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Today is my four year blog anniversary, or as I like to call it blogoversary!  I can hardly believe that it's been four years since I started this little blog of mine.

To celebrate,  instead of sharing a DIY project with you all I thought I'd take a look back at this past year and share a bit about my journey. Four years and an important lesson learned the hard way! 
The year started off with with a winter wonderland in our neck of the woods.  It was truly magical!  There was also a walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge!  One for the bucket list!

And I promptly made myself a throw using an old velour blanket to keep warm.  Sadly the blanket was so old it fell apart.  It was an epic fail, and I am nothing if not honest with you folks.  Make sure you have a blanket that is not threadbare.  The concept was a good one but those fringes did not survive for very long. 

The winter came and went and once spring was here it was time to literally spring into action.  As many of you know we had moved from Greece to New York, late summer of 2017 and were still getting organized.  There were rooms to paint, decorate and organize!

The first one I shared was the girls' bedroom. We had a blast painting it and decorating too!  But most importantly the girls had final say in what went into the room. 

Sine the blog is primarily about DIY projects I always try to show them in the context of my home and how you too can come up with creative solutions to use what you already have. 

​A year later, it still looks pretty much the same but the bookcases are full of stuff, as to be expected.  And there are a lot more candles in the room since one of my girls has taken up candle making. 

We had a 70's TV cabinet in the foyer,  which was used for storage since there was no longer a TV.  I had been itching to start on that project, mainly because I saw so much potential in that old thing.  It really took blood, sweat, and tears to get it done (well maybe not the blood part).  But in the end, it was everything I had imagined and more. 

To this day, I still sit on the couch facing it and marvel at its beauty.  And also what a waste it had been sitting in the foyer collecting dust all those years. 
​​
While working on this project we also adopted a puppy.  Little Tatou came into our lives and bought so much joy to this house.  I honestly never thought a pet could change our lives in such a dramatic way.  We had dogs before in Greece, but never at home, only at the farm. Huge difference in our lives. 

And we so needed it because things were difficult.  It was hard adjusting to life here after living in Greece.  In New York, people are so busy with their work and my girls had to get used to the fast paced rhythm of the city and so many cultural changes. Tatou really helped to ease the transition.

And to make things worst, over the summer I found out I had diabetes.  I was told my Blood Glucose Level was an 11. If you know anything about this then you know I was a walking time-bomb!

I can lie and say that this came as a shock but in all honesty, I had been abusing my body for years.  Overdosing on sweets and lack of exercise was not the way to stay healthy.  One of my girls loves to bake and well, as you can guess, I'm not one to resist a chocolate chip cookie, or five! And her cheesecakes are irresistible!

I ignored the signs.  I was constantly tired and sluggish.  I was always hungry which made no sense at all because I was eating all day long.  And sitting in front of the computer certainly didn't help matters at all.  

I went into the doctor's office for a referral and instead came out with a huge headache and enough prescriptions to make it a full time job.  Saying I was depressed about this was an understatement.  But I knew I, and no one else, was to blame.  I should have known better. But I just kept on sweeping my bad health habits under the rug. Not even a trip to the Botanical Gardens helped me to feel better!

Imagine walking around with a grenade inside you and not knowing about it, or even worse, keeping your head in the sand out of stupidity.  That was me!!  That trip to the doctor's office was a wake up call of the upmost urgency!  
I knew I had to tackle this thing and so it became my priority.  I stopped eating sweets cold turkey and paid attention to all those labels on the packages.  I even went to see a Diabetics Educator.  I kept close track of my insulin intake and my blood sugar levels. 

​And I started walking everywhere, with my pupster and without. Like I said, this had become my full time job.  That's why I wasn't working on new projects over the summer but instead sharing some oldies but goodies

I had made a mood board for the master bedroom which is actually tiny.  It serves as bedroom, craft room and office.  But it was really hard for me to work on this room when I had all these other things on my mind.

I kept on dragging on the color selections. But I figured once the room is done I will be better able to organize my life.

​And that's exactly what happened.  I found a spot for all my medicine and put myself on a schedule. Discipline was the key here!

Funny thing is, the more organized I became, the better I was able to stay disciplined and my blood glucose levels dropped dramatically.  The pounds just started melting away and I was not dieting.  I had just cut out the sugar and was watching my carbs. I was diligent about it!  That's it!

Ha!  I say "that's it" like it was a small thing, but in fact it was life changing!  

I now had tons of energy because I didn't have to worry about that sugar high and low. So much so, that instead of finishing the bedroom, I tackled another project!

In a two day period I painted the kitchen (ok it is the size of your closet, but still), the dining room, the entryway and the living room.  For the living room I went all out and did a cloudy effect accent wall that has me swooning to this day!

No way would I have tried anything like this in my previous state!  But now, I had so much energy I didn't know what to do with it.  And mind you, I'm no spring chicken. 
With all this energy and great news from the doctor's office, I was finally able to finish the bedroom! My head was clear and I knew exactly what I wanted!

