Gallery Wall Updated

A while back I decided I was DONE with this gallery wall arrangement and wanted an update. I had changed the pictures out over the years more times than I can even remember. So down came the little curtain rod and brackets and the black ribbon and all the frames and I started over.

Here is the before:


And here it is now:



I had all of this already so it was just a matter of designing a plan. Pinterest helped some but honestly it just got me started because the items I was using were unique to my taste. I started by laying my frames and items out on the floor to get an arrangement I liked and that would fit in the space.


Then I cut out paper patterns of the frames so I could tape them on the wall and decide spacing and where nail holes were going to be. I measured the hook on the back of the frame and marked the pattern with the placement of that hook so I knew where to put the nail. That saved the wall a few extra nail holes to patch.


Excuse some of the photos aren’t the greatest, I used my phone and forgot to snap some with a better camera, but you get the idea.

Next I played around with what I wanted in the frames, for now they are pictures of our trip to Italy last summer. I chose ones that had a hint of blue to go with my summertime décor. Then it was a matter of deciding the art and what would work in the space. I used an empty frame and a chalkboard to add interest and whimsy.

I really like how it turned out and fits in the room.




The family room has a casual summer beach feel at the moment and I kept it simple and relaxed. Think I may try adding a stairway gallery next to display more family photos and some pieces I’ve collected. Would love to hear your wall gallery ideas .

Have a great Wednesday!




A Caribbean Party

This last Saturday a friend of mine hosted her annual summer party for friends and colleagues. In the past she has used a Hawaiian luau theme complete with kaula pig and athentic Hawaiian muscians. This year she branched out a bit and went with more of a Caribbean flair.

Since I have plenty of beach items at my house I was more than happy to help her pull the decorations together. While remaining tropical, like Hawaii, we made a few changes to try and recreate a somewhat more Caribbean island feel. Tiki torches lined the perimeter of the lawn, steel drum band played island music, a menu of Jamican Jerk chicken and fresh fruit filled the buffet table, and rum punch was plentiful.The mood was set. Guest arrived in bright tropical attire to complete the ambience.

Brightly colored flowers added to the theme, as well as blue glass jems, seashells  sand, and tropical fish that swam in little fish bowls and among the floral arrangements.

I actually place a vase inside a lager vase and created a space between the two , filled the space with water and place one of the fish inside to swim around the flower arrangement. It added interest and was life to the centerpiece. However it didn’t photograph the best so not sure you can tell from this picture.

The weather was perfect and the islands in the distance glowed as the sun set filling the sky with a soft peach -pink hue.

Hope these pictures inspire you to add a little Caribbean Island flair to your next outdoor party.



This summer we haven’t played as much as we should have so we skipped out of town for a few days to spend some time in Seaside Oregon with some of our kids and grandkids.The weather was perfect! We must have been blessed with the warmest days of the summer and it was HOT even at the beach.

We loaded up our cars with kids, beach toys, towels and enough food to make most of the meals for 4 days were away.After a few Starbucks stops and a quick stop at a grocery store for a couple of things we didn’t have room in the ice chest for we were at the beach house.

We all pitched in and unloaded the cars quickly and gathered enough snacks and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for little wave jumpers and then we hit the beach.

The kids had a blast and even when their little feet were numb from jumping waves in the cold ocean they stayed in the water until we called them in to go back to the cottage.

Evening were filled with logs burning in the firepit and gooey marshmellowy s’mores.

The sunsets always take my breath away and remind of how majestic our creator is to display such beauty for us to enjoy.

I am so thankful for those few days of fun and refreshment. I hope we will be able to play a bit more before the changing of the seasons and enjoy these sunny days of summer before the fall chill starts to shorten the days.


Summer Tablescape and Sand Dollar Placeholder Tutorial

  I love having people over for dinner! I love figuring out the menu and planning the how I will set the table. It gives me a little creative therapy session in orchestrating the details. Even a simple gathering fills a need in me to give to people a good meal and fun ambience. I love the friends and family that gather at our home and lively conversation that always accompanies our time together. Lingering for an hour or two after the meal at the table is the highest compliment for me.

Last night we had a group of our closest friends over for a meal of grilled Copper River Salmon, fresh aspargus , roasted baby potatoes and spinach salad from our garden. Originally I had hoped we could enjoy this meal alfresco, but the evenings have been cool still and with a chance of rain still in the forecast I decided to set it up inside instead. Nevertheless this beach themed table would have been really fun outside and I will do a similar setting some evening when it’s warmer.

Over time my family has collected a bucket of sand dollars for me from our trips to the beach. We all like to find the ones that are whole and see who can find the smallest one. So I have this little bucket of the beachy treasures and decided to use them as placeholders.

