Thursday, March 31, 2011

A bit of Easter

I have a confession to make....

I seem to be obsessed with metallic spray paint. It started when I bought a side table with a really cool shape, but I could not repaint or refinish it well, since the top was a scratched laminate. So, I decided to spray paint the whole thing brushed nickel.

I have this great mirror I want to put above the couch and I can't decide if it should be white or metallic! I also found some pewter metallic paint on clearance at Lowe's. I used to update this kitty frame that has a picture of our old cat, Hunter. I know the photo is blurry, but it's so cute.

I got out my Easter deco stuff, which is not much. Instead of rocking the pastel eggs again this year, I decided to give them a facelift....along with some egg-shaped felt cutouts I bought at the craft store:

Added to the mantle....with some faux forsythia bushes.

I am dying to add some real forsythia to my yard! Here are the eggs and felt cutouts up close:

This teapot was passed on to me from my mom's cousin from the farm up in SoDak (South Dakota). I thought it looked great for another pop of yellow.

We've had some new additions around the house. More to follow!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sugar and spice

Last weekend, as I was working on my cabinet cleaning, I also made some headway in throwing out some spices. See my last post for details on that.

I couldn't remember the last time I cleaned out my sugar dispenser and salt and pepper shakers.

The shakers were so grungy and dented at the top, it was time for some new ones from Homegoods! I also found a great little spice bottle that would be perfect for our "Grandpa topping," which is what we call cinnamon sugar at our house. You can see my ghetto before and after:

I finally put all of my dried spices from last fall into proper containers. I made these with chalkboard paint. Much better than an old baby food jar that has a "P" written on the top in marker:

That there is a huge jar or favorite!

I also put mixed up some Italian seasoning, using my herbs. I love to flavor my own spaghetti sauce with this stuff. I used two old bottles, one that was from my sister. Also, I jarred up some spice mixes I had bought last fall at the farmer's market. They look much nicer in these bottles!

Much better! And speaking of sugar and spice.....

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cleaning for spring

This weekend, the spirit moved me.

To clean.

As I said to my husband on Saturday morning, "I'm in the zone." His reply? "I'd better stay out of your way." I don't think he was kidding.

It started a few weeks ago when I noticed how dusty the shelves in our kitchen cabinets were. So, I started up on Saturday morning. I did the lower and the upper cabinets....they hadn't been wiped or dusted out since we moved in almost two years ago. It started me on a frenzy. Here's a pic of the only cabinet in which we keep food:

It was taken after I'd already cleaned out 1.5 shelves. I am getting rid of some cookbooks I haven't used in years....Half Price Books, here we come.

This shelf is a bane of my existence:

Ugh. I can never find what I need. This is marginally better:

I think it would look even better if I took myself off to the Container Store and found some things to help me organize the medicine shelf!

I also cleaned out the spices:

Those were a few of the casualties. I'm not sure when I used tarragon leaves last. I was especially mortified by this:

Wow. 11+ year old parsley flakes. I bet those tasted awesome. Although, in my defense, I do have some new and improved spice storage going on. More on that later this week.

Ahhh. Much better. I even had room for Charlie's chef hats that he made at preschool that he likes to wear when he "cooks." All in all, I felt so much better after cleaning out cabinets. I was able to start a bag or two for Goodwill. I also got some bedding washed and changed...a good chore for a chilly March weekend.

Lots to share this week!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Easy tassel

I was recently inspired to add a little something extra to my purse this winter. I love long fringe. When I crochet scarves or ponchos and add fringe, the longer, the better! Although I was not looking for a fringed handbag, I thought a tassel would be a fun addition.

I looked at the craft store for ready-made tassels with no luck. Either they don't make them....or (I suspect) I was not looking in the correct area (my guess is notions). I did spy some leather lacing that gave me an idea. I chose a packet of buff-colored leather laces. They also had black and dark brown. I thought the buff color would go with more purses, but black could be fun, too! The leather laces cost $3.99.

Since I made my tassel a few months ago and neglected to take pics, I will show how I did it using some leftover yarn. I think at the time, I was not sure it would

First, you will cut the yarn/leather into several strands that are the same length. Some recommend to wrap it around a piece of cardboard, then snip all the strands at one end. I eyeball it myself, because you can trim the pieces later. Keep in mind that the more pieces you have, the thicker the tassel will be. Also, I like long tassels/fringe, so err on the side of being too long, since you can always trim later.

After you even out the pieces, you will bunch them all together and keep the loop open at the end. For demo purposes, I will put my tassel onto a carabiner clip. For my leather tassel, I used an old keyring I had in a drawer. I thought it would be helpful if I wanted to change my tassel from purse to purse. You will put the end through the ring. Then, take the other ends and pull them all together through the loop:

And pull tightly:

Trim up the ends so they will be even and there you go:

And on the purse? Love it.

I really love my new yellow purse. It's a great pop of color and I like lightening up a bit now that it's spring....and not carrying around a behemoth bag.

The DIY Show Off

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sowing the seeds of love

We've definitely been enjoying some really spring-like weather here lately. The streak is about to is still March, after all. However, we did do a little seed sowing last week in our vegetable garden.

We planted a few varieties of lettuce and also spinach. I'm pretty excited, since last year we had not built our raised bed early enough for early crops. You can also plant things like onions and chard early on. I'm excited to see how it turns out. I've done lettuces only in containers before with good success.

I'm planning to do a few more plantings in the next few weeks to stagger out the crop. Come the end of April, we should have plenty of lettuce to eat. It does go to seed pretty quickly once the weather heats up, but you can plant a fall crop in mid-August. In the pic above, you can also see some daffodils sprouting out. For a few $1.50 packets of seeds, it's nice to have some homegrown lettuce...not to have to buy it in the store and rush to eat it before it goes bad. :)

And there's our beautiful Sweetie....getting in on the action.

Of course, my compliments to the photographer. ;)

Monday, March 21, 2011


As of late, I am such a fan of our new hooks in the kids' bathroom. You might remember these:

As I have stated, one of my biggest home pet peeves is towels that are hung up and look messy. I have tackled this nicely in our new home with the above hooks and also in our master has NO room anywhere for a towel bar, so we have hooks over the toilet room door that work perfectly!

So...I did decide to move the picture across to the opposite wall above the toilet. It looked a little lonely up above the hooks and I think I need something more substantial there. However, I decided to give the hooks some numbers. I got some stencils at the craft store and lined 'em up:

Then, my helper and I stenciled on the paint. Charlie had a hard time not dragging the brush:

And, voila...

Numbered. Charlie insists that only he gets to use "2" and "5."

I'm already thinking about changing the color in there. I'm liking the plum color, but am striking out with finding much of it to use in the way of accessories. I'm thinking of a new shower curtain...maybe a classy, tasteful kid-friendly one (it is their bathroom, after all). I saw one with some nice cobalt blue....which would work nicely.  We'll see!

The DIY Show Off

Friday, March 18, 2011


Whew! What a day. Teaching 5th and 6th graders on St. Patrick's Day is for the birds. Seriously....they are at this age where it's not uncool to wear green and celebrate, but old enough to really get into it. Bleh. I like SPD much better when it's on a weekend!

However, it was sunny and 71 degrees here yesterday in Cincinnati and so beautiful! Just what the doctor ordered....and it tempered my disenchantment with GREEN-obsessed kids. ; )

So, the pinecones and other winter elements are gone from the mantel. In place now are some fresher items:

I've got some new pretties up mom gave me some things she had around the house that she wasn't using. Score! That would be the mercury glass votive holders and the glass candlesticks. Pretty!

I like to work in some preschool art if I that is a shamrock in the glass vase. I know the lighted wine bottle looks lonely. My other ones have bitten the dust and when this one goes, I'll probably take a break from them, although I love them! They are a little labor-intensive to make. I also added some dried parsley to the bud vases....frankly, I didn't have anything else to use. Won't be too long before I can clip some things out of the garden for my vases.

Here you can see my new acquisitions better. I love how each candlestick is a different shape! I'm also loving the hyacinth up there. The texture of the letters is really appealing to me.

It could use a pop of color, it'll be a work in progress!