And for Christmas I got the best gift ever!  My blood glucose numbers were so low I was taken off the insulin!  High Five here!!  I had gotten my health back in so many ways and luckily for me in such a short time. We even took a long walk to Rockefeller Center to see the Tree in freezing weather. 
The start of the year had me off and running with lots of ideas and new projects on board.  I need to finish the living room.  But that will take some time since I plan on buying a new sofa.  All the rest was repurposed or upcycled by me. 

​And the dining room needs a bit more work too.  Maybe I'll get my girl to help me with some artwork. 

But no matter what projects I am working on I never, ever slack off on my health.  I was given this gift of good health and I am not about to throw it away or take it for granted like I had before. 
Disclosure: This website contains affiliate links. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission, that way I can continue to provide you with lovely content.  There is no extra charge to you for purchasing through my affiliate links.


The bottom line is, all these projects would not have ever gotten done if I hadn't gone to the doctor one summer day to get a referral for something else entirely.  

As mothers, most of us are stuck in a sandwich situation.  We have children to look out for and on the other end, we also have elderly parents to take care of.  Too often we get so caught up in taking care of everyone else we neglect ourselves to the point where we can no longer function. That is exactly what happened to me.  I was no good to anyone at that point. 

I am so grateful to my family for rallying around me and helping me to get on board with my new lifestyle.  They are all so good about this, they have all started eating healthier along with me. And once the weather warms up a bit there will be plenty of walks with Tatou!

I hope that you can all learn from my hard earned mistake and go to the doctor and get your checkups every year. Moms are truly the backbone of the family and if we are not well then nothing works properly. Am I right?

I honestly have no idea how long I had the diabetes, maybe since my time in Greece where there is a pastry shop on every corner? Maybe it hit me later. I fooled myself into thinking it was the Greek heat that made me feel sluggish all the time but then I never questioned why I felt this way in winter too. 

All I know is that I feel half my age or at least half of what I felt like before. Maybe before I felt like an 80 year old and now I feel my age?  Either way I have loads of energy and then some. 

And I am not special or Hercules.  Like I mentioned before all I did was to cut out my sugar intake, watch my carbs and try to eat lots of fruits and veggies.  And for exercise I would walk where ever possible.  Even the shopping mall counts here! 

I have been given a second chance at life.  This is a miracle for me! My doctor jokes that I should be the poster child for diabetes!   At my age I should be winding down and yet I am going in the opposite direction!  I have lots of plans and a new road to follow for the future. 


​I'll say it again!  We all need to take care of ourselves.  If you are feeling tired or sluggish go for a checkup, have your blood glucose levels checked.  Take care of yourself because no one will do it for you!!

It has been such a roller coaster year for me but I needed to hit rock bottom!  It was a wake up call that really got me on the right path to wellness. I hope my hard earned lesson will also help to motivate you in your wellness journey!  I am celebrating my four years on the blog with a clean bill of health, how about you?
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This blog is for entertainment purposes only; my DIY tutorials are not professional advice. Read my full disclaimer here.​

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Spring may not be right around the corner but after such a harrowing winter I think we could use a little pick me up!

Today I'm sharing 35 Easy Spring Ideas to Inspire you, so we can all get through the rest of the winter and look forward to the sunshine!
For the Table:

Those pretty pastels have got Spring all over them!  Here is a fun way to decorate the table for Easter and spring in general by Toni of Girl, just DIY!
 
This beautiful spring garden centerpiece is perfect for indoors or out.  Go see it over at Linda's blog, Mixed Kreations

To get this fun look, I repurposed some cordial glasses and now use them to create various spring centerpieces. 
Wouldn't these cloches look perfect on your table?  The easy and affordable how to is by Marie of The Interior Frugalista!

This is a happy tablescape that can put a smile on anyone's face.  Drop by Carol of Comfort Spring Station for lots more ideas. 

Jenny of Cookies Coffee and Crafts made this personalized placement for her spring table and the results couldn't be sweeter! 

This little tray made from paint sticks, adds an elegant spring touch to any table! Susan of Homeroad has the easy tutorial for us. 

Looking for a tablescape, then look no further then Debra's of Shoppe No.5.  She shows us how to transition from Easter to Spring!

I repurposed an old vine wreath into  a nest for Easter eggs. It makes a great centerpiece and it was so easy to create!



​Disclosure: This website contains affiliate links. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission, that way I can continue to provide you with lovely content.  There is no extra charge to you for purchasing through my affiliate links.
For the Wall and Door:
Is there anything more cheerful than a wreath full of moss and eggs?  Handan of The Navage Patch shares her tutorial with us. 
This fun wall decor was made by Carlene from Organized Clutter.  She repurposed a thrift store find and added some unusual pieces to come up with this unique piece. 

Sometimes simple is the way to go.  Roxanne of The Honeycomb Home shared her simple and elegant DIY Spring wreath. 

Are you a gardener?  Even if you aren't,  you will definitely want Marie's of The Interior Frugalista, DIY project for a Spring Garden Tool Holders with a Planter. I think it makes such a statement on the wall and adds a colorful rustic vibe to any space. 

This idea from Art Decoration Crafting by Christina Makri is just the perfect whimsical Spring wreath for your door. ​​
Another great way to usher in Spring is this pallet sign that Debra from Shoppe No.5 made using greeting cards!

