Working on So Much Yet Accomplishing So Little

You might have noticed that I’ve been a bit quieter than usual lately and that is because I have SO MANY PROJECTS all going on at once.  I really don’t recommend this approach because despite the fact that I’m working on so much, I’m accomplishing nothing.  Today is just a quick check-in to let you know what’s been going on around the house.

First, the biggest thing and the one that has impacted our family the most was the recent loss of our beloved cat, Kitty la Belle.  She was a stray kitten that adopted us almost 14 years ago and was my son’s lovey and companion.



It’s been almost a month since she passed away and the house felt so quiet without her, so last week, we adopted a new kitten we’ve named Isabella {Izzie for short}.  I would share a picture of her with you but she doesn’t hold still long enough to photograph!  There’s a reason we’ve nicknamed her Busy Izzie….  My goal for the last week has been trying to train her to leave the finches alone but it’s a work-in-progress, so mostly, I have to follow her around and keep and eye on her.  Plus, we’ve discovered that she loves to claw fabric.  She has good taste, though, as she really only has an affinity for Restoration Hardware linen, so as you can imagine, my living room looks like a playroom to her!  {BTW, I’ve managed to kill that amazing tree I had in the corner.  So sad!}



As for decorating projects, we’re preparing our home for flooring and baseboards.  You can see what I’ve chosen for flooring {HERE}.  I’ve also narrowed my baseboard choices down to these two options – a 6″ on the left and a 7.25″ on the right.  {Please excuse the dark iPhone picture.}

Baseboard Choices February


In preparation for the floors, we’ve had to clean and clear the entire garage to make space to store our furniture!  We’ve spent every hour of the last three weekends cleaning, donating, and selling things we no longer need or use.  We’re not done yet but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  In an effort to be more organized, we purchased some garage shelving off of Craigslist from a local business that is closing.  One of the sets of shelves will be for me to store my off-season decor and I am thrilled to have a space for it!  Who knew a garage rack could make me so happy?!

In addition to the shelves, we have a handyman coming this week to build us additional storage in our rafters, which Hubby is really excited about.  He’s also going to be putting in a cat door for us, working on a project in the laundry room and doing some shelving in my son’s room.  I think I can keep him busy for a very long time!

I’m also working on a project that involves this sad little dresser.


My parents bought this dresser over 40 years ago to use in my older brother’s nursery.  It was then in my room as a baby and painted a soft shade of yellow.  My mom gave it to me when I first got married and I quickly ruined it with a bad paint job and “updated” the hardware with raffia {that was back when I used raffia for anything and everything….in fact, I could probably do an entire post dedicated to 101 Uses for Raffia!}.

Well, this little dresser is getting quite the makeover that I’m excited to share with you in a couple of weeks.


And last but not least, I’m working on a project about making things work in decorating when they really don’t.  I’m sure we all have an item that we’re hanging onto and want to use in our decor but it just doesn’t “work” with our decor, or layout, or style.  This is an issue that I’ve been having for years and I’m finally tackling it!  Once it’s ready, I’ll share it with you and address other ideas for decorating with what you already own and making it “work” in the space you’ve got!

I’ll give you a hint, though…it involves this room.




And one more project that I know I need to tackle but haven’t yet started, is painting my dining room hutch.  I’ve never loved the color but it coordinated well with my ’80s floors so I left it as-is.  Now that my floors are being updated, though, the hutch will look very out of place!

TIDBITS&TWINE French Christmas Dining Room in Blue and White


What color do you think I should paint it?  Let me know in the Comments below!



So that’s it for now!  If you don’t hear from me for a little while, just know that I’m working on lots of makeovers and I can’t wait to share them with you!


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Design Inspiration: Freestanding Kitchen Islands

The other day, I posted {THIS} picture on Facebook, which got me thinking about freestanding kitchen islands.  While not all kitchens are built with islands, some have the space to accommodate one and a freestanding island is the perfect solution!  It gives you move working surface and storage without requiring a remodel.  Win-win!  And you should think of it as a piece of furniture, meaning that it doesn’t have to match your existing kitchen cabinets in terms of color or style.  This means that you can update the look and feel of your kitchen by adding to it, as opposed to changing it.


There are so many options available for freestanding islands in terms of size, shape, and storage and just because your kitchen might now have one now, doesn’t mean you can’t add one, even if space is limited.  You can repurpose something else into an island, buy one ready-made, or even make one yourself!




