Hey there! I am beyond blessed to be the wife of Mark Andrew and the stay-at-home-mommy of Quinn and Morgan! I love to decorate, create things, and generally make life more beautiful! Come join me, and let's see what we can make today!

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Faux Fireplace

Bustle Dress


DIY Tutu

Boys Room Makeover

Glazed Cabinets

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Wallpaper fail!

To keep things (read: my attitude!) bright and cheery, let's start with this adorable picture of Mo.  I just love this girl!

And this pic is also a sneak peek at my foyer.  I was going to show you the foyer today, but, in keeping with my vow of authenticity, I'm just not feeling it!  I just don't have the energy that staging photos would take.  I'll show you what I mean.

Aside from poor lighting, this photo doesn't look too bad.  But perception is everything.  Let's pan out, shall we?

This is what my foyer REALLY looks like!  Now, how authentic would it be for me to just show you the first pic?! ;) 

Okay.  Let's talk wallpaper.  Yes, I have used wallpaper.  And, as you can see, I recently "wallpapered" my foyer with pages from an old dictionary.  I actually like the look of many wallpapered spaces. That being said, my 1972 house has a paintable wallpaper throughout the stairs, hallway, and master bed and bath.  The wallpaper is/was very damamged and just old.  

I decided (right before we had 30 people over for Thanksgiving, naturally) that I could not stand the wallpaper any longer. The kids thought it was great fun to tear down the paper!

I learned that this type of wallpaper is called "peelable wallpaper".  Peelable means that the vinyl rips away from the paper/glue backing very easily.  Sometimes the glue even comes with it. The walls are quite dinged and damaged, and wanting to speed the process along, I decided that I would peel the loose glue and just paint over the rest and call it "texture".  Yeah...don't ever do that, or this will happen.

I decided to test a patch of wall with some paint. (Thank the Lord for some common sense!) I just took a paint brush and painted a section of wall that is normally behind a mirror.  Sadly, once the paper/glue was moistened by the paint, the paper started peeling off with each brush stroke.  (Maybe I didnt have that much common sense after all!  WHY did I think this would be a good idea?!?!)

I quickly realized that I was going to have to remove all of the paper/glue, and I just about cried, mainly because I am going to FINALLY start working on our master bedroom-- as soon as I finish the stairs and hall.  I thought this project would take about a week, but the glue is so awful to remove that I changed my time frame to the end of February.  I lamented on FB about the disgusting nightmare that is wallpaper removal (Seriously, it is sooooooo gross! The glue is sticky and nasty and gets on everything!) and I got tons of tips on wallpaper removal. Since my wallpaper was peelable, there is no need to score or steam the paper.  What I have eneded up doing is taking an old spray bottle, adding a tiny amount of laundry detergent and filling the bottle with warm water.  I spray a section of the wall, wait about five minutes, and then take a metal scraper and the glue and paper comes right off.  It is a huge job and slow going, but I know it will be worth it.  

And, keeping me entertained while I work is the ever changing mystery of what was on the walls before the paper.  At first, I thought that the wallpaper was original to the house, and that it was put up on unfinished drywall.  However, I have yet to see any tape marks or drywall screws, so the drywall had to have been finished.  (I briefly thought that the walls could be plaster, but they are definitely drywall.) I am now sure that the paper is not original, because I have found some writing with dates on the walls.  Looks like the paper went up in the spring of 1987.  And it seems that the kids were given free reign with some markers before the paper went up, because everyone's room is labeled (Drew, Dana, Dean, and Barb + Paul), and there are notes and pictures on the wall! It is hilarious!  If anyone knows the Kurth family, tell them I found their artwork! This one has a square with a smiley face in it labeled "mirror" and "your reflection".  So funny!

I have also found some other surprises, like, what appears to have been a foot through the wall.  I am not sure how long that has been there, but the mirror that I took down has been there since we bought the house and the well concealed hole hasn't bothered us, and I plan to just put the mirror right back over it.  Authenticity, folks.  Right here.

Anyhow, this is what I am working on for the next couple of weeks.  Ugh.  I have to get a tall ladder to reach the ceiling in the stairwell.  

