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Friday, December 16, 2011

Free Printables

Cam, Talmadge and I finished buying our gifts last night, so I'm hoping to wrap up (ha!) my wrapping today. How about you?

We celebrate Christmas twice each year. This weekend with his family, then after a long drive (prayers appreciated!) all the way to Arizona, we'll do it all over again with my family. I'm beyond excited, since some of my family has yet to meet 3 month old Talmadge, and I have yet to meet my sister's baby.

Wrapping is a "makes-me-smile" task for me (although I know it isn't for everyone). Online, I found sites brimming with fun wrapping ideas, but below are a few of my favorite free printables. I thought you might like them too!

Download HERE

Download HERE
Download HERE
Download HERE
Download HERE
And my favorite....!
Download HERE
Here's a peek at how I've used them...

I try to use non-traditional wrapping "paper" for my gifts when I can. Items like tea towels, kraft paper, a vintage scarf, newsprint etc. will do the trick!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another chair project

Out of site, out of mind.  Isn't that what they say?

Today I realized that my latest roadside find has been sitting in our basement for a while. Somehow I forgot to show you what I dragged home!

This chair was (OK, still is) so dirty and covered in cat hair that it went straight to the basement to "air out". It was so bad, Cameron wouldn't even haul it in for me; he made me do it. Or, maybe he's too embarrased to be seen picking through someone's trash?

The chair has a great shape to it, and I love the nailhead trim around the legs.  I would love to reupholster this in a metallic linen or a soft velvet.

My last chair project (below) still makes me smile, so I think after the holidays are over I'll be ready to tackle this one.

Read more about this chair HERE and the tutorial HERE

Have you given life to a piece that someone else had tossed to the roadside? I would love to see it! Feel free to leave your link in a comment.
Friday, December 09, 2011

Siding! Done!

Regarding the "exterior of house"...we've called it finished for now! (If only you could see how big my smile is!)

In the spring, we'll touch up the paint and finish caulking. Then, it's on to landscaping and a few other to-do items I'll list below.

I enjoy looking back to the beginning when we bought the house, about 4 years ago.

The first thing Cameron did after signing the papers was come by and chop down the two overgrown trees planted right infront of the windows.

That left it looking like this (with the addition of two new windows):

Here, we removed the back half of the house-with a skid loader!

We dug ourselves a basement (had we known how much water we would encounter, we may have skipped this step!):

Then added back on, giving us a master bedroom, dining room, laundry closet and full basement.

After adding windows and patio doors (see them HERE), we left it alone for a while, trying, I think, to recover from what was by far the most frustrating part of this whole house renovation. You can read more about it HERE.

Finally, this summer we went to work on re-siding!

More on that HERE.

Today, it looks like this:

Here's a little side by side comparison for you:
Much, much better!

Still to do:
  • Paint the front door
  • Add house numbers
  • Replace the mailbox
  • Install light fixture over the door
  • Paint the meter on the side of the house
  • Remove and replace the steps infront of the landing
  • Add color with plants, flowers, shrubs etc.

So there you have it!
Thursday, December 08, 2011

Easy Hardware update

As promised, here's my little "how-to" for bring new life to dingy hardware.

These pulls belong to the Craigslist dresser I recently revamped (see the before and after pictures HERE)I love the campaign style hardware, but it was in sad shape.

The first thing I do when giving furniture a makeover is remove all the hardware and place it in a Ziplock bag. That way, I am less likely to lose pieces, and everything is in one spot when I'm ready to put it back together. (Label the bag if you're working on more then one project.)

Knowing the handles needed to be cleaned up if they were to look nice on a freshly painted dresser, I remembered a product used on another blog and decided this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.

Janell from and has often used Rub 'n Buff with awesome results. You can see her projects HERE, and HERE. She has some serious DIY talent!

