Friday, May 16, 2014

styled Book Shelves For Spring And Summer

I made it!  I made it to Friday!  I knew I could crank out this post!

Weeks ago I styled my book shelves for the spring and summer season.  I felt inspired to add color.  In fact I wanted to add “blue”.  I’ve never had the color blue in my house.

Today is the day I’ll share how I added color.

I’ve always tried to keep things neutral in my home.  Mainly because I don’t have the budget to keep changing it as styles and or colors fade. 

But this is easy!  I gathered up things through out my house.  Nothing was off limits.  I rounded up things from the girls’ room, sitting on the chest of drawers in our master bedroom and even wrapped and tucked away in boxes of the basement.  I collected everything that was blue or in the blue family.  Books, boxes, vases and little trinkets were among the gathering.


I have to admit the styling part of each shelf and for each shelf to flow with one another was not easy.  It took several tries and several days.  Soon I liked it and it all was cohesive.  My advise to you is hang in there.  Keep moving things around.  Prop items up or lay them flat.  Layer items in front of other items.  And don’t forget to bring back some green!  Eventually it will come together.  If you’re stuck browse the web.  Pinterest is an awesome source of images.  Just type in book shelves and an abundant collection of ideas will pop up.

I’ll do a post sometime soon on the art within the book shelves.  All the art was done by me.  Some I did in my college days and some I did just recently.


I’ll try to do a DIY post on my abstract painting.  I did not take any progress pictures….I will try to recreate it.  It took me probably 20 minutes to complete.  I really feel anyone could do this one!

I added pops of dark pink faux flowers through out.  The dark pink along with white, blends well together with the shades of blue.




Nothing was off limits.  My daughter's peacock she made in 4th grade was a fun unexpected choice.  Since this picture I’ve added my second child’s art pottery project to the shelves.  They were very excited to have their pieces displayed somewhere besides their bedroom!



On the other side of the room I simplified the entry cabinet with faux flowers, books and a few trinkets and of course accessorizing in the color blue.



The little blue trinket container was made by my Grandma, who has since passed.  I dug it out of a box of things my parents packed away for me.  It was once displayed on the shelves in my room as a child.


I’m thinking I will keep this look until fall.  The color blue reminds me of the sky found in summer.  It’s such a bright blue.  Everyone wants to be outside enjoying what summer has to offer.  The warmth on our skin and under our feet always makes people happy.  Why not bring a little of that outdoorsy feeling inside. 

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Has It Really Been That Long

Oh my!  Has it really been 2-1/2 months since I’ve last written?! 

School is nearly over for the summer and soon I will have a 7th, 5th and 1st grader.  That doesn’t seem possible!

Today is the ideal weather for Nebraska.  It’s a comfortable 67 degree with bright blue skies and just a few fluffy white clouds. 


Everyone in Nebraska would agree….this weather doesn’t last long.  It soon will be very hot and shortly after that it will be extremely cold.  In fact a lot of our trees, shrubs and flowers have had a delayed budding season due to the late coldness.

I have the windows open and a fresh clean smelling air is blowing in.  And for some reason I felt compelled to blog once again.  With school winding down and our schedules becoming less busy, I want to give this blog thing another go around.

Several weeks ago I took pictures of my restyled book shelves for the spring and summer.  If you believe it or not, I added color!  Here’s a sneak peek of a picture that I’ll blog about this Friday.


Have a wonderful Wednesday and hopefully your weather is just as nice.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Craig's List Finds

I often times will check out what’s listed on Craig's List.  Today I thought I would share what caught my eye in my home state. 



On a side note….did you hear that Nebraska made #3 on the happiest states to live! 

It makes me ask why and how?  But then I remembered this picture I took last year.  The deep green of the land, the bright blue sky above, and the gentle rolling hills sets me in a good mood.  There is just something peaceful about this place.  I guess I’m not alone if Nebraska made #3.

