Around the Home, Art & Creativity, Uncategorized

A Room for Baby

In anticipation of our first baby boy, I wasted no time dreaming up, preparing and decorating a nursery for him. I had plenty of energy to invest with all the extra napping and free hours on my hands. However, I’ll admit, this second time around has been a little different. I kind of dreaded cleaning out the “dumping grounds” that our guest room closet and bookshelves had become. Furthermore, I wasn’t too sure how to combine the purposes of a guest room and nursery into one lovely space. But mostly, I’ve just been trying to keep up with the ball of energy that is my two year old toddler.

Needless to say, I put off preparing a room for our second baby for quite some time. But then a wise and creative friend reminded me that the second baby doesn’t deserve to feel like “baby #2”, with all the leftovers and none of the effort! She also made a recommendation that I feel like made all the difference for the dynamic of the room, she suggested I paint the wall behind the bookshelves a color that had some pop to it and remove some of the extra shelves. It really became my favorite part of the whole room.

So now I’ll stop rambling and share some photos of baby’s room, ready just in time for him to arrive…


That sweet little baby crib in the corner was passed on to us from friends


Bookshelf transformation with a little paint and some rearranging


Love the colorful throw pillows from Castaway Cove Decor, on Etsy


Had this lamp from Home Goods and found the perfect nightstand at Target


Painted and older dresser and turned it into a changing table


Had fun working on some art and a mobile to add some color to the wall


Closeup of mobile, made from sticks, string and patterned paper


Close up of whale painting


Baby’s initials. The little wood animal cutouts and letters came from Michael’s


I love the dresser pulls from World Market, and the yellow tulips from Aunt Leslie

Thanks for checking out the baby’s room! We’ll put him in our room if you’re needing a guest room to sleep in 🙂



Around the Home

Furniture Refinishing: A Dresser for Baby

With hubby having some vacation time off between Christmas and the New Year, we were able to get a start on our baby nursery. Hooray! The walls got a fresh coat of paint (white walls with one gray/neutral accent wall), and I was able to refinish the dresser/changing table I found at an antique/thrift store ($82, not bad). We also got everything cleaned out of the room so we could put down the new zebra stripe area rug I found on Amazon…love!

Here’s what I started with…


before3before1Here are the materials I used to refinish the dresser:
1. An electric, hand-held sander
2. Dark Walnut Wood Stain and Sealer (Varathane at Home Depot)
3. Polar Bear White Paint on the drawers
4. Foam roller to smoothly apply the paint
5. CLR (hubby cleaned the hardware to bring out that copper shine!)

And here’s what it looks like now…





Now it’s on to the next phase of nursery for baby! Stay tuned for more.


Around the Home, Art & Creativity, Works in Progress

Happily and Completely Lost – Assemblage Art

When’s the last time you were so lost in something, undistracted by the world, completely absorbed in the moment, expressing your creativity, unhindered and unafraid? That beautiful place is exactly where I lived for large sections of the past three days. Initially inspired by a sleepless night, when my brain just wouldn’t shut off, I formulated an idea for some artwork. Artwork that I wanted to create for my favorite person (AKA, hubby) and myself. Just because. Just to enjoy in our home. Not to sell or to get anyone else to like it or for any other silly reason.


Here I’m experimenting with layout of my objects

I got really excited about this art. There wasn’t anything else pressing on the agenda. It’s funny how I almost felt guilty for fully enjoying three days of pure creative process. I don’t know if I’ve ever had that much fun making and hanging art. Perhaps it’s important to interrupt the “ought to’s” and agenda on a regular basis to keep those creative juices flowing in other work, no? I think it’s true and beneficial, for the soul even.

I started out with three 24″x24″ wood paneled old paintings that I decided to repurpose. I also gathered other small, inexpensive canvases and painting surfaces, old frames, etc., things I already had laying around. I even picked up a few random goodies at Brook’s Woodcraft, one of my favorite stores in town (full of treasures!).

