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Category Archives: Home Decor

My Etsy Shop is OPEN!

Exciting stuff is going on that I wanted to share with you. I recently had the opportunity to design and make a window shade for a teacher friend of mine.  At my son’s school, each teacher needs to have the ability to cover the window in their door very quickly in case of a “Lockdown” drill.  Most teachers do this by using a rolled up piece of construction paper, some tape and a clothespin or paper clip. Not the most attractive or reliable thing as you can imagine.

I thought that I could make a pretty, durable, and much more effective curtain so I came up with this…


Now I ask you, isn’t that pretty?  I designed it to hang on two Command Hooks – the kind that you can remove without damaging the door.  To install it, you just unroll the shade, and hook the loops onto the Command Hook.  Then roll it up and wrap the straps around from the back and hook those onto the same Command Hooks again.  See it here closer up…


In a drill, or God forbid and actual emergency, all she has to do is to unhook the straps and the curtain will unroll and cover her door.  Easy-peesy and an added layer of protection from the bad guys.

So after talking with my teacher friend and a few more teachers who gave me some encouragement, I decided to make up some samples and open an Etsy Shop where I could offer these to any teacher who might like one.  I made a whole bunch of different designs, and will be adding more as time goes on, but you will find the first dozen or so for sale in my shop right now.  Please spread the word to all your teacher friends and direct them to my shop at:

Here’s a preview of some of my designs, but I can do custom designs upon request.  In case you were wondering, my kids attend school in North Carolina, hence the NC university designs.

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Please visit my new shop and let me know what you think of it!  Please recommend me to a teacher today.

Thanks all!


Shadow Box Cork Storage DIY

imageI, like many of my contemporaries, enjoy drinking wine.  A direct product of this is that I’ve got a little cork collection going, and wanted something pretty to keep them in. I had seen some of these shadow box displays on Etsy that were a little too pricey for me so I decided to take a crack at one on my own.

First, I went shopping for a plain shadow box.  I found one on sale for 50% off at Hobby Lobby and jumped on it. My plan was to take it home, take it apart and drill a hole in the top with one of my husband’s gigantic drill bits so that when I had a cork to add to it, I could just drop it into the top of the box. When I got the box home however, I found that the construction of the box would not allow me to do that.  Without going into too much detail, I decided that it was too risky to try doing this.  I was afraid I would ruin the box.  I decided to fill the box with what I had and after I have a few corks saved up, I’ll take the back off the box and add them. Not optimal, but if I wanted it perfect, I would need to pay for it on Etsy.

Next, I started looking for the saying I wanted on the glass and found this online


It is a design that is available for purchase on the Silhouette site.  I bought the design, only to find out that Silhouette is a fancy die cutting machine, much like a Cricut, which I don’t own.  I decided to cut the design out by hand and will show you how.  It’s meticulous and time consuming, but reaps nice results.

First, flip the design around so that it is reversed left to right.  I did this with photoshop.


Next, print it out and enlarge it to the size you need. It doesn’t all have to be on one sheet, just so long as you have all parts of the reversed design printed out. Here’s what the top half of mine looked like after I started cutting it up.


I used adhesive vinyl, the kind that comes in a 12″ roll.  I used small pieces of this at a time since I was cutting out words, or sometimes letters, one at a time. Cut out a letter from your printout.  You don’t want or need to cut it out perfectly but should instead leave a small border around it. Carefully tape the letter with the printed (backwards) side facing you to the back of the piece of vinyl. With a small pair of scissors, cut out the letter as exactly as you can.


When it is cut out, the right side of the vinyl will have the correct forward facing design on it. I did this for the entire design. Any words whose letters were connected I cut out as one piece, such as the word “the” at the beginning. I used an exacto knife for any tough to reach spots.  I suggest binge-watching TV on Netflix while you do this.  I think I watched season 5 of “The Walking Dead” which made the task much more enjoyable. The other option would be to get a friend with either a Cricut or Silhouette machine to cut something out for you. Bring her a bottle of wine as a thank you.

Once it’s cut out, carefully center and stick it to your (cleaned) glass. Remove the back, fill it with your corks, and hang it up.


Ours hangs over our bar cabinet, appropriately.


Love it!  I plan to enjoy filling it up over the course of time.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Next post will be a Halloween related DIY!  My favorite season is finally here!!!

