31 Projects.. Day 14

Need a super easy project, that you can do while watching a movie on a Friday night perhaps? Yes! Lets.

You’ll need– some terra cotta pots, small succulents from Home Depot, Lowes.. the farmers market if they sell them there! And some pretty colors that make you happy, and a pot of stain.



These were all the colors that I used for my Good Luck Charlie painting and I really love them. They’re.. warm and remind me of gems and they just make me happy. Fall is the season to be happy isn’t it? With some pumpkin spice cookies.. and halloween movies on.. Ohh I love it.

Back to the painting. Get some cheap foam brushes and start painting these suckers. They soak up the paint really fast so while you’re painting one, let one dry.. move on.. I did two coats on each and then a coat of stain that I immediately wiped off. I didn’t want them to have too much color on them, just enough to tone down the brightness and make them a little.. dirty.




I didn’t think you would want pictures of me painting, mostly because… it’s kind of self explanatory and this post is basically just to get you inspired to do a quick project that’s good for your health (Plants are AWESOME to have inside. Is that the same for succulents? I assume so? Is that a dumb question.. Perhaps) I keep them in the living room and it’s nice because they hardly ever need water, so even though they aren’t on plates to catch the water and dirt– I can just take them to the sink every few days… (weeks) and water them by the sink, let it drain and put them back.




That’s what I love about these plants, so little maintenance and so far, I can move them around and they like whatever light I put them in. The aloe plant has actually grown quite a bit and the other one with the flower is about to bloom.. I’m waiting on pins and needles to see what it looks like!

Yeah.. I don’t get out much.




(This goes without saying, my living room is NOT staged. Crap is everywhere.. We built that white table and haven’t talked about it.. The brown one is filling in until the other white one is done and.. our floors are hit. HIT I tell you! But.. It was nice and bright and said “Take my picture..” So I listened.)

:) Happy Friday!

That gray area between Summer and Fall {Pre-Fall / Late-Summer Mantel}

We all know those gray areas.. right after New Year but before Valentines Day (Or until April if you skip the holiday decorating) where the mantel starts to look lonely. Late Summer early Fall does that to me. Too early for pumpkins– that’ll be closer to the end of September, but it’s time to put the sea shells away ya know? Don’t get me started on how badly I want to light an apple pie candle but I. Can. Not. Make. Myself. Do. It. when some days are still 87 degrees. I just can’t. Once I see a leaf fall, it’s on. But for now, Michigan is playing with my emotions and I can’t.


So I tried to convey that with a little seasonal change in the family room. Which, I might add is still everything but comfortable, cozy and lovable thanks to me ripping up the carpet and we haven’t decided yet if we want to refinish the floors or add carpet. Don’t get me started. They’re gross and make me not want to even be in the room.


But back to the subject at hand, globes. More specifically WORLD globes are pretty awesome in my mind. I just love the colors, the blues and greens and mustard– I’ve been sprinkling it around my house lately and I’m thinking it’s slowly making its way to being my house scheme. Plus they remind me of school, which happens in September. Do you see where I’m going? Books, Maps, Wheat and some so dang cute faces and you have yourself a fun mantel.

Fall Mantel

Fall Mantel

Oh— and I dragged the dresser in here a while ago, I like it! It fits the family room better and ties in to the white mantel..faux mantel.. ahem. Not to mention the storage! My 12 year old husband can fit so many video games in there.. And with the book case being gone there’s more room for activities in the whole room. ;) I would like to add something to the other side of the dresser since it looks so sparse on that side– so lonely. But when you have a small house you’re very particular about what you bring in so the verdict is still out on what we’ll put there, a plant? Another chair? We’ll see.


Actually, I don’t think I even shared the new TV– considering I went on a blogging hiatus for what seemed like years, we got rid of our big giant box of a TV and were gifted this TV for our Anniversary/Birthdays last year and it’s been pretty freakin’ awesome to have a TV that works correctly. Plus it’s light, and not so in your face.. Before I was all “Pshhh we don’t even watch t.v who cares?” But I get it now. It’s like the movies are in real life it’s so clear!? Why didn’t y’all tell me?! Ha ha.. This post is so scattered, I’m sorry. Now that the girls are in school I’m getting a little loopy just writing my thoughts. :) We’ll get through this together *wink* Happy Friday peeps!


