Best Of The Nest Party // August

Happy end of August my friends of the blogosphere!  You know what that means……

My one and only project for this month was a vintage-y sign I made for our dining room that reminds us of the Cape.
You can find me here…...

Jennifer amazed all of us yet again with her Horchow-inspired fur ottomans (you will never believe the source of the fur!)
Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles

Pam framed batik fabric to create a stunning gallery wall (I'm still swooning over her Craigslist settee too!)
Pam @ Simple Details 

Kris brought some warm wood tones into her kitchen with these gorgeous and functional herb crates that hang on hooks next to her table.
Kris @ Driven by Décor 

What was your favorite project of August?

Share and inspire with a  DIY, art/craft project, recipe, major renovation or even minor tweak.  

Link up a blog post below, 
or if you're not a blogger, you can either 

share a picture of your project on Instagram 
with the hashtag #bestofthenestparty and a tag to one of the BOTN hosts:

 or even use Pinterest to link up (easy directions on how to do that here). 

ONE link per person - the best from your nest this month!
Link to a specific blog post, not your home page, 

by clicking on your post title and then copying the http url for that post.
Be social and visit a couple other links in the party.

The link party is open today until next Tuesday at midnight.   I'm always so inspired by the BOTN link ups and am looking forward to some weekend reading of what you've been up to!  
to this party to be considered for a feature!
You can post a button in your blog post or provide a text link to any one of our blogs.

Next week KrisJenniferPam and I will each feature some of our favorite links so stop by for a visit.  

Happy weekend friends!


A "Vintage" Sign

I subscribe to the philosophy that your style doesn't have to be 
If I had to describe what I am most drawn to, I think it would be something like 
eclectic-traditional-rustic-industrial-artsy- and casually elegant

Maybe not so casually elegant whilst a very sweet, but very slobbery senior citizen Saint Bernard has domain over the house, but I can still love a home that feels "casually elegant"! 
Just love him more.

The summer that we moved here I picked up a copy of Cape Cod Home, fell in love with this huge sign, and thought a big vintage looking sign like that would fill up the awkward space above my dining room bay windows.

Easy enough to make, but what kind of sign.  That was the question.  

This past spring Mark & I spent a weekend at the Cape to celebrate 3 or 4 years of anniversaries which have been woefully neglected.  We ate at some great restaurants that weekend, and one of them was the

Not because the restaurant itself is so special to us (it does have an amazing lobster bisque, I won't lie), but more because it represents a place we love,
where we've had good times and made happy memories over the years -
Cape Cod in it's entirety, with all it's varied towns, villages and beaches.
A place that says to us - relax and have a good laugh.

And also because the name just struck my fancy.

I took some creative liberties with the style and font because I wanted it to look old to contrast my traditional cane-back chairs a bit.  

Here's a quick tutorial on making a vintage looking sign.
If you live locally and would like to order a custom sign, send me an email at lscibilia (at) verizon (dot) net.
I will be posting a link to sizes and pricing info in the near future.
1//  find yourself a board.  (Scraps are handy for signs - this one came from the bookcase project.)
2//  have some fun banging it up a bit like it's been out in the elements for a long time.
3//  (not pictured) give the board a light coat of stain or paint.
4//  print out your text and play with the scale and fonts.
5//  color the back of the text with colored chalk.
6//  use a pencil or ball point pen to trace the outline of the text onto the board 
(a bit of tape is helpful to keep your letters straight).
7//  fill in the letters with a Sharpie
8//  if it occurs to you that you want a border on your sign, 
cover the text with newspaper and painter's tape, and give the edges a quick coat of spraypaint. 
(I later taped the border again and went over most of the gold with black).
9//  pull off the tape to reveal your masterpiece - almost done!
10//  wipe on a little stain to add some dimension and age.
11// (not pictured) give the sign a good sanding to take away the shiny new-ness.
12//  use short screws to attach two triangular hangers to the back of the sign
(both can be found at your local hardware store - buy a box of each - they come in handy!)
13// Hang and enjoy!

Then, go out and have some fun before summer officially draws to a close!!  
Remember my mantra?


A quick reminder!!!
This Friday, it's time for the August Best of the Nest!  Come join Kris, Pam, Jennifer and moi to share your one most favorite project from this month - any home improvement, design, gardening, organizing,  art or craft project.  I'm looking forward to seeing all your creative goodness!!

xo, Lisa


Inspiration From An Unlikely Source

Welcome to a fresh new week my friends, and thank you all so much for your kind messages following my last post.

I recently watched this video of Jim Carrey giving a commencement speech, and have thought so much about it ever since.

