Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Progress

It's like the arrival of the Robin signifying the start of spring.
We are officially in the "home stretch", people.
We have a light.
I love you light fixture (is that weird?).  Even nekkid without shades you're still purdy.

*     *     *
OK.  So even though it's what's been consuming us at our house lately, I've been trying to limit myself to one post a week about the progress we're making on the basement.
I can't imagine everyone cares about the tiny details... the arrival of self-leveling compound for the bathroom shower base and tile, or the drama of "Plug-Gate 2011", wherein it was discovered that two electrical outlets were installed (Gasp! Horror!) slightly crooked.
(for those of you currently clutching your pearls about that notion, rest assurred the offending outlets have indeed been leveled.  And given a stern talking-to).

So even though this montrous project is the reason for my rather meager offerings in the "projects" posts category as of late, know that I'm not being totally lazy about things.
Well, not this time, anyway.

So here's our latest update:

Ceilings are painted.  Covers are on the recessed lights. My brawny husband installed doors, which I'll soon be painting.
Paint is on the walls.  The big unpainted area on the right is where this bar area and cabinetry will be:

Bathroom fan and lights are installed... and they WORK! :)
I'm waiting to add the glass shades to the fixture until we're done. 
I'm prone to knocking into things with a paintbrush and/or my noggin, so we'll just save the shades for last.

Carpeting has been selected (bottom row, center tile) and we'll be ordering it this week.

We've still got a ways to go, but our goal is to be completely finished by The Redhead's birthday party the first weekend in May.

So maybe by then she'll actually have a playroom to play in and we'll be able to let her out of here:

I know HE'LL be thrilled  ;)


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lovely Little Thorn in My Side..

So there's this chair in my garage.  And I can't for the life of me find a full-body shot of her.
I think I deleted it by accident.  And I'm not surprised, given my history of frustration with her.
But she looks like this:

We'll call her Harpy.
And I love this chair. 
She is pretty.
She is classic.
She is timeless.
She has great potential.
And she is the biggest pain in my kiester.

She was a $9 fabulous thrift store find.

She had beautiful lines, but you can see she needed help:

But I got her in my pre-dremel days, and I also, apparently, didn't follow my own advice.
I barely sanded her.
I didn't clean as well as I should have before diving right into paint.

That's why this happened

And then this

So I got irritated and left her for a while.
And painted other stuff.
Oh, I didn't mention that I left her uncovered?  Because I did.
SO, she caught some overspray.  AWESOME.

But spring is in the air, my friends.  And with spring comes new beginnings.
So I'm getting back to work.
And that work starts with my friend, Citristrip

You know, undoing all the mistreatment of poor Harpy, and getting her cleaned up and back to her rightful, smooth, finish-less self.
Then I'll sand her a little more.
Clean her real good.
And give her a nice new seat.

And then I'll give you a proper introduction to the prettiest little thorn in my side that you ever did see. :)


Monday, February 21, 2011

Dude... I can Sew!

Check it, peeps:

I did that.  Mmmm-HMMMM.  For real.

Me and my trusty Martha
It's my first "real" (i.e. not practicing on scraps) venture into sewing since I got the old girl.
But we're BFFs now, and it's so. ON.

The pillow fabric is one I'm considering for The Redhead's playroom when we finish the basement...finishing.
It's actually a small tablecloth I found on clearance at Target some time ago, for $3.98. 
I love the green, and even though the circles are a little more mod than I typically go, I think it's fun.
I didn't sew my finger to the cover, and the seams are, as far as I can tell, straight - Success!!
If I don't screw anything up, there is enough fabric left over for a 2nd cover.  WOOT

We spent our weekend finishing up the priming in the basement, and painting the ceiling in the living space.
We used this stuff from Lowe's for the ceiling, and it made the process pretty slick:
The paint goes on kind of a lilac color, then dries white.  It was sooo helpful keeping us on track so Mr. V. and I didn't overlap sections, and gave us a very clear look at what we had painted already.
When you're painting white paint over white primer, it's tough to see what you've already done vs. where you're going, and this helped us out a ton.  It definitely made us more efficient painters.

I also liked that it coated very evenly.  We'll see when we check it tonight, but if it dries as well as it looked when we finished last night, we may only need one coat which would be fantastic.

We got word from our carpenter that the woodwork for the entertainment center and bar (see the plans here) is nearly complete, and he's hoping to have the stain and finish done by the end of the week.

