Home » Inspiration and Projects

Category: Inspiration and Projects

The feet of someone walking away

Hey. It’s been awhile.

Perhaps you haven’t noticed. I wouldn’t blame you- consistency isn’t one of my strengths, let’s just be honest here. But I’ve missed you. Missed this– this whole blogging bit. The planning, writing, photographing and editing, wishing I knew what I was doing… It was beginning to feel like Lost Upon A Time was gaining traction. My workflow was becoming more efficient, and I was learning SO much. One of my scrap wood designs is even going to be featured in a legitimate magazine! That’s huge to me!

But we had a change of plans.

Read more…

The Lost uPon A Time booth at Hudsonville Antiques

Lockers for Home Storage

One of the home organization trends I’m loving right now, is the clever re-use of lockers for storage. You might keenly remember your high school days: shoving your back pack, lunch, and science project into your assigned unit, then grabbing your math book before slamming the door and running to class. You hated that class.

Anywho. Lockers are finding new life as home storage pieces, with an industrial flair. And in some cases, that includes the scribbles and stickers from their old days.

Vintage House: Delicious Inspiration: (Click here for Photo Source) Read more…

My DIY Book Nook

or

Sawing Off More Than I Can Chew

or

All-You-Can-DIY Syndrome

As a kid, I did it all the time. Maybe you did too. I’d pick my way through the maze of people, carefully balancing my haul. No sooner would I have set my loaded tray on the table when Mom would say “Oh, Mickelle,” slowly closing her eyes. “You’re going to have to eat all of that before you go to the dessert table. Do you hear me?”

Those All-You-Can-Eat buffet restaurants seemed to be the place to go after a church service. In those days, anyway. And Mom brought me to a lot of church. So, I had plenty of opportunities to learn my limits; or develop childhood obesity. Yet amazingly, neither caught on.

Now many years later, I find that same “eyes bigger than my stomach” tendency shows up in other areas of my life. Like DIY. As a creative soul, I’m always generating ideas. There’s a constant stream of possibilities and inspiration pouring through my mind at any given time. (Especially if that given time is after I’ve had some coffee.) What I don’t naturally have too much of, however, is reason and realism.

Can you relate?

The Idea

I thought a book nook would be the perfect solution to our aggravating home office. The room is crammed with bulky furniture, yet we never seem to have enough storage. I needed more storage, yet also more space. And I wanted an environment that was beautiful. I reaaaaalllllyyyy dislike doing anything paperwork related, so an inviting space is in order.

While scrolling through Pinterest one day, this pin popped up.

nook
(photo source here.)

And in that moment, friends, I knew. The closet in our home office room (really, just a bedroom) needed to become a book nook. Half the furniture in there was bookshelves anyway. By building a book nook into the closet space, we could eliminate most of the shelving units, and GAIN space! Using drawers underneath the bench for storing files would mean we could nix our large filing cabinet, too!

I love reading, and the thought of having a little space like that was wonderful. What reader doesn’t want an in-home library? Complete with a built-in nook???

Our home is an early 1960’s ranch, with basic closets. Our space’s dimensions where nowhere near those in the photo, but that didn’t matter. I had a vision.

Of course, a project like this wasn’t in our budget, but I was pretty sure I had most of what I’d need to pull it off. Err, build it in. Mind you, I’ve never done anything like this before. A built-in unit is an entirely different beast than say, a Christmas Tree silhouette. But as per usual,

my ambitions are bigger than my skill set.

Great Expectations

I started prepping the walls in March. They were a miserable flat color that may have been somewhere near white at one time. I knew in my mind what I was going for, so I dove right in, fully expecting to have the (entire) job completed by the end of April.

My wise and talented (and SO inspiring) sister-in-law, frequently reminds me,

“These projects always take longer than you think they will.”

Wise words, friends. Get them tattooed on the inside of your eyelids if you’re like me and frequently tend to find yourself drowning in good intentions. It’s December. Mid-December. Christmas is two weeks away and I am just now patching holes and caulking gaps, before priming this beast.

My hope now is to have it done and usable by Christmas. Okay, maybe the New Year. At least by my birthday in February… Next April???

I’ve made so many mistakes, friends. Some of them I didn’t even realize until I was far beyond the point  of no return. Several of them are embarrassing, really. But a friend of mine asked if I felt like I could do a better job if I started it again. In other words, if I’ve learned much. HECK. YES.

The book nook project, about halfway through

The truth is, these projects DO take longer. Our office looks like an episode of Hoarders, with everything shoved and piled out of the way. And it’s been that way for 9 months now! I seriously underestimated this thing – but I’m going to finish. And I’ll keep you updated.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve seen some of the progress already. And to those who have encouraged me along the way, Thank You. (I am so cyber-hugging you right now.)

Stick it out, friends. Stay with your overwhelming whatever-it-is. You’ll get there. And remember, caulk and trim hide a lot of bad decisions.

~m

2016 Christmas Mantle Line side by side

Rustic Christmas Mantle Decor

 

The wood chips have been flying over here in Lost Upon A Time land. The holidays are fast approaching, and I’m in hopes to join the ranks of makers with a line of goods made just for this season. I’ve designed some smaller pieces meant for the Christmas mantle or gallery wall.

Smaller pieces translate to faster turnaround time (if I’m doing it right- which isn’t always the case), and thus a lower price point. The new line is in keeping with LUAT’s aesthetic, and quality. Three pieces so far have passed the test. And the fourth… the fourth was a disaster from the start. I’d like to think I have a head start for Christmas 2017 with that baby.

Developing the Christmas Mantle Line

Christmas Tree cutout

The tree came first. It’s a fun shape to cut and is a bit whimsical. A friend suggested adding a piece of wood for the trunk, which brought to mind an old yard stick I had. I have to say, that little bit of ruler makes a world of difference to this piece. It adds so, so much. Don’t you think?

Close-up of Christmas tree trunk

The next in line was the Christmas Star, at the suggestion of a friend. (I’m so glad for friends.) I had been working on another design that wasn’t going well (see above). A star seemed easy enough; and it was. Until my cutting blade broke mid-slice and rapidly gouged the face of the wood leaving a string of punctures.

The Christmas Star

I can’t exactly spin that as a star-dust trail. It’s not a shooting star. But it is a prototype, and it will live in infamy among the rest of my “unique” holiday decor for years to come.

Lastly, I created an ornament silhouette, reminiscent of the vintage ones that hung on my grandmother’s tree. I tried several shapes, but simple won out this time. I’ll likely add more designs later.

Wooden vintage Christmas ornament silhouette

Prince Charming and I mulled over several ideas for the top of the ornament. The piece of ruler worked so well on the Christmas Tree trunk, that I thought I’d use that for the ornament’s cap. But it just doesn’t seem to do the trick. However, we’re already working on a different idea. (Okay, if I’m being honest, my Prince suggested the perfect alternative. Hmm. It seems that everybody else has all the good ideas; I just have the saw.)

Photos are not my strong suit. You know this by now, I’m sure. And I love you for enduring my efforts. It did occur to me that you might like to see the size of these pieces, however. I took these shots below in an attempt to give you an idea of scale. (They give me the idea of kilts and Mardi Gras. Not the feel I was going for, but festive none-the-less.)

Collage of the Christmas Mantle line

 

The Details

Each piece of The Christmas Mantle line measures roughly 8 by 8 inches, and 1.5 inches thick. They weigh somewhere around 2-3 pounds.

They’re $25 apiece, or purchase all three for $65. (And I promise, there won’t be any “stardust” on them.)

You can order them here. If you’d like 10% off your order, sign up for my (non-spam) e-mails here and get a discount code sent to you right away.

Rustic Christmas decor on sled

 

I’m still developing The Christmas Mantle line and have more rustic holiday decor to come. What would you like to see included? (Cause everybody else has all the good ideas anyway. Ha!)

~m

 

 

 

White peony bloom with insect

Beautiful

Sara is her name; I remember her face. And her children’s faces. Her words. Her photographs. Her dreams.

Her blog, Farmama, was deeply inspiring. She and I shared so many common interests- but she was living the life I only dreamed about. Her world fascinated me. Just by her nature, she attracted a community who fed a part of their souls by reading the posts she shared. She was honest, vulnerable, creative. Read more…

Close-up of my DIY house numbers display and title graphic

DIY House Numbers Display

Forethought.

Rather, lack thereof.

Wasn’t I just writing about that?! Apparently, I’m not a quick learner. Don’t get me wrong; I’m really happy with my project. It looks just the way I envisioned it… minus a few cracks. It’s beautiful, bright, and functional. Mostly. Mostly functional. ( * sigh * )

You’ve seen the cool address signs on Pinterest, right? The ones that use tons of nails or screws? Like this one: Read more…

old Chrysler wheel with flat tire caked in mud

In the Eye of the Beholder

“Did you make that?”

If you're a maker, you know there are two ways to take this question: compliment or condescending.

We have a burning need to create written into our DNA. We can’t NOT be creating. Creatives yearn to make beauty, to make a point, express what we struggle to articulate, or, just fill a need. We toil away to bring our ideas into reality. And oftentimes, we collide with the reality that our skills aren’t up to par. But we carry on. Because making is what we do.

Can you relate?

Read More

7 Love Letter Ideas on lostuponatime.com

7 Prompts For Love Notes

Love notes are always nice, aren’t they? Fun to give, fun to receive- whether they are shared between lovers or friends. A simple “I love you”, or “you’re such a great friend” is hard to beat. It sure gets the point across. But a creative, personalized message is often more meaningful. If you’ve toyed with the idea of penning a sentiment of your own, but found yourself stuck on what to say, this post if for you.

 

7 Themes for Writing Love Notes on lostuponatime.com Read more…

lostuponatime.com

Two Minutes to Awesome

Roses, chocolates, and lace are everywhere right now. Just about any doodad you can think of bears the words “I Love You” or “Be Mine”, and sits on a store shelf ready for purchase. While it’s nice to be on the receiving end of one of those heart shaped candy boxes, all of that marketing can make the big holiday of love feel cheap. But, there are some creative and meaningful alternatives out there.

A friend of mine once told me Valentine’s Day was her favorite holiday. (Seriously? Who says that?) She makes valentines and sends them out to different people every year. For her, its not about romance. It’s about celebrating love; the kind that sustains all kinds of relationships.

That’s pretty inspiring. Read more…