Thursday, May 15, 2014

Capturing the Memories: Photo Yearbooks and Photo 365

Every night, when I put Peyton to bed, I ask her what her favorite part of the day was. Sometimes the answer is sweet -- "you!" and other times it makes me laugh out loud -- "when I farted on you!" (What is it with kids finding body sounds hilarious?!)

We tried, ever so briefly, to write one line a day in our journal of our favorite parts of the day. But it didn't last long. Commitment issues.  

So then I switched to creating a Yearbook for each year using MyPublisher Photobooks. I got the idea from the YoungHouseLove blog and you can read all about the idea here.  I loved the idea of capturing a book full of photos for each year so I backtracked and created a yearbook for 2010, 2012 and 2013.  Peyton loves looking through the books, and she does it often.

My camera broke in 2011 and my computer also died that year so I was unfortunately not able to create enough pictures for a 2011 yearbook. I do plan to hijack my mom's photos at some point to see if I can use some of her memories to make a 2011 yearbook.

What is great about MyPublisher is that they retain every book you create so you can always re-order.  I also love the quality of the books--you can order a photo right on the cover and they have a lot of great extras, like lay flat pages, glossy pages, etc. I'm definitely a fan.

Today, I discovered this amazing app on iTunes that I am excited to share! It's called "Photo 365," and I think another version is "Collect-Everyday Photo Diary."  The goal is to upload one photo per day.  I think it will be a terrific way to capture the moments and those "favorite parts" that we have each day.  You can even order photo books using your uploaded images!

I downloaded it to my iPhone and iPad and they are syncing beautifully. I backtracked a few days with some memories that I could capture, but it starts today. Game on.

I've also created an Instagram account, but since I'm not a tremendous fan of social media (well, other than Pinterest!) I don't know how much I will use it. But I do so love those miniature IG pictures and magnets you can get from those images. I'm a sucker for anything miniature. Unless it's chocolate. Then you'd better supersize that puppy. 

How do you capture your memories? 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wild Baby Rabbits

My mom texted me this morning and asked me to bring Peyton by her house.

"You will like this too," she says.

So we hop in the car and stop at her house where she leads us to her backyard, and proceeds to pull what looks like fluff from the ground under the tree house. At first I wasn't sure what to expect--before getting close it honestly looked like a big webbed spider's nest. I thought surely my mom wouldn't be so cruel as to make me see a big fat hairy spider. Not the day before Mother's Day. That's just mean. I think my voice might have even trembled when I asked if it was a spider's nest before moving closer.

I watched with trepidation and confusion as she pulled the ground away from itself.

Baby rabbits.  I swear my heart went pitty-pat! I have never seen a rabbits burrow, though I have heard of them in Wonderland, yes I have.

There were seven babies in the nest, and as hard as it was to put them back in the nest, I knew we had to, to give them a fighting chance at survival. But they were so cute, cuddly and oh-so-soft, it was hard not to tuck them into my purse and haul them home. So hard. But even rabbit mothers should be with their babies on Mother's Day!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blogger Inspired Project: Cameroon Juju Hat

I know my posting has been spotty the last few weeks. Work has been stressful and I just haven't had two brain cells to rub together at the end of my days. So I'm sorry this post is two days late but knowing me, it's probably not the last time I'll do that. Moooving on.

I have always loved Cameroon Juju hats. (I mean really, even the name tickles my funny bone-in highschool, before I even knew Cameroon Juju hats existed, I used to go round saying everyone needed leopard in thier house or the bad juju would get you. So really, this project was like.. kismet.)

Most people I've talked to don't know what a Cameroon Juju Hat is.  So in a nutshell, it's a feather African hat that is worn by royal dancers during ceremonies. You can read a little more about them here. (Note: I do not know anything else about that site or the quality of their work-it was just a page that I quickly Googled to get additional details for you!) 

The problem was that most Cameroon Juju Hats were very costly--typically ranging in the $400-$500 range. The other night I did a quick Google to show my mom what a Juju hat was and the first one that pulled up was $1,250! Yeah, I'm not inspired to spend that much on a decorative object.  

