Monday, August 31, 2015

Whimsical Gallery Wall

My "office" is in my basement.  I work on signs and sew pillows and curtains down there while the washer and dryer hum away. When we bought this house the basement had a door...and our Weimaraner named Otto decided he didn't like having a door because he was put behind the basement door when we left. He had separation anxiety. The door was shredded by his claws. After 13 years Otto went to doggy heaven and we had to deal with the missing basement door.  I decided we didn't need a door, just retrim the opening and I will have a gallery wall.
For how large this house feels when I'm cleaning it, there isn't a lot of wall space.  I like whimsical and goofy saying and random things that didn't "go" with the rest of the house.  I needed a spot to display those things I just couldn't get rid of (yes I border on being a hoarder.)
My husband isn't a fan of the "gallery wall." Every time he carries something large up or down the stairs he swears a lot.  But he gets over it.
Scrapbook paper and bird stickers start the art tour ;)

A good reminder every day.  And obviously I have a thing for birds.

A reminder to eat vegetables....

Another good reminder, one that I am not good at....

My littles. They will always be my littles even when they play high school football and decide they love fashion and high heels.

Tommy's self portrait will forever hang in my house.  Forever. He was 5 when he drew it.

I have a thing for cow art.  When I was very young my mom married my step-dad.  I don't even like to call him that.  He's my dad, but I have a dad who passed away when I was two so he's my second-dad.  That's better.  Anyway, he is from Chatham and there were cow fields all around my grandmother's house.  We LOVED to stop and look at the cows.  My brother was about two at the time and he loved the moo-cows (as he called them).  Their faces are so serene and their eyes so kind. 

The center print below the cow says "Be a fruit  loop in a world full of cheerios."  My kids love this saying. They read it often and chuckle.  I figure if  I get through to them in little ways it will stick with them as they get older :)

This artist does such pretty, colorful art.  Katie Daisy is on Etsy. 

Those pictures are not of my family...someday I'll get to that. The wreath is a hamper lid and a second hand plastic boxwood wreath.  I like to layer my clothes and my home accessories.

Another Katie Daisy print.

Everyone should have a spot in their home to put the things you just like.  They don't have to make any sense to anyone but you :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Living Room – Where We Truly Live

Sometimes I get annoyed with the amount of space we have in our house.  It’s not a small house at about 2,000 square feet, but there is not a family room or a first floor bathroom.  The living room is the only “living space” in our house.  It’s where the computer is and where the television is.  It’s where we visit and lounge and read and entertain.  There is not another space to send the kids when they want to have friends over.  This room is lived in. 
The coffee table was originally a thrift store kitchen table that I rolled to the garage one day and asked my husband to shorten.  He looked at me like I was a crazy lady, which is the look I get often, and he took out the saw and cut it down, just like I trained him—ask no questions and just do as he is told ;)  It has been painted multiple times because the kids colored on it, played with play dough on it, painted on it, ate on it, climbed on it, and who knows whatever else on it.  The paint was getting irreparable on the top, so I stripped only the top and stained and sealed it.  
I didn’t want a big, reclining leather sofa in my living room.  My dream was white slipcovered sofas that evoke a nice cottage feel.  I guess my husband wasn’t so far off in thinking I was crazy.  But I was smart and agreed to a leather couch as long as it wasn’t “too puffy.”  Kids can spill on it and dogs can come in with muddy paws and it only needs to be wiped down.  Easiest piece of furniture I have ever owned!
The rug is from  One thing I have learned from kids and dogs is that good rugs are worth the expense.  The rug is wool and it cleans beautifully and is holding up well for all of the traffic.  Plus I find that patterned rugs hide stains and spills better.
We live in this room, literally.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why I Blog...Sometimes I Just want to Chat.

Sometimes I just want to chat and what better place to do that then this blog? It's been such a busy month.  My house was on a historical home tour at the end of June so I spent time working on finishing projects and cleaning my home.  I am OCD in general, but knowing that people would be walking through our home critiquing it made me go into overdrive a bit.  My house is clean and many projects are done.  I got positive feedback and enjoyed chatting with people who love houses as much as I do. 

Four days later I had my first booth at our town festival.  I sold my refurbished furniture and signs made from reclaimed wood and treasures I had picked up along the way.  I was sooooo nervous.  What if no one liked what I was selling?  Why am I selling this stuff anyway?  When people asked how I got into doing this I was honest when I said I have always been doing it, but lately have found that my own projects on my home are winding down and I asked my husband if we could sell our house and buy a new "old" one so that  have projects again.  He laughed at me (he had the gall to actually laugh!) and told me that we were not moving and that I should find some other way to get creative.  If I kept all of the things I refurbished or built I would not have room to walk in my home.  And I truly just love doing it.  I get excited when someone asks me to help them choose colors for their rooms.  My family and friends have been getting my input on their homes for years.  I often wish that had I known in college that home decorating, furniture, reorganizing, refurbishing, and anything to do with houses would make get me as excited as it does, I would have chosen a different career path.  Don't get me wrong...I love my career.  It is a great job and I never think about leaving it, but I also find that to be happy I need to keep my mind and my hands busy and this stuff makes me want to stay up late and get up early.  So why not do both? 

I know that most people probably won't even read these words and they want to look at pictures of pretty things, so I am also going to show you my dining room.  This room has had few changes since I painted it and made the curtains 11 years ago when we moved in.  The curtain fabric is Ralph Lauren and I found it on eBay.  We use the room occasionally to eat in, but most often it is a multipurpose room where I paint a piece of furniture or work on a project or set up my sewing machine.

This is a DIY bench from an old coffee table I purchased for a $1 and old cushion from an outdoor sofa that was falling apart.  I won't admit to being a hoarder ;)

I purchased this china cabinet from the newspaper for $75 about 15 years ago.  A coat of paint and new hardware and it matches my table and chairs perfectly.

My mom had this print in her attic.  She was going to sell it in a rummage sale and I took it because it reminds me of the road to my grandparent's camp on Lake Superior -- such great memories.

I hide all of our winter hats, gloves and scarves in this dresser.  Again -- an old piece found at the thrift store and painted to match the dining room.

This print is by Cavallini & Company.  I made the "frame" for it using two pieces of trim, attaching them together with two cabinet knobs and sandwiching the print in between the trim before I tightened it.  I used thick rope to hang it.  Rustic and easy.

This picture just gives a better idea of how all of my rooms are connected. My design philosophy is based on all rooms flowing into the next.  Each room should have at least one color that connects it to the next room. 

BEFORE: I moved these shades to other lamps and painted shades the barrel shades black.  They were starting to yellow and look very dirty.

AFTER: The sprayed painted shades.  I think they turned out well :)

This is a close up of the berries I have on the chandelier...just a little added charm.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Emma's Girly Bedroom

Emma is 9.  A year ago we decided to switch her room with her brother's room because she needed more space for all of her treasures.  And she has lots of treasures!  I enjoyed every minute of doing this room, even though it took about 10 days to peel every little chunk of the 60 year old wallpaper off of the walls.  Emma was old enough to have an opinion about the d├ęcor of her room, so she chose the wallpaper and colors.  The amazing thing about this room was the hardwood floors -- they were beautifully preserved under the carpeting.  And the bead board is wallpaper -- you read that right, wallpaper!   And the little aqua chair is an old chair painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint!  :)  My husband built the built-in bookshelf and all of the furniture is hand-me-downs or thrifted.  I used the big cabinet in my room when I was a teenager and my mom was no longer using it, so I asked if Emma could use it in her room for all of her "stuff." 

The chimney was in a terrible state when we tore the wallpaper off.  That is faux brick paneling cut to fit and painted white. 

The chalkboard is an ugly old picture from a thrift store that had a great frame. We painted the picture with chalkboard paint and painted the frame a pretty aqua. 

