Swanky Cupboard Office Tour & Contest Announcement

Why hello there, I assume you’ve come for a tour of my new office.  Let me put my tour guide hat on and show you around.

If you’ll step this way, I’ll open the doors so you can have a look see.

Welcome to my new cupboard office, located on the border between our galley kitchen and bay window dining room.  This office was purchased by Kel and I in 2012 off of craigslist, largely due to this post by Lisa Jo Baker, whose blog I love!  The original colors were a honey oak, but due to personal preference it was recently painted with a dove white exterior and a tropical turquoise interior.

On the top of the office you’ll see my collection of cookbooks, conveniently located out of reach of my children.  Serving as a bookend is my daughter’s Noelle’s piggy bank, which is typically kept out of reach due to her tendency to scatter coins throughout the house for my son to eat.

Moving on to the left door I’ve scattered some notes on the bulletin board which feature quotes from you guys, from our chalkboard contest, the winner of which will be announced at the end of this post.  Beneath the bulletin board is a small nook where I keep mechanical pencils, NOT PENS, because my heart is best expressed with graphite, not ink.

Moving to our right, in the back of the main desk space is my old school, Franklin Covey paper planner.  I prefer paper because it’s more open than digital planning and I don’t get distracted by twitter or instagram when I go to make a note.

Near the planner you will notice a very necessary mug of coffee, I’m currently drinking a whole bean Rwandan but I like to mix it up.  Coffee selection in the Casa de Penny is based heavily on our weekly budget allowances, as is the availability and selection of red wines.

Near the Mug you will see a brand new copy of my dear friend Sarah Martin’s book “Stress Point: Thriving Through Your 20’s In A Decade Of Drama,”  Which I’m currently reading for a review and giveaway this Saturday.  It’s an amazing study and resource for women in their 20’s so stay tuned for more on this honest and amazing read.

Moving on to our Right you’ll see my MacBook, where the majority of the writing magic happens.  The desktop is currently featuring a beautiful vista of “Big Red” a lighthouse in Holland, Michigan near my hometown.  The reason for this selection is because, well, I’m a tad homesick for Michigan, especially beachfront sunsets and family.

Beneath my laptop is a ring bound copy of Mary DeMuth’s Non Fiction Book Proposal Guide, which can be downloaded here if you’re interested.  It’s a valuable resource if you ever find yourself in need of guidance and expertise on the non-fiction book prop front.

Moving downward you will see my old, green college backpack.  It’s a North Face bag with a padded laptop slot purchased in 2004, I highly recommend this bags as mine shows little to no wear after at least a thousand uses over a dozen flights and road trips.

Our tour concludes on the right hand door where you will find my favorite new poetry quote by Mary Oliver taken from her book “Red Bird.”  I recommend you stop what you’re doing and buy this book post haste.  Beneath the white board quote are the two most recent copies of Better Homes and Gardens, crisp and unopened because I can’t seem to find time for them.

Finally, the yellow chair on the floor is a 100 year old restored and reupholstered ladder back chair in butter yellow with an undertone of granny smith red.

Thank you so much for visiting, this concludes our tour.  Please exit at your leisure and don’t mind the hundred ankle hugs you’ll receive from Noelle and Caedmon on your way out, consider the hugs our gift to you.

And now to announce the winner of our Chalkboard Contest:

Congratulations Amanda!  I will be in touch with you today to work out shipping details!  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for sharing your quotes with me.  Many of them have become new favorites and are posted around our home.

And thanks for putting up with my silly, whimsical office tour.

Chalkboard Love (tutorial and giveaway)

I don’t usually write tutorials but I’m including one in today’s post because this is an item I’m crazy passionate about.  If you’ve been around the blog long enough you know that I’m a big fan of my chalkboard, which is essentially an old 100 yr old cupboard door which I transformed.

One chalkboard, so many uses. Menu Planning, To-Do, Inspiration, Planning and Birthday Greetings for your 1 yr old’s rap party.

I’m going to show you how to make one yourself, and then I’m going to give away the chalkboard we make.

I’m going to start to do more giveaways and they will consist mostly of homemade items and books, my two go-to gifts.

I do handmade gifts for several reasons:
1- They mean a lot, people love them
2- creating and up-cycling are better for the environment
3- they’re better for our budget
4- the creative process is great for my spirit

You will Need
An old cupboard door
Sand Paper
Painters Tape
Spray Chalkboard Paint

Go to your local salvage yard, I prefer Architectural Salvage here in Ada, and procure an old cupboard door.  I like the ones with the inset middle, pay attention to the outer frame and find one with color that you love.  I always go with a beat up shabby chic white.

Wipe it off and dry it, aren’t you glad I took a picture of this part in case you got confused about what wiping looks like?

Sand it, especially the middle part, which will be your writing surface, although small imperfections are fun and give character.

I used a small handheld power sander, but you can just free hand it with a sheet of sandpaper too.  Sometimes you’ll find cool vintage layers of paint that will show through.  Don’t be too impressed, this is one of like 3 power tools I can manage.

Tape off the edges so you don’t get the spray paint on the frame part of your chalkboard, although it you do you can sand it off.  You don’t have to use an entire roll like I did here.

Take your chalk board paint, this is what I bought from the local box store.

Spray a first coat, then follow it up with two more coats, taking a break in-between coats.

Remove the Painter’s Tape and get someone to affix a picture hanger on the back of it.  I don’t do that part, I couldn’t begin to tell you how, I think you just nail it on, but it’s beyond me.

So I love my chalkboard, and I want you to have one too.  So in order to win this lovely board leave a comment below with a quote you love and deem chalkboard worthy.  It’s that easy, you’ll be entered!  If you start following me on twitter or like the Leanne Penny page on Facebook you’ll earn extra entries.

Giveaway will close next Wednesday, June 20 at midnight, CST

Can’t wait to send you a present.