Category Archives: Home Decor

DIY, Decor

3 Easy Fireplace Makeovers

My fireplace looks like an angry, gaping hole in the middle of my otherwise bright and colorful family room.  It’s been on my to do list, for oh, let’s call it 9 years.  I have found a few options that look fairly painless, so I’m going to make a choice and get it done.  I need a good house project to jump start Spring, so help me pick which option, ok?  Here are 3 Easy Fireplace Makeovers that even I could do.

  1.  Whitewash the Brick

    Up first is whitewashing the brick.  I love this after picture from Cleverly Inspired.  If I were to whitewash my brick fireplace, I would want it to come out exactly like this one.  It’s the right amount of whitewash while still being able to tell what color the brick used to be.  This project seems to be the easiest and definitely the least expensive.  I already have white paint and water comes right out of my kitchen sink!  Hop over to Cleverly Inspired for the full tutorial.

  2. The German Shmeargerman smear 5

    You’ve seen it on Fixer Upper!  This is actually my favorite aesthetically of the three options.  I’m a little worried, however, that because there isn’t a true technique to it that there is the danger that it will come out really bad.  All of the tutorials I have read so far involve, well, shmearing mortar on and then taking it off again.  Wherever you feel like it needs it.  That can go amazingly well, or it can end in disaster.  I do think that this is the one my husband would most approve of.  He’s actually a fan of the red brick and this technique would leave some of the red for him to enjoy.  I’m not sure why he enjoys it, but to each his own.  There is a good tutorial on Recaptured Charm and also one from Jenna Sue Design Blog.  This should also be an inexpensive option.  It’s only $10 for the bag of Mortar that you use.

  3. AirstoneAirstone Fireplace Makeover | Faux Stone | The Lettered Cottage

    This one is my favorite in terms of dramatic difference.  It looks beautiful and is quite a change from red brick.  However…  It is far more expensive ($60 for 8 sq ft and you have to buy the Airstone mortar as well.  Not entirely sure whether that would cover one fireplace or not.  Because Math.) and it only comes in two colors.  Why, oh why, Airstone would you only make gray and beige?  How awesome would a white-ish faux stone be?  I mean, I like the gray/blue but it would definitely completely change the look and feel of the entire room.  The fireplace is, after all, a focal point of the room and I know that if I install this, I will then want to re-paint, buy new furniture and stain the floors.  And if I paint and stain in here, well, how then am I supposed to leave the paint in the kitchen?  And so on and so on.  If there were more of a white stone, this would be my first pick.  Hands down.  I’d totally shell out the $60+. The Gray stone above is from A Lettered Cottage, but there’s a great tutorial available from In My Own Style, picture below, and she used the beige stones.  Which the more I look at, the more I’m convincing myself they could be considered white-ish.  Someone remind me that I’m wrong.  Maybe I need to see these in person.DIY Stone Fireplace MakeoverAlright, everyone, I’m leaving this in your hands.  What is the right choice?  Help me, please.  I beg you.

 

How to Create Your Own Printables for Seasonal Decor with Picmonkey

I am here today to admit freely to you that I get overwhelmed by seasonal decorating.  Especially right now, this sort of pre-spring with a million little holidays to think about.  A great way to add some St. Patrick’s Day/Easter/Spring decor to your home without spending a ton of money (or any, really if you don’t count the cost of ink and paper. And I don’t.) is to use free printables.

I created two that I love and will be popping in some frames for the season and I would love it if you loved them as much as I do and printed copies yourself to use in your home.

But, I also understand that my taste leans toward quirky at times and perhaps my free printable is not your cup of tea.  No hard feelings, I promise.  If you’re not into ee cummings, do not lament.  I’m going to teach you how to make your own free printable with Picmonkey.

