Framing the Walls

This past week I completed a long-overdue project and figured it was time to share it with you. Aren’t I nice ;)

Okay, this is how it all began…

(please ignore the beautiful Caricature)


After letting all of it sit on the kitchen table for a few days we moved our work to the floor for more space.


After rearranging frames for almost a week I got the final layout figured out and decided it was hanging time. Thanks to the internet I found the most BRILLIANT way to hang pictures…

It looked something like this


Here’s an up-close look of what your frame will look like:

( click on the photo for the how-to )

Using this method with all the frames made it so ridiculously easy to hang everything exactly where I wanted it. It made the process go by crazy fast.

Gotta love tips from the internet :)

So, after doing this method with all the frames I ended up with a brand new looking wall.

Here is the finished product

Our new and improved living room!

What do you think? Now that I have both these projects completed and hanging I almost want to swap which walls they are on. However, that would be way too much work so it’s definitely not happening!

It only took me a year and 8 months to get something on the walls. At this rate I should have our home decorated in about 6 1/2 years.

Hooray for goals!



Filling in the Walls

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have got so many blank walls in my house, and because I don’t feel like painting all of our off-white walls, frames and wall art are the next best option. However, if you have looked around you know that that stuff can get expensive, fast, especially if you want something big to take up a large space.

Well back when I was pregnant with Sarah I saw an idea of how to make wall art using toilet paper rolls. I had been saving them for a while but when it came down to it I didn’t get to use them for the nursery. I recently decided that I would still do the TP project, I definitely have a lot of rooms where I can hang it. I have blank walls everywhere, and this could be a fun and creative way to fill up some space.

One of the most expensive purchases for wall decor is buying a canvas. Those suckers are expensive. Well thankfully I had just the thing. Back when Stephen moved to Orlando, the store he managed opened in an old Kay Jewelers location. Well they left behind a lot of their wall advertisements. They looked like this:

Real attractive, right?!

I’ve been making fun of Stephen for over 4 years for keeping these things, threatening to throw them away when he isn’t looking. Well thankfully he stopped me, because when you turn these big boards around they are the perfect blank canvas.


On a recent Saturday I decided to take the time to finally cut the TP rolls into strips so that I could get this project started.


I finished my measuring and cutting while watching the show ‘Raising Hope’. If you haven’t seen this show you should, it is absolutely hilarious!

I don’t know why I took a picture of us watching tv… I can get a little over zealous with the camera during projects ;)


Next I glued the TP strips into a pattern. I choose a flower/star’ish design that isn’t too girly. After all, this thing is going to be hanging in our living room.


My friend Kim suggested that I paint the backdrop of the canvas. I hadn’t even thought about doing that, but I’m SO glad she suggested it because a white board on an off-white wall wouldn’t have stood out too well.

So, I got out all the paint samples I’ve collected over time (thanks to my mom keeping hers when they re-painted) and went to choosing a backdrop color. This step was a lot harder than I was expecting, so I recruited some help…


You can do like me and simply bribe your sister with a cute niece, then put her to work ;)


Then give your child a washcloth and hope it entertains her longer than 90 seconds…


Then, Voila, you are done!


After we hung the piece my mom and I decided to try switching some rugs around…


It was a great decision. The rug and canvas play off each other real well.

I will say that the canvas isn’t near as blue as the picture makes it look. It’s much softer and lighter in person. It has a more grey-pale blue look, rather than the baby-blue that I see above.

One last shot for your viewing enjoyment:


Overall I am pleased with this $0.00 project. I mean, it seriously didn’t cost me a dime, and I think it looks really good above the couch. It is such a big wall to decorate, and I think this is a good start. I’m trying to decide if I want to add anything to the sides of it. Some frames perhaps?! Or shelves?! I haven’t quite figured it out yet… I would definitely be open to some suggestions.

