Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Old Gate

So as you know, lately I’ve really been in to building things, especially “old” things.  I’ve been inspired a lot by Funky Junk Interiors blog.  If you haven’t been to her blog yet, you should really pop in and check it out.  You will be sucked right in and you will find yourself looking at “junk” in a whole new light.  Promise you.

I saw her old gate and fell in love at first sight.



She even has a tutorial on how to make one, so I decided I had to at least give it a whirl. 

And since Tim had just recently taught me how to use our table saw, I put on my brave pants one day and got to work.  All by myself, I designed, measured, and cut all the wood.  I was so proud.

However, I do not exactly know how to use a drill yet (it’s on the top of my list for next power tool to master though), so I had to wait for Tim to put all the screws in and add the hardware for me.



My house now has a hint of “funky junk” in it and I’m digging it ALOT.  The great thing about making “old” things is that nothing has to look perfect.  In fact, imperfect looks better.  See the uneven boards, the messy paint job, the splintered wood with nicks and holes in it?  All perfectly imperfect.  You can’t really mess up something that is “old”, you are just adding more character to it. 



I love how it turned out.  And I think it looks wintery and rugged sitting up there on my mantel.  It gives me the warm fuzzies inside.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Making an old sign

Look what I found… 



A never ending supply of pallets down the road from my house! 


I decided to make an “old sign” to hang in my kitchen from one of the boards that I picked up.

After I decided on the board to use, I very roughly slapped on some white paint.  I didn’t try to make it evenly coated, in fact, I purposely left it looking pretty uneven and I let some  of the wood around the edges show through.  After painting, I sanded and distressed it to give it even more character and “age”.

Next, I opened up a word program in my computer and decided on a font.  Then I blew up each letter to a size that would fit nicely on my board.  I printed, traced, and then cut out each letter to make stencils.



Next I traced each letter on to my board.



And then I carefully painted in all the letters with black paint.  It was tedious.



Finally, I sanded and distressed my board once again.  And Tim hung it up for me.



I love how it looks hanging over the doorway in my kitchen.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Building with pallets

Pallets are all the rage right now and I’ve seen some pretty cool things made out of them.

These are some of my favorites…

Lori Danielle’s toddler bed.  Is this not AWESOME?!!  Hudson might need one of these when he gets bigger.



Ashley Ann's pallet reading bed.  She made this for her little girl’s room and it is totally adorable.  I love it!  I want one in my house, I just don’t know where I would put it.



And check out this table made from old pallets over at Funky Junk Interiors!  So creative and original!



She also made this t.v. stand from an old pallet.  A-MAZING!!



These ladies totally inspire me and make me want to build something with a pallet!

The other day, Tim scored a pallet for me from his work, but since I have no experience in the building department, I wasn’t quite ready to tackle major furniture projects yet.  My mind started brainstorming things I could make with it. 


Now, you may already know this, but crates are also very trendy right now in home decor.  The problem is that they can be quite expensive when you try to get vintage ones.

Check out these photos from decor8.



Don’t you just love crates now?!!  I do!  And after seeing those photos, I decided I needed some crates in my house pronto.  And Ana White had plans on her site for building them.  I thought this would be the perfect starter project for me.  So during naptime, I dragged Tim down to the garage to help me build a crate using wood from our pallet. 

First, we had to get the boards off the pallet.  Not a lot of fun and some boards split.  But my attitude with this project was, the more character, the better.


Next came measuring and cutting the boards.  I can measure, but I’ve never cut anything with a circular saw in my life.  (Well, maybe I did in Shop class when I was in high school, but that was literally a lifetime ago, and I don’t remember a thing about it.)  I was a tad scared to use the saw (mostly for fear of losing a finger), but I wanted to learn because I have big dreams of building things and I can’t always convince Tim that we need to build something, so it is pertinent that I can do this myself.  So I made myself get brave and Tim showed me the ropes, or um…  the saw.  And look at me go!  And I still have all of my fingers, thank you!


After cutting the wood, we started piecing it together.  We temporarily taped the pieces that had split, then used a staple gun to hold them together.  We probably should have used some wood glue too, but we were in a hurry (naptime had come to an end) and we just wanted to get our crate finished.



