Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March: Three Things Under $30

There are lots of things I'm loving lately,
and if you've got the itch to update for spring,
[and it SNOWED here yesterday, BTW.  Yeah.  So think spring!]
here are
three of my current faves that you can find [new] for $30 or less.

This starburst mirror had me at "hello."
It's a fun way to add a little texture to this otherwise nekkid
wall over my made-over dresser.

($24.99 at Target)

This recycled glass bottleneck vase nearly lept off the shelf
and screamed "TAKE ME HOME!" on a recent trip to Hobby Lobby.
Or, at least that's what I told Mr.V.
But really, at just $4 how could I have justified NOT bringing it home?

(and for the love of Pete, please ignore the giant woofer behind it.  Bad photography, Emily!)

These curtain panels are my latest love.

I love the gauzey white, and this simple stitching detail across the top gives a little "pop" of interest without being distracting. 

They are also great quality and actually weightier than they look.
They're great for privacy while still letting the light in, which is why I chose them
for the windows in our basement.

We'll eventually add wood blinds to these windows, but for now the panels do a great job of
providing fashion and function.

In a world where a single drape will easily run you $60 and up, at $29 a panel I consider
these a real deal.
You can find them in white or a few other colors at Pier 1 Imports.

Beauty doesn't have to cost Big Bucks :)


Monday, March 28, 2011

Peeps Love the Pears

I'm all atwitter, folks.

Modge Podge Rocks! is featuring my Anthropologie-Inspired Pears today!
This project took me 20 minutes and anyone can do it.

Amy from MPR is one rad chick and I'm super flattered she picked my project to feature!

So click HERE to head on over and check it out - you will be amazed at some of the things that people who are way more creative than I am, can do with the old 'Podge.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Me + Technology = Trouble

Mornin' All....

Just a quick housekeeping note - my hosting service and I aren't getting along right now.  Basically, it hates me.  Or maybe it's just technology in general.  Or something.

Whatever the case, I've gone back to the address for now [rather than the]. 
It *shouldn't* affect you if you have me added to your reader, but I can't say that with any certainty because as this post title says... clearly I'm not as tech-savvy as I thought I was.
SO, if you could be a dear and maybe just update your favorites or bookmarks or whatever to:
that would be major awesome.  Big help.  Huge.


Love your face.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Team Spirit Table Makeover

Things are coming together in the basement, and I'm excited to be getting close to having a finished look pulled together to share with you soon!  Yay!

As I've mentioned before, we've moved the current living room furniture to the basement, and are getting new furniture upstairs.  But I'm keeping my end tables upstairs.
So, we need some end pieces downstairs to ground the furniture and you know, give me a place to set my wine glass.  :)

I was hoping to avoid buying something new if I could, so I went shopping the house to see what I could dig up.

Lo and behold, I found this guy, stashed away in a guest bedroom, just full of team spirit and waiting for a home.
Here's the thing - this table was a gift from a friend of Mr. V's.  A generous gift, and a thoughtful one, as he knows our undying love for my alma mater [Go Hawks!]!
But showcasing that love on a table isn't for me.  I'll stick to a t-shirt, thanks.

The top has a rendering [under glass] of my beloved Kinnick Stadium. 
If you press your ear to the glass you can hear the fight song.

Okay not really.

The shelf below has this lovely golden Hawkeye decal.
Again, LOVE THEM, but it's just not my style.

So what to do with it?

I was in a quandry for a few reasons.
First, the table is of nice quality and is overall a nice shape and design.
It's solid wood and I do like the stain.

It was a gift.  I just didn't feel right about painting/completely
remodeling this gift, from a friend who does visit from time to time.
It seemed rude.

And um, Mr. V. likes the "Heeeeere Coooooome theeeeeee HAAAWKEEEEEYYYYYYEEEES!!!" vibe.

What to do, what to do.

