1.31.2012

Imagine the Impossibilities Party: Guest Room

 In anticipation of this party, I kicked myself into high gear and updated the guest room.  
The walls received a fresh coat of paint and one wall was accented with a stencil pattern.
The hand me down furniture received some color with Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Duck Egg Blue.
I finally was able to use my Pottery Barn sconces that I got off eBay.
I pulled the painting from a pile of junk at Grandpa's and used it here.
The mirror is from IKEA and used to be in the bathroom before the remodel.  I've been using the new vanity table in the mornings and feel like a princess.
The ottoman/stool was taken from the living room and fits under the vanity perfectly.  I am planning on making a fabric slipcover.
The bedding was all reused just because I like it.  The sheets are Martha Stewart in lavender gingham.
The quilt is queen size used as bedspread.  It is Pottery Barn with linen and cotton blend.  It becomes softer after each use and leave a big lint ball in the dryer behind! I purchased it off eBay.
The bedskirt is new from Shabby Chic in Target.  Love this skirt.  I have the same one in my master.
So sometimes a challenge is all that one needs to kick things into gear.  I have some more things to do in the room, but I am pleased that I was able to get this far!
Next on list:
Build wood shelves in closet for linens
Trim window and add curtains
Add full length mirror
Add mirror over vanity
Add basket for blanket storage

Thanks for the party!

1.24.2012

Guest Room: Painted Furniture with Chalk Paint

I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with the furniture in the guest room.  I purchased the dresser from an antique store years ago, the headboard I bought at a garage sale soon after and the vanity table was taken from my parent's home recently.  I had painted and distressed the dresser and vanity white years ago, but I wasn't sure if that was the look I was going after for this room.
After I stenciled the wall, with a burst of late night energy, I dug into my paint supply and brought out the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue.  I had wanted to use it for the desk in the pool house but that didn't work out as planned.
Late last Saturday night, I started painting the vanity table.  I loved the deep, rich teal blue.  (Check out the Ballard Design catalog and the teal walls!)  
What I wasn't sure of what the texture of the paint.  It is very matte and very chalky.  I painted the dresser and called it a night.
 
On Sunday, I decided to wax over the pieces with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.  I rubbed it on with the brush and quickly wiped it off.  It gave it a deeper finish.  What I wasn't happy with was some of the brush marks.  I tried to sand the piece, but it only made the finish chalky, more so without wax, but some with the wax.  I then mixed a little paint on a dish with about a tablespoon of water, so it made almost a wash.  I brushed that all over the pieces and let it dry.
This is where I became satisfied. I quickly painted the headboard in the same fashion and knew I was pleased with how it all looked. I would use ASCP again. I'd add a little bit of water to make it not so thick going on.  What is great about it, is that no primer, no sanding needed.  It goes on fast and dries very quick.
For kicks, this is what the room looked before.  Total Hot Mess.
And now I walk in here and use the space in the morning.  Who says it only has to be used with guests?  I sit at the vanity table and put my makeup on, walk to the dresser and pick out my jewelry.  I smile to myself when I walk into this room. 
I have some more to do.  Curtains, Mirror, Closet update, Throw Pillows....
You'll notice I moved some things from the other bedroom into here, the necklace hooks, the lamp, the jewelry organizers.
I used Rub N Buff in Silverleaf over the handles.  They had already been washed in white paint, so I dabbed some Duck Egg paint on them and then used the Rub N Buff to highlight them. Very Chic, no?

1.22.2012

Guest Room: Stencil Wall

I busted a serious move this weekend and worked non-stop on the guest room.  
My stencil came back out and I gave it a college try again.  Here's a peak at all the other madness that's been going on too.
Truth be told, I wasn't jumping for joy when the wall was stenciled, but Hubs encouraged me to wait until everything else in the room was pulled together.  I am a highly visual person and at first look I tend to make quick decisions.  Knee jerk like.
I ended up working on a whole lot of stuff while "using what I got".  
The furniture ended up getting painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...more on that later in the week.
My stencil was from Cutting Edge Stencils.  
I ordered this bad boy up in hopes of using it in the office, but you all know how that went
So first thing, I top coated the wall color Friday night.  Giving the whole room a clean, scuff free base.
On Saturday morning, the stencil went up.  
I used White Dove by Benjamin Moore in Matte finish.  It's what I had on hand.
 The stencil process goes by relatively fast, but to do this one wall did take me about 4-5 hours.  I would roll on and replace the stencil about 4 times.  After that, the stencil gets tacky and I could tell it was time to rinse it.  I put mine in the bathtub and power sprayed the paint off.  I would then lay it down on a bath towel and pat it dry.  I did this I think 4 or 5 times while stenciling the wall so that is what caused some down time.  Well that and the fact I wanted to eat lunch, read some blogs, blah blah.  So 4-5 hours with a little puttering going on.
 At this point, walking into the room from the hallway, I was pleased.  It looked good.  It looked like wallpaper and gave the room some life.  I will tell you I have major OCD when it comes to symmetry.  It's really bad.  I should have done a mock up of where the stencil would run across the wall and adjusted so that it would have been perfectly spaced.  I had bent the stencil so that I could run the pattern all the way to the edge.  I hated it.  It wasn't crisp and I almost threw in the towel wanting to paint right over the whole thing. In the end, I painted over the stencil on the very far right of the wall.  You can see it in the first picture.  I ended up leaving a little bit of wall color around the left side and right side of the wall.   It's a personal preference and I just like it better that way.  OCD rules.
 I wish I had a three day weekend, but manic Monday approaches.  Have a great one.
P.S. The painting is from Grandpa's.  I found it laying around and it's the one thing that I took so far that didn't make it into the garbage.  I had no idea how great it would look in this room.  I thought I was going to put it in my office, but the colors, the theme, the frame, everything fits in this room.  It's signed MARIO. That's my Grandpa's name too.  He jokes that he painted it.  I know better.

1.17.2012

Office: IKEA Alex Storage Drawers

While in Philadelphia before Christmas, Hubs and I stopped off at IKEA to buy the storage pieces I'd been eyeing for the office.  I was initially interested in another drawer unit, but once I saw it, it wasn't as beefy and sturdy as this one.  I decided to splurge and buy the tall Alex until along with the two Expedit bookshelves.  While this unit had what felt like a bazillion pieces to put together, I am VERY happy with it.  The drawers roll smoothly, it matches the Expedit shelves and holds everything I wanted it to.  Warning though- The unit is HEAVY.  I tried to shimmy it myself across the room and it was a battle.
 All my Cricut supplies in one place.
I bought these utensil organizers on the clearance rack in Lowes.  Love the chrome and they fit the Alex drawer perfectly.
 A place to keep all my scissors and other large items.  Love that belt hole punch.
 Sewing supplies for the machine and serger.
What is nice about the unit is that there are 5 shallow drawers and 4 deep drawers.  I was able to fit my office supplies in the deep drawer.

Again, so happy everything has a place.

1.15.2012

Office

Hope you all had a great weekend.  It's COLD here in NJ so it's perfect to get all those indoor projects done.  My office space is close to done and I've been keeping it nice and tidy for the last week.  You all shared my pain when I hated the stenciled wall and decided to quickly paint over it.  Yikes, talk about a bummer, but I am in complete love with the new space. 
Soothing sage green wall paint- just because I love this color.
White Ikea Expedit shelving- best invention.
Lots of Ikea Kassett storage boxes- overstuffed with everything from CDs to fabric.
Tall Ikea Alex storage drawers- keeping all my sewing, office and craft supplies.
Binders for filing paperwork- because it works for me.
Books all in one place- they've been sitting in a closet for many years.
Color coded because I'm silly like that.
Sleek Modern Target Lamps- bought on a whim.
Ikea Dokument Paper Trays- because I pile before I file.

Right now I like the simple lines of everything, but over time I'll add some drapes and some wall art.
My big table is perfect for cutting fabric, wrapping presents and of course sorting through paperwork.
 It's my very favorite spot to blog too!








A place for everything and everything in its place.

1.14.2012

Purging the Clutter, Keeping the Memories

I worked up at Grandpa's house again today.  We sorted enough stuff to put another 12 bags, boxes of books and a pile of metal to the curb.  The "scavenges"(that is what he calls them) came to pick through the garbage by mid afternoon and the curb was only left with some bags, cardboard and full blown trash.

Over the last few weeks, I can see Grandpa's attitude change.  His spirits are just a tad happier and I chalk that up to less clutter in his life.  Today when I walked in, the dining room table was spotless.  It was shinny, nothing but a candle in the center.  The chairs were pushed in and not a piece of junk was spotted.

I couldn't believe it.  For as long as I can remember, there was always junk on it.  I know how easy it is to have stuff pile on the table.  It you saw mine right now, I'd be embarrassed.  Tables are notorious for being catchalls.

Grandpa was so proud and I was so proud of him.  He said he is finally using the spare bedroom as an office, just as he always intended it to be.  There is a desk and filing cabinet in there!

That's me and Grandpa.  How do you like the bowl cut, like I am a boy?  My mom never let me grow my hair long until I was 5.  I think she got fed up with it then too, because soon after all my other pictures I have short hair again.

I am blessed with the time that I am spending with Grandpa.  We are sorting through junk, but also coming up on old pictures, that stir up all kinds of memories.  Those pictures, those memories are what matter.  All the stuff in between just turns into garbage at some point and I'd rather leave it to the "scavenges" anyway.

1.13.2012

Window Trim- Office

I have wanted to do this for a really long time!

Trimmed out window!  Sigh.  Breathe. Huge Smile.
Eventually we'll be getting new windows and I'll trim them out proper with wood inside the frame and thicker wider moldings.  BUT for now...a little change.
My sills are not coming out right now, but 1x2 poplar trim boards matched up pretty good on the sides and a 1x3 across the top.  Much better.

You can check out where I started when I decided to repaint and decorate my office space.  I'll be sharing the office reveal over the weekend.  Love my Expedits.  Love the paint color. and I scored two great lamps from Target- Love that place.  Talk to you over the weekend.  Hope you rock it!






1.12.2012

Sharing a Little

Joining on in from my gal friends blog. (My Nanny used to say that).
Learn a bit about me and share some about you.  Post your link in the comments.


current guilty pleasure: Chai Tea with extra milk and cream.
current nail color: Spackle and Paint.
current playlist: Lots of The Band Perry
current read: How Starbucks Saved My Life, Michael Gates Gill
current drink: Water. Blah.
current food: Potato Cauliflower Cheese Soup
current favorite show: Pickers
current wish list: Toasty Puffy Coat
current needs: Clean House- Purge it Baby
current triumphs: Lots of laundry done tonight
current bane of my existence: Finding great pair of jeans
current celebrity crush: Oh come on, has to be Clooney
current indulgence: Cheese and Wine before dinner, new thing.
current blessing: Hubster
current outfit: Mustard yellow boatneck top and dark rinse jeans (they are too long)
current excitement: Weekend!
current mood: Indifferent.  I was grumpy about 30 minutes ago!
current link: Meeting new friends at this party

1.10.2012

Kick It into Gear Party- Updating the Guest Room


I'm joining Linda. I'm scared.  It's not like I don't have a handful of other projects going on, but I desperately need to get my guest room organized and beautified.  I've been talking about it way too long and it just makes me sad when I walk by...so here it goes.  On a plan to kick it into gear and get 'er done.

The room is teeny tiny, like 10x10, but the closet juts into the room killing some precious space.

I want to do a wood/trim treatment on the walls.  Not sure yet what.
I want to paint over the blue ceiling and go all out plum purple and yellow in this room...but then I really like purple and navy too.  Decisions.  Decisions.

The dresser drawers on the bed are from an unmatched dresser that has since been moved out of the room desperate for a new place in the home.  The dresser on the back wall matches a vanity table and headboard that I have.  I just need to decide on paint colors and quick.  I am also toying with the idea of getting a trundle bed, but the funds just may not support this.
 This piece of trim has been flapping in the breeze for about I don't know 3, 5 years now.  
I finally dragged the compressor into the room.  Like it was so heavy!  
My closet is a home for lost items.  Luckily there is not a lot in there, but I do want to eventually take the wire shelves out, install full width wood shelves and maybe take the door off.  Maybe.  I want to store blankets, linens, etc neatly folded in here.  We'll see.

Can I do it?  I need help.  What do you envision? 

1.09.2012

Inspiration: Be Your Self


I know I'm due to post some pictures showing the progress of the craft/sewing/office room, but I happened upon this and just had to share.  I have young women in my life that I wish I could shout out loud to that this is truly what it is all about.  Forget the boys, forget the clothes, forget the chatty friends.  If I knew then how true this simple little quote is...Pass it on.

1.08.2012

2012: Simplify


Simplify. That is my word for 2012. Nothing spectacular, used I am sure 1,000 times by others, but I am in the mood to bring it down a notch. Keep it simple. Delete. Simplify.

This morning started out lazy. Up around 9am and warmed to a bowl of oatmeal. Coupons were clipped and email was checked. Because the weather is warm and lovely here this weekend, Hubs and I decided to take a late morning run. It's been a long while for me. Gosh. I think since maybe September or October. I've been caught up in a lot of family drama, home projects and day to day work that running was put on the back burner. Way back like I had to dig my sneakers out of the closet. Not to mention, the weather got cold.

The run today was hard, but great at the same time. The wind was blowing and I had to pull my hands into my sleeves to keep them warm. I ran until my legs would no longer go any more. I didn't even wear my Garmin to track my heart rate or tell my time. It was "deader than a door nail" when I tried to power it up. Shrug, who cares. Simplify. Who needs a heart monitor every single time. Just run.

I powered myself up with a protein shake and off Hubs and I went. The sun was bright, the air crisp. My mind was clear. My iPod played a shuffle of The Band Perry, Avett Brothers, Bruce, Amy Grant and The Band. Wacky Mix, but hey, shuffle it up baby.

After a quick lunch, I checked blog land and saw that I had a bunch of comments on my post about getting rid of things...strikes a lot of us. Join me and simplify your life. Day by day, bit by bit.

P.S. Did you love Little House books as much as I?

The Lettered Cottage

1.07.2012

Get Rid of the Clutter



Wowza what a week.  A short work week but jam packed none the less.  My brain hurt by the time this morning rolled around.

I've been tackling little projects here and there.  I still have the bug the declutter my closets.  I tell ya, working at Grandpa's sure put things in perspective.  If I'm going to end up throwing it all in the trash one day, what is the point!

Grandpa and I tossed 16 more bags worth of junk into garbage bags today.  Such a trooper.
These were the 3 questions he kept asking out loud:
How many things does one person need?
Where did you find THAT?
Do you want it? (cracked up every time)

When it came time to sift through things that were of sentimental value, I could tell he had to really think about some things, but in the end, it went into the garbage.  He knew he had the memories and the items were just collecting dust, taking up space and not being used anymore.

We are almost out of the TOSS phase of this clean up project.  Next is to pack up items for donations and then deep clean the joint.

P.S. I sent 4 more bags to the Goodwill out of my own closets this week and pitched two bags into the trash.