Friday, January 27, 2012

Doily Canvas Bags

Today I spent the morning with my 2 MoM's group craft friends, Linn and Laura.  They've been in charge of crafts for our group for a few years now, and this year I joined forces with them.  We always have a great time whether it's rustling up some new craft ideas, shopping for supplies, or making samples and getting the supplies ready for our next craft date.  Today was a sample day.  I might be spilling the beans, if some of the other MoM's see this blog, but I can't help it I just wanted to share!  

Our craft this time was found on Pinterest and was originally found on Under the Sycamore    (here's the link:   We all loved the doily canvas bag idea and thought this would be a great craft to do with the group.  Here's a picture of how ours turned out.  
I was mad I forgot my "real" camera, so you'll just have to settle for this camera phone photo.  But seriously aren't they cute.  Thanks Linn and Laura for a fun morning!!!  Take care all and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Finishing the basement

Today I'd like to share with you our basement finishing project.  We started it this past Fall and have to say it really came out so much better than I thought.  My handy hubby did all the work himself.  We really started with a bare shell.  Here's a look at what it looked like in the beginning:

And really, that's being kind.  Since we live in a colonial style home, the basement space is limited, to say the least.  This section will become the living area.

My favorite decision was to go with this Koa flooring, Lumber Liquidators, they really do have the best price!
I won't bore you with all the step by step construction details, let's just get to the fun part - decorating!

Here's the dining area.  I found the coolest bar stools at Home Goods.  They are very industrial and weathered looking.  They were my jumping off point for color and design.

I love, love, love my shaggy white rugs - also from Home Goods.  They are so fluffy they've been know to eat Legos.

 Here's another Home Goods find (can you tell where I spend too much time?)  I had the mirror already, just refinished it.  It used to be black.

My idea was to juxtapose old and new.  I mixed some shiny contemporary pieces and mixed them in with 120 year old barn wood.

 We love how you can see the animal gnaw marks on the wood.

 The window is framed in barn wood and the window treatment is a silk yellow and soft green flat fold roman shade(my biggest splurge).

 These boxes I was lucky enough to get from my mom's house.  The top one is actually a food canteen from WWI.

 In the world of people painting furniture, here's an example of something I did for my mom a few years ago.  We had this old ice box in my parents garage for as long as I can remember.  I took it home and refinished it for her as a Mother's Day gift one year.  Sometimes natural wood is beautiful too!  She left it to me when she passed <3.  For more on this story click here.

 This sleek electric fireplace keeps the basement feeling toasty. Actually, it is pretty comfortable on it's own, but on those cold winter nights you sometimes just want to be extra cozy My husband fought me on this one, but now he uses it more than me!

 We decided to keep it light and open in the kitchen area.  My husband made these shelves out of the barn wood and Ikea brackets.  A determined search landed us with this fantastic 9 foot piece of granite as a remnant - saving us BIG time $$$!

 And here is our finished room.  The walls are Benjamin Moore Westminster Gold and Galvaston

Grey for accent. The wall with the TV has a layer of silver glaze over the grey, making it a little 

shiny.  Looks fantastic with the lamps.  We still have some small touches to finish, but overall it's 

done.  The staircase was another project that we finished.  Check them out HERE.

Can you guess how much we spent to do all this????

Everything from the studs to installation, to the flooring to the granite counters, to the rugs and 

sectional, everything, everything was right around $6,500!  I think that a really great number! 

Linked at:
Mums make lists

Thrifty Decor Chick

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mom's cedar chest

 This past fall I lost my mom after a 13+ year battle with colon cancer.  We had to clean out her house after we sold it, and at the very last minute, I decided I couldn't let this cedar chest go.  After all it had stored our christening gowns and other linens for all of my life.  It was ugly, but it had good bones and I knew I could make it pretty again.  Here is what it looked like when I started. 

The color was what I like to call three pack a day yellow.  My Dad had been a smoker and even through he's been gone over 25+ years the nicotine yellow remained.  

The top had long ago been covered in contact paper, to protect it or cover a damaged top, I am not sure!  Not very pretty though!

I've been dying to try out Annie Sloan Chalk paint.  One of the bloggers I follow at is always gushing about this paint.  Her furniture pieces are always to die for.  So I finally took the plunge and ordered some.  The color I ordered is french linen.  

After sanding down the chest, I painted flat black stripes in the grooves along the front of the doors.  I also painted the handles in a flat black.

After painting and sanding down the grooves to expose the black, I buffed in some Old English dark wood scratch cover over the entire piece.  This gave it a really nice depth.  I finished off the entire chest with a coat  of wax, buffing it when it was dry.  

So here's the finished piece.  It looks great in our newly finished basement, which I will feature another day.  I think Mom would be very proud of this piece, and me!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Valentine Mantel

My name is Diane and I've decided to join the world of blogging.  I follow lots of fantastic blogs, and I am constantly amazed and impressed with the level of talent that exists out there!  I've always enjoyed decorating, and have never had a fear of trying anything, mostly to save a few bucks when I see something I want, but don't want to pay the price for it.  When first married, I really needed to be frugal, but also wanted to decorate things the way I wanted them.  And so began my love, dedication and ingenuity to try and duplicate styles while keeping costs low.  Fast forward 20+ years (how in the world did that happen?) and I've developed a style that I find to be unique and interesting.  The most common comment I get when people come to my house is, "I'm going home to start thinking of what to change at my house."  I take it as a compliment that my style and design inspire others to try something new!    

And so for my first blog, I'd like to share my Valentine mantel with you.  I just put it together this afternoon, and my goal, of course,  was to create a romantic display of cream and pink.  

  This was put together using a mix of old and new things.  Felt die-cut hearts and sequin ribbon are draped across the front.  The hearts are attached with tiny clothespins that have a pink pom-pom glued on. 

The books were a new purchase from Michael's.  I was going to cover some of my books with love title's, but then I found these and they were on sale, so I thought, what the heck! The candles were ordered a few months ago from etsy.  They are very cute with French writing and tied with a darling ribbon, I stole these from my bedroom, and the box I had lying around.  I printed out a picture of the Eiffel Tower and put it on a tiny easel.  I've since added a pink border around the picture and colored the clouds with a pink marker.
The flowers are a mix of old and new.  The big pink ones are from Jo-ann's and I had the vase.  I love the big pop of color these flowers add!  The butterfly wouldn't ring up, so the girl gave it to me for .10 cents (score!)
The candlestick is my own doing. A tall candlestick and an old french candlevase balanced on top, again stolen from my room!
I found these vintage canning jars at Kirklands for a measly $5.99.  Added some stickie hearts, some silver ribbon, and some pretty pink gift tags (Michael's for $1), and filled with candy, all $1 at Kroger.  

So that's it! My first blog!  I still have so much to learn about this, so I hope you'll hang on while I figure out things!