Onto Craig's List…chairs, chairs and more chairs.  I think I might have a thing for chairs and bed frames(keep scrolling down).  Side chairs can be cleaned up, maybe reupholstered and BOOM! you have a new extra seat.  Maybe the extra seat could be a place where you drop your coat in the entry area…or a seat you can pull in for extra company in the family room…or a place to snuggle in and read a book in the bedroom.

barrel chairs

Light blue recliner

These chairs are being sold at a second hand furniture store in town.  I had never heard of this store before.  I meant to check out the store on Saturday but ran out of time before it closed.  Neither one had a price that was listed.   The barrel chairs look like they are in great condition.  It’s hard to tell what the fabric is but it looks like a suede or leather.  Either fabric would look nice in almost any room coloration.  If you were to reupholster them it wouldn’t take much fabric.  And if you could do it yourself it would be any better.

The recliner had some interesting detail on the arm sides that would give a room some texture.  The fabric looks like a faux leather that I don’t know if I would keep.  I actually can see this chair in my little guy’s room as a side chair.  A chair that he can kick up his feet and read a book or watch some TV.  But looking deeper at this picture the seat cushion doesn’t look to soft.  I can just imagine myself sitting on it and just “sitting on it” not sinking in.  I’m thinking it would be very comfortable.  So maybe scratch this picture.  All it’s got going for it is the arm lattice detail.

set of 4 mid century danish modern teak d ch 100

These chairs I would take in a heart beat!  They are a set of 4 Danish teak wood desk chairs for $100.  I like the tapered leg, contoured back piece and the mid-tone wood color is nice.  If we were ever to refinish our basement I could see these chairs around a game table.  They’re not too big but look comfy for your bum and back to sit and stay awhile.  The seat and back piece look like the fabric is just stapled on and so it would be fairly easy to reupholster.

Rosewood Chairs $100each

These chairs I totally envision in a master bedroom as a chair for a small writing desk or a chair for a bathroom.  They are a rosewood chair for $100 each.  To me it seems a bit high, but the selling point of the listing was the needlepoint work done on the seat.  Sorry to say if these chairs came to my house the fabric would be ripped off!  Not my style!  The open back of these chairs would feel quite light in a room as opposed to feeling chunky.

Birdseye maple headboard footboard 600

This bed again I totally would purchase!  It came in a set of a dresser and some other items so I don’t know of it’s price alone.  The listing didn’t say they wanted to keep it all together or if you could buy individual pieces.  The wood is a Birdseye maple.  To me it looks masculine; not a whole lot of curvy lines but has some detail at the top to keep it interesting.  With this wood so light I would pair it with a grey plaid of hounds tooth bed fabric with white sheets.  OH I wish this could come home to me!

Brass Bed 100

Anything brass I HAVE to like!  This brass full-size bed frame is listed for $100.  I love that it would give any room some shine!

Ethan Allen Queen Bedroom set 1000

This bed also came in a set and I don’t know of it’s individual price.  The set included 2 night stands and a dresser.  It all was a bit to matchy match for me!  The thing that appealed me about this bed frame is the detail of the turned wood.  Definitely want to show that detail off!  With this bedding it’s not doing it.  The bed frame and bedding just blend together.  Using a lighter bedding fabric would take care of that.  Unfortunately it’s a queen size and me the hubs need our king.  But sure is nice to look at!

1940 horse drawn sleigh 1500

And lastly only in the Midwest would you find a 1940’s horse drawn sleigh for $1500.  How awesome would this be if you had an acreage!  But I guess a person would also need horses!  And horses are in a whole other category themselves.  Besides who has a need for a sleigh and plus who really wants to go on a sleigh ride in the freezing cold?  OH well it looked like a fun thing to have and a romantic trip to take with a loved one.  As once heard on Seinfeld, “there is just something about the clip-clop sound people go nuts for”!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now,

Friday, February 21, 2014

DIY Black And White Abstract Art

Howdy!  It’s been awhile since I’ve last written!


