Monday, January 31, 2011

It’s all Good

Well, I’ve been having a whirlwind week of good news (and it’s only Monday)! I just have to share all my good news with you (as I'm way over that day from $@!! driving in the blizzard). First, the boy’s bathroom (remember that ugly thing) is almost ready to be painted. The granite top (had a top made from a scrap piece, so it was inexpensive) was installed today on top of our old cabinet vanities (which I cleaned like mad this morning). Still missing door and a hinge and well, I guess I could use new knobs since only half of them match (How did that happen? And more importantly, HOW did I NOT notice until NOW? ) 

The plumbing is going in this week (just in time for my inlaws to join us this weekend). Will probably put off painting until they are gone, but I’m going with a dark tan and a dark brown ceiling. I’ll be painting a big tree on the wall facing the door…so excited.

top-10-Project-300-thecsiproject.com1_.pngNext, I’m excited to say my Vintage Valentine boxes made the top ten at The CSI project…woo hoo! 
Finally, I’m inundated with custom orders from my etsy shop! I’m going to be a busy, busy gal, but a happy, happy one. So, I will share some of my creations with you over the next few weeks when I get a chance. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Soft White and Blue

A while back I received my grandmother's vanity, armoire, and dresser....1920's art deco. Lovely. Used the dresser and armoire forever, as is, because the wood was so pretty on them. However, the vanity sat in my basement and sat, and sat. It was sad.

So, another while back, I pulled it out and it was happy. But, it still looked sad.

So, I sanded, primed and painted it, a beautiful off-white. And, now it looked happy, too.
I added little touches of blue to match the color of my walls and hand painted the flower to mimic the fabric toss pillows I have on my bed...pillows placed only when company comes.
Now, that's one happy vanity!

I'm linking to
Songbird's, Why I Love White Party.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

So, You Think You Had a Bad Day...

My adventure started when I drove half way to the ski resort and realized that I forgot one ski boot (I'm not going to try and explain). I should have just gone home then, but I had an excited 10 year old in the car ready for a day on the slopes. Since we were spending the night at my sister's (half way point) and my teenage son agreed to meet me half way with the other boot (in exchange for a tankful of gas), I decided to meet my son at Barnes & Noble (smart move as you will see). After about 30 minutes, when I called him to see where he was, I joked, "You did remember the boot?" Silence. Two hours later (he got lost, too) and after reading my third novel, I had the boot.

Next day: It's snowing..yippee; should be some great skiing. Got to the ski resort to be faced with dense fog and sleet, but we were skiing! Took two runs and my son was begging me to that point we were living ice sculptures.

After a cup of hot cocoa and a quick pep talk, we were back braving the elements and skiing. The snow was great, but getting pelted by ice balls, not being able to see because of the one inch coating of ice on our goggles wasn't. We decided to go back early.
Source: Montreal Gazette

By now the sleet had turned into a blizzard...complete white out. I put my car in four wheel drive and was determined to at least get to my sister's. I won't bore you with all the details, but my 50 minute drive turned into 4 1/2 hours, my windshield wipers froze at one point causing me to drive off an exit blind, passed one overturned car, about 20 cars in ditches, and two jack-knifed tractor trailers. As was driving, my 10-year old was giving me a pep talk, bless his soul.
I made it to a neighborhood about a mile from my sister's house and just abandoned my car there. And, both of us (feeling very much like Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild) began to trek the mile to my sister's in blinding snow. At one point we heard a thunderous noise...a tree had fallen and just missed us!!!
Happy sister's neighbor ventured out to pick us up before we had to climb a steep hill (thanks Brian) and we got to hang out with my sis one more night. The snow is beautiful...I bet the skiing is great...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lots of Vintage Love

Valentine’s Day is all about romance and while I don’t go overboard decorating my house for it (hey, I live with four guys), I do embrace it, creatively. You see when I’m not watching football or writing, I’m sequestered in my art room working on whimsical wall signs and little boxes for my etsy shop. I had fun creating some for Valentine’s Day -- especially these large heart-shaped ones! I decided to display them in a mini vignette in my living room until they sell. (Had to crop this photo close and blur the edges  to avoid getting the large, plastic, Knex roller coaster in the background.)

