I think there should be a disclaimer reading “oh, wait, except for the shady house across the street”.
I think there should be a disclaimer reading “oh, wait, except for the shady house across the street”.
*you’re pretty hot with a power tool in your hand and sawdust in your hair
*you’re a hands-on Dada
*you put up with the left-handed, right-brained girl that I am
*you do a very impressive Old Spice “Man On a Horse” impression
*you laugh out loud at movies
*you look (and sound) like Darth Vader when you go to bed with your CPAP, chin strap and face mask in place
*you let me tweak our house
*you shoo me out of the house when I need some “me time”
*you married a bad cook
*you (jokingly) suggest blogging about your *@!? every time I’m in need of a post idea
*you can recite The Humpty Dance word for word
*you like to see others happy
*you drive the same truck you drove 10 years ago
*you took me to the nearest hospital when I was in labor with Everett (instead of getting on the interstate to drive to the hospital where we had prepaid for our delivery…you would have been delivering a baby on the highway)
*you have a serious problem when it comes to accidentally hoarding all sets of keys to our house/vehicles… frequently leaving me stranded with 2 kids and no method of transportation to get to work
*you look kinda scary in a mullet wig
*you still tell me I’m cute
*you build some sweet stuff with Knex
*you swim like a rock
*you bought me a URL for my birthday
*you make the boys color handmade cards for me
*you never say “NO!” (but sometimes release a heavy sigh)
*you teach our boys all the mechanical ins-and-outs of every Caterpillar machine there is
*you have the dreamiest blue eyes (and passed them on to Layne)
*you make pancakes on Saturday mornings
*you pack lunches
*you encourage me to try things out of my comfort zone (i.e., HTML coding)
*you can dirty up a bathroom sink better than both our kids combined
*you never met a pie you didn’t like
*you don’t get mad at me for painting or putting holes in our walls
*you know to leave me alone when I’m grumpy
*you nearly passed out at the podiatrist
*you wear wrinkled, non-ironed clothes and don’t complain about ‘em
*you’re the reason I get to see these 2 lil’ boys play and smile every day
Happy Birthday! Love you.
During winter, we painted our builder oak kitchen cabinets white.
Then we started stashing cash to upgrade the countertops. Then…I hit a road block. Then…once we finally had enough money saved for new counters…I froze. I couldn’t make a decision. Granite? If so, honed or polished? Concrete? If so, try to DIY it? Soapstone? Oh, wait, we don’t have enough money for soapstone. So, what did I do? I waited it out. I perused images of all my favorite kitchens searching for inspiration. Hoping a common thread would jump out at me. It took a while (I have plenty of dream kitchen pics to inspire confuse me) but I finally made a decision. Finally.
Notice a trend? Yup. Butcher block islands with natural stone perimeter countertops. Eureka! Handy Hubby and I decided on a granite perimeter with a wood-topped island. It seems as though I have a thing for mixing materials in the kitchen. We’re going with the polished granite after drooling over the honed finish but disliking its porous nature. We put down a 50% deposit on the granite last week and still need to choose our slab. But by June, we should have new countertops! The even better news is that since we saved up enough cash we were able to “bargain” and get a great deal.
We’re thinking the butcher block island top will come from IKEA. They have killer prices on their wood counters.
In the meantime, Handy Hubby and his woodworking friend are whipping up a small, inexpensive extension for the island. Can’t wait? Me neither.
I’d always wanted to change the look and function of it. (See how the doors open? One opens into the bathroom doorway while the other opens into the toilet area.)
95% of the time, the bathroom is for our 2 little boys but it serves guests too. It needs to be practical for day-to-day kid living but not so childish that my kids can’t grow with it, or worse yet, our guests feel like they’re in a kiddie bathroom. The following images inspired me to freshen up our vanity.
This sweet DIY vanity makeover hails from none other than Desire to Inspire‘s Kim. I like the way she removed the old vanity doors and added a fabric curtain. Cute and simple.
I devised a plan to remove the vanity doors then paint and add hardware along with a fun curtain in place of the cumbersome doors.
After finding scrap (i.e. FREE) fabric in my finally organized craft closet, I decided on Behr’s Promenade (mixed in Lowe’s Olympic no-VOC semigloss) for the paint color. Next, I emptied the vanity and removed the doors and false drawers.
Then I wooed Handy Hubby into helping me cut out the small board that previously stopped the vanity doors from swinging in. (I wasn’t having much luck with my hammer and crowbar.) Not sure that a circular saw was the most appropriate tool for the job but it worked!
I used some wood putty to fill in the screw holes where the doors had been attached and also to touch up some scuffs left by the circular saw.
