spray painted doormat


The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend, and I took advantage of it by spending some time outside spray painting a new doormat for our front door.  Our old one was falling apart, and I haven’t been able to find any doormats in stores that I like so I figured I’d just make one myself.

This project was quick and easy, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  I’ll never buy a ready made doormat again!


  • Plain doormat (I got mine from Ikea for $10.  Can’t beat that!)
  • One can of spray paint
  • Painter’s/masking tape (I recommend using the light green Scotch masking tape for hard to stick surfaces)
  • Pencil and ruler (depending on your desired design)

I was inspired by this rug that I saw from Serena & Lily.  The pattern is a combination of herringbone and chevron.  The best of both worlds…how can you go wrong with that?

I started by taping the horizontal lines across the rug, making sure to press the tape in firmly.


The rug was 35″ across so using a measuring tape, I penciled a mark every 5″ on all three pieces of tape.  Using the pencil marks as a guide to make sure everything was evenly spaced, I taped the diagonal sections off.


Again I made sure to press firmly on the tape to minimize the chances of any spray paint bleeding under.  Crisp lines are key!


For the spray paint, I decided to go with Rustoleum’s Night Tide.  This is the same color I used for the base of my fabric covered lampshade.  It’s a perfect peacock blue.

After shaking the can well, I stood over the doormat and sprayed down straight onto it (to minimize bleeding under the tape) in long even strokes.


About halfway through, I realized I’d need to do a second coat since the fibers were absorbing the paint pretty well.  I didn’t think it was necessary to let it dry between coats so I went ahead and finished the entire doormat.


After letting it sit for a few hours in the sun to dry thoroughly, I peeled back the tape and was happy to see that the lines were nice and crisp.


The pattern turned out just as I hoped it would.


It adds such a nice pop of color to the front porch, and it makes me just as happy to see it on my way out the door…


…as it does coming in.


Strider agrees.


By the way, for anyone wondering I’ve walked on it and wiped my shoes on it several times already and there hasn’t been any paint coming off onto the soles of my shoes at all.

I’ll definitely be spray painting another rug for the back patio door at some point in the future.  At less than $15 for a custom doormat, how could I not?




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how to sew curtains

I had purchased the fabric for our new living room curtains awhile back, but I’ve been putting off actually making them because frankly, I was a little intimidated.  It wasn’t even so much the sewing part, but more the measuring and cutting STRAIGHT lines with that much fabric.  Up until now I’ve only sewn small projects with manageable amounts of fabric.  I finally sucked it up and started them this past Sunday and finished them last night.  No, it didn’t take me four days to make them….it took me three days to recover enough from the stress of the measuring and cutting I did on Sunday to move on to the sewing part :).

Our old living room curtains weren’t particularly horrible in any way. (These photos were taken last fall, hence the pumpkins on the mantel.)

There was just nothing special about them.

The cream color was pretty blah, and Devin and I both agreed (surprisingly) that we needed curtains with more oomph to them.

Enter, Magnolia Home Fashions Java Ikat Fabric in Yacht Blue.  This is one of those patterns that you’ll either love or hate, given that it’s pretty bold.  But hey, go big or go home right?  Thankfully, we both loved it.

There’s really no set formula for making curtains since the measurements and rod pocket size are really up to you.

Have enough fabric to cover the length that you want your curtains to be plus additional length to allow for the top and bottom seams.  I wanted my curtains to be 89″ long.  I also wanted 3″ wide pockets for both the top and bottom.  Accounting for the first 1/2″ that I would have to fold over each end before folding over again for the 3″ pocket, that equated to: 89″ + 3.5″ + 3.5″ = 96″ length for each curtain panel.  For the width, the fabric I chose was 54″ wide and that ended up being just the right width per panel for our big front window.  (If you want your curtains wider than the width the fabric comes in, you’d have to sew two lengths of fabric together side by side, or conversely, if you want it narrower, just cut the fabric down to the width you prefer.)

