Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tray -----> Table

Yet another project I'm working on is attempting to make the front of my house less sad looking. A lot of things I can't do anything about right now - things like siding & brick & my driveway. But everything else is on the table - landscaping, front door painting, porch decor, lighting, mailbox, house numbers, etc. Here's where I should show you a before photo of the front of my house. Um. I've got one of those somewhere. This is the first of many posts about this project so I'll dig that up & post it later. Right now, I'll just show you a quick little project I did for the front porch.

Here is a base for a side table I used to have. I bought two of the tables on clearance at Target a few years ago & the were mega cute. The problem is that the screws kept falling out & no amount of tightening them would fix the problem. Then I no longer had a place for the tables... so I dismantled them & used the legs for a make shift coffee table. That table had the same problem with the screws. They were just pointless screws. So that table was also dismantled & these went into the basement project room. That's where stuff lives until I decide what to do with it or I chuck it to the curb. When I was thinking about what kind of table to put on my front porch, an idea popped into my head for one of these bases.

My front porch is shallow, only 4 feet front-to-back... so everything I put on it needs to be smaller scale to be functional & not look stupid. I already knew which chairs I wanted but I needed something between them, for drinks & candles & stuff. The original table tops on these bases were only about 15" in diameter - pretty perfect for the space. But I no longer had the original tops, so I went looking for something else. Target has all sorts of outdoor accessories & my idea involved one the round plastic (melamine?) trays they always have this time of year. They had them in kelly green, blue, & coral colors... they were all OK but had weird patterns on the inside of the tray. I Figured I could paint or contact paper that part so I chose the green one. Then I went to grab some hooks & while passing an end-cap display, I saw this:

Oooooh, pretty. The colors are pretty & it was cheaper than the round tray I chose... $10 vs. $20. But it was rectangle, no round. Hmmmm. I really didn't think it would work on the base. But I liked it way better than the round tray so I bought it. I figured if it didn't work then I could always return it & buy the other tray.

It totally worked!! I loved it when I set it on the base, so out came the silicone adhesive & I attached them together. Forever. Or until the glue stops working.

And that is the story of my little porch table. I came up with an idea for the other table base too... but that's a post for another day.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chairs, haircuts, fraps, & naps

Oh, Monday. Who invited you to the party?

This weekend was a whirlwind of activity. Drinks & coffee with a couple of friends I don't see often, tag sailing, haircuts, Mother's Day, yard work, etc. I need another weekend to feel rested. Heh. Photo bomb!

I got a much-needed haircut. I've probably mentioned before that I hate getting haircuts. Well, that's not true. I love getting haircuts when I know & trust the stylist. Unfortunately, my old awesome stylist quit about 4 years ago & now I float around looking for someone new to fill the void. I have not found this person yet. On Saturday, I went back to an old salon where I used to get nice cuts & tried yet another new stylist. Yeah, she's been voted off the island of possibilities. I brought a picture, and not some supermodel from a magazine, a picture of ME with the haircut I want (this photo). The haircut I got (above) is not horrible but it's not right at all. And that was after she finished and I tried to explain why it wasn't right. At some point, I just made her put down the scissors. She wasn't getting it and I didn't want her hacking away at it anymore. Maybe next time...

My new-to-me chair!!! And ottoman!! I stopped into a tag sale fresh from my haircut and found these squished in different corners of the attic. I didn't have my checkbook or any cash so I had to run home & hope they were still there when I got back. Luckily, they were & I dragged them downstairs. The best part? $30 for the set. THIRTY DOLLARS!!! Amazingsauce. They are going to get fresh cushions (the chair & ottoman cushions do not actually match, it's a trick of lighting / instagram filtering) & live in the reading nook. This find brought me out of my meh haircut moodiness.

Later when I met my friend Joe for coffee, I took the opportunity to try out a frappuccino I'd heard about from our office tech genius. It's a chai creme frappuccino, made with soy milk. It's not on the menu at my Starbucks, which always throws me off, but it does indeed exist. And it is indeed delicious. Super delish even. Go try one. Unless you don't like chai or something. Then get whatever you want. Or nothing. I'm not the boss of you.

