Coral n’ Cowboys

Coral is such a pretty shade. I would describe it as kind of an orangey pink, which is funny because actual coral, like from the bottom of the ocean, comes in trabillions of colors. That would be like taking a particular shade of yellow and naming it “Rainbow.” I have a piece of coral from the Bahamas. It’s black and looks like a dead weed. I don’t know where I’m going with this other than to say, hey look! Here are some coral-colored makeovers for you today!

Up first is this dresser from Stephanie, which she painted … you guessed it … coral. Coral coral, not dead weed colored coral. I love the simple new pulls, gold and coral together are always a sure bet!

Coral Dresser Before


Coral Dresser Makeover |

See it at The Styled Soul.

And speaking of gold, if you need a place to easily store yours, why not use this wild-wild-west-themed shelf? I sense your stares of dubiousness, but scroll onward and you will see how Kelly sent the  cowboys riding off into the sunset by flipping it upside down and covering the mirror with fabric and chicken wire. She added paint and mini tart-pans, and faster than you can say ‘get along little doggies,’ it’s a jewelry storage system! Yeehaw!

Coral Jewelry Holder Before


Coral Jewelry Hanger Makeover | See more at E3ONE.

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My Brass Candlestick Collection

I’ve been looking for a reason to share my growing collection of brass candlesticks with you, so I invented one! I started a “Collections Tour” with some of my blogging friends, and it kicks off today! Whoop woo!

I’m so intrigued by the things people decide to collect and why. For instance, I have a friend who collects Santa Clause figurines because his mother was SO good at making Christmastime magical, he actually believed in Santa until 7th grade. I have another friend so obsessed with Disney that every single room in her home is top-to-bottom, wall-to-wall Disney, not exaggerating.

So today, not only can you hop around from blog to blog and see what your favorite bloggers are into collecting, you can use the hashtag #whatIcollect on instagram or twitter to share a peek of your collections too! I would seriously love to see it. Please, won’t you let me be a voyeur inside your head?

Unfortunately, there’s no scandalous story or magical childhood memory behind my collection. I recently started collecting brass candlesticks simply because I like them and they are easy to find. Every time I swing by the thrift-store there is usually an assortment to choose from.

brass candlestick collection lit all white

And here they are! Such a cute little group.


brass candlesticks cropped

I’m now learning that the quality of brass can vary wildly, so I’m starting to be pickier about which ones I’ll buy.


brass candlestick lined up

I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite because they are all like little baby children to me. HA! Kidding. They are just candlesticks. Of course I have a favorite. It’s the first one on the left of the picture above.  I’m pretty sure it’s the highest quality brass in the bunch. It’s much heavier than it looks and has a really lovely warm tone when it’s all polished up. (It could use a bit of polishing right now).

The one next to it is some kind of candlestick mutt which I’m pretty sure was pieced together from three separate candlesticks of various metals, same with the other long and skinny one.  The third from the end and the little one on the end are probably the cheapest quality, and it shows in their yellowy brassy tone that is not my fave. They were probably some of the first ones I bought when I didn’t know any better.

It’s also hard to tell what you are getting when you find them at the thrift store, because they are all in desperate need of polishing and look super dull and brown. Like this:

unpolished brass candlesticks


But going by their weight is a good way to judge if you’ve found a worthwhile one. Just pretend you are playing Clue and ask yourself if your candlestick could viably be used as a weapon or not. Easy!

brass candlesticks up close

Here is Mr. My Favorite up close and personal, and you can see exactly where it needs some polishing again. I just use Brasso, which you can find in the cleaning aisle, but honestly, I’m not THAT impressed with Brasso.  It still takes a ton of elbow grease to really shine them up.


brass candlestick collection


brass candlestick up close

types of brass candlesticks

I plan to keep adding to my collection whenever I find any that are especially unique. Now I just need to collect more candles!


collections tour logo

Ok! Now it’s your turn! Snap a picture or two of something you love to collect and share it with us on instagram or twitter. Just use the hashtag #whatIcollect, and if you tag me @betterafterlnz (or @betterafter on twitter), I’ll be sure to come by and say hi!

