Tea Time!

Hello ladies!

I've been out of town all weekend, so this will be a short post just to check in and share a few little discoveries I've made recently. We've had weird, winter-like weather out here in Colorado and I've been wanting to be all cozy and warm-by-the-fireplace-ish.

Have you tried Celestial Seasonings Chai Tea? Yum! With a little sugar and cream, it is so perfect on a cold day.

Also wanted to pass along an author who I've recently discovered. Kate Morton wrote "The House at Riverton" and "The Forgotten Garden" and I've just devoured both. They are great stories that kind of unravel a mystery as you go along, but nothing too scary (which is big for me, since I am a pansy about scary stories!). Both have a historical setting and just suck you into the plot right away.

If you're looking for a great way to pass the 20 minutes a day that you probably get to yourself...I highly recommend these things!


The Power of Gel Stain

Earlier this week I told you I would give you the lowdown on a new find: Gel Stain. I tried it on a few simple projects and really liked it! In case you like what I've done, here's a photo of the product so you can get some yourself. It's Minwax Gel Stain in Brazilian Rosewood.

I started with this cheap frame from Goodwill. I liked the shape of it but not the color, so the Gel Stain was a perfect solution. I just glopped it on with a foam brush.

It took a few coats. I think really you are supposed to actually wipe it off in between coats, but because this frame was already sealed with some kind of polyurethane, it wasn't absorbing. So I treated it more like paint and just kept wiping coats on until I liked the way it looked.

I wanted a pretty dark wood to compliment the dark hardwood floors in my bathroom. I used the same technique on this simple shelf from Hobby Lobby.

Next time you are looking for a simple solution for a wood piece, think about the Gel Stain. And nope...no one paid me to endorse them! I just like easy and cheap! :)

Have a great weekend!


Beadboard Wallpaper Rocks!

So, I recently joined the ranks of people who have fallen in love with beadboard wallpaper! Have you seen it? Rhoda at Southern Hospitality did a fantastic tutorial about how she did this treatment on her kitchen cabinets, and Melissa of 320 Sycamore did something similar in her laundry room. These women have fabulous taste, so I knew if they liked the product, so would I!

Here's a before photo of my powder room. Yeah, I was in a red phase a few years ago.

Notice I had already started priming over the red before I remembered to take a "before" photo. Impatient much? :)

What do you think of the "after"?

We did about 36 inches of wallpaper, then capped it off with a basic chair rail.

I bought a raw wood shelf for $7.99 at Hobby Lobby, then gave it a little stain treatment to make it match the dark wood floors in the bathroom.

I gave the same stain treatment to this Goodwill frame. I'll tell you more about the stain treatment on Friday!

Above is a nice little close up of the beadboard. It feels a bit like foam if you touch it, but how many people are going to be poking my walls when they use my bathroom? (Wow, I have a three year old. Maybe I shouldn't ask that question!)

And just in case anyone wants the paint color, I took a photo of the "recipe." It's a custom color that I copied from Tracey over at Notes from a Cottage Industry. It's such a fresh and beautiful robin's egg blue!

All in all, I would definitely recommend the beadboard wallpaper (purchased at Home Depot, click here to get it)! Check out the tutorials that I mentioned at the beginning of this post if you want the "how to!" They explain things much better than I would. (Largely because my husband hung the wallpaper, I am not ashamed to admit!)

Rhoda at Southern Hospitality is having a Beadboard Wallpaper Party today, so head on over to see what else people have been doing with this magic stuff!


Got an Extra Two Million? Yeah, Me Neither.

Back in July, we all went back east for a wedding. One of my husband's best friends got married, and he was the best man. Anyone ever been to Louisville, Kentucky? Beautiful! The wedding was one of those old-fashioned Southern affairs, the kind that started on Wednesday (seriously, with the bachelor party) and didn't end until Sunday with the after-wedding brunch.

Normally I would have been over it. Know what I mean? Five days of wedding activities. Even with my own wedding, I didn't need five days of partying! However, I was greatly aided because all these parties were in a tiny little community of Louisville called Nitta Yuma.

Now, if I just had an extra $2 million lying around to buy this dump (ahem) in Nitta Yuma:

Yep, it's for sale. Needs to be renovated. Sounds like heaven to me! Click here if you feel like seeing more.

Needless to say, I have the renovation bug again! Right now we live in a house that was built in 2007. It's ridiculous that I would want to renovate because, really, there's nothing to renovate. So I kind of invent little projects to keep myself busy. But I think I am realizing that I am, by nature, a fixer and a flipper. Give me something old and ugly and let me bring it back. My husband is not thrilled with this realization on my part, because generally it means a lot of work on his part. And no, we're not planning on moving anytime soon. But when we do, I'll be hoping for a fixer-upper.

What about you? Are you an old or a new house kind of girl?


Henry's Tour de Nursery

Welcome to Henry's room! Come on in. Henry would like to show you around. He's very excited.

Check out this little hook with the cowboy boots on it! Henry has been hunting for something to hang his footed PJ's on in the morning.

He is very proud of this vintage cowboy fabric on his rocking chair. His mama got it on clearance for $6 a yard, which just excites Henry to no end. He loves a deal.