Finally, did you know yesterday was Mother's Day? And that I'm mommy to two extra adorable puppehs? They took me for a nice morning walk to thank me for keeping them filled w/delicious holistic food & snausages. Afterward, they passed out... one by my feet & one by my side. That's just how we do. :)

Friday, May 11, 2012


Friday, Friday, Yea! I had a couple of posts planned this week but, alas, I did not get around to them. Here's a round-up of some random happenings...

I started another project. Yep. Big surprise. I can't get excited about picking up a paintbrush again quite yet. So instead of painting trim, I am tearing out the carpet in my spare room. My spare room has been bringing me down lately, as it's filled with extra junk, and all the extra junk in my house feels extra extra heavy these days. I'm feeling a big purge coming on... the carpet should not have been a big priority in this room but to me, it makes the room feel slightly emptier. Plus, it's allowing me to consolidate the things I need to go through into an easier-to-handle space. So that's happening.

I updated my floor plan. Added the permanent fixtures in the kitchen / bath & fixed the pantry / utility closet situation. Still not perfect but it's the best that's going to happen for now.

Look at my munchkin... is he not the cutest ever (tied with Gingerbean, of course)? Goyle has a weird little bump on his foot & I'm all freaked out about what it might be. He's always trying to eat bugs so my hope is that a bug bit back & that's all it is. I'm keeping a close eye on it & made an appointment to get it checked out next week. Until then, the most spoiled dog in the world is getting extra hugs & cookies. And I'm letting him sleep on that fluffy blanket that he loves. It makes a good backdrop for extra adorable pix, too... ;)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Recap

Every weekend, I hope to magically become a Type A person and get lots of projects done around the house. This obviously never happens. Maybe I get one or two things done - tops. This weekend was full of fail on a couple of levels - starting with anxiety over choosing a pair of glasses and ending with some massive lower back pain. The 24 hours between these two events were not prime "get things done" hours but I did manage to cross two things off my lists (yes, LISTS).

One was simple enough - I removed the broken aluminum storm door from my back door. This door no longer had any glass or screen so it was for show only. And since it was ugly on top of letting all the bugs in, out to the curb it went. I'm hoping to put a new screen door there but I haven't yet so that's the end of this story.

My big plan on Sunday was to clean / organize my garage & then bust out some yard work. Every fall I would do a big garage cleaning but by spring it would be pretty chaotic again... and just get worse as the summer outdoor projects went on. So smarty pants me decided to take the time to organize it again before all the outdoor stuff adds to the disorganization. Pictures! Here's the before:

 My car goes in the middle, but the sides were starting to close in a bit. Empty boxes that I'd thrown out the door were piled on my wheelbarrow & my new potting bench was just sitting there begging for me to bash a side mirror on. On the left there was a mid-century rocking chair... oh, you don't see a chair? That's because it was buried under 6 months worth of junk mail & a couple of random projects. And my stairs that I use to enter & exit my house were barely clear. On the landing were bags of recyclables left there waiting for me to fix my blue bin & remnants of inside projects (register covers / shoe molding / etc). And you can even see the old screen door that removed on Saturday & shoved into the garage on the off chance I'd ever get to a metal recycling place. Yeah... kind of a mess. My process is to remove everything, sweep up the debris, & put everything back in an organized manner. Here is the after:

Ahhh, better. All the junk mail went into the paper recycling bag. The rocking chair & the set of metal drawers went into the house. The recycling bin was fixed & filled up with broken down cardboard & the bags that blocked safe passage into my home. The potting bench now resides under the windows & all the scrap wood is together in the corner. All the metal went out to the curb for the metal scavengers because, if I leave it in there, it would be years before I actually got around to recycling it. Still to do is to hang my bikes & get the excess trash out (right next to the trash bins). And always, ALWAYS, there is more that can get thrown out or given away so there will be more culling of shelf items / unusable scrap wood as the summer goes on. But for now, It's nice to have everything where it's suppose to be.

