family room update // winter 2013 // part one

it was time to do away with the woodsy winter and bring some bright color back into the room. so of course it was red + turquoise. 

and of course it’s cuter with my little marshall in the shot.P1010889

oh hey…what’s that there? is that a new nail + string art project? why yes it is. i’ve got a new blog post about it tomorrow so come back and check it out.P1010893


my coke bottles are good for so much!P1010897

and since i was in the organizational mood all weekend, i tackled this little monster as well. something about this space just never works. it’s meant to be a space for me to corral all the papers the boys bring home, have some office-y type things handy and provide some inspiration for creativity. but it always becomes a catch-all for stuff that ends up on the family room floor and i just can’t keep it clean.

i’m hoping that what i’ve done will help me keep it clean and tidy (and keep to-do items in view so i don’t forget about school activities and deadlines.

here is the 3/4 of the closet that i utilize. the left 1/4 does hang jackets and houses a large bin of my bags and purses.

the curtain allows easy coverup and a clean and crisp addition when it’s closed.


i installed the ikea shelves last year when i really upgraded the space but i had them loaded with things that i couldn’t get to easily and i was afraid of the weight capacity since these are a floating shelf setup.

to help with stability, i added a thin piece of wood on the desk and placed my magazine file on it and it fit snug under the small shelf on the right, which has a small mason jar on top of it, helping to secure the larger shelf.

the cookie sheet turned magnet board got moved from near the front door (like 3 feet away from this closet) in here so i can keep important reminders at eye level. the file keeper was hung up on the wall, right under the shelf which left it hard to see when standing and kinda tough to get things in and out of. i thought it would be good on the wall to save desk space but if it’s not working, it needs to change. so it’s down on the desk.


some items that were on the shelf got moved up to the very top shelf. items that are pretty but that i don’t need to get to and can be out of the way to make room for the more pressing stuff.


i love inspiration boards and this is as close as i got with the space i have. there’s a women’s retreat from church that i put up, a couple of cool cards from a coca-cola deck that i found (while i cleaned and organized our game closet also this weekend), the current series we’re talking about at church, a favorite fabric swatch, a craft paper star and a little canvas that reminds me to remember the important things, and a heart that marshall made.




here are just a few more details…P1010912




i keep my embroidery box, kit and current projects in my monogram tote.P1010919

my next dream for the family room is to move the tall bookshelves we’ve used in the garage to store our dvds, books and some cds into this room. i would love to find an old short dresser, paint it turquoise, put in under the main shelf, put the tv and components on it and anchor it with the two bookshelves. but finding a piece will be the hard part. i think i’ll make my rounds to the thrift stores this weekend to have a look around.

my dream may be a long shot but can be doable with a little effort and some strong hubby persuasion. (he doesn’t always agree with my whimsical ideas at first.) 🙂 cross your fingers for me!


thrifted dresser gets a facelift

i found this beauty at a local thrift store last year when gibson began to grow out of his itty bitty kiddy dresser. of course, it does have all the drawers but I had already taken three outside before i realized i should have taken a pictures of the before.

i wanted the wood to remain on the outside so i didn’t even bother taking it out to be painted. i like the knicks and dings so i left it exactly as is was. only the drawers needed a facelift.

he really only used the top three sections so even though i bought handles for all the drawers, i got lazy and only attached them to the ones he used. he was 9, he didn’t care.

but now they’re out in the driveway, ready to be cleaned.

after i dusted them off, i just started in with the glossy white spray paint. it took 2 good coats to get an evenly covered look.

so in between coats, i opened the rest of the handles and spray painted them metallic silver.

between you and me, i actually patted myself on the back for this little brainiac moment: i needed to spray paint the screw heads also so i poked them each into the cardboard so they’d stand up straight. genius right?

after the paint dried, i attached all the handles this time and slid them back into their rightful homes.

 this is the gibber’s new dresser. it doesn’t match the rest of his furniture, but it goes with the overall theme we have in there.  next time i’ll show you what else we did in his room.

HAPPY:) tote upcycle

remember this? didn’t mean to tease you too much. well, maybe i did…a little. 😉

here’s what it resulted in.

you like?


here’s how i did it:

green tote: free from a work vendor (it had their logo on the one side)
flower print shirt: i bought it at Kohl’s last summer for $4. i wore it a few times but my hubby says i look like Naomi from Mama’s Family. maybe he’s right…but i figured i could still enjoy the print and not have the hubs crackin’ jokes.
 another piece of coordinating scrap fabric
matching thread
cricut or other laser cutting machine
use-able fuse-able: suggested but not used in this tutorial

here’s the original tote

measure how tall you want your letters

cut the letters out

you still with me? good!
these are your letter templates.

pin the letter templates to your fabric. i was working with knit…it’s tough so take it slow and easy when you cut the letters out.

ahhhh, finally done! here is where you’d use the use-able fuse-able but i didn’t have any so i used a glue stick to secure them down while i sewed them on.

i stitched right down the center of the letters and kinda enjoyed the messiness of it. it wasn’t intended to be perfect so i even went off the letters at some of the ends.

what a mess! then i trimmed all the random strings from the inside.

i cut the elastic collar and bottom from the shirt and sewed it to the top of the bag to cover the black edge.

then i broke my needle by going a little too fast over the thick seams.

but after a quick replacement, i finished up.

now time for the straps.
i used the coordinating fabric to cover the existing straps.
cut the strips 2 1/2 times the width of the strap to allow for enough coverage. i stitched a simple zig-zag to seal the raw edges.

sew the straps to the inside and here you have it. HAPPY 🙂 and between you and me, i actually clapped with myself after i took this picture!

i made a small pocket and a couple stars to cover the logo on the backside. i think i’ll be able to find my keys now!

so that’s it! i am one HAPPY 🙂 girl!

