Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Kids' Bathroom Is Nicer Than Mine...

My brother works for a flooring company.  He gets deals on beautiful things.  I scoured the warehouse of his store and found a white travertine that I just had to have for my powder room.  I had been putting off installing it because I couldn't decide on an accent to go with it.  It sat in my garage until about Easter, when the vinyl floor in my kids' bathroom suddenly bubbled up.  We have been in our house for 12 years, and I assumed that the glue had popped on it.  It bothered me a little, but my husband couldn't stand it and wanted to replace the flooring.  I am trying to upgrade one room at a time and didn't want to put in more vinyl, so I shopped for tile.  I could find nothing that had any texture to it to keep the kids from slipping when it was wet.  I didn't love the colors that were readily available at Home Depot or Lowes.  I didn't have time to see my brother who is a couple of hours away to get something else, so I sacrificed my powder room tiles.  It made me a little sad, but then I got excited about shopping for more...  lol

I also wanted to do something different with the vanity.  We have the standard builder-grade light oak vanity.  I thought refinishing a cute dresser would be fun, but couldn't find one anywhere that was cheap and the right style.  In desperation, I decided to try to do something with our old one.


I liked the fun colors we already had in there, but figured that if we were putting fancy tile in and making over the vanity, that it wouldn't match anymore.









I had picked up the shower curtain and towels at Target, and taken some clearance canvases from the local craft store and done simple paint to tie in with the colors and pattern on the top of the shower curtain.  The glass marbles in the sink were ADORABLE, but had to be rinsed a lot to keep them free of toothpaste.  Ewww...

After my hubby tore out the old floor, he discovered that the toilet had been leaking for about a week, causing the subfloor to swell with water, hence the bubbling vinyl.  He had to tear it all out, bleach it, and paint it with that Kilz primer before putting down the cement board for the tile. 

I ended up doing a really dark glaze on the cabinet, almost like paint.  I distressed it a little, cut off the bottom portion where the toe-kick is, and installed legs to make it look taller and more like a custom piece.  We got a stock granite top for it and a pretty new faucet that we all love to play with.



Because it was taller, the kids needed a stepstool to reach.  My hubby made this one from scraps and matching legs.





I chose metallic accent tiles for the floor.



I was inspired by the mirrors on several blogs where they built frames on them.  I gave it a try, but I think the moulding is too narrow and plan on re-doing it.




I love the way the bathroom turned out!



I do think, however, that it is pretty grown-up looking for small children, and would like to make it a little cuter for them.  I don't want to change what I have, just add to it, and I'm thinking something like what Wendy from The Shabby Nest did here:




Check out all of her super cute pics!  I'd like to add polka dots to my shower curtain, maybe do a white bottom wall with wainscoting where the towels are to brighten it a little, and put a couple of monkeys in there somewhere.  I have a lamp that I could add some ric rac or trim to, also.  I think it would be fairly gender neutral. What do you think?

I'm linking this to Funky Junk Interiors SNS #45 at:

and Frugalicious Friday at:
http://decormamma.blogspot.com/2010/08/frugalicious-friday-giveawayphotojewelr.html




You Painted Your Piano???

I'm not a professional piano player.  Just wanted to get that little fact out in the open.  I am self-taught, but I enjoy it.
I didn't spend a bunch of money on a fancy piano when I decided I'd like one.  I went to the local Salvation Army and picked up this little beauty for $60. 


You'll have to imagine it without all of the Christmas decorations.  You can see the finish is covered in this:




I had it tuned, and the man told me it once was a wonderful piano, but it had probably spent quite a bit of time in a barn and ruined the finish.  It has a great sound and is well-tuned, though.  I thought about trying to restore the finish, but I couldn't afford a professional, and I couldn't actually move the piano again.  It is very very heavy.  I couldn't do all of the sanding/stripping/refinishing in my living room, so I left it for a long time.  It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't beautiful either.  You can see that it made the dark room look even darker, with the dark red paint, dark leather, and dark wood.  After seeing all of the painted furniture on other blogs, I decided to give it a try.  I was a bit nervous, but I had high hopes of brightening my room.  I am planning on lightening the wall color later and painting my trim white, but that is for another day/month/year...  ;)

I went with a cottage white, and I love it! 

It has a lot of pretty carved detail to it, and I have been wanting to glaze it to make it pop out a little more, but after painting it, I am a chicken.  I really want to do it, but I've never glazed before and hate to ruin it. 




Isn't it pretty?  It really brightens up that corner of the room.  I don't regret painting it for a second! 



I'm linking this to Funky Junk Interiors SNS #45 at:

and The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday at:

and Frugalicious Friday at:

and Not Just a Housewife at:



Friday, August 27, 2010

I'VE BEEN FEATURED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, yesterday I was checking my email and saw a comment on my Tiffany table post.  I happened to be on the telephone with my husband as I opened it and read it, and here is what I saw from Amanda at Every Crafty Endeavor:

I love this! I love the refinish and the color and just everything about it - I am featuring it tomorrow - so cute!

I immediately started woo hooing in my husband's ear and dancing all around the room.  (I'm glad he could only hear me and not actually see me...)  I was so excited!  I AM so excited!  I have been featured here:





Check out her blog!  It's full of super cute kids and crafty goodness!

Thank you, Amanda! 



Thursday, August 26, 2010

What's for Breakfast?

The weather here has taken a 20 degree drop overnight.  It's beginning to have that fall feeling...  When the house isn't super hot, I really enjoy baking because I really really enjoy sampling!  So, for breakfast today, we are having a family favorite recipe that my next-door neighbor gave my mom when I was young.  It is quick and easy, and very yummy.



Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

1 pkg lemon cake mix
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding
1/4 cup poppy seeds
4 eggs
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well for about 2 minutes with an electric mixer.  Pour into 4 greased mini loaf pans, or 2 greased standard loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of your pans.

The fun part of this recipe is switching up the flavors.  I only use poppy seeds if I'm doing lemon or yellow cake mixes, but you can omit them and use any combination of cake/pudding flavors.  It's a great chocolate loaf.  In the fall, I like it with spice cake or carrot cake.  The possibilities are endless.  My mom makes the yellow cake mix poppy seed loaf in mini pans and gives them as Christmas gifts to the neighbors. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall...

I didn't have one single mirror on my wall, with the exception of the bathrooms.  I see them in stores.  I love them on blogs.  I was waiting for the right one, right time, right price.  I don't know what I was waiting for.  I think I was waiting for my walls to be repainted, but I've been waiting on that for a long time.  A LONG time.

One of my mommy friends has a big yard sale every summer with her whole family.  It's pretty big.  I thought I'd go to see what kind of clothes I could score for my daughter.  I got some cute stuff last year.  I noticed a guy walking around with some big mirrors and thought, Lucky Guy!  I missed those.  Then he had more mirrors, and I though, Not Fair Lucky Guy!  He looked pretty greedy...  Then I asked my girlfriend if he was really buying all of them.  She laughed and told me he was just setting them out for the sale.  So, I bought them.  All of them.  All 4 lovelies.  They are all like 4 or 5 feet by 3 or 4 feet with big frames.  Thanks, Lucky Guy!

They all had different gold frames, which don't really go in my house, but I really heart spray paint, and for under $40 for all 4, I figured it was time.

Oh, look, here's one now!


I sprayed it with oil rubbed bronze.  That is such a great invention!

Here it is with my Goodwill buffet:



Here's my buffet again, because it makes me happy!



I still want to put something low, like a bench, on the long empty wall in the dining room.  My neighbor and I were thinking sconces on either side of the mirror.  I'm not loving the table and chairs that are in there now, but I have no plans at this point for changing them.  Patience...



This is the other corner of the dining room.  Just in case you wondered...

I am linking this post to Between Naps on the Porch here:

and Frugalicious Friday at:

and Creations by Kara at:

and Not Just a Housewife at:

and Domestically Speaking at:


You Paid Him To Say That, Right?

I was so excited!  I had a 30% off coupon for Goodwill!  Off any one item!  Anything at all...  It was good for 1 month, and I spent that whole month waiting for just the right piece of furniture.  Seriously!  I was really pumped!  I didn't know they did coupons.  I had never taken a big finished piece and completely re-done it just for fun.  I waited and waited until the very end, then I had to find something or waste my coupon.  I went to my local store and found some odds and ends, but nothing that spoke to me in the furniture department.  Not that I hear voices in the furniture department of local thrift stores or anything.  What?  Anyway, I decided out of desperation to drive to the next closest location, which really isn't far.  Hello, new friend!  That store had so much more stuff, and it was cheaper!  Love...

