Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Little More Lime In My Life

I am having so much fun liming up my kitchen.  Lime green is such a happy friendly I want you to be my best friend color and splashing it around my kitchen is making me smile.  And my smile grew even bigger when I was able to make this for $7...

Yup, 7 buckaroos!  I started out with a candle holder and plate from Goodwill.

I picked up a can of lime green spray paint.  And after a little spraying and some hot gluing I had this...

I added a napkin which the hubs gave me in my Christmas stocking and the soap that inspired the whole project and now I have a little more lime in my life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Paper, Scissors & A Little Creativity

I've recently started a few simple projects to spice up our kitchen with one of my new favorite colors...Lime Green!  So fun for summer and goes great with the orange pops throughout the first floor.  

I have been loving the fun kitchen printables that have been popping up on Pinterest like this one...

Kitchen Aid Baby, You Spin Me Right Round Poster Print A3 / 11x14 - Red

which you can find here, Oh Dear Molly.  And these...

Untitled 1 Fun Kitchen Printables

from Over the Big Moon.  I also like this one

from Behind the Studio.  But as always I thought it would be fun to make something on my own!  I have made printables in the past, like this one, but a walk through Michael's the other day inspired me to go another route, the old school route.  It is called paper, scissors & a little creativity.

I just love all the wonderful paper you can get at Michael's.  I have used it in several other projects (like here, and here, and here).  But this time around I used it to create my "old school printable".

All it took was a couple pieces of new paper (lime green and gray polka-dot), some paper scraps I already had (orange pattern border and solid gray), some scissors and a glue stick.

I hand drew the letters and cut them out.  I traced a serving spoon and fork from my kitchen and cut those out too.  And then I started gluing.  Pretty fun huh?!?!  

It made it's way up on top of the kitchen cabinets with a great kettle I found at my favorite local antique spot and my friend "Mr. Bawk Bawk" from World Market

So this super simple project helped me get started on my Lime Green fun.  Can't wait to see where else it takes me!  

Friday, May 25, 2012

DIY Kitchen

I have been so excited to share this project with y'all!  And it is finally all done so here comes show and tell!

A few weeks ago I teased you with this post, leaving you trying to guess what this ReStore recycled kitchen cabinet was going to become.

Well, here is the answer...

A fabulously adorably happily wonderful kitchen for my little girl.  And that is exactly what it makes her.

And yes, it all started with a $10 kitchen cabinet.  So how did it all come together?  And what did it cost?  Well, here are all the details!

The first step was to remove the doors and hardware and do a little sanding. $0  

The cabinet had a few screw holes and dings which I patched with Plastic Wood (a really easy product that I totally recommend and I always have around).  Still $0  

To boost up the kitchen height to little girl level I reused a 4 x 4 which we had recently taken out of our backyard.  It used to hold a birdhouse which disappeared before we bought the house, but it was already painted white and was free.  Killed two birds with one...oh wait, not appropriate.  We cut four legs from the 4 x 4 and screwed them in through the floor of the cabinet.  3 screws in each.  
Cost = Free.

Then I got to priming.  I actually used a spray paint primer this time around which was quick and easy.  (A little harder to control if you are doing more detailed work.)  After the primer dried overnight I got to painting.  I used a basic pre-mixed white, Benjamin Moore Return to Paradise, and a little chalkboard paint for the oven window.  Two coats of everything and the painting was done.  I was able to use all paint I had around the house so another $0 added to the total.

Next up was the counter top.  I decided to add a counter top because the top of the $10 cabinet was not in great shape, as I would guess many cabinets would not be.  I also thought it would look more kitcheny with a "real" counter top so I used a white shelf and cut it down to size.  We attached it with wood glue and let it dry overnight.  This set me back $7.99.
The next step was the favorite detail!  I bought a metal bowl at Target for $8.  I traced the bowl outline on the counter top and then with the help of the hubby cut a circle just inside that line, so the bowl wouldn't fall through.  We then cut the same circle in the top of the cabinet and simply placed the bowl in the hole.  (Hehe, that sounded funny.)

