Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wedding Signs

A bride-to-be contacted me about making one of my “Happily Ever After” signs for her December wedding, and I was happy to oblige.

wedding 007

She wanted it to look really old and rustic, so for the first time I did not use an old cupboard door for this sign.  Instead, I bought a piece of rough plywood that was knotty, uneven, and splinter-y! (I sanded the splinters off.  Or they came off in my fingers.  A little of both happened.)

I also made a “coordinating” sign for a display of family wedding pictures (what a fun idea!)…

wedding 009

…plus one for the hot chocolate table…

wedding 005

…and a couple more for other “stations” at the reception. (I love the big knothole in the middle of the “Gifts” sign.)

wedding 006

It was my first time making a whole wedding collection!

wedding 008

I guess it’s good practice for when my children start getting married off…hopefully that’s a few years away for me!


Linking up here:



Center of Attention Deficit Disorder The DIY Show Off
Sassafras Salvation  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Office Concept

Believe it or not, it’s been at least two weeks now, and I have changed my mind about turning the front room to an “office” space.  I showed you a collection of my inspiration photos here, with this picture being my favorite (I think).


With your understanding that I have NO technical drawing skills, here’s a sketch of what I envision our “office wall” to look like:

office drawing

Yes, even with graph paper I can’t draw a straight line!  You get the general idea.

Since this desk will be the first thing you see upon entering our home, I so want it to be pretty.  I can deal with the monitor on display—I guess that’s really no different than a television.  But I really want the CPU, router, and printer to all be tucked away behind doors.

The bookshelves on either side will hold books that meet my requirements of both functional and “pretty.”  I’d love for the area above the desk space to hold some vintage-y treasures, but I’m thinking if I spring for seeded glass, they could disguise more practical items!


This is the wall where the desk would go.  I took this picture early last fall, standing at the front door.  The left side doesn’t look like that anymore—the white entry table is gone (that’s where the suitcase wall is), and the staircase (farther to the left) has been totally remodeled. 

Slowly…ever so slowly…I will get this room done!

…assuming I don’t change my mind again.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chippy Enamel Flower Bucket

gina 016

After making the faux enameled stencils, I wanted to try enamel-i-fying something else, just for fun!

I came across this cute little metal bucket at Target for $2.50, and it had to come home with me.

rainboots 011

I primed it, and then painted it with Rustoleum spray paint in gloss white.

It took me the longest time to decide how to embellish my little bucket.  I turned to my French typography inspiration board, and this image from The Graphics Fairy caught my eye:


(click on the image to be taken to the source)

I saved the image to my computer, and then uploaded it into my Silhouette software.  After some manipulations, I was able to cut out the words in vinyl.

spring banner 001

I applied the vinyl directly to my bucket…

spring banner 002

…and then I used acrylic paint to randomly paint on “chipped” areas on my “enamel” bucket.  I sprayed the whole thing with a protective coat in a glossy finish.

faux enamel

And now I have an old, chipped, enamel flower bucket!

faux enameled bucket

I kept thinking of that old commercial that said something like: 

“Is it real?? Or is it…Clairol?”

gina 015

What do you think?

gina 017

Would it fool YOU?

Note:  The “green tree” sign project may be found here.

Linking up here:
Coastal Charm’s Nifty Thrifty Tuesday Elizabeth & Co.
Center of Attention Deficit Disorder The Graphics Fairy
Someday Crafts No Minimalist Here’s Open House Thursday
Friday Remodelaholic 2805
My Simple Home Life’s Simple Creations Friday Mod Vintage Life
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special Domestically Speaking
Beyond the Picket Fence’s Under $100 Party My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Perfectly Imperfect {Primp}
Simply Klassic Sundays My Repurposed Life
Thrifty Décor Chick It’s So Very Cheri
Common Ground {aka} design

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cleaning with Kids

This post is sponsored by Pine-Sol® Clean & Disinfect with Pine-Sol®: The Powerful Scent of Clean." I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

When people find out that I have six children, I am usually met with incredulous looks and questions like, “How do you do it all?”

Well, it’s not a secret, folks.

I don’t!

I have seriously laughingly remarked to my friends that I can:

    • read books
    • OR cook
    • OR knit
    • OR re-do furniture
    • OR keep my house clean.

But never all at the same time.

I tend to be a little obsessive about my hobbies.  I can do one of those things really well, or a few of them moderately well.

