Tag Archives: home decor

waterside home tour

Hey hey everyone!  How are you?  If you’re stopping in from In My Own Style’s waterside home tour, welcome!  And if you haven’t been over to see Diane’s house you have to.  Diane and her husband just recently bought a beautiful home on a lake and she is working to update every space and make it their own.  It is a fun process to follow along with!  And, I’m lucky enough to know Diane in person and happen to know she is a true gem.

Now, for our little venture into the realm of home tour and our take on coasting inspired DIY and decor.

I would really like to think that I am the type of girl who decorates with a hint of coastal inspiration.

driftwood crafts

But the reality is that I’m the girl who glues driftwood to more driftwood and hangs it on a wall as art below yet another piece of driftwood.  I actually like the visual reminder of where we are (btw, if you’re new here, we live in Aruba (I know!), this little sign reminds me to be so thankful for where we are now and to not take a moment of it for granted because we know this little slice of paradise is not meant to be ours forever.  You can check out the tutorial for the driftwood fish here.

As I’ve photographed the current state of our little Aruban apartment I realized my approach is not subtle at all.  There is sand and seashells in glass jars and lanterns, fan coral turned art piece, a DIY wooden compass and more baskets and bins filled with driftwood, sea sponges and coral than I care to admit.  But I love it.  And Joel, my husband, tolerates it so I call that a win!

fan coral art


driftwood basket

sand and shell filled jars

The contents of these jars hold memories near and dear to my heart.


My Grammie’s quilts remind me of summer days at the lake in Maine.

lanterns in mirror reflection

sea sponges and coral

Turns out I am a bit more of a minimalist than I thought so I don’t have a lot of full room shots because they just looked a bit bare.  The details are more fun up close anyway, right?!?!

Here’s a look at our newly refinished kitchen.  Last year we gutted the entire space and this is what we ended up with.  We are totally in love.

aqua bar stools

open shelves in the kitchen

open shelves in the kitchen

open shelves in the kitchen

open shelves in the kitchen

My sister-in-law brought us that sign about wine, it’s too bad she really doesn’t know us at all.

open shelves in the kitchen

open shelves in the kitchen

open shelves in the kitchen

open shelves in the kitchen

DIY compass

I’d say the coastal influence appears a bit more subtly in the kitchen.  It’s less driftwood and coral and more touches of aqua and pictures of us by the water.

Although a space wouldn’t be complete around here without some driftwood so there is a DIY latitude and longitude sign as another reminder of where we are.

But the most dramatic view of our apartment is actually the one of our view.  Whenever I’m looking for inspiration I just spend a quiet morning on our balcony soaking this in.

Palm Beach Aruba rainbow

Palm Beach Aruba with the early morning sun - this blogger lives there, so many beautiful island photos on the blog


And every now and again there are the most magnificent sunsets.

aruba sunset

aruba sunset

Thanks so much for taking our little tour with us.  Before you go, if you are into DIY, I’ve started a new FB community that I hope to turn into a one-stop resource for DIYers, the avid, the wanna be and the everyone in between.  I’m sharing regular inspiration with links directly to the how-to and encourage everyone’s input on what types of projects to find and share.  If that’s your sort of thing I’d love to see you over there.  You can sign up for the Easy DIY Project Ideas group here and like the Easy DIY Project Ideas FB page here.  And there are video mini tutorials for the driftwood fish and the fan coral art.  Thanks for checking it out!

Now head on over to DIY Passion for more coastal inspiration!  And don’t miss any of the great tours that are a part of this group!

A tour of 16 GORGEOUS homes inspired by nearby waters!!! www.tableandhearth.com

Monday, June 20

Table & Hearth
The Happy Housie
In My Own Style
The Space Between
DIY Passion
Brian & Kaylor

Wednesday, June 22

Starfish Cottage
Family and the Lake House
What Meegan Makes
Migonis Home
Up to Date Interiors

Friday, June 24

Nina Hendrick
Simple Nature Decor
Slightly Coastal
Setting for Four

WATERSIDE SUMMER HOME TOUR - A tour of 16 gorgeous homes inspired by their neighboring coasts and shores!

one board wood shelves + 17 one board ideas

Well hello there!!  It has been awhile.  How are you?  I wish I had some incredible story to share with you about how I’ve spent my time recently, but the most accurate description would be … life.  🙂  We are still loving Aruba, hard to believe we have been here almost 6 months already, and we’ve finally made some official headway on the kitchen renovation project.  The contract is finalized, the cabinets are being made and installation is set for Sept 21st.  It will feel like a long time coming when it is all said and done, for a refresher on what we’ve planned and why it’s taking so long have look back here and here.

But let’s talk today about some pretty simple DIY wood shelves that I made with just one board.  Because when a group of builders who write blogs get together and chat about buildy things we toss around crazy ideas and a bunch of us decided it would be fun to see what we all came up with to make from just one 1 x 8 x 8 board.


Pretty simple requirement, just one board, a standard 1 x 8 that is 8 feet long, any species (meaning a type of wood like pine, poplar, oak, etc).  This little challenge proved to be just another of example how even the simplest things can get confusing if you’re living on a Caribbean island.

board-collageWhat I ended up with was an individually wrapped wood-ish board that measured just about right.  Who says “close enough” only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades?  It definitely also counts in pretty much anything you try to accomplish on a Caribbean island.  Take that label that says “solid wood”.  If by solid they mean pieces-of-wood-manufactured-together-to-make-one-large board then they are correct.  But it serves its purpose and now I have two shelves for toiletries and such in our master bathroom.  So I call this one a win!

diy wood shelves

At the end of this post I have the links to the 16 other projects that my creative friends have come up with using their one board.  They are sure to be more intricate and elaborate than my humble shelves, but sometimes function and practicality win out.  And it’s pretty darn nice to have a few more things at arms reach and off the floor in el bano.

Since I don’t have a work shop and only brought a few tools this little project found me measuring and cutting at the hardware store.  I knew I wanted two shelves about 30″ long so I cut the board into three pieces, 2 @ 30″ plus the remaining piece.

diy wood shelves

Once home I used a speed square and jig saw to measure and cut 4 triangles out of the extra piece of the board.  Use the full width of the “solid board”.  (I’m including the Amazon links to the tools I used for easy shopping.)

diy wood shelves

Now, let’s not judge a girl who DIYs in her LL Bean doggy slippers.  🙂  Oooooh, and you can see that I’ve started to make some progress with some primer and paint.  Hellooooo white!

With the triangles cut I used the square again to measure 2″ triangles to cut out of the long edge of each of them.  I thought this would make a simple yet decorative detail and also provide a flat edge that I could screw through to attach the shelves to the wall.

diy wood shelves

Before I attached the brackets to each shelf I wanted to drill the holes where I would thread my eye bolts through to attach the shelves to the wall.  I used my impact driver and a drill bit slightly larger than the diameter of the eye bolts I had bought and a utility knife to cut away any splintering wood.  To make drilling easier I used a new tool I bought on a recent trip to the US, a 90 degree angle clamp.  A standard clamp would work fine if you had a stable, flat work surface, but since I was working on a 5 gallon paint jug (don’t be jealous) the corner clamp actually provided the flat base as well as clamped the piece perfectly vertical for drilling.

diy wood shelves

Here’s where the corner clamp really came in handy.  I attached each triangle bracket to each end of both of the 30″ pieces of the board.  With the triangles and board in the corner clamp 1- run a bead of glue on the edge of the triangle that does not have the whole drilled through it, 2- use a drill bit smaller than the diameter of your screws to drill pilot holes into both the board and the triangles, 2 – use a drill bit larger than the diameter of the head of the screw to drill slightly into the board so the head of your screw can sit flush with the wood or even sunken a little, and 4 – screw through your pre-drilled holes to attach each triangle bracket to the boards.

diy wood shelves

After a day or so to let the glue cure I sanded each shelf and applied a few coats of stain, I have no idea what color, it was all in Dutch.  🙂

To attach them to the wall I used a small allen wrench that fit through my pre-drilled holes to mark on the wall where to drill and install my anchors and then I used a pair of needle nose pliers to screw in each eye bolt.  The eye bolts were actually Joel’s idea, something a little more interesting than just a standard large bolt.

diy wood shelves

And I really love how they turned out.  Simple but totally functional and a great DIY that pretty much anyone can do.

diy wood shelves

I have some plans for some maybe floating style shelves in our master bedroom and maybe even something like a picture ledge/narrow shelf of some kind for our living room.  I admit, it was fun to get the tools out of the moving boxes and get creative with something again, it has been awhile.

diy wood shelves

Now don’t forget to check in with all of my talented friends to see all of the other fun things you could make.  There are a few fun planter options, a plant stand, a couple of completely different stools and more shelf ideas, and no two projects came out the same.  So many great ideas with just one little board!!  And please tell me, what in the world have you been up to lately?  I’d love to know.

Addicted 2 DIYThat’s My LetterPretty Handy GirlFix This Build ThatBuild-BasicMy Love 2 CreateHer ToolbeltMy Altered StateSawdust & EmbryosThe Kim Six FixThe Ugly Duckling HousePneumatic Addict FurnitureDecor AdventuresMerrypadThe House of Wood, Sawdust Girl

our aruban apartment – the before

Well, if things are going as planned we’ve been in Aruba a few days and we’re still settling into the groove of things and getting used to calling a new place home. But, look what I did for you.  After Joel first saw the apartment, when I was still in Key West, he texted me these grainy cell phone pics and I want to share this first view with you!  These are the first I’ve seen of this new place we’ll be calling home.  So many questions, so much potential, so many unanswered questions.

But I’m going to let you do what I did … just stare at the pictures and dream about what you would do to update the space.

Main Living Area


I love those lamps, this is essentially one large living space where the far end will serve as a dining room that opens into the kitchen behind it, the center section will be living room and the near section is a bit of a hallway that opens into the space so maybe room for a desk and maybe a wall shelf unit or some large art?


View From Main Living Area




I replied to Joel “The kitchen is funny … in the bad kind of funny way.”  But there’s a dishwasher, and this girl who hasn’t had one for the last 6 is looking at the bright side.  🙂




Second Bedroom





Laundry Room






So, uh, I see some projects in there.  Like everything but the view.  🙂

And here’s the deal.  This place is owned by my husband’s employer and they know it needs updating and it’s actually cheaper for them to give us a budget for upgrades and furniture than it is for them to pay to ship all of our own things down there.  Crazy, right?!?!

Crazy exciting as I have a million different ideas running through my head.  Ideas that keep me awake at night and get me more and more excited to just get there already.  And, if  you’re reading this, I am down there and will check in soon.

But let’s hear what you would do.  Assume anything can change and the budget is unlimited.  Neither is true, I actually have no idea what the budget is yet and I don’t know if things like flooring and curtains can be replaced or plumbing can be moved.  Did you see that weird kitchen corner where the dishwasher is under the cook top?

Tell me what ideas immediately pop into your head.  What would you change first?  What doesn’t really seem so bad?  Other than the view.


And if you want to see what’s been catching my eye follow my new Pinterest board, for Aruba.

pine cone and mini ornament garland

Well, that title doesn’t really leave much to the imagination, does it?

pine cone and mini ornament garland

And the pictures don’t really do it justice.  But it is actually super cute.  You’re just going to have to trust me.  🙂

I had a little package of mini ornaments that I used to make super easy wine charms (you should check them out here) and with the leftovers, a few scented pine cones and the help of a hot glue gun and jute twine … a garland was born.

pine cone and mini ornament garland

I don’t know about you but I never really “got” garland.  I never felt inspired to make one and didn’t really understand the craze.  But for some reason this year it seems to be just the right thing to make it feel festive around here.  It’s kind of like a necklace for your house.  So our house if officially all dressed up and ready for the company holiday party.  🙂

pine cone and mini ornament garland

I got the wooden rack back in the day from my mom.  I’ve used it to drape fabric scraps on and hang herbs to dry.  I love the look of it so I’ve propped it up on the table that is just inside our front door and the garland just adds a bit whimsy.

