Two Ideas for Fall Themed Wreaths

cotton-wreath-on-doorAlmost two years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Chip and Joanna Gaines when they hosted a fall workshop in Waco.  This was pre-Silos days.  They were just on the cusp of how popular they are now.  I purchased a pair of tickets and asked one of my besties, Mary, to meet me in Waco for her birthday.  She told her co-worker “I’m going to some fall thing with some people named Chip and Jo.”  Now, Chip and Jo are household names.  If you want to read about the lovely time we had read it here (p.s. Chip and Joanna are just like they are on TV.  Lovely, genuine, and real).

I purchased this cotton wreath in their “little” pop up market and it sat unadorned until this past weekend.


I was cleaning out my ribbon stash and found a roll of “chalkboard” ribbon from The Container Store I purchased last Christmas.  I thought it would be perfect with the wreath so I enlisted the help of my crafty friend Cindy to make me a bow, because she’s the bow queen.

cotton-wreath-without-lanternI also had some brown burlap ribbon from Hobby Lobby and Cindy used it all to make a spectacular bow.  I took a CraftSmart brand white paint pen and lettered “Welcome Home” on the ribbon.

I am going for a more muted tone of pumpkins on my porch this year like grays and white so this cotton wreath will be perfect.


Another wreath I wanted to use for the fall is my faux magnolia wreath.  I also purchased mine from Magnolia Market when they offered them as a deal of the week.  It’s beautiful on it’s own without embellishment, but I was inspired by a post on Decorsteals to add a fall banner to mine (they also offer a magnolia wreath).

Remember my story on “Six Tips for Antiquing” shopping trip (read about it here)?  Well, this is the twist on a chalkboard — an old cabinet door.  I hung it out on the back patio on the cedar shiplap wall.  I thought it would be the perfect spot for the magnolia wreath.

fall-magnolia-wreathThe burlap banner and the black and gold polka dot letter stickers are from Michael’s and I created my own “fall” banner by just sticking the letters to the burlap.  It worked out perfectly to hang it from the door hardware on one side and the cabinet knob on the other.  While I intended to use the cabinet door as a chalkboard surface, I have been challenged to find a marker that adheres to the glass without skipping.  I may just have to use this as a prop for different wreaths and banners through the seasons.  But, I still love it because it looks “found.”

So, this is your challenge.  Take what you already have and find new ways to re-purpose them into something new to you!

Save the Date! Amy Howard at Home Hand’s On Workshop

jabos-headerI am so excited to announce that Home with a Twist is partnering with Jabo’s Ace Hardware for a special hands-on Amy Howard at Home workshop on Saturday, October 1 from 10 a.m. – noon at the Fort Worth Jabo’s Ace Hardware.

bird-seed-pail-3Amy Howard is an exclusive line of eco-friendly paint products that help you to rescue, restore and redecorate most anything in your home.

This fun “make and take” class will teach us how to transform a simple galvanized pail into a one-of-a-kind container for pet food or bird seed.

Galvanized metal is so popular right now in home decor, this on-trend workshop will feature chicken-feed-pail-2Amy Howard at Home Parisian Zinc Solution to give the pails a weathered, antiqued look. But, we will add a modern twist by adding additional products like Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint, High Performance Lacquer and Clear Wax.  Your friends (even the furry ones) will be envious of your creation when you bring it home!

The class is only $35 and includes all the supplies needed during class, your own customized project to take home and yummy snacks.  Space is limited so be sure to register quickly to reserve your spot in class. If you want to know more what to expect, click here to watch a video on how the magic happens using the Parisian Zinc Solution.  I hope to apply the technique we learn in class to create a galvanized top to a piece of furniture!

dog-foodStay tuned.  There is a container for cat food…but the cats were busy and not interested in being in the photos.

I am so excited to be working with Jabo’s Ace and I hope you and your friends will join me for a morning full of fun, inspiration and learning something new!

Calendar Girl — Making Art from Old Calendars

rifle paper frames in gameroomHere’s an easy project I did a few years ago to re-purpose a wall calendar from Rifle Paper Company, one of my favorite paper sources.  I didn’t want to stop enjoying the lovely, floral botanical images so I made them into artwork.

Calendar art how toI already had frames of a similar type with large mats, a style I prefer, and for the frames that didn’t have a mat I took them to Michael’s and they cut the mats for me to my specifications.  I went through the calendar and decided to use pages that meant the most to me — months representing the birthdays of my parents and siblings and our wedding anniversary — February, April, May, June and August.

