Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Hurricane

No, it's not really coming a hurricane. The hurricane I'm speaking of is a glass container. I can't take credit for the crafty creation below. This was actually a gift I received. With the holidays and family and work obligations, this has been a very busy month so I haven't had time to do much, if any, crafting at all. However, this was so cute and easy that I just had to share with you all.

Here's all you'll need to make this cute centerpiece:

One glass hurricane or other similar container (basically you just need enough room around the candle for the decor).
One styrofoam ball (this will be your "snow").
One pillar candle.
Mini candy canes, peppermints, or any other decoration of your choosing.

Take the styrofoam ball and run it across a kitchen grater. This will make your "snow". (Depending on the size of your container, the size of your styrofoam ball, and how much "snow" you need, one styrofoam ball may or may not be enough.) Place your candle in the bottom of your glass hurricane, and add your "snow" to desired height. Then place whatever decorative elements you've picked in the snow.

There you have it! One super easy, super cute Christmas centerpiece!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Life's a Beach

I have been busy these past two weekends painting the paneling in my basement. I can't wait to show you all! Unfortunately, that has left me very little time in the creative department. This project I completed a short time ago for the guest bedroom.

I took an old doorway curtain (you know those beaded curains that hang in the doorway itself, popular in the 60s, except this one wasn't from the 60s, it was from my high school graduation trip) made of tiny seashells and cut the wires, taking it apart. I then placed the seashells in two footed glass containers I purchased at the Goodwill. I added some other beach appropriate decor that I had lying around and WHA-LAH! Beach themed decor for my guest room. Never mind that I live more than a few hours away from the closest beach :)

Here she is in her sad before state. Can you believe I ever hung that in my room?!?

And here is my more grown-up beach decor.

Much improved. I still have TONS of shells left. I'm thinking of making a wreath but the idea of gluing all those teeny tiny seashells gives me a headache just thinking about it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thermostat Collage

I only accomplished one small home decorating project this past weekend. I was trying to enjoy the outside before it gets too cold for this southerner, so I spent time planting daffodil bulbs for next spring, raking leaves, and cleaning up flower beds. I won't bother you with a picture of the holes I dug or the leaves I raked. Trust me when I say I dug a LOT of holes. Hopefully, my hard work will be rewarded in the spring!

Here's the decor project I did accomplish. My thermostat is on a small wall going down the hallway. There is nothing else on the walls of the hall so it is kind of an eyesore. I took a bunch of random small pieces, painted them white and grouped them into a collage around the thermostat. The thermostat itself I put in a picture frame (glass removed) to kind of disguise it. The two odd shaped pieces are actually mirrors. One was picked up at Goodwill for $5, the other I've had forever from World Market. The two smaller pieces are picture frames, one from Goodwill for $1, the other from my grandma. They are a little too high to see in them, but still fun nonetheless. Here are the random pieces before spray painting.

And here is my beautiful new thermostat collage!

Doesn't it look better than a thermostat sticking out like a sore thumb?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Old Blue Chair

There's a blue [rocking] chair sitting in the sand...

Ok, so this isn't a rocking chair and it's not sitting in the sand. I stole those lyrics from Kenney Chesney. My lyrics would go something like this There's a blue chair with pretty legs! I really do love the legs on this chair. They are so unique. Here's a close up.

Aren't the front legs just gorgeous? I wish I had a real before picture. Before I had started to work on it at all that is. I hadn't decided to start a blog yet so I didn't get a "real" before picture, complete with ugly fabric and chipped paint. I paid $20 for this baby at a yard sale. A little more than I would have liked but the guy wouldn't budge. (He could probably tell how much I liked it.) This really is an old chair. I didn't just steal those lyrics for fun. The cushion was stuffed with horse hair. Here's the before picture that I do have.

Since the original cushion was stuffed with horse hair I cut a piece of thick foam to fit the seat and wrapped it in cotton batting and then muslin--should I ever decide to change the fabric the muslin will make this easier--then stapled my chosen fabric to the wooden seat frame. Then it was just a matter of spray painting the chair itself. Of course the cushion wasn't on the chair during the painting! There were quite a few colors I could have chosen to go with the fabric. I almost went with red, but decided that there's just something about a blue chair. I chose Valspar Tropical Oasis, a bright, cheery blue.

I had intentions of placing this chair in the foyer by my antique buffet to bring some color to the space. Alas, I didn't realize just how tall the buffet was until I put the chair next to it. It looked like a miniature doll chair sitting there! I'll have to find the chair another home and find another (taller) chair for the foyer. I'm thinking a slim wing back chair in a large graphic print, but finding a slim wing back at the thrift stores might be a tall order. I'll keep you posted.

I'm partying here:
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Thrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty Groove
Freshman Friday at Home Savvy A to Z
Latest & Greatest Friday at Days of Chalk and Chocolate
Nifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty Things
Debbie Doo's Newbie Party
Savvy Homemade Monday at Home Savvy A to Z
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking
Piece of Work Wednesday at Primitive and Proper
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here

Monday, November 14, 2011

Coconut Cake Recipe

This weekend I made my step-father a coconut cake for his birthday. I always give sweet treats for special occassions because who needs another tchotchke sitting around when they can have a homemade baked good instead? This recipe is my great aunt Emma's. She makes it every year for our family Thanksgiving get together. It's not a hard cake to make, but it is rather time consuming. That being said...

The first thing you'll want to do is make the 1234 cake from the back of the Swan's Down Cake Flour box. This will be your actual cake. For the icing you'll need:

1 16oz. carton sour cream
2 c. coconut
2 c. sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 8oz. carton cool whip

Mix the first four ingredients and refrigerate overnight. The next day, take half the sour cream mixture and mix with the tub of cool whip. Use the sour cream mixture for icing between the layers of the cake. Use the cool whip mixture for icing the tops and the sides of the cake. Keep the finished cake refrigerated! Easy enough?!

Tips: Be sure to make the icing the night before and refrigerate overnight. If you drizzle coconut juice/milk on the layers your cake will be more moist. Caution: the longer the cake sits the more moist it gets!

My great aunt takes and cuts the three layers in half to make six layers. I have never done this before but the cake always turns out fantastic. Well, except for the one time I forgot the baking powder...then it was more like a pound cake with coconut icing. :)

DO NOT, repeat DO NOT use dried, flaked coconut. You want to use fresh coconut for this recipe. My great aunt uses two fresh coconuts, I being the lazy smart person I am, use the frozen grated coconut and let someone else do all of the hard work. Granted, I pay more for this, but it is worth the time saved to me. I just let it thaw first and then go about my cake making business.

This cake has been a Thanksgiving staple in my family for as long as I can remember. It gets multi-generational seals of approval! You don't suppose aunt Emma gave me the recipe so that I would have to start bringing it to the Thanksgiving dinner do you?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Television stand from a ....television?

So you're probably wondering about a couple of things based on this picture. First, "What in the world am I looking at here?" Second, "You give your cat a Christmas present? Weirdo." (He is smelling of his gift, a can of cat treats. And yes my cat gets a Christmas present every year. Usually a can of cat treats!) Or maybe you're thinking, "How sweet I give my pet a Christmas gift too!" Or...maybe you've got it all figured out based on the title of this blog post. For those of use who haven't had their coffee yet today you should point your attention to the big screen television in the background.

I really do wish I had a better before picture but who says, "Hey I think I'm going to take a picture of my tv!" It's just your typical old school, 42" big screen tv, encased in a black square to make it look better. This is before flat screens were invented. I'm not even sure you can buy them like this these days. I haven't been tv shopping recently which you'll be able to see from my after shot. :) Regardless, this tv sat in my parents living room for many years. When it finally croaked it was taken to my step-father's garage where he then proceeded to take it apart because he was curious as to how it worked.

Being the thrifty and handy man he is, he then decided to make it into a tv stand. He took out the screen (and all of the inside parts of course) and cut off those sides of the box. What was the flat top to the tv box (can't be seen in the above picture unfortunately) was set on the top of the speaker part. We're getting technical here folks! He then put it on big casters so it would roll easily. When I was gifted it the speaker on bottom still looked like, well, a speaker. So I covered it up with a black curtain I got from Ross for $7.99.

Wha-lah! A tv cart was born. Best thing of all is since the bottom part was a speaker I can set my satellite receiver and dvd player below and it will still pick up through the mesh and fabric. All the cords and power wires are now hidden and if I want to put in a dvd or the satellite receiver gets ornery all I have to do is roll it out from the wall a little. Oh, and that part before about who takes a picture of their tv? Well, I did! I tried to pretty it up a little for the picture but it still a tv after all. Focus on the stand it's sitting on, not the actual tv! :)  Here is a close up of the fabric for you.

How awesome and creative is my step-father?!?

Sharing on:
Nifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty Things
Debbiedoos Newbie Party
Savvy Homemade Monday at Home Savvy A to Z
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Primitive and Proper-Piece of Work Wednesday
Perfectly Imperfect
Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

I've been a bad, bad blogger. I aim to post every Friday, but here lately life has just gotten in the way. I had two days off from work last week and my goal was to finish the second yellow nightstand and work some more on the aqua chair. Alas, I accomplished neither. Instead, since the weather was nice, I moved half a ton of river rock redoing a flower bed. Talk about a work out! (I do live in the south so the weather is nicer more often than not, but since I had willing help I wasn't about to turn down free labor!) I didn't take any before and after pictures, but the before was a bunch of weeds and the after is a bunch of rocks. :)

Last week, Laura over at Our Prarie Home awarded me the Liebster Blog Award.

Laura does a much better job explaining it on her blog, but the award is given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers (no problem here meeting that criteria!).  Liebster is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. I don't speak one word of German, so I'll just have to take her word for all the things it means.

Thank you so very much Laura! I am truly honored to be included with your other choices. Compared to those ladies I'm an amateur, but I do give myself an A+ for effort! (Ok, ok, so here lately it's more like a B-...) Being recognized and getting new followers is like hitting the lottery. You all should check out Laura's blog. The girl's funny, has some great crafting ideas, and always finds awesome treasures at "junque" stores.

To keep this award going and pass it along to other new deserving blogs, I have to recognize five other bloggers with less than 200 followers that have stood out from the crowd.

The rules for the Liebster Award are:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2.  Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3.  Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4.  Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

So, here are my 5  blogs, in no particular order:

1.  Aimee from It's Overflowing. Yes, I also gave her the Versatile Blogger award, but what can I say, I just love her blog. I was going to try to make chalk paint pumpkins like hers, but the Dollar Store was out of pumpkins and they were $5 each at Wal-mart. Booo!!

2. Barbara from 21 Rosemary Lane. Barbara has some serious decorating style. And that coffee trifle with toasted almonds...YUMMY!!!

3. Aimee from Twigg Studios. Oh, if only I could sew so I could make some of her awesome projects. Cute little fabric roses, ruffled bib necklaces. Must. Learn. To. Sew. Yes, she's the second Aimee on the list. One of my best friends is named Aimee, so it's fitting.

4. Krista from Sew Inspired. Again, must learn to sew. However, she has some great tutorials for us non-sewers. She even has an etsy shop where she sells some of her projects.

5. Andrea from Just Down the Hall. Lovely blog, lovely projects. Written in such a sweet, humble style.

So there are my 5 picks! Please go check them out. Get some ideas! Become a new follower!

Look for a new transformation tomorrow, I'm just searching for a before picture (you'll see why).


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bay Window Redesigns

In my last post I promised a picture of the bay window in my master bedroom both before the makeover and full view after the makeover. I'm here to deliver!! Here is my master bedroom bay window seat today.

Unfortunately it didn't start it's life looking this glamorous. My home has two bay window seats in it. One in the living room and one in the master bedroom. While I recognize their storage capabilties, when I bought my home they were HIDEOUS to say the least. Outdated brass hardware, huge hinges, and doors painted a different shade than the rest of the window seat, which was a different shade than the wall itself. Plus not to mention the "seat" itself was merely a vinyl tablecloth wrapped around an egg carton foam bedding thingy (not sure what they are really called!). I would have ripped them both out completely except there was no hardwood floor under either of them. Which meant taking them down was out of the question, but they were in desperate need of leaving the 1980's behind. Here is the living room bay window before.

Although today's post is about the bedroom bay window I neglected to take a picture of it before it was made over. Picture this exact same thing but no beadboard on the surrounding walls and the surrounding walls were painted sage green instead of maroon.

To start, we took off the doors and flipped them inside out so that the main part of the door was now inside the seat, but the edge of the door (which had been cut to be the same size of the hole, thereby shutting flat) was lying flat against the outside. I know I am not doing a good job explaining this! Basically take the above picture and take the front part and flip it 180 degrees so that what would have been seen from the inside above is now seen from the oustide. We then cut shoe molding to go around the edges of the holes/doors. But since there were only two in the middle and that looked a little spare we added one more square of shoe molding on either side, making 4 squares. Since we lost the means to get inside to make use of all the storage when we flipped the doors inside out, we cut a square in the top, drilled a large hole for me to use to open it, and added hinges. Now, I have to move the cushion to get into the top, but all that is stored are blankets and rarely used stuff anyway, so I don't need to get in on a regular basis.  All in all a much, MUCH needed improvement. And relatively simple to boot. Plus, I still have all that great storage!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay...

Window that is. (Don't you just love Otis Redding?) I have two bay window seats in my home. One in the master bedroom and one in the living room. Today I'll be focusing on the master bedroom window seat. I do have a picture of the very horrible and ugly seat as it was when I bought the house, but alas, I have been busy lazy and haven't uploaded it yet. Another thing I realized, I should have taken the time to hide the electrical cords in my last post! I'm not good at this staging pictures thing yet so bear with me while I learn. Here is the very barren before picture.

I will tell you that I put those pillows on there for the sake of taking the picture as they are the focus of today's makeover. They had not previously been sitting there. Going back to my less-than-perfect picture taking skills, I realize I also probably need a picture of the whole window seat and not just a zoomed in one of the pillows sitting on top. Again, bear with me! These pillows came from my Grandmother. I liked that they were all four the same size. Plus, since they were given to me by my Grandmother they were free! (Please know that I am not stealing pillows off of my poor G-ma's couch, she wasn't using them anymore.)

I cashed in Amazon gift cards and ordered my fabric. offers free shipping on orders over $35 so the fabric (and shipping) was also FREE! My mother and I measured the old pillows, ironed and laid out my fabric, then we proceeded to measure and cut out the soon to be new pillows. This project was supposed to be a sewing lesson for yours truly but I have a confession-I didn't sew a single thing on these pillows. I was too nervous that I wouldn't be able to sew in a straight line, much less sew on cording. So I let my mom do all of the hard work (*bad daughter*) while I was her glorified gopher, fetching her whatever she needed. I will say that I think she enjoyed telling me what to do. She even started calling me grasshopper. "Grasshopper, go get me those upholstery needles." "Grasshopper, hand me the seam ripper," etc. etc. Unfortunately, when I cut the old pillows open, I discovered that they were filled with poly fill and not with a pillow form. So, as gopher, I also became the glorified pillow stuffer.

As far as the actual window seat cushion goes, for this we measured the dimensions of the bay window seat area and cut a large 3" piece of foam to size. With an electric turkey carver no less. Who knew? (My mom would like to disclose that this is a trick she learned in her upholstery class and she suggests next time you have a large piece of foam to cut, you try this trick as well.) Then once again my mom did all of the hard work of sewing the pieces of fabric together. Here is the window seat now. I think it looks fantastic! Don't you? I can't wait for you all to see the complete master bedroom makeover!

P.S. In the future the mini-blinds will be disappearing, but as I am working on a limited budget they are here to stay for the time being.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Color me Yellow

My nightstand currently consists of an antique table but since painting it was out of the question (it's in great shape) I was on the lookout for another piece. Something a little taller as well. This gem was picked up at a yard sale for FREE! Yes, you read that right. (It was marked $5 but when I asked if they would go lower I was told, "Just take it and get it out of here please!" How could I refuse?) She was in pretty bad shape. She's a sewing table so her top opens on hinges. Her side opens as well. The sewing machine is missing, which is fine. Her top was also split right in two (which is why I asked the lady to go lower than $5). Here is a picture of her in her sad before state.

The white in the second picture is actually glue where I glued the top back together. Poor girl. I busted out the sander and got to work. Lots of sanding and some priming later...

