Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best of 2014 Projects Countdown

2014. So many things happened this year that made me grin from ear to ear, jaw drop, feel lost or old, or want to run for the hills. It was busy, and it was fantastic.

Moments I'll remember when I think back on 2014 will be things like, well...becoming a Mini owner. Seriously. Never dreamed I would be so lucky, especially after the scary way it came about. 

Then we made our families think we'd gone a bit crazy when we also got a pickup truck. Good 'ol Scruffy has been responsible for helping us furnish our place with estate sale wins - love the fella.


For the first time since our honeymoon, the hubster and I went on a cruise, just the two of us. It was glorious. I didn't get burnt to a crisp either (victory!).

...Summer evenings spent on the front porch together until dusk; reading, talking, dreaming, scheming, ...relaxing. 



Then there were awesome surprises, like when I did a few posts on a whim at a website I'd just heard about called Home Talk and had over 30,000 combined views on two different posts within 48 hours. Wowzerz. 

I took the plunge into painting furniture with milk paint. Now I want to refurbish everything.


Spent half the year burnt out from creating new GF recipes, then getting my groove back in the last quarter (even had what I consider to be my first successful T-giving since being diagnosed!).

Stayed over at my bro and sis-in-law's house 2x and explored their city. Watched my lil' sis graduate and get her own apartment and job. Cheering on my sis-in-law and her hubby as they cleared out a dumpster worth of stuff the previous owner of their home had left (you guys rocked that!). 

Experienced the wonder of eating tasty GF food at P.F. Changs (omgosh, can I get a "woot!" for their chocolate dome cake!?!)

Tried not to cry when my Mommom's huge Maple tree, full of many memories, was cut down this summer (and why didn't I think of this as they cut it down?! Boo).

Heard news of friends learning they were expecting and/or meeting their new kiddos.

Got to work on a short film and a series of commercials with some awesome peeps.

Spending time with old friends and gaining new ones.

Last but not least, we made an offer on a short sale (hopefully to become our home in 2015!).

Those and countless other things are what I'll remember most. Not so much the tufted headboard or anything I pinned on pinterest. 

However...as this is a home DIY decor blog, let's go through the best and most popular posts of 2014.

(in no particular order...)




Obviously, I don't seem to be the only one who likes an affordable West Elm.



This buffet is my favorite furniture makeover of this year. It seems that he's such a charmer that y'all couldn't help yourselves and had to greet him too...



Apparently a lot of you like painted furniture. Which is why we're friends.




Because let's face it, cheap and easy is what makes the world go 'round.



How to Gold-Dip Furniture

Y'all must be getting as addicted to this gold-dipping stuff as I am. I'm ok with that. We'll call it "Midas Fever".


Can't wait to share 2015 with y'all! Happy New Year!

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Monday, December 29, 2014

American Standard - Behind Scenes Filming & Premiere

I love being creative; I love making-over furniture and decorating, photography, and cooking and baking. But my true creative passion lies in making films. Of all the things I just listed, filmmaking is something that I can do a 12-hour day that comes with several last minute hiccups, paperwork, the threat of a dangerous storm, shivering and warding off frostbite in 10-degree Fahrenheit conditions all day, and calming several frustrated persons...and still love it (and yes, there have been filmmaking experiences like that, lol). This past weekend was a lot of fun as I got to reunite with the cast and crew at the premiere of a short film I worked on this past October, American Standard.

The story is about Edward Bracket, a man who wakes up one day and finds himself in a nursing home. After waiting years for his daughter to visit, he decides to escape.(see trailer below)



The movie is approx 20 minutes, and we filmed it all in only three days! Many props to the awesome cast/crew who made that kind of marathon possible and did such great work!


We got a full house at the theater premiere along with great feedback and compliments during the Q&A.

Director Justen Patrick Lander on left, Producer Santo Marabella on the right. Photo courtesy of the great Tillman Sims.

Had a lot of fun catching up and joking around with the crew at the historic Peanut Bar afterwards.


I'm very glad to have been a part of this film and crew and can't wait to work on future projects with everyone. Now onto the film festival circuit!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Regency Gold-Dipped Side Table Pals

*** Hi! I've entered these gold-dipped side tables into a contest at General Finishes. If you could take a moment and vote for me there (no signup needed!), I'd love you to pieces! Any of the prizes being given are a painter's dream, but I need your help! Please also share the voting page and help me spread the word! Voting ends on 3/25/15, so please vote today! THANKS a ton!!! ***


Somewhere in-between making xmas gifts, overall holiday craziness, and having a blessed warm day in the 40's (Fahrenheit) to break up our cold snap, I managed to eek out this dainty 'lil side table I'd found to pair with the gold-dipped table I'd already made-over.

Here's the table on the day I picked it up:


Not in the best of shape, huh. Seems to be a trend with these proverbial french tables.

...so I got out my magic wand (a.k.a. paintbrush) and transformed it with the power of paint (and yes, I totally just got distracted from writing by this video looking up something to do with harry potter and wands...)


