Reclaimed Shoe Rack

Once in a while when Andy brings a salvaged piece home, I can tell he’s extra excited about it. A few months back he seemed particularly excited as he brought me out and hit the garage door button. As the door opened I could tell why. This beautiful what-the-heck-was-it shelf was sitting in front of me.

woodshelfA super unique aspect of the piece were the wheels. I can’t get over how much I love the castors and how smooth they are despite the wear of the piece.

DSC_7675-01Guesses from family and friends ranged from a mini candle drying rack, to a bread rack, to a shoe rack, to a soap drying rack, to a wine rack. As a couple weeks went by we settled on likely a wine rack or a shoe rack. A few days after I saw my good friend Abigail (from Adventures with Abigail) she happened to be in Standard Baking Company in Portland and saw the exact same rack. She asked and they told her it had originally been for shoes, but they used it for bread. (Now I’m doubting my memory, but I’m 90% sure that’s what she said it was).

Regardless of what it really had been, it is definitely one of the coolest pieces Andy has found and I had to keep it. There was no way it was getting put on Craigslist or given to someone else. After thinking about what I wanted it for, I decided to also use it for shoes (assuming it’s original use was for shoes too).

DSC_7662-01DSC_7677-01I’m not sure where we will put this when we renovate and come up with a mud-room, but for now the beauty is staying in the original house right where I can see her every day. It’s actually right next to the step down in the living room, which makes for a great sitting point to put shoes on. I love when things work out like that unintentionally.

DSC_7665-01I’m glad Andy proclaimed it was “too cool not to have” when he spotted it, because I couldn’t agree more. Are there any cool items in your house you’ve re-purposed – or re-purposed for their original purpose unintentionally?

xo,

Heather

Reduce. Reuse. Organize.

Our pantry gets messy. There are days items get taken down, and then put back up with no regard to where they went. We’re all guilty of it in this house. Last weekend I looked around at it and had one of those “MUST CLEAN EVERYTHING NOW” moments. You can see why.

DSC_5943-01Now sometimes on a blog you have to have no shame. So let’s take a closer look at this hot mess.

DSC_5936-01 DSC_5938-01My first step was removing EVERYTHING from the pantry, including the shelf liners.

DSC_5945-01 DSC_5946-01 DSC_5947-01Back to the “have no shame” part, the shelves underneath of the liners were absolutely horrendous. I have cleaned out and reorganized the pantry before, but not once had I ever taken up the liners. The liners ended up in the trash, and the shelving ended up with a heavy dose of cleaner.

DSC_5949-01 DSC_5950-01Once the shelves were cleaned and while they aired out, I started to consolidate the pantry items. I tossed items deemed old, out of date, etc. into the compost and recycling bin and then started moving other items into my favorite storage bins ever—mason jars.

DSC_5957-01While I know mason jars are the trendy thing on Pinterest and other places let me just say this, I know why. They are awesome. Around here though they just flow like honey and we believe in using what you have. We use them for storage whether it’s for dry goods or canned goods, and when they aren’t used for storage we use them to drink out of. When we don’t use them for either of those you might find flowers in them. In our place they’re general purpose goods and always nice to have around.  

While mason jars are great for storage, I on the other hand can never remember what flour is what without a label, so I like to make sure I label everything. This time around I used 2″ round labels I had left over from another project. I bought these at Paper Mart, an online retailer for a really good price.

DSC_5953-01In addition to labeling the product, I also put what company it was from just in case I either wanted to buy more, or wanted to avoid a certain brand again.

I don’t transfer everything in the mason jars. Mostly I put things in that are already partially opened, or I know would easily get bugs into them if I didn’t. For instance, I had some barley that came in a cheap plastic bag. I opened the plastic and realized there was a hole in the bag where a moth got in. These are the types of things that I try to transfer to mason jars when I get home from shopping or soon after. Flours are another one I like to keep in jars but filling them can be tricky. My thing is to alternate between filling and tapping on the counter to remove air so I can fit more in. While I keep my heritage flours/grains in the freezer, the off the shelf stuff stays in jars in the pantry.

