Friday, April 29, 2011

2 For 1 Friday ~ Candle Lantern/Basket Planter

TGIF everyone!  Glad I'm able to get this post on here today even if it's a little late in the day.  Things didn't go according to plan when I started my project for 2 For 1 Friday.  I originally wanted to do a little side table for my Front Porch Perk Up.... but that didn't turn out even close to what I imagined in my head.  Don't ya just love days like that? 

Anyway, I brainstormed a few other possibilities and decided that this is a fun, cute springy idea that is super cheap and so easy anyone can do it and I'm sure you wouldn't even have to go and buy anything!  Just look around and raid your stash and you can totally throw this little project together.

Mine started off with a little basket I got at the thrift store for 50 cents. 

I cut the orange straps off with a razor knife cause they HAD to go!  Then I sprayed on a coat of primer, and used a green spray paint over that.  Once that dried I used some brown paint and dabbed some on in random places to create kind of a rust look on it. 

Then I put some decorative rocks in the bottom.  I have a bunch of these around my house, but they also sell them at the dollar store if you want some on the cheap.

Anyway, easy easy, that's why there's no pics of that process.  ANYONE can spray paint right!?

So for the first way to use this I decided to put a glass candle votive directly in the center and layer the rocks all around it.

The candle votive was one I already owned.

For the second way I used this, I simply swapped out the candle for a small decorative planter.  This is also something I had at home, and just re-purposed in a fun new way.

This would also look really cute with a bird and nest inside, or a small garden statue... maybe a little Buddha would be cute!

Anyway, it's a quick and simple project that cost almost nothing!  Have a great weekend :)

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Front Porch Perk Up

One of my favorite things is decorating on a budget.  Well I shouldn't say it's my favorite... cause if I had an unlimited budget I could decorate the heck out of this place and it would be awesome!  But I guess the fun part is the challenge.... to create a truly unique space without spending a fortune, or using what you already have.

I came across a really good motto this morning on another blog.... It said, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without".  I think those are some great words to live by right now!  So while I was trying to figure out how to finish up my front porch makeover, I took those words into consideration.

I've been jonsing to go shopping for quite some time now.  But with the hubs out of work (and I still haven't found a job yet), the budget just doesn't allow for it right now.  So I decided to just use what I have (even though I don't LOVE everything) and make do with it.

Here are the beginning stages of my porch.

This picture was from my Rustic Star makeover, at which time I decided that something needed to be done to the whiskey barrel. 

I also have this OLD bench that I stained a few years back... but its looking sad and outdated again.  I kind of got ahead of myself with the stain... you can see the very corner where I already started.  :)

And this very lonely corner... it needs a little perking up.

So I pulled out a bunch of stuff I had in my storage area.  Storage area meaning my little patio room crammed full of crap! 

Anyway, I stained the whiskey barrel and bench a dark brown, and then put up a few things from "storage".... and this is what I came up with.

I decided that the star just didn't really belong here after all... I think I'll use it out back somewhere.


So here's a confession... all of the plants are fake except for the ones in the whiskey barrel.  I know, I know.... it's definitely not like the real thing.... but the weather is still cold here (with the dreaded 4 letter S word in the forecast) and this way I don't have to remember to water them :)

I think the only thing missing is a little side table to set my cocktail on!  So I'll start rummaging through all my other crap and see what I come up with. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Click here to link back to one of the many great parties I join each week.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Backyard Makeover ~ Part 1

Now that I have my husband home full time, we can finally get some Honey-Do's checked off the list.  A major project we've been wanting to work on is our back yard.  We've lived in our home for almost 8 years now and haven't done much to renovate that part of the property.  It's enough to just keep it maintained!  So hopefully this year we will be able to get some of it done.

In a recent post I showed you a small part of the yard with all of the garden beds.  What I didn't show you was the FUGLY part. 

This is the very center of the back yard which has never been finished off.  My husband used it as an archery shooting range.  That's gotta go!  Off to the right is the chicken coop.  Although I do love the chickens (and so does Carter), that's gotta go! 

A new subdivision was built in back of us shortly after we moved in and they put up this lovely faux rock fencing.... we originally had a chain link fence up and now it just looks dumb having both up.  So we took that down and got rid of it.  Check! 

