Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Kitchen / Bathroom Reno Progress

In the last post you previewed the bits and pieces that will make up our future kitchen. Now, for the fun, how-we're-getting there pics.
Before we could start on the kitchen we had to deal with the airplane-sized bathroom that is just around the corner. For obvious reasons we wanted to move the bathroom wall before we refloored the 3 back rooms (kitchen, back entry room, family room). No point in putting hardwood down just to cut it out to lay tile, amirite?

Of course, in an old house (or any house, maybe?) gutting a bathroom isn't just gutting a bathroom. It's updating wiring and plumbing, building a new support wall in a tiny crawl space, creating a header beam, and sistering in new joists. Not necessarily in that order.
Just writing all that was exhausting.

The bathroom was so cramped that it was really hard to get "before" shots while standing in it so I've label this open wall shot so you can get an idea of the layout. As you can see, there is a multitude of construction sins in need of redemption.

Check out how much space we gain by moving the wall! Woot!
I don't have any pictures of the new support wall that we built in the crawlspace. Peering into that old heating vent hole is as close to entering the crawlspace as I get, but rest assured that Keith and John were looking quite fashionable in their Tyveck suits as they maneuvered blocks and boards into the space.

New header beam

Clean-up crew
Surprise! We found some hidden windows. Also, has it been mentioned that snow shovels make excellent industrial sized dust pans?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Kitchen Reno - samples

Before we even owned the house, Keith and I knew we would revamp the kitchen. While the layout is wonderful, it's so freaking dark. It's also kinda wonky in a major way. Almost everything needs to be leveled, aligned, or remounted. No exaggeration. So, leveling, aligning, and remounting is what we are doing. Woot! Woot!
Here are some bits and pieces to give you an idea of where we are heading.

As I said, we are keeping the layout, but that's about it. We will be using Lyra quartz by Silestone for the counters. (Planning to purchase it tomorrow. Eeep!)  I am super excited to be rid of the dark, cheap laminate and am looking forward to pale expanses.
The cabinets will be painted. The lower ones will be the darkest color, Light Sage, while the upper ones will be the white paint chip, Designer White pkg.
We love the classic look of white subway tile so that is what we will be using as the back-splash. Currently, we have some nasty-nast porous tile for a back-splash. It doesn't clean well and frankly, it gives me the willies. I'm looking forward to ripping them out.
The pulls, sink, and faucet are all stainless. Not sure about the wall colors yet, maybe a pale, pale grey? Anything but the stupid mustard brown that is there now.

We still aren't 100% sure about the floor yet, but that's because we aren't 100% sure what we will find when we roll back the linoleum. We are thinking we will use bamboo hardwood but aren't sure about the color yet. Basically, we are trying to decide if we want it to match the color of the hardwood throughout the rest of the house or if we should go a titch paler. The flooring sample you see above it a really good match to the rest of the house but, as you can see, it's quite rich.

So all that is what we are currently planning. We'll see how much of it changes before everything is done ;)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

All the Plants | New Acquisitions

As I said on Instagram, I am becoming a plant person. Maybe even a plant hoarder. What that means is that one of my new favorite places to wander is the garden center. Especially if said garden center has a cactus and succulent section.

I'm still kinda winging it in the Care and Keeping department, but so far, so good! Even after Toastie attacked that purple pretty.

And now the combo planter. It was a bit gnarly, but for 5 plants in one I was quite happy to do the splitting. The plants desperately needed to be split because of different watering needs. At one time there was a sixth plant. Only a rotted root and twiggy stem remained. Anyways, I thrifted and eclectic assortment of containers, squirted them with spray paint, and busted out the potting soil. I'm quite pleased with the end result!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Blanket from Sari Bari

Every now and then I find a loveable company and then spend waaaay too much time on their website daydreaming about future purchases. Currently, that's how I am with Sari Bari.

A friend gave me this awesome scarf for Christmas. It's super soft, matches a ton of things, and I love it so much I wear it about once a week. To give that statement some heft, I own more scarves than shirts. I wear them almost daily (talking about scarves here, not shirts, you weirdo). So, the fact that this one in particular makes it into such frequent rotation means something.

Not long after getting the scarf, I found Sari Bari online. They have the sweetest website and, chickadees, they make blankets
A throw is what I consider a splurge so I debated long and hard about which one to get. I even waited for a fresh release of stock so that I could get one in aqua. It was totally worth the wait. It is so soft, has wonderful, cozy drape, and is remarkably pretty.
Things get even bet though, not only are the products super soft, cozy, and colorful but they also are a force of good. Sari Bari's whole purpose is to give women, who would otherwise be in the sex trade, another option of employment. You should definitely check out their shop and read more about their mission.

