Half Bath Update

When I last mentioned this room, it looked like this, so really anything is an improvement. This started off as Matt’s project but I’ll be stepping in over the next two weeks (I have some vacation time coming up) to help out and speed things along.

So far the trim has been taken down, the ceiling has gotten two coats of bright white paint, the painted wallpaper has been almost taken down (more on that in a second), and the top coat has been laid out.

Still to do:

  • Add trim paint to the built in
  • Sand down and paint the vanity white
  • Sand down and paint the mirror white
  • Install bead board or wainscoting

But enough words, here’s the visual…

Anything is an improvement over sunshine yellow and navy, right? Right?

We always, always, always use Behr paint because of our very scientific and in depth research: Dad said so. We went with a blue that’s a few shades lighter then the office  and a few shades lighter then what we have in mind for the adjoining room- it’s called Waterscape. This means all of “Matt’s territory” will be steely, manly blue and the rest of the house will be a smorgeous board of crazy Stephanie picks. Fair enough.

Try and ignore the lower wall. I promise it will all work out.

When Matt was attempting to remove the wallpaper that was on the lower half of the wall he ran into a bit of a pickle: apparently the wall was coming off with the paper. He decided to hold up, and we’re going to leave the paper on there and cover it up with bead board or wainscoting. A friend of ours, the same one who helped put in the kitchen sink, will assist with the install. We’ve estimated it’ll cost a little under $100 for all the supplies, so we may  not get to this until early September.

Oye.

I think once the lower section of the walls are white, along with the vanity and mirror, it’ll look really nice in here. Maybe a little beachy? I’m not sure that’s what I’m going for but it may end up being the case anyway.

Have you done any bathroom updates lately? Ever install bead board or wainscoting? Let a girl know!

Rugs. Rugs. Rugs.

I think I’ve mentioned rugs about 700 times on this blog- specifically back in December not once but twice and basically every time I’ve posted about the room it’s been referenced again.  An affordable, not awful, 8×10 rug does not exist. So I’d like to take matters into my own hands.

Here are some options I’ve been mulling over lately:

Creating a rug made out of strips of fleece, a la Life on Maple: It seems like you’d just slip it through a rug mat and tie a knot. So you’d need a rug mat, a latch hook (to get it through the holes), and heck-uv-a lot of fleece.

The breakdown: The rug mat can be bought on Amazon for under $20, the latch hook for under $5, and the fleece maybe under $100.

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Creating a rug out of strips of towels, a la Tip Junkie: It’s the same process, only with towels instead of fleece. My worries though include if it’ll tear and shred, if it’ll look good in a living room as opposed to a bathroom, if my dog will try to rip up and eat each and every knot.

The breakdown: Same as above, only I feel like a zillion clearance towels would be less expensive then fleece.  Either way, it’s pretty cute. I may test this one out as a 2×3 in my half bath (photos tomorrow, I PROMISE).

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 Buy two dull, lazy rugs and merge them together, a la Vintage Revivals. Seriously, even if you don’t want to do this project you should really read what this blogger did. It is amazing.

The breakdown: I think this would cost about the same as the above two options, maybe slightly more. However, you wouldn’t spend hours and hours tying knots and I wouldn’t have the fear that my dog was going to eat it.

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I also kind of, really badly, am absolutely dying for a faux sheepskin rug. Ikea makes this tiny version of it. But perhaps I could by a cheap boring rug and cut it into the shape I want, then somehow seal off the edges? This is what I’ve been leaning towards for the longest.

I recently took the gray slipcover off my living room couch to reveal the cream colored fabric underneath and am in the process of testing out how well it holds up in my zoo house (3 cats and a dog). If the cream holds up, I may get an off white shag rug. I really don’t want anything with a pattern because I already have zebra striped chairs and darkish gray walls, so it needs to be toned down and brightened up.

 

 

What do you think? Faux sheepskin all the way, amiright?!

Making a Curtain from a Cardigan

If you read this blog regularly (or you know me, of course) you know we’ve got a lab mix puppy. He’s 10 months old now and after lots of time and love and training he doesn’t destroy nearly as much as he used to. However, several months ago when he was teething he got hold of lots of things, including my favorite cardigan sweater…

It doesn’t look like much here, but I assure you it was adorable. And it was on sale!! For shame…

Because I’m a hoarder, I’ve been holding on to this sweater for months- there was perfectly good fabric and very usable buttons! How could I throw it out?

