Monthly Archives

October 2015

DIY Projects, Tutorials

Dry Brushing – The Easiest Painting Experience

Hey y’all! I hope you’re doing well! It’s been dark and rainy here, so the weather is perfect for Halloween tomorrow! (Let’s not talk about the fact that I am going to be running  walking a 5k on Halloween morning. Why do I do these things to myself?!) Hopefully the rain won’t deter Trick-or-Treaters though because Ethan and  I love sitting on the front porch passing out candy.

Anyway, before the rain set in, I completed a quick little project that is quickly becoming my favorite way to do things! I wanted to share this painting trick with you that really does save time, materials, and requires minimal experience (I always say that, but this time I mean it). Have you ever heard of dry brushing? It’s new to me, but I’m already obsessed with it, and I want to dry brush everything in sight! Here are the steps:

picnic basket before - Copy

First, you need to choose your victim (or in this little basket’s case, its lucky day because this thing about to get a serious makeover). I chose this basket because well, just look at it, and you can tell it needs a little help. It’s a vintage picnic basket that I found while junkin this summer, and although it has some damage, I think it just adds some character. What I don’t like about it is the orangey color it has. Plus the top has a weird uncleanable dusty look. But for six bucks, you can’t ask much.

You can also see the brush and paint I used in this picture. These little brushes are available at Home Depot, and they are awesome! The handle is rubber and so it’s really comfortable to handle while painting.

dry brush 2 - Copy

Dry brushing is a technique that uses a very minimal amount of paint and a dry brush (cleverly named technique, don’t you think?). When I do this, I find the stiffest brush I can find and  I don’t dip the brush in the can. Instead, I just use the lid and dab a small amount on the brush. I try to keep the paint limited to the top part of the bristles and not the sides. Does that make sense? (I also apologize for the lack of clarity on some of these photos, I haven’t yet mastered the photography-while-painting technique).

dry brush 3 - Copy

I then blot the top of the brush on my dropcloth to take off any excess paint. You can see in the above photo just how little paint there is on the brush. If you don’t use dropcloths, a paper towel will do. Before you put the brush on your object, it should look something like this:

dry brush 4 - Copy

The trick is not to use too much paint. You can always add more, but once you have too much, it’s hard to get the desired effect.

dry brush - Copy

When you’re ready to paint, you’ll want to use a short, side-to-side stroke. You’ll want to move quickly and paint lightly, as you don’t want too much coverage in one area. The look really lends itself more to a vintage, weathered look. Once you have too much coverage in one area, it becomes hard to fix it, so move fast! The awesome thing about it is that it uses practically no paint (I covered this basket just with what was on the lid of the can), and it dries super fast because it’s such a thin layer of paint.

picnic basket after - Copy

Here is the finished product! I think this project took maybe thirty minutes (including dry time). It saves so much time, and also money because it’s such an effective use of materials. What more can you ask for than quick and cheap?

picnic basket2

I placed this basket in the corner of my living room where I keep the coatrack and store blankets. This basket is pretty roomy, so it’s a good place to store odds and ends. I also really like how the white lightens up this space. The orange look definitely wasn’t doing itself any favors. She looks so much better now, don’t you think?

picnic basket1

What do you think of this technique? Have you tried it before? I promise it really is easy – I’m not lying! I am thinking about dry brushing everything now…nothing is safe! Let me know what you think, and if you plan to try it!

I hope y’all have a great weekend and that you have some fun Halloween activities planned (hopefully not completing a 5k like myself)! That’s it for today friends, have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Holidays

How to Make Your Home Feel Super Cozy

Hey y’all! I hope your week is going well! Fall has still not arrived here in North Texas, but we’re pretending. My students are busy making pumpkin crafts, and I’ve been drinking tea nonstop at the house. Even though it’s in the eighties every day still, I’ve broken out the boots for work. Call me crazy, but I’m not wasting my time when it comes to all things fall. #sorry #notsorry

Anyway, today I want to share with you something I like to do at home during the fall. And all the time, really, but during the fall it seems especially appropriate. I don’t know what it is about the month of October, but it makes me want to cozy up EVERYTHING. For me, cozy equals good smells. There’s nothing like a warm home that smells heavenly.

So here’s what I do. This isn’t even a DIY because it’s the easiest thing possible. IMG_2414

I like to take a few lemon slices, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some cranberries (or in my case, dried cranberries, because that’s all I had on hand), and put them on the stove with just enough water to cover the fruit. I put them on a low heat and simmer alllllllll day long. Seriously, it is ah-mazing. I have to check and refill the water every once in a while, because the water will evaporate over time. Other than checking on it every now and then, there’s nothing else to it. It makes the house SO COZY. I kid you not. It puts me in a great mood, and the house just feels homey. Does that make sense? It might sound weird, but a house that smells good feels like home to me.

Fall makes me go into major nesting mode, and start doing lots of things around the house. This ‘recipe’ makes everything better. It just feels like fall. If fall is a feeling, this is it. If you try it out, I promise you won’t be disappointed. There are also other things that you can simmer in the pot like vanilla, oranges, lavender, pine needles, etc. Cranberries + lemon + cinnamon just happens to be my favorite combination. Find a combination that works for you, and run with it! I do this all the time and I cannot recommend it more. It’s the simplest of things and it totally makes me feel like Martha Stewart (even though there zero skills involved).

I hope you do try this out at home, it’s super easy. Have you already done something similar? I’d love to hear about it. Do you have a better recipe? I’d love to hear about that as well. Thanks for reading along. That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous night!



My First Experience as a Craft Vendor

This past weekend I had my first booth at a crafts/antiques fair. I wanted to share with y’all a little bit about my first experience doing this, since it was such a big deal for me. I worked really hard on my booth, and really hard on all the items that went into it. I definitely learned a lot this weekend, and I’m so thankful for it.

The biggest thing for me was at some point during that day, I realized I can do this. Having my items sold at a craft fair or market of some kind has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but never really thought I could. There were a million reasons why I wasn’t going to be able to do something like this, and so a few projects sat unfinished in my garage for a year or so. When this opportunity came along, I knew I couldn’t say no. The event was just one day, in our town, and I didn’t need to go through a lengthy application process, and  wouldn’t have to take the day off from my real job. For these reasons, I felt like I couldn’t say no. The cards were stacked in my favor for getting my foot in the door to these types of things.

On the actual day of the event, I had so much fun setting up my booth. When I’m shopping at other flea markets and fairs, I enjoy but don’t really think deeply about the set up of the booth. It was like staging a mini room, and duh, what could be more fun?! I didn’t have a ton of items for sale in my booth, but I think I had just the right amount of stuff to accommodate my first attempt.

Here are some closeup shots of my booth:candles chalkboards decondtructedchair - Copy dropcloth pumpkins signs wholebooth wideshot

The actual number of sales were pretty disappointing, and whether that can be blamed on the size of the event, the venue, the clientele, or whatever – it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I got the first one down, and now I feel a lot more confident about applying for more upscale and prestigious markets. I got the self-assurance I needed to realize that this is something I really can do, and actually enjoy. I don’t feel so afraid of these types of events anymore, and the if I could only… thoughts are gone. This day was both disappointing and encouraging. I’m glad I had this experience, and I feel like this event is my jumping point for other things to come in the future.

I really feel like God was telling me this weekend (despite the disappointing number of sales) that the creative desires I have in my heart aren’t for naught. I know He has bigger and better things for me, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the future.  I’ll let you know where you can find me next.

That’s all for today friends, have a fabulous day!


Fall Touches on the Front Porch

Hey y’all! Hope you’re having a great Wednesday! I have definitely been feeling that midweek stress level rising, but I relieved some of that stress the only way I know how…puttering around the house! Today I focused my attention on the front porch. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason fall seems like the season where you just have to decorate your porch. (Now that I’m thinking about it, people definitely do other seasonal things with their outdoor decor, but in my mind it seems more natural for the fall. Whatever.)

I wanted to show y’all a few details of our front porch. Our rental home has a HUGE front porch, which is a blessing. On one side, I have a little sitting area set up, and on the other is where you can usually find me painting something. It has enough space for large and small projects, and for that I’m thankful. I’ll definitely miss this front porch when we leave this rental. (See? I’m always looking for the positives in our living situation.) Anyway, now that I’ve gotten a little off track, how about I just show you some pictures? IMG_2375

I have a large planter on either side of our front steps. I replaced the totally dead flowers (my gardening skills range somewhere in the “I tried” to the “it’s hopeless” range) with hay and some pumpkins. These are the only two things I bought with real money for this little set up. I bought my pumpkins at Home Depot, which is the cheapest place I’ve found them so far. Pumpkins can get a bit pricey especially when buying multiples, but Home Depot had some pretty good sizes for a reasonable price. I got the hay at Hobby Lobby (with a 40% off coupon of course). I’m pretty sure these planters will last a bit longer than my attempted flowers. Maybe I’ll just leave this here until next year…


Here’s a peek of what the sitting area looks like…I added a blanket for a bit of coziness (never mind the fact that the weather is not cooperating at all), along with my Thankful pillow wrap. Can I just pause for a second and say that pillow wraps are the bomb? Like, how cool that you can seasonally change your pillows with minimal storage space, right?! Maybe I’m the only one who gets excited about these things. Maybe there are more of you like me out there. One can only hope so. This one was a gift from a sweet friend I met via Instagram. Everything else I shopped around my home or yard for.


My little bushel basket is filled with dried leaves, compliments of the backyard. Pinecones are a great fall piece…also free. I’m a fan of free. I actually got these from a lady who practically forced me to take them from her garage sale, but you could just as easily find some at a local park. In my book, free=no brainer. I prefer my fall pieces to be more nature inspired anyway, but these types of simple decor are easy on the budget. I can’t think of a simpler way to add seasonal touches. I have these things scattered throughout my home as well.

A few sources you may be wondering about in this post… the rocking chair is from Cracker Barrel  (we have two of them and they are just as awesome at home as they are at the restaurant), and the rug is from Hobby Lobby. Everything else was found at garage sales or flea markets.

Do you decorate your outdoor area for fall? What are your go-to items? I’d love to hear about it! Fall decorating can be inexpensive and hassle free, so give it a try and get a little festive! That’s all for today friends, have a fabulous day!