Friday, January 27, 2012

Thrifty Find Friday.

Happy almost weekend!  I have a busy one planned with a trip to Ikea, a boat show and house guests.  Should be a blast.

This post is a little more "crafty" than I usually go. But the end result is fabulous and I love it.

I picked up a couple of square white bowls and a little plant pot from Goodwill specifically with this project in mind.  I spent .99 cents per bowl and 2.00 for the plant pot.  I usually wouldn't spend so much but I really wanted to try this.....

I also picked up some ribbon and lace at Wal-Mart and some Modge Podge at Joann's. 

This project was a wee bit tedious.  Basically, you brush on some Modge Podge, then put whatever you're using on top of the glue.  Then brush another coat of Modge Podge over top.  Eventually it dries and holds the ribbon or lace in place.  The problem I had was the zig-zag ribbon was so light that every time I brushed it, it moved.  Eventually I taped it down, let the middle dry, and then removed the tape and glued the edges. It took a little while longer that way, but it kept me from tearing my hair out!

I did two different patterns and I am really happy with the results.

I'm not sure what I'm going to use them for, but they sure make me happy!

And the plant pot got some love too.  I used lace on it, and it was soooo much easier!

I purposefully only glued down the middle so the edges ruffle out a bit. 

Budget Breakdown:
Containers: 4.00
Ribbon/lace: 2.50
Modge Podge: 4.00 (I used a coupon)
Total: 10.50*
*I still have a ton of ribbon, lace and Modge Podge left, so if you already had this stuff on hand, I would say the total cost would be next to nothing.

I have a huge white bowl that's kind of plain.  I'm thinking it may get this treatment sometime in the future........


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Thursday, January 26, 2012


This is what the weather looked like one week ago today.  The day I was supposed to drive for five hours and then fly to see my girlfriend, meet her new baby, and spend quality time with two other girlfriends who were also making the trip.

Here's what the weather looked like today.  The day I couldn't think of a valid reason to even leave the house.  I had nowhere to go, nothing to do.

See the snow in the foreground? Kind of hard to spot with all of the green, green grass stealing the show.  I'll say it again.  Aaaaargh.

Sorry Kath.  I'll make it there eventually.  When Olivia is 9.

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My Favorite Room. So far.....

I thought I would highlight what has become my favorite room in the house.  Especially since I am so close to finishing it.  So. Very. Close.  You saw a tiny little piece of it after I finished the valance, but now you'll get a full meal deal tour.

As I mentioned before, I refer to it as my sister's bedroom.  It's actually one of the guest bedrooms on the second floor.  It's not a very big room in comparison to the other bedrooms but it fits a queen bed and a dresser nicely.

I'll do my best to give sources for the things in the room.  Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the paint color but I know it was Behr paint.  This came back to bite me in the ass when we wanted to paint my husband's man cave the same color.  He end up peeling a quarter size chip from behind the baseboard so we could get it color matched at Home Depot.  I've since learned to write the paint color down, lol.

Here's the bed.  I made the queen sized headboard and hammered in a nailhead detail.  I actually took the easy route and used nailhead strips.  I got mine here

All of the fabric on the pillows is from thrift stores.  The flowery one is a Waverly print and it's selling for 35 dollars a yard right now.  I got two yards for 3 dollars!

The bedside lamps are from Ikea.  The two bedside tables are from a local antique store and were 30 dollars apiece.  Here's a better look at the headboard. 

Taking a 180 degree turn, here's the view if you were laying in bed. 

My husband found the dresser at the ReStore.  It was only 45 dollars because it has a gouge out of the top.  A gouge which I hide with those two vases from Ross.  He sanded it down and refinished it and it looks AMAZING, gouge and all.

The mirror above is a frameless mirror from Ikea. I bought some baseboard from Home Depot and my husband attached it to the mirror.  It's perfectly customized for the space and it cost about 15 dollars.

I bought those faux cherry branches from Crate and Barrel a million years ago. The towels are from Wal-Mart and the hooks they hang on came from Amazon.

Here's a better look at the dresser:

The little luggage rack came from Goodwill and it was 7.99.  I may have squealed like a little girl when I saw it.  I had been looking for one for a loooong time and I had about resigned myself to paying 80 dollars for one from Ballard Designs.  But the gods of thrifting came through at the last minute. I bought some canvas belt material from Joann's and stapled it in place.

Moving on.  Here's the one and only window in the room.  Which is why it's so damn hard to get a well-lit picture in here!  I've already showed you the valance and roller shade I made so I'll skip it.  Here's the chair that started it all.

Sorry about the picture quality.  I found the chair at the ReStore.  It was 40 dollars and I planned on reupholstering it until I actually put in the room.  I really like the dusty rose fabric color with the paint color.  And so I decided to accent the room with pink. I think it balances the masculinity of all of the grey and metal accents.

Finally, on the opposite wall from the chair is a little gallery wall.

I ordered the frames from E-Bay and the pictures inside is from a book I ordered off of Amazon called "Wildflowers in America."  All six pictures have a hint of pink in them and tie in nicely with the rest of the room.  I got the mats in the frames cut to size at a local framing store.

Close-up time!

And there you go.  My favorite room in the house.  I love how it came together and all for only about 1100 dollars.  That includes the bed and mattress from Costco for about 650 dollars and the carpet which was a remnant from a local store for 175 dollars(!!!).


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valance Victory! And a Little Bloodshed.

I finally came up with a solution for a problem that has been bothering me in my sister's room.  To be clear, my sister doesn't live with me, I just fear her wrath if I don't call it that.  In fact let's just pretend that no one else has ever slept in the room and no one ever will.  It'll be easier that way.

I had recently installed a roller shade for a little light-blocking action.  No one likes to be forced out of bed at the crack of dawn!  I covered the ugly white plastic shade using a little gray menswear fabric and spray adhesive but there was a problem..........when I covered the shade, I wrapped the fabric around and glued it to the back for staying power.  And it resulted in this:

See the roll part at the top of the window?  When the shade rolls up, it shows the back and the extra inch of fabric I wrapped around it. Not attractive.  Not to mention the roll itself isn't winning any beauty pageants.

I thought about just attaching more fabric to the back, but I didn't think that the roller would work properly with another layer of fabric, not to mention it wouldn't solve the problem of the ugly roller.

This kept me up a night.  For real.  I thought about a valance but the clearance between the window frame and the wall is almost nothing (it's actually 3/4 of an inch) and I couldn't think of a way to mount it in that small of an area.  You can sort of see how small of an area I had to work with in the picture above.

After a few nights of tossing and turning I figured the only solution that would cover that unfinished-looking mess would be a valance.  Since I couldn't figure out a way to make it, I did the only thing I could:  I outsourced it. 

I gave my measurements to an incredibly talented local woodworker who whipped it up in mere minutes. On top of being talented, he also works on the cheap.  Unfortunately for all of you, I'm pretty much the only client he works for.  Because he's my husband.  Ha. 

This is what he came up with:

The valance screws into the wall through the tabs at the top. 

Now that my husband had done the heavy lifting, it was my turn to make it look pretty.

I used some fabric that I had bought from Joann's and some more of that wonderful spray adhesive.

In progress:

I cut the fabric and wrapped the whole thing like a present, spraying the wood with the adhesive as I went.

When I finished, it looked a little plain so I decided to fancy it up a bit.  I had used a nailhead detail on the headboard in the room, so I figured that it would be nice to use it again somewhere in the room.

There aren't any pictures of this part. The nails were longer than the thickness of the plywood and I hammered one into my finger.  Let's just say I was soooo over documenting the process once that happened. Luckily, it turned out really nice so the near-fatal injury didn't prompt me to throw the whole damn thing through the kitchen window.

Here it is:

Lessons learned?  My husband can do anything and I need to pay more attention to the project I'm working on and less attention to the TV.  But I do love it.  This is my favorite room in the house.  I'll show you the whole thing soon..........


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Monday, January 23, 2012

A Quick Thrift Store Makeover

I guess you're by now your starting to see a theme emerging.  I love to take ugly things that I find at thrift stores and make them work in my house.  I'd rather spend 5 dollars and a few hours making something than whip out my credit card and buy something online.  The subject of this post is no exception.

I found this pillow at the Goodwill and immediately liked the dimensions.  The pattern?  Umm, not so much.

I personally think that the Southwestern Cougar motif was soooo last year.  I can't imagine why this little gem ended up at a thrift store. 

I followed a tutorial by Censational Girl to make a no-sew pillow cover.  I had found some burlap at Wal-Mart on super clearance (.50 cents/yard) and knew it would be perfect in the downstairs guest bedroom.

Once I turned the burlap into a pillow cover (which took about 45 minutes) I decided to spruce it up a bit.  I had some acrylic paint in an off-white color that I thought would look perfect.

I taped off some approximate stripes and slipped an old diet coke box inside it so the paint wouldn't bleed through. I also made sure to press really, really, really hard on the tape at the edges.  Since the burlap is so rough, I wanted to make sure the paint wouldn't get under the tape and make the lines less than crisp.

And then I dove right in:

It took me a little longer than I expected because the burlap is so rough, it just lapped up the paint.  But I eventually finished in about 30 minutes.  I let it dry for an hour and then flipped it over and did the back.

Another 30 minutes of painting and an hour to dry and I had this:

The paint worked great!  The lines are real defined and it goes well in the bedroom.  Success!

Budget breakdown:
Pillow: 2.00
Burlap: .25 (I only used a tiny bit of the burlap that I had on hand)
Paint: 1.50 (But I only used about half the container)
Total: 3.75


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Friday, January 20, 2012

Thrifty Find Friday.

Every Friday I am going to try to feature something I found at a thrift store.  Hopefully the luck I've been having with finding great things holds out so I can keep this up.

This one's going to be a little light in the picture department.  Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures of the "before." Whoops. 

I first saw this mirror at the Goodwill in my town.  It was originally priced 24.99,  which is pretty good  for a made from real wood mirror.  Plus it had some incredibly intricate carving at the top.  And I knew I could make it look a lot better since it was a little rough around the edges. goodwill has 50% off sales on most of their merchandise based on the color of the tag.  This mirror was due to be marked down the very next week so I figured if it was still there, it was meant to be.

Unfortunately, I missed the week-long sale, but don't feel too bad just yet.  After an item spends the whole week at 50% off, running Sunday to Sunday, if it hasn't sold, it's offered for 99 cents on Monday.  Yep, 99 cents.  Can you see where this is going?  On Monday, I sauntered into my local Goodwill, swung by the mirror section and IT WAS STILL THERE!  I actually flagged down an employee to double check that I would be snapping it up for only 99 cents.  She confirmed and I sprinted to the front of the store to pay for it.  Well, actually I awkwardly lugged it to the front since the thing probably weighs 40 pounds.

Here's a shot of the before, all taped up and ready to paint. 

Why yes, that is my messy garage in the background.  Keeping it real!

A close-up of the amazing carving at the top.
Back when I found this guy it was still spray painting season, so I grabbed a can of Krylon Ivory paint in gloss that I had leftover from another project and went to town.

I did three thin coats, leaving it to dry for about five minutes between coats.  After it was completely dry (I think I left it overnight) I grabbed some sandpaper and distressed the edges a bit.

Here's the finished product. 

I love how the carved part looks once it's been distressed.  Beautiful.

And here's the budget breakdown, including tax:

Mirror: 1.07 (!!!!)
Spray Paint (half can): 1.85
Hanging hardware: 2.15
Total: 5.07

So for just over 5 dollars I got a mirror that measures 5 feet by 3 feet and fits beautifully at the top of my stairs.  It reminds me a lot of this one I found online:

It's on sale for a mere 469.00.  Down from 739.00. Gulp.


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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dresser Do-Over

My husband surprised me by bringing home a dresser from our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  It was that awful light colored wood with the green undertones.  I think it was birch?  Anyways, it was ugly.  Unfortunately I didn't get any before pictures with the original finish intact because my wonderful husband began sanding it before I snapped any.  Poor me, right?  Ha. 

I do have pictures just before I started the restoration part though.  I moved it from my husband's shop to the living room to begin the painting process.  Since it's actually chilly around here right now, I wanted to be able to paint it in a warm environment so the finish would turn out properly.  And I needed to be able to catch up with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Priming and painting is so much more enjoyable when you can do it while watching trashy television.  Win-win.

So here's what I started with........

As you can see I had already started priming when I remembered to actually document this process.  But I did remember and that's a huge step forward for me, I usually just dive right in! 

About the process.  I used Kilz latex primer.  It works really well and helps your final color choice go on smooth and seamless.  I used a brush and did two thin and even coats of primer, letting it dry completely between coats.  I probably waited for about an hour between them.  Luckily I had the Housewives to keep me company. 

I choose to paint it a light gray/purple color from Martha Stewart called Chinchilla (MSL264) in a semi-gloss finish.

Then I broke out my secret weapon.  I hate, hate, hate, hate seeing brush strokes on furniture I've painted.  So I found a nifty product online that elimates that problem.  It's called Floetrol and it works miracles.  Basically it helps paint flow better so that brush strokes disappear.  It don't get the science behind it but I know it works, so that's good enough for me!  Here's what the container looks. 

Run, don't walk, to your local paint store to snap some of this stuff up.  It really gives a professional final look.

Anyways, I followed the instructions on the back and mixed about one ounce into 16 ounces of paint.  And I'm not going to lie, I used a shot glass to measure.  Classy, I know.

So two coats of Chinchilla later, I had this:

A beautiful, brush stroke-free dresser, just ready to be put back together.  But first.....I had to figure out some drawer pulls.  Now that I think about, I'm not even 100% sure what kind of pulls it came with.  They were long gone before I ever laid eyes on this bad boy. So I took to the web.  I knew I wanted ring pulls and an oil-rubbed finish.  I stumbled upon and found everything I was looking for, and for a really great price. A one-stop drawer pull shopping experience, if you're into that kind of thing.  And I am. 

Here they are.....
It's weird that the background color they use to display the pull is nearly the same color I painted the dresser.  Weird.....or fate? Hmmmm, I'll let you decide......

Once they arrived, I screwed them in the existing holes in the dresser and lugged the whole darn thing upstairs (well not just me obviously, the husband lent a hand).

And here it is, in it's rightful place.

Where that dresser sits was once a terryfing pile of fabric, wrapping paper, bows and junk.  Now it's all hidden from view in my new dresser.  I love it!


I linked up to Jena at Involving Color

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Covering Chairs.

It was recently brought to my attention that we had a little problem in our house.  Some of the shorter members of our household had been using the bar-height chairs as scratching posts.  Let's just say the seats were looking a little worse for wear. 

Here's an example of the fine job my cats did destroying the chairs:

Nice, right?  If those furry buggers weren't so cute......

Instead of throwing those chairs in the garbage, (and shipping the cats off to the Humane Society),  I decided to recover them.  It's a simple and relatively inexpensive project.  It all starts with a trip to the fabric store.  I ended up renting/borrowing three fabric options from Joann Fabrics. You give them a deposit and they let you take home a sample of the fabric you've choosen. I really think it's an important step so that you can see what each sample looks like in your home.

Here's what I brought home with me:

This first sample is Crypton Veneto Woven in Ambrosia.  

Next up is Christopher Lowell Olympia in Champagne.

And finally:

I find myself singing: "One of these things is not like the other...."

This sample is Waverly Lovely Lattice in Lapis.

I took all three samples home to run them by the design committee (ie my husband). I had all but settled on the second sample by the time he got home from work.  But then I bullied him into choosing his favorite (he doesn't really like to pick this sort of stuff) and he picked.............. Waverly Lovely Lattice!  I took a second, harder look and realized it was my favorite too!  It was different and it happened to go well with the chairs, the table, the rug, and the wall color. I'm glad I went this direction!

And here's the big reveal....

I'm so glad that I went with the options that wasn't as "safe" as the first two. And I'm so glad I made my husband choose the one HE liked.  Without his input I probably would have gone down the same old path.

Stay tuned for a lesson in re-upholstering chairs.  I know you're all on the edge of your seat.  See what I did there?  That's funny.


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Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Master Bedroom Follow-Up.

I'm sure you have questions from the first post. They probably are:  Why were those curtain rods on the ceiling? What are they for?  Are they an elaborate sex swing hook-up?  What is happening at that house?

I will explain everything.  But let me put this out there: It's not a sex swing. 

It begins with an innocent Pinterest search.  I was looking for master bedroom ideas and Pinterest came through.  If you aren't already a Pinterest subscriber, I would suggest you close this blog post, (I don't mind), and request a Pinterest account.  It does take awhile, mine took a week, but it's worth it.  Here's the inspiration picture:


This is the image I showed my husband.  I told him I wasn't interested in the decor or the bedding, just the canopy.  I loved it. I thought it was interesting and easy.  I bought the supplies at Ikea and set them aside.  I knew once I got the bedroom painted, I would make this happen.  My husband wasn't so sure.  His exact response was "Huh. That's interesting."  The DIY kiss of death.  I knew I would have to sneak this one in.  Luckily, I don't have a job and he does.  I have all day to be sneaky.  So that's what I did.


My version is a little more my style.  It sticks out a third of the way from the wall so it feels substantial but the curtains are a tiny bit sheer.  And when I sleep under it, it makes the bed very cozy.  I love it!  But best of all: My husband told me to say that he was 100% behind this idea all along.  Meaning: He likes it!  Hurray!

PS- I apologize for the rumpled bedding.  One of the cats was very interested in making himself cozy under the canopy.


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Thursday, January 12, 2012


This is the view from my parents' balcony. Both shots are straight out of the camera.  Lovely.




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