Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What to do with a narrow window

Hi Friends! Happy November!

With only 2 months left of 2011, I figured I’d better see how I’m doing on my House Goals for 2011! 

I’m proud to share: I checked one off today!!

Goal #11: Do something about those shutters in the master bedroom that got torn to pieces by the wild animal we live with.

For a year these dingy, used-to-be-beige, half eaten shutters have been hanging in our bedroom. Since we hope to replace these windows one day in the near future, we didn’t want to spend and arm and leg on window coverings. But the windows are so narrow, we didn’t know what to do with them.  And like most things, when we don’t have an answer, we just let them sit…and sit and sit. Eventually we get so used to looking at it, it no longer bothers us {does that ever happen to you?}

Well, last week I found the perfect solution. Restoration Hardware carries a swing arm drapery rod that extends from 11 inches- 20 inches…perfectly narrow for these narrow windows. And the best part, it matches the other drapery rods in our house.

Here’s the before.


Please excuse the less-than-inspiring master bedroom. We haven’t worked on it since finishing the board and batten {hence the reason I’ve never shown you the finished board and batten}

First, I removed the shutters.


In case you haven’t read the story yet, here’s why I had to remove them:





Drilled a couple of holes {and was super thrilled to hit a stud every time!!}





And tied on my favorite drapes, Cost Plus World Market’s Crinkle Voile drapes…LOVE THEM! I have them in my dining room too.








And here you go!


Before:                                After:

IMG_1700 IMG_1728

I admit, I do LOVE the shutter look.  I miss the shutters actually, and one day I’d like to have shutters again. But for now, this was an easy solution for a narrow window. {You just might see those exact shutters reappear as artwork over my bed one day…I’ve got some ideas bouncing around…}

Now, what else is just sitting around getting no attention ‘cause we got so used to looking at it?  Hum…..


Guess I haven’t completely finished this year’s house goals.




Monday, September 19, 2011

Word Art

Hi Friends!

I am increasing intrigued & inspired by some of the wonderful word art I have been seeing around.  There are so many many wonderful ideas all over the internet, but I  came across this one locally last week.  I love it as a whole and also love each of the little sayings on their own.  Oh the possibilities!  I have my eyes open for just the right medium on which to create my own!

This one is stenciled on two separate pieces of black painted wood.  I love how all the sayings run into each other.  And I love the simplicity of the artwork itself. So simple yet so powerful.

{Sorry about the picture quality, I had to take this one with my phone}


I suppose you can read it right off the picture, but here are all the sayings if you’d like to cut and paste any!

He used to say things like

all that glitters is gold

and you catch more flies with honey than vinegar

money doesn’t grow on trees

never trust a man a dog doesn’t like

early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise

beggars can’t be choosers

where there’s a will there’s a way

a closed mouth catches no flies

a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

the squeaky wheel gets the oil

an apple a day keeps the doctor away

don’t count your chickens before they hatch

a leopard cannot change its spots

the early bird gets the worm

don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

a watched pot never boils

good things come to those who wait

never trust a skinny cook

a rolling stone gathers no moss

waste not want not

cloudy mornings give way to clear evenings

two heads are better than one

makes hay while the sun shines

into every life a little rain must fall

finders keepers losers weepers

it goes without saying he was a good man.


So there ya go, permission to use clichés!

Hummm, I’m thinking on a large pallet perhaps? 


hugs, Celeste

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spray Painting an Armoire Dresser

Hi Fabulous Friends!

Last year I picked up this great armoire/dresser off Freecycle and it cluttered sat in my garage for quite some time.  Then a few weeks ago my brother moved into a new place and was in need of some more clothes storage.  Enter: the dresser that has been living in my garage for a year!  I had put off refinishing it as I didn’t really have a place for it to fit in my house.  But I thought it had great potential, so I held on to it.  Also, I have been ready for a while to graduate from spray painting 101 to spray painting 201…I’ve done a mess of frames {see a tutorial here}, a huge mirror, and my mailbox!….but now it was time to try my hand at a piece of furniture {thanks to my willing brother}

So we did a little babysitting/I’ll-refinish-the-dresser-for-you exchange and my garage now has 6 extra square feet to fill with crap bikes.


It’s a very heavy piece, made almost exclusively from solid oak {or maybe something else?}IMG_9457

So that’s the before picture.  I just loved the vertical slats on top and kept thinking they look like board and batten if only they were white! It was hard to convince my bro of that…he even asked if I could pry them off and sand.  Nah!

After a good long sanding job it was ready for primer.


{Don’t stare too long at my messy garage!}

zinsser smart prime




I brushed on a coat of primer.  I used my usual go-to primer, Zinsser Smart Prime, and the same Purdy brush I have used for years. 



After the primer dried, I did a light sanding with 220 grit sand paper. I wanted a relatively smooth, flat surface to apply the spray paint and didn’t want my brush strokes peeking through.





