There is so much more to creative design than how the furniture is arranged or what type of artwork you have on the wall.

Creative design comes in all forms…

The next time you are at the thrift store, don’t overlook those old kids chairs.  A little diy and you can turn them into stylish dog bowl holders that will feel apart of your décor.



There are so many unique uses for old ladders but I’m loving the idea of using one as a jewelry holder.  Just add a mesh screen and you’re done.



 If you don’t want to spend a ton of money on flowers but still want a designer look with your flower arrangements, try adding fruit.  Sliced fruit will fill the vase so less flowers are needed and the look will be fresh and modern.



Instead of an upholstered headboard why not consider stenciling a design onto painted wood.  Pretty chic and budget-friendly.



If you like the look of organic art, why not create your own using branches from yard and thrift store frame.  Genius!

I think this would look great at Christmas with the branches coated in sparkly ice crystals or glitter.



Never in a million years would I have thought of this let alone thought the idea could result in something this great looking.



Projects like these really get my creative mind going.

Have a great weekend and let your imagination run wild.





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I almost always accent my gift with ribbon and 9 times out of 10 I add a ribbon bow.  That’s it until I got crafty and made my own paper bow.

Now I’m loving the idea of wrapping all my gifts with handmade paper bows.

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There are so many things to be happy about today….


I woke up to a pretty stack of presents….

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I’m packing to leave for my trip to DC tomorrow…


The weather in DC is looking like 70 degrees and sunshine…


I get to eat cake tonight…


And It’s My Birthday!


If you want to celebrate my birthday, I hope you’ll watch my favorite video and find your happiness today!



I love to give gifts and when I can give something that is unique and unexpected that makes gift giving even more fun for me.

DIY Sewing Kit 6

This gift is going to my brother who recently moved from Kentucky to Washington DC and is without some key household items that can make life easier.  One of those items is a sewing kit.

DIY Sewing Kit

As a professional who is on the go constantly and doesn’t always have time to run to the cleaners or an alterations person, I thought it would be nice to make him a sewing kit for when he needs to mend a hem or sew on a button in a hurry.

And of course I had to do a little crafting to make his sewing kit uniquely his.

DIY Sewing Kit 8

I painted the top of a wood box, purchased at Hobby Lobby, in a stripe pattern.  I used different shades of grey and added white to keep the look masculine.  The base of the box is solid grey.

Sewing Kit 2

Once painted I used the Mark Montano by Craffiti Direct Vintage Scissors stamps and created a label for the top of the box. The ABC stamp set was used to spell out the words.

When I was all done decorating the box I filled it with essential sewing supplies like pins, needles, thread, buttons and stitch witchery.

Easy as pie–I had a uniquely crafted sewing kit to give to my brother.

DIY Sewing Kit 7

Sewing Kit 3

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DIY Sewing Kit 8

There are so many creative ways to use stamps when crafting so head over to the Craffiti Direct website and check out the full line of stamps.

To see all the Mark Montano stamp designs head here. 

Happy Crafting!


Products Used (click on photo to buy):

CD-HM0009-504x880 (2)             CD-MM0002-504x880 (2)    434343

  763367       7090095  prd5147

Decorative scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby
Sewing supplies from Wal-Mart








Hello there. So I’m going to get right to it. Have you all been watching Nate Berkus’ new show American Dream Builders? I have and boy has that show got me up in arms.


The show itself has a good format and I love seeing designers in all different areas of design working together.

I’ve gained a new appreciation for landscape design from watching the show. It’s amazing how creative you can get with concrete and grass.

I think the judging panel of Nate, Monica and Eddie makes a great team and provides great design tips and realistic feedback on the designs.

I am getting lots of design inspiration from the beautiful spaces created on the show.

See Team Red in action this week.

I love the idea of using tile just on one wall in a kitchen.  This is a great way to create a focal point in the space and the larger tiles make for a dramatic statement. And a table as an island substitute is one of my favorite design looks.

See Team Red in action this week.

This outdoor area is a great example of how different textures can make a space come alive.  All of the best principles of design were used in this space…scale, variation, balance, depth and dimension.

See Team Blue in action this week.

This is one of my favorite bedrooms designs thus far on the show.  The fabric treatment is such a simple and dramatic touch and a very easy diy project that anyone can handle.

See Team Blue in action this week.

Here’s a great example of how to mix brights into a neutral space.  The accent colors are repeated in several areas which makes the color feel natural versus forced.

View More: http://americandreambuilders.pass.us/adb

There are so many great things about this space.  I love the tile on the fireplace, the mix of textures and finishes and the unexpected chandelier.  Paying attention to the design details really pays off.


Despite the talent of the designers that make up this show, it’s been interesting to see how even they can make rookie mistakes.

See Team Red in action this week.

First, this room to me lacks a point of view.   And then there are too many contrasting design elements and too many linear details (lines of light fixture, lines on the chairs, lines on the artwork).  Plus I think the overall scale of this space is off.

See Team Red in action this week.

While this isn’t bad design I do think the space missed the mark when it comes to functionality for the couple that live there.  This couple likes to entertain and the limited seating and small-scale furniture does not support that in my  book.


For someone who loves pillows, even I thought this was overkill.  One of the best things you can do when designing a space is to edit after it’s done.  Bad design cannot be covered up by a bunch of pillows.

View More: http://americandreambuilders.pass.us/adb

This bathroom has to win the prize for the worst space so far.  The idea of repurposing a piece found in the garage was good but this goes to show you that one badly executed design element can turn even the best space into an eyesore.


Ok, how many of you guessed I was going to be talking about Elaine when it got to the UGLY part of this post?  After watching last nights episode, it was pretty obvious to me that the ratings game came into play with keeping her on the show.  For some strange reason bad TV makes money.

Her tactics of belittling people, bad mouthing and disrespecting people is so awful.  Her stunt last night of killing Christina’s plan for the kitchen should have gotten her kicked off the show.  The kitchen was the least ‘designed’ space in the house and it was because of her.

She obviously lacks some self-love if she feels the need to always make herself look better than everyone else.


Last night on twitter and on the ADB blog, Elaine was getting bashed pretty bad.  People, me included, are not connecting with her disruptive attitude and verbal abuse of others.  But maybe there’s hope because Elaine posted this on twitter, in response to a comment from Nate Berkus…

Honey, THAT BUILD truly left me a changed person!!!! I had 2 go home & ask myself A LOT of questions about EVERYTHING

We can only hope.

I’m looking forward to next Sundays’ show, not only for the design inspiration but to see if Elaine really has changed!

To see photos of all the ADB designed space and to read the ADB blog head here.

If you’ve been watching the show, what are your thoughts?


For a good part of the country (sorry Minnesota) the season of outdoor entertaining is upon us.  To me that means lots of easy to prepare food served up in a fun and simple way.  Mason jars are super popular at the moment and are being used for all types of things.  I happen to think they make pretty great dessert cups, especially for strawberry shortcake in the spring.



Entertaining Tip:  When hosting a party outdoors it’s always a chore to keep the bugs and flies away from the food.  This is a double whammy idea–one to serve your dessert in a cut little jar and then to use a decorative cupcake liner and some twine to keep the jar sealed and away from bug.


Simple Strawberry Shortcake Recipe…

1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
5 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Whipped Cream, recipe follows
Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.
Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally.
Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.
Make your Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.



If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, Design is in the Details.  And that’s one of the things I love about design.  The fact that you can take a basic ordinary architectural element, accessory, furniture piece or decorative element and use it to create something unique and beautiful for your home.  I’m working on a project that is requiring me to think about details and how they can be used to transform a space and save money at the same time.  With details on my mind I thought I’d share 11 of my favorite ideas, ideas you can use in your own home.

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 I’m already preparing for my trip next week to Washington DC which tells you how excited I am about going to visit my brother, see the city and hopefully see the Cherry Blossom tress in full bloom.

After many years of traveling both domestically and to the far east I’ve pretty much mastered the art of packing and traveling.  One of the things I do to make packing easy is to always have my toiletry bag stocked and ready to go. I fill it with smaller sizes of all the items I use.  The other thing I do to make traveling more relaxing is to pack a few travel essentials.  There are SIX TRAVEL ESSENTIALS that you’ll always find in my bag.


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