Check out the rest of the bloggers on the tour by clicking on the linky thing below. Yay fun!


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A tisket, a tasket, an easy Easter Basket

Pssst, I don’t mean to scare you, but EASTER is TOMORROW! Do you have your eggs and and baskets and goodies all ready to go?  Yes? Well then. Good for you. Way to be prepared and stuff.

Some of us, on the other hand, will be picking out way through what remains in the Easter section of Target at around 10 pm tonight. And some of us might have forgotten where we stashed the Easter baskets last year.  Luckily, Jess at Live Randomly Simple has a quick and easy Easter basket project made with minimal supplies and maximum cuteness.

A simple crate, wood strips, and wire is all it takes. Stuff it with some fake grass and you’re practically done. Just kidding. I actually don’t condone using fake grass. You will be cleaning it up until Christmas, trust me on that.

Easter Egg Basket Crate Before Makeover


Easter Egg Basket Crate Before Makeover |

Happy happy Easter weekend!

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Friday: Randoms

I love the big projects, and I always will – room reveals, massive furniture makeovers, huge renovation undertakings – but my heart can’t help but love the little projects the most. Things that you can accomplish in an afternoon, during the baby’s naptime, with a can of spray paint and a hot glue gun. The projects that make you think “I can do that!” instead of “Maybe if I had $50,000 and a construction crew on hand, I could do that.”

So here are some fun little projects for your eyeballz to enjoy.  This first one sent me on a Craigslist hunt for a gumball machine, which led to me checking out today’s furniture listings, which led to me looking at the free section, which never ends well.

Anyway, I still want a gumball machine so I can paint it gold and fill it with white gumballs, and then forbid anyone in my family from actually having a gumball. Can’t you kids tell these are decorative gumballs? Sheesh.


Gold Gumball Machine Makeover |

Gold Gumball Machine Makeover |

From Courtney at Intention & Grace.

And speaking of white and gold, which is apparently my love language, Joy at Beautiful Protest dolled up this itsy-bitsy jewelry box, and it looks so chic on her shelf now! Chic on a Shelf  just so happens to be the name of the e-book I’m writing; a definitive how-to guide on decorating shelves. I’m not really doing that, but don’t copy my idea just in case I ever do.

White and Gold Jewlery Box |
White and Gold Jewlery Box |


I love sunburst mirrors, and have no fewer than five at my house right now. This DIY version from Ashley at Domestic Imperfection is perfection.

Gold Sunburst Mirror Makeover |

Gold Sunburst Mirror Makeover |

I tried a similar project once, also using skewers, but my mirror was simply a round mirror with no frame, and it just didn’t look that great.  Definitely go with a substantial frame like Ashley did, it’s gorgeous!


This next project from Better After reader Angela just tickles me to bits. A birdfeeder makeover for her baby daughter!  Don’t worry, her daughter doesn’t eat birdseed, she just loves to look out the window, so Angela thought she’d try to attract some cute little birds to make the experience even more enjoyable. So sweet.

Bird Feeder Makeover |

Bird Feeder Makeover |

Straight out of the box it was nothing special, but Angela made it fit for a woodland fairy!


Finally, if you’ve been looking everywhere for a way to use up all your fabric scraps while brushing up on your United States geography at the same time, I’ve got just the project for you, you big weirdo.

Amanda made a fabric scrap map and not only is it fun to say, it looks awesome! Oh man, I bet cutting out all those states was tedious, but worth it in the end. If you wanted to save time, I can see this looking pretty rad even as a single state silhouette.  I think my state is pretty good looking, how about yours?


Fabric USA Map Makeover |

Fabric USA Map Makeover |

See more details from Amanda at Mommy is CooCoo.

Happy Weekend!

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