Thursday, January 22, 2015

The most neglected space in our home, and how I can fix it

sponsored post button

Years ago when we bought our home we knew we were going to have to put in a lot of work and do some renovations. A lot of big projects and some smaller ones went into turning our home into a 1960’s blast from a hellish past into the home it is today. And there are still a lot of projects I’d like to take on to complete the transformation. There’s always some painting here, some yard work there, and plenty of other things on my to-do list, but one of the spaces in our house that I would like to update is our small bathroom for guests.  And when I say small, think coat closet small.

I believe it’s called a quarter bathroom because it just contains the necessities, nothing else like a shower or bath. There is a small vanity I would like to update to something more modern or even a rustic industrial feel, a faucet which has never really fit the sink and makes it quite hard to wash your hands, a new mirror, and I’d love to add storage or shelving above the toilet.  This little bathroom has been seriously neglected. It’s like the space we don’t really use so we just close the door and forget about it. You understand, right? Until there are guests coming over it’s forgotten, and then I start thinking about how plain and lacking it really is. So this year I’d like to work on making over our little bathroom and I think finding inspiration and products I’d like to use is the first step in getting started. home page

My main source for product inspiration right now is  I’ve been browsing and shopping their site and have found plenty of great faucets, vanities, and storage solutions for bathrooms of all sizes, even our coat closet sized one. With Decor Planet you can narrow down your product searches by size, color, price, brands, etc, making it really easy to shop for items you’ll love without even leaving your home.

This open shelf vanity that has a great rustic industrial look and you can easily customize the countertop and faucet from lists of coordinating products right on the same page. I also love the mirror that goes with it. Perfect match.

bathroom vanity inspiration from decor planet

selecting coordinating products from decor planet

Not only can you customize things like adding a mirror to your order, what sink you want, what countertops and faucet, you also get to see the price of those items, their measurements, and you’re guaranteed they’ll fit.
countertop inspiration from decor planet

This modern vanity in a Chilled Gray finish with a white marble countertop also caught my eye. I love the cleaner lines and think that the lighter color would brighten up our small bathroom so much.

vanity ispiration from deor planet

I can spend hours shopping for home décor, or materials for home improvements and renovations, but shopping with three little ones for that long would be overwhelming. Online sites like Decor Planet have become lifesavers for me. I can easily shop their site, add items to a Pinterest board, and keep all of my inspiration and design plans in one place. The site also has a cool customer show case where you can see real photos of products people have purchased and installed in their homes which I love. 

I can’t wait to shop for inspiring ideas for our bathroom and put that inspiration to work. Which look would you go for in a bathroom remodel, rustic industrial or a classic modern design? Or would you go for a completely different look? Either way you’ll probably find your style at Decor Planet. Head on over to check them out.

Disclosure: I was compensated to review the site and give my honest opinion of their services and store. You can read more about my advertising and disclosure policies here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A new year a new dream

to have a dream sign from the rugged heart
It’s already 13 days into the new year and I can’t believe it’s taken me till now to post. Well, actually I can believe it. It’s been a rough new year so far. Pretty much immediately after we rung in 2015 we all came down with the cold/flu. It started with Justin and then hit the kids, and brought me down last. I thought I was going to make it through without getting sick but then it hit me too. It’s never fun being sick but being sick at the same time your spouse is and all three of your kids is seriously craptastic. In the middle of battling colds and flu symptoms I decided to take a risk and follow my heart and open up a handmade shop. (Talk about some added stress.)

I’ve always been inspired to create new things though, and really love working with my hands. I can remember in junior high I took a woodshop class, and was one of the only girls in the class. That class was just the start of me realizing that I loved learning new skills and making things for people. I also took a Home Ec class in junior high and went on to take stained glass in high school, photography and glass blowing classes in college. Since then I’ve learned that I’m passionate and happy when I’m able to build things, paint, and share my knowledge with others.

Opening a shop and putting pieces I’ve created out there for people to buy is a big risk, but I can’t seem to get the thought that chasing a dream is better than just having one out of my head. It’s a powerful reminder and just what I needed to push myself to create a little handmade shop of my own.
                                            the rugged heart

The shop I created is called The Rugged Heart. So far you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We’ll be creating unique handmade home décor and more. We’re also open to creating custom orders should we have any requests. You can connect with us through any of the above social media accounts and also on through email. Hopefully soon I’ll have a site up and running too.

wood ampersand sign from the rugged heart

wood number sign from the rugged heart

love wood letters from the rugged heart

I'd love for you to stop by and check out the designs and items, or contact me if you have any requests. Hopefully 2015 will be a year for you to chase your dreams too!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

JOY MARQUEE SIGN–the perfect rustic Christmas or Holiday sign to add to your home


This JOY Marquee Sign was the perfect addition to the handmade rustic Christmas décor theme I’ve created in our home this year. I went to the #doitherself workshop Home Depot was hosting in November after seeing them tweet about the workshop one day earlier in the week.  The workshop I went to was completely free, and the Home Depot store I was at in Clovis, CA, gave everyone supplies to make their own sign that night. It was a fun class, and I thought it was very generous of my local Home Depot to let everyone make a sign. There were a lot of unexpected people that showed up though and not enough time for everyone to use the tools during the given workshop time. I had to get home to feed Lennox (oh the joys of having a 5 month old, right?), but my store allowed me to take home the two pieces of cut mdf and the 4 pieces of mdf trim they had given me so I could complete my sign at home. I ended up changing up my sign a bit to fit our home and our style of décor. I really love the finished look and my daughter already asked if she could keep the sign up in her room after Christmas is over. 

The sign that the Clovis Home Depot had made and was using as an example can be seen below


When I left that night I had only gotten to get my two rectangular pieces of MDF and the MDF trim. I still had to cut out my letters and put the sign together and buy lights and all that. I had used the plans given to us that night to measure my letters before leaving the workshop too. You can find the plans and measurements for the letters by clicking on the link to their template.


When the weekend came I decided to work on the sign and put it together. The first thing I did was use a jigsaw I borrowed from my dad to cut out my letters.


The next thing I decided to do was cut the rectangular piece of MDF I had for the backing down to a smaller size. The plans and measurements for the sign Home Depot uses were great, but the sign was just too big for where I wanted to use it in our home. I felt like a smaller sign over all would look better in our space.

After cutting out the letters I used my drill and a 1/2 inch drill bit to drill holes down the center of all three letters. Once I had my holes in my letters I placed them on top of the backing for the sign where I wanted them to be, and made a mark in the center of each hole. I was then able to drill a hole where each mark was. Once all of the holes were drilled both the backing of the sign got painted and the letters.

drill holes into painted plywood backing for joy marquee


I attached each of the letters with a few 5/8 of an inch nails using an 18 gauge nail gun I borrowed from my dad. I made sure the hole in the letters aligned with holes in the backing of the sign before nailing them in place. Then I went over the few nail holes with a little filler and paint.
The last step was attaching my trim to go around my sign. I decided to use 1x2’s I cut and stained instead of the MDF trim Home Depot provided. I think it gives the sign a more custom look and fits better with the handmade rustic décor I am using in our home right now. I attached the trim using 1 inch nails and an 18 gauge nail gun.

Once the trim was attached I added a strand of Christmas lights to the sign. I pulled the bulbs off of the lights, stuck the green part of the light through the back of the hole and pushed it to the front of the sign where I then reattached the bulb. I could have bought a battery back of lights and used those, but we already had a strand of round Christmas lights from last year that worked perfectly.

joy marquee sign with Christmas lights


MDF/Plywood backing for the marquee sign 26 inches wide by 19.5 inches tall
1x2 wood trim 2 pieces cut to 26 inches in length, and 2 pieces cut to 21 inches in length


You can also check out Ana White’s site to see more pictures of the #doitherself JOY Marquee Sign workshops and her plans here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Home Is Wherever I’m With You–painted wood sign

handpainted and built home is wherever I'm with you wood sign from

This is one of my favorite pieces that I’ve put together. I love song lyrics, quotes, inspiring words or phrases, and I enjoy filling our home with some of my favorite ones. “Home is Wherever I’m With You” is a line in the song Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It’s catchy tune, and I love the chorus.

I made this sign using a piece of plywood, 1x2’s that I cut to fit around the outer edge and frame the sign, paint, stain, and a nail gun.

home is wherever I'm with you sign and wooden houses from

1. First I cut my 1x2’s to fit around my plywood I would use for my sign. Then I mixed two colors of stain together to get the color I wanted (Minwax’s Golden Oak and Dark Walnut), and stained my 1x2’s after having lightly sanded them.
2. I painted the plywood for my sign white (2 coats), and used a pencil to write the song lyrics in cursive. Then I hand painted over the words written in pencil with a graphite black paint.I lightly sanded my sign to give it a worn look.
3. I attached the stained 1x2’s using an 18 gauge nail gun and 1 inch nails. I made sure that I aligned the 1x2’s so that they were flush against the back of the plywood. This created a deeper frame that would have a ledge all the way around the sign.

home is wherever I'm with you wood sign

I added little wooden houses I made to the sign by just sitting them on the ledge of the frame. (Wood Houses Tutorial post)

little cut wooden houses from

If you need a step by step tutorial with pictures I would check out the wood sign tutorial on SAVED BY LOVE CREATIONS. Johnnie has a great tutorial for putting a sign together that’s easy to follow.

Wood Triangle Trees–DIY rustic and minimalist Christmas decor

stained and natural wood triangle trees for Christmas

A few weeks ago I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and I saw this tweet by Crate & Barrel.

