Black Bathroom Inspiration

Lately I’ve been slightly obsessed with painting my boring, closet of a powder room black.  But I’m hesitating.  I mean, it’s BLACK!  And the room has no windows to let in the light.   So of course, I headed over to Pinterest to find some inspiration…

Sexy and glamourous no?  Have you ever painted a room in your house black?  Or do you want to?  I would love to hear your opinions!

Quick Hostess Gift

My kids and I are lucky enough to be spending a few days at the Jersey shore this week with my aunt, my cousin and my cousin’s girls.  We really appreciate being invited to share their beach house so I wanted to bring a nice hostess gift to thank them.  Of course I tried to be a bit more creative than a bottle of wine! Here’s what I came up with.

Michael’s seasonal “trinket trays” turned into drink coasters.  I loved the nautical motifs!  These trays are available in the dollar section.  I just added adhesive felt circles so they won’t scratch the furniture.  To finish I tied the stack of coasters with twine and a sand dollar.

Elegant (and easy) silver star fish frame.  I simply hot glued a piece of drop cloth to the frame matting and then glued the star fish to the drop cloth. Reassemble the frame for instant art.

Add in two colorful beach towels and put it all in a basket for the perfect beach house hostess gift!


Back to School, Back on Track

This week my oldest started Kindergarten. (sniff, sniff)

I was nervous about the adjustment to Kindergarten but he took the changes in stride.  I couldn’t have asked for a better first week of school!

The lazy days of Summer have been fun but I must say I’m glad that we have the structure of school back in our lives.  I’ve got tons of projects scheduled to be completed before it’s too cold to paint outside.  First I’m going to tackle this motley group of furniture.

Amazingly I was able to acquire all this furniture for my daughter’s room for free!

Antique Jenny Lind twin bed – this piece was my Mother-in-law’s childhood bed.  I feel so fortunate that it has been passed down to my daughter.

Empire dresser from Freecycle.  A tall chest will fit the small space better than a long dresser.

Another Freecycle score.  I actually have two!

Quilt rack from my childhood bedroom.  My parents are moving so the quilt rack has found a new home with us.

I know right now that these pieces don’t make a very cohesive bedroom set but I’m hoping that Annie Sloan can help me out with that!

I ordered a quart of Old White from Repurposed and Refined and they were awesome enough to also send me a complimentary brush and 2 color samples!  I can’t wait to try the magic of chalk paint for myself.  Wish me luck!

What are you working on now that the kids are back in school?

Repurposed Laundry Room Cabinet

Remember my old laundry room? (yuck!)

See that upper cabinet?  Well it was removed to make way for more functional cafe shelving.  But I held on to it because I had big plans to transform the narrow upper cabinet into a sofa table!

I added legs some curvy legs for height…

…and trimmed out the top with moulding for a finished look.

After some spray paint inside and out and a few accessories she’s good to go!

And I’m not done with my laundry room castoffs just yet.  I have one or two more projects in mind for the cabinet doors!

You can also see how I reused the laundry room drawers here.

Fun with Chalk Paint

Confession: I had never tried Annie Sloan chalk paint…until last week.  I was prepping to be a vendor at Wild Rose & Co’s Fall Market so I brought out the ASCP to get a few pieces painted up quickly.

I started with this thrifted mirror and a sample of Antibes Green.

The sample was just enough to completely cover the mirror in 2 coats.  The green makes the mirror really POP!  I received a lot of positive comments on this beauty at the sale.  The curvy shape plus the fun color made it a big hit.

Next I tackled this antique pie crust table ($40 on Craigslist) with some Old White.

The distressing really brings out the fun details of the table.

Last I tried out Sherry’s recipe for DIY chalk paint.  I used plaster of paris from Michaels and my free sample of Deepest Aqua from Glidden.  I think the results are so beautiful on this little sewing cabinet that I scored for $1 at a yard sale last year!

