Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Apartment Therapy Feature!!

It was pretty fun today to see some traffic from Apartment Therapy, who featured our desk restoration!  For those of you with questions, I've replied in the comments section... thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Curio Progress

It’s been a while, so I thought I’d update you on the progress of the curio transformation…

I’m up to my elbows in this:

Chicken wire.  Yup.  I’ve started installing the chicken wire panels where the glass used to be and so far I’m liking the look.  I’m not liking my el-cheapo upholstery stapler from the Hob Lob.  Nothing against HL… I just bought this cheap stapler to redo my chairs a long time ago and while it worked great for that, it’s not that wonderful when dealing with a nice, sturdy piece of wood.  Mr. home.made. has a much better staple gun, but the staples are too long and I, well, I just couldn’t wait!

I tried a different technique with my chalk paint this time around.  I used a watered down mixture of the Paris Grey and it left a nice, smooth topcoat with very few brush marks.  Then, after using advice from Jami from Freckled Laundry, I worked in the clear wax with a soft cloth, really working it into the paint as I went.  This technique of waxing left a soft sheen right away, but I did go back and buff a little more in some areas for more shine.

I did not distress this piece this time around as I plan on going back later with some dark wax for more patina.

Not bad so far, right?  Only four more chicken wire panels to go… and lots of diet coke breaks in between!

Hope to finish this up soon and show it off to ya!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

{Saturday Spotlight} Eclectically Vintage Kitchen

You're in for a real treat today, because the kitchen I'm featuring is going to knock your socks off!  (Yes, another kitchen... think I'm looking for ideas?  :))

This gorgeous renovated kitchen is from Kelly at Eclectically Vintage.


Wouldn't you just love to stay in this space forever?


The honed carrera marble countertops shine beautifully next to the white cabinetry and under these amazing lights:


The light fixtures are extraordinary - like suspended wine bottles.  And do you see what I'm drooling over in the background?


Hello lover.  Look at that farmhouse sink and commercial dish sprayer!  *sigh*  I'm in heaven.  And I didn't even mention the herringbone backsplash or vintage scale... or her red stove.


Wow.  That is one lucky girl...

Do you think she'd mind if I moved in?

Hope you're having a great Saturday - head on over to Kelly's and say hi!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pantry Pinspiration

When we decided to buy our current home, there were things we loved about it and things we'd have to learn to live with.  One of these things was the kitchen pantry.  We built our prior home and it had a fantastic walk-in pantry, complete with automatic light when you opened the door.  *sniffle*  I miss that pantry.

This home has a tall cabinet that is intended for pantry use, which wouldn't be so bad if not for the depth of the cabinet.  Sometimes I feel like I'm reaching into a black hole when all I wanted is a can of beans!  (And I have long arms, people!)  I've made do for the past year with an assortment of organizers and baskets, but at best, this pantry is just organized chaos that DOES NOT WORK for our needs.

Did I mention that I miss my old pantry?


We're planning on a kitchen remodel to include fixing the pantry situation, but seeing as that's in the very distant future, I'm looking for ways to make our current pantry more functional.  Here are some of my fave ideas from my Pinterest pin board...

This is pretty close to my current pantry size, although they obviously live on much less food than I do!  Love the pull-out drawers, door storage, and planked interior.

Again, pull-out drawers and door storage - such smart use of space.  And those pull-out baskets?  Incredible.

Source: via rhonda on Pinterest

Great use of space with the stackable containers, and the colorful background and labels add a great punch of color.  The organization makes my OCD very happy.

Source: via rhonda on Pinterest

Pinned this simply for the color combo... aqua, red, and pink!  What's not love?

And a door storage solution that I found... love the idea of taking storage to other areas than the shelves!

What about you?  Any pantry dilemmas or is it just me?

Monday, February 20, 2012


This weekend was a pretty exciting one, cause one particular little girl turned the big



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I can not even express the amount of love I have for my daughter… she fills my heart with joy until it is overflowing.  I am one lucky mama.

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I couldn’t leave you without some pictures of THE CAKE, right?!  My super talented sister put her decorating skills to work creating all of these pink rosettes… but the pièce de résistance??

The zebra hiding inside!

