Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We have been crazy busy getting everything ready for our big trip "Up North" and now that there is a foot of snow coming we have moved our travel plans FORWARD a day-needless to say we are a little rushed. I can't wait to sit by the fire with a glass of wine, play a little Gin with my mother-in-law, RELAX and enjoy the holiday. Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Baby it's COLD outside!
I just love this image from the old Frosty the snowman book.

Stay warm and have a great day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Advent Calendar giveaway on SomewhatSimple!

***Please take a look at all the lovely sold items in my shop!
Second post in one day! Just wanted to share that I will be a part of the "12 Giveaways of Christmas" on on Dec. 17th. I am giving away one of my advent calendars-I am REALLY excited about it! The directions are on her blog-just follow the link for instructions on entering the giveaways.

'Tis the Season

'Tis the Season to be jolly and BUSY. I am feeling the need to slow down and enjoy the snow and the excitement of the Holidays. The kids and I went to a Musical/Play last night and it was WONDERFUL. A great reminder of what this season is all about, and how we tend to get so busy with all the other "stuff" that we sometimes forget the real meaning of Christmas. I am trying not to get wrapped up in all the "need to do" but it is difficult. Wishing you some peace while we all try to get through the last few weeks until Christmas.
Have a great day!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sled Dog Emmy

I did a little research and it seems that I was using the "new" blogger version and only the "old" version gives the option of video. Now I have changed back to the old version. Here is the video that I wanted to post the other day.

What a funny dog. The kids just love her-and I do most of the time too. I can't believe she is already 9 months old!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Frugal Redo-From guest bedroom to a much needed upper level laundry room

Another chapter in the "we don't need to do anything to this house but move in!"
We moved just 11 houses down the street from our rambler to our "new to us" two story home. We love it-we love everything about it..but I guess I like to have projects to do-much to Tim's dismay. Who knew that going from a laundry room one flight of stairs away to a laundry room two flights of stairs away would be such as hassle? Well, needless to say it only took one year to convince Tim that it was much needed in the upper level where all the bedrooms are. I would have been ok with it on the main floor too, but just couldn't find a space for it that didn't require a major renovation.

This is what it looked like as the Guest Bedroom-sorry the picture isn't that great-I am not good at taking "before and after" shots so this was just a quick shot before we started moving furniture.

Money was a major factor in this redo as with most of my projects. The largest cost was with the plumbing. Luckly we had a bathroom right on the other side of the wall, and the utility room was directly below two stories. All told I think we spent around $600 for the plumber, plumbing supplies, and install. I have about $100 in the wood for the pedistal that the washer and dryer are sitting on. Other than that it was just 1 gallon  2 gallons of paint. I already had the white paint for the cabinets.

This is what used to be the closet. We left part open behind the washer so that if we needed to reach the plumbing we still could (not that I ever plan on having to climb back there!) The plumber put a full size shower drain and pipe under the washer so that if we ever did have an overflow it should just go right down the drain.

Here you can see the opening that we left above the washer (see the kid in there?) we thought we could use it for storage if needed. Here is where the second gallon of paint came in. I thought I wanted to venture out of my green comfort zone and try for a sea glass blue. WRONG. When I painted the small patch it was very baby blue-not at all what I wanted. Back to the color charts and I picked a lovely shade of green. I am very happy that I decided against the blue.

Getting the upper cabinet in place and ready for the lower.

Here is the same view from the door as the one above with the bed. Amazing difference isn't it? The upper and lower cabinets came from the basement laundry room. They were originally painted a deep mustard yellow so I did a coat of primer and two coats of white. I added the crown moulding to the top to finish it off. I have to say that I am getting pretty good with miter cuts by now!

Finished storage area. I have baskets below the counter and I dream of a day when the kids will actually put their laundry in the CORRECTLY LABELED basket, but I don't know if that day will ever come.
The countertops are actually vintage doors out of a local convent that I purchased at a garage sale for $30 for the pair. My husband HATES them, but I love the look. I used a stairway newell post for the legs-just cut off the ball and turned them upside down.

My solution to cover the storage hole above the washer was this vintage window I had hanging around in the garage. Tim tried to throw it away several times but I convinced him that I would have a use for it. I used an old Ralph Lauren stencil that I have had for years and painted the pattern white on the back of the window, then painted over that with the green wall color. I think it fits perfectly. The pedistal works wonderfully-I had no idea that lifting the washer and dryer made it so much easier to load and unload.

Isn't this sink cute? I knew I wanted something different and I wanted it to look more like furniture. I stopped at a garage sale down the street and they had this sink. I didn't buy it because I didn't think I could find a base for it-so right after I left the sale I went to the Salvation Army and found this old sewing machine cabinet for $8. Needless to say I ran right back to the garage sale and picked up the sink for $10. I did have to spend more on the faucet than I would have liked, but it was on sale at Menards for around $60. I had the vintage mirror floating around the house waiting for the perfect home.
All in all we spent under $900 to make this guest bedroom into my dream laundry room. Now I just have to figure out how the laundry can do itself.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Do you ever feel like this?

