Monday, August 10, 2015

Fifty Shades of Gray

It's dirty. It's clean. It's warm. It's cool. There are so many shades of gray. Too many? Maybe not enough?

It all started with the purchase of our first home. No more renting! We finally owned our very own house. We could finally paint it and make it our own. I really stepped out and painted it...taupe. I know, I know...I took a walk on the wild side. Hang on, it gets better.  I've learned a lot over the years of painting our home. For example, removing the switch plates is a lot easier than taping each one before painting. Also, don't change the color scheme of your living room if you are eight months pregnant. Once you have your baby and your hormones go back to normal, you might not be as pleased with your irrational color choice. 

Fast forward to our second home purchase, a true fixer upper.

It was a beautiful home built in 1929 with good bones that just happened to be stuck in the 70's. It came complete with avocado appliances and gold shag (matted) carpet. I couldn't start painting fast enough. At this point in my life paint colors didn't scare me and I had fun with it. So much so that a friend came over and saw my home for the first time and said, "You're house is so...(uncomfortable long pause)...FUN!" I know she meant it in a sweet sort of way but I have to admit, it was a bit much. Lesson learned: Too much of something is not always a good thing.

On to our current home. At some point a fixer upper is only fun if you have the time and the money, both of which were draining us therefore we made a huge decision to build a home. Now paint never scared me. It's just paint after all. If you don't like your choice, just paint over it. Well, that was until the builder wanted me to pick out paint colors for the entire house by a certain time. I stared at the hundreds, maybe thousands of paint swatches that stood in front of me. One by one, I picked out colors that I thought were pretty. I brought the color chips home, taped them to the walls and was very pleased with my choices. That was until all of the walls were painted. Initially, I thought the colors were very nice but once we moved the furniture in and hung curtains, I became dissatisfied with my choices. All of those pretty colors locked me into a color scheme that I couldn't get out of without repainting my walls once again. 

There were two lessons in this. 1) When picking out a wall color you should take into consideration the big pieces you are working with.(ex: your furniture, curtains, carpet, etc) These are things you probably wouldn't replace often. Accessories such as pictures, pillows, etc...can be replaced easily over time. Lesson 2) This one is huge! Buy a sample size of the paint you are considering. There is no way you can get a good idea of what the paint will look like off of a two inch color chip. Just because the color is pretty on the chip doesn't mean it will be pretty on your walls. 

Now for the final lesson. Be true to yourself and don't get caught up in trendy stuff. I recently became hooked on the show Fixer Upper.

 If you haven't seen this show, it's definitely worth checking out. You can visit their blog at for episode information and a peek at their awesome home transformations. On the show, they use a lot of shades of gray in their homes. Each home was prettier than the next so I thought it would be a fabulous idea to step outside of my box and go gray. Who knew there were so many shades of gray? I'll bet I picked up just about every swatch of gray that was out there. 

I remembered my "lesson's learned" and narrowed it down to a few different shades of gray and bought the sample sizes to try out on the walls. I successfully narrowed it down to a medium tone warm gray and proceeded to paint my kitchen. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I have painted my kitchen four time before this in only twelve years. It's not because I love to paint that much but rather because I hadn't learned my lessons yet. The color was beautiful. I loved it for about two weeks then something was bugging me. It's not that the color wasn't great, it just wasn't me. When looking around at my home, I realized that all of my furniture and accessories were warm toned and even though the gray was considered a warm gray, it wasn't me. 

Okay, so my lessons are learned. I have just painted my kitchen for the sixth time. 

I chose a warm beige.

 I know that sounds boring but it goes with everything. I wanted a neutral color that I could change up my accessories with the seasons or whenever I feel like it. Now I'm pretty sure that with all of those layers of paint, I have reduced the square footage in my kitchen but that won't stop me from painting again should I grow tired of my new paint color. It's just paint after all.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Light Bulb Moment

Every now and then I run across a product that I want to brag about. I love when you find something that makes life just a little bit easier.

Last summer, my husband and I installed a lamp post in our front yard and one in our back yard. We wanted to add more light to our yard and of course a little cottage charm. We also added a dusk to dawn sensor to each of the posts so the lights will stay on at night and shut off in the morning. This alleviated my yelling to my husband to "leave the porch lights because (insert one of our son's names) isn't home yet!"

