I just like how the vase actually pops now, and hey, a little bit of a handmade look is always welcome in my house...
Have a fabulous weekend!
Happy Friday Everyone! It was a busy week, but I carved out a bit of time today to complete a small project. I've had this vase with faux orchid arrangement for ages. I put it together way back in our first house. I was sitting in the living room last night and thought, "That vase just disappears, I think I'll paint it!". Here is the before and after:
In the before, can you see how that vase is barely visible? Not anymore! The finish idea came from a little vase/arrangement I picked up at my local Tuesday Morning...
Here they are side by side:
While my attempt to mimic a glazed ceramic is a bit wanting, the color I mixed is pretty spot on! I painted the vase with white satin paint, let it dry, then glazed it with a mix of acrylics and glazing medium, wiping away the blue glaze where I wanted the white to show through.
I just like how the vase actually pops now, and hey, a little bit of a handmade look is always welcome in my house...
We are working on outside projects as soon as the weather breaks, so I'll check in with Ya'll soon!
Have a fabulous weekend!
It has finally happened! Our terrible driveway and sidewalks have been replaced with brand-spanking new concrete! They are cleaning up as I type and they just started yesterday morning!
The only problem with this blog post is this: I obviously despised the old, gravel and grass mess of a driveway so much, I never took one picture of it! LOL! Soooooo, no before pic Ya'll. Sorry! Just imagine a pea gravel driveway that had become so overgrown with grass that we had to mow it... Can you see it? Ok, now wipe it from your mind completely 'cause it's GONE! ;-)
Here is the view from the front door:
It is still drying, but you can see that it is brushed with a windowpane edging. Love it! Also love that my high heels won't sink into the space between the old brick pavers that used to make up the walkway.
The walkway on the side of the house used to be a random mixture of red paving stones that was so deep into the ground, that any rain flooded it. Now, it is the perfect height to avoid any flooding:
So fresh and so clean, clean! Now we can really clean up the landscaping and make it beautiful. Any yard is always a work in progress, but this new concrete will give us motivation to take this yard up a notch!
It will look different after it dries, but I was so excited, I just had to share with you all! They prepped, installed the forms and poured the walks in one day. Then they poured the driveway today. They are almost done already and, we are so impressed with the quality of work.
I'll post updated pics later, but for now: Yay! Progress! :-)
Have a fabulous weekend Everyone!
Happy Spring Everyone! Well, for some of us anyway! They are calling for snow again this weekend, yay. Hope everyone enjoyed their last holiday weekend! We traveled up to see both of our Families, but while we were at my Parents' house, I wanted to make use of a few hours to re-organize their pantry. I gave it a first attempt a few years ago, but since I didn't have the supplies I needed, it slowly devolved into this:
While this may scare some people, it gives me a little tingle! All that stuff to organize!! ;-) Yeah, I'm weird...
Anywho! I bought them two battery powered, motion operated lights for this dark closet and I had to install them before I got started just to get some light in there for pictures. I purchased them at Lowes here. They are small and unobtrusive, turn on automatically when you open the door and automatically turn off in 30 seconds after you close it. They also come with 3M velcro strips to hang them! Perfect amount of light to show off the newly organized pantry!
I purchased the over-the-door shoe organizer from Target here. This thing is doing A LOT of heavy lifting in this pantry! Seriously, if you do not have space for crab mallets, party utensils, grilling utensils and other odd shaped items, this piece is a life changer. I was able to organize many of their smaller storage needs with this one item.
My previous attempt to organize wasn't terrible, I just didn't have the proper materials to corral everything and KEEP it organized. This time, Mom gave me the measurements and I hit Target with my handy tape measure. I wound up with 6 clear shoe bins and one under bed storage bin. After I got into the project, I realized I should have picked up more shoe bins. Doh! Mom had a few empty bins in the basement though, so it worked out fine!
I also snagged their old lazy susan that was destined for the trash and used it for their canned goods...
I labeled everything with my new Dymo MobileLabeler. This model has an app for your IOS or Android phone that connects with Bluetooth and prints directly to the labeler. It is awesome! You all know how I like to label ALL the things! Look out if you stop by my house, you just might get labeled... ;-) LOL! And look how cute and portable it is...
Since this pantry closet is still "graced" with the builder grade wire shelving, I used the lid of the larger bin to keep vases upright and other items from falling through. I mentioned to my Parents that taking the disposables out of their packaging when they get them home from the store makes them that much easier to grab when you need them. And - bonus! This simple step also makes the pantry more visually pleasing...
