Sunday, January 23, 2011

Notice anything different?

I started this blog during the summer at my daughter's urging. I picked a layout, learned a (very) few tricks, but haven't spent a lot of time in gussy-ing it up!

Friday, however, I was visiting one of my favorite beautiful blogs, Tracy's Trinkets & Treasures

Tracy was offering to create a blog button for an interested party! Let me tell you, the keyboard was smokin' as I promptly indicated *my* interest.

But you know how these giveaways on blogs work. Those random number generators always pick someone else's number!

Not today.

Tracy had 15 entries, and instead of picking one...she decided to make buttons for all fifteen of us! Wow. Truly, you meet some of the nicest people in Blog Land!

In addition, I mentioned to Tracy that my header was pretty she improved that for me as well.

All I can say is thankyouthankyouthankyou! Tracy, you made my day/week/month!

She has posted her other button creations on her blog here. Be sure to stop by and admire her talent!

Yep. It's a Good Day!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bathroom Facelift Phase 2: Mirror & Light!

My bathroom facelift project is creeping along at a snail's pace...sorry about that! If you missed Phase 1, you can find it here.

Phase 2 consisted of building a frame for the mirror, and replacing the ugly (and crooked) racetrack light fixture!

There was absolutely nothing wrong with our builder-grade bathroom mirror. Not much that can be wrong with a big flat mirror glued to the wall--unless you count the "glued to the wall" part, which I do. I "googled" how-to-remove-a-mirror-glued-to-the-wall, and it really didn't look like a DIY-type project, unless I was interested in 1,294 years of bad luck! (I'm not!)

So the alternative was to embrace the glue concept, and build a frame which I could GLUE to the mirror! Oh boy!

I purchased two different pieces of molding to construct my mirror frame. The first piece was a plain rectangular board, and the second was a chair rail. Placed together, they made a nice wide frame.

I cut all the pieces to size, then used Liquid Nails to adhere the molding to the mirror. I used my thirteen-year-old daughter...and some Frog hold the molding in place while the glue dried.

My cutting isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and the boards aren't perfectly flat. So there are gaps to be filled, and I used a caulk on the little cracks, and wood filler on the big ones.

Looking better...

Next I replaced the "racetrack" style light fixture. I never noticed it was installed crooked until I painted the stripes! I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a new fixture; I found one that was nice enough for around $50.

Changing out a light fixture is really pretty easy. Just make sure you turn the power off FIRST!

Here's what the light box looked like after I removed the old fixture. There are three wires: white, black, and ground (usually copper colored).

These match up with the three wires on the new fixture.

Match up your wires and twist the ends together. Then you screw on the handy-dandy little plastic wire nuts.

Your new fixture will come with a mounting plate that screws on to your light box; there are usually no new holes to drill. Bolt your fixture to the mounting plate, and you're done!

See? New light! (I'm pretty sure it's the picture that is crooked, not the light.)

And here's the big picture...

I haven't yet replaced the towel or toilet paper holders because....well, I'm cheap. I haven't been in the mood to spend $30 (minimum) to replace something that is really still OK. Hopefully I'll either a.) win the lottery, or b.) find a great sale!

Nothing is on the walls yet, either. Still waiting to be inspired for that one.

And then there's the cabinet. To paint or not to paint? What do you think?

The DIY Show Off


topsy turvy tuesdays

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bathroom Facelift Phase 1: The $5 Paint Job

The most-used bathroom in our house is probably the one on the main level. There are two nice bathrooms upstairs and one in the basement, but the convenient little half-bath is surely the most popular.'s the one any guests use.
Not exactly a recipe for success.

Several years ago I put up a nice textured wallpaper and a lighthouse border that I found at Lowe's. It wasn't expensive, and it was better than those plain white walls.

Like the way the kitchen dishtowel gets pressed into service as a hand towel? This is real life, folks!

Here's the big problem: every little kid who has sat on this toilet has been inexplicably drawn to the seam in the wallpaper.


That section of the wallpaper has been put back together (like a jigsaw puzzle) on multiple occasions! (Thank you, Elmer's Glue.) After years of this, may I just say...

I am so over wallpaper.

So last weekend...I was bored.
What to do...what to do... I know!
Let's rip all the wallpaper out of the bathroom!

So I did.

The top vinyl-y layer comes off in big sheets, leaving behind the paper backing and the adhesive. If you're planning on removing wallpaper, your next two best friends are these:

A squirt bottle and a plastic scraper (I use the kind kitchen stores like to give away).

Once all the paper was gone, I washed down the walls with TSP to remove any glue residue. I've never done that before, but it seemed like a good idea at the time!

Now...the paint! I bought a $5 gallon of "oops" paint from Lowes, and base-coated the whole bathroom in a nice creamy white.

But it needed a little pizzazz! So after much measuring and leveling, I marked out the wall for STRIPES!!

I measured the wall from the ceiling to the top of the baseboards, and divided it into 7 stripes, each 11.5 inches wide.

I placed the tape on the outside of the stripes I would be painting. Then, using a trick I have learned from Blogland, I quickly ran a roller with my base color over the inside edge of the tape (the edge that was going to be the new color). This seals the edge of the tape, and any bleeding that happens isn't noticeable, because it's the same color as the base coat!

Genius, I tell you; sheer genius!

The color for my stripes was a mix. I tried using the same tan color I have in the rest of my house (Martha Stewart Woven Flax--love it), but it seemed too dark. So I mixed some of the Woven Flax with my $5 paint and came up with a softer tan. Perfect.

So, without further ado, here is my newly striped bathroom!

See? No more jigsaw puzzle next to the toilet!

Love the super-clean stripes. I had to do very little touching-up.

Not bad for a $5 paint job, don't you think?

Still to come: a frame for the mirror, new light fixture, painting the vanity (I think), and the frou-frou!

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special


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Domestically Speaking


Thursday, January 13, 2011


I am on a fingerless gloves kick! I found a great pattern on Ravelry, and it cried out to me to make it...

This is "Owlings." The rows of cables look like rows of little owls. I used seed beeds for eyes for one owl on each row. (Where are my fingers?? Curled up in there somewhere, I hope!)

Tied up in a ribbon, they made a fun "post-Christmas" gift for a good friend!

Someday I'll make some for myself!

I am RedHen6 on Ravelry, if you're interested in seeing some of my other projects.


Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special


Friday, January 7, 2011

The cabinet at the top of the stairs


That's what we call it.

Maybe it doesn't have quite the ring that

"the cupboard under the stairs"

has, but it's gotta be close!

Anyway, I bought this little cabinet from a classified ad for $50 several years ago. In my head it was going to sit just inside our front door, but it was too big. Instead, it went to the landing at the top of the stairs, and there it has sat ever since!

And it was fine for a long time. It holds all my yarn stash, and other miscellany crafty items. It was a brown cabinet on a white wall, and it wasn't bothering anybody.

Then I had to go and paint the wall...a year ago. Now it was an ugly brown cabinet on a brown wall, and it bothered ME...a lot!!

If it bothered me so much, you might wonder why it took a year to paint it. Well, there were too many more-fun-more-interesting projects waiting in the garage. Then there was homeschool. Then there were the holidays.

But all that is OVER now....and the time had come.

Wednesday I bought paint and a dropcloth (which I used as a dropcloth) and got to work!

The poor little cabinet never moved from the top of the stairs. I just pulled it away from the wall and left the doors and drawers hanging open for a few days. It's OK. No one fell down the stairs in the middle of the night... (that I know of--I wear earplugs at night!)

I used Behr Premium paint in "Heavy Cream." In retrospect, and I needed something a little more creamy, but that's how the milk spilt! I used Minwax Dark Walnut stain to glaze it all over, and I replaced the hardware (except the hinges, although I would have if I could have gotten them off).

It definitely "pops" more against the brown wall now, and that's good.

The bad is that it isn't exactly the same "white" as the framed pictures above it.

And the pictures aren't going / can't go anywhere!

(These are my treasured hand-painted irises on porcelain tiles that my mother made. They are beyond gorgeous, but the frames may have to be re-re-painted to match the cabinet now!)

The color difference was really bothering me until I put a few doo-dads on the cabinet. That helps fool my eye into not noticing the difference quite so much!

I will admit this isn't my ideal piece of furniture for this spot--what I really want is an antique dresser that's up on legs. But I can live with it a while longer now!

What do you think? Better?

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