my crafty little sis

before i forget, i need to share these b e a u t i f u l little wreath creations that my sister made. my little sister emily is a true artist. she doesn’t copy ideas from pinterest or shop at michaels, she seriously comes up with ingenious little creations like these right out of her head using what she has or finds.

if you can’t tell, these are made out of wire coat hangers. she bent them into circles and wrapped real greens and whatever that fluffy plant is around them, tying it all up with fishing wire.

she’s a gardener by trade, so she found the plants on the job.

aren’t they the loveliest things ever?

i’m trying to talk her into doing some guest posts, because she also has funny and interesting things to say. and she is freakishly good with photography. oh and she has amazing hair.
thanks, em. i need to take more pics of your pretty little face. this is the best i could do…

final hutch all dressed up

we may or may not be able to get the door back on… i wanted to use the old hinges but they are giving us a run for our money. in my pretend world i would have time to deal with the door and take some nice photos, but in my reality, these iphone pics emailed to myself on the train are what is happening…

lets see a yucky picture first:

and now the after:

* update: we got the door on finally. all is well in the world.

hutch makeover

if you have been monitoring my pinterest boards closely, you will notice the addition of assorted hutches painted various colors. i have been shopping around for hutch inspiration.


thank you don and kathy (yet again) for this beauty below. she has been sitting in our basement for over a year, but i promise we are going to make her purdy and treat her reeeeal nice from now on (<=read w/ southern accent).

first things first.. we pulled the wavys off the bottom. we literally just gave them a wiggle and they came right off with a tug.

 i don’t want to get all technical on you, but these are called wavys.

 the clean lines are much more modern. easiest step 1 ever.

next, mike spent a few minutes running the electric sander over it to rough up the finish, and then went over it with a quick coat of primer graciously supplied by our neighbors (ie. the best neighbors ever who have every tool in the world. and feed us. and have a pool). it was a really thin, quick drying primer meant to go over stain. i can’t remember the name of it.

we then painted everything white dove by benjamin moore (from a gallon of left-overs).

i made us go to lowes to get one of these wall panels ($16ish) to add texture to the back (as seen in many of my pins) we painted it the same coventry grey (benajamin moore) that is in our tv room.

this is a close-up of the panel before it was painted.

so we nailed the painted board to the back, put it back together and here’s how its looking now:

we need a little more time with caulk and touch-ups but, i think we can move ‘er to the dining room tomorrow and finally put our pretty china on display just in time for the holidays! happy stephanie.

love it. mike worked hard on this.. thanks bug!

i hope this post is in english. i’m very tired. goodnight!

my version of the ikea rast side table hack

this dresser makeover is all over the interwebs (like this, here, this one, here, and here). a $35 dresser from ikea (the “rast”) that people make beautiful with paint and new hardware.


i had been hoarding these two little side tables that were $35 less (i.e. free) than the above. thank you, per usual, to my in-laws, kathy & don.

and i’m glad i hoarded because there have been a number of different ways i considered putting these guys to use over the past year. at first i thought i’d paint them white and put them in our bedroom to store my [extremely unorganized] craft supplies. i later considered using them as side tables in the new bedroom we are adding to our basement. but now that we have upgraded the 2nd bedroom in brewster with a new queen bed and are trying to make it a more appointed space, the final call is that these tables are going 80 60 miles to brewster.

but first, they needed a makeover. i decided to channel this version of the rast hack which is extremely unoriginal, but extremely awesome.


 so i sanded them down, stained the shell (leftover expresso by minwax) and painted the drawer faces white (left-over dove white by benjamin moore).

just one coat of stain on the outside plus a quick spray of polyurethane (rust-oleum spray can)
and for the drawers, one coat of primer and two coats of dove white.

because the wood already had a varnish, the result of my staining was.. “interesting”. the more heavily sanded parts absorbed more stain than the less sanded parts.. but i like it. i call it character.

you need to order these rad pull rings from this place called lee valley. they come from canada , but i ordered on a saturday and got them the following thursday. not bad. and you can’t get anything like this from lowes or the depot. i tried.

the only issue i encountered was that the screws that came with the hardware were too short for my drawers. this always happens when i replace hardware! so once again i found myself in lowes asking the kind man in the apron to find a longer version of the ring pull screws.

here are my side tables in their new home.

we have another furniture makeover in the works that i’m really excited about. it feels like its taking forever but hopefully i can share by sunday at the latest!!

this rocks

i already hate myself for this post title. but this is a rocking chair and it does in fact rock.
i got it for free two long years ago in brewster the day after a local thrift store had a yard sale and put a big free sign out for everything left behind. i attempted to make it over the following spring, but somehow it totally fell off my radar and has been sitting in the garage collecting dust ever since.
here it is way back when i initially sanded it.

and here it is after a coat or two of yucky grey spray paint. this is how it looked last week when i dug it out of the garage. i am hopeless with spray paint.  i find it impossible to work with. its drippy and bubbly and never covers well. i’m clearly doing something fundamentally wrong.

