Friday, January 30, 2015

Aqua, Mint and Blue, Oh My!


Now that we're done painting our open area upstairs, I am on to the next room: my office. My office is a disaster. It befuddles me why it's a mess. I spent all day working in my office, so in theory I should be able to keep it organized. My office back in Des Moines was clean. I was a bit crazy about keeping it that way. Yet at home, it's the room that you cram any random things you find into and most certainly the door you close when guests come to visit. I've almost got the house tour down: "Here's the bathroom that I've done a few things in and there's my office it's a disaster and here's our bedroom."

I can't even blame the kids! They aren't allowed in my office, and we generally keep it locked during the evenings and weekends. Yet, here it is being a hot mess every single day.

The major issue in this room is the lack of storage solutions. I have a closet that is crammed from floor to ceiling with craft supplies which is actually pretty darn organized even though it looks crazy. The rest of the room that needs help. My Thirty-One bags are stacked in one corner, work papers are stacked on my desk and there's tools and remodeling supplies piled in a corner.

What organization I have is left over from our various moves and doesn't match. This just adds to the disorganized feeling of this room. But, like all good first born children, I have a list and a game plan. Now I just need the time, money and energy to implement it.

The Game Plan
1. Inspiration

When I started thinking color comboations for my office, I didn't have to look very far. The notebook I was keeping my ideas in had exactly the colors that I wanted to bring into my office. I love the coral/red, aqua and navy accents.

2. Final Color Choice.

I usually don't take the time to get color samples. I just pick a color and go for it. In reality, that's pretty stupid. I discovered that in my main living area. Loved the color in our living room, not so sure about the color in the kitchen. They look completely different. So, I bit the bullet and bought several different samples. I'm really glad I did. Originally I was sure the second from the bottom would be the color. Whoa. On the wall it's very dark and in your face. Not the light calming mint color I was looking for. The color I fell in love with was one I wasn't so sure about in the store. It's the second from the top. That's the new wall color I chose!

Colors (Top to the Bottom): Sauna by Valspar, Pantone Beach Glass by Valspar, Malted Mint by Olympic One, Dive In by Valspar, Grand Hotel Mackinac Blue by Valspar

One thing that I don't mind about getting samples, is having all those samples sitting around. I LOVE samples from Valspar. I use them all the time for projects around the house. I feel like I'm getting a little collection started now!

3. Game Plan. (Click on pictures to enlarge)


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ugly House Renovation: Entryway Reveal

Good Evening!

I had planned on sharing a blanket scarf tutorial, but my husband I did some serious painting today and finished up the first floor! That meant we could finally hang our entryway picture. Speaking of that fun DIY rustic frame (Click here for the tutorial), I got the news this week that Shutterfly will be featuring my blog post on their Google+ page, Twitter feed and Pinterest page. It's a really cool honor, and I'm pretty excited for it.

Back to Ugly House. Our entryway transformation.

Here's how our entry looked when we moved in:

The trim and banister was pretty dark and were plain builder's grade. The walls were plain white.

This is how the entry looks this morning before we started painting today. We had previously added extra trim around the door and floor trim and painted everything white. The trim and banister were looking pretty good with a fresh coat of paint. Today we decided to make them pop with some grey paint. (Grey Frost in Olympic One)

This was the area above our stairs to the basement. Plain white. Nothing exciting or eye catching.

This is the official "after" of our Ugly House entryway!

I made this coat rack from some barn wood I found through someone on Craiglist. Great find. You can also see the extra piece of trim we added.

This was another fun find at a garage sale. It's an old sewing machine table. I got it for a dollar and gave it a fun paint job. It's a great place to catch mail or bags as you come in the door.

The family picture looks great over the stairs!

I love the look of our entry! Eventually we're going to replace the entire front door with a beautiful craftsman style front door with new sidelights and add a transom on the top. We're also replacing all the flooring on the first floor with some rustic wide plank wood which will also be in the entry and on the stairs. That is a few months off, but it will really make our first floor pop!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Show & Tell: Darby Smart Box for Metal Stamping

Good Afternoon!

I spent my holiday weekend painting our upstairs. I am hoping that project will be completed sometime in the next year. It's taking forever!

