my craft space // an update

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if you recall the bare bones workstation i created in our new house, you’ll notice a simple design, free of junk and unnecessary clutter.

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being fond of the simple kind of life in this space, i was looking to add a bit more in the way of organization and color.

enter // phase 2

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after spending a significant chunk of time in this space a couple weeks ago (see: reason why), i realized some flaws in my setup.

number one // surface space was lacking

my trays of paper and supplies were taking up so much desk space that after adding the paper cutter, little trash bin and my phone and water, i barely had room for a single page to work on.

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so i found a larger box in my garage (from our local big box store), some empty shoe boxes and reorganized how i stored my 4×6, 3×4 and smaller scraps.

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instead of making sections myself like i did here, i used some smaller boxes and containers that were being used elsewhere. two of these are the base and lid from one of my first project life kits.

this lid holds my 4×6 inserts perfectly.

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the bottom of that box holds two rows of 3×4 inserts which makes looking through them so much easier.

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these other boxes i found at target’s dollar spot. they are perfect for the little scraps and small paper embellishments.

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number two // smaller accessories were hidden and not easy to get to or took up too much space

another supply that commandeers my work surface is my growing collection of tapes.

so what better place than up where i can see them all! thankfully i still have a little ikea shelf that ended up being perfect for these little rolls of colorful goodness.

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you’d think this would mean i can’t buy anymore tapes since they go from end to end, but wait!…..there’s room for a second row behind there! boom!

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my acrylic stamp collection is also growing. they needed their own home and were in a few different places before. in one tray and on top of a bigger ikea shelf was perfect.

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oh look! what’s that under the shelf?

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i spray painted mason jar rings and nailed the lids to the underside of the shelf and now, those little half pints store chip boards, buttons and flowers that would be otherwise shoved in a box and never seen or used. hello functionality!

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all pens and tools used to commune in the same desktop tray. but i covered a narrow shoebox lid and can keep all the journaling pens horizontal like a good little scrapper but all the other tools get an upright position in a mason jar.

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we can’t forget about ribbon, twine and rick-rack. they get to mingle in a larger mason jar and stored in the big box of papers and scraps. now it’s super easy to see what i have and can use them frequently!

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i’m using a magazine holder for tall sheets of alpha stickers and another little box for a couple circle punches, extra glue sticks and tools i don’t use too often.

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magic can happen in small spaces, all you need is a few jars and empty boxes.

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happy scrapping!

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our new digs // my closet

seven years.
my clothes spent seven years in a closet the size of a matchbox. a matchbox that i split 75/25 with my dear husband.

but those days are over.

because now, i have a closet that’s about 25% larger and i don’t have to share it. in fact, matt’s closet is the same size and he doesn’t have to compete with skirts or ruffles. lucky him.

but seriously, let’s get back to my closet. it has mirrored doors, did i mention that?

here is the left half…
tops, organized by color. and shoes.

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and here is the right half…
the green to blue tops, then dresses, then skirts, then pants. and yes, more shoes. these need to be weeded through. it’s something i just couldn’t do before the move.

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a colorful little bunting adds the right funkiness to my accessory area, don’tcha think?

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it’s made from fabric scraps and simple sewn together at the top. no hems, no bindings, just raw edges and push pins to hang them up.

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a peg board holds earrings, necklaces, bracelets and belts.

two ribbons, attached to the wall at top and bottom, hold my hair clips and fabric flowers.

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over the last few years, i have made so much of my own jewelry. but my tastes are changing and i have decided to toss or reuse some of the items i am not wearing anymore. only a select few made the cut and got to remain on the board.

this peg board has been magical. seriously. i need to see my stuff, or it will never get worn. i can easily select the right accessories and they have a permanent home. plus, it’s pretty, and that’s half the battle. 🙂

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rings, stud earrings and chunkier bracelets live on my dresser. this is a clear plastic organizer that i bought at target. i think it’s meant for a drawer but it’s perfect for this.

