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Waiting For Paint To Dry Leaves Enough Time To Try Something New

Waiting For Paint To Dry Leaves Enough Time To Try Something New

While I was waiting for the paint to dry on our little desk, I wanted to think of a birthday present for my friend Alyssa.

Her husband Tim was throwing her a surprise 30th birthday party, and I wanted to make her something unique. (Don’t worry, the party was on the 11th, so I’m not ruining the surprise.)

Anyway, Alyssa has such a strong faith and love of family, that I thought she might enjoy a handmade picture frame with a picture of her two boys.

I had just enough leftover wood from making the frame around the bathroom mirror to make a picture frame.

First, I needed a picture of the boys. Every Christmas I take a picture of them by this Santa who stands by our front door. It’s fun to see how much they change from year to year.

Plus last summer when Wade and I went to Atlanta for the blogging conference, I got this jig kit from Kreg. I have been wanting to try my hand at using it and figured I would start small with a picture frame.

I wanted to paint the frame white so, I changed the current photo from colored to black and white using the handy-dandy PicMonkey editing tool.

I printed the picture itself to be 3 ½ x 4 ¼ inch. With that dimension, I wanted a one inch border around the picture. That makes the inside of the frame 4 ½ x 5 ¼ inches.

Now that all of the dimensions were calculated, it was time for cutting.

Using “measure twice cut once” as a rule of thumb, I cut the four sides of the frame using my miter saw with the laser beam.

From here, I set up the jig to drill the holes for the screws which hold everything together.

The tricky part about this was the set up. But fortunately Wade was home to help me read all of the directions and attach it correctly.  Truth be told, it wasn’t that tricky, it just took some patience, something I am always short on.

Using my drill with a bit that is supplied in the kit, a quick back and forth motion created the spot where the screw is inserted to attach the two pieces.

I wish I could tell you that this frame turned out A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!

But yeah, no, it wasn’t perfect. In fact it wasn’t even close enough.

However, it does look really cute in my barn red cabinet.

Round two will be better suited for a birthday gift.  🙂


I Seem To Have Established A Pattern: Thursday Is Now Known as Reveal Day

I Seem To Have Established A Pattern: Thursday Is Now Known as Reveal Day

I seem to have established a pattern.

For whatever reason, Thursday’s have morphed into the unofficial “Reveal Day” on the blog.

So as not to disappoint, here is the reveal on the desk I promised.

This is  where we started:

Then as I shared earlier, this is where we left off: (Click here for that story.)

From here, all of my plans to leave the top as is, flew out the window! You see, I didn’t love the aged gray paint color with the faux/cherry redwood shiny plastic looking top.

My first instinct was to sand the top down and stain it. But as I started to sand in one little spot on the corner, the wood underneath was….well let’s just say it wasn’t going to work.

My next thought was to paint it white. And then I painted it black. I wish I had some super cool, artsy reason, but no, I just grabbed a can of leftover black paint instead.

The legs and the top are both a chalky paint. The black is the same paint I used on this project and this project.

Although I did paint a second coat on the legs, one coat of paint without a bonding agent did the trick on the top!

Knowing that this desk would get a lot of use,  I did add Miss Mustard Seeds Top Coat to protect the finish.

The desk is ready for paperwork and tax preparation!

Now I need to get ready. Ugh, taxes.  🙂


Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day


Happy Valentines Day!

I have the cutest guest blogger today. My Sam.

Hi everyone! It’s Sam. I’m back. Mom asked me to write a guest post for Valentines Day.

So, before I start I have to say that I don’t have strong feelings towards this holiday. I know some people love it and celebrate everyone in their life and all the ones they love. And other people hate it, they think it is a holiday where people spend too much money and/or it makes them feel lonely.

I think it’s just nice to have a specific day to show people in your life that you love and appreciate them.

With that being said, I don’t usually go above and beyond with presents for this holiday. Well…I usually don’t go above and beyond presents ever because I’m still in college, working part-time and money is tight.

So, I was thrilled when Mom suggested I print out this free wall art from for a Valentine’s Day present.

Justin and I don’t have a ton of decoration in our apartment. This little section above our couch in the living room is my pride and joy. Unfortunately, Justin doesn’t agree.

Justin strongly dislikes the anchor wall art that’s hanging now because we have anchors all over (I’m a little obsessed), so even though he may not appreciate home décor as a gift, I think he’ll appreciate this.

I’ll have to keep you updated on that. 🙂

Here’s the finished project! I love it!

Happy Valentines Day!


Jump Right In And See What Happens

Jump Right In And See What Happens

Usually I am a “jump right in and see what happens” kind of person. Reading every word of directions is not something that I do very often.

I skim over them, look at pictures and then jump.

So, with the project of painting our king size bed frame, looming in the near future, I decided that maybe I should at least practice with a similar looking piece we have in our house and see how it turns out.

That practice piece was this desk that sits in the loft bedroom.

Although it looks kind of fancy, it is not. I bought this piece off of Craigslist for $20. The family that was selling it had it listed for quite a while and they needed this piece gone so they didn’t have to move it.

