How To Make A Fountain From A Garden Statue

April 21, 2015

My decorating mantra has always been, surround yourself with things you love and you will always love your decor. I employ that philosopy both inside my home and out. After all, the garden is just an extension of your living space and it should be decorated in such a way that you will enjoy spending time outdoors, just as much as in.

When we began furnishing our yard we knew that we wanted to include a pond. There's nothing like the sound of running water and wildlife to add a little zen. We always have colorful fish and a few bullfrogs who sing to us in the evening. Birds are also fond of the water, they come to bathe and drink and occasionally we find a turtle milling about.

I am not sure if the animals would be so eager to settle in if the water was still. The movement is enticing and keeps the mosquitoes at bay.

For that running water feature, we toyed with the idea of a waterfall and looked at a few prefab fountains, but they can be very, very expensive. Then we remembered our frog lawn ornament and knew it would make an awesome spitter.

The frog belonged to my husband's grandmother. When she passed, he rescued it from her yard. It sat relatively camoflauged in the garden of our first home for seven years. In our new house, we wanted to feature it more prominently.

Mission accomplished.

It was a very easy DIY. My husband simply donned his goggles and used a masonry bit to drill a hole in the mouth of the frog. He then flipped it over and drilled a hole in the bottom. He was aiming to go straight through the cement from bottom to top, but he got lucky and found that the frog was hollow about 4 inches up.

He turned it over again and drilled the mouth a little more until he reached the hollow area. If the piece had not been hollowed out when cast, he would've just kept drilling until he was through. Of course, he drilled very carefully and as I stated earlier, he used the proper bit, so he wouldn't crack the frog.

Our little guy streams water out in a gentle flow, however a small
crimp in the tube is all it would take the change the spray pattern

He then inserted a hollow tube through the bottom of the frog and snaked it out through the newly created opening at the mouth. The tube is connected to a pump that sits on the bottom of the pond. It goes on and off with a timer. At 10am every morning that frog fountain comes alive and shuts off automatically at 7pm. We can override the timer with a quick flick of a switch if we are going to be outside in the evening.

Look closely and you can see the black cord from the pump that sends water through the tube. It was an inexpensive pump and it's been doing a great job for about ten years now.

Our fountain is a sentimental piece. Yours doesn't have to be. I have seen cement ornaments for sale everywhere, including yard and tag sales.  Some of the newer statues are made of resin. With the proper bit, I am told you can drill through that too, although we have never attempted it.

Not into the whole DIY thing? That's ok, there are tons of fountains for sale out there, too.

It really doesn't matter if it's handmade or store bought.

It's all about what you love.

Do you love the sound of water?

Exquisitely Unremarkable ~ Addicted to Instagram

April 14, 2015

I am really not one for social media. I have stated before that until I started writing my Exquisitely Unremarkable articles, I did not have an internet presence whatsoever. Of course, the powers at be all said that I needed to get on Twitter and Facebook and Google+ immediately and so I did, albeit reluctantly.

I jumped in head first, posted, shared, liked and tweeted, but it clearly was not for me. While I am still there, I have to say that I don't share much or interact on those sites very often. I may add a link to my latest post, but I figure that unless I have something really amazing to say that's going to be adding some great value to the conversation at large, why bother?

I stick to sharing here and that's really just about as social as I want to be.

However recently, I have fallen head over heels for Instagram. It is very similar to Pinterest, my other love, with all those stunning shots. I am an extremely visual person,  I love taking photographs and looking at gorgeous images, so it's a perfect fit. 

I started out with an account to monitor what my kids were up to, but pretty soon, I found my own fun, posting photos like the black and white one above. I find that I have greater freedom on Instagram when it comes to what I share. They are mostly photos that I would really have no reason to post here on my site. For example, I took that shot of the  pillows stacked on a chair in my bedroom, because I liked the way the light was streaming into the room that morning. There is no tutorial and I am not giving you any decor advice, so there is no point to share it here.  

