Valentine’s in the rental house

So, if you’ve been following along from the beginning, you know my family and I are living in a rental while our house is being built. I’m sure you’ve heard me mention a time or two that all our stuff is packed up in the two back bedrooms. It’s really been a struggle, especially around the holidays. I miss having my dining room and kitchen tables to decorate. I don’t really have a lot of Valentine decorations, but every year I get a little more, especially after the holiday. Clearance anyone? Last year, I made a couple of decorations but I didn’t start the blog until March, so I thought I would show you them now and maybe a little of the stuff I’ve managed to collect over the last few years. So all the pics you see are old, by old I mean last year. They are also terrible pictures, I apologize for that. I remember in January last year, we were walking around Michael’s looking for bargains on Christmas decorations. They already had Valentine stuff out. I saw these cute little topiary’s. I guess that’s what you would call them. They were two little clay pots painted red with a glittery heart on a stick. I thought they were adorable, but at $14.99 each there was no way I was going to buy them. So I took a picture (which is on my desktop, which is packed) and decided to make them myself. So while I did take a photo of the finished product and a few steps in the middle, remember I didn’t know I was going to start a blog, so I didn’t take pictures of the items before I put them all together, so it’s going to be kind of random, but you’ll get the idea.

Anyway, I bought two terracotta pots, some red spray paint, a 1/4″ dowel, two foam hearts, some grassy, mossy stuff and a can of Great Stuff foam insulation. I spray painted the pots, the dowels and the hearts with the red paint.

hearts, red spray paint

I did the pots and dowels first, then I did the hearts. After spraying the hearts I got to play with glitter. Who doesn’t like glitter?

glitter heart

See what I mean? Glitter is fun. Have you ever used Great Stuff foam insulation in your projects?

Great Stuff Foam Insulation

Well, let me tell you, this stuff is crazy. It’s crazy sticky too, so don’t get any on you or on anything you love…trust me. It’s also pretty fun to watch it do it’s thing. So, if you don’t know what it is, I’ll tell you. It’s used in the construction industry around windows and doors etc., to stop drafts from getting in your house. There are several different “kinds” that are used in different aspects of insulating your house. It expands. You use a little and it doubles, maybe even triples in size. Then it dries hard, but it’s like air, so it’s very light. I sprayed some in the pots, and stayed well below the top so that as it expanded, it wouldn’t go over the top. I inserted the dowel so the the foam would grow around it and it would stand firm.  Like I said, this stuff is crazy.

Great Foam explosion

Funny right? It kinda looks like an ice cream cone. I could not believe how high it rose. No biggie, I just got a serrated knife and cut it off and then cut a little below the top of the pot so I could put my grassy, mossy stuff around it. So after doing surgery on the pots, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the heart, put some glue in the hole and put it on the dowel. After it dried I tied a ribbon around the dowel and put the grassy, mossy stuff around the pot. I love how they turned out.

Valentine topiary

Cute right? They turned out just like the one’s at Michael’s, but you’ll have to take my word for it, because I can’t find the picture! Anyway, they are the only thing I pulled out of storage this year. I’ve got them sitting on a piece of furniture that I got for free, that I plan to paint and hopefully sell. I’ll show you that if we ever get in the new house. Since that is all the decorating I am doing this Valentine’s, I’ll show you a little of what I did last year.

Valentine decorations; placemats

This is my kitchen table, it’s where I put the topiaries.

dining room table, red hots, valentine decorations

red hots, valentine decorations

Yep, those are red hot! I love to eat them and I love to decorate with them.

chandelier, valentine decorations

I put a few little hearts on the chandelier over the dining room table.

Banner, fireplace, Valentine decorations

This was my fireplace. I loved it. I made that banner from a free printable from the awesome girls at Shanty2Chic. Please check them out. They are incredibly talented. I’m a little jealous of them actually! They must have a lot of fun creating stuff together. I put some valentine heart stuff up there and of course a wedding picture of me and my husband. See that little Dalmatian? My good friend Laurel made him a valentine bandanna. I must not have had it yet in that picture, but here he is all decked out for Valentine’s Day.

Dalmatian wearing a valentine banner

Isn’t he cute? I wish I knew where I packed that bandanna. Like I said, I don’t have a lot of decorations yet, but I’m working on it. A little bit each year. Well, here’s hoping I’m in the new house by next year and I can decorate again. I’ll have my craft room back and hopefully will be able to create some new goodies. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll be back and watch as the construction unfolds. Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve got going on for Valentine’s Day.

Until next time…


Habitat Restore find to Graphic Paisley Buffet

Before and After Trash to Treasure
Hey all!

