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.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

out with the old. . .

it's a rainy, cool, fall day here in south

a good day to stay inside, enjoy a hot drink,
light some candles, and. . . 

enjoy the sounds of a kitchen demo! 

this is what's happening around here today.

upper cabs and soffit are coming out. old white laminate that stains
super easily is coming out. old sink that was only 5 inches deep is coming out.

going in. . .

oak butcher block, a deep white sink, and open shelving.

my inpiration kitchen is laura's from pure style home.

isn't it great? my colors will be different and i have a window
over the sink (and a much smaller space!) but the
concept will be similar. want to see this kitchen's before?
check it out here.

by the time the sun is shining again my countertops and sink will be installed
and my walls will be ready for me to tackle. to save some money
i'll be doing the open shelving myself.  fingers crossed that
i can pull it off!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

is it 2011 yet?

man, we have had one of those "one thing after another" seasons over the last six weeks. you know the kind. . . the car that starts becoming a money pit, unexpected medical bills, sick kid after sick kid, a growing list of household projects on a shrinking budget, blah, blah, blah. . .

i seem to be unable to rest until this little cottage of ours is to our liking.  with the last several weeks being so hectic i couldn't tackle some of the larger projects but i did manage to get our tiny little bathroom updated.

it was one of those projects that just happened. you know the kind? i didn't have a plan or a vision and it wasn't on my agenda for the day. as a result i didn't even snap a before picture for you, so i'll have to 'paint' you a picture of the before.

here it is today. not an "after," but an "almost done."

what we started with in here were walls that were a fleshy color.
i honestly don't know how to describe the color; most of the house was painted
with it. fleshy with pink undertones. not attractive. the cabinet
in this bath was a standard oak with modern silver pulls.

because i needed to do this one on a dime i went to
our shed and pulled from paint we already had.

the vanity was painted alabaster by sherwin williams and i used some old rusty pulls
i had on hand from a project that never saw the light of day.

the walls are blue hubbard, a sherwin williams color i had mixed
at home depot with behr paint and primer in one. this color was
used in our front room and i had just enough left over for
our small bath.

the wall over the toilet had a standard towel bar. i removed that and filled
the holes and personalized the space a bit with pics of
the boys and warmed it up with a couple candles.

you can see the wall across from the toilet in the reflection of the mirror. that is the only
floor to ceiling wall space in the bathroom. the previous owners had
a vertical towel holder on that wall that held about six towels.

i put up a chippy shelf with four rusty hooks.
i picked  this up at hobby lobby for 50% off, making it $10.

so, now we have a place to hang our towels. hanging them over the doors was
not working for me! :)

this is another hook i had on hand. it has three different
sized hooks that pivot. i took down the ring towel hook on the wall
beside the vanity and replaced it with this. i need to go back and
paint the silver screws i used to put it up. i touch of hammered bronze spray
paint should do the job!

and because i love to display my blue ball and atlas jars i had to
make a spot for one. i just shoved a bunch of
white candles in and called it done.

to finish it out i will frame out the mirror and change the lighting
and faucet. i will likely put a couple cute knobs on those
two faux drawer fronts on the vanity, too.

but for now, it's a big improvement!

and the best part? the total out of pocket was $10 because we used what we had.