My oldest child recently turned 12!  It’s impossible to think that 12 years have gone by so quickly.  It seems like only a few short years ago she was a baby and I rocked her to sleep.  I can remember the snow storm we had a few day prior to her birth…and the waiter telling me that my spicy dish would sure send me into labor the day before…and my blood pressure sky-rocketing when I was admitted into the hospital.  Now my little baby has become a honest, truthful and caring young person.  She wears her emotions on her sleeve.   When something’s not right or if she has a QUESTION she is not embarrassed or afraid to ask or tell me what’s on her mind.  I’m pretty sure I don’t want to discourage that! 

Happy Birthday to my sweet beautiful baby young person!  She secretly will always be my baby and I think in her heart she feels the same way!

With all the birthday preparations and celebrations over with, I thought I would share my latest DIY project. 

black & white abstract art

After browsing Pinterest, design magazines and blogs, I have noticed a lot of black and white abstract art out there.  It was art that I shied away from in the past just because I didn’t like it.  The more I saw it the more it started to grow on me.


I thought I would try my hand at it.  I knew I didn’t want anything too big, like pictured above.  Mainly because I still wasn’t completely on board with this type of art yet. 

I was on a hunt to find a small canvas.  Then I remembered I had these.


In my community on Facebook, I am part of a group that you can buy and sell gently used items.  I had planned on selling these….but “Wait a minute” these would do.  These could be my small canvases.  I knew my kiddos didn’t want these hanging in their rooms anymore, so I decided to give these a whirl.

I painted them an off-white instead of a pure white.  I don’t know if I necessarily like the sharp contrast of black and white.  So maybe my post should be titled “black and off-white abstract art” instead. Ha-ha!


I didn’t take any during progress pictures…because let’s face it…I redid one the canvas probably 4 times!  No one really needs to see all that mess and my frustrations!  Luckily the first one I was happy with right from the start.  Don’t give up!  Paint over it if you’re not totally happy with it.

And if we’re being totally honest I painted these several months before Christmas.  I didn’t like them!  So I put them away.  I even considered throwing them away!  I know it’s weird…I just have this thing if I’m not liking it I just want it gone.  BUT…..I stuck with it and just recently pulled them back out.

Enough with all of my needs on it being perfect!  Here’s my process I went through.

I took the above “West Elm” picture and focused on smaller aspects of it.  Since these canvases measure 10” square I knew I could only fit a small portion of it.  I even did some quick sketches on paper on how I wanted them to look before I started painting. 

030 copy

I blended the two areas together around the edges and it created shades of grey.  I rather like the grey.  It lessens the blow of how sharp the contrast is between the black and white for me.  Plus is seems more “artsy” and more like a “real” piece of art.

I wanted to frame it, but the pieces of wood I had did not lay flat against the side and it looked funny.  I didn’t want the edges to stand out in this particular situation so I just painted them black.

025 copy

027 copy

031 copy

036 copy

Then for my second canvas (the one I just couldn’t get right), I have sitting on one of my book shelves.

013 copy

008 copy

004 copy

010 copy

This project costs me nothing.  I reused canvases that I already had along with black and off-white paint. 

This project could have easily been done on a piece of heavier paper and then framed.  Or if you or someone you know are handy with power tools you could even cut a 10” square from a 10” board.  And for that matter you could cut any size square or rectangle from what you have available.  The possibilities are endless!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sewing Envy

