Making your home design visions reality. With my innovative business concept you will be able to make more of your visions realities.
Author: Jennifer Stambek
I am one of those people that has spent their adult life saying "How hard can it be????". If you combine that with a frugalness, that is exceeded only by my younger daughter, you have a combination that is often very successful but not without its 'ooops' moments. ;-) I've never wanted to spend the money to hire a professional so I learned how to do things myself. I wanted crown molding, too expensive, so I learned how to do it. Same thing with building, landscaping, painting, lighting, sewing, yada yada -- you get where I'm going with this I'm sure. :-) I have the tools and the experience for so many projects. Through this site I am sharing my skills and lessons learned to help others develop that "How hard can it be??" spirit in your home. If you want it, have been dreaming about, lusting after your friends version, posted a million posts of it to your Pinterest board --let's make it happen and within your budget. I'm a decorator AND the creator -- no middleman markup.
I'm running out of projects in my house, (short of building an addition!) so lets get to work on yours! Whether it's slipcovers, new window treatments, making that dining room table look like it DID come from RH or helping you develop your own style I would be thrilled and honored to assist!
If it’s not chairs, it’s plates with me! I don’t know if I’d call it an obession, but close to a fetish it is!
Just a few of the little buggers!
I’ve been collecting plates for longer than I’d like to admit. I get them as souvenirs on vacations, find them at thrift shops, friends find them for me…..idk. I would hang them on the walls in my kitchen or bathroom. But let’s face facts, a person only has sooooo much wall space. So when I moved into this current home, most of them ended up staying boxed up. My mood was blue and white plates only. And there was no shortage of those.
A few months ago I came across them…… All. Of. Those. Plates. What to do, what to do? So I sort of, also, love old frames. Different kinds, textures, shapes. Again…idk.
So I thought why not let the plates and the frames get to be good friends! By simply cutting a piece of 1/4″ plywood the size of the frame (as if you were having glass cut) and then stabilizing inside the frame I would have my base to mount the plates. Added some burlap and then screws where I wanted to ‘hang’ the plates inside the frame.
A point I may add…. a LOT less holes in the walls! 😍
Frames and plates can be found all over the place and make great decor! Mix and match.
Just had a great idea for a farmhouse decor — go with this same look but sub in milk glass plates or platters. You. Are. Welcome!!
Hope you enjoy! Hope all are safe and sound AND Spring is almost here! Well…at least in Georgia. Take care!
Follow me on Intagram at eastofwaco and on Pinterest at East of Waco.
I have two wreaths, that I love and have NO idea where I got them, hanging on each side of the TV. I’ve started decorating them at holidays in cute or quirky ways.
After finishing the Christmas decoration extravaganza I looked at the wreaths and thought to myself.. “Girl, they need something crazy big for this 2020 holiday!” And hand to God, I don’t know where I get these crazy ideas sometimes but sooooooo thankful I do! I am definitely a creative side of the brain person (is that a left or a right side? IDK!) Like my mom says, our family is mostly made up of those 5 out of 4 people that can’t add. 🤣
The point being here, I can’t tell you in this post how I came up with the idea so let’s just get on with how to make it, shall we?
First things first, the supplies you will need:
Wreaths of your choice
Tin buckets from Home Depot. They’re in the paint department. Maybe take your wreaths with you, or vice versa, so you can make sure the buckets fit well into the center of the wreaths.
Little creatures and trees to create your scene. I got the wooden cut-out animals, tiny trees and wood cut-out wreath at Target. All in that great section at the front of the store full of dollar buys and scores. We allllll know what I’m talking about here (it’s Christmas time so no fibbing girlfriends — ‘you-know-who’ is listening!!). It’s the first place I head when my feet enter a Target store.
Snow flakes of the fake nature. There are two kinds – plastic, irridescent flakes (my fav) or foam balls/pellets. I prefer the flake variety just because they glisten and look prettier.
Spray adhesive cuz you can’t hot glue all those flakes.
Small wooden disk to mount your scene creatures on
Sturdy craft wire
I ended up cutting off the wooden bases for the creatures I choose. I felt they would fit better inside the buckets. I also lopped off the tops of the trees for a better fit. I used an oscillating saw on the wooden creatures. A small hack saw will work nicely also. Hot glue your scene components to the wooden disk and set aside.
Using a drill, drill 2 small holes as shwon and thread a sturdy and sufficient length piece of wire through the holes. In hindsight, I could have used a smaller drill bit. Secure the wire together. Place a piece of duct tape over the holes to help the bucket lay flat against the hanging surface. I also used some duct tape to secure the wreaths to the bucket. (Remember that craze where kids where making all kinds of crazy stuff — like, jackets, from printed duct tape??? Yep, glad that was just a phase, right?)) Anywho…it’s very sticky and was on sale. Gee…wonder why?
Place the disk scene inside the bucket, orienting appropriately with the bucket handle, and hot glue in place. Just a side note here — do we honestly think the craft world would be where it is today wthout the invention of glue guns? I say NOT! But I digress. Again…🤷♀️
I spray painted the cut out wreath, it was a ‘wooden’ print and not really to my liking. Attach the cut out wreath to the real wreath using craft wire, front to back.
Using the spray adhesive, spray a thin coat along the bottom of the bucket and the disk, as shown. Let it snow!
Using your fav ribbon, make a bow (tons of tutorials on line so we’ll skip that part) and tie to the bucket handle.
Hang, stand back and marvel at your creation! You’re amazing!
Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful holiday season. Do something nice for a child or family in need, there are too many as always.
Take care and stay tuned for the next project!
Follow me on Instagram at @eastofwaco and on Pinterest at eastofwaco0247
It’s NOEL time! Can we be more excited??!! The holidays are here!!!
Thanksgiving is at our house. The fam will be here just for a short time, COVID-friendly, and all. So as soon as the holiday dishes are done I will be cracking open the Christmas closet and putting my holiday decorations ON! Whoot whoot!
A few weeks ago storm ZETA came roaring through the neighborhood and did a ‘little’ damage. Needless to say…….my neighbors have firewood for quite some time! And this wasn’t the only one to fall… hardwoods and pines.
After the cleanup was over and done I grabbed a few of the logs to do something crafty. Hmmmmmm…..what can I do?, what can I do? I saw this little cutie in a store and tada! Thats it!
A couple of years ago I had a very large tree cut down and had them make a few slices from the trunk to use on the buffet table or centerpieces. Well, it took about a week and boom!, the rounds got huge cracks in them. Wait….what? So I did some research and learned quite a bit about wood. It’s a living thing and when you take away the water, something has to give.
Hey Google! How do you keep fresh wood from splitting? Enter Pentacryl TM from Preservation Solutions. https://www.preservation-solutions.com/product/pentacryl/. Their website is informative and taught me exactly what I needed to do to make wood ‘cookies’. Also check out Youtube videos. Pentacryl is readily available and super easy to use. I tried another product but it made the cookies waxy and paint wouldn’t stick.
You’re going to need a chop saw or someone who has one.. Santa… are you listening? 🤷♀️ Once you have one you will wonder how you ever lived without one. Right up there with a glue gun, honestly.
I cut up a hardwood log and a pine log. Hardwood has irregularities and pine is much more cylindrical. Point here being, it’s easier to keep a cylindrical shape securely in the saw and cut it straight, than vice versa. But, on the other hand the hardwood branch irregularities give the cookies a uniqueness. I will be using both as I expand this project at home but this post will show the hardwood. Both dry in the Pentacryl just the same.
I cut the cookies in a width of 1/4″ to 1/2″. For no particuliar reason other than, as above, it’s hard to keep an irregular shape in the saw. I predrilled holes top and bottom so they could hang to dry. Drying time, and process, is very important for the cookies. The website and videos will go over the process well. Cutting the cookies will produce an incredible amount of sawdust. I saved a good deal of it and used it to pre-dry the cookies. According to a source at Pentacryl this is ok to do.
Went to the dollar store and bought a couple of plastic storage containers. These worked really well to soak the cookies. I bought 2 quarts of Pentacryl. I wasn’t really sure how far a quart would go. For reference sake, I was able to soak 65 5″ diameter cookies in a quart and a half.