I have had them long enough that they are well dried and don’t have a just off the beach smell. However they do have sand inside them, something your don’t really want to add to your guest dinner plate. I shook as much out of them as I could and then got to thinking..Hmmmm how can I plug up the little holes on the back to keep that last bit of sand for spilling out?

Since I’m always patching holes in the wall from my pictures and mirrors changing locations in my house, I keep some sort of spackle or filler around . It worked perfectly!

Here’s how I did it:

Filled the 2 small holes and wiped away the excess,

After the filler had dried , only took a few minutes, I gave them a little shake to see if my idea worked and ‘Voila’ no sand came out.Then I used a fine tip sharpie pen and wrote the names of my guest on each one.

Then I played with how to place them at each setting:

The evening was great and next time we dine outside I will have everything ready to go.  Just light the candles and enjoy good friends and some delicious food and wine around the table , doesn’t get any better than this!


Linking up with:

Creatively Living

Todays Creative Blog


DIY Tutorial

Hope Studios {Primp}

Beach Decor

To me it is summer as of today June 1st, even if the weather outside refuses to cooperate. Rain or shine it is time to get this place ready for all the fun friend and family events on the calendar for the next 3 months.

I spent the day yesterday adding some of those summertime elements to the inside of our home. Around here that means BEACH and all that goes with it. Sea shells, sand , nautical touches, and the colors of aqua, blue, green and cream. That color part is not much of a stretch for me since I have those colors around most of the time anyway.

Before I headed out to look for any new ‘Beachyness” I scanned the Pottery Barn catalog, Ballard Design, Pinterest to name a few, for inspiration. Then I decided to dig out the beach stuff I have collected and stored from last year and start playing around with it.

First I put away Spring decor and cleared out some other items to make way for a’ Summer Make-Over’. Pillows got moved around from room to room and some were stored for the next change of season.

Tables were dusted and ready for displays of summertime and beach accessories.


 Little touches here and there but not so much you feel like you stepped into a seashore boutique.

Still working on the dining table arrangement :

Mantle updated for the summer :

Sea Glass Bottles (tutorial previous post):

I am still adding verses and such to my chalkboards, they seem to change often depending on the event or my whim of inspiration.

Funny I had all these things and didn’t purchase one new item of ‘Beachyness”. Since you can pick up driftwood , shells on vacations or a day at the beach I have plenty of those things. Photos of past beach vacations evoke a sweet memory and increase my anticipation for the new ones yet to be made. So pull out some favorite beach items and get them out to enjoy and share. Roll up the heavy carpets and lay down the sisal rug. Open the curtains, or take them down and let the sun shine in… at least be ready for when it does.

Next week I hope to share the patio and deck ready for entertaining… waiting on some hanging baskets to finish that off.

Have a great weekend !


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Sea Glass Bottles

I have always loved the beach and things that are associated with the ocean and seashore. I love to bring out shells, sand, sea glass and photos of past beach vacations to decorate with over the summer. I usually start bringing the items out around Father’s day to accessorize the deck area and then it spills over to the kitchen and family room, entry and where ever else I think it needs a kiss of summer.

Love the frosted colors in Beach Glass:

I decided to start a little project before I bring all things beachy out to decorate with. I had seen something similar on Pinterest and started to experiment with my version of the Sea Glass or Beach Glass Bottle tinting.

Well here is my take on a tutorial of the process:

You will need :

* Mod Podge (or watered down white glue :3 parts glue to 1 part water)

*food coloring ( I used the neon colors, that’s what I have on hand. )

*dish washing liquid

* sponge paint brush

* clean and dry clear bottles ( I like the shapes of small vinegar, syrup, tabasco sauce, or jars, even canning jars)

That’s it! You probably have that on hand right now.

Cover your work surface with newspaper or a paper sack or whatever you’d like to keep from staining the area.

Now for the mixing:

I poured a little of the Mod Podge in a bowl. Then added 3 drops of the blue food coloring and 1 drop of green to get the aqua color I was going for. You can mix whatever color you want, there are no rules . I then added a few drops of dish soap. I think it may help it become frosted and not clear, and it also helps make clean up easier.  I was going for beach glass I didn’t want just a tinted glass like some of the blue mason glass tutorials. I found adding the dish soap helped that for some reason as well as using Mod Podge Matt Finish.

Then I mixed it all together:

Started applying it:

I like to be able to add fresh flowers to the container so I opted for coloring the outside of the bottle, so water could be added inside if desired. I gave it an even coat , then let it dry. It you want more intense color add 2-3 coats allowing it to dry in between each coat.


 There are a few subtle streaks sometimes, I didn’t mind them. It may depend on how thick the mod podge/ glue mixture is and also the surface of the glass. I had some with slight streaks and others with none at all using the same mixture. If you don’t like the results, wash it off and try again

Since this is a temporary color project, it washes off easily if you aren’t satisfied with it or just want to use it a while and then change the color for a different look.

I am giving my bottles a coat of matt varnish to seal it and hope that will allow me to use it a while without the color chipping off . If you don’t put a sealer over it , it will wash right off.

I had suggested a liquid matt varnish, however some readers had trouble with it removing the mod podge mixture. So I have used this product with great success, Krylon Matt Finish.


This is how mine turned out:

Let me know if  you give it a try and how it works for you. Always apprecitate good feedback and helpful advice.

Let’s get BEACHY!


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The Shabby Nest

It’s a TWO-fer

I am posting twice today since it’s been so long and I actually have time today to share.

Speaking of TWO , my little grandson Asher turns 2 this weekend and we are celebrating with the family at our house. My daughter is super clever and makes the sweetest cards and invitations and sent us one announcing it will be a pirate theme. She will be bring all the decorations and most of the food for our crowd. Thanks to pinterest, ideas are numerous and there is inspiration for just about any theme you’re looking for. I hope to share pictures from the party but for know I will show my little contribution to the festivities.

In my quest to help set the mood, I thought I would try a rope craft/ knot to the mix of nautical items. I bring out beach theme decor around Father’s day so I was thinking of this project for next month, but decided to practice for the’ pirate party’.

It’s called a Monkey Fist Knot and I noticed it used in a Ballard Design catalog for a door stopper. It is listed in their catalog for $45, I think this girl can do it for less.

I went on YouTube , where they have a video for just about anything and low and behold there were multiple to chose from.

I purchased some 3/8″ rope ,50′ was around $8.00, I could probably make 2 or 3 from that at least. Found a tennis ball lying around and cut a small slit in it and filled it with pebbles. If you want to make it heavier , and I may next time, I will use buck shot or BB’s for weight.

Here are the written instructions:


You insert the ball before you start tighting down all the loops. BE PATIENT, it takes a little while and a few tries. I am still perfecting my own technique.

Here is the YouTube video as well, that worked better for me, but my husband liked the picture instructions best.

I will be trying this again and making it heavier, but not bad for a first attempt. I have to thank my husband for all his help , my little hands were struggling to pull it tight enough. I will give it another shot on my own soon.

What else can I make with $8 of rope? Hmmmm, I feel another project coming on.


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Spring Break Escape

We got home last night from a much needed sunny get away in Southern California. The weather was perfect for the week we were there and we took advantage of it and spent most of the time hiking , bike riding and enjoying the beautiful beaches of Newport, Corona del Mar and Crystal Cove.

I didn’t want to haul my camera( Nikon D60) around on this vacation since I knew we would be pretty active and so all my pictures are via my iPhone. Not the greatest but it captured our adventure fine.

I love the beach and would have been happy with my toes in the sand all day and we made it a point to do plenty of that.

We didn’t bother to get a rental car and chose to walk everywhere. I think we logged in about forty walking /biking miles in 5 days. We walked from our hotel to Balboa Island and Newport Beach one day. I enjoyed all the beautiful homes and my husband drooled over all the luxury cars.


We saw dolphins from the shore and that was a highlight for me.

We got a glimpse of how the rich and famous live. Pelican Hills an exclusive gated community doesn’t contain a house with less than 10,000 sq ft. and is home to many a celebrity. I admired the architecture and fine landscaping but honestly couldn’t relate to their lifestyle.

Homes along the beachfront were just as amazing. Many private homes were the size of some luxury resorts.

There were a few quaint homes to be found :

All in all it was a great Spring Break Escape and we came back tan and refreshed.

The sunsets were beautiful from our friends home in Corona del Mar.

Ahhhhhh… back to reality today , and the rain. The much needed break did boost my mood and I’m looking forward to getting my garden planted and incoporating some of the ideas of the beautiful homes I saw around here.

Check back as I share some of my ideas modified for those of us less rich or famous than the residents of Newport Beach.

Keeping it real,


Summertime Flashback

Last night I was viewing some old pictures and videos when I came across this one my son-in- law made of a family vacation to Seaside ,Oregon in 2009.

With 4 inches of snow on the ground and icy roads this was enough to warm my heart.

Thanks Brad for your creativity in capturing a family time in such a fun way and reminding me of  how much I treasure those times together.

I think it is time to get some family vacations on the calendar for this summer. I want to keep adding to the family photo album treasury of memories.

Do you have a family vacations planned yet? I think it is worth every penny to create those family memories.

Plan one today!

Linda     Enjoy a little peek into our family with this video.