::Fireplace Before and After::

PSSSST...I'm no longer blogging here!
You can now find me at


Well, y'all know I have a thing about fireplaces and mantels, yeah?
Here's the before....

I'd been itching to work on the new house's fireplace/mantel since moving in.  
I had some wishy-washy ideas that began to solidify when a dear friend gave me this piece of scrap pallet wood...

At which point I started obsessing about paint colors.
When we were deciding on finishes, it was cost-prohibitive to carry the stone all the way up to the peak....so I always intended to do some sort of 'treatment' to blend the drywalled part with the stone.

I started by finding a swatch of colors from Sherwin Williams that blended well with the colors on my stone...which happen to have both pink and yellow undertones....which I happened to learn thru this process don't really play nicely with eachother.  It took me no less than 10 samples to get the right shade....
This shows one of the first oopsies at the top.
I won't show you the 8 other shades of 'bandaid' I tried.....

The one that made the room sing ended up being Interactive Cream.

I painted the pallet piece with left over wall paint (Glidden's Antique White), and heavily distressed it with my palm sander.  Hubs used  4 ginormous screws to attach it to the wall.

Sewed up some wispy panels with poor-man's linen....osnaburg muslin.
20 yards at $3/yd using my 50% off coupon at JoAnns.  

They're not hemmed yet, and I think I'm gonna do some bishop sleeves.
Instead of fiddling with a DIY corner rod, I just used those good old fashioned metal rods that cost like $3 each.  No finials or anything.  Lowe's had 'em in oil rubbed bronze.

See how nicely they meet in the corner?
Total cost for dressing my three super large windows...$75.
They really helped pull the room together, bringing the fireplace to the center.

I had originally thought I'd plank the drywall above the stone, but when serendipity strikes, you grab it!
The cast-off pallet wood works perfectly.

Love the rustic texture....as I was sanding, it brought out the yellow undertones in the white paint....hard to see, but trust me, it looks awesome.

My great room is finally coming together....it's not a large room, but with the massive windows and vaulted ceiling, everything felt a bit lost.  Adding some color and texture has helped it feel warm and welcoming.  

I'll share some other things I did in the room next post.  Of course it's not done yet (as if it ever gets 'done').  I hope to add planking and beams to the ceiling eventually, and I'm considering painting the white walls a neutral called 'Biscuit', which happens to be the lightest shade on that strip from Sherwin Williams. I'm hording lighting ideas, including some sconces or lanterns for either side of the rustic wood board.  The small rattan uplights from Target up there currently look awesome turned on at night, but look dinky during the day. And I have some more sewing to do to tie in the green chairs to the scheme.

Happy for now :)  

 I'm almost done with the master re-do as well.  I'll be showing off the new paint color, sewing projects, headboard building, and decor soon!

So what do ya think?  Improvement?
Think I'm nutso for putting a huge piece of scrap wood on my mantel?



Walter Wyn joined our family last night at 9:57.
My first grandson, 2nd grandchild.
Robyn Rose's baby brother.

He was delivered at (my) home, right on Gramma's bed. :) 

Then the midwife weighed him all wrapped up in a towel....
7lb. 11oz., 21in. long.
Of sheer Goodness. 

                                                Robyn has learned to say 'Baby Wawwt'. (Baby Walt)

My daughter Kristen was a goddess thru it all.
So proud of her.

We're all in babymoon.  
Life is very, very wonderful.


::Goodwill Caddy Do-Over::

Greetings from the frozen tundra of NE Indiana.....
After a glorious week in Florida with perfect weather, coming home to this slop has been quite a splash of ice water in the face.  Literally.  Ick.

Anyway, just before leaving, I played around with more of my products from Country Chic Paints.

Remember the desk I did using their shade called 'Elegance'?

Well, this time I decided layer some colors, distress and dark wax.  I picked up this unfinished wood caddy thingy at Goodwill a few weeks back, and got busy.

I used one coat of Burgundy first....just sorta slopped it on.  Slop and it's various versions are my word of the day.

It reminds me of a terra cotta color.  Reddish/brownish/orange-ish.  Perfect for an undercoat.

When that dried, I slopped on a coat of Elegance, distressed it with 180 grit sand paper to show the Burgundy beneath, waxed with their clear wax first, then lightly brushed on their dark wax here and there, immediately wiping it in and off with a rag.
The whole ding dang project took like 45 minutes of 'work'....the rest was just waiting for paint to dry. Great little project for a snowy afternoon.

I wanted to mention that I still don't feel confident using waxes, especially dark wax.  I'm still waffling on what products I'll use to finish projects.  There really is no substitute for the way a waxed piece looks and feels, but the cost and effort on large pieces still gives me hives.  I'll be trying a couple other paints that require no top coat in the next month, so stayed tuned for those.

As far as the actual chalk-style paints, though, Country Chic Paints are right up there in my top picks for ease, cost, color palette, and coverage.  Just beautiful paints.


::Chalkboard Wall Valentine::

Ever since I looked at the floorplan and model for our new house, I knew I'd have me a chalkboard wall.

Even though everyone on Pinterest has one.....I still feel like they're awesomesauce.

Mine just happens to be right at the bottom of my stairs in the dining room/kitchen, so I can leave squishy love notes for my boys.

Here's the wall before:

I'll be leaving for Florida soaking up as much Vitamin D as possible before returning to the frozen tundra of NE Indiana.  I hope you spend your Valentine's Day with the ones you love.

(Quote is from Mumford and Sons "Sigh No More",  Love me some Mumford!)


::Chalky Paint Review....Country Chic Paints::

PSSSST...I'm no longer blogging here!
You can now find me at


So you guys know I love me some chalky paint.  Especially when I get to try it for free in exchange for an honest review.  So here we go!

Today I'm reviewing a newcomer on the scene....Country Chic Paints.  Their packaging is gorg.  And though I picked out two colors and some wax to review, they sent all of the above!  Very generous :)

 Here are the sah-weet colors I chose: Elegance on the left, Rustic Charm on the right.

Their clear wax is at the top, and they sent their dark Antiquing Wax and Gold Wax as well.

Annnnd....some sample pots: Vanilla Frosting (hello), Burgundy and Dark Roast.
I love the names of their paints :)  Just don't eat or drink them.  *snicker*  BTW, there's no odor at all to the paints or waxes. They are no-VOC, and get this: they'll color match a favorite shade!

I pinched this 80's roll-top desk off craigslist for a song.  It's partly oak and partly laminate, so I thought it'd make a good candidate for a makeover using Country Chic's paints.

I'd already taken out the lower drawer, and I also removed the cubby piece inside to paint separately.

I like to turn my can upside down for a bit before stirring well and painting.  (those are some of the drawers that go with the inside cubby in the background)

I wiped the piece down with some Simple Green before painting, but didn't sand.
Country Chic Paint is nice and thick.  I almost got away with one coat!  See how thick?

This is after the first coat.....really great coverage.

After the (light) second coat dried, I prepared to wax.  Country Chic's wax is a bit more solid then most of the others I've used, but it went on easily.  One thing I appreciate about their wax is that after you wipe or brush it on, you go back and wipe off excess AND buff at the same time.  I just used an old wash cloth.

I kept the original hardware from the piece, and used my sample pot of Dark Roast to paint them up, then waxed and buffed.  It buffs to a pretty, matte finish. Nice and smooth.    

And here's the 'after'!

I love how the Dark Roast hardware pops off the Elegance blue.

Just a lovely chalky paint!
Now, get on over to their cutie-patootie page and sign up for their contest...winner gets $250 in free Country Chic products!  AND, while you're over there, sign up for a free sample of paint and wax.  You can find Country Chic on facebook HERE, Pinterest HERE,  and You Tube Tutorials HERE.

I'll be painting up another piece with the Rustic Charm Green when I return from vaca to Florida, as well as show off a smaller piece I did using the Antiquing Wax over Elegance.

Partying at: Green Willow Pond, Domestically Speaking, Elizabeth and Co., Beyond the Picket Fence, Common Ground, Shabby Art Boutique, Craftberry Bush, Redoux Interiors, French Country Cottage


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