Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's Eclectic: Boxy Colonial

Happy Thursday!  I have another amazing home to share with you here today for the "It's Eclectic" series!  Gretchen and I share an infinite love of woodland critters, the color blue, gold accents, and vintage!  I am so excited to head to Haven this summer and finally meet Gretchen in person.  From what I have heard, she's not a big hugger, but she better get ready...... because I'm a-coming with open arms! :) Gretchen also has an awesome sense of humor- you are going to just love her, and the eclectic home she shares with several children and critters!  Take it away, Gretchen!

Hi everyone! I'm Gretchen, and I blog at Boxy Colonial. I was ridiculously excited when Cassie invited me to be part of this series; she's one of my absolute favorite bloggers with one of my favorite bloghouses (I made up a word), and this is one of my favorite series of blog posts. I've found so many great new blogs to follow through it.

We moved into our house nearly two years ago; it was a foreclosure that had been sitting empty for a couple of years, so it needed a lot of love. We've made quite bit of progress, but there are still plenty of rooms we haven't even started to work on yet. This is fine, though; we have plenty of time because I'm not planning on ever moving again! Moving is hard. I've looked around the house in an effort to sum up my decorating style, and I think I have it: lots of blue, with an abundance of animals and books. Emphasis on squirrels. And dogs. And whales. Also birds. So there you have it. I'm an excellent summer upper. We live here with our four boys, three dogs, and two cats, so everything needs to be practical and able to put up with a lot of abuse, too.

As the blog name implies, our house is your standard brick front colonial revival, built in the early 80's:



I break out the squirrels right away as soon as you get in the house, with a Sharpie-d squirrel wall in the foyer (inspired by Cassie's sheep wall!):



(that yellow is the yellow that was everywhere in the house when we moved in. The line between it and the blue is us not getting around to painting the stairwell yet, not a peculiar decorating choice).


(my husband built the shoe storage bench; you can read about how he did it here)

To one side of the foyer is the formal living room that we use as a library/music room. The shelves are Billy shelves from Ikea; we splurged on the doors for them to make them look more finished and formal:


Our sunroom has gone from being utterly neglected for the first year that we lived here (it was mostly the room we closed the dogs up in when we needed them out of the way) to being one of my favorite spaces. It's one of the biggest rooms in the house, and really pleasant with all the natural light, so we use it as a sort of a multipurpose family room area.








We recently moved our one year old out of a sectioned off part of the master bedroom and into his own room down the hall. We kept most of the decor the same as it had been in his old room (there's a subtle ocean theme going on), but we made a few toddler friendly upgrades. I think my favorite new thing is the photos of some his favorite toys:


We made the wooden whale for his old nursery, and it made the move over here.





On the other end of the kid age spectrum, my oldest son (he's almost 13)'s room got a tween friendly makeover last year:



My favorite thing in there is this London skyline string art we made for him (between that and the big whale in the nursery, we can just call this our Plywood Period):



We just finished our master bedroom a few weeks ago. Blue + animals and books in full effect here!






We still have a lot of spaces that we're working on.....somehow or other I'm expecting to put a lot of energy into the backyard, our master bathroom, my middle two boys' shared room, AND my dining room during the rest of this year. We'll see how well my big plans work out when it comes to the actual execution.

Thanks so much to Cassie for having me, and stop by the Boxy Colonial sometime to see what I'm up to if you get a chance!

Gretchen, thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous bloghouse with us today!  Have a great day- the kids are out here the next two days!  We will be coloring eggs, watching movies, and stuffing our faces with chocolate.  Mmmmmm chocolate.
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to Make Gold Animal Plant Picks

This week on Primitive and Proper is brought to you by plant accessories that are painted gold.  Or at least it should be, because that's what you are getting again here today!  Monday I shared with you some gold leaf hand lettered flower pots and today, I have an easy and whimsical project, gold animal plant picks!  Actually, my friend Katja told me it doesn't get any better than a giraffe on a stick.  I replied that I suppose this project is basically the corn dog of home decor-- pure indulgent joy on a stick.

I am going to share with you exactly how I made these guys!  

You will need:
Plastic animals (I found mine at a flea market, but you can also purchase at any hobby, craft, or toy store)
Cardboard Box
Gold spray paint (I prefer Rust-Oleum's Metallic Gold)
Drill and two bits- one super skinny and one barely wider in diameter than your skewer
Wooden skewers
Scissors or plant snippers
Hot Glue

1. Clean off your plastic animals (if you thrifted them like me) with warm soapy water and let them dry.
2. Lay your animals on their sides on the bottom of a cardboard box.  Spray paint them on this side and allow them to dry.
3. Flip the animals onto their other side and spray that side, allowing them to dry.  Once they are painted check on both sides for any missed spots and make sure you get those.
Here are mine, all dry in their box and waiting for the next step!

4. Using a teeny (not sure what size I used!) drill bit, drill a hole about 1/8-1/4" into the bottom of your animal.
5. Using the bigger bit, widen the hole with the drill.  (It's easier to do it with the lead hole because it's very hard to drill with a larger bit into a teeny plastic animal; trust me on this).


And just for kicks, I thought I'd show you the owl... I had to drill sort of an inappropriate hole!!!  Watch out for gold owl pellets!


Anyhow, where was I before I was distracted by golden poop?
6. Using heavy duty scissors or plant trimmers, cut your wooden skewers to your desired lengths.
7. Using your hot glue gun, place a dot of hot glue in the hole you made in your animal.


8. Place your skewer's cut end into the hole with the hot glue, leaving the sharp pointed end out as that will poke into the soil.  Hold it straight in place while it dries and hardens.


9. Stick them in plants and admire their quirkiness.  The two below are my favorites!


10. Show them to your daughter who says "Wow, Mommy!  You made those with brass animals!"  Think to yourself, "Way to go, Rust-Oleum, with the best quality metallic spray paint ever.  You make plastic look like real metal."

I just love this giraffe!





 And behold.... the owl with the precious golden pellets.  Me wants the precious!



I have a bunch more animals that I painted gold that were slightly too small for this project, so I am thinking of making photo holders, much like the horse place card holders I made.  Remember these guys?

What do you think?  Can you picture them on a mantle or shelf holding old photos?
Oh, and I think I should rename the blog something like "Paint All the Things Gold".  I can't get enough.  Midas has nothing on me.

I also would love to find some bigger animals to create some awesome planters like my friend Caitlin....
Isn't this the coolest?

Have a great day!  I am off to decimate some more plastic animals all in the name of style!
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Gold Leaf Lettered Flower Pots

Happy Monday!  Hope you all had a great weekend!  I spent time getting myself mentally and physically prepared for the American Odyssey Relay.  I am going to be so glad when it's over; that is if I live to tell you all about it.  And if I don't, I bet my husband will have one heck of a yard sale, so stay tuned. ;)

Now onto today's project...

I had been on the hunt for flower pots to take with me to the Lucketts Market next month.  I wanted to paint them to fit the look that Sarah and I are aiming for.  Lucky me, I stumbled on a ton of them at the thrift shop last week!  Many were already aged and cool, and some were perfect for my project.  You saw a peek of them last week in my Spring home tour.

I left the ones that were perfectly aged alone, but I gathered up the others and invited a good friend over for a little pot painting party after school last Wednesday.  The kids played and we got crafty!

I left some terra cotta, and painted others white with General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint.  I was totally inspired by a couple of projects I had seen in blogland, including these gold leafed pots as well as these white and gold pots.

Once my painted pots were dry, I got to work using my Artisan Enhancements Gold Leaf and Sizing from Catfish Studios.  (FYI it's not listed in their online shop, but they do have it!  Just email them if you'd like to order).  I painted where I wanted gold with the sizing, then allowed it to sit for 30 minutes.  Then I applied my leafing.  To seal it I used Mod Podge.  I know that is a short and sweet step by step, but click here to get my full tutorial.
I used the sizing to paint words onto my pots, just for fun!

