Can I Just Say…

That I’m always amazed

How sometimes the little things

 Can make all the difference

Fresh coat of paint, $0 (from my paint closet).  Two glass knobs, $3 (from Pier 1 Clearance).  Total time, 20 minutes.  Total cost, $3.


Although now I see I need to relevel the doors.

I’ve linked up at: Making Lemonade



I am quite possibly the worst procrastinator ever.  I realize this is not news to anyone who’s been following along for any amount of time,  but I feel like it bears repeating. (And no, I’m still not done with the Pinwheel Quilt).


So, remember that ugly old thrifted light fixture that I turned into a cloche last year?  I bought this one at the same time.

I’m embarassed to admit it, but I painted it at the same time as well.  Hey, as long as I had the spray paint out…

The next weekend, I planned to install it.  What was that, November?

I wanted to get rid of this boring, contractor standard, not very bright little number right here in my side entry.

I pulled that ugly thing down and got all set to put up my new super cute lantern.  When I went to hang it, I realized I was going to have to shorten the chain a bit if I didn’t want  tall normal sized people hitting their heads.  As I was shortening the chain, some paint flaked off.

That’s right.  I painted it before I made all the mechanical adjustments.  Genius.

I’ll admit I got frustrated.  I tossed the light into my living room and let it sit on a table.  For eight months.

The most pathetic part?  I didn’t even bother to put the old light back up.  I’ve been doing laundry in the dark for the better part of a year.

Even more sad is that every time I went through that entryway, I flipped the switch.  As if light was magically going to appear.  I never got used to it being unlit.

Not until I realized I have company coming next week for a barbecue and there are bare wires hanging from the ceiling in my entryway did I bother to readdress the light fixture situation.

The other day, I mounted that sucker to the ceiling, sprayed a bit of the oil rubbed bronze onto a paper plate, and touched up the exposed brass with a brush.

It literally took me fifteen minutes.

I absolutely love how it looks!  Plus, it hangs a bit lower than the old light, so I actually get some illumination into the laundry closet, so I can ACTUALLY SEE WHAT I’M DOING!!!!

I’m kicking myself for not getting it done months ago.  This light makes me happy every time I look at it!!!  It’s amazing what a $4 light and a can of spray paint can do!

 What projects do ya’ll have laying around waiting to be finished!?

Note: This project may be linked up at some or all of the following parties, depending on my caffeine intake. Either way, you should definitely stop by!

Monday: Tutes & Tips Not To Miss @ Home Stories A to Z

Tuesday: Show Me What Ya Got @ Not JUST A Housewife Tuesday’s Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Wednesday: Hooking Up With HoH @ House Of Hepworths Overflowing With Creativity @ It’s Overflowing

Thursday: Transformation Thursday @ Shabby Creek Cottage

Friday: Weekend Wrap Up@ Tatertots and Jello Refresh Your Nest @ Making Lemonade Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest Come Party With A Blonde @ A {Blonde’s} DIY Life

Saturday: Saturday Seven @ Positively Splendid

Sunday: Sister Sunday @ Sisters of the Wild West

That Looks Better Already

Remember the before?

My new bench is stained, covered with Polyurethane, and installed in my room.  Now I just need to sew a cushion for it (waiting on fabric to arrive).

 Quite an improvement, don’t you think?

Master Bedroom Mood Board

Here’s a little mood board I whipped up for my bedroom

Master Bedroom - Rev 1

I would sure love some advice, as I’ve never planned or designed a room before.  What works?  What doesn’t work?  The only thing I’m totally attached to is the blue duvet cover!

Note: This project may be linked up at some or all of the following parties, depending on my caffeine intake. Either way, you should definitely stop by!

Monday: Sew Modern Monday @ Canoe Ridge Creations Tutes & Tips Not To Miss @ Home Stories A to Z

Tuesday: Show Me What Ya Got @ Not JUST A Housewife Tuesday’s Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Wednesday: WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced Hooking Up With HoH @ House Of Hepworths Overflowing With Creativity @ It’s Overflowing

Thursday: Transformation Thursday @ Shabby Creek Cottage

Friday: Weekend Wrap Up@ Tatertots and Jello Refresh Your Nest @ Making Lemonade Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest Come Party With A Blonde @ A {Blonde’s} DIY Life

Saturday: Saturday Seven @ Positively Splendid

Sunday: Sister Sunday @ Sisters of the Wild West

Master Bedroom Markup

I’m a little overwhelmed with this whole Master Bedroom Makeover, so I’m taking it one step at a time. Right now, I’m in the planning stages, so I thought I’d better take some before photos and make a list of what I want to do (and goof off with Picnik, apparently).

The Layout: One of the things about this house is that I feel like there’s no space, even though I’ve got 1600 square feet to work with. For a family of two, that should be plenty! I think it’s because each room is *just* big enough for it’s intended use. There’s not a lot of places for the bed to go without blocking the windows, but having it here pretty much renders half of the square footage basically unusable. I think I’ll shake things up a little and try a new arrangement.

The Flooring: As much as I’d love to tear out the carpet and replace it with wood floors, it’s just not in the budget right now. The carpet’s pretty neutral, so I can deal with it for now. A good shampooing probably wouldn’t hurt it any, though.

The Furniture: I’m OK with the dresser and nightstands, but I’m over the dark stain. I’m thinking a coat of paint will bring a little more light into the room. That will allow me to stain {the bench} any color I want – I’m thinking something along the lines of a medium oak or early american. I think I’m ready to have a big-girl bed now. Or at least a headboard. I’ve got an idea up my sleeve for this. Something needs to be done with the dog crate – it’s just ugly.

The Windows: I have to say that I sure would like to replace those mini blinds. They aren’t that attractive, and I hate cleaning them. At the very least, I’ll hide them behind some bamboo shades or something. Oh, and there should be curtains too. I’m pretty sure of it.

The Walls: I’m still in love with the wall color (it’s Martha Stewart Vintage Map, from back when she was with Lowe’s a few years ago) but the walls could use a fresh coat of paint. Unfortunately, Vintage Map has been discontinued, but I’ve found a close match for it so I plan to repaint. That one little print on my wall (ordered from here) sure looks lonely, doesn’t it? I’ll definitely need to put something on my barenaked walls.

The Ceiling: I’ve recently developed an unhealty obsession with hating my textured ceilings. It consumes me. I don’t think I’ll be happy with any room until that popcorn finish has disappeared, so I plan to try removing it from one of my small bathroom ceilings soon. If it goes well enough that I’m ready to take on a bigger ceiling, I’ll be scraping and skimming and sanding in here. If it doesn’t, I’ll be coughing up some cash for some lovely beadboard paneling. Oh, and the ceiling fan? It’s a necessary evil here in the south, but I’m sure I can at least freshen up the look a little.

The Closets: A coat of paint wouldn’t hurt in there, and neither would some better organization.

The little brown guy? He stays.

That’s what I’m seeing for now – does anyone have any suggestions?

I’m off to Pinterest to gather some inspiration!

Update: Linking up to Show Me What Ya Got and A Bowl Full Of Lemons
It’s Overflowing

I’ve Got A New Project

And it all started with Mommy’s little angel:

You see, Kona sleeps in the grown-up bed with me.  Yeah, I know that will spoil him.  (Honestly?  I think that ship has already set sail).

But he’s warm.  And he snuggles.  And he’s so cute when he’s dreaming and he makes these pitiful little bark noises (they almost sound like hiccups).

And, if I’m being very honest?  He’s my alarm clock.  I am not – I repeat NOT – a morning person.  At.  All.  Especially during the winter, I have the ability to sleep through any alarm clock.  Music, beeping, light, whatever.  Doesn’t matter how loud it is, after a while I just adjust to it and it doesn’t wake me anymore.  I’ve thought about somehow rigging up my smoke alarms to go off when I need to wake up, since those still wake me from even the deepest sleep.

But then I realized I’d just eventually become accustomed to the noise and sleep through it.  And that?  Is not safe.

I can usually wake up OK during the summer, when it’s actually getting light outside.  I firmly believe that humans were not meant to wake up before the sun.  Anyway.  During the summer, when it wasn’t dark as the bowels of hell outside at 6:00 am, I actually woke up when the alarm went off.  And I spent about 10 minutes with Kona in the bed, roughhousing and belly rubbing and all that good stuff before we got up to go potty outside (him, not me).  So now that it’s dark outside and cold and I really don’t wanna wake up, I have Kona.  When that alarm goes off, he starts poking me with his cold little nose, telling me it’s time to give him some attention already!!!!

And that is why I need to let him sleep with me.


The problem *was* this:  Kona can’t jump high enough to get onto the bed, but he’s willing to try.  Persistently.  In order to prevent his repeatedly throwing himself at the bed trying to get up, over, and over, and OVER again, I have to lift him up there.  Which wouldn’t be a problem, except that sometimes during the night, he needs to jump out of the bed to bark and snarl at some noise he imagines he heard outside.  Other times, he needs to get up to see if I forgot to secure any people food in the kitchen before I went to bed.  And then when he gets done with whatever secret mission he’s on, he’s back flailing and throwing himself at the bed.  And then I have to drag myself out of the warm nest of flannel and down to lift him again.

Yeah, notsomuch.

My [tacky] solution to the problem was to place an overturned laundry basket beside the bed for him to use as a step.  Unfortunately, he didn’t like the hollow sound of the basket under his little toenails (he refuses to walk on Pergo floors for the same reason – seriously, I took him to CountryMax once and he planted his little butt and refused to take another step on the Pergo walkway).

My [even tackier] fix for that problem was to place a folded up beach towel on top of the laundry basket.


Obviously, something had to be done.  So when my Mother asked me for a Christmas list this year, one of the things I requested was a bench for the foot of the bed so that I could get rid of the laundry-basket contraption.  I knew Ikea had a cute one for a reasonable price, and I figured I could sew a cushion for it.

Y0u can not even imagine how delighted I was when I got this note under the Christmas tree this year:

I scooted down to my Dad’s workshop and sure enough, this gorgeous bench was waiting for me, lovingly made by my Dad:

Isn’t it perfect?  It’s poplar, and I just love it.

Just one problem though – I need to finish it (Dad left it unfinished so I could choose the color)!  I don’t want to go too dark, because I want the lovely wood to show through.

My bedroom furniture is stained.  DARK.  I kind of had to go that dark with the dresser because it’s pine, and when I used a lighter stain, it totally looked like a pirate chest.  So I went with an ebony stain, and then got the Ikea nightstands to coordinate.  I used to love it, but now I’m sort of over it.

So, I’m planning a total Master Bedroom makeover.  Historically, my decorating method has been kind of piecemeal, bringing things in as I come across them.  I think this has been both a budgetary thing and a lack of confidence.  So this will be my first real room makeover.

I think I may have mentioned once or a hundred times that I’m going to be {really busy} in 2012.  Because of that, this will probably be the only major home project I undertake this year, and I hope to do my “big reveal” sometime toward the end of the year, but before the holiday rush.  I’ll definitely keep ya’ll updated along the way!



A Quick Repurpose

Okay, so yesterday I showed you my cloche filled with ornaments during the Holiday Home Tours Party. In case you missed it, here it is again:

That cloche makes me insanely happy. I’ve wanted one for ages now, and I’ve been madly pinning Cloche ideas on Pinterest for someday. You can do so many gorgeous things with a cloche.

Like this.

Source: stylemepretty

Or this.

Source: bippityboppityboo

So anyway, last week I was in my favorite thrift shop and I spotted this:

A big brass ceiling fixture. For $8. I couldn’t get that baby to the register fast enough.

I stopped on the way home for a can of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. After snapping a couple of “before” photos, I got to work with a screwdriver. I painted all the brass with oil rubbed bronze, and threw the functional parts of the light away.