Then yesterday I posted about my newly spray painted  bathroom mirror and how I was unsure if it needed to be more snazzy or not. One of the comments suggested I get better curtain for the vanity and maybe some accessories or art. Well that got me thinking…. this sweater just so happens to have the perfect cream color to match the tiles and also has yellow and gray that ties in with the living room. Hmmm…..

First, I cut straight across the fabric right where the seam was at the bottom of the arm. I also cut the sleeves free and set them aside, and the seams where the buttons and button holes were as well. The sleeves didn’t have holes in them, so yeah I was still going to save that scrap fabric. Waste not want not, people!

I had a pack of Stitch Witchery that I bought when I made a halloween costume a few years ago, and basically it acts as a fabric adhesive so you don’t have to sew. I folded over each of my rough edges with the Witchery, placed a damp cloth over the fold, and steamed it into action with my iron.

I wear a size small, so unfortunately after folding over the seems to make even edges the “curtain” was too short- otherwise this would be a completely no sew DIY curtain project. To add length, I decided to sew my sleeves together to create a rod pocket.

Sewing the sleeves together was the most difficult part because I didn’t want to accidentally sew the pocket closed. I placed both sleeves on my arm and loosely sewed around the whole thing, then I went through and sewed around a second time.

Unfortunately, this looked pretty crumby when I turned it right side out because I winged it and had no idea what I was doing at any point during this project.

To cover this up, I took the buttonhole seams and used the Stitch Witchery to hide my mistakes. It wasn’t a perfect option, but it was clean enough and in the end result it looks like a purposeful design and not an attempt to hide my curtaining-without-a-plan.

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I doubled up on adding the seam, one line to hide my terrible sewing and another to cover up the rough edges. I was a little worried that it would be too thick and the Witchery wouldn’t adhere, but it worked perfectly fine as long as I applied pressure when ironing it on.

So now I had my curtain as one piece and my sleeve rod pocket as another piece, all that was left was to put them together.

I love you, Stitch Witchery. With the power of a thousand suns.

I gave the whole thing another once over with the iron to get all the wrinkles out and then headed upstairs to hang it up!

Here’s a reminder of what the old curtain looked like:

For some reason when we bought the house this vanity door was missing, nothing a tension rod and an old curtain couldn’t fix.

And now here’s the pretty after pictures:

Oooooh!!! Ahhhhh!!!

How cute is this little guy? It’s far from perfect, but I love it!

And here it is from the doorway, still being cute.

So there you go, almost-but-not-completely DIY no sew curtain from a cardigan sweater! I think this is one of my new favorite projects. If you don’t have puppy chewed clothes, you could always pick up a cardigan or even a long skirt from a thrift store to make something similar!

Now tell me, what have you up cycled from from old clothes or remnants?

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I’m linking up with the “Make It” link party!

Painting Metal

I don’t know why, but I can’t just focus on one room of the house then finish it and move to the next. I’m working on every single room of this house simultaneously, but I just keep getting ideas here and there and it’s easier to jump around then try to contain them all.

Today’s project is my favorite kind: f-r-double e FREE. I updated the bathroom mirror using materials I had already purchased for another project and it looks much much better.

I’ve been working on this bathroom steadily for a few months now. First, I repainted it to change it from dark dank brown to light airy cream, then I bought a new accessories and but frosted contact paper on the windows to further brighten it up. Now I’ve done just about all I can do until we figure out if we’re going to get rid of the tile.

This mirror was hanging when we bought the house…sort of. The previous owner actually tried to take it and I had to call the real estate agent to get it back. It was a weird situation. But either way, it fits perfectly in the space and buying a new mirror that size would cost too much money so luckily I’m a fan of working with what you’ve got!

The mirror isn’t awful, but in the interest of brightening up the room and getting as many things to match as possible I wanted it to be white- maybe with a cool stencil or pattern on it.

From a distance it looks fine, but up close you can see it’s got a lot of discoloring and dings and scratches. No good.

