Sunday, January 30, 2011

Painting our bedroom ...........FINALLY!

Almost from the day we painted our bedroom I wanted to change the color.  The color we used had originally been chosen for the dining room, but as we decided we wanted something more exciting for the dining room the pastel green was delegated to our bedroom.  It was a nice soothing green but we both wanted something a bit more exciting for our bedroom not just some cast-off from another room!  For quite a while we had been trying different color samples with a few shown here (two similar trials had already been conducted with vetoed colors):

We thought a blue would be a nice choice to continue the color scheme of the front bedroom so we wouldn't have a rainbow house of disjointed colors but we also wanted something different enough to be unique.  We ended up choosing the bottom blue shown called "Geyser" from the Martha Stewart Paint Collection.  Excited that we finally made a decision on the color of the back bedroom (we had been living with splotches of mismatched paint on the walls for months!) I got to work taping the baseboards and door/window frames.

And then the tedious task of painting the edges :o(   Brian helped out with the lighting, I was working in the spotlight.


Then I got to the fun part, painting the big areas where you can really see your progress and wonder "did we make the right choice here?!" :o)

We also decided to paint the ceiling because we hope one day to add crown moulding and thought a nice light blue would really set it off.  And seeing how long it took us to decide on a wall color I was hoping the selection would go a bit (A LOT!) faster.  So we bought a sample based on a swatch that we thought looked good next to a swatch of the wall paint.  But when I got it on the ceiling it just wasn't right :o(

Back to Home Depot we went for another sample.  One of the neat things about the swatches for Martha Stewart Paints are they also have suggestions for trim and ceiling colors.  So we thought maybe Martha's people know what they are doing and we should just follow their advice and try a sample of their ceiling color recommendation., too dark.  So once again back to Home Depot.  So there were new samples bought and also me trying to mix paints because I had already bought a gallon of the initial paint I thought would be perfect :o(  Once again we had a splotches of paint trials, this time on our ceiling.

We ended up choosing a color similar to the first sample we had tried but with a bit more blue to keep the room from feeling to heavy with a darker color.

And here we have pictures of the FINISHED! freshly painted room.

Here's a shot from the hallway door:

And here's a shot from across the room:

We still have some work to do like the crown moulding sometime down the line and just changing some of the decor over to fit the new color scheme.  Overall we really like the blue and it makes the white trim and the wood floors really POP!

Switched to a custom domain

Linda purchased the domain and I have now set up the blog to be at that address.  It can take a bit for the domain change to propagate throughout the Internet so if you had trouble loading the page earlier, that was likely the issue.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Organizing the Spices

A few weeks ago we visited our local Ikea and found a lazy susan that I thought would fit perfectly in our corner cabinet in the kitchen.  I love those cabinets in new homes were they have built-in rotating shelves in their corner cabinets to maximize space usage.  So we took home the lazy susan and found that it fit perfectly in our cabinet.  Here you can see a picture of the bottom shelf so nicely organized. 

It works really great, instead of trying to cram everything towards the front of the cabinet and still not being able to see everything, you can just spin the rack around and see all your spices.  Very handy.  Since the one worked so well we went back to Ikea and bought two more for the top two shelves.  And here you have all our spices and baking needs all arranged.

While arranging everything I found that I had a few duplicates........who needs three containers of cream of tartar!  I know I like snickerdoodles and meringues but really is that necessary!  So hopefully with this new organization we will save a bit of money by not buying duplicates AND get to use all the spices we do have that I may have forgot about as they were hidden in the back.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More furniture painting, my new favorite pastime!

So I got the idea to move my desk from the living room into the spare bedroom to use for crafting and sewing projects and swap it for the dresser that was pretty much not being used.  And then I thought, wouldn't it be fun to paint the dresser!  While testing paints for our bedroom I had found a blue called "Kerry Blue Terrier" from Martha Stewart Paints I really loved that would be perfect.
The dresser was actually my first paint stripping and refinishing project  that got me hooked on DIY-ing about 10 years ago.  So here we have a picture of the dresser before:

It had a few issues I had to address with some wood filler at the start.  Here you can see where a piece of the veneer on the side had chipped and been cut-away and how I filled it in with the wood filler.  (I sanded it smooth before painting of course.)

Next I lightly sanded all surfaces and applied a nice coat of primer.

Then I got to the painting part.  I put on two coats and let it dry.  We then took a trip to Home Depot, and Orchard Supply, and Ace......and then back to Home Depot and found some cabinet pulls from the Martha Stewart Collection that we really liked.........but we forgot to measure the old pulls for the proper size, so back home we went to measure.  So we returned to Home Depot with our old pull in hand and matched it up to the nice sizing chart that Home Depot has so thoughtfully displayed.  2 and 3/4 inches!!!  There was only one pull in that size and we weren't too happy about the "choice".
Brian offered to re-drill the holes to fit the 3" Martha Stewart pulls if I filled them in and did the re-priming and painting.  So back to work we go.  Here we have a picture of the previous holes filled in.