Christmas Mantel 2012 {Gold, Glitter and Blue}

When I told my husband I wanted to try and incorporate antlers into the mantel for some fun he didn’t even bat an eye.

Parts of skulls.

On a festive Christmas mantel.

Yeah.. Seems legit.

But really, I get a lot of flack for some of the things that interest me. Antlers being one of them. But they’re just so cool! And, aside from the hunting debate I’m not getting into at the moment… They’re as close to nature as you can get ;)

Plus deer. Reindeer. Rudolf. It all makes sense, no? I think so. Anyway, carryon.

Since I couldn’t find a head to mount I decided to rock the silhouette and make it myself. But shinier.

The girls requested more glitter, when I first did the mantel and tweaked it a tad they said “That’s it?”

Whomp whomp.

You want more? Oh, I’ll give you more, children.

So I took it all down, and encouraging myself to not buy a damnned Darn thing this year I broke out the bins of blue ornaments. Last year I really did try to like the blue. I did. But I couldn’t do it, it wasn’t Christmasy enough.

I’m happy to say, I tried it again. And, I liked it.

It’s kind of a mix between a hoarders Christmas with all the jars, and someone clearly interested in the sport of hunting Rudolf..And sprinkling glitter all over him. And, it’s glorious.

I have some tea lights for the jars but, the battery operated ones have way too much orange in them and it throws the whole thing off so I think I’ll put some real ones in on Christmas for a touch more magic.

The jewelry box is from my bedroom. I used this tutorial for the dipped ball jars.

The antlers are from my fajah

The jars are an assortment of Ball Jars, Jelly Jars and random ones from my fridge with questionable items in them that got cleaned out.

Blue ornaments from Walmart, gold ones from the dollar store.

Greenery is old, but it’s from Target, there’s actually a few swags intertwined together. Makes it fuller..lovelier.

The deer isn’t centered, so I put a frame there and just hot glued an ornament to it. It’s not my favorite thing but what’s one more item in the hodge podge of hoardiness.

And, at night.. it’s lovely.

Next up..The tree!

Summer Mantel

Since it’s over 100 degrees these days I figured it was time to break out a little taste of summer for the mantel. It kind of screams Pure Michigan to me. Now, we just need Tim Allen to say that during these pictures and we’d be all set, no?



I used a print I found on Pinterest, you can get any state for FREE from this fantastic woman. How awesome is that!?



The big piece of art was a knock off of something similar I had seen on an episode of Restaurant Impossible. I think they used yellow though, it was about a year ago but I kept it in the memory bank for safe keeping. :) Word to the wise though, with small star fish like these, they come with a yellow/orange tinge. Not the look I was going for, so I put them in some bleach water which made them fragile as hell. I originally wanted to use pencil starfish but couldn’t find any small ones around town and didn’t want to order any. Next time, I definitely would order them. Not too sure how these will hold up in storage.

A few glass jars and some books and I was all set. Definitely digging the blue and mustard together.

It ties along nicely to the other changes in the living room as of late. :)


Linking up with some lovely ladies.. :)

Beth Tutorials & Tips not to miss

Coffee table make-over

I built a table y’all.

Not really, we just put a new “old” top on it.

This table has been about 100 different colors. It was also a chalk table which proved to be quite the primer for the many coats of paint that followed it. Which was a prime factor in my decision to quit trying to scrape paint off of it and just start fresh.

How fun was it to find this gem when we took the top off of it.

Fun fact: My grandpa built this table in highschool so as rickety as it may be I’m kind of partial to it and want to try and keep it in the living room (or another room) as much as we can. Adding a new top sturdied it up a tad.. not much, but a tad. ;)

This picture makes me laugh, it’s like he’s promoting himself. I’M DRIVEN. Dork.

To make the faux pallet top we just used some wood from Home Depot, I picked a thickness that wouldn’t look too ridiculous but not too thin that it would warp. In my head I swore I took more pictures of the actual process but maybe it all happened so fast I blacked out. Who knows, but I have nothing to show you!

Imagine this.

We put the pieces of wood on the table frame like a puzzle piece. Now, Mr. Home Depot who made the cuts for us wasn’t quite procise so we just did the best we could and sawed a straight edge at the end. Don’t worry about it. Imperfections are what antiques are made of, how else are you going to make your “new” table look old? Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s not all level, there’s a hair or two off in spots and I’m a-okay with that. Because it’s NOT a flat top. It has gaps, ridges, etc. Just sand it down smooth and stain away.

