Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Have you ever bought something thinking it would work perfectly, but the reality just didn’t live up to the promise. Okay…I’m not talking politics. I want to talk  in particular bathroom organization. When we built our house, I thought our bathroom was huge. It is a nice size, don’t get me wrong, but the builder grade cabinetry is challenging to create usable storage for makeup, jewelry and hair necessities. I’d seen some bathroom organizers on blogs, but couldn’t find anything in the stores that would work in my bathroom.

Then, I had a brainstorm. I could make something out of plates and candlesticks from the Dollar Store. Even better, I spied a glass lazy Susan in my pantry that I hadn’t used in a while. After a trip to the Dollar Store and my china cabinet, I had all my pieces.

Glass plate which I previously bought for $1 at Walmart

Lazy Susan found in pantry 

Votive holder from Dollar Store

Bud vase from china cabinet

Candlesticks from the Dollar Store

5 Minute Epoxy from Home Depot

  1. After gathering all supplies, clean with glass cleaner.
  2. Stack pieces with the largest on the bottom and the smallest at the top. Arrange candlesticks in pleasing manner.
  3. Once you like the composition, mix the 5 Minute Epoxy.
  4. Apply epoxy to the bottom of the candlestick.
  5. Place on Lazy Susan in the center.
  6. Apply epoxy to the top of candlestick.
  7. Place  plate centered on top of candlestick.
  8. Repeat with next candlestick on plate and votive holder.
  9. Apply epoxy to bottom of bud vase and place on middle of votive holder.
  10. Allow to epoxy to set.

Finished glass organizer pedestal

I’m still in the process of finding some small glass bowls to corral makeup brushes and other small assorted items. I’ll post a picture of the pedestal in action once I’ve got it organized.

What solutions have you developed for your bathrooms?


Linking Up with:

Tuesday’s Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Tweak It Tuesday at The Cozy Little House

SNS 153 at Funky Junk Interiors


Read Full Post »

Busy or lazy? I’m not quite sure whether I’ve been keeping too busy to blog or I’ve been involved with schools for so much of my life that summer means taking it easy and focusing on fun. Either way, I’ve had a very interesting summer filled with lots of rich experiences.

I got to hang out with friends at some fun parties. I attended an Independence Day Parade in our small town and hung out with friends afterwards. Luckily, some of my friends still have small children. I think parades are so much better with little ones around. Their excitement adds so much to the experience.


Watching the parade on a very sunny July 4th


I had the opportunity to attend my first professional major league baseball game: The Mets vs. The Nationals. The game was terrific and hard played/won. McHubby explained whispering in my ear all the nuances of baseball throughout the game which really helped me understand that professional baseball is as much about strategy as it is athletics. I enjoyed myself so much that I’ve been following the Nationals games ever since. I’ve got my “Natitude” on.

Nationals Park

We had the opportunity to see President Obama speak. We don’t have the chance to seeing a sitting president in person that often so we jumped at the chance. Maybe I should say, we stood in line for tickets for over an hour and stood waiting in line and in the audience for three hours before he spoke. The experience was very surreal. People were passing out from the heat and were treated by emergency personnel. News personalities were filming their segments for the nightly news. Security was very, very tight. It was worth all the effort.

President Obama speaking

President Obama Speech

Now for the bittersweet part of the summer…my oldest son, Kyle, became engaged this spring to a very lovely young woman. She was offered one of those can’t pass up deals to attend a Ph. D. program at Tulane University in New Orleans. Gulp. So very far away. What about hurricanes…remember Katrina? So, the beginning of August found McHubby and I helping Kyle move to New Orleans. McHubby rode with Kyle to New Orleans while my other son and I flew.

Tulane University

While New Orleans has never been a place I felt the need to visit, I absolutely fell in love with it. The laid back ambience is very different than the highly focused and professional Washington, D.C. suburbs. I felt much better leaving my son there than before my visit. After getting Kyle and his fiancé moved in, we were able to sightsee.

