Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bloggy Buddy Giveaway and New Etsy Store!

My bloggy buddy Erin at SYL:Slipcover Your Life just opened her very own Etsy store! *round of applause* Yay!
I was her her very first customer - so exciting! I bought the Bunting Counted Cross Stitch Kit.

You get to pick custom colors, she sends you all the bits and bobs to make the piece, and then you get to cross stitch your very own, Erin created work of art! Seriously, you have no idea how jazzed I am about this. I used to cross stitch with my mom when I was little and it was sooo much fun.
Go check out her blog - she and some other lovely ladies are having giveaways galore to celebrate her store opening! Get in on the fun...

So cute!

 Bet I know which giveaway will be on My Owl Barn!

Monday, March 29, 2010

DIY: Curtains for Super Cheap

When my mother and I went on our first road-trip to IKEA, I had decided I wanted all the window treatments on the ground floor to match. We bought 7 sets of LENDA drapes because they were inexpensive and they had a slight, but not overpowering, striped detail. Each set was $20. That is a lot of fabric for $20!
I have since decided that I do NOT want all the draperies to match, so I have lots of extra fabric.
We have a bay window in our Dining Room. It is an awkward size. (Has anyone ever noticed that the word awkward LOOKS awkward? Like aardvark. Strange.) I tried many things to cover these windows, including this ridiculous non-solution:

The Umbra Solutions Bayview Nickel Window Set. It's nickel. Check. It's fully adjustable. Check. It looks classy and is not at all cheap and looks like something someone would put up in a trailer home. Um... NO CHECK. That little adjustable part? Rubber. And as you can see in the photo, not at all the same color as the rest of the fixture. Ridiculous. I waited for that stupid thing to re-stock for a month. And then it's totally cheap and gross looking. Grrr...

I wanted roman shades, but unfortunately for me the windows are 20" on the sides and 30" in the center. No one makes shades in these sizes. And I didn't want to spend $600 on window treatments for custom.

Eventually I was inspired by a set of balloon shades I saw somewhere... Surely, it can't be too difficult to make these, right? Well, it's not. It's just time consuming. And I am lazy. So this is what our window looked like for... ohh... about 2 months.. eh, maybe 3.

Classy, I know. But remember, my kitchen "curtains" looked like this for 4 months:

And now it looks like this:

I knew it could be done.

Well, here it is:

I used one set of drapes. So all in all it cost me $20 and about 6 hours of my time.
I am going to have to rethink the ties in the fairly near future. They are simply the hems from the sides of the drapes cut off. They were already hemmed, already the right size and pliability, I thought "Why not?" Well, here's why not. They are already starting to fray. Hmm... Anyone have any ideas for ties that does not involve me sewing a 100 inch long tube of fabric?

Monkey Love

"I wanna help measure the windows..."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mary Kay Andrew: Fixer Upper

I just finished reading Mary Kay Andrews book Fixer Upper. It's brilliant. I'm not great with fancy words, so the best anybody usually gets out of me is "It was funny" or "I enjoyed it" or "It's good, you'd like it". However, I LOVE Mary Kay Andrews as a writer. I wish she had 10 more books I hadn't read yet, except that then I would get absolutely nothing done.
I purchased the book yesterday at lunch at Borders. I cracked it open when I got home from work, then had to stop to cook dinner. I started reading again around 10 and stayed up until 2 reading. Mister had to work overtime this weekend, so he left early this morning and I have done nothing since but read. And I am telling you "You HAVE to read this book". If you look at Mrs. Andrews website, you'll see that she loves Interior Design and that really shines through in her writing. The descriptions are so spot-on you can actually see the room around you, you experience the work Dempsey is doing on her "fixer upper" house, and feel the contentment and appreciation for the hard work she has put in.
The book is wonderfully exhilarating; it gives you a ridiculously mixed feeling of benign guilt - the book sucks you in and makes unable to stop reading, while also making you feel so inspired by the transformation that you want to get up and redecorate your entire home! Read it, you'll thank me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Broken Dreams: Urban Outfitters

When my mother and I went to Chicago way back in November we went to Urban Outfitters in Schaumberg. The girl in front of me was buying a neon pink lamp that looked like a deer. I desperately coveted this lamp, but alas it was the last.
The Urban Outfitters in StL never got them and they never appeared online. Then low-and-behold in February, Design Sponge features Cassidi's table makeover and THERE IS MY LAMP!

I immediately got on and sure enough, there it was. Yummy! I love a bit of kitch mixed into my home. I waited for a Free Shipping event and then I ordered him.
He came last week, I got him out, and look at this:

And part of the shade was crushed/dented. I was furious and immediately packed him up to send back... But then I look at this picture:

And I can't help but think how cute he is!

What do you think? Send him back? Call them and ask them to send me a replacement shade? Or do I just spray paint it a glossy white and turn the slightly crumpled side to the wall?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

DIY: New/Old Gilt Mirror

My grandparents are cleaning out their basement. When they sent the media cabinet home, they also sent a bunch of odds and ends with us. One of the items is an old gilt mirror they had hanging in their entryway back when they lived in their old house. It's been living in their basement for about 15 years now.

It was dirty and yucky and dated, so I decided to paint it a fun color. I thought about white, but I was planning to hang it on a white wall and we are not all about the white. I showed Mister a pic from Life in the Fun Lane (one of my favorite reads and a major inspiration for me) and he said he couldn't understand why anyone would want their house all white. So color it is! 

I decided on Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze in Gloss because I thought it would coordinate well with the "Wild Aster" walls in the LR and the "Pale moon" walls in the DR, since it is visible from both. 

