Broken Mirror=Lucky Find!

 

HomeGoods Driftwood MirrorYou know that moment when you see something in a store and your heart starts beating faster and you think “wow, I really need to have that-I don’t care how much it costs!!” And then you discover it is marked down in the clearance section and you think “OK, you’re mine!!” Recently, I stumbled upon this large painted driftwood flower mirror in the clearance bin at HomeGoods. It is painted the perfect colors for my kitchen/family room, and I knew in an instant it was to be mine!

driftwood mirror beforeSo ridiculously cheap, and it was there because the center mirror was missing so it was being sold-I love these words-AS IS. To whomever broke the mirror- sorry about your seven years of bad luck. But for me, my lucky day!! Now, how to repair it and replace the missing mirror? Simple. The back piece was already pulled away from the frame. I am assuming that it was removed to clear away all of the broken glass shards. No problem, easier for me. I happened to have a large round unframed mirror that I had purchased from Ikea quite awhile ago, and it was just the right size to fit in the opening.

Ikea Mirror

So, I pried the backing off the frame,

Driftwood Mirror Backing Removedthen centered the mirror into the opening, ensuring that the little squares around the edges of the mirror were evenly distributed.

Driftwood Mirror Insert

Now, how to affix it to the irregular driftwood pieces of the frame? What else but duct tape? Super strong and pliable so I could wrap it around the circular shape and affix it to the frame. (of course, this is where I should insert the pic of the duct taped mirror, but alas, I was so excited I forgot!) Once secured, I re-attached the backing to the frame with some screws,

Driftwood Mirror Backing Screws

making sure I missed the mirror (that would have changed my luck in a flash!), and then re-attached the large hanging bracket, again avoiding the mirror with the screws and hiding it behind one of the large driftwood petals.

Hanging Bracket Behind Driftwood

And now it has a perfect new home in my kitchen, where it is a constant reminder of the hope of spring (yup, it’s coming…) and the thrill of bargain hunting. I received so many compliments about my latest find on Easter Sunday as well! Oh, and PS: the floral runner is from HomeGoods too!

Driftwood Mirror Easter Vignette PM

Always goes to show you, one shopper’s junk is another shopper’s treasure.  And, you don’t always need to go dumpster diving to find a hidden one that just needs a bit of TLC. Hope you are having a #HomeGoodsHappy Thursday, everyone! Susan 

BOSTON: Fierce, Loyal, Proud: STRONG

Boston Strong.

Boston Strong LogoOver the past year, since the momentous events of last year’s Boston Marathon, we’ve heard that phrase used time and time again. For some, it means rebuilding a life without a loved one who was tragically lost during the bombings. For others, it is the day-to-day reminders-the scars, the wounds, the prostheses-that force them to remember those horrible events but pushes them to keep moving forward.

Ballgame Heroes Courtesy of The Next 26

Photo courtesy of The Next 26

For the majority of us, who were not present and could only watch in horror from afar as the events of that day, and week, unfolded, where heroes stepped forward and lives were permanently altered, it is a call to arms to help, to fight back and support the neediest among us.

The Next 26 Greater Boston Food BankAnd, it is a daily reminder of who we are, and who we choose to be as a city: fierce, loyal, proud. STRONG.

Nicholas Leydon & Chris Mathison The Next 26 Co-Founders

Photo Courtesy of Dear World: Boston Marathon

I am re-sharing this blog with all of you, one of my very first, for any curious onlookers watching and reading from afar who are interested in learning the origins and essence of this amazing, wonderful, joyful city we call Boston, our home.

“In honor of Patriots Day, a uniquely Massachusetts holiday, a little Boston history for your reading pleasure. Facts confirmed by Wikipedia, several historical societies and my historian-in-residence, Coach.  Click on the pictures for links to websites and information.

