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Showing posts with label Project HOMEward. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Project HOMEward. Show all posts


A JOYFUL Welcome

I've had the sign from my old business, 'RETREAT', 
which I made from old cabinet door back, since 2010.
I finally decided to take it out of the garage and give it a makeover, 
so that it could be a part of our home for the holidays - and beyond.

It was so 'Fast, Cheap & Easy'
TM , I thought I'd share the process...
continue reading to see!


Farm Table Makeover

I've had the same dining room table for 30 years.
Yep, you read that right!

30 years ago, in the fall of 1986 after my youngest daughter was born,
my husband undertook the largest furniture project he had done at that point
and built me a pine 'Shaker style' 7 foot by 4 foot dining table... and two long benches.
It was my Christmas present that year, and I loved it. 
I have loved it ever since, and I always will....

continue reading to see the 'before and after' transformation!


A Faux Awning Window Valance

In the process of 'making do' with many items we already had on hand to decorate the new house,
Mom and I decided that the orange & white chevron-stripe cotton fabric
would look pretty happy over our kitchen window.

In the old house, there were two floor-length curtain panels of this fabric at the wine bar...
aaaaaaaaand I JUST realized that I never took a photo of that. 
Trust me, it looked great! 

Although we knew what fabric would be on this window,
we really weren't sure what the valance would look like.
Until we went to Hawaii last June...
we walked into a DARLING little shop in Kapaa, Kauai, called Serendipity
(sorry, they have no social media or web presence to link to)
and spied a set of sweet, rustic, rusty BUT lightweight metal brackets on a table.
I held them up, flipped them over, 
and thought "we could use them to hold the curtain rod over the sink!'

...so that's exactly what we did:
This photo shows the brackets holding the lower of two curtain rods -
simply a cheap white metal tension rod, extended to fit the width we needed.
It rests on the top scrolled 'arm' of the metal bracket.
Up above, the higher of two curtain rods is set just below ceiling height.
With high ceilings, there was ample room to raise the fabric panel above the cabinet tops, 
which keeps the eye travelling upward instead of  stopping even with the cabinets.
The rod at the top is a standard cheap white metal rod with curved ends that mount to the wall.
We had both rods, but they only run about $5 each new.

The fabric panel was shortened by half, and we used the existing top casing 
to hang the panel from the top rod.
While I could have sewn a new casing into the new bottom edge, I didn't.
I used masking tape to tape the bottom edge of the fabric to the tension rod
(all the way across)
and then I rolled the fabric up twice to completely cover the rod and the tape.
 The bracket holds the lower tension rod out about 10" from the wall,
and the top rod is only 2" from the wall - 
so the effect is of a fabric awning over the window and the wood blinds.

It's a lot more interesting than just a plan fabric valance panel hanging straight down!

The fabric can be very easily removed for washing, or to change it up.
We even have a piece of muslin painter's cloth sized and ready for use here
in case we decide to go with a more neutral palette one day!
I hope this inspires you to think of things differently - like your window treatments.  
My first choice for this window was actually a vintage metal outdoor awning!
If I ever find a white one that will fit, I'll do it!

Don't just hang a panel or a valance if you have a chance to do something fun instead:
I've used picket fences as awnings and valances

old screens as awnings,

I've hung baby clothes on a clothesline as a valance... 

 See? You can use ANYTHING! Come on and get creative!!!


Thank You, Friends...

Hello, my friends... 
I want to thank you for hanging in here with me lately. I know there haven't been any new blog posts, and there have been scant few posts on the fb page, as well.
Life has just been hard lately, with a LOT of stress and frustration. I don't know about you, but for me, I find it hard to be creative when I am stressed out! I TRY, but my mind wanders and my heart just isn't in it... that's where I've been lately. My Mom has had a huge burden on her shoulders and there hasn't been a single thing I've been able to do to help solve the problem, and it's been wearing us both down... we've just been 'surviving', not really living.
Thankfully, that big, ugly situation was resolved last Thursday: Mom & Dad's old house FINALLY closed escrow and sold! She's endured seven long months of situations you would not believe if I told you - including FIVE failed escrows! - and has had to deal with an agent and broker that have been far less than forthcoming and pro-active. It's taken a huge toll on her, but at last it is over.
She is free now to move forward with a new life after Dad's passing, with a clean slate and hope for a joyful future. I see a huge difference in her spirit just over the weekend, which brings peace to MY heart - I was really REALLY worried about her. Our family gathered this weekend to celebrate and 'christen' the new house, and it made her so happy to have everyone here together. Memories were shared and made, of course a few tears were shed, but the time together was good for all of us. Loss is hard, grief is hard, but love heals. We also celebrated the engagement of my nephew to his wonderful girlfriend, and that added to the joy of our day.
With the stress of the old house mess behind us, I hope to find my enthusiasm and energy return so that I can take on projects around the new house again. I am ready to get back to creating and sharing decor ideas that will inspire you as you decorate your own homes! I am ready for JOY - which is our theme for Christmas this year, btw ;) I'm ready to find joy in my creativity, in daily life, in our home, in seeing things in a fresh new way... and I hope you will join me!
<3 Hugs to you, my 'HOMEees', for your continued support and kindness - I appreciate you more than I could ever express <3
With Love and Gratitude, 