Anyhow, here’s a little about the process (in pictures & captions), as well as the finished three collages. If you feel so inclined to create some personal and significant art for your own home, feel free to steal ideas…


Metal, wood, silver, gold, canvas, you name it


I taped off some simple patterns on the small canvases to include in each collage then used gold spray paint


Once all my components were ready to go, I used Gorilla glue, wood glue and lots of heavy objects to hold everything in place while drying


The Yellow One – FinishedCollage #1


Details. I love the “banana paper” on the left, it’s such a fun texture


Picture frame and embroidery floss. How can you go wrong?


Here you can see the thickness of the 24″x24″ wood panel that it’s all mounted on. No framing necessary


The Red One – Finished Collage #2


Some hand lettered (white paint) scripture


Yes, I used a bit of graphic design too and printed out some compilations of digitially colored vintage wallpaper patterns


The Blue One – Finished Collage #3


Our wedding date


Of course my favorite part of this one is the metal letters…but the “E” was painted in


All three up above our dining room table. I definitely made sure to mount these into wall studs, they’re a bit hefty


It’s about time we had more art on those white walls


I love the way the sunlight and bold colors reflect off the metal

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thanked God for the gift of creativity and beautiful white walls to hang art on, especially in the past few days. If you’ve tried something like this, or decide to, feel free to  link back to your project in the comments of this post, I would love to see it.


Around the Home, Mood Boards

A Nursery for Baby

  1. Love this illustration by David Fleck
  2. This Bookshelf is from Urban Outfitters
  3. Red floor lamp by Bukowskis Market
  4. Simple white crib from Ikea
  5. Cozy glider/rocker from Target
  6. A large, plush, zebra printed area rug by Sculpture
  7. Snake Plant found on Country Living
  8. Beautiful tree ring wall art, by Heather Montgomry Art 
  9. Picked out some bold, colorful fabrics at Chameleon Style in Arroyo Grande
  10. Mini Iron Dog Lamp by Style Craft, found on Hayneedle
  11. Dresser by Oeuf, found on 100 Layer Cake-let
  12. Artwork from Etsy, by Pool Pony Design

If you haven’t heard yet, we’re expecting a baby in March! After two back-to-back weekends of art shows in October, I took a little time off from painting in the studio, “worked on” resting and recovering from a cold, and then we had our first ultrasound! After we found out we’ll be having a BOY, I naturally couldn’t stop thinking about anything else besides my next “art project”…the nursery. I’ve had so much fun, sketching, pinning, dreaming, looking at fabric swatches, and so forth. I just wanted to share with you some of the plans in progress. Although there’s a lot of work to be done (cleaning and painting walls first!), I’m so excited to see this room unfold.

And here’s one more picture for you, it’s the gem of a dresser I found at Brooks Woodcraft in SLO. Of course it needs some paint and stain, but this thing is solid! And those pulls…

Looking forward to refinishing this for a dresser/changing table

Looking forward to refinishing this for a dresser/changing table


Around the Home

DIY Entertainment Center Project

You know how it goes, you buy that beautiful flat screen TV and are so excited about it! But then it sits on the floor for couple of weeks while you figure how/where to mount it and how/where to hide all those crazy looking electronics and wires that no one really wants to look at. This was where we found ourselves not too long ago. Routing wires behind the wall wasn’t really an option because (as you may notice) there’s a gas fireplace beneath the flat screen. Given that it’s a gas fireplace, which doesn’t give off a ton of heat and there’s a bit of a gap below the TV screen, we’re thinking (and hoping!) it won’t get fried.

This is what our wall looked like before our project began:


Husband & wife pondered this wall for quite some. First, the wall was painted in Potter’s Clay, for a slight tonal difference.

While trying to determine the best solution for what would inevitably be the focal point of our home, I did what I do whenever I need a plan. I sketched a picture…


My Aunt Leslie is an interior designer and suggested we have some shelves running up either side of the wall, so I went with it.

Once we decided to try and build shelves and cupboards, we went where many might go for a project like this…Home Depot. We bought a bunch of unstained wood, nails, screws, sandpaper and hinges. Then hubby began to build. Hooray for being married to an engineer who likes to figure out “puzzles”! I might also mention that  David covered those orange looking tiles along the bottom with a white washed/grayish wood laminate (also from Home Depot).