The DIY chalk paint does not distress quite as easily as ASCP but the coverage was just as great!  Unfortunately the vintage tag sale did not have quite the traffic we had hoped for so all these beauties came back home with me.   But I’m not too sad.  They will look great in my home too!

Did you know you could make your own chalk paint?  Have you tried it?  I would love to hear your experiences.

Dollar Store Fall Runner

I’m always scouring the dollar store for thrifty craft inspiration.  This season when I saw these felt pumpkins and maple leaves I knew I had to find a way to incorporate them in my Fall decor!  It was so simple and fast to sew three together for a cute Fall table runner.

To sew the felt mats together I simply used a heavy duty needle (the felt is quite thick) and jute twine I had on hand.  Total cost just $3!

My runner is pretty short to fit on the kitchen sideboard but for just a few bucks more (each mat is a $1) you could make one for the Thanksgiving dining table.  Dollar Tree stocks these mats for every season – perfect for Christmas or Easter decorating too!

Have you made any dollar store Fall decorations yet?

A Green Chalkboard Makover

When I think of a chalkboard I think of the iconic “blackboard”.   And most every DIY chalkboard in blogland is made with black chalkboard paint.  But the other day at the thrift store I stumbled on this chalkboard for a couple bucks.  I thought, “how bout a green chalkboard for a change?”.  So I took the little guy home.

While I love the green color the frame seemed a bit boring.  I thought about painting it white or black but neither color seemed right.  So instead I grabbed my antique gold Rub ‘n Buff and got to work uh…rubbing and buffing the frame.

I taped off the chalkboard around the frame just in case.  (Quick tip: Mr. Clean magic eraser removes RnB from chalkboards!)
Here’s the end result.  It’s a subtle change but I think the gold gives the utilitarian design a little more character.
And speaking of trick-or-treat– I hope you all had a great Halloween!

First Christmas Wreaths of the Season

On Saturday I participated in my first-ever craft fair.  The fair was held at my church so it felt very comfortable and it was a great intro to craft fairs.

I focused on creating holiday decor since the fair took place after Halloween and I thought everyone would have Christmas in mind.  I made two different style wreaths to sell at the fair.

The first has a definite vintage vibe.  I picked up the vintage jello tin at a thrift store.  The silvery, sparkly tin just said Christmas to me but I wasn’t sure how I was going to use it.  Then it occurred to me the size was perfect for a wreath!

The wreath was snapped up my daughter’s preschool teacher so I know it went to a good home!  But  you bet I’m keeping my eyes peeled for more jello tins.

The second wreath I created was the hit of the sale!  I only made one but I have orders to make seven more!

I love that the burlap and sparkle say Christmas in a subtle way.  This wreath is also so versatile – it could work for any season just by switching out the bow!

Have you crafted any Christmas wreaths yet?

A Crafty Creative Christmas

You can find me today at Me Making Do! I’m sharing a tutorial for making vintage sheet music ornments as part of A Crafty Creative Christmas hosted by Heather.

If you want to see what I’ve been crafting up for Christmas click over hereto check it out.

Thanksgiving Decorating with Martha Stewart by Plaid

This year I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house for the FIRST TIME EVER.  As you can imagine I am a little bit nervous and extremely busy putting the house in perfect order.

Decorating the dining room is a top priority so I was really thankful when Plaid Crafts sent me a box full of crafty goodness!  The box contained a ton of fun holiday paints, stencils and tools from the Martha Stewart craft lineby Plaid.   Here’s what I came up with to decorate the dining room!

To create my “Gather” banner I used fabric & ribbon from my stash, satin Martha Stewart paint in chestnut brown and the Fancy Script alphabet stencils.  The convenient thing about Martha’s craft paint is that it’s multi-surface.  I didn’t need to use fabric paint to stencil my banner and I can use the same paint on glass, wood, ceramic or any other surface.

