Hallway Gallery Progress

It’s been awhile since I’ve shown you pictures of my downstairs hallway gallery.

Probably because all the frames were empty until a couple of weeks ago.
I got some photographs from a friend of mine, downloaded some images from Graphics Fairy, and it’s coming along nicely now. I purchased a few mattes for variety.

It’s a start at least! I’ve also begun gathering things for the stairwell gallery, which I think I’ll do in white frames. What about you guys? Do you have any gallery walls in your house? Do you stick with black and white images or mix everything in?

 

A New Life For An Old Table

You know I love refinishing furniture, but there is something more special about reworking a piece that’s been in the family for awhile.  Unfortunately my family doesn’t have any heirloom furniture so most of my finds come from thrift stores-leaving me without any history of the piece. When St. John’s Mom (SJM) contacted me about her hand-me-down table story, I thought it was so sweet that I had to share!

Image courtesy of St. John's Mom

The table (originally much larger) was built by her grandfather for her grandmother, and over the years was passed around the family serving different purposes until it finally became this beautiful little island. You can read the full story here, check it out!

When I was scoping out SJM’s blog, I noticed that she also makes amazing paper crafts. I always appreciate this kind of talent because I am not good at this at all!

Image courtesy of St. John's Mom

Image courtesy of St. John's Mom

Aren’t these adorable?! Be sure to hop over to St. John’s Mom and check out the rest of her site!

Fun With Boxwood

In the spirit of Spring, I thought it might be fun to add some greenery to my foyer buffet. I had a 6″ styrofoam ball in my stash, so I grabbed a faux boxwood garland to cover it with. Garlands are expensive, so I used a 40% off coupon. I thought I’d have a ton leftover for other projects, but after about 2 hours it was completely used up and I still had a bald spot!

So my topiary plans got sidetracked, and instead I just plopped it on a square vase and called it a day. For now.

I came to the conclusion that it is cheaper to by a premade topiaries at AC Moore or Michaels with a coupon. Unless you’re doing something really small or really large, DIYing these doesn’t really save you any money. It pains me to say that, but I’m just keeping it real for anyone who likes the look of these.

A Present In The Mail

I was so excited to receive my giveaway prize from AliLily this week I just had to share!

I’m loving it already :)

I chose the Tea Green and Pearl Earrings, which are even more pretty in person than when I picked them out online at her etsy shop.

I love them so much! I already wore them and got plenty of compliments. Thanks so much Ami!

Inspiration Mondays: Outdoor Living

The weather is warming up here a bit, now that Spring is officially here. Which of course means I’ve turned my attention outside to the wasteland that is our yard. It’s sad, but true. I inherited a black thumb from someone in our family (um, Mom?), so landscaping is a challenge for me. Last year, transplanting grass was a big victory for me…too bad everything died this winter.

Still I dream of having friends over and hanging out in a space like this…

Image courtesy of HGTV

Oh and this.

 

Image courtesy HGTV

I mean a girl can dream right? Right now I’m just happy that I completed my grass-to-mulch bank conversion. I even planted some freesia bulbs!

It’s hard to tell from the picture, but I’ve planted a few bushes, bulbs, and a tree in the top left that will obscure the view of the lovely utility pole.

Our house is built into the side of a hill, so we don’t have a lot of flat space. But, I’d love to make a small area for some patio furniture for entertaining this year. I also have plans to reface that timber retaining wall with stone. I really wish I had started landscaping as soon as we moved in 4 years ago- lack of mature landscaping is a huge downside to buying a new construction. Slowly, every year I’ve been adding things (and killing things…), but if I just really put a lot of effort in that first year, we would have something closer to this.

Image courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Oh how I love a good arbor trellis. Maybe my sweet and talented hubby will build one for me. If I had the room for lots of garden furniture, I’d be in heaven.

Image courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Swoon.

It’s so easy to get carried away. For now, I’ll just stick with planting more flower bulbs, attempting a raised bed garden, and getting a green lawn.