How to Create Your Own Printables for Seasonal Decor

  1.  My first step in creating a printable is to find a photo I like to use as a backdrop.  Sometimes I use a picture I have taken myself (like this one I did in the fall).  But, often, I don’t have a picture that fits with my theme to use as a backdrop.  So, I head to my favorite spot for finding free stock photos, Free Digital Photos.  There are thousands (maybe millions? I don’t know.. but it’s a lot) of free photos to look through.  There are also premium photos available that cost money, so if you want to stick with the free ones, make sure you are looking in the sections that are not labeled “Premium”.  To find your dream photo, search for what you are looking for.  In my case, I searched “spring”.  There are filters available, so if you know you want a photo and not an illustration, you can narrow down by that.  I also narrowed my search down by Portrait as opposed to Landscape because, to me, Portrait works a lot better for a printable.  One thing to look for as you are searching through your results, is a photo that offers some negative space so that you can add your text without taking away from the beauty of the picture.  For instance, the picture of the water lily that I used above, had just the right amount of negative space below and to the left of the lily.  I knew that would be a great place to enter my text.  Once you’ve found your picture, you can download it and in a couple of simple steps (entering your email, proving you’re not a robot and agreeing to terms) your image will be emailed to you for downloading.
  2. Next I figure out what I want to use as text for my printable.  Let’s assume that we are all using these printables only in our home and not for something that we plan to sell.  This leaves a world of quotes to pick from without being sued by anyone!  My favorite place to find quotes is Brainy Quotes.  It’s another searchable website where you can pop in a search term and come up with an almost endless amount of quotes related to your topic.  You are going to get A LOT of results.  It can be slightly overwhelming, but they are a lot of fun to look through. My secret to skimming quotes is that if it’s longer than a couple of sentences, it’s probably not going to fit well on my printable, so I skim for short-ish quotes until I find one that works.
  3. Now that you have your quote and your picture, it’s time to start designing.  For this I use Picmonkey.  It is free (with a Royale version available for $33/year that offers more options if you are really into making printables or doing really cool photo edits) and it’s fairly user friendly.   When you arrive at Picmonkey’s site, you will have four choices available to you at the top of the page.  For our purposes, we are going to choose Edit. When you hit edit, you will be prompted to find the picture you want to edit.  I choose to search from “My Computer” and the downloaded image is, you guessed it, in my Downloads folder.  Nifty.  Double click on the picture and it will open in the Editing screen of Picmonkey.
  4. On the left side of your screen are a bunch of different editing options.  Each and every one is great and can be super helpful, but for our purposes of making a pretty printable, we are going to focus on just two, Basic Edits and Text, which are indicated with the two blue arrows.  Yes, I used Picmonkey to add the arrows.
  5. The first thing I like to do to my printable is Resize it.  This function is available under Basic Edits.  For a finished product that will be a 5×7 printable, I use 850 x 1288.  Picmonkey suggests much bigger than that, but, for me, it doesn’t print properly at their suggested size of 1500 x 2100.  Hit Apply to apply your resize (if you forget to hit Apply, don’t worry, Picmonkey will remind you).  
  6. Now on to the Text.  Click the “Tt” and you will be presented with a plethora of options for fonts.  Many of the fonts are only available to Royale users, but there are plenty of good ones available for free.  Royale fonts are denoted with a crown to show that they are not a free option.  Pick a font you think you might like and click Add Text. A text box will pop up on your photo where you can type in your quote.  The box titled “Text” allows you to play around with different fonts, alignment, text size and the color of  your text.  I almost always go with white text on my Printables, but it’s just personal preference.  The options are almost endless.  I think I generally have the most fun playing with different fonts.  I tend to like bolder fonts, but there are a lot of fun cursive options, too.  The font choice is definitely where I spend the majority of my time, but it’s time well spent!
  7. Once I’ve entered my text, I take a few moments to look at the overall effect. Is the text in the spot I want it to be in?  Do I LOVE the font?  What would happen if I picked a different font color?  What if I make the font a little bigger/smaller?  I play around for a few minutes until I’m totally happy with my choices.
  8. Once satisfied with the final product, I click Save and give the printable an appropriate name so that I can easily find it again.  
    1. You can then open the picture from the file you saved it in and print it.  I usually print mine to 5×7, so make sure to make that selection for photo size before you hit Print.

Phew, 9 steps feels like a lot, but it’s a lot of bang for very little buck.  I love how personalized Printables are and once you pop them in a pretty frame, everyone will be impressed when they ask where you got it and you tell them, “Oh, I made that myself”.  Cause you got SKILLZ!

So, what Quotes come to mind for your seasonal Printable??  I’d love to see what you come up with!