In order to keep the household in the moderately-well category, I need AND require my children to help me.  I think parents do a disservice to their children by NOT expecting them to help with the household chores. I have mentioned before that I expect my children to be USEFUL as well as decorative!  And my children do not get paid for chores.  I maintain that there are things we do because they are for the good of the family, and not because we gain an immediate reward.

So here’s how we do it—or try to!  I keep a chore chart on the refrigerator, and these daily chores are expected to be done starting at 5 p.m. each day.  Younger dwarfs rotate through smaller jobs (You’ll notice that Dopey is only responsible for the back entry and the shoes.  It even gets done.  Sometimes.)  Older dwarfs have larger responsibilities.  It isn’t a perfectly regular rotation, as the schedule is adjusted depending on who has piano lessons or dance or play practice or cub scouts or track practice… you get the idea!  I rarely do.


If you’d like a copy of my chore rotation (MS Excel file), e-mail

“Deeper” cleaning happens on the weekends.  Once upon a time I would give one dwarf responsibility for all the sinks, another for all the garbages, etc.  Unfortunately, that led to instances where, for example, the bathroom counters would not be wiped off, and I would hear a chorus of “It’s not my job!” ringing through the house.  Ugh.

So, borrowing heavily from the chore checklists created by Mads Memories, I created my own chore checklists for the weekend jobs.


Checking for dirty socks is one of my personal additions.


The “wall to wall, corner to corner” bit is one of my additions, too.  Otherwise, we end up with a really clean 10 sq. ft. area in the middle of the floor.  Please avert your eyes from the edges!


If you’d like a copy of my chore checklists (MS Word file), e-mail

Cut apart and laminated, these lists serve as reusable reminders of what REALLY goes in to cleaning a room!   For our personal use, I have separate checklists for each bathroom and each bedroom.

Believe it or not, this is really NOT how our house looks most evenings…

Pinesol 021-3

No matter what the children may tell you…

Pinesol 054-2

Just a little paraphrase from Ben-Hur there.

…but I do believe that working together to maintain a home saves time and sanity (sometimes—although the whip may indicate otherwise) and teaches children skills they need to become productive, happy, healthy adults! 

Are you a little extreme when it comes to cleaning? Win the Pine-Sol® Deep Clean Diva Crown and $5000. Enter Now!

So do you have any tips for me on keeping a busy household clean?  What has worked for you??

Please note:  No dwarfs were harmed in the making of this blog post.


Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Monday, March 19, 2012

Visiting at “Remodelaholic”

My Giani Granite countertop makeover is being featured at Remodelaholic today!


After three months with my “new” countertops, I am still happy with them.  I have noticed a few chips in the finish, but the nice part is that the multi-colored granite look and texture hides them very well—I don’t think anyone would notice them but me!  I also recognize that my countertops get heavy use, so chipping was inevitable. 

Would I still like real granite someday?  Absolutely!  But this kit is a very inexpensive way to “buy time” while I save for them!

See the makeover saga at Remodelaholic!

Visiting “From Gardners 2 Bergers”

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite coffee table makeovers at From Gardners 2 Bergers


And I shamelessly stole this great collage photo from Becca!

While you’re there, be sure to visit Becca’s project page.  Among other talents, she has an *amazing* knack for recreating the cool wall art you see from famous designers!  Take a look at some of her creations!

Click on the pictures to be taken directly to the blog post.



Hope to see you at From Gardners to Bergers!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Front Room turned Office?

I am just a little bit crazy.  There was one day last August when I suddenly decided that I couldn’t stand my front room (some would call it a formal living room—-but we’re not that formal) one minute longer.  So over the course of about 10 days, I pretty much sold everything that was in it.

And it sat empty for months…and months…and months.   (Honestly, I prefer having it empty than hating what was in it.)

Lest you get too excited…it’s still empty.

But I think I’m closing in on what to do with it!

In late September, I posted about my “Design Challenge,” and I got lots of great feedback regarding what to do with my poor, unloved front room.  I had every intention of working on it, but other projects came along (like the entry wall, staircase, kitchen counters…you get the idea).

If you follow me on Facebook (which is really not that exciting), you’ll recognize the following post:

The longer it takes me to START a project, the more likely it is that I will completely change my mind about that project. Does that happen to anyone else??

So now the idea of turning the front room into the home office/computer room has taken hold.  It isn’t my first choice, but it seems to be the best way to make the space useable, and end the computer (husband) vs. television (children) arguments that happen most evenings in the basement family room. 