I took the mirror outside and placed it on a tarp because spray paint can make a big old mess. First I put painters tape all around the border, on the mirror, and then I put cut up paper bags on top of it to help prevent overspray from getting on the mirror. Now that I’ve done this, I suggest you use plastic and not paper. You’ll see why in a minute…

I used Kilz spray primer because regular paint would not adhere to the metal, but the spraypaint I had on hand was good for both wood and metal. Shake the spray paint bottle for a good couple of minutes then use thin, thin, thin even coats. I probably went around the frame three times, one right after another, lightly misting it over each time. This prevents it from getting a thick sandpapery texture and drips around the edge.

Immediately take off all the paint and paper/plastic guard because spray paint dries quickly. You can see it also managed to seep through the paper and get on the mirror. Ugh.

If spray paint does get on your mirror, just take a razor and lightly scrape it off. It won’t do any damage if you hold it at an angle. (Look mom, I did my nails again!)

This is the part where I had to make a decision: leave the mirror completely white or stencil a design on it. I really wanted just a little stencil on each corner to make it pop, but I tested out my stencil on a piece of paper first and it turns out I suck at stenciling, so that was not an option. Then I created this really super awful mock up of what it would look like if I just taped a random pattern on the mirror and painted in the empty spots:

I used a white Yankee Candle bag inside out and that blue is actually the new color of the half bath, which I have yet to show you. I wanted to make the stencil or pattern in the same color as the half bath so the two rooms would match, and they would also match the movie room (when it’s repainted) and the office.

I actually really like the idea of this, it’s quirky and different without being too much (in my opinion). However, the bathroom has a lot going on already so after talking it out with Matt we decided that I’d just paint a coat of glossy white paint over the primer and we’d live with it for a few days before we decide if we want to add a pattern to it.

Here she is up and about! What do you think? A big improvement? Does she need an abstract paint job?

I think it really helps the room to have as much as possible painted a light color, the cream walls, the lack of a curtain, and all the white make it look so much better.

And just for reference, here’s the other side of the bathroom:

So what would you do- leave it clean and simple? Deck it out with some blue paint? I honestly can’t decide, but I am so glad it’s not silver anymore.

As the plants grow…

It’s been a few weeks since we put in flower bed number one and flower bed number two, so I thought I’d post an update on how things are going:

Flower bed number one is growing slowly but surely- we had a pansy casualty in the lefthand corner but the impatients are spreading and budding. The rose bush continues to bloom, though I can’t tell if it’s growing and I think even if it does it’ll take a few years to really make a difference.

Flower bed number two is doing great! The gladiolas are popping up and hopefully soon they’ll cover my ugly cement stairs. The shasta daisy transplants have little green buds at the end which I’m very excited about, but those are another that’ll take 3-4 years to spread throughout the whole bed.

Parsley (top right) is thriving, basil (bottom right) is starting to really come together, oregano (bottom left) is new to that pot but so far so good, and the rose bush is very much alive and growing but is yet to bud.

The raised dirt part of the yard will one day be covered with ivy, but for right now there’s about 12 fighting-to-stay-alive transplants we’ve got our fingers crossed on. Some look ok, others not so much. We’ll see how that goes… but this could be a 5 or 6 year venture.

Not pictured:

  • On the front steps there’s also a pot of impatients that are doing so-so, the rain got them then the heat got them so hopefully over the next week they’ll shape up. I’m also growing some cosmos from seed and they just sprouted a day or two ago
  • There’s another daisy spreader in the yard that’s doing really well and should bloom any day now- I really expected it to die but it hunkered in for the long haul!
  • My three transplanted hostas are doing great, along with the hens and chicks they’re planted near.

So how’s your outside looking? Any tips or tricks?! I’ve learned that they key to keeping my rose bush lush is to add cut up banana peels in the dirt around it and sprinkled a little on top! It works like miracle grow.

What I Wore Wednesday IX

Finally- a WIWW without rain! It’s supposed to be gorgeous out today… of course I won’t get to enjoy it until 3:30 but it’s better then nothing! I think we’ll go for a walk at the park this afternoon…

Today I’ve got on a satin top, some light weight pants, and some cute open toed shoes. Fancy enough for work but still super comfortable.

