A Fireplace Refresh

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
A few weeks ago I was able to do a fireplace refresh and it felt so good to finish this space off for my client (at least for now haha….. custom corbels that fit the mantle are coming in soon). It was a cute space to begin with, but a few extra touches really took it to the next level.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
One of the first things I suggested was that we replace the tile on the hearth. I decided that a good way to do this was to paint the interior bottom tiles the same black as the painted brick and just redo the front part. It made for an easier job so there was no need to mess with the gas lines and it saved money on the tile. You can see in the pictures below how I had painted the inside and then tore out the front tiles. It was my first time ever removing tiles and just that little area was a bit tiring to do. It was a good learning experience lol.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
My client decided on these beautiful tiles and since it was a small space I just used a bucket of premixed mastic and grout to finish the job. Once that had all dried, I started to trim out a lot of the edges on the wall, fireplace, and bookshelf. My client had removed some sheet rock at some point and discovered all the wood underneath, so a few of us told her it would be so pretty to expose it! She had the drywall on one side wall and the fireplace all removed. While this was pretty, it was kind of rough looking in some spots since it was not installed for the point of being exposed. There were also some spots previous contractors had just left unfinished and that bugged me. Oh and there was some big gaps around the fireplace that needed to be covered up as well. I had to custom cut the trim myself from this 4’x8′ piece of plywood to make sure all the corner wall seams would be covered up. I love this type of plywood because it is really thin so it doesn’t look too chunky and is super affordable. I cut 8′ long strips of 2.25″ and installed them where needed. I then used the leftover grout from the hearth to fill in the gaps in between the bricks and the wood.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
After using a nail gun to get all the trim in place, I caulked around everything. Once all of that was dry, I went back and touched up the black paint on the fireplace sides and added a quarter round to the hearth since there had not been one there. That made for a nice finished look.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
My client then helped me paint all the wood in Benjamin Moore White Dove. It’s a pretty white that isn’t so harsh on your eyes. I noticed undertones of gray which went well with the colors in this room. She had whitewashed the walls before, but we talked and decided that solid paint fit the style of her living room more. I personally feel the painted walls make everything else pop a lot more than before.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
Oh, and one other thing I did was add some extra trim to the mantle. She had a mutual friend of ours make the mantle and it was lovely, but she wanted it to have a little more to it to go with the rest of her decor. I added a few types of trims and then put these pretty corbels she had back up. While it is lovely, we did go and custom order some corbels that will fit the space better. Those come in soon, but it still is just lovely. Isn’t it amazing how finishing things up in a house can make a world of difference?

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
And if you’re curious, the stain used on the mantle, shelves, and quarter round is Minwax Early American. I’m really enjoying doing small jobs like these and am continuously learning a lot. And who knows, maybe one day we will get some type of fixer upper and really have some fun! -jess

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Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together
Christmas is just around the corner! If you live in the Southwest Louisiana area, I am hosting a ladies night out Christmas craft workshop “Craft, Snack, and Be Merry” that you are invited to attend. It will be held on Friday, December 8, 2017, at 6:30 pm in Sulphur, LA. The address of where it will take place will be sent once your ticket is purchased. Each participant will create three projects: a hand painted Christmas countdown sign, a gilded oyster shell ornament, and water color gift tags with mini pom-poms. All supplies are provided and there will be snacks too. The cost is $35 + processing fees and you can register here. There are limited tickets available, so make sure to get yours today if you plan on attending. I look forward to doing some Christmas crafting with y’all. -jess

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together Gilded Oyster Shell Ornament | Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together Water Color Gift Tags with Mini Pom-poms |Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together

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Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover – The Maddox House

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
This past year I have started taking on some interior design clients. I love doing things well and on a budget (as has always been shown on this blog) and others have wanted me to help them do the same. After helping with doing some big makeovers at my church (which I will also get blogged about one of these days lol), I began first working with a friend on her home. She wanted a change and loves the farmhouse look but it needed to happen within a budget. So I came over and we talked about all the different type of changes that we could do to make the biggest impact to give her space a farmhouse kitchen makeover. The main obvious and most cost effective changes were to paint the cabinets and walls, add a new light fixture, and install a backsplash.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
You can see in the “before” pictures below that the walls were a bright yellow, the cabinets were really dark, there was no backsplash, and well I didn’t get a picture with the old light fixture but it was your basic builder type. She really wanted to lighten things up, so I talked to her about the colors and undertones in her counter tops and flooring and what would be good to compliment them since those things would be staying.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
The very first thing we did was paint the walls Aesthetic White by Sherwin Williams. It’s a color that compliments the other rooms in her home, which I will get to share later. That immediately changed the whole feel of the kitchen and brightened it up. Next we painted the kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Graphite. It’s a black color but it has these gray undertones so that next to the counter tops it looks like the dark gray we wanted. Now my friend did most of the cabinet painting and it was tiring, but there was little prep. She cleaned them all real good and then we both started painting them together. All in all she only used four quarts to do all of these cabinets! I couldn’t believe how far that paint went. I had read reviews about what to use as a sealer and went with a polycrylic finish. This really protects the paint and makes it super easy to clean. My friend loves it! She has two young boys and says she has had no problem keeping it clean or paint chipping. In hind sight, we should have used the matte polycrylic though lol. Her home is high off the ground, so when the sun reflects in from the front the cabinets show the brush strokes from the polycrylic. I’m not sure why we didn’t get matte or if it was an accident and by the time it was on it was too late…… but my friend doesn’t mind and it is more exaggerated in the pictures than in real life. But, if you do this, get the matte finish ;)