So, welcome to my latest project. I have to say, this is my all time favorite project. I had so much fun transferring this from Habitat ReStore blah, to this awesome paisley graphic buffet. So you know I love the Habitat ReStore. I go there a lot, and if you’ve been following my blog, you know I have done a lot of projects with items from the ReStore. Starting with the cabinets in my craft room and my $5 chair makeover. I also made my scrapbook paper tower from an old school mailbox. I LOVE that place. I even won a before and after contest at One Project Closer and Fox Hollow Cottage, with my Habitat ReStore Headboard to Chalkboard. That was so exciting for me. I had never won anything with something that I had made or redesigned.   So, let’s begin, shall we?

Buffet before

Beauty right? I know, not so much. But I knew it could be. The door made me think of something from the 1970’s. I thought about taking the door off permanently and just putting drawer pulls on the drawers behind the door. I’m glad I left it on. I think the transformation is even more dramatic because of that ugly door.

The rest of it was pretty awesome. I loved the hardware, like this keyhole.

keyhole and drawer detail

This baby needed a lot of work. It was missing both end pieces, which you can see in the picture. This had enabled it to loosen up a bit. I had to do a lot of gluing and bracing.
bracing the front to the back
Once it was solid again, I got busy sanding. I know everyone says you don’t have to sand or prime when using chalk paint, but the top on this thing was in bad shape. I mean bad.
Damaged top
One of the drawers looked like it had been chewed by a dog and one of the inside drawers (behind the door) was cracked. Some glue, clamps and wood filler, they were good as new.
drawer repair
There were other things miss as well.
missing parts
One of the four knobs was missing and one of the really cool hinges was broken. I’m still on the hunt for a new hinge.
Cool right? I’m still sad that I can’t find a compatible hinge. I will probably just get two new hinges. :(. Originally, I imagine this buffet had sides that went right to the floor. Booorrrring!! I wanted to recreate the curves on the front of the buffet,and transfer them to the sides, so I made a template.
Once I got the shapes I wanted, I merged them together into one stencil. Then I traced it onto the wood that I had purchased for the sides. I got really thin, about 1/4″ luan as that was all the space I had to work with. Anything thicker and it would have stuck out beyond the sides.
I cut it out with my jigsaw. This made a really rough cut. I didn’t want one side to look different from the other, so I clamped them together and sanded them to match.
I absolutely LOVE how they came out. I think they really made this buffet special, don’t you?
new side
Some glue,nails, wood filler and a light sand and she was ready to paint. Woo Hoo. I was really excited to try some chalk paint. It’s all over blogland. Some is premixed and some is power that you can mix in paint you already have. I decided to go with the powder and I went with Websters Chalk Paint Powder.
Webster's Power Fiddes Wax
Websters Chalk Paint Powder and SW Tricorn Black
I mixed 8 tablespoons of chalk paint powder and 4 tablespoons water into 1qt. Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black. All my wood furniture (i.e. bedroom, dining room and kitchen) furniture is black. I wanted to stay with the black theme and just mix things up a bit. I have to say, I really like the chalk paint. The texture was nice and it went on very smoothly.
Websters Chalk Paint Powder
As you can tell, it definitely needed two coats.
Websters Chalk Paint Powder
How awesome is this piece?! I’m going to have great storage for all my holiday decorating stuff. The things you can’t store in the attic, like candles or things that might fade.
Here is the 2nd coat.
Websters Chalk Paint Powder
She’s looking good!
So, now my dilemma. What to do with the hardware. I first thought about my silver Rub N Buff.
Rub n Buff
I wasn’t feelin’ it. I was waiting for my aha moment, that moment when you just KNOW what you need to do. I was in the garage when the design for the buffet came into my head. I could picture it, like it was right in front of me. I really wanted this piece to be bold and dramatic, and I wanted the hardware to be bold as well. Let me know what you think.
spray painted white hardware
I love them. Since I was missing a knob, I went to Hobby Lobby (they have a huge selection of hardware) and searched and searched for knobs. I was thinking about a clear glass knob initially, but I couldn’t find any in the size or shape that I wanted. I had picked out some other knobs and right before I walked away, I saw these.
Hobby Lobby Knob
I thought they were PERFECT with the paisley graphic I was going to hand paint onto the buffet. I really think they are. What do you think?
Now it was time for the fun stuff. Painting the paisley graphic on to the buffet. It took forever to find and purchase an overhead projector. Wait…you thought I hand drew that?!!! I wish. I didn’t get any pics of the actual design up on the buffet, but here is what it looked like after I traced it on.
Paisley design
I was lovin’ it already. I traced it on with this really cool paint pen that I found at the register at Michael’s. Once the outline was done I used white craft paint to fill in all the fields. I really wish I had used latex house paint to paint the paisley. The craft paint was kinda thick and gloppy. I had to ad Flotrol to it to keep it smooth.  I really enjoyed this part.  Watching it take shape, like I pictured it.

