Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Rusted Chain

It's Saturday!

And to make matters even more fun- Beki, from The Rusted Chain, is giving away two $25 gift certificates to two TLC readers this weekend!

So hop on over to Beki's sweet little shop by clicking on the collage below...

...then swing back here and leave a comment on this post between now (Saturday, July 31st, 2010) and Monday (August 2nd, 2010) at noon, Central Time.
We'll announce the winners sometime next week!

Good luck, and have a happy weekend!

The winner of the Scentsy Plug-In Warmer is

Robyn of Whimages

Congratulations Robyn!
Drop me a line at to claim your prize!


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reader Re-do: Sandra's Beautiful New Loo

Hey friend!

Thought I'd mix things up and publish three posts today!

I know.
I'm a real wild woman.

Anywho...I receieved this letter from a friendly reader the other day, and I just had to show you her radical re-do!

Check it out...



Isn't it great?

Sandra said the white paint they used on the wainscotting and trim is called, "Ultra Pure White" by Behr (available at the Home Depot)- and the wall color is called "Rawhide", by Benjamin Moore.

I asked her about the shelf they made, and she had this to say:

"My hubby built it, and I painted it with simple, white craft paint. I let it dry, sanded the edges, and then I glazed it with a dark walnut coloured wood stain, and wiped it off."

She also gave me her handy-dandy resource list:

Flooring- Silent Step. Style: Antique Oak. Color: Butternut.
They purchased it at United Carpet (,) but it can be found in most flooring stores.

Tub- Acrylic soaker tub with chrome feet. Purchased from Acri-Tec (

Floor mount tub faucet- Cheviot ( Model #5100

Vanity- Euro-Rite Cabinets (

Countertop- Formica. Color: Walnut Quarstone

Wreath- Michaels

Sign above door & wooden bird- Heritage House Interiors (


There are so many great things in this room, but I am especially in LOVE that incredible ladder, and the fact that they went with an inexpensive-yet-durable flooring material that coordinates so perfectly with the wall color above.
And don't even get me started on that TUB.
Hubba hubba!


The only problem I have with Sandra's re-do is that it TOTALLY makes me want to work on our bathrooms now!

But, I'm serious about starting our master bedroom re-do this month, so I guess they'll just have to wait a little longer.



We'd love to see your Before & After pics too, so if you're up for sharing 'em, drop me a line at!


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July Thank You's

As the month of July winds down to a close, we'd like to thank all of the friendly folks that sponsored our blog this past month. They help keep the lights on around these parts, (and make it possible for us to blog about all the things we do!), and we appreciate their support so much!

They're a sweet and creative bunch, so we invite you to check out their sites if you see something that catches your eye!

First up-

Chantelle Nicole Designs:

At Chantelle Nicole Design, you'll find simple, lovely pieces that can be worn with a fancy dress, or with jeans and a t-shirt. They're meaningful, unique and perfect for everyday living.


Fireflies & Magnolias:

All I have to say about Becky and her blog is- YOU WILL LOVE THEM!
Click HERE to start from the beginning. :-)


Miss Label:

Miss Label provides super-soft, satin, sew-in labels printed with your company name or custom logo. And they do it at an affordable price too! With minimum orders as low as 50 labels, you can sew professional quality labels into your fashions for as little as $20. They also offer other ribbon products that can give your crafts and packaging a truly distinctive look.


Ruby Plaza:

Ruby Plaza offers a new way to shop. You can find a complete range of home decor items ranging from furniture and accessories, to lighting, to bedding and window coverings. Other categories include new and vintage clothing & accessories, and jewelry.


Photo Jewelry Making: is a family owned and operated business located in Michigan. It's the world's largest photo jewelry supplies super store, offering a large selection of photo jewelry making items such as bracelet blanks, brooch blanks, pendant blanks, ring blanks, and more.


Grocery Shrink:

Did you know the biggest area of wasted spending in America is food? Angela from says, "If you harness the power of your dollar in your food budget, you can redirect the spending power you already have. It’s time to use your hard earned money to make your dreams come true." Pop on over to her site if you're ready to learn how to recognize and take advantage of the great deals all around you!



Scentsy products offer your home incredible scents, mood lighting and safety. Safer than a tradition candle that has soot, wick, and flame- Scentsy keeps it safe with a light bulb, keeping the wax at a safe temperature for skin. Along with being safe, Scentsy offers over 80 different scents to choose from. The scent lasts up to eighty hours with just one bar of wax. And the best part is, the wax can easily be poured back into the container and re-used at another time!


The Rusted Chain:

Beki Hastings began making custom jewelry in 2003. Her designs feature the best of rustic elegance and trendy looks, with the end result being quality jewelry that will look as new and fresh years from now as it does today. Each piece is custom made using sterling silver, natural stones, and the finest components. From earrings, to bracelets, to necklaces...she's got oodles of pretty pieces to choose from!


Begin With A Sunny Outlook

At Begin With A Sunny Outlook you will find informative and helpful articles on outdoor living. You can also explore how-to projects, view inspiring photos, become more confident in your selection of tools, and find practical solutions and guidance for your outdoor projects and garden.


Chloe's Chic Boutique:

Chloe's Chic Boutique offers decorative accents in a wide variety of styles, from Romantic, to Cottage, to Victorian, to Beach Cottage, and French Country. You'll find candle holders, throw pillows, tea accessories, bath accessories, and lots, lots more!


Red Letter Words:

Dee's faith-inspired art is both beautiful and meaningful. You'll find everything from canvases, to prints, to greeting cards at Red Letter Words.


Disc Hangers:

If you want to display pretty plates on your walls, Disc Hangers are the perfect way to hang them in style. Disc Hangers are so easy to use, and are completely "invisible", so they don't take away from the things you want to display.

PS- They're 100% safe to use on antique and collectible plates too!


Rusty Cricket:

Rusty Cricket is run by husband and wife team, Eric & Stephanie. Their line of colorful, vintage-looking prints are so fun, and I'm having a hard time deciding which one I want to get next!



Kat's beautiful and versatile pieces can be worn at the office, or at an elegant affair. Each piece is crafted of quality metals and hand-selected stones. She designs jewelry as a creative and joyful escape and hopes to impart some of that bliss to those who wear her pieces as well.


A Beach Cottage:

Sarah blogs about fixing up and decorating her wonderful, old cottage by the sea. She's all about low-dough decorating, and her motto is: "if it doesn't move, paint it white"! You will love her blog, and hearing how she describes her casual lifestyle by the sea.


Farmhouse Wares:

One of my favorite places to shop on the web- the items on will help you rediscover clean, simple, comfortable living. Their fresh, new country style has an inviting vintage feel with an eco-friendly twist.


Leen the Graphics Queen:

Leen's vinyl decals are the perfect way to personalize your home. They're mess free, easy to install, and there are 42 fab colors to choose from. They can be put on walls, windows, doors, mirrors, and any flat, clean surface.


For Love or Funny:

For Love or Funny is a wonderfully humorous blog written by author, Lynn Wilson. You'll find posts about parenting, kids, dogs, culinary disasters, and everything in between!


Katie Wyper Designs:

When I read this on Katie's website...

"Hi! Welcome to Katie Wyper Designs. Here are a few fun facts about me: I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. I wear my hair in a ponytail daily and feel fancy when my hair is down. My favorite thing about my job is seeing a client’s face light up when a design has exceeded their expectations. I am obsessed with interior design and can’t wait for my Better Homes & Gardens to arrive! And I love being surrounded by colors and sunshine."

...I wanted to be her BFF.
When I saw her design work, I wanted her to make me stuff.
Hop on over there and see what I mean....but be prepared to ooh and ahh. A lot!


Bonbon Charms:

Bonbon Charms was launched in 2005 by busy mom and crafter-extraordinaire, Erica Clements. Each charm she designs is a stylish, one-of-a kind creation. There are tons of styles to choose from, and once you decide, you can have her personalize it with your own initials, silhouttes, or photos. Fun stuff!


Hudson Goods:

From tables and beds, to chairs and accessories, Hudson Goods carries a wonderful selection of items that will bring warmth, comfort and style to your home.


Hooked on Houses:


If you love a great "before and after", dig looking at photos of celebrities homes, and want to see photos of some of the gnarliest houses for sale on the MLS, you must visit Julia. There's something for every "homie" at!



Looking for a new address plaque for your home?
At Ramsign, you will find an incredible selection of porcelain enamel signs. They've been specializing in the manufacturing of genuine, hand-crafted signs since 1991. Click on the banner above to check out some of their gorgeous designs!


Thanks again Sponsors- you guys rock!


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Need design help?

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I Believe She's Amazing

I love it when people surprise each other.

I love it when people dance.

I love it when people clap.

I love it when people smile.

I love it when people love each other...

Join the journey.
Recognize someone who makes you wanna dance, clap and smile- and that makes you feel loved, at I Believe She's Amazing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coastal-Style, Distressed Wood Flag Tutorial

If you wondered how we made the wooden flag in our "Summer Mantel" post, today's post is for YOU!

A while back, we made some shutters out of inexpensive wood pickets from Lowes...

But we didn't end up liking the way they looked when we mounted them to the window in the Reading Room...

So the other day, we took them apart, and I gave the edges of the white-painted planks a good distressin'...

I also sanded off the glue from the parts where the little, old beadboard planks used to be...

Next, we laid the boards out on our work table- some facing up, some facing down...

Then we cut a couple of pieces of scrap wood to hold all our of "stripes" together...

At first, we thought wood glue would do the trick...

So we flipped the scrap wood over, and pressed it into place...

And to add a little extra support, we thought we'd drive a screw into the top and bottom of each piece of scrap wood...

That's when it occurred to us that we might want to use Liquid Nails for a stronger bond instead...


Once the Liquid Nails was dry, we flipped our flag over and started to paint.

Originally, I wanted the darker stripes to look like driftwood, so I used some "Mourning Dove" gray paint (Martha Stewart by Sherwin Williams), a small bowl of water, and a 2-1/2" wide paintbrush...

I filled the bowl about 3/4 full of water...

Then Kev dipped the paintbrush down into the paint...

At this point, don't wipe any of the paint off the brush (like you would normally do before you paint something...unless, of course, you're a reeeeallly sloppy painter.)

Just put it directly into the water...

And stir it around until the water looks like this...

Then begin applying your "paint/water mix" to the unfinished wood stripes...

A lot of it will soak into the wood, so feel free to dip your paintbrush back into the can of paint a little bit here and there as you go- just make sure to apply it to the saturated boards with a very light touch.
Also, you may want to let each stripe completely dry, and then check them out to see if you want to do another layer of paint/water or not. I actually ended up doing three by the time all was said and done.

When you've got the boards lookin' the way you want 'em to look- you can attach picture hanging hardware. Measure down from the top of the flag to make sure you attach them both at the same level...

Then screw them into place...

And I don't know about you, but we always struggle to hang things straight if we just use those picture hanger things (even with a laser level), so we used some jute twine between the two hangers...

This next photo shows Mr. Palmer's reaction to Mrs. Palmer's suggestion that he "make sure it's tied reeeeally tight."

Can you say "white-knuckled"?

If you decide to go the "jute route", remember to make sure your string doesn't show above your flag once it's pulled tight (like it would be if it were hanging on a nail)...

The last step involved gluing on the little starfish I got on eBay...

Make sure you use a glue that dries clear...

Well...actually the last step involved brushing on some aqua-blue colored paint I mixed together from a few, old paint samples I had laying around the house...

The gray was beautiful, but once we got it in the house and up on the wall, it just screamed- "paint me a aqua and I will live happily ever after with all your red stuff!"

So I did.


If you don't like wasting wood- the picket heads make great little "fish" too!

If you happen to find yourself in a bookstore in the near future, check out the latest issue of Cottages & Bungalows magazine. There's an article about our house on pages 40-51. It includes a bunch of new photos of our place, and we're giddy as schoolkids about it, not only because they put together such a sweet article, but because they let us shoot all the photos!
It's our first, real photo credit! Such a trip!


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