Organization: Letting Go

My grandfather is moving out of his home and Hubs and I helped clean house this weekend. The motto of the day was Let It Go.  I am so proud of Grandpa because he held back nothing. He's lived in his house for over 50 years and has been widowed taking care of it himself for the last 25.  Needless to say, there was a lot of garbage, Goodwill and cleaning to do.  Hubs took a first stab at the yard and Grandpa and I tackled the inside.

14 contractor garbage bags later we called it a day.  Grandpa was my inspiration today to look forward, not hold on to things and just remember the good memories.  Once home to my own house tonight, I marched right into the hall closet and cleaned out 3 junk bins.  Old things I thought were keepsakes.  They were just space hoarders.  Grandpa taught me today that it is ok to LET IT GO.  While we have much more work to do, it was a great first step.

Hope you embark on your own organization goals in 2012.


Power of Paint: Craft Room

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.  Hubs and I spent the first part of the week enjoying some R&R in Philadelphia.  A few days away, eating great food, shopping and spending some quality time together was a perfect start to a very busy holiday weekend.  We stayed at the Hotel Palomar right near Rittenhouse Square...I highly recommend.  It was my best experience staying at a hotel, ever.  The rooms were extremely clean, modern and very stylish.  The staff was exceptional and the food was delicious.

So I have a huge problem of starting a project right when I have a thousand other things to do. I decided I wanted to redo my craft/sewing space.  I purchased a stencil, slapped some white paint on the walls and decided to give the stenciling a whirl.  Here is what happened.


I loved it.  I hated it.  I was torn what to do next.  I took a night of rest and decided I had a love hate relationship with how it turned out.

I loved the stencil.  I loved the effect of wallpaper it gave.  While it wasn't exactly easy to do, it wasn't nearly as hard as hanging wallpaper.

I hated the yellow.  I thought the other walls were too blah in the rest of the room.  The new white IKEA Expedit shelving just didn't look great against it.  The yellow cast a dreary color on the shelving, in all kinds of light.

In a fit of flurry, I busted out my trusty sage colored paint (used in the Laundry Room and Bathroom) and rolled right over that lovely stenciling.  I was anxious, but when I stood back,  I knew I was back in love with the room.

Right now I am in the middle of painting all the walls and assembling the last shelving unit. Check back to see how it turns out.  AND...I have high hopes to stencil again, but with a much more muted paint pallet.


Music Studio: Sound Treatment

Ok, this is a little bit of change from what I typically blog about, but I just have to share. Mainly because I think it is starting to look awesome and there just isn't a lot of inspiration when you Google the web.

Hubs is doing a little bit (ok, a lot of) sound treating to his basement studio.  You see, he's a musician.  When he comes home from cutting down really big, humongous, scary, I tell him to be careful type of trees every day, he putters away at making music in his man cave.

It was about time that he kicked things up a notch and treated the space.
What did that entail?  Well, for one, he is a research-aholic, so he found that Aurlex would give him a mock up of what it would take to treat his room and what materials it would require.

After a few weeks of working it out, all the material arrived.
To say I was less than thrilled is an understatement...just because the material was ugly, boring, and I can't believe this is what all the fuss was about.

Hubs was right there with me and had all these ideas of what to do to make the material not look so blah.
He has great vision, but I on the other hand, need to see the end result.

After a lot of testing and trial and error, he found the perfect paint to cover the plastic T fusers. It's a coppery brown that does add a bit of space age feel to the room, but I think they look night and day better than the blah white they came in.

Each one did take a whole can of spray paint to cover, but I think it was totally worth it.  So for all you music makers out there, stay tuned...
More to follow on the studio soundproofing.  A month long project with a lot of DIY!


Sewing Room: Inspiration

All this sewing I have been doing has me craving an organized space.  
Take a look at these fabulous rooms.

I don't have a fabric stash like this, but I am loving this ironing table.  
What a great space to spread out the goods and iron away.

Share me some Expedit love.  I am seriously considering hopping in my car and loading these bad boys up.

Source: google.com via Casey on Pinterest


Sewing: Chair Cushions

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving! 

I've gotten a second wind and finished one of the cushion sets that I am working on.  
I have a big ole pile of coordinating fabric and this zebra print is the one I decided on very last minute.  
I love it.  It's fun and just the look I was going after.
I got smart after attempting this cushion for the third time.  
I used a seam ripper and carefully tore apart the existing cushion cover. 
 I traced it onto my new fabric and meticulously (hahahaha) mirrored the original.  
Luckily this print hides my sewing imperfections, but overall, it's fabulous.
 I spruced up my hand made sign from a cabinet door with a fresh coat of bright, fuchsia spray paint.  
I think this little project has HUGE impact and all for a few bucks for the paint.
 Onward to the 9 other cushions I have to whip up! Anyone want to help?