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do you struggle with a small space? how do you organize your closet? by sleeve length or by color? i’d love to know!

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weekly wrap up 2013 // week 16+17

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still playing a bit of catch up from april. ya ready?

week 16

tuesday | april 16:

so proud of my dude for being proud to be drug free. i pray he keeps this same attitude when he’s having everything shoved in his face.

love that he sports this #proudtobedrugfree bracelet. #gibsonnow

wednesday | april 17:

33 has been good to me so far. gonna keep that up for the rest of the year.

33 has been good to me so far. gonna keep that up for the rest of the year. #chucks #chucktaylors #33 #iwillprobablywearchuckswhenimfifty

thursday | april 18:

oh how the sun spills in.

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it’s beginning to look a lot like moving…which means drive-thru dinners. and this is where i keep my atm card while i wait. 🙂

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friday | april 19:

took a day off work to do some personal stuff and preparation for the garage sale tomorrow. one thing was heading to my uncle’s house to pick up some things. mom and i got a large cabinet, a treadmill and a ladder in the back of my yukon. we rock at spacial organization!

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signs are happening. soon we hang them around the ‘hood.

Prepping for the big moving sale tomorrow!!! Getting ready to hang up signs.

saturday | april 20:

and there ya have it, the moving sale. a ton of stuff went and we made about $500! anything that was leftover was hauled off to snowline hospice. i didn’t take anything back to the new house….felt so good!

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sunday | april 22:

today is a full day of movie making. we have a car chase happening here.

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just keeping the actors in the shade and comfortable.

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just waiting for his scene.

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take 4.

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and that’s a wrap folks. the final scene was finished today! if you want to see SHIFT, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP0PrMuJcSE

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his good and patient attitude all day earned him some iPad time. his choice: tom &  jerry episodes on youtube.

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and then i treated the boys to ice cream at thrifty’s.

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week 17

monday | april 23:

now that SHIFT is in the can, gibson has been tasked to pack every day after school.

it's gettin' really real up in here. we get keys tomorrow and can start moving little stuff before the big move on saturday. #wontbeabletosleep #thegraymoveof2013

tuesday | april 24:

when my guy fill sup my gas tank, he also fills up my love tank.

when my guy fills up my gas tank, he also fills up my love tank. ❤

wednesday | april 25:

we got the keys today!! the paint looks perfect and marshall loves the room to run.

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this is my bathroom mirror. the size is incredible, compared to what i had in the old house. and my favorite feature is the window. natural light and morning air are what i need when i’m getting ready for work.

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ran over to ikea with my mom and the boys to pick up my craft desk and some other fun goodies!

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inspiration for my bedroom came from the very first display in the store. i need to pick up that script fabric and instead of black pillows in the back, i want turquoise.

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“don’t bother me, i’m working.”

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marshall’s still afraid to get up there.

the boys' new treehouse! built by the talented @jerojo and @calebandrewj #thegraymoveof2013

thursday | april 25:

after work, mom, dad, the boys and i headed to the new house to assemble my desk, gibson’s new desk and work some other little things before we started really moving in.

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@minifrantic putting together his new desk #PicTapGo #thegraymoveof2013

i’m so happy over here that i’m doing cartwheels.

I'm so happy in here that I'm actually doing cartwheels! #thegraymoveof2013

friday | april 26:

sometimes, when you need to prop open a door, you just need a target bag and an empty apple juice box. (my dad’s genius idea, becasue that’s how we roll.

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making trips down the street. marshall counted and it is exactly 60 seconds between the old house and the new house. i made 3 full trips before 10am and we made a total of 16 trips on friday, just filling up the back of the yukon and getting boxes into the closets they belonged in. my mom is the best.

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my new clock from ikea. it’s the very first thing i hung up.

