Halloween Fun!

10.31.2009

Just a few snapshots from trick or treating......

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We only had 20 trick or treaters! We used to average 75 in Tennessee. Marc is so disappointed and we have a bucket of candy, which is dangerous because I will eat a bucket of candy if one is available. Oh noes!





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Don't Use An Office Stapler to Reupholster A Bench

Its time for.......

DIY Day @ ASPTL


I have learned a valuable lesson. But it still turned out pretty well. Behold.......

Bench from Overstock:


One yard of fabric from Hobby Lobby (30% off):


And voila!


Instructions:

Well, as the title says, don't be impatient and think that you can do this simple project with a stapler from your desk. You cannot. Invest in a staple gun. And if you are buying a new piece to recover, make sure you can remove the cushion. I would love to recover my dining room chairs but the cushions are glued on. I folded the corners like wrapping a gift. They turned out a bit more wonky than I like, but again, that is what happens when you use a stapler. Hey, at least I did not try to scotch tape it!

Another tip: Unless you are a very precise person, don't choose a fabric with a uniform pattern. For example, horizontal stripes. If you do, you will have to be very exact when stapling it, or the pattern will veer up or down. A whimsical flower or paisley pattern will be the most simple to use.

Have fun and be sure to click on the link above to see some great DIY projects. At last count, there were over 200!


Housekeeping Fail

10.30.2009

My sister in law is coming for the weekend, so I am washing Cooper's bedding because she will be staying in his room. He will be on the air mattress in the playroom, which he would probably prefer because the easy access to all of his fun. In the process of scrubbing, cleaning, polishing, and straightening our entire house, I learned this very important lesson:



Don't shove your quilt down the laundry chute (and don't spell chute, s-h-o-o-t).

I have some great Before and After posts coming up- our powder bath is done and just waiting on a piece of art from this amazing artist. Our backyard landscaping should be here any day if it would ever stop raining, and I completed my bench project this week! And I am very excited that I am going to start my very first series on Monday about decorating for kids.

Disclaimer: I am in no way an expert on decorating kids rooms. But I have lots of ideas, put a lot of pride (and thought and sweat) into giving them a room that they will love and enjoy, and I love to share ideas. So if any of this floats your boat, is your cup of tea, or possibly your ball of wax, then please click on that "Follow" button at the top of the page, and stop back by!

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The Little Things

10.29.2009

Recently, The Nesting Place did a post on window treatments and where to place your drapery rods. When we came here, we brought our bedroom drapes from Tennessee and intended to hang them in our new bedroom. They were only 84 inches long, so Marc hung the rods just as close to the windows as possible so they would barely brush the floor.

Well, we quickly realized that what worked in TN was not going to work in AL. I found some beautiful fabric at Hobby Lobby (where else) and decided to make my own panels- and I made them longer to suit the longer windows. What happened to the old drapes, you ask? Well, I will tell you. I sold them on EBay, for a nice chunk of change which funded the fabric. Hooray!

But the rods were still close to the window, and Nester was right. It made the windows look small and the room dark. So here is a transitional photo:



I had completed the right side- in the next photo I am hard at work on the left. Do you see all of that dead grass outside the windows? Soon that will be a row of lovely crape myrtles if it will stop raining!

I did not know that the 5 year old had snatched the camera:



I moved the rods flush with the ceiling and out 5 inches on each side, and what a difference! I think that it photographed better at night, but it might also be my poor camera skills. And don't you love how I accessorized that chair with some Hungry Hungry Hippos?



That left one looks a little wonky with the drapery rings, I might have to work on it. Thanks Nester for giving me that kick in the tail to make that needed change!

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Kreativ Award

10.27.2009

I got the best email this morning! We are stuck at home waiting on the painter. Lex has a cold (stupid outside friggin cold Halloween party) and it is pouring down rain. So I thought that I would take today to work on my blog. I clicked on a comment from a very funny gal named Blair who has nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger award. I think that deserves a Woot!

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(Boy, I wish I could figure out how to center my photos)

Here's what you're supposed to do to pass on the award...
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each.

First, go check out Blair's blog, she will crack you up (and we have the same couch).

