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.



Anthropologie Inspired Coasters {Sort Of}

It’s no secret that as a crafter I’m drawn to two things: Anthropologie and Pinterest. When you put these things together you get lots of inspiration, at an affordable price. Most of the time when I see an Anthropologie Inspired item, it’s trying to make a replica of something on Anthropologie. This isn’t quite that kind of post. It’s been inspired in a different way.

I was on the site a few weeks ago, scouting out a cute egg holder they had for cheap {and yes, I bought it in blue}.

While I was on there I also saw the wallpaper and swooned a little. Then I saw it. Free wallpaper samples. That were about 4×6. I have no shame in saying I ordered every. single. sample. they had. Ok, maybe I also ordered some more that weren’t there when I initially ordered them. I had to see what these looked like in person. I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I was obviously going to do something with them.

They came in and I was a little bit excited. So excited in fact, that I hung them on my new reclaimed barn window board just so I could stare at them as I walked by all day. Googly Eyes.

I realized it would be fun to have these as coasters. Could it work? I mean of course it could work, but what might it look like? Hi Ho Pinterest!


Oh yes, I will do this. Thank you Pinterest.

I knew the tiles had to be cheap, and I knew mod podge would do the trick. How cheap though, and which mod podge? A trip to Home Depot proved the white tiles were .16 cents a piece. Yes, I will take 12 of them and pay under $3.00 thank you very much. I tried the Matte podge. Not hard enough. So I pulled out the big guns, using a 50% off coupon at AC Moore.

How I’ve done this certainly isn’t the only way – but it worked for me and I liked it.

First cut your paper to size. I realized the Anthropologie wallpapers weren’t quite wide enough to fit the entire tile. My first incantation of this was to use the wallpaper, and part of the label (the piece of paper it’s mounted on).  My second incantation was to center the paper and leave a small white border around two sides (you’ll see both below).

I also used some nonthropologie scrap paper, which I simply traced the tile on and cut to size.

Second, I used a sponge brush to put a thin layer of hardcoat mod podge on the tile. Mod Podging in one hand and photographing in the other, in low light, was quite the feat.

Third, lay down your paper onto the top and make sure it’s all aligned. If you’re using the Anthro wallpaper, or otherwise collaging, you can let it overlap the sides for this step. You’ll just need an exacto knife to cut the excess off. Smooth out the paper to remove any air bubbles, and make sure to let it set up for a minute or two before the next step. Once it’s set up a bit, if you have any overhang, turn the tile over on a clean surface and use the exacto knife to trim it all square and clean.

Fourth, put a thin coat of mod podge on the top of your tiles, over the paper. Make sure to do this in multiple thin coats. It will cut down on drying and cure time, and build up a hard coat which is what you want. Don’t forget to do the sides of the tile too – you need the edges of the paper sealed as well.

This is the anthro paper leaving a little bit of an edge on it.

Fifth. Wait, am I on the fifth step? I think so. Let’s go with that.

Fifth, keep on podging. Some people mention spraying the top with a hard acrylic sealer to make it last longer. At some point I will likely do this, but I want to test some of my less awesome (i.e. first ones) out first without to see if it holds up. Now, according to Mod Podge, it has to set for four weeks before it’s fully set. Try and wait the four weeks. If you can’t, at least stay away from hot drinks. It will melt that shiz since it isn’t cured yet.

Sixth. Well, I haven’t done sixth yet but I plan on it. You’ll want to put something on the bottom to keep them from scratching your surface – these are tiles after all. Some people use felt dots, I plan on going full out and gluing a felt square onto the bottom. I highly recommend this.

Once you’re done, you get these. Anthropologie inspires {sort of} coasters. C’est Magnifique indeed.

….and my favorite. The lofty larks.

The more I made these, the better they got (you know, like most things in life, practice helps). This is such an easy and fun project because it’s so customizable. I love the Pinterest found ones from above that have a white border the entire way around. You could also spray paint the tiles first if you wanted them to be a different color. If you do, just do it in a well ventilated area and again – multiple thin coats is better than one thick drippy one.

So many options. So much paper. So little time.

I might be a little obsessed with making these out of a bunch of different mediums.

So family – you might all be getting handmade coasters for Christmas.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Oh, and Anthropologie – thank you for the free samples {that you offer everyone}. Sorry I can’t afford the actual wallpaper by the rolls.

If I could, I’d probably make coasters out of it. You guys are awesome.

Happy Podging, Pinning, and Pining on Anthropologie,


{Anthropologie has no idea this post, or my little blog, exists. I have not been paid or perked to write this. Not my style. You can see my stance on that here}.

Adventures with Abigail – Folly 101

I intended to start this blog “series” a while back and it just kept getting pushed off. I very casually call it a series, because there’s no schedule to it.

So what’s with the title? Abigail is my lunch buddy, and wonderful. Folly 101 is one of my favorite stores in Portland, Maine – it only made sense to make this my first Adventures post, because Abigail introduced me to it. This is not a paid post and I have received no product in return for this, I just love this store.