They wanted to keep their Crockpot, popcorn popper and other gadgets in this pantry as well. That is where the larger bin came into play. It easily slides on the vinyl flooring so they can pull it out and grab what they need...
I also picked up a folding step stool for my vertically challenged Mother, 'cause that top shelf with the coffee is WAY too important not to reach! ;-) The fire extinguisher lives here and I kept one reusable, insulated bag for them in here as well. As I was cleaning out the pantry, I asked how often they used all of the multitudinous reusable bags and the answer was, "Never, we re-use the plastic grocery bags for the cat's litter." Oki doki then! Out they went along with three bags of expired items and useless packaging. Here's one more look at my Parents' re-organized Pantry:
While my dream is to tear out the wire shelving and install a more efficient system in this closet for them, this isn't bad for a few hours worth of work! Let's just hope they stick to the system. At least I know Mom has been enjoying it! She has been opening the door just to see the lights go on and gaze at the cleanliness! ;-)
I hope this little project inspires some spring cleaning vibes for you all!
Have a great weekend!
Last week I updated you on our Laundry Area here. What I haven't shown you yet is the pantry and pet station in the Laundry Room. While the room is pretty small, it handles a lot of jobs for our little house! The Laundry Room is directly off of the Kitchen which makes it the perfect spot for a Pantry. Here is the view from the Kitchen into the Laundry Room:
The Pantry shelves are on the left as you enter the room:
I simply hemmed a piece of fabric to attach to the Kitchen side of the shelving unit to disguise the Pantry view from the Kitchen/Dining Room. This allows us to keep this doorway open for ease of use by both us and the cat. His food/water reside under our Pantry shelves and his litter box is in the hot water heater closet at the other end of this room.
As you can see, our 7 year old goldfish is still kickin'! His buddy passed away about 3 years ago and I don't think this one really cared too much. More space in the tank and all, you understand... ;-) Hi Oldie Goldie!
He lost half his tail after a particularly violent breach. I'm not sure, but I think the cat was messing with him... Good thing he can grow it back!
I have collected various bins to corral everything on the Pantry shelves and honestly, I cannot remember where I purchased them all! I do know that I snagged the 3 plastic lazy susans at our thrift store from the free bin! Score!
Above you can see the cat smorgasbord on the floor. All of the cat/fish paraphernalia and foods are in the small cabinet on the right. It is the perfect spot due to the close vicinity of the laundry sink. We can easily rinse out the cat bowls and clean the fish tank without much fuss.
Speaking of the laundry sink, it is the original sink. I did paint the outside and the top rim and surfaces and sealed them. The old yellowed sink was just not doing it for me! Have you ever shopped for a decent looking laundry sink?? I'm sorry, but a laundry sink for over 600 bucks?? Yikes! I decided that I would spruce up the old one, have Hubby raise it to a more adult height and center it on the window. Perfect solution and MUCH cheaper! This sink sees a lot of action with the pets and all of our painting projects. This little guy just makes me smile... :-)
Of course, I can't have a bare slice of wall anywhere... LOL... So I created a few faux succulent hanging vases and hung them on the wall above the fish tank. The electrical box is to the left, so I had to keep things pretty narrow. On a whim, I made some small artwork with a free printable, adding a quote by Beryl Markham, "Life is life and fun is fun, but it's all so quiet when the goldfish die." Maybe a little morbid for the goldfish, but I don't think he minds! LOL! Just a little reminder to live life while we can...
And here is another view of our little Pantry and Pet Station:
I hope Everyone has a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the web!
Hello there! I hope everyone has been having a great start to the year. Yes, it's already almost the end of March and this is my first post of 2018. Things have been a bit busy on our end without much work on the ole' abode, so this is actually the first project I have been able to tackle! Don't get your hopes up too much though, it's a pretty small project! ;-)
Way back in 2015 in our last house, I updated our tiny laundry/storage closet here. Then I upgraded my laundry labels here. In our new house, we actually have a laundry room. It is also the pantry, pet station and storage area, but at least it isn't a closet! Here is a before and after of the laundry area:
Our new Whirlpool Cabrio machines are great and can handle any load you can throw at them. The Ikea shelves above have been very useful, but I just updated the bins to these pretty ones from Target. I bought two of the 13 inch and three of the 11 inch. They fit perfectly and hide EVERYTHING! It looks so nice and clean now!
