Friday, August 1, 2014

Girls Church Bathroom Makeover and Back to School Blowout

Drab and Sterile to Bright and 'WOW'

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link on my site and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. Thank you for helping to support my blog and related expenses.

Girls Church Bathroom Makeover

The Challenge: to make this ugly church bathroom look pretty for the girls who use it

The Challengers: two bold and creative Pastors wives

The Contest: we planned this bathroom around the 'Earn Your Stripes' contest put on by Frog Tape....the grand prize of $5000 would be put to good use in updating our youth spaces.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Flip Flops Hack

Transform Your Plain Flip Flops

Old Navy Flip Flop Hack

Summer and flip flops go together like PB and J, coffee and donuts...a diy-er and a never-ending mind full of ideas!

I love when Old Navy has their super sale on flips and you can get several pairs for just a few bucks.

Last summer I bought two pairs of their wedge flips, but when I got home I decided they were too plain and I would jazz them up a bit!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tour Through Blogland

Tour Through Blogland

Guess what? This is my first 'Group Tour' as a blogger! I was so excited to be invited by Erin Dove to join the Tour Through Blogland, where bloggers share a little more about themselves, their family, home and blog. At the end of this post I'll introduce you to a couple more bloggers to continue the Tour next week! It's all you want to know about some fabulous bloggers...and a little more!

So thank you to Erin for the invite! Erin blogs at The Blue Eyed Dove and it's a fun, girly place to visit! She loves party planning, DIY crafting, bold decor (this gal has a purple kitchen!), fashion and skinny recipes. Basically, if you're a'll love her blog, lol!

Now, are you ready to see and hear a little more about me?

Welcome! Meet my family...the story of an All-American guy who captured the heart of a Canadian gal, married her and brought her down to his homeland to live happily ever after :) We have three awesome kids... a recent HS grad, an almost-17 year old and a goofy little girl who will be 10 in a few days.

This is where we hang out and do life together...

We bought our home as a foreclosure when we moved to TN at the end of 2012. Lucky for us, it didn't require a major overhaul...mostly just paint. Mr DIY has big plans for our backyard, including a large 'party' deck, privacy shrubs & more extensive gardens. C'mon inside...

My goal when decorating my home is to create a space that is inviting and warm. I've kept a mostly neutral palette and love to add colorful pillows and accessories for the seasons. Slipcovers (many that I've made myself from painters drop cloths) are functional and add a pretty french farmhouse feel.

This is NOT the room where my kids like to hang out, lol! Our bonus room is a multi-purpose space with the TV, computer, games and comfy sofas. I've tried to keep the pillows on the sofas to a minimum (my guys hate pillows - go figure!) and I've managed to carve out a craft space for myself along one wall. This room is hardworking and super-functional.

Bonus Room

One thing you'll see a lot in my home are chalkboards and hand-painted signs. I have several revolving ones in my home that I've made. One of my favorites is my giant chalkboard that I made from a yard sale frame.

Signs and chalkboards

There really isn't a DIY project that I haven't done...and my home is a true reflection of my obsessiveness  God-given creativity!

One of my recent and more challenging projects was refinishing my dining room table, along with the 3 leaves. There was a moment when I thought I'd have to paint the top...but everything turned out ok in the end and I love it and am so proud of my accomplishment!

I'd love to show you another fairly recent Master bedroom. I painted it and stenciled one of the walls in a large damask. It looks a little like wallpaper and completely changed the look of our whole bedroom! I completed several DIY projects for the space, including painted storage boxes, an update to an old jewelry chest and a DIY chalkboard that I reinvented from a church sale find.

While I was at it, I painted our Master Bath and stenciled curtains to hang above the tub. It's a pretty, spa-like haven to enjoy e a nice, long soak! You might notice that I used the same stencil as in the bedroom...but in a different color and function, it looks totally different!

My kitchen is the one room in our home that gives me fits! It's small and inefficient. Storage is limited (I have only 2 drawers!) so I'm constantly trying new things to make it more functional. Mr DIY and I have big plans to increase the functionality of this space, but it probably won't be happening for awhile.

One thing you won't find in my home are a bunch of expensive things. Almost everything is thrifted or repurposed. I love that I've been able to create a beautiful home on a teeny, tiny budget and my blog is full of tutorials to help you do the same! Bringing beauty to the ordinary is what I love to do!

On to the questions...

#1: What are you working on right now? Well, in the last two weeks I completed 3 large furniture projects so I'm taking a bit of a breather and enjoying my week visiting with my brother and his family, who drove down from Canada. mind is always active and what's cooking on the 'ole backburner is setting up a guest bedroom and painting the furniture (that I scored for free) that will go in that space.

Oh, and here is a fun picture of "cousins-taking-selfies" captured this fun!

#2: How does my work differ from others in this genre? I might be the only DIYer who keeps pretty much everything she buys. I have great intentions to sell my projects, but typically fall in love with them and just can't let them go! I'm probably going to need to hire a professional organizer soon, hehehe. I would also say that my blog is not just a showcase of my projects, it's an instructional blog. Most of my projects are accompanied by a tutorial so that you can recreate them on your own. There's nothing worse than finding something amazing on Pinterest and when you click through you hit a dead end. I like reading the "how-to", and I like to provide that to my readers as well.

#3: Why do I write/create what I do? I was born creative. I remember making crafts and selling them door to door when I was younger, painting pet rocks, learning to sew. It's not something I can shut off; it's a part of who I am. I started my blog because I wanted a place to document what I do and to share it with others. So many people see my home and projects and ask me how I did it. So my blog is filled with tutorials; I want others to see how easy it is to create something beautiful (often out of something ugly and discarded). I guess I really love inspiring others. I love being a part of the DIY blogging community. It's a wonderland of never-ending inspiration and often my creativity is sparked by seeing something another talented person created.

#4: How does your writing/creative process work? All my blog posts are planned out months in advance and I keep a daily....yeah right! True confessions here...I just might be the most unorganized, impulsive person I know, lol! Seriously! I'm always amazed by super-organized people because I reallly want to be that way. I'll buy a cute organizer with great plans to use it...and will then forget all about it, sigh! This might be the best way I use an a pad of paper!

My creative process is another story. When I look around my home at everything I've's material for my blog. Not to mention the constant projects I have going on...both in my head and in reality! I try to have a couple weeks of blog posts thought through in advance, but I pretty much write as I work. My family used to joke when I was a die-hard scrapbooker that I would create "moments"  so that I could scrapbook them. Now I capture moments for my blog - my kids often have to wait for me to take a picture before they can dig in to their meal, lol!

I'm often inspired by others and can't wait to try something 'new'. Like my thrift store chair that I painted - wood and upholstery both! I'd read about other bloggers doing this and really wanted to try it myself...when I found the perfect chair, I didn't waste any time!

I'm super motivated and determined. When I want to do something, I don't let a lot get in my way. A recent example of this was deciding impulsively to paint our TV console...two days before my brother and family were due to arrive for a week-long visit. Yup, I should have been dusting and cleaning the house...but I chose painting furniture instead! One day, when I'm rich and famous (lol) I WILL hire a maid! Because I'd much rather be crafting!

I'm so glad you hung out with me today and I'm honored that you chose to read my blog and visit my pages!.

It's time to introduce you to a couple of wonderful bloggers, who will be conducting their own 'Tour of Blogland' next Monday.

First up, is my friend Ashley who blogs at 3 Little Greenwoods.

I am a Southern Girl who is wife to Honey, Mama to my children {they are the inspiration 
for the “3 Little Greenwoods” blog name}, Birthday Cake Creator, Lifestyle Blogger,
 Party Planner, and DIY Lover!

Sadly, all the other bloggers I invited to the Tour were unable to participate,
due to time constraints and busy schedules. 

Make sure you head over to Ashley's site next Monday, August 4 and read more about her adventures with decorating, crafting, party planning and being a mama of three.