This chalkboard is a great way to create a "headboard," so Henry's crib can come out from the wall rather than be smashed up against it. Otherwise the whole room has this "spin cycle" effect, where all the furniture feels pushed up against the wall, with no dimension. This is Henry's decorating sense at work, I tell you.

He loves the shelf above his changing table, and keeps some of his favorite pieces up there. A boy needs something to look at when he's getting his diaper changed.

Above all, Henry is a worldly sort of cowboy, and wants to be reminded of this with a kitschy globe on his dresser. And check out his cowboy art, painted by his mama and aunt, next to the window.

Speaking of the window, he also loves how the chocolate-and-cream buffalo check curtains tie the room together. And P.S.? The curtains have a room darkening liner, perfect for those little cowboy naps! (Curtains from Pottery Barn Kids.)

Who knew an eight month old baby boy could have such a sense of style? Next stop: HGTV.


More Cowboy Cuteness

Happy Tuesday!

A few more little peeks into Henry's adorable cowboy room. It's really too bad he's only eight months old and really doesn't care about this at all. If he only knew how lucky he was. :)

An ugly lampshade I got for $1 at a garage sale. Poor thing.

But look what happens when she meets some sassy polka-dot fabric. Hello cutie! (For a tutorial on recovering a lampshade with fabric, click here.)

U-G-L-Y. I think even the woman at Goodwill who sold this frame to me for $5 was wondering if I had cracked up.

Chalkboard paint. A refreshing little wood stain on the frame. And grosgrain ribbon. All of which I had on hand in the garage. I'd say that's a good use of $5!

It's all coming together! Next I will show you the final product...I hope it's worth the wait!


Cowboy Art

I've been busy at work on a few rooms in the house, most recently baby Henry's room. Just can't seem to get it right, but I'm getting close! I'm going for a cowboy-inspired theme, but not too cheesy and theme-y. I couldn't find anything for the walls that I liked enough, so I decided to make my own art!

First I bought a few of those artists' canvases, the kind you can find at Hobby Lobby and all over the place. I thought about trying to do this freehand, but please. It would have looked like my three-year old did it! So here's my trick to making adorable art for your kids' rooms, without having any artistic ability whatsoever.

Start with some inspiration. I found these cuties online. Not sure I could even tell you where. But I kept them in my inspiration file until the time was right. Then I enlarged them and printed them out.

Next I took a blank piece of paper and traced the images. Used the old hold-it-up-to-the-sliding-glass-door method. Worked like a charm!

Then I had to get the images onto the canvases. Graphite paper comes in handy here. Go and visit this post to get a more detailed tutorial about using graphite paper, but basically I traced the images on top of the graphite paper and they transferred right on.

Then I invited my sister over, gave her dinner and a glass of wine, and she helped me to fill in the lines like a little paint-by-number.

Ta Da! I am so happy with how they turned out. Next week I will show you more of the new room, how these little pieces of homemade art look in there, and all the other things I've been working on. Have a great weekend!


Fun Baby Gift Idea!

A few weeks ago, my friend Sarah had a baby! You may remember her from this post. She also has a fun blog where she has chronicled her pregnancy and baby Jackson's birth.

I wanted to send her a unique gift that was full of things I thought she needed for her first baby. You'll notice that some of the gifts are for the baby and some...aren't. Mama needs a few things for herself too!

First I made a little onesie for baby Jackson using this method.

I bought him a few different sizes of footed PJs because I found it to be something no one buys you when you have a baby, and you need a million of them!

Now here's a few things for the mama. "Simply Sleep" is a gentle sleep aid by the makers of Tylenol PM, and it is my lifesaver if I've had a few sleepless nights and just need to make sure I'm not a cranky basket case. Ditto for the earplugs!

This wine is my go-to gift for new mamas. It's called "Mommy's Time Out," isn't that hilarious? You could also do some kind of coffee and make a handmade label with "Mommy's Medicine" or something like that. The little box is for baby Jackson's gas! (Mylicon)

I tied everything up with some cute grosgrain ribbon and fun striped paper. I also sent Sarah this book about baby sleep, because I love it and it has changed my life!

Wouldn't you love to get a box like this in the mail? :)


I'm Back!

Hi everyone! How've you been? I have missed you all!

I had a great couple of weeks where I really cut back on my activities. Like Nina, I was really starting to feel like this:

...and I wanted to just pull my hat over my eyes like Henry and take a good, long nap.

So I did! Of course, I didn't stop working on all my little projects, because, well, that would just be silly. But I read a few books, took some naps, (ah, went thrift store shopping), and generally gave myself a break.

Want to see something I did while I was gone? After a year of looking, I finally found a frame to match a project I've been wanting to do. (Yep, I am cheap. Could've bought one dozens of times but didn't want to pay full price! Thank God for Goodwill!)

Pretty frame, huh? (Ahem.) Well, I had this cute toile fabric that I'd had monogrammed awhile back (by the same woman who did this), just hoping that I would find a frame to fit it. I finally found a frame, and couldn't get home fast enough to spray paint it a nice chocolate brown and hang it above my bedside table.

Please ignore the glamorous wire in the photo and focus on the cuteness of my monogram. OK? :)

I'll be back next week to show you more projects that have kept me busy in my absence. Have a great weekend!