Friday, October 21, 2011

Merging Blog - Follow Me At Rustic Crafts And Chic Decor

Since the majority of my home decor projects are now fitting into the category of shabby chic, I have decided to only maintain my site at Rustic Crafts & Chic Decor (  If you don't already, I would love for you to follow me there!  I will miss you if you don't.  I think you will enjoy all of the craft tutorials and shabby chic decor ideas

  I am keeping this blog's arhives open, rather than moving them over, since there are a lot of my "chirpings" know the extra fluffy personal stuff...that I didn't need to move over.

To make it easier for you to navigate through to my most popular posts, I am making a nice little list of links right here:

Bedroom Decorating Ideas Using Vintage Accessories
A Cheap Window Treatment For The Laundry Room
My Wonderful Funky Junk Finds
My New Shabby Chic Trunk Table
My $15 Chair Made Over
Wine Glass Holder From A Rake
Vintage Hunting This Weekend At Garage And Yard Sales
Shabby Chic Bookcase Design
Choosing A Fabric To Recover A Sofa
A Salvaged Craft Project Fail
Dumpster Diving To A New Table Treasure
Words Of Encouragement

For more topics check the labels down below.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Salvaged Craft Project Fail

A couple of week's ago, I had an idea for a Christmas ornament craft.  I was going to decoupage a vintage song sheet to a Styrofoam ball.  What some of you may have already seen at my website, Rustic Crafts, is the second attempt at the project:

The second attempt had worked perfectly because I had learned a few things from the first go around.  When you decoupage to a circle, it is best to use small pieces! 

With my first attempt, I had started out trying to cut perfect pieces to fit together on the ball.  First I cut two circles for the top and bottom and then some narrow rectangular strips for the sides.  My plan was to have the strips going all the way around with the tops and bottoms meeting at the two circles.

The only picture that I had taken of the ornament most finished was this one where it was drying.  You can't really see how the seams match up.  For trying to make a pattern, it definitely wasn't uniform and I wasn't happy with the wrinkles.  At this point, I was ready to throw it away but I hate to do that so I just tossed it aside until I could figure something out.

A fix did eventually come to me.  It would be a great camouflage!  I am a big fan of burlap and I just happened to have some burlap garland staring me in the face.  It was very loosely woven so I figured I could decoupage that over the song sheet and still get some of the sheet music to show through.

Well, I went a little crazy with the burlap and applied it quite heavy.  However, I do think that I can now use it on our rustic Christmas tree this year.  We decorate two trees every year.  Our main floor tree is a bit more elegant and our downstairs family room holds a very rustic tree.

This is what I ended up with:

I think it will probably blend nicely with the rest of my rustic ornaments.  If not, it will become a cat toy for my little buddy, Kirby!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Recipe Ideas For A Fall Meal

When the weather gets cooler, especially when I can here the wind blowing through the trees outside, I get the yearning to start cooking some of those warm comfort foods again. I don't spend a lot of time in the kitchen in the summer since we do a lot of grilling. So, when Fall hits I need to get a little inspired again. The first thing that always comes to my mind is my favorite white chili. It is so easy to make and I love having the leftovers the next day. But, I was interested in finding a few new things so I did a little searching and came up with a few that I am definitely going to try.

I make regular lasagna all of the time, so this recipe for seafood lasagna would be a nice change of pace.  Plus, I LOVE seafood!

My mom used to always make a great enchilada casserole but neither of us have that recipe anymore.  I went on a search for a good looking enchilada casserole recipe and am anxious to give this one a try.  That cheesy topping looks delightful!

Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

And I like this idea for chicken pot pie in a 9x13 pan.  It definitely looks like it could feed more or provide some leftovers, which I like!

Chicken Pot Pie

In case you are interested in my white chili recipe, I'll end with that.  It is super easy it's almost embarrassing. 

White Chili:

1 pound cooked and cut up chicken breasts
1 16 oz. bottle salsa, I use mild but make it as hot as you want
1 8 oz. bag shredded pepper jack cheese - it comes in a bag now so you don't even have to shred it yourself!
1 48 oz. jar Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
**you can add 2 T cumin but I don't bother.....too much effort

Mix everything together, throw in a crock pot, and simmer all day...Wa La!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Expanding My Etsy Store

I started an Etsy store several months ago called The Rustic Attic.  It was a little half hearted I will admit.  After all, I wasn't banging out truck loads of merchandise to sell.  A lot of the crafts that I make I end up keeping for myself.  However, then I began to make a few duplicates and decided to put them up for sale. 