I have loads of quick and easy projects that I have done over the last six months, so I will show you some of those in the coming weeks, along with my wallpaper progress!

How about you guys?  Anyone had to remove wallpaper?  Anyone working on something fun? Tell me about it! I'd love to feature some of your work this year--whether or not you have a blog!  If you have a project you want to share, send me some pics and I will feature it!

I'm off to strip more wallpaper...;)

P.S. Thank you all so much for your kind emails regarding my last post! I've missed blogging and it's good to be back, especially with some clear priorities! Enjoy the Son!



Keeping it real in 2014

If this is your first time stopping by HBK, welcome!  If you have been stopping by for awhile, I appreciate you welcoming ME back!  I know.  It's been a loooooooooooooong time.

Many months ago, I received a couple of comments (in real life, not blogland) in reference to my blog and how, "You just have everything together and everything always looks lovely." I assured the commenters that anything good they saw in my life was Christ, and that I most certainly DO NOT have everything together.  Those comments were meant to be compliments, but they really shook me.  Like, shook me to the core.  I started to think about what I wanted to get out of my blog and what I want others to get out of my blog.  Then I started to realize that I didn't know how to convey my message while being authentic--with readers AND myself.  So I prayed.  And I thought.  And prayed some more. And thought and prayed and prayed and thought...

And here we are today.  I certainly don't have all the answers I thought I was searching for, but what I do have are some goals and guidelines to help, and I feel compelled to share them with you.

1.  Purpose of my blog - To provide creative and budget friendly ideas for others to try/expand upon, and to provide creative validation for myslef.

I am a stay at home mom, and I LOVE it.  That doesn't make me better or worse than any other mom, it makes me ME.  My home is where our life happens, and I enjoy making it a welcome place for my family and our guests.  I am so grateful to be able to stay home with our kids, and I love to just hang out and create things with them, and I like to encourage others to try projects with their kiddos, too.

2.  Number of post per week - Realistically, only 1-2.  Maybe more someday...;)

Since my blog is basically "just for fun", it doesn't even make "the list" of daily responsibilities.  That being said, I LOVE to share ideas with others and read what they are doing, so I am going to make it a priority to spend some time on myself (it's not selfish, it's necessary!) and create at least one post each week.  Ideally I'd love to have 2-3 every week, but if we are to learn anything from my previous posting schedule, we know that is NOT going to happen!

3.  Authenticity - I will be genuine (as always) in my posts, and focus on my part.

During the many months of prayer, one thing that was continually impressed upon my heart was that I am not responsible for the way others perceive my words.  I certainly think that I have a responsibility to be mindful of what I say.  In real life, and on this blog, I am very intentional with the words I choose.  (This has not always been the case for me, but it is something that I have really worked at over the last several years, and I see MUCH improvement in myself!) However intentional I may be, I have learned that some people will still find a way to turn things around or focus on something that I hadn't even thought of.  You guys! I was literally EXHAUSTING myself trying to create posts that no one could criticize.  That was ridiculous.  First of all, criticism  can be very useful, and I am learning to take criticism gracefully.  Second, if someone does read something into a post that I didn't intend, that reveals more about them than about me.  So, with that in mind, I am going to work to create a post or two each week to share what's happening with us, and I will not allow myself to be creatively crippled by fear of dissaproval from others, because that's just silly!

So, if you're still here with me, I'd love to see what we can create this year!  I have so many projects in the works, and I'd love to show you some and see what you guys are up to!  Thanks for hanging with me!

And, on this record breaking cold day, it is incredibly important to enjoy the Son!



Fourth of July

So, I am laughing because I just checked last year's blog post on my Fourth of July mantle, and it appears I took a six week hiatus last summer, too! What can I say?  Summer is so.much.FUN!!!  I promise I will update you on the flea market and all of the other projects I have been working on soon. For now, I just want to share a quick tutorial on a patriotic, DIY T-shirt, along with a couple of shots of my mantle.  But let me apologize in advance: I was too lazy busy to get out my camera and take "real" pictures, so I just took a few shots with my iPhone. Then I was too impatient to import full res photos, so all these shots are kind of "meh", but hopefully you'll just be happy to see a new post and will overlook the grainy photos.  Please?