I was really hoping to find a faucet at the ReStore when I bought the cabinet but no such luck so I ended up spending more on this then I wanted to.  I bet at the ReStore a faucet would have only been a few bucks, but I had to find one at Menards and that set me back $19.  Again we drilled a hole through the counter top and the cabinet top and screwed in the faucet.  Total for sink and faucet $27.  

Next I got out the spray paint and gave the hinges a coat of chrome to match the two pulls I found at the ReStore for 50 cents a piece.  I also painted a hook I already had to hold the dish towel.  Another $1 if you are keeping track.  

From here it was all about assembling and details.  Put the doors back on, cabinet pulls, hook, touch up paint.  I bought a little metal rack for the oven floor.  $5.99 at Target.  It is actually a rack to go in the bottom of a sink.  

I nailed in bottle caps (left over from this project) above the oven door to serve as knobs.  I made sure to leave them a little loose so little hands can still turn them.  $0.

Using cardboard, a little more chrome spray paint and a sharpie I made a burner for the counter top.  Fabulously free.

And to finish it off I picked up this great dish towel at Target for about $4.

So let's break this all down...

Cabinet $10
Counter top $7.99
Sink & Faucet $27
Hardware $1
Oven Rack $5.99
Dish Towel $4

Which means the grand total comes to $55.98!

Wow!  I'm impressed!  That is the first time I have added up those numbers and that is not to shabby considering the Ikea kitchen (which is similar in look and size) costs $99.  And at the risk of sounding cheesy...I am proud to give my daughter a homemade gift over a store bought one any day.  

I am also proud to share the love with you and am happy to answer any and all questions if you are thinking of building a kitchen for your little one.  So ask, build and be happy!

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Beyond The Picket Fence


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Things You Don't See

Remember the very first time you saw your house?  Do you remember the list of things you knew you had to change as soon as humanly possible?  How many of those things have you actually changed?

When we bought this house we were moving here from out of state.  We did not live here yet so we were on one of those crazy weekend see every house you possibly can and maybe get lucky enough to love something tours.

We where on day two of the search and had already seen a few houses that "would work" but had not yet found true love, but when we walked into this house that all changed - birds where singing, flowers where dancing, and a beautiful white glow surrounded seriously.  But needless to say there where a number of things that we wanted to change immediately and this is what they were:

~ the mirrored wall in the dining room
~ the first floor carpet
~ the window treatments in the sun room
~ the wallpaper border in the half bath
~ the floor in both the upstairs bathrooms

So how many of those have we checked of the list?  Well, lets see...

the dining room:

the first floor carpet:

the sun room window treatments:

the half bath:

(haha we need toilet paper)

the upstairs bath floor:

Hmmmmmm.  Unfortunately all of these pictures were taken today which means none of those changes have been made.  Eek!  But there is a lesson to be learned in this, a few actually.  The first is money doesn't grow on trees.  Someone once told me it did.  They lied.

Second, sometimes something that you hate isn't so bad once you live with it for awhile.  Now honestly, that is not the case here.  I hate all of these things just as much if not more then when we first saw the house. with them has allowed me to appreciate the process of dreaming, creating and actually doing.  Because these things will be changed eventually and then it will be so much sweeter.

Time has also allowed me to rethink and rethink and then rethink some more how I want to do some of the bigger projects.  For example, if we had fixed the main floor carpet problem right away I would have immediately changed everything out for hardwood.  But now that I have lived with the carpet I have discovered that I actually like carpet in the family room, just not this carpet, and that I don't actually want hardwood.

I have also discovered that I love having a dining room / disco dance party area so why would I ever take down the mirrors.  HA!  Just kidding.  The mirrors have got to go!

