Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Project #2 Renie's Dollhouse Bookcase

I've loved these cute dollhouse bookshelves at Pottery Barn for a long time.

I've not loved the $400 + price tag. (They have taller ones for about $800)

But one day as I was sighing over the picture in the catalog, it struck me. I could totally make one of those things! Then I smartened up and I thought, "No! I can just buy a used bookshelf and with a few modifications, repurpose it into one of those things!"

So I bought this for $5 on Craig's List. It is incredibly solid and sound, and the perfect height.

I cut out some windows and doors, painted it, added a floor to, well, the floor, to cover the hole, added some trim, covered the back wall with beadboard to cover up some cracks in the wood, and added a roof and Voila! A dollhouse bookshelf. I stuck with basic stained wood trim so the piece can grow with her and match any room without needing another paint job.

She loves it and I have to admit, I think it's pretty fun too. The kids' only complaint is that Barbies can't stand in it. But it works well for Loving Family dolls, my original intention, and even Polly Pockets. And Barbies manage to squeeze in as well.

Linking to : Funky Junk Interiors SNS

Christmas Gift Project #1 Kennedy's Vanity

Kennedy is becoming quite the young lady these days. She is beginning to catch on to how to put together a cute outfit, desiring to shower often, taking good care of her skin. We also knew we would be taking her to get her ears pierced (again- the first try didn't take) for Christmas. So I thought it would be nice to give her a vanity for Christmas. Of course, a vanity can be a bit pricey. Even a used one. I started scouring Craig's List adds for an old vanity or desk that I could repurpose as a vanity. Not having much luck, I decided to try Goodwill. There I scored this old desk- the PERFECT specimen for making over into a vanity- for only $14.99.

I loved that the top would open to expose a dropped area, the perfect height for setting all the lotions and potions a woman- or young lady- needs as she's gussying up. What I didn't like was that the surface tucked down in at an angle for storage, then, after opening the top, you could slide it out, tilt it up, and slide it back in flat. In that position, the surface stuck out a few inches. I cut it down so it would rest flush with the front of the vanity, with the intention that it would never be stored down at an angle. I wanted her to be able to keep things stored in there. With the dropped surface flush with the front, I also had to trim some of the height off the front flap of the lid so it could rest on the newly trimmed dropped surface. I think it looks really cute with the scrapbook paper I mod podged to the surface exposed. I also removed the lower, center-back panel of the desk so it would have a lighter, airier look to it.

I purchased a new, but very cheap mirror at Walmart that is the perfect size for the inside of lid. I adhered it with liquid nails. I kept the old hardware and didn't paint it or anything. I like the look of it with the dark border of the mirror and the dark tones of the scrapbook paper.

I also mod-podged the pull-out writing surfaces with scrapbook paper and photos.

I lined the drawers with cute wrapping paper that, you guessed it, I mod-podged into place. (The book was another Christmas gift from us- also appropriate to the theme. It's actually a pretty cute book with some very useful information for any girl on the brink of Young Womanhood. You may also notice a tin with a K on it in the front of the drawer. That is homemade chapstick I made at a church craft day. This being the Mod Podge Christmas, I made a cute label for it, adhered with mod podge. The flower hair clips were also a handmade gift that I did at the same craft day.)

Kennedy loves her gift, and I couldn't be happier about how it turned out.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let There Be Light

We are slowly plugging away at decorating our basement family room. For a while, we had turned the room over to the girls to use as a bedroom. For some time before that, it had been mostly a playroom. Finally, we have reclaimed it as family room and are attempting to make it feel homey and warm. I bought a table off Craig's List and refinished it as a game table for the space. We have played games there a couple times now, and have determined it needed more light. In October, while we were in NC, I picked up a wicker lamp shade at a yard sale for a dollar, I think, with this space in mind.
I took a hanging lamp kit we had kicking around from 2 houses ago,

fitted it in the shade,

made a cord cover from leftover slipcover fabric,

and attached an exaggerated ruffle made from more of the leftover fabric.

I'm liking it.
I was going to add some ribbon trim at the transition from shade to ruffle, but when I pulled on the end of my ribbon I discovered only one rotation of it on the spool. And I was out of hot glue sticks anyway. Maybe later. Or maybe I like it just the way it is.

