Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Put a little SPRING on your FRONT step--

Spring has sprung and so has the fun!

Spring is my favorite time of year--all the grey color starting to be replaced with life.  Pops of fuschia, lime green, pale pink and variegated leaves are my faves!  Climbing roses, peonies, coleus, variegated hostas and hydrangeas to name a few! 

All though planting is about 6 weeks away, A girl can dream!

 We are busy getting ready for Easter and I almost forgot about our front door...

I was working on a special project for my daughters room and came up with an idea for our front door wreath. Click here to see how I refreshed my daughters room for under $40.

What do you think?


I absolutely LOVE it!

The poofs are super easy to make...

Shhhhh...don't tell the kids I stole their golf balls!

You just fold a bunch of tissue paper together and cut a 3-4 inch circle.   I ruffled them up a little bit and added with my TRUSTY Glue Gun!

                                                     Ta Da!

The whole project took about 15 minutes and was (you guessed it!) FREE!


Happy SPRING everyone!

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Savvy Southern Style

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The little closet that COULD...

Hello People!  I don't know about your house, but OUR HOUSE has a tiny little closet in the entry way...

I see pictures of MUDROOMS and I drool. The wood work, the bins, neatly HIDING all of your stuff. The chalkboards, the memoboards, a huge clock-- all letting you know, what's going on....  I can just smell the organization!

Do you dream about having an official mudroom? We are a family of 5 and we need some help!

I thought hard about how I could achieve this set-up without ALL the glorious space.
I can just see it now...

Everybody would come in, hang their coats up, put their shoes in a bin, and all the backpacks would get hung up.

Yeah, right....

Here's the SITUATION--

NOW do you UNDERSTAND where I am coming from?

Clearly, THIS is not working.

Our storage problems are as follows;
  • Our tiny little closet is overflowing with jackets and our guests have no where to put their coats. We ALL have shoes, hats, gloves and STUFF that have no "place".
  • We have a pool, so the towels have to go in the closet for easy access in the summer too.
  • I get ready in the downstairs bathroom, so I have to have a bin with all MY stuff.
  • I also find that keys, mail, sunglasses and the stuff my daughter brings home in her backpack are a problem at the front door. We just have no place to put it all.
AND don't forget the dog...Cooper has leashes, sweaters, and an over night bag that we use regularly.

I thought that a small CUBE STORAGE unit would do the trick. I purchased one with 6 cubes and layed it on its side. You can add a little TOUCH by adding some white spray painted wood feet to the bottom. I chose little coasters that I spray painted. It just makes it look a little more custom...

I will probably be on the HUNT to find some bigger wood feet later, but not bad for $3...

I needed 6 bins-- so, I picked 2 banana leaf bins and 4 cream fabric bins.

Each family member gets their own cream bin for shoes--except hubby because his are too BIG. The extra cream bin is for backpack overflow--lunch boxes, artwork, etc...

One banana leaf bin is for my hair stuff and the other one is for items that need to go upstairs at the end of the day ie: laundry, certain toys, head bands, etc. You know, ALL the little clutter that lies at the bottom of the stairs. We always have a pile at the bottom of the stairs waiting to go up.

The shelf above the jackets will have to earn its keep too. I happened to have 3 large extra bins that were not being used, but the material on them was a little drab. I found a damask curtain panel that would be perfect to recover them.

Just look at the personality on these bins!
It was super EASY too. Just cut 5 squares, fold the edges in, and get out that glue gun!

My glue gun was S-M-O-K-I-N'! Yee-Haw!

These bins will be used as follows;
In the WINTER--
1. All the winter hats, scarves, and gloves
2. All the snow bibs, ski pants, and ski jackets
3. Hubbys STUFF

In the SUMMER--
1. Pool towels
2. Googles, sunscreen, beach hats, etc.
3. Hubbys STUFF

Did you notice that? No matter the season, one ALWAYS belongs to hubby. Because if your house is anything like mine. I hear numerous times a day, "Where's my ______?"

He's got more stuff than all of us! You know, baseball hats, visors, a hat to mow the yard in, a different one to run in....??? Anything of his, that doesn't have a place, goes in HIS bin... that way, I can just say, "Did you check your bin?"

I started using what I like to call "THE 2 MINUTE RESPONSE METHOD". He asks, I wait, he looks, he looks some more, I wait, and he FINALLY finds what he's looking for. So many times I have come flying down the stairs, gotten off the phone, STOPPED what I was doing to only hear (When I got to the bottom of the stairs!), "Oh, here it is!"
Seriously?! I'm not kidding, it's THAT bad.

Next on my list, a hanging storage divider. One bin for each family member. I ended up cuting the last bin off to make a perfect fit.

The top one is Hubbys, then mine, then Hannah, then Hayden, and of course, Cooper, our dog. Each assigned bin houses that persons things that they use often. You know...a hat, camera, a pair of gloves, tap shoes, sunscreen, pool diapers, baseball hat, knee brace, bike riding gloves, headband, lip gloss, etc.

Finally, that leaves the mail, leashes, keys and sunglasses.

I found a hanging pocket system with hooks and I mounted it right on the inside of the closet door. The big slot is for mail, 2 front slots are for sunglasses and other small items, 4 hooks hold leashes, keys and camera.

Do you SEE that adorable houndstooth tweed cape with faux fur collar I found for Cooper?! What a lucky dog!

To find out about Cooper's new digs, click here.

I sorted through our coats and tried to keep just 4 coats for hubby and I. Wooden hangers keep it looking cohesive and clean.

What do you think?

We have a narrow hallway by our foyer that leads to the garage. I hung a plaque with 5 coat hooks and that is where the kids and I hang our coats when we walk in the door....can you believe it?

I can smell the organization!

I personalized that area by recycling an unused piece of art into a chalkboard, adding a couple of frames with some family pics, and a big clock.
A memoboard would look great in this space too.

One thing is for sure-- this foyer closet is a work HORSE!

I had just one more trick up my sleeve for this space...

I had a chair downstairs in the basement that needed to be updated and I wanted to bring up to the foyer.

The chair BEFORE....

after I sanded...

I painted the chair antique white, covered it in a great burlap damask and added nailhead trim...



I don't mean to ring the "brag bell"...BUT

AND a picture of my Foyer Mantle that is newly REFRESHED--

I know that I am really enjoying my NEW SPACE!  I repurposed  many items I already had which means I saved some money and that's what it's all about!

What do you think?

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And as always, I love to hear from MY READERS!  Please leave me comments, post projects you have tried and feel free to ask me questions.


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Working With What You Have link up at emilyaclark.comEmily A Clark

Thrifty Decor Chick

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Emily A. Clark
Thrifty Decor Chick
Savy Southern Style
Watch Out Martha
Tatertots and Jello
Jennifer Rizzo

Sunday, March 4, 2012

An itch...

As I was leaving a kids party with my kidos, I was in the mood for a little fun...

What does a mother of two do for fun you ask?

Well, in the warmer months I usually go to a lot of garage sales and flea markets, however the winter months put a little damper on that.

As I sat at the traffic light, I pondered.... should I turn left and go to the thrift store OR should I turn right and go home? hmmm...

I chose to go left...

Normally I would just leave the kids at home, but my hubby was away on a trip to Maine.
Who needs him, right? I CAN DO THIS!

Now who knows what I needed or wanted, but isn't that the best part? The anticipation of where my house will go with an unexpected trip to a thrift store...oh the possibilities!

While at the store, I stumbled across a great pot belly lamp. It needed some work, but that's the fun of it! I instantly knew I wanted to paint the lamp a glossy cream color.

As luck would have it, I also scored a beautiful porcelain horse book end, some old skeleton keys, and an Edgar Allan Poe hard cover book. All for $22.

The kids were pretty good too. Aside from the unexpected chasing game my son wanted to play as we were walking out to the car and my hands were full carrying my goodies, hoping not to break them...

Since I was FRESH OUT of glossy cream spray paint, we were off to a home improvement store. While cruising the isles, I happened to find a great lamp shade for my not-so-perfect lamp. Major points!!!
Then a mirror I just had to have made its way in the cart too.

I was on a  roll!

Then it happened….as I walked out of the store, I realized, I don’t have my precious Tahoe, but my hubby’s small sedan….and 2 car seats, 2 kids, a very large mirror, 2 lamps, a lamp shade, a horse bookend, skelteton keys, and a book. AND my hubby's golf clubs in the trunk! I don’t even think it’s a sedan but I guess because it has 4 doors…

Anyhow, we have a problem.

I start by putting the kids in first-- they have to come home with me, right?
I then empty the trunk and try to get the mirror in there…not happening, then the front seat…nope…. Am I going to have to return the mirror?
Can you just imagine all my stuff out on the pavement and me shuffling around like some loser?

About 15 minutes later, I finally got the mirror between the kids feet and the 2 front seats. Thank goodness not one of my kids asked for a snack or to use the potty--I would have flipped!

I crammed the rest of the stuff where it would fit and let's just say it wasn't a very comfortable ride home for anyone. I also scanned the parking lot to make sure no one was watching me. I could just see it now...watching the 5 O’ Clock news with a clip showing me stuffing my kids in a cramped car filled with crap.

Hopefully no one I knew saw me either....

Which brings up another question--Have you ever crammed a very large mirror in front of your children's feet (that are hopped up on sugar from a birthday party!!) hoping that they don't break it?

It was a miracle!

We finally made it home and here is a photo of the not-so-perfect lamp BEFORE...

And AFTER...


I JUST love it!

Here's a picture of my mantle BEFORE


I pulled the finial containers from my bedroom, the horse from the entertainment center and changed the candles to pillars.
The bird is a pepper shaker!


NOW, what am I going to do with the 3 skeleton keys?

I saw a picture a few years ago, where the keys were matted in a frame. I decided I was going to give it a try...

I recycled a frame in my basement, that I wasn't using, which happened to have a matted frame already in it with 3 slots. BINGO!

I spray painted it gold and used card stock scrap paper (4.5" X 6.5") as the back drop for the keys and glued them on.

What a beauty! My NEW piece of art!

I know just the WALL for this!

While working with the scrapbook paper, I also had a great idea for the perfect sized paper...


The pads come in a book of 60 or 72 pages at a craft store for about $5.99. The paper is already cut to the perfect size--all you have to do is fold it in half!
I imagine you can buy some small envelopes to fit, however I have (for some reason?) hundreds of unclaimed small envelopes in my card bin.

You could find a pretty box, fill it with these "note cards", and you are ready to roll when the time comes!

You could take this a little further and give a SET as a GIFT to a NEW BRIDE, NEW MOM or as a HOSTESS GIFT

AND you could cut them in half, hole punch, thread the ribbon through the hole and tie a ribbon on a bottle of wine. Perfect for a personalized message to the recepient!

If you really want to show off-- you could glue PUNCH EMBELLISHMENTS or SCRAPBOOKING EMBELLISHMENTS to them. The possibilities are ENDLESS!

What a great DAY!!!

Not too bad for an ITCH!

This HUNT was $101...

SCRAPBOOK PAPER--$5.99 (60 NOTE CARDS--less than 10 CENTS per card!)

Some of my NEXT PROJECTS include--


SMALL FOYER CLOSET AND HALLWAY turned multi-tasking mudroom




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Thrifty Decor Chick
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Watch Out Martha
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