Sunday, December 30, 2012

Master Bedroom Makeover Part II: The Reveal

Awhile back, I showed off the new curtains I made for our bedroom. They're not perfect by any means, but if you had "temporary" paper shades on your windows for 4 years, you'd understand why it was such a big deal.

The other part of the bedroom makeover was a simple bedding change, but I think it made a big difference. I was tired of the comforter we had and wanted something that would lighten up the room. With all of our dark brown furniture and the dark brown comforter, it was just too much. Having resigned myself to the fact that we aren't going to get around to painting our bedroom any time soon, I wanted something that would still coordinate with the existing wall color. (And, as usual, I didn't want to spend much money on it.)

Before I go on, let's look at some before pictures of the bedroom...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DIY Holiday Decor: Tomato Cage Christmas Trees

Despite a hectic Thanksgiving holiday weekend that involved my husband having knee surgery and the care-taking that followed, I somehow managed to find time to decorate for Christmas. I put up the tree and brought out all the usual indoor decor (although some of it remained in the storage tubs because I'm running out of places to put things upstairs... yet another reason why I can't wait until the basement is finished). But I digress...

For the past four years of living in our house, we've never been much for decorating the outside for Christmas. No lights on the roof, no lighted Santa or reindeer in the yard. Just a wreath on the door (because that's easy and I'm lazy).

But a few months ago, I was totally inspired by this pin for a tomato cage Christmas tree... the seed had been planted (pun intended).

Just turn a tomato cage upside down instead of staking it into the ground, and you have an instant Christmas tree structure. Genius! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Master Bedroom Makeover Part I: Curtain Call

Ok, so it's a little backwards to have the "curtain call" as Part I, but before I do the final reveal, I have to share this project first.

If you've been a regular reader around here over the past few years (just let me flatter myself by thinking that), you might recall that most of our temporary paper shades outlasted their "temporary" status by about, oh, 3 or 4 years. Window treatments have evolved very slowly in this house.

Our master bedroom hasn't been the first priority among all the other home improvements, but I finally moved it up to the top of the list last month. Even though other people don't see our bedroom on a daily basis, I was sick of these tragic paper shades that had long since overstayed their welcome.

I know...cringe. Part of the reason it took so long to finally get rid of them is that I wasn't sure how to cover the windows. Blinds? Roman shades? Curtains? Sure, I could have just gone out and bought something pre-made (which would have been easiest) but my cheap budget-conscious side won out. Also, these windows weren't really a standard size (of course).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

World Map Wall Decor: $50 DIY Project

My absence on here the past couple of months doesn’t mean I’ve been totally unproductive. It’s been quite the busy summer, actually! I’ve been giving our bedroom a mini-makeover (more on that later), but I’m also quite pleased with my latest project.

I was first drawn to this idea when I saw it on Pinterest (here and here). The idea of vintage-y map wall art just seemed so cool – especially since we traveled to Europe earlier this year, which makes me feel more worldly and cultured. Like, now it’s legit to have a world map on my wall or something.

I didn’t really know where to find such a map, so I started with good ol' Amazon, where I ended up finding several options and sizes. There were quite a few 24x36” sizes, but since I had a large wall in mind for this project, I chose the giant 55x39” size. The map is actually more of a poster and obviously not true vintage, but it looks vintage and the colors work perfectly with the rest of the decor in our house. Including shipping & handling, the poster was about $18.

You can imagine my excitement when the poster tube showed up on our front porch a few days later in great condition (despite some reviews I’d read to the contrary). It was definitely gigantic!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Update & Teaser... Yes, I'm still here!

Helloooo.... anyone still out there? Probably not.

But just in case anyone is still reading this, I apologize for my absence lately. It's been a busy summer and I just haven't had much time for fun projects or blogging.

That's not to say we haven't been getting anything done around the house, though. Things are still progressing along, slowly but surely, in the basement finishing. We just had some plumbing work done, and have only two short walls to finish up for the framework. Then, we'll work on the electrical. Eventually I'll post some pictures of the progress.

I also have another DIY decor project up my sleeve, which I'll be able to get started on as soon as I receive a package in the mail... I'm sure you're dying to know what it is, but you'll just have to wait a little longer!

For now, I'll leave you with a recent picture of our dogs -- apparently bored out of their skulls -- lying on the basement floor while we were building some framework.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Patriotic Fruit Pizzas

When was the last time you had a fruit pizza? No matter what your answer to that question is, it's probably been too long! A 4th of July pool party this week gave me the perfect excuse to make these delightful mini fruit pizzas, which were a big hit. There's just something about this fun dessert that makes you feel like a kid again--especially when it's bite-size.

