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!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a bathroom renovation ... DIY style

Our first floor bathroom when we moved in ................ Something needed to be done!

Hubby took out the shower doors and some of the tile came out with them.. to reveal some other tile and wall in disrepair. Therefore, all the tile had to come out.

So Hubby removed all the tile and rebuilt some of the wall. Then he prepared the wall for tile.

And ......

Hubby learned to install wall tile!

The thing that the BEFORE picture is lacking is a view of the NASTY green carpet that adorned this space. That came out, thank goodness! And Hubby also learned how to put down floor tile!

These are some of the AFTER's. I had to use wallpaper on the walls because the removal of the old wallpaper on our PLASTER walls was not going so hot. Our walls were in rough shape.

I used Beadboard wallpaper from Home Depot, as seen at Rhoda's here. And I used paintable wallpaper that looks like brush strokes from Lowe's above the chair rail. Is it still called chair rail if it's installed at 64"? Its not high enough to be picture rail.... hmm..

A close up of the brush stroke paper painted and the beadboard wallpaper. And honestly, I think it turned out really well. I did NOT want to use wallpaper, but I am surprisingly impressed with how well it turned out. I took a picture of a seam on purpose... can you see it?

I'd let you in on the paint color, but I can't. I confess. I shop the "OOPS" paint sometimes at Lowes or HD. And this I found a full gallon of Valspar satin in a brown color. The color was not labeled. I mixed it myself with some white satin I had on hand.

Total Expenditures:

LABOR......................$0 (I LOVE my handy teacher hubby with summers off!)

Drum Roll Please....

$1,122 to bring this little 1960's bathroom into the 21st century and fix a lot of the major issues it had going on...

Edited to Add: I'm linking up with Transformation Thursday at Gina's.

The Shabby Chic Cottage

Homemade Applesauce Canned

I bought two buschels of Cortland apples last weekend. Cortland apples make great applesauce. We have also made it with Monroe apples... not as tasty. Anyway, Hubby helps me with this task every year, but this year we found ourselves overcommitted with activities. So last Thursday night we started at 9:30pm (after Hubby got home from teaching a night class). We finished up at 1:30am and promptly went to bed!

We started by quartering the apples and placing them in stock pots with just a slight bit of water to boil down. No peeling, no coring, easy peasy... Only a slight bit of water to keep from burning to the bottom. But not too much or you'll end up with runny applesauce!

Perhaps the thing that makes this seemingly large task so super easy is this little machine. It's a food strainer by Villaware. I found it on Amazon about 3 years ago. This is the reason you don't need to peel or core anything. The boiled apples get dumped into the funnel on the top. Then we crank the apples through the strainer and the waste comes out one shoot, the sauce comes out the other shoot. Easy peasy...
This is Hubby's hand pouring the applesauce into the quart size jars. We just reuse the funnel from the strainer to make pouring less messy. I'd be interested in any other tips though, because this part is still messy. And apparently you need a bag of paperclips on the table as well to do this... hmm, not sure why those are there. The cup of coffee, however, is necessary if you're starting this at 9:30pm.

Then I skipped a few steps in photos, but you have to prepare the lids by soaking them in hot water. And the jars should be wiped down to make sure there isn't spilled applesauce all over them. I put them in the canner when it's hot, but not quite boiling. And when it comes to a boil, you boil for 15minutes. And thats it! See, easy peasy...

Canned yummy homemade applesauce. Two buschels made 27 quarts. My sister in law, who has 7 kiddos, does 80 quarts each year.
I'm linking up to DIY Day at Kimba's with this fairly easy peasy DIY project.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Desk Rehab - Procrastinators AFTER Party!

I have to say that the accountability works. I was able to successfully complete this little project (that I have been putting off for weeks) in two short days. I suppose it was the task of sorting through & emptying out the messy-beyond-all-reason well used drawers that intimidated me and kept me from completing this project sooner. But I am very glad that I did.

Here again is the before......

And Here are a few of the afters .....

I sanded the whole thing down with a palm sander (LOVE that thing!) and painted her up with
Behr's Seaside Sand (LOVE this color!)

Then, I distressed her a bit. And I spray painted the handles with Krylon's oil rubbed bronze (as I was forbidden strongly encouraged by Hubby not to buy new drawer pulls) .

The paint and spray paint I had on hand, so they were FREE. The desk was part of a $70 bedroom set that we purchased, so how to put a price on that other than CHEAP...

And I'm linking this project up to Melissa's Procrastinator Party at The Inspired Room!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Sign for a Coat Rack

Signs seem to be popping up everywhere in decorating. I see them used all over blogland. I see them used in Potterybarn. So how happy was I when I spied this Maple House sign in the 2nd floor loft of our garage!! What is Maple House, you ask? I have no idea. I have no clue why the previous owners had this sign or what it was used for. But I made it into a coat rack and it now sits in our entryway. (Awaiting the Rustic Bench from PB for a mere $249 that I so long to have underneath my FREE coat rack ... but I will be longing for a long, long time)

First, I stained her all up with Minwax's dark walnut. I tried to deepen her tone with the dark walnut to age her just a bit. Then I tapped a small finish nail every so often to start the holes for some hooks.

The hooks I also found around this house in various closets. I simply screwed them into the starter holes that I made with the finish nails. Then I enlisted hubby to help me hang it on the wall. (It is quite solid and heavy!)
Total Cost: FREE!!!!
And I'm linking up to Kimba's DIY Day at ASPTL

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Look back at a Summer Project

When we moved into this house in December of 2008, we found a number of items left here by the previous owner. Some junk in the basement, some in the attic, and a lot of scrap wood and junky items in the loft above the garage... We continue to find more junk as we clean out various areas of this place.

One such treasure, found in our garage loft, was a vinyl patio furniture set. It included two chairs and a loveseat. The vinyl was in real shotty shape. It was torn in several places. You could feel the springs through the padding in the seats... but alas, we did not own any patio furniture.

Of course, in these pictures, you can't see the tears in the vinyl very well..... or the stickiness that seemed to be all over them...
So we tore off the teal vinyl, padding, and springs to reveal a seat and a back box frame attached to the metal arms and legs. Hubby simply used scrap wood (found also in the loft) and cut it into slats with a miter saw, and nailed the pieces to the existing frames.

Then I painted it up and stenciled some numbers on them. You'll see the chair here with my pillows made from double-sided placemats (found on clearance at Target last year).

I'm sharing this for MET Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. You want to see some talented decorating, go check out some of those projects!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Procrastinator's Party

I know I'm like over a week late in joining up with Melissa's Procrastinator's Party here at The Inspired Room, but I procrastinated so long in creating a blog that I couldn't join up until now. So better late than never, right?

I have a desk that we purchased as part of a bedroom set. We got the entire set (double bed hb & fb, chest of drawers, dresser, and desk) for $70. The house that we purchased had an auction of all of it's contents. So, we got some furniture really cheap. It's all matchy matchy and not very pretty, but in time piece by piece, it will be. The desk we're using in our living room and it is making me crazy being all unfinished... I need the accountability of a linky party for this one or it may never get done.

Heres the desk in its unfinished status...

And a close up of the drawers. Oh yeah, I have one stipulation from my husband. No new hardware... which is a bummer because I'd LOVE to get rid of these handles and replace them with new. But it presents a unique challenge all the same.
So I'm looking forward to posting about the finished product. It's only been on my to-do list for 2 months now ...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Around the House

We are living in a house that has the potential to be my dream home. It does have charm. It does have character. We've done a lot to highlight the charm and the character that it has, deep down. Deep deep down. And I'd like to document this journey of finding hidden potential in the not so obvious places.

So I was looking for some architectural black & white photos to put in big frames in our hallway. I was scouring the internet for prints I could purchase. Hubby, who is cheap always up for saving a buck and doing things himself, decided that we could take decent b&w photos ourselves.

He insisted that there were enough old architectural things to take photos of around our house and that hanging a photo of someone else's front door was not nearly as cheap cool as a photo of our own. It has a story. It's ours. And I had to admit, though not to him, that I agreed. Nonetheless, I doubted our little camera's abilities and our artistic vision, but they came out quite nicely. And they now adorn the once blank hallway wall. More on that later .....

I'm participating in my very first DIY Day over at Kimba's!