More flea-market finds

I was out running errands today, and well, I couldn’t resist a little visit to Interiors and Antiques in Vestavia, AL.  As you saw from this post, I’m still on the hunt for a headboard.  But I also saw a lot of other things I was pining over, and then other things I just snapped pictures of to get some ideas.  I don’t know what it is about white/rustic furniture, but I just LOVE it.  We don’t even have room in our house for any of the things I saw today, but I contemplated selling what we currently have just to make room.  My name is Amy, and I have a problem.  Hey, at least I can admit it, right? 😉

I pretty much wanted everything in this whole booth.  All the white/dusky gray furniture just felt so light and airy, and it would totally brighten-up our house.

 How beautiful is this dresser?  There’s no way it would fit in our little bedroom.

 I rounded the corner and saw this mantle headboard, with soft burlap upholstered batting.  It was beautiful…. but in the $500-ish range :/  And then there was a wooden and iron gate (supposedly from India) that I thought might could work as a headboard…buuut, it was also $500.  What is the deal?!

 Then I started just looking around getting crafty ideas from things I liked.  Like this shutter made into a coat rack.  And these pictures printed on book pages.  And these birds nests in shadow boxes….totally DIY-able. 


 Then I came across this china cabinet.  And guess what.  It’s the exact same china cabinet in my Nana’s dining room set, except this one’s been painted gray!  And this is when I really started thinking I could just sell my black Ikea buffet and do this instead.  I was smitten.

So, that was my fun little trip for the day.  In other home decor news, I got my church painting hung tonight in the guest room, and I think it looks pretty darn good 🙂

a little hometown history

One of the things I love most about my hometown is even though Birmingham, AL is one of the largest cities in our state, it’s not hard to find little gems within the city that make you feel like you’ve stepped into Mayberry.  I love that just outside the hustle and bustle of the city limits, you can get lost in some really neat historic sites, and it’s these places that make me feel like I still have some roots in a small southern town.  One of these places is On a Shoestring Antiques. 
It sits on the mountain top right in the heart of Bluff Park.  The building itself was originally a home built by William Wyatt in the 1930s.  Decades later in the early 1980s, his widow sold the home to Rodney and Lee Thursby, who then turned it into the antique shop it is today.  I’ve been to this shop several times before, but today I got to talk to Mr. Thursby, and what a sweet old man he is!  He just hangs out in the shop each day hoping to sell a few treasures.  And although I didn’t walk away with much, I did find a little vintage enamel bowl for my kitchen counter which will hold all our cherry tomatoes we pick next summer.

But there were plenty of other things I would have walked out with had I been willing to pay a pretty penny for them.  Like this 1940s wedding ring pattern quilt.  How beautiful is this!? I was in love. But not for $200.  Sad day.

Then I found 2 antique sewing tables that caught my eye.  Maybe if I bought one it would motivate me to finish cleaning out the guest room corner and set-up my sewing machine!  Although maybe sewing should be my winter project.  The garden and canning seems to take up enough time and energy these days.

 Ok, be honest, if you worked really hard and got through pharmacy school and graduated, would you not keep these little treasures?  Heck, pharmacy school is no walk in the park!  Class of 1974, you disappoint me.  On the other hand, any crafty people need a window? This is your one-stop shop.

And another cool feature about this antique shop is the old train boxcar parked right next to it. It is also open for shopping!

 One last thing.  The main reason for my adventure today was to look for a vintage secretary’s desk and something we can use for a headboard.  My ideas for a headboard include something rustic, like an old mantle or wooden beam.  Something like these…


But I saw these fence posts in the side shed at the shop and thought they would make a good headboard too if we lined them up side by side.  BUT, my good friend Leah has something just like this with deck boards that her husband built for their headboard.  And if it was me, I don’t know that I’d want someone else copying such a unique design element.  So the search continues.

 So that was my fun little adventure for the day.  I love poking around antique shops and flea markets.  There are so many neat things you can find.  I will certainly be making another trip someday soon 🙂

Rustic home decor project

I love these rustic wooden quote signs that so many places are selling now.  Some of the quotes are silly, some are inspirational, romantic, and even down right sarcastic!  There’s been several I’ve seen and thought, “That’d be perfect for our house!”  However, every time I take a peek at the price tag I’m suddenly much less impressed.  And then in the back of my mind I always think, “I could just make that, right?”  Well, I decided to give it a shot!  And actually, I’m making it for my sister as her (very) belated birthday present!

