Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Even though I'm not much of a cook, I still want my kitchen to look nice. While I'm not crazy about the color of the cabinets (can't do anything about that since I'm not stupid enough to try painting them), I can change the out of date brassy door pulls. I bought a few different ones from Lowe's and Home Depot, but nothing was a dramatic improvement. And they were all over $3 a piece. With 28 pulls, that's a LOT for a so-so improvement. So I figured I'd try painting the old ones. If they didn't look good, I'd just bite the bullet and buy new ones. I don't have a good close-up picture of the pulls on the cabinets "before," but here's what they looked like after a little sanding.
I decided to try hammered black spray paint to give them some texture and hopefully look metal-like and not spray painted. I had a bunch of styrofoam left over from a piece of furniture that we put together, so I used a bunch of toothpicks to prop them all up. I thought myself pretty clever with this solution (pictured after a coat of primer).
Of course...I didn't feel so clever after this happened.

Yes, this was supposed to be the "after" but this one piece of foam tipped over and messed up three of the pulls. I had to sand them down and start over. I'm not so patient with the sandpaper, so these are still a bit bumpy, but I hid them in the high spot over the fridge. I dare you to notice the difference.

One thing I didn't plan for was the added thickness a coat of primer and two coats of black spray paint would add. Why do I never think these kinds of things through?? Luckily, a little cramming and they all made it back in. Voila!!

Here's the final look...all for an $8 can of spray paint! Hurray for cheap!

As a side note...does this area need an island?? I just can't decide if it would cozy it up or if it'd always be in the way. What do you think?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rock and roll hoochie koo

There's been a project that I've wanted to do for years, but I never had the place to do it. Despite the fact that we had two boys rooms, their walls were always filled with their own stuff. How dare they. But now I have spare bedrooms and I could finally put together my rock and roll fantasy. Can you figure out what it is??

How about this??

Give up yet?? Greg has a collection of old classic rock (and some strange not so classic 80s stuff we shouldn't talk about), which used to sit in his parents' shed. When they finally got sick of it sitting around, he was going to toss them, but I made him keep them all...without much protest, mind you.

I wanted to to make an album cover collage and I LOVE it. What do you think??

Who doesn't love a little AC/DC?! I hung these above a bed in the spare room and maybe it was a happy accident, but I hung them a little too high. But that has inspired me to search the thrift stores for a cheap headboard that I can paint. Meanwhile, I'll just fake it with a sad little pillow. :)

Just this week I bought some patterned sheer curtains from Target for a steal. Can't wait to hang them up and get the room a little bit more complete. Still trolling for the headboard, but I'll find it. Meanwhile, I love me some classic rock!! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Basket case

I was wandering through my favorite Goodwill last week (shocker), when I spotted this strange thing. 
Not quite sure what it is?? Me either. Which is why I'm going with "basket." But it's not really a basket, because it's flat. Normally I over think my Goodwill purchases, but this one I snapped up for some reason. Still not quite sure why, considering I've had a few GW failures lately (more on those in a future post). But it had a decent price.

But I've passed up better prices. Who knows. Anyway, I took it on home and tucked it in a corner of the garage, hoping someone wouldn't notice yet another project coming in...without any projects finishing up.  (Of course, that strategy didn't exactly work.) 

It was a bit light colored (and a bit 80s) for me so I was thinking spray paint, but I was afraid of how it would turn out. Then sometime the next day, it hit me that I should stain it. Huzzah!! I had some walnut stain on hand and it went pretty darn quickly. I actually started and finished a project in one day!

You probably can't tell a whole lot of difference, but it looks much better now. And here's a pic of it in action...

I'm not 100% convinced that I've taken the 80s out of it, but it'll do for now. I'd like a glass jar with a lid for the right side of the mantle, but I'm having a hard time finding one. (Have I missed my chance for that kind of thing??) I was thinking of putting different things in it to go with the seasons...seashells, cranberries, nuts, etc, etc.  Here's a closer shot..
What I really want for the mantle is an old window or some interesting architectural type piece. Do you think it's a keeper for now? Or send it back to the future Goodwill?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The kindness of strangers...

One big thing we didn't like about our old house was our neighbor. We lived next door to an inconsiderate renter, who played his music at all hours of the night (which we could hear on the far side of the house...with all the windows closed). As well as a trashy, cluttered yard. And...well, that's enough about him. On to the kindness of strangers. The first week we moved in, I came home one day to find this beauty on my front porch.