The problem with running your lights from dusk until dawn is that they burn up light bulbs at...well, the speed of light. There are three bulbs per light post. Within less than a month of installing the lamps, the bulbs began to burn out one by one by one. Not only was it a pain where the sun doesn't shine but it was also not very cost efficient.

During another evening stroll through our local Home Depot, we found ourselves gazing at the light bulb section. We found some bulbs that not only looked nice but were super efficient. They are made to last 8000 life hours in comparison to regular bulbs which last around 1000 life hours.  (Thanks Bob, the friendly Home Depot employee who explained that to us.) I'm still not sure exactly how long 8000 life hours are but I do know that it is a lot longer than 1000 life hours.

We installed the bulbs last summer and they are still burning bright. Did I mention that they are on everyday from dusk until dawn? They do cost more than regular light bulbs (currently $8.97 for a pack of two) but they have made up for climbing up and down the ladder every other week. We are so pleased with them that we have decided to replace our porch ceiling lights and hard to reach lights in the house with the new bulbs once they need to be replaced. By the way, Home Depot has nothing to do with my opinion of this product. I would imagine that Lowe's and other hardware stores carry them as well. Home Depot happens to be the hardware store in our town.

* I have one more thought to add...since our original purchase, we have replaced our porch lights with the new bulbs. When turning on the lights, I have noticed that it takes a bit for the bulb to light up. It starts out dim and slowly brightens. I didn't notice that on the lamp posts since they turn on and off by themselves. I don't mind at all since it doesn't take long but it's not bright immediately. Just thought you should know the facts.

Have you run across a product that you want to shout from the rooftops about? Or at least brag a little about? Please leave a comment below sharing the goods! We love trying new things!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Curtain Call

Hello Everyone and Happy Spring! Is it safe to say that yet? Seems like Mother Nature is a bit indecisive this year. The good thing about the weather switching up and back is that it takes the guess work out of whether or not to work inside or outside. This time of year, I love to clean out and spruce up things.

We decided to change our office into a guest room. It was a lot of fun transforming that space using things we already had. It still needs some tweaking but I'll have more on that later.

I decided to use the curtains in our master bedroom in our new guest room so that gave me a good excuse to get some new curtains for our room. I've been wanting to make our bedroom a little more serene therefore getting rid of the patterned curtains.

I recently bought some curtains for our living room so I didn't want to spend a lot of money for the bedroom curtains. While browsing through our local Home Depot paint department, I ran across some drop cloths...wait for it... ON CLEARANCE! I mean where else would you look for curtains? Okay, so you're probably not picturing curtains right now but trust me on this.

We have a double window in our bedroom and nine foot ceilings. The drop cloths come in different sizes but the size I chose was 9x12. The drop cloths are made of canvas and are a beautiful linen color. It looks darker in the photo above. The best part of it besides it's beauty is that they are super thick. No need for lining them and they provide privacy too! Win, win!

Here's an even bigger bonus...I knew I would have to do some cutting and sewing and was a little nervous about it. The sewing didn't bug me so much but I was really worried that I wouldn't cut it straight. Well to my surprise, the drop cloth was two 6 foot pieces sewn together which worked out great since I wanted beefier panels. Since I have a double window, I wanted one panel to completely cover each window when closed.I used a craft knife to cut the seam making two perfect panels.

I sewed a hem on both sides of the cut fabric to make a clean edge.

As for the length of the curtains, I just folded the fabric back and clipped them to the curtain rings.

Tada!!! Curtains complete! I love the way they look!

 Curtains this thick cost a bundle and these cost under $30 for the whole double window. Technically that would be enough curtain for two windows. Beautiful, functional and thrifty! 

Okay, here's an update to this post. I loved the way the curtains turned out so much that I also made some for the guest room!

 Have any of you made window treatments out of something other than curtains? Leave a comment below sharing your ideas. We would love to be inspired!

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, February 20, 2015

I Would Like A Do Over

Hello All! Remember us? The Feathered Nest Girls? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't but give me a chance to explain. First, let me start by saying, "I'm sorry..." I know it seems like we have dropped off the face of the earth but we definitely have not done that. As a matter of fact, this year has been filled with so many changes and events. Some good and some bad. I actually had to shake my head when reading our last post. What I thought was a rocky start to a new year turned out to be an incredibly trying year...all year long. It has however reminded me of so many important things in life but just to name a few...

