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.

Creating a Nursery at Grandma’s House

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I am having so much fun creating a nursery at “Grandma’s house” for our new granddaughter.

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A sweet little haven for her to rest if I ever decide to let her out of my arms when she is at our home!

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I promised I’d show you how I turned bumper pads into a window treatment valance.  Didn’t it turn out great?!

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Almost everything in this room was a passed on from a friend, was given as a gift, is something I made, or something I re-purposed.

Thanks to our friends Sue and Rodney for “gifting” us with this beautiful crib they had outgrown from their two beautiful granddaughters.

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And thanks to our BFFs Jill and Todd who gifted us with this beautiful rocking chair when we learned we were going to become grandparents.  (Hope you don’t mind I painted and distressed it!)

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And thanks to our sweet Joyce and “Oh Rob” for this darling antique child’s art desk with paper roll that will be so fun in coming years!

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And a dear friend, Diane, who sent this sweet little hanging pillow months before our granddaughter arrived, but made me wait until her birth to open (and I really did!).  What truth there is in this message!  What joy!

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I’m looking forward to reading many, many books – over and over and over – in the years to come.

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And playing with the basket of toys generously passed down from a sweet friend and incredible young Mom, Stefanie.

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Sometimes I just walk into this room and smile… thinking of the memories that are going to be created and the love that is already there from the sharing of so many.

I remember the days when this was a little boy’s room with blue marbled walls and baseball trophies.  I reminisce about the two boys who shared a wall between their rooms and secrets I still don’t know about…  Two boys who were best buddies when they were little, didn’t like each other very much when they were teenagers, and are back to being each other’s “bests” as young adults.

Creating a nursery at Grandma’s house…
It is so very much
home sweet home.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Chalk Paint Shabby Chic Dresser Makeover

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I am having a lot of fun creating a special room in our house for our new granddaughter.

How fun it is to be able to create a “girly” room in one of the bedrooms previously occupied by one of our sons.

I hope to show you more as we finish; but for now, I’m excited to show you what I did with this beat up old little dresser we have had hanging around forever that has served many purposes through the years.

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It is a little funny that I’ve taken something beat up and transformed it into another “beat up” look.  (The guys just don’t get it at all that I PURPOSELY rubbed and chipped off the paint!!)  But I’m loving this “Shabby Chic” look achieved with White (Magnolia) Chalk Paint, sand paper, and some Clear and Antique Wax.

I had planned on painting it white, but then saw a friend show on Facebook how she transformed a piece with Chalk Paint and decided that is exactly what I wanted to do.  Considering I had this little dresser already, supplies cost about $15.  I only used half of the container of paint and just a small amount of each of the jars of wax, so plenty more for other projects.  Other than the paint and wax, all that is needed is a paint brush and some fine sand paper.

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I watched this series of brief Youtube tutorials while doing this, and it only took a few hours to complete.

Looking forward to sharing more as we progress… like how I turned bumper pads from a gorgeous bedding set I acquired into window valances (because bumper pads are now a “no-no” in cribs) — but I couldn’t pass up using the gorgeous pink and green paisley luciousness!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

A Hot Air Balloon Themed Baby Shower

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Oh what fun we had this past weekend celebrating the anticipation of the sweet baby girl we are awaiting with a Hot Air Balloon Baby Shower!

I made these miniature hot air balloons using super inexpensive 12″ white paper Chinese lanterns that I attached to quart-sized cardboard pulp berry baskets with wooden skewers and embellished with all the pink ribbon, yarn, sequins, buttons, lace, or pearls I had in my craft stash.  I added a tiny battery operated tea light to each basket and hung and placed them all over the house.

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It was such a collaborative effort of all the girls involved.   Check out this amazing Aunt Squad surrounding the beautiful momma to be!

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We had a hot air balloon cupcake cake,

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Hot Air Balloon Cake Pops in a puffy white cloud,

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and Hot Air Balloons, clouds and cherubic baby faced sugar cookies.

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The favors were made using Eos Lip Balms to thank our guests for sharing their time and love with us.

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A Hot Air Balloon banner with baby pictures of the mom and dad to be as babies themselves was a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

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An Extra Large Basket Lady Pole Handle Wicker Storage Basket with pink and white balloons tied to it was filled to overflowing with children’s books guests brought in place of cards to start a wonderful library for baby.

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The books were requested by a special insert in the invitation, and the overflowing abundance of new and extra special, well-loved books from people we love will be so cherished.

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The time and love put into gifts blew us away.  A very special Gram blessed Mom and Dad to be with this amazing handmade Hot Air Balloon quilt.

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We also had a Hair Bow Boutique…

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where guests were invited to create a hair bow (or two or three – like sweet Ella did) for baby.

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And they surely blew us away with their talent and love.

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Instead of a guest “book,” we had guests add their fingerprint and name to a hot air balloon watercolor painting that can hang in baby’s nursery as a sweet reminder of all who shared in her special party.

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A simple game of “Guess the Baby Item  in the Bag” had guests brainstorming

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on what the heck starts with an “O” or “W” or “H”

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while munching on fruit from a hot air balloon fruit tray (which we forgot to get a picture of – 😦 – sorry Jen!) – but looked a lot like this inspiration from Pinterest, as well as Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sliders and Chicken Salad with dried cranberries and walnuts in miniature croissants, veggie pizza, and Strawberry Spinach Salad.

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and yep – we had that yummy Salted Caramel Apple Sangria too!

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My heart is surely overflowing!

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Balloons are now popped, and the house is back in order.  Grandma is still glowing, though, as we await the arrival of this already abundantly loved baby girl.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Thanks to BFF Jill for being event photographer for Grandma-to-be who was simply too overjoyed and excited to even think about snapping pics!  What would I do without you!?  ❤ 

Sign, Sign – Everywhere a Sign

enjoy the little things sign

My daughter-in-law, Colleen, has been on a roll making fun signs for our McKinneyX2Designs ETSY shop!

just roll with it sign

We are also feathering the nest preparing for

our nest sign

the joy of our little one’s arrival in a few months.

joy

And who is ready for Fall?  With pumpkins and hayrides…

pumpkins and hayrides sign

and time in the kitchen…

fresh baked pies

fresh milk sign

fresh eggs sign

or end of summer ice cream cone treats…

ice cream

and long, lingering bubble baths.

hot baths

I love all these sweet signs and wanted to share with you.

Always stay humble and kind sign

If you or anyone you know would enjoy any of these in their home or find them a great gift, be sure to check out our shop:  McKinneyX2Designs.

I also have some original watercolor artwork, as well as prints

pink abstract watercolor

and greeting cards.

flamingo cards

Happy Sunday!

Do something you love, and cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Rustic Barn Weddings

Gable farm Matted

Gable Farm in Watercolor – 10×14

It’s June, and wedding season is in full swing!

Rustic barn weddings have become very popular in our area.  As a matter of fact, our son and daughter-in-law had a barn wedding three years ago next month.   I had fun creating this watercolor version of Gable Farm, which was their wedding site and a place they have now turned into a venue for others to hold their weddings and receptions.

Colleen has been busy stocking our McKinneyx2Designs Etsy Shop with fun rustic wedding signs made from reclaimed pallet wood.  They are super reasonably priced from $10-14.

Wouldn’t these be great little accents for a rustic barn wedding?

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If you or someone you know is looking for rustic wedding signs, hope you will check out our ETSY shop.

We have lots of other great rustic home and nursery decor, as well as some of my watercolor art, prints and greeting cards.

Happy Wedding Season and Happy Weekend!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

What’s NEW at McKinneyX2Designs?

I’m excited to share some of the new things Colleen and I have been creating for our new Etsy shop!  We are having so much fun with this, and we are pleased to have had over 25 sales already in our first month!Mx2 logTo show our appreciation to our friends here at LifeinBetween, we want to offer a little gift to you.  If you refer someone to our shop who makes a purchase, we would like to thank them AND YOU with a free card of their and your choice. Each of you can choose one of any of the cards offered in our ETSY shop for FREE!  (Simply have your friend let us know when they order that they came here from LifeinBetween and mention your name.)

Have fun perusing the photo gallery of our newest Spring things.

You can visit our shop here:  McKinneyx2Designs on ETSY and follow us on Facebook and Instagram too if you like.

Happy Spring Thinking!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Pallet Love in the Dining Room

palet wine rack

My daughter-in-law, Colleen, and I are slightly obsessed with things you can make out of pallets.  I look at sites, pin things to Pinterest, oogle and swoon, but don’t seem to get around to ever doing anything about it.

So how surprised and excited was I when my son, Jake, and Colleen presented me with this beautiful handmade pallet wine rack for my birthday?!

I found a cozy little corner of the dining room to hang it and just love it.

wine rack corner

And if that wasn’t enough, I got a text from Jake the other day asking if I would like this pallet table he made for Colleen’s cookie exchange party (remember that amazing post?!).

Uh – let me think about it…..    YES!!!

palet table

So I found a home for it in another corner of the dining room.  I love that it gives me more room to display some fun collectibles and special antiques.

dining room

Our dining room is one of my favorite rooms.  (Charlie doesn’t mind hanging out there too when I’m nearby.)

Many a holiday meal have been eaten here. Countless party games have been played around this table.  Innumerable stories shared, gifts opened, wine drank, laughter echoed.

There are actually very few things we have purchased ourselves in this room, but many things that we have been gifted with, that are handmade, that have been passed down, and that are very special to me.

This cow creamer has a long history in hubby’s family with many happy and humorous memories.  (and I know my boys will never forget the year I filled it with questions on pieces of paper for “conversation starters” at the Thanksgiving table – I’ll never live that one down!)

creamer

Colleen knew just how to “butter me up” with this knife and butter dish!

butter knife

And I was so honored to receive this family heirloom cutter this past Christmas when I mentioned to Aunt Gwen that I would adore having something from my paternal Grandmother’s home.

antique cutter

 

antique tools

A very prized possession is this handmade heirloom Noah’s Ark set passed down to me from my sweet cousin, Joyce, and my dear Oh Rob.

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It sits atop the most beautiful “china closet” that was an old beat up, painted, book case hubby resurrected from a run-down barn that we had refinished and filled with hand-me-down Pfaltzgraff stoneware – also from Joyce and Rob – and full of happy memories.

Noahs ark

And as if they haven’t shared and given us enough, they continue to give and grow our collection, with this new pair of deer in honor of hubby’s big buck this year.

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And in memory of our sweet Mikey last year.

Mikey

Another miniature Noah’s Ark set was made by Great Uncle Carl and sits on a “dry sink” made by him too!  (The only thing missing is one of the sheep, which Charlie enjoyed during his early days in his new home with us.)

small noahs ark

Two different antique sewing machines sit in corners of this room,

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and a very cherished treasure box sits on the trundle of one.

treasure box

My BFF, Jill, gifted me with this beautiful memory box for my birthday this year.

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We have shared so many memories in this home for the past 15 years, as well as our home before this one.

And I know we will cherish many more in the years to come – no matter where the brick and mortar takes us.

treasure box contents

Because, as you can see, my home is not filled with extravagant, expensive, fancy furniture and decorations, but it is overflowing with cherished gifts and wonderful memories.

The thing I love most about this room – and my entire home – is the people I share it with.

Cherish the moments.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi