I did it all for the nook...ie

Remember this? This was the kitchen before the wall came down.

I took it down, and then painted and patched and finished the subfloor. Then I brought in my vintage Heywood Wakefield table. The table of my dreams that I found covered in paint at a thrift store for $180. We added some chairs and a bench and we were happy.
But the table was a little too big for the space. So I had to come up with another idea. I really wanted a little nook with benches lining the wall. Something I could push into the corner when not in use. I searched and searched for inexpensive options, like super cheap.

Then I found this:
A locker! I have been wanting one for that exact space forever! I needed storage for spices and only had 13 inches of space to squeeze in a cabinet. These lockers are 12" wide and 6' tall,...perfect!

Except that it was also 18" deep...sad face. So it took up a lot of depth and we lost the spot for our garbage can.

So I moved it. And it created the perfect nookish area!

After scads of research I found these benches:

From Ikea at $10 each, they were exactly what I wanted. I bought 4. I also needed cushions! Luckily, Ikea helped me out with 4 pillows from their AS-IS section for $1 each. And with some fabric I found at a yard sale for $5, from the Ivory Coast no less, I have 4 gorgeous cushions and a bench for $50!

From this:
To this:
That's a lot of work! But I haven't even shown you the table!

A long time ago, John and I found a solid oak table on the side of the road. Eventually we cut down the top for a top to our portable dishwasher.

But we still had the pedestal base! John tried to get rid of it, but I knew I could use it someday!

For the table top we bought 3 pine boards, 6" x 6', (for $10) cut them in half for a table that measures 36" x33"*, which was exactly how big the table could be without overpowering the space!
Nice, right?! Wait! That was before the pillows were finished!

Okay, now:
I really needed a table that could take Legos and marker and dents and scratches and all that comes with 4 and 5 year old boys. Six coats of polyurethane will see to that!

(Okay I still have one more pillow to make. But have you tried tufting?! It's hard!)

We ate dinner last night at the new table and we all finally fit!And I wasn't worried about the spaghetti sauce staining my table like I was with the pretty vintage one.

We spent $60 total and have a new kitchen nook that can take abuse and still look good!

Whole enchilada:
Phenomenally cheap design!...Itty-bitty kitchen space!

*Pine boards that measure 1" x 6" x 6' are actually 3/4" x 5-1/2" x 6' due to the way the wood is processed. Keep that in mind if you have exact measurements for a project.

It's new/old to me!

New stuff in my etsy shoppe! I've been both busy and lazy! I posted ten new-old items but I've been collecting them over the past month.

And if that photo is any indication,  I still don't make any sense.

Check it out here:
musebootsi on etsy

Color Addict

One thing I'm not afraid of is color. Not even a little. Even when a little fear might be a good thing.
Is it even possible to add more color to my kitchen?

Anycrap, that is reason  #467 that I love Disneyland. I can't stop looking at the color combinations! Like one of the cars on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was coral and orchid, which my brain would never put together, but looks amazing! And then, the teacups!
I want my backyard to look like that! All bright with lanterns and cups!

And this:
This might make the neighbors crazy, but it's all I want! Don't you love driving up your driveway around Christmas time? Your home covered with tiny lights looking so pretty and festive...

Maybe if they were up all the time, they'd lose their splendor, but maybe they'd make you endlessly happy! I guess we'll never know...

Also, I had to add a pic of my fireplace before the screen debacle. I got really tired of looking at my design mistake!
That yellow swath is the future room color. Someday...

Goin' Down the Bayou

I've been sort of "off" in my crafty-osity lately. Like, a lot.

For example:
Somehow, in my head, painting the firescreen with high temperature paint in an amazing color was far awesomer than in reality.

But, wait! There's more! Before I decided to go blue, I went orange!
Did you think it couldn't be worse than the blue? My new theory is that the screen needs to be either dark or light, but no medium tones. Like maybe a navy would be better? Maybe.

So that happened and I still haven't painted it back to black again. And it knocked me on my creative keister.

Yesterday, I had another idea that may or may not be awesome. But it was cheap. So I went for it.