I was also forced to upgrade my laundry bottles since my laundry detergent brand decided to change their entire system. Sigh. Oh well, at least my new containers are even prettier! I cleaned the labels off of 2 wine bottles destined for the recycling bin, grabbed 2 wine pourer/stoppers we had and cut some new vinyl labels with my Silhouette machine. I used to have my dryer sheets in a cheap plastic container, but they have also been upgraded to a square vase, with label of course!
You know when you update some software and the same fonts aren't available after the update? Yeah, that happened. I opened my old Silhouette file and my previous font was just gone! I just chose a different font and moved forward, leaving the stain remover pump with the old font. You can't win 'em all!
While I have reused many items from our last laundry area, this one feels completely different. It is a pleasure to do laundry every week in this neat, soothing space where everything is at arm's reach...
I hope this gets me going to do more projects! I've been slacking around here! LOL!
I have a few small things in mind, but we are going to have our driveway and walkways completely redone soon. AND we are contemplating putting down flooring in the ENTIRE house ourselves. Crazy, no?? Oh, yeah, it is definitely crazy! We'll just see if that really happens...
Anywho, more to come!
I must apologize for falling off the face for months. This year has been fraught with sorrow, pain and disappointments galore.
Losing my last living grandparent, my Grandmother, was very painful. Although I know I should have been able to show my sorrow more, I was only able to voice it to a few. I simply chose to mourn my Grandmother in my own way, in private. Of course, that was easily done since my Grandmother was cremated and there was no memorial service… I digress.
Undeniably, some sorrow spilled over from 2016. Losing our beloved cat Raven was still weighing down my heart at the beginning of the year. I mourn him still.
Being in a state of sorrow does cause more stress, leading to more health issues. Clenching my teeth for decades, even with a night guard, has caused some dental issues. Gaining weight from stress amplified my female issues and my arthritis pain. Let’s hear it for stress! Yay! ;-)
The ridiculous state of politics in this country is a constant stress inducer as well. I have all but stopped visiting my social media sites and I avoid any news station on TV. While political issues will not affect me too much personally, many of my family and friends will pay dearly. Oh, and an imminent threat of thermonuclear war doesn’t help with the stress levels either…
Again, I digress.
Others are dealing with worse, I know that, but I am just writing this for a type of catharsis. Thank you for indulging me…
On a cheerier note, our neighbors' cat, Vader, now lives with us. They moved and asked us to care for him. He is a handful and we are still trying to acclimatize him to our schedule. If you were wondering, it is NOT easy to retrain a 9 year old cat. LOL! He is on a diet (because he is so fat he cannot clean himself), he likes to go outside (even when it is 17 degrees out), he wants to eat ALL the food, and he scratches our furniture. With all of that, we are still enjoying him. Example: We took him to the Vet for updated shots and mentioned that he couldn’t clean his behind. The Vet said, “No problem! We can help keep that a bit cleaner…”. We had no idea he would come back with a Brazilian shave… Hubby and I never laughed so hard! LOL! The look of shock and disgust on Vader’s face was priceless…
We gave up on the camper for a while and covered it for the winter. Hubby almost finished the outside of the new porch, but the freezing cold has set in now. It will have to wait for warmer weather…
Waiting… That has been sort of the theme of the year. I am tired of waiting. Tired of waiting for the sorrow, the pain and the disappointments to fade away. No more waiting. 2018 will be the year of making everything better. Whether it be surgery to handle my female issues or forcing myself to finish that damn camper! I realize now that the waiting has come from a place of fear. Fear of failure, fear of reproach, fear of the unknown, and I am just now admitting to myself that I lost my joy for a bit. Let's make 2018 as joyful as ever!
Happy New Year!
Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home... it's your responsibility to love it, or change it.
- Chuck Palahniuk
As I mentioned in my last post, Hubby and I recently inherited a vintage 1990 Sunline camper from my Parents...
Isn't she cute? Yeah, not so much when it needed all new running lights, a new axle, new brakes & wiring and new tires. Yay. But that is not the worst part...
Look Ma! No wood! :-( Yeah, pretty much the entire back wall and corners are rotten...
Honestly, I'm amazed the thing is still in one piece. I guess the aluminum skin is keeping it all together. Hubby and I spent the better part of this past weekend tearing out the old dinette, the wardrobe cabinet and cabinet at the foot of the gaucho bed. THAT is when we found the rot - the left side of the bed is just hanging in space. We knew the mouse infestation was really bad, but we had no idea the rot was this extensive. While I am not that surprised - the thing is over 27 years old - I am disappointed. Our renovation will take three times longer now and we wanted to go on the road for our 20th wedding anniversary this October. I just don't see how that is going to happen now.
Only slightly better news, is that the electric works and the kitchen is in pretty good shape:
After some paint, peel & stick backsplash, new counter top and faucet, the kitchen will be good as new! I hope. Dad tells me the propane system for the stove and oven work fine, but we haven't even tried it yet.
Since this is a very small camper, only 15 feet, it can feel cramped. I opted to discard the two top bunks (one over the dinette and one over the back gaucho bed) and use those areas as open shelving/storage. Once they came out, as well as the useless wardrobe cabinet, it already felt more spacious.
This camper also has a tiny bathroom, complete with tiny sink!
Not so sure my 6 foot + tall Hubby will be able to take a shower in there, but I'm sure he'll try. :-)
Well, that's all I can bear to show you at the moment. I can feel the chunks rising just thinking about the terrible state of this camper...
The plan is to paint the interior a soft white and install new vinyl peel & stick wood look planks on the floor and the two wet walls of the bathroom. We just need to have walls to paint first! The exterior will require a lot of work, making sure the joints and windows are truly sealed to prevent more rot in the future. Only after it is all sealed will we be able to paint it. Urgh.
Well, wish us luck and I will update ya'll soon!
Soooo, it's been a while! This pesky life kinda got in the way again... ;-) Besides working on this renovation since January and another international conference in May, I lost my Grandmother in June. That put me into a rather strange state, like I was in some kind of limbo for a bit. It really doesn't matter that you know in your mind the time is coming, your heart still breaks when that time does come. After a few weeks, I was able to get off the couch and do more than just go to work. My parents decided to give us their old camping trailer and I have ALWAYS wanted one! Stay tuned for that renovation project next! During everything else going on, Hubby and I have been toiling away weekends and weeknights on the porch renovation. Here is a before and after to get us started:
We pretty much replaced everything except most of the roof. I say "most" of the roof because a good portion of the end of it was rotten:
Yup, not a whole lot holding that together but the tar on the shingles!
One of our goals, besides a leak-proof roof of course, was to gain as much ceiling height inside the porch as we could. During demo, we took down the aluminum cladding to open the ceiling and found that the porch roof rafters were just nailed to the ends of the house rafters:
Just hangin' in the wind! Hubby drilled through each set and bolted them together for a sturdier connection. During demo and construction, our neighbor's cat Vader was a most vigilant supervisor... LOL!
He keeps us on our toes!
Taking shape before windows: (The big box is actually our new replacement sliding doors.)
The ceiling was a bear and Hubby tamed it. He added a reflecting barrier between each rafter to help with the heat from the roof. Of course, the rafters were very old and warped, so he had to cut each piece of siding to fit perfectly between:
Luckily, while I was away in Miami for work, Hubby snagged some neighborly help to put in the bigger windows. Those things are NOT light! We were a bit remiss in getting photos during the window and door installation process, sorry! We chose composite Andersen sliding windows and doors.
We used exterior siding, LP SmartSide, from Lowe's for the interior walls and ceiling, hanging it ship lap style. We caulked EVERYTHING, then painted with Olympic One satin in Delicate White. We then installed Style Selections Galvano Charcoal, 12 X 24" floor tile with matching grout directly over the concrete porch surface...
Now for the best part! The After photos! Yay! :-)
We also enlisted another neighbor to hoist the 160 + pound sliding doors into place. Phew! That thing was crazy heavy! Hubby had it all set and ready to go, so it was quickly set in place. The futon and acrylic chairs are from Hayneedle for a serious deal! The side tables are old Ikea tables we've had for years, but the coffee table was handmade by yours truly! I ordered the hairpin legs from Etsy, had Hubby cut a leftover piece of butcher block into an asymmetrical shape then I sanded it with the belt sander to get the edges I wanted. I had to mix my own stain and then finish it with three coats of Polycrylic.
We also wanted to create a beverage station in this room, so we picked up a small Whirlpool mini fridge while it was on sale and added an Ikea top and adjustable legs for the countertop. An inexpensive cart from Ikea provides some storage. The shelves were one Ikea shelf that we cut into two and then screwed to the wall. I just love the exposed screw heads! Good thing too, since there was NO way to hang that shelf with the included hardware after we chopped it... ;-)
The wall sconces were a score from Lamps Plus and I grabbed the floor lamp and table lamp from Target. There are many clearance and thrift store finds as well. After the cost of the construction materials, windows and doors, I needed to be as frugal on the decorating side as possible. The pillows are from the previous comfy screened porch reno, I just added some interest with yarn I had in my stash. Instead of buying art, I bought a cheap 20 X 30" foam core board and painted the artwork for the other side of the sliding door:
One last look at our new room...
