Saturday, June 13, 2015

What a Difference a Shade makes

Recently I decided that I wasn't happy with the look of the lampshades in our living room.  For some reason they just didn't seem to go with the rest of the room, and the light shining through them felt too harsh and bright.  I wanted to diffuse it a bit.  Then I found some burlap shades at a local "big box" store and decided to give them a try.
 What a difference!  They look so much better.  They actually allow more light into the room because they have a larger opening at the top, but the burlap fabric gives the light a warmer cozier glow.  The change really warmed up the room.
Here's a better picture of the corner of the room with the old shade. The light looks warm in the photo, but in reality it was really too bright. 
And here is the same corner of the room with the new shade.  So much better!

Thanksgiving Table

It's taken me forever to post these pictures, but this is how I decorated the table for Thanksgiving. We had fewer guests than expected, but that gave me more room for table wares.  In the upper left hand corner you can see some cute little mini-pumpkins on the windowsill.   
I bought a number of vintage postcards at a local antique store and used them as place cards.  I chose each card specifically with each guest in mind.  I found one with a dog in it for my friend who loves dogs and who used to have a doggy daycare.  I chose the turkey card above for someone I knew would appreciate a more traditional image.     
I chose the card on this plate for myself because it features a little girl in a plaid skirt, and my family is partly of Scottish descent.
I was lucky to find the beautiful tablecloth at our local Goodwill store.  I handmade each of the napkins with a beautiful floral fabric I found at the fabric store. Overall I think the table came out pretty well and I have a year to think about what I'll do with next year's table. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Driftwood Candle Holder Project

This is my latest DIY decorating project.  Actually, my husband and I collaborated on this one. The back was cut from a piece of driftwood we found on the beach this summer. 
The piece is made from various found items, and we hung it on the wall with an antique, flat-headed, iron nail. 
We cut the metal base off of a filigree candle holder that wasn't really our style.  It was originally silver, but I spray painted it with black matte paint to make it look like cast iron.
I found the class candle holder at Goodwill.  I have a passion for hobnail and for blue glass, so how could I resist?  Plus, it only cost $1.00.
Here's how the candle holder looks in it's new home in our bathroom.  My husband and I are very happy with the way it turned out.  The total cost for the project was a dollar for the glass candle holder and a couple bucks for a can of black spray paint.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hanging Mail Sorter Project

Recently, I decided I needed a hanging mail sorter to help reduce the clutter on our kitchen table, but when I priced them I found that they were really expensive ( $99.00 $119.00). Then I was in a craft store and they were having a sale on photo storage boxes, which gave me an idea...
Choose three photo storage boxes (dimensions roughly 11 1/2" l x 8" w x 4"h).  The project will look best with three boxes of the same pattern.  I really liked the Paris, France pattern, but they only had two boxes with that pattern, so I chose a third in a coordinating solid color. 
Turn the box upside-down, with a short end facing you.  Using the measurements in the photo above, make cut and fold lines for the mail pockets. Repeat the measurements on the opposite short side and then connect the lines across the long bottom of the box.
Cutting on the inner line, as indicated in the photo above, cut off the right-hand, long side of the box. 
Repeat the measurements and cuts on the left-hand, long side of the box.  The above photo shows the box after both sides have been cut off.  This will give you two mail pockets.  Discard (recycle) the center section of the box.
Using your pencil lines as a guide, fold in the edges of each mail pocket.  Trim the upper back corners of each pocket, as shown above, so that the corner won't stick up above the pocket when you join the pockets to the backing.
Repeat the measuring, folding, and trimming process on the second box and you will have four mail pockets.
On the lower back corners of each pocket, trim as shown above, so the pockets will lie flat on the backing.
Lay the three box tops flat on a surface, with the long sides together, and glue with a hot glue gun.  Apply hot glue to the folded edges of each pocket and press onto box covers.  I aligned the bottom pocket with the bottom edge.  I hid the seam of the bottom two boxes by placing a pocket on top of them.  I aligned the bottom of the top pocket with the seam of the top and middle box cover and spaced the second pocket slightly below that.  I used strips of the leftover Paris, France patterned cardboard to cover the exposed edges of the top box (the tan box), so the pattern would be the same on the sides, from top to bottom.  
I thought the top panel looked plain so I printed a "MAIL" sign on my computer.  I pasted it on with a glue stick and then covered the entire mail sorter with two coats of clear polyurethane (Plaid-FolkArt brand indoor/outdoor sealer in satin finish) to protect the cardboard and make it easier to dust and wipe clean. 
I hung the completed mail sorter in my kitchen.  Total cost for the project....$2.00 each, for three boxes, for a total of $6.00.  I already had the glue gun, glue sticks, and polyurethane, but if you had to buy them they wouldn't cost more than $20.00 altogether.  I hope this inspires you to make your own hanging mail sorter.  Happy creating!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pie - R - Shared

There's just something about Fall that instills in me the overwhelming desire to bake something!

We went apple picking last weekend at a local organic apple farm that offered the widest variety of apples I've ever seen at any one orchard.  The apples were spotty and we had to pass many of them by due to numerous worm holes, but the ones we brought home were juicy and just perfect for pie-making. Ah, the sweet, irresistible smell of baking apples!  We waited with anticipation for the pie to reach perfection in the oven, and when it was done baking I served it steaming hot with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  Delicious! 

* Floral pottery plate, in the 'Pansy Blue' pattern, handmade by Greig Pottery Ltd., Gagetown, New Brunswick.  For more information visit  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Just Monkeying Around

I was having fun today playing with  If you haven't tried it before it's a great simple program for creating collages, banners, headers, adding text to photos, etc.  It's user-friendly and very useful for Blogger, Etsy, and Facebook.  The basic version is free and there are more options available if you upgrade, but I'm not sure of the cost.