August 2012 | Live Pretty on a Penny

Cheers to the Weekend!

" A cheerful frame of mind, reinforced by the medicine that puts all ghosts of fear on the run." {George Matthew Adams}

Anything is possible with a clear and positive frame of mind. Take time to enjoy food, friends, and family as we bid farewell to Summer! Have a safe and relaxing Labor Day weekend my good folks!

{Mini} Makeover-Kitchen Counter Pizazz

Hey there, lovely folks! Sorry for the lack of posts last week. I have been spending all of my time getting my half bathroom together, and I kinda just let the week pass me by! My apologies. I am back with a cute, easy, fun, and cheapo  ahem, inexpensive project guaranteed to add a little pizazz to any kitchen counter, or any tabletop that you choose!

I had a basic wooden tray that looked something like this. I purchased it from Goodwill for $1.25.

Yep, you guessed, I forgot to take a before photo (bad DIY blogger...I know). 

I didn't know what I wanted to do with it, but just knew it was cute. So this past Friday, I decided to breathe life into this little thrift store treasure, and here is how I did it.

I first took my tray and spray painted it white. I used Valspar gloss white spray paint , sold at Lowe's. 

Wait, let me have my Tom Cruise moment and yell, "I LOVE this spray paint!" It is by far the best that I have ever used, considering the fact that I don't have the greatest luck with spray paint:( This one does not drip, goes on light, and allows you to build the coverage (no Valspar did not pay me to say all this:), but it's true!

Once my tray dried, I lightly sanded it to create a "distressed" look, and when I finished it looked like this.

Then I used a piece of leftover fabric from another project and cut it out to fit the inside of my tray. What's so great about this project is that you can use any type of fabric of your choice.

Next, I drizzled hot glue inside of my tray, and stuck the fabric on top.

And voila!! My new little future kitchen accessory.

 I decided to use it as a holder for my cookbooks:) You can disregard the mess in the back. We are in the process of getting new floors laid, and a few other kitchen reno's so my little kitchen tray has not been "officially" placed yet.

I hope that you enjoyed this fun little project.  Let me know what you think! Have you done any quick, easy, and thrifty projects recently? Do share!
Thanks for stopping by.

Five {EASY} Weekend Projects

Hey my beautiful people! Do you anticipate this being a boring weekend? Well, worry no more! I wanted to drop in and give you hopes of being productive by providing five weekend projects. These projects are not only fun and creative, but they can also give your home an instant facelift! Wanna see? Well, here we go.

1)Paint a Room

How about taking a few hours and updating a room with new paint? There are so many fun colors to choose from, and it's so easy to do. Just head to your local home improvement store (heck, even Walmart), and get a paint color of your choice, a paint roller & paint brush, painters tape (I recommend Frog Tape), painters tray, and a drop cloth (or use an old sheet at home). This quick makeover can take a room from sad and dreary, to bright and cheery (haha that rhymed) for cheap. Step out of your comfort zone and pick a color that represents your personality!!!

Not sure how to paint? Well...there's no excuse now. Here are step by step instructions:)

2) Construct a Gallery Wall

Got a bunch of photos lying around in shoeboxes, old photo books, or if you are like me, got some hanging around on your camera's memory card? Or how about an empty wall that you can't seem to figure out what to do with? How about displaying displaying those photos for the world to see, well, at least the folks that visit your home. Stop by Ikea, or Michael's, or Hobby Lobby, or even Dollar Tree. Pick up some frames and create a focal point in any room with a cool gallery wall. How you set them up is your choice! There are no rules, thats the beauty of it.

3)Organize a Junk Drawer

Got a drawer that looks like this?!

Scary is right! Well, since you are lounging around looking at Lifetime all day...wait, just me? Okay, well since you are lounging around about tacking this scary abyss that many people reference as their junk drawer. I KNOW I need to tackle mine! There are several drawer organizers on the market that can help us to create a neat, clean system for keeping our "junk" drawer in tact. Once everything has a "place" it's hard to mess it up.

These white trays can be found at Target, Walmart, or Dollar Tree. Or how about using an old silverware organizer to tackle this task. Those are DEFINITELY sold at Dollar Tree.
via and via

These acrylic containers can be found at The Container Store, Bed, Bath & Beyond, or even Walmart.

4) DIY Drum Shade

I have always be a fan of a simple, clean drum shade. They are an easy way to modernize a space, without going tooo far into space. If you are a fan of drumshades, but not interested in shelling out $100+ to have one in your home, then this project is for you!

You can create this....
For under $40. And yes, in just one weekend. Here is a tutorial.

Or how about this baby!

These drum shades can be customized to fit your personal style, but aren't they just lovely!
More options can be found at

5)Organize the Pantry

Yes, that's right, the pantry. "But no one can see inside of my pantry," you might say? Well, imagine how much better you would feel if you took your food storage area from this...

to this....


My pantry is definitely on my to-do list (among a million other things) to tackle. I just love how a pretty pantry looks!

Many of the containers that you can use to organize and beautify your pantry can be found at your local Dollar Store. Many of the larger containers with snap on or screw on lids can be found at Hobby Lobby during their 50% off sales, or you can use the trusty 40% coupon, bringing them to around $2-$5 for each container depending on the size.

Where to begin you might ask? Well, you can start by emptying EVERYTHING out of the pantry, getting rid of expired canned goods and other items, wiping down the shelves, and then get to the pretty!

I hope that you all have been inspired. I know I have:)
Do you plan to take on any of these projects this weekend?
Let me know how they work out!!

Here's to a fun and productive weekend!!!

Creative Spotlight: Face 2 Felt Originals

The Creative Spotlight is where I will showcase creative entrepreneurs who have mastered making a big impact on a small budget, or limited resources. Those who understand the limitations of the masses, but still want to offer creative outlets for individuals to express themselves.

Today I am featuring someone that I discovered while attending a women's networking event, Ms. Simone Stanley of Face 2 Felt Originals:)

Simone has a beautiful spirit, humble personality, and is super passionate about her gift of what she calls "feltraits" or felt portraits! She is the owner and creative mind behind Face 2 Felt Originals, one of a kind 3-D portraits made out of felt material.  Say whaaaaaat?? Yep, you heard me correctly. F.E.L.T. Simone has always been interested in using new and unused materials to create unusual mediums, and she has definitely succeeded at this self-taught skill.  Check out my one-on-one with Simone!

Erin: Can you tell me the significance of your name Face 2 Felt Originals and what was your motivation behind creating the felt originals?

Simone: I wouldn't say there was much significance to the name other than the fact that I was looking for the most basic way, albeit catchy, to explain what it is that I actually do, which is take a picture of one's face and turn it into a felt one. My motivation behind first creating these was that i was looking for a unique gift to give a graduating friend once upon a time ago in high school. I wanted to get her something different and being that I didn't have much to spend, I had to be creative. So it was either turn on the imagination or get her some body spray from the mall or something along those lines which is not the route i wanted to go. 

Erin: How did you even know that you could do something so different and creative?

Simone: I didn't! That's the crazy thing. I had some felt lying around my house and I decided to see if I could craft my friend's face from the felt. Thats how it started. And from that first piece, to my pieces now, my skill has improved tremendously. I really credit this gift to God because honestly even I have to step back from my work sometimes and say wow, how the heck did I do that?

Erin: How would you describe your target market, meaning what type of customer is seeking a Face2 Felt original?

Simone: My target market would be anyone that values art and is looking for something different, fresh and innovative. And by value I mean someone that is willing to actually spend money on it. Anybody with a pair of seeing eyes can recognize and admire talent but not everyone is willing to spend money or invest in that talent. These people aren't defined or limited to a certain race, gender, age, demographic etc so its hard for me to really name a select group. So I'd say just someone that appreciates and values my talent and wants to see more of it. 

Erin: Do you plan on expanding your product offering? If so, what else would you like to offer and why?

Simone: I would say yes, but that would probably be sometime in the future. I'm still looking to really perfect the actual faces I do now. But i would love to maybe offer pet commissions. People really cherish their animals and I see that there is definitely a market for pet portraits. I'd also like to maybe incorporate different materials into my feltraits other than just felt. Maybe some patterned cloth with different textures and such. 

Erin:  Where would you like to see Face 2 Felt 5 years?

Simone: In five years, I'd like to see Face 2 Felt Originals in the homes of people all over America and even internationally. I'd love to be in different galleries nationally and internationally have some kind of store front or gallery. I always say I'd love to replicate something like Madame Tusaads Wax Museum and have a museum of felt. I think that would be pretty neat. 

Erin: If you could pick ANY celebrity to design a felt original for, who would it be and why?

Simone: Hmm, I cant think of anyone particular because i've done a handful of some pretty major ones already but i would love to maybe be contracted by a professional sports team to do the players or select players and coaches to be in a hall of fame. It would be great to see my work valued to that extent and be in a huge arena like that.

Erin: Do you have any advice for women who may look to express themselves creatively, but feel limited in their current situation to do so?

Simone: I'd say just do it. My current situation is very limiting, probably more than most others, BUT, i know within my heart that this is where my passion lies and what I have been called to do. And I know that if this is what i'm supposed to do, then God will make a way for me to do it. Try not to focus on your limitations because that will distract you from doing the things that are actually in your power to do. Just have faith, EXTREME faith, be positive and WORK. Things have a way of working themselves out eventually if you just believe. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but it will come.  I am most definitely a witness to this. 

Erin: What does "living pretty on a penny" mean to you?

Simone: Living Pretty on a penny means being thrifty and resourceful. It means not having a million bucks, but looking like thats what you had to work with

Check out some of her originals.....

Image courtesy of Google

Original Photo (courtesy of Google)

Image courtesy of Google

Pictures just cannot capture the depth and dimension in each photo, and it even comes with a customized frame.  I love her designs so much that I even got one made of me and my hubby, hehe:) 

Face 2 Felt originals start at $80 for a smaller "feltrait" and go up depending on the size. What better way to add a cool conversation piece to your home than a one of a kind "feltrait!" If you are interested in purchasing a Face 2 Felt Original, or for more information on Simone Stanley and Face 2 Felt Originals, visit her Etsy shop.

For information on how to be be featured on our Creative Spotlight, email me!

Thanks for stopping by!!!

{Mini} Guest Room Makeover

Hello and happy Monday my good people! A couple weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of completing a mini-makoever for my friend/clients' guest bedroom. The challenge was to create a big 'bang' with a small budget. When approached with this project, I first did the happy dance, then called in my friend to assist. She has great design taste (runs in her family), and understands budgetary contraints, so it was the perfect marriage. Here is the room before:

Eggshell walls

Our client was looking for a cheery, chic, casual, and updated guest retreat. We utilized majority of the furniture in the room, and our client requested to add new end tables. Here is how this mini-makeover guest retreat turned out.

Bedding details

Message over the bed

Original chair recovered with new patterned fabric

All in all, we painted, added some accessories, a gallery wall, a complete over haul in new bedding, recovered the original chair, purchased new lamps, added white window sheers, and dark cherry side tables. Being that our client did not like items hanging over the bed, we opted for the vinyl decal instead that added a cheerful message to her guests. We have advised that in the future to complete the transformation that she should add a new lighting kit for the ceiling fan, an area rug, a headboard of some sort (tufted preferably), and she mentioned that she would be pulling up the pink carpet:) End the end, she was pleased! An exact source list is not available out of respect for our client.

I hope you enjoyed!

Happy Monday!

{Freestyle Fridays} Fall Nail Colors

Hate it or love it, the Fall season is rapidly approaching. Let's take a look at some nail color trends that are sure to please!

 OPI has previewed their Fall 2012 Germany Collection, featuring 12 swoon worthy colors.

 While OPI may be a splurge (each bottle retails at $8), you can create professional results at home, minus the salon prices:)  Here are a few of my favorite swatches.  
Don't Pretzel My Buttons

Berlin There, Done That

My Very First Knockwurst

Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs

Or how about the Fall 2012 China Glaze Safari Collection. This line also features 12 eye-catching shades and retails at $7 each.

Check out a few more of my favs:


Purr-fect Plum, Exotic Encounters, Elephant Walk, and Call of The Wild

For more info on either one of these brands, and to see additional colors, visit the OPI and China Glaze websites.

Do you have/or plan to snag any of these colors this Fall? Do tell!

Have a great weekend!

DIY Floating Shelves

Hey guys!! I hope that everyone is having a fantastic week. I have a project that I am hoping many of you will like and even try! It's super easy and super cheap (in a good way of course)!

These are floating shelves...

Well these babies can cost between $25-$55 for one ledge, which is nuts to me! So I decided that I would make my own, and you can too! Once I decided where I wanted to place my shelves, I measured the wall to determine my desired length. My wall measured at 4ft, so I knew I wanted my shelf to be 3.5ft. I went to my local Home Depot to pick up some pre-primed MDF boards, wood glue, white caulk, heavy duty screws, and painters tape.

When purchasing the MDF, I bought one of each: 1.5 x 8, 2.5 x 8, 3.5 x 8. Being that each board comes in a length of 8ft, I had them cut the boards to my desired length of 3.5ft, and kept the remaining pieces, since I had to pay for them anyway. I could always use them to make floating shelving for another room in my home. Total, I believe I spent for all three shelves, plus the extra cuts (that can make 3 more shelves), the wood glue, tape, and caulk, I spent around $20. Can't beat that! Now it's time to put my plan to work.

After I arrived home, I laid out my shelving. The 3.5 width serves as the the base of the shelf, 2.5 width serves as the backing, and the 1.5 width serves as the front of the shelf.

I then applied a medium amount of wood glue and began putting my pieces together. Please excuse my feet...oh and the glue on the floor. I got it up. I can be a messy DIY'er sometimes:)

After I attached all of the pieces, I added the painters tape to secure everything in place, while I allowed the shelves to dry overnight. After taping, I had something that looked like this:

Once the wood glue dried, I located the seam and thinly filled the seam line with the white caulk.

Cauking the seams make the pieces look continuous as opposed to looking pieced together, if that makes sense. After caulking all of my seams, the shelves were not as white as I wanted them to be, so I painted over them using a paint brush and white glossy paint that I already had at home. This step is optional, but for a cleaner look, I recommend!

Next, I grabbed the drill, leveler, stud finder, and some pretty heavy duty screws to secure the shelves into the wall.

Now for the hard part (where you may need to call in someone to help).  My husband and I put our heads together and placed the stud finder on the wall to locate the studs, which are normally 16 inches apart. After locating, I placed a pencil mark and used the level to determine if it was straight or not. I placed a total of 4 pencil marks, two in each row, approx 16 inches apart to align with the studs. After some adjustments to my pencil marks, he was able to drill through the MDF and hang the shelves. If you would like to cover the screw hole once you drill, my best advice is the cover with the white caulk, or just cover it with decor. Make sure you use a drill, as it will ensure that the screw is snuggly attached to the stud. To ensure your shelves are tight, I pushed down on mine with a little pressure once they were hung, to ensure they were secure. Make sure that you drill in deep enough so that your shelves are flushed against the wall.

Here is how they look once they are hung, and styled:

I have them setup in my foyer and I pretty much just styled them with things that meant something to me, like wedding photos, some greenery, a really cute affirmation picture, and other nick nacks. This project overall, not including dry time, took about 2.5 - 3 hours. Not bad for such an inexpensive makeover. I plan to use the remaining cuts of MDF for some shelving for my bathroom maybe? 

I hope that all of the directions on how to build these shelves were clear! If not, please don't hesitate to email me. I tried to be as detailed as possible, without overdoing it.

I hope you enjoyed and let me know if you build them! I would love to see where you placed them and how you styled them!

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