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My daughter was so excited about this… an idea I found on Pinterest from My Cake School.  Having never done this before, I admit I was holding my breath until that first slice revealed that the zebra stripes worked!  So cool…

Just perfect for my not so little anymore girl!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Antique Imperial Desk Restoration

The phrase “One man’s trash is another’s treasure” is the perfect introduction for the piece I’m going to show you today.  I found this desk via a Facebook acquaintance, who was giving it away… for FREE!
I was more than happy to take if off her hands, because I could tell this was a diamond in the rough.
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The veneer was badly damaged, the feet were in need of repair, and the wood was screaming for moisture… but structurally the desk was in great condition, ALL of the original hardware was still with the piece (the ones missing in the above photo were tucked away safely in the drawer), and the desk even came with a custom-fit glass topper!
I would love to take credit for the amazing restoration you’re about to see, but the props all go to my hubby… Mr. Home.Made.  This was his baby, all the way.   (Seriously, he begged to have this one all to himself… so I let him.  Am I a good wife, or what?!)
He meticulously removed all of the old chipping veneer, sanded the wood until it was soft as a baby’s bum, stained  and sealed it, and cleaned off years of grime from the hardware.  All of his hard work turned this old, neglected desk into this gorgeous piece of furniture:
Is that not the most beautiful desk you’ve ever seen?!
My hubby really enhanced the beauty of the wood grain by doing a darker stain on the larger wood fronts and a lighter stain on the framework.  Does that hardware make you as giddy as it makes me?  And yes, there are even pull-out writing ledges… on each side.  *swoon*
The desk was made by the Imperial Desk Company, which is no longer in business.  We aren’t quite sure of the exact age of this piece, but our best guess dates it to the early 40s.  The locking mechanism is quite brilliant – when you push in the middle drawer and lock it, it locks all of the desk drawers.  Crazy.
I love the custom-cut glass – that alone would’ve cost over a hundred dollars!
I could not be more proud of my hubby and the beautiful job he did with this desk.  It was so much fun working side-by-side in our garage – sanding, painting, staining, and transforming – giving new life to a piece that was on its way to the dumpster and stirring up ideas for a home-based business.
Even better though?  Seeing this piece of furniture shine as it was originally intended… isn’t that why we all do this anyway?

Linking up!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

{Saturday Spotlight} The Family Room's Kitchen!

Hi friends! It's time for another edition of Saturday Spotlight, where I feature amazing spaces from some amazing bloggers... This week I bring you a fantastic kitchen from Sita at The Family Room. I actually discovered Sita's kitchen on Pinterest, but it wasn't tagged properly... Boo! I persisted, however, until I finally found where this kitchen lived, and now I'm sharing it with you ~ enjoy!

Sita completely transformed her kitchen when she painted her dark wooden cabinets a bright white.  

Isn't the difference incredible?  I am always amazed at what the addition of white cabinetry can do for a space.  This kitchen was essentially the same... but so much better!

Ahhh... wouldn't you just love to cook, eat, and live in here?

I love the pops of aqua and pale green that she's added in as accents... the utensil container, towels, dining chairs, and her drapery all add a special pop of color.

One last parting shot... just look at all the sunshine pouring in!

If you get a chance, please stop over and visit Sita - and tell her I sent ya!  She has more gorgeous spaces in her home for you to enjoy as well as design inspiration, fabulous finds, and more!

*** All images courtesy of Sita at The Family Room ***

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How does your garden grow?

The weather here has been so fickle lately... cold one day, mild the next... so much so, in fact, that the plants are confused and already beginning to bud as if it were springtime.  Seeing all of the fresh sprouts of green has me yearning to dig in the dirt!  

What's on my mind, you ask?  Roses.

Yes, roses.

I've given up on trying to grow hydrangeas.  As lovely as they are, they just don't tolerate the scorching heat and soil conditions in Texas.  I'll just have to admire everyone else's beautiful flowering hydrangea bushes from afar... *sigh*.

Roses, however, might just work.  They seem to do well in almost every planting zone and they actually like sunlight, which is a good thing around these parts.  I've been doing a little researching about growing roses before I get started, in hopes that I might have gardening success!

Prepping Soil for Rose Gardens

You had me at How to Grow Cabbage Roses

Source: via rhonda on Pinterest

Better Homes and Gardens has an extensive page on rose-growing.

And how to grow bare root roses... from someone who's had success with it.

These gorgeous blooms would be such a reward for a little outdoor elbow grease - can you imagine having roses at your beckon call for fresh-cut flowers?

Next stop... the library for more research and then it's time to get planting!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Transforming a Family Heirloom

When my grandmother passed away, she left certain pieces of furniture to each of her grandchildren, all spelled out specifically in a letter that she and my grandfather had written years earlier as part of the will for their estate.  Bestowed upon me were my grandmother’s hope chest and a curio cabinet, filled with various items she had collected throughout the years.

From what I’ve been told, my grandparents purchased a lot of their furniture through the U.S. Army when my grandpa was in the service.  Most of their pieces were very similar – all solid wood with a dark cherry finish and all of them in impeccable condition.

The curio cabinet made the journey from my grandparents’ home to the first home my husband and I bought… then to storage until we moved into the home we built… and again to our current home.  Unfortunately, some of the original glass panels did not survive all of these journeys, which was probably a blessing in disguise as this wasn’t exactly safety glass.  (I cut my hands several times just in the process of installing/removing the glass!)  So, since we’ve moved in, the lonely curio has remained but a hollow shell, waiting to be filled again.

After walking past this piece of furniture for over a year and dreaming of ways to return its function, I finally decided to follow my instinct and… *gasp*… paint it.

I know, there I go again with the perfectly good wood.

It’s funny… I used to be so sentimental about this furniture, feeling as if I was erasing memories if I changed anything about them.  But then I read an article in, I believe, Better Homes and Gardens, about a girl who felt the same way that I did… but decided to not just admire her heirloom furniture but to add to its legacy by painting it a different color that suited her décor.

And I loved that idea… of building upon the memories already established with something that’s been handed down for generations by transforming it to fit your own generation.

And so I painted the chairs to my grandmother’s dining set, handed down from her to my mom and (by way of my big brother) then to me.

Baby steps, right?

I took a couple more baby steps this weekend and began another transformation…


(I started painting before I remembered to take “before” pictures, of course!)


From dark cherry wood-tone to Annie Sloan Paris Grey.  It’s quite a change, but I love it already.


Now don’t be alarmed… but there are no “after” pictures just yet.  I still have a few more things to do with this baby before she’s ready for a final reveal.  We’ve been a little busy around la casa with Valentine hoopla and party-planning for a soon-to-be-7 year old!

(By the way… notice the new wall color in the background??  Nice, huh?  As for that green trim… not so much.)

I digress.

So how about you?  Are you afraid to transform those family heirloom pieces like I used to be?  Or are you going out on a creative limb and giving these pieces another story to tell?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

{Saturday Spotlight} Master Bedroom Closet Makeover

Happy Saturday friends and welcome to Saturday Spotlight, where I feature amazing, awe-inspiring DIY projects from blogland.  You ready to be amazed?!

Today's spotlight is this fabulous Master Bedroom Closet Makeover by Tonya at Love of Family & Home.

Tonya completely gutted her closet of all of the "stuff" and transformed it into a fabulous space.  She recycled those shelves from her dad's garage!

She turned a Goodwill mirror into a chalkboard, complete with an inspiring saying.  She created some DIY jewelry holders for her necklaces, and she even did a tutorial so you can make some too!

I love how neat and organized everything is, in addition to being beautiful.  (And I have to admit that I'm a little jealous of that scarf collection too...)

If you want to see more of Tonya's fabulous closet, head over to Love of Family & Home and check out the rest of her posts.  She shows you every phase of the closet makeover as it progresses... and be sure to check out her first Vlog ever on Stenciling that gorgeous wall!

*All images courtesy of Love of Family & Home.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to Paint Like a Pro

Things have been a little slower around here in the aftermath of OMTWI... Four intense weeks of crafting took its toll on my other projects (and on my pile of laundry and dirty floors!). After a few weeks of 1.5 golden walls staring back at me, daring me to paint them, taunting me as if to say "nanny-nanny-boo-boo-you-can't-get-me"... I showed those walls who was boss and polished them off this evening!

All this painting has convinced me that just in case this nursing career thing doesn't work out, I definitely have a future in painting. Seriously. This is one of those areas of DIY where a little OCD is a good thing! That being said, I've also discovered that a painter is only as good as the tricks up her sleeve, so here are my tips for painting like a pro (even if you're not!)

