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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