Just because something wasn’t intended for use as an island doesn’t mean you can’t use it as one!  A narrow table, an old dresser, or even a vintage sideboard can all work as a kitchen island so long as they are properly sealed.  One of my favorite freestanding islands is from designer Annie Brahler.  She added rear cabinets and a marble top to a vintage demilune cabinet to create a unique and charming center island to this gorgeous kitchen!


{via Tumblr}

{via Tumblr}





There are some great retail options if you’re looking for a kitchen island that is done and ready to put right into place.  Here’s a look at some of my favorites.



If you’re handy, making your own island is also an option.  Plus, this gives you the ability to make it to your exact specifications!

Jenna at Rain on a Tin Roof has a great option if your space is limited.  You can check out her full tutorial {HERE}.


Whitney from Shanty2Chic has an awesome tutorial for creating a Pottery Barn inspired island!  Find the details {HERE}.


If you don’t want to start completely from scratch, Courtney at Golden Boys & Me has a fantastic tutorial for an IKEA Billy bookcase hack.  Such a great idea!




So if you could use a little more storage in your kitchen, consider adding an island that fits your needs and reflects your style!


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TV Gallery Wall Mini-Makeover

What better way to chase away the Winter blues than to freshen things up a bit!  With all of the Christmas decor taken down and put away, the house can feel a little bit bare.  One way to overcome this without breaking the bank is to just make small tweaks and as always, start by shopping your house.


TV Gallery Wall Mini-Makeover

My TV gallery wall has been in place for a while now and after taking apart its Christmas look {you can see it HERE}, I decided to move some things around.  I actually intended to make updates to this wall way back in Spring, but got so sidetracked with other projects that I tackle it until now.

You might recall that when we first moved our TV to this wall in our family room, it just looked bare.



I created a gallery wall around it a while ago {post HERE} and although my current changes are minor, I wasn’t ready to overhaul the look just yet, but I still wanted to freshen it up a bit.  I was too lazy busy to change the entire layout, so I simply used the existing layout and just moved a few nails to accommodate different sized frames.  Here’s how it looks today.



The idea for changing up my gallery wall started on my trip to Europe last Spring.  I was obsessed with the architecture and attention to detail and fell in love with the blue metal address numbers that are used in France.  When I saw some for sale, I grabbed them right away and decided to add those to the wall near the top to fill a gap that had been bothering me.  I’m sure mine are reproductions, but you can find some amazing vintage ones on Etsy like these from LaBelleRuche.



If you followed me last Spring then you’ll already know I took a gazillion photos while in Europe.  My picture of Notre Dame is one of my favorites because it was one of the few places I got to visit with Hubby {he was otherwise working most of the time}.  I swapped out the art that was in the top center frame for my picture of Notre Dame.

TIDBITS&TWINE-Notre Dame Spring 2015


Tip: It’s sometimes less expensive to buy fully framed artwork at a discount store like HomeGoods or Marshalls than it is to buy a frame at another store.  And if you don’t like the image in the frame, change it out for something else!  Simply cut three sides of the paper so and fold it back to access the artwork.  Then just take out the existing art and replace it with an image of your choosing just as would with any other store-bought frame.

I also collected some color prints of places and scenes that were memorable to me, so I decided to put those on the wall as well.



And while there’s no particular reason why I needed newspaper images of animals wearing diamond print sweaters, I just couldn’t pass them up when I saw them in the store.  They’ve been hanging out in my family room for a few months while I thought about where they might find a more permanent home, and so I ultimately decided to replace two frames on the wall with my new dog and fox artwork, whom I’ve named Willy and Chauncey, respectively.



Tip: Always decorate with things you LOVE and your home will always feel right to you {even if it means you come home with animals wearing argyle}!


And last but not least, I finally made use of the mailbox doors that I bought long ago at the antique fair.  Do you remember these???



The glass had been painted so that people couldn’t look into one another’s mailboxes, but I used a bit of nail polish remover and some manpower {or womanpower as the case may be} to take off the paint.  With clear glass, don’t you think they make adorable vintage picture frames!  I haven’t yet decided what to frame so for now, I just added decorative paper to each one to play off the patterns in the animal sweaters.



I’m always changing up the vignettes that sit on top of my media console but currently, one side is dedicated to glass.  I loved the feathers under the cloche that I used in my Fall Home Tour and used them again along with abandoned eggs from my finch, Lola.




Updating your home doesn’t require a renovation or major project – sometimes, just a little tweaking is all that is needed to give a room a fresh look and feel.



Tidbits&Twine - Signature




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