So, I’ve got some brick in my house. A big block of it, surrounding the fireplace. And, I love it. I do, but… with Christmas around the corner, it’s a bit of a downer that we don’t have a mantel (yet).
But there is a bright side to all this brick. Ready to see my little trick? It’s perfect for the holidays…
Bam! Free card holder. And, this time of year — we gets a lots of cards! It’s perfect, the cards stay put, not like in the old days when I’ve tried to assemble them on a table and have them collapse like dominos when you walk past. Cute right? (PSST!… It’s great for photos too!) However, I love THIS idea, Maybe next year after we get that mantel up?
Ok. Let’s try brick, two ways. Insert this little number. I was excited when I found these “brick clips” at the hardware store. Yeah, they are meant for lights, but, remember my mantel-less fireplace? I thought they could help with the Christmas Stocking situation.
And, you can see below, I gave them a shot, and yes, the stockings are holding. However, these were finicky little guys. I’m sure I scraped my fingers on the brick attaching them at least 3 times. I honestly can’t imagine I would attempt a cold winter day on a ladder attaching lights to the exterior brick of the fireplace with them, unfortunately.
It’s hard to see in a picture, so here is my handy-dandy diagram. The clips sit in the mortar of your bricks, and you can tighten and loosen the connection my sliding these two triangular pieces that clip together. Seems like a great idea, but it wasn’t quite working for me.
But, in all fairness, I’m sure brick can vary. So, maybe these clips would work great for some. And, hey, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care… or, at least until St. Nick fills ‘em up and moves them down to the hearth for us to find on Christmas morning. No need to drill holes in the brick this year so… meh, win-win.
Have you got any clever Christmas tricks you can share? Please do! Ho! Ho! Ho!
Love Christmas? Love DIY? Are you ready to start flinging around some holiday spirit? It’s getting pretty close, so it’s a great time to flex your DIY muscle, Christmas-style.
Here is a great start. Super easy. Super fast. Completed and hung in 2 hours. And, that is for the over-sized version. Keep this small, simple, and door sized, and you’ll burn through this project in 45 min.
What do we need for this little gem? Willow branch wreath, 2 packages of burlap strip, pipe cleaners, (I got mine from Michaels), & flowers or Christmas accents of your choice.
I began by cutting all my pipe cleaners in half. Then, all there is to this is feeding a pipe cleaner into the structure of the willow wreath, create a loop in your burlap and attach the loop to the willow wreath by twisting the two together. Add a pipe cleaner, another burlap loop, twist, twist.. and keep going…
Around and around you go. Warning: If you are doing the large version… this WILL get a little tedious… so pop in some Christmas tunes to keep your Christmas mojo flowing, and have fun!
I wanted to finish the bottom of my wreath off with a bow. So I took two layers of burlap and tied them into double layer bow, nice and full and strong.
All done your wreath loops? No need to be perfect! Don’t panic if some loops are a touch bigger or smaller, or spacing is a little wider or narrower, the burlap is actually very forgiving.
Leave a little room for your Christmas accents. In my case I found some faux magnolia blooms, along with gold and glittery branches, and of course, my burlap bow. So I left about a 12 or 15″ gap in my loops.
I positioned the stems along the wreath, and wrapped them around slightly (they were pretty flexible), then took more burlap and wrapped all the way around the stems and wreath, (just like you would with a bandage around your arm) and tied it off.
I tucked one last pipe cleaner into the wrap, to hold the burlap bow in place. Once you’ve got everything in place, give everything a little fluff, and go choose the place of honour for your newest holiday creation!
In my case it was the staircase railing you see head on, as you walk through the front door. And, its not too heavy, so a large 3M hook did the trick! (Love those things).
See? Well on your way to some Christmas Cheer & Holiday Fun! Happy Holidays everybody! May all things be Merry & Bright with you, and your loved ones!
So, we’ve all seen the copper shoe rack, but there have been a few new updates in that same little corner of the house. See? (And, yep, still no baseboards).
But for now, lets start with #1. I found 2 great old farmhouse windows from a local bargain searcher. I totally fell in love with the shape, so I couldn’t leave them behind, but I had no idea at the time what I was going to do with them. (PS – I totally had to photoshop my reflection out of this image… wearin’ my jammies).
Then, I started working on my front foyer, an epic saga… and remembered, hey, I hate my garage man-door! It’s beat up, has an ugly chain on it, zero architectural detail, very standard ugly door, I could dress it up a little.
The plan started with paint. I have some fabric picked out for a bench on the other side of the foyer, and so I had paint matched to one of the colours within it. Cohesion. Always a good idea right?
So, I taped it up, and painted it down. (This was my first time using Frog Tape, btw, and it worked great)!
All was going so well, until I hung it… and I hated it. “Thumbs down! Booooo! What were you thinking?” … All appropriate responses to this little number.
I was bummed out about how the paint (especially in such a modern colour), erased the history of the window. It wasn’t fitting in to my modern farmhouse vibe. However, there is a little something about lemons and lemonade, and instead of ending up with a destroyed window, I took a stab at it from another angle…
(Ignore my still unfinished wall painting). I flipped it over to the unpainted side. Still in its original state, and suddenly… I looooved it! Now, I had all the history I was hoping for, a fantastic addition of character to my old ugly door, and STILL incorporated the colour from my bench fabric. YES!
And, because, my wall paint is still obviously in progress… lets turn to the magic of photoshop to finish the painting to get a better idea of where this is all heading. Yes, little window, you will fit in just fine. Love it when a problem turns into a happy mistake!
If you’ve been following along this week on Facebook, you know I’ve been up to something with some copper pipe. If you missed it, make sure you head on over, and like our little page. It’s pretty fun over there!
Alrighty… I know you can barely stand it (right?), so… here goes… it’s a shoe rack! Was that your guess?
Please excuse my lack of baseboards for the time being… it’s still a work in progress in the saga that is our front foyer.
This was actually pretty easy. The most important part of the design, to me, was that it remain a “floating” rack. It makes life so much easier when you can sweep and clean without having to move anything out of the way first. The “organizational/cleaner/nerd” part of me really likes that part.
I built 2 shelves. The supplies for each shelf include:
• 2 floor flanges (used as my wall mounts)
• 2 copper fittings (not pictured)
• 1 – 90 degree angle adaptor
• 1 “T” adaptor
• 2 – 3′ lengths of copper pipe + 2 copper pcs. sized to the depth of the shelf
I was working in a corner, but this could easily be adjusted to fit between to walls (like inside a closet–just skip the 90 degree part?). Working on a single wall? The addition of a bottom floor support built in with a T adaptor might work just fine (no more floating).
I started with the shoes. How much room did I really need? I took a pair of everyone’s shoes to get the distance from the wall and the distance between the 2 lengths of copper.
Once I was comfortable where this was heading, I moved on to a dry fit. Nothing is nailed down yet, just laid out on the floor, before making any cuts. There is something about measure twice, cut once, that applies here…
Next, my friend, the Brass Craft pipe cutter. Get one! It’s so awesome and makes life easy-peasy. Loved it. Accurate, and no nasty surprises.
I actually purchased 3′ lengths of copper, which ended up being the perfect length for my shoe rack, so the only pipe I needed to trim down, was for the depth.
You can see here on the left, the 2nd piece of pipe is loaded and ready for cutting, the first cut piece is resting in the “T” adaptor, which is attached to a 3′ length. And, the 2nd 3′ length has the 90 degree adaptor on the end, waiting for the last cut to complete the puzzle.
Next up, the wall mount, aka the floor flange. I measured the distance up the wall needed, and then marked out all the drill holes with a pencil. Pre-drill your holes and add anchors as needed. My wall studs were playing hard to get, so I needed anchors at each wall mount.
