Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bathroom makeover

Once the holidays settled down, I was ready to tackle a big project that I have been thinking about for a while.  

The hall bathroom that my kids who are 18 and 21 use was in dire need of updating.  When my husband and I built the house in 2000, I wanted to have a clean palette to work with, so henceforth, white cabinets and white tile on the floor.  It's hard making so many decisions during a selection meeting when building.  Over time I have grown tired of all the whiteness, if that is such a word.  The bathroom needed some color for warmth.

Here are some before pictures.

Sand colored walls with a blue checked shower curtain from Pottery Barn Kids needed to go.

I removed the large mirror 2 years ago and had the mirror cut at a local glass shop to fit in these 2 frames.

Having seen so many beautiful rooms with gray walls, I set out on a search for the right shade for my bathroom.  It gets morning sun and some light from a skylight just outside the bathroom in the hallway, so in other words, it is not flooded with lots of natural light.  

I decided on Chinchilla by Martha Stewart at Home Depot.  Then off I went in search of a rug and shower curtain.  I had seen a rug at Target that caught my eye so to my amazement, they still had it.  Next I took the rug to the shower curtain isle and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a perfect curtain with gray and more.  

Here is what I am working with including the picture I made of our dog, Molly!

Now the fun begins!  To start off, I removed all the caulking in the tub area ~ it needed to be replaced.  Because it could be paintable in 30 minutes, the task of painting began.  I gathered all of the tools I needed to prep and paint.

Paint  - gallon of Chinchilla by Martha Stewart
roller and tray
Wooster Shortcut 2 in. Nylon/Polyester Angle Sash Brush - love this brush!
paint stirrer
screwdrivers to remove towel bar, switch and outlet plates
painter's tape
newspaper to sit open can of paint on
straight edge knife
paper towels for clean ups!
not pictured: spackling paste and putty knife; paint edger for ceiling line

Now the fun began!  I edged the entire room with my brush and used the edger tool to edge out the ceiling. I prefer to not use painter's tape to edge ~ I just go slow with a steady hand. I emptied the closet to paint it as well.  Next I rolled the rest of the walls.

The contents of the closet are now in the hall waiting to be gone through.

Painted and fresh.

Now all is organized.
The next morning, I began the task of "polishing" the room ~ adding the finishing touches to the room. Painting the closet also made me go through everything prior to putting things back. As a result I now have a pile for Goodwill and a pile to post on  Everything in the closet has its own space.  

Now here is the finale!

The bathroom came together better than I could have ever imagined.  My son says he will try harder to keep it clean ~ thanks Ian!  I was able to reuse the framed print, baskets, and towel rack to help keep cost down. I did pick up a ceramic flower pot for $2.25 at Goodwill that I spray painted "granite gray" to hold my son's toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.

I am very pleased with the final product, yet I have 2 more things I wish to accomplish.  The door knobs are brass so I want to replace the closet and the knob on the back of the door with chrome ones.  Also, I am toying around with the idea of painting the cabinets a warm brown color.   Hmmm... snow day????

Do you have a project that you are anxious to start?  Do you have an inspiration piece to get you started on a project?  Go for it!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy winter!

I love subway art and like to have a have one framed for each season near my front door.

Here is one I made up!

Keep your fingers crossed for snow!


No more boring pillowcases!

Have you ever looked at your bed when it is all made up and the shams and pillows are fluffed just right and think, "Something is missing - just not right."  

I have! I love winter time when I break out my red velvet/silk quilt and shams to add an additional layer to the bed.  Winter is my favorite season because I get to dress in layers and dream of snow!

Okay - back to the bed.  With my 2 shams placed in front of each pillow, the pillowcases just seem to be there ~ don't seem important.  After reading this post by Centsational Girl, where she stamped tea towels, my thoughts went back to my pillowcases. As a child I had such sweet pillowcases that my great grandmother had embroidered the ends of and tatted on the edges of some  ~ I cherished them.  So the next thing I knew, I grabbed a set of my white pillowcases and a few supplies.

1 - pillowcases, of course

2 - fabric medium by Martha Stewart

3 -paint of chosen color by Martha Stewart (I love her paints due to their consistency and coverage.)

4 - some cardboard - to put between the layers on the end of pillowcases as I stamped

5 - roller brush and small pan as well as a small paint brush 

6 - a damp paper towel - I always have them handy!

7 - scrap paper to test the stamp with paint on it first

First of all, I placed a piece of cardboard between the layers at the edge of the pillow case where I was going to start stamping.  Next I mixed the paint and fabric medium according to the directions on the bottle with the small paint brush in the roller pan.

Once I rolled the little roller in the paint, I rolled it on the stamp and tested it on paper to make sure the coverage was correct.  I also tested to make sure that I applied the correct amount of pressure on the stamp to get a clear stamp impression.  There aren't second chances in stamping!

