Feb 28, 2011

master bath- breezy curtains and bicycle basket magazine rack

Thank you so much to all of you who read, commented and stopped by over the weekend.  I am so completely overwhelmed with the response!
It's nice to know we're not alone in this journey.

I've been doing my best to visit all of you- especially those who have had questions about blogging.  If I haven't yet, I promise I'm not ignoring you!  I've just never had so many comments before! 

****
Here's two little projects that have been nagging at me for weeks- so nice to get them done!

On Thursday, the UPS man brought me some much anticipated curtains with the remainder of my gift cards from Pottery Barn.  (thanks again for the awesome giveaway, Mary & Val!!)

The PB Textured Cotton tie top drape. 
They were much more opaque than what I was expecting, but I was actually pretty happy about that because it offers more privacy when they are closed- the bamboo blinds are pretty sheer, and I'm fairly certain we were giving the neighbors a peep show for a couple weeks!
Yikes!

Here is what we had previously (also the original wall color).  Very formal and very red.



I've had this bamboo pole since last fall.  I was able to pick it up at a thrift shop for 25 cents! Such a deal!  I even had to cut off a few inches for it to fit in the space. 
Then, I purchased the Allen and Roth drapery supports from Lowe's for $9.


I really love the finish work that the builder did throughout the house, so it kills me to cover it up, but I do love having the curtain rod higher.
Here's a closer look at the finished window:


I also took out our free standing magazine rack we had in the W.C., and put up the second bicycle basket.  You may remember from my post this past Christmas what I did with the other one.
Since we're doing a more beachy feel to this area, I thought it would be pretty cute and functional.

Before:

I was looking for some kind of hook to attach the basket to the wall. 
I knew in my head what I was looking for, but couldn't seem to find it at the hardware store.  I finally settled on using a hasp set.  The pieces in the set were a brass color, and I wanted them to match the basket's galvanized metal.  A quick shot of Krylon's Nickel spray paint, and it was perfect!


I love it! So much cuter and easier to sweep the floor without something I have to move every time.

The bathroom is a slow moving project because of the work and expense involved.  For now, the easiest projects have been completed. (painting, window treatment, accessories!)
Next on the agenda, to be completed ????? (hopefully before the end of the year?) :

  • white hexagon 1" tiles for the floor
  • white Carrera marble tile for the counter tops
  • wide plank bead board for the walls surrounding the sink area and around the tub deck
  • new chrome / nickel light fixtures to replace our bronze color damaged ones
  • chrome /nickel towel holders
  • wall mounted cabinet for extra toiletries in the W.C.
  I was able to purchase some rectangular swivel mirrors at Target on clearance.  We will replace our large wall mirror once the rest of the projects fall into place. 
Here's hoping my inspiration pic will become a reality in our bathroom!

Feb 25, 2011

what I've learned about blogging- a newbie's perspective


You sent for me sir?

Yes, Clarence. A man down on earth needs our help.

Splendid! Is he sick?

No. Worse.
He's discouraged.

I have to admit- I was pretty naive about what 'blogging' was.
The only blogs I knew about were family / personal blogs, or techie blogs, or movie junkie blogs.

I had a family blog in 2006, and gave it up after a few months.  I found Facebook, and decided that would be a better format for sharing what was going on with my family.

For most of 2009, I had a desperation to find a way to connect with other creative people.  Painters, decorators, people who were uber creative who could help expand my creative thinking cap.

I was talking to two of my sister in laws about wanting to work from home in a business related to interior decorating, but I also loved cooking and gardening. 
One of them said to me,
you should start a webpage!

I am so technically challenged I had no idea how I would build /start a webpage.

And then last year, a friend suggested I check out My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia.

Blogging?!  I kinda knew how to do that!
And then my whole world was blown wide open to a virtual online magazine of decorating!
Holy cow!!

My Home Ideas
Last July, I started this little project called PinkPostcard. 
I really had no idea what I was doing, and was figuring out things as I went along, mostly too shy or embarrassed to ask questions of seasoned bloggers.
And then it happened.  About two months into it, I started feeling insecure about how slowly my blog was 'growing'.  I started gauging my day on how many people had commented or signed up to follow me.

And when you're blogging about things that are personal to you- your home, your sanctuary, the thing you take pride in- and it feels like few people are jumping on board with you, while the blog that started up 3 months after you has exploded with followers, well, it gets discouraging.

Just bein' real here.

And then about a month ago, I ventured into the hostess role.

In week 3, I woke up to check on the party, and GASP!
nobody's here?

*sniff*
Later that day, I saw that we indeed did have a party, but that was a tough day.
I felt like a big fat loser.