Lucky me.

There is nothing wrong with the desk. It is sturdy and almost scratch free. However it is a very bright and shiny red wood, not to be confused with redwood, and it needed to calm down. (If you are wondering, that isn’t a drawer. The handle on the front is decorative.)

I chose this paint from Rustoleum in the color Aged Gray.

You can see on the front of the can that this chalked paint can be applied to a variety of surfaces.

I took that to mean that it would stick to whatever I put it on, no sanding necessary. That was the selling point I was looking for since I would be working on this piece inside.

I also took a chance and didn’t add any bonding agent. You think I would’ve learned from a previous mistake, but remember the “jump right in…” thing I like to do, well, I jumped right in.

I flipped the table onto it’s top and painted the legs and underneath side first. Where the desk sits now, you can see under it, so that’s why I painted it. Typically I wouldn’t.

After this dries, I will see if I need a second coat or have to start all over and add bonding agent.

I’m thinking I may leave the top as it is. Not painting the top and leaving the exposed wood seems to be a happening trend.

Jump on back here on Thursday for the reveal.


Sometimes I Just Can’t Help Myself

Sometimes I Just Can’t Help Myself

Sometimes I just can’t help myself.

Like many of you, I find inspiration, an education and at the very least get motivated after reading a post from Thistlewood Farms.

Well, KariAnne has pulled that perfect trifecta again with her post last week titled, ”A Different Kind Of Arrangement.”  She has written a very visual-learner friendly post about how exactly to use this editing tool.

Through a suggestion from KariAnne, I also use PicMonkey to edit my blog photos.

This app has been a lifesaver.

(I do not receive any compensation for chatting about PicMonkey or Thistlewood Farms for that matter, I just like to share things that make me happy.)

Anyway, KariAnne shared a way to edit a picture by selecting the “Curves” box.

Basically, what happens is that it turns a colored photo black and white and then allows you to put color back into the photo.

I went crazy playing with this! It was soooo much fun!

I have put my original photos on the left and then the edited versions on the right.

Don’t you just love this?!! Let me know what you think!


To Paint Or Not To Paint Wallpaper And Our Guest Bathroom Reveal

To Paint Or Not To Paint Wallpaper And Our Guest Bathroom Reveal

To paint or not to paint the subway tile wallpaper was a question I posed recently, and you responded!

Thank you to everyone that gave an opinion. I love hearing what you are thinking.

My Mom had a suggestion to paint a leftover piece of wallpaper to help visualize what it would look like.  (smart lady, right!?)

I used a very, very, minimal amount of paint on my roller and gently applied it. I liked the look, but also knew that I would have to use something besides the roller to reach the edges of the paper.

A brush or anything besides a roller would not give me the uniform look I wanted.

Most of you responded that you liked the unpainted paper better anyway, so, win-win.

And now the only thing left is to share with you the before and after pictures of our newly decorated guest bathroom.



You may have caught a glimpse of the toilet room from the pictures above and the fact that it is still red.

Wade loved the Tony Taupe color so much that he said he would paint the room!

Keeper. 🙂



I Love Me And My Tools

I Love Me And My Tools

I love me…. and my tools.

Being home alone, the only accolades I get are the ones I give myself. And today I praised myself above and beyond what is probably normal. 🙂

Let me explain.

Last night when I was Face timing with Wade, I was telling him that I was going to put up the trim piece above the wallpaper in the bathroom, and needed to know what kind of nail to use.

Before answering, he asked if I was “ready” to buy a nailer yet.

I wasn’t.

And I wasn’t because I wanted the trim piece up right away and I didn’t have a clue how to use a nailer.

He explained the process of putting up the trim piece, without a nailer, by saying that I would need to drill a pilot hole in the trim and all of these other things, which sounded much too complicated, so I decided to go to Home Depot and buy a nailer.

I love me. HeeHee

I picked out the Ryobi 18V straight finish nailer with AirStrike technology. Just like the box says, “There are no compressors, gas cartridges or hoses needed.”

This doesn’t seem super exciting, but let me tell you, a quick review of the easy to use directions and I was nailing!

But wait, there’s more. I also used my miter saw! Wade bought me the saw for my birthday last July and between you and me, I was kind of chicken to use it.

I had an old, no bells and whistles miter saw and it worked fine.

Except for those couple of times when it didn’t.  🙁

I pulled up my big girl panties and gave it a whirl. And let me tell you, it was amazing!

I had some fancy angles to cut (thanks Dad for the help from Texas on that) and it did not disappoint. The other thing this miter saw has that my old one didn’t is this Ghostbusters-like Laser Beam.

All I had to do was line up that laser with my mark and it was a perfect cut.

Now, since I was so full of self love and confidence, I decided to continue this cutting streak in the morning and put a wood frame around the bathroom mirror.

Using these four wood blocks and liquid nails, I simple squiggled some liquid nails on the back of the wood and stuck one in each corner of the mirror.

Although this will adhere fairly quickly, I still used painters tape to hold the top blocks in place.

From here is was a matter of making straight cuts on the boards that go between each corner block, squiggle and stick.

