Weekend Recap

This weekend we didn’t get too much done around the house as far as unpacking/projects because Steve has a pinched nerve in his neck.  We did manage to have some fun with friends, go to an amazing restaurant in town on Saturday to celebrate our 12 year dating anniversary (yes, we are married and still celebrate our dating anniversary…I say the more celebrations the better!).  I wish I had my good camera to capture this amazing sunset we witnessed just before dinner.IMG_3948

We also hit up some tag sales and scored some major loot…this is becoming somewhat of an addiction.  I plan on refinishing this cabinet and then he will be living in our sunroom.

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We also discovered my new favorite store here in town where they sell salvaged materials from old barns and buildings.  We met the owner of the store and his wife and they were awesome.  The guy makes different furniture from the salvaged materials.  He was working on a dining room table that he showed us made from reclaimed barn wood.  It was amazing!  It was kismet because I have been searching for a dining table and now I have found what I’m looking for.  We picked up these windows for some projects and we will definitely be returning for some other projects that I have in mind.

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Even with Steve’s pinched nerve, we did manage to take Daisy for a walk in the woods.

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And here’s my weekly chalkboard message…sticking with the gratitude theme since Thanksgiving is this week.

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Hope your weekend was good!

xoxo,

Geralyn

Fireplace Makeover ~ The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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When we first looked at our house, one of my favorite things was that there was a fireplace.  I imagined the first snowfall, cuddled up on the couch with some hot chocolate and a roaring fire.  The fireplace has an insert which is awesome because it heats the house and you don’t have to worry about rogue embers burning down the house…that would suck.  The house was built in 1945 and from the looks of the brick, I would say that it had never been updated because the grout was very worn.  I actually like that look and it adds to the charm of it but I was not in love with the dark brick.DSC_0844

Whitewashing fireplaces is all the rage right now as you can see here, here, and here.  They looked great and seemed super easy so that’s what I decided to do.  I already had a can of white paint so I mixed equal parts paint and water.  If you are going to do this use an old paint brush or one that you don’t care if it gets ruined (the brick really tears the bristles.)

So 4 hours later and this is what I had…and I hated it. DSC_0870

The thing I hadn’t realized was that all the grout in the aforementioned links were white or light-colored and mine was black.  Whitewashing the bricks and the grout left it looking smokey and gray instead of the light beach cottage look I had hoped for.  So after a minor freak out and a couple of curse words, I got on my laptop and started googling fireplace makeovers.  I really didn’t want to just paint the whole thing white.  I still wanted the feeling of stone…just light and airy (sort of an oxymoron I guess).  Then I found a kit to do a faux finish that they sell at Home Depot or Lowe’s called Brick Anew.  It looked great and I even found this tutorial.  What didn’t look so great was the $199 price tag.  So after reading a little more on different websites, I decided to try to get this effect without the kit.

Here’s what you’ll need: (There are probably a million ways to do this and different products/colors but this is what I used) painters tape, paint brush, roller, sea sponge,  Behr Masonry, Stucco, & Brick Paint (colors: Ivory Mist, Hazelnut Cream, Sandstone Cliff), Behr Faux Glaze

If you don’t want the same colors just look for a tan color you like and then get one shade lighter and one shade darker on the same color swatch.  The first thing you do is paint the entire fireplace with the middle color, in my case the Hazelnut Cream.  After the base coat is dry you are ready to start your faux finish.  Take the darkest of the three colors, in my case Sandstone Cliff, and mix 1 part paint and 4 parts of the glaze.

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Pour a little on a paper plate and use the sea sponge to apply it randomly on different bricks.DSC_0900

After that completely dries, repeat the same process with the lightest color, in my case Ivory Mist.

Step back every so often and see how it looks from a few feet back and then add more color where you feel necessary.  I went over the bricks a few times blending the colors until I was satisfied with the look.

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I’m waaaay happier with this compared to the whitewashed version and Steve is happy he doesn’t have a wife in hysterics because she ruined the fireplace.