Several of my new neighbors had left this plant, along with a nice card welcoming us to the neighborhood.  And they weren't even my next door neighbors. I still haven't had a chance to meet any of the gift givers. But as a person who normally likes to keep to herself, it made me want to go out and have a neighborhood bbq or something. What I especially love is that it perfectly matches my orange umbrella. Remember this??

I love this view when the umbrella is open and I'm sitting in the family room. It makes me happy. Now, if I could only get the darn plant to bloom again!!!

But I digress. Back to the hood...we did get a chance to meet the neighbor on one side of us one day in the yard. And then one day while I was on the phone with Comcast for the umpteen millionth time, a knock at our door brought this...

The neighbor on the other side brought this beautiful bouquet from her yard. After talking with both the neighbors, there seems to be a theme that I'm not too happy with..."good luck." That's good luck getting anything much to grow in the garden. Yes, even though these gorgeous blooms came from her yard, it seems it's going to be an uphill struggle.

I'm a bit discouraged...ok, a lot discouraged. But I have some ideas and with all the heat, I can't say I'm missing watering all the time. Oh well...I'll complain about the garden later (and often). For now, I'm just happy to be home, surrounded by the kindness of strangers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back in business

I've been gone way too long...don't judge. It's been a busy time. And add to that a hard drive that crashed and 3 visits and countless phone calls to Comcast to get my new internet up and running. But I'm back in business. New laptop. A wireless connection. And while there's still another scheduled visit from Comcast for the phone this Saturday, well, hopefully it'll go ok. There's a LOT to catch you up on. So I'll start with the move. We went from this

in the old kitchen to this

Of course, that created chaos in the new place.

And while it doesn't look all that bad, it's only because I forgot to take pictures in the middle of it. A chronic problem. Needless to say, all the boxes have been unpacked and now it's on to projects. Oh, the glorious projects. I have a lot to catch you up on.  And if I can figure out what I'm doing, I might even have a new blog site to make it easier to upload pictures. A big if.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

15 Days and Counting...

That’s right...tomorrow will be two weeks until The Big Move. I’m not ready. Not by a long shot. I was busy over the holiday weekend with my family cookout to show off the home movies. They were a big hit, but my mom threatened to take away the set of extra keys to her house.  J  Check out the food...I borrowed some old tablecloths from my mom. I love these old things and wish I could find some at a flea market some time. (It might help if I actually went to flea markets!)

Here’s some of the family playing “volleyball.” I can hear my fellow RVC people snort in laughter, but it’s lots of fun, I promise. And yes, the net is at armpit level. Don't judge.
I finally got around to putting a few things into boxes Monday, but having boxes sit around gets on my nerves!!  I think I’ve officially packed 13 boxes. Think that’ll do it?? Uhhh, not so much. I’ll probably do a little more this weekend, just because I can’t leave it ALL til the last minute.

I have to admit, before I packed the first thing, I went around and took pictures of it all. Have to have some sort of sentimental history. Have you ever done that? What I want to know is why do things look so small once you take the pictures? I live there every day...it doesn't look that small!

One thing I noticed...see a striking similarity between the old chest I told you about a few weeks ago and this chest that’s in my bedroom???

Coincidence??? I think not...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Good Old Days

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend. ("all" two of my followers) This time of year always reminds me of Nationals and the good times I had with friends. Hope all our RVC people are playing (and partying) hard. I miss going sometimes...anybody else miss it??  Next year anyone? Maybe this will help entice you...here are a few good memories from our last trip in 2007 to Austin.

Love that Embassy Suites social hour!! Chillin’ with the girls at a random restaurant in Austin...
 See a theme here??

 What I won’t miss....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Well, it’s not my birthday, but it is Greg’s birthday today. But somehow I’m the one that got the cool gift. I’m so excited. A few weeks ago, I was trolling my local Goodwill (shocking, I’m sure) and I came across a beat up, round kitchen table. The best part...it had a leaf! Yes, I already have a table, but it’s a pretty large rectangle and while I haven’t measured, in my mind it’s not going to work in the new kitchen. I think it’s too big and/or not the right shape. Not sure if you can tell the space from this photo...see the small piece of cabinet on the right? Not that big of a space for a huge rectangle. (yes, I hate that light fixture...and those curtains!)

So I snapped a picture and sent it to Greg...after a few, “seriously?” type texts, he said to do whatever made my little heart happy. Well, he didn’t say it that way, but you get the point...it didn’t hurt that I had been doing a LOT of the move related stuff that week. It’s alllll about timing. So I nervously plunked down $35 and it was mine!