Have you ever seen a wreath like this one?  Only Gail of Purple Hues and Me can come up with such a distinctive craft.
You can also create your own wall art for spring.  Beverly of Across the Boulevard shares her easy tutorial for this Spring Blooms wall art!

Is there anything cuter than bunny cutouts?  Lisa of The Purple Hydrangea shares her simple Spring book Page Bunny Garland!

My favorite wreath of all time is  this natural one which I made for May Day (a traditional celebration in Greece) using wild flowers picked from the farm. And once it is dried out it looks even better!  You can use any flowers you have on hand.

These gorgeous botanical printables from The Navage Patch would make a great addition to any wall for spring.  Just look at the details!
Home Decor:

Here's a simple idea that works any time of the year.  Using silver plates and chargers, Marie of The Interior Frugalista turned them into round chalkboards.  The message is all your own!

Here is a unique centerpiece for all you farmhouse enthusiasts!  Susan of Homeroad repurposed  bed springs to create these lovely eggs nests.  

Julie of Sum of our Stories shared two projects with us using Faux grass and flowers! This pretty vase and a pen pot! 

Aren't these flowers beautiful?  Deborah of Salvage Sister and Mister made them using tissue paper!

And to put the flowers somewhere, I upcycled this vintage mirror.  I think it looks best with spring flowers!

Outdoor Spring Ideas:

What did Michelle of A Crafty Mix use to make this one-of-a-kind planter?  You guessed it, a shoe!! The leprechauns will be very happy!

Here's a smart idea from Handan of The Navage Patch.  Put your basket planter on casters so you can move it easily when need be!

If you have lots of teapots and saucers but can't bear to part with them then this is the post for you.  Marie of The Interior Frugalista shows us how to make wind chimes using teapots and cups and saucers!

Pam of House of Hawthornes repurposed these rubber boots into the most adorable planters.  Love that bold color!!

I found these copper pots in the basement and finally dragged them outside.  After a good cleaning I repurposed them into planters
Janet of Try It, Like It shows us how to make these fun garden flowers out of recycled cans!  

Have you ever seen anything as pretty as this garden chandelier?  Maria of Simple Nature Decor shows us how to make our very own!

Debbie of Confessions of a Plate Addict thrifted old picnic basket and turned it into this adorable planter!

Got an old dated hanging flower planter?  Toni of Girl,Just DIY! shows us how to give it a new life!

This unique wind chime was  repurposed from a tire rim.  Is sure to get everyone's attention not only because of its' size but also for those antique keys. 

Well that certainly was a lot of Spring crafting inspiration - 35 Easy Spring Ideas to inspire you!   And Inspire  you I hope they did, because Spring is really just around the corner!

Are there any you are planning to try?
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The other day I was shopping at Michael's (which happens to be my all time favorite store) and I spotted these crates. They were wood and only $10, and if you have a coupon you pay even less. 

This got me to thinking if I could use one, and if so, where.  I came up with the idea of placing it on top of the cubby unit I just made over, and I'd use it for newspaper storage. The only problem was the unfinished wood. Today I'm going to share how I transformed that crate and got a stunning finish with stain.

Disclosure: This website contains affiliate links. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission, that way I can continue to provide you with lovely content.  There is no extra charge to you for purchasing through my affiliate links.


I walked around a little bit more and found this stain.  It's from Michael's private label Craftsmart.  I really liked that soft grey color.  And if you know anything about me at all, it's that I'm all about soft and calm this past year. So I added that to my cart. 

What I Used:
The How To:
It was such an easy project. I started out by sanding the rough spots on the outside of the crate.  I didn't bother with the inside because I had other ideas for it.
 
I brushed the stain (not affiliate link) on all sides and wiped back with a paper towel. Below you can see how it looked after one coat. 


​I used a sponge/foam brush to get into the tight spots. 
After the second coat it was done but I still needed to add a wax to seal in the stain.  



​There is actually a wax that goes with the stain (not affiliate link), but I already had lots of wax.  So in the spirit of using up my supplies, I chose to go with the Daddy Van's Decorative Wax in Farmhouse White.  I'm sure any wax will do just fine.  
I went with the white to try and get a bit more interest in the wood color and also lighten it up a bit. 

Just put it on and buff it off. 


​Because I didn't sand the wood on the inside, it was not smooth and I ended up with this rustic goodness from the white wax which I'm really loving!
Now I've got the perfect container for my newspapers.  I actually use them when I'm peeling potatoes or making a mess on the kitchen counter.  I place them on the counter before I make my mess and then just throw them out when I'm done. A good way to use those newspapers and flyers and a great way to protect your counters. 
The color is a soft grayish brown and not dark at all so it blends in nicely with the rest of the room. And it has that farmhouse look we all love so much!

I think it looks stunning, in a subtle kind of way!  In fact I love it so much, I may go back and get a few more. Have, I mentioned just how much I love shopping at Michael's?

This was my tutorial on how to get a stunning finish on a wood crate with stain. It was such an easy project, in fact it only took me about an hour with the drying time.  Those crates never looked so good!

​Do you shop at Michael's?