I’ve had this top for at least 5 years now and it hasn’t faded at all, it’s definitely one of my favorites. As for the pants, I accidentally hemmed them too long and I’m way too lazy to go back and shorten them so I can only wear them with my highest of heels otherwise they drag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shoes are  surprisingly comfortable for having a four inch heel and a strappy front. I wear these to pretty much every fancy summer event I have and never once have I gotten a blister. Also, how cute are those ruffles? I think I’ve worn ruffles the past three Wednesdays in a row.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the breakdown of where it’s all from:

  • Top: Either Macy’s or Filene’s, within the past 5 years
  • Pants: New York & Company, within the past 3 years
  • Shoes: Target, within the past 3 years
  • Necklaces: the tree necklace is from ebay (under $1!) and the other is a hand me down from my aunt

So what are you wearing today? Join me on The Pleated Poppy!

Updates to the Blog

Slowly but surely I’m adding more to this little blog… if for no other reason then just to learn how. So, things that have popped up over the past few weeks that you may or may not have noticed:

  • There is a new Project Central tab at the top of the page, where all my creations and good eats are gathered. The page links you to my Pinterest Board for now, but eventually I’ll go through and place everything right on that tab.
  • There is a “FOLLOW SANDPAPER AND GLUE” button riiiight over there to the right, just click “I’d love to” and you’ll get an email every time there’s a new post —->
  • Right under that follow button there’s a twitter feed! You’ll be able to see my last 2 tweets right there, but if you have a Twitter account you may as well follow me for extra little tidbits and pictures that aren’t worthy of a whole post.

And because I really hate to have a whole post with no pictures, here’s a cute dog from Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption that’s looking for a place to call home:

Bradford is a great yellow (white) lab boy.  He is about 1 year old and average size, weighing about 55lbs.  He is good with other dogs and cats.  He is really really handsome and has a good disposition.  He would be a great dog for a family with older children or a single person household.  He is an active boy, but for a boy his age, would be classified as a medium energy boy.  He knows how to calm down, but will need the required amount of exercise for a young lab boy.  He would make a great running or hiking partner and would be good just hanging with his peeps.  He takes treats nicely and is very very smart.  He will do wonderful in obedience classes and will just be an awesome addition to any family.  Bradford is crate trained and appears to be house broken, however, an adjustment period in going in a new home needs to be expected.  He does okay on lead, but definitely would benefit from some brush up skills.  Bradford is heartworm negative, neutered, up to date on all vaccinations and is microchipped.  If you think you are the family for Bradford, please complete an onlineapplication and request him on the notes section.

The Living Room from All Angles!

We finally, finally have furniture and a decent set up in the living room so I thought I’d post a little update on how it’s looking these days:

Here’s the view of the room from the kitchen/sunroom entrance (remember, there are 4 entrances to this room). You can see there’s a little walkway along the back wall that’s defined by the two chairs and the end table.

I’m thinking I might want to nix that accent wall and just have all the walls be gray- what do you think? The point of it was to tie the room in with the kitchen, which is the same yellow color, but I don’t know if that’s working out. The lighting is so different in each room most people don’t even realize it’s the same paint color.

Here’s the view from one of the back corners- you can see a speck of the left entrance, the second kitchen entrance, then the staircase entrance, and the chalkboard wall is where the front door is so that’s the 4th entrance.

I’m still loving my gallery wall… though maybe not as much as Luigi loves that sun spot.

This just shows how I decorated one of the coffee tables to tie in with the gallery wall. All those candle holders were from the dollar store!

A view from the couch straight ahead. Helloooo zebras!I think the coffee table goes great in its new spot, as opposed to being used as an accent table like we had it before.

The coffee table used to be where my new accent table is now. We’re all done adding furniture to this room so it doesn’t get too heavy a feeling, but we still need to do some finishing touches for sure.

And just because I’m obsessed with it, here’s another shot of my new accent table.

For a step by step breakdown on how to spraypaint furniture and how to glaze furniture you can check out this post . It was so easy and fun, I now want to spraypaint and glaze everything in my house. I might need a talking-to.

Metallic silver? Check! Black glaze? Check! ::SWOON::

So what do you think- yay or nay on the accent wall? I also want to spray paint the ceiling fan wings black, and the room could use some more yellow accents thrown in somewhere.

5 Home Tips & Tricks

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Today I’m linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk to share my High 5 for Friday, but I thought today I’d kick it up a notch and make it a special edition.

Here are 5 of my favorite around the house tips that make life easier, more organized, more festive, more whatever-you-want-it-to-be. Also, this post is full of puns, deal with it. :)

1. Relieve some tension!

Use a tension rod to double your cleaning supply storage space. I’ve tried this before and it didn’t work, but that’s because you need a good tension road (not a $2 Big Lots plastic one) and that you need to limit yourself to 3-4 bottles depending on how full they are.

I keep all my cleaning supplies under the sink, where you wouldn’t store any kitchenware anyway, and it’s nice and easy to put the commonly used stuff on the rod and the not so commonly used stuff below it.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Let it all hang out!

I use a large over the door towel rack (bought in the bath department) to keep all my necklaces from getting tangled. I used to just stuff them all in a jewelry box (ok, a shoe box) but they would be so messed up and intertwined that I was too annoyed to wear any of them. This works much better, and unless you happen to be in the bedroom and the door is closed you can’t see it at all.  I don’t do this with my nice necklaces because they’re thin and I don’t want them getting caught on anything, but for my chains and beads and tacky stuff  it works great.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Who says they’re just for flowers?

I keep my everyday kitchen utensils in a vase next to the stove instead of in a draw where my greasy hands might not be able to easily get them, and instead of in one of those unattractive kitchenware department set ups.

This vase came from TJ Maxx and was on clearance for $7. I had no idea what to do with it when I bought it, I just knew I loved owls and it was very cute. Do you have an adorable vase in a cabinet that you only get to use if someone brings you flowers? I say let that sucker out and about year round!

 

 

 

 

 

4. Get carafe-ty!

The internet has about 900 ideas for what to do with old wine corks, but while you’re collecting all the corks what do you do with them? I keep them in a carafe on the bay window right next to my bar (so it goes with the theme of the room to have them out and about!). If you don’t have or want a carafe, why don’t you get another vase out of hiding and put them on display in that? Or maybe a cute pitcher?

 

 

 

 

5. All soaped up. (I don’t have a pun for this tip…)

I am honestly far to lazy to reach under my sink or in a cabinet whenever I have to do dishes, and I don’t want a Dollar Store dish soap container sitting on my counter all the time either. Instead, I got this olive oil dispenser from The Christmas Tree Shops and removed the pourer so I could sneakily keep my dish soap out in it. I got this idea from a friend of mine and it works perfectly. I have a canister set out on the counter and this just plops down next to it and looks decorative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what do you do to sneak space around the house? To jazz up things that might not otherwise be jazzed? To use cute containers when you have nothing cute to put in them? I’d love to know!

What I Wore Wednesday VIII

pleated poppyHello all! Thanks for stopping by WIWW, where I’m linking up with The Pleated Poppy for another edition of What I Wore Wednesday!

School’s out for the summer but we’re still busy registering new students for classes, which makes for a nice quick day :). Maybe one of these days I’ll post what I look like 5 minutes after I get home- nothing says “fashion icon” quite like a men’s tshirt and 12 year old shorts….

Today I’ve got another cute ruffled top, a cinched belt, and some light Candies pants. It’s finally not freezing in here so no need for layers, and even though it’s still raining I’m wearing open toed shoes anyway! I didn’t paint those nails for nothing.

Here’s the rundown of it all:

  • Top: New York and Company (within the past year)
  • Pants: Kohl’s (within the past 3 years)
  • Belt: Came with another pair of paints!
  • Shoes: Payless… they’re just plain brown wedges

Normally I’d post another picture with a close up of some accessories or whatever, but today I thought I’d detour from that to ask for a little help. Most of my regular readers know I adopted a dog from Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption a few months back, and the rescue is currently trying to win a grant so they can help more awesome dogs in need. Could you take 2 seconds to vote for them here? No name or email address needed- just searched for Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption and identify the state as IN.

 

I thank you, Dutch thanks you, and Lucky Lab thanks you!!