips and runs giving a much better finish.

   While the door was down, I painted one side of it.  Our doors were all white at one time.  In the kitchen, we have a set of sliding doors to the pantry.  From the family room, I would sit and look at those doors, thinking that they stuck out like a sore thumb.  I thought and thought about what to do with them.  Then one day I was watching a television show and in the background was a door with panels, which had been painted a different color.  I looked at my doors.  Problem solved.

   On my color fan, I chose a color one tint lighter than what was on the walls and bought a semi-gloss paint from Sherwin Williams.  The door was taken off the hinges and laid on the floor.  Then I removed the hardware and taped the indentations with painters tape and painted away that plain door!

   A word here on applying the painter’s tape, the straight edges are easy enough.  Just be sure you rub along the edges to be sure they are sealed well so the paint won’t seep under the edges.  The curved edges take a little bit more finesse.  You will have to clip  the inside piece of the tape many times to manipulate the curved edge.  It takes a little time but it’s easily done.

Paint your white door! on
Paint your white doors!

   I liked the end result so much, one by one, the rest of the doors have been or are going to be painted.  The side facing into the room is now Autumn blonde.  The other side will soon be green, to match the walls in the bath and dressing area.  Visually, it is so much more pleasing!

New paint, new crown molding, and new tile! on
Master bath makeover.

    The crown molding is up, the baseboards are installed, and the tile is done.  The Autumn blonde color looks great with the green ceiling, which is the same color as the dressing area and our bedroom.  I love the soft, new look!

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Foolproof Way to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home

February 2, 2015

    Like to know a foolproof way to choose paint colors for your home?  Well, several years ago, I watched Christopher Lowell on his show, Interior Motives.  I loved that show!  He imparted so much knowledge and encouraged and empowered people to do it for themselves.  His show was clearly the catalyst for many of the home improvement, decorating, cooking and entertaining shows that followed.  Having attended an art school, working in graphic arts for awhile and loving crafts and so many facets of art, I was an attentive student.

   On one of his shows, he explained how to take a paint color fan, either purchased from or given to you by your favorite paint store and use it to coordinate or match the colors you have chosen for everything from paint to fabric and chachkas.  He explained that if you want to create a pleasing flow from one room to another, just choose the same depth of color in your paint.  If you choose a color from the second row, choose your other colors from the same row, as indicated by the arrows in the photo of the fan.  If you choose a color from the 3rd row, choose all colors from the 3rd row.

Foolproof Way To Choose Paint Colors on
Foolproof Way To Choose Paint Colors

      When I first started painting the kitchen, I realized the color had too much white in it.  I immediately went with a tint, with more color and less white in it.  My final colors were all from the first row.  Most paint dealers now have a sample can of paint, which you can purchase inexpensively, and try in a small amount.

   It doesn’t matter what hue (red, yellow, blue, yellow-green,etc.), the amount of white, (tint), or black, (shade) really will make it easy to determine if the colors you choose will go together well.

   Have you been to a home, where the colors were all over the place, some rooms had been painted a pastel, and the colors of other rooms were so intense and jolting, they were unsettling?  It is unsettling to jump from one extreme to another.  Choosing colors correctly makes a smooth transition from one room to another.

   Based on what he said, I chose paint colors for our new home, which is an open floor plan on the first floor.  I have used blues, green and tans, but there is just a calm pleasing flow from one room to another since they were all the same tint, (same amount of white in each hue).  Has anyone ever made it simpler?  These colors work together beautifully. 

   Before choosing the colors, I went to the fabric store and chose a floral fabric, which I absolutely love.  I love the colors and I love the floral, but even if I tire of the print, I will never tire of the beautiful colors.  From that fabric, I made a tablecloth, pillows and even bought a bench upholstered in the same fabric.  Then using the fabric, I matched hues and chose the same level of tint for all of them.

Fabric Inspiration For Paint Colors on
Fabric Inspiration For Paint Colors

    I could have chosen a painting and used the same process, but I guess the fabric was more tactile and easy for me to carry around for matching or coordinating everything.  The beauty of this is that matching everything to that fabric means I can move things from one room to another and they coordinate beautifully.  If you look at this fabric closely, you will notice there are a lot of colors, which gave me a lot of options.   (Choose a fabric with lots of colors and you give yourself lots of options!)  Finding the closest color on the color fan, I would then just go to the first row and use that color as my paint color.  

  A darker shade or lighter tint could have been chosen, but the first row of colors is what spoke to me.   I have found that those colors have made a beautiful background for my own furnishings.  Isn’t that what your walls should be?  

   Check back next week for more of color and paint, and learn how you can be happy with your choices, too!


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