Simple Fall Mantel

Happy October my friends, family, and fellow bloggers!
I know all I seem to blog about these days are mantels, but to be honest with you it's 
   hard work to blog. I have an appreciation for those of  you who blog FULL time. 
YOU ROCK...plain and simple!
  My poor mantel has been sitting empty for most of the summer. What do you do? With Fall 
already here I stalked Pinterest for ideas and came up with some creative ideas of my own.   
The only thing I spent any money on were the feathers and they were $3.00. The autumn art I found on Pinterest and is found here. Easy art, print it and frame it. The sticks are from my Mom's garden. They are the stems of pampus grass that we cut down together. Kinda sentimental to me. Now I decorate with them. Texture!
The leaf in the picture is from our back yard. I took the picture and framed it. Are you seeing a trend here? I'm really not lazy, it just needs to be simple. Another easy, peasy idea are the hurricane looking candle holders. They're from the Dollar Tree friends. The top vase is attached to the candle holder underneath it. A $4.00 investment and they can be used anywhere in your home. 
My Fall mantel came together quickly and I think it turned out great. 
Do you like to change up your mantel for each season or would you rather
decorate it and leave it alone? 




Simple Spring Mantel: Globes, Books, and Art Work

Hey all!
 It's Spring time, well the calendar said it was, but I think the jury is still out.
My mantel has been empty since Christmas. Usually, I attempt a Winter Mantel,
but this year all I had to do was look out my window to see Winter. I will admit it 
has been beautiful, but 60" of the white stuff is enough.   

For my Spring Mantel I used what I had in the house and spent nothing, NOT ONE CENT! 
Honestly, I didn't put too much thought into decorating it either. The globes were colorful    
and that's what I was looking for. COLOR

Big Black mirror: a staple and it shows up from time to time on the mantel. 

Reader's Digest books are my favorite; the colors on the
spines and the designs on the covers-LOVE!

Globes came from the thrift store and can be used anywhere.

Artwork: my sweet daughter painted it in her Art class. Frame it!

Deer sheds are from my brother and I use them all over the house. 

White vase came from Micheal's a year ago.

I'm ready to see blue skies and looking at these globes make me happy.
it's the little things in life

Have you decorated for Spring yet? I need to springify the rest of the house; maybe this weekend. 
It's suppose to be in the 50's and maybe even 60's this weekend. 
Fingers crossed the weather shows us some grace. 




Trip out West {St.George Utah}

My youngest daughter(the blondie) and I had a whirl wind trip to Utah this past week.
Her best friend from birth and neighbor had recently moved out to southern Utah this 
past fall. For Christmas my daughter received this gift to travel out West to see her
best friend. Kudos for me because I got to go with her. 

It had been over five months since they'd seen each other in person. I'm not sure  
if Skype counts but it does help a little? Did I mention her Mom is my bestie too.

We hit Urban Renewal in St. George. I adore this store and thought to myself how could I get this stuff
back to Illinois. I could send it UPS, FedEx, or I could  have my friend's uncle who's driving back home 
bring it with him. What a tease!

The whole store was amazing. Like Arnold says "I'll be back" and next time I'll have a way to get some goodies home. Promise!

While our weekend was short we did manage to make it around to the Parade of Homes. It was the first 
weekend of the parade and it was busy, but worth it. The interior design in these homes blew me away. 

With lots of hugs and several tears running down our cheeks we headed home, but we will be back 
again. Next time it will be longer. What a beautiful place St. George! 


DIY Painted Dresser

It's done, D O N E! I finally finished my daughter's dresser.

About a year ago we bought her this matching dresser and side table. I painted the side table right 
way. I sanded and sanded, primed, painted, and poly'd it. The process was time consuming to say 
the least. It turned out nice, but since then I've discovered Annie Sloan chalk paint. In fact I've 
become quit the fan of her paint and have used it here and here

This project was going to be slightly different because I hadn't ever used AS Antique White;
especially on a darker piece of furniture. 



It took three coats of paint to fully cover the wood. After the second coat I decided to dilute
 the paint with some water to thin it out. It made a big difference on the coverage since the 
first coat goes on so thick. After the paint dried I waxed it with AS Clear wax; let it dry and 
then buffed it with a clean, lint free t-shirt. As recommended I applied two more coats 
of wax to the top of the dresser for extra durability. The top of the dresser takes a 
beating especially with my 10 year old girl. 

