Quick and easy Halloween

Thursday, October 31, 2013 0 comments

Hello all and happy Halloween! We’re expecting heavy storms tonight so Halloween has been moved to tomorrow night throughout much of Indiana. Have you ever heard of such a thing – Halloween moved? I’m glad they’ll still get to trick or treat but it better rain like heck tonight. ;)

I don’t know what it was this year but I haven’t pulled out as much of the Halloween stuff. I had some fun crafts in mind but just plain ran out of time to do them. Next year I’m going to plan better and start earlier. (Says the girl who says that every. year.)

We’ve had the outside decked out for weeks and a few things inside, but last night the Bub was feeling better so I pulled the bins in and I let him put stuff wherever he wanted. He had a BLAST and could care less that it will only be up for a couple more days.

I thought I would share some of my projects from the past so you too can plan ahead of time for next year if you’d like to try them out. If you have time and all. ;)

I use a LOT of paper for Halloween decor. The BOO letters are just cheapy wood from the craft store covered with Halloween paper:

paper halloween bat cut outs

I used my vinyl cutting machine to cut out a ton of black bats (out of black paper) and I reuse them every year:

paper halloween bat cut outs

I also cut out spiders and webs and I put those on the inside of the lamp shades:

paper halloween cut outs

You can only see them when you turn on the light. So cute!

And yes…I put the mice on the stairs again this year, even after the mouse debacle:

Halloween mice on stairs It’s part of my healing process. ;)

The bonus to all the paper is that it’s super easy to store year to year!

Last year I tried a new idea and it turned out well at first:

mummy door with tissue streamers

You’ll have to see the how-to to see how it turned out. It was SO cute though.

A few years back I made mummy votives:

mummy votives

Again, a super easy and cheap project!

I used the computer and printer (and some spray paint for the frames) to make some Halloween art a few years back:

Halloween art

And I free-handed a ghost shape on contact paper and put it on a mirror:

Halloween ghost with contact paper

I still use him every year! :)

And here’s how the Bub decorated this year – I found Stan the Skeleton in my office:

Sparkly black skeleton

Stan scared me to death when I walked in here this morning, not even kidding.

He decorated the TV dresser quite well, I must say:

I especially loved the little touches like a skeleton head perched on top of the spider:

We have a lot of stuff hanging on door knobs:

He made sure to position this guy with his hand up:

Still not sure why but he’s wavin’ it around like he just don’t care.

He ran out of door knobs so moved on to other areas to hang stuff:

And the mantel is positively spooky:

He did good, right? Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that he could care less how it all looks – it doesn’t need to be in a perfect vignette to make him happy. He had SO much fun running around decorating last night. I think we’ll do this every year. :)

Hope you have a wonderful, SAFE Halloween! We’ll be carving our pumpkins tonight since we won’t be trick or treating till tomorrow. Happy Halloween!

Indie Vintage Marketplace

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 0 comments

Hey all! I’ve got a sick boy at home today so I’m keeping it short and sweet today! :)

If you’re local and are looking for some FUN shopping and unique finds, a fantastic event is happening this weekend and I can promise you’ll find both there!

The Indie Vintage Marketplace is having their first indoor event of the season this weekend and if you’re local (central Indiana) you won’t want to miss it! I blogged about my first trip here and another trip here – it was a blast both times and I have no doubt this weekend will be a great one too.

Here’s a few of the items that I loved and some that I purchased earlier this year:

vintage marketplace

I don’t think I ever shared our big metal star:

metal light up star

I set it up in the basement and it is SO cool! :) One of my favorite finds ever. 

This weekend it runs on Friday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. and then Saturday from 8 to noon. The folks at Vintage Marketplace are offering a few of my readers free tickets to the event! I have eight free tickets to give away so if you’re local (this will be held at the Fountains in Carmel, IN) comment here with your email and I’ll randomly pick winners tomorrow.

**Edited to add: They’ve offered even more tickets so we have 20 to give away, WHOOT! I’ll pick winners and email you by 5 p.m. EST on the 31st.

And if you’ll be there look for me Friday! I’ll only be able to stay for a bit but I can’t wait to check it out. I may have to go back again on Saturday. ;)

Spray painting door knobs

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 0 comments

Hey hey all! Well thank you for the kind words yesterday! :) We are very excited.

I’m back with a DIY project I’ve been wanting to tackle for a long time. I mentioned a while back that my house had been finally been debrassified, but I was wrong. I had forgotten about a couple knobs in the house. Drats.

But these were exterior door knobs that we use a key with – so replacing them meant two things: lots of $$ and since they are keyed don’t you have to make new keys when you install them? I always thought you did but maybe not. But still, lots of moola to replace two of them.

I didn’t feel like spending lots of moola so I figured I’d try out a DIY to change them up. I’ve always wondered how spray painted knobs hold up and it’s the age old question – some say they do great, some say they do horribly.

We’re about to find out. Well…in a few weeks/months anyway.

I did a couple doors with varying uses/elements so it will be interesting to see how they turn out. But first, the how to.

You take the offensive shiny thing off:

spray painting brass knobs

Ignore the horrible, dirty mud room door. And missing trim. And blinding brass.

Don’t be afraid to take the knob off – even I avoided this for years and it’s not a big deal. It's two pieces and the screws, that’s it. Just remember how they go back together and always remember the access to the screws side goes inside the room!

First up, and I think this is most important part – clean them. I just used my basic cleaning stuff but anything that will get any grime or grease off is what you want:

spray painting brass knobs

Thing is, if you don’t clean them well the primer and paint won’t hold well – you’ll get crackles (the dreaded crackle, shakes fist in air!!!!) or it will easily wear off those dirty areas.

I took them out in the garage and needed something that would allow them to stand up, so I stuck the one with the long part into a shop towel cardboard box and just laid the other one on top:

spray painting brass knobs

I later stuck the screws in there too – they stand up straight so you can spray all sides at once.

So…the primer part. Well. I have some really good (and expensive stuff) called BIN primer in a spray. But it’s a pain in the butt. I told you more about it here. I’ve tried everything to make it spray smoother but it just doesn’t work. This time my gloves and the can ended up covered in the primer:

spray primer spray primer

SO frustrating. The paint sprayed all clumpy and gross too, so I actually had to sand down the knobs a bit to help that. I’m throwing the primer out, which is annoying cause it’s not cheap.

Anyway…I ended up just using a basic black primer instead:

spray painting brass knobs

The BIN stuff is stronger, better primer, but I was tired of cussing so there you go.

Don’t they already look so much better though? SO. much. better.

I finished up with my BFF…good old ORB (that’s oil rubbed bronze for those not tight with it):

oil rubbed bronze spray paint

Hello my friend. Good to see you again.

When spray painting remember short, light coats – not long, heavy ones. There’s really not much to it if you remember that.

I took the knob off the back door too and you can see the wear on the keyed side from being outside:

spray painting brass knobs

So it will be interesting to see how these hold up – the mud room door is one we use a key on all the time, so that will get lots of wear and tear. The back door we don’t use a key on much, but the outside part gets hit with the elements. And we use both doors numerous times a day.

On the back door I took the knob off and did that first: spray painting door knobs

I didn’t want to take both off just in case something went wrong. You know I don’t have much luck with that door.

The deadbolt part was a little more tricky – we’ve been told we need to replace our whole back door (water issues) and every time I get inside there I see why. The insides of that one were rusted so it was hard to get the lock part off the outside part of the door. I just ended up spray painting the inside part.

I also took the strike plate off and sprayed that, but I know it will get scratched up – it already is. Most of it should stay the ORB color though, so we’ll see how that holds up:

spray painting door knobs

I decided to makeover that mud room door so I can’t show you the after on that one just yet. ;) But here’s how it looks on the back door:

spray painting door knobs

So here’s the thing about painting doors – this is why you really want to take the knob off before you paint. I didn’t and now the knob isn’t exactly where it used to be and you can tell. :)

I can’t wait to show you how it looks on the mud room door! LOVE how the room is coming together! There’s a long way to go but I think it’s going to be fun.

I’ll update you in a month or two and let you know how these are holding up! I’m really interested to see. Our coach lights that I spray painted still look fantastic: spray painting outdoor lights

They are exposed to the elements for sure, but no one handles them.

Have you ever tried spray painting door knobs? How did it turn out for you? I’d love to hear! I love a good experiment. :)


Update: To see how these turned out go here.

Welcoming a baby boy

Monday, October 28, 2013 0 comments

Hello all and welcome to a new week! I’m recovering after a busy but lovely weekend. You know all that decluttering I’ve been doing over the past six few months? Well I wanted to get it done before the holidays just so I’d have some peace of mind, but I also wanted to have it done for a very important event at our house.

On Saturday we celebrated the impending arrival of my new grandson! I mentioned our news a couple months back but haven’t talked about it much, just because I feel like this isn’t my story to tell, you know? I try to be conscious of what I share on the blog, at least when it’s not about me. But when he comes I’m sure I’ll talk about him all the time. ;)

My stepdaughter is 23 and yes I’ll be the youngest grandma EVER at 38. (I know I’m not the youngest ever but let’s pretend. It feels like it.) This weekend a few of her closest friends, her grandma, her mom and I threw her a beautiful shower at our house.

She wanted a nautical theme (it matches his nursery that we’re working on – it is being done very similar to my boy’s room) so we went with that of course. Here’s the thing – I consider myself to be a creative person, but I’m NOT one to go all out for birthday parties or showers or whatever. I don’t get all crafty and crazy. I think there’s something to be said for simple touches.

The only decorations were balloons and some tissue poofs and…food. Lots of food. :)

We had 50+ people in my house so I knew I’d need to be smart about space. I didn’t set up any extra tables – we used my sofa table for the plates and cups and all:

nautical baby shower I didn’t go too themey with all of it – I got whale napkins and pulled the colors (navy and aqua) out of those. So it wasn’t super traditional nautical, more baby boy nautical. ;) The colors were so cute together:

nautical baby shower

I used candy as decor (using Goodwill glass containers) too:

baby boy shower baby boy shower

One of my stepdaughter’s best friends did most of the planning and made these:

nautical baby shower ideas

Get it – a lifesaver for the nautical theme? Adorable. THIS is the stuff I don’t do but I’m so glad she did. :)

I always have straws as a staple now just because they’re so cute:

baby boy shower

The little candy cups were from Pick Your Plum and were actually from a Fourth of July-themed set. The blue was perfect.

I was relieved to find out the girls didn’t plan many games – there were just too many people to do a lot. They did a diaper raffle (bring a package and you’re entered to win) and bingo that attendees played while my stepdaughter opened her (many) gifts:

baby shower bingo

It was simple and low key and easy – just the way I like it!

The prizes were these adorable art pieces her friend made:

DIY baby shower prizes

I thought they were vinyl at first but she actually painted those on, can you believe it?

Her mom and grandma made all the food and it was good and plentiful:

Like I said, we had more than 50 people to feed! We couldn’t believe that we had some leftover at the end.

For drinks I had the staples like soda and tea, and I loved this cute touch in the punch:

nautical shower ideas

Fishing bobbers – how cute is that?

I made my sangria as well and it was a hit – cause it’s GOOD.

Another one of her best friends made and decorated the red velvet cupcakes:

nautical baby shower

They were SO yummy. I was tickled that they ended up matching the colors exactly.

A simple printable glued over toothpicks for each one:

nautical shower cupcakes

We still have our old round kitchen table in the dining room/library so I went with my standard poofs (see the DIY here) for above the presents:

tissue paper poofs

They are easy and cheap and make a big impact – love them!

She was truly “showered” that day:

baby boy shower

It was exhausting but I’d do it all again 100 times over. I am beyond words proud of her.

I was reminded of how loved she is – her lifelong friends were all there and so many of her college friends too. She is a good, sweet, loving soul and deserves every bit of this joy.

Of course her little brother had to help with the presents (his favorite part):


Yes, she looks like she’s 16. She’s not. ;) I can’t even believe all these girls are growing up and getting married and having babies and they were just in my house around the kitchen island eating pizza and talking about boys.

My heart is full. :) We have a grandchild coming in December – it is a wondrous thing.

Like always, I didn’t go overboard with decor for the shower, but it was lovely all the same. I think in the age of Pinterest we think everything needs to be decorated to the hilt to entertain and it’s so not needed.

Do you enjoy entertaining? It was a little intense having that many people in our house, not gonna lie. Who knew we could fit 50 bodies in here? Most of everyone stayed in our kitchen and family room too – they didn’t really spread out into the house, so that makes it even more of a feat! (Those are not big spaces!)

And now my house is clean and decluttered and for the first time in a long time I feel ready for the holidays…bring it!

**If you're interested in any of the printable items or the invites that matched this theme you can email Courtney at courtneywalshwebdesign (at) gmail (dot) com.

Home tours, part 2

Friday, October 25, 2013 0 comments

Hello friends and welcome to the (almost) weekend! I’m back today to finish up the homearama tours I first shared with you earlier this week. Have you been waiting? :)

The last two houses were the ones I liked best – the third was my favorite exterior and the last was my favorite design/decor. Let’s take a look shall we? You all said not to skimp on the photos so I’m including more this time. Sit down with your coffee or Pepsi and enjoy!

The third home had a huge front porch – I was smitten:

Loved the big wide steps and the glass doors! I’m still trying to get up the guts to do this to ours:

large porch with columns

This house had a different layout. You walk in and could go straight to main living area or go off to the side to an office that then continued on to a flex space. That could be used as a guest room I guess, or an in laws suite. There was a full bath connected and then a long hall down from that:

planked walls hallway

LOVED that hallway with all the windows and the wood trim. Delish.

Off that hallway was the laundry room, which was wayyyy far away from the bedrooms. Not only that but you have to walk through a few rooms and down the hallway to get to it.

But I did love the countertop they used – it was a laminate (whuuut?):

linen laminate

And it looked like linen. It was actually very cool and pretty in the laundry room:

linen laminate

I mentioned before that one of the things you notice about this type of construction are the doors – they are thick and heavy and beautiful:

five panel doors

Down at the end of the hallway you turn and go past some closets and the powder room and enter the family room. I loved this space:

But when you turn around it got very modern:

modern fireplace

It’s gorgeous, don’t get me wrong. It just felt out of place in what is a more traditional home. It was just crying out for a big beautiful fireplace with a thick mantel. I guess this is OK too. ;)

The outside area was awesome, I don’t know why I didn’t get a picture! You can see some of it through the family room window above. But I LOVED this idea – it looks like they added another garage door (to the back of the garage) that opened to the patio:

extra garage door onto patio

Um, I think that’s brilliant. It would be so easy to put stuff away for the winter, kids could use riding toys and easily put them away – I just thought that was so cool.

Someone asked earlier this week and yes, all the garages were on the backs of these homes, so not visible from the front.

The kitchen was gorgeous:

white kitchen

See how thick that granite is on the island? Big $$$ right there. ;)

I loved that they used the space all the way to the ceiling (I’ve had a plan for years to do the same in our kitchen…someday):

white kitchen

My favorite kitchen was in the first house I showed you earlier this week but I loved the feel of this one too.

The dining room was just open to the kitchen – nothing too formal. Loved the light fixture:

Those bookcases were in more than one of the homes, they must be popular. ;)

The master was a main level one and had a ton of windows and a door to the patio:

gray tufted headboard

A bottom floor master freaks me out and having a door in the room would freak me out even more. I like being up high. :)

The basement was really well done – I loved this bookcase and vignette:

industrial bookcase That blue print was awesome. It was just a canvas so I can’t imagine it was too expensive!

The kitchenette was kind of inset and I loved all of that area too:

basement kitchenette

I noticed in the basements the decorators really used every bit of space – there was a table in the middle of the room in most of them – spaces I wouldn’t typically put any furniture in.

OK, the last house was my favorite – but the outside was different:

farmhouse inspired exterior

It was very plain and from that view above I didn’t care for it much. But it grew on me when I saw it from the other direction:

farmhouse inspired exterior

The builder was going for a farmhouse “redux” look. The roof is metal and I think that’s the part I didn’t care for. That and the gray siding made it look a little cold to me. But I loved the large stone chimney!

The inside though, I loved! The library was the first thing you saw when you walked in:

library built ins Ack! Gorgeous right? The lights! The trim! Loved the rug too.

The stairs were beautiful with white risers I believe and wood treads, my favorite. ;) Then you turn the corner to the huge great room:

open concept living kitchen

Most of the house was a very farmhouse/industrial look that I LOVED. I don’t know if I’d do it in my house but man, I sure can appreciate it. :)

There were windows everywhere that brightened up the gray cabinets:

gray kitchen cabinets

The cabinets lifted up (I’ve seen similar ones at IKEA):

lift up cabinets gray cabinets

Kind of loved that. And I liked how they used an odd space in the corner with open shelving.

Yet again, the only part I didn’t care for was the ultra modern fireplace:

modern stone fireplaceWhat’s the beef with a pretty, traditional fireplace people? I could see a beautiful big one with stone and a chunky wood mantel and white trim…it’s so perfect in my head.

Loved the beams though!:

wood beams

Another detail I LOVED in this house were the black grids on all the windows:

black window grids

And this wall of black doors/windows was just stunning:

black sliding glass doors

I couldn’t figure out how to open that door, true story. We later realized it’s a sliding door. Who would've thought?

On the way back to the stairs, across from the kitchen was this eating area:

setee in kitchen

LOVE love love. All of it.

So as you walk to the stairs there was this awesome space:

wine nook

Again, so cool. Loved the wood wall, the gray, the accessories:

reclaimed wood wall

It was a little wine nook. I don’t know how functional it would be for every day, but for a party it would be awesome.

And to the side was a cool sliding door to the pantry:

sliding pantry door

You see why this was my favorite? Like I said, not exactly my style but so creative and well done.

There was a mud room done in gray as well and it was a little dark:

grey mud room

Sorry for the horrible pic!

I liked this built in charging station idea:

charging station

The bedrooms and bathrooms weren’t as exciting to me, but I had to share this subway tile install:

vertical subway tile

I LOVE that idea of going vertical with them instead horizontal!

The bedroom was lovely, just a bit shiny for my taste:

shiny bedroom This dresser was in a flex room and it was one of my favorite things in the house:

alphabet dresser

Is that not the coolest? I know there’s a way to DIY that thing! So cute!

The basement in this house was my favorite too. More of the industrial farmhouse style:

x wood table

I liked the simple painted brick backsplash:

painted brick backsplash I assume they used that thin brick stuff and then just painted it. They had the same on the walls in the wine room:

basement wine room

Sigh. Be still my heart. A room just for the wine. And it had windows so you could look lovingly at it.

Well that’s the tours folks – did you enjoy them? Which of the four was your favorite? As I said, my favorite kitchen was in the first house, favorite exterior was the third one and for interiors the last one for sure.

Hope it was fun to “walk” through with me! Hope you have a great weekend!

The builder for home one was Wedgewood Building Company, decor done by Thomas & Jayne Interior Design.
The builder for the second home was Gradison Design, decor done by Kittles Design Studio.