another glorious chalkboard project

another glorious chalkboard projectRemember the 1990s?

I do, mostly because my kitchen table and chairs remind me of the 90s on a daily basis…

90s tableWith the table legs being a full-on tribute to the 90s…

90s table closeup
But the 90s table is all I have and nowhere in my mostly non-existent budget is there a line item for a new kitchen table, so I had to get creative.

You know how I love chalkboard paint, right? It’s already kind of a theme in my kitchen, since I painted my kitchen cabinets with chalkboard paint and did a section of the wall in chalkboard too. Why stop there?

I decided to paint my kitchen table in chalkboard paint.

Of course the peanut gallery (ie, my kids) thought it was a terrible idea. And of course I could care less about their opinion on such matters because I had a vision! So I set about painting it with chalkboard paint.

I started out with the legs and underside. I used an angled brush to get into the corners, nooks, and crannies, but mostly used a small foam roller designed for painting cabinets to get the smoothest application.

After just the first coat things were looking a little scary. Like maybe my kids were right and I had made a GIANT mistake…

First coat madness

  1. Chalkboard paint not looking like it’s going to cover or stick to the surface. (No I didn’t prime or sand…this is me we’re talking about!)
  2. Christmas tree not yet decorated, despite it being 3 weekends before Christmas. Yes, in fact, I was procrastinating on my decorating by painting my kitchen table. What of it?
  3. My son’s laundry. Just keeping it real, people.
  4. Dog photobombing my picture like it’s her job. And yes, she does have bows in her hair.

With regard to #1, what could I do, other than press onward. So I did…

First coats of paintI painted 5 coats on the legs and sides of the table. Not too bad – only took a couple of hours. Then I let it dry and flipped the table over to paint the top. The top got 6 coats. Sounds like a lot of time and effort, but since it was such a small area (not a complete wall or room), the actual painting time didn’t take long. And while each coat was drying, I just went on about my business. You know, avoiding decorating for Christmas and whatnot. I started the project at 2pm and put the last coat on around 11pm.

Here it is, beginning to come together and not looking so scary…

Beginning to come together

The most awesome finished product…Chalkboard table completeNot only does it look fabulous, but I’m thinking it looks a kind of Pottery Barn. All for the price of a can of chalkboard paint, which was about 10 bucks! Can’t beat that!

Plus the formerly 90s table legs got a new lease on life, with a line of chalk drawn in the inset…

Line of chalkI had thought about maybe doing gold leaf in the inset, but then realized that a chalk line would be the perfect casual addition to the table! Plus I can change the colors when I feel like it or erase it completely, depending on my mood.

Here’s my first scribbling on the new table…

Merry Christmas tableNow if you think that’s the end of the story, you clearly haven’t been reading here for too long.

It was only moments before I realized that with a 14-year-old and a 21-year-old, I probably made a very grave mistake in painting anything chalkboard. Let’s just say they added some “commentary” to my otherwise glorious chalkboard project…

Merry Christmas commentarySigh. And it only got worse from there. Most of it wouldn’t even be considered PG-13, so I won’t elaborate. But I’m sure you can use your imagination. At least the table looks great.


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work in progress :: rose painting

WIP rose paintingSo, I’ve had a project on my mind for a while, curing. It’s to take this pic that I received as a thank you…

Thank you rose

…and paint it on a large canvas.

Oh, you didn’t know that I could paint? Neither did I, until I took an oil painting class about 10 years ago. In fact, the teacher was visibly irritated with me because she thought that I had certainly painted before, which I had not. Which is weird, because shouldn’t one be happy to discover someone with talent? Well, whatever. She has since passed away, so I’ll not speak ill of the dead, lest they haunt me or something.

So anyway, I discovered that I can take a picture of something, like this orange rose, and paint it. If I’d been born in another place and time, I probably could have made a fortune as a forger, but with science and all, that’s just another dashed hope.

But I digress…back to my work in progress.

