Our Patriotic Porch

Back before Memorial Day I switched out the decorations on the porch from spring to patriotic for the summer holidays.  I usually decorate with simple red, white and blue items for the whole season to celebrate Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.  That takes me from May all the way through early September without having to update anything, which is perfect for those already busy summer months.

I added faux ferns to the little vintage cart I got at the Junk Bonanza show, so I don’t even have to water anything.  A cute little patriotic bunting from JoAnn’s makes it festive.  I plan to add some birch logs to the crock, but if I don’t get around to it before the end of the summer that’s ok.  Our little moose statue rounds out the display with that sweet wooden face.

The metal star I already had on the porch works well with this set-up so I left it up.  I’ve traded my various holiday door mats for a classic welcome that will work throughout the year.  It was one of my best finds at Home Goods on our trip to Portland back in April.

The vintage bells I got at the Alaska Chicks’ Spring Market were added to a wreath I already had.  It’s my simple nod to “let freedom ring” and the blooms on the wreath tie in with the door color.  I also added a couple small flags to the potted plants on the steps, but forgot to get a picture of them.

And since I didn’t get a chance to share the spring set up back when it was in use here it is for comparison. J  A few faux bouquets from the clearance bin at Michaels that can double as photo shoot props and my cute new Mr. Bun Bun from Pier One thanks to a gift card and coupon I won during their Enchanted Spring Open House event. A bird house from my ever-growing collection tied it all together.

Do you decorate your porch for summer or for the patriotic holidays?  I’d love to see!  Leave me a comment with a link so I can check out your decorations!

Advertisements

New DIY Shelves for Crafting Storage

This project had been bouncing around in my head for quite some time, so when the Hubs was in the mood for a project I decided it was the perfect opportunity to direct his motivation to this update.  I’d previously had a ladder shelf in this spot holding all my crafting projects, but it wasn’t super sturdy and it didn’t really fit my style so I wanted to replace it with an industrial style rolling bookcase.  I showed the Hubs this and this style to give him an idea of what I wanted and we talked through the pros and cons of the two.  He took a few measurements and within two days I had this beauty.

I forgot to get a picture of it as bare wood, but I’m sure you can imagine it.  This is what it looked like with two coats of the same grey stain I used on the barn wood frames he made me. He spray painted the metal corner brackets he’d picked up for the project and added those to complete the look.  And here it is all filled and in use!

With the new shelves done I was finally ready to hang the “create” art I got forever ago.  It looks great with the shelves and coordinates with the dark bed frame and baskets.  Now that it’s up I’ll have to share the story behind it soon.

My often used paints and stains found a home on the top shelf for easy access.  I reused the baskets I already had and filled in the extra spot with a gym basket I already had as well.

I’m still debating painting the screw  heads on the corner brackets, so I’ll live with it for a while and if it bothers me in a few weeks I’ll make them match.  The Hubs also got wooden dowels to make faux steel rods along the back of the shelves like the inspiration pieces had, but we haven’t added them yet.  I really liked that detail, but because I’m using baskets rather than styling it with decor they wouldn’t be super noticeable, so it may not be worth doing.  I’ll decide on that eventually. 🙂

This whole area has seen several updates since we moved in 4 years ago including revamping the shelvespainting the cart knobs, adding the craft paper rollmoving the day bed out to this space and adding the DIY frame.  I’m loving how it’s all looking together.  And how it compliments the wall-to-wall desk on the other side of the room, which has also seen several updates since this post.  I’ll have to share that soon!

If you’re looking for more tutorials for these style of shelves, check here, here, here, here and here.  It’s a popular style so there are many variations available out there.  I hope yours turns out great!

DIY Faux Barnwood Frames

I recently picked up two great prints from one of my fave Alaskan artists thanks to a promotional sale she was running.  But I wanted rustic frames for them.  I tried a few from the local stores, but they either didn’t fit the prints the way I wanted or weren’t rustic enough.  So I turned to Etsy, where I found several options but again wasn’t sure on the sizing.  The Hubs overheard my frustration trying to confirm size and shipping costs, looked at the styles I was considering and then proclaimed, “I can make that.”  I quickly said OK! and searched Pinterest for a tutorial.  I found this one and made adjustments for the size of our prints.