I squeezed a tiny amount of Rub 'n Buff in Antique Gold (picked up from Michael's for under $5.00) directly onto the hardware and rubbed it around to cover the surface. Then I used an old rag to buff it until it had the finish I wanted.  If it didn't cover well enough, I just added a little more and repeated the process. The faster and messier I did it, the better it seemed to turn out! I like projects like that.

What a difference it makes! If brass or gold isn't your thing, there's a a whole slew of other finishes you could try!

(One more note: Rub 'n Buff is wax based and will stain your work surface; putting newspaper or cardboard makes clean up a cinch.)
Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Storage space! before and after

A few weeks ago, I picked up this old dresser from Craigslist. I paid $20.00 for it (she wanted $40.00) and painted it with Sherwin Williams Jadite in semi-gloss. Now I have a few drawers for storing my art/craft/design supplies, and a surface to rearrange things as I please!

Here it was before (ugly!):

Some sanding, filler, primer and paint action:

And now:

(I think art or a large inspiration board is needed above this to fill in the space, yes?)

Tommorrow I'll show you how I revamped the campaign style hardware. It was super easy and fast!

Linked up at:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Furniture makeover

How was your weekend? Mine, awesome!

Cameron and his parents worked on the siding ("almost there" pictures coming...). As fro me, well, while this little guy napped....

I was able to sand and paint a piece of furniture picked up from Craigslist for cheap. It's going to be used for some much needed storage in my office.

I used Sherwin Williams Jadite in Semi-Gloss. After a final coat of paint goes on today, I'll be able to share before and after pictures.

The real highlight of our weekend was spending Sunday with our friends visiting from Mexico. I'm kicking myself for forgetting the camera to snap some pictures of their adorable girls!
Thursday, November 17, 2011

Swooning over...

Already a fan of the lighting fixtures made by School House Electric, I was excited when a catalogue featuring their new line of furniture, textiles and housewares showed up in my mailbox this morning. It was filled with warm and cozy images-perfect for this time of year.

School House Electric & Supply Co
A perfect mix of rustic, vintage and industrial pieces.

School House Electric & Supply Co
I think I want to attempt making those ottomans. Using some upholstery webbing, it looks doable!

School House Electric & Supply Co
Pretty and feminine! Loving the gallery wall behind the bed and the herringbone throw.

These are high-quality, made-to-last investment pieces, which the prices reflect.

A few more things...

The colors in this print are awesome! Succulents are one of my favorite plants.

School House Electric Clock
Not in this girl's budget, but that yellow!! So fun.

Plenty to look at and worth browsing, I think! Any pieces in School House Electric's collection that you love?
Wednesday, November 02, 2011

window shopping

I just came across this print HERE (from Zulily) and I think it's adorable! Although I am Canadian, I'd have to say Iowa is now home.

This would look great in little Talmadge's bedroom, that is, when he actually has his own room. Ever so slowly I've been collecting items to decorate his room (I'd say nursery, but he may be too old for that by time it happens). The vintage look of this print would fit right in!

Are you online shopper? I am, for three reasons: convenience, prices and selection. Have you tried online sites that offer daily deals? A few of my favorites for finding either kid/baby items or house decor are listed below. (baby/kid/maternity items) (home decor, cooking items, clothing)
For kids there's "Little Rue" events. (home decor, clothing, kids items) (home decor, cooking items and sometimes things for little ones) (home decor)

You can sign up as a member (free) and then shop from these sites. I usually check the emails they send to see if there is anything that interests me to save time. Happy shopping!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Exterior lighting

We've been on the hunt for exterior light fixtures recently. They can be pretty pricey, especially when you need them to be fairly large to get the scale right.

Two fixtures will be installed on the back of the house. Eventually we'll build a deck in front of the French doors and windows seen below. 

Here are a few that we considered and the one that I think we've narrowed it down to:
This one is by far my favorite! Way out of our price range, considering we need two.
This would be my pick and I especially love that it's green, but Cameron's not a fan of the piecrust "ruffle".

This is what they call compromise! It seems to be the one we can both agree on. Which is your favorite?