Remember the scene in Something's Gotta Give where she's writing and crying off and on?
Yeah, that was pretty much me.  Going between discouragement and overwhelmed by the support of fellow bloggers, saying Me Too!
If you will, play this video and imagine this is me, blogging and reading your emails of encouragement:



(It's kinda long- you get the idea after about a minute)
And please please PLEASE, if you linked up in week three, don't think that I didn't absolutely appreciate you who were there- because I truly did!  I just thought that by week 3, I wouldn't be seeing an empty page after two hours of being open for business!
:(

Later that day, as I was visiting blogland, I came across a post by Donna from Funky Junk Interiors.  It brought me to tears.  I was so encouraged, I wrote her a note of thanks. 
She was incredibly kind in her words of encouragement and suggestions.  I am forever grateful.

And then, in talking to some of the friends I've made since I started blogging, I discovered something....

Everyone else felt like me at one time or another!
 Here's what I learned from my own experience thus far, and what others are saying:
  • It's an emotional roller coaster. 
  • there just aren't enough hours in the day to visit everyone you'd like to, respond to all of the wonderful comments, and meet new blogs.
  • sometimes it feels like you're back in high school and it's like trying to get the attention of the popular kids (blogs) or keep up to eventually be on that track of popularity.
  • it costs money to blog! I thought it would be a relatively "free" thing for me to do.  Uh, no. Projects cost money and so does starting a business (like Etsy- that you help promote with blogging!)
  • not having enough "good things to write about"
  • not having projects good enough
  • wondering why some blogs have huge followings and yours is feeling rather invisible.
  • some of my most favorite bloggers have all considered quitting their blogs at one point or another! 
So, I write all this to say thank you over the past week to those of you (and you know who you are!) for your words of encouragement, for helping me not to feel like a big fat loser, and that I am not alone in my feelings.  Every one of us started because we love what we blog about!  And there are those days of discouragement and feeling unworthy. 

If I can offer any thing positive as to what I'm learning, it's this:

Dear Denise: (and others in the same boat)
  • Blogging takes time and dedication.  Whether you do it for fun or as a business venture. Give yourself a break and relax.  Enjoy it!
  • Link up to parties, it's how people find you from the billion other blogs out there!
  • Go with your gut. 
  • Be personal.  (still working on this one) I started out thinking that I had to be careful about what I was writing about myself.  You know, because of all those crazy rapists that stalk blogs.  (kidding)  I don't give out anything that personal.  But we are human beings, we want to connect with people!
  • don't compare yourself to anyone else.  You have something unique to offer.  Really, you do!!
  • Teach.  You may think what you know is not worthwhile or too simplistic, but someone out there doesn't know how to do it!  It's what people want to know!
  • Learn from people who do what you do- it's free! And probably a whole lot more interesting than sitting in a classroom.

If you're thinking about quitting blogging because of the time commitment, or just sheer disappointment, or unworthiness, please don't!  Those of you who have been brave enough and honest enough to say so- I would sincerely miss your personality and what you bring to the blogging community.  I may not get to personally tell you that as often as I'd like, but, I would!

I have so enjoyed my 7 month journey into blogging.  I'm not considering jumping off a bridge into icy waters for the insurance money, and I'm not quitting my blog.
It's just been different than what I expected, and I never knew I wasn't the only one feeling the way I did!

I also never expected to find more supportive and thoughtful people on this journey.  It's so nice to see women helping women.

  So, sit down and pull that safety bar over your lap. 
Hang on!  Everyone else is feeling just like you do!


 


Feb 24, 2011

rearranging and restyling great room ledges

First off, I just wanted to say, thank you so much for your encouragement, insights, and comments yesterday!
I will keep the linky party going based on the feedback, and just know that it will be an intimate party in the beginning stages!  :)

I am so enjoying meeting so many of you who are new here, and seeing the great projects and finds you bring.  Thank you!
****
On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to help a friend restyle an area in her home.
Tiffany is actually more like family than just a friend- her husband and my husband are cousins!  So I'm not sure what exactly that makes us in the lineage of family associations (cousins in law???)
but either way, we had a lot of fun coming up with some new ideas for their great room ledges.

We used just what she had on hand and had a lot of fun in the process!
I asked Tiffany what she was wanting to use and we started digging through her cupboards, garage, and other rooms. We pulled things out that were favorite pieces, or had special meaning to their family.

Here's where we started.  This is the before:


And after:

The kerosene lamp was in a chest in the family room, and we used an old shoebox with some muslin draped over it to give it some height.  The vintage picture was a family heirloom, also tucked away, and we brought that into the scene.  The tall vase of flowers was from another ledge and added softness and height.  We pulled the baskets in closer from where they'd been previously.  The small rocker was in the family room and we used it to prop up some really cute vintage cookbooks:


A closer look at the vignette:

 Next, we moved over to the other side of the kitchen. 
I forgot to get some before pictures (drat!) but, previously there were a couple candlesticks, a decorative plate and teapot being displayed.

