Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thrift store mirror

On one of my trips to the Goodwill I scored this pretty mirror for $15. It was gold when I bought it but I saw the potential in all of that carved glory.  I really apologize I don't have a before picture.  But here it is after:


I was originally going to paint it a light turquoise color, but I ended up painting it this color instead.  I first gave it a good cleaning because it needed it! Then I put newspaper over the glass and taped it down around the edges using painter's tape.  I then sprayed it with primer.  Once it dried, I spray painted it that turquoise color, but ended up not liking it. It would have been cute in a little girl's room, but just not in my room.  So I ended up brush painting it with interior latex paint called Intercoastal gray by Valspar. It was left over from another project.


I've always been obsessed with gray, so anything I can turn gray I will. LOL.  What do you think?


xo
Cathleen

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Handmade Christmas Gifts - DIY Holiday Gifts

When I saw this in my December issue of Country Living magazine it was love at first sight.


How cute are these photo pillows?! And how cool is my Mom for making me one the minute I told her about it? She jumped right on it and in seriously less than 3 days I had one in my possession (sent all the way from California to North Carolina.) She even was earth savvy and used left over fabric from my dining room chair slip covers. Not only is the photo black and white, but the fabric is a mixture of grays, making it really fit in with everything else. Our kids get a kick of looking at themselves in a pillow.


It says in the description that you can buy photo fabric from Amazon for $9.99 for 5 pieces. She printed them using her home printer and then sewed the backing fabric on leaving a hole for filling with batting. Then you hand stitch the hole shut.


We all love our little family pillow and big Thanks to my mom for being so creative and thoughtful!



Handmade Christmas Gifts - DIY Holiday Gifts - Country Living:

'via Blog this'


Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat!

Christmas is coming -but hopefully it's just the goose that's getting fat. My in-laws are visiting for two weeks and definitely making us yummy food, soooo we may not want to get on the scale when they leave.  We had a lovely lovely Thanksgiving with them.

Here's how we set our table (I think that's my Mother-in-law in the kitchen making her fall vegetables and look at that cute baby between the chair opening!)


Here's another shot (sorry about all the clutter in the background, I honestly didn't have time to clean it all up before these shots were taken.


Gotta have a spot at the table for the high chair! :)


 Here's our centerpiece all lit up! You can read more about that here.


I made a yummy fruit salad and the rest was made by Joe and his parents. We had the usual Turkey, a sourdough stuffing, gravy, my Mom's fruit salad, mashed potatoes with sour kraut, fall roasted veggies, cranberry sauce and pumpkin, pecan, and apple pie with home made whipped cream for dessert.  It was a very wonderful meal.  After we ate we took a little stroll through the neighborhood and then came back home for pie. Once all the eating was over we snuggled up and watched a Christmas movie on netflix with the kids. It really was the perfect Thanksgiving.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday too.

xo
Cathleen

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shabby Chic White Bed

When we first moved in, we didn't own a bed. We knew we wanted a King size bed so our kiddos could crawl in with us and it wouldn't be too cramped. We are also very tall peeps, I'm 5'7" and my husband is 6'1" tall, so it really made sense to go with the longest bed possible.  I found this headboard and footboard on craiglist for a mere $15.  Talk about a steal. The lady had apparently upgraded her bed.  When I arrived at the time in my Honda Civic, she knew I would need some help getting it home, so she actually followed me in her pick up truck and dropped it off for me. Southern Hospitality at it's finest!   The bed came in a Cherry wood color with a metal plate on the side that reads "Kincaid Furniture Inc. The General William Lenoir Bed No. 62157 Limited Edition." Wowzers, it has a number! Normally I wouldn't paint something with a limited edition plate on it, but when I paid $15 for it and didn't like the color I didn't mind so much. I'm more into liking what I have than living with something just because it's worth more if I leave it alone. Besides I'm not going to sell it anyway (at least not until we move!)  

Here is the bed all finished with Restoration Hardware bedding.


This design is at the foot of the bed. I quite like it.


I made this little white fabric piece from 10 yards of fabric I bought on ebay. I put a hook in the ceiling to attach it and tied it to the posts. The little pink chandelier was from Home Goods.


Here is a BEFORE shot of the bed. If you're wondering how I painted it, it's my usual furniture painting technique. Clean with TSP, Sand it with 120 grit sand paper, wipe down, prime with oil based primer and a brush, apply two coats of Interior Latex paint, and then apply three coats of Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish. I like to sand between each coat of paint with a 220 grit sand paper to rough it up just a little to let the paint adhere properly.


