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5.29.2014

#MAYkeovers Round-Up

As of May, 2014, there's this #MAYkeovers hashtag 'thing' going on all over social media, 
and I thought I'd just jump into the pool with everyone else! I hope you enjoy these...

Here are the links to ALL of my  
Low/No-Cost Makeover / #MAYkeover Projects:
FREE Weekend Makeover 
Thrifty Weekend Makeover
Weekend Garden House Makeover

shared online:


Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed

5.28.2014

Backyard Bistro

While it's easy to haul out the plastic lawn chairs and folding tables for summer gatherings,
it's not much harder to pull together a stylish outdoor setting
that you can enjoy every day...
 just think 'Bistro' style, and your back deck or patio
could feel just like your favorite neighborhood cafe'!

By using simple furnishings and accessories that you may already have, 
you can create a welcoming and comfortable dining nook outdoors.
It doesn't take a lot of space, either!
A vintage wood table and two metal chairs snug up to the deck railing here,
just as they would at a trendy bistro!

Dressing the table with a white tablecloth
and hanging another as a temporary curtain to block the sun, 
elevates the setting to more than 'picnic' style.

( BTW, the vintage stove in the background has been retrofitted as a bbq,
and the vintage fridge is now a smoker. )

A bouquet of flowers and herbs from the garden finish off this relaxing setting,
perfect for enjoying a late afternoon glass of wine alone or a morning cup of tea.

 Gathering up a few pieces from other areas can easily create 
seating & eating areas on small decks or patios:

On the left, casual beach style is achieved with whitewashed furnishings, crisp striped linens and rug, 
and galvanized metal accents.

On the right, a pretty garden setting is created with white metal lawn chairs and a park bench,
 tucked up to a more modern metal & glass round table.
Accessorize with potted plants and whimsical wire accents,
like a gargantuan birdcage holding a potted miniature rose.
More for relaxing than eating, this area came together in minutes -
 and plastic chairs never looked so classic!
Check out the FREE makeover I did on my brother's front deck here

I snapped this photo at one of my fave cottages at the beach....
which is just out of frame on the left side of the photo.

While the architecture - decking, sunroom window wall, and huge climbing vine-
definitely contribute to the charm here,
it's made up of mostly simple vintage furnishings for easy care:
an old wooden picnic table, some wicker chairs, and a wood table are whitewashed for easy upkeep.
Add a jute rug and a striped umbrella, and the setting is ready to go when you are!

( I often look at this gorgeous area as I walk by, and wonder 
'how many times do people crash their parties?'
because as you can see, it's RIGHT on the public walkway at the beach!
But I'd live there in a HEARTBEAT!)

shared online:

Creative Country Mom | Home Sweet Garden Party

Thank you, Brooke, for featuring my post this week on your blog!


5.21.2014

Summer's Knocking!

I love changing up the decor on the front door every season!
Lest that sound like a LOT of work and a LOT of storage is needed, lemme' 'splain:

The easiest way to do this is to find a container of some kind to hang on your front door...
like the cute white wire cone-shaped basket shown here.
My Mom actually found this at a thrift store
[the nut didn't fall far from the tree!]
and it is proving to be a perfect way to easily - and inexpensively - freshen up the door decor.

For a fresh spring accent in April, I filled the basket with real moss from the yard 
and faux pink roses that came off of an old wreath Mom had shoved in the garage....  FREE!
A snippet of vintage ribbon and it was done:
Now that Summer is arriving, it's time to refresh the basket.

I went to the dollar store and found everything you see below:
one set of 3 flags, one set of flip-flops, 
1 bunch of red flowers and two bunches of white daisies,
and a red bandana.
Cost? $6.


I wrapped the bandana around the foam already in the cone basket,
then stuck the flags and flowers into the foam.
I shoved the flip flops between the bandana-wrapped foam and the back of the basket,
and hung it all on a nail in the screen door.

Fast. Cheap. Easy.TM
... and at the end of summer, it will be filled up with fall leaves and a big ol' foam pumpkin.
From the dollar store.
Because cheap does not mean tacky! 
Yet because it's so inexpensive, 
it's no big deal to throw it all away - instead of storing it for a whole year.