Painting a Desk- Update

I am very happy to tell you that my disaster of a desk has had a turn for the better.  I almost threw in the towel on this project, but a little more elbow grease and lots of patience, I was able to salvage this little beauty. I used the citrus stripper on the desk over the course of a week.  I just kept painting it on, letting it sit for an hour and then scraping it off.  I got to the point where it looked like it was ready to sand, but I quickly found out that that there was this sticky residue that clogged up my sanding pads.  Back to research....right on the back of the bottle, it tells you to use odorless mineral spirits.  Off to Home Depot.
I rubbed the mineral spirits all over the desk top, let it dry and then sanded away, first using a course grit paper, then following up with a fine grit.  I almost decided to nix the painting and stain the desk top, but quickly came to my senses that this wasn't the look I was after.

I had made a run to our Benjamin Moore dealer over the weekend to get a few gallons of paint for other projects and decided on a last minute whim, to get a teal blue mixed up in a pint sample.  It is the perfect shade and way more than I ever needed for this desk top.  To my delight, the paint goes on like butter.  I love Ben Moore paint, no idea why I ever skimp in this area.  Laziness sometimes.
Benjamin Moore 2052-40 Blue Spa at MyPerfectColor

Benjamin Moore 2052-40 Blue Spa at MyPerfectColor

To prep the desk top, after sanding, I wiped it down to remove the dust with a very lightly dampened rag.  I let it dry then sprayed on Kilz oil based primer.  I never used this before and I was very iffy at first, but you know what?  Total time saver.  Good coverage and went on quick.  I had to make sure I shook the can extra long though because at first it started to come out a little thick.

I let the primer dry according to the directions, I think it was just under 2 hours, then lightly sanded with a 320 grit sanding block which I ran under water and rung out beforehand. The primer did have this sort of chalky texture to it, but once sanded it was super smooth.  I then mixed in Floetrol to my paint and used a large Purdy brush to apply the colored paint.  I did end up doing two light coats, one right after the other.  I was getting a little damp out and if I had mustered up a little more patience, I would have waited a day to put on the second coat.  However, I did do another light sand a day later with 320 grit sanding block and then adding a third coat and the color turned out just beautiful.  I am going to let it dry real good and then I will be top coating it with polycrylic (first time ever using it).  I'll let you know how it goes!

Oh, see the mess...making cushions, moving furniture...love the yellow mirror in here.  Soon it will all come together.  See how the turquoise desk picks up the pond in the painting?  Fun surprises like that make my day.


Jewelry Organization

Sometimes I get an idea in my head and just try it out...live with it.  I was in a deep clean mode this weekend in our bedroom.  Getting all the dust bunnies out, ironing all the clothes, making a pile for Goodwill, putting winter linens on the bed...the whole nine yards.

I've wanted a place where all my jewelry could be in one place as well.  Wow, I didn't even realize how much I had until I did this.  I love costume jewelry, the funkier it is, the more I like it.  I have lots of hand me down necklaces and earrings from my grandmother too.  They don't make costume jewelry like that anymore!  She even made many of the beaded necklaces that I have.
I put all of my bracelets in the tiered stand that I purchased from Ikea last year.  My earrings are in little white dishes that I bought at the Christmas Tree Shop (must get some more of those. They have so many uses).  My necklaces are hung on a hook set that I repurposed from my bathroom.
Also, We have shoes scattered all over the house and in an effort to keep them in one place, I pulled out these shoe organizers that I had in one of the closets.  They are dated and from one of the big box stores many years ago.  They aren't the greatest looking of pieces, but I wanted to see what the space was like with them.  If I decide I like this set up, I would beef them up with trim and a top shelf.

In the midst off all of those black shoes, I have a pair of ruby red ones.  Don't judge.  I wear them often.

So for now, I am deciding if I like this set up...Happy Monday to you.


Painting a Desk- Disaster

What happened?
I think it could have been a couple of things.
Cheap spray primer over the chalk paint.
Damp drying conditions.
Bad luck.
Testing my faith in painting furniture.

I went to lightly sand to apply a second coat of the turquoise paint and it started peeling up in large chunks.
I then decided to just strip the top down and start over.
Here is the in process view of using the paint stripper and the many coats that came up.
If there is any silver lining in this debacle...I can smooth out some of the imperfections that I didn't care about before and add a coat of glossy paint back on.


Painting a Desk

Today has been one of those two step forward and two steps back kinda of days.  I actually feel like it has been that kind of week.  But hey Enjoy Life, right?

I've been working on this desk for months.  My husband and I swapped desks and I knew I wanted to paint this one.  I had intentions of distressing it and putting on some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I may be the only one in blog land that doesn't LOVE this paint.  I mean I like it...I can envision it on some great pieces of furniture, but I just didn't like it on this desk.  I tried to distress the heck out of it thinking I may like it more.  Instead it just looked beat up.

So anyway, after I picked up my rattan set and knew I was going for a fun, bold color type of room, I decided to scratch the Annie Sloan Paint and go all out color and gloss.  Hubs encouraged me to go for it.

Two cans of white spray primer.  I used what I had, either from Depot or Lowes.

 Primer over the chalk paint.  I then spray painted the legs in White Gloss.  The desk top I wanted to be bold.  I toyed with yellow or turquoise and this is what won.  Of course, you know there is always some drama, I only had one can of my favorite Bahamas Sea.  I thought no problem, coat it up and go pick up some more.  Do you know I can't find it ANYWHERE?
So, I ended up getting a quart of semigloss mixed up as a close match in Home Depot.  One coat went on today and I'll see how it looks with another coat tomorrow.  Oh the drama....and P.S. I spent most of tonight fitting my box cushion and then using my seam ripper to tear it up.  I decided I wanted a snugger fit, so I am adjusting my seam allowance.  I'll share how I figured out what 5/8 vs. 1/2 means....


Sewing: Box Cushions with Zippers

Here are some in progress shots of my madness.  The room is an absolute mess, but it seems like every room in my house this week is a mess.  Does that happen to you?  You just walk around the laundry baskets, push the papers around the desk, don't feel like putting away the crock pot that has been cleaned on the counter for days?  It is one of those weeks.  I think it's the daylight savings...threw me all off and put me into hibernation mode.  Dark out at 5pm...totally throws my world off and I want to crawl into bed.

You can spy the fabric combos that I am using.  Plan is to cover the couch in the green with yellow and turquoise accents. I want to cover the chairs in the bolder prints.

I am still tweaking the cushions a I want to get rid of that ripple in the middle.  I am going to see once I sew the bottom panel if the cushion tightens up or if I need to add batting or maybe even alter my seam allowance.


Sewing: Box Cushions

I have been heads down learning how to sew box cushions for a rattan set that I picked up off Craigslist.  It has been fun.  It has been frustrating.  I have had "ah hah" moments and moments that I wanted to chuck it all in the garbage.

I ended up getting a new sewing machine and I've asked myself why I didn't do that sooner.  It is as smooth as butter and has a gazillion things it can do.  Absolutely Love It!

I've referred to this post at Sew Mama Sew about 100 times this weekend while I learned how to make piping  (so much easier than how I used to do it), insert a zipper (woohoo) and fit the box cushion.

I am going back to my hole to sew some more...
Here is a little inspiration while I get the nerve to share my goods and share my trials. Talk to you later.

Source: hgtv.com via Casey on Pinterest


Pool House- Redecorating

So I think I have finally settled that the pool house is going to be full of bright, cheery, put a smile on, colors.  The yellow mirror started it all. This is very different that my home, which is more simple, neutral and calming.  But I am loving the inspiration I've come across.

I want to paint my desk like this:

Tomorrow I am off to pick out fabric to reupholster cushions on a rattan sofa and chair set I picked up.
I got my color inspiration from Halloween candy wrappers....imagine that.


Changes- Yellow Mirror and Furniture Swap

My yellow mirror turned out even better that I expected.  
Isn't it such a fun color?  I'll be moving this into my new office space soon.
You see in the mirror reflection a comfy, cozy leather chair.  I robbed it from the man cave.  Well, technically Hubs had it shoved to the side of the basement and I quickly asked "Oh you aren't using that down here?  (Batt eyelashes.) Can we move it upstairs?"
I got rid of my HUGE chair and a half.  The old Craig is getting this listed soon.

 This is now my very favorite spot to sit and read by the fire.  Hubs and I sit in this room after dinner and talk about the doings of the day.
 P.S. I took the lamp from the basement too (and didn't even ask this time).  Too bad he noticed.


Belt Hole Punch

The littlest things make me happy.  I love the fact that we can Google just about anything and find a solution.

Case- I wanted to punch another hole in my belts as opposed to buying brand new ones.
Solution- Purchased Leather Hole Punch at Michael's with 50% off coupon for $5.50.

Grand Reward- 3 revitalized belts!

The tool was located by the leather supplies in the back of my store.  It is very easy to use, but there are no directions.  You have to loosen a little set screw to allow the punches to rotate. Select the one that matches the belts existing holes, measure, and punch away.  It is super simple and easy and takes all of 2 seconds.

Little things like this were on my to do list this weekend.


Pool House- Redecorating

I am redecorating our pool house into an office/reading room.  Hubs and I want to get more use out of the space than just using it for entertaining a couple of times a year.

When we built it, we insulated it so it's perfect for adding in some heat via a gas wall heater.
I am passing on the twin daybed and now am looking out for rattan sofa set.  I spied one on CL and scored it! I thought that might be more coastal cottage than the Ikea Ektrop sofa.  Time to get the sewing machine out and figure out how to whip up some cushion covers.

I'd like to put some shelving up for book storage and reuse a desk that I am painting and distressing.

I've been on the hunt for a black bound sisal or wool rug for months.  I found one at Lowe's but by the time I went back it was gone :(.

This is a rendering of the space that I mocked up to see how I wanted the furniture to be placed.  Ignore the colors.  I haven't mastered the computer program to glam up the space.