Long before I knew how to sew, I would go over to my best friend Lizzy’s house and be in awe of the way she decorated her home.
Her Mom was an interior decorator and could put together fabrics, furniture and statement pieces that no one would ever guess would work together. Her Mom has since passed away, but she instilled a great sense of style in Liz.
I am still in awe when I visit her home.
Not only does Liz have a magnificent home but she has sewn many of the pieces.
One thing I will never forget is the day I visited her house and, well, needed to use her restroom.
In her downstairs guest bathroom, hanging from a heavy gold shower rod was a large white with green ivy shower curtain. (Ivy was all the rage back then. ) 🙂
It was perfect with the rest of the decor in her bathroom and I asked her where she had bought it.
She told me she had made it!!
What? Are you kidding me? Who does that!
I was amazed. You never would’ve guessed it was not store purchased.
I remember telling her that I would never be able to sew. I just didn’t have those kinds of skills.
She lovingly laughed at me.
So yesterday my Oprah “Ah-ha” moment happened and….you guessed it, I made my own shower curtain.
We, and by we I mean Wade, haven’t found the time to repaint the tub/shower/toliet room off of the bathroom.
So in the meantime, I made a shower curtain to pull everything together.
I bought these two fabrics from Walmart. I thought they looked kind of Pottery Barn-ish.
I measured out the fabric, sewed a two inch hem on the top and a one inch hem on the bottom, added 12 grommets for the curtain hooks and called it a day.
But then I had a problem.
You probably already noticed it.
Yep, the shower curtain did not play well with the window curtain.
Without a second of hesitation, I pulled that baby down and whipped up another curtain using the same fabric from the bottom section of the shower curtain.
I apologize for not having a “full” picture of that room, but without busting out a wall or buying a new fancy dancy camera lens, this is as much view of the curtains as I could get.
I feel so accomplished now that I have made a custom curtain.
Thanks Lizzy for knowing that it was only a matter of time (or almost 20 years) before I would conquer “The Shower Curtain.”
We had another Best Day Ever on Spring Break last week.
Sam spent her break with us and we checked a few more items off of the wedding To-Do list.
The reality that our little girl is all grown up and getting married is really starting to sink in.
I know, I know, she and Justin, her fiancé, have dated for over six years and have been engaged for almost a year already so I knew this was coming.
But when you are editing pictures and you notice in a close up shot, that she still holds her pencil the same way that she did when she was little, it becomes real.
Just a second, I have to go and blow my nose.
I am going to be such a mess on her wedding day. 🙂
Okay, let’s move on.
Besides visiting her wedding venue and playing with some different table arrangements, we worked on the photo booth background.
Sam found an app, DIY Booth Lite, that we put on an iPad. The iPad will be strategically placed and centered using this as our background.
From there anyone can make a fun photo strip of pictures using the app and send it to their phone. Even better, Sam and Justin will have a set for themselves on the iPad.
We used the black frame that I use to hold the backgrounds for photos. However a customized background was well over $50.
Not in Sam’s budget, so what does a crafty Mother and Daughter team do?
You guessed it. We made it ourselves.
We bought a 6’x9’ drop cloth from Walmart for $6.99 and I already had the paint, the fabric medium, the large letter stencils and a cheap craft paint brush.
If you did need to purchase all of those things, it would be about $10-$15.
The saying, Best Day Ever was laid out on the drop cloth and traced.
Then each letter was painted.
We wanted the effect to look like a huge old fashioned typewriter had imprinted the fabric.
Sam added her wedding date by freehand. (The girl has skills.)
Since Sam was little, when she is really happy about something, she does a little wiggle dance.
When we finished the backdrop, she wiggle danced.
Here’s wishing all of you a wiggly Best Day Ever Spring Break!
Did you remember to Spring your clock forward early on Sunday morning?
But thankfully Wade did.
Wade and I went Estate Saling on Saturday and found a couple of treasures. We also stopped at IKEA and bought candles and sit-arounds to put in the living room. (You remember sit-arounds. Those pieces that add depth and dimension to your decorating but other than that….they just sit around.)
When I finally did shake the cobwebs from my sleepy eyes this morning, I got to work on redecorating with a Spring theme in mind although outside we were in the middle of a snowstorm.
You’ve already seen the pillows I made, but hey let’s take another gander.
I used the color scheme from these fabrics to create the rest of my Spring 2017 look.
Giving you the big picture first, this is the finished view from the staircase, looking down to the room.
I started decorating from the center of the room by keeping the wood tray on top of the nailhead ottoman. I grabbed a variety of candlesticks from various spots in the house and added the candles from IKEA. The anchoring piece is something my Mom gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago and the lightweight ornate balls, were also purchased from IKEA.
I wanted to keep things neutral and fresh – just how I imagine it will feel when I finally throw open my windows and welcome in the fresh spring air.
