Monday, February 28, 2011

Media Cabinet Before & After and a Linky Party!!

I wanted to share just the basics of our media cabinet makeover with you today, but I also want to include a little linky party, just for fun. See, I try to make sure I visit anyone who visits me and leaves a comment, but I would really like to try to visit every one of my followers at least once a week. I mean, I only have 69, it wouldn't be difficult. Except when I click on people, sometimes there are no website or blog links attached to their member board (or whatever it's called). I know a few of you, like Comeca, don't have blogs, but most do. So I thought I'd show you mine, if you show me yours! lol Link up with anything you've been working on, your favorite Before & After you've ever done, a room remodel, or just something you want to say... Whatever your little heart desires. You don't have to be a follower to join, I just thought this would be a good way for me to reconnect with some of my followers.

Without further ado, my media cabinet rehab.



The built-in television had been removed a long time ago, but the sound components and all the electronics were still intact.

I rescued it from my grandparents basement with the hope that my electrician Mr. could fix it and get the record player to work, but they had cut through all the wires when they removed the television. So, I took all this junk out, primed it with oil-based Kilz, and painted it with a custom-mixed combo of BM White Dove (from the china cabinet) and Glidden Granite Gray (from the bedroom). You can hardly tell it has any gray in it, it's just not bright white. 

Here's an "in-progress" shot:

That was before I decided what to do behind the diamond wire grid on the front and sides. I could have left it open, but I wanted to use it for our surround-sound speakers. So I removed the speakers and the mesh from the existing backerboard (which had convenient holes for the sound to exit) and stapled on cheap light colored burlap from Hobby Lobby. It was $3.99/yard and I had a 40% off coupon. I bought two yards, but I'm not sure I even used a full yard.

I really like the texture it adds. A pattern would have been way too much with the chairs on either side, the eventual gallery wall behind, and the fireplace to the left. And I like the color - natural, neutral, but it doesn't disappear.

I'm not sure how I feel about the pink hardware, though:
The Mr. said it looks like a piece of furniture that should be on a My Little Ponies cartoon, or "you know, that Rainbow Bears show"... Um, Care Bears? Sometimes it is really weird being with someone from a totally different era. He likes the white, but maybe not the pink. I'm okay with that, I'm leaning toward black hardware. I would also love to do a silver leaf detail in all the grooves (not the front accordian grooves), but frankly it seems like a whole lotta work.

I love how a little white paint took it from super-crap 1970's:

to frilly Victorian:

Now it's your turn!
Have you finished any projects lately? Maybe cooked something extra yummy? Painted a room? Gotten a new dog? Had a baby? Whatever... Anything you want to share, link up and join the fun. I don't have a button, so you don't even have to mention this linky party in your blog, but you can. The party will be open to anyone through Tuesday, March 8th at midnight.

Our Living Room

After fighting a near-debilitating headache Saturday, I finally utilized the tripod my mom got me for my birthday last month by taking some much needed pictures of our living room. It's not "done" by any means; I never made those leopard print pillows, or hung the gallery wall, and the mantle is only half decorated, but it's 100x better than it was this time last year.

February 2010

February 2011

We still have the same coffee table, but I pushed it into the hall for these shots. 

February 2010

February 2011
Not a great shot, it's hard to see the detail on the couch, but it's apparently the best my point and shoot is capable of, even using the tripod and a higher ISO. Although maybe that's not what I should have done. Photography is not my forte. It was in H.S. and college, but I don't retain information I don't use everyday. It's so much nicer watching movies on the couch, as opposed to crammed in the chairs with a dog each. lol I talked about the lamps here and the side tables here.

February 2010

February 2011
Before we got a flat screen our television lived in the media cabinet. Which I've obviously painted. I am so much happier with it now. It fits the house better and looks almost Victorian and dainty as opposed to '70's and oppressive. I'll show you the deets this week. The Mr. made the frame for our television and I silverleafed it. I still need to figure out a way to hide the wires and get the gallery wall hung.

And some superfluous shots, just because. 

I LOVE that black urn. I just got it at HomeGoods on Friday - only $12.99! Crazy, no? That's also one of my new Goodwill goblets holding a succulent, also a recent purchase. I hear they are harder to kill, so we shall see.

This little money tree is also a new plant purchase. Let's see how long I can keep it alive... The stalks/branches/trunks/whatever are braided together. They were being held in place by a twistie-tie, which looked awful. So I removed the tie and used a length of hemp twine to replicate the way it was bound. Much nicer. I moved the shed antler from our Christmas mantle to add some interest to the pot.

The Mr. keeps the firewood right out on the front porch and he was tracking in lots of dirt and bark pieces whenever he would fetch a load. I finally ordered a door mat a few weeks ago. I think it's interesting that I can make sudden, snap judgment purchases on things that may cost hundreds of dollars, but when it comes to deciding on a $40 doormat I panic and freeze. Weird.

So that's our living room currently.  
What do you think? What would you change?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fashion Friday

Have you seen the new bridal collection from Anthropologie? Some of the dress are not my style, but they are all amazing. A couple of my favorites:

I love that this one has straps and a crossover bust, very flattering. The butterflies are such an amazing touch! And I just love the pleated tulle under layer.
I always wanted a row of satin buttons down the back of my dress, like the old days.

Tea-length dresses can be superflattering if they hit in the right spot. I LOVE the poofy crinoline underneath!

The pinwheel detailing is gorgeous and I really like how the simple bow doesn't detract from the rest of the dress.   

The "bridesmaids" dresses are very cool and unique:

Cute, classic, flattering, and a little J.Crew, no?