Yet on Instagram, my pillows become art. There's no need for explanations or reasons to post, unless I want to. I can just snap away and share. It's a fabulous creative outlet and I am smitten.

I love looking at other people's photos, as well. I follow a few fellow bloggers along with people who do not blog. It's like flipping through a lovely magazine, each page filled with the most interesting and inspiring pictures. It's right up my alley.

What I love most is that my feed is totally customizable. Last week, I wrote about the lack of color in many of today's home decor magazines. On Instagram, I can search for colorful rooms and find them in a jiffy. My entire feed is whatever I make it.  

I have to be honest though, I do not follow a lot of people. I am very picky about what I want to see.  I don't play the follow for a follow game on any social media platform and Instagram is no exception. I like to watch flowers, beach scenes and fabulously styled home decor go by. I crave pithy saying and interesting quotes. I giggle at delicious babies and cute furry faces and I am awed by nature in all its glory.

If you share any of those things, I would love to check out your profile. Leave it in the comments and I will pop by for a peek. 

If you would like to see what I am posting, you can check out my profile at

After all, I may not be very social, but every girl needs a few friends...and if you come bearing pretty pictures, even better!

Are you on Instagram? 

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Light, Bright and All White ~ Or Not?

April 7, 2015

Pinterest ~ A kitchen I adore. 
It's no secret that I love color and bold pattern. I have tried the all white look and it just does not suit me. I adore white, light and airy, but, for me, personally, there needs to be some sort of anchor in the room to make the white pop.

In my kitchen, the cabinets are offset by a bright red wall and rich pine accents.

In my bedroom, the white bridal bedding and whispy white drapes are framed by green walls.

In my bathroom, the white subway tiles set the scene for any number of lovely accents. This month, they are blue!

Obviously, I am a color girl. I feel as if today, it is not a popular decorating choice. Every magazine I pick up features all white homes and the catalogs in my box are whitewashed, as well.

Is my home dated? Does my floral couch yell that I am not keeping up with trends?

Is my home out of style and more importantly, does it matter?

It doesn't matter to me. I need that pop to make me a happy girl in my home, but how about you?
I have always wondered how many people really decorate their homes based upon the current trends in home fashion. Does what the catalogs or magazines choose to write about and show make any difference in your actual buying or home decor decisions?

Do you follow trends?

Is color your thing?

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I'm In The Spotlight!

April 4, 2015

Hello and Happy Spring Holidays to all!

Today, I am stepping out from behind my tulips for just a little bit in a guest post at Junk Chic Cottage. I am being featured in Kris' Saturday Spotlight series and I am just thrilled!

Kris is truly one of the loveliest ladies I have met during my blogging journey. She is super kind and a fabulous decorator to boot. Her unique cottage style and creativity are truly inspiring and I look forward to every post.

If you have a chance pop by and check our her really cool dishwasher cover while you're there. It really is amazing!

Hippity, Hoppity! 

Paper Napkin Easter Eggs ~ Not For Me

March 31, 2015

So I really don't do that much decorating for Easter. I try to put something pretty on my front door and pepper a few bunnies about, but other than that, eh, I usually don't get around to it.

Last year, motivated by all the creativity I see on online, I made a sweet carrot garland and this year, this week actually, I whipped up another super easy banner for my hood. I was so pleased with it, I decided to raise the bar just a little bit higher and try some of those pretty napkin Easter eggs that have been featured everywhere lately.

I figured, how hard could they be?  Well, let me tell you...too hard for me, that's for sure.

No, let me correct myself. They were not too hard, just way too labor intensive and time consuming for this hit and run craft girl.

This was my experience.

I started with a few paper mache eggs from the craft store. It meant that I wasn't going to be able to cut the flowers out individually and add them to my brown egg for that sweet dainty look I adore, but I wanted decorative eggs with staying power and I was not blowing out any yolks, so I went with faux...they were on sale, too, less than a dollar a pack.