One day when I was surfing the Ballard Designs website, it hit me:

The Ballard Spool Side Table

I really liked the neutral coloring, and how the natural texture in the rope and the wood played off one another.
I knew I didn't want the table to look like a giant spool, but this definitely inspired the end result.

I picked up this roll of sisal rope at Lowe's for about $8.

I removed the glass from the top of the table, took my best guess at the center of the circle, and started winding.

When I got to the edge, I wedged the end of the rope in between the closest roll and the end of the table, and slipped the glass back on top.  Perfect fit!
I was able to remove the bottom shelf and simply flip it upside down so that the decal is facing the floor:


And the best part is, it's totally non-permanent, so we can change the table back anytime we want.

I have no guilt, we have a cute table, and my wine glass has a home!


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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Springing Ahead

Is it Spring Yet?
I know, buddy.  You're ready.
You and me both.

I thought I would help give Mother Nature a little prodding, hopefully nudging her in the direction of colorful flowers, 73 degrees and a light breeze.  But really I'd settle for 2 consecutive weeks without snow.

So, it's time to put up the Bat Signal
Sorry, winter.  There are pastels on my front door.  That means it's time for you to pack it up and move on out.

I've mentioned before that my seasonal decor peaks at Christmas, then tends to fizzle through the rest of the year until I get all antsy and end up breaking out the fall colors in August.  Poor summer gets ignored, really.  But at least spring will get some pretty flowers. 

Last weekend I thought I would bring out a few touches for Easter (because who decorates for St. Patrick's Day, anyway?  And that's coming from someone who's Irish)
No really, I wasn't kidding when I said "a few" :)

The Redhead demanded a bunny, so a bunny she received.
(She says "Good Morning, Bunny!" from the breakfast table every day.  So cute. )
This guy was a 50-cent thrift store find.  He was originally brown and gray but I just shaped him up with a quick bit of glossy white paint and he's perfectly adorable now.
He's cozied up in some packing that had come with a wine delivery ages ago.
The candlepots (far left and far right in the picture above) were in a set of 4 from Target about 6 years ago. 
They came in this adorable little box set.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I had originally bought them as a housewarming gift for someone else that I never got around to giving.  Oops.

The egg candles also came from Target last year.  Set of 6.
I popped a couple in these egg cups for a little variation. 
Egg cups are adorable.  It's like a footed bowl for tiny, tiny people.

But just because we decorate with cute bunnies and flowers and pastel eggs, I wanted a reminder of the real reason we celebrate Easter: 


Monday, March 14, 2011

Holy Progress, Batman!

Hey gang!

I know I was MIA last week, but not without good reason!
We are in full-throttle basement mode to try and finish everything up before
A) Carpet comes on Wednesday
B) NCAA Tournament Play begins on Friday.  
Priorities, people. :)

So all my current "ongoing" projects are on hold because we've been spending every waking hour we can working on the basement.  Every weekend hour that The Redhead is napping?  Basement.  Every night after she goes to bed?  Basement. 
But Holy Moly, folks, there is PROGRESS!
I will warn you now... there are LOTS of pictures in this post.
But I'm too busy doing the "we're-almost-done" dance to care.  BOOM.  WINNING!! ;)

Check it out:
The beautiful built-ins have been installed and I'm just in love with how they turned out.
(and I'm totally not apologizing for the mess this time. 
It's a construction zone but it's almost DONE.  WOOT! :) )

Mr.V. finished installing the brackets for the mall-mounted ManlyTVs

And he even laid tile in front of the bar.  First tile job ever! (still needs grout, but the hard part is done)

We've picked out our granite slab for the countertop

and ordered backsplash tile.

And these lovelies are waiting to be installed under the bar cabinets tonight.

