Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vacation Week - A Week in Review

I guess it is ok that I haven't been blogging since everyone in blogland was at the Haven blog conference.  I was not there.  I was however, on vacation last week.  But, I am back to the grind at work now.  The vacation was a success.  I got a lot of things done.  I had a lot of fun relaxing and doing some fun activities.  This post will go over all the projects I finished and started.  Even some of the fun non projects.  So here is how the week went.

Day 1 started with me doing the chalkboard sticky note to do list that I posted about here.

Day 2 I set up my temporary sewing area in our office so that I can start on some of my sewing projects.

Day 3 We took a day trip to Cincinnati.  Specifically, we were going to the Ikea in West Chester (outside of Cincinnati) to buy pillows. 

Our closest Ikea is in Pittsburgh, Pa (45 minutes from our house).  It is one of the first Ikea's built in the US.  It is the smallest Ikea ever.  No exaggeration.  It really is.  They don't carry everything the other Ikea's sell.  I wanted to buy the Irma pillows for some sewing projects.  Ours, sadly, doesn't sell them.  Luckily, the Ikea in West Chester had them in stock.  Also, because I am such an Ikea nut, I have plans to visit all the Ikea's in the US.  I have been to 2 previously.  The smallest (Pittsburgh) and the largest (Schaumburg, outside of Chicago).  Now, I can say that I have been to 3.  Here we are.

I was kind of disappointed that they were rearranging the store, so a lot of the room displays were under construction.  I look forward to seeing the rooms especially if it is a bigger Ikea.  They usually have tons of room displays.  Most of this Ikea's room displays were not visible.  Here is a sample of some of the rooms I did actually get to see.

After Ikea, I needed to go to a Hobby Lobby to finish up accessorizing our dog's room.  Here is what I went for.

Some of these glass bottles were bought at my local Hobby Lobby.  But I basically bought all that they had and wasn't sure how long until they would get anymore in.

Day 4 I decided to test out the sewing machine and made this envelope pillow for our bedroom. 

This is the first sewing project that I ever attempted outside of home ec in middle school. I found a tutorial on how to sew an envelope pillow here.

The dogs seemed afraid to sit on the pillow at first. But they like it now.
We also made some progress on the outside of our house.  We removed some tree stumps and took awnings off of the house that were moldy and completely not my style.  Awnings are very old fashioned and not attractive in the least.  We dug up all the old rocks that were in the flower beds.  We also fixed a hole that was in the siding.  Here is what it is looking like now.  Still not great, but better than it was in my opinion.

Day 5 I started a major component of our bedroom, the curtains for our wall of closets.  It is one of a few projects left to do in the bedroom before I can do a reveal of the room.  Here is how the closets looked before.

The curtains took 3 days total.  I ran out of thread on the first day.  Then I had a couple other scheduled events to go to.  So finally they are finished.  They are not perfect by any means.  But I am rather pleased with what I accomplished.

I am nowhere near being qualified to give someone a tutorial on sewing, but I will say if you plan on using Kvartal track system from Ikea with regular curtains there are special requirements to hang them appropriately.  After researching it on the internet, most people used gathering tape to attach the glides.  I used balloon ring tape.  It is used for making roman blinds.  It worked for me.

Day 6 Was a day filled with games and relaxation.  My husband and I both played video games at home in the afternoon.  I play Rollercoaster Tycoon on my laptop and my husband was playing Dirt 3 on the Playstation.  The rest of the day was spent with our fathers.  We set up a day of fun to celebrate Father's Day.  My dad was working on Father's Day, so we decided to do it during the week because everyone happened to be on vacation at the same time.

My husband and I are very into miniature golf.  We play a lot.  Last year for father's day we all played mini golf and it was a blast.  So we decided to play again at a different course.  Pritchard's vs. Humphrey's.  The Pritchard's won by the way.  I personally beat everyone and had 2 holes in one.

We ate out at an Italian restaurant and ended the night with some bowling.  There was hardly anyone there, so we had the whole bowling alley to ourselves for the most part.  The Humphrey's won that event.  I did horribly.  I guess bowling isn't my sport.  It was very fun to just have fun playing games and relaxing.  No thoughts of doing projects, just having fun.

Day 7 We scheduled a trip to a local flea market.  It is held every Friday.  We usually are at our restaurant all day on Fridays.  So I was excited to be able to go finally.

I have been to Rogers before, but never really had anything I was looking for.  I just went to browse.  On this day, I actually had some things I was looking for.  I was looking for old cameras, a globe, a brass light fixture and patio furniture.  This is what I found from my list.

I am very happy with what I came home with.  I was really hoping to find a globe.  We only seen 2 and both were plastic toy like globes, not the real deal.  There was not any patio furniture or brass light fixtures at all.  I have come to the conclusion that stuff like that can be found easier on craigslist.

After doing some research on the internet, I have discovered that we totally got a deal on these 3 cameras.  It turns out that they are worth about $70 to $100.  We paid $30.  Score!  I was going to spray paint them white for a cool decorative effect.  But after finding out that,  I will just keep them as is in case I want to sell them in the future.  It will still be a cool collection.

Day 8  Was spent at home finishing up some projects.  The curtains were finished and hung up on this day. 

I had started a piece of art for the dog's room awhile back, but never finished it.  The art was inspired by this but I wanted to use our dog's paw prints.


I decided to use a canvas photograph that I was using as a sample in my photography studio.

I painted this canvas with pink acrylic paint.  It took several coats to cover the photograph.  It pretty much stayed that way for several weeks.  Then I laid out the pattern that I was going for, a heart.

The next step required complete focus so I do not have any pictures of the process.  I decided to use an ink pad instead of paint.  I did a test run with the calmest dog we have with paint and a piece of paper and needless to say it didn't look like a paw print at all.  We (it took two people) stuck the first dog's foot in the ink pad and tested it out on paper first and were satisfied with it.  We went ahead and put it on the canvas.  It wasn't perfect, but that gave it character.  We randomly placed each dog's paw prints all over in the heart shape.  All four dogs did surprisingly well.  Even Geno, our nervous Nelly rescue dog, did well.  He actually did better than all the rest.  His paw prints were more pronounced.  Here is what it looks like on the wall.

Day 9 Our parents invited us to go watch a baseball game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh to watch the Pirates take on the Detroit Tigers.

 Most of the day was spent in Pittsburgh.  I did, however, give my mom some decorating advice for her basement.  I didn't get into a full on design plan like I did for my sister.  There were too many things that I would change personally.  I knew that she wasn't going to do anything that drastic.  I just gave her my opinion on the pieces she was going to use. Hopefully, she will do some of the things I suggested.

Day 10  Our final day off was spent at home relaxing.

I am already thinking of the projects that we can do this weekend after our 4 day work week.  I need to save up some more money to be able to buy the finishing touches for the 2 rooms I have been working on.  I can't wait until they are done.  It has taken so long.  I am looking forward to working on 2 different rooms in the house.

We like to travel.  If anyone knows of some cool flea markets, antique stores or thrift shops, I would love to know about them.  Leave me a comment about it.  Please follow my blog to keep up-to-date on all of my projects. You don't want to miss the big room reveals that will be coming up.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chalkboard Sticky Note To Do List

I am a list maker.  Maybe a little bit to the extreme.  I have lists for everything.  I use several apps on my iPhone to make lists.  I even have a notebook with me all the time to make a quick list.  While browsing through Pinterest, I came across this picture.

I thought it would be a good idea to have a master list in our office so that my husband could see all the different projects and upcoming appointments.  If and whenever he feels like crossing something off our huge home projects list, he knows what needs done without me telling him. 

It seemed simple enough to replicate.  I already had painted our closet door and backside of the office door in chalkboard paint 2 years ago.  All I needed was some chalk and some sticky notes.  Off to Walmart I went to purchase these items.

The most time consuming part of this project is getting the lines straight.  I used a piece of metal that we had hanging out in our garage.  Not quite sure what it is or what it is used for, but it worked non the less.  Because I was doing 2 doors to make 2 separate lists, it took a couple hours to draw all the lines on and put the headings on.

Here is what my chalkboard sticky note lists look like.

Very easy and cheap.  I am really pleased with how great it looks and I love my lists.  Now every time I go into the office, I can see my lists and it will make me happy.  Hopefully, my husband will see them as well and be excited to do something on the list.

What do you think?  Let me know some other cool ways to make lists.  I can never get enough of lists.

I am linking to:

I Heart Nap Time

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the Grant Life

Friday, June 15, 2012

Followers... Where are you?

I am so confused.  What is going on with my blog?  For the last month, I have been thinking that nobody likes my blog.  I have no followers.  Why doesn't anyone want to follow my blog?  I participate in linky parties.  I did 2 blog hops.  Still no followers.  I was starting to form a complex about it. 

I decided to add the Linky followers widget.  Maybe that is how people follow blogs.  They don't use email or readers, I thought.

Then I thought, I am going to see what happens if someone wants to follow my blog.  I click on the follow through email gadget.  I type in one of my email addresses and submit.  I get a validate subscription email with a link.  I click on that and get a successful subscription message.  So I am thinking I should have at least 1 follower now.

I go to my blogger overview page to see if it updated my 1 follower and lo and behold, zero still.  What is going on?  Maybe I do have followers but they aren't showing up.  I am completely confused.

Usually when I have a problem or a question I google it.  Why aren't my followers showing up in blogger, I type.  Tons and tons of people with the same problem show up.  I click on the first one and it redirects me to some google group with no question that I just clicked on.  OK.  So, I try another one.  Same thing.  So in this group, I type in the same question.  Finally, the question pops up.  But no one gets an answer.  It is like a mystery that no one know the answer to.  Someone suggests deleting all unread posts through google reader.  I follow a lot of blogs and have over 800 unread posts.  I am not about to delete them all just in case it solves this problem.  Most people said that it didn't help.  Other than that, I haven't found any answers.

I am completely desperate at this point.  If anyone that comes across my blog has any answers to this problem or has tried to follow my blog without success.  Please comment to help.  I would really appreciate any advice.  Thank you so much.

PS Today is my last day at work before my vacation.  9 days off.  I plan on posting a lot of projects and maybe even a room reveal.  So I really hope I can fix this problem.  I don't want anyone to miss out on all my fun posts I have planned.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ikea Hack - Sprucing up Lekman Boxes

Because our dog's room also functions as a storage room, we needed some decorative boxes to hide our stuff in.

We already had several of these Lekman boxes.

LEKMAN Box IKEA This box is suitable for storing everything from newspapers and magazines to your clothes.

We bought them in red to go in our kitchen, but we decided to get rid of the Lack bookcase that they were sitting on.  When it came time to do the dog's room, I thought we could use these in the expedit's that were going in there.  The red doesn't go with the decor of that room.  So, I needed to figure out a way to still use them, but change the color.

After scouring through old posts of (one of my favorite blogs), I came across this hack.

This was my solution to using the Lekman box but making it match the decor of the room.

Instead of using stained plywood, I used luan plywood that I painted a lime green.  I was going to paint the white polka dots on but decided for time sake to use white round stickers that I bought at Walmart. 

Once the plywood was painted and the stickers were placed, I marked where the holes needed to be drilled for the handle.  I then adhered the plywood to the fronts of the Lekman box with Loctite Power Grab.  I stacked some heavy boxes on top of the plywood and let it dry for about an hour.  My husband drilled the holes for the knobs.
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I purchased cheap basic knobs from Lowe's.  I gave them a quick sanding, squeezed a dab of Loctite Power Grab and adhered a flower pendant to the knobs to make a custom decorative knob.

I found these on clearance at Michael's.  I needed 8 total (4 for this project and 4 for another).  I had to drive to 5 different Michael's to get them all.

I attached each knob and slid the finished boxes into the expedit squares.  That is it.  A real simple project that anyone can do.  It was also relatively inexpensive.

So what do you think?  I can't wait to show the room reveal.  I still have a few more projects to finish first.

Please follow my blog if you want to see the reveal of this room and all the other rooms I am working on.

I am linking up to:


Full Circle Creations

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

I Heart Nap Time

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