For this one (right) I chose vintage-inspired paper to cover the top and then stacked paper scraps and bundled them together with twine to evoke a collection of love letters. I even stuck a tiny vintage picture of a guy in there! A little sprig of dried lavender was added as a final touch. I love working in miniature.

The other box (left) is also covered in vintage-inspired paper and embellished with a wood craft heart, swathed in mulberry paper.  I then secured a little key (from my stash) and a paper love note and tied them with twine for a sweet romantic touch.  

Well, I’m off to hit the slopes with my youngest. See you all back here on Thursday or Friday.

Linking to:  Visit

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Button and a Happy Fan

Thanks to Tracy at Tracy's Trinkets & Treasures I have a new button for my blog! Don't you just love it? It's so dreamy and incorporates my two favorite colors -- blue and green! In case, you aren't familiar with Tracy's blog...she shares tons of ideas and seems to have boundless energy. For example, I entered her button giveaway with 14 others and instead of giving away one button...she made them for all 15 of us! Now, I just have to figure out how to add all the codes to get it to work on my blog (don't hold your breath). I just want to acknowledge Tracy's hard work and share this sneak peek of the button until I get it to work. Thanks Tracy!!
And, a big thank you to Sherry at Back 2 Vintage for being my tester and helping me to post my button ... see it's there...just waiting for you to grab it!

I also want to thank my favorite team, The Pittsburgh Steelers for bringing home another AFC championship! Yes, I am part of that crazy Steeler Nation and I live and breath for those amazing Steelers. For those of you who aren't football fans, this means that the Steelers will play in the Superbowl on February 6 against the Green Bay Packers. Looking forward to this awesome game! And, yes, our family gets a little nuts when it comes to the Steelers. Above is a picture from the last Superbowl...boys went a little overboard with the "eye black!"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Another Day, Another Estate Sale

Ho, hum…not! 

Found some goodies…wish I could have been there earlier because I was drooling over all the fun finds in everyone else’s stash! However, I did manage to find these lovely goodies like the tiny little shoe mold, primitive bowl and little wooden box above! And...
Old bread loaf maker …love that that rusty patina! It’s going to be a planter…just wait!
Bowl already being put to good use!
Nice sturdy iron welcome sign…I think I’ll paint it! 

And speaking of paint…check out these little mirrors. They are going to be a lovely shabby chic off white soon.

And the piece de resistance…This awesome desk chair for $20! I finally have something that actually will look good in my kitchen (although my son is fighting me on this…he likes the comfy really ugly one that’s there right now). Got to find a cushion for this baby fast!! Linking to Vintage Revivals.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Heart Boxes

Finally, finally getting to my Valentine’s Day boxes…ideas have been swimming around in my head for days, but life and work just kept getting in the way! Don’t ya just hate it when that happens?
So, what did I create? Well, the box on top for one. Now, how did I do it? Let me share that with you.

I started with a wooden heart box that I snapped up at a yard sale, sanded it, primed it and then looked at my paper stash for a pretty paper with just a touch of pink in it. I mixed a glazing medium with DecoArt’s slate grey acrylic paint (one of my favorite colors for antiquing). Applied the glaze, let it sit for about 15 seconds and then wiped it off.
Then, I distressed the paper heart around the sides with some Stayz-on ink – you need to use permanent ink or else the ink will smear. Glued it down. Now, the fun begins! I checked out my stash of broken vintage jewelry – just look at all that eye candy! 
Found an old lace doily – it was my grandma’s, but badly stained – and cut a sweet little piece. Glued it down. Then artfully arranged the vintage pieces on top. I used my old faithful gorilla glue to secure it. 
One down, four to go. I’m going to be a busy gal this weekend...