Life is live your life to the fullest. This past year Mary and I expanded our booth space. (like doubled the size) This was a goal that we had set for ourselves at the beginning of the year and had accomplished. I'm not going to lie, I still hold my breath at the beginning of every month wondering if we will sell enough to make rent. Thanks to all of you Nesters out there, we have been successful. Not only to make rent but to expand our inventory with really nice one of a kind pieces. I'm so grateful that we took that chance. Mary is more of a "hold your nose and jump" kind of girl where I am more of a "white knuckled toes on the end of the diving board" girl. I'm thankful to have a friend who will just give me that much needed shove sometimes.

Move in day

Be appreciative... We are so appreciative of our customers. You all have no idea how much we value not only you as a customer but also as a friend. We take your compliments and comments to heart. I can not explain how good it feels to see someone walking out of our shop with a smile on their face holding a treasure. When we are hunting for our items, we actually have certain people in mind therefore we love when you stop and talk about what you love to collect or how much certain things mean to you.

Treasure the people you love...Let me start out by saying that I have the best business partner in the world. Mary and I have been friends for about 20 years. When you have a friendship with someone for that long, you don't want to do anything to screw it run a business together. Lucky for me, I think our friendship has gotten nothing but stronger. She is one of a kind and I'm truly blessed to have her in my life. Speaking of friends... this past summer Mary and I met the sweetest girl at an auction. She is hilarious and so much fun to be around. She has wonderful taste and I'm not just saying that because we were going to bid on the same things. haha Her name is Kwane and she also has a booth at KnB's Marketplace called The Urban Peddler. If you don't live local to see her wonderful treasures, check out her blog and tell her we sent you.

So that was just a little bit of what has been going on. This year has also been filled with plenty of other good things, found treasures, and lots of projects. We have so much to share with all of you. Providing this year isn't a repeat of last year and we really don't fall off the face of the earth, our intentions are to stay more connected with you all. That being said, I would like a do over. Please stop by our shop to see our new finds or just to say hello. If you're not in town, you could visit us on Facebook at The Feathered Nest at KnB'S Marketplace or you could find us here with our latest news, projects and ramblings. Hope to see you soon!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wrinkles Aren't A Bad Thing

Hello Everyone! Let me start out by saying how ashamed I am of myself. I made a resolution that this year will be the start of my blogging on a regular basis. Here we are in the middle of February and this is my first post. I apologize. It certainly isn't because I don't enjoy blogging because I do. Apparently this is going to be a year that starts out a little rocky but it could only mean that it will end with a bang. I say this in hope that life will slow down just a bit allowing me to stay focused on things that I enjoy. This brings me to my post topic.

You know that saying, "Life comes at you fast"? Well, it's true. The older a person gets, the faster life seems to go. When you are young, you can't wait to grow up and when you get older, you want it to slow down.

With life comes wrinkles. They kind of sneak up on you...I'm pretty sure it is when you are sleeping and your guard is down. It seems that everyone dreads finding a new wrinkle but when you think about where they come from, it's not such a bad thing. When you think of all the events in your life that caused these beginnings, sad endings, the trying of your patients, overcoming challenges that made you a better, stronger person, laughing until your stomach hurts, makes it all worth it. Every wrinkle tells a story. No matter how much face cream you use, these are the stories of your life. (Try to stay with me. There's a reason for this story.)

A friend of mine and co booth owner at KnB's Marketplace had a beautiful old ironing board that he had found. He wanted me to do something to it to spruce it up. Again, I forgot to take a good before shot so I apologize for that. I tend to dive in to projects before thinking about taking a picture. The ironing board was somewhat faded looking and had an advertisement paper that was partially peeling off. Overall it was in good shape. Someone had taken pretty good care of it.

We'll pretend that this is the before shot!

I started out by sanding it a little and giving it a new coat of stain to richen the color. I used Modge Podge to adhere and seal the advertisement trying to preserve the original quality of the print. Then I found this catchy little saying..."Every Wrinkle Tells A Story." I thought that was so appropriate to put on an ironing board. I painted the saying on there, antiqued it a bit and gave the board a coat of wax. Finally, I adhered a frame around the print to give it some importance.