Hope you enjoyed this little bed makeover. Stay tuned for pics of how it looks now.

And have a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Gobble Gobble
Cathleen

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cinnamon stick votive candles

With the holidays fast approaching it was time to get out the craft boxes and figure out a little DIY Christmas gift for the relatives. That's when I decided on these little numbers.


After E.Claire's first birthday I had about 10 clear votive candle holders left over. I thought about saving them for another occasion but now that Christmas is here, what better way to save money than to use something I already had on hand.


After picking CAP up from school yesterday we headed to Michaels for some cinnamon sticks. I found these for 50% off which came out to be $2.50 for the whole bag. Score.


They were much longer than the glass vases, so I used scissors to score them and them break along that line.


Then I began gluing them to the glass with my hot glue gun.


Some were still a little too long so I had to use this saw to cut them down. I also used a big metal file to smooth out the bottoms.


Once all the cinnamon sticks looked even, I tied ribbon that I already had around them and hot glued it in two spots so it doesn't fall off.


I made another one and this time use brown ribbon with polka dots (my favorite.)


That's it. So simple and easy.

Hopefully I'll be making more easy presents like this in the near future.

What are you making this Christmas? I love to hear other crafty ideas.

xo
Cathleen

Monday, November 21, 2011

Painting a brick fire place

The decision to paint a fireplace can be a tough one.  Clearly if you have a fireplace that just sits there the answer is easy. If you use your fireplace regularly then you may question if you can paint it. The answer to both is GO forth and paint it if you don't find it attractive.  Ours was hideous.  It was sucking the life out of the living room and it really is the focal point of the room.   Here is the after shot:


One afternoon after sitting there staring at it, I decided to put on my gloves and goggles, get out the T.S.P. (if you haven't heard of T.S.P. it's a great cleaner, but be forewarned that it will strip things bare.)  I added some T.S.P. to a large bucket and filled it with warm water. Then I got out my scrub brush and began scrubbing away. I thought maybe by scrubbing off all the black spots it would help the fireplace look better. It still did not. So I began researching how to paint a brick fireplace.  What I learned was that first painting it with an oil based primer would really fill in the holes and let the paint adhere well.  So I got out my oil based primer and began painting. Oh, first you should open up all of your windows and run a fan in the room. Make sure the pets and kids are out of the house too. It really does stink.  Once the primer dries thoroughly (I usually wait an entire 24 hours) it was now time for 2 coats of an Interior semi-gloss white latex paint.  You can use any high quality paint. Make sure you're applying it with a high quality brush. You can also use a foam roller for the front of the brick but only a brush is going to get between the bricks.  


Once everything was cured, I placed our foam fireplace pad back on the seat part, because with three small children around you can't be too careful. There are some pretty sharp corners. I also found that folding up a quilt for underneath it has helped too.


And here is our fireplace in all it's 1989 glory, complete with gold screen. Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice? We love the way the fireplace looks now and since it's only painted on the front and not the inside, it's still fully functional. But again with three small kids, we're unlikely to use it unless our power goes out. You can also paint the inside of your fireplace using a high heat paint, if the inside needs some love as well.


This was an easy makeover and cost us nothing. Now if you're unhappy with your fireplace or brick wall for that matter, go forth and paint it.  The results are tremendous.

xo
Cathleen

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tan Pumpkin

Lookee what I found at Kohl's for the mantle.


Isn't he cute?  It was in the clearance bin along with the purple mums and candles I found that I talked about in this post.  I love the neutral color of it and the size. Not too big, not too small. It looks great up on the mantle. Here is a different angle:


This is a farther view of the mantle with my cute little pumpkin.


Just thought I'd share my little fall find with you. I think we're gearing up for a lovely Thanksgiving day. Now for some Grocery shopping this weekend.  Tofurkey anyone?

xo
Cathleen

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fall Centerpiece

Getting our Thanksgiving on here at the Peahen Pad. My very cool neighbor Kerry called me up out of the blue to do an evening out shopping at Kohls. I've only been to Kohl's once with my sister for clothes, but didn't realize they had such a big home decor section. Kerry was in the market for a birthday gift and some Christmas gifts for her children. All of the toys were 50% off, plus another 20%, plus she had a 30% off coupon. Hmmm, maybe I could get in on this action I thought.  She was kind enough to let me pay her with a check.

