Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why I'm Going to Haven 2015

Haven Conference,

I am going to the HAVEN conference in Atlanta because I NEED to!!!

You see, like most DIY bloggers I know I have a deep, indescribable need to create...

To keep my home fresh and inviting.
To take old things and make them new again.

To fill empty walls with interesting artwork, and undressed windows with fabric, shutters and blinds.

To try new products that will make my home endeavors better, easier, and exciting.

I need to go to HAVEN because this past year I have failed miserably at all of the above.  

I have allowed ruptured discs and surgeries and physical therapy to rob me of the joy of creating, of completing projects, and of sharing the results.

I have allowed this blog to become outdated, and my garage to be overfilled with unfinished projects that call my name each time I walk by.

I need to go to HAVEN to be inspired by all the many talented and bright bloggers I know will be attending.

To meet the sponsors and learn about their new products.
To learn to use the DIY tools I have been acquiring, like the Kreg Jig that still sits in the box,  and the Ryobi circular saw I got for Christmas. 

To learn how to bring this blog back to life with fresh look and updated tools.

I need to go to HAVEN because my sweet daughter, Lindsey, is waiting for me to get this blog up to speed so she can join me as a contributor, and share her passion for DIY projects, home decorating, and raising three boys.

Not only do I need to go to HAVEN but I want to go!  

In fact, since HAVEN starts tomorrow I better sign off now and get packing! I don't want to miss a minute of the excitement I know will be awaiting for me!

Better Run!




Monday, September 22, 2014

Simple Fall Lantern

Don't you just love Fall?  I know I do. I love the colors, the smells, the sound of leaves crunching underneath my shoes.  And I love how easy it is to decorate for the Fall Season!

Like this simple Fall lantern!  I bought the lantern at Hobby Lobby for $19 when they were 50% off.  I love the colors of the rusty metal, and the simplicity of the design.  I new it would be perfect sitting on my kitchen island!

To make this lantern you will need to gather your supplies:  a lantern (doesn't have to be just like mine), some artificial fall leaves, twin or jute string, burlap ribbon, a battery operated candle, scissors, and a hot glue gun.  You probably have most of these items already!

First cut a piece of burlap long enough to go around your candle and overlap just a little.

Then cut a piece of string long enough to wrap around your candle three times plus have enough to tie in a double knot.

Next lay your burlap ribbon on a piece of foil and begin gluing your leaves down.  It doesn't take much glue - just enough to hold the leaf on the ribbon or on top of the other leaves.

Be sure to mix up the colors and turn the leaves random ways.  It is ok if a little burlap shows through.  Every once in a while, peel the ribbon up to "un-stick" it from the foil.

When you get to the end of the ribbon it will look similar to the picture above.  You are now ready to pick the whole thing up and wrap it around your candle! 

Don't worry if the ribbon is not straight at this point.  Just wrap your cut string around three times and tie in a double knot being sure to cut the excess off (Ieft about 1/2 inch of string on each end.)  After cutting the string you can adjust the leaf covered ribbon until it looks right.  Remember, it does not have to be perfect!!!

Then place your candle in the center of your wreath and woe-la!  you have a simple fall lantern you can place almost anywhere!

For now I have mine next to a dough bowl filled with honey-crisp apples on my kitchen island.  But...who knows where it will end up! 

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs xxoo!


Linking up to the following parties:

Show & Share over at Coastal Charm
Inspire Me Tuesday over at A Stroll Thru Life

Friday, September 12, 2014

Easy & Useful Kitchen Update

I love making small changes in my house that have a big impact.  Today I am going to show you a 10 minute update that anyone can do with a thrifted (is that a real word??) tray, an assortment of cooking oils & wines, and a few wood cutting boards.

BEFORE: This is what my kitchen looks like before I make the changes.  See that rooster tray? It has been there so long I really don't even notice it anymore.  I still like it so I will tuck it away for another day. 

AFTER:  This is how it looks after the changes.  I love the combination of wood cutting boards (mine are very old), oils & cooking wines, and the little white salt & pepper cellars.  I think this is a warmer look for my kitchen, and how useful to have all those things right at my fingertips while cooking!

To make this vignette, I first gathered all the items I wanted to include.  I know, I know - that is a country/christmasy tray but most of it will be covered and I love the red so I am using it anyway.

