Saturday, December 31, 2011


In honor of the new year I thought I’d write a post about my 2011, Wow you are thinking I’m a genius over here aren’t ya?  Many bloggers are doing it and I think it's a fabulous idea.

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Pinterest has given me tons of page views on this one, which is just crazy awesome.  I never would've thought this would be my most viewed post. 

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I thought people would think I was crazy for recovering it, I almost didn't post it.

My favorite projects of 2011

I love them all but if I had to pick a few I pick these. 

Still haven't made a new cushion for this...... 


I drive past the garage every day, I still can't believe how this area has changed, I love it. 

Because she loves her kitchen now and that just makes me happy.  If you missed the before you must check it out.

I just love that a little paint can turn an ugly old box into something that makes me smile. 

To see all my DIY projects you can click on project gallery at the top of my blog.

I started my blog in January so it will soon be my one year blogiversary.  I can't believe it's been a year.  What ever did I do with my free time before?

We all know blogging can be hard on a persons self esteem with all the perfectly decorated beautiful homes out there that I'm sure are always clean.  I confess mine is not perfectly decorated or clean most days but there are moments of pretty.   I read all kinds of different blogs and I take a little bit from each one.  I hope somebody somewhere takes a little something from me too, that's what it's all about right? 

Thank you for reading, for your comments, and for your posts that inspire me. 

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Sunday, December 11, 2011


Just because a girl doesn't have a fireplace doesn't mean she cant have a mantel right?  I mean who really builds a fire that often anyway? 

I really wanted a mantel & obsessed about it for months talking myself out of it then wanting it again.  I couldn’t shake it, I must have one.  The ideas fly in and out of my brain, some stick some don't, my to do list constantly shifts.  This time the thing that pushed it from I want to I must build was a piece of molding I found at the Restore.  An eight foot piece of dentil molding for $4.  Score.  I also had in my stash some fluted trim that I got at the Restore as well.  I go there almost every Friday on my lunch break and if I see a deal I pick it up even if I don't have a use for it.  I decided to keep the design very simple to let the two moldings stand out. 

I needed to finish this thing fast since I really wanted to decorate the mantel for Christmas.  I decided to use pine boards and make it work with the boards measurements so I wouldn't have to spend a weekend making fancy cuts.  I mostly just butted the boards up to each other rather than miter cutting everything.  The only cuts I did miter were for the trim.

The first thing I did was decide approximately how wide I wanted the mantel to be and then cut the dentil molding first.   With this type of molding you need to plan for where the little squares will end up.  This way if I made a mistake I could just cut a little more off and make the whole thing smaller.  If you used a regular piece of crown molding you wouldn't have to worry about that.  Once I had that cut I then had the measurement for the front piece.

I attached the front piece to the side pieces using my Kreg Jig Jr to make pocket holes.  I could have used glue and nails but the pocket holes make it square and tight so that you can move it around without waiting for the glue to dry.  You can see I left a gap at the top.  The trim covers it and I liked the proportions better this way.

Next I cut a notch in a 1 x 6 so that it would stabilize the sides and also stick out a bit beyond the front piece.  I attached it with glue and my nail gun.

Then I flipped this over and set it on top of a of 1 x 12 top piece.  I screwed the sides to the top using pocket holes again and glued and nailed the molding on.  

The 1 x 10 is glued and screwed with pocket holes to the 1 x 8.  The rest are attached with glue and nails.  For the 1 x 2 & 1 x 6 shown above I actually ripped a 1 x 8 board to make the 2 boards.  I did this because a 1 x 8 board actually measures 7.25", a 1 x 6 is 5.5" and a 1 x 2 is 1.5" and I needed it to equal 7.25". (does that make sense?) 

I decided to set the fluted trim back a couple inches to give it a little interest. 

I used 1 x 8 and some molding from my stash to make the beefy bottom trim.

To attach it to the wall I screwed a 2 x 2 into studs then screwed through the top into the 2 x 2.  It makes it very stable.

The inside just in case you wanna see it.


Here's how the measurements came out.  When you start the way I did you get some pretty random measurements.

I really love it.  Total cost for wood including trim was less than $40.  It pays to go to the Restore every week now doesn't it.  The paint I had.  I definitely had to putty a lot of knot holes and seams since I used pine and do some sanding.  I can't believe how many knots were in the boards I picked, what was I thinking?  

