Friday, March 30, 2012

I'll be here forever....

I didn't win tonight's mega-millions so You have much more thriftiness ahead of you. Boo.


Follow Me on Pinterest

Thrifty Find Friday.

I've been lacking.  I haven't been sharing the amazing finds that have been coming home with me.  And that's about to change. In fact all next week I'll be showing you the great (inexpensive!) things that caught my eye and prompted me to pry open my wallet.

Today's find is a bit of a departure from the home decor world.  I've been dreaming about warmer weather, shorts, and drinks on the patio.  And what better way to inject a little spring into my world than shoes.  Cute little canvas flats that I found at Ross.  For only 11.99.

They have an all-over polka dot chevron print and a sisal rope-like band that runs all the way around the bottom.  Plus it's kind of hard to see but they have clear sequins that kind of sparkle when I walk.  I am in love with them!  And they're super comfortable.

Well that's all for today. I promise I'll be back next week with a bunch of yard sale/Goodwill finds that are more related to my home.

Have a great weekend!


Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Whoops a Daisies

"No one has said 'whoops a daisies' for fifty years and even then it was only little girls with blonde ringlets."

Name that movie......

Okay. I'll name that movie since I hate when I see "name that movie" and I can't name the movie because I have no recollection for movie quotes and then I have no idea what anyone is talking about....

It was Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.  Funny.

This post has gone so sideways, even I'm confused.

Moving on.

I have been showing you bits and pieces of how I achieved my office space.  And I will continue to show you bits and pieces unless my ADD takes over and I show you something else (oooooh, look...something shiny!)

Enough with the jibber-jabber.  Here's a picture:

Hey look, you can see my reflection in the glass.  That's about the best picture you are ever going to see of me on this blog.

I had an old Ribba frame hanging around and decided to put it to good use.

Sidenote: Does anyone else start to desperately grab at things on their way out of Ikea? It's really smart of them to have the picture frame section towards the end of the maze. I start to panic that I haven't made my trip worth while by that point and I just indiscriminately grab at items.  Hence the extra picture frame.....

This tutorial had been featured in a million different places for good reason: It's cheap and it's lovely.

As you can see, I didn't feel it was prudent to deviate much from the original.

Ellementary Home's tutorial is right here.  I encourage you to learn from that site as opposed to mine. I take too few pictures.  Boooo:  Off For the Season. Yay:  Ellementary Home!

I can give you the basics:

1. Put on the darkest clothing you own;

2. Find that baseball hat that has been sitting at the very back of your closet; Put it on. And make sure face can be completely covered by it:

3. Drive to Wal-Mart/Home Depot/Your local paint store. Bonus points for covering your license plate with mud before you leave the house;

4. Non-chalantly stroll ( YOU MUST STROLL!) to the paint section;

5. Find the paint samples that turn your crank.....AND......

6. Take as many as you feel comfortable taking. Or as I do: take all of them.

Once you get your bounty home, cut each piece into the appropriate size, glue them to an appropriate canvas and the pat yourself on the back.  (I told you to check out the links......those people are so much smarter than me!)

For those of you that are quaking in their boots about taking that many paint chips: Here's the thing....they are free.  It's like free samples at Costco...there's nothing stopping you from taking each and every chimichanga morsel. Actually, there is a person with gloves and a hairnet, but as I often say: "Damn the man!!!!" 

Actually I never say that. Funny enough a lot of people consider me "the man" which is another story for another time. I do justify my excessive paint-chip-taking by spending a ridiculous amount of money there every month.  And I rarely take samples at Costco.  Consider my freebie karma even. much chatter, so few's more:

There she is on the wall.  Man, I love that.  Basically the whole thing cost me the amount I put out for the frame.  So about 20 bucks.

There's a obligatory shot of my work plus my cat.  As a person that is sans-child, I reserve the right to include many, many pictures of my cats.  Lol.  Enjoy.

This post has now come full circle.  Now is the time that I explain the post title.  As you may know, Ikea generally includes wire hangers with their larger picture frames. In fact that is the only option they offer so I decided to out-fox Ikea.  Big Mistake.

 I super-glued some scrap wood to the cardboard on the back of the frame.  It sat flush with the frame when I as done.  I then used a few Command Strips to attach it to the wall. Let me just say that I have never, ever had problems with the Command Strips.  I love them.........but for some reason things went terribly, terribly wrong.  Sigh. 


Whoops a Daisies.

Here we go......I was innocently watching Southland (best show on television!) when I heard a crash.  Of course I ignored it until I went to bed and saw this tragic accident. Booo.