Very classy, but a little young. Maybe for a junior bridesmaid? Oh! Or if one your bridesmaids was preggers. Very cute. 
Pretty sure this ones not a ceremony dress, but it would be spectacular for a guest! It's very '20's with a twist.  

They have some Amaaaahzingly gorgeous shoes, but they are quite pricey, IMO:

I die. If these were not 350 smackaroos they. would. be. mine. *swoon*

Lovely, simple, and something blue! Fun, fun.

Gorgeous, simple bridal shoes. I love the hidden .5" platform. Just a mini-lift, still classy.
I love these in the blush tone, as well. Not too pink, not too fleshy. Just lovely. 

Have you had a chance to look at the new collection? What do you think?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

(Not so) Temporary Insanity

I am borderline obsessed with books. I probably spend the greatest part of my salary (besides the mortgage) on reading materials. Borders is closing numerous stores in our area and my bestie and I hit one of them up to see what the dealio was. Their sale prices are unfortunately still higher than most Amazon prices... which may explain their need to shut down some stores. I still picked up a few books while we were there:

I did not need seven more books, but what can you do? lol

I LOVE Mary Janice Davidson. Her characters are goofy, fun, ditsy, and never too full of themselves. The books are never super-serious and they always end well. Until now. Dum dum dum. To my knowledge I have read all of her books and I have enjoyed every last one. But I had to force myself to keep reading this one. The lead character has multiple personalities and they are all extreme: 1. superduperridiculously nice, 2. bitchy and controlling to the max, and 3. insane. They know about each other, each one takes over when her particular "style" is called for, and she calls them her "sisters". It just seemed to go on and on and on and it just got stranger and stranger. Personally I felt the ending was anticlimactic and contained gratuitous unnecessary violence. I actually would return it, if all the books weren't final sale.

I haven't read Holly McQueen or Jill Mansell yet, but they both have, what sounds to be, a good plotline.

I really like Jennifer Weiner's writing style and story telling abilities. She writes characters who feel like they could be your best friend, complete with 20 extra pounds and neurosis. With the addition of these three I have all of her books and have never not enjoyed one. I'm currently halfway through The Guy Not Taken and it is cute, fun, and not too light.

Christopher Moore is hit and miss for me. He has a series of three contemporary vampire books that I really enjoyed, but I couldn't get into Lamb or Coyote Blue. So we shall see about The Stupidest Angel. 

Have you bought any books lately? What are you reading now? Next? How do you choose what books to buy?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good Luck and Goodwill

Everyone always says you need to be patient when thrifting and that's definitely true. Frankly I have never found anything just so absofreakinfantastically amazing that I had to have it right then and there - couldn't live without it... For sure nothing like Joi's latest fantastic find!
 But I do find cute smalls occasionally, like these milkglass goblets:

$6.00/each - pricey? I thought so.
They aren't marked, but they are nice and heavy, and I thought the design was cute.

I also found these little silver votive holders:

2 @ $1 each

I didn't notice the huge sticker on them right away:

Anybody know what these sold for originally? Couldn't be more than a few dollars each... They should look good with my mercury glass pieces.

Have you been thrifting lately? Found anything good? Maybe a horror story, instead? Spill...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I ran out of space on Picasa. I didn't even realize Picasa was connected to Gmail. Anybody know how to get around the Picasa/Gmail marriage?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Flower FYI

You all know that when the Paperwhites / Narcissus begin to shoot up they fall over and need to be tamed. If you plant them in a small container or you plant a lot of them, tying them up in a bundle is fine. But, when you don't plant them right on top of each other it may look weird to gather them all together. My large container only has 4 bulbs in it, so they are nowhere near each other.

I thought tying them all together would look ridiculous and detract from the beauty of the flowers. So... I "borrowed" two small dowels from the Mr., cut them in half and used some kitchen twine to secure each sprout to a separate dowel.

Half of a dowel is not quite long enough once the plant grow to their height potential, but it works fairly well. Occasionally I will come out in the morning to find one lying on the tabletop because it grew out of it's plant prison.

I love that I actually found a use for this pretty twine that I bought.

Oh, the Mr. has taken to calling these "Butt Flowers" since they smell so bad. But now that they've fully bloomed the smell has dissipated. 

What do you use to keep tall plant stabilized?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Before and After: 50's Side Tables

I think I may have mentioned that the Mr.'s mom runs a yard sale every April to raise money for their volunteer firefighters. We always get first pick and we have scored some awesome stuff. Everything at the sale is $1.00, except the furniture, which is priced by piece. Last year Mister got an authentic vintage Navy peacoat  and I got a 60's cashmere coat with a fur collar! Items like that are rare though, usually it's a firehouse full of country bumkin junk.

Last year, after the sale, someone brought over a pair of 50's side tables, wood with marble tops. She thought we would like them, so rather than store them for a year she brought them to us (for a small donation of course). They lived in our walk-out finished basement when we had the couch down there.

They were nice enough, but they weren't really our style. Plus, our basement has a major humidity problem is the Spring due to the hundreds of gallons of cold water in the cisterns butting up against the warmer house. We didn't realize the humidity in the basement was reaking havoc on the furniture for a few months. By that time everything had grown mold! Disgusting.

The veneer was starting to buckle in pace as well. We got a dehumidifier and that solved the mold problem, but these guys were still on their last legs. So we wood glued them back together and I slapped some paint on 'em!

Ahh... Much better, no? Let's get a closer look at that pull.

The Mr. made these for me! They used to live on a file cabinet we refinished for our old house, but I snagged them because I want to trash the file cabinet. As soon as I figure out what to do with all our files...

How about a proper Before and After:


And some more pics just because remembered to take multiples:

What do you think? What have you made over lately?