Once the first wall mount is in place, everything can go together like a puzzle from left to right. Floor flange, copper fitting (holds the pipe to the flange), short pipe, “T” adaptor, short pipe on the depth, and 3′ length on the width, angle adaptor, 3′ length, two more copper fittings, and two more wall mounts (floor flanges).
Here’s a tip. Don’t hang all of the wall mounts first. Move left to right. Have your anchors measured, levelled and in place. But have the rack fully assembled, slide the wall mounts into place over your anchors and THEN drill into place. No glue, tape or extra fastening.
Repeat with rack #2. And there you have it. Room for 8-10 pairs of shoes. Up high, tidy, easy to clean underneath. What’s not to love. It’s really fitting in with our modern farmhouse industrial thing we’ve got going on in the foyer.
Best of all. It’s not your neighbours shoe rack. It’s fun to have something a little different, ya? I don’t think this will be the last time I troll the plumbing aisles for inspiration!
Thank you to all of our Veterans. Lest we forget…
Was that movie reference obvious enough? Maybe I should of asked if you’ve seen my stapler? … Onward!
I’ve finally found my little dedicated “office space” in the house. In the family room downstairs, right by the window (that may prove distracting in the Summer). It started out like this, well, almost… I’ve got all the switch plates off and the old light taken apart. Walls are patched and ready for paint.
Paint was a simple choice. A warm white. It’s nice and bright, and best of all it helps blend in the ducting cube in the top right corner.
The light was a great find. Don’t forget to check the exterior lighting aisle in your hardware store! That’s where I found this little guy, and only 20 beans.
Next up, storage. I had this little gem already on the go, that covers the files, but I need a little desktop storage and display to keep things fun. That’s where the crate comes in. Bought at Michaels with a coupon, a good score for around $12, and about to live a new life as shelving.
The crate got a quick paint job, and I moved on to paint some spare remnant shelving we had kicking around. The handy new brackets were a steal from a garage sale this Summer at $2 for 8.
Switch a light, mount the crate, hang a shelf, shake and stir with my old desk and what do I have?
My pretty new office space… (on the cheap).
I had my “Girl with Ball” print in my mind from the beginning. It inspired the blue for the crate, and shelving, and my little vinyl experiment on the filing cabinet. I’ve always loved it (it has good memories too, from my trip to NYC in ’08). I’ll be spending a lot of time looking up at her. I’m glad she’s found her new home.
I’ve been making some progress this week. Remember this plan for the foyer? Well, the next step before anything else could happen, was the floor (we wanted it to extend into the closet, as it would stay visible).
This is what we had…
Lino. It was easy to clean, but didn’t have much else going for it. At least not in the foyer. Funny enough, it doesn’t bother me so much in the kitchen (yep, it’s up there too).
There is something about the foyer. It should be a little extra welcoming don’t you think? Ours was pretty cold, and it’s unusually large… about 100 sq. feet, it made all the bad parts that much worse. But we’re working on it. And, here goes the floors…
I chose Traffic Master Allure floors in Hickory. At 24 sq. ft. per box, I purchased 5 boxes, and have over a half of a box left over. Total cost = $210 (including tax). Tools needed: Cutting surface, lino knife or box cutter for scoring, tape measure, and straight edge. Pretty easy.
The tricky part is the first few planks. And it’s really just a matter of getting in your groove and feeling comfortable with the product. But, the easiest way to think about it is, cut edges can go on the first and last plank in a row, and the exposed adhesive should always run along the bottom and along the right of each plank. Start in the corner and work left to right.
By this point, I had found my groove. There is actually an error in this shot, but you would never know. The problem? I ended up with a cut right edge on a plank, in the middle of the floor, meaning no adhesive, meaning there was no edge to butt my next piece against. But it was only about a 2″ piece, and not worth tossing all the work I had done to get to this point, so it stayed right where it was.
This flooring will allow some re-positioning. However, you need to do it quick, any more than a few moments in place, and it’s staying there unless you’re willing to risk ruining at least that plank, if not a entire row or more. So… take your time… be careful.
See? Motoring right along… but what’s with the lamp on the floor. Well… we might also be changing a couple light fixtures during this little foyer makeover… and we may of just run into an electrical problem. So… out come the lamps to light my way to the finish line.
Plus, I was trying to surprise my wonderful husband while he was away on a business trip with this new floor. And, I desperately didn’t want him coming home to something half finished… so after the kiddo was asleep… down to the foyer I went. So after it was all said and done, 100 sq. feet was done in about 10 hours, over two days. That includes prep like pulling baseboards and cleaning the old floor — plus that awkward first hour that you’re moving about half speed as you get used to it all.
Mmmm. oh ya, it’s worth mentioning, I did not prepare for working on the floor like that for two days. I was basically in a squat or lunge position the entire time. And, I found stairs difficult on day 3. Next time, I will stretch and limber up a little before-hand. My bad.
This was my last row. And I essentially needed to only use the adhesive strip off a new board, cut down to fit the one on the floor.
Made for some interesting cuts working around the moulding from the light box side windows at the front door. I took a pic of the most complicated cut I made all weekend…
I scored the plank and used pliers to control exactly where I needed the board to split, getting the exact shape I needed to finish the job.
So, here’s the reminder of what we started with…
And, here is how it turned out. (Notice I cut out the bottom of the stairs in the after shot… we might just have a few “changes-in-progress” happening over there that I’m not ready to share just yet).
It’s warm and inviting, it has a water-proof seal which is great for winter, and easy to clean. Steam-cleaner approved, which makes me happy. And, this stuff is pretty impressive. It’s not the Lino of years past. This has texture, the wide planks give it a realistic look, and the colouring and wood “knots” are convincing. Best of all — it was super affordable, and quick to install.
Up next? Painting and replacing baseboards… we’re getting there…
I love the Edmonton River Valley. Especially this time of year, Autumn leaves, blue skies. It is the best. But, it’s even better when an already beautiful drive nets you 2 gorgeous chairs?
I skipped a step. It’s even better when your latest Kijiji hunt found you a couple of gorgeous chairs to help you enjoy your Fall-time journey through the city.
Look at my new little pretties (there is two of them, I promise)…
Ok, the fabric isn’t great. But it IS in great shape and will do just fine while I start my next hunt. The hunt for new fabric!!! Remember, there are two of this beauties, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. But other than the usual and expected wear-and-tear, these are in excellent condition.
The rounded base and legs are so pretty. And the high-back adds a little drama, but I love how the caning keeps it casual. The cats love them too, they’ve each claimed one as their thrones (for now).
The lady I bought them from, only had them a short while. I don’t think she had the room for them, sadly. She bought them off a senior having an estate sale earlier this year. The incredible part of the story? I snagged them for $100 for the pair! Ya, both.
You don’t even think about haggling at that price. It was a steal. She was happy to see them go, and I was happy to take them.
I did a little searching around and have found the identical pair of chairs (with velvet fabric), selling for $550 for the pair, or $300 each. So — I’ve got a little wiggle room with the new fabric.
The caning along the sides has zero damage. No holes or tears. The wood will just get a clean up, natural stain, something like that. The fabric, I’m thinking something bold, ya?
So, I found the cutest little filing cabinet at Home Sense the other day. Price tag: 100 smackers. A bit steep, but one of those rare occasions when I found EXACTLY what I needed and was looking for. It had a pretty big ding in the back so I asked for a discount, got 10%. Not earth-shattering, but better than nothing right? So, 90 bucks. Not so bad.
But, being me, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to personalize it a little bit. I’ve got a specific inspiration for my new little office area, and this will fit right in. (You’ll see that soon, I promise).