Those glittery trees are from Ross, total impulse buys, but I think they were $3 and $6.  Considering that all of the other supplies I had on hand and left over from other projects I don’t mind a little investment in a little glitter.  But I bet they’d be super easy to make, create a cone shape maybe with a thick piece of paper (like a cereal box maybe) and then cover it in glue and glitter.  Or just buy them.  🙂

pine cone and mini ornament garland

And hang a garland behind them.  🙂

So, are you all decorated yet?  Not doing anything but a tree?  Ba humbug about the whole deal?

For more ideas you should definitely check out all of the great ways to use what you have to create a few festive holiday things here.  And remember the ornament tree on driftwood I made last year for this same entry table?  I love that tree.

and then we started living like grown ups again

We did it!  After 2 years, 4 months and 14 days … we don’t sleep on the floor anymore!

master bedroom bed

Side note:  For everyone asking about cleaning the new ceiling fan, I’ve officially done it.  Once the bed frame was all assembled I took a feather duster type of thing to the paddles on the ceiling fan and it worked great.  We sanded down the floors after we installed the fan, poor planning, I know, so it had gotten pretty dirty pretty quickly.  I dusted it all off  and then swept up the floor before we brought the mattress in.  The plan is to try to remember to clean the fan when I wash the sheets because I vacuum our mattress (Is that weird?) so I can dust the fan, let the dust settle and vacuum/sweep it up from there.  We’ll see how it goes.

We did have a luxurious little stint of sleeping in our guest bedroom bed while we had the master all tore up, but there is something magical about settling into our very own room … with a bed.

The bed frame we’ve actually had for a long time.  I would say we bought the headboard probably 14 years ago when we were living in Carmel, CA, and I’m pretty sure we bought it from furniture.com … you know, back in the day when all of the urls were short and sweet like that.  Who knows if the same people even own that url now.  But then in a stroke of luck a few years later, on clearance at a Pier 1 in Indianapolis, IN we saw the matching foot board and bought it.  The side rails are 2 x 6s that I just kind of Jerry rigged together back in the day.  All of the pieces have just been hanging around here getting in the way waiting for their time to shine since we moved down.

master bedroom bed

I was just going to toss it back together and get it into the room as is, so I can move ahead with the “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” theme that is in my brain.  But it turns out Joel wasn’t real fond of that strategy.  So I put out a call for help on Instagram and Facebook to see what people thought we should do to update the look.  I was torn between paint or stain and there were some really fun ideas tossed around like a paint/stain stripe combo and even upholstering the center part of the headboard.

I think where I was getting hung up was that I had an aqua color in my head, because we have a lot of shades of that color lying around left over from the bathroom door and the bedroom ceiling.  But with a lot of encouragement from everyone it was easy to settle on a whitewashed/driftwoody look.

master bedroom bed

I am the sloppiest, laziest, least perfect white washer I know.  I literally just put some water in a tupperware container, slap some paint on the piece and then follow with a water-soaked brush (the same paint brush, of course) to first create an almost grayish coat (even though I’m using white paint) all over.

master bedroom bed

By the time I’m done with the piece it is pretty much dry so then I just dab the very tip of the paint brush in the white paint and create a little bit of a second layer of streaky paint.  You really can’t do it wrong.

master bedroom bed

And it took it from the “I should be in a mountain lodge” look it had to the “I belong here in a beach house” vibe we’re going for around here.  And it didn’t cost a penny since I reused the same old 2 x 6s for the side rails and used semi-gloss white paint we already had (we use off-the-shelf Behr White for all of our trim in the house).

As for the bed frame assembly I followed the same steps I took when I made the wood bed frame for the guest bedroom.  But I mostly avoided all of these things this time around.  🙂

It would have been helpful to have an extra set of hands for this part, but since I didn’t I attached the side rails on one side to the headboard and foot board through pocket holes I drilled with a Kreg Jig and then used wood scraps to prop up the mattress support part of the frame to my desired height and got that all in place.

master bedroom bed

When I attached the side rails to the other side, one pocket hole at each end was blocked by the 2 x 4 frame, so if you have an extra set of hands you may want to attach all side rails first and then slide the mattress support piece into place.

I used 2 1/2″ screws for everything and the mattress support is secured to the headboard, foot board and all along both side rails.

master bedroom bed

Any complaints about my lack of appropriate work shoes can be directed to Olivia Pope, she is handling all of my scandalous behavior these days.  😉

I’m busy feeling like a grown up in our master bedroom.

master bedroom bed

I don’t think the night stands are right, but they’re what we have so I’m not worried about it.  Maybe they’ll get painted, or revamped, or replaced with some awesome street find.  But for now they work just great.

And Joel’s only complaint about sleeping in the guest bedroom (he never had one complaint about sleeping on a mattress on the floor for over 2 years, mind you) was that he didn’t have a nightstand.  I’m pretty sure he could care less about the fact that the shade of white doesn’t really go with the shade of white on the newly revamped bed frame.  🙂

But I kinda like how they help camouflage the fact that our curtains are a good 8 inches too short.  So project lengthen-the-curtains might have just plummeted down the priority list as well.  🙂

‘Cause hey, Christmas is coming, and there isn’t anything I can do to stop it.

a little fall porch party #EclecticallyFall

Hey there!  Happy happy Friday!  If you’re here with the #EclecticallyFall House Tour from The Wood Grain Cottage, welcome!


If you’re a regular around here, welcome!

Heck, if you typed the space between in Google looking for the lyrics of the DMB song, welcome!  It’s a good day to be here because I’m hosting a party on my porch.  And I promise to play you some Dave Matthews Band.  🙂

You can see all of the homes participating in the Eclectically Fall House Tour by getting started over at Eclectically Vintage.


This is going to be one of those parties where I do a lot of deflection of what is really going on around our house to try to keep your attention focused on the wine porch.

fall front porch decorating ideas

See, we’re 85% complete (if I were to toss a random number at it) with a master bathroom renovation project that also has our master bedroom and closet tore down to the studs.

So really, you should just have a seat right here on this old church pew.

fall front porch decorating ideas

I’ll light those lanterns which are super easy to make.

And you can cozy up with my new lumbar pillow and throw blanket from World Market.

fall front porch decorating ideas

Even though we are in Key West, I am dreaming of the nights in our hopefully near future when that throw will come in handy.

Can I offer you a bite to eat?  fall front porch decorating ideas

I thought these ceramic mason jars could come in handy on many occasions, and today they’re perfect for holding the silverware for our little shindig.  And that little glass flask might someday hold bubble bath next to my new tub that still needs to be installed in our new master bathroom … but right now it makes the perfect container for our favorite home-made vinaigrette.

fall front porch decorating ideas

I usually like to spice things up a bit around the house for fall, which is potentially the best season of them all.  Who doesn’t love to put on a sweater and boots after a long, hot summer?  But this year decorating is taking a backseat to home renovation.  Sometimes life just works out that way.  But this little tour was the perfect excuse for me to whip out the pumpkin craft I made out of a palm frond a couple of years ago when we lived in Curacao.

fall decorating ideas

And accessorize with a few large pine cones I brought home as a souvenir from a trip to Lake Tahoe about 12 years ago.

fall decorating ideas

And yes, that’s a another little pumpkin craft from yesteryear.  But let’s get back to the party, can I offer you more wine?

fall decorating ideas

This hammered copper tub is perfect for toting around all the necessary party beverages … and might also be perfect (or maybe one of these baskets) for holding towels in the new bathroom.  It’s not hard to see what is on my mind these days.

fall decorating ideas

That pallet slat flag is a project I made for my book that is all about pallet projects, and just released yesterday!  You can find more details here, enter to win a copy here and order a copy here.

And really, I would invite you in and show you around, there are a few presentable spots, and I’m loving my new clock found at World Market.  I oogled over many of their lanterns and may have found the perfect one for our upcoming kitchen renovation.

fall decorating ideas

But let’s save that for next time, you might trip over an air compressor, toilet or some other random thing that is in our living room at the moment.  😉

Now head over to the final stop on the Eclectically Fall tour at The Decorologist.  And have a great weekend!


Huge thanks to World Market for the gift card to purchase a few fun fall finds!  Please check out and follow our Eclectically Fall Pinterest Board with World Market!

AND … I just wrote a book all about DIY Pallet Projects and a few friends of mine are hosting giveaways.  Enter for your chance to win a copy here, here and here!  And you can order a copy here.

upcycling idea – one of a kind picture frame {and for some reason some thoughts on religion}

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about a little upcycling idea around here so today we’re going to pause with the hard-core home improvement and I’m going to start with my first ever thought published on this blog about religion and that is that I don’t really know what I believe.  (How’s that for covering a lot of topics in one opening sentence?)  🙂

If that religion confession makes you uncomfortable I don’t think there’s anything that I can really do about that.

upcycling idea - picture frame

I grew up going to Sunday School and church and I am confirmed in the Protestant church.  But I don’t go to church as an adult, not to say that I never would.  I guess I follow some sort of inner spiritualism that is just within me, and it has seemed to work for me through the years.

With that said, I’m also not offended by religion or talk of God or when others make proclamations of their own beliefs.  To each her own.

And when I first heard the Dodge commercial narrated by Paul Harvey during the 2013 Super Bowl I pretty much stopped in my tracks and then had to watch the video on constant repeat for a few days.


I grew up on a farm.  We are a family of farmers.  It was normal to have to feed the heifers after Christmas dinner.  One year on my birthday we had to corral a bunch of cows that had somehow gotten out of the fenced field.  My summer vacations were spent showing cows at our state and county fairs.


And I know in my core the truth that the commercial speaks.

And still my brother chose to grow up to be a farmer.  To study the business of it at Penn State and excel at it.

And during our vacation to Maine Joel and I became our nephew’s God parents.  Which you might think is odd given my beliefs, or lack there of.  But one thing I do know for sure is that we will always do right by my nephew.  There is no sacrifice too great.  There is no greater purpose than to aid in the upbringing of a kind, generous, contributing member of society.  And gosh darn it we are fun.  🙂

upcycling idea - use old lattice and beadboard to make a one of a kind frame

And somehow my brother and sister-in-law believe in us to do this the best way we know how.  So I wanted to kick it off on the right foot with a little baptism gift for the family.  And what says “spiritual advisor” more than a picture frame made out of ratty old lattice straps and leftover beadboard?!?!

I was inspired by a frame we got for Christmas from one of Joel’s sisters, it’s made from old barn wood out of her in-laws farm, with a 1/4″ piece of plywood attached to the front as the “backing” for the picture and a piece of plexiglass held on by clips holding in the photo.

barnwood picture frame

But I didn’t have any barn wood on hand so here’s what I came up with.

upcycling idea - picture frame

A few months ago, kind of on a whim, I used our sawzall to cut down some old lattice.  And, in one of those moves that makes Joel shake his head I saved all of the pieces.  Come on, it was the perfect shade of weathered wood.  What’s a girl to do?


