Goings On & Freak Accidents

I meant to have a much better blog post this week, but I think when you see what I’m working with over here you’ll understand… either way, I thought I’d hop on and share a few things. Let’s start with the freak accident and work our way to the good stuff:

  • Tuesday night there was a crazy car accident outside my house (no one was hurt), and long story short it caused a huge surge of power to hit my house that temporarily blew out our electricity and also flooded our basement. Electricity is now restored but the surge fried our stove and my husband’s desktop computer as well as a few surge protector power strips (thank goodness we had them, or the damage would have been much worse!). Our (finished) basement currently  has 14 industrial fans in it drying out the flood (for the next 3 days) and our water should be fully restored today- it was damaged outside of the house so our lawn had to be bulldozed to access the pipes and a section of our basement got jackhammered as well. The whole thing is a mess and once insurance is settled I’ll share more. But yeah, it’s been a long few days. If you follow along on Instagram you’ve seen a few peeks of it all.

industrial fans to dry out a flooded basement

  • Before this whole mess went down, I spent my Saturday painting my heart out at my friend Nate’s house. He recently bought 100+ year old country style home and I’ve basically insisted that he let me help with it’s updates because I’m obsessed. When we went to see it he mentioned he needed to paint all window sashes white and I casuallyyyyyy recommended maybe he do them black because I would die if they weren’t black they’re so perfect for it and I’ll even do it myself pleaseeeee. I’m a woman of my word, so I spent 6+ hours painting and it was glorious.

black window sashes with white molding moulding and light walls- country kitchen farm home

The kitchen has these 3 windows, 3 more on a perpendicular wall, and I painted 2 doors that lead to the sunroom to match as well. I’m also on team yellow walls, but not necessarily that particular yellow.

Also, look at this perfectly aged and chippy coat closet door at the house’s entrance. UGHHHH. I don’t even really like the country style but it’s so perfect here that it makes my bat my eyes and grow wide. I’m 97% sure Nate doesn’t look at this blog, but if you do- do not get rid of this door! It’s what dreams are made of! And the brick floor? I’m dying.

chippy aged wood coat closet door and brick entryway floor

  • And to end this post on a super high note…. my husband and I will soon be headed to the Bahamas with a few of our friends! I can not freaking wait, after dealing with all this house stuff it’s just what we need. We’re going to an all inclusive resort and the whole thing is paid for so I’m excited to just show up, get a drank, and sit on the water. Oh, and we’re also going to go swimming with these cuties:

swimming pigs of exumas bahamas

Hopefully our house will be in good working order before we leave!! If not, I guess we can just go snorkeling in the basement… :( womp womp.

Composting Made Easy

Last year I came up with an ugly, albeit easy and maintainable, composting plan. You can read all about my super simple and very free compost system here – it consists of two garbage cans and a giant stick.

I’m happy to report that a year later we’re still using the same system and it’s working out great. I even got to use some of last year’s compost in this year’s garden (which was very rewarding and satisfying).

Composting is so easy and not at all intimidating, and you don’t need a lot of space to make it happen. I put together a board on Hometalk that’s got all aspects of it covered:

  • kitchen counter composting (for those with no space at all!)
  • what to compost and what not to compost
  • how to build a compost bin out of trash barrels, pallets, hay bales, or lumber (there’s so many options!)
  • how to build a lasagna style composting flower bed (I did this method for my garden bed 2 years ago and it’s still working out awesome- my flowers came in great this year!!)
  • and lots more

Check it out here:

easy composting options for big and small spaces

And for quick reference, I love this printable list of what to compost (download it here) – we kept it on our fridge last year as we were learning and it was a big help:

what to compost - printable list

Tie Dye Onesies- An Awesome Baby Shower Activity

This weekend I hosted a “drizzle” for my sister-in-law in my backyard and we had a blast. It’s her and my brother’s second baby boy so we just had myself, parents, and grandparents over to celebrate and restock their diaper supply (no need for a full “shower”).

