Thursday, March 31, 2011

Free Download Especially for You

I am going to warn you now. TOMORROW IS APRIL FOOLS DAY. Be prepared.

Sometimes my sense of humor leans to the juvenile too, ok? So I made this, just for you. Download it and use it however you'd like. I even included an 8x10 and 5x7 version.

Just don't sell it, k? That's so not nice.



Oh The Office. There's such wisdom there.

In case you'd like to order some fake bird poop, and why wouldn't you?, go here. Sounds like the perfect April Fools day purchase to me!

Seriously. People make fake bird poop?

Introducing... The Half Bath

We're moving right next door. From the kitchen to the half bath.


It's a teensy, weensy little space. Room for a potty (Am I mom or what? Potty. heh heh) and a pedestal sink.



On the plus side the ceilings are quite high.


When we moved in I put in a (pardon me) boob light. I know, shame on me. I'll get rid of it, k?


I think this space is screaming for a glam-ulous chandelier.

On the floor is super cute hexagon tile.


It's good enough for now, but here's my problem with it. 1. It wasn't installed the best. Can you see by the toilet it obviously shifted? 2. All the grout lines hold dirt. And that's a lot of grout lines, my friend. 3. It's such a small space, I'd like the flooring to match (eventually) with what is in the hall way. For flow and what not.

But that will have to wait. I like hexagon tile in general, so I think it will be fine for the time being.

Now the plan: The top is now a taupe, which is perfectly fine. And boring. I'd like something bold and beautiful. Why not? Below the chair rail is the same orange from the kitchen. I'll just do that the same antique white that the kitchen is now. So light on the bottom, bold and gorgeous on the top. Maybe a fun ceiling color? Definitely a chandelier. New artwork = completely new look!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cabinet Crossroads

I'm puttering along in the kitchen. Does it look different?





Here are a couple before photos so you can compare.



In addition to painting, I did quite a bit of decluttering. I was even able to remove the "island". Holy moly. I feel like we put on an addition! It's so rooooooomy! Kind of embarrassing to admit, but I was doing dance moves in the middle of the kitchen. Why didn't I do this years ago?!


The microwave is temporarily on the breakfast nook table, until we can buy a new one to go over the stove. At least that's where I think it's going to go. I also still have some trim paint to do. And I also have to paint behind the refrigerator, but I thought I'd wait to paint behind the fridge until I figure out what to do with the cabinets.

So, what should I do with the cabinets?

I really want new cabinets and floors. Reallyreallyreally. But it's so not in the budget right now, it's not funny. If it were going to be in the budget 6 months from now, I might just leave the cabinets. I think it's going to be a good deal longer than 6 months. Time for a temporary solution. I'm going to replace as little as possible, and paint instead.

Here's the dilemma. Light or dark? I feel like the space is pulling me in different directions. The counter and backsplash say "Dark! Paint us dark!" The appliances say "No way! It's white all the way!".

Am I wrong? I love dark counters with white cabinets, but this counter has so many "grungy" undertones I think it will look, well, grungy. And then the rest of the kitchen will be light and bright with grungy counters and dark backsplash. I don't think it's gonna work.

And if the cabinets were painted dark? I think it'll blend with the counter and back splash beautifully. But then of course my appliances would stick out like sore thumbs.

Argh. I gotta think about this awhile. I may just do a happy medium. A medium tone! That might be the ticket. But I'll have to find just the right color.

Maybe I'll move on to the half bath while I think this over.... (Half Bath "before reveal" tomorrow.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

One step forward...

One step forward, two steps back.

No, these aren't two newly discovered continents, or my attempt at modern art.


They are newly repaired settlement cracks. I hate you, settlement cracks.

What was supposed to be a quick paint is dragging on a bit.

My kitchen is a hot mess.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jar Lanterns

Spring is in the air. If you live in a colder climate like me, perhaps you're ready to spend some more time outdoors.