So I picked the straighter pieces and just laid them out and used a square to mark where to cut them at each end to create a rectangle.

upcycling idea - use old lattice and beadboard to make a one of a kind frame

Measure the height of the slats as they lay beside each other and cut two 1 x 2s (or whatever scrap wood you have on hand) just shorter than the measurement, I used my miter box to make all of the cuts. I also painted mine with leftover paint from our front door paint project.  Totally optional.

upcycling idea - picture frame

Lay the 1 x 2s vertically along the back of the lattice slats, run a bead of glue on the flat side of each 1 x 2 and apply pressure to it all until the glue cures.  These old cinder blocks have come in quite handy since we moved in (remember this?).  You could also nail it together with 5/8″ nails or staples if you wanted to, I didn’t.

upcycling idea - picture frame

Now you can really create anything.  Trace any silhouette image on and cut it out with a jig saw, an anchor for a nautical theme room?  Or paint a silhouette, or use this image transfer technique to create some word art.

This time around I wanted a frame that would work for an old drawing of the farm where we grew up.  So I used a leftover piece of the blue beadboard we installed on the underside of our porch ceiling and glued and clamped that onto the lattice.

upcycling idea - picture frame

I used the same painting technique I used to make the reclaimed wood sign in our guest room for the lettering and cut a piece of plexiglass I found in our closet with all of our frames with a little circular saw with a blade with lots of tiny teeth.  Technical terms here people, please try to keep up.  😉

Actually, this is the exact saw I used and this looks like the blade. (affiliate links)

And a regular drill bit worked to drill 4 holes where I could then use some random old screws to attach it all together.  Please tell me you have something that looks like this because you cannot throw away perfectly good screws.


I think they liked it.  Well, they said they did, but they do have a tendency to be polite … and they hung it above the fireplace so maybe they’re just thinking quick access when they need firewood this winter.

upcycling idea - picture frame

What about you, been upcycling anything these days?

10+ 2 light vanity light options – by popular demand, because you guys are smarter than me

Ok, seriously.  I was really hung up on the vanity lighting thing and you guys helped me put it all in perspective.  Like immediately.  Funny how that happens, right?!?!

I really, really, really wanted two lights, but for some reason talked myself into that being too much for the small space.  But the comments about it looking like a “cheaper alternative” to go with only one and the input to “pick out the mirrors first” (Well, duh … why didn’t I think of that!) got me over this little hump.  All of the insight and comments are right here and would be very helpful for anyone trying to make a similar decision.

stylish 2 light vanity light options

With my new objective in mind, a 2 light vanity light (we will be going with 2 mirrors, but more on that another time), I headed back out into the world wide web and, can I just tell you, so much easier to search with a more specific goal.  Oh, you know, like I recommended when we talked about narrowing down all of the choices. #ShoulaTakenMyOwnAdvice

So here are some options that have caught my eye.

1 – I am kind of infatuated with brass right now, I think because it feels nautical.

2 light vanity light

2 – This one feels nautical to me too.

2 light vanity light

3 – I really like the look of the hardware on this one.

2 light vanity light

4 – I love the simplicity of this one, it could really let all of the other elements in the room shine.  (Not meant to be a lighting pun, but kind of seems like one.) Ba dum bum.

2 light vanity light

5 – This one is very similar but with added glass vessels around each bulb.

2 light vanity light

6 – This one really caught my eye, but I can’t put my finger on exactly why.

2 light vanity light

7 – This one is very similar to the one light option I showed you here.

2 light vanity light

8 – I love the shape of this one and the nautical feel.

2 light vanity light

9 – The shape of this one is so cool I can hardly stand it, but I just wish it wasn’t black.

2 light vanity light

10 – I think it’s the shape of the glass of this one that really draws me in.

2 light vanity light

11 – Seriously, an insulator light!?!?  I’m in love, add it to the list of reasons why I need to find me some insulators.

2 light vanity light

Now, here’s the thing.  I’ve already picked the ones we’re going to get!!!  Which one do you think it is?  And which one is your favorite?  Because the chances of us having the exact same taste on everything is, well, let’s just say rather unlikely.  🙂

And, here’s the other thing, every single one of these options is from Shades of Light.  After all of this searching and deciding and checking out option after option I found the lights for our master bathroom.  So I reached out to Shades of Light (here are all of the bathroom vanity light options where each of these can be found) and said something like “I have fallen head over heels for your lighting options and in particular have picked out a 2 light vanity light that will be the perfect addition to our new master bathroom (and I may have sent along some obligatory ugly bathroom renovation photos) and I would love you forever if we could work together.”  Some might have found this a little forward, but they said YES and I thank them for providing two vanity lights for our renovation.

Too bad you’re not a mind reader and you don’t know which one it is … or are you?  🙂

another reclaimed wood sign idea {seas the day}

Before we turned our main living areas into a closet slash tool shed slash everything-that-needs-to-go-somewhere-landing-zone combo room that plays World Cup soccer games non-stop (or however you would grammatically correctly write that statement) I showed you this.

living room side wall May 2014

And you guys like the SEAS THE DAY sign.  Thanks!  Yes, I did make it.  And it’s super simple … and it was free since everything used was left over from something else (I love when that happens!).  But let’s back up for a second and I’ll show you why I really wanted to hang something over that door.

Remember when that door was a window and the walls were covered in paneling?  Oh, and the ceiling was lower before we raised the roof.

roof project progress

And then we removed the paneling and stripped the paint off of the wood slat walls.  And had all new windows and doors installed.  And were left with an exposed header above the door because the window was a little higher on the wall.  Which actually made installing the new door header easier, so we weren’t complaining.


And I shared with you all of the ways my dad helped with exterior trim and repair, but I didn’t mention that he also patched up this little spot for us.  But the one, and only down side I’ve noticed so far, to working with extinct wood like our Dade County Pine walls, is that it can’t be recreated.  You’re welcome for stating the obvious.

So we had to use some of the slats that used to be below the old window, and they are noticeably darker.


Let’s just pretend this is a great shot, apparently in the almost 5 months these slats were exposed to the free world I didn’t bother to take one photograph, sorry. But it does illustrate that the patched wood was obvious.  Nothing serious.  Especially here, just one of the many things we’ve added to the “Key West Quirky” list.  I think I’ve mentioned before that we like to frequent open houses around town and we have seen our fair share of Key West Quirky details in pretty much every home.  So this little imperfection isn’t anything of real consequence, just a good excuse for me to take a few minutes out of the major renovation schedule to make a another reclaimed wood sign.

As for the patching I just stripped the paint off of the slats and finished them with a few coats of polyurethane while my dad used a square to mark and then cut the wood slats with the circular saw, just set the blade at the depth of the wood slats so as not to cut through any of the supports.  We had a little termite damaged wood (very typical here in Key West) that we also got rid of.

patching wood slat walls

And use a chisel to clean out any part of the slat that you weren’t able to cut with the circular saw.

patching wood slat walls

Then just puzzle piece in the new wood, cutting it as tightly to size as possible.

Once the door trim was added it really wasn’t that bad.  But this girl will use any excuse to make a sign out of reclaimed wood so I ventured out to the pile of lumber we have left over from various projects and I found a 2 x 12 x 8 and cut it with my miter saw to about 6 feet long, about the same width as the door.  If I was going to buy wood for this project I would just by a 1 x 12 x 6.

reclaimed wood sign

A simple coat of paint, I used left over paint from the gray in the guest bedroom, no primer needed since I wanted a little wood knot bleed through and imperfect coverage.  And then a thorough sanding with 220 grit sand paper to make it even more imperfect and it was time for letters.

reclaimed wood sign

I used the exact same method for the lettering that I used for the reclaimed wood sign I made for the guest bedroom.  I first painted them all a solid turquoise color that I found on the mistint shelf at Home Depot a while back.  I actually bought it for a book project.  The quart was only $2.50 at the time, but technically free for this project I would say.  🙂

Now for the varying shades of aqua effect I had no idea what I was doing.

Seriously, if you learn anything from me it should be that you can wing it 93.7% of the time.

But, because I couldn’t think of one good reason why I couldn’t accomplish the paint look I wanted, I just put a little white paint and a little of the turquoise paint in a bowl and dabbed my craft paint brush in a little of each color, not really mixing the paint, then painted a little, then dabbed a little more, then painted a little more.

reclaimed wood sign

I used a small craft brush and just worked on each letter until I liked the look.  The red bowl has water in it, I found it helpful to keep the paint damp and workable.  Every letter is a little bit different and there is no real science to this at all.  Heck, there isn’t even any fake science.  🙂

I finished the look with a little dark wax just to help the aged look along a bit.

As for hanging it, I was hesitant to drill into the wood slat walls because they are bare wood, and would be impossible to patch, so I decided to drill into the ceiling, which is painted wood slats which makes for a much easier patching process if it ever comes the time.

I used a level to measure straight up from the center of the door to mark where to drill into the ceiling.

reclaimed wood sign

I drilled a 3/8″ hole with my impact driver, because that was the right size for the eye hook I was going to use.

And as for the eye hook, do you remember the day we found out our porch roof wasn’t attached to our house?  And I had to run out to buy something so we could tie up a support to hold it all together while we added joist hangers?

porch roof support

And the eye hook or bolt I bought (like this one) was strong enough to tie my elephant up to, said the nice man at the hardware store.  So I untied my elephant … I kid.  Since she helped us that day (The eye bolt, not my elephant.) she has just been waiting for a new job, so I screwed her into my new hole in the ceiling.

reclaimed wood sign

And used 3/4″ rope we had left over from our rope and wood accent wall in the guest bedroom, run through 1″ holes I drilled in either end of the sign and tied with slip knots thanks to Joel.  Don’t ask me how.  I don’t know.  🙂  But if you really want to know I can find out.  In exchange for cookies.

It took both of us to get it level and hung at the height I we wanted.  And the darker wood slats on the wall are hardly noticeable.

reclaimed wood sign

To cut the rope to length just wrap painter’s tape around where you want to cut and use a serrated knife, a piece of scrap wood prevented me from cutting into the actual sign.

reclaimed wood sign

With the painter’s tape still on the rope, douse the end of the rope in white glue and let it dry overnight before removing the painter’s tape.  This will prevent the rope from fraying, obviously skip this step if you want the rope to fray.  🙂

reclaimed wood sign

And that’s it.  I like the “seas the day” saying for obvious reasons.  Just something else a little coastal to add to the mix and help the vibe of the home continue in the “we’re a home near the beach” feel.

reclaimed wood sign

And if its coastal decor you like, hop over to Remodelaholic.com to see a little collection I put together of some fun Coastal Decor Ideas.  Think crafts, fabric and color schemes!


DIY Wood Pallet Projects Book Pre-order

the lies people tell you about making curtains

Note:  First of all, seriously, we WON!  The whole BHG Outdoor Decor thing.  You and I.  We won.  I am verklempt, for everyone who voted, I love you for ever and ever, amen.  🙂

Now, I have to admit it, sometimes it is the most selfish of reasons that inspires a project around here.  But whatever it is that lights the fire you just have to run with it.  I guess.  🙂

We’ve moved into the guest bedroom in preparation for the full renovation of the master bedroom, bathroom and closet in one fell swoop.  If the term “one fell swoop” means to tear out everything existing in each of those three spaces to then, over the course of time, one little project at a time, build it back up that is. So this is happening.

master demolition

Much more to come on that hot mess very soon.  But it only took me about .3 seconds to find myself completely dissatisfied with the curtain situation in the guest bedroom … which looked a bit like this for about six months.


And this.


Sad, I know.  My standing joke when we show everyone the house is to proclaim them “custom curtains”.  I would venture to guess they are one of a kind, but if you have something similar send me a picture.  It will make me feel better.