Linking to: 
504 MainChic on a Shoestring Decorating

A Little Knick Knack
Party Button

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting There

Well, the tile is in place for the kids’ bathroom..see the nice shade of rust and brown to hide well water stains? Used up the leftover tile from my bathroom, too! Next up, dry wall repair, which means I’ll have to say good bye to this lovely beach mural done by a local artist…on to the next phase.

I loved the ceiling in my before bathroom – navy blue with gold stars. Now, I plan on painting it a dark brown and no stars – my boys are growing up!

The walls will be a medium tan, but I still want to bring some whimsy into the space because I have a 10-year old. I’m thinking, since we have a white tub, sinks and toilet, to paint some sort of white silhouette on the wall with the window (basically, the only wall). Not exactly sure what, though. My 10 year old likes the beach so something maybe something beachy – sea grass?  ideas?

And, I’m still up in the air about the shower curtain and window treatment. I used a regular (well, it was cool) bath towel for the window treatment before and tied it up with nautical rope since I had a nautical theme going on. However, after 15 years living in Annapolis, I'm way beyond nautical themes. 

Any ideas, blogland? Remember, this has to appeal to a growing fourth grader and a teenager…
Linking to:

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Uses for Old Things

 I'm trying, but not ready for the big holiday coming up...planned to have lots of Valentine-related items ready for my etsy shop, Where the Grass is Greener, but I am swamped with renovations, work, and life in general. 
Good news though, took a lot of photos this weekend for my other shop, Country Tag Sale and I'm having fun experimenting with different photo backdrops and props. For example, remember, those cool felt flowers I found at Bath and Body Works? Well, I'm using them for props in photos (until I sew them on a shirt or purse or something). 

Tip for today: find new uses for things. (Love that section of the magazine Real Simple, don't you?)

Some ideas:
Old levels: hang them on the walls to display family photos.
Hockey sticks: use as curtain rods for a boy’s room.
Cheese grater: take a basic nightlight and attach it with wire; and plug it in for a kitchen nightlight.
Bath Towel: Use a decorative towel as a make-shift curtain in your bathroom. It actually looks cool...I did it.

Mailboxes: Hang one on the inside of your home as part of a message center adding a whimsical storage idea. Use them to hold keys, school papers and outgoing mail.
That's all for now.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Organization – That’s What We Need

I am overwhelmed. My house is a mess, my deadlines are looming, and my taxes are due. I need to organize, but I don’t have time to organize. However, I can write about organizing – that’s one thing I can do! Do I follow my own advice? To a point. Some parts of my home are very organized. My office is organized…it has to be. So are some of my closets. 

Here is one great organizing tip for everyone:
Don't buy any organizing tools (except maybe a book) before you have a master plan. Organizing experts say that many people purchase organizing accessories and tools (you know the pretty bins, shelves, matching padded hangers, baskets) before they actually have a strategy and that’s a problem. 

Why? They end up adding more stuff to their stuff (even though it’s organizing stuff) and they’re back to square one. Instead, begin with a vision and using what you have -- recycled items from your home, garage sales or consignment stores.

Here’s a look at my organized office:
An old, wood toolbox serves as a great magazine holder.

 Baskets hide papers.

  Mailing center for etsy stores.

Little plant potting thing holds my pencils, etc.

Next, I’ll tackle the hall closet…stay tuned. Linking to:


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bringing Winter Inside

Yes! It finally snowed here in Maryland. Well, it snowed a little earlier in the season, but didn’t stick long enough. We have a two-hour delay, which makes for a nice relaxed morning. So, I thought I’d share a few simple ways to keep winter here a little longer. Place greens in a colorful bottle. See how beautiful the sunlight shines through the bottles…

Some other winter vignettes – drape some winterberry garland here and there:

Winter candles are so pretty, too:

Finally, making paper snowflakes and hanging them on your window is so pretty and so simple. I hang them by using a glue stick! (Just spray Windex to get it off later.) Yes, I have to make new snowflakes every year, but it’s become a little tradition for my son and me.

The best instructions that I’ve found to make paper snowflakes comes from – I hate to say it – but Martha Stewart. Check them out at
Linking to: