when someone gives you a brick….

… don’t get mad… get crafty?!

A couple months ago, someone gave us a brick. By way of throwing it. At our windshield. So for a couple months, we’ve had this lone brick sitting around our house. I’ve seen bricks dressed up and used in different ways, most often as book ends. But it didn’t occur to me until I saw this post on craftgawker that I should turn our gifted brick into something fun. When life hands you lemons…. you know!



the brick before

I slapped some white paint on it (acrylic craft paint- if it was warmer I would have spray painted it gold) and then sat staring at it, unsure what to do next. I started making black polka dots on it, but didn’t like it, so I wiped the black off and painted it white again. I had white cotton clothesline sitting on my desk, and it caught my eye. I decided to wrap it around the brick. I just winged it and ended up wrapping it in stripes.


Who would have thought that a brick that withstands being thrown at a windshield (and busting the windshield) would break when I start wrapping rope around it. And did you know that hot glue doesn’t really stick to bricks.. or maybe it was the paint that was on the brick. Either way, I’ll be honest and say this project, which was supposed to be simple and quick, didn’t quite go as planned! The rope holds the broken brick together, but it needs to be handled gently. I never thought I’d say to Gabe, “Be careful with the brick.. it’s fragile!” If I made another one, I’d use different paint (either spray paint or latex wall paint) because the acrylic craft paint got kind of chalky, weird feeling.


But the end result is kind of fun. And it adds a little something to the books in my crates. And the brick has a story.


Perhaps you’ve never been gifted a brick. Don’t feel left out. You can probably buy them at a place like Home Depot. You could make a ton of brick bookends for what a gifted brick ends up costing!


I guess it’s not technically a book end if it sits on top of the books!



I like the different textures of the painted brick and the rope. I hope you’ve never been gifted a brick the way we were. Have any of you gotten crafty with bricks? What did you make?


our home {Gabriel’s new big boy room}

First of all, I’m having a hard time figuring out how my little babe is a in a big boy room. Slow down, you crazy child! This growing up thing goes quickly. Although, it’s days like today, when a migraine starts to kick my butt, that I’m happy he’s a little independent! I can give him some goldfish crackers (or the whole bag), turn on a movie (or 2) and close my eyes. You realize how much you take your vision for granted when it starts to fade!

Gabe’s been in his big boy bed since January. It was his 3rd birthday present from my parents (lovingly known as Bada and Boom). I’ve slowly puttered around in his room, tweaking things here and there. There haven’t been any major changes from his nursery, but it’s still been a fun little project. I like this room better, but it might be because we have such fun sitting in his big bed and telling bedtime stories as a family! Sweet memories are being made in this space!

In case you haven’t seen this post, I thought I’d show you what his room looked like when we moved in..



The walls were yellow, ripped apart, and drawn on. But there was such potential!





My Mom is amazing and found a Jenny Lind style bed for Gabriel. It was what I dreamed of for his room. Can you believe it was $80? Solid wood. Absolutely amazing. And then she got some Annie’s Chalk paint to refinish it. We used French Linen and finished it with the clear wax. I absolutely love his bed.



It’s a beautiful bed! Right now, I have his backup sheets on the bed. Usually, this time of year, he has adorable doggie flannel sheets that were part of his birthday present. But they’re currently needing to be washed. It makes life so much easier to have two pairs of sheets. Though Gabriel’s a little sad to not sleep with the doggies.



I got this dresser on Craig’s List for $20 and refinished it (thanks Uncle Carl and Aunt Irene for the Christmas gift)! I like the clean lines and the size is perfect for his room, but it can hold a lot of clothes. I like that it doesn’t actually have any handles. You can kind of tell that the drawer fronts are angled, so you reach under the bottom to slide the drawers out. The wall hanging is a tapestry I found at a thrift store. The trees are actually Christmas decorations!




My Mom gave us the charming paint by number pictures a couple years ago. I love them and so does Gabriel. The mobile is something I found, spray painted gold, and hung old picture of my Dad, grandmother and aunt from! The old photographs are so sweet. The angel was mine as a child.




We keep Gabe’s little suitcase under the dresser. He loves his truck suitcase. Also a gift from my Mom and Dad.