I realize now that I should have wood puttied the holes in front before I primered, but at the time I still didn't know whether I was going to go with the original hardware placement or with only one hole in the middle. I just love her curvy legs!

I painted her a bright yellow to go with my color scheme and then waxed her with a dark brown wax to tone her down a touch and bring out some of her features. I opted for one knob in the middle so ended up having to drill a hole for that (you can see in the before picture that there was a piece of hardware there, but it was just tacked on with a slim tack). And here is the final product!

Isn't she pretty?

Sharing on
Savvy Homemade Monday
Coastal Charm's Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Primitive and Proper's Piece of Work Wednesday
Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking
Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Thrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty Groove

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Hello! And welcome! I've been given an award by Jane at Little House of Projects! Thank you so much Jane. I'm honored to be recognized by a fellow blogger.
The rules for this award are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave the award to you
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Send it along to 15 other bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!

Here are my seven things:
1.  I am addicted to vintage Pyrex.
2) I am also addicted to vintage Corelle (specifically the Butterfly Gold pattern, which conveniently comes in vintage Pyrex as well). Two birds with one stone!
3) My profile picture is of the court jester at Casa Rafters, my cat Baxter.
4) I am trying to learn how to sew.
5) I love to cook. Look for posts if I can remember to take a picture before I taste!
6) Did I mention my favorite store is Goodwill?
7) Almost every piece of furniture I own is second hand.

I'm passing the award along to mostly new blogs with few followers (like mine!). Otherwise, I tried to pick blogs with fewer than 50 followers. Hopefully we can help and inspire each other with our creative endeavors! (And maybe get some new followers along the way.) I found all of my picks through their awesome projects posted at the linky party on Primitive and Proper. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Custom Fabric Artwork

In my master bedroom's previous boring incarnation I had no artwork on the walls. It wasn't because I'm not a fan of pictures or because I myself am boring, but rather because as a new homeowner who spent many hours painting every room in the house I was hesitant to put holes in my freshly painted walls. However, as part of my master bedroom redo I decided I also needed artwork to adorn my walls. Artwork just makes a room look more finished. Put together. Complete. Curtains too. Have you priced artwork lately? WHEW! Break the bank. Plus, there was the additional problem of needing something that had black and yellow in it. So, as I am known to do, I decided to improvise.

I started with these canvas pictures that I picked up at the local Goodwill for around $4 each. Here they are before.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking, "What's wrong with those?" Not a thing. They are pretty enough as is, and they do have some yellow in them. It's just that they aren't really my style. At. all.

The easiest solution for custom artwork on a budget? Try fabric! I found this beautiful Waverly Good Vibrations Blackbird fabric online. It had everything I required. A modern print in yellow and black. A bonus? has an Amazon store so I was able to use swagbucks to score this fabric for free! A little pulling, tugging and stapling later...

All in all this project probably took around an hour (measure twice cut once!). It was a little work to make sure the stripes were straight but it was well worth it. And there is my custom fabric artwork!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From a dress into a...MIRROR?!?

I'm currently in the process of turning my master bedroom from boring into fantastic! My chosen color scheme is black and white with yellow accents. This mirror was transformed as a part of my bedroom makeover. This was picked up for $4 at a yardsale.

Excuse the dust under the bed in the first housekeeper clearly isn't doing her job :)

So, as you can see this mirror was painted with a finish that made it look dusty in the crevices (should fit right in then!) and the cheetah print wasn't going to work with my black and white scheme. I thought about painting over the cheetah print with arcrylic paint and attempting to do black and white pinstriping, but not being much of a painter that idea was vetoed. I decided that I would cover it with fabric. So I popped the cheetah out of the frame and set about covering it with a black and white jersey dress that no longer fit. (I had been keeping it in hopes of fitting in it again but who are we kidding here?) Since I'm still new to this blogging thing I forgot to take a picture of the dress before I sliced and diced and hot glued. But here's what's left.

