How To Organize Your Home With Unique Storage Ideas!

Everyone likes having their home organized and tidy. I certainly do! But I was getting tired of using the typical baskets and bins. I wanted something unusual that would have more style and interest while still providing storage.

I recently found two such items. An old grape crate and a cigar box.

The grape crate was purchased at The Purple Painted Lady in Macedon N.Y. The patina is great and can be used in many ways!

I even like the letters on the side.

It holds three blankets easily and looks good doing it!

Instead of blankets, I could use it for pillows.

The distressed wood of the crate is a perfect contrast with the softness of the pillow.

Game night anyone!

An old cigar box makes a perfect place for storing remote controls.

First, I removed all stickers.

I wanted the top to have a smooth surface, so I filled in the lettering with spackle.

After sanding, it was ready for paint and decoupage.

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White and French Linen for the base.

This is one of a bunch of prints I purchased from Etsy.

I measured the box and cut the print to size.

Then decoupaged it to the top.

The remotes are kept together in a beautiful box that looks like part of the décor.

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How To Create A DIY Branch Chandelier!

When was the last time you did anything out of the box? Something that will make people say WOW! I tried to come up with a time when I went way out of my comfort zone and I came up with nothing. Don’t get me wrong. I can paint, refinish, decorate and DIY my butt off. But I have never really pushed past the imaginary line in the sand that says, this is where you stop. After seeing what my friend Beth and her husband Russ did, I am inspired to jump over the line and try something extraordinary myself!

Beth told me she got the idea to do the chandelier after seeing one at Dantiques in Macedon N.Y a few years ago and has been wanting to recreate it ever since.

Well, this was the year and wait until to you see how it turned out!

Dantiques is a unique store. Dan the owner is extremely creative. He definitely goes past that imaginary line. Actually, I think he lives over that line and just comes over to show us mere mortals his creations and inspire us in the process. I will leave a link below with more information about Dantiques.

The chandelier Beth saw at Dantiques. WOW right!

I was curious to see what a chandelier like this cost to purchase. I found something similar priced at $1,000. It is beautiful, but it doesn’t have the organic feel of the real branches and the price tag is too high.

Where did they go for branches? In their own backyard. They had recently trimmed their plum tree and the branches were perfect for the project.

It was genius to use the bar to hold the branches for trimming and gathering them together.

Beth and her husband used an industrial wire shade to provide the framework for the placement of the branches.

Into the dining room it goes!

To electrify it they took down their current dining room fixture and used the same power source.

The other light fixture had been swagged over the dining room table. They used the same hook and attached the wires.

I just love the natural feel of this chandelier!

They added tear drop crystals for their beauty and to help reflect the light.

Perfect touch!

Gorgeous, Gorgeous, Gorgeous and most definitely WOW!!

Dantiques unique, elegant and rustic decor.

The Purple Painted Lady Opens a New Shop! DIY’ers Rejoice!

Before the Covid shutdown, I had started a series of blogs about local Rochester treasures like The George Eastman House, Rochester Public Market and Memorial Art Gallery. I am rebooting the series featuring The Purple Painted Lady and her new digs!

Local entrepreneur Trish Kuntz has opened a new site for her Purple Painted Lady shops. It is located at 2621 RT 31 in Palmyra N.Y. The store itself is a six thousand square foot building that sits on six acres of land. Trish and her team have made it a must-see in the Rochester area and according to Trish, there is more to come in 2022. I can’t wait to see what else she has up her sleeve!

My first encounter with The Purple Painted Lady was ten plus years ago. I wanted to refinish a dining room table. Having never done anything like that before, l did some research and that is when I first learned about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Now all I had to do was find a place that sold it. I looked for local “stockists” and The Purple Painted Lady popped up. I have been getting my paint and other supplies there ever since. But paint and supplies are not the only reason I keep going back. Trish and her staff are genuinely interested in what you may be working on and are always willing to help in any way they can.

The store is not the only thing that carries The Purple Painted Lady name. Trish and her husband Steve have been showcasing local and travelling artisans in The Purple Painted Lady Festival for ten years. I was lucky enough to be a vendor at the festival in 2019 and again in 2021. It was a phenomenal experience! Make sure to mark your calendars for the 11th Purple Painted Lady Festival on September 17-18, 2022.

Tricia Kuntz ‘The Purple Painted Lady’ herself welcoming us into her new location at 2620 RT 31, Palmyra N.Y

When I first walked in, I was greeted with an array of color, texture and eye-catching vignettes. I wanted to see everything!

