Friday, July 30, 2010

The One That Got Away, and Other Thrifty Finds

It's hard for me to even start this posting as I am in mourning about "The One That Got Away"!!!!  On Fridays I am lucky enough to only work a half day.  This means that Friday afternoons can be spent going to garage sales or thrift stores.  Oh, HOW IT WISH I had skipped the garage sales today and headed directly to one of my favorite GW stores!!!!!!   You can imagine my delight when I found this little beauty at the back of the store with their furniture...

Be still my heart!!!  This bench was absolutely beautiful and in perfect condition.  Not sure where I would put it, but I just HAD to have it.  How much?  Would I be able to afford it?  Searching, searching... where's the price tag??  Just then a GW employee walked up and had the nerve to tape a "SOLD" sign on it!!!!  Nooooooooo!  I said, "Are you serious?  Is this really sold???"  "Yes it is" she informed me... "another lady JUST bought it."  How much did it sell for I asked.  $19.95!!!!!  Can you believe it?  Only five minutes earlier and that baby could have been mine.  Well, I guess it just wasn't meant to be, but that doesn't mean that I can't have a short period of mourning!!!

So moving on, I did pick up a few little "Thrifty Finds" to share with you...

First I found a little bed for our Grandson, Noah.  He had long-ago outgrown the bed we had for him, so now he will have his own "big boy" bed at Grandma's house!! (Note to self:  Clean out the bedroom this bed needs to be placed in!!!)  I found the mattress at one garage sale for $3.00, and the frame at another garage sale for $2.00.  A nice coat of paint on the bed and we'll be in business... all for the low, low price of $5.00!!  SWEEET!!!

I also found these things.  Glass Bottle and small apothecary jar ($1.99 each).   Four books ($.50 each).  Four marble eggs with the holder ($5.00).

At first I didn't really like the holder that the eggs were in... it was all chipped.  However, I remember reading another blog where they said that things don't always have to be "perfect" to be beautiful.  I have a few ideas about what I'm going to do with this.

Finally, something I know everyone is going to be extremely jealous about. 

Don'tcha just LOVE the pink floral sheet?  And the netting canopy is just "to die for"!!!!  Ohhhhhh, the PROJECTS I can do with these things. 

WAIT!!!!!  I can hear your screams all the way through my computer.  You're probably saying, "Just when we thought she was getting into this whole blogging and shabby chic thing, she goes and buys this????"   Never fret my friends.. DON'T quit following my blog... I DO have something WONDERFUL in mind for this, but it doesn't have anything to do with decorating.  Well, yes it does, but not really.  Oh, I don't know - you'll just have to wait until I can complete my project and post a blog on it.  It only cost me $9 for this project, so if it doesn't work out I haven't lost a whole lot.  Guess we'll just have to see how it goes.  Be sure to check back!!!

So, I guess that's it for today.  I'm slowly recovering from missing out on the bench (sniff, sniff), but given a day or two I'm sure I'll be just fine.   

Monday, July 26, 2010

I am NOT a "Hoarder"!!!

My daughter just doesn't get it!!  The other day she came into my kitchen, put her arm around me, and said, "Mom, I think we need to have an intervention... you're becoming a 'Hoarder'!"  All because she saw this...

She doesn't understand the concept that I am gathering things for my remodeling.  I haven't really been able to "work" on things a lot because I have been sick, PLUS I wasn't sure which direction I was going with things.  Was I going with black? Cream (excuse me... "Heirloom White")??  Teals???  What fabric was I going to use?  I have about a bazillion small little samples... decisions, decisions, decisions!!!!

Well, the paint colors have been selected, the painter is coming in this week to start painting, the fabric has been chosen and purchased, so now I just need to do the work!!!!  Seriously, look at the pictures... don't you see a LOT of potential there?  Little bits of "decorating gold" that just need to be refined and polished (er... painted) up???  There are at least 4 chairs, one hutch, one cabinet, 4 tables, and countless number of little knick-knacks that have to be redone.  (YIKES... maybe I AM a hoarder!!!!)  Naaaaaahhhh, I'm telling you, my home will soon be the envy of my daughter.  Yep!  I'll make her eat those words!!!  A "Hoarder" indeed... I think not!!!!!!