Abigail is one of my favorite people I’ve ever known. She works at an architecture firm that our company works with. One day our companies had a meeting and we were both there. She was wearing a chunky sweater, had long natural wavy hair and not a drop of makeup on. Oh, and she’s southern. I immediately liked her. We bonded pretty quickly during our second meeting when she got a really shitty call and I immediately dropped my business mode and was like forget this meeting, and just hugged her. Ever since then her and I have met up at least once a week, give or take, to take a walk, eat gelato, drink hot chocolate, eat lunch, sit on a nook and vent to each other – whatever, we just get together during lunch.

She has the best life stories. Even if there is the rare sad one, you always somehow end up laughing you butt off. She’s one of those people who is modest, and you find out these stories in the most random ways, and you always feel better after you’ve hung out with her. We’re pretty similar in a lot of ways, and very different too. One, she’s a New Englander at heart who was raised, primarily, in the south. This means she’s a little rough around the edges, but also completely a southern lady. It is a hilariously wonderful juxtaposition. I don’t care if that’s the wrong term, it sounds right. I on the other hand, have an inner southern grandmother, but was raised in New England.

Oh, and don’t call her Abby, Gail, Ab, A, Big . She’s Abigail. If you meet her you’ll totally agree with me.

The point is – she’s fabulous. I told her a long time ago I would do this and she pointed out it should be called “Adventures with Heather”. I am, afterall, the one who walked through the city with a small plastic kiddie pool over my head. The one I found at Reny’s for 10 dollars for the pooches.

The point is, she’s probably right. This is my blog though, so in yo’ face Abigail (mwahaha). I know you’re reading this.

Folly 101

How do I explain this store? Fabulous-country-chic-rustic-modern-lovely-wonderful-perfect-*sigh*.

If you’re ever in Portland, please go to Folly 101, located (appropriately) at 101 Exchange Street.

The store is broken up into decor by color, with the back being bedding and baby stuff. I had to laugh at this photo. Baby and Abigail do not go hand in hand. I took this photo, laughed and said I was posting it on my blog. She said “Don’t you dare!” in her North Carolina twang.

So obviously here it is.

Here are a few of my other favorite things from this store – besides everything ever.

1.) Napkins

2.) Tea Set duuuhhhh

3.)  That book “Pale & Interesting”. Aptly named – it was indeed pale, and interesting.

Southern Pie! Are you? Do I?

There is nothing else I need to say about that. You know me, it’s obvious what I’m in love with about that.

The candles are really pretty, but I mainly took this photo because I like the layout on the table.

Everything. Everything about this photo. The rugs are so nice. The styling is amazing in this store. The mantle always has something beautifully displayed, the blankets hanging by the mantle are so soft and plush and under those lights are necklaces that are charming as the dickens.

These cute little votive glasses start at a few bucks each and would be great for a variety of reasons.

Leather handle nesting baskets. I am a sucker for baskets,  but when you put a leather handle on them I swoon a little – especially when they are nested and next to an interior brick wall.

Finally – I’m not sure this next photo needs any explanation but I will.

Rustic styled tray & a book on cookies. Not just any cookies. Bigfatcookies.

Done and done.

To be completely honest, I probably photographed some of the less awesome things about this place because I was too overwhelmed and running around looking at everything. I completely missed a photo of the old hoosier style cabinet filled with soaps and bathroom stuff, the front windows which are incredible and even a picture of the store sign.

I get slight amnesia when I walk in here.

The details:

Price Point: This store is on the higher side, generally. Despite how much I like it, I have never actually bought anything but that is because I’m so super cheap – and I wouldn’t even know what to buy because I like it all. There are some incredible deals here though. I saw a 3×5 rug for $25.00 – that’s pretty awesome. I might go back and buy it. Once we redo the house I will likely have a few things from here.

Staff: The staff is friendly, sweet, wonderful. When we walked in the other day I even saw a bridal consultant I had, at a different store, who was the nicest person.

Location: It’s located near the top of Exchange Street, and there’s street parking. With the plethora of great small stores in Portland, it’s worth it to find a spot and hit up a few places at once.

Just make sure one of them is Folly 101. You won’t regret it.

Much Love,


You Can Just Call Me Primey Painterson

This just in. Heather can’t look at shades of white any longer for the livingroom. So, with no shade chosen the preparations have begun, (see the start of this project here).

The solid pine boards on our walls are approximately grade z. This means there are roughly 500 knots per square foot. On Friday evening after work I picked up a small can of BIN at Home Depot. As a side note – this isn’t “primer” like you might think , it’s quite watery (and it’s suppose to be).  It worked great.

As a reminder, for the last 3 1/2 years the living room has looked like this more or less.