Paisley Graphic
The last thing I did was paint in the groove along the bottom with the curlicue. That really finished it off.
Well, there she is, in all her glory. What do you think? I love her. This was the most fun I’ve had on a project in awhile. I hope I get to do more projects like this.

Until next time…




Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way by any of the products used in this post.

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Furniture Feature Fridays

Pallet Flag and Labor Day

This weekend is the Labor Day weekend holiday. I can’t believe it’s September. Where does the time go? The older I get, the faster time flies.

What does Labor Day mean to you? Here is what Wikipedia says about Labor Day…Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September, that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. It was first nationally recognized in 1894 to placate unionists following the Pullman Strike. With the decline in union membership, the holiday is generally viewed as a time for barbeques and the end of summer vacations.
I still think of Labor Day as a patriotic holiday. Growing up we always did the barbeque thing, but as an adult, not so much. We usually just work on projects or hang with the dogs. I like to take time to think about those that serve(d) our great country, like my brother who served in Vietnam and my sister, who was in the first class of women recruits in the Marine Corp in 1969. They, and so many more, are responsible for keeping Old Glory flying high.
I keep my Red/White/Blue decorations up from Memorial Day through Labor Day. I love decorating my tables and I’m just starting to collect red, white & blue decorations. I don’t have much yet, but I’m working on it. I had planned on doing this pallet flag for Memorial Day and then July 4th. Well, life got busy and even though I had the pallets, I just couldn’t find the time to work on it. So last weekend I finally got it done. It took about an hour to cut and assemble the 13 pallet boards. Jeez, why did it take me so long?
pallet, flag
I love this thing. I have a picture behind it that is way too small for the space. I’ve always wanted something on this fireplace that took up all or almost all the space available. I can’t afford art that big, so I had to make it myself! This was actually a pretty simple project. I had to rip the pallet boards on the table saw. My least favorite tool, the table saw. Mr. DIY helped rip the boards down. Obviously, I don’t have pictures of the ripping of the boards since we were both using the saw. The dimension of the flag is 52 x 35. It’s big. Once we got the 13 boards cut, I attached three boards on the back and screwed them down to every board. That’s a lot of screws. I used my cool new(birthday present) tool, the Worx SD Semi Automatic Driver.
Worx SD Semi Automatic Driver
Check it out online, it has some cool features, like the hole starter drill bit. It’s a fun little tool, plus it’s orange…nuf said!

The wood had this awesome silver patina. see?
I didn’t want to sand it all off. I lightly sanded some of the rough stuff off and all the dirt, but kept most of the patina.
pallet, sanding, dalmatian
This is my helper, Boone. You can read about him here.

I used regular craft paint, but watered it down a lot. I wanted to be able to see the grain and knots under the paint.
pallet, craft paint
The American flag has 13 stripes, representing the original 13 colonies. The top stripe is red and the bottom stripe is red alternating with white. So I figured out where my field of blue would go and started painting with the red.

pallet, craft paint
Then white.
pallet, craft paint
Ready for the blue
pallet, craft paint
pallet, craft paint
Now it was time for the stars. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do them, maybe make my own template. Then, while walking around Hobby Lobby, I found a stencil. It worked great. Now, this was the trickiest part. Seriously? When I looked at my flag, I thought there was a row of stars for every stripe. Turns out, not no much. The rows of stars overlap a little making 9 rows of stars. Try #1 epic fail. Try #2 also an epic fail. After sanding and repainting the blue two times, third time was the charm. Are they perfect? No they aren’t, but that’s ok. I still love it.
pallet, craft paint, stencil
So here it is, in all it’s Old Glory.

pallet, craft paint

I used my sander after I finished painting to rough it up a little around the edges. I actually plan on doing a few more things to it, but maybe that will be a post for next Memorial Day! So, that’s it for the pallet flag project. I hope you like it.

I’m going to add a few pics of my tables ,since this will all come down shortly, and a little project I did using cork. Let me know what you think.