Even though there were just about a dozen of us I also really wanted a fun activity, so I hooked up with Tulip and their #TyeDyeYourSummer campaign to make tie dyed ones for my nephew-on-the-way. You guys, we had SO MUCH FUN. My 80+ year old grandmothers making their great grandchild onesies in my yard was so lovely and adorable.

tie dye onesie station- baby shower party activity idea

This kit is super easy, it comes with 18 colors in squirt bottles (just add water), elastics to make your pattern with, plastic gloves, and even a tablecloth. It’s a party in a box! I laid everything out on a few different tables and wrote steps on some white tiles (you can use dry erase markers on ceramic tiles- I do it all the time at parties to label food and write out directions), the kit comes with instructions on how to make specific patterns so I laid that out on the table too.

I got 2 different size white onesie packs, a white 3T shirt for my nephew, and Tulip sent a bunch of large white t-shirts for everyone else.

tie dye onesie baby shower activity

Everyone just kind of did their own thing, and most of the onesies came out super adorable. Others though, not so much. Careful with the red dye, haha.

tie dye onesie oopsPoor mom, she just wanted to make a heart for her new grandson.

The tie dye needs to set for 6-8 hours so we all just put our creations in a plastic tub I had then went off and ate a bunch of cake and ice cream. I ended up leaving it overnight and the next morning just rinsed them off in the tub then threw them in the washer on hot to set.

My nephew’s going to be the cutuest little hippie baby that ever lived.

one step tie dye kit

…but I’m not biased or anything. ;)

Thanks Tulip for sending me the one step tie dye kit! We had so much fun, and everyone loved it! *Even though the kit was sent to me, I was not paid for this post and all opinions/ideas/adorable onesies are my own.

Stalk Tulip all over the web for so many fun ideas and projects:

Facebook //  Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Tumblr // Google+ // YouTube

ilovetocreate tulip tie dye

____

Looking for more baby shower ideas? Check out my the owl themed and jungle themed parties I threw:

owl themed baby showermonkey decorated cupcakes

DIY Stretched Fabric Canvas (with a shower curtain!)

I am slowlyyyy working on updating my living room to be a bit lighter, brighter, and (gulp) more colorful. It started with  painting over my Sharpie Stencil Wall, which was a little painful to do but necessary for the vision I’ve got for my living room. Even though that wall took a lot of hours to complete, it cost under $5 so it wasn’t too big of a hit.

For reference, here’s a semi-recent picture of my living room:

neutral gray living roomI painted over the faux stencil wall with one coat of primer, then 2 coats of Behr’s White Truffle- which is the same color as our entryway, stairway, and split level landing. That black bench is gone now due to a little puppy rambunctiousness that was totally adorable and worth it. (RIP bench, gone but not forgotten.)

Once the wall was painted, it came time to make some GIGANTIC art to cover that new blank wall with! I order THIS shower curtain and it is awesome. I washed (cold water!) and dried it, then ironed it forever.

Next was the fun part- I laid the shower curtain out on the floor and measured out a frame of 1×2’s. Since this piece is so big, I used my Kreg Jig pocket hole maker to make a square frame with several braces in the middle. Here’s what it looked like while I was dry fitting it all together:

sry fit the 1x2 frame for a DIY canvas

And in case you’re nervous about making pocket holes, here’s a quick one handed video I shot of me using it. It’s a piece of cake!! I used a little wood glue at the joints as well, just in case.

After the frame was built, I stretched the fabric over it and stapled it in place. I put two staples on each side just to hold it in place, then my husband pulled from one side while I stretched and stapled the other (having two people just helps make sure everything stays center and also really tight).

A million staples later and it was done. And, because it’s just some 1×2’s and a shower curtain it’s super lightweight- I used one anchor screw to hang it and that’s it.