Yes, that is a grain bin and that is exactly where I went first!

I love the “boho” feel of this room. That’s me imagining I am living in my cool hip apartment in Greenwich Village N.Y.

Amazing furniture pieces!

I missed those vases when I was there. I am definitely going back to check those out!

Everything is so thoughtfully put together.

What a cool jacket!

Look at this this handmade garland! Beautiful!

The colors are gorgeous! I can see a grouping of these shells in a dish or bowl displayed on a table or counter.

My mind is racing on the many ways you can use these crates!

Signs for everyone!

The wide variety of products are any DIY’ers dream! On this wall are stamps, transfers, molds, and tools from Iron Orchid Design!

Milk Paint and other products from Miss Mustard Seed.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Waxes, Glazes and Tools.

So many ways to use Chalk Paint. If you want to try one of the sample techniques above, anyone in the store will definitely try to help you achieve it!

They also teach classes! Just go to her website at ThePurplePaintedLady.com and click on workshops.

If you live in this area, definitely check it out! If you’re in the area visiting or just passing through, put it on your list of things to do! It is so worth it!

Tips for Organizing Your Home!

The new year is here, and I inevitably start thinking about organizing my home. It is like some switch turns on in my head. Everything that seemed fine before the new year suddenly stands out and demands attention. It can be very overwhelming!

In the past when the need to organize struck, I have tried to organize my house in one weekend. It was a fiasco! I ended up with piles of things everywhere and exasperated beyond belief. The takeaway from that experience was to start slowly and work in one area at a time. It allows you to start organizing without being overwhelmed and gives you a sense of accomplishment without demolishing your entire house in the process.

To begin my 2022 organizing journey, I started with my junk drawer.

As always, full disclosure. Meet the junk drawer!

The first thing I did was separate everything into like piles. Keeping what I wanted to return to the drawer and allocating the rest to other areas.

To give the drawer order, I needed storage items. I did not want to spend a lot of money, so I went to Good Will. Before going, I measured the drawer and determined what I would need. When thrifting, I try thinking outside the box (haha no pun intended). An example would be the group of small boxes I found. They were not my decor style, but they were made out of wood, uniform in size and had the durability I was looking for. With a little paint I knew they would be perfect!

I also needed a container for the tools. This metal box fit the bill and it cost all of three dollars.

Small wire baskets are always a good choice. Even if I was not going to use them in the drawer, I would have picked them up anyway. They can be used anywhere and for most anything!

The chalkboard square wiped off easily. If it hadn’t, I would have painted it or turned it around.

The bottom even had a soft covering to prevent scratching. Bonus!

Does anyone else have an absurd amount of Allen wrenches. They come with many different items that need assembly and they can add up. We had fifteen, I kept three just in case

See the source image

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Athenian Black on the boxes.

A great use for left over pizza boxes.

The chalk paint looked great, but I wanted something to jazz it up.

I made labels for each box with the name of the item and picture of what is inside.

I used Mod Podge to adhere the labels to the boxes.

I painted on a thin layer and laid the label on top.

Then added another layer over the label to seal it.

They add just the punch of color it needed!

I love the way it came out!

If you can’t find me, I will be in the kitchen looking in my former junk drawer.

Look for more organizing tips in the coming weeks!

More Good Will Finds, After Christmas Sales and Decorating a New Year’s Table!

Just like our Christmas, we are staying home for New Year’s Eve also. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be special!

Of course, I want to set a beautiful table. We are also planning a buffet with appetizers instead of a more traditional sit-down dinner. As an accompaniment to our dinner, we will be serving wine and champagne. Some activities we have planned are a car tour of all the houses with amazing Christmas lights. I went online to get the list and there are one hundred and forty houses featured in the Rochester area. We are sticking to our immediate area which has about fourteen houses to see. After seeing the houses, my plan is to either play games or have a movie marathon. However, I have just been made aware of a Michigan college football playoff game being played on New Year’s Eve. I am not sure how this is going to play out, I will let you know.

In the meantime, I went shopping yesterday not only for the after Christmas sales, but also for inspiration for the New Year’s Eve table. Let me just say, it was definitely a good day!

My first stop was Good Will. I saw this storage container on a table and was curious as to what was inside.

The price was good. One of these containers alone cost at least fifteen dollars.

Look what I found! I could not believe my luck!

All the ornaments are glass and in perfect shape. There are also really beautiful hooks for each ornament. What a score!

Next I went to Joann’s. All Christmas décor was on sale for seventy percent off. I saw this flocked garland and really wanted it, but was hesitant because of the way it can shed. I did the shake test and to my delight there was no shedding. I grabbed six.

So lovely!

I was excited to see the sale extended to candles. I had my eye on these mercury glass Christmas trees but was not willing to pay full price. Seventy percent off was a different story. I bought two!

I had not decorated my chandelier fully for Christmas. I had a few icicles hanging that I had purchased from the Dollar Tree. I decided to add my new finds to Zhuzh it up!

Adding the garland and silver glass ornaments along with the icicles took it to the next level.

I also added silver balls to my dried Boxwood wreaths.

Now that the chandelier is done, on to the table. I wrapped the silverware in beautiful cloth napkins I had found earlier in the year at the Memorial Art Gallery Arts and Treasures sale and set them at each place setting.

So simple yet elegant at the same time.

The plates, Champagne and flutes will be on the buffet.

These themed champagne flutes are from Waterford Crystal each one represents a traditional toast… Love, Happiness, Peace and Prosperity.

Like I said low key, but still special!

I bought crackers for each person. I have never used them before I hope they work!

Happy New Year to All of You! Here comes 2022!

Ideas For Setting A Beautiful Christmas Table Using DIY Coffee Filter Trees!

We usually travel on Christmas day to see my family. It turns out to be a whirlwind. On Christmas morning, we open presents, have breakfast and then travel three hours to Schenectady, NY from Rochester. We usually have dinner with my brother and his family and go to my aunt’s house to see her, all of my cousins and their families. And then, the next morning, we go to breakfast with my younger brother, his family, my aunt and cousins then head back home.

This year, we have decided not to make the trip. We have had some health issues in the past few months and with Covid cases spiking, we are going to stay close to home this year. I will be sad not to be with my family for the holiday, but I plan on making a trip in the near future to see everyone.

With the decision made, I was actually getting excited about the idea of having a Christmas dinner at home. I have to admit, my first thought was not about the menu, but how I was going to set the table. Don’t judge. Remember, its been awhile since I could do this.

I had been working on an idea using coffee filters to build Christmas trees and thought they would be perfect to use in my tablescape.

So exciting! Here is a look at how they are made and how I used them on the table…

I started with white poster board. Cut it in half, and then rolled it into a cone shape.

I used tape to seal the sides, but you can also use a glue gun.

It takes a lot of coffee filters to make the tree, so I cut several at a time.

I cut up the side stopping just before the flat bottom of the filter.

Cutting a round circle, I removed the bottom.

I ran a line of glue around the cone and started wrapping the strip. Starting the next strip, a half inch above where the last strip ended and repeat until you reach the top.

I made three trees of various heights to put on the table.

I purchased these plates at Michael’s a couple years ago. The plaid worked well with my color scheme of blue, green, red and silver.

I added a distressed white charger, a blue dinner plate and a white salad plate.

Next in the design were two Lotus Bowls. One was thrifted from Good Will and the other purchased online to match. I made arrangements for both using white tulips, pine greenery and red berries.

This mirror was thrifted from Good Will and was ideal to hold the trees for the centerpiece.

I also added pinecones, greenery, ornaments and fairy lights to the center piece.

To compliment my color scheme, I used a white tablecloth and red runner.

I love the way all the colors play together!

I wanted white roses, but the tulips worked beautifully!

The candlelight made it look magical!

I switched out the center piece to show how changing one thing on the table can create an entirely different look. The gnomes made it more playful and perfect for a family with young children.

You can’t help but smile looking at this family of gnomes!

Happy Holiday’s Everyone!

Tips for Decorating a Christmas Tree with “Dollar Tree” Finds and DIY Ornaments!

I love putting up our Christmas tree every year. It holds so many memories of our life as a family. But I have always wanted to have my own tree to decorate any way I wanted to. Since I could not imagine having a tree without all our special ornaments, I set my goal on getting another tree. As you can imagine the idea of a second tree was not a crowd favorite. Remember, I live with my husband and my two adult sons. Not to mention a Jewish mother-in-law. They just can’t see a purpose for a second tree.

This was going to be the year! I was going to get my second tree. I started the search as soon as Christmas trees hit the stores. I wanted a tree with no lights, which was surprisingly hard to find. I finally found one at Lowes at a great price and bought it!

Decorating it was another story. All my current Christmas decorations are for our family tree. I would have to purchase all new decorations, which was not in the budget. I turned to my DIY skills and my love of finding great bargains and decorated my tree for very little cost. It turned out better than even I expected!

