Monday, January 31, 2011

Teen K's Room - which is now a Before....

The summer before Teen K started middle school, we redecorated her bedroom while she was out of town.  Now it wasn't a total surprise - she was picked the bedding, and I worked from there.  When we moved here, she was in 2nd grade, and loved the lavender blue color that was already painted on her bedroom walls, so we mixed in some princess pink and she was happy.  But now that she was heading off to middle school, she needed a more grown up room.  I, of course, was thrilled because I love to do her room - kids rooms are so much fun!!  So here's a before picture as we started painting:
The bedding K picked had a hot pink trim around the edge and also ball fringe around the pillow shams, so I used that as a jumping off point.  Her room has very high ceilings, so I wanted to take advantage of that when we painted.  I picked a point about 3 inches below the top of the door frame, and painted below that a hot pink color, aptly called Hot Pink by Behr.   Above that and on to the ceiling we did in Cottage White (also Behr) to keep it from getting too dark.  Since we have textured walls, I knew the line between the 2 colors wouldn't be straight, so I got black ball fringe and used silver push pins to put it up around the room. 

I also had the brilliant idea to paint parts of two different walls with magnetic paint below the pink - bad plan!  I know many of you out in the blogosphere have had success w/ the magnetic paint, but we did NOT!!  After tons of shaking & stirring, only strong magnets, with nothing under them, will stick.  So my great plan to keep from having bunches of holes in the walls totally didn't work.  PLUS, we had to cover that black magnetic paint with about a million coats of the Hot Pink to try to cover it up.  Painting this room literally took us about 5 days!  Here's some in progress photos:
And finally the finished product - this is my favorite room for her that I've ever done:
Now there are several projects in here for me to share, which will come separately, but I love the room!  Bedding and curtains are from Target. I was so glad to take these pictures before she got home, because it's never looked like this again!!! 

And did you notice the subject here - that this is now a Before?!?  Well, K heads off to high school in the fall, so it's time to redo the room!  We are just starting the planning stages now, but she is looking at plums, blues & pinks.  I am loving where we're heading with it, but it's going to take some time to put together.  I'll bring you along as we progress, but indulge me for a while here as I share more about this room, because I'm really going to miss this one....

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lighten My Life - Project 1

So my goal this year is to Lighten My Life in many ways.  One of the big goals is to get rid of a lot of the clutter that we have accumulated living here for almost 6 years.  Hubby and I started the decluttering in our closet, which was in RIDICULOUS shape.  Now this closet is plenty big enough, in fact, it's one of the things I really liked about the house when we bought it.  But we had been cramming stuff in there for years, and it was finally about to burst!

I have to apologize for these pictures - I said to Hubby "Take some before pictures of the closet" and this, sigh, is what I got....  (He kicked butt on closet cleaning, so he gets props there for sure!).  So here's some before pictures....

View to the left:
And it was actually so much worse than this looks - just below the bottom of the picture are 2 totes covered in giftbags from Christmas.  I could barely reach my clothes hanging there.

View to the right:
Don't my purses look like they are about to fall down on top of your head...yeah, not good....

View straight ahead (super blurry - sorry):

Step one - everything out!  This is the first time since we moved in to the house that the closet has been empty, and it was wonderful! Hubby & I vacuumed every nook, cranny & corner & wiped down all the shelves, bars and baseboards.
The best thing we did was pile all our clothes in the tub!  We each went through our own clothes and threw the items to be donated to the right into our bedroom and the items we wanted to keep went straight back in to the closet.  It worked wonderfully, and we got rid of TONS of items that were clogging up the closet. 

Next, we put items back on the shelves (we don't have a linen closet, so towels and sheets, along with my sweaters & sweatshirts live on the shelves.) Since the baby's room is upstairs, we have a makeshift changing table in our closet on top of some drawer units so we don't have to go upstairs all the time to change her.  Before we started putting things back in, we thought a lot about what was and wasn't working with the arrangement in there. And we decided to move where that "changing table" was located and how Hubby's clothes were arranged as well.

Here's the AFTER:
View to the left:
I went from having my clothes on the 2 bars you see above and part of the bar to the right, to just the top bar and part of the left bar - the whole bottom bar is empty now!  Plus the shelves actually have EMPTY space on them now, and you can walk all around the closet.  The new layout is working wonderfully, and it actually makes me feel LIGHTER having done this! And you can't tell in this picture, but my clothes on the top bar are actually grouped by color.  Yeah, I'm a geek....See the purses now - nicely lined up, not about to fall....
And the view to the right:
Of course, Baby A needed to remind us of how it looked before (so we wouldn't return to that sad condition. I'm sure she's just thinking of us!):
And here was the result of Lighten My Life Project 1:

That's actually 14 (!) trash bags of clothes, shoes and purses, plus 3 boxes to Goodwill.  Now THAT'S lighter!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making My Mantle Mirror (try saying that 10 times fast....)

Ok, so I promised more deets on the mirror I made that's on my mantle.  I don't have any pictures of the work in progress, because I am not great at before and after pictures...I'll try to do better....

So you've seen it now....