Then it was Prime Time. I taped off the vanity to keep the walls and floor relatively safe from my paint job. We still had plenty of oil-based primer left over from painting our kitchen cabinets. I just brought it up from the basement and rolled on 1 coat.
After 2 coats of paint and the addition of 2 5″ IKEA VINNA handles, the vanity was really shaping up. I made a simple fabric curtain and hung it from a tension rod. (Here’s how I made a similar curtain for my laundry room.)
And just to prove that I do work with my boys around, here’s a pic Layne took of me re-attaching the toilet paper holder to the side of the vanity.
But now for some prettier pictures. This is the builder vanity’s after shot…
Even though the drawers don’t open (yeah, they’re those fake ones that you pull, pull, PULL on but never get open), the sleek metal handles were necessary in giving the vanity a more polished look. Emptying out the vanity for its makeover was an excuse to organize it too. I was able to make room for the trash can and toddler toilet seat under the sink. The toilet seat hangs from a 3M hook on the inside of the vanity. (Previously, it hung on the outside of the vanity next to the toilet.)
Fortunately, our boys aren’t long soakers. They’re usually all business in the bathroom. That means we don’t have a slew of bath toys. Other than lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a few other toiletries, the bathroom vanity is pretty sparse. Which I like. I did add a wooden step stool to aid our newly pottying 2-year-old in washing his hands. I can easily relocate it to the tub at bathtime to save my back.
And for the sake of a good ol’ before-and-after…
This tweak was so inexpensive. All I had to buy was a quart of no-VOC paint ($10) and 2 drawer handles ($8). That set me back less than $20!!! Not bad. Not bad at all.
Did I mention it’s covered in ugly red velvet-like fabric? Not to worry. Here’s Handy Hubby hard at work pulling out the zillion staples.
After we get the red fabric completely removed AND cut the backrest down AND shorten it up a little AND sand it AND prime it AND paint it AND polyurethane it AND recover it with outdoor cushions (whew!)…we think it will look great on our front porch that has zero seating currently. Unless concrete stoops count as seating.
The long narrow shape of the pew is perfect for our long narrow porch.
We’re thinking of painting the pew (which should look more like a bench once the back is cut down) a color similar to this… (C’mon, did you really think I was gonna let that orange oak fly?)
…and then adding an outdoor cushion in a celery green as shown below.
I could find a white or green ceramic garden stool to act as a side table or extra seating.
I want to try my hand at stenciling some numbered pillows like these…
…to display our house number. I’ll probably whip up a few planters in lime to pop.
And a geometric indoor/outdoor rug like this one…
…could really warm up and ground the area. Then our neighbors would have somewhere to sit and talk instead of hangin’ their legs off the front of our bare concrete porch. Yep! We live in a culdesac where, at 6:00 p.m. (weather permitting), everyone (adults and kids alike) are outside shootin’ the breeze. Might as well make it pretty!
At $60 a piece (along with free shipping), the price wasn’t bad. Upon arrival, I was happy with the quality of the metal base (more black than bronze…which is what I was going for anyways) and the fabric shade. But something was missing. I decided to give the beige cotton shade a little facelift. I bought some black 1″ ribbon from JoAnn’s, brought out my fabric scissors/hot glue gun and added a ribbon detail to each lamp shade.
I loosely wrapped the ribbon around the shade and allowed roughly 3″ extra for foldover seams then cut to length. (Because my shades were slightly tapered at the top, I did this for both the top and bottom of each shade.) With 4 strips of ribbon cut (2 for the slightly tapered tops of each shade and 2 for the wider bottoms of each shade), I hot glued the ribbon right on top of the fabric shade. I wanted my ribbon seams to match up with the shades’ original fabric seams, so I started gluing at the seam in order to end there also. The key was to glue only 2″-3″ of ribbon down at a time. (Hot glue sets pretty quickly!) I just followed the finished border of the shade to keep my ribbon straight.
Once I had glued all the way around (back to the shade’s original seam), I simply folded the ribbon end under and glued it to itself to hide the unfinished edge. Then I glued the folded end on top of the unfinished end (where I had first glued the start of the ribbon).
Voila! No unfinished ribbon edges showing and all the seams fell at the same place.
Here’s a look at the opposite side of the shade where no seams are…
And here are the freshly ribboned floor lamps flanking the petite sofa in our living room (with the shades turned so that the seams face the wall)…
Adding a ribbon accent to the lamp shades provides a small dose of sophistication…especially in black. It’s the difference between simply coloring a picture and tracing a picture first then coloring it. The sharp outline gives a crispness lacking otherwise. Sort of like eyeliner. But not as heavy or smudged as Adam Lambert’s.