The table was pretty beat up, but it looked mostly like surface scratches. The base is painted an ugly dark green, so I figured I could paint the whole thing a nice, glossy black if I had to. And even if it didn’t work out size-wise, I could always sell it, right? Maybe even for a profit.

Of course, the thing wouldn’t fit in my car, so Greg had to (patiently) come with me to pick it up. Since we’re moving and have zero space and it was in his vehicle anyway, he decided to take it to work and just store it there. And he even took the camera to work and snapped the pics you see here for my blog...awwww.  

But here’s the birthday/best part...he had the guys in the mill sand the top for me, saving me HOURS of labor and tedium. While this picture is super crappy and tiny (snapped on his cell phone), the table looks FABULOUS!
Happy birthday to me on Greg’s b-day!! I can’t wait to stain the top and paint the base. I’ll either pick a stain that’ll go with my current chairs, or I might even paint them. There are so many projects that I want to get to and all I can do at this point is pack!!! This one’s going on the top of the list. 23 more days til the move! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Dirty Little Secret

Well, sort of. Really it’s just Greg that doesn’t know and I’ll probably keep it that way for a while. See, he’s been very indulgent of my Goodwill obsession. He even helped haul one particularly large purchase home recently (more on that in a future post). But at some point his patience is going to wear out. Hopefully not before I can get this bad boy in the house.

Can you see the detail at the bottom? Many, many years ago, this chest sat in my mom’s garage and was used to store the stuff I played “school” with. Yeah, we won’t count how many years ago that was. It was apparently from my grandma’s house...and my mom said she never bought anything new, so it was probably old even then. My guess is that it’s at least 50 years old? Who knows. I love it. My sister loves it. My mom thinks we’re nuts.

My sister tried to strip the finish off and clean up the drawer pulls many years ago, but it was the project that just wouldn’t finish (pun intended).  She’s had it in her house for probably 8 or more years and now she’s finally ready to get rid of it. And of course, I’m the sucker that’s going to take it.

The thing is riddled with problems...it smells musty, the drawers are hard to get open and the wood grain is fairly open on the top, making it impossible to re-stain.  But it’s going to be a beauty...I just know it. I’m thinking of painting it a fun color like yellow...but yellow is so hard to get right. Something like this. 
Maybe green? It’ll definitely be trial and error. 
I can’t wait to get started...just don’t tell Greg. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ginter Park Inspiration

This past weekend, I went to the annual Ginter Park Garden Tour. I LOVE this event and have been looking forward to it for over a month. I watched the weather all week long and was sure that it’d be a wash out. But lo and behold, Mother Nature took pity on me...the skies cleared and it was a gorgeous day.

Each year, different Ginter Park residents open their gardens (and some homes) for people to come and drool over their labors of love (or the gardner’s labor, as the case may be). As I’ve told you before, my new back yard is a scrubby wasteland. So I was looking for a little inspiration. How long do you think before I could create an oasis like this? 

The gardens were fabulous, but there were also non-flower inspirations for me this year. Greg wants to build a pergola with a screen to shield us from the neighbors...not sure what handy person he thinks is going to build it, but that’s his problem. I really like this one and the columns and the criss cross action up top.

And I love this straight lattice. One of the volunteers told me that this is the way that lattice was originally built in the 1920s. That diagonal lattice is a relatively new concept.  I’m not sure if most people would notice the difference (??), but I think it’s cool.

While I don’t think that’d be too difficult, I really don’t see us redoing a perfectly good railing around the deck. Although...we do plan to rip out all the shrubs in the front of the house and there’s no lattice there. We could add straight lattice below the porch.  Hmmm...

I’d really love to have a nice paver patio area, right off the deck. But I don’t think that’s going to happen either...either money-wise or labor. I’m just afraid of doing it myself and the pavers not coming out quite level and I’d always hate it. What about something like this instead? I’d put some sort of low, small pavers around it to keep the rocks in.

I  generally hate small rocks in a yard, but this one looked really nice in person. What kind of major yard projects are you doing? Or are you like me and you only dream about them and realistically know you’ll never do any of them?!

Friday, May 13, 2011

That 70s Thing

My mom’s birthday is in May, just a few weeks after Mother’s Day. Talk about a gift double whammy. It’s always difficult to come up with gift ideas back to back, so a lot of times I come up lame. This year, my sister and I had the FABULOUS idea to convert our old home movies to DVD. For years, my mom has wondered if the movies were even salvageable...they’ve been in the attic and then the garage. Not exactly the best storing conditions.

