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Pretty Handy Girl: November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November - Dejá Vu a Month in Review

As a courtesy to any of you busy people out there (What?! There are busy people at this time of year? REALLY?!), I have a wrap up of all the posts here at Pretty Handy Girl for this month.

Create Your Own Storage Bin


That pretty much wraps up all of November. I'm looking forward to December and all the projects I have to share with you. I hope you will join me.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Rustic Christmas Decorating

"SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN!" Cover your ears because a very tone deaf woman (myself) was belting out the Christmas songs this weekend. With Thanksgiving behind us, I released the restraints and broke out the Christmas décor. The kids are loving it and counting down the days until old St. Nick comes down our chimney!
Christmas Morning 2009 - Magic North Pole Snow Footprints (Baking Soda y'all!)

As I told you the other day, I wanted to create a rustic country theme this year in our living room. So, without anymore it is!
I spy with my own two eyes, a Pottery Barn Inspired Lantern from the Habitat ReStore!
I told you I had a plan for those old pool balls!
Do you think I achieved my goal? Rustic? Country?
Goal or not, I think I like it.
Although it took me four days of noodling to decide I have to let it be.
I can't tell you how long I've been looking for an affordable cake stand.
Thieve's market in Raleigh had THREE! Count them...1...2...3!
Of course I only bought one, so if you need one, head on over there.
Yeah, Baby! You know I couldn't pass up those rusty sleigh bells at SuzAnna's!
An old cheese grater (you can't see it but it has a candle inside.)
An old sports stop clock and one of two large acorn decorations.
I couldn't resist them, after all Raleigh IS the City of Oaks.
Another PB Inspired Lantern. Love these $5 finds!
Each year I try to think of a new and creative way to display all our holiday cards.
This year I put together two shutters to make a screen.
The tutorial is HERE!

That concludes the living room tour. If you aren't bored to death,
I'll show you a small vignette I have in our kitchen on top of the pie safe.
Isn't she adorable? That little angel found her way into my shopping bag at SuzAnna's.
I hope you all have a fabulous holiday season!
Now cover your ears again as I sing to Santa Baby (because I'm no Eartha Kitt!)


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Making a Decorative Barn Door

Today you can get a double dose of Pretty Handy Girl! I am sharing a tutorial on making your own ladder shelves over at Centsational Girl's blog. If you haven't met Kate (aka Centsational Girl) she is a powerhouse of creative ideas for decorating your house, refinishing furniture, and much much more! So hop over there and then back here for a one-two punch of DIY!
When Miss Mustard Seed and I were junkin' on Black Friday, she asked what I was looking for. I immediately answered rustic, rusty, and anything that looks aged and has a story to tell. I am so wacky like that, I could care less how well something is made or if it is an expensive antique. When I die, my kids are going to be sadly disappointed that all these antiques I've collected over the years aren't worth a dime. C'est la vie, right?
So, this year for our Christmas décor, I decided to create a natural rustic country inspired theme. What better way to invoke that spirit than with an old barn door. The only problem was that I didn't own one. No problem, I'd just make one!

Plywood board - painted or stained red
3 - 1" x 4" boards - painted or stained red
Nails or screws
Wood glue
D-ring picture hangers
Picture Wire
optional: Rusty door parts

In my "I can't throw anything away scrap pile" I took some old plywood scraps that had been stained with red stain.

You will need to measured the space above your mantle, subtract a few inches from the top and bottom, then cut the plywood down to size (using a circular saw or table saw.)
Lay two 1" x 4" strips of plywood as cross pieces.
And one 1" x 4" piece at an angle. Draw a line where the horizontal pieces intersected with the diagonal piece.
Use a miter saw, circular saw or jig saw* to cut the angled cuts.
Liberally appy glue to the back of the 1"x4" strips to secure them to the plywood base and then nail some finish nails into the strips to secure them. You can use a pneumatic nailer* if you have one, but screws or regular nails hammered in will work just as well! No need to buy any new tools for this project.
Hopefully you have a nail or hook already installed on your fireplace. Luckily I did, but in the past I have also just leaned artwork against the brick. So, if you choose to lean, ignore the next few steps.

Measure the location of the hook on your mantle. For example, if the hook is 20 inches from the ceiling, and you want your barn door's top to hang 12 inches from the ceiling, then you will need to install the hooks 9 inches down from the top of the barn door. This will allow an inch for the wire to slack. Get out your D shaped picture hooks and screw them to the back of your barn door using a cordless drill* or just a screw driver and some muscles. Repeat on the opposite side.

Feed some metal picture wire through one D ring. Twist once...
...then feed the wire back through the D ring and twist the rest of the wire tightly against itself.
Pull the wire taught and repeat on the opposite side.

This is the best way to attach picture wire so it doesn't slip. If you are hanging something super heavy, you might need to loop the wire back through the D rings a few more times.

If you have some old gate handles, hinges, or latches, attach them to your door. I screwed this old RUSTY gate lock to the top of my barn door. It makes a convenient hanger for... Christmas wreath!
That's all I'm going to show you of our mantle.
On Tuesday Layla at The Lettered Cottage is hosting a holiday mantle display party. Until then, I better get crackin' and finish decorating.

*If you are wondering why I seem a little heavy on the power tool mentions in this post, that is thanks to Ann (aka Nutbird), she really wants to know what is in my toolbox. If you are interested, click on the link at the top of my blog labeled My Toolbox. Those are the essential tools I recommend. In addition to the ones listed on that page, I do own:
  • a 10" Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (I just love saying that out loud!)
  • a Router
  • a Pneumatic Trim Nailer and Stapler
  • a Table Saw
  • a Band Saw
  • a Scroll Saw (which I still have not used yet)
...and for Christmas I'm going to whisper in Santa's ear and ask for a Dremel 8000 this year. Do you think I deserve it? Have I been good? If you see him, please put in a good word for Pretty Handy Girl ;-).

Sharing this project at these FABULOUS link parties:

Copy Me Challenge

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Spent Black Friday with Miss Mustard Seed

What better way to spend Black Friday than with a kindred spirit? This creative genius; thrift and antique loving blogger was so much fun to hang out with today.
Her name is Marian, but you may know her as the fabulous Miss Mustard Seed. If you haven't been to her blog, you have been deprived! She has the best tutorials for furniture refinishing and her photos are pure mouth-watering candy for the eyes.

When I heard she was in Raleigh for Thanksgiving I asked her if she would like to meet. Little did I know that we would spend the day together along with her sweet mother and mother-in-law.

We had a fun morning wandering through SuzAnna's Antiques in north Raleigh. I'm embarrassed to say that I've lived here for 10 years and never knew about this spot. The owner, Jenny assured me that they've only been open a few years, but I will be sure to stop back by her place someday soon.
So, here is what we enjoyed feasting our eyes on:
Can't you just see a family of bluebirds moving into this bird hotel?
John Deer Birdhouse
You could definitely re-create this by using Mod Podge and some color copies.
Then be sure to charge $39!
His and Hers Birdhouses
Okay, I admit it, I have a serious addiction to birdhouses, but you already knew that, right?
Chippy Green Porch Swing
Old Stove
This trough full of rusty treasures made me think of Donna at Funky Junk Interiors.
Loads of Shabby Chic Beauties
Crisp clean white plates on a white washed wall.
This is so easy to achieve, and yet the impact of all these white buttons in a jar is stunning.
If kisses were snowflakes, I'd send you a blizzard.
I am such a snow-lovin' southerner (yes, I realize that I'm in the minority!)
You see that cute little angel? Well, she's not there anymore, she's in my home now!
While we're at it, don't even drool over those Christmas colored pool balls,
because, they are MINE!
I bought them and am trying to incorporate them into my Christmas mantle décor.
I'll give you just a quickie sneak peek at it.
I built a mini barn door out of wood scraps I had lying around. As usual, the tutorial will come shortly. And then made this wreath using paper stars that I learned how to make here.
Today was a real treat for me, I don't normally get to hang around with famous bloggers.
A few things I learned about Marian (aka Miss Mustard Seed):

  1. She likes Panera's home style macaroni and cheese.
  2. She IS as sweet as she seems on her blog.
  3. If she has any spare time (which she rarely does) she will veg out in front of Survivor. 
  4. Show her some vintage scales or ironstone and she is sure to buy them. 
  5. She has no problem parting with the furniture and treasures she finds. I, on the other hand, can't bear part with mine.
  6. She will be attending Blissdom 2011 in Nashville, TN (which makes me happy – because, so am I and I can't wait to see her again!)
One more visual from SuzAnna's before signing off.