The only things left to do on this project are filling the little nail holes made by the nailer, sealing the edges of the wood around the mirror so it is waterproof, touching up the paint on the boards, re-hanging my towel hooks and of course cleaning up my mess.

I’ll have the full before and after reveal for you on Thursday.

And I promise to be done with the self praise, but not until I look at the bathroom one more time.


One Piece Of Advice About Painting

One Piece Of Advice About Painting

If someone asked me for one piece of advice about painting the walls of your home, I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to say, “Don’t do it if you ain’t feelin’ it!”

Actually that sounds like a great title to a country song.

“Don’t Do It If You Ain’t Feelin’ It”

Don’t paint if you ain’t in the mood,

Don’t paint if your day comes unglued.

If you need to take a break from paint,

Do it.

Just don’t do it if you ain’t feelin’ it.

With lyrics as catchy as those, Blake Shelton will be breaking down my front door to get after ’em! (A girl can dream 😉 )

Not painting is exactly what I did after sharing with you that I was redecorating the bathroom. I trimmed out some of the walls, and then told myself that I couldn’t go any further because I didn’t know how to remove the light fixture and switch plates. 🙂

And that’s where this project sat.

Sat on Thursday.

Sat on Friday. Sat until I felt like painting again

And finally on Saturday, I wanted to paint again.

I found myself full of inspiration, and not only did I take down the light fixture, the towel ring and the switch plates, but I finished painting AND wallpapering.

Now I find myself in a quandary. Should I paint the paintable subway tile looking paper or not?

It will need a trim board across the top to frame the paper, but I am really loving the crisp white look of the paper tiles.

So I am asking for your advice. Which would you prefer,

Paint the wallpaper tiles to match the color of the wall or leave it white?

You don’t need to answer in the form of a country song, but hey if you feel inspired…


Cutest Little Cabin: Demo Days Including Before and Afters

Cutest Little Cabin: Demo Days Including Before and Afters

We have an appointment for our taxes in March. March seems like light years away so I should have plenty of time to get my taxes ready.

I will do almost anything to avoid pulling all of my tax information together. Almost anything. I would rather prepare my taxes then dust. That’s how much I dislike dusting. 🙂

So today, to avoid sitting down and pulling out all of those receipts and spreadsheets, I drove over to the other side of Lake George and took progress pictures of a cabin that our neighbors are renovating.

You can read the first installment about that here.

I honestly thought about walking across the lake with my camera, which as the crow flies would be a shorter distance, but then I realized I would have to walk back. One way or the other, the 15mph wind was going to be against me and today’s wind chill temp is 2 degrees.

Two cold for me!  (pun intended)

K&G, the owners of the cabin told Terry, their demo guy, that I would be stopping by periodically to photograph the progress on the renovations..

This is Terry standing by the front door looking through the kitchen at me. He was so “in the zone” of demo, that I had to ask him to stand still and smile.

Across from the front door, is the/was the bathroom.

The easiest way to describe what stays and what is being removed is, anything brown comes down. New drywall will replace the miles and miles of tongue and groove wood.

Moving from the bathroom, though the kitchen, to the back of the house is the big blue wall in the living area. It will also see some changes and not just repainting.

At the peak of the big blue wall, a small loft bedroom will be constructed.

Down below through the left door is the only other bedroom. The door on the right is the view into the kitchen.

So as of today, the cabin basically looks like a war zone. But things always get worse before they get better.


P.S. If you are one that likes before and afters or in this case, before and durings…here are some side by sides for you.


Big Blue Wall Room:


Surprise Projects Are In The Future

Surprise Projects Are In The Future

I have mentioned several million times that my husband travels a lot. No surprise there. And when he travels, I love to get projects done that he might not be exactly 100% on board with.

Please tell me that some of you DIYers out there do the same thing? Anyone?

Plus, who wouldn’t enjoy a home decoration surprise every once in a while? I personally would love it if I came home from a business trip and someone moved my fireplace to the center of the wall in the living room or even if someone simply built me a wall unit in the bedroom.


He. Does. Not. Enjoy. Surprises.

He has this silly notion that we need to talk about ideas, communicate expectations and create a budget.

Blah, blah, blah.

So, honey, if you are reading this between phone calls and meetings, take a deep breath and just give yourself a chance to absorb the possibility that this could turn out amazing. And then accept the fact that it will be amazing if you absorb this or not.  😉

Ready? This is my next big project, our cherry sleigh bed. Surprise!!

We recently sold these four pieces of our bedroom furniture.

The pieces matched, but they did not come with the bed. So now that we only kept the bed, it needs to look like this.

BUT, I already started another big project so the bed project will not get started until the guest bathroom is done and of course we do the talk, communicate, budget blah, blah, blah, thing.  So, until then here is the progress report on the guest bathroom.

Exciting, right?

The wall only needs to be painted 1/3 of the way down because the rest will be wallpapered, so after a second coat of paint this will be done soon.

I am hoping to have this completed before Wade gets home because, like surprises, he does not enjoy the in-between stage of DIY either.

Love you Honey!