Archives for January 2014

Valentine Love Oar-row


Will you be my Valentine?

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. My girls and I wanted to create a special nook to celebrate the LOVE. I also wanted to inspire you to find something old around your home and think about how it could be used in another way.

wooden oar

I had this old oar sitting around waiting to be transformed into something special.

It definitely needs some oomph doesn’t it? Let’s see how I gave it a makeover, shall we?

zig zag wrapping paper


I found this colorful wrapping paper at TJ Maxx months back. I was drawn to the bright colors and how each flowed into the other. This was my inspiration for the color scheme I wanted to create. The modern valentine.

Here is how I created the valentine oar-row. I laid out the shims before painting to figure out how many I would need.

oar row supplies
The supplies are pretty straightforward and budget-friendly:

-wooden oar

-2 packages of shims {I used the shorter pieces}

-one wooden heart {purchased from Michael’s}

-paint in various colors {I used CeCe Caldwell chalk paint, but any acrylic or latex paint would work as well}

-furniture wax to seal

E 6000 adhesive to adhere the shims and wooden heart

painted oar

I started by painting the entire oar. I used two colors to do this. First, CeCe Caldwell Young Kansas Wheat and once dry I layered it with CeCe Caldwell Virginia Chestnut brown.

Next, I painted the shims that would be the feathers of the arrow. This was a bit of a tedious process with the many different colors I used.

painted shimspainted shims 2

Once the paint had dried on all the shims, which was very quickly, I decided to add another layer of paint. I wanted to mimic the colors flowing together just as the pattern in my wrapping paper. To do this, I added a contrasting color over the base color. Once dry, I used a wet rag to wipe/rub off the top color in areas to reveal the under color.

This gives dimension to each piece and creates a soft look for the feathers.

layered paint colors

Next, I sealed  {waxed} the feathers of my valentine oar-row. The Annie Sloan wax brushes are so fabulous to use. But, a lint-free cloth will work just as well for this DIY project. Once the wax was applied, the richness of the colors emerged. I buffed each shim once dry to bring out the luster of the finish. The same was done with the oar.

waxing shims

I then arranged the feather shims in a similar pattern to the wrapping paper that inspired the project. Once the placement was where I wanted it to be, I glued each shim with the E6000 adhesive.

I did the same with the wooden heart.

feather placementfeather shims

 Once the adhesive was dry, I added a hook on the back of the oar to hang.

hanging feathers
red heart

valentine display

 What do you think of the valentine oar-row?




Once the oar was transformed, my girls had a chance to contribute to the valentine display. They helped by cutting small hearts out of the wrapping paper that inspired the project. I was told the hearts look like butterflies. {We might have to add a body and antennas for a bit of whimsy!}

butterfly hearts

butterfly heart

When I was a little girl my mom and I made these fabric heart cards. We entered them into a contest at the radio station and won! {She did most of the work.} My mom definitely nurtured that craftiness inside of me.  I have kept these cards throughout the years. They are a nice little keepsake to personalize the valentine decor and a great memory of sharing LOVE.

fabric heartsfabric hearts 2loveletter Lletter Oletter VLetter Evalentine display pic

valentine side view



valentine arrow


valentine arrow for cupid

Children are great imitators so give them something great to imitate.




"TheFunky Junk Party

I party with Remodelaholic

Potpourri Beach Wreath

side view of wreath

I have been thinking about the beach and the warm, sunny summer days lately. It has been frigid cold here in Wisconsin, again. I am hoping these happy thoughts and DIY projects will get me through! Only a few more months to go until the spring bloom.



grapevine wreath
To start off this potpourri wreath project you will need:

-grapevine wreath(s)

-one bag of potpourri

-green moss

-objects to personalize your wreath ( I used some zebra mussel shells my girls found at the beach.)

-ribbon or fabric for hanging

-glue gun

potpourri mixture

This wreath project was pretty budget-friendly for me. I already had the potpourri. The mixture was full of great textures, shapes, and neutral colors. Sola flowers are one of my favorites to work with. They appear so delicate. There were many different types of nuts in the mix as well. I love that earthy natural look.
green moss

I did have to make a trip to Michael’s {I know, twist my arm} to purchase a bag of moss. There are so many different textures and colors to choose from. I wanted a nice spring green color to give my neutral color palette some oomph. I was pleasantly surprised at the smell of the moss-earthy and sweet.
cotton ribbon

Ever wonder what to do with that pretty ribbon that is attached to the packaging of sheets, blankets or towels? I always seem to save them for that “ah ha” moment. I was tickled pink when I could actually put these vintage looking, beige ribbons to use.

zebra mussel shells

Zebra mussel shells are found everywhere along the shores of Lake Michigan. I know they are becoming quite the problem within the lake system, but they are fun to collect and put to use in a DIY project.

zebra mussel wreath

Once I had all of my supplies, I started laying out the pieces of potpourri  on the grapevine wreath. I wanted to do a dry run, making sure that I liked the way the pieces were fitting together.

potpourri wreath placement

wreath potpourri placementwreath design

Once I had the pieces in place, I started hot gluing. I had to remove a few of the top layered pieces to glue the bottom ones first.  I worked my way around the entire diameter. I did glue the moss, but I also tucked the pieces inside some of the grapevine wreath nooks.

single wreath hanging

This past summer, I had found these white shutters along the curbside. {Yes, I am THAT person.} They were in really good condition and only required some scrubbing with soap and water. Did I mention they were FREE?

close up wreathwreaths together

The potpourri wreaths add some nice contrast to the white shutters. Wouldn’t you agree? The potpourri also has a bit of fragrance to it, so they act as a natural room freshener. {Make sure you like the scent when purchasing bags of potpourri. I have made the mistake of buying on clearance for the color and textures, but then I can’t stand the fragrance. Not worth it, unless you plan on putting it in apothecary jars for display.}

wall view of wreaths

Your favorite essential oils can be added to these DIY wreaths once the initial fragrance has faded. Beth, over at Unskinny Boppy has a great essential oil 101 on her blog.  You can check the post out HERE.

I too, have essential oils in my house with lavender being my favorite. When I go to the spa {seems like it has been forever since I relaxed there}, I will usually go with lavender or grapefruit fragrance. Essential oils are amazing!

Have you ever tried them? If so, what is your favorite?


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The Girl Creative

Metal Made Marvelous

Ever want to update a favorite metal piece,

but were unsure how to go about it?  With CeCe Caldwell paints, it is a very simple process….

metal nesting tables
First, let me give you a bit of history on these tables. Originally, they had very thick 1″ glass tops. The pieces had been well loved and most of the perimeter was chipped.  I was drawn to the design and the petite size of the tables. I, however, was not fond of the dated gold metal finish.

coffee tables original

To start, I wiped all metal surfaces down with a wet rag. Making sure to rub all crevices-removing all dust and residue.



Pieces of wood were cut to replace the original glass tops. Each was measured to fit over the metal base without overlap. When cutting wood, use painters tape along the template lines to prevent splintering while making the cuts.

These were screaming “industrial cottage” style. Metal and wood are two of my favorite combinations. Beginning with a base coat of Vermont Slate, it is important to make sure all areas are well covered. Once dry, I added a layer of Virginia Chestnut. With the second coat, I was not as concerned with coverage. I wanted a bit of patina in the crevices and joints of the piece as well. I added areas of Alaskan Tundra Green sparingly in those sections.

table painting
I then applied the final coat to the tables, Vintage White. Once dry, I wet distressed to bring out the base colors and a tiny bit of gold in some areas. I mixed up a small batch of glaze tinted with the Virginia Chestnut and added this over the white. Blending with the base colors giving the metal pieces patina.

CeCe Caldwell Vintage White

The wood tops were stained with General Finishes Java.

The entire surface of each piece was varnished with General Finishes Top Coat for protection and durability.

finished coffee table
finished accent tables
nesting tables

As I was photographing the tables, I noticed they could be stacked similar to nesting tables. How cute is that? Display in a corner of a small space and use for extra seating when entertaining. The metal tables would make stylish child workstations for that budding artist in your home.

finished coffee table
So, now, are you confident that you can transform a metal piece? Still unsure and have questions? Leave a comment and I would be happy to help make your wishes come true!

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Table from the Tundra

Tundra Table

Hey! How are ya?

The sofa table is finished! But, I  have to get into the groove of taking before shots of my furniture. I get so excited to just get some paint on each piece that I forget the “before” is as important as the “after”. I can, however, describe to you what she looked like. She was a typical 70’s piece-orange brown stain with the dark brown speckles all over. {Blah} Cheesy hardware. In need of a good cleaning. BUT, her bones were solid. She is heavy. Built to last. A Craigslist find at $20. Her previous owners even had a custom piece of glass cut to keep her top protected. A piece of glass alone would cost more than $20! Score!

sofa table accessories

Side note, do you love my cute little industrial stool? The seat is made from reclaimed wood. I still need to decide whether I should leave the worn metal look or give it a face lift with paint. What do you think? This space will be functioning as a desk area as well, so it is the perfect combo!

table hardware
I chose  hardware with a branch detail. I love bringing nature indoors, so this was a great way to incorporate that simply on this table.

table foot
I applied several different colors to this table. I had some black latex paint in the basement and started with this as my base. I then moved on to using CeCe Caldwell’s Young Kansas Wheat. Next, I applied CeCe Caldwell’s Alaskan Tundra Green. Finally, I finished with Smoky Mountain Gray. I wet distressed to bring out all the colors.

color scheme
Where did I get my color inspiration from, you ask? I had another Lucky Duck Day at TJ Maxx a month or so ago. I picked up a set of pillows for $15. I fell in love with the colors-sea green, taupe, historic blue, cream. My living room will be redecorated in this color palette. Here is a close up of the pillow.

pillow inspiration
If you love coastal cottage style, this is a very soothing, relaxing color scheme to incorporate in your design. Here are a few other accessories that will link it all together.

vintage books
Accessorizing with vintage books adds a collected over time look. The colors of the covers can be fantastic. Here, I have a teal green and a taupe book stacked on top of each other. Tip: vintage books are so inexpensive! Check Goodwill and Thrift stores. I am a book collector, so I am always on the look out for these.

chunky candle holder

Chunky wooden candle holders are also a great way to bring that coastal cottage feel into your decor. Wood toned accessories give the room a very warm feel, especially if you have quite a few painted pieces. It gives the room balance. You can even play off of the wood tone on these candle holders by linking  together a coffee table or chairs with the the same wood tone on their legs or arms. Just remember, repetition of elements to tie it all together.

side detail of table
A few more details of the sofa table.

table side detailstable details
Are you ready to get started on giving one of your furniture pieces a makeover? I am always here to help you, if you have questions! You can leave a comment or send me an email: Take care!

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