Before and After Favorites

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Valentine's Re-do

I know I just finished my Valentine's decorations, but after looking at them for a few days, I decided they kind of stunk. ha ha. Then one of my favorite bloggers did a post on her Valentine's decor and I copied a couple of her projects and completely changed my decor. It looks MUCH better. (PS, the fave blogger is about to have her 5th baby and then she'll be up and blogging again and I'll do a feature post on her, she's the queen of crafting!) So here are a few of the changes I made.

 This cute hanging wreath is one I copied. Cost me $4 from the Dollar Store. Ribbon and 3 wreaths. I already had the burlap.

 Lined this frame with burlap and added a couple hearts I already had.
 Picked up some branches off our yard, added a little white paint and some Dollar Store doily hearts.
 Cute $1 from Target with chocolates.
My cute friend Morgan gave me this bird for Christmas. It became my Valentine bird. ;)
SO much better, don't you think???? I love the huge white mirror and the wreath accentuates just the way I wanted it to.
Why didn't I decorate with pink in the first place? After all it is my favorite color..
 Then I did the craziest thing and made a banner. And no, I don't have a cricut or a silhouette. CRAZY, I know. I actually just wrote some freehand letters, cut them out and glued them onto some Dollar Store doily hearts and burlap. Total thing cost me $2.

 Notice my bare fireplace mantel? Why is it that I can decorate my buffet, but I can NEVER seem to decorate my mantel cute. I don't know why I struggle SO much with it. Time to find some ideas..
I think I'm all done decorating for Valentine's Day now. Feels much better!

Friday, January 27, 2012

I built my own bookshelf all finished!

Before Pic: ha ha Best before ever, right??
 This is all part of the massive project of organizing my WHOLE house! The bonus room is almost done! I'm so excited to show you the final product. The kids and I had a blast organizing these. Let's be honest, I organized and sorted the toys, they helped me laminate (my hubby bought me a mini laminator for Christmas, it's awesome!) and cut out pictures to tape on the bins. Then we practiced putting the toys away in the right spots. I love that they know just by looking at the pictures!
I bought the cute bins at ikea. The reason I chose these bookshelves is because the bins are bigger than average. I needed something that would fit all of them. I have 6 more bins waiting for me to finish the other bookshelf. I'm so happy with how they turned out. What do you think??

Oh and if you want the plans, here they are! Ana White is AMAZING! I altered them a tiny bit, but they are great! If you plan to build your own, a couple tips: Pre-drill the pine boards so they don't split and don't drill too close to the edges. Also make sure to sink your screws so you can putty them and hide them well. I also only used 1 5/8" screws instead of two different sizes. If you have any questions, let me know!

I have a couple more projects lined up, once I finished a few in my garage. ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Acts of Kindness

When I lived here only a few months, I went to lunch one day with several sweet ladies from my ward. I was having a really hard day and probably shouldn't have gone, but went anyway. I ended up sitting by a cute lady named Courtney, whom I had never met. I was feeling really overwhelmed, surrounded by women I wanted to love, but didn't know. Courtney ended up talking to me the whole time, and I could tell that she really cared. It kind of caught me off guard. I was feeling really closed off that day and didn't really care to try and get to know anyone. Her genuine smile and desire to know me melted my heart. I ended up leaving lunch early and the second I left the restaurant I started to cry. I ended up crying for the next hour. I was homesick. I was also really touched by this sweet new friend.
Anyway, Courtney has bought several pieces of furniture from me (I'm talking like 8 pieces). I kept telling her I already liked her and that she didn't need to buy anymore from me! Before Christmas I bought a mirror and decided I wanted to paint it to match one of the dressers she'd bought, and give it to her as a gift. We ended up leaving 4 days earlier than planned though, and I wasn't able to paint the mirror before Christmas.
Well, remember last week when I had my full on meltdown? Yeah, we all remember. In the middle of my meltdown I decided I needed to do something nice for someone else to take my mind off myself. I knew exactly what I wanted to do too, paint Courtney's mirror and take it over to her. Originally I just planned on sharing these pics with you, but after today I decided to share the whole story.
I painted the mirror and it took me a couple days to actually take it over to her. I left it on her porch and sent her a text saying "don't you dare try to pay me." I should have known better!!

She KNEW I wouldn't take money for the mirror, so guess what she did? And trust me when I say that I didn't want her to do ANYTHING!! She showed up at my house today with flowers, a box of chocolates, and 3 make-up bags! WHAT???? She melted my heart, AGAIN.

