Thursday, January 28, 2010

day 2: operation valentine's day

{i resisted the urge to call it valentinification...}

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

love rocks

here is my valentine's center piece.

my usual cake stand with a galvanized tin heart i picked up at hl for $8. {pricey for me, but i love it, so worth it!}

filled it with love rocks. love rocks? yep. rocks with expressions of love that i wrote with a sharpie. think rocks meet conversation hearts.

a heart attack

decided to actually decorate for valentine's day this year. {i'm itching for a project!}

so last night i headed to hobby lobby with a mission: find valentine's day decor that is natural, and not the normal frufru cupids and bright red hearts.

so i picked up just about every unfinished heart product in the store.

the plan? paint and crackle finish them whites and browns. valentine's meets natural.

Friday, January 22, 2010

new love...

up to this point i've written a lot about hobby lobby.

they have great deals! tonight i went for the first time in weeks {a record since moving into the new house} and got some christmas stockings for 90% off {the receipt said i saved $40!!!}

i still love hl.

but a new place has my heart.

it is the dollar tree.

my friend melissa tipped me off about a great deal on moss and vases - for $1 each! i'm helping a friend with her wedding decor. i see the dollar tree in our future for buying wedding supplies and it won't be tacky. I promise!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

what's black and white and read all over?

my bathroom wall!

having a gutsy moment i painted one of the walls in my tiny bathroom black - chalkboard paint.

i love it. i don't regret it.

i wanted something fun since the bathroom is for guests and kids. i didn't want anything too kiddish, since it is for guests. i didn't want something too adult since it is for kids.

the result. all white {for guests}. chalkboard wall {for kids}. i write verses that i want my daughter to take to heart. quotes that will encourage her character. maybe one day i will write some of the funny things she says.

so enjoy these pictures of my bathroom. {have i mentioned before my love for chalkboard paint??}

here are some of the pictures that inspired me to paint one wall chalkboard {all four walls would have been a disaster!}

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

it's a party!

thank you. thank you. thank you! i have over 10 followers!

{i know that is small beans compared to a lot of home decor blogs, but for me it is good enough to throw myself a little party.}

if you aren't a follower of my blog - please become one! it encourages me and keeps me going! now, i am off to celebrate...

Monday, January 18, 2010

a motto to live {and decorate} by...

about a month ago i came across this saying from theodore roosevelt:

"do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

this isn't the first time i've mentioned it.

i think about it a lot. in relationships. grocery shopping. areas of faith. and of course. decorating.

so what are some simple ways to make the most with what you have? the answer may surprise you...

1. pick up! seriously. an organized house = a happier house. got piles of junk that don't go away? buy some baskets. throw away stuff. move it into a room that you don't have to go into often. just get it out of your main spaces!

2. declutterize. minimize nick knacks. {is that half burnt candle from a friend at your 5th grade birthday party really that important?} clean off the fridge and put those photos into frames. put those frames on top of the fridge. trust me. it will look better!

3. organize the stuff that you do have to keep out. again, i recommend baskets. consider putting a dresser in your living room to manage the clutter. blankets. toys. shoes. scarves. mail. kitchen gadgets. cereal boxes. anything that has to be out, hide it in a basket. it will look better.

4. photo storage boxes also help with clutter. you can label them. you can pick from a variety of colors. they can fit many things. dvds. cds. mittens. recipes. mail. to do piles. {and often are half price at hobby lobby!} i used to have some in my kitchen: coupons, to do, file, pictures, recipes. all great uses for photo boxes.

5. for photo crazy people {like myself!} here are some simple suggestions: pick one wall to hang pictures. a bigger room, maybe two walls. standardize your frames. paint them all one color. consider black and white photography - more artistic and more neutral. rotate out your pictures. i do for each season. that way i can bring out some older pictures that are great memories for me.

6. make one wall your statement wall. maybe this is where you have your photography display. maybe a big piece of art. maybe a collection of plates. if every wall is a statement it is hard to know where to focus your attention and it doesn't feel as peaceful. so pick one.

7. make sure every room has textiles. something that softens the room. drapes. kitchen towels. table runners. bath towels rolled up in a basket. blankets folded up on a couch. something soft. something with texture.

8. lighting. ohhhh... touchy subject for me. i almost lost a college room mate because of our inability to agree on lighting. a lamp in each room. a lamp on each side of the bed. at least a candle in each room, but not too many candles {see the declutterize suggestion.}

9. layer. just like with fashion, home decor follows the same guideline. things look better when you layer. rugs over wood floors. blankets and pillows on a couch. drapes over blinds on a window. quilts on the bottom of your bed. a few pillows on the top of your bed. {not too many, hubbys usually don't like that...} one suggestion is to think about different textures. for example, i have a creamy white quilt on my bed with a creamy white down comforter folded on the bottom. the look makes you want to jump into bed - it feels so cozy! the two textures are what make it so cozy!

10. when in doubt, go neutral. i've never regretted registering for white pitchers, platters and plates at my wedding. or for all the cream colored bedding i have. {because of layering, cream on cream works!} white blankets for my couch. black frames go with just about everything {some designers say that every room needs a touch of black. i tend to agree.} i have black lamps that i can trade in and out of rooms. that is another advantage of going neutral. you can switch things from room to room and they will still match! another reason i've painted so many things in my house white. you never know where the pieces of furniture will end up!

so do the most with what you have. shop your own house. move things around. declutter. experiment. shop goodwills and garage sales before you go to department stores.

hopefully these tips will work for you wherever you are.

the copy cat cottage: entry

i wish i could say it was complete. it's not. but oh, so close.

ceiling needs touching up, paint needs touching up, tile patched and bench stained. just a few things that need to get done.

but here is the tour any way. i kept up my christmas greenery and added some pine cones to decorate for the season.

the frames were all either free from my parents farm or $1 at a junk store.

picture-less frames are my new obsession. i added the greenery inside of the frames. abstract art, right?

the copy cat cottage: girl's nursery

this is my daughter's room. i love it. i enjoyed the whole process of decorating her room. so much in fact, i have ideas already for how i would decorate it differently!

this room was done on a pretty tight budget. i used branches for drapery rods, made my own art using scrapbook paper and my own name sign using canvas and crosstitching rings. i painted unfinished bird house from hobby lobby and painted cardboard hat boxes for storage.

one thing i have left to make is curtains and a ribbon garland to hang from the ceiling.

then it will be done.

Monday, January 11, 2010

the copy cat cottage: laundry room

another before & after:

before. not much to it. just needed to have trim painted & some brightening up. oh & a washer & dryer.

the after. again rhino on the wall. the laundry bags are homemade. hand painted by me. sewn by my mom.

this was the very first room that i redid. i recommend starting small. that way you can gain momentum and not feel like you aren't accomplishing anything.

Friday, January 8, 2010

the copy cat cottage: kitchen

this one is a before & after. big time.

{remember: this home was built in the 1960s...}

and the after. after a long week of removing doors, sanding, priming, painting three coats. after hanging the doors again. after sewing curtains. after accessorizing.


after taking off cabinet doors.

the paint for the cabinets is behr's ultra enamel paint. a gallon is $33. the walls are behr's latex paint in rhino. i had already bought this for my laundry room. chalkboard paint for a quart was $12. silver spray paint for the hinges was $6.

so for a little over $50 a brand "new" kitchen.

i love it. after.