Friday, July 29, 2011

DIY Overload

Sometimes I get so many DIY ideas in my head I feel like my brain is going to explode. Seriously. Yesterday I scored BIG...six wood pallets (for free!) and six antique cabinet doors ($5 for all of's a long story). Marlene thinks I'm turning into a hoarder. I think I need a booth at a french market so I have a place to put some of this stuff. I have so many ideas that I don't know where to start or what to do. Here are my top three pallet ideas:

via Pinterest
The next is my favorite. I love this wooden cube and would really like to have two on either side of my fireplace. The only problem is that they are $324...each...yikes. I am pretty sure I can DIY this for less than $20. It's pretty great and you can check it out at Aidan Gray.

I also love this three drawer chest, also from Aiden Gray. Numbers and upcycled pallet wood (my version, not theirs)...what's there not to love.

Those were my top three pallet projects for the weekend. Here is Smurfettes number one choice:

Lil' Luna
Oh little peanut LOVES a lemonade stand. This would be a super fun project for us to tackle together. Even Brainy has been known to sell a little lemonade from time to time. With a fun place to sell it in, they would want to be out there all weekend!

Just thinking about all these great possibilities has my head spinning. I'll save the cabinet doors for next week! Anyone want to offer some guidance on which project to pick? Suggestions? Comments?

Have a super productive weekend! I know I will!!

Rachel :)
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Number Love

If you haven't noticed that numbers are everywhere these days, you might be living under a rock! Used for more than being able to tell which house is yours, number have made the move from outside to in. Check out these great examples...


Pottery Barn

Number Napkins...from Etsy

Aidan Gray Home

I looking for a weekend project and any of these will do! On another note, I am picking up 6 pallets today...alll FOC...yay! I am looking forward to taking them apart and upcycling them into something great. Really great!

Rachel :) Pin It

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Kind of Remodeling-Part Trois

I'm taking deep breaths as I write will find out why in a moment.  So, quick recap, a client had a family stone he wanted to use in his fiancee's engagement ring.  He sent me a picture of a ring he liked and asked if we could copy it.  I said, "of course, custom work is what we do best"!  Here is the picture:

It is a very simple piece and Margie carved the wax by hand.  This is what it looked like:

Before we ever proceed with casting the wax in metal, we always have the client come in and approve the design.  On this occasion, the client said there was something, "not quite right and can Margie tweak it".  I said of course, and she did.  He came back and finally approved it.

Here is the finished product:

Here comes the kicker. We set his diamond in the center. I wrapped it up nice and pretty.  He opened it and...said it wasn't anything like the picture and he hated it.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I was stunned.  We ended up taking his stone out of the center and telling him it would probably be best if he went and bought the piece he originally saw-even though it was twice as much! I was furious but extremely profession (if I do say so myself).

The camera angles are a little off because I'm no professional, but what do you think?  

So, here's kicker #2-he emailed me on Monday and asked if he could come in yesterday for a "do over".  Apparently over the weekend he went and looked at the original piece and realized that he was crazy and that there was no difference.  I got in my I-told-you-so and then had the jeweler put the stone back in the center. He went of on his merry way.  I was pretty pleased with myself until someone said, "you get that rush but then realize you've had to sell the same piece 4 times".  Thanks for raining on my parade!  Anyway, all's well that ends well!  


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Using What You've Got

After finding these in the attic, I ventured back up to see what else I could find. It's always a great feeling to take something you have and upcycle (make it better than what is was). Low and behold, I found this beauty waiting for me:

hahaha...this makes me laugh. It's circa late 1990's and it hung in the first house Mr. T and I bought together. I am sure I paid waaaaayyyyy too much for it and it came from someplace really cheesy. It's basically partical board with a fruitilicous wallpaper border on it. Hmmmmmm...where could it go? More importantly, what could I do with it?

This is the entrance from our back door. Here is what you see now:

Of course, it's a chalkboard. I am addicted to them. For now it says hello in a few different languages. I figured it will come in handy for birthdays, parties, and any other gatherings or events we might have around here. All it took was a few hours to make. I cleaned it up, sanded it down, and put two coats of chalkboard spray paint (that I already had) on it. What treasures do you have in your attic?

Rachel :)


IHeart Organizing
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Never, Ever Again

A few weeks ago I wrote this post about coming up with the perfect baby gift. If I'd only known. Pinterest gets me in trouble. I see all these great photos and think to myself, "I can do that..." Well...sometimes I can't. Case in point:

A few weeks ago I saw this:

Tao of Craft
Adorable, right? I walked right into the trap. Printed out the directions, grabbed a few things from the store and I was on my way to making the cutest baby shoes ever.