As I mentioned above, it took me forever to get the measurements right.  It came in one super long piece that was enough for both panels so I had to cut it down to size, and then I had to make sure the cuts were STRAIGHT which was difficult given how wide the fabric was.  Lastly, since I wanted the pattern to flow continuously across when the two panels were closed, I had to make sure I cut each panel at the same point in the pattern.  I’m not even going to tell you how long it took me to do this.  It’s pretty embarrassing.  If any of you sewing pros out there have tips for measuring and cutting huge pieces of fabric, PLEASE bring them on!

Three days later (last night) I finally got to the sewing part.

First I did the side seams.  I folded the fabric over to the wrong side 1/2″, pressed, then over another 1/2″ and pressed again (you could do whatever width you prefer here, though I hear 1″ is the norm.)  I pinned this down every 4-6″, then I sewed a (fairly) straight stitch all the way down the length of each panel.  Then I repeated this with the other sides.

Next I did the top and bottom pockets.  Starting with the top end, I folded over 1/2″ to the wrong side of the fabric and pressed then folded over another 3″ and pressed.  I pinned this down too every few inches.

Then I sewed a straight stitch along the inner fold where I pinned, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end to secure it all in place.  When I was finished, the pocket looked like this.

Here’s a close up of the corner where I backstitched over the side seam.

Then it was time to hang them up. I took some photos last night right after we hung them so excuse the lighting.

How’s that for some oomph?  Notice, after all of my work, they’re STILL not perfectly straight..the ends of the bottom turn up a little.  No idea where I went wrong, but you know what?  I can live with it :).  Also, the slight sag in the middle of the sheer curtain rod is due to the dogs sometimes stepping on the curtain when they look out the window.  We’ll be screwing that rod into the top of the window frame so it doesn’t sag anymore.

Here are the curtains during the day.

I love how that side of the room has such a big pop of color now.  Our next living room project is to paint the fireplace (again ha) to match the trim color which is Behr Ivory Mist.  The fireplace being a neutral color will give me more room to add more pops of color to the space and to the mantle.

I’m sort of super in love with them.

Turned up bottoms and all :).



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fabric covered lamp shade and my new orleans bachelorette

What do you think of this spray painted thrift store lamp base and Bettina fabric covered shade that I did for my office?

Do you love it as much as I do?  To read about how I did it, please hop on over to Tiffany’s awesomely creative blog Living Savvy where I am guest posting today as part of her Spray Painter’s Anonymous series.

In other news, I’ve spent this week nursing a cold that I caught at the tale end of my bachelorette party in New Orleans last weekend.  It was well worth it, and I had an amazing time with my bridesmaids…but let me tell you…as I near my 30th birthday it’s painfully apparent that I’m getting too old for three day benders!  I’d love to hit up New Orleans again, but maybe with less drinking next time :).

We rented a condo in the French Quarter right off of Bourbon street, and I HIGHLY recommend it.  It was much cheaper for our group of 6 than staying in a hotel plus we had an awesome balcony, beautiful digs and all of the amenities that come with a hotel combined with the comforts of home.  It was perfect!

My bridesmaids came up with a couple of games to keep me on my toes.  They had Devin answer a bunch of questions about me prior to the trip (sneaky!) and I had to guess how he answered them.  If I got it right, they all took a shot…if I got it wrong, I took a shot.  I still came out winning in the end, but let’s just say I drank more than I expected to :).  The second game was to find other people named Devin in New Orleans.  1 point if it was a girl, 2 points if it was a guy, 3 points if it was spelled the same way with an “i” and 4 points if it was a “hot” Devin.  Wouldn’t you know, the doorman at Pat O’Briens our first night out was named Devin…AND he even let me keep his name tag!  Best souvenir ever…and I won that game 🙂

Add to that a great jazz show at Preservation Hall, private walking tour of the quarter, a rum distillery tour, shopping in the French Market, taking the streetcar to the Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery….

…mix in some adult beverages at Pat O’Brien’s, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, French 75 and Coquette

…plus dancing and all around revelry on Bourbon Street and Frenchman Street

…and THEN top it off with all of the delicious food we ate at Cafe Du Monde, NOLA, Johnny’s Po-Boys and Cochon among others…

…and you get a pretty amazing weekend with the best Maid of Honor (my sister) and bridesmaids a bride could ever ask for.

I’ll leave it to Instagram to sum it up in photos for y’all :).

dog silhouette art and an ode to my pups

I haven’t talked much about my dogs yet on this blog, which is surprising to me since I talk about them to basically everyone else in the universe.  I love them to bits and pieces, and we rarely go anywhere without them.  Thankfully the bay area is a very dog friendly place…in fact I heard somewhere that it is one of the most dog friendly areas in the country.  Dog parks, off leash beaches and dog friendly trails abound.

This is Strider, our five year old black lab.

He’s pretty much the handsomest, gentlest, most loving and awesomest dog in the known universe.

Maybe I’m a little biased in saying that, but so does everyone else who meets him.  I adopted him when he was four months old, and he’s been at my side ever since.

I joke with Devin that he fell in love with my dog before he fell in love with me.  (But it’s true.)

Who can blame him?

Last year we decided that Strider needed some company.  (Though if you ask him, Strider may or may not disagree with that fact.)

So that’s when we brought home Echo, our now one year old chocolate lab.  This was the day we brought her home.

I KNOW.  Those sad puppy eyes.  They slayed me.  And THIS…

…and THIS…

Don’t let these cute puppy photos fool you though.  She’s a wild child.  This girl is full of sass and personality and she pretty much drove us batshit crazy her first few months with us.  Just ask Strider.  He pretends sometimes like he can’t stand the sight of her, but secretly, I know he loves her.

She’s come to fit into our little family just perfectly, and I can’t imagine life without her.  She LOOOOVES her big brother and tries to be just like him.

I call her his “mini me.”

This is Echo now at over a year old.

Have you had enough of the dog pictures yet?  Because I have thousands more!  Just ask!  Haha…

Anyway, all of this preface is to say, our dogs are a big part of our lives.  I’ve been slowly gathering bits and pieces for the office redux, but have yet to settle on any art for the walls.  I decided that the dogs needed to be represented in the new office, so this past weekend I created some silhouettes of them.


  • Canvas (I used 12″ x 12″)
  • Contact paper
  • Profile photo of subject
  • Acrylic paint (I used Americana Deep Midnight Blue and Titanium White)
  • Foam brush
  • Fine paint brush for touch ups
  • Scissors
  • Pen/pencil

The hardest part of this project was getting good profile shots of the dogs.  Correction…getting a good profile shot of Echo.  Strider was easy, like he always is.  “What ma?  You need a profile pic?  Okay how about this?”

Echo on the other hand gets spazzy the minute I grab the camera.  Which is why you may have noticed that in almost all of her photos, she’s asleep.  Ha.

I finally got it by yelling out “Echo look!  What’s that?!” and pointing out the front window.  She probably thought it was a visitor or a cat or something so she went all on the alert.

A little mean, I know…but I gave her a treat afterwards :).  (Also please divert your eyes away from the tangled mess of cables behind her.  We need to take some zip ties to them.)

The first thing I did was to paint my canvases with the background color.  This is the color that you want your silhouette to be.  I did one white and one in dark blue.  I found that squirting some paint directly onto the canvas and spreading it out with a foam brush worked fine for me.  (Hey, I never said I was a professional painter!)

While the canvases were drying, I resized the photos in Photoshop to fit my 12″ x 12″ canvases, printed them up, then carefully cut them out.

Next I turned the cutout face down onto the back of my contact paper and traced around it.

After cutting the silhouette out, I peeled the backing off and positioned it onto my canvas, pressing outward firmly to flatten out any bubbles.

Then I painted over the whole canvas with my top color starting from on top of the cutout and working my way out to the canvas.

I let the first coat dry, then put another coat on for good measure.

Next, I carefully peeled the contact paper off, pulling straight up from the canvas.

It looks pretty good, but the edges were a little rough, so I went in with a fine tipped brush to touch it up.

I repeated the same steps with Echo’s silhouette in opposing colors, and voila!

I think I may touch up around the edges of Strider’s canvas with more blue, but overall I’m happy with the result and I think they’ll add a nice touch to the new office :).