While the mirror was deconstructed I also spray painted the frame a glossy back. Goodbye dusty looking frame! I popped the newly covered part back into the frame and TA-DAAA! Here's the final product. All total this redo cost me $5. $4 for the mirror and $1 for the spray paint (the $1 kind at Wal-Mart)!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No Sew Roman Shade Re-Do

My newest project involved taking a pair of curtains and a roman shade, both given to me by my grandma (if you're sensing that I get a lot of things from my grandma then you would be correct). She picked up the roman shade at a yard sale for $3. I'm not sure what she paid for the curtains but I know she purchased them at our local Goodwill.

Here is a picture of the curtains. I had them hanging in my room (and by hanging I mean I took t-pins and attached it to the window frame) for the longest time as I frankly just didn't like these curtains. Curtains make a room look so much more finished and normally I really like the look of them but for some reason these just weren't appealing to me. Maybe the fabric was just too heavy for the room or the stripes were running the wrong way. Regardless, here they are.

Not being pleased with the curtains I started thinking about my options. I thought I might try a roman shade as none of my other rooms have them (yet). Have you priced those things recently?! So, I asked my grandma to be on the lookout for a roman shade for me (again, you are probably sensing a theme) on the cheap. She found one in the right size at a yard sale. The only problem with it was that it had no color. Well, it did have a color, but I call it Boring Khaki. Neutral, but I needed a pop of color. Here it is.

So I brainstormed for a while and finally asked my Mom her opinion on taking the curtain (whose color actually did go quite well in the room) and attaching it to the roman shade, but instead of the stripes running horizontally, we run them vertically as they would have been had I been the curtain designer. A little snipping and liquid stich later we had the final product!

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Pickled" Pink No More!! Laundry Room Redo

While my laundry room wasn't terrible looking by any means, it just wasn't really working for me. The single wire shelf was great for hanging clothes to dry but it wasn't practical storage wise. I keep cleaning supplies here and my parents' pool clothes, not to mention laundry supplies. The paint color was ok, but since all of the other rooms are now various shades of neutral colors, this one stood out a quite a bit and no longer went with the vibe of the house. Here is a before picture--complete with a pair of pants hanging to dry (hey I keep it real here).

And here is the after picture.

Much better. Wouldn't you agree? Here's what I did to make this transformation happen. And all for a little less than $150! The pickled cabinets from the previous post were sanded and given a nice coat of white paint to match the base trim in the room. I spray painted the cabinet hinges a silver metallic with spray paint I borrowed from my parents. The cabinets didn't go all the way across the laundry room, so that problem was solved by installing floating shelves and placing decorative baskets on them. The idea was mine, but the installation of the shelves was accomplished by my awesome parents. The floating shelves are actually made from of a hollow core door purchased at the local Habitat for Humanity Restore for $3. (If you'll recall there were actually two sets of upper cabinets but both of them would have been too large to fit in the space so we just used the larger of the two and improvised.) I repainted the room a dark grayish-blue. The ceiling I painted a light purple. The clothes pins on the door fronts are from etsy and the purple glass knobs on the doors are from the Hobby Lobby. I even got creative and hung my ironing board on a "Laundry" sign from Hobby Lobby.  

I'll be completely honest-I'm not that happy with the wall color. I have visions of light silver walls and purple accents in here. The current wall color is just too dark. This grayish-blue is actually the second repainting of the room. The first gray I chose had too much green in it. I was almost finished painting the room when I said, "WAIT! I don't like this color, I've got to repaint it or I'm not going to be happy." So a quick run to Lowe's later and this is the color I came back with. This will have do for now as I'm not up for a third repainting. YET. Not to mention I haven't found the right silver for my "vision". 

Here's a breakdown of the costs:
$15 for the cabinets (three were purchased for $45, or $15 each)
$3 for the shelves (a hollow core door from Habitat)
$5 for the first paint color (this was an oops can at Lowe's)
$30 for the second paint color
$7 for the ceiling paint (this was plain white paint I purchased at Wal-Mart and mixed myself with a sample of purple paint I had gotten in the mail)
$26 for the decorative baskets ($13 each from Tuesday Morning)
$12 for the "Laundry" sign (form Hobby Lobby)
$12 for the cabinet knobs (3 @ $4 ea. from Hobby Lobby)
$16 for the clothespin decals (from etsy)
(the white cabinet paint I already had and the metallic silver for the hinges was borrowed)