More Stain Ideas:
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This blog is for entertainment purposes only; my DIY tutorials are not professional advice. Read my full disclaimer here.​

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You may have something ugly and really do not want it in your house because it clashes with everything else but it is practical for storage.  What do you do short of tossing it out and buying a new one?  Well that is not what this blog is about.  You know we strive for DIY solutions here.

​And if you've followed me for any length of time you know that my motto is "The Power of Paint".  The simplest way to transform something is with paint.  

​See the ugly below?  It was sitting in my living room looking oh so ugly!! But I found a way to solve this problem!   I'm going to show you how to paint cubby storage units the easy way. 
Disclosure: I was compensated for doing this post with product.  However, all the opinions stated here are my own. I only use products I love and would recommend to my viewers. 
​​​​

But let's back track a bit.  Last year I gave  the bedroom a makeover.  I started with  way too much stuff in there and painted a lot and also removed some. 

One of the items that was taken out was this two piece cubby storage unit. There was simply no space for this in the bedroom so I moved it into the living room.

We have an open plan of sorts in our home. To walk from the living room to the dining area there are two steps.  The rail is a divider that keeps us from falling over into the dining area.  Those cubby units were going to be placed against the railing, to create a more defined space for the living area and also because we can never have enough storage in my house. After all this isn't Texas, this is New York and all homes are tiny!

Below is an after photo.  Don't mind the mess, Tatou will get mad at you if you judge.

​But first they needed a makeover! 
What I Used:
Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission, that way I can continue to provide you with lovely content.  There is no extra charge to you for purchasing through my affiliate links.


The paint does not need a primer so I just started painting.  I used a  soft tip brush  because I found that the plastic brushes make it harder to paint and leave all sorts of streaks.

After two coats it looked like this.  I knew it would take quite a few coats to cover the black but as I was painting I changed my mind and decided to go with a grey finish. 

I added a bit of black to the white and also a tiny bit of beige to warm up the grey and came up with my own custom color. Of course I could have just bought it like that but I really like to torture myself.  This is a taupe grey which is also nice.

​Actually in the spirit of decluttering,  I am on a mission to get rid of all my paint cans so I just used what I had around. I got this idea from my friend Marie of the Interior Frugalista.  She has even more paint cans than I do.  Go check out her blog and you can thank me later.  She is a wiz with the paint brush!
A few more coats of this grey color and I was done.  This paint does not need a sealer.  If left alone for a few days to cure, it dries to a hard finish. 

If you are working on a piece that is wood and you want to seal in the wood paint you can also  use this sealer.  My cubbies were laminate so there was no need for that on my part.  

In fact I've also painted laminate furniture many times in the past, on this campaign dresser, this Ikea Malm dresser, using gel stain, on this Ikea desk, and these nasty bookcases.  That was a lot of painting!


​I painted the back as well because no one wants to look at an ugly backside!
​I ended up placing the cubbies horizontally on the floor.  This way they do not block the sun from reaching that dark dining area. And lucky for me, it was a perfect fit, just grazing the railing. This is also   great solution if you are starting from scratch. ​


Once dry it mimics the faux grain of the laminate. The color is grey, but depending on the light it can have a hint of blue, which works fine by me.  If you know anything about me, it is my love of blue and how I've transformed the living room into a blue oasis!
​My storage solution was to take some cardboard boxes and dress them up with wrapping paper.  You can read about why I do that here.  

​Now I have lots more storage and a place to put all those books which get displaced from their normal spot on the bookshelves every time I get the desire to create vignettes  for every season!

Oh the first world problems we have!
And that basket makes a nice contrast to the whole grey look.  Should I paint it white or leave it as is?

I put some of those felt furniture pads on the bottom of the units so they would have a bit of a cushion too. 

​And that is my solution to my storage problem.  You can see just how easy it was to see how easy it was to repaint these cubby storage units.  I was really glad I could make use of these storage cubbies and in a way that fit in perfectly with the rest of the room. 

​Have you ever tried painting laminate?
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This blog is for entertainment purposes only; my DIY tutorials are not professional advice. Read my full disclaimer here.​

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I've been saving up these photos for a while now and I really don't know why.  They were all taken in the area of downtown Manhattan, a bit of SoHo and primarily to the west which is a commercial area and known as Hudson Square. 

Today I'm taking you on a tour and sharing a monumental surprise at Hudson Square in New York. 
SoHo is an area in west downtown Manhattan.  The name comes from its location which is South of Houston Street.   

Much of SoHo is quaint and village like. 
..with cast iron buildings and boutiques. 


In fact the area is famous for these types of buildings which were originally factories and when later abandoned, were inhabited by artists for their expansive loft spaces. 

​You might even be fooled into thinking that you are on a Greek island every once in a while. This shot was taken in front of a restaurant. Love that blue!!
​Disclosure: This website contains affiliate links. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission, that way I can continue to provide you with lovely content.  There is no extra charge to you for purchasing through my affiliate links.


​But if you gaze up there is no denying that you are in fact surrounded by lots of skyscrapers, the most prominent being The Freedom Tower at One Word Trade Center.
​ 
There is that juxtaposition of solid looking brick buildings.

