Fire Pit Project

My son is seven and among his favorite things "behind Legos and before sweets" is making an outdoor fire. He's not a pyro or anything like that. He just likes shootin' the breeze around a campfire and roasting marshmallows. As I write this, I realize that his request for a fire pit may have been one elaborate ploy to consume marshmallows. Ah, well, taken again by a child.

Yesterday he and I procured some circular stones and built a small fire pit for our small back yard. As my mother-in-law said, its big enough for fun but small enough to quell the chicken's rotisserie fears. We'll be firing this baby up as soon as the rain clears, but until then, take a look at our latest edition to the back yard!





DIY Flour Sack Roll



This year, I've been making a handful of gifts for family and friends. Nothing spectacular, mind you, just some upcycled materials re-fashioned into something useful. One of my favorite projects is a brush or crayon roll. It can be filled with markers, pencils, paint brushes, make-up brushes, knitting needles, crochet hooks, screw drivers, or silverware!

This year, I've been using vintage flour sacks to make my brush rolls. The nubby texture is beautiful. I tie my rolls with ribbon or hemp twine. I don't have a pattern, although there are lots available. Instead, I free-hand the rows of stitches on the sewing machine.





What hand made goodies are you making and baking this year for the holidays?

Make Your Own Garden Structures



My backyard has seen a lot of changes this year. We tore out a dead tree, built a new patio, replaced the fence, created a vegetable garden and are in the process of planning for backyard chickens, which will arrive in the fall. However, the new addition that has brought me the most pleasure in the garden is the arbor my Mom and Stepdad built for me this winter. I have spent many happy hours lolling in that bench swing dreaming and scheming.

Now that I've attended to the more practical aspects of our backyard reconstruction, I would like to add a little more architecture to the space. I am also interested in adding some surface space on which vines and taller plants can grow. This will increase the greenery foot print and create some vertical visual interest. I have a power drill, a saw and lots of scrap wood and paint. These seem to be the ingredients for a DIY obelisk. I will probably be using THIS tutorial from Cottage at the Crossroads or THIS one from Flower Patch Farm House. But until I can get started, I'll be browsing different shapes and styles like the ones below for inspiration.












DIY Hemnes Side Table Hack

I have a pair of matching black Hemnes side tables from Ikea. They're great looking cheap little pieces, one of which I bought from the As-Is section of the store. Now that I have a new bed with a lower platform profile, I need shorter side tables. It's all part of my bedroom makeover.

Yesterday, I chopped three inches off of the table legs. Now they're the perfect height for my bed! I also spray painted some gold accents to freshen up the look of the tables. I also wanted the tables to fit in with some of the midcentury pieces I brought into my bedroom as part of the makeover. Here's what I did and what tools I used.




I removed the bottom three inches of the legs using a ruler, a pencil and a power saw. I sanded down the edges. Then I taped off another three inches of leg in preparation for spray painting. 





I spray painted the tips of the legs and the drawer pull using Design Master Spray Paint in Antique Gold. I found it at Michaels. Ta da!  40 minutes top to bottom. I'll be sharing my full master bedroom reveal in the coming week - just as soon as I get my artwork back from the framer!




Houzz Tour | Nat and Dana Pugh

Last week I posted a little sneak peek at Dana Pugh's house. And as promised I'm back this week with the whole she-bang! I love covering homes for Houzz.com because I always meet the most creative home owners. Dana is an interior stylist who spends her days knee-deep in vibrant paint samples, bold patterns and flashy home accessories. But when she returns home from work, she needs a palate cleanser. Neutrals reign supreme at the Pugh house.

Dana and her husband, Nat, have created a serene, creamy-hued dream home using natural materials, vintage furniture and lots of unique found objects. To see the full article and see more photos of Dana's home, click HERE.














photos by Sarah Greenman


Once again, check out the full article on Houzz by clicking HERE.

Find Dana blogging at Tattered Style
or you can also find her on
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Painted Potting Hutch

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! 
We're still rolling around the house in a food stupor. 
How about you?

I finished my potting hutch! Given the ice and wintery weather, I haven't had time to set it up or use it much. But I have big plans for this baby and hope to make it 'central command' when my garden gets going in the spring. I painted it bright turquoise with a can of gloss "oops paint" from Home Depot. I also painted the knobs white and left the glass in tact for now. Here's a peek:









Family Manifesto

As I settle more and more into my role as "mama" (my kids are 3 and 6), I yearn for repeatable traditions and celebratory patterns to share with my children. My goal as a mama is always to create a healthy sense of wonder and simultaneously, a sense of confident emotional safety for my children. At this particular time of year, I tend to draw hearth-side and ruminate on the way in which I want to live my life. So, in the spirit of intentional living, my little family sat down a few nights ago to create a Family Manifesto.

The idea was inspired by Amanda Blake Soule's book Rhythm of the Family, in which she outlines ways for a growing family to live in harmony with nature and with each other. It's a great read if you haven't seen it. Our family manifesto is basically a contract between the myself, my husband and our two children that outlines how we'd like to spend our energies. It is a reflection of what we deem important in our day-to-day life. We'll be doing this four times a year at the beginning of each season since the needs of the family will undoubtedly change as we do.

We've framed the image below and hung it in a prominent place in our home for quick reference and frequent reading. My 6-year-old came up with the first four, but they're all goals that every family member agreed to and endorsed. I think this will be a wonderful way for our boys to help direct the course of our home life, but also a great exercise in collaborative living.



New Bed = New Room

"I love your bedroom! Why are you changing it?" The reason is simple really. My husband and I need a new bed. The canopy is lovely, but my son, who has Cerebral Palsy among other things, keeps cracking his head on the corners of the hard wood, threatening to fall from the bed, which is rather elevated and insists on crawling under the bed only to be met with years of dust bunnies and other icky stuff. And as all of you decor obsessed readers know, a new bed means rethinking the whole space!

I don't use Polyvore much - or at all really - but for this project I wanted to put a few things together to see what it might feel like. So here is my crappy mock-up. Again, this is not what the room will be, just a feeling of the room.  The walls are already painted in a sable gray/brown called Ashwood by Behr. It's a little lighter than the color of the bed and I love it. So that won't change.




Here's what I already have in place. We've removed the yellow Ikea canopy bed to make room for our new midcentury style upholstered platform bed. We got the new bed from a store in Dallas' Bishop Arts Disctrict called Simply Austin. It arrived earlier this week. Oh, it's so wonderful!

There is also a window above the bed that I have to work with. I already have the black Hemnes Ikea side tables, but I'll be taking a few inches off of the legs to create the right height for the bed. I may also dip the legs in brass colored paint to give it a metalic look. And I also have a pair of wonderful midcentury club chairs in yellow. Remember these guys I picked up last year on the Dallas Craig's List?





I really want to create some surface space on the side tables for books so I'm going with wall sconces. After looking around, I was floored by the expense (sheesh). Then I found this pair of swing arm sconces at Amazon for a good deal. 


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For months, I've been watching the amazing art work of Jenny Andrews Anderson on her blog, My Favorite and My Best, wishing that I might be able to purchase one some day. This month, the fates aligned and I have acquired a wonderfully colorful piece, ready to be framed and hung on the wall of my bedroom. It's called "You Can't Play the Drums", which is funny because my husband is a great drummer, and it measures 24" x 18".


Art by Jenny Andrew Anderson

So, goodbye beautiful canopy bed...
I have loved sleeping on you for the past five years.




Stay tuned for the reveal - before Christmas is my goal!

Houzz | Recycled Bohemian Greenhouse

Most of you know that I'm a home tour contributor at Houzz.com. My most recent article is not a home at all, but rather a greenhouse. Thank you to Brandi, of My Flights of Whimsy, who introduced me to her mother, and greenhouse owner, Carolyn Pace. I love unique spaces, and Carolyn's greenhouse is really special.

Carolyn says she’d rather be up to her elbows in dirt than cooking in the kitchen. So when a small tornado demolished her backyard pole barn, the Centerville, Texas, resident worked with her husband, Gary, to transform the damaged structure into a greenhouse. “The old barn was falling apart; walls blowing in the wind and full of debris,” says Carolyn. “The tornado came through and created the perfect place for a greenhouse.” Now Carolyn can nurture her “green babies” all year long.

Click HERE to read the full article and see all of the photos!














And don't forget to enter our current giveaway from Octavia Bloom Jewelry.
You could win a $60 gift certificate! To enter, click HERE.


I'm going to make a potting hutch.

You know how furniture just makes its way into your life? A friend stores something for a friend and then asks you to store it for a while and then the piece slowly becomes yours as you realize no one is coming for it?  I've got this dining room hutch that doesn't really fit with our decor, but it's been in my house for two years now and I can safely say, it's mine.

This week, I'm going to cover this bad boy with turquoise paint and move it into my backyard where I will jimmy-rig it into a potting table with tool and chicken feed storage. Here's a shot below of the hutch (far back corner of the photo). I'll probably just take the upper cabinet doors off the hinges so that I don't have glass in the back yard.




I picked up a can of "oops" paint at Home Depot a few weeks back for 5 dollars - bright turquoise in a semi gloss - perfect for an outdoor project. I'll throw a base coat of Kilz on the hutch before painting and I'll be ready to go!




Hopefully it will look like the examples below. 
So stay tuned for the reveal on Friday! 







Nailhead Trim Door

The photograph below was taken by Hilary Walker of Our Style Stories in the home of Meredtih Carmichael. You may have seen it yesterday at Apartment Therapy. Meredith used leather scraps and nailhead to create this stellar look. Nailhead trim on a door? Yes, please! I definitely want to try this out someday on my doors!


Hilary Walker of Our Style Stories


Style by Design


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Design Indulgences


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Decor Pad


My Mama's Spectacular Bathroom Remodel

Last year, my handy Mama and her handy husband, Obbie, built a bathroom from scratch on what was once their canning porch. Their old farm house, which I featured on Houzz.com last summer (HERE), is located in Eastern Oregon. It was in dire need of a new bathroom. They did such a fantastic job, that I want to share it with you here!






My favorite thing about this bathroom is the origin of the vintage turn-of-the-century cast iron sink they installed. My mother spotted it on the side of a river near their home. She could only see a piece of it sticking up out of the ground with her binoculars. She and her husband waded across the river, carried it back across to their truck and hauled it back to the house for cleaning. After having it resurfaced by a professional in Portland, OR, it was ready for their bathroom!







The 100 year-old claw foot soaking tub was found at an antique / consignment store in Central California and transported to their farm house. My mom refinished and painted it herself.




My Mama found the awesome green vintage bath fixtures below at a salvage place in Portland, OR. They were the color inspiration for the whole bathroom.









And just when it couldn't get any better - they built an open, door-less walk in shower. It's handicap accessible, built with my son, Charlie, in mind. I love love love love love it!






The door to the bathroom opens into the laundry and mud room. Because there wasn't much space for a swinging door, they did a barn door style installation. The door was picked up at a garage sale and Obbie added the privacy glass. Isn't it brilliant?




And here are my sons trying out the soaking tub while their grandma looks on.





Painting the Ikea Edland Bed

So, this is my bed.  
I like the yellow.  
Really, I do. 




And here it is again in someone else's home. 
The yellow is pretty, right?





But I'm kind of bored of the yellow now.
I love the idea of painting it!




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That first photo of the blue Edland bed is so dreamy.
Wouldn't something like that look great in my moody gray bedroom?

DIY Embellishments

I'm feeling crafty this week, combing Pinterest for some small but fun projects. 
Here are a few that I'm tucking away in my idea file for those times when I have a free moment. 


Dress up an outfit with a top sewn patch pocket.
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Hand paint some flat stones as paper weights or garden treasures!  Great to do with my son. 
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Upcycle my grandmother's old watches with photographs in the clock face. 
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Here's one for father's day crafters: turn an old tie into glass cases!  
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Freshen up your summer bed with new pillowcases, 
which are super easy to sew up if you have a machine. Add some vintage trim!
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Painting Day

I have a very large task ahead of me. Tonight, after the kids are in bed, I'm going to paint the walls of an 18x20" converted garage.  I'm in the process of transitioning this space from a rumpus room to a home office and art studio. I'll be sharing photos of the finished product very soon. Until then, here is the color I'm going with: Black Suede by Behr Paints. I'm using a flat finish for that lovely chalky look that will hide the many imperfections on the walls.








Here's a before shot of the space before I filled it with all my office stuff:





Right now the space looks like the loading zone in an alley behind Good Will. Seriously, my shit is everywhere! Here's a photo of the chaos as it stands this morning.  Luckily, I have a plan.




I'm so excited to restore some order to my life, shelve all of these books and set up shop. I need this space to serve as my office, my studio and also a space for future classes and art workshops. There is a lot of space to work with. Wish me luck tonight as I have a lot of work ahead of me!



I Love Bulk Trash

This weekend was bulk trash pick up in our neighborhood.  A friend of mine once told me that she rents a truck and prowls the fancy Dallas neighborhoods during bulk trash weekend.  I've heard of people scoring entire Restoration Hardware patio sets, beautiful Midcentry sofas in mint condition, pairs of Victorian wingback chairs, lucite console tables and more!

This weekend I scored two wooden rocking chairs from the bulk trash.  They needed a paint job, some new screws and a little wood glue.  I also found a door with little square windows.  It was damaged around the edges, but not so badly that it couldn't be repurposed.  I painted the name of our home on the glass panes and hung it from some rings and an "S" hook.  The weight of the door (this mother is heavy!) rests on the ground and the hooks keep it upright.  So, thank you bulk trash for the free spring update!












DIY: My Dining Set Makeover on Houzz


I'm so excited to share my latest article for Houzz.com.
Its a DIY story about my dining room chair makeover!

From the article:
When my husband and I bought our Dallas ranch house, we also became the owners of a dining set the previous owners had left behind. It wasn't our style, but it was sturdy and comfortable, and as my dad says, "Love the one you're with." After living with the hand-me-down dining set for three years, I was ready for a budget-friendly upgrade. Here's how I took my dining chairs from blah to bold one weekend.









Tools and materials needed:
  • Staple gun
  • 3/8-inch staples
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Spray can of B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer (I used two cans for four chairs)
  • Spray paint in your chosen color. (I used two cans of glossy Apple Red from Rust-Oleum to refinish four chairs)
  • Spray can of polyurethane clear gloss topcoat
Seat cushion materials:
  • Box of tea to stain upholstery fabric (I used 10 bags of Earl Grey)
  • about 1/2 yard fabric of your choice per cushion, depending on seat size
  • Plastic bucket, sink or soaking tub








Again, from the article:
I love the look of script, so I chose this typographic fabric from Ikea. I covered five cushions using less than 3 yards of fabric. The fabric was too white for my dining room, so I altered the color with a simple tea stain.







 



Ta da! I love the bright red chairs against our dark dining rooms walls. All in all, the job was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I can't believe I waited so long to paint and reupholster them. If you've got some old chairs that need a lift, don't wait!  Find a bright color you love and go to town!





Click HERE to read the full article 
and get all the details about my dining chair upgrade!

Red Dining Chairs

Remember last spring when I posted THIS?   It must have made an impression because last weekend I painting my dining chairs apple red. But I didn't stop there - I also reupholstered them! I'll be posting a DIY article about the process on Houzz.com, but until then, here's a little eye candy and a sneak peek of my finished product!










I'll post the full article from Houzz.com later, but until then
here's a little peek at my handiwork...


Morning Light

The day after Christmas is always one of my favorite days of the year. Usually, the house is stuffed with left over feast food and pie and my child is happily playing alone, consumed with new projects, toys and games.  We had a white Christmas yesterday - an outright miracle in sunny Dallas, which only three days before clocked in at 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

This morning, as the sun rose, my bedroom window was magically under-lit by rays reflected off of the gleaming snow. Here's a picture of the paper heart garland that hangs over our bed. I hope you have a beautiful post Christmas day!

Paper Heart Garland from MontclairMade on Etsy