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

Sharing with:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Old Dresser turned Console Table

How to Turn a Dresser into a TV Console

Fifty years ago, back in 1964...a handsome guy named Lynn married a spunky redhead named Joan. They bought a new set of furniture for their bedroom and it lasted them well for many, many years. 

Three kids were born to Lynn and Joan, those kids grew up and moved away and eventually got married themselves.

Lynn and Joan decided it was time for new bedroom furniture...

...and passed their beloved set on to their son and his diy-crazy wife (me!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nightstand and a DIY Lamp Makeover {for a girl's room}

Updating a Girl's Nightstand and Lamp

It seems as though many of my projects start as a result of a trip to Goodwill! This project is a true case in point. I spotted a coral striped sheet on the 1/2 price rack and when I touched it, couldn't believe the softness and quality of the fabric. Upon further inspection, turns out it was 'Made in France'!

Well, say no more! Je suis tombe en amour avec elle instantanement! Translation: I fell in love with it instantly. I was in love with the price tag too...$1.50 for a full size sheet!

I came home with my prize and mulled over it's new function while it was spinning through the washer. What would it become?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Painting an Upholstered Chair

Chair Makeover Using Paint

Do you ever decide to do something..and your family thinks you've completely lost it!

My family thought I was cray cray when I told them that I was going to paint this chair I found at our local Habitat Restore. Not just the wood...the fabric too!

If you follow other DIY blogs, then you know that this idea has been out there for awhile. But it was a new concept for my dear, darling family to take in...

So many really great chairs have outdated fabric. Like my orange marvel!

This chair has great lines, beautiful caned sides that are in mint condition and I knew the orange upholstery would be a perfect candidate for paint. I don't even mind the damask-patterned fabric...just the color!

I've seen some great painted chair transformations, including this one by 11 Magnolia Lane and this pretty blue painted chair by Artsy Chicks Rule.

Bonus: my chair had already been sterilized and cleaned so I didn't have to do anything to it first!

I started by taping off the edges and then painting the wood white, using a custom DIY chalk paint mixture in my new go-to country white color, 'Cotton Whisper' by Behr. A sample size pot is all I needed to do 3 coats.

Woowee, looking better already!

Once the paint dried, I sanded and distressed it to my liking and then taped off the wood to paint the upholstery. I've read that if the fabric is wet, it will absorb the paint better so I used a spray bottle to wet the fabric really well before I started painting. I decided to use 'real' chalk paint on the fabric itself instead of the DIY version. It's creamier, and I wanted it to look right.

I chose Yesteryear Chalky Paint by Americana Decor (sold by Home Depot). I poured out the paint into a bigger container and added about 1/2 the amount of water to thin it. It should be the consistency of chocolate milk. (*Note: my 8 oz container was enough for this chair, with a little leftover; if you're painting a chair with more upholstery, you'll need more paint)

Then I started painting. It went on so well and easily! I did 2 coats and then realized that the color was drying a little violet rather than grey. So I added several squirts of black acrylic paint to my container, mixed it well and painted one more coat with some additional touch ups where it looked like it needed it.

Here is the backrest painted with the darker grey; I haven't done the seat yet to show you the contrast.

I decided it would be fun to have a little surprise on the back, so I painted the back with Americana Decor's Vintage (similar to ASCP Duck Egg). Once dry, I reused my stencil and it was a perfect fit. One jumbo damask pop of prettiness! This stencil has made its rounds in my home...I've painted walls, curtains and even a tabletop with it!

The piping was painted in bright white, to really make it pop. The pictures don't do it justice; it is a really pretty contrast.

I also decided to bring the turquoise color around to the front and paint the cane. I brightened up the Vintage paint by adding a few squirts of a darker turquoise to a small amount in a bowl.

I very lightly sanded the whole thing, fabric included. It knocked the roughness out of it and made it feel really smooth. If you sand too hard, you will reveal the original color underneath!! Be gentle.

The very last step was to wax the whole piece.. wood and upholstery. Buffing it gave it a low sheen and makes the fabric look a little like leather. The damask pattern is very faded in the background.

