a space to just be.

how do you recharge & relax? what makes your heart sing? 

how do you unwind & gather your thoughts? what inspires you to pour your all into your daily rhythm & tasks?

i think these are questions all of us should ask ourselves. 

i am often times surrounded by women who do not know the answer to these questions because they're never really given the opportunity to explore what rejuvenates their soul, inspires their being & makes their heart sing. 

friends, we must leave space in our lives to relax & just be.

space to just be.

i am so thankful for my sweet friend, sara, who said yes to her dream & created the rosy retreat - a space to just be. 

when i answer those questions centered around rejuvenating, lifting spirits & caring for myself best - i imagine a creative, relaxing, calm space with a group of like-minded girls. 

sara created just this. (bless you, sara.)

& she invited us to be a part of her dream. 

i left that evening with a full heart & a group of new girlfriends. i left with a handful of crafts, a pretty flower crown, some lovely photos & an inspired soul. 

friends, i said yes to a space that allowed me to just be so that i could leave & be so much more for my home.

what relaxes & inspires you? what makes your heart sing?

craft with your girlfriends or read a book. host a dinner party & eat on paper plates if you don't like washing dishes. say yes to your dream & host a retreat for women. invite your tribe to coffee dates or go thrifting together. take a long nap or go for a long walk.

find a space that allows you to just be. 

the crafty & inexpensive $15 home address sign tutorial

i've got a bad case of the crafty home projects. 

crafty home projects of the simple, cheap & cute variety.

after a recommendation in country living magazine for affordable modern house numbers at home depot, i took a trip & was taken aback by the price. almost 8 stinkin' dollars for one number. people, that's $32 for my country home address & that price doesn't even include the plaque. i needed to move to house no. 1 or come up with a more affordable solution!

hands to the heavens, thank goodness for the chalkboard trend, cardboard numbers, spray paint & hot glue. seriously, what did us crafters do before the invention of chalkboards, spray paint & hot glue? 

while on a trip to the big box store (walmart - don't judge me!), i perused (& judged) their new craft section. i then found (shown above) that cute little chalkboard (around $3) with the twine & those sturdy cardboard numbers (around $2 each). i put two & two together & an idea was born!

natalie, make your own house address sign! for less than $15!

for this tutorial, you can use any plaque that has a way to be hung. drill holes & add twine if your plaque doesn't have pre-made holes. 

once you've located your plaque & numbers, spray paint those numbers! yes, we celebrate halloween year 'round because i chose the orange & black combination (really, i just wanted to match our door/porch light & i was too lazy to paint the chalkboard sign. give a sista a break!).

once your letters are completely dry, hot glue them to your sign. you may also use wood glue or super glue, but hot glue will do the trick. 

once you've glued your numbers to your plaque, hang your cheap & easy home address sign. admire your hard work & creativity & save that extra cash you would have spent toward creating another fun home project!

let me know if you plan to make this fun project! i'd love to see photos!

vanessa's summer ice cream baby shower!

over cups of coffee & pastries, vanessa shared that she was pregnant. we all sat there in shock for just a moment & then squealed in absolute delight at her wonderful surprise! we always knew there was a little one missing from their bunch. our tribe is just so excited to welcome in vanessa & robb's little girl. 

so, we all planned the best shower we could come up with to love on this momma-to-be. vanessa's not your traditional mama. she's an incredible artist with an affinity for vintage & bold colors. in every detail, we wanted to reflect her unique & quirky tastes. so for the decor, i paired vintage & delicate pieces with bright colors!

& one of the best parts? in the midst of planning & brainstorming the little details, tiny prints contacted me about a collaboration. they invited me to have a bit of fun with their product & supply vanessa's shower with their adorable goodies. what a gift! i've always admired tiny prints' fun & colorful aesthetic. 

i don't want to completely spoil the details of the shower so hop on over to tiny print's blog & share in the fun of vanessa's party with me! you can see the shower here. 

thanks, tiny prints, for all of the love. it was a blast to work with you! you guys are great!

one year farmiversary

we've poured sweat & tears into our home over the last year while always being mindful of our budget & real purpose for this space - to welcome others & nurture our little family. 

we have payed cash for every single home project. we've saved up our pennies instead of so easily swiping that credit card.