I have been looking for just the right inexpensive outdoor candle lanterns for some time. I was searching for something that had a protective cover, so the inside of the lantern wouldn't get dirty from outdoor debris if I left it outside.

Then these applesauce jars caught my eye.


Why not?

With young children we go through quite a bit of applesauce. It seems such a waste to put nice jars in the recycling bin, but I never had a good idea of how to use them. Until now.

I scraped the labels off with a razor.


Then grabbed some oil rubbed bronze spray paint for the lids.


A couple quick sprays is all it took. I "borrowed" some sand from my kids' sandbox and added some votive candles.


Now to enjoy the evening light.




They go quite nicely with my wine bottle vase, don't you think? ha! And they'd be easy to "jazz up" (if that's your thing) with twine, or you could etch something on there. Or just leave them plain. I think they're pretty as is!

Are you working on anything outdoors for spring?

Linking to some of these great parties.

Now go make something!

Friday, March 25, 2011


This is my favorite part. When I see lots of changes happening quickly. I think "I am so cool, I can do anything!" ha ha

At the end I'll probably be in tears.

But for now, let's call this PROGRESS.

Yikes. I think it's progress.


Here's the before, just two days ago.


Below the chair rail is now Menard's straight out of the can (ie free) Antique White. I primed over the orange before painting, because the orange is such a dark color. In all, it needed 3 coats. A coat of primer, and 2 coats of Antique White.

The trim is straight out of the can Menard's Semi Gloss white (ie $2). I'm liking the tone of tone effect of the white and antique white.

I am doing the same effect on the ceiling. Antique White on the ceiling, White semi-gloss on the crown molding.

Above the chair rail I'm thinking I'll do Smoke Infusion by Valspar. I have this color in my stairway, and it's also the darker color in the basement. It's a nice smoky blue. I literally gathered all my spare change to buy a $30 gallon from Lowe's yesterday.

Sheesh, at this rate, this kitchen is going to take awhile.

Long way to go, but I'm happy with how light and bright it's becoming. I don't want it to become too "beachy" so I'll have to add some dark accents and watch my fabric choices.

Thanks for checking in, now go make something!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Introducing... The Kitchen

My decorating budget is presently $0.



The reason is we have a wee bit of credit card debt. Oh the shame! It's from our airline tickets to Korea to adopt Delaney. So until we get that paid off, I'm going to have to start moving away from the mom cave. Except maybe a couple small things on my to-do list, all the projects I have left are ones that, you know, require actual money.

Just keeping it real, peeps. Real people, real budgets. Even $0 budgets.

There's a reason I am able to move to the kitchen. Our local Menards had free paint last week. Free happens to fit my $0 budget nicely.

Cream and white flat paint was on sale for $11 with an $11 rebate. So I purchased 4 gallons of cream. And semi-gloss white was on sale for $13 with an $11 rebate. Purchased 1 of those for trim.

Dangit! I'm already over budget by $2.

Can you tell I'm stalling because I'm afraid to show you the ugliness? I wish I could blame it on the previous owners. I wish I could say "Orange and red cabinets?! What were those previous owners thinking?" Nope, it was all me.

So, how's the weather over there? Nice and spring-y?

What? Oh, the pictures? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Without further ado...

This is the kitchen layout.


It's not huge, but it's workable. Of course I have plans to make it even more so. And this is what it looks like. Looking from the dining room into the breakfast nook.


You thought I was kidding about the orange and red cabinets, weren't you? Nope.

And the opposite direction. From the breakfast nook toward the dining room.


The sink area.


That swiggly black thing is a wine rack. It's quite cool, but looking at it now, I think it needs a home elsewhere.

And the opposite side, the fridge area.


I feel like I owe you an explanation as to why it looks like a rainbow threw up in my kitchen. The orange, fake terracotta floors were existing when we moved in. And I felt like I had to make them look like an intentional choice.