Off the Wall?

Last spring, after moving into the new house,
Mom and I went shopping at the Down Home Spring Sale,
held at the home of Don & Peggy Arbenz.
Several years ago, I wrote about their GORGEOUS antique store in Orange, CA - 
they have since closed the store, but sell at shows and at their own events.

I really love their style,
(I've posted about some of their store's Fall and Halloween displays)
and just knew that we would find some things at their sale
that could be incorporated into our home... and we did!

One of the (many) treasures that came home with us was 
HALF of a tall, weathered wood porch post!
(It had been split lengthwise and has a totally flat back)
As soon as we saw it, we envisioned it as a coat rack in our entry hall:
Okay, well.... to be honest, we pictured it hung vertically... on another wall...

But the more we looked at it, the more we realized that 
this position limited the capacity for holding things -
including decorative things that change with the season.
( You see where I'm going with this, right?! )
So in the end, we moved the position from vertically beside the door 
to horizontally behind the door
(the door would be on the adjacent wall to the left of this photo)

Once hung in place, 
we gathered up a variety of interesting metal hooks from all over the place, 
and screwed them into the wood:
Top Row: 'faucet' hook - etsy . 'JOY' hooks - World Market
Bottom Row: vintage hook - ReStore, WA . silver metal hooks - Hobby Lobby

Find more coat hooks at World Market . HobbyLobby . 

It's a terrific drop zone right inside the door, along with being nice to look at!
The look and content will change with each season, 
making this as much an art gallery as it is a coat rack 

I'm working on a rustic 'Welcome' sign to hang above it, 
and you can see that one of my refreshed chalkboards ended up here, too!


Easy Chalkboard Makeover!

A year and a half ago, I discovered a HAUL of FREE stuff behind a store...
(don'tcha' love it when that happens?!)
There was a HUGE 12' tall 4' wide white hutch with shelves
which I donated the hutch to Laura's House ReSale Store, where I was creating visuals.
(the store ceiling is over 20' high so that thing works perfectly in there!).

And then there were THESE babies:

Two chalkboards that were a bit worse for the wear,
with peeling paint and dirt for DAYS.
I kept them anyway! They've been in storage ever since.

I got inspired recently, and pulled them out of the garage for a makeover...
after I cleaned them, repainted the black chalkboard surface with flat black paint,
and covered up the dark red trim with flat white paint,
I got to work on the lettering.
Here's a simple way to do the lettering:

Determine what you want to say, and what font to use, and how large it will be,
then print or draw it onto plain white paper - use pen or pencil.

Flip the paper over, and use a white crayon to color across the back 

of entire area where the words are on the front.
(Make it a pretty thick coat of crayon for it to work best.)
Flip the paper back over, carefully set it in place on your chalkboard surface -
wherever it is that you want the words to be situated - 
and then use a pencil or ballpoint pen to trace back over the original lettering.

Put as much pressure as you can on it without tearing the paper OR moving the paper.
When you've traced the whole word, carefully lift the paper straight up.
You'll have a perfect outline in white crayon of your lettering.

Now just fill it in with white paint (if you want it permanent) or with white chalk.
I used very small brushes to apply flat white paint on mine,
then I added detail using a black fine-point sharpie marker:
The 'Menu' chalkboard now hangs next to our kitchen pantry,
and the 'home SWEET home' one is in our entryway.
They add a crisp counterpoint to all of the neutrals in the decor,
and offer a place to personalize greetings for our guests! 

(pinnable images)

Want another easy chalkboard project?

Check out my tutorial for creating a chalkboard, below:
my secret? use a sheet of cement tile backer board!
sand well and paint it with several coats of flat black or chalkboard paint, 
then drill holes in the corners and screw into studs in your wall.

