Friday, March 29, 2013

Red, white and blue

It's Friday and I couldn't be more ready for the weekend.  I'm looking forward to Easter and pottering round the house and flipping through my Orla Kiely Pattern book that just arrived (thank you very much credit card reward points).  It's going to take all my willpower not to rip out some of the pages to frame.

The half bath progress continues at a snails pace.  A snail that has stopped to catch his breath.  Then grabbed something to eat.  And finally decided to take a nap.  Aaaah, it's never going to be finished!!  Ok, I feel better after that.  Now for the progress.

We finally mounted the Target cabinet.  I love the crisp white against the navy.

It looks a little small on the wall, but I have a few ideas to bulk it up a bit.

I've also been squirreling away some accessories since I decided on the navy walls.  I'm not sure all of these will be making it into the room, but i suppose it's good to have too much rather than not enough.  It'll certainly put my editing skills to the test.

You can't beat a patriotic red, white and blue colour scheme.  Not an Easter pastel in sight, ha!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013


When we purchased our house the hallway was a gloomy green - it somehow sucked all the light out of what should have been a bright space.

I knew we would be painting it, and we quickly updated it from the dark green to a bright cream. I loved the crisp clean look it gave, but even I have to admit it looked a little plain Jane - even with the introduction of the cute Loch Ness Monster print (more on that HERE) and a little Welcome sign (more on that HERE).

The wall by the stairs, in particular, was crying out for something.  Anything!!

I came up with the idea of adding stripes along all of the walls, but with 5 doorways it would have been very start stop, so I decided on one wide stripe on the main wall. Now for the color - I must have bought about 50 different paint chips home. I wanted something neutral, but enough of a contrast that you would actually notice it. In the end I went for Dust Bunny (oh the irony!) by Valspar.
I masked out my line with painters tape. I read a great tip on Emily Clarks amazing blog for painting stripes: paint along the outside with an almost dry brush as this seals the edges and prevents bleeding under the tape.  (Please ignore the hideous smoke detector - it's on the list to be replaced!)

I couldn't wait to whip the tape off. Sure enough, the lines were nice and sharp.

I picked up 4 frames from our local dollar store and framed some of my own photos (side note: Walmart is having a half price sale on Poster Prints, less than $3 for an 11x14.  Run, don't walk!).
This pic was taken on a trip to Tampa.  Sadly this is as close as we got to that yacht!
The colour was just what I wanted, and I love any excuse to get my photos out of a box and onto the wall.

At only $3 for the tester of paint and $4 for the frames the whole project came in under $10. Perfect if you're a renter and don't want the hassle of repainting a whole wall when you move out, or if you want to inject a bit of color but don't want to commit to a whole wall.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Heart JCP

I was wandering round JCP this weekend and saw some great deals.  The housewares department was cloaked in plastic ready for the big Jonathan Adler, Martha Stewart, Conran reveal later this spring.  But I did manage to have a look round the lighting section, and couldn't believe the modern designs.

(oh yeah, check me and my new collage making skills!)

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Seriously though, how amazing are these lamps?  I ordered number 2 online (part of the new Jonathan Adler collection), and picked up number 4 in store.  They're just as nice in person.

I'm not ashamed to say, I'm a big JCP fan.  I think because I wasn't here for the "that's where my Gran shops" era (I've only been in the US 5 years).  And I love all of the new improvements and concessions they are bringing in. 
PS - this was 100% not a sponsored post, I just like shopping.......and JCP.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Making Plans

Happy Friday!  I hope you've all had a great week.  I've been busy laying the groundwork for a couple of bigger projects (bigger for me anyway) around here.  I've also caught the organizing bug in a big way (I can almost hear my mum gasp from the other side of the pond, ha!).  The yard sale was the catalyst in getting this place in some kind of order.  If we haven't used/worn/needed it since we moved in (nearly 12 months ago) it's out (said in your best Heidi, Project Runway voice).  Purge, purge and purge some more.

It's a little overwhelming to tackle the whole house at once, so I'm trying to do one space at a time.  First up is our sad little pantry.  I'm thinking stencils and plenty of shelving and some flexible storage options, and maybe a counter top?  Wish me luck!

In blog news, I made a BIG investment this weekend.  A new camera!  Up till now, all my photos have been taken with my little point and shoot Cypershot, and it's been great.  But I look at blogs like The Lettered Cottage and Yellow Brick Home and swoon at their amazing photos.  Of course, it helps that they have amazing things to take amazing photos of.  And I know having a good camera doesn't make a good photographer (cue lots of Googling), but I'm really excited to get out and about and try to improve.

I can already see the difference in picture quality just wandering around the house taking snaps of random stuff.  Of course first up was Murph, who looks thrilled at the prospect of having his picture taken.

This painting by numbers is my latest flea market find:
 Along with this faux old calendar:

So look out for some, hopefully, improved pics.  Have a fantastic weekend whatever you have planned.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Third Time Lucky

One thing I've learnt since we moved into our house is that sometimes you have to play around with layout and colours and decor until you land on the look you love.   

Take the main wall behind the sofa in the living room.  It started with a framed London Underground print (actually some gift wrap from HERE).  I liked the size and the frame, but I just could not get past the aged creamish map against the crisp white mat.  Something about it looked weird.  I don't know why, but it did, so down it came.

Next up was the DIY starburst mirror.  I love a good startburst as much as the next person, and I think this will definitely end up in another area of the house (maybe painted and in the hallway?).  But it just looked a little raw, or unfinished, or woody or something, so down it came.

The most recent update is my amazingly innovative paint chip art.  Ok, so not really.  Paint chip art has been around forever, but this was my first venture.  Come on, you knew it was only a matter of time.  I mean free art, that couldn't be any more up my street!

There are many, many, many examples of really good paint chip art all over Pinterest. These are some of my faves:

For my take I went for triangles.  I managed to find a paint chip that was close to the main colour in the living room, and I used that to judge which other colours I would use.

I laid out the triangles to work out the general layout and colour spacing

Piece by piece I transferred them to my white backing card.

And I squished them all down with a couple of heavy books (thanks to YHL for their inspiration and for producing a weighty book).

I popped them back in the frame I had used for the underground map, and up on the wall it went.

Just the look I was going for - at least for now!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Birds on a Wire

Despite our recent yard sale, I did manage to cling on to a few future project pieces (aka old crapped up junk!).  Top of the pile was this frame that my bread print originally came in.

I quickly found a new frame for the print, and popped it on the wall in the nook.

The sad little frame was relegated to the basement.  This weekend I finally came up with the perfect use for it.  I dusted it off and dragged it back upstairs, but it was in a bad way.

I wanted to use the frame to create birds on a wire with little bird silhouettes and silver thread for the wire.  First up was covering up the chipped frame by painting it black.  Next I cut out my bird silhouettes from thick card (I googled bird silhouette and was spoilt for choice).

To secure them to the wire I taped a simple paperclip to the back of each bird.

To create the look of wire I found some thick silver thread at Michaels and staple gunned it randomly across the frame.  The ridge the glass used to sit in was the perfect groove for the staple to be well hidden.  Then it was just a case of placing my little birds on the wires.

I love that you could make this project as big or small as you like, and use as many different colours as you like.

It worked out being the perfect size for the blank wall in our guest room.

New here, thanks for stopping by. You can stay connected with me through Bloglovin:
Follow on Bloglovin
Google Friend Connect (check bottom right in the side bar)
Or see my likes and loves on Pinterest
Follow Me on Pinterest

Friday, March 15, 2013

It's all white

In super duper amazing news, our bedroom has made the cut in the Apartment Therapy Bedroom Retreat contest.  If you would like to vote, you can pop on over HERE.  Try not to be distracted by the other amazing entries, and head straight for the purple pillow.

This is the perfect opportunity to tell you about my latest TJ Maxx find (love that shop).  If you've been following along, you'll know I've struggled to find something I really love to hang above the bed in the master.  Why is that big blank wall always so tricky to fill?

I started with a small (too small for the space) square pic that made the move from our apartment.  It was only meant to be temporary, but 8 months later it was still there, staring down at my with it's annoyingly small proportions.  It's amazing how a temporary fix can turn into permanent.

One day I decided enough was enough and took it down in the hope that having nothing at all would be the kick start I needed.

And then a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon this gem in TJ Maxx:

It was only $20 - great price, check.  The shape and size were perfect, check.  But I wasn't keen on the colour.  Nothing a can of white spray paint couldn't fix.

I made sure the mirror was completely covered before starting to spray.

After just one coat.

And here it is after about 3 coats and 24 hours of drying.  Ta daaaa!

Murph is as enthusiastic as ever about my latest project.  He could really give a girl a complex!

This weekend has a forecast of warm spring weather, intermittent spray painting, with a chance of thrifting!  Have a great St Paddys day.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Yard Saaaale!

I'm thinking the title may have given this post away! 

Finally, after months of banging on about having one, and hours of sorting (I wanted to make sure we got every last thing we no longer needed or wanted out), we had a yard sale.

I advertised on Craigslist for the week leading up to the sale, and put signs up on our street the Thursday and Friday before.  Nothing like fluorescent yellow and smiley face balloons to draw a crowd.

My friend came over to help and sell some of her unwanted items too.  It took us no time at all to set up.  I was worried nobody would turn up, but by 7.30 we were tired of turning people away (we were due to start at 8).

The weather was perfect which definitely helped.  I didn't get any shots of during the sale because we were busy wheeling and dealing.  Luckily most people thought our prices were already cheap.  Good thing as I have the worlds worst haggling skills.

Bargain hunter - "how much for the table?"
Me - "$40"
Bargain hunter - "would you take $20?"
Me - "ok"

I wish I was joking!

We sold all of the big items, with the exception of the item of the week.  It drew a lot of laughs but sadly no takers.

Even the 3000 lb TV headed out the door (fat screen definitely not flat screen).  This is all that was left (with the exception of the coffee table - that's a top secret future project!).  A local charity came by and scooped it up later that afternoon.

I'm so please to get all of our unwanted junk out of the house.  And now I have some extra money to buy more unwanted junk.  Ha, but really, I'm going to try extra hard to buy things that we either need or that I have an immediate use for.  No more buying for the sake of buying or buying because its cheap.  Ok, maybe just a little!