Another organization technique I utilize are magazine/binder holders. I found these super cheap plastic ones at Target for a couple bucks a piece. They work great for holding the large cans of tomatoes and beans we like to keep around for a quick dinner or pasta sauce.

DSC_5964-01Other organization techniques including stacking items that can lay flat on one another, like egg noodle bags, and also utilizing the countless wooden bowls we have around here. I use our deeper one for tossing in pastas that only have a little left in each bag so they don’t get lost on the shelf, and I use our shallower wider bowls for storing potatoes/onions, etc. 

The theory of organization is as simple as use what you already have on hand, and then try and not spend too much if you need something special.

DSC_5978-01 DSC_5977-01My last bit of advice is to keep “like” things together. I have my flours and grains in one section, beans in another, pasta in another, baking in another, you get the idea. This really helps when I’m looking for something. Oh, and if you have a dog and an open pantry my tip is to keep anything they might find interesting higher up. For my dogs this includes the potatoes. They will eat an entire bag of them when we’re gone if they are within reach. We only need to keep them a shelf or two up to keep them out of the bag. Onions always stay up too because they are poisonous to dogs.

All organization complete, I finally have an organized pantry again!

DSC_5968-01So you don’t have to scroll up, here is the before and after from the same angle.

DSC_5943-01 DSC_5967-01Someday this pantry will be reverted back into a closet and I’ll have a beautiful walk in pantry/linen closet where our current bathroom is. Until then, a nice neat pantry to look at anytime I walk in the house after work has been awfully nice. Let’s not forget how much easier it makes prepping dinner. Now to see how long it stays like this.

xo,

Heather

A Paint Color Choice Method Which Is Going to Sweep the Nation Like Those Shamwow Things Which, By The Way, Are Actually Awesome.

I have a very distinct method of choosing paint colors. It’s very effective and may sweep the nation as the best way to choose a paint. Consider yourself lucky to have a sneak peek of such an innovative method. Please note this method should be accomplished with good lighting, but only at the time of day in which said good lighting is quickly fading. Also, wear sweatpants and unwashed hair in a messy bun on the side of your head that’s falling. Any wispy hair sticking straight out is a bonus. If you have short hair it must be plastered sideways to your head in a crazy cowlick like you just woke up after sleeping on the side of your face all night smushed into the pillow at an awkward angle. It’s critical to the process.

Step one:

Gather a ridiculous amount of paint samples and then choose a handful you think might work with your style. In our case this meant a color which would work with a wide variety of different kinds of wood all within what will be open view of each other.

DSC_1635-01Step two:

Walk around your house what feels like fifty times comparing each potential sample to every kind of wood that is currently in the house which will be in view of said paint color. Then, take a piece of flooring for your living room and put all the paint samples on said piece of wood.

DSC_1649-01Step three:

With great attention and conviction, analyze the colors in the flooring against the paint samples and start placing samples to the side that you know just won’t work. Don’t throw them away though, because they might work and you might change your mind and you just don’t know. Take a deep breath.

Step four:

Find more paint samples you forgot about and even though you really hadn’t thought of going in the direction of a cooler color, and you’re concerned about being jammed into a corner style wise by having a punchy color on the wall, put those samples up anyway.

DSC_1651-01Step five:

Step back, cringe at the new samples, and immediately remove them from the running. These ones go in the recycling. Oh wait, no, take them back out, you might want to use those colors in another room. Phew! That was close.

Step six:

Take your remaining colors and place them on your plank of wood and then walk around your room to all the different kinds of lighting because you refuse to spend any money on an actual paint sample you could paint on each wall and watch how the color changes throughout the day.

DSC_1654-01Step seven:

Start weaning down your samples again after eying every possible lighting scenario you can find. Before you start discarding though, make sure to walk around a minimum of twenty five more times to compare them to every thing that is important the paint goes with. Make sure to throw the paint samples you don’t want in the recycling. For real this time. Except don’t take it out yet. Just in case.

DSC_1670-01Step eight:

Narrow it down to two and then show your significant other so they can help you pick the color. No significant other? Just have your dog nose one. Or cat paw one. Or rip them into tiny shreds and then put them in a mug and toss it around and the first color you pick out is the color you’ll be painting. Of course you’ll likely change your mind anyway so this is a totally worthless step.

DSC_1681-01Step where the heck are we at now?

You’ve picked your final color. Phew! It’s about time. Hang this color up on your board until you’re ready to buy paint.  (Also, make sure your photo doesn’t really show the color properly, because in person it’s actually a lot creamier and yellow then in the photo below). Now go take a shower and fix that crazy hair you stinky minx.

DSC_1685-01Step oh dear goodness gracious just buy the paint already….

But not before you change your mind – again! The night before you go buy paint for your living room, which will also be the color to your open concept kitchen area, have a conversation with your significant other which results in it turning out they don’t really like the color anyway and you realizing it’s way too yellow and you’re really more of a neutrals person who likes to have color with accessories. Take your paint sample book from your favorite paint company and give it to your significant other and tell them to pair it down to a few colors they think would work. They will then hand you a bar of colors and tell you they would like if it could be one from that bar. You immediately zone in on one color. Oh wait, nope, the other one. Oh but look at that one. Choose a color from the bar of swatches in approximately two minutes. Google photos of the final color you like and realize it’s perfect. Or you know, it will do and you’ll like it. Probably. Good enough.

Your choice for this round?

doverwhiteStep congratulations you’ve actually finished picking your color now put your samples away and stop looking at them, enough is enough.

Do not go to the store to order your paint. Call it in. This way, it’s all mixed up and you can’t change your mind once you get there and see all of the other potential colors. By this point you’re ready just to have the paint anyway and you’re over picking colors.

You’re done!

You’ve finally picked your color, you’ve picked up your paint, and now it’s just time to get those brushes stroking and those rollers rolling. Spread this method, you are sure to be a hit among your DIY friends. They will have no idea how you became so efficient and precise in your color choosing ways.

xo,

Heather

Fab Freebie: Modern Garden 2013 Calendar {And Also Oh My God You Guys Are Amazing}

You know when Taylor Swift gets super excited she does that face all the time? The one that looks like this?

photo from http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/surprise-face
photo from http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/surprise-face

Yeah, that’s how I pretty much looked/felt when I not only had a reader tell me she’s been following my posts forever but also when I looked at my Google Analytics and realized that I broke the under 10,000 page view per month. This last month is at 12,000+ so far and I’m totally floored – especially because I haven’t been writing as much. I don’t know who all of you are, but you’re amazing and fantastic and I love you to pieces.

To show you that love, I’m sharing the modern, fun, garden inspired 2013 calendar I designed for myself, for free. Free is pretty much one of my favorite words ever, and I love sharing things I design so here you go! I made this calendar simply because I couldn’t find one I liked so I got creative and made one. When in doubt – create.

This calendar can be printed either 8 1/2 by 11 or as a full on desk pad calendar. You know, those huge ones – though you’d probably have to have it printed at a Staples or Kinkos or something. To be clear, I didn’t design the images in the top left corner. They are from a purchased set from Shutterstock, though I did change the colors quite a bit. I’m going to admit it, Novemeber is my favorite picture/color scheme. Simply put, I love seagreen and I love potatoes. BOOM. November for the win.

Untitled

If you want to see the whole shebang (if by shebang you are referring to the calendar and not a hot cabana man), you can download the calendar in it’s entirely below!

Modern Garden 2013 Calendar

Thank you guys again SO MUCH for being amazing and wonderful and encouraging me. Even when I realize my shirt is on backwards, moments after I receive the materials to prep for the Masters Degree entrance test. Yep. It happened.

xo,

Heather

It’s A Very Mooey Mooey Christmas

Let’s take a break from the house renovations, a break from the holidays, and a break from everything that’s going on in our lives we’re working on and smile at the photos of these cows up at the farm, from this past spring. The farm hasn’t had enough love here on the blog in the last few months, and these cows deserve some face time.

Why?

Cause they’re awesome.

Oh, and while we’re at it – if you click on any of these photos they will be full size so you can print them out and frame them, you know, if you want a giant cow snout somewhere in your house.

Merry Christmas and you’re welcome. Cow snouts are perfect.

xo,

Heather