House Number Pumpkin Topiary


I belong to a very small group (there’s only four of us but until recently there were just 2 of us) of gals who each month have a “Crafter’s Smackdown”. It originally started with my BFF Wendy and I when I was living in Massachusetts. Each month, one of us would pick a crafting medium (like for instance a roll of duct tape).  We would each separately construct something from the chosen medium and not share the results until completed. The only rule was that while you could add whatever additional supplies you wanted (glue, paint, wood, etc.), the given medium (ie. the duct tape) needed to be the primary focus of the completed project.  It became a way to flex our creative muscles each month. Every single month I expect that we will come up with the same idea, and every single month I am wrong.  A few examples are as follows:

The coffee filter challenge:

Wendy made a garland of pom-poms and fairy lights while I made a rosette wreath that I tutorialized here.


The popsicle stick/river rock Smackdown:

Wendy made a set of coasters, I made an hombre painting or tray (my rocks are on the back).


For the Cork Smackdown, my college roomie and old friend Lori joined the group:

Lori made a beautiful trivet that looks like a Pansy, Wendy made the awesome shutter-turned-memo-board, and I made a tray for serving wine. To myself.


For this month’s Crafter’s Smackdown, Lori got to choose and she chose gourds.  I already had my eye on these pumkin topiaries on Pinterest so I decided to take action on one of them.  I’ve seen several variations, and did a mixture of a few of those.


I did not take pictures as I went along, but here’s the gist of it.  I should mention here that if you have less than or more than 3 digits in your house number, you should adjust accordingly.  I got 3 (a small, a medium and a large) “Funkins”.  These are the fake pumpkins that they sell at craft stores the greatest benefit of which is that they last forever.  I wanted to be able to reuse this for years to come so I got myself some Funkins.  Anyway, they are hollow, lightweight, realistic looking and EXPENSIVE, so I got mine at Hobby Lobby when they were 40% off.  Cut a 1″ hole in the top and bottom of the medium and large size pumpkins, and in the bottom only of the small one (the one that will go on the top).  Find the flattest side of the pumpkin and draw, paint, or stencil your house numbers on them.  I did mine with a Sharpie because I find that easiest, but if you look at the pumpkins very closely, well, I know it would look better had I used paint instead.  I just couldn’t be bothered.  Ok, now you are ready to assemble your topiary (Already?! I know, right?).

Take your urn, I got mine at Lowe’s and it was $12 and made of plastic.  Lowe’s also had a “real” one that was $70.  Unless you break the bank and buy the real one, you’ll want to weigh it down with something.  You can fill it partway with stones or bricks or sand.  I took a 10″ terra cotta pot, turned it upside down and stuck it into the urn.  The pot had a 1″ drainage hole in the bottom of it, which came in handy for the next step.  You will need a 3/4″ wood dowel that measures the same height as the depth of the urn plus the height of your 3 pumpkins combined.  I bought a 4 foot dowel and cut it down to about 3-1/2 inches.  Stick the dowel into the center of your urn.  For mine, I threaded it through the drainage hole in the terra cotta pot which helped secure it really well.  Now thread your three pumpkins onto the dowel with the largest at the bottom and the smallest (the one that still has a stem on top) at the top.  Garnish with fake or real leaves, moss or other fall foliage.  I used fake leaves at the bottom then a raffia-type product in between the other two.  I made a nice bow for the top and that’s about it.  My gourd Smackdown is complete and it only took me a few hours.

imageSo pretty!  I promise to post pictures once the other 3 ladies have completed their projects too.

I have a whole slew of projects I’m working on now for Halloween, so sit tight and I’ll have them up here before long.  Thanks!

DIY Wood Pallet Sign



It’s our first Thanksgiving in North Carolina and we are so pleased to be expecting family in town from Massachusetts and Tennessee. I have have been in full-on preparation mode, including my attempts to make the house look more festive. Today, I made this sign to hang in our entryway.  We think it’ll give our guests some idea of what is expected of them during their stay 🙂

I had never done a sign like this before but was so happy with the completed project that I decided to blog a brief tutorial on it.

First thing, after you’ve decided on your wording, you need to design it and print it out on a computer, laptop tablet, etc.  I’m most comfortable with Excel, so that’s what I used, but whatever you choose, just be sure that it has a font (or two) that you like, and that you can print out really large letters.  Here is what mine looked like on my computer.


