Bookshelf Styling {and something I should have done a long time ago}

Another thing I finally got around to during the month of October was restyling my built-ins.  I had really neglected them for a while and it was starting to bug me.  It was bugging me so much I didn’t even take a second to shoot a before pic.  I cropped these shots from another pic (forgive the quality).

I’m including it so you can see – not a lot going on but books in some places, too much going on in other places, books and such just stuffed in here and there. 
So…

Everything came out, everything got a good cleaning, things got deleted, things got added, and this is the finished product.


I tried to fill the shelves with things that were special to my family.  Things that would bring sweet memories to mind.  Pictures, and souvenirs.  Treasures the kids have made over the years.  Books have to have a spot on the bookshelves of course, but they look so much better spread out.  I start with books, spread them out and vary how and where they sit.  Then I add photos. Last comes the various accessories – the souvenirs and other decorative fillers.  This is one of my least favorite things to do, and probably the reason why I put it off forever.  But, the results are worth it in the end.

Another thing that I put off forever I finally got done this week.  You can probably see a peek of the brown paneling above the built-ins in some of the pics.  From the day we moved in I disliked it.  But, it’s paneling, and the ceilings are really high and all we own in a 6ft ladder.  You see the list of excuses I made for myself. But, this week I took the leap.  I already had the paint, so I just needed the guts.  Here’s a before and after.


I want you to know that I took that after pic so.many.times.  with so.many.settings.  I just couldn’t seem to get the lighting the same, and then I realized, they was no way it was going to be the same. That’s just how much more the light bounces off that light color up there instead of the ugly dark paneling!!  Why in the world did I wait so long??  (Also, it’s not that yellow in real life, the wall color is more tan than that – still trying to figure out this camera thing.)  I have always loved the vaulted ceilings in our living room and the size, but there is only two windows (if you include the window in the back door), and sometimes it’s dark – meaning I have to turn on the lights in the middle of a sunny day. I have noticed the past couple of days, that I don’t have to do that!!  Light and bright spaces make me happy!!  

Now off to mountains of laundry and dishes – how about you??

Blessings friends!!


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A Little Sewing

I gave you a little teaser weeks ago that I was working on a sewing project or two, and I have to say that today I finally finished the second one.  I have been sewing since I was 9 years old.  I don’t do it as often as I would like, but I love the fact that I can pull out my sewing machine and whip up just about anything that I might want.  Fabric isn’t as cheap as it used to be, so I don’t sew clothes that often anymore, but it still can be done.  I find this is my best option when I want something that fits perfectly.  

Anywho….as I made my list of projects to fill my time during my no-spend month, I listed a couple of items in my home that needed a little face-lift.  Things I had purchased which I love the look of, just missing a couple of points when it came to function.  

One being the curtains in my daughters bedroom.  We purchased them at Hobby Lobby when they were half off, and they were the perfect look for her room.  The problem is, her window is east facing, and the curtains are not lined at all.  This usually doesn’t bother me, but the morning light was bothering her.  

Solution – several years back my mom gifted me with a large roll of drapery lining – great gift huh?  I pulled it out and got to work.

I didn’t really want to take the curtains apart, I just wanted to attach the lining.  

Let me just stop here for a moment and ask you to join me in my creative process.  Most of the time when I start a project, I have NO idea what the process is going to be, only what I want the end product to look like.  Okay, now that you understand how I work we can move forward.


I laid the curtain panel out on the floor and laid the lining fabric on top – perfect fit – no room for trimming or hemming – hmmm.  No worries, the edges were finished.  I pressed down the fabric on both ends – about half an inch, started by pinning it to the top and sewing the two pieces together.  

When I finished that I realized that the sides didn’t match up exactly, so I decided not to attach the sides, and then I decided not to attach the bottom…ya I know. But, I figured that the window faces our back yard and when I hung them, no one would ever know.  (well, now all of you know – but you won’t tell right?).

Here is the before and after.  

I think my daughter would have preferred that I use a black-out lining, but hey, she does need to get up in the morning eventually – she can’t just sleep her life away. 

Now, on to project two.  This was my other pet peeve. I bought this shower curtain on clearance at Target, and I love it, but for where I like to hang my shower curtain, it was too short – I don’t know, it’s just me I’m sure.

I love ruffles, and I thought that would be a great addition.  Again, not wanting to take anything apart, I decided to add a ruffle to the bottom, but attaching it on top of the curtain instead of underneath.  

I was going to attempt to do a tutorial on how to ruffle fabric and attach it, but between you and me – good grief – it’s not easy, so if you’re not an experienced sewer you probably shouldn’t be trying to do this :).  And…I’m sure there is a great you-tube video out there somewhere showing you how.  But here are a few pictures of the process.

After I added the ruffle I was left with stitching showing, so I went to my ribbon stash and found just enough white rick-rack (I love rick-rack), and attached it on top covering the previous stitching.

Here is the before and after.  Not only does it add the length I needed, it also adds a little personality.  I’m in love!!  🙂

This is the last of the projects for my no-spend September, I’ll be back Friday with my thoughts on the challenge, and how we did.  I’m wrapping things up a little early because I have decided to join the Nester in her 31days series on her blog.  More info on that coming soon.

Blessings and thanks for stopping by!!

