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…]

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.

Home Improvement; Dream Craft Art Studio: Reveal – Move In Ready! – Part 3

Art Studio_web

Good gosh!  Is it me, or has this been a long. time. coming?
I am THRILLED to say, the art studio is DONE!! Construction and carpentry-wise, anyway.  I’m sure we’ll have a few more organization units to install, but I’ll figure out just what I need  in the process of moving in with all of my stuff!

Before you scroll down and see, you may want to see the previous states of progress, to really appreciate all it is now.  It’s still just a little bit hard to show you because….I’m afraid you all just might be bored by it!  It’s the reason I haven’t shared more of the progress along the way.  I’m the type who has the whole finished version in my head along the way, and so knowing where it’s going….anything prior to that is somehow……less than.  But, I did give you a few couple of progress updates as you know! It’s just that, it’s a whole lot of whiteness right now; as I said was my plan all along. My dream was a bright white canvas to work in and on, and to photograph in, with a whole lot of color accents.  And I must say, I do love it already, even just as all white at this point!  The light being thrown around, is divine!

Here’s a look inside now!

01_art-craft-studio A view from the entry door! 
It’s instant cheer for me, just walking in.
The bright natural light in the mid-day all through the afternoon, is phenomenal!  And if you all know me, I need light.

The creative space/room is 13′ 8″x 12′.
02_art-craft-studio One of the biggest features you may notice here, is that the single window was finally replaced with the larger (relocated) picture window, as planned.  It made the world of difference in the light that it lets in, as I knew it would.  
Those very simple shelves to the left are from Ikea; love them! While the plan was to build cabinetry, I realized we had white cabinets in 2 different rooms of the house that were emptied (of my craft stuff that was packed up), and they needed to get out of the rooms they were in.  After talking with Michael, we realized we could definitely re-purpose them into this art studio, and keep true to our original plans of white storage cabinets, drawers, cubbies, and one single counter space all along that wall. It worked!  The counter-top was custom-ordered through Lowe’s, and delivered. It is 13’4″.
We have a couple of white stools that fit well right under those cubbies, and are the perfect height for sitting and working. But I believe I’ll also be ordering some roll out paper storage, for the loads of paper I have in stock.
Also on the right wall will definitely be some art or a sign, over that control panel, and possibly another shelf or 2.

03_art-craft-studio The crafting table is long!  From Ikea: it’s actually two (60″) tabletops combined for a total of 10′ of workspace. 
There is space for 6 people to sit and work comfortably, with foot room and all.
I’ve picked out the chairs, but still need to order them.

04_art-craft-studio Also from Ikea, to support our tabletops:  2 work-horses, with cute storage shelving.

05_art-craft-studio As well as this unit, that offer even more storage shelving.

06_art-craft-studio So yes, the length of the work table is almost as long as the room; just like I wanted. The surface is perfect!  Quite stain and generally scratch resistant. 
But we’ll likely always protect the surface with newsprint or something just in case anyway.
In this photo you’ll also notice the 2 additional windows we have, to welcome more light in the late afternoon light.
Under the windows will likely be more shallow storage units of some kind, or something like that. I’m still unpacking, setting up, and figuring out what else I need.

07_art-craft-studio I’ll be storing the big, ugly and/or cumbersome items for our crafting projects. The drawers are deep and hold lots of little and long stuff.  As I said, there will be more storage worked into underneath the cubbies, but will also offer additional seating, if necessary.  My husband will be doing a lot of his designing and cutting at the end on the far left, and be able to weed material easily on the table. (If I don’t have a project mid-mess, of course.)

Speaking of Michael, I am SO THANKFUL to him for all of the many hours of hard work he put in, making this dream of mine come true for me, and for our family. I am so very blessed for the many ways in which he is a wonderful husband to have.

Did you notice the amazing barn doors?….
08_art-craft-studio Michael completely designed, custom-built and installed those, too. No small project!  I love them.  Perhaps I will do another post just on those, and give you a closer look with more verbal details.
And then there is yet another reveal behind those barn doors: one of our boy’s awesome bedroom!  He’s all moved in, and loving it.

