I Did Something Rather Bold to the Brick on our Home

I have always loved smeared brick. I have always not  loved the herringbone brick on the front of our home.  I love herringbone pattern but I think that the mortar joint between the bricks is way to thick. It bugs me!!  I have tried to figure out how to smear the brick but did not want to paint it and then have it sandblasted off. So, I had a “what the heck” moment last weekend and decided to mix up some of my white cement with sand that I used in this post and randomly apply it to the bricks on the front of our home. My reasoning was that if I did not like it the worst that could happen  would be that I would have to scrub it back off.

I did not think to take a picture before I started – so this photo shows half of it done and half not done.

Here is a close up – you can tell that the mortar joints are a tad to large.

I am happy with the results. The freaky thing is that for the next 3 nights we had rain storms and I knew I would wake up to all of it washed off – but it has stayed on. After a couple of weeks I will need to seal it.


How I did it:

I mixed 1/2 cup white cement ( has to be white!!) with 1 cup sand. Slowly added 1/2 cup water until I got a consistency that I would stick to a yucky paint brush. I started applying the mixture from the mortar in. I changed up my application with each brick so that it would be random.

It will dry rather quick. When it got  dry and chalky I would literally take my hand and rub off some of the cement – especially where brush strokes appeared.

Thanks for visiting!!



Demo & Dust on Delaware – How We Aged Brick

This is a before photo of our kitchen.

 Then it ended up looking like this when the walls were torn down and opened up.

This is opposite wall of the kitchen –   not to confuse you but the fireplace you are looking at used to be full brick and at one point they covered it with the concrete formed facade. It would be very difficult to take down. My plan for today is to have it fauxed to look like cast stone and then patina the copper – however than plan could be changed.

Here’s the dilemma………….someone in the past sealed the brick! Then added to that 45 years of the heat from cooking that just made the brick even harder.

Not even after 2 cans of Kleen Strip Stripper it still did’t have the look I was after – but at least all gunk and sheen came off.

A tad better but still not what I want.

This is my inspiration photo and the look I am after.

SO – I now have a lady brick mason!!! She is awesome and came to my rescue!! We started off with one part sifted cement to two parts sand.

…….and we started painting it on

…….and then we started taking a scrub brush and taking off what we did not want – and it was too gray for what I wanted. So now plan B is to use white cement using the same ratio.

Looking more like my inspiration photo which is like “smeared” brick.

It was a bit of trial and error – but I “think” I have the look I want. I will need to seal it in a couple of weeks while the cement is hardening and curing.

Try to imagine cabinets on either side and I am also getting a Wolf range with 2 ovens and 6 burners. I know I should get the traditional red knobs but I am going with the safe black.

Now we are ready for the painter to get started. It has taken forever to get the new dry wall sanded to perfection. More on that in another post.

Thanks for visiting!


DIY – Bead Board Doors

Our home is a fixer upper! And we are taking one project at a time. We have these double doors on the outside of our home off our deck and they were “de-laminating”. Not sure I have ever said the word “de-laminating” before……..much less typed it. De-laminating or not they were basically ugly! I knew the look I wanted for these doors but geez they were a bit  pricey. Especially when you buy two of them. I wanted it to look like there was a wine cellar behind these doors. My own fantasy wine cellar!!

Here is what a “de-laminating” door looks like. See those lines?? Yuckers!! And aren’t the door knobs lovely??? They were pitted and crusty. These doors have zero character! They were just so “blah”!

Actually our furnace and hot water tank are behind those doors. Very common in our neck of the woods.

So here’s the plan………..apply bead board on top of the existing doors.

Using our trusty level we applied lots of liquid nail plus small trim nails. We wanted to make sure that no water could get behind the beadboard we were applying.

With the addition of every board the level was used again and again and again!


We continued across with the bead board. We also took off those nasty door knobs. Then we applied several coats of our house paint. It already looks better and there isn’t even hardware yet!

