Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ode to Fabric

According to an "ode" is a poem intended to be sung.  Well, I am neither a poet or a songstress but I am inclined to bust out in rhyming song every time I see the Waverly Modern Essentials Spring line of decorator fabrics.  They are just so fabulous!  So fabulous indeed that I have already purchase three of them...

Solar Flare, which you can now find draped across my bed...

And Floret

which you will find on my family room benches...

And Luminary 

which I really don't know what I am going to do with but it grabbed me by the shirt screaming "take me home" and I just couldn't refuse so now I have a yard of it sitting in my work room.  

But this is just the start, there are so many more to love! Like Groovy Grill...


And even though I am not usually an animal print kind of person, I just love Wild Life in this playful color

And the best part is all of these fabrics are on sale right now at so hurry up and get to buying!  There are also other great color options for all of these patterns!

BTW I was not paid or perked to write this post but Waverly or JoAnn's if you are listening I would be happy to accept 5 yards of each of the above fabrics ;)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pantry Take-Over

You know how sometimes a project starts out small...oh I will just clean out the pantry...and then you decide maybe I should do a little more...and um maybe buy a few food storage containers...but then the project just takes over...paint, it definitely needs paint.  Well that is exactly what happened with my kitchen pantry.

It all began with a little Spring cleaning.  Pull out all the food to clean out what is old and can be thrown away, wipe down the shelves and organize a little.  Simple enough, right?!? But once I started with that then why not organize the entire space.  You know, some new containers, labels, lids... all the stuff we just must have to convince ourselves we are organized.  And then you see I only did what any diy designer would do...I decided to paint.  OK let me explain.

Last Monday my pantry looked liked this...

...a big old mess.  So I pulled everything out creating an even bigger mess.

Yup, my husband was thrilled to find all this chaos when he got home after a 16 hour day.  Poor guy! 

Next I took a trip to The Dollar Store and hit the jackpot, 20 containers for yup a dollar a piece.  Um that equals $20 by the way.  You can't beat that deal!  I filled my new containers with all things baking, a few healthy items and some kiddo snacks. 

I used chalkboard labels for the more permanent items and dry eraser pen for everything else.  So far pretty simple.  However now that the pantry was empty I noticed one yucky problem...the walls.  The white walls were dirty, scratched up and really in need of some fresh paint.  And who am I to pass up the opportunity to add a little color.    So I pulled out the left over gray which I used in the family room and got to painting. 

Now for any experienced DIY-er you already know this but if you are new to the experience let me make you aware that in every project there will be a hiccup.  And this hiccup can be big, small, minor or ugly...but there will be a hiccup.  And this moment is when newbies might get intimidated but veterans get giddy, cause in truth this is the fun part.  Jump in and get to problem solving!  So what was my hiccup?  It was this...

All my shelves slipped out with a little maneuvering but one shelf was not working with me.  The space between this shelf and the one above it was to small to wiggle the shelf out.  And we all, my husband, the dogs, my daughters.  Well OK just my husband and I but neither of us had any luck.  So it was time to get to problem solving, which in this case meant a hammer and pry-bar.

Yup, I had to rip the shelf brackets off the wall but I managed to do so without any major damage which means when I was all done I luckily could just nail them back up and it was as good as new.  So minor setback in the big picture of DIY setbacks. 

So once the paint was dry, the shelves cleaned and touched up with some white paint, and everything was back in place I got to the fun part...putting it all back together.  I picked up a few more items.  This can shelf at Bed, Bath & Beyond. 

And this lovely tea tray(also from BB&B).

An awesome birds nest looking basket for napkins, plates and plastic goodies from World Market.

And this little green bowl, also from World Market, to hold chip clips.  (I love chip clips!)

So you put it all together and you get this... newly painted, wonderfully organized and now pretty pantry. 

It makes me so happy.  Oh and so does this new little knob I got for the pantry door.

I bet you want to come over and grab snacks out of my kitchen pantry now!  Well come on over cause for once I know where everything is!

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Monkey To The Rescue

The end is near my friends.  Yes, as you know from all my whining Picnik will be closing April 18th.  And as I have cried about here I have been feeling very lost.  I use Picnik to edit every single picture I take and I take a lot of pictures.  Every shot you see on Mission Decorate has been touched by Picnik.  Picnik is my friend and saying goodbye to a friend is never easy.