Lovely Crafty Weekend #13

Hello all you wonderful readers! It’s time again to show off what you’ve been working on. But first, here are a few features from last week. Click the images to read more about each project!

These coconut lime cookies from Cut The Craft sound soooo yummy! Two of my favorite flavors…

How sweet are these mod birds made by Kristen of Who’s Watching The Baby? (awesome blog name, btw)

Speaking of birds (I clearly have a problem)…I’m loving these pretty cutouts perched on some branches at The Tinos.

Check out this simple-yet totally awesome- DIY candle centerpiece made over at Design Build Love.

Now onto this week’s projects! Don’t forget to grab a button from the sidebar if you’ve been featured!

1) Please link to a specific post, not your blog address.

2) Share the love and comment on other people’s blogs! We all love comments!

3) Please join my Google Friend network.

4) Please grab my linky party button from the sidebar and link back so others can join in the fun!

Black Hole Cabinetry

You know what I mean. The kind that is waaaaayyyy too deep and has all kinds of unusable space.

I was fed up with our tall pantry cabinet. Every time I’d put something in there, it would slowly get pushed further and further back until I could no longer reach it. Eventually I’d forget it was even there. You wouldn’t believe what I discovered when I finally cleaned it out in preparation for this project.

Custom cabinets have all kinds of fun drawers and pull-out options, but if you don’t have the moolah to overhaul your kitchen don’t fret! You can find install-it-yourself type organization products at places The Container Store and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

But if you’re really cheap, you can make your own.

I am cheap. I think we’ve established that, yes?

Here’s what you’ll need (or bribe your handy hubby to basically do this for you):

  • Drawer slides in a size close to the depth of your cabinets (found in the hardware section of HD or Lowes)- we bought 22″ ones. They were about $8/ea
  • Lumber to build out your existing shelves (1×3)
  • Small furring strips (1×2) to build out your cabinet opening (I’ll explain later)
  • Drill and screws
  • Saw

Depending on your cabinets, you may or may not have to do this first step. Our boxes have a “lip” on them that hides about 1″ of the shelf on either side. In order to be able to pull the shelf in and out, we’d have to trim the shelves and bump out the drawer slide to the edge of the opening.

Attach one half of the drawer slides to your furring strips.

Using the 1x3s, Mike made our 3 existing shelf bottoms into drawers. He trimmed the shelf by about 2″, then attached the 3 new sides using screws.

Mount the other half of your slide to your newly built drawer.

Once you have all the drawers in, you can load them up with all your crap and it will still look organized!

You like the ramen basket? Yeah…that’s what happens when I don’t supervise the shopping.

In any case, I’m LOVING the added storage and the fact that I can see everything I’ve got. Total cost was less than $30 (and we bought nice lumber).

*****Linked Up******

Black Hole Cabinetry

You know what I mean. The kind that is waaaaayyyy too deep and has all kinds of unusable space.

I was fed up with our tall pantry cabinet. Every time I’d put something in there, it would slowly get pushed further and further back until I could no longer reach it. Eventually I’d forget it was even there. You wouldn’t believe what I discovered when I finally cleaned it out in preparation for this project.

Custom cabinets have all kinds of fun drawers and pull-out options, but if you don’t have the moolah to overhaul your kitchen don’t fret! You can find install-it-yourself type organization products at places The Container Store and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

But if you’re really cheap, you can make your own.

I am cheap. I think we’ve established that, yes?

Here’s what you’ll need (or bribe your handy hubby to basically do this for you):

  • Drawer slides in a size close to the depth of your cabinets (found in the hardware section of HD or Lowes)- we bought 22″ ones. They were about $8/ea
  • Lumber to build out your existing shelves (1×3)
  • Small furring strips (1×2) to build out your cabinet opening (I’ll explain later)
  • Drill and screws
  • Saw

Depending on your cabinets, you may or may not have to do this first step. Our boxes have a “lip” on them that hides about 1″ of the shelf on either side. In order to be able to pull the shelf in and out, we’d have to trim the shelves and bump out the drawer slide to the edge of the opening.

