a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush ( err..plum tree)

The moment I saw these in the little sunny birds in the latest  Ikea mailer, I knew I had to have them for my spring patio. The little yellow birdies sang spoke to me, and also fulfilled my craving for pops of yellow.

Check  out the   Solvinden birds!

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So this Sunday after an afternoon of exploring the The Alameda Point Antiques Faire for more goodies, we mustered the strength a little more  walking and headed for IKEA!

( Cheers to all the patientunderstandingwillingtoplayalonginordertokeepwiveshappy husbands out there!)

Although, I knew exactly what I wanted and where it located, when my husband asked if we should take the shortcuts and make a bee-line for the birds to avoid the  meandering crowds- I made the executive decision to  take the lonnnnng way around the entire  store- queue up behind the masses and  enjoy the stroll through the  store, just in case I spotted anything new and necessary to our well being.

After a few rounds of the   ” its cute but do we really need it???” game, we finally made it to Aisle 00   (NEST) Bin 04 and found our soon to be adopted little yellow friends. I have to admit I cringed at the price for one package…15.00 for five little birds. GULP.

I hesitantly  grabbed one box, and longingly eyed a second one. My husband Paul looked at me  and knowing me well enough- grabbed a second one saying  ” you KNOW you are going to love these,  and we are going to get all the way  home and you are going to wish we had bought another… So you might as well get a second set now”  aka “I am not coming back to Ikea for a 3rd time this month &$(*&#!!!!

(2nd Cheers to all the  patientunderstandingwillingtoplayalonginordertokeepwiveshappy husbands out there!)

I am so happy we bought both sets. As soon as we got home,  we tore open the boxes and strung up the sets of birdies on in our back yard. I was impressed at the quality & weight  of the actual birds as well as the generous cord length for tucking away  the solar panel.

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After we strung them up in our respective Fig & Plum tree’s we lit the Chimnea for its inaugural   outdoor fire of the season, and waited for for the sun to set…..

We waited and waited and then all of a sudden, shining bright in the night was our little school of canaries. Glowing soft and sweetly, I  audibly squealed and proclaimed right then & there,  that these were to date,  officially the best purchase of 2014.

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(I promise new   Images to come soon , I was  actually a little too excited and lacking all focus)

Tweet Dreams!





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How ‘suite’ it is!

I am not sure I have mentioned this before, but I live in the Bay Area of  Northern California in a county called  Marin just on the other side of the golden Gate bridge.It is truly a beautiful place. But for that beauty there is a price,in fact I  once  read  that it was one of the most expense counties in the USA to live.  For a young(ish) couple starting out,  its nearly impossible to jump  right into the real estate market and try to  buy   your first  single family  home for under 500k…( and that includes a fixer upper!)

So lets be clear on that- we are still  renting. Which seems like  a distinction to differentiate myself from a lot of home bloggers.    At this point its been a mixed blessing in our lives. On one  hand, renting  has afforded us the opportunity to keep  saving for our someday home…  But on the other hand,  it  has also  been a challenge for a girl like me  whom loves  rolling  up her sleeves  and put her own personal stamp on  just about everything she touches, including her home.    We are fortunate to have the permission to make just about any improvement or modification we want.  However,  we also have to find balance  between  the desire to make improvements  and the  reality of spending money on projects we may not be able to  bring with us  to our next home- whenever that may be…. So in the interim, most of our projects have been  just decorative… Little facelifts here and there to make our house feel more like Our Home….And that’s what I did this weekend.

 I mentioned the Bay Area above because its where this weekends little DIY originated. On the first Sunday of every month, there is an amazing Flea Market that hits the Bay Area. Its called the Alameda Point Antiques Fair.  Basically, I could  liken it to 5 hour in-person Pinterest pin-fest. Instead of sitting at your computer pinning things you love, you’ll walk aisle after aisle exploring    over 800 booths with  packed things you would want to pin on  very your own inspiration  boards. The very first time I was there,  I was so overwhelmed at the sheer amount of inspiration surrounding me, that the only thing I managed to commit to was this little  vintage  oval   French  enameled  number 28 tag  (our wedding date!)

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I had big plans for my acquisition… I knew I wanted to incorporate more of my favorite things around our home. Basically this little plaque embodied them all: typography, our wedding date and  enamelware…. Lets be real though, I have had this sitting on my shelf for over a year. Not  quite sure what to do with it, or where to put it. It was so tiny, it seemed any time I held it up to the wall it just got lost…. (Do I wait and get more vintage enamel signs and make a grouping?)

Then  the idea hit me!  I was recently  inspired ( as usual)  by  Layla at the Lettered Cottage.  She had been exploring options for upgrading  her own  bedroom door, and I was just taken  with the  transformation- adding even  more  unexpected cottage charm  to her beautiful home. While it doesn’t make sense for us to change out the bedroom door to our rental, I could personalize our space by finally finding  a home for our vintage enamel number plate. What better way to turn  our   sweet memories of “the  28th” into coming home every night to  “Suite 28”

Here’s a before picture…How drab…. Having our bedroom  situated so close to the bathroom embarrassing mix-ups are bound to happen. So a little  proper signage is in order to avoid such things.


