Pretty Painted Furniture Roundup

We all get antsy with our decor, but not all of us can afford to go out and purchase something new.  Painted furniture is a pretty great way to change things up for a new style while releasing some of your creative energy. Painting furniture is one of my favorite things to do! This dresser has been in my family for years, I love it but it needed a makeover.  You can check out the before and after photos on my blog Designers Sweet Spot. Most would agree that painting is great, but the prep work can be a chore! Julie Blanner shares a great way to skip the sanding and achieve the same results. Not everyone appreciates a bright piece of furniture in their home.  This charcoal dresser from Farm Fresh Homestead perfectly accented this beautiful farmhouse living room. The precise lines on this chair really make the colors pop! Hilda Got Rocks does an excellent job demonstrating the power of paint and tape.  Think of the possibilities here! A balayage inspired dresser!? Thirty Eighth Street was inspired by this popular hair color technique.  We absolutely love how this beautiful dresser turned out! The Graphics Fairy has an excellent explanation of how to create this jewel tone finish on furniture.  You’ll never believe what this table looked like before it’s fabulous makeover. Stenciling is also a fun way to add interest to your furniture.  Here is one of my most recent furniture makeovers.  Designers Sweet Spot has all my tips + tricks as well as photos to explain how I created this fun dresser! So you’d like to paint some…
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15 Fall Apple Recipes You Need to Try

Fall is almost here! What shouts fall more than tasty apple recipes?! Here are some we found around the internet that we’d love to try this apple season.   Do you need an impressive looking treat to take to a party?  Look no further! Inspired by Charm has created this tasty apple cranberry slab pie.  It tastes as good as it looks! Not all apple recipes are sweet! Apples also make an excellent addition to many savory recipes as well.  Check out this quesadilla that pairs apples with bacon and cheddar, a classic combo.  The details for this simple recipe are all over on Home & Plate. While apples make a great mid-day snack, sometimes they can get a little tiresome.  Vicky at Mess for Less used some extra apples she had to make these tasty chips.  What a great way to salvage apples that have been sitting around a few days too long, and also get a great snack out of it! Pork and apples are always a great combination.  The Blond Cook shares a great slow cooker recipe that would be great for a fall afternoon.  Who wants to spend these beautiful days inside cooking? Not me! Pam at House of Hawthornes decided to find a new way to make this childhood favorite.  Baked apples are such a simple desert, sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. This apple butter recipe is a result of hard work paying off big time! I spend years perfecting this recipe.  Who doesn’t want a special apple treat that will last throughout the year?! Head over to…
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Make A Stunning Shibori Print Shoulder Bag

Shibori prints are all the rage right now, this easy to make shoulder bag will be the envy of all your friends! Shibori Print Should Bag This Shibori fabric jumped out at me in a fabric store recently. We were on vacation in Colorado and I was spending my free time looking for project inspiration. This beautiful cotton comes from Moda Fabrics, and I must say I am addicted to it! Shibori is a traditional Indian method of folding fabric and dying with indigo dyes. It is stunning in it’s simplicity! I knew I wanted to make something unique with this fabric, and I finally settled on this adorable shoulder bag. I plan to keep my knitting in it to take to knitting engagements or bring it along in the car in hopes that I may have a bit of free time to knit between appointments. You could just as easily use this draw string bag for a purse, for your gym clothes or to take the beach. I did not add pockets to my version, but you could if you desire. Shibori Shoulder Bag Features The bag features a quilted body, drawstring top, adjustable cotton cording closure, and colorful two tone design. The shoulder straps can be adjusted for any size by sewing additional strips of fabric together. I have a confession to make, I haven’t actually sewed it yet. I have a sketch, my fabric and a plan. I am sewing the entire project today on FB Live! You won’t want to miss it, 2pm Central time you…
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Kitchen Pantry Decor

Kitchen Pantry Decor: How to maximize space and storage on a budget.  Here’s how to get the most of the pantry you’ve got! The Kitchen Pantry is finally done! I am so glad to be able to share this project with you! Kitchen Pantry Decor Kitchen pantry’s are hard to come by these days. Many homes have larger kitchens and the old fashioned pantry harder to find. We happen to be in an old house with a smaller kitchen that has less storage. However, our pantry is HUGE. This is what our kitchen looks like. We recently repainted and I love the new aqua color. As you can see we don’t have a ton of cabinet space, but we do have a nice big walk in pantry. Actually, we have two of them. The first pantry, is a pass through to the other one. It is a very awkward layout, and when we purchased the house we had big ideas of remodeling the entire kitchen. Alas, I don’t think we will ever get around to it. It is a much larger project than we could have anticipated. The Walk Through Pantry This part of the kitchen pantry is what we call the “walk through” pantry. It’s a relatively small space that we use for extra storage off the kitchen. The wall at the back is the actual pantry area. Note: The wall will be removed soon for even more space. See that green floor? I can’t wait to get rid of it! More on that later. These open shelves are…
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Blue Painted Vintage Dresser

  This Blue Painted Vintage Dresser is an easy DIY project that you can complete in a single weekend.  Blue Painted Vintage Dresser is a fun DIY project. This dresser had a chippy white finish when I bought it, but I was ready for a new look. This dresser is currently in our guest room, which I also use for my office. I wanted some blue shades to use with my other decor that was blue. I chose two beautiful shades of blue from Deco Art who sponsored this post.  By using two colors in layers, it gives the finished piece deep character and old world charm. This piece was recently featured on the Deco Art Blog. Here’s what to do: Supplies Needed: This post is sponsored by Deco Art. I was compensated in some way to write this post, any options given are completely my own. For a complete list of disclosure rules see the disclosures page. •Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint in Colonial and Serene Blue •Clear Americana Decor Creme Wax •American Decor Crackle Medium •Foam brushes •Coarse sanding block or putty knife •Screw driver •wood filler (if needed) •decorative glass knobs Painting Directions Remove dresser knobs. Lightly sand the surface before painting. Wipe clean with a soft cloth. Fill any holes with wood filler. Use a foam brush to apply Colonial to the entire dresser. (A darker color works best for the first coat to add depth to the paint layers.) Paint the surface in Serene with a foam brush. (This coat can be light and thin…
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How to Hem Jeans

I have a new tutorial for How to Hem Jeans, it’s been one of my most popular sewing posts to date. It’s been featured on several different websites and blogs. Who knew jeans would be such a popular topic? I have been blogging for 6 years now. Hard to believe it’s been that long! I have hundreds of posts on this website. I am in the process of refining my brand and developing my future goals. One of the things I am working on is adding video tutorials to some of my old posts. You will need your jeans, tailors chalk (or a sharp #2 lead pencil), and a measuring tape or a ruler. First try on the jeans (after they have been washed and dried), and roll up the hem to the desired length. I know you know how to do this! Then, take off the jeans, and measure the amount you rolled up. It was 2 1/2″ on these jeans. Turn the jeans inside out, matching the leg seams and smoothing out the fabric. Because denim is so heavy, you will need to work with one leg at a time. Calculate the amount of fabric to cut off by subtracting 1″ from your orgininal measurement, to compensate for the seam allowance needed for the hem. I needed to shorten our jeans 2 1/2″, so 2 1/2″-1″= 1 1/2″ for my total. Measure from the bottom of the pant leg and mark the distance with a piece of tailors chalk or lead pencil. My distance was 4″. Be sure…
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Lessons from the Arborist

Buying a home in an established neighborhood is great because of the mature trees. There are a number of them in the yard and we knew right from the start that they hadn’t been properly maintained in many years. The various sucker branches growing every which way was our first clue to their lack of maintainence. We decided to call in an arborist for a professional opinion on what to do with the trees. We are so glad we did, little did we know what was growing in our yard! When we bought the house, we decided to take down a couple of trees in the back yard. Not only were they over grown but they took up the entire space leaving us with a full shade property. Our lone maple tree would be the first to go (in the back corner of the lot), it was on the property line too close to the neighbors garage and killing all the lawn in its shadows. The biggest problem with this tree, is that is was inhibiting the growth of the other tree in the back yard. We hate the idea of chopping down trees, but with a small yard and awkward location of the tree, it just wasn’t practical to keep it. The other tree in the back yard which you can see in the photo was some type of maple, however it surprised us the most. It turned out to be a Pin Oak, a rare find in Wisconsin. In addition, this tree is protected by law. We can…
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No Sew Lavender Sachet

I love the smell of fresh lavender. I would love to visit Calefornia or France during the peak season and see nothing but fields lavender for miles around. I think I would take an extra suitcase and bring it home chucking full of fragrant flowers. My sister sends me lavender dried flowers to make soap with occasionally. I came across my soap supplies recently and decided I needed to find a way to use these flowers more often. I came up with this easy No Sew Lavender Sachet craft for those who don’t sew or who aren’t quite ready to sew just yet. (See more about learning to sew here) This will make a great gift for Mothers Day, birthdays, wedding showers or a treat just for yourself.   Here’s what you will need: Pre cut quilt squares 6″ size, you can find them in any fabric store or cut your own fabrics into 6″ squares Dried lavender flowers or other herb of your choice (available online) White rice, uncooked Scraps of lace and ribbon trims Colorful buttons Satin flower bow Fabric glue or craft glue   Directions: Mix the dried lavender with the rice, I used 1/2 cup of each. The rice adds stability to the sachet and absorbs any excess moisture from the flowers. It also stretches the flowers a bit so it costs less to make each sachet. The cost on these sachets is less than $1.00 a piece. Don’t worry, the lavender will still smell great! Pink the edges of fabric squares if they are not…
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Preparing for a Blog Conference

I have been running about getting ready for my next blog conference. Preparing is time consuming, it always takes more organization than I planned. I decided that if I wrote a blog post about it, I could just refer to my post when time was short. I am sure there are other bloggers who feel the same way and are scrambling at the last minute.   First order of business is the luggage. I have been searching the thrift stores for an extra large suitcase with wheels. The insider blogging trick is to bring two suitcases, one large, one small to the conference. By putting one suitcase inside the other for the trip, you will have less baggage to worry about. For the return trip, the large suitcase is used to hold swag, that is all the products the wonderful sponsors supply us with at the conference. The small bag is used for the rest of your belongings, which is a test of your true packing ability. Don’t forget to label your base with name, address, cell phone number and blog name.   Minimal Conference blogger essentials include: At least 100 business cards Cell phone and USB charger Wireless charger for use during the lectures Head phones Power strip for charging multiple devices in your hotel room with your roommates iPad or laptop (I use mine for taking notes and pictures during the conference). Tote bag for picking up swag at the vendor booths, mine has my logo on it.   Wardrobe essentials: Layers are preferred, it gets cool sitting…
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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Welcome to the Mexican Fiesta Recipe Blog Hop! There are 12 of us bloggers in this hop, you are going to love this Foodie Fiesta! Mexican cooking is very popular at our house. It is easy to prepare, and uses lots of healthy fresh ingredients. I make many Mexican meals, but this Chicken Tortilla Soup is always my favorite. I frequently make this soup with leftovers after a night of Fajitas or Chicken Tacos. You can use corn or flour tortillas in this recipe. I prefer the flour variety because they are light and soft. For the gluten free diet, the corn would be the best option. You can also purchase gluten free wheat-less tortillas at the grocery store. Ingredients: 2 lbs. cubed chicken breast 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 24 oz. can petite diced tomatoes 1 can black beans, drained 1 can corn, drained 6-8 cups chicken broth or 2 tablespoons chicken soup base 3/4 cup basmati rice, or leftover cooked rice 1 package flour tortillas 1 bunch fresh cilantro red pepper flakes to taste 1 tsp. chili powder olive oil salt and pepper to taste   Brush 3 tortillas with olive oil on both sides. Slice into strips. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes until crisp and brown. Meanwhile, add olive oil to large stock pot over high heat. Add garlic, onion and chicken breast. Salute 5-7 minutes until done. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans and corn. Stir, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add rice and cook 10 minutes…
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