DIY Wood Breakfast Tray

DIY Wood Breakfast Tray

DIY Breakfast Tray

I come from a family of present makers.

If you’ve read this blog for more than one Christmas you know that every year we exchange handmade Christmas presents we make for each other.

Through the years you might have seen several editions of the present exchange.

There was the picture made out of words from my blog.

And the bowl carved out of the tree that fell in the yard.

And the book of love letters from Box 54.

And so many more.

Continue reading

The Meow Heard Around the World

The Meow Heard Around the World

love you to the moon and back

When I was younger and thought about my older self, I always wondered what I’d be like and where I’d work and who my friends would be and if I would live in a mansion with gold faucets and a laundry chute from the second floor and wear leg warmers after I turned 30.

And then I would close my eyes and imagine my future family.

I hoped they’d be silly.

And crazy.

And funny.

I imagined a big, ramshackle, creative, zany family with lots and lots of kids and pets and laughter and an understanding husband….

….who never met a dad joke he didn’t like.Continue reading

DIY Distressed Grocery Sign

DIY Distressed Grocery Sign

DIY Painted and Distressed Grocery Sign

This past weekend I spoke at the Becoming Conference and I brought two of the mini-thistles with me.

I used to call them the twins.

At the conference they worked with me during the DIY class and helped me in the decorating session and ate ice cream with the crickets at dusk and participated in Zumba at midnight and got their nails painted five different colors and tried on earrings in the hallway and took 501 selfies at the photo booth and soon the conference attendees started calling them the mini-thistles….

….and it stuck.Continue reading

Painted Plywood Sub-floor:  State of the Floor Address

Painted Plywood Sub-floor: State of the Floor Address


Painted Sub Floor

Three and a half years ago we painted the plywood sub floor.


This floor.  That’s right.  It’s just the floor that was under our carpet.

We just pulled up the carpet and primed it and painted it.

Just like that.Continue reading

Five Easy Painted Projects

Five Easy Painted Projects


five easy painted projects

Yesterday my eleven-year-old daughter asked me if I had ever heard of Pinterest.

“It’s this site, “ she told me in an excited voice.

“You won’t believe it.  It  has cute hairstyles and ideas for gluing stuff onto an iPad and Fourth of July ideas for desserts and posters you can make with from candy and sayings like “You are a Lifesaver” and “Don’t Snicker….but I think You’re Great.”

And then she paused mid-sentence.

And stared.

And I could almost see the light bulb going off over her head.

“Mom,” she said with wide-open eyes.  “You could totally get some ideas off there for your blog.”

I didn’t say a word.

I just laughed inside and then smiled a smile that let her know her whole Pinterest idea was brilliant…..

….and I wish I would have thought of it first. 🙂

Here’s five easy painted projects I’ve created…… (and pinned, too) . 🙂


Painted Dresser



Monogrammed Welcome Mat



Painted Table Runner



Painted Wall Treatment



Stenciled Concrete Pavers

Painted Wall Treatment Idea (on a budget)

Painted Wall Treatment Idea (on a budget)



This is the story of a blank wall.

I know.

I’m with you.

I can’t believe there was one left in the house.

This particular blank wall was behind the hutch in the dining room at the gatehouse.  It was white (which made me happy because it was so bright) and empty (which made me sad because it was not really living up to its potential).

Until now.Continue reading

Painted Clock

Painted Clock


I always think a project is going to take so much less time than it actually does.


In my mind….we were going to finish the kitchen at the gatehouse in a week.

In mean….what could take so long?

We just had to paint the counter tops and paint the walls and paint the open shelving and paint the cabinets and then do this really cool finish on the cabinet doors and then paint strips on the walls and add lettering on the walls and buy some new furniture.

And in my mind….all that would take about a week.


My mind was wrong.Continue reading