Monthly Archives: August 2011

a week of pinning

If you’ve read my blog at all, you are probably quite familiar with my love of all things Pinterest–I think it’s just such a brilliant idea that has been implemented very, very well. If you’re not sure what it is or still a bit unfamiliar with it, you can check out my little Pinterest tutorial (with some bonus info on Google Reader thrown in!) from back when I first started this blog.

Somehow, even with my oldest two back in school and my friend on carpool duty for the week, I have been super busy and haven’t been able to blog any of my projects. But that hasn’t stopped me from reading or pinning! So I thought it would be fun to share my faves of the week with you. Keep in mind, I really try to keep my pins focused to items I might one day actually attempt, though a few of these are definitely just in the “inspiration” category.

I’ve seen lots of yummy food around the web this week, these are two recipes that really caught my eye.

First up, delicious breadsticks (from scratch!) from my friend Sarah‘s blog that I had to pin and try immediately.

I have to say, I do love to cook but I am SO not a baker–I think it might have something to do with the way I don’t tend to measure very precisely in the kitchen. Ooops. But I made these last night and they turned out perfectly. Simple instructions and photos for those of us who are, ahem, baking challenged. Now I’m planning all sorts of experiments with this dough recipe–I want to try making these with a compound butter with fresh garlic and parsley spread in between the breadstick layers. YUM!

Next, in the same getting better at baking vein, I’m constantly on the hunt for a great sugar cookie recipe.

I found this great sugar cookie and icing tutorial–this is definitely next on my list to try!

And this

is my new favorite mommy blog. You’ve got to check out the genius that is Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures. I found myself laughing and nodding with the whole site.

Now a bunch of eye candy on projects I want to try.

Adorable baby booties made from fabric scraps


15 handbag sewing patterns and tutorials–sign me up! I need a cute diaper bag.

frayed zigzag pillows–I’m thinking of making an upholstered headboard for our master bedroom with this technique!

and a must have for our new little guy

and this last pin, definitely in the inspiration files, is definitely the one I am needing to implement most desperately. We’ve probably all seen House of Smith’s amazing pantry (which I think was one of my first pins, and if it wasn’t, it should have been!), but that kind of makeover is just a bit out of my league at this point. If only! But this pantry I discovered this week

is much, much more doable. We have that same shelving system, and basically, the before any after just involves removing everything, pitching/donating the unused (or unusable) items, and putting it back in nicely. What a concept! This is definitely going to happen before the baby gets here!

What have you seen on the web this week? Did I miss any amazing stuff?

headboard how-to

I’ve gotten a few emails with questions, so this is for those of you who want to do something similar to what I created for my daughter Bailey’s room here. First, to give credit where credit is due, the inspiration! I pinned this ages ago

and knew I wanted to do something similar for Bailey’s headboard. We had a stack of 1x6s left over from our girls’ old bunk bed (they were the slats below each mattress) that I knew I wanted to use for something, and this was the perfect project!

(that’s Bailey peeking out in the bokeh)

Since they are already exactly the width of a twin mattress, I decided to run them vertically on the headboard, as did my inspiration, since I wanted the headboard to extend a bit over the edges of the bed to add a bit of visual weight when finished. To accomplish this, I used eight of the slats as the front of the headboard and two as the braces across the back. (my smallest helper was VERY interested in this project)

I attached the braces to the slats with 1 3/4″ wood screws, predrilling the holes where I wanted them so the wood didn’t split. I originally marked off two places above each slat side-by-side, then realized it would probably be more sturdy if I staggered the screws a bit–hence the scribbled out Xs on the cross piece.

Since this was a project for Bailey’s room, she was super keen to help out, so she got the task of placing all the screws in the drilled holes. She did a fantastic job!

