Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coop Construction--Part 3 (AKA: Sawdust is a'flyin')

I thought I would write an update of our progress on the chicken coop. It's pretty much all we've been doing around here, so I can't think of anything else to write about!! First of all, DH and I borrowed my dad's truck Sunday afternoon and made another trip to Home Depot to pick up some more supplies. One thing I really wanted to get is this mitre box and saw set. I had seen this on one of the decorating blogs I follow and thought it would be great for not only our coop project, but for other projects which may require angled cuts. And it's only about $8, so you can't beat the price. Today I cut a bunch of 1X2s to trim out the interior and exterior windows. I was so proud that I did it all by myself, but let me tell you, hand-sawing really works the biceps. My DH screwed the mitre box to the top of a sawhorse which totally made the process easier. I am right-handed and the first time I used the mitre box, I didn't have it screwed into anything and my left arm and shoulder were KILLING ME from trying to hold the mitre box still with the wood in it and saw it at the same time. Anyhow, for being a total newbie at building anything, I felt pretty good about cutting all the trim by myself. I admit that I was drooling over the power mitre saws I saw (no pun intended) at HD, but they are over $200, so therefore not an option.

Over the weekend I put Styrofoam insultation in the lower half of the ceiling and DH and I covered it with OSB as shown in the two photos below.

Before we attached the side wall, we tacked up a layer of aluminum window screen and a layer of 1/2" hardware cloth. By doing it before the side walls were up, the rough edges were completely enclosed between the walls. Below you can see the "view" of the edge of our pool through the newly screened window.

Today we used quarter round to cover up the gaps and seams in the walls. It didn't fit perfectly, especially where the ceiling meets the wall, but it will make the interior look more finished. (Although DH keeps reminding me, "It's just a chicken coop.")

Below you can see how we trimmed out the inside window frame. I was pretty happy about how my mitred corners fit together. I will use wood putty to fill the little gaps before painting.

We also framed in the new doorway/front wall using 2X4s. So we've gotten a lot more done and are able to check a few more things off the to-do list. Hopefully, within the next few days I will get started priming and painting the interior. That will make a big difference in appearance. Our little chicks should arrive in about 2 weeks. What I really need to be doing (in addition to working on the coop) is getting their brooder ready since they won't actually live in the coop until probably late August or early September.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I have a Backyard Chickens Page!

Since I am a confirmed chicken geek, I wanted to let you all know that I have created my own page at Backyard Chickens. It is kind of like a blog, but I will only be posting chicken-related stuff on it and not very much because I think they only allow you to post a certain amount. Anyway, here is the link in case you're interested. And, yeah, I really don't need a third blog, so it's kind of nuts. How crazy is it to have a chicken blog and no chickens? (Don't answer that!!)

Coop Construction Part 2

Today my dearest hubby and I found time again to work on the chicken coop. We are planning to work on it tomorrow and Sunday as well. Today we added Styrofoam insulation between the existing studs, added a back wall, and framed in holes for the two windows.

I have thought and thought about how we would do the windows to get them to fit between the existing studs and without spending a lot of money. I think we've figured it out now. I will show and explain the details once we get to that step. Today, my husband just used one of his new saws to cut holes in the existing wall boards. Below you can see the outline cut out and then in the next photo you can see how we framed it in with 2X4 pieces at the top and bottom. Our next step for the windows will be to attach pieces of window screen and hardware cloth to the inside prior to adding the side walls. That way there won't be any rough edges on the inside where the chickens will be. I was originally just going to use hardware cloth, but several people on the BYC forum suggested the screen as well as it keeps wasps from building nests in the coop. We have what we hope will be a great idea for adding plexiglass window panels that can easily be slid in and out. Already it's so much cooler inside the shed with the two window holes cut out. My boys had a great time playing in the coop and peeking in and out of the windows. DH even suggested that we turn it into a playhouse for the boys and actually asked me if I could cancel our chicken order!! AS IF!!! I told him building a playhouse for the boys would have to just be our next building project. Should be fun!