In back of the archery target is this gorgeous dirt hill... that's gotta go!  I have no idea why it's been this way for so long!

In back of the dirt hill is this AWESOME fire pit!

Before we can get rid of the dirt hill we needed to work on a place to put it.  There's this large garden bed in the very back that was never totally finished off.   

So we took a bunch of rocks from in front of the chicken coop...................

And now we're making this little rock wall out of them.............

And a cute little pathway..............

Once this is done then we can start hauling dirt from the dirt hill to fill in some of the beds.... then we'll start designing the center area.  I'm thinking a little playground for Carter would be ideal.... and then maybe a new and improved fire pit!  I know the two don't go hand in hand... but we'll figure something out.  Hahaha!

Anyway, that's one of the big projects we've been working on.  It's a ton of work doing it all ourselves.  But a little each day is adding up.  More on this to come! 

And I'm also working on my front porch which is almost done and I'll be showing that off in a couple days. 

Have a great weekend and a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm Back

After being computerless for almost a week I am finally back online and up and running!  I wish I had some awesome project for you today... but things have been CRAZY around here lately. 

Aside from the computer meltdown, I am in the process of going back to work.  Yep... I am looking for a job!  My husband was recently laid off from his job and now I need to be the one to take care of the family.  Kind of sucky timing with trying to make something of my blog.  But one thing is for sure... I am always doing some kind of project so I promise I will keep posting them as I go. 

And with all of that going on... we are also starting to potty train our son.  OMG you guys!  Talk about a challenge.  Luckily I have my husband home to help out.  This might be TMI but we actually got Carter to poop in the potty the other night.  It was so exciting!  But do you think he's done it again?  Nope, but hopefully persistence will pay off.

Meanwhile... I still haven't bought a new camera.... and now our dryer took a dump too.  OMG, when it rains it pours!  So those are some of the other items on my agenda to take care of. 

Anyway, enough of the pity party.  I do have a cool outdoor project in the works and will post that in a couple of days.  So please come back and check it out.  Also, if you didn't see the guest post that my mom did, make sure to check it out.  There are some really cute ideas on spring planting.  Now that spring is finally here!

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thrifty Spring Planting Idea's by Guest Blogger

Hello! I'm Jennifer's Mom Marie.  Her computer crashed last week and is still in the shop.  She asked me to let you know that she'll be back online next week. In the meantime, she wanted me to post a couple of my thrift store finds and what I like to do with some of my unique treasures.  I've never blogged before, so here goes!  I'm also a thrift store junkie and have been going for... well lets just say a very long time, long before it became so popular.

I pick up ornamental birdcages for a few bucks when I can find them and love to put a fern or other happy trailing plant in them using unusual pots that I find on my travels.  I have some inside year round and also use them outside during the summer, they look pretty cute on my front porch, deck and patio.

Most seem to have some sort of rather ugly fake dusty plant in them.
Guess that used to be popular?

This cute cage was stuffed full of this artificial plant, which camouflaged it so well it made it almost impossible to see the detail in the cage.  Must be why nobody else saw it's potential and passed it by.  

I'm planning on painting it a lovely rust color. I love Rust! But that's a whole nother story! I'll need to get some tips from Jen on her painting techniques.

I love how this thrift store rustic pot turned out planted with a happy Spearpoint Ivy that will fill out with time. It made the perfect Birthday gift for my daughter-in-law.

Sitting on a metal rusty plant stand really seem to compliment one another.

For some reason I've been on a kick lately of collecting old teapots and kettles to plant outside this spring. I scored some really good deals on eBay and from our local thrift stores.  I have several ideas of what I'd like to do with them, now I just need some ambition and warmer weather to put my plans in action.  I'm thinking of hanging them from rustic plant hangers mounted on a 6' weathered, distressed post so they tip like they are pouring from their spouts with carefree flowing flowers.  Unless I can make them into a solar powered fountain, that could be an entertaining project.  Or perhaps just hang them on my old wooden fence or set them on an old tree stump.  Since they are metal they will get pretty hot in direct sunlight, so I will have to keep that in mind where I place them and also what types of plants will survive in them.  We've had an unusually long cold winter and wet snowy spring, so I'm extremely anxious to get outside.  I have lots of garden projects waiting for me! If they turn out I'll have Jen post them.  Thanks for looking!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recent Thrifty Finds

It's no secret that I love to shop at thrift stores for my home decor.  I get such a rush when I score something totally cool for almost nothing.  These past few weeks were pretty good to me too... so here are a few of my recent thrifty finds.