Once the first cross piece was screwed on, it was simply a matter of adding the second cross piece using the same step, with a week or so inserted between the two tasks for me to get to a hardware store and buy more screws. *cue phone on-hold music*

Then it was on to painting! Sanding, spray priming with the worst spray primer ever (one can didn’t even cover the entire headboard, what a waste of money), then another bout of sanding to smooth the primer layer–no photos because who really needs to see images of a sanded, primed, then sanded again headboard? I may have some talents, but photographing myself sanding or spray painting is not one of them.)

On to painting–I had a gallon of the perfect green “oops” paint from Lowe’s that I’d picked up for five bucks that I planned to use. Both my big girls helped with this step, brushing on the paint with sponge brushes while I smoothed out their drips with a roller.

The green was a little more vibrant and yellow-toned that I wanted, so I simply mixed a little of the left-over white dresser paint with some water and lightly white-washed the surface. All but the last two planks are white-washed in the above photo–so it was a subtle result but one I was very happy with. You can see below how runny my white-wash was below. (and yes, that’s my baby bump in pink in the lower left. I think that’s as close to maternity portraits as I’m going to get this time around.)

Then slop it on! It looked very stark to begin with but slowly faded as the water/paint mixture dried.

I knew that “love” would not really be fitting for my seven-year-old daughter, but since she is obsessed with all things fairy and make-believe right now, I had the perfect substitute word! I simply wrote it out (and yes, it took a few tries) in pencil then used an artist brush to paint layer after layer of more white paint to fill in the letters.

At this point, I let the project sit for a few weeks. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave it just like this, or do some additional distressing/whitewashing. The green was still a little strong, though, so I finally bit the bullet and sanded all the edges and parts of the front down, leaving this:

But then the yellow-green came back–argh! So one more light coat of whitewashing and she was perfect.

Next problem was how to attach this beast of a headboard to the wall–this sucker is heavy! I didn’t want to screw it in from the front and have visible screws showing. I hadn’t designed the back to use a fancy cleat system (and don’t really have the tools to fashion one of those anyway) and was kind of stuck. Sawtooth hangers . . .no, too flimsy. Whatever I used had to screw into the back then be capable of attaching to screws in the wall.

Then I found a package of picture hanging hardware at Target, the kind you use to attach a hanging wire across the back of a frame by screwing a small piece into each side. These screws were 3/4″ long, so fairly sturdy, and I judged that found evenly spaced along the length of the cross piece would be sufficient to hold the weight.

Add four long screws and some heavy-duty drywall anchors:

and I got the project done! I’m not going to estimate the amount of time it took me, since I had to work in bits and pieces of time across most of the summer, but it’s finished and that’s all that matters!

More changes to this room to come, but for now, I’m just thrilled to check one project off my list!

Lots of linking this week–check out all the great projects over at

, , the Perfectly Imperfect furniture link party,

The Lettered Cottage

, and Tip Junkie handmade projects. There are some talented people in this blog world!


back to school dinner and fashion show, woot-woot

My two big girls started school today! Since they’re both finally at the same school and start the same day, I really wanted to do something special to kick off this school year, so we’ve started our own version of the popular back-to-school dinner and fashion show. And can I just say, we had so much fun! The girls helped me decorate (apples and green ribbon, easy peasy lemon squeasy) and made their dinner requests (make your own calzones/pizzas) and picked out which outfits to model for us. It was quite a hoot and we all had a great time.

I’d made the burlap placemats for Valentine’s Day this year, so out they came for our dinner. The apples I found in a package of around 30 at Hobby Lobby for a little over $1, so the decor was super inexpensive but fun, which is my favorite thing for kids’ parties. Nothing too fussy at our house!

Dessert was my favorite part, really. So cute and simple but yummy. Sweets all the way!

On to the fashion show. For this portion of the event, I took off my “photographer” hat and put it away–these are definitely snapshots at their worst! But they’re my sweet girls having fun (or not, as the case may be) showing off their new clothes and coming up with their own poses. No red carpet, but our green throw rug worked perfect for a runway.