Adding the Styrofoam to insulate was really easy as we had bought precut pieces at Home Depot. Of course the studs in our shed were not uniformly the same width, so I had to cut them a little bit lengthwise and also crosswise. I just used a steak knife to score the Styrofoam and then broke it off. It was pretty quick and easy. Below you can see the insulation we've added so far. The blank area is where we cut the window holes. Tomorrow we will be covering the Styrofoam with new side walls using more OSB. We will also be adding insulation to the ceiling and covering it. Hopefully that too will be done yet this weekend.

The next picture shows the back wall we added using a piece of OSB. The area above will be kept open for storage and we will be adding a new OSB shelf there. The shed did have a shelf there previously, but it was really nasty and was installed in a really stupid way (IMO....in my opinion) so we will be redoing it..........since we're experts now you know. :0)

Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm featured on One Pretty Thing!

A while back I submitted some of my bedroom redecorating posts to One Pretty Thing. They were among the ideas featured there today. You can click here to see it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A tribute to our very special Daddy

Today I wanted to share with the world (so to speak) what an awesome Daddy my two boys have. My husband is really a wonderful father. We are so blessed. He is so patient and kind. He rarely raises his voice. He is the master of distraction when necessary. He is playful and fun. He takes the boys fishing, plays baseball with them at the drop of a hat, and is always there to listen and care for them. He lives a life that is good, honest, and true. He is an excellent role model and I am so happy that my boys have him to look up to. Honey, I just want you to know how much I love and appreciate you. I love that we share this crazy life together. You are everything to me and to the boys. Thank you for ALL you do.

My hubby's big Father's Day gift was a new circular saw along with some other tools that were packaged as a set. We bought it earlier this week when we went to Home Depot. Today the boys gave him this framed picture. I had seen this idea on a blog and really liked it. I just traced the boys hands on scrapbook paper and glued them onto a sheet of cardstock. Then I framed it with a document sized (8 1/2 by 11) frame.

Tonight we are having my mom and dad over to cook out. My oldest son and I made these special cupcakes for our dessert. The idea is from the latest issue of Family Fun magazine. When I saw this idea in the magazine I knew it was perfect for my husband. We have nearly 2 acres and from about May through October he is out there every weekend mowing to keep things looking great. He also mows the grass for my parents at their condo and I know they truly appreciate it. Thankfully, he doesn't have to use a push mower on our big lot. It still takes him 3 hours to mow with the riding lawn mower and another hour to trim. The care and attention he gives to our yard is one of many things he does that I truly appreciate.

These cupcakes went together pretty easily except for the handle on the mower. I couldn't find the string licorice at the store yesterday, so I bought the peel and pull. It was kind of flimsy as opposed to being stiff like the string licorice. That made it too floppy to use as a handle. I finally ended up putting the cut pieces into the freezer for about 10 minutes which allowed them to stiffen up enough for me to poke the ends into the cupcake. Then I snapped the photos. I put the cupcakes into our refrigerator downstairs. Hopefully, they will stay cool enough that the handles won't collapse again. Otherwise, such a totally cute idea. I think DH will love them.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thrifty footwear

Now I know all you regular readers are aware that I LOVE shopping at garage sales, thrift stores, and Goodwill. If you've been reading a while you may also remember that one of my goals when I turned 40 was to dress cuter and wear more skirts, jewelry, cute shoes, etc. So I thought you might enjoy seeing 2 really cute new pairs of shoes I've recently acquired. First up is a pair of LifeStride slides that I bought this week at Goodwill for a whopping $3.99. They are SO cute. I was thrilled to find them. I am working on sewing a cute skirt to go with them.

I think the little butterfly detail is really cute.

The other pair is this pair of white Nine West slides that I bought at my fave local thrift store for $7.00.

I kept trying to wrench my leg to the side and take a photo where you could see the cute little kitten heel, but I didn't like how my ankles looked in the photos. (I know, so vain!) So I just slipped one off and plopped it on my nightstand.