At the thrift store I saw a bunch of cheap-o vases in lots of colors. Together they looked pretty cool. See:
They were all less than $2 each. They reminded me of something I had just seen at Disneyland. In the French Quarter section, hanging off the balcony was a series of colorful bottles with twinkle lights tucked inside. I made a mental note to keep my eyes peeled for things I could use to eventually create that in my backyard.

And then, there I was, at the thrift store lookin' right at them. Except that instead of twinkle lights, I decided upon the solar landscaping lights.

A year or so ago I made one of those ubiquitous ball jar sun lamp things. And it worked just fine. Except that my kids opened it and rain got in and I eventually threw it away. But I knew the process.

This is a little different. You need:
Colorful Vases (or you could use that mod podge method of coloring your own)
Clear silicone
Solar landscape lights
I took the lamp part off the body and placed it on the top of the vase. Most of them rested just inside the vase and one was a little too small. I could've bought a bigger lamp, as they come in a few different sizes. But I just put a ring of clear silicone around the narrowest spot, waited for it to dry and used that as a ledge to hold the lamp in place. Then I siliconed around the fixture to both hold it in place and to keep water out of the vase.

Here they are in daytime in my yard:
The pink one on the far left is a little weird in daytime, but at night, you can't see the solar deal so it all works out.

Here is the best pic I could get of my yard at night:
The green and blue lights are the brightest. But they all look really pretty and colorful.
I think I need more, lots more. 

Edited to add: The day after I put them out, it rained! Whatevs, southern California! I noticed that the solar panel on my particular lamps tends to let water into the containers. So maybe a small bead of silicone around where the solar panel fits into the metal housing? I'm gonna fix it right after morning drop-off today! 

Show and Tell Friday on My Romantic Home

 The Shabby Creek Cottage
The Thrift Home
Someday Crafts

FeaturedAtSBLC Thrifty Thursday Week 59
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
The Shabby Nest

Ollas for me!

While stumbling around the internet, I came across an article on ollas. (Pronounced oy-ya). "An ancient watering system that delivers water directly to the roots."

I became obsessed with them. Living in the high desert it's impossible to get enough water to my plants. The hot, hot sun evaporates whatever doesn't run off.

To use the olla, you bury it in the ground with the neck sticking out then fill with water. The terra cotta sweats the water into the soil and to the roots. Place a stone over the opening to keep bugs out and fill once a week!

Plus they're pretty!

The best part of all of this is that while searching, the video and the store where one can purchase the ollas is local! Like down the street!

If you're into gardening, check out their website:

Urban Homestead

Here's a link to purchase an olla:


Or make your own!

DIY Ollas!

We are in process of getting our garden ready to plant delicious heirloom tomatoes. So anything garden-ie right now is hittin' my sweet spot.

Also? Downton Abbey. That show just gets me.

(edited because "leaches" usually means takes away from soil. So I was saying, "the olla takes water away from the soil to the soil." It was crazy enough for me to note for you...)

Aqua Woman

I'm slowly starting to paint all the windows and trim at my house. Slowly because I just ran out of paint. And slowly because it takes me a day to prep and paint each window. Sanding and sanding and filling and sanding and taping and painting and sanding again. 
I think it's going to look amazing. But right now, it looks a little crazy. And I know the neighbors are all thinking, "That's...interesting..."

It doesn't help that I've ripped out all the plants. And that the trim is still that hideous rusty-brown.

Don't you think this window needs shutters? Maybe I can make some fake ones! Like zeeeeesse...

My snowball is getting bigger!

And I'm becoming a shutter-in. 

Look what I made! John is not a fan...

Okay, so I made it really fast and it looks crazy. If you step back and squint it looks A-MAZING!

Forgetful Elephant

I made this super awesome box for my sister-in-law for Christmas. But I was so excited about finding a box that fit all the presents and was small enough for cheap shipping that I forgot to photograph it.

Now I want one for myself! Maybe a pillow. A pillow that I keep in a hermetically sealed lucite box to stop the kids from ruining it. That'll look so pretty on my sofa!

And, yes, the marigold necklace is all french knots. Thanks for noticing!

Sublime Stitching pattern Om Sweet Om. Which I just found out is no longer available. The new one doesn't have the ganesh! Sad face emoticon.