Never, ever again. I mean it. These little things were a huge pain in the ... Even if William and Cate have a baby, and its a girl, and they name her after me, they will not be getting a pair of these. Not ever. What started as the best baby gift ever ended with me ill at the sewing machine and developing scoliosis from hunching over it for so long. Granted, part of it is my fault. The pictures were great. The instructions were great. I picked the wrong fabric, wrong liner, wrong weave, but was too far in by the time I realized all of this. Boo to the Pinterest Gods for making me think I can do it all.

Rachel :(
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Friday, July 22, 2011


via tons of land

Holy's been one of those weeks! Both the Smurfs leave tomorrow for a big adventure...overnight camp! While it makes me a nervous wreck, it's a right of passage, one that they are incredibly excited about. We've spent the last few days going over lists, labeling, shopping, packing, and getting ready. They will spend the week swimming, horseback riding, play games, and doing crafts while Mr. T and I try to enjoy a quiet house. No worries, I am sure I will come back next week with some fresh ideas and one or two DIY projects...have a GREAT weekend!

Rachel :)
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kitchen Love

I'm not really an accessory kind of gal. I wear the same earrings, ring, and watch everyday. No bracelet. No necklace. Just your basic stuff. My kitchen is pretty basic as well. I like clean counter tops. No clutter. At all. A while back I posted about some kitchen tweaking I had been doing. With all of the work we have done with the breakfast nook and gallery wall, the rest of the kitchen was looking a little bare. A few years ago I had ivy topiaries beside the kitchen sink. They died. Oh well. I am terrible with house plants. Last week I saw this photo and thought it was GREAT inspiration to make topiaries...

A Little Lovely

There are super directions on the blog on how to make a topiary. I gathered my supplies:
terra cotta pot
hot glue gun
hot glue
paint brush
floral foam
dowel rod

Most of the above I had. This is what I had to buy:

terra cotta pots ($4)
moss ($5)
ribbon ($3.50)
floral foam ($3.50)
2 floral balls ($10)

OK...this was getting ridiculous. Granted I had a 20% off coupon, but my total came to $26...minus the was $20.80. Not bad, but more than I wanted to spend for this project. When I came home i fiddled around and decided I didn't like the new pots. They were a little small and a little short. I thought I had wooden candlesticks somewhere and maybe I could turn the pots into a urn. That when I went in the attic and found these in the yard sale pile:

Oh yeah! Topiaries! I had forgotten all about them. They were hand-me-downs from a friend several years ago, but I never loved the boxwood. So, I started plucking...and then I had naked topiaries!

Add in a little hot glue, spanish moss, antique white spray paint, plus sandpaper and here's what I ended up with:


This project ended up costing $4 for the spanish moss... everything else I had...woohoohoo!! Tomorrow I get to go back to the store and do a little returning...

Rachel :)
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This is dedicated to the one I love....

J. and I will celebrate our 9th anniversary on August 3rd.  It has been a wonderful, if chaotic, 9 years!  As J. says, "we live an alternate lifestyle that not many people understand". Before you go where MY mind would naturally go, he's a pilot who is on call 24/7/365.  We cancel more plans than we actually make, I think.  Family vacations usually consist of the boys and me and various friends or grandparents.  Whenever J. gets to go with us, it is an extra special event.  See the below picture as an example:

The family and Squidward at the Nick Hotel.  Good times, Good times.  

I've been thinking about what I should get him for an anniversary gift.  He is the hardest person in the world to buy for.  Considering his new hobby of swatting flies off of our dog with my "W" magazine, I thought about buying this:

Seriously, who wouldn't want a personalized leather fly swatter?

I shelved that idea when I saw this picture. I originally saw it on Young House Love.  I found the artist, Sherri Conley, on Etsy and contacted her.  She responded so quickly and was so helpful as I changed my mind 14 times about which size I wanted and if I wanted portrait or landscape (which I kept calling "horizontal" or "vertical" for some unknown reason.  I've been off meat for 8 days and I think I should just accept that I am a carnivore and my brain needs meat to function properly). 

I also found this print on Etsy, which I think perfectly describes our "alternate lifestyle" in a very simple way.

I ordered it in silver sage rather than turquoise

After seeing both of these, an idea began to form.  There is nothing that I can buy him that he wants or needs. These prints share my feelings for him in a non-mushy way.  Also, I've been trying to figure out what I wanted to put on the mantle over my bed. I guess when it comes down to it, it's a gift for both of us.  

I still needed one more picture to hang between these two.  I took this last week when the boys and I were at my Dad's house.  

I want to crop it a little and give it a tint

It was a wonderful example of the culmination of our love! I'm sorry, did you just throw up on your keyboard? I ordered both prints yesterday and went to Aaron Brothers and picked out frames and mats.  If there is an Aaron Brothers near you, get there before July 31st.  All of their frames are buy one get one for a penny!  

As soon as everything has arrived and is framed and hung I will post pictures.  Even though this means that I will have to make up my bed!


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Monday, July 18, 2011

My Kind of Remodeling-Part Deux

You can read Part One of my exciting post about creating a custom piece of jewelry here (could you hear the sarcasm?).  My client gave me a picture of a ring he wants to copy for his girlfriend.  I gave it to Margie, who carves our pieces by hand, to begin the first step in the fabrication process. 

This is Margie doing her thing

This is her amazing work

As a refresher, here is the picture I gave her to copy

I know you are all breathlessly waiting for the piece to be completed, but it will be a couple of weeks!  In the meantime, you can read a detailed version of how a custom piece of jewelry is created on the Ascot Diamonds Blog.  

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Projects...

I love weekends at home with the family...especially when there is not much on the agenda. Mr. T is on call this weekend, so the Smurfs and I will be hanging out, having fun, and doing much of nothing. Of course, I have a few weekend projects planned. Here is a sneak peak with the details to come next week.

My first project is to make topiaries for the kitchen. I've been looking for a little something to put on either side of my kitchen sink and I think these will look great!

Oh baby!! Smurfette and I have been invited to a baby shower for a super great couple that is expecting their first baby. While we will not be able to attend, I have high hopes of coming up the the perfect shower gift this weekend. I can't post pictures'll have to wait until next week!

Have a GREAT weekend!

Rachel :) Pin It

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's a Girl!

I am so very excited for my old (as in we've been friends a long time, not as in age) friend Katie who is FINALLY having a girl. This is her 3rd baby in just as many years and she is surround by the cutest boys you have ever seen. Katie and her precious family live in a 100 year old bungalow that rocks my socks. Seriously. Since I'm on a roll this week, being bossy and giving advice when wanted and not wanted (Penny and Shannon) I wanted to share some ideas I've had for her nursery. Even though I can't remember if she asked or not, I am loving finding pictures and ideas for her to use. While I love it, I am pretty sure I am driving her crazy because at some point she stopped answering my 99 texts I was sending her a day. Here are just a few pictures I have sent her way...

I love this little glowing birdhouse.
(via interior-inspirations)
Dear World, You're Pretty

All Things Heart and Home

Butterfly mobile full
Heartland Paper

The Crafting Chicks

Personalized Monogram Nursery Wall Lettering
Wee Decor

And, because it's what I do, I set up a board on Pinterest where we can share ideas. What on earth did I do before Pinterest?!? I can't wait for her to decorate this new space! I have high hopes of lots of before and after pictures to share in a few weeks of how she went from snips and snails and puppy dog tails to sugar and spice and everything nice!

Rachel :) Pin It

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Little Something Extra

I love helping friends with projects around their house. Some ask for my dear friend Shannon...most don' my advise to Penny about her stairs. Shannon is currently working on changing the color pallet in her house from reds and greens to more neutral blues and browns. I really don't know why she wants my input...the girl has got killer taste and the talent to go along with it. Plus her husband is super handy. Together they make a GREAT combination. She is currently working on her family room and foyer. Her family room has a wall of fantastic built ins. I've seen so many great looks recently using blues and paint or wallpaper. Here are a few...

I LOVE this room. Neutral seating. The pillows are Ralph Lauren that TJ Maxx has had the past few weeks. Pottery Barn also makes them and you can find them at an outlet. The coffee table would be a super easy built for Shannon's husband. The teal adds a great pop of color that brightens things a bit.

Little Nanny Goat
I also love the idea of a wallpaper, painted stencil, or fabric behind shelves. It looks great when painting the same color that is in the rest of the room and stenciling in a contrasting color. Stenciling can be more time consuming than wallpaper, but is a lot cheaper which is always good on the check book.

A few other pieces of inspiration for her family room are:

Tobi Fairley

and for a pop of color...

Palmer Weiss

Design A Glow

Centsational Girl

You call follow our board on Pinterest to check out our other ideas. Stay tuned to see what great design she comes up with. I hope she'll let me share!!

Rachel :) Pin It