Follow the Pentacryl directions on how to soak the cookies. After soaking I placed them in the sawdust to pre-dry. Left them for about 5-6 hours and then hung to dry. Again, follow the directions as to drying time and procedure.
Using paperclips, I hung the cookies in a draft-free zone in the garage. You can see the shape difference between the hardwood and the pine cookies.
Time to get to the fun part!
Step one – stencil on the snowflake. I’m a lot of things but an expert stenciler is not one of them! 😎 To solve that shortcoming enter a paint pen. Outlining the snowflake gives it definition and covers up any paint that may have slipped past the edges of the plastic template. For variety, I choose different size snowflakes and placed them randomly on the faces of the cookies.
Next, paint on the letters. I choose N-O-E-L but pick anything you want. I plan to do a variety of words and make a set of these to hang around the house. I’ll post those later. Haha… as soon as I find a few moments to get them done…🤷♀️
Now, if you are one of the lucky folks to have a Cricut or Silhouette machine, ‘jeally’ doesn’t begin to describe my feelings! I do not have a Cricut. Yet!….. So I hand painted the letters on the cookies. Using a pencil, then a paint pen, then craft paint.
So that the letters are placed uniformly and are of consistent size, use a ruler to draw the letters. Consistent width and height.
For additional definition, outline the letters with a medium point black marker.
Choose a ribbon for the bow and a thin ribbon for tying the cookies together.
If you don’t have access to a chop saw or prefer precut wood you can get them at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.
Here’s hoping you and your family have a blessed and safe holiday season.
Take care and thanks for visiting East of Waco!
Follow me on Instagram at @eastofwaco and on Pinterest at @eastofwaco0247
Not just at this time of year, right? I seriously would keep this up allll year if people wouldn’t think I was cookoo. 🤷♀️ I may have to think of a banner that I can keep up all year. I’ll get baack to you on that……….
Everything for this banner comes from…..if you know me, you know the answer! Hobby Lobby!!!!! Doesn’t take a lot of items and, again, one stop shopping! You’re sooo welcome!😉
The basics: banner discs, 4 coordinating designs of scrapbook paper, the leaves, set of cardboard letters, craft paint and brushes, rubber cement, fine twine and the rope below. Isn’t it great that there are no duplicate letters in the phrase ‘give thanks’ so you only need one set of letters! 🙌
First things first, paint the letters in coordinating colors and let dry. Meanwhile, go ahead and cover the banner disks with the scraping paper. Trace the disks and cut out using an Exacto knife. I think you better a cleaner cut than with scissors. Use rubber cement to attach the paper to the disks. Using rubber cement keeps the paper from getting soggy and crinkle.
Once the disks and letters are dry attach the letters. I did take a fine tip Sharpie and outline the orange letters for an added touch.
Now time to attach the disks to the rope twine. The disks have 2 small holes already prepunched. Measure how long you want your bannner to be and cut the rope twine to that length. You may want to lay out the letters and the deired length and ensure things will fit well. After cutting the rope twine be sure to use tape to ‘seal’ off the ends to prevent unraveling. Cut 3″ pieces of fine twine and thread through the disk holes and tie disks on to the rope twine, spacing appropriately.
Place the leaves in between the disks, mixing up the colors. The leaves have a metal hook on the back (thank you Hobby Lobby!!) for easy hanging.
Hang and enjoy!
And remember… give thanks!
Take care and stay tuned for the next project! (P.S. Sooooooo many ideas for Christmas I can barely stand it!!)
Can we possibly be more excited to decorate for the holidays??!! Yes ma’am! I am!
First it’s Thanksgiving and then Christmas — luv, luv, luv this time of year. I admit I do go a little overboard on the decorations on these 2 holidays — 😎. But the other holidays of the year…..frankly… at our house you would think its just a plain Jane Tuesday. So I sort of give myself permission to go a little cra-cra at Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Truth be told?….. suuuuuper excited to get November over with so I can put up the Christmas Decorations! Just sayin’….🤷♀️ )
This post is about Thanksgiving table decor and making it your ‘own’! It’s about uniqueness and personalization. And… of course… doing it all on a few dimes, not dollars! Yes, actually, it will cost a few dollars but you get my drift…
Let’s get started………
First, gather all the ‘stuff’ you will need for the table runner. And, yes of course, it’s all from Hobby Lobby! See…. I’m making it easy for you! 😉
I used cardboard cut out letter stencils, just because I had them. Actually, quite handy to have a set. Problem is there are sooo many cute fonts! One can’t possibly have a set of them all. Answer? Uhmmmm…… a Cricut (Santa are you listening??) 🤞 Print a letter on your computer in font size 400, or so, and cut out the letter template using an Exacto knife. This gives you a pattern to trace on to the runner.
Measure the table, lengthwise. I let the runner drape off the ends about 6 inches. Cut the runner to desired length.
Sew or hot glue the ribbon along the edges and ends. I placed the ribbon about 3″ from the end of the runner so I could “fringe” the ends. This particular ribbon was of the wired variety so I had to remove it by simply pulling on the wire. If you’re hot gluing , use it sparingly so the glue doesn’t seep through the ribbon.
Lay the runner on your table to determine where to add the monogram. I used safety pins to mark the upper and lower borders. Repeat for the other end. Be sure to allow for the place setting at the ends of the table.
Lay your stencil, centered, on the runner. Using a Sharpie of the same color as your paint, trace the stencil. Using a black Sharpie would have been very hard to hide with paint.
I added the leaves design and measured from the same place on both sides of the ‘S’ so the stencil would be equi-distant on each side.
I placed freezer paper, but anything will do, under the runner to protect my work table. Secured the paper to the runner with safety pins, but not sure now if that’s really necessary.
Using the craft paint and appropriate brush, paint the design. Go heavy with the paint so to fill up the holes in the burlap. I did 3 coats.I love the shimmer in the ribbon so decided to outline the design with a gold paint pen. It’s subtle but it’s just enought to finish it off!
Time to set the table!! I love chargers! At my house holiday meals are always served as a buffet in the kitchen. Plates are stacked at the buffet. The table always looks so sad all dressed up but no plates. 😢 Chargers turn that frown upside down! And they’re cheap! Two bucks! This table I used gold and burnt orange from Hob Lob.
Happy holidays to all! May it be blessed and meaningful for your whole family.
No!…… they do not have paint splattered all over them. However, that could be kind of cool! Just thinking out loud…
Anywho, I digress…. Dropcloths from your fav home improvement store make wonderful and very durable slipcover material. You may want to look at one of my past posts and see exactly what I mean when I talk slipcovers. Think Pottery Barn NOT Walmart. Slipcovers can make a huge difference no matter what fabric you choose, but if you’re looking to save a few dimes (actually hundreds of them) dropcloths are a great way to go. A word of caution….keep in mind the look you’re going for before choosing this route. Beach house, farm house, french country farmhouse, kid-friendly decor etc is perfect. If your chairs and sofa are predominately Louis the 14th and NOT for actually sitting on I’d say let’s go down a different road.
Slipcovers are fitted to your furniture to match exactly — NO elastic! For dropcloth slipcovers it’s best to Scotchguard them for protection. Additionally, prewash the fabric before cutting out pattern pieces and be sure to overlock the edges as dropcloth fabric can frey when washed.
Slipcovers do not have to cost a lot and can totally change the look of a good sofa. They aren’t cheap so if the furniture lacks good bones (aka it is cheap furntiture) probably not a good idea to slipcover. Better idea to invest in a new sofa. 🤷♀️
I know, I know that phrase is sooooo overdone. But at least I didn’t say, and won’t, anything about pumpkin spice!!! Right?
Fall is definitely here and the weather is sooo beautiful. Time to do the front porch. Luuuuuv that I can enjoy it for 2 whole months.
So I have a confession……the flowers are from Micheals. I have a large yard and lots of beds to tend to in the Spring and Summer. By the time Fall arrives folks, I’m tired! I’m tired of planting, watering and tending. I just stick these in the pots and just like Halloween magic — poof! Flowers that don’t fade complain or get worn out. Gosh! I really feel better for getting that out in the open!! Had I known I would have fessed up earlier.
Can we possibly say enough good things about Hobby Lobby and their selection of decorations? I agree — not possible!! BTW if you’re ever in OKC, OK go to their sample warehouse out by the airport.
I couldnt decide between this sign and the companion sign that had a orange background and said HARVEST. I got it out to the car and noticed, whaaaaaat???, the sign is reversible!!!!! I got both of them! Great HL trip.
Banister trim. Found the boxwood vines at Hobby Lobby.
Now, how to construct the pumpkin topiary. I’ve always loved the three-tier topiaries and kick myself every year when they’re all gone. Because, of course, I would only buy them on clearance sale after the season is gone. And……so are they!
Start with the black bucket and desk accessory. These are from the Dollar Tree. Of course each were a $1. Woohoo, without saying. First, remove the handle.
You will also need a grapeview wreath and three faux pumpkins of graduated sizes and some other decorations of your liking. These little pumpkin lovelies are from, where else?…… Hobby Lobby. I personally love them becasue they look legit. I’m not into the ones that don’t have color variations and. Just. Plain. Orange. is a dead give-away they’re fake.
You will glue the wire pieces to the bottom of the buckets. You could also drill holes in the bottom of the bucket and use craft wire to attach the wire bowls to the bucket.
Drill holes into the sides of the bucket, or use the holes from where you removed the wire handle. Using craft wire attach the grapevine wreath to the top of the bucket. Be sure and get a wreath in a larger diameter than the top of the bucket so the spout will be covered. See below and see how the spout is covered by the wreath. Plus, it will be on the back side.
Remove the stems from all but the top pumpkin. Next using hot glue place the pumpkins on top of each other, securing well. I added magnolia leaves and raffia. You can go as crazy as you like or as simple as you like. Keep in mind the outdoor elements can affect any decorations you add. Yep I need to get a porch cover….. add it to the list.
Voila! Happy Fall y’all! Now….. go get yourself a pumpkin spice latte!! You earned it! 😂 (sorry…… couldn’t resist!)
Don’t get me wrong, marble flooring in a bathroom is beautiful and luxurious. The folks that owned the house before us went to a lot of trouble and expense to re-do the bathroom with marble. And the family who owns this house in the future can choose to keep the new floor or tear it up and expose the marble. Why did I want to cover it up you ask??? Because it’s slippery!!! No matter how well you dry off your feet when popping out of the shower, it’s still slippery!
Here’s the final result and I’m in luuuuuuuv! Haven’t skidded across the floor once! Tom Cruise I do NOT want to be….
Here’s what I started with. First things first, remove all of the shoe molding carefully so you can re-apply to the base molding.
The flooring I used I from Home Depot at $1.98 a square ft. It took 4 boxes. They have many options, all requiring no nailing or gluing. I found that this particular floor laid easiest if I went from left to right. Remember to think ahead as to which side of the plank you can cut. They only connect together one, 1, uno way so to avoid waste think which end you need to snap on to a plank already laid. Practice and you will see what I mean.
I got to the door frame, and cue the singing angels, I didn’t need to run the plank through the table saw. Seven inches wide are the planks and seven inches wide is what I needed!! I did however need a template to cut away where the casing met the floor. This little gadget is called a contour guide . You press the gadget against the profile you are trying to mimic. Then lay the gadget on the plank, trace and using a jigsaw, cut away the profile.
Time to work around the toilet seat. Now there was NO way I was going to remove and re-set the toilet. So I needed to make a template to work around the seat. Using the contour guide, or ‘gadget’ as I call it, and a scrap of floor I made a template to mimic the contour of the toilet base. I admit I was a little crazy about cutting out these pieces. If I messed up I would have had to buy another box. I had just enough!
If the scrap template fit then, and ONLY then, did I cut a real piece of flooring.
Ok, on to the other side. Repeat the process. Be sure to measure from the wall to the edge of the piece you just laid. Our seat was not placed exactly in the center of the area.
