t.v. stand makeover

I LOVE paint!
Slap some paint on anything & it makes all the difference.
I wish I would have learned this sooner, I would have painted all the rooms in our apartment when we moved in. Now, we're only going to be here for less than a year, so it would be a waste to go & paint all the rooms. But I can paint all my furniture! (or most of it).

Our living room is set up really weird (because of the front door & fireplace...we're in the upstairs of a house) & the best way to have our couch & t.v. situated in there is to have a corner t.v. stand. We found one for free on free cycle (check to see if there is one in your area, it's the best!) & I finally got around to painting it.
It looks a MILLION times better.

This was the best "before" picture I had of it.
I always forget to take a good before picture. Here it is!
Two layers of paint & new handles did the trick!
I love how it turned out.
It really ties my brown couch & newly upholstered black chair into the browns & blacks in the area rug we have.
We want to add a door over the middle part, because it was missing when we got it & our toddler loves to push all the buttons. We're either going to get a wood or maybe a glass one...we'll see.
I'm feeling better about our "free" living room, things are starting to come together.

Do you have any good painting projects lately?
Please share!


a little garage sale find

What do you do with these darn cute, turquoise, bead coasters?

Well, here's one fun idea.Cut it in half, very carefully.
And sew it all in place.
Attach it to a brown ribbon & you've got a cute bracelet!
Here it is, sorry it's not a very good picture, but you get the idea.
What I may do with the other coasters?
-make a headband
-use the beads to make a necklace or earrings
-frame one or two of the coasters (I love the color, it's hard to get the real color in the picture)
...hmm..we'll see.


a cookie jar

Do you ever get bored with your decorations?
I do.
And you don't have the money to do many changes?
Oh, yes, that's me.

I was trying to come up with something I already had, to add something "new" to a shelf in our living room. This is what I came up with.

I had a big bowl with all those decorative balls you see everywhere that I had been using as a center piece on our dinning room table for the past year, but it was time for that to change.

I pulled out a cute cookie jar that was just sitting in the cabinet, because it's too humid here to leave cookies in it & put the balls in there to add something extra to my shelf.I finally like the top of that shelf.


true love

This chair was sitting on the curb, patiently waiting for the garbage man to pick it up...but guess who found it first?
That's right.
My husband.

It stunk & I hated it & did not want it in my house.
He washed it up & fixed a board on it. We really needed a chair in our living room, so I let it stay for a little while. For a while I covered it with a blanket, but even that couldn't hide its ugliness.
(It makes the picture look better when the house is a disaster, doesn't it! haha)

Then the hubs got the idea that I should "recover it." Pshhhhh! Yeah right, I got my sewing machine a month after we got the chair & never sewed a thing in my entire life.

But then I went to JoAnn's & found some adorable fabric...& finally decided I would take on the challenge.
I must say, I am VERY pleased with the finished product.
I never knew I could love something I hated so much!
And this is true love.
I did piping on it & don't be afraid, it is actually quite easy. I even put two zippers on both cushions, piece-a-cake. Once I finally decided what I color I should paint it & finally got around to it, I just did one light coat of black. If you look closely you can see the wood through.
I love how it turned out.

This weekend I am painting our also *free* TV stand.

Lesson learned:
Free things aren't so bad, you just have to look for the beauty in the item.
And now I am always looking for free (or cheap) furniture to refurbish.


slowly making changes

For some reason when it comes to decorating my son's room I am SO SLOW.
It might be because he is a boy & there isn't a ton to choose from for boys stuff, but even then I don't know what I really like. I'm slowly learning what I like. Most of the things I do like, I can't really afford, so I have to improvise & do something a little different.

It took me a year to finish his bed skirt & I am now just getting more wall hangings up.
I love the boy, but sometimes I feel like when I have a girl, I'll be a little more on top of these things! (Oh, did I mention I'm already working on a baby girl quilt...and no I am not pregnant, I'm just getting ahead of myself!)

So here are just a few little things.
I did make these letter blocks before he was born, the one thing! Wahoo. They are super easy. I may post a tutorial in the future if anyone is interested.

How I love to paint (simple things!)
Have you ever heard of wordle.net? Check it out.
That's where I came up with this little word mess on his wall.

I saw these cute wall hangings at target for $13.00 each & I though I can do that!
So I did.
For about $8 for both.
I may do two more???
So, I finally did something to the boy's room.

I actually am working on painting a chair & book shelf in the room...we'll see how that goes!



strawberry jam.....mmmmmmm

Yesterday I made some oh so yummy strawberry jam.

It took some time, a lot of stirring, but overall was pretty easy.
And you don't have to deal with canning.

First things first, you have to get some of this:
(don't make the mistake of getting just any fruit pectin, you have to have FREEZER kind or this kind SURE JELL MCP)
Which can be tricky to find. Trust me, I tried for the past two years here in the North East & no luck. Finally my dearest mother sent me some.

This was my first time successfully making freezer jam
(I tried two years ago, it never turned into jam, so we used it as strawberry syrup), yahoo!

We took a lovely trip out of the city & into the country side to pick some strawberries.
Or you can be boring & a just buy some from the store. Wash & cut the fully ripe strawberries & smash with a potato smasher.

The specific instructions are in the box & you MUST follow them very carefully, or else it won't turn out.
After stirring for over an hour, I thought, "Why didn't I use my KitchenAid Mixer!"
But it was too late. So if you have some kind of big mixer I would try that, it might make it a little easier.

Follow the rest of the instructions & you'll have some yummy jam in no time!
And if you want to make some DELICIOUS homemade bread (also, SO EASY) go here.
It's my new favorite whole wheat bread recipe, we will be using frequently.

