Friday, April 29, 2011

Let There Be Light!

More banishing the brass...

After 8 years of this awful builder special, I have finally have upgraded!
You might be asking did she live with that for 8 years? Well, the ceiling is 20 feet high and unfortunately it never occurred to me to replace the light when we had the scaffolding for painting. And then before I knew it, it was just this awful light that I would someday replace.

It's definitely not a job for an ordinary ladder.

About a month ago I went to a Habitat for Humanity Restore.  Imagine my delight to find a 12 arm chandelier for $10!  All of the ones I had looked at online were well over $200. I thought the price must be a mistake, so when I took it to the register I was stunned to hear $10.

Here she is before her makeover (the giant green blob in the background in my treadmill - just didn't want it covered in paint)

I hung her from the rafters to make sure I could get a nice coat without having to paint in sections. Again one of those times when prepping pays off - even though it can be annoying. (please ignore the messy garage)

I used Rust-oleum in black satin.  I figured gloss would be too shiny and flat would show way too much dust. (I'm lazy and always in need of immediate gratification so I didn't prime)

I looked and looked for drum shades, but buying 12 was over my budget so I opted for these linen-look ones from Lowes for a $6 each. I bought some textured ribbon at Jo-Ann's Fabric.
Notice the glass of wine in the background....seems to be a staple for my evening make-overs.

Viola! A brand new (to me) chandelier for about $90. I added the chain cover because the old chain used to get so dusty and full of cobwebs and I never had a way to clean it.


So I'm not perfect - it's obviously time to dust.

Because this was so easy I also sprayed the light in out entry. I forgot to take the before, but close your eyes and imagine more of that awful shiny yellow brass. On a side note, the glass panes do not come out so this one was much more labor intensive in the prep and in all honesty, kind of a pain.

Finally, Finley and I have come to an agreement when it comes to me having my blog time...

Clearly we will have to revisit this option when he is full grown and weighs 90 pounds!

Join the party at Domestically Speaking

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It Was the Best of Times....

It was the worst of know that famous Dickens quote? I think this sums up the new addition of a puppy pretty well.  We recently lost our family dog unexpectedly and it was time to get some puppy lovin in the house!

You know how you forget all the sleepless nights you experienced when you brought your newborn home? Well I think getting a puppy is very similar. I could only remember all the fun things about our previous dog and his puppy years.  Getting up four or five times a night??? No our Sydney slept through the night right away.  Accidents in the house???? No Sydney was potty trained the first day and never had an accident especially at Grandma's house.  Sharp little teeth that can destroy a shoe in under ten seconds??? No Sydney just chewed his toys.  Wanting to be with you all the time - so much so that you can't even take a shower without the high pitched whine...???? Oh no I could take a shower anytime. In fact whenever I left the room he would just climb into his bed and sleep until I returned.

Funny how none of this is familiar when you are staring at that sweet little face....

We brought Finley home on Saturday. (This of course explains why I haven't posted any of my projects in a couple days)

I haven't had more than 2 hours of sleep at a time. I have band-aids on my fingers from those sharp little teeth (I'm smart enough this time to keep all shoes away from him). I haven't taken a shower since Sunday night - before my hubby left on a business trip (I know - I know, I'm taking one after this). I have a huge bruise on my shin from running into the baby gate on the way out for a "middle-of-the-night" potty break.

But you know, I wouldn't change a thing. As my daughter says our family is a family of four again and our hearts are all full with love.

Look at those paws!  He is going to be huge!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sometimes It Pays To Do Chores


Even though I'm on a total kick to get all of these projects done around the house and purge the clutter, I still have to get the regular chores done.

I love finding money when I'm cleaning out closets and doing laundry. This time I think my total was $18....I know I can definitely put that to use during my next trip to the thrift store.

Just finishing off some projects so lots more before and afters on the way.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I've been noticing lately that what I see or don't see when I first wake up in the morning seems to set the tone for my day.  We have a double vanity in our bathroom with a lot of counter space...or should I say junk space. We (meaning mostly my husband) have a habit of leaving clean clothes on the counter, suitcases waiting to be unpacked...and various other things that basically just clutter it up.

As part of this 'setting the tone' I've decided to try and keep fresh flowers on my nightstand. Something pretty to see at the beginning and the end of the day. I never like carnations much before, but somehow when they are dressed up in a silver cup and cut into a dome they just seem to put a smile on my face.

I may never be able to make sure the bathroom counter is always clean or that the dishes are always done, but I can try and keep the flowers on the nightstand.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Banish the Brass

How is it that I have been living with the brass on the fireplace surround for so long? Oh and don't forget about the tools with the glaring brass!  I have been wanting to get rid of the brass for so long. Other bloggers have banned the brass, but I wasn't completely sold until I saw how well our neighbor's fireplace turned out (thanks Johannes and Brian!) I was so happy to see that the finish was matte so not only was the brass gone, so was the shiny black surround.

Here's a quick look at the fireplace and tools before...I know so late 80's early 90's - yuck!

I'm a bit lazy when it comes to painting, but I am trying to really prep well to make the overall project much less messy. I took the time to prep the night before I was planning to paint.

I have to confess after I started taping the tools I was trying to figure out a way to paint them without taping...well then it dawned on me that they came apart so I could remove all the marble.

All prepped and ready to paint. I used Rust-oleum High Heat.  
Make sure you open all windows and doors - the smell is extremely strong.

Look how much better the surround and tools look without the brass!

Now what do I do with my wood bin which I absolutely love??? Should I leave it red or paint it? Spring pretty much marks the end of fire season in our house so maybe I will store it in the garage and decide in the Fall.

Now if only I could install the slate tiles...just more to add to the list.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lampshade Redo

 I am on a quest to refresh my house without spending a ton of money. We have had the same color scheme in our family room (red and mustard yellow) for almost 8 years and it's time for a change. I loved the bistroesque vibe when we first moved in, but now I'm all about neutrals and making the place fresh.

I know some of you are saying repaint your walls...well can't do that just yet. The FR and kitchen are all one room and I don't want to repaint until I get new kitchen cabinets and a new counter top...remember the part about it not costing a ton????

What's a girl to do in the meantime?  Well switch out lampshades and pillow covers!  I had some leftover burlap from another project (to be added to the blog later) and decided to try and cover a lampshade with it. Here is how I did it.

Love the lamp - just tired of the red shade.

I realized in order to use this shade I would have to line the burlap or you would see the red when the light was turned on. I decided to save fabric (actually it's because I'm lazy) and use another shade.

Start with a glass of wine, oh and your fabric, scissors, glue gun and a bit of patience (the wine helps with that)

I allowed for 2 inches to hem the top and bottom of the fabric and an inch to overlap around at the end.

 I hemmed and glued as I went along - doing the top and the bottom at the same time.

The only tricky part for me was around the top of the lamp - getting around the arms(?).  I cut the fabric so I could lay it flat around the arms.

Once I had glued all the way around, I went back and glued any puckers and tried to make it as smooth as possible.

Voila! A new lamp.

Here a re a few other lamp related updates. I just trimmed two plain shades with burlap trim that I picked up at the local fabric store.

And for these I switched out the gold beaded (I know seriously dated) for white ones that I trimmed with black ribbon.

 so much better don't you think?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back to it.... after an unplanned step away, I am back to Blog Land. In need of distraction I have been going DIY crazy. I have several projects in various stages of completion and a few that are complete. I am completely addicted to the thrill of the hunt. Even with all of these unfinished projects, I am still looking for more!

Yesterday my daughter and I went to a tea party in a neighboring town. As we were driving home, she spotted a Goodwill and said "Hey Mama, there's a Goodwill, I think we should go in". Two things occurred to me; 1. Why is my 6 and 3/4 (it's very important to her to count the 3/4....even though I keep telling her soon enough she won't want to) why is my 6 and 3/4 year old daughter seeing a Goodwill when I don't even see it?! and 2. How far do I have to drive before I can make a u-turn?

Of course we should go in....I've never been to this one before! Oh and apparently they are moving to a new location in 2 weeks and they have a ton of stock for the new place! Hmmm wonder if I should mark my calendar...uh yea....did it as soon as I walked out of the store.