On with the rest of the planks for the sides of the toilet. Replace the shoe molding, caulk and fill nail holes. Couldn’t be happier.
Love!!!!! VERY durable. Love the contrast with the marble!
Now don’t be saying “eeewwww”! Don’t think slipcovers from Walmart think slipcovers from Pottery Barn, RH, Ballard Designs etc. Thanks to our friends there slipcovers are chic, ‘in’ and just dang practical.
I just finished this slipcover for a sofa that was decent in construction, a good size and actually quite comfy! Thing is furniture made today is no where as good as that made years ago. I just gave my 30 year old sofa to my youngest for her first ‘big girl apartment’. It has been slipcovered 3 different times.
This number came from my boyfriends house and was perfect to fill the void left by the 30 year old sofa.
To make a custom slipcover I promise you there isn’t one inch of elastic!It is pin-fit to your actual sofa as below:
Cushions are custom made to fit the exact measurements of the cushions.
For the body of the sofa fabric is pin fit all the way around for a tight custom fit. They can be removed at any time. For this particular sofa I actually stapled the slipcover to the bottom of the sofa frame for an upholstered look. It is rarely used and chances are slim that a spill etc will occur.
The fabric I used is tough as nails so there’s a long future for this sofa. It’s from Joannes. Fabrics can be expensive or they can made out of heavy duty drop cloths from Lowes or HD. Just depends on what you are looking for and how the sofa gets used.
Labor prices are calculated by the foot and include expert fitting and sewing but not fabric.
Pretty much anything can be slip covered. Here is a chair I got for free, well built and comfy.
I love to garden and really didn’t know I had somewhat of a green thumb. Except for those dang tomatoes!! Oh well… This house has a huge yard, more so than I expected frankly. In my niavety, I thought “Gosh how fun this will be!!!”. In reality, it took a lot of sweat to get the yard to its current state. The upside? — I never have to go to the gym!! 😎
Here’s what I started with. I wish I had taken more ‘before’ pics. When you look at this picture and then see the final pictures imagine the the whole yard looking like this. There was literally N-O-T-H-I-N-G in the backyard. The previous owners didn’t like to garden and that’s cool. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have bought the house if it was already ‘done’ and had no projects for me.
Soooo much potential. When you see the final pics you will see just how large this yard really is but imagine nothing but scrappy grass and NO curb appeal.
TASK #1 Steps
First task, add a staircase to go from the terrace level to the deck. I’d never done this before so there was a little trial and error. But in the end super happy with the result.
Fortunately we get regular rain so I never have to water these beds. I plant them in the spring and that’s about it for the season. Short of weeding and laying moth balls to fend off the deer, pretty hassle-free.
Task #2 Flagstone Patio
Next task, lay a flagstone patio and build a planter box. Again, never laid flagstone but lots of videos online so off we went…. Thanks to my sweet daughter who gave up her Saturday to lug flagstone pieces from the other side of the yard. I used polymeric sand as the ‘glue’.
Task #3 Drainage Resolution
Next task, deal with the drainage issue in the path from the side yard to the back yard. My sweet Steve and I took pick axes and any other tool that might work to dig a drain path and hook into the existing drainage system. LOTS of tree roots. Then I laid stepping stones and pea gravel. Fixed!
Task #4 Garden Gate
Yep there’s more…. I love garden gates! They just seem so romantic and inviting. I built the arbor and gates next.
Task #5 Screen Porch and Deck Expansion
The deck was existing but I’m craving a screened porch so I can have a dutch door. How great would it be to just open up the top part of the door in the Spring and Fall and listen to the birdies sing?? But for now, that’s on the list of ‘how can I make this happen??’
Flowers are super fun to work with and again, short of watering and lots of Miracle-Gro, pretty hassle free.
Enjoy your yard — get your exercise and vitamin D at the same time! A fun fact, 95% of the rocks and boulders in the pictures were dug up by me in the process of the backyard project. The very large ones were there already, thank goodness. I think my yard was a rock quarry in its past life! 😂😂
Take care and stay tuned for the next project!! (Never a shortage!)