Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How To Create An Aged Barn Wood Look

I wanted to share how we made our Barn wood backdrop that we used at our recent Rustic Chic wedding.
Mr. right built the wall using rough cedar fence pickets- you can also use the redwood, but the cedar was less expensive - about $2.10 per board.
The boards are just over 6 feet tall, so we ran them horizontally. After the wall was built we used a skill saw to cut off the picket shaped ends, which made the wall 6 feet wide.
We then stained the boards in min wax dark walnut. Wipe off excess and allow to dry for an hour or so.
We then painted over the stain with white paint. Let dry and then sand, sand, sand!

Such a simple treatment that makes a big statement. We'll be reusing our backdrop for our local elementary school's bake sale this weekend- another rustic themed event. It would also look amazing as a headboard, an architectural detail in a room or even to be used outside as a backdrop on a front porch. Let me know if you make one of your own. Love, Kelly

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rustic Chic Wedding

There's nothing better than being a part of planning a wedding. What a crazy week it's been, but so worth it! Here's a peek at our Rustic Chic Event. Guests were greeted by a custom sign Mr. Right built announcing the bride and groom, date and direction of the party. I used an overhead projector to project the words on the wood and then hand painted the letters.

The sign-in table was a $10 buffet I picked up at a yard sale and painted in a creamy white. Mr. Right built the barn wood flower box that held vintage jars filled with hydrangeas and snapdragons.
Guests were asked to sign a tag and share a creative date idea for the couple on the back.
Tags were clipped on a vintage gate with clothespins. Bree and TJ will be able to place these tags on a ring or in their scrapbook and look to them when they need an idea for a night out.
The groom picked up the gift table for free off the side of the road. I gave it a nice coat of creamy white paint and now it will be a fabulous piece in their home.A vintage ice cream maker belonging to the mother of the groom was used as the card holder. I made the burlap hanger using cream paint and a vintage stamp set.

Vintage windows belonging to the bride make a nice vignette.
Pictures of the bride and groom growing up are displayed on a barn wood frame filled with burlap. More pictures of the bride and groom.

The backdrop for the ceremony added a simple touch. I'll be posting directions on how we created the "barn wood" later this week.
Here's a closer look.
Guests sit ready to welcome the bride.
A candid shot of the beautiful bride just before joining the groom.
The centerpieces were another road side discovery by the bride- Large tree trunks that Mr. Right cut down.
Staged with vintage bottles and gorgeous flowers. We also tied old keys with twine to the blue jars.
The food table ready to serve. The menu included Rolls, BBQ pulled pork, baked beans, jalapeno corn and salad.Lamps, crates and vintage items add a nice touch.
Little barn wood plaques with burlap labels identify each of the food items.

This burlap and fabric pennant banner was simple to make and added so much charm hanging over the food table.
The cake was made by the mother of the bride and displayed on a tree stump. The Sweets sign was another "barn wood" treatment.
Homemade lemonade served in mason jars was the perfect finish to a delicious meal. All the signs were hand painted after words were traced using an overhead projector.
It was a gorgeous evening, so thankful I could be part of it. Let me know what you think- we'll have lots of how to details coming later this week. Love, Kelly.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


My weekend started Saturday morning with my nine year-old son Payson sneaking into bed with me.  He’d had a bad dream, a dream where I was no longer his mommy.
“I was so scared,” he said as he told me the details of his dream.
I held onto him tight while he cried into my shoulder.
I told him all the reasons why I loved him; he makes me laugh, how I love the way the wind blows through his hair when he runs, how he’s so sweet when he dances with his little sister, how he’s always the first one to try something new, and so on.  The baby has learned to crawl out of her crib, so she was in bed with us snuggling for a while too and finally started crying for her bottle.
The counselor picked up a dozen donuts and had them waiting for us on the table when we finally got out of bed. The little kids went with Daddy to the park, so Chandler and Payson went to garage sales with me. 
After hitting Jamba Juice, we found this $20.00 over-sized denim chair at a garage sale.  
It barely fit in the car, but with a little rope, we managed to get it home.  I have it listed on craigslist for $60.00.
I made fresh salsa salad for lunch.  
This recipe is one of my favorites.  Tomatoes, orange and yellow pepper, avocado, cilantro, feta cheese and a squeeze of lime juice.  Add a few tortilla chips, and it’s salsa with a fork.
After lunch, the kids did the unthinkable, yes, that’s them and the sweet neighbors in the pool.  
Not even 80 degrees outside yet, but they had to try it.
Payson's freezing and not sure if he'll take the plunge again.  
A few weeks ago I found this amazing vintage hutch for $50.00.  
In my $5.00 Speed Control Goodwill dress, I finally take the fixtures off and start sanding it down.  I still don't have official painting clothes, mainly because I'm too impatient to change.  I try to be very careful, but if I ruin too many clothes I'm sure I'll finally concede that I need to paint in real down n' dirty paint clothes.  
This hutch is going in my non-pantry. 
What’s a non-pantry? 
It’s a little hallway off your kitchen that you’re trying to turn into a pantry because you don’t really have a pantry.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Just peeking out are the blossoms of our apricot tree. 
I find Chandler relaxing on the hammock after his freezing swim in the pool.  The sun sure does feel wonderful.
Spring is just around the corner.
How was your weekend?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Balance as Mother and Writer: The 1st Chapter

I’ve been struggling with big life decisions.  If life is a journey and I’m on a path, I’m searching for the map of directions.  

This does not leave me discouraged, but more aware that every choice I make is a step toward my destination.  It’s amazing and wonderful to think God allows me to choose my path, but intimidating to realize how little control I actually have.  Once again, this doesn’t leave me discouraged, just more aware of the gift of my ability to choose and more determined to make the right choices for me.  Every day is full of excitement and disappointments, growth and opportunities, sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes easy and sometimes difficult and I’m alright with that.  I’ve have never been one to be overwhelmed or burdened by life.  I work best under pressure.  I take on more then I should because I like being pushed.  I’m satisfied only if I’m growing and being challenged in big ways.  At times I’ve said to the counselor, “I am my own worst boss because I never give myself a break.”    

I wear an imaginary tool belt full of band-aides for children’s boo-boos, pencils for children’s homework, diapers and a bottle in my hollister (never mind my keys or purse because they are always lost).   Being a mother of 5 young children creates a clear path of where I’m going with not just duties and responsibilities, but goals as a family.  Mother, wife, homemaker, house wife, all things I love, all these I’ve dreamed about throughout my childhood. I married my prince and he’s everything and more then I ever thought would be mine.  My children are my jewels.  Yes, I know my roll, I know my duties, yet I push to still be me; the individual with dreams and pursuits and passions all my own aside from mother and wife.

I can’t sit still for long.  I stay busy with loading the dishwasher and doing laundry, but look forward most when I am able to choose what I want to do with my time.  But, it’s a struggle, because with the pull to do what I want and to follow my heart means the dishes don’t always get done and we have cereal for dinner at my house more then we should.  I know the majority of my time at this stage is life is chore charts, planning birthday parties and sorting socks, so I try to balance my individual dreams into something I can do after the kids go to bed.  In other words, can I satisfy my own pursuits between the hours of 10:00pm-1:00am?   That’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years and it’s not working that great anymore.  My own pursuits have pushed there way into prime mothering time.   This is the struggle because more and more, when I have success as me the individual, it contradicts with me the mother and wife. 

Should I mention now I tend to over analyze things more then most. 

So what is this dream, what are these pursuits?  Skydiving over Antarctica?  Saving the whales?  Winning American Idol?  Discovering a cure for cancer?  No, it’s becoming a writer. 

A writer. 
(Just saying it gives me chills.)

Have I always had this passion?  No. I’ve only recently discovered (in the last ten years) how desperately I want to be a writer.  Most authors have known they wanted to write since the time they could read and write themselves.  Truth is I didn’t like to read as a child.  I never understood things I read.  I couldn’t focus.  I would get headaches.  I did like to write, but only occasionally and only if assigned by my teacher.  I did have a very active imagination, but not through books.  I liked to be outside climbing trees or looking for bugs.  I role played mother and teacher all the time.  Starting at the age of 8, I had a summer school where I invited all the neighborhood children to attend.  I made worksheets and assigned homework.  I babysat as early as age 8.  I also played with Barbie’s until I was 14, mainly because I loved fashion and would make clothes for them. 

So why the struggle with writing? Why the contradiction in everyday life?  Really, is writing such a threat to laundry and grocery shopping and snuggle time with my 6 year-old at bedtime?  Yes.  Because when I write, it is all consuming.  I can’t sleep.  I eat, live, and dream my characters.  I think I see them on the street.  I actually have stopped people and told them they remind me of a character in my book. I’m constantly deriving plots, twists and turns.  I write and re-write, edit and re-edit, research agents and publishing houses, etc.  I read everything in my genre, which is young adult.  I read every New York Times best-seller I can get my hands on.  I analyze writing techniques, attend workshops and more.  Writing for me becomes a fulltime job because writing for me is not passive.  I live to get back to my computer so I can write some more.  

Throughout the next few weeks, I will be exploring my options as a mother and writer and how to find balance.  I appreciate any suggestions or comments you may have.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Make-overs for Trash

I found this bookshelf at a church yard sale and thought it was so beautiful.  I’ve had it at Qcumberz for almost 6 months priced at $18.50 and it never sold.  
I just love it, but it might need a make over to get some attention.
I’ve been wanting to try a bright green color.  A little distressing, and here’s how she turned out.  Now that she’s home, I’ll see if she’ll sell on craigslist. 
This little picket fence was $2.00 at an amazing yard sale last weekend.  
The original color was a peachy pink, so I painted it white and due to Kelly’s inspiration on her Valentine’s love sign, I decided to spell out love and modge-podge it on.  This picket fence can be used as a tack board.  I love how it turned out.
I think this little wood bucket I found for $1.00 is a cute companion to my other trash.
Another modge-podge project?  This little vintage night stand was cute after I painted it white, but I wanted to add a little more cuteness to it, so I modge-podged some scrapbook paper to it. 
Eden is really into my high heel shoes.  I found this pair of J. Crew shoes at the thrift store for $4.99 and they fit me perfect, but Eden wears them around the house.  
I couldn’t believe when I found this amazing tricycle for $3.50 at the thrift store.  Here’s a typical night at my house, with all the kids playing while the sun sets.  The weather has been perfect and we spend all our time outside.
I’m heading out to do some shopping today.  Can’t wait to discover that next great treasure.  

Craigslist and Shop Updates

Just a few quick updates as I prepare for a wedding tomorrow so you guys know I'm not slacking! I purchased this wheelbarrow for $15 at a garage sale...It sold for $40 on craigslist. Remember the love sign I created for a church event?Sold 2 hours after it was delivered to the shop for $55. The chalkboard door I made for the victorian reception was also taken to the shop...It sold for $150! And one of my favorite transformations was this buffet I picked up at auction. Definitely a splurge at $100- but I just had to have it...

Look at those cute feet!My first two toned piece...
I used an ebony stain on the top...
Sold on craigslist for $325! I'll have lots of pictures next week of the "Rustic Chic" wedding I'm doing so be sure and check back. Also, a quick update on our blog winner... The dresser she bought at auction for $45- sold for $125! If you missed the pictures go here. Awesome job Sharla. Leave us a comment and let us know what you're selling. Love, Kelly.