inspiration, projects

an empty wall…

Unfortunately, our house doesn’t offer a lot of opportunities for wall art. The entire rear wall is mostly windows and the rest tends to be small bits of angled wall interrupted by doors or stairs. Our one large wall is the one I stenciled (shown here) and has a simple mirror to break up the busy pattern.

Recently, we moved around some furniture in order to better showcase this beautiful Amish dry sink we got from my husband’s grandmother.

DRYSINK

 

We had used it upstairs as a changing table but felt like that kept it waaay too hidden for something this great. So, we moved it downstairs into our dining/kitchen area and now right above it is a huge empty wall.

emptywall

 

As soon as I saw it, my wheels started turning…what would I put there? Something wooden/antique? Framed artwork? A shelf for seasonal items? I love gallery walls, but already have one up the stairs – evidenced here.

Then…I remembered seeing an idea while back and wishing I had a spot for it – a plate wall!

I love the vintage look and feel like it could really mesh with our modern farmhouse style. So, I started browsing around the web for some inspiration and found these:

platewallfavs

image sources here, here, here & here

I can’t wait to get started – but this is definitely going to be a work in progress as I watch for plates at thrift stores and slowly build a (cheap) collection that will work. I checked Goodwill today and found nothing that was even remotely cute. This might take me even longer than I had expected! Once I have something to show – I’ll share some pics and prices.

My one dilemma is this: my uber-symetrical brain loves the more organized version, but I feel like the whimsical version that travels up the wall might be a better fit for the shape of my available space. Thoughts? Concerns? Suggestions?

crafty, featured, projects

$50 Cutting Edge Stencil Giveaway!

I have been a big fan of Cutting Edge Stencils for a while – I’ve perused their website so many times, but never got up the nerve to buy one. I couldn’t ever decide which one I liked best.

Amazingly, in June I won a stencil in a giveaway on Delicate Construction and was so excited!

I selected the Rabat Allover Stencil and went about stenciling a large (REALLY LARGE) wall in my living room. It was quite an undertaking. Well, that’s an understatement. It has been A LOT of work.

a little peak at my wall – I’ll be putting up the finished pictures soon!

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out and would do it all over again!

 

One of the best things about Cutting Edge Stencils is that they give you so many tips for how to use your stencil. Their website is full of Q & A, they send you an instruction sheet and they have YouTube videos to help walk you through the process:

 

THE GIVEAWAY!!

Today, I’m so excited to be giving away your choice of stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils (up to $50 value) and they will ship it to you for free!

I hope you are excited about this as I am!

Here’s the details:

Giveaway runs from today (9/17) to Friday (9/21) midnight (EST).

Use Rafflecopter to enter (it’s super easy, I promise!). I’ll announce the winner sometime over the weekend! Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

crafty, featured, projects

Picking the Perfect Gray Paint…

Before we ever bought a house, I knew I wanted to have gray as the neutral color for our walls.

So, I pinned gray rooms like crazy.

Then we bought our first house in February…

and everything was tan…literally…everything.

Tan walls, tile, carpet…tan, tan, tan.

We live in Arizona – a world of brown and I did not want tan. The tile and carpet were brand new, so we knew we wouldn’t change those. We decided that painting the walls would break up the tan monotony.

I ran out and picked up tons of gray paint samples. I jumped online and googled “picking the perfect gray paint” and boy, was I surprised.

Gray is a hard color.

I read blog after blog of people saying their gray looked fine until they got it on their walls and then it turned periwinkle, or purple or green.

I researched my heart out trying to find a basic gray – no blue, green or purple. I asked the paint guys at Home Depot and they didn’t seem to be much help. But I picked what I thought was a neutral gray and bought the $4 sample to test a wall.

Thank God I did!

The color turned a bizarre color of stormy purple as soon as it dried.

It was not good.

So, I headed to Sherwin Williams and got some help. They definitely helped me and I came home with another $4 tester in “Pussywillow” and it was perfect!

 

I love the way it turned out and it definitely makes it so that you are not overwhelmed by the tan tile and carpet when you walk in!

All I can say is I am so glad I bought that test can and painted part of a wall before I committed to a color. My living room would currently be purple if I hadn’t!

 

Tips for Picking the Perfect Gray:

  1. Go to an actual paint store – they know what they are talking about.
  2. Find a nice sales person – if the guy/gal you end up with is a jerk, go to a different store. Find a person who seems to actually care that you get the right color.
  3. Ask to see the paint formula – you can see how much of the other colors go into the mixture. If there is more blue than the other colors, it’s going to have a blue tint. Check the formula.
  4. Buy the sample tester and paint part of a wall. Do it. Trust me. I’m a cheapskate and I hate spending $4 on something that I might waste, but it is so helpful. You will be glad you did it.
  5. And I highly recommend gray – it’s neutral, but not boring…classy, chic and so beautiful. I love it more everyday.

 

This post is not affiliated with Sherwin Williams – they didn’t give me anything…I just love my paint.

crafty, projects

Making Over an Ugly Built-in

It’s been a big project week in our house! We’ve been trying to finish up some things that have been on our to-do list since we moved in in February.

One is this ugly cabinet that was built in when we bought the house. (I don’t have a great before picture, because we hated it so much we avoided taking pictures of it) 🙂

Hideous, right? It doesn’t fit any of our decor and isn’t even really that functional because it forces you to have a relatively small TV. It also had tons of storage for DVD cases – which we don’t even keep – we stick them into our DVD binder. Basically, it was ugly and not really that functional.

 

So first we (meaning my incredibly strong hubby), took off the doors, removed the shelf and all of the interior wood.

 

 

Then, we painted the wood frame the same color as our trim and the interior the same gray as our walls (Pussy willow by Sherwin Williams).

 

And this is the finished product:

 

So much better, right? It’s amazing what a little paint will do – it went from being an eyesore in the living room to actually making our living room look better. Now, I’m off to attack the rest of the to do list!

crafty, featured, projects

{why i love thrift stores} striped mirror makeover

 

Check out what I found on 50% day at Goodwill the other day…I paid $3!

It was propped up behind a bunch of pictures and I knew I could make something awesome out of it.

 

First I covered the mirror with newspaper and blue tape.

 

Then I painted it white and used painter’s tape to eyeball diagonal stripes.

(I was going to do chevron, but decided I didn’t want to attempt all of those zig zags – I’m not much of a measurer)

 

Next I used yellow spray paint (Rust-oleum) over the top.

Last, I pulled off the tape and this is what came out!

 

I think I’m going to use it on this big empty wall -I’m attempting to put some sort of gallery here:

I’m still a long way away from getting everything up on the wall, but when I do, I’ll post pictures!

crafty, featured, projects

Kids’ Cafe Table

I loved this table the moment I saw it…but I have nowhere for it.

 

Nowhere in my whole house.

Except the playroom.

 

So I stuck it in there by the play kitchen and put 2 little chairs at it, but it just looked too plain.

I pulled out some red spray paint {Rust-oleum  Sunrise Red} and spiced it up a bit.

{sanded lightly first, then sprayed 3-4 very light coats of red and 1 coat of spray polyurethane}

 

It looks fabulous in our playroom and my lil’ man Z loves it!

 

 

He says it matches Lightning McQueen now.

 

crafty, projects

Our DIY Mother’s Day Tea

My husband’s family has started a tradition the last few years of having a Mother’s Day Tea for all of the ladies in our family. This was the 3rd year that we’ve had it and I was so excited to be able to fly to Denver to be a part of it. My Mother-in-law hosted the tea at her house and I was able to help her out with lots of DIY projects to make the tea extra special.

The theme of the tea party was “pansies”, so we were all about flowers, flowers and more flowers. We had some terra cota pots that we wanted to use – so we spray painted the bottom of them with chalkboard paint and wrote each ladies’ name on the pot. They were able to take home their own pot with a pansy in it.

Mason Jar Salad, cloth napkin, Scone in a Pot & Name Card

Each lady also had a basket at their place setting (wire baskets from Dollar Tree). The baskets were filled with a cloth napkin, a mason jar salad (inspired by Pinterest) and a flowerpot scone. I didn’t get a great picture of the scone, but you can see it in the basket. The scones were absolutely delicious and baked really well in the pot.

Flowerpot Scones – How to

1. Soak the pots in water for 30+ minutes

2. Find your favorite scone recipe. (We used this incredible cream scone recipe from Savory Sweet Life)

3. Spray the pot with non-stick spray.

4. Drop the dough into the pot. They don’t raise very much so don’t be afraid to fill them pretty close to the top.

5. Bake as directed by the recipe, but expect that it will take 10-15 minutes longer. Watch to see when the top is slightly golden.

6. Serve with Devonshire Cream and preserve.

 

Oh, and we drank tea. You have to drink tea at a tea party, but it’s really all about the food. And we ate. a lot. of. food.

Mini Pie Bites // Cherry Coke Cupcakes // Scones

crafty, projects

My New Aqua Bench!

So, I had this bench…

Nothing too spectacular – it was something my husband’s grandma gave us and I hoped we could find a place for it. Inadvertently, it became the place we put our shoes on and was actually really helpful in our living room. I wanted to add some more color to our living room (it’s a lot of gray, gray, gray), so I decided to paint it.

Luckily, during the month of March, Ace Hardware was giving away quarts of their new Clark + Kensington paint and I made sure to get down there bright and early for my quart. The color I chose was Saxton – an aqua blue-y color. I wasn’t sure what I would use it for, but I knew I would use it somewhere.

It turned out to be perfect for my bench!

I googled lots of furniture tutorials to make sure I wouldn’t mess it up too badly. In the end, I just decided to experiment and see what would happen.

Here’s what I did:

1. Sand it.

2. Wipe it clean.

3. Paint it. (this paint is primer and paint in one)

4. Scuff up edges and corners with sand paper

4. Mix another color with water and apply lightly. I used the gray we had left from our walls (Sherwin Williams’ Pussywillow) and wiped it on and wiped it off until I liked the look. I left it heavier on edges and corners. It’s not super obvious, but adds some depth to the bench.

5. I plan to put a coat of something over it to keep it from scratching, but haven’t gotten there yet.

Every person who walks in asks where I got it…and I love that it was free!

crafty, projects

“Can you paint a lampshade?”

I wasn’t really sure when I suggested this idea to my SIL. She couldn’t find a cute pink lampshade for her new daughter’s nursery anywhere.

I have painted lots of things before, so I suggested…”How about we paint one? Can you paint a lampshade?” We decided to give it a go.

She had purchased a plain white one, but really wanted it to match the girly decor of the room.


Specifically, she wanted pink and bling. So, we bought some pink acrylic craft paint and started painting. I taped off the edges with painter’s tape and began. It took a few coats (the fabric absorbs paint like crazy), but we came out with a pretty cute pink lamp shade. Now, I cannot attest to the longevity of this shade…nor can I suggest leaving it on for hours and hours with a high watt lightbulb in it. Paint your lampshade at your own risk. However, for a lamp that is mostly decorative, this worked like a charm.

She added a beaded border to the edge and there ya have it! Super cute and much cheaper than a shade found in a specialty boutique!