The Cottage in Do It Yourself Magazine!

Our family is excited to announce that our North Carolina mountain cottage is in the Spring 2016 issue of Better Homes & Gardens Do It Yourself Magazine!  Many thank yous for jobs well done to Jessica Miller for styling, Brie Williams for photography, and Becky Mollenkamp for writing.  Thank you, also, to Lisa Mowry for scouting the house and making the connections so the story could happen.  The kids and I had the pleasure of watching the fascinating process of print production–we even made it into some of the photos!  I hope you can find yourself a copy!IMG_9226

If you are new here, the cottage is our home away from home in the gorgeous, green Appalachian mountains.  Before moving to Georgia, we lived in the area briefly and loved it!  It was a hard move to say goodbye to those mountains, but God had a plan for us to continue enjoying it.  We found the cottage, a little run-down house in the woods, available for sale and jumped on it!  With stone, timber, and an amazing view, the house only needed a little TLC to turn the charm on.

The best part about the cottage is that it isn’t just ours to enjoy.  We rent it out as a vacation rental when we aren’t there.  Many families visit throughout the year and make vacation memories there in the mountains.  It’s my job to manage the place and I take it very seriously!  People’s vacations are in my hands and I want it to be the best.  Thankfully the cottage does most of the work just being its sweet self.  And, I’m so grateful that a magazine took notice of her beauty to share with its readers.www.tphblog.comYou can take a tour here of the best of the cottage…but the posts are 6 years old and some things have changed.  For one, there is a new master bedroom.  You can also see how we do Christmas there.  And if you want to see the horrific before photos of the house you can search the blog for the full multi-post tour…written in 2009(!).

Thank you so much Better Homes & Gardens for the cottage love–we are so proud!

Also, thank you to Darlene, Gwen, and Sissy for the posts on our crazy dining room paintings!  It makes me feel less nutball to know that others appreciate the colors like I do.  It’s a good thing to feel less nutball, let me tell you.

Thank you to Darlene, too, for including our playroom in her article for Better Homes & Gardens!

One other thing, my email is acting up right now and I’m answering all comments here on the blog, so please check back if you asked a question.

Okay, that’s it for today…I’m going to try to squeeze in some studio time this afternoon before the kiddos come home.  Until next post, I’ll see you on Instagram!

Large-Scale DIY Painting

It’s been nothing but taping and painting since I last saw you here!  I finally tackled the wood panels that Chris made for our dining room wall with candy-colored paints and a trusty level.  It’s mod, bright, and in-your-face–I love it! www.tphblog.comRemember the circle-shaped canvas?  It arrived and I’m still playing with it…but I moved it into this shot for fun.

www.tphblog.comI love the play of the white chandelier, pillows, and chairs with the room–it’s like reverse silhouette.

www.tphblog.comThe new wallpaper and painting are getting along just fine.

And,  I love the view of it from the kitchen.

Chris did the hard part by making the panels for me out of 1/4″ plywood and trimmed in bullnose 1x2s.  He put a cleat on the back of each panel and the wall out of 1x3s that holds the panels securely.  Next I went to the paint store and picked out the possible palette for the painting.


Once I knew my approximate colors, I color matched the paint cards with craft paint so I could play around with the colors on a small-scale mock up of the actual painting.


I painted the composition on small (but not proportional) canvases to get the general idea of what I wanted to do.


Then I jumped in and started painting, a slow and steady process of tape-paint-dry-repeat.IMG_6534

Those crisp edges are courtesy of the old paint trick of painting the tape your basecoat before painting your topcoat.  In the photo below I taped out the yellow to prepare for my next green layer, but before I added the green I sealed the edges of the tape with the yellow to prevent the green from seeping under the tape to the yellow layer below.  If any seepage occurred, it happened with the yellow onto the After I had my outer layers done, I moved the panels up to the dining room to finish the layers.  I wanted to see it come to life in the space and have the chance to see any changes I wanted to make ahead of time.IMG_6542Now I feel like we have a proper place to eat our quesadillas.

I’m off to the next project now–follow me on Instagram for sneak peeks.  Thank you for stopping by!

Flit and Flutter | A Butterfly

Wood cut-outs have a special place in my beating heart.  I’ve written about some I’ve made (or seen) before, and I have ventured my love of ribbon painting from canvas to wood in our guest bedroom–and I’m anxious to try more!

Then the need arose within me to make a butterfly cutout–no doubt inspired by Chassie Post’s butterfly room as seen in Domino years ago on that classic Schumacher wallpaper.

I gave a little peek on my Instagram of the butterfly in progress, but now it is finally done and flitting about the house to show you some ways in which you might need a butterfly at your home.  Like above the sofa, but don’t hang it crooked like me:
www.tphblog.comAbove the

Above a chest or console in an entry or hallway:
www.tphblog.comAbove your work desk:

Above your bed:

Okay, the bedroom was a stretch–I just propped it on the bed because it wouldn’t fit anywhere.  I better not show this pic to my daughter or she may find it hard to sleep for fear of the giant lepidopteran snuggling in on her pillows and possibly devouring her.

This one may go live above the bed at the cottage:www.tphblog.comI think this butterfly needs to be aged and distressed a bit while my husband thinks it could be brighter.  But that’s the cool thing, butterfly art can be as various as there are flutterflies.  Don’t you think you need one?  Of all the colors and shapes and patterns, there’s one for you, darlin’!  Let me know if I can make you one!

Let’s Make Some Easy Art

Let’s just say some very wrong types of art can be done on these beveled edged canvases.  I’ve seen it.  However, I have ordered a 40″ round canvas from Dick Blick to hopefully make something the opposite of wrong (I received 20% off and free shipping).  To be precise, I just want to paint it one color (but I’m toying with a shadow line).  It’s like I’m deconstructing Lichtenstein to the very smallest element–I like this reference because of the dots I like to do in my own paintings.

I envision it going here above the sideboard in the dining room, where I desperately want some color.  Maybe it will be too many circles on this wall, with the fire alarm taking the motif over the edge.  Maybe it won’t be enough circles.
www.tphblog.comHere are some looks from my inspiration files:

francois halardAD Spain

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 1.27.59 PMDelphine & Reed Krakoff | Francois Halard Photography

dimore studio dimore studioDimore Studio

I love the idea of breaking down painting to just shape and color–think, Ellsworth Kelly, who just died, or Frank Stella.  Brice Marden, Rothko, Rauschenberg, Barnett Newman all did some version.  Why not consider buying the largest canvas you want to part dollars for and paint it that one amazing color for your room?  Boom.  Done.  And you can get away with it thanks to these gutsy guys who knew straight up color and shape is worth something to try.

New Entry Hall Wallpaper

It’s trippy, a little crazy, it may be a labyrinth with no end; however…we love it!  Miles Redd’s Deconstructed Stripe in black by Schumacher set just the right scene in the front entry hall.

I haven’t decorated the space yet, mainly because I feel like I don’t have the right pieces yet.  It is a bit difficult to photograph, but in person it has the delicate hand-drawn look I was after (and even contemplated doing myself, like a lunatic!).

  I’ll hang the paintings soon when I gather the nerve to nail into the wallpaper. (This particular painting needs to be reworked anyway.)

So these are just photos of the wallpaper layer and nothing else.  I feel like a blue cabinet or, eek, maybe red, or mint needs to fill the hall…I don’t know!
www.tphblog.comwww.tphblog.comI love seeing it peek through the kitchen doorway. I love about the wallpaper application is it is a traditional decorating element in a traditional entry hall done in an untraditional print.  I hope I can keep that dialogue going with the rest of the layers.  See you on in Instagram in the meantime!

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