New! Videos on our Channel …

....How to Make Victorian Gingerbread House Trim.How to Make Victorian Style Fretwork Gingerbread.How to Make Easy Realistic Rust with Ash Paint.How to Paint Faux Marble on Concrete.Vintage Fabric Labels, Video.Growing Salad Indoors

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© Stephie McCarthy

An artist, an engineer, and a home in the Blue Ridge


Images from our Days

my Blog


Shortcut to a Fairy Tale Bridge

We've started a bridge garden and here's how it look so far …

Eight feet long and raised on a sturdy bed of cement pavers, it's hard to believe the bridge project began as a cast-off futon!



Labels of Vintage Textiles for a Sweet, Unique Pantry!

Here are a few new original ideas for using vintage textiles, hankies, artist chalks, chalk paint products … and more.



DIY Indoor Green Salad Garden with LED Lights



We'd started this garden just a few months before the 2020 Pandemic, thank goodness!


We grow 3-4 fabulous cups of salad each day in a dark corner of our basement!

We share our favorite equipment sources and how to's —here—.


Easy Waterproof Rustic Basket DIY

Make this basket for your garden or porch and leave it outside in any weather …

… we made ours while watching Outlander …

Looking like a basket from Lallybroch …

… but with lots of secrets that will keep it looking good in all sorts of weather, AND help keep mice away too!

Check out the video here …


Shop the Home Depot

Special Savings Today Only! Click for the deal of the day!

Shop the Home Depot


Make Gingerbread Trim from Kid's Blocks!

This project was child's play with toy blocks, brackets, and a finial that looks like a juice extractor. See how we made this entry into a beautiful part of our stone porch, here.

How to Make Victorian Style Gingerbread Trim

Video Link

DIY Victorian Gingerbread

Victorian Gingerbread Project


Our Amazing Bark Textured Flower Boxes made with Caulk

Video Link

Faux Bois easy DIY

Look how we upcycled our bland flower boxes with caulk and a plastic fork. This craft, also called Faux Bois in France, looks like realistic bark but is durable and easy to do.

How to make bark texture

We made a total of three of these wonderful rustic boxes. We used chalk paint and wood ash to finish the surface. Here's how …


Foxglove and Strawberry Season were Sublime!


How to make Victorian-Style Gingerbread Fretwork, from New Materials

Video Link

The photo essay step-by-step is here.

DIY Victorian house trim


Our New Seed Box Project is Here!

We made our antique-reproduction seed case with a cast-off cigar box and a collage made from copies of vintage seed catalogs. You can make a similar box using our free graphics, an unfinished box, or a similar size cigar box.

Get your graphics here. Read how to make this project here.

How to make a Victorian-style Seed Box

Buy an unfinished box for this craft

Our free design page is here.


DIY Wall Decor with Playing Cards

This is an easy project! You will be amazed at the variety of playing cards in the world. There's something for everyone, and every room.

How to make wall decor with playing cards

Glue cards to paper and frame them for quick wall decor.

Playing Card Crafts

Cards are collectible and very affordable. They also are beautiful!


Rescuing Chippy Wicker with an Easy Wax Paint Formula

restore painted wicker easy DIY

What is wax paint? It's a 50/50 blend of chalk or acrylic paint with Waverly Liquid Clear Wax. It will lock down chipping paint and make a durable, colorful finish on the most forlorn wicker. We should know … look how this chair started:

restore chipping wicker

We used a toothbrush to get into all those crevices and it made the process fast!

painting flowers on wicker

Buy our Waverly Chalk Paint Colors here:

Americana Chalk Paint chart


Bringing New Life to a Stove,
Mantel, and Hearth

You'll be so surprised when you see how this fireplace
wall looked when we first bought this old house.

paintng a stove, mantel, and hearth

Paint made all the difference. See how we painted this
fireplace wall, mantel, hearth, and even the stove!
Read more.


Faux Marble on a Concrete Floor

This was a dismal corner of our basement,
once upon a time!

How to Paint faux marble by Stephie McCarthy

But with our faux marble tiles, we're dreaming of a wine
cellar, a plant nursery, a media room … the possibilities
are many! Click here for the story.


Faux bricks: a makeover on
concrete walls

This corner was a dull gray stamped concrete, but now is a
warm workspace we will love to use this year.

Painting 3D brick panels with realistic faux bricks

Faux brick wall, and faux marble floor

… and the concrete floor! Both were a dull moon gray.

Warming concrete with brick colors

We're loving the industrial chic effect.
Here's how we did this
faux finish with a roller and some paint brushes

We'll be posting about the faux marble floor soon!


How to Paint Faux Bricks
on Concrete, Step-by-step

How to Paint Faux Bricks on Concrete with a stencil

The old house porch is edged in rosy bricks.

Faux bricks on concrete

The same edge 'before' our fool-the-eye paint techniques. See
how we did this project step-by-step here


Artwork on a
Bland Concrete Porch

As we worked on the old porch this summer,
whimsy took hold.

How to Paint Concrete

Here's the compass that now faces our courtyard.
Yes! It really does point true North.

Painting Faux Bricks on Concrete

The back door now has a herringbone entry.
Painting this was much easier than we thought it would be!
Click here for how transfer these brick and terra-cotta
patterns on to this concrete project


Apple Goddess by Stephie McCarthy


Painting Green Marble on
the Concrete Porch

Watch the Video

We've been marbleizing this porch for weeks and finally
have a reveal post we think you will love, here!

DIY marbelizing concrete

How to paint concrete

TIps for painting concrete


The 'Unicorn' Deck

We're teaching ourselves to loosen up a bit and test out all sorts
of paint techniques … and we're doing it on our
old deck!

Rainbow painting on old wood deck

We call it the 'unicorn' deck. We leave our paints outside now.

Paint a deck or fence or picnic table with rainbow colors

This deck has been a wonderful photo studio and anything but bland.
Read and get the video link here.


Faux brick and mural in progress at the old house studio.



Video Link

DIY Rust Patina with Wood Ash Paint

We made this amazing rust finish with
wood ashes and paint! This is an original formula we
developed after years of trying to create rust with paint alone.

Amazing Rust Effect with Ashes and Paint

Learn our easy steps here …


Fun Appliqués on Our Screen Curtain Door

How to Decorate a Screen

This was an easy project that makes a fun doorway to our deck,
while keeping flying insects at outside.


WhiteWashing the Old Stone Wall

White Wash on Stone DIY

The stones of this 200 year old summer kitchen are handsome quarried
granite, but the repair someone made to the mortar years ago
was a very slap-dash job! It looked even worse in person …
until we white washed it with chalk paint. Here's how


Make a topiary from living branches …

Beautiful for parties or for everyday decor, and so easy to
make. You can root these later to make new shrubs. They
live in water, in the meantime.

Topiaries from living branches by Stephie McCarthy

Click here to learn how to make these.


Weave a garden obelisk on a tomato cage!

Very easy, you can make this in one day … click here.

Weave a garden obelisk on a tomato cage

Tomato cage obelisk plant support






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