24 February 2011


Winner Announced:

According to Random.org, Reginia @ The Not So Modern Family is the winner.
Reginia - I will be emailing you with the code to use to shop.  Congrats!

Are you shopping for lighting, bedding, accessories or furniture?  If so, CSN Stores has all of the above and more.  Check out their website which is linked to over 200 online stores.  Here are a few of my favorites:
I love how the site lets you shop by dollar amount.  To find these scores, I just set the little bar on the left to search for $1-$15 keyword items.  It would be SO easy to spend a gift card here.  Especially with so much free shipping!

  • PRIZE: A $15 gift card towards any purchase in any of the CSN Stores.
  • TO ENTER: Follow my blog and comment on this post with the words “Pick me!  Pick me!” and…
  • BONUS QUESTION: … tell me about the best luck you have ever had winning something before.  Was it a raffle ticket or maybe a scratch-off?
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Wednesday, March 2nd at 9pm EST
  • WHO'S ELIGIBLE: Anyone anywhere.
  • FINE PRINT: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winner will be selected using random.org and announced on Wednesday as an update to this post. I will also e-mail the winner if your profile is linked to an e-mail address.  If the winner doesn't claim the prize within 48 hours, we draw again!  Good luck…

21 February 2011

D.U.I. - Dreaming Under the Influence {of NyQuil}

I haven't left the couch in 31 hours, and I have already called for a sub for tomorrow.  

Q:  How did I catch whatever it is I have?  
A:  Maybe it was spending the weekend with over 300 high schoolers at a Student Council leadership convention where I got about 10 hours of total sleep.  

Q:  What have I been doing between my self-induced NyQuil comas?
A:  Gathering inspiration for my next few projects.

I simply must have a ladder.  I have my E.I. on the look out as well as Rusty and Reginia.  I look at every old farmhouse I pass on the way to work to see if they have one propped up outside.  I will knock and make an offer.  Here are a few I like:
I believe what I really want is called an orchard ladder.  I would also love an old library ladder.  I want it to be wooden, not an A-frame and aged looking.  I have hopes of putting it in my bedroom and draping scarves and ties over it.  It would also look great in a bathroom to house towels.  Any ideas where to find one?

I am also going to tackle the guest bedroom this summer.  I saw this headboard and fell in love.
Again, I pass several dilapidated barns that are falling over on my way to work.  When I am in the truck and it is daylight out, I am going to knock with cash in hand.  I think four or five pieces will do.  Do you think I am kidding?!!

And wouldn't this bedding just look great next to that rough wood?
I can't wait to try the tutorial and create it for around 30 bucks!

I almost have enough empty frames gathered to do my frame collage.  I am drawing off of these images for inspiration.
I am thinking of wrapping them around the corner of my master bedroom where my reading chair is and end up above my mantle.  Since my walls are Gray Matters, I think that a punchy, mustard accent color would look great mixed in with some clean white ones.

I also found this today.  I am thinking it is a must to make for a large empty spot on a wall.  My dining room is needing something since I couldn't get that clock I saw.
In this picture, the design isn't colored.  It is just the color of the toilet paper rolls.  I am thinking I would spray mine to make it more accented in the room.

So - my biggest question has to do with the headboard.  What word should I write on it?  It is for a guest room, so "love" might not be the right word.  Should it say "sleep" or "dream" or maybe a word in French...give me some ideas!

*Also, I added a little picture in my sidebar with the paint colors in my home, so far.  I am painting the kitchen this weekend, and am still staring at the sample spots on the wall....