So here's what I ended up with.  MVP has been asking Santa for a Fire Truck ever since we got a toy catalog in the mail.  So when I spotted a Tonka firetruck for about $10 after all the discounts I couldn't help it.  It was calling his name.

After the toy shopping we looked at the Halloween clearance items, but nothing really looked interesting. HOWEVER, all of the Fall stuff was lumped in with this sale stuff and I thought I could use some fall decorating items.

I found this beautiful purple mum flower pot that I placed in the center of my table on a white rectangular dish.  Around the flower pot I placed little pumpkin scented candles (also from Kohls) on top of some white stones.


I just love the shot of purple with the gray walls and gray dining room chairs.



I never was a fan of pumpkin pie, but I sure do like the smell! This pumpkin scented candle from Chesapeake Bay only set me back a few dollars and it's going to make the house smell wonderful for Thanksgiving don't you think? I placed it on a square dish with yellow maple leaves underneath and a few acorns around it.


Next week I'll share the whole tablescape for you when we set our table for Thanksgiving. How are you decorating for your big feast?

And now I leave you with a beautiful view out my front window.

xo
Cathleen

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New desk in CAP's room

A few week's ago we inherited a hand made (by her parents in the 60's) desk from our lovely neighbors who didn't have a use for it anymore.  It's a beautiful wood stained desk with one drawer and a pull out side table.


We weren't sure how we were going to use it until this weekend when their suddenly was more in the boy's room when we have to remove a bookcase that was falling apart. We decided to keep the desk in it's original condition since we liked the wood stain and there wasn't anything in there already that was this color. We like to mix things up a bit when it comes to furniture color. We're not into everything matching. We think it looks good under the window. It could even be used as a crafting table. We still need to find a chair to go with it. Maybe we'll look craiglist or let them borrow a chair we already own.


The toy bins that used to go under the window have now relocated next to CAP's bed. Now they have a writing space and general use table.  My older son has already decided to store his Vtech laptop in the drawer and one pencil.  He is already so studious!

Hope you're having a great week.

xo
Cathleen

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Installing shelves in child's room

Ever since the boy's old bookcase went kaputs we desperately needed a way to store books in their room. They have a ton of books since they love to read and don't mind a new story every day. Here are the book shelves we built for them:


We had the idea of something with a built-in look. On Saturday I drove over to a local woodworking store that offers unfinished wood furniture. Sadly they were closed by the time I got there, but I thought I would check if there was a bookcase I could stain or paint and we could mount to the corner next to the window.  We were kind of glad we didn't spend the money on a bookcase because it turned out we had a whole bunch of shelf brackets in our storage shed that Joe had hoped to use for building shelves in there.  He ended up using some other storage units in there so we had left over brackets.

After measuring the space several times we headed to Lowes to see what kind of wood would work for shelves. We got 2 long pieces of wood.  Joe cut them to fit in the space.  Here's Joe now praying this doesn't take too long.


He then sanded and primed them.


Luckily we already had this primer on hand: Zinsser Primecoat Primer and Sealer.


We then painted them the same color as the walls to look more built in and intentional. The paint we used is called Polar Star by Valspar in a Satin finish. Here they are drying in the backyard.


After two coats of paint, it was time for sealer. We love Minwax Water-based Polycrylic Protective Finish. This time we used a satin finish to match the walls.


I had to bring them inside to apply three coats of this because I was also watching the baby and she really wanted to get all up in the paint outside.



After the paint dried, Joe drilled two small holes on one side of the board so that I could attach a ribbon through each of them so the books don't fall off the open end of the shelf. You could use anything long here, like twine, metal wire, a cord, etc. We used ribbon for a prettier effect and we can change it out easily when we get bored of the color.




Next Joe installed the brackets to the shelves and then to the wall 12" apart, 5 high up the wall.


We love the look of them and the fact that it utilizes unused space in the room. With two boys sharing a 10' x 11' space, we need all the space we can get.


Here's a look with books in them.




This whole project took about a half a day. It's super easy and much cheaper than buying a bookcase.  The whole project cost $20. Woot Woot.

Have you made any built-in bookcases lately or installed shelves? Was it super easy? We love seeing your projects so send pics our way!

xo
Cathleen 
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