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Family & Weekend Fun


We had a little get together last weekend...
Our family, extended family and friends (about 20 of us!)
gathered for a little get together to celebrate 8th grade graduation
for my daughter and her friend Leila
 and to celebrate just being family

We laughed... 
We are a wild bunch~ I tell you.
Not a dull moment when you get a few of us together.

We talked about old family stories...
 and we talked about some new stories that came to light that we weren't aware of.
As I said... never a dull moment.

Though I took a bunch of photos not everyone was so sure about being on my blog
so sharing just a couple photos of the day 

My oldest son Ryan and girlfriend Cassie

My babies :)

Brothers, sisters and mom

my sister

Also, a little something extra special too
a certain young man celebrated his birthday recently too...

How many babies do you know that are born ON their due dates?
Who decide to let you sleep all night long and wake up in the morning feeling
as refreshed as you can feel when you are 9 months pregnant
 before announcing it was the day of his arrival?

Cully is my little blondie boy who ran around charming me everyday when he was little with
his chubby cheeks, his funny phrases and his absolute sweetness
and he has grown into such a wonderful young man who I am so proud of.

and yes, 
he LOVES cake just as much now too! 


See you soon for a little burlap love post! 

Feathered Nest Friday

It's Feathered Nest Friday time again~
are you ready to link up?

French Country Cottage

This week I shared the  rock fireplace  HERE  that we have been working on building

and a few details on how to make a chalkboard  HERE with an old frame.

I also wanted to say a big thank you to Kmart for featuring my Outdoor Living Design in
the online magazine~ and for putting it on the cover!!

We had a little  party of our own last weekend- so I didn't get as  many visits in but
the party was fantastic as usual~ it's so hard to pick just a few to highlight each week!

No Minimalist Here shared the architectural salvage piece that she found and used for her mantel decoration.

Loving this book page garland from The Good Life

Patti's Artful Designs shared her rocking chair makeover

Love City Farmhouse's Summer mantle
Beyond the Screen Door shared this darling pillow- love it.
If you were featured~  please feel free to grab a button if you would like! 

French Country Cottage

Onto this weeks edition of Feathered Nest Friday!! 
Welcome to new partygoers, welcome back and thank you to all my party animal friends
for taking the time to come over and share your wonderful
links each week!
decorating, flea finds, designs, transformations
crafts, table settings, etc.
ANYTHING related to feathering your nest!

Make sure you post a button or a link back to the party on your post.

if you aren't already.
The Follow button is on my sidebar at the top
Thanks so much!
Sharing with these great parties!

Making a Chalkboard

I always get tons of questions on how to make old frames into chalkboards.
Yes. I am a wee bit obsessed with chalkboards...
and vintage picture frames....

I have ...ahem... *a few* of them around...
I am always keeping an eye out for the next fabulous frame 
that is just itching to become a new chalkboard.

I found this chunky gold one at an antique shop and made this chalkboard for the kitchen

these out of small framed art from the thrift store

and of course this huge one in the living room
We had to make a new the frame for this one.

So next time you find that perfect frame and think
it would make a fantastic chalkboard-but aren't sure how to begin
 here's how I make mine.
 I start with a frame I like and if it's crusty, flaky, peeling paint... I love it.
The chippier the better in my book.

This old gold frame has been beaten up quite a bit- but it doesn't bother me.
I love it's character.
Measure the inside dimensions of the frame and then find a scrap piece of beadboard
 or plywood or what ever smooth panel type board you might have.
In this case, it was a very beat up piece of beadboard.

(Don't judge this beadboard by it's dirt ;)  it will be painted and the beat up side is going on the back)


Mark off your lines and using a jigsaw, cut the beadboard to the size that fits the frame.
If your surface is not smooth enough already- you can sand it a bit with sandpaper
but make sure to wipe if clean with a wet rag so you don't have dust bumps in your finished board.
Now you are ready for chalkboard paint!
You can find chalkboard paint  readily available at Lowes
 or another home improvement store in the paint section.
It comes in a can or in a spray paint- and in black or green color.

 Paint the entire smooth side of the board with 2 or 3 coats of chalkboard paint.
Then *cure* the paint by rubbing chalk all over it and wiping it off.

Messy messy- but a necessary step.
Just so you know~
 If you decide to use smooth plywood- your board will be messy looking most of the time.
The plywood is not smooth enough to keep bits and pieces of chalk dust settling in.

It doesn't bother me
 I love that it makes the chalkboard look more vintage and less new
 by being 'dusted' with chalk and the remnants of writing
 kind of like those old school chalkboards that always seemed to be coated in a layer of chalk.
But it's all about personal preference and if you want a super smooth board-
you will need to use a hardiboard of some kind.

Once you are done wiping the chalk off
put your brand new chalkboard into the frame and secure it with staples or nails
 and then grab your chalk and start having fun
with a little inspiring quote or drawing therapy.


See you tomorrow for Feathered Nest Friday!

Outdoor Cottage Fireplace


 Remember that crazy insane seeming to never end
 project that we have been working on that I told you about?

The one that was taking so much longer than we thought to finish up
and was eating into my blogging time?

The one that requires that you be just a *little* bit looney toons to decide to take on?

Yep. THAT project.

THAT project
needed to be finished before the graduation party/family reunion we had over the weekend...
 it needed to be finished because my shoulder muscles were aching, aching, aching from mixing mortar
and because my back was aching, aching, aching from hauling rocks
and my legs were
 climbing the ladder.
(great work-out though! ;)

Let's just say...
 it just needed to be finished.
here's what we have been
 busy, busy, busy
working on.

This months project with Lowes Creative Ideas was to make an outdoor space 
more appealing and memorable and so we decided to build an outdoor fireplace for one of our backyard
entertaining areas.

We designed the fireplace to be made of a simple construction of block and concrete.
We already had some concrete block that was leftover when we did an addition on our house
and so we used those and added to them with more concrete blocks, rebar and mortar 
from Lowes.

By stacking the blocks and filling the holes with concrete~
a fireplace 'frame' appeared.
The hardest part of the frame was hauling the blocks up the ladder to put
them on to create the chimney.

Once that was finished we started placing rock on it.
Messy, messy, messy.
Each and every rock needed to be placed by hand
puzzled together for what would fit and then mortared into place.
To finish the exterior~ we used river rock that came from a local rock quarry
 You pick each rock- you load each one into the truck and they charge you very little
River rock is not the easiest to work with... the prefab stone you can buy at the store would
have gone on in just a couple days probably- so it is a definite trade off.

 We found the used brick at Lowes and lined the inside of the fireplace as well as created a mantel
They were perfect for the mixed look we were looking for.

We wanted the fireplace to look like it had been here for awhile
and like it had always belonged.
So we weren't particular about the thickness or color of the rock and went with
a random placement for more storybook look.
 I think it adds a ton of character, charm and age to this newly built structure.


We aren't completely finished~ we need to file off some of the extra mortar 
and then coat the rock with a sealer
but then~this project will be officially wrapped up!

 The fireplace sits at the edge of another new area that we have been working on...
and I'll share more of that and the patio's new look and more about the fireplace soon!

I was compensated for this post as a member of the
 Lowes Creative Ideas Network of Creators and Influencers  but the designs and opinions are my own.

Feathered Nest Friday

It's that time again... 
Hope your week has been going well!

This week I shared~

A new look on the bedroom mantel

and a faded ruffled tablecloth that I made

Next Friday is the Bloggers Luncheon in Northern California~ I am going to be there talking about blogging and would love to meet up with you! If you are interested in attending~
 contact The Vintage Bricoleur for more details.

Okay~ let's get onto the review!

Faded Ruffles

Lovely nubby linen in
the softest shade of pale lavender blue
with pretty pink roses and vintage china...

Such a delightful combination.

I fell in love with the color of this cloth even though it wasn't 
something that I would normally buy.

It was plain.
It was rectangular.
It was frankly kind of boring other than the color.

A soft pale lavender blue delicious color that is absolutely dreamy.
I knew it was perfect for something that I had in mind.

Something pretty and romantic
Something sweet, soft and charming...
something for my dining table for a Summer party.

I took that fabric and cut it up into pieces and started
 sewing.. and sewing...and sewing...
and in a little bit of time
a most dreamy ruffled cloth was created.

I am in love with it.

I do not usually have tons of blue around my home
but I have been adding more lately...
and this is closer to a periwinkle- blue with a touch of purple.

I'll let you in on a little secret...
while sewing, I had an ooops that altered the ruffle
but... I absolutely adored the way it changed it 
and so I continued on and finished it that way~ I'll share more soon and
excited that this is just one of many things that is a part of
 a very special something I am working on

Yep. I am absolutely loving it!!
Happy Tuesday!!

Wow us Wednesdays
Faded Charm
Swing into Summer
Vintage Inspiration Friday
Romantic Home
Shabby Nest
Funky Junk