Here’s a view from the back once it was built and the fabric was stapled on:

add support pieces into your DIY large scale frame

Once on the wall it looked great, but not me yet. It needed some BAZAM. Which in my world, means it needed some gold. I’m not patient enough to go to the store and get fabric medium, so I just grabbed some gold craft paint, mixed it with a little water to thin it out, then painted in the top of the curtain and a few other spots. Much better!

tutorial on extra large DIY art from a shower curtain

The shower curtain was about $50 and the 1×2’s were about $10, so for $60 I have a really cool piece of art that’s bigger than me! For reference, I am 5 feet tall. :)

home made stretched canvas art

To orient a bit in the house, this is a shared freestanding wall for the kitchen and living room. You can enter the living room from both the left and right sides of it, as well as from the stairs that lead to our second level.

In real life, this area looks like this:

how to turn a large cotton shower curtain into DIY wall art

Hellooooo eye sore cat tree! I’ve accepted you in my life, but I’m not happy about it.

As of today, the living room is looking like this:

unique living room wall decor ideas

I think I’m going to be painting the chairs white, but I kind of like the zebra pattern against the wave pattern so I may not reupholster them. I’m also going to redo the black coffee table and its’ two matching end tables…. wait till you see what I have in mind!

DIY stretched fabric canvas wall art from a cotton shower curtain

___

Interested in making custom art? Here’s some more ideas you might like:
wood shim wall art pennant

DIY Glazed Sunburst Mirror

minwax frog tape wall art DIY

Living Pretty with your Pets feature

Hi all! Today I’m over at Cuckoo 4 Design guest posting all about my brood of pets, hop on over and check it out here.

three cats and a dog petsIf you’re here from Julia’s blog- welcome! You may want to check out my DIY Hidden Litter Box or Raised Pet Food Stand.

And don’t worry you’ll get used to seeing my animals pop up in just about every post ;)

striped wall room with painted furnitureThings I Didn’t DIY 

upcycled cabinet inside

Upcycled Kitchen Cabinet

tree stump end tablesTree Stump/Log End Tables

Happy Weekend!!

___

facebook

The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest: DIY HIDDEN LITTERBOX

This month I’m participating in a little DIY challenge called The Fab Furniture Flippin Contest and the theme is inspired by mom (because it’s Mother’s Day month!). Two of the lovely contest organizers have posts with more info and inspiration: Evey from Sweet Song Bird has one here and Stacy from Anastasia Vintage has one here.

FFFC post graphic final (png)Sooo here’s the thing. When I think of home decor, my mom’s house doesn’t exactly come to the forefront. I actually constantly rag on her for her house. Because it is SO. BEIGE. EVERYTHING BEIGE. ALL THE TIME BEIGE. Whew. She finds it calming. I find it incredibly stressful. Can you tell?

She’s also seriously against any kind of clutter. There are no tchotchkes. There are no knick knacks. Everything has a purpose. Sometimes when I go over to her house I swap around the pillows and move the table runner just to mess with her. SO. When thinking of an “inspired by mom” project I decided to alter a piece of furniture that I think can work a little harder for me, something that’ll hide an unsightly element of the house and clear up some floor clutter.

In 2012 I bought this dark wooden end table at the Habitat for Humanity restore (also in 2012, I had terrible photography skills):

dark wood end table - before picture

Then I spray painted it silver, glazed it with black, and swapped out the hardware (here):

dark brown end table - after - silver with black glaze

For while this held vases and vase fillers and candles and a whole bunch of other nonsense. And in the “inspired by mom” spirit, I donated 90% of that crap and cleared out the drawers.

THEN I got to work… hollowing out the drawers and cutting out the side and turning this fab piece of furniture into a DIY HIDDEN LITTERBOX :).

Hollowing out the drawers was easy, a few knocks with the hammer took care of it because the pieces were dovetailed together without much glue. Then I used the bottom of one of the drawers as a base and Gorilla Glue’d both drawer fronts on it. Once it was dried it was all one piece; I screwed it into the frame of the end table from the inside:

updated knobs on an old side table - fake drawer fronts

Next I had to hollow out the inside of the frame. Holy moly I did not have the right tools for this. I had a jigsaw, coping saw, and a hand saw and I Tim Gunn’d it (MAKE. IT. WORK.). I removed all the screws I could find, then used the coping saw to remove the middle divider between the draws. The ledges on the sides were a bit more complicated, and the hand saw worked for that part. I didn’t use the jigsaw at all for this part because it didn’t really fit.

Once the inside was hollowed out, I next cut a hole in the side (where the cats will enter to do their business). For this I needed a scroll saw. I don’t have a scroll saw though, so I used a jigsaw and hand saw and ripped all my hair out and then I finally got it.

Tip: to use a jigsaw when the point of entry isn’t the edge of your piece, just drill in a few large holes with a large drill or spade bit, then fit the blade of the jigsaw in the hole to start cutting.

disguised litter box in a repurposed end table

The bottom inside of the end table has a particle board piece underneath a frame of 1×2’s, so I caulked the seams where they met just to make sure no litter gets caught under there.

Then I bought a tupperware bin, filled it with litter, and popped it in:

secret litter box in an old end tableI used the cover of the container as an extra tray at the bottom and scooted the actual container all the way to the back, so the cats can walk in to the piece of furniture then step into the litter box (which will help stop litter from getting on the floor outside of it) Awesome! No more unsightly litter box hanging out in our living room! I think mom’d be proud :)

DIY Hidden Litter Box from SandpaperAndGlue.com

__

So what do you think of my updates? A prize package from CeCe Caldwell’s Paints is up for grabs and I’ve got my fingers crossed!!

Also, if YOU are a blogger interested in participating in an upcoming challenege just email Stacy (info@anastasiavintage.com) or Evey (info@eveyscreations.com)!

Patio Dreams & Plans

Earlier in the week I talked about our front door spruce up and adding some flowers around the house, so today I wanted to do a little more outdoorsy talk.

A lot of the flowers I bought already (particularly the daisies) will go into the ground after memorial day, leaving room for a few container herbs to go on the front steps. I like to keep onion grass and basil there, close by, because I use them constantly when cooking.

As for the backyard though, it’s a never-ending mess of projects. Over the years I’ve added a garden bed wall (here) to our dining area and plants are justtttt starting to settle and spread there. I bought 2 shrubs (rhododendron) that I added in the bed last weekend. I’ve also made a compost bin system (here) and a small vegetable/herb garden (here)- but none of that is particularly pretty.

backyard before 2015Our yard is 2 levels because we’re on a hill, and the previous owners left us a bit of a mess to deal with… it looks way nicer in pictures then it does in real life. Because you’re being fooled into thinking we have grass. We do not have grass. We have awful cheap turf. Also not awesome:

  • There’s a random too-wide-to-be-a-walkway cement paver situation next to the second section of turf. But if we removed that….
  • we’d have to spruce up the vast wasteland of sand directly next to it because there used to be an above ground pool that we took apart and sold. This area serves as a fire pit now but could use some love.
  • On the second level, where our patio table is, there’s just dirt because it’s too shady for grass. I have no idea what to do here. Giant pavers? Gravel (will that hurt my dogs’ paws?)? Mulch? I don’t know
  • The dirt section in front of that (by the swing chair) will someday be filled with ivy ground cover, but it’s slow goin’

So you can see we sort of have a few “patio” areas. The dirt pile our actual patio set is on, plus the fire pit area, and even the cement “basketball court” section. The bummer with outdoor stuff is that none of it is really instant- it takes time for things to grow (like the ivy! come on ivy, growwww!). So, while I wait, I’m dreaming. I created a Patio Dreams Board on Wayfair full of stuff that would make this area much more awesome.

wayfair birdbath double seating flower planter and string lightsbird bath | bench seat| flower pot | string lights
I think matching flower pots, and string lights, and nice seating go such a long way, don’t you? What’s on your patio wish list?

**

I partnered with Wayfair for this conversation, but I am a real customer of theirs already and they have EVERYTHING for every area of your house. Check it out!!