But the mirror itself started as a builder basic mirror attached to the wall in my powder room.  I wish I could find a picture of it in there, but it was so ugly, I'm sure I never took one!  No frame, just a piece of mirror slapped up on the wall.  PLUS it was not centered under the light fixture and gave me hives because I CAN'T STAND when that happens.  It was attached to the wall with those awful plastic clips like these (yes, these still live on in my master bath, but that's a l-o-n-g post for another day - it's the bane of my existence that master bath....)

So, I took down the clips and PRAYED that it wasn't adhered to the walls....Naturally, another corner was cut by the builder (we didn't build this home) and taking down the clips was all that had to be done.  I had been wanting a new mirror in the powder room and found a FAB one at the Round Top Antiques Fair that is hanging in there now (will share this later as I am about to work on the powder room redo).  But I had always wanted a mirror above the mantle, and I'm a cheapskate, so this was going to work out well.

Now the frame....this is a good story....I work in real estate, and one of the clients on the team I worked for had just bought their first home.  The sweet couple got a great deal, but there were some cosmetic, ummm, challenges, that the previous owners were actually quite proud of!  They had made the kitchen in to what resembled the inside of a barn or old saloon (very Texas!).  It was dark and not at all the style of the lovely new owners.  I have grabbed a picture of it from the MLS when it was on the market, and I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I shared it since it looks NOTHING like this now!
Pretty sweet huh?  That's actually the breakfast area, and there is a cute window seat buried under all that WOOD.  Anywhoo, the sweet couple tore all that wood out of there and invited us over to take a look at the transformed kitchen (it's lovely now!!)  The wood was in great shape, so they said we could take some if we wanted.  Umm, YES!!  I knew I could use it for something better than the above!

Back to my mirror.... I got a piece of pressed board and some Liquid Nails and went to work.  I had the pressed board cut to about 3 inches larger than the mirror on all sides.  I slapped down some Liquid Nails and glued the mirror to the board.  Then I created mitered corners with the wood from the old Texas Saloon, set it next to the mirror and glued it down to the pressed board w/ the Liquid Nails as well.  A little spackle, sanding and black spray paint later, and it's done!  I had planned on doing a distressed finish or putting some polyurethane on it, but I liked it just the way it was (read - I was impatient and wanted it UP ON THE MANTLE!).

Here are some up close looks at it - it's very heavy, and I can't take it down without hubby here, so this is as good as it's gonna get folks!
  That brown is the pressed board.  Here's another view where you can see it just a TAD better:
 And here are the mitered corners - don't look too closely, this is definitely not the finest work out there, but I am satisfied!
I love it and, just my luck, it's just the right width for the mantle.  I believe the whole thing cost me about $15, and I had plenty of Liquid Nails to spare for another project.  Happiness is a huge, heavy mantle mirror for $15!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Valentine Mantle

The time has come to change the old mantle from winter to Valentine's.  Here's what the mantle looks like after Christmas:

The hurricanes are there year-round.  I got them at Michael's several years ago and I change them for each season.  In winter they are full of fake snow, because that's the closest we're going to get to snow here in Central Texas!!  The little wooden Let it Snow and wooden snowflake ornament are after Christmas bargains from Target several years ago.  The wreath is from IKEA and is hanging from a thin piece of brown grosgrain ribbon. It's also up year-round and the mirror will need to be a topic of another post - I made it myself and I am quite proud of it!  The pictures of the girls are perfect for my winter mantle because they are printed were treated with a "retro" action and have a faded blue sort of finish.  I LOVE this look, and am expecting new pictures of them from our photo shoot right after Christmas any day now.

So on to Valentine's.....

The glass vase is one that came from a floral arrangement - you know those vases we all have lurking around.  It's full of some heart shaped ornaments that were part of a set I got at IKEA for Christmas.  You'll see in December the rest of that set in the hurricanes, but I pulled the hearts out and just use them for Valentine's Day.  Some are shiny and some are matte and I LOVE them.  I hung one of each finish from thin, satin ribbon from the tops of the hurricanes too - the snow is still there, because, once again, this is the only snow we'll see, so we make it last!!  Here's a close up of the left side with the hearts in the vase:

And on the right is a framed "love one another" print that you can download for FREE from Becky Higgins website here. I have it in a frame from IKEA (how lucky am I that my IKEA is about 5 miles away?!?) The glass with the candle was a gift from a friend.
 And those sweet vintage Valentine's on the mirror I bought on ebay about a week ago for $6.50 including shipping.  They are so cute!  My idea was that they were supposed to look tucked in the frame of the mirror, but the way it's constructed, you can't tuck anything in.  I am not totally happy with that part - any suggestions?! I have thought about draping a ribbon across the mantle and using small clothespins to hang them, but I'm not sure I can find the clothespins right now.... I used them in Baby A's nursery, which I'll share later, and haven't seen them since then....

You can see in the top photo in the reflection of the mirror, that the girls' pictures have moved to the other side of the room.  I have a second, antique mantle on the opposite wall that I need to share, but I don't love it right now.  The girls will make their return to the fireplace mantle after Valentine's Day. Stay tuned for March when I redo the mantle for Spring....

Linking up to The Stories of A to Z today for the Valentine's Mantle Linky!!