DIY: Stealing Beautiful Ideas

If you’ve read more than a few of my blogs, you have probably gathered that I like cooking, baking, decorating, gardening and crafts. Many times, as I’ve discovered an interest, I have taken classes to learn more. Or sometimes, like this past weekend, I’ve seen something I like and tried to copy it. Sometimes it works … and sometimes it doesn’t, but the journey is usually pretty fun!

My Eclectic Style

As I’ve shared before, I grew up without a ton of money. Even when my husband and I were first married, he was doing his residency, so we didn’t have extra money then either. I think the combination of that background and my creativity has been the foundation of my eclectic decorating style.

When I was a kid, I used to look around on trash day at all of the things people tossed out; and inevitably I’d end up hauling this or that home. To this day, I’m still that way. If a friend says they have something to give away, I jump on it – whether I need it or not (usually not).

Getting Social and Walking the “Plank”

I thought there was a good chance I would escape social media altogether. My sweet daughter, Katie, has been gently encouraging me for a while to start a lifestyle blog; but up until a few months ago, I had never tweeted, Instagramed or Facebooked. In fact I wasn’t even interested in finding out what any of that meant. Boy, I didn’t know what I was missing!

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my daughter (and two nephews) encouraged me to get on Instagram. They set up an account for me, and then, even after we’d parted, they continued to email and text me with corrections, tips and ideas. As I write this, it has been two months, and I have more than 2,100 people following me on Instagram—yippy! It is so much fun and a bit of an obsession to boot … I love the #tbt and #fbf … great fun!

Okay, so that’s how I came to the world of social media … but what about this blog? Let’s back up a little first…

Work in progress/ home improvement idea

Another week of my friends remodel brought some fun ideas for me to share with you.

The downstairs has a long hallway that was not well lit. To brighten it up she put transom windows above the doorway on either side and painted it a light gray. She decided it still needed more light and that reflective would work. She had a handy man nail boards down the hall and will be painting the lower half a gloss paint in Benjamin Moore Linen White. It is not quite finished but has already added so much to the overall look of just an ordinary hallway for little effort and expense. This is an easy project that you can do yourself.

Do It Yourself Backyard Retreat

I once moved to a house where in the backyard were a pool and a sort of retro fire pit, very 70s. The yard was beautiful but I thought the pit would have to go. There was no rush since it would entail a jackhammer and some strong guys to get rid of it. I got busy with the other aspects of the house and never got around to doing anything about it. I’m so glad I gave it an unexpected reprieve. It became the coolest hangout spot, especially as my children grew. Everyone loves to sit around a campfire right? Teenagers love a place to ‘hang’ and this turned into that place and it was in my own yard … I could pop over, see if anyone wanted a coke and make sure all was ‘safe.’

In my next house I wanted to add one but never got around to it. After recently adding my new garden I decided to give it a go and try to recreate what we had in the old house but in my usual bargain hunting fashion, I didn’t want to spend the $1500 my friend did to have one built. I saw an ad for a copper bowl fire pit on sale from I ordered it and when it arrived I took it to a wrought iron shop, had a hole drilled in the bottom and had a gas line run to the spot I wanted it to be. I used bender board to make the footprint, added four 2’x2’ pavers, river rock and gravel to make ‚a pad‛ for the pit and added chairs around it. I purchased and installed a gas ring for inside the pit and covered it with small and large lava rocks – they really conduct the heat. I then made a half circle with privets to make a hedge around the seating area. I have now added another ‘room’ to my back yard and a great social hangout.