I used a piece of an old wood gutter as a bottom rail, to hold chalk!

It ends up looking, feeling, and SOUNDING exactly like 
an old slate chalkboard when you write on it!
(RETREAT was my former business in the vintage industry)

shared online:

Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}


pretty paper posies

Things are really bloomin' here at project homeward!

A few weeks ago, I posted the paper flowers that I created,
 using vintage book pages and sheet music.
Find my Paper Flower Tutorial HERE

When my Mom saw those flowers hanging on the wall in my studio,
she got VERY excited and asked me to make some for her bedroom.
She's been buying decorative wrapping paper ever since for her flowers!

Wednesday was the day... 
I cut, glued, stapled, folded, fringed and fluffed various papers
and the result was the pretty posies you see in these images:

We did add ONE thing to these that I don't have on mine: BLING!
A couple of sparkly earrings are the perfect finishing touch.

It was a lot of fun working on these together
(we were working on them on the kitchen island, and Mom called herself my 'sous chef'!)

She loves the way the flowers brighten up her bedroom...
she's re-using the linens that she had in the master bedroom from the old house,
and that room had a lot of bronze and brown in it. It was more masculine - for Dad.
The use of aqua and white in her new room is much more feminine and cheerful
and Mom definitely deserves cheerful <3

wouldn't paper flowers like these make great party decor?
warm oranges for fall, reds & whites for Holiday, yellow for spring,

baby blues & pinks for a baby shower...
just THINK of the possibilities! (wink)

Shared Online:

Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}


project homeward: coffee table makeover

In the course of our move to the new house, we had to decide what to keep.
The coffee table was a keeper, simply because we needed one and didn't know what we might want later.
Later, we discovered that while the glass top was totally out of character for the room,
the nicely-shaped wrought iron base was pretty cool, even if the charcoal color wasn't.

So what can you do with a pretty cool metal table base that's the wrong color?
First, you paint it!
I chose an aged rust faux finish because it coordinates with another decorative element
that I can't share yet (because it's not in the house yet).
I use a particular process and products to achieve this effect,
but I'm not sharing that.
Read my comments at the end of this post in regard to that....

Moving on....

...after the base was painted, I brought in a cable spool top that we had purchased.
(tearing these cable spool suckers apart is a hefty job,
and I was happy to pay someone else who had already done the hard part)

I cleaned it and thought about sanding it down (for all of ten seconds) then had a better idea:
paint it! 
It's easier, yes, but also - look at that photo on the right above:
Everything is BROWN. Floor. Table. Sofa. SOOOOO much dark brown.
On the other side of this big open room is the kitchen with white cabinets....
so I needed to pull some white over here into the living room to balance it.

Some flat white paint dry-brushed onto the wood took care of that in short order -
applied heavier in some areas (so it would cover up the stamped words) and lighter in others.
I didn't sand this, I just applied the paint with varied pressure.

In the end, it's got a kind of vintage beachy farmhouse worn look that I love.
Actually, years ago, I found a table top that looked very similar washed up on the beach...
I hauled it home to my island farmhouse, and put it on a pedestal as a table.
I loved it. And I love this.
(My dining room table is gonna' get this same treatment soon!)
The paint dried quickly because it was such a thin, dry application...
so I was able to put the succulent planter in the center.

Then I looked at the holes where the bolts had held the cable spools together,
and thought 'votive cups would fit in there'....
and when I located an old candleholder that we had,
it held exactly SIX votive cups with rounded bottoms
that fit into the SIX bolt holes so perfectly
that it was like they were designed for each other!
I love it when a plan comes together!

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

So.... let me say this about my aged rust faux finish 

*just so it's clearer here than on my fb page 
and will not spark a controversy with anyone*:

Over the course of fifteen years or so,
as I was refurbishing furniture and accessories to sell at vintage shows and painting murals,
I learned a lot about paint and techniques. I invested a lot of time practicing the art of faux painting.
I developed some of my own processes & mixtures that are my own 'secret' formulas, so to speak.
Big companies like Disney, Coca Cola and Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery refer to this as 'proprietary information'  - and it is basically highly sensitive and guarded stuff.

That's my faux rust technique/process/procedure/products, folks.
Proprietary, Secret, and highly guarded information. Mine.