First I needed to find a wooden sign to work with.  I contemplated using wood pallet slats or a sturdy canvas.  But the easiest thing to do was just go to Hobby Lobby and buy a wooden sign in the right size I wanted.  It didn’t matter what the sign said or had on it, because my plan was to just spray paint right over it.  And unfortunately I didn’t snap a pic of the HobLob sign I bought, but it was on of these “In this house…” signs.  And the one I got was red, tan and black.  So it was very similar to this one.

Then I went to the craft and paint section of Hobby Lobby and bought 2 inch and 3 inch stencils in Helvetica font, a sponge paintbrush, and black, tan, and white paints.  I wanted a true flat paint so that it looked more rustic when painted onto the wood, but the best I could find was satin finish.  I got home and laid out a drop cloth in the yard, and started spray painting the entire sign with the tan color.  Then when that dried, I sprayed over the entire sign with the black color.  That way when I sand down the edges, the tan color will hopefully be exposed from underneath the black.  The key is doing multiple thin layers.  So my first layer of black was a bit patchy, but after the 2nd coat is was nice and even.
While all that dried, I played around with the layout of the words I was going to paint onto the sign.  I found two quotes that I like a lot on Pinterest, one of which my sister Katie has pinned on one of her boards.  It says, “Home is wherever I am with you” and one I found says, “A house is not a home without a dog.”  They are both appropriate for her home, but I decided to go with the one she has pinned (since obviously she likes it!).  So I taped some pieces of paper together in the size of the wood sign so I could stencil out some options.  Here’s what I came up with… (sorry it’s hard to see, I tried to increase the contrast).

 I wasn’t a huge fan of the 1st option, but I still couldn’t fit all the words in the space right on the 2nd option.  So, I actually painted a 3rd option, which you will see shortly.

When I got ready to paint, I lined up my stencils, taped off the areas around the letters I didn’t want to get paint onto, and then painted my letter.  I used Americana acrylic paint in “White Wash.”

However, my first attempt was a bit sloppy.  So, I re-spray painted the top half, and tried again (with a bit more precision).  And even with a delicate hand, some of the letters still came out a little sloppy.  Stenciling is apparently not my best talent.
 But I kept going, and after a few hours (yeah, this wasn’t exactly the quickest project I’ve done), I had this….
And yes, I was snacking on some M&Ms towards the end!  At this point I was pleased, but it still needed some roughing up for character.  I decided to gently (at a distance) and sporadically spray both the tan and black paint across the whole thing so the white wasn’t so contrasted against the black.  Then I also sanded all the edges.  After all that, this was the result…

framing projects 2

Ok, remember when I said I did 2 framing projects over the weekend?  Here’s how that went.  Remember the bare hallway?

I’ve been wanting to create a gallery wall along the long side on the left.  Does anyone follow the blog Young House Love?  I’m obsessed with John and Sherry. Love them!  Anyways, they have a giant gallery wall in their hallway, which you can see here.  Their hallway is much more open, so I think covering all the walls in our little hallway would feel very overcrowded.  But I love the look of a gallery wall.  So I’m working on the left wall and just adding enough pics and artwork on the other walls to help balance it out.  Here’s the progress I made on our soon-to-be gallery wall…

Oh, and unlike John and Sherry’s gallery wall, I don’t want our to be filled with all photo frames. I want some of the “art” to be actual items, like this little bird mirror I’ve had for a while (and I love!).  I also snagged this little “B” from Hobby Lobby the other day (on sale, of course, for $1.99).  It had these two holes in the back for hanging.  So to avoid multiple trial-and-error nail holes in the wall, I dabbed a bit of toothpaste where the nails needed to go, and stuck the “B” to the wall where I wanted it to hang….

 You probably can’t see the toothpaste marks on the pictures below. I wish I had photoshop so I could draw some arrows to point them out, but I’m not super artsy-fartsy like that (EDIT: Greg to the rescue with some arrows! thanks babe!).  I did darken the image a bit to hopefully make them stand out, but they are vertically placed right in the center of the image.
Once I got the nails in the wall the “B” hung just right.  Oh and the image below it is me and some of my bridesmaids holding our flowers. 🙂  I also pulled out 2 botanical prints I got from World Market several years ago and hung them on the wall.  I tried to scatter things out just enough to not look to spaced out but also enough so I can add things as I want to fully complete the gallery.  And here’s the finished (well, for now) wall…
By the way, have I mentioned how difficult it is to take a good photograph of our hallway? It’s so dark cause there aren’t any windows nearby.  So please excuse the shadowy effect going on. It’s the best I could do.  Can’t wait to fill the wall with more sentimentals.  I have a few ideas in mind, some of which include more artwork, some quotes, another mini shadow box, and some maybe some fabric.  Who knows how the completed project will look in the end!

framing projects

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before how I have this weird fear of hanging things on walls. Not so much a fear, but I just get anxious about putting nails into walls.  It’s weird, I know, but I often wait a long time before hanging anything.  But Greg and I have been married for 5 months now, which means I’ve been moved into his house for 5 months, so it was time to get some things up on our bare walls!  I got a bunch of wedding pictures printed a few weeks ago and have been putting them into frames around the house.  But there are 2 corners in our house that each have a box of frames waiting to be filled and hung, along with other artwork from my old house that I haven’t been able to hang cause I can’t decide where to put it all.  So I decided to tackle those boxes this week, or at least make a dent in them.  Here’s what I’ve done…

 That “Boggs and Bubbles” is a magazine add for a Boggs liquor. Greg’s friend Aidan got it for Greg as a groomsmen gift.  I think it’s pretty cool, even if it is a liquor add.  
The projects I did this morning were to tackle our bare hallway.  Here’s the before (with the few items I already hung on Thursday).
I have had these bathroom prints for about a year, but I have different prints that I like better for my bathroom so I haven’t hung them. 
 But I also have these prints from my 2011 calendar which I love!  And I figured out if I cut the calendar portion off from the prints, they would fit right over the bathroom faucet prints.

 The faucet frames were in glass clip frames (I don’t think that’s what they are actually called, but it’s the best description I can come up with).  The backs of the frame have clips that hold the glass, print and backing together. You just lift up on them and they release.
So I cut the calendar portion off the bottom of 2 of the prints.
 I stuck the print into the mat right on top of the faucet prints.  Then I just put the frame back together.
 And of course, they went into the hallway!!

I did some more framing in the hallway, but I’ll blog about that next time.  It’s daylight savings tonight, and I have to work tomorrow.  YIKES!  So I’ve got to get to bed. It’s gonna be an eeeeeearly morning!

Room updates!

A few weeks ago we had some pros come in a do a little re-wiring of our master bedroom TV.  Here’s where our TV lived before….sticking out from the wall right where you walk into the room. Ok, so this is not the best picture, this is from December. See it in the top corner there? To the right? Basically, it stuck out about a foot from the wall…and all the wires were exposed. Meaning the cable wire ran down the wall, into my closet, over the door frame and back behind our dresser on the other wall.  Also please note the blanket that used to serve as our window treatment….

 Here’s the wall…(with the crazy cords, and then minus the tv)

We made the decision to move it permanently to the corner opposite the bed.  That meant calling in the pros so they could run the wires behind the wall where they belong.  So now, here’s our set-up…

It’s a minor change but we love it so much better!!  And note the new window treatments 🙂  No more blankets covering the windows.  And while we are on the subject of upgrades….let’s talk about the master bathroom…
Remember this picture from last spring when Greg decided to demo the bath?
Although I would have loved to make it look something like this…
Our bathroom is just WAY too small.  Every square pedestal sink we looked at was a good 6 inches too wide for the space.  So, we had to go with a tiny round one.  But who knows, maybe one day we will put some beadboard in there!  But, after a new coat of paint, new toilet (from ReStore), sink, light, and medicine cabinet (from Lowes), and some hardware (from Target and Hobby Lobby), 6 months later Greg’s bath is coming along nicely!
And the guest bedroom is finally useable!  It went from this cluttered mess (and this is after moving stuff into our outdoor shed)
 To this!
 Buuuuut, don’t look at this corner!  haha.  It’s a slow process 😉
 Baby steps, people.  By the time I’m “done” with the house, we will probably be ready do move. Isn’t that how it always goes?  And I have all kinds of outdoor plans in mind, but this weather has got to warm up before we tackle any of that.

projects galore

So, I slept until almost 1pm today. Ridiculous, I know.  I swear, I feel like I sleep more with a day shift job than I did working night shift.  Like I said, ridiculous.  But, somehow I was a machine today getting all sorts of little projects done around the house.

