Thursday, March 8, 2012

Car Wash?

We are having an unexpected couple of days with warm temperatures and beautiful blue skies!  I was so motivated that I actually washed my car, which was looking pretty ghetto.  I never wash it and always hope my hubby will because I suck at it.  I did it while both kids were at school and had a whole hour to allow for distractions.  I got about halfway done, while talking on my phone, (lol), and the big stick thing broke that I was washing it with.  Rats!!  I couldn't reach the center of the car with my shorty arms...  I figured I'd keep going and do what I could, and was rescued by my neighbor with his long brush.  I even went over it twice, scrubbed the wheels, rinsed it really well, and was pretty impressed with my mad skills.  I went to get my daughter from school and realized I'd missed quite a few spots.  Seriously??  After we had lunch, I went out and just scrubbed the dirty places I'd missed.  I went out again to get my son from the bus and saw more spots.  Oh, em, gee...  I give up!  It was still sooo much better than it had been.  That night, I took my sweet spotty ride to a girls' night dinner party.  When I got up the next morning to take the kids to school, I realized my friend's cat, who always likes to sit on my car for some reason, had walked all over it, over and over and over with muddy feet.  ;) 

I so give up!  I think it actually looks worse now, with muddy spots everywhere.  At least the dirt before was in a nice, thick, even layer...  I should have painted something instead!  Anyone else ever have this problem?  BTW, dinner and wine with the girls was so worth the dirty car!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

$50 Craigslist Find!

 My tv room has been needing a makeover, specifically this wall.

 It has been bothering me that the tv is almost the same size as the stand, and the whole thing is too small for the wall.  I have filled in the space with a chalkboard and kid stuff, but it never really looked quite right.  I have been on a quest for a long dresser to put under it and have found a few on Craigslist that I liked.  It always seems like I find things when there is no time to drive around to look or when there is no truck available for transporting said items.

Recently, I decided to just go for it, and found a bedroom set with a long dresser, matching nightstand, and 2 large mirrors, one of which was missing the glass.  The whole set was only $50, and the wood was solid, heavy, and in excellent condition.  Woo hoo!!! 

I'd been wanting to do something like this:

I don't have a good "before" shot of the dresser, but it matched the night stand exactly.

 I gave it a cleaning, a light sanding, and some white paint. 

 I gave it a cleaning, a light sanding, and some white paint.  My hubby, aka The Man, framed in the top drawer space to house our tivo unit.

The drawers had plastic fronts and brass hardware.  I used a plastic spray paint primer on the fronts, and black metal spray on the hardware. 

Once the primer had set up, I used my spray gun to add the white topcoat to the drawers.  I can't imagine having to paint all of the intricate little nooks and crannies with a brush.  Ugh!  The sprayer was so slick!  It was a perfect job, and took very little time.

 I still need to add moulding to the front of the opening, replace the back of the dresser, and do a topcoat, but it is getting close! 

I have plans for the mirrors, but I haven't had a chance to do anything with them yet.

I LOVE Craigslist!!!

Boy Room Reveal, At Last!!!

I have been planning a new boy room for almost a year now, and my son has been waiting sooo patiently for it, which is a challenge for an 8 year old.  I was inspired by a photo from The Bumper Crop,, who did amazing wall bunks.  As soon as I saw them, I knew that I must do my own version of them.  They are just so cool looking!

The original room was cute, with a captain's bed and trundle that resembled something from Pottery Barn.  I don't have a good picture of the whole room, but he also had a ceiling height bookcase at the foot of the bed, a tall primitive cabinet as you walked in the door, and assorted toys. 

I had done a French wash on the walls and ceiling when it was a nursery, and while we still loved the warmth and texture, it was starting to get a little banged up.  I have slowly been switching out the fake wood trim for white trim, so this room was the next to get an upgrade. 

Bye bye, brown!  Hello, Behr Creek Bend!  We also added crown moulding.  The old ceiling fan went away, and we replaced it with something more industrial looking, for a mere $25 at Lowe's. 

I wanted to keep a more industrial boyish feel to the room, so we made the curtain rod from a galvanized pipe and fittings.  Also, this puppy is NOT pulling out of the wall like the last flimsy curtain rod.  The large flat plate that anchors it disperses the weight/force of dragging the curtains open and shut.  I re-used the drop cloth curtains that we already had in the room.

The original bookcase was cut down a few feet and attached to the wall under the head of the upper bunk, both for storage and support.  The bed frames were lag screwed to the studs all along the walls.  My husband then added the decking, and the kids had their first sleepover!  The lower bunk is only attached along the back.  It has a couple of legs set back under it for additional support.  I wanted to leave a gap at the head to allow room for the curtains to hang.  I prefer floor length curtains to half length.

A ladder was added, which also provides support to the upper bunk.  It was amazingly sturdy!  The Bumper Crop used ropes to anchor and accent, but I wanted to go with chains.  The ropes I looked at were either too stretchy, too expensive, or the kind that gets the slivery fraying. 

Under the top bunk is a cozy little hangout.  We put in lights by each bed for bedtime reading.  I think the lights are one of my son's favorite features. 