I will post updates on all these little gems once I get them done.  Ya... it's gonna be a while - don't hold your breath!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Powder Room Makeover

I thought I would post a few pictures of the first room of our home makeover projects I took on just recently. In July of 2009 our son got married and moved away.  With both of the kids gone (leaving a big hole in my heart and free time on my hands), I decided it was time to attack the house and get some remodeling done.  Sadly, as usual, I don't have any "before" pictures. I HAVE to learn to start doing that!!! Let's just say it was BADLY in need of an update. The walls (in this very small powder room) were DARK forest green. Need I say more? The floors were the original linoleum from when we built the house in 1988, contractor grade cabinet, and a soffit (which I ALWAYS hated) over the florescent lights. Get the picture?

Let me go back just a little bit. You see, I did NOT start out making over this bathroom. My original project was to make over the master bedroom and bathroom. HUH??? Stick with me a minute here... Well, I knew that we were going to rip up the carpet (mauve – I’m hanging my head on that one – can’t believe I ever did that) in the bedroom and bathroom (yes, the bathroom had carpet in it), and lay new flooring down. I REALLY wanted tile in my bathroom, but didn't think we could afford it – especially to have someone come in and lay it. Everyone kept telling me how "easy" (riiiiiight) it was to put down tile, so I came up with an sneaky excellent plan! I told hubs that we should “practice” laying tile in the powder room. After all, it was just a square room, no weird angles – easy peasy – right??? Of course, if we were going to lay a new floor we may as well replace the cabinet, sink, and toilet – don’t you agree??? Sooooooo, off we went to buy all of the supplies we needed to lay this new floor. Ok, OK – it WASN’T quite as easy as I was lead to believe. First of all, hubs was left in charge of removing the toilet (no problem), AND the faucet and cabinet. This (turns out) to be a MAJOR problem. We turned off the water to the house (because there was NO turn off valve at the sink), he does his little “plumbing bit”, turns back on the water to the house, and the spraying FLOODING of water begins. (Wonderful husband he is – “plumber” he is NOT!!!). Water shut off – REAL plumber called in (next day of course). Turns out that the plumber we called is a “Jack of all trades”. He tells us that he would be “more than happy" to lay the tile for us. Oh no… we wanted to do that ourselves. Fast forward (after our somewhat feeble attempt at laying the floor) – that “Jack of all trades” not only repairs plumbing, but laid the floor, installed the toilet, installed the new cabinet, as well as doing all the renovating in the master bathroom. (He is now our “go to” guy!!!) Cost a lot more than we originally planned, but hey, it sure does look pretty (not to mention a LOT easier)!!!!

ANYWAY, on with the pictures… This is the closest I can come to a “before” picture. The wallpaper had already been stripped, but some of the forest green paint was still evident. (I seriously don’t even remember ever having a baby blue bathroom… what was I thinking??) Tile was in the process of being laid and grouted.


Don’t you just love painting pictures!!!!??? This picture gives you a glimpse of the paint on the walls. Very soft yellow, then I did a glazing technique over it. I wanted to put wainscot on the bottom half and was going to leave it white, but it wasn’t the look I was going for. So, I ended up painting it the same soft yellow as the rest of the room.

Here is hubby installing helping to install (trust me, it was a JOINT effort) the wainscot. It was so much fun to see everything start coming together.

(It looks like there are stripes on the wainscot, but that’s just the lighting.) I was already falling in love with this room, and it wasn’t even finished!!

See my posting about the covering I made for the round window.

Remember how I told you that there was a soffit with florescent lights? Well, this was my own idea of how to fix that. I didn’t want to rip out the soffit and deal with all that mess, plus I thought it would be kind of nice to have the light shining above, so I decided to take out the open plastic grate that was below the light. I took pieces of the same wainscot that I used on the lower half of the room, and cut pieces to fit within the same area that had previously held the grate. I painted them and snapped them together giving me a solid ceiling BELOW the light, but still allowed the light to shine ABOVE the soffit.I was then able to install decorative lighting BELOW the soffit – which I put on a different switch with a dimmer. Now I can have as much OR as little light as I want.

