Saturday, July 28, 2012

Little Worn Out Cabinet Becoming A Cute Little Unit to House Sound Equipment Has Me Singing

We have a little room off our pool we call the Cabana.  It's not really a cabana because it doesn't have running water, unless you count the hose off the side of the outside.  No sink, no bathroom, nothing.  It's kinda just a little 15 X 15 place to rest and enjoy the lake views and chill.  My hubby wanted to put a small sound system out in the space, so that we could enjoy some music while relaxing with a cool beverage.  The problem is that we keep this room wide open at all times and putting sound equipment in this space unprotected was just plain stupid.

We devised a plan to find a little cabinet that we could use to house the equipment.  We know over time that this little cabinet will probably take a beating from the weather, so we didn't want to spend much money.  I have a pretty awesome, under shopped thrift store near my new house, so we set out to find a cabinet.  Lucky us, we found one.  I really like the size, basic lines and the hardware on this little gem.  For $14.95, how could we go wrong?!

The cabinet was in pretty rough condition, with a rut in the top from someone's drink and pitted hardware, I had to get my elbow grease and creativity out to get this job done.

I got to work using AS Chalk Paint in Old White on the cabinet and Rustoleum Metallic Silver spray paint on the hardware that we removed.  I sanded lightly, applying more pressure to the area that had the rut.  Three coats of paint did the trick.

Even my not-so-crafty hubby helped out with the hardware.

Don't get me wrong, he's a great guy and is super amazing at what he does for a living.  Let's just say, he isn't a carpenter.  Here's proof...

I asked him to drill two holes in the back so he could get the cords and wires into and out of the cabinet. Notice the "workmanship."  Oh well, the cabinet is for his stuff and this will work.  I said nothing to him about it.  I guess I kinda snagged myself here.  He reads my blog!!  Sorry Mister! (wink)

I finished the piece with a coating of BriWax in Clear to give it a little seal.

Done.  Ready to play some tunes...

Fun, quick, easy, cheap.  My kind of project!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How To Root Coleus. It's Easy. (and a Feature!)

Summer is here and many of us are using Coleus in our gardens and planted containers around our patios and porches.  I love Coleus because they are so hardy and thrive in the heat of the summer and the beating down of the sun's rays.  They are also filled with all sorts of varieties and colors too.  I think they add a little personality to any setting.  Better yet, they are pretty cheap.  Even better yet, they are the easiest plant to root.  I buy a few plants and multiply them through the season by taking cuttings as they grow or get a little 'leggy.' if I needed another great reason...they are a delight to have on my kitchen window sill as they root in cut little glass containers.

So here are the steps:

1.  Take a clipping from the top of your coleus.

2. Clear away the bottom of the stem of leafs.  I do this to cut down on rot in the water.  You only need the stem to get roots.  Extra leaves just get in the way.

3.  Find a cut clear container, vase or whatever.  I like clear so I can monitor the root growth as it comes through.  Fun to watch the miracle unfold.  Fill the container with fresh water that covers the bottom of the stem.

4.  Wait a few days to a week and the roots will start to show. 

5.  Wait until the plant has a healthy amount of roots and plant it in a pot with wet soil.  

6.  Make sure you give it a little water everyday for about a week to help it establish itself in the pot.  Done. New plant!  

This particular new coleus found a home on the table on my back screened in patio next to a few succulents. I also rooted that succulent there in the front middle.  How did I do that?  Well, it was a little baby or offshoot of a large succulent.  I just plucked it off and set it in this pot. Watered it daily and now look at it!

So simple.  I learned how to do this by trial and error.  I clip almost anything in my garden and try and root it this way.  Have you ever done this? You should!  Get clipping!

********Before I leave today,  I wanted to say THANK YOU to Kim over Savvy Southern Style for the nice feature of my White Living Room.  I have been posting links to my blog on her Wow Us Wednesday for over and year and this is my first feature!  Click HERE to see the feature.  Thanks Kim!