Those closet doors are just two of the 5 different doors I've been sanding, painting and priming the past week
(these are in the playroom)

The surround sound is wired and ready for all the electronic... "stuff"


*Second* tile project ever!  Nothing like jumping in head first, right? :)
I won't caption what is actually coming out of his mouth in this picture. 
It starts with *$%^%$ and ends with @&$%&#*$&#.  You get the idea.
Tiling is tough business, man.  BUT he did a teriffic job!  I can't wait to show you the finished pictures of the bathroom shower and floor because you won't believe he's never done this before.
(sorry, I'm a wee bit proud of him and his handsome handiness.  hee.)

We've trimmed our little hearts out.
I'm the painter, and Mr.V. is the designated "trimmer".  He installed everything, then I've been batting cleanup filling nail holes, puttying seams, sanding and touching up the paint. 
We make a good team.

Mmmm, trim.
 Just think how purty it will be with squishy new carpeting under there? 
Hey I told you there were a lot of pictures! :)

So.... that's where I've been. 

I need a nap.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Mantle Sort-Of-Solution

OK... it might not be a "solution", but it's at least an "improvement"...

Several weeks ago I got tired of winter and jumped straight ahead to spring.  I wanted a fresh feeling on my mantle after the chaos of Christmas.
 So, I skipped the typical "Winter White" I normally gravitate toward, and
brought a little spring into the house.
But something was.... off.
I've blogged about the Giant Mantle of Doom before - well it's still challenging me.  Things felt a little... like I kind of vomited a bunch of tchotchkes onto the mantle. (can you tell it bugged me just a little? ;) )

I tried adding branches to the birch sleeve. 
I added grapevine balls to the cloche and moved the apples to the hurricane.
Got rid of the candles.
Better, but still not what I was going for.

So, I started over. I wanted a more natural feel with texture and classic neutrals.
I swapped out the branches for some willowy seagrass, and added a couple lanterns for some weight.
I added plain white pillar candles, and some sand in the bottom to complement the seagrass. 

On the opposite end I added sand to the large hurricane for balance, and recycled the fat white rocks I had in with my paperwhites earlier this winter.

I covered a book with a scrap of drop cloth left over from my drop cloth curtains and used it to boost my picture frame.  I also added this small black frame to the mix, again, for a little balance.
I have found that when dealing with neutrals (my favorite), things can get a little "blah" or muddy if you're not careful.  The easiest way to ground and sharpen up a grouping in my experience is to add in a couple pops of classic black.

For the center grouping I wanted to keep cohesion between the ends, so I used a frame flanked by natural wood elements (a bundle of birch logs and a rustic candle set in reclaimed wood) to bring it all together.

My, who are those good looking people? :) 

Things inadvertantly ended up feeling a little "beachy", but I'm okay with that. 
It feels more "Nantucket" and less "Panama Beach", so I'm cool.
I still need another layer behind my frames for some depth, but those windows keep thwarting me.
OOOooooh, windows how I hate/love you!

Any suggestions?  You know I love it when you talk decorating to me. :)


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Super Quick Before & After: Updated Cloche

I don't know about you, but last summer I got to the point where if I saw one of these guys in good condition at a thrift store for under $4, I was buying it. 
Here's what I did with my previous domes.

I thrifted this guy a while back, but hadn't done anything with him.

 I had given the base a coat of paint and that was about it.
I wasn't overly thrilled with the woodgrain (and you know I love woodgrain!) peeking through the paint on this one.
 So, over the weekend when I took 10 minutes from working in the basement
and rediscovered the cloche in the cabinet. 
I grabbed a piece of scrap linen and my Modge Podge and went to work.
I covered the top in the fabric, let it dry, and then cut a circle of the same fabric and 'podged it to the bottom to cover up my handiwork.

Overall, I really love the texture it gives an otherwise flat piece.

Note: when using fabric, unless you go around and cut slits all around the base and then precisely lay them over the base piece by piece, you *will* get a wrinkle or two. (you can see mine best in the pic. above)

You can minimize the wrinkles by using an actual brush vs. a sponge brush, and really saturating the fabric with the Modge Podge.

[Dude, I told you this was going to be super quick!]