Friday, November 9, 2012

Get out, you Boob...light that is!

A couple of weeks ago my mom flew in from New York for a short visit. I don't get to see her much so I was super duper excited. We always work on a craft/home decor project or two while we are together. This go-round we whipped her up 3 roman shades. I didn't get pics but they turned out gorgeous. I am thinking of whipping up a shade for my patio doors though. Maybe I will even do a tutorial. Who knows?

Anyway, while she was here we stopped into the local habitat for Humanity store and found this monstrosity for $5! Thanks, Mom!

Can you believe that we agreed that we should buy this thing? The finish was ugly and it was rusty on the bottom. Those shades! Ugghh! Her bones were good though. She just needed a little love. So I nicknamed her Chandy. Chandy was going to replace this thing...Boob light alert!

To prep my new {to me} fixture I gave her a good bath with some soap water. Dried her off with a microfiber cloth, and dismantled her. I stuck cotton balls in the sockets and wrapped the cords in duck tape to keep these areas protected. Why duct tape? I couldn't find my painters tape that I had already gotten out and hid from myself in plain sight. Kind of like when you are looking for your glasses and they are on you face...Yeah, I did that. 

To paint her I laced her on an old bent closet rod and threaded that through a ladder. And here she is in all her oil rubbed bronze gloriousness!

Once the hubster hung her I touched up any little nicks that occurred with some paint that I sprayed into the top of an old food container. I used a q-tip to apply. I love the way she turned out!

See the shutter to the left of the door? One of my besties found that at a thrift store for $2 and it made her think of me. Gotta love friends!

Has a friend ever surprised you with an unconventional gift that you are madly in love with?

XOXO ~Jaime 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Builder Grade to Old World Shelving

The laundry shelf is finished!!!! It was so much fun to design, watch my hubster build, and perform experiments on. I am so in love! What do you think?

This shelf was very inexpensive to make. It cost under $10! We used a 2"x10" that we already had laying around, a 1"x4" @ 8' and a 2"x2" @8'. That is it! I wanted it super chunky, simple, and most importantly to look old.

I decided I was going to try the vinegar, steel wool, and tea staining process that you see all over the blogosphere and pinterest. I started out brewing some super duper strong tea and brushing it on the entire shelf.

Next up was making the vinegar solution. I dumped a handful of steel nails and screws into the bottom of a mason jar and poured in plain cheapo white vinegar. Now for the hard part. Waiting. Waiting. And more waiting. I had to wait for a whole 24 hours! Can you believe that???? Bah! I am so impatient. Anyway, that is how long it takes for the nails to oxidize. This is what my jar looked like. You can almost see the bubbles that started forming immediately.

Today, I did it. It is all stained. It took a little experimenting along the way and I was happy to do it. The top board aged immediately. It was amazing and sooo very exciting to watch it age before my eyes. The front board, however, was very stubborn. It just did not want to cooperate. I decided to added another coat of tea after the first coat of the vinegar oxidizing solution was dry. Then tried again. A little better. Not quite what I was going for, but I noticed that my tea was turning black from the vinegar oxidizing solution. Hmmmm. What did I do? I dumped the tea straight into the vinegar solution eliminating a step and dry time. I told you I was impatient. :) I brushed on a coat of the new streamlined mixture. It was better but we just weren't quite there yet. I sat and I thunk, and I thunk some more. What could deepen the stain? Coffee grounds! I dumped some previously used coffee grounds into the mix. Perfection! Just what I was looking for! Instasmile! :D Waiting again. Ugghhh. It has to dry before I can wipe off the grounds. If you try this at home use an old stained up rag that you can toss in the garbage. It stains.

Here is a little shot to show you the difference from new lumber to aged.  BIG difference!

Are you ready for the before and afters?


And here is a look at the inspiration room.

What do you think? I love my own little spin on an already pretty design.

What has inspired you lately?

Till next time, 
XOXO ~Jaime

I am linking up to:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Laundry Room to Laundry Spa

Wow! It seems like forever since I have written a post. I have been a very busy lady as of lately. My dryer of 6 years broke for the second time. Instead of having it repaired once again, the hubster and I decided to bite the bullet and get a new, better quality machine.  For about a week I was hanging laundry on hangers all over my house! It took 2 days for it to dry. I have to do 4 loads a day to keep up around here, so the laundry pile was building, and building.

Since the dryer was gone I decided to get painting! I chose colorplace Underwater Bahamas Green in satin. I am sooo in love with the color! Sometimes it looks more green and sometimes if looks more blue. At all times if feels like a spa. Maybe I'll change the name of the room to Laundry Spa. It's where clothes go to relax and refresh! :D

Here is how the washer/dryer side looks now.  Notice the big builder grade wire shelf is gone.  I cannot wait to replace that bad boy! I get a super-smile just thinking about it. Oh, the new dryer is here too.

