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.  :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I saw this idea for coloring Easter eggs on a Martha Stewart show years ago and thought I would share. I don't know what it is about these eggs, but I love them! I love the bright colors, I love the variety, and I love how simple they are to make.


We started by cleaning out our eggs.  I really like doing this because you can keep your eggs for years!  I've had some of mine for around six years now.  The first year I made these, I blew the yoke out by hand errr I guess you would say mouth. :)  It took a looooong time and it was not very fun.  Then I found out about an incredible fantastic amazing little tool called a Blas-Fix.  This little guy that will make this part of the project a MILLION times easier! 
 The little green thingamabobber acts as a drill when you twist it, and makes a small hole in the egg.  We decided to use a Dremel to save time. 

Next, you'll want to stick something in the hole you made and scramble up the yolk a bit.  We used a bamboo skewer to do this.  If you don't do this, you'll end up with an egg that explodes on you.  Some of us...ok ALL of us learned this lesson the hard way. :)

Now you can put the needle like end of your blas-fix into the hole and use the hand pump to flush out the inside of the egg.  Once you get all the yolk out, I would recommend using the blas-fix to squirt some water in your egg to really get it clean.  No stinky eggs here. :)

So the prep work is a little time consuming, but now the fun part begins.

Mix up your colors.  This is not an exact science but I've added a simple recipe below to make it easier.

3 cups of water
20 drops of food coloring 
2 teaspoons of vinegar

Next you'll take your rubber cement and drizzle it all over your egg.  There is no right way to do this so just have fun with it. 

You'll need to let the rubber cement dry before you start coloring the eggs. We used bamboo skewers to prop the eggs up in a cup.  

Once the rubber cement has dried you can dip your egg into one of the colors.  The intensity of the color you'll get depends on how long you keep your egg in the water.  The longer you keep the egg in the water the deeper the color will get.  

Once you're happy with the color of your egg.  Prop it up on the skewer again and let it dry.  There were four of us making eggs, so we had eggs everywhere!  As you can see, things got a little messy at my small table. :)

Now ever so gently, rub the rubber cement off of your egg using your fingers.  There are a few different way to proceed now...big decisions!  Hehe. :)  You can dip your egg into a second color or if you're like my mom and like the tone on tone look, you can dip your egg back into the original color.  My sister Libby decided she liked the egg with just one color so skipped this next step.  I thought they all turned out great!

So, what do you think?  Do you have a favorite way to decorate Easter eggs?  Have you ever used a Blax-Fix?  I would love to hear from you....whoever you are. ;)