Here are the after photos once everything was complete and decorated. I’m still wondering if I should put something above the towel rack, but I don’t know what it would be or if it would be too much. If you have any suggestions please pass them on!

Need to install the towel ring above the light switch.

Check out my posting about labels for the toilet paper rolls.

It's so hard to get good pictures of such a small bathroom, but I hope you get a general feel for it.  I am in LOVE with the new lighter/brighter color (who wouldn't be after living with forest green for umpteen years!!).

I'm Linking Up to:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Personalized Aisle Runner Tutorial

I know that most of my posts have been dedicated to home decor, but I have actually done a LOT more than that over the years. Today I’m going to dedicate my post and tutorial on making a “Personalized Aisle Runner” for a wedding. Personalized you say? Yep! You heard me right!! 

When I first started my own business I specialized in wedding invitations and decorations. So, in 2008, when my son Jason became engaged to Bethany, it was only natural that they asked for my help in planning and decorating for the wedding. I spent over a year helping them plan for their special day. Once they decided on their color scheme, my mind went crazy. I laid awake nights coming up with new and crazy ideas of things I could do to make their day really special. I spent months working on all the decorations. One idea I saw on the Internet was to have a custom monogrammed aisle cloth. I loved the idea, but I was not about to spend $200 to $500 to have one made. I knew this was something I could do myself.  If you are into DIY projects, (and of course planning a wedding), then this post is for you!

First I had to come up with a design that the kids wanted. Here are some of the samples I gave them to choose from.

Once they made their choice I got busy. I had to find an affordable aisle cloth I liked. After looking and pricing at numerous places, I found one that was just perfect at one of my favorite craft stores – Crafts 2000. Not sure, but I think I paid around $12.99 for a 75’ roll.  Although it was longer than I really needed, it allowed me to have plenty of room to test out my techniques. This is the design on the aisle cloth.

Once I had the aisle cloth I had to determine the size of design that I would need. I wanted it to be as large as possible on the cloth. Now this next step is probably the most difficult for someone who does not work with graphics. I took my design and enlarged it to my desired size within the graphics program I use. I then divided it up like a mural, with each section on a different piece of paper. Using 11 x 17 card stock I printed out my design. I laid it out on the floor to see how it looked. (I knew I wanted to “Bejewel” the runner once it was done, so I laid some gems out on it as well to see how it would look.) With a few little “tweaks” it was ready to go!

You will want to work on a table so it is at a comfortable height as you paint. That just happened to be my kitchen table (who needed to eat… right?). I wanted to make sure my table was completely protected, so I put down a dollar store plastic table cloth. I taped it to the table so it would not move.

Now I needed to make a decision about supplies. This is where you can learn from my mistakes experience!! (It is important that you have extra aisle cloth to test the process.) I thought that maybe I could just get some fabric paint pens to “color in” the design. I shopped all over to find just the right color pens. That was a waste of time AND $$$!!! They did not work at all. So much for that grand idea! In the end I finally determined that good old-fashioned (cheap) fabric paint was the way to go. One store and $2 later I was in business! The main color for the design was to be teal with a dark gray glitter paint for their names. Other than the dark gray paint and paint brushes (which I left out of the picture), these were the only supplies I needed..

Here are the steps I took:

1. Cover your surface with a cheap plastic tablecloth. TAPE IT DOWN… you don’t want it to move!

2. Place your design on the table and TAPE IT DOWN.

3. Cover the design with waxed paper. You will want to do this so your paint does not bleed through to you printed paper design – it will make a mess and bleed. As before, TAPE IT DOWN.

4. Measure how far down the aisle cloth you want your design, and place that section on your table – over top of your printed design. Be careful to keep the excess rolled so you do not wrinkle it. (NOTE: We put our aisle cloth down BEFORE the wedding and closed off the aisle. This allowed people to SEE the design without walking on it. I personally think this is the best way to do it rather than having the aisle cloth unrolled prior to the bride walking down. Since the ushers usually roll it from front to back, you would have a hard time knowing where to place the monogram. You can put it down front, middle, or wherever you choose, just make sure to measure carefully.) TAPE IT DOWN!

5. I cannot emphasize enough the step of taping everything down. Once you start painting you do not want it to move until it is COMPLETELY dry. (On my test area I accidentally moved the fabric and ended up with a mess and paint in areas I did not want it.) There is no going back if you mess up, so work slowly and carefully!

6. I used two different color outline pencils/pens. I felt it would be easier for me to follow my design if the large “S” was outlined with a blue pencil (plus, no fear of a dark color showing through), and their names were outlined with a dark gray glitter pen. (Hopefully you can see where I have outlined everything.)

7. Now comes the fun part… painting!!! I strongly suggest that you work from the inside out so you don’t smear it with your hand. I found that a small, stiff, flat paint brush worked best. Slooowly I outlined the “S”, and then started painting it in.

8. After I completed the “S” I let it dry for a good 24 hours. I then started working on the details of their names. Again, using a small flat brush. It was safer to work with the small brush so I could pay close attention to the fine details. 

9. I would work from one side of the table, and then move over to the other, always being careful not to get my hand in the area I had already painted. It was so exciting to see it starting to come together!

10. Allow everything to dry for another 24 hours before you move anything. EVEN AT THAT POINT – carefully lift up a small section of your aisle cloth to make sure that the paint is not still wet on the wax paper (that is what takes so long to dry).

11. Once you are sure that everything is dry, you can remove all the tape and slide out the wax paper and the paper design. Now you can see what your completed aisle cloth looks like!

12. I knew we wanted “Bling” on the aisle cloth, so I just couldn’t resist laying some rhinestones on there to see what it was going to look like.

B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!!!!!! I was getting SO excited!!

13. At this point you can now roll up your aisle cloth; however, before you do that, I suggest covering the design with either wax paper or freezer paper. This will not only protect the paint, but will also keep things from sticking together.

14. The final step came when I decided I wanted to “Bling Up” the ENTIRE LENGTH of the aisle cloth (YES! All ninety feet of it!!!). I knew I wanted them “scattered” down each side, and I wanted them in various sizes. I purchased a LARGE bag of rhinestones like this (but of course they were all clear – just didn’t take a picture of the bag). I honestly can’t remember if I used one or two bags.

15. If/when you are ready to decorate your aisle cloth with rhinestones, let me tell you about your new “best friend”!!!! Glue dots my dear… GLUE DOTS!!!!! A friend suggested this method to me, and it was a breeze (welllll, as much of a breeze as “Bejewling” 90 feet of an aisle cloth can be!!) I had planned to use glue of some type, but that would have been a mess. These worked GREAT!!!!

16. This is how we did it. We put together two 6 foot tables – end to end, and laid out the aisle cloth the length of the tables. My husband and son (yes, this was a FAMILY project) took a box of the glue dots, and started attaching the rhinestones – one to each glue dot – as they unrolled the dots (I think we used something like 10 boxes of glue dots). They attached the rhinestones in random order so there was a mix of sizes. Bethany and I stood on either side of the table and started taking the rhinestones off of the strip (with the glue dot attached of course), and placed them along the sides of the cloth (again, in random order). We determined about how far in we wanted them and about how far apart they should be. It went really fast – the guys could hardly keep up with us. When we would get to the end of the tables we would carefully roll up the “bejewled” portion, and pull down the next section to complete. We did this until we had “bejewled” the entire length that we wanted. (Do you realize: 300 Glue Dots x 10 boxes = 3,000 jewels!!!!!???)  About 3 hours and we were done!!! PHEW… BIG effort but it was worth every bit of the work.

It really sounds like a lot more work than it was. It just takes a little time and planning, but it’s NOT difficult. Just take it slow and be really careful. Here’s the finished product, and of course, our BEAUTIFUL bride!!

How did my favorite little fella get in there???
Aaaaawww, just wanted to show you
the “Bejewling” down the aisle!! ;-)

GORGEOUS… JUST GORGEOUS!!!!! Everyone love it!! 
(BTW - didn't my son-in-law take a beautiful picture of the church... we were not crazy
with all the "orange", but the picture sure is neat!!!)

If you disregard the money I wasted on my trial and error, this whole project probably cost me around $30 to $35.  Quite a savings from the ones offered on line!!!

Hope this helps you if you have any plans to take on a project like this. If you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer anything I can.

Decor Mamma

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2010:  I've been featured by Glue Dots!!!!  Check out their article!