kitchen table, red, white, blue
This is my kitchen table,which I re-did way before I had a blog. The centerpiece is three different cake plates or candy dishes that I got at Hobby Lobby after July 4th. On sale, very cheap!!! The place mats are from Kmart. The plates are paper. Yep! You heard me right, Paper. I couldn’t find any dishes, so I just used paper plates. Shhhhh, listen, there is a collective gasp happening in blog land right now!
dining room table, patriotic theme
This is my dining room table. I used the same place mats from Kmart. I filled the big glass bowl with stars that were originally all strung together. I cut them off the string and put them in the bowl. This time I put the paper plates on top of my square stoneware plates. I used my silver napkin rings and a blue bandanna for napkins. I couldn’t find any napkins that I liked, and I think these work perfectly. See the stars under the bowl? That’s part of the cork project I did. I couldn’t find a table runner (sensing a theme here?). I made a template from Word and cut out my cork.
cork, stars
Once I got them all cut out, I painted each star differently.
cork, craft paint, painters tape
cork, craft paint
cork, craft paint, diy stencil
cork, craft paint
cork, craft paint
cork, craft paint
cork, craft paint, bandanna, patriotic place mat
cork, patriotic theme table, craft paint
So that’s basically it. I think I will do a project for next year, where I mount those stars in a board. It’ll be a perfect project for the router I have on my Christmas wish list!! I’m sorry for the picture heavy post. I’ll be working on Halloween soon. This is my favorite holiday and orange is my favorite color, so I’ll be posting pics of some projects I did before I had my blog. One in particular is my favorite. Can’t wait to show you. I’ve also got a cool new project coming up that I hinted about here. Looking forward to getting that done and posted.
So, until next time…

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way by Worx, Frog Tape, Blue Painter’s Tape,  the makers of cork or Dalmatian lovers around the world, I just love them all!

DIY Show Off







A Sneak Peak and 22 Pretty Pallet Sign Ideas on Hometalk!

Hey everyone! I’m back with a sneak peak of my latest project. It’s taking me FOREVER to finish it. What is up with that anyway? Why does it take me so long to finish my projects? I have projects in my head that I will never have enough time to finish. Remember my Country Door Knockoff pallet sign project? That took forever too. Anyway, my newest project is a little bigger. It’s my first real furniture project on the blog. I found it at, yep, you guessed it, the Habitat ReStore. I love that place. So this project involves this…
original before


These beauties…
Spray Paint handles
and this…
overhead projector

I just bought that! Yep, you heard me, I got that awesome overhead projector on ebay. It is what has been holding up this project, oh and the fact that my internet has not been cooperating – w/o my wireless I can’t print! What does that have to do with this project? Oh, you’ll just have to come back and see.

I seriously could have used that overhead projector for my Country Door Knockoff Pallet Sign! Have you noticed all the cool signs being made with pallets? No? Well, you definitely need to check out the board I created on the wonderful site Hometalk. Hometalk is awesome. If you’ve not checked it out, you must. It’s a great place to go to find or post information about HOME! I used the pencil lead transfer method on my sign, some of these other signs also used that method. Some hand painted their signs (jealous), others used vinyl clings or stencils. There are just so many cool ways to transfer images to pallet boards. The overhead projector is another option. So after you check out my 22 Pretty Pallet Sign Ideas board, give Hometalk a look see, and go make a sign and share it with us. Oh, and don’t forget to come back and check out my newest project. I’m hoping to finish that this weekend. 🙂

























Until next time..


Quick weekend – Leash hanger project

We have a new addition to our family. Meet Boone.
Dalmatian puppy














He’s 12 weeks old. Is he not the cutest thing ever? We’ve had him two weeks and I’m in love with him already. He joins Dozer, his reluctant older brother.













I’ve had a hook in my laundry room for the leash and harness for my dog Dozer. When Boone came I knew I was going to have to come up with something new. I have a bunch of pallet wood in my garage from all the construction going on in my neighborhood. (Hello, do not leave pallets unattended on my street!) I picked up some awesome hooks from Hobby Lobby and went about making a new place to store leashes and harnesses. Like I said, this was a quick weekend project, so it’s not a tutorial. It’s just something I threw together. My laundry room is a sea blue green color. When we first painted this room, I loved the paint color when it was in the can, not so much once it was on the walls. I’ve grown used to it by now and I’ve put up a beautiful glass backsplash that has all the colors in the room in it. So that was the inspiration for the color for my leash holder.
Laundry Room

I used some craft paint added some white, added some floetrol and painted the board. It was still TOO bright. I hated it. So I took some white craft paint and added water and just kinda white washed it with a rag until I liked it. I sanded a little, just to give it character. I finally got to use the freezer paper transfer method that is all over blog land. I had wanted to use it on my Country Door Knockoff sign, but just couldn’t make it work, so I thought I’d give it a try here. I wasn’t 100% successful and I did go over the letters with a sharpie, but I really like how it turned out.  See that little white hook on my ironing board?  That’s what I was using for Dozer’s leash before.

I printed out the font in reverse and used a spoon to burnish the names onto the board. I found the dog in my word clipart and did it the same way. It was still kinda light, so I went over everything with a sharpie. I still plan on sanding it a little and using a dark wax on it. At the time, I didn’t have the wax. So, that’s my quick little weekend project. Add some sawtooth picture hangers and you are good to go.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time…

Liz Marie Blog
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

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