Click HERE to see the Original Blog Post about this Living Room

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Chippy Vintage Mantel Makes The Move To a More Colorful Locale

A few months ago I did a radical makeover of a chippy vintage mantel.  I revealed the mantel in the post entitled, A Transformed Vintage Mantel Finds A Home in My Master Bedroom.  You can click on the title to see the full transformation.  Just after I completed this project, something happened...we decided to move.

It was a strange feeling seeing so many of my projects get left behind, like the neat Master Bathroom Renovation and the cool White Shutters that I made for that room.  But, for the most part, all my projects and furniture came along for the ride.  On move in day at the new house, each piece was placed in a new location, but the mantel just didn't have a place.  So it sat in a hallway between my garage door and our family room.  It was awkward there.  Even my sister expressed how much she hated it in the hallway.   When my sister says something like that, I know it is time to make a change!  She's the boss around here.

It took me a few days of carting the darn thing all over to figure out where to place it.  Then I tried something a little crazy.  I added to the master bedroom "foyer" area.  It fit perfectly and helped give this tiny pass through space a little presence.  I added a few things, like one of my red ladder back dining chairs with a pillow and a vintage #5 jug with a small live plant on the mantel.

It's funny how something that is designed for one location can work in a completely different place.  The previous room was pale yellows and whites.  Now the mantel is sitting within a very colorful locale. I am sure that I will be re-decorating this spot.  But for now, I'm okay with it.  I think it works wonderfully.  What do you think??

This tiny foyer to the bedroom is just off the White Living Room that I blogged about just a few days ago.  I love the transition of fresh whites to bright colors.

It almost beckons one to enter to see what is beyond the doorway.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A White Living Room

I have always wanted a white room.  But let's be honest here.  How many of us can not take the risk of furnishing a room in all white and have the audacity to think that our kids will be as excited and keep it clean?  For years I have said to myself, "I will have an all white room when my kids are grown and gone."  Well, my kids aren't 'gone,' but they are teens and my new home has a formal living room just inside the front door away from the family room and media room.  So why wait?!

So here is my before pic.  The room had a seriously ugly faux finish and garish ceiling.  I mean, who paints a ceiling anything but white? Look at those grandma curtains. I knew they were going bye bye. My friend, Ted, helped me hang the art before we painted the room.  I knew the painter could just leave the hangers in place.  The only thing that was in the room was my pine farmhouse coffee table.  I was hell bent determined to make this room a white neutral room.  Putting furniture into the room would make it impossible to turn back.  Weird, I know.

In a recent copy of Southern Living Editor Lindsay Beirman wrote an article entitled, 10Tried-and-True Decorating Rules.  His number one rule was:

Lindsay Beirman. Editor/ photo Southern Living
1. When you just want a room to be "warm white,"meaning not too yellow or too peachy or too anything else, then go with Benjamin Moore Ivory White (925). Don't overthink this—I've already done enough agonizing for everyone and can say for sure that it works pretty much anywhere, unless you're going for museum-like sterility, in which case you're reading the wrong magazine.

So I took his advice and didn't even try the color in a swatch.  I told my painter to buy it and start painting.  Yes, I realize, this is a serious cliff dive for me.  For those of you who know me, I am the swatch queen.  I figured that if Lindsay was that sure, I would just go for it.  I am so super pleased with the results.

Having bought two Pottery Barn Basic Sofas with the White Twill Slipcover, I needed a white for the walls that had a little variation to offset the bright white (close to blinding white) of the slipcovers.  Benjamin Moore's 925 did the trick.

Ahh.  Love these windows without those heavy curtains. Clean.

I search high and low for two matching occasional chairs.  I searched at all my local consignment and thrift shops, but couldn't find two matching chairs that fit my needs.  I realized that I had to expand my search to local new furniture stores.  I wanted a neutral fabric, but a chair with character.  Nothing slip-covered.  I found these two chairs and fell in love.  They are from Lexington Furniture's Kingstown Collection for Tommy Bahama and are called Maarten Chairs. The chair comes in a variety of finishes. The finish on these particular chairs is a silvery taupe grey and the fabric is a wonderful nappy linen.  With nickel finished nail heads, what's not to love?!  The console tables under the paintings were in the same collection, which helped tie the taupe color into the room.

The pillows and throws (also shown in the first image in this blog post) are in a variety of neutral tones and textures. I bought them this week at Pier One and Home Goods.  I am still looking for a bench or a pair of ottomans for the open side of the seating arrangement.

I added an accent of taupe to the inside of the recessed ceiling. The taupe sets the ceiling off nicely drawing the eye in a subtle way.

I love how the white walls allow my colorful artwork to pop.  The center painting is a Haitian Painting by a well known painter, Louis Rosemont.  The two paintings flanking the Rosemont piece are two pieces that I painted a little over a year ago.

In the image below is a 6 foot by 6 foot painting that I found in a consignment shop.  I have no idea who the artist is, but I fell in love with it and scooped it up.  It stands alone nicely. (see below)

Here is a quick shot of the dining area that is adjacent to this living room. It's not really complete, but it's fine for now. I am continuing the white theme throughout the entire space.

Super excited about how this has developed.  Oh! and guess what?  My teens haven't even come close to my living room! They have not once sat on the white sofas! That's what happens when you don't put a television in a room!

Now, it's time to go get a little rest.  Coco is already ahead of me with that!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Sending wishes for a 

4th of July Celebration!

Here's to hoping your burgers don't get burnt, 
that none of your fireworks are duds 
and that you will wake up tomorrow with a hangover!

-The End-

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How To Give A Garden Element A Fresh Look: Froggy Gets a Much Needed Face Lift and the Water Garden Finds A New Place

If you have been following me for over a year, you know that I have a three tiered fountain that I converted into a planter with a water garden in the bottom tier.  I blogged about it in my post Are You Spittin'? in April of 2011.  I wanted a small water garden and no longer liked the splashing of all the water from the three tier at my front door!  Can you say "showering" my guests?!

So here it was at my former home at the front door.
Planter/Water garden at former home.

I moved this fountain on my own before the movers came because I have worked years on establishing the water plants in this mini-wonderland.  I wasn't about to let just anymore move it.  I even rented a truck to help me.

At first I put it near my front entrance, but moved it once again about a week ago to a location on the back of my property near where I walk my dogs.  I have placed a little table and chairs here as well.  Nice place for an afternoon beverage.

The little spitting frog that helps keep the water circulating in the water garden had gotten kinda, well, trashed.  So yesterday, I unplugged him and took him into my studio for a quick renovation.  Here is what he looked like.
Before Renovation

I decided to use craft paints to bring him back to life.  I also wanted to bring the bamboo back to life.  Without a little paint to protect it, I am sure it was well on it's way to rotting.  I just kinda went to town with several shades of green, brown and blonde.
Started with a base color and added color building textures. Added a little bamboo look as well.

Finished him off with a little gold to bring back the vertiginous look.

Here is the Before and After side by side for comparison.  Big difference and it took just a few minutes! I could have gotten all annoyed by the lack of detail on the lily pad.  But I just let it go knowing that it wouldn't really matter.  We have to remember to do that sometimes. Working something too hard at time just kills the fun.

I bought him a new pump to give him an even fresher look, and quickly placed him back in his world.  Here is is spitting away!!

Look at him down there spittin' away!  He got his ribbet back baby and is lovin' it. Don't be hating on my for that black cord showing.  I ran out of steam and have to go back and hide it under the white rocks. Saving that for a cool afternoon. The Heat! Phew! It's hot out there people!

Do you have something in your garden that the weather has taken it's toll on?  It is amazing what a little craft paint can do to spruce up even the most worn elements. I don't know about you, but I think garden accents cost a pretty penny!  Might as well get my money's worth for yet another season!

-The End-