How to make a paper magnolia garland

Oh man I don’t know about you but I am in full on FALL mode up in here!

Candles, check.

All the fluffy pillows, check, check!


This wall long wall in our front living room is a tough one to decorate so it has become an ever-changing vignette since we bought our home just over two years ago. But I think that moving of stuff around and house-tweaking is part of the fun!

I have seen really pretty magnolia garlands but they seemed darker than what I wanted, so I figured I could make one. And I’m always down for a thrifty paper creation, enter a paper magnolia garland.

After seeing a spool of this raffia covered wire I thought that would make a great base that I could glue the leaves to. So I used a stack of 12 x 12 inch green cardstock and got five good sized leaves out of each sheet. I spread them out in a long row to see how many I would need to make a fluffy garland this size and ended up using about 12 sheets.

I used hot glue and went in a pattern tucking leaves in and gluing them so I had a fluffy, flexible leaf garland when I was done.

I curled the ends a bit and hung up this bad boy for a pop of fall greenery that will last a long time!

The most time consuming part was cutting out the leaves but I did it while watching our shows one evening and they were done in no time.

A little labor of love that came together in an evening and I just love how fun this is in this space!

And we have almost finished the chicken coop, I cannot wait to get our baby chicks. I will share how we put together the coop soon!

Lastly, this little cutie pie turns 10 this week, and is now the proud owner of Peter. The sweetest cuddly little bunny every 🙂

I hope you have an amazing week, and you find it full of blessings and time doing the things you love. And maybe a little time to create!

Thank you for reading friend!

xo, Tanya

Easy DIY yarn wall hanging

You guys, I am SO excited about this project!

We have been trying to stay indoors as much as possible with the fires on the West Coast have created a ton of smoke hanging over our area of WA State. Air quality has not been great, so I’ve worn my mask when I pick tomatoes and zucchini, and have done a lot of cooking and crafting the past few days.

I have made a few different yarn wall hangings over the years but this one is my favorite so far!

You can make this as small or grand as you like, I wanted mine to be big enough to have a pretty impact but small enough I can hang it on my front door.

First, the mustard color.

You know how every once in a while you get a full on obsession with a color and you lose your dang mind every time you see ANYTHING in that color?

Yeah, that is pretty much the case with me and mustard right now, it’s my jam and I am loving it.

I have been moving stuff around and fluffing our nest, loving the crisp mornings and winding down that fall brings each year.

Enter, a new quick yarn DIY and we are in full fall mode up in here!

Y’all this is SO easy, I bought two skeins of yarn from JoAnn’s, and spray-painted a little metal rod I found in our garage (I am really hoping doesn’t go with something, we will find out!) with copper spray paint. Grab some scissors and you are ready to create.

I did not measure each section of yarn but instead stretched my arms as wide as they would go and used that for each section. Then going back eight times I had a nice yarn “rope” to then tie around the metal rod.

I alternated colors and then went back and cut the loops at the bottom so they were all lose. Towards the end they were also very crimped being in the center of the skein so I used my fabric steamer to gently get each section to relax and match the others.

Next you just create a pattern, starting at the left I tied half of the first bundle of yarn into a knot, next I used the remaining half of that bundle and have of the next bundle to create a pattern across the first row. Next row is the opposite and the knots were complete. Lastly, I smoothed out the yarn on a flat surface and trimmed each side into the triangular pattern across the bottom.

One piece of yarn at the top to create the hanger, and we are done!

I am loving how quick this was to put together and the impact for a project that took less than 30 minutes!

Thank you as always for reading friend, I hope this finds you well and finding a bit of time in your day to create. Until our next project 🙂

xo, Tanya

How to make Mirepoix

With fall just around the corner and evenings getting a bit cooler I have brought out my arsenal of fall cooking once again.

This usually is accompanied by fall decor and some serious scouring of the internet for new IP (Instant Pot) recipes to try as well.

I LOVE this time of year so much, we work hard freezing and storing as much as we can from our garden, and begin to plan the plantings for the next year. And with school (or in our case online school) back in session I look for ways to save a little time in the kitchen.

While I admit that when I first got my IP I used it for everything. I was intrigued by it’s versatility and time in which I could make tender roasts in minutes, and duplicate the flavor of foods slow cooked all day.

I have found however that my favorite things to make in the IP are main dishes, meats, soups, chili etc…and a salad or bread is easy to throw together while the main dish is quickly cooking on the counter top.

I have been doing a lot of freezer meals lately that we thaw or dump frozen into the IP and have dinner done fast, I literally love these. I will share some soon but here is what we made this weekend in less than 2 hours:

Coconut Peanut Sweet Potato Curry (my current food obsession!)

Chili, Taco Soup, Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Garlicky Chicken Thighs, and Beef Stew. I know I am hungry now too!

I decided I would make a giant batch of Mirepoix, or what most of us know as the basics for almost any recipe: diced onions, celery and carrots. Not only did it save a ton of time on my freezer meals but I was able to freeze a large batch of it each time I want to cook a dish that requires those basics. A cup or two added to a skillet with warm olive or avocado oil and add your zucchini etc… and you have an easy side dish. Or the beginning of a great soup or casserole!

We grew onions this year but did not get a great harvest on those, so they are from the store. But the carrots and celery are from the garden. Even amounts of each mixed and frozen in large freezer bags and I saved time the day I was power-cooking and for quick dishes for weeks to come.

I felt a little bit like Julia Child pronouncing “meer pwah” in my kitchen and feeling quite proud of my latest discovery. And while I know nothing about French cuisine or cooking, I think a true love of learning and enjoyment of food in all of it’s glorious forks is what being a foodie is about.

Most of us are classically trained in our Grandma’s kitchen and create meals our families love with basic components.

But I truly believe it is the love of food and the generosity and hospitality that we share with our family and friends that tastes even better than a six-course meal. It’s hard to beat a pot of chili with cornbread, or big cheesy helpings of lasagna around the table with those you love.

So here is to all the home cooks in your homes, creating and sharing from your heart a gastronomic love language that speaks more from your heart than mere words.

And now you can throw a little Mirepoix into the mix and save some time, after all, it’s more fun to dance in the kitchen anyways!

Thank you as always for reading friend, you are so appreciated!

xo, Tanya

Modern boho farmhouse bathroom before and after!

We’ve been in our house for just over two years now. There are so many more things to do, but I get so excited each time we accomplish one more of our house goals!

To fully appreciate the after we have to show you the before. The bathroom was functional but not a pretty spot in the house to say the least.

It was really dark, and having no natural light was not helping.

It all started with the shower curtain from Target, its Opalhouse and I love everything from this line.

Then I thought I would paint the wood accents and wallpaper. The wallpaper was a beast so Troy suggested a a stucco effect. Best idea ever.

These are peel and stick tiles which have come a looooong way. They are super easy to clear (four kids use this space on the regular) which is a must.

I painted the oak-tastic vanity, we put in new lights and a huge mirror. The mirror was a Homegoods score from Habitat!

The sink would have been about $1200 but we had to keep it as it had a manufacturer defect (on the part that faces the wall) off of a job Troy was doing.

New glossy tile and coordinating grout for the counter, lots of pretty baskets (how many baskets does she own you may be asking yourself lol)

And a little round white rug from Amazon.

I love how our refresh turned out! It didn’t break the bank and boy what a difference. I was worried so much white would feel sterile but it’s so pretty clean and warm. The grey painted stucco and little touches make it cozy.

We still have a long ways to go but I sure am happy with our latest redo 🙂

Thank you so much for reading friends, I hope this finds you well and enjoying a little time to create in your own space this week 🙂

Xo, Tanya

A little grey church pew before and after

My mother law Candis recently passed on this deacon’s bench (little church pew) she found at a local thrift store.

I loved it immediately and while she had not had it forever I knew it had a story to tell.

The part that means the most is not the little wooden pew but the person that gave it to me. Candis has dedicated her life to being on the mission field and traveled the globe. Even after “retirement” she’s as active as ever seeing a meeting the needs of young mom’s in her town. So she’s pretty amazing, and I’m very blessed to have her as my MIL 🙂

The hard part was figuring out what color to paint this little pew and I landed on this saft, pale grey. I’ve never used this chalk paint by Kilz and I’m super impressed.

I did two good coats and the coverage was perfect. It’s very smooth and easy to apply, I’ll use it again for sure.