She really liked the tall teapot with the flowers, so we started with that, and made a grouping with two other teapots.
We added in the tray, vintage record box and clock:

Tiffany had a really neat silver platter in all of it's tarnished loveliness, and had it displayed right side out.  When I asked about it in our rearranging process, she flipped it over and told me that it was her grandmother's.  There was an amazing little bit of family history in the engraving- she went to
Beverly Hills high school! 
So cool!
 I suggested we display that side of it to showcase it.  The indentation of the design was still visible in the main part of the tray, so it truly could be used either way, and is so much more personal and interesting. 
The ledge is lower, so the engraving is still visible even though it's above the cupboards.


Before the clock was added into the mix, we had added the white vase...
But that fabulous old record box was hiding in a corner of the family room!  Loved all the international stamps and postmarks.  The box was her husband's grandfather's.  Now is has a more prominent place and to see and enjoy.


Next, we moved over to the biggest ledge.

Before:

The cradle and quilt were family heirlooms, but Tiffany wasn't necessarily loving the colors displayed in the quilt.  They want to move the room more to blues, yellows and greens.

The semi- after:


Because we needed a ladder and were running out of time, we focused more on the lower ledge, moved what we could on the upper, and brainstormed some ideas for the future.

These ledges that so many people have in newer homes are great places to display things, but my theory is that what is up there shouldn't be too distracting.  We focused on silver, clear glass, and whites for this area.

The vintage canning jars were a great incorporation into the scheme.  They look great now, but I gave the idea you see above, if she wants to play with it some more.

I loved the form of the silver plate holder. That, along with the mirror, adds a bit of sparkle without being too flashy.  The basket of lavender gives a textural element and hides the fact that the mirror is reflecting the top of the fan base.
We flipped the quilt over so just the white backing was showing, and the color was more restful to the eye.

This was where we ended.  We added in the black and white photos of their kids to the ledge.  Every room needs a little pop of black to anchor.

Tiffany's husband has a family history in farming, so he has a collection of the blue tractors.
Since they want to incorporate more blues into the space, I suggested possibly moving them to an area where more of them could be added as a bigger collection- maybe on top of their new entertainment center?


 We were working around our kid's school schedule so we did all of this in a couple hours. 
I gave Tiffany a few more ideas and possibilities for their great room, and we left it open for a potential return visit later on to do some more.

Tiffany's response?

Thank you for coming over yesterday to help me decorate. It was fun to wake up this morning to a new look.  :)

Thank you, Tiffany!!  And thanks for letting me blog about it!

It's great for me to get some experience in working with clients- I'd love to continue to decorate not just my own home, but others who'd like the help!

Happy Thursday!

Feb 23, 2011

Transformations and Treasures No. 4

Well, here we are!  Week four!
What are you thinking about the linky party here at PinkPostcard?

Let me show you some favorites from last week, and then we will talk about that question some more at the very bottom.


Fiona at Lilyfield Life shared her so super cute chair reno!
I was so impressed this was her first reupholster job!
She also got an amazing deal to boot.


Michelle at Emerald Cove made a darling faux fireplace for her master bedroom makeover.  So creative!


And finally, the Style Sisters shared a gorgeous settee makeover.  I love the contrast in colors!

Here's the button if you were featured this week!  Thank you so much to everyone who participated  :)



So now that we've had a month to try out the party, I'd love to hear some feedback. 
Honest, but kind feedback.  I have so enjoyed having you here, but based on fewer people wanting to participate, should I put Transformations and Treasures on hold for a bit?
(maybe this isn't good host etiquette, but I really am on the fence about whether or not to keep this venture going...)
If you're new here, I sincerely don't want you to feel like I'm pulling the rug out from underneath you.

I had some very sage advice over the weekend on blogging, and am just trying to figure out if this is a good thing to be attempting right now.
So if you don't mind, please comment below!




Feb 22, 2011

rosy curtains and a pretty tool pegboard

Life is moving so fast right now, I just can't seem to squeeze out enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want to!
I really didn't get anything done yesterday, but here's another element to the craft room that I am so happy with. 
Buh-bye dump room, hello creative inspiration room!
Here's the curtains I made- I moved the curtain rod we had over our master bath tub into here. 
The one I had before was too flimsy and cheap.  Plus, I liked that it added another accent of black. 


If you look over to the left of the photo, you see my teensy weensie silverish curtain rod.  I had curtain clips before and some fabric that looked great on the bolt- and then the love affair kinda fizzled once I hung it up. Here's the before:


...and now.
A nostalgic BIG print. 

I added the black and white Frenchy ribbon as tiebacks.



