Tag Archives: Projects

Papercrafting Station

Papercrafting Station

I decided to turn my secretary into a papercrafting station.

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The top section used to look like this filled with various tchotchkes

 

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while the drawers were filled with random miscellaneous stuff.

secretary drawers before

 

So I emptied everything out

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and replaced the fabric backing with a colorful paper background. I added back the things I like to look at or inspire me.

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Like a reminder to “DREAM” big

 

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and “SHOOT FOR THE MOON”.

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A couple of angel ornaments that are never put away

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and very important reminders of my triumphs too.

 

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What’s left of a childhood tea set

tea set

and various stamps throughout.

 

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I’m so happy most everything I need is now in one place,

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a place for everything and everything in it’s place.

 

secretary table top

I’m ready to create!

 

This piece has come a long way since it’s painted  beginnings:). Sometimes I get the urge to paint it again and then I remember all the hours I spent stripping it and wimp ou every time. Who knows, never say never.

 

secretary before

 

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Burlap Holiday Tree

Burlap Holiday Tree

This Christmas, I decided to to forgo a traditional Christmas tree now that the children are older. They have lost interest in decorating a tree so I thought I would decorate in a different way. I even sold our fake reusable tree. It was a little too big for our living room and this would be year two of it not being used and taking up much needed storage space in the garage. It was time to let it go and be of use to another family.

Quickly, I went into “use what I have” mode and came up with this beauty!

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It evolved effortlessly from what I had in my craft stash.

I attached some Christmas lights along three lampshade rims that I slipped on a metal rod and secured in place with rubber washers.

burlap holiday tree

The rod is threaded on one end so I screwed it into a scrap piece of wood and topped it with a picture frame for the base.

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Then I began draping the burlap tirm and securing the tucks and folds with clothespins, my new favorite thing.

 

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Used pine cones for a tree topper,  securing them around the rod with a fabric remnant.

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I so adore all the little pockets and folds that I stuffed with tree branches and paper packaging materials.

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Every angle is unique and interesting.

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Here is an upshot from underneath. The paper adds volume and additional texture.

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Added a little trim and a few ornments. Done!

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And there you have it, a burlap holiday tree. I love, love, love it, especially because, with the exception of the tree branches, I made it from what I already had along with some remnant items I had laying around. I went to a Christmas tree lot and picked up a large bunch of clippings.
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Although I’m in love with my holiday tree, I realize it’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely for me!

Happy Holidays!

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Between Naps on the Porch:Metamorphosis Monday

Wreath Disaster

Wreath Disaster

After Thanksgiving, I began pulling out the Christmas decorations. I went straight to my ornament wreath from last year.

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Last year, I hung it up unfinished with spaces left to fill. Although the spaces are obvious in this close up, they are almost unnoticeable from a distance. Needless to say, it never got finished but I enjoyed it just the same.

I bubble wrapped and stored it in a wreath bag. Imagine my horror when I opened up the bag and and found my wreath had fallen apart.

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I was mortified

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Not only had the ornaments fallen off the styrofoam base,

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some of the ornaments had shattered as well.

broken ornament wreath

My heart sunk. I’m not too sure why the hot glue held up in some areas and not in others. I’m guessing the seasonal temperature shift in the basement closet might be to blame. Unfortunately, I don’t have room anywhere else to store it. I tried a couple of other glues and had no luck so I went back to the glue gun.

After removing the broken pieces, I reattached most of the ornaments. However, I’m on the hunt for some more ornaments since I didn’t have enough to replace all of them. Boo Hoo:( Wish me luck!

Note: I think shatter proof ornaments are the way to go for this design.

Dining Room Table Part 2

Dining Room Table Part 2

I finally finished the dining room table I started a few weeks back.

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This is how it looked when I spotted it in a thrift store.

Thrift store dining room table

 

I took my time experimenting with this table. I didn’t want a solid painted surface and wanted some of the wood grain to be visible yet I wanted the parquet tiling to disappear.

dining room table paint experimenting

I tried various colors of  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and then lightly sanding it but the parquet detail just didn’t want to go away.

So I thought I would try a wood graining tool to create a faux wood grain instead.

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Annie Sloan paired with a  wood graining tool? Unconventional? What can I say? I’m just an unconventional kind of girl! LOL

I used  Annie Sloan Old White and a thin layer of Paris Gray, followed by subtle distressing and a few coats of clear wax, Finally, I achieved the look I had envisioned.

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I cleared everything out of the dining room and moved it in from the garage..

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An easy task since it meant relocating one piece of furniture,  the sideboard.