It has such a different look now! It's fun and modern with traditional lines.

It's a great additional seat in my living room and blends in nicely with the other seating I have...

I love that it looks pretty from any angle!

Can you even remember what it used to look like? Let me refresh your memory...

Now granted, it's not the most comfortable chair in the world (but it wasn't before its paint job either). It definitely needs a couple pillows to make the sitting easier.

I was pleasantly surprised how easy this was, and it really opens up a whole new world of possibilites

 Great chair + ugly fabric = NO problem!

Have you tried this yet?

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

Proudly Featured at:

Sharing with:
Design Dining and Diapers Inspiration GalleryMiss Mustard Seed FFFShabby Art BoutiqueThe Pin JunkieTatertots and Jello Link Party Palooza3 Little Greenwoods Show-LiciousPinkWhen DIY Sunday ShowcaseThat DIY PartySand and Sisal Inspire Me MondayConfessions of a Plate Addict The ScoopKnick of Time InteriorsProject InspiredGreen Willow Pond WWAWCoastal Charm Show & ShareUpcycled Treasures Makers LinkThe NY Melrose Family Whimsy WednesdayElizabeth and Co Be InspiredCrafty Allie Worthwhile WednesdayEnchanting InspirationsFrench Country CottageFrom my Front Porch to YoursHappy Housie Work it WednesdayJennifer Rizzo Fabulously Creative FridayDelineate Your Dwelling Link it or Lump itThe Dedicated House Before & After WednesdayLiving Well Spending LessDimples and Tangles Best of the Nest

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Back to School Shopping

Are You Ready for School??

Disclosure: These are affiliate links; when you make a purchase after clicking on these clicks, I will make a small commission. By purchasing from these links, you are supporting my blog and helping me pay my expenses!

Read more:

Can you believe that summer is almost over? In my neck of the woods, kids return to school the first week of August...which  means there are only about 2 weeks of summer left.

Yikes, I'm not ready! Are you?

There are new clothes and sneakers to buy, as well as school supplies, backpacks, lunchboxes and extra stuff for my son who will be a Freshman at University of Memphis.

Luckily zulily has a great Back-to-School sale going on right now!

Here are just a few of their back to school must haves and dorm room essentials that I'm looking at for my own kids:


They have a ton of great lunchboxes and food storage that will please my kids and make getting lunches ready in the mornings a breeze!

This dry erase calendar would help my son stay organized at University and be a great place for him to keep track of his assignments. The fluorescent pens are also available.

This metal bin shelf would be perfect for socks, towels or other smaller items that tend to get lost.

Of course, Little DIY will want new shoes!

These cute sneakers will fit the bill quite nicely, and for only $12.99 maybe I can get her two pairs!

And just in case you were wondering what the trends will be this fall, 

According to zulily, five of the top trends for the new school year include:
  • Northern Exposure – From faux fur capelets and moccasins for girls to hoodies for boys emblazoned with bold animal faces, wild looks are big for back to school

  • Galaxy – Starscapes, planets and are other galaxy themed prints make their way onto clothing and accessories alike for fall Sublimation is really big and should be said in here

  • 90’s Flashback – They say if you’ve lived through a trend once not to wear it a second time around, which is why today’s school kids are the only ones cute enough to pull off 90’s inspired looks, including acid washed jeans with bold bright 90's prints along with Harem pants - Can't touch this.

  • Camo Cool – From backpacks and binders to shoes and jackets, expect to see camouflage prints in a wide variety of colors in school hallways this fall

  • London Calling – Trench Coats and hooded jackets paired with textured wool and corduroy will keep kids on this side of the pond warm when fall’s crisp temperatures return

Be sure to shop these Back to school deals at zulily soon! It's always best to shop early, when the selection is good and you have lots of choices. Then your kids are happy...and so is your pocketbook!

Enjoy the rest of the summer...but remember, school will be here before we know it!! Best be prepared.

bringing beauty to the ordinary,