16 February 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I needed a Wordless Wednesday...

Make An Ikea Ribba Frame A Shadow Box

Remember when I went on an Ikea binge here?.  Well, I stocked up on some white Ribba frames.  I picked up some 4x6 and 5x7 frames to sprinkle around the nest and use in projects.  For a week, they have been sitting in the yellow Ikea bag that is stashed behind my couch.  I wasn't sure what was going to go in them until I came home from the Scott Antique Market with these finds.
I decided to frame them.  My challenge was finding a frame deep enough to allow for 1/4"-1/2" thick items to sit behind some glass.  Even my Ribba frames weren't cutting it.
This is when I thought to turn the Ribba into a shadow box.  It was so simple.  I am sure there probably even better ways out there, but this is what worked for me.
1.  Take some foam, mounting tape.
2.  Cut into skinny strips that are no larger than the lip of your frame.
3.  Place glass into the frame.
4.  In the center of each side of the frame, stack 4 or 5 pieces of mounting 
     tape directly on the glass to create desired thickness.
To assist in supporting the weight of the metal items I wanted to mount, I chose to mount the items directly to the hard backing of the frame.  This meant that I needed to cover the back in some scrapbook paper.
Using the same mounting tape, I affixed the skeleton keys to the scrapbook paper and popped my frame together.  Here is my finished product.
These Ribba frames are legit!  They run $2.99 or $4.99 for the 4x6 or 5x7.  Plus, they come with a mat.  Don't want the mat?  Pull it out to change your 4x6 to a 5x7 and the 5x7 to (almost) an 8x10.  I know I will be picking up some more of these next time I am at Ikea.  I am thinking I will find uses from them everywhere.

What could you see shadow boxing in a Ribba?

*Want to see what went in one of my 5x7 Ribba frames?  Click here for the dry erase love letter tutorial.

The Lettered Cottage

15 February 2011

For Your Eyes Only

For over three hours on Saturday, Reginia at The Not So Modern Family and I wove up and down the aisles of Scott Antique Market in South Atlanta.  We are armed with a little cash and our cameras.  We walked away with a few things and tons of inspiration.  Let your eyes enjoy:

Shutters.  Shutters.  And.  More.  Shutters!

Wanted this for my dining room ... so bad!
Letter Graveyard.  They started at $20.
What's up with me a nude women?!  This thing was about 7' tall.
I love it...I could do without the crack, though.
Creative storage.
Storage or future light fixtures.
I bought a similar fixture as the top one at a thrift store last week for $2.99.
Notice the PB looking fixture on the bottom?  It had a $650 price tag!
Ladders were everywhere.  I am dying to find one in my price range.
What did I buy?
I picked up these old numbers and skeleton keys for under $15.00.  I plan to shadow box them.  The 2003 represents when our two hearts became one...dude, and it's not even Valentine's Day!  

What about you guys?  Do you like to shop to buy or shop for inspiration or both?  Would you have been able to walk away from all of this eye candy and only spend 15 bones?

14 February 2011

Fill-In-The-Blank: How To Write A Love Letter

Happy Lover's Day!
Yesterday, I drove Rusty and myself to Wal-Mart for me to get some socks.  When we got home, I reached in the floorboard for the bag, and pulled up two.  "What's this?" I asked.  Rusty replies, "Don't look in there!"  Too late.  I could already tell it was a card!  That is the only thing I ask for on any holiday.  The written word.

This morning, I get into my car, put it in reverse and that same Wal-Mart bag with my CARD in it catches my eye.  I just laugh!  I love how today isn't any big deal to us!  It was, however, a huge deal to the 130 9th graders I taught.  I saw more stuffed bears and candy hearts than ever!
I did get my card.  His beautiful writing still melts my heart.  For a jock, he sure has a way with words.  He got a card, too.  I also made him a little something.

I'm feeling a little tutorial...
How To: Dry Erase Love Letter
Go in Word, and type up a love letter.  Erase a few words here and there, and play around with the formatting and fonts.  Print out and put in a frame.  Velcro attach a dry erase marker to the back.  Fill in the blanks with a sweet/funny/sexy/sarcastic/crazy message.  Place where the other will find it.  Here are the some pictures of mine:
When he came in, I had it waiting beside his plate of home-made enchiladas (I know - fancy, right?!).  His reaction: "That is a really cool idea."  SCORE!  Knowing us, the sweet message will last through today, and we will start trying to outdo each other with funny/outrageous fill-in-the-blanks!  But we both know that I am the funnier one...

How did you spend your Valentine's Day?

Linking: The Shabby Nest

09 February 2011

Not Worthy!!!

Wow - I have had so much blog love this week that I haven't even needed to wear my Brick Rose Cover Girl blush!  A huge surprise was hearing from Beckie at Knock Off Decor about featuring my Pottery Barn Hundi Lantern Light Knock Off post!  I am so glad she found me.  She has this really awesome blog where she organizes great knock off posts from all around by store brand.  You can search for great tutorials on Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Ballard Design, etc decor!  Make sure to check out my feature.  Her post goes live on Saturday, February 12th at 8:00 p.m.
In other news, while participating in the blog hop over at Beauty In The Attempt, I got wrapped up in a new storm with some of the great bloggers I met there.  In an attempt to network with others and grow in our blogging, we have all committed to participating in Our Own Circle of Bliss, 2012.  
Over the next 12 months, we hope to get to know each other and meet up at the annual Blissodom conference.  This awesome networking opportunity also linked me up with Judith over at Creating Balance.  This week, she presented me with the Stylish Blogger Award!

So the rule of this award is to tell you 7 things about myself and then pass this award on to 5 other great Stylish Bloggers. 

But a couple of years ago on FaceBook I made a list of 20 random things about me.  So I will give you 7 + 13.  How about that?! Here we go!
1. Whenever I see an animal, I speak in a voice specific to its breed and have a conversation about what it's thinking. 

2. I consider both of my parents two of my best friends. 

3. I am a workaholic. 

4. My biggest fear is being attacked at night by a male predator. 

5. When my husband and I kiss, it is always in groups of threes. 

6. I want to live in a registered historic home. 

7. I know all of the US presidents in chronological order to the tune of One Little, Two Little, Three Little Indians. 

8. I normally spend time blow drying and flat ironing my hair at night, so I can sleep in later in the morning. 

9. I don't own an Ipod. 

10. I am a very aggressive sleeper. I have crazy conversations in my sleep. 

11. I graduated from a private school with only 11 other people in my class. Needless to say, I was valedictorian! Lol. 

12. I have been guilty of teaching a book while only being a chapter or two ahead of the students. 

13. All of my stuff has been in storage for about 4 years. We still have unopened and unused wedding presents stored at my dad's shop. 

14. I'm debt free!!

15. I've never had a car payment. 

16. Rusty and I were married 3 years before we got to live together. 

17. I won't drink a Coca Cola out of a can or a bottle. I only like fountain drinks. I also call, and make others with me call, it a Coca Cola Classic when ordering at a drive through. 

18. I probably have 15 pairs of jeans and want to buy more all of the time. 

19. My feet are so ticklish that I spaz out when getting a pedicure and everyone looks at me. 

20. I only eat ketchup at room temperature.
So that's a little about me...now to pass this on to 5 other stylish bloggers:

Take a moment and lose yourself in some of their posts!  Leave them a comment that {twenty}something sent you!

07 February 2011

Ikea Pilgrimage, February 2011

I made the pilgrimage.  The one to Ikea.  I took a virgin with me, too.  We paid our respects, ate some Swedish meatballs and bought a $.59 shopping bag to trek our purchases back to The Promise Land.  It was a divinely inspiring experience.

Reginia and I stopped in for an hour or so before we headed over to the Breman Holocaust Museum to hear a wonderful survivor speak.  We had no list of items we needed, and we were armed with a camera.  We went for inspiration.  We left fulfilled (and full - those meatballs were good!)

Here are some things I just had to remember for inspiration.  Let's face it.  I don't need a reason to take a picture of something.  I just love looking at pretty things!
I love the texture of this basket as well as this size; however, I really love the $3.99 price of the drop wiring kit that I can use to change out my dining room lighting with a nice, big drum shade!
I just couldn't resist getting this picture of an awesome frame collage.  All of those white frames and mats make me swoon.
I had a moment when I saw this piece.  I was loving the size and all of the little open faced nooks for baskets and other storage.  This brown wash is everywhere around Ikea right now.  Oh, and the price....made me yell...$149.00
Here, I am inspired to hang double rod curtains.  My living room and dining room already have the white, Vivan curtains.  I love the idea of building visual interest for them by hanging another bar slightly above it and hanging a print or color fabric.  How fun!
After a few hours of seeing these prints, I have an itch to stencil some white sheets to make me a patterned curtain.  I am thinking a white, king, flat sheet, a stencil and some of the current wall color in my bedroom, Grey Matters by Sherwin Williams.  The print would blend perfectly and I could hang an accent curtain on the outside.  My new favorite color to pair with grey and white...yellow!  I'm about to break bad with some yellow in the master.
I am loving the print on this pillow.  Notice the birdies!
I seriously should have grabbed one of these.  It is a 4'x6' rug for...$19.00!  It was a beautiful grey with a print that would work anywhere.  Such a good deal!
I love this sketch so much.  Not for $15.99, though.  I am thinking a piece of card stock and a sharpie or dry brush with some black paint.  This will be much better for my guests.  They won't be embarrassed to use my bathroom as I was considering doing a little self portrait until I saw this!

With all of this inspiration, I am dying to get to work on starting up some projects around here.  I am seriously thinking some stenciled curtains with a tutorial like this.

Where do you go for inspiration?  Out of all of the projects floating around in your noggin, what is the one you are itching to tackle first?

01 February 2011

What Is My Style?

After participating in the blog hop over at Beauty in the Attempt, I received an abundance of feedback from all of the wonderful bloggers who participated.  In the blog hop, I was invited to check out many other blogs and leave feedback.  In doing that, I realized many things.  I realized that I am starting to move past (slightly past) being a newborn blogger into being a can-hold-my-own-head-up blogger.  This means that I am familiar enough with the basic Blogger tools and need to venture out into the html code world and snag my blog a new look.  To do this, I have invited my friend, and ultimate expert of all things under the sun, Reginia from The Not So Modern Family to come over on Friday for a blog overhaul.  We are talking a big overhaul.  Think "What Not To Wear", "Extreme Home Makeover" and "Clean House".

I am so excited!

Ok - it wasn't just seeing what else is out there on others' blogs.  It was also the comments I received.  I heard that my background could be distracting with the bleed-through background.  I was told my blog didn't feel like my "home" and needed to be more personal.  I need a picture of me.  An about me blurb up top.  My side bars were a little too text heavy and could use some more pictures.

However, I also learned that some think I have a great voice as a writer (gasp!  my students would be so proud!).  I have a good eye for photography and angles (swooning!).  My projects are lovely (cheeks are blushing).  And, for those who were rooting for the peacocks, my background shows so much of my personality.

Until I read this: "I'm trying to figure out your style because the decor on your mantel is so different from your blog background."
This played in my mind day after day.  I called Reginia.  I said, "My blog doesn't represent my style."  She agreed!  I embraced it.  I put no thought into that background.  I was the first one I came across that wasn't a preloaded Blogger font that I thought was pretty.

Great.  So I will make my blog match my style.


What is my style? 
How often can I change my background?
Do the aesthetics of my blog have to be deep and meaningful?
Am I normal?

So......I have a to do list for the weekend that sounds a little like this:
  • Design a new background
  • Design a new banner (maybe with some photos from my home/projects)
  • Make a post "cloud" (my tagging is ridiculous)
  • Add some images in my sidebar (maybe a photo of each of my rooms in my home)
  • Play around with new fonts (Blogger's are b.o.r.i.n.g.)
  • Start making my posts open in a new window
  • Have a blog with a wider width that will allow for the extra large setting for pictures
My final thoughts:  I love my new followers.  I love the new blogs I am following.  Feedback and comments are so precious to me.  I can't wait for my makeover.  

In other news...my free Craigslist table is hanging out in the garage for another day to dry.  It is a beautiful, fresh white.  I can't wait to stain the top and get it in the breakfast nook under my new PB knock off light fixture!

What did you get out of the blog hop?  Any changes coming to your blog?
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