Tag Archives: DIY

Candle Remake Again

Candle Remake Again

My love affair with candles continues. The other day, I was in the mood for vanilla soy, not the beverage;  rather, the sweet essence of a vanilla soy candle permeating through the air. But I was all out. I had exhausted my supply.


Instead of heading out to the store, I knew I was long overdue for another candle remake as I did here using all  the candle remnants I acquired over the last few months.

leftover candle remnants


When I did my last candle remake, I realized I used the wrong wick resulting in a tunnel burn down the center.

The type of wick matters and although a tunnel burn is good for certain types of candles, it’s not the desired outcome for a jar candle. Fortunately,  I  had purchased  this wood variety  on my last visit to Michaels; they are  especially made for jar candles.


wood candle wick


The “how to ” instructions on how to reuse your candle remnants can be found here.


Now I have many more candle burning present moments ahead of  me to enjoy. It’s a reminder to appreciate the simpler side of everyday life.
candle remake
Do you share my candle love? Have a favorite candle aroma?

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Kitchen Makeover-Part 1

Kitchen Makeover-Part 1

Before i begin,  I would just like to acknowledge everyone who was affected and/or lost a loved one on 9/11. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Last November, two weeks before Thanksgiving, I had a grandiose plan to revamp my tiny kitchen in time for the holidays. LOL LOL LOL I laid out a detailed plan on paper and convinced myself that it can be done in a two week time frame. Although my mental clarity was not compromised, looking back on it, I don’t know what I was thinking. Through it all, I learned a lot about myself and what I really love, and what I don’t really love which is always a good thing. I realized that I enjoy DIY with limits. I now know, if it involves plumbing, electricity and gas, I’m out.

Let me start from the beginning. I moved into my home 13 years ago. During that time,  I did 4 kitchen facelifts, mostly with paint,  replacing kitchen counter tops and trimming the cabinets. Unfortunately, I have very few pics of the original kitchen and the previous facelifts as I wasn’t blogging back then. Our home was built in 1947 and the cabinets were a dark brown laminate with  light grey/beige Formica counter tops and back splash and a white linoleum floor that was impossible to  keep clean and all white appliances. And  there was no dishwasher!

original kitchen montage 2a

When we moved in, immediately,  we replaced the old refrigerator with another white standard fridge and pulled out one of the nine cabinets to make room for an apartment size dishwasher. I was more than willing to sacrifice a cabinet for less dish washing. And then there were eight, cabinets that is.

Quickly, I painted the cabinets in desperation. At the time, I was pregnant with my second son. I have to say this disposable camera shot did not do this first attempt justice.

kitchen reno 2 pic 6

It was a step in the right direction and, I assure you, it get’s way better with facelift #2. I finally got up enough courage to rip the Formica backsplash off the walls. And after some patching, I was glad I did.


Kitchen reno backsplash removal

I added trim to the cabinets and painted them white, replaced the counter tops and painted the walls Benjamin Moore Bradstreet Beige  This began a love affair with all the shades on that paint strip. Various shades, including Jackson Tan started popping up in every room of our home. I did a faux tile paint treatment behind the stove atop vinyl sheeting that I didn’t want to mess with. I like how this makeover turned out, however, after a few years, I got tired of having to scrub the cabinets all the time so I opted to go dark again.

2nd kitchen facelift

The next attempt was a disaster! I’m amazed that I even took a picture. I was going for a faux wood look but instead it looked like someone smeared you know what all over these cabinets. Yuck!

Picture 095

I was rather distraught over this botched paint job and decided to rekindle my love affair with Jackson Tan since Bradstreet Beige was already on the walls..

Benjamin Moore jackson tan bradstreet beige paint chipsSo I painted the cabinets Jackson Tan.

kitchen reno 3 before

I just wanted to give you the back story before showing you my latest update.  As I write this, the new stove is sitting in the middle of the kitchen waiting patiently for the plumbers to hopefully shorten that gas line enough so that the stove can fit flush against the wall instead of sitting out as the previous one did. Wish me luck, as it has been the bumpiest of rides this time around.

How about you, do you have any DIY limitations?

Fine Dining Takes Time

Fine Dining Takes Time

I am so happy to be back in the garage stripping furniture again. It’s been a while, a long while. Now that the clutter has been eradicated, I have room to work again. I’m working on a dining room table  that I purchased some time ago. It’s been waiting patiently for it’s transformation.

dining table IMG_9985 cropped


When I saw it in the thrift store, I immediately thought about it’s Pottery Barn cousin, selling for a whole lot more.

pottery barn Tivoli dining table



Of course I saw beyond the dated parquet top.



dining table closeup IMG_9987

I wanted a light finish table this time around since my previous dining room tables have had a dark finish. My dining room is really small and I think a light table might help give the illusion of more space.  I saw a bleached wood table I saw in a magazine years ago and always wanted to give it a try. However, After sanding and bleaching it, however,  I didn’t quite get the results I anticipated. Yes, it is a blotchy mess.


dining table sanded bleached  IMG_9989


So I have to decide, do I give in go with a dark stain or do I paint it ?  I’m a light color. I’m actually on the fence about it. I also was thinking about a two tone finish, with the pedestal base in a different color. I can always try a dark stain and if I don’t like it, paint over it. Decisions, decisions; sometimes, I just can’t make up my mind and get paralyzed by all the options playing out in my head. What can I say, fine dining take time :)

Are you ever unsure how to proceed with any of your projects? What do you do to get off the fence?

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Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday

Funky Junk Interior: Party Junk

Belated Holiday Greetings!

Belated Holiday Greetings!

Post holiday greetings! I hope that you had a blessed holiday and are looking forward to the New Year. Although I adore this time of year, the holidays always seems to get the better of me. Even though my children are older, 22 and 12, and Christmas this year was very simple, I still found myself turning into the energizer bunny running on E. However, the many hours of preparation and endless tasks are a small price to pay for the joy and love floating in the air.  And the beautiful lights and decorations everywhere make my heart sing!

Speaking of decorations, I did manage to almost finish my vintage ornament wreath at the 11th hour on Christmas Eve. It was my Christmas gift to myself.  And here it is:

vintage ornament wreath IMG_9912 600x362

I love it!  Although, I had 100+ ornaments, I still had to do another thrift store run halfway through. I had too many gold ones and not enough silver. However, as you might already know, you can’t go to a thrift store and expect to find just what you’re looking for. I did find another box of pretty teal blue ornaments though, and incorporated them into the wreath as well. As for the silver ones I needed more of, I decided to strip some of the gold ones I already had.

strip ornament IMG_9827

Most vintage ornaments are usually silver on the inside no matter what color they happen to be on the outside.
After a few seconds in water, the color film crinkles and peels right off. But in order to retain the silver on the inside you have to avoid getting water inside the ornament. However, if a little gets in by mistake that okay too; If you pour it out quickly it might result in a mercury glass look like this one.

mercury glass IMG_9884

Just know that it’s not an exact science and requires some experimentation. As for my wreath, I still have a few more spaces to fill. From afar the gaps are not too noticeable but close up they stand out like a sore thumb. When I take it down, I will fill them in at my leisure.

wreath close up IMG_9912 500 x 492

While working on it,  I had a lot of casualties; some of the ornaments rolled  right over the edge of my work surface and shattered into a gazillion pieces. I will definitely have to wrap it in bubble wrap and find a sturdy box to store it in because it is very fragile. I think if I make another one, perhaps, I can find some vintage looking shatter proof ornaments instead. I’m not sure if there is such a thing but the new glittery ornaments in stores today just don’t do it for me.

As for our Christmas tree, my selection turned into a teachable and reaffirming experience. My intent was to have a cute table top tree instead of using our pre lit one. I wanted to try something different.  The tree I bought home, however,  turned out to be too big for a table top and too small for the floor. So I stacked it up on a crate to give it a little more height and called it our Charlie Brown tree. LOL. The poor thing sat bear until two days before Christmas. Finally, I asked my sons to have at it. I added a few pine cones and ribbon trim and,voila,

pinecone IMG_9878

our too-big to-be-on-the-table and  too-small-to-be-on-the-floor Christmas tree that can’t be taken too seriously.

tree IMG_9912 481x500

The last couple of years, I’ve been learning the importance of going with the flow and allowing what will be to be. The strive for perfection is so overrated and I have decided to move on and choose a different path. And although that path may be filled with many unfamiliar twists and turns, I am embracing and appreciating the imperfect goodness and uncertainty along the way. Each step brings me closer to the authentic life I want to lead.

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Between Naps on the Porch:Metamorphosis Monday

Getting Into the Pumpkin Groove?

Getting Into the Pumpkin Groove?

Have you started your Autumn/Fall decorating yet? Or, like me, you just can’t seem to get it together until the last minute? Either way, cyberspace is full of incredible inspiration. Here’s just a peak at a few ideas that caught my eye.

I know I will be looking at my stash of ribbon and trim in an entirely different way now that I laid eyes on this cutey.

ribbon trimmed pumkin

Better Homes and Garden

Never thought of mixing flowers and pumpkins, that is, until now.

flower embellished pumpkin

Better Homes and Garden

For a more modest approach, here is a small gesture of pumpkin decor.

gourd and eucalyptus display
Ladies Home Journal
Now this just won me over because of the color pallete but I’m digging the plaid too!

painted-plaid-pumpkin by domestically speaking

Domestically Speaking

And for a little, down home country feel, we have this arrangement by Holly over at

pumpkin by downtoearthstyle 2
Down to Earth Style.

Oh, how pretty! I just bought a white pumpkin from Michaels and it’s still in the bag! LOL

Need more inspiration? Well Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors devoted her Party Junk party to DIY pumpkin projects. But before you go, please leave a comment and let me know how your Autumn decorating is or isn’t going? Finished :) or haven’t started :( ?

Stamped Design Knockoff

Stamped Design Knockoff

I think I have a problem. Not sure how serious a problem, but I’m starting to wonder. I see shapes and patterns everywhere I go. I notice patterns, shapes and design on everything. Instead of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, I see the world through shapes. Instead of fighting it, I decided to surrender and use it to my creative advantage.

So when I saw this tray at Haus Interior, I just knew I could create an easy art stamp knock off and avoid the $70 price tag.

Squaresville Nautical Birch_tray_large

I happen to have a similar tray at home. which I painted with white acrylic paint. To duplicate the same color scheme, I would use Poppy Red, Nautical Blue and Maize.

inspiration color way IMG_9193


Instead, I decided to continue the color pattern I used to stamp linen fabric earlier, using Sky Mist, Nautical Blue and Maize.

tray and fabric with stamp pad IMG_9190

I’m pleased with how it turned out in all it’s hand stamped goodness.

tray IMG_9162

Eventually, I will make another throw pillow with the fabric. I’m not a fan of matchy, matchy, but I wanted to try the pattern on more than one surface type.

tray and fabric IMG_9185

So there you have it, an easy tray designed with art stamps.

tray on table IMG_9212

I’m rather pleased.

tray close up IMG_9217

So, tell me, how do you see the world? What do you gravitate toward?

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Diary of a Paint Job – Day 1

Diary of a Paint Job – Day 1

I decided my home needed a pick me up. It was feeling a little drab and I was tired of t he very neutral beige. Starting with the living room, it’s out with beige and in with some grey!

Living room before IMG_8633

Bought a few sample pots and painted a few swatches.

Swatches on wall IMG_8690

Left to right: Behr Millenium Silver, Wet Cement, Stone Fence and Dark Pewter

I wasn’t completely satisfied with any of them but when I lightened Stone Fence with some white primer, I was happy with it’s greyish blue tone (third swatch down in the center).

I sent Mr. DIY to Home Depot with the sample I made and instructions to get Stone Fence about 10 percent lighter. Their coloring system is computerized so isn’t it reasonable to think that they can program a 10 percent lighter shade? Apparently not. Mr. DIY returned with two gallons of paint that had no resemblance to my sample. It was a pretty shade of blue and although I love blue, I wanted a grey blue; more grey than blue. Back to Home Depot, I went, purchased a can of Stone Fence, returned home and mixed it with one of the cans Mr. DIY brought home, hoping to get close to the shade I wanted. Well, not quite. Here’s how day 1 ended. It’s still too blue:(

Living room day 1 IMG_8693

Live with it or start over? Not sure just yet. Can you relate? Any paint disappointments of your own?

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