My FUN New Christmas Wreath!

My FUN New Christmas Wreath!

I am not planning to go all out with the Christmas decorating this year.  I mean, I love it with a passion, but something has to give.

I just don’t have the energy to rearrange the furniture, put out a tree, dig all of the decorations from the storage building and hang lights everywhere.  I’ll do a few festive things and make sure the kids feel the Christmas cheer, but nothing crazy.

My lack of decorations does not reflect my feeling about Christmas.  It reflects my level of exhaustion.

I decided to make a simple wreath to hang over the couch in the living room.  I may move it to the front door after the fall wreath comes down.  But probably not.  Tired, remember?

It was so easy.  It took me about an hour to make it and I like the playfulness of it.

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I got the chipboard pieces at Hobby Lobby.  I figured out what I needed by finding a corner in the store and spreading pieces all over the floor and playing with them until I found a design I liked.  Sure I was in people’s way.  But a cute wreath at 50% off waits for no man.

The twine is my favorite, favorite twine.  I use it for all kinds of stuff.  Besides crafts I love to wrap gifts with it, tie things together, I even used it for some wedding flowers that I did for a friend.  It’s wonderful.  I get it from Online Fabrics.  That’s also where I got all of the fabric for the new cushions I put on my pool deck last summer.  Great folks over there.

Once I got home I made my brain try to remember how I laid out the pieces in the store.  My brain doesn’t work as well as it used to, so that took up about 1/4 of my time.

After I figured it all out, I held the pieces, 2 at a time, together and drilled hoes through them so I could tie it all together with the twine.

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I lightly spray painted the separate pieces.  I didn’t want full covereage so I kind of just dusted them.

I also hot glued it together.  I am no dummy.  I know you have to attach crafts together with as many methods as you possibly can.

Here’s a tip for you….to get the twine through all of the holes, dab a teeny line of hot glue on the end of the twine and roll it through your fingers (after it cools off for a few seconds!) to make a stiff end and it will slide right through the holes in the chipboard.  You’re welcome.

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After attaching them all together it was a little wobbly, so I glued pieces of cardboard to the in the back for extra support.

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Once it was all assembled I added some twine and washi tape in a few spots.  And of course, a burlap bow.  Because burlap makes everything better.

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Hang it up and enjoy for the season.

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And some of my bloggy friends have made Christmas wreaths too….lots of ideas and inspiration to get you ready for the holidays.

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(After reading this over it looks like this wreath is small, but it’s actually pretty big.  I’ll post more pics on Facebook during the week.)

 

Below you will find the links to each of the brand new 2014 Christmas Wreaths. To appreciate all the lovely details of each wreath, click on each of the links.

Vintage Wonderland Wreath from Flamingo Toes

Rudolph Wreath from She’s Kinda Crafty

Woodland Tree Wreath by Tatertots and Jello

Christmas Craft Wreath from Positively Splendid

Lumber Jack Antler Wreath from Nest of Posies

Poinsettia Wreath from A Night Owl Blog

Simple Felt Leaf Wreath from The Shabby Creek Cottage

Easy Christmas Wreath from Just Destiny Mag

Rustic Christmas Wreath from Clean and Scentsible

Glitter Holiday Wreath from A Pumpkin and a Princess

Scripted Ribbon Poinsettia Wreath from The Scrap Shoppe Blog

Rustic Glam Holiday Wreath from Sweet Rose Studio

How to make a Snowy Jingle Bell Wreath from Fox Hollow Cottage

Fun Christmas Wreath from The Pennington Point

Christmas Felt Flower Wreath by Bombshell Bling

 

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Rec Rooms and Old People

Rec Rooms and Old People

Being the last day of October I am feeling a little like waxing poetic over the passing of time.

But then I would have to think of rhyming words and watch how long my sentences are and the thought of working that hard makes my dream of becoming the next Emily Dickinson fly out the window.

Today our family will lie low and just be together playing games and hanging out.  We don’t celebrate Halloween at all….it’s just another day to spend with the family.  We may even order pizza and check the Redbox to see if there’s anything fun to watch.

For the past couple of weeks we have been turning what used to be the etsy shop into a rec room for the older kids.  They needed a place of their own to host their friends, watch grown up movies and stay up late.  By late I mean after 9:00, since I no longer have the ability to remain conscious after that.  But the kids like to stay up and talk and make noise that keeps old people awake.  It was either give them their own space or go hoarse calling out for them to “HUSH!” every night.

Good grief.  I have turned a geriatric corner.

I gave them full freedom to fix the room up however they want.  They have been pulling furniture out of storage and dragging junk in there and making it all their own.  I heard whispers of choosing paint colors, so I guess they’re going all out.  Have fun kids!  Mom will be in her bedroom taking a nap.

To be clear, the etsy shop is still in business.  We have just taken a ton of items out of the shop to make it a little easier for the boys. They have taken over the production of our top seller, the essential oil shelves.  It’s a great way for them to earn money and save for college.

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The girls are still making the jar lids and a few other favorite items.  I do all of the customer service and upkeep.  It’s a full fledged family operation.

And since we took our product list way down we were able to move the shop into a smaller space, which left the big room wide open.  I thought I might have a hard time letting go of the decorating and furniture arranging.  But it turns out that I am not struggling with it one bit.  They can turn that place into a sci-fi museum for all I care.  I fully expect a Tardis to be constructed in the corner.  I am just happy they are enjoying it so much!

Our weekend is full of plans to clean the house and get caught up on shop orders.  I also am hoping to get some reading in since I brought home about 20 new books from the conference last weekend.  And to be in bed before 9 every night.

See you in November!

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Boys Can Be very Helpful

Boys Can Be very Helpful

It has been a full few days with furniture rearranging and friends and dental appointments.  I may need a whole day’s nap to recover.

Last Saturday my girls decided to go out for some thrift store shopping, so I was left alone with the 4 younger boys.  It was either going to turn into a Lego-fest or I could use their future man muscles for the greater good, so I decided to have them help me rearrange some furniture.  I promised them the whole afternoon to themselves if they would help me.

I needed to use some of the junk I bought recently so we brought it in the house to figure out where to put it.  While we were at it we cleaned under the couches and dusted everything.  The amount of dust in this house could fill a king sized mattress.

I had an old fridge (don’t ask me why I bought this….it just spoke to me) and a worn section of fence to put somewhere.  So I would point, “Let’s try it over here” and we kept moving things until we got it how I liked it.  This is not only an opportunity to help Mom, but a lesson in future husbandness.

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We put the old fridge in the corner and hung our metal letters over it.  We are keeping blankets in the fridge.  The irony is not lost.

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I moved one of the couches back to make the room seem bigger.  I used old footstools behind it to keep it from pushing back against the window.

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Over the other couch I hung a fence section.  I like putting something extra big over that couch.  It makes the low ceiling feel taller.

Using junk to fix up a room!

When James saw the fence he immediately said, “You paid money for that?!  We probably have everything you need to make one in our trash wood pile!”  Yes, but for $10 this one is done.

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To make room for the fridge I had to remove some things and put the TV on a dresser that was a little short.  Plus I needed a place for the DVD player and Wii.  So I had one of the boys throw a little shelf together with junk wood.  It’s perfect and James is happy we used the wood pile.

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The piano stayed where it was….it just got a little accessory update.

Having the boys help rearrange the furniture!

The rest of the house got picked up and straightened too and we settled into Saturday afternoon all relaxed and ready for the week.

On Sunday after church we drove to Austin for my parent’s 51st anniversary.  We hung out at my sister’s house for a few hours then headed home to get ready for a day full of company the next day.  It was fun to all be together.  With the kids all growing up we don’t go out as a whole family much anymore.  Our 15 passenger van was wondering why we hadn’t taken it out for a joy ride for so long.

Monday was a simple time of friends and burgers on the grill and kids running around making too much noise.  Everyone left by 9PM because I had to get up early the next day for a dentist appointment.

I’ve been dealing with some tooth issues for a couple of weeks, so I had been anxiously waiting this day.  He thinks he figured out the problem and I am, hopefully, on my way to a pain free mouth again.  Dental problems stink.  That’s all I have to say about that.

Let’s talk about junk and furniture again.  It’s a much happier subject!

This next weekend our family will be going to the Forge Conference.  It’s great teaching, wholesome families and great fellowship.  I’m looking forward to it!  If you decide to attend please find me and say hello!!!

Have a great day!

 

More Cleaning and Organizing

More Cleaning and Organizing

I just can’t stop!

Friday was quiet.  We have been getting small jobs done around here and prepping for school to start. I got some shelves cleaned off and straightened and the school books all stacked and ready for me to go through.

