A Quick Update to the Craft Shelves

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As I mentioned when I shared our new barn doors in the office I’ve been making a few changes to the craft shelves above the craft cart.  Here’s how things looked the last time you saw this space – a random collection of containers and displays to store my finished inventory and on-going projects.

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And here’s how it’s looking today.  Much simpler and more stylish!

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A bit of purging and rearranging reduced what I needed to store here so I was able to condense it all down to two containers.  I found these cute baskets on sale at Michaels and with a coupon only paid about $10 for both.  One holds finished inventory and the other has bits and pieces of projects in the works.

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Since I’ve stopped making hair accessories and am focusing more on personal DIY and home decor projects I didn’t need the displays I’d used for the smaller pieces anymore so the mannequin was sold and my beloved metal grate became a note board rather than a display.  The rusty oil can will eventually become a small lamp for this table.  I’ve got the lamp making kit, but am still on the hunt for the right lampshade to get that project rolling.

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I shopped the house, pulling a milk glass vase, small plant and wooden caddy to arrange with the frame I already had here.  I also moved our little minion family over here from the other side of the room.  They are much more visible now, which makes me happy and reminds me that we need to have a new minion made for Brinley! 🙂

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I eventually want to get a vintage scale like this one to replace the wooden caddy, but I’m waiting to find a good bargain.  until then the caddy brings a nice balance of tones and texture to the space, so I’m happy with it.

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I still need to figure out something for the blank space next to the metal grate.  My current idea is to make a fabric canvas that can be used as a backdrop for photographing small projects, similar to one a favorite beauty blogger of mine created.  I’m thinking something a little lacy since this is one spot I could get away with it because it’s out of reach of the dogs.

I’m really loving the simple farmhouse vibe this space has now.  It’s a big change for just $10 since the only thing I bought for the update was the two baskets.  We’ve been making a couple of other simple changes around the main area of the house recently that have a similar style so things are really starting to feel cohesive.  I’ll be sharing those updates very soon, but in the meantime I’d love to hear you think of the changes so leave me a comment below.

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

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Making a Little Faux Tree New Again

Happy Christmas Eve! I have one last Christmas project to share and it’s the revamp of this sad little faux tree.  It used to be my holiday tree in the entry way, but I decided to give up that tradition this year in favor of spending time on more important things like spending time with my hubby and kiddos.

This little skinny tree had definitely seen better days.  It had moved from Virginia to Alaska and then from Kodiak to Anchorage and finally Wasilla, so it was looking pretty tired.  Since it came apart in two pieces I decided to make each portion a smaller mini tree for use around the holidays.

TreeOriginal

The bottom section was glued very securely in the base – trust me I tried to remove it and I’m pretty sure it would survive an explosion intact.  So rather than fight it I just wrapped the container in burlap, tucked the ends over the top of the urn and tied it with some pretty twine from the boots I’d bought at a consignment sale.  One down, one to go.

BurlapFinished

Now I needed a base for the top portion of the tree, which had a metal stump that had once attached into the base of the tree.  I remembered I had this wooden box in my stash and thought it would work perfectly.  This had been the container for a gift basket my office had received last year and originally came as unfinished wood with the sender’s logo carved on one side and this pretty snowflake on the other.

BoxStained

Although the snowflake was cute I didn’t want to see the company’s logo so I needed a way to cover it up.  I considered adding metal pieces with decorative tacks, paint stick shiplap and other methods, but then had a light bulb moment when I realized that the burlap webbing I had a small section of was just tall enough to cover both the logo and snowflake!

BoxWrapped

I filled the box with some Styrofoam from some packaging I was about to discard, shoved the metal stump into that and wrapped the webbing around the box, securing it with a bit of hot glue where the two ends met.  It was looking pretty good, but I wanted to cover up the white sytrofoam so I pulled some crinkle paper stuffing out of my filler stash and tucked it around the base.  I literally had just enough!

BoxWrapped&Filled

And here it is all done!  I think they turned out pretty darn cute for being a totally $0 project!  I paired each with a reindeer and placed them in the guest room and foster room for the season.  I didn’t even decorate them so they can stay put through the winter. 🙂

BoxFinished

And because I just can’t not share one more, here’s a cute little lamp post I revamped.  I bought it at a thrift store for $4 back in the summer and set it aside to redo for my holiday bazaar booth.  I forgot to take before pictures, but envision it as unfinished wood, with some 1980’s Christmas appliques at the top and a beat up garland around the post.  I removed the garland, sanded down the appliques and painted the whole thing in ORB.  Then I distressed the edges of the lantern and added a simple bow with greenery to the lantern base with a screw.  And here’s the finished result.