Oh, I forgot to mention, take a look at these knobs!  The picture doesn’t really show them, but they are recessed and push into the drawer in order to grab on to the handle. Well, I’m sure that didn’t make any sense to you…but no matter, they had to go!






Once removed, I was left with this massive 2 1/2 inch hole in the middle of both drawers!





So I picked up some Presto Patch and got to try it for the first time {oh my agreeable brother…thanks for letting me practice on you!}






IMG_9472It actually worked quite well!  First I placed some tape behind the hole to stop the putty from just going right through.



IMG_9471And then I mixed up a batch of putty{only make as much as you can use RIGHT NOW}

and filled the hole half-way:


After it dried, about 45 minutes, I filled it all the way to the top and then some.  If I had filled the entire hole from the beginning, it would be so thick that the middle would likely never have dried. Once completely dry, about another 45 minutes, I sanded it down til smooth.


And now, the real fun begins! Cue: Cheering from side-lines.

I used 6 cans of spray paint to complete the dresser.  Initially I bought 4 cans of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Satin finish Heirloom White {which emptied the stock from that store}.  When I ran out, my brother came home with 2 more cans from another store. But these were Rust-Oleum’s American Accents product, also in Satin Heirloom White.


Same brand, same color, same finish, but different nozzles.  I’m still not quite sure what the difference is supposed to be between the two.  But without a doubt I preferred the”Painter’s Touch” product. 

I mean, no matter what, your finger can’t move after it’s pressed the trigger down long enough to empty 6 cans of spray paint {how do those graffiti artists do it?} but still the nozzle on the Painter’s Touch was preferable.

It’s wider, for one, which was more comfortable…and it didn’t clog up as much.

nozzles labeled

The American Accents product would spontaneously spurt out huge droplets every once in a while…the Painter’s Touch never did that.  

In between coats {I did about 6 coats, maybe more in places} I rubbed steel wool over the whole thing to knock down any high spots where too much paint ended up. And at the end I did a final, rather hard, “sanding” with steel wool.


I added the new knobs and drawer pulls…



And delivered it to my brother!



Oh, I forgot to mention, those doors on top open to a set of 3 more drawers and 3 shelves.  I actually ran out of paint to finish painting the inside backs of the shelves…..maybe we’ll add some contact paper? Or just fill the shelves with clothes so you don’t see the back?  But when my brother said that he bought out the spray paint stock from the 2nd store, too, I was done painting for the day!

It turned out so cute, {I think}

that I almost tried to steal it back from him!  Smile!!



PS..If you want to see the other dressers I’ve painted, just click on each picture below:

blue dresser  white dresser

Monday, September 12, 2011

A {nother} Fall Wreath

Hi Y’all! Happy {almost} Fall!

Ok, that was so cheesy I couldn’t resist! But seriously, there’s a crisp breeze in the air today, telling us fall is near.  I LOVE it!!!

As promised, I made another fall wreath for my front door. Do you recall the first one I made, almost solely out of burlap? If not, you can see how I made it here.


But alas, I wasn’t totally satisfied with how it looked against my black front door.  So I promised to make another one…

here ya go!


To make this, I started with some beige burlap fabric and cut it into 5 inch strips.  I folded the strips in half lengthwise like this:


Then I wrapped the strips around a 12” foam wreath.  I overlapped about halfway each time, coving up the cut edge, exposing the folded edge and about half of the fabric:


Once my wreath was covered it looked like this:


Next I made a bunch of fabric flowers just like I did for my burlap wreath. I followed the easy tutorial on Prudent Baby. 


I also used a handful of those Eucalyptus Tree Nuts with the little stars in the middle that my kids collected on a hike recently. 

Lots of hot glue and voila, a 2nd fall wreath to welcome a new season!


I like it on my front door much better than the first version:


Please, remind me to put “Do something about front door knob” on my SHORT to-do list!

And the little owl wreath?  It’s hanging over my mantel…which is not quite finished!  A few more minor details to complete and I’ll show you my fall mantel.  Smile!!



If you want some more wreath inspiration, here are some others I have made this year.  Click on each picture to see the whole post:


Monday, August 29, 2011

A Fall Wreath

Hi friends!

School is in full swing around here, so that means I only have my twin girls home with me full time! With so much extra time on my hands, it’s time to ramp up my projects around here, don’t cha think?

No Bon Bons or soaps for this mama.

I took a look at my 2011 House Goals and realized one easy I have left is to paint my son’s room.  I need to get on that.  So I’m in the impossible painful process of choosing just the right color.  Do you recall how hard that is for me?  If not, see here.

At any rate…today I decided to tackle a much easier project than selecting a paint color, I made a fall wreath! I figured the 4th of July was long over and it was time to take down my red/white/blue wreath.  If you missed it, or just want a fun/easy wreath idea, see it here.  You can make a beautiful fall wreath with the same technique…perhaps with corduroy fabric or even burlap.  They’re so easy and cute, heck, you could make one for every month!

But I’ve had this jute rope sitting in my garage for months {thanks dad} and I have been wanting to make something with it.  Also, Cost Plus had the most adorable little felt owls the other day, and I needed an excuse to buy one {or two, hee hee}. So here you go, my fall wreath:


Here’s how I did it….

Monday, August 22, 2011

Potato & Egg Salad: Cooking with kids!

Hi-ya!  As you read this, my family is off camping for one last summer hurrah before school starts {this Thursday!}  We tried to make meals very easy, so we prepared as much ahead of time as we could.  The day before we left, my girls and I made potato salad.  Since many people seemed interested in ways to incorporate kids in cooking, I thought I’d share some more ideas!

We’ll start with the ingredients:


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Twin Girls’ Bedroom Tour

Hi Friends! 

Starting this week, I am going to give you a tour of my house, or at least most of it {there are a few spaces you just don’t wanna see.}

Today we’ll begin in my twin girls’ bedroom cause there’s too much pink and sweetness to resist…also it’s next in line for a make-over, so I want to show you before it changes! By Christmas their room will hold 2 twin beds {somehow?? haven’t figured that out yet} a canopy {or two?} new linens and pillows {that are almost all entirely sewn by yours truly} new drapes {also likely created on my sewing machine} and a new wall color {I better start on that now}.

OK let’s begin the tour…shall we?


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quick Curb Appeal Project

Hi Friends!  I sure have missed you!!

What a crazy busy summer we’ve had!!  Super fun, but no time to blog.  I’m not sure how moms with young kids are able to blog all summer.  My hat goes off to all those mom blogs I’ve continued to follow during the dog days of summer.

It’s camp “mom” around here…my 3 kids have been with me 24/7 all summer, as well as our cone-headed doggie.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a ton of fun, but just not much time to keep you updated on all our projects.  But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been any!!

Since we chatted last, my family took a 2 1/2 week road trip all through Oregon. We had never been to Oregon before and found it to be a beautiful state, full of scenic diversity and lots of fun.  If you are interested, I’ll fill you in more on that later. 

The day after we came home from Oregon I was right back at it.  I refinished an oak dresser, tore out all the bamboo weeds from our back yard, and gave my front yard a quick face-lift.  

I just finished the front yard today and am so excited to share it with you.  What a difference a couple afternoon’s of work can make.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beachy Hostess Gift

Hi Friends!
Wow, here we are full-fledge into summer. I’ve missed you! I almost forgot I had a blog for a while. Does anyone else feel like summer is the most challenging busiest time of the year as a mom? {It’s camp mom around here!}  A good friend of mine recently said,
“Summer vacation was clearly not created by a mother of 3.”
Cheers to that! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been having TONS of fun with my kids…we’re in between road trips right now…we’ve celebrated the 4th of July:
visited The Happiest Place on Earth:
hit Southern California beaches:
celebrated turning 4:
Look who came to our party!
put the dog in a cone:
Had our obligatory trip to the ER {that’s a must with a 7 year old boy…but no cast this year, only a splint, whew!}
And celebrated 8 blissful years of marriage, topping the evening off with
 Robin Williams doing stand-up live at our local theater! 
What a summer it's been so far!

Next we head up to Oregon and will spend a week sight-seeing and then another week at a friend’s beach house…Ahhhhhhh.
I have been thinking for a while about an appropriate hostess gift to bring along with us to the beach house and it finally came to me:
My latest favorite Trader Joe’s find: Salt Water Taffy, in these gorgeous pastel colors {all colored with natural ingredients, like beet juice…no red dye #574 here}
Cute huh?  Little pink/white swirls, pint dot inside yellow, solid pink {dark and light}, solid white…does it get any sweeter? {pun intended!}   Oh and did I mention, they are NOT sweetened with high fructose corn syrup…2 more points for TJ’s.
Do you wanna make one? Super easy and pretty inexpensive, all things considered.
~1 gallon container {I got mine at Cost Plus…and like it ‘cause it has a rubber gasket under the lid so it doesn’t slam shut…a plus when you have little fingers reaching in all the time!} $10 with my coupon
~6 packages of Trader Joe’s Taffy, $1.99/package…$12 total
~homemade tag and ribbon {I had on hand}
I thought about adding some chalkboard paint on the side…would be super cute…but just ran out of time. Click here to see my chalkboard painted jars.
So off to the beach we head…with enough taffy to share!
Are you peeking at those hydrangeas in the background? Aren’t they amazing? The previous owners of our house planted them years ago and we enjoy them so much!
And if you are curious about my blue mason jars…be sure to check out my tutorial here! They are simply spaghetti sauce jars that I’ve painted!
I also used the hydrangeas to decorate for my little girls’ birthday party! {Notice the bowl of TJ’s taffy, too!}
You’re also getting a sneak peek of my {unfinished} gallery wall in the background.  All my frames are painted white and now just awaiting the perfect picture!
Well my friends, that’s all for today…the kids are screaming calling for me. Time to get back to summer!  Smile!!