Using two more of the robin egg blue candles, I placed them on the mantel with a faux plant, wood sit-arounds my Dad made me, a plaster bunny and some of my other favorite items.
I’m working on other areas of the house also, but for now….
What do you think? Did I capture Spring?
Spring has sprung! Until it didn’t. 🙁
Remember the other day when I was all about the great 60 degree day we were having here in Minnesota?
Yea, it’s 2 degrees today.
We had two days of high winds out of the west, and with strong wind and temps in the upper 40’s, all of the ice melted off the lake. There were actually swans swimming near our little beach and the sun was a true, warm, early, Spring sun.
Now there is a thin layer of ice by said beach. But ironically, the swans still showed up to catch some breakfast.
By the way…don’t swans head south for the winter? That water has to be cold.
Anyway, I’ll google it. I am getting way off track on what I wanted to tell you.
Yesterday I spent the day with this little nugget.
She is the daughter of a friend of mine and her name is Piper. Her Mommy went back to work but her daycare provider isn’t available until the first of April.
My day to play with her is Thursday. Her Grandma and her Mommy’s cousin play with her the other days of the week.
Yesterday was my first Thursday with her and we had so much fun! Unfortunately for me, she took a looong nap, so I absorbed some major TLC cable channel viewing time.
There was an episode of Love It or List. It was the episode where the wife was a contractor. The couple bought a fixer upper, but she was so busy working on everyone else’s home, that she had a lot of projects yet to fix up in her own home.
And that got me thinking.
The recent bout of warm weather put me in the mood to “Springitize” my house. But then it got cold and I had a rush of Etsy orders for others that were “Springitizing” their homes.
So my house went on the back burner.
But today is a new day!
Today is the day, that I start with some fresh spring pillows.
I’ll give you a full room view after I complete the whole area, but for now here is a quick Winter to Spring before and after.
Let the Springitizing commence!
Welcome to today’s edition of: A little of this and a little of that.
I have handcuffed myself to the desk until I am finished with my 2016 taxes.
This time of year is so “financial” that I haven’t done anything “big” that is blog worthy.
But I do have some little things to share.
First, let’s turn my frown upside down and find a bright spot about doing taxes.
Oh wait, I got this.
This is my view as I sit upstairs in the loft hard at work.
And here is a picture of the lake. Melting snow and ice assures you that Spring is just around the corner.
It will still be another six weeks before the dock goes back into the water, but knowing that we are on the back end of winter makes me smile.
It’s not so bad being stuck in this spot. 🙂
In other news, I have been working on my photography and editing skills.
In fact, next week I am going down to the cities to spend the day with Spencer. We are grabbing our cameras and walking around shooting a kind of “He Sees/She Sees” contest.
Also while I am with Spencer we are going to update the blog by moving some things around, maybe add a current photo of myself and tweaking the layout.
Stay tuned for that.
One last “little” that I can finally share with you.
I am going to WACO!
Waco as in the city of Magnolia Farms! My parents will be on their way home to Wisconsin from southern Texas and they are going to meet me for two days of adventure! I can’t even imagine how I will act if I actually see Chip and Joanna.
I have to wait for 26 more days. Waiting, not my strong suit. 🙂
There have been times in my life when a situation or story has pulled on my heartstrings. Those things typically come out of the blue and stick with me forever.
And It happened again the other day.
I received a custom order request from a potential Etsy customer. This is what she asked:
My father passed away and I have two of his favorite sweaters. I was wondering if I could send them to you and If you can make pillows out of them?
With misty eyes and no hesitation, I immediately responded. I told Dana that I had made pillow covers for this exact reason before. I sent her pricing and details.
I left the return message to her short and sweet because typically customers are shopping around the Etsy world to get the best deal and you don’t hear from them again.
Dana replied instantly.
Twenty-four conversations later, the sweaters were shipped and the transformation began.
Originally, I had offered to return any unused fabric instead of tossing it in the garbage, but Dana felt that she couldn’t handle seeing the leftover pieces.
Heart-strings pulled again.
She wanted 2 covers from her father’s St. Patrick’s Day sweater that he wore every year. There were shamrocks on the sleeves and we decided that coasters would be perfect for these!
I sent Dana a picture of the first finished St. Patrick’s Day pillow and she responded.
OMG Wendy I can’t believe it! I just love it! Can’t stop crying! Thank you.
The other sweater is a Christmas sweater that, again, her father chose as his attire every holiday.
Dana wanted the largest size of pillow cover I could get from this large sized sweater. Making one 20×20 inch cover from the front and one from the back turned out beautifully.
As I sent the finished pillows off into the mail today back to Dana, I must admit that I was kind of emotional.
I was so honored that a complete stranger would allow and trust me to take care of her wonderful memories of her father.
