Monday, October 29, 2012


This past weekend I finally got to do some fall decorating around the house.  I've been wanting to put out my fall decorations, but with all the office stuff sitting in the living room it was delayed.

I love using my mercury glass pieces.  I purchased a few new thing to add to my collection including this mercury glass pumpkin from Tj Maxx ($5.99)   In this vignette, I brought together silver and gold to accentuate the fall colors in the candles and leaves.

The fabric and silver pine cone candle holder were recent thrift store finds.
( candle holder - .49 cents)
(fabric $1.49 for 5 yards)

In the photo below, you can see this vignette placed on the top of my cedar chest.

Friday, October 26, 2012


A chair makeover for my office.

The work in my office is coming along slowly but surely.  I don't share a lot about my personal life on this blog, but do so occasionally.  Today  I thought I'd explain why the progress on the office  has been a bit slow.   My husband (a pastor, and my helper/carpenter) has had to sustain a very difficult exam this past week. Our church has been independent for the past 6 years and decided to join a federation of churches; and because of that decision, he was required to take another oral exam.  This exam is very difficult and stressful.  It's compares to the oral exams he took for his master's degree.  What made it even more difficult is that it's been over 20 years since he received his master's degree.  Over the past few weeks, this has required all his attention to his studies for the exam.  I'm very thankful and proud to say he passed the exam!

While he was busy with his studies, I decided to work on a few small projects  for my office. 

I bought a chair for $5 a few years ago at a yard sale to use as a sewing chair.  This is how it has looked since the day I bought it ... brown cushion and brown wood.

OK...but I thought it could use a little sprucing up.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


We're moving on to adding the new trim and base board in my office.  Let's take a look at what we started with.  Old yellow looking wood dating back to when the house was built.

We decide to add white trim molding and baseboards.

 In the above photo, you can see the trim inside the closet. We decided to go with a plain trim on the inside of the closet without the rosettes since it's not visible when you walk into the room.

We added rosettes on the corners of the door trim. I like the charm it adds to the room but also adding these made it much easier for installation.  My husband could do straight cuts and didn't have to make mitered corners.

Here's a view of the new baseboard.  It's amazing how this new trim makes the room look so much newer and brighter.

Friday, October 19, 2012


The  progress in my office /closet makeover is slow and steadily moving forward.  Today I thought I'd share with you one of the small projects I've done.   I knew I wanted some sort of lighting for the closet since it can be a bit of a dark corner.

 I decided against a lamp that would sit on the desk and take up precious work space.  I reflected back to the inspiration closet/office photo from Jen @ I Heart Organizing.  She used a wall mounted lamp.

At Pottery Barn I found the perfect lamp in an antique nickel finish.  The problem was the price tag it came with of 89 dollars.
Then I remembered an ugly old gold lamp in our attic purchased back in the 80's.  Its lovely pleated shade was dented and falling apart.

The base with a "lovely" gold finish.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Continuation of the office/closet painting makeover.

Originally I'd thought that I would paint all the walls blue in the closet, but after applying the white primer, I realized that I really liked how bright the white made the room look.  I decided to paint the back wall white and the two side walls the blue color - Lighthouse Shadows by Valspar.

I checked into putting pretty wall paper (allen + roth Sea Breeze Floral Trail wallpaper) on the back wall, but it was to expensive for my budget with a price tag of $59.96 a roll.  We're already spending more in this room than we first had planned by adding new baseboard and trim.  I opted to stencil the wall instead.  In the photos below you can see my test spots.

 The first one I tried was from Jones Design Company  -  a hand painted wallpaper.

The second  is a stencil I found on line at Hobby Lobby.  It was $16.99 but using an online coupon and free shipping made it $10.20.  I ended up choosing the Hobby Lobby stencil even though I liked the painted wall paper.  The thought of painting all the lines by hand seemed very labor and time intense.  Note the white paint over the blue, which was my first thought for the painting project.

In the photos below, you can see the process of painting the stenciled wall using the blue paint over the white.  I followed the instructions and stated at the top of the wall in the center.    To make sure the stencil stayed straight on the wall I used a level and worked across the wall horizontally. I continued this process working  my way down the wall.

Here's how it looks once the side walls were painted and stenciling was completed.

Oh, so much better !

I'm loving how the closet is turning out.  Stay with me; and I'll continue to show you the process for the rest of the closet and room.

Monday, October 15, 2012


I've been doing painting and more painting in my office. Three coats of primer, and two coats of paint on the water damaged ceiling  makes it look so much brighter, fresh and clean.

 Moving on to which paint to use for the wall color, I did a little sample test using  two paint samples I already had on hand.

I thought about repainting not only the closet but the whole room a lovely gray color.  Here are the samples I was considering.

In the end, I decided to stick to my original plan to use the paint left over when I painted the room two years ago. Two things that influence my decision - the cost of buying more paint at $35 a gallon, and not wanting to get the wrong gray resulting in cement basement looking walls.  I want the room to be bright and cheery.

In my next post, I'm hoping to show you the walls painted.  This room is getting closer to the finish line - hurray !

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


My house has been in disarray because of the office makeover. Because of this, I've only put out a few of my fall decorations in the dinning room.  I'm anxious to put more of them out in the living room and family room.  