Tim did all the hammering while I held and entertained kiddos. 



And here is our crate!  The best part – it was free! 



After finishing, I decided it needed a little more character.  So I used some stencils and a Sharpie to write our anniversary on it.  I sanded it afterwards to give it an older feel.



And since I need something to keep my roaring fire going, I filled it with pinecones.



Yes, I know it’s no bed or table, but I’m pretty proud of my first little building project. 



Now, I just need to get some more pallets!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Frosty the Snowman

Does anyone else still have their pumpkins left over?  Or is that just me?   Yea, it’s probably just me.

Even though Halloween and Thanksgiving are done and over and it’s technically Christmas season now, we still had our pumpkins out on our front porch up until just a few days ago when I made Tim put them out back because the rest of the neighbors were starting to put their Christmas decorations up.  I had really grown quite fond of having them around these last two months and they still looked so cute that it  seemed wasteful to toss them out with the trash. 


So I came up with a way to keep them around just a little bit longer. 

Meet Frosty the snowman Pumpkinman.
Isn’t he so adorable?!!

And he really wasn’t difficult at all to make.  My main goal was keeping this project as cheap as possible and using what I already had at the house.  I spent $0.97 total (for black spray paint), so I thought I did pretty good! 

Here’s how I made him.

First, I stacked my pumpkins up and hot glued them together.  Just to warn you though, hot glue doesn’t really hold them together that great, so you have to be careful when moving them around or they will come unglued.  But I figured since this was a temporary decoration that would just be sitting around our house for a month or two, hot glue would work well enough (plus that is what I had on hand).

Then I spray painted all my pumpkins white.  It was fast and easy.  I only had primer spray paint, so that is what I used. 

I thought this little pumpkin somewhat resembled a top hat, so I decided to spray paint it black.  After letting it dry, I hot glued this one on top of the three white ones.

Then I started searching my house for things I could use to make his face.  I used buttons for the eyes, fake berries for the mouth, a piece of potpourri for his nose, and some ribbon for the scarf. 

When Frosty’s day of doom does finally come, I have a feeling that I’m going to have an even harder time throwing him out now.  He’s just so darn cute!

I sure hope Frosty doesn’t melt sitting so close to our raging fire!


Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

The DIY Show Off

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A faux fireplace transformation

After painting my faux fireplace mantel, I finally brought it inside the other day.  I was so excited to get it in my living room and see how awesome it was going to look, how warm and inviting and cozy it was going to make my room feel. 

And it looked like this



What?  You aren’t blown over by my fabulous transformation?  Yea, me neither.  It looked so out of place and random stuck in the middle of my wall.  And I hated that bright white outlet right there in the middle of it as well as the white baseboard running along the bottom.  It wasn’t working for me.

So I started brainstorming ways to make it look better.  I looked into getting a fireplace screen to set in the front and hide the fact that there wasn’t actually a fireplace there, but those things are pretty darn expensive!  And I just wasn’t all that excited about spending  so much money (plus I was pretty sure I couldn’t convince Tim that we needed an expensive fireplace screen for our fake fireplace). 

So after some more thinking, I decided to get a flat board and paint it black (with paint we already had) and slip it behind the mantel to cover up the outlet, wall, and baseboard.  I figured it wouldn’t be too expensive to buy a board and it was a pretty fast and simple fix, one that didn’t require a lot of cutting or construction, just some quick painting. 

And then it looked like this


Much better, don’t ya think?  The black board at least gives more of an illusion of a real fireplace than the wall with the outlet on it.  It was definitely a step in the right direction, but it still didn’t give me all the warm fuzzies yet. 

Then, I read this blog by the nester.  It was all about hacking decoration ideas from Pottery Barn.  I was totally inspired to try out some of the ideas and start decorating my faux fireplace mantel with them. 

She had this image from PB on her blog and I figured that would be easy enough to recreate in my house.  I even had some bottles, so I just needed the candles.



After I bought some candles, I added my own touch to the PB idea by filling the bottles with acorns from my yard and wrapping the necks with twine.