He was surprisingly thoughtful and eloquent, and this snippet really struck a cord with me:

     When I was about 28, after a decade as a professional comedian, I realized one night in LA that the purpose of my life had always been to free people from concern…... When I realized this, I dubbed my new devotion, “The Church of Freedom From Concern” — “The Church of FFC”— and I dedicated myself to that ministry.
     What’s yours? How will you serve the world? What do they need that your talent can provide? That’s all you have to figure out. As someone who has done what you are about to go do, I can tell you from experience, the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. 

Sometimes I struggle with what I write about on this blog when we live in a world where there are blood clots and cancer, domestic violence, job loss, mental illness and addiction.  Reports of children being beheaded and people buried alive and genocide.  Real issues and heartache abound all around me, and I write about how to fix a leaky hose or paint furniture?

There are so many big things happening in the world.  Who am I to spend my time and energy thinking, photographing and writing about things that are ultimately insignificant?

And yet we all need a break from the hardships of life.  That's what I like about reading home blogs, and writing one - it's a small respite from the real responsibilities of life.  I'm not going to claim that this blog is my life's purpose, but….

What if I allow myself to envision
that someone reads about how to fix a leaky hose.  Someone who thinks she isn't handy.  And that someone thinks - it doesn't look hard - the gaskets to fix the hose only cost a few cents - what harm is it to try.  And she fixes her hose.  And she thinks, hmmmm, maybe I can figure out how to unclog my sink drain.  And then…..

What if a small little insignificant idea I post about here inspires someone to do something around their own home that makes their life easier, or teaches them a new skill?

What if someone comes here, and they laugh, or they watch a video that makes them smile, or they just take a mindless break from whatever they were doing?  What if this little blog can lighten someone else's burden in some small way?

I mean seriously, it would be a crime to keep things like how to get the wrinkles out of slipcovers or how to make your chalkboard lettering look really good or how to make homemade bed risers or how to cut a chair rail return to myself.

Plus I like to hear myself talk, so there's that.

And - it turns out getting things done and creating something interesting and repurposing old junk are wonderful therapies for a broken heart.

So I've got a bunch of *life changing* things to share with you soon. :)

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Cheers to a great week ahead.  xoLisa


Our Loss

Hi my friends in the world of blogging.  I have missed this happy little place and all of you, and thank you for inquiries into my silence over here.

Almost four weeks ago on Friday, July 18, my brother Jim suffered massive blood clots in his lungs and died.

  He was 44 and the father to his greatest joy in life, a beautiful 5 year old boy.

He was also my childhood best friend, arch enemy, constant playmate, toughest critic
and fiercest defender,

as well as a baby brother,

a dearly beloved son,

and the crazy fun uncle.

Jim had a big personality, a wild sense of humor, and boundless energy.  He LOVED kids and truly adored playing with his son, nieces and nephews.  He will be remembered by my kids for all the parades and obstacle courses, firework displays in the middle of winter, race cars, trains set up from one room to the next, reading books with voices for all the characters, and for the endless laughter and fun.

His life in Florida with his son included daily trips to the beach, playground, pony park, or butterfly garden.  He took thousands of photos and videos of his little boy and Jim's greatest happiness was truly found in adventures with his little Jimmy.

We are devastated by his loss, but our sorrow has been eased by the constant support of friends and family, and the knowledge that Jim is at long last together with our dad, who went to heaven when Jim was only 5 himself.  

If you could keep his little boy in your prayers today and in the time to come, I would be so very grateful.  Thank you friends.

Though we need to weep your loss, you dwell in that safe place in our hearts 
where no storm or night or pain can reach you.
Your love was like the dawn brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark a further adventure of colour.
The sound of your voice found for us a new music that brightened everything.
Whatever you enfolded in your gaze quickened in the joy of it's being;
You placed smiles like flowers on the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled with wonder at things.
Though your days here were brief, our spirit was live, awake, complete.
We look towards each other no longer from the distance of our names;
Now you dwell in the rhythm of breath, as close to us as we are to ourselves.
Though we cannot see you with outward eyes, 
we know our soul's gaze is upon your face, smiling back at us 
from within everything to which we bring our best refinement.
Let us not look for you only in memory, where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence, beside us when beauty brightens, 
when kindness glows, and music echoes eternal tones.
When orchids brighten the earth, darkest winter has turned to spring; 
may this dark grief flower with hope in every heart that loves you.
May you continue to inspire us:  
To enter each day with a generous heart.  
To serve the call of courage and love
until we see your beautiful face again
in that land where there is no more separation,
where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
and where we will never lose you again.