On Saturday I was planning to get some more work done around the house and help my son get ready to go to Oklahoma for the week.  But then I heard about a barn sale that was full of junk and I couldn’t resist driving an hour to see what they had that I couldn’t live without.

I came home with a broken old fridge, an old metal slide and a few smaller things.  Uh huh.  Because my house isn’t full enough already.

I’m not sure yet what I am going to do with either of those two things but they made my heart skip a beat when I saw them and I knew we were meant to be together.  I’ll figure something out.  True love can’t be denied.

On Saturday night I felt a little cold coming on.  So I decided to skip church on Sunday morning.  I didn’t want to start a sore throat epidemic.  I kept gargling with Thieves and apple cider vinegar and I took Vitamin C and tried to drink lots of water.

But because I am not one to sit still, I told the kids that if they would help me do some cleaning then I would give them the afternoon off to do anything they wanted (at home that is).  They jumped at that and we all pitched in to get some more organizing done.

The 2 girls set about cleaning out some kitchen cabinets while the little boys and I reorganized what used to be the nursery but had become a room with a bed and treadmill.  It’s a tiny room and with the treadmill right in the middle of it we should have renamed it “The Ugly Room.”

So I moved the furniture, cleaned out the cabinet and drawers and by 1:00 it was a whole new space and there were 3 trash bags full of junk to be tossed out.  Really, that always amazes me how much stuff I have that I never use.  It’s kind of shameful.

Here’s a picture, but not because it’s a beautiful room.  I show it to you because I love seeing other people’s houses (really, I would walk through all of your houses and just look around if I could) so here’s my little room.

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I made a “wall” with the white cabinet and put the treadmill behind it.  Whoever is treadmilling can look out the window or see the TV (it’s right next to me in the picture so you can’t see it).  We just use this room for working out and as an extra bed (which we seem to need a lot).

Once that was done and all of the trash taken out and my bedroom cleaned up from everything we dumped in there I let the kids do whatever they wanted (I believe they watched movies) and I took the world’s best nap.

This week my guys are gone off to school and I have the place to myself.  Well, if you count being home with 6 kids being by myself.  I like to clean things out while James is gone so he doesn’t get distracted by the messes.  When he gets home it’ll all be back in order and ready to start school next week.

There.  That’s my weekend.  What did you do?

Our Boys’ Attic Lego Loft

Our Boys’ Attic Lego Loft

A great room for boys and their Legos! #legos #boysroom #kidsroom

In my Summer Home Tour I showed you my boy’s loft bedroom.  But I thought I’d show you it again with a little more of the details.

A loft room for boys and their Legos!

This room is so small, but we only keep the Legos and two beds up there, so it works.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

There are mattresses on the floor at each end of the room.  We got new mattresses and I am surprised at how comfy it is.  I went to Target and got the dorm-bed-in-a-bag kit.  They were happy to have matching bedding and it didn’t cost me much.  I added a couple of accent pillows.  Doesn’t every guy want throw pillows?

A great room for boys and their Legos!

I decided to add red because I found these AWESOME red metal lockers at IKEA (my happy place).

A great room for boys and their Legos!

The fence looking thing is the rail that you used to be able to see through from below.  But with the room makeover we put luann in front of it so they have more privacy.  To make the best use of the space we built a white shelf at each end of the lockers that faces the beds and one in the middle to hold all of their Lego books and manuals.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

It creates one long surface for them to build their Lego creations.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

On the opposite side of the room is the only wall.  With one weird shaped wall you have to get creative about how to use it.  We built shelves that were completely fitted to the wall and filled them with containers for the….you know what…..Legos!

A great room for boys and their Legos!

Most of the containers I got at IKEA.  Duh.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

If you’re wondering what the wooden thing on the floor is….that’s the door to the room!

The boys have organized the Legos how they want, which is basically not organized at all.

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 I left empty spots on the shelves for them to put some of the things they’ve built.

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I even added (again, IKEA) little lights on each end of the long shelf for them to hit when they need light in the night.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

The whole room was done with 1x8s, paint and 1x2s for the brackets!  It took some measuring, but we got a lot of storage in a small space and it doesn’t feel cramped because the middle is completely empty except for the seat cubes.  They need a place to sit while they build.