Looking for more 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' ideas for your Memorial Day Weekend decor?
Check these past posts out:

                        Custom Water Bottle Labels                             Easy Bandana Pennant Banner

                Coke Carton Picnic Caddy                                            Game Board Placemats


shared online:

Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}


Creative Country Mom's Garden | Home Sweet Garden Party


5.20.2014

Red, White and Blue - Water?!

diy, entertaining, parties, flavored water, party ideas, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, patriotic, red white and blue, Pinterest, homewardFOUNDdecor.com
one of my previous posts was about my Summertime Front Porch decor..
 and in that post, i shared the photo (below) of my 
strawberry & blueberry flavored water
it really is a simple treat  - 
one that I made and served at the vintage shows that I hosted on my farm in Washington.
It's a simple 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' idea (my trademark!) for summer entertaining:

Just put layers of frozen blueberries, ice cubes, and fresh strawberries

in an old glass jar, then fill the jar with water.

They flavor the water ever so subtly - SO refreshing on a hot day!


I can't believe how many times that image has been shared and pinned since then! 
It's my most popular pin EVER, so I want to thank you for the love!

i've always thought that photo was too dark, 
but i can't remove it because of all of the pins & shares - 
so i've added a better, edited image up above in this post and re-pinned it!

You can see another version of my flavored water here
and here

shared online:

Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}

the How To Home | Project Inspire{d} #274

5.16.2014

Tutorial: Beachy Weathered Paint

I've spent a major part of my life painting things...
it's really one of the fastest, cheapest, easiest ways to give an item new life
and the only limit to your results is your imagination!

As a kid, i was into finger painting - and then hundreds of art projects.
At one point, I was actually painting houses - inside and out.
I painted props and walls and fixtures for retail displays.
I taught an art class for gifted kids, and taught them how to cartoon and paint murals.
I was painting custom murals in homes and businesses, 
and painting furniture for my small store, farmer's markets, and clients.
In the end, I ended up creating new furniture out of old stuff, and adding paint finishes to it.

Seems I've had a paintbrush in my hand most of the time!

Recently, I laid my eyes on an old, worn out picnic bench that Mom has had for YEARS.
You might remember that bench...
She was in my Garden Bar post as a supporting player.
Nothin' much to look at, really.

But since I've amassed quite a few paint tricks over the years,
it was simply a matter of using those with a few steps, a few supplies, and a few minutes
and that bench became a STAR!
She's got a terrific weathered & worn 'beach vibe' now - ready for Summer!

Here's a quick tutorial to show you how to get great results
IN 5 EASY STEPS

Materials:
wood object to paint . paint color 1 . paint color 2 . sand paper . paint brushes
Step 1.
Paint a clean, dry item with paint color 1. Flat or satin finish is best.
Here, the item is an old wood bench and paint color 1 is aqua.

Step 2.
Use a piece of coarse grade sandpaper to sand the piece,
wearing away paint color 1 at the edges and along joints.
Sand in long strokes, not in circles or swirls, so it looks like authentic wear & tear.

Step 3.
The next coat of paint will be applied with a 'dry brush' technique:

Dip the tips of a paint brush in paint color 2. Here, that color is white.
Then stroke the brush against a dropcloth, rag, or cardboard box to remove most of the paint.

Step 4.
Drag the almost-dry paint brush bristles across the item, depositing a small amount of paint color 2.
Do not press hard, just drag the brush over the item's surface to highlight the texture.
Use long strokes across the length of the item - with the grain.

Step 5.
Use coarse-grade sandpaper again to rough up the edges of the item again,
wearing through the white drybrush coat into the base coat.

The effect will approximate that of being left out to weather naturally over time,
instead of looking like an overworked 'faux' finish.

It will weather more on its own if left outdoors, 
or you can add a sixth step: add a coat of clear matte-finish varnish to protect it.

This technique works very well on benches, chairs, tables, 
crates, wood planters, shutters, doors, bed frames, cabinets,
birdhouses, fences & gates, even decks!

Once painted, that overlooked little bench turned in a stunning performance 
in my Breakfast at Tiffany's post!

shared online:

One Project Closer | Creativity Unleashed

Creative Country Mom's Garden | Home Sweet Garden Party
Thank You, Brooke, for featuring my post on your blog! 

5.14.2014

Beyond the Garden Gate...