I asked Dana if I could share her story. This is what she said:
Sure you can blog about “Grandpa’s holiday sweaters”. Over the last twenty years my parents came to my home to celebrate the different holidays and never did a year go by that grandpa did not wear his sweater. As the children got older they would kid about the sweaters. “Do you think grandpa will remember to wear his sweater this year or will he forget and wear a different one?”
He never forgot.
And when he passed away I immediately requested those sweaters. I decided to go on Etsy to see how we can all enjoy these precious sweaters and I found your website. It was hard to decide if we should leave the sweaters alone or not but when my son saw that you can make pillows with the sweaters he was sold. He wants to use the pillow after he sprays it with grandpa’s cologne and have sweet dreams of him and his grandpa.
Heartstrings broken. 🙂
Can you hear it?
That solid, constant thumping sound?
No need to worry, it’s just me banging my head against the wall as I put together my taxes.
I have all of the paperwork and receipts in a box. A big black box. Every year I promise myself I will come up with a better system and do better next year.
Fifth year in business….still hasn’t happened.
Thumping, thumping, thumping.
Let me show you what has gotten in the way of doing those dreaded taxes.
This super cute hot pink/silver reversible Easter Bunny pillow!
When you move the sequins back and forth they change from pink to silver.
So many options for patterns you lose track of time and then you need to make supper and do dishes and go to bed.
No time for taxes.
But I haven’t given up hope for next years tax attempt. If you also have a small business, there are several options to help on Pinterest.
Just put in Taxes Organization and find the best option for you.
If you have a shop on Etsy, Etsy has an option to purchase QuickBooks to pull all of your Etsy information into one place. (I’ve purchased this system but haven’t used it enough to give a review.)
If you aren’t an Etsy seller, here is the link for QuickBooks for the self-employed.
And my favorite option if you want to avoid your tax preparation all together, you can find the Sequin Easter Bunny Cover here. 🙂
In Minnesota from November to April, most days are gray. Winter is long and cold and long and cold and long.
I’m complaining, but that’s just something that people do when they don’t enjoy gray. We just wait and sometimes months and sometimes hours later the weather will do a full 180.
That full 180 is what happened last week when we had an amazing, unseasonal 60 degree day…IN FEBRUARY!
I took full advantage of the sunshine and walked from my house, around the lake to the little cabin that is being renovated.
And….I wore a sweatshirt. No big heavy bulky winter jacket, gloves or hat.
So, I thought it would be fun to show you what a warm sunny day here looks like in my neck of the woods.
After walking through the neighborhood, I enter the Lake George Regional Park from the back side.
This entrance is not used by the general public because there is an official entrance about a quarter of a mile from this point.
Not that I have a lot of experience visiting regional parks, but in my opinion this park is very well cared for with several shelters available for picnicing, a clean and safe playground, a well groomed beach, a volleyball court and great exercise paths.
But as soon as the temperatures drop, this park is typically only used by the residents that live around the lake.
As I walked through the park, I met several people also enjoying the sunshine.
Total aside, I met a young girl on her skateboard being pulled by her dog. She had on a tank top and shorts 🙂 Oh to be young again.
After soaking in the warm sun, I made it to the other side of the lake to the little cabin.
Kris and George, the owners, let me know that most of the progress was made under the house in the utility room.
They have updated everything. You name it, they have it. The new, shiny, 2017, up-to-code not exciting, but necessary it.
What is exciting is the changes in the house!
Ready for some before and during pictures?
As we enter the cabin, this is/was the bathroom.
The kitchen now looks nothing like a kitchen.
The big blue wall is almost unrecognizable.
Things are going to shape up quickly now. Kris said that the kitchen cabinets are going to be installed this coming week.
They are going to be white! Be still my heart.
I’ll keep you updated!
P.S. Two days after these pictures were taken, the temperature dropped back to the 30’s and south of us, they received over a foot of snow.
Getting back into the swing of things after a vacation was tricky. Updating a picture frame while I dipped my toe into the DIY pool with this quickie guest bedroom project was not.
The blankness of the wall behind the bed in the guest bedroom has been so, well….blank.
I was struggling with a piece to put there taking into consideration the angle of the wall on the left.
Then the solution to this blank wall problem had been staring me in the face all along.
This metal piece would be perfect above the bed.
So I hammered in a nail and bam, problem solved.
Now if you are saying to yourself….okay Wendy, that’s fine and dandy, but now you need something above the loveseat, you’d be right.
I bought this peel and stick wallpaper awhile back from Target. It was kind of pricey. $30 for a 27.5 square foot area. My intentions were to paper the short wall in the guest bedroom and then I decided instead I would paper the wall in the bathroom.
But something besides the price was holding me back from using it.
That something was the fact that I have never used peel and stick wallpaper. The directions suggested that you have two people work together to apply it.
99% of the time, I am doing these DIY projects by myself.
