Friday, December 31, 2010

alan, alan, alan. . .

Monday, December 13, 2010

christmas home tour 2010

the nester is hosting a
christmas home tour today and i thought it would
 be fun to participate.

living in a smaller space has really changed
the way we live. everything is a bit simpler.
less clutter. everything has a function.

decorating for christmas this year was dictated
by this new way of living.

this is the first view as you enter our cottage.
i am in process of painting
all interior doors and am loving
that the closet door you see as you enter the
house now stands out. on it, i hung some
greens from the yard.

the faux board and batten to the left has
been  a great way to define and add function
to our entry. and for christmas, a simple red scarf.

this room is immediately to the left when you enter
the house. most of my christmas decor
this year was shopping the house and pulling
red in to various spaces, like the pillows in our
family room.

the kids and i also threw up some
christmasy words on the chalkboard.

our mantel, which you can see more of here.

again, just pulled in some red here. a jar filled with a strand of
red wooden beads and one filled with green moss
 and a few small pine cones. the candle
received a burlap and twine treatment like all my candles have
right now.

finding a place for a tree was a real trick in quinby cottage.
our options were really limited unless we wanted to
block our back door, which we did not.
so, we bought a small fakey this year, put it in a large galvanized
bucket and wrapped it in burlap. the tree is simply
decorated with white lights, twine, and ornaments
collected through the years.

we recently did a board and batten treatment in our
hall bathroom as well. i love it. for the holiday's
i just wrapped some greenery from the yard, a bit
of holly and some tree cuttings, with some twine and hung
them up.

i also brought in some red with some
candy canes. you know, because who isn't looking
for some peppermint while using the

over in the kitchen i am just hanging my red dish towels. . .

put out a little holly here and there. . .

and threw some vintage, red crates atop my 

and that's that. 

our simple cottage christmas. thanks for stopping by! 

now go check out all the beautiful homes linked up over at

Monday, December 6, 2010

i'm no seamstress. . .

if there were any skill i could achieve with a snap of the
fingers - no lessons, trial and error, time to perfect, etc - it would be sewing.

or photography.

no. sewing would be first.

oh if i could sew! i would make
new pillow covers for every season, curtains to soften
up all my rooms out of great fabric, and flirty a-line skirts.

but. i can't.
i can barely sew a button on my boys' shirts.

i wanted some light, airy curtains for my evolving kitchen
 but have yet to come across any i like
or could afford so i decided to take the
stitch witchery plunge.

i'm sure i am the last person on earth to hear of this stuff
but now i'm sold!
in addition to stitch witchery all i needed was my fabric, a
damp cloth and a hot iron.

please overlook the poor lighting and photography (remember that is
second on my list of desired skills) to my
new light, airy curtains.

i picked up just enough muslin in a light brown for the bottom and ivory,
with specs of brown making it look almost like a grain
sack, for the top.

after following the instructions on the package this
is my finished product. they are just what i wanted.

i didn't "hem" the bottom because i liked the
unfinished look. it works well with the feel of the kitchen.

i'm pretty pleased with them and think they really
soften up and balance all the straight edges of the open shelving
 and the harshness of the aluminum brackets.

they aren't perfect but they are exactly what
i was looking for.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

flash mob, hallelujah chorus

praise God!
why don't flash mobs ever break out in junktique stores? :)

one little vignette

i didn't do a ton of decorating this year. and what i did was
kept relatively simple.

like this vignette.

the twig wreath is actually two. an 18 in. and a 12 in.
i just tied them together for added bulk and
a little more depth. both of these i already had on hand.

the NOEL banner i made last year.
burlap, acrylic paint, stencil and jute.

the candle holder is a duplicat of the one on my mantle, also distressed
and rubbed down with walnut stain.

the red lanterns are from ikea, one is sitting in a silver bowl which rests
on a white cake stand. the white candles have
the same treatment as the candles on my mantel, burlap and jute.

and that's it.
tres simple.

i'm a sucker for slate blue and red together so i am
digging that my lamps and lanterns
get to mingle together this month.

i'm linking up to another holiday party today; it's all about vignette's.
rhoda at southern hospitality is hosting. go pay
a visit!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

spreading the word

For those of us that love all things house and home, and work hard
to make our own homes our dream home in which to raise
and enjoy our family. . . this is unimaginable.