And one of the main differences in our guest bedroom and our master bedroom (other than the fact that one room has been renovated and one room needs to be renovated) is light.

As one of the people who takes up residence in this abode, normally in the master bedroom, I can admire all of the light in the guest bedroom from afar.  I often think I forgot to shut the light off in there since the natural stream of light is so bright and beautiful.

What is not beautiful, however, is the neighbor’s light that he often leaves on all night.  And the crack of dawn light that creeps in every single morning.

making curtains for the guest bedroom

I kind of knew the light issue was there, but as the self-serving host I am, I never really cared too much, knowing that curtains would happen … eventually.

And then we started sleeping in there.  And curtains become el project numero uno on the ol’ to-do list. Because no real progress is going to happen on the master if this girl can’t get a good night’s sleep.

So, I set about making curtains, and I was determined to have them end up beautiful, and not be long, drawn out process.  Seriously, you can so do this.

I know there are a ton of different tutorials out there with proclamations of the what you’ll need to make professional looking lined curtains.  And I can attest that you really don’t need any of the skills or knowledge even I thought were necessary.

Lie #1 – The ability to sew a straight line on command.  My curtains are proof that is not 100% required.

making curtains for the guest bedroom

Lie #2 – You have to know exactly how tall you want your curtain panels to end up before you start.  Nope. Not true.

Lie #3 – You have to know exactly what size needle to use and what tension and stitch size to set your sewing machine on.  I have no doubt this would be helpful, but I have no idea, so I snapped this pic for anyone interested.  Maybe these settings mean something to you?

making curtains - sewing machine settings

Lie #4 – You can’t just wing it as you go.  Whatev!  I did, so you totally can, too.

So let’s get started winging it.  🙂

Step One – Clean your floor.  Maybe you’re someone that does this on a regular basis without a prompt.  Or maybe you’re me.  🙂  You’re going to need a lot of room to lay out your fabric so pick an area with a large, flat surface that you can maneuver around to reach your fabric from all angles.  Dog supervision is entirely optional.


Step Two – Measure about how tall you want your finished curtains to be.  Remember, if you want to fake larger windows plan to make your curtains so you can hang your curtain rod high on the wall and not right at your window trim.

Tip!!!  Use the entire height of your wall as a guide.  If you use this measurement you will always have enough fabric, and have leeway for a curtain that puddles more at the floor if you want.

See, no need to know the exact measurement at this point.

I measured from the bottom of our crown molding to the floor and used that 104″ measurement as a guide.  If you don’t have crown molding just measure from the ceiling to the floor.

Step Three – Depending on how much of a hem line you want, add some inches to the final curtain height.  I knew I didn’t need a hem at the top so I just picked a number out of thin air and decided I wanted at least a 5″ hem at the bottom, nice and chunky.  So add a bit more than that to the total height of the finished curtain, I added 8″.  This will give you some wiggle room, unless you are perfect, then go with a more exact measurement.  🙂  Lay out your fabric and cut to size.  I just doubled over the fabric right off the bolt and made my cuts.  This beautiful fabric is the Braemore Gazebo Cloud from Online Fabric Store.

making curtains for the guest bedroom

Good quality fabric sheers are key, I have these.  And that first cut was the hardest for me.  What if it’s not right?  Too short?  I render this beautiful fabric useless?

making curtains for the guest bedroom - cutting

That’s how I decided to go with the measuring tip above.  It took all of the questions out of it, no matter what, my fabric would be more than big enough for my room.

And I found comfort in making both panels at the same time, you know, just for the visual reassurance that they were basically the same size.

making curtain panels

Tip!!!  If you’re working with a patterned fabric make sure you have the pattern running in the same direction on both panels here before you start pinning anything!

Step Four – If you’re making lined curtains lay out your lining fabric, the side that will face toward your window facing down, right on top of my designer fabric and cut to size.  I used this blackout lining fabric from Online Fabric Store.

making blackout lined curtains

Truth be told, no measuring devices were used during this step.  Basically your lining fabric doesn’t need to be quite as long as your designer fabric, so I just cut it an inch or so shorter than the curtain fabric.  Easy peasy.

For fabric buying purposes I will tell you that 6 yards of both the curtain fabric and the liner would be perfect for this size panel.

Step Five – Pin around the top and both sides of the fabric.  I lined the top of the lining fabric and curtain fabric together and pinned 1″ in from the edge and to make sure that the color index along each side of the fabric didn’t end up showing I pinned 1 1/2″ in from the edge of the designer fabric.

making curtains - pinning

Step Six – Sew!  I first sewed along the top and then along each side.

Here are a few sewing tips for near novice DIYers like myself:

    • slow and steady works better than fast and out of control, trust me
    • always start and end a line of sewing with a little forward, backward, forward action to prevent the thread from easily unraveling
    • find a spot on your sewing machine to line up the fabric, or mark one right on there to help keep your lines straight, I used the edge of the metal plate on my machine as a guide

making curtains - sewing machine settings

    • whenever you need to stop in the middle of sewing a line make sure the needing is depressed into the fabric, this will prevent it from slipping out from under the foot
    • have something close to toss the pins in as you take them out of the fabric, my great grandmother’s antique tea cup worked perfect

making curtains

  • definitely take the pins out before they go under the sewing machine needle, I have learned this the hard time … multiple times before it actually stuck #becauseIamverybright
  • every once in a while make sure you’re actually sewing, sometimes the bobbin thread or even the thread in the needle just doesn’t cooperate and the needle holes make you feel like you’re sewing but you’re not #totalsewingbummer

making curtains

Step Seven – Turn your fabric right side out.

Tip!!!  Cut the inside corners of fabric off before turning them inside out to make it easier to create a nice, sharp corner point.  A pencil or other pointy object helps maneuver the fabric into place as well.

making curtains

Step Eight – Iron.  No exclamation point here, because I don’t find ironing one bit exclamation point worthy.

Tip!!!  Iron from the lining side of the panel, this makes it easier to have the fabric side overlap the lining just a bit on each edge.

making curtains

Step Nine – Hang!  Yep, we only have 3 sides sewn, but this is my way of avoiding having to take exact measurements.  With my rod hung and using clips for easy hanging, and a more casual feel (you could add back tabs or leave an opening to run the rod through your panels if you prefer that look) it’s easy to hang the curtains and see exactly where I want to hem the panels at the bottom.  Just pin along the bottom of the curtain at the final length.

You don’t need to hang both panels here, but I’ll admit, I was tempted to call this project done-for-now since the bottom is hidden by the bed.  And I couldn’t help but stop to admire the sheer beauty of the fabric.  Again, it is the Braemore Gazebo Cloud from Online Fabric Store.

making curtains

Step Ten – Hem the bottom to the final panel length.  I just unclipped each panel and measured from the top of the panel to where I had pinned the bottom.  Measure that same distance along the width of both panels and pin along the bottom.

making curtains

To create the bottom hem just measure your desired hem size, remember mine was 5″ (about) and iron the fabric over again with that much of a “cuff” of fabric showing.

making curtains

Then, just to hide any evidence of an unfinished edge, I folded the fabric over an additional inch or so and ironed again.

making curtains

I first sewed that smaller hem to hide the unfinished edge, making sure it didn’t peek out either end.  You can definitely call the curtains done here if you want more of the curtain fabric puddling on the floor.

making curtains

And then just one more line of sewing to bring the final panel size to your desired length.

making curtains

And for someone who went into this thinking “I’m not really sure what I’m doing” I could not be more thrilled with the result.

making curtains

When Joel got home I proclaimed “you have to check out the curtains, and you have to touch them, they feel like real real curtains”.  And they do.  They are weighty and bring such a focal point to the room.

I am definitely in love.

making curtains

Here’s a shot of what they look like on the floor behind the bed.  aka, proof I did actually finish sewing the bottom. 🙂

making curtains - simple sewing tips included from thespacebetweenblog.net

Needless to say the whole sleeping experience in the guest bedroom has just gotten a bit more luxurious!!

making curtains with blackout lining - great sewing tips included as well from thespacebetweenblog.net

What about you … make any curtains this weekend?  Do any demolition?  Have you ever spent a night in your own guest bedroom?  It’s … weird.  🙂

Update: A real life professional has added some invaluable tips in the comments.  Definitely take a minute to check them out if you’re getting ready to make your own lined curtains.

Need a vacation?  Don’t forget to enter the chance to win a 4 night stay in Anna Maria Island here.

And a larger than large thank you to Online Fabric Store for supplying me with this beautiful fabric and blackout lining, and even more for your incredible patience.  I have had this fabric since October and then instead of proceeding with the curtain making process I decided to write a book.  Your grace in this situation warmed my heart.

easy upcycling idea – old post turned lantern

Hey hey!  Happy Hump Day!

Just because it’s one of my favorite parts of the new look on the front porch I wanted to show you a quick upcycling idea.

upcycling idea - old post lantern

I took part of one of the posts that we replaced a few months back with a chunkier, 6 x 6 post, spray painted it aqua and put a lantern on it.

Couldn’t get easier.  Really.  The lantern was a lucky $6 clearance find at IKEA.

Here’s a look back at the old porch with the old posts, that quite frankly look a little puney compared to the rest of the porch.

key west house exterior before

I used my miter saw to cut the post to a good height and I just set the lantern right on top.  I worry with the wind around here sometimes that it will blow over so I didn’t adhere the lantern to the post.  But the Elmer’s ProBond that I used when we added glass door panels to our front door would be perfect for this application.

creating curb appeal

How’s that for an easy project idea?  And how about that potted bonsai looking plant that isn’t doing so well?  I didn’t realize how much “less lively” it is today than it was a few weeks ago when I took the first front porch pictures.  :/

The chippy, old window I found on the side of the road works great to round out that corner without blocking the view.  The hanging star is something we found at Kmart and has a little LED light in it.  And the aqua is the same Rustoleum spray paint I used on the chair at the other end of the porch.

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

Joel and I both found ourselves sitting out there to call our moms on Mother’s Day.  Comfortable surroundings and good cell reception.  Bonus!

You reusing any old posts lately?  Have any new upcycling ideas to share?

If you’re looking for more you can see more DIY front porch makeover details, how we’re trying to stay organized during the full house renovation or check out our outdoor up lighting … which got a little upgrade the other day, too.  Joel added another light under a new palm tree without me even noticing, that’s how easy it is.

15 upcycling ideas for Earth Day

Hey there.  Happy Earth Day!!  Today is a nice reminder of a day to take great care for this place we all call home. So what better day than today to share some inspiring upcycling ideas that I’ve seen around the net.

And to start, just a quick shout out to everyone who has preordered the book.  Thank you!!  It has been a whirlwind process and I really can’t thank you enough for your support along the way.  In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is the cover.  Seriously, I wrote a book and here is the cover.  Unreal.

DIY Wood Pallet Projects Book Cover

Pallet projects are the ultimate in upcycling ideas since you are literally taking someone else’s trash and creating something awesome with it.  That is one of the reasons why I love pallet projects so much … and the projects in the book … ahhhh, I am so happy with the mix and variety and just the ideas in general.

I love how the ideas can be transformed and personalized and tweaked to work for anyone.  The book is much less a “here’s how to make this” book than it is a “here’s how I made this, but I think it would be so cool if you make it longer/taller/wider etc” book.

And a few fun facts about the cover.  A few weeks back, while we were at spring training actually, was when we had a flutter of emails going back and forth about the cover because the publisher needed to get it finalized to send out for promotion purposes.  I was definitely caught off guard by the timing because the book content wasn’t complete at the time.

