Sunday, August 30, 2009

Slow down... you move too fast.

Ok - time to admit one of my biggest flaws. I rush my creativity.

I'm fighting that right now. My post from last night is a classic example. The desk is turning out awesome. Beyond Awesome. It's BeAwesome. (love that movie.)

But I digress.

I love the desk. I want the desk done. But I can't rush it.

The second coat is drying now and I'd love to tack the back of it on tonight and drag it up stairs. But I'm not going to. The paint needs to cure, and I'd love to get a coat of varnish on it to help protect it. This desk will house my freelance computer and it gets a lot of use. I don't want to look at it in 2 months and wish that I had spend the extra couple of days doing it right.

So I'll wait.

But I won't like it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow...

I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve.

Since moving into our house over 4 years ago, I've not been happy with our master bedroom. I've tried little things along the way to make it work... but it still doesn't feel like "us". I like the palette, beige, cream, sage green and cranberry red. When we bought the furniture I thought I liked it. I've since come to regret it... we should have just gotten the bed, not the whole collection.

We've been through a number of quilts, comforters and collections of pillows. They've come up short and been returned, listed on ebay or donated to goodwill.

Well after realizing how much I've come to HATE this room, I realized it was crazy. We've got a lot of money invested in this room. A LOT. And while we don't like it, I think the room has good "bones" and we've got enough working in the room to build on.

So about a week ago I picked up a new quilt, some pillows, a drapery panel and decided I was going to make this room work. Then I remembered a desk we had in the basement that with some TLC could really shine in there...

I've got a coat of paint the desk and it is looking amazing. The bedding is working better than I imagined and my mistreatment of the drapery panel is just what I was looking for.

I can't wait to get up tomorrow, get another coat of paint on the desk and get everything pulled together!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Master Bedroom Plantshelf

The Nester is having another Price My Space Party and I can't resist.

Sadly, so little in our house is "done"... we've lived here 4 years and with the exception of the kids rooms, I wouldn't say anything is more than 80% done. (Our Barnyard Nursery and the Bug's room are online.)

And one of the worst rooms in our house, is the master bedroom, I know, I know... it should be a priority, and it was when we moved in. We bought all new furniture, but, I fear we've bought the wrong furniture. That is another post entirely for another day...

What we're here to do is Price My Space.

So while my master bedroom may be a failure right now, it is home to one of my favorite little nooks in the house. Our Plant shelf:

When we moved it I instantly had a vision for how it would look. Bug given that it was a rather useless space (above the double doors leading to the hallway), I didn't want to spend a lot. Here is the break down of how we did it.

  1. Throw blanket, originally $39.99 at Linens and Things, bought on clearance for $19
  2. Ironwork. TJ Maxx, "compare price" was $29.99 each. Their price $19.99, on clearance for $12 each.
  3. Trunk... oh this trunk. How I lusted for this trunk, it was $89 at Target. No way could I justify it. Then I found one that was badly damaged, it looked like it had been crushed. They had it on clearance for $50. I brought it to the manager and they took one look at it and gave it to me for $30. All it took was some pushing, pulling and carefully placed "L" brackets and it looks great. The lid doesn't actually close, but I don't need it to.
  4. 3 Black Candle Sticks and white candles. I found set exactly like them at Pier 1 for about $60 if memory serves me correctly. I paid $30 for this set at TJ Maxx
  5. Topiary. Originally $49.99 at Micheals. Used a 40% off coupon to get it for $29.
  6. Cute little bird house. Originally $19 at JoAnn's. Used a 40% off coupon and got if for $11.
  7. Carved Woodwork. Found at TJ Maxx, their "compare price" was $49, they were selling it for $29 and it was in the clearance section for $14!!!
  8. Letter "B" - The only thing I paid "full price for". At TJ Maxx for $9, their "compare price" was $15.
So... This entire space would have cost: $381.96
I spent $137!!!

And I had a wonderful time putting it together... at least one area in my master bedroom works, lucky it is right across from my bed so I get to look at it often.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My husband's bathroom

So maybe my husbands love of Syracuse isn't quite confined to the rec room. It does spill over into one other room just off the rec room.

Our basement bathroom.

