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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Painted kitchen window

If you can't replace it, paint it!
This has become my motto...well, one of them anyway! :)
When we first moved into our fixer-upper home eight years ago, we immediately brought out the paint brushes. As many of you know, paint is truly one of the most affordable ways to update an old, neglected home, second only to a complete scrubbing! :) I have come to believe that there is very little that cannot be painted! Walls, floors, fireplaces, windows...yes, windows. Think very ugly, old aluminum windows.
Windows like this:

This was our sad garden window, last fall. We realized we weren't going to be able to replace it as soon as we'd hoped.

As you can see, I was in the process of putting the bead board up, and I knew with all of that painted white, that dark window frame would stick out like a sore thumb!

See what I mean? It was driving me crazy! BUT...when my husband half-jokingly suggested I paint it, I gave it some serious thought...and decided why not? I had never heard of doing it before, but that didn't mean it couldn't be done successfully, right? At least, that's what I hoped...
So I started with the bottom "shelf" of the garden window, figuring it it started going badly, I could stop with that and it wouldn't look too strange! :) I primed it twice and painted it, and all went well. So I taped around the window frame so I wouldn't get paint on the glass, and primed and painted until it looked like this...

I was pleased with the results, after all was said and done!
Now, a few weeks ago, I noticed there were some spots on the window that I needed to touch up. And one thing led to another, and I kind of ended up touching up the whole thing...
{But if you are thinking of trying this, don't worry, you won't have to repaint it every year! That is just me being a total perfectionist!}

{In this picture, versus the previous one, you can see the window and cabinets are trimmed out now.}

But now I am DONE. For real. And to celebrate, I even sewed a curtain valance!
And it turned out almost how I'd imagined. I didn't want a seam on the bottom, but I couldn't figure out a way to avoid it, so there it is. And this I am not touching up! ;)

{The ribbons are easy enough to remove if I want a different color at some point.}

Now I am almost done with this project...this one I have had half done since January! (This is a picture from then.)

I hope to show you the "after" picture next week! I think it's a success, but this was much more tricky than the window, so I am going to breathe a sigh of relief when it's done!
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful day and a great weekend!


Linking to the following blog parties:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Autumn Giveaway WINNER!!!

First of all, thank you to all who entered our giveaway! :)

And we have a winner!

to Before the Dawn,
who left winning number comment #19
I am a follower :D
September 14, 2010 11:29 AM

Be sure to email us with your address and we will get your package off to you! :)

And thanks again to everyone who participated! :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall In Focus

 I've always loved photography.  Loved it!  Photography is a hobby of mine.  I pretty much take my camera everywhere I go.  Especially on nature walks, which just so happened to be what my sons and I were taking when these photos were taken.  This particular walk was a bug safari.  I guess all the bugs were taking a nap or something because we were only able to see a slug, a moth and spiders...lots of spiders!  Because of the vast amount of spiders seen I would still call the bug safari a success.  However, truth be told we saw more flowers than bugs, but oh well.  

Do you decorate your home with photos?  If so, do you frame your own work?

simply . living . life

Friday, September 17, 2010

In the living room (again)

{Just a little reminder that if you haven't entered our Autumn giveaway, there's still time! Click here for details.}

Getting it organized:

So I hauled out a lot of the decorations and some of the furniture so you could more easily see the room itself. Because the walls were just painted there were no curtains or wall hangings to move, so this wasn't so hard. I finally decided I'm going to keep the "simply white" I painted the walls. I think it's the right color. :)

Warning: I am showing several pictures, to give you an idea of the room's layout. This is the part of the room you have seen so far, in my fireplace post:

And despite the things removed from the mantel, and all of the work ahead to make this fireplace beautiful, believe me when I say this is the best side of the room.

We will now move on to the even less attractive...

( I am working myself up to revealing the most absolutely horrid side of this room.)

This is the table we have: a great deal snagged a garage sale that I primed and painted.

(disclaimer: I threw a canvas drop cloth on top to get a feel for how this fabric/color would work in the room.)

I have plans for a farmhouse table that will look similar to this one in the picture below (minus the red chairs). However, I am probably going to have to make it. The ones I am seeing are so expensive! I am thinking a "plank boards" look for the top of mine would be good, but I love the legs of this table and the contrast of the white with the wood top!

Now taking a deep breath and summoning all fortitude, I add this picture for you to see:

(I'm wincing a little.)

This is the room, as if you are coming in from the back hall, fireplace off to the right. The piano has been claimed and will be off on its way to a new home tomorrow! We will be replacing it with an upright, which will not need so much space, and can push up against the wall. Five out of five of us play the piano, so not having one is really not an option! :)

I am hoping to take it from the way it is now to a little like this:

And below, the picture that makes my heart skip a beat...

I first saw this beautiful picture when Jami at Freckled Laundry showed it in a recent post. I gasped when I saw the floors! This is exactly what I want in the kitchen! (Yes, I am eventually covering up the painted vinyl floor!)

But for the living room, I picture this floor...

There is just something about wide plank floors...
(by the way, do you see the cute little "bin" cupboards in this picture? I think it's love.)

And now you are looking at the most unhappy side of the room. (It's kind of a shock to your system after that last picture, huh?) If there is any furniture I dislike in our home, it would be these bookshelves. BUT...I hope to paint these a soft gray color. I say "hope" because I am still trying to convince my husband that this is a good idea. If I cannot convince him~ or until I can!~ I will either put white linen or bead board wallpaper on the back of the bookshelves. But for now, just imagine them painted! ;)

This is our armoire, a little on the big side. But I got it for a steal last spring, and could see the potential. It is definitely going to be painted a beautiful gray!

I like this lamp shade (found at IKEA) but think I will only use one of these lamp shades. Otherwise, the room might look too modern for my taste!