But, it just goes to show you how things actually work in real life.  The publisher made all of the final decisions for the cover, which I was happy about because, well, they’ve done this before.  And my comments like “I’m not sure I love the orange” were met with a response of “too monochromatic a color scheme can make a book look flat and get lost on shelves”.  Smart.

But we did come together to create a cover that we all love.  The areas where I gave input included things like:

    • coloring and fonts – I wanted it to feel like the blog and the fonts and colors they ended up using (plus the orange) came directly from what I want to incorporate into the blog


  • the title even got an update from “DIY Wood Pallets, 35 Rustic Modern Pallet Projects to Personalize Your Home” to “DIY Wood Pallet Projects, 35 Rustic Modern Upcycling Ideas to Personalize Your Space” … you know to personalize your space … from the space between.  🙂
  • And they included the full blog URL by my name which I really like because without this here blog there would not be this book.  So it’s nice meld the two and make it clear it is one and the same.

And I didn’t make any comments on the photos they chose or the projects they picked for the cover, I had all kinds of thoughts of which ones they would pick so I thought it was just good mojo to go with what popped out best to them.

DIY Wood Pallet Projects Book Cover

And no project book is complete without a whole host of inspiration from any number of places.  Thanks to my BFF for sending me ideas for projects she wanted to learn how to make, and my mom for sending me photos of pallet ideas she thought would make good projects.

So here are a bunch of pallet project ideas that are awesome, and inspirational and proof that you can really make anything your imagination can dream up.

American Map Silhouette Art

upcylcing ideas - American Map Silhouette Art

Headboard with Stenciled Reclaimed Wood

Upcycling Ideas - headboard with stenciled reclaimed wood

Floor to Ceiling Headboard

Ucpycling Ideas - floor to ceiling headboard

Vintage Crate Carts – Ana has so many great plans for furniture and DIY projects large and small, a true DIY inspiration.

Upcycling Ideas - vintage crate carts

Pallet Coffee Table

Upcycling Ideas - Pallet Table

Picnic Table Made From Pallets

Upcycling Ideas - pallet slat picnic table

Pallet Slat Side Table (I couldn’t find an original source for this image.)

Upcycling Ideas - pallet slat side table

Colorful Wood Sofa Table

Upcycling Ideas - wood sofa table

Pallet Sofa – With Storage Underneath

Ucpcycling Ideas - pallet sofa

Pallet Platform Bed

Upcycling Ideas - pallet platform bed

Pallet Slat Bar

Upcycling Ideas - pallet slat bar

Mini Pallet Coasters – I seriously need to make some of these, how perfect for an outdoor dining area.

Upcycling Ideas - mini pallet coasters

Bottle and Wood Centerpiece – This isn’t made from pallets but it totally could be, and the bottles are upcycled, too.  The Shanty girls create a ton a great DIY, and a lot of things from wood that can be adapted to a pallet wood design.

Ucylcing Ideas - bottle and wood centerpiece

Reclaimed Wood Star – I think every Christmas mantel needs one of these.

Upcycling Ideas - reclaimed wood star

Wood Crate Steps – Funky Junk Interiors has a plethora of, you guessed it, funky ideas to create and decorate with junk, a must to check out if you love upcycling ideas.

Upcycling Ideas - old crate stairs

Now go forth and be kind to the planet, and find some trash to make into a personal treasure.

Upcycling Ideas - 15 inspiring projects to make with reclaimed wood


creating curb appeal or “you’re decorating with exactly how many street side finds?”

Update:  Just a huge thanks to Better Homes and Garden for entering my porch in the Outdoor Decor category of their Summer Bash and an even huger (totally a word!) thanks to everyone who voted for us.  We won!!  Thank you all!

BHG Outdoor Decor winner

Consider yourself forewarned, I might just declare each newly finished, or even nearly finished, room “my new favorite space”.  I think when you’re facing a full house renovation you have to celebrate the little successes.  🙂

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

And clearly it doesn’t even have to be a room inside my house for it to qualify.  To get the street side finds countdown started, I found that old window a few blocks away on an evening dog walk one day.  It’s perfectly chippy and a nice filler for that bare corner without blocking the view to our newly painted hardiboard siding.

Even though there are still a few little things to tick of the front porch to-do list like patching the cracks and painting the new posts (they’re only primed right now), covering the concrete floor with wood decking (maybe eventually) and making some sort of house number (maybe with sea glass?) I decided to skip ahead to the decorating anyway to polish off the process of creating curb appeal.

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

The timing worked out perfectly for a little front porch piddling (as my mom would call it) since my mom was actually on her way for a visit.  And you know you can’t visit us without being put to work.  But rest assured I try hard to assign you projects I think you’ll like.  So my mom and I arranged and rearranged furniture and shopped for accessories and plants.  But that stump was picked up along the street shortly after we moved in, Joel texted me a picture of it one day after he saw it on his way to work saying “I saw this and thought you might want it”.  Now that’s love. 🙂

And when Joel’s mom was here she picked the right pots and placement for the plants, the perfect little project for an avid gardener. You’re welcome moms!!

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

I found that metal star behind the plants a while back along a road in down town Key West and snagged that rusty old galvanized bucket in the background from my neighbor. She had drug it out of her crawl space so of course it was meant for my front porch decor. 🙂

It was perfect to get a new set of eyes on the front porch because I seriously would have never thought to keep the church pew and the rocking chairs all on the porch together.

beadboard on the ceiling

My mom arranged the chairs to face the house and the church pew and it creates the perfect little sitting area. Seriously … I would have never thought.

The space doesn’t actually photograph well from far off since the bright sunny daylight and the shade of the porch is a hard contrast.  But the wall that runs across the front of our property also serves to block a bit of the view from the street.  Which I can’t say I mind at all.  🙂

The rocking chairs also serve to add just a bit of separation from the street.  And that large glass bottle that now holds our sea glass was a random Ross find, it was perfect since the tall glass vessel we had the sea glass in broke on the move here from Curacao.

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

Note to self: add some trim around the new, chunky patio posts to hide the brackets.

Even though I didn’t end up going with aqua for the front door color I wasn’t willing to give it up entirely.

creating curb appeal with some front porch decorating

A few coats of spray paint on an old chair makes the perfect seat for my new little succulent garden with a few pieces of white coral mixed in.  And that basket to the left of the chair, yep, street find … and that brick was washed up on a beach in Curacao.

I also spray painted part of one of the old patio posts the same aqua color, I used this one (affiliate link), and it makes the perfect pedestal for a new lantern I found on clearance at IKEA when we were in Tampa.  It was marked down to $6 because the box it was in was damaged.  Reason #289 to never skip a quick walk through the clearance section in any store, you just never know.

creating curb appeal

Under the church pew was the perfect spot for Joel’s grandfather’s old tool box and a rusty tractor seat that came from my grandfather’s farm.  I found the blue pillows on the church pew at Ross and they almost perfectly match the new front door color.  My mom and I also picked out some fabric so as soon as the pillow making fairy gets here they’ll be added to the mix.

Who can sew and wants to visit?  There are a few days available.  😉

front porch decorating April 2014

And for no other reason than I wanted to put this enamel bowl that was left in this house when we bought it somewhere a few more plants and an old crate found a home to the left of the front door.

creating curb appeal

Those gardening gloves are my mother-in-law’s, she accidentally left them there, but they make for pretty pictures so we’ll just keep them there ready for use on your next visit, Carole.  🙂

Overall I can’t even believe where we started.

creating curb appeal

The new window sizes alone makes such a huge difference.  Or maybe it’s that we had to get rid of the old faux brick to enlarge the windows.  Hmmmm …


With a few random rain storms that have been coming through my progress on finishing up the caulk all around the new siding and trim has been slow, but we’re getting there. All of our family and visitors are gone so that actually freed me up to work on a fun little project for the back part of the guest bedroom.  I posted all about it on instagram.

creating curb appeal

See how many updates we’ve tackled and what a difference in the whole look of the front of our house it has made by checking out the 14 curb appeal ideas I first posted about right when we moved in.

14 curb appeal ideas

If you’re looking for more of the how-tos you can check out how we got rid of the faux brick, about the hardiboard siding installation, how the new windows went in (and more here), about the new exterior trim installation, the day we discovered the porch roof wasn’t attached to the house, replacing the old posts with chunky patio posts, caulking, painting, learning how to use a paint sprayer, adding glass door panels to the front door, picking a front door color with some Key West inspiration, installing beadboard on the ceiling and why I am in love with our new keyless entry system.



key west house tour {colorful and fun}

After the tv show The Bachelorette finale was filmed in Curacao a few years ago I was lucky enough to be friends with the owners of the houses that were used during filming and even luckier that they let me do a little walk through to photograph and share some behind-the-scenes looks with you guys.  Thank you so much Marilyn and Susie!! xo

This is the pool where Emily’s daughter, Rikki, met the bachelor that won the show, Jef. Totally shocking, but they have since broken up.  Crazy, I know. 😉


Now that we’re in Key West I pretty much walk or drive or bicycle by a house everyday that I wish I could just take a quick little peek inside.  If we’ve learned anything from our open house adventures it is that you just never really know what you’re going to find here in quirky Key West.

So, when our friends decided to put their house on the market I knew I had to get in there and photograph it for you and take you on your own Key West house tour.  For starters, they actually painted their house Key Lime. Fun, right?!?!

Key West house tour - Caroline St

They have their own shade of blue on the underside of their porch ceiling, and my crafty friend, Eryn, made that mosaic house number.

More often than not we would use a door that enters on the side of the house, which is pretty cool, because you walk in and BAM.

Key West house tour - Caroline St

That is a colorful accent wall that Eryn designed and our friend, Mike, made.  The dark wood box around the wall serves not only as a frame but a place to hide the wiring for the recessed lights.  And the console piece that runs along that wall also houses the tv that can be raised only when they’re looking to watch.  I would love something like that.

And then if you glance to the right …

Key West house tour - Caroline St

The vaulted ceiling extends across the entire width of the house and those five panel cabinet doors were all handmade by Mike.  Eryn designed the layout with a few openings that I think are so cool with the backsplash tile carried up to the back of them.

And the old lighted arrow sign with a salvaged (acrylic, I think) beach scene.  LOVE!  The house is selling fully furnished, too, so those could be yours.  🙂

Key West house tour - Caroline St

Behind the kitchen is the beautifully light and colorful dining room.

Key West house tour - Caroline St

Eryn made those fabric panels flanking the French door with rope lights, and she also made the chandelier with corks and beads.  And painted and reupholstered those chairs that she found at the Habitat Restore.

Key West house tour - Caroline St

Also on the first floor are two guest bedrooms and bathrooms.  Eryn turned a folding screen on its side and Mike framed it in to make this awesome headboard.

Key West house tour - Caroline St

And here’s a unique idea to add some character to a bathroom, run one line of accent tile along the floor and straight up a wall.

Key West house tour - Caroline St

They have the other guest room set up as a sitting room with this great office designed in the closet.  I love that it could easily work as a closet still if need be.  And I think that powerful color on the back wall is perfection with the fun white shelf design.

Key West house tour - Caroline St

Head upstairs to the master suite and you will find another unique and colorful headboard design. The angled wall adds a fun element to it.  🙂

Key West house tour - Caroline St

I wasn’t too successful photographing the master bathroom which also has an accent tile feature that runs horizontally in a wave pattern across one whole wall.  You can see part of it in the mirror reflection, I love that the mirrors go all the way up to the high ceiling.

Key West house tour - Caroline St

The master also has a back porch that overlooks the backyard and pool area and underneath is this great covered outdoor dining area.  Yes, that is door as a table and I can’t stop admiring the three chandeliers.  I just love them.

