Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Introducing Gordon

June 25, 2010 - 5 weeks old:

June 28, 2010:

Here he is sticking his tongue out like his mama does but I don't think he does it all the time. Was it a fluke?

When I was looking at cats to adopt last year, I knew that Sonny would be the guy for me. On his fact sheet he was listed as being good with dogs and cats so combined with his mellow temperament, I knew he was the boy for me.

I had all intentions of adopting a cat younger than a year after I had hopefully moved into a house within a few months but I'm still in the apartment and not sure when circumstances towards that will change.

In May, I start volunteering for our local library while they were doing a conversion to RFID and worked with another woman, Dianne, who had a pregnant cat. In our conversation, it just happened that I was thinking hard about adopting a young cat and she had a pregnant cat (long story short, she has property outside our city limits and often people abandon animals outside the city limits...).

My initial intention was to get a kitten from a rescue but this is not unlike a rescue seeing as the mama cat had been abandoned, got pregnant and had her kittens on May 21st.

I first visited the kittens on June 12th and had thought the female kitten (Gordon has two brothers and a sister) would be the good fit for me, Sonny and Jake but the tabby patch kitty really felt right. On the way home, I was just thinking about names for kittens and "Gordon" just clicked in my head. No rhyme, no reason, it just popped into my head and stuck with me.

After a second visit, I knew the little guy was for me. He's a bit behind in getting off the breast milk but that's okay. In other visits with him I was happy to see him look at canned cat food as a way to nourish his body. He was the smallest but now is about as big as his litter mates and oh, he's such a mellow kitten.

I've been taking a hand towel (seen in the third photo) that has Sonny and Jake smell on it and then bringing it back for Sonny to inspect, which he does for a few minutes. I have a rationalization that if Sonny recognizes the smell of Gordon, he wont seem like as much of an intruder (as cats are prone to think when a new cat is introduced). The reverse is true too for Gordon, so he recogizes the smells of my home when it's time to leave his brothers and sisters it hopefully wont be as traumatic for him.

I've started to kitten-proof around here and that's been good for the front bedroom, not as good for my main bedroom because now it lacks character. I took down the sheers on my bed canopy. The duvet is stored away and soon the gold curtains will be replaced with the black curtain I had over the door to the laundry room. I need to find a colorful throw to put on the end of the bed and perhaps find a cheap canvas to paint with some color to get back some personality...but that's not a problem. Gordon will be worth all of that effort.

It's been hard to visit him and have to leave him behind but he's so worth the wait.

Sonny checked out in great health at the vet recently and Gordon will be visiting my awesome veterinarian on the way home from his current digs.

In addition to my new addition, today is the last day of smoking. I am down to my last cigs and after that, I am done. In part for my health but also for Gordon's health. Also, helps to have that cash for veterinarian bills (shots, "deworming", neutering). So, bringing Gordon into my life will have some definite positives other than having a new furball to add to my little animal family.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lamp update

You may or may not remember the lamp bases I purchased last August from Hobby Lobby for $1 each, but I finally finished updating the smaller one. It basically went from this:

To this:

Sprayed it with a flat black and went to town with Rub 'n Buff in Antique Gold. I used my fingers to apply and a paper towel to manipulate it a bit. Being the "perfectionist" I am, I did mess up in a few places but if you work with it a bit you learn how to correct some of your mistakes and forgive it a bit. Seriously, you don't need hardly any at all (especially if you use your fingers) to get the look you're trying to achieve. I am digging this stuff. Now I just need to put it aside or I might get happy with it on other items around the house. Haha.

I need to look around for a better shade but the one that I have on it now will work. At least it's a shade and boy, what a difference some paint and antiquing can do to make something work for your own decor and preferences. It's sitting where it was intended, in my bedroom now and with the gold curtains and black and goldish bed covering, it works.

Join the fun:

Transformation Thursday - @ The Shabby Chic Cottage

Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's a Sonny-versary

It was a year ago today I brought my Sonny home from the PetsMart cat adoption area. While there was a regular adoption fair going on (they do that every weekend), Sonny had been in one of their permanent kennels.

I almost brought home a younger female cat (she was a year and a half old) named Natasha. She was a smokey grey with the most beautiful eyes and as loving as Sonny. One problem, they hadn't mentioned if she was good with other cats and dogs. I tracked her on their website for several months and she hadn't been adopted for at least four months. I almost went back to get her and in that thought process I was thinking, screw it, she can learn to like other cats and dogs but I never did it. Sonny, however, he had his fact chart of being okay around dogs and when I held him, I knew he was the boy for me.

He's hefty but not nearly as large as Montgomery (my previous boy) was and it made me laugh when a couple of people mentioned how large Sonny is. I said to them, if you had seen my previous cat, you'd know this cat is small in comparison.

Anyhow, he's been with me for a year and I couldn't be happier. He's about 5 years old now but still acts like a kitten at times. Overall though, he's a gem of a cat and I thank the previous owners for whatever reason they had for giving him up.

Here he is last night:

So Happy Sonny-versary to Sunshine who became my Sonny.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Clean Walls!

It's pretty amazing how much better (I think) my walls look now that they are clean:

It took me five days at about five hours each to do the living room, kitchen, bath and hallway. It may have not been a new coat of paint but spring cleaning sure makes a difference in how you see your home!

About the only advantage to living in an apartment this size, you can actually clean walls. I would never do this in a house unless it was about the same size...

BTW, the two rust/copperish pillows on my futon are actually placemats that I purchased on sale from King Soopers - one of our Colorado flavors of Kroger...yeah, diggin' the idea you can shop your grocery for decor! I still need to sew the ends up but I already had fiber fill and some quilt batting. You can put quilt batting inside and put the fiber fill inbetween to eliminate lumps you can get from fiber fill fluffs.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dang, looks like I'm moving...

...I wish. But no, prep for more spring cleaning:

(I caught Sonny mid yawn there in the bottom pic)

I'm wiping down all the walls in here. Thus far I have completed the kitchen (to include the ceiling), the entry, the hallway and the bathroom (also the ceiling in there).

It's cheaper than new paint. It's taking me forever to do because of my wrist, arm and shoulder but the places I have done it has been completely worth it.

I will have to wait till the cold weather is completely gone for the bedroom because of the double layers of curtains tacked up, which is fine. The front bedroom just isn't going to be done, that would be way too much to pull out the stuff in there since it's basically a storage room instead of a living space.

I've done this in two other apartments I lived in because the size is just right. Never to any house or place that had more than one level though.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Long Post, update

Just a few updates:

Old microwave, circa 1987 (that still works BTW):

New to me microwave, circa 2005 courtesy of my parents who decided to never use a microwave again because they deplete the nutrients in food:

If you notice, there are new additions to my sink's backsplash. You may (or may not) recall my post about injecting some blue. I wanted to go the route of talavera tiles because I really like the hand-crafted look of them. Well, that wasn't happening any time soon.

I had an item to return to Ross stores and while cruising through the dishware I saw those and remembering that I wanted the blue and while they aren't talavera tiles, it was just what the budget ordered...I got three for 1¢ less than the return so it was a wash. Major bonus is the three cost about $1 more than one talavera tile!

I hung them using this tutorial. Seriously, the plate hangers I have do not work on square plates. I've tried it on other square plates and they don't work. They've stayed on the wall and no mysterious crashing sounds have happened in the middle of the night, so right on. To help them to stay straight, I used vinyl bumper tabs (from the mirror section at Home Depot) which also helps them hang more level to the wall.

Also, I finally painted the trivets I have hanging above them to black (not in that pic though). Much better.


Long story short, my parents (my dad and step-mom) have put their house on the market. It has some of the family heirloom antiques from both my mom (she died when I was 15) and my dad...well, they are having us "kids" take the things that are ours so I have the last piece of the family treasures I inherited (I think), which is a little chest of drawers in my bedroom.

Before (little wicker drawers from Hobby Lobby, 1996):


I think that actually goes with the large secretary my brother has though. The finish doesn't have as many red tones as the other heirloom furniture. Plus the hardware on it doesn't match. I must talk to my bro about that so the pieces stay together.


Simple paint update. We finally got some warmer days with little wind (not like today though) where I could spray paint. I got seriously paint happy and not all things I painted are photographed...they went from whatever to black so not too exciting. Buuuut, here's a dopey update to my monitor stand.



I have since attached black fabric (leftover from my pelmet box/valance/cornice in the kitchen) to hide cords dangling from the monitor and speakers. Wish I could paint the speakers but that's just not a job I wish to tackle.

Last but not least, a new tissue box cover for my bath:

I had replaced the shower curtain in my bath a while back. It's lighter so it opens up the bath a tiny bit more. I really hate tissue boxes as I demonstrated back in Oct and based on this one in my living room, made one for the bath.

Hobby Lobby had their unfinished wood on sale so yay. I am not completely sold on the medallions yet though I do like the placement of the two on the top because it covers up the box underneath even more. Kroger recently changed the boxes so the opening at the top is smaller showing the box...which defeats the purpose of a tissue box cover.

Anyhow, I have them on there with standard white glue in case I get to hating the medallions, I can take them off, sand and repaint.

So that's my long update on a few things.

Hope everyone is enjoying early springtime. Not so much here today. Cloudy, drizzle, fog and only 42°.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sometimes less is more

It's true:

EDIT A reminder of the forest green tab tops (from the house and my 90s decor when I lived in Denver) I had up there with push-pins and not wide enough to cover - from 01-21-10:

EDIT 03-16: Here's a daytime shot with the curtains pulled back to compare to the above. Much better than the tacked up version, at least they are out of the way mostly:


I moved the vertical blind track back to the left and took down the