I’ll wrap up with one more gratuitous dog shot for good measure.



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DIY board and batten shutters

The repainting of our house exterior is almost done…just need to finish painting the garage and front doors and update the hardware for the front door, and I’ll be ready to share it!  Devin and I spent this past weekend making new board and batten shutters for the front window to replace our old, sad looking louvered ones.

It was a fairly simple project, though in hindsight there is one thing we would have changed which I’ll note later in this post.  I based the measurements off of our old shutters, though if you don’t have those to reference, ideally the height should be the same as the height of your window (including the frame) and the width of each shutter should be half the width of the window.

Our old shutters measured 21 1/4″ wide x 55 1/4″ tall, though we ended up going with shutters that were slightly narrower than the old ones.  I wanted each shutter to have five boards across, spaced out just enough to see the definition between the boards.  Knowing this, I calculated that we’d need five 1″ x 4″ x 10″ boards, each cut down to two 1″ x 4″ x 55 1/4″ (with excess) for a total of 10 vertical boards.  Then for the cross boards, we needed  one 1″ x 3″ x 8′ board cut down to four 1″ x 3″ x 24″ for a total of 4 cross boards with room to trim down once we had the final width decided (pending the spacing).

Supplies Purchased

  • Five 1″ x 4″ x 10′ redwood boards
  • One 1″ x 3″ x 8′ redwood board
  • 1 1/4″ wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • 2 1/2″ wood screws
  • Anchors
  • Exterior wood putty / spackle
  • Paint

Tools Used

  • Measuring tape/pencil
  • Putty knife
  • Caulking gun
  • Masonry bit
  • Drill
  • Impact driver
  • Miter Saw
  • Clamps

We had Home Depot cut the boards down for us since they do it for free, and we don’t have much room in the garage right now to set up a big workspace due to the renovation going on in there.  Plus, you should know by now about me and shortcuts :).

First we primed and painted all of the boards on all sides.  We decided to paint them all before assembly since it would be hard to paint the spaces between the boards once they were all screwed together.  We also purposely decided that we wanted to use the rough side of the boards for the front of the shutters to give them a slightly rustic look.

The paint color is Myth by Behr in exterior semi-gloss.  It’s the same color that we painted the front door, and I LOVE it to bits and pieces.

Originally we tried to use paint sticks to keep the spaces even between the boards, but these little cork things worked better.  I have no idea what they’re for, but Devin had them on hand.

So we laid out the boards five across with a spacer on both ends.

Then Devin clamped the boards together nice and snug.

For the cross boards, we decided to place them 8″ from the top and bottom, so Devin marked off where they needed to go, then cut the cross boards down to the correct width using his miter saw.

Next we put glue on the back of the first cross board, then while I held it in place Devin started screwing the cross board into the vertical boards, two screws for each board.

It wasn’t until after we were already halfway done with the first shutter that we realized we could’ve just screwed from the BACK of the vertical boards into the crossboard, thus eliminating the need to fill the screw holes.  Ah well…now I know…for the NEXT time we make shutters, whenever that is ha.

Once all of the shutters were assembled, we removed our spacers, then filled the screw holes with spackle and let it dry.  Once the spackle was dry, we painted over the spackled spots and touched up everywhere else.

Then it was time to hang them.  I won’t lie.  Hanging them wasn’t my favorite part…and it’s definitely a two person job (hence no photos of this phase).

First, Devin drilled pilot holes into the four corners of the shutter.  Then with me holding the shutter up in place, Devin stood on a ladder and used a masonry bit to drill through each pilot hole and predrill into the stucco.

Next, he tapped anchors into the four predrilled holes.  Then I held up the shutter again, lining up the pilot holes to the anchors while he screwed the shutter in place.

Good times people, good times.  HOWEVER.  The end result was well worth it.  We still have to fill the holes in the four corners, but they’re looking good.

I love the natural imperfections in the wood. (Please excuse the large plant with the flower stalk in the way.)

We both agree that they’re a vast improvement over the old shutters.

Stay tuned to see the rest of the exterior, hopefully later this week!

*UPDATE:  You can see the rest of the painted house exterior here. *



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