It has taken me years of us owning this home to figure out what my style is. Ultimately, I discovered it while working on our kitchen this past year. I realized I {love} soft, dreamy whites and grays with pops of color, ever so sparingly. I love the way white makes a room seem so open and spacious, which in a small house, is a very good thing! :)

{Before closing, I want to say thank you to Mari Eriksson for kindly lending me her pictures for this post! Her photography is simply amazing! I have so much enjoyed looking at her website, Mari Eriksson Photography! And she has a blog, An angel at my table,
that is beyond beautiful! When you see it, you will know exactly what I mean! It makes me want to see Sweden for myself!}

But for now, I will just be content to bring a little of Sweden here to my home, in the soft whites and grays I have come to love...

Well, I hope you all have a beautiful weekend, and thanks for stopping by for a visit! :)



Monday, September 13, 2010

Autumn giveaway

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! :)

Well, it is time for another giveaway here at Beautiful Nest! We thought an Autumn theme would be fun! The season brings with it so many fun traditions and holidays! :)

And to help you get into a festive mood, there is nothing quite like a Gooseberry Patch cookbook! They always have the best recipes!

A peek at a few pages from it...

I love how this cookbook not only shares recipes great for fall, but also for the other seasons, too!

Also included in this giveaway are:

A painted pumpkin decoration~

A pumpkin candle~

A bag of "glass" pumpkins and some fall leaves for decorating or crafts~

And just for fun~ a box of dip mix, just perfect for watching football games on TV, and some candy corn, of course!

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment! You do not need to have a blog, just please make sure to leave an email address where we can contact you if you win! :)

Now if you would like extra entries:

For one extra entry, become a follower of this blog...

For another entry, post about this on your blog!

Please leave a comment for each thing you do, so we can make sure your name gets added for each thing! :)

{And if you want the chance to win yet ANOTHER giveaway, I am also holding one over at my other blog, Nest to Keep, starting today also! To check this "Kitchen" themed giveaway out, click here! ~Sparrow}

This giveaway, as well as the one at Nest to Keep, will run until Monday, September 24, 11:59 PST.

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful night!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Chalkboard Pantry Doors

Last summer (2009) I found this picture

at Better Homes and Gardens, while searching for kitchen inspiration pictures. Of course, I must admit to wishing my pantry was as big as this, but it is what it is! It doesn't mean, however, that it has to be either ugly or boring! ;)

(Which it was.)

Here is a "before" picture of our pantry doors. I actually finished the doors last February, and posted on them at my other blog, Nest to Keep. BUT, I learned something important:

If you use green chalk, and then, while trying to clean it off, smear it on the white trim, it makes the trim green. Permanently.

So being the perfectionist I am, I repainted them. So here they are, "take two"!

There is a "grooved" design around the edges of the cabinet, which separated the chalkboard from the "trim" around the outer part, which I painted white. It is really difficult to make a clean, crisp edge between the two colors.

But that's where this came in:

Have you seen these paint pens you can buy?
They saved my life. Practically.

I used the black, medium tipped ones and they were able to make a clean line dividing the chalkboard paint from the white part. (It was a lot harder to do with the doors already hung up. It was a cleaner and crisper line the first time around when I painted them while they were laid flat on a table, but I eventually just had to call it "good enough".)

And then I hid all the green chalk.

Here below is a better picture of the doors, although I don't think it's the best picture of the kitchen itself! You can see all I am still working on, including the crown molding! And our very ugly stove to the left of the pantry...but the good news is my husband is just about to start rewiring our "new" vintage stove we will be installing! (Hopefully this fall, if everything goes well!)

Oh, and yes, I changed my mind about the bead board on the back of the upper cabinets...


I am repainting them white, and I love it so far! It feels so much cleaner and open!

I am linking this to:

Under the Table and Dreaming

Between Naps on the Porch

Domestically Speaking

The Shabby Nest

Tatertots and Jello

Well, that is all for me for now! I sure do hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Thank you for taking the time to stop by!



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Starbucks pumpkin scones

Have you ever tried the pumpkin scones at Starbucks? I didn't even know about them until a couple of years ago, but once I had one for myself, I was done for.

(They are just that heavenly.)

Of course, I immediately googled "pumpkin scones" hoping to find a good recipe! I found this one at (formerly Recipezaar), and it is meant to be an imitation of the Starbucks version, but is way better! In fact, recently I tried one from Starbucks, and was disappointed. It was as hard as a rock! Maybe they were just having an off day...either way, this is the best pumpkin scone recipe!

So this is my wording, but it is the same recipe.

Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

2 cups flour

7 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

6 tablespoon cold butter

1 egg

3 tablespoons half and half

1/2 cup canned pumpkin


1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. powdered sugar

2 tablespoons whole milk

Spiced Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

3 teaspoons powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

pinch cloves

pinch ginger

2 Tbsp. whole milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. and grease baking sheet or cover with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Blend in cold butter with a fork or pastry cutter. In another bowl, whisk egg, half and half,and pumpkin.

Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients and combine, just until mixed.

Put onto lightly floured surface and gently pat into a 10 inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges. (The recipe said to pat it into a rectangle and make six scones, but I prefer 8 less enormous scones!)

Put onto prepared baking sheet, and bake for 10-11 minutes.

After they cool for a bit, frost with glaze with a pastry brush. As that glaze sets, drizzle spiced glaze on top next, if desired. (I only use the first glaze~ just personal preference.) You can use a whisk for this thicker glaze or even a spoon to make glazed "zigzags" over the scones. Wait for at least one hour before eating if using spiced glaze, for the icing to set.

(Recipe submitted by Rachel Snachel.)

Eat and enjoy!

I hope you all are having a great weekend! Thank you so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful night!