Brian then measured and re-drilled the holes.  We ended up filling in both holes as we wanted the pulls a little more in from the edge and because of the style of the previous pulls they were placed a bit high and we wanted to move them down to center them vertically on the drawers.  And I primed and painted my pajamas.  (Those aren't angel wings they are "freedom" wings as the front of my shirt says :o)).

Then Brian helped me put on the new cabinet pulls and here you have it, our new blue dresser.  Sounds like a good luck charm in marriage..........hey, let's hope that it is :o)

We hope you enjoyed that furniture painting adventure and may it inspire you to paint some of your own!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Vintage-themed Bridal Shower

I am co-matron of honor (I know that sounds old but I'm a married lady now!) for my friend Vicki's wedding.  This past weekend Andrea (the co-matron) and I pulled off quite a shower I must say.  We were a bit overwhelmed as the guest list included 60 ladies but we were only in charge of decorations not the food.........whew!  My friend Vicki had mentioned having a vintage feel to her wedding so I thought it would be a fun idea to have a vintage-themed bridal shower.  And I thought it would be A LOT of fun to have all the ladies dress up in their pearls and hats......and you know how ladies like to dress up!  So Andrea sent out the invitations encouraging everyone to wear their pearls, hats, or gloves.  Here's a picture of me in my vintage finery :o)

For favors I thought a daffodil bulb would be nice, but simple, and rather inexpensive since the number we would need was so large.  I found some 8-packs of coconut fiber pots at Orchard Supply Hardware, pretty cellophane in either pink on one side and silver on the other, or a more transparent hot pink, some ribbon in shades of silver, gold, ivory, and brown at Michael's on sale after Christmas, and little silver heart tags that said "Love" from Joann's Fabrics.  So I worked up a sample and got the okay from Andrea so we started making favors!

While working on them I thought it would be nice to have a tag to explain what the favors were and include a personal note.  I found some sticker/labels from Michael's and printed out a sweet saying I created, stuck them to a heart-shape I cut out from scrap-booking paper, and attached it all to a barbecue skewer that we could stick in the pot.  The saying I came up with was "Like our wish for Vicki in marriage, may this bulb bloom and bring you joy".  And here you are, a sweet little favor that the guests really thought were nice (there were none left and we made extras!)

And for the rest of the decorations I bought some bulk roses, chrysanthemums, and alstroemeria, clipped some greenery from trees in our yard and whipped up some centerpieces.  Andrea also had a ton of candles to place along the tables too.

I also asked Vicki for some pictures of her growing up to put out as a display on the gift table.  I used some old frames I had from the table numbers for Brian and my wedding with a few more larger frames I picked up.  The frames we had were all painted silver or ivory so I added some gold into the mix to fit more with our theme.

And no party is complete without balloons.  I found the heart mylar balloons at a shop in town and Bonnie, one of the bridesmaids, picked up some latex balloons also in our theme colors, pink, ivory, silver, and gold. 

So those are the ins-and-outs of my adventure in co-hosting a bridal shower.  It was a lot of fun, especially to see all the ladies in their pearls and hats, I think everyone really had a good time.  The bride, Vicki, was quite happy with all we did and we wish her all the best in marriage :o)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chairs, chairs, everywhere!

I often enjoy visiting a local thrift store or two, browsing the ads on Craigslist, or yard-saling for something that with a little TLC could be restored to something nice for our home.

I have a habit, well the beginning of a habit, of finding chairs that I fall in love with because of their shape and I just have to buy them.  And whenever I return home with one of my finds Brian will agree that it looks neat but wonders where I will find a home for it.  But I eventually do and it's fun to figure out whether to paint it or not, what type of fabric to use, etc.

So here are a couple of finds of mine from the local thrift store with their before and afters.  And as with all painted surfaces, I first lightly sanded, then primed, and finally painted the chairs.

Here we have the before, two $3.29 chairs that I got for half that on 50% off day, I just really liked the structure of these chairs:

I painted the chair frames white and picked a nice geometric patterned fabric in  a green similar to the green of our dining room for the seats.  To reupholster the seats I had to first remove the seats (they were attached by screws on the underside) and then removed the previous fabric.  Then I got out my handy staple gun, pulled the fabric tight and stapled it into place (sorry for not having more pics of the process!).  I now have the finished chairs in the living room as extra seating if guests come over and they help to unite the color of the dining room with the living room a bit.

Here's a close up:

And here you can see them on either side of my blue dresser:

Also at the thrift store I found a chair that I just loved the lines of the back:

I found some fun fabric with the colors of the front bedroom incorporated, removed the seat, and replaced the fabric as just described .......... and VIOLA! ..... a brand new chair.

So those are my two adventures so far re-doing chairs, and I'm on the lookout for more!
(Psst ..... Don't tell Brian!)