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…


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







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

504 Main



New Addition to the family

I would like for you to meet Boone.  He is the newest addition to our family and will be joining his brother Dozer – the other spoiled Dal in our house.

Boone 7weeks

He’s 7 weeks old in this pic. How sweet is that face? He’ll be coming to us from WI, the first week of July. We are so excited. This is his brother Dozer.

He’s my senior baby. I rescued him back in 2003. I adore him. My husband adore’s him. Here’s a little history on my Dalmatian background. I started doing rescue back in 1997 I believe it was. I had a young Dalmatian that needed a playmate. It was the first time I turned to the internet to do a search. I searched for Dalmatian Rescue and found several. That’s when I got Dotti.
This was actually the day she went to the Rainbow Bridge. All my other pics are still on my desktop. She was a sweet heart. She was the boss of all the boys. Next, we got Canon.
Canon is the liver spotted Dal on the left. He’s at the Rainbow Bridge too. 🙁 This is one of my favorite pictures. Canon is actually related to my new puppy. His breeder ( the most responsible breeder you’ll ever meet) helped his owner re-home him when he got divorced. That’s how I got him. I did rescue and fostering for lots of Dals that I did not keep as well. I’m still in touch with most to this day. Once I got Dozer, I was so busy with my four that I took a break from rescue/fostering. Dozer has been a single doggy for a few years now. I have been thinking about a puppy for a long time. Specifically a liver spot puppy. My husband has never had a puppy. It’s going to be so much fun when he has to get up for the middle of the night pee pee breaks!! He he. I’m mean, I know. So, that’s it. Welcome Boone. I can’t wait to kiss you! Here’s a few more pics to awwwww over.
Boone 4.5 weeks
Boone 23 days old