This one is one of my favorites.... Directions included! ;)

This one reads "Oh dear".

I also applied the gold leaf directly to the terracotta pots on a couple of them.  I dipped some, did some at the rims, and gave one a hand written "hello".



I just love how the gold glams up these worn old pots!


Lately I think nothing is safe from gold leaf in my house.  I'm sort of addicted!
Have a great Monday- I am off to make the world shinier and glamorous, one gold leaf project at a time!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

(My Sorta) Spring Parade of Homes Home Tour

It's Friday, and the sun has been shining all week and it's finally starting to feel like Spring, so it's only right to end the week with a Spring Home Tour!   13 blogs in total have shared their homes this week, and today is the last day!  Please see the entire list of links at the end of this post.

I went a little photo happy, so be prepared.  Let's start outside.  With the warm week we've had I finally was able to get some plants (just potted for now) and spruce up the porch a bit.

We live in a charming Cape Cod Style home.  The colors are NOT my choices with exception to the doors, but one day it will get a Cassie overhaul.  What I do love is the wrap-around porch and the gorgeous views we have.

The front entry greets you with a cheerful florence painted bench, and a little piece of furniture I am currently using as a potting bench.

The window frame was found as is in the perfect color, and note the adorable Sweet Clover pillow that was a gift from a friend when we opened Sweet Clover.


We also have outdoor dining on our porch- a found old antique library table and some chippy chairs I painted.  The tablecloth was a flea market find, and I recently added the dream catcher as well, which was a thrift shop find.

And once Spring hits, the hula hoop becomes a porch fixture, so I am keeping it real here.  Emmy has got to have easy access to the hula hoop!

Inside in the entry, I added a hydrangea stem.... the only fake flower I own.  (Click here for details on the sheep wall).

On the wall facing the sheep wall in the entry, I have a big chalkboard wall, where the kids hang their backpacks.  I always illustrate it for the season.

And heading down the hall off the entry there is a constant splash of color in the kids art gallery wall.  This is one of my favorite areas of my home!

Heading to the left of the entry is the living room.  I just brought a little Spring to the mantle.

Originally the mantle was decorated with Spring flowers, but one they died, I changed it a bit...

I added a live jade plant as well as these brass bunnies my amazing friend and business partner, Sarah, gave me.  I am not much of a bunny and chick Easter kind of girl, but these guys are brass, so I am making the exception.

I also added the Antiques sign to the hearth.  It's a lucky auction find!  And my industrial pipe built ins are still hanging strong with all of their plants.... so far I've had only one casualty.  (This is huge for me, people!)

To the right of the entry is the dining room.  For the season, I've brought in a lot more aqua in the glassware and accents.

I love that the colors play off of the gallery wall.

My sideboard remains one of my favorite pieces, and I have it decorated with natural elements, aqua, and hints of gold for the season. (By the way, you can find me at Tatertots and Jello today sharing how I made the hanging insulator planters).


My secretary/bar even got a little update with some fabulous new hardware in the color of the season for me.... aqua!

Check out these amazing natural stone knobs from The Hob Knobery!  They work perfectly with the color of my front door as you can see, and with everything else!

The dining room also opens to the kitchen, which is almost done its makeover... You can read about its latest progress here.
My master bedroom has been getting a little Spring refresh as well!  I got new bedding which you can read about here, and then found this amazing ginormous abstract painting at the thrift shop which was perfect!  YES, I know the scale is a bit large, but I love it!!!  I purchased two others as well and will share them soon!



Emmy's room is in perpetual Spring/Summer mode with its bright colors!


And just because we don't want to leave anyone out, and if you are new here today, this is your first time seeing my home, here is Sawyer's room...


And the guest room....


Jake and I hope you have enjoyed this tour and that you come back and see us!

Please be sure to visit all of the amazing home tours that were shared this week!



And finally, be sure to stop over to Tatertots and Jello today to see how I made these guys....


And now, that's all I have for you today!  I am looking forward to a glorious sun shiny weekend here!  Hope you have the same!
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