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?!!