Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blank Canvas...or should I say Chalkboard?

I had this wall that needed something. After searching for a while and figuring out what to put on it, we finally got an idea! Art was too expensive for such a large space that even Craigslist or Etsy couldn't even compete with. But, of course, this time our inspiration came from Pottery Barn.
Adam just saw this chalkboard the other day in the PB catalog and mentioned how much he'd like something like that to put a family verse up and change it monthly. Well, that got me thinking about our space...and I had just read about this family below on This Young House who painted an entire wall with chalkboard paint. My hesitation with chalk anything has been the dust residue that is left behind, but I didn't mind it so much in this picture for some reason. It just looked old-school-house-y to me.

So, after a trip to Hobby Lobby and picking up a frame that was originally 217.00 and now 80% off and using some old chalkboard paint that we had from a previous project, boy do we have an eye-catching wall now!
*You can also make a frame using trim pieces, but Adam said with the $43.00 I spent, it would've been about the same in price (unless you have some leftover from a previous project) and plus the time it would've taken to build it.
**Are you trying to read what I wrote? My bats (think AA, not flying creatures) died as I was taking the close-up picture. I'll spare you searching for your bifocals and will write you the excerpt from my high school diary below. That's right. It's a diary entry. :) After flipping through my "usual" diary that I wrote in occasionally, I would be mortified to share with you any thought processes that came to my 14-17 year old mind. That is a FFEO (For Family's Eyes Only) because I know they will love me in spite of it...and I have been known to bring it on camping trips for good laughs in the motorhome. So, I will grace you with an excerpt of my journal that I took with me on my senior choir trip to Italy. I just loved every minute of it and I can remember every mental picture I took this night that I write of.
Today, we woke up and ate the same ol' breakfast. Last night was so beautiful! We went to the square and got my picture drawn. This park is the kind you see in the movies. Missy and I were sitting by the fountain looking at people in this outside restaurant called Cafe' Bernini. This place had couples dancing, men serenading, and other men walking around selling long stem roses. We listened to some choirs in the square sing and then we sang also. Anyway, today we went to the Vatican. Also, we went to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. I saw Peter's grave! Such long walks, but so worth it! I also saw the "Last Judgement" and...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Key Player

Remember when I blogged about this a few months back? Well, I did it!
These two pictures here are sadly not mine, but the ones I used from Restoration Hardware as inspiration. Let's stop and admire those corbels again......okay, that's enough. Let's get back to the keys.
Here are mine! They're the first thing you see when you walk in the house sandwiched between the hallway and the sitting room and next to our "Welcome To The Farm" sign we got at a craft fair this past summer.
We found five old keys in various places around the house during the renovation. Some are legit and some look like a dollar store diary key, but hey it's a key and so I framed it. :) This one above says "Master" and it was one of my favorite ones. Another says "Mister Mint" with a little guy on it and another one says a company name on it from New York.

The giant one is the key to my Honda.

Actually, my friend Dena found this key door knocker at Hobby Lobby for 2 bucks and I thought it was perfect to complete my collection. Thanks Dena!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spring Cleaning

In honor of the 50 degree weather today, I decided to celebrate by doing some spring cleaning on the blog. You can now find handy dandy labels of Before's and After's, Concrete Flooring, Paint Colors and Nat's Self-Portraits at the click of a button. They're towards the bottom near the archives.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I "borrowed" an idea from The Lettered Cottage yesterday. I love their decorating styles and a couple weeks ago she posted a specific post about her wall grouping of photos in their guest bedroom here. I've had a bunch of photos that I've been waiting for Adam to make me ledges for to look like this PB inspiration below in the living room, but after reading TLC, I realized I had a few photos to spare to do a grouping in our bedroom and still have a lot left over for the ledges in the living room later.

Unfortunately, the photo ledge has to take a back seat while snooty guest bathroom and bannister get the drivers side and passenger seat. So a couple days ago, I got busy shamelessly copying Layla and Kevin creating my own original idea and doing a dry run layout of the photos on the floor.