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
To have a less cluttered look, I arranged her shelving to hold things that she used but it looked nice as well. We did a lot of “shopping” of things she already owned. The only accents she bought were a few things of greenery.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
The backsplash was fun to install and took two days. We used this brick veneer from Lowes and used construction adhesive to put them in place. I started at the bottom and worked up. There was a small gap at the top, but I used wood trim to fill in the gap. Since we painted the wood the same color as the cabinets, it looks like a part of the cabinets. I used a chisel and hammer to break the bricks where it was needed. So that means anyone can easily do this type of backsplash without needing a ton of expensive special tools! For the “mortar”, I used this grout. Since it was a small area, we splurged a bit and got the premixed stuff which saves time and is always mixed correctly. I used a grout piping bag, piped it into all the cracks, and every few feet took a break and used a wet sponge (squeeze excess water off first) to gently dab on it to fully fill in the cracks and smooth it out. Truly, so easy to do. These two tutorials (here and here) are good to look at, similar, but use a few different items in each one. We just need to add a sealant to the bricks and then it’s all done.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
There also used to be a microwave above the stove. Unfortunately, each of their boys have accidentally used it wrong and after going through two microwaves, they don’t want one and have found they don’t really need one. So I built a hood to cover the space and left room enough for them to later install a fan. Since there is an outlet up there and storage, the top front of the hood is on hinges and can open. I forget to take a picture of that, but here is what the base looks like. Then those front pieces are the “door”.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
We continued the brick backsplash on the other side of the room and might go back and also do the desk area. The cute shelves were a find from Target and the basket was gifted to my friend. Some of the items on the shelf are family heirlooms that are now proudly displayed.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
Now, let’s just talk about this chandelier for a minute. I discovered it on Target’s website for fifty something dollars. I thought for sure it would be a “too good to be true” deal, but after reading the reviews we decided to try it. It truly is a fabulous deal! It’s just as well made as ones I have purchased for much more money. And the size is really good for smaller spaces. I installed this myself and it was really easy to do. The biggest difference I see is that the finish isn’t as matte as more expensive chandeliers, but a can of spray paint can fix that if you find it an issue. It also comes in two other colors. So if you’re on a tight budget this is a great farmhouse style light fixture to consider.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
I can’t wait to show you the other rooms in her home that are almost done. And I hope this inspires you, that regardless of your budget, you can make your home yours. Take your time. This room didn’t happen overnight. It was strategically thought out and carefully done. Now it’s so welcoming and my friend and her family just love it. -jess

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The Crafty Social DIY Workshop Fall 2017

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
Last month I hosted my first ever craft workshop! It was a dream come true and what’s even better was that I was able to make it a fundraiser for a ministry at our church, so all the funds went right back out to helping people in our community. When I began to dream up this event, the first thing I focused on was a name. I wanted something that wasn’t too common, but would convey what type of event this is. Hence, it became The Crafty Social. I created a logo for it and we decided to hold it in October which is why the crafts have a fall theme.

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
We ended up having 40 women attend. I was pleased with the turnout and believe that next time we will have even more because it received such a positive response. It was open to any woman and girl age 13 and up. Next time we plan to allow ages 10 and up. I chose four crafts of varying skill levels, but still all doable for someone who might not have any craft experience. All attendees were able to create a mason jar pumpkin (six color choices offered), a fall felt banner (3 color choices offered), a tassel keychain (3 color choices offered), and then I had a pin button maker set up where they could choose which graphics they wanted. You can see more info about all of the crafts here. I placed all individual supplies in a bag according to what color options they chose.

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
To quickly locate whose bag was whose, I added their name tag on top of a folded paper doily attached with a paper clip that had a small piece of fabric tied on. Then once they had their bag, they could put on their name tags. We had many women attend who do not go to our church, so this made it easier for everyone to meet one another and help remember names.

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
I had already decorated our church foyer for fall, so I went simple and added some lights over one of the counters and draped streamers from the ceilings. I also added some large balloons that unfortunately began to pop the day I put them up hahaha. Gotta love that Louisiana humidity! We set up tables and taped brown craft paper across to create a cohesive look and also protect the tables.

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
The rolling wood backdrop is one I designed (and built by my friend Nekoda) after doing back drops for our church for a few years. I have always wanted a rolling back drop. It’s not quite as tall as I would prefer, but it needs to fit through doors. It is perfect though for all we do. My friend Dorothy helped me decorate it. I strung fishing line across the top and she hung all the streamers for me. Then I added the random garlands (mostly from Target and Micheals) and some honeycomb balls (from Target and Micheals as well) and small balloons (from Party City). The hashtag sign is one I designed and had made on Vista Print. I just put The Crafty Social hashtag (#thecraftysocialworkshop) over the regular one that’s on there.

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
I had a few ladies bring some snacks to munch on. This event was at 10 am on a Saturday morning so we weren’t trying to provide a full meal. But snacks are always a good idea!

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
We set up a glue gun bar (which was just perfect! in my opinion lol) and had some great giveaways. Zoe Photography offered a free mini session, a friend made a wood yard game, and there were things like a felt letter board, fall platter, fall candle, and blanket added to the mix. Since it was a fall theme, I tried to pick fall like giveaways :)

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
I used a large foam board to hold three of the crafts. This made it easy for me to show what colors to use when I was teaching how to make things.

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
My goal was to arrange the tables so everyone could easily see me no matter where they were sitting. While this worked well, we had some smaller tables in the coffee shop area that only held two seats so they didn’t get to socialize as easily. Next time we plan on doing all big tables and making the small tables the snack area.

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
It was a fun experience to put this all together and I’m so glad I was able to do so. It also gives me the confidence to do this on a smaller scale with my business. I always thought one day it would be neat to have a store similar to the places you go paint at, but you can pick crafts to make instead. Sounds fun right?

The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together The Crafty Social Workshop Fall 2017 | happy together
And I have to give a big THANK YOU to my friend Dorothy (with me in the pic above) for all her help with decorating and being my helper at the event. And THANK YOU to everyone who supported me, brought snacks, helped with clean up, and attended. I can’t wait for next Crafty Social this spring! -jess

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Tassel Keychain DIY

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This past weekend I hosted The Crafty Social here in southwest Louisiana. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot and will post all about it soon. There were two projects that I created patterns for specifically for the event, and now I can share them starting with this Tassel Keychain DIY. It takes only a few items to create and would be a great project for a group to do together or to create to give as gifts (Christmas isn’t that far away!). I have mine on my keys and love how it doesn’t add a lot of extra weight but adds bulk so I can find my keys easier in my purse. -As always, make sure to read all the directions before making.-

Tassel Keychain DIY Tassel Keychain DIY
What you will need:

  • Roughly 37 yards of size 3 crochet thread
  • Ruler
  • Keychain
  • Two 1″ (25mm) wood round beads
  • Tapestry needle or plastic yarn needle
  • Cardboard/cardstock cut into a 4″x6″ size
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Glue

Tassel Keychain DIY
First you will need to cut two pieces from your thread that will be used later. One piece should be about 36″ long and the other 24″ long.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Leaving a small tail of thread off the cardstock, take the rest of the thread and begin to wrap it around long ways. If your paper isn’t very sturdy, you will have to make sure to keep it flat while wrapping.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Once you have wrapped all the yarn, make sure the two thread ends are on the same side.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Take the 36″ long piece of thread and string through the top loop which is opposite of the thread ends. Center the thread and tie two to three knots as tight as you can.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Cut through the other end loops now.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Use the 24″ piece of thread to tie around all the thread about 1″ down from where the loops are.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Loop thread around two more times and knot off. For extra hold, you can add glue to the knot at the end of the project.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Trim off the bottom of the tassel so all the strands are the same length.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Thread the needle with both pieces of the 36″ thread that you had tied at the top.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Take needle and thread through both wooden beads.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Then take needle and go around the keychain two times.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Next, take needle back down through the two beads. You will have to pull the top thread a little by little to make sure it is all tight and there isn’t much slack.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Take one piece of thread out of needle and thread the other through the top loops.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Tie the two strands together so the thread will not unravel.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Make sure it is knotted as close and tight to underneath the bead as possible so it won’t show.

Tassel Keychain DIY
Knot it at least two more times and then trim the excess. You can also add some glue to those knots for extra strength. Now you have a beautiful tassel keychain. Share you pics of ones that you make on social media using hashtag #happytogetherbyjess

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