Unfortunately, one of the things I moved a couple of times were about 15 bags of soil... I did this not very carefully because I am impatient & had some intense adrenaline happening. As a result, by the end of this project, I could barely move. No yard work for me. Today is not much better... but hey, my garage is clean.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Floor Plan

I've been meaning to do a floor plan for my house for a long long time... finally got tired of waiting to do it proper so here is a kinda wonky but mostly accurate one. The pantry / closet by the kitchen is all wrong but I didn't notice until I uploaded the pic so whatever. Close enough. Here it is (click to see it full-size):

There you have it. Now y'all will know where I'm talking about when I mention the reading nook or foyer.

Some stuff & plans:
  • The BIG bedroom used to be two rooms but the old owner knocked down a wall & made it one room. I hope to put the wall back up and turn the house into a 3 bedroom again. 
  • I use the bedroom in the front of the house (which always makes me quote Coal Miner's Daughter where Loretta tells Doo, "You don't put the danggone bedroom in the front of the house."). 
  • There is a walk-thru bathroom (connects the bedroom to the foyer) in my bedroom. I want to close off the door in the foyer & build a bigger shower. The current shower is what I refer to as a "coffin shower" ... dark & tiny. Me no likey. 
  • In the other bathroom, I want to replace the hinged door with a sliding door because there is very little floor space and you have to squish in the close the door.
Other than that, there aren't a lot of big changes I want to make to the inside of the house.  Everything else is pretty much aesthetic changes. Well, unless I win the lottery... but that's a different blog post. :D

Thursday, May 3, 2012

On the Hunt

As part of my living room painting prep, I dismantled the big bookshelf that took up most of the back wall (seen here). I'm not putting it back in the living room. Why? Because I can't figure it out... styling wise.

It's an odd size with the supports blocking parts of shelves... and no matter what pretty things I put on it, it just never looks right to me. Plus, I'm prone to cluttering up flat surfaces so 6 wide shelves are a constant nightmare to keep clear. And I usually fail.

So I'm on the hunt for something different. A pretty mid-century credenza is my first choice, followed closely by low & wide mid-century dresser. I'm basically looking for something that looks like this piece. Closed storage & only 1 flat surface. Hehe.

I saw a GORGEOUS credenza last year at my favorite used furniture store but it was being sold as part of a 9 piece dining room set. I went back a couple of days later to ask if I could just buy the credenza but it was gone. Boo. Every since then, the place has been credenza free. They do have a constant supply of dressers but they're never quite right. I have no luck with Craigslist and nothing has popped up in my Tag Sailing adventures. I'm hoping that putting this wish out there will make it happen.

I will triumph!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Living Room, Pt. 2

After I finished the reading nook walls, the rest of my living room looked sad. The previous owner had, at some point, painted everything with semi-gloss off-white paint. And by everything, I mean everything - walls, trim, outlets, switches, heat registers, cold air returns, etc. Yuck. People, do me a favor & stop painting over things that can be easily removed in 5 seconds with a screwdriver. Mmkay?

I already had the paint for the rest of the room - Filtered Shade by Valspar. In fact I've had it for 2.5 years. For real. Did I mention this room is giant & painting takes forever? Heh. Any way, the paint was still good so even though I'm in love with matte finishes now, I decided to go ahead & eggshell up the rest of the room.

It took FOREVER. No, not really but it sure does seem like it when you're climbing up & down a ladder. I did the hallway walls and back wall first (floor plan coming soon!) That took 10 hours over 2 days. Then I worked on a tiny wall during the week. Finally, I finished up the last 3 sections over 3 days last weekend.

The room is still a mess from moving things around to have room to paint so there are still no fancy before & after photos. I want to paint the trim but needed a week off because my hand was starting to claw up. So here is Goyle on a chair in front of the freshly painting walls - it kinda looks off-white here but it's actually the perfect light gray.

And here is Ginger on the same chair - the color looks a little better in this pic:

Woohoo, progress!