How about you? Has anyone else completed any DIY projects lately? If so, have you recycled things you usually throw away like TP rolls, or paper towels?! Maybe you found a good deal on some wall art that you’d like to share with me?!? My ears and eyes are wide open!


p.s. This is the site where I got my inspiration.

A Sewing Project

While searching the blog world online I found myself a cute (and pretty easy) tutorial on how to make my own nursing cover. It is something I’ve decided would come in handy when out and about, or hanging out at my parents or a friends house.

After searching most of the house I found my sewing machine hibernating in the bottom of the linen closet. After I got it out I had to get a damp cloth and wipe ‘er down (she’d been sleeping for a looong time). Yes, my sewing machine is female, after all, look how pretty she is :)



One morning, after Sarah and I dropped Stephen off at work, we went and picked up my mom and headed to JoAnn’s for some crafty inspiration. I was looking for 3 different fabrics, one for me, one for my sister in law, Helena, and another for my friend Rebekah that lives in Colorado. We looked at SO many choices! I tell you what, if you want to be inspired to be crafty just go to JoAnns, I could drop some serious $$ in that store! Thankfully I came prepared with a list and a coupon!

About 2 hours later, and with 40% off, I left the store with these two fabrics:

this one totally made me think of my sis-in-law:


and I really liked this fabric and thought Rebekah would too:

(it isn’t as green as my phone picture is making it look)

It only took me about 45 minutes to make them, or at least the 2nd and 3rd one (I made mine first so it could have all the oops). It was so incredibly easy and I just love how simple it is to use. Both of the fabrics are so fun, soft, and breathable. Here are the end results.

A quick side-note: I forgot to take a picture of Helena’s before I gave it to her at the baby shower, so I had my brother Matt take some pictures and send them to me… this is what he sent me:

and the “in action” shots:

and because I just can’t resist myself:

he’s a pretty funny guy!

This is the one for my friend Rebekah that just welcomed her daughter Adelaide into the world last week.

gotta love the cheesy smile in a do-it-yourself photo op!.

It was very encouraging for another sewing project to go so well. Looks like it’s time to setup a sewing station so I can keep that sucker out :)

Next up on the list: a cafe curtain for the kitchen window! Looks like it’s time for another JoAnns visit !!


Shading the Kitchen

When we moved into our house one of the things I absolutely loved were the french doors to the back yard. Having the glass panels let it so much wonderful light, and I love looking outside at all the birds and trees. Well, we moved into our house in December. December is generally a nice cool month in Florida. Fast forward 5 months to summer and my opinion quickly changed. Most people in the southern states know that non-covered windows in the summer equals massive heat! Blinds and curtains are almost a necessity in order to keep your electric bill from bankrupting you. I don’t think our french doors would have been a problem if they weren’t facing west, and weren’t in the kitchen. Sun sets in the West, dinner is cooked in the evening… both of those situations make for one HOT kitchen and dining room at night. Seriously, I purposefully don’t use the oven because it gets boiling hot with the sun streaming in the doors and my over-the-sink window.

I love natural light. I love the sun. I love seeing outdoors. However, I don’t love sweating while cooking. I don’t even like it. Not one bit. Which is why I have been searching for a solution.

My first idea was to buy the french door window blinds. They have the kind that lock on top of your window so that you have blinds INSIDE the glass attachment (examples here). I wanted them, badly. We went to a few home improvement stores and found that they are around $120 per window. Yikes, that is more than I was wanting to spend. I have quite a few house projects I’m wanting to complete and I wasn’t on board with draining most of my home improvement budget on one project.

Solution number two was to get wood blinds and put them over the  glass part of the door (for examples click here). Our friends the Cooks and the Coleys have this type and I really like them. They would be cheaper than the in-glass attachment, and still allow me to let light in when I want.

The project was a go. We went to the store and priced them, measured our doors so we could pick them up and then we hit a big snag. Our doors are metal. Have you ever tried drilling into metal? Well I can tell you that we didn’t even try. My affordable, attractive, and ‘simple’ solution was a bust.