4 Free or Cheap Ways to Liven Up a Bare Wall

*** This post contains affiliate links.  If you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a commission, at no cost to you!***        While I was reviewing pictures from my updated House Tour, I realized that the most boring wall in my entire house is the wall above my desk.  My desk that I sit at for hours (does 2-3 hours qualify as hours?  I mean, I know, technically, it does, but I also don’t want to give the impression that I’m spending, like, 10 hours a day here.  Glad I got that off my chest) pouring my heart into this blog.  There was not a picture on the wall.  Nothing.  No color.  Even the wall color in this room is totally boring (it’s on the to do list.  Wait, no it isn’t, but it should be).  And if you’ve looked at the House Tour, you know that I am not a blah-wall kind of woman.  I wanted an update and I wanted it fast and cheap.  I am a woman on a budget, after all.  A really LOW budget.  So I needed some cheap ways to liven up a bare wall.  Luckily, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.  

4 Free or Cheap Ways to Liven Up a Bare Wall

Cheap Ways to Liven Up a Boring Wall

Shop Your House

Cheap Ways to Liven Up a Boring Wall

My first place to look for free stuff is my own house.  I always have a stash of stuff, like vases, picture frames or past DIY’s that never found a permanent home in a closet or cupboard.  I knew I wanted some type of wall storage for this desk area and I’ve been holding on to that rattan paper holder for ever.  Perfect spot to put all of my important papers in, right?  They are off the desk and in plain view, so I will hopefully not forget about them.

Make Something!

Cheap Ways to Liven Up a Boring Wall

Depending on what type of a craft hoarder you are, you may or may not already have all of the things you need to make some really pretty DIY art.  The three water colors below are on inexpensive small canvasses (12 of them for $11.96 from Amazon) I have a tutorial for those here.  The abstract floral art below is also a DIY on another inexpensive (2 for $9.98), slightly larger canvas and done with tissue paper and  hexagon shape cutter.  Tutorial is right here.  Pro tip, I’ve primed over old canvases with white primer and repainted or tissue papered over them as would be the case here.  (PS, the tissue paper and hexagon shape cutter are not what I would consider cheap, but I only used a small amount of the tissue paper and the hexagon cutter is something I will have forever in my craft stash and will use many times).

Thrift Store Shopping

Cheap Ways to Liven Up a Boring Wall

Thrift stores are the best for finding frames.  I found a bunch of these pretty gold frames for about $2 each at my local Savers.  I’m into this gold, thin frame look right now, but, if, or when, my tastes change, I won’t mind swapping out the inexpensive frame.

Free Printables!

Cheap Ways to Liven Up a Boring Wall

So what do you fill your cheap thrift store frame with?  Free printables, of course!  I love scouring my favorite blogs for printables.  Or, you can very easily make your own.  Pick your favorite quote and play around in Picmonkey.  I made the calendar you see there and you can access it here if you are in need of a cute and bright calendar.  The Choose Happy print is actually an Etsy find.  It still falls under cheap in my mind at $7.20, but you could DIY something similar, too!

Alright, no excuses, go liven up your boring walls!

 

Updated House Tour

I had a whole day with a smidgen of sunshine all to myself the other day, so I took some pictures of the house so that I could update the house tour.  Want to have a peek?

The first room you see when you enter the house is the Living Room (aka the Parlor, aka the former Dining Room).

I love this room.  It’s pretty cozy. There is a tv in here, but we mostly use the room for reading or phone surfing. It’s right off the kitchen, so it gets a lot of traffic and that makes me happy. I hate an un-used room.  Did you want to see the before of this room?  Yes?  Alright, if I must.  I’m warning you, it used to be a dining room…

drbefore

Next stop is the kitchen. 

 

Ahhh, so fresh and white, right?  You won’t believe the before.

KitchenBefore

This is not a joke.  That is really the same kitchen.  Check out the wallpaper.  Take it all in.  How about the creepy clowns on top of the fridge?  And OH MY GOD, that dishwasher!  JUST KIDDING THERE WAS NO DISHWASHER!

Want to see the new dining room which used to be the old family room??

I pretty much love everything about the dining room.  Especially since I finally put down a new floor (Traffic Master Allure).  And of course, the mural never gets old!  Here’s my affiliate link if you want it for yourself – Komar Passion Wall Mural – and they have a bunch of new ones that I was just drooling over for 20 minutes.  

And the before for this room:

FamilyRoom Before

I can’t lie. Except the stained floor, I don’t hate this room.  Although, I’m pretty sure that’s a ghost at the top, just right of center.  

