Easy Faux Planters

5As I promised earlier in the week, I’m sharing how I made some cute little faux plants.  It started with a variety of small containers I had previously had succulents in along with a few new items.  The succulents had met an untimely fate during one of Brinley’s “puppy moments” and had been empty for a while so I wanted to refill them but with Alaska still well in the grips of winter there weren’t many options to choose from.  While browsing Michaels the other day I spotted these little faux succulent stems (ignore my supervisor’s photo bomb – LOL!).

0I knew they’d be perfect to fill several of the small containers so I picked up a few.  As you can tell from the empty spots on the holder above, I’d tested out the stems on a small piece before I decided to write a post about the process.  But since it went well here we go.  We’ll start with this cute glass cup I picked up at IKEA the last time we were in Portland.

1I fill it 2/3 full of moss I already had on hand to create a base for my arrangement.

2I pulled several of the grassy stems from the holder and started bunching them together.  Once I had a grouping I liked I put them down into the center of the moss in the cup.

34I fluffed things around a bit until I liked how everything looked and called it done.  Next up was this cement bowl I found at a local boutique shop.

6Since this one was larger than the glass cup and solid I filled most of it with crumpled up paper from an advertisement that came in the mail.  I was enjoying the pretty spring colors on the paper, which was a nice little inspiration.

7I added moss on top of the paper, leaving a small area in the center open to put the stems.

8After I added the grassy stems I randomly placed some of the small succulent stems around the perimeter.  It was ok, but looked a bit crowded and not really what I was envisioning.  So I kept fussing with it, trying a variety of arrangements.

9Eventually I pared it down to just the grassy stems and some white flowers left over from a project long ago.  Its the perfect look for early spring.

10Here’s a quick shot of the other planters I whipped up using the same method.  This little galvanized container came from a boutique in Portland and looks sweet next to the lamp in the guest room.

11You might have spotted the succulent grouping in the small crock on the sewing table I shared recently.  It was a little too much brown in here until we refinish the table so it’s moved to the laundry room, which I’ll share soon.

aAnd of course the succulent planter you saw earlier this week with my fun little scroll art.


I love how real they all look, yet they require zero maintenance, which is perfect for my schedule these days! 🙂  I’ve got a few more of the succulent stems so there might be a few more arrangements in the coming months, but for now I’m enjoying having a bit of green around the house even though it’s deep white outside.

Linking up at: Knik of Time’s Talk of the Town, Tater Tots & Jello’s BFF and Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us WednesdayStone Gable’s The Scoop and Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party!

TDC Before and After



DIY Serving Tray

finishThis was a quick project I did as inventory for my holiday bazaar show back in November.  I had wanted to share it back then but life with the crunch of show prep I didn’t get a chance to take step by step photos to share.  Luckily, it’s such a simple project that I can explain it pretty easily and since it didn’t sell I still have it around to photograph!

I started with a plain wooden cutting board I picked up at the thrift store for around $4.  It was looking pretty worn so I gave it a good cleaning and then a light coat of stain to bring it back to life.  Next we added the leather handles.  Can you guess what they were in a former life?

1If you guessed a belt you’re right!  The Hubs had several belts that no longer fit or were worn out in spots.  This one was literally hanging on by a thread at one spot but the rest was still in good shape so I guesstimated how long I wanted the handles and cut two pieces to the same length.  The Hubs attached the edges of the belt pieces to the board with this fancy screws we got at the hardware store after pre-drilling holes for them so they wouldn’t split the wood.

32And that’s it.  See I told you it was simple!  I’m actually pretty glad it didn’t sell as we’ve been using it quite often for snacking on the couch or when I want to work on something but still be comfy.

I’d love to leave it out on the ottoman like this with some cute seasonal decor staged all the time but the Hubs assures me that the dogs would chew the handles and I know they would certainly knock off anything I had sitting on it so it typically lives on top of the media cabinet so it’s nearby whenever I need it.  It’s a good thing I love those heathens. 😉

Linking up at: Knik of Time’s Talk of the Town and Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us Wednesday and Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party!

TDC Before and After


A Quick & Easy Makeover

afterHere’s one of the quick little projects I’ve done recently.  I spotted this little scroll decor piece on one of the local buy/sell pages for $1 and just couldn’t pass it up.  Here’s how it looked when I bought it.

beforeAlthough it was cute in it’s original state I thought it would look better with a metal finish rather than the faux stone one it had.  A couple quick coats of ORB spray paint and it’s got a whole new look.

finishI’m not sure where I’ll use it just yet, but for now it looks pretty next to another of my quick projects, this mini faux succulent planter.  I’ll share how I made that later this week!

Linking up at: Knik of Time’s Talk of the Town and Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us Wednesday and Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party!

TDC Before and After


A New Project


Hi everyone,  I know it’s been quiet here on the blog but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.  The day job has been super busy, I decided to revamp my photography website and have been working on several small projects that have been waiting in the wings for months.  I’ll be photographing a lot of those projects this weekend so I can share them with you next week, but in the meantime I had to share my new project.

I picked up this adorable antique sewing table on one o the local buy/sell pages with a modern sewing machine for just $85!  Although the sewing machine is what drew me to the post since that was the main photo when I read that the table came with it for that price I immediately contacted the seller to see if it was still available.  Lucky for me it was because I’ve been on the hunt for a piece for this spot and a sewing machine for other projects.  We had to reschedule the pick-up a couple of times, but it finally came home this week and it’s literally a perfect fit or the space.

The seller told me the piece had been in her family for many years and she always hoped someone would refinish it, which is exactly what I plan to do.  It’s in need of some simple repairs to a few spots and tightening up of all the screws, but those should be easy.  I’m going to live with it as is for a while to refine my ideas, but the Hubs and I agree on an overall plan to leave the cast iron legs alone, paint the drawers on the base of the table and refinish the top in a cherry to match the sewing table we refinished on the other side of the bed.  Lastly we’ll find similar knobs to match the other table for all 6 drawers.


I had originally wanted a small dresser for this space, but we typically don’t have guests stay that long and with the closet system in this room there’s plenty of space for them to unpack if they should.  I may turn the open space where the sewing machine use to sit into a vanity so guests could get ready in their room if the bathroom next door is in use.  There’s already a chair in this room so they could just pull it over when needed.  I’m not sure if I’ll replace the top completely and put a large mirror against the wall or use the flip cover to hide a mirror underneath that can be opened when needed.

For now it’s a perfect spot to hold the lamp and fill in the empty space.  I’d love to hear your ideas on how you’d use the piece, so share them in a comment below!

Junkin’ in Portland


Our last trip to Portland was planned around attending a large junk show similar to the one we’d gone to the previous year farther north.  This one was called Junk Bonanza.  Several of the same vendors were at this show so they were on the top of my list to check out first.  We paid a little extra for the early bird tickets so we got in before the general crowd, which means we also had first dibs on items.

The Hubs had told me that if I found something large that I wanted we could store it at my mother-in-law’s house until he could make a trip down the Alcan to pick it up in the spring.  Knowing that I had that option in the near future, I made a bee-line for B’Aase Repurposed‘s booth.  I had missed out on their super cute upcycled planters last time and was hopeful they’d have some more.  Although they didn’t have planters this time they did have this awesome bell made from a gas canister cylinder.  I knew right away it was meant to be in my yard.  We also found some cool metal fishing floats at their booth that will be used on rain chains to the rain barrels this year.


I took a peek at several other booths as I made my way to the next group on my priority list.  I really liked the large burlap webbing ottoman I spotted at this booth and may attempt to make one or two for the new deck we plan to build this summer.


Grange Industrial was my next priority stop.  I had researched them online from the vendor list and really liked their style.  They had several large pieces I pondered over, including some adorable repurposed wheelbarrow planters, but I knew I had a budget to work within and not having a spot I knew I’d use each item in I decided to pass on them.


Although it wasn’t on my priority list because they didn’t have an online site I could research them at beforehand, I just couldn’t pass the JBRO booth without browsing before the crowds arrived.  It was a wise choice because I found a garden trellis, a rake head and velvet pumpkins – just in time for fall decorating.


By now the general admission had started and things got a little more crowded.  I started browsing the vendors row by row and fell in love with UberChicHome‘s large display.  I was originally drawn to their grain sack pillows but the Hubs pointed out a vintage wooden cart on the corner of their booth.  The vendor said the item was on hold for another 5 minutes for someone who said they would be back for it.  We decided it was worth the wait to hang out and see if we could get it if the other person didn’t show up.  5 minute later, there was no returning customer and it was ours.  And about 2 minutes later someone else was asking to buy it as the vendor swiped my card!  The one we got is very similar to the one in the lower right corner of the photo below but nicer.  You’ll see it in a bit when I share my haul.


While we were waiting for the no-show customer I poked around the booth right across the aisle.  Rusty Glamour definitely had my vibe – rustic with a touch of industrial and farm house.  She had several cool pieces like those pendant lights made from old theater spot lights you see right out at the front and a vintage wheel chair.


What I loved most at her booth were these awesome sea bag pillows.  They were large and I knew they’d be durable based on the material.  When I pointed them out to the hubs he reminded me that we still had his sea bag and his dad’s.  So we decided to make our own using those.  I’m hoping to get to that project in the next few months and will share it here when we do.


Once we had the cart paid for I ventured on to other nearby booths, including All My Favorite Things, where I found an awesome rustic bench.  I actually pondered on the bench for a few minutes because it was a great price (based on my Alaska comparisons), but I wasn’t sure if I’d use it on the deck or front porch.  Another lady heard me talking about it with the vendor and told me that if I didn’t buy it she would.  Knowing I had two possible spots to use it off the top of my head I couldn’t pass up the deal.  I also contemplated those rustic stools you see in their booth below but I didn’t have a specific spot in mind for them so I decided to let them find another home.  I found a large stoneware crock at this booth for a great price as well.


Now that I had several bigger pieces paid and on hold around the show I wandered booth to booth to see what struck my interest.  One of my favorite set-ups was this farmhouse style booth, although didn’t find any treasures that had to come home with me from there.


To give you an idea of just how big the show was, here’s a panoramic shot I took from one corner of the exhibit hall!  Good thing I wore comfortable sneakers!


I’ll show my haul from the show in just a moment, but I also wanted to share some of my favorite booths and items I spotted when we visited the Monticello Antique Marketplace in Portland during the same trip.  This was our first visit to the store and it didn’t disappoint.


There was something about this particular booth that drew me in.  It had a perfect blend of rustic, farm house and western.  Another booth had these cool metal coil lights.  We have a couple of these in my materials stash so I may give it a try!


We came in through the side entrance where there was a little cafe, so I really enjoyed finding the main entrance with this awesome garden style display.


A little alcove near the entrance was decorated for Halloween – can you tell I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while?! LOL.  I loved the large undertakers sign on the back wall and may just make something similar for our mantel come this October. 😉


Ok – it’s finally time to share my haul from the Junk Bonanza show.  I didn’t get a shot of the smaller items since it was threatening to rain, here are the big items that await our return in the spring!  I can’t wait to bring them home and put them to use around the house and yard!


I love that the crock has a Portland stamp.  It will be a fun reminder of our many trips here.  And I find it interesting that it’s also a “6” like some of our others, including the one in our master bedroom.


Here’s a closer shot of the little wooden cart we scored!  This one is much nicer than the one you saw in the picture before.  It’s got removable panels for the tray of the cart and an old school reflector on the back – which is my favorite detail!  I’ve decided it’s going to live on our front porch where it will be protected from the elements but can be filled with plants or seasonal decor.  It will probably also be used for photo shoots, which should be absolutely adorable.



Since the Hubs is already planning to make a trip back with the truck in the coming months, I’m planning to hit several antique shops in downtown Camas, WA while we’re there as I’ve got a few things on my wish list that I’m sure will be better priced in that area.  I’d love to hear what you think of the treasures we found and ideas on how you would use them!

Windmill As Wall Art

0Happy New Year everyone!  I hope your holiday weekend was exactly how you wanted it to be, wether that was exciting or relaxed.  We took the relaxed approach.  I stayed home and the Hubs went hunting so no big ball dropping parties here.  Today I wanted to share another piece of wall art that came back on our recent trip to Portland.

This metal reproduction windmill.  If you remember I purchased an authentic windmill from Alaska Picker about a year ago and planned to display it on this faux shiplap wall but it was SUPER heavy and the Hubs just wasn’t sure we’d be able to locate studs in the right spots to mount it securely.  So when I spotted this baby on DecorSteals.com for $90 a few weeks before our trip I snapped one up and had it sent to my Mother-In-Law’s house since they wouldn’t ship to Alaska.

1This one is smaller and much lighter than the authentic one we bought.  Plus it comes apart into three sections so should I ever want to change things up I can use them separately without much effort.  It looked so awesome with our holiday decor and my new farmhouse style sign fit perfectly inside the bottom curve.

I packed up all the Christmas decorations over the weekend and I’m still working on my ‘winter’ decor for January – March, so we’ll see how I decorate around this in the coming days.  I’m considering adding two hanging lanterns or sconces on either side since the wall is so large, but I’ve got something else from our Portland trip going up on the wall where the barn wood angel hung for Christmas, so I want to wait until I get that up before I make a final decision, in case it would make the space too cluttered.

2So you’re probably wondering what we’ll do with the large and expensive authentic windmill right?  Don’t worry it will still get it’s due – I found a local buyer for it who wants to display it on a wall in her home.   And since she’s buying it for what we paid, we’re breaking even on that attempt.  Hopefully, she’s able to figure out a way to secure it well and enjoys it as much as I do this one.

We’ve also been working on another long-time-coming project recently – barn doors for the office!  The Hubs built the doors over the Christmas weekend and sanded them down so now it’s up to me to finish them with stain or paint.  I’m still debating on what the final choice will be but they should be done and installed this weekend so I can share them with you soon. 🙂

Tobacco Baskets in the Laundry Room


Today I’m sharing another quick project that came together after our trip to Portland in the fall.  I found these amazing reproduction tobacco baskets on a decor website I frequent and purchased two sets of a large size and a small size.  Unfortunately the distributor wouldn’t ship to Alaska, so I had them sent to the Hub’s Mom’s house in Portland knowing we’d be visiting soon.  I told the Hubs that these were part of the “must come back” pile and he made it happen, even with their fragile construction.  Have I mentioned recently how much I love that man? 🙂


I’d been on the hunt for tobacco baskets for some time when I found these and knew exactly where I’d use them when I bought them – in the laundry room above the board & batten we installed earlier this year.  My vision of having one large basket in the middle of the wall flanked by the two smaller ones worked out perfectly.


It’s just enough to finish out this wall in farmhouse style without being too heavy and it adds a bit more texture to the space.  Plus the fact that I was able to put them up all by myself with a couple of finishing nails made the whole project even simpler.


Here’s how things look from the dining room.  I ended up selling the other large basket so my total cost for this project, including shipping to Portland was around $55.  Not bad for three good sized pieces of art.

We also brought back another large piece of art I had to ship to Portland for pick-up.  That piece ended up in the dining room and I’ll be sharing it here soon, so stay tuned for that!

Updating a Tired Creche

z2Hello lovelies!  Did anyone else blink and last week fly right by?  It sure did for me!  Although it went by fast I was able to enjoy some downtime with the hubs and our fur babies while catching up on editing client photos and several holiday projects I’ve been wanting to do.  The first was creating a creche for my Willow Tree nativity set.

I wanted something rustic to compliment the rest of our decor so the creche that Willow Tree sells wasn’t going to fit the bill.  I’d pinned several DIY ideas on Pinterest but none had tutorials so I was planning to wing it and see what I came up with.  Luckily before I dove in and attempted anything I spotted this creche on one of the local buy/sell pages for just $7!  I quickly messaged the seller and arranged to pick it up that evening before someone else could swoop in on my bargain find.

crecheI knew I was going to revamp it a bit so when I got it home I gave it a thorough once over and came up with a game plan.  The first thing I did was remove the battered pine cone on the corner.  Then I removed the extra pieces of bark on the beam at the top and loft area to simplify the overall look.  I set it up on the curio cabinet and filled it with the nativity set to see how everything fit and decide my next step.  It sat like this for a few days while life rolled on but this past weekend I enlisted the Hubs help to make the final few changes.


I wanted a star above the roof of the stable because it’s such a huge part of the story.  I had an IKEA tree star we used last year that I was replacing and on a whim tested it with the creche.  It was the perfect proportion!  I had planned to have the Hubs clamp a dowel to the back of the stable but we didn’t have a dowel or clamps that were the right size.  The Hubs suggested we use a piece of pipe left over from the foster room bed and gave it a test fit to make sure it would fit in the base of the star and inside the clamp.  He had to grind the end of the pipe down a bit but it fit like a glove.  When we were test fitting the whole assembly on the back of the creche we discovered that the base of the star itself fit in the clamp and decided to forego the pipe and just use the clamp.

2Unfortunately, the back of the creche was very thin and didn’t provide enough grip to hold the screw and soon the weight of the star had spun the clamp out of position.

3My crafty Hubby came up with a solution quickly, recommending I hot glue the bracket in place and we put a brace below the bottom of the star to hold it in place.    It was such a simple idea and it worked like a charm.

4With the star secured, I filled in the open areas of the back wall with the pieces of bark I’d removed from the other areas along with moss from my crafting stash.  I attached it all with my new glue gun, which replaced it’s aging predecessor after it started splitting along the seem and oozing glue everywhere.

The screws for the star bracket and brace were visible inside of the creche, but I was able to hide them with strategically placed pieces of bark on the back wall and the cross beam at the top of the roof so they aren’t even noticeable.  I also had the Hubs trim the two front corners of the base at an angle to better fit the top of the curio cabinet.  (Sorry for the late night photos, but daylight hours are extremely limited around here this time of year so I tend to just let the Christmas tree be our light source, hence the glow to the right.)

