Uncle Richard–After

uncle richard after

Isn’t he handsome! The camel got a good cleaning, a coat of primer, and a few thin coats of spray paint in Rust-Oleum’s Lagoon.  Then I used a Krylon Gold Leafing Pen to highlight some details.  This camel deserved some 18 Kt. Gold toenails!  While the paint dried, I opened up the green leather saddle with a seam ripper, and traced the old pieces onto some black and white gingham fabric.  I like the mixture of the traditional and sedate fabric with the contemporary teal color of the camel’s body.  I also added some gold trim to the cushion…the first time I’ve ever attempted trim, but only the best for my camel.

After all of this work, the camel deserved a great name, and Uncle Richard was the natural choice.  His home is in the office, but we brought him into the living room to enjoy Christmas festivities…he looked great holding a stack of gifts on his back.  He usually has a stack of books or a cat on his back, but currently he is carrying the child-size accordion we also inherited from Uncle Richard.  They are a match made in heaven.

Here are a few simple instructions and a bunch of pictures of Uncle Richard, notice that I preserved the inscription.  Enjoy!

diy family furniture update

This is what Uncle Richard looks like when he is in my loft office.

office space

And one more look at Uncle Richard before and after.

uncle richard before

uncle richard after

Uncle Richard–Before

camel before

When I started the redo on my loft office, I wanted to be sure that it was full of meaningful things that would both inspire me and make me feel happy.  It needed to be cozy, comfortable, clean, organized, and have a few items that were fun i.e. charming, whimsical, quirky, different.  My mother-in-law had recently given me a camel saddle that she has had for almost 50 years, and I knew that it had to find a home in the loft.  Her brother brought it back from Turkey where he was stationed in the army and it has been in every one of her homes ever since.  I have long admired it, and at some point every one of my girls has ridden on it…and probably every other grandchild as well.  It is definitely one of those pieces of furniture that is full of meaning.

It is the perfect footstool size, but it is modeled after actual camel saddles.  Ebay has lots of similar saddles here.

I’m not sure how valuable my stool actually is, but I love the carved details…

chead before

the gold designs on the green leather…

csaddle1 before


csaddle2 before

and the note from my mother-in-law.

cinscriptionThe wood was in good shape, but needed some cleaning and I thought a fresh coat of paint would help it pop.  The cushion was cracked and in bad shape so it had to go, but I kept the inscription…information for posterity and my mother-in-law’s handwriting are important memorabilia.

I’ll share my change tomorrow.  But first, I would love to hear what you would do to add some style to this handsome guy.  Would you paint, keep the cushion as is, remove the inscription?



DIY Art Update

gibson girlThis really is the simplest project I completed for my loft update.  I purchased this large canvas from Ikea a couple of years ago in the “as is” section for $25.00.   It has been hanging in Riley’s bedroom, but needed a new home after we redid her room a few months ago.  It was similar to these two canvases available at Ikea right now…

audrey hepburncharlie chaplin
Audrey Hepburn & Charlie Chaplin

I initially bought the canvas for a few reasons:  it is big (3 ft. x 3 ft.f), it is square, and I love the artistry and simplicity of these images.  Also, I’m a sucker for anything artsy that depicts girls and/or women.  It was a nice neutral color and looked good on Riley’s deep burgundy bedroom wall, but its new home required an update and a bit of glam.  All three canvases are the same color…light tan background with dark brown image and the background can look a bit dirty.  So I decided to paint the background a bright white and the image a metallic gold.

Such an easy and satisfying project, and in only two steps:

diy easy art update

I’m very happy with the final product.  This beautiful lady smiles down on me every day while I work away in my office loft.

gibson girl 2

My Project Life 365–Week 3

Just in case you’ve missed my Instagram posts for Project Life 365, I thought I would do a weekly roundup for you on the blog.  I love this idea…viewing and sharing your life through photos.  Brilliant!




sign of winter#sign_of_winter

this is so me#this is so me



If you’re interested in following me on Instagram, click here.  For for information on Project Life 365, click here.

DIY Ceiling Fan Update

Do you remember that I mentioned in this post that I had a bunch of upcoming DIY projects to share?  Well, it is time for the sharing to commence!  Before I do, let me just say that I am a DIY junkie.  I could spend all day, every day working on projects.  Painting, sewing, building, crafting, designing, I love it all.  It is my drug of choice!  Nothing leaves me quite as excited or fulfilled as another successful project completed.  But like any addiction I often have to reign things in or I start to neglect the things that really matter to me like people, and food, and sleep.