I set up all of my supplies and got to work.

I started by taping the whole thing off, which is a step I feel now I could have skipped. When I pulled off the tape after I was done, a small chunk of paint came off. I resprayed that part and used a razor blade to scrape the paint off the mirror face and it worked like a charm, so now I know for next time. No need to waste all that time, paper, and tape. 

After a few coats of the Krylon, it was apparent that a few spots were not going to cooperate. Luckily I had some water-based Kilz which was slightly dried out due to a bad seal on the lid. The goopiness of the primer helped me to keep it just where I needed it and also allowed me to fill in some cracks in the frame.

Here is the finished project! It took me longer than I expected to finish, but everything does. You'd think I would factor that in by now. I would like to find a narrow dresser, commode, or console table to place under it. The hallway is wide enough for something to stick out about 22" and the space is 34" wide. 
As you can see (behind Gidget's tush), we still have to anchor the bookcase to that wall, also.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flora and Fauna

I never shop at Home Depot; I prefer Lowes. That said, I ventured to Home Depot today to purchase some Freshaire paint that Lowe's does not carry. While I was there, I spied a pretty little white orchid beckoning to me. Here she is in her new home:

Hopefully I don't kill her too quickly...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I gave in...

to the peer pressure and went to Target today to check out the Liberty of London goodies in person. IMO, the women's clothing on offer was hideous. Bad cuts, icky fabric, but I am a clothes snob, so... Actually, Mister would probably LUUURVE all of the options, he likes the boho hippie girls, which I am decided not. (Although the Jean Paul Gautier is REALLY not doing it for me either. Vomit. Seriously. It all looks like Halloween costumes.) So, if you're into the flowy, flower-power thing head to Tar-jay for your summer wardrobe! However, I was digging everything in the housewares collection.
I am particularly fond of the colors in the "sixty" floral collection, they go with my intended color scheme for my house! I actually was carrying around the lidded box and the media bin, but I had a rare moment of "grown-up" and put them back. *sniffle* I may have to go back and get them! lol I really want the pillow, which the website says my Target has, but I did not see. I did purchase the Pink Grapefruit candle in the "sixty" floral box.

It smells! Yum!

See the bunny in the photo? My mother has been purchasing a bunny a year for me since I was born. Unfortunately, I did not keep track, so I have no idea what year this particular bunny is from. Most of them are at her house, but this guy and a friend migrated over here.

I also purchased a new "doggie pillow" at Target today. I have been on the search for a pillow that is large enough to use as a LR dog bed, while still being "chic" enough to fit into the decor when the room is done. Which is kind of funny, because I am not sure anything in our house will ever be "done", or "chic", for that matter. I found this Woolrich 26" Euro pillow figuring the gray goes with the kitchen curtains and the bedroom walls (if I ever get motivated enough to paint them). I just realized say the pillow is brown, but I bought it and I am pretty sure it's dark gray. Interesting.
I was going to add a little blurb about how this is the third oversized "human" pillow I have bought from Target and how my royal pitties are too precious to put their butts on anything from Target based on this:

I have had to take back the other two pillows I bought, they wanted nothing to do with them. Then, as I am typing this, wonder of wonders!, I see this:

Then! Two minutes later, this!:

Hehe. This photo just makes giggle. I guess I found a good enough pillow. Maybe I will go get a second one...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sudden realization...

I just realized everyone thinks Gidget rolled in her own poop. Oh, no... My dog is much more sophisticated than that. She is, in fact, an excrement connoisseur. She prefers fresh deer. Or opposum carcass. That one was especially fragrant. And she found the opposum at a park, so we had to ride home with her in the car like that. Mmmm...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Etsy Find: Monkeyshines

I have said it before... Many times actually... But, I love Etsy! I love that people can get their goods and services out to millions of shoppers and that millions of shoppers have an alternative to big online emporiums.

Today's find is Monkeyshines, hailing from the college town of Columbia, Missouri. She has some really fun merchandise for sale; buttons, drawer pulls, magnets, etc., all made from damaged vintage books.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

She Only Looks Sweet and Inncocent

Doesn't every girl like to come home and be greeted by a dog who rolled in sh*t? I personally can't get enough of it...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Craigslist: Such a Deal!

Mister wants a "library room"; I am not sure if I have mentioned this yet, what with all the other stuff going on around here. Anyway... I decided a library room needs wing back chairs, so I have been watching Craigslist like it's going out of style. Today I saw this add:

Here are our new chairs in their new forever home:



I offered them $220 and they took it. I should feel guilty, because it was like an 80 year old woman selling them. But I don't. She lives in a nice part of town. I am sure she has more money than me! 
They actually look a lot nicer in the photos. But I am going to go over them with an upholstery cleaner-machine and hopefully that will help a bit. I do plan on eventually getting them re-upholstered, once I finish the main floor and the rooms we actually spend time in. And someday this room with be a deep teal. Something like the kitchen cabinets on left:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quick Hardware DIY

The media cabinet in our LR was a very generous gift from my grandparents. Okay, well, actually they were going to throw it in the garbage and I protested profusely, so it came home with us. Originally I wanted to restore it and get the radio and the record player working again, but apparently this is not going to be possible. Mister is an electrician and said someone had simply cut off all the wires when they had removed the television. So my plan is to eventually gut it and paint it white with silver details. To tide me over, I spray painted the hardware silver.





I am not sure it didn't look better before... Oh well. Mister says they look like cake decorations now. LOL

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monkey Love


"But Mo-om, do you HAVE to go to work"?