Saturday, December 31, 2011

Great Blogs, Great Projects

I don't always do weekend posts but since today is a special day -- being the last day of the year and all -- I decided that I would post projects from some of the blogs that I discovered this year (hopefully it's okay with the bloggers).  These are all DIY projects and they all look non-homemade (see this post for my thoughts on "homemade").  There are so many other blogs and projects that I want to post but it's late and I drove for 7 hours today (Friday) with a 2-year-old so I'm going to bed.   I can't wait to see what you all have to show off next year!  

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Online STAGE!

Last June I attended an Association of Property Scene Design event in Denver called STAGE.  It was basically the catalyst to everything I'm doing now (home staging, my blog, lots of DIY stuff, etc.).  I went on to become a certified home stager and home staging trainer.  Seriously.  LOVE it!

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that if you are interested, Karen (the APSD founder) is going to do an online STAGE event on Jan 10, 12, 17 and 19 from 6pm-8pm MST.  This is awesome because you will learn the same things I did and you don't have to pay airfare or for an expensive downtown Denver hotel.

The following is an email I got from Karen allowing me to invite people to sign up.  If you decide you want to do it, let me know!  I'm going to be doing it again online and I'd love to chat.

Well, here it is, the long promised, much anticipated announcement of the first  Home Staging, Design and Real Estate training of 2012... Karen Schaefer's APSD Online Home 'STAGE!' 

Karen Schaefer's Online Home 'STAGE' training will be unlike any event you have ever attended before!
Imagine 4 days of Home Staging, Design, Business Strategies, Marketing Concepts, Income Mindset Shifts...and that just gets us started!  Here is what you will experience during the Online STAGE event...

1.     Karen's famous "Unless there is blood don't knock" technique on training your family to give you the time to work to achieve GREAT results ,
2.    2012 Step by Step Home Staging Blueprint for Guaranteed Success
3.    3 secrets to getting yourself out to at least 10,000 clients 
4.    19  amazing marketing strategies for your Home Staging Business
5.    APSD Certification Program; "Vacant and Distressed Property Stager; SPECIAL BONUS: every single attendee will receive their Certified APSD "Vacant and Distressed Property Stager!"  


As you can imagine, this is just a part of what you will experience at the Online Home 'STAGE...' training. There is still more to come...experts weigh in, live Q and A after each session, and a few  other amazing surprises!!! 

This training is easily worth tens of thousands of dollars to your home staging business, but right now, you can REGISTER for a very special price!!! 

Talk to you at Online! REGISTER NOW

Karen Schaefer
Founder and Creative Director; APSD The Association of Property Scene Designers
The World Leader in Home Staging Training and Certification

PPS-  YES! You can send this notice to all your friends, family and associates and get them to join you but get yourself registered first because our lines will be full!

PPPS- The event will be held on Jan, 10, 12, 17 and 19 from 6pm-8pm MST.  All calls will be recorded and you can even email in your questions, before, during or after each call so you won't miss one single minute!!!

PPPS- Still hesitant?  How about if I GUARANTEE the Quality of the training?  When you join us on the first night, and don't think by the end of the call you have already gotten your money's worth, just let my staff know why, they will cheerfully refund your money and remove you from the rest of the training.  What have you got to lose!  REGISTER NOW

Thursday, December 29, 2011

12 Must-Do Projects in 2012

Goals.  I love making them and I love keeping them.  I write down new goals every year.  Key word (phrase): write down.  If they're not written, they're just wishes.  Therefore, I have written down my 12 must-do projects for 2012.  That gives me one month per project.  Very doable (it's important not to over-goal yourself).

#1: Anthropologie knock-off Gorgina bedding for my bed.

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#2: Anthropologie knock-off Rosette bedding for Morgan's room.

#3: Umbrella summer wreath.
cool wreath for spring or summer

#4: Stained table top with painted legs.Annie Sloan wax -- beautiful

#5: Hanging planter chandelier.DIY light

#6: Diamond tufted headboard.  Want this!  A2D tutorial on how.

#7: Melted crayon on canvas.fantastic idea for kid's play room or craft room.  love it!

#8: Union Jack pallet coffee table -- I don't want that exactly but I love Union Jack and pallet stuff.
wood pallet table -- love the paint

#9: Map art.
State wall

#10: Something with painted birdcages (without birds).
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#11: Colonial dollhouse.  I already have the plans and the wood.
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#12: Desk made out of an old door.
An island made from an old door! -- Mine will be a

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Best of 2011

Since I shared my worst projects yesterday I have to redeem myself by sharing the best projects with you today.  I couldn't pick just three and I wanted to pick way more than I did.  It's been a fun year!  These are all of my favorites.  

#1: The piano I painted turquoise was my inspiration for this blog.  It is also the post with the most views and comments.

#2: The settee was my first major upholstery project (and I'll be honest, it still needs some help with the cushion).  I posted it on my blog like 2 or 3 weeks after I started the blog and it was featured on Apartment Therapy.  I'll be honest again.  Until then I had no idea what Apartment Therapy was.  One of my friends posted on my FB page that I was "a celeb" and I was like "oh, cool!"  Then I quickly googled Apartment Therapy.  It turns out that it's kind of a big deal.  Totally flattered.  

#3: The chandelier transformation is definitely one of my favorite projects.  It was cheap and pretty quick to do and it makes a HUGE statement in our guest room.  I could have a chandelier in every room of my house, including bathrooms.  Sigh. 

#4: The Antrhopologie inspired lamp.  I've done two lamps that were inspired by Anthropologie.  I love them.  And I love that they didn't cost more than $10.  

#5: The peach chair wasn't one of my faves to do but it is one of my faves to look at.  It is in my master bedroom and it makes the room.

#6: The Craigslist chair.  This was the chair that gave me confidence to do bigger upholstery projects.  I love love love the fabric (from Joann's).  

#7: Basement makeover.  I am sitting in the basement at my parents' house typing this and loving my surroundings.  I love this makeover.  So much.

Linking up at the great Linky parties found at the bottom of the blog.  They are where I find most of my inspiration!  Check them out!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Worst of 2011

I so can't believe the year is almost over.  It has been such a great one.  Since this is mainly a DIY/decor blog, I'm going to do a recap over the next two or three days.  Today -- the worst of 2011.

I seriously prefer the term "do it yourself" to "homemade."  Homemade sounds so... frumpy and cutesy.  I'm not really into frumpy or cutesy.  Do it yourself is much more cool.  It's like, "hey, I just made that Pier 1 holiday decoration by myself."  Unfortunately the following projects that I made this year turned out to be more "homemade" than I'd have liked (and hence, didn't make it to the blog).  You can make fun of them too.  I won't feel bad.  Bahaha!

#1: Cell phone case.  Oh I love burlap and lace, just maybe not to cover a brand new smartphone.  

#2: Melted flower pillow with gem centers.  Eh, it was worth a try.

#3: Spray painted outdoor cushion.  I'm still convinced there is a way to do this.  It just wasn't the way I did it.  It turned out very splotchy.  Hmm.  Maybe I should have cleaned them first.

Just so you know, this is the smartphone case I ended up buying.  It is much more me than the homemade (because that definitely wasn't DIY) burlap and lace.  
And we sold the swing that the cushions go on -- without the cushions.  The pillow is salvageable, I think.  If not, there are a lot of melted flowers for hair bows!  So, the moral of this?  You can almost make anything work, even if it doesn't work as intended.  

Monday, December 26, 2011

Knock It Off

Super excited!  My Anthropologie inspired lampshade is being featured today at  If you are visiting from there, WELCOME!  Stay awhile and check out some of my other projects.  If you like what you see, go ahead and follow by clicking on the "join this site" button on the right.  I promise to try to keep you interested.  ;)

Dollhouse Plans

Okay, is anyone else sad when the day after Christmas comes?  It seems like I always am a little bummed that the hype and day are over.  But guess what!  Tom gave me two saws!  Best.  Husband.  Ever.  I got a Dremel and a Jig.  I'm really not even sure how they work but I can't wait to learn.  

Morgan and I get to stay at my parents' house for the week while Tom goes back home to work so I've talked them into helping me build the "bones" of a dollhouse for Morgan (to house the billion princess Barbies she got).  

I absolutely love the Colonial look and I think it would be a simple shape to make (definitely more simple than Victorian, which I also love).
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An interior layout idea.
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source unknown

Here's a cool idea to make lighting.  I want chandeliers and stuff so I'm not sure I'll do this, but maybe.
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I really like how Crafty Cousins decorated this house.  Everything is homemade and it's totally inspiring.  
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Have any of you ever built a dollhouse?  How hard could it be, right?  However, any tips are welcome.

Aaaannnnddddd, come back at 8:00pm EST because my Anthropologie lampshade knock-offs are being featured at Knock Off Decor.  I'm new to the site but already love it -- you know I love a good knock-off and you can find tons there.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

If anyone reads my blog today I just want to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Have a wonderful day!

This video, The Nativity (produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), is rendered to the song Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant (I did not do it but I have seen it before so I found it).  Enjoy. 

PS  I think I talked my mom into helping me build a doll house for Morgan.  Tips welcome.  :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Party Home Tour and a Recipe

I'm excited to share a couple of things with you today.  If you've read the "about me" section of this blog, you know that I am a licensed real estate agent.  Well, I just got my license in March and I did it because my sister-in-law and her family were going to be moving here and we all wanted me to get the commission.  So, we found this AMAZING 7,000 sq ft REO (bank owned) house with a huge yard and everyone fell in love.  Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and we were invited to a Christmas party in the house.  I helped my SIL set up and she let me take some pictures. It's not a full home tour (I'll talk her into that later), but it is a tour of our party area.