Now, seven things about moi:
1. My father is a specialist in death investigations.
2. I have naturally curly hair that I straighten with a flat iron.
3. I could never be on the Amazing Race because I am deathly afraid of heights.
4. I love Disney World and make the trek to Orlando every other year.
5. We like to say that "Our Song" is Who Let the Dogs Out (after almost 9 years, I don't even remember why) but our real song is, "Where Are You Going" by DMB
6. When I was a security trainer, I had a shoplifter pull a gun on me.
7. I don't like to talk on the phone.

Here are my 7 nominees, please go check them out:
1. My friend and former neighbor Christy@Beach Brights. She has helped me loads getting this blog up and running! I continue to be awed by her projects, and have been one of us lucky bloggers to see her house in person!
2. Sheri@The Shades of Pink. Her ongoing series on how she and her husband met is so romantic. It reads like a novel...a must see.
3. Phyllis@AroundtheHouse. I just discovered this blog, but her table settings are to die for! I love her use of color and patterns.
4. Cindy@Cottage Instincts. She wrote a post about being happy with what you have and not always longing for someone else's perceived perfection. It really spoke to me. Lovely lady.
5. Holly@Life in the Fun Lane. All of her white decor is GORGEOUS! I am using some of her ideas in my dining room. You have to go check her out for the slipcovers alone! She is a style maven.
6. Nelson's Mom@MyBoyNelson. Nelson's Mom Devry is another 3D friend- we attended the same Sunday School class. She is a hoot and gave me the idea for the door that is hanging in our playroom (will be featured in an upcoming post). She got the idea from #7....
#7. Nester@TheNestingPlace: Originator of the door idea. Her blog is the gold standard and what we all aspire to be. Plus, she is super talented and just a nice gal!

I like awards. They make me happy. Thank you Blair!

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Trimapalooza!

10.26.2009

Our wainscoting project is done! As Mater would say, D-U-N done! Marc really tore it up on this project. It is very comforting to know that if the whole testing missiles thing does not work out, he will be able to make a living as a painter. He is really good at it. And I did touch up! I promise that I was not being a total lazabout, I kept the kids out of his hair Saturday night by taking them to the local botanical garden Halloween party, something that I will never ever ever do again. And Sunday, I repainted an upstairs wall that was the scene of a spectacular recent decorating FAIL. To be honest, after UT losing to Bama in the last four seconds of the game Saturday night, I am glad that I WASN'T here!

I am so happy with the finished product, that I am entering it in Metamorphosis Monday! Click on the link to see other Before and After entries:

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During construction:

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When we moved in:

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Trim Only:

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Big Reveal!

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Plain (after the trim, before the paint):

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Wow!

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Scuffed up (I don't have any photos of the plain staircase wall, unfortunately):

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Shiny:

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Mr. Painter hard at work:

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While we are talking trim, I am going to let you in on a trim secret. Do you want elaborate crown, but are working with a tight budget? Our builder in Tullahoma put a piece of crown flush to the ceiling and then about 3-4 inches below, put another thin piece of trim. The painters painted all three sections, the crown, wall, and trim white and gave it the appearance of double crown molding, but not the cost! Just wanted to share!

Thanks to Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Met Monday! To check out her very interesting and crafty blog, go here:

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If you want to read about the beginning of the wainscoting project, Go Here.

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The Easiest DIY Project Ever

10.25.2009

If you have small children, then you are already well aware that kids love to make stuff. Paint, draw, color, cut, my children come home from school pretty much every day with an art project. And I love it because I know it won't be like this forever. They are so proud of their creations and want to show them off. Rather than my fridge looking like an overlapping explosion where you cannot truly appreciate what they made, I like to display them a little more creatively. Read on.....

For this project, you will need:

6 ft of ribbon (bright patters contrast well with a wall)
1 package of plain clothespins (plain to not overshadow the art)
Two flat push pins (flat so small fingers cannot easily pull them out)

It is ridiculously easy and really needs no instruction. You basically just tack up your ribbon, and then use the clothespins to attach the art. I hung mine at their eye level so they can see their masterpieces. I chose 6 feet because that is how much room I had available in the playroom, but if you want to do longer for more space, you will need to tack the ribbon every few feet. Otherwise it will droop. I like to use the tacks because they will leave a smaller hole. The ones in the photos are from Pottery Barn.

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Total Cost: $4.50

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Wainscoting

10.24.2009

...is spelled with only one T. Spell check kept nailing me on it and I tried several different combos and gave up for awhile until my friend spelled it correctly for me. Thanks, Aubree!