~ Geralyn

 

Bird is the Word

DIY Seagull Art

I love the beach.  I love birds.  Therefore, I love seagulls.  I feel like I’m back in my high school statistics class…If you like birds, then you like seagulls. p—>q Inverse, converse, contrapositive…anybody??  Ok, enough math…on to the crafts.

These DIY silhouette seagulls were simple and very inexpensive to make….actually free for me because I already had the frames and the card stock.  I just googled seagull silhouettes and sized them to fit in the frames I had.  I printed and cut out each seagull and used a glue stick to glue them to some card stock. Easy peasy.

I traced the frames onto some newspaper I had so I could see how I wanted to arrange the frames.  This is much better than putting a bunch of holes in your wall and then deciding you want to change the design.

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When you’re doing an arrangement like the one I decided on, you have to make sure that the measurements are exact and that each frame is level.

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The bathroom is coming together…a few more projects and it will be the first room in the house that I can say is done…for now.

~ Geralyn

PS – Fun Fact…bird was my first word.

Wedding Song Lyric Bistro Table

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Our sunroom is very long and narrow with lots of windows, which I adore.  I wanted to get a bistro set to put in there so Steve and I could sit and have coffee in the morning or some wine in the evening.  I looked for a long time online but most of the ones I saw were either outdoor sets, super expensive, or not the look I was going for at all.  So I decided to order this one I found on Amazon and then transform it into something different.

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I spray painted the base and wood top white.

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I wanted to do something a little different to the top to make it a little more personal.  I decided I would put the lyrics to our wedding song, “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen on the table top.  I hemmed and hawed about how to do this.  I thought about stenciling, decoupaging, or transferring the words from printed paper but finally decided to use my own handwriting.  I never really liked my handwriting, it isn’t the neatest, but it’s mine and it makes the piece more personal…so I went with it.

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I used a ruler to make sure it was straight and wrote as much of the lyrics as I could.  I knew I planned on whitewashing the table after I finished the writing so I was going to use oil paint to go over the handwriting so it wouldn’t run and then I found this in Michael’s…

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Oil based Sharpie Paint Pen….awwweesome! It was much easier than having to use a paintbrush for the whole thing.  After I finished going over the handwriting I erased any stray pencil marks.  Next, I mixed the paint with some water to make whitewash and then just brushed it over the top of the table.DSC_0670 DSC_0671

After it was dry, I sanded the table and base, as well as the chairs to give it an aged look.  I then went back and did a second coat of whitewash.  I applied two coats of polycrylic that I got from Home Depot to seal the top.  And that’s it…a great spot to watch the wildlife outside our window.

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Oh, and I up cycled these tin cans into vases for the hydrangea I clipped from our yard.DSC_0954

I have two other pieces of furniture in our garage that I’m working on now.  What projects have you been up to lately?

xoxo,

Geralyn

Sharing at: DIY Show Off

DIY Gratitude Tree

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I can’t believe the holidays are right around the corner!  This year has flown by!  Thanksgiving is in a few short weeks and we have sooooo much to be grateful for.  Life is good for sure.  I saw this idea on Pinterest…I am forever pinning ideas and projects and don’t always get around to doing them.  Now that we have moved I’ve decided to make a resolution…a little early for New Year’s, I know.  I resolve to actually complete more projects that I pin instead of saving them for “one day.”  So here’s my Gratitude Tree.  I saw lots of versions on Pinterest…some were called Thankful Trees or Thanksgiving Trees…I went with Gratitude Tree.  This project is super easy and makes a great centerpiece for your dining room table.

Here’s what you’ll need to make the leaves.

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Since you will see both sides when they are hanging on the tree, I didn’t want the backs of the leaves to be white.  I cut out a leaf from autumn scrapbook paper and another from card stock.  I then glued the leaves together.  Next, punch a hole on one side of the leaf and tie a piece of twine to the leaf.  Write what you are thankful for and you are ready to hang your leaves.