The first thing I did with my Lowes Christmas tree, was fluff it out. This step is probably one of the most important in my book!

Having an artificial tree is very beneficial. Not just because of my allergies, but the fact that you can shape the branches anyway you want!

Look at branches on the left compared to the ones on the right. Fluffing makes quite the difference!

After fluffing out the tree, I added white lights. I started at the bottom of the tree, reaching in between the branches all the way to the back and winding it around the branches. When I get back to where I started, I then wound it around again, this time in the middle of the branches and ended with a third time around at the front of the branches. I do this for every section of branches on the tree. I know there are other methods to put on lights, but this one will guarantee that you have lights throughout the tree that are evenly placed.



Next, step is ribbon. I always add ribbon to my Christmas trees. It is a great way to add color, fullness and a flowing feature to the tree without spending a lot of money. I purchased this ribbon at Joann’s during a fifty percent off sale.

I put the ribbon on from the bottom to the top. As I placed the ribbon, I attached it to branches in a way that created a wavy look all the way up the tree.

I placed the ribbon a few inches apart all around the tree.

Tucking the ends in at the top.

I love the how it cascades all the way down the tree.

I recently made these ornaments out of Dollar Tree items. With the addition of these ornaments, and the iridescent ribbon, it made sense to have a winter wonderland theme for the tree.

To continue the winter wonderland look, I had an idea to make ornaments that looked like snow balls. I found these clear glass balls at Walmart for four dollars for a count of eight. At that price I bought four boxes!

To get the look crystalized like ice and snow. I used Mod Podge. It goes on white, but dries clear.

Then added glitter to create the magic!

I painted on the Mod Podge making sure it had an even coat all around.

Holding the ornament over a bowl, I sprinkled glitter on it turning as I went until it was completely covered.

It took only a few minutes to dry.

Look at all those snowballs!

I found these icicles at the Dollar Store two of them for a dollar. How perfect were they for the tree!

Snowflake!

Snowball!

Love the combination!

For the topper, I purchased these floral picks at Joann’s during a fifty percent off sale.

I also used these pinecone swags, which were left over after decorating my mantel.

I pushed the floral picks into the tree pointing toward the ceiling.

Once the picks were in, I surrounded them with the pinecone swags.

I liked the look, but thought it was a little too dark. To add some light, I cut pieces of the iridescent ribbon and randomly stuck them in to break up the darkness.

To add a little more sparkle, I bought some plastic silver ornaments from Walmart for four dollars.

I am really happy with the way the second tree came out! It was an experience I will look forward to every year!

My question to all of you is: Do you have a second tree in your home? I would love to hear about other people’s experiences with a second tree.

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Tips For Decorating A Christmas Mantel!

I love decorating my mantle for Christmas. But it was not always that way. I used to get so frustrated, and it took forever. The reason for my frustration was the fact that I had no plan. I would get all my Christmas decorations together and start pulling everything out. Winging as I went along, not good! If I can pass on any wisdom through my mistakes, it is to decide on the direction you are going and make a plan!

,Through my mistakes I learned to take my time. Like this year, I chose to use neutral colors and natural elements in my design. I then gathered everything I wanted to use and was able to finish the mantel in a shorter amount of time and thoroughly enjoy the process!

Here is our mantel. The first thing I did was add some greenery.

I connected two garlands in the center of the mantle.

When I connected the garlands, I made sure to leave enough to drape over each side of the mantle.

Once the garland was in place it was time to add lights. I always use battery powered lights on the mantle. This way I did not have to deal with power cords.

I intertwined the cord all through the garland.

I used twist ties to anchor the lights every few inches.

To give it interest and bulk I added different floral picks.

To save money, I purchased larger picks and cut them to make several stems from one.

To cut the stem I grabbed it with a wire cutter and twisted back and forth.

I made three stems and cut them down even further as I was going along

I did the same with the greenery picks. In this case, I made five new stems out of one.

I also used these pinecones from Michael’s. Love the color and the sparkle.

I wanted texture and interest, so I used two ribbons. One ribbon had white paint and sparkles, and the other ribbon was beige linen.

I started adding greenery and secured it with floral wire.

I combined the two ribbons and twisted them through the greenery. Wherever I wanted it to dip, I attached it with floral wire.

The combination of colors was exactly what I was looking for.

For the center of the design, I used two smaller picks and placed them with two of the pinecone swags.