We went to Olivier’s with the future in-laws. Olivier’s is a 130 year old family owned restaurant in the French Quarter. The food was delicious and made from old family recipes. Delicious! We had met the future in-laws the week before going to New Orleans when we hosted them for dinner at our home. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know them.


McHubby and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by taking a bus tour of New Orleans (a must) and eating dinner at Nola’s (one of Emeril Lagasse’s three New Orleans restaurants). I highly recommend eating there. McHubby ordered Scallops Gratinere (a Julia Childs’ recipe on the menu to celebrate her 100th birthday) and a crème brulee trio. I had shrimp and grits followed by Bread Pudding and Mexican chocolate ice cream. All the dishes were Nirvana on a plate.

Nola Restaurant

Our flight home was delayed by bad storms in the east. We were travelling for almost a full day for a short plane ride (maybe going with the cheapest rate with layovers isn’t the best way to go.) Much of the following week was spent resting up from travelling. Then, we started preparing for my younger son, Kelly, to return to college.

I suspect that most of the preparation was mentally getting ready to be an empty nester, but I did make some dorm décor with the help of McHubby’s carpentry. Kelly is a huge fan of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. He’s been hooked on the series for years long before the HBO series. I used my Silhouette machine to make some removable wall stickers and some iron-on transfer paper to make a board with the Game of Thrones family crests (most but not all of them). McHubby constructed a C-table from Ana White plans. I covered it with black faux leather.

Game of Thrones decor

Game of Thrones Decor

Plans for Ana White C Table

Kelly excelled at packing this year making the move in quick and easy. Plus, the skies waited until McHubby and I were returning home to start pouring rain. (Last year, we weren’t so lucky. The cardboard cart on wheels disintegrated from the deluge before we made it to the dorm building.)

But wait there’s more…I almost forgot the derecho. We lucked out since we are close to the mountains and had very little damage or disruption from the derecho. Unfortunately, many in our area weren’t so fortunate.

Washington, D.C. during the derecho in June

So, I am officially an empty nester. Boy, am I missing my kids. Boy, am I worried about my oldest son waiting out Hurricane Isaac in New Orleans. He assures me that they are on high ground in their neighborhood so my worry is somewhat less.

Hurricane Isaac

I’m planning on some minor changes to the blog which I will outline in my next post. Primarily, I’m going to have different themes for each day of the week.

I hope you all have had a great summer and you will stay safe if you are in the path of Hurricane Isaac.

I’d like to hear about your adventures.

TTFN- Ta Ta For Now


Read Full Post »

I don’t know if you’ve experienced this phenomenon, but sometimes I can be my own worst enemy. I can let my fears get the best of me. Making my fairy garden has been one of those times when I kept procrastinating. I started my fairy garden over a month ago primarily because I needed to get a creeping Jenny plant re-potted. Then, I piled some stones around and stopped. The fear had beaten any creativity I had into submission. Today, I was determined to conquer any resistance and finish some projects. Let’s see how I did.


Note: I have four sunflowers growing in the garden now. They came up on their own from last year’s planting. I hadn’t realized when I mixed the old soil with the new that any seeds were present. What a nice surprise though.


Fairy wheelbarrow, garden tools, home and bird bath

Second view of fairy village

Second fairy home

Back boundary of fairy garden

Back boundary of the fairy garden village

Fairy garden in its place on the deck

Overall, I enjoyed working on my fairy garden once I got started. I’m glad I explored fairy gardens. I’m even considering putting a fairy door on the container. We’ll see.

Update: I thought some daylight pictures would be helpful.

What fears have you pushed through this week?


Read Full Post »

Well, I didn’t think this would be so difficult to write, but for some reason it has been. Fairy gardens and miniature gardens seem to be different names for the same thing for the most part. Perhaps an analogy would be that a square is a type of rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.  So a fairy garden is a type of miniature garden, however, not every miniature garden is a fairy garden.

Miniature Garden Example

Fairy Garden Example

Miniature gardens are whimsical and can include objects that look like very small people could use them. Bonsai where trees are trimmed to keep them dwarf sized fit in to this category. Terrariums are miniature gardens enclosed in glass containers. Since terrariums are in theory closed ecosystems, they require significantly less effort to maintain.