Bailey was up first, modeling an assortment of lovely tees for school. She’s decided lately that pink is definitely out, with blue and green being the colors in favor. Of all my three, she is the one who likes being the center of attention the very least (as seen in the middle image) and would much rather hole up in her room with a new chapter book.

And because I am feeling a little twitchy putting these, ahem, less than stellar images out there with my photographer’s mark on them, here are a few from this morning. For Bailey, starting second grade is exciting because she’s no longer in the youngest class on the main school campus and she feels like an old pro at this school thing.

She was super excited to pick out her new leopard-print backpack with matching clip-on lunch box this year. Tres chic! And when I see her smile, I see how much she has truly grown–she started school last year with a mouth missing about 6 teeth, and they’re all filled in. *sniff*

On to my Nat. She’s definitely one of the performers in our family. She and Bailey took turns modeling last night, and it cracked me up how every time, Bailey automatically stopped at the far end of the little rug, while Natty stopped at the beginning. Every.single.time. Can you tell it just kept getting darker and darker in my cave of a living room? Oh well!

Natalie got her backpack for her 5th birthday (kind of a tradition in our house at this point) and so picked out her super cute ladybug snack bag and loves it. So kindergarten.

And no lost teeth yet for my Nat, though I know it’s coming this year. *big sniff* Poor girlie’s got some wicked allergies going on right now–what’s being harvested that’s irritating her? See those dark circles under her eyes? And sneezing all day. But still adorable.

Of course, when big sisters are doing something fun and exciting, you’d better believe that the Macie is also going to get in on the action. You just know you’re going to be seeing these poses on the runways and red carpets this fall, especially that second one.*snerk*

And this morning–couldn’t find her backpack, so a hand-me-down purse from cousin Kayla filled in. Plus, she kicks her shoes off in the car, so she found Nat’s flipflops instead.

And she’s a nail-biter, constantly, so this is the best I got for a headshot.

We’re off to a great year!

the headboard reveal, finally!

So I think I teased my readers with this project probably, oh, two months ago. Well it’s finally finished and installed in Bailey’s room and I’m thrilled with the results! If you remember the before from B’s room, you can see that it hasn’t changed too much, but we’re slowly making progress. After trying the bed against the far wall (and realizing that the headboard I’d already built was too wide for that space, d’oh), we moved it under the window where I think it will stay.

Miss B is very happy to be able to sit on her bed and gaze out the window, as she remains convinced that she is the only one in our family with “outside genes.”

Below is the inspiration fabric for this room–this will be the quilt that she’ll use year round. I love the dreamy tones and loose, watercolor floral of the design. And she’s just happy there isn’t too much pink! Her walls will be getting a pale wash of aqua eventually to set the tone for the room.

A few more details–these images are after the final sanding but before I whitewashed the entire piece one last time.

From the big girl herself, “Mommy, I think when you sanded you did a little too much. I can see some of the wood instead of the paint.”

Me: “It’s supposed to look like that, sweetie. It’s called adding a distressed finish.”

Her: “WHY?”

I think my husband would agree with her.

Then after the final coat of whitewashing:

What do you think? I believe I mentioned before, Bailey reallllllly wants a Tinkerbell room, but I’m not going to go crazy with injecting a Disney character into her space, only for her to outgrow it in a year or so. So I’m going for more of a dreamy, fairytale vibe with the colors she wants, and maybe a few fairy pieces here and there. Once her quilt is finished from this:

With a border of this Amy Butler solid


I want to punch it up with a bit of a modern touch using this

as the quilt binding and a pillow, maybe two. Then the geometric will also go on the opposite wall on a huge pinboard I’m working on for her to visually tie in the area over her desk. I’m excited! Now I just have to figure out what color to refinish all the furniture in. I was originally thinking pale pink, but now I’m not so sure. . . I’d love your thoughts!

Linking up with and Furniture Feature Fridays. Check out all the DIY prettiness!

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