Friday, April 18

Living Room Sconces

I have been soooo excited to share this project with you! Last Saturday, I was strolling through our Habitat ReStore and saw these old brass porch lights, priced at just $4 each. I knew right away what I wanted to do with them.

I removed the glass, cleaned them up and removed the wiring. Then they got coats of spray paint.I found some broken down pallets at my Dad's so I brought them home and used the miter saw to cut pieces for my plaque. Then I used wood screws and attached them together. I made 2 plaques. This is the back view so you can see the support pieces.

I then attached the hanging mechanism. I found these at Lowe's and knew they'd be perfect.

I attached the light fixture to my pallet boards, had my hubby put in drywall anchors and the wall part of the hanger and added some glass beads and a small pillar candle. And the end result....

Um, can I just say how much I love these? Seriously! They couldn't have been easier or more inexpensive to add such impact to my living room! I made 2, one to flank either side of our large window.

Pallet wood- Free
Light fixture- $8
Glass marbles- $2
Candles- $2 
Spray paint- $4 (1 can)
Hanging hardware- $4

Total Cost: $20...and I still have spray paint left! :)

I am so proud of how they turned out and the fact that I built them myself! I'm more confident now to try my hand at some other woodworking projects. What about you? Are you a building aficionado or do power tools send you into hiding?

Monday, April 14

Tuscan Pasta Salad

In 2008, I spent a month in Tuscany. Our group stayed at a fantastic villa and the live-in chef made lunch for us everyday. At least once or twice a week, she would make a huge bowl of this delicious cold pasta and we'd have it alongside artisan bread and fresh fruit. It quickly became one of my favorite dishes.

The amounts of ingredients can be changed to suit your tastes and the amount of salad needed. This is completely an eyeballing and taste-testing type recipe. ;) And a secret...I don't even like green olives! But you can NOT leave them out. The brine-y saltiness is just what this pasta needs.

Pasta of your choice (I've used elbows, shells, spirals, etc. Don't use spaghetti-type noodles though.)
Black Olives, drained
Green Olives, drained but reserve brine
Tomatoes, chopped (or whole grape tomatoes)
Boiled eggs, chopped
Canned tuna fish, drained
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt and Fresh cracked black pepper

Cook pasta just until al dente and immediately rinse in cold water until cool. Drain well and place in large bowl. Add olives, tomatoes, eggs and tuna fish. Stir to combine ingredients. Drizzle with EVOO, some green olive brine and salt and pepper and stir to coat. Salad should be wet, but not soggy. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.

It's delicious the day you make it, but once it sits in the refrigerator for several hours, it's even better! You might need to add some more EVOO at that point. Just try it and see how it tastes.

 Buon appetito!

Friday, April 11

Easy DIY Outdoor Pillows

Have you seen the price of outdoor pillows lately? Yikes! Talk about a budget buster! We have major renovations going on elsewhere and I wanted to keep my spring decor thrifty, so I'm excited to share this project with you today!

All I used to create these cute little pillows was an old sleeping pillow (seriously pathetic, isn't it? Squished, uncomfortable,'s perfect for this project!) I found a yard of fabric in my craft stash to use. I made envelope closure pillows using this tutorial, the same one I shared earlier this week. I love it because it's so fast and easy! (Seriously, it's just 4 straight can do it!) I cut the pillow in half, fluffed the stuffing and filled my covers. 

And now for the secret weapon:

Did you know they make this product? I didn't either, until I saw it at Joann's. Two cans for $4.97? What a steal! I gave the pillows a quick spray and they were ready for the porch! Use in a well ventilated's stinky when wet, but dries quickly. It also doesn't change the look of the fabric at all!

In less than 30 minutes, I had two custom pillows for our front porch and it cost me much less than buying new. Give it a try and add some fun to your porch or patio!

Thursday, April 10

Outdoor Rug: Re-Imagined!

I found this woven rug at a yard sale last summer. I think I spent $2 on it and it was brand new, still in the package! After 3 seasons being outdoors on our porch, it was looking ratty!

I still had half-full cans of spray paint leftover from our children's garden projects, so I grabbed those, some painter's tape and got to work!

Since I only had half of each color, I couldn't get perfect coverage, but I think it's fine for an outdoor rug. It adds a pop of color to our porch and if it survives even one more season, it'll be worth the little bit of work to spruce it up!

Wednesday, April 9

New Living Room Pillows

Have you priced throw pillows lately? Seriously, they will break the bank, if you aren't careful! I had been searching Etsy for some, but $30+ per cover, PLUS the insert? That moolah adds up quick! 

Luckily, I learned from The Happy Housie how to make super easy envelope pillow covers. The throw pillows I covered were just $1 each from a yard sale and I found the fabric on sale at Joanns. So, about $10 later, I have 3 new pillows adding fun and color to our living room, just in time for spring!