Last Minute Finishing Touches

1It’s the week of Christmas and I’m still tweaking my holiday decorations.  I wanted something above the mantel in the family room and had been looking for a farmhouse style sign that said “There’s no place like home for the holidays” but hadn’t been able to find one locally.  I considered DIY’ing one, but knew that wouldn’t happen with my current to-do lists.  So I came up with a quick DIY alternative using items I already had and a free printable.

I dug out this large classic frame I’ve used on the mantel several times before including St. Patrick’s and Halloween.  I filled it with some light colored burlap material from my fabric stash and used the cardboard baffle inside to keep the fabric tight.

bcOnce it was closed up, I turned it over and added a free printable I found online thanks to  fellow blogger Lil Luna to the glass on the front using glue dots.  This made placement much easier than trying to attach the print directly to the fabric and center it in the frame under the glass.

dHere’s how it looked all put together.  Sorry for the late night photos, but daylight is a rare thing when I’m at home working on projects these days.  Unfortunately this frame has seen better days and no longer has good hanging options on the backside, so we had to get creative when we went to put it on the wall – especially one made of stone.

aThe Hubs and I came up with a solution using more items we had on hand and now it completes the fireplace wall – just in time for Christmas!

eAnd while we’re talking Christmas decor, I’ll give you a quick tour around the house of my other displays, since I’ve been meaning to do that with photos I was able to take during our minimal daylight hours.

Next to the fireplace I used my collection of bottle brushes along with another free printable I found on the Little Glass Jar blog.  I flanked everything with two of our favorite lanterns filled with pine cones and mini light strings.  Please overlook the dust I apparently didn’t notice when taking these photos – because it’s so common in our household, hence the name of this blog!

treestrees2In the entry way a lighted garland is the perfect base for several woodland style characters, including this super cute driftwood reindeer I just added to the herd this year!  I haven’t named him yet, so if you have suggestions I’d love to hear them.  I also picked up that cute little stuffed fox this year and think he makes a perfect buddy for Santa – plus he makes a great prop for winter time photos shoots with small children!  He’s in need of a name as well so share those ideas too.

entrydeerfoxOut front there’s a new wreath on the door as Rusty greets visitors.  I usually get a live wreath, but the fundraiser I used to buy from is no longer available through a friend, so decided to go faux and get something I can use for several years.  The classic combination of silver and gold should fit in with any holiday style I try over the coming years.

doorwreathI shared my decor on the dining room buffet on Facebook a while back, including the new wall decor I got this year so be sure to get a peek at that.  On an adjacent wall I placed another new piece, this barn wood angel.  I picked her up at the Colony High School Holiday Bazaar that I attend every year.  She was created by the same vendor who made the barn wood star that hung above our nativity set last year and then became part of the gallery wall.

angelThere are a few other decorations around the house, but they are minimal and most have been shared here on the blog before so I won’t rehash them.   I hope you enjoyed the project and quick holiday tour!

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My New Jewelry Rack

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Today I wanted to share a little change I mentioned when I showed off the new bench I added to our Master Closet.  My mother-in-law gifted me this cool rusty rake head after I’d sent her some gardening organization ideas using some.

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We used it in the dining room over the summer to hang cut herbs as they dried which worked quite well.  But when I was purging my jewelry for an upcoming consignment sale and wanted to rearrange the larger pieces I keep next to the jewelry cabinet I thought using the rake would work much better than the thumb tacks I was currently utilizing.

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So the rake head moved from the dining room to the closet, where it gives a much cleaner look.  I reused those thumbtacks to hang the rake head, but I might swap them out for smaller finishing nails to make the look even cleaner.

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I like that I can hang items using one tine or multiple depending on how heavy and wide each piece is.  And it’s easy to grab an item when getting ready and just as simple to put it away at the end of the day.  But the best part is that the update didn’t cost me a single dime **cue heavenly music** and took less than 5 minutes to do!