0I re-positioned my nativity set inside and covered the bottom board with paper shavings from one of the holiday sausage gift sets we’d bought to enjoy together.  The brown coloring camouflaged the bottom board and coordinated with the bark perfectly.

zNotice that open spot in the shavings on the left?  It’s where I plan to place one of the three wise men from the set I just won on eBay!  I also scored the ox and goat set for a super deal so now I have a whole set minus the camel, which I’ll look for next year.  Until then I’m absolutely giddy with how the whole project turned out and am looking forward to using it for many years to come. 🙂





A Garden Bench


Today I’m sharing the new garden bench we added between the brick pillars we recently added to the side yard.  I found a metal bench online that I liked but of course they wouldn’t ship to Alaska and the local store didn’t have any in stock, so I went into the store to see if they had anything similar hoping they’d have a decent option or two on sale for the end of the season.


They had this bench which is very similar to the one I saw on the website but it was $30 more!  Luckily I had printed the online option and taken it with me so I sweetly asked the sales guy if he could price match their own website since they didn’t carry the one I really wanted.  He must have wanted to clear out the last one they had because he quickly agreed and offered to carry the big box to the register for me!


On the way to the registers I realized that the outdoor pillows I’d been eyeing were on 50% off sale so I snagged a couple of those as well when I noticed that several of the options available tied in the navy, green and aqua I already had going on in the yard.  My favorite is the little bird pillow, which I got two of!  They look pretty great on the fire pit chairs.


And they coordinate perfectly with the two over-sized navy pillows I got at Sams club earlier this summer.  I plan to paint an aqua pineapple design on the drop cloth pillow I have on the sectional and will add navy grain sack stripes to the ones on the table chairs over on the deck so there’s a cohesive color scheme throughout the area.


Stop back by tomorrow to see how I finished off the brick columns with some more fun aqua accessories!

Urban Junktion


I recently attended another local pop-up “junk show” and thought I’d share a quick recap.  This one was called Urban Junktion and was held at a sports complex which was much larger than the fairgrounds building where the Alaska Chick’s Vintage Market was hosted.  Several of the same vendors from that event were here, but had different items for the summer season.

Although I wasn’t able to commit a whole weekend to have a booth at the show, Anne-tiques who has done several furniture projects for us did and offered to let me put some of my smaller pieces at her booth to accessorize her furniture.   That arrangement worked out pretty well since I still made more than I spent at the show and I was able to get in before the doors opened to the public to help her set up.  Once we had things pretty set I made a quick lap of the other booths to earmark which items I was interested in checking out since I had limited shopping time due to photographing a wedding that afternoon.


There were lots of rustic home decor vendors with a variety of items from furniture, to signs and vintage or re-purposed items.  The host of the show had an amazing booth that I was so busy shopping I didn’t take any photos of the set up, although I did snap a few of the cool display on the backside of her booth with this wonderfully styled mannequin and little soldiers with a great message.



I also spotted a basket of shoe horns at her booth that look quite similar to the ones I just inherited from my grand father!  I’m not sure what I’ll do with mine just yet but it was cool to see someone else appreciate these types of items.


This jerry can bench also caught my interest since we have one jerry can already from my unplanned picking adventure earlier this summer.  I’d considered making mine a lamp but if I could find a matching one this would be a fun option.


One of my favorite vendors, The Alaska Picker was there with awesome unique builds and vintage finds.  I love the truck beds they have been making and wanted this awesome cart for my deck so bad, but just couldn’t justify the $200+ price tag on my current budget.



Another piece I was lusting after was this metal John Deere tractor and trailer.  I could just envision it in a garden with flowers hanging over the sides of the little trailer, but at $300 it was out of my “garden art” price range.


I almost bought this fun pendant light made from an old funnel neck can.  It was priced right at $35, but I couldn’t think of where I’d use it in our house so I decided to leave it for someone else to treasure.


But here’s what I did buy.  A cool wooden wheel, a metal scroll piece and a fun birdhouse garden stake.  I’m still not sure where I’ll use the wheel and scroll piece but the birdhouse has already found a spot in the garden, which I’ll reveal once that area is finished.



It was a great experience for both the shoppers and the vendors, even though it was hard to compete with Alaska’s summer time activities.  It’s definitely a perfect showcase of the talent and creativity in our region and it’s makes you realize it’s a community all it’s own.  Check out the Urban Junktion Facebook page to see more photos of the event and all the cool little details I wasn’t able to capture in my quick visit.  Hopefully, there will be more events like this in our area so I can shop and photograph more great set-ups!