Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Style Flashback: Color, Color, COLOR!!!

Like I said yesterday, this was the first place that we were allowed to paint at so we went a little crazy with the color. I kind of feel bad for the person who ends up painting over those walls! It was a lot of fun and we definitely learned some things along the way.

Living Room BEFORE:

Living Room AFTER:

We kept things calm in the living room with a gray color on the walls and white on the ceiling and baseboards. We also replaced the carpet throughout the house with a gray berber.

We took these photos as we were moving out and trying to find someone to take the place, so there is a big open space on the wall above the chair where there had once been a large painting. My husband found it in an alley and it said something about reefer. It went well with the retro look and neither one of us has ever smoked pot which we thought that made it even funnier. We were worried that it might offend people though so we took it down when we taking these photos to advertise the place. Now I can't find a single photo that has that painting in it. :-(

Kitchen BEFORE:

Kitchen AFTER:

We painted over the flower wallpaper border and took down the hideous flower curtains. We also covered green flooring that had chunks missing with a black marble-look self adhesive vinyl floor tiles.

Bathroom BEFORE:

Bathroom AFTER:

You can't tell from the before picture but we replaced the medicine cabinet and light fixture with a retro one we found at Habitat For Humanity Re-Store. The sink was something my dad had in storage.

Master Bedroom BEFORE:

Master Bedroom AFTER:

This is where we really started with the color! We wanted the bedroom to have an old-school hollywood feel so we went with bright red walls. Painting a red wall takes about ten coats to keep it from looking blotchy. Something to think about if you are planning on doing a color like this yourself.

For the headboard, I took a piece of plywood, covered it in batting (the kind used for quilts) and then wrapped the black and white damask fabric around it and stapled it to the back. I later found a headboard just like this one with the exact same fabric at for $250! The duvet cover I made from two sheets that were a size bigger than the comforter.

Jeremy's Room BEFORE:

Jeremy's Room AFTER:

We did Jeremy's room in a really bright blue. It was a little too much so we added the white wainscoting to break it up a bit. The rocking chair I recovered in a cars and trucks fabric with red accents.

Recording Studio BEFORE:

Recording Studio AFTER:

My husband did a two-tone gray with a white wave in his recording studio with LPs hanging above it. The corner speakers we found at Re-Store and painted them to match the rest of the room. The white circle light on the wall was originally on the ceiling in the kitchen.

I hope you enjoyed my little flashback! We have learned a lot along the way and our style has definitely changed over the years. It's nice to look back every once in a while and I had fun sharing it with you!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Style Flashback: Retro Diner

I have been working on several projects the last few days but none of it is ready to show you yet. So I thought it might be fun to do a little flashback to a couple of our old apartments and show you how our style has evolved. We are currently going for a Dark Victorian look but we started out with a Retro 50's Diner style. You can find all sorts of things from this era at garage sales so it is a great way to decorate if you are short on cash and want something fun and unique.

These photos were never intended to be used in a blog so the quality isn't that great and there aren't really any close up shots but hopefully you will still be able to get the feel of what we were going for.

In the living room we took a bunch of old 45's and hung them as a border along the ceiling. We turned an LP into a clock and hung one of my husband's guitars as an art piece. The awesome table lamp came from Walmart, I believe, and the rotary phone and lava lamps were from garage sales. The couch and chair were garage sale finds as well, only $40 for these and one other chair!

In the picture above is more of the record border. To the left you can see our old gum ball machine on the desk. On the right is our jukebox that had been gutted and we used it to hold our stereo and put some rope lights in it to light it up. Also in the right of the picture on top of the cabinet you can kind of see our red vintage bread box and martini shaker & glasses. For the dining table we found some diner-style mustard and ketchup dispensers as well as a straw dispenser. The dining table and chairs were free from an old neighbor. The chairs were pretty torn up so I recovered them in sparkly red vinyl. They originally looked like this:

I couldn't do much in the kitchen because it was so small. I found the old blender at Habitat for Humanity Re-Store for $10 (I still have it and it works great!) and the toaster came from Target. Our counter tops were originally covered in beige contact paper and had tons of scratches in it so we recovered it in our own silver contact paper.

We ended up moving before we had a chance to finish the patio but it would have been awesome in a full blown tiki theme. My husband built this bar which actually did double duty as a cover for our grill. The bar was free-standing and would slide out so you could pull out the grill that was inside. The barstools we found by the side of the road.

The table also did double duty as storage. Inside was a plastic tub that held my husband's tools. This area was originally overgrown with ivy and was completely unusable. We kept the ivy climbing on the walls but got rid of everything on the ground and put down the paving stones to extend the patio area. We also put up the lattice for added privacy and because the slats in the fence were big enough for Jeremy to slip out.

So there you have it, a look at our very first apartment together. Tomorrow I will show you the first house that allowed us to paint the walls. You might want to bring your sunglasses or you could be blinded by all of the colors! ;-)

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Candyland Cake

I saw this idea for a candyland cake in Taste of Home Magazine two and a half years ago and I have been looking for a good reason to make one ever since. We recently started hosting a game night and I decided this would be the perfect time to bring out this idea.

I recommend making either a sheet cake or two 9x12 cakes next to each other. I made just one 9x12 cake because I didn't want a bunch leftover but it ended up being too small to do everything I wanted. I would have liked for the castle to be bigger and more curves in the path. It still turned out pretty cute though and I will definitely be making one of these again without waiting for a special occasion!

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Kitchen Window Treatment

My painted kitchen cabinet test area over the sink is done so I was finally able to cover the window! I'm really excited because this is what I see when I look out that window:

Yeah, that's the door to my neighbor's house. Being only four feet apart is one of the joys of living in the city. It was a little awkward when I was filling up my water glass and some random guy walked out of that door at the exact same time! So for the window treatment I decided to go with faux frosted glass with a scroll design. This lets in all of the light while still giving us privacy.

It's called Etched Lace by Light Effects. I was expecting it to be like contact paper but it is actually a window cling which is really nice because you can peel it off and put it back on if you do it wrong or decide you don't want it there.

Now that I have figured out what painting method works to keep the wood stain from showing through, I am going to tackle the rest of the cabinets next week. Altogether it takes six coats of primer and paint so this is going to be a very long project. Oh, and did I mention I have a LOT of cabinets?

This is going to take FOREVER!!!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Paper Quilled Valentine's Card

I'm amazed by all of the traffic my little blog has been getting the last few days! I have really enjoyed reading all of your sweet comments and I am so happy to have my first five "followers"! It really means a lot to me that you enjoy my blog enough to want to keep checking back in. I have a renewed motivation to keep up with this blog and to try and make it as fun as I can. There for awhile I was starting to feel like I was just talking to myself here. :-)

Now for my blogging question, what do you find to be the best way to respond to comments? The only thing I don't like about Blogger is that the comments aren't done in a thread form where I can just comment below the person and have them receive notification of it. I would love to respond to each individual commenter and at least thank them for stopping by, but trying to get to each person's blog in a timely manner seems a bit daunting and the more comments I receive, the more responding to each one will take time away from working on new projects to post on here. Besides, I feel a little weird taking about my blog in someone else's comment area. So how do you respond to comments? Do you respond to each one or only when they need an answer to a question? I'm still fairly new to Blogger so I'm not quite sure what the proper "blogging etiquette" is. Any opinions on this matter would be greatly appreciated!

On to my latest project...Today I made a Valentine's Day card for my husband using paper curlique art. It was my first time trying this so it didn't turn out quite as I envisioned but hopefully you will still enjoy it.

I tried to take some pictures of the process but they were all really blurry. What you do is cut some paper into 1/8" strips (I recommend using a paper cutter for this. I got mine for about $12 at Target and I love it!), then take one end and wrap it around something small and round like a toothpick or the tip of a pen. Then do the same to the other end until you have it the shape that you want it in. Once it is ready, put some glue on the back edge of the piece and press it onto your background. I used Elmer's Glue and it worked pretty well but I had to hold the pieces in place until it dried a bit so that they wouldn't uncurl. For that reason, hot glue might work a little better since it dries faster.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Craft Closet Take 2

As some of you may remember, my craft closet started out as a utility closet:

Then I transformed it into my craft closet:

Now it has been transformed again! I'm so happy with how it turned out!

I have seen lots of ideas for storing ribbon and this is my favorite! At a glance I can see every kind of ribbon that I own. I just cut out some cardboard pieces, spray painted them white and wrapped my ribbon around them and secured the ends with pins.

I have seen those Clip It Up organizers and loved them but I didn't have the table space or the $60 for everything I would need. So I went to IKEA and got these clips for 24/$5 and just hooked them onto the wire shelf. It turned out to be a great way to take advantage of an other wise unusable space. They hold not only my ribbon by my scrapbooking papers, stickers, etc.

On the top shelf I have some boxes (also from IKEA) that I covered in pretty wrapping paper. They hold all of my cookie cutters, some tools, and anything else that I don't necessarily want visible.

All of my fabric scraps are folded and stacked.

Then there is my peg board that I LOVE!

All of my beads are in small bags that you can find in the beading section of any craft store.

My sharpies, pens, and paint brushes are all stored in aluminum cans that I wrapped with scrapbooking paper.

I got these drawers from, you guessed it, IKEA! My printer sits on top of them and my sewing machine and laminator slide in right next to it.

For the top drawer I made some dividers out of cardstock to hold various odds and ends. I don't particularly recommend doing this. It works just fine but it was a huge pain in the butt to make!

Finally, this is how I keep all of my gift wrap organized. I put two screws in the wall leaving them sticking out about 1/4". I put two more screws at the same heights on the other side of where I wanted my wrapping paper. Then I took some embroidery thread and tied it around the head of one of the screws. Leaving some slack, I tied the other end around the other screw head. Then I just slide my gift wrap rolls behind the thread and it keeps them all standing upright.

I hope you enjoyed the look at my craft closet and how it has evolved! My husband is helping me take the sliding doors that were on this closet and turn them into French doors so they can open up and have even more storage on the back of the door. So stay tuned for even more craft supply organization!

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Conversation Heart Cake

Valentine's Day came a little early at our house this year. I had this cute idea for a cake and I wanted to share it with all of you while you still have time to make one for yourself. Well...that and we kept eating the conversation heart candies and I was afraid we would run out before I got to make the cake!

This one is quick and doesn't require any special cake decorating skills. Just bake your cake in two heart shaped pans, stack them on a plate after they have cooled, slather on some icing, and stick on the hearts!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Valentine's Paper Heart Link

I got back to crafting for a bit today and decided to start on some Valentine's Day decorations!

I started out by tracing around two different sized heart cookie cutters, one inside the other, onto colored cardstock.

I cut those out and had my link plus the inside heart to use in another project!

Then I just linked the hearts together and taped the bottom cut back together. Finished!

Best part is, it only took about 10 minutes! Definitely satisfied my need to see a project completed quickly. :-)

I usually don't care much for Valentine's Day because I think we should be telling our loved ones how much we care all the time instead of on one specified day. But this year I have some cute project ideas rolling around in my head so I'm kind of getting into it!

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Painting Kitchen Cabinets & A Tip For Storing Paint Brushes

My house is in shambles as I have several home improvement projects going on at once. In every room something comes up that puts that project on hold for awhile. Two of the bedrooms are waiting for my husband to fix the wiring (I DO NOT do electrical! Besides, Shelby has a degree in electronics that needs to be put to use every now and then. :-) ), one has spackle drying because whoever put up the drywall decided not to tape the seams so we have big cracks in the walls that have to be fixed before painting, and the list goes on and on.

So while I am waiting on all of those things, I decided to tackle the project that I have been putting off for weeks: painting the kitchen cabinets. I wanted to change the hardware which also meant moving them from the odd center of door placement. To cover up the places where the old holes had been patched, it would require painting them which I kind of wanted to do anyway to brighten things up. The only problem is the ridiculous amount of coats it takes before the wood grain no longer shows through the paint.

I started out with Behr Premium Plus Enamel Undercoater Primer & Sealer. Unfortunately, I have put on three coats and though it is kind of hard to tell in the pictures, the wood grain still shows through:

So we picked up Zinsser B-I-N Shellac Base Primer & Ultimate Stain Sealer and tried it on a different side. It is extremely watery but that seems to make it soak in and seal it better. So far, it is pretty promising. Here it is after one coat:

And after the second coat:

I am hoping to be able to put a coat of the Behr Primer over this and be ready to paint after that. We will see how it goes. If anyone knows of some miracle primer that would work for this, PLEASE let me know! I am really dreading putting half a dozen coats of primer and paint on all of these cabinets!

Now my tip for storing paint brushes in between uses: put them in ziploc baggies!

I know it seems kind of obvious, but I never knew it would work this well. I had once heard that you can freeze brushes in between use and it does work but you have to make sure nothing touches them while you are waiting for them to freeze, then they take up space in your freezer, and lastly you have to wait for them to thaw before you use them again. I can't remember where I heard about using ziploc bags but I am so thankful because it works so much better.

I think I may take a break from the home improvement projects and work on some crafty stuff the next couple of days. I'm getting tired of all of these unfinished projects and need something that can be completed quickly and give me some instant gratification. :-)

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