Some with ornate facades.
​ 
And the monoliths. 

There is that spiral of The Freedom Tower looking down at us. 

​Lots of greenery too.
And flowers...


​And unexpected facade cladding.  This building, which is residential, is covered in a metal that is brimming with patina. 

Back to the more traditional. 

​I lived in one of these when we first moved to the States a few lifetimes ago and I remember having a fire escape outside my 5th floor bedroom window.  It was so thrilling for a girl who had never seen any building taller than two stories. 
As we come closer to the Hudson Square area which is just off the Hudson River, we find an interesting mix of buildings. 

The Urban Glass House was designed by work famous architect Philip Johnson, he of the original Glass House fame built back in 1949.  


​Walking up Hudson Street we come to this.  You'd think its a residential building but in fact it is a commercial office building. 
Hudson Street is a delight for the eyes!



​Full of so many unexpected details, if you only look up!
Even this is cool to look at. 



​Right off of the Hudson River we encounter this striking building. 
Can you guess what's inside?  

Those fins by the way, move to track the suns movement throughout the day and contribute to its environmentally friendly status. 
It is the New York City Department of Sanitation Garage.  I never knew garbage could look so stylish!

And let's not forget our perfect view right across the street from the Garage or "Tower of Garbage" as it is affectionately known!
I've saved the last one for last.  This strange construction which looks like it came out of the desert is across the street from the "Tower of Garbage".  What do you think might be inside?

It is full of salt!  

That's right, the Department of Sanitation uses it as a storage shed for the salt that is used in the winter. It's official title is Spring Street Salt Shed. It's even won a couple of Architectural awards!

Just look at that undulating building.  My first impression when I encountered it was one of disbelief.  I circled it and circled it trying to figure out what it was.  It looks like a giant piece of sculpture. 

To the west of the shed is West Street (very creative) and beyond that is the Hudson River.  Underneath this road is the Holland Tunnel which connects Manhattan to New Jersey on the other side of the river. 

And that is my exhaustive tour of the Hudson Square area of Manhattan. With a monumental surprise at the end!  Only in New York folks!!

And if you'd like to subscribe to my photography posts,  click here. You can also see  more photo essay here. ​

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A few days ago I was looking over my Most Popular Posts for 2018 and realized that I use old clothes quite a lot. 

I am not a fan of throwing things away, in fact that's what this blog is built on. ​Clothes in particular, hold a special place in my heart because they have such pretty colors, patterns and interest in general. It got me to thinking that I should share all that with you. I went over my projects and came up with 15 ways to re-purpose old clothes into something new. 
Re-Purposing Clothes for Craft Projects

This flag was created using fabric remnants and also a red skirt, which is where the clothes part comes in.  At one point I had also considered using boxer shorts.  It was a very easy project and very effective too!

The fabric scraps you see below were once a part of a dress and a skirt. I think they make a lovely embellishment for the wooden box.   There is nothing that escapes me, as long as I like a pattern it is not safe!  

Re-Purposing Clothes as Chair Covers

This project features an old jersey t-shirt which belonged to my daughter.  It was stretched way out of shape and the only thing to do was to stretch it more and turn it into a cover for her chair. 

I've also done this using flannel shirts. And here is another one with  a blouse turned into a stool cover. 

The chair on your left with the grey seat cover was made from a sweat shirt.  Again, it did not fit anyone except for the dog.  But at that point we hadn't adopted him otherwise it would have become a dog sweater. 

Speaking of which, another great idea for clothes is to re-purpose them into dog toys.  Lina of Sew Historically has many great ideas!

​Disclosure: This website contains affiliate links. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission, that way I can continue to provide you with lovely content.  There is no extra charge to you for purchasing through my affiliate links.

Re-Purposing Clothes in Picture Frames
A calico skirt was used as a backdrop for the wire heart.  You can really use anything at all as a backdrop in your frames. 

I also used the same idea as a backdrop for these Christmas Wreaths.  And the fabric was boxer shorts!  In fact this is a great idea to showcase a wreath at any time of the year, not just Christmas.

​I need to go and make a few more of these for the rest of the seasons!  (It pays to look back at your work because you never know what you'll remember that you had originally forgotten!)



​This earring organizer was one of my all time favorite projects.  Behind the doily is a blue backdrop, which was once a satin blouse.  You could never tell that it had such fancy beginnings. 

And while we're on the subject of Jewelry, I had used an old blouse to make  the blue bracelet holder you see here.  

You can see the same fabric used as art here. 
Re-Purposing Clothes for Wreaths

The blue fabric you see on the wreath/lifesaver below was cut up from my an old jean dress of mine. And that white ribbon was actually a belt. 

Another wreath in which I used belts is this one



​This summery lopsided wreath boasts a skirt, a shirt and I honestly don't remember what the red was.  I think it was gauze material from a skirt which no one ever wore. 

Here is  another skirt wreath which was maybe too much but it gives you an idea of what you can do with the right fabric. 

The little bits of cream lace you see at the top of this spring wreath was actually a collar from a dress of mine back in the day when we used to wear such things. It had served its purpose on the dress but it looks much better on the wreath!  ​And the striped fabric was from a shirt of mine. 