Here's the entryway.  Don't you love the banister?  And the vaulted ceiling?  I do.  

(This picture is with the flash and actually more true to color -- but I'm not a huge flash fan)

Here is the formal living room just off of the entryway.  

Here's the kitchen.  To the back is the family room.

This is the formal dining room, also known as the dessert room.  

My contribution: Oreo truffles. Awesomeness. (recipe below)

Southern Lovely's Oreo Truffles 

1 package Oreo cookies
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 bag milk chocolate chips or dipping chocolate
optional: white chocolate chips or white dipping chocolate

Yields: 40-60 truffles
    1. Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine powder. In a medium bowl, blend cookie powder and cream cheese until thoroughly mixed (there should be no white traces of cream cheese). Refrigerate mixture for 10-15 minutes
    2. Roll into small balls and place on wax-lined cookie sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes.
    3. Line another cookie sheet with wax paper. In microwave melt milk chocolate for 2 ½ minutes stirring every 30 seconds. Hint: Put a small amount of shortening in your chocolate chips to make it smoother and easier to dip (or use a melting pot).
    4. Using sturdy toothpicks dip balls and coat thoroughly. Lightly shake excess chocolate off. You can also lightly tap the toothpick on the side of the bowl to remove the excess chocolate. Place on wax-paper-lined cookie sheet. Remove the toothpick and cover the small hole with the melted chocolate. Hint: You may have to refreeze the balls as they cool down to make dipping them easier.
    5. Store in airtight container, in refrigerator (or freezer).
    6. Optional: Melt white chocolate and drizzle over truffles. Using shortening in the white chocolate chips will ensure that it will stay smooth.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Tradition

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the QC School of Design DIY contest.  I guess it ended a day early and I wasn't the winner.  No biggie (although I'm super competitive and winning is AWESOME).  Now to get on with life.  I want to share one of my favorite family traditions with you today.

I grew up in a teeny tiny town in Utah where I lived a hundred yards down the street from my grandparents.  Every Christmas Eve we would go to their house and have a family dinner and party with all of the aunts, uncles and cousins.  It was so much fun!  But it was always something my grandma worried about.  That's her to the left, by the way.  She always wanted everything perfect... and it was. She passed away just over a year ago so this Christmas will be the second one we'll spend without her.  I miss her so much and her Christmas Pie will live on with my family.
This Christmas Pie had nothing to do with food and everything to do with presents.  Grandma would buy small gifts for every grandchild according to gender and have them wrapped by Christmas Eve.  Then she would tie either a blue or pink string to them (depending on if they were boy or girl gifts), put them in a basket and cover the basket with a cute Christmas towel. 
We were always excited when it came time to do the Christmas Pie.  Every kid would get around the pie and grab a string.  When grandma said it was okay, we would simultaneously pull the string attached to a gift and that was the gift we got to unwrap that night -- Christmas Eve. When we all got a little older, she started buying gifts for us individually instead of just the gender and she would tape our names to the end of the string. This is one of the simplest, yet most memorable Christmas traditions in my family.  Now my cousins, siblings and I have moved away from home but every year we come together for our Christmas Eve party (which is now held at the town hall instead of Grandma's house) and we have the Christmas Pie for our kids.  This tradition will never die and it's something I'll do with my grandchildren too.

What are some of your family traditions?  If you've posted about them leave the link in the comments section!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Homemade Gingerbread House

I'm feeling like the best mom right now!  We finally, after 2 1/2 years, had a successful family night where everything turned out as I had imagined (unlike the Build-A-Bear experience).  Wooh!  

I'm writing this Tuesday night and we made a homemade gingerbread house.  It was homemade, but not totally.  I used two Betty Crocker gingerbread cake/cookie mixes and followed the cookie instructions, cut out the sides and roof for the house, and we decorated with the usual candy that I wouldn't normally buy.  Awesomeness!  And I think it is the best gingerbread house around.  Eat your heart out Walmart gingerbread house packets!

PS  Pretty please vote again (or for the first time) for my piano at  I could win a cool camera. :)  The winner is announced on the 22nd.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our House at Christmas

Really quick: I appreciate everyone who has voted for my piano on the QC Design School FB page.  Thank you, thank you.  But guess what!  You can vote every day until the 22nd!  Yay!  So pretty please vote again at  I could win a cool camera. :)

I think my house is finally as decorated as it is going to be for Christmas so today I'm going to share how it all goes together.  If you missed any of the 12 DIY decor days of Christmas, look through the December posts for tutorials on most of my decorations.  

Here's the mantle with the peppermint letter and peppermint picture frame:  

And the rest of the living room from different angles:

Here's the dining room:

And the front door:

I'm linking up to some or all of the parties at the bottom of the blog, plus:
Cottage & Vine

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