5There’s room to add another if my jewelry collection grows, so I’ll be on the watch for both a second rusty rake head and more pretty large jewelry!  Like I said, there’s some big consignment sales coming up! 😉

New Décor in the Laundry Room

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Is anyone else out there a serial fluffer when it comes to laundry? The hubs knows full well that just about every load that goes in the dryer will be fluffed at least once before I break down and pull it out to fold or put away. I’d seen several signs that said “Wash, Dry, Fold, Repeat” but none that included Fluff in the process so I decided I needed one for our laundry room. I originally planned to DIY this but when I discovered Rustic Champagne at the Alaska Chicks Vintage Market I decided to have her create one for me instead.

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I originally planned to hang the sign above the door to the garage but while measuring the space for it I noticed it would work better where the metal safety pin art I had previously DIY’ed was, so I opted to sell those and replace them with the sign. Luckily, the sale of the pins and another item paid for the new sign, so I was ok with bending the rules of No-Spend April since it worked out to be trading two things for one better one. Plus I started arranging the order back in March so it doesn’t count *cough*cough*.

It will look even better once we get the countertop installed on the cabinets in here, but that will definitely have to wait until No-Spend April is over and based on the quote I got recently it will probably be a while before we commit to that project.

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I love the rustic finish and the white background lightens up the space by reflecting the light from the window, which the safety pins never did. Plus the simple design keeps it from feeling too fussy or overwhelming the space.

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And if you look closely, you’ll notice a little clue about the next project I’ll be sharing just outside the window. It’s been a big one, but definitely brought a vast improvement thanks to a lot of hard work by the hubs!  Check back soon to find out what it is!

Storage in the Foster Room

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As promised, today I’m sharing what’s underneath the art display boards in the Foster Room that I showed you yesterday.  I created a fun storage cubby system with simple wooden crates which can hold books and toys.  I got the idea from one of my favorite blogs and originally planned to mount the crates on the wall like she did, but wanted the option to use them occasionally as props for photo sessions occasionally so instead I opted to just stack them on the floor.

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I was a little worried that the baseboard would make the bottom row stick out more than the top row and leaving a small gap behind the crates would make them unsteady which could be a safety issue around children but when I set them up they felt pretty sturdy. I figured only going two rows high keeps things at kiddo level so there’s no need to reach or lean on them and keeps the center of gravity on he whole group low so I’m not worried about it.

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It coordinates with the art display boards well and is just as flexible since we can change up what’s in each cubby to fit each child’s interests.  There is also a digital frame in the lower left crate where we can load pictures of things that they like, which should be a fun project to do together when they arrive to get to know them and serve a dual purpose as a nightlight.   The wide openings are perfect for storing books and the toys I’ve started collecting such as the adorable elephant a co-worker knitted and one I found on Etsy years ago.

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I also ordered this peg doll set which should be interesting for a wide range of ages.  Since we don’t know who will be placed with us I got both the boy and girl sets which can be played with separately or paired up.  The cute purple crab in the back is something from my days working at the YMCA that I’ve kept.  I thought it was something fun a child might like and since it’s made of Styrofoam it shouldn’t be dangerous for them to play with.

CratesPeg

Next to the crates I put some mega blocks in a basket for easy access and clean-up.  I found a large bag of them on the local buy/sell page for a few dollars and likes that they are larger so they won’t be a choking hazard for smaller children.  Next to that is a bean bag I used to use for newborn sessions before I got my professional poser pillow.  I think it makes a fun little reading spot right next to the book storage.

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Since I bought the crates on sale and with coupons good for a percentage off a single item, gathering enough to make the cubbies required several trips to Michaels but it was worth the savings – especially since I go there often for my day job and can make a separate personal purchase while there! I used stain I had left over from the Moose Mount Board in the guest room for both the display boards and the crates so that was an additional savings.  Next up are the window treatments, which I’ll share tomorrow!