I picked up two packages of pretty napkins from the clearance aisle, as well.

I was going to use decoupage paste/ gel, but I don't always like the smell. Several websites suggested using an egg white as your medium, so I went with that.

It all started out rather well. I just brushed the egg white onto the egg, tore some paper strips from the napkin and went over the top with more egg white. So far, the process was very uneventful.

Ok, now before we continue I would like to point something out here. Do you see the white cuff? I am wearing my coat. Yes, that is my jacket. When I say that I like projects that are super quick and easy, I am not kidding. You see, I craft when I can...very little bits of time, in between carpooling kids to and fro, running errands, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc. This is how I really, truly work. If I can't accomplish it in a jiffy, it's not happening.

Ok, moving on...

I covered about half the egg with paper and then set it in the egg carton to dry and started on another egg. Again, so far, so good. I made three of the flowered pattern and then moved on to the polka dot napkins. Here's where the trouble began.

The floral napkins were single ply, sturdy and easy to work with. The red napkins were two ply. If I tried to work with both, the top layer slipped. When I removed the bottom layer, the napkin tore when I tried to paste it on the egg, it was too thin. Also, when I tore the red napkin, it had white edges that looked terrible.

I was getting frustrated and thought, ok, I will just make them all floral. Well, as they started to dry, the napkin started to peel away. I got out a hairdryer to speed the process and secure the paper with my fingers. That was ok, until some of the napkin starting coming off in my hand. Then I started wondering about the egg whites. Will it keep the paper on forever? Is someone or something going to try to snack on it over the summer when they're stored away? Will it mold?

Ugh. I don't like unanswered questions, so I got out my washable school glue and started painting a layer on the eggs ~  y'know, in case.

Well, that was a very messy process. Again, I brought out the hairdryer and started to dry the eggs. The paper was bubbling, my fingers were sticky and I really didn't want a bunch of uniform eggs. I like diversity. It adds interest, all one pattern is boring.

By this time, I was so frustrated with the idea of decoupaging anything else, that I grabbed two of my craft paints and another foam brush.

In a few super short minutes, I had a bunch of painted eggs. They were bright, dry and best of all, done. I admit it, when it comes to crafts, I am a product girl. I do not enjoy the actual doing phase, I much prefer the idea brainstorming phase and the admiring it when it's completed phase.

Which is exactly where we are now...

...and I couldn't be happier.

Especially since now I have my dinner and dessert napkins for Easter brunch; that's one less errand to run.

And yes. I am still wearing my coat.

More Easter inspiration~

Yarn Critters

Tulle Garland
Yarn Carrot Garland

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Easy Easter Garland Banner

March 28, 2015

It's official. I have become a banner junkie.

It all started last February when I whipped up a Valentine Love Garland from leftover puzzle pieces. It was so pretty and looked so great in my kitchen that when I took it down, it felt like something was missing.

When this Valentine's Day came along, I was so excited to have a reason to adorn my hood again that I got very busy, very quickly. Since I wasn't looking for anything complicated or expensive, my Valentine Note Card Banner was the perfect fit.

Well last week, I finally took it down and once again, my kitchen looked a little empty, especially since the view outside my window still screams winter instead of spring. I decided to make another banner to add a pop of festive color!

I didn't want to spend any money or go shopping, so I looked in my craft bin to see what was lurking inside. Lucky me, I had a bunch of stuff to make a quick banner.

I started with the envelopes that were leftover from the Valentine Note Card Banner ~ nothing goes to waste around here. They are a great tan color, very burlap in tone.

Next, I grabbed some orange and green yarn from my stash and my glue gun. My glue gun is seriously my crafting best friend. 

I started by mocking up a yarn carrot. I snipped yarn in various sizes to create a triangle shape. When I was satisfied with my art, I grabbed the glue gun and made a carrot shape on my paper. Just make sure that when you start working with your envelope it is positioned so the flap opens on top, otherwise it will be hard to string up later.

