Haven Conference :: The Recap

Haven Conference - "Because There's No Place Like Home"

What a great tag line.. and it couldn't be more true.  Haven is a conference that happens once a year, it's held in Atlanta (yay!), and it's for DIY and home decorating bloggers.  It. Is. Awesome.

I had been blogging for almost a year when I first heard about Haven.  I was really still trying to figure out what I even wanted to blog about - I just knew I really enjoyed it!  When I saw there was a conference in my town I was thrilled!  Well, then I realized it was during the same week that my day-job had their summer meeting and I would not be able to attend. womp woooomp.

I missed that first year but I was on the computer the first day that tickets went on sale for Haven 2013, and a few months later my dear friend, Mary Kay, decided to attend too!  Woo Hoo!  I didn't have to traverse uncharted territory alone!  What a relief!

We went and had a blast - we met some awesome bloggers (the very first night!) who live in the Atlanta area.  We could not believe how fortunate we were to meet this group of ladies - we all just happen to be standing next to each other in the line for the bar and started talking!  From left to right above: Jill Perloff - Weathered Pieces, Kim Banta - A Quirky Creative, Melanie Robinson - The Painted Chandelier, Robin Gay - All Things Heart & Home, me, and Mary Kay Thompson - NowWhatNow.

Since that first Haven, we have joined local blogging groups and had some good times with these ladies!  I would have never known them if it wasn't for Haven!  We got more swag than the law allows - seriously, I felt like a bandit!  I learned SO much from the sessions!  (I finally took the time to figure out how to put some ads on my blog, and that was a big deal for me.)  I really wish I had written a post about it last year so I would have something to compare it to this year...  All I can tell you is that I knew I would be back in 2014!

This year Mary Kay and I bought tickets the first day they went on sale (Jan 1!).  We couldn't wait to see our friends again, and meet new ones.  Fast-forward to July 10!  Yay! Now I will just bombard you with pictures - all from my cell phone or someone else's cell phone

Haven 2014 - Thursday evening!



I have lots more pictures, but I'm sure you get the idea!  This conference is so worth it - we went to 3-4 sessions each day, met tons of other bloggers and DIYers, learned a new skill or two, had great food, and (most importantly) laughed our butts off!  I only wish I had taken more pictures (with my camera) and talked to more people.  But there's always next year, right?

Many thanks to the women who put this together every year - click here to see the Haven Mavens and click here to see all of the sponsors (i.e. free swag givers!)   :)

Now, back to doing some projects at home - I hope to get started on my old dining room table make-over..  more to come...


From Boring to Swanky! :: Dining Room Chairs Update

It's feast or famine around here folks.. I think you probably are used to it though, right?  I have so many things I want to write about, tell about, shout about! But the reality is that my life gets in the way sometimes.. ANYway.. I have good stuff to share!

I bought these chairs from the company where I work - they did a big re-decorating thing a couple of years ago and they sold them to me for $5 each.  (You really never know where you'll find your next bargain!) They have been living in my pink dining room..

They reminded me of my red dining room chairs so I thought they would be great companions!  I shared on Instagram about finally starting to work on these dining room chairs back here... then, in late March we painted them. Of course I had to take them apart in the yard... with my Shaw Carpets tool swag from HAVEN Conference!

I roughed them up a bit with some steel wool pads, wiped them down real good, then Hubby primed them with Kilz, then painted them with Rustoleum's Heirloom White.

I went back and forth about painting them a bright white or a more creamy white.. in the end I went with the slightly creamer version of the Heirloom White because it matched the fabric to a T.

Primed on the left, painted on the right

In the picture above the creamy white looks a little yellow-y, but it doesn't read that way in the house.

The fabric is Premier Prints Towers Onyx Natural from Online Fabric Store.  Last year I attended the HAVEN Conference for DIY Bloggers and Online Fabrics Store was a sponsor.  They gifted a yard of fabric and a yard of burlap to EACH attendee!  So generous!  And I'm finally using my gift on my chair seats :)  I just covered right over the old fabric using my hand-held staple gun.

 Old original fabric

When you're covering right over old fabric it is really the easiest thing - the hard part is getting the corners tight.  A friend taught me how to get a nice tight corner.  When you are stapling along the straight edges, staple right up to the corner on either side... (ugh, man hands!!)

Then, gather all of your fabric (and I leave a lot of fabric because you can always cut the excess off later) that is in between those last two staples on either side and pull it tight...

Then I put in three or four (or more if needed) staples over the folds in the material...

When you're finished the corners should be smooth with very little wrinkles.  I didn't like the way one of them looked, so I pulled the staples out and did it again!

I had plenty of fabric and I am seriously in LOVE with how they turned out!  Along with the chairs being finished, I also added a $10 faux sheep skin rug to my piano bench.  I love the warmth it adds to the room, along with that little touch of glamor. 

I am so happy that i finally got these guys finished!  I am looking for some cute red pillows for them, but not having luck finding exactly what I want.  I'm probably going to do some fabric shopping over at Online Fabric Store and just make them myself - that's always more fun anyway :)

One last before and after ~~~

I'm totally in love!  From boring to swanky! Have you ever painted chairs before? Or recovered chair seats?  Do you have special techniques that are tried and true?  Do tell!

Linking up with Thrifty Decor Chic! You have got to check out the great before & afters! And also over at All Things Heart & Home's Twirl & Take a Bow - :)




Happy Memorial Day :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend - we owe so much to so many, and what better way to show our gratitude than to celebrate with friends and family.

I spend the weekend on Hilton Head Island with close friends and we enjoyed every minute of it.  Thank you to all who have served and are serving right now.  God Bless America!


A Little More DIY; But Not Much Writing About It!

ohmygosh where has the time gone? yes, once again i have taken a two three month leave-of-absence from my lovely blog! 

Well, that's okay cause we're just gonna jump right back into it :)  I am kind of ADD when it comes to projects.  I see something I want to do, I start it, then I see something else I want to do, so I stop that other thing and go to the next, and it just goes that way.  I have several things going on and nothing seems to get done very quickly.  Anyone else do that?  Really, it's just me?  Ha, I think not...

So I shared the picture above on Instagram on a lovely Saturday back in April that I had four things I wanted to accomplish that weekend.  THAT was pie-in-the-sky for me, folks.  Four things ain't gonna happen in one weekend.  But, I did get two of those thing finished (one with the help of my sweetest hubby) and felt sooo accomplished!

Like others in the blogasphere I have become crazy about succulents.  When I found this old pottery dish at the thrift store I knew I wanted to fill it with some adorable little plants.  Such a quick little thing to do, and the outcome is so enjoyable - everyone who has walked in my house and seen this little dish just goes nuts!  I love it and hope I do not kill them.

The second project was to upgrade this awesome bohemian light into a real, working light.

I found this at 3 Monkey's Antiques & Auctions, in Blue Ridge, GA.  My best friends and I take a girls' trip up there every spring to hunt for treasures and to just hang out, eat shrimp, and drink alcohol.  This was one of my scores from that trip!  I'm slowly working on Chelsea's room, and she loves that bohemian look - and so do I!  This light will fit right in. (Seriously, I could have several different houses and the decor would all be totally different.)   Hubs and I went to Lowes - he got a socket, some lamp wire, a switch, and a plug and made this thing light up.  He's awesome!  Now we just need to hang it...  we'll see how long that will take...

Love the light! Isn't it so cool??  So I sorta got two things done.. when the lamp is hung then it will really be done.

I've been working on the other two things I mentioned in the picture - recovering the chair seats and a secret project - and will be sharing about those soon too!

Are you ready for summer to be here?  I sure am!  What projects have you been working on?


Sharing on All Things Heart and Home - Twirl and Take a Bow


My Family Gallery Wall

Hey I'm on a roll with blogging! Ha! actually posting once a week - woo hoo!  Today I just want to show you my gallery wall and how it's coming along. 

A couple of years ago I put these two things on the wall in the family room with the intention of adding to it. Well, you know what they say about good intentions :)

Okay, so not bad, but definitely not very exciting either.  I finally started adding to the gallery.  I took some pictures from another spot in the house and moved them over here.. and also took two of hubby's pictures and gave them a bigger frame with a mat, and hung those up.  I bought one white frame and stuck it in there to hold the space. (sorry for the blurry pic)

Now we're on a roll.  This is definitely more interesting and fun.  I had the two bigger pictures of hubby and his kids and one picture of us all to go along with the individual head shots of the kids.  I needed to balance it out and add more of my kids.

About a week later I figured out which pictures to print and frame.  I had a frame I picked up from Ross for about $5, but I didn't like the way you had to hang it.  It had two small holder thingies on the back and I knew it would end up uneven and driving me crazy.  I took some floral wire, which is very easy to bend, and ran it between the two holder thingies so I would be able to hang it on one nail.

I adjusted the wire and twisted it around itself to the length where when I hung it the nail wouldn't show.  MUCH easier to hang now.

I knew I wanted the white frame to be gold, and hold a very special picture, so I spray painted the frame and added a picture of my daughter, her husband, and their sweet little angel.

I am very happy with they way it's coming together.  A lot of people have tutorials on putting together a gallery wall, and they make a lot of sense.  But, I'm an impatient person so I didn't measure anything, I didn't trace my frames on craft paper to make a mock-up wall, I just started hanging.  I'm not saying that's the best way to do it, that's just the way I did it.  Absolutely if you feel you need to plan it more then you should.  As long as you are happy with the results, I think the getting there can be whatever works best for you.. :)

The wall is plenty big enough to add more pictures, but I really like to let it grow naturally.  I do not plan on it being two more years before I add to it this time. I'll be back with an update when I do.

I have another small gallery that I showed here, when I talked about my black doors.  I love them and want one in my master bedroom next!  Do you have any gallery walls in your house? I would love to hear about them!


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