I haven’t had good luck with stencils in the past, but the letters for the banner came out beautifully.  The foam pouncer made it really easy to control the amount of paint so that paint didn’t leak under the stencil.  I couldn’t wait for the letters to dry so I could put the whole banner together!

But I’m not finished yet!  I also used the metallic copper paint to dress up some faux pears for place cards.

I’m loving how the light coat of metallic copper gives the pears a subtle sheen.  I think it brings the Spring-y green color into Autumn.  I printed out my guests’ names on card stock and attached them to the pear stem with a tiny bit of glue.


Thanksgiving Recap

Here I am on the big day sporting my new apron – An awesome hand made birthday present from my friend Gigi!

I know it’s a week after Thanksgiving but I think it has taken me that long to recover!  This year I hosted Thanksgiving for the very first time.  We had 13 adults and 5 kids.  I won’t lie – I was terrified.  Thankfully I had the help of friends and family to make the day go off without a hitch!

Here’s the dining room all ready for guests.

We had to move the table off center in order to accomodate 13 chairs.  This was the first time we used the table with both leaves.  I was very excited!

The place settings were tricky.  I don’t have 13 matching salad/dinner plate sets so I mixed my white plates with Golden Gate china given to me by a friend.   You might remember the pear place cards from this post.

This guy was my main source of anxiety.  It was a 24 pounder!  But it cooked up great and 2 hours earlier than I expected.  Perhaps I overestimated how much turkey we needed because we are STILL eating leftovers!

But the best part of the day was when Harry Potter came to dinner!

My son is totally going through the Harry Potter stage.  The whole outfit was his idea.

Christmas Gift Ideas with Nest of Posies

One of my favorite things about blogging is making connections with women who share my passion to create.  And I love to support those who have taken their passion to the next level by selling their handmade wares.  Mompreneurs rock!

One such lady is the talented Kellie from Nest of Posies.  We met through the Crafterminds blogging group where Kellie has asked us to help her get the word out about her brand new line of handmade scalloped posie pins.  These pins are super cute and a great gift for girlfriends, family, and teachers at such a reasonable price – just $5.00!  The colors are gorgeous too!  Here’s Kellie to tell you more about them…

Because we all know that accessories make the outfit.
And ’tis the season for all things merry & bright.
Why not give the gift of handmade to your friends, family or yourself?
Delicious wool felt made into Scallop Posie Pins to coordinate with any outfit.
15 yummy options.
You pick your colors.
Use 1, 2 or 3 to embellish anything. A perfect accessory to add to your coat, scarf, cardy, purse, hair & ________.
Hurry!  Last day to place an order for all wool felt products is Dec 12th.
Visit Nest of Posies Shop to see the entire collection & buy handmade for the holidays.

Rolled Sheet Music Ornaments

In case you missed this guest post I did for A Crafty Creative Christmas, I’m sharing it today!

Vintage sheet music is a lovely element to add to your home decor and Christmastime is no exception!

To create these ornaments you will need the following supplies:

  • Sheet music.  If no vintage sheet music is available there are several printable images online. (I’ve put together a board on Pinterest here)
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush

Start by cutting your sheet music into the desired size.  I cut mine into fourths.

Next roll the sheet music up using Mod Podge to secure the seam.  Brush the entire sheet music tube with Mod Podge to give the paper some stiffness.  This will make the paper less fragile and protect against tearing.  I like to use shimmer, sparkle or gloss Mod Podge formulas to give the ornamanets a little Christmas shine.

When the tubes are dry attach the ribbon of your choice.  Add a ribbon loop or ornament hanger to the center ribbon to hang it on the Christmas tree and enjoy!

The ornaments are also lovely grouped together for decorating or as a special touch on your holiday packages!


Christmas 2011: Family Room Mantel

Last Christmas I used a green/silver/white color scheme in the family room.  This year I went in a totally different direction.

The red and white are so crisp and bright to me!  Loving how this turned out.  Let’s break it down shall we?