Bonsai Example

Terrarium Example

Fairy gardens can be indoor or outdoor gardens. They are usually whimsical and are frequently made with the intention of attracting beneficial fairies to your home or at the very least paying homage to them. When found outdoors, they can be either in a container or be a part of a traditional in ground garden. In a garden variation, a tree or tree stump can be the foundation for some very unusual and adorable settings.

A Tree Stump Fairy House

Whether you still have a place in your heart for magic or Tinker Bell has always been one of your favorite characters, fairy gardens are a fun way to be reminded of the magic of the natural world. From time to time most of us need a respite from technology and the challenges of the modern world. We are reminded of childhood when all the most wondrous possibilities existed.

A child in garden. Photo by Paul Jones

Next post…Fairies: Getting to know them to build a garden around them


Read Full Post »

Please check out the Power of Paint. My patio art is being featured. Thank you Maryann!


Read Full Post »

I finished a project. Hip, hip, hooray! I’ve been working on redesigning my blog and moving it to the WordPress.org site. Since I’m a still a neophyte blogger, I seem to be wasting hours in front of the computer with very few tangible results. Oh…my now finished project took a few U turns and nearly found its way into the unfinished project pile in the basement. Once again, however, perseverance paid off with an item checked off my to-do list plus a blog post. (I still have a lot of work to do on the website.)

I will admit that guilt was bit of a trigger. I had a comment to my Patio Color post from a fellow student in the décor8blog class that I am taking. She asked where a picture of my patio was. Unfortunately, the honest truth is that I’m not finished with my patio nor had I been making any progress on making it colorful. Okay…I will give myself credit for the boatload of annual flowers that I have planted, but only a little credit.

Here is a picture of my patio last week:

Boring patio awaiting color

My patio has potential for a cozy summer hangout spot, but it really needs some color.

I wanted to minimize the view under the deck. First, I tried a metal potted plant holder, but it was too small to be effective. Then, it occurred to me that I had another metal art piece just like the one I used to make the basket hanger above the kitchen island. See here. I didn’t want to keep the original color and decided to go with a blue-green patina.

Here is the piece before changing the look of the finish.

Metal grill awaiting a makeover.

Project waiting for makeover to begin.

I used basic acrylic paint. See a sample of the colors below.

Aluminum, Aqua and Dark Green

I used aluminum, aqua and dark green acrylic paints along with stencil brush to change the finish color.

Using a stencil brush, I dipped the bristles into a little bit of each color and pounced the paint randomly until I got the look that I was trying to get. Then, I allowed the paint to dry for several hours.

***Warning, warning, warning. Potential failure alert ***

Next, I sprayed the entire piece with clear enamel sealer. OMG! The aluminum and aqua disappeared. I don’t know why, but the original finish was once again totally visible on about one-third of it. I tried acrylic clear coat since I was concerned the enamel sealer was reacting with the acrylic. But nooooo. Even more disappeared without any drips or any other trace. Vanished. That unfinished project pile started looking pretty good at this point. Well, I needed to let the sealer dry so the whole thing only made it half way to the pile.

Today, I pulled out the acrylics again and repeated my pouncing technique. This time, however, I used Modge Podge to seal the finish. Success!!!!

New finish on grill

The finished (rescued) project hanging under the deck.

To finish the grill, I took three medium sized clear jars with lids. After wrapping wire around the jar neck, I twisted the wire around the grill hanging the jar from the grill. I added colorful glass drops and tea lights. Once I hung the grill from under the deck with cup hooks and chain, I stood back and took a deep breath. Ahhhhh! One piece of color added to the deck. Yes, the guilt has diminished a tiny bit.

The patio with new metal piece.

The underside of the deck is now minimized with a refinished metal piece.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that I will finish some more projects tomorrow. Wish me luck. ; )

Linking to Domestically Speaking’s Power of Paint Party.


Read Full Post »