We even got to do a little sneaky fun when I got my mom out of her house while my sister broke snuck in to get the reels. After many, many weeks of waiting, they’re finally here!! We used iMemories, which was great (albeit pricey). They digitize the movies and then you can see it on-line, shuffle things around, edit, etc. And let me tell you, they came out great! We’re SO excited. The only down side is that the movies are 90% of my brother (not a down side for him, I’m sure). Apparently they were bored with taking movies by the time we came along.

Check out the still shots I snagged of me and my siblings in all our 70s cuteness. The pictures are blurry because a) they’re from the 70s and b) they’re snagged from a movie).


Check out those pants!!!

Me, in all my cuteness.  J

The family that pumps iron together...

My mom isn’t going to know what hit her...we’re having a Memorial Day cookout just to unveil the video. It's a week after her birthday, to throw her off the trail.  50 million brownie points for us! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Picture Perfect

So I’m moving into a house full of bare walls and the thought of finding pictures seems a little daunting. It used to be that there were lots of stores that had great pictures. But over the past few years it seems to me it becomes harder and harder to find something that’s not too modern. Of course, I have a lot of stuff from the current house that’ll transfer over, but there are going to be a lot of bare walls.

For some reason, I’ve been buying mirrors like crazy. I’ve found four at Goodwill in the past two weeks! (somebody stop me!!) What the heck am I going to do with all of them??  Maybe a mirror collage? Or is that weird? Maybe if they’re all painted the same color for some continuity...something fun. Not just black or white. Of course, I keep buying, not having a clue where they’re going.  Great planning.

I did score two great bathroom pictures at Hobby Lobby months ago, hoping and assuming I’d find a house to put them in. They were half off so I got a hot and cold for $9 total!

I love old fashioned knobs like this and even have shower curtain rings that are made like the fixture and say hot or cold. Earlier this week I went to Target and found frames for the pictures.  I’m going to paint a bathroom a soft gray just to show off these bad boys.  Not sure yet which bathroom though.

These are currently in the master bath, and I absolutely love them. 

They’re postcards I picked up during a trip to Charleston.

I love that they not only look good, but they remind me of all the great times I’ve had in Charleston.  And I like that not everything is from a big box store.

Where do you find art or create art?

Friday, May 6, 2011

And So It Begins...

Yep, the constant obsessing about colors and light fixtures and decorations has started. It officially began two nights ago when I woke up at 4: 38 a.m. and thoughts of the downstairs bath consumed me for the better part of an hour, til I got up groggy and no better off for all the thinking. In my mind, I’ve already spent about $500 in the half bath alone (new vanity cabinet, means a new mirror, means a new light fixture...and on and on). Yeah. It ain’t gonna happen.

Since I’d better get out of the bathroom and on to bigger things, how about the kitchen? Here’s a sneak peak of what the kitchen looks like – this is taken from the dining room/study doorway.

I don’t love the cabinet color (or even the countertop), but I do love the wood floors.  The knobs are a hideous brass and they’re strangely placed in the middle of the cabinet. Why would you do that?? You’re guaranteed to bend down for the bottom cabinets and stretch for the top ones if you’re short (not a problem in our house). But still. How weird. I’m definitely going to buy some new pulls. Maybe rubbed bronze? There are too many online to even go through...that’s something you have to see in person to pick.

But what about the color?? Currently it’s a pale yellow. Nothing wrong with it, but you know I’m gonna change it. My current kitchen is beige. It had to stay that way because the family room wall connected to the kitchen wall and there’s no good way to stop one and start another. I’m THRILLED that each room has a stopping point so I can go crazy with color if I want. All my decorations are green, including a 5 x 8 rug. I don’t necessarily have to stick with that though (I might use the rug in my new study).  Here’s a kitchen from a house that was for sale month’s ago...I saved the pic because I LOVE this kitchen.

I don’t know what it is about it though.  The color? Would that be a good color? It’s a different kind of green than the stuff I have now, so I’d have to scrap some stuff (but potentially use elsewhere). Maybe it’s the island I love? I do have hopes of an island here...though as much as I cook, it’ll be purely decorative. Maybe it’s the built in stainless oven? Very cool. Speaking of appliances...notice everything is stainless but the fridge? Strange. I’m afraid we’re going to have a mish-mash of appliances too. The stove is white with a black door. The dishwasher is black. Microwave is white. What do we buy for a fridge??

So tell me what you think...green? If not, then what? Ho hum beige? Keep it yellow? A bold, girly color...something coral-like?? What color fridge? Help a color palette out!