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Although it didn’t sell at this year’s bazaar I’ll store it away as inventory for next year since it never hurts to get a head start and I plan to market pieces earlier next year on my Etsy shop and crafting Facebook page.

I’ll be taking it easy tomorrow, Skyping with family back home while enjoying the day with my fur babies and the hubs, so I wish you a very Merry Christmas and will share more projects next week!

A Whale of an Update

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Although it’s quiet here on the blog, we’ve been slowly completing little projects in-between work, a rush of photography clients and daily life.  One of those projects was creating a collage of a whale breach sequence I shot several years ago while my family was visiting Alaska.  I recently had a client request a framed print showing the sequence of the breach and I liked it so much I decided I needed one for our home.  I found the frame at Michaels and ordered it online for a better price, but it arrived very damaged due to poor packing so I had to wait a few days until I could do an exchange at the local store.

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Once it was all complete I hung it in the guest room so visitors can enjoy it while staying at our home.  It fit perfectly on the small wall next to the closet, complimenting the fox fur my hubby got long before I came around.  Another item that’s new in this room is the large crock you see in the corner there.  We picked that up as a set of three at an estate sale this summer.  This was the largest of the three.

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I’ve ‘interviewed’ it in a few spots around the house since buying it but I think I like it here best.  I plan to fill it a large fern – probably a faux version because I’ll never remember to water it in this room!  I still need to figure out a night stand for this side of the bed.  I have a project table in the garage I had planned to use here, but I think it might need more repair than revamp so I’m watching the buy/sell pages for an already finished option instead.

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Now that we’re starting to get the spare room set up as a foster-child room, I moved Roomba’s dock into the guest room.  He fits perfectly beneath the sewing table nightstand, yet still has room to leave and return to the dock for charging on his own.  Although he’s very visible from this angle you can’t see him from the door, which keeps things looking clean and simple.  You can tell Luna is sooo impressed with my mad skills right? 🙂

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There are changes coming to the dining room as well, so the lamps that used to live on the buffet needed a new home and I think they look great in here.  I added a little wooden tray I picked up for a few dollars while thrifting earlier this year so guests can keep track of the little items that often get lost when traveling.  I love how it plays off the colors in the lamp and contrasts with the cherry top of the table.

The room is definitely still a work in progress, but it’s starting to look a bit finished now.  I’ve got a few other small projects lined up to share soon, so stay tuned!

Updating Our Décor With New Treasures

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Remember, like forever ago, when I promised I’d share all the items we picked up on vacation and how we used them around the house? It’s finally that time! Some pieces worked just how I planned and others had to be tested out and ‘lived with’ in a few different spots to finally find their perfect placement.

LunaBasket

Several items found homes in the Laundry Room. The first was a basket I snagged on clearance for $10 at Marshalls. It became Luna’s new nap spot! Her previous cat bed was a freebie leopard number that we got soon after bringing her home. While it was functional, it didn’t fit the style of the room so I’d been looking for a replacement for a while and had decided a basket would be perfect. Although I was nervous that she wouldn’t adapt to it the hubs was certain she’d sleep in anything I put in that spot and apparently he was right! She took a couple quick sniffs, curled up and went right to snoozing before I could even put any padding in it for her! Eventually I added a towel inside an allergen pillow case cover so it can easily be taken apart and washed with the whites each week to help reduce my allergy symptoms.

LunaBasketSleep

Overhead, I changed out the red basket and hat box for a lovely olive bucket my mother-in-law gave me, a metal sphere I found at Home Goods for $10 and a large blue glass jar I already had. Everything fit nicely around my DIY Laundry Room sign and I added a bit of faux greenery to the olive bucket to balance everything out.

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I hung a metal organizer on the wall next to the door to the garage so we have a spot to collect papers that need to be taken to work or for errands. Hopefully this keeps our counters clear and the papers safe from getting damaged in any way. Plus it’s a good reminder since it’s the last thing we see as we head out the door, which makes it harder to forget something. I think I paid around $13 for this at Home Goods. I’m liking all the little hints of black and metal that are now working together – the handles on Luna’s basket, the sphere and this rack. It’s starting to get that rustic industrial feel I’ve been wanting!

LaundryFiles

I found an amazing large glass jar that was almost identical to one I spotted on a favorite décor page recently for $45, and at half the price and knew I’d make it work somewhere. That somewhere turned out to be the dining room table – for now at least. It may eventually migrate to other areas as I change things each season, but for now I love it here.

Jar

The big metal can the hubs found at the junk show for just $25 now lives next to the front door where my holiday tree used to be. Although I loved my seasonally decorated tree, I’ve been looking for ways to be more efficient with my time and that was one of the things that could be given up without consequence. Instead I’ll just use those items in my seasonal vignettes throughout the house. I like that this piece can also double as an umbrella holder if needed. It’s not something we get much call for, but should the need arise its ready and able to corral those dripping covers.

MetalJug

I tucked another junk show find – the little metal oil can, on the other side of the entry table. I’m not sure it will live here permanently, but it works for now. It’s a great little $10 find.

EntryCans

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The bubble glass lantern became part of my summer décor on the entry way table. The blue tint to the glass plays off the red, white and blue elsewhere so it was fitting. I got this for around $12 from a store called At Home.

EntryCandle

 

One of my favorite pieces was a large antique wooden crate we spotted at the junk show for just $10. It was combined with a stem of preserved cotton to become art in the corner of the guest room. The chair may look familiar since it’s from the office. We’ve decided to switch to real office chairs that roll and have better lumbar support for my long hours of editing. Although we haven’t found the perfect replacements just yet, the hubs doesn’t sit at his desk all that much so we went ahead and moved his chair to complete the guest room for now. I love how it looks with my hope chest and the old crate art and I hope guests do too.

WoodCrate

Speaking of the office, we also snagged two wire inboxes – one at the junk show and one at an antique shop I spotted across the street from a gas station we stopped at! They are the perfect way to corral all those piles of paper the hubs and I seem to accumulate as we work on things.

Inbox

So that’s where everything ended up inside. Check back tomorrow to see where the rest of our finds ended up outside, along with a little garden update!

Lantern Love

Can someone please tell me where the heck the week went? We spent a good deal of it dealing with a broken dishwasher, a security breach at our insurance company and damage to one of our couch cushions – all of which required calling various customer service centers, most of whom were not very helpful. I was actually so frustrated with the process I started writing a post about the experience, but felt that it was turning into a rant. Since I’d rather focus on more productive things I decided to share a fun little update I did on our back deck instead.

Spring in Alaska is very different than the rest of the country. There aren’t any flowers blooming here yet, but our occasional days of warmer temps and sunshine have me shifting attention to our outdoor spaces. Last year we installed two hooks on either side of the window on the back of the house for hanging planters. This year, I plan to create sectional seating under that area and worried that hanging baskets would be a ‘head hazard’ for anyone sitting or getting up. Since I didn’t want to take the hooks down, or deal with the holes that would create, I decided to hang lanterns on them instead.

I spotted these at Target during a recent visit and picked up two to try out for just $13 each. I really liked the style and size, but worried that the open top might collect water which could become a mosquito breeding ground if I didn’t take it down when not in use.

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The width did fit my new Luminara candles but I wasn’t crazy about how the height worked out. You couldn’t see the flame, which is kinda the point.

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Luckily I had a plan B. I also found these at Pier 1 and because I had a reward coupon and a gift card left over from Christmas (thanks sis!) I got them for FREE! I’ve always liked this style and have looked at similar designs many times before. Granted the top isn’t fully covered, but it should reduce the amount of water that might collect if I do leave them up.

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Since these are taller than the first option they fit the Luminara candles much better. They also seemed a little sturdier than the first option too.

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And who doesn’t love FREE?! I plan to clean the deck and start getting things set up this weekend, so watch for a post about that soon, followed by one on my plans for the yard this season. Until then I hope you get outside and enjoy some spring sunshine! 🙂

2 Step Bench Update

Remember my $25 bench? This is what it looked like when we first got it. It was pretty enough, but it was definitely worn and in need of some TLC.

Porch

This weekend the sun was shining and I just couldn’t resist doing projects outside. Since my yard is still on hold while waiting for the builder to clean and grade our lot, I focused my energy on other outdoor tasks like updating the bench. While the fur babies played in the yard, I moved the bench out to the driveway and did a quick sanding by hand to even out a few rough spots.

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Next, I applied a dark stain we had on hand and about 30 minutes later, this was the result! It looks a meeeelllion times better and I didn’t spend a dime! It just doesn’t get better than that!

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Since it’s just a tad big for the corner of the porch, I plan to put it down by the rain garden so I have a spot to sit and appreciate the blooms. That means I’m now on the hunt for some outdoor chairs in need of a touch up to fill my empty porch! 🙂