so i grabbed the leftover grey (wickham grey by benjamin moore) that we painted the tv room with and  started over. on the bottom i used plain old white that we use for trim. it took two coats. i chipped away over the course of 3 or 4 nights after dane went to bed. i had to sand the top a bit after the first coat because the spray paint underneath had bubbled and it was noticeably bumpy. other than that, it was a really easy job.

dane test drove it. it went well.

and speaking of that kid, he officially hit the 18 month mark last week. he’s huge.

he’s so fun & happy. he is just killing us lately. he gets everything. when he does something funny that makes us laugh, he’ll keep doing it. he is picking up new words every day.. though he still favors “ball” and “more”. those two words get him pretty far! sometimes he’ll just randomly say a bunch of words together like “mumma dadda up down”. so funny. he is also doing this hilarious thing where he runs around in circles and makes himself dizzy. i don’t know where he learned that but its unbearably cute.

he wants to play outside even after it gets dark. its been a perfect fall with him, we are so lucky. i dread the day the sun sets before we get home from work.. sadly, i don’t think its far!

feeling ready

i’m totally ready/desperate to start doing some stuff around the house. the summer, like every summer, was go go go but finally the back-to school-season is sinking in and i want to be productive and make lists and buy stuff and fix stuff… we’re still so busy, but i’ve been game-planning and poking around pinterest and becoming obsessed with certain “concepts” for both houses but mostly our home house. we stuck around this weekend (meaning, we did not go to brewster) and it felt good to get some things around the house somewhat organized.

i’m thinking that we really need to start getting after some of the furniture that we (i) have been hoarding and planning to makeover, because once its too cold to hangout in the garage and let things air-dry outside, all bets are off.

i’m going to try my hand at this “paint-dipped” fad.




just seems like such a simple way to make old furniture look interesting. there is this rocking chair that has been sitting in my garage forever.. i started spray painting it just after dane was born… so, well over a year. i’d like to finally wrap that project up this week!

in other news, dane hit the 18 month mark last week! unbelievable. more pics to come.

fabric covered ‘c’s.. not to be confused with seas…

you know… like for cape cod.

most of my crafty projects are 100% unoriginal and copied directly from pinterest, another blog, etsy, etc, etc. but this method for the ‘c’s i dreamt up myself. so please don’t direct me to 40 other people who had the same idea, it would crush me… i swear it was all mine and i was so proud when it actually worked. unlike this project:
i swear this actually happened last weekend. this is a diy project gone TERRIBLY WRONG. have you ever seen anything go more terribly wrong than this? like ever? i won’t even get into it. pretend this never happened.
so after hitting rock bottom, i picked myself back up in hopes of having a little more luck making a fabric covered ‘cc’ to adorn the wall above the new banquet.
i made the letters using 18″ white styrofoam wreaths. i just cut a chunk out of them and voila:

the pictures can probably do the best job explaining the rest for anyone in the market for a couple pretty little c’s (i’m looking at you candance cameronchris cook, and captain crunch fanatics…) (and i’m using the two ‘c’s/fabric patterns interchangeably in this series of pictures, so don’t get confused). 
first, i traced the c on the back of the fabric and cut the middle into pizza pie slices.. i had a yard each of the dots and zig zag patterns… they were another jo-anns purchase for $5ish/yard.
i then wrapped each slice around the back of the c and secured with pins (the kind with the little ball at the end).

then the fabric on the outside of the c, i sort of haphazardly wrapped, snipped and pinned as needed to best cover the styrofoam.. and the ends i did my best to wrap like a present.
don’t worry, i’m not done yet…
for the last step i cut 2 or 3 long, imperfect strips to wrap around the whole letter, securing the ends on the back with pins…

i was so relieved this actually worked. i think they are pretty awesome errr crazy cool.

so i hung them right up, and mike got to work taking down the ugly lights.

so i’m pretty excited about this wall. remember what it looked like not too long ago?

so much crisper…

now – the latest state-of-the-kitchen:

and finally – my handsome bulldog:

enough with the scallops already

1.5 hours, 2.5 glasses of wine and one summer shandy after we arrived in brewster friday night, i had these babies hanging in all their no-sew glory.

but lets take a step back…
we took a more relaxed approach to the weekend. we had a bunch of little things we needed/wanted to accomplish in brewster, but we also wanted to enjoy ourselves and have some down-time – unlike our last few trips. we even spent some time playing in the neighborhood before we hit the road friday night. 
i don’t know why i ever put this kid in clothes. i think he’ll wear a diaper and red sox hat for the duration of the summer.

here is the scene friday night before i made the curtains. i found these red & white striped panels laying around, so i threw them up for our guests who visited last weekend. they weren’t right, but better than nothing.

and this is the fabric i got at jo-anns. yup, more scallops. but i love it. the colors are perfect. both navy and teal! it was 30% off and cost less than $6/yard. i got three (and ended up having a bunch left over). I used the red & white curtains as a gauge for how long to cut the pieces for the two panels and used the full width.. i wanted the scallops upright and not sideways.. 
at first i thought i’d need to make 4 strips – two for each half of the window area –  but thankfully got away with just using two which saved a ton of time. 