I had a moment of remorse after that. It was a really neat fixture. Maybe I should have put it back together after painting and installed it in my entryway. Then I remembered I have ugly popcorn ceilings and for now I don’t want to draw attention upward. The moment passed.

I’m so excited about this little addition to my decor, and the best part? The top cap comes off, so I don’t have to worry about filling my cloche and then inverting it. I just dropped the ornaments through the hole!

What do ya’ll think? Did I make the right choice? Or did I destroy a perfectly good light fixture?

Updated: I’m linking this up at

Home Stories A to Z

A Blonde’s DIY Life

Refresh Your Nest Fridays at Making Lemonade
The Corson Cottage

2011 Holiday Home Tour

Welcome! The Plum house is almost all decorated for the holidays, so I’ll show you around!

As you come up the front steps, you’ll see my new wreath:

When you come into the living room, you’ll see my mantel

And on the coffee table, my standard decorating method: ornaments in a dish with a candle

Moving into the kitchen, on the island is my poinsettia and more ornaments. For most of December, the island looks like the Keebler Elves trashed the place and then quit, so this is a rare glimpse while it’s not covered in cookie baking mess.

On the pantry door is my Christmas card wreath, made from the Martha tutorial that was all over Pinterest

And finally, my favorite part of my decor, the dining table:

Wait till you see where I got that cloche from

Thanks so much for stopping by my little home tour. I hope you’ll come back on the 17th to share a cookie recipe at my Holiday Cookie Recipe Swap!

I’m linking this up at The Inspired Room’s Holiday Home Tours Party

My First Christmas Mantelscape

It’s really starting to look like Christmas around here, and I’m so excited to share my very first mantelscape.  Ever.
I’ve had this house (and therefore this mantel) for almost six years, and I’ve never decorated the mantel.  I was just too intimidated by the size of that giant empty space.  Over the summer, I finally got my hands on an old paned window and put it above the fireplace as soon as I got it home.  Still, I was too freaked out to try doing any additional decorating up there.
Then I saw Beth’s post at Home Stories A to Z on how to decorate a mantel and I felt like I finally had some inspiration I could work with.
So, here is my very first-ever mantel arrangement.

As you can see, I used Beth’s Visual Triangle formula to get started…  Then I pretty much got out every candlestick, vase, and nicknack I owned to fill it in.

The tree and the big mercury glass ornaments came from Home Goods. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to use them as the start of my mantle decor.  Everything else was stuff I already had around the house (including the wreath, which was actually a $5 garland from Lowe’s but when I got it home it was kind of spindly looking, so I coiled it back up and called it a wreath).

I found that my big old mantel was a *lot* of space to fill.  I started running out of larger things to put on it, so I filled this thrift shop shadow box with mini ornaments.  I had to tape a piece of white scrap paper to the back to hold it all together, because the back wouldn’t go on with my star shaped ornaments inside.  I really like the way it turned out though.

I ended up snapping a photo and sending it to my Mom for her input.  She is so good at arranging things and her mantels have always looked perfect.  Isn’t technology wonderful?  We can just grab a quick photo, send it instantly to somebody hundreds of miles away, and within a few minutes have their suggestions, just as if they were in the room.  Amazing.

I’m pretty happy with how my mantelscape turned out, and I would say that now I definitely have the confidence to decorate my mantel for future seasons.  Thanks so much to Beth for the inspiration!

I’m linking this up to all the fun parties at:
Ten June
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Southern Hospitality
and, of course
Home Stories A to Z

Quick Wreath Project

Hi All,

I hope everyone had a good weekend – mine was full of good food, good company, and ugly Christmas sweaters! My mercury glass finial project was also featured over at Knock Off Decor this morning – what a great way to start the day!

I thought I’d share the wreath I whipped up yesterday afternoon. I had grown so tired of my old standby, the red-berry wreath and wanted something new. I grabbed my glue gun and a $2 Wal-Mart wreath and went to town…

I’m pretty pleased with how it came out… I went ahead and whipped up another one for my side door. I love decorating for the holidays!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!


I’m linking this up at the Biblical Homemaking wreath party!
Biblical Homemaking

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