After the wax dried I went to town on distressing. My original thought was to not distress it, but
I quickly changed my mind after I tried it on one of the corners. It's like a bad habit and you just 
can't stop after you've started. I'm glad I didn't stick to my original plan. I found the new 
 hardware at Target and the clock knobs came from Hobby Lobby (my daughter's choice).
I know I say it all of the time, but I'm amazed at what a difference a little paint can do to 
 an outdated piece of furniture. I love it and can only hope this piece lasts my daughter 
until she leaves the nest. Otherwise, I already have other ideas for it like use it in 
the dining room as a sideboard. 

Are you ready to work on piece of furniture? 

I'd love to hear from you.


Outside view of Our Home

Welcome to our home and to Our Blue Front Door! 
Now you know how my blog got it's name. Today I'm sharing
a look at our home from the exterior, not sure if the interior
will ever be photo ready, but I'm working on it

My perennial garden in the front of the house is full of colorful cone
flowers, day lilies, and boxwood's. Easy to maintain and heat tolerant.

Nothing says "Welcome" than a personalized doormat.

Our house was built in 1992, when oak trim was all the rage. If we ever win the lottery the first
 thing I would do is change out all of my oak trim to crisp, clean white. Until then...the oak is staying. 
We purchased it in 2001, and have lived here for over 10 years now. It's your traditional two story home with three bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. The main floor has an eat-in kitchen and opens to our family room.  We have a dining room off of the kitchen and a formal living room in the front of the house. We don't use it as a formal living room, but instead we use it as a piano room and office space for me. 

Our basement is partially finished and is home to my hubby's Man Cave, his office, and storage.  

Our back yard, deck, and the view of our pool where we spend ALL of our time
in the warm months. We love to entertain almost every weekend.

Thanks for stopping by and catching a glimpse of the outside of our home.


Adding fabric backing to an IKEA Expedit Bookcase

Have you ever jumped into a DIY project without having all the supplies 
you needed or know exactly what you are doing? BINGO! I saw a blog post
somewhere and it literally caused a light bulb to go off in my head. I've had 
this IKEA Expedit bookcase for awhile now and have been wanting to add
some kind of backing to it. Here's where I jumped in without planning and can
I just tell you this is not like me. 
IKEA Expedit Shelving 
The planner in me did know that a piece of 20" x 30" foam core board fit the
back of the unit perfectly. Now how many pieces do I need to cover it, no clue!
Please ignore the ugly garage floor in the pictures

After measuring the back opening of the unit which was 30"W x 58"L I figured
 I needed three pieces of foam core board. Thank goodness the Dollar Tree is five
 minutes away. Little did I know I might have needed some tape to attach the pieces
 together. I thought I had some in the house, but no dice. My girls probably used
it all on a project. No need to worry though I raided my daughter's Duct Tape stash.
It's not pretty but it's doing what I need it to do.  

Again before I knew the exact measurements I bought this fabric to line the
back. I bought 1 1/2 yards thinking it would be enough. Wrong again!

I was about 1 1/2" short on fabric to cover the foam core. Luckily the Expedit has a 2" thick
shelf width on the top and bottom of the shelf. This really was my saving grace. At least if
the foam core board showed through it would be at the bottom of the shelf and not noticeable.
To attach the fabric I used spray adhesive to glue down the fabric. It helped some, but I had
to hot glue the edges. Do you notice anything showing through the fabric at all? No, not
the colored Duct Tape that I had to use because I had nothing else to use. 

Not knowing how this was going to turn out I finished putting it
together. I hammered a nail into each corner to secure the foam
core down. I know it's not looking pretty from the back. Hang in
there with me please  

Front side! Looking better if I say so myself. I can vaguely see
the Duct tape, but I'm not worried about it. Once I style the 
bookcase you won't even notice it.

Oh yeah remember how I didn't buy enough fabric? Here's a 
close up of the shortage. It's all good...

What do you think?
 Do you agree that my poor planning mishaps are hardly
noticeable? I am happy with the way it turned out.

Have you had a DIY project go astray and had to get
"creative" to fix it?