Fairy Forest Cottage with a Side of Jam

Fairy Forest signsWow!  So it’s been almost 2 months since I’ve posted anything here – which is definitely a sign of the season.  With the onset of spring gardening and the end of Mighty O’s school year, needless to say, we have been MIGHTY busy!!!

When we moved in last year, I declared that 2016 would be the year of OUTSIDE – since there was so much work INSIDE  to deal with for 2015… and so it’s been off to the races since the sun came out here.

Top projects over the last several weeks have included handmade teacher gifts (lavender sugar and lavender lemongrass body scrub), tending to the Great Northern Gardening Experiment sprouts and getting them into the ground, clearing and re-envisioning long-neglected beds, planting in over 250 bulbs and roots, and over 30 fruit shrubs and flowering bushes (with a few trees still to go!), turning our “mud pit” off the deck into a huge pebble patio, and – of course – keeping the Elf entertained with plenty of books, hikes, creative projects, and even a few camp days and play dates here and there.

Shew!! So now that I’ve exhausted myself just thinking about all of that… I decided it’s time for a new hobby (of course).   Continue reading

Stars, an Angel Wing and Whitewashed Beadboard

Beadboard Hallway Wall Stars Beadboard After CloseupOne long, dark hallway, yards of knotty pine beadboard with chair rail, plus a few of the most frequently used rooms in the house… and Houston, we have a project!  So what’s a DIY girl to do?  Gather up lots of white paint, an angel wing or two, and bunches of stars… of course!

My everlasting kitchen cabinet painting endeavor changed course and became more intensive since I first started, so I’ve been taking a break by finishing up this space instead, which is basically the super highway of the house.   It was so dark and claustrophobic, I loathed to even run to the powder room, so I knew it had to be brighter and more inviting, especially for guests.  I also wanted to incorporate some whimsy, to give this ol’ gal some flavor and personality in an unexpected way. Continue reading

Sticky, Tricky Fun: Painting a Chalkboard Wall

Chalkboard Wall Final RecipeI’ve yearned for a chalkboard wall FOREVER – admiring them in magazines, *pinning* them, and generally salivating anytime I see a gorgeous wall o’ chalk, especially out and about at restaurants, where they’re often oversized and detailed with the most beautiful  colors, images, and calligraphy.

My yearning deepened last year when I was homeschooling Mighty O in the Waldorf method, where chalk drawing is a central tool in exploring fairy tales and traditional rhymes with young children. We had so much fun with chalkboard artistry involving gnomes, fairies, golden geese, and so many other magical creatures.

Continue reading

3 Steps to Super Cute Storage: Adding Rustic Style to Glass Jars in Just 2 Minutes

Ribbon Jars 3 FinalMy mantra over the last few years has been “Simplify.” Each time the New Year rolls around, I renew my dedication to this principle – and this year is no exception.  This journey is very much a work in progress, though the more I get down this road, the more I realize that the key to simplifying successfully is to find just a few things that work in my home and life for a number of different purposes.

Using up and whittling down the excess starts to get more clear and a whole lot easier this way. As I identify the hard-core multi-taskers of daily life, it’s helping me have to manage less, buy less, and be able to do the things I enjoy a lot more.  This concept seems to apply well across the board, whether it’s wardrobe, cleaning products, cooking ingredients, or what have you.  I’ve found that one of the most effective tools to rise to the top of my utility scale are glass jars.   Continue reading

Whitewashing Honey Oak Kitchen Cabinets: The Process Begins!

 

Of all of the projects on my to-do list, this one Kitchen Beforehas been the most daunting: how to paint the honey oak cabinets and island AND extensive trim in our kitchen for a more updated style that matches our light-and-white French country-inspired cottage decor.  

I previously painted the large family room built-ins solid white, and the process was very time consuming. The result is beautiful, so it was worth it in the end – though at about 3 times the cabinetry, I have not been excited about the prospects of tackling the even bigger project of the kitchen.  Needless to say, this project has since been on the back burner…   Continue reading

Breathing New Life into an Old Cabinet: How To Create a Distressed Paint Finish

Hutch Top FinalAt our last house, storage was at a premium.  We made a significant downsize to take advantage of a rare, gorgeous wooded lot with a creek and waterfall (in Texas!), and it was taking a lot of creativity to sort out where and how to put things in our new home.   We also wanted to ensure that our nice collection of heirloom dishes wasn’t just stashed in a box in the garage… which is where it was until we could squeeze some more space out of our place.  So I trolled craigslist for a couple weeks, in search of a large, solid wood hutch to place in the dining room. Continue reading