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saturday | april 27:

it’s moving day! here’s a tip i found on pinterest. it works with adult clothes too, but we used large hefty duty trash bags. this was a LIFESAVER!

pinterest idea for the win! the best and only way to move hanging clothes!

the friends who helped us move were rock stars! because of all the prep work we did, they got all the big stuff in easily. well, the piano took all 4 of them to lift and carry. we fed everyone pizza and are so grateful for the help!

gettin' there. #thegraymoveof2013

sunday | april 28:

today is a “put-away” day. figuring out where accessories will go is top on the list. 😉

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i still can’t believe this whole closet is mine. i don’t have to share. and when i install the shelf below, i’ll have even more space!

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bathroom is done! those shelves are wooden spice racks from ikea that i picked up years ago. they still sell them!

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my vintage collection of goodies is going up next!

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so thankful that i kept my grams standing mixer. and it still works!!

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these it is. (it’s changed a bit since i added my gram’s sifter)

my vintage kitchen wall turned out EXACTLY how I envisioned. is it weird if I just want to stare at it for the rest of the night? ❤❗

so many things on my list. and all the time i need! gonna make good use of my next two days off.

happy days!

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our new digs // the main rooms

welcome to our new digs!

to see how we got here, check out this post.

since moving in, there are some rooms that got decorated right away. well, honestly, almost everything got decorated right away because i had so many ideas and decisions were easy to make.

some rooms and walls and closets are going on the back burner because obviously i can’t do everything right away. but i’m ready and super excited to share what’s been done so far.

we’ll start with the back side of the family room…

the piano:

the story of this piano is short and sweet.
it’s my gram’s. well, it was. when she passed last february, she left it to me.
what’s special about it is that most of my memories of her were playing it.
mostly hymnals. and christmas music.
she was a music teacher and music was her passion until she passed.
having her piano is like having a piece of her here.
unfortunately, at the old house, i had no room for it inside.
my only option was to keep it in the garage.
but now, she has a home. and it makes my heart filled with joy.

i knew i wanted to put my alpha wall above the piano. and i knew i wanted it to ascend up the wall and wrap around to the adjoining wall. it’s kinda metaphoric now that i type it out.

here’s how i planned it out:

i arranged and rearranged until it was perfect. i snapped a picture and threw it up on my laptop to reference by eye as i hung each piece one at a time.

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and here is how it turned out. i changed some things between the picture and getting it on the walls. sometimes you just have to go with what feels right. 🙂

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i figured this was a perfect place for all my records.

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i found this cute doily candle holder at IKEA for $4.50.

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hello gorgeous.

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my crafty space:

at the old house, i had a huge space i created in the garage. it kept ALL of my crafty stuff. sewing, scrapbooking, jewelry stuff, misc projects and overall craftiness.

i also had a desk in the hall closet that i used for mail, office type stuff and a place to put everything that didn’t have a home.

basically i had a ton of stuff. so before we moved, i purged like crazy. because i knew i wanted to condense everything to fit in one place.

here.

tall cabinet: IKEA / aneboda wardrobe. yep, it’s a piece of my bedroom furniture that i bought almost 10 years ago. we were using it as our kitchen pantry at the old house. i covered the front panel with white contact paper and added some circle corks on the side.

desk: IKEA / malm desk with sliding side piece. it’s new and perfect. that piece against the wall is actually on casters and can tuck in under the main part. but because i keep my project life stuff out, i’m keeping it out too.

chair: IKEA / it’s old, but they still sell them. just got a black one for gibson’s room.

rugs: IKEA / yep, i said rugs, plural. there are two red shag rugs that i placed together. each rug was $10. SCORE!

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some details:

set of 3 cork hot plates: IKEA / $3
i strung white yarn along the wall and pinned some cute scraps up with those tiny clothespins.
the lamp is a paper lantern i’ve had for years, also from IKEA.