Annnd now!



As a set:




They look so nice together, matching gold and damask drawers and all!

I really lucked out finding them both! These twinsies have come a long way from what they were before and look so good together! They'll definitely amp up the glam factor in a room!

P.S. - If you'd like to learn how to make your own gold-dipped furniture, look no further and click here!




Elizabeth and Co.


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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

So Many Secret Projects...

Merry Christmas Eve!

You guys. I have so many xmas gift projects I've been doing this month for fam/friends that I have been wishing to share with y'all! The catch is I can't show them without ruining the surprise! It's hard to resist though...anything DIY and you want to share!

Happily, later this week and through January I'll be able to show what has been happening around here! :) Except for a few pre-written entries coming out later this week, I'm taking a breather during the festivities with friends and family, so until we reconvene may you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gold-Dipped Side Table - Found it a Friend

Yikes. It's been crazier than usual this week: holidays, painting some new furniture, trying to buy a house...

Oh yeah. I guess I haven't told y'all.

But first, more on the table.  A gal who is in the process of furnishing her apartment saw and loved the gold-dipped side table I did, and requested if I could make her a matching set.

As fate would have it, I had recently seen just such a table on craigslist and immediately contacted the seller. She still had it and I came the next day with cash in-hand and excited to have lucked out so well! Here's the lil' darling:


The table was in rough shape, and I've been working on it and several other projects this week. I sprayed it gold when we had some slightly warmer temps yesterday, and it's now sitting in my laundry room to set and dry. From my last inspection of it tonight, it's looking good and I'll be able to do the fun part of taking the tape off to reveal the finished look tomorrow!


Annnnd....back to the house now.

Yup, we made an offer on a house!

Better yet, the seller accepted!

Buuut there's a catch: it's a short sale. Which has a process that is anything but short. The seller's bank still needs to give its approval on our offer, and that can take months.

Going into this we knew that we would be waiting awhile and are ok with it as we don't have a deadline to move by or be out of our rental by (really makes it so much easier!).

We are now one month-in with waiting to hear back from the seller's bank. If they accept our offer we can move ahead with inspection. It's likely we'll be waiting another month or two before we hear anything, which is kind of why I waited as long as I did to say anything about it here, but we're keeping our fingers crossed for good news!

Silver lining: in the meantime it gives us the chance to really shop around for a loan and get a good deal; that process has been taking up a lot of time but it'll hopefully be worth it if we save money in the end. We'll keep you guys updated!

P.S. - Any tips or advice for buying a home, please leave them in the comments! I'd really love to learn from your experiences!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Holiday Sausage Bread Stuffing {Gluten Free}


For many of us with autoimmune disorders and food allergies, the holidays can be a tough time. Gatherings with friends and family are centered around food, and lots of it. I believe we all share in a sort of quest to make food that we can not only eat, but doesn't make us miss what we can no longer have.

This in mind, this past T-giving I was once again determined to make it an awesome one and try to find better GF options for myself to eat without feeling envious as I looked down the table at what the "normal-food" relatives were eating...and I think I finally found one for the elusive stuffing! (anyone else other than myself look forward more to the stuffing and could forget about the whole 'turkey' thing?).

To help, this year in particular I was armed with a new bread recipe to try, this one being GF, DF, egg, and yeast free. I had to make a few substitutions because of my nightshade allergy and also to keep the overall cost down (cashews are expensive enough!). This bread concoction ended up exceeding my expectations when used for stuffing; the stuffing was so moist and very flavorful. Truthfully, it tastes like the real deal! You won't be disappointed by this, promise! So of course I have to share!

You'll Need:

- celery, diced
- 1 GF bread loaf, cubed (I used this recipe from predominantly paleo for a base, substituting the potato starch w/ 1/4 cup of tapioca starch and 1/4 cup of brown rice flour. I also substituted the flax milk with water, and the avocado oil with light olive oil. It came out better than "regular" bread used for stuffing imho!) Tip: Make the bread the day before you do this recipe to make it easier on yourself.
- 1 shallot, diced
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lb. link sausage
- regular or extra virgin olive oil
- dried parsley
- 1 garlic clove (not whole bulb)

To Start:

  • cook sausage in pan until cooked through. Remove from heat and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • heat oven to 350 F
  • saute the celery and shallot in pan on stove with a tablespoon of olive oil until soft, then add garlic until all lightly browned. Remove from heat.
  • in bowl, add the celery and shallot, then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Spoon mix into a glass baking dish and cover with aluminum foil for 30-40 minutes, or until bread is softened & lightly browned

Enjoy!


Shared On: vegetarianmama

Friday, December 5, 2014

D'Anjou Red Pear Pie


Since T-giving, I seem to be getting my inspiration back again for making food and have been cooking and baking a few new recipes in the kitchen this past week. It feels so good to be back! I've been experimenting with an allergy free bread, learning how to soak and roast cashews, making a beef stock for the first time, and trying a gluten free pie crust.



I also did a return to a comfort food I'm familiar with making though: a big pot of from-scratch chicken soup. Yummers.


Next up to try for the first time (and when I get the courage up) is...duck! Mmmm. I had never had duck until this past summer when my hubby and I went on a cruise. It was on the menu so I opted to try it, and oh my...I had just found my new favorite meat (yes, it actually rivals sausage and bacon!). I still salivate at the thought of it, therefore it's past time that I learned to make it on my own.

As a result of logging all these hours in the kitchen this past week, I'll be sharing my recipes in these coming days/weeks. The first one up is a gluten free and paleo Pear Pie that you'd swear is apple.

This is such a quick and easy recipe, especially for being done from scratch!


Gluten Free Pear Pie:

You'll Need:

Filling:
- 3-4 ripe red anjou pears, skinned and cut into thin slices
- cinnamon
- 1-2 tbsp brown sugar

Crust:
- 3/4 cup walnuts, almonds, and cranberries and/or dates - grounded in blender or food processor to small bits (not into a fine flour!) with 1-2 tbsp of honey

  • Evenly pack the bottom of your pie pan with the grounded crust. 
  • Add the sliced pear pieces to cover the crust, leaving a thin layer around the rim of the crust exposed
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar over the pears
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 35 mins or when pears are cooked through.


Enjoy!



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Friday Awesomeness - #4

I'm a little late with November's Awesome Things Friday! I'll blame the holidays rather than it being that I...totally forgot (oops!).

This month's theme is beautiful bathrooms. These baths have good designs or layouts, or they may inspire you by their pretty use of tile. Whatever the reason, these bathrooms all have something to offer.

photo via Houzz


photo via Crate & Barrel
photo via HGTV

combo shower and tub = clever design

photo via Apartment Therapy

Feel inspired? I know I do! Don't forget to pin the ones that inspired ya!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Oo-la-la: Classy Gold-Dipped Side Table


Here she is! Miss classy side table is looking like a whole new fair lady who went from the streets to now speaking in a high society English accent and attending galas with nobles and royalty.

I found her at a Goodwill and couldn't pass her by. She had a look about her that just said "make me pretty again".


Her plea for help was quite understandable. She had scuffs, smudges, discoloring, and grime. My first task was simply having to clean her up, which required some elbow grease.



So much stuff that I probably don't want to know what I cleaned off...

The drawer was also roughed up with tape residue and discoloring.

Besides needing a good cleaning, there were some knicks here and there, so I got my trusty Elmer's wood filler and went to work.




The aim is to fill in the areas, let it set and dry, then come back and sand away the excess until the surface is nice and smooth.

After letting the wood filler dry for a few hours, I sanded and then commenced with finally getting down to business and got two coats of General Finishes milk paint in Linen on it.


Looks like a whole new beast already! Ah, the wonders of a fresh coat of paint never ceases to amaze.

Now for the fun part! I wanted to add more bling than simply rub n' buffing the drawer handle gold. I thought about playing it safe and just painting certain details of it in gold, but this piece with all its curves and embellishments demanded I take a risk with an idea I'd had since finding it. Being me, I gave it a good 10 seconds of debate before following my gut feeling to run with the wind and go big!

Share it on Pinterest:

Gold dipping is just how it sounds; the piece should look like you dipped it into a tub of lovely molten gold. Then voila, a statement piece that will catch the eye and make you slightly giddy.



There are several good options for metallic gold spray paints. There's a great guide I used by ChrisLovesJulia in which he used 4 of the major brands and compared them. Very helpful for picking which one I wanted to use (and lucky me that I got a none-exploding can of Valspar).


Using good ol' Frog Tape, I measured around the table and placed the tape where I wanted the gold paint to stop and used trash bags to secure the rest of the table from getting any gold on it. 

Important: make sure the tape is completely flat against the furniture, otherwise you may get some leaks underneath the tape and you won't get the crisp lines you're looking for.

Tip: Spray paint works best in temperatures of 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit (which means I just barely got to try this project in time before temps plummeted). Always spray paint outdoors or in a very well ventilated room.

I did two coats of spray, waiting for the first coat to fully dry overnight before doing the touch-ups with the second coat.


I let the second coat sit overnight, and the next day I slowly peeled away the tape and it revealed the finished product. Look at how perfect those lines are! They make me smile.

I'm VERY happy with how well this table turned out. Now that it's officially become winter temperatures outside, I'm glad I got to do this before it would have been impossible until Spring!




One more delightful surprise to unveil! Look at what happens when you open the drawer:





I lined her drawer sides and inside (woot for mod podge!) with a beautiful black and white damask scrapbooking paper, which I think really adds an extra special detail and elegance every time you open the drawer.


I'm taking a big step for myself and for the first time am offering a painted piece for sale, so this lil lady will be adding a classy charm to a lucky someone's home.


If you'd like to check out the side gold-dipped side table I painted to match this one, hop over here.

Let me know what you think in the comments (any questions too!). Thanks y'all!




The Dedicated House

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