Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gummy worms, stress and an anxiety-ridden child

I am craving gummy worms. My ultimate comfort food.  And a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte.  Not together, of course.  Are those even out yet?  Yes, it's one of those days.  

My son has called me twice from school today in the few hours he's been there.  First wanting to know if he's going to have enough lunch and the second time telling me he has a pain in his side.  He told the secretary he didn't need to go home, he just needed to call me.  He told me he needed me to come get him right away.     

My son is the child who asks to go to the restroom a couple times an hour, who has to have a drink of water (RIGHT NOW), who says he doesn't feel well in order to get out of something - the one who always has an argument or excuse as to why he needs something, why it doesn't have to be done right now (or at all), how it could be done better, how he's already done it (usually he hasn't).... If you've never dealt with a child like that, you have no idea how exhausting it can be for everyone around him.  My mother says he should be a politician or a lawyer.  The first time she said that was just before his second birthday.  Yes, that's how the past 9 years have gone. I. think. she's. right.

Now my afternoon of second-guessing myself starts (thus the need for gummy worms).  Does he really have a pain?  Is it just nerves?  Should I have told him I would come get him or was I right in telling him to stay the rest of the day.  He'll probably be fine when he gets home.  Until bedtime.  Then it will start again.  Or maybe something a little different.  Just a little.  And yes, we've told him the story of the boy who cried wolf.  Many times. He just gets mad now if you even suggest it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Vintage ottoman redo on a very small budget

This ottoman has been one of the best buys I've ever gotten on one of my antiquing trips.  $20!!  I love the legs!  It fits in beautifully with my French country cottage look. 

I slip covered it my first go-round; unfortunately I can't find a picture of it:(  Two houses ago I just couldn't find a place for it so it got shoved into the I-know-I'll-want-this-someday storage area in the basement.  You know, that area that makes Type-A husbands absolutely crazy.  Anyway, fast-forward to last week.  I found the perfect spot for it and decided to give it a makeover. 

First I stripped the whole thing down, basically a block of wood on legs.  The foam was still in good shape, so I set it back on top of the wood base, wrapped the whole thing in batting and then covered it in cheap $2/yard muslin.  I then staple-gunned another piece of muslin to the bottom to make the dust cover, folding in the raw edges to make a neater look.

I then took 1 yard of an upholstery fabric I've had in my fabric stash and put it on in the same way as the muslin, stapling gunning it to the bottom.  Finally, I hot-glued a braided upholstery trim around the top of each leg to cover the raw edges. 

All in all, a pretty fast project - maybe an hour.  Love it!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I'm in love....with an app

I am in love!!  With an app.  No, seriously, it's awesome!  I haven't stopped playing with it since I downloaded it last night.  I'm seeing everything in relation to how it would look as a watercolor painting....  I was initially introduced to this on one of my favorite blogs,  The Enchanted Cottage and bought it within 5 minutes of reading her post!

I did all of these in the "natural" option with "normal" light; however, there are 12 style options and 5 light options.  SO far this has been my favorite.  Of course, I'm only just beginning to play!  I've also found things work better than people or animals.  I need to take some pictures in good lighting of the kids and she if that helps.  The ones I just used off my iphone made their faces kinda, well, faceless.  I'll work on that....
Printed on nice paper, wouldn't paintings from this app make great gifts?!  I know my mom would love one of her family home, my mother-in-law would love one of the kids, and my husband would probably love one of his truck.  Yes, his truck. No, I'm serious. 

Drumroll please... Waterlogue is the best $2.99 I ever spent!  Happy painting!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Part 2: Half bath redo

My first floor full bath converted to a half bath is almost done!  For a reminder of how it looked when we purchased the house, go here.
It's a small bathroom, so here's my best attempt at getting "after" pictures.

We bought the home as a foreclosure and the mirror was left hanging in the front foyer.  It was a shabby-sad gold-ish color which I repainted in the same color as the board and batten (Benjamin Moore Navajo White).  The brackets holding the shelf are from the local hardware store ($8 each - originally black, which I repainted in the same Navajo White) and I had the glass shelf made at the local paint and glass store  (also $8).

The pedestal sink, toilet and tile floor are from the previous owners.  I had a new faucet ($100 from Home Depot) and toilet level ($14 from Home Depot) put on to replace the 1980's gold ones that were on them! 

The hand towels and rolls of toilet paper are in the shelf basket.  The table is one I purchased many years ago in Upstate New York.

I LOVE this wallpaper!!  I wish I had a better camera -- the background looks light blue, but is actually a beautiful robin's egg blue color.  SOOO pretty! The board and batten was something I saw on a blog (I can't remember which one) a few years ago.  After removing the subway tiles from this bath, I knew this treatment would be the perfect replacement.  It was the first time my contractor had ever tried anything like it.  He loved it when he was finished.  I'm pretty sure he'll be offering it to other clients.  You are welcome!

The chandelier is from Lowe's.  Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to purchase, they no longer carried it:)  Gotta love Ebay!  Found it for less than the original price. Whew!

Just waiting for the Dash and Albert Sienna Rose throw rug.  It took me 2 months to decide on one.  I scoured antique stores, Etsy,  Ebay,  and a large number of Internet stores.  THIS is the one.  Finally. It's a Christmas gift from my mom.  And it's on back order....

I originally plamned to do this with all my antique hand-towels (beats leaving them in a drawer to rot!); however, after I fell in love with the wallpaper, I worry it may be too much...  Time will tell. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Full bath to half bath redo

When we bought the house it had 4 full baths. Great, right?  Not so much for me.  I'm probably one of very few people that thought it was overkill for this house.  I just thought, with no bedrooms on the first floor, why have a full bath (with a claw foot tub, nonetheless).  Sooo,  I remade it into a half bath. I kept the other three baths as full baths, but completely remodeled them - I'll save those for another post.  

Here it was the day we purchased it:

The wallpaper is actually a Currier and Ives-type print from a book.  Each one individual. Glued on.  With liquid-nails.  Seriously.  We had to take all four walls down completely and re-drywall.  No joke.  That should've been our first sign with this house.  Anyway, after pictures coming soon:)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Shabby cottage chic meets french country cottage in my living room redo

The living room is almost finished!  Ok, it looks finished and, right now, it needs to be finished; however, I'm sure there will be tweaking in the near future....Who am I kidding? There will definitely be tweaking (before I even posted this, I'd already changed some things! Look closely and you'll see some differences between some of the "after" pictures!) Anyway, on to the present.

Here are the "befores" and "afters":


 Really all I did in this room was paint, clean and move in!  Unfortunately, we ran out of the reno budget sooner than we thought thanks to some unplanned expenses (might I suggest, to anyone renovating an old home, a fairly large contingency fund...) and were not able to refinish the floors.  I've justified it by telling myself we have young children and a large dog, so why bother? They'll just rescratch them.  That worked for about a week.  It's back to driving me crazy. 

My cluttered English-country-cottage-cozy decorating for the window seats under each window flanking the fireplace until I can afford built-in glass door bookcases (or figure out how to build them myself).  

This house is an exercise in patience and decorating in stages.  Not being a patient person, I'm finding it incredibly challenging....  Built-in bookcases are stage 2, or 3.  Translation - we're out of money and it's going to be awhile:(

Monday, December 30, 2013

Brainstorming on living room decorating ideas

I've already posted about my very strong desire for built-in bookcases in the living room which, unfortunately, are going to have to wait due to more of those pesky budget constraints.  To brighten my mood, I've been looking at some decorating ideas for the room.  Right now, paint and curtains are about all I'll actually be purchasing for the living room (and maybe an area rug if Craigslist or the local antique stores come through for me...really cheap).

So many beautiful ideas!

 I actually have these curtains from my previous home; however, I don't have enough panels for the living room in this house:(  I absolutely LOVE them and am going to have to work them in somewhere...

I just love the slipcovers and ruffles.  The white damask.  The pops of pink and red.  The shabby chic and farmhouse furniture.  The loads of books and built-in's.  The floral prints and buffalo checks.  So much comfy, cozy beauty!  I ride the line between English Country and French Country decor....