Key West house tour - Caroline St

And if you’re lucky enough to come visit you could end up in the guest house by the pool in the backyard with the wood plank wall and the awesome orange oar hooks from Home Goods.  Yep, Eryn is #homegoodshappy

Key West house tour - Caroline house

Key West house tour - Caroline house

This house really is nothing but a ton of fun, with exceptional handmade details that set it apart from any other.

Eryn has a great eye for stunning design and Mike can make anything anyone would dream up.

Key West house tour - Caroline house

Key West house tour - Caroline house

I love the combinations of color and rustic and modern elements.

Key West house tour - Caroline house

I love how unapologetically colorful it is.  Perfectly Key West.

Key West house tour - Caroline house

And once again I find myself just thinking how incredibly awesome it is that no matter where we live in the world I somehow find friends with amazing sense of style and beautiful spaces who are willing to let me share them with you.

Key West house tour - Caroline house

You can view the full MLS for this house and if you missed the Curacao house tours you can tour the house where Emily stayed while filming the Bachelorette finale, the house where Emily’s family met the Bachelors and the tree house fantasy suite where Emily and Jef stayed.

Key West House Tour

And, for anyone one on an intentional life journey, you may want to check out Eryn’s blog The Critical Path.  She moved all of her belongings into storage, bought a one way ticket to India and is traveling the world with no agenda other than to figure out exactly who she is and who she wants to be in this life.

how reclaimed wood wall art made it to the top of the zero priority project list

Well.  I did it.

I went ahead and made a little something that Joel would wholeheartedly consider a “zero priority” project.

But considering he also views a bed frame in the guest bedroom a zero priority project, can we all just agree that he is wrong?  🙂 Continue reading how reclaimed wood wall art made it to the top of the zero priority project list

how to make a wood bed frame

Holy heck … we made a wood bed frame!

diy wood frame bed

I didn’t have the heart to make those girls get up even though they wouldn’t look at the camera. #oldladydogslikemycompany #iheartthemtoo

I am so excited about this project!  Every time I look at it it’s like it says to me “See, you will live like regular people here soon, you will get there, I promise”. Because she knows that a home is so much more than just a shell.  And then I want to hug her and lay with her … which sounds weird … but she is a bed.

And then I just look at Joel and cock my head and smirk all arrogantly silently saying “Ha, no mattress on the floor up in this house!”.

And then I go into our master bedroom and see our mattress on the floor.

And I had never made a bed before.  Heck, I’ve never really made any kind of furniture. And this was another one of those ideas that percolated in my brain for a while, all by my lonesome … and we all know how I get with those kinds of solitary projects.

diy wood frame bed

And then a funny thing happened, I saw a random post on some social media outlet about a wood shim bed that Ana White had just posted plans for and with one quick glance at her plans I knew I could make this bed.

I just knew it.

Now, our bed is not a wood shim bed and does not follow Ana’s plans, but I did incorporate some of her design into our bed.  And somehow just reading through her plans gave me the confidence to make this bed happen.  So, high fives Ana!!  You were my cheerleader and you didn’t even know it.  🙂

So, let’s get started, because I know you, too, can make your very own wood bed frame if you want to!

It really helped me to break it down so I could make sure I had my mind wrapped around exactly what I was going to do.

Bed Frame Design Concept

Legs – We had rescued a Dade County Pine post from our neighbor and I knew I wanted to use that for the legs.  You could use a 4″ x 4″ post or maybe find a post at a salvage yard or Habitat Restore.

Headboard and Footboard – I had a leftover piece of Purebond plywood from our closet shelves that would work.  Our closet shelves are 24 inches wide so we just ripped one leftover piece in half to create 2 12″ wide pieces.  One for the footboard and one to act as a support between the two front legs of the frame.  I knew I wanted to create a separate headboard that I could switch out if I wanted to so I did not incorporate an actual headboard into the design, just that piece for stability.

Side rails – I had enough leftover pieces of Purebond plywood that I knew I could piece them together for the side rails.  And I had leftover 3/4″ thick rope from a totally different project that I thought would be a fun detail in between the pieces together plywood.

Supplies if you’re Purchasing all Materials

wood bed frame supplies

  • take the measurements of your mattress and have pieces of Purebond plywood cut 12 inches high and the length of your mattress measurements
  • 8 1″ x 2″ trim pieces 8 feet long and by 2 of the same but 6 feet long*
  • 2 2″ x 4″ 8 feet long and 3 that are 10 feet long – these will be for the frame supports
  • 4″ x 4″ post for each leg, our legs are 25 inches long
  • 1 1″ x 6″ white wood board the same length as the width of your mattress plus the leg posts (to go across the top of the footboard and posts)
  • 2 and 3 inch screws
  • If you’re making a platform bed, without a box spring, you will also need a sheet of inexpensive plywood cut to size to serve as the mattress platform.
*Our mattress is a full, so any measurements I give are specific to our project, but just use the size of your mattress as your guide.

Now, I had already stained my plywood from the closet project and waited until the very end to stain the added 1″ x 2″ trim pieces.  You could stain all your pieces first, or once the side rails are assembled, or after … it doesn’t really matter.


  • screwdriver
  • miter saw
  • Kreg Jig Jr (or you could use L brackets to attach your rails to the legs)
  • tape measure
  • wood glue
  • hammer and finish nails or a finish nail gun

Based on the measurement of your mattress make all of your cuts

wood bed frame cuts

  • 4 legs of equal length (ours are 25″ and I used the first cut leg as a template to make sure each leg was exactly the same height)
  • 8 1 x 2’s the length of your side rails (ours are 76″)
  • 2 1 x 2’s the length of your footboard (ours is 53″)
  • 2 pieces of plywood 12″ high and the length of your footboard (ours is 53″)
  • 2 pieces of plywood 12″ high and the length of your side rails (ours are 76″, and I pieced together 3 scrap pieces on each side)
  • 2 2 x 4’s the length of your side rails plus 4 inches
  • 6 2 x 4’s the length of your footboard exactly

wood bed frame cut legs

Wood Bed Frame Section Assembly

The headboard support is the easiest – just drill your pocket holes with your Kreg Jig Jr into each end of the piece of plywood and attach with screws to two of the leg posts.

diy wood frame bed headboard assembly

I made the posts and plywood flush at the top and back, so the mattress wouldn’t sit out too far from the wall.  Here is what she looks like from the front, imagine our yard is actually the wall in the bedroom.

diy wood frame bed headboard assembly

Footboard – attach the 1×2 strips along the top and bottom edge of what will be seen at the end of the bed with wood glue and finish nails.

diy wood frame bed footboard assembly

Tip!!!  Nail with 1 1/4″ nails from the plywood side you your nails won’t be seen in your finished product.

diy wood frame bed footboard assembly

Side rails – If you are using full sheets of plywood the assembly is exactly the same as the footboard. Since I was piecing together scrap wood, I used 3 separate pieces of plywood …

diy wood frame bed siderail assembly

… and left a 3/4″ gap in between each …

diy wood frame siderail assembly

… for the added rope detail.

diy wood frame siderail assembly

You can see in that picture above that I stapled pieces of white fabric behind the rope sections, but it’s totally unnecessary.  And you can see off to the right that I did clamp together any sections that didn’t seem to hold tight with just the glue and nails.

If I had been totally on my game I would have added edge banding to the ends of the plywood by the rope, but I didn’t, and you can’t really tell.

And if you are a guest coming to stay with us and for some odd reason feel like you want to point out that you really can tell that I should have added that edge banding … I warn you now … hotel rooms in Key West are expensive … tread lightly.  🙂

Now just drill your pilot holes in each end of each side rail and you’re ready to assemble the 2 x 4 frame supports that your mattress and/or box spring will rest on.

Oh, and we found wrapping the rope with painter’s tape where we wanted to cut it and just using a basic serrated knife worked great.

cutting rope with a knife

2″ x 4″ Bed Frame Support Assembly

To say I don’t have a good picture of this step is an understatement.  Sorry about that.  :/

But, you already have your pieces cut.  2 at the length of your side rails plus 4 inches and 6 at the exact same measurement as your footboard.

Just lay the two longer pieces parallel to each other and lay the other 6 down perpendicular to those creating a rectangle and attach.  I put ours 14″ apart.  🙂

diy wood frame bed assembly

I used our framing nail gun with 3 1/4 inch nails, but you could use screws, you could drill pilot holes in each 2 x 4 use and use counter sunk screws, you could use L brackets … I might just like to come up a reason to use the framing nail gun whenever I can.  🙂

I promise … a better picture of the assembled 2 x 4 frame is coming up.

Put her all together

Measure the height of your mattress and determine how high you want your bed to decide where to screw the 2 x 4 frame into each of the leg posts. diy wood frame bed assembly Two noteworthy points here – whether or not you should screw in your 2 x 4 frame all the way in by your headboard will be determined by your measurements … and many more details regarding that sad, mangled screw are coming in the next post. Screw your 2 x 4 bed frame into your side rails. diy wood frame bed assembly And where your pocket holes are accessible, screw your side rails into each leg post. diy wood frame bed assembly Since we only have a mattress for our guest bed, I had a sheet of inexpensive plywood cut to size to lay over the 2 x 4 frame … diy wood frame bed assembly

… and then I cut the 1 x 6 to lay flat over the footboard and leg posts and two little 1 x 6 pieces to cover the top of each front leg post … they overhang each end by 1/2″ and are attached with wood glue and small finish nails.

Then I added edge banding to the top of the headboard piece, …

diy wood frame bed … stained everything that needed it … diy wood frame bed … and then she’s ready for your mattress and your guests!! diy wood frame bed

And doesn’t she look so at home in the guest room?  I love her.  And she’s given this room a lot more street cred in the whole “I am a real room and people will come stay in me” department.

diy wood frame bed

But she’s also a little like “Hey cutie, what’s up?”

diy wood frame bed

Then she turns around and you’re all “Oh, sorry, I totally thought you were someone else”.  🙂

And I’m not even going to tell you what’s going on behind me as I take these pictures.  Let’s just say you might still be able to see insulation … and there might even be a sheet stapled to the studs.

Cue the maniacal laughter as I’m smelling a secret project going on back there …

Dun Dun Dunnnnnnnnn

How’s that for a suspenseful, thriller-style ending?

We’ve got all of the windows and doors on order and should have them installed next week. Once that happens we’ll be free to finish up those last few walls with drywall and paint … among a bazillion other projects in other rooms … and get some more furniture set up in here.

That bed needs some company I say.

diy wood frame bed tutorial

And if you’ve missed any step of this room upgrade you can get all caught up right here.  And check out the wood bed frame making tips I learned along the way.

the start of the fun stuff {lighting shopping}

Who’s up for a little fun today? 🙂

Big thanks to Lamps Plus for sponsoring this little rendezvous into fun.

We’ve been working hard to turn our guest bedroom into one fit for our awesome friends and family. And while my days are spent tearing out the old, framing in the new and insulating as we go. My nights are spent literally dreaming about how things will look when she’s all said and done. Continue reading the start of the fun stuff {lighting shopping}

upcycling ideas {8 ways to use regular things around your house in unique ways}

I promise.  There really was a plan.  It was well thought out.  And it was going to work.

Just to recap, we have just relocated from Curacao to Key West and closed on our new-to-us-house.

And when we moved to Curacao over three years ago we didn’t take much of our stuff with us.  We just didn’t really know what we were in for and didn’t want to get down there with a ton of things we not only wouldn’t need but couldn’t use, or wouldn’t have room for or whatever.  And it really was a great plan.

