Wednesday, April 27, 2011

EPIC room makeover GIVEAWAY


So we moved into this charming fixer-upper TWO years ago with ZERO budget for a kitchen remodel. Fast forward two years and we've still got ZERO budget for a kitchen remodel. But we make the best of whats around, a little paint here & there. I've painted the cabinets, spray painted the countertops, painted a chalkboard on the bulkhead... but it's still MISSING the MARK on STYLE. It's one of the only places left in our house that just isn't ME. But I'm working with an already VINTAGE kitchen - not a brand spanking new one - so thats gotta earn me a couple points, eh?

Don't get me wrong, its got good bones - a lot of "POTENTIAL" if you will. It serves as our main entrance to the house (we're backdoor kind of people), we've got a ton of cabinets (which can be totally repainted, doors left on or off, open shelving on top, you know - whateva), a lot of counter space (again, completely open to changes there), two closet pantries that need a paint job, a fireplace (what!?!), an eat-in kitchen area (with a sad, sorry table that needs some love) and a sweet exposed brick wall that currently lacks any good decor. And it leads out to a small patio, which looks out on our 3/4 acre backyard.


We live on a busy road. Needless to say, we don't spend much time out front. Thankfully we have a big backyard for the kids to run around in. We have a small patio off of our kitchen that we spend a great deal of time on, watching the kids. We often have friends over and use our patio for entertaining / eating dinner. It works out well since its connected to the kitchen, but it needs a swift kick in the pants style-wise. Paint? Outdoor rug? Some new upclycled furniture? Yes Please!!

So what makes my space UNIQUE?

The exposed brick wall. All sixteen feet of it needing at the very least some new pretties hanging from it.

A working fireplace (in the kitchen!) This little feature pretty much sold me on the house when we were looking. The house has some whimsy in other places too, but how charming is a fireplace in your kitchen? This could TOTALLY be done well, but for now it's just Blah. I'm up for changing as little or as much of this feature as you'd like.

The pass-thru window. This would be the window to the right of the back door there. I would LOVE to integrate the back patio and the kitchen. I'm seeing a vintage sign hanging outside this window to use as a tray or pass-thru for summer get-togethers. whaddayathink?

A second sitting area to decorate - the back patio. We have people over a lot in the spring/summer/fall and we use our back patio LOTS. How great would it be to incorporate the design elements of the kitchen out onto our patio?!

So what PIECES TO REUSE & where to SHOP?

Cubby for Shoes. I said before that this is our most used entrance so we drop our stuff here. We found this in our garage loft. Come to think of it, we find a ton of good junk out there. And we can shop for free up there. I'd like to keep this shoe cubby. It's old, shabby, and holds our shoes well.

Kitchen Table. I'm NOT particularly attached to this - go ahead & paint it, refinish it or just scrap it and start over.

In addition to Goodwill and Salvy, I'm thinking we need to make a trip to Pittsburgh's Construction Junction and the Habitat Restore.
Well, thats all I got!

And Mandi, i LOVE YOUR GUTS!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a simple sign

So this one is a no brainer. It took me all of 10-15 minutes. I took an old framed print of a bridge (the civil engineer in me) and covered the mat with scrap fabric.

Then I printed out the words "Be Still" from Psalm 46:10 onto plain printer paper. I traced the letters very hard with a pen over top of the fabric so that it showed up a little.

Then I took a permanent marker (I call it a "sharpie" but hubby insists that the words "sharpie" and "kleenex" are BRAND names and not common nouns. whatever. where was I?)

So I took that permanent marker and I traced over my light pen line and filled in. I replaced the glass and hung my new "art" on the wall under my old junky "art" that cost $1 ladder.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Everyone Loves a Giveaway & A C.U.T.E blog!

What a great week to find the cutest little blog! I stumbled upon Making the World Cuter when I saw her fabulous advent calendar here. And then I saw this:


Check it out.... and get entered!!! gotta love a giveaway and why not LOTS of giveaways!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Big Basket for Blankets: Improvised

I love blankets. I love to wrap up in them. I love to have them out for people to wrap up in when they visit. (Bear in mind our cheapness thriftiness, it stays between 62-64 degrees in our house all winter.) I like when other people have them out in their house. I think they add such coziness and warmth (imagine that!) to a living room.

I have never done this well. I've always wanted a h.u.g.e basket for putting blankets in. You know, the kind that are over $100.

Like these beauties from Pottery Barn for $89-$129.

Photo Credit: Pottery Barn

Or this one from Restoration Hardware for a mere $149.

Photo Credit: Resoration Hardware

Now I know they sell them at Marshalls or TJ Maxx for a discounted $40-$60, but I still don't want to pay $50 for a basket. I love my husband that much!

Well, I busted out my blankets since its November now. And after rearranging the furniture in my living room a little, I had the perfect space to store my blankets beside the loveseat. Then, I remembered these two crates that were left here by the previous owner. I used them outside this summer to decorate the back porch....

Pretty nasty after being outside all summer and then in my scarey basement for a few days...

a good scrubbing and this would be my blanket "basket" improvised.. for F.R.E.E! It holds 5 throw blankets! I'm way excited! I didn't bother repainting or anything

Shopping the house never felt so good!

*Edited to Add: Get over to Get your Martha On for her awesome Pottery Barn giveaway. you know, the one or two or maybe three of you that will see this.... ;)

*Edited to Add: I'm linking this up to MET Monday at Between Naps on the Porch!

*Also Edited to Add: I'll link up to DIY Day at Kimba's. At her NEW place on the web!!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Typewriter Keys: the afters

Here are some of the "After" shots of this project ... now that its completed and hanging above the desk in our living room.

It did need another coat of stain! And I decided against the shelf and locker box at the last minute.... so she hangs all alone here. I'm liking it!

Monday, November 2, 2009

PotteryBarn's Typewriter Keys Knock-Off

I saw this picture about two months ago and loved it...

Photo Credit: PotteryBarn
Specifically, I'm loving those typewriter keys. SO then I happen upon Suzie Harris' project at Bienvenue ....

Photo Credit: Bienvenue

And I believe she has this listed in her etsy store ... unless someone snatched it up already. Had I known of Suzie's incredible sign making skills at the time, I would not have attempted this project... but I didn't. And I thought to myself, "I could make that."

Yea, leave the sign making to the truly gifted, crafty signmakers and not to mommies of 2 kiddos (2 and under) whose patience is nowhere in sight lacking by the time they are able to work on this project each night.

So fast forward a bit .... I used some thin plywood underlayment that we had in our garage from when we tore up the old kitchen floor. Yes, we save used underlayment around here. And I cut it to 30"x30". Pottery Barn's version is 42"x42" but that is just huge for my space. So I chopped off a foot in either direction.

I painted it up with Behr's seaside sand, which I always have on hand. Then I used black licorice acrylic paint for the circles, which cost me $0.97 at WalMart.

I printed out my letters and numbers/symbols in a font that I liked and I traced around them really hard with a pen so that they would imprint on the underlayment. And I filled in the traced letters. And that stretched me. I long to be crafty.. I really do.. but it stretched me. Fortunately I'm not afraid of paint... and I had to repaint one or two or three.

When all of the letters were painted, I stained that bad boy with Minwax's Provencial 211, which I also had on hand.

And there she is. The PB version is going for $349. I made mine for $0.97 and a lot of labor.

And I am looking forward to editing this post to include the finished product hanging in my living room.... but I literally just finished staining tonight and was too excited not to share ..... And come to think of it - I'm definitely going to add another coat of stain. It needs to be darkened up. any thoughts on that...?

I'm linking this up to DIY Day at Kimba's.
Happy DIY day.... all you who actually completely finish your projects before posting!

Edited to add: I'm linking this up to the I can make that party at Just A Girl because I have a couple friends who have specifically requested one.... and while I didn't think of it as a gift (you can see it hanging on my wall here) I do have a ton more underlayment and paint! Maybe I could crank out one or two for gifts before Christmas!

Now all I need is more time....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leen the Graphics Queen

Check out the giveaway over at It's the Little things ......

And then check out Leen the Graphics Queen on Etsy and her really sweet stuff like this:

I'm loving this for the boys room.

Decor Blogging Fun

Check out Beth at The Stories of A to Z.... and her hilarious top ten list for decor bloggers.

So so funny!