Coming in under $8, this project injects a pricier feel. Have you ever updated a plain lamp shade? After tackling this easy lamp shade facelift, I’m itching to recover another blah lamp with fun fabric! Keep your eyes peeled.
I wear my wedding rings pretty much all the time: while painting, working out, even sleeping. But there’s something about getting them wet that drives me crazy. I think it’s because I can’t dry off my ring finger well enough with them on that I end up with an itchy rash right where they sit on my finger. For that reason, I usually remove them when I’m washing dishes, hand washing, bathing my boys, putting on lotion/sunscreen or washing my face. For the longest time, I had trouble remembering where I last took them off at…thus leading to paranoia that I had officially lost them. Luckily, they always turned up after a few days. Still, I vowed (wedding pun totally intended) not to let it happen again. Enter “Operation Put a Ring In It”.
I quickly realized that there were 5 zones where I repeatedly “lost” my rings: windowsill above the kitchen sink, powder room, boys’ bathroom, my bathroom vanity and bedside on my nightstand. To make finding them a little easier, I placed a ring holder in each area. See for yourself…
(yup, that’s Handy Hubby’s wedding band too!)
Now when I look down at my left hand and find it naked, my heart doesn’t skip a beat and my chest doesn’t tighten. I just search each of these dropzones and I’m sure to find my wedding rings every time. (Handy Hubby has taken to using the ring dropzones too after ”losing” his wedding band for nearly 2 months!) Finding ring holders was cheap. 4 of the 5 ring holders hail from Goodwill. (Handy Hubby gifted me the porcelain egg crate on the nightstand that I mentioned here.) And just to be on the safe side, my wedding bands are fully insured…even if I lose ‘em.
What about you? How do you keep track of your ring’s whereabouts? Any lost-and-found wedding ring stories out there? Do you never take yours off? Or maybe you just don’t feel comfortable with a ring on your finger, period. Or maybe (like me) you’re a total geek and loved the episode of GLEE where the football team does a rendition of Beyonce’s “Put a Ring On It.” C’mon, I can’t be the only one.
I had mentioned this little area in our guest room/playroom needed some oomph…before our weekend guests arrived.
I decided to repurpose a family heirloom quilt as artwork. See the moth damage?
I cut out a small section of the quilt that I thought would work with the guest room’s color scheme and framed it up in (you guessed it) an IKEA RIBBA frame.
For a casual feel, I leaned the framed quilt against the wall. I added a sculptural IKEA table lamp (which was actually pretty fun to put together), fresh flowers atop stacked magazines and my baby shoe to finish out the tablescape.
Two clean bath towels are hung and waiting for our guests too.
The washcloths are in the dresser drawer. (I just have to remember to tell the guests that!)
This is a peppy little dresser now – full of childhood memories for me stemming from the second-hand dresser itself, heirloom quilt and baby shoe. The bottom of the wooden shoe is even engraved…although I wasn’t born until 5 days later. (Yep, now you can calculate how old I am.)
Have a great weekend! I’m going to enjoy our company! What are your plans for the weekend? Does it involve house guests? Do you do anything special to prepare for guests? Chime in.
The craft closet is D-O-N-E! (WARNING!: LOTS OF WAY TOO DETAILED PICTURES ARE INCLUDED IN THIS POST.) And not a moment too soon. We’ll have guests overnight this weekend who won’t have to trip over this mess…
Instead, they’ll get to use this closet…
Yep, you’ve gotta wait a little longer for the full ‘after’ shots (or just scroll down if you’re impatient)! I wanna talk function before I get into the nitty-gritty details. This closet is located in our guest room/playroom/craft room. Since the room serves a lot of different functions, the closet must also. It absolutely needs to store my sewing machine, sewing basket, fabric scraps, scrapbooking materials, cardmaking supplies and guests’ hanging clothes. That’s the minimum. However, once I started thinking about organizing the closet, I threw in a few other purposes as well: gift wrap station and home decor storage. I know what you’re thinking, “That’s a lot to ask for from a meager closet!” Luckily, the closet was a good size to begin with…you could probably consider it a small walk-in closet…but it needed organized storage to bring it to full working potential. Immediately, I designated each wall of the closet to a particular task(s). When I did that, it occurred to me that the closet door would have to be removed in order to use the right-hand wall. (See how the closet door opens into the closet in the first picture?) So, that was the first thing I did. I emptied the entire closet, unscrewed the door at its hinges and then painted the walls Benjamin Moore’s Wild Aster. (To save money, I took my Benjamin Moore paint swatch to Lowe’s and had them color match it.)