I've also used bits of a green velvet dress to jazz up this holiday wreath


​Re-Purposing Clothes as Pillows
And finally my favorite way to re-purpose old clothes is by turning them into pillows. 

Below we have a few tee-shirts that once belonged to the girls.  But the best one was the "Adidas" sweatshirt which I managed to turn into a pillow without having to cut it at all.  You can see the full tutorial here

The white pillow with the yarn wrapped around was once a sweater and the lace pillow to your left started out as a dress.  



​Can you guess what the blue fleece pillow was made from?  It was once a fringed scarf that had been stretched so thin that it had to be re-purposed.  Most of the work was in knotting the fringes.  
These were all sweater pillows. The round bolster pillow was actually not cut at all because the neck and sleeves were tucked into the body of the pillow. 

And let's not forget Christmas stockings which began as a sweater. 
Re-purposing Clothes to Hide Things
This backpack which belonged to my daughter had a sticker in the front which was advertising for a soda company.  Needless to say it did not look pretty so we came up with this solution of adding the fabric you see below which started out as a dress.  I even added it to the straps.

Technically I am not hiding things with this idea but pieces of clothing cut into rectangles or squares can be used as gift wrapping. 


And that is my list of clothing re-purposes.  Honestly, I did not think I had that many to share with you.  

I've been doing the Marie Kondo Tidying Up method of decluttering but I still keep my favorite fabrics - because they bring me "JOY"!!

So next time you are de-cluttering and getting ready to donate something, or throw it out "gasp" take a good hard look at it first. 

Do you like the color? 

Do you like the pattern? 

Maybe the texture is interesting? 

Once you've narrowed it down, put it aside in your "to Re-purpose" stash and I know you will come up with loads of ideas!  And I know my 15 ways to re-purpose old clothing into something new will come in handy!


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A few months back I went to Bryant Park in New York's Midtown to meet some friends. 

Bryant Park is located behind the New York Public Library just off of Fifth Avenue.  I sat in one spot and just photographed.  This is my visit to the restored Bryant Park and its surrounding areas. 
The Stephen A Schwarzman Public Library or the Main Branch as we so often call it,  is a grand building on Fifth Avenue.  But we are not here to talk about that, just to look at it's backside. 

We can see the Bryant Park Grill, a restaurant that also seats outside below.
The large arched windows let light into the reading room, with a 52 foot high ceiling. 
The narrow windows allow light into the stacks of the library.  In front is the Bryant Park Cafe.


​The 9.6 acre park is a privately managed public park situated between Fifth and Sixth (Avenue of the Americas) and between 40th and 42nd Street. In other words, between Times Square and Grand Central Terminal - in the heart of mid-town Manhattan.

A statue of the poet and journalist, William Cullen Bryant sits at the center of the back overlooking the park which has his name. 

Along the perimeters of the great lawn are areas for the public to sit and eat. There are also seasonal displays.  

Back when I lived in New York (and we are talking in the eighties here), I remember being terrified to walk near this park, it was a location of "ill repute" to put it mildly. But now, having come back, I am amazed at the transformation.  

After a bit of sleuthing on my part I was surprised to learn that stacks were built in 1988, underneath the great lawn.  That was the starting point  for a major overhaul. 

During the period of "ill repute" the park was not safe and felt cut off from the rest of the city.  The renovations lowered the park by a few feet and opened it up to the outside with new entrances which made the area safe for all visitors. 

There is also a carousel in keeping with the French styling of the park.


​Looking up at the tall buildings upon buildings surrounding the area. 


​On the Sixth Avenue side we see lots of modern skyscrapers such as this tall glass building and the one to its right which is the Bank of America Financial Center. 
I love photographing reflective surfaces like this especially when you have so much to see. 



​The Fountain Terrace has plentiful seating that is movable, adding to the feeling of the public being in control.  There is also a reading room where visitors can borrow books to read in their spare time and where events are hosted.   
In the winter, the lawn is covered into a free skating rink for the public and the surrounding area is lived up with a Winter Village full of little shops that have eats and hand crafted goods. This has really transformed the park into a year round destination for visitors. 

Summertime, the lawn hosts a weekly movie night event, and Broadway concerts.
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​The Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain is made of Stony Creek granite and bronze.  It is the first major monument in the city, to honor a female who was a social worker. It was installed in 1912 and relocated to its present site in 1936.
The State University NY College of Optometry is located in the tall building. 



​It is also known as the W.R. Grace Building and is famous for its curved vertical facade on both sides. Yes, it looks as if it is going to topple over. 


​On the southwest corner of the park we can see the Bank of China which recently built this skyscraper.
When these buildings light up at night it is a whole different look! Lots of colors and sites to see all around. 

One last note before I close this post, I went to the public restrooms in the park and I felt as if I had walked into Versailles.  Classical Music had been piped in and the whole atmosphere was rich and opulent. 

I hope you've enjoyed my visit to the restored Bryant Park and its surrounding areas. It is a must see next time you visit New York.  It truly is an oasis in the heart of Manhattan!  

​I​f you really like what you see subscribe to my blog and get my adventures in your mailbox. The form is on the sidebar and on top.  To see my privacy policy click here.
New York photos:
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It is that time of the month again when I join my friends from all over the world.   I am talking about the International Bloggers Club. 

A few months ago we started a new theme that involves using the Anniversary years as our guideline.  We featured projects with paper and projects with cotton.  The last time we did Christmas  And now we I am going to show you how to make a natural clay Valentine's heart garland.

Make sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post to see what my friends have made this month.
My daughter came home with some of this clay and I thought this project would be the perfect opportunity for us to do a project together. 

What We Used:
The How To:
Since we are doing Valentine's Day, I cut out a heart on a piece of paper as a template by folding a piece of paper and making the half shape.  Once unfolded, it looked like a full heart. 
And replicated it on a piece of cardboard because I needed a sturdy template. 
My girl then rolled out the clay on a cutting board. It was about 1/4 inch in height. 
Using the cardboard heart as a template she was able to cut out a shape.  You can also use cookie cutters if you have them. 
She used plastic clay tools, but a knife will do just as well. 



​We didn't worry about the rough edges since we were going for a rustic look, but this would be the time to smooth them out if you want a more finished look. 
As an afterthought I took sprigs of pine and pressed them into the clay. I was trying to achieve a bit more texture. I'm sure you can use anything with a pattern on it. I just liked this idea. 

We also poked holes near the tops of the years for the twine to go through. 


​We placed them on a non-stick sheet made for baking clay.  And baked them in the oven for about 15 minutes.
This is how they looked when they came out of the oven.  I let them rest a few days but you don't really need to wait that long. 



​And here is where the fun begins.  I had three different waxes to choose from.  I wanted to experiment so using the furniture polish (that's the one in the center which is really clear) I went over all of the hearts. and wiped them with a clear cloth. 
On the left is the heart with the clear wax.  On the right I have added the dark wax on top of the clear.  It looks like a mess but wait...



​Once the dark wax is wiped back you can clearly see all the markings on the heart. 
I then took another heart and applied white wax on top of the clear.  That is the one on the left and you can see how it compares to the dark wax on the right. 



​But I was not happy with either one.  The one was too bland and the other too dark.  To soften up the darker one I added white on top.  This process was trial and error but that's how you figure out what you like. 
I had finally found something in the middle that made me happy!  And just look at that shine!  It is as smooth as a well worn rock and the color is a nice oatmeal. 


​You may have noticed that I had made holes in the hearts before baking them.  My intent was to create a garland with the hearts. 


​I think it turned out just right!
Not too bland.

And not too dark!

Now that I'm done I'm giving it a second look and it would not be a stretch to say that the hearts look a little like they have fossil indentations on them. 


​I hope you've enjoyed our how to make a natural clay Valentine's heart garland. I got to spend a wonderful afternoon with my daughter and we made a heart garland which can pretty much stay up all year round.  That is definitely a win-win in my book!  How do you decorate for Valentine's Day?  Do you go all out or are you like me?

And now scroll below to see what my pals from the International Bloggers Club are up to.  If you'd like to see more past challenges click here.
​If you really like what you see subscribe to my blog and get my adventures in your mailbox. The form is on the sidebar and on top.  To see my privacy policy click here.
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Welcome to our One Hundred Fortieth Sweet Inspiration Link Party.

I have some sad news to share this week.  This will be my last week hosting the party. All good things must come to an end.  I have been hosting for almost three years now but it is time to focus on other things in my life.  Gail and Christina will also be leaving but we are leaving the party in the capable hands ofAmy of Health Home and Heart.  Amy will be joined by Eileen from Just Measuring Up and Lidia from Design Inside the Box. I hope that you will support these ladies as much as you have supported us over the years.   

I would like to close by thanking each and every one of you for your participation in the party. I am grateful and honored to have visited all your blogs from the first party till now and have learned so much from you all and have made lots of wonderful friends.  Because that is what a link party is really all about. Community! I will continue to visit your blogs. <3


Mary from The Boondocks Blog 
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I loved seeing all of the different paints and techniques that Vicki from Entri Ways used over the past year. She has done some fantastic projects the past year, and I'll definitely be trying some of her techniques in the future.
 I'm in love with this winterberry fur wreath from Beverly and Gloria over at Across the Boulevard. It's just perfect for winter, and I think one of these would look perfect with my decor. 
​;)
Salmon croquettes. So easy to make them and they look delicious and crispy. Full recipe from Tracie at Somewhat Awry.

This is by far my favorite edition for falafel. I've never seen a recipe like this before so I'm going to give it a try the soonest possible. You can find the recipe from Jas at All Thats Jas.
We all have problems hiding those unsightly, awkward containers in our laundry room and Ann at The Apple Street Cottage shares her easy, and beautiful solution!
I was amazed how Kimberly atDIY Party Mom helped arranged her parents 50th Anniversary Party. Thinking of my own 50th this year, this celebration was truly gorgeous!

 I was smitten with this coat that Laurie of Vanity and Me shared with us. I can just dive right into it what with the weather being so horrid these days. I love that blue color and also the fact that it is not heavy. Winter you can stay as long as you want if I get to look as stylish as Laurie! 