We left 90% of our things in storage in our previous location in Maryland.  So, when we arrived here in Key West and found a house (that seriously is perfect for us in so many ways) we thought it made sense to get all of our things in one place again.  So, I trekked up to Maryland and sifted through our things and lo and behold we had another whole truck shipment arrive at our new-to-us little home last week.

The well laid out, strategized and over analyzed plan was this:

1. Close on the house – check
2. Things from Curacao arrive – check
3. Settle into one bedroom, one bathroom and the kitchen with those things that we’ve been living with for the last three years – check
(We will be remodeling/renovating the entire house, starting with the living/dining area and just wanted to create a few comfortable spots to be in during the whole process)
4. Things from Maryland arrive – check
5. Store all furniture pieces in the carport, tools in the shed and boxes in the guest bedroom and leave the furniture and boxes as is until we finish the living/dining area redo and have a need for things like decor and accessories and side tables and such …

So far so good … not a bad plan, right?!?!?

But this is where the well laid plan failed me … when I was organizing the shed and all of our tools in preparation for the reno project … I couldn’t find the sawzall.  You know that tool.  This one, we have a Ridgid.

And we already have a list of quick fixes we can do around the yard with this guy so I really felt like I needed to find it rightthatsecond.

So I started unpacking boxes.  And more boxes … and even more boxes.

And I rediscovered things like “we have a coffee bean grinder”, and “we really do own more than 4 plates and 2 bowls”, and “we have a goose on a cake plate“.
upcycling ideas in the bathroom

And this happened.
upcycling ideas in the bathroom

This bookcase was supposed to serve as a pantry in the short term, until we get to our kitchen remodel, but now it’s more of a thrift store (just like our shed).  And instead of finishing organizing the shed, I’m grabbing random things and using them to try to add a little bit of form to our functional set up right now.  I’m literally shopping the thrift store house, and taking everyday items and coming up with upcycling ideas for them without even changing them … just by using them in unique ways.
upcycling ideas in the bathroom

Continue reading upcycling ideas {8 ways to use regular things around your house in unique ways}

joy to the world {simple Christmas wreath}

This time of year really is the best, isn’t it?!?!

The holiday spirit is in the air, holiday decor is strewn about and holiday cheer is abundant.  🙂  I practically hear carolers singing “Joy to the World” right now.

I love that first delve into the Christmas decor and crafting.  I like to see what we’ve got from year’s past that still inspires me and try to come up with a few new ideas at the same time.  All while I watch my husband roll his eyes at me as I pace to and fro between him and his football, or futball, or whatever sport he’s watching at the time. 😉

Hey, this decor thing takes time.  You gotta step back, look at it from all angles, scootch it around a bit and then step back for another look … am I right!?!

On my decor day we even had the island equivalent of what could be considered a winter storm.  Brrrrr!

Just kidding 😉 I think it did get down to 79 degrees though … which is close to a record low.  And the perfect day for dilly dallying around with some Christmas decor I say.
joy to the world

So I made a few new driftwood Christmas trees and gave our fall leaf wreath a winter makeover.

joy to the world

Continue reading joy to the world {simple Christmas wreath}

countdown to Christmas {random acts of kindness advent tree}

Too soon?

Did my post on Friday, the little recap of all of the Christmas crafts we did last year, not imply that I had already started the countdown to Christmas?

It was supposed to.  😉

And, by countdown to Christmas I actually mean countdown to Christmas crafting.

And that countdown to Christmas crafting actually came to zero about a week ago. Would that make it T plus 7 days?  I don’t know. 🙂

I’m actually teaming up with a few other incredible bloggers and we’re banding together to bring you 4 creative ways to countdown to Christmas.  We’re talkin’ about advent calendars and in my case, an advent tree!
countdown to christmas

My idea actually came to me in July.  And I blame it on Joel.  He was cat sitting for a friend and asked me to go over one day he got stuck at work.  And I just so happened to see the perfect branch just laying there on the side of the road begging me to take her.

See, if Joel hadn’t needed my cat sitting help I would not have been on that road that day, and I would not have seen this branch and I would never have had this idea. (There’s really no way to prove that last part, but I’m sticking with it.  He’s used to it … and should be thankful I didn’t make the advent tree in July.  You’re welcome, Joel.)
countdown to christmas*the photo shoot in front of the shed didn’t really work out other than this pic of a cute pup.

Anyway, 4 months later, a dusting of white spray paint, green craft paper cut in random shapes and glittered in random patterns, a plant pot painted with metallic gold paint and filled with driftwood covered in my wedding veil …

… because veils aren’t just for weddings and driftwood isn’t just for trees anymore.  🙂

And we have my take on an advent tree.
countdown to christmas

And you know what we’re doing to count down the days?

We’re doing random acts of kindness.

That’s right people!  We’re passing it on to random people we don’t know and who will probably give a sideways glance as I try to explain in a language not native to them what the heck I’m up to.  🙂

You might remember that we had 12 Days of Kindness last year.

This year we’re stepping it up a notch and we’re doing 25 random acts. BAM!
countdown to christmas

In all truth, I mixed in a few random acts of kindness for myself, and my husband, and some people I know.  In the vein of spreading the holiday cheer I didn’t want to leave the ones I love out.

countdown to christmas

And here’s how I put it all together.  I wrote my 25 acts of choice on the white side of the craft paper and then I separated them into piles.

Pile #1 – the acts I would actually want and be able to do on Christmas Day.  I flipped them over, shuffled them around a bit, picked one and used a sharpie to hand write a 25.

Pile #2 – (add the cards not chosen from pile #1) the acts that made more sense to do on a weekend.  You know the ones, pretty much anything that required a store to be open was out … bank tellers are not getting cookies on a weekend here.  Flip ’em over, shuffle ’em around, pick 8 because there are 8 weekend days in December before Christmas, number accordingly.

Pile #3 – all remaining cards flipped, shuffled and numbered.

And then I used a single hole punch and jute twine to hang them.  And done.
countdown to christmas

I like that there is still some surprise to it even though I personally picked all of the acts.

I think this would be really fun and rewarding for older kids, who are old enough to understand it and benefit from the experience.  Knowing there are a few in there that are just for me (spend a few hours on the roof, go for a long run, set up a candle light dinner for me and my love) is pretty sweet to look forward to, too!

Now, this is just one of 4 advent ideas coming your way today!  Be sure to click on my friends’ blog names to check out their blogs or the pictures of their projects below to go directly to their super creative advent ideas!  These are some seriously talented ladies.  🙂

Taryn from Design, Dining and Diapers, Carmel from Our Fifth House and Carrie from Making Lemonade.

countdown to christmas countdown to christmas countdown to christmas

And if you missed Friday’s recap, here you’ll find 11 DIY Ornaments that we made last year.  That link will also answer the question that you might be asking “what does she mean driftwood isn’t just for trees anymore?”.

And if you don’t know why I would think it’s fun to hang out on my roof, you can get the story on that here.

And tell me, is it too early to countdown to Christmas?  Are you into the whole advent calendar/tree thing?  Do you think some of those tags look like green and glittered ghosts?

Update:  Get the complete list of the random acts of kindness here.

pallet art {tutorial}

Here’s the story of my very first pallet project.  Well, for the blog anyway … me and pallets go way back.  😉

Here’s the perfect little pallet in her original glory.

I loved the aged grey color and I loved the width of the slats on the pallet, it’s almost like they were aged down to a narrower size. Perfectly irregular.

I don’t know if it was the long time I let the baby sit in the harsh sun and often pelting rain, or just the nature of the beast, but these slats came off like buttah.  Just use a wonder bar and hammer to pry them off.

To back up just a minute, I had to use a small spackle knife to remove some stuck on spackle (oh, the irony) from the pallet. I had picked it up at a construction site. On a rainy day the blobs of spackle loosened right up a bit and then I just scraped away.

Then I diligently cleaned left the pallet out in the rain a few more days.

A few days after that I took it all apart and laid the slats out to see what I was working with.

I debated cutting the slats down, so they weren’t quite as long. But, I liked the weathered edges and the nail holes and I didn’t want to create clean cuts, so I just left it.

So, let the wording begin.

I used these stencils to trace all of the lettering.
I did a rough eyeball of how many letters would fit on each slat to help me decide on exactly what I was going to say. I determined that each line had to be less than 30 spaces, including all letters and spaces in between words. I also determined that I didn’t want them to be all the same length because I wanted more of a jagged edge look in terms of where all the lettering started and stopped.

I may or may not have decided I liked the jagged edge look because it made the project easier by eliminating the need to make sure the wording on each slat was lined up. I will never tell. 😉

Sooooo, this is what I came up with:

slat 1 – love wholeheartedly
slat 2 – be true to your word and soul
slat 3 – do what inspires you
slat 4 – laugh often dream big
slat 5 – believe in forgiveness
slat 6 – plant a seed take chances
slat 7 – leave only your footprints

Now, just to make it happen. Easy peazy like.

I was able to do all of the stenciling and painting without any major screw ups. I came close to a slat that said “be true tour word and soul” and one with “leave only your footrints” but caught my almost errors in time.

TIP!!! Check, double check and check again after each letter!

Timing wise, it took me about 45 minutes to do all of the stenciling and then about 30 minutes PER SLAT to paint. Those of you who are super artsy can probably either skip the stenciling part all together, or just use your paint directly with your stencil.

Once all of the lettering was done, I just needed to get it all put together and hung. I had originally thought that I would use some of the other pallet wood from the same pallet and nail the slats back on just a little closer together than they had started. But, then I got the idea to weave some wire through the nail holes. I liked this option for two main reasons, 1) it added another element of rustic and 2) weaving wire seemed easier than lining up and nailing all the boards. 🙂

The first step to this plan (that I would have had to do with both options) was to remove all old nail remnants to create an open hole for the wire. I used a nail punch and hammer. These little nail punch thingys are most often used to set nails into wood so you can putty over them before painting and be none the wiser where the nails are.

Then I just looped the wire through the nail holes.

And wrapped the ends, end over end, to secure it all together.

What do you think of the final product?

Beautifully rustic, I think. I like the grey of the wood and the cream color of the paint. I just mixed a few paint colors I had together. It’s very similar to the color I used to paint the words on my Mapped Dresser.

A pretty good sized art piece for about $2, the cost of the stencils, and if you already have stencils, or are crafty enough to freehand, this baby is totally FREE. Unless you need to buy wire.  🙂

So far this year this pallet art has been found in our kitchen above one of our driftwood shelves and in my summer mantel.  And I made a totally different kind of pallet word art here over the summer.

What do you think?

fall craft {pumpkin}

Do you live on a Caribbean island where real pumpkins rot in about .2 seconds from the time you leave the grocery store?


Maybe you’re just looking for a new take on the old Halloween craft project? Or, maybe you’re like me and just love to take something natural and make it into something unique.
fall craft pumpkin

Continue reading fall craft {pumpkin}

update a tray with chalk paint

Happy Monday!!  We’re talking an easy peasy, super simple, the power of paint type of It’s a Cinch project today.

Thank goodness, because I accidentally crashed my own blog yesterday.  And getting it back together is still a work in progress that is testing my sanity  not an easy task. #notfunatall

If you happen to see anything that looks weird, loads funny or doesn’t work please don’t hesitate to offer to fix it let me know.  😉

Today is also the kick off of our Organizing 101 Series.  Free Stylin’ Beth is talking menu planning today!  Pay her a visit to learn all kinds of great tips!!
power of paint And check this out.

power of paint

Continue reading update a tray with chalk paint

diy striped and painted rug

painted striped rugYou know when your husband goes away on a business trip.