One Saturday this winter Emma and I found an ugly canvas print at the thrift store.  We took it home and painted over the ugly picture and made her a saying for her wall.  I have no doubt that girl was born with glitter in her veins :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Did You Wonder if I'd Ever Write a Blog Post Again?

Did you wonder?  I sure did.  With Facebook and Instagram I can post photos quickly and easily.  Blog posts require thought and grammar and I prefer to have my hands full of paint or sanding a tabletop.  But, I realize that I haven't shown you the kid's bedrooms and sometimes I want to say more than a FB post or Instagram is appropriate for. 

My home was on a historic home tour this past weekend.  I didn't go crazy.  I was tired becaause I worked on my house for days (I took 3 days of off work) but I enjoyed every minute of it.  I only hated that my feet got sore before I got what I wanted done.  And the best part of it was that the house was so clean I couldn't help but take a ton of pictures to document it. 

One of my favorite projects was switching Emma and Tom's rooms last summer.  Emma needed the larger room because she has way more stuff - my goodness girls have junk.  Plus, both rooms really needed a good, deep down scrub down. 

I love both rooms equally.  They were both old enough to know what they like and they contributed to the design of each room. Because Tom is the oldest I thought I would showcase his room first.  He is my kindhearted, hard working, dedicated, smart, funny as ever son who LOVES fishing.  He plans his whole life around fishing...and Hematite football.  And I'm ok with that because both are good for him.  Every day I thank God for those two kids. They get me.  They tease me about my craziness but seem to know where I am coming from because they love clean and orderly and matching just as much as I do.  (I apologize for the crappy photos.  I use my iPhone and my talent is not in photography.)


Yes, those are the stickers still on the piping we used for the legs. What a bugger to get off!!

This is the "small" closet for our house.  The man who built our house owned a clothing store and I figure he had lots of clothing to store  -- for 1935 it's amazing how large they are.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

An Old Prom Dress is Now a Flower Pin

Are you a crafter/DIY'er?  I am, obviously.  And I love reusing something old to make something new.  And I love flowers. I laugh when I look at my blog posts describing my rooms.  Every room is floral.  My poor husband...nah, I really don't feel that bad about it ;) I love flowers!
I found this old prom dress at St. Vinnie's, or should I be more proper and say St. Vincent DePaul's?  Nah, we aren't that formal around here...I cut up formal dresses.
The fabric should be satin.  Old prom or bridesmaid dresses are perfect.  And the netting can also be used.  Cut the fabric in multiple size circles. They don't have to be perfect. 

Hold the fabric about an inch or so away from the flame -- DO NOT touch the flame.  You will start a fire and if you live in my town my husband will have to come and put it out.  I will be pretty embarrassed when you tell the fire chief that I am the reason your house started in fire. Listen to me, do not touch the fabric to the flame. 

The longer you hold the fabric near the flame the more the fabric will curl. 

You can use a green dress to make leaves, or ribbon works well, too. 

The leaves can be folded and manipulated.

I also cut up some of the netting and melted the edges a bit. 

Layer your pieces together to make sure you like the look.  Make them as large or as small as you want.

I folded the leaf and hot glued it in place.

You can hand sew or hot glue the layers together.  Sometimes I'm lazy and I just use hot glue.  Sometimes I want to use tiny beads and I hand sew.  Today I used hot glue. 

The flowers can be put on headbands, pins, alligator clips, or whatever you can come up with.  I have seen a belt made of ribbon with multiple flowers attached to it for the waist of a dress. That would be adorable for a little girls dress. 

A little green felt and glue attach the pin to the back of the flower. 

And the finished product. 

This is a floral belt I found on Pinterest.  I think it would be so cute on a flower girl or Easter dress. You will notice that you can also use a sheer satin fabric, too, for a more delicate looking flower.   You can get creative with the beads or buttons in the center. 

fabric flower brooch corsage pin in parfait pink and gray froth

I have made these flowers as gifts and they do not look "handmade" to me. Craft on!