My art studio reveal is not done though! 

There will be one more, showing you what it looks like all moved in!  Expect lots of COLOR added!  And instant happiness and inspiration. We actually started moving stuff in right after taking these photos for this post.
We are so thrilled with how it’s all coming together. What do you think?  Do you have a dedicated space to get creative? Tell us about it or share your links, please.
And be sure you are following us for our next art studio reveal!
Thanks for coming over, Friends.


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Home Improvement; Dream Craft Art Studio Progress Update; Part 2


 Here we are in May, and I am finally giving you all a progress update on the building of our grand craft/art studio. It was back in January when we first revealed this big and exciting home project of building a custom studio, which has been a dream of mine, ever since I was a little girl.  There is no doubt that this creative space will get a whole lot of use. In fact, I can easily see it becoming the most occupied room, in the whole house, by our whole family.  I am always going at craft or art projects, and Michael’s design, cutting and lettering prepping work space will be in here too. The kids are often crafting with me, or doing their own thing, and I can imagine they’ll be doing some school work up here as well. If they have independent work to be done after the lesson is taught, I might as well be productive! They’ll be plenty of room for all of us, and everything, if it’s designed and laid out well. And it will be.

So before I show you how much progress we’ve made, let me show you first where we were when we first shared our plans.  [Read more…]

Home Improvement Reveal; A Dream Come True; Part 1



I have had a childhood dream, that has never faded away. Not even with the passing of decades of years, this dream has lived through.
Well, that childhood dream, is about to come true for me.

♥ I am getting a completely customized art studio! ♥

It’s in-home, and already in the works. I thought I would take photos of the progress, in case some of you might enjoy watching it come to life along the way.

I was in kindergarten, when I decided I was going to be an artist when I grew up.
That plan never waivered all through my schooling years.  As a kid, I used to see little empty shops with real estate signs around town, and dream of what it would be like, to have my own studio space in there. When I graduated from high school, I went on to commercial art school for the next 3 years.  In the past 22 years since then, I have been a freelance artist and photographer.  Following art school, in my early 20’s and back home, my parents were kind enough to give me an extra room in the house for my drawing table and such.  I probably did 100 commissioned, illustrated large portraits out of that little room. And I’ve had a cozy little in-home photography studio in our finished lower level here, for many years, until a year ago. But never….anything like this, that I’ve got coming.

Between Michael and I, we always have (all kinds of) projects going on. All over the house. And because I haven’t had a dedicated space, I have craft supplies  stored all-over-the-house too.  It is a wild-goose-chase to ever find what I need, when I need it.  Let me show you just a glimpse of what I mean.
But before I do, TAKE NOTE: *In these photos below, I had already started pulling stuff out, sorting, throwing away, and packing stuff up – for the new studio in development. So these areas have never looked like this big mess, unless you looked behind the curtain into the closet or in the cabinets.

But anyhoo, this is one end of my former photography studio in the lower level of our home.  You can see, one closet that’s been chock full. Those shelves were packed. So frustrating finding anything, or getting anything out. Much is already pulled out of the closet you see here, and on the floor and in bins now, not visible in the photo. Across from that closet, is 2 floor cabinets, with drawers, which have stored more craft supplies.

Another cabinet upstairs in  in the corner of the school room by the back door, holds yet more supplies.

But wait…..there’s more….
Our cramped little laundry room on the mid-floor, has still-more-supplies.

And, there are various other little places around the house, where there are tools and whatnot.
So as I’m sure you have gathered with just this much observation, that there is great need, for ONE LARGE STUDIO, that is organized, functional, and inspiring, to do our thing. 
Art is a huge and active part of our lives and work fields.


This space in the upper level of our home, is where the new art studio will be. There is mega natural-light, and it is 12′ x 22′. The ceilings are 8′ high.  That’s great space!
So this is the view walking into the room.

It’s funny how this came to be.  We have been trying to work on our unfinished house for the past 6 years. It’s been held up many times, due to finances, or lack of time. And then it was held up for a bit more, while we re-pondered our original plans, and the intent of each room in our home.  The girls’ rooms have been done for quite some time, and I do plan on sharing those. But we realized that this one great big space that we had planned on making the boys’ room to share, would be of much wiser use, as the art studio that we desperately need. It would be much more appreciated and well-used, on a daily basis.  Although it’ll be my studio, and I’ll be spending the most time in it, it will actually be a great space for all of us.  It is such a grand space, that even Michael will be able to do his sign work in here as well.  The boys will still get awesome rooms, but of their own.  But much of this space, will be a new art studio. We’re back on track to finishing it now until it’s done.  And it’s well on it’s way, as you can see.

The opposite end; which will actually be used for another purpose, and I will tell you more about that at another time.
I know none of these photos are pretty or exciting now – but they will be. Right now, it’s a matter of imagination. : )

The other side of the room, the long way.
On the left is the entry door.

Viewing from the end we first saw, back towards the entrance.

This wall, seen when you first come into the studio, is going to be great.  The single window on the far right, is actually going to be replaced with a picture window, which we are removing from a side of the school room downstairs (which will become a wall.) We have regretted putting that window there downstairs.  It looks out at nothing, gives us no natural light, and would be of more use and more attractive as a wall.  Deciding we need one of these windows to be larger up here in the studio-to-be, gave us the perfect way to make use of the one we take out downstairs.  However, even with the windows, it is going to be a very functional area to work, as well as have a whole lot of storage and work space

We are still in the planning stages as far as design and layout.
But here’s what I can tell you for sure:

  • It will be all white: walls, ceiling, table tops, shelving, cabinets, etc.
    • There will be splashes of color everywhere, from the supplies, materials stored and organized, much out and accessible, as well as the artwork we create.
    • It will have natural pine floors.
    • It will have specialty lighting installed, for dark days, night-time work, and photography.

There will be:

    • A lot of flat working areas everywhere, for various needs.
    • An island block on wheels, with a large flat surface, cubby shelves on the sides, and additional storage inside.
    • Custom built storage spaces in various areas for specific supply-organization needs (paper, ribbon-spools, etc.)
    • An area specifically set up for photographing anything I need to.
    • A large, old drawing table.
    • Dedicated seating for the kids, to do their crafting, and sometimes, possibly their school work, too.

In this studio, designed correctly, here are some of the creative projects we’ll be able to do in here, and store all of the supplies/machinery to do them:

      • all illustration work
      • designing
      • crafting
      • scrapbooking and card-making
      • small furniture refinishing
      • sewing
      • sign-making
      • vinyl-work (large cutter/plotter
      • photography

                                   . . .  and more.

And here’s my man, who is making it all happen . . . . . .

If you follow us, you’ve seen he’s capable of some amazing carpentry work.  One of his greatest builds I haven’t even shown you all yet. But I will in time. Nonetheless, he is capable of making this space into absolutely anything I want it to be.  I couldn’t be more grateful. We’re a pretty good team too, and have a lot of fun bringing our little brainstorms to life.  He works about 50-60 hours a week, so he works on our house when he has time. Usually the weekends. But it should move along now, I think.

I plan to document the progress of this studio, to share with you all. if you’d like to follow along.  Not every little boring step, but a quick update here and there on how things have come along.  We would love your input and ideas along the way!  We know some of you have creative spaces of your own, as well, and we’re sure you have opinions and advice, that you could share with us.
I have already started a Pin board, just gathering some bits of ideas, options, and inspiration for storage and such.  And my brainstorming is on over-drive. As always.

We’re all too excited! It’s not every day a childhood dream comes true.
And by the way, the re-pondering of our home and the rooms/space it offers, will be resulting in ‘Musical Rooms’ of sorts (like Musical Chairs, but Rooms), and some fun redecorating too. 
So there is more room make-overs, besides this one, coming as well.
We hope you’ll enjoy following along with us, as we go.
Got any tips or ideas for us already? Let us know anything you’d like to say, in the comments!
And as always, thanks for coming by. : )

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