I am really not a DIY gal so I tend to do things in a less scientific way. When it came time to figure out the correct size for each frame, I just laid the glass or mat from the frame on the image I wanted to highlight, traced around the edge of the glass/mat with a pencil, then cut the image with scissors and put the page into each of the frames.

rifle calendar framed (2)

Some frames weren’t big enough for the calendar portion of the page, so I just focused on the month or the flowers.  Something I didn’t do, but would be fun, is to circle the important dates on the calendar.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  The gallery of art is soothing, beautiful and meaningful to me.  Plus this DIY project cost less than $30 for a few pieces of mat board and I recycled a perfectly good calendar. As we near the end of 2016, now would be good time to find clearance calendars to do this project for yourself or as a wedding, baby or housewarming gift.

Wednesday’s Weave: Pet Stain Removal — Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

IMG_1238At my blogging conference, they encouraged when you write to be real.  So, this is me being real. This is not a pretty post. This is a gross post.  But the reality is if you have pets, especially dogs, you are going to have pet stains. It’s my least favorite thing about having dogs.  Cats tend to “revisit” their food, so there’s that.  BTW…why am I the only one in the house that sees that stains?  My co-hosts walk right by them, “oh, I didn’t see that.”

Here’s my step-by-step trick for removing pet stains.  It all starts with plain, white vinegar and good old baking soda.  I buy both in bulk at Costco.  I fill a spray bottle with vinegar and keep a smaller container of baking soda (the bulk bag is like a big flour-sized bag, I fill up my container and keep the rest in the garage) on the shelf in the laundry room with a roll of paper towels.  If I find an accident, I can quickly get my supplies.


Yes, here it is.  In all it’s glory. Urine.  We all have it, but some of us use the toilet or go in the grass.  Once you find the unsightly scene, spray the affected areas with a good dose of vinegar until it’s pretty damp.

Sometimes, you can just let it sit for a few minutes then blot it up with paper towels (be sure to have a plastic grocery bag or trash bag on hand for the used paper towels).  But, if you want to make certain to get the stain all the way out and deodorize the mishap, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the stain.


As soon as the baking soda hits the vinegar it will have a chemical reaction and start to bubble and fizz.  This is the mighty baking soda kicking into action.  If you can, it’s best to let the baking soda do its work overnight until dry.


The next day it will be a dry powder.  I sweep it up with a brush and dust pan.  It’s best to do this first to get the excess up before you vacuum so you aren’t filling the vacuum canister with excess baking soda.  It will be more solid since it’s soaked up the vinegar and stain.


This is what’s left…


Now you can vacuum over the area.


There you go.  Clean and smells fresh.  I’ve had success doing this with “revisited” food and spills.  I also use baking soda in my washer.  I put about 1/4 cup full in the detergent dispenser, a few drops of essential oil, then throw a laundry detergent pod into the washer.  It’s great for whites and towels and clothing that needs a boost of fresh.  The bonus is it also keeps your washer from smelling.

So, there’s your Wednesday Weave.  Let me know if you try this trick!

Bible Journaling — The Art of Worship

melissa shadowing

I took my first Bible journaling class at LifeWay bookstores in January when I made the resolution to use 2016 as my year to learn new things. The class peaked my interest to start a Pinterest board on the subject and take more in-depth class.  If you search Bible journaling you will find tons of great resources.  I had no idea there is a growing movement to express your creativity while you are reading the Lord’s word.  What an awesome way to combine both of your gifts!

My friend Terry hosted a class in her home on Sunday afternoon.  First of all, Terry’s house is one of my most favorite places to hang out.  She is a wonderful hostess and an excellent cook.  Her home looks like something out of Architectural Digest.  So, even if we were going to be decorating paper bags, I knew I had to go so I wouldn’t miss the fun and her fab cooking.

thumb print cookies

Buttery, lemon thumb print cookies that melted in your mouth.  I ate one and looked through her cabinets for a baggie to take one home.

peach poundcake

Peach poundcake.  I didn’t eat a piece, but I took one home.

lady fingers

Lady fingers with a wedge of apple, cheese, a drizzle of honey and sprinkled with chopped rosemary and pecans.  Ditto.  Didn’t eat.  But, took one home.


Last, she had plates of fruit and cheese. Terry can make fruit look like a million bucks.

The class was lead by the talented and beautiful, Kaylee King, from We Three Kings Illustrated (she’s on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope).  For $35 she led a 3-hour class on tips, tricks and how to’s.  First, she went through the supplies we were going to use.  She sent us home with a list of her favorite Bible journaling supplies.

supplies and lettering 2Each of us brought a journaling Bible to the class.  You can easily find them in most bookstores and online.   I chose to use the NIV version of Beautiful Word Bible which already has pages with illustrated verses to get you started.  Journaling Bibles are set up in a different format to allow empty space for drawing and taking notes.

beautiful word Bible

The important thing to remember here is that you can always reserve your daily Bible for study.  Then, you can use a second journaling Bible to focus on key scriptures you are studying.  This allows for an expression of creativity if you don’t feel comfortable drawing in your study Bible. Some people chose to bring watercolor paper to practice before they committed to drawing in a Bible, and that’s perfectly fine, too.  As Terry says “we are crafting people, not saving lives!”

Then we spent time lettering and once we felt comfortable we moved to re-creating this work of art Kaylee showed us as an example to do in our Bibles.

oh bless my soul sample

There are no right or wrong ways to do this.  It’s merely an expression of your imagination.  Kaylee walked us through cutting out the girl’s dress with scrapbook paper, how to draw the face and the hair.  Then we penciled our wording into the Bible and went back over everything with a fine-point liner.  She showed us how to wash the page with watercolor. Last, we finished with a date-stamp so we will know when we completed our work and be able to see how our skills grow over time.

This was my illustration…

girl 2

It was such a sense of accomplishment when we were all finished.  The Lord delights in seeing His people gather together to celebrate His name!

Grown-Up Bug Collection

bug collection
Remember the bug collection assignment from middle school?  I created my own, not as creepy, featuring butterflies.  Something you may not know about me — I totally freak out when I come in contact with a cockroach. Seriously, all my nursing school training goes out the window.  I can put your eyeball back in its socket, but if you ask me to spend 30 seconds with a cockroach, forget it.  Okay, back to story.

I’ve always loved butterflies.  When I go for walks, if I see one, it’s my reminder that God is always with me.  Especially in those months when the Monarchs are migrating to Mexico.  I see dozens of them flying through the air.ballard-butterfly-push-pins

I purchased a package of butterfly pushpins from Ballard Designs (which they don’t carry anymore).  When the box came, Miss Bee helped me open the packaging for each one.  We got the best laugh over the design of some of these.  I am a really optimistic, sunshiny kinda person, but the last time I checked…butterflies don’t have smiley faces, at least none that I can see.

butterfy with smiley faceAfter a little dab of some Rub-N-Buff I toned down his excitement.   I took a shadow box I found on clearance and got to working on pushing the butterflies into the linen covered foam insert.
butterfly shadow box
I really like all the colors and if I ever get tired of it, I can use the push pins on my bulletin board and fill the shadow box with something else. Not cockroaches, though.

Dress it Up — Using Amy Howard Chalk Paint

This is the before photo of a nice looking dresser I purchased a few years ago from Pier 1.  It had a minty green paint with red stripes and brass, ordinary knobs. Over the years, I have transitioned from my love of red to calmer hues of blue, grey and cream with pops of orange and turquoise.  I decided the dresser needed a makeover.

I love painting with chalk paint. Two brands I have worked with are Annie Sloan and Amy Howard.  I have more experience with Annie Sloan and have painted several pieces of furniture, my pantry door and even a fireplace mantel for my designer friend’s client.  I wanted to try Amy Howard’s line she sells through Ace Hardware.

She carries a wide variety of colors and even has a line of lacquer spray paint. The fun and unique aspect of Amy Howard’s paint (like Annie Sloan) is the product is a water-based paint that adheres to any surface with no need to sand or prime.  The results net a flea-market piece that looks fresh and updated.

Chalk paint is very forgiving and is super easy to use.  It rubs off in the places you don’t want it and stays where you do. My local Ace offers classes for application techniques, so be sure to follow them on social media for updates.

I selected Amy Howard One-Step paint in black.  The pigment is very rich so a little goes a long way. I have enough black paint left for another project.

I taped off everything I didn’t want painted black and removed the knobs.  I only painted the minty green and left the cream that was already on the dresser.  I had plans for the stripes using a different line of paint.Using a paint brush, I applied two coats of black paint, making sure to give ample time between coats to adequately dry.

After I was finished painting, I waited 24 hours then applied two thin coats of Amy Howard light antique wax.

The wax helps to protect your paint and also gives a nice, satin finish.

I replaced the hardware with some sparkly knobs from Hobby Lobby and decided to go with mis-matched whimsy using two different knobs from the rest.

The stripes are now gold.  I used a Sherwin-Williams paint and applied it with a steady hand and a small watercolor brush.

Here’s the after…

I am really happy with how it turned out.  It’s not perfect and looks like a vintage piece which is what I was going for. The dresser is in our dining area and houses all our place mats and linen napkins.Can you imagine it would also make a cute coffee station with your Keurig on top and mugs tucked in an open drawer?

So, for about $50 and a weekend, I gave an already great piece of furniture a new life.  I’m sure you have a piece of furniture you’re not feeling the love for.  After a weekend with Amy Howard, you might just change your mind.

