Monday, November 29, 2010

Radiate Love

For Thanksgiving we had my family, my godparents & family, and my aunt & her husband over. Did I mention that we have a small 2 bedroom apartment? So I was running around like crazy trying to get the house all decorated and pretty before Thanksgiving. I did quite a bit, only I didn't have time to post everything. Here's one of the To-Do list things that I finished last week.

I knew the minute I saw this sign I had to make one myself. So I did. Here it is:

I picked up some wood from Lowe's. I cut 6 pieces of wood the same height. I had also picked up a skinny piece. I cut that in two and nailed each piece into the back. This held all the pieces together. I realize now that I didn't get a picture of the back.

I found this post on how to make old signs. But I couldn't decide on another color besides green. So I decided to only use green on top of white.

 I primed the wood, then painted it white. Then painted it green using acrylic paint. I spent too much time to tell you trying to make the perfect green, mixed with white and black. Only to get annoyed with my indecisiveness and pour the green directly on the wood from the bottle, without mixing.

Then I got a little nervous with how bright the green was. So I painted a layer of gray over top. Being impatient, the green wasn't fully dry. So it mixed in with the green rather than coating a layer on top of the green.

I let it dry. Then sanded. I initially went at it with the sander. Mistake. It went right to the bare wood, showing no sign of the white. Only when I lightly hand sanded did I actually get the distressed look I wanted with the under white layer showing through.

I picked up the wooden letters from A.C. Moore. Coated them with white paint and then sanded them a bit for the distressed look.

Then it took me forever to decide which way to put the letters. Once I decided, I glued the letters on with wood glue and let it dry for 2 days.

Originally, I was thinking this would go in the bedroom. But after finishing it, I decided that it didn't look right next to the monogram.  So this baby is now hanging in the staircase from the foyer to the apartment. So it's the first thing you see when you come, and the last thing you see when you leave :P 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Desk Redo

I had wanted my own Woman Cave for quite some time now, I just had to find a desk that fit in the little space I had. I finally found one that fit at the thrift store for $18.99! With a lot of love (and sanding, painting, staining and more sanding) it got a makeover!



As you can see, it wasn't in very good shape. There were an endless amounts of dents and the left side actually broke as the thrift store guys put it in my car.

When I saw it, I knew instantly its future involved white and distressing. It was love at first sight.

First I gave it a good wipe down, it had all sorts of fun surprises inside -- Stickers, Spiders, Cobwebs, and Dust. Then I sanded. And sanded. And sanded some more.

Then added some wood glue and a few nails to fix the broken side. Being the newly into furniture renovator that I am I debated on whether or not to prime it. Decided to, so I primed it. Debated on whether or not to go to the store and buy wood filler for all the dents, but was too excited to have a finished desk. So painted it white. Twice.

To distress it, I sanded it again making sure I got all the edges just enough, and then probably too much. Then stained it with the stain I had from staining the nightstand. It turned out a lot darker than I was expecting. I guess I was expecting dark stain not to turn my white sanded wood dark? But after letting it sit for a few days, I started to love it. So i coated it with Miniwax Paste Finishing Wax, screwed on the flower hardware I found at World Market and the 3 other hardware pieces I picked up from Target and viola!

And for the new-turned-as-is picture:

Linking to -

Primitive & Proper's Piece of Work Wednesday Link Party!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Woman Cave

Ever since we moved in to the new apartment, the hubs was slowly claiming more and more of our guest room. Our guest room was eventually renamed The Playboy Room. And then the hubs slowly became more and more territorial of his playboy room. I slowly lost more and more desk real estate until his playboy room became his man cave.  However, don't fret. I made my own woman cave in which there is an invisible line that the hubs is not allowed to cross. (Rant's over, I promise)

And here's a little [embarrassing] before of my soon to be woman cave!

Now I'm sure you're thinking, Come On.. no one keeps their house like this. Embarrassingly enough, we did. This is immediately when you walk up the stairs from the little entrance downstairs. So Tomas normally threw his gym bag right there and I'd toss my running shoes and equipment off there.  Plus, as you can see below this was where my filing cabinet / everything else that didn't have a home went. Including the yoga mat that I was no longer allowed to keep in the guest-room-turned-playboy-room. And that abs roller that Tomas swares he uses, that I have only seen him use once since he got it -- the first day he got it.

And now:
I am in love with how the wall turned out (another post on that coming). So why am I considering this part of my woman cave? Well, that trunk and the baskets in the cabinet are neatly organized with all of my crafts / art supplies / tools that I couldn't figure out where to put!  Along with my books that I wasn't allowed to put on the bookshelf in the guest room my hubby's playboy room.

I guilt-tripped him for turning my guest room into a playboy room sweetly convinced Tomas to hand over some closet real estate in the playboy room for the filing cabinet so that I can have my own desk and area.  And now, I have my own woman cave! Tomas is not allowed on the right side of the stairs!  

I picked up the desk from a thrift store and re-furnished it, more on that in another post as well!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to Make your own Burlap Monogram

Just as promised, here's how I created our Burlap Monogram above our bed. I started with a little inspiration and how-to. I picked up a few yards of burlap at the fabric store. I ended up only using less than a yard.

I had an unused painting canvas at the house, but only one. So I headed out to the closest place,Walmart to pick up some more. Only they didn't have any in the size I wanted. Then I checked out their artwork for sale, to see if I could pick up any cheap artwork. Nothing for less than 15$ a piece. So I headed to Target only to find they didn't have any either. But then I stumbled on this pack of 4 cork tiles for about 5$ total and thought, hmm.. that could be perfect. I picked up a few decorative nails from Target as well.

I picked up some black and white acrylic paint at 2$ a bottle and a 3" sponge paint roller from A.C. Moore. When I was at World Market I found these hooks and fell in love.  I couldn't decide which color would be better being that the bedroom's main color is green, but the grey hooks were just so darn pretty. So I brought home 3 of both colors. (To be returned later..)  These were the most expensive, at $5.99 a pop. But soo worth it! And that's all the materials I had to buy.

 I had some ribbon at home, leftover from the wedding. When it came to stencils, I printed out letters in "Edwardian Script ITC" font. Then I pseudo - traced them onto a whole foods bag. I say pseudo because the letters I printed weren't actually large enough and I couldn't get them to print out any larger on one page. So I kind of 'winged in' and drew the letters on the bag larger than the prints. So I really didn't trace them.  Surprisingly, they turned out great.

After having all my materials, I got started. First, I cut the burlap about 1.5" larger on every side than the cork tile. Then just stapled the burlap to the cork. Initially, I had a hard time getting the staples to stick. Then I started stapling 'harder'. Then I got cocky and started going really fast. Then I slammed my finger under the stapler. Twice. Then I continued to staple hard, just less cocky, and slower.

After that was the real fun. I mixed the black and white paint to be a dark grey. Placed the 'stencil' on the burlap which was now stapled to the cork board, and rolled the paint over. Then I stuck decorative nails in the corners. Two on the left corners of the 'M', above and below the 'K' and two on the right corners of the 'T' to bring all three pieces together.

After quite a while attempting to tie a bow out of the wedding ribbon, I eventually gave up and went with a knot. I'm still not sure if I like this, but I don't have any better ideas at the moment. Then I stapled the other end of the ribbon to the back of the cork as well. Then I hung them up. Only to realize that cork weighs nothing and the hooks are pretty big, so the monograms kind of dangled and danced around in the air, not even touching the wall. Not pretty.

I happened to have some mounting strips in the house. So after putting a few strips on the back of each letter, we were in business!

And here's what it looks like now. Like I said, I'm still not crazy about the ribbon. I also can't decide if the 'K' being so skinny looks good or awkward. That was a stenciling mishap, but I think it separates itself more from the 'm' and 't', which I kind of like.

And a shot with a little bit of the bed (not made). I hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Burlap Monogram

So I promised myself I would do nothing but rest and relax this weekend. That's exactly what I did. And I did it by shopping for all things craft! Now I have supplies for about 4 or 5 different projects I've got down the pipeline. The best thing I found this weekend was a DESK!! Finally! I've been on the hunt for a desk to create "my space", since the MR. has acquired the entire guest bedroom / office as his man cave. And a vintage, white, distressed desk is the perfect way start to that. Only, the cheap desk I picked up at the thrift store is just old. But, some may call those dents and stickers that only a 5 year old would make distressing, right? Either way, that's in the works now. More coming later.

Besides creating my own non-man cave, I'm still focused on the bedroom re initial-do. I happened on the perfect rug this weekend at World Market. (I couldn't find it online for here..) If only it was 30$ instead of 400$ it would be in laying so happily in my bedroom now. However, it did give me a better idea of what I'm looking for (something that looks exactly like the WM rug, just cheaper). The hunt for a nice and cheap duvet cover is also still on. Besides those 2 main missing pieces, I've found on peoples blogs come up with quite a few ideas for decor. I'm still loving this sign. I'm also thinking a distressed wooden ladder would look delightful. (If only I knew how to find one three). On another note, my search for a linen duvet, led me to fall in love with burlap, everything burlap. Then my newest burlap obsession led me here, and I thought how PERFECT! I actually stumbled on this post first, then found the latter.  That brings me to today. I have just successfully hung my own burlap monograms above our bed, and it looks so lovely, I am so in LOVE! The MR. even thought it was impressive, which is saying something! Here's the after, I'll post a how-to in the next coming days! [Update: Here's the How-To Post]


Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Nightstand sans Sparkle-y, Disney Stickers.