Then decide later what color you’re going to paint it. Try blue on two legs for good measure. Then leave it alone for 3 weeks of course. ;)

The best part?


These babies were 2 bucks a pack at the store and they were calling my name. I think they’re adorable. We haven’t had any problem with the table shifting because of the carpet but you could get castors with stoppers on them if you just wanted the look. We however like to have random dance parties in the living room and table moving is a must. 

Things are a changin’ in the living room. And, I like where it’s going.  

Make a quick wooden frame.

 *Don’t forget to hop by the recent giveaway where TWO lucky winners will get a Creativity for Kids Sparkle 3D paint activity set! Whoop to the whoop!*

Okay, so when I was all gung-ho (gungho?)…All excited about my summer mantel I had just the picture for it. My Ikea print from many a year ago that I didn’t ever put up because apparently when you go to a store thee hours away and buy special sized prints it’s totally natural to NOT buy the frames to fit said prints.

It’s also normal to not buy them the next two times you go.

I digress.

So I wanted to use the prints and had no frame, you get where I’m going. I also decided to do this a few hours before I wanted to write the post. So I did what any average house wife would do and grabbed some scrap wood (from the board and batten project) ebony stain and a box saw. I had about 5 inches left over so I had just enough. Basically the heavens aligned and it was meant to be is what I’m getting at.

Now, this is in NO way the normal way to do things. Not at all, as I go along I’ll tell you how to really do them, but I had a child who was not wanting to run to the store with me so I improvised, you’ll see how, you might laugh too. It’s okay, because you’re laughing with me not at me right?


So I cut all the pieces at a 40 degree angle like so, you could just fix em up square and account for the different lengths, but that always seems like more work to me than mitering and it only takes a few extra minutes for me to do it this way so I did. Then because I didn’t have any staples or wood glue I used my hot glue gun. I know, shield your eyes. It’ll feel super flimsy and well that’s because it is but we’ll stabilize it in a few don’t you worry.

I gave it a nice coat of Ebony stain, and dragged it on and off. If I missed a few spots I wasn’t too worried. Remember, nothing is perfect in my house and I’m a-okay with that.

 Don’t you love the dingy greige color? Total driftwood vibe to me.

Then because the frame was way too wobbly for my liking I just took the cardboard that came with the print and glued it right on the back. Awesome, right? I know. It’s my own little brand of genius. Cardboard and glue. It’s like we’re in elementary again.

Then I just used some double sided tape and taped the picture that fit perfectly into the frame, right on the cardboard. Done and done.

So, if you’re going to make a real frame, get some staples and staple it, or those fancy hooks that hook the two pieces of wood together. You could also seal it really well but for us it’s just sitting up really high where no little hands will be touching it so I think we’re safe. :) Also don’t worry about any imperfections in the wood, it gives it character. :) Love love love it. And, for being free, I love it even more. So does my husbands wallet. :)

The end.

The Lettered Cottage

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Summer Mantel.

Because I love a good forewarning, there’s some major storm clouds outside so my pictures are DARK dark. Sorry ahead of time, I promise I don’t really live in a dark dungeon.. Maybe the sun will come out..tomorrow..tomorrow. ;)
While browsing my latest obsession I came across this photo.
Tis gorgeous isn’t it? 
It just reminds me of that hot sticky summer where you can smell the salt in the air and you complain about how hot it is but in the winter this is what you crave Yup, that summer.
It’s my favorite kind. 
So I wanted my summer mantel to somewhat show that. The tall grass, perfect blue, sand and drift wood. And what do you do at the beach? Read. At least I do, so it felt right to throw some books in the mix. Do what feels right people! :)
See that awesome frame there? Yep, made it about 15 minutes before I wrote this post. Tomorrow I’ll share the easiest tutorial EVER on it. 
I shopped the house for all the items here except the faux grass which I picked up at Hob Lob for 2.50 a stem (50% off, woohoo!)
The Lettered Cottage

Family addition

No, not a baby.. I told you my thoughts on that here silly. :)

But I did add to the family room this week, in my attempt to finish it. Wait, will it ever be finished? No, but in my attempt to fill up the walls I finished something. I think I have a problem with hanging too much on the walls. But, they’re all lovely things and I want to show them off.

