Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Craig"s List Makeover!

 Gotta Love Craig's List!
Buffet Before and After!
Swag in the Bedroom

Ever since I can remember I have always liked bed coronets, pelmets & testers. They add charm, elegance and romanticism to any room. Through the years I have managed to make several, and more recently finished one in my own room. Sophi has a tester above her bed, where as Ava has a coronet. I think it largely depends on the fabric, size of room and bed style to decide which is more suitable.  Both of my littlest girls have had some form of  a canopy above above their bed since birth. One day they will leave the nest, create a home of their own and hopefully want me to make them a coronet for their little girls bed.

There are several easy ways to make a bed coronet; a tester takes more time, fabric and can be much more difficult to construct. One of the quickest ways to make a coronet is to find a shelf that has the right lines and look for the room you plan to use it in. I often will find something from Hobby Lobby and then spray paint or chalk paint it to the color I want it to be. I then use coordinating fabric to the bedding and sew some basic curtains.  Make sure you add at least an extra foot of fabric to your curtains so you have plenty of room to create a swag on each side of the bed. You will want your curtains to touch the ground on both sides of the bed if possible. I think fringe and tassels always look nice, but it takes the right room to pull that off. In my  bedroom I used a pot rack and painted it with chalk paint in a coordinating color with my room. Used the existing iron  pot rail to hang the curtains from. Secured it to the ceiling using drywall anchors and then added antique looking knobs as the curtain pull backs.

This project is so easy, but has such dramatic results! Love it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Lost Art

In a world of computers, android phones and Facebook I find the lost art of letter writing to be refreshing. Sure, e-mail and Facebook posting is immediately gratifying but can it truly compare to the look and beauty of printed stationary? I think not. Why even the use of plant leafs, wrapping paper and some forms of tissue make great cards. Penmanship has never been my biggest talent, but with the right calligraphy pen even the worst hand writing can look attractive. Why stop there? A pretty stamp purchased from makes all the difference. They have over a 100 different stamp styles to choose from that are never offered at your local market.

So you have broke down and actually written the letter or note. Now, to properly seal the envelope. Wax sealing has always been my favorite preference it’s colorful, fun and I love the texture and drama it gives the envelope. The color options are endless as well as the design of the seal. You can even purchase seals with a sticker back to save time or for mass distribution.

Sealing important documents dates back to Biblical days when the author wanted to maintain privacy or authenticity for the special document. Royalty would use specially designed seals to show their impressive image or status and would often have several they would use. In medieval times the owner of a specialized family crest seal would pass it down in an elaborate ceremony to their predecessor. 

Today letters mailed with wax seals through the Post Office are rare but acceptable, and it is important to note that the seal can’t be over 1/8” thick or it will get caught in their sorting machine. Next time you feel the urge to break out the old stationary and snail mail someone a note, think of trying out the age old art of wax sealing.

Paula Schnoor-Comes

Thursday, February 9, 2017

                      Chalk Board Labels

I Love creating things out of items I already have around the house. It saves me time from having to go to the store with the kids. So when I needed a way to label bins of products in my home office showroom I thought what can I easily make into a reusable labels?
I browsed the house and remembered I have a quart of chalk board paint in the basement. Now my only dilemma was what to use it on....

I opened the can and started mixing it with my stir stick…. That’s when it struck me, why not cut the stir stick in equal parts with my jigsaw and turn them into wooden labels? Genius!

After cutting up my stick and drilling 2 small holes for attaching them to the bins, I painted the stick with 2 thin coats but enough paint to cover the stick completely. The smoother the finish the easier and better your chalk will write on the label. If you want the labels to be more permanent, write on them with chalk and spray them with two light coats of Polyurethane spray. If you spray too close the chalk writing, the writing will bleed and not look good. 


Happy Crafting!

Paula Schnoor-Comes

Monday, February 6, 2017

Old is “In”

I remember the days when my goal was to have everything in my home look shiny and new. My floors, cabinetry and light fixtures all modern and polished looking.  Those days have quickly faded as I have fallen in love with the look of old world charm and French Country Style. Don’t get me wrong, I still love shiny things and modern design… heck I love all design…. who are we kidding! But there is a special place in my heart for anything old and rustic looking, and no, I am not referring to my husband (wink wink) for those of you wondering, although he does have a special place in my heart.

My husband Steve and I decided to add interest to the back yard with some new plantings, a pond with a statuary fountain feature. I knew I wanted it to match the style and design of our house which is French Country. I started the process on-line as I do with most projects to research antique fountain statuary for sale. This turned out to be a difficult find. We could ship an antique marble fountain over from Italy, but there was no guaranty of it’s safe arrival and it would take at least three months or more to get here. So it was time to take matters into my own hands and create the appearance of an antique fountain here at home.
Items Needed:

  • ·         Fine mist Spray bottle- filled with water
  • ·         Chip brush & old rag
  • ·         Concrete item for staining
  • ·         Concrete stain- Valspar Exterior Semi-transparent concrete stain in Willow & Vaquero Brown