Let's start with the mantle.  

It's getting late, and I'm exhausted, so just look around and enjoy and imagine some wordy commentary from me.  Or just enjoy the silence.  Whichever you prefer.

The pics aren't great, so that's enough for now, but I REALLY like this mantle!  It's been fun to put together!

Now for a quick tutorial.  I recently saw a "bow" on the back of a T-shirt, and I decided I would try to make one. I checked Pinterest to see if I could find a tutorial, and there were LOADS of pins, of course. Here is what you will need.

A T-shirt (mine was $3.88 today, from Wal-Mart)

A rotary cutter and cutting board (scissors will work, but a rotary cutter will be faster/easier)

Fabric glue

The first thing I did was cut off the sleeves and the neckline.  Just follow the seam, and if you want to take a bit more off (which I did), just move in about 1/2 inch and take off a little more.  

Next, slide your cutting board inside your T-shirt.  Determine how many "bows" you want, and start making slits in the fabric.  I wanted five bows, so I made four slits.  This part made me nervous at first, then I was like, "It's a $3 T-shirt that you will probably only wear for a couple of hours--not a big deal if it's perfectly spaced." So, after that self-talk, I just eyeballed the spacing and made cuts that were approximately seven inches long.

I forgot to take a pic of the next step, but I pinched together the neckline and the top of the first slip, and wrapped a small strip of the sleeve that I cut off, gluing the pieces together.  I just moved down the shirt, pinching the pieces together and gluing a strip of fabric around them.  Hard to explain in my sleepy state, but totally easy to do.  Try it.  It will work.  It will be fantastic!

Anyhow, here is what the back of the shirt looks like.  I tried to take a self pic, but...well...let's just say it didn't turn out.  I will have to share pics from the Fourth next week.

And the front is cute, too.

Disclaimer: While some folks could pull this shirt off on it's own, this momma will either be wearing it as a swim suit cover up or with a white tank underneath!  

There you have it.  A mantle update AND a tutorial.  Let's see if can get it together and post anything else this summer! ;) If you don't hear from me, I will see you in September!

Enjoy the Son!


May Mantle

If you follow me, personally, on FB you already know this, but I have been so encouraged by all the prayers that I am going to post this here, too! Quinn was sent home last Tuesday with pink eye. Then he spiked a fever on Wednesday. On Thursday I took both my shorties to the doc, and my Q had strep throat. Mo had a cold and an ear infection. Then Q's ear drum burst on Friday. Yesterday my husband took his new bicycle for a quick spin, and the tire blew and he tipped and broke his collar bone. Today I am thanking God for our health, even in the midst of our ailments, and Casting Crowns "Praise You in the Storm" keeps running through my head. In spite of everything, I am encouraged.  

1 Chronicles 16:34 "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures for ever." Amen? Amen!!!

I am working like crazy on my booth for the flea market, so I haven't spent much time working on projects for my house.  I did, FINALLY, update my mantle.  I mean, it isn't Easter anymore...;) This mantle has a very similar feel to the Easter Mantle, but no bunnies!  





It's time for some more pain medicine for my hubs, so I've got to run.  Enjoy your day, and enjoy the Son!!!



I recently rescued this curio cabinet from the curb.  Actually, my friend called and said she was hauling it to the curb, but she would let me come and grab it from the living room if I wanted it.  I guess I technically DID save it from the curb...

It was missing a panel of glass, and I immediately thought I would remove the other two panels of glass and replace all the panels with chicken wire.  However, I ended up really crushing on some "poultry mat", and used that instead.  Poultry mat is more similar to a screen, but much sturdier.  I gave this gal a good cleaning, a coat of primer and two coats of paint, then used a faux finishing glaze to distress her.  When I attached the poultry mat, it was just too shiny for the look I was going for, so I (haphazardly!) brushed some paint on the mat, giving it a time-worn look. 

Seriously yummy, right?! I am so happy with this piece!  Do you have something with glass or a mirror that you are waiting to have repaired?  Maybe consider replacing the glass with something else.  Chicken wire, perhaps? 

This may not be the most clever project I have completed, but I think the transformation is just fantastic, and I hope you like it, too!