Monday, November 26, 2012


I had EVERY intention of coming home from work and cleaning my basement tonight...BUT...that didn't happen.  I sat down at my computer for...seriously like two minutes...and the next thing I know I'm setting up light room on my patio and in my dining room.  (Sigh) 

I'm really excited to share this idea with you though!  I made a really neat Christmas pillow that was super easy and the best part is, it was totally FREE because I already had all the materials needed.  I have seen a lot of really cute pillows online with little Christmas sayings and I wanted something similar for my living room.  A lot of the techniques required freezer paper to transfer an image to fabric, which I didn't have, so I needed to figure out an alternative method.  I found one that worked great!

I started by setting up a light- on a vacuum box of course- and shined it at the sliding glass door in my dining room.

I printed the words 'Silent Night' onto regular paper and I just taped the papers to the door with the light shining in the background.  

Please ignore the snowflakes on the back side of my 'Night' paper.  That was for a project that didn't happen so I reused it. :)
Next I hung a 20ish by 20ish piece of painters drop cloth on the door and started to trace the words with my Sharpie maker.  I know this is super high tech, but please try to follow along.  Hehe.  I'm totally kidding.

Once I had everything traced I just filled it in and voilĂ ! 

Here is the finished product...well almost finished.  I still need to sew the actual pillow.  In this picture the fabric is just laying on top of a pillow.  I was that excited to post this.  :)

 So what do you think?  It was really easy and cheap.  Do you have an idea of how you could use this same technique on one of your projects?  I think I'm going to make a second one the says 'Holy Night' and put them on my living room sofa.

Even thought I didn't exactly do what I was planning tonight, I still had a fun and productive evening.  The cleaning can wait for tomorrow.


Sunday, November 25, 2012


I hosted a swap party, and it was a lot of fun!  I asked everyone to bring a few home decor items that they no longer wanted and then they were able to swap them for something new.  We drew numbers to see who would go first.  Then I called numbers three at a time and those people went to pick out their new items.  Once everyone had their chance to pick an item we did a second round.  Each person was able to go back through once for each item that they brought.  I think everyone left with some great stuff!

I tried to keep it simple, but anyone who knows me well will tell you that is impossible for me. :)  Soooo, I kept it as simple as I possibly could.  I decided to make a few treats and serve with hot chocolate on a stick.  Mmmmm, it was so yummy.

I would definitely recommend a swap party to anyone who is considering it. :)

I set out tags so people could label their items in case it wasn't obvious.  I also set out name tags since not everyone knew each other...yes I am that person.  :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


A few months ago I told you about a tool called Chip It.  Chip It takes any image you have and creates a coordinating color pallet.  You can see that post here. 

Almost a year ago I bought a shower curtain for my bathroom, but I never put it up because I wanted to paint first.  Well, after almost three years in my home I FINALLY painted my bathroom.  I'm so happy to finally be making some progress in this room.  It was the only room in the house I hadn't done anything with.

I'm not done with the room yet, but here are a few picture of the new paint color, shower curtain, and wainscotting.  Have I ever mentioned that I <3 wainscotting.  :)

I took these pictures on my phone, so I know they aren't the best.

 This light REALLY needs to go.  It just glares at me every time I walk in the bathroom now. :)

I know the space isn't finished, but progress is progress, right?  For now, the little changes I have made make me happy when I walk in the room.


I know it's not even Thanksgiving, but I'm already super excited about Christmas.  I want to make this Christmas season special.  Too many times I look back after the holidays and realize there was so much I didn't do.  I get too wrapped up in the busyness of the season that I forget to sit back and enjoy.  I've made it a goal of mine to soak it all in this year and to remember what the season is really about.  

I know it's a little early, but I started putting up my Christmas decorations and I wanted to share them with you.  Everything here was really inexpensive...bonus!

I already had this hurricane so I just added the fake snow, trees, and the little family picking out their Christmas tree.  Isn't it cute?  I absolutely adore this. :)  I found everything at Menard's.  I think this whole thing cost under $10.

Here is a closer look.

This is actually just a Christmas card I got from someone last year.  I LOVED the picture so I decided to save it.  I already had this frame, so I just swapped the picture I had in it for this Christmas card.  Cost: FREE!

I used the leftover snow (from my hurrican above) in these Ball mason jars and added a flameless tealight and a sprig of evergreen I had leftover from another project. I did buy these mason jars, but I imagine a lot of people already have most of these items on hand already.  I know they are simple, but I think that's what I love most about them.  They look beautiful at night too.  

I hope that everyone has a happy Thanksgiving and spend some good quality time with friends and family this year.  Think of all that you have to be grateful for and remember to ENJOY this holiday season.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Three years years ago I had a 19" tube TV hooked up to a VCR and a DVD player.  Yep, I sure did! :)  I didn't have a smart phone and had never sent a text message.  I thought ordering online was just for smart people and my idea of being "techie" was downloading a song on iTunes...and believe me...that was a challenge!  I was stuck in the stone offense to anyone out there who still lives like this. :)  It's just not for me anymore.  My eyes have been opened!

Fast forward to the present and you will find a totally different girl.  I'm happy to say I have made A LOT of advancements in the technological world.  But...some of these "advancements" have left parts of my house looking a little too much like a bachelor pad.  Sure, I enjoy being able to stream music wirelessly, but I don't LOVE seeing all the gear that goes along with it.  I want my home to feel like Pottery Barn, not Sharper Image. :)  

Here is what I started with.  Yuck!  What was I thinking?  Seriously!!  It's terrible!  Why didn't someone say something to me?!?!  Do my family and friends really not care about me anymore??  My mother must have been worried sick.  I mean...her like a....(gulp)...bachelor.  I kid! Hehe...but let's be honest here- THIS is not good. :) I took a small step to hide some of the gear.  This might not be for everyone, but I love it and it totally works for me!   