First, I finally got my botanical prints hung that my mother-in-law bought me for my birthday last month!  Check them out…

After that I did some major house cleaning.  With 3 dogs in the house, it’s amazing how much dog hair accumulates everywhere if I get behind on vacuuming!  So the whole house got a deep clean.  Luckily the weather was awesome today, so I had windows open all over the house and that put me in a happy little spring cleaning mood.

After cleaning, I decided to take down some “bachelor pad” signs that have been hanging in Greg’s house ever since he and the guys all lived here.  We had these lovely signs hanging in the back den…

We didn’t get rid of them, but they will live in the outdoor shed for now 😉  Next, I decided to hang a few new items around the house, like this really cool magazine rack I snagged at TJMaxx last week…

 I really like how it fits on this wall.  The whole corner seems more complete now.

Then my last project of the day was making a Valentine’s Day wreath for the front door.  I found this heart shaped grapevine wreath at Micheal’s last week, but it needed some color.

I found these cute felt rosebuds at Hobby Lobby, and I bought this ribbon at WalMart.

First, I decided to stitch the rosebuds together so they would hold securely as one piece when I got ready to attach them to the wreath.  I just hand-stitched around some the of the leave’s edges to form 1 cluster of rosebuds.

I applied some E6000 glue to the back of the roses to attach to the wreath, but I also wrapped some thread around it all to help secure it.  I kinda just rigged it until it held firmly.  haha, so here’s my progress after attaching the roses.

 Then I started at the top and loosely wrapped the ribbon around the wreath, looping it through the pieces of twigs.  Oh, and at my starting point, I hand-stitched a small loop at the end of the ribbon, and looped that around the end of a twig to hold the ribbon in place.

I just continued making loops all around the wreath, and then tucked the end of the ribbon into the twigs in the center.  Done!

We are ready for Valentine’s Day now 🙂
oh, and speaking of holidays….I took our Christmas stockings to get monogrammed a few weeks ago, and picked them up yesterday.  I love them!

kitchen renovations

So Greg’s mom had been in town a lot over the last 2 months, mostly helping Greg’s sister update and decorate their house before their 3rd baby is due in February.  She helped completely remodel both the kids’ bedrooms, the master bedroom, the den, bathrooms….yep, the whole house got a MAJOR make-over!  Well, I was at their house one afternoon and Kendall was showing me another remodeling job she had just finished.  She had painted some cabinets in their laundry nook and asked me if I remembered how they looked before.  Well, to be honest, they looked just like the cabinets throughout our kitchen.  And of course when I said that, she jumped on the opportunity to come re-paint our cabinets!  And first thing Saturday morning, we were painting!

So here’s how it all went down.  First, here is what our kitchen looked like before. (and I stole some of these pics from my mother-in-law, since she was better at documenting every step of the project than I was. Thanks Kendall!).

We had already taken the cabinet doors off when we took this pic.
and here are the doors…


Kendall had this paint, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and we used a color called “Old Ochre” and wiped a dark wax over it.  The great thing about this paint is we didn’t have to use any primer.  The white door below is the “Old Ochre” paint, all the dark ones have the wax applied.

Greg was a big help too, even though he didn’t understand “the big picture” for a while.
We had to take all the door knobs and hinges off, and we taped off around the appliances, and walls, and anywhere we didn’t want to accidentally wipe dark stain.  Halfway through day 1, we also decided the “lovely” tile border had to go.  Check it out.
So to tackle the tile, we primed it with 2 coats of this.
Although I would have liked to just paint the tiles white, it was way too difficult to match them perfectly, and I knew they would still stand out, so we matched our paint color to the grout.
And here’s our finished kitchen! 
(these pics were taken at night, so the cabinets look pretty dark, but in person they are lighter!)
I decided to update the switch plates as well, since the mismatched ivory ones weren’t gonna do anymore. I found these “oil-rubbed bronze” ones at Lowe’s.
OH!  and one of my favorite parts of the kitchen……
I’ve been wanting to paint in inside of our pantry door with chalkboard paint, and here it is!
So there ya have it.  Oh wait, one more thing.  For my birthday, my mother-in-law got me some botanical prints for the front den.  I got some frames for them, and they look great! Now I just gotta get them hung on the wall.  Hopefully tomorrow 😉

home sweet home

We are far from finished, but our home is finally looking more and more like a married couple’s home, not a frat house.  Partially because until our outdoor shed arrived last Friday, we still had boxes sitting all around the house (mainly, the front den).  We had cleaned out closets,  garage sold a lot of unwanted items, donated to the thrift store A LOT MORE items, and organized the best we could. But until the shed arrived the remaining tools, boxes of holiday decor, wreaths, paint, extra rugs….you get the idea…it all just sat around on the floors.  But, thanks now to this little beauty gracing our side yard, we finally got a lot of “stuff” out of the house.