I feel like I am running in a thousand directions at once-so many things to do, yet each one feels like it should be at the top of the list. I have things to list on etsy, yet I want to spend the time creating more. I have new ideas for New Years, but I feel like I have gone right past Christmas here in my own home! I have a few decorations up but not as many as I would like. I feel like I should just SIT and enjoy the moments that are flying by, but while I am TRYING to do that I feel guilty that I should be doing something else. Do you ever feel like that?

Today it is snowing-they say we could get about 6". That would be great! I can't believe it is already Dec 8th and we have not had any snow that has stayed. The kids just got home from school and have had their snacks-now two of them are out in the snow with the dog. I wanted to add a video, but I don't see the way to add that so I will add a picture.

What you can't see from just the photo is that Josie and Jake (in the few rare moments that they actually get along) hooked Emmy up like a sled dog and had her pulling Jake on the sled-it was pretty cute.
Have a great day!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Whimsical Deer Silhouette-new item at A New Patina!

Just wanted to share my newest addition to my etsy shop-I just love him!

I used a vintage frame found in my grandma's basement, pretty backgound paper, a wood deer silhouette that is covered in patterned paper and antiques, glitter, and a vintage Christmas light reflector that I layered with crepe paper and some chipboard glitter snowflakes. What do you think-don't you think he is cute?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

From Formal Living Room to My Creative Haven!

When Tim and I bought this house about a year and a half ago we both agreed that we would not need to do anything other than MOVE IN. I love the house, don't get me wrong....the first week I made Tim paint the one wall in the family room that was HUNTER GREEN. If you know me you will know that hunter green is SO NOT ME. So under protest he got out all his paint gear and went to town.
We lived in peace for about a month. ONE MONTH. Then I decided "Who needs a formal living room? We will NEVER use it! WASTED SPACE!" Since I have a degree in Interior Design and over 7 years of experience in this field my creative juices started flowing and I opened up my 3D home architect and went to town. I am proud to say that no walls were moved in this transformation, but what a transformation it was!

Unfortunately I never took photos of my room before I changed it. Somewhere I have photos from the previous owners but I can't find them right now! So here is my office soon after we finished it September of 2008. I have moved things around a bit and added some accessories, but the bones are the same!

This is "Command Central" Computer and TV (look at that old thing!) I need to hide the cords better! The lighting is horrible in these photos-sorry about that! Tim and I built these cabinets. Wouldn't you think that I would have taken some pictures along the way? nope. We purchased a sprayer at the local woodworkers shop and it was great! I used a Hirshfields oil-based primer and paint after I filled the grain in with grain filler and sanded FOREVER. I just didn't want the grain to show. I love the hard paint finish-it is very durable and I can clean pesky marks with my Magic Eraser. We had to figure out how to get lighting in this room since there wasn't any so I came up with this solution. We ran crown moulding all the way across the top and hid the wiring above-arn't the chandeliers cute? I hide all my printers behind the curtains in the open shelving on the sides.

My French Country sofa-I just love this! I know not everyone likes this style (my husband and sister included) I purchased it at Goodwill for $50.00. The cocktail table came from my Great Grandpa-it was in an old store in Northfield and then went to my Grandma-she gave it to me. I keep all my stamps and inks in it.

a view to the front door/entryway. I do think I would like to add french doors or curtains here at some point-it is hard to keep this room looking good, and it is the first room you see upon entering our house.

This is my work space for crafting. The armoire was one I found at a garage sale for $60.00 and we had it in the family room in the other house. I almost sold it because I didn't think I had a use for it-What was I thinking? Good thing I held onto it because it is perfect in here! Inside I have two sets of old metal library card holders that house all my embellishments and drawers to hold my 12 x 12 paper. Under the painted desk top is a small chest I found at Goodwill on the same day as the sofa-it was something like $20. I keep all my punches, adhesives, and tools in it. The tiny stacked drawers were my Grandma's and hold my foam stamps and the three vintage file cabinets came from an antique sale. You can see the corner of the rug-I found that at a garage sale for $40-it is from Pottery Barn and is an 8x10-LOVE IT! Ultimately I would love to have wood floors in here too, but for now it will stay carpet.

So that is my office! I never did tally up the total cost of making the cabinets but whatever it was it was well worth it-the whole family spends so much time in this room. It gets MUCH more use than it would have as a formal living room.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

More Advent Calendars!