I SCORED this hutch for my kitchen off our local classifieds for only $25.  I had been looking for one for quite a while and they were either too far away to drive and pick up, or too much money.  So I pounced on this as soon as I saw it.

I can't wait to refinish it and get it in my new kitchen!

Next up, I found this really cool wall decor piece.  I'm not sure what it's made out of... but it has a carved detail to it.  The price tag said $15, but it has a small hairline crack in it so I talked them down to only $10.  SCORE!

Lastly, this cute little wall picture caught my eye... and when I saw the $0.75 price tag I said "that's mine!".  

What's funny is I saw this same piece at my friend's house when we had Bonko a couple weeks ago.  (Yes it's Bonko, not Bunco, but that's another story).  Anyway, I told her I found the same thing at the DI for $0.75 and she couldn't believe it.... she paid $25 for hers!  But her home is absolutely gorgeous and she definitely has good taste.... and a talent for DIY projects.  I'll have to get some photos from her to show you.

But like I said before, I love a great deal and good decor doesn't have to cost a fortune.  Happy Thrifting!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Boys & Their Toys

Here's another little simple paint project for ya.  I got this wooden toy box for Carter's room.  It's small... so it's not like I will use it for actual toys... but still, it's cute for a decor piece. (that's a frame sitting inside of it BTW)

I spray painted it brown, and then hand painted the letters in black.

Then I painted over the black with 4 different colors of paint that I had used on his walls for his bedroom (click here to see that).

Once that dried, I heavily distressed it with sandpaper all over and put it on this cute little shelf in his room.

I think it turned out pretty cute! 

Anyway, I am planning a little girls getaway this weekend so I won't be posting anything until next week.  Meanwhile, I need some ideas on how to paint this monstrosity!  It's a small entertainment center that was FREE right down the street from my house.  Can't pass that up now can ya?  So I figure it will be a practice piece for me to play around with, but I want some new ideas on colors, glazing, distressing.... what you do you think?

Send me your ideas and then maybe I will have enough energy to tackle this one.... after a nice relaxing trip this weekend.  Hope yours is great!

Click here to link back to one of the great parties I join each week.  Thanks!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Outdoor Rustic Star

Hey!  Hope everyone had a good weekend.  It snowed here on Sunday and has been cold and gloomy.  Two days prior to that temps were in the 70's.  That's Utah weather for you!  Just when you think spring has sprung, winter rears it's ugly head!

Anyway, sorry I've been a little MIA lately.  I've had some major stuff going on (more on that later) and have been busy prepping for some big projects involving a ton of yard work.  And with that, my time has been totally consumed.  But in between everything I've found a little time to do a little crafting! 

A few weeks back I found this star at the thrift store for $1.50.  I have the perfect place for it on my front porch (if the weather ever shapes up!) but it just needed a little paint makeover.

I started with a basic black paint and gave it two good coats.

After that, I got a little overanxious to get it done... and just starting adding my own mix of colors and glazes until it looked "right".  I really had no rhyme or reason to my madness... in fact I don't even remember the order of colors or which one I mixed with what.  That's the beauty of paint... you can customize your own look and play around with the desired effect.  

I used a combination of browns, black and yellow applying each one individually and letting dry... then adding a little more of something here and there.  Here's the closeup (sorry, the pics from far away are hard to see the detail).

I'm not sure if this is it's final resting place on the porch... I still need to get all my other stuff out and play around with it.  I also need to do something with the whiskey barrel ~ maybe some stain or paint?  I'll see how I feel once it's warm enough to get out there!

I can't wait to put it all together!  If you want the names of colors that I used just shoot me a message and I can respond.  I basically used what I already had.  Just by mixing different colors until you create a new one that works for your project is the perfect way to use what you have. 

I'll have another cute little paint makeover on Thursday so check back to see that!

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