Monday, January 28, 2013

free & easy

Don't you love it when something comes together... and at zero cost?  First, I have to admit that I just FINALLY got all the Christmas stuff put away a week ago.  I know, I know we were 3 weeks into January but when you have a front porch that is enclosed, not heated, it's 26 or 27 degrees out at night AND is where the tree and multiple bins of other stuff is still located... well it's pretty easy to just SHUT THE DOOR and forget about it!

Finally on Sunday (the 20th) the sun was shining and I got busy and finished packing up the Christmas holidays.  I don't know about you but I never seem to get my other stuff back exactly like it was... I'm always tweaking or fluffing something and the front porch was no exception.

A couple of years ago I came across this free wicker frame in the "freebie" box outside of my local thrift store... I quickly snagged it and put it in my trunk.  When I got home it somehow got buried in my sewing room closet.  When we were making chalk boards for the wedding I searched high and low for this frame but since I didn't actually EMPTY the closet I never found it.  One of my "little" fall (aka multiple day) projects was tidying up my sewing room and cleaning out that closet... of course I found that free frame.  I hung it up as is for a couple of days before deciding what I wanted to do with it.

And of course, the chalkboard idea won out (again).  This time was a real cheat.  Since the frame was so light I used a piece of cardboard, some Annie Sloan chalk paint (because I didn't want to dig out the actual chalkboard paint) and my trusty chalk marker.  Oh... and my hot glue gun as well.  I traced and cut the cardboard, painted it up with black ASCP and hot glued that baby to the wicker frame.  Easy peasy and most of all absolutely FREE!

I copied a cute holiday saying using my infamous cheating chalk art technique... I was going to do a little post and use this for my Christmas Wish list post but never quite got around to anything except taking a few pictures and brainstorming a list that never got published.  (Fortunately I still got a few gifts even without a list!)

Now one thing you may not notice... is that the "chalk art" is crooked.... not the frame but the actual art/chalkboard IN the frame.  I had traced my image before gluing the cardboard to the frame.  My image was straight on the cardboard but somewhere between art and glue I managed to attach it crooked.... so I knew this wasn't going to hang around after the holidays!

Fast forward to last weekend and I broke out my paint and painted over the original image (since chalk marker doesn't wash off of painted cardboard)... leaving it in the frame this time.  I had decided I wanted to hang it in the front porch were I still don't have much on the wall... this time I used regular/real chalk and just free handed a little something special to me...

Red Gate Farm, of course!

I'm pretty happy that it's finally not looking like a crooked sign...

And on a bright and sunny afternoon...

It's a great place to cozy up with a good book... perhaps a Nancy Drew?

As long as you've got a blanket that is,

linking up to


  1. You had me at free....oh, and easy, too! What a great idea, and the chalkboard came out great!
    I love that glorious built in that you hung your Valentine's Day garland on. Really wonderful!

  2. We would love to have a three seasons porch someday. The frame looks so good on the wall in your porch! Glad you found it.

  3. What a beautiful porch i must work on ours soon it's needs to have a bit of a makeover! Hugs, Diane

  4. This gives me an idea for our front entry . . . THANK YOU!

  5. Good job on your new chalk sign. I'm seeing chalkboard stuff all over now.. you must be a trend-setter.. :-) I just posted my powwow images and even a video. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  6. Your new wicker framced chalkboard is really cute. I love your screened porch!!

  7. I LOVE it. You are so creative. Makes me want to be just like you!

  8. Free is good!
    It was hard for me to put away Christmas this year...really just didn't care if it came down! It's done now, but I still have gotten every thing back together. I think I'm in a decor funk! I have too many ideas and too many chairs to sit in and avoid implementing those ideas!
    Loved hearing the story of your daughter's dress...thanks for commenting!
    Love all the white milk glass you have out...looks clean and pretty!

  9. It was one of the best Nancy Drew novels ever penned!! Your frame and board are darling!

  10. What a great idea and free is best of all! I have ALWAYS wanted to have a front porch and the way you've decorated yours is exactly what I would want.

  11. That is an inviting little corner on your porch and a clever idea from the free bin...very nice indeed! xo

  12. Love it, and such a cute idea!! Such a sweet porch!! xo Heather

  13. I love free! And I love cute and easy even more! Not to mention your lovely milkglass collection! You know I think of you every time I see milkglass, which is quite often around here! And I could sooo curl up with Nancy Drew on your porch!


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