I have officially finished my first piece of furniture. Technically, I completed it a few weeks ago. But I've been on a hunt for the perfect hardware, which I stumbled on today in Target. So, drum rolls please....

A few before shots:

I forgot to take a picture before taking out the drawer and hardware, but the hardware was exactly this style:

And now:

The nightstand was my mom's. I remember it in my parent's room as a kid. Somewhere along the way, I snatched it and was so wonderful enough to fill the sides with my sticker collection and marker markings. Eventually, it ended down here in Charleston with me, stickers and all. Then Tomas and I got a new bed when we moved which is a dark mahogany. So I decided I wanted to stain the nightstand mahogany as well.

First, I sanded. When I started this project, it was still 100+ degrees in Charleston. So I had the genius idea that I could sand inside so I didn't have to bear the heat. Please, learn from my illogical mistakes, and don't do something as stupid as sanding inside. (Unless you like the taste of sawdust in your food and bed and clothes and every other part of your house.)

Next I stained, then decided the stain wasn't dark enough. So I sanded again (outside this time), picked up a darker stain, and stained again. Finally, (months later) I added a new handle. And voila! It was really that simple. It's still not as dark as I was hoping, but I'm still happy with it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The room i'm not allowed to decorate

Still being a newlywed, the past year has been a whirlwind. Filled with ups and downs, fights and laughter, all the while learning about this thing called marriage. I can say without a doubt, that a marriage is based on compromise.

On August 1st we moved out of the city. Prior, we were living in downtown Charleston in a 2 bedroom apartment, 1 bath and 1 small common room acting as a living room, dining room and kitchen in all. I had lived their for the past 2 years and then Tomas moved in when he moved to Charleston.

We moved into another 2 bedroom apartment, this one with 2 bathrooms (one with a jacuzzi tub !!), high ceilings, a dining room, kitchen, AND living room. We are in love with it. One problem with the old apt was the spare bedroom. It was the room that held everything that didn't belong in the kitchen or our bedroom. Workout equipment, yoga mats, half of my clothes, office stuff, books, suitcases, wedding gifts that didn't fit anywhere else, tools, and just about everything else we owned. Needless to say it was a bit claustrophobic. Tomas hated it. When moving into the new place, Tomas quickly called the second bedroom as "his" office and informed me that all of my random clutter and junk would not be allowed in there, including my yoga mat that took up the entire floor. I quickly reminded him that we were getting a new bed (that's what married people do right, move out of the full size?) and that the second room would be the guest room, plus the office (in which obviously my office stuff will go in too) plus the workout room. He quickly disagreed. For many weeks we debated.

Then one night I went to dinner one of my very good friend's very wise mom. When the topic came up she talked about compromise, and that while we are married we each still need our own "space". She then told me of her friend who doesn't allow her husband any personal space in the house, in which he now has piles of clutter on his side of the bed that no one else is allowed to touch. And this left me thinking. Tomas's side of our bedroom is not going to be filled with random clutter.  So, where were our spaces going to be?

Another cool thing about the new place was the large walk in closet in our master bedroom. I could live in that closet, no joke. Eventually, I suggested the deal that I would get the walk in closet and he would get the spare room, with a few conditions of course:

-The full bed would also go in the spare room, which would also function as a guest room when we had guests.
-Since technically we both needed an office and the guest room was neutral it still couldn't be "his" room.

Around the same time, his sister got him a Playboy duvet cover when we went to Switzerland. In which he had then formed a master plan for the decoration of this room. So we agreed that Tomas would have full say over the decoration and design of this room and it would mostly be his place, while I got full ownership of the walk-in (there's also a big closet in the Playboy room for his clothes and such). Rather than calling it "his" room, we now refer to it as "The Playboy Room". It now has black sheets, black furniture, a mostly black duvet cover with a larger than the computer screen sparkling, gold I <3 [Playboy-bunny-symbol] dead smack in the middle.

Think this :

with a gold bunny like this:

It's lovely. All in the name of compromise. Now, for those pictures of VS Angels that have replaced pictures of me...
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