I immediately thought I could DIY something similar to those trees but use 1x2’s instead. I made a few triangles that very same weekend, but decided I liked the look of them without the eyelet hooks and strung ornaments and base. I liked that they were rustic and fit with our décor perfectly.  I stained some, did a black wash paint on one and left one with its natural wood state.


Below I gave you guys the cuts and measurements I used to make a large wood triangle tree. You can easily make the triangles different sizes by shortening all of the lengths of the pieces of wood.

measurements for a large wooden triangle tree from

Once you have your wood pieces cut you will need to dab a little wood glue where two pieces will meet together and use a smaller gauge nail gun to secure the pieces. I used an 18 gauge nail gun with 5/8 inch nails. I did 2-3 nails in each place where the sides connected.


I like the different combinations of the stains and sizes of the triangle trees. My husband refers to these as mountain peaks and not trees, so you could totally use them to depict mountains too I guess.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Felt ball garland, Vintage Window & Scrap Wood L Bracket Shelf– DIY & jump on this train


I know felt ball garlands are nothing new. They’ve been around the block a time or two by now, and there are a ton of tutorials on making felt ball garlands, and even making your own felt balls. I’m cool with being late to this felt ball garland club. I tend to kind of sit back and wait to really decide if I like something or not, and I don’t really rush to follow trends, unless they really call out to me that is.


I’ve been wanting to do a felt garland for a while and finally decided that since I was in the DIY-all-things kind of mood I might as well make one. I ordered gray and white 2cm felt balls from a seller on Etsy. After I got them I brought out some embroidery thread and a large thick needle to use to string them together.


Once they were all strung up I used these ultra small 3M Clear Command Hooks to hang them on the vintage window I bought from a vendor (@m5vintsgeco) during the Old Town Flea Market in Clovis where we live. I bought the window for $18, and knew it would go great hanging over our T.V.


To hang the shelf I used a 4 inch wide piece of wood, L brackets, and molly screws to secure it to the wall.  I stained the wood with a mix I made up (Minwax’s Golden Oak and Dark Walnut) before I hung it up.


I love old and new coming together to create a cheery space. We don’t have a mantle so I am totally using the shelf and window above the television for our Christmas decorations right now. I also love that I can keep the garland up year round if I wanted to since it’s not in any traditional Christmas or Holiday colors. You can check out my Instagram feed (@alwaysnwonder) if you want to see what the shelf and window and all of our décor look like sitting above the T.V.



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Little Wood Houses and Stamped Wood House Ornaments–DIY

Little wooden houses and wood house ornaments

This Christmas our décor is really simple. A little rustic, a little industrial, a little modern, and a whole lot handmade.  A few weeks ago I decided to use some of the scrap wood I had and turn them into little houses. Once I had my cute little houses I saw endless potential. This easy DIY/craft is simple but has an impact. You can make little houses for toys, or use as décor for your mantle or shelf, or turn them into personalized ornaments. 

little wood houses cut out

DIRECTIONS: The first thing you will do is cut your wood on both sides using 45 degree angles on each side. Then make a straight cut for the bottom of your house. I used a compound miter saw for quick and easy cuts. You can make each house the same size in height or cut them at different lengths to make their height staggered.  Once your wood is all cut out you will need to sand it and make sure there aren’t any splintered pieces coming off from the cuts you made.  After sanding all sides wipe them down with a clean slightly damp cloth/wet wipe/tack cloth, to remove dust.  At this point you can leave them their natural wood color, paint them, or stain them.

wooden houses cut from scrap wood

stained or painted miniature wood houses

stained and painted miniature wood house

You can leave the houses as they are, or you can turn them into stamped miniature wood house ornaments. I used the supplies below to help create the stamped wood house ornaments I made.
SUPPLIES: 1/8” Steel Stamping Set, small eyelet hooks that screw into place, twine (whichever color you prefer), a gold ultra fine tip Sharpie paint pen, a hammer, a small drill bit, and a drill

supplies for stamped wood house ornaments

DIRECTIONS: Use a hammer or mallet to hit the steel stamps into the wood to create an indention of the letter. I used a piece of washi tape across the wood to help keep the letters I stamped straight, or straight enough. I lined up the bottom of the stamp to the edge of the tape before using my hammer to hit the stamp down. (I suggest practicing on a piece of scrap wood before starting your first ornament so that you are more familiar with the amount of pressure you need to use to hit the stamp into the wood, and you can practice keeping the letters straight.
After stamping the phrase or words you want on your wood house, use the ultra fine tip Sharpie paint pen to fill in the letters with paint. You don’t want to flood the letters with paint, so just lightly fill in the letters. (Again, practice on a scrap piece of wood first if you’re worried.)
After stamping, use the drill and small drill bit to to start a hole at the top of the house in the middle. Once the hole is there it will be easier to turn the hook all the way into the wood. Then use your twine and loop a small piece through the hook and tie it off to make an ornament.

stamped wooden house ornaments (2)stamped wooden house ornaments (1)

black and gold peace love joy stamped wooden house ornament (1)