After caffeinating excessively in an attempt to inspire myself to do yardwork – a successful venture, I might add – I decided that it was high time to begin this painting project. I had already purchased a large canvas (36″ x 36″) several months ago in anticipation of curing for a while and eventually beginning this project.

First step was to add some picture hanging wire to the back. This time there were no injuries, like last time when I was contemplating a tetanus shot.

Next step was to do some sketching, which you can sort of see here…

Work in progress rose paintingThe painting will hang on my giant one and a half story stair wall, as you can see it hanging here as a work in progress…

Stair wallIt will have to hang there to dry as well, since a) I don’t have a big, giant easel, and b) I have a cat who will walk on my painting and ruin my life…

My cat who will walk on drying paintHopefully having a blank painting on a main wall in my house will inspire me to do more painting and less curing!

I will post updates throughout the painting process, so you can see my work in progress.


when things get boring in the bedroom

when things get boring in the bedroom

Sometimes things get boring in the bedroom. Stale. Just the same old thing, day after day, week after week, month after month. A sense of ennui sets in an all you can think about is how something has to change. You just can’t continue the way things are.

No, I don’t mean that has gotten boring! I mean your decor has. Geez, you people always have your minds in the gutter!

Well, when things have gotten dull, spice it up! Consider it a marriage encounter for your decor!

Recently I was feeling bored (with my decor) and so I decided to spruce things up a bit. As always, I’m on a tight budget, so it included a combination of rearranging some of what I already have, using some things that have been curing for years, and adding a little bit of new to the mix.

In general, I’m moving from a more traditional look to a more eclectic look – vintage and shabby chic marry mod. OK, so that’s more of a threesome than a traditional marriage, but when we’re decorating we don’t always need to follow societal norms!

Let’s start with the armoire. Here’s the before pic, with fake plants that look just fine, but no doubt more in the traditional vein…

Armoire beforeGoodbye fake plants, hello gold dress form trussed in faerie lights!

Armoire after with lightsThe faerie lights were $11.99 plus shipping. Well worth the expense. They’re battery operated, so there are no pesky wires running over the side of the armoire. Plus they run on a timer, so I can turn them on and six hours later they go off automatically. Perfect for when you need to spice things up with some ambiance!

Here’s how it looks during the day with the lights off…

Armoire after in daylightYou will notice that the dress form is off center, and there’s a lot of empty, open space on the top of the armoire. I’m really trying to get OK with imperfection. That includes getting comfortable with negative space and off-center presentation. I’ve actually grown to love the oddness of it all…it really highlights the dress form as the featured element.

Speaking of the dress form, this beauty has been curing for years! I purchased her for $1.25 at a local high school rummage sale. Been waiting to find the perfect place for her. Think I’ve found it!

Moving on…

Let’s take a look at one of my favorite possessions. A Picasso print of A Mother and Child and Four Studies of Her Right Hand. This was my grandmother’s print and I always loved it in her home from the time I was a kid. I’ve had it in my bedroom since I got it, but thought it needed to be featured a little more prominently, so I added some black and white polka dotted washi tape to frame it out…

Picasso print 1I just eyeballed the tape placement, because that’s what I do, but you could always be more precise and measure it out like a normal human.

(If you’re wondering why I have such weird angles with the wall hangings, it’s because I get a lot of light in this room so the angle is the only way to avoid glare in the pic. Carry on…)

Another angle…

Picasso printI love, love, love how this looks! It really brings out the tiny, black rim on the frame, as well as the black in the sketch. Plus the washi tape was a steal – I got 3 rolls for $2.99 at Michaels. More to come later with one of the other rolls of tape.

By the way, polka dots are my fave. Especially black and white polka dots. So this just makes me happy every single day when I see it! Here’s a close-up so you can better see the polka dots (as well as the aforementioned glare)…

Picasso print 2Enough about that. On to the one splurge.