For $11 I bought 2 pairs of shoes...............less than half what you would normally expect to pay for one pair. I'm telling you, people, thrifting is the way to go. It's so fun. You should try it if you haven't already. Don't be discouraged if you don't find something great every time. Just keep it up and you'll be amazed at the bargains that await you. Just this morning, for example, I went to a bunch of garage sales with both my boys, my mom and my cousin. At the last one I found 2 waterers for baby chicks for $1. I would have paid much more for those at the local farm store. It was very serendipitous to find them just when we're getting everything ready for our chicks to arrive. I also bought a plate that I didn't like that much for 50 cents just so I could use the attached plate hanger for another plate that I want to hang in my kitchen. I can guarantee you that I wouldn't have been able to buy a new plate hanger for 50 cents.

Well, that's all for now. I'll be sure to share more great finds as I find them.

Coop Construction begins

Well, we've officially begun construction on our chicken coop. Below you can see the shed we are using. You can see that it was full of things that had to be stored somewhere else. My DH cleaned it out last weekend to prepare it for our renovation.

Here it is all cleaned out. It is approximately 8 feet wide by about 10 feet deep. However, we are going to put a wall up in the back to make it a little smaller so it will be about 8X8 when finished which will be plenty of room for 5 hens.

Earlier in the week we borrowed my dad's truck to go to Home Depot for some lumber. I felt totally cool shopping on the lumberyard side of HD and hauling our big stash of wood in one of those carts that holds the wood upright. Below you can see our materials.

Yesterday afternoon we framed in a new floor using 2X6s. We just laid it right on top of the existing floor. The floor was kind of soft and rotted out in some areas. By raising it up we are hopefully making it more predator proof in addition to providing a nice solid surface for our chickens' new home. Here is what it looked like framed in. In hindsight we wish we had added a 3rd floor joist, but I think it will be okay.

And here is what it looks like with the new floor in. We also added some wall supports under the existing shelf in the back. We will make a wall below the shelf and keep the shelf for storage. We used 5/8 inch OSB (I would call it particle board, but apparently it has a fancier name) for the flooring.

You can also see in the above photo that we removed the doors that were previously on the shed. We will put in a new frame using 2X4s. As you are facing the shed as shown in the photo, half of the new doorway will be a "people door" and the other half will be walled in with a chicken door in it. We are planning (as of now) to build the chicken run right off the front of the house.
The highlights of the building experience for me so far are: #1: Doing a project with my husband. I LOVE it that we are working on this together. We don't really have any hobbies in common so it's really special to me to do this with him. We got along really well when we were doing the work yesterday. We both have good ideas and make a good team. #2: Using my husband's new circular saw that he got as an early Father's Day present. I totally felt like Amy Wynn on Trading Spaces (although she has a fancier saw). #3: My dad being there while we were working. My dad is an awesome woodworker. It was great to have him on site with us while we did our work yesterday.
So............our next step will be to add Styrofoam insulation to the walls and then to add another OSB wall over the existing studs. We will do the same to the ceiling. In the midst of all that we have to cut a window opening in each side wall and trim those out. They will be covered with hardware cloth on the inside and will be latched open on the outside for ventilation in the warm months. In the winter we will cover them with Plexiglass. Stay tuned for future construction posts as our coop takes shape.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More home dec projects

I finally have a few more home decorating projects completed and ready to share. First up, I bought a white wicker frame at Goodwill last month for about $2. I knew immediately that I wanted to transform it into a chalkboard for my kitchen. Below you can see how it looked when I started. And may I add that my grass looks amazingly lush and green in this photo? Wow!

I went to Home Depot and had a very nice guy in the lumber department cut me a piece of thin MDF for the backing of the chalkboard. Did you know they will cut wood to measure for free? I asked the guy if he charged anything per cut and he said, "Just a smile." Well, that was easy. He told me he had waited on a really grumpy lady earlier that day. So I was really nice to him. Although I would have been nice anyway cuz I'm just like that. :0) Anyway, I spray painted the frame Colonial Red and the piece of wood with chalkboard spray paint. I used only 2 coats of the chalkboard paint, I think. I cured the chalkboard as recommended by rubbing a piece of chalk all over it prior to first writing on it. It doesn't erase quite as well as I would like. If I use a damp cloth, it cleans up pretty well, however. Below you can see it on my kitchen wall next to two framed chicken prints. DH just hung these for me last night. I have more plans for this area and big plans for the outdated heart shelf. Hopefully I'll get those done soon so I can share.

