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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Houseboat Studio That Wasn't

This is a story of heartbreak and disappointment. A story of what might have been. A story of a unique floating studio right down the elevator from our city crash pad.


I'm sure many of you know we live in two places. We have our beach house, which was supposed to be our "most of the time" house, and we have a tiny city crash pad. We make all these big plans, and then life gets in the way, it would seem.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to Upcycle Old Belts Into Jewelry

If you love a good upcycling project, love thrifting, and love unique handmade jewelry, this post is for you! Here is a simple belt upcycling project that doesn't require any special punches or grommets. You will end up with a lovely bangle style bracelet that is easy to take on and off.


Start with a thrifted leather belt.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How to Reupholster Your Dining Chairs

The first time I reupholstered a set of dining chairs, we were stationed at Ft, Riley, Kansas, and were using quartermaster furniture. The chairs had great lines, but the cracked white vinyl seats were uncomfortable, and well... ugly.


I soon discovered that it was okay to reupholster the seats, so I dug through my stash and found some fabric to give the chairs a face lift. Ever since then, no dining chair has been safe from my staple gun!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Make a Planner From a Vintage Book

It's that time of year again! I don't know about you, but I've always measured years by when the school year starts. As a kid, I loved getting a new book bag and pencils and notebooks. It was so exciting to get a new schedule and a clean slate!


As a mom, back to school time was bittersweet. I was always sad to send my babies off, but I was excited for them in their new adventures. Along with the school year also comes new scout troops and new sports teams and new music lessons and so on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to Upcycle Tins to Organize Your Crafts

I have several sets of Melody Ross debossing stamps, which I LOVE. Along with my sets of letters and numbers, I have a few extra tools. If you are familiar with Melody Ross' debossing collection, you know her letter sets came in gorgeous tins. Extra punch tools and stamps, however, came in blister packs that made them awkward to store.
My extra punches were driving me crazy.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

{10} Back to School Supplies to Buy at the Dollar Tree

How can it possibly be back to school time already?  Shopping for school supplies can put a pretty big dent in the pocketbook, so when you can find great bargains, you should grab them.


Here are ten back to school supplies to buy at your local Dollar Tree.


Pen pouches. They are light weight, secure, and since they're not bulky, they are easy to slip into an outer pocket of a backpack.


Foam Core and Project Display Boards. It's great to keep a supply of these handy for those projects you don't find out about until the night before they're due.


Poster Board. See above.


Office Supplies.  It's great to have a ready supply of office supplies to keep things organized. You can find everything from  push pins to staples at your Dollar Tree.  *buy your pens somewhere else


Correction Fluid. Older kids will appreciate having some correction fluid for assignments that need to be hand written in pen.


Popular Brand Adhesives. Keep you eyes open for name brand products. A dollar for three tubes of glue is a steal! Skip the off-brands.


Kraft Paper. Kraft paper makes the BEST book covers. Your kids can decorate the paper with markers before covering. It's also great for art projects, or to use as drop paper for messy projects. If you have any left over, use it for holiday gift wrap.


Homework Supply Tubs or Bins. Make a supply bin for each of your kiddos, that they can grab and take to wherever they like to do their homework. Keep each bin stocked with grade appropriate supplies.


Hand Sanitizer. Many teachers ask for donations of hand sanitizer for class use, and older students may want to slip a small bottle of sanitizer in their backpacks.

These are only a few of the great back to school bargains you can find at Dollar Tree. Of course, you will want to check sale flyers for other discount stores, as items are deeply discounted at this time of year. Go where you can get the best value for your money.

Good luck, and happy shopping!


To see how to organize your crafts with Dollar Store supplies, click here.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

DIY Stamp Storage Tutorial

I've been struggling to find an easy and affordable system for storing clear and cling stamps.  I don't have enough stamps to justify investing in an expansive (and expensive) stamp storage system, but I have enough stamps that I needed to do something to protect them and make them easy to access.


The best solution would have been to simply keep the stamps in their original packaging, except that some of that packaging is not durable enough for extended use, plus the original packaging comes in all shapes and sizes, making storage a bit cumbersome.

Friday, August 7, 2015

How to Decorate With a Brown Sofa


*this post originally appeared on House Revivals in 2014, but it has been so popular with my readers, I thought I would share it again.