Dressers: Not Just for your Bedroom Anymore

I love to paint furniture.  Since I discovered Annie Sloan Chalk Paint a few years ago, I have several pieces in my house that I have restored using her fantastic paint.  But, I have to say, I am most proud of the restore I did on this dresser…

The French Provincial dresser belonged to Sister Bee and was part of a bedroom suite of furniture.  Then, it was used by my grandmother when my parents set her up in a little apartment.  Over time, it had yellowed and the paint on the top was peeling away.  But, I didn’t care.  I used it in all our bedrooms around the house.  It was always in the back of my mind to repaint her. Then, one day I was thinking to myself why do we always relegate the dresser to a bedroom?  Look at all the unused storage space just sitting in a guest bedroom.  So, we moved it downstairs to the entry way.  I plan to fill it with party essentials and seasonal decor.  The top right drawer houses all our pet supplies such as treats, leashes, meds, and their sweaters for walks.  Making it so convenient to be right by the front door.

Here are some before photos.  You can see how the furniture had yellowed over time.  My grandmother was a smoker and when I cleaned the piece with 409 before I painted it you could see years of dirt, smoke and just yuck coming off the furniture.

 Peeling paint on the top. 

I sanded the top where the peeling was happening just so I could smooth it all out. After I cleaned the furniture, I wiped down everything again with a damp cloth. Then, I gave it a light coat of Annie Sloan Pure White paint. I let it dry overnight.  The next day I gave it another light coat of paint.

For the hardware, I didn’t remove it and painted around it being careful to get just the right amount of paint on the hardware.  This photo shows a little of what I mean.  The first photo is just after I painted it on…

 The second photo is after I wiped it off with a damp cloth.

This is Mr. Wilson helping me.  The smaller the container, the better the fit.

After I finished painting, I let it dry for several hours.  Then I went around and sanded the piece where it would get normal wear — around the edges of dresser top and legs and by the drawer pulls.  I wiped the piece down again with a slightly damp cloth, and then I waxed it with Annie Sloan clear wax and buffed it with a clean, dry cloth.  The only feature that isn’t present anymore was the golden paint that ,when the piece was brand new, was in the crevices of the legs.  I may try to figure out a way to replicate the gilding without it looking to “perfect.”

Then, came the fun part!  Styling the top.  I plan to use this piece as a showcase to change out the top with the seasons.  Right now, I am feeling a blue rhapsody with blue and white pottery I have started collecting.

Add a candle and a pop of green with tiny apples.

I moved some lamps around and decided my Target Threshold beehive lamps were perfect for this dresser.

 I’m just really excited about how it turned out.  Now, to find something else to paint!

The Bow-Chick-a-Wow-Wow Chair

Daddy had an old 70s chairs in his office.  When we cleared it out after he passed away I knew I could transform it into a present day jewel.

When I Googled “70s office furniture” to see if I could find a similar pic of my chair, I found this funny image…seriously, how did she get any work done?  Check out her get up.  She only has one office supply on her desk — is that a stapler? And what is she looking at?  Is that Carol Brady?


This is my chair before he went to Alfonzo the hot upholster guy.   He has asked me many times “where do you find this stuff I recover?”  Velour floral fabric with a fun pocket on the back.  I am sure that in its glory days, there were a slew of them in a
conference room with the day’s agenda tucked inside the back pocket.  I
imagine the focus of the meeting was probably how they could get the
secretaries to be more productive at their desks, while still wearing hot pants.

I found some awesome lime green hounds tooth fabric at Hobby Lobby — 3 yards for a grand total of $6.31!

And, here’s my new blogging chair…

 With a cute owl pillow from HomeGoods

 And no back pocket.

I may spray paint the legs (probably should have done that prior to the new upholstery).  But for now, many a fine idea will be taken for a spin in my new bow-chick-a-wow-wow chair.

Fade to Black

This past week I tackled painting my back door to the patio and the pantry door.  I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite.  I have used ASCP for several years now.  You can learn more about it in the link, but if I had to summarize why I like it — it’s very forgiving, you don’t have to prime your furniture, and you can easily layer several colors to get new looks.  I mentioned in the previous post I did this for a client and it inspired me to do the same thing to my doors.

My backdoor had a valance on it from the previous owner.   I took it down, filled in the holes and

painted it. Then put a coat of ASCP clear wax on it.  This gives it a nice satin sheen and protects the
finish.  Here’s the before photo:

And here is Wilson modeling the after photo…

 Here’s the pantry door.  I remembered as I was putting on the paint to take a quick before pic.

And here is the after.  The finish of the paint on the doors is different so this door was more antiqued looking which was the look I was after for the pantry.

I also worked on a little wreath project for the pantry door.  I purchased a Smith & Hawken mini wreath from Target and rolls of burlap from Hobby Lobby.

I layered the three different types of burlap to make the part to hang from the top of the door.  Then used the chevron and regular smaller width of the burlap to make a loop around the wreath to finish it.   I dug around in my jewelry box and found a pin that belonged to Mr. Bee’s mother and pinned it on the ribbon.
It was a fun project to work on.  My next projects with ASCP will be an orange table and paint my stair railing graphite.  Hope your Saturday was super!