Before the splurge, there was an angel print, accompanied by a broken vintage bracelet

Angel print with braceletThe splurge was spending $40 on a custom-printed Lumineers poster on Etsy

Lumineers 2I love the Lumineers and I superlove the poster art! The perfect mod piece to start the sexy love affair with vintage and shabby chic.

Sadly, I won’t be sharing the artist info here, because it took over a month and opening a case on Etsy to finally get the seller to ship, despite having paid. But at least I finally received it and I’m in love!

I tossed it into a basic poster frame and voila! Here it is from another wacky angle…

Lumineers 1And you can see the vintage bracelet remained.

To the left of my bed I tightened up the placement of the pieces that were already hanging on that wall, to give them more of a vignette feel…

frame artAnd on the right side of my bed I added a gorgeous mermaid print I bought a while back on Etsy from artist Amy Huddleston. (You know the drill…it was curing for a while.) I placed it in a mod white frame, which really brought an eclectic feel to the grouping. Talk about mod and vintage and shabby chic!

eclectic art grouping 3The blues and aquas and in mermaid print bring out the blue in the Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer. Which, by the way, I found on the back of a Reader’s Digest magazine and decoupaged to a piece of painted wood.

But the white frame seemed too stark. Something was still missing…know what I mean?

eclectic art grouping 2Oh yeah. Washi tape, part deux.

eclectic art group with washi tapeI added some black and white chevron washi tape – part of my $2.99 three-pack – and it did the trick! Toned down the starkness of the white and tied it to the black in the other two pieces. Here’s a close-up…

eclectic art with washi tapeTaping perfection. Just eyeballed this as well. You could do the same, or maybe even be more precise and measure.

Although those all awesome, we’re still not finished.

Previously, I had this angel art all lined up in a row…

Angel art beforeVery pristine and orderly, but where’s the flair?

I’ll tell you where the flair is…right here…

angel art groupingI mixed those bad boys up for a touch of the unexpected! We can’t be angelic and perfect all the time, especially when things have gotten boring in the bedroom!

Here’s where they are in the room…

angel artAnd finally, I dug deep into the world of curing and found these vintage mailbox doors that I purchased on eBay approximately 10 years ago.

mailboxes as artI figured that it was time to take the focus off the alarm system and the light switch – boring! – and add something interesting to this spot!

Now mind you, I did slice my finger open adding picture hanging wire to the back of these and heavily debated whether I needed a tetanus shot – I didn’t end up getting one and fortunately lockjaw has not set in – but they were certainly worth the effort!

mailboxes as art 2They just look so cool all lined up and are another metallic element, adding to the mixed metals in the room, accents of silver and gold and bronze.

A  whole new fun, updated bedroom for less than $100. Cheaper than sexy lingerie and a night out on the town! Who’s bored now?

Take my advice…don’t be afraid to mix it up in the bedroom!

little things :: closet edition

I decided to have a little fun in the closet…man, your mind is in the gutter! I mean the place where I store my clothes!

I found these awesome, vintage-look galvanized metal letters at Michaels. I especially fell in love the the letter “F” since it’s so thick and chunky and stylized. So I had to buy the “F”! And what word could I spell with the letter “F” other than “FUN”? (Well, there is one other word I could think of, but I was trying to come up with words that wouldn’t have anyone calling children’s protective services on me…)

So here it is…FUN in the closet!

Fun in the Closet 3aIt’s kind of perfect, since it’s someplace I visit every morning and now I have a friendly reminder to have FUN every day!

A view of FUN with my laundry basket…

Fun in the Closet 2aAs I’m walking into the closet…

Fun in the Closet 1aSome people might not even consider decorating their closet, but I say, why not have some fun in the closet? ;)


organic mod kitchen update

A while back I did a little kitchen update but didn’t get around to sharing it here. So it in the spirit of better late than never, I introduce you to my organic mod kitchen update.

