Creative DIY Team Project For July

This is month #3 that The Creative DIY Team has gotten together and chosen projects we've created to show you. This month's theme is repurposing.

Team Members
Cassie@Primitive & Proper
Cristina@Remodelando la Casa
Susan@Love Of Home
Brenda@Cozy Little House

I found this old toolbox at my favorite antique mall, very cheap. I painted it with chalk paint and hung it on my dining area wall. The handle makes for a great dish towel rod!

I just used little saw-tooth brackets to hang it up with.

Since I put my vintage cheese grater up on top of it for decor, I thought I'd mention that it is also a repurposed project. 

I like to clip vintage photos I find to the cheese grater with a clothespin.

Remember to go visit the rest of the team to see what they repurposed... 

Susan@Love Of Home

See you next month for another creative team project!
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Fine Print 7/26/16

(This is a series I'm calling Fine Print, where I will tell stories and reflect on life.)

These days there are crickets getting into the apartment from the patio. They jump along the floor while I hurry to catch them before Charlie sees one and freaks out.

I gently scoop them and set them free out on the patio.  

July is almost over. I sit in the apartment and try to stay cool. 

Fans whir overhead, reminding me of childhood days in the stores of my youth. Where there were often wood floors and a fan trying to keep the customers cool while they shopped. 

There were big long machines filled with sodas. You lifted up the lid, grabbed your bottle, and took off the bottle cap in the built-in bottle opener along the side. 

Does anyone remember those?

I don't recall feeling as worn out with the heat back then. I'd take the cold bottle, already sweating with perspiration, and roll it against my skin to cool off before I left the store.

Now I keep the blinds mostly drawn. Trying to battle the heat outside my door. This is an old apartment, relatively speaking, and it is hard to keep the heat out and the cold in. And vice versa.

I let the dogs out, and it prompts that silly little Bewick's wren to hop out from underneath one of the chairs outside. It hops along in its manic way, beak open, as though it has something on its mind to say to me. 

I wonder if it's the same wren every time? 

Maybe its staying under the gazebo because the temperature has been over 100 degrees every day. Which means I have to keep an eye on the plants as they wither and droop in the heat of afternoon. 

I go to the fridge and break off a stem of grapes and pop their coolness into my mouth, one by one. Makes me think I need to get a small watermelon next time I dash out to the store. 

I sit here and stare at my collection of mason jars, and think of ones quite similar stored down in the cellar when I was a child. Then they were filled with goodness by the end of summer. Lined along simple narrow shelves in the cool underground room.

By the season's end, we were stocked up with garden vegetables and fruit from the big garden that kept us fed. 

To keep our garden in shape, my grandmothers took their hoes and scraped at the soil to unearth the weeds on a regular basis. 

Sometimes it seems like I can still hear the cadence of hoe against dirt, all those years ago. Punctuated by dogs barking in the distance and the sound of our chickens scrabbling and clucking in the fenced chicken yard. 

Sometimes I want to step back into the shadows of that other time.

Rock in the rockers on the front porch. 

Catch crickets and set them free. 

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Tips On Styling Bookshelves

I always find it interesting how people choose to style their bookshelves. 

Here are a few ideas for styling your shelves...

Draw The Eye 

Stack books both horizontally and vertically for interest. 

A Certain Theme

The bookshelf above uses a theme - nautical decor. 

Perhaps sea shells can be gathered from vacations, and are mementos you may wish to display so you can revisit the memories.

 A Time & Place

You might choose vintage collectibles to showcase on your shelves, or an eclectic combination of things. 

Some decorators like to turn the books around so that the spine is not seen. The above shelves uses neutral colors mixed with green. 


The most important thing is not to make your shelves look too cluttered. Showcase the things that are most important to you. 

Rotate your collections by holiday or season. 

Bookshelves serve as both storage and decor. Add and edit until your shelves look balanced and pleasing to the eye.

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London Small Apartment Tour

This is Krysia and Tomek's apartment in West London. It is 443 square feet.

Krysia works as a props buyer for film productions.

This was originally Krysia's home, before Tomek moved in. Her tastes are somewhat eclectic. She likes to collect items for decor while traveling.

As you can see, the bed is behind the couch.

I imagine the small space was much easier for a single person to live in.

Do you think you could live in this small space?