I picked up a basket at Hobby Lobby that was big enough to fit my receiver and Blu-ray player.

Then I cut a pretty large rectangle out of the back of the basket.  It was a little difficult to cut into a perfectly good basket, but I reminded myself that it was for the sake of good design. :)  I could have cut a smaller hole, but I wanted to make sure the electronics wouldn't get too hot.

I just used a little hand saw to cut the basket.

Everything fit inside the basket without a problem.  There is plenty of room for the door on the Blu-ray player to open, and I can still operate everything using the remotes.  I will probably have to pull the basket forward just a bit to load a movie, but that isn't a big deal to me.

Well, here it is...maybe not quite Pottery Barn yet, but I'm working on it.  Either way, it's still a big improvement from before and I'm lovin it. :)

 Soooo...I must know!  How do you hide your gear???  What have you done for the sake of good design?  I know I'm unique, but I can't be the only one fighting this battle. ;)

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I've been in party planning mode all day.  Sure I didn't get the laundry finished and I didn't get the floors cleaned, BUT I had a ton of fun brainstorming for my upcoming craft party and I created a really fun party invitations!



Make sure you stop over and see Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick.  Her 'August Before and After Party' has some amazing ideas!  Check her out too- she is so fun and she's full of fresh ideas!

TDC Before and After

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Today I'm sharing a fun little craft project I think you're going to LOVE!  This craft is pretty simple, but it does require a few tools

Normally I don't post a picture of the finished project until the end of my post, but it's just so stinkin cute, I couldn't resist. :)

When I was visiting my sister in Des Moines a few years ago saw these super cute flowers on a couple front doors, but we couldn't find them anywhere.  How frustrating is that!  Maybe you all know where to find them but I looked....I REALLY looked...and totally failed. 

Anyhoo, after some discussion with my two sisters and my mom, we decided we would start making them.  Sooo, if you decide this project isn't for you, there is a link at the top of my page that will direct you to our Etsy Shop where you can purchase one.  We will make the flower in the color you you can still be a little crafty even doing it this way.  Hehe :)

Ok, so here it goes...

I started by making a template.

I used the template to trace out the pieces for my flower onto a 2' X 2' piece of 3/4" plywood.

 Once everything was traced, we used a jig saw to cut out our pieces

Yikes, don't look at my landscaping!  It looks terrible.  I'll blame it on the drought we've had this summer. :)

Some of the edges were a little rough, so we lightly sanded everything.

Next we painted all of our pieces using craft paint and then stained the edges of the boards with some dark walnut stain to finish them off.

Dark walnut stain is the best...I've used the same can on several different projects.  :)

Don't mind the messy table.  We started this project on my back porch, but had to jump ship when a hurricane like storm rolled through.  Everything got dumped set on the kitchen table in a hurry. 

We used construction adhesive to attach the center of our flower to our petals.

We I got a little impatient at this step.  I would recommend giving the construction adhesive some time to set up before moving the flower.  BUT...if you're like me and can't wait to get this flower on your front door...proceed to the next step. :)

Once the construction adhesive has had a chance to set up, flip the flower over and screw your petals to your center piece.  You'll want to use a screw that won't rust and that isn't going to be too long.  I used 1 1/4" galvanized screws.  The kind gentleman at Menards told me these would work well.  

I'm so happy with how it turned out.  It's the perfect addition to my front door for the Spring and Summer months!


When I got off work tonight I was feeling crafty.  I started looking through my Pinterest boards to see if there were any projects that I could work on, but nothing was getting my creative juices flowing.  I sorta gave up on the craft idea and wandered over to the Pottery Barn website to.  I stumbled upon these and I thought they were really cool!

A friend of mine recently finished his basement and it's uber-cool!  It's all Restoration Hardware/ Pottery Barn looking.  And yes...I think it's safe to say I'm just a tad jealous!  ;)  But really, the space is FAN-TAS-TIC! 

Sorry this is the only picture I could find and this is from months ago when it was still under construction.
Anywhooo I saw these and thought they would be a perfect addition to his space.  There was one little problem though.  The Pottery Barn art was way expensive!  Even for my best of friend I couldn't justify spending that kind of money, so I decided I would try to make it.  My version is a mixture of the two, but I think it's really cool and it cost me less than $15!

I started out by painting shims in five different colors.

I had to do a little customer paint mixing on a couple of the colors.  The red and the yellow that I had purchased were just a little too bright for the look I was going for.  

Once I painted all the shims. I laid them out on my plywood.  I tried to lay them randomly - without putting too much thought into it so I didn't end up with any sort of color pattern.

Once I was happy with how everything looked, I went outside to start putting the frame around my plywood.  I bought an eight foot piece of outside corner trim and used construction adhesive to attach it to my plywood.

I decided the stain the whole thing a dark walnut.  The shims aren't perfect so I knew the plywood would show through in certain places.

Then I got a little crazy with the construction adhesive.  Hehe :)  I figure if a little is good than a lot is better and I didn't want anything to fall off!

Then all I had to do was lay my shims down.  Easy as pie!  

I wanted to tone down the paint colors just a bit so I wiped a little dark walnut stain over everything.

I love the dimension the of the shims!

And here it is-  all finished.  I can't wait to see it in his basement!  I think it's going to look great.

I know my version is quite a bit different than Pottery Barn's but I love it just the same.  :)