I then placed the tray where I wanted it and leaned the cutting boards in a pleasing arrangement behind it.  I can easily pull out the one I want to use without totally disrupting the whole thing.  (Trust me, much easier than trying to pull them from my messy soon to be organized cabinets.)
Then I just arranged all the bottles by putting the taller ones in the back and the ones I use most often closest to the stove.  I put the salt and pepper cellars in front because there is nothing like grabbing a pinch with your fingers to add to your cooking pots! (They are filled with course salt & pepper.)

 So one last look at the after.  Seriously this took me about 10 minutes and I love the new look!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Hugs xxoo,


I am linking up to the following blog parties:

Inspire Me Tuesday over at  A Stroll Thru Life

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A New Mantle Shelf (My First Thrifty Find of Fall!)

I have been planning on building a mantel shelf to go over my sofa FOREVER.  So when I found one at an estate sale for $21 I scooped it up! I love the big clock but it was just lost on a large wall and was crying for some company.  

NOTE TO SELF:  Steal Hubby's camera from his boat until I get mine back from Auburn.  My iPhone photography skills are greatly lacking!

This is how it looked when I brought it home.  Well, it's the back of it anyway.  I was so excited I forgot to take many before pictures, but you can see how it is made.

I knew I would need to hang the mantel with a cleat, so I measured the vertical space inside the mantel and ran off to home depot for a 2"X2"X4' piece of wood, which I then leveled and attached to the wall studs with wall screws.  (Hubby had to check my work!)  With Hubby's help we then placed the shelf and screwed it to the cleat through the top near the back, being sure to counter-sink the screws.

Now, imagine that wall without the shelf.  See what I mean??  BLAH, lonely, "unfinished"

And here it is again all finished!  Well, I still have some accessorizing to do.  

I plan to find some darker candle sticks to replace the silver ones, or maybe I will just spray paint them???

For $21 I think I got a real bargain - what do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!

hugs xxxo,


I am linking up to the following blog parties:

Inspire Me Tuesday over at  A Stroll Thru Life

Sunday, September 7, 2014

DIY Fall Wreath...Hello Fall!

Hello Fall!  Finally got around to making a new wreath for the front door.  Unfortunately I left my good camera in Auburn a couple of weekends ago so I am limited to my iPhone for pictures.  I think you can see the beautiful fall colors even if not the greatest photography!

Hubby was taking a nap so I made a mad dash to Hobby Lobby.  Trust me, it is better if I do it this way! (I did leave him a note.)

In about 30 minutes I was able to grab everything I thought I would need and get back home.  I laid it all out on the kitchen table, grabbed some burlap and twine, and my handy dandy glue gun.  (No, I don't use that cookie sheet for cooking - it is dedicated to my glue gun!)

I just cut all the little stems apart and started tucking and gluing it all in place until I liked it.  I did start with some back ground grassy - type fall stems just to add interest and volume. (Note to Self:  get some decent wire cutters!!!)

After I tucked in the larger flowers and the gourds/pumpkins I decided not to add a burlap bow.  With all the pretty colors I just didn't feel it needed it.

By the time hubby was awake it was on the door!  Now if we can just get some cooler weather I can really get in the mood for fall!

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of fall in Alabama!  Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs XX00!


I am participating in Domestically Speaking's Inspire Me Monday link party here

Monday, July 7, 2014

Guess who is going to the Haven Conference!

After letting my blog collect dust for waay too long I am going to my first ever blogging conference.  And I just can't wait to meet all the bloggers I have followed for YEARS!

When I get back I am dusting off my blog, giving it a MAJOR over haul and getting back to what I love most - blogging about my DIY life!!!

Will you be at Haven this year?  If so I can't wait to meet you as we learn together from the pros!

Haven Newbie

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cloche Love

Last year I was so inspired by a picture in the Pottery Barn catalog that I decided to make my very own book cloche.  I posted about it here in case you missed it.  Since Marty over at A Stroll Thru Life is having a cloche party I decided to re-post about my book cloche and show you how I am using it today!

This is the inspiration picture from Pottery Barn.  See it there in the middle?  Don't you just LOVE their great ideas!!

And this is the first vignette I created to display my own version of the book cloche.

Later it ended up on the table behind my out dated but much loved sofa.