My beautiful work of art (stick with me, okay) had fallen and disintegrated into a million pieces.  I still haven't fixed it but I long for the day that it will be hung in its rightful place. *frowny face*

Ever had something you love go terribly wrong?  Tell me more......


Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Unsung Hero.

This isn't the most glamorous home improvement I've ever done but it is one of the most rewarding.  Coincidentally it's also one of the cheapest and easiest!

I've noticed that this improvement has been lurking in a bunch of photos I've posted on here already. Do you think you can spot what I'm talking about?

I don't think it's super obvious, but it's the register cover!

Here's what I was working with:

Not only am I showing off my old, ugly gold registers, you also get the pleasure of seeing my dirty floors!  Lucky. There is a method to my madness....see how the register is curved? It sticks up about 3/4 of an inch and it makes it nearly impossible to run the vacuum cleaner over top and get the gunk against the wall. It was sooo frustrating.

I had about 8 really, really ugly registers spread around the house.  I finally got fed up enough to start looking for replacements.  I hit up the usual big box stores and was amazed at what I found.  The exact same style in chrome was between 13-14 dollars. Each.  That would run me well over one hundred dollars.  Brutal.

I resigned myself to replacing them slowly, one at a time.  Until I hit the mother load.  I was cruising around Costco looking for something unrelated when I noticed that they were selling register covers (as an there anything Costco won't try to sell?).  They were chrome, in an interesting design and sold in a two-pack..................

For 9.99!!! 

9.99 for two. 

Two register covers for nine dollars and ninety-nine cents. 

Holy crap!  I immediately grabbed four packages and threw them in my cart (along with a pair of yoga pants, some wine, a tub of mayo and some flower I said Costco covers all of my day to day needs) and ran to the front of the store.  And here's what they look like close-up:

I am so happy with them! They're so stylish. And the best part? They barely stick up from the floor so I can vacuum right over them!  Beautiful.

This is going to blow your minds.  Ready?  I actually bought these a couple of months ago and on my latest trip to Costco I noticed that the exact same registers were......5.99 for a two-pack.  Three dollars a register!  Unbelievable.  I'm a little frustrated that I paid 9.99 for them, but what a great deal for everyone else! 

I'm taking orders...with a 20% finder's fee.  Lol.


Follow Me on Pinterest

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Handy Husband Revealed (sort of....)

My hubby hates having his picture taken almost as much as I do so there won't be a glamour shot of the two of us.  What I am going to do is showcase some of the amazing pieces that he has made over the years.

We are lucky to have a really good source for used wine barrels. There are a lot of people doing fantastic things with with barrel staves and my husband happens to be one of them.

The table is 33 inches high and about 27 inches across at its widest point.  The legs and shelves are reclaimed from the wine barrel. 

From the top:

Another wine barrel project is an amazing wine rack.  He used the entire barrel as the main structure and then staves to act as shelves for the wine bottles.

There's actually wine in it for once! 

This next project is a little different.  My husband found some wood that had been infected with some sort of virus.  It causes the wood to warp and bubble in the craziest way....

A close-up of the diseased wood:

This is just a few of the beautiful pieces that my husband has created.  I will definitely be featuring more of them in the future.  He's working on a small console table out of barn wood for the office as we speak.  Not literally as we speak, he's actually at work.  Somebody has to bring home the bacon, but it is in production.....

I'm trying to convince my husband to start his own blog and feature the amazing things that come out of his shop. He's talented AND a great writer but I don't think his wife alone will convince him to join the world of blogging.  If you like what you see and want to know how the magic happens, leave a comment!


Follow Me on Pinterest

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Favorite Part: The After

We left off after some demolition.  May I remind you:

I think I took this picture as I was running past.  Why is it so blurry? Oh well, this blog needs more action shots.

Moving on....We cleared the space out, removing the toilet, sink (which broke into a million pieces as soon as we moved it), and baseboards. Then my handy husband got working on laying some tile.  I don't remember the name of the tile but it is a really beautiful linen-looking ceramic tile.  The finish does really look like a linen fabric and I love it.  It was a bit of a splurge (I think it came in at 300 dollars) but since the room is so small it makes a big impact. I asked for a discount and the really nice lady gave me 5% off (hey, it's better than nothing!).

Here we are mid-tile:

Ahh, that's better.

I came up with a solution to the bath/shower components.  Rather than replace the entire fibreglass insert I decided to doing something radical.  I decided to spray paint the components!  That's right. Spray paint.  I figured that I instead of living with gold fixtures, I would just spray them.  If it didn't work, I was no worse off than if I left them alone.  They would still work and be just as ugly as before.

I had already chosen a brushed nickel faucet and towel ring/bar so I bought some Krylon Brushed Nickel spray paint and went to town.

It worked!  Well, it's not perfect, but it's also not an ugly gold color so I'm calling this one a success.

You can see some chips in the paint but I took these pictures nearly three years after I initially sprayed them so........I'll take it! And it's pretty easy to pop everything off and re-spray so if it ever gets really bad, I'll just re-do it.

Moving on....

Once the tile was grouted and the grout was sealed, we started putting it back together. And here's what we were left with:

Whoops, there's nothing in those Ikea frames. Lol.

I bought all the fixtures for the room from Home Depot. I bought the sink cabinet/countertop and mirror from a local hardware store that was having a sale. I took the shower rod almost to the ceiling and bought a new 96-inch shower curtain and liner from Target. I made the yellow curtain using some inexpensive fabric and a tension rod.  The flowers above the toilet are from Amazon and are inspired by Serena's bedroom on Gossip Girl .

(I am not a regular viewer of Gossip Girl, but the interiors on the show are beautiful. And inspiring)

I did eventually get around to filling those empty frames.  I don't think it's forever art, but it's better than Ikea paper.

And my latest addition to the bathroom:

Bath and Body Works now sells these decorative metal sleeves for their pump soaps.  This style and finish just happened to be the most expensive (booo) but it was still only 7.50 so it didn't break the bank.

I'm calling this one finished.  I am thinking about building a corner shelf to place next to the vanity for more storage and installing crown moulding, but for now it is complete.

One more time....The Before:

And the After:

Lastly: I made the yellow curtain to hide the extra towels and toilet paper from view but my cats had other plans.  Apparently I have designed the greatest cat-nap spot in the whole house:

And my guests wonder why I tell them not to use those towels......


I linked up to Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick

Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Guest Bathroom. The Before.

When we first moved in to our house it had sat empty for quite awhile.  And it had no water but it was still being toured by anonymous people looking to buy it.  All of this equaled disgusting bathrooms.  As an aside......who uses toilets that don't work? Yuck.

Beyond the yuckiness factor, the bathrooms were also looking a little dated. 

Lots of lovely faux gold fixtures and vinyl flooring. Plus a pedestal sink.  I HATE pedestal sinks. I get that they are space saving, but where do you hide all of the cleaning supplies?

The wall color actually looks alright in these pictures but in person it was a peachy builder beige that was not lovely.

Let the demo begin...

That last picture was where the mirror once was and the person that hung it used an entire tube of construction adhesive. Removal was challenging to say the least.  The mirror did eventually come off but attached to it was a considerable amount of drywall. Boooo.

Another part of the game plan was to replace the showerhead and all of the other shower components.  They were not only ugly but not very functional.

Mmmm, shower scum.

So off to the big box store we went.  I found a great shower/bath fixture on sale. didn't fit.  My husband phoned the manufacturer and it turns out that they had discontinued all of the fixtures that would fit our plumbing configuration.  So frustrating!  If we wanted to replace the set, we would have to replace our entire fibreglass shell.  Yeah, that was not going to happen on our budget.

Well, that's all for today.  Stay tuned for the After.  It's so much better now!!!!!


Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bookcase Sconce.

I was looking for a lighting solution for the back office.  I was going to make a little reading nook with a chair and side table.  And there was a plug-in perfectly situated so I wouldn't have to worry about any major electrical work.

Imagine my delight when I strolled into Goodwill and this beauty was awaiting me:

It was 3.99 but it had the special tag of the week, so that meant 50% off.  For two dollars I brought this bad boy home with me.  The clerk at Goodwill told me I could bring it back if it didn't work so I had a safety net if I didn't like it. 

I got home, put a bulb in, plugged it in......and.........nothing.  Whomp-whomp.  But I figured that when the husband got home he could take a look at it so I took it apart and made a mental note of the weird flap of metal near all of the scary wiring. 

As soon as the husband got home he took one look at it and said "I think it's one of those touch lamps."  Turns out sticking a bulb in it and plugging it in wasn't all I need to do. And that weird flap of metal was the sensor. Shows what I know about electrical components!  I put it back together and stuck a bulb in it and then.....tapped the side.  Worked like a charm, lol.

This brought about a new problem: Can you spray paint a touch lamp?  Google to the rescue and it turns out the answer is: Yes. And that's exactly what I did.

I used Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2X in Gloss Navy Blue.  This is my new spray paint obsession and I don't think I will use any other paint from now on. 

You will notice that the placement is a little different than I originally planned.  I decided that the middle of the room was a little lonely so I moved things around and came up with a seating arrangement in front of the bookcases.  I have seen sconces mounted to bookcase before, kind of like this:
It was a perfect storm to mount my new sconce to the trim on the bookcase.  There was a considerable gap between the bookcases that we had covered up with the trim.  All we needed to do was run the plug through a hole in the trim and then plug it in.  A plug-in was conveniently located about a foot from the ceiling because there used to be a TV mounted to the wall at that height. You can see it here:

The only snag was the original cord wouldn't reach so my hubby switched it out with a cord he had on hand. 

My husband did all of the heavy lifting on this one because I was too busy standing in the corner with my eyes covered.  I was worried that I wouldn't like it and then we would have a bunch of large holes in the newly installed trim.  Turns out all that worry was for nothing because I love it!

I wanted something a little industrial looking for the "shade" part of it so when I spied this at Home Depot for 70 bucks I knew I could recreate it for cheaper:


I searched around on the internet and found this site.  It had wire cages for bulbs and a very healthy selection of Edison bulbs. I am obsessed with Edison bulbs. The bulb was 3.75 and the cage was 5.00.   I ordered them both and tried to wait patiently.  I kind of guessed that the cage would fit over the sconce and it all worked out.  Lucky!

And all lit up:

From far away:

I am super happy with how it turned out and I can't wait until I find and re-do some chairs to go underneath it! 


I linked up to Beth at Home Stories A to Z
I linked up to Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick

Follow Me on Pinterest

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm baaaack!

I know it's been a long time since I've been around this place, but I've had a bunch of projects in the air and I hate posting things that are halfway done.  And then I came to the realization that things are never going to be completely 100% done around this place, so I'd better suck it up and starting posting!

The majority of my time has been spent updating my office.  Just off of our master bedroom is a 10' X 13' room separated by double swinging doors.  Originally it was set up as a nursery or a workout room, neither of which I have use for, ha!  Here's how it was set up when we first moved in.....and for two years after that, lol.

The room was kind of functional but not very pretty AT ALL!  That corner desk was left over from my condo and it was a piece of junk.  The file cabinet was a yard sale purchase and it did the job but that color was terrible.  The whole room just wasn't meeting our needs.

I had an entire gallon of paint leftover from painting our bedroom and since the two rooms are adjoining I decided to use it in here too.   Plus then I wouldn't waste the non-refundable paint I already had!

I also tackled the file cabinet.  I just painted it in a white semi-gloss paint that I had kicking around.

Here's the end result:

Ahhh, that's better.  You can see the the file cabinet to the right, all white and glossy.  Oh and I also painted out the wood trim around the windows.  The raw wood was clashing with the new grey paint.  It wasn't a good look.

Now the big transformations start.  I loved this faux built-in idea from Centsational Girl.  She basically used off the shelf Ikea bookcases to create a custom built-in look.  And it turns out that space above would fit three shelves perfectly.  My husband and I tackled it in about three days, from putting the shelves together, painting the back of the shelves, and then attaching crown moulding and trim to the bookcases.  We also put up crown moulding around the room.

As a preface to the pictures......I am nowhere near done filling up the shelves.  In fact I will go over all of the projects that I have remaining at the end of this post.  Okay, here we go.........

There's still a done I want to accomplish. Here's a sneak peak at what I have in mind for in front of the shelves:

Please try to imagine that the chairs aren't orange and mauve.  I want a little seating area there with a rug and an end table.

Alright, that's the initial office makeover.  As promised here's a to-do list:

-Find, refinish and reupholster two chairs
-Find or DIY a 4x6 rug
-Paint the desk
-Switch out the hideous ceiling fan
-Build a console table for next to the window (actually, that's in progress, pics to come)
-Manage the tangle of cords around the desk (also being worked on)
-Find more accessories for the bookcases and soon-to-come console table
-Find or take pictures for all of the empty frames (I currently have either empty Ikea frames or random pictures of strangers that came with the Wal-Mart frames.)

Whewffff, that's a lot of things to cross off.  And I just found out the date I'm returning to work (a little earlier this year).  Time's a ticking.....

There are a bunch of DIY projects I did in the room so I'll highlight them individually in the next few days.


I linked up to Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick

Follow Me on Pinterest