DIY Rustic Cabinetry

So, I’ve really taken an interest in redecorating… however, my husband and the pocket book… not so much.  This has led me to Pinterest and trying to find things I can do to my house that will freshen it up without costing money (or very little anyway).

As I was perusing Pinterest one night during a bout of insomnia I found that there were some pretty inexpensive ways to redo cabinets that completely change the look of the room they are in!  I really want to redo the ones in the kitchen and stain them black, but there are a lot of cabinets and I wanted  slightly smaller project to make sure that it was something I could achieve.


I do NOT like the painted cabinet look.  I’ve seen it, and I realize it has popularity, but I do not like the sticky gummy look and feel of painted cabinets, or the brush stroke look, especially in a kitchen, at least in MY kitchen.  I’m sure there is a kitchen that looks amazing with this, but it won’t be in mine, so I decided to go with stain.


I chose to start with my bathroom.  That way if I totally bombed it, no one would ever see it!  We went to Home Depot and for 10$ we found a stain color we agreed upon called River Stone using Minwax clear and having the paint guys add a tint.


We started by taking off all the door and drawers, and using a small mouse sander to sand them down.  Then we continued by sanding the vanity itself.  All told I think we spent a complete total of 8 hours on this project from start to finish!

This is what the vanity looked like before we started:

Before Sanding

Now keep in mind we have REALLY old cabinets so they are solid wood, not those cheap laminate things they make now, so this was an easy project for our house!

Sanding  Sanded

The only negative is, whoever manufactured these cabinets was VERY serious about their protective coats.  Of all the work done on these cabinets, by far the hardest part was getting the coating off.  I chose to wear a mask, as the products they used late 60’s early 70’s were sometimes pretty caustic.


Next came the staining.  This is ALL trial and error, mostly because you have to decide how dark YOU want it.  I did a really light coat my first time around and loved it, so we did the whole thing in one coating.  I did do a spot on the back of one of the doors a little darker, but I did not like it nearly as much.


 We had a lot of opinions against the gray, but I went with it anyway, and I’m REALLY glad I did!

All Done!

As time goes on, I see this bathroom with a seaside cottage theme 😀

I am VERY pleased with how this turned out!

Below is a list of items I used to make this.  All in all I spent about 20 on the whole thing and a lot of Elbow grease!

One More Thing…

I bought the larger can of stain, but I’m nearly positive for this project the little 8oz can would have been more than enough… it takes VERY little stain to make this type of look.  AND I did not use a shiny clear coat because I did not want a glossy look 🙂

Thank you!

Items needed:


Screwdriver (or whatever you need to remove your hardware)


Eye Wear (for when sanding)


Paint Brush

Rags or non lint leaving applicator

A Wee Bit O’ Irish, Crochet and Craft Style!

  I am a lover of all things Irish, partly because it’s my heritage (part of it, I’m a true Heinz 57 kinda gal.) I love Irish music, dance, I LOVE the sound of Gaelic and stories of Faeries and the beautiful country it comes from.  A lot rough and rugged, but with warmth and love and always a Pint!

Here are a few fun crochet patterns and crafts I’ve rounded up just to have a little fun in preparation for St. Paddy’s Day! Saint Patrick’s Day means something different all over the world, but here in the states it is a chance for fun and frivolity and all things green.

This beautiful Four leaf clover barefoot sandal pattern from the lovely Kiley of Daughter of Dance is a wonderful addition to your footwear.  A little wearable Irish Pride!


Four Leaf Clover Barefoot Sandals

You can find Kiley here:  Ravelry:

and here :

She has graciously offered this pattern for sale through St. Patrick’s day, just use the coupon code “onthehook” and recieve the pattern for 1$!!


The next bit o’ fun is from my special friend Michelle at From Home!  This little Clover applique could adorn anything and make it a perfectly festive piece for the holiday!!


Clover Applique Pattern

You can find Michelle Everywhere!  You can find here


and here:

AND here:


This next one looks to be an amazing time for your little ones!  This Craft can be found at Fun at Home with Kids blog.

Saint Patrick’s Day Fizzing Treasure Rocks!

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Here is another Free Crochet pattern from the always amazing Playin’ Hooky Designs!


You can find this graph here:


This one isn’t so much a craft, but a food!


Good ol’ Martha Stewart.  Here is the link to this cute idea for an after school snack!

Shamrock Green Peppers


Another kids fun project!


Find the Recipe and Instructions here:

St. Patrick’s Day Slime


And last but not least, a letter from a Mother to her Son.  I’ve seen this letter many  many times, and there are always some differences, but they are all hysterical.  If you chose to, you could weather a piece of paper to look old using tea bags, and using a sharpie or dark pen that flows well write this out to display or send as a cute joke!

 “An Irish Mother’s Letter to her son
Dear Son,
Just a few lines to let you know that I am still alive. I am writing this letter slowly because I know that you cannot read very fast.
It only rained twice last week. First time was for three days and the second for four. On Monday the wind blew so hard that one of the chickens laid the same egg four times.
About your father – he has a lovely new job. He now has 500 people under him. He is cutting the grass at the cemetery.
Auntie Peggy has sent you a pair of socks she knitted, she put a third one in because she heard you have grown another foot since she last saw you.
That coat you wanted me to send you; your Auntie Nora said it would be a little too heavy to send in the mail with the heavy buttons, so we cut them off and put them in the pockets.
Your sister, Mary, had a baby this morning. I haven’t found out yet whether it was a boy or a girl, so I don’t know if you are an Uncle or an Aunt.
There was a new style of washing machine in the house when we moved in, but it wasn’t working too good. I put 14 shirts into it last week, pulled the chain and I haven’t seen them since!
You won’t recognise the house anymore when you come home; we moved because your Father read in the paper that most accidents happen within 20 miles of home. I won’t be able to send you the address as the last family here took the numbers with them for their next house, so they wouldn’t have to change their address.
Your loving Mother,
PS I was going to send you five pounds, but I have already sealed the envelope.”

Thank you!  And have a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


Pallet Wall Art

It’s been a while huh?  It’s about time!!  This was one of the funnest, (most fun?) projects I’ve done in a LOOONG time!  My very special friend Tanya was the inspiration behind this one.  She is incredibly talented and wonderfully giving and she has some of the most unique ideas (Shrinky Dinks! Who knew, right?)

Just before Christmas while browsing Pinterest, I came across pallet art, pallet projects and all sorts of amazing pallet creations!  As Huuby works for a trucking company, coming by the pallets was relatively easy.  I’ll let you in on a secret though… I cheated.  I bought this little baby at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon for $11.49.  I still intend to use those pallets in the garage, but for this one, I took a shortcut for.

Materials you’ll need, a few boards nailed together in whatever fashion you desire for your project.  A charcoal pencil. A printer to print whatever design you want. Paint in whatever colors your little heart desires!  That’s it! (Mostly it…)

I started by using Picmonkey to design my letter G and the small letters and numbers.  I created just one document and fit it all onto one page… It worked out well I think.

Charcoal Outline

After printing I flipped the page over and traced the letters and numbers with the charcoal.  This is backwards, yes, but when you flip over to rub onto the boards it will be the right way.

Charcoal Transfer

Now, for the transfer, all I did was lay the paper charcoal side down on the wood where I wanted it, and rubbed with my hand.  It transferred beautifully with no other help.  The outlines on the paper do not have to be perfect, as they will be covered by paint later anyway.

Next I painted.  I chose black as that is my house theme, rustic and black.  or at least will be when I am done decorating.  Now, if you are anything like me, I’m extremely picky about how thing look and I made several mistakes I had to cover up, so my letters and numbers got a little thicker than I had originally planned.  I think it still turned out pretty darned nice if I do say so myself.