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Fall Has Finally Fallen Here {Fall Mantel 2013}

This weekend the weather finally felt like fall, and I enjoyed the cool temps so much!!  It also, finally put me in the mood to pull out a few fall decorations. Combining a few things from last year with a few other finds from around the house, and of course my newly painted gold pine cones…here is my mantel for the fall.  🙂

I took the feather out of my burlap wreath and added some fall foliage and flowers (still really loving my chevron backdrop).
The other fall foliage and flower arrangement is something I did last year for somewhere else, but I decided to plop that on the mantel this year.  The platter and Faith are things from other parts of the house that I pulled in.  I wanted to break up the orange, yellow, white, cream, and brown colors, so I decided to use my turquoise bowl I bought when I was thrifting last month.
I think it is the perfect place for my giant gold pine cone don’t you?
The candles sticks I’ve had for years, they were the right color and height, so they got to join the party too. Those cute burlap pumpkins I made last year, and the books – a bible and some small hymn books – belonged to Van’s grandma.  I love the boost it brings to my pumpkin, but I also love the history they add.  

So, there it is friends, the only fall decorating I have done so far.  

How are you doing on your fall decorating – not started, done, not going to do it???

I love fall.  What’s your favorite season?

Blessings to you and yours!! 

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White Washed Brick {and a battle}

Something about me saying I was going to try to not spend extra money in the month of September must have made the devil mad, cuz he has been throwing all kinds of stuff my way. Ha!  My friend shared this scripture on instagram this morning and yes, this and so many other truths are what I have been leaning on through this mess.  

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.  Psalm 62:1-2


You may have seen this picture from last week.

When my washer drain backed up all over the floor, and in the kitchen sink.  Well…
The very. next. day. my dryer stopped heating…
 
At this point I was over it.  Not panicked in the least – me and my Lord don’t crumble that easily, but I needed something to distract my attention from the piles of laundry.  So, I dove into a project that has been swimming around in my head for a while.
 

I have never been a fan of painted brick.  I don’t know why, it’s just not my thing. With that said, I do not like the color of the brick on our house.  It has that same orange glow that everything in the house has.  It’s fine outside – I mean I can live with it, we painted the trim in such a way that it seems to tone it down.  But, inside – ick.  I knew I would never paint it, but then over the past year I have seen several white-washed looks floating around.  I was intrigued.  I liked that, depending on how much paint you used, you could still see the brick look.  So, in light of my current circumstances, I decided why not – what else could go wrong- right (never say that by the way ;)).  

I went to the garage and found some leftover white paint I had (the same paint I used in my laundry room), a container, a brush, and a rag.  I decided to try a really small amount of paint at first, knowing I could always make it darker, but never lighter.  So I used a ratio of 1 part paint to 3 parts water.  Not enough paint. So I ended up with a 50/50 ratio, and that got me the look that I was after.  I have seen white washes that are really close to just painting, but I really just wanted a cloudy top coat to tone down the color of the brick.  Here are some pictures to see how it went.  

living room fireplace
 
Here’s a before just so you know what we were starting with – orange brick.
white wash
Nope that’s not milk 😉
white washing tools
The tools – a cheap brush, and an old clean rag.  I did dust off the brick before I started, and brushed out the corners, but nothing else needed to prepare the surface.
white washing brick
Just brush the watered down paint on, let it soak in for a little bit (maybe a minute or two), and then wipe it down removing the excess paint.  The longer you let it sit, the more will soak in and the harder you wipe, the more paint you will remove.
white washed brick before and after
Just know – it’s a messy project!!
white washed brick before and after

Here’s a side-by-side before and after.  Just a subtle change, but really exactly what I wanted.  No more orange glow and it seems to make the corner feel a little big bigger.  

white washed brick fireplace surround
I’m really happy with the end product.  The hardest thing about this process was not letting my perfectionist self try to over work it.  Reminding myself frequently that the beauty of it lies in the imperfections.  🙂
Good news!!  As I was writing this post, my handy hubby finished fixing my dryer!!  Now, I have to face the mountain of laundry awaiting me – can’t hide my head in the sand forever…or can I?  🙂
 
Blessings to you and yours!!

Curious to see how this room looks now? Check out this post

painted brick fireplace surround

and this post!

 DIY floating mantel
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The Lightening Up Continues

Several months ago I shared with you a simple project – how to turn tablecloths into drapes.  In keeping with the goal of lightening up my house and taking it more in the direction of a coastal feel – because I love the beach and the way I feel when I am there.  When I shared with you the pictures of the drapes, it was obvious to me what the next project needed to be, so 8 months later I finally got it done.  🙂  Here’s the picture before with the drapes.

Can you see in the corner of the picture, something that just stands out like a sore thumb?  It’s like I tell my kids when I am teaching them how to sort laundry.  If it doesn’t look like it fits in the light colors pile, then it probably goes in the dark colors pile.  Well the door didn’t fit it my new light color scheme.  So, I pulled out my white paint that I used on all the other wood work so far, and got to painting.  

I know there are a thousand (well maybe not a thousand) different ways to paint a window or door with panes, and they are all a pain.  I hate to tape, I very rarely use it unless I am trying to achieve a certain look like a stripe, or a chevron.  But, just for everyday regular painting, I have a pretty steady hand, and I’m not patient enough to spend time taping.  So for me 

Instead I use this when I am all finished.  It’s just a razor blade with a handle. (I’m sure it has a name, but I have no idea what that name is.)  

I would suggest scoring the paint in between the glass and the wood, if the paint is thick there, to prevent the paint from peeling off the wood along with the glass. I actually used a craft knife for this so I could get in the corners.  

Then just place to blade at an angle against the glass and scrape away.  I finished the first pane, and as I was taking a picture to show you the finished product…I saw this…

Apparently, when I painted the other side of the door several years ago, I skipped this step.  Ha!!  I decided that I would go ahead and do both sides since I had the tool out.  🙂  And here it is all done.

Love!!  Here is a before and after side by side.  I love the way a little paint can have such a big impact.

This No Spend September thing is great!!  It is forcing me to get things crossed off my list that have been there for a while.  Sometimes I just need a little nudge.  

Blessings!!


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