Thanks for hanging in with me for this renovation! It was a doozy and, to be quite honest, still unfinished. The outside is still incomplete! LOL! We are working on that now, but the current heat and random thunderstorms are hampering our progress. Hubby says it's ok, you can't even see the outside while sitting in this awesome space! ;-) If you have any questions on anything, please just leave a comment! Hope you are all enjoying your summer!
So, I was sitting in the living room with my feet up on the ottoman and my eyes were drawn to yet another nick in the paint of one of our nesting coffee tables that I renovated here. Honestly, I was kinda happy about that little nick because it meant I was finally ready to replace those tables. I'm sure you've noticed I haven't been my usual blogging self as of late. I've been having a tough time lately with many things. I just need to get back to that place where I am my best self, and working on projects and blogging are my happy place! Anywho, we've had these two side tables for ages just sitting in the attic:
They are OK as is, but the rattan tops are WAY too yellow for our living room decor. The bases are nice, if not a bit too high. The plan was to purchase two pine table tops and chop the legs down a few inches. Hubby used a grinding wheel to shorten the legs that I marked with tape for him. He then sanded the rough edges off the pine tops and handed them over to me for finishing... Of course, pine is quite yellow isn't it? ;-) To take that yellow away, I watered down some of the living room wall paint half & half and did a quick wash over the wood tops:
You can see how the paint wash took the yellow away instantly. I just brushed it on, following the grain, and wiped it down immediately with paper towels. After the wash dried for an hour, I sanded the tops with 220 grit sandpaper to take down any wood grain that rose up with the moisture. I then brushed on 3 coats of satin Polycrylic, allowing 2 hours of drying time and a quick sanding with 320 grit sandpaper between each coat. And, Voila! New tables for the living room!
Hubby did a great job chopping down the legs to the perfect coffee table height. I am also more confident in the finish on these tables. The old tables were veneer with a few coats of spray paint. I prepped the surfaces correctly, but that paint just did not stick! Since I have refinished an entire staircase and other tables with this same Polycrylic technique, I know it will take abuse much better!
AAHHH! Much better! Now that spring is officially here, I need to change out the pillows and curtains for the season. I always look forward to that spring change!
Hubby is also working on the screened porch and getting it ready for its transformation into a three season porch! We are so excited that the new windows and doors will be delivered next week. I will update you all on that progress next!
I hope you all had a great weekend!
If you have been around my blog for a bit, you'll already know how much I love a bargain! My Friend and I were checking out the new spring items at our local Pier 1 when I came across the clearance section... New blue and white square plates for 5 bucks a piece? Yes please! I knew these would coordinate with the dishes we already had so I snapped them up...
I had napkins and other dishes to coordinate, but I had nothing to bring a little "pop" to the table setting. Being as frugal (aka - cheap) as I am, I decided to make my own napkin rings out of an old dress from my project bin. I knew this dress would come in handy some day!
All you need for this project is some thin cardboard cut into strips, like a cereal box destined for the recycling bin for instance. My strips are 2 inches by 6 inches. Break out your scissors and cut up that old dress to cover the cardboard strips with your trusty low temp glue gun...
The frayed edges on the backside are easily covered by some grosgrain ribbon that was just hanging out in my craft stash. Just cut the ribbon to size, use a lighter to sear the ends to prevent fraying and glue it down...
Next, use a shot glass or, in my case, a sake cup to bend the strip around. You should have enough of an overlap to glue the ends together...
And you have a nifty new napkin ring that coordinates with your new table setting for practically nothing! Now, just do that 5 more times... ;-) Here is my new table setting all ready for a party of six!
I also stole a few items from other areas of the house to coordinate the centerpiece, lit some candles, and switched out the throw and pillow on the bench seat...
The cool part about this project is that I already had everything I needed. Next up, I need to gussy up a few old kitchen towels to match - I have plenty of that old dress left to hack up! Just goes to show that if you love the pattern of a piece of clothing that doesn't fit properly, you can always use it for something else. All you need to do is look at things in a different way.
"The happiest people don't have the best of everything,
they just make the best of everything."
It's almost Friday! Have a great weekend Everyone, make it the best!
Hi There! I'm MJ, a 40-something professional woman with a love for art, crafting and decorating. Here I hope to share my experiments and inspire others as they have inspired me...