I somehow forgot to get a picture of the frames before I stained them but I’m sure you can imagine it.  Here’s how they looked after the first coat of stain.

I used stain I had on hand from a previous project.  While it was pretty it wasn’t quite barnwood enough for me so I decided to add some grey I also had on hand.

And here’s the result!  We both love how it turned out.  I had a few spots still to touch up, but this was pretty darn close to what I’d been looking at on Etsy.  It wasn’t true barn wood, but at an investment of around $13/frame it gave me the look I wanted without extra shipping costs.  Plus it was the perfect custom size for what I needed.

And here it is with the print attached.  I just taped it to the back using the backing board that came with the print so I didn’t damage the print itself.

It’s the perfect piece to complete this area which I’ve been slowly revamping for quite a while now.  And there’s a sneak peek at the other project the Hubs did for me recently!  I’ll be sharing that very soon.

The second print is much more colorful and really pops with the rustic tones of the wood.  I hung this one in my cubicle at work and have gotten so many compliments on it.  It makes me smile every day, both because I love the art and knowing the love that went into the frame surrounding it. 🙂

So if you’re looking for a rustic frame I highly recommend this one.  It was simple and easy to do – just 1×2’s, L brackets and some stain.  I’d love to see what you come up with if you give it a try!

A Little Change in the Guest Room

Today I wanted to share a little change I did in the guest room.  The shams we had on the back pillows in this room were on their last legs and desperately needed to be replaced. I wasn’t loving the bedding after we upgraded the headboard and wanted something more modern.

Luckily a friend was making an IKEA run on a trip down south and agreed to pick up a couple items for me, including a duvet set.  Although I didn’t want the duvet itself, the shams were exactly what I’d been looking for to coordinate with the throw pillow we got on our trip to Scotland.

The subtle grey ticking stripes pick up the blues in the new throw pillow and bring just enough pattern to the bedding without being overwhelming.  I also like the combination of the stripes on the throw pillow and the shams.

While I was changing out the shams I decided to swap the throw blanket for a fur one I already had.  It makes the space cozy while we’re still in the grasp of winter.  I also moved the vintage crock from the corner by the closet to the other side to balance out the space a bit more, which allowed me to center the bed on the wall.  I added one of the cute little faux trees I picked up after Christmas to fill the corner and add a bit of greenery.

I still need to refinish the dresser, faux shiplap the wall and find art for above the bed.   I tested out the tobacco baskets I planned to relocate here and wasn’t loving them so I’m now thinking about getting one of the big vintage window shapes from Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia line.  But that’s not in the budget right now.  After our recent overnight earthquake I know it has to be something light weight in case it did get shaken off in future quakes so our guests stay safe!  I’d love to hear ideas you might have.

First Project of 2018

Hey everyone, the beginning of the year has been quite busy!  I had dental surgery on the 2nd that required a few days of recuperation and I was promoted at work to a new position that requires learning several new systems, but I still have to handle some things from my old position until it’s filled.  I took a little bit of time over the weekend to do a few small projects in between cleaning house and editing client photos.  Today I’m sharing the first of those with you – my new desk organizer caddy!

Here’s how this little cutie started out.  I spotted it at the thrift store well over a year ago and knew the simple design would work for some type of organizing in our house – especially when the price tag was only a couple of dollars!

I gave the whole piece a light sanding so the paint would adhere, and then used spray paint we had on hand.  Once it was dry I distressed the edges and sides to give it a bit of texture.  A quick coat of paint and it’s got tons of farmhouse style.  Even Mrs. Joanna Gaines would probably like this one. 🙂

Here is is in place and all loaded up.  I put note pads in the back slot and divided up my pens and markers into to of the front sections, while the third hold the other miscellaneous items I like to keep on hand.

Every time I look at it now, I think “That was so simple.  Why didn’t I do this sooner?”  Truth be told I had to live with it for a while to make sure it would work in this spot plus decide what color I wanted it to be and then life just got busy with other priorities.  Luckily I had other spray painting to do so it was the perfect time to get this one done.

The best part of it all is that this little upgrade didn’t cost me a cent!  Since I already had the caddy, spray paint and sand paper all on hand the only cost was my time.  That’s a great way to start off DIY in 2018.  Here’s to hoping all my projects this year go this easy and have as great of a result!

Our Simple Christmas Decor

I’m still tinkering with my Christmas decorations, but since the big day is just around the corner, I thought I’d share what I’ve done so far.  I’ve migrated to a more “winter” look than full-on Christmas so things can stay up well into January without feeling out-dated.  That’s handy since winter in Alaska can last well into the months that most classify as “spring”.   I also find that my style is much more simple than it used to be, perhaps that’s an influence of our recent trip to Iceland where they have a very minimal Scandinavian look, or maybe it’s just a lack of time to create so much detail.

Things start out on the front porch, but I’ll share that in another post later this week.  Today we’ll start in the entry way where Red and Flint are the first of my reindeer herd to welcome guests.

Around the corner Gus hangs out above Brinley’s kennel where my cute storage bench used to be.  It was a victim of her teething stage and so now the kennel lives in it’s place.  Ahh the sacrifices we make for children….

Just past the entry the media cabinet in the family room became a bottle brush Christmas tree farm just like last year.  I’ve added the lighted houses in the pedestal cloches, a few more trees and this cute little red truck, which used to be an ornament.

The mantel has a frosted garland and trees.  All of the trees except the two twig ones light up and create a pretty glow in the evenings – or pretty much most of the day since this is winter in Alaska!

I found the light up bottle brush trees at Joann Fabrics this year and am very pleased with them, especially since I got them for a great price with a sale and a coupon!  I’ll be watching to see if they have any in their after Christmas sales.  The two mercury glass trees came from a local vintage shop called Revive.  I’d been hunting for some all over town and had pretty much given up when I found them tucked away in a display at a great price.  If she’d had more I would have snatched them up too.  They also had hollow centers and access through the trunk section so I crammed a strand of fairy lights into both to give them a soft glow as well.  I may just add a strand of the same lights to the two twig trees so everything lights up!

Next to the mantel Sebastian has a view out the window next to his own tree.  Max moved out to the living room this year from the office where he’s been the past few years.  Now he is one window over from Sebastian.

On the couch I’ve got a couple new festive pillows.  I picked up the Ho Ho Ho and tree one from Target’s after Christmas sale last year, but had to ship them to my Mother-In-Law’s house because they wouldn’t ship to Alaska.  Good thing I was able to visit and pick them up earlier this year. 🙂  The red plaid pillows are from JoAnn Fabrics’ fall line.  Pay no attention to the coating of dog hair – that’s what I try to do…

The side table next to the couch got a touch of color with this little wreath and lantern.  I found the lantern at a garage sale earlier this year for just $2 and the wreath was another JoAnn’s sale find for around $5.  I love how they look together.  This is the only time of year I decorate with red, but I love the pop of color during the long winter months.

The tree is behind the couch, next to the nativity on the curio cabinet.  When we first moved in 4 years ago I had a hard time figuring out where to put the tree, but this spot has worked out perfectly and become the tradition in our house.  We have a new tree this year, after our tree of many years stopped lighting up in several sections last year.  It’s an after Christmas clearance deal, so it’s nothing special but it will work for a few years until I can save up and somehow justify the cost of my dream tree along with the vintage style candles for it.

The tree has a bit of Scottish flair after our trip this year.  We picked up a couple of ornaments while there to continue the tradition of growing our collection.  Unfortunately one of those new ones met an untimely fate when Luna and Brinley ganged up to attack the tree soon after it went up (repeat that phrase about things you do for your kids…).  You’ll notice there’s less ornaments on the lower sections of the tree for that exact reason! But our Harris Tweed highland cow and Scottie dog are still safe… for now anyways.

I had this sign for the nativity made last year after the holidays and really like it above the creche.  It’s the perfect compliment to the simple style of my beloved Willow Tree nativity set.

Over in the dining room, Moe found a new home this season on the scroll wall hanging where we put up the holiday cards we receive.  I really enjoy seeing him more often this year and think this will be his ‘usual’ spot going forward.

Next to Moe, this new addition came to us from WA where my wonderful Mother-In-Law went on a mission to find him at an antique shop I follow online.  Several ‘elves’ have made an appearance around our home this year and I think they are great care-takers for our herd.   I haven’t named him just yet, so if you have suggestions I’m all ears.  He reminds me of the Nordic elves we saw depicted in Iceland and even the Scottish Highlands so maybe I’ll do a theme using either of those cultures.

