My quest to find my inner crafty-girl one small project at a time.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Deep Thoughts on Lamps

I really feel that lamps make a statement and can make or break a room. That being said, we have never really invested in special lamps for any of our living spaces. Our daughter's rooms do have nice lamps, but that's where it stops. (That's always the case, huh? Our kids get the best? Sheesh, I sound like my mom, right Mom?)

I have been pining for some lamps of late.  Something delicious like this:

Glass Jug Table Lamp
West Elm Glass Jug Table Lamp

Gourd Table Lamp
West Elm Gourd Table Lamp

While I LOVE those lamps, and some others that I can't figure out how to add here, I decided to just try to spruce up something we already had instead of investing some serious cash into a new lamp.

I took this little guy:

And added some RustOleum's Cornflower Blue spray paint to it.
et Voila!

I think it would be perfect for a little boy's room. (Too bad I don't have a little boy - do you?)

Oh, and don't tell my husband, but in my over excitement I accidentally spray painted the lawn too. Well, it's really the wind's fault and not mine! Oops, I have it will be ok once he mows it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gallery Wall

There is nothing cuter than kid art. The scribbles, the squiggles, the misshapen heads. I just love it. My older daughter is in her second year of preschool and I can not contain myself from ripping into her backpack when she gets home just to see what kind of goodies are in there. Things don't come home all that often, but when they do, I die. My younger daughter isn't too much of an artiste as of yet, but she is getting there. She can surely get her groove on with her crayons and magic color markers (the ones that only write on the special paper.)

So, given my love of this art, I decided to create a little gallery in the basement family room with some bright, cheap Ikea frames. Right now there are 5 frames, I have a 6th in the laundry room waiting for my youngest to create something dramatic!

I think it is just a perfect little spruce of color on that long wall. And, from where I sit on the couch right now I get a huge smile looking at that adorable art work. And she is so proud when she sees it down here! Seriously, nothing cuter!

Monday, March 28, 2011

DC Bloggers Brunch...or why I started blogging

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I will do anything for an invite to a party. Remember when I started this blog a long time last month? I told you it was because I wanted to try my hand at some new crafts/DIY projects to make our new home reflect us? (You can read more about that here.) Well, that was partly true. The other part of the truth is that I wanted to get invited to the DC area bloggers brunch that was the brain child of my childhood friend Cassie and my neighbor Melissa. Once I found out that Cassie and Melissa were going to be hosting a party at Melissa's house, I had to get myself invited! So, I decided to actually start the blog that I had been thinking about since making my  sunburst mirror back in October.

Well, that fateful party was held this past Saturday. It was so great. Being the newbie it was awesome to meet some really inspirational ladies and get to know some of the faces that I had been reading about. Here is a photo of the lovely ladies...

Back Row, standing: Katelyn, Kyra, Shannon, Kathy, Angie, Andi, and Felicity
Front Row: Cassie, me, seated right behind me is Renee,  SarahLaurie, and Melissa

These ladies are all pretty awesome. And thanks to you all ladies, I now have over 20 followers. Woot, Woot!!!!!!!!!

We had yummy food, drinks and awesome conversation. Not only can these ladies design, craft and decorate, but they can cook!  I brought my delicious caramel apple dip. (There isn't any caramel in it but it sure does taste like it!) At the request of the ladies, here is the recipe:

1 brick of cream cheese (low fat works as well)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
1 package of toffee bits (I use Heath bar bits that come in  a bag like chocolate chips)

Mix it all together and serve with 6 cut up Granny Smith apples. The tartness of the apples works really well with the sweetness of the dip. It is sooooo easy and sooooo yummy!! I'd post a pic, but we ate it all. Well, to be honest, the ladies didn't eat it all but the hubs and I finished it up last night :)

So, now you know the true story of why I really started this blog. Should I be embarrassed?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My first furniture re-do!!!

Finally, I can link to Cassie's POWW! I re-did a small piece of furniture that we have had for years.

We bought this small plant stand about 10 years ago from Lowe's. It was meant to be refinished right away, but we never did anything with it  - just plopped it in our apartment. Over the years, it found it's way in our family room, the guest room and eventually in the attic. Once I got my new sander and my new DIY bug, I knew I had to finally do something with it!

So, Saturday I dragged my supplies to the backyard and whipped out my new sander. Mike was out running some errands and I was afraid to use my sander without him. (Insert embarrassed face!) So, I bailed on the sanding and just went for it.

Here it is with the primer:

I chose a dark primer because that's what the man at the paint store told me to do. And here it is after all is said and done. I chose Grape in gloss. It is bold, but fun!

And, here it is in my basement family room.

I'm not sure it will stay there but it works for now. What do you think? Not bad for my first time! I am linking to Primitive and Proper!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Curtains, curtains, curtains!