If you like attic spaces, I’ve found some more really cute ones over on my Attic Makeover board on Hometalk!

hometalk-attic makeovers

 


A New Door

A New Door

Well, it took two days but we got the junk all out of my bedroom and the kitchen, which is our other nuclear fallout zone.  Not only did we have the boys’ room cleanup to deal with, but as school approaches I am getting in a panic about the house, as if we can never straighten it once we get back to lessons.  I don’t know why, but I feel like I have to clear the entire house of all clutter as if I’m nesting.

The birth of a new school year.

I’m also really happy to have an office for myself.  I took what was our little study room (it used to be Noah’s Lego room until we moved him upstairs) and made it into my own office.  If I am in there with the doors closed it means KEEP OUT.  If I am not in there then the kids can still use it for quiet study.

The reason I couldn’t just use the room the way it was before is it had no door between it and the boys’ bedroom.  That would have made it difficult to concentrate.  So we built a door between the two rooms. When I say “we” I mean I designed it and bought all of the materials, my son built it and my daughters painted it.

Because the room is SO small I didn’t have room for a swinging door.  So this slides along a track we built with a galvanized pipe and hangs from eyes screwed into the top of the door.  It’s a simple 2×2 frame with chalkboard behind it.  The back is a dry erase white board for the boys to draw on.  I decided to make it floor to ceiling to add height to the room.

A great door wheh you have a tight spot!

Open on the Left — Closed on the right

I put stationary casters on the bottom, which makes it super easy to open and close!

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And now I have a place to work when I need quiet.  It was either that or drive to an undisclosed location and work in the car with my computer mashed against the steering wheel and the A/C blasting in my face.

I still have a few small messes to deal with, but it’s mostly all back to normal.  By “normal” I mean not normal at all because nothing ever stays the same around here for more than two weeks.

On Sunday I drove an hour and a half to meet my parents for lunch and handed off two of my daughters to help them for the week.  It was a nice Sunday drive (we used to take Sunday drives all of the time when I was a kid, why don’t we do that anymore?!) and great to see my folks.  I had the two youngest boys with me so as we drove home they started asking questions.  “Mom, why would someone want to get married just for the sake of getting married?!” “How do you know if you’re old enough to get a job?” “Why does a church need elders?”  I am not kidding.  These were the questions.  I mostly replied with answers like, “Hey, does anyone want some frozen yogurt?!”

Have a great week!

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Let Me Tell You a Little Story….

Let Me Tell You a Little Story….

One day you’re a woman with a clean bedroom and the next day…BAM!  It looks like you live in an episode of Hoarders.

I try to keep my room clean, I really do.  On Sunday nights I give it a really good straightening and put away everything that has accumulated through the week.  I’m not really sure why Legos and other people’s belts end up at the foot of my bed, but I just take it as part of life and clean it all up.

Now, I love the part of this story where I wake up on Monday morning to a clean bedroom.  I feel like a lady in a mattress commercial that stretches like she’s the happiest person in the world all because she slept on a Posturepedic (FYI: spell check keeps trying to change that word to “pedicurist” which seems like a big spelling leap, but now I want a pedicure because I am easily influenced.  Don’t say the names of any food or I instantly want it.  Except olives or cucumbers which I do not like. #random)

Like any good tale there’s a plot twist.  This time it’s in the form of me deciding I need an office and we have to clean out three rooms to make it happen.  And where does all of the junk and furniture that no one needs anymore end up?  Yep.  You guessed it.

We cleaned and moved and worked so hard and by Thursday I had a situation on my hands.  Sure, I have a lovely new office but I also have an uninhabitable bedroom.  I won’t be stretching my arms like the lady in the commercial.  Because if I did I would hit the enormous pile of clothes that is next to me on the bed.  And forget going to the bathroom in the night without turning on the lights.  Toe….meet the bookshelf that wasn’t there yesterday.

Speaking of piles of clothing, WHY are there so many clothes in the boys’ drawers that don’t fit them?!  We have very limited space.  Four boys have their clothes all in one room which is also where we keep all of their toys and two of them sleep.  Oh, and all of their books.  Every inch is sacred.  So when I opened THREE drawers to find them stuffed with clothes that NO ONE wears I kind of lost my mind.  It’s like I could actually feel a little screw going loose in my brain, hairs turning gray and wrinkles creeping along my face.