I decided it was time to take this challenge into my own DIY hands. I did some blog and google searching and found my own homemade solution, and instead of explaining it I’m just going to show you a before and after picture. Everyone loves pictures, it’s a much better visual (and you won’t have to read anymore boring blinds talk, score!)


Dining Room Before


Dining Room After


I am LOVING the results. It is seriously so much cooler in the house today than it was yesterday. Plus, now I don’t worry about walking around in my undies and someone seeing me. Silly thing to worry about?! Heck no it isn’t, especially when you don’t have a privacy fence up (yet) !!

Also, I saved SO much cash on this project. I got the fabric with a 40% off coupon, and the magnetic curtain rods were only $12 each. Leftover project money means I get to move onto another project, yay!! Plus, we had the added bonus of not having to drill into the doors!

It took me about 2 hours to get the curtains made, and it may seem silly, but I love that the magnetic rods give me the option to do this:

and this

Will I ever move the curtains up or down like that? I have no idea, but if Sarah wants to stare outside, she can, or if I want to see Stephen while he’s outside grilling, I can. Heck, I can even remove them completely from the door and put them back on later.

It’s funny how I can think back and remember how totally bummed I was when my first two idea’s couldn’t work. I’m sure glad they didn’t because I like this solution A LOT more.

I’m looking forward to how much cooler our kitchen and dining room are going to be. Maybe I’ll start using the oven again! I know Stephen will be really excited about that ;)


Handmade Goodies

About a month before we had Sarah I got a real sweet gift in the mail from a long time friend. This particular gift took me by complete surprise because of how personal it is.


Sarah’s Personalized Play Mat


The Back


I love the sweet details



My sweet friend Rebekah handmade this for Sarah. I told her she needs to open her own shop because she has some incredible sewing skills! She is actually due with her own little girl in June, and I’m so excited for her and her hubby Scott.

We have been using the mat for tummy time and I love that it’s easy to pack it in her diaper bag for when we are going to our family or friends homes. Seriously though, how cute is this?!? If you didn’t know, I have a thing for birds, so that makes it even more awesome to me! I wish Rebekah lived close, she and I could have a lot of fun and our girls (once hers gets here) could be best friends :)

After receiving this gift I was inspired to get out my sewing machine (which had been sitting in the bottom of our linen closet for way too long). Since then I have made a few things that I will be sharing with you very soon! I even have a list of fun projects that I can’t wait to tackle. I can’t believe I forgot how fun sewing can be!

Anyone wanna hit up JoAnns or Hobby Lobby?!? Me and the fabric section are becoming very fast friends!


New From Old

When I posted the Nursery Reveal for you I told you I would show you the process of some of the projects. With the surprise of our little girl arriving a week early it has taken me a while to get some of these “transformations” ready for your viewing.

The first before-after project I’m going to share with you is the wall shelf that I gave a nice update. Here’s a little reminder of what it looks like in the nursery.

Since the picture I have re-arranged some of the things on the shelf, but it looks close to the same as the picture. Instead of the pink birdie handing I switched it out for Sarah’s 1st swimsuit (which is absolutely Adorable)! And the turtle on the shelf got moved to the floor as the door stopper. Moving on…

This is what the shelf looked like for the past 20 years, hanging in my brother’s bedroom.


A nice lovely dose of pine wood

I considered painting it a few different colors to add some POP to the nursery, but decided having all white furniture and then 1 piece with color would probably throw off the balance.

Thankfully I had some white paint that my mom let me have from when they painted their kitchen cabinets. Actually, I don’t even know why I was considering a different color when I had free paint on hand?!?!


the during process

One afternoon when my energy level was at a nice high I grabbed a sheet, the shelf, my sander and some paint. I sanded the shelf down with some 120 grit sandpaper, just to remove some of the glossy veneer. After some sanding I wiped it down and started applying coats of paint. Mid-painting I considered leaving the piece like this:

Giving it a bit of a shabby-chic look. Then I decided to just go the whole way and made it freshly white, with no lines or wood grain showing through.

