Friday, July 29, 2011

round mirrors for my bedroom

The problem with decorating an entire house at once is that you are working on 8 gazillion things at once.  This is also the first house I have actually sat down and thought out designs for each room, so that I have a cohesive picture in my head of what I want to do in each room.  While helpful, it really just makes me think that I have a massive running punchlist of stuff to do.

For instance, this weekend I'd like to build my bed that is currently sitting in boxes behind my sofa, attach the headboard that is out in the garage, finish making curtains for my master bedroom, hang curtain rods in the master bedroom, hang curtain rods in the dining room, get to Ikea for some curtains, finish hanging the the shelves in the dining room....don't even get me started on the hot mess that is our kitchen.

One of the things on my punchlist is to find a round mirror for the master bedroom. I would really like to use my nailhead mirror, but its too big for the space (my bedroom is teeny-tiny).  I am undecided between a natural, woodsy finish, or something bright and colorful.  Decisions, decisions.

I love Ballard's selection of mirrors.  I really like this bone mirror.  I love how it brings a natural element into the room without being all wood grainy, and its sophisticated but doesn't feel overly formal.

This oversized starburst mirror is lovely, but might be too big.  Rather than pay this much money for it I would first attempt (beware, crafting ahead!) this starburst mirror tutorial.

This white Portofino mirror is interesting:

As much as I like the above mirrors, I'm kind of leaning towards this $30 mirror I saw on Craigslist.  Its not quite round but not quite square, and I think it would look fabulous in a navy or coral color.

Plans for today's nap: finish my bedroom curtains!  They are coming out FABULOUSLY, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

baby shoes in shadow box, tissue poms

Update: I'm linking this post up to Young House Love's Pinterest Challenge.

I finally found Princess's baby shoes. I've been wanting to make some type of memento with them, so when I saw this picture on Pinterest a few months ago I knew that was the perfect project.

I used some trellis fabric I had in my stash, and some leftover ricrac and pompoms from trimming the roller shade in her room.  As always when I attempt crafty things, putting all this together was more difficult than anticipated.

I originally liked this arrangement best.

 I really liked the juxtaposition of the girly patent leather with the beat-up sneakers, and that's really who my Princess is--she loves pink girly things but will not hesitate to use the People's Elbow on her brothers.  Unfortunately, I put all this together, glued it down, and then shut the door.

Ruh roh.

It was a bit of a pain getting all the hot glue off the fabric.

Eventually I settled on the row at the bottom with only the smaller shoes.  That left a large expanse up top, so guess what, now everyone knows that Princess's name is not actually Princess.

I also added some tissue poms over Princess's crib.

I ordered the poms from Party Poms on etsy. They have a lovely selection of colors.  The poms come assembled but unfluffed, so you have to gently peel back each layer to make the ball.  Ten poms took me two hours over the course of two days (no one ever lets me sit down for a few hours without interruption around here), and I ripped a bunch.  But I think they came out lovely in the end.

Almost done, folks.  I have one blank wall that I am unsure of what to do with, and then (sometime in the next six months, I'm sure), the big reveal!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

painted china cabinets and hutches

I am hunting for a china cabinet for my dining room. I really want to paint a vintage piece a bright color.

I have had this picture saved forever.  I actually saved this one on paper, long before I discovered Pinterest.  I love the bright turquoise with the pretty paper in the back.

I want this china cabinet SO BAD.  I know its largely a DIY, but I haven't found anything similarly shaped on craigslist.  I assure you I have been looking quite diligently.

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

The problem with china cabinets is that I don't really have "china"  or a lovely collection of milkglass that I want to display.  I need to hide extra pots and pans and holiday servingware and all my craft supplies. I'd prefer something with a solid door.  If I find a china cabinet I like I am willing to swap out glass panels for a mirrored panel, but everything on craigslist I've seen so far has tiny, fussy doors, or is exactly what I want but the seller wants $3000 for it.

I'll keep looking.  I am also contemplating trying to DIY something out of the many pieces of furniture out in the garage.

Monday, July 25, 2011

bamboo roman shade recovered

I recovered a bamboo roman shade for our bathroom, using this tutorial from John's Journal.

I may put up curtains, so I haven't taken down that curtain rod up top yet.

Although really simple in concept, the execution was a bit more difficult than I anticipated.  Tip: this would have been a lot easier with two people; one to hold the bamboo and fabric straight while the other applied the sticky fabric to the bamboo.  After two minutes of trying to do it myself, I walked back inside and said "Greg, please go tell Papa that I need his help outside."
Greg, without looking up from the book he was reading, said "oh, he'll be out in a minute."
Thanks for the blow-off, kid, now get upstairs and tell Papa I need his help outside.
SIGH, dramatic eyeroll, Okaaaaay, fine, Mom.

40 minutes later I had completed the entire task.  By myself.  Outside. In heat of 103 degrees.  Second tip: pick a cooler day to do this, since you'll need to spray all that glue in an outdoor area.

I went upstairs and found the Mister and Greg playing Wii in the playroom.  Greg, was there something I asked you to do? "Oh right! Papa!  Mommy wants you to help her do something outside."

Tip #3: make sure you have enough fabric before you start cutting. You'll notice that the shade is not unfurled all the way to the bottom. (Ahem.) 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

wide-striped curtains

I've been hunting curtains for my bedroom for a while.  I'd love to get some chiang mai dragon curtains, but at $2500 (you should have SEEN the look on the Mister's face when I casually suggested dropping two and a half grand on CURTAINS), that's not happening.

I've been thinking about a really wide stripe curtain.  Of course,  its not available in stores.  Almost all of the pictures I am about to show you are either DIY or to the trade.

So, since they are not in stores and my prior attempts at painting fabric have turned out not so great, I am thinking of hacking a set of striped shower curtains.  A shower curtain is only 72 inches long, usually, but I could attempt to Stitch Witchery some contrasting fabric to the bottom, no?

Crafting--despite years of failed projects, hope springs eternal.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

juju hat FAIL

I attempted to make a Cameroon juju hat, which should look like this:

Here's what mine looks like:

It looks dumb.  Beyond dumb.  It looks like something that has swum in from the deep.

It looks like a wig.

Princess did not care for being attacked by the wig from the deep.

At least it only cost me $8 in yarn.

I think that perhaps had I used a fatter, woolier, fuzzier, larger yarn, and cut it shorter, this might have looked better. Luckily the craft-impaired can buy juju hats on etsy.  

guest posting at Yep, They Are All Mine

Yo peeps, today I am guest posting about a day in my life over at Yep, They Are All Mine, a fabulously funny blog about Kim and her 3 adorable kiddos.  Well, mostly about Kim.  She is very funny.  This post about the happy pills made me laugh out loud, as did this discussion of the resurgence of feathers as accessories.

Check out her blog, she rocks! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

this will take me till Christmas

So....I've been working on this guy for a while:

What should I call him?  Fred and George are taken, that leaves us with Charlie, Bill, Percy, Ron or Ginny.  He does have long hair, I guess that makes him Bill. Or Ginny.

This is taking forEVER, btw.  Painting dragons is not one of my many skills.  This might be done by the time we are ready to move to the next house.

Normally I wait till projects are done to show you stuff.  However I am thisclose to chucking the whole thing. I have never painted anything on canvas before, and I asked the dumbasses at Pearl if I needed to do anything to the canvas prior to painting and they said no, so I was unaware that I should probably have painted the whole thing with a layer of white (or aqua, since its the background, or gesso?) before drawing on the design.  The canvas is sucking up all the paint, so even though this is clearly going to take me a few months to finish THE FIRST COAT, it will need a second coat (and heaven freaking forbid, possibly a third).  And I do not know if I am up to the task here.  

I actually ordered a 36x48 poster of that image a few months ago.  The problem with taking an image off the web and blowing it up that big is that it might get pixelated.  The poster looks good from far awy, but up close its very blurry.  Its also very shiny and didn't have the texture I thought painting it would bring.

I am seriously contemplating just slapping that blurry poster on the canvas and living with it.  I may have bitten off more than I can chew here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ikea spice rack = great shelving

After seeing this picture on Pinterest, I picked up some Ikea spice racks for Princess's room.

I liked the natural wood tone, but you could easily paint them (as the inspiration picture did).  I like them so much I went back and picked up some more for the boys room, and a few for my kitchen, where it actually might hold a spice or two.

Princess's room is nearly done.  I ordered some stuff for over the crib that I'm waiting on, I need to find a small lamp for her dresser, and I had a project planned for her baby shoes....but I can't find the baby shoes.  I know I packed them, but they have yet to make an appearance.  The big reveal will have to wait until I search the garage for these shoes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

coffee tables

Eventually I'd like to get a new coffee table for our living room.  I've been thinking about this for months now, because I can't figure out which kind to get.  (Everything I buy for myself requires months of pondering.) The rug in our living room has a striking pattern, so I didn't want something too big, or something that would cover up too much of the pattern.  The Mister and I like to put our feet up while we watch tv, and our kids have been known to use our ottomans as a launching pads, so no glass tops or lucite.

This one from West Elm has recently caught my eye:

For some reason I really love the industrial look on coffee tables, although I'm not a huge fan of it on much else.

from Home Decorators

What I love about this industrial one is that the bottom is open, so that while there is a a decent amount of space on top for eating on or infiltrating enemy lines in a toy soldier battle, the bottom is open so that the rug is still showing.

from Home Decorators

I'd love to get a tufted otttoman, but I'm afraid its too big for the space and would cover too much of the rug pattern.

from Ballard Designs
I like them all and cannot decide. Your thoughts? Seen any awesome coffee tables lately?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

the living room, phase one

The living room is about 95% finished.  I just brought all of our old stuff to the new house. Phase 2 will be the finishing touches and wee bits of decorating.

Its not a very big room, but its a cozy room and holds a decent amount of furniture.  Its oriented south-west-ish. I rarely have any idea of what direction anything is; when the Mister asks if he should drive east or west I usually tell him to turn left, however, I am guessing that the living room is south-west-ish because I can tell the dining room is oriented due west and has nuclear-strength sun in the afternoons and thus the living room is some sideways version of west. (Wait around for me to explain string theory!)  The living room has three large windows, so there is plenty of natural light without it pouring directly into the space or being in your eyes.  This house is a side-hall colonial built around 1910, so all the windows and doors have plenty of ornate molding and trim.

Please excuse the curtains being hung sort of in the middle of that beautiful ornate trim.  I have 84 inch curtains and to hang them above the molding would leave them a good foot short of the floor, like flood pants.  On a side note, the idiots who lived here previously hung ALL of their curtains FROM THE MOLDING.  If I had bought this house I'd be mighty annoyed, but as it is I just want to poke them in the eye with a sharp stick.  I am fairly positive they desecrated the molding like this because the molding is generally 49+ inches on each window, and thus to hang on either side of the window would have meant a more expensive 48-84 inch+ curtain rod.

The floors in the living and dining room are a laminate, but they actually look really nice, and mimic what would have been in the house when it was built.  They are also a pretty walnut color.  Its funny, the floors feel fine underfoot, they look pretty...the thing that made me realize they were laminate is that they don't feel like wood floors when I am sweeping the floor.  That is a very Princess and the Pea thing to say, isn't it.

The front door opens directly into the living room.  I am not a fan of this; I didn't like it in our previous house in South Jersey either.  I prefer a foyer.  And a coat closet.  This house has neither.  Cue sad violins.

I put an Expedit unit right inside the door for shoe and hat/scarf storage.  We got some unfinished bun feet from Home Depot, painted them white and put them on the bottom, because there is a big air grate in that corner. I would love to put wicker baskets in these cubbies, but I know my kids would destroy them, so I went with Martha Stewart fabric bins instead.  The top two cubbies could use a wicker basket for mail, and perhaps a pretty tchotchke.  The Expedit could be three inches shorter and three inches less deep so it actually fits into the corner, but whatever.

The antique secretary sits on top of another air grate.  I'd like to order some fretwork panels for this piece and replace the glass with mirrors. I'm also debating putting the old art wall on the staircase, but its a lot of holes to patch upon moving out.

You've already seen George and the tv wall.

The bookshelves were built at different times, and I painted the back of one a nice blue.  Unfortunately, the waxy white back of the other shelf does not take paint very well.  (The blue one is actually the unfinished cardboard back, not the white front side.)  The other night I took all the books off the shelf and attempted to paint the white side with Zinnser primer so I could paint it blue to match....and it beaded up and rolled off. So.....I guess I will be finding some posterboard and covering that with some kind of fabric or wallpaper? Eventually?  Its on the list of things to do.

I love an attractively styled bookcase, but I can predict that I will never have one.  I like books too much. As it is, I have moved about half the books downstairs to another bookshelf in the basement in order to put up a few tchotchkes.  I put anything that made us look remotely literate or well-read in the basement (see: all the Mister's books) and kept only stuff I love up here (see: romance novels, vampire lit and decorating magazines.)

This little corner needs some art.  My plan is to put up some silhouettes of the kids.

I built a sofa table out of a Lack shelf and some table legs.  Its the perfect length (72 inches, nearly the length of my sofa), and pretty skinny (just under 11 inches), but it was still too deep for the space.  I liked the way  it looked, I liked having lamps on it and a place to put a drink (the sofa actually butts up to the door on the one side), but pushing the sofa so far into the room made the room feel even smaller and bit cramped, so we took it back out.

Now its like this.  I'd like to find some plug in sconces for either side of the mirror so we don't have to use the overhead lighting all the time.

So! Punch list:
* fretwork panels and mirrored doors on antique secretary
*do something to the back of the bookshelves so they match
*art on stairwell
*sconces over the sofa
*new bamboo blinds for the windows, instead of the icky venetian blinds that currently fall on my head when I use them now
*I have plans for a new coffee table, eventually.