I love the way it turned out! I love the quote even more! It is so true. It kind of makes you look at wrinkles in a whole new light, doesn't it? I think it would look great hanging in someone's laundry room or anywhere in a home to remind you that wrinkles aren't necessarily a bad thing. They're the story of your life after all! You can find this and more treasures at The Feathered Nest at KnB's Marketplace in Fuquay Varina, NC.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Deck The Halls

Hello Everyone! How are you doing? Is everyone dashing through the snow to get ready for Christmas? We've been dashing through some rain drops, then digging out our flip flops, then looking for our scarves. You've got to love Christmas in North Carolina. It has finally gotten chilly around here which definitely puts me in the mood to deck the halls. (Okay, so I wrote this a couple of days ago and yes it was chilly...tomorrow is going to be in the 70's. Here we go again.)

Anyhoo, I love lots of greenery to decorate for Christmas. I have noticed that over the years, I have decreased my doo dads and increased the greenery. It just makes everything seem cozy and doesn't make me in a hurry to take down the decorations after Christmas.

I have a quick and cheap decoration to share with all of you using greenery. I found some little galvanized pails at a thrift store. This is what sparked the idea. I've also seen them at hardware stores and craft stores.

I bought some oasis foam from The Dollar Tree. They come two to a pack. Make sure you get the ones for fresh floral arrangements not artificial arrangements. It will say it on the packaging. The one for fresh flowers will absorb water and the other will not which is important since you will need to soak them for a few minutes in a bowl of water. This will keep your greenery from drying out. Once you soak the foam, fit it inside of the little pails. They're super easy to cut so cutting edges off to make it fit is a snap. I usually use a steak knife. It's very pliable so smashing it in there works too.

I gather greenery from our yard. We have an assortment of evergreens that I like to use but any greenery would work. (Cypress, Box woods, Arborvitaes)

Clip the branches to the height you would like them and strip a few of the lower leaves (smaller branches) away leaving a little stem at the bottom where you cut it. Push the stem into the center of the foam so it stands straight up in the bucket looking like a little tree.

I used fresh cranberries left over from Thanksgiving to put around the base of the evergreen. This covers up the foam in the bucket. You could also use small rocks, moss, dried beans, buttons, etc... Be creative!

 I put some extra water in the pail to keep the evergreen from drying out and add more water as needed throughout the season.

That's all there is to it! Miniature Christmas trees! I think they would look lovely on a kitchen table or a mantel or a bathroom sink or anywhere you need a little dash of Christmas. They would also make a great place card holder for a dinner party and a take home gift as well! The possibilities are endless.

What is your favorite way to decorate for Christmas? Lots of greenery? Lots of lights? Total Griswold? Please share. We love new ideas!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, October 21, 2013

I Have A Vision

Hello Everyone. Happy Monday! What a beautiful weekend we have had. I hope you all have enjoyed your weekend too. I'm back today with a few before and after projects.

I have a really hard time getting rid of things due to my motto, "I could make something out of that". I realized over the past couple of years that I have actually passed that motto down to a couple (or all three) of my boys. It's funny to see the things that they hold onto because they have an idea of what they could turn something into. Sometimes they just hold onto it because they know it could be something cool but they're just not sure what yet. They are so their mom. ( Just don't tell them that...I don't think that is what a guy wants to hear...not a bad thing, mind my opinion...haha). Truth is, they inspire me. My boys have made some great accomplishments that have made me so proud but one of the simplest was when my son rescued a beautiful floor lamp from his apartment dumpster, rewired it and gave it a new shade chosen by his girlfriend. GORGEOUS! (It brings a little tear to my eye...). Shoestring budgets bring out the creativity in a person.

When Mary and I yard sale together, we have a saying, "I have a vision" which simply means, "I have an idea to make something out of that particular object." It gets funny when one of us has "a vision" and the other one can't see it. It has only happened a time or two but is always funny.

Here are a few treasures that we have found along the way.  This window was from a renovated house.

The glass had to be secured in some areas and a new color was used to freshen it up.

This table was a yard sale find. It was very sturdy but a little rough looking.

A fresh coat of paint and a little detail along with some antiquing was all it needed.

Finally, this little stool was one of those, "I have a vision" pieces that only I could see at that moment. The legs were originally a worn wood but I got paint happy before taking the "before" picture.

The legs got a coat of black paint with some wax over that. The top was reupholstered in burlap and a number detail was added. In all honesty, my vision was better in my wonder Mary couldn't see it.

And there you have it....some before and afters. Do you "have a vision"? Leave a comment below letting us know some of your trash to treasure visions. Did they turn out how you envisioned them?