Also, I get so excited to dive into a project that I forget to take pictures along the way, and there are so many great tutorials out there that most of what I’m doing isn’t anything new.  However, I do like to take something that inspires me and put my own stamp on it.  What that usually means is that I love something, I come up with an idea to incorporate it into my home, and then I find the least expensive way to do it.  Things change all along the way as I find different products or my imagination heads in a different direction.  It is an exhilarating, but sometimes frustrating process that I go through again and again.  I have had lots of failures and a few successes along the way.

My motivation in sharing my projects is to remind all of us (myself especially) that messing up is inevitable, perfection is impossible, and nothing is really ever finished.  But that space between that first idea and the final product is an amazing process that you don’t want to miss.

Okay, done rambling and really ready to share. Today’s DIY Change:  a ceiling fan redo.


For the rest of the project, click on Read More… Continue reading

Changing my Life…one DIY Project at a Time

While I was MIA from the blog, I was spending most of my time creating change all through my home.  I lived in my painting clothes and was either brushing or spraying paint onto something every chance I had.  I even have the stained clothes and acute wrist and thumb pain to prove it!  There were a lot of things going on in my life that I needed to deal with emotionally and throwing myself into creative projects gave me lots of time to both ignore and work through them.  My previous coping mechanism was to lay in bed and brood, but this new approach was so much better.  I was productive (although a bit consumed) and at the end of each day there was something new to admire and another problem sorted through mentally.

The images above are a sneak peak at some of the projects I’ve completed in my loft/office space.  My ultimate goal is to use this space as a library, but right now it has become a very happy and feminine place for me to work.  I love it and almost every project involved repurposing something I already had so most of my expenses came from paint…and time.

I’ll be sharing lots of my projects soon, and some of the lessons I learned along the way.


Ikea Hacks–Chic Chaise + Brassy Table

I loved this design change I saw via White and Gold Design…Ikea MALM bed frame + 2 headboards = a very chic chaise. Original idea and image from House Beautiful, but you should also check out Marianne’s ideas here.  In fact, you should check out her entire beautiful blog.  But be prepared for some house envy because her home is amazing!

Marianne’s own Ikea Hack was recently featured on Little Green Notebook.  Look at the beautiful legs on this table…another design change to love.

All You Need is a Sharpie!

Image via Little Green Notebook

In case you think creating something lovely is too difficult, time consuming, and/or expensive, just thought I would pass along this post from Jenny Komenda where she shares Caitlin Wilson’s design trick.  All it took was a Sharpie and a few minutes.  I love these kind of projects!

The design possibilities are endless…I saw this image today and thought the Sharpie idea would work well on a pillow or a curtain panel.

Image at White and Gold Design

Create in October

We all have our own coping mechanisms for dealing with stress in our lives.  This time around, I’ve been on a creative streak that is bordering a bit on obsessiveness.  Somehow, creating a more beautiful and soothing environment in my home has become my mission and an outlet for me to deal with a situation where I have very little control.  I’m not sure if the added chaos is great for any of us right now, but my creative projects are what get me out of bed in the morning and keep me moving through the day.  So I’m just going with it.

I’m in the midst of four room overhauls, all of which are DIY and consist of lots of changes to stuff I already have and things I’ve found at thrift stores.  Since most of my time and energy are focused on these projects right now, I thought I would go ahead and make October’s change, “Create.”

First up, a room redo for Riley.  When Courtnee got married two years ago, Riley moved into her old room, but requested that we just leave the decor as is.  As Riley works through a difficult time right now, I thought a fresh new room might help so I took everything out of her room, cleaned it good, and started over.  Riley’s three requests were white walls, lots of mirrors and purple.

I started collecting images on Pinterest that I wanted to incorporate into Riley’s room, and things have evolved from there.  Some of my favorite images are above.  Her room is almost complete and I think we are both really happy with the results.  There are a few things I’m still unsure about, but I’m trying to remember that home decorating, like life, is a constant work in progress.

I’ll be sharing some of my projects from Riley’s room and elsewhere throughout the rest of this month.  I’ve also got a lot of creative ideas pinnned here.  Enjoy this month’s change, Create.

image links:  color palettes/bedding/fabric/poms bouquet/images of love/fork flowers/lampshade letter/striped table