Thankfully we had some crazy awesome weather in February this year, so the sun dried the paint in record timing. I think it took me 2 hours to do the entire project, dry time included.

There ya have it, a simple DIY project completed in no time at all.

Total cost of this project:  $0.00
We already had the dirty sheet to paint on, the brush and roller I used, the shelf was a hand-me-down, and the paint was from a used bucket.

You gotta love a free makeover :)


Finally a Foyer

With this recent change in my energy level I have been getting a lot done around the house. My mom says it’s “nesting”, and if that’s true I wish I could buy it in a bottle for the other 360 days of the year! With the nursery completed I have been getting the house swept, scrubbed, vacuumed, and de-cluttered as much as possible. I’m pretty sure I’ve done more in this past week than the past 9 months!

One project I have been wanting to complete since we moved in is the foyer. We don’t have a ‘formal foyer’ or anything like that, our 1970’s ranch home has more of a “walk straight into the living room” layout to it. But because the man who flipped our house closed in the garage and moved the living room there, we have what I call an “entry room”. I have no idea what to do with it. We have the piano in there, and a rug. It’s actually pretty bare and sad when I stop and think about it. But I now feel that it’s “openness” will come in handy these next few months as we have a baby moving in and taking up any empty space. So ignoring the overall entry-room not being decorated, I did finally setup and designate our official entry way.

Here are some shots of our latest and greatest home improvement.

Here is the Entry Before:


The white dresser is a recent addition. My friend Amanda let me use it for the nursery, but it didn’t fit because of the small space we had available. We moved it out to the foyer and I really liked it’s placement. Next step was to make it look like an actual setup, and not just a temporary furniture spot (I usually have my Goodwill pile stashed there, so it was a good change!)

Here is the AFTER:


The space provides a nice landing zone for keys, and the drawers will be awesome for baby-storage (baby items of course, not our actual child). I know I would really like a pop of color on the walls, it would really liven up the house, but that is much further down on the to-do list.

What do you think? The space has been used for far too many temporary things to make for a nice feel when you enter the house. Imagine walking in and there are 2 bikes right in front of your walkway. Or most commonly a pile of boxes that were needing to be taken to the recycle bins. I think this is a definite upgrade!

Anyone else working on some home projects? I love a good before & after!!


An Easy Nursery DIY

Yesterday was a successful day in the Ringl house. Since I am now in the ‘waiting’ stage of our new family member, I am trying to keep myself busy and active. One of the projects I have been wanting to accomplish for the nursery was a DIY bedding set. Well, I am flip-floppy on the need for a crib bumper, but with the strorage capabilities under the crib, I was still hoping to get a crib skirt made. Primarily to hide the giant box we’ve got stashed under there.

I was pretty sure this was going to be a time consuming and detailed task, but it turned out to be super easy. Seriously, even if you think you are the worst craft or project person, you could complete this with hardly any effort!

This is what the crib looked like yesterday morning. You can definitely see the box stashed under there.



Remember this fabric from a post I did about 2 months ago…


A simple online search resulted in a 40% off JoAnns coupon, so the fun fabric quickly joined our humble abode.

Next, with the help of my mom, some awesome sticky back velcro attachments, and no-sew heat-n-bond, we went to work.



We laid the fabric out and cut the 4 pieces we needed. With the simple help of an iron we went to town.


We did one side at a time, just to make sure we had the measurements correct.  The sticky adhesive also makes it crazy easy to change out the skirt, if I ever desire too (which I won’t, because I LOVE the fabric)!!


See how awesome it looks!!  It’s so light and soft. Follows right in line with my whimsical woodlands theme I was going for.


Now, for a “dramatic” before and after.





While we were originally going to sew the skirt from some online tutorials I found, we went the ‘quick and easy’ route. We finished our first-ever crib skirt project in about half-an-hour! It was amazingly easy, and ridiculously satisfying.