Invest in Quality Tools
This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Being on a budget makes it easy to want to save a couple bucks by scrimping on brushes and rollers. Let me save you some time (and money) by telling you up front that this is not the way to go. Believe me, I've tried every level of brush (you know, Good-Better-Best?), and the Best brushes will give you the best results. Higher quality bristles are stiffer, allowing for more precision with cutting in and less splaying over time, as well as less of those annoying bristles that fall out and stick in your paint. If you take care of them, they'll also last you a lot longer than the cheaper alternatives. My hands-down favorite is Purdy, and no they're not paying me to say that nor have I received anything to review. It's my honest opinion after trying all the rest and learning my lesson.

You'll also want to invest in the highest quality roller brushes that you can, as they give more even paint coverage and leave behind less fibers than the less expensive ones. Trust me, nothing ruins a paint finish faster than those little pieces of cotton fiber gummed up with paint.

Prep Your Surface
I'll be the first to admit that I don't always prime my surface...


The shame!

That being said, I'll 'fess up that in this case, do as I say and not as I do, mmmkay?! Priming not only helps cover up the previous paint color and any stains, but it provides a better canvas for your new paint. This is especially important when you're repainting a surface that you didn't originally paint. Different paint finishes, patches, adhesives, etc., that may be hiding behind your wall color will become quite evident when you repaint without priming.

In my first home, being the naive painter that I was, I painted the existing pink glossy bathroom a deep red without priming. Where the previous wallpaper border had been, the paint was left darker than everywhere else. AND, the paint peeled off of the glossy surface like bad nail polish. No lie.

Luckily, there's now paint with primer so you can technically kill two birds with one stone. That means there's no excuse for me either, right?

Never Underestimate the Value of Tape
For a crisp, clean edge, you can't go wrong with a good painter's tape. I swear by Scotch Blue, but I've also heard great things about Frog Tape. Whichever you use, be sure you clean your surface first with a damp towel to help the tape adhere better.  That fine layer of dust that likes to collect on walls and baseboards can make for a less than ideal adhesive surface. Without a good seal, you can have issues with paint seepage, especially on textured surfaces.

Be sure as well to remove your tape within 24-48 hours if possible. The longer it's left on, the more difficult it will be to remove later and the higher the risk you run of pulling up some of your painted finish along with it.

Take Your Time
I am the world's worst about wanting a project done and wanting it done yesterday, but when it comes to painting, a slow hand leads to more even coverage, more precision, and a better end result. Case in point... I unfortunately paid a lot of money to have someone paint my kitchen cabinets before we moved into this home, and because he rushed and took shortcuts, I'm not only out the money, but I already want to repaint them!

Even if you only have an hour or two at a time, do what you can do as best as you can and save the rest for another day. The walls will still be there when you have time to tackle them again.

One wall at a time, sweet Jesus!

I*helpful hint* If you know you'll be revisiting the painting soon, save your paint and roller for the next painting session by covering it with Press and Seal. Works like a charm.

Don't Be Afraid
Last but not least, don't talk yourself out of it. Painting is sometimes a daunting and scary task, especially when you roll that new color on the first time, but it's something anyone can do! It truly is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to change the way your home looks. And best of all, when you change your mind, you can just do it all over again!

So what are you waiting for?  Pick a color, pick up a brush, and color your world today!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Valentine’s Feather Wreath

I decided to do something very cutesy and fun for my Valentine wreath this year… and even better, it’s so easy it’s ridiculous!
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I purchased three pink feather boas in the Valentine section at Hobby Lobby (30% off, of course) and a styrofoam wreath form.  Using straight stick pins, I secured the feather boa string as I wrapped it around the wreath.  (Make sure you pin through the string rather than the feathers or it won’t hold…)
And that was it!  It took me all of about five minutes to make this fun, feathery, confection!
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Even better, it’s super easy to disassemble if I decide I want to reuse the wreath form, although I don’t think that will be necessary since my youngest has already decided this would go great in her room.
It’s so fun being in a house full of girls sometimes…
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I think it goes quite nicely with my turquoise front door, don’t you?  Coincidentally, this wreath goes with my Easter décor colors as well so it might live for another season… or perhaps I’ll make one in yellow?
Hope you’re having a great Saturday!


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