I got the inspiration from this recipe, except I substituted the Cool Whip frosting with this recipe for creamy fruit dip (thank you, Pinterest). The result was definitely worth turning on the oven on a 100-degree day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fabulous Fabric Lamp Revamp

This little garage sale treasure has been sitting on a night stand in our guest room for a couple of years now. I think I bought it for a whopping $2. I like the base just fine, but the ugly shade has been begging for a facelift.

During a recent trip to Hancock Fabrics, I spotted some clearance fabric with a fabulous print in the remnants bin. It was $4 for two yards, so I snatched it up.

I wasn’t quite sure of the best way to cover the shade, so I basically just rolled it up in the fabric and cut along the top and bottom outline, leaving about 1” extra.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Simple Spray Paint Makeovers

The power of spray paint never ceases to amaze me. Case in point: three mini-makeovers from the past week.

Exhibit A – Spruced Up Sticks
My neighbor’s yard is often littered with twigs from her trees. One of those trees in particular—I’m not sure what kind it is--has some very unique, wavy branches. I never really thought much of this until recently when I realized I could use these branches as decor. With this vision in mind, I began the search for a large floor vase and found one at Gordman’s for $30.

Then, I picked out a few of the best-looking twigs from our neighbor’s yard and spray painted them silver. Easy peasy!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Up Cloche and Personal

Before I begin, I should let you know that I recently got back from a 2-week vacation to Europe. Since we returned home, I'm still adjusting back to "real" life... you know, being domesticated and cooking meals and working 8-5 (ugh). This also means easing slowly back into house projects. Hence my absence around here lately, and hence this post's somewhat-boring subject matter. 

Moving on. A cloche bell jar has been on my wish list for quite some time now. This week, I finally bought one at Hobby Lobby for $20 (50% off). I'm not sure if this is a great deal, but I didn't have the energy to search for cheaper options elsewhere. 

Now, a tough decision. What to put in it?? I made another stop at Joann's to see what I could find. Lo and behold, I stumbled upon some "textured spheres" on clearance for $3.97 a box (marked down from $14.99). I got two boxes, which ended up being just enough to fill up my cloche.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

DIY Ceiling Medallion Mirrors

I'm baa-aack! April is still going to be a busy month, as we're planning a two-week vacation in May, but I still hope to get a few projects done around here. Let's start with this one...

My mission lately has been to incorporate more color into our mostly-neutral home decor. The first baby step I took a couple of months ago was purchasing new throw pillows for our couch. I was really drawn to the variety of colors in this print. Don't you love it?

pillows from World Market

With a new color palette that I could now draw inspiration from, I decided some coordinating wall decor was in order. While walking through the lighting section in Menard's last week, I saw some ceiling medallions that reminded me of a project I'd seen in this book:

Motivated by this exciting new idea, I picked up three medallions (one 16", two 10") and headed to the spray paint aisle. I was in luck, because my favorite Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch spray paint was on sale for $2.99 (actually $1.99 each if you count the mail-in rebate offer)! I managed to find three colors that were a close match to those in my pillows.

Eden, Cinnamon, and Aubergine

Back at home, it took roughly 3 coats of each color to make sure I hadn't missed any of those tiny grooves. The result? Three bold & beautiful medallions!

How I love thee, spray paint!

Although it would have looked fine to hang them on the wall just like this, I wanted to take my project one step further. Those empty centers were just begging for some mirror action, so I found three 5" beveled-edge mirrors at Hobby Lobby and proceeded to glue them onto the front (using Glass Bond adhesive for slick surfaces). Finally, I still had to figure out a way to hang them. I already had some picture frame hangers on hand, so I just glued these onto the backside since the mirrors were pretty lightweight. The hardest part was waiting overnight for the glue to set to full strength.

Not too pretty, but who will ever see it?

I decided to hang my medallion mirrors on the wall in our entryway, replacing this ho-hum picture frame:

This space also flows into our living room, so you can see the pillows with coordinating colors when you walk in.

I'm diggin' the way this project turned out -- it was really easy and a relatively economical way to make unique wall decor. These would also look good if you had a variety of sizes in a staggered/random arrangement on the wall, but I could only find two sizes of this style, so I decided to line them up vertically.

(New pic taken after we painted all our walls gray!)

Now I just need to figure out what to put on that empty console table (something that won't compete with my new wall decor). I'd love to know what you think of this project! Were the mirrors a good addition?

Medallions: $20.69
Spray paint: $8.97
Mirrors: $8.97
Total: $38.63

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

I'm still here!

Helloooo? Anyone out there?

In case you haven't noticed, I've been M.I.A for the past few weeks. Work and life in general has kept me too busy to do any fun projects, much less blog about them. I also haven't had time to visit other blogs, so I know I'm missing out on a lot of good stuff that other people are doing.

