Katy Napotnik

Jun 072013

I’ve been fast and furiously working in our yard lately. Then yesterday, the rain brought my progress to a screeching halt. Ok, that’s dramatic. It just paused my progress (and forced me to catch up on laundry instead of digging in the ground). Oh, laundry. Since it’s still raining today, I thought I’d share a roundup of some outside living spaces and some ideas that I’d like to do in our yard. I love having a space outside to spend time in!


three pallet playhouse from a subtle revelry

How fun (and simple) is this pallet playhouse. I especially love it against the dark fence, with the lantern hanging above it and the white fabric. I’d hang out in there.

"Hans & Hanne"

elle interior

I love this deck. The large plants. The dark deck boards. The pillows and textiles and colors.



Another dark fence. I’m really liking those. This looks like an especially fun and well organized outdoor space.


design sponge

This collection of pots is beautiful. I love the different shapes and styles, while all being similar. Terra cotta pots are probably my favorite. The succulents and plants are beautiful, too. Simple and lovely.

Do you have an outside living space? Do you spend lots of time outside? I’m so hopeful for nice, sunny weather weather this weekend so we can spend the days outside. Have a fun, relaxing weekend, friends!

 June 7, 2013  Posted by at 10:25 inspiration, outside No Responses »
Jun 032013

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a fun weekend. We spent ours with my Mom and Dad (lovingly called Bada and Boom), at their house. Their amazing house. They built it the year I got married. Moved in a couple months before the wedding. 5 years ago. In and out, it is so them and I love it. My Mom acted as the general contractor and her attention to detail can’t be missed. The whole place is thoughtful, well used, beautiful and just. so. them. We love visiting. (Their house is great, but they’re ever greater). I snapped a couple pictures while we were down and thought I’d share them today.


When you drive up the driveway, you’re greeted by this lovely view. The detached garage is connected to the house with a covered breezeway.


Mom loves cobalt blue and it shows up frequently in and around their home.


She inspires me with her green thumb. Everything is just so pretty.


Silver mound artemesia. Lovely. One of my favorites.


I love their blue doors. There are beautiful walking trails around their property, and on one walk, Mom picked a blue flower. She loved the color, so she took it into the paint store, had them color match it, and painted the garage door (above) and the back door in the blue flower color. I can’t remember the name of the flower, but it looks great on the doors.


She has a little garden area by the back door (which is also by a hot tub and a really cool outdoor shower). She made a fence out of branches and bent them in arches around the garden area. The still grow leaves. I think the fence is called a wattle fence? Maybe? That could be totally wrong.


They have a cozy wood stove (except it’s gas) and the house is filled with my Grandma’s (my Mom’s mom) paintings. That Christmas cactus is probably the largest and oldest one ever in the history of Christmas cactuses. It like 20 years old or something crazy. And it’s huge. And still blooms!


Another one of my Grandma’s paintings, hanging near the kitchen (it’s a very open layout floor plan). Tristan actually built the kitchen cabinets. He was working at a custom cabinet shop when they built the house. See the branches on the open shelves? Mom cut them from the property when they were building, peeled the bark off, sealed them, and had them used as shelf supports. Awesome. What you can’t see is the greenhouse window beside the shelf. And on the other side of the window is another shelf like this.


The deck is one my favorite places. The hanging chairs are so comfy. The flowers and plants are so beautiful. The blue glass is so charming. And the view isn’t too bad either. (You can’t really see the view and the mountains in this picture).



The deck railing is made from pipes! Gabe started to climb it once (actually just put one foot on the bottom rung) and we all FREAKED out. Which freaked him out. Which is good. And now he knows that climbing it, even thinking about climbing it, is like the worst possible thing he could do ever in his 3 years of life.




Their house is one of my favorite places. And they are two of my favorite people.


 June 3, 2013  Posted by at 10:57 life, our home 4 Responses »
May 312013

On certain days, our city has ‘big trash pick up’. People can put big things (furniture etc) out on the curb and it’ll get hauled away. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that I could do a rendition of dumpster diving on those days and score some (potentially) sweet junk.. uh, I mean treasures. Yesterday was a big trash pick up day. And I scored.


Can you guess what I picked up? Take a look at the before picture…


Up the street from us, the neighbors were throwing away a broken dresser. Two of the drawers were still in decent shape (never mind the spray painted finish). So I stopped and got 2 drawers. While the other neighbors watched and probably thought I was a crazy lady hoarder. The car was piled full of other finds. Gabe said to me, “Mommy, why are you getting people’s twash?” And then as I was trying to fit the second drawer he said, “Mommy’s der’s no woom (room) in my car!”