But as they say...when God closes a door He opens a window.  (Yes, I am pulling out the God card in reference to my website problems.)  But seriously it happened, in the form of a a woman named Jennifer.  Jennifer showed up in one of my post comments guiding me to the light...PicMonkey!  Jennifer works for PicMonkey, a new site designed by a former Picniker.  It is free and requires no registration.  And for the few minutes I have spent messing around with it I think it may be just as wonderful as my beloved friend.  Is that possible???  Oh I hope so!!!  I truly do!!!

So go check it out yourself.  Edit some shots and tell me what you think.  They seem to be very open to feedback so also share your thoughts with them at and maybe together we can make PicMonkey the perfect pet.   

BTW I have not been paid or perked or anything fun like that to share this website with you.  I just do it out of the goodness of my heart ;)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For A Little Girl To Dream Big

I am so excited to share this post with you today!!!  My amazing sister-in-law (my brother's wife) just completed the most adorable closet redo.  If you remember here, I shared a few fun closet redo's with you that caught my eye on Pinterest but this one takes the cake.  It is the perfect little spot for my wonderful 4 year old niece Claire.

A-m-a-z-i-n-g, right?!?!  Well, my sister-in-law, Colleen, was nice enough to humor me and answer some questions about the space and the project so here is the scoop...

Tell us about the space before you did any work to it and tell us about the wonderful little girl who inspired you!

My daughter's room has two closets.  I store her clothes in a long and shallow one, but the other, deeper closet was just a graveyard for wayward items.  Once I saw how Sherry on YoungHouseLove transformed her daughter's closet into a play space, I started to think I could do the same with the extra closet.  I wanted to paint the space to transform it but was at a loss for a theme until I saw Jill's (that me!) playroom rug, and I was inspired to bring the outdoors in.

My daughter's fourth birthday was coming up, so we decided to renovate the closet and surprise her on the morning of her birthday.  She spent three separate nights with area relatives (one of whom was Jill!) so that we could work in her closet without her knowing.  The good news is because nothing of use was stored in the closet, and it had a door, she had no idea anything was in progress!  (Love that!)

Where did you begin?

The closet is 3' x 8.5" x 1'11".  So not a huge space.  It was originally all painted the same drab tan color.  It had two shelves and a naked bulb. 

It also had a crack in the back wall and a one-foot chunk of paint coming off. 

My husband and I are new to DIY projects, so we just made a solution up!  We took a thin piece of plywood to cover the trouble area and affixed it to the wall using nails, then spackled the nails and painted the whole thing.

Because the closet had no natural ventilation, we decided to use all no-VOC paint - BEHR Premium Plus Interior Eggshell Enamel, Zero VOC to be exact.  I chose to paint the room Behr Serene Sky 540C-2, which made me think of the sky.  We didn't prime, we just painted three coats.  I used plain Behr Ultra White and a foam brush to hand paint clouds on top of the blue once it had dried. 

I love all the little touches...the "grass", the ceiling and the wonderful share the details!

My sister and I used this pattern to create birds out of fabric, which we hung from the ceiling. 

We really liked this pattern because it was easy to use and personalize.  We added beads for eyes and ribbons for tail feathers to the birds and were really happy with the end results.  And having the birds hanging from the ceiling really makes use of the entire space.  Instead of there being "dead" space in the top third of the closet, now there is a sky full of birds! 

And my sister and I sewed three pillows for the space.  We used our quilting know-how to piece one together so it looked like grass.  That large pillow covers the plywood covering the crack! 

A friend picked up the "grass" rug from Ikea for us to put on the floor of the closet.  We used carpet shears to cut it, and a rug pad, to size.  To make the rug seem more contiguous with the space, we bought Behr Scotland Isle to match it and painted the baseboard that color.  We also installed a new light fixture and long pull-chain (with a fun bob at the bottom!) so my daughter could turn the light on and off herself.

I wanted to take the door off so that the space would seem more like part of her bedroom, but I liked the idea of a little added privacy and coziness.  So we simply painted and moved the clothes rod all the way to the front of the closet and then sewed a sheer panel curtain to fit on the rod. 

What did you  learn along the way? 

You can transform your ideas into reality if you are willing to work at them.  I also made "perfect is the enemy of done" my new motto.  I am a perfectionist, but I am learning it is impossible to get everything perfect when working on home improvement projects.  Something always goes wrong!  Simply getting the project finished is better than not finishing it and trying to make it perfect.  Now that my daughter uses the space every day, we don't even notice the small imperfections (like the plywood covering the crack).  Instead, we see a special space that is helping make my daughter's childhood a little more magical.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Totes Magotes

I have been obsessing over this Waverly fabric ever since I saw it months ago on the JoAnn website...

Do you ever do that?  See something, not buy it but can't get it out of your head!?!?  I feel like that is a true sign that it needs to be purchased.  Yes, the universe was telling me I must buy this fabric.  And who am I to deny the universe!  So when it went on sale for $9.99 a yard I snatched up 3.  

And when it arrived earlier this week I new just what I was going to do with it...

A little trimming, Stitch Witchery to hem it (just like I did here)

and our bed was looking fab!  And no, I did not back the fabric with anything.  It is not a warm cozy blanket or soft cuddly quilt.  It is a beautiful piece of fabric that I just loved and thought it looks amazing in the room.  So yes, I love it and no, it has no true function other then to look pretty!

Wait...what else is that you spy next to the bed  gently lighting the room.  Aw yes A LAMP! 

And yes, there is another one on the other side to match it.  We bought the first one months ago at World Market.  Actually my husband bought it while on a solo shopping trip.  Yup ladies you read that right.  My husband was not only shopping by himself but he bought something awesome for our home.  I know...I am one lucky lady!!!  Well, it took us until last week to go back and buy the second lamp. 

This lamp is actually what began the cardboard inspiration!  So now we have the cardboard-esque lamps, the "So In Love" cardboard art and Fred the cardboard moose head.  I so wish I could get it all in one pic but the walls are opposite of each other, so here it is in two...

And without bragging (OK that means I am about to brag) the Master Bedroom really looks put together, layered and pretty darn awesome.  Once I get a bed skirt to cover up the ugly metal bed frame this room will be totes magotes

( haven't seen that movie!  Come on people, I Love You Man is in our top 10 quotable movies.  See It Now!)

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When In Wisconsin...

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Stand up, Badgers, sing!
"Forward" is our driving spirit,
Loyal voices ring.

  ...Ah yes, the ferocious Wisconsin Fight Song.  These Wisconsinites are serious about their football, cheese, beer and hunting.  Prior to moving here I had already welcomed three out of the four into my life: football, cheese & beer.  I mean what true blooded American hasn't.  But hunting, well growing up in Berkeley, CA that sport never quite made its way into my life.  Well, that has all changed. 

I truly feel like it is important to embrace the place you live and at least give all its traditions a try and after a year and a half in Wisconsin hunting was started to be hard to avoid.  So, probably against my better judgement, I agreed to camo up and give it a whirl. 

It has been a very exciting season hunting in Wisconsin.  Due to the mild winter moose have been showing up in the most Northern parts of the state, which is pretty rare for around here.  So I will spare you all the gory details, as I know some of you are not into hunting, but I will say that I got really lucky and managed to get a pretty decent size moose.  And although I am not usually the display animal head type for some reason it is way different when it is your very own trophy.  So ladies & gents let me introduce you to my huge hunting prize...

SERIOUSLY PEOPLE!!!!  YOU THOUGHT I REALLY SHOT A MOOSE!!!  ARE YOU CRAZY????I am actually totally terrified of guns and there in no way I could even shoot a squirrel let alone a moose!!!  But hunting is a big deal to many people here in Wisconsin so Fred here is our little tribute to the sport which we will never do.

But isn't he great!  He is from Uncommon Goods (a great website for creative gifts) and he was a little bit of a splurge at $48.00.  But I have had my eye on him for a while and when he wandered through my yard the other day...oh wait never mind, you no longer believe that I shot when I had a little extra cash I snatched him right up. 

And rather then in the back of a pick-up he arrived in a nice little box in a whole bunch of pieces.  But even with directions that had no words, it only took me about 15 minutes to put him together.  He sits right over our bed and will give us a good chuckle every morning. 