It was just last weekend that I announced we might need to find a place to put another dresser in there because the drawers were all so full and I had already had them clean it all out.  In their defense, none of them had any idea who was supposed to be using those three drawers so they never opened them, thinking they belonged to a brother.

We had a drawer intervention.

And now I have a mountain of boy’s clothes on my bed waiting for me to go through.  I also have three pieces of furniture that I have to squeeze into the storage building, which is another touchy subject.  Let’s just agree to not talk about it, mkay?

So guess what the theme for today is!  It’s “Clean Mommy’s Room Day”!  It starts with getting all of this junk out of my room and ends with happy Mommy buying frozen yogurt for everyone.

The end.

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Summer Home Tour 2014

Summer Home Tour 2014

It’s time for the second annual Summer Home Tour hosted by the lovely Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage (and one of my bestest friends).  If you’re here from Traci’s place….welcome!  I love her style!!!

I just fixed up my porch for the summer, which inspired me to fluff up the rest of the place.  I’ve been so excited for you to come for a visit.

A gorgeous patriotic front porch!

I painted a houndstooth rug to make guests feel welcome, and so we could easily wash the chicken messes off.  Chickens are soooo charming, until they poop on your porch.

A painted rug on the porch! Cool!

Come on through the screen door and sit a spell…..

A beautiful front porch for summer! -- The Pennington Point
With 9 kids, we need a lot of seating and there’s not much space.  It’s not easy to do in this little bitty house, but there’s always an extra seat for you!

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

I made the coffee table with a furniture dolly I found at a flea market, some galvanized pipes and the glass top from my old coffee table!  It’s happiness disguised as wood and metal.

A Coffee table made with an old furniture dolly and some galvanized pipes.

I think I’m in love.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

It’s always nice to see things from another angle.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

My painted piano is one of my favorite pieces in the house.

A gorgeous summer home tour! I love this painted piano -- The Pennington Point

This summer I went with an outdoor theme….birds and bugs and butterflies.  I was going for a look of “kids exploring the summer season”.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

I carried that theme into my dining room/homeschool room, which is open to the living room through 2 wide doorways.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

One of my girls found a speed limit sign at a resale shop and snatched it up for me.  She knows just what I like!

A gorgeous summer home tour! This speed limit sign on the mantle is great! -- The Pennington Point

A turn to the left and you see my chalkboard wall.  We change it out seasonally. (And in case you’re wondering….the table is a ping pong table with a vinyl tablecloth over it.)

A gorgeous summer home tour! Love this ping pong table as a dining room table.  -- The Pennington Point

I recently added the gorgeous shutters to the dining room from blinds.com and I love them with a passion.  We added trim to them, like we did in my bedroom.  Come back soon ‘cuz I’m gonna show you how we did it!

The long desk is where my kids use their computers (that’s what the little cabinet below holds) and do schoolwork.  It doubles as a buffet when we have parties or holiday meals.

A beautiful chalkboard wall in this summer home tour.

Oh!  And did you see the lights we made?!

Make lights from wire baskets

The chalkboard wall is full of painted jars and leaves and things the kids might bring in from their outside adventures.  I spray painted the mason jars….eeee!  Cute!

A gorgeous summer home tour!  Love this kids' summer decorating theme.... painted mason jars and outdoor touches
The other side of the room is where we do school lessons.

A gorgeous summer home tour! This is the homeschool room, very organized. -- The Pennington Point

I keep all of our school supplies in these baskets.  It’s great to have everything right there when we need it.

A gorgeous summer home tour! And organized homeschool space.  -- The Pennington Point

Back in the living room you may have noticed a ladder…..lots of people ask what’s up there.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

It’s a loft where 2 of my boys sleep.  But even more importantly, it’s where we keep the Legos.  5 boys and many years worth of teeny, tiny, overpriced, messy….oops…..sorry….I’m getting off track.

There’s a bed on each end of the room with storage in between.  I actually got quite a bit of storage in there considering the room has serious limitations.

A boy's loft and Lego room.  Small space with big ideas!

The loft has only one real wall, so we built shelves to fit along the entire thing and boxes to fit on the shelves and voila!  Lego storage.

A boy's loft and Lego room.  Small space with big ideas!

The wood on the floor is the door…..so fun!  And there’s a little round window in the wall.  It’s a really cute room.

I used these fabulous metal cabinets from IKEA across the other side of the room so each boy has one for his personal stuff.  On each end we built a shelf that faces the bed so they have a place for their nighttime needs like clocks and books and pieces of trash.