The adjoining dining room was red when we moved in, and I liked red at the time, so I decided to keep it. I found some fabric at HobLob with red, orange and green stripes (in fact they still sell it) and I used those EXACT colors for most of the main areas of my home when we moved in 7 years ago. Really intense, saturated COLOR. And that is why it looks like a rainbow threw up in my kitchen.

We put up the slate backsplash when we moved in. I thought it made the existing laminate look more real.

I don't like it anymore. Any of it.


The appliances are new. We bought them less than a year ago. I have no idea how, but Mr. RBR talked me out of stainless (for some weird reason he doesn't like it). So they're white. And they're staying.


I brought in this buffet for more prep surface and a little bit more storage.


I still like this old thing, but it has to go. This room is way too small for an island. If we can move the microwave off the countertop, I'll have the exact same amount of prep space I do now.


I have major dreams for this space, but our present budget situation means it's gonna take awhile. And I can tell by the pictures, a major declutter and some de-coloring are going to make a big difference right away.

Thanks for looking. I hope you'll stick around to see it through!

Now go make something!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Juvenile Sense of Humor

More Mom Cave projects! Woo hoo! It's really coming along.

Quick question for anyone who has a preschooler/toddler, or knows a preschooler/toddler.
Besides "No", what is the one word you hear most in a day?

For this project, I picked up some white letters at Joann. They were on sale. I spent $6 for 4.


A couple quick coats with Mediterranean Valspar spray paint, and hung with Command Strips let's everyone know this space is...



It's mine! Mineminemineminemine!



Have a good one.

Linking to some of these great parties.

Now go make something!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Striped Post

There's a support post in my mom cave.

And apparently if something stands still long enough, I'll put a decorative paint treatment on it. Like here. And here. And here.

This time I decided on horizontal stripes.




Mixing three different wall treatments in one room... too much? Plain, painted wallpaper and stripes. Do I need a decorative-paint-treatment intervention?

Eh, the colors are subtle. It's working for me.

Since I have to work around this column anyway, I have a plan to add a gift wrapping station, made from wood scraps and a dowel. But it will require some minor building. Maybe Mr. RBR will give me a lesson.

Stay tuned!

No go make something!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Room with a (Fake) View

Work continues on the Mom Cave. If you've been following along, you know the mom cave is in the basement.

Our basement is a "true basement". No walk out. No full size, light filled windows--no egress windows even. All the windows are glass block and very small and high. It makes it a little claustrophobic. At best it's just very basement-y.


Mr. RBR dumpster-dived some old windows for me. What a guy. :) Honestly he's regretted it ever since because he found a bunch, and they've been laying around for years as I've slowly been finding uses for them.


I think two windows would made a perfect addition above the couch in the mom cave. Here they are, waiting in the "cool junk pile" in the basement ready for their makeover.


I used two windows that (I think) were a pair. A top and a bottom. After a decent cleaning, I sprayed the back of the glass with Krylon Looking Glass spray paint.


Looking Glass spray paint gives a mirror like finish to glass. You simply give a few coats to the BACK of the glass. That's it!

Looking Glass spray paint has the perfect level of reflection for this project. It's not super highly reflective like a mirror. It's almost old and smoked looking. Perfect for these old windows.

I found this spray paint at Hobby Lobby, but you can find it at other craft stores or online. The cans are pretty small, and I used 2 cans--one for each window.


Then I painted the front side of the windows black because there are a lot of black accents in this room. I removed the latching hardware from the bottom window, so I could get the windows as close together as I could. The latch was in the way. Next I attached the windows together with some reinforcing hardware (got this at Lowes).


Hung it up behind the couch with some wall anchors....


Ta Da!


A room with a view! Sort of. It's kind of fun, don't you think? It certainly brings a sense of lightness to the space.

Soon I'll add some curtains, and you won't even recognize this wall! It's already an awesome transformation. Take a look at this progression. It's all the same wall.




Looking for another window project? Check this one out.

Linking to some of these great parties.

Now go make something!
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