As a child, my Grandpa gave me Shel Silverstein books. I loved them. I was thrilled to find ‘Falling Up’ at the thrift store and used the pages as art in Gabe’s room. We really enjoy looking at the pages, reading the poems and playing I-spy with the illustrations. The bench is from our wedding and the basket holds some books and toys that Gabriel can pick from and take into his bed at nap time. Yes, he loves the story Madeline and has parts of it memorized!




I have double sided tape on the back of the pages, but also used Washi tape to secure some of the edges.




The mobile with the old photographs. The photo in the middle is of my Dad and my Aunt Jan! So sweet!




And this is my Dad and dearest Gran. Precious.




I used more washi tape with the photos, and on the backs of some used left over pages from the Shel Silverstein book.




Back to his bed. His nightstand is an old crate. I found the old piece of wood in the outbuilding and painted the alphabet on it. It was there in his nursery, too.




We found these cloud cut outs in the outbuilding when we moved in. I painted them white and hung them over his crib. When we moved his bed in, I was so happy that they were still perfect where they were on the wall. I didn’t have to move them! I added to stars when we moved his big bed in. They are little wooden star cut outs that you can find at Michaels. I spray painted them gold and used tiny sewing pins to hold them to the wall!

And there is Gabriel’s big boy room! I’m so happy with how it turned out. You can put together a special space without having to spend lots of money! I hope you enjoyed the tour!

(The wall color is Martha Stewart Plumage. I was inspired by Young House Love’s guest room. The white paint on the dresser is Parchment White by Glidden, also inspired by Young House Love! It’s my go-to white paint for furniture!)

before and after {basket storage}

I found these great urn like baskets at the thrift store some time ago, and as is the norm, I planned to spray paint them and use them for organization and storage. As is also the norm, they sat around, getting moved from room to room until I got around to them, which finally happened this week! I traded my gold spray paint for silver this time. I like metallics, because they act as a neutral while adding something fun to the space. I’m definitely not a shiny sparkly kinda girl, I do like my metallics.

I was inspired by Martha



Here’s a before (I’m patting myself on the back for remembering to take a before picture)!




There was nothing wrong with them before, but it’s a rare occasion when I get the urge to spray paint something and stop myself. I taped the handles to keep them the natural basket color. I took them outside and gave them a couple coats of silver metallic spray paint.

The large basket holds tracks to Gabriel’s electric train set (an amazingly kind and thoughtful gift from his Uncle August and Aunt Kelli). And the smaller basket holds my wrapping paper.


I can’t remember how much the baskets were, but I know it was cheap. As in, I took my baggie of change to the thrift store and got them. Super cheap! If you’re looking for some storage options but don’t want to spend money on new matching containers (which can get expensive, especially cute containers), collect a bunch of baskets and spray paint them the same color. Make yourself a nice little matching set! It’s unique and interesting with the different basket shapes. It’s also a cheap way to organize!

Have you spray painted anything recently? Anyone have a favorite, go to spray paint color?


part 1.5: our bedroom makeover

I have a camera cord! No more phone pictures! We’re calling this part 1.5 of the bedroom makeover, because it’s really just a little peak….



The biggest change I’ve made in our room today involves paint. And you can see it ever so faintly at the bottom of this picture, just right of center. Notice a little line? Our bed was pushed up against one big, long, blank wall. The room doesn’t have much architectural detail. It’s basically just a rectangle. And the bed, even with our neat little DIY pallet board headboard, looked lonely and lost pushed up against the wall. Kind of boring. Since I want the room to feel calming, I went for something subtle that I hoped would make it look more intentional. And I have to say, I’m quite pleased with the results! (Best part.. it cost $0. Hooray for leftover paint!)



Maybe you see the line a little better in shot above?


My nightstand. An old crate.

part 1: our bedroom makeover

So I got to thinking- why should my 3 year old’s room get all the love?! As his room started coming together, I started liking it more and more than our room. You might remember this post, where I changed out our bifold closet doors for curtains. And maybe you remember this post, where I gave Tristan’s dresser a little facelift.




Here’s a picture of the dresser and the curtains on the closet. This is the only wall in our room that I’ve shared. That’s because the other parts are, well, just eh. I haven’t given them much attention and they never seem to ‘work’.

Yesterday I started our little bedroom overhaul. I took every. single. thing. out of our closets and piled it all on the bed. It was a mountain of mess. I painted each closet (which had been a grungy yellow) with leftover white paint. That alone made a big difference.

Then I sorted through every last item that had been shoved in each closet. When I get in a ‘purging’ mood, don’t get in my way! We filed a large box with clothes to give away and an even bigger trash bag with, well, just trash.

Even though the room was still pulled apart, it started to feel better.

Getting organized makes a big difference! It’s a good start!


This was taken on the my phone, mid process, in horrible lighting. Oh, how I wish I had taken before shots. And how I also wish I could find the cord to upload pictures from my good camera to my computer!

So organizing our closets was a start. A good start. But there’s much more to do to make our room feel intentional, calming and pulled together.

Check back soon for more bedroom makeover progress… and the headboard we made from pallet wood!

Gabe’s bedroom makeover

The story of how we came to call this house our home is pretty wild. I’ll save the whole story for another day, but to say it was a whirlwind is an understatement. I found the house while I was yard sale-ing one morning in August (2011), the next day I brought Tristan by to see it, and several weeks later we were moving in.

The house had lots of potential, but everyone who saw it initially thought I was out of my mind. I’m not surprised. Looking back at pictures, I guess I was blinded by that potential… and the beautiful hardwood floors.

Gabe’s room was the first space I wanted to work on. He was not quite two years old and I wasn’t sure how he’d do with the move. I wanted to make his bedroom as homey as possible as quickly as possible, to hopefully help with his transition. It turned out that he loved his new home right away and didn’t have any trouble making the transition.

I got brave when I picked the paint color. I wanted a deep peacock blue. I was hesitant to use such a deep, rich color in a small room, but I decided to go for it. I used the same color Young House Love used in their guest room. It’s Plumage by Martha Stewart. I had it color matched in Behr paint and used an eggshell finish. Since I was covering a pale yellow, I used a tinted primer.

Enough of the chatting… I should just share pictures…

This is a picture of Gabe’s room before. Dirty walls, covered in smeared marker. But don’t you see the potential?! The door is on the far right.

And then there’s the big patch where the paint/drywall had been picked away. But look at those beautiful hardwood floors!

The chair: I found it in the free section of Craig’s List. I gave it a coat of orange paint (leftover from another project), got new foam for the seat and recovered it in a tan and white searsucker-ish fabric (that you can’t really see from the picture) and wrapped the legs and arms in twine. The pillow was a yard scale find for $2.

The curtains: Panels of white burlap. When it’s time to sleep, I have black felt curtain panels that hang against the window using a tension rod. They block out a lot of light. I also sewed a couple triangle fabric garlands to hang across each window.

The alphabet: I found the wood in our outbuilding. I used white paint (also leftover from another project) to paint the alphabet. Then I screwed it into the wall.

The dresser: It’s one of the dressers from my room as a child. For Gabe’s room, I refinished it in white paint. Then I took dowel rods to replace the knobs. I cut them all to size, then screwed them in from the back of the drawer front. I gave the drawer fronts another coat of white paint once the dowels were attached.

The clouds: There are two hanging over his crib. I found them in the outbuilding when we moved in. I painted them white and screwed them into studs.

The bench: It’s from our wedding. We sat on it and prayed during our ceremony. It now lives in Gabe’s room.

The quilt: It was a gift from my Mom at my baby shower. It’s been handed down several generations and now Gabe has it.

The picture: I’ve been carrying it around for quite a while. I spray painted the frame a mint green and screwed it directly into the wall.

The changing table: It was also a gift from my Mom at my baby shower. My parents got the dry sink before I was born and had it refinished. It was used as my changing table and then it also held a bunch of my Mom’s potted plants inside. It’s been handed down to us. I cherish it. It’s beautiful!

The rocking horse: Gabe named it ‘Pony’. I found it at a yard sale for $5. It was already white, but a little beat up. I gave it a fresh coat of white paint. Gabe loves it and goes crazy riding it.

I have twinkle lights hanging along the ceiling of one wall. When Gabe goes into a big bed, I’ll move them so they don’t just hang down like that.

One last picture to show the two clouds above his bed.

I still have a couple little projects I want to do in his room and I’d to take a couple more (better) pictures. But I’m quite pleased with the transformation from dirty, yellow, marker-covered walls!