Boston (pronounced baws-tun). The Capital of Massachusetts. The Hub. The City of Champions (see Boston Red Sox, N.E. Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins). Although significantly smaller in population than The Big Apple, what we lack in size we make up for in historic stature. We are the site of the world’s oldest marathon, begun in 1897, the Boston Marathon.We have the oldest MLB ballpark, Fenway Park (c.1912)

Boston Strong Fenway Park

the Swan Boats (c.1877) in the Public Garden

and Harvard University, founded in 1636 and the alma mater of 7 US Presidents.

We are Beantown named for Boston Baked Beans, a dish created by the Colonials, using beans cooked in molasses, a plentiful product due to the slave trade. We are home of the USS Constitution, nicknamed “Old Ironsides”, (C.1787) the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat.

Named The Cradle of Liberty, and founded by the Puritans in 1630, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Instigators of the American Revolution, and the site of the Boston Tea Party

Boston Tea party

and the Boston Massacre

The Boston Massacreand the famous Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (the reason for this holiday!)

The Midnight Ride of Paul ReverePenned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1860, this poem details Revere’s April 18th journey by horseback from Charlestown to Lexington & Concord to warn the townspeople to take up arms in defense of the oncoming British invasion.

Paul Revere's Ride Map“…He said to his friend, “If the British march By land or sea from the town to-night, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light,– One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm.” 

Old North Church

The British, whose ships were in Boston Harbor, were planning a march to Concord, where they were to destroy supplies and munitions stored by the local militia. Revere’s plan was to make his way there ahead of the advancing British troops, alerting the locals along the way of the impending British invasion. On the night of April 18, 1775,  alerted by the two lanterns hanging in the Old North Church, indicating the British would be advancing in boats over the Charles River, Revere began his historic journey on horseback. He travelled from Charlestown to Concord, alerting the local minutemen of the advancing regiments. Captured and subsequently released by the British, he made his way to the Old North Bridge in Concord,

The Old North Bridge Concord Mass

the site of the Battles of Lexington and Concord , on April 19, 1775, the beginning of the American Revolution

There you have it. A quick US History lesson of Boston, featuring heroes and patriots, who were not unlike so many of the present day heroes among us who bravely stepped into the fray without fear or trepidation and altered the course of Boston’s history. So, whether this is a holiday for you or not, enjoy the day. And if you are one of the elite 36,000 running the 118th Boston Marathon-congratulations on such an amazing achievement and best of luck to you-stay strong! Happy Patriots Day, everyone! Susan

Cottage Fresh Country Cupboard

A few days ago I shared a project that I had been working on: transforming a country cupboard from this ugly, broken, junky piece to a cottage fresh country cupboard. This was the before:

Country Cupboard Unpainted

this was the during

Country Cupboard Painted

this is now.

White Country Cupboard Signed

A simple fresh white country cupboard that is filled with some of my cherished blue and white pieces, including this vintage set of Block China that I have kept stored away for over 30 years!

Block China Blue Strawberries

I have treasured this dinner set with the luscious blue strawberries for so long, but have never had an open cupboard to display them…and now I do! In this close-up pic you can also see the wainscoting wallpaper that I had installed and painted. It just gives a little extra depth to the otherwise plain back of the piece.

Blue & White Country Cupboard

You can read about the initial transformation process, including the prepping and installation of the wainscoting wallpaper here:

http://countrydesignhome.com/2014/04/10/wow-wainscoting-wallpaper/

Once I had finished painting the cupboard, I wanted to add just a bit of glazing to the detailed trim to enhance it. BUT, I did not want to change the overall look of the piece. It needed to remain bright white to contrast with the red walls of my dining room. This concoction of DecoArt Metallic Pearl White Paint + Behr Custom Color Sample (kind of a soft tan-but I’m not sure of the color because it was in the OOPs bin at HomeDepot for 50 cents!) + Martha Stewart Tintable Glaze Effects.

Martha Stewart Glaze, Americana Metallic Paint, Behr

I mixed it all together- lets say 6 parts glaze to two parts metallic paint to one part tan paint. Very scientific.

Martha Stewart Glazing Mixture

Then I painted it only on the areas where I wanted the trim to be defined- then wiped it off with a damp rag.

brushing on glazing mixture

Just a hint of color was left behind to enhance the deep trim work.

Country Cupboard Trim Glazed

Once it dried, I then mixed the Metallic Pearl White paint and the Tintable Glaze (about 50/50) and painted over all of the raised detail and trim areas. So what I have now is an elegant piece with a pearlescent glaze finish that captures the light and makes the detail pop.

Country Design Home White Glazed Trim

Perfect. It just goes to show you what a little TLC and elbow grease can do to transform any ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. And just in time-now I can clean up the dining room and get ready for Easter, whew!! Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! Susan

 

 

An Easter Bunny Pattern For You!

I know Easter is just around the corner, and you are probably Easter-crafted out, but I couldn’t resist the chance to share my chunky wood bunny with all of you! Many, many years ago, a dear friend of mine made this wooden Easter Bunny for me.

Pink Wood Easter BunnyFor all these years, he has been the center of my Easter decor, whether on the table, on the mantel or sitting on the buffet surrounded by yummy desserts. When Coach brought him down from the barn loft this year, I noticed that his pink coat had become dirty, worn and scratched. Not good for a bunny who needs to look his best while roaming the world delivering Easter baskets! I decided he was in dire need of a facelift. And, since I was taking him apart anyway, I thought I would trace the pattern and share it with all of you!  He was cut out of 1 1/2″ planks-very heavy and sturdy. But you could certainly use any width you would like. Here are the patterns (you just need to right-click and download them, then resize them to your specs)

The body is  14 3/4″ high by 8″ wide. You will need to cut one.

Wood Easter Bunny Pattern   The ears are  7″ long by 3 1/4″ wide. You will need to cut two of those, one for each side.

Wood Pattern Easter Bunny Ear

The arms are  7 1/2″ long by 3″ wide. You will need to cut two of those, one for each side.

Wood Pattern Easter Bunny Arm

The legs are  10″ wide by 6″ high.  You will need to cut two of those.

Wood Easter Bunny Leg

Once you have cut the pieces, you will need to cut three 3/8″ dowel pieces into 2 1/2″ lengths (assuming you are using the 1 1/2″ width wood for the bunny), one each for the arms, the ears and the legs. Using the proper size drill bit (it needs to be snug, so don’t use a larger one or else the extremities will just flop around!), drill the three hole completely through the bunny’s body. Tap the dowel through so there is 1/2″ protruding from either side.

With the same 3/8″ drill bit, drill 1/2″ deep holes into the extremities in the indicated spots on the patterns (the big black dot). Make sure you drill one on each side to create mirror images. Otherwise you’ll have a holy bunny!

The fun part: paint the bunny! Go nuts and make him polka dot or plaid or just plain and simple. He’s your bunny to keep, so have a ball. You can even have your kids give him the finger paint treatment : )If you do decide to make one, please share your pics!!

Painted Wood BunnyNow just gently twist the extremities onto the dowel sections of the body: Ears on top, arms in the middle, legs on the bottom. Or, you can mix it up and go all Picasso on him- that’s fine too. The fit should be snug so they stay in place and he stays upright. If you have made the holes too large, you will need to glue the pieces in place or add a little putty. And there you have it- a bunny that is ready to join in all the Easter fun! And my little guy? Well, he’s being painted right now, and he’s not quite ready to show off. But I wanted to get this pattern to you, just in case you need some last minute Easter fun. Have a warm and wonderful Wednesday, everyone! (I know I will : ) Susan

 

 

A Whale of a Sign from Nantucket!

Nantucket Brand Whale PaintingAs you all know, Coach and I are HUGE fans of all types of nautical decor, and especially anything with whales. Any time we come across a whale sign or carving (and tables, of course), we add them to our ever-growing collection for our nautical summer porch and family room. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to receive and review this hand-crafted Wooden Whale Sign from Nantucket Brand,

Nantucket Brand Logo

I jumped at the chance! This one is a beauty!! From the Nantucket Brand Emporium website,

The Emporium of Nantucketthe description reads: “Wooden sign featuring a painted black whale on a white background. This sign is handmade in the USA and makes for great nautical decor. Since each sign is handmade, colors and sizes will vary slightly. Sign measures approximately 10.5 x 30.”

Nantucket Brand Whale SignAll true, but, honestly, that description does not do this sign justice. The distressed, wooden hand-painted sign is hefty, quite large, and the design is bold but aged and weathered as if it had been sitting on a dock in the Nantucket sun for quite some time. Which fits in so nicely with our rustic, nautical summer porch decor! Nantucket Brand Whale SignThe Emporium of Nantucket also offers the inverse design: a black, distressed background with a white whale. Just as majestic and a perfect focal point for any nautical vignette.

Nantucket Brand White Whale SignIf you’ve never had the pleasure of visiting their shop on the beautiful island of Nantucket, then luckily for you, they offer their home decor items online at nantucketbrand.com.  You can purchase the whale sign, along with all types of nautical decor, like these gorgeous brass door knockers

Nantucket Brand Door Knockers Emporium

or these 3D WoodCut Nautical Charts

3D Wood Cut Nautical Chart

at nantucketbrand.com/shop/emporium, the online store of the Emporium of Nantucket,

The Emporium of Nantucketa family-owned island retail store that was established in 1947.  Additionally, if you visit their website, nantucketbrand.com and either like them on Facebook, Tweet about them @NantucketBrand or add your email to their mailing list, you automatically receive a 15% discount on your first order! So shop ahoy!! But if you are interested in the whale sign like mine, you’d better move quickly- there are only a couple left in stock! And the next time you drop anchor at the Emporium of Nantucket, tell them Sue from Country Design Home sent you. Anchors away, everyone!! Susan

WoW! Wainscoting Wallpaper!

Coach and I recently purchased this country-style cupboard at auction for…wait for it…$10!!! It was pretty grimy and the front doors were missing, but I just fell in love with the detail in the top trim and base.

Country Cupboard Before PaintingThe color was a faded and chipped greenish-mustardy yellow with some sort of stenciling on it. So not country pretty, so time for a makeover. First step, clean it up! Second step, I had to remove the middle piece of wood where the now-MIA doors would have normally closed and latched. (If anyone knows what that piece is actually called, let me know : )

Country Cupboard Middle trim pieceIt was easy to pop out with a tap of a hammer, but there was a wood spindle at the base that needed removing, since I wasn’t planning on replacing the doors.

Removing Spindle from Door(This is the point when Bartlet the Frenchie was exiled into the hall closet, as he was none too pleased with the noise of the saw and kept trying to attack it!)

Bartlet the French BulldogEasily done with a small saw, then I patched up the holes and was good to go. The first coat, my go-to primer, Glidden Gripper. It covers lots of sins : )

Glidden Gripper PrimerAmazing how one coat of primer can change the entire look of a piece! See how the detail pops with the clean, white paint!?

Country Cupboard Primed DetailMy finish paint choice? A lovely shade of creamy white called Snowfall White by Benjamin Moore in a matte finish.

Benjamin Moore Snowfall White

If Linen White and White Dove were married and had painty children, this is the color they would be. Before I applied the top coat, I decided I wanted to add some sort of trim or wainscoting to the back panels to give the cupboard a bit more interest. I went searching through Lowes (well, first I scoured the basement workshop and the barn but came up empty handed there), where I perused all sorts of wood, metal and vinyl options. I wanted something simple and lightweight to install that would give a nice finished look. At Lowes I discovered this roll of faux paintable, pre-pasted wallpaper wainscoting by Allen & Roth. Score!

Allen & Roth Paintable Wallpaper WainscotingIt looks like a regular roll of paper, but It had the feel of foam, so it is very lightweight and easy to cut with scissors. No dragging out my saw and sanding down edges, then gluing and nailing in place. Just measure, cut, dip and paste. Perfect.