The moment I saw it, I knew it was "the one".  I snatched the price tag off right away so no one else could get it. It was a big beautiful buffet!  Actually, it was a big ugly buffet with a horrible dark finish, dated hardware, these weird patterns carved into the wood, water marks, flaking, basically a train wreck.  In other words, perfect.  Oh, did I mention it was just $14.99?!!!!!  I had to call my husband to bring a truck to get it.  He doubted me when he saw it, but he loaded it up anyway.  It is solid oak and HEAVY.  As we pulled the truck off into the back parking lot to tie it down better, the most awesome thing happened.  A walking trail runs behind the store, and a man with his dog happened to be on it.  He stopped and looked at the buffet in the back of the truck, asks how much it was, and starts telling me what a really cool piece it is and how great it is!  Hello, total stranger who shares my vision.  My husband was rolling his eyes and was sure I put said stranger up to it.  It could not have been more perfect.  I laughed so hard I almost peed.  Can you say that in a blog?  Oh, well.  I almost did.

Being very impatient, and not knowing I would have this blog just a couple of weeks later, I do not have a before picture.  Visualize really dark stain, the kind that has the speckles of black paint all over it.  Lots of dirt.  A carved pattern on all of the doors and drawers that looks like an axe.  After much sanding, puttying, sanding, priming, painting, and new hardware, I am so excited!  My neighbors were so excited!  We are all excited!  And my husband shares the vision now!


I'm linking this to Frugalicious Friday at:
http://decormamma.blogspot.com/2010/08/frugalicious-friday-giveawayphotojewelr.html

All Washed Up

Good morning, peeps!
I know there's at least one of you out there...  (You know who you are, and I heart you!)




I picked up this pine washstand at the cutest little country store about 15 years ago.  It has the sweetest shape to it, but the honey pine look is no longer my favorite.  I actually don't even have room for it any more having just re-done (partially) my dining room, but I really wanted to see this cutie with some new bling before I let it go. 

It had only a stained finish on it and didn't need any patches or repairs, so it required just a light sanding and cleaning.  Oh, how I wish that more of my projects were this simple!  I did decide not to paint the top, so that required some extra attention.

Here's a little secret about me:  I am into instant gratification.  There.  I said it.  I am very impatient.  I prefer quickie projects with little to no planning or shopping required.  Having shared that, you may understand why I used what I had on-hand in my paint stash for this one.  I was out of primer and had outdoor white paint.  Not what the professionals would recommend, I'm sure, but it was free and instantly available.    Actually, the paint gave great coverage.  I did 2 coats and it gave a nice even finish.  I have seen a lot of pieces lately that are painted and have a stained accent top, so I thought I'd give that a try.  Let me say that I suck at staining.  In my impatient rush, I sanded all of the stain off of the top, but with a 100 grit sandpaper.  Easy peasy, as my 6 year old says.  If I had followed up with a fine sanding, it would have been the most beautiful stain I'd ever done.  If...  Since I didn't, it is much darker in some places where the top isn't as smooth.  Oh, well.  Every project teaches me something.  

Here it is: 


After getting a good look at it in the photos, I really think I should fill those nail holes on the front.  I mean, they're not obvious or anything, right?  Duh...  Seriously, though, isn't it much cuter?  Now it just needs a home...

I think my day includes some puttying, touching up, and some wipe-on poly for all of the pieces I have done in the last week or so that need that finishing touch!

I am linking this to Keeping It Simple here:

and Not Just a Housewife at:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Little Help, Please!

Okay, I am obviously very new to this, and if anyone has any tips, I would HUGELY appreciate it!  How do you get the cute blog templates?  How do you do proper links to other websites?  What about adding a list of the blogs that I love?  Starting a list of categories for posts?  What's the best way to go about getting this blog off the ground? 

Please please please help me!  I mean, don't get me wrong.  I'm not desperate at all or over my head in the least.  Truly!  ;)

I wish I had one of these when I was a kid!

I hate the look of swingsets.  No offense, just saying. 

I swore my yard would always be a beautiful garden like in a magazine.  Then, along came kids. 
I tried to be strong.  I bought all of the landscaping magazines.  I shopped the nurseries. 

And then this happened:


And this:



Yeah, I know, right?  And that doesn't even count the huge Little Tikes cottage that's not pictured...

In my defense, I have to say the swingset was free, the 2 playhouses were from a neighbor's yard sale for $30 each, and the other stuff just sorta happened.

And then, my kids started to grow.  This set was great for my 3 year old, but not so exciting for my 6 year old and his friends.  I started to picture a yard without plastic all over it.  I don't really "do" plastic.  Nuff said. 

 I thought that a playhouse and swingset would be fun, and then I came across Ana White's Knock-Off Wood blog.   
That woman is a mind reader!  Seriously, within a week of starting my wishlist and planning, Ana posts these plans on her blog:

 

I was so excited!  In a non-landscapey, non-garden kind of way...

After recruiting my husband and father-in-law to do the heavy work for me, our playset now looks like this:

Drum roll, please!



Please ignore the dead grass.  The tools were out for a long time.  A very very long time...





I still need to build a kitchen for it, and it needs a few little things done to the outside, but I am so happy!  My very own playset!  Okay, my kids' very own playset!  I would have traded all of my Cabbage Patch Kids for a set like this when I was little...  We built it ourselves and got just what we wanted.  It was definitely cheaper than buying a Rainbow set, and all in all not a horribly expense.  The rubber tiles for the surface were the most expensive, but I love love love them for safety and cleaning, and hopefully can sell them when we are done with them.  I heart Craigslist...

I am linking this to the Funky Junk Interiors Party at
http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/2010/08/sns-44-brings-you-your-most-favorite.html

I shall call her Tiffany, and she will make me happy!

I have had this cabinet for several years. 



Is it a sideboard?  A sofa table?  I dunno.  It has lived in my dining room and behind the sofa.  Anyway, it came from one of those closeout stores for some super bargain price.  It is a honey pine, which went with my country look, but I am really going for a new style. 

I have seen all of the brave bloggers out there experimenting with color, and the hot one seems to be a robin's egg blue.  Well, I just happened to be at the big blue hardware store the other day and found a quart of it in the oops! section for $2.50.  Woo hoo!  It was meant to be!  I snatched that baby up and ran to the register!

After sanding, painting, and 4 new knobs, here's her new look:


The pictures look washed out.  She really is the same blue as the Tiffany gift boxes.  My husband thought I was kind of goofy for picking this color, but I really think it brings out the blue in the picture above the bed.  Which I just scrolled up to see, and it's cut off.  So there...  ;)




I am linking this to the Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday here:
http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/2010/08/frugal-friday_19.html


and to Funky Junk Interiors here:
http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/2010/08/sns-44-brings-you-your-most-favorite.html


and Today's Creative Blog here:
http://todayscreativeblog.net/


and Domestically Speaking here:
http://www.domestically-speaking.com/2010/08/34th-popp-how-to-crackle.html

and Frugalicious Friday here:
http://decormamma.blogspot.com/2010/08/frugalicious-friday-giveawayphotojewelr.html

and Domestically Speaking at:
http://www.domestically-speaking.com/2012/02/112th-power-of-paint-party-a-little-more-blue.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FANDJ+%28Domestically+Speaking%29

and A Bowl Full of Lemons at:
http://abowlfulloflemons.blogspot.com/2012/02/one-project-at-time-tuesday-link-party.html

This is me...

Hi!  This is me.


I'm not so great at self-portraits, but I'm just keeping it real.

My name is Nicole, and I'm a blogaholic.  ;)

I am an official stalker on several decorating blogs...  muwahaha!

I love a bargain.  I love to change the look of things with paint and more paint.  I am officially addicted to spray paint.  Who knew?!  You can put that stuff on just about anything, baby!  Love love love it!
I love Goodwill and Craigslist.  Ebay has been known to rock as well...

I have had my home for 12 years, and I have so lost track of how many styles and colors it has had in it.  I started out very country, went more to primitives, and now am on a quest to switch to simple and classic. 

I love to build my own furniture and accessories as needed.  I have no carpentry training, but I heart power tools...  <3

I decided to start a blog because I am so inspired by the many ideas I have seen on other blogs.  I firmly believe that it does not take a lot of money to have a beautiful home.  I have fallen in love with secondhand goodness!  I hope that some of my ideas and projects will inspire someone else out there to achieve the home of their dreams!