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, 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!

Around the Home

Master Bedroom Makeover & Nightstands

The last two days I devoted some time to “sprucing” up our master bedroom, which was in need of some attention. I was so thrilled to get my work up on the walls of Linnaea’s for this Friday’s Art After Dark, that I rewarded myself with a bit of decorating time (one of my others loves!). As you can see, the little extra attention made a difference. It seemed important to me for our room to become more like a sanctuary, a comfortable and refreshing space.

Before I worked on putting our room together, I needed to figure out a solution for nightstands. Ours first ones were very mismatched and a bit too low. I wanted them to have drawers for some storage. And I loved the idea of similar but different. So I found two small dressers at TJ Maxx that were both made in india, with the same height and same amount of drawers. The finishes and hardware were very different. So I did what I normally resort do, I spray painted them…

before&after_nightstandAs you can see in the photo on the right, I also spray painted some matching black lamps we already had. I just used the same color as on the night stands and it really brought it all together.

dresser_before2Next I brought the finished nightstands and “new” lamps into the room and set to work.


Another “before” shot. I absolutely adore those windows and the view!


I wanted something soft with a lot of neutral colors. Those curtains are from World Market and we used them in our old house. I love that we can use them here now.


I found that fun little tray at Ross. It was a nice spot to put my “dust collectors”


We hope to mount this on the wall soon. It’s the directional sign I painted for our wedding to direct people to the parking lot!


You can see that David’s nightstand is a bit different from mine, but I love those pulls. Note: His nightstand doesn’t have any flowers, simply functional with an alarm clock


The book corner.


The bathroom. At least it’s clean now 🙂 Needle point hanging on the wall was done by our dear friend, Kate Hasson.


And here’s the finished product. Ahhh…much better.


Around the Home, Art & Creativity

Furniture Refinishing Project

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the process of taking an old piece of furniture, or one that isn’t quite right but has potential and turning it in to something new…something YOU. Having just moved into a new house a couple weeks ago, we’ve been working hard when we have moments of free time to make it feel like home.

I had been looking for a piece of furniture to go in our main living area. You know, something that would be stylish and functional all at once with the perfect amount of storage for mail, papers that need sorting and stuff like that. I had such a hard time finding something that was the right size and shape for the right price. But then, there it was a Target, the perfect piece (minus the faux finish that I wasn’t a big fan of). I also felt this item needed to have some color and pizazz in order to stand out against the white walls, something modern and fun.

So here’s what I did:


I started with this cabinet ($150 at Target).

1. Removed all doors and drawers, as well as hardware and lightly sanded.
2. Applied several light coats of satin gray spray paint to cabinet, door and drawers.


Drop cloths always come in handy!


I wrapped a drop cloth around the base so as not to get spray paint on it.process3Rust-Oleum is fabulous and I only needed two cans for this, plus a clear protective coat.

3. Applied a couple thin layers of clear protective sealer within 30 minutes of applying color (can be found with the rest of the spray paint at Home Depot).

4. Added lovely hardware/pulls from World Market.


A little bit of silver and a little bit of color (World Market)

5. Applied some silver coated Contact Paper to the top of the cabinet for a little extra bling (Home Depot).


Just cut your contact paper to size, peel of the backing and stick into place.

All finished! And now those unsightly stacks of papers, mail and coupons have a place to live.


Perfect storage space


Isn’t she pretty?

Activities & Events, Around the Home, Art & Creativity, Uncategorized

Pieces from the Past 10 Days

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Some of the fun items that were available at the Stitch Market

I’ve been a little MIA when it comes to blogging lately. I got a bit wrapped up in doing two different shows/fairs back to back. First it was the Central Coast Craft Fair, then it was the Stitch Market.

The Stitch Market was a great time, my favorite part of the whole experience was probably meeting the other vendors, sharing stories, swapping advice, gaining encouragement and so much more. It can be a real help to learn from others who are on a similar creative path.

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My booth at the Stitch Market

While I was hanging out at my booth, Ashley brought me this wonderful menu board we ordered from The Sign Cafe, Isn’t it fantastic? I was so excited to bring it home and hang it up in our kitchen. It adds quite a bit of pizazz to the wall. If you want a menu board of your own, I know Ashley would love to make one for you!


The Menu Board made by The Sign Cafe, we love it!

David came down with that nasty cold that’s been going around during all the craft fair craziness, so immediately following the Stitch Market, guess who came down with it next? That’s right. David left for a week long business trip and I ate lots of chicken soup, drank plenty of orange juice and hot tea, slept and watched Christmas TV programing. I think I really needed the rest! I was very grateful for the recovery time. In the midst of my recovering, I was able to pull a few Christmas decorations together…

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Some Christmas Decorations at our house

And then I refinished our coffee table again. I had put some metal strips on it, which looked kind of cool, but they were getting a bit beat up with water ring stains and such. So I stained some old fence planks we had using a weathered gray stain and sealant in one…

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I refinished our coffee table using some old fence posts from our yard!

Lastly, yesterday I did a mini photoshoot with our friends, the Burgers. They were wanting some photos of baby Julia, who was born on November 1st, as well as some possible Christmas card photos. Here are just a few from the shoot:


How precious is that headband?




Baby and Daddy


Baby and Mommy

Aren’t they such a cute family? Well, it’s great to feel healthy again and I look forward to doing some new paintings in the upcoming months. We’re also still trying to sell our house, because we found a really great one to buy. So we’re hopeful and trying to remain positive! It’s definitely requiring some patience of us…and trust that everything will work out in the end.