Why is that important?

Well, that means installation could come as early as next week!
So, guess who is missing The Bachelor [don't judge me] tonight in favor of some good old-fashioned wall-paintin'?
This Girl!

 Happy Monday, folks


Friday, February 18, 2011

Hodge Podge Post

Hey gang, it's Friday!
Woo-to-the-HOO, people! :)
Lots to do this weekend, and never enough time in the day (doesn't it always seem that way?)

So, the drywall is complete in the basement, which is a major "YESSSS!" for the Family V.

So now that the major work is done, Mr. V. and I have spent our evenings and will continue this weekend priming, priming, and priming the walls and ceiling, then it's time to get our paint on.

The walls in the main living space and the playroom will be this big sample here - sorry for the crappy quality of the picture, but it's a basement.  At night.  And with a rookie photog behind the wheel.  So... my bad.
The color is Valspar Desert Fortress - it's a cool sandy color that really straddles the dividing line between brown-beige and greige, which is perfect.

So this weekend we'll prime, and probably start paint next week. 
In the meantime I'll be taking care of what was left in the wake of the drywall:

Yes Mom, it was covered.  But drywall dust is SNEAKY.
Our crew was extremely conscientious and clean,
but that darn drywall dust still found its way to places I never expected to see it.
So, I'll be vacuuming and dusting the daylights out of the house.

Tonight I'm taking Mr.V. to try out a sofa and chair that may replace the furniture in the living room.
If he likes it, we'll be replacing this sad guy and his chair counterpart in the living room:

I've loved this furniture, really I have... but he's looking a little sad, no? 
It has been 10 years...  I'll cut him a little slack.

So, he's [eventually] moving to the basement, but never fear - I'm working on a
project that may provide a little "freshen up" for this guy in his new basement digs.
Cross your fingers I don't staple or sew my arm to the chair frame. 
[No, really, people.  Cross your fingers.  That could totally happen]

I have a few new thrifted treasures that I'm hoping to get to, and next week I'll be introducing you to the prettiest little thorn in my side that you ever did see.
[how's that for a tease?]  :)

What's on tap for your weekend?
Have a great one!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

PB Kids Pillow... With a Twist

As a lot of you know, since the start of last summer I've been slowly piecing together The Redhead's "Big Girl" room, challenging myself to spend as little as possible but still achieve a great look for my kiddo.
I've accomplished my thrifty goals on a lot of items, but I was having difficulty with a decorative pillow for her bed.  Oh I knew which one I wanted, all right, but I couldn't bring myself to spend roughly $30 for a pillow sham.
Did you catch that?  Not even the entire pillow... just the boudoir-sized sham.
I know, people, I know.  I'm being cheap.

Well, I'm in no rush and don't like parting with money unnecessarily.
So, I went searching on ebay to see if I could find an alternative.
Ding Ding!
I found the same sham, brand new with tags, for $3.  The catch?
['cause there's always a catch]
It had someone else's name on it. 
The purchase was a mis-order, and apparently "Sabrina" didn't need this sham. 
Well Sabrina's loss was my gain.  The seller was offering free shipping [which I can't. say. No. to!] so I bought it. 
The gingham trim matches The Redhead's duvet cover perfectly.
I used a set of tiny shears and started tearing out the embroidered name to see if it would be workable simply to remove the thread.
I didn't have super high hopes, but I thought I would give it a shot.

 Most of the way through the 'ripping' process...

There will always be that "ghosted" image of the embroidery, so I went about masking it with materials I already had.

I took fabric scraps left over from The Redhead's Bow Board and her Princess Chair, and some of my leftover fabric from her hanging initial.  From there, I made several of these fabric flowers (click HERE for the tutorial post) and attached them to the sham over the space that was embroidered.
I got all the flowers finished during one episode of "The Office", so it's totally do-able in a half-hour or less.
I used a pillow insert that I already had, and now it's ready for Extreme Cuteness in The Redhead's Room!
I actually love it more now than if it were the plain sham (name or no name).

 Now, am I totally biased because I did it with my own two hands?
ABSOLUTELY. But it's still cute. :)


Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Reason to Celebrate Today

So really, who cares about Valentine's Day when you know

Mr. E. is one of my very favorite helpers.

Scratch that.
He's one of my favorite PEOPLE.