-On The Death Of The Beloved by John O'Donohue

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
"Love you"


My Favorite Room on Savvy Southern Style

Today I am so excited to be over at Savvy Southern Style sharing my favorite room.  Yes, THAT Savvy Southern Style, the blog of Kim Nichols whose beautiful dining room is on the cover of French Country Style this month!!!

I love Kim's gorgeous home, and her talent with painting furniture is amazing!  

Here's a sneak peek of my favorite room - yes, it's also the one that is furthest away from being "done"!  

I'm honored for Kim to feature my home in her My Favorite Room Series!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend my lovelies!! 


Mark's Deck Cart

First there was the Art's Market table

and now there is the Mark The Shark

I mentioned recently that I had to sell my beloved changing table-bar cart for lack of space.  I was so looking forward to using it on our deck this summer, but after the bookcases were installed there was just not enough space for the cart when I needed to store it inside.

A few weeks ago I came upon this cute little cart at a yard sale.  It's perfect for our deck in the summer, and small enough to store in the garage in the winter.

It was unfinished, so in order to use it outside it needed to be sealed.  And also - hello blank canvas!  It was just begging to be made over into something fun.  I couldn't wait for the opportunity to tackle this one.

I taped off the casters and the top, and primed every nook and cranny.  Whenever you are painting a bare piece of furniture it's really important to prime it first, and if it's going outside I highly recommend starting with an oil based primer to stand up to the elements. 

After priming, the cart got a few coats of latex paint that I applied with my new little Critter.  More on how I like this paint sprayer in the near future.

Then the fun part - adding a graphic.

My intention with the cart was to have a place for beverages so guests could help themselves, but Mark envisioned using the cart next to the grille as a place to set platters of burgers and dogs and such as he cooked them.  Thus, the idea for some kind of graphic containing the words BAR & GRILLE was born inside my crazy head.  Some of our friends and their kids refer to Mark as Mark the Shark, and I thought it would be kinda humorous to incorporate that in some way too.  I found some shark images online, then played around with different fonts and placements in Powerpoint until I came up with this graphic below, which I uploaded to Block Posters to enlarge and then printed out (you can also blow it up in Word).

My usual chalk-on-the-back-of-the-graphic trick -
- and the graphic traced onto the top of the cart.

Next up, going over the chalk with a black Sharpie.  A Sharpie is a magical tool for transferring images, but keep in mind it's super helfpul to have a FINE Sharpie on hand for the details.  I couldn't find mine, and I was too eager beaver to wait, so the fine details are lacking a bit, but that's okay.

Whenever I blow up an image or text to transfer, I find it helpful to refer back to the image as a whole.  Sometimes parts of the graphic are cut off when you print over several pages, so you have wing it a bit.

All was going well with my transfer until I traced "Mark the Shark" and then filled it in with the Sharpie.  I don't have pictures of this, but the first font I used is irregular and when traced, came out looking like I had 3 glasses of sangria before writing it. Actually maybe I SHOULD have had 3 glasses of sangria first, it might have come out better!

So….a little improvising was necessary, as is often the case in such projects.

My second attempt at "Mark The Shark" went a little better, although not perfect.  This is where the fine Sharpie would have come in handy.  The smaller the font, the more definition.  Also, when using a Sharpie on bare wood there is a bit of bleeding so the fine tip helps to control how much ink is making contact with the wood.

After the Sharpie ink dried for an hour or two, I gave the top of the cart a coat of stain (Minwax Provincial).  I also distressed the body a bit, and then coated the whole piece, every nook and cranny, top and bottom, up and down, with oil based Spar Urethane (the same stuff I sealed my outdoor teak furniture with), coating twice and sanding lightly between coats.
The Clear Satin Spar Urethane (also by Minwax) goes on super shiny, but the sheen fades over time.

The urethane also fills in and evens out imperfections and indentations on the surface - for example, where I colored over the original Mark The Shark is not even visible after being sealed.

It was really fun to turn something functional, but plain,

 into a piece with a little personality!

If you're a font junkie like I am, these are the fonts I used with links to where you can download them.


"Mark" and "Shark's" - FoglihtenNo07 
 "the"  - Bergamot Ornaments lowercase z
(Check out this handy printable Bergamot Ornaments guide by Rachel Myers!)

"Bar & Grille" - Buffet Script 

(The first Mark the Shark is in what used to be called Cracked but is now called the very classy Crackhouse.  I like this font but don't recommend it for transferring images.)

If Mark gets the cart for grilling purposes, 

I think the rest of us need matching t shirts, don't you?

Happy Wednesday lovelies!