...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Back in August, Handy Hubby and I attended his grandmother’s funeral in Pennsylvania.  It was bittersweet.  Bitter because we were grieving the loss of a loved one but also sweet because we were able to bring home a part of his grandmother’s past.  You see, Handy Hubby’s grandmother had lived on a large farm for many years which was recently sold due to her husband’s death and her own deteriorating health. Many items were salvaged from the farm including old fence boards used to corral cattle.  After being asked several times if there was anything we’d like to have, Handy Hubby and I decided to give the worn fence boards a facelift.  So we loaded ‘em into our SUV and brought ‘em back to Ohio.  Let me tell you, that ride was interesting, dusty and uncomfortable.  The boards were long and extended all the way up through the front seats, in between Handy Hubby and me, and up onto the dashboard.  We couldn’t see each other.  The back gate barely shut. {And, no, the kiddos weren’t with us.}

We tried to cover up as much of the interior and luggage as we could with a tarp but nearly every surface was coated in a thick layer of dust by the time we got home.  As soon as we unloaded the boards, I cleaned and swept the whole car out.  It was disgusting!

We devised a plan to use the boards for custom artwork/a makeshift headboard in our master bedroom and for a sliding door {coming soon!} to our master bathroom.  You got a peek at the art/headboard last week.  How did I come up with that idea?  Well, I couldn’t decide on artwork, a headboard or both above our bed.  I thought both would be a little much for our simple taste…not to mention more expensive than just one.  So, I decided to make artwork that could double as a headboard.  **I’ve got a serious {maybe even scary} thing for multitasking home decor.**  Handy Hubby cut the boards to size.

He managed to avoid using damaged portions of the fence boards.  We still wanted them imperfect though.

Next, he sanded them {wearing a mask, of course} and wiped them down with tack cloth.  He attached them together using two 1″x4″ lumber strips vertically along the backside. {I didn’t want the edges lined up perfectly.}  That left me with this blank canvas…

I wrote out “love” onto the wooden headboard with a piece of chalk…

…and then painted over top of it…

May I point out the little hole above the “v”?  It was unintentional but it’s the best lil’ place to slip your hand into and haul the headboard around.  Funny how that worked out.

The only money doled out for this project was for paint.  {Hint:  We still have a gallon left over for the rest of the fence boards.}  But who cares how much it did/didn’t cost?  This art/headboard/whatever-you-want-to-call-it means so much to us.  First of all, it’s originally from a place that was a huge part of Handy Hubby’s childhood…the family farm.  It’s a daily reminder of his beloved grandparents who are no longer with us.  It’s also the perfect example of how Handy Hubby and I work together on DIY projects.  I come up with some random, off-the-wall idea…Handy Hubby breaks out the power tools and brings it to life…I add a dose of personality and creativity to the final product.  Really, that’s usually how things work over here.  And in the end, we are left with this meaningful, heartfelt piece to view day in and day out. It’s a good life, I tell ya.

Have you been tag-teaming a recent project?  I’d love to hear all about it.

images: all by Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

The ruffled pillow from my master bedroom sneak peek has gotten a lot of interest.

As I said, I purchased it from Etsy and today I’d like to share the seller with you.  Please welcome Jilly Bean Things.

Unlike all the other Etsy pillow products I’ve featured on H*T, I actually purchased this as a pillow {versus a pillow cover}.  The decorative cover is not removable.  So to wash it, the entire pillow must be washed…which I figure is just fine for a pillow in our master bedroom that doesn’t get much hands-on action from our lil’ kiddos.  {I probably wouldn’t have purchased it for our main living area.} It’s the perfect pop of color and femininity for our {hopefully} gender neutral bedroom.  I’m very pleased with the quality and density of this handmade pillow.  Wanna see more from Jilly Bean Things?  If so, see below.

Don’t you adore those pops of mustard, olive, eggplant and pimento? Mmm, I’m hungry.  And the ruffles?  My gosh, the ruffles.  They’re sweet without being childish.  You might notice a few handbags thrown into the mix.  I thought some of you may be tired of pillows.  {Me?  Never.}  If I didn’t need a larger purse {for extra toddler undies/pants/sippy cup}, you bet I’d have one of those handbags.  Maybe in a few years. And speaking of kids…the creator of Jilly Bean Things has recently welcomed another {third} child to her family and has several items available with FREE shipping.  Go check ‘em out and, you never know, you might just find that perfect Christmas gift for that perfect someone.

Happy Etsy browsing!

FYI – I was not compensated in any way for this post.  I just love sharing good stuff.

images:  1) Dana Miller  2) Jilly Bean Things via Etsy  3) collage by Dana Miller using Jilly Beans Things’ images via Etsy

What I’m appreciating today…

  • physical and mental health…mine, Handy Hubby’s, my kids’…sometimes I feel like I take that for granted
  • my testosterone-filled lil’ family…I always wanted boys and, boy, did I ever get them
  • such a supportive husband…kudos to all the guys out there that let their women express themselves through home decor
  • a place to call home
  • homemade birthday cards from my lil’ guy…here’s the most recent one from my birthday earlier this week…

{isn’t it funny that he put “Dana” on it as opposed to “Mama”?!}

{I translated for you.  Notice the teal arrow…he made me a compass so I never get lost.}