*I* am Switzerland. I stay upstairs.

The current idea—and I make no promises that it will last—is to make a wall of built-ins in the front room to marry form and function.  So I’ve been “collecting” pretty pictures over the past couple of days, and I thought I’d share them with you and ask for your thoughts!  Plus, if I collect them all in one place, I can close the 24 tabs I have open in my brower.  No kidding.

Click on the pictures to be taken to the source pages.


I love Miss Mustard’s Seed’s newly-built office space.   I love the long expanse of counter space—it makes it feel very spacious, I think. 


This one doesn’t have the benefit of a window, and ours wouldn’t either.  I like that the cabinets above the work space are set high enough that they wouldn’t make you feel claustrophobic.


The picture above is an “after” picture; the makeover is worth looking at!  Love the contrasting paint in the back of the cupboards—she removed the cupboard doors.


This office is just amazing--everything is hand-made, and the desk top is made from flooring!  I am completely in awe.  I like the two work stations with the long return, but my husband says it reminds him too much of his work set-up! 


How’s this for gorgeousness?  This is one of a collection of pictures at Designing Your Dream Home, and she has some great tips for things to “remember” when designing a kitchen office space.  I found some good ideas there.


This one is staged so beautifully.  Desks always look better with a tiny laptop rather than a big 24” monitor, don’t they??  I really want some bookshelves in mine, though.

Vista Real Residence contemporary home office

contemporary home office design by los angeles architect Narita Architects

Love the curved top detail on the bookcases, but I think the “walls” on either side of the workspace would make me feel a little claustrophobic.  I think we’d want a longer workspace, too—maybe about 42 inches?


Love this L-shaped set-up, but I don’t think I want to take up two walls.  I do think it’s smart to have baskets in the corner area so that space is still useable.


OK, so the window seat isn’t really part of the “office,” but I so love it.  The front room was going to have a window seat--until I changed my mind!  I can’t figure out what’s going on in the knee space.  What is that, anyway?


I saved the best for last.  This one is my very favorite.  I would like a library ladder, pretty please!  (Finding Home’s neighbor gave her one. Lucky duck!) I love the large open area above the workspace, too.  The little cubbies at the back are cute, but I think the drawers would be annoying—you’d have to move everything to open them.

After looking at all these pretty pictures, I have worked up a sketch of what I like MY wall of built-ins to look like.  If I can figure out how to scan it in (that’s a big IF), I’ll post it in a day or two.

I’m curious…do you have any built-ins in your home (or wish you did)?  What do you like or not like?  Anything I should remember to include or plan for?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

11 Questions

Kristin from A Simply Klassic Home passed on 11 Questions for me to answer as part of a game of “blogger tag.”  I am absolutely lousy at passing on blogger awards—but this one caught my fancy, so here goes!


1.  If you could spend the day with one of your favorite bloggers, who would it be and why? What would you do?

So I had to add “one of” to the question above, because I don’t have just one favorite.  But one of the top contenders is Suzanne from Meridian Road (who is going to think I’m stalking her after this recent project where I raved about her).   I love Suzanne’s vintage style, and I love the projects she makes and shares because she loves creating things—and not just to fill a blogging “quota.”   If we had a day together, I hope she’d take me to her favorite junking haunts, and then help me make a hotel-inspired key rack, which is the project that sucked me in to her blog in the first place!

2.  What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

That depends!  If I’m just eating it straight, I like Farr’s German Chocolate Cake Crunch.  But my favorite ice cream treat is a chocolate malt, and for that I like the cheapest chocolate ice cream—because I like it when it makes ice crystals in my malt!  If I’m eating at Leatherby’s (the best ice cream parlor ever), I like a hot fudge sundae with pralines & caramel ice cream!

3.  What current decorating/design/clothing trend do you despise?

I’ve seen lots of pictures lately of high-fashion models wearing SOCKS with high-heeled sandals.  Are you kidding me??  It was bad enough with Birkenstocks!

4.  What TV show are you embarrassed to admit that you watch?

The Big Bang Theory.  Nuff said!

5.  Who or what inspired you to start blogging?

My daughter!  I had been re-doing furniture for a while, and drooling over other blogs.  She pushed me to start one of my own.

6.  What quote/saying do you aim to live by?

That changes from time to time.  The one on my chalkboard right now is, “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”  (Thomas S. Monson)  Another favorite is, “In all of living, have much fun and laughter.  Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”  (Gordon B. Hinckley)

7.  What do you think of Pinterest? (this may be a loaded question right now...)

I had nothing but love for it until I read about their actual terms of use here.  Now—I’ll admit I’m a little freaked out by it.  At the moment, I’m choosing to bury my head in the sand and pretend it won’t affect me!  (Who’s with me??)

8.  What's your favorite sandwich?

When I was pregnant with my fourth child, I worked at a little sandwich shop (called “A Place to Ponder”—isn’t that a great name?) for about six weeks.  There was a sandwich there that I still dream about—real turkey, bacon, and harvati cheese—plus pickles!--grilled on sun-dried tomato bread.  Especially with a cup of creamy tomato soup—it was divine!

9.  What is your guilty pleasure?

Eating treats after the kids go to bed…so I don’t have to share!

10.  What is the worst gift you've ever received?

In college, I was dating a guy who brought me some sort of a gelatinous (candy) white rat.  I had NO idea what to say to him about that—it was hard to be gracious!  The relationship did not last long after that!

11.  Do you have a favorite quote from a movie?

Several!  But I particularly like these from The Princess Bride:

  • Inconceivable!
  • R.O.U.S’s?  I don’t think they exist. (Just used this at dinner on Saturday!)
  • Life IS pain, Highness!  Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.  (I like to use this one on the children when they cry, “Not fair!”)
  • As you wish!

I’m tagging the following bloggers, but my feelings will absolutely positively not be hurt if you choose not to play!

Here are your questions:

  1. If you were an animal, what would you be?
  2. What event in your life would you consider to be your “10 minutes of fame”?
  3. What is a favorite tradition from your childhood that you want to pass on?
  4. What superpower do you wish you possessed?
  5. What is your least favorite household chore?
  6. What would be a dream find for you at an antique store/thrift store/flea market/garage sale (you get the idea) ?
  7. What is something TRUE about yourself that no one would believe?
  8. What’s your favorite dessert?
  9. What is one of your favorite books?
  10. What would your dream vacation be?
  11. Why do you blog?


Friday, March 9, 2012

Please leave your boots at the door

This is unusual for me.  I am not normally a door-décor person.  I have a wreath for fall and a wreath for Christmas, but I don’t normally have anything up at any other time of the year.

Until now…

rainboots 018

Some people put ice skates on their door at Christmas time—so I though, “Why not rain boots for Spring?”

I went on the hunt for some child’s rain boots, and I came up with these at a thrift store:

boots, enamel, Rachel 001

I liked the $4 price tag, but I didn’t think purple was the look I wanted with my orange front doorSomeone else may be able to pull it off.  Not me!

So I taped off the sole of the boots…

boots, enamel, Rachel 003

…and sprayed on Rustoleum "Summer Squash.”

boots, enamel, Rachel 004

Note:  I foolishly did not prime the boots first—and I should have.  The paint dried, but remained VERY sticky.  Like gum-on-your-shoe sticky.  Or jam-on-a-toddler’s-hands sticky.  Ugh.  Thankfully a couple of coats of Rustoleum clear coat (leftover from the faux enameled stencils) greatly reduced the sticky factor.  Now they’re only Post-It Note sticky.  Hopefully not Venus Fly-Trap sticky, since they’re hanging outside!

I spent $15 on some silk flowers at Michael’s, and $1 for a cool paper ribbon at Ben Franklin.

rainboots 015

How did I attach the ribbon, you ask?? Staples!

Staples and duct tape.  Where would we be without them??

rainboots 014

And that’s my version of a spring “wreath” for about $20.

rainboots 016

I think the yellow was a much better choice than the purple, don’t you?



This project has been featured at From My Front Porch to Yours.


Linking up here:



Coastal Charm’s Nifty Thrifty Tuesday Elizabeth & Co.
Domestically Speaking’s Countdown to Spring Mod Vintage Life
Censational Girl No Minimalist Here’s Open House Thursday
Friday Remodelaholic 2805
My Simple Home Life’s Simple Creations Friday Thrifty Décor Chick
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Beyond the Picket Fence’s Under $100 Party My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Perfectly Imperfect {Primp}
Simply Klassic Sundays My Repurposed Life
From My Front Porch to Yours It’s So Very Cheri
Common Ground {aka} design