I love trim. I love chair rails (but not super tiny ones in huge rooms, that just looks punky). I love bead board, wainscoting, beauty boxes, elaborate window trim, tray ceilings, double crown, you name it. I have never met a piece of trim I did not like (except for the punky chair rails). But (and here is where I expose my Type A-ness) I like my trim to be white. Glossy white. David on Color Splash painted a couple's lovely trim lime green last week, and I was horrified!

Anyhoo, I am talking about trim today because we are currently in the process of adding some wainscoting to our foyer and staircase. The standard paint that our builder used was flat. Noooooo!!!!!!, I can hear you say. Flat, as I am sure everyone knows, is wicked hard to clean. You cannot clean it. But to change paint, they would have charged us an addition 2 grand out of pocket. And if you have been reading this blog, you already know that we are thrifty. So we said no, and it has bitten us in the tushes.

The staircase was beat up the first week that we were here. The movers (and I am not complaining because they worked their TAILS off in hot July weather) beat it up pretty good. There was this one guy, who was drenched in sweat, just covered in it. And every time he would go up the stairs, he would leave sweat smudges up the wall. I admit, it was kind of yuck. Since then people have scratched and brushed the wall- the yellow wall that has lots of natural light and shows every mark- and we have only been here for three months!

We called Kevin at TrimCo, who had done our original trim, and told him our problem. He recommended wainscoting. People are much less likely to brush up against the wall above the trim, and it is painted with high gloss, which is ridiculously easy to clean. Our wainscoting downstairs in 37 inches high, but we decided on a 40 inch along the stairs to make it even with the banister. As we were googling pictures for ideas, Marc liked a photo of a house that also had wainscoting in the foyer. We thought that it would tie in the trim to the dining room since all three were side by side and very open. A very nice guy from TrimCo, Jonathan, came out this week and set up shop on our front lawn. It was very interesting to watch- did you know that they make a chair rail by layering it on top of itself? And the beauty boxes have to be very precise to fit, there was a lot of measuring going on. I cringe to think of what it would look like if I had tried to DIY!

But, unfortunately, TrimCo does not paint, so you know what we will be doing this weekend. I have included some photos of the process, below. If you want to check out the finished product (I know that you are waiting with baited breath), then check back tomorrow for the big reveal!

In construction:

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What it looked like last week:

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What it looks like this morning:

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Completed Project Photos Coming Soon!!!

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Turning a Fail into a Win!

10.23.2009

I have kept the Fail Whale away for another week!

Remember my owl disaster (I was trimming the print down to fit my frame and I trimmed too much)?:

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With the help of Hobby Lobby and a $22 matte, I was able to turn it around!

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And my decoupaging disaster? I have no Before photos, it was just that bad. The nice thing about framing calendar pages (one of my design secrets) is that if you mess up, then you have eleven more! So I tossed the ruined pages, headed to my favorite place (Hobby Lobby, as I am sure you guessed) picked up three brown mattes at $1.50 each, and some pink ribbon, 50 percent off. I framed them in Dollar General frames for $3.50 each, and look! look! :) These are for Alexa's bathroom:

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So, the moral of the story is Don't Give Up. When you encounter a decorating disaster, step back, lick your wounds for a few days, and then do some brainstorming. And remember, Google is your friend. If it happened to you, then it probably happened to someone else. I have found some great decorating ideas from other people's decorating fails turned wins!

Procrastinator's Challenge: Part Two

10.22.2009

While the kids and I were at Zumba this evening (and I have the sore feet and blisters to prove it!), my wonderful husband, instead of relaxing after a full day of work like he deserved, finished Cooper's closet. I am a couple of days late for the

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...but all good things are worth the wait, right?

First, before:

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And now.......drum roll.........After!

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Cooper was like, "Yay. Cool." But I know that he was giddy with excitement inside! The great thing is that there is plenty of space and room for him to grow. Thanks again to Melissa for hosting this great challenge!

And while I have you, let me toss in a bonus picture! I am really happy with the way Alexa's closet turned out. As you can see, it is very similar to Cooper's, just a bit "girl'd up":

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Again, what I love about these closet organizers (Rubbermaid from Lowes), is that they are easy to change as the kids get older and our storage needs change. And the best thing? Every closet in our house is now complete. *YogaGal cheers!* Well, except one of our shelves in the master needs a new veneer strip. Sigh.

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