Now the good part……..the hardware.

I searched high and low for “dummy hinges” as they’re called.  I needed 6 total – 3 for each side.  I finally found a great web site whose prices were fair and not crazy expensive. Plus they mailed them to me super fast.

source: Wild West Hardware. com

Decorative Dummy Hinge
Decorative Strap Hinges
Unique Aged Pitted look
Cast Iron (approx. 1/4″ thick)
14″ long x 3 3/4″ at widest point
Black Powder Coat Finish
Complete with mounting screws

$18.95 ea.

I was pretty pumped because the ones I was finding were any where from 70-80 buckeroos!! Too much for me!!

I did want to age these a bit………. took some of our house paint and watered it down and painted it on and then wiped it off.

These handles I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I did the same thing to them. They were rust colored and not the look I wanted.







Looks better, huh!!!  Don’t you think it looks like there could be a wine cellar behind these doors??

One project we can cross off our list!!

Christmas Interrupted to Paint the Front Door

We have lived in this house for about 18 months now and I have even shocked myself that I have lived with orange front door. Yes, I said orange -gasp. There is not one color for Christmas that goes well with orange – well, I guess silver and orange looks great.  SO, at 3:30 pm on Wednesday I got a wild hair and painted the front doors!!  Even the wallpaper is orange and the dining room is also!

I was in the mood to paint right then – not later! So I headed to our collection of paint and found the sample can of paint that we will paint the exterior with.

They are double doors with storm doors ………… not a fan of storm doors. Both the doors and the storm doors will go away when we get a new single front door.

Then I mixed up some mocha color glaze with some of my paint I had on hand. I knew that door was getting a paint job – but after that I really wasn’t sure what would happen after the first coat of paint!

Now I need to soften the brush strokes with steel wool.

It now looks like weathered wood but I think it need a very thin black glaze on it.

Now I can put up wreaths on our front doors – the orange is gone!!!!






One thing leads to another!

In trying to get my guest rooms all spiffed up, I decided maybe I should paint the closet also. I thought “oh! it’s just a closet , not that big, it won’t take me that long” etc, etc. Of course you’ve got to take the stuff out, then paint it, then clean up the paint mess , then put everything back!  Once I had everything back in I ran across a painted wallpaper tutorial on that darling Emily’s blog.  When I saw her tutorial I thought “hmmm, that is pretty cool, where could I do that?” I tried to talk myself out of it – but my mind just would not let go of how cool the closet would be!

Just getting started! Oh dear me – this is a bigger project than I thought it would be.

Making progress! Seriously………………what was I thinking? Although I do like how it looks, I still have about 90% more of those little do-dahs to paint.

Ok – I must be a glutton for punishment. But no turning back now!!

Ta-Dah!!!!  I know that that blues in these 2 photos don’t actually match but the bottom picture represents the color best which is Comfort Gray by Sherwin Williams. Comfort Gary actually looks like a green on the paint chip – and blue on the walls!

Guest Room Lamps

I am doing several posts regarding guest rooms.  This one has to do with the lamps I used in one of my guest rooms.  If you remember from my last post these are the lamps.



I actually found these lamps sitting on a driveway at a garage sale. They cost me a total of $5.00!  Hey – what could I lose?? Do  they not just take your breath away they’re so gorgeous??



I told the gentleman I really didn’t want the shades – and he was a bit shocked! So I left with the shades because I did not want to hurt his feelings. I did rack my brain about how I could get all creative with them  and could not come up with anything earth shattering – so they ended up in the trash.

I  went to my little paint container and took out whites, cream and gray paints. I would paint one layer and rub it off – then do it with the next color.


Keep adding paint and rubbing it off.



This was my desired look. Paint is so forgiving – if you are not liking an application you can always add another coat.





I used some shades I had on other lamps that won’t be used in this house and added a tassel that I had also. Total cost for these lamps was $5.00 – well plus the paint I already had on hand.

I hope you like these lamps and will be on the outlook for some that you can just spiff up!!

More on Monograms

Here is another monogram project I did for outside. I used the same technique as in my last post, but this time I used some leftover Sunbrella fabric I had. I saw these Pottery Barn pillows when they went on sale this summer and loved the red and green colors – and realized I had some fabric to coordinate!! Always exciting to use up leftover fabric. It seems you’re doing it for free!!





Monograms – “All by Yourself”

I am addicted to monograms! Always have been – always will be! I have always thought they were wonderful! Even when my boys were young I loved doing monograms for them. I had some of their outfits professionally monogrammed with their names but it was expensive and a true sacrifice!! I had to figure out another way to do it on the cheap. I would find some cool fabric, trace their names out and then use zig zag stitch on my sewing machine. I did sweatshirts, pillows & beach towels. I would look at designs in their coloring books and use a picture as a template and use that as a template. Yep! Still have that obsession with monograms. Let’s just say I am a bit more refined with them now!

Now that we are truly in the computer age – I can still do monogramming “all by myself”! Check out this funky chair that I did my initials on!

This is a cathedral chair. The oval back is perfect for a monogram.

Create your monogram in Word using “word art”. I used the Harrington font for this project.  I put the initial of my last name in the center, my first name initial to the left and my maiden name initial to the left.


Cut your initials out.


Now we need to cut out the fabric you are going to use for your monogram.


This is Wonder Under which you can buy at Jo-Ann Fabrics. It is like stitch witchery but with the use of your iron it will fuse on both sides of your fabric. Make sure to read the instructions. It is really easier to use if your fabric does not have a wrong side.

Fuse the fabric with your iron.



Cut out your monogram


Iron or fuse to your fabric. I used a drop cloth for my fabric – and a linen fabric for my  monogram.  At this point you could stop and not applique stitch your monogram to the fabric – the Wonder Under fuses the fabric very tight – but I wanted it to look more like a professional monogram.




Staple and trim fabric.


Now we are ready to add trim to hide the staples.



Apply your trim. I got mine at Hobby Lobby – I think it was $.97 a yard. Cheap!! I did use a hot glue gun but that was a mistake. Although hot glue guns are great tools – they are not for all projects. I should of used a fabric glue.





A little bit of whimsy for our guest room!

Gift Giving – it’s all in the presentation!!

Hmmmmmmm – what do you give a friend who has everything?? Or what do you give a friend that goes to Starbucks at least once a day??  I even have friends who go to Sonic once a day. Oh wait! That would include myself also!! Large diet DP with lime.   It is yummy and refreshing!! So, what do you give em?? A gift card!

But a gift card by its self is boring, especially if you put it in the envelope they provide……………..but you give them a gift card that is all spiffed up that is a different thing! Show them you love em by the presentation!!

Lets get started!!

I used this bright pink paper. But I have done the same thing with a guy and just used a more manly papers!


Now lets fold it and tape it.


Now we need to start spiffing it up……………….I just gathered up what was in my supplies.


Take some of your flowers and attach with brads.



Tuck a strip of tulle under your flower. Add another flower – and some more tulle – just keep going until you like what you see.



Now it is the time to create the fold marks at the ends of our envelope.



Take a small saucer and place it at the right and left edges of your paper. While firmly holding down the saucer, take your scoring tool and press down hard while tracing back and forth. Turn your paper over and do the same on both sides of the paper and at both ends.



Hope you can see the scoring on the paper.  Now you can fold the ends into each other so your envelope can be sealed.



Take your gift card and wrap it up in pretty tissue.  Then I used double sided tape so that it will not show!!  Now its time to add some pretty ribbon.

I am always picking thru the $1 bin at Michaels that is full of ribbon. I have no idea what-so-ever what I will use the ribbon for at the time – but I just can not resist all that ribbon!!

Ta-dah!!! I hope my little friend likes her gift!!