(This is where I apologize for my rookie blogger mistake of not taking pictures of each step of my project… Lesson learned.)

I decided to go to the craft store and buy a little wooden plaque to “build out” our  enamel sign just a bit, to add a bit more definition and interest on our door…


I decided to clamp it so I could get a better hold on it for sanding… Another lesson learned the hard way since I was also using my electric sander….After a while my hand stopped vibrating (is it weird that every time I use the electric  sander I instinctively  bite down on both my lips? Update:  It must be since I Googled it and apparently no one else experiences (admits)  this phenom).


The next step came painting…..

My husband suggested instead of painting it white to match the bedroom door, perhaps we stain it, or use the old vinegar & steel wool technique…  to offer a little  visual separation from the door….But after the first round of attempts, this particular piece of wood was not happy getting and oxidizing facial…

So semi gloss white it was…..( Sorry babe)

However handling this little piece of wood while painting it just kept resulting in fingerprints, and no way to let it dry… So I added temporary “legs” to the back of the plaque so I had something to hold onto while painting and letting it dry:


Worked like a charm! ( Patting self on back!) Thanks Pinterest, I feel like my hours of researching  techniques must be paying off!


Then came the time to choose the hardware… I soooo wanted little brass nails to fill the 2 holes  on either side..  Sadly we had NOTHING in brass other then  thumbtacks…But  I wasn’t above testing it. However it looked like:  thumbtacks….


And since I have zero patience when it comes time to get a craft project off the ground, rather then getting out of pajamas and driving to hardware store I dug through the  stash of whatever hardware we had on hand.


I ended up with these little oxidized nails which were just  big enough fill the holes, and did not look like brass thumbtacks:


Fortunately by the time I went through all those hardware choices ( and photographed them!) the paint had dried and it was time to attach the  sign to plaque.

:-) Pretty cute I think!


Happy with the result, I went to figure out positioning on our bedroom door…

Here’s the before again:


 I measured center of the door and eyeballed the height I wanted to secure my plaque. Once again I used whatever adhesive we had in our arsenal to apply to the back.


A few dabs on the back, and a bit of painters tape to secure it in place while I cleaned up the workbench:


Drum-roll please for the After:

Voila! Welcome to to ‘Suite 28’…. Enjoy your stay!Suite 28

Pouf… there it is!


So….. I am slightly obsessing over this Threshold Pouf from target…… You know the one, its been seen on just about every blog there is right now….  The fact that it is made from a thick Kilim weave and in a bright sunny-yellow has me over the moon ( sun?). I just cant bring myself to throw down the hefty price tag of close to 70 bucks… Yes, I know they were just on sale for 58.00 but even after grappling to combine online coupons and scouring the Cartwheel app daily for additional markdowns   I just cant justify the costs…

You see I have a case of spring fever, and this season its all about the color  yellow for me. Pops of yellow  are everywhere,  and my house is starting to look like a virtual blooming acacia tree (which is a little ironic, since my husband is allergic to just about everything, cats,  Acacia, AND  more then likely- all of the little pops of “cozy”  (that  I)  Spring  keeps planting  over at  our house (Good thing there is a pill for that)  :-)

So in an effort to quench my thirst for more yellow in my life. I decided to DIY…. Although that  pouf from Target would be ideal additional seating for the Baby Sprinkle  that I am hosting for my sister this month, I just have to maintain and be cool by riding this craving out….

Enter the odd yellow bamboo ottoman shoved into our attic:

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This little guy was part of the  “his place”  collection- AKA the things that my husband had before we were a couple…. I think it he used it as  an ottoman for his  (also attic’d) Poang chair from Ikea… But what I think it was actually intended to be was an ottoman for one of those crazy papsan chairs…Hummm….Either way,  in its current state- it  was a  leeeeeettle bit too granola for my taste.

But desperate times call for desperate measures and it did meet a few bits of criteria:

  1. It was free
  2. It was technically  an  ottoman
  3.  It did provide extra seating  for the aforementioned Sprinkle Shower
  4. It sort of had some fun geometric patterns happening like the Pouf did
  5. It was free

So since this thing was practically out the door  to Goodwill on our next donation deep clean, it seemed safe to crack my proverbial knuckles and get to work reinventing it… What did we have to lose?

So last weekend, I took a crack at its facelift and headed to Ace Hardware to (agonize) pick out the perfect shade of sunshine  to add that “POP” in place of my Pouf….

$4.79 later,  the spray paint was purchased and I broke out the plastic gloves (Snap!- that awkward sound of putting gloves on). The sun had started to  set  and the wind  kicked up a little,   but I took that as a good sign.  I mean more  wind= less chemicals in my face right? I learned that also meant less paint actually landing on ottoman. Hum :-/ . But hell or high-water-  I was getting my craft on tonight!

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So with half of the contents of the spray can misting its way over the fence and  into the neighbors yard (Hey, he always wanted a YELLOW Labrador right?) I was done with my first coat…

I held my breath listening intently…. Listening……. There was nothing at first (aside from  the sounds coming from  that  yellow dog next door)…. And then there it was. The sound I was looking for – a happy sighhhhhh. I had just breathed life into this little doomed stool.

almost done