Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Decor

I was really excited to decorate for Christmas this year. It's our first Christmas in our new house, and we didn't decorate the apartment last year. I had forgotten that I had really pared down and purged a lot of our decor when we were planning to move into a two bedroom apartment, so I didn't have much to work with this year.
The mantle in the family room. 

I didn't have any filler for the apothocary jars, so I improvised with extra ornaments and glittery bulbs. I had seen a project for glittery Christmas bulbs on Pinterest, but I ended up  finding a glittery bulb garland at Christmas Tree Shop for $1.  I cut the bulbs off and stuck them in the jar.

The large canvas was another DIY project. The frame came from Hobby Lobby and will love on the mantle year round. I snagged it for $17 during a half off sale. The art is a plain canvas with vinyl wall words that I picked up on clearance two  years ago. Simple and cheap!

I love my tree. I deck it out in red and gold each year.  The more glitter, sparkle, and shine, the better! There are a few sentimental ornaments scattered in, though. Do you see the Mickey bulb from our Disney vacation?

This ornament was a wedding gift from a friend.

 Adam's first ornament. His nursery was done in a vintage airplane theme, so this one seemed fitting for him. 
I was happy to see my box of childhood ornaments wasn't lost in the shuffle during the move. They have a lot of sentimental value to me. That said...

What is up with this elf? He isn't as snazzy as his new Elf on the Shelf pals. He kind of looks a little crazy and I'm not entirely certain he won't try to harm me in my sleep tonight. Vintage can be scary.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Kitchen Progress

 You may remember this is what our kitchen looked like when we first purchased the house. I had always wanted white cabinets, and the glass fronts were an extra little bonus.

And an eat in area large enough to allow for the table of my dreams? Perfect! But the kitchen lacked a little something. It was dull. The painted over wallpaper border irritated me. The lack of color was depressing. If there was a room in this house where I could use a bold punch of color, the kitchen was it for sure.

POW. Hello yellow.
Days and days of peeling off wallpaper and sanding and agonizing over the perfect color were totally worth it.

New cabinet hardware was actually the first update. I liked the clean classic lines of the traditional knobs and drawer pulls, and the oil rubbed bronze finish really pops off of the white. I worried about finding a color that would showcase our collection of Fiestaware instead of competing with it, and I think the yellow was a great choice.

The dining area needed a splash of color, so I made the curtain panels to frame out the large window. The fabric was a bold print, and so not safe at all. I LOVE IT! It really makes the space ours.

The kitchen table and chairs were a birthday gift, purchased shortly after we moved in. I had lusted for this set for years, but it never would have fit in our old house. I'm thrilled that it fits so perfectly in this space. It even expands and can seat four more chairs comfortably in this space.

There is still a good bit of work to do, but this is a start. I love walking into the kitchen in the morning when the sun is streaming through the windows. It's such a bright, vibrant space now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thrifty Finds

A few weeks ago I met up with my pal Julie to visit the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market. Julie is the talent behind Steph's Jewels. She creates fabulous one of a kind pieces from vintage jewelry that are just to die for.
See? Gorgeous! Julie was visiting the flea market to pick up a few items to transform into more fabulous works of art. I tagged along to be a bad influence and make her buy more than she needed see what fabulous things she would find.

I had no intention of buying anything, but I couldn't resist picking up a few little beauties.

I fell in love with the little bird. He's cast iron and his chippy paint finish is beautiful. He's painted almost the exact same color as our family room. I had to have him. I passed him by the first time, but I knew I would regret leaving without him. $10 later and he was mine.

The safety pins were a fun little discovery. I picked up the first one after Julie pointed it out to me. It was $2. Sure, why not? I was sure I'd figure out something to do with it. A few tables later we discovered more large safety pins, including one with the same markings as mine. It was priced for $50! There were a few more that weren't as pricey, so I picked up two more for $5 total. I think I want to frame them.

After Julie and I parted ways at the flea market, I hopped over to my favorite antique mall. I picked up the old blue Ball canning jars for $3 and $4 each. I'm not quite sure what to do with them just yet, but I couldn't resist bringing them home with me.

I  did manage to leave without these saucy lamps. They were HUGE- and pricey at $175 for the pair. They were awesome (and scary!) but way out of the budget for something that, um, unique.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My little assistant.

I have been working on the kitchen. It seems like a never ending project. I was pleasantly surprised and very, very happy to discover that the wallpaper border came off cleanly and easily. WHEW. Choosing a paint color has proven to be a little more challenging. None of the samples on the wall seemed quite right.
Adam was intrigued when he saw me painting little samples on the wall. What three year old wouldn't be? The little jars were oh so cute and even had paint brushes built into the lids. That's probably the most awesome thing ever in a three year old kid's opinion. Knowing he'd be interested, I stashed the samples in the garage and didn't think twice about them.

He apparently did have second thoughts. He seized his opportunity one afternoon while I was momentarily distracted. Any parent knows that it is amazing what a toddler can destroy accomplish in just a few short minutes. I walked into the family room to discover him painting my freshly painted end tables.
"Oh no. Oh no no no. Adam, what have you done? Oh no no no no no. Stop. Stop. Stop!"
"Don't worry, Mom! Don't worry!"

At the time, I felt like crying. Later on, it was a little more funny. How could I stay angry when he looked so proud?

Lesson learned. Lock  child in a cage  up all paints to prevent these kind of incidents from occurring.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Safari Bathroom Makeover

Remember this bathroom? We were both appalled when we saw it. Someone even commented that the former tenants must have wanted bathing to feel like an adventure. We vowed that it would be the first room we tackled.

Technically, it was. I never would have imagined such a small space might have so many challenges. I arrogantly thought the ceramic towel bar and toilet paper holder would be no match for me. I'd successfully removed them in our last home. I thought it would just take a few taps with a rubber mallet and a bit of spackle, and I'd be set to paint.

I thought wrong. It turns out they were embedded in the wall, and removing them left holes that needed to be patched. To add insult to my injured ego, the wallpaper border refused to budge. 

I was determined to win the battle. No way could I stand to look at those pawprints on the wall any longer.
I think it turned out pretty okay! This is Adam's bathroom, but it will also serve as the bathroom house guests use as well.  I wanted a space that was fun without being too juvenile. I think I achieved it.

Since it is primarily a child's bathroom, I wanted it to be child friendly. The coat hooks are mounted at a lower height than a traditional towel bar would be, making it easier for my little guy to hang up a towel. I created the artwork to coordinate with the shower curtain. It's fun, but it's easy to change as he grows older.

It feels great to cross this one off my list!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The New Sewing Room

Remember this little room?

It's the bonus room over the garage. The shape is a little awkward, kind of like a Tetris puzzle piece.

It has the potential to be a fifth bedroom if we add a closet. It's just the three of us, and we don't really need a fifth bedroom. So, it was decided that this room would be my workspace. Ready to see?

Here she is in all her glory! This is my favorite room in the house. I do have to give my husband credit. He patiently installed the counters and many, many shelves.
This is the view from the doorway. The desk to your left is my sewing station. The desk you see straight ahead is my cutting station.

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest pinning inspiration photos. I knew I wanted a lovely shade of aqua on the walls. I chose Behr Tropical Pool for the walls. The counters were created with stock cabinetry and countertops from a big box hardware store.

I choose these drawer pulls from Anthropologie. I had to have them, and they were worth the splurge!

Lots of shelving went up in this room. It's a somewhat small space, so vertical storage was a must.

Canvas bins on the wall opposite the cutting counter hold various bits and pieces to projects in progress.

As I mentioned, this room doesn't have a closet. I knew I wanted open shelving for my fabrics, but I also knew that I needed to protect them from fading. I created a makeshift closet area using a tension rod typically used for bathtubs. I used two blue shower curtains (cheaper than buying the fabric I needed, believe it or not!) and sewed a strip of fabric to the bottom of each panel to give me the length I needed. And behind the curtain?

My fabric stash, in all her glory. Flannels and printed quilt fabrics are stored on the shelves. Interfacing and heavier fabrics are stored in the large tubs. To the left of the fabric stash are my completed items ready to be shipped to new owners. These shelves span 8 ft across and run floor to ceiling. 

And that's my new space, in a nutshell. It's somewhat more compact than I had hoped for when we were house hunting, but the layout and storage options make up for the size. It's for sure my favorite room in our home.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oh, hail no!

We had a little storm roll through last night. By little, I mean somewhat large with the threat of a tornado.  Adam and I camped out in the closet under the stairs for a bit and waited for the storm to pass. Luckily, we only had hail.

However, that was where our luck ran out. The hail was quite large and did a fair amount of damage. All of our window screens look as though Freddie Krueger tried to claw his way in. The screens probably saved our windows from far worse damage, like this one: 
And this one. The transom has a hole in the lower right hand corner.


Still, it isn't anything our insurance can't handle, and unlike may others this spring in Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma and across the midwest, we're fortunate to still have a place to call home.

Here's hoping this crappy weather comes to an end soon. Rain, I'm over you!