Heart to Art

Have you ever looked at a piece of abstract art and thought, “I could paint that.” Well, what’s stopping you? Maybe you can. Maybe you are the world’s best abstract artist and you don’t even know it yet because you haven’t tried.  I worry about that sometimes. What if I’m the world’s best tightrope walker, or muskrat trainer, or freestyle rapper, and I never know because I’VE NEVER TRIED??

Don’t let that happen to you. First things first, get a muskrat. No, wait, I mean a canvas.

The other day my sister and I each took a blank canvas and the same few colors of paint, and tried our hand at abstract art.  It was crazy how different they both turned out. I will show you mine, when I am happy with it, which is not today. Turns out I might not be the world’s best abstract artist.

But I love this one from Gemma!

DIY Abstract Artwork Before

DIY Abstract Artwork

Simple and lovely. Just a few shades of gray with touches of pink and gold.  I need to go back and simplify mine, it has about 15 shades of everything and I tried for some soft pink and ended up somewhere in garish hot pink fuchsia town.

See her process at The Sweetest Digs.


And next, guess what Better After reader Jessica turned this old entertainment unit into?

White Desk Unit Before

White Desk Unit

Did you say a desk? I bet not, because who saw that coming? Not me.

She says “I wanted a Pottery Barn desk unit but was unwilling to part with thousands of dollars for it. I found this unfortunate oak entertainment center for $85 and with lots of blood, sweat and tears, got her done. Three months later. Not pictured in the before picture is a couple of filing cabinets I opted to use instead of the ones that came with it.”

I love it. Great job Jessica! And if you’re wondering what Gemma’s abstract art had to do with Jessica’s desk, and why I shared them in one post, it’s because look how happy they would be together:

White Desk Unit with art
Hmmm, maybe I’m the world’s best matchmaker, what do you think about that? Ha!

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Cart to heart.

You know how sometimes you need an island in your kitchen, but your kitchen doesn’t have a ton of room, and you don’t have a ton of money? Meg knows. She gets you.

Meg found this affordable little cart from Ikea and figured it would squeeze perfectly into her kitchen. Only Meg has this thing where she likes her DIYs to not look like DIYs.  It needed to look professional. Catalog worthy. It needed some sha-jazz.


Ikea Hack Bar Cart Before


Ikea Hack Bar Cart

Sha-jazz complete! She was inspired by a similar look she saw in a Williams Sonoma catalog, only their version cost $930. Robbery I say!

With a few elegant touches, like the carrara marble slab on top (good for extra stability too) and the vintage brass towel holder, she got the look she wanted and kept about $870 in her pocket. Go Meg!

See more on her blog Oliver and Rust.

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Scavenger Stunt

“Hey, don’t throw that away! I can use it for SOMETHING!”

Has your spouse ever uttered these words? Are YOU guilty of overusing this phrase? Don’t worry. Joan from Scavenger Chic and I are here today to help you find inspiration so you can finally spring into action!

Step one: grab that junky thing you’ve kept lying around for way too long. Step two: turn it into a lamp.


Shutter Lamp Before


Shutter Lamp After

Tada! How easy was that? Pretty easy, if you know your way around a jigsaw and a nail gun and a lamp kit.

Or, here’s another approach for those of us less inclined to fiddle with electricity.

Step one: grab that junky thing you’ve kept lying around for way too long. Step two: turn it into a lantern!

Shutter Lantern Before


Shutter Lantern

This is what Joan did with the leftover parts of the shutters after she had stripped them to create her lamp. Joan is ROCKIN it! Come to my house Joan and let’s tackle my piles of junky stuff next!

See the lantern how-to on her blog Scavenger Chic.

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July 4th and So Forth

Happy (almost) Independence Day America! Wow, how old does that make you, 238, 239? You’re really getting up there in years old girl! Here, take a seat before those knees give out.


patriotic chair before copy


patriotic chair after copyFrom Michelle at Green Acres Hobby Farm.


Oh, I’m just kidding. You’ve still got a lot of spring in that step! Why, you’re practically a teenager compared to the rest of the world. Now let’s have some cake. But first, this cake plate needs a little spanglin’:


patriotic cake stand before

patriotic cake standFrom Mary Lou at House of Whimsy.



I wanted to show you a lot more fabulous American stuff, but these fireworks aren’t going to light themselves, so here is one more chair.

patriotic folding chair before

patriotic folding chair afterFrom Wendi at H20 Bungalow

And a Happy Fourth of July to you! Thanks for being the land that I love.

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