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Monday, March 31, 2014

New Beginnings and Somerset Life Magazine

Hello friends!
I am continually surprised by the path this blogging life takes me on, and this week is no exception. 

I am so excited to be featured in Stampington
 Company's beautiful spring issue of Somerset Life magazine!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Farmhouse Style Kitchen Cabinet

I'm back from a little blogging "time out", and ready to share a fun project with you all today! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pulling It All Together- Cottage Style Living Room

Hi guys!

 I'm so excited to be over at A Stroll Thru Life today sharing how I pulled together our cozy, casual, cottage style living room. 

I would love it if you could pop over there for a visit!

Hope you're having a wonderful almost-spring week.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

DIY Garden Gate Decor

My friend Jeannetta is going to clobber me. 

About 12 years ago we went to a yard sale together. It was at a ridiculously charming vintage home here in town. The poor woman having the sale was going through a nasty divorce, and basically she wanted everything in the house to just go away. 

In the dining room area, we both spotted a cute handmade hutch-type shelf sitting on top of some sort of built in. Well, somehow I managed to get to it first {only a tiny bit of guilt :) } and it came home with me. 

I do recall, though, that we agreed when I didn't want it anymore that I would pass it on to her. No problem. Great! 

Here it is hanging on my dining room wall two Christmases ago. 

This thing has been with me through 3 homes now, and in every room it could fit in. It's been hung on walls, even used as a closet organizer. Since the bottom shelf is much wider than the upper shelves, it has served as a hutch-type piece on desks, tables and dressers. 

The thing is, it's really shallow and really not all that functional as a shelf. 

The other thing is, about 9 months ago I decided to take it apart and store the boards in my "possibility pile" in the garage. 

Sorry, Jeannetta! I didn't remember until it was too late. 

Remember a few weeks ago when I suddenly got the urge to redo my living room late at night? 

Well, I had been working on a plan to use these white boards to make an awesome (and huge) sign for the living room wall where my electric fireplace and vintage door mantel had been.  

I didn't remember to photograph it, but basically I used two pieces of old fence boards screwed to the back to hold all the boards together. 

I kept looking at it and thinking about it, and the shape was just off and I just wasn't 'feeling it'. I thought I'd try turning it the other way so the boards ran vertically, and removing the two shorter pieces from the ends and using them to create some sort of a barn door effect. 

I laid it on the floor with the main boards lined up tight together, and the shorter boards across the ends so I could see how much I would need to cut off of them. 

I decided to separate the boards to see how that would look, and all of a sudden this was looking like something completely different to me. It was starting to look like a gate, and I liked it! 

I wouldn't even need to cut anything- bonus! With the pieces on the floor face down, I screwed them together being careful to make sure the screws weren't too long : )

Have you ever accidentally screwed something to the floor? I haven't (yet), but I could see myself doing something like that.

I added a couple of antique hinges to the right side. These came off of a piece of an antique door that I literally stopped traffic to grab from the side of the road. 

It's a sickness. 

Some of you know what I'm talking about : ) 

On the left side I added a rusty latch that fell off of my old toolbox. You might be seeing that toolbox again in the finished living room. 

Just have to wait a bit and see. 

Okay, it's not a real gate, of course. But I love the way it hints at being a gate. And gardening. And Springtime!

What ever happened to the wider board that was the bottom shelf? 

I turned it into a sign for the dance floor at a friend's country wedding last summer. You might just be seeing this in the finished room this week, as well! 

From this... this. 

I put another rustic wood piece in front of the gate and hung one of my grandparents' Currier and Ives prints on top. I like the warmer wood tones of the frame with the white painted piece, but not 100% sure if it will stay like this...

still tweaking things around a bit. 

*I'm so excited to be sharing the finished living room over at A Stroll Thru Life for Marty's "Pulling It All Together" series!* 

I would love it if you would stop over and take a look! 

Oh, by the way- my friend Jeannetta lives in Oregon now, so I couldn't really have given her the shelf anyway : )

Blessings to you!


Sharing at these fun places this week
The Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush
Share Your Cup Thursday at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Under $100 Party at Beyond the Picket Fence
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Blissful Whites Wednesday at Timewashed
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors
Feathered Nest Friday at The French Country Cottage
Thrifty Life Thursday at Revisionary Life
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Be Inspired at Common Ground
The Scoop Mega Spring Party at Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Monday, March 3, 2014

'Gifting' a Vintage Suitcase

Good {drowsy} Sunday afternoon, friends. This is the view I'm gazing at from my living room chair at this moment.  

Oh my.... this has been a week of CAKE. 

Only my waistline is complaining : )

This week I have crossed the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2 and have been wandering the English countryside with Susan Branch in her book "A Fine Romance- Falling in Love with the English Countryside". {the library manages to put their bar code stickers in the most unfortunate places sometimes!}

I am utterly smitten, and we haven't even gotten to Beatrix Potter's or Jane Austen's homes! Oh, if I ever get the chance...

In the book, Susan shares a recipe for "Hot Milk Cake" that sounded so simple and yummy I just had to try it Friday night. It disappeared in no time, and yesterday my 10-year-old asked if we could make another!

So we did. Only this time we doubled it. 

Pop over to to see her recipe, and all the other yummy and inspiring things she shares! 

And now the house is warm and quiet except for the cozy sounds of my teenager in the kitchen making...

a CHOCOLATE CAKE! From the Hershey's Chocolate cookbook. 

Oh my.{I know, I already said that, right?}We are just out of control over here. 

Where are those elastic waist pants......

Today I have a little project to share that I had the pleasure of working on recently. A dear friend of ours celebrated her 13th birthday last weekend {more yummy cake!}. 

Her dad has a cool collection of vintage Samsonite suitcases, and I got to do some embellishing of one of them to give to our young friend. So fun!

One of the things I really enjoyed about this project, was that I got to use elements from my two favorite bloggers that offer free vintage graphics. 

This vintage costumer label was found at The Graphics Fairy
LONG before I was blogging, I discovered Karen's amazing resource for free vintage graphics and tons of inspiration for projects to do with those images!

Our birthday girl is a ballerina, so I looked for an image that had some reference to that. In my "craft stash" I found these self adhesive printable cotton sheets that a friend gave me last year. I printed the costumer label in a full page size, peeled off the backing and placed it on the top of the suitcase. 

If I hadn't come across these cotton sheets {I believe you can find them on Amazon} I would have printed the image on paper and used Mod Podge to attach it to the suitcase. 

I think this suitcase is going to be used more as a fun storage piece than for actual travelling, so on the inside I just wanted to add a few places to tuck papers, photos, hair ties, etc. 
I created a large pocket by gluing a piece of a vintage linen table runner to the lining. 

On the middle divider, I added a couple of small pockets cut from a gray flannel shirt and embellished with some vintage trim. 

Now the items from my other favorite antique graphics site, Knick of Time

Angie is one of my "junk idols". She creates the coolest home decor pieces out of salvaged items and sells many of them in her amazing shop. On top of all that, she offers a ton of antique graphics that you can use for your own projects! 

About a year ago she featured these awesome luggage tags on her blog. I fell in love with them and saved them to my project file, knowing I'd use them for a future project. 

I opened the baggage tag image in PicMonkey and added our birthday girl's name to personalize it before printing it. 
I printed out the railway shipping ticket and used it as our gift tag, hanging from the outside of the suitcase. 

THIS is the color the baggage tag is supposed to be, but my printer just isn't capable of printing in true vivid color. Boo! 

I do think the faded pink color is kind of pretty, anyway :)
There was a large spot in the bottom of the suitcase, so I thought this would be a good way to cover that, and add a cute detail. 

I made a ribbon from a strip of white cotton fabric, and tied it to the handle. 

It was really fun putting this gift together for our friend, and I love that it's a piece that is from her own family! 

I'm off to catch up with Susan Branch and learn a little about The National Trust in England. 

Have a wonderful week, friends!