A little distressing, and since there will not be food or cups set on her I didn’t use a sealer.

I like the mix of the light grey with warm old wood popping thru. We are always moving things around to make room for the next find but I have a feeling this little bench will be here for a while. It fits perfect here!

A little spot to pull on boots and head outside, or flip-flops, we do get sun here sometimes in the PNW 🙂

I figured it must have turned out ok when Candis came over and announced that she now wanted it back ha!

She was kidding of course, but it meant a lot to me. And now each time I come home or walk by our little entry she makes me smile.

And because no wall in my home feels complete without 50 baskets on each wall lol, I added the obligatory baskets.

And a plant, are you addicted to plants by chance too? I love them, especially pothos, jade trees, snake plants and all those other hard-to-kill varieties!

I’m super excited about my blog makeover too, coming soon a much needed boho-farmhousey refresh for this little corner of the web. Cant wait to reveal it!

I hope this finds you well, at peace, and eeking out even a bit of time to create. I seem to be short on that creativity time too but it’s so important for our spirit!

Hugs & blessings from casa twelveoeight,

Xoxo, Tanya

Simple DIY corbels

You know how you see something for sale and you think to yourself, I could pay $24.95 a piece for those.

I could.

It would be easier.

And then something kind of clicks and you realize that you don’t have to.

You could make those for a few bucks.

Maybe even with scrap wood from other projects and paint you already have.

Welcome the simple diy corbel.

I kind of have a thing for corbels right now, they are my jam.

I have this spot where the long dining room flows into the front living room. The front living room is my fave space to be. It is the only room with super high ceilings in our 1970’s mid-century modern home.

We have added a lot of our own style while still trying to keep much of our home’s original vibe.

Lots of paint, wood floors, white-washed shiplap fireplace surround, and a wood wrapped beam at the peak with exposed electrical.

Add a whole bunch of baskets, swivel chairs, and a mix of vintage and modern and this is our home.

I saw corbels very similar to these online and thought I might just order them.

But Troy likes to make stuff (yes this is very convenient and I try to not make the hey can you make/fix/build this list too long) 🙂 and he gave them a go.

These are actually leftover bed rails from a dismantled bunk bed. He ripped the pieces down to 2″ x 5″ size for the top and back. For each corbel the top piece was 14.5″ long and the vertical piece 16″ long. The angled piece we cut to 17″ end at 40 degrees and the other at 50 degrees as we wanted the bottom of the corbel a bit longer.

The ends we rounded off a bit and used a wire wheel on our drill to create some lines and texture.

I painted them with an off-white paint and sanded them until I felt like they could of come off an old porch.

They just just the perfect amount of architectural interest in this spot, I just love them!

They were very quick to make, the longest part being the time for the paint to dry!

I don’t know about you but when the world is crazy and there is so much uncertainty around us home is where I like to be. I always want this little spot of the web to be uplifting and encouraging, and that wont change. But for all of us I wish for some peace. That we would look at our own hearts and choose grace and kindness to be our creed. That we would help a stranger, hold a door, pay for someone’s coffee, smile when we don’t have to. The power of being kind and doing the right thing costs us nothing but the difference it makes cannot be measured.

Thank you friends for reading and as always, you are appreciated more than you know!

xo, tanya

The to-do and the DONE list

Hello friends!

I woke up today and buzzed around getting my coffee, turning off outdoor lights and opening curtains.

Glancing down at my to-do list and thinking of the glorious day ahead I could feel the excitement this thinking of all I can accomplish.

We are mid-way thru adding on the the existing chicken coop so we can get our long-awaited for chickens into their new home.

Our hallway/main bathroom is a mish-mash of every bad design decision from the 70’s and 80’s. Planning that bright, fresh makeover has been fun. I cannot wait to show you the before and after.

Somewhere between excitement and planning however I got lost in my to-do’s and forgot completely how far we have come.

My mind quickly shifted to the long list of things that still need to be done.

Those are long lists aren’t they?

I found myself feeling immediately defeated and was kind of surprised how quickly I went from elated to overwhelmed.

As I drank my coffee and looked around I saw something.

Something to be proud of and remind me that this is a journey of lots of steps and projects not an epic weekend remodel with 74 volunteers and someone screaming MOVE THAT BUS.

It’s big.

A DONE list.

So many things have been completed, so many projects I am proud of that bring me joy each day.

To think that the list of projects that I look forward to turned into a daunting task ahead made me realize that it was me that had to change.

I have to change how I see the things around me, and be willing to extend the same grace I have with others to myself too.

To slow down a bit, yes that means choosing NOT to do something and be “busy” all the time to stop and enjoy how far we have come.

Iv’e worn busy like a badge of honor at times in my life and yeah I got a lot done. But that is a season not to stay in forever. We need our down time too.

I finished my coffee, ok, two cups back to back really strong lol that is how I wake up 🙂 and I looked around this little house of mine.

And you know what? We have come a long way!

Sure that does not shorten the to-do list but you know what? It gives me such a sense of peace and accomplishment to go back over my DONE list.

We are doing great, and you know what? You are too, we all are doing the best we can and trying to eek out a little time for us and our creative minds. So what if the dishes don’t get done and everyone had cereal for dinner.

I guess I just needed a bit of a reality check and a shift in focus this morning to see how truly amazing we humans are.

We have such a capacity to create, and love, and give. And when we can make the home around us a place we love to be one little project at a time we gotta step back every so often and remind ourselves that we are doing great.

Here is to an amazing weekend with a few things to work on and some time to enjoy the things that make us happy.

And the people we love, that love us back.

Thank you as always for reading friend, love you so!

Little vintage table before and after

Hey there!!

How’s your week been? We were talking the other day about the creative surge that both Troy and I have felt since stay at home orders went into place. I have realized how much I missed this little corner of the internet to share and create, and I am SO HAPPY to be writing again. This time has been so good to evaluate how I spend those spare moments and made me love my little home even more than I did before. But boy do I miss Goodwill, and I am going to run out of paint at some point 🙂 so a healthy balance of the freedom to come and go or stay at home and chill is something I am really looking forward to.

In the meantime, this table. And renovating a 70’s house…

Our house is a 1970’s mid-century modern that we’ve been in for almost two years now and I’m slowly turning it into my version of a modern city farmhouse.

Open concept spaces and large inviting kitchens seem to be something that were not a priority in 70’s design. But by tearing out cabinets, and white-washing dark dreary wood we’ve made great strides. We have a ways to go, you haven’t seen the main hallway bathroom!

Right after we moved in there was a yard sale down the road. I would love to say that I used self control after moving TONS of stuff but I saw this little vintage table for five bucks. I knew it would look cool any color so into my car she went.

I used white chalky spray paint and distressed all over with my palm sander. Next to give the table a little age and patina I watered down some brown acrylic paint. Using just a bit of the watery paint and a small damp cloth I applied it to the table here and there then blended as I went. This table won’t have any liquids on it so I decided not to use and sealer on it. here it is after one coat.

When I see the half-way mark I always wonder if this was a good idea!

It’s in the entry way now but I like to move stuff around once in a while so I’m sure she could be just about anywhere next week 🙂

I’ve found a balance that I like between vintage, modern and a little bohemian. I love to have things in our home that I poured my heart into and make me smile when I walk by them.

And if something gets broken during an epic nerf gun battle or “tag in the dark” (yep they actually do that lol) oh well. Most of it was found anyways on the fly and I’d much rather see my tribe having fun than have a perfect house.

I’ve kind of always thought perfect isn’t much fun anyways 🙂

Thank you as always for reading, I hope you have an amazing day!!

xo, Tanya

How to start composting

First of all let me say that these long stretches without blogging have made me miss this part of my life so much.


So a little back story on why life is like composting, stay with me here.

When I began this blog 8 years ago my kiddos were little and we were at home a lot. Life has changed a lot and in the most brief cliff notes ever:

I love my home, career, family, and have taken some huge risks to create the life that I have now. But that meant some sacrifice, and for a time setting aside most of my creative time to work on my career.

2014 was the one very hard year.  In one year I was a single mom with four children and one grandbaby depending on me. I lost my Mom and walked my older son thru the darkness of losing his Father to brain cancer.  But thank God that is not the end of the story. With some wonderful opportunity, and hard work life is very different now. 