P.S. They are having a QUILT AUCTION soon!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Gifted, Thrifted, and Lifted

Remember how last summer we got these white chairs and totally made it work? Well, not to knock those chairs, because we loved them for what they were, but we were given a major upgrade. I liken it to going from a McDonald's Filet-O-Fish to a meal at Red Lobster complete with delicious, cheesy biscuits. It's that sort of upgrade.

Getting something for free totally counts as thrifted, right? All these bricks were a Craigslist freebie. Someone had torn down an old chimney and just wanted them gone. Since I am beyond ready to extend this project around to the front of the house I was more than happy to take them. Most of the mortar crumbles right off but a few bricks still have it firmly attached on one side. No biggie. That side will be buried in the ground and only you and I will know otherwise.

Now for the Lifted.
Say "Hello, Pyrex Cabinet No. 2". This piece was lifted right off the curb. The thing is, it didn't fit in the Jeep so, like a couple crazies, we CARRIED it home. Fortunately, it wasn't too far down the street because otherwise I'm not sure we would have made it. As far as I know, the neighbors didn't take any pics but if I find out they did I'll be sure to update the post so you can see our dedication in action.
(Also, ladies, this is a great way to test how much your guy loves you.)
So anyways, it needs some spiffing up - fix the shelf, add some legs, ditch the celestial seasoning, slap on some paint but it was free! Woot!
Want to know something crazy? This thing came with a working light bulb. Now that might not seem like a big deal but think of it like this: Someone threw away a perfectly functional light bulb. I just don't understand that sort of waste. America, sometimes you make me so sad.

PS - the title for this post was totally snatched from Mandi over at Vintage Revivals. It's the perfect miscellaneous round-up title. How could I not use it!?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sunshine = projects

It's been a bit quiet here on the blog but let me assure you that it's because it's been anything but in "real" life. There is sunshine! And warm breezes! And we have emerged from hibernation and are in mega project mode over here. I'm thinking that the next few posts will be be showcasing some of the 'round here happenings but check this out first.

So, there's a good chance that this song isn't your jam. That's OK. Just listen to it anyways and appreciate it for being so dang catchy what it is.

Now that you've listened (or at least sampled) Untrust Us, listen to this cover.

Pretty impressive, yeah?


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Great Dining Table

Chick-a-dees, last time this room was on the blog was about a year ago and it looked a bit different. Now, I have a giant dining room table. And by giant I mean Keith, Toastie, and I could probably sleep on this thing and not touch. It’s hard to tell because the room is still empty and lacking in anything to give a sense of scale but it is 9x4'.
Basically, it’s a giant slab of glossy awesome and I feel very special to have a husband and dad-in-law that would make such a table for me. We used it for Christmas dinner and I can happily say it comfortably seats 12, which means that we can totally squeeze way more than that at it.   >>> Dinner party, anyone?

I don’t have specific, step-by-step instructions on how to build it. I only took pictures of the progress, but I do know it is a compilation of different tables we found on pinterest, modified to the size we wanted. This table by Shanty 2 Chic is the closest, although our top is quite different. FYI, ours was a tad more than $125 (but waaay cheaper than anything you can find at a store). The rustic, farmhouse table is trendy (and cheap!) but we opted for the more expensive, knot-free white pine for the top. We wanted a classy piece of furniture since the dining room is so central in our house.

I hope you enjoyed peeking into our table-making process. It was definitely work but so, so worth it if you have a vision AND a budget.

Still on our dining room to-do list:
- Floor covering / rug
- New light fixture to replace the ridiculous chandelier
- Add some COLOR
- Benches to go with our table
- Secure 4 parson chairs in a fun pattern to go at the heads

Friday, January 16, 2015

4 Ways To Use Bleach As a Dye

Would you agree that sometimes the best things are unexpected? Little happy accidents, if you will. Like when you buy a shirt that doesn't really fit because, "I can layer it, all will be fine" but then spend the whole day tugging and rearranging so out of vengeful spite you hack the shirt apart and turn it into an awesome DIY dye fest on your bathroom floor.
Moral of that story: don't buy clothes that almost fit, but if you do, REPURPOSE!

Polka dots: cotton fabric, q-tips and bleach in a dish is all you need to get the fabric-transformation party started. When the fabric has lightened to the color you desire, give it a good rinse in cool water.

Tie Dye Spiral: Cotton fabric, rubber band, and bleach in a squirt bottle.
Grab the fabric in a pinch and start twisting, as you get to the outside of the fabric it might be easier to wrap it around instead of continuing the twisting motion. Just sayin'. Once the fabric is in a bundle secure with the rubber band so it is nice and tight. Squirt bleach along the dotted line. The amount of bleach will vary depending on the thickness of your fabric. Part of the fun is the unknown! Embrace the unpredictable! When the fabric (the bit you can see) has lightened to the color you desire, give it a good rinse in cool water.

Negative Space: Cotton fabric, bleach in a spray bottle, random bits.
To prevent unwanted overspray, work in the tub (or outdoors). Place the random bits - I used wooden diamonds - on your fabric. With the spray bottle on mist, squirt the bleach on the fabric. When the fabric has lightened to the color you desire, give it a good rinse in cool water.

Tie Dye Stripes: Cotton fabric, string or rubber bands, bleach in a squirt bottle, scissors.
Bundle the fabric into a snake shape and tie TIGHTLY at various intervals. Squirt the bleach on the fabric between the strings. When the fabric has lightened to the color you desire, give it a good rinse in cool water.

NOTE!!! Bleach acts fast so don't leave your project sitting. Unlike color dye that needs a long soak time, you bleach dying will probably take less than 5 minutes. 

All said and done, I'm pretty pleased with how the shirt saga ended. In fact, I already have an idea of how I will use the fabric. What about you? Have any shirts that need a bathroom bleach date?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Transformative Powers of Reupholstery - Recovering a Stool. Level: Easy

You know how sometimes a room "makeover" is really just changing out the pillows and painting a wall a fancy color? This is post is sorta like that. Only I'm swooning over the powers of fabric instead of paint.

If you recall, I thrifted this stool awhile eons ago. It's been moving from room to room, being generally useful. Which, as contradictory as it sounds, is exactly why I hadn't recovered the seat yet. Really, I wanted to cover it in fun, brightly patterned fabric but couldn't settle on something that would work throughout the whole house. Finally, I decided that a white-ish, lightly patterned fabric was the (easiest) solution.

As you can see, the seat was in rough shape. The pink plastic had faded to a blotchy shade of vomit and there was a crack exposing the innards. And I lived with it in this state for a year. *What is wrong with me?*

Anyways, the "makeover" was as simple as removing the existing covering with pliers and a screwdriver (for additional prying prowess) and stapling on fresh fabric.

TIP! To get the best results when covering something with fabric, work in small sections, stapling the fabric on one side then the opposite side. This allows you to pull the fabric tightly without skewing the pattern.

To give it a polished finish, I stapled a pretty piece of scrapbooking paper as a backing. I also glued the original tag back in place. It's barely readable but it's the thought that counts, right?

That's all there is to it! Stool transformed.
Anyone else find it amazing how swapping out fabric (or paint) totally changes something?

PS - a little out-take from the "after" shoot. Her nose is in all the things. All the times. Example: she recently discovered the litter box. Oh my gag.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Us 2015

Have I mentioned that I love this man? He is my favorite. 
I am the luckiest.  Even when I'm just a head sprouting from his armpit.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Made These: Fish of the beanbag variety

I volunteered to make beanbag fish for an activity. The outcome: 3 fish and a white lump with fins.

Does the fabric look familiar? It should. For the most part, I used scraps from not one, not two, but three (!) other projects. It seems fitting that one of the previous uses was to make a whale, yeah?
If you are wondering about construction: to reinforce the thin fabric I used fusible interfacing. The seams are all double stitched for added strength. The filling is polypropylene pellets.

Since they were made to be thrown I did not add eyes. Little buttons would be super cute though.

Friday, January 2, 2015

winter mantle

As I was editing the pics for this post I realized that not only did I not post the Christmas mantle, I didn't even take any pics of it. Ack!

To sum it up, the Christmas display was the opposite of this one. It was full and colorful and, after a month of adding Christmas cards to it, a bit overwhelming.
This arrangement is probably the most minimal yet. You know, since I've done sooo many in the year we've lived here. A grand total of 3, which is a pretty pitiful amount, really.

Anyways, the original idea was milk glass vases and aqua globes but things shifted directions. The stars got hung, the vases were replaced with candles, the harvest moon got re-mixed, and a few other things came and went. It was the usual add-subtract shuffle that happens when decorating.
I love how simple the end result is, and I love how it combines things we already had in fresh ways.
The origami stars were actually made by my aunt for my bridal shower/wedding. After we were married, we incorporated them into our Christmas decor but this year they will be staying out a bit longer :)
The candles are basic votives, propped up on vintage mason jar lids. 
As I already said, I made the moon to go with the fall decor but pulled it out when I realized the stars would be staying.

The lamps, brass kitty, and mirror are the mantle staples. Ever present.
I swear that mirror was made for that mantle. The funny thing is that I bought it at a goodwill when I lived in Texas - 4 years before we even considered making our house our home. I remember purchasing the mirror and thinking, "what the heck am I going to do with that?" while driving back to my tiny room. I'm pretty sure it just lived in the back of my jeep until I moved back to Indiana. You could probably make a good argument that I am a hoarder from that story but I am going to say that some things are just meant to be.  That mirror +  that mantle. Home furnishing soul-mates.