DIY PROJECT: POP OF COLOR FOR MAGAZINE RACK

I picked up this lovely wooden magazine rack for $3 at the local Salvation Army, hoping it would serve as a temporary end table next to my side of the reclining couch. The rack was in good shape, with the knobby end pieces needing to be tightened and the bottom shelf piece needing glue or nails to keep from sliding back and forth. When Charlie inspected my new purchase, he kindly offered to attach a piece of leftover wood to the bottom shelf for stabilization. I love my husband so much.

As soon as Charlie cut and nailed the extra piece of wood to the bottom of the magazine rack, I started priming it with some leftover yellow paint from the kitchen paint project. I was searching for ideas and inspiration on Pinterest about repainting the magazine rack when I briefly glanced at a picture tutorial of adding stickers to the side and painting over them for a textured look. Hmmmmm. I can do that!

Luckily, a packet of heart stickers were just lying around the kitchen counter because I hadn’t found a place for them in my completely unorganized workroom. Eight hearts in the package. Four hearts to each side. I think these stickers were meant for this project! Having the hearts simply run down the side was a simple but pretty design, and I didn’t waste time with a ruler — I just eyeballed the space between the hearts.

I’m really not looking for pure perfection with the sticker placement or my paint job for that matter. As long as the paint drips aren’t too big or outrageous, I’m totally cool with small imperfections. I found myself itching to work on the project during the evenings, which meant sitting in the basement with the box fan. Fortunately, the cats had no desire to help or bother me so I was safe for a few days.

I think I have a magazine rack addiction. After having lunch with a friend and her adorable 1-year-old kid a few weeks after picking up the first magazine rack, we ended up at the Salvation Army store and I nabbed TWO more wooden racks! The darker colored one was $3 — and I would’ve been cool with paying that — but it had a 50% off sticker. No internal debate was necessary. And I didn’t need to talk myself into buying the second rack for the full price of $3.

Was yellow too babyish? Too bright? Charlie suggested placing one of the magazine racks next to the couch and looking at it among the surrounding. My husband is a smart man. I followed his suggestion when the magazine rack was dry enough to handle, and I was pleasantly surprised how much I like the pop of yellow in the sea of rich brown decor. Satisfied yellow was the correct color choice, I continued to paint two of the three racks.

For now the first newly painted magazine rack sits beside my side of the couch and holds my laptop until I can find end tables that meet my high expectations. I’m really happy that I stuck with yellow because it pops next to the brown couch and matches the curtains. The rack is perfect for housing my laptop instead of leaving it on the couch’s armrest. One yellow magazine rack down two more to go.

The second wooden magazine rack was in good shape but it was a little rough around the edges — literally. Maybe whoever made it was aiming for a rustic look because some areas definitely needed sandpaper. After sanding some areas here and there, I simply gave the second magazine rack a few coats of yellow paint over the course of a few days. Now, it sits in one of the bathrooms holding extra rolls of toilet paper. And the third and final magazine rack? Well, that one deserves its own post. Stay tuned.

DIY PROJECT: SUPER EASY DOOR HANGER

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Painting Supplies

During a recent trip to a craft store, a small section of plain alphabet door hangers caught my eye. For $4, I bought the letter G (for my real last name), thinking I could quickly paint it between all the other paintings I’ve been obsessed with. I have a small collection of seasonal door hangers in a bin, but sometimes my laziness gets the better of me. Old, dirty, and damaged door hangers are tossed in the trash and either I’m too lazy to sift through my bin for another hanger or I become easily distracted by something shiny.

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Anyway, I thought an all-purpose non-seasonal door hanger should keep me lazy a little bit longer. With the paint I’ve been using on my canvas projects, I simply painted the G white a few times. If my front door wasn’t blue, I would have painted the letter blue with white dots. Simple but pretty. However, my door is painted blue, so I turned to Plan B — white background with multi-colored dots. Once the white paint was dry, I used the basic bright colors — red, blue, orange, yellow, purple, and green — for small dots.

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I honestly didn’t want to spend too much time and thought on the door hanger, but I still wanted something cute and fun. A white background and multi-colored dots definitely transformed the plain G into something cute and fun. Using an unsharpened pencil, I dipped the end (the non-eraser tip) into the paint and carefully dabbed it onto the letter, creating a very pretty and fun dot! If the pencil tip didn’t transfer enough paint to the surface, I simply filled in the half painted dot with a paint brush.

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The method was super easy. No rhyme or reason — I just covered the surface with dots. The beauty of this method is the dots don’t need to perfect because the bright colors make the door hanger just pop. I highly doubt passersby will closely inspect my handiwork and say, “Hey, those dots are irregular!” or “I see some mistakes.” As a whole and at a distance, the door hanger looks perfect to me and I absolutely love it! Plus, I don’t need to take it down until I feel motivated to hang up something more seasonal.

SPOTLIGHT: PINE NEEDLES QUILT AND SEW

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I love when quilt shops organize fabric bolts by color. So pretty. I cannot explain why I could just stand here and gaze at all the lovely colors. Yes, I know I’m weird. About a month ago, my sisters and I took a trip to Minnesota, and of course, we needed to shop. As Krissy and Becky headed to one store in a strip mall, I noticed a cute little quilt shop nearby and immediately decided to check it out.

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Pine Needles Quilt and Sew may be a small store but it is full of amazing items. The different machines — quilting, sewing, embroidery — look incredibly intimidating to me, and I am in awe of the beautiful work that can be produced. So many ideas and so little space and time.

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See! Just when I thought I had TOO much fabric stored in various places in my house, this adorable sign says I don’t have enough. Hmmmmm. If I don’t have enough fabric, then I need to buy more, right? I noticed numerous cute little sayings all over the store, but I think this one is my favorite.

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Hey, the small strip of multi-colored dotted fabric on this tote looks familiar! I picked up the fun colorful fabric as a table runner at a local consignment store. Some of the fabric has been used in a few refashions, but I still have a good amount left — somewhere. I wonder if I have enough left to make a cute spring-summer skirt …

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OK, how adorable are these bundle packs? So adorable and cute. First, I love the small size of the squares and pinking sheared edges. Two, I love the complementing fabric in the bundle. Three, I would LOVE to make a little blanket with the tiny squares but I know I don’t have the patience to deal with tiny little squares.

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Um, how gorgeous is this little clutch? Simply beautiful. Whoever designed and made it did a fabulous job, and I’m pretty envious of the talent and patience involved. A huge thank you to the staff at Pine Needles Quilt and Sew for allowing me to take photos and answering all of my questions. I had a wonderful time exploring the store.

Online Sewing Class

ONE OF MY HAPPY PLACES

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ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES: I absolutely adore the local fabric store from its selection of fabrics to sewing machines to the super friendly staff. I love wandering around and inspecting all the super cute fabric. How awesome are the fabric in the photo above? Perfect for a travel-themed quilt or quillow.

I immediately thought of my sister, Becky, who lives on a dairy farm when I spotted the dairy-themed fabric. If I was a millionaire I would have no problem spending it all at the store. Seriously. I could easily pick out a dozen bolts of fabric for so many different projects.

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Of course, I have to closely inspect a beautiful pillowcase on display. Piping! Who knew piping could be added to a pillowcase? I absolutely love the added element, making the pillowcase look more polished and professional. I need to remember to experiment with piping next time around.

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Ruffles! I never thought about a ruffled trim on a pillowcase! How cute is this ruffle on another pillowcase on display? The store inspires me every time I visit. Even if I’m too poor to spend a fortune, I still walk out with inspiration and whatever I can afford (usually something on clearance).

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I like the idea of owning a super fancy sewing machine, but I couldn’t justify spending a ridiculous amount of money for it. If I made a living creating beautiful and amazing quilts and quillows then maybe — maybe — I would be OK with spending a fortune on a sewing machine.

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How cute are the fabrics of foxes and zoo animals? Will someone please donate a million dollars to me so I can buy all the fabrics I’ve been keeping me eye on? I would spend the rest of my life sewing so many pretty things. OK, maybe not the rest of my life, but at least for a few years.

SQUEE! ONE DOLLAR PUZZLES!

DURING A RECENT TRIP TO A DOLLAR STORE, I FOUND A FANTASTIC SURPRISE.

DURING A RECENT TRIP TO A DOLLAR STORE, I FOUND A FANTASTIC SURPRISE — 500 PIECE PUZZLES! SCORE! WHY DIDN’T I VISIT A DOLLAR STORE BEFORE BUYING MY $20 KITTY PUZZLE?

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BECAUSE I SURPRISINGLY ENJOYED PIECING MY KITTY PUZZLE, I WANTED TO WORK ON MORE PUZZLES. $1 PUZZLES — I COULDN’T LOSE. NOT TO MENTION, THE PIECES WERE A LITTLE BIGGER.

BECAUSE I'M A LITTLE PICKY ABOUT THE PUZZLES I WORK ON, I SAT MY TUSHY ON THE FLOOR AND SORTED THROUGH THE WIDE SELECTION.

BECAUSE I’M A LITTLE PICKY ABOUT THE PUZZLES I WORK ON, I SAT MY TUSHY ON THE FLOOR AND SORTED THROUGH THE WIDE SELECTION. I LOOKED FOR FUN AND COLORFUL PICTURES.

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IN THE END, I PICKED OUT FOUR 500-PIECE PUZZLES — COLORFUL BALLOONS, BEAUTIFUL SAILBOATS, DELICIOUS ICE CREAM CONES, AND PRETTY CITYISH SCENE. I LOVE FINDING DOLLAR STORE SURPRISES.