my working area was on the floor, on top of a table cloth. i first iron-hemmed each side an inch or so, then the top  – leaving a good 3 or 4 inch gap for the rod to go through. i didn’t measure anything (i have a strict no measuring after 11pm policy). i just held them side-by-side to attempt to get the lengths to match as close as possible. i hemmed the bottom last.

for anyone who doesn’t know what ‘iron-hemmed’ means… i used stitch-witchery which is a “bonding web” that can be ironed in between fabric for a super quick and easy hem. there are a million no-sew tutorials out there if you care to give it a google. its sorta been a game-changer for me. i use it to hem my pants too!

here are my curtains! quite complex looking wouldn’t you say?

the last weekend i was here, i spray painted this curtain rod which used to be in the tv room. (we have since replaced with way better, sturdier rods.. hopefully i’ll explain that process at some point as well).  so these curtains basically cost the 12 or so bucks the couple yards of fabric cost (i have an aggressive stock of the bonding tape).

here it is in daylight. 

i used twine to pucker up the middle of each panel because it just looked better. love twine. looove the twine. twine is soo fine… (i need help or sleep mostly).

i am dying to replace this terrible light with a pendant. that might happen next weekend.
much better, right?  

so that’s that. i’m so glad i busted it out friday night, because saturday my favorite thing happened.. we had visitors!

like our vip guest for the night, baby dylan. the cutest little munchkin ever.
and now i have added our recent work to the progression series. i literally can’t remember the kitchen looking all wood and yuck colored. its funny to look outside the window, too… you can see the seasons change!
crazy difference between those last two.. we are so close!
i left sunday feeling like we were finally in good shape. there is one major issue we need to deal with (not sure if you noticed the missing door to the lazy susan in the corner there… yah, its not good). and a handful of smaller issues (some electric work, vent covers, maybe some more non-crucial painting). so we’ll do some of this stuff next weekend, and then we’ll wrap it up for the season for better or for worse!
we decided to stay late sunday and leave after the bruins game. the weather was perfect and we did squeeze in a little bit of lounging. 

there a few more little projects from the weekend to share so i’ll hopefully check back in a couple more times this week. is it friday yet?

all things ‘one’ – printstagram

dane’s first birthday party is saturday. this is big. this is huge. not only do i live for this stuff (party planning & hosting) but my BABY IS ONE.

his actual birthday is april 3rd. a wednesday. so we will be celebrating the weekend before- which happens to be easter weekend. it works out perfectly, really, because the (stock) market is closed friday which gives us a free day to set-up and we will have the family together for an easter brunch the morning after.

we are expecting a few babies, a few ‘big kids’, some close friends, a few neighbors and lots of family (including the cousins from new jersey – yay!). so basically, it should be a total sh*t show.

i can’t say there is a game plan for food at this point (food is not really my thing) but i – of course -have a number of crafts underway.

i told you i would find an awesome use for these.

behold the instagram ‘one’.

i just stuck them on my giant roll of craft paper with zots (if you don’t have zots, you should buy them now. go. they are so handy). i rolled a piece of scrap wood into the bottom to weigh it down (secured with more zots) and rolled a little wooden dowel into the top to hang it. i think i’ll hot-glue a ribbon around it to frame it before the party.

you better believe there will be more birthday party reports over the next couple days. (just wait ’till you see the cake!!)

also, i am eating dairy queen right now. so that means its spring.

fun with instagram prints

i’ve really been enjoying instagram these days. its my go-to social media outlet (i’ve pretty much abandoned facebook). i feel like my little instagram cirlce is so much more low-key and fun to share silly or humdrum family pics than facebook where i’m sure my hundreds of “friends” are uninterested.
a couple weeks ago i set out to explore ways to print some of my favorite instagrams. for standard 4″ square prints, printstagram seemed the most straightforward. i got 24 squares for $12. fine, tho i did not enjoy paying for shipping. i looked everywhere for a free shipping promo code, but came up empty handed. with all the free shipping on furniture and most any order anywhere over $50, i am bothered spending $ on a 4″ square envelope, i can’t help it. fedex delivered the prints a week later (you have to be home for the delivery – so they leave one of those sticky notes on your door you have to sign… not a big deal, but doesn’t seem necessary, you know?). i don’t know why i am sounding all disgruntled about prinstagram.. the service was perfectly fine – easy and i got exactly what i expected.

this is a long-winded intro to my little project involving the 2 pop-out image squares (weird dog and truck with eyes) from my $11.99 kohls collage kit.

i’m going to use the 2 squares and 3 frames separately and not as intended for this collage formation. i turned the squares into instragram art for dane’s room in two easy steps.

paint white (i used the benjamin moore matte white that mike uses on trim).


(after paint dries) cover in mod podge, stick photo in the middle, and cover in mod podge again.

i used a tooth brush
don’t panic when it looks like this – it dries perfectly clear.



these will go in dane’s room along side another little project in the pipeline.

ps. happy valentines day. for the first time ever, i have THREE valentines. boy am i lucky.