Spring has Sprung!

Spring has Sprung!

Today is the first full day of Spring, and oh how ready I am to welcome it!

It may still be a little brown and chilly outside, but I put the snowies away and brought out the flowers and bunnies and birds.

I got this sweet tray and floral and bunny from my friend Anne’s Farmhouse Primitives shop at Berry Vine Gifts.

The amazing candle is from Antique Candle Co. in the most luscious fragrance of Country Pear by Cotton Stem.  It is one of the most wonderful smelling candles I have ever had!

These little bunnies are from a recent trip to Hobby Lobby.

And I love this Springy green wreath I also found in Anne’s shop at Berry Vine Gifts.  It replaced the cotton stem wreath I had here for Winter.

And what do you think of this fun little stack of books I made?  I’ve been seeing them on Instagram on a few feeds I follow, and it turns out I had everything needed to make them myself.  In fact, I might be making more to sell at Berry Vine Gifts and through our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop.  So many possibilities of quotes and personalized messages can be made.  For my first try, I did my favorite life message, “Cherish the Moments.”

Welcome Spring!

Breathe in the fresh air.

Soak in the warmth of sunshine.

Bloom and blossom like the flowers.

Whistle a happy tune with a spring in your step.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Antique Card Catalog Makeover

Antique Card Catalog Makeover.

If you are anywhere near my generation, you might remember those old card catalog files in the school and public libraries.

They were these massive cabinets with a zillion drawers that numbered and alphabetized and catalogued all of the books in the library.

As I recall, we even had lessons from the librarian on how to use them to find the books we wanted (or needed) to read or use for research BC (before computers)!

Isn’t it hard to imagine a world without computers and smart phones?  Yet – many of us have lived in such a time – and amazingly survived!

My Dad and I were talking recently about “the good ole’ days.”  We refer to them often as “good,” but there are really things that are made so much better today by computers and smartphones and technology.  Unfortunately, every good and upside thing often has bad and downside typically because of abuse and overuse and addiction…..  but then… that could be a whole different topic for another day.

But – oh – back to this glorious card catalog!   Hubby actually found this beaut at a yard sale we were passing this past summer!

I recall we were driving to dinner, when he took a back road to drive by a sale he had noticed signs for, but didn’t mention to me.  We drove by, and I didn’t really notice anything (likely had my nose in my phone – GAW!).  Then Hubby hit the brakes and backed up.  I asked what happened.

He said, “You’ll see!”

We pulled into the driveway of the yard sale, and there it was…  in all of it’s gloriousness in the middle of the yard!   An antique card catalog unit!

Here is what it looked like.

Does it bring back memories?  Can you smell the wood and the little index cards?

We ended up finding out that the yard sale homeowner had just retired as a shop teacher from a school district I attended and graduated from.  When the library was getting rid of these card catalogues, they apparently threw them in the dumpsters!  Thankfully, this guy rescued one and used it for years in his shop classroom storing saw blades and nails and screws and other supplies.    Upon retirement, he decided to sell it, and I became the lucky new owner!

Hubby knew I’d been searching for one, and we thought this was a steal at $100.  It also carries sentimental value being from my school.

It sat in the garage and basement for months before I finally got around to chalk painting it.

But I finally did a few weeks ago, and I love how it turned out.

The drawers were a bit tedious (hence my procastination!), but oh so worth it in the end!

I had no idea where I was going to put it.  Hubby had his mind made up it was going in my art room to store supplies.  A GREAT idea – don’t get me wrong!  It could definitely serve a worthy purpose there, but guests rarely go to that room, and I kinda wanted to show this beauty off.

I tried it in several spots in the living room and dining room, but it really didn’t work.  It is pretty big, and our first floor is pretty full given that our back wall is all glass and fireplace and one other whole wall is built in bookshelves.

So, up to the art room it went.  And it really is right at home there!  I can’t wait to fill it with supplies, but I also couldn’t wait to share.

At the Annie Sloan chalk paint store near me (the Backdoor Furnishings), they had these adorable knobs that I knew would be perfect, and I do love them.