Measuring Faux Wainscoting

Simple to cut, just measured it out, marked with a pencil and used scissors.

Faux Wainscoting Measure and CutDipped it in a warm bath in the sink for 30 seconds, then removed it and allowed it to sit for 3 minutes to allow the glue to really gel up.

Dipping Wallpaper in Warm BathThis is some seriously sticky and gluey glue! The panels went on so easily over the primed surface, and since I had already premeasured and cut, no additional trimming was necessary. I just placed the paper into position and used a damp sponge to wipe it down and remove any excess glue.

Wiping Faux Wainscoting with damp spongeAccording to the instructions, I waited 24 hours prior to painting, then I painted the entire piece with the Snowfall White.

Painting Faux WainscotingAnd folks, this really does look like raised wood wainscoting!

Faux Wainscoting PrimedThis painted piece is so much better, BUT, I am not finished.

Country Cupboard Painted

I need to decide on an accent glazing color, and I am open for suggestions. Red, lavender, gray, blue, brown, what color would you choose to enhance the beautiful trim and the wainscoting without changing the overall feel of the cupboard? I am loving the white, but it needs just a touch of something!

Country Cupboard Trim Detail

And this needs to be completed quickly, as Easter is fast approaching, so time is of the essence. Help! Susan

Coronado Captured in Color

This past weekend I spent a little R & R in California to recharge my blogging soul and warm my freezing bones. Mission accomplished. Sharing just a few sights and sounds of colorful Coronado, a resort city that sits across the bay from San Diego, connected by the spectacular San Diego/Coronado Bridge.

Coronado Bridge ViewView From The Bridge Color Capture

Colorful Coronado Bridge ViewWhenever I go walking to explore my surroundings, I always have my iPhone at the ready to take photos. And, with my Benjamin Moore Color Capture App, I can replicate those exact colors of nature in paint-to add a touch of sunny California to my home! Hmmm, I wonder if they have an EARTHQUAKE app?!?

San Diego Harbor-A View From Coronado

San Diego View From Coronado

San Diego Harbor Color Capture

Colorful Coronado San Diego Skyline

Coronado Brick Walkway

Brick Walkway Coronado

Brick Walkway Color Capture

Colorful Coronado Brick WalkwayPurple Flower Color Capture

Colorful Coronado Lavender Floral WalkwayGreen Grass and White Picket Fences

20140330_172102772_iOS

Green Grass Color Capture

Colorful Coronado Green Grass

Coronado Flower Gardens

Malibu Beach Photo

Lavender Daisies Color Capture

Colorful Coronado Daisies

 

Fresh From the Farm

Famer's Market Produce

Luscious Red Tomato Color Capture

Red Tomato Color Capture

Boney’s Bayside Farmer’s Market

Boneys Farmers Market

Fresh From the Farm Color Capture

Colorful Coronado Farmers MarketCoronado Bicycle Weathervane

Bicycle Windmill CoronadoWeathervane Color Capture

Weathervane Color Capture

If you haven’t downloaded the Color Capture App to your smartphone, do it now! You will be amazed at all of the colors available in each picture frame that you can’t see with the naked eye. Have a spring-in-your-step kind of Thursday, everyone!! Warmer temps will be here soon… maybe. Susan

 

 

 

 

Samsung Galaxy 3 Giveaway!!

So, I’m back from Cali and happy to share this fabulous giveaway hosted by So Simply Stephanie and 4 other bloggers, including me, Country Design Home!  I know, this typically isn’t my type of blog post, but I thought, who wouldn’t want to win a Samsung Galaxy 3 Tablet-perfect for blogging on the go!!  So here’s the info:Title Poster Galaxy 3

Welcome to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Giveaway!