I figured that if it takes two people to wallpaper, it would only take one person to wallpaper a 16×20 inch piece of cardboard.
My brilliance comes in waves. 🙂
I collected the rest of the supplies that I had randomly picked up here and there and they all came together for this quickie project.
Wade and I bought this 16×20 inch wood frame for $5.00 at an estate sale last fall.
I found this Dream applique at Menards a couple of weeks ago, on sale for $3.83.
I cut down a piece of ¼ inch cardboard to fill in the 16×20 frame opening. Then I cut a piece of the wallpaper a little bigger than that so it was a workable size and not too cumbersome.
Ready for how easy this was?
I peeled off the backing of the paper, applied it to the cardboard and cut off any excess.
Then I peeled of the word Dream and applied it to the wallpaper.
The finished piece fit snuggly into the frame so I didn’t need to glue, nail or attach it in any other way.
The nail was still there from the metal piece so three seconds later, bam, another problem solved.
What do you think?
P.S. A small piece of this paper was easy to use. However, I cannot imagine wallpapering with large sections of paper. It definitely would take two people who are very patient and much more experienced with peel and stick wallpaper.
I needed to refuel.
Blogging about decorating my home, other people’s homes and running an online business; This is my dream job.
At first it seemed selfish to me that I wanted to take a vacation.
I mean really, I work from home in my pajamas, (don’t judge) and make my own schedule, but quite honestly I work very long hours, seven days a week.
So, last Fall when Nikki and I decided that we wanted to surprise our husbands with a vacation, we couldn’t have picked a better time than this past week.
Jimmy and Nikki are seasoned airbnb.com renters. They knew how this whole online property rental thing worked, and that calmed my nerves about trying something new.
We wanted to do something that the four of us had never done. Using the airbnb website was simple and easy and quickly helped us decide what our vacation would entail.
The boys, as we lovingly call them, had no idea where we were going. Okay, wait…that’s not entirely true.
They knew we were going to the Orlando airport because I used Wade’s frequent flyer points for our flight. Other than that, we told them to pack casually, include swim trunks and keep an open mind.
So early on Wednesday morning, and I mean 4am early, we started a long weekend vacation.
After an uneventful flight, we rented a car and drove an hour north of Orlando to a small town called Sanford.
We directed the boys to Lake Monroe as our final destination and surprised them with a five night stay on this 60 ft. houseboat.
Before you ask, no, we couldn’t take the boat out onto the lake, but we were so busy sightseeing and running around the area, that being out in the middle of the lake would have made for a completely different trip.
After meeting the delightful owners Rebecca and Michael, and receiving a tour of the boat and the ins and outs how everything worked, we were on our own.
The first thing we did was decide who got which bedroom. I wanted to flip a coin for the master, but Nikki said we could have it.
(You can see why we are friends.) 🙂
The master was at the back of the boat.
This is a queen size bed with the greatest mattress and pillows. We had a TV in our room and a patio door too that lead to the ladder for the upstairs living space.
Our master bathroom was right beside our bedroom and had a full shower, whirlpool tub, toilet and sink.
Across from our bathroom was a closet that contained a washer and dryer and next to that was Jimmy and Nikki’s bathroom.
Their bedroom was next and contained a full size bed with the same kind of comfy mattress and pillows.
Now that you have seen the bedrooms, let’s start back at the front of the boat.
When you first stepped on you were greeted by this table and chairs sitting in the sunshine.
Through a sliding glass door is the beautifully decorated main living space, dining area and galley kitchen.
As I already mentioned, we had a sliding glass door in our bedroom that allowed you to go outside and use a ladder to get to the floor above. This is that ladder on the back of the boat.
But wait, see this ladder and hatch inside at the end of the kitchen counter?
This was another way to climb upstairs and relax in this amazing space.
As you pop up from the downstairs this is the area that you see first.
And these are the pictures that were the selling point when deciding which property to rent.
Can you see why 4 Midwesterners in the grips of a dark and gray winter couldn’t turn down this view?
This boat was fully stocked with everything we needed. In fact, Rebecca had even stocked the refrigerator with a dozen eggs, bacon and bagels with cream cheese, not to mention a wonderful bottle of red wine which we thoroughly enjoyed.
We filled our days with trips to Daytona beach and a full day at Universal where Wade was like a kid in a candy store at Harry Potter.
Historic Sanford is a very small town but it did not disappoint. Restaurants, bars, boutique and antique shopping and even a little Mardi Gras parade rounded out our final day in Florida.
It’s amazing how sunshine, relaxation and sometimes pure silliness can refuel a body.
P.S. If you are interested in this airbnb rental, you can find it here. Thank you Rebecca for supplying the photos of your lovely houseboat.
P.S.S. In full disclosure, I was not compensated in any way from airbnb or Rebecca for this fantastic vacation.