I didn’t get any “before” pictures of our front den because it just never occurred to me to document the awful state it was in.  But, of course now I wish I had a before and after shot to show, because it’s soooo much better now!  Allow me to paint you a picture.  The walls were “neutral” but the tan color had a lavender tint to it.  The built-in bookshelves along the back wall had white trim, white back walls, but natural wood shelves.  The center wall section between the built-ins had a textured marble-like mixture of paint in a gray tint.  There were boxes sitting all over the floor that still needed unpacking (or moving into the shed), the rug was rolled up in the corner and not a thing hung on the walls.  OH, and there were both red drapes and golden velour fabric drapes hanging from all the windows.  YIKES, it was pretty awful.

Then for our Christmas gift this year, Greg’s mom offered to come help us do whatever we needed to help get this room looking like a functional den.  Over the course of 3 hard-working days she helped us totally transform the room!  We could have never done it that quickly without her!  And now, this is the room that welcomes us when we walk in the door.

The drapes were replaced with bamboo Roman shades that hung from the ceiling to help give some height to the room. I already had the green and brown decor from my previous home, and with our refinished hardwood floors, everything really came together nicely.
 The sofa and buffet table swapped places to create a more defined seating area.
A Kendall Boggs original painting found it’s perfect home above the buffet 🙂
And the bookshelves got a much needed update.  Remember, the shelves were just a natural wood and the back walls were white with the gray wall in the center.  Kendall has also offered to make us a bench cushion for that storage bench.
In the middle section I’m going to find some vintage botanical prints and do a gallery similar to this…
And since we’re on the topic of house decor, here’s how the rest of our home looks for the holidays!

changing seasons

It’s September now, and tropical storm Lee came through Sunday night bringing with it some cool autumn air.  I actually contemplated turning my heat on last night, but decided an extra blanket on the bed would do just fine.  I also have a blanket of pine straw covering my front yard and sidewalk, as well.  That’s going to have to be raked soon.  It may be a tad bit early for this, but I even busted out a pair of boots yesterday!  However, I didn’t wear them over skinny jeans (just under my regular ones), and they weren’t suede…so I figured I was safe 😉  I also decided it was time to give the blog a little autumn facelift.  And my recent obsession with owls meant this little guy was perfect for the job!

My love for holiday decor is starting to get out of hand on Pinterest.  I love finding cute holiday things that I can eventually put into….wait for it….OUR house. That’s right.  I think before anything else, I will be unpacking my autumn decor and finding a new home for each item at casa de la Boggs 🙂  I’m bummed that Greg’s house doesn’t have a fireplace though, since half of my holiday decorations are meant for mantles.  I guess some shelves mounted on the walls will have the same effect.

As of today, we are officially ONE month away from our wedding.  The countdown has begun! I can’t believe it’s getting so close. I’m really excited, partially cause I can’t wait for everyone to see all the things I’ve been planning over the past few months.  I love my decorations.  I think they have just the right amount of “autumn” without being over the top. It’ll be the perfect way to kick off the fall season 🙂  Ahh, I can’t wait!!

So, in support of the changing season, here are a few things I love…

I have been eyeing these lanterns in the Pottery Barn catalogs for years, but at prices ranging from $29.00 for the smallest one, and $99.00 for the large, my wallet just couldn’t do it.  BUT, this year a good friend of mine told me Garden Ridge sells some (and they look identical!). So, I bought one of each size, and paid roughly $55 for all three!
 And look what else I just found on the Pottery Barn website! Love it!
 I really like white pumpkins. Hopefully these will make an appearance at the wedding!
 Oooo! I may be wrapping Christmas gifts in burlap this year 🙂

Hope everyone enjoys the cool weather while it’s here. Looks like it’s back into the 80’s by this weekend…