Hey! I have more Advent Calendars in my etsy shop! Here are some pictures of my newest edition. By the way, my calendars have been featured on THREE blogs! I can't believe it!
By far the most popular one has been the 4 piece tree-I am not sure if it is the price, the look, or the fact that it can be folded up pretty small for storage, but that has been the biggest seller. As usual I have been busy making custom projects for people too, so that has been fun.

Help Santa Pack His Sleigh:: My newest design

Now I need to start thinking past the Holiday and get some other things in the works. My mind is swimming with ideas, but for some reason there are only 24 hours in a day and I need at LEAST 48.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An Advnet Calendar, Set of Angels, and other Holiday Fun!

I have been very busy getting things ready for my etsy shop. Crazy busy in fact. I have wanted to start this blog for so long, but things just kept getting in the way. Well, today I am going to start! Here are some of the projects that I have or HAD in my etsy shop

This Advent Calendar was made out of a set of vintage alphabet blocks-you remember the kind we played with as children? They came in this little house-PERFECT! I covered each one with paper and decorated them-painted the house and antiqued it. I love this set! When you take the blocks out each day you can either place them back in the house with the decorated side showing, or you can set them out to display-each set of blocks spells a holiday sentiment.

You can see the sentiments or the blocks placed back in the house with the decorated side showing.

Another Advent Calendar-this one is made out of sheets of metal, and each button is numbered and has a magnet on the back-start with all the buttons "under" the tree on the skirt, then decorate the tree each day-on Christmas day place the vintage jewelry star on the top of the tree.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! These little beauties were pretty ugly when I found them. I knew I could make them beautiful! I removed their ugly corrigated metal wings, painted them a lovely satin nickel, then made wings out of Christmas music. Each Angel has a "gift" she is holding-they have each been glittered-what a lovely set of 6! I listed them on my etsy shop, then emailed Jen and Saralyn to take a look at them to see if the photos were ok-went back to check my shop and they had already sold! 15 minutes was all it took for someone to snach these beauties up.

Noel candle holders-these came to me as a set of white wood candle holders and I knew just what to do to make them lovely-I wrapped them in a graphic paper and cut the letters out of patterned paper-they are sealed with Mod Podge so they will last many years.

Years ago I purchased this beautiful picture frame, but never found a home for it. I knew I wanted the decorative glass to show from behind, so I covered chipboard letters with patterned paper and embellished them before attaching them to the front of the glass-it had just the right amount of sparkle!

Another one of my favorites- Peace on Earth with a dimensional dove. So peaceful-you can't see it on this photo, but it is hung with a metal chain and at the top is a vintage jewel-ADORABLE!

Well, I guess that is enough for now! I am working on more wonderful things-maybe later today I will have a sneak peak at what will be in my shop soon.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Snow Dawgs.....

It is October 10th. OCTOBER TENTH PEOPLE, and there is SNOW. Now I do love me a nice snow storm, but this was a little early for me. And not a storm, but still. We woke to a little snow this morning and that made the kids happy. Happy and cold and wet. When all was said and done Jadyn and little neighbor cutie Grace had made some snow friends. Sorry about the photo quality-did I mention it was COLD outside?

So here are Jadyn and Grace holding their creations. Jadyn is holding the turtle collection and Grace is holding her snow dog-it is a golden retriever named Goldy and Jadyn's lamby named Snowy. Needless to say there was concern that their little snow friends would "die" so they are now living happily in our freezer. Happy Fall into Winter everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I am going to try for a paperless kitchen so I made these little flannel napkins to use rather than paper towels or paper napkins. Tim said this morning "You do know that you are going to be washing those EVERYDAY don't you?" And yes, I do realize that I will be adding MORE laundry to my never ending laundry stash, but so be it. Now that my lovely laundry room is finished I need more excuses to be in there right?

I am hoping that the savings will be worth it but that remains to be seen. I also purchased a 24 pack of "bar towels" at Sam's Club the other day and I plan on cutting them in half to make 48 smaller towels to use for the everyday clean-up that I would have normally use paper towels for. Off to find some wonderful flannel to make bibs, burp cloths, and napkins for Etsy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

THIS I know...

A very good friend told me to write what I know.

THESE are things that I KNOW:

I am not a great story teller or writer
I am not always fun to be around
I have aquired the taste for wine

Today I decided that I was going to FINALLY start blogging, yet didn't know what I was going to write about. Then Jen's words came to me: "Just write what you know"

As I walked outside to take the kids to school I noticed something sitting on the table out on our front step.

Don't look at the plants too closely-this is the time of the year that I lose interest in keeping my plants alive.

ANYWAY, see the things close to the front of the table? Look closer.

Can you see them? Those are Josie's GROUSE FEET. She went hunting with Tim this last weekend and I am guessing she was showing off her feet. Yep, I KNOW I am the only house in the Walden neighborhood that has a pair of grouse feet on their front table. So there you have it, I am writing about something I KNOW.