The bedding came from Marshall's last year.  I was so excited to find a simple, bright set for a low price.  Once I put it on the beds, however, all I could think was.....  Caskets!  Yikes!  Look again...  Do you see what I mean???  I am planning on adding throw blankets, putting more pillows on, and possibly lining the pillows up the back wall more like little sofas to camouflage that creepy little visual.  lol  Any suggestions?

The sweet little desk came from Craigslist.  He ABSOLUTELY LOVES having drawers to stash all of his supplies in.  He also likes watching our friends coming and going through the window. 

I wanted a place to display his collection of Matchbox vehicles, and found this cute old printer's drawer at a local antique store. 

I still need to paint the closet doors white, re-hang the bedroom door, and put some license plates above the car display.  The big work is done, however, and I am SOOOO happy with it!  The kids love it!  Even the dog approves...  ;)

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Progress to the Boy's Room!

After a long trip to Lowe's, we tackled the curtain rod and started the bunks today.  I went with an industrial looking curtain rod made from galvanized pipe.

We changed out the old ceiling fan, which cast no light at all, for a galvanized pendant.  It does only cast light downward, but it is still brighter and cuter than the fan.  I also have a few more lights in the works to brighten things up.

We hung the platforms for the beds on the wall today.   The decking will have to wait for another day as the kids need to get to bed soon and it is really loud.  

There will be chains anchoring the far corners of the beds to the wall, as well as a ladder for support.  I decided to cut down his old bookcase to a better height and tuck it under the top bunk, so it provides some extra support, too.  I think I will stain the bunks to match the bookcase and desk, but we were anxious to get them up, so it will wait for another day.

I picked up some silver outlet covers to coordinate with the lighting, chains, and curtain rod.  I love the way it is all coming together!

We are all very excited to see this one done!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chippy Old Windows

A few years ago, I was at my favorite downtown sidewalk sale with some of my favorite peeps.  I spied someone carrying some great old windows and asked about them.  Apparently there was a stash down in the oh-so-scary basement, for only $5 per window!  That alone was enough for me to get up my courage and head down there.  I was actually amazed they let shoppers in because it was so dark/scary/dangerous.  The steps were uneven.  There were plenty of places to hit your head or catch on rusty nails.  The spider factor was giving me the heebie jeebies, and the dead rat in the trap behind the windows was definitely not for the faint of heart.  I managed to be the first one down, so I snagged 2 of these beauties.  They were super chippy and dirty.  I had no idea what I would do with them, but they HAD TO BE MINE!!! 

They sat in the garage for the next couple of years, while my patient hubby moved them from place to place during projects and cleanings.  I finally decided to hang them on the wall with photos in them.  After a good cleaning, light sanding, and some white spray paint, they were much better, but still had that chippy quality that I heart.  I added scrapbook paper to the backs to make them stand out a little more, and repainted the hardware in a satin nickel.

I have never had a good way to display photos of my family, and I love the way these turned out.  They hang in my upstairs hall, one on either side.  I absolutely love them, and wish I'd had more hands to grab some more!  I have been to that sale many times since, and have never been invited into the basement of doom again.  Rats!

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A Little To-Do List

As I walk through my home, every room seems to cry out with project ideas that are in my head but have not yet come to fruition.  I am excited to do them, but must finish others that are currently in the works first.  I would like to make major changes on a minor budget, so I have to decide which projects have the most impact.

Here is a list of what is (hopefully) soon to come.

1.  Finish my son's bedroom update, including hanging bunks on the wall.  (Sneak peek!)

2.  Finish painting the trim in my home white, including the doors.

3.  Paint all of the door hardware black or orb.

4.  Master bath makeover:  rebuild vanity so it is taller and blingier (yes, blingier!  new word!), new pewter colored curtains, bookcase on corbels over toilet, framed mirror
Before shots:

5.  Paint stripes on dining room curtains.

6.  Find the courage to start painting all of the spindles on my staircase.

7.  Wainscoting in downstairs hall and possibly dining room.

8.  Beef up all of my door mouldings to add height and architectural interest.

9.  Repaint new dresser to go under my flatscreen, which needs to be framed and mounted on the wall.  The old black one is just too small for this space.  I would like a little more height and detail. 

I could go on and on, but these are probably my top wishes.  The weather needs to cooperate so I can get more painting done! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I've jumped on the dropcloth curtain bandwagon!

I know that everyone out there in blogland has been doing fun things with dropcloths, and I really wanted to give them a try.  I originally had blue/tan checked homespun curtains in my living room.  They were perfect for my country decor, but I wanted to brighten up the room and phase out the country look.  The original curtains were hung from pine shelves that also blocked some light and make the room look darker.  Once I removed them and put up high rods, I simply folded the dropcloths over until they puddled slightly on the floor.  The full length curtains make the windows appear taller, and the light fabric color also helps.

I stitched a ruffle for over the french doors to hide the roller shades.  I only use them on hot summer days to help cool the living room.

The last picture is pre-mirror.  Notice the sweet little puppy sleeping off to the right?  She is 13 1/2 now.  LOVE that little girl!!!