Tuesday, September 30, 2014


The other day I was rummaging around at work and I found a wooden coaster in the back of a rarely used cabinet. Of course my first thought was "I can paint this!"  Yep, I may only have one skill in the crafting world but I'm going to keep at it until my fingers fall off.

 That's the back of the coaster...forgot to take a picture before I started painting. You can see that it was just a basic, light-colored wood.

I painted 2 coats of light pink to serve as primer and undercoat. It was really pretty and I almost left it right there but I had another idea in mind.

I used a dry brush technique to paint a very, very light coat of Caribbean Blue so that a lot of the pink would show through. I got exactly the look I wanted, it kind of reminds me of faded blue jeans.

Since I'm new to this painting world, however, I do have a question. If I'm going to use it as a coaster, would it be best to paint some sort of clear coat on top to keep out moisture? Is there even such a thing?

Friday, September 12, 2014

in conclusion

I'm sure you've been asking yourself all week "what else did Jonni do to spruce up her little front stoop?" Ok, humor me and pretend that has been your first waking thought each morning. 

Here's a reminder of the way my front stoop looked originally.

Then I added some fencing

What was I going to do next? I painted something, of course. 

Yeah, yeah, I know that to some of you crafters out there, just slapping a coat (or four) of paint on something isn't anything to get all excited about but for me, it's a pretty big deal. I don't have endless amounts of artistic creativity and most projects I've tried end up in the garbage so the idea that I can take something rather useless and make it pretty once again, well that's pretty darned exciting in my book. 

Enter the mini bench.

This had been buried in our backyard for years and was looking pretty drab after spending so much time out in the elements. I still had a whole lot of that blue paint leftover from my first painting project and it was just going to waste so I decided, why not?

Plus I had a "new" toy to play with because we'd uncovered the mouse sander in a box in our garage. I was just itching to sand something!

So I gathered up all my favorite supplies and got to work sanding and painting. 

This was a fairly quick job, pretty easy because I didn't prime anything and used a mostly dry brush technique to keep some of the original wood showing through. All too soon the fun was over and I had a much improved little bench on my hands.

And then it was time to put all the pieces together.

Keep in mind that I would dearly love to get rid of the water-stained green rug but that's not my call. Besides that, I think the whole effect is pretty cute and welcoming.

I really get a kick out of walking up to my front door now and the best part is that I can take all the pieces with me to the next Jasper's Cottage and recreate the look.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

picket fences

I've always loved the idea of a sweet cottage surrounded by a white picket fence so you can imagine my joy when I moved into my own little picket-fence cottage a few years ago. It was like having a dream come true.

But I've never been particularly fond of our front entrance, it just needed a little something to spice it up. Inspired by my love of picket fences, I came up with a brilliant plan at the beginning of summer - I wanted to attach a miniature picket fence to the wall right outside the front door. The man of the place took a little convincing but soon enough we were off to the local home renovation store and found the perfect little edging fences. There was a large selection to choose from but eventually we chose the real wood ones even though they might need maintenance from time to time, mostly because they were the perfect price - all the materials we needed for under $10.

Before we got a chance to attached the fencing to the wall, we learned that it wouldn't be in our best interest to make any alterations to the house so my project was on hold. Every day I'd go in and out of the front door and think how empty that space looked.

Then, one day, I got another brilliant idea - I am just full of it brilliance, I tell ya! Why couldn't we nail the fencing to a narrow piece of wood that could stand on its own right next to the exterior wall? That would serve 2 purposes, no walls would be harmed AND we could take it with us when we left. Perfect.

We found a perfect board out behind a shed in the backyard and the man of the place got right to work sanding it. We measured the front and, low and behold, it fit perfectly in that space. A nail here and there and, voila, my little picket fence was ready!

Isn't that exactly what the space needed? 

But wait, there's more!

Operation Porch wasn't finished quite yet, Check back next week!

Friday, September 5, 2014

watch this space!

So this was my front "porch" at the beginning of the summer. 

Boring, right?

I had a whole bunch of plans to transform it based on ideas I'd gotten while reading some of my favorite blogs. After all, this was going to be my forever cottage so I wanted to really fix it up cute and put my own mark on it.

And then, in a stunning blow, we learned that this won't be our forever place after all. Oh, we're not moving out right away but by this time next year I wouldn't be surprised if Jasper's Cottage had a brand new address. It's taken me a couple of months to be able to think these thoughts without a few tears but I'm ok with it now.

But even though it was now impractical to make any changes to the actual exterior of the house, I still wanted to un-bore-ify this front entrance...without spending any money or making holes in the walls or make any changes that couldn't be put back to the original immediately. Sigh.

Does that pique your interest? (I had to look that up to make sure I was using the correct word )

Tune in tomorrow (same cottage time, same cottage channel) to see if I was up to the challenge!