My dear, Milo ended up in the other windowsill, where he’s safe from the dogs.  I’d be pretty heartbroken if something ever happened to him.  His expression seems to say he knows how dangerous being closer to the floor could be in this house!

On the back wall of the dining room I hung my North Pole sign from last year under the windmill and decorated the top of the buffet with faux winter greens, antlers and gold tone votives.  I’d like to make some twig luminary trees to add to this set-up and since the look is “winter” rather than Christmas I’ve got time to do that even after the holiday.

The two votives in the front are new this year.  They were a fun little find at the Alaska Chicks Vintage Market a few weeks ago.  At just $2 each I thought they were a great price too!

The new mug rack also has a few more additions to it for the holidays after the Alaska Chicks show.

This “Merry” Rea Dunn mug was one of my favorite finds that day thanks to one of my favorite vendors, Rustique Designs.  She’s who I got the other Rea Dunn mugs from and who made the reindeer sign and nativity sign!

This sweet little fella was also part of my Mother-in-Law’s adventure to the antique shop.  Isn’t he just the cutest thing ever?  While he’s not quite “Christmasy” I just couldn’t not put him out right away after she made the effort to find him for me.  Plus the little sprig he’s holding kinda looks like holly and the red rim ties him in to the season – at least in my mind. 😉

There are also little touches of Christmas in the other rooms, including this little church in the laundry room.  It started out as an ornament, but I like it much better as a decor piece here after a few little modifications.

Below the shelf is another little elf with a reindeer buddy just his size to keep him company.  These two also started life as ornaments – I think I’m sensing a trend here.

The office window where Max used to sit is now home to the lovely Daphne who joined the herd last year.  She’s got her own little tree and some pretty votives to light up the dark.

Also in the office is this sweet little fox I found at the grocery store!  He was the last in the display and just begged to come home with me.  He’s looking quite dapper on the daybed, among all the pretty pillows.  He also needs a name so keep those suggestions coming!

In the hall bathroom another couple of ornaments turned decor add a little touch of the season to the existing decor.

In our bedroom are two pretty little reindeer my sister found for me last year.  They too started as ornaments, but now they hold their own on our nightstands so we have some holiday cheer at the end and beginning of each day.

In the guest room, there are some little Santas on the nightstands.  If you follow me on Instagram, these are the find I made at that lovely store I made it out of only spending $10!

The chair in the guest room also got a little update for the season with this simple pillow I found at Hobby Lobby during our recent trip down south.  I’m so glad they already had Christmas stuff out while I was there!

So that’s the tour of our Christmas decor.  I hope you liked it!  Stay tuned to see what I’ve done out on the porch, or get a sneak peek over on Instagram! 🙂

My New Rack!

Hey there everyone!  I know it’s been quiet around here since our trip.  Life has been super busy and I’ve barely had time to work on projects let alone share any.  But today I’ve got a little change in the dining room to share.  We replaced the indoor herb wall that wasn’t growing to well with this simple farmhouse style rack.

It’s a perfect fit for the short wall just off the laundry room and has become the spot to display my budding collection of Rea Dunn mugs!  This was one of several larger items we hauled back to Alaska on our recent trip.  I’d ordered it some time ago and had to ship it to my sister’s house in VA so I could pick it up when we were there for my nephew’s wedding.  Here’s a wide shot to give you an idea of where it’s located, along with a sneak peek of the minimal fall decorating I did.

I love the contrast of the black distressed metal and white mugs against the tan wall.  I wish the mugs could face out to the left so they were readable from the main area, but overall it’s just what I envisioned.  I plan to add a little bunting or garland during holidays to add a bit of flair, which might be my next DIY project.

My collection is still pretty small with only four options. The MRS. one is my fave at the moment and the Relax is a close second.  The Hubs has enjoyed using the MR. a couple times already so I guess he thinks this is a good update, even if it did require patching the holes from the herb rack and repainting a section of the wall.  Good thing he loves me right?!

I’ve added a few more mugs to my collection recently that feature holiday designs so don’t be surprised if those show up on my social media feeds! 😉  I’ll be back in a day or two with another little project I did this fall, so stay tuned.