Thursday, September 29, 2011

According to Nate Burkus, I have a split personality!

 

 

While perusing, yes I used a fancy word...Nate makes me feel so refined, Nate Burkus' website the other day frantically looking for a picture of some of his set art I came across a quiz about your design style.  I thought it would be fun to take the quiz since even I am aware that I have recently undergone a change in what appeals to me.  It used to be true Southern style with many different things going on in one room and dark colors.  However, now I am finding myself more drawn to clean and fresh colors and accessories.  I want to have a whimsy-ful house since my little ones are, well little. 

Anyways, I took Nate's What's Your Design Personality? quiz and here are the results I got, no surprise!  I have two styles, vintage and modern.  Seriously?  I knew I had some issues, but how can I be new and old at the same time?  I agree with it, but maybe that's why I'm having such a hard time trying to tie everything in and make my house feel like a home.  Here are the definitions:

Vintage

You like decor that's one of a kind. You're a garage and thrift sale shopper who likes things with some age and patina. If you know you’re a vintage personality, you can shop in places with items that have an aged look to create rooms that feel assembled over time. You don’t go to the new modern stores and waste your time buying items that you know you’re not going to love!

Modern

You like a clean look, with clean lines, and space to breathe within your home. Every piece you own needs to be special, because you don’t have a lot. Simple, clean lines, special pieces. You don't make impulse purchases. Instead, you save your money and spend only when you feel a piece will enhance your beautiful modern environment.


I have found myself going to antique auctions and re-working some pieces.  And I have even "made new" some pieces around the house.  So maybe my style is to take things with a vintage feel or lines and give it a pop of color.  Oh I don't know!  I'm just as confused as ever!  But, it's ok Nate, who could stay made at that face?

I Was Framed

Goodness, I have been working on this for what seems like FOREVER!!  A while back I was watching The Nate Burkus Show and noticed that on his set he had these graphic panels framed out.  I'm not sure if they were fabric or paper but I thought they were amazing!  Side note: I tried to find a photo to show you his set but alas, none to be found...:(  I happened upon some repositional sticky tiles from Target online that had a very similar look and bought them immediately!


They look really cute just "stuck" on the wall, so I thought they would just be crazy cute in a frame.  I went to the actual Target to decide on frames and ended up with a 12 x 12 shadowbox.  I thought the little bit of shadow would be nice and since the tiles were a shy under 11 inches square, there would be a small border.  The good news:  there were some 12 x 12 shadowboxes, the bad news:  there were 4....and they were black.  Anyhow, I bought them and just kept checking back online to see if they had come into stock.  After about a week, they had, so I ran back up to Target and good news: the frames were back in stock, bad news: there were only 4 again!  UGH!  See I had 9 tiles to frame and I really didn't want to wait another week to get one so I happened on some discount art pieces and one was a 12 x 12 shadowbox frame with some questionable art in it.  It was the same depth as the other frames and I knew I could make it work.  Hindsight, I kinda wish I had waited those extra seven days because that one frame was a bother!   The original eight frames were no trouble to disassemble.  I just undid the back prongs and slid the glass and backing out.  They were ready to go at this point.  However, that ONE framed art piece was different.  I had to cut the backing off, since it was not meant to be removable.  Then tape around the glass that could not be removed.  I used painters tape and it had to go on the front and back of the glass so that I could completely spray the black away. 


You can see here how I carefully followed the lines touching the frame to minimize any paint getting on the glass, but went a little tape crazy inside of the border.  As long as it was covered!

Then I put out my trusty had it since high school flat sheet so that my husband would not freak out about the white grid that would have appeared on his grass.  Yes, it is HIS grass, but that is another story!  You can see the one frame that gave me such a headache.


Anyhow, after two days (thank you Lord for pretty weather) of spraying, drying, flipping, spraying, drying, flipping....I finally had the frames pretty and crisp with the white paint.  I peeled all four pounds of painters tape off of the cursed one and set around to put the tiles in place.  Now remember these are sticky tiles and I thought that I have a good enough eye for making sure things are level that I could eye ball them onto some 12 x 12 white acid free cardstock and pop them in the frames.  Massive FAIL!  I ended up having to cut the tiles out of the paper and then glue them to another piece of paper, this time making SURE that they were just right.  Then of course the cursed on had to have another backing cut out of brown paper and hot glued onto it's back.  Diva!!!