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the dining room/side kitchen:

another wall that i’ve had in my head for ever.
say hello to my vintage kitchen stuff:

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i have my gram’s sifter, standing mixer, cheese grater, recipe books from the 50’s, hand mixer, pizza cutter, soup ladle and melon baller.
other items are my mom’s marble rolling pin, a gas lamp from my uncle and an old oil bottle. i bought the white and silver strainer at ikea for $4 and the smaller red strainer at raley’s for $5.

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the side kitchen:

what else do you call a place like this? it’s not the kitchen-kitchen. (that’s another post in itself.) it’s technically in the dining room, but it’s so much a part of the kitchen. so we labeled it the side kitchen but i knew that i really wanted it to function as the launching pad.

it houses our family calendar, important docs we get to and file away, keys, general officy things. so far, i’ve been able to keep it clean and tidy.

there’s also a perfect little cranny for my gram’s grren kitchen stool. i plan to upgrade the stool next. all the metal will get a clean chrome finish and i will recover the seat and back with a bright yellow fabric.

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but this is what makes me the most happy. ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got room for trains.

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so that’s that!

questions? comments?

next up is the family room, master bedroom/bath, the boys rooms and the kitchen.

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new stuff for sale!

my etsy shop has had a sad little existence. and that’s okay. i’m not in this for the money.

making button rings for myself is fun so that i can have inexpensive accessories for my outfits. but when people started asking me if i sold them, it got me thinking.

and now i’m torn.

crafting is a hobby. not a job. i have one of those. 4 actually. being a shop owner just isn’t something i want to focus on. i work all day. i’m a mommy and a wife and a house cleaner. i DO NOT want to feel obligated to make things. creativity can’t be forced and i don’t want it to become another thing i have to do.

but on the other hand, i have all these supplies and i can only make so many for myself. so i’ve decided to share them with you!

and here we are. a handful of new rings and earrings are for sale on etsy now! and until the end of june, shipping is only $1…that’s pretty awesome right?

here are the new little loves i’ve put up…more coming soon!

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and feel free to email me if you have any questions!
retrohipmama(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

chat atcha later!

music is my girlfriend

a couple weeks ago, i shared this on a friend’s blog for her food of love series. if you didn’t get a chance to see my post on her blog, i’m sharing it today.

christine at quasi agitato is a bloggy friend whom i have never been blessed enough to meet in person, but is one of those ladies who i’d totally be friends with if we didn’t live on opposite ends of the country. she makes me see things differently as a parent. pay closer attention. be thoughtful in the way i capture the memories my kids give me. she’s pretty cool like that.

so look, i’m no writer. if i can string together a few sentences that make sense…i’m patting myself on the back. but when christine put the word out via facebook that she was looking for people to write music related posts i jumped on it, knowing it would be a challenge. a challenge i WANTED to take on. you see, music’s my thang. sometimes people ask me how i know so much music and i just think, and sometimes out loud, how do you NOT? for me, music has just been in every facet of my being. music played from garage stereos, car radios where a large button had to be shoved in to change the station preset (you know what i’m talking about), house systems with friends and pool halls and night clubs. music just existed and i wanted to capture it all. breathe it all in. live it. be it. put myself in studio 54 (minus the drug use) and dance to songs that were beyond my years.

did it help that my gram was a music teacher? maybe? i didn’t play instruments (well) so i always figured if i can’t play music i could at least listen and enjoy. i’m a little bummed that i never got the chance to tell my gram how much i love her big band tapes and the hymns she played on her piano. but what i can do, is feel each beat in my soul of souls and exhale memories that are associated with each song.

and what i did here, is recalled a very small percentage of songs that have significance in my life and used them to tell a story. i hope you enjoy. oh and the song lyrics or titles each lead to a youtube video of the song. have fun!