I just wanted to start from scratch,

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like the empty frame hanging on the wall. Rather symbolic, wouldn’t you say? Now I have two blank canvases to fill and layer slowly and thoughtfully over time. I think it’s obvious what’s top on my list? Yes, the 70′s or is it *80′s ceiling fan.

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Having gone chandelier shopping too many times,  purchasing a vintage chandelier on impulse and later falling out of love with it,  I think I finally found “the one”. Anxious for it to arrive from World Market.

Until then, I’m enjoying my unconventional Annie Sloan Chalk Paint finish.

Dining room table IMG_0473

I hope you do too. What do you think?

 

 

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Summer Highlights

Summer Highlights

Bye bye summer! I blinked my eyes and you were gone. Time is moving fast! What’s going on?

Oh well, here are three of my summer highlights:

First, my tidy garage is in order and I can now re-purpose and refinish to my hearts content.

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A big improvement from this before pic, don’t you think?

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I donated, had a garage sale and donated the rest.

 

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Although, my DIY and creative abilities allow me to rescue and save just about anything, I am going to be very selective and careful to prevent garage overload from reoccurring.

 

Next, there was Moonwalk NYC 2014. I participated last year as well. Our team of two became a team of four. Our fourth teammate took this pic.

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We named ourselves Bosom Buddies United. Here we are at the starting line up.

 

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I didn’t train as hard as I did the last year, yet the half marathon walk seemed so much easier.

 

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The weather couldn’t have been more perfect too. All smiles at the finish line yeah!!!!!

 

And then my seedlings matured and grew beautifully.

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Not bad for my first try starting with seeds. One thing though, everything comes at one time; talk about tomato overload!

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I guess canning or freezing is in order, but I much rather use it fresh from the vine. I’ve been giving a lot away.

 

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It’s been a joy watching them grow organically.

Although the plants might be withering away, there is still  more to be harvested..

 

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To think these beauties

 

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started from these tiny  seedlings

 

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and thrived in this dysfunctional mess. LOL

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How gratifying!

Hope your summer was a good one as well! have any highlights to share?

 

 

 

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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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

Eggplant and Peppers

Eggplant and Peppers

Eggplant and peppers, hmmmm, that sounds like it can be a tasty combination.

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Fortunately, my eggplant and pepper seedlings are catching up to their tomato neighbors.

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A few days makes a world of difference. I love watching them grow little by little each day. It’s the simple things that make you sit up and take notice.

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Spring has Sprung!

Spring has Sprung!

I think Spring has finally sprung and so have my seedlings. Yeah!!

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I know I’m a long way from success but I choose to focus on the possibilities rather then the end result.

 

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Whether or not these young tender plants establish themselves and hold their own outdoors awaits to be seen.

 

 

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I planted everything at the same time yet the tomatoes are ahead of the game. The eggplant and peppers are taking their sweet time.

 

 

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Can you see the little guy there trying to pop up?

I’m waiting patiently.

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I resist the urge to be a helicopter gardener:)

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So I placed this pretty peachy Begonia next to my young seedlings for gentile encouragement.

 

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Again, win or lose, I focus on the possibilities.  I will be cheering them on all the way.

Have you planted your garden already? What’s growing in your garden? Have any tips to share?

Is it Spring Yet?

Is it Spring Yet?

The calendar says it’s spring but the outdoor elements tell me otherwise. It snowed a couple of days ago! I am so ready for spring and to get my mind off the cold weather, I have directed my thoughts toward exercising my green thumb.

I couldn’t resist and bought some seed packets the other day. This will be my first attempt growing veggies from seeds.

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I just wish I would have thought of this a few weeks ago as I should have started them weeks ago. As you might already know, I am the perpetual late gardener. Planting schedules and protocol overwhelm me so I just wing it and go with my gut.  Am I always successful? Nope. But I do have fun pushing the limits and experimenting. Here’s my theory though – Late start to spring = late end to summer, giving me enough time to catch up.

And my last visit to Home Depot, I saw some flowers I’ve never seen before. I don’t know their name. The sign just said perennials.

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They looked like a colorful cross between a mushroom (shape) and a marigolds (texture), if that makes any sense.

No label for this one either but they sure are pretty.

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Do you recognize either of them?

This one was labeled, Vigoro and it’s an annual.

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I’m ready to make a change as I usually gravitate toward Begonias or Impatiens. But seeing that the chill in the air is lingering, I have a little more time to decide.

Also exploring vertical gardening options since my back yard has limited in ground planting space. I do mostly container gardening. I have big plans for this growing season. The trick is turning these plans into reality.

Have any green thumb plans of your own?