But don't worry (because I know you were). I'll be back!  I'm not sure when, but hopefully soon. Until then, happy blogging everyone!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Delicious Trifle

Ok, so I haven't had a "Recipe of the Week" in, oh, a couple months. Oops. But it's back (at least for this week)!

We recently stumbled upon this recipe while searching for a wine & food pairing to bring to a party. According to the recipe, this "Delicious Trifle" pairs well with Apothic Red (which is a good bottle of wine for about $10-12).

I had actually never made any type of trifle before, but I took advantage of the excuse to go out and buy a trifle bowl, which I found at Walmart for only $7. Score!

Here's the recipe, via The Barrel Room:

Delicious Trifle
1 large angel food cake, cut in cubes
1 small package instant vanilla pudding
8 oz. sour cream
10 oz. frozen whipped topping
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1 peach, peeled and sliced
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
In a bowl, mix pudding mix, sour cream, and fold into the whipped topping.
In a large glass bowl, place 1/2 of the cake cubes. Add half of the strawberries, blueberries, bananas, kiwis, peaches, and pineapple. Cover with half of the whipped topping mixture. Add a second layer in the same order. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with fruit from recipe or use mint leaves or edible flowers.

Notes: I made my angel food cake from a box mix and just tore it into pieces with my hands. But to save time you could buy one that's already baked (I saw them in the produce section next to strawberries). Also, this would be a great summertime recipe when all the fruits are in season and cheaper (I couldn't even find any peaches this time of year).

FYI - the original recipe doesn't have a picture with it. You're welcome.

Sure, it looks yummy, but did the Delicious Trifle live up to its name? You betcha! In fact, it could almost be called the Dangerously Delicious Trifle... it's so light and fluffy and fruity, you can eat a lot of it without realizing it. The trifle bowl makes a really pretty presentation too, so I'll definitely need to start trying more trifles!

Pin It

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crafty Bottles

[Alternate post title: An excuse to drink more!]

So we've had an empty Disaronno bottle on our kitchen counter for the past few weeks. I didn't want to throw it out, although I'm not sure why. After my last bottle project from Christmas, I just knew there was probably some potential.


I turned to (what else?) my Pinterest boards for inspiration and found these in particular:

With these ideas in mind, I headed to Joann's and bought a roll of jute for $2.49. After soaking the bottle in hot water to get the label off, I settled in with my glue gun and began wrapping... and wrapping. I just glued at the corners every few rows or so, to keep it all in place.

About a half hour later, I ended up with this:

It seemed a little lonely by itself though, so I stole another random bottle/vase from a different room in the house and gave it a jute makeover too. I'm kinda diggin' them.

And I've still got plenty of jute to spare! Not bad for $2.49. So, what crafty things have you done with empty bottles?

Linking up to:

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Brassy & The Beautiful: Part 1

Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, Why the hell did it take me so long to do this??

Even though I gave our guest bathroom a makeover over a year ago and added an oil-rubbed bronze T.P holder and towel bar, I neglected to change out the cheap-o hardware on the vanity. So this weekend, I finally decided the time had come to say goodbye to the brass...

...and hello to these oil-rubbed bronze beauties!

4 pulls from Menard's: $15.28
Never having to look at cheap, brassy drawer pulls again: Priceless.

Now we just need to change out that silver faucet to match.... someday....

But back to the present and more realistic goals. Hopefully soon I'll be sharing Part 2: the master bathroom vanity makeover!

What are some small, easy changes you've made in your house that have made a BIG difference?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Potential of Pallets

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a blog post that described how to make a free-standing shelf unit out of wood pallets. The 6 pallets were cut in half and stacked on top of each other, creating three large shelf openings. In this particular post, she put wicker baskets on the shelves. The reason I’m describing the project instead of just showing it is that I can’t find that blog anymore, and I must not have bookmarked it (or pinned it, since I wasn't on Pinterest at that time). So if this project sounds familiar to anyone, let me know where you’ve seen it!

The point I’m getting at is that this made me realize the potential of upcycling pallets to use as furniture or home decor, which I’d never really thought of before. Kind of an "industrial chic" look, or something to that effect. So ever since then, I’ve been slightly obsessed with the idea. Of course, Pinterest has only helped to fuel my obsession. Here are a few of my favorite repurposed pallet projects I’ve come across:

Since I’m running out of room for any type of large furniture on the main floor of our house, I’m thinking that a pallet project could be in my future once our basement is finished. Now the question is… where’s a good place to snag some decent used pallets (for free of course)?

If you like these types of projects, check out my boards on Pinterest. And if you're a fellow pinner, let me know so I can follow you!


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