I’m all linked up:

     All Things Heart and Home       Today's Creative Blog  Thirty Hand Made Days  Tidy Mom  Photobucket Sumo Sweet StuffAnything Related  Weekend Bloggy Reading

cute little thrifty treasure

Remember that $4 shirt I found at Goodwill? It actually fits…perfectly…and the best part…

i can wear my red shoes with it!

Marshall likes to help.

I love the detailing on the front.

Anyhoo…just felt cute today!


And a super big thanks to Momma Go Round and the pleated poppy blog for inspiring me to document my style today so I can remember it tomorrow.

not your mother’s mason jar

Mason Jars aren’t just for canning. Well, they still can be but check out all the other things I use Mason Jars for around my house.



I keep craft supplies handy.


When the family is battling colds and viruses, we keep cough drops out on the counter…right by the cuties.


Crayons are a perfect fit in the wide mouth jars. Adds a cute and colorful punch to the table too.


I can’t be the only one who thinks cleaning those store bought toothbrush holders is impossible. So I use a mason jar to keep our stuff in. It’s easy to look at, get the toothpaste out of and super easy to clean.


I’m all linked up:

Tidy Mom

don’t bother me. i’m organizing.

You won’t see a seductive commercial of me organizing anything in this post but the Carl’s Jr. slogan makes sense right now. I’ve been absent lately. I’ve been on vacation for the past 9 days and have decided that even though I am at home I have been busy doing some major organizing. The garage. Photos and scrapbook stuff. Paper files and digital files. But I’ve not been blogging. I’ve been giving my wonderful hubby a break from his normal work-at-home-dad duties and we’re all happier for the change of pace.

I do have some cute stuff coming up in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for mason jars, thrifty treasures updates and recent project.fiftytwophotots posts.

So today I’m spending my last vacation day at my mom and dad’s house. To give hubby a quiet day to edit Bulldogs: the series and because my mom and I are going to go crazy with organizing photos and figuring out what pages need to be done to finish 2009 and 2010 books. We need the time together and my kiddos need to get outta this house!

See you soon peeps.

Oh my stars I almost forgot to mention that I will be guest blogging at A Bowl Full of Lemons in the very near future! I am so excited to show you my craziness of preparing for scrapbooking!


typography rules my world

Here’s just a few ways I use typography in my house. it’s super inexpensive decor and adds the modern graphic touch I crave.


dining room


in the kitchen


over the front door (we rent so this is little reminder to me that i am making this a home even if it isn’t our home.)

I’m linked up at:

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


thrifty treasures before & after // yellow purse

Cute little yellow purse, huh? I thought so when I spotted it at Goodwill yesterday. $4 was reasonable so I grabbed it, knowing I could add a little flair to it.

I dug through my stash of fabric flowers and found these cute black and white polka dotted ones. I used a little silver button from a shirt that has a hole in it (which will get repurposed soon).

I hot glued the two flowers together. I threaded the button separately, then hot glued it to the middle of the flowers.

I stitched a pop-dot to the outside of the purse and hot glued the whole flower combo to it.

Not bad for a 15 minute fixup. Except that while stitching it to the purse, I stabbed my thumb with the back of the needle. Yeah, it went in pretty far but honestly, it’s worth it!

I’m all linked up at:

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Sumo Sweet Stuff


thrifty treasures // jan.28

Today there was a wealth of treasure at my local Goodwill. I have to admit, this is my first real shopping trip at a thrift store. I have purchased random things, like a dresser or an item for a halloween costume but this…this was intentional. My mission: finds things to fix up and repurpose, but not junk. It had to be useful. So here’s what I found:

A woman’s knitted shirt. I plan to make a little wallet, maybe a headband and a ring or something fashionable.

This old train picture. It has a very deep frame and i am going to paint the wood white and hang it in Marshall’s room. He loves it as it is but is excited to help me paint.

Tiered wooden / wicker basket. Gonna paint it of course. I think it would be cute painted red with the wicker painted white. It’s very up in the air. Purpose: to corral all the stuff that gathers by the telephone.

Seriously, kids books are $1.50 and these were dang near brand new. Purpose: to make Marshall smile.

Marshall is lacking a reading light and these are even the colors of his room. How could I pass it up for $3. Now to the dollar store for a lamp shade.

Gathered yellow purse. Oh yeah! I have been eyes a yellow purse at Target for EVER but didn’t really want to spend the money. $4 for this beauty and I think I will make some sort of lace and felt flower for the front.

Retro art. Yeah, i have no idea what that says but I’m gonna look it up tonight. I am not altering this at all. I’ve got two possible landing places for it and will be interviewing tomorrow.

Water bottle for Gibson. The only thing that wasn’t “used” and I splurged. $6. But it is worth it to get my pink argyle one back that he keeps using.

Yellow/pink/blue camp shirt. This little number has cute buttons and pleating so I’m not sure if I will use the fabric and details or if I’ll actually wear it with a pair of jeans and flats.

Wooden crate box. OMG, this is my favorite find of the day. The little metal label on the handle actually says JUNK! Yeah!! One of the slats needs repair but the color matches my bedroom and it might look cute just hung up on the wall. I dunno yet.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (hardcover). A new book for Gibson is always a treat. He reads everynight before bed, even if he;s tired. Love this kid.

So here’s the whole shabang! All my loot. I was smiling from ear to ear as I walked out. Before and afters will be posted as I get to them. SO COME BACK SOON!