My house is kind of traditional, especially considering the kitchen cabinets. I always like to let the house speak to me, rather than forcing a certain style of decor. But I decided to move out of my “funky chicken” phase and into my new phase in which I combine modern, more organic elements with the more traditional style of the house.

But enough yammering on about it…here are the pics!

Let’s start with the simple things…my new napkin holder…

IMG_0433aYes, indeed, you are correct. It is a rock.

Part of what I was going for was bringing in some organic elements – things from nature. What says nature more than a rock? That’s right. Nothing. So a rock it is. Plus it has some sentimental value. It’s a rock that my son found in our yard when he was little and he gave it to me as a gift. Now it has a purpose in our home. And the price was right. Free.

Next I swapped out a chicken lamp – you know, part of the funky chicken phase – to a cool, glass lamp.

Here’s the chicken…

IMG_0428aKind of traditional. A look I’m moving away from.

The new glass lamp…

IMG_0436aIt’s a gorgeous green glass. I have it on a timer, so I never have to mess with it.

To the left of the lamp is the phone and answering machine, along with some funky chicken art covering the phone jack.

IMG_1069bI swapped out the chickart for an amazing art piece of my own making, designed by framing a dish towel. Oh, but not just any dish towel…

IMG_1084bThis amazing dish towel says:

you drink too much. you cuss too much. you have questionable morals. you’re everything i ever wanted in a friend.

The moment I saw this dish towel, I bought one for myself and my best friend! Because it just says it all.

Of course, framing a dish towel is not as simple as one might think. I imagined (in my mind where all projects work perfectly) that I would just lay the towel in this awesome wood and metal frame from Target and that I’d just fold the rest of the towel and tuck it inside the back of the frame. All 24 inches of fabric. Um yeah, that didn’t work out. So I had to cut down the towel and tape it down on the cardboard insert. Me telling this story now makes it sound as if it took about 5 minutes. Trust me…it didn’t. Probably took an hour to get the whole thing worked out to picture hanging perfection. But the time spent was worth it, because it is fun and awesome!

IMG_1083bAnd then there’s my pink fruit tray. Talk about adding a touch of mod! Got this as part of a food gift basket a couple of years ago.

IMG_0434aPlease excuse the fact that there’s hardly any fruit there. Let’s just pretend that we ate it.

Well, if you thought that those were the only incidents of funky chickens in my pre-makeover kitchen, you’d be mistaken. There was also this tray, which was covering an electrical outlet…

IMG_1063aI found this amazing cheese cutting board, also from Target, that I decided I wanted to hang on the wall because it just shouted organic mod to me.IMG_1073aThe wood grain called my name, lulled me into a trance, and made me pick it up and carry it to the cash register.

This is a perfect example of decorating with things that you love and that are beautiful and using them in ways other than they were originally intended. And also a way to decorate on the cheap. I can’t recall the exact price, but I’m thinking it was in the $12.99-$14.99 range.

It was flat on the back as well as the front, so I figured I would hang it with Command picture hanging strips. The chicken tray was hung this way as well. In fact, I had attached it to the outlet cover and thought I would do the same with the cheese board. But the cheese board was heavier than the tray and therefore wasn’t as stable. Plus the tray back was set in, so there was an allowance for the outlet cover, whereas there wasn’t with the cheese board, making it stick out too far, as well as being wobbly. Then this happened…

IMG_1068aYeah, so the outlet cover broke right off the wall. Guess the solid wood cheese board was too heavy for this approach. Fortunately, I have a stash of outlet covers in the basement and then I came up with this brilliant idea…

IMG_1075aI nailed paint stirring sticks to the wall, which were just about flush with the outlet cover. Yes, necessity is indeed the fricking mother of invention!

Then I attached the command strips to the paint sticks and voila!

IMG_1076aThe perfect way to hang the cheese board and cover the outlet!

IMG_1077aAh, the cleverness of me! Doesn’t that look fab?


road trip :: alexander hotel indianapolis

This past week I traveled to Indianapolis for work and had the opportunity to stay at the very cool and very mod Alexander Hotel. It was so hip, the moment I opened my hotel room door, rather than doing my usual paranoid routine of checking in the closet, shower, and under the bed for a murderer lying in wait, I started a photo shoot. The room was so awesome, I didn’t even remember to lock my door!

The very welcoming word search art…

Word search

Drawing me in was this fabulous runner made with super colorful carpet tiles…

RugSeriously, any one of us could make one of these at home with Flor carpet tiles.

More fab art…

Water finds its own levelA mod bed set-up…

BedAnd a funky chair and lamp by the window…

Chair and lampAnd you can see a bit of the flooring…woodgrain ceramic tiles. Love!

Even the note paper was artsy!

Inspirational notesAnd the naughty little doorhanger…front…

Door hanger 2And back…

Door hanger 1

Then there was the dream house bathroom…

bathroom lightsA perfectly gorgeous sink…

bathroom sinkWonderful wallpaper, ever-so-slighty pearlescent…

bathroom wallpaperAnd then the shower. Ah yes, the perfect shower. Shower perfection. Dream house quality.

ShowerSo overall, a wonderfully designed hotel room. Mod perfection. My only complaint, if I had one, would be that the room was a little cold. Not temperature cold. The coziness factor. Not warm and fuzzy enough for me.

But it wasn’t only the room that was great. The whole joint was fun and funky.

Upon walking in, these amazing glass globe lights were hanging in the lobby…

Glass lights This was a giant hanging piece of metal art by the elevator. Silver script writing. Shocking orange wall behind it.

Elevator artCheck out this cool panel and geometric wallpaper in the hallway…

Wood panelAnd if that wasn’t enough, how about this awesome wall decal?

Hallway wall Another angle with my favorite colors – black and white!

Wall decal 2Well, that concludes today’s road trip. Believe it or not, I wasn’t even paid for this. Probably should have been!


all points bulletin [board]

IMG_1161bOne of the great features of my son’s angsty teen boy bedroom update was the floor to ceiling bulletin board. Remember?

bulletin board 1Cool, huh?


So this happened…

IMG_1159aNot cool.

All points of the bulletin board fell off the wall. Every. single. cork. tile.

The double-sided tape that came with the tiles came was seriously irrelevant.

Now to be honest with you – and you know I always am – I vaguely recall reading somewhere on the internets that some blogger had experienced a similar problem. But as is often the case, I don’t believe that such things can happen to me. Until they do.

But by that point, I had forgotten where I read about the irrelevant double-sided tape and cork tile dilemma, so I had to come up with a solution of my own.

So of course I let the problem cure for a bit to allow me to come up with the most creative option.

Problem solved! With these…

IMG_1160aSome sort of washers and galvanized roofing nails…

IMG_1165aAs always, it was an entertaining Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus conversation with the guy helping me at Home Depot, when I tried to explain my creative inspiration and that I needed silver-colored nails with a big head and large washers with a small hole so that the nail head couldn’t fit through. Complete with hand gestures that could have been mistaken for a mild form of sexual harassment.

After looking at me like I just offered him a hit on my crack pipe, he led me to something I didn’t need in the nail department and something else I didn’t need in the washer section, at which point I pretended that was exactly what I needed so that he would move along, then I ferreted out what I really needed on my own.

But I digress…back to the project…

Starting at the ceiling, I placed the tile back on the irrelevant double-sided tape – I left it up as a guide, plus it acts as a spacer between the tile and the wall, so that hopefully the push pins don’t puncture the drywall.

Then I eyeballed the placement (because that’s what I do – why measure when you can eyeball?) and tapped the nail through the washer. Lather, rinse, repeat, and voila! Project salvaged and with an industrial chic flair!

IMG_1163aLooks better than it did before! (And if you look carefully, you can see a reflection of my girlish figure in the poster to the right of the bulletin board.)

