Italy-inspired Vignette using Suitcase Makeover

Last year I made over this old curb-find suitcase. I haven't had a chance to show it off outside off this blog but the chance came this holiday season. As you can see, the picture on the left sports newly painted silver hardware. The picture below shows the hardware painted the same as the body. I like the bright difference of silver against the teal.

Our school had a Winter Extravaganza where each classroom was a different country. My room was Christmas in Italy. The suitcase was used as part of my set-up. The curriculum revolved around La Bafana, the Good Witch, who flies around on Christmas Eve looking for baby Jesus, dropping sweets and treats into stockings in case He was there.

But I couldn't just leave it at the craft alone, this is my dream country! A visit to Italy needed something more to add to the experience. A projector, sharpie, and butcher paper "built" the Tower of Pisa, which was giggled as the Tower of Pizza by several students.

The flag is made of…

2019 Crafty Goals

In no particular order:

* make a large farmhouse picnic table
* makeover the old gliding bench
* hang vintage ladder with additional lighting
* make custom-fitted picture ledges for the sitting room/office
* create a display area for kids' artwork
* reclaimed wood wall on the half-way in kitchen/den area
* organize craft room
* create dedicated space for kid's crafting area
* reupholster chair
* can I grow lemon trees?
* hang hammock chairs
* fix screws in the basement wall
* make more reclaimed wood stars
* make larger Christmas card holder
* make twine star garland
* try to create a smash book
* hide cords behind the TV
* learn to use the rotating saw in storage
* maybe replace the kitchen dining light fixture
* finish the quilt I started before Thanksgiving

Here's to 42% more likely to get these done this calendar year!

Top Posts of 2018

Top 5 Posts of 2018

This year the top most-visited posts are all over the map in style: woodwork, repurposing, and sewing. Six years ago I owned a hammer and some paintbrushes...and my skills have grown with each new tool. Maybe I'll experiment with welding next...I do have a drawer full of odd metal pieces! I'm half serious here. 
Anyways, on to the Top 5 in order of popularity.  
Number 1: Fence-Board Headboard
And it's still a favorite of mine! Looks just as fantastic in our new home as it did in our old home.

Number 2: Rotating Necklace Holder
If you are an avid necklace wearer than this isn't the best design since you have to clasp/un-clasp each necklace to get it on and off. But, for the occasional necklace user, like myself, this works well. Its prevented the dreaded necklace knot-ups from swimming around inside of a jew…

Flannel Cans

I've only had a Facebook account for a couple of years and I can't believe what a time sucker it can be if I don't set limits for myself! Any other guilty parties out there? Before FB, my guilty pleasure was Pinterest, but now its the crafting groups on FB, which is like Pinterest on speed. So.many.ideas!

During a trip into the FB black hole, I stumbled upon this video: diy-holiday-flannel-tin-cans and fell in LOVE! I'm usually not a flannel person but this idea had me jumping on the wagon. You can click on the link to watch the original DIY video or scroll thru my pics below.

I did not add real greenery but rather created my own permanent floral arrangements from repurposed material (an old faux evergreen wreath), real pinecones, and floral inserts from Dollar Tree.

Here is a slightly different version with a more neutral color scheme. 

The trio with blue in my favorite...I don't remember what I did with these pictured above. Maybe sold them at a craft fair? Anywa…

Tin Can Pumpkins

One of my favorite decorations to break out during October/November are these bright and happy tin can pumpkins. They've sat on tables, in mantel vignettes, and sometimes on the front porch. Originally they had twig stems until my five-year-old decided to pull the stems off two of the pumpkins because that's what boys do, pull things apart as they explore and learn through doing. And then he lost one of the stems which meant I had to find a replacement before I could fix them. I'm only pulling that glue gun out once. 
I don't have a post on how to make these, but Linda over at Mixed Creations provides a wonderful tutorial with pictures and a shopping list. 
He did receive a rather grouchy talk from me about not touching things that aren't his. I wasn't looking forward to hunting down another stick, cutting it, and then gluing it. BUT, then we went to the pumpkin patch. While picking out our pumpkins from the field I noticed several dried and cut pumpkin stems. …

Reclaimed Wood Accent Wall

Recently I learned how to create a GIF. I like learning new things. Without a challenge, I get bored. To practice my emerging gif-y skill (let's say its a thing) I thought I'd capture the process of putting together an accent wall that will eventually serve to corral the backpacks, jackets, gloves, and hats that come with this season of the year. 

The first weekend was spent measuring, cutting, and sanding the boards. Fortunately, I had most of the boards I needed and only had to scavenge up one pallet to create the height I wanted.

There was some creativity in filling in some odd spaces...but it works! 
The fence boards were whitewashed and the pallet boards were given a coat of Early American stain. The remainder of the boards were a hodge-podge collection with various widths and wood type. To create a cohesive look among them they were coated with an Espresso stain. 

The following weekend, I arranged the boards into a pattern. The dark boards acted as a "break" in…

Bench Refresh: mudroom to breakfast nook

I was bound and determined to love my new home "as is," especially after all the work it took to get our townhome ready to sell. We painted, pulled out old carpet (which is the most disgusting thing I have ever done!!!), and called so many handymen to help with odd projects that I just wanted to sit on the couch and binge watch something, anything, even if it was Octonauts (my youngest is four).

After moving in, I quickly discovered that my old stuff didn't quite fill the space of the new home, or fit in as well. A different floor plan changed the use of some items, like my mudroom bench. We simply have no use for it anywhere in our home. 
So we decided to use it at the kitchen table which is a more informal space now that we have a formal dining room. The bold turquoise design worked fabulous as an accent piece in our old home but just stood out like a sore thumb in our new space. The bench needed some work anyways. Too many winters as a sitting area for snowy/muddy boot…