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Sneak Peek

I had asked my grandmother to be on the lookout for some wooden cabinets for my next project. And boy did she deliver.  She picked up these SOLID WOOD cabinets for me at the astounding price of $45! But, it wasn't just one set of upper cabinets. That's right, she picked up a total of three, yes THREE, solid wood cabinets for me at the bargain price of $45--TOTAL. (Oh, how I do love thrifting!) There are two sets of upper cabinets and one lower set with a sink (a re-do with said sink piece is forthcoming). Right now the cabinets are "pickled". Which I had never heard of before, but apparently it was popular in the 80's. Perhaps we wanted our kitchen cabinets to match our acid washed jeans. No? But I digress. If you are unfamiliar with pickling, it's similar to whitewashing. Here is a picture of one set of the upper cabinets in it's current pickled glory.

And just to prove to you that they truly were $45, here is a picture of the receipt.

Stay tuned to see how I transform these pickled cabinets into something a bit more modern (and pretty!).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The piece that started it all--Great Grandpa's Chifferobe

I am a lover of antiques. Always have been. That's part of the reason for the name of this blog. You just never know what you might find between the rafters in the attic of an old house. And all of the history. Oh, don't even get me started on the history! Anyway, on to today's piece. How I do wish I had had the forethought to take a before picture all those years ago. It was in deplorable shape! Had it not had sentimental value I might not have taken on the challenge.

See, my dad bought this for me as a birthday and Christmas gift many years ago. It belonged to my great-grandpa. It dates to the 1920's or 1930's. It was a pine color, just lovely. Even then I wanted antiques and not toys! It stayed in my bedroom at my dad's house for years. Well, eventually, I all but stopped visiting on the weekends so it just languished in the corner of an unused room. A leaky roof, a broken mirror, many years and two younger half siblings later, I rescued it. I didn't have anywhere to keep it at my mom's house but I knew I had to reclaim it then or who knows what might happen to it. Since I don't have a before picture let me describe it's condition to you. The large mirror had been broken and removed, The right side of the piece (large mirror side) and the back were warped and swollen from water damage. The bottom had come off from the weight of the clothes my dad piled in it, plus it was rotting from water damage. It wouldn't sit level on the ground anymore. It was horrible. I was devastated, but I was determined I could restore it to it's former beauty.

The chifferobe sat in my Mom's basement for a few more years before I finally decided to tackle the project. Replacing the bottom and the back were relatively easy (I have a handy step-father). The side was more difficult but we were able to find a piece of wood thin enough to fit in the notched space left by the old panel. I wasn't overly concerned with the new wood matching what was already there because I knew going in that I would have to refinish it. Once the chifferobe was structurally sound I set about sanding it. I sanded all of the old finish off (quite the time consuming job let me tell you) and restained it a very dark brown color. I kept the original hardware and had a new mirror cut to fit in the space of the broken one.

It's not a perfect job. There are flaws and I now realize I probably should have put wax or polyurethane on it after I restained it. But at the time I didn't know such things even existed! I was young, I plead ignorance. Besides the flaws I see a piece that very likely would have ended up in the trash bin had I not saved it. Even my mom told me it wasn't worth the effort. But oh how glad I am that I did! Now great-grandpa's chifferobe sits in the corner of my bedroom and every time I look at it I still feel that same sense of accomplishment.  Here she is in all her glory:

Friday, August 5, 2011

My First Post--An Introduction!!

Hi there and welcome! I'm Amanda and I love nothing more than taking a piece of unloved, outdated furniture and turning it into something beautiful with a little love and creativity and LOTS of elbow grease. I want everyone to know that they can transform their home into a lovely, peaceful abode with a little patience and without spending oodles of money on brand new things. More importantly I want you to be inspired!

Most of the projects you'll see featured are from around my own home. After purchasing my first home I quickly discovered that I didn't have the budget to fill it with furniture showroom pieces. And why would I want to?!? You can find quality pieces at yard sales, thrift stores, curbside, via dumpster diving...the possibilities are endless if you just have an open mind and a willingness to try.

Hopefully the following pages will provide you with some inspiration to finish--or start-- that project that has been sitting in your garage gathering dust, or for finally mustering the courage to repaint that outdated but fabulously shaped piece in your own home!