I have remarried, and while none of us are perfect, Troy is one amazing guy.  Between us we have six kids and five grandkids.  All this by 49 years of age.  And I have to say I would not change one single thing.

So back to the compost, I know you are probably wondering when we are going to get back to that.  I grew up with a small farm that had a huge organic garden.  And now we are using our city farm to do the same, while we don’t have horses and cattle we do have a garden.

And the chickens are coming soon. Above is compost in the making.

You can live just about anywhere and compost.  It does not have cost anything to get started and even with a small flower bed or container garden on a city balcony you can reap the benefits of composting.

What foods are compostable? The list is much longer than this as many people use sawdust, ashes from their wood stove, and wood chippings.  But this is the basic list of everyday items you are probably sending to a landfill instead of sending much of what first came from the earth back to it once again.

My rule to not have the compost “smell” and not attract rodents is:  Egg shells, moldy bread, old rice or oats (with no butter or dairy in them) banana peels, fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, paper towels (no chemicals or food on them) and the list goes on and on!

We don’t compost meat, cheese, eggs, any dairy products, or that type of food waste.  We have found that this keeps the critters away and by periodically turning your growing compost it is naturally breaking down into beautiful dirt.  Rich in nutrients and ready to add to your potting soil or garden 3-way mix to grow more amazing stuff.

They are a lot of elaborate set ups out there and expensive rolling bins but we have found that a small area in your yard (think three pallets to build the the walls of the bin) with a gated front or little piece of fencing you can move is all you need.  Once in a while you move the front piece and turn your soil.

When it looks like dirt, it’s ready.

One warning however, you will see kitchen waste and discarded things in a whole new way once you start composting.

The things that no one cared about anymore that were discarded were gathered up and made new again.  All those eggshells and wilting lettuce got a second chance to start over and be amazing.

So I guess we are kind of the same if given the chance to break down, rebuild and be free to be made new again.

And the best part, we just like that compost have the chance to help something else (or someone else) around us do the same.

Many cities have robust composting programs as that are available in many areas. And, you may find like we have that our garbage bill is down as well too!

Thank you for reading, I would love to hear your ideas and feedback.  Lots of love-


DIY yarn + succulent wall hanging

Our summer has been short and a bit unpredictable here in the PNW this year. And while I long for summer to last forever, my summer annuals are showing signs of nearing their time and I made a fruit crisp already.The crisp was kind of my white flag of surrender, acknowledging the subtle changes happening around us.

I begin to think about things that will transition our vibe from summer to autumn, and admittedly, casseroles and crock pot recipes are high on the list! Tell me I’m not alone here…then there’s the pillows and candles but that’s a whole other blog post in and of itself.I have always loved fiber arts and yarn, but have not crossed over and learned how to crochet or knit yet.I gave myself permission to be ok with not liking every craft known to man. Enter the great quiting fail of 1996.We were snowed in and I decided it was time to try my hand at quilting.A queen size quilt.Yeah…So needless to say I have realized my attention span and amount of patience if not well suited to projects like that.

But something 30 minutes or less? Keep talking, I’m listening…These colors really spoke to me recently and I fell in love with the contrast between the orange and blue together.It was like a modern version of Three’s Company right there in my shopping basket.Flip flopping between doing something round or something straight across I opted for round.

Yarn for 50% off, clearance faux succulents, I’m in!I am loving these colors together, bright but still bringing a early-fall vibe that I’m kind of ready for.Long strings of yarn, looped around each ring, it doesn’t get much easier than that!

The rings secured all in one spot with yarn and a dab of hot glue to keep the tied ends in place.

And the fun part? You could hang it on the side if a chicken coop just for a change of pace.

Sometimes the light in this spot (the side if our chicken coop) is just right. It needs a makeover before we can have chickens, but for now the cat loves to nap in there.

While I have not dug out the “fall” boxes from the attic I have to say this whole late summer thing is quite wonderful.

There are more days to grill and swim, run and play in the sun. And maybe figure out what to do with this leftover yarn.

Thank you so much for reading friend, and supporting this little spot in the blogspere.



Thank you so much for reading, and as always, may your heart and home be full of everything you love! xo, Tanya         linking up to: And these awesome parties: