Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stuck on Stickers

When I was a child, my sister and I collected Stuck-on-Stickers.

Remember these?

What exactly is a "Fantascene?"  I think it is my new favorite word.

In second grade, I got in trouble at school because someone gave me a sticker and I threw it away.  That is the ultimate diss.  "You think you're my friend?  Well, guess WHAT, SUCKA?  You got another thing coming!  I'm gonna throw away your unicorn sticker.  THAT'S WHAT!  IN YOUR FACE!" 

My teacher found out.  I tried to lie to my teacher but that smart lady figured me out.  I got in trouble but didn't tell my mom.  Unfortunately for me, my teacher told her.

This incident may or may not have corresponded with my parent's divorce, so I will go ahead and blame them for my anger issues and poor decision making.  These problems plague me still.  It is all their fault.

But I digress.

Why do kids not collect stickers anymore?  All the cool kids did it.

But I digress.

I decided I was not happy with my dining room fantascene.  So I painted over the ferns shown here.

And I ordered these wall stickers decals in Medium Gray from Accent Studios

Decal = Grown up word for Sticker
When my package arrived, I had a blond moment and called the company to complain that my 60" X 61" sticker decal was clearly not 60" X 61".  I had even measured.  The kind gentleman explained that once I arrange the pieces onto the wall and spread it out, it would be wider.  Then he kindly hung up the phone and no doubt busted out laughing.

For credibility's sake, I think this would be a good time to point out that I have a master's degree. 

I hung up the phone and got depressed because I was going to have to arrange the things onto the wall when CLEARLY I just wanted to stick one giant 60"X61" sticker decal onto my dining room fantascene.  I seriously considered throwing away the sticker, but we all know how that worked out for me in 2nd grade.

So I cut all these pieces out.  Then I followed the directions and used a tool to rub them onto the wall.

I happened to have just the tool in my purse.

Once I got everything arranged onto the wall, I thought it created a lovely fantascene.

Another view
The rug also came in and I am awaiting curtains.

If you want to see some really cool bamboo images, just google image WALL DECAL BAMBOO and you will see some amazing fantascenes.

And when I get tired of this I can easily pull it off the wall and....you guessed it...THROW IT IN THE TRASH! THAT'S WHAT!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I fell in love with this room by theLENNOXX

I need more purple in my life.

Having been unhappy with everything I have done in my kitchen so far (except for the cabinets) I decided to try some stenciling on the walls (that I will probably repaint soon anyway.)  My extremely artistic mother-in-law (MIL) came for a visit and I put her to work!  (Our project history goes way back before digital cameras existed - otherwise I could write a book.)

After an exciting field trip to my flower bed to observe some ferns, I had her sketch several individual branches on butcher paper.  I used an exacto to cut out the leaves.  Then my MIL sprayed the paper with spray varnish (which I didn't know existed but we found easily at WalMart.)  When it was dry, we had CUSTOM stencils.

We sprayed the backs (working one at a time) with this nifty stuff -

You can find me at Wal-Mart, too.
And stuck the stencil to the wall.  I dabbed using paint from my stash (mixed with a little glaze.) I worked one branch at a time.  Then MIL went back and HAND-PAINTED the stems.

Her husband told her to stay off ladders!
And this is the result -

We used a few different colors, which tied the living and dining room together.
Some were done in the same color as the walls - but in high gloss.
You really cannot get the gist from a photo.

This is what the dining room really looks like right now!  UGH!
This was one of many fun we-can-try-this projects with my MIL!  I don't think theLENNOXX will be calling anytime soon, and I'm pretty sure my fern stage is short-lived, but I loved learning how to make my own stencils.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Inspired by beautiful white kitchens...
Such as this
And articles about painting wood like Why Men Fear Painting Wood by The Decorologist,
I decided it was time to finally take the plunge on my Mr. Food cabinets.

 (see this blogpost if you missed the Mr. Food reference.)

If you would like to jump on the painted cabinet wagon with me, here are some painting tips based on my extensive research into painting cabinets.  This is not something you want to mess up!
  • Wash cabinets with TSP (I got mine at Ace Hardware/my home away from home.)
  •  Lightly sand with fine or medium sandpaper (really I don't remember which!  I think I used 120 grit.)  I have an electric sander.
  • Wipe with dry cheesecloth to remove wood dust.

To the right is a wall that no longer exists ------>
  • Prime with OIL BASED primer.  I used Good ole Kilz.

  • Give it plenty of time to dry.  I'd go with however long it says on the can + however long it takes for you to gear back up to paint some more.  Could be anywhere between 24 hours and a year.
  • Paint with OIL BASED paint.  I used Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo paint which was pricey ($60/gallon) but totally worth it.  Ventilate - it is fumy.  My pupils got large and I started making funny jokes  (I thought they were funny anyway, but others just looked on with concern) before my mom made me open some windows.  BuzzKill.
    I used BM cloud white which they have paired with my favorite gray colors!
  • Wait for the inhalation high to wear off. 
  • Repaint a final coat.
  • One more tip - I never remove doors or even take drawers out.  Just paint around everything very carefully.  I only used a brush - no roller or sprayer.  And the dentil molding was a nightmare as usual.
  • There used to be a wall here.  And a cooktop.
  • Finally, I ran some caulk between cabinet seams that were still showing.  That probably should've been one of the first things I did, but I always have a personal goal to fill gaps full of paint to avoid much prep work.