I had a sample jar of paint from Home Depot. There’s a section at HD that sells ‘oops’ paint. Sometimes I check that out and get little jars of sample paint for 50 cents. They’re perfect for small projects. So I cleaned the drawer and painted it a nice mustardy yellow. Since it’s flat paint, I plan to seal it with some wax.

Then I cut strips of felt and hot glued them to the bottom of the drawer, so it would slide on the floor without scratching it up.


I used dark gray felt. I had that and white. Dark gray won’t show the dirt as much. You can see that I wrapped it around the under side of the drawer. You really can’t see it when the’s drawer’s right side up on the floor.


The drawer fits perfectly under his bed. And it slides easily and smoothly on the floor. (You can already see a footprint over on the bottom left side. I’ve got to seal it with wax before it gets all sorts of grimy.)


For now, the drawer holds diapers and some shoes. I’m sure it’ll fill up more and become a catch all in his room.


The project cost $0 (the drawer was free and I had the paint, felt and hot glue). I’d like to change out the handles for cute knobs. Maybe eventually. The second drawer will go under our bed, when it gets cleaned and painted. (I originally planned to use both of the drawers under his bed, but they won’t both fit.) Not too bad for a zero dollar project, huh? Do you have under the bed storage?

(And, in the spirit of full disclosure, if you’re wondering if Gabe’s room always looks so neat and tidy, the answer to that is a resounding no. Definitely not. The nice thing about taking pictures is you can shove the toys/clothes/shoes out of the shot and pretend everything looks neat and organized. I even went so far as to take the mesh side rail off the bed, because it distracted from the cute yellow drawer. Full disclosure!)

Have a great weekend!

 May 31, 2013  Posted by at 17:17 before and after, diy 3 Responses »
May 302013

I love curling up on the sofa or chair with a blanket. Even if it’s a little warm. I just like blankets- they’re cozy! We have plenty of them, and I’d been looking for a place/way to store them. When I came across a big cheese box without a lid, I knew exactly what to do with it!


I turned it into blanket storage! I stenciled the word ‘blankets’ across the box. It’s simple and functional with a fun little graphic touch. An added bonus- I can carry the box where ever blankets might be needed. Everyone on the deck? Box goes out back. Everyone on the porch? Box goes there.

Here’s what I did:

I opened Microsoft Word (in publishing layout because you can move letters around). I played around to find the size and font I wanted. I decided to go with Frontage Style Outline font in a whopping size of 575. I printed out each letter (in blankets) and then cut them out. (One letter per page, because the size is so big).

I used some double sided tape to arrange the letters on the box. I decided to go around the bottom, instead of the middle like I originally thought of doing.


Then I used a white paint pen (since I knew I’d be using white paint) and quickly traced each letter. It didn’t have to be perfect, just enough that I could paint each letter. I took the letters off (which thrilled Gabe- he wanted to play with them) and then painted in each letter.

Very easy and pretty quick! You can’t see the whole word from one angle, because it wraps around the box, but that’s what I was intending. A label/word that wasn’t so obviously a label (and since it’s also kind of obvious what’s in the box at a quick glance).



I’m happy with my new blanket storage! Are you a blanket person? Do you keeps yours out on the sofa or stored somehow?


 May 30, 2013  Posted by at 15:21 diy 2 Responses »
May 252013

I’m back! And very very grateful to have a camera that works! You can expect more consistent posting now. I have a list of projects waiting to share with you! The first one, today, is a simple diy earring holder.


I’ve been on an organizing spree and recently spent some time sorting through my jewelry. I had an earring holder than I made from a frame and some screen, but it hasn’t gotten a lot of use. It wasn’t super convenient. I had to take it off the wall put attach earrings that have backs. And it also couldn’t hold all my earrings. I don’t have a ton, but it was a smaller frame.

My solution was simple, I think it’s pretty cute, and it should be functional, too!

My Supplies:

two push pins

two small wooden bamboo dowel rod things (how’s that for specific?)

shipping labels

and a large needle and a cork trivet (for poking holes in the labels for the earrings)


What I Did:

I poked two holes in each shipping label, for the earrings to hang through. I adjusted where the holes were on the labels considering the size of the earrings. I used a large embroidery needle to make the holes, and put the labels on top of a cork trivet so the needle wasn’t poking through and damaging anything. Then I tied the string on the label with a knot near the end, and I hung the labels on the dowel rod stick thing. I used two dowels to make it a little sturdier.

I decided where to hang it in our room (above my nightstand). I used two push pins, stuck in the wall (they make pretty small holes) for the dowels to rest on. When I want to pack earrings, I can just slide the labels off the dowels and pack the earrings that way. I think I’ll sew a little bag that can hold the labels and earrings.


Pretty simple, don’t you think? If you don’t have shipping labels, you could cut card stock to size, punch a hole in the top and use some twine/yarn for hanging. I think I’m going to like (and use) this new earring holder! How do you have your jewelry organized?

Have a blessed weekend, friends!

 May 25, 2013  Posted by at 11:50 diy 4 Responses »
May 202013

My poor little Canon dslr camera got wet. We had a really fun weekend with our dear friends at an outdoor festival. (Well, fun minus 15 stitches!) But my camera was a victim of the torrential downpour that caught us. It was in my backpack, in another bag, and it was pretty much the only thing that really got wet. The thing is (and this might be what did it in)- I didn’t realize it was wet, so I didn’t take the battery out or do anything about it for many hours. It’s been in rice since, and as of this morning it still wouldn’t turn on. (This happened on Saturday). Any other suggestions for bringing a wet camera back to life? It wasn’t submerged in water, but it was all wet and damp. Water around the battery and the memory card. All over. Oh, so sad. Anyone out there have any tips for saving a wet camera?!

 May 20, 2013  Posted by at 12:58 life, misc. 2 Responses »
May 072013

Everyone have a good weekend? Anyone else welcoming the week with bucket loads of rain? I was hoping to spend some time in the yard this week, weeding and making it pretty again, but the rain is putting that on hold. The plus side- all the rain will make it easy to rip out weeds!

My sister in law graduated from grad school over the weekend. So proud of her! Last night they came over for dinner to celebrate. It was kind of a joint birthday/graduation celebration. Her husband (my husband’s brother) turned 25 on Friday. I turned 25 on Sunday. And she graduated!


I made a delicious (if I say so myself) dinner and had so much fun decorating the table. For the most part, I used things I already had. It was fun and inexpensive and ended up looking quite lovely. Dinner parties are so fun. Especially when they’re celebrating something so great as grad school graduation.


Plants are arguably my favorite decoration. Pretty and fresh. Walmart has succulents for $2.88. I planted them in small white bowls. There’s no hole in the bottom, so I’m not sure how they’ll do. Any green thumbs out there? Will the succulents be OK if I don’t over water them? Or should I put them in a pot/bowl with a hole in the bottom?


Instead of buying purple paper, I picked up a bunch of purple paint chips. And when I say a bunch, I mean a big stack. All different shades. I used a big hole punch (like I used in my laundry closet) to punch out circles. I scattered them over the table. And the table cloth? It’s a canvas paint drop cloth!



Pellegrino is a nice touch to a dinner party. It makes me feel fancy, and when you drink all the sparkling water, you have pretty bottles left over. I picked the wine because it had a pretty label. The glasses have been collected at thrift stores.



I went back and used my smaller hole punch (it’s still bigger than an office paper punch, but smaller than my larger circles). I made smaller purple circles and then large and smaller gold-ish circles. (Yeah JMU!) Even though it was just the 4 of us, I made place cards with shipping labels.



The place mats are just burlap. Very simple. I use them frequently. I cut rectangles and sewed around the edges to keep them from unraveling.



Kinda fun, wouldn’t you say?!




Please forgive the blurry photo. I had to snap one right before we ate. I rearranged the table a bit and put two candles in the middle. The food was off on one end. Speaking of food, we had chicken, marinated in the most wonderful marinade and then cooked on the stove. It’s supposed to be grilled, but the buckets of rain didn’t lend itself to grilling. I made a peanut sauce. So good. A recipe from my Mom (she’s the best cook). Risotto. And green beans, sauteed in fresh lemon juice and a little bit of olive oil. Yum. So good. And pretty easy, too!

Do you decorate for dinner parties? Do you have a go to meal? In the winter, I always make a sweet potato chili for dinner guests. I think this is going to be my new spring meal! Hopefully next time the weather will cooperate and we can grill!

 May 7, 2013  Posted by at 09:05 diy, entertaining 2 Responses »
May 022013

Have you missed me?! I didn’t like this streak of silence, but I was so busy getting ready for the big debut at The Lady Jane. RICE is a vendor! So fun. So exciting. So grateful! It was so very fun to build my inventory… wrapping paper, cards, some home decor things, gifts… and now that I’m caught up with that, I’ll be back here with more regular posts! I have projects that I’m dying to do and share. I didn’t want to go all week without saying hi, so I thought I’d take a peak back at some of my favorite posts from April. Speaking of April… where did it go?!



I’m still loving my business cards. And thanks to the custom stamp, I was able to whip up some updated cards with the new blog address!


Have you made your own custom cover photo yet? Check out this tutorial and see how easy it is to use Pixlr, a free online program.


Take a walk down memory lane and check out these projects! (Speaking of Pixlr- I used it to make that collage!)


A custom sized rug for the bathroom for $7. April’s most popular post!


Check out the before and after of our downstairs bathroom. And see how I made a frame around the mirror.


After then I worked on the upstairs bathroom. And frosted the window(s) for less than $5!


Most recently, my $0 laundry closet makeover. The polka dots still make me smile.

And then there were the roundup posts, too….

some of my favorite pins [here]

painted cork boards [here]

pallets outside [here]

Did you have a favorite post from April? Is there anything you’d like to see on RICE? A part of our home… a certain kind of project? If you have a blog, share your favorite post from your blog in the comments! I’d love to see what you’re up to!

 May 2, 2013  Posted by at 20:13 misc. No Responses »
Apr 262013

I’m on a roll this week, checking things off my to do list. I’m so grateful for beautiful weather and good health and productive days! Yesterday and today I was busy giving our laundry closet some love. Anyone else have a laundry closet in the kitchen? While I am a fan of laundry being on the same floor as the dirty clothes (for us, upstairs with the bedrooms) I’m just glad we have a washer and dryer in our house. It’s in a closet, smack dab in the kitchen. Which, I suppose can be nice, since I can do laundry while I’m doing kitchen things, too. So it does have some advantages. Take a peak at the pretty closet…


Ready for the whole story? Here it goes…

The closet was kind of an eye sore. I gave it a quick coat of paint many months ago (in a pale green) which was a little improvement, but it was mostly neglected (especially because the frequency of doing laundry in this house needs to be severely increased) and a completely unorganized space.


Uninspired and junky, wouldn’t you say?

I set out to give it a facelift for $0. Sometimes I have a plan when I start a project. Other times I just go with it and hope it comes to me. This was half and half.

I gathered my leftover white paint and gave the walls a fresh coat of paint. I thought about doing a color, but I decided on white to brighten the space (and also because our kitchen is black, which I love, and a white laundry closet would compliment it nicely).


I knew I wanted to do something fun to the walls. But I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on it. (A stencil or something intricate wasn’t going to happen.)  I got my large circle hole punch (the circles are maybe an inch) and some black paper and started punching out black circles. Then I went around and stuck them to the walls in an uneven pattern. Some close together. Some far apart. Just random.

I had some cardboard boxes that fit perfectly on the wire shelves, and I gave them a quick coat of white paint. Then I covered them in different fabrics I had laying around. The leaf fabric is from Ikea. The burlap was leftover from a burlap coffee sack that I cut to fit in a frame. And the other one is a rice bag. Rice. How appropriate.




I spray painted a small basket silver to hold bug sprays and sun screens. I had this tan basket thing I’d gotten at a thrift store a while ago and decided to give it a permanent home holding sad socks. Aka socks that lost their mate. We have a lot of those. I have a green vase for loose change. And frequently used spray bottles are hanging from the shelf.


I spray painted the lids of mason jars gold (because I’m fancy like that) and use the jars to hold extra cleaning supplies, instead of having huge ugly plastic containers to store. I labeled them with tiny circle stickers.

I wrapped a metal tin with rope (and hot glue), and it holds other cleaning supplies and bleach.


Our bike helmets are having from hooks in the ceiling.

The floral painting is something I found at a thrift store many months ago. I painted the frame black and it adds some cheer to the closet. I also have my cute apron (thanks Mom!) hanging in the closet.

I spray painted a laundry basket, that sits on the dryer, to hold any dirty clothes/rags that are downstairs. I won’t let it pile up. I won’t let it pile up. I won’t let it pile up.


And my favorite little diy is the cover I made for the fire extinguisher. Definitely a good thing to have. But not pretty.


I took an old cardboard box that had been used for many things, most recently to spray paint on. I cut cardboard to size and made a box using duct tape. Then I hot glued fabric around it. The box doesn’t have a bottom or a back. The top sits/hangs right on top of the extinguisher, hiding it oh so perfectly. But if we ever needed it, you could toss the box off quickly and have access to the extinguisher. I made the cover and then stood staring at it. Smiling. So pleased with myself. It’s the simple things, am I right?


I love the laundry closet now. And I think it’ll make me more likely to do the laundry. Well, one can only hope!


How do you decorate or organize your laundry space? Or is it one of things on you to do list that is just waiting to happen?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. See you back here on Monday!

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 April 26, 2013  Posted by at 15:41 before and after, diy, our home 17 Responses »