DIY Moose Mount

7Today I’m sharing a recent DIY project the hubs helped me create as part of the games for my employer’s company holiday party.  The company is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year so we had a theme of ‘silver winter.’  We wanted to try having some games that people could do before dinner was served and I came up with the idea of a moose head ring toss.  I found this resin moose head on Amazon, which the company purchased for around $20 after we used some gift certificates from a vendor we work with.

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Much to the hubs dismay, I spray painted him white.  Sometimes he just can’t see my vision. 😉  Once we had the moose head ready we purchased the wood, screws and metal strips to make the mounting board.  We laid everything out in the garage for a dry run before putting it together.

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The first step was staining the wood, which was precut whiteboard.  I had planned to use pallet wood but ran out of time to disassemble the pallets I had.  Luckily these were the right size and at around $5/board they didn’t break the bank.

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Here’s the moose head, sans antlers, on the stained boards.  I love the contrast and rustic feel!

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The next step was adding the metal brackets on either side to hold the boards together.  The hubs convinced me it was cheaper to buy a long solid piece of metal, so he cut it to size and drilled the holes for the screws.

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The hubs and Stoli look so thrilled to show off the finished project don’t they?!   At the party we set the board on a table on top of a white fur throw with the back propped up against the wall so players could attempt the ring toss.

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And now that the party is over and the company has no use for it any longer it’s become a focal point in our guest room!

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As I was prepping the images for this post I realized that when we hung the board at the house it’s actually upside down, which makes the moose sit a little higher than it did in the “finished” picture.  I might eventually correct that but since it’s not that noticeable that’s pretty low on the priority level.

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I think I’ll dress him up a bit next holiday season with a scarf or fur wrap, like I’ve seen many other bloggers do since I plan to decorate more throughout the house with small touches.  I’d love to hear what you think of our latest project and how it looks in our rustic Alaskan guest bedroom!

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Craft Paper Roll Holder

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Although it’s been quiet here on the blog it’s been crazy busy around our house recently.  I’ve got multiple events going on at work, we’re preparing for the holidays, everyone wants family photos for their holiday cards and I’ve been crafting up inventory for a holiday bazaar this weekend.  I’ll be sharing some of those projects once I have time to take photos and do some writing, but in the meantime I wanted to share a little project the hubs did for me recently.  I keep a roll of craft paper around for projects and wrapping, so I wanted an efficient way to store it yet have it at the ready when needed.

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The solution was a simple metal bar mounted just above the craft cart which can hold the roll. It consists of a flange, a short piece of pipe, a 90 degree elbow, a length of pipe and a finishing cap. The hubs put it all together and located a stud to secure it to so it’s super sturdy.  Although I’d envisioned it positioned in the center of the cart, having it off to one side actually works because it provides a spot for my task light.

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Since the end is open it’s easy to slide the roll on and off if I need to use it elsewhere or refill it.  The industrial pipe ties in with the open shelving above the desk on the other side of the room and wasn’t too expensive to put together, which makes me like it even more.  And it will come in very handy when I start wrapping Christmas presents soon! 🙂

DIY Industrial Cart Bed

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Remember this cool metal cart I shared last month? Well the hubs has worked his magic and converted it to the coolest bed for our foster room!  I don’t have step-by-step instructions since he worked on this while I was working on other projects, but you can see the basic design in the picture below.

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He also built a trundle frame based on a plan I found on Pinterest that rolls right underneath so we have the ability to take in siblings if needed.  Both the trundle and the bed are super sturdy so there’s no worries about having a kiddo and all of the dogs on there together, which I can envision happening.

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Here it is all dressed!  And because we went with a simple day bed style it should be simple and easy to teach kids how to make the bed and keep things tidy.  It’s also a great new place for Luna to explore as you see below.

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We still need to get a mattress for the trundle frame and figure out a desk and nightstand for either side of the bed, but I think this room is finally starting to come together!

Shared on Knick of Time’s Vintage Inspiration Party!