Friday, April 30, 2010

Thanks to this product ...

my children still have buttcheeks.

Seriously, it is a miracle product, and as a practicing Catholic I don't use that word lightly. I just used it to get magic marker out of two different pieces of upholstered furniture, and you wouldn't believe what it can do for carpet stains. What makes it better than Resolve? No rinsing. Just spray, rub, (and here comes the miracle part) the spot dissolves into thin air. Need I say more?

Do yourself (and your children's hineys) a huge favor and get thee to Bed Bath and Beyond (more retailers found on their website) for a bottle. For more info, here's their website.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in Lindsay's $5 Challenge Contest! I was named the first runner up- which I'm pleased as punch about, because the runner up prize was a book page tassel from Lindsay's etsy store and a $30 gift certificate to Back 40 Life. I've never tried any vinyl wall decor and I have a few spots in my home that could use a little something.

I haven't decided what to order from Back 40 Life yet (maybe this, this or this? I can't decide!), but the tassel arrived by mail a couple of days ago:

I think she looks so sweet hanging from the knob of my hutch! Thanks, Lindsay! You can visit Living with Lindsay for directions on how to make your own, or you can purchase one from her etsy shop.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baby Evelyn's Nursery

My Big Bro, Jim, and SIL, Andrea, recently purchased a new house and had their 4th child. I was so excited when Andrea enlisted my help with the nursery. She wanted to reuse the bedding from her first daughter and mostly just wanted a little help choosing colors and accent fabrics. Here's what we came up with (sorry for the terrible photo quality!)

The little port-a-crib is on loan from me until baby Evelyn's big sis is done with the full size white crib which will eventually take its place.

This bedding was our jumping off point:

it has virtually every pastel color you can think of in it somewhere. Andrea wanted to go with a green on the walls so that the nursery would remain gender neutral in case baby Evelyn ever has a little brother. I know it's impossible to tell in these photos, but the paint color is really pretty. I can't recall the name right now, but I'll ask Andrea if anyone is interested. It's a perfect light green for a nursery. Neutral, not to dark, not too blue, not too yellow.

I think the window treatments turned out so cute! Andrea made the pelmet box using Jenny's instructions on LGN with this cute pink bamboo print fabric we picked out. I'm so in love with this fabric!

Andrea found the drape panels on super sale from PBK

I love how this little decal looks, but we were a little disappointed with it originally because it was supposed to be much larger.

Here's the misleading photo on the website we selected it from:

even if that's a toddler sized bed in the photo, that decal looks much larger than the one Andrea received. The finished product still looks super cute though.

Andrea made these sweet butterflies with some foam core scraps leftover from the pelmet box and SBP.

And I made a cute and comfy slipcover for her rocking chair cushions from green minkee dot fabric.

Andrea made this adorable hook name plaque with SBP and modge podge:

You know, Andrea, for someone who claims not to be crafty, girl, you sure are crafty!!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Thrifty Treasures: Art and Side Table

First off, thanks so much for all of your sweet comments and encouragement about my fireplace surround makeover! I am beyond thrilled with the transformation! Here's a shot of the area now with the furniture back in place:

My dad stopped by last weekend to deliver my nearly complete mantle for the basement family room (it is looking so good! I can't wait to show you!) and he was all ready to tear into me about what a dumb idea it was to spray paint something so large at all any less in the house- I mean what was I thinking and i was really going to be sorry when the paint dripped all over and paint flecks flew all over the house.... and on... and on...

And then it happened. He saw the project in question and gave it a good once over while looking for something, anything to fuel a big 'I-told-you-so', but he couldn't find a thing wrong with it! And he really tried! Finally he had to give up and admit that he was impressed!

If you've ever met my dad, you'd know what a big deal this was to me. My dad is an awesome father, but he's an engineer which means he's all about being precise.

It's probably not a great idea to spray paint indoors (I wouldn't have done it if I had found a paint with a similar texture in a brush-on) but if you're nuts enough to try it anyway, here are my tips for getting a finish that will pass muster with the pickiest engineer around:

  1. Don't do this with small children or animals around.
  2. Tape off carefully and cover a wide margin of floor and wall all the way around whatever you're painting. Seriously, like 8 feet on all sides especially on the floor (spray paint doesn't really seem to travel upward, so you're okay with less coverage on the walls)- my dad told me a story about when he spray painted something indoors roughly 30 years ago and the over spray carried toward the A/C intake vent and landed on the drape hanging next to it. Yuck!
  3. Open all the windows and doors.
  4. Wear a mask and try not to inhale the fumes.
  5. Take frequent breaks to step outside for fresh air.
  6. Work in 3 foot sections in light coats and let each section dry for a few minutes (you can work on another section in the meantime) before adding another coat.
  7. Remove the painters tape as soon as you're finished

Okay , now back to my thrifty treasures! Did you notice something new hanging above the fireplace?

Now that the tile is more muted, I decided to hang a piece of art centered on the wall. It really is centered (I've measured several times!) it's just the camera angle making it look lopsided! I'm considering adding some other items (plates, perhaps?) to this wall, but I'm enjoying the uncluttered look for now. Plus, eventually I'll have a new mantle here and I'll be able to perch some taller items on either side of the artwork.

I found this trio of watercolor paintings at an estate sale a few months ago. I purchased it for $3! I didn't look too closely at it at the time. I just thought the colors were nice. When I got home I noticed a tag on the back that read "Rudolph Lesch Fine Arts". I did a little research and found similar single pieces by the same artist listed on ebay for $375 each ( That would make my trio worth roughly $1125!) They haven't sold at that price, and I know things are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them, but I still think I got a pretty great deal!

The artist's name is Charles De Montfort.

Here are some closeups:

This one is entitled "Rue St. Vincent"

"Les Quais"

This one is a little harder to make out, but I think the title is "HV. V. Hugo"

And here is my other thrifty treasure. A pretty side table found on craigslist for $10. I love the raised lip around the edge of the tabletop and all the pretty carved details.

Love it with a vase of my favorite flowers (ranunculus- so sweet!) on top. Thanks, Mom!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dishing It with Serenity Now!

I'm participating in Amanda's new party- Dishing it!

The idea is to get to know some fellow bloggers.

Here are the questions that Amanda proposes we answer for the first Dishing It party to get the ball rolling:

~How long have you been blogging?
8 months. It feels like longer than that! I had to look back at my posts to confirm this one!

~Why did you start blogging?
I was obsessed with checking in on all my favorite home dec. blogs (I mean, seriously Obsessed!) and eventually realized that I have some pretty good ideas too! Then one day my blog title popped into my head and I thought, why not?

~Tell me about your blog's title. Why did you choose it?
I wrote all about this in My Very First Post!

~What do you blog about?
Mostly about diy home decor projects.

~What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Comments are my crack. Oh, and it has been awesome getting to know some other great bloggers.

~If you had to choose one famous person to become your blog's next devoted reader, who would you pick?
I know I should pick someone meaningful who will make you think I'm really deep, but I really wouldn't mind if R.Pat or Harry Connick became my biggest fans! Oh, and I guess I would be extremely flattered if some legit designer confessed to reading my blog.

~What's the funniest comment you've ever received on a blog post?
I got a pretty funny one yesterday- someone commented about how much my forearm must hurt after emptying 22 cans of spray paint on my fireplace! She was sooo right!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Desert Bisque...

it's the new pink!

It took no less than 22 cans...

but I love it!!




Thanks to all of you fabulous ladies who helped me out with suggestions on this project through Amanda's Decorating Dilemmas party! Hopefully by the next party I'll be able to show you a new mantle here!!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wish Me Luck...

My hubby's on a business trip, so I'm goin' in!! Wish me luck! Better yet, say a little prayer for me!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Help a Sista' Out!

First off, if you haven't checked out my guest post at Amanda's scoot over there and tell me what you think!

Ballard's version:

My version:

Alright, ya'll- I need some more eyeballs on this one. Remember my decorating dilemma about my big pink fireplace?

Well it's officially spray paint season and I'm ready to break out a big ol' can of whoop a-- I mean a can of spray paint on my ugly fireplace! My problem is- which one?

I thought I had this all figured out and planned to use Rustoleum's "Stone" spray paint, but Holly told me about how she had seen it used and someone (probably some cute little sticky-fingered someone) had picked at the little 'stone' flecks in the paint. After hearing that and eyeing my children, I decided the 'stone' paint finish wasn't for me. So back to the store I went and picked up this paint in three different colors to test them out.

I will say I love the texture of this paint. It has a slightly gritty finish, but doesn't have the big faux stone chunks in it that the 'stone' paint had. I think the grit finish is very close to the original finish of the tiles. I found some extra pink tiles in the basement so I used them to test out the paint.

Option 1: Caribbean Sand
This is the lightest of the three. It's kind of a cream color with tiny dark flecks in it

Option 2: Sandstone
Kind of a medium Khaki color, same finish, but without the darker flecks

Here's a closeup:

Option 3: Desert Bisque
A dark Khaki with dark and light flecks in it.

Here's a closeup:

Which one would you choose?

BTW- I will also being painting the brass trim with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint and my dad is going to build a mantle which will extend to the wall so that I can treat the wall space above as one large symmetrical space. He's currently building a mantle for the basement fireplace as practice. He brought the nearly complete basement mantle over on Easter to double check the fit and I absolutely love it!

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