9 squares

I painted one of the walls in my family room chocolate brown and was having trouble figuring out what to put on that wall.  Then I saw this project on Thrifty Decor Chick’s archives and I thought it would be perfect.  I did tweek things a little bit but I pretty much followed her instructions.

I had these boards cut at lowe’s.  I want to give a shout out to the nice man who helped the lady with the baby cut all the squares of particle board.  He could not figure out what I was up to but he gave me way more than the 2 free cuts that the sign said I was allowed.

Then I  went to Micheal’s and found some scrapbook paper that I liked:

I tried to spray paint the edges a blue color so it would stand out from the wall, but it was somewhat of a disaster, so instead I cut strips of a neutral color of the paper and modgepodged them on the sides to cover the particle board (and the blue spray paint mess.) In the end it was a little bumpy but it looked good, so I modgepodged the main paper on the front of all the boards.  The problem was that not all my boards were exactly 12″ x12″ so the fit was not perfect, but I made due.

Then Sarah actually nailed her squares to the wall, hubs said, “No.” to that idea, so I put hangy bracket things on all the backs and put nine nails on the walls.  Everything was measured perfectly and I even used a level, but due to the difference in the board sizes it is not quite perfect.

But I love it!  Hubs not exactly in love (I think engineering brain again) but he will come around.  I like that it adds color to the wall and works with the dark brown.

Another picture just for fun.

I will be down with my family room sooner or later, I swear.  I need to stop procrastinating!

Good night!


I linked to:
The Shabby Nest


Geometric Pillow

On Friday I had to take a half day to watch the baby and by some miracle she slept for almost the whole afternoon, so I took advantage of this time and attempted to make a pillow I had in mind to try for awhile.

I saw this pillow in the West Elm catalog:

I really liked the idea of he layered felt and I was planning on trying to make it, then I saw the knock off version at Target:

And I actually preferred this one. Since I did not know how this project would go I dug out some felt that I found at my favorite small town thrift store. I found the price tag on the felt:

I had to take a picture of the tag. I bought about a yard of felt for only $.75, what a great deal. I had a pillow that I had made a while back that did not work out and it was a 16″ by 16″. I cut two squares of felt 18″ x 18″. Doing some rough calculations, I figured I would need 3.5″ diameter circles in order to run five across the diagonal. I searched my house with my ruler measuring circular items until I had something with a 3.5″ diameter. The winner was my coffee cup.

I traced approximately 40 circles.

Then I cut them all out. I would recommended some good sewing scissors for this because the better the cut the better the pillow will turn out.

Then I folded one of the large squares of felt on diagonal and measured 1.75″ (Half the diameter of the circles) off center of the diagonal and started my line. Each circle I fold over itself in thirds and sewed it on trying to keep my line as straight as possible. Then where two circles meet I placed another one perpendicular until I had filled my square. I sewed the pillow with the right sides of the fabric facing each other together using a 1″ seam allowance and leaving an opening to stuff the pillow. I trimmed some of the seams, pulled the pillow right side out, stuffed it, and slip stitched the opening closed.

In the end the pattern came out like this:

A little crooked, I know, but a good start. I learned a couple of thing through out this process, first of all measuring would probably be better than guessing and that as I lay down the folded circles, the flap could go one of two ways and the direction of those flaps actually changed the design slightly.

Anyway here is the finished product on my chair and half:

Not bad for $.75 of fun!

If anyone else has attempted this pillow let me know what tips and tricks helped you.


Home Stories A2Z

Today's Creative Blog

Upstairs Bathroom

Warning! Currently this is the ugliest room in the house, but I feel I need to document it in its present state. (It makes for better before and after pictures, right?)

Here is a picture from house hunting:

Our only update was removing this horrendous 80’s trend:

I really don’t understand the double hanging chain lights. The amazing part is that this light was still present in the house in 2009.

So this is our bathroom in its current state. Notice the peeling border, the 80’s shower doors, the golden oak cabinetry, and white walls. Since this is one of the most used rooms in the house, I’m not sure why I saved it for last to redo.

It looks almost the same, just minus some decorating touches from the previous owner.

My dad helped us switch the light fixture in here to something more modern and we switched out the mirror for one we bought at Gordman’s. I do love my new, tear-drop, white soap dispenser from target for $5.

We have really strange vanities in our house. Under all the sinks the cabinets are sort of concave (I don’t know maybe it’s room for your feet?) Also in this bathroom the sink is not centered, which is a little strange looking but it is nice how much counter space that we gain. We were looking at putting one of those pre-sized solid surface counter tops in here, but none have the sink positioned where ours is so we would either need a custom counter or a new vanity, neither is cheap. So we are kind of just procrastinating on making a decision. I do want to paint my vanity for sure. I was thinking about white like the bathroom downstairs, but I was inspired by Just a girl’s post on her Coastal Bathroom and I was really thinking about painting the vanity dark brown and the rest of the cabinets white.