But I continued to see Juju Hats everywhere (ok, not really. But I can be surprisingly single-minded when it comes to an obsession...). I pinned several images on Pinterest of Juju hats and dreamed about dancing in Juju Hats (ok, not really. But if I did would you be surprised?)

Image from Pinterest here
Finally, like any inspired blogger, I wondered if it was possible to make one. I found several sites where bloggers provided tutorials on how they made their Juju Hat, and Vintage Farm Furniture is the the one that convinced me I could do it.  Half of the battle, I figured, was ordering the feathers. (The other half was conquering my allergies to feathers in order to put it together. Oh yeah, I did that.) 

After researching various feather options, I ultimately went with the same site that Vintage Farm Furniture used: The Feather Place.  I ordered 3 quantities (it is sold by the 1/4 lb.) of the 6-8" Shocking Pink Rooster Coque Tails.  I ordered extra because other blogs mentioned using more and I wanted to have a margin of error. For this project I only ended up using 2 of the feather rolls. (Hm, an extra roll of feathers. I spy another project in the future?!) 

Anyhoo, I digress. So I ordered the feathers. I don't know it if was just my experience, but I ordered the feathers and I did not receive an order confirmation e-mail or a shipping confirmation email. Days went by and I kicked myself for not writing down the order confirmation number (I have never not gotten a confirmation e-mail!) and I wondered if anything had gone wrong with my order and if I was going to have to call customer service.... and then I came home from work one day and the feathers were there. Like magic. Ok, not really magic, but just thought I would share that in case anyone else orders and has a similar experience. Learn from me-write the confirmation number down and then don't panic. 

I'm going to skip the tutorial here since it's not really mine and just say if you would like to make one yourself, definitely check out the tutorial on Vintage Farm Furniture. Because I really did follow it step by step.   Here are some progress shots. 

And here is where, excited at my progress, I stopped to text my mom a picture. She, predictably, thought I was ridiculous for attempting such a thing when I am allergic to feathers.  (My text is green and blue; hers is the gray.) 

 Back to the project:

When I was done, I wasn't sure where to hang it, so like the impatient gal that I am, I took a couple of pictures off my gallery wall to hang it front and center. So the disclaimer here is: this is not its final resting place. 

love the bright pop of color and fluffiness. I also love that it is not $1,250.  The only thing I need to figure out is where it can live. Oh, and if I should do another one in purple. It is that delicious. MmmWAH! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Priming & Painting Little Loo

It's been a little busy this weekend trying to knock out some painting projects to get the lower level prepped for the next stage of this renovation (flooring). So I spent the weekend in paint fumes, priming and painting the powder room and the newly mudded drywall.

A few things from this weekend:

  1. Priming over newly mudded drywall is a pain. It took me 5 hours to prime the ceiling and walls of the powder room (Little Loo) and the small patch jobs around the large room. The new drywall sucks up the paint and it doesn't glide evenly so more arm power is needed for smooth coverage. I am looking at the playroom (which also needs mudded and primed) and wincing. 
  2. Color-Matching strikes again! I went to Sherwin Williams to pick out my paint the other day since they are A-my favorite paint and B-having a 40% off sale of all paints; and asked the guy to color-match to Glidden's Silver Birch. I'd had the same color done there before so I assumed (wrongfully so) that he was pulling up my account when he asked for my name before the Color Match job.  I got the flat ceiling paint home and started slapping it up on the walls and it was green. Not even pretty green but olive green.  I grabbed another can of the same color (eggshell-so not made for walls) and tested it out right next to the other paint and there was a huge difference. So I used the eggshell paint on my ceiling just to get it done. I still have to take the original flat ceiling paint back to have them fix it before I can finish the media room.
  3. I then put on the first coat of the new color on the walls in the powder room and it's a pretty color. It will need a second coat so looks like I'll be working on that throughout the week. It's a bad picture and the light is washing out a lot of the color, but when you stand in the room it has more impact. It's very soothing and spa-like. It is Sherwin William's Sea Salt.  Unlike the primer it only took one 1 hour to knock out the ceiling and walls (well, AFTER I figured out the whole green ceiling paint debacle!) 
So there you have it, three things from the weekend. What did you get up to this weekend? 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Five Favorite Etsy Shops

I know I'm a day late on this post, but I had a family dinner last night and by the time I got home, I was just wiped. It was another long day today, so I thought I'd just do a quick post on a little addiction of mine-Etsy! The other day a friend of mine was telling me she was being naughty at the mall and I jokingly said her shopping habit at the mall was like my shopping habit at Etsy. Then I realized it's not really a joke at all!