So all in all, this project took me almost two weeks.  This is so sad!  But, I am crazy happy about the end result, even though the cursed one (top middle) keeps eyeing me.  I will never forget you cursed one!!


Sorry about the glare here, but I was so excited to be DONE that I didn't even want to wait until the lighting was better. 


Here is my favorite critic.  Notice two different outfits, so two different days.  She was quite impressed with the end result as was my son, who immediately asked, "Mom, which one was the bad tile?"  So cursed one, there are TWO of us in the family watching you now!!


On another note, this was the sunset the other day out my back door.  I thought it was just beautiful and it makes me so happy to live in the country!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where the magic happens...

...or the magical accumulation of clutter happens.  So Tuesday I got the day off of work and locked myself in my bedroom.  It was high time that a little bit of thought went into that room.  After washing, drying and folding 517 loads of laundry and putting them away I was left with this shell of a room.  Now we did have nightstands beside the bed but I had already moved them and swept there in prep for "the move".  I took this picture while I was waiting on my baby-daddy to come home and help me move the bed and dresser.  


And yes, that is a pumpkin on my bed.  Never thought I would say that!!  The kids were toting it around practicing their trick-or-treating swag capture!  And no, I'm sorry I didn't make the bed but just threw the cover over the top.  I would like to note though that I made the bed this morning!!!  (Big accomplishment over here!!!) 

This is just another view where you can see one nightstand moved out of the way, a dresser drawer that has the drawer slide broken and is on my fix list and my constant bedroom staple, the ironing board.  This is another thing that is going to go when we finish the laundry room since I will have a proper place to hang it.  The door you see goes into my bathroom.


And yet another view of the room standing in the entrance door.  You can see the previous home of the broken dresser drawer and the pumpkin is much more in focus!  This picture might just help me to make a daily chore out of making the bed!  It looks bad here!


Now by this time I had the bed and dresser moved, with the assistance of hubby, and also had one dinged toe (mine).   I bought the pictures below about six months ago and never got around to hanging them because I knew I wanted to move the bed, so perfect time now.  By the way, they came from Tomlinson's Wholesale in Florence if anyone is in the area they have a great collection of pics and home decor stuff.  Since I was going to hang the pics pretty close together I knew that I needed to make a template to try and keep them as level to one another as possible.  I rolled out the every trusty craft paper and outlined the top of each picture (as shown below) and then marked the center of the....hanging teeth... (don't know the technical name, so that sounds pretty right).


Side note, when I turned the pictures over to see where the center was I noticed this on the back and was so pleased to see that these pictures were Made on Earth.  I wanted to make sure and buy only products made on our planet.  There will be NO made in Mars hanging in my house, that stuff is just shabby!



With some green painters tape I hung my template.  If you look closely you can see where I outlined the top of each and the center so I would know where to hang them.  I moved it around until it was where I wanted on the wall and the lines looked level.


Time for the invention of the century in my opinion.  I have used plain nails and even the stick up things (which always seem to bring drywall down with them no matter how closely I follow the directions).  My husband, who works in a hardware, told me about these babies.  I am sorry the picture is sideways, but just click on the link to find out more about them.  They are called Monkey Hooks.  This pack included four for $3.49 but they are reusable and well, I might just be in love!  Oh, shout out to Coward Hardware!!!  (No products were received free prior to this review or shout out and if you know my brother you know how true that is!)

Sorry this is a bit out of focus, but it was taken one-handed so that you could marvel in my beautiful hands....The Monkey Hooks are sharp on one side and to start off you insert the point 1/4 inch above where you want the picture to hang (notice my circle). 

It doesn't take much pressure to get it in and as soon as you feel it puncture the drywall, just turn it so that the hook part is facing the ceiling and wiggle it, just a little bit,  I wanna see you wiggle it...anyway, keep gently pushing it in until...

you can push it all the way in and just the hook is hanging out.  These hooks are tested to hold up to 50 lbs. and when you install one you will be able to tell how sturdy they are.  They grip the drywall behind them and the slight dip on the hook completely secures it.

Once my two pictures were hung, and I did have to adjust the left one because I had it hanging just a little low, I was able to make the bed and make it so purty!