While shopping at Jo Ann's recently, I came across some lovely fabric.   The only problem was that it came with the price tag of $39.99 a yard.  Sometimes I splurge a little, but it still has to fit in our budget.  This fabric would make very pretty drapes but that isn't in our budget.  Instead of a large expensive project, I decided to indulge and bought a small amount of this fabric using a 50 % off coupon. The coupon made the price of the fabric more affordable for this thrifty girl, making the total cost seven dollars.

I love the blue in the fabric and the browns and tans making it perfect for a fall.   I took a little break from my office project, and whipped up a set of pocket pillows.  If you'd like to make a  pocket pillow yourself, you can see the tutorial in my post Simple Pillows Anyone Can Make.  ( If you don't sew you could make these pillows using iron on fabric tape.)

Pocket pillows fit into a limited budget because you can just slip them over a pillow you already have in your home.   That's exactly what I did slipping the covers over some pillows I had from spring and summer.  Now my living room will have fall accents for a fraction of the cost of buying store bought pillows.  If you've priced pillows at department stores, you'd know these pillows would cost you anywhere from $14 to $30 each whereas my pillows only cost seven dollars for both pillows.

I love the fact that they're not your traditional brown, orange and red colors for fall, but the colors I have and love in my home.  That is also a big plus if you make your own.  You can pick what ever fabric you'd like.

Monday, October 8, 2012


My office closet makeover has grown.  While working on this project, we've run into some snags - unexpected problems.  These problems made added work of re-taping the dry wall and many layers of new primer and paint.  This project has turned into more of a room makeover rather than a closet makeover.   My husband and I were discussing the room this weekend and came to a decision.  Since the room is getting more torn apart than planned and the wood work around the closet door and the base trim in the closet is being replaced, why not make the whole room look nice and get rid of the rest of the old trim. 

 Here's what the trim and baseboard look like in this room dating back to when this home was built we're guessing in the 30's or 40's.

Take note - they never even bothered to fill the nail holes.

 Old trim and plywood doors.

I'd say pretty ugly and dated trim.

This is what the room looks like as of this morning.

The trim and baseboard has all been removed; and we're off to Lowe's to buy new.

This afternoon I'm hoping to get all the trim painted (we are buying the trim that is already primed).  While I'm doing this, my husband will be working on installing the shelving system.    I'm also hoping to start the purging of office items that will be brought back into the room.  I'm getting anxious to have this room done and my house back in order.  You can look forward to more posts on the progress of the room.  We're getting closer to seeing the end results of a wonderful office makeover !

Friday, October 5, 2012


It's been another busy week here at the Parsonage.  Do you ever start a project that you think will be small and a quick fix only to have it turn out to be a large project because one thing leads to another?  That's exactly what has happened with my office closet project.  I told you how we had leaks in the roof that lead to mold and sheet rock tape coming loose.  We are now not only making the closet door larger but fixing walls and ceiling.  This week we've been able to clean up the mold, tape the ceiling and walls and add texture to the repaired areas.

After my husband applied the texture I could move on the to the painting.  What a process it has been ! In order to cover the water stains I had to apply three coats of primer and one coat of paint to the ceiling in the closet.  The office ceiling also had water damage and I ended up applying two coats of paint.  Talk about miserable paint to apply.  First of all I HATE painting ceilings: it literally is a pain in the neck.  I decided to use the 1/2 gallon of ceiling paint we had on hand.  I don't know if was getting old or what, but the stuff would not roll on evenly.  I finally got the job done, but when you look in the office you may wonder what I've been up to all week because to anyone not knowing the problem it looks like very little progress.

The office is not the only thing I've been working on this week. I've been canning!  I love it when I can go in my back yard and pick produce for canning.   I've made six batches of blackberry jam and jelly along with two batches of syrup.  We will be eating well this winter :)

                                                     Have a great weekend!


Monday, October 1, 2012


Hi everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  Last week I told you of my plans to make over my office closet.   Well, the work has begun.

 Let's start off by taking a look at this crowed, cluttered closet.

In an attempt to add book storage a few years ago, a small shelf was added.

As you can see in the photo, the shelf above the basket runs only 1/4 of the way across the closet and virtually inaccessible unless you get a ladder and stick your head around the corner into the space. There were a few things that got placed on these selves but never used for anything that needed accessing.  This room, along with the rest of the house, suffered from the roof leaking for 12 years before a tree fall on the roof making yet another major leak.   I knew the office had water damage on the ceiling, but didn't realize what we would find when we tore into the closet. (We are thankful that the church had the roof replaced and no more leaks.)
 This is what we found.
Gross mold Out came my rubber gloves, mask and a bucket of hot bleach water, and the cleaning began. The tape in the corners of the closet was letting loose as well.  I tore this off and my handy husband re-taped the dry wall.  At the same time, he made the door opening larger to fit a standard 4 foot bi-fold door.  Any of you who have done dry wall taping know the process of mudding, sanding, more mudding, sanding and loads of DUST!

This project is turning out to be more work than what I had anticipated, but the end results keeps me moving forward.  In the mean time this is what our living room looks like with all the office and closet stuff !

 Someone from the church stopped by Friday evening and asked if we were moving!  Who would guess a small room could have so much stuff!  My goal for this fall and winter is to purge our home, and get more organized.


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