See how it's kind of smudgy? Maybe I should have sprayed more coats of the chalkboard paint. If you've used it and have suggestions, please comment.

I printed the chicken prints on white cardstock on my computer. The images are from The Vintage Moth. This is a really cool blog that has tons of public domain images that you can download and print for FREE! I bought 2 frames at my fave thrift store. One was already black and I sprayed the other one. Voila! Nearly free artwork!

I bought this plant holder for around $8 or less (I can't remember exactly) at my favorite local thrift store. I've been wanting to spray paint something with Rustoleum Green Apple and this was the perfect project.

Below is my finished planter sprayed with Green Apple. I bought a coconut liner at Home Depot and added the flowers. This is now hanging on the wall of our home just outside one of our entry doors. I love it! I think it looks so fun and fresh with the apple green paint.

Now, on to the bathroom. The next two photos are the "before" pictures. My bathroom has been pretty much the same and pretty much boring for several years.
My laundry is in the main bathroom. You can see my clothes drying rack and laundry basket complete with clothes............just keeping it real!!

I posted a while back about this "hairy" little nightlight lamp that I bought at my fave thrift store. Now it is at home on my bathroom counter.

I decided to continue my "French country" decor into the main bathroom since it is in the hallway right off the living room/dining room/kitchen. Keeping the same color scheme and using the same fabrics will provide continuity throughout my home. So, I used leftover fabric from my living room/dining room/kitchen transformation to make a custom shower curtain for our bathroom.

Below the window where I previously had a basket of rolled towels on the floor and my clothes drying rack, I added a little shelf that I scammed off my parents. My dad actually made it himself MANY years ago. It was just sitting in their garage and my mom let me have it when I asked. She's nice like that. I was thinking about painting it, but I think I actually like it as is for now at least. I bought some new towels to go with the new decor. I actually really needed them because my old ones were starting to fray. I also bought a new clothes hamper. My old white plastic one was torn and cracked and really needed to go. I placed the clothes rack in the space between the wall and the washing machine. It's amazing how these little changes have completely transformed my bathroom.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this little white basket that I found to put rolled washcloths in. I bought it at...........my favorite local thrift store for about $3. LOVE. IT. The fact that it has chicken wire is really awesome since I'm going to soon be a CHICKEN FARMER!! ha

I have several more projects in mind for the bathroom/laundry room. Hopefully those will get done soon too so I can post.

I made a little trip to Goodwill tonight while DH took my boys to a high school baseball game. I haven't taken photos of my "treasures" yet, but I'll try to do a post about them soon. When I go without the boys, I like to take time to clothes shop. I found 3 new tops, a new skirt, a totally cute new pair of sandals, a little white apple and a fall tray for my baker's rack this fall. SCORE!
Gosh I love thrifting!! You never know what you'll find.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Howdy! Farmer Cluck here

I can't believe it's been so many days since I last posted. It turns out that I had strep throat this week, so that had me pretty knocked out for a few days. It was the worst throat pain I can ever remember.........I had to take ibuprofen just to swallow somewhat comfortably. And I was VERY achey. Anyway, enough whining. Due to the little "bug", I didn't do much, didn't blog much.....so that's that.