It may seem silly, but I feel like it really gives the room a completed feel. Plus, we did it all for under $15, which is one-thousand times better than the $160 price tag for the bedding set I was originally looking at.

Just another successful DIY project that shows how much $$ you can save with a simple online tutorial, and a little elbow work.



The Nursery Reveal

After a lot of work we have finally completed our biggest house project so far. I’ve shown you several posts along the way, but I’m excited to finally present the finished product. Without further ado, Sarah’s Nursery!

Here is the Before:


Here we go with a picture-full post of the big baby-room transformation:

(Sorry the lighting isn’t the best, I’m still learning how to pick the best time of day for this room.)

Next up is an angle from if you are standing next to the crib. You can see the open-faced closet & future sitting/nap area.


This is the view from the closet wall. I think it does a decent job of showing the small amount of space we had to work with. The room is 10 x 9, so it’s nice and snug. I think everything fits just right. Not too crowded and not under-used either.


Here is the completed closet. We moved the rack up higher so that there would be ample storage/stacking space on top of the dresser, but enough room to stash things up top as well. Right now it’s hosting the Bumbo, an embroidered ‘Sarah’ tote bag, and a recycle bag that I will probably find use for real quick.

We removed the door from the closet because I didn’t like the idea of having to open and shut it multiple times per day, especially if my arms are full with 1) a baby, 2) laundry, and/or 3) both. Removing the door was simple. I painted the inside of the closet one day while Stephen was at work, and the dresser fit inside perfectly. I had originally planned on hanging a curtain in front of the closet (a matching one to the window), but decided I like how open it makes the room feel. Who knew removing a simple door could make such a big difference.


All 3 drawers are currently packed full of clothes aging from infant-6 months. Once she grows out of those I have a box stored under the crib with larger sizes. The bottom drawer is actually a holding place for shoes, hair bands, socks, and bibs. Laundry is fixing to get crazy!.

Some of the frames above the glider…





These are the two outfits hanging on the wall next to the crib. I got the onesie for Stephen for Christmas, and our friend/realtor that sold us our house got us that cute little dress from Hawaii.


This will be Sarah’s view, once she can sit up and stand on her own.


If she has any desire to look up at the hanging lanters and cute Nature print, this is what she’ll see…(minus the shiny flash on the wall print).


I scored these “outside” lanters on clearance at Target for like $4. I had a gift card so they actually didn’t cost me a dime. I really like what they add to the room. They remind me of a combination of scenes from Fern Gully, LOTR (in Lothlórien), and living in the trees like in Swiss Family Robinson. I think I may have a thing for living in the outdoors…


This is a shelf that was my younger brother Jason’s all throughout childhood. He recently got married and after moving into a new apartment he decided he didn’t want it. I quickly snatched it up and painted it white. I’ll actually have a post up about it’s crazy color change next week :)



I love this cute calendar I got from my friend Kelly. She did a perfect job at picking it out because it carries the ‘feel’ I was going for with the room. A whimsical nature scene, if you can follow that idea. I love animals, soft colors, and more recently the feel of walking into a purple-walled bedroom. It’s amazing how a baby can change your idea’s on color.


Right here we have our little door holder. Isn’t he sweet? He actually probably needs a bath. I got him from a yard sale for $0.25

Last here is the exit. You can see we have the diaper bag packed and ready. It has actually made a move from the nursery to near the front door, and in the car if we are going out (just in case). We like to be prepared!


Well that sums up our nursery makeover. For now on when people visit they will be next door in the new-guest -bedroom-that-was-once-the-office. It’s bigger with more closet space and more windows, so I guess you could say it’s a nice little upgrade.

So what do you think? I hope the pictures do the room justice. It’s hard getting good angles when you are propping you 38-week pregnant belly in tiny corners with a camera.

We are done people. Sarah can arrive at any time and will have a place to eat, sleep, poop, and whatever else babies do.