Lately I have been getting up early while everyone is still asleep and I marvel at all I get done in the morning. And with a smile on my face! Candice of She's Crafty has a great routine for the morning and I am going to follow some of her suggestions too. 
The most popular by a landslide was by our former hostess Michelle of A Crafty Mix for her DIY Pool Ramp for her adorable pup, EeeeDeeee!
​Party Rules
  • It would be appreciated if you follow us on at least one social media.
  • You can link up to 3 posts, DIYs, Home Decor, Crafts, Recipes anything family     friendly goes!
  • Yes, you can link up posts with affiliate links. 
  • Please link up your own work, no ads. And please no link parties.
  • Linking gives us permission to share a credited photo on our social media accounts. Please keep in mind that linking up with stock photography or using photos without express permission by the photo owner is not allowed. Links of stock photography or photos that are not owned by you will be removed without notification. 
  • If you wish to pin the features please do so by going to the original post.​​

Click the button to link up below!   Get inspired, have fun & share!!

Disclosure: By submitting a link to the Sweet Inspiration Link Party you are giving the party hosts permission to feature your link/post on our blogs, social media and future round up posts. This includes images from the linked post as well as linking to your social media accounts. The Boondocks Blog and all Sweet Inspiration Link Party co-hosts respect you and your work; everything will be properly linked back to you and credit given.
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This blog is for entertainment purposes only; my DIY tutorials are not professional advice. Read my full disclaimer here.
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In preparation for the holidays I bought a new rug for the living room.  It was blue, it matched my cloudy wall.  I was in love.  Some of the room, the cabinet and the bookcases, looked great with the new rug.  Some other things, not so much. Did that stop me from plowing ahead?  Of course not.  I was determined to make the room look presentable for the holidays, as best I could. 

Like I said, some of the furniture looked out of place.  Now I am on a budget so buying a new coffee table was not in the foreseeable future.  But I figured I could always paint that table that looked oh so dark and gloomy and make it fit in just a bit better.  This is how I went about reinventing my old coffee table with paint to fit in with the rest of the room. 
Disclosure: I was compensated for doing this post with product.  However, all the opinions stated here are my own. I only use products I love and would recommend to my viewers. 
​​​​

But let's back track for a minute.  This table has been with us since my boys lived here. I had originally covered it with a black vinyl contact paper because... well you can read all about that story here. And you see why it worked before in that setting.

The plan was to paint the whole table and hide the darkness of the wood and the black vinyl. Because this was no longer the boy's bachelor pad.  It was my living room and it had to reflect my taste.  Mainly my love of blue and warm and cozy things. 

​Disclosure: This website contains affiliate links. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission, that way I can continue to provide you with lovely content.  There is no extra charge to you for purchasing through my affiliate links.
What I Used:
The How to:

I started off painting the whole thing in the beige color. A few coats and lots of wait time in between because winter is not kind to painting.  And obviously I was not able to paint outside in the winter. 
Isn't this the ideal painting situation?  In between all the Christmas festivity I had this mess in the living room.  But what was I to do?  I was determined to have the living room of my dreams.  Or at least as close to it as I could get DIY style. 



​I liked the beige but felt it was too bland.  I thought maybe the top could use a different color, so I mixed up my own special color trying to match it as closely as possible to a blue shade that was on the rug. I used a bit of True Blue and Pewter to achieve this effect, and lots of white along with the original beige
I let the coats dry for a least a few hours in between.  There was no need to add a top coat to this paint since it dries as hard as nails. That's also why it is my favorite paint and I use it all the time!


​It is a soft bluish grey!  And such a warm color. The beige looks almost like a cream color next to the blue top. 
The accents really pop!  I had consulted with a paint group on Facebook about what to do with this piece and many suggested that I add a stencil on top.  But I feel that between the accent wall and the media cabinet, things are busy enough in here.  I think adding stenciling would have made the room even busier. 


​For now, I'm going to leave it like that. 

But in the future, I am actually thinking of distressing it a bit or even adding some dark wax to make them pop more.  What do you suggest?
​ 
This is so much better then the wood and black it was before. 
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You can't really tell from the photos but the whole room is really coming together now. I had painted the wall first and then bought the rug with the hope that it would complement that wall. 

A piece of advice here.  Always paint your wall last.  It took me months to find this rug and even then I was worried that the color would not work since I ordered it through the internet.  Luckily all turned out well but I had quite a few days of nail biting over this. 

I manged to finish this table and one other project just in time for the holidays and enjoyed the harmony and coziness of the room.  Because to me spending time with family at home is what the holidays are all about. 


​I know that many of you were out there decorating and shopping and even baking.  But for me it was important to prepare for the holidays by painting.  Am I nuts? Maybe but having a cozy room and a calm ambiance for my family to spend time, is what it's all about for me.  I hope you've enjoyed how I re-invented my coffee table with paint.  

​If you really like what you see subscribe to my blog and get my adventures in your mailbox. The form is on the sidebar and on top.  To see my privacy policy click here.
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This blog is for entertainment purposes only; my DIY tutorials are not professional advice. Read my full disclaimer here.​

I love it when I get your comments and I will try to reply to every one of them. 
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