Next it made its way to the "book table" in the great room next to the ugly fireplace (don't worry, the fireplace has been updated now and looks MUCH BETTER!  See it here if you missed it!)

And now it is back where books belong, in the great room bookcase.  I think I will leave it here for a long time - it just makes sense, don't ya think?

Be sure to stop by the Cloche Party over at A Stroll Thru Live to see all the creative ways our fellow bloggers have found to use their cloches!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fireplace & Oak Bookcase Update

Wow, I can not believe it has been so long since I have posted anything! Truthfully, I have been a bit lazy since the first of the year. Now I find myself overwhelmed with the many unfinished (and UN-STARTED!) projects I have. At least I get to check a big one off my list - updating the OUTDATED fireplace and built in bookcase in the great room. 

 This is the "before" shot of my 80's fireplace.  Pretty drab, huh?  For years I have dreamed of a creamy white fireplace surround and now I finally have one!

 Now don't you agree this is a huge improvement!  Come on in and let me show you a close up....

I have to be honest and tell you I didn't do this project myself.  In fact, other than describing what I generally wanted and picking out the color (BM Navajo White, love it!!) I really didn't do anything at all.  You see, my philosophy is if you know someone talented, trustworthy and affordable why take a chance on doing it yourself? Now I take on my share of small projects but this makeover has to last the rest of my life so I needed it to be perfect!

Just look at those details!  My friends Karl and Martha did me right again!  Remember they did my oak kitchen cabinet makeover (see it here and here if you missed it) and they did my oak bookcase makeover below:

Believe it or not these oak cabinets were all the rage when I was 26 years old and built this house in 1987.  For the past several years they have been a real eyesore to me.  It took my a while to get my husband to see the necessity of painting real wood, but he finally came around and so here they are today:

Karl and Martha really pulled through on this one!  I think they look so much more sophisticated now, don't you?

 I had previously painted the brass door pulls with ORB spray paint and they go perfectly with the new hinges!  I love the distressing on these cabinets - no glaze needed, the oak peeking through is the perfect color to make them look well loved.

We had a thicker crown molding added to the top

And a bit of trim to the bottom to give the bookcase a more finished look.
I love the way my old things look new again against the black backdrop of the bookcase.  My sweet mother-in-law Linda spent the day with me "stylizing" the cases.  Come closer and I will show you some of our handy work...
 I recently went to an art show in Guntersville, Alabama and bought this beautiful painting named "The Red Door".  I am so lucky to be able to showcase it right in the center of my bookcase! 

If you have followed my blog before you know I love blue and white china pieces.  I especially love the china men, which were a gift from a dear friend many years ago.  Hey, do you recognize the book cloche?
 I made it many, many months ago and yes, I am still using it!  If you didn't see the post about it you can find it here.

This iron looking piece is a recent purchase from Willow House (formerly Southern Living at Home).  I wasn't sure how I would use it when I bought it but I love the way it "crowns" the bookcase!  If you are not familiar with Willow House you need to check it out.  My favorite dealer is not even in Alabama but no worries because Willow House ships right to your front door!  Check out her website here and be sure to shop the outlet and the weekly specials (new every Monday) - I have got some real bargains there!  (No, Willow House is not a sponsor of this blog and I am not related to the dealer.  I just LOVE their products!)  Many of the items in my bookcase are Willow House.

So, what do you do with an empty, lidded wire basket?  Why, put books in it of course!  Just a side note, I always remove those dust jackets from hard cover books because to me they are so much prettier without them.  If you haven't done this give it a try - I promise the book police will not come after you!!

Every bookcase should have something unexpected, therefore, I have a cow planter in mine!  It was a gift from my "other" mother-in-law many years ago and I love the touch of whimsy it adds.

So, I have a question for you:  Where does your hubby keep his camera and cell phone charger?  Mine took over this planter a long time ago and that's OK with me.  At least he doesn't leave them lying on the kitchen table like he used to!  Now, if I hadn't told you that you would have never guessed there is such a tangled mess inside this pot, would you??

Well, today I got a new washer and dryer (mine was 25 years old and FINALLY broke this week) so I guess I need to go do laundry.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there in blogland!

Thanks for stopping by Ya'll!

I am participating in the following link parties:

(Click HERE)

And to Wow Us Wednesday over at Savvy Southern Style here.