I had this recliner, that I bought from someone having a moving sale about five years ago, in my living room but moved it into the corner of the bedroom with the table and a lamp that I re-purposed from another spot.  Also, this is the magical ficus tree that I strung with white light about six years ago and it still works!! YAY!  I just don't want to undo those lights.  In the past I dressed it up as a seasonal tree with pumpkins, red ornaments, hearts, shamrocks, Easter eggs and red, white, and blue, but now I like it just plain.  Also, yes that is the cord from my iron, I promise I'm going to move it!!

I moved the dresser and mirror to the side of the room that the bed was on originally.  That door leads out to the living room.  I cleaned it off and left it plain because right now I'm not sure what I want to put on it.  The plans down the road are to remove the mirror and wall mount a tv above it.

This is the room finished, or as finished as it can be right now.  This door leads into Omar's bathroom, who is my husband by the way.  I don't want you thinking badly of me.  We need new lamps, the shades are broken and don't like to sit straight.  Unfortunately, the part that is broken is in the lamp base so new shades wouldn't solve the problem.  Also, new bed linens are on the list but I can't decide what direction I want to go, hence there being no curtains.

This is another view so as to include the ironing board!

Well I call that Phase One of the bedroom re-do.  We still have to replace the sub- floor and flooring, ugh!, and fix a few spots on the ceiling where there was some water damage.  I like the paint color now, but that will be determined when I find some linens that I like.  Also, the bookcase needs attention and I don't like the bulbs on the fans.  I think they look too much like airplane propellers.  We are also on the hunt for a rug, but again, linens must come first.  

To conclude, my big man wanted to type his name, and so I grace you with the work of my boss man....

Riley

Monday, September 19, 2011

This Little Light of Mine


My itsy girl, Emma, gratuitous picture included below............
is nearing two years old and I am sadly but still proudly starting to think about what her big girl room will be.  I already have a twin white bed that her big brother Riley, not to be outdone picture included below..........................
also used as a transitional bed out of the crib until we decided on his full bed.  I have searched Pinterest and other shelter sites looking for inspiration about where to go but I haven't found anything yet that makes me want to bring it home.  I'm really looking for a fun bedspread that I can pull colors off of, even thinking about an Indian Sari-esque pattern, but no luck so far.  Well, Em's room is small so the twin bed will more than likely be her bed for a while unless we get a day bed with a trundle, which would still be down the road.  So while I am ready to do something for her room, I am kinda at a standstill since I don't even know what color to paint it.  The one thing that I was sure of was that the builder's basic white fan that is in her room now will not graduate with her to big girl status.  So using my favorite website, Pinterest, I found a neat tutorial about using coffee filters attached to a paper lantern to make a really fun and cute light. 

I ran, literally..well not quite literally since it takes 20 minutes to drive there but in my mind I was running, to Lowe's to look for the lantern since I had never noticed them anywhere before.  I snatched up the first one that I saw not noticing that it was a solar powered lantern until I got home.  Well I was not going to be swayed and decided to go ahead with the project and just leave it up to my hubby to find a way to make it work electrically, which really just means snipping off the small attached solar panel and hanging the finished light from the ceiling. 

I'm not sure if all paper lanterns are supposed to be paper, but mine was made more of a silky fabric and I was a little worried about the glue gun melting the fabric, but no worries, it attached well.

My first step was to assemble the lantern using the metal support bars inside:


and find a place to hang it up so that it would be easier to work with. I decided to just hang it from the shade supports of this lamp and go with it.  This was mistake number 1 and 2. 

  1. When I had some of the coffee filters placed on one side and went to turn it to another side, the lamp actually smooshed the filters down a little when they leaned against the stand.
  2. Emma thought that any ball hanging from a string about eye height was put there specifically so that she could try and wrap it around the pole ala tether ball style.
So between the lamp post and Emma running and hitting it before running away I came to the conclusion that Em would have to be asleep during this project (which resulted in it taking multiple days) and that I would have to go about it another way.


The next step was to take regular sized white coffee filters and crumple them by poking my finger into the center of the filter and gathering the filter around my finger to form a badminton shaped cone.  I made about 40 of these at a time and just put them in a nearby basket while my glue gun warmed up.  Then I placed a small dot of hot glue onto the pointed center of the coffee filter and held it in place for a few seconds until it set on the paper lantern.  I tried to initially do a tight pattern so that it would look full but found this to be almost impossible because the glue took longer to set than I thought and I would accidentally keep knocking pieces off.  The winning combination turned out to be gluing the filters close together completly around the ball and then the next day go in and fill in where there were holes.  Like I said earlier, this took a few days, so I was filling in for two good days.  The next three days were spent pulling off strands of hot glue that seemed to multiply. 