I took a break from painting to try out my new metal stamping set from Darby Smart. If you haven't heard of Darby Smart (website here), then you're missing out. It's like a beauty box such as Birchbox, but for crafts. You can either pick a box to order a la carte or sign up for a monthly mystery box. One box contains everything you'll need for the craft. I decided to try it out by ordering the metal stamping bracelet set. I've been wanting to try out metal stamping, and with a coupon for $10.00 off my first order, the set was extremely affordable at $19.00 (and free shipping!).

First off, it's very easy to order. The best part was the shipping was very fast. I had my new box within a few days. The box had everything I needed right down to the Sharpie marker to fill in the stamps!

On top of all the great supplies you get, you also get a card that tells you where to watch a tutorial on how to complete the project. I decided to try out everything without the tutorial, and I'm pretty happy with my results. The only down side, (and this doesn't really have anything to do with the box itself) is the bracelets were too wide for my style. However, I now have all the supplies, so I can easily order narrow metal bands to make more. Also, the ends were pretty sharp, although, there probably was a fix for that if I had watched the tutorial. Over-all, neat new craft skill to keep working on and really cool way to get into new types of crafts.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Small Business Saturday: Prairie Porch in Arlington, South Dakota

Happy Three Day Weekend!

I'm lucky to work for a company that values community service. We not only have some non-profit customers, but we also get MLK off to participate in the national day of service. The kids and I are going to do something, but I'm not exactly sure what yet. (Taking suggestions for service ideas that a 2 and 4 year old can do!)

Today's Small Business Saturday features one of my favorite new shops in the area, The Prairie Porch in Arlington, South Dakota. (Click here for their Facebook page which features their hours and new items) It reminds me of the awesome Iowa junk shops I miss so much. It has a nice mix of vintage looking "new" items as well as fixed up old furniture.

The house that the shop is in is almost as fun as the stuff that is contained in it. There's a cute kitchen (check out the light fixture!) and a cool ceiling in the living and dining areas. Even the basement features some fun junk. Check out the cool stuff at the Prairie Porch including the two finds I now have in my kitchen!

I love this new metal sign I have in my kitchen. It fits right in with my authentic vintage kitchen items. 


Great use for old enamel dishes! 

I'm so frustrated that I built a cabinet when this one is EXACTLY what I was looking for! The colors are perfect for my first floor. 

I love this little table as well as the wooden letters. 

Not so sure what the heck I would use these little pins for, but I absolutely love them. They are dainty and just so darn cute. 

So, if they could just move all the stuff out and move the house to my property that would be great. On second thought...leave the stuff.  

How cool is the light figure in the kitchen? I am thinking I might try to use something with mason jars in my dining room as well. 


Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Snow Day, a Four Year Old & DIY Button Magnets

Good Morning To You!

I am officially old. I have a big birthday coming up tomorrow (that I may or may not be dealing very well with), and I find myself knitting at night. But, one the biggest indications came a few days ago when I found myself doing two things. (1) complaining to my husband about "back in our day" when the weather was cold, we would go to school, and we'd even go out for recess (!), and (2) spent all night looking at the closings list praying that school WASN'T cancelled.

It's not that I don't love spending time with my two cooped up kids, that right now, more resemble a wild pack of dogs than children. I do. But I work. I work because it gives me a little break from the kids, helps pay for half of this house, and I really like my job. We're really (really) busy at work right now, and taking a unexpected day off is hard on my workload. Trying to work with them in the house is like trying to drive a car and text. It's a terribly bad idea that sometimes works but can go terribly wrong. Like when your children decided to have sort of ultimate fight with the dogs barking them on all the while you're on a conference call. It doesn't end well. That's why I take the day off anytime they are going to be home. It's necessary.

My office and craft room are one of the same. My daughter was bored during our snow day this week, so I looked in the crowded craft closet and looked to see what I could come up with. I came up with one super easy cheap craft that she could do on her own, and I can actually use after she's done.

Button Magnets


Round Magnets (just a couple of dollars in the craft section of Wal-Mart)
Buttons (I have a stash I add to whenever I find cheap/free buttons)


1. Peel back off the magnet

2. Stick a button to the sticky side.

Okay. Was a tutorial really needed for this? No. But it's a really easy project that a four year old can do on their own. Then they can draw you some pictures and stick them to the fridge with the magnets they made. I also think they are a fun addition to my over crowded fridge. They also pair well with a metal message board made from a old serving tray. I much prefer these magnets over magnets from random businesses that I moved away from  years ago. (I don't think I'm going to need to call the vet in Iowa anytime soon)

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