IMG_1161aSuccess! And super stylish to boot!

Here’s a close-up…

IMG_1162aA super-fun save for what could have been a massive project fail!

how to :: manly memo board

manly memo board


So on my recent design vacation, I redid my son’s room, going from vintage cowboy room to angsty teen boy’s room. In that redo, I created a manly memo board for his room.

I’ve been ruminating on this project for years now. It started with a beautiful striped wooden retail display board that’s been curing in my garage for years.

Here’s how I made it…

I started with the wooden display…

memo 2

This bad boy is heavy, so I added D hooks to the back…

d rings

Then I criss-cross wrapped jute around the wood…

memo 8Yeah, that’s my foot and the awesome striped socks I was wearing…

I tied the jute string tight on the back and that was it. Hung it using screws, anchors, and employed the Pinterest toothpaste method to determine where to the drill the holes for the anchors…that’s when you dab a glop of toothpaste on the D ring hooks and place the memo board against the wall where you want to hang it. The toothpaste marks the wall, you can drill in exactly the right spot, hang the piece to perfection, plus have minty fresh breath when you lick the toothpaste off your fingers. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, of course I ate the toothpaste, rather than finding a paper towel to wipe it off! Duh.

Another 30-minute, free project, since I had all the materials on hand.

memo 11

Really quite perfect for a teen boy’s room, wouldn’t you say?

memo 9

Up close and personal…

memo 12

how to :: globe lamp

globe lamp how to

So on my recent design vacation, I redid my son’s room, going from vintage cowboy room to angsty teen boy’s room. In that redo, I created a hanging globe lamp for his room.

Here’s how I made it…

First, my sister the school teacher gifted me with a globe. Not just any globe. But a globe with no globe stand. Originally I had other plans for the globe, which included the need for a globe stand. So I texted her asking if what happened to the globe stand. Her response:

Gone gone gone.

Um hello? What did that mean? So when I inquired further via text, I got the same response.

Gone gone gone.

I never did get the full story of the globe stand, but decided that it is what it is and moved on to another project idea. The hanging globe lamp.

I already had a hanging light kit in my basement. Doesn’t everyone? Hmmm…maybe not. If you don’t have one lying around your basement curing for a project, you can get one for around $10 at Pier 1 Imports or World Market. Or the trusty internets.

Anyway, most cheap globes are made of cardboard, so you can use an exacto knife to score and cut through them.

So, I took my globe…

globe 1

…and placed it on my trusty, overcrowded craft table.

First I cut the bottom opening by cutting from the hole in Antarctica where the missing globe stand once was along the International Date Line to what I think is the 60th south parallel, but I never was that good at geography…

globe 3

…then scoring and cutting along the conveniently marked 60th south parallel, completely eliminating Antarctica from the globe. I mean, what the hell, the polar ice caps are melting anyway, so who needs Antarctica?

The opening in the bottom of the earth…you know, that hole that you sometimes wish existed when you put your foot in your mouth…


Because the globe is cardboard (and very possibly because my exacto knife isn’t exactly the sharpest ever), the edges of the opening at the bottom of the earth were a little ragged, so I gently sanded it, but only on the inside, as I didn’t want to damage the outside of the globe.

Then I worked on the opening for the light kit. I made a rough measurement to see how big of an opening I would need to fit the plug through…

globe 7Please forgive the blurriness…I had the whole world in my hands, so it wasn’t easy taking a pic!

…and cut a small, rectangular opening, then fed the plug through the hole…

globe 9

I already had cup hooks in the ceiling from the last hanging light fixture, so all I had to do was hang this awesome orb and voila…

globe 4

A funky and fabulous new light fixture that the boy absolutely loves! It’s so…worldly!

globe 2

Best part is that it cost me $0 since I had all of the materials at home already and only took about 30 minutes to complete from start to finish, which is my kind of project!

Showing this project off at Funky Junk Interiors.