Friday, October 22, 2010


A couple weeks ago (sorry I'm a bit behind) I started a little (insert-failed) project. I'd read about it somewhere and thought it would be a fun little seasonal project. It all begin with some plastic gourds from AC Moore. Because plastic gourds are tacky. I wanted to alter them a bit, but still maintain the (clearly) fall aspect of what gourds represent.

What did I plan to do with them? Spray paint them of course!

First I primed them...

Then I sprayed them with glossy white spray paint. I was going for a white ceramic gourd look. Sadly, even after re-priming and painting again...I deemed this project a colossal failure. I do not understand why, but for some reason the original color on the gourds kept popping through. Failure.

I had intended to display these gourds on a raised white cake plate as a quasi "Fall Vignette" without being all "fall-ish." You know what I mean!

But alas...this failed project won't get to be shown in all it's glory because I've given up on it. Sigh.
See what I mean?

Black Out Shades = BORING!

When we moved into our house, every window has a blackout shade. Seriously, every window. Of course they were covered by all those wispy curtains as you may recall. The curtains were the first thing to go. Next up, at least 1/2 of the blackout shades. Ok, so I appreciate having them in the bedroom, but could one pick out an uglier window treatment? I don't think so!

I'm throwing around some ideas for "dressing them up." Yes I could replace them, but I'm budget conscious. Also, I think by dressing them up (in our bedroom at least) we can get away with having them up for now, thus allowing us to focus our energy, creativity, and budget on other rooms, such as the living room! (or we could always spend said budget on an ipad - no wait, that'll have to wait a few years. sigh)

I'm set on the idea. In terms of execution I've done a few "practice runs" on one of the old dining room black out shades. Yes you read that correctly, they used to be in EVERY room, dining room included. Weird you say? Yes, I agree!

Anyhow, I haven't found a good way to execute my plan yet. I've tried 3 different types of glue. No luck. Either they stick at first, but then don't or they leave a mark you can see through the ribbon. Perhaps I'll have to paint them. I've seen it done so I know it works. Or perhaps a different type of ribbon. Any suggestions?

Here's the look I'm going for. Clean, simple, tailored, graphic. If it will look great with our brown/ivory themed bedroom.

What do you think?

Dresser Makeover

Everyday I wake up to this sight:

It's the sight of Michael's dresser. Yes, that's correct...Michael's dresser. Not mine. In fact, that whole side of the room has been deemed "Michael's". Anyhow, the only thing missing from the photo is the piles of clothes that usually sit on top of the receipts, cards, and "things." Notice the open drawer. Without fail, there is ALWAYS at least 1 drawer left ajar. Same goes for the kitchen cabinets, or any other room for that matter when "Hurricane Michael" goes through any room. If you stop by our house you're sure to find at least one pair of his shoes in a random spot in the living room and another pair in the kitchen. No, not the mud room...the kitchen. (I'll stop now because I'll probably get yelled at if I whine about the other messes he leaves in his wake! :P )

Ok moving on...

What happens when you take the furniture above and add a little of this:

A couple before shots:

And this one so you can get a sense of what I deal with every single day!

Add some time spend doing major cleaning of the dresser. EW! Removing hardware, using some wood filler to fill the old hardware holes, a bit of sanding, etc...

Here's the dresser after 2 coats of primer:

And here comes the after shots! A couple quick side notes first. Although I selected a mocha tinted ivory colored paint, it turned out a bit too white for my tastes. Perhaps it's just all the darker browns and earth tones in our bedroom that make the ivory appear so much whiter than the swatch?! In any case the after is so much better than the before. I selected new, more contemporary hardware as well.

Last thing, and I'm pretty darn proud of this fact: I did this ENTIRE project ALL BY MYSELF!

Ok I'm done you go:

Learn from my mistakes:
1. Old sheets should never be used as a substitute for a drop cloth. They are NOT the same thing (even if Hurricane Michael tells you they'll work just the same.) You will spend HOURS scraping paint of your beautifully refinished hardwood floors. UGH!
2. Always plan for your project to take much more time than you imagine it will take...because it will take twice as long.
3. Changing the dresser does not change "Hurricane Michael." I'm too embarrassed by how the dresser looks in action to actually share an after-in-use photo. Some things never change.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Guest Room

Just a little teaser today...

The guest room looked like this a couple weeks ago...

You may remember this bedding from our (previously my) room in Brookline. And if you've known me for a while, perhaps you even remember this bedding from my college years! EEK! Truth be told, I love blue. I always have. However, I'm just not into it anymore. As you have seen, there is no blue anywhere else in the house. Amazing isn't it? I recently discovered other colors. And let me tell you...I prefer OTHER COLORS! I still love blue, but not in the house! Weird.

Let's not forget to share our "thank you's"...Thanks Mom G-K for making me all the pillows! I have a few other ideas up my sleeve that could use your sewing expertise. Wink. Wink.

Anyhow, some changes have been made to this room since I took these pictures. We leave the bedroom door open, and it's the room you see right into every time you come up the stairs. You can imagine how tired I was of seeing that blue bed every time I went upstairs. Something had to change.

First, I removed the icky blue curtains. Sorry previous owners, but those curtains were past their prime. They didn't even go to the floor. How last decade of them!

Second, I changed out the bedding. Thankfully the bed skirt still works!

Next up, curtains. Sadly we had a curtain rod hanging disaster over the weekend, so final pictures will just have to wait. I also emptied the contents of Michael dresser for a dresser makeover project (pictures will be on their way soon) and all the clothes got relocated to the guest room bed for the time being.'s a mess and I refuse to show you "really messy house" pictures. I don't mind sharing "sort of messy house" pictures, but I draw the line at "really messy house" pictures.

So for now, all you can do is imagine what changes I might have made.

p.s. Mom and Dad B have already seen "Stage 1" so don't spill the beans...

p.p.s. We need headboards in both rooms!
p.p.p.s. We need nightstands with lamps!
p.p.p.p.s. We need a dresser or somewhere for guests to put their things!

In time...

Garden Update

See this guy?

We ate him! And he was TASTY!

We also ate this guy:

It was a bit before his time perhaps. The temperatures were supposed to drop below freezing so we figured...better eat him before he dies off.

We also have a bunch of these...

Sadly I don't think we'll actually get to eat any of our tomatoes this year. They're still so green! Sigh. Next year...

I consider this my "year of experimentation and learning." This is really just the year to get the soil ready for next year! ;)

Progress on the Home Front

It's been a while! Oops. We've been busy! Very busy! That will continue for a few more weeks. Sigh.

In case you were wondering if we've been neglecting our house entirely...we haven't. Well sort of, but not really. Michael did some projects on the home front while I worked. Hey...somebody has to pay the bills! :)

He was astonished by my reaction to this project...

As in I didn't notice that he'd done anything! When I acted thoroughly confused by his prodding me to point out the fabulous job he'd done...he was ummm shall we say...hurt?! Oops. Apparently we USED to have cracks at the back of each stair. "You could have fallen through them" kind of cracks (He tells me.)

Michael filled the cracks! Well Done Michael.
(Um did that really qualify is a necessary project?! He couldn't believe that I'd never really noticed or cared about said cracks.)

Here is the end result! We are all very proud of your job well done Michael!

He also filled the hole around this light fixture. Looking good!

In other casa happenings...this thing is not one of our friends anymore!

It got clogged. ugh. But thankfully did not overflow thanks to my husbands fast reaction time! Nice work! We borrowed the neighbors snake and fixed the sucker. Who needs to pay a plumber when you can DIY it!