Finished Sign

 Oh, and see the little heart on the first “0”?  Yeah, one of my children bumped my arm while I was painting, so now we have an unintended addition.  It just goes to show that you cover up mistakes, even pretty big ones, with a little creativity.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial (bragging post), and Happy Crafting!!

Sewing and The Doctor Dances

It is Tuesday afternoon, a beautiful balmy afternoon. I was given the task of altering some curtains for my oldest’s classroom, so as I set everything up I turned on Pandora and the first station to come on was the Glenn Miller Radio station. As I’m measuring and cutting and I found myself bouncing and swaying to the music of the Swinger’s and Jitter Bugger’s I thought of my favorite show Doctor Who. In the first season of the new Doctor Who, the Doctor and Rose go back to England during the blitz and set about uncovering what happened to a little boy. Of course there is running.. and the Captain… and Dancing. (All of that must be said in a British accent of course)


 And of course a Glenn Miller song makes an appearance. I also thought of those ladies who, while their husbands were off to war, spent their time using their hands to make things, some for their own use, some to sell to make a little money. It’s the time when creativity and perseverance were tested to the max, both across the pond and here in the USA. Today I used a modern Singer sewing machine, but under my sewing machine is a table that houses a Kenmore Cast Iron sewing machine. It is still in working condition, just a little TLC would make it amazing!


I think I was meant for a different time, as the appeal of housewifery, sewing, and general craftiness usually makes me seem old to most in this “Use it and toss it generation”. No “Mend it until it can’t be mended anymore attitude” to be found. When do you think you should have been born? Any era calling to you? I am embracing the “Old Soul” in myself with crochet, knitting, sewing, baking, and all the things that were wonderfully normal in the 40’s! What “new” things are you doing?images

A new season and a time to learn!

It was a wonderful weekend, and now the house is put back to rights, the only sounds are occasional barking of a dog and the lawn mowers around the neighborhood!  What do I do with free time?? Who knew there was such a thing as “Free Time”!?  We learn something new! Something we couldn’t have done before the kids were in school or Hubby was at work.  On The Hook Boutique along with other vendors are doing a Book Giveaway.  These books are a combination of new and gently used and can teach you something new!  This weeks featured book are:

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Head on over to the Mad Mad Makers blog and enter to win one of these fabulous new book and start learning something new!!

More Fun with Lace!

I started this hat months ago and got distracted by other pretty baubles, so it went unfinished.  Last week I rediscovered it, sitting in a lonely project bag, stuffed in the back of a bin, in the overhead shelf of my closet.  As I pulled it out, I wondered how in the world I could ever forget this lovely hat, in this lovely color, and the most beautiful texture!  So, I finished it, and I fell in love with the style so much, that I’ve already got a second one on the hook!  This one is listed in the shop and I hope to get the other one in there soon!

Mohair Lace Beret DSCN4871

Hand-stitched Vintage Lace


Just wanted to share a little something that I’ve been working on! This is a newborn wrap for a special photographer friend of mine. It is made with mohair lace and designed to have extra stretch with a beautiful textured look to it! I also whipped up this precious little bonnet to accompany it!


This material is so light and airy!  It was so fun to try a new stitch and a new material, although working with lace does have it’s drawbacks, it was well worth the end result!  


Dr. Seuss is no Mother Goose

Friday was Dr. Seuss Day at the school my kids attend, and after deliberation and thought we decided upon Cat in the Hat… an oldie but goodie.   The impact his books have had on the population in general is amazing, but I love watching my kids when they are listening to all those nonsense words!   It causes them to be entertained and to pay attention because the words aren’t common and they might miss something!  And watching them read is even better!   Who doesn’t giggle at a child trying to decipher “ham-ikka-schnim-ikka-schnam-ikka-schnopp”  Or watching the wrinkle in their nose as they read of green eggs and ham 😀  I sincerely hope that his books are around for generations to come!!

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish


“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” 

― Dr. SeussOh, the Places You’ll Go!