#music #different #world

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warning: some songs and videos contain explicit lyrics and/or images.

do you have a girlfriend? one that’s been through all of your life stages? even the really awkward ones? a friend that’s down for whatever. one that sticks by your side. helps you through your struggles, your triumphs and your pity parties. does your friend workout with you and labor through a treadmill session? does this awesome companion come help you clean your house just because that’s what you need her for? you’ve got to have that friend that will jump in the car with you and drive for hours. calm you down when you are gettin’ a liiiiitle crazy. lift your mood so high that you actually start dancing?

well i have a friend like this. music is my girlfriend.

you see, i like to hear some funky dixieland. i like that old time rock ‘n’ roll. that kind of music just soothes my soul. the kind of song that makes me wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away.

our friendship began in 1979. my mother had two boys already, 8 and 10 years old. baby, it’s cold outside in december, but she finally got to say ‘here comes my girl‘ when i was born. blessed (as an adult) but cursed (as a child) with bette davis eyes, i managed to keep from free fallin’ through life. i was only born to be a little wild. i had a bit of rebel rouser in me.

at 6months old we were going to california and after some bumps in the road we ended up in pretty great town. my parents still live in the house that built me. step by step, i felt like i had a friend through all my school days. when i was an around the way girl, a gypsy, a teenage dirtbag, everything to everyone, nuthin’ but a G thang, a sweet thing, a bullet with butterfly wings, a rock and roll girl, a redneck girl, or just a girl, i knew she understood me.

i knew i just needed somebody to love. i wanted stuff like that there. because i believe in a thing called love. when i met matt, it was just the two of us. i was footloose and fancy free. he’s the guy i’d been looking for all my life. but i was torn, it got redundant. it wasn’t thug love. i wasn’t used to it. he was a monkey wrench in what i thought i deserved. i figured i’d better get in my car with one headlight before the heartache rolls in. there was so much to say, i was desperately wanting. i’m going down.

but when i saw him standing there i thought, say it ain’t so. so much for hangin’ tough. and on monday morning, i made sure to ask him to wake me up before you go-go. as days go by, we would become islands in the stream. i dreamed we’d buy diamonds and pearls, and guitars and cadilacs. but we didn’t have times like these. there was no ocean front property. we were happy. but we lived in a hurricane for so long. and we became an extraordinary machine through it all. hallelujah. i became a better version of me. i knew that when we get by, we’ll make it by with love.

once the kids came, a became more than a woman. oh boy! everything else about the life i knew was washed away. but through all the long days and the barely breathing, i new that i could change the world with these little boys. and I knew that i had one friend that still knew where it’s at.

my friend who was there for me when i pretended to be elvira so the oak ridge boys would sing to me. i knew she’d be around for a while when i sang forever and ever, amen to my parents with aluminum foil microphones. and when i danced to have mercy with my sister in the garage.

she’d be there for me.

when we went jive talkin’ in boogie shoes.

yep. music is my girlfriend.

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oh, and if you’re on spotify, come check out my playlist with all the mentioned songs at:  music is my girlfriend

family room walls: rearranged {part 1}

i like pretty things. i like to look at pretty things. if things aren’t pretty, i feel like i need to make them so.

at first, i was pleased with how i decorated for spring/summer. mostly because i like my things and i needed some color. the randomness made me happy. but pinterest (darn you pinterest) can be one of those places where you realize your inadequacies. in a good way…of course. so look, we rent a crappy house and all i can really do is make the inside as appealing and happy as possible. so of course, pinterest inspires me but also makes me see what i can do differently.

our family room has a couple super large walls and all my things are small. so i felt like i needed to just FILL the walls with stuff. now you’re probably saying, ‘no, that looks fine.’ but really, i’ve never been the best at arranging accessories. i know what i think looks good but it doesn’t always work.

this is the couch wall before: the shelves are from IKEA and they are light and shallow. too small for this wall now that i look at it like this. i put everything up high to keep them away from little curious marshall hands, and that’s another problem with the placement.


this is the focal wall. aaaacccckkk…i just never liked this one. but the hoops i made are cute so i must have been blinded by the bright colors.