We haven't been studying a new topic this week. I kind of planned to tie them to some special little outings we are hoping to do this summer, like our farm trip. And right now I'm not sure when we'll next do an outing BECAUSE...............................we have taken the plunge and decided to become chicken farmers!! If you read my post about the farm visit, you know that my oldest son has been wanting to raise chickens. I raised (umm, well, actually my PARENTS raised) chickens growing up and have fond memories of it. So...........I did a TON of internet research, checked out all the chicken books in our local library and we (DH is on board) decided to go ahead. One problem we encountered is that we are a little late in the season to find baby chicks locally. I really wanted to have the boys raise the chicks from chickhood so we can really tame them and get to know them as individuals (yes, that's weird to write about a chicken). Most hatcheries require you to order a minimum of 25 chicks to be shipped to you. And while there are several hatcheries within driving distance of us, none of them will allow you to just go there and pick up a few chicks except for a hatchery that was 6 hours away. DH thought I was actually quite loco to consider making a 12 hour round trip to buy chicks. Truthfully, I thought it sounded fun. What we ended up doing is ordering our chicks from My Pet Chicken. It is the only hatchery I could find that lets you order quantities as small as 3 chicks. We ordered 5 chicks and they should arrive the week of July 13th. We had to pay a ridiculous shipping fee, but considering they are shipping day old chicks via the US Postal Service and get them to you within a day or so of their hatching, I guess it really isn't a ridiculous fee. So.......we're excited. We decided to order one chicken for each person in our family so everyone could have their "own" chicken. We only ordered hens as we don't want to deal with the crowing roosters. I ordered one extra because I was a little afraid of one dying during shipping. In typical Laura fashion, I am currently in the middle of a full-scale chicken obsession, spending exorbitant amounts of time reading the Chicken Forum posts on Backyard Chickens. I'm kind of nuts that way. It's really amazing how much there is to learn about raising chickens. Seriously. And of course I must be well informed. Oh..........that leads me to the title of this post. My username on the Backyard Chickens forum is FarmerCluck. Isn't that cute? I wanted to be MamaCluck, but someone else had already STOLEN that awesome username. Actually, I like the FarmerCluck moniker. If you want to know an interesting little tidbit about me.........when I was in 8th grade we had to fill out a survey to help us decide what career we might be interested in. At that time in my life, I really and truly wanted to be a farmer. Not marry a farmer........I wanted to be an actual farmer. So I've always kind of wanted to have a hobby farm.

The big task now for us is making a chicken coop for our girls (that what everyone at BYC--Backyard Chickens---calls their hens..........OK.........I'm a total chicken nerd). I looked at many designs online and we finally decided to remodel an existing shed on our property to become our new coop. I cannot tell you how much I wish I had the skills to do this myself. Not that I don't want DH to help and, in fact, he's going to have to be the main coop contractor; I just kind of hate to ask other people to help me with such a big project. Amazingly, there are so many things to consider even when building a chicken coop.................what kind of roosts.......how high should the roosts be...........how many nest boxes...............what kind of chicken run.........roof or no roof on the run..........what kind of wire to use...........how to keep all kinds of predators out..................do we allow the chickens to free range or just keep them in the run.............?? Seriously.........these are the questions that are weighing heavily on my mind, people. As I type this my DARLING DEAR HUSBAND (maybe I should refer to him as DDH from here on out) is cleaning all the STUFF/CRAP out of said shed so we can begin the renovations. (And before you think I'm being too lazy to help, I asked him and he really wanted to do that part himself.) I am way excited to start our chicken adventure. If you are even remotely ever thinking of raising chickens (not you, Tammie!!) you should really click over to Backyard Chickens. It is really amazing the wealth of information on that website. Beth.............I know you would totally love it that we are getting chickens............maybe you too could be a chicken farmer..........I read yesterday on Urban Chickens that your fair city was petitioning to allow city dwellers to raise up to 5 hens on their city properties. Otherwise you'll have to be a vicarious chicken farmer through me. ha!

Apparently, there is a major trend going on where many people, especially in urban areas, are starting to raise chickens in their backyards. I just want to go on record as saying that we are not trying to be trendy (I wasn't aware of the trend until I started my chicken research); we are just trying to support the interest of our oldest son who has been asking and asking us for a chicken.

I will post soon about our coop progress and about what kinds of chickens we're getting. AND.........I'll be adding a "chickens" label to my categories list so all you chicken farmer wanna-bes will know just where to look for all the relevant chicken info. How fun is that??

Monday, June 8, 2009

Good to the last bite.........

Edited 6/9/09: At the request of a reader, I have included a photo at the bottom of the post. It is the last piece left from when I made this on Sunday.

I tried to take a picture of a yummy ice cream dessert I've made twice so far this summer, but it turned out awful (the photo, not the dessert). So I don't have a picture. However, I did want to share this really easy recipe. I have taken it to two cook-out/get-togethers and everyone who tries it loves it. At each event, the children (and some of the adults) have asked for seconds. The best part is.......it is SOOOOOOO easy!! I originally was served this by my sons' babysitter several years ago and only recently remembered it and made it for the first (and second) time. Here is the recipe:

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

1 box of 12 ice cream sandwiches
1 large container Cool Whip
1 jar hot fudge ice cream sauce
1 cup of chopped peanuts (optional)

Unwrap the ice cream sandwiches and layer them in the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch pan.
Spread half of the Cool Whip over the top. Pour and spread hot fudge sauce over the Cool Whip. Sprinkle half of the peanuts on top (if you are using them). Spread remaining Cool Whip over the top and sprinkle the rest of the peanuts on top as a garnish. Place in freezer until frozen. Cut into pieces (like a cake) and serve. YUM!!

Serving tip: Only remove from freezer right before serving. I made the mistake the first time of taking it out about 10 minutes early to soften up and it was too melty.

One of my friends at one of the get-togethers doesn't like chocolate (I know.......she's nuts!!) and we were talking about how they make ice cream sandwiches in different flavors now. So.......it would be fun and easy to vary this recipe by using different types of ice cream sandwiches and ice cream sauce, such as strawberry cheesecake sandwiches with strawberry sauce.

I highly recommend that you try this either for your own family or for the next time you have to bring something to a get-together. If you try it and like it, let me know!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Farm Week: Day 4 The Farm!!!

Technically, today was the 5th day of our farm week, but we didn't do any farm activities yesterday. Today was our planned outing to a real farm. Before we left we made a little barn model that I had printed off from this link. I found this link at this website. It has a really great bunch of resources if you're interested. Below you can see our little barn. We need to use it to play with our little farm animals. We had to leave for the farm before we had time to get our little farm animals out.

I had a dual purpose for this little outing. Of course I wanted to take the boys to a real farm, but I also wanted to check out this setting as a potential field trip for my Montessori preschool class this fall. Luckily, since I had set up our visit as a teacher, we were the only ones there and got a guided tour from the director. This particular farm is set up specifically for educational purposes and is not open to the public unless they are there on a field trip. In addition to the farm, there is an outdoor Nature Explore classroom. This was so awesome! I have already scheduled our fall field trip here and we will be able to see the farm and the outdoor classroom. The outdoor classroom is set up much like a Montessori environment in that there are various areas and activities and the children can freely explore them in any way they choose. I snapped a photo of some of the areas to share here. I totally want to turn my backyard into something like this. It was SO cool.

This sand pit is called the Turtle Digging area and was created and constructed by a Boy Scout for his Eagle Scout project.

This is a natural building block area.

And a nature art area............

And the Climbing Corner.........love this!! My preschoolers will too.

This is an Apple Tree House built around some apple trees. It has different levels and a little "bridge" inside. My boys loved running around on this.

In addition to these areas there was a "tree cookie" path through some apple trees, a tunnel where gourds will be growing by the time we come back in the fall, a water pump, and a sensory garden. It was really just so awesome. I loved it so much.

After seeing the outdoor classroom, we got to see all the farm animals. There were goats, sheep, turkeys, ducks, chickens, cows, horses, and pigs. My boys' favorite parts were holding little baby chicks and sliding down a slide into a big pile of straw.