Print it out and compare it to the wood that you’re planning to use. Adjust font size and reprint as necessary. Once you’ve got your final design in hand, cut out the words leaving 1/8″ blank paper around each word like so.


Now you will flip each word over to the back of the paper and write all over the back of the words with a charcoal pencil. I used one that I got at Hobby Lobby in a package of 6 for $5.00. Here is what it looked like.


As you can see, it’s a “soft” charcoal, which I recommend.  Here is what your paper should look like when you’re done writing on the back.


Now, carefully lay out your words, right side up, on your board and once you have them all in place, tape them down at the edges to keep them from shifting around. I forgot to take a picture of this so hopefully, I’m clear.

Carefully, using a ball point pen, trace around each letter’s edge.  By doing this, you are transferring the loose charcoal from the back of your paper to the wood.  Sort of like an old fashioned carbon copy (so that’s what “cc” means).


Once you’ve finished a word, you can carefully  untape it and remove it from your board. Look what you did!



How cool is that?  Think of what you are capable of!  You can transfer your favorite team logo, silhouette, saying, image?  The possibilities are endless!

Once I was done transferring the whole saying, I painted the letters on with a paint pen.  I also got these at Hobby Lobby.  Mine came in a 2-pack and looks like this.


It was too easy.  Much more so than using paint and a brush I think, especially since painting is not my strong suit in the Great Big World of Crafts.

I didn’t bother sealing my sign with polyurethane since it is strictly for indoor decorative use, but if I were planning on using it outside, I would’ve given it a couple of coats of clear varnish.



Stay tuned for more projects using this method.  Good luck with your own, and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

An Old Cabinet Gets a New Makeover


Just a quick post today. For anyone who hasn’t heard, I moved from Massachusetts to the coastal town of Hampstead North Carolina this Summer. So far, we are enjoying our new environment and embracing the new coastal feel of our community. I’ve just started making a few changes to our decor to reflect our new hometown.
Our old home was a colonial – a very “old New England style” home. It was decorated in a lot of mossy greens and cranberry colors with black accents. When we started planning our move, I knew that I wanted to lighten things up. A lot more creamy white, less black and red. I adopted a light teal or aqua color for my kitchen so when I decided to move a moss green cabinet in there I knew it needed a change of paint if it wasn’t going to clash. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and chose a coral pink color to add a bit of “pop” to the room. I love it! It’s the color of a pink flamingo. Because it’s only on the one piece, it’s the perfect amount of color for that room.

The paint is a satin finish Valspar called Sweet Melon. It’s really more pink than orange, so the color in my photo isn’t a great representation.  Think salmon or like I said, Pink Flamingo. I also switched out the antiqued looking hardware and went with a shiny gold for a more modern, updated feel.

So here is a photo of the old girl before her paint job.  Incidentally, this piece used to belong to BFF Wendy who bought it in the 90s and had painted it blue before she painted it green.


That was in our old home. Now here she is, in the new house with her new look.


Like a whole new cabinet!  I should mention that my husband, while tolerant of the color, definitely gave it a raise of the eyebrow when he first saw it painted coral.  I suppose that it is no coincidence that I waited until he was away on business before starting the project.  It’s growing on him, I’m pretty sure.

Halloween Costume Photo Decoration

20131002-165257.jpgA quick little post with a Halloween decorating idea. I bought one of those “school days” picture frames at the Christmas Tree Shop (which is a New England favorite for picking up inexpensive housewares). These are the frames that you would usually keep your child’s school pictures in year after year until they graduate from High School. I got one for each of my kids to put their Halloween costume photos in.

In the large photo opening, I made a little Halloween paper decoration, but you could easily find a greeting card that you like and put the cover of it in this spot if you don’t feel like making your own.

We hang them up for the month of October when I put up the other Halloween decorations and every year the kids love to look at their old costumes and remember Halloweens past.

20131002-163044.jpgAs a tip, I recommend that you add the new photo each year before you put the frame back in storage. I’ve forgotten before and have found myself rummaging through my computer trying to find two decent photos from the previous Halloween. I seem to recall saying lots of swear words that day.

My plan is to hang these up every Halloween forever and ever.