First, mix up a batch of stain by diluting the stain with a 1:1 ratio of water. Next spray the concrete liberally with your water bottle so it is dripping wet. Apply the mixed Willow stain and water solution with your chip brush only to the wet concrete areas. After each paint stroke of stain on your concrete item, spray it with the water bottle allowing the stain to run and look mottled. Continue spraying water and dabbing stain on your item until it is completely covered. Due to the diluted nature of the stain this may take a couple of coats to get the desired result. After you have achieved the aged look you were going for, duplicate the same process with the Vaquero colored stain. Spraying and dabbing with your brown stain color paying closer attention to cracks and creases in your statue. You want to darken any area that would naturally become weathered and stain over time. This also helps give the concrete more dimension and visual interest. If you feel the stain is too dark in spots on the concrete just spray more water in that area and that will lighten it, if your stain is too light add another layer of stain to the concrete piece. Stand back and admire your concrete staining abilities! Now that you have this under your belt… nothings stopping you, basement floors, fountains, patios the sky is the limit…. Well and maybe the Home Owner’s Association covenants J

Take care and happy crafting!

Paula Schnoor-Comes

Is it time to Can the Can light?

If you are anything like me, and you have a house built in the 90’s, you might be taking a second look at all of those can lights in your home. They serve a purpose, but might not be exactly what you are wanting anymore. I like changing things up and doing my best to keep things as current, yet cost effective as I can. So when my electrician brother (Marty) introduced me to the wonderful world of can light conversion kits, I was hooked. It enables you to use the existing wiring and housing from the can light. Then add the conversion kit allowing you to wire and attach the new light fixture.

Before with can lights.

After with can light conversion kits, ceiling medallions and mini chandeliers.

Can light conversion kits are sold at Home Depot for around $13.00. If you are the handyman type this installation will be easy for you. Remove the light bulb and can light baffle. Next you will insert the can light conversion kit following manufacturer’s instructions. Voila!  All that is left is to install your new light fixture. Flush mount, pendant light or chandeliers are all suitable fixtures for this application. The kit includes a white ceiling cover in case your new fixture’s canopy is smaller than your existing can light hole. Another option is to purchase a decorative ceiling medallion to place under the new fixture canopy.

If you have home improvement questions or home design questions you would like answered please feel free to contact me at

Happy Renovating!

Paula Schnoor-Comes

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Blanket with an iphone Pocket

A fun activity to do with the kids on a snowy day is the fleece tie blanket. You get a warm, durable blanket to take with you to all of those soccer and football games and the satisfaction of knowing you made it with the kids.

Items needed:
  • ·         Sharp scissors
  • ·         2 pieces of fleece that are the same length & width (I used  1 ½ yards of each)
  • ·         Additional 12” x 12” square of coordinating fleece for pocket and more if you want to embellish your blanket
  • ·         Coordinating thread
  • ·         pins
  • ·         10” zipper- in a coordinating color to your  1 ½ yard of fleece

One of the many great things about fleece is you do not need a finished seam. All edges of the fabric are raw and will remain that way. This is a great time saver when doing crafts with the kids.
Starting with one of the 1 ½ yards of fabric pin the zipper face down and in the closed position 5” from the top and centered from left to right. Carefully sew around all four sides of the zipper and do not sew over the used portion of the zipper teeth. A special zipper foot that is narrower on your sewing machine, makes this easier to achieve. Once the zipper is installed, flip the fabric over and feel with your fingers the center teeth part of the zipper, take your scissors and cut a neat line down the center exposing the zipper & zipper pull. Be certain to keep your cut line within the sewn rectangle you just made. Do not cut through any of your stitching.

Center the 12” x 12” fleece square on the wrong side of one of your larger 1 ½ yard pieces of fleece  over  and 1” above your zipper. Pin the square in place making sure both pieces of fabric are smooth. Sew a ½” seam all the way around the 12” square. Your pocket is now complete.
If you want to embellish the unused 1 ½ yard fleece blanket now is the time to do that before you connect the front and back pieces together. I cut a “W” out and stitched it to the center. You could easily cut out your kids’ names or an animal shape.

Lay both pieces of the 1 ½ yards of fleece on top of one another good sides out. You want the pocket to be on the inside of the blanket with the zipper showing on the outside.  Trim any excess fleece so that the two pieces are exactly the same size. With both pieces lined up cut 3” deep cuts approximately 1” apart all the way around the perimeter (they don’t need to be perfect. )  Be certain to cut through both pieces of fleece at the same time. At each of the four corners I cut out a square of fleece and toss it. Once all your cuts are complete, it’s time to enlist the kids’ help.  Have them double knot a top piece of fringe to the corresponding bottom piece of fringe all the way around the blanket.  At the 4 corners I tie a left bottom piece of fringe to a top right piece of fringe and a bottom right to the top left (criss-crossing them over each other.)

Now your kids have one more blanket they can use around the house to create a tent! Yeah!!!!  And you have a handy blanket to store snacks, money and your phone in at the next game.
If you have a craft emergency or home improvement questions you want answered e-mail me at

Laus Deo,

Paula Schnoor-Comes