I love seeing people use their creativity and bringing some individual (and sometimes custom) artwork and crafts into my home. So I thought I'd do a quick round-up of my 5 favorite Etsy vendors lately.

  1. Modern Mud by Naomi is my current obsession. She has ahhmazing vases and little bowls that I have become slightly obsessed with. I actually purchased several smaller vases and then I reached out to her and asked if she could make larger vases in custom colors. She said yes. Watch for an upcoming post on these! 
  2. SilverTreeArt by Suzanne L. Vinson. This is a relatively new shop I stumbled on from reading another blog. I ordered a few wisdom cards such as this one and this one and this one. I figure they will add little pops of color to my bookshelves. 
  3. Yao Cheng Design by Yao Cheng. I love the prints from this shop. My favorites at the moment are this one and this one. I haven't yet committed to purchasing anything from this vendor because I'm trying to refrain from buying any more art prints. You know, until I finish my basement and realize I have 6 walls to decorate. 
  4. Kolorize Vintage & Handmade. I've bought a jadeite plate set from this vendor, along with a brass unicorn, and I love looking at the vintage items she has in her shop. Inventory is always changing so very fun to visit. Plus, who wouldn't love a name like "Kolorize?!" 
  5. Pop O'Color sells designer fabric pillows and I usually browse their shop first before I hunt for other pillows. But typically I will see a fabric I like and do a search for all shops that carry that type of fabric, so it can be hit or miss with the pillows. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Vitamin Goodness

I have the song "Trick of the Moonlight" by Gareth Dunlop playing in my head tonight.  It skips over it like a record and only plays the parts I really like.  

I had another long day at work, and tonight finds me tired and stressed. I read this article over the weekend in my mom's April Good Housekeeping magazine and it rang a few bells for me.

It talked about how doctors over-prescribe the "big gun" drugs in order to beat what could be minor illnesses and thus bacteria strains are becoming very antibiotic-resistant. Kind of scary actually, because deaths are rising from viruses and bacteria due to the strains becoming resistant. It had me thinking about it because I am allergic to your first-line antibiotics (penicillin, sulfa), so the doctors always prescribe the big guns for me. I had a recurring sinus infection for pretty much all of 2013 because I couldn't kick it with antibiotics. 

It finally took a med school intern to think outside of the box and prescribe me with three weeks of an antibiotic that was a cousin of penicillin. Sure, I developed a terrible rash and hives that lasted for a few months, and I was unable to finish the antibiotics because it started to affect my mouth/face, but I got rid of most of the germs. (The article also talked about how not finishing antibiotics actually helps strengthen those bacteria germs that makes them more antibiotic-resistant. So scary!) 

Now I take VitaFusion gummy vitamins every day (really, it's just like eating candy!) and I haven't had to go to the doctor since late November in 2013, which is definitely an amazing thing in my world. I still have occasional days when the sinus germs flare up and cause me issues, but over-the-counter antihistamines seem to help on those days.  For vitamins, I take a daily dose of Calcium, Vitamin D, a Women's Multi-vitamin and Vitamin C.  I loathe taking pills but I find chewing on gummies is an easy way to fool myself into taking them daily. Besides, aren't they cute in their berry-licious form?!

But I digress. I encourage you to pick up Good Housekeeping and read the article-it definitely rang true for me. And what I want to know is why are the drug companies not investing in coming up with stronger antibiotics? Do they want us to go back to the stone age?! Actually, don't answer that. The insurance companies probably do want us all to die young so they don't have to invest in keeping us healthy. 

