Vintage Gumball Machine Vase


Hope you all are having a good weekend. I just wanted to share this cute vase I made out of a vintage gumball machine. I was challenged by my friends over at BloomNation to create a blog post on how I incorporate flowers into my home decor. If you haven’t heard of BloomNation before, they are a flower delivery service that supports local florists through their online marketplace. I love flowers and decorating with them so this was a fun challenge to participate in.

I have had this vintage gumball machine for some time. I found it at Goodwill. I screwed off the lid and removed the mechanical pieces from inside and placed a small glass of water on the base. Then I put the Jelly Belly glass piece back on top and stuck the flowers in.  It took all of about five minutes. It’s a little bit wobbly but if you wanted to create a permanent vase you could glue to glass pieces together with silicone.

I think this would be a fun centerpiece for a baby shower or kids birthday. What is your favorite way to decorate with flowers?


Posted in DIY and Crafts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Our Trip To Slab City and the Salton Sea


Hey Friends,

Several weeks ago Rob, Chloe and I traveled down to Niland California to visit my in-laws for a week. We visited a very offbeat part of California. I wrote about our vacation for Offbeat Home. Head on over to read about our travels!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to Bring a Neglected Home Back to Life


Buying an older outdated house is a great way to get a home bargain. Once the property is yours, you need to bring the neglected property back to life. Here’s how you can do that.

Have a Clear Out and Clean Up

If the property has been left to go to ruin for quite a while, your first task will be to clear out any junk and unwanted items in the property. You might want to hire someone if there’s a lot to clear out. Once that’s done, you will need to clean the place up to get rid of any dirt, grime, bug infestations and lingering smells. This might take some time, but it’s essential that you do it. Homes that have been neglected don’t stay clean for very long, so there will be a lot of dirt to fight.

Make the Garden Useful

The exterior of your property is as vital as the inside of the home, so you need to make the garden useful. If the property hasn’t been used for many years, it will probably be very messy and wild, so the task could be quite big. I’d keep it simple when you’re making over the garden. You could lay a new lawn and then think about adding a paved area where you could put a table and chairs. If you’re laying the pavers yourself, you’ll need to flatten the ground first. A Bobcat Hire company could help provide you with the equipment to do this.


Sort Out the Plumbing and Electrics

The plumbing and electricity might not be the most interesting things to deal with in the home, but they are functionally important, and you need to make sure that the home has adequate power and plumbing. This is not the kind of task that you can take care of by yourself unless you have the correct skills. I especially wouldn’t recommend messing around with the electricity because it can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Convert a Room

To give the home a new spin and make it a little more modern, you should grasp the opportunity to convert a room with both hands. This could mean doing something interesting with the basement, for example. One of  the most common types of room conversion that people opt for is an attic conversion. This is when you turn the attic into a useful space, such as a bedroom. Most people use their attics to store junk that’s no longer wanted, so why not do something good with it?


Once you have the big, ugly projects out of the way you can start on the fun stuff, decorating!

Posted in Home | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Giveaway with Canvas Pop. Reader Discount and Enter to Win!


I was recently approached by the folks at Canvas Pop to host a review and giveaway of one of their prints.

Of course, I jumped at the opportunity for one of you to win one of their beautiful framed prints.

Canvas Pop sent me one of our family portraits from last year. It arrived framed and matted and let me tell you…it is beautiful. Professional printing and framing really does make a huge difference in the quality of your portraits. I have it hung here in the dining room and it’s perfect for this space.


The photo was taken by my friend Alpha, a very talented photographer. The colors really pop and the matting and black frame are the perfect complement for the rich colors.

All my readers can take 35% off your entire order with code LITTLEGNOME35 at checkout. One lucky winner with get a framed 16×20 photo paper print with a 2.5 inch white mat and they will ship it to the winner for free!

The giveaway will run from Nov 1st – Nov 30th click below to enter. There are so many ways to get entries and trust me, you will love your framed photo print!

Crafty Little Gnome Gleam Widget

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Guestpost on OffBeat Home: Things to know before bringing a pot bellied pig into your homestead

81731-may7024Hey friends,

I wrote a guest post over at Offbeat Home: Things to know before you bring a potbellied pig into your urban homestead.

Head on over to check it out!

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

Posted in Pets | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Easy and Cheap Living Room Updates


Recently, I wrote a post about energy efficiency in the home and while I love decorating, I am always mindful of my spending. You see, just like most families, our bank accounts aren’t overflowing with cash. We have to be careful of what we spend on non-necessities, like decorating the house.

Anyway, writing that post got me thinking about decorating on a budget and how, you can easily give any space in your home a revamp without breaking the bank. In today’s post, I decided to focus on the living room, as it is one of the most used spaces in every family home.

Don’t repaint unless you have to

First things first, assess the paintwork in your living room. If it’s stained with marks and grubby hand-prints, you might think that repainting is the only option, but that’s not the case. Instead of repainting, you can get rid of marks and stains by washing the walls.

Fill a basin with warm water and a small amount of mild soap – dish soap is ideal for this, and then dip a sponge or clean cloth in the solution. Wring the cloth or sponge out to get rid of any excess water, and then gently wipe over each wall. Don’t be too rough with the cloth on stains, as you could end up removing the paint.

If washing your walls removes the stains, then you don’t need to repaint. However, if it doesn’t, or you notice that the paint has started to peel or bubble, repainting is the only option. To make this cheaper, buy your paint from a discount store and do the work yourself, instead of hiring a professional painter.

Clean or rip up the carpet

If your living room has carpet that’s looking a little worse for wear, you have two options; clean it or rip it up and reveal the floorboards. If you don’t fancy having bare floorboards – (which can look fantastic) cleaning your carpet is the best option.

You can do the cleaning yourself, or you can hire a company to do it for you. If you hire a professional company, the results will be better. However, professional carpet cleaning can be costly.

If you choose to rip the carpets up to reveal the floorboards, make sure to think about how you will protect them. You can polish the floorboards or paint them with a special protective varnish; what you choose to do is up to you.

Get creative with your furniture

When it comes to your living room furniture, getting creative is a must. Wooden pieces of furniture can easily be updated with a quick sanding and a coat of paint or stain. However, updating pieces made from other materials can be more tricky.

If you have items that are in a good condition, but you no longer want, sell them on a pre-loved site. You can then use the money you make to visit a good home furniture store and pick out something new. For your couches and armchairs, you can easily update them by recovering them with a new, stylish material.

Move accessories around

To give your living room a fresh look without spending a lot, take accessories from other rooms in the house. It’s amazing how switching accessories every so often can make such a big difference to the look and feel of the room.

Breathing new life into your living room without overspending might seem almost impossible. However, if you’re smart about it, it’s actually, much easier than you would think.

Posted in Home | Tagged | Leave a comment

Dealing with Bugs and other Critters in your Home


I love home design, redesigns repairs and general DIY. But, if I come across a problem with the home that involves bugs, creepy crawlies or rodents, I’ll run for the hills. I’ll be on the phone to a professional faster than you can say fumigation. I know a lot of people that feel the same. That’s why I’ve been looking at different solutions, thoughts and facts about these common home problems. On this post, you’ll find information on the different issues you might face as well as solutions on how to handle them. But the first question I want you to ask is this:

Are You Causing The Issue?

As hard as it is to believe, bugs and animals don’t just appear in a home. They were either attracted to it, or they were already there when you moved in. Granted, as we approach the colder months, you will start to find more insects in your home trying to keep warm but an infestation is something different. This is often caused by lifestyle (or in my case recently a squirrel was trying to move into my walls). For instance, ants are often attracted to homes that have a lot of food particles on the floor or food left out around the kitchen. If you want to stop the problem you first have to change the way you’re living. After that, you can start spraying the bug spray around.

You may also want to look around your home and see if there are any cracks in the walls. You should consider plastering over these to discourage insects from creeping in between the gaps.

Similarly, other bugs are attracted to different environments. For instance, termites usually arrive due to damp walls, and this is caused by poor home insulation. These issues are easy to fix before the bugs arrive.