I told her there was no way I could accept all of this! You think she listened? ha ha. Courtney is incredible. I barely know her, but what I do know about her I LOVE. She's a mother to five kids, one of which has an immune disorder (I can't remember the name and I don't want to describe it wrong.). She has to take him into the hospital regularly to make sure he's taken care of and healthy. Even with all of this going on, she still manages to do nice things for others. She's someone I look up to and respect. I would be thrilled to be like her someday. ;) Courtney, you made my day! THANK YOU!!!!

PS, I finished painting one of the bookshelves today! I'll post pics tomorrow. ;)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I built a bookshelf!

 Lately I've been working REALLY hard on organizing our bonus room. Only problem is that we have a LOT of toys and they are EVERYWHERE. I decided I want bookshelves to hold them, but I didn't want to pay much for them. I've always wanted to try building furniture but never dared. I made sure to find good plans online that were simple to follow for my first project. And guess what, I built not one, but TWO bookshelves ALL BY MYSELF! I'm so proud of myself! It's ok to be proud of yourself, right? By the way, the good folks at Home Depot cut all of the wood for me. How awesome is that? I had all the measurements I needed planned out and they cut it all up for me! All I had to do is glue, screw the wood together, putty up the holes and paint!

Here's one of them, almost done. The second bookshelf turned out better than the first, amazing what a little practice can do..

Here's one of the bookshelves, all ready to be painted!! I already have the toy bins labeled and ready to put in. I didn't have time to paint them today, bc I've been working, but it will happen soon! I can't wait to see how it looks all done! Oh and the best part of all, they cost me $44. FOR BOTH. These babies are long too! Super excited! What do you think???

 PS, these were my inspiration. IF you don't feel like building your own, you can buy them from Pottery Barn Kids for $199 a piece. ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

The red two-toned chippy looking dresser staged

So we all remember this recent dresser, right? The above pics are the before and the after (of how I staged it). It's an impressive change, but I definitely didn't do much to stage it. My favorite part is all the junk in my garage in the first pic. Ok, not at all. Those pictures still make me mad! ha ha. Now that I've sold 2 more dressers, the garage is getting cleaned!! I haven't bought anymore furniture just so I can clear it all out!! My house is definitely a work in progress. Speaking of, my bonus room is clean!! Now I'm just trying to decide what color to paint the dresser for it.. Ok, I'm getting sidetracked, like always.

 This is how it looks in my client/friends house! Doesn't it look AMAZING???? I am LOVING that horse!! The red cut-out behind it, the lamps, the little red frame. LOVE IT ALL!!!! If I had a lot of money, Maureen would be staging ALL of my furniture!!! I'm pretty good at painting furniture, but staging is a whole other story. Not so great at it.. I had to share this one with you!!

If you've bought any furniture from me, or if I've inspired or helped you with any projects, send me pictures!!! I want to see it!! You can send them to or my personal e-mail (if you have it;) or on Facebook. I'm loving seeing how you guys are displaying my furniture! I'm like a proud mama.

Common questions about this dresser:
"How did you make it look old?"
I antiqued it with sand paper.

"How did you make it look like the paint was peeling?" "How do you make it look chippy?"
I randomly rubbed vaseline on several different spots before I painted it with red paint, once the red paint was dry I rubbed off the vaseline.

"How did you glaze it?"
I like to glaze by buying water based stain. Once the paint is completely dry, I sponge brush the stain onto the furniture, then wipe it off with a damp rag.

"How do you keep the paint from peeling off?"
I seal in my paint with polyurethane. If I'm painting with dark colors, I use oil based polyurethane. If it's a light colored piece, I use water based polyurethane.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A glazed and antiqued dresser

Remember this dresser?? I bought this from the cutest old man ever. Him and his wife had this bedroom set for 30 years, 30 years!! Most people don't even stay married that long these days! He was darling. I love knowing stories about furniture, so I thought you'd appreciate the little tidbit from this dressers past. Anyway, remember when I did the boutique? I met a couple of the cutest ladies (from Ireland, and we all know I love Irish people. I just do.;) at the boutique and loved them! Maureen bought this dresser and sent me a picture of it in her beautiful house! Doesn't it look amazing???
I love her taste and decorating style!!! And guess what, she is the lucky person who snagged the most recent red dresser! I can't wait to see it in her home!!! I just had to share this with you.

Also, thank you, THANK YOU, for all of your kind comments, messages, texts, phone calls. I've been having the hardest time lately and all of your sweet thoughts have made me feel so loved! xo

Another dresser is coming soon... 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Can you paint decorations?