And here is the pantry side. The freezer is gone. Wahoo! I removed it by myself using my superhuman, she-man, this needs to get done now because I am impatient powers! Hey, it works. Try it sometime. As you can see I have a fresh clean slate to work with. Loooove it!

I hinted in this post that I had a little something up my sleeve for the left over fabric from my ironing board cover. Tada! 

I had this cheap little Easter style basket laying around. It got prettyfied! I haven't decided if it will be used for lost mates or delicate underthings. Something to ponder I guess.  I would do a tutorial on making a basket lining tutorial but it was a major pain. The basket is wonky and asymmetrical. In hindsight I should have made a paper pattern to start. I didn't and wasted a bunch of fabric. Oopsie!

I am so excited to dive into the next faze! 

To Do:

1. Paint the walls a smokey aqua.
2. Recover the ironing board.
3. Find or make a cute solution for hiding fabric softener sheets. hint, hint!
4. Install new shelving above the washer/dryer and style it.
5. Organize the pantry shelves and find a clever way to disguise them.
6. Prettyfy the laundry sink.
7. Plead with the hubster to help me move the chest freezer to the garage.
8. Find a sorting hamper to replace the chest freezer.
9. Accessorize!

Do you have any projects that you are super duper anxious to start?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Kitchen Catastrophe & Pantry Labels

Wow, it is Wednesday already! Where is the week going?

I have been a busy bee as of late. It all started on Saturday with a trip to a local apple orchard. The munchkins, my amazing sister-in-law, and I picked up a couple of bushels of apples and of course some apple doughnuts. Straight from the orchard our little group headed to a site tucked into the woods on the back country roads of Wisconsin to join the rest of the family for a house framing party. There we sat all night long! It was much needed R&R watching all the men work. Haha! The hubster did however ask me to build the door frames. I built one. I was slowing them down so I bowed out.

Sunday started out with high hopes and expectations. I had planned to can both bushels of apples into applesauce. It all went horribly wrong. My first batch burned. I also burned my forehead when the sauce bubbled and splattered. Lesson learned. I would post a pic, but it is gross! Bleck! I got back into the kitchen and made a second batch once I was feeling well enough to remove the ice pack from my face. The process went swimmingly and the sauce was delicious! Now I have 20 quarts of homemade applesauce. Mmmmm!

Then, it happened. My clothes dryer of 6 years broke for the second and final time. I chucked that thing to the garage. I will not have it repaired again. I will upgrade! :) For now, I will be hanging clothes in the laundry room until I have the ability to purchase the monster. Just think of the cash I will be saving on the electric bill! There is always a bright side. Which means that the makeover is going to take a little longer than anticipated. Bummer!

In the meantime I whipped up another set of labels. Pantry labels!
Download them free HERE.

Till next time,
XOXO ~Jaime

Have you had any kitchen catastrophes or household breakdowns lately?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Love Me Some Freebie Labels

Hi all!

Today's post is going to be super quick and to the point. Organization and prettyfication are on my mind. I have been rummaging the web, specifically pinterest and Better Homes and Gardens, for the perfect labels for my laundry room. No such luck. So I decided to design them myself. I wanted simple, turquoise, and of course pretty! I love how they turned out. I also love it when I teach myself a new trick!

Best of all I am giving them to all my readers FREE! You can download them HERE.

Have you taught yourself any new tricks lately?

Till next time,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Before the Magic: Ho Hum Laundry Room

A couple of days ago I shared that I was in the beginning stages of my laundry room makeover. Today I thought I would give you a little tour of the laundry room before the magic happens and give you a run down on on a few of the projects I have planned.

When the laundry door is open this is the view that welcomes you. Bleck! I am a couponer and that shelf above the washer and dryer was completely loaded down with laundry supplies. I have been consciously trying to use them up and move on a to more frugal, less toxic, and space saving system of getting our clothes clean. I just recently started making my own powdered laundry soap and I will never go back! You can find the recipe I use at Yellow Brick Home. I will still use fabric softener sheets until I can find a better solution. I just love the smell.

This is the wall opposite of the washer and dryer. About a year ago I decided to move our little chest freezer in from the garage. It is very convenient to have it in the house, but it is really cramping my little 7'x7' room. My handy dandy hubster installed the pantry shelves and I love the storage they supply. I really don't like to look at them on a daily basis. They give the whole room a cluttered feeling.

Ahhh. The laundry sink. There is nothing special about it. It is just your basic, run of the mill laundry sink. It is located to the left of the washer and dryer as you face them, right next to the door. This needs {warning: new word alert} prettyfication, stat!

To Do:

1. Paint the walls a smokey aqua.
2. Recover the ironing board.
3. Find or make a cute solution for hiding fabric softener sheets. hint, hint!
4. Install new shelving above the washer/dryer and style it.
5. Organize the pantry shelves and find a clever way to disguise them.
6. Prettyfy the laundry sink.
7. Plead with the hubster to help me move the chest freezer to the garage.
8. Find a sorting hamper to replace the chest freezer.
9. Accessorize!

To leave you for today I thought I would share my inspiration pic. It came from one of my favorite blogs, House of Smiths.

Till next time,


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bored With My Board Cover

Do you know what today is? Today is a very special day around here. It was the first day of school for munchkins 1, 2, and 3. It is also the birthday of Bored or Bananas {BOB}. I am oh so excited and equally nervous!

Let's get right to it. Shall we? I am in the beginning stages of a laundry room makeover. Yep. The laundry room. It is off the entryway of our home and we the kids tend to leave the door open every time they go in there. No biggie, right? It's a laundry room. How often do kids actually go in there? All of the time! Our laundry room is also our pantry. It is also a walk through to our walk-in closet that houses all of our outdoor gear, shoes, and such. It's very functional, but that is about it. So, I am on a mission!

The first project on the list? A new ironing board cover. The last one is 13 years old, burned in spots and over all just Eewie! Want to know how to make one? Well, I will tell you. It is easy peasy!

2 yards of 100% cotton fabric pre-washed and dried
bias tape {enough to go all the way around your cover + a couple of inches for overlap}
matching thread
mason twine or elastic

First thing first. Make sure you wash and dry your fabric! This is important if you ever want to wash your cover in the future. The first time you wash it will shrink by about 10%. Next, open the fabric all the way and lay it face up on a large surface. I used the floor. :) This helps with lining up the pattern on the fabric so it will be straight on your board. With your fabric opened up you will be only cutting through one layer of fabric. Lay your old ironing board cover on top of your new fabric. This will be your sewing pattern.

My old cover was a bit small and moved around on my board a bit. To remedy this I added 2 inches all the way around my cover. I used my quilting ruler and a sharpie. You won't see the marks when it is finished. I promise! {If you don't have this problem you can cut it at the same size.} Cut out your pattern on your markings.

Next up we will be pinning on the bias tape. Bias tape is simply fabric that is cut on a 45 degree angle to make it stretchy. It makes sewing around a curve a breeze. We will also be using it as the casing for drawing our cover tight on on our board. Bias tape is wider on one side than the other. There is a reason for that! I'll show you in a bit.

Open your bias tape all the way and pin the right side of the widest part of the tape to the wrong side of your cover fabric. Start at the back end of your cover. Like this:

But first fold over a small section {a 1/4 inch or so} to give you a nice finished edge. I forgot to get a pic of that. Dang! We live and learn. I tried to upload a pic showing you where to fold, but blogger doesn't like it. So just imagine a dotted vertical line 1/4 inch from the edge of bias tape that says "Fold here!" Finish pinning all the way around stretching a bit around the curves. When you get back to the beginning of your pinning fold over your fabric again so that it just butts up evenly. Sew the tape down using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

When you are finished it should look like this:

Yeah! We are almost done! Just a couple more easy steps to go. Flip your cover around so that the pretty side faces you. Starting at the back side again where you first started attaching your bias tape double fold it over the front making sure to cover the stitches where you attached the bias tape. Pin. Pin. Pin some more until you have worked your way all the way around the cover. Sew it down using a small seem allowance. You can use a little bigger seem allowance than I show you here if you don't feel comfortable with such a small allowance. The bias tape is wider in the back so that you "catch" all of the layers of fabric on this step. Flip it over and double check that you caught the back side of the tape.

We are all done sewing!!!

Next we will thread our twine or elastic through the bias tape casing. Some people tie their twine around a safety pin and some people have one of those fancy tools. Not me. I make do with what I have. I cut a piece of floral wire, folded it half and wrapped it in duct tape to protect my cover from snags. Gotta love duct tape!

Tie your twine or elastic to the threadymajig {it's a word!} and insert it into the opening in the bias tape at the back of your cover. Work it through until you have come out the other side and it is even all the way around. Leave lots of extra for tying and snip it off. If you are using elastic don't let go! You will lose it inside the tape and will have start over again. If you need to, pin it to the tape.

Put your cover on your board and pull tight! If you are using elastic tie it in a tight knot and tuck the ends in. If your using twine just tie it. Smooth out your cover if there are any wrinkles and Voila! A brand new custom ironing board cover. Now Pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!

Hmmm...Now what to do with the other side of fabric? I think may have a few tricks up my sleave. ;)

Till next time,
XOXO ~Jaime

I'd like to thank my Grams and my junior high Home Ec teacher, Mrs. Carpenter for teaching me the basics of sewing. It is one of my favorite pastimes! :)

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