Hot glue dries very quickly on paper, so I had to be pretty speedy when I dropped my pre-cut pieces of yarn in place.  Once completed, I realized that I wanted it to look a bit more three dimensional, so I added a few random stands on top in odd directions to give the carrot a more rounded appearance. When that was complete and I was satisfied, I added a few green strands to the top. 

I made three carrots to use in my banner.

Time to move on to the bunny!

I picked up the scissors and cut a bunny shape out of a 5 x 7 index card. I liked what I came up with, so I traced it on another card, as I needed two. It is a very basic shape. I included a photo of my cutout below, in case you would like to use it.

I glued the bunnies to the envelopes and added a small yarn tail with hot glue ~ best friends, remember? 

Lastly, I glued each envelope shut around a long strand of orange ribbon. I added the yellow ribbon as an accent. I needed a bit more color to really make it pop. I didn't affix the yellow ribbon to anything. It is just lightly draped over the cards. 

That's it! The banner honestly took me about 20 minutes from conception to completion and now my kitchen is freshly adorned...again!

I absolutely love it. It was super easy to do, completely free as I shopped my own craft bin and super easy to construct! 

It's Exquisitely Unremarkable.

Can believe it's not red? 

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Creating Charm With Fabric

March 24, 2015

This is my office space. The area was created using the same cabinets and formica chosen for the attached kitchen. While it's great for continuity, it's not so great when trying to create a cozy farmhouse cottage nook to work in. Stock pieces and laminate countertops do not scream country charm.

What's a girl to do? Well, this girl adds fabric when she needs to warm up a space. Fabric has the most wonderful transformational qualities. It softens hard edges, adds whimsy, personality and color in a way that nothing else can...and, let's face it, it's pretty.

When we renovated this space, a bit over ten years ago, I added fabric to the glass doors over the desk to warm up the area. The fabric addition gave the cabinets more of custom furniture feel. It was fall when I conquered, and I use that term very loosely, this project the first time, so I went with a dark print.

Now it is spring and like I said, I've been living with that fabric for a long time. I felt that it was time to lighten things up a bit and the process is so easy and inexpensive, why not?

Much better, don't you think? 

I have posted the how to on this project two other times, but in case you missed it, here it is again.

It was super easy. I started by measuring my cabinet doors and buying enough velcro type sticky tape to line the cabinets on top and bottom. It doesn't matter which side you stick to the cabinet. 

If you are a little short and have to piece it together, that's fine. No one is ever going to see it and it will stick just the same. When your door is lined and both velcro pieces are stuck together on the door, remove the protective tape, exposing the "sticky".

Next, cut your fabric to one and a half times the width of the glass area. You will need the extra width to gather the fabric, so it looks shirred when you close the door. When cutting the length, make sure to add a few inches to the top and bottom so you have enough fabric to reach your velcro. I can't give an exact measurement, because it all depends on your particular cabinet and your velcro placement.

Now the tricky part ~ just kidding ~ there is no tricky part here. It's all easy. Just grab your fabric and stick it to the velcro sticky tape. I start at the top, gathering fabric as I go to create pleats. When done, I move to the bottom and do the same. I close the door a lot during this process to see how it looks from the outside and reposition it if necessary. The velcro is very sticky and very forgiving. You can move it around several times, no problem.

It took me about twenty minutes start to finish to change the fabric out completely. The transformation is quite dramatic. The desk area feels cleaner, brighter and more enticing now.

The flowers my husband brought yesterday look great here, too. I alway keep flowers and fruit on my desk and it's always this clean and paper free. 

Of course, if you believe that, I've got a bridge and some real estate I'd like to discuss with you.

You've got my email.

If you would like to see a more detailed tutorial you can check out this post.

If you would like to see some other ways I have used fabric around the house you can look here...

or here...

or here!

Chair slipcover

Obviously, I have a problem with fabric!

How about you? Are you a fabric junkie?

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