Friday evening it was looking more like this:

On Saturday, Mr. A and I went to Home Depot to pick up a couple things for this project, and a few things Mr. A needed for a basement project (to be posted later this week). I grabbed a bucket of 1-2-3 water based primer hoping it would be enough to cover the BIN and the wood, which as a reminder are solid wood boards not the typical wood paneling.

With one coat of primer the wall looked crazy. As you can see, the BIN does an awesome job. The 1-2-3 primer soaked into the wood everywhere except the knots (where it should be soaking in the most). Had I thought ahead I would have painted all the walls with BIN to stop the wood from soaking up the primer.

Two coats of primer definitely made a bigger difference. The discoloration by the stairs is from the light, not the primer.

I accidentally spilled the BIN, hence that awesome white spot on the floor. We are planning on painting the floors so I wasn’t especially careful (at all) in regards to getting paint on the floor. If you are planning on keeping your nice floors nice, I would highly suggest putting down drop cloths and using painters tape.

Once I ran out of primer I really needed to settle on a color scheme. On Friday when I grabbed the BIN, I popped into Homegoods and Marshalls and found an awesome blue and white lamp for $30.00 marked down from $60.00. Saturday as I was looking around my house for inspiration I realized my colors were sitting right in front of me.

News Team Four Assemble! (Ok, I might have had anchorman on while I was painting). I grabbed a pillow I made from Mardens fabric, the lamp I bought, my wire rooster I adore and paint samples. See the flowers in the pillow? Those are my colors.

Here’s a better shot. I had to get my beautiful wire rooster in, he can’t be left out because he will very much be in the decor. As the newest member to our household he deserved to be in on this.

I’m aware those blues look all the same, but in person they are very different. The square is more traditional blue, the rectangle one has a hint of teal in it and the two together are more gray blues.

The decision? The primary wall color will be “seapearl” (the second darkest). As for the floor and large wall, I’m thinking either the “square” color for the floor and the “rectangle” color for the wall – or the two grayish ones with the dark for the floor and the lighter for the wall. I’m going to get samples of each and test them out.

So as of Saturday, that’s where we stand. I’ll be getting those samples this week and updating on what happens next! Hopefully by then I’ll be painting, and maybe will even have the rug purchased. I’ll get into the rug choice later – some things need to be left for next time!

Happy Painting…and painting…and painting,


Oh The Abode

As I’ve mentioned before, when we bought our house it desperately needed work. We’ve done an immense amount of work on the property, leaving the house until last. Recently we realized we may not be able to do our addition this summer. I told Mr. A I needed to revamp the living room to save my sanity.

It’s about time I show you all the interior of the house, at least part of it. I spend a lot of time thinking about what the house will look like so when I see my photos, I see what everyone else does. The thought of sharing them sends a shiver down my spine a little.

I love my little house, but it’s a bit of a cave. I couldn’t spend another winter in the cave. Although it’s cozy, I could do without all the paneling, and the stenciled hostile Amish picnic. Exactly why are their hands joined back to back?

Welcome to my home. Let the mini-tour begin.

When you come into the house, you come into the kitchen and large central room with oak floors. This was the main room of the original home. Off of the large room is every other room in the house (minus our bedroom). The living room is in a two story half addition the previous owners put on. It’s a half addition because it only spans half of the house – it’s extremely odd looking. See it sticking up in the picture below?

For whatever reason the previous owners loved wood paneling, really, really rough wood paneling. Yes, that is a painted sub-floor – that is level with the original floor. This leads me to believe this was done on purpose. Yes, I’ve received more than one splinter. Yes, those are my overalls hanging up. Welcome to the cave.

Once you step into the room you see this. It’s hard to get classier.

Finally, the piece de resistance…a fully paneled wall.

To say this room is the opposite of my style wouldn’t be accurate enough. The wood needs to go. The couches need to be covered, and the room needs desperately to be painted. Oh so badly. Even though we’re tearing it down, I can’t handle it for another winter. I started scouring the internet and my “inspiration book” (on my computer) and came across this:

The Urban Farm House

I love the idea of painting our floor and was thinking a nice chocolate brown color and then using a natural rug between the two couches, so when I saw this inspiration photo I was in heaven.

After a paint book and much debate, I headed over to Benjamin Moore and picked up three colors – White Dove, Dove Wing and Pale Oak. After painting a swatch of all three of on each wall and wood paneling around the room, I’m waiting to see what grows on me.

So that’s where we are now. Me, staring at paint changing colors throughout the day. I never knew white could be so hard to choose. I’ll be adding photos of the paint swatches when I can get better daylight photos. I can tell you that right now I’m leaning towards Pale Oak for the paneling and Dove Wing for the walls. White Dove may be too white for this house (and the kind of living we do).

As for the rest of the plans – I’m going to add color in through pillows and accessories, and as of now we will not be painting the ceiling beams. Mr. A really wants to keep them as is.

I expect next weekend I’ll be picking up some primer and some paint. Until then – I’m on the search for two piece fitted couch slipcovers for a reasonable price. Let’s see how this goes!

Happy Cave-Demolishing,