And you’re just itching to get a project or two done around the house.

And you have about a half a dozen projects already in mid-stream.

But then you can’t seem to take your eyes off a little eye sore that’s been pulling at the back of your brain for a few months now. Continue reading diy striped and painted rug

how to build a floating shelf

Hey!  Happy Monday!!  How was your weekend?  Mine was particularly wonderful. Celebrating a birthday was the perfect way for me to end ‘this week {in curacao}‘.  And the beginning of the Olympics … just awesome.  Here are a couple of my favorite gals and their gifts for me on my special day. #bestbirthdayever

And for today, we’ve got a how to build a floating shelf tutorial to gear up for our big link party tomorrow.

how to build a floating shelf tutorial

Yes, yes … I did tell a few of you I started work on the coffee table.  And I did.  Promise.  I just didn’t finish it yet.  I hate it when that happens.  🙁

Update:  The coffee table is complete and has shot to the top our favorite DIY furniture pieces list, check it out here.

To be honest, I was kind of nervous about this project and it ended up being so much easier than I ever would have thought.  Seriously.  You can do it.  🙂

how to build a floating shelf tutorial

I’ll give you the secret first thing … wood glue!  Ask any woodworker, the glue is the conduit to long-term success, the screws work as the clamps to hold it all together until the glue cures.  This shelf hasn’t budged one little millimeter.  Scouts honor. (My husband’s an eagle scout so that totally counts!)

BUT, this is where I toss in the ‘don’t take my word for it’ and ‘this shelf has not been tested for weight or safety’ and the space between blog is not responsible for any loss, damage or injury as a result of this post’.

With that said, let’s get started!

First step, cleaning and measuring my wall to determine how long I wanted my shelf. Have you guys ever used a Magic Eraser sponge?  They really work magic at getting off all kinds of marks and stains.  Just watch what you’re doing so you don’t scrub so hard you remove the paint, too.

cleaning with a magic eraser

(I’m realizing now it would have made sense to take an after shot. #notthebrightestbulb)

With my measurement (about 60 inches – why limit myself by an exact number) I cut my wood for the wall ‘cleat’ and the short pieces that would serve as ‘cleat extensions’ if you will.

I was actually able to use all scrap wood that I had recently accumulated from dumpster diving.  Do you guys snag perfectly good construction material out of the dumpster?  It has probably saved us thousands of dollars over the years.  In using the scrap wood, I decided that my shelf supports didn’t need to extend the entire length of the shelf. Personal opinion here, if I were to buy wood I would buy enough to make the ‘cleat’ the entire length of the shelf.

how to build a floating shelf

This ‘cleat’ and ‘extensions’ piece is the same wood that was used as the pole that hung the entire one screw gallery wall.

I glued and screwed my cleat into the wall and then glued and screwed the extensions into the cleat.  In hindsight, I would have glued and screwed the cleat extensions into the cleat first and then attach the entire thing to the wall.  Not that it affects the end result, I just think it would have been easier… and I might not have broken a drill bit while screwing my pilot holes in the extensions at the angle to use the screws to attach the extensions to the cleat.

how to build a floating shelf

NOTE!!  We have concrete walls, eliminating my need to find studs.  For standard drywall and wood walls you will need to attach your cleat to the wall directly into your studs.

Update:  Now that I have a pocket hole jig I would use that instead of the screws at an angle pictured above.

Once the innards are complete, it’s time for the actual shelf.  I had two perfectly good pieces of 3/4 inch plywood to use.  You could definitely use a thinner piece of wood if you had it or needed to buy it.  Thinner is cheaper.  🙂

Using my jigsaw, I cut the length of the shelf.

Tip!!! Use clamps and a straight edge to help cut a straight line with a jigsaw.

For the depth of the shelf (how far it comes out from the wall), the measurements needed to be more exact to ensure that the top and bottom were the same width.  You could definitely not add a bottom, but I wanted a box look without being able to peek up at the cleat.  Personal opinion.

So, I measured the distance from my jigsaw blade to the edge of the jigsaw guard.  And on my wood, I measured the depth I wanted (9 1/2 inches, based on a professional opinion found here) and added the allowance for the jigsaw guard to determine where to clamp my straight edge to help this unsteady sawer (… not a word?).

(The third picture shows how to get creative if your straight edge isn’t as long as the cut you need.)

Now, this straight edge technique is not fool-proof.  I am one fool who knows that.  😉  My jigsaw’s guard also swivels and, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep the darn thing straight.  But that’s what wood putty and/or caulk is for.  🙂

OK, you have the top and bottom of your shelf cut, now onto the edges.  For the sides I used the same scrap piece of plywood.  Just measure the height of your cleat and add in the width of the wood you used for the top and bottom of your shelf.

Height of cleat (1 inch) + (Width of wood for shelf top and bottom (3/4 of an inch) X 2) = Height of shelf (2 1/2 inches)


I have to admit, that was a bit mathy for me.  But I hope it makes sense.  I cut two end pieces 9 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches high.

Which only leaves the front.  Oh, the front.  I was really leery of my ability to cut enough straight lines in a row to make a front that would look good out of the same plywood.

I sifted through my driftwood collection to see if I had anything that would work.  Nope. But I found this piece of scrap wood I had lying around.

how to build a floating shelf
This type of wood is often used as a decorative ceiling in homes around here.  Check out the ceilings in many of the rooms here to see it all painted and beautiful.  I had snagged a few of these triangle pieces from the trash pile of a friend who is building a house.

I figured the additional detail of the dado would help distract from any straight line cutting sins I was about to make.  Fingers crossed … and feeling impressed with myself all at the same time that I can actually use the word dado in context.  🙂

After I had the pieces for the front cut, I attached the top, bottom and sides using drywall screws screwed into the sides so they wouldn’t be seen from the front.

how to build a floating shelf

I think having the front open made it easier to hoist the shelf unit over the braces.

how to build a floating shelfI did paint my shelf before I attached it to the wall, two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White … then some distressing.

Which only left the last steps of adding the front using a few small nails and screwing the shelf into the cleat.

how to build a floating shelf

After a little touch up paint the job was done.  Start to finish it took me about six hours. Thankfully I was able to get all caught up on the Kardashians during the process. 😉

how to build a floating shelf
What do you think?  I really believe anyone can do this project.

how to build a floating shelf

You can see how I made the dog silhouette art here and how I made the leaf wreath here.

And you can find all the details of how I decorated the mantel for fall with upcycled and repurposed finds here.

ideas to decorate a mantel for fall

decorating ideas for the fall mantel

I’m here today following my dreams.  🙂

Remember the dream?  The one for this blog to be in print.  I talk all about it here.

And, since I’m one to follow my dreams, and I just happen to have a new shelf ready for some new decorations, and I wasn’t blogging last fall … I present to you now a little fall decor.  🙂
fall mantel

Fall in July … it’s sure to be the new Christmas in July.  I’m sure of it.  😉

But, really, what’s a girl to do?!?!  The call to action came … Continue reading decorating ideas for the fall mantel

the temporary tattoo image transfer technique

Do you ever wear a temporary tattoo?  No, I’m not talking to your kids.  I mean you.  🙂

Pin It

I do.

And it turns out that habit came in handy when trying to figure out how to do an image transfer on the cheap.

I still don’t have a vinyl cutting machine, or even any idea of what those things are and how they would work.  But I have a home printer, and Picmonkey.  And, I need Picmonkey for this because I don’t know how to reverse text in Word.  Do you?  Do tell.

Update: I shared how to reverse text in Word here.
Update #2: I made another, more extensive project using this technique here. Continue reading the temporary tattoo image transfer technique

old door {message center}

Well, now that I’ve actually made the door-turned-something-or-other into said something-or-other, it really doesn’t open and close.

But, metaphorically speaking, I still like the title.  After all of the contemplation, and many an hour at work on the probably should have stayed in the dumpster found door, I decided to make her into a message center.  And, I am down right smitten with her.  (Thank goodness, because she did not come easy.)

I don’t know about you, but I am a lister.

If I were a DJ, my name would be Sir Lists Alot.

If I were on Grey’s Anatomy, my name would be Dr. McListy.

If I had my own reality tv show, it would be called The Real Lister of Curacao.  I know, I know … it sounds riveting.  😉 Continue reading old door {message center}

pallet wood project {kitchen crate}

Or, what I like to call my Free Pantry Upgrade.  😉

I can’t even say that with a straight face.

We have established that we live in a breadbox, so I’ve been getting creative with some storage.

I’ve had our pantry type items in the hutch since we moved here.  But once the hutch became the tv stand, that’s been kind of weird. Continue reading pallet wood project {kitchen crate}

DIY canvas silhouette art

Bow wow wow … yippie yo, yippie yay … Snoop Dog in the motha …

That’s probably enough of those lyrics.  😉

Any Snoop Dog fans out there?

I love ALL things music.  I don’t know music, like people in the know know music.  I just love it in all shapes and sizes.  Fo shizzle. 🙂

And who doesn’t love a puppy?  Or a silhouette art of a big dog?

diy canvas silhouette art collage

I got so many great comments on these guys (thanks to you for that!) when I revealed the gallery wall and here’s how you, too, can make canvas silhouettes of really anything you have a photo of.

It’s easy as 1-2-3 (4-5-6-7).  😉

You may remember that my canvases were a couple of Goodwill finds that I flipped back to front?

silhouettesThey are the two on the right.  The one on the left got painted black and turned into number art.

You could easily just buy new white canvases but I rarely take the sensible easy way. These are 12 x 12 inch squares and only cost me $2 a piece.  That ended up being the only money spent on this project.  Booyah!

Since these canvases didn’t have any backing I just had to flip them over and, using a mini pry bar and hammer, remove all of the staples.

silhouettesI do recommend not stabilizing the canvas with your knee unless you’re ok with this happening.

silhouettesI’m happy to report I will survive.  🙂

TIP!!!  After you remove all of the staples I recommend ironing the creases in the canvas to bend the other way so you’re not fighting with the canvas when trying to restaple it inside out.  Make sense?

silhouettesThen you really just have to line up your seams and restaple the canvas back on the frame.

OK, so now you have your blank slate, er, canvas.

One of the funnest (Yes, I know it’s not a word, but I like the non word so choose to use it.) parts of this project was scouring all of our photos for good profile pics of the girls.

I mean, who doesn’t love to lay their head on a pillow?


Thank goodness this wasn’t a snapper.  (We have very few picture of Mico even remotely looking in the direction of the camera.)

silhouettesThey just make me smile.

And look at this wicked cool pic my brother took of his border collie out in the field on the farm.  RIP Capadoo.  :*(

silhouettesBut, back to the silhouettes, I was looking for profile pictures, so I picked these.

*I ended up using a different picture of black dog because once I had the sitting picture cut out I didn’t like the way it looked.

After I had my pics selected I resized them so they would fill an 8 x 10 sheet of paper and printed them on regular paper on my at home printer.  If you want a bigger canvas you could definitely resize the pic bigger and have it printed at a printer.

Or, have you heard of Block Poster?  I haven’t used it but from the looks of it you can upload an image, enlarge it and then print it in blocks so you could maybe tape it together and follow the rest of the steps here.

If you have tried this, or try it now, please let me in on the deets, I’d love to know!

TIP!!!  I rotated my photos to the direction I wanted during editing, but realized after printing that I didn’t need to because you could just trace your silhouette with your printed pic upside down.  Duh!  😉  Also, flipping your cut out image upside down to the plain white side of your paper gives a good idea of what the silhouette will look like without any of the other details in the photo.

diy canvas silhouettes