This couple purchased their dream home only to find out
it was a meth house. They are now stuck with the

If you have a minute go read their story.
If you want to start from the beginning start on this page and begin at the bottom
with the first post and work your way to the present.

The story has been picked up by  their local papers and most
recently CNN. Hopefully as word spreads
they will receive the help they need.

I really feel for them. They only want to do what so many of
us are doing, decorating their home for the holiday's while entertaining
family and friends in their home.

If you feel compelled, maybe you can help them spread the word!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

quniby cottage christmas mantel

hey y'all! i'm joining the mantel party over at the lettered cottage today.
there will be no lack of creativity so go over and have a look if you are
needing some inspiration for your own christmas mantel.

i kept it pretty simple this year. no garland or lights, just a
few things gathered from around the house.

on each end i have a small frazier fur (fake) wrapped in burlap and
tied with some of my favorite ribbon.

i threw a couple of empty white frames i had laying around, along with a lone
white candle, next to one fake frazier fur.

i once swore, by the way, that a fake christmas tree would never
cross the threshold of any home in which i lived. never say never, right?

that changed this year. not only are these little cuties on the mantel
fake but our tree is fake. i think it pains pastor j more than me. like me, he loves
the scent of a freshly cut tree.
anyway, more on that later! back to the topic at hand. . .

on the other end three more candles, all wrapped in burlap and twine
to add a bit more texture and interest, along with a more natural
the candle holder i picked up from ikea when
i went for my butcher block. it was shiny and white so i
distressed it, of course, and rubbed my fave walnut
stain over the whole thing.
much better.

i picked up the letters for the JOY sign at hobby lobby for pennies
on the dollar, painted and distressed them, and hot glued
them to some jute.
beneath the mirror. . . three simple, tattered, green books.

i have two more stockings to replace (how do stockings disappear over
the course of the 11 months they sit in a plastic bin
in the attic?) and then it'll be done.

also, i painted the back door black. did you notice?
it makes such a difference! the interior of all our exterior doors
are now black and now i am seriously thinking
about painting all my interior doors black. too much? :)

enjoy the mantel party! check in periodically for all the new links, you are sure
to see lot's of amazing ideas!

The Lettered Cottage

Saturday, November 27, 2010


the house is trimmed and the halls are decked.

and now, it's time for some football!

beat clemson!

Monday, November 22, 2010

diy fail

when we ripped the upper cabinets out of our kitchen pieces of our
undesireable popcorn ceiling came down with them. i seriously thought about
scraping the whole thing right then and there but pastor j
would have been most unhappy with me. we have had
a disrupt-the-routine kind of project going
on since we moved in. . . so, the popcorn
ceiling stays.

but, the patches need touching up. i did paint the strips that
had drywall exposed so it wasn't so obvious but it still looks bad.

today was my day to tackle the patch work. something i should have done before
 i put the open shelves up but i was a tad impatient to get those up
and decked out.  i covered everything up and pulled out the can-o-texture.

it sounded easy enough.

1. cover everything.
2. shake can for 1 minute.
3. hold upright.
4. pull trigger making half second sweeps.
5. there are 8-10 "sweeps" in the can.

okay, cool.


this was a disaster of a diy project!! first, this stuff flies everywhere when you spray it.
everywhere! except the place i want it to go. the area i need to cover
is a long thin line, about 12 feet. for the life of me i could not hit that
thin line. after about five failed sweeps the nozzle clogged and i had to step down to
wash the goey textured mess out of my hair.

there has got to be a better way!