This is going to look great!  Visualize!

Flooring, backsplash, and appliances will be installed in the next few days! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fruity Tile

We are getting ready to toss out the old produce:
Fruity tile #1 on the kitchen backsplash
Fruity tile #2 - that's right - they vary

"Peaches, blackberries, and budding fruit"

I wonder if we just decided to leave the tile, would the future owner of our home gush to a friend, "It still has the ORIGINAL FRUIT TILE!!!"?  And the friend would overflow with excitement; she might praise us, the previous homeowner, for resisting the urge to destroy such a treasure.  And they would both celebrate with a delectable fruit salad and endless fount of sangria. 
Did someone say "sangria?"  We are so there.

Am I willing to sacrifice their sheer joy at their discovery?  Do I want to turn my back on their endless praise of my keen foresight?  Just to rid myself of a few fruity tiles?
"Fruit is not only tasty, but makes lovely headgear."
 Not to mention the cost of replacing these fruits.  Our family could enjoy the benefits of  lifelong fruit-of-the-month club for this expense.  And have a little money left over for a manicure.
Embrace your inner fruitiness.  If nothing else, it will get you out of cooking dinner.
Unfortunately, as we all know, fruit does have a short shelf life.  And I am afraid - for me at least - these fruits have soured.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Progressive Progress is Progressing

I found the photos of our house listing online from last year!  It seems appropriate to walk down memory lane as we get close to the 1st anniversary of our move.  Plus it makes me feel less overwhelmed with unfinished projects and makes me see progress!

Kitchen Before
I think it is funny that a Realtor would take such a funny photo.  Did he mean to feature his Dr. Pepper?  I'm pretty sure it was not included in the purchase. 
Kitchen During - this is still in progress.  In case you were concerned.

Living Room Before with bright yellow bedroom in background.

Living room during

Bedroom before
Bedroom After - this one is finished.
Mint Green Master bath before
Master bath during - I hung a funky light so I have something new to hit my head on daily. 
There is still lots of work to do, but I feel blessed to have come this far!  And maybe a little sad that we will eventually be finished with what we can do and have to start forking over money and control to more qualified individuals.

Friday, June 17, 2011

You know, that patriotic THING!!!

Have you ever wanted to order something on the internet, but you didn't know the name of what you needed?  This happens to me a lot because either a) I look for weird stuff to order online or b) my very limited vocabulary, especially when it comes to home improvement, is a major impairment.

For example, I googled "Plexiglass thing to cover my florescent light" when I needed a plexiglass thing to cover my florescent light.

I am called a "Light Diffuser Panel" and am not available in your size online.
And most recently, I wanted one of those semi-circle flag things to hang out front.  You know, the patriotic kind.

So I Googled "4th of July decor" and received these results:
Images from Coolglow.com
No, that's not what I am looking for!  It is a flag thing... So I googled "Flag Decor"
No!  That's not it!  If I wanted a pink-flamingo-wearing-a-Santa-hat-with-a-present-in-its-mouth flag, I would've Googled "pink-flamingo-wearing-a-Santa-hat-with-a-present-in-its-mouth flag."  Come on technology, work with me here.

Then I tried "Patriotic Flag"

And I am not even kidding, this was the first result. (source)

Really, people, that is just WEIRD! 

Finally, I used all the words I could muster and Googled "Patriotic flag drape decoration"

May I introduce you to B-U-N-T-I-N-G?  (source)

I thought bunting was "hitting a short distance at bat," but actually, I learned a new word!  Or I guess I really just learned a new definition of an old word.
Bunting home at last!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pulling off the two toned look

I have a friend who is considering (at the suggestion of her husband) painting her kitchen cabinets in a two-toned look.

To be honest, when I hear two-toned, I picture:

Not everyone can pull off this look.  In fact, maybe NO ONE can pull it off!

Then, it struck me like lightening!  Actually, it struck me like a Fiber One commercial.  Fiber has that effect on people.

I know you are scratching your head here.

But just WATCH THIS!!!

How cute are these cabinets?
still shot from the inspiring fiber one commercial
I think it is possible to pull off the two toned look!  My eyes have been opened!  Why was I so closed minded?  Here is another pretty one. 
Lavender and white looks so pretty!
I like how they painted the drawers and door fronts one solid color but the "framing" another color.

Not bad
Cute use of chalkboard paint on the doors!
So my advice to my friend is GO FOR IT!  I would help you but I am painting my own cabinets tomorrow (in a boring monotone, because I do not have courage like my friend.)