I was so excited when I made my first sale that it spurred me on to make a couple of more things and then... Summer happened.  Everything came to a screeching halt.  But now I am getting the bug again and have been slowly expanding my inventory.

My plan is to get real busy with some Christmas decor and gift items.  So... I will be locked in my craft room whenever I can.

If you would like to check out my store, it won't take long to get through the inventory :).  You can also find my inventory listings on my sidebar at Rustic Crafts.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Time To Organize And Start A Dresser Makeover Project

"If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
William Morris

We have a couple of places in our house where we go with everything that we currently do not have a use for.  Those are in our bonus room above our garage and in a spare walk in closet upstairs.   Both of these areas have gotten extremely out of control.

I really shouldn't show you pictures but as punishment to myself I am going to.  Are your ready for it?  Ladies and gentlemen welcome to our bonus room:

I quickly slammed the door again after taking that picture!  I WILL get to organizing that again one of these days.  Salvation Army here I come!

The closet outside the bonus room is almost as bad:

The top shelf still looks pretty darn good though!  This area is supposed to be for things I want to keep for future grandchildren but I'm seeing a few extras.  And what is this on the other side?

This poor dresser has been through more makeovers than Joan Rivers.  It started out in my nursery when I was a baby.  I'm not even going to tell you how many years ago that was!  At one time it was painted dark brown and in my brother's room.  I did the last makeover for my daughter.  At that time it had one broken drawer which I just removed and covered up with cork board.  I'm wondering if it can handle one more makeover?  I'm thinking of using it in the hallway just outside my craft room.  It will have to have a much more sophisticated look which could be challenging.  However, I am up for it and even have a couple of ideas.

I will be starting the sanding today and the project I have in mind for the knobs.  You may get a few sneak peeks as I move along with the project.

Watch for the completed project tutorial over at Rustic Crafts once the makeover is complete.  This is where I post all of my diy projects and craft tutorials.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Link Parties And Updating Directory

I am currently going through the process of updating my link party directory.  If you host a party or know of a party that is not included in my directory, you can send me an email to and I will gladly add it in.

You can click the link party directory tab at the top of the page for the current listing.  There are some great parties listed that you will want to check out!  It is always inspiring just to see what other people are creating or cooking up.

This week is also the third week of the new Saturday Shabby Shares link party that I am hosting over at Rustic Crafts.  The party will now be running every week from Friday noon until the following Tuesday.  So, start linking up your crafts, home decor and recipes now!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Wonderful Funky Junk Finds

The last couple of weekends have been great for finding mostly junk and some nicer vintage items.  All of it I hope to turn in to wonderful treasures of some sort.  I don't really think of any of the pieces as junk since I can see so much potential in all...well most of them.

I'll start with my most favorite.  I didn't even have to buy it.  Some of you may look at it and say "good thing!"  My husband found this while walking in the woods up north and brought it back for me:

I absolutely squealed!  And then he said "and look honey, it has metal corners and everything".  He knows exactly what I like!  I just love him.  Who needs flowers or candy?  Just give me the junk.  I have a few ideas formulating for a project for this one so it won't be long before you see a project over at Rustic Crafts.

Then there is this little guy:

It's a vintage net float.  I bought just one because I need to fiddle with it a little bit until I come up with a good idea.  The manager of the antique store said she would sell me several for a good deal if I wanted more, so we will see.
Another favorite purchase of mine is this great cafe sign:
It was located out in back of one of my favorite antique stores in Newaygo, MI.  There wasn't a price on it but that was typical of a lot of the items there and I was prepared to negotiate.  However, I was surprised when the owner started to laugh and said that it wasn't for sale because it still got used for a charity event.  She was kind of enough to sell it to us though for making a donation to the church.
We bought quite a few things from her that day so she through in these letters for free:
We had found these in the back yard of the store as well and I think she was a little surprised that we had wanted these too, based on her chuckle.  However, I love numbers in wall art.  Plus, both my husband and I were born in 64 so how cool is that?

I planning on using this old door or shutter probably just for the wood slats:

I have already decorated my office with the other items that I purchased at her store:
I think these were old jail keys.  I don't feel like I am in jail when I'm in my office but thought they looked cool hanging in there.

And, the red picket fence was a great find especially since I didn't have to do anything with it.  The color already coordinated with my office colors and it was naturally distressed.

My last purchase was this vintage sheet music:

There is so much that I will be able to do with this in various crafts!

All of this should be able to keep me busy and thinking for a while. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday Link Party

Link party start today!  Enter your links for crafts, diy decor projects, or recipes here.  This party will remain open through Wednesday.  Don't forget to vote for your favorite entrees.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Link Party Hosted By Rustic Crafts Starting This Saturday

Starting this week saturday there will be yet another link party for you to enjoy and share your great creative projects.  I figured that saturdays would be a good day to share what you have been working so hard on all week! 

The party will take place at Rustic Crafts and will remain open for your links from saturday through wednesday.  You will have a chance to vote all week long, up until friday night, on your favorite projects.  Then, on the following saturday's party, I will feature the readers favorite along with an editor's pick.

All of the links shared should be crafts, diy projects, home decor or recipes.  The theme does not have to be rustic or shabby chic unless you want to be considered for the editor's pick.

Please help me spread the word along so that this link party can be a success and we can get lots of ideas shared. 

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Inspiration From New York City Trip

I love to travel and to get inspired by the new things that I see.  When I was just in New York for a girls weekend, I particularly enjoyed seeing the architecture and design of Chelsea Market.  This is an indoor market that included a winery, bakery, basket store, etc..
I love all of the brick walls, rustic signs, and open duct work and pipes.
This just inspires me to find some kind of pipe and wrap some grapevine around it!  I love the rustic look.

These crates are fun!  I would love to find something like this to use as storage in my craft room.

The rough arches of the brick walls are so cool.  And, isn't the clock great?

I'm not quite sure what this light fixture is made from but it is quite an interesting look.

If I posted every picture, even just the ones of cool architecture, I would fill up pages and pages.  Everything I saw just kept filling my mind with inspiration for new ideas for crafts or decorating.  It really was fun to get a change of scenery, especially in such an artsy place as New York. 

We spent most of our time in either Manhattan or Brooklyn.  I really liked walking the streets of Brooklyn near Williamsburg.  Even the graffiti was fun to see (as long as it wasn't obscene).

This wall made a fun backdrop for a picture of me with my two daughters.  My daughter to the right side is the one who lives in Brooklyn. My other daughter, with the camera, has much better pictures I am sure.  So, I will probably be posting a few more when I get her pictures. 

I love the chalkboard table in my daughter's apartment.  It's an inexpensive way to put together a coffee table but the look is so fun and hip.
I may put together a table of my own in this style if I can find the right size crate!  I'm looking forward to getting back into the craft room.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Did Anyone Make It To A Good Arts And Crafts Fair Yet This Year?

I am very disappointed to say that I did not get a chance to go to this year's art fair in Ann Arbor, MI.  I was totally planning on it but that week the average temperature was in the high nineties and I couldn't bring myself to walk around in that heat.

There are still a couple of smaller fairs that I hope to hit this Summer so all is not lost...hopefully.  Even if I don't  get out to a fair though, I absolutely love seeing all of the great arts and crafts for sale on Etsy.  It's good to know that I can do some on-line shopping whenever I want, even if I can't get that instant gratitude of walking away with my new treasure!

Oh..and yes I do sell some of my crafts on Etsy.  But, no that wasn't really a shameless plug.  I only have about a dozen items currently.  My main objective is to provide tutorials.  However, someday I may get serious about selling.  When there are about twenty days in a week!!

If you did get to a fair, where did you go and what did you buy?  I would love to hear about your experience!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This Week's Vintage Find...Antique Cowbells!

I was so excited to find these antique cowbells, for just pennies, at a shop in Pentwater, MI this past weekend:
This was not something I was actively going out to search for.  In fact, I didn't even know what kind of bells these were until I got home and researched them on the Internet.  I just knew when I saw them that they would be a great accessory in a future project.

Now, I am putting my thinking cap on.  A Christmas project comes to mind but I would love to be able to use them all year round so I'm going to think on that a little while longer.  What do you think?  Does a vision come to your mind?

I could always make collars for my son and my cat so that can't sneak up on me..haha!  As soon as I come up with something I will be posting it on my website, so stay tuned for that....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Before And After Pictures Of Home Office Makeover

I am happy to say that I am finally done with my office makeover.  Or at least as done as I am going to be for now.  I'm sure I will be adding more, especially when I am ready to pound nails into the walls once again!

Once you go through the agony of filling in nail holes and large screw holes and holes that came from who knows what, you definitely feel a little leery of once again pounding anything metal into drywall.

The room I made over used to be a playroom/game room and then mom and kid office.  It was a brilliant color of lime green that only teens could really appreciate!

Here are some before pictures:
I guess you could say it was energetic but I wanted something a tad bit more relaxing.  So once two thirds of my kids moved out and I remodeled one of the bedrooms into a new gaming room for my son, I tore the room apart and started over.

Here are the picture of the newly remodeled office:

I changed the look of the couch by covering it with an old quilt and holding it in place with upholstery tacks.  I used the throw pillows that I had from the old bed and added a new burlap throw pillow to the mix.  My end table was a thrift store rescue that I refinished in a soft mochachino color.  You can see that project at my Rustic Crafts website.  I switched out the curtains for some simple soft white cotton panels with some detailed stitching at the bottom.  Originally, I was thinking about painting the wood on the sofa, but in the end decided not to.

I used the same desk but switched out the chair and added a floral cushion to coordinate with the sofa pillows.  I also added burlap tie backs for a fun look.

The green bulletin board that you can see resting on the floor in the first picture has now been painted and put on an easel.

The styling of the whole office is very simple and serene.  I feel that I can now relax and think clearly.  It is so nice to have my own space to go to and work.  I just love it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Office Makeover Begins - Painting Is Complete!

It took me a while to decide on a wall color but I wasn't in a hurry and that was a good thing.  My initial thought was to go with a soft blue and I was on the search for the right fabric to recover my sofa cushions until.....I was cleaning out some boxes in our bonus room. ?????

I may have mentioned before that my plan is to have a comfortable shabby chic style office.  Well, I pulled out a quilt that had been on my daughter's bed when she was home.  It had a Waverly flower pattern in deep rose on one side and rose checks on the other.  I had always loved that quilt!  And, I loved the colors.  This was now my inspiration for the office.

I decided to use it as somewhat of a slip cover for my sofa.  I used the checked side and simply draped it over the cushions and used upholstery tacks to hold it in place.  The flower throw pillows add a nice pattern and work well for a shabby chic style.

Now, I had to decide if I wanted to go with red, pink or neutral walls.  A dusty pink was out.  That would just be silly since I just painted my daughter's old dusty pink room brown for my son.  We could have easily made that my office and given him the room I am working on now! 

I considered a deep rose for a little while but I already have a red dining room and a deep burgundy family room plus I was afraid it would be a little to stimulating for a place I wanted to be comfy and relaxing.

I'm glad I finally decided on the more neutral "Garden Wall" which I picked up from the leaf color in the throw pillows:

This is just a little peak at the paint color.  I have a little more work to do around the trim where the paint bled through the tape----aargh!!!!!  As I was dozing off a little, watching the news last night, I heard an info-merical voice saying "just when you thought your paint job was over, you notice that paint bled through your tape----you should have used frog tape..."  How did he know???  And, why was he being so sarcastic?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Too Much Summer Fun!

So far this Summer has been great!  I've gone golfing, canoeing and kayaking.  I have enjoyed my time up at our cabin and have had some fun events at home.

Unfortunately, I have spent less time doing home decorating and keeping up with this blog.  I have started a room makeover project but it is slow going.

I have, however, been adding craft tutorials, recipes and other fun posts to my website, Rustic Crafts.  The crafts featured use mainly natural elements or recycled materials.  Most of the projects fit in well with rustic or shabby chic decor.  I would love to have you join me there!

I will still be posting to this blog but it will be a little sporadic for the Summer.