Attach one half of the drawer slides to your furring strips.

Using the 1x3s, Mike made our 3 existing shelf bottoms into drawers. He trimmed the shelf by about 2″, then attached the 3 new sides using screws.

Mount the other half of your slide to your newly built drawer.

Once you have all the drawers in, you can load them up with all your crap and it will still look organized!

You like the ramen basket? Yeah…that’s what happens when I don’t supervise the shopping.

In any case, I’m LOVING the added storage and the fact that I can see everything I’ve got. Total cost was less than $30 (and we bought nice lumber).

*****Linked Up******

A Rustic Mirror

I’ve been eye-ing some starburst mirrors…and believe me, there are plenty in blog land! Everyone is so creative- I’ve seen them made from twigs, bamboo…even silverware!

But I have to say the one that inspired me the most was this one from Kristi at Addicted 2 Decorating.

Image courtesy Addicted 2 Decorating

I love the fact that it’s made out of wood shims (you know my obsession with using materials for unusual purposes!). Kristi said it took her 17 packages, and I found that to be the same for mine. I designed mine a little differently, starting with the arrangement of the shims.

I made sets of 5 in sort of a ladder design using wood glue between pieces and painter’s tape to hold them together while they dried overnight.

Then I attached 3 of those sets together in tall-short-tall and short-tall-short combinations, also using wood glue.

Working on a plastic bag, I laid them out in a circle as I went to be sure I made the right amount of each. I used wood glue and hot glue this time, which worked great-you just have to move quickly with the hot glue and squeeze the pieces together until it sets.

You end up with a hole perfect for a single 5 piece which bridges the gap and maintains the pattern (in my case, a “tall”).

I bought an 8″ diameter mirror from A.C. Moore with a 40% off coupon. I used hot glue and gorilla glue to secure the mirror to the shim frame. Because the shims aren’t perfectly flat, I just made sure I got enough glue underneath to adhere wherever it could. The next day, I found it was secured VERY well.

Now this bad boy seems pretty heavy, but the scale told me it was 7.4 lbs. So, I decided to use a sawtooth hanger (made for 10lbs) to hang it. I put some gorilla glue on it too for good measure (it is going over a bed…)

Now here it is in the guest room.

I love it! It’s an awesome statement piece for less than $3o!

P.S. Notice I de-pillowed the bed a bit…what do you think?

*****Linked Up*****

Brown Paper + Walnut Stain = Mocha Love

********If you are new to my paper floors, please read this first**********

You’re probably tired of hearing about my basement staircase makeover.

I’m sorry.

This project has been taking over my life. Therefore, as faithful readers, it will take over your lives as well (seriously, thank you for your patience). I want to share with you the upstairs version with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. The only difference from the process used in the basement is that I rubbed the stain onto the paper after the glue dried with a rag before poly-ing. The resulting flooring is nothing short of stunning.

Even people who are not related to me have loved it!

In case you forgot what it used to look like, here’s the before shot with the carpet (and the old paint).

And now, the fresh and sophisticated after:

Another angle:

brown paper stairs walnut stain

In order to make the risers clean, smooth, and white, I had Mike cut out pieces of 1/8″ hardboard (near the pegboard at HD or Lowes, comes in 2×4 sheets).

I painted them with Glidden Semi-Gloss off the shelf white and attached them to the plywood risers with liquid nails.

I still have to caulk the seams, but for now I’m done. I have to move on to the upstairs floor or I feel I’ll lose motivation to rip up the rest of the carpet!

What do you all think? It doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen at a floor store, but I’ve seen some leather floors online that resemble it. Some people have said it looks a little like cork. I’ll take either comparison!

For the full tutorial, click here.

*****Linked Up*****