Thursday, January 24, 2013


These storage boxes were good ones,
but I needed more places to put things.

I had these boxes sitting around.

I turned them into this.

I also had these boxes available.

I turned them into this.

Now I have a few more storage options.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Our two big trees caused us so much grief
with the leaves, and the leaves, and the leaves! 
It was a never ending battle - no matter the season.

Not to mention, this monster was getting ready to 
lift the foundation of our garage.

We decided to have it removed.

We kept the front yard tree,
but trimmed it back significantly.

I bet our green trash bins aren't 
going to miss those heaps and heaps of leaves.
I know I'm not.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

office storage.

we saved this vertical pantry from the first remodel.

I finally had a stroke of genius of how to repurpose it.
I removed the doors, turned it on its side,

trimmed off awkward edges, sanded, painted, 
 and added a horizontal shelf and dark legs.

Then, I got some boxes from Ikea and Target,
so my very messy office will now be organized.

Monday, January 14, 2013


This big pillow was smashed into this little cover, 
which made it look like a "fat man in a little coat."
(thank you, Tommy Boy, for the mental image)

That fat man was ready to loose some weight, 
so I lipoed out some stuffing and now he's more slim.

I also had leftover fabric from these curtains,

so I attempted to make my first pillow:

 I think she's pretty cute.

Mr. Slim Pillow, please meet Ms. Cutie Pillow.

Friday, January 11, 2013

mom's curtains.

These curtains hung in the house I was born in:

My mom made them for our "fancy" living room.
I took them down the day before the house closed last spring.

They needed a little more length for our guest room, though.

I sewed an additional 7 inches to the bottom,

and now they are just right.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

mona lisa of the north.

This bland bathroom wall had been blank long enough.

I chose meaningful pictures and painted interesting frames.

The first one was the most simple. 
 It's a hand painted watercolor of Sacre-Coeur in Paris.

The others took more deliberate planning.
I silhouetted each item before putting any holes in the wall.

It worked like a freaking charm.

I immediately loved 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Vermeer
when I saw the original painting in Den Haag.

The center painting is another by Vermeer.
It is a view of Delft, one of my favorite cities in Holland.

The candlesticks on the right are "Delft Blue,"
a sampling of the world-famous earthenware produced in Delft.

I got to visit parts of Europe 10 years ago
when I visited my oldest brother during his PhD research.
This is a great reminder of a great trip.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

free-hand circles.

I got this mirror from an antique store for $5.

The wood was really beautiful, 
but it didn't match my intended purpose.
In an attempt to save some of the wood,
I tried painting just the outer portion.

But that looked funny.
So, I invested the 2 1/2 hours to paint each circle:
Amazingly, I didn't get any paint on the mirror.

Also, I got this 70 year old pitcher from the same antique store.
It's fantastic.

Monday, January 7, 2013


This was the wall of the same bathroom in this post 
before I learned those new skills.

I tend to do bigger projects while Eric is on trips,
so I can fix all my "oopsies" before he gets home.

Well, for this project I had to call him and tell him that
"I may or may not have put 8 holes in the bathroom wall..."

I thought that monster mirror was just nailed on.
Au contraire.
The construction adhesive pulled off a lot more than I was anticipating.

It was because of this "oopsie" that I learned how to patch and sand
 well enough to make a bad wall look like a decent wall.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

tiled night table.

I haven't had a night table on my side of the bed for a while.

That's why I was pretty excited to find this on guy the curb 
while taking one of my young women home one night:
 That poor young women was mortified when I pulled over 
and hefted this spider infested piece of garbage into my car.

After sanding and painting, I decided to try tiling the top.
I played with a few different patterns - none felt quite right.

I wanted more gray, but Home Depot didn't have much for me.
Then I remembered that our backyard lawn 
is strewn with these little stones:

I hand-picked the flattest and grayest ones.
After washing, placing, and gluing them down,
it was time to grout ... the part I was most nervous about.

I'm definitely not a professional, that's for sure,
but I think it turned out ok!

The inside of the drawers were pretty grody, 

so I lined them with cork.

I hope the next time that young woman sees this night table
she isn't quite as disgusted.