Starting at one edge of the pillowcase, I stamped the impression on the fabric, rolled a new coat of paint on the stamp, then rotated the stamp.  I do this since the design lent itself to having the image snug against itself.  I continued with this pattern - a b a b a b ... until I reached the end.  Oh - I did have t move my cardboard in order for it to be under the stamp at the other end.

Last, I pulled the cardboard out and moved the pillowcase to dry while I started the next one. Here is what I ended up with:

After I let them dry overnight, I ironed them to set the paint.  (See the directions on the bottle of fabric medium.)  Now look at my bed ~ it now looks finished.  My pillowcases stand out and complete the look.

Have you ever thought about trying something like this?  Maybe the corner of napkins, the edge of a tea towel, or around the edge of a napkin to be a bread basket liner?  

Sweet dreams from my home to yours!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Holy" socks

Have you ever put on a good pair of socks only to discover that there is a hole in one?  Well, when I went to put on my warm blue socks the other day, I was caught by surprise ~ here was a hole on the heel.  No worries!

I thought I would share with you how to darn a sock ~ that means fix a hole in a sock.  It's bit different that sewing up a hole in a shirt or pants.  Here you go...

 1 - Gather a needle, appropriate thread, small scissors, and a lightbulb.

2 - Turn the sock wrong side out and insert the lightbulb so that the hole in the sock is slightly stretched over the lightbulb.

3 - With your needle threaded and knotted, begin making stitches that go across the hole, catching a small bit on each side of the hole.  Once you have sewn it up, knot thread and clip.

4 - Viola!  No more hole!  The lightbulb helps one truly see the hole.  This is a trick that mom passed down to me from her grandmother.  Thanks Grandma Childress!

May your socks no longer have holes!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Got to love the beat up ones!

I love to go to some local shops to find "not so pretty" pieces of furniture or household things to bring back to life.  Two of favorite places to visit is Goodwill on Rt. 1 near Ashland and Class and Trash, a local thrift store also on Rt. 1, just north of Interstate 295/95.  Craigslist is another place in which I have scored some great pieces as well.

Here are two before and afters.  

Not bad for $8 at Goodwill.
Looked like someone had a blast scratching
something all over it.

$10 off Craigslist
$5 knob from Hobby Lobby at 1/2 off - $2.50!

With each, all it took was some sanding, painting, and updating hardware. Sometimes I get a new knob or handle or I just spray paint the old one if it is a style I like.  The drawer pull on the first table, I did spray paint it because I couldn't find a new one that had the same distance from the screws.  In the end, I like it sprayed brushed nickel!

So.... the next time you see a little table or chair that has seen better days, give it a chance!  With a little sanding, painting, and tlc, it may become your favorite piece yet!

Have you ever found a piece and given it a new life?  Have you ever passed on a piece of furniture only to regret it later? I have numerous times.  My new motto is.... get it when you see it!  It might not be there tomorrow once you are done justifying it in your head!

Happy hunting!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Kitty Man Cave

Some say a man needs his space to relax and call his own, yet does that apply to male cats too?  According to my daughter, her male cat. Alphie, needed a place to curl up in privacy that was all his.

It all began with this inspiration from Pinterest:

In her bedroom she had the perfect bedside table!  Now the transformation began.

With measurements in hand, off she went to JoAnn Fabrics to find the "purrfect" polar fleece for a pillow and material for a curtain.  She chose a soft off white fleece and an off white and light turquoise chevron for the curtain.

After measuring the space inside where the pillow would go, I proceeded to cut the material 2' wider and deeper than measured to allow for seam allowance and for the stuffing.  I sewed 3 sides together and on the fourth, I sewed in 1/3 of the way from each side - leaving an opening to add the stuffing.  Once stuffed, I hand stitched it closed.

Next I measured the height of the opening where the curtain would hang and added 1/2' for the hem and 1 1/2' for the rod pocket at the top. I cut the fabric to the desired height and then using the full width of the fabric, cut it in half to make 2 panels.

Then I hemmed each side and hemmed the length.  Then I created a rod pocket for the tension rod at the top.  I then added the two panels  onto the tension rod and put into place.

Now Alphie has his own lil' Kitty Man Cave to sleep in at night!   

Sweet dreams Alphie!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Oh my dear Clementine!

It's that time of year when clementines are in the stores and my daughter just loves them. And well, I can't throw things out.  I'm not a horder, yet I like to reuse and recycle anything possible. So I keep stuff in the garage, attic, or in my craft space until an idea hits me or I get inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.  I LOVE Pinterest ~ it has sparked my interest and desire to be creative.  Feel free to check out my boards:

Oh yea ..... the clementine crates.  I tend to talk fast and my mind goes at fast speed all the time.  I crash when I got to bed.  On to the crates!

In my craft space I have a closet where I have most of my supplies organized and stored.  I have lots of spools of ribbon and cards and I ran out of space to store them, so I use the crates.  To make them more attractive, I simply cut craft paper and mod podged it on the sides!  The neat thing about the crates is that they stack = more space saved.

What do you do with your left over clementine crates?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

Nevin :)