But as I remind myself daily and just as Mission Decorate's mission states, "my mission is to decorate our home over time...".  So be patient oh impatient one...your jungle themed window treatments will eventually come down.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yesterday was my birthday.  Happy Birthday to me!  And I believe that it is totally appropriate and necessary to buy yourself a little something on your birthday.  So this year I bought myself flowers!  No not flower shop flowers in a vase, that would be a little sad, but you know the kind you plant and try really hard not to kill.  (My specialty.)

Last year we bought a variety of pansies in all different colors and sadly they looked great for about 2 weeks.  (In truth I don't even think these are pansies.  Are they??)  But then they started to droop and if you listened really closely you could hear them saying "why me"... I am truly no good at this.

So this time around I tried a new approach.  I bought Geraniums.  Why?  Because that is what everyone else planted last year so I figured they must all know something I don't (and that isn't saying much).

I also went for a new design choice this year.  Rather than going for a variety of colors I decided I would do all one color this year.  So red Geraniums it is.

In addition to the four window boxes at the front of the house, where the Geraniums now live, I also had to plant something along the front walkway as well as in the two additional boxes framing the garage.  But here is the catch...I had given myself a $60 budget.  And since the Geraniums came it at $5 a piece I was quickly burning through that.  So with my last remaining $20 I bought a flat of Marigolds.  "Bonanza Yellow" Marigolds to be exact.

If I'm being honest, I know nothing about Marigolds.  I know they were bright, cheerful and the right size and price for what I needed.  And all the label told me was to plant in full sun.  Well, OK.

So I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that they do well.  But knowing my track record, the odds are not in my favor.  (Ha!  That sounded like The Hunger Games!)

Well, happy birthday to me!  I also got a totally amazing birthday gift from my husband which I can't wait to share with you.  But until June 1st it will be sitting in a box since that is the soonest the electrician can get here.  Oh what could it be!?!?!?! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What the Heck???

Happy Monday and belated Mother's Day everyone!  I hope y'all had a gorgeous weekend like we did here in Madison.  The weather couldn't have been any better!  As part of my Mother's Day rewards I got to sneak away to get my hair done on Saturday and lucky for me Stephen, my hair god, is right down the street from the Habitat ReStore.

Side Note - I just found out they are opening another ReStore in July and it is only about 10 minutes from my house (5906 Odana - for the locals).  Until now I have been driving about 25 minutes to get there.  So excited!!!  I'm about to expload!!!

Now I don't even need to say that of course I stopped by the ReStore, I mean it would be silly not to.  And I am very pleased to say I found exactly what I was looking for.  This...

Pretty great right??  And the price was even better.

Yup, $10.  You gotta love that place! want to know what the heck I am going to do with that?  Gosh it just leaves me with so many options; toy storage, bedside table, coffee table base.  But no, I'm not going to do any of those.

Maybe I will use it in this direction instead.

Hmmmm, or I could turn the doors.

I mean there is good space in there.

So many options...and the best part is that I am not going to tell you what the heck I am going to do with it.  What the heck?!?!  Yup, I am going to keep messing with you until I am ready for the big reveal.  Hehehe, this is so fun!

But I would love to hear your guesses!  What the heck do you think I am going to do with it?  2 gold stars if you guess it!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Succulent Spring

Spring started out with a bang here in the Midwest, early snow melt, hot weather and tons of sunshine.  Well, since then things have slowed down a little and the rain has caught up to us.  So although we emptied out the planter boxes they are still waiting empty until it is time to start planting.  In the meantime I caught a post over at Thrifty Decor Chick about some great little succulents and one of her great ideas inspired me to make these guys...

I started out with these three little succulents, which I found at our local nursery for $3.95 each.

I pulled together a few jars I had around the house, including 2 mason jars and a pickle jar.  (Yes, I bought pickles at the store and cleaned out the jar when they were gone.  And I use it all the time for flowers and now plants!)  I filled each jar with a handful of small rocks, which I took right out of my own backyard.

Then I added some potting soil and planted my three new little friends.

For a grand total of $11.85 I now have three lovely new plants which according to my hours 3 minutes of Internet research only need water every couple of weeks.  Now we are talking!

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Could Make That

The latest Ballard Designs landed in my mail box this week.  As part of my ritual, I set it aside until I have a few quiet minutes to sit down and enjoy every page.  Just as I do every time I look through the beautifully filled pages and think to myself "so nice, so pricey".  And then after flipping through every page I start all over from the beginning and think to myself "oh I could make that...oh I could make that too".  So this time around I thought why not share all those "I could make that"'s with MD readers!

If I had an empty to do list I would also make each of these "I could make that" projects and show you how, but my to do list is huge right now and lucky for me there are fabulously wonderful bloggers out there who have already done all the leg work.  So here is my "I could make that" list from the May Ballard Designs catalog and some great how-to's so you can do this stuff yourself!   

The first thing that caught my eye was this lovely chevron stripe rug.

Chevron Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Rug

For the 5'3" x 7'7" size they are kindly requesting $99 which isn't horrible but they 7'10" x 10'10" size goes up to a whopping $229.  But lucky for us The House of Smiths to the rescue!  This awesome step-by-step will show you exactly how to paint your own rug and turn an inexpensive Ikea rug into your very own chevron style.  Check it out here!

The next thing that caught my eye was the center green graphic lamp shade below.  (Sorry, Ballard is testy about which pics can be copied so this one will have to do.)

Limited Edition Lamp Shades Alton Collection
OK, pause please...I seem to be on a graphic kick, but you just can't stop your heart when it pulls you to decor :)  So the smallest shade starts at $49 and they go up to $79.  That is more then I want to spend on an entire lamp, let alone the shade!!!!  So thank goodness I found 2 totally great tutorials.  I just couldn't pick which one to share so I thought I would share them both!  The first is how I have seen this done many times so I think it is a safe bet, but the second was just so darn creative it had to be included.

So either follow Crafty Nest and outline your pattern with painters tape and paint away.

Painted lamp shade - after 

Or get really creative and follow Bon Temps Beignet fabulous tracing idea and create this...

WOW, right?!?!?

Next up let me address the topic of message boards, aka chalkboards, bulletin boards, cork boards, I think you get it.  Don't Buy Them!!!  Please!!!  Yes, Ballard Designs has some nice ones

Acanthus Message Boards

but they are on sale for $299.  YES I SAID $299! I can't even figure out if that is for one or all of them but who cares, I still said $299!!!!  Please don't people, you can make these!  And here are a whole bunch of quick tutorials so you can get to work:

~ B Spoke Blog
~ Young House Love
~ Centsational Girl
~ The Happy Housewife
~ Apartment Therapy

For $149 you too could have the Bordeaux Table Lamp which I do love, minus the price tag.

Bordeaux Table Lamp

So I did a little searching and found a pretty simple tutorial on, which makes turning a glass jar into a vase look pretty simple.  Now I will say I am a little nervous about the idea of drilling a hole into the bottom of a glass jar, but the way they quickly passed that off in step 3 makes me hopeful that it would be a simple step.  And I love the idea of coloring the glass using paint and water!

How to Make a Lamp Out of a Glass Bottle thumbnail

And my final find where these Mr. & Mrs. Burlap Pillows.
Mr & Mrs Burlap Pillow with Insert
These babies are 59 buckaroos.  Eeek!  Instead just read through this post from Tatertots & Jello on how to paint fabric using some fun Martha Stewart products and you could create any pattern or word on any fabric you want and then simply sew them into pillows.  I bet you could also buy some already made pillows you love and use a stencil, paint and fabric medium and create the same look for much less.

So let me know when you try some of these out.  I would love to see what you create!  Or have you re-created any other Ballard Designs designs?  I would love to see those too!