Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Due to the onset of winter, I have not spent much time talking about my other passion...gardening!  Not much is going on in the garden right now, since it is taking a much deserved nap.  This is nice because it gives me time away from it for a few months and also time to do other house projects! 

I thought I would show off a few of the houseplants I keep around.  I like houseplants because they add texture and interesting shapes.  They also improve the air quality inside the house.  Even if you don't have a green thumb, there are some super easy houseplants out there and also some good fake ones, too!

Today, the whole family traveled to IKEA.  Kids' meals are free from now until Jan. 10--bonus!  Our whole lunch cost $4.59!  Husband didn't eat...but got a $1 cinnamon bun on the way out.  I bought a beautiful new houseplant---and saw some nice fake ones there also!

Here she is:

It is called Zamioculcas zamiifolia....or more commonly known as the ZZ plant.  I have read about these before and heard them touted as one of the best and easiest houseplants you can own!  So, I am very excited to finally have one and give it a try.  I do think the foliage is really pretty...very dark and glossy.  The label says "half shade, no direct sunlight; water sparingly."  Sounds good to me.

Here are a few more I have in our master bath.  The pots all came from IKEA and the plants came from either IKEA or probably Home Depot:

I have had this plant for a really long time.  It was a gift at school one year from the PTO and it has been quite long-lived!  I have trimmed it a bunch and it just keeps growing.

Not 100% sure on names, although I do know the plant on the right in the above picture is a philodendron.  The one you can barely see on the left is a succulent (plant suited for desert and hot, dry conditions....not necessarily my bathroom?) that I have had some struggles keeping alive.  It died off on the top and there is a very tiny shoot of new growth, but it has not flourished.  The middle plant is a great one because it wilts whenever it has not had enough water.  So, I water it and am also reminded to water the other ones, too.

More houseplants to come....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Get out your paintbrushes!

The next project on my indoor house list should be a fairly easy one.  I am looking forward to some cold, snowy days to do some painting upstairs and down.  One of the most gratifying and transforming home projects to take on!

I am eyeing our upstairs hall bath.  This is the one the kids use.  I am planning to paint it in the next few weeks--more on that later.  The accent color for the room is going to be a deep purple color.  I recently repainted these picture frames to use in the bathroom:

I bought these at Home Goods many years ago...they used to have a distressed finish, but I painted them cream.  One thing I like about them is that the glass allows the wall paint color to show through.  The one on the left in the pic above is already taped, ready to be painted.

I looked at my acrylic paint and I had no purple.  I did have red and a lighter, dusty blue.  So I mixed those two with some black and voila....I got the purple I was hoping for!  Here is the finished product:

Not bad!  I will keep the paint color a surprise, but I think they will really POP!  

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Something else for a kitchen cabinet

Part of the work I've done in the office is to clean out this armoire:

This cabinet has its pros and cons.  On one hand, it is gigantic and hides multitudes of sins.  In the past, it has been a bit of a junk cabinet.  On the other hand, it's gigantic, only fits in one spot in the room and it is HEAVY.  I had to clean it out so I could move it to paint behind it, as well as...just plain clean it out.  The depths of this armoire used to house many things, including all of my son's art materials.  Because of the proximity to the kitchen, it was not so handy and resulted in art materials left on the kitchen table for days......on end.

Since I am a fairly functional cook--not a gourmet--I decided to consolidate some of the infrequently used appliances into one cabinet and repurpose the lower cabinet closest to the kitchen table.  My helper enjoyed sorting all of his art materials into categories and finding containers for them.  A little man after my own heart.

This is what resulted:

The pullout allows easy access to paper, crayons, markers and other often used art items.  The only thing not kept here are scissors due to baby sister.

Empty wipe containers are great for crayons and markers!  The lower section holds things like pom poms, paint tubes and brushes and a shoebox full of beads, sequins and other small stuff.

So much easier to transport and clean up!  Not only is it easier access for C, it also opens up more room in my armoire for more junk projects of mine.

The DIY Show Off

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bits of Christmas

I thought I'd share a few photos of Christmas decorations around the house.  All of the decorations--inside and out--take away a bit of the darkness that descends upon us at....mmmm...about 5:30 p.m. each night.

Then, we take them down in Janauary, which makes it such a long, dark and depressing month.  In fact, the only thing I like about January is having time to do lots of indoor projects!

So, it is time to drink in the Christmas decor...for a few more weeks, at least.

Our tree.  Lots of ornaments we have had for a long time!

I crocheted these stockings.  Only the girl stockings are pictured--they are more fun than the boy stockings...because of the embellishments! 

I installed this light fixture last spring...I have enjoyed dressing it in autumn leaves and greenery this fall and winter.

Our entry table in the foyer.  It also gets dressed seasonally at times.  The glass pane was a garage sale find...I think it cost $10?  The small buffet belonged to husband's grandmother!

Merrrrrrrrrry Christmas!

Latest project

Well, we are fast approaching Christmas...I am enjoying a much-deserved break from school!  We had a few snow days in the last week before break and it allowed me to get this project completed.  It is a small part of the redo of our office.  I am quite proud that I was able to get this done--and all of the other Christmas prep I have been doing!

I wanted to create a gallery wall above the desk where our computer sits.  Some of the frames were taken from other rooms and some were assembled.  One of my favorites is an old frame that my grandpa refinished.  My mom gave it me and I changed out the picture...



I removed the very 70s shot of my sister and put in some old vintage sheet music, backed by some fabric I had on hand.  This one is also one of my favorites:

Not only is it a "for rent" sign that husband's aunt wrote on, I like the graphic pop it adds! Before I hung all of the pictures, I traced all of the frames onto paper and cut them out.  My best little helper gave me a hand.  Then I taped them up to make sure I liked the arrangement:

The finished product:

This room has been a work in progress as of late....once the Christmas madness is over, window treatments are in the crosshairs!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Let me introduce myself...

Hello.  My name is Jennifer and I am addicted....to decorating our home.  And also gardening.  And doing it myself.  For cheap!

I think I really do have a problem.  It comes to light in certain situations, such as when I ask husband what he thinks of a home decor/improvement idea.  He has no idea that I have pondered the idea approximately 325 times in the last two months and he "never really thought about it before."  I think he would be...concerned....if he knew the amount of time I spent pondering these things. 

So, I plan to share decorating ideas, projects, improvements--inside and out--and perhaps other musings that come to light?  Just to let you know, we also have two kids and I am a teacher!  Which is how I spend my time when I am not thinking about projects that can be done in my house!