I have always envied those who can sew.  I mean those who can really sew, like clothing and stuff.  I remember in 7th grade we had to make a pair of shorts and shirt and then we had to wear our creations to school for part of the grade.  For that assignment I choose a fabric that was stretchy.  I clearly used the wrong kind of fabric.  I sat down in it at the beginning of the day and it stretched and stretched.  It got bagger and bagger as the day went.  It never regained it’s normal size or anything close to it.  Needless to say, I never worn the shorts again!
Making clothing wasn’t hard, but I am someone who learns by a physical person showing me how and is standing right in front of me.  I checked out many sewing books and I just don’t understand the sewing language. 
One of my resolutions for 2014, I talked about it Monday, is to learn how to sew the “right way”.  I have sewn a few things but they all have been the backwards and upside down way.  Here’s a few examples:
My long yellow ruffle garland project.  I first sewed them together but then I wanted it to ruffle.  I didn’t know how to do that so I hot glued it into a rufflily state. 
My gold glittered bow project.  If you took off the center tie ribbon it would reveal something quite different underneath.  Pretty sure it’s not how you’re suppose to make a bow.
And lastly my first attempt at making a pillow.  As I said Monday I want to start making pillows; pillows with zippers.  If you lift this pillow up the underneath side is unfinished and open.  I tried putting in a zipper, but it didn’t work since I had already sewn the other 3 sides.  Apparently you must put in the zipper first THEN sew the other sides.  I had to cut off the zipper and it’s a whole mess on the bottom side!
So you could say I’m still learning.  At least I want to keep trying.
I do have a sewing machine; I bought it shortly after I graduated college.  My thought then was to become a designer who could offer clients sewing opportunities in house.  That still is something that I very much would like to pursue.  But I guess I need to become better before I offer anybody anything!
To become better, I’ve already pinned several easy-to-understand blog posts.  Then I want to check out YouTube as I’m sure I will find a wealth of information.  I’ll keep you posted on my future as a sewer.  Ha/Ha
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bring Back Some Green

I really enjoyed having the Christmas tree up along with all the holiday wreaths and garland.  It seems like you’re bringing in a little of the life outdoors but minus all the cold!  Gosh, the holiday season just flies by.
Now that all of our Christmas decorations have been put away, I found myself in need of something to fill the greenery gap left in the house.  I needed some life within our spaces.
I have had no live plants in my house for several years now and it’s all due to one basic reason.  Kiddos!  Kiddos can grab and put in their mouth!  And when these kiddos are here for daycare I don’t even want to take on that responsibility.  So faux plants and flowers work just fine for me. 
When everything outside is brown and dead (and might be covered in snow) having a little greenery helps it feel not so brown and dead inside.
There’s just something fresh and new about white flowers in January.  Mainly I think it’s because white flowers represent new life or starting over in a new year.  I’m shooting for a new start plus I really like the contrast of the white flowers sitting upon my black cabinet.
Right now I really love the color combination of black, white, browns and greens together.  This vignette represents all those colors and it works.  The greenery livens up the space.  There is just something about black and green that is so striking.
More white flowers, in the kitchen, are refreshing to view. 
So while the holidays are over and everything is brown and dead outside, it’s nice to bring life in with flowers and plants.  Whether it’s live or faux, it’s all good!
See that peak of blue outside the window?  Those are sleds!  While we don’t have any snow right now, for us here in Nebraska we have to be ready for sledding.  They’re propped up and just waiting for us to grab them and go.  I guess that’s the ONLY fun thing about winter!
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Last week I got an email from Pinterest (I’m sure you did too) about a contest.  Pinterest would like to see what people are dreaming up for the year 2014.  They will pick several of their favorites and send out goodies to each.  Yes, that would be awesome to be one of their top picks, but I really just wanted to do it for myself.  Somewhat making a written out of what I would like to get accomplished.
I gathered pins of ideas that I would like to do for 2014.  My ideas are totally practical and within our budget.  That’s probably one reason I won’t win…I didn’t pin ideas of traveling to some far away country or remodeling our house from top to bottom.
My first idea is to make a gallery wall.  I came across some of my artwork from when I was in college and I thought, Why Not? Use what I got.  So here’s a pic of what I’ve gathered so far.
Don’t know if I’m in love with the big black and white abstract…we’ll have to see.  I want to add to the collection with more drawings and renderings all done by me.  To me that’s what will make it cool! 
I want to use existing frames or frames bought at a second hand store.  I definitely want them to have a bit of character and patina.  It makes the collection more interesting in my book.
My second idea that I pinned is I want to learn how to sew the “right way”.  I would love to take a class in it, but for now I will have to settle in and watch YouTube videos and reading blogs.
The easiest thing to sew I thought would be a pillow.  I’ve always wanted more pillows thought out the house.  What could be easier than sewing 4 sides of 2 pieces of fabric to make a pillow.  Here’s where I need help.  I want to put in a zipper.  I want to be able to use the same pillow form but change out the cover for different seasons or just if I want a change.  And I want to change a lot!
Aren’t those just dreaming!
My third idea is I want to grow my blog.  I’ve only researched this a bit in the last couple of days so I’ve just started.  I’ve pinned ideas to help in expanding your blog through social media, different blog readers and through keywords.  And the list goes on and on with tips.