Shelves and cupboards in progress. All this wood was cut with a hand saw!

So once the building was complete, it was time for me to take over with the staining. I used two coats of Weathered Gray by Varathane. It’s a stain and sealant in one, so it gives the wood such a nice finish.


Next it was my job to stain.

We chose some door pulls from World Market, aren’t they fun? This is what the stained wood looks like up close. There’s a bit of shine to the finish.


Close up of the cupboard doors (where we’re hiding all those unsightly cords and electronics).

Once we stained everything, David bolted the whole unit to the wall and screwed in the long shelf running along the top. The whole thing is solid! It’s not going anywhere. And then of course we made a little trip to Home Goods for a few finishing touches (the bonsai tree, yellow lantern and tulips). The painting above the flat screen is something I found a while ago at Bed Bath & Beyond. I just loved the colors in it and touches of gold. Helps bring it all together, don’t you think?


Is that little bonsai tree in the corner not the coolest?


I was blown away by how well David constructed this whole thing. Thank you, My Love!

So there you have it folks. If you’re ever feeling as crazy as us and want to attempt something like this, don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. We’d be glad to share from our DIY experience!


Around the Home

From House to Home

What really makes a house a home? I think that mostly it’s the people that live in it, and the people you welcome in. I also think  it’s not necessarily having the most expensive furniture or perfect color schemes, but it’s the time, care and personal touches you add to it, as well as making everyone who walks through the front door feel like it’s their home too.

This weekend was fun and full of activity. My Mom is turning sixty very soon, so we decided to hold an early birthday celebration at our house. This is mom receiving her birthday cobbler (she’s only turning sixty, but the only birthday candles we had were the numbers “72”):


Realizing her candles said “72” not “60”


Isn’t she lovely?

It was great to have Mom and Dad over for a visit. I also had started working on the living room last week, mainly painting a set of bookshelves white and getting some photos ready to hang on the wall. So Dad was gracious enough to help Husband hang all the photos on our wall. I just love how the photo wall turned out!


Artwork by Uncle Mark, David and the Ladies, Art by Laurel Sherrie, Our wedding photo, Photos from New Zealand, Photos of our families at our wedding

So this is what the living room looked like before the “freshening”:


Living room before it got a facelift

I just wasn’t very excited about the dark bookcases, it made everything else feel dark to me. And I wanted the colors to be a bit softer. So I painted the bookcases (it felt like it took forever!):


Bookcases went from black to  Polar Bear White

We also made some repairs to the futon and I painted a white strip around the base of it to help it tie in with the shelves a bit better. I just love how it all came together. So welcoming, don’t you think?


After the facelift

This house has definitely become our home, and I’m looking forward to all the memories yet to be made and all the people yet to be welcomed through our door.


Linking up with Welcome Heart today!

Around the Home, Art & Creativity

Sticks & Strings

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but sticks and strings…now that’s a different story. Our guest bedroom was needing a bit of decoration on the dresser and I wasn’t getting excited about another fake flower arrangement. So I pulled out some colorful embroidery floss and made my own “bouquet” of sticks. What do you think? I realize I’m not the first person to do this, but it was a lot of fun.


A bouquet of sticks add a little bit of earthy charm and color to the room

I pretty much just tied a knot to begin each new section of color, then wrapped the floss around the tail. I also found that a little clear-drying craft glue (I like Sobo) helps to hold strands in place when you want to tuck away those last bits at the end of the row.


Tying a knot to begin another section of colored embroidery floss


The finished product is on the guest room dresser now

My sweet Dad helped us repaint the guest bedroom a couple weekends ago when my parents and sister came to visit. It was really nice to have them here and Dad was so helpful too! The walls were kind of a yellow and were looking a bit beat up, so the fresh coat of white, with gray doors looks really nice.


Here’s Dad, after the prepping was finished, ready to paint!


A fresh new guest room

Doesn’t the bouquet of sticks and strings look cute there in the corner? I added a few paper cranes for fun. You should try it sometime. Maybe even with much larger sticks and yarn or something, could be really fantastic. And if you do, tell me about it, I’d love to see a picture!