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…


Snowballs and Holly Berries – Christmas Jewelry

I started making jewelry last year. I made some zipper pulls for a few friends for Christmas. I’d seen a picture of one in a catalog and of course, in true diy fashion, I thought, I can totally make that. I went to Michael’s, gathered up some supplies and got to work. I’ve learned a lot since those first zipper pulls. I’m not sure my stuff could stand the test of time back then. I’m using better quality products now and I continue to learn new techniques and perfect my skill. So this past summer I found these beads at Hobby Lobby that I thought looked like snowballs. They were shiny but had the texture of brand new snow. I knew they would make beautiful Christmas jewelry. I paired them with some red beads I had on hand, and this is how they turned out. Now, I have to apologize for the photos. The flash kept reflecting off the beads! I really need a better camera…Santa!

Jewelry, Holly Berries, Snow balls, Bracelet, earrings

I really love how they turned out, and I can’t wait to start wearing them.


Here are a few of the supplies I used.

elastic cord, beads

The first time I made a bracelet with the elastic cord I was very unsure of the knot I tied to secure it together. I put a little glue on it to keep it from coming apart. I’m still a little paranoid about the knot, but I’ve gotten better at it. Having the correct tools helps, and I try to get something new when the budget allows.

Here’s one of those zipper pulls I was telling you about. My sister is a photographer so I made this for her.

camera zipper pull

She really loved it. She’s got it hanging from her rear view mirror instead of using it as a zipper pull and that’s totally cool.

Well, I hope you liked my Christmas jewelry. Stay tuned for updates on the new house, or the spot where the new house will be, once they break ground. Until next time…


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Simple Fall Crafts From Mother Nature

Fall Decor, Mother Nature A few years ago, when my husband and I first got together, we took a trip to a resort park here in Kentucky. It was in the Fall. On a hike, we started collecting leaves. I love leaves. I have used the maple leaf in my decor for many years. What’s more perfect than a fall leaf from Mother Nature for decorating. I never really thought about the fact that I was decorating at the time, it was just a way to preserve a memory. When we brought the leaves home, we wanted to commemorate our first trip together. I decided that putting them behind glass in a frame was the best way to preserve them. Disclaimer: These pictures are rough. This project was done way before I knew I would have a blog. I’m posting them, so you can see how you can preserve a little bit of Mother Nature and do a little decorating for yourself! So, let’s begin. Maple Leaf Art OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA These were from Buckhorn Lake. To make them even more special, on the next frame, I had a brass plate engraved with the the location and date. The frames were inexpensive frames that were on sale at Target. I inserted my own paper for the background. If I were doing these today, I would probably use burlap or some awesome scrapbook paper. Go crazy. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA You don’t have to do the brass plate, that’s just something we wanted to do to remember our trip. I had these hanging in our bathroom. One leaf for each sink, and the three leaf over the tub. So, seriously, run out and get some leaves, Mother Nature does the best decorating. Until next time… Signature

The Future, Moving and Halloween

What do Halloween, moving and the future have to do with each other? Well, It’s Halloween decorating time and I’m moving…to a rental house, which explains the future…we are building. Yay! We are so excited to be building, but it couldn’t come at a worse time. Halloween, my favorite holiday. I love decorating for Halloween. It probably has something to do with all the orange, as that’s my favorite color, or maybe it’s the ghosts, witches and spiders. Trust me, it isn’t the spiders! So last year I didn’t have a blog, but I did some cool projects. Some you will recognize from Pinterest, which is where I got the ideas, and one is a knockoff from Pier1 and it’s my favorite.

I wasn’t going to decorate for Halloween. At all. I said to myself, self, it’s your favorite holiday, you MUST do some decorating. So, that’s exactly what I did. Some. I’ll be taking it all down next weekend. Sad, I know. Well, sit back and relax and I’ll take you on a run through. Remember, I did these projects before I had a blog so there are no tutorials, but I’ll try to remember where I found the original project.

This is my mantel. Remember, this is the lite version. I didn’t put everything out. The garland is fabulous, with it’s black leaves and orange bells and berries. I’ll give you some close ups.

Halloween Mantel

Halloween Garland
I got this garland at our local apple orchard gift shop.
Halloween Mantel

Halloween Mantel
I got that cool mercury poison bottle at Home Goods last year.
Halloween Mantel
Continue reading

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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