...because home doesn't happen overnight.
10.31.10 / Sugar High

Did you have a good Halloween?  We had a great one.  Just like my house projects, I DIYed the boys’ costumes.  Layne wanted to be a bat and Everett’s too young to know what goes on at Halloween but Handy Hubby thought he’d make a cute Flash Gordon {aka The Flash}.

For Everett, I cut out and sewed The Flash emblem {made from scrap fabric} onto a Walmart long sleeve T.  I was excited to shop in the little girls’ section for red leggings.  I found a red fleece blankie at Goodwill that I attached to the back of the red shirt.  The glasses were a must because Big Brother was going to be wearing glasses, too.  Got ‘em at Walmart.  Rain boots round out The Flash’s costume.  I hot glued yellow lightning bolts to a red knit hat but Everett refused to wear it.  I was just happy he was okay with the cape and glasses.  And, yes, that’s a stuffed bear and car under The Flash’s arm.  They had to go trick-or-treating with us.

Layne was a bat although a lot of people called him Batman.  He insisted on correcting everyone…c’mon there’s a huuuuge difference between a bat and Batman.  Layne already had black sweat pants.  I picked up a black long sleeve T from Walmart and found a woman’s 2X black, crushed velvet blouse at Goodwill to make wings out of.  The lady at the register was a bit taken aback when I laid the velvet shirt onto the counter.  ”Oh my.  I haven’t seen one of these in a while.”  I assured her it was for my son’s bat costume.  I cut the velvet wings to shape and sewed them onto the black T.  The bat glasses were a great find at Walmart.  And because Everett was wearing rain boots, Layne had to wear his yellow rain boots.  For this pic, I yelled “show me your wings!”  Everett is showing his wings, too.

Layne was really getting into character, hiding his face behind his wing.  He’s already telling me he wants to be “Dark Vader” next year.

It’s Feature Friday! On Fridays, I’ll be featuring one room in my house in its current condition even if there are some things I’d like to change about it. If I do happen to improve something later, I can always revisit it when the time comes. Plus, I’d kinda feel dishonest if I only focused on “finished” rooms in my house. And if what they (the professionals) say is true, a room is never really finished anyways…you’re always tweaking it. Concentrating on just one room weekly should give me some time to tidy it up a bit, too.

Well, here we are.  The last Feature Friday…the final room in my house tour.  I feel like it should be some wondrous room with a tremendous WOW! factor but, sadly, it isn’t.  Like my master bedroom, the adjoining master bathroom hasn’t been tweaked yet.  It’s next on the list.  It’s your typical builder bath {pretty much like the original condition of every other room in this house} but it’s a great size and gets lots of natural light.  Take a peek…

Straight ahead is the ‘water closet’, i.e. the tiny room with just a toilet in it.  The door to the toilet room is so coming off the hinges when I get my hands on it!

Oh, yes, I’m an over toilet paper hanger.  But back to the main part of the bathroom.  To the left is our large yet orange double vanity.

Not only is the stain hideous, it’s not consistent!  The doors don’t match the frame and some of the doors/drawers don’t even match each other.  It’s just crying out for some paint and hardware.

And the frameless mirror needs a DIY frame.  The marble countertops aren’t bad.

I like to keep my makeup out on a tray next to my sink.  I’m more apt to put it on when it’s staring me in the face first thing in the morning.  No pics of Handy Hubby’s sink.  I love that man but he keeps a pretty nasty sink.  I’ve learned to ignore it…or just clean it out of disgust.  {Good thing I have my own sink.}  Across from our double vanity is the shower and tub.

Again, nothing special but nothing wrong with them either.  I’m a shower girl.  {Personal hygiene is a tad overrated anyway if you ask me, but that’s a topic for a different blog.}  I think the last time I took a bath was when I was pregnant with Everett {3 years ago}.  The most action that tub sees is when Handy Hubby gives the boys haircuts.  He plops a chair right in the middle of the tub and trims ‘em up.

Handy Hubby and I would prefer to get rid of the tub and have one large, double-headed shower but who knows if/when that will ever happen.  We should probably add some type of window treatment to the window above the tub but, really, I don’t think anyone can see in due to the angle.  And if they can see in {neighbors!…why haven’t you told me?!}, well, the damage is already done so why change now?  Maybe just a decorative versus functional window treatment is in order.  I’d also like to DIY a shower curtain of sorts between the shower and tub, find a new rug{s} and add artwork and accessories…all on a budget, of course.  Sounds like a good winter project, doesn’t it?

And so ends my house tour.  For now.  My home is forever changing and I still have loads of ideas whirling around in this overactive brain of mine.  I hope you’ll hang around and see what else happens around here.

I warned you this post was coming.  I decided to hang my custom fabric art with twine and grommets just to be a little different.  Here’s how I added the grommets to my drop cloth.  I purchased this Bostitch grommet kit from Lowe’s for less than $7.

The hardware guy at Lowe’s told me it was meant to be used on tarps but since it was the only grommet kit they carried, I figured I could make it work.  I measured my drop cloth and calculated how many grommets I would need…I came up with 7.  The shiny gold metal wasn’t the look I was going for, so I spray painted the grommet fronts black.  {If you won’t be seeing the back of the grommets, there’s no need to paint the back.} I’ve got a stash of black and white spray paint in our basement just for projects like this.

Next I used the tool in the kit that looks like a cylinder to cut a hole in the fabric for the grommet placement.  One end of the cylinder has a sharp metal ring on it that cuts through the fabric when the opposite end is tapped with a hammer.

As shown above, you will need a hard solid surface under the fabric.  I just grabbed a wood scrap from the garage and pounded out a small hole.

I pushed the front of the grommet {the part I spray painted black} through the hole.  This shows what the grommet/fabric art looks like from the back…

I slipped a {gold} ring onto the back of the {black} grommet.  Remember, you won’t see the gold ring from the front.

I wasn’t able to take any photos of this final step, as both of my hands were preoccupied. Basically, I placed the tool from the Lowe’s kit that splays out the back of the grommet onto the back of my pushed-through grommet.  There’s also a circular ‘base’ to put underneath the front of the grommet to hold it in place while you splay the back.  Then I pounded, and I mean POUNDED, it with a hammer to flatten out the grommet and secure it.  This takes some muscle.  At first, I was just tapping and getting nowhere fast.  Then I got mad, took it out on the grommet and it worked.  I repeated all of this for 6 more grommets.

If you look closely, you’ll see a little gold peeking through the black spray paint where the grommet got scratched while I was hammering away.  I wasn’t planning on that happening but I ended up liking it.  It lends an older, worn look.

On a side note, I actually traced and painted the text onto the drop cloth while it was hanging.  I had a transparency made {at Staples} and projected it onto my hanging fabric.  I found it much easier to paint on a vertical surface as opposed to painting it on the floor.  I outlined each letter and filled them in with a 1″ foam brush.

I’m not exaggerating when I say it took me about 10 minutes to finish one letter.  {You do the math.}  But I wasn’t in a hurry, and I took frequent breaks.

I did have to be careful not to saturate the fabric with paint so that it didn’t soak through to the wall behind.  But all-in-all, I preferred standing up to hunching over.  We’re very much enjoying our new artwork.  Layne has just learned to read, so he likes to sound out all the words.  Then he always asks, “Why did you put that on the wall?”  Like I’m some crazy person.  Maybe I am.

I don’t buy magazines on a regular basis although I do receive monthly glossies from BHG and House Beautiful {they’re gift subscriptions}.  However, on a recent vacation I picked up the current issue of DIY Magazine for the drive.  And I was not disappointed.

The particular article that grabbed my attention was “Keeping It Real” about a family who completely renovated their ranch style home in California with green design in mind.

Maybe it’s because they have 2 boys and we have 2 boys.  Maybe it’s because they used a mostly neutral palette with pops of color.  But, honestly, I think it’s their style.  Lots of modern pieces and prints mixed with rustic woods and stone.  Whatever it is, I’m in awe.

Take this entry nook, for example.  The matte concrete bench and wall are a simple yet pleasing backdrop for the geometric print pillows and shiny green vase.  {Green and gray are my favorite colors, you know.}  The wood floors add some warmth and contrast.  The woven storage baskets beneath the bench are practical but also contribute their own rustic texture.  I’m telling you, I could sit on that bench all day…even if it is hard on the buns.  And then there’s the family room.  Oh my. The family room…

If you ask me, this is the perfect balance of old and new.  The see-through built-in fireplace is modern and sleek while the wood beam mantle is casual and worn.  The midcentury modern-ish chairs look vibrant upholstered in orange and topped with more geometric print pillows.  {I could write an entire post on geometric print pillows.}  Are you picking up on the details of the room to see why it works?  OLD + MODERN = INTERESTING.  I want to point out that sliding door, too. {Notice the green arrow.}  What a great idea for dividing up an open floor plan when desired! Again, I reiterate…OLD {salvaged wood} + MODERN {metal hardware} = INTERESTING {interior barn door}.  Are you catching on?

The open dining area boasts an industrial metal and wood table flanked by 2 weathered benches. The recessed wall {painted a contrasting color} makes the perfect spot for a buffet.

Someday my kids are sure to want a cool ‘boys only’ hangout.  I can only hope it will be as fun as this one.  Straight-lined furniture pairs well with graphic and colorful walls.  Those beams aren’t too shabby either.

The master bedroom seals the deal.  I’ve always wanted a focal wall behind our bed.  This grasscloth covered wall makes the room by adding texture, focus and an element of nature.  I’m on board with the organized closet and fabric ‘doors’, too.  Having everything readily available would be convenient, and if you keep it tidy, it’s pretty nice to look at.  Why not?  I’m stealing this idea.

So, that’s what I’ve been eyeing the last few weeks.  This home speaks volumes to me.  The style, the organization, the clean look, the open feel, the natural elements, the pops of green, the contrasting materials, the simplicity, the rustic touches…I could go on and on.  But I won’t.