Here is the coffee filter poof finished just hanging from Em's ceiling fan to see how it looked in the room.  I still haven't gotten it attached to a permanent light source but I wanted to know what the glow would look like so I took the lamp shade off of the desk light and placed the poof over it.  It was so purty and the filtered (hehehe) light was just beautiful. 

I have gotten more compliments over my coffee filter poof light than anything else I have done lately and I can't wait to get it set in it's new home.  As soon as I do I will do an update.  But in other news...I wanted to formally introduce the other two members of the family.  The white poodle is Gracie, also known as "Grady", "Grey" and "Gracie-Anna".  I have had Grey since I was living la vida loca, or the single life.  She is my first born in a way.  The black boy is Rocky, aka "Rockefeller", "Rock" and "Buddy Boy".  Rocky is a rescued poodle that comes from an abuse background but with time he has come around and found a home with us.  I love putting pics of them together because they remind me of Yin and Yang.  I didn't realize how wooly they looked, but they are going for a haircut next Friday and I will post proper pictures for such high browed poodles as these two, yeah right!!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Oh Baby!



A little weekend fun.  This is Emma singing Justin Beiber's "Baby".    We were cleaning up the house and I thought that if we sang a clean up song that she might stick with it a bit longer.  About five minutes into it, I started noticing that her part of the song had changed and I sat her down to record her singing and this is what I got:


video


Notice that at one point she says a loud Bay-beh, that's when she noticed herself on the computer screen, but that didnt' stop her.  We have caught her doing this a few more times and yes, I even youtube'd the song just to hear her sing it again. 

Will she be mad one day about me posting this online?  Yeah, and Em, I'm really sorry if you are terribly embarrassed, but mercy it's just as cute as it can be.  I have watched it SO much!!  Love you Em!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Who Knocked the Door Out?

Alright, I am going to show you something that only a handful of people have seen...the floor joyces of my house.  One of my major stumbling blocks with the house have been that our floors are rotten.  Yes, our house is five years old and the floors are rotten.  So any home improvements that we had on the books have been put aside until we can rip up EVERY SINGLE floor in our house and fix it.  That also means that all of the flooring that is already down will have to be ripped up too and we are going to have to buy new one. How did this happen?  Well it is half the responsibility of the people who built our house and the other half lies with the friend of the family who hooked up the heating and cooling unit.  The home builder fastened a plastic covering over the air ducts and the a/c man did not tear it down.  So whenever condensation formed on the ducts, there was no where for it to go except into the underside of the flooring of our house.  Now, I am not going to mention any names of who did the damage, since both have denied any responsibility, but I will put out there the name of the man who is helping us to fix the problem, and who also is an EXCELLENT air conditioner repair man, Eddie Eaddy.  If anyone in the area is interested in his number, I will be more that glad to pass it on!!  But anyways, so far we have ripped up the kitchen floor and replaced it and we are currently onto the laundry room floor, which was pretty bad.  Here are some pics of the floor, or lack of, before we recovered it with sturdy subflooring.  You might notice some of the black areas around the joyces, but that is not mold, we also ripped off the plastic covering and re-worked the ducts so that we will not have this problem in the future. 


This next picture is the subflooring that we removed from the laundry room.  It was warped and there were soft spots all over.  Also, when the spin cycle was on in the washing machine, the whole room shook!!  

In this picture we have replaced the subflooring and I was given the job of tearing off the existing molding, which I really got into....

apparently too much because I had the crowbar turned backwards and was putting these beautiful holes around the bottom!  Oh well, still had fun taking some aggression out on those bad boys.

Here is the bad blogger part, I forgot to take pictures of the next step except during another project I was working on.  But here you can see with the help of my beautiful Vanna White-esque assistant, Emma, that we put beaded board up around the perimeter of the room to chair rail heigth and new solid wood baseboard.

This is another angle with me working on the other project, but you can kinda tell how everything is coming together. 

Anyhow, I am stuck right now on a color scheme for the room.  Above the chair rail is currently painted a soft yellow, but I want to go for something with a little more impact.  I also am going to try my hand at painting our builder grade cabinets into a distressed blue color, but we'll have to see how that turns out!

In the meantime, here is a random picture that I took when I was walking through the kids' playroom the other day.  I admit that I have a slight case of OCD, but now I am starting to think that it runs in the family.  Here's Riley's creating:

Notice how everything is lined up from smallest to largest.  Now if I could just teach him how to paint!!!