Below the boys are petting a black Silkie chicken. My oldest son and I are trying to talk DH into letting us raise chickens in the backyard. The director who was giving us the tour said that Silkies are the tamest and friendliest chickens. So......hopefully someday soon I'll be able to share with you our chicken coop and new chickens. (Really wishful thinking............DH isn't so sure about the whole idea.) My oldest son (the one who desires to be a chicken farmer) came home from the trip wanting to also raise pigs. Ummm, no. I don't think so. We DO live in the country, but we have slightly less than 2 acres. So.........no pigs. If any of you readers happen to raise chickens in your backyard, I'd love to have you write and tell me all about it. I found a great website called Backyard Chickens that is so cool. There are tons of photos of different chicken coops you can build. A few of my favorite ones are this one and this one and this one. After I post this I think I'll spend a few more hours perusing various chicken coop designs, because that's what a little farm geek I am. Warning: Inside joke alert: Trisha, I know you and Thad are laughing right now, but just think..........you live in a barn...........why not create a little replica of your lovely home for some feathered friends. Thad doesn't have to eat the eggs. You could sell them to your friends to help fund the retirement home of your dreams. The chickens wouldn't survive into your retirement, so that shouldn't influence your decision to become chicken farmers. Just think about it, OK? HA!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Warning: This is a very long post with LOTS of photos. I am so excited to finally be able to show off what I've been creating for our master bedroom. A month or so ago I started the process of decluttering and making over our bedroom. You can see the before pictures in this post. When I began this process I already had a quilt that I loved and a wall color that I loved. So I based my decorating color scheme around that. I've been gradually collecting accessories at garage sales and thrift stores. I've also been repurposing some items from around our home. So........here we go.

The photo below shows 2 oval mirrors in pewter frames. I bought these at my favorite thrift store right here in my hometown. They were $6 each............a little pricey, but I hadn't found anything else like them anywhere else and they were perfect for my project. Be patient.........I'll show you the finished product shortly. :0)

This large gold L is from Hobby Lobby. It is about 10 inches tall. I bought it when the wall decor was 50% off, so it was around $5.

My plan was to use the above items to create a monogram over our bed. I removed the oval mirrors and spray-painted the frames and the L with Colonial Red paint. Below you can see the view of the monogram from the doorway of our bedroom. They hang right below the shelf that I wrote about in this post.

The next two photos show it more close up. To complete the monogram, I had purchased metal letters for my husband's and my first names from Hobby Lobby a while back. They were originally black and I spray-painted them Heirloom White. I hung them from the red oval frames with a piece of black gingham ribbon. They are the teeniest bit larger than the frames, but I kind of like the dimension that adds to it.

The wall color looks washed out in these photos, but it is a really pretty soft blue.

Below is a close-up of my initial.

To cover the exposed screw head, I adhered a pretty button to it using a Glue Dot. Hopefully that will hold it on. If not, I'll hot glue the button on.

OK.........next up.........I bought 2 ugly gold plastic candle holders at a garage sale for 75 cents each. The white wicker frame is for another project I haven't shown yet. I'll keep you in suspense on that for now.

Using my Colonial Red spray paint, I transformed the ugly gold candle holders into something striking and beautiful.......just right for my bedroom makeover.

I hung these next to the trio of white tin squares. The candles were bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby for 46 cents each!!

It could just be my imagination which is clouded by a spray paint fog, but I really think that now these look like painted wrought iron as opposed to cheap plastic.

The black metal candle holder shown below has almost been relegated to the garage sale pile. However, I decided to spray paint it red and add it to my bedroom as an accessory.

The two shelves in the photo below were originally in my basement and were brown. I painted them Heirloom White and they are now on my bedroom wall. I pulled together found and thrifted items to accessorize them. The tulip photo is one I took many years ago of a tulip we grew in our yard. It was already matted and framed but the frame was black. Colonial Red spray paint to the rescue! It matches the colors perfectly. I already had the white glass vase. On the other shelf, the red candle was a gift from one of my students, the white plate was a Goodwill find, and the white seashell ball was from my favorite thrift store for $3. On top of the red candle holder it almost looks like a topiary.

Here you can see the detail on the seashell ball. I love it. So unique!!

I hope you've enjoyed this little tour. I have more projects up my sleeve that I will hopefully complete soon so I can share them. I have to dedicate this post to Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick. When I stumbled upon her blog a few months ago, my eyes were totally opened to what I could do to make my home more beautiful on a small budget. Thanks, Sarah, for your decorating inspiration!!