Full Length Mirror

I am back! This summer has been crazy busy for our family. Lots of visitors, major surgery that had me in bed or on the couch for weeks (all went well) , and then returning to work, kids going  back to school etc. Because of this I did not get many projects done, though I did get a few started!

One of the things on my wish list for the master bedroom was a full length mirror. This spring I found this mirror at our church garage sale for $35.  It is not quite full length, but placed across from the closet door I am able to stand back in the closet for a good view.

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The frame is nice and solid, with a lot of carved details. So now I am trying to decide what color to paint it. Originally I was thinking black to make it stand out more, or the trim color so that it does not stand out as much.  My husband actually likes the gold, but there are a few nicks that needed to be filled in, and we do not have any other gold/ brass items in this room.

Please ignore the messy closet you see in the reflection. That is on the To Do list as well..

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So what color should I paint the frame of this mirror? Black, white or a bright pop with an accent color? Of course, that would require me deciding on the color scheme first…

Gallery Wall for the Guest Room

I have made a little bit of progress in the guest room and have the gallery wall started. I say started because the plan is for this to be an evolving gallery wall with photos from vacations/ traveling.

Here is the before, more can be seen of the guest room in this post.

Future gallery wall - www.lifeonbirchst.com

Future gallery wall – www.lifeonbirchst.com

And this is what it looks like today.

Guest Room Gallery Wall - During

Guest Room Gallery Wall – During from www.lifeonbirchst.com

This wall still needs some work. The wedding pic will be replaced.. it was already in the frame!  I want a 3D non-photo item for the small rectangular empty spot.

I would like to say that the unbalanced layout was intentional to allow for the addition of future pics, however I had a long rectangular frame with 3 photos in that spot that I hung with 3M strips. I apparently did not put them on correctly as an hour later it crashed to the floor breaking the frame. When I found it I started digging through my frame stash for a replacement, but decided that I actually liked it like this!

This post is linked to:

Metamorphosis Monday
Inspire me Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Inspire me Tuesday

Guest Room

When we built this house, we added an additional bedroom above the third car garage. Initially it was going to be my office, but when we built the loft we decided to move my office up there and use the extra bedroom as a guest room.  For months the room looked like this:

Guest Room - View from the Loft - www.lifeonbirchst.com

Guest Room – View from the Loft – www.lifeonbirchst.com

Right now, after the addition of a new queen sized bed and some furniture that was in Eric’s room as a kid the room looks like this:

Guest Room - View from the Loft - www.lifeonbirchst.com

Guest Room – View from the Loft – www.lifeonbirchst.com

When I bought the bedding,  an inexpensive bed in the bag set from Wal-Mart, I was not expecting to use this furniture. But since it was free, and in excellent shape, we are using it. However my husband will not let me paint it as it is an Ethan Allen set and great quality. Since we do not have the money to have it professionally re-stained, we are leaving it as it is for now.

Guest Room "during" from www.lifeonbirchst.com

Guest Room “during” from www.lifeonbirchst.com

So now my problem is trying to tie this 80′s furniture into our more contemporary room. The bedding is easy enough to change, though it was purchased to match my drum shade on the pendant which would be more difficult to change. Plus there is the glossy black ladder and railing in the loft. We also need to figure out a headboard for the room and art for above it. I have a couple of ideas for the art, but still no headboard. The headboard that went with the set is only a twin.

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End table/ desk from www.lifeonbirchst.com

I also need to figure out a lamp for the end table/ desk. The lamps were also from my mother-in-laws house when she passed away. Of course neither are the right size for this spot. So that is something else that I need to figure out. I like the crystal and brass, and may try to find a similar lamp.

Future gallery wall - www.lifeonbirchst.com

Future gallery wall – www.lifeonbirchst.com

My idea to tie the more contemporary with the traditional is to put up a gallery wall on the large wall across from the bed. My hope is that if I add a mix of wood, painted and metallic frames on this wall it would make the room feel more collected and eclectic, and less hand me down. The plan is to have travel pics from vacations on the wall.

I still plan on changing the bedding, preferably to a classic white set with a mix of pillows. Of course Eric does not like the white bedding idea as we do have 4 pets, and the black cat already thinks that it is her bed, but I still think it would help tie in the different finishes/ styles that are in this room.

This post is linked to:

Metamorphosis Monday
Inspire me Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Inspire me Tuesday
The Scoop
Wow Us Wednesdays

 

Personalized Gift

I was browsing Etsy a few months ago and came across the best idea for a personalized gift for my husband. A cutting board personalized with a recipe that was given to me by my mother in law. The Etsy shop is Girl With a Laser and she is a fellow Kansan.

Bar counter at www.lifeonbirchst.com

Bar counter at www.lifeonbirchst.com

She passed away in 2004, but we continue to celebrate her birthday with the traditional family Butterball Soup recipe. I intended on using that recipe for the cutting board, but my copy is not in her handwriting, and my sister in law’s copy was written on a pink card in red ink. So I dug through my recipes and found this one of her Lasagne. With exception of the note on the bottom card, this one was in her handwriting, and it is a recipe that we still make a couple of times a year.

Lasagne Recipe from www.lifeonbirchst.com

Lasagne Recipe from www.lifeonbirchst.com

I scanned the recipe in, and spent over an hour cleaning the image up in Photoshop Elements. It should not have taken me so long, but it had been quite a while since i had used Photoshop now that I use Lightroom for most of my photo editing. Tammy offers these services for an additional fee, but since i had the software I decided to save some $ and do it myself. And this is the result. A beautiful personalized gift, in the handwriting of a loved one. I ended up ordering one for my sister in law as well and gave it to her when we celebrated my Mother in law’s birthday.

Personalized Gift / Cutting board at www.lifeonbirchst.com

Personalized Gift / Cutting board at www.lifeonbirchst.com

I am so pleased with the results, and my husband and sister in law loved them. Here is a close up of the laser etching.

Personalized cutting board at www.lifeonbirchst.com

Personalized cutting board at www.lifeonbirchst.com

If you are looking for a personalized gift idea, check out the Etsy shop, Girl with a Laser 

 

This post is linked to:

The Scoop
Wow Us Wednesdays
Before and After Wednesday
Thursday Style

The linen closet

We have a large “linen closet” in the hallway between the master bedroom and guest room doorways. It is actually the length of our walk in closet in the Master. See the double bi-fold doors to the right? (Yes, the handle is missing off one of them. The joys of children who hang on handles.. one of these days it will be put back on. Just keeping it real!)

Hallway at www.lifeonbirchst.com

Hallway at www.lifeonbirchst.com

Well, that closet became a dumping ground for things that did not have a home during the move.  It is really hard to get a well lit photo due to the placement of the closet, but here is a small glimpse of the mess.  Cookbooks, kids toys, board games, lightbulbs, art supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, and yes, even some linens. It is a linen closet after all!

Linen closet before

Linen closet before

 

As part of my failed 40 bags in 40 days effort i cleaned out the closet. I think that I ended up with 4 boxes of trash/ donations that came out of that closet. The kids even helped and went through their toy bins, resorted everything and added some items to the donation boxes.

A couple of hours later the linen closet looked like this:

Linen closet after at lifeonbirchst.com

Linen closet after at lifeonbirchst.com

Linen closet after at lifeonbirchst.com

Linen closet after at lifeonbirchst.com

I love all of the empty space we have now!  The kids have a place for most of their toys (there are still some in their bedroom of course) and we can actually find the cookbook that we are looking for!

Linking up to:

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Thursday Style

Adding a window pane

In our family room we have a large fireplace, with a very wide mantle, but there is not much height above the mantle for large pieces of art, mirrors etc.  (and yes.. the little potted evergreen trees are leftover form the Christmas decor. I just unplugged them!)

Mantle before at www.lifeonbirchst.com

Mantle before at www.lifeonbirchst.com

A couple of years ago I was at my Father-in-law’s house and mentioned looking for an old window pane to hang above the tub in the bathroom (in the old house, there was no window in the bathroom) and his girlfriend mentioned having some in the garage from when they replaced the windows of the house. I went home with 3 of them that day for free instead of the $10- $40 that I had seen when I was looking for them.

Last weekend I was sitting on the couch, looking up at the mantle trying to figure out what I could use to fill the space more without costing a lot of $. Then I remembered the window pane. I grabbed one from my craft room and leaned it against the wall above the mantle and it was the perfect scale!  I really like the wood of the frame and how it warms up the space, and also ties in the wood of the antler mount hung next to the fireplace.

Mantle "during" at www.lifeonbirchst.com

Mantle “during” at www.lifeonbirchst.com

I am not calling this an “after” shot as I want to change out the art and accessories, but for a free update that makes a big impact on that large white mantle, I love it. I still have 2 more window panes, one the same size as the one on the mantle, and one that is a little larger. Trying to figure out how I will use them to add more character to our new construction home.

Now I need to figure out the art for over the couch, find/ make some throw pillows, get the coffee table to my super talented little sister Amanda for a makeover that we have planned (so excited about it!) , finish staging the built in shelves, find some reasonably priced quilts for the basket (to be used around the firepit) and then maybe I can share the entire family room!

Here is a before picture that shows the built -ins and fireplace.

Family room before from www.lifeonbirchst.com

And one last picture of the fireplace as it looked after Santa arrived this past Christmas.

Fireplace at Christmas 2013 from www.lifeonbirchst.com

This post is linked to the following linky parties:

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Inspire me Tuesday
The Scoop
Wow Us Wednesdays
Before and After Wednesday
Thursday Style

I made pillows!

I actually made pillows this week… wow! I have had a sewing machine for years, and have used it more on scrapbook pages than on fabric. I found these super cute cloth napkins at TJ Maxx a few months ago and thought that they would make the perfect pillows for my living room.

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Of course they stayed in my craft room for a couple of months before I finally got motivated to actually sew them.  So a couple of weeks ago I finally broke out the sewing machine and pulled out the napkins.

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Getting ready to sew at lifeonbirchst.com

Of course I was all motivated to go when I decided that I should probably wash and iron the napkins first.

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Ready to wash and iron at lifeonbirchst.com

So into the wash they went, and then I brought them downstairs to the craft room and started sewing. Surprisingly enough I did a pretty decent job and kept the stitch lines pretty straight.  As long as you do not look too closely that is ;)

I was all ready to stuff the pillows, using a couple of old bedroom pillows that I had saved for this purpose. Of course once I opened the pillows up I realized that the stuffing was not going to work. And since my closest craft store is over 40 minutes away I decided to log into Amazon and ordered this. I love Amazon Prime!

A week later I finally finished my pillows!

New pillows from lifeonbirchst.com

New pillows from lifeonbirchst.com

Of course Eric still has not noticed them, but Megan noticed them as soon as she came into the room and told me that she loved them!

I am so proud of myself.. I made pillows!

I made pillows! at Lifeonbirchst.com

I made pillows! at Lifeonbirchst.com

 

Metamorphosis Monday
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Before and After Wednesday
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Sunburst Mirror Redo

My sister gave me this great sunburst mirror for my birthday a few years ago. I really liked the shape, but did not like the colored plastic gemstones so the mirror lived in the closet of my craft room for years.

Sunburst Mirror from Lifeonbirchst.com

Sunburst Mirror from Lifeonbirchst.com

After we moved I decided to pop off the colored “gems” and replace them with mirrors. I promptly ordered the mirrors and they sat in my craft room for a few more months before I finally got around to popping the rest of the gems out and gluing in the mirrors.

Before I share the after of the mirror I need to share the spot where it is now hanging, well the before of it that is. Currently there is an old bookcase at the top of the stairs being used as an entry table. I would love to get a dresser to use here instead as we need a place to store the dog leashes and other pet related items, preferably hidden.

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And here is the after, decorated for spring!

Sunburst Mirror from Lifeonbirchst.com

Sunburst Mirror from Lifeonbirchst.com

Yes, I still need to iron the tablecloth but this little table now looks so much better!

On the table I placed a little bunny Easter tree and a sweet picture of my Mom and Aunts on Easter when they were girls

Easter decor at Lifeonbirchst.com

Easter decor at Lifeonbirchst.com

And a framed Easter subway print that I found on Pinterest from Eighteen25 and a sweet little bunny from Hobby Lobby that i spray painted white.

Easter subway art from Eighteen25.com

Easter subway art from Eighteen25.com

 

Linking up to:

Metamorphosis Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Inspire me Monday
Tweak it Tuesday
Inspire me Tuesday
The Scoop
Wow Us Wednesdays
Thursday Style

Pinspired Firepit Art

When browsing on Pinterest one day I saw this sign

Super cute, but I wanted one for our firepit area! I showed my sister one day and she said that she could make one!

Fast forward a couple of weeks and Amanda and Billy come over to hang out around the firepit and they bring this with them…

Firepit Art at Lifeonbirchst.com

Firepit Art at Lifeonbirchst.com

Amazing right? And so much better than the original in my opinion! The only thing that is left is to have Billy put in some keyhole hangars so that we can hang it up outside without drilling through the prettiness on the front. Luckily he has the perfect bit since we bought one when he helped Eric build the shelves for the Map Wall

Check out the tutorial on my talented sister Amanda’s blog for more information on how she created this amazing firepit art for me. While she has mostly cards on her blog, take a few minutes to browse through her project galleries for the other Home Decor items that she has made.

Linking up to:

Metamorphosis Monday
WOW Us Wednesdays
The Scoop
Inspire Me Please
This n That Thursday
Thirsty Thursday
Thursday Style
DIY Sunday Showcase

Lighted Birdcage

Christmas Lighted birdcage from Lifeonbirchst.com

Christmas Lighted birdcage from Lifeonbirchst.com

When I was decorating for Christmas this past winter I had the idea to put some Ornaments and Christmas Lights into this birdcage that I had. I loved how it turned out and have had this lighted birdcage up on top of the entertainment center in the living room since just after Thanksgiving. I really liked having the light up there but knew that I needed to put the ornaments away. I had the idea to make a more neutral lighted birdcage using wicker spheres, but of course it took me a few months to find some at a reasonable cost!

I finally found these at Wal-Mart last week for under $10 each, though they only had one package of the neutral ones.

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So I set the red ones aside for future use and put all of the neutral ones in the birdcage. I was concerned about the heat of the Christmas lights, but checked them regularly and they did not feel hot at all. Just in case I also added a timer this time so that the lights are only on in the evening.

Neutral Lighted Birdcage from Lifeonbirchst.com

Neutral Lighted Birdcage from Lifeonbirchst.com

I really love this transformation, and can now keep my lighted birdcage up all year! Of course this is not where it will live permanently. We are using a rustic armoire style entertainment center given to us by some good friends. While we love it, it is very deep, meant for an older style TV. This means that there is a lot of real estate on the top to fill. You can see the top of the entertainment center from the landing and hallway since the living room is recessed (the photos above were taken standing on the landing) which means that the decor up there needs to look good from both the living room and the upper level!

I am on a mission to collect a bunch of globes to put on top of the entertainment center, to include a lighted one so that I still have a light up there! I am hoping that I am able to find some once garage sale season starts here in a few weeks.

Linking To:
Metamorphosis Monday
WOW Us Wednesdays
The Scoop
Inspire Me Please
This n That Thursday
Thirsty Thursday
Thursday Style