Photos via Apartment Therapy

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Sunday Slice Of Life 7/24/16

slice of life...
n. pl. slices of life

An episode or actual experience represented realistically and with little alteration in a dramatic, fictional, or journalistic work

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Morning Reflections

This morning I sit here with my coffee, the pupsters asleep on the chair ottoman, and think about my Saturday. 

I will go to lunch with my daughter and Andrew soon. I am taking some seedless grapes for him. 

He will be the highlight of my day. 

I stare out the patio doors at the tree branches hovering over the gazebo top, shadows that dance in the wind. 

I didn't think that my moon flower seeds had taken hold. 

But just before dusk the other day, there in front of me was a dazzlingly beautiful white flower. 

A surprise that made me smile.

(Before dark, as the flower is opening up)

It will be stunning in the moonlight.

These little things I look forward to.

The little wren that has been hopping along the fence lately. My huge metal sun that greets me each morning on the patio.

There is a softness about morning. A yawning slow softness that covers me like the layers of a spider's web. Holding me still so that I pause to enjoy all the little things.

Like the sipping of coffee, steam curling in the air above my favorite mug. 

Sitting here gazing at my gallery wall full of nature at its best. Horses and cows and a field full of blue bonnets. 

This gallery wall relaxes me, while the one before it energized me. 

My bamboo blinds in the front window filters out the sun that shines so brightly this time of year. It is like sitting in a semi-dark cocoon, the only sound that of the air conditioning going off and on. 

How I love mornings! 

Walking into my colorful kitchen to prepare breakfast, slicing a few strawberries. 

Looking out the kitchen window at the patio full of plants. The setting that I alone created and that gives me such undeniable pleasure.

I can see the pepper plant which is growing so tall, the strawberry plant that has spreaders reaching down through the holes in the metal plant stand. 

I find myself being so reflective this time of day. I think about how my life has shaped up so nicely after all.  

I think about how I will turn 60 next year. And how I wouldn't trade where I am now to go back to 50 or 40 because I have so much more wisdom at this time in my life. 

I now fit into myself like a hand in glove. 

There is something to be said for growing older. I guess the best thing about it is that you are indeed still "growing."

Like the moon flowers that wink at me in the darkness. The vine that wraps and twines itself higher and higher up the fence, growing as I write this. 

Did you know that the flower is only good for one night? Then it folds into itself, and the bloom above it will open next. 

An orchestration that only Mother Nature could plan. 

So many things to look forward to. So many possibilities. 

Though the world outside is weary from recent violence (I wish it would stop!) 

I know that means I must hold my happiness more tightly because it is so precious. 

Here, inside my little apartment, there is such life-affirming peace.

Better grab those grapes before I forget. I'm going to see my little blond-headed Andrew. 

And I'm going to grab hold of his delightful laughter to bring home with me to enjoy later.

"I owe no explanations for my flaws. I don't have to justify my mistakes, my past, or my insecurities. I am growing and learning. Let me live."  - Author Unknown
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Six On Saturday 7/23/16

This caught my eye. The piece of furniture with shelves behind it serves as a perfect backdrop for this interesting chair.

I love this newly remodeled kitchen. And just take a look at that gorgeous Viking stove!

This unique sofa sure caught my eye! 

This blue and white living space looks cool and refreshing. 

I ran across this table while cruising the web and thought it was just the cutest thing.

A great remodeled small space that now looks so much bigger.
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How I Use Baskets In My Apartment

Baskets are a great way to store things in any room. I have baskets in every room in my apartment. I'll show you a few ways I use baskets.

I store my cutting boards in this huge basket I found in Jenks. A $10 basket that looks vintage. I could not pass it up.

This basket is almost 2 feet long!

I keep my various camera lenses in a basket on my desk. There's always one lens on the camera so I can take a quick pic.

I find that storing my lenses in this little basket keeps them safer. I don't have to worry about them falling over and rolling off my desk. These things aren't cheap!

I keep decorating and gardening books in a basket in the living room. The ones I thumb through the most. 

I keep toilet paper in a big rectangular basket on a bathroom shelf. 

I also have paper towels in a similar basket on the bottom shelf of the kitchen cart. 

A basket is also a good place to keep vintage canning jars so you can grab one for storage in the kitchen.

Do you use a lot of baskets? Where are you favorite places to use baskets?

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