Monday, November 15, 2010

South Carolina vs Florida. . . draining the swamp!

I interrupt reno and home decor news to bring you this AWESOME video highlighting
the many sweet moments of the SEC East title game last Saturday. 

thank you for indulging me,
a proud gamecock

Sunday, November 14, 2010

love me some open shelves!

progress is being made in the kitchen. i have a few more details
to work out and then i'll show ya around.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

a decision and some board and batten

thanks for the input on my small counter top dilemma. 
while the difference in wood doesn't bother me i have decided
to do bead board. i think the 1x4 would have shortened
the wall once we got the open shelving up and the whole purpose of doing
this was to create a feeling of more space.  kinda like
someone with short legs wearing a large cuffed pant, it shortens an already
short leg. or something like that.

while going back and forth on this decision i couldn't just sit idle so here's what i worked on
over the weekend.

a faux board and batten treatment.
try not to be distracted by the mess in the foreground and background.
our focus here are the two walls on each side of the
room opening.

to the left, just out of the picture is our front door.
so when you walk in the house the sitting room is on your left and the dining
on your right. after we opened up all this space
if left a very non-distinct entry. i wanted to do something that
defined the space and give us a place to hang

this did the job. using mdf we just cut it to size and
put it up with a bit of glue and a nail gun.

i put it on the short wall just to the right of the door which you cannot
really see, the wall behind the door and to the left after walking in, just past
the sitting room.

after the mdf was attached i caulked it, primed it, and painted it with
a semi gloss ultra white, same as the trim.

also, don't mind the little boys wandering around aimlessly
wondering what mom is doing now.

i added some hooks for our coats and bags
and they will never come down because. . .  putting screws
into mdf? kind of a mess. at least for me. but they are in there

it's certainly not perfect but i'm pretty happy with it. the mdf
was cheap and i was able to get all my cuts out of one sheet.
the horizontal pieces are 3.5 inches and the verticle pieces are
1.5 inches.

after it was nailed to the wall i applied putty and sanded. i found the mdf to be pretty hard to sand.
as a result it is not as smooth as i would like and those flaws really
show with a semi-gloss paint. i may try to go back later with my palm sander
 and smooth out the imperfections and repaint. but for now this will
be just fine.

i will be doing the same treatment in our hall bathroom (and those cuts have already been made out of the same sheet purchased for the entry) so i'll have
another chance to work out the kinks.

also, i hung this guy. little by little we
are replacing all the brass light fixtures in the house.

we can't afford to buy the fixtures i really want from barn light electric
so, for the entry, i settled for an outdoor light from lowes.
it works just fine. and, i hung it myself. that was a first for me. :)

think i'll link up at cottage instincts!

Friday, November 5, 2010

calling all diy'ers!

i need opinions!!

our kitchen reno is under way. the upper cabs are out.
the walls are prepped and drying waiting for the next step.
the butcher block counter is in.
the sink is in.

when i started  this i didn't know what
i was going to do for backsplash. i knew i wasn't
going to buy another slab of butcher block
just to get a 1x4 cut for the backsplash.
if money weren't an issue i may have
done that, but as it stands. . . not happening.
so, i was thinking i may not have one and rather
do beadboard all the way up. or maybe board and batten.
in the end i decided against these because there
is not a natural stop point on  that wall. i would
have had to cover the whole wall on that side of
the kitchen and i didn't want to do  that.

so, i ran  up to lowes and bought a 1x4, came home and made my cuts
and tried to stain it to match my counters. impossible.

here is my question. do you think it looks bad. like really bad
to have the mix of wood and varying color?
be honest.

here are some pics to give you some different angles. the darker spots
are a rougher texture on the wood.

i know the real designers out  there might give this a giant
no but there are probably lots of things in my
house that would get that
so i need other input. i am normally pretty decisive on
decor issues but not this one.

i am open to scrapping it or keeping it.

linking up to funky junk interiors.