Oh all the mantel decorating I can do now.  I just need to figure out what to do about that window above it.  I may cover it with shutters, maybe a mirror or DIY art piece.  Problem is it has a twin just to the left of it above the monster TV who shall never be seen on the blog.  For now I'm happy with it.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I have wanted a Mantel to decorate for forever.  Sooooo I decided to build myself a Faux Mantle for Christmas.  I built it in one day, last Sunday as a matter of fact.  If you’ve been following my blog then you know it is unheard of for me to finish anything in one day.  I wanted a mantle that bad I guess.   

This year I decided to use what I have to decorate for Christmas.   

I will post how I built the mantle later this week but for now I want to share how I decorated it.   I was planning to use garland and  my red and green xmas balls like I did in the dining room but it just wasn’t working for me on the new mantel so I went a different route.  I started with a faux garland that looks pretty darn realistic to me and added a few different sized pine cones.  Then I hung my pine cone wreath.   

I have one piece of mercury glass, the candle holder, so I had to use it.   The lantern is a salvage score I got for $1 it was a light fixture and I ripped the wiring out, love the patina.   A few glass votives thrown in and that’s about it.  Simple and rustic.  To fill the bottom up I used an old crate I had.  Inside is a galvanized bucket I found awhile back at the Restore for $3.  All the greenery is from our yard.  I cut down a small tree to make the logs.  With a dull hand saw I might add because I couldn’t find the bow saw.  It. Took. Forever. & it started raining.  

Wouldn’t it look cute if I drilled holes in the ends of the logs and put tealights in them?  Kinda scares me, can you say fire hazard?  Maybe I will do it and use battery powered ones hmmm.   The fir branches I picked up off the back patio.  How convenient that they had fallen out of our tree, good thing we hadn’t picked them up yet.

Last minute I decided I needed some lights, I added some that I had that kinda remind me of pine cones, perfect.  Love it!

Truthfully I am not finished with the mantel I plan to add big beefy trim to the bottom eventually but for now I wanted to share at some mantel parties and I ran out of time.  Stay tuned for how I built the mantel.

Merry Christmas friends!

Linking up to these parties:

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Santa Has Come to the Cabin

Have I mentioned I collect Santas?  Well I do.  Love them.  Today I worked on staining the top of the new kitchen island I have been building and in between coats seemed like the perfect time to bust out the Santas.  I have quite an odd collection.  My tastes have really changed over the last few years.  I have been drawn to the more folkish quirky Santas lately rather than the more traditional ones I started my collection with.  

I decided to group all the folksy types together on my dining room display shelf.  I built this shelf a few years ago before I had ever heard of a blog.  It is the third shelf I built for this space.  The first one was a plate rack similar to the one I built here, the second was a deeper three cubbie shelf that definitely did not work in this space.  I sold them both at a Holiday Bazaar a few years back.  The back door opens right into this wall so I needed something that wasn't very deep.  I wanted it simple and rustic.  Normally I display my white dishes here.

don't they just make you smile?


I also brought out some of my favorite wispy garland and ornaments for our hutch.  I decided to use what I have.  I have been fighting the urge to go out and by all new mercury glass ornaments.  I am in looooove with that look this year.  Thank goodness when I saw my old Christmas balls in red, green & golds well I love that look too, so free won. 

I filled my old wood bowl with a few pine cones and the jewel toned balls.
Hmmm needs some Santas I think.

My Sister made me those two Santas.  She knows I collect quirky ones and she saw a pattern at the fabric store for the one riding the chicken and just had to make it for me.

I love it.  I opened it in front of the entire family that Christmas and we all just died.  It's hysterical.

The next year she made this one.    I mean look at the detail on these things.  Oh they make me so happy.   Not everyone has these babies.  


Then there is Jeeves.  My husband buys me a Santa every year and one year he bought me Jeeves instead.  He is my favorite.  You're thinking I'm a little weird right now aren't you.  Really I do have some normal Santas and I will get around to putting those out eventually. 
Back to the kitchen island.  It's really shouldn't be taking me this long to finish but the design choices are what have been holding me up.  What color to paint it, what kind of top to use, Hardware?  I will have the top finished this week.  Stain is drying as we speak then a few coats of poly to do.  Can't wait to show you.

Have a great week!


I found a new place to play

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Monday, November 14, 2011


This weekend I made some progress on my Kitchen Renovation.  I know I should have been finishing my entry bench but the paint hasn't arrived yet so what else could I do?  

My plans for the kitchen are:

-new Island/peninsula
-plate rack cabinet
-paint walls & ceiling 
-paint cabinets
-paint archway
-granite counter top 
-farmhouse sink
-new tile back splash

I completed my plate rack cabinet.  To build it I used an existing 24" cabinet that was in the garage.  I have been searching pinterest for ideas and found a great link to a the blog Nest,Nesting,Nested with a tutorial found here.  It was exactly what I had in mind.


To make my version I cut twenty 1/2" dowels to 12".  I used 1 x 2's to hold the dowels and drilled the holes 2" apart on center.     

This really is an easy project all you need is a drill, 1/2" drill bit and something to cut the wood with.  I used my chop saw but you could do it with a hand saw. 

I installed the racks by screwing the top to the shelf from above and the bottom from underneath. I placed the racks about 1 1/4 inch from the front and back of the cabinet.

I really like it.  I think it makes this side of the kitchen more interesting and it gives me an area for display.  The best part is if I get tired of it I can remove it from the cabinet with only a few screw holes to fill. 

Those maple cabinet doors will soon be painted white as well.

Hopefully I will get the new island finished soon so I can show you pictures of the kitchen that aren't so closely cropped.  With only half of it painted white and a half finished island it is looking pretty funky right now, but I have a plan.

Oh and I finally settled on a white I like.  It is called Oyster Shell by Glidden.  Same name as the white my sister used on her cabinets but hers was a Behr color chip.  It's funny how different they are.

Now my list looks like this.

-new Island/peninsula
-plate rack cabinet
-paint walls & ceiling 
-paint cabinets
-paint archway
-granite counter top 
-farmhouse sink
-new tile back splash

Dontcha just love crossing things off your list?

linking up to these great parties:


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Sunday, November 6, 2011


A few months ago I scored a free coffee table from my friend Kristi.  She warned me that it needed a little TLC.  It actually wasn't too bad it had some scratches but it was solid.  I thought that I would sand it down and paint it for myself but then I got it home and it was huge, like half the size of my couch.  It would take up my entire living room.  So now what do I do with it? 

I left it in the carport and ignored it for awhile.

Then a couple weeks ago while in the middle of another project I was inspired.  So I dropped the other project and went to town on this one.  I decided to make it into an entry bench.  I mean doesn't this table just scream make me a bench.   I initially thought it would make two benches but that didn't work out. 

I started by taking the top off. It was glued and screwed in from underneath.  Next I cut the sides and the bottom in half lengthwise with a skill saw.  I then realized the problem.

This is what the cut in half panel looked like.  Weird I couldn't just slap plywood on the back it would look unbalanced.  I got irritated and dropped the project.

The next week I picked it back up.  I ended up using the 3x3 front side piece from the other side to complete the end panels.  I first removed the sides from the bottom. Then I could cut the side down to accommodate the other 3x3 piece.  Of course this meant I could only make one bench. Oh well moving on.

To attach the end piece I used my kreg jig to make a pocket hole so that I could screw it together.

for the back I used a 1/4 inch panel.  There ended up being a groove for the back to fit into on the side pieces so that was a nice surprise.

I used the feet from the other side to make four matching fancy feet.

Here it is with a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.  I splurged on the paint for this table when I thought I was going to use it as my coffee table.   I didn't want to prime.  I have used the paint on lots of other projects and of course I ran out.  I had to order some more. 

My plan is to re-stain the top.  I am liking that two tone look I see all over the blogisphere.  If it doesn't turn out I will just paint it. 

I already had the baskets, I use them for storage in my bathroom closet.  Looks like I might have to give them up they could not fit any more perfectly.    

Here it is with the top sanded.  It needs one more coat of ASCP then I will distress and finish with wax.  With the left over pieces from the other side I plan to make a cubby shelf with hooks that can be hung on the wall above the bench.  I started that project today but got frustrated and dropped it.  See a pattern here.  I need to think about it a little more and pick it up when I feel inspired.  I was going to wait to post until I was finished but good lord who knows when that will be. 

Whatcha think?  Would you have cut this table in half?  

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tdc before and after


shabby creek cottage

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