enter pinterest and the nester. i’ve seen nester’s family room before. i coveted the cool and neutral color scheme and white sofas but never could picture how i could use this in my house so i filed it in the back of my mind. i ran across this image the other day on pinterest and it hit me. i CAN do this transformation with what i already have.

and so i did.

honestly, it feels more mature and grown up. like i’ve actually put some thought into it.

a few things i did:
anchored everything over the couch
i moved these two red ikea tables from marshall’s room and switched them with the two birch ones we had in here before
hung just 1 shelf to hold a few little things
grouped square and round items together and threw symmetry out the window
hung a dollar store plate i’ve had forever with some hot glue and string

we take television pretty seriously in our house. whether you agree with it or not, it’s our entertainment. we don’t go out to movies, or to dinner, or to amusement parks so we pay for cable and netflix. our boys play video games and we play the wii together. marshall loves Team Oomi Zoomi and Curious George. he plays all the interactive games on his DVDs. matt and i anticipate our evening lineups after the kids are in bed.
the television is the center of our family room.
so when thinking of how to decorate above the tv…i figured that embracing it was the best idea.


it’s not perfect, but it’s kinda cool right?

vinyl you ask? nope. paper and a glue stick. i printed large letters in the colors i wanted. used a craft knife to cut them out and glued them to the wall. still wondering if i could mod-podge them. how do you get mod-modge off if we to ever move?

so there is part 1, two walls done.

what i’m working on now is the wall to the right of the tv and a possible picture collage like this on the lower wall by the recliner. once i finish those i will share the whole room!

Ideas To Steal

Linking up at the usual places!

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accessories get organized

another area in my home that doesn’t work: my dresser and the 3-drawer organizer i keep my jewelry and accessories in. now that i’m using more accessories in my daily wardrobe (and have more of them) this clutter caused nothing but a tangled mess.

enter the trusty peg board. not sure what room i had this one in originally but it was already painted the blue that matches my room and was pretty much the. perfect. size.

i also still has A TON of the hooks leftover from the 2 other pegboards I have hanging in my garage and gibson’s room.



so yeah, you see how crazy this is? how can anyone live like this? er….oh…wait…


i started by hanging the necklaces and basically just fit them all together like a puzzle.

i figured i didn’t need to show you step by step so this is how it turned out. now i’ll take you through the rest.

thought it would be a fun little treat to show you a little part of my crazy. i organize my clothes by color.




i’m totally excited about this little treasure i came up with. i’ve made a bunch of flower clips and didn’t know how to store them.

i simply screwed a long piece of ribbon vertically and clipped them on.


tossed my fabric button rings in a mason jar.

hung my headbands in a metal canister.

so there it is. i kinda smile big when i see it. =D

I’m all linked up:

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you’re the ice {free printable}

have i mentioned that i like coke? coca-cola that is. maybe once or twice? okay well just to reiterate that point, i whipped up a little printable that i was inspired by on the wonderful world of pinterest.

{oh hey, if you’re not on pinterest, request an invite from me by emailing me at retrohipmama AT sbcglobal DOT net and you can join. if you are already addicted, come follow me and i’ll follow you back!}

you see, i’m not a coffee drinker, but i love to post things like this on my hubby’s facebook wall.

dishtowel by house8810

and since i’m a graphic designer by nature…i thought to myself…hey self…you can make one and it can be coke related. i could profess my love for both my hubby and my favorite drink at the same time. right? i think so. and who drinks coke without ice? i mean seriously?

so go ahead, if you’re also a coke lover, tell the one you love how you really feel….about coke him! just right click on the image and save as.

I’m all linked up:

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embroidered coke bottle

i’m working a several embroidered projects of vintage items to make a collage in my kitchen.  i searched google images until i found the design that i wanted. then i stitched it out in traditional coca-cola red.

the logo was by far the hardest part. i used 3 strands of floss but i really should have used 2. i am totally okay with the imperfections and from a distance…it looks great!

I’m all linked up:

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