i am so excited to share what home improvement projects we have accomplished in just one year! 

right when we moved in, i gathered my girlfriends & we painted the cabinets white for 18 hours. i love my people & this kitchen. it's my dreamy farmhouse kitchen because it cost less than $300 to renovate.  

luke gathered discarded pallets. he & his brother spent two evenings tearing apart pallets just so i could have my pretty, chippy wall. i painted the brick white & luke assembled the pallet wall.

we also created a coffee bar from a $10 goodwill dresser & ikea shelves. it's one of my favorite spaces in our home!

i collected bits of this & that for our happy little bedroom. 

i found a 100 year old mantel & painted it white. we securely attached it to the wall & created a faux mantel space with a pallet backdrop. 

i transformed this $10 old shelf into a space for holding our linens in our dining room.

we said goodbye to our dirty carpet & painted the subflooring a dark charcoal gray. it makes me happy. 

we rainbowtized our cheery patio with colorful metal motel chairs found for under $5 each.

we pulled up dead plants & landscaped our front garden beds. we added our favorite perennial plants & native flowers.

i even convinced my amazing hubby to let us paint our exterior brick! hello, happy green house & orange door!

maybe next year i'll convince luke to build a new front porch & put in an above-ground pool?!  
this farm is ours & we love it. 

creatively filling our walls with art

i love that my home is filled with art made by people i love. 

my people are artists. i am one lucky girl.

this summer, i have been collecting colorful art to hang on our walls. of course, that kind of project can get expensive very quickly; traditional frames are not cheap!

today i wanted to share how i've been hanging art on our living room walls creatively using thrifted pieces & what we already have on hand. (i hope to share this finished space soon!)

this wall used to have an old door leaning against it (another inexpensive & creative idea!), but i wanted something a bit more colorful given the mostly neutral tones of our furniture. 

on a weekend date trip to eureka springs, luke & i found this planting calendar in a small bookshop downtown. i collected clipboards for a couple of months from thrift stores for less than $1 each. i finally found twelve unique clipboards & hung each month on a clipboard to the wall with turquoise thumbtacks. easy, inexpensive & fun!

we've also been working on an art corner. we noticed during the winter months that we wanted a space in our home to make art, read, create & finish various paperwork instead of being cooped up in our home office. this space is coming together quite nicely!

below are some of my favorite pieces i added to this wall: 

the amaginarium cork board map is one of my favorite pieces. we've marked the places we've called home & our florida vacation spot later this month on our map. it isn't just art work! it doubles as a great learning tool for homeschooling families, too. i hung it with fabric ribbon & pom pom yarn to add a bit of extra color.

my sweet friend, erin, sent me that adorable greeting card in a recent package. i clipped it to a clipboard & hung it on our wall. it's too happy to sit in a box. instead of purchasing frames, clipboards in various sizes are the perfect cheap solution.

i have work by the amazing katy of katygirl designs in every room of our home. we have her calendar, greeting cards, notepad, prints & more scattered throughout our home. to hang this print, i used a frame i purchased at ikea a couple of years ago. ikea is a great place for traditional frames at a great price. every time we plan a road trip, i try to work in a trip to ikea for frames. luke is always really excited to go to ikea with me (kidding).

the bird identification chart was a lucky thrift store find. thrift stores are stuffed with forgotten artwork looking for a new home. i have found the best floral paintings, embroidered art & dull picture frames in need of a little spray paint at thrift shops. keep your eye out the next time you're thrifting!

my dear friend, sara of the rosy life, just opened her etsy shop. i remember seeing a sneak peek of this piece on her instagram feed & knew i had to have it. i placed it in a white thrift store frame & it really brightens our walls.  (get free shipping in her shop with the code freeshipping00 until monday, 7/21)

sara, of the rosy life, & i live in the same town. i am oh so lucky to spend time with her & her girls regularly at their home. sara inspires me. her home is filled with handmade & thrifted pieces. every time i visit, i come home with so many ideas on how to fluff our nest with what we already have.

i want to make a plug for her because i love sara so much! - sara is using this gifting of art & homemaking to love women right where she is. i signed up for her upcoming workshop & will be attending with a girlfriend. i need renewing, friends. i need creative time with girls. maybe you do, too? i'd love to share the evening with you at sara's home!

