A Chic looking Bulletin Board & Tacks


Make this Chic looking  bulletin board.


I started with an old frame. I found this frame when I was helping my in-laws  unpack their storage container. They had just moved back to New England. This frame was really dirt, torn and ready to be discarded. I  ripped out the old mat, sanded down the frame lightly, wiped down with a damp cloth, sprayed with  primer, and 2 coats of desired color.



I bought foam board and cut it to the size of the frame. The frame was so big that I had to use 2 sections of foam board. I taped them together with clear duck tape.



After I made sure that the board fit tightly, it was time to wrap the fabric around the foam board.

I used clear duck tape to secure the fabric to the board.

Lay fabric out on table and leave about 3 to 4 inches extra to over lap on to the back of the board.

Iron your fabric first before applying to foam board. Start on the right side of the frame  half way up the board( Start on the longest side of the frame).

Tape and then press down on the tape to make sure it holds securely. Now go to the opposite side you just did and repeat the process.

After you do those two sides move to ( the shorter sides of the frame ). Repeat the process again. Work your way around the board pulling tight all the time. Flip the board over frequently to make sure the fabric is staying taunt.

I used a stapler to fasten the fabric covered foam board to the frame. I used the same method I did with the fabric.


Check out the thumb Tacks. I made them with vintage beads and colored wire.


I wrapped wire around the thumb tack. Once that end was secure to the tack I threaded the beads on to the wire.

To make the flower petals. I threaded seven beads on tot he wire  and twisted the wire around the tack twice and repeated the process two more times.

To make the loops I just added as many beads as I wanted and then twisted the wire around the tack to secure it.

These would make great custom gifts for friends &  family. Think of all the paint and fabric choices. They are endless.

Hope this has inspired you to breath life into some old frames you may have around your home.

Have a great night!


Turning a small space into a child’s room

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I wanted to share this child room with you. My sister-n- law and I designed and decorated this room a few years back for a client. She wanted to move her three year old out of their bedroom and into his own space. They had a  funky little space at the top of their stairway. We gave them hope that it could be a great space for a child, with the right planning.

In a small space lots of storage in necessary. We had my brother-n-law build a custom cabinet to fit in the corner. The higher shelves were for mom, so she could store toys that could be rotated & extra linens. We found the bins at Pottery Barn.

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Next on the list was a place for him to sit and draw. And as he got older, he would have a place to do homework. Chalk board paint was used on the desk  top. Kids really enjoy drawing on chalkboards. We  found a red colored coordinating chair. I’m not sure if we got it at Pottery Barn or the Mill Store and the client painted it. We found a wheel around bin( for more toys & extra sitting)  that could also go under the desk.

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The book rack on the wall came from the Mill Store. The store  is a great place to find items if your on a tight budget. You can stain or paint them yourself.

The bed we spray painted to match the wall cabinet. The curtains were shower curtains we had found at JC Penny and my sister-n-law made them into Roman shades. We found coordinating  fabric to make cornices. They were very easy to make. Some day I’ll do A tutorial on them.When using Roman shades make sure their our no hanging strings. It can be dangerous. I know in the picture they are hanging but the mother was going to buy the hardware after we left to put the strings up high and out of the hands of the little one.

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The bedding came from Pottery Barn. We started the whole design process with that. The client had bought the quilt first and we took all are ques for  color from it.

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On the walls we used Benjamin Moore paint. We used a lighter shade blue on the ceiling. This helps make the room feel and look a little bigger. Your eye doesn’t stop at the ceiling /wall line. On the wall that the bed is up against, we used a magnetic paint. We did this so he could put little magnetics on the wall, letters,cars ( another surface to play on).However we were not happy with the results( We had used five coats of paint). It could only hold a very thin magnetic. Maybe the paint has improved since then (this was done 4 years ago). We found the paint at our local Ace Hardware store.

Hope this gives you some great ideas for storage and getting the most out of a small area.

Have a great night & Enjoy!


Slow down and smell the flowers


It’s that time of year when families are  in full throttle . Running with the kids to games, school concerts, plays, recitals. The weeks blend into each other until Summer vacation hits.

It’s also one of the most beautiful times of the year. The trees & bushes are in full bloom. They are  decked out in glorious  colors. Each a little bit prettier then the other. It can be a wonderful inspiration to anyone that opens  their eyes and just enjoy the beauty. Even if it’s only for a moment.

Live in that little moment because, like a magnificent Magnolia flower, the moment will not be there for long.


I was talking to a client the other day who was about 20 minutes away from our home town. She said she was driving along and  thought how beautiful all the green and flowering buds looked. She spent the whole time driving home admiring each town as she passed through it. When she pulled into her drive way she realized how beautiful her road was.  She couldn’t get over how she had missed the beauty on her own road, until she took a minute to really look.


So if your life is spinning at a fast pace try to step off the merry- go-round for just a second and admire all the new life that is popping up.

Up here in the Northeast our growing season is not long. We learn to appreciate what we have before the next season begins. Slow down and smell the flowers.

The Joy of Farming your Land

Good Evening Everyone. I hope you are enjoying your spring. I’m enjoying the rain that is watering all the plants and trees that I planted this weekend and Monday.
We divided my Raspberry bushes and got 33 canes out of it. The goal is to put up posts at each end of the Raspberry rows. Then we will run wire for the Raspberries to grow on.  We also moved the fruit trees. I hope they survive through the Summer.  Someday I’d like our property to be a pick-your -own farm. (Might not happen because we live in a Development.)
This property in it’s former life was a gravel pit.


Here in the North East, the rule is not to plant until Memorial Day. We do have some things we can plant now that are frost hardy. We have gotten snow in May before, so it’s best to be cautious.
Peas are one of those harder crops. An old saying is planting Peas on Patriots day brings picking of Peas on 4th of July.
We envy the longer growing season of the southern states but we don’t think we could ever leave this property. (We are blessed with all kinds of wild life from the Marsh behind our house.) In the fall we hope to build a couple Hot Houses to extend the growing season. We  know of some farms in Maine that are getting crops in December.
We finally got to use compost that was broken down. It came from mulch that we had put in the compost pile 5 years ago. We know how to make good compost but we are not very good at doing the things  to  make it good.

Making Compost
A mixture of greens and brown yard waste. Green being grass clippings, deadhead plants, veggie scraps.
Brown is your raked leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds.
Start mixture with a bag of already composted soil, and water.
Mix the compost pile often (something we forget to do.) A pitch fork works well. You can also use composted Manure to start you compost.
Make sure that your pile is in a sunny area. Try and wet it once a week or more often in dryer times.
This Spring we are going to try and add worms. We are hoping that it will break it down faster.
I would love to hear  your composting ideas and how you reuse yard waste to enrich your gardens.


It’s great when you can raise your food with compost that you made from previously raised food waste.



A Sweet Little Quilt Tutorial.


Here is a sweet little quilt I made for my BF daughter.  I used small squares cut out from fabric samples. I had many fabric books left over from my Interior Design business. I hated to see them go to the land fill. I choice fabrics that the colors went to together.


Find a pleasing look to your fabric design.


Stitched the rows and then flipped them over and ironed the seams flat.



*  Attached each row to each other.  Turn over and ironed the seams again.

*Once  all the pieces are sewn together  sew them to the main piece of fabric.


*  Use purple single sided bias tape to out line the squares.

*  Sew the main fabric, a natural filler , and muslin all together.

*   Quilt the layers together. I used the sewing machine.

*  Sew Quilting bias around the Quilt to finish it off.

* To add a little whimsy I made Yo Yos. Cut out circles, hand sew a loose stitch along the circle. It will pull together as you go along.With the Yo-Yos with a trim, I sewed on bias tape to them before I hand sewed them into their puckered state. I then sewed them onto the Quilt.


This was my  first Quilt I have every made. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to make another one. I hope this inspires you if you’ve never made a Quilt. Start small and enjoy!



Candy Gifts


Great gift idea to make with kids!

I purchased most supplies by Make’n Mold. I found them at our local craft store.  This was the first time I’ve made candy so I wanted something that was easy to follow and child friendly.im0000121

To make the accent colors inside the candy molds use vanilla chips and food coloring ( I used coloring that was for candy. I wasn’t sure if I could use the kind for cakes and cookies. If  anyone knows , please let me know. )

Heat the vanilla chips in two separate squeeze bottles. Heat for about one minute, take bottle out and squeeze until chocolate is melted. If need be put back in Microwave for 15 seconds and repeat. Then add coloring until the desired shade is achieved.  Use a long wood skewer  to mix the color.


After mixing color, squeeze into molds.


Melt the chocolate of choice to pour into the mold.


I don’t have a double boiler so I improvised.


Add lollipop stick and cover with chocolate at base.

Chill for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Then pop them out.

Place them in a food safe container/plastic. Close with a twist tie or pretty ribbon.


The pretzels are very easy to make.


Use rod size pretzels.

Melt the chocolate. (I used white and milk chocolate separately) I found it easier to spoon the chocolate over the pretzel half way to the end of the pretzel.

Place pretzels on wax paper and apply the sprinkles at this time.


To add a second color to the pretzels, let the pretzel cool and then apply the second color over it.



Present in your favorite way. Great gift to give at holidays, family gatherings or just for the fun of it.

Window boxes for less

Here is a post from last summer.

You can check out my old blog @ Visionsofsuagrplums.net

Inexpensive Window Boxes

I finally got my window boxes. We’ve lived here for 5 years and I have always wanted window boxes on the front of the house. I love looking at houses with beautiful over flowing window boxes. My husband was worried about damage that the water might cause to the house. I came up with an idea that puts the boxes far enough away from the house that their should not be any damage.
I got all the material from the Mill Store. The unfinished boxes with plastic liners were only $14 a piece. Most window boxes I looked at were $75 and up. The brackets were $5.00 a piece. This was a very inexpensive project that added a lot of character to the house.I originally wanted to buy antique brackets but I couldn’t find enough that matched. I needed 8 brackets. I have four windows.

First thing I did to prepare the boxes was:

  1. Drilled about 30 holes in the bottom of each box
  2. Sand the boxes before painting
  3. Primed the boxes
  4. Used exterior paint ( I used 2 coats of left over paint from the house trim)
  5. Re drill the holes (paint can clog the them)
  6. I cut huge holes in the plastic liners so they would drain easily
  7. Placed one layer of newspaper on the bottom of the liner.
  8. Fill with potting soil and compost.
  9. Fill with plants. ( Choose filler flowers( I used pink Becopia) Usually small buds, trailing flowers & vines( Vinca or Potato Leaf as an example) and then a main flower ( I used ruffled Petunia)

I placed the brackets on the house with the long side faced up. The window boxes sit right up to the end of the bracket. ( I wanted a 2 to 3 inch gap between the house and the window box. )Once the flowers fill in you really don’t notice the gap. The window boxes were drilled to the bracket from underneath.

Notice the Whimsical bug. This was from the Kith & Kin Studios a few years back. My sister-n-law designed the wings and I designed and painted the body. We had them in all kinds of playful colors. Someday I’ll post the Fat Fairies we made. They are adorable.
You can really change the look of your house with this project. Next month I’m going to replace the summer flowers with Mums and Decorative Cabbage, and this winter I will have Holly berry, mixture of greens and red berries.

Have fun with them.