I scored these shutters on Freecycle and use them constantly to add height to the mantel.  For Christmas I made a red yarn wreath with thrift store yarn and a styro wreath form.  The JOY ornament came from World Market from $4 and makes the wreath!  I bought the stockings last year at Target and I’m so glad I chose white.  It goes with everything!

The branch is from my yard.  I added some sparkle with spray adhesive and glitter.  Totally free rocks!  But  I have to admit that the tall white vase was a splurge.  I fell in love with it and searched high and low for a lower cost alternative but came up empty.  Luckily when I broke down and bought it at World Market the sales lady gave me 20% off for joining the loyalty program (rationalize much?).

A new element that I added this year is the screen door card holder.  The door is another Freecycle find.  I painted it black and added the chicken wire.  I’m looking forward to displaying our Christmas cards in such an organized fashion!

Last but not least is my absolute favorite mantel decoration: the deer head!  The “canvas” is made of shims from the hardware store stapled together and stained.  Then I used my silhouette to cut out the deer head in two separate parts so that it would be large enough to fill the canvas.  Once the vinyl was positioned on the shims I painted over everything and then removed the vinyl.

When I started the project I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but I have to say I’m thrilled!  I think I will be keeping my deer friend up all winter!

What’s your favorite Christmas mantel decoration?

Quick Handmade Teacher Gifts

This weekend, like most of you, I was super busy trying to check items off my holiday to-do list.  One of the projects I worked on are these cute gifts for my daughter’s wonderful preschool teachers!

Last week I scored fleece scarves from Old Navy for $4.00 a pop.   Then I made three felt flower pins to go with each scarf for that handmade touch.  To finish off the gift, I grabbed the candy cane striped buckets from the dollar spot to use as the festive container (no gift wrap needed!).  I love how the gifts look like little flower pots!

I made three different types of flower pins inspired by some awesome tutorials.  You can find the tutorial for the grey pin here, the pink pin here and the turquoise pin here.  I think the turquoise one is my favorite.  It’s just so ruffle-y and puffy!  These are totally addicting to make.  I made 6 more this weekend for family members.  Consider yourself warned!

Are you making any handmade gifts this year?

Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway Winner!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!  I am completely out of my normal schedule this week since we are away from home visiting family.

But I’m not too out of it to announce the winner of the Shabby Apple dress giveaway!
The winner of the Waimea dress is comment #12.
Congratulations Sally!  Please send your desired size, shipping address and phone number to

Have a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year and see ya in 2012!

2012 To Do List

I’m very excited to follow through with a bunch of design plans for our home this year.  These are all projects I have been thinking about and planning for awhile.  I’m putting my to do list out there so you can keep me accountable and so I will be able to track my progress.

1. Powder Room Paint 

I blogged about my obsession with black bathrooms way back in August.  I even picked up a gallon of dark, inky navy paint and a fabulous mirror.  But the project went on the back burner with Summer vacation and Ben starting Kindergarten.  The powder room is so small this task should be an easy one to check off the list!

2. Big Girl Bedroom Makeover

My little one is turning three at the end of the month and I would love update her bedroom for her birthday.  I’ve collected the furniture (all free) for the makeover now I just need to find the time to do the painting.

3. Tackle the Foyer
Like the powder room the foyer and hall are lacking personality.  Plus we had a leaky pipe repair in the wall so it’s the perfect time for a little paint.   Right now I’m thinking a light, airy blue to brighten the space – there isn’t much natural light.  I’m planning to take the paint up the stairs and include a board and batten treatment upstairs as well.  (I would love to pull up the carpet and paint the stairs as well but that might be a little tooambitious this year.)

4. Sew New Curtains for the Dining Room
The dining room is currently decorated in cream and red.  I’m planning to change up the look by adding in some navy.  So I bought this fabric to make new drapes when it was on sale a few months back.

This one is so simple.  I really just need to pull out the sewing machine already!
Last but not leasat, I’ve got another goal for 2012 to share with you.  However, you will just have to wait till Monday for the big announcement!