And with cardboard Fred and the new cardboard letters I hope you are sensing a theme.  Just one more thing needed to finish my cardboard paradise!  But I will share that with you soon.  In the mean time Fred wanted to give a shout out...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Some Great Finds

This post takes Mission Decorate a little off track, but sometimes deviating from the norm is just what the doctor ordered.  So today I thought I would share with you some of my recent great finds, decor related and not. 

This first find is my first official step in tackling one of my first quarter goals, to be better to Mother Earth.  It is a small step but often the first one    Easy Lunch Boxes sells a set of 4 3-compartment containers that make keeping food separate for your kiddos (or you) so easy.  The set is only $13.95 and is on its way to me right now.  They also sell a cooler lunch box which can fit the container, a drink, additional snacks and a small ice pack (not included).  They come in all different colors and are only $7.95.  My daughter of course will be getting the purple one since it is her favorite color. 


My next great find comes from Pinterest, of course.  It is not my typical project but randomly solved a problem I have been having.  You see, lately I have been on the prowl for a wrap bracelet.  You know, these things...

Pinned Image

But I just haven't ever found the colors I want for a reasonable price.  Well, the other day I stumbled upon this great tutorial for making your own wrap bracelets.  I was skeptical to even click on it because I haven't made jewelry since a lovely friendship bracelets we used to give each other at summer camp when I was 10.  But I did and the directions where so easy!  So although I haven't tackled the project yet, it is now on the to-do list. 

This next one I have been meaning to share with you for months...Mabel's Labels.  My wonderful friend, Anna, gave me these labels a while back for my daughter
Skinny Minis
and I use them on everything!  These are the "skinny minis", about 1 1/2 inches long and stick like crazy.  I use them on  sippy cups, plastic food containers, metal water bottles, cloth bags and they never come off, even in the dish washer.  These are a must have for when your kids go to childcare or school.  And I bet all the other labels are just as great. 

My next "great find" are really more great ideas and that idea is all the clever ways people are using closets.  Now this is only a tease for an upcoming post because my sister-in-law wins the prize for the cutest use of a closet.  So as soon as we get our but in gear and take some pics I will share with you the absolute winner.  but in the mean time check out these awesome runners up...

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Now this last find may only be awesome to me but that is because I am scarf obsessed!  And with Spring coming (some day) light scarves are all the rage in adding a pop of color and / or pattern to an outfit.  And this post on gives you 15 great ways to tie a scarf. 

Pinned Image

Obviously, a few numbers are missing in this pick but just click here to see all 15 and get simple how-to's. 

So if you have any great products, how-to's or ideas you want to share with us just visit the Mission Deocrate Facebook page and give us the scoop!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guess the Epistle

Surprise!  OK well it isn't a surprise any more but it sure was the first time around.  Remember this, the big surprise makeover of the Master Bedroom?!?!  I did it all while my husband was away on a work trip.  I stayed up late into the night painting.  I recruited my neighbor to help me move furniture and when the hubs came home he was definitely surprised. 

A couple months later the bed saw its sad demise (oh you gotta read that story here) which gave me the opportunity to build a brand new headboard.  Oh I so love it! 

A little bit of accessorizing was done with the first makeover but I seem to find that layering takes time.  Although I feel like I have a grand vision when I start on a room, I feel like the good stuff really comes together over time as the space gets used.  So that is what I am working on now.  And the first step is a fun little Pottery Barn inspired project.  I found something similar while flipping through the pages of the latest catalog and I thought, as I often do when cruising the PB pages, I could do that for way less money.

So just like the room was at first a surprise I think this one should be as well.  Actually more then a surprise how about a game...lets play "Guess The Epistle".  (OK so here is the truth, I spent 15 minutes trying to think of a clever name for my game and ended up turning to and Epistle is what they gave me for the word "message".  Ha, I really have no idea what it means!)  

So here is your first hint...

Any guesses?  Does this help...

OK, one more hint...

Do you feel like you are playing Wheel of Fortune?!?!?!?  Well, Vanna is ready for the big reveal...

I simply used the cardboard letters from JoAnn which I know they intend for you to paper mache or paint or cover in some way but I loved the cardboard look and it totally ties into the...oh wait, sorry can't tell you that.  I mean I gotta keep some secrets!!!  Let's just say, it is all coming together (I love being devious!).  And in the mean time all you need to know is that I am...