A boy's loft and Lego room.  Small space with big ideas!

Then we built a shelf in the center to hold all of the manuals and instructions that my boys insist on keeping.  The whole thing makes one long surface on which the boys can create Lego masterpieces.

A boy's loft and Lego room.  Small space with big ideas!

Through the kitchen and out the door, you get to the luxurious poolside lounge.  Last year’s cushions didn’t survive the Texas weather, so I had to change it all up.  I have some plans to improve it even more, but this is what it looks like right now….come back in a couple of weeks for an update on the cushions and throw pillows!

A gorgeous summer home tour! This backyard deck decorated with junk is a favorite!  -- The Pennington Point

I found these turbines in my neighbor’s trash one morning when I was walking.  You can bet I grabbed them up and carried them home!

A gorgeous summer home tour! This backyard deck decorated with junk is a favorite!  -- The Pennington Point

It’s such a great place to hide from the kids….oh, um….I mean relax.

A gorgeous summer home tour! This backyard deck decorated with junk is a favorite!  -- The Pennington Point

On the opposite side of the yard is my husband’s office.  The kids and I surprised him in February with a front office makeover while he was out of town.

A gorgeous summer home tour! Outdoor office makeover. -- The Pennington Point

The last space I want to show you is my little office.  It used to be my son’s Lego room, but as you saw, we moved all of that to their loft bedroom.  Then it was a place where the kids could study, but they didn’t really use it much.  Now it’s my office.  Things change quickly around here.  Don’t blink or you’ll miss something.

The chest under my desk-table is filled with special things for the boys to play with when they are hanging out in there with me.

A gorgeous summer home tour! Love this small office space.  -- The Pennington Point

It’s where I sit and try to think of something eloquent to say.

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

Well that’s all folks!  Thanks for stopping by and be sure to head over to the rest of the homes and check out all of the gorgeousness!!!  You’ve got to go see Lindsay at The White Buffalo Styling Co….she’s awesome!

A gorgeous summer home tour! -- The Pennington Point

You can see last year’s tour featuring other rooms in my house HERE.

Monday, June 2nd

The Shabby Creek Cottage
The Nester
At The Picket Fence (Vanessa)
Thistlewood Farms
The Inspired Room

Tuesday, June 3rd

The Handmade Home
My Fabuless Life
Finding Home
In My Own Style
The Hunted Interior

Wednesday, June 4th

Inspired By Charm
Jennifer Rizzo
Madigan Made
Makely School for Girls
Funky Junk Interiors

Thursday, June 5th

Jones Design Company
Beneath My Heart
The Pennington Point
White Buffalo Styling Co.
Southern Hospitality

Friday, June 6th

At the Picket Fence (Heather)
Desert Domicile
Tatertots & Jello
Home Stories A to Z
Live Laugh Rowe

Let There Be Light!

Let There Be Light!

Some weekends are the lazy kind where you sit around and wonder what to do with yourselves.  Like when James and I were first married and we would hear people say they were really busy and wonder what they meant.  Because all we had to do was dust under the bentwood rocker and decide what movie to rent for the weekend.

Then came kids.  And home ownership.  And several home businesses and now we wonder why we ever thought this would be easy.

This past weekend was not a lazy weekend.  We spent our time divided between managing this old house that doesn’t fair well through thunderstorms and catching up on some much delayed home improvement projects….one of which was my Mother’s Day present circa 2010.

Yes, approximately 4 years ago I had this genius idea.  I bought some wire baskets at a flea market and brought them home to make dining room light fixtures with.  On the way home from that same flea market I stopped at IKEA and purchased all of the hardware for this random project.  We have literally had everything we needed to build these lights for FOUR YEARS, yet never did it.

Why?

Because for some reason I am not “allowed” to play with electricity so I had to wait for James to have time to do it.  What’s the man been doing for four years?  Oh yeah….going to law school.  What. Ever.

I asked several times if I could just try doing it myself.  But my reputation for electrical projects goes to the dogs every winter when we have to post a sign on the microwave reminding anyone using it to make sure the heater is off before heating food.  It’s the small matter of an outlet I installed myself when I was remodeling the kitchen.  It works great…unless you try to turn on anything else that’s on the same circuit when the microwave is running.  This only becomes obvious when we use the little space heater in the dining room.  Cook.  Pop.  No microwave.  No heat.

I argue that for most of the year we don’t need heat so it is perfectly fine.  What’s the big deal?

BUT James said no.  So finally he finished school, the Bar Exam and all of the other little tests and applications required to become an attorney and now he can focus on what’s important.  My dining room lights.

He and Jacob took down the old light and installed an outlet in the ceiling.  This was my idea since my IKEA parts had plugs.  What rule says you have to hardwire your lights?

lights01

We clipped the bottoms out of the baskets and my daughter Faith made little cardboard circles to fill in the open middle.  Then we just popped the IKEA lights in them.  Jacob built me some simple boxes from old wood from our backyard wood pile and we drilled holes in the boxes for the lights to go through.  Patience made me some cord covers from old curtains.  It really was a family affair.

Then we hung them (it sounds so easy when I sum it up in 4 little words, but it took us several hours)….at last we have decent light on both sides of the dining room and I couldn’t be happier.  It was worth waiting 4 years.

Make lights from wire baskets

A future project is getting rid of the popcorn ceiling….ick!

Here’s a view of the second light on the other side of the room….

Make lights from wire baskets

We also spent Saturday taking photos for our upcoming summer home tour that includes a whole slew of other amazing, creative bloggers.  So stay tuned for that!

And now we’re back to repairing water damaged parts of the house like the roof of the back deck that caved in yesterday and the pool, which has turned green from the rain.  If you’ve always dreamed of buying an old farmhouse and fixing it up, this is what it’s like.  Not exactly the dream, but still pretty great.

Have a wonderful last week of May.  Stay dry!

For more info on how we made the lights head over to Hometalk and see how we did it!

How to Paint a Houndstooth Rug

How to Paint a Houndstooth Rug

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

Last week I promised to share how I painted the rug on my front porch.  And while I often break those promises and truthfully wonder why you ever trust me, I am happy to say that I actually pulled myself together and am doing it.  I know.  It’s as big a surprise to me as it must be to you.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

It started with a freshly painted surface.  We cleared the porch, scrubbed it and gave it a new coat of paint.  It’s SO good to have that floor clean again!  If only for 5 minutes.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

For the base of the rug, we marked off a rectangle the size of the rug we wanted.  We didn’t tape it off because the last time I did that it pulled up the other paint and it just works better to draw a line and carefully paint up to it.   For this we used some leftover semi-gloss paint from another project.  You can use pretty much any water based paint.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

By the way, I keep saying “we” because my daughter Hope helped me a ton with this project!

Next I made a stencil.  I found a houndstooth pattern online, blew it up and printed it out.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point
Then I cut it out of four pieces of foam sheets in that shape.

How to paint a houndstooth rug -- The Pennington Point
Next, and this is the best part, (I felt a little proud of this idea) I glued three of the foam cutouts together then glued them to a piece of glass (I had from a broken picture frame).  Be sure to put duct tape on the edge of the glass so you don’t cut yourself!  Also, you really must use three layers of foam sheets so it’s high enough to make a nice thick “stamp”.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point
The fourth piece will be used for spacing.  Yep.  It’s awesome.  You can say it.

We used a foam brush to put black (again, leftover from another project) paint on our handmade stamp.  After a few times we were able to make one application of the paint work for two stamps.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point
We snapped some lines to keep it straight.  Although, if I were doing it again I would snap a line for almost every angle instead of just the few we did.  It went a little crooked.  But live & learn.  You’ll do it better.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

We stamped the first one in a corner then used the “spacer” to guide how far down to put the next one.  That’s why the glass was so great.  We could see exactly where we were placing the image.  If the image didn’t stamp out all the way, it was easy to add a little paint and place it right back down and rock it a little if necessary.  But I wasn’t going for a fully filled in image.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

Occasionally we had to peel the black paint off our stamp because it would get too thick and not stamp well.  But it was pretty easy to do.

Along the edges we would paint up/prep the stamp, then lie a piece of newspaper down along the edge so the stamp would only paint the rug and not go beyond that.  Make sense?

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

I used a pencil eraser (just dip the eraser in the paint and make a little circle) and a clean sponge brush to make fringe along the edges. (sorry for the blurry picture, but if we had to wait for me to take another one then this promised post would not have happened)

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point
The whole project took about a day and a half.

How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to follow me on Instagram for a steady stream of porch pictures because I can’t help myself.