I get asked a lot of questions about painting. One I hear often is "What can you paint?" Good news friends, you can paint just about anything!

The list goes on and on..
I found the above candlesticks at Goodwill. They were a bright gold. I wiped them down with some vinegar (to get them really clean and dust free), primed them with some Kilz primer and spray painted white. Then I just took some sand paper to the details. That's it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guest Post

I wrote a guest post for my beautiful friend, Carrian, over at Sweet Basil! She's an AMAZING cook, check her out! You will LOVE her creative recipes!!!

Click here to pay her a visit:

PS, I'm SOOO embarrassed by my messy garage in the pictures! I could die! That is NEVER going to happen again! I keep my house really clean, the garage is another story.. Don't judge me! :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Media Station

I wish I would have taken an actual before picture! Ugh! Anyway, this pink dresser has been in our family room for awhile. It was never meant for this room, but I could never sell it (seriously, I had 3 offers, but I couldn't sell the dang thing. I love it! I'm saving it for my daughters room). So, I've been looking for something to take its place. The colors in the family room are white, brown, and robin egg blue. 
I found this piece and didn't love it. Then I kept looking at it and suddenly it hit me. This is the perfect size for my little wall and I could really use a laptop station. Perfect! I also love that it doesn't have a lot of detail (shocking, right?) I didn't want it to compete with my dresser with a lot of detail, so I needed something simple. Saweet!
No wonder someone got rid of this, who puts handles not even close to the same color on a piece like this? LOL
 I've been wanting to paint a piece grey for-e-ver. This was the piece! Grey it went. I roughed it up quite a bit and put on a walnut glaze.
 I love the curvy legs. Subtle but pretty. Reminds me of a cottage. I love cottages.. I wish I could create an amazing cottage. Sorry, sidetracked.

 I've had this hardware in my garage for months. It was just what this piece needed. Love them!!
 I love the glaze with the grey.
 Nothing like a pretty antiqued piece.
 The stained undertones worked wonderfully for the look I wanted.
I've been missing in action for a little while. I set a LOT of goals a couple of months ago and I've been working REALLY hard on achieving them. I've decided I can't be toned, organized, crafty, a good mom and a good wife AND be lazy. They just don't work together well. Dang!
Anyway, I've been getting rid of a lot of stuff. While going through boxes in the garage, I found the above picture of my husband and I in a box. I love this picture. It's so tender to me.
Today I finished ALL of my Valentine's projects. I'll post them tomorrow. Much love. xo
PS, I'm still anxious to finish painting the french provincial dresser, but I'm waiting for a day warm enough to do it. Or until my garage is cleared out so I have enough room to paint it! Lots to come.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How to get that Chippy look and a two-toned RED dresser SOLD

Before pic. When I found this dresser, I knew I wanted to paint it red and I've been anxious to try some new techniques! Then I went to my beautiful friend Morgans house and she had a two-toned console and I loved it! I wanted to duplicate the look. I'm SO happy I did! I'm super excited about the final results. I always wondered how places could charge so much for this style of painting, now I totally understand. It's a LOT OF WORK, and it takes a TON OF PAINT!!! Well worth it for the right piece.
 First, I sanded it and primed it in grey.
 Second, I painted it black.
 Third I wiped on some vaseline, that's right, VASELINE! This is what gives it the CHIPPY look. Then I painted the bottom half red.
 Fourth, I wiped off the vaseline spots and roughed up the edges with a sanding block. Then I started glazing with a black glaze. I've wiped glaze on the left two drawers.
 Fifth, I wiped off the glaze, see the difference??
 Beautiful! Sixth, I painted the hardware in black.
 Seventh, a coat of poly and this bad boy is READY TO GO! I llllllllove it! I have been so anxious to show you the final product!!!
 This is definitely a custom, one-of-a-kind piece!
 I brushed some stain on the top to give it a unique look. I didn't want anything about this dresser to be ordinary, this is meant to be a STAND OUT PIECE!
 So pretty.. So chippy...
 Love the glaze in all the right places...
 Sigh.... I love when things turn out even better than you expect them to!
 And we all know I love this hardware. Painting them in black just made all the black detail POP!!
 Remember the before? FOUR COATS OF PAINT LATER, and the beautiful AFTER!
Oh yeah, and it's FOR SALE!!!! $300 to a lucky new owner. This is going to be the perfect stand out piece in someones home. ;)  I want to see pics of it in someones house!