I’ve implemented a few and a few tips I need to do more of.  All in time.
For the last of my ideas I’ll let you click on the link below and check it our for yourselves.  I’ve included a widget from Pinterest for easy click ability. 

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Little Guy’s Christmas Bedroom

OK.  I swear this is the last Christmas posting I will do!  I just had to share this one.  Mainly because it was a fun adventure. 
One Sunday afternoon in October we went out to some land that my husband hunts on just west of town.
My main reason for going there was to look for some old wood.  Maybe a smaller tree that had fallen.  Plus I wanted to find some sticks that I could use as branches.  Once again my husband thinks I’m a little crazy.  He doesn’t see the picture in my mind of what I want to construct with this old wood.  And once I tell him he still is somewhat skeptical.  I remember watching this clip on the Martha Stewart show on a upcycled table top tree.  I found the video and watched it again and knew that this was something I wanted to do for my little guy’s room. 
Once I gathered what I needed we had a little fun in the woods. 
After we got back my husband cut the tree to the length I wanted along with cutting several stumps in various sizes.  If you watch the video it will explain the procedure on how I’m making my woodland tree so I’m not going to describe it in detail.  It was not hard but you do need a saw, drill and some wood glue.
Of course little guy needs to help.  He was my helper in cutting the branches.  For this picture I told him to just “do what he was doing”.  Can you see him being all stiff and looking out at the corner of his eye.  Too cute!
And here it is all decorated and displayed in his room.
I had all the red and brown ornaments from last year but added a few woodsy items for this year’s woodland theme.
I’m really impressed at myself with the star I made.  Several years ago I cut and scored cereal box cardboard and glued it into a star.  Last year I glittered it for his tree.  This year I attached a wire to connect to the top of the tree and I wrapped it in twine.  I wanted to incorporate twine into it because of the woodland theme.
I added some wood “stumps” and “logs” for added affect.  The bottle brush trees are from my Department 56 village collection that I attached a wood stump to.  And the green yarn cone trees I constructed last year.  Wrap yarn around a cone and add a small ornament to the top.  Super easy!
I also made these snow globes minus the water last year as well.  An old pickle jar with some bottle brush trees and some faux snow.  The kiddos love playing with these. 
The stuffed bears throughout his room are from my childhood and theirs. 
Isn’t this old toy truck neat!  It was once my father-in-law’s when he was a boy.  It still has the string attached to the front where he used to pull it outside.
I tried to incorporate all kinds of animals in the forest.  There are bear, deer, beaver, squirrel, chipmunk, fox and a ceramic owl.
And here’s the little guy again hard at work.  I told him “to pretend” putting some Legos together.  As you can see he couldn’t quite do it with a straight face nor did he know what to do with his arms and hands.  Too cute!
Sorry you have to be reading about our Christmas in January.  I guess I’m still trying to figure it all out on how to get everything in.  Until then…
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now.