Sorry, but I'm not sharing it.
Someday, I may develop it into a class, or a book, or even a product line.
Gee, I'd love to make money from one of my ideas!!! ;)
Anyway, that's the reason I refer to it as my 'secret formula/secret weapon' etc. -
 because it's a secret, and I'm not telling.
Not to be rude to anyone out there, but just to protect my own interest.
( I have shared my faux concrete painting technique -
including my 'secret ingredient' for realistic effect -
and y'all loved it. It's a really popular post! And I am glad you like it! )

But this is different, and I just want to be clear about not divulging the specifics of it.
Being up front here, and asking you not to ask me to -
AND requesting that if you think I'm greedy or mean for not sharing it,
Not interested in hearing any rants about how I owe it to the public to divulge all of my secrets.


project homeward: lovin' the laundry room

Since there are limited projects I can undertake right now, 
I'm focusing more on the 'organizing' part than the 'decorative'.
I try to work some decorating into everything, though ;) 

That was the case with the laundry room project... 
make it work well, AND make it pretty!
...and can I just say first what a JOY and a BLESSING it is to HAVE a laundry room?!
To not have to schlep everything out into the garage where the dust bunnies reign?
After spending a lifetime doing just that, my Mom is positively giddy over having this room!

Up above you see a 'before' on the left and an 'after' on the right.
It's small stuff, really it is - it just all adds up to a big change. And I did it all in one day!

I cleaned up the exposed shelves, arranging the contents as uniformly and neatly as I could,
many of them contained by function in simple plastic containers from Dollar Tree.
Then it was time to make it LOOK good!
I began with the tall cabinet... three coats of some white semi-gloss paint 
(which was the trim paint that we brought with us from the old house)
and it looks fresh and new - and also looks less 'heavy' in the small laundry room.
It now holds reusable fabric shopping bags and stuff we take to the pool!

You may remember that cabinet from this Thrifty Tropical Makeover post,
where it's shown out on the back patio at my parent's old house:
We're just re-purposing what we already have, saving money and being creative!
(Yes, we brought the patio furniture and the swing, too... more of them soon)

So as long as I had the paint out, I decided to get creative...

That space over the shelves is HUGE and needed a decorative touch.
I went into the garage and grabbed one of four vintage cabinet doors that I've had for a few years
(found them by a dumpster near my former storage unit!)
and painted a vintage-looking sign:
blank door, cleaned up                                   measured & penciled lettering  

 painted lettering first coat                           second coat, with more detail added

...and my BIG TIP? Use a 'Magic Eraser' sponge to erase the pencil marks! ;)
It won't leave marks or affect the paint finish like an actual eraser does. 

PS: yes, I freehand stuff like this. 
I've had years of practice painting things - from signs to furniture to murals - 
and I frankly don't want my signs to have a computer font that everyone else uses from a template.

The sign took me about half an hour, start to finish.
It fills in this big space, adding some contrast, visual punch, and graphic interest to the room.
It's actually the first thing you see when you look through the doorway...
Because I knew that there would be items sitting in front of the sign here,
I didn't make it complicated. Just simple letters.

After that sign was done, I made another one... using an old sign from one of my show booths...
 I repainted it white, sanded the edges to rough it up, and added the letters and graphic. 
I like the way it LOOKS - but I like the way it WORKS even better:
The hand towels hanging on it cover the unsightly box where the water hoses connect! 
(The washer & dryer sit opposite the shelves shown in the other photos.)

In a plastic storage bin out in the garage
(you've figured out that the garage is basically a storage unit filled with boxes, right?! No cars yet!)
I found bags of  heavenly handmade soaps and bath products from Tamila at Urban Farm . 
These were in my beautiful island farmhouse - in storage since I left it five years ago. 
They smell SO good, and look so gorgeous -  I knew I wanted them on display again.
And then I remembered the jars! Mom saves jars. BIG jars.
(we eat a lot of Kalamata Olives, what can I say?!)
I grabbed the jars, and quickly cut some stickers to cover up the original labels.
No, it's not cheating to not remove the original labels, OK?! 
It's lazy, but it's not cheating!

When I filled the jars with the soaps and bath salts, and put them on the shelf,
the room just bloomed with beautiful scents. It really does smell as good as it looks!
Plus, dig that sweet little label that was on one of the bath salt bags - JOY. uh huh.

You see some wrapping paper in there, along with a few plastic bags too...
AND a tiny tin can  - this is his backside. 
His front is a Pumpkin Face - one of my original Painted Pails.
The 'bucket' holding the plant on top of the cabinet is a stack of plastic pumpkin buckets, facing backward.

This stuff is here simply because it's orange...
I'm a sucker for a color story!

shared online:

cupcakes & crinoline | project inspire{d}