And now we are on to the family room, which has not really been on the blog very much because it has mostly been a disaster for 7 years.  But it’s coming together, sort of. It’s much better than it was, but it’s also still the room I want to do the most to.

This sofa and chair are at the front end of this long and skinny-ish room.  There’s a tv on that wall you can’t see.  IT’S ENORMOUS.

These chaises are toward the rear of the room and face the sofa and chaise which makes this long room a bit cozier.  And yes, that’s a ping pong/air hockey table behind the chaises.  I told you the room was long.  You can also see the little desk that I sit at while I work on this little blog.  Yes, it’s literally the blandest spot in the house with nothing on the wall above it, but I have some inspiration for that little corner.  And it’s colorful.  See below.

And of course, a before for you –

lrbefore

And, lastly, who remembers the bedroom makeover from last year?  Pay no attention to the book page wreath that is also in the living room.  I like to switch things up, okay?  All.The.Time.

I just redid this room for the One Room Challenge last year and it is so very lovely.  To think it used to have twin beds.  In the Master.  

I will be updating the House Tour Page with these new pics and an updated To Do List!  I hope enjoyed your visit to my crazy house!

 

 

 

The Sewing Bug

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click one and make a purchase I may receive a small commission!***   Have I told you yet that I got a sewing machine for Christmas?  I did.  Actually, I like to tell people I got the house wife starter kit for Christmas:  a sewing machine, a set of pots and pans and coffee mugs.  And I couldn’t be happier with those gifts!  I’ve made a few simple things with the sewing machine, but I’m itching to make something a little more substantial.  Like curtains or pillows!

If you happen to be a beginner sewer and you are in the market for a sewing machine, might I recommend to you the one my sweet husband got me for Christmas?

Computerized 80 Stitch Sewing Machine Brother Sewing https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013SQR9O2/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_x_sorLybTWP85VN:

It’s a Brother machine and it has been super simple to learn.  I haven’t done more than sew some straight lines with it yet, but I had basically no clue how to even thread it and the instructions have been very easy to follow.  It has three speed levels, which is great for a beginner like me because if you keep it on super slow mode, you are almost guaranteed a straight line.  It might take you a little longer than most, but it will be straight.

So, I’ve got the machine, all I need is some fabric to inspire me, right?  I’ve purchased fabric from Fabric.com in the past and was very pleased with it.  The prices are light years better than my local Joann Fabrics and they have a HUGE selection.  I did a very simple search for Home Decor Fabrics between $9-$15/yd and I came up with 54 pages of fabrics to drool over.  You can refine your search of course in many ways: by measurements, by theme or by pattern if you want to narrow in on something in particular.  My favorite feature of the site is the Design Board which allows you to sort of pin a bunch of different fabrics together so that you can reference back to what you liked while browsing.  Here’s what mine looked like after a good hour of poking around:

I’m obsessed with that turtle pattern.  But I love the two navy and green patterns together.  And each and every one of those fabrics is under$13/yd.  Get yourself over there and start making a design wall of your own – Fabric.com .

Buy It, Spy It or DIY It – Anthropologie Winter 2017

Oh, how I love me some Anthropologie.  Mostly because of the inspiration it brings. Inspiration for things I can make or duplicate OR inspiration to make some dollah bills cause Anthro is expensivo.  Here is what I would Buy, Spy (find a cheaper version somewhere…ahem… Marshalls…ahem…Home Goods) or DIY (make it myself because that always turns out just as good as the original.  *sarcasm*).

 :

Buy It – Cities Toile Wallpaper – $148 – I’m jumping right in with a Buy It.  I want to redo my half bath on the first floor and this wallpaper shall be the inspiration for the room.  It’s expensive, yes.  BUT!  A half bath is tiny and the bottom half of the bathroom walls have beadboard on them, so BOOM, I’d barely need any of this.

Spy It – Banker’s Clock – $168 – Ohhh, I love this little clock.  But, my, that is an enormous price tag for something so little.  Sometimes I would put this on my splurge list, but I think I would prefer to scour vintage stores for something similar.

 :

DIY It – Chambray Pouch – $26 – I need a little pouch like this and at $26, that’s not a horrible price.  However, you may remember from previous posts that I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I have been looking at patterns for pouches just like this!  I’d love to try to copy this.