After hanging the new curtains in the dining room, I really liked how they looked pushed way far out on the side of the window. When we hung our curtains in the living room, we just used the holes that were in the wall from the previous owners. I know,  I took the easy way out but that's the way I roll! The holes weren't totally in the right spot for what I wanted but I didn't bother changing them.

You can see how the curtains really blocked a good amount of the window.

So, after we hung the dining room curtains high and wide I was staring at the living room trying to figure out how I could fix these curtains without re-drilling holes. I realized that I could just extend the curtain rod and push the curtains out to the ends opening up the whole window. I know, so silly and easy, I have NO idea why I didn't think of it before! So, I pushed them open and it really made the windows look HUGE and let in so much more light. I love the quick and easy fix!!

I even think it looks better with the prints in the middle - shows a little more contrast. So easy!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Evolution Continues

Bit by bit I am getting my dining room to where I want it to be. This weekend we added curtains. It really is amazing how curtains can help make a room look more polished.

Here are the bare windows:

I had to put a little shot of the process. We are very technical over here! :)

I chose some sheer white panels from Ikea (you can't beat $9 for the pair!) I wanted to keep it light and airy in the space and this really does the trick. I made sure we hung them high and wide so we didn't lose any light coming from the two windows. I have left them pooling on the ground for now. I'm still contemplating if I will shorten them or not.

And, now here is the final outcome. 

Yes, I know my lighting stinks! Tips anyone???

I am contemplating adding a band of some other fun fabric to the top or bottom. Maybe some cool floral or graphic Amy Butler fabric?? Stay tuned for the next step in the dining room!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Spring!!

It's so exciting that spring is here. It has been warm for a few days here and there this past month. I am hoping it is really here to stay this time! The hubs has been working on the outside of the house for weeks He is obsessed with mulch. Luckily our county does a free mulch program so we haven't paid for it but it sure does take a long time!

This is our first spring in the house so we are super psyched to see what pops up along the outside. The daffodils are up and the hydrangea are starting to bud with their leaves. I am a HUGE hydrangea lover (note the photo in my dining room taken by my dear friend)

We had them at our wedding and my mom gave us a bush as a house warming for our first house back in  Boston. We transplanted it with us to first our rental house here in Arlington and then to this house. We planted it right in the front yard. It is a hearty little sucker! I can't wait for the flower blooms. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what else grows in our yard. I am NOT a gardener by any means but am excited to plant something bright and cheery in our front window boxes (major score from our previous owners!)

When we were looking at this house, I noticed a huge bed in the backyard with 4-5 hydrangea plants growing. I knew it was meant to be! Of course I have neglected to take pics of the outside greenery, but this is what I am dreaming of...

Look dreamy, don't they? I wonder what else will pop up!

Happy Spring!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Entryway Evolution

A few weeks ago I posted about my transforming entryway. Remember this horribly empty bookshelf?
I added a tray to the first shelf and it went to this:

So, the tray is there, still un-modge podged (I'm getting there!) I needed some better baskets underneath to  hide all of those hats and clutter. I went to Ikea over the weekend and got some great new baskets. I like that they are a little lighter in color and bigger in size!

Here they are:

They were just the something that I was looking for. When I added the baskets I had to move the shelf up a little, which meant I needed to take off the two black and white NYC prints that were behind it. I think I can find another place to find those.

On top of the shelf, I decided to just lean that cool mirror from long ago.

Now, here is the new and improved entry. 

I need to eventually hang that mirror because right now it looks a little small, but I do like the evolution of everything. Stay tuned for the modge podging and the taller mirror.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Turquoise Rocks!

A few weeks ago Melissa and I took a trip to Goodwill and Home Goods. I was looking for a vase that I could spray paint a fun, bold color to add some pop to my mantel. Currently, my mantel has a lot of silver, glass and white on it.

It's pretty, but needed a little something. I found a fun vase at Goodwill that was a neat shape and cool details. I liked the color but it wasn't that fun, bold color I was looking for.

Here it is:

While I originally bought it for the mantel, I also got a pink glass vase at Home Goods that same day. This pink beauty is $5!! How great??
Can you tell I'm not sure which side to put the vase on?

It worked better on the mantel, so my gray beauty got displaced to the dining room. It sat there for a while until I could decide what color to make it. This past weekend I finally got some spray paint at the hardware store. I called it turquoise in my post title but I think it's more kind of baby blue. I painted it on Sunday and voila...

That looks a little more muted than it is.
There it is in the dining room. I changed a few things around on the bar to make it look a little better.

Here is the before and after again:

I love the pop of color that it leaves in the room and how it pulls some of the blue tones out of the gray wall color. Stay tuned for more updates in that room later this week.

P.S. I realize that I need to get better at taking pictures of my rooms and projects. It looks kinda pathetic now, huh? Thanks for coming back - I promise I will get better as time goes on. And, if you are reading regularly, become a follower!! It makes me keep going to know there are people actually reading :)