Plus– it’s my house. 
My walls. 
I’ll fill them as I please.
Neener neener neener. ;)

I used to have a painting that I did way back in the day of a rose and well red isn’t working so well in the living room anymore and I wanted something neutral, classy, lovely and about the same size as the clock on the other side of the windows so they could balance each other out well.

Case in point.

The book wreath.


I wont go into a huge tutorial because google will tell you everything you need to know but I did change it up a bit to suit my tastes.

1.) I didn’t paint the ends of the pages, I burned them. Is that legal? I’m not sure, but I figured I was already tearing the pages out, fixing up the edges with a little crispiness wouldn’t hurt anything.  Plus it smells like camping and makes me happy.

2.) I used glue and pins. I want this sucker to stay in place. If I did it again, which I will– I would most definitely not use the pins with pearls on the top, but it’s all I had at the time. There’s a couple spots you can see them but I just moved the pages around and unless you’re LOOKING for them, I think it’s okay.

3.) It’s probably too full, I even took some out of the middle because you couldn’t see the inside circle and it’s still really really fluffy. But I’m okay with that, are you?

I love it. It was super fun to make, I might make a million and start selling them, just because I liked the campfire smell I got from it all day. :) 

Because I can’t stop talking about the thing above my tv.

Okay, ONE MORE I swear…Maybe.. Unless something comes up and I have to talk about it again, but I’m definitely done decorating it– Until after Halloween. :)

Fall is a tricky tricky Holiday to decorate for if you like to sprinkle in some Halloween spookiness. Do you wait till Halloween? Do you decorate before, then change it to spook then back to fall for Thanksgiving? This year I went with a light, bright early fall with my mini-fantel, which you can read about here.

Then I beefed up the fantel here.

And, today– in honor of the Mantel party at Nesters and because Miejer had some adorable bats on sticks as the cashier lovingly called them, I decided to go all out for Halloween. Last year (When apparently I had never taken a picture before..Eek, sorry for the dark blurriness) I went with a brighter color scheme by using more scrapbook papers, which I left out this year for a more white and black theme.

And…This year! 

I love it. It’s calm, cool, creepy and vintage– Thanks to the free images printed from the internet and framed.

Love the old photographs of kids in their costumes! Some where mighty scary huh? The pop of the single orange pumpkin really does it for me. I {LOVE} IT. I also sprayed some branches from the yard and added a bit more moss and called it a day. If I wanted to be Miss Perfect I would have made that #7 tag be #13 or #31.. But, I took my perfect crown off and put my lazy hat on. It is what it is.

Want a couple more sneaks?

Pumpkins and a bat photograph.

Eek sign, from last year and a fake pumpkin from Michaels. Sitting on my primed but never painted side table. Gotta keep it real.

Thats it so far! I have one more bin to bring up with lovely creepy things to scatter around the house and thats it! So happy I finished before the 1st, I get a whole month to enjoy my favorite holiday!

Linking to Nester’s Mantel party, Blessed Nest Fall festival,
Hooked on houses 
Show and Share day
Jen’s Autumn Party! 
Beth’s Halloween Mantel party
Visit thecsiproject.com

Decorating the Fantle

Fantle? What’s fantle you ask? Well it’s my faux mantle! :) The little shelf in my living room that I like to pretend is thick and lovely hanging above a roaring fire.. instead it’s a shelf from HobLob above my not even a flat screen television. I’ll take that over nothing!

Since I’m going through a nervous breakdown and painting everything white, I wanted my fall decorations to be lovely whites and creams and less orange and in your face– I’ll save that for Halloween. ;) The best part of this re-do was that it was *Free*

Spray painted pitcher from last year
Chipped frame from the 90% off HL clearance that was sitting in my bedroom
#7 bucket that was previously holding our remote for the television
Milk glass vases & Straw wreath from the Mother. Thanks, Mom!
White pumpkins from last year

FREE I tell you.

Doesn’t it feel good using things you already have? There’s a couple more things here and there I’d like to add around the house but for now the fantle is done, and you know what that means? Time to open the windows, let the cold breeze in and enjoy some pumpkin spice latte, a heaven sent that I was just introduced to.  

 Hello, lover

Make sure you fall on over (bwaahahaha) to Nester’s fall mantle party & The Inspired Room & This Blessed Nest for some more Autumn delishiousness. AND, Frugal Friday. :)… And CSI project