The Big Announcement: Persephone

I hinted last week about a big announcement.  Well the day is here!  I am so excited to announce that Cassie of Primitive & Proper and I have formed a creative partnership to open our own shop called Persephone!

I am so thankful to Cassie for being one of my strongest supporters since I started this blog.  We were lucky enough to meet last year and totally hit it off.  Since Cassie has moved a bit closer to me we are able to get together for crafting and conversation and that’s how Persephone was born!  Joining forces to pursue our passion together is the perfect way for us to balance work and home life.

You can read more about Persephone in our “press release” created by Cassie below.

We are pleased to announce that Sarah, aka The Thriftress, and Cassie of Primitive and Proper  have joined creative forces in a new retail venture called….

“Persephone” is our new business name for our own little retail space at Wild Rose and Co in Walkersville, MD.  Wild Rose & Co was founeded by my pal, Lynette, and is the cutest little boutique featuring vintage finds, furniture, and even cute boutique style clothing, candles, soaps, and more!  Here is a glimpse of the shop in case you have never been there…

Sarah and Cassie are thrilled to become part of the creative team of vendors at Wild Rose.  We hope to bring even more fabulous upcycled vintage finds, fresh home decor, and even more vintage hip-ness!

We hope to see you there for our Grand Opening on Saturday, February 4 from 10 am until 5 pm!  Wild Rose is located at 21 West Pennsylvania Ave, Walkersville, MD 21793.

Sarah and Cassie plan to start up a Persephone Facebook page as well, so we will let you know as soon as that is up and running!  Thank you so much for your friendship and support- we would not be doing this without you!

If you are in the local DC area I would be thrilled to see you at the grand opening of our shop on February 4th!

Lego Party Part One: Decorations and Food

Last week my son turned 6 and we celebrated with a Lego themed birthday party.  I kept the party small – just 6 friends – so that it was manageable and more fun for everyone!

When the guests arrived they were greeted by this Lego “6” door hanger.

It was super easy and cheap to create this fun door hanger with my son’s Legos.  It was inspired by a similar door hanger here.

In the foyer I decorated the telephone table with balloons and Legos and stacked up the Lego head “goody bag” containers.

In the kitchen the dessert buffet was set up with more Legos and balloons.

This little guy is my answer to the party store not carrying a Lego pinata.  He was completely improvised at the last minute with a coffee can, crepe paper and curly ribbon.  Since you can’t bash a coffee can with a stick to get candy this is the pull string variety.  The curly ribbon was tied to a few layers of crepe paper covering the bottom opening.  I held it up above the kids heads, each one grabbed a string and on the count of three they pulled making the candy rain down.  I think I’m sold on pull string pinatas from now on!

I also crafted up these fun Lego brick pops.  These are waffle shaped pretzels dipped in blue and green candy melts and topped with pretzel M&M’s.  I think they look just like Lego bricks but my husband had no idea what they were supposed to be!  (You can totally tell right? right?)  Either way they taste awesome!

The juice boxes were dressed up with free Lego brick printables from here.

And of course we had cupcakes!  I made the candy minifigures and bricks with silicone molds found on Etsy.

I’ll be back later this week with Lego Party Part 2: Activities and Goody Bag Treats.  Till then, you can see all my Lego party inspiration on my pinboard here.

Persephone Grand Opening

Saturday was the grand opening of Persephone, my joint venture with Cassie!  We had a great day at Wild Rose greeting shoppers and friends.  Thank you to everyone who came out to wish us well, including Gail and Sharon and her daughter Megan!

Here’s a little peek at our space.

Saturday was the grand opening of Persephone, my joint venture with Cassie!  We had a great day at Wild Rose greeting shoppers and friends.  Thank you to everyone who came out to wish us well, including Gail and Sharon and her daughter Megan!

Here’s a little peek at our space.