Then I set to work carrying up all my scrapbooking, sewing, cardmaking, gift wrapping and home decor supplies from the basement. That’s 2 flights of stairs each trip, people! And it took a million trips! And, no, Handy Hubby had no part in it. At one point the room looked like this…
That wasn’t even half of what I carried. I tediously went through each and every plastic bin and drawer in an effort to re-organize and downsize my creative arsenal. In the end, I had 6 empty storage bins and was finally ready to fill the closet. I reused my hard-working (yet slightly eyesore-ish) stackable plastic drawers for the scrapbooking and cardmaking supplies. I purchased a heavy duty 4-tier metal shelf from Lowe’s along with 3 metal storage bins and 2 cabinet organizing racks for home decor storage and a gift wrapping station . Here’s what my multi-purpose craft closet looks like now…
Let’s take a tour, shall we? Counter-clockwise (because I’m a lefty and we lefties like to do things bass ackwards), here we go. I hung the cabinet racks (originally meant to screw onto the inside of kitchen cabinet doors to hold spices, foil, wax paper, etc.) on the right-hand wall to serve as my gift wrapping station. (I was inspired by a recent Young House Love post.)
I pulled each individual ribbon through the rack to keep any tangling at bay.
The wrapping paper is held in place with 2 hooks and a piece of ribbon. No more fumbling around in my dark, dingy, unfinished basement to wrap a birthday gift. (Don’t I need to get some cute wrapping paper?! No wonder the presents I gift are hideous!)
The back wall of the craft closet is home to my plastic drawers full of scrapbook paper, stamps, ink pads, custom cutters/hole punchers and other cardmaking doo-dads.
I added cheap (but fun!) artwork above the stacked drawers by way of spray painting 3 Goodwill frames gloss white then adding scrap fabric behind the glass. A trio of IKEA cork trivets holds business cards of my favorite Etsy sellers.
Yes! Artwork in a closet is totally acceptable.
Just above the artwork is the original closet wire rack. It holds a few baskets of home decor items not being used at the moment.
Yep. That’s a lil’ basket-in-basket action goin’ on.
For more fun (really? are you having fun yet?), I hung a capiz wind chime from the wire rack.
IKEA wooden hangers hung in the corner provide a spot for guests to hang their clothes if needed.
Below the hangers is one of the metal bins I purchased from Lowe’s. It holds oversized items that won’t fit in the plastic drawers. A bolt of fabric and a roll of grasscloth round out the corner.
The third (and final) wall of my craft closet is where the industrial metal shelving lives. This baby is tough! Each shelf can hold 350 pounds individually…I could hold tons of fabric for ransom!!
I slid a bunch of flattened shirt boxes under the bottom shelf.
I found these circular magnets at IKEA to label each shelf. I simply used a dry erase marker to designate the contents. If I ever need to change it up, the marker just wipes right off! The bottom shelf holds my sewing machine and sewer’s basket.
Next up are my paints and fabrics.
The top 2 shelves are devoted to home decor items.
I used some fabric scraps to cushion breakables set inside one another.
I can go shopping in my own home now! Whenever I feel the (ever-present) need to tweak the mantle or a tablescape, I can just run up to my craft closet and easily switch things out. I’m also holding myself to a strict new rule: NO MORE GLASSWARE UNLESS IT FITS ON THE SHELF. I think that means no new glassware. Period.
Finally, I closed off the doorless closet with a printed fabric curtain hung from a tension rod. A 3M hook and some ribbon act as a makeshift tie-back.
With the closet in order, I was able to organize my craft desk drawer too. I repurposed boxes that once held thank-you notes. (Now those cards live in my gift wrapping station.)
My friends, you have seen every nook, niche and cranny of my craft closet…and then some. It feels soooo good to have that space organized! (Yes, I was the girl in elementary school who organized and re-organized her schoolbox over and over until each item fit perfectly.) I still need to putty and paint the spots on the door frame where the closet door use to hang, but I met my self-proclaimed deadline. I just may find our house guests up late at night making cards or sewing pillow covers!
In case you don’t follow the uber inspiring blog called Young House Love (YHL) on a daily basis (like me and thousands of others), then you missed House*Tweaking’s debut as a YHL Reader Redesign. The good news is you can check it out here. It featured the pillow and laundry curtains that I stenciled with fabric paint.
I was bummed that I was out all day preparing papers for a certain 5-year-old’s kindergarten registration and – not to mention – working my day job…where browsing the web is not an option. My feature didn’t get the 100′s of comments that those Youngsters bring in, but I’m just happy to pass on the home decor love! Thank you John and Sherry!!