Can You Fix It Yourself?

You can get rid of some pests around the home without the help of experts. Bug spray is usually enough to get rid of ants, but if you have animals or rodents in your home, it’s best to call in the professionals. A common problem is finding that you have birds nesting in your attic. You don’t want to try to get rid of them yourself. Getting rid of roosting birds can be frustrating and potentially quite dangerous. A couple months ago we had a huge wasp infestation in our ceiling.  Luckily my husband was able to get rid of this himself with hornet spray.

Some bugs aren’t so easily dissuaded. If you don’t get all of them, they will keep coming back causing more havoc. Bed bugs are particularly nightmarish to vanquish from the home, and you may find yourself just wanting to move. But if you don’t want bugs in your room, in particular, there’s a simple solution. Don’t eat in there! Bed bugs are absolutely horrible to try to get rid of so do anything you can to avoid them in the first place.

Termites, on the other hand, are simpler to get rid of. While a tricky problem, there are a number of services that offer a solution. These range from tent solutions to fumigate the home to other less intrusive measures. A no-tent termite treatment is the best solution if you are looking to reduce cost and time.

Is It Solved?

As I said, don’t be surprised if the bugs come back after one treatment. You may find the issue is more extensive than you previously realized. The right company will handle the situation for you until the problem is resolved. After that, you won’t have to worry about those bugs and beasties anymore.

Posted in cleaning, Home Remedies | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Winter is Coming!

Hubbard family 2013new-2

This morning I saw my own breath when I was outside playing with my daughter. It’s that time of the year again, autumn is in full swing and winter is right around the corner. If we could fast forward to March and just skip the entire freezing cold winter season that would be ideal. Since that’s impossible, here is how I am getting prepared for winter and the Holidays.

One of the most important challenges is to prepare your home for the colder weather. Increasing insulation with better windows and roofing will make a huge difference to your energy bills and also add value to the property. If that’s not in your budget try switching to thicker curtains to retain the heat while giving rooms a subtle new look. Similarly, you should think about getting a thicker duvet to keep you warm at night. After all, the quality of your sleep can make a vast improvement to your general well-being and happiness.

It’s important to consider the fact you’ll be spending more time in the home over the coming months. Therefore, it’s imperative that you use the space effectively. Your home will soon be packed with new items thanks to the holiday season. This is the perfect time of year for de-cluttering  your home and perhaps selling a few items on eBay. The extra room will go a long way to improving your mood and enjoyment. The added room will allow you to gain a better idea of what upgrade work can be completed. Perhaps a spare room could be turned into a home office? Let’s face it, working from the comfort of home sounds very appealing at this time of year. Alternatively, you could turn it into a gym or playroom. Either way, it has to be a better use of space than simply using it as a guest room or storage space.

A crucial thing to remember at this time of year, though, is that the threat of burglaries can be higher than ever. Thieves know that many homes will have presents and other valuables inside.  Protecting the home is a must. New garage doors can increase security too. This can be particularly important if you are storing goods in this area. Besides, there’s nothing more frustrating than an old door that doesn’t function properly. Make sure you check that your locks and alarm systems are working properly and check around the house for any areas that can be high risk for break ins.

The increased time spent at home dictates that you’ve got to make a happy environment for the whole family. As long as it’s warm, comfortable and safe, you won’t go wrong. All that’s left to do is enjoy the autumn and winter months with the people you love most.

Posted in Holidays, Home | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tips for Staying Warm this Winter

Hubbard family 2013-58

I love being all cozy at home with my family, and this winter is going to be fantastic. We’ve already made lots of plans to watch movies and curl up on the sofa. Like many women I tend to feel cold all the time. I always have to keep the heat turned up high and I still need to wear big sweaters and use blankets. To make sure you and your family don’t feel the chill in November and December, try some of these tips.

Get a warm air furnace

If you are heating your home with electric heat or a wood burning fireplace It’s a good idea to upgrade to a warm air furnace if you home is drafty. Just contact any reputable company that provides an HVAC service. The experts working for those firms will know how to create a better temperature in your property. Placement is everything, and that’s why you shouldn’t try to complete the job yourself. It will cost you, but it’s worth the expense. An upmarket warm air furnace should stay in good working order for many years. We also have a portable infared heater that we can move around from room to room when we need some extra heat.

Purchase electric blankets

We were still pretty cold in bed at night, so I looked for an easy solution to make us more comfortable. Before I performed a lot of research, I thought that electric blankets were dangerous. That might have been the case when I was young, but the technology has since improved. So long as you don’t leave them switched on all night, electric blankets are perfect. They will heat your beds before you climb in, and you can always turn them on for a short while if you get cold during the night.

Use Window film

When I redecorated my studio, there was a draft coming from one of the window panes. I didn’t notice it for a couple of weeks, but then it became an issue. After searching for the perfect solution, I discovered that many people use window film. It’s a simple product that produces excellent results. You just have to put it in the right position, and then use a hairdryer to fix it in place. The film will contract around all small gaps and make sure the frame is once again airtight. We used this in the living room too before we replaced the old drafty windows a couple of years ago. It’s a nice cheap and easy solution.

Snuggle with your family

There is no getting away from the fact that snuggling with your family will keep you warm. Shut the doors, draw the curtains, and have a good chat. You probably don’t spend enough time together due to work and school commitments. So, make sure you find a few hours in the evening to enjoy each other’s company. Sit on the same sofa and get a blanket if you think it will help. Also, try to drink as much tea and coffee as possible – it will warm you from the inside.

Get things ready now, and you can have everything in place before the temperature drops. Also, prices for electric blankets are other items tend to rise when they are in demand. That means it’s always sensible to make your purchases in advance and save lots of money.

Posted in family and kids | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Choose the Right Flooring


When we moved into our home 6 years ago it still had the original carpeting that was almost 20 years old. Needless to say it was pretty nasty. I finally got the last of it out of the house when I re-decorated my craft room. If you are thinking about redoing your floors here are some things to take into consideration.

Consider the Needs of the Family

Who lives in your home will affect what kind of flooring will be best for you. If you have young children, for example, you’ll need to choose an option that’s durable and resistant to damage. When you have children running around and playing with toys on the floor, it’s possible that the floor can get scratched and dinged. You’ll also need to think about what will be best for your pets. Muddy paws and claws can cause major damage to hardwood floors. Make sure you choose a material that fits your lifestyle.


For some people, style is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a type of flooring. For other people, it just comes down to cost. It all depends on your own opinion and budget. If functionality is the biggest concern for you and your family, you will probably need a more durable type of flooring. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make sure that the flooring fits in with the rest of your home design. The last thing you want is for the floor to stand out in a negative way and look out of place. Laminate flooring is great because it is affordable, durable and still looks stylish.

Browse All the Options

It’s not enough to browse options online or in catalogs; you need to see them up close and get a feel for the different options. You can’t make a judgement of a carpet or a type of wood until you see it in person. You might have a completely different opinion of something when you see it in person compared to on a computer screen or on a piece of paper. So, visit shops and showrooms and see as much as you can. This is especially important for people looking at laminate flooring where the quality can vary dramatically.


When buying new flooring, you need to think about the installation process. Whether you choose wood or tiles or carpet or whatever else, it is possible to install it by yourself? You will need the right skills and tools if you choose to do this. For example, you’ll need a hardwood flooring nailer if you opt for a wood floor. I have been using vinyl tile in most of my home because it’s inexpensive, durable and I can install it without power tools! If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself you should hire a professional for quality installation.


Some materials require a lot more maintenance than others, so you should keep this in mind when choosing the flooring. Wood will need to be swept and cleaned to help keep the wood from dulling and scratching. Even stone might suffer from these same problems if it isn’t protected. However, stone and marble are certainly more durable. The most important thing to do if you opt for a carpet is using a vacuum cleaner to lift off that trapped dirt. So, make sure you understand what level of maintenance will be required before buying and if it will fit your lifestyle.

What type of flooring do you prefer in your home? Are there any interesting choices I have been missing out on?


Posted in DIY and Crafts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment