Fireplace Mantel Makeover

I have been dreaming about redoing our fireplace since we purchased our house and my Pinterest page proves it! Originally, I was thinking we were going to have to redo the entire mantel, but after purchasing new dark bamboo floors that we are planning on installing ourselves, I decided the mantel just needed a “pick me up.”

Believe it or not, this entire job cost us around $50.00 to complete. We had all of the tools already, and the stone tile only cost $25.00 at Lowes. All we needed to purchase in addition to that was some cement board and tile adhesive. Without further adieu, here is what we did!

Just so you have a true understanding, here is what this wall and fireplace looked like the day we moved in:

This is what the fireplace wall looked like after we painted the wood paneling white, and added some lovely candle holders from my aunt.

Fireplace Mantel Makeover

Here is where it gets exciting!

1. Removed the old tile. Destruction is always my husbands favorite part. We put down a tarp, and took a pry bar and hammer to the tile to gently remove it. We also removed some glued on wood pieces at the top of the original mantel.

2. Sanded the wood underneath. A clean fresh, start is a must.

3. Cut the cement board to size and attached to the fireplace.

4. Decided on a pattern for the tile. I learned my lesson after renovating the kitchen. Always lay out your tile as a test before actually putting your tile on the wall. This was especially important with this stone. Each individual tile was extremely unique.

5. Applied mastic tile adhesive with a trowel. 

6. Began laying the new tile. This is a two person job, because the tile was so heavy we added temporary finishing nails to the bottom of the tile to support it as it dried.

7. Cleaned up excess adhesive. The adhesive dried quickly, so it was important to make sure it was off of everywhere it was not supposed to be!

8. That is it! Here is the “after” photo! Everyone has their own taste of course, but I think the new tile gives the fireplace a more updated look and matches our kitchen and paint colors more. Because of the variety of colors within the stone, the tile is very versatile. What do you think?

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Craft Day! Living Chandelier

I just love chandeliers! I spotted a turquoise chandelier at a barn sale that had been transformed to hold flowers instead of lights. You can easily make one of these at home by purchasing an old chandelier at a thrift store and removing the electric portion and adding flower pots. Once the pots are attached the chandelier can be spray painted for a uniform look. As mentioned before, my favorite spray paint is Rustoleum.

craft day

Once your spray paint is completely dry you can add your plants. Any plant will do that does well indoors, I chose an ivy. Be sure to use potting soil so the plants receive enough nutrients.

To water your plant, place a few ice cubes in each pot, this way you do not have to worry about making a mess.

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The Franklin Flea Market & The Franklin Fountain

We went to the Franklin Flea Market in Philadelphia this past weekend and found lots of beautiful things not only at the event, but around Philadelphia as well. There was lots of “Positively Glamorous” yellow inspiration all around.

A trip to Philadelphia would not be complete without some delicious food. While at the Franklin Flea Market we enjoyed some food from several food trucks. Patrick had a Shoyu hot dog from Poi dog and I enjoyed a spicy veggie hot dog that hit the spot! We picked up some Saint Lucifer spice that we cannot wait to try on some grilled corn.

The Franklin Flea Market & The Franklin Fountain

After that, it was time for dessert, so we walked up to Philadelphia’s famous ice cream spot, The Franklin Fountain. There was a long line so we had plenty of time to sort through their large menu and select the perfect treat. The Mt. Vesuvius had an excellent reputation among locals so we chose that and their homemade root beer. Boy was it yummy! The old fashioned soda fountain decor really added to the experience. They still use all of the old-school machines to make the treats as well, they aren’t just for decoration!

Speaking of delicious food, when you live near Philadelphia you automatically slowly but surely convert into a foodie…here is an excellent and simple recipe I made last night for dinner. It was time to put some of the Heirloom Tomatoes from our garden to good use! I added a little twist to it with smoked Cheddar instead of mozzarella.  Follow me on Pinterest to see some more yummy yet simple recipes!

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Terrarium Creations and Inspiration

I have an obsession with plants and placing them indoors and I love terrariums! Yesterday I edited some I already had and created a few more. What do you think?

Terrariums are low maintenance, inexpensive and incredibly beautiful. Here are some of my favorite websites on terrarium how to’s and inspiration.

terrariums

1. How to Make a Terrarium-Storm The Castle

2. 3 Ways to Paint_Dip Planters-Vintage Revivals

3. DIY Terrariums with Terrain-Free People Blog

4. Gardening under Glass- SF Gate

5. Five Inspiring (& Easy!) DIY Indoor Gardens-Refinery 29

6. Miniature Garden Tea Party- Lush Little Landscapes

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Meet Annie! Entrepreneur, New Mother and Creator of “KnittedHome”

Every once in a blue moon you are randomly connected to an incredible person by fate. That is what happened when a mutual friend Mark,  introduced me to Annie expressing that we both have similar passions and should definitely connect. (By similar passions, Mark meant we are both creative people. If you put knitting needles in my hand, I honestly would not even know how to hold them!)

Annie loves handcrafts, gardening, film/photography among other things, sells on her Knittedhome on Etsy shop, is a new(er) mother, and…..drum roll for Annie, just launched a brand new, super-amazing website! As you can see she is a very busy lady! Before you head over and shop til’ you drop, get to know Annie a little more and how her dream came to fruition below.

knitted home pot holders

1. How long have you been knitting for?

“I have been knitting for nearly 14 years + crocheting for almost 21 years!”