I can't really take too much credit for this room. Much of it was a gift from my mom and my mother-in-law to my husband for Christmas. They got together and bought blue and orange towels, an SU trashcan (where many would argue their football team has been living for the past few years), a SU rug and my mom, who is where much of my creativity comes from, even took a Syracuse flag and sewed it onto a shower curtain.

We took things a bit further last weekend by hanging a few clipping from when SU won the national championship.

And I also decoupaged another switch plate cover saving it from the humiliation caused by the previous switch plate painting owners:

And the outlet cover... (Look closely, you'll see that not only did the previous owners believe in painting over switch plate and outlet overs, they actually painted the OUTLETS themselves.

So here it is, perhaps one of the few of its kind in the world. An official, Syracuse University Bathroom.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Man Pit

Though we've lived in this house for over 4 years, there are only 2 rooms I consider done. The kids rooms. Everything else remains a work in progress. But another room that is more on the finished side, and I hope to be completely finished in the next couple of months is "The Man Pit". My husband's rec room.

To say my husband is a sports fan, doesn't cover it. The man is a sports freak. He loves sports. Specifically any team that has any ties to Syracuse University. He's an Eagles fan because of Donovan McNabb (lets not talk about Micheal Vick right now, we're in morning over here.)

Here are a few pictures of his rec room in progress.

The sofa and love seat are a little beyond tired, they are about 12 years old but they have to last a few more years.

On of my favorite parts of this room, is the shelf that we ran down the long wall. I was warned not to do this - it would my the long room look longer. And it does... but I think it works. In some odd way, I think enforcing a "negative" feature, can make it a good one. A double negative makes a positive in my world I guess.

The shelf came from Ikea, their Lack collection I believe. We bought 5 of these and put them end to end to end to end to end... where the pieces came together, sometimes it work, others it didn't. Where it didn't - we hung a pom-pom. Thus, making it work.

The wall opposite the long shelf features the Lack entertainment center and the 30 feet of shelving are perfectly balanced opposite the heavy entertainment center.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day Dreaming: What I'd like to Make - 081209

If there is one thing I've learned, I dream of a lot more projects than I get to make. I actually shop for a lot more projects than I get to make, that is a bit embarrassing to admit. I've got supplies, or partial supplies for a lot of projects, but it seems to be that whatever project I'm prepared for, is the last one I want to make.

Here are a few of things that if I was stocked to make, I'm sure I'd hop right on them. (Sure I would...)

Weekender Tote:
How can you not want to make this adorable bag... I'd actually like to make 2 or 3 of them. I think it would make the perfect bag to carry all the things that keep the kids occupied while we try to have dinner out. It would also make the perfect bag for my mom... I can see her using it for her projects or even a weekend visit here...

And then there is the Reversible Patchwork Bucket Hat - I've planned on making this all summer.
But I'm not sure it is worth the trouble, the little monster man won't wear hats - except of course from any old Easter Bonnet that Bug has laying around, he'll wear those. Just not anything that my husband would want to let him out in public in.

And have I mentioned that Bug loves to cook - how cute would it be to make matching aprons for us???

I especially like what they've done with that black and white fabric... oh, how I love it. I think this pattern would also make a good gift for my Sister-in-Law. Then again, she can sew better than I can - it might be embarrassing to give her something I made.

Sadly, too many ideas... not enough time, energy or money...

Wow, this has turned rather depressing for me hasn't it?


Monday, August 10, 2009

Halloween in August

I came home tonight to our first Halloween Catalog. I know other families who've had them for weeks, others still who've had it planned for months. And you can now add us to the list of Halloween planners.

Bug has decided that she wants to be a yellow and blue bird. Something similar to this:

I see a lot of feathers in my future...

In the past Bug has had a mix of handmade, pulled together and store bought costumes but I think I'm in the mood to tackle this one. I think it just might end up being my favorite, here are a couple of our past favorites, back before princesses and fairies took over our world:

When she was 3 and a half, she had wanted to be a doctor, so we got her her own scrubs, pulled out the medical play kit and created "Dr. Bug."

Hands down, my favorite, was when she was 2 and a half and went trick or treating as "Little Red Riding Hood." I made the cape out of fleece so that no matter the weather, and here in Virginia it can easily be 45 as it can be 85 for Halloween - she could wear it, either with a t-shirt (as she did) or a turtleneck. Then a cute satin skirt, white tights and black shoes. We even took it so far as to have her basket of "goodies" be what she collected her treats in.

Tell me this isn't the cutest costume ever?

Thankfully, I've got 2 months to figure this bird thing out -oh and plan something for her brother... poor little guy, with the exception of Peter Pan last year, his Halloween costumes have not gone well.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Crayon Crazy

A little over a week ago, I went to Eastern Market in DC and fell in love with... well, I fell in love with everything. I'm lucky Eastern Market is about an hour away and not very easy to park around otherwise I could get into trouble.

But one thing in particular that I fell in love with what a photo that I thought would have been perfect for the kids play room. It was of a fresh pack of crayons, spiraled out in a circle with all the tips pointed to the center. The problem, it was $250 - that was the "sale" price. What was particularly annoying is that the expensive part was the frame, which I couldn't have cared less about, but the vendor wouldn't separate them.

So, I decided to create it myself.

And now - a disclaimer. I suck at photography. I know it, I accept it, I live with it. We don't have the best camera, I don't even know what to buy that would be an upgrade. I just don't have the energy.

I decided to give it a go anyway, and I'm really pleased with what I came up with. Since my camera isn't a super duper 27 mega-pixel thing, or whatever the latest technology is, I knew I wouldn't be able to take a very large single picture that would have enough presence. So I opted for 3 different photos.

Here is the before:

And here is the after:

And here they are one by one:

My favorite view:

So I ended up with 3 photos, instead of 1, for a lot less money.

Crayons - Free, thank you Birthday Party goody bag
3 - 11x14 photo prints (that I cropped to 11x11 each) $36
3 Frames - $36 thanks to 40% off frames
Craft paper for faux mattes - free, already had it.
Total: $72 plus 2-3 hours to take, pick up, crop and hang the photos.

Edited to add: If anyone is interested in recreating this on their own, I have the original photographs that I'd be happy to send to you for you to print and do with whatever you want.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Decoupage Switch Plate Cover

I'm becoming a decoupaging monster. Muahahaha

So as I when I finished taking pictures of Bug's Finally Finished Jewelry box, I was on my way out of her room when I spied her pathetic switch plate cover.

Our house came with the WORST switch plate covers in the history of interior design. They had all be painted over by previous owners and looked awful. Our only choice when painting the rooms was to leave them awful, or paint them with our colors and only have them be half awful. (I hate painted switch plate covers.)
(I didn't even have time for a proper before picture before I started taking the thing off the wall, the screws were there, though with layers of paint holding it in place, they weren't needed. Yes, I'm rolling my eyes.)

And here is her switch plate cover now less than 24 hours later:

I'd really like to replace all the switches in the house to a fresh white, but I'm afraid of electrical and my husband doesn't see the point if changing them. Maybe I can see if my father-in-law wants to make that a project next summer...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Year Long Jewelery Box Project

This is embarrassing. I'm not joking when I say this project has taken over a year.

I bought this little unfinished jewelery box for Bug to decorate and give to her for her 5th birthday. She just turned 6, and I just finished it.

I'm pretty sure it has been painted no less than 6 times, each time I hated it. I'd put it away for weeks, months... and still hate it. Sand it down, try again. Hate it again. I was halfway through my 7th attempt at it when I found the blog Mod Podge Rocks.

So here is where it started a couple of days ago:

And here it is, finally finished:

Bug insisted I show you the inside too:

The varnish was hardly dry when she snatched it from my craft area to bring it to her room and start filling it. It isn't perfect, but as the Nester says, "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." And I'm trying to embrace that or I'll never finish anything.

I definitely learned a lot and learned I love decoupage in the process. I don't like working too much with thicker papers, they didn't want to stay "stuck" and curled up a bit. I also liked that for me, decoupage seems to be very forgiving... and of course, my favorite part of being creative is that no one sees what was in my mind as I was creating it. They only see the result. So if the "vision" and the "result" are different, embrace the result and forget the vision.
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