Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Sneak Peek

I'm in the middle of decorating for local Christmas Tours and don't want to share too much here just yet but couldn't resist sharing a little....

My hubby brought home this little cedar tree and I thought it would be perfect for this empty space in the kitchen.  I simply adorned it with some of the wood gift tags I made.

And as you can see, I'm a jar person.  I love decanting all my dry goods into pretty vintage jars.  The more the merrier.  :)

 The two vintage paintings I actually found in a dumpster.  I was so drawn to them so I snatched them up and gave them a home in my kitchen. 

I was so excited to decorate the dining room this year.

The chippy red bench was also found by my hubby and I thought it was perfect for Christmas and our home in it's less than perfect condition.  (Sorry for the sun glaring in the photo)

I love using things from nature to decorate so these walnut tree stumps definitely got to come inside for the season.  I sanded them a little and sprayed them with a clear gloss.

And here's a little peak at our stairs.  I usually never share them because I don't like the staircase.  I dream of having a beautiful stair rail but for now, we don't.  I was inspired by Carla's stair project last year so I did my own version this year with one of my dad's favorite Christmas songs.

That's it for now!  I'll share more soon!

Take care!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Anthropologie Inspired Gift Tags

I always take inspiration from Anthropologie during the holidays.  Their gift wraps and tags, as well as, holiday decor are so happy.  But the prices, not so much. 

I recently came across their holiday wooden gift tags and became completely smitten with them.  I love using nature in decor and even better that it's something that comes from your own backyard.

I knew these would be ridiculously easy to make so I went looking around in the backyard for a log, preferably a dead one that was already somewhat dried out.  I found the perfect one about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and used a miter saw to slice it into 1/4 inch slices.  I used a drill bit to make a small hole in the top and threaded a piece of twine through it.  Done.

I made homemade vanilla this past summer to give away as gifts for Christmas and I thought these would look cute on the little bottles.  And I can't wait to use them on my gifts.

Note:  I tried making these with some logs that my hubby cut fresh off a tree and the wood was still so wet inside that I didn't think it would work.  I was worried they would crack during the drying out process.  I didn't coat these with anything.  You could probably seal them with polyurethane if you wanted.   But I like them natural.

Super easy and free and I was able to make a big pile of them.  I love giving gifts so I need a lot!  LOL  :)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Chalkboard Wall

I've wanted to do a chalkboard wall in our home forever but as you will see from the photos, our walls are very heavily textured and I didn't think I would be able to write on them. 

But I just couldn't stand it anymore.  I really wanted one.  So, I tested it out first with a piece of chalk and tried writing on it, and surprisingly, it was no big deal at all.  Sure it isn't perfectly smooth, but I could write on it and it still looked fine.  That was all I needed to get busy and paint a side and I couldn't be more happy with the results.

Of course, this did inspire a couple of other projects.  Isn't it funny how that always happens.  When my dad died, I inherited some of his wine collection.  He was quite a wine connoisseur and even though some of it is no longer drinkable, I will never get rid of it and I wanted to display some of it proudly.  I also wanted to display it on the wall against the chalkboard wall color.  I looked for a DIY wine rack tutorial and found this one.  I did it a little bit differently in that I didn't use the same size bolts and I also spray painted them oil rubbed bronze because I didn't care for the color of them. 

Because we already had the barn wood, this project cost me less than $5 because all I had to buy was the bolts for .38 each.  How great is that?  I absolutely love how it turned out.

I've had a lot of emails asking where we bought our light fixture in the dining room.  I actually don't remember because it was bought 8 years ago when we bought the house.  However, I wasn't happy with it at all because it had frosted glass shades on it that forced the light up onto the ceiling instead of down onto the table for a cozier setting.  For years I just lived with it but I couldn't stand how cold the dining room felt with the light like that so I decided to see if I could just remove the glass shades and sure enough, you could.  I removed them all and added clip on shades from Lowes, which I loved and they made the lighting perfectly cozy.  For this project though, I went a little further and added burlap to each shade to give more texture to the room.

I cut out the fabric, sprayed the shade with spray adhesive, wrapped it and hot glued the rest.  Because I didn't cut it out perfectly, I added a piece of rope to the inside to clean it up a bit.  I just hot glued it on.  It just makes it a little bit neater since you can easily see up under the shade while walking in the dining room.

For the sentiment on the wall here, I printed everything from wordpad on my computer and traced it onto the wall using different fonts.  Yes, it took all day but boy do I love it.  I wish I could remember the name of each font I used but I don't.  Sorry.

I still have a couple more things to add to the wall but I wanted to go ahead a share it now.

I love it!  So if you've been wanting to do a chalkboard wall but thought you couldn't because of the wall texture in your home, I'd say go for it!  :)

Have a great day!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pumpkin Scones

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I can't get enough pumpkin during the Fall season.  I love it.  Especially in scones.  These are simple, fast and so tender and flaky.  And I may or may not have eaten them all myself at midnight last night.  ;)

Pumpkin Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
7 TBS sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
6 TBS cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 TBS heavy cream
1 large egg

Spiced Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 TBS whole milk
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in food processor and pulse to combine.  Add cold butter and pulse until butter resembles small pea size crumbs.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, heavy cream and egg.  Whisk until mixed together.

Fold into wet ingredients.  Form dough into ball and pat into a 9 in x 3 in wide rectangle.  Cut into 3 equal portions.  But those 3 portions diagonally so that you have 6 equal triangle shaped slices of dough.

Place on greased baking sheet.  Bake 14-16 minutes.

Combine ingredients for the glaze and drizzle over warm scones.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Breadboard Winner

First I want to tell you how much I enjoyed reading about all of your wonderful Fall memories and traditions.  It's such a blessing to be able to take a trip down memory lane and remember special times with our loved ones.  Thank you for leaving such lovely comments.  :)

Random number generator selected comment number 41 as the winner of the breadboards:

What a sweet way to remember your father! I love the pictures of him, and I assume that's you in the one!
My favorite fall tradition is chili and frito pie! The very first day in fall when the temperature drops and it's actually chilly, we all proclaim that "it's chili weather!" We make up a batch of chili and turn most of it into frito pie. It's been something my family has done since I was a little girl, and something I still do to this day. And now I want frito pie...

Thank you, Cathey!  Please email your contact info to so I can get these in the mail to you!

On another note, we are getting ready to start a big project in our kitchen:  new butcherblock countertops and a subway tile backsplash!  I can't wait!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Breadboard Giveaway

*************COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED**************

Today is my dad's birthday.  He would have been 68 years old.  I miss him so. 

In remembrance of him, I would like to give away a set of my mini french bread boards together with the long french bread board to one of my wonderful readers.

My breadboards are my way of honoring him so I thought what better way to celebrate his birthday.  I love my readers and shop customers and appreciate you all so very much!
To enter this special giveaway, all you need to do is leave a comment below telling me your favorite Fall memory or tradition.  That's it!

Comments will be closed on Sunday night (October 20) and a winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday morning October 21st.

Have a wonderful day!

****************COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED****************

Monday, October 14, 2013

Faux Fireplace

I love fireplaces.  To me, they warm your soul, not just your body.  Since hubby and I have been married, I've dreamed of having one.  I grew up having a fireplace.  I loved helping my dad carry in wood and build a fire during the cold winter months.  He taught me all about kindling and what worked best.  Sometimes, he would even let me start it myself and I always felt so proud when I was able to get a fire going as good as he could.  To this day the scent of a fireplace burning somewhere in the air outside takes me right back to those special times with my dad.  It stops me in my tracks and I remember how much pride he seemed to take in building a fire for his family on cold evenings.

Our house doesn't have one and since I can't build a functioning fireplace, I decided to do the next best thing, a faux version.  It might not be just like what I had growing up but it certainly reminds me of that and brings back wonderful memories.  And hopefully it will provide a feeling of warmth for our kids too.

I used the cheaper wood from Lowes that is full of knot holes and it cost me a little under $100 to build.  I followed this tutorial, somewhat.  It took me an afternoon to build and I painted and added the barn wood the next day.  Not too bad as far as being time consuming.  And it really wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be.  I've wanted to build one forever but always felt it was too intimidating.   It wasn't once I got started.

To achieve a glowing "fire" look, I built a box from the remaining scraps of barn wood and filled it with burlap, Christmas lights and wood logs.  To really make it seem real and have a little fun with it, I play my crackling fire in the fireplace app on my ipad.  :)  A couple of times, I even caught myself going to stand in front of it to "get warm".  Silly, I know.

I am so happy with it and really, when I look at it, I can't believe I did it.  I know my dad would be super proud.

For the top, I used an extra thick piece of barn wood that I sanded down and waxed.

I decided against using candles in the box as I didn't want to be worried about wax dripping everywhere, which seems to always be a problem when I group candles together and burn them.  Luckily, there is an outlet directly behind the barn wood so I cut a small hole in the wood to provide an opening so I could plug in the lights and have it be perfectly hidden.

Can't wait to decorate it for the holidays!!

Have a wonderful day!

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fall Porch Ideas

I probably say this every year but I think I had the most fun this year decorating our porch for Fall.   I do love this time of year and I think it's so fun and festive to see everyone's homes decorated for the Fall season.  But more than anything, some of my most cherished family memories are during the Fall/Halloween season.

I think that one of my favorite things about decorating for Fall is that most of the things we use come from nature; hay bales, corn stalks, mums and pumpkins.   It's natural and organic, which I love.

If you read my front door post, I told you that I also completely changed our wood screen door.  It has also been painted many colors since we bought it years ago, so I stripped all the paint off with paint stripper, sanded it and stained it.

I've had a lot of people ask me where we bought this door and the answer is Lowes.  It had a mahogany colored shellac of some sort on it when we bought it and I didn't care for it so we just painted over it.  I love the finish it has now as it makes the door look aged which I just love.

I did NOT strip the paint off the grid on the door over the screen because that would have been torture so instead I just painted it using the same technique I used on the front door to make it "look" like wood.  I also used a strip of cut up coffee sack to hang a wreath.

My hubby found this old porcelain sink but the finish was a bit icky so I painted it with spray paint textured with sand and filled it with pumpkins, twigs and antlers.  I just liked the rough texture the sand spray paint gave it.

My hubby also found this old ladder that I just loved because of the paint spilled all over it.  So I made burlap squares and stenciled letters onto them to spell BOO for Halloween and pinned them to the ladder rungs.

Because we love to add Halloween touches to our Fall decor, I also printed out silhouettes of crows and stenciled them on burlap and made pillows.  After Halloween, I will simply flip them over and stencil something for Thanksgiving on the other side.  This didn't cost anything since I already had a big roll of burlap and black paint.  And I covered pillows that I already had.

I still have the mason jar tea light holders hanging from the porch ceiling.  And I love the natural jute rope wrapped around the ugly chain on our porch swing.

I love taking pictures at dusk but I'm still learning.  The warm glow coming from the inside of a home at this time of day is so inviting.

I sure hope that's what people feel when they visit our home.   :)

Happy October 1st!

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Front Door Transformed

This past summer I made a hasty decision to paint our front door a mustard yellow.  It was one of those decisions that I knew I'd regret almost as soon as I made it.  And I did.

Truth is, I absolutely detest the door.  It doesn't go with our house and I just plain don't like it.   It has been every color under the rainbow but I finally figured out that painting it over and over isn't going to make me like it more.

I want a craftsman wood door but that certainly isn't in our budget so I attempted to do the next best thing.  A faux wood door.  I had no idea how to do this so I guessed as I went along.   The door already has fake wood grain embedded so I didn't need the tool to get that look.  I just wanted a deeply rich colored door with many dimensions, if that makes sense.  But most of all, I wanted to cover that window.

Anyway........yuck!  Here is the before.

Luckily, we have a nice wood screen door that covers this ickiness up.  That door also received a transformation that I will share when I share our Fall Porch.

Here is the front door after.

I would like to be able to tell you the colors I used but I just mixed a bunch of colors from my paint stash and then rubbed an antiquing glaze over the entire door.  The antiquing glaze I bought at Lowes.  I just dabbed and rubbed off until I had the look I wanted.  The colors included a leather brown color, a chocolate color and a gold and a little black.

Then to cover the glass, I painted chalkboard paint, 4 coats to be exact, and stenciled the message on the front.  I also painted chalkboard paint on the glass on the other side of the door but I'll show you that later.

I. Love. It!! 

After 7 years of living in this house, I finally love the front door and I only had to spend 10 bucks for the glaze since I had everything else.  Yay!

What do you think?

I'll be sharing our Fall Porch soon so stay tuned!! 

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Mums and Olive Buckets

A couple of days ago I was out shopping and came across these gorgeous mums in galvanized olive buckets at.............Walmart?!?!  Hard to believe, right?  And they were only 15 bucks!  I was so excited I almost ran my cart into a display of candles.  Yikes.

I wanted to let you all know about them.  I shared them on instagram and a few people said they weren't at their local Walmart.  We have a supercenter so maybe they are only available at those?  Anyway, can't hurt to check and maybe ask their gardening department if they can get them. 

And this isn't a paid advertisement, I just love to share a good deal. 

Honestly, I can't wait for the mums to be past their prime so I can use the adorable buckets.  My hubby surprised me with a second one so I will be using some outside as well.

Have a great day everyone!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Dining Room

There are no words to express how touched I am by all the sweet and encouraging emails and comments I have received over the last few days.  Wow.  I wish I could personally thank each of you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Home Office

Hello!  Lots of changes going on in our house and so that meant finding a new place for our office.  We didn't want it in the bedroom anymore because we're trying to keep that room a relaxing place so the next best option was our rarely used living room.  So, I carved out a little corner and here's what I came up with.

Excuse all the cords.  I just can't figure out how to hide them.  The cow watercolor painting came from this Etsy shop and I am completely smitten with it.  She does all kinds of animals if you'd like to check it out.

The cute little owl lamp came from Walmart, believe it or not, and I love it.  I made the yardstick planter and maybe I will do a tutorial on it in the future.  It wasn't easy, let me tell ya.

I've been collecting vintage drawings and paintings so I gathered them all up and put them in a basket beside the desk.

I have changed this room quite a bit so I hope to show you more pics of the finished room soon!

Have a great week!

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