I can't wait for raspberry & peach season....oooh maybe grapes too, or apricots...so many options.


the headboard

The last few weeks I've been working on sprucing up the decor in our bedroom, pretty much re-doing everything. I liked it just fine before, but it was time for a change & it desperately needed some COLOR.

Here is the before picture:
As you can see we never had a headboard.
Notice the lamp?

I decided we needed a headboard & I came up with this.

All I did was get the size of board I wanted, stapled a few layers of cardboard onto the wood (to give it a little extra padding, but isn't necessary) wrapped it with foam (I used an egg carton foam pad the hubs used in college) with the egg part facing the wood, I stapled it on the backside with a staple gun. Then I found some dark brown (color???) suede fabric on clearance at JoAnn's ($6) & wrapped that around the board on top of the foam and stapled it to the wood (pulling it tight!).

Definitely gives it a little extra...but needed more.
I found my bit of inspiration in the Pottery Barn Magazine
(sign up, they mail them for free, a great place to get great ideas!)

Last night, with the help of the hubs, this is what we did.

We bought this inexpensive
from Home Depot.

We measured it & cut it with a jigsaw into the sizes we needed.

I also picked up some crown molding pieces from HD to frame the headboard.

Here he is stapling the Eucaboard onto the frame.
We love the staple gun, can you tell?

From the front.
Then he used the drill & screwed the Eucaboard into the back of our headboard to attach it.It's as simple as that!

You just want to be sure that the frame is lined up & pushed close into the fabric. You'll want to hold it up to look at it every now & then.

For the corners, I decided to use these squares you can get at HD too.
You could also do diagonal corners, that would look fabulous! You just have to get it cut perfectly.

Here is the finished headboard:
Love it.
This little bit only cost $20.00 & gives it a professional look.
It makes such a huge difference in a room.

Notice the yellow walls?
Just wait for the big unveiling of the entire bedroom makeover!!!!
Stay tuned.


want to grow something lovely, easy, useful & most importantly SO cute?

You've probably got everything you need for this fun project sitting around your house.

Now, lets grow some wheat grass.

First you want to buy some unpolished wheat, if you don't already have some. I picked mine up at the Whole Foods grocery store. You can also use some wheat from food storage, just make sure it isn't too old.

Sometimes it helps to soak the wheat over night in a clean container of water.

Get the cute bowl, vase, jar or pottery you want & go dig up some dirt from your backyard.
Fill up your containers & moisten the soil a bit.

Spread a layer of wheat berries on top of the soil, completely covering the dirt.

Sprinkle a thin layer of soil on top of the wheat berries.

Give it a little water.

Cover your container with newspaper, each day spray a little water on it, until they start to sprout, like in the picture. Once they've sprouted you can take the newspaper off & let it get some sun.
You don't need to sit it directly in the sun, just in a room that gets some sun.

And in 5-7 days you will have some lovely blades of wheat grass.
Water it daily, but not with too much water.

Once your grass is 7-8 inches tall give it a little trim about 1/2 inch from the soil & let it grow again, watering daily.

With the clippings you can juice it, cook with it, or chuck it & just have your wheat grass as some fun decoration.
Isn't it cute?
This is a great activity for young children, because you get results relatively soon & it's so fun for them to water it & watch it grow.

Here I used a jar, a square bowl I had (I lined it with a plastic bag & trimmed down the bag) & found those two round vases at Good Will for $1.00.

Total for project: $3.oo
(for the small vases & wheat)


I need a little help on this one...

Remember how I said I was recovering a lampshade?

Well a week or so ago I did, but it really needs something else.
I'm keeping my eyes open for some kind of embellishment to go around maybe the top & bottom. The base is a really dark brown & the room it is in has yellow walls & mostly browns & soon will have some more yellows & light blues.

Here is a close up of the material.
If you have ANY IDEAS, please tell me what you think. I just want to complete this little project. I will post the tutorial on how I recovered this, an easy-peasy project, as soon as I finish.
Thanks in advance!



We're heading out for a fun five day adventure.

Look forward to seeing this when I get back:

~a headboard revamp
~recovered lamp shade
~canvas wall hangings

Be back soon!



dresser handles

I've been a little out of the blogging world over the holiday weekend.
Hope everyone had a great 4th!

Some of you may have seen these pictures, but I decided to share for those who haven't.

We recently were given a broken, old dresser. I saw some beauty in it & was so excited to fix it up.

After gluing a drawer back together, sanding the whole thing & painting it four times we got this beauty. (That I think will be much more beautiful in a little girls room...someday.)
I love the antique style & the Queen Anne legs.
Even though the project only cost about 20 bucks, we didn't want to buy handles right away. The ones I want, are a little pricey.

So since it's being used in my little boys room I figured I could come up with something that I already had for now.
My mother-in-law recently gave me some great fabric that I am using to make him a quilt out of. I thought it would be cute to have the handles match the quilt.
Here are the handles close up.
They have little cars, boats & air planes on them. I stuffed some old denim inside to make them a little more sturdy. And sewed them, used a little fray check, if needed. I pulled them through the holes and left them about 7 in long on both sides so I could tie a not from the inside.

I've also seen rope (a decorative rope) & ribbon.
If you have any inexpensive dresser handle ideas please share!!!



homemade playdough recipes

Stuck inside on a rainy day?
We are.
Here are some good play dough recipes.

This one I got from my sister-in-law.

Peanut butter play dough:

1 C. Creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups powdered milk
3 T. honey.

I usually put in some powdered sugar and powdered milk (just divided in half; I just taste it till it tastes good enough to eat).

Just like store bought play dough:
2 c water
1/2 c. salt
combine and bring to a boil

Remove from heat and add:
2T powdered Alum (buy in the spice section of the store)
1/4 c. salad oil
2 1/4 c. flour
Stir until blended. Put on board and knead. Store in covered container.