Now don't gasp when I say this, because I know brown sofas are so five years ago, but I have a brown sofa and I love it!  Mine is actually a giant sectional out at our beach house, and I never worry about it looking dirty. In the Pacific Northwest, our sand is kind of grayish brown.  Also, dirt is brown.... and so is chocolate... and those are the three things most likely to get on my upholstery.


Another reason I bought a brown sofa? I knew it would be easy to convince my husband to buy that color, and I wanted a new sofa. Plus, it's super neutral, so I have lots of options for the rest of the space, and I can change up the look of the room with a thirty dollar can of paint and a couple of throw pillows!

I know white sofas are all the rage right now, and too many dark surfaces in a room can feel a little dreary, but don't despair if your sofa is dark! There are so many things you can do when decorating around the color brown. If you are feeling stuck, and not sure what direction to go with your brown sofa (maybe yours is leather?), here are seventeen ideas sure to inspire!


Tuck a blanket over the back, to break up the expanse of brown. In this case, a coral color is the perfect accent to the brown sofa.  Keep the walls light, and have fun with the trim work!


Hang pretty curtains that include the brown of your sofa -- then use the print as a jumping off point for choosing other colors, art, and textiles in the space.

The pink and orange end of the spectrum looks phenomenal with brown.  Just saying....
domino magazine

Use your brown sofa to anchor an assortment of pretty colors... and yes, you can pair black with brown -- beautifully!  Add accessories in white to balance everything out.

House  Beautiful

Embrace your brown sofa, and build the room around it, choosing a variety of prints in the same color. Add some punch with accessories.

Blues and browns get along beautifully. Enough said.


Choose a beautiful rug that includes brown. Pull your accessory colors from the rug colors. As you can see here, a rug that goes with your brown sofa does not have to be brown.


Lighten things up and add whimsy by adding a handcrafted garland to the space.  Use vintage materials that have patinaed over time, and the undertones will work beautifully with the browns in the space.


By keeping your sofa in the same neutral tones as other large elements, such as this hearth, you can allow the art in a room to shine.  In this case, the sofa takes a supporting role to a Platner table, a Noguchi table, and a Bertolli chair.


Use your rug to tie the room together, without being too matchy-matchy. Keep the walls white, to bounce lots of light around, and accessorize with gold metals. Gold looks amazing with brown. So does red, if you get the undertones right.


Use your sofa as a back drop for your collection of folk art textiles. Build your color scheme around one central textile (which also has a brown similar to your sofa).


Balance the light with the dark.... and throw in some sophisticated, but pretty accent colors.


Keep things from feeling heavy by painting woodwork bright white, and painting the walls a light pastel. Add punch and balance with a large bold piece of art.


Accessorize with vintage wine crates filled with fresh blooms.  The natural wood will tie into your sofa color, and the blooms will add a pop of color!


Build your room around one textile in all neutral tones, for a calm masculine space.


Have fun. Keep your sense of humor. Don't be shy. Surround yourself with what you love, and the room will come together.


Choose a classic print, containing your sofa color, and build your color story from there -- and remember what we said about black and brown working together? Here it is again!

If you love your sofa, and it works for you, and you have built a beautiful space around it, that's good design. And good design is timeless, so it just won't matter that brown sofas "trended" in year "x".  Good design is always current. What are your tips for working with brown sofas?





Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Watercolor Pencil Bible Art Journal Tutorial

Hello friends! Today I want to share a tutorial for an art journal page, using watercolor pencil. I used a bible journal, but if you're not into bible journaling, but love altered books, scrapbooking, mixed media, or altered art, you can apply these techniques there, too.


If you don't already have a set of watercolor pencils, I would encourage you to pick up a set -- decent sets can be found for just a few dollars.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What to Put in Your Smash Journal

I recently shared a tutorial on how to put together a smash journal, using items from the dollar store as well as "found" items you may already have around the house. The post was getting pretty long, so I decided to break it out into a tutorial, and a flip through that included ideas for what to include in your own smash journal.


Basically, if you can figure out a way to bind it, and it fits (more or less), then you can use it in your journal! Don't feel limited to paper, either -- you may find cool pieces of plastic from packaging or old report covers that can be re-purposed.