  • anyone who has ever read my blog
  • good cameras that take great pictures
  • white spray paint
  • books
  • all the inspiration I get from nature
  • a financially stable {albeit painstakingly uncreative} part-time job
  • Handy Hubby’s career
  • my age…I’m older than I think I am
  • the ability to just be present
  • good sleep
  • interior design blogs/websites that fuel a wildfire inside me
  • a reliable computer
  • vehicles that are paid off
  • mortgage refinancing
  • fun co-workers who make my painstakingly uncreative job bearable
  • extended family near and far
  • possibilities…of our house, this blog, future endeavors
  • chocolate in any form
  • me time
  • the fun, family-oriented neighborhood that we live in
  • a woman who makes my Dad happy and feeds my boys whatever they want
  • organic products
  • rain
  • IBC cream soda on the rocks
  • a good smelling candle
  • rediscovering my love of writing
  • the BYW {Blogging Your Way} e-course I recently finished up
  • Layne’s love of reading and writing
  • Everett’s love of flirting…watch out, he’s gonna be a lady-killer
  • a clean kitchen
  • the gene I inherited from my Dad that allows me to eat whatever I want without gaining an ounce…hey, it was attached to the adolescent severe acne gene so I had that to deal with
  • people who are easy to be around
  • my college girlfriends
  • my Handy Hubby…I may have mentioned him already but, really, this guy deserves some more words…he encourages me to try new things, he doesn’t always tell me no when I tell him my ideas, he’s such a hands-on Dada, he’s lived gluten-free for the last 8 months {that’s not easy to do!}, talking to him always makes me feel better, he can operate a tool or two, and I’ve been told I should change his blog name from “Handy Hubby” to “Hunky Hubby”
  • the one day per week that I get Layne to take a nap the same time as Everett…heaven on earth
  • a big unfinished basement that hides all our DIY messes
  • Etsy
  • toys that don’t make noise
  • the day I took my kids to the library and overheard some teenage boy refer to me as a “MILF”
  • the ease of potty-training Everett…I guess I paid my dues with Layne
  • neighbors who are excellent cooks and invite me over for dinner
  • spirituality
  • movies that take me to magical places
  • …and all the readers who entered to win H*T’s first ever giveaway {hopefully, more to come!}

AND THE TILEShowroom WINNER IS…

…ERIN PEARCE!! who is thankful for her three-year-old son’s speech and occupational therapists.  What a wonderful thing to be thankful for.  {Erin, be on the lookout for an email from me and TILEShowroom!  Your $100 coupon code will be emailed to you after the holiday break.}

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!  Now, go eat some turkey.

FYI – The TILEShowroom winner was picked at random via Random.org.

images:  all by Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

In the spirit of online shopping, er, giving, I’ve been browsing through any and all catalogs that make their way into my mailbox.  A little over a week ago, the Uncommon Goods catalog caught my eye with its quirky, humorous and unique inventory.

Their motto, “find anything but ordinary”, fits them to a T.  I enjoyed searching through the one-of-a-kind items for possible gifts – and maybe even things just for my home.  Here are the items that I particularly like.

Uncommon Goods

1)  These Paper Pots hold a stack of Kleenex tissues or a roll of toilet paper.  {Click on the link and view the You Tube video to see how they work.}  They’re a pretty clever alternative to the boring cardboard Kleenex box.

2)  One of my goals for the next year is to start composting.  {I know, I know.  I should be doing it already.  I’m awful.}  These cutesy Ceramic Countertop Compost Containers would make it easier and prettier.

3)  This bag o’ goodies may not seem like anything special but look again.  It’s actually an Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag.  What a creative way to display treats!

4)  I’m one of those people who must have their checkbook balanced to the penny.  This Lined Paper Checkbook Cover is simple and fun…in contrast to the act of balancing your checking account.

5)  Ok, so I totally want one of these Cardboard Animal Heads.  {Hear me, Santa?  The deer, I like the deer.}  They’re a great way to add some hunting lodge appeal to your home minus the hunting part.  Plus, they have cool names like Bucky, Fred and Eyan.  They just need an Earl and my family tree would be complete!  Handy Hubby thinks I’m crazy to want a paper deer hanging from the wall but not a stuffed one. Oh well.  It wouldn’t be the first time he thought I was crazy.

6)  I could see my boys manipulating this Evolutionary Dinosaur Puzzle Set into loud and scary beasts.  Roar!  The fact that they’re made of non-toxic wood and water-based paints is music to my ears.

7)  The Destruct 3 would be a great Family Friday game to play with all my boys {Handy Hubby included}.  You know how kids {and their fathers too} like to build things and then knock ‘em down?  Well, this game is meant just for that.  Players take turns building a block tower while their opponents try to demolish it with either a catapult, ramp or pendulum.  Now if that doesn’t mold my lil’ men into spittin’ engineer images of their Dada, I’m not sure what will.

So, that’s me window shopping, uh, maybe ‘web shopping.’  Do you like anything you saw?  If so, go to the Uncommon Goods website to find even more {and more unique!} gifts for everyone on your Christmas list.  And tell me…  Am I a Scrooge for avoiding the store bought hustle-and-bustle? Or maybe you already compost and could give me some tips?  Or, better yet, you’re with Handy Hubby and find paper animal heads just ridiculous?

Happy shopping!

FYI – I was not compensated in any way for featuring Uncommon Goods and their goods.  I just like sharing fun stuff.

images:  1) Uncommon Goods  2) collage by Dana Miller with Uncommon Goods images