I did however, not want to permanently change it. I thought vinyl would be an easy solution. So — here’s the “fun surprise” part. I stopped in at my local sign shop, told him what I was looking for, and he says I can HAVE a remnant piece in the EXACT colour I wanted… for FREE. Yeah, FREE. I love that word.
So — back to the plan! Let’s add a pop of colour to the center drawer. An easy little change, and suddenly I have something that no one else is going to have. Unique and a perfect match to the office plan.
I easily measured what I needed to the backside of the vinyl. (Did I mention I have like 3 feet of this stuff? I love good people, the sign shop totally made my day).
I just needed to do a quick dry fit. Make sure I didn’t mess any of my measurements up.
Then, pop it on there, just like a sticker, smoothing out the air bubbles as I went along…
Voilá. Cute right?
There might be a chevron stripe in this little guys future along the side. However, I’m leaving it alone for now. Simple and sweet.
So we moved in February, and for the last 8 months, my basement and I have not been getting along. I struggled to know exactly what to do with it.
I have moved the couch, desk, and tv into about 5 different floor-plans. Kinda like, this…
(I was right smack in the middle of this one, and knew it wouldn’t last)
Thankfully, while I was working on this one, I was feeling ok. So, I committed. I didn’t finish finessing anything into place, I just started making plans. I liked where the desk was especially, so, a little more moving was in my future.
As in, moving everything out of my way so I can start to tackle those walls!
Painting has begun! Who knew the new place would inspire me to be such a white-paint person. Huh.
Any guesses for what else is changing? One hint… I’m using that crate I facebooked about last week! Fun!
I found this little gem for $9 at the last yard sale I attended. Probably the last one of the year (sad face, single tear). Solid wood and sturdy. Really, I couldn’t leave it behind.
But, it’s definitely “of an era”. Rocking a seventies vibe. And, as I planned immediately to use it as the Kiddo’s night stand, it needs a little freshening up.
I love natural wood. And, mixing natural wood and solid paint in a two-tone palette just makes me so darn happy. So, it’s off to the sander for me (aka “my happy place”).
No big surprises, except I had to sand a little deeper than planned as some little rascal from its past appeared to of attacked it with a blue ball point pen, once upon a time.
Next a nice sealing protective coat of Varathane on the exposed wood. It’s like giving the old night stand a nice warm hug.
Next up, the paint. I LOVED this stage. It just all comes together. It was so nice and crisp and just made me appreciate the natural wood that much more.
Here is a little tip: The shelf was not removable, so to paint around it with a standard brush was a little challenging. The end of the brush handle kept knocking into the sides and shelf. So, I cut the handle down to size to allow me to have a smooth side-to-side brushstroke. So. Much. Better. See? Hacksaw to the rescue.
I was impatient waiting for this guy to dry. But the its best to give the Varathane a couple days before light use. So, I waited. And, then the fun part! Lugging it up to Olivia’s room. Oh, it just looks so dang cute!
Isn’t the white and wood mix so fresh!? No more 70s.
And, fits right into Olivia’s toddler chic eclectic room, ya? But most important, she likes it. And loves having her little owl nightlight a little closer for when shes snuggling down at night. Cuuuute.
Ok. So here’s a fun little one. As a busy Mom of this ridiculously cute kid (that’s us at the corn maze this year), I noticed something…
I wear a lot of ponytails. Like, A LOT. Probably too many.
See me camping?
See me at the museum?
See me in PARIS?!
Yeah, maybe it’s time to put down the paintbrush, or the sander, or my kid for that matter, and have a little me time. A little “pick-me-up”… so here it goes, or there it goes, I guess is more fitting…
Wait for it…
Hi new hair-do. I hope we have fun together.
Take this post as a reminder to pay a little attention to yourself today. Have a hot tea in sweet silence. Watch your favourite tv show. Go for a walk… or slice your hair off. Whatever floats your boat.