He is ridiculously good-looking, and way, WAY smart.
And he will also OWN you on the Wii.

E once lost a tooth while in the outfield during a little league game.
Freak out?  Nope.  He just whipped a ziploc baggie out of his uniform pocket that he'd brought along "just in case".
This is my kind of kid.

The Redhead adores E. 
Like, serious Hero Worship.

AND, he is 8 years old today.
So while I cry because I'm getting
old and gnarly and E. is a handsome young man, 
wish this kiddo a Happy Birthday because he is Awesome, m'kay?

Happy Birthday!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Last-Minute Valentine

Need to throw together a QUICK--but lovely--Valentine's Gift?
Don't want to spend much time or money?
There's still time! 
Check out today's special:
Time Investment: 13 minutes, start to finish
(yep I totally timed myself.  And yep... lame.  I know. :) )
Monetary Investment: $6

I realized last night that I hadn't prepared anything for our daycare provider, who is all-around awesome.
She is one of those SuperGals and has a whole valentine party extravaganza for the kiddos, so we're not supposed to bring anything for them.
But she never said anything about anything for her.
And we love her.  She's totally our collective family valentine.

So I started with this vase from the Dollar Store.
[Yep, they're the same ones I used for my DIY Hurricanes.]
I used the cricut to cut an oval and an "L" for her last name on contact paper.

Then I used etching cream to etch in the negative space between the oval and the L.
[You can find my etching tutorial HERE.]
Once the etching was complete and the vase was clean and dry, I simply filled the vase with colorful tissue paper and added some valentine's Dove Chocolates (because they are the BEST! :) ) Seriously, the candy was the biggest expense of this entire project.

Tie it up with some cellophane to keep it all together, add a pretty ribbon and a heart tag and we're all ready for Monday!

Quick, easy, and YUMMY! :)


Saturday, February 12, 2011

On the V Side Featured!

Hey guys!  Hope you're enjoying your weekend!
Just a quick post to let everyone know I'm being featured starting tonight over at
Knock Off Decor - I think the post goes up tonight at 7:00cst.
Beckie has done a great job of assembling some pretty amazing projects that look just like "the real thing"
so head on over and check it out!

Happy Weekend! :)


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Basement Progress & Inspiration

Last year our basement looked like most unfinished suburban basements:

But for the last several months, we've been on a mission.  We're gettin' it done!
[and when I say "we've" been on a mission, I really mean Mr. V.  I've held some cables and done some lifting, but really?  Who are we kidding here?  :) ]

At the beginning of the summer he went to work. Mr. V. was off to a great start and was a framing MACHINE.  But then we got 9 days straight
of rain... and we discovered our friends "Thing 1" and "Thing 2"
in our basement walls.

Basement finishing tip #1: Crack is Whack.

So getting the cracks fixed and having a 2nd egress window installed delayed the process for several weeks.
BUT, once Mr. V., Master Framer Extrordinaire was back in business, he really took off!
Framing?  Check.
Plumbing?  Check.
Electrical?  Check and Check.
The farther along he gets, the more excited I am.
Just look at it!

What, you don’t see it? ;)
Here are some of the inspiration boards I put together with our "vision" for the basement:
This bathroom?

When it’s all said and done this is what we’re going for

Basement Bathroom

This “bedroom” is The Redhead’s new playroom.
And while the details aren’t yet in stone
I’m thinking along these lines:


The main living space is I think the biggest compromise of my marriage thus far.  But I think we've come to a reasonable agreement.

Here's what I get:
- We’re moving the current living room furniture down here, and I get new stuff for upstairs.

- I get to decorate it. How I want. (well, within reason and without excessive ‘girlyness’.
But that's OK, that's not really my style anyway.)

- Three Words: Commercial. Wine. Fridge.

My general plan:
Basement Living Space

And he gets this:
[plans from our woodworking contractor]
- An obnoxious wall of TVs upon which to gaze many games of basketball, football, and if The Redhead has any say… wall-to-wall Elmo.
- Custom cabinetry to house all 7,000 electronic components.
- A refrigerator that can hold something other than wine. :)
[See?  "Hers" on the left, "His" on the right.]
As we speak the drywall is going up [we totally hired out for the drywall hanging, mudding and taping.  We're thrifty and handy.... not stupid ;) ] so we are definitely in the home stretch. 

More updates to come...