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painting

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One of my favorite things to do when I visit a home design blog is to click on the Home Tour page and gaze at all the marvelous photos of other people’s homes.  You, too?  This is not a new obsession: Even pre-children, Fireman and I used to frequent local Parade of Home tours for the sheer joy and pleasure of walking through newly constructed, beautiful homes.  What I love most about Home Tours is that they reflect the styles, personalities, and stories of the families within.  Tours are a personal, private glimpse into other homeowners’ lives, and although we find much to admire in other homes, we often realize that in many ways, we all deal with the same dilemmas in our homes.  Things like mudroom chaos, inefficient closet organization, pantry storage issues, and paint color mishaps.  In the end, although a Tour can be gorgeous and photos stunning,…

One huge risk of re-purposing is that sometimes you come across deals that are best left behind. Or perhaps not, because MAYBE…with enough paint and some pretty fabric and enough time…. (and there, once again, you’re HOOKED on a deal that should be left behind because re-purposing is simply part of your DNA and you just can’t help yourself). Which is part of the story behind this couch Fireman and I brought home yesterday. I know, I know. Kinda gross, VERY weathered, and those cushions??  We were somewhat afraid to sit on them. But you see, there’s this local guy named Seth, and Seth has become a “picker” friend of sorts for me, and when Seth emailed and asked if I wanted this couch, I had a hard time saying no.  One, because I like Seth.  And two, in my re-purposing mind, I kept seeing pictures like these: Lovely, outdoor…

Amaya’s room is finally finished enough to post a few pictures.  There is more I’d like to do in this space,  but with school in session and weeks flying by, I thought I would post what we’ve accomplished so far, with more updates later. Amaya really wanted hot pink bedding, but to keep the room from feeling too little girl sweet, I ordered a gray buffalo-check duvet cover and shams from Ikea.  I like how the gray check balances out the more feminine pink and faux fur in the room. We did a cheater’s Board and Batten treatment on her walls which means we did the battens directly over the textured sheetrock without adding the “board.”  This treatment adds such dimension and detail to a room!  (Although it can make it a bit trickier to hang artwork, mirrors, etc.)  The board and batten is painted Sherwin Williams Creamy, and the…

The other day I showed how I used a $10 paint dropcloth from Lowe’s for inexpensive curtain panels in my foyer.  Today I’ll show how you can take the same size dropcloth (6′ x 9′) and make 6 pillow covers following a super easy tutorial.I’m not a girl who buys shoes.  I buy pillows.  The problem is, pillow shopping in Alaska can be a journey of frustration since stores rarely carry patterns in my style, the covers often can’t be washed, and the cheap poly-fill inside clumps in no time at all.  I have started noticing more down-filled or down alternative pillows locally, but rarely do I find patterns or styles that work in my home.  In addition, to order pillow covers online can be $40 or more, and you still need to buy the actual pillow! Enter paint dropcloth and stencils: My inexpensive, personalized solution to pillows that match…

I thought I would pop on this afternoon to show a quick before and after of a desk I refinished a couple months back.  My son and I found this desk at the transfer site one day in poor shape, abandoned, and upside down.  My three kids stopped questioning long ago when I suddenly rubber neck, back up the car, and excitedly announce, “I need your help!” I like to think I’m implementing important life lessons in #budgetshopping, #usingwhatyouhave, #humbledumpsterdiving.The blessing is that my boys are becoming so tall and strong, I rarely have to move my own furniture anymore.  The bigger blessing is they do it with servants’ hearts.Most of the time.This piece is currently for sale and longing for a new home.  Check out my All Mimsy page on FB for more details!

Oh ladies, are you reading Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love yet?  My-oh-my does that girl know what it looks like to juggle expectations and sarcastically examine impossible standards in today’s world.Listen to her observations on Balance.  As in, “Dear Woman of Today, how DO you balance work and family and community?””Balance.  It’s like a unicorn; we’ve heard about it, everyone talks about it and makes airbrushed T-shirts celebrating it (I would add that everyone paints a wooden sign about it), it seems super rad, but we haven’t actually seen one.  I’m beginning to think it isn’t a thing.” For the Love, Jen HatmakerHave you, for the love of Moses, ever considered that Balance may just not be a thing?  I tell ya, pondering that thought for the last 12 hours has me feeling downright giddy.  I think Ms. Hatmaker may be on to something.    In celebration of this ‘Balance Illusion’ we women so readily accept and…

For a moment, can we interrupt Sixteen Days of Getting Our Houses in Order to talk about the color pink?I just picked up the mail and was tickled (wait for it….) pink when I saw the front of the new Ballard Designs catalog.  Have you seen it yet?And then on page 6, this beautiful chair and ottoman.  In pink.I don’t know about you, but something about this bold pink color reminds me of this ~And this ~And this ~This isn’t the first time I’ve painted or decorated something, only to see within days a similar furniture piece or style.  I like to tell my family I’m ahead of my time. Truth be told, it’s most often coincidental. Here’s a Before of the little pink desk I finished painting last week. Found at a local thrift store, it was pretty beat up and tired-looking, but the the top took stain beautifully,…

You might think that for a paint-lover like myself, there wouldn’t be anything I would hesitate to paint, but this isn’t always true.  These dark shutters are a good example.We purchased these beautiful shutters in Homer, AK, the year after we moved into our house, and for a long time they hung in our entryway.  Rustic, full of texture, and very heavy, these shutters are authentically genuine in every way.  What a shame for ANYONE to cover up all that authenticity with paint!  Just this winter, Fireman hung the gorgeous shutters in the living room for me after I had an epiphany that they would be WONDERFUL on our tall window wall in there.  I hung scroll-work along the side, and stepped back to look.We had one, very big problem.The shutters, lovely as they were, were way too dark up there.  They looked like a big rectangular hole in my…

“So there was this old dresser……”I wonder how many bloggers start posts like that, another story of a furniture transformation achieved with a couple coats of paint, some elbow grease…and a little Annie Sloan wax, of course.Of course.This post isn’t about a dresser.  Well, kinda.  It all started when I found a certain hutch on CL (is it okay to abbreviate Craigslist with CL now?  I think everyone knows what CL means, but perhaps that’s presumptuous of me?), and the lady selling the hutch also had an old dresser for sale which included two tall, tacky mirrors that looked like this.I knew right away this wasn’t a whole lot of beauty to work with, but I held onto both mirrors the last few months as I brainstormed what to do because the thing is, who doesn’t love a mirror?  They can go anywhere, they reflect light, they add movement……..and even…

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and my beloved sister asks,”Would you like me to keep the kids for the day so you can be home alone?  Clean your house?  Catch up on a few things?”I think I started to cry.Right before I laughed out loud.And then I became so excited considering all the things I could accomplish given a whole, ENTIRE day….You know.  All those practical, sensible things like ~A) Clean my house (which is very therapeutic for me when I’m alone)B) Catch up on paperwork C) Plan homeschool lessonsD) Organize the pantryE) Finish sanding the lockers Firefighter just built (I stole this husband-naming from author Ann Voskamp, who refers to her husband as Farmer.  I’m chuckling just thinking about the moment the hubby reads it in here.)F) Write Christmas cardsG) ExerciseBut I did none of these things.Instead, as Emily Freeman so beautifully encourages, I found a place for my…