And, since I usually post about my interior design craziness, I thought I would leave you with this teaser of an upcoming project (or two): 

And someone really needs to go hire me a butler. So you know, he can prime my new drywall.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Finished Drywall

Just a quick post today with a drywall update. It appears the strange men have finished with mudding the drywall in my lower level. I wish I could be more excited about it, but it was a rough day, and I'm seeing a priming and paint job ahead of me, so it's hard to get truly excited about the progress. But it is definitely progress, and I'm now one step closer to the fun stuff, so I'm thankful the drywall and mud is done! Here are some snapshots of the freshly mudded walls. Ignore the mess and the terrible lighting in the pictures. I'm honesty too tired to figure out how to work the camera's manual settings tonight!

When I moved into this house, there was a wall diving these two rooms. We knocked down the wall, installed the corner fireplace, and then a few years went by. 


We enclosed the pipes (there are two, one is on the far left, not pictured below), move some light switches, finished the drywall and now, in it's freshly mudded glory:

AFTER: In Progress
The hallway was formerly closed off with a doorway (and no door) at the bottom of the stairs, making a tiny little "cubicle" of doors leading to the loo, the playroom and the laundry room. We took out the door frame and opened up the hall to the doors.  Bad blogger that I am, I didn't really get a good "before" shot of that, but below you can see some of the demo process where the brown trim on the right represents the doorway to the "cubicle." 

 After, the hallway is more open and modern, crisp lines and a flush ceiling.

AFTER: In Progress
Here is another view from the playroom down the hall to the media room-you can see the two posts and the white is where the drywall was mudded.

AFTER: In Progress
The bathroom downstairs has had the most change. It had two types of fake walls and horribly ugly, cracked and peeling floor tile. And you can see the floor has the cement exposed where we dug the french drain. Spiders loved this room. Peyton and I, not so much.

AFTER: In Progress
I'm excited to get Little Loo all done up again so we have two working bathrooms in this house! I have to work this weekend, so I'm not sure how much progress I'll be making down here. Upcoming will be priming, painting (should the wall color stay? should it change?), adding floors and trim.  So there is still quite a bit to do before I can get to the fun decorating stuff. 

One small step for mankind .... let's just say Mud is good. Mud is very, very good. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Introducing Me

At work today I had the perfectly dreadful task of talking about myself for almost a full hour. One of my team projects was getting to know each other better, so my managers and I took turns sharing 3 pages worth of  "All About Me" questions. It was very embarrassing and I'm glad it's over, but it did occur to me that it might be nice to share some of those "About Me" questions here on this blog. So I don't come across as entirely psycho when you read my impromptu ramblings every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

So hello. My name is Kelci, and I have a daughter, Peyton, who is 8. We currently reside in a split-level house somewhere in the middle of Iowa (I promise, I do know my own address!), with our dog Boo-boo and a guinea pig named Bugsy.  As a single mom, I am super-paranoid about stalkers and crazies (something about it takes one to know one, right...) so I do prefer to keep some things private.  Plus, I lived in Rochester, New York for five years, and paranoia about that kind of thing is kind of the norm up there. And even though I didn't see the movie about the Craigslist Killer, I heard the title and that's enough for me.

Here are some other things you may not know about me.

I'm Deaf. My mom had a virus when she was pregnant with me, and so I was born with a non-working right ear and severe hearing loss in my left ear. Being Deaf has presented several never-ending challenges in my life, but it has also given me a true appreciation for what I can hear, and a true appreciation for the friendships I have made with other Deaf people in my life. But that may be a story for another day.

I am currently a manager within a mortgage company, but my true passion is Interior Design, decorating and painting the heck outta things. I like change in my environment around me-it's what keeps me engaged and creating.

I love to read--anything and everything. I really enjoy reading young adult Sci Fi books- the City of Bones series by Cassandra Clare; the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer; the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, to name a few. My favorite way to relax is with a stack of books or magazines and a glass of Moscato and read the afternoon away.