I used Annie Sloan Old Ochre paint and clear wax to do this project (along with lots of sand paper).


I’m looking forward to filling it up and enjoying it in my special place!

And now on to some more projects.  (Hint – one is a beautiful dressing table from 1935 that was a wedding gift to my cousin Rob’s mom that I am going to paint up for my granddaughters’ bedroom at our house.)

What projects are you working on?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

An Art Do-Over

An Art Do-Over.

Don’t you love a good do-over?

The opportunity to do something over?

I had a painting I had hung in our bedroom that I just didn’t love.  It was way overdone and needed a do-over.

It had some great texture on it that I thought might make a lovely rustic looking sign, so I went to work and covered the entire canvas with a gray acrylic paint.

Once that coat dried and the textures shown through, I went over that coat with a parchment color.

My intention was to sand it and stain over it using that texture to pull out a worn character look to it.

I then used stencils to paint the sign using black.  I really should have measured, but I didn’t, and it is a bit wonky, but oh well – makes it more “homemade” looking…..  Right?  Argh!

Once stenciled, I sanded and rubbed some more gray paint on.  Then I used some Annie Sloan dark wax I have for chalk painting to antique it up.

It’s not perfect, put it’s kind of fun.  A lot of our family and friends refer to our home as the McKinney B&B.  We love hosting and having stay-over company, so I hung this in our kitchen.

Now I have a big ole’ empty spot in the bedroom.  YAY! – I get to create or get something new for there now!  What project will be next?!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Fireplace Makeover

Fireplace Makeover.

Hubby and I built our current home about 17 years ago.  It is the second home we’ve built, and it is the tenth place I’ve called home.

Growing up, I lived in six different homes.  Since being married, this is our fourth home.

So 17 years is a long time in one home for me.  The longest I’ve ever lived in one actually!

We’ve redone and updated things along the way, but one of the things I haven’t done much with in a long time is our fireplace.  It was in need of a makeover.

Our fireplace is a bit of a focal point in our home.  It is 9 1/2 feet tall and 6 1/2 feet wide.  It is one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door.

We burn fires in our fireplace every night from the first nip of Fall to the first warmth of Spring.  It is a place where friends and family enjoying sitting.   Being raised about 18 inches from the floor, it makes a great warm seat for a few people when a crowd is gathered.

I’ve been following a few home decor instagrammers and loving the clean look of white, so when my oldest DIL recently asked if I wanted to go to Hobby Lobby with her and my grandie girls, besides screaming, “YES YES YES” to a field trip to my favorite store with some of my favorite peeps, I knew just what I wanted to look for – home decor pieces for the fireplace makeover.

I found some pieces I really love – including this little white chipped mirror, artichoke on a pedestal, bird, cotton stems in a clear jar, and metal and wood arched window piece.

I love this new natural cotton wreath, which I placed over the only old thing I left from previous decor – an old chipped metal tile I snagged a while back at another of my favorite field trip shopping destinations – Construction Junction – a warehouse full of used and surplus building materials.  Some fun candlestick holders, another bird and a super cute bird cage that I filled with natural and white spheres in a variety of shapes and sizes finish up the mantel decor.

A serious statement piece now sits on the hearth in this awesome 3 foot tall vase filled with puffy white pussy willow stems.

I had so much fun choosing some new pieces  (especially since there was a 50% off home decor sale), and am really enjoying this cozy new creative space in our home.

As I type this, a warm fire is crackling, the snow outside is fluttering down.  Hubby has his nose in a book and one eye on the television from his cozy chair.  Our bellies are full from a Sunday supper served early – a lemon garlic pork tenderloin, roasted herbed spaghetti squash, and a beet salad.

I’m cherishing the moments – simple and satisfying – from my little space in the world I call home.  And no matter where it is, how it is decorated or what is served, the thing I love best about my home is who I share it with.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Getting Cozy

Getting Cozy.

Getting out the pumpkins.
Getting out the candles.

Getting ready for colorful leaves
Getting ready for crackling fires.

Getting ready for flannels and hoodies.
Getting ready for fleece.

Getting ready for pumpkin lattes.
Getting ready for baked apple everything.

Getting ready for simmering soups.
Getting ready for thick, hearty stews.

Getting ready for Fall.
Getting cozy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Get Cozy

 

Updating the Nursery at Grandma’s House

Updating the Nursery at Grandma’s House.

Some of you may remember the fun I had creating a nursery for my first grandchild about seven months ago.  I turned my youngest son’s childhood room into a baby girly nursery room.  Here is what it looked like when I first created it.

Time is passing way too quickly, and our little girl is growing so fast.  She is starting to get around, so it was time to lower the crib so she won’t pull herself up and tumble out.

Then, though I hope she doesn’t need it very soon, we were so generously gifted with a beautiful antique iron day bed from my our bestie cousins, Joyce and “Oh Rob,” fully loaded with soft and fluffy Pottery Barn bedding in just the right colors to match our room!  Isn’t it awesome?!!?!

I moved some things around to make room.  It will be  a nice spot for us to snuggle up and read books soon I’m sure.  It also adds versatility to this guest room allowing for another “single” to stay over.  We love having campers stay over, so the more beds the merrier!

Remember how I made the bumper pads into curtain valances (since they are a “no-no!” now)?  Well – I still had a piece left, so I cut the ties off, cut about a 6-inch opening on one end, and stuffed it with filling from an old pillow I wasn’t using to create a fun tube-shaped pillow.  Throwing that and the other pillow that came with the nursery set really helps carry the theme onto the day bed and pull the room together I think.  Aren’t I so crafty clever?!?!

I am in love with this little space in the house.  It is the smallest bedroom of the four, but it is my current fave!  I’ve redone all three (now) guest rooms.  I think it may soon be time for a master bedroom makeover!  <wink!>

Hope you are having fun in all of your favorites spaces with all of your favorite people… at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

An Upcycled Bookstore Bookshelf

An Upcycled Bookstore Bookshelf.

Upcycle… DIY… Recycle… Repurpose – whatever you call it – I am thrilled with the job Hubby did (with a teensy bit of help from me in the painting department) taking this used bookstore bookshelf and converting it into a beautiful matting and gift wrapping station for my art studio.

This old bookshelf is one of the few items I received of my brothers after his passing recently.  It was from his bookstore, and his life’s passion was books.

This is what it looked like when we got it.

Hubby sanded it down and patched it up.  He added wheels to the bottom so it could easily be turned around since it was a double bookshelf on both sides, and he made a beautiful top for it.  I painted it with red chalk paint to fit into my art studio.

I put my mat cutter on top and boxes of matting board on one of the shelves.  It makes a great spot to cut and frame art work or photos.

I filled a bin with ribbons and bows and buckets with gift tags, tape, and scissors.


When turned around, I loaded the shelves with a variety of gift bags – plain, all occasion, birthday, wine, and holiday.  An old canning pot sits beside the bookshelf filled with rolls of kraft and wrapping paper as well as old maps (which make great wrapping paper too.)

I’ve long been wanting a special place to store supplies and have for wrapping gifts, and I am thrilled with how this turned out.  It is a great addition to my Creation Station/Art Studio not only for its purpose but for the memories and special meaning this piece has.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there today!  Enjoy your day – doing the things you love – with the ones you love – at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower

I had the joy and privilege of hosting a Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower for my bright and bubbly daughter-in-law to be this past weekend.

I had fun decorating and preparing for our girly party!

Thanks to Matron of Honor and beautiful sister, Laura, and loving, gentle mom, Pat for co-hosting with me.

(And a super special thanks to my BFF Jill for taking all of these photos as well as helping with anything else needed while I was busy hosting.)

Liz was surrounded by the love of her Mom and three sisters…

and there is another beautiful girl on the way to add to this gang!

First things first – the Bubbly!

and a toast to the bride-to-be.

Friends and family attended.

Families mingled meeting and getting to know each other…

and several generations shared in the joy and love.

New moms and great grandmoms…

and moms with babies on the way,

and moms who get to share ❤ .

Then there was brunch.

Where we served a buffet of Chicken  Salad on Sliced Crostini, Crispy Veggies with Hummus, Fresh Fruit and Honey Walnut Brie, along with…

Mini BLTs served on Heart-shaped biscuits,

Loaded Deviled Eggs,

and a Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Candied Pecans.

Aunt Kathy made the MOST amazing cupcakes I’ve every tasted!  Strawberry Lemon with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting,

My friend, Pam who makes the most amazingly beautiful sugar cookiedoodles, made these gorgeous and delicious treats that we served along with my cookie pops.

The guests brought and shared amazing gifts for our newlyweds to be.

We played a few games.  Pretty simple ones really… Like guess the number of corks and gave away prizes when a timer went off during gift opening.

Some sweet and funny stories were shared when guests filled out a “Mad Lib” story…

and then chose to share with the group.

And then the groom-to-be (my son, Nick) arrived with flowers, smiles, and a tight hug.

Favors of Homemade Lavender Sugar Scrub were given to guests as a thank you before leaving.

A kiss and an “I love you” at the end of the day, but the beginning of a lifetime.  (with a little bit of sweet granddaughter drool on my shoulder)

It was a great day to celebrate a great young lady!

Love you Liz!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Thanks Jill!

Party Supplies:
Toasting Flutes for Mimosa Bar
Juice Carafes for Mimosa Bar
Tissue Paper Tassel Garland
Tissue Paper Pom Poms
Tissue Paper Honeycomb Balls

My New Creation Station

My New Creation Station / Art Studio is just about done.

A few pieces of art need framed for the walls and some fabric is needed for a window treatment, but besides splashes of paint and scraps of paper on the floor, we are about done.

Hubby has been working so hard this past month transforming  a 22′ x 13′ bonus space we had in our home into a usable space for a few of my “creative life in between” hobbies.

Duct work had to be moved for the air flow of heat and air conditioning.
A cold air return had to be added.
Recessed lighting and a ceiling fan were installed.
Walls were painted.
Flooring was laid.  (And I’m so grateful to my son, Nick, for pitching in last Saturday to help Hubby with the underlayment, padding and laminate flooring.  They did it all in a day!)
Trim was stained and cut and nailed in.

And then I got to start filling it with my painting and stamping and crafting and sewing and photography supplies.  The weekend was spent cleaning out a walk-in-closet that could not be walked in anymore and an office that doubled as a craft room.

Our large garbage receptacle was filled.  The office is now streamlined and breathable.  The walk-in-closet can now be walked in.

It was cleansing and fulfilling and back-aching and tiring work, but so wonderful to accomplish.

And one of the best parts about it all is the only new things furnishing my art studio (besides lighting and fan and flooring) are the Husky Adjustable Wood Work Table and Chrome Shelving Hubby bought me for Valentine’s Day and the fabric organization boxes I bought to organize things in.

Leftover cans of paint from other home projects were used to paint the walls and ceiling.

A very old 8′ folding table that was stashed in the basement, as well as a small four-drawer wooden baby dresser, got a fresh new look with a coat of Tuscan red chalk paint.

I’m keeping one tall wall clear and open for possible photography use.  I received the reflector and Genaray light for Christmas.  Another little spot houses my light box for photographing smaller things.

Another corner is reserved for sewing.

A very special corner is set aside for grandies and other children that may visit with a small child’s art desk that holds a roll of paper (gifted to use by some very special peeps), plastic drawers filled with wooden stamps and a carousel of crayons and markers.

It’s been fun organizing paints and supplies.  I even created a long-needed paint chart for my watercolors and am trying to decide which 20 colors to add to a new palette.

Enjoy this little 30-second Hyperlapse visit of my new little Creation Station.  Can’t wait to splash it up!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS – If you can’t view hyperlapse video above, click here to watch video on Youtube.