2. When did you realize knitting was your passion?

“I have loved knitting + crocheting for (honestly) as long as I can remember. I have always loved the ability to be able to make something with my hands from “nothing.” In grade school, I would dream up what I wanted to make for my Beanie Babies (anyone else out there?) and then I would proceed to create it through trial and error crocheting. It was a lot like sculpting; constantly reshaping and rethinking how to construct the finished product.

I started knitting at 14 because I grew bored of crocheting. I knitted tons of scarfs (like most beginners) + only realized after every family member was outfitted with too many scarves that it was time to find a new pattern to master. Knitting felt very intuitive that I almost feel more at ease with knitting needles than a crochet hook. Almost. ;-)”

knittedhome

3. What made you decide to open an etsy shop?

“I realized I wanted to make this passion a “job” when I was in high school and a whopping 80 freshmen peers wanted me to make them a crocheted purse just like mine. I wish I could remember when I heard of Etsy – perhaps from another blogging friend whom I met via sustainable living groups.

The idea that people would actually pay for something I love to make – even itch to spend all my free time doing – and that others were doing this exact dream of mine – was such an epiphany for me! I haven’t been able to stop going forward toward this Crazy Dream since!”

4. Have friends and family been supportive of your shop?

“Nearly all my friends + family are so supportive of my Etsy shop, even if they truly believe I should “just get a real job already.” The best part is when friends share my Facebook Page posts unsolicited or comment on my blog posts. I do a happy dance every time.

I still feel like a fledging shop owner (5 years in!) but I’ve found that owning and being proud of my shop is the best marketing tool to get the word out to my friends + family + their networks through them. If I don’t take my business seriously, why should they?

P.S. If any readers want to start an Etsy shop, they can get 40 free listings when they use this link.

knittedhome pot holders
5. What has been your biggest challenge this far with the shop?

“So far I’d say my biggest challenge has been building my brand. I’m definitely not a designer by any means (interior/graphic) so this has been a struggle from the beginning. But this year I’m focusing on rebranding Knittedhome + creating a cohesive look across all things Knittedhome (from the etsy shop to the show table). I’ve even hired a few friends to lend their talents + know-how to improve Knittedhome and I can’t wait to finally unveil the new look!”

knitted home baby accessories

6. How do you juggle being a new mother and your shop?

“Being a new mom while managing Knittedhome has definitely been an eye opener (what did I do when I was just a stay at home WIFE?) but also an incredible motivator.

With only nap times to truly focus on my business (2-4 hours a day) I have quickly learned the art of scheduling top priorities + minimizing distractions. Each day I ask myself, “what am I going to do today that will create an income?” And I focus at least some time each day on answering this. Whether it is working on my next ePattern, photographing items, promoting my shop or next craft fair or simply crafting a new item for my shop, I focus on one of these tasks before allowing myself to indulge in other areas (i.e. reading my favorite blogs, watching Homesteading videos on YouTube, cleaning out my email subscriptions or watching an episode on Netflix while mindlessly crafting).

I also dedicate at least a few days a week to sit down + focus on email marketing. Which includes composing email newsletter updates, personal outreach for future collaborations, and answering any inquiries I’ve received.

As for the rest of the housework that comes with being a WAHM, so far I try to get most of it done during my daughter’s awake hours (washing dishes after breakfast; folding laundry “together”; swapping laundry loads during nap times; and general small tasks that I can model for my daughter/encourage her participation at her skill level).

And of course there are days when nothing gets accomplished but lots of play + field trips to the zoo or a friend’s house.
It certainly isn’t perfect or a well picked-up home, but we’re making progress and tweaking our systems as we learn.”

7. What has been your most rewarding experience so far?

“So far the most rewarding experience has been participating in + helping to plan the Naturally Crafty Trunk Show earlier this year. I admit I was a bit skeptical that a small (7) collection of home-based businesses hosted in a small home could draw a decent crowd + return on investment – but I was SO amazed + pleased at how wrong I was! In fact, I think our hostess may be on to a new niche market that has long been underserved in our area: the Crunchy Mama!

I’ve always seen the Expensive Art show, the Granny’s Church craft show + bake sale, the Church Rummage sale, and just recently the “Etsy-in-real-life” art show has started on the scene, but the Organic/Naturally Living was surprisingly absent. And I hadn’t even known it was missing until I was approached about joining this amazing collection of women!

Getting to collaborate + meet so many knowledgeable women has definitely been a highlight of my creative career. I’m so excited to continue building on this niche market and see where it takes us.

The Downtown Toledo Art Walks is a pretty close second that I’d also like to mention. I get to set up shop along the sidewalks in the reviving Warehouse district with my family + close friend (who also just started a home business + has been a wonderful supporter + enabler) and meet my customers in person! This is huge compared to guessing everything about them when it comes to selling online. I love the personal connection I get to make with each person who stops by. Even when they don’t make a purchase, I get to know what draws them to my work and connect with them on a different level (new mama/baby wearer/knitter/crocheter/sustainable living fanatic/or a prospective new knit+crochet student). My daughter + hubby are great salesmen and it’s so refreshing to work as a team in short bursts like this. I always pack up feeling refreshed + energized to tackle the world!

Every year I look forward to these once-a-month summer shows and this year I’m finally stretching my comfort zone to add more Art Fairs to the mix. It’s so addicting to meet customers in the flesh. Wish me luck!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to get to meet you + your readers. Please let me know if anyone has any other questions either in the comments or via email knittedhome@gmail.com

I’ve got a lot of exciting exclusive content in the works for my email subscribers. You can sign up here to stay in the loop.”

knittedhome winter collection

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