Using floral wire, I was able to cascade another pinecone swag over the side.

I took what was left of the beige linen ribbon and made a bow for each candlestick. Then added some greenery and white berries to finish.

Mantel is done. Now on to the next project!

Leave a comment and share some of your holiday decorating. I would love to hear from you!

DIY Old Book Page Wreath!

I found another YouTube video DIY project. Rebecca Robeson from “Kinwoven Design” made a beautiful wreath using old book pages. It looked doable, so I decided to give it a try.

My mother-in-law helped out with this project. It was much appreciated since there was a lot of prep work before you actually put the wreath together. We started by paying homage to an old Funk and Wagnall Dictionary. This was not only for ourselves, but all my Librarian friends. Then we proceeded to rip out pages, roll pages, tape pages and staple pages to turn out one hundred and twenty cones for our wreath. Whew!

This brings back memories. Before you could Google everything, this is where you found out your information. I am glad we were able to repurpose it!

I took my Exacto knife and cut the spine. Once the spine was off, it was easy to rip out the pages.

One hundred and twenty pages.

The edges were a little ragged.

I cut them to make them uniform.

Video on how to make cones

I rolled and my mother-in-law taped. In between, we chatted!

And just like that, we had one hundred and twenty cones!

I got better at rolling with each cone. A few of the first tries needed to be redone. I used the Exacto knife to remove the tape and then rerolled.

After they were all rolled, I measured one inch from the end.

And then stapled.

I made an eight-inch diameter circle and a four-inch diameter circle on a piece of poster board. To start the pattern, I placed one cone on twelve o’clock, three o’clock, six o’clock and nine o’clock.

Using a glue gun, I filled in the first layer.

The staples really help keep it even.

Once the first layer was done, I began the four-inch layer.

This is with two layers. I wanted a third layer, so I added a two-and-a-half-inch circle to the center and repeated the process.

To add some glitter, I put ornaments and some of my mother-in-laws costume jewelry to the center.

The finished wreath was bigger than I expected it to be, but I loved the way it came out.

The wall in my front room over the couch was the perfect place. It was big enough and the wreath compliments the room beautifully!

This is a perfect project to do with family or friends. You can use smaller pages or cut larger ones to make different size wreaths.

Remember to share photos of the wreaths you make. I would love to see them!

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DIY Broken Mirror Christmas Tree!

I saw a You Tube Video on how to make a Christmas Tree from a broken mirror. In the video, they took broken mirror shards, and placed them on a piece of plywood to form a Christmas tree. They then glued the mirror pieces to the plywood and filled in all the spaces with grout. Of course, they made it seem very easy.

As you can imagine, the project was not as easy as it looked. To be fair, there were three people working on it in the video and I was a team of one. Am I glad I tried? Would I do it again? The answers are yes, yes. The one thing I would change is doing it alone. Next time I will ask a friend to do it with me!

First, you need a mirror. I bought this one at Walmart for seven dollars.

Then I got to smash it. I am not going to lie, it was fun!

When I finished breaking the mirror, I took the pieces and separated them into small, medium and large groupings.

I used quarter inch plywood I found in my garage as my base and used 1 x 2’s around the edges and across the back to strengthen it.

10OZ 530 MIRROR ADHESIVE

To adhere the mirror to the board, I used LOCTITE PL 530 mirror, marble and granite adhesive.

It was difficult to put the adhesive on and keep track of the original design. This is where an extra person would have helped.

I used a shish cabob stick to clean up any excess adhesive.

It took a while to get the pieces into a design I liked.

While gluing on the shards some of the adhesive got on the outside. I used Windex to get it off.

The next step, was to fill in all the empty space between the mirror pieces with grout.

I will admit, I do not fully read directions. I based my calculations on the video I saw. It said to use half the bag of grout and a quart of water.

The grout was very soupy, probably the result of not reading the directions. Since all grout is not the same and the bag on You Tube could have been a different brand, smaller bag etc.

Because of the consistency, it was not setting like it should. I used a wet sponge to take off the excess grout. It made quite the mess. I was really glad no one was home to witness my debacle.

I wiped it down until I could see the mirror pieces. Then let it dry an additional twenty minutes.

After it was set, I wiped off the grout from the mirrored pieces.

The finished broken mirror tree. I added a bow on top to make it look more like a Christmas Tree.

I am really enjoying sharing all the Christmas projects with you. What projects have you been working on? Leave a comment and tell me about your projects. I would love to hear about them!