Here is another PB image that I liked



I noticed the leaves tied around the candle, the apothecaries, and the nuts in the bowls.  Here is my twist on their idea:

leafcandle nutapothocary 


I loved the idea of using things from nature, so I just went with that.  I bought the vine wreath and added the fake berries to it to give it some extra color.  Then I tied some pretty green ribbon to it and hung it over my mantel.  I broke off the dried berries twigs from a tree in my yard and stuck them in the green  bottles, which I already had.  And then I added  the pinecones (cinnamon smelling!) and nuts just to add some more depth and interest. 



And in the end, I think my faux fireplace turned out pretty good and it does give me the warm fuzzies now when I look at it.  And the great thing is that it didn’t end up costing an arm and a leg to spruce it all up and make it cozy feeling.



Now, if only I could actually light a fire in it when my mood strikes….


Oh, but I can!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Caught in Grace

Hello Bloggie Friends!  Happy Weekend!  I hope I didn’t totally confuse you by changing the name and the look of my blog all at once.  It was a bloggie overhaul makeover for sure!  For months, I’ve been thinking and praying about a new blog name and I wanted a new look to go with it.  I wanted a name that was a little more creative, a little more catchy, and something with more meaning to it than just “The Scott Family”.  Over and over, I just kept coming back to “Caught in Grace” and I think it describes my life in a nutshell (at least as much as three words could).

So I was pretty much a “good” kid growing up.  I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 12 years old (or somewhere around there) and I was basically a rule follower.  I didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, didn’t party, didn’t skip school etc. etc. etc….  Sometime during my college years, I started wondering why I would go to hell if I didn’t have Jesus as my Savior.  I mean, what did I do that was so bad?  I wasn’t a bad person, I was good.  I remember praying about it, asking Jesus about it.  And, can I tell you?  He started showing me my depravity, my need for a Savior.  Maybe I wasn’t doing all the ‘bad’ things, but my heart wasn’t exactly pure either.  There was selfishness, greed, pride, impatience, unkind thoughts, the list could go on.  So since I am a perfectionist by nature, I wanted to fix myself, I worked hard on myself, I was hard on myself.  At that point, I didn’t understand grace.  I didn’t understand, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).  What I didn’t understand then, what He has patiently been showing me over the years, is that I can’t fix myself, I can’t make myself good enough, no matter how hard I try.  But the good news is that because of His grace, God can and does make me good enough.  I am a work in progress.  He loves me and accepts me just as I am, but at the same time, he’s working on me to make me who He wants me to be. 

After college, Tim and I started dating.  For about two years, we dated, we he got confused, we took ‘breaks’ to pray, we even broke up for real one time, we got back together, we fasted, and we prayed some more.  I made that sound as if it was all hard and confusing, but it wasn’t, there was a lot of happiness and fun throughout those two years too.  To sum it up, it was one of the best times of my life (falling head over heels in love, pitter pattering heart, new and exciting relationship) and one of the hardest (trying to discern if Tim was “the one”, feeling heart broken and lost when we broke up, periods of confusion).  But by the end of our dating relationship, God had done some amazing things that got rid of any doubt or confusion surrounding our relationship.  Beyond any shadow of a doubt, I knew we were meant to be together and Tim knew it too.  No matter how much we stumbled through our dating relationship, no matter that we got confused and broke up, no matter what happened, by His grace, God kept us together and worked out His will in our lives. 

As an adult, there have been times, especially over the last two years when I felt God speaking to me about specific situations in which I was to walk with eyes of faith.  It always went against what made sense, what I could see, or what I felt.  Most of those time, I felt as if I was on a long, dark trail and I couldn’t see where I was going.  I couldn’t see which way to turn.  I couldn’t see the roots and rocks along the trail that might trip me up.  A lot of times, doubts would flood me and I wasn’t even sure if I was on the right trail anymore.  I would spin in circles for awhile, totally losing my way.  And then, I would reach out for God’s hand in the dark, and sometimes I couldn’t find it right away.  So I would desperately call out to Him and try to hear His voice and even then, sometimes His voice seemed to be faint or drowned out by my own doubts or thoughts.  So I would listen closer, petrified of going the wrong way or missing Him.  But He never gave up on me.  He never got tired of finding me if I got mixed up and wandered the wrong way for awhile.  He never got tired of waiting for me if I got overwhelmed and stopped to throw a pity party rest.  He never left me stranded on my own.  There were times that I was overcome with doubts and I stumbled along, there were other times that I tried to walk by my own sight and tripped on bumps and stumps, there were times I wandered off the trail, times I fell, but because of His grace, God was always right there to pick me up and get me back on track.  His grace set me in the right direction.  By His grace, I had the strength to keep going.  And His grace always brought me through to the other side. 

And even on a daily basis, I stumble, I mess up both as a wife and a mom.  I lose my patience, I get off balance or focus on the wrong things (the house needs to be clean vs. my kids want to play with me), I can be selfish, my words can be rude, thoughtless, or sharp, sometimes I am just plain grumpy.  Like I said, I’m a perfectionist, so I tend to have a hard time extending myself grace when I’ve messed up (which is often).  But I am learning that when I stumble, when I make a mistake, when I outright screw up and sin, God’s grace has me covered.  I can rest in it.  It will always be there.  It will always be enough.        

God’s grace is what saves me and by His grace, God keeps me in His hand.  There is grace when I mess up, there is grace to cover my every sin, there is grace to help me change, and there is grace to accept me and love me in the process of it all.  Through grace, He works out His will for my life and makes me who He wants me to be.  By grace, He will bring me home to Him, perfect in Christ.  I am surrounded by grace.  I am caught in grace.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

There’s no place like home: a side table makeover

I’m slowly learning to take chances in my house, to be original with my ideas, to explore possibilities and to do what I like, not just what is expected or “normal”.  Sometimes I take chances and I get it right.  Other times, I take chances and I don’t quite get it  right and it becomes a work in progress.  But when it comes down to it, I am the one that lives here and I look at my stuff every day.  I want to look around my house and see the things that I love, things I have invested myself in, things that are unique to our family.  I am inspired by beauty.  It fills me with joy.  It even brings rest and peace to my heart and soul.  I want my home to be a haven for our family and a place that is warm and welcoming to others.  

There was nothing wrong with my side tables.  They’re fairly new, just a few years old.  But I was bored with them.  They’re just mass produced side tables.  I’m sure you can find them in homes across the country (or anywhere there is an Ashley furniture store nearby).  If you have these tables, I apologize and I don’t mean to knock your tables, like I said, there’s nothing wrong with them, I like their basic shape, I was just wanting a change of scenery in our house.  I am also tired of the black and I’m slowly trying to move away from a house full of dark furniture.  I want my house to feel lighter and airier and a little bit eclectic.  But even though my tastes are changing, I can’t just go out and buy all new furniture, now can I?  (I can just hear Tim screaming “NO!”.)

Our living room with the side tables:


So lately, I’ve really been inspired by reading other people’s blogs.  I especially love reading blogs about taking an old or boring piece of furniture (or really any item for that matter, even an entire house) and refurbishing it into a unique and fun piece that adds interest and a touch of your own personality to your home.

And since I had no real love or attachment to my side tables, I decided they would be a good place to explore my refurbishing abilities.  I figured the worst thing that could happen would be that I would fail miserably and then I would just have to paint them back to all black (because I promised Tim before I started this project that no matter what happened, I would not be buying new side tables). 

The before picture:


It was a definitely a trial by error process and I learned a few things along the way.  I sanded, painted (the primer was mixed in with the paint), distressed, glazed (never did that before), dry brushed some areas to cover up the parts I thought were too dark from the glaze, distressed and sanded some more.  I just worked until it seemed done to me.

And I ended up with this


I’m really happy with the final product.  I love it a gazillion times more than the black.  Here’s a close up.  I switched out the old blah silver knob with these black and white flower knobs from Anthropologie.  I think it adds a really fun, slightly quirky, and definitely more interesting touch to my table.  In fact, it wasn’t until I screwed the knob in that I actually fell in love with my newly painted, distressed table.  Up until that point, I wasn’t so sure about it.  But the knob was the finishing touch that tied it all together for me. 


I’m almost done with the second table and I can’t wait to get it back in my living room. 

Here’s a final look….. the before and after!

blacksidetable sidetable

What do you think?!!