In my last post, I shared that I don't demolish things in a remodel project.
And if I am anywhere near a project, I don't let other people do it, either...

A wood gate to the backyard at my parent's house had seen better days,
and was on the 'Honey-Do' list for replacement.
My Dad was going to remove it, cut it up, and put it in a dumpster.

Ahhhhhhhh..... NO.
Enter Deb and her decidedly 'different' point of view.
After he took it off the posts and removed the hardware,
I took it. Right out from under his nose. I carted it off.

... and cleaned it off, and found a way to use it exactly as it was:
as a headboard!

All I did after cleaning was to lean it against the wall behind the bed.
That's it.
[ This was a 'Fast, Cheap (FREE!) & Easy' decorating project, to be sure ]

I love the worn, weathered finish of the wood
and I also love knowing that my kids ran through that gate in years past.

I already know that in the future, I'll be making this into a big huge square table - 
probably with big huge fence posts as legs.
I might also hang it on a wall as the backdrop for a fabulous found object.
But for now, in the limited space I have here,
it serves to add some beachy outdoor style to my room.
And it didn't end up in a dumpster.

Dad built a whole new gate, then Mom & I painted it.
 It's gonna' last awhile... but in 20 years, I'll bet I have THIS one, too ;)

Want MORE ideas for using fences and gates as home decor?
Check out THIS POST and THIS POST!

shared online:

Creative Country Mom's Garden | Home Sweet Garden Party


5.12.2014

DIY Kitchen Cabinet - to - Shelf Makeover

This time of year, it seems everyone talks about 'Spring Cleaning'.
Well, we all KNOW that 'cleaning' leads to 'makeover' projects, right??

That happened in the kitchen of my former dream house...
 
Stuck in the early 90's, it was really ready for a makeover.
The oak cabinets were ugly and basically non-functional: 
narrow, hard to get access to the back of the corner cabs, 
and the doors were hung to open backward!
Not to mention they were made of orange-stained oak, 
and there was a weird paint job on the kitchen walls. 
One day, I started emptying them to clean and re-organize...
and I was frustrated beyond belief with how little they held.
[ Let's just say I was a bit VERBAL in my frustration, shall we?]

The husband heard my grumbling, walked in, surveyed the mess, and asked
"Ya' want me to just yank those things down and build you some shelves?"
 
In record time, those suckers were off the walls and out the door!
[ NOTE: I do not demolish things. 
No swinging hammers and flying wood like on HGTV and TLC shows.
Those scenes REALLY make me mad, to tell the truth. ]
We removed the cabinets from the wall, hauled them out to the workshop,
then removed the doors from them. 

Those doors became the new shelves for the kitchen, 
and the sides of one corner cabinet were ripped into strips
 to create the brackets to hold the shelves on the wall.
The rest of the cabs were hung on a wall in the shop for storage.

Painted white, the new shelves were ready to go up within a day - 
AFTER the walls were painted.
A fresh tan paint color on the entire kitchen (walls AND ceiling) 
 unified the spaces that had been split by the overhead beam and 'bay' area on the window side. 
Unseen in the photos, a new track light was installed on the backside of the beam. 
White paint on the window trim made it seem much larger and more open than the previous wood tone. 

[BTW, the rest of the plan was to paint the lower cabinets white, unifying the whole kitchen. 
I never got that far before we had to move.]
The new wood shelf brackets were screwed into the studs, 
the shelves screwed onto the brackets, and the project was done.
Then I noticed that the shelves weren't spaced quite the way I had wanted...
but I didn't say a word. 
This was a vast - and FAST - improvement, so I was just grateful to have it done!

 I filled up those shelves and the counter space below them with functional and beautiful elements - 
and those shelves held over TWICE the amount of kitchenware than the cabinets ever had!!
Best part? This project cost us nothing but time:
We had the paint (our whole house was painted that color), 
we had the screws and sand paper and tools, 
and we used the old cabinet wood for the new shelves. 

It turned out so well, we ended up doing exactly the same thing in the laundry room, too.
But of course, I don't have photos of that. :(

 Don't be deterred from making your rooms function and look better
just because you think it will cost money.... it might not cost a cent!
My next post will have a fun re-purposing idea for your bedroom decor

More Spring decor inspiration on Pinterest!

shared online:
Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}