Coppice Shell Pendant:

Spy It – Coppice Shell Pendant – $498 – $998 – I  can pick one of these up for $70-$150.  I know a guy. Just kidding, you can get something similar, though not quite as spectacular, from World Market.

Copper Hanging Art:

DIY It – Copper Hanging Art – $228 – $398 – My art budget is pretty much limited to the prices you would find at your local Habitat ReStore.  So, I can’t afford this.  But I do think it is pretty darn cool and I think it would be fun to try to DIY it.

Wild Wanderer Planter:

Buy It – Wild Wanderer Planter – $20 – Oh, I’m smitten with these little guys.  I’ve never really been super motivated to buy little succulents (because I’m murderer of plants), but maybe I would buy one to put in one of these planters.  Or three to put in all three planters.  I might need to put these on my birthday list.  I can’t spend $60 on tiny planters and one all by itself would look weird and sad.Mind's Eye Wall Art:

DIY It – Mind’s Eye Wall Art – $2058 – No, I didn’t miss a period in that price tag.  I love how colorful this is and I like that it’s sort of graphic.  I could paint some triangles and diamonds, right?  This would be really fun to try.  I’m sure I would fail as I’m not really an artist, but sometimes a fail is fun.  I’ll never be able to buy it and if I did have a spare 2k lying around, I don’t love this enough to spend that kind of money on it, but it’s a nice inspiration piece.

Passing Countryside Mural:

Buy It – Passing Countryside Mural – $229.95 (on sale and there is a 40% off code for sale items!  This is a steal right now!) – I’m a sucker for a good wall mural.  I can’t convince myself that you should have more than one wall mural in your house, however and I do already have one.  But YOU should totally Buy This (while it is on sale and while you can get an additional 40% off, preferably!).

Ok, I’m feeling properly inspired and a little retail therap-ied (although I didn’t buy anything, I still get a feeling of calming just browsing).  I hope you do, too!

Want : Need : Wear : Make : Eat

Remember that time I did some posts about what I want, need, wear, make and eat?  That was awesome. Let’s do it again!

want need wear make eat by bethjustin518 on Polyvore featuring interior, interiors, interior design, home, home decor and interior decorating:

WANT:

Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W:

Instant Pot:  I discovered the wonderful Instant Pot this week and am dying to get one.  Why so expensive, Instant Pot?  I need a sale and a 30% off coupon from Kohl’s.  Stat.

NEED:

One of my favorite discoveries at WorldMarket.com: Midnight Blue Velvet Kendall Sofa:

World Market Sofa:  Sofa’s aren’t technically a need but I, like, *need* one.  Both of my current sofas have major issues.  I’m not saying I need to replace them both immediately, but it would be nice to have one nice-ish sofa.  And this one is on sale.  And it’s pretty.

WEAR:

Love this Green Cowl Neck Tunic on #zulily! #zulilyfinds:

Tunic:  I only want to wear tunics for the rest of forever.  Or at least all of tomorrow when it is going to snow here all day and I want to just sit on the couch and be cozy.

MAKE:

Sew Can Do:

Cuddle Throw Tutorial from sewcando:  Speaking of cozy, how awesome is that throw from Sew Can Do?  I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I think I can probably make one of these, using the tutorial provided, of course!  Click the pic or the title to get the instructions!

EAT:

Soft and Chewy Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies – Great with lemon or almond extracts! {grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free}:

Thumprint Cookies from Texanerin Baking – I love a good gluten free cookie recipe and these look delicious.  I am brainstorming a twist on these, but you can click the pic or the title for the full recipe!

 

I Painted My Upholstered Chair

This is a fun story.  I’m going to share with you a project that I absolutely hated doing.  It was truly one of the most annoying projects I’ve ever done.  Actually, I think it probably gets top billing.  I did cover an entire HUGE mirror frame in teeny tiny green rocks with a hot glue gun once (see here), but this was worse than that.  I painted my favorite chair.  An upholstered chair, not a wood chair.  And my favorite.  I’m crazy, I know.  But I didn’t hate it because I’m not happy with the outcome, I hated it because I found the process annoying and tedious.  More annoying and tedious than hot gluing a million teeny tiny green rocks.

But, don’t let me discourage you from trying this!  I really do love the outcome, although it is not what I imagined when I started.  And I think I mostly found the process annoying and tedious because I did have an idea of what the chair would look like in the end and it seemed like I would never achieve that idea and I felt like banging my head against the wall.   In my mind, the chair was going to come out one solid color, no pattern showing through.  I used really dark paint (Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore).  I was imagining the chair being a blue/black color in the end.  About two and half coats in I was no where remotely near that and ready to fling my paint brush at the wall.  But I didn’t, mostly because I already had a huge mess going on because in addition to not having the outcome I had intended, this project is also SUPER messy.  But seriously, still, don’t let that stop you from trying this.  I would advise that you do this in say, your basement if it’s ventilated or your garage.  Not in your living room like I did.  Where someone was very likely to sit on the soaking wet chair, or worse, where a cat was likely to take a nap.  Don’t worry, magically, neither of those things happened, but I did have a lot of watery paint spills that had to be cleaned up. Not fun.

Ahh, yes a reminder of why this whole annoying project was worth it. It is SOOOO much better than it used to be.  And I think I probably like the outcome better than what I had pictured, that blue black solid color chair.  In person the color is actually darker than pictured and it feels very vintage lodge or library to me.

Before I get to the tutorial, if you’re having a strange case of deja vu, it’s because this is not the first time I have redone this chair.  Remember this:

I reupholstered this chair a while back.  My son is BRUTAL on furniture (I need to sign him up for parkour classes) and the upholstery job didn’t stand a chance.  It took quite a beating.  I would do this again on a chair that would be sat on more often than jumped on, however.  If you’re curious about those instructions, or if you’d like to read about why I love this chair, check out that post here.

How  I Painted My Upholstered Chair

Materials:

A Chair (duh)

Paint – I used Benjamin Moore in Hale Navy and I used about a quart, maybe

3-4 8 oz. bottles of Fabric Medium (you can get it at the craft store, but I got mine from Amazon)

Spray Bottle filled with water

Paint brush

Disposable cups for mixing your paint and fabric medium

A tarp or other large piece of something to put under your chair for spills. There will be spills and drips.

  1.  Mix together your painting mixture.  I tried to use equal amounts of paint and fabric medium.  I basically filled about half way one disposable cup with paint, then filled another half way with fabric medium, poured the fabric medium into the paint and mixed them together.
  2. Add some water to your paint.  I added about half the amount of water as paint/fabric medium.  So if I filled the cup half way with paint or fabric medium, I filled it a quarter of the way with water and then added the water to the paint/fabric medium mixture.  Make sense?  Good, mix all that together.  You want it to be somewhat runny.  I’ve read a lot of tutorials that call for more water, so if you’re into super runny paint, add equal amounts of paint/fabric medium/water.
  3. Spray your upholstery with water.  I did this most of the time as I worked on this project.  I do think it helped the paint seap into the upholstery, but to be perfectly honest, I also forgot to wet parts of the chair ahead of time and it didn’t seem to do any harm.
  4. Use a paint brush to paint your chair.  This is the messy part.  The paint mixture is fairly drippy, so be prepared.  Grubby clothes, lots of paper towels, etc.
  5. Allow the chair to dry.  It will look something like this after the first coat and you will want to cry your face off and quit blogging for life:

5.  Once both the chair and your tears have dried, give it a good rub down with some sandpaper.  You will probably start to cry again as you realize you are taking off a crap ton of paint.  Don’t despair. If you don’t do the sandpapering, your chair will feel like sandpaper itself and that is not fun for sitting.

6.  Add a second coat of paint.  Cry a little less as you think to yourself, “Maybe it’s kind of cool how the pattern is still coming through a little?  Who am I kidding, it’s horrible!  It’s the worst painted chair in the history of painted chairs, I QUIT!”

7.  Allow the chair to dry and sandpaper through your tears again.

8. Add a third coat of paint.  Have an epiphany.  “Wait a minute, this actually *does* look good with the pattern coming through!”

9.  Call to your husband/wife/son/daughter/imaginary friend:  “Hey!  Come look at this!  Does this look good or am I officially crazy?”

10.  Perform a quick jig when husband/wife/son/daughter/imaginary friend says, “Wow, that does look good.  That might be my favorite thing you’ve made”.  That comment actually came out of the mouth of my husband who could literally not care less about anything to do with painting, chairs, or upholstery, as long as he has a place to sit.  So I was kind of thrilled to hear that.  Mostly because I didn’t think he really noticed I had done any other projects. I guess he is paying a little attention.

10.  Allow the paint to dry and lightly sand it one more time.

I tackled this project about three days before Thanksgiving and the chair is one that is sat in every day and it’s holding up very well.  No fading and no paint rubbing off on clothing.  Pro tip, three days before hosting Thanksgiving at your house is not a good time to tackle painting an upholstered chair.  In case you’re wondering.

Linking up to: Friendship Friday Blog Hop, The Creative Circle

 

Free Printable 2017 Calendar

I have been basking in a wonderful sense of calm ever since about 7PM on 12/25/2016.  I made it through another crazy stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas and I have to say, I really pulled it all off this year.  Except for two gifts that Santa misplaced.  I’m sure they will turn up at some point.  Other than that, we had good food, a not overly decorated house, awesome gifts (including a sewing machine for me!) and happy, happy children.  What better way to carry that sense of calm into the new year than by creating a Free Printable 2017 Calendar to keep us all organized next year!  And even if I never right a single important date on it, at least it looks adorable!

So clean and graphic, right? I have to say this is one of my proudest projects.  It started out not so clean and graphic, but half way through (May, actually), I had an epiphany.  I placed those three pink daisies and just loved how simple yet bold it was and went back and redid January – April.  I spent the better half of the day working on the whole thing and I accomplished two things.  First, I felt like I was *really* doing this, creating.  Not just slapping something together, as might happen at times.  It sort of felt like I was an honest to goodness blogger for a minute.  Secondly, I created each month in Picmonkey and, although I use Picmonkey several times a week, I learned a lot of little tips today that I hadn’t figure out before.  Mayhaps a Picmonkey tutorial is in order, hmm?

The best part of this project, you get to enjoy the fruits of my labor!  You can click on each of the images below, right click on the image that opens, save it to your desktop and print it to your color printer (I printed my 8×10).







 

There you have it!  I really do hope you print them and enjoy them all year!  Happy 2017!

Linking up to: Pretty Pintastic Party, Fan Day Friday Link Party, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Wow Us Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, The Creative Circle

I Tried It – TrafficMaster Allure Flooring

I have tackled one of the big to do’s on my pre-Thanksgiving check list.  I updated the flooring in our dining room!  I know what you’re thinking, since when do I use power tools?  I didn’t.  I tried TrafficMaster Allure Flooring and it was crazy easy to install.  The only tools required were a box cutter, a straight edge and my brain.  And it was my brain that gave me the most trouble with this easy DIY. I will definitely post a full tutorial and review soon, but for now I wanted to share some after pictures for you.  They are taken on a gloomy day, because, well, November, so I’m hoping for the official reveal I will have some better shots, but I was just too excited to not share these!

i-tried-it-traffic-master-allure-flooring

When we redid our kitchen, close to three years ago, we took down most of the wall leading into the dining room and with the wall, a little built in book shelf.  When we removed the bookshelf, we discovered that there was no flooring underneath.  The original flooring in the room was a badly stained parquet.  We thought about finding pieces to match it.  No luck.  I thought about tearing up the parquet.  I tried one piece and that was enough for me.  That stuff comes up one little sliver at a time.  No thanks.  Then I discovered TrafficMaster Allure Flooring and I decided to jump in and give it a try.

floor-close

I’m so excited with how this came out. It took me about 6 hours total over the course of two nights and I swear to you the hardest part of it was figuring out the measuring and the cutting.  And it installed right over the old parquet.  I did have to do some finagling to fill in the hole in the floor where the bookshelf was, but I’ll give the details on that in a later post.

For now, I’m thrilled with how the floor came out and the fact that I won’t go four Thanksgivings in a row with a hole in the floor.  I’m sure my guests will be thrilled with that as well…

And you may have noticed that I’ve started setting my Thanksgiving table.  I thought I would try to be all “Blogger” and have these beautiful tablescapes to share with you, but, then the weather happened and also, I don’t have enough stuff to make a beautiful tablescape right now.  But hey, this is Lifestyle for Real Life, right?  Here’s what the table looks like so far:

thanksgivingtable

What’s great about attempting to get a lovely tablescape together is that I now know that I only have 4 water glasses, no napkins and I definitely want to add another color to this pallet.  Like some orange or something.  Maybe some mini pumpkins on the plates?  No worries, I still have a week.  Plenty of time!  (No, it’s not. Not even close, but I’m still not going to worry).