My New Favorite Color

Orange has always been my favorite color. It's warm, it's happy, it's festive. I've decorated with it, painting our living room in NC with a vibrant pumpkin hue. The color got mixed reviews from visitors, but it made ME happy.

Recently I went on a search for an orangey-brown color for my mudroom. When we bought the house, the mudroom was painted a fun terra-cotta-type color, but way over to the pink side.
I wanted a nice terra-cotta color, leaning toward the orange more than the pink. I found exactly the color I wanted, and I. am. in. love.

(I'm also in love with the fact that I was able to pull my vinyl "Welcome" lettering off the wall and reuse it after painting. YAY!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Crocheting, Curtains, and Artwork

I thought it would be fun to post some photos of projects I've been working on.
A hat with a big flower for Renie

A sock monkey blanket and hat for my new niece or nephew. I don't think my brother reads my blog, but if he does, Surprise! It'll be in the mail soon!

I painted our light wood non-descript generic barstools in fun colors that match our decor. (That one isn't pink, it's terra cotta and the other one is yellow, not cream). I also screwed the tops on so they don't spin anymore- it was noisy and the kids would spin them all the way in one direction until they came off.

I painted the stairway and we hung a Sacred Grove print there. That was a challenge. We stacked books on the stairs and then stood a ladder with one leg on the stairs and one on the stack of books on the step below. Then Lincoln held the ladder while I inserted anchors and hung the artwork. It weighs a ton (it's a good thing I've been working out) but we both felt better about Lincoln being the ladder holder than the ladder climber. I also recently installed a banister guard to keep our children from plunging to their deaths down the stairs. It's clear plastic, look closely. We had baby gates there before so it looked cluttered and busy.

I hung curtain rods and curtains in the living room and dining room. They aren't the Pottery Barn dupioni silk ones I've had my eye on, but they add some color and a finishing touch to the spaces. (Look closely again and you'll see Jesse walking into the picture)

Laundry Room and Bench Cushion

Those of you who know me well know that I love to always have a project to be working on. Some sort of thing that beautifies or improves my home in some way. It's an addiction, really. I love to be painting, moving furniture, decorating, creating. So here are photos from a couple of recent projects.

Before and after in my laundry room. Those who know me well also know I can't stand to leave a wall in my house white. I crave color. I have further plans for this room- we'll see if I get to them!

I made a cushion for the bench in our mudroom. I've really been loving the combination of black and off-white with red as well as toile with gingham. So I put it all together in this little cushion.

Check back to see a couple more projects I've got in the works.

Boys' Room Redo

Over the weekend I painted and decorated the boys' room. I'm including some pictures, though they are terrible. My camera does not have a flash anymore so they were really dark and I just cranked up the brightness when I edited. But hopefully you'll get the idea. The thing I'm most proud of on this room is that with all the little decor items and the paint we only spent $40 to transform the room. (I always check mistint paint where ever it is sold. I struck it lucky and found a gallon of the exact blue i was looking for. The green was left over from another project.) You'll be shocked to learn that we still need a couple things for the room to tie up loose ends, but it's mostly done.

A Project I've Been Working On...

I wish you could really get an idea of how nasty these were from the before pictures. They were chippy, mildewy, stinky, and stained. Perhaps if you click on the picture of the chair you'll get a better idea. But I loved the lines and WOW! these things are solid! I scrubbed, sanded, painted, and recovered them. I tried to go with a fun, colorful look since these are for playing games in the basement. I bought the set for $40 on Craigs List. All the paint I already owned. The vinyl for the seats cost about $2.50. So the big expense was the slipcover to cut up for the fabric seat covers. I bought a couch slipcover (the same as the one on my couch) and have been using it for different projects in the basement.

I actually sanded off the entire tabletop finish and restained in a darker, red mahogany.

My favorite detail is the tie on the back.

And that $20 Craigs List dresser in the background? Watch for a makeover of that as well.

In The Beginning...

I've decided I need a place to dump photos of projects I've completed. Sometimes I direct someone to see a post about a project and realize they don't really need/want to also hear about the kids' parent-teacher conferences or the youngest's potty-training progress. So, a new storage shed, as it were.