Pots and Pans – DIY Organization Hanger

We have always made eating dinner all together around the table every night, a high family priority. But quite honestly, making yet another family meal/dinner, is not always Michael or I’s favorite thing to do around here, towards the end of the day. Especially when both or either of us are in the middle of work, or some project, and need to stop what we are doing to go cook in the kitchen. But our disgruntled state can go from bad to worse, by the time we get the pots and pans we need out!  Ugh!

I don’t know where you store your pots and pans. But we have had ours in a cabinet on the floor under the counter, for years. Forever, for as long as we’ve lived in this house, actually. So to start, we’ve had to bend way down there, or just go head and get on the floor, to get what we need out. Or, to put clean pots and pans away, for that matter!  They only pile and nest so well, with some being the same diameter as others, but deeper pots. So there’s always a real tipping-factor going on.  And then there are all of the covers!!  So if all of the clinging and clanging isn’t enough to frazzle the nerves, everything falling out of the cabinet onto the floor, or sometimes onto our toes, will!

It’s about that time I remember THE WINE.
I don’t know what it is about a glass of wine, or something a little alcoholic, that makes cooking so much more bare-able. Sometimes even enjoyable, if you drink enough!  Ha haha!

But I had gotten to the point where I had really had it, dealing with the pots and pans cabinet. And for years Michael and I had randomly mentioned getting one of those grand pots and pans racks, that suspend from the ceiling. But you know, time really gets away, when we both hate spending money.  So on a recent Saturday, as I was headed out shopping with my oldest girl, I eluded to our pile of pallets outside by the wood shed, and said, “Just whip out something, please! It doesn’t have to be beautiful! I love rustic.”  (Because this is most always a point of contention, between us.).

By golly, he did it! [Read more…]

March-Spring-St.Patrick’s Day-Mantels Decor-2015

     As promised, today I am sharing with you our mantels for March, the month of St. Patrick’s Day, and the beginning of the spring season. (Calendar-wise anyway. God-willing the weather will reflect the same.)   004_March-St-Patricks-Day-Spring-Mantels-Decor-ideas
The decor for these mantels is super minimal and simple. It also features artwork I recently did, 4-Leaf Clover Art, which I blogged about most recently. Visit the link to see more about the inspiration for the piece.  But right now in this post, here are some photos to [Read more…]

Old/Antique Bottles

My family and I live on the south shore of Massachusetts, now. But I (Laura) was born and raised out in western MA, in the city of Westfield. Most times when I go back home to my parent’s house, my father urges me to take anything in the house that I want, for myself. “Anything at all”, he stresses.  I most always dismiss his invitation because, frankly, I want everything to stay there, just as it is.  Forever, really. But at least, for as long as possible.

You see, my mother passed away in 2005.  It’s so hard for me to believe it’s been that long already.  But what’s harder for most others to believe, is that my father has kept everything in the house, just as it was when my mother was there.  He even keeps it clean. Vacuumed, dusted, the dishes done; everything. You’d think she was still there.

It’s a 100 year old 3-story, 2 family house. Walking into that house, [Read more…]

Back-To-School Mantels / Home Decorating Ideas

There is something about the back-to-school season, that I have always loved.  With all of the fresh new supplies and clothes, and the whole new school year stretched out before us, with so much yet to be learned, it’s just always been an exciting time to me.  Even though we homeschool, and even school right through the summer, we (even the kids) still love the excitement that the start of a whole new school year brings!  All new books, fresh supplies, new experiences, and a new season to grow academically.

It’s that love for all things ‘back-to-school’ that inspired these mantels in our home! It’s a theme that fits just right, through the month of September!
I used [Read more…]

A Christmas Cards Display Idea


 When the Christmas season arrives every year, and the cards start coming in the mail, what do you do with them?  Do you just put them in a pile and let them stack up? Or do you like to display them somehow, for all to see?  If you display them, how do you manage that? I bet you all have had some pretty creative ideas yourselves.

We’ve had a few solution ideas of our own over the years, for the Christmas cards we gratefully get in the mail. Way back, we just put them in a beautiful Christmas basket. That was kind of sad though, as we know many are really excited about their cards every year, and we’d hate for them to be hidden. Especially the ones with photos of kids and families, or the special notes.
We’ve also just tied a pretty ribbon across a beam in our main living area, and let them hang on that.
Getting more creative still, for a few years, we stood a white folding accordion door in the corner of the room, and the louvers (slats) worked beautifully for hanging cards. Of course, like with the string idea, the vertical cards hung horizontally. It was still a nice way to display everyone’s cards though. 

Last year though, I came up with a new idea, that I think we’ll stick with for some time. It’s very homemade and rustic, and I just love it.
Take a look . . . .

01_Christmas-cards-display-idea What do you think? 
It was actually just a long scrap of plywood we had on hand. (Repurposing at it’s best!).  
This one happens to be about 11″x 76″.   You can use any similar long board though.  You just want to be sure it is thin enough to be able to clamp clothespins on.

03_Christmas-cards-display-idea We also used some rough rope, in which I intertwined some thin satin rope around, just to add some pretty to the rough look.
The roping is mostly for decorative purposes, though. It will hold some horizontal cards well enough, but if it slides, it knocks other down. And that’s just frustrating.
I like the look of the clothespins, and it helps secure the cards of all sizes.

02_Christmas-cards-display-idea So this scrap board was painted white and then rough sanded. I didn’t put a lot of effort into that wood-finishing part at all, because really….I was hopeful that if enough people thought of us whilst filling out their Christmas cards, most of that board would be covered, anyway.  😉
The scrap blocks of wood (you see) on the back, at the top and bottom of the board, not only add stability to the board for it to sit well on the floor and lean against the wall.  There is a notch cut at the top and bottom of the board, for the rope to wrap around to the other side inset, and then there is hole through the block for the rope to go though and be secured to the other side. It sounds complicated, but it really is simple in design.  Sorry I forgot to get a pic of the back side for you. If you are confused and  have a question on this, go ahead and ask in the comments.
04_Christmas-cards-display-idea Completely optional tidbit:  I soaked my clothespins in tea water overnight, to try and antique them some. It worked; but honestly, it’s too subtle for the effort in my opinion. Maybe I did it wrong?
I think at some point I will take these clothespins, and revert to what always works beautifully for me; a touch of my Annie Sloane Dark Wax. Love-that-stuff!

05_Christmas-cards-display-idea To really dress up the top, I added these large rusted-looking jingle bells, hung with twine. I love jingle bells! 

CONSIDER THIS:  You could use this whole idea, and change the whole style of it depending on how you finish it and what you use as detail elements!
For example: paint a smooth new board with a clean white paint, omit the sanding, putty and paint your screw holes, and use a wide frilly ribbon down the board, with a big fancy bow at the top!

06_Christmas-cards-display-idea But the rustic, farmhouse look suits us just fine.

07_Christmas-cards-display-idea Yes, just another crazy idea, from our house to yours! 
If you love it, bookmark it! You could try the idea yourself this year or some other coming year. Or simply share it with your friends who follow you on your social networks.  They’ll love you for it.
  And hey, while your here, say hello, and share your thoughts.

Hope your homes are feeling a little bit of your Christmas love!
These are the little things that make any house, a home, for the ones you love.