And using this wall in our bedroom to the left of the door. Pay no attention to the bajillion loads of laundry peeking out from the corner of the bed. I have priorities people! (Don't worry Mom, I folded them during American Idol)

Layla says if all else fails, start from the middle and work your way out. Well, I liked my practice run enough to take a couple pictures and just referred to that a lot of times so I knew exactly what picture went where. I still worked from the middle though.

Ta Da!

I'm really happy with the final product. Now, I just need to add and update some photos...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Decorative Ledge

The other day I texted Adam a picture of my ledge in the dining room that I had proudly worked an hour on. I anxiously awaited his response which never came. When he came home from work he explained he never replied because he thought I had just sent him a picture of a pile of stuff I put up there to just get out of the way. Think again bud. You can see the ledge in the upper left hand corner of the dining room.

After closer examination he said he did in fact like it and in he couldn't really tell what was what from the picture, but he liked it better in person. :) My favorite part was everything was free! I found almost everything around our house or out in the outbuilding.
From left to right: (nestled under the dough bowl) a birds nest that was on our front porch on top of our light fixture, the dough bowl found in the attic, the glass jug found in the attic, circle wire thingys found in the outbuilding, candlesticks- wedding gift, potato looking things found outside (At first glance I thought it was a snake egg! Obviously I don't know what snake eggs look like, but you never know. ;) After careful examination it's a pod from a tree of some sort with seeds that shake around inside. Mirror- found in outbuilding, "Home" sign-already owned it, beach grass- already owned, old window weights (far right) used to level windows back in the good ol' days. We found a bunch as we took out walls and Adam thought I was crazy for saving them. They're heavy, but perfect for a Macaulay Culkin "Home Alone" defense with their location over the back door in case we have any bad guys. ;)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Old-New Cabinets

The old cabinets that are in our kitchen came from this utility room that is now our dining room. You can see them hanging up on the left.

The set on the left has one more glass door (not pictured) and this is the set that is now below. The one on the far right is sitting in our outbuilding because I don't know where to put it yet!

We were going to repaint them, but after having them hanging up in their distressed state for a while, we kind of liked it. My mother-in-law suggested just keeping it that way and so we did! I just scratched it up a little more, put about 3 coats of spray poly on it and then covered the back with the bronze colored tin backsplash.

I actually LOVE it when people have a pop of color on their backsplash, but I decided to keep ours the shimmery bronze that it is and I might paint the inside side panels instead which I noticed today are kind of a sunny yellow color right now.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Metamorphasis of a Chandelier

In the former dining room (now master bedroom) and we planned to use it in the dining room.

It was beautiful with an antiqued bronze finish, but we've gone with stainless hardware in the kitchen and it would've looked outdated.

First coat: Black

2nd coat: Green, to match my dishes. I just used whatever spray paint was closest to one of my plates I brought into Lowes.

Distressed to let the black and bronze shine through

Hanging in the new dining room, it's rightful home for yet another family to enjoy another dinner under.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wow. That was rude.

Man. I am so sorry about that. So, apparently when you don't have the internet for 2 weeks you aren't able to use the internet to tell people you don't have the internet. Well, at least you get things done around the house when you don't have a blog to keep up with. Here's a pictoral update of what we've been up to.

I'm also not to proud to post my "not so pretty" areas. There's a garage sale pile in the corner of the sitting room, the hallway in all it's glory and let's not even mention the dresser in the bedroom. Yes, I've heard of photoshop, but this is real life people! :)

In answering a few questions of some commenters:

1. Our living room color is Croissant by Sherwin Williams. Love it and we get a lot of compliments on it.

2. Lady in Arkansas renovating a house- we did in fact go over some existing flooring with the concrete, but we pulled up some vinyl parquet tiles before that and laid down some plywood and some metal screen before the concrete was poured. I'll be in touch. :)