Open Internationally

 

April 1st – 21st, 2014

One lucky winner will win a 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite -7.0-8GB

{ARV $149.99}

Sponsored By:

Ruda Ett DVD AB Publications’  Heroes of the City Kids App

Available for FREE at iTunes &  GooglePlay

Hosted By:

Co-Hosted By:

 

 

A special thanks to Ruda Ett DVD AB Publications, the creators of the Heroes of the City Kids App, for their generosity in sponsoring this event!

About the Heroes of the City App for Kids

Heroes of the City App

An all-in-one, safe and fun children’s application.This is a perfect app for children 2-6 year. The app includes more than six hours of entertaining movies and nine exciting games!The content is fully adapted to the target audience and is based on the popular television series Heroes of the City.

Features: 

More than six hours of entertaining movies!

Nine exciting games!

Air Play function for your Apple TV!

Collect trophies to unlock your own secret surprise!

One full movie episode, 3 games and a music video for free.

Languages: 

Give your children their first contact with a new language; it is possible to switch between multiple languages. The app includes English, Swedish, Russian, Polish, Thai, Korean, Dutch, Italian, Czech and Hungarian languages.

Also be sure to check out So Simply Stephanie’s Heroes of the City App Review .

Download the Heroes of the City App for FREE!

Available at iTunes &  GooglePlay

Plus, receive additional entries into the giveaway when you post your review!

 

 Giveaway

The great folks Ruda Ett DVD AB Publications will be giving

 one lucky winner a 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite – 7.0 – 8GB

{ARV $149.99}

 

Open Internationally

Ends April 21st, 2014at 11:59pm CST

To Enter Complete Entries Via The Rafflecopter Link Below

Rafflecopter

 

Be sure to download the app &

share your review on iTunes and/or GooglePlay 

for additional entries! 

All entries will be verified. 

Please use  hashtag #HotCSTG in your review. 

 

RULES/DISCLOSURE: Void where prohibited. Must be of legal age to enter. This blog did not receive compensation to participate in this giveaway. Ruda Ett DVD AB Publications will be responsible for prize fulfillment and shipment. A single winner will be randomly chosen via the Rafflecopter widget and notified via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification with their shipping address or a new winner will be chosen. Winner’s information will be shared with Ruda Ett DVD AB Publications for the purpose of prize shipment. The winner will also be announced on SoSimplyStephanie.com. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media outlets and website platforms are not associated with this giveaway, do not endorse and are not responsible for this giveaway in anyway. Downloading and reviewing this app is not required to win, but greatly appreciated. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Stephanie at sosimplystephanie@gmail.com.

 

Pretty Pasadena

Since the winter has been so reluctant to release its icy clutches in the Northeast, I figured a little R & R in sunshiny California might boost my spirits and get my creative juices flowing again! Luckily we have relatives living up and down the California coastline, so first stop, Pasadena!

Screenshot (16)

Not quite as warm as I had hoped, but by Boston standards, a relative heat wave!! Yesterday we took a drive down to Malibu to catch the Pacific Ocean-breathtaking…

Malibu Beach Pacific Ocean

Today, I took a walk around the neighborhood where we are staying in the historic Orange Heights District of Pasadena.

Screenshot (11)

Quaint little bungalows and cacti line the streets,

Pasadena Welcome Sign

and everywhere there are palm trees,

Screenshot (17)

bright green grass

Screenshot (15)

and beautiful flower gardens.

Screenshot (20)

Makes me long for springtime to finally arrive in Boston.

Screenshot (14)

This historic area has a Spanish influence that is reflected in the architecture, loving these steps and wrought iron gate.

Screenshot (18)

Nearing my walk’s end, I spotted this box, which I initially thought to be a bird house. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a little neighborhood free lending library!

Screenshot (13)

This is the view from the front porch where we are staying. Palm trees and grapefruits

Grapefruit Trees

and white picket fences.

Pasadena Porch Yard

Sweet. Tomorrow its onto San Diego! And don’t worry, Coach is at home digging up new treasures for me to DIY once we get back home. Hope things are warming up on the east coast!! But for now, haste la vista, baby!! Susan

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