I found the branches at Home Goods and got the Spanish moss from Michael’s.

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This would be a great project to do with kids…I love hearing the answers they come up with.

There is always something to be thankful for.  I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for or see your Thanksgiving projects.

Blessings,

Geralyn

Sharing at: From My Front Porch to Yours

Beach Glass, Contact Paper, & Carpet…oh my

We had another busy and productive weekend filled with birthdays, beach glass, football, and good friends.  We also fit in some house stuff.  Saturday morning we spend doing some projects around here.  I started sanding the buffet we scored at a garage sale last weekend and finished a Thanksgiving project I’ll be posting tomorrow. Saturday evening we headed into the city for a friend’s birthday party. Sunday morning we headed to the beach at the end of our block with Daisy.

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We found some pretty cool beach glass.  Steve spotted some pretty great pieces.  I’ll have to start a collection jar for our sea treasures.

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 Like last week, this weeks chalkboard message sticks with the Thanksgiving theme.

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The back of the door in our guest bathroom had lime green contact paper on it.  It doesn’t match the color we painted the bathroom at all!  It has annoyed me since we moved in, so last night I ripped it all down.  There are a few holes in the door, so I’ll have to fill them in and then paint it.

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It’s already looking better…even with the holes and the pealed paint…I’m just happy to be rid of the lime green!

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Another thing we ripped up was the carpeting on the basement stairs.  The whole basement had this really old blue carpet that didn’t smell the greatest.

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We ripped it all up when we first moved in…except for the stairs.  Last night Steve finally got rid of the rest of it.DSC_0913

 The stairs underneath are not in the best shape, so we’re not quite sure what we’re going to do with them.  I would love to do something like this with dark treads and white risers. We still have some staples to take out.  And for some reason there are nails coming through that have split the wood in some spots.

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Slowly but surely we’re making progress.  I have a million half-finished projects going on…I’m not someone who can work on one thing at a time.

xoxo,

Geralyn 

South Africa, Zimbabwe, & Botswana

       {Wanderlust Wednesday}

I’ve decided to add some posts about our travels.  We have been to some pretty awesome places over the last few years.  I’ll start with our most recent and work my way backwards over the next few weeks.

Most people have dream trips that they always want to go on. Africa was mine. I have dreamed about this trip for years. I think the main draw was the nature part of it. I’m a HUGE animal lover and have watched nature shows on T.V. since I was a little kid. This past August my dream finally became a reality. I had researched and planned this trip for about 2 years. After many days and hours I finally came up with an itinerary I was satisfied with. We would spend 6 days in Cape Town, South Africa, where we would visit the Cape of Good Hope, see the penguins at Bolder Beach, go cage diving with the great white sharks (something my husband wasn’t too thrilled about doing), go on a wine tasting tour, go to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner, go to the V&A Waterfront, and see Table Mountain. Next, we would head up to Zimbabwe for 3 days where we would see Victoria Falls. Our final stop was in Botswana where we would spend 6 days on safari in two different camps, one in Chobe and the other in the Okavango Delta. The trip was beyond amazing…better than I could ever imagine. Not only were the landscapes breath-taking and the animals magnificent, the people were amazing. Everyone we met was so friendly and I loved listening to their stories about their lives in Africa. I can not even put into words the awesomeness (is awesomeness even a word?) of this trip.  I took over 3500 pictures on this trip and since a picture is worth a thousand words…I’ll just show you.  And even the pictures can’t truly capture the awesomeness of the trip…but I’ll show you anyway.  Here are a few of my favorites….and this was hard to whittle it down to these few photos because I have soooo many favorites.

South Africa

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Zimbabwe

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DSC_0644_2Botswana 

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I loved everything about Africa and I am sad that our trip is over.  One day I would love to return.  Where have you traveled?  What was your favorite trip?  What’s your dream trip?

Not all those who wander are lost,

Geralyn