you see, my people are artists. 

how do you fill your home with art that's dearly loved, inexpensive & creative?

how to paint your subflooring

i hate carpet. carpet & i are not friends. 

if i were the captain on a kickball team, i'd pick carpet last. actually, i wouldn't pick carpet at all. i'd make carpet cry & sit on the sidelines.

those are my thoughts on carpet.

so when we first walked into this house, i told my sweet & loving husband that we had to get rid of this carpet, like, yesterday. one year later, we pulled it up. the thing is, you never know what you'll find underneath.

we found wood. wood painted at least four different colors. wood with holes bigger than a half dollar. wood separated at the seam to reveal the dirty crawlspace beneath. uneven & dirty wood.

we spent hours scrubbing, sealing, sweating, sweeping, & painting.

it was worth it, friends.

hello, charcoal gray painted wood subfloors!

no, it isn't sustainably harvested & fair-trade bamboo, but it's also not carpet & it makes me happy.

instead of waiting for your dreamy farmhouse kitchen, pull off the kitchen cabinet doors right now & paint those brown cabinets white. instead of waiting until you have enough money saved up for hardwood floors, pull up the carpet right now & paint the subflooring your favorite color. 

make it your own even if it isn't magazine worthy. it will make you happy & that's worth more than a magazine spread any day of the week.

(i love this. read this.)

 set aside a few days & paint your subflooring. while you're waiting for paint to dry, binge watch orange is the new black at your in-law's house.

step-by-step instructions on how to paint subflooring:

1. gather your supplies. you'll need: high grade interior paint with primer, polyurethane for floors, paint rollers, lambswool paint roller, paint brush, paint trays, paint tape, pliers (as shown above in the photo), crowbar, plaster & x-acto knife.

2. pull up your carpet & the pad underneath. we used an x-acto knife to tear the carpet in a straight line for easy rolling & discarding. 

3. remove all staples & nails from the subflooring. we used a crowbar & pliers. this job is very tedious, but you must be thorough in order to make sure your floor is completely smooth & hazardous-free.

4. once all staples & nails are removed, thoroughly scrub, wipe & sweep floors. your floors will need to be completely clean before applying paint.

5. using painter's tape, apply tape along the baseboards of your floor.

6. once your floors are completely clean & tape has been applied to the baseboards, apply the first coat of paint in your choice of color using a paint roller. you may need to use a paintbrush to paint the borders of your floor. once your first coat of paint is completely dry, apply a second coat. you may need to wait up to 12 hours before applying the second coat of paint.

7. once two layers of paint (or more) have been applied to the floor & you're satisfied with the color, apply your first coat of polyurethane using the lambswool paint roller. you must use a lambswool paint roller with polyurethane to avoid bubbling. 

8. once the first layer of polyurethane has been painted & completely dry, apply your second coat of polyurethane. 

9. once both coats of polyurethane are completely dry, remove the painter's tape & celebrate your hard work!

additional notes: 
- it took us two full days to complete this job from start to finish.

- the total cost was about $250 - much cheaper than hardwood floors!

- purchase high quality supplies to ensure your hard work will last.

- we were very hesitant at first to paint our floors such a dark color because we had heard the darker color was more difficult to clean. the color actually matches our dogs' fur perfectly & the two coats of polyurethane prevent dust & footprints from sticking to the floor. don't skip out on applying the polyurethane!

what upcoming home projects do you have planned? i'd love to read your ideas on making your home your own without breaking the bank!

credit: i get questions about that "happy home" pillow (in the top photo) all of the time. it's from tiny prints & i'm just a wee bit obsessed over it. get getcha one!

registration is now open!: canning & preserving workshop

email me at natalie.j.freeman(at)gmail.com to sign up! there are only 10 spots available!

and as a little treat, for the first hour, from 8 am - 9 am central standard time, i am offering 15% off! just use the code "C&PWORKSHOP" when emailing me!

i am just so excited to spend the day with you chatting over hot jars of tomatoes, eating fresh food from the garden on our back porch, crafting handmade goodies & visiting one of my favorite towns for the best junkin' a girl could ask for.

won't you join me?
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