Peep Eye

 Okay, first major project just had to start at the front door.  We have a solid door with half glass transoms on either side.  Now this is fine, except that our front door transoms allow people to be able to look right into our living room, where we spend a large majority of our time.  
 

One side of my transoms

To be honest, the only time we ever really use our front door is at Halloween for trick-or-treaters, but I still wanted some bit of privacy.  I jumped over to Pinterest to see what some ideas were out there when I spotted this picture from 7thhouseontheleft.com



Here Ashley Brown used contact paper to cut a design and placed it over one of her oh so open doors.  I really loved the Moroccan feel to it and thought that I could attempt something similar.  So I started off with my own pattern and set forth cutting a lot of little shapes.  The final tally was 48.  The best thing to do was to just go ahead and cut the Contact paper into manageable squares and get comfortable with something interesting to watch on TV (Design Star it was for me).  I actually didn't cut enough to start off with.  So with twenty something up on the door, I had to stop and get the scissors out again. 

After everything was cut out, I cleaned the glass with Windex and made sure that it was completely dry.  Then I eyeballed the center of each little mini window and placed one cutout there.  That's right, I'm all crazy like that, just thank goodness it looked okay!  Then one above, below, to the right, and to the left while leaving a small border around it.  I didn't want to completely block out any light, just give a bit more privacy.  I repeated with all six mini windows and the cut one piece in half vertically for the far left and right pieces, another piece in half horizontally for the center top and bottom pieces, and a third piece in quarters for the corner pieces.  Thankfully the Contact paper is easily repositioned so it wasn't too bad getting every piece just where I wanted it.  I also just used my fingernail to move any bubbles out to the edges and to bubble heaven.  Here is an idea of what it looked like with one mini window done, minus one little piece missing in the upper right corner.


Here is an after picture once it is all done.  Sorry for the angle but it was really hard getting the paper to show up from anywhere else.  I looked like a ninja trying to find the best spot to show off my doors. 


To be honest, these little Contact stickies make me smile with even a little nose wrinkle every time I walk by them.  Especially at night when a little light comes through but I don't feel like we are on display.  It only took a couple of hours, was easy and even impressed the hubby, so mission accomplished!!  I have a carport door that I am going to do something similar on, but can't decide whether I want to go full block out or do another shape.  But, that's for another time!

Who am I?

Who am I?

Well, I am a mama with two itsies, Riley and Emma Grace.  I work a full time job outside of the house but struggle daily with making our house a home.  We built this house almost five years ago and it is still 99% builder basic and well to be honest with you, I'm just tired of it!  I want something that makes me "house proud" and something that "rises to meet me".  Alright, enough cliches.  I want to LOVE this house.  Like really LOVE it.  I want to be proud of the memories that my children and I make in it, I want to smile when I drive up in the drive way and I want my husband and my children to share in my joy.  That being said, I don't.  I don't love it, yet. 

When we moved into the house, my oldest, Riley, had just turned one and to be honest with you, having a little one in the house took up most of my time...then..
This is him at the time we moved into our house
 

a few years later came Emma Grace and little time became no time.  The kids are no longer babies, they are 5 and 18 months, and it is high time that I make this little house a home.

Yeah, this is a forced picture!!

So here is my brunt of my dilemma now, yeah the juicy stuff.  I am not attached to my home.  Gasp!!!  I know, it hurts to say it.  This house is the only one Riley remembers, the only one Emma has ever known and it is a great house, I just don't love it.  I have not put my touch on it, given any thought to it's function and purpose, nor invested the time that I should.  Yes I said "nor", my mother is a retired sixth grade teacher!  Well it is time.  As the wonderful Nate Burkus says, "Your home should rise up to meet you" and it is my fault!  I have not arisen to the challenge of making it a home and I owe it to my family, my house and myself.

So.....here we go.  This is my house therapy.  I am going to work through my house one room, one corner, one square foot at a time and turn it into a home.  I am going to share every detail and every hurdle and I WILL overcome!  I am in my battle stance here, well actually I'm sitting in my recliner with Emma asleep on one arm and typing with the other, but once she wakes up IT IS ON!!!

Here we go, and I say we knowing that I am the only one reading this, but it helps for me to imagine an army behind me, so HERE WE GO!!!!  once the baby awakens....