I love this bathroom. It is so cute and totally my style. We will see if my bathroom comes out anything like this.

Well off to bed, I hope to have a craft post tomorrow.




Textured Vase

So again lets take a little detour from the home tour. I’ve been lurking around all the local thrift stores looking for things to spray paint lately. Spray painting is my thang lately (Although it is not really the time of year for spray painting.) In my hunts I found a $.50 plastic, pea green vase and I thought that it would be the perfect piece for experimentation.

I ran the first two experiments sans pictures because I was too excited to see what would happen, really I should not have been all that excited because I ended up with this:

  • Experiment 1- Spray Paint Dark Blue; Result- Failure (Too Dark)

I had some cheap blue spray paint and it was not good after I painted it all wrong.

  • Experiment 2- Spray Paint over Light Blue; Result- Better but boring

Then I thought I could put a light layer of light blue over the darker color and get some sort of textured. That failed too.

Then I remembered a post in Thrifty Decor Chick, were Sarah wrapped a cheap vase in jute and it turned out fabulous. (here) So, since I did not have any jute, I used the same cheap neutral yarn that I had on hand. I used tacky glue and an old paintbrush to apply it. I worked in about 1 inch increments slowly winding the yarn.

  • Experiment 3- Wrap in Yarn; Result- Almost there (Needs something else)

After this step the vase was starting to look much better, however I really wished that I had painted the vase white before I wound the yarn. So, I thought oh well I will paint it white now, so I spray painted the whole shabang.

  • Experiment 4- Spray Paint yarn white; Result: Sucess!

Not bad for less than a dollar.  This should be a good addition to my current family room project.  Here are some pics of an arrangement I was thinking about using:

Have a good night!


Home Stories A2Z

Today's Creative Blog


This is where the house tour starts to go down hill.  Kitchens are more difficult to fix than other rooms because they tend to require more time and money than other rooms. Our kitchen has definitely improved since we moved in, but it is still a ways from where I would like it to be.

Here is what it looked like when we moved in:

More house hunting photos.  Look at my lovely 80’s style kitchen.  You can’t see too well in this picture the plate rail on top of the cabinets that give it that great country feel or the ‘rustic’ eighties hardware.  I especially loved the scalloped floral border, that as I peeled off I discovered another equally impressive floral border below.  This room was also painted in the glowing, shiny yellow color that was in the dinning room (think high gloss.)

Here is my favorite part of the kitchen:

Actually it is kind of impressive.  This is the original dishwasher from when the house was built in 1985 and it lasted until October 2011.  A 26 year life span is pretty good as dishwashers go.  It was a ‘quite scrubber’ Kitchen aid.  Although if that was quite I want to know what the loud ones were, you could not even hold a conversation in the same room when it was running.

Overall we did not do a lot to this room yet.  I painted it with the colors from the dinning room and changed all the hardware to something a little more modern.  The trim was painted white and the pantry door was switched up the same as the foyer door.  Lastly when the disher washer finally died we replaced it.  Oh, almost forgot we had my dad put up a new hood, nothing fancy just a white one that actually ran compared to the grease stained off-white one that came with the house.

Here is what it looks like now:

I know not a whole lot different, but its progress.  I would love to paint the cabinets white or dark brown and change up the counter top(although the countertops ate totally awesome I can cut right on the counter or put a hot pot directly on the counter and nothing happens), but it isn’t in the budget right now.  I was totally going to replace all the appliances with stainless-steal but actually Hubs and I are talking about moving as soon as our three years are up so we don’t have to pay the first time home buyers credit back, so we thought better to spend the money on high end finishes in our dream house.

This is my lovely fridgerator, which is also pretty darn old.  The icemaker broke so hubs looked up the serial number to get a new part and we found out it was from 1992.  That makes it still running fine after 20 years. It is also kitchen aid and actually it really doesn’t look all that bad for being 20 years old just really basic and the compartments and shelves inside are kind of nice. 

Can you see my super cool 80’s desk thingy?  Who would fit into the little desk area, you would need the tiniest chair and really thin thighs.  I guess it isn’t too bad we use the desk top as a place for our ipod boom box (when we aren’t using it for white noise for Gabs) and it makes a good charging station. Although I really don’t understand the countertop selection, very fake, laminate, wood, well someone must have liked it because they used the same exact countertop in our family room bar.

There is my new dishwasher! It is nothing too fancy since we didn’t want to over spend if we are moving (I wanted this amazing LG one, but it was $400 more.) You can really see how small my dinning room is in this picture, it works but with every wall with either a door or some sort of walk way, the space is quite limited.

This is the view from the foyer, not the best view when you walk in the house, but you can see my new hood.  I know it doesn’t look all that interesting but you should have seen the old one.  I just noticed I usually have some decorative towels on the oven door, they must be in the wash.

So not a whole lot done here, but when I do something amazing you will know where I started from. Ok, so only two rooms left on the home tour (upstairs bathroom and familyroom.)  I’m currently working on the family room so I might wait on that one, but I’ll show you the bathroom next.  Let’s just say that it needs a lot of help!


Living Room

Ok, back to the house tour. Next up the living room. Actually this room sat empty for 3 months since we did not have a lot of furniture when we moved in and preferred to use our family room more. It still is not done, but at least its presentable until I decide to work on it again.

Here is what the room looked liked during our house tour:

We really didn’t have many good before pictures, so there are my blurry mother and Aunt. Judging from the red walls, picture, and curtains I think the lady who lived here before liked a victorian style. The carpet doesn’t look too bad here but it was gross, actually Hubs and I were really grateful for this because we got Noulli right after we moved in and it was perfect for potty training. Anyway we ripped out the carpet and installed the bamboo in here that runs into the dinning room. Another thing that we ripped out was these 80’s bars:

Apparently these were all the rage in the 80’s, my aunt informed me. We also painted the trim white and primed and then painted the walls grey blue. That made the room seem huge compared to the red.

Here is a picture of the room now:

We bought the furniture from American with our first time home buyer’s credit. I still really love the couch, even though white and texture is probably not the smartest choice. Surprisingly we have the most problem with the texture because the dog and the cat keep running and jumping on the couches (even though neither is allowed on the furniture) and ripping them with their claws. I really need to cover the pillows, I love how big they are but I am really not much of a fan of the fabrics that came with the couch.  I have a picture for above the loveseat but I haven’t gotten it framed yet. (Not sure if I really like it still, so I am procrastinating.)  I would love to buy new lamps and a rug, but I haven’t found the right ones yet. Oh, well I really haven’t been looking that hard either (I don’t want to spend the money for the ones I really want I keep thinking I can DIY something cheaper.)

This is an old bookcase from target that I bought about five years ago and I was happily surprised that it matched my end tables and coffee table so well. The white tray is a perfect example of a Thrift store find that needs a filler. For Christmas I had sparkly Christmas balls in there but now I have nothing. I am working on that.

This is a slightly different angle than the previous picture. I love my chair and a half it is the perfect place to read. The pillow I found at St. Vinnies for $2. I think it was from Target and I love how big it is because I knew I needed a very large pillow for the chair since it was so large but I didn’t know what U would be able to find. Also in this picture you can see the half wall minus the bars. It looks so much better! We replaced the closet door in the foyer when we replaced all the doors. It was really cheap and extremely easy. I think we paid around $30 for the door and since the hardware was the same as the old door we just painted it and popped it in.

I still love my Hurricane vases that I bought at Homegoods. They were surprisingly cheap, but I don’t remember how much I paid. I had to make a table runner underneath the vases for my table, since a few weeks after we bought the table a naughty little boy pushed a board with a nail sticking out all over the top and scratched it up badly. (In the end I probably would have made the table runner anyway and this just gave me a reason to make one faster.)

Stay tuned for the kitchen next time!


Decorative Filler

I’m going to take a slight detour from the house tour to give you a peek at my current project. I am always finding cute baskets, bowls, and boxes at goodwill or St. Vinnies, but I’m cheap and I never want to pay a lot for decorative fillers.  I love all those decorative balls in the stores and catalogs, but they tend to cost $3 up to $30 or more each. I have lots and lots of space to fill and not lots and lots of money.  So, I had an idea; I wanted to buy cheap spherical things and spray paint them, but I couldn’t find anything. I found tutorials all over the web that showed jute and Styrofoam balls DIY decorative balls.  So I went looking for Styrofoam balls.  The cheapest that I could find them was around $.90 each.  That was too much for me!  So I was looking for something the same size and ended up using this:

We had a bunch laying around and when I went to Walmart to check out the price, the cheapest ones were 3 for $1.76 or around $0.59 each.  So I bought a couple more cans.  I didn’t have jute and since I didn’t know how this project would turn out I used some neutral colored yarn I had from a previously failed project and white toweling and did this:

(In case you can’t make out what I did, I wrapped the ball in the white toweling.)  I just wrapped it as tightly and smoothly as possible.

Then while holding the paper in place I wrapped the yarn around making sure to wrap over where I started.

I wrapped tightly tring to cover the ball in all directions as smoothly as possible. Until I got this:

Then I tied off the yarn onto itself and cut the yarn close to the knot.  Again I am cheap,  and did not want to buy yarn in different colors. Instead, I took 2/3 of the balls outside and spray painted one third, light blue and the other third dark brown, leaving the last third the original neutral color.  In the end I was able to get this:

The glass bowl is one I had and never used. I think it worked out quite well and in total I spent about $4 for everything.  One thing I found after I finished these was that at the dollar store (Dollar Tree) has a set of 4 Whipple balls for $1, which is even half the price of the tennis balls. So, I’m going to get a bunch of those to try some other cheap decorative filler projects.  I’m thinking paper mache (I’ll let you know if it works out!)

Here are some more pics: