Succulents are my cup of tea – did I just say that? That is such a mum thing to say, isn’t it? Oh well, I am a mum – arguably one that might need to get out a bit more in order to stop saying things like that. I will work on that.
I love having photos of the family around the house. They are everywhere. In the kitchen, the hall, the bedrooms, the sitting room…
Photos are memories. Of course, we have all those memories stored somewhere at the back of our head but we are often too busy to be able to access them. Photos remind us of those memories, those silly moments, the family moments, different places, the fun we had on holidays, how the kids were so small at one point… As cheesy as it sounds (and it is going to sound cheesy) photos warm my heart.
For the sitting room, I knew I wanted to make a statement display with loads of photos. I was really inspired by Ashley’s one from TheHandMadeHome but it had to be smaller as my sitting room is not as big (or bright, or lovely, or have her couch, or…) as hers.
I knew I didn’t want a permanent fixture on my sitting room so it had to be a frame that could be moved, but where to find a frame so big without having to give up one of my organs at check-out? I had to think outside the box.
One day, I was walking around a furniture shop dreaming of a new kitchen when the light bulb when on!!! I could get a kitchen door glass cabinet as a frame! (like this one, or this one). It is always worth checking out the second-hand kitchen shops for these kind of items. As well as having second-hand kitchen furniture they also tend to buy the remains of stock from big companies or builders so you can get brand new kitchen counters, fab sinks and other bits and pieces for half the price. It is in my local shop that I found my one for only €10!! I think I danced in the shop!!
I wanted square photos but not too small so I decided to print the photos in 8×6 and cut them to fit the frame. I then cut a large piece of cardboard to fit in the frame and I attached the photos to it. Once everything is ready, fit it in and secure it at the back with some tape.
It is a lovely collage of memories that can be updated as often as you want, although I don’t think I will be updating my one anytime soon. The kids love looking at the photos, trying to remember when they were that small, listening to us telling them stories about the photos or making up their own one. It’s so sweet.
It is very personal, you made it yourself and for little money – that is officially categorized under Win/Win/Win… Totally!!!
If you want to go ahead and decorate it also, you can find the tutorials for the paper flowers and the colorful paper garland on the blog.
I hope you are now inspired to look at different ways to display your photos. They make you smile.They are good for the soul.
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It’s funny to see how different things are in every family. What is normal in one household might be something totally alien to another. You really get to appreciate all these differences when you start living with people, be friends, partners… everyone brings something different and new to the mix.
Where am I going with this? In my parent’s house in Spain, there has always been (or at least as far as I can remember) a painting brush in the kitchen. This “bug standard” painting brush was not for painting… oh no! it was to clean out the breadcrumbs left after cutting the bread. So, we would have the bread board, the bread knife and the bread brush. Perfectly normal. Or so I thought. Mr B always found it amusing. Useful, but amusing.
This got me thinking about what other uses I have around the house for painting brushes that were not, well, painting that are totally normal to me but other people may not know?
1. GETTING RID OF BREADCRUMBS
Brushing the breadcrumbs will make it easier to clean them as they will remain dry, not scatter around the place and won’t get stuck to the cloth making it all yucky. Also, you’ll be able to get the breadcrumbs that tend to hide in the corner…. the little feckers that make you stick your tong out when you are cleaning… those ones! They will be brushed away with your dignity intact!
2. CLEANING KEYBOARDS
For those moments after haven shaken your keyboard upside down and you realize how filthy it is, clean between the keys with the paintbrush to get out the hard to get dirt bits of stuff (or whatever they are!). Easy!
3. CLEAN THE VENTS IN YOUR CAR
By using a brush to clean the vents, you not only will you dust them but also you will push out any bit of dirt that might have got into them.
How cool is that? and how simple?
But I hear you (or maybe it’s just me!): Do I really want a manky old brush around my house in plain sight? Of course not!!! And that is why someone invented washi tape – to make everything prettier. By covering the silver part of the brush with washi tape and adding a pretty ribbon at the end, you have transformed a plain boring painting brush into something useful and pretty that you don’t mind displaying in your kitchen or your office.
So next time you are in a hardware store, get some brushes for home, give them some love and they will love you right back. As simple as that.
What do you think? Would you give it a go?
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Once upon a time, we had some very crappy table nests in the house. They were bought when we were very young, foolish (somethings never change) and we didn’t have much money. We needed little tables around the house so the nest was bought.
The years passed by and the tables survived few moves and many different uses before the legs broke. Despite having no emotional attachment whatsoever to these not-so-nice set of tables, I decided to keep the top of 2 of the tables as they were made of solid wood and I knew (ok, I thought? I hoped!) they could be up-cycled at some stage and become a whole new product. 6 years later, I feel vindicated.
I always liked old signs. Whenever I see an old sign in a second-hand shop I have to stop myself from buying it because, as much as I like old signs, I don’t want a sign that says nothing about my family in my house. I feel like I need to have some sort of personal connection with it, something that reminds us of something but as that was looking very hard to find, I decided to make one myself.
I knew exactly where I wanted to place it : crowning the gallery wall (does it sound posh or what!?!).
I wanted the sign to feel like an extension of the gallery wall but a tad bit different. Same but different, very clear, right?
For the “same” part, I decided to paint the background of the sign, aka the top of my table, with the same colors as my gallery wall: grey and white. I painted the stripes with Autentico Chalk Paint (Soft Grey and Casa Blanca) and then I distressed it by sanding it with fine grit sandpaper to make it feel old. Lastly, I gave it a coat of clear wax to seal the paint and to make it smoother. I love it!
I just wanted a simple but meaningful sign, a number and a letter. I got the 4 because there are 4 of us and the letter B because all our surnames start with B. It doesn’t get any more personal and simple than that, right?
I also painted the letters with Chalk Paint. First with the grey and then some pink (Antique Rose) so when I distressed the edges by lightly sanding them you can see the grey underneath ever so slightly. To give it a more romantic tone, I added some floral washi tape to the letters. That’s just me, a romantic at heart…
I then only had to glue the letters to the sign. It was a tough decision though… 4B or B4… I ended up going for 4B thus avoiding having to explain that the sign did not say “before”… which of course was going to happen…
I totally love the contrast between the rough grey and white background, and the vintagy (totally a word!!) and romantic feel of the letters.
So there it is, my very own, personalized, hand-made and full of meaning sign.
How easy was that? very!
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I love looking around the web for handmade Christmas decorations.
Handmade decorations always make a house truly feel like a home and they add so much character to any space, plus the satisfaction of knowing that you have made something yourself.
As you know, I love creating messes and making things. I like getting the kids involved. They get so excited! Chaotic Monkey starts with loads of energy and gets distracted about 5 minutes into it and runs off covered in material and glue. Big Monkey usually lasts 10 more minutes before he has the urge to draw something, so I tend to finish it on my own. I don’t mind. I find it therapeutic, except the cleaning. I don’t like the cleaning part…
MollyMooCrafts has an abundance of amazing craft projects to make with the kids but I find this tree garland particularly adorable, don’t you think?
I find the colors in these decorations by Picklebums very uplifting and they would bring an extra personal touch to any tree.
The amazing Martha Steward has the most beautiful place setting ever, but we wouldn’t expect anything else from her now, would we?
Pompoms. Who doesn’t love pompoms? They are so whimsical! And Northstory has a such fun way to make them look delightful for Christmas.
This wreath by That is My Letter would not only make you stand out from your neighbors but it would help you clear out all those fabric bits and pieces that you have in that basket somewhere in your house and you will then be able to buy more!!! or not… 😉
These beautiful trees by Beautiful Matters, are easy to make, beautiful and so versatile… a little forest in your house!
I love, love, love this simple and yet stunning center piece by InspireMeHeather. Did I mention that I love it?
If you are lucky enough to have pine cones in your area, you can make the cutest tree out of them. Yes, you heard me right. Just ask Tapelu2. So cute!!!
So, between all these amazing examples of beautiful and yet easy hand-made Christmas decorations, plus last year’s ones, plus the ones I’ve made on the blog(here, here, here), you have no excuse not to personalize your home-decor during this festive season with your very own hand-made Christmas decorations
Share your projects on #ChaoticChristmas so we can all see them and appreciate them.
This Autumn is being amazing: bright and dry… the perfect Autumn as far as I am concern. I love the leaves changing colors, avenues covered in them, amazing sunsets and no rain and nice temperatures. I like my Autumn and Winter mild and my Spring and Summer hot. That’s me.
The irony is that although I don’t like the cold, I am a sucker for blankets, woolly hats, cosy clothes and homely casseroles. I am a complex individual… (it sounds better than confused, right?)
Look at this little guy. Isn’t he the cutest? The perfect image for Autumn.
And with that little fella, the weather we have been having and a gorgeous blanket, who would not be up for a picnic? (source)
All those orange, brown and red leaves are too beautiful to leave around, so if you feel like doing some crafting, this project is just beautiful. (source)
This mexican casserole will keep us warm in those cold wet nights. Comfort food. Delish! Yum! (source)
Scarfs, big boots, heavier jackets… I’ll admit I like it… not for long though (source)
What is your favorite part of Autumn?
I have been working on putting together a gallery wall for my stairs.
I guess that when planning a gallery wall, the main considerations are the frames and the prints, or at least they were for me. I had good few frames lying around. They were different styles and sizes, which is good, but also different colors, which is not so good for me. I like the idea of totally different frames in some gallery walls but not for this one. I was looking for some bit of uniformity.
Deciding on what color to use in the frames has been the biggest delay in getting this infamous gallery wall started. I might have mentioned before that I am a bit
anal complicated when it comes to colors. I knew I didn’t want anything dark. I wanted to keep the stairs light and airy so I needed a light color. I also knew I wanted something neutral enough so the frames would not clash or take away from the prints.
After much deliberation (first world problem, right?), I decided to paint the frames light grey with Autentico Chalk Paint and complement the grey with some coral and light blue decorations and prints. I love the grey, coral, white and blue combination. It is light and fresh, calm and uplifting.
I have used chalk paint before (here, here and here) and you have probably figured out that I pretty much love it. There is no need for sanding and it covers any surface with very little effort, perfect! I decided to leave some frames grey, to lightly distress others and to mix the grey with some white in others to keep it lively and playful. A bit of variety within the uniformity. I like that.
I now have to plan how I am going to organize the frames on the wall. I like the random factor with some sort of order. You know what I mean, don’t you? I am hoping to share the final wall very soon.
When Big Monkey was 2 and a bit, we got him a play house for the garden. Back then we didn’t get to go out for walks as much as I would have liked as Chaotic Monkey was only a baby napping a lot, so it was important to me that Big Monkey would have somewhere to play in the garden. This house has been a house, a shop, a garage, a tent… so many stories and plots have developed in that house, both of them have enjoyed it, played on it, climbed it… until one day, when they realized they were both too big to get in and out of it.
It was around the same time when the number of kid’s vehicles with wheels (ie. flickers, bicycles, scooters) started to increase and I was starting to get tired of bringing them in and out through the front door, folding them, removing dirt from my hall floor and storing them under the stairs. I needed a different storage solution – a house extension, a garage maybe?
Since I had the play house and I needed a space to store children’s vehicles, I decided to transform the play house into the boy’s shed to store the bikes, that way they could bring their bikes through the side gate and totally bypass the house and they would still be protected (ish) from the elements.
After so many years outside, the colors in the play house were already fading. The sides of the play house were a faded orange color which is pretty much the same color as ours (by design,
I know, you need to question our decision making), so I decided to leave it. This meant I only had to paint the red roof black in order to have a mini shed for the boys.
I decided to use Rust-Oleum Crystal Clear Protective Coat on top of the black spray painting in order to give it another layer of protection against the elements and the kids.
The mini shed has worked a treat. We have had it as a working mini shed for about a year now and it is as functional and fun as the first day. They can get the bikes and scooters in and out themselves, there are no more wheels though the house and we got to up-cycle this lovely play house that has given us so many fun memories – how good is that?
We are also re-using the kid’s turtle sandpit as their garden. It is there where they get to plant whatever they wish and they love been responsible for their own patch of land – it must be an Irish thing…
Have you got any up-cycling projects that you would like to share?