I'm not a huge fan of TV. If the TV is on in our house, it's on Disney (for Peyton). I use Netflix to catch up on series because I hate the suspense of waiting for the next piece of the story line each week. So I'm usually 3 years behind on the popular television series and I also usually get bored with the story lines after one or two season's worth.

My favorite drink is coffee. I drink coffee every day, and pretty much all day. I don't have a favorite food, though I could live off of bread and chocolate alone. I tend to go through weird food phases where I get on a food kick and eat the same food non-stop for a week and then I won't eat it again for 2 years. Yeah, I'm weird. I'm also allergic to exercise. I was very active in high school- I danced for 14 years, I did a round with tennis, tried track, played volleyball, did cheer-leading, etc. But then my knees started giving me grief and I became allergic to pain. So now I enjoy Kyaking and Horseback riding, because there's no impact to my knees.

I hate wearing shoes. And socks. I would prefer to be barefoot all day if I had my way. And I hate shoe-shopping. The apple must not really fall far from the tree because Peyton is the same way. I get cold in 70-degree weather. I don't have much (ok, I don't have any) body fat, and I get chilled very easily. Many days my gas fireplace is my best friend.

My favorite color is teal, but it's followed pretty closely right now by emerald and magenta. And yellow. And I've found myself flirting with coral. Basically, if the color wheel spit up in my house I probably wouldn't mind too much. Sometimes, though, I can be a little anal with details and I like things perfect and uniform--Peyton calls it "matchy-matchy." When we installed the marble tile around my fireplace, we ran out of tiles, so we had to go back to the store and buy additional tiles. But the pattern didn't match exactly, and ever since it has driven me nuts

And the last fun fact of the day...

I'm not really a collector because I usually see it as clutter.  The only thing I truly do collect is books, because I have always wanted a library in my house.  But my Nook has led me into the electronic era and there's just no stepping back from that edge.  But last year, I did start collecting Disco Balls. I used to constantly joke about wanting a disco ball in my office, and my friend found me a big one and got it for me. And the sparkles hooked me. So now, every time I see a disco ball I have to buy it. And then, I saw a pretty image of Jadeite dishes on Pinterest and I decided to start collecting Jadeite dishes to fill up my new dining room Hutch/Command Center. Oh, it's a slippery, slippery slope, my friends.

So there you have it. A few fun and random facts about me. What about you, have you slid down any slippery slopes lately?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Making Progress and an Impulse Buy

So today there were strange men in my house. I don't know who and I don't know when, but when I came home, there was drywall tape all over the place downstairs. It's exciting times, folks.

Ok, not really. Taping and mudding drywall is about as exciting as watching a snail slinch itself ever. so. slowly. down. the. sidewalk. (Yes, I did, I just made that word up.) 

But it's ,/progress,/,/ Here are a few snapshots of what progress looks like. 


Just think, in three days (give or take) I will have new walls to paint! And then the exciting stuff happens, like new floors and a new bathroom with a second toilet back in the house! And then, for the really exciting part--decorating it!  

In other news, today I stopped at a consignment store over lunch and did some browsing. I might have been naughty. Ok, yes, I was naughty. 

I spied these babies: 

And even though they weren't in the best of shape, I kind of just had to have them.  I had sugarplums images like these scrolling through my head: 

Image found on Pinterest here
Image found on Pinterest here

Image found on Pinterest here

Bamboo is very popular in interior design right now. Purchasing new, however, can be very costly. And since Bamboo is not the most uh, comfortable, type of seating, I thought it made sense to keep the trendy spending thrifty.   So one of these puppies came home with me, since I could only get one in my car at a time; and tomorrow over lunch I will have to pick up the second. So exciting! (On a side note, every time someone says "So exciting!" I hear the song from Moulin Rouge in my head and it automatically completes that sentence with ",/it will run for fifty years...,/")

So, to wrap this post up, here is a sneak peek of one of the chairs in its new (less than permanent) home: 

Any votes on color? Emerald? Coral? Teal? 

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Top 5 Favorites from Birchbox

I thought I would do a quick post today about my favorite items I've discovered through Birchbox.   I've been with Birchbox for around 10 or 11 months now, and as I have shared in the past, Peyton and I get a kick out of the small samples we get each month. It's always fun getting something in the mail, even if it ends up being a product you don't use or love. (Hey, I never claimed to be rational.)

But I thought I would share the top 5 (well, ok, six) that I loved. I say 5 because I consider the Shampoo and Conditioner a set. (I'm logical like that. Sometimes.)
Favorites from Birchbox

  1. Whish Three Wishes Body Butter in Pomegranate.  I loved this lotion. Besides a nifty name that fits right up my alley (Three wishes? Genies? Anyone have one I can borrow?), the pomegranate scent was yummy. As a lotion, it did pretty well with absorbing into my skin and fighting the dryness. I drink a lot of coffee and keep my house super warm, so my skin is always dry.  (You think I'm joking. Hint. I'm not.) It does come in several other scents, which I've not tried, if pomegranate is not your thing. 
  2. Eyeko Black Magic Mascara. I have thin, but slightly longish, lashes, so having mascara to define the lashes is always a good thing. I have tried a lot of mascara brands and this one has kicked all of the others out of my very cute Vera Bradley bag.  For interested parties, this is the cosmetic bag I keep all my stuff in. Isn't she cute?! 
    Vera Bradley Large Cosmetic Bag in Plum Crazy
  3. 12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment. I used to use It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product, and that stuff is also amazing.  When Peyton's hair was longer, we would use it almost daily and it helped get her tangles out and reduce the tears. But then I got a sample of 12 Benefits and the scent is ahhhmazing and it seemed to make my hair SO silky and smooth. Same detangling benefits as we had with the It's a 10 product, but a yummier smell, so I am now a fan of 12 Benefits. 
  4. Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle. This is another detangler that I ended up liking--it had a fabulous fruity smell that lingered for a very long time. It was a bit heavier on my fine hair than the 12 Benefits, and my hair wasn't as silky as with the 12 Benefits, but the scent definitely puts it in my top two for hair detanglers. 
  5. The last (two) items are Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner.  I think this is another case where the gorgeous fig smell pulls these two items into my favorites. Technically, this shampoo and conditioner set is designed to reduce frizz and detangle hair into smoother strands, and since I have fine, straight hair, I don't really need this type of shampoo/conditioner line. But the Indian Fig scent is amazing-definitely worth the investment. Oh, yeah, and my hair was pretty smooth when using it. It just reduced the body and volume that I normally strive to inject into my hair. Some days, my nose wins the battle over good hair days.
So there you have it-my top favorites from Birchbox.  What about you? Do you subscribe to any makeup sample mailing services? I've heard there are several good options out there. And of course, Peyton is always looking for more perfume and nail polish samples!  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Turtle on the Wall

It's the little things sometimes. For over a year I've had Nate Berkus's huge white lacquer turtle shell boxed up. I bought it from Target when the turtle craze exploded onto the scene (the scene being Nate Berkus + Target = mad dash to Target) and had to have one. On a side note-how insane-I just Googled Ebay for the shell and one recently sold for $132.50! I think I paid $19.99 (and it might have even been on clearance when I finally got it!).

I tried it on the entry wall. And it looked odd and not at all inspiring. I immediately took it down and didn't even bother to snap a picture.

Then, I tried to include it in the initial stages of my gallery wall.  And while it did add that extra touch of non-art that every gallery wall needs, I couldn't find a layout that really worked with it.  The layout below was the closest I found to a happy path with Mr. Berkus's turtle and it just wasn't happening for me.

Fast-forward one year to today. I stubbed my toe on the turtle box again and I hauled it out, determined to find a home for it.  I finally landed in the loo-dark navy walls and white lacquer just seemed to be fated. 

Now he's a happy shell. And truly, every time I'm in the loo now I get a ridiculous smile on my face. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blogger Inspired Project: Lacquer Boxes

I missed yesterday's post because Peyton was sick and it seemed I was hit with the same bug she got. Over the weekend I started in on my kitchen wall--I sanded down the stripes and primed over them. Then I did one coat of paint (Sherwin William's Harmony paint, color-matched to Glidden's Silver Birch, which is the same color in the adjacent dining and living room). After the first coat went on, I had to sand down some areas where the stripes were still visible. (Painting over stripes is. a. pain.)  Then Peyton got sick. So my kitchen is currently a disaster zone and still needs one, maybe two more coats of Silver Birch before I can stick a pin in it.

So, in lieu of an actual planned post, I thought I would share another blogger-inspired project that I started last week and finished over the weekend.  I was inspired by Jen of the IHeart Organizing blog.  Jen's blog has quickly become my favorite blog lately--her posts sharing tips on organizing, cleaning and projects have inspired me on several occasions to get up and clean or organize something.

With my love of color and anything lacquered, one of her projects really inspired me- her take on Stacking Boxes. Check her full post out here-I promise, you won't stop with just one post!!!

In any case, I followed her suggestion and stopped by Michael's and grabbed a couple of wooden photo boxes (actually, I'm not sure she used wood--but these were all I could find at my Michael's!). I got lucky because the day I stumbled into Michael's happened to be a BOGO sale. Which worked out very nicely since I bought two photo boxes, two tubes of Martha Stewart High Gloss Acrylic Craft Paint in Beach Glass and Scottish Highlands, and the Martha Stewart Crafts roller and tray kit.

On a side note-ever since I read this blog post  about Martha Stewart talking trash about bloggers, I haven't been a huge fan of hers. And I absolutely hate contributing to her bottom line when she talks bad about the people she uses to promote her products.  But my absolute favorite paint color is her Beach Glass. Such a conundrum. 

But I digress. Back to the project. I primed the boxes before I slicked on two coats of paint, followed by two coats of Poly. I ended with sticking on self-adhesive clear rubber bumpers to the base of the boxes, so the painted finish didn't stick to anything (I learned that the hard way from setting my painted tray on a painted table... ouch. Let's just say the table needs repainted now.) I also didn't add the gold tape that Jen used in hers, so I may still order a roll and add that down the line. For now, the boxes add the pop of color I wanted.  

Here is where I tell you two tubes (not four) are all that is needed to cover both boxes. Here is also where I tell you the roller and tray kit did not work for me at all. I followed the kit instructions and lightly spritzed the roller with water, dried it ever so slightly with a towel and then loaded it up with the paint. And the paint just created bubbles all over the surface. Fail. So I switched to paint brush. What I was hoping to avoid with the paint brush were brush lines. So the end result is not a perfect finish, but it will do.  If I were doing the project again I would go out and buy one of the small foam rollers from Home Depot since Martha's roller just created bubbles.  (Which, actually, I might, because I am really crushing on coral and pink together right now....ooh, and white lacquer with gold polka dots may be in the near future...) 

Still, for the first take, the end result isn't bad at all.  I snapped a few shots of the completed boxes on the completely unstyled shelves in my dining room.  I have a lot of space to fill.  I also still need to figure out how to turn the flash off on my camera. ,/,DA-da-dum,/,/ So much to do, so little time. I'll shut up now and let you look. 

You can also see the beginnings of my Jadeite collection... but that is a story for another time.  So what about you, are you inspired by other bloggers and bringing their look into your home? 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Plans for the Weekend

This weekend I will be working on my kitchen. I need to erase this.

Ah, Chevron Wall, you will be missed. It was my first blogger-inspired project and it was incredibly frustrating trying to figure out the measurements (math dunce) and took hours of taping it out. It's been up since October of 2012 (check out the first post I ever wrote!), which for me, is like dog years in paint age. I'm actually surprised I kept it up so long, but I think one of the features that made it stick so long is I am rarely ever in my kitchen and you only see the wall if you are in the dining room or kitchen. Since I don't entertain a lot, it was one of those "oh, hello" moments every time I walked in.  And I truly do love it.

I'll be sad to see it go, but it doesn't fit in with my new vision of rustic modern. It's a smidge louder than what my vision is seeking.

The other week, in the interests of seeing if I would like a gray island, I grabbed the remaining Sherwin Williams Ire Ore paint I had on hand and tried it out on the island. I also went ahead and installed the new brass pulls and knobs I bought for the island. (Sorry for the terribly overexposed iPhone photo-this was before I bought the new camera!)

Notice one pull is missing. For some reason, even though the old pull fit perfectly in that third drawer, none of the new pulls would fit. The holes must be off... just a smidge.   I am hoping my dad can teach me how to use a drill to fix it.  (Kelci with power tools... that's kind of a scary image. Like this one..) 

Yes, that is me, using a nail gun, on a scaffold, putting on siding for Habitat for Humanity. Only one of my friends was brave enough to be near me with that puppy.

I'm not sure I'm in love with the Iron Ore color--just as it was on the wall, in some lights it appears more brown than gray to me, so I may just go with my initial color preference and grab a small quart of Benjamin Moore's Kendall Charcoal. I have seen this in so many rooms and have always loved the color.  So that may be in the agenda for this weekend as well.

So here is the plan for this Phase 1 Redecoration:

  1. Sand, prime and paint Chevron wall. 
  2. Decide if I'm not cuckoo for Iron Ore and paint island in Kendall Charcoal
  3. Fix island drawer so new pull will fit (STAT!)
  4. Fix drawers on kitchen cabinets that are crooked
  5. Close up the hole/space over the microwave
  6. Paint kitchen cabinets
  7. Replace counters (island and perimeter)
  8. Replace window (it has a crack in the glass)
  9. Replace window roman shades (they are old, food splattered and falling apart)
  10. Install Wall Paper
  11. Do happy dance. 

I would love, if the budget allows, to replace my refrigerator because it is old and tired, and my dishwasher because it won't open easily; but I want stainless steel appliances and I am slightly obsessive about fixtures and finishes being consistent with appliances, so I'm not sure I can handle  some white and some silver. If I were patient and could wait and upgrade over time, sure no problem. But let's be honest. That's not me. 

But I really want to finish the basement media room, which still requires mudding the drywall, replacing the floors and getting a new couch in down there (there's nothing down there now!) So I feel that takes priority over the kitchen appliances for now. 

So that's where I'm headed this weekend. How about you? 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Command Center (not overly commanding at this time.)

So in this picture you get a peek of my new "Command Center," (the white desk/hutch combo on the far right) which has a long ways to go before I can stick a pin in it.

I found this desk/hutch combo at a furniture consignment store and had to have it. It was a beast getting it home. The desk just barely fit into my dad's van and we were able to haul it back to my place. My legs are still lightly dotted with some colorful cheetah spots. This puppy is one heavy piece of work.  The hutch, on the other hand, would not fit into my dad's van. So there was some discussion about renting a u-haul or having my dad go out to his brother's farm to grab the trailer. But then the weather conspired and a potential snowstorm had us re-thinking the option of an open trailer. So we asked for delivery, but the furniture delivery man wanted an exorbitant price, so we went back to the open trailer and prayed. Finally, after much ado, the hutch came home.

She needs a good coat of paint as the paint is scratched off in some areas and there are crayon marks all over the desk (it appears it used to be a girl's desk and there is much suspicion her crayons marched to a different drummer...). But until it is warmer out, I am not inspired to slap a paint of coat on yet. So in the interim, I loaded up a few shelves with books and some knick-knacks. The books bother me a little bit, as it makes it feel more office/desk-like. And, seeing as it's in my dining room, it is really intended to be more of a display hutch/Command Center.  But I am not overly much a knick-knack (paddy whack...) girl, so I find myself suddenly in need of a collection. Other than books.

Enter inspiration. From Pinterest. Of course. Where else. 

Image found here
I am LOVING the mix of Jadeite and Opaline dishes (and while I'm at it, someone needs to get me those super-high ceilings and that ahhhmazing pendant light). And while the image above does slant towards a countryish-french look, I am thinking I may have found something to dress up my hutch with. The trick will be to keep it somewhat more rustic-modern. Not sure if I can pull that off. Because honestly, that display above is gorgeous!!!

Now, does anyone have an insta-Jadeite collection for sale, since you know.. I'm kind of fickle. Who knows what bent I'll be on next week.