I'm still on the hunt for more milk glass storage- you can see how I'm using it here for paintbrushes.
The clear mason jars are great cheap storage too. My little red takeout box is holding saved fortunes for a project I am going to do once the room is in working order!

The little glimpse of the pegboard.

I have literally been fantasizing about this pegboard project for months!!

ha.
Seriously, I have been so anxious to get this done!
Here I am, in all of my evening comfort wear.

We had a large framed print above our tub that I was done using, and I thought if I glued the pegboard to the frame, it would make it a whole lot prettier than just the board hanging there.
I spray painted the frame white and let it dry out before the next part. 

When I bought the pegboard at the bargain shed, the guys behind the counter asked me what I was making.
I told them I was making a tool holder for my craft room.
They nodded, and were slightly intrigued.  Emphasis on slightly.

I was also buying the dowels for my gun rack / ribbon organizer. So I told them about that, and they got big grins on their faces and thought that was pretty cool. 
A gun rack. 
The emotions it brings out in people.  LOL!

Gorilla glue, Martha, Jamie and some clamps helped me out:

I let it dry overnight, and then put some spacers behind the pegboard so I could use my tool hangers.

And here it is, in all of it's functioning goodness:

I still have a LOT more room for hooks and tools, but for now, I'm so happy the stuff is off my TABLE!!

The frame was reused, the pegboard was $2.50 (approx. 3' x 4')
and the hooks cost me about $12.

So happy!

You may have also noticed a HUGE project I am undertaking on my ceiling.
(see first photo at the top)
I am wallpapering my ceiling with book pages!
I have loved this idea and thought this would be the perfect place to try it.

So far I've used one paperback, and I just bought 3 more from the thrift store. A total of $4 for my "fifth wall" treatment.
 Hoping to have it done by the end of the week! 
****
I had the opportunity today to help a friend restyle their great room area.
I will post before and after pictures on that project in the near future as well.  We had so much fun!

Have a great Tuesday!
See you tomorrow for Transformations and Treasures!


Sharing with:

Feb 21, 2011

a gun rack and a skirt

Things have been moving right along with the room, and I was hopeful I might even have it 'done' by the end of the weekend, but there's still some more finishing touches that are a little time consuming.  But, it is really feeling light, bright, fun and more organized!


I finished the skirt for my sewing table. 
My utility table that I got at Big Lots a couple years ago for $19.99.  Not very pretty.
Here was the side view before:


And now!

Ugly legs and trash bin are hidden!
:D


The fabric I used was a Robert Kaufman.  It's called Hints of Prints.
It's really sweet, and reminds me of something from the 40's or 50's.


It was relatively simple to make.  I measured the drop from the edge of the table to the floor, and then around the edge of the table for the width and doubled it for a fuller look.
For the floor-side seam, I used my Heat N Bond tape.  It gives a nice, crisp edge to it; plus it helped speed up the project since it's an iron on tape.

I sewed the top edge seam.  I didn't use the Heat N Bond tape for the top because it would have been too bulky and heavy for the ruffled edge and the ball fringe.

I ran a long basting stitch to give me the ruffle.


I needed 36" in length, so I measured and pulled the thread and fabric accordingly.
Then I sewed the ruffled fabric into place and pinned and sewed the ball fringe to the edge.
Once that was done, I just used some sticky back Velcro tape and pressed both sides together.  I stuck the whole thing right onto the edge of the table. 



Here's another close up of the finished edge:


And you may remember my teaser about the gun rack.  I saw a fabulous idea for a ribbon organizer on Sassy Sites! and I knew I had to be on the lookout for a gun rack / ribbon organizer of my own!
As I said last week, I picked up this guy for $3.99. 


Here's my new ribbon rack!  I love it! 
Thanks Marni for sharing your fantastic idea!! 

I had a couple differences with my project. 
As I was getting ready to paint it, I noticed that the slots weren't level. 
No biggie, I thought, I'm drilling holes anyway. 
The drill bit and the rack didn't play nice together and about the time the bit was supposed to go through it snapped off the rack.  GRRRRR!!!!  I had to glue it back on, add wood filler to a couple gaps and repaint it.
It's functional, and it will do the job, but I hope next time (or if I need to find a bigger rack for more spools in the future) that the drill bit and rack will get along better.

When I bought the piece, the bottom left rack was already broken off, so I used the one side to hang some scissors to cut the ribbon.  Despite my troubles with it, I love having these out and in a more usable fashion!

If you plan on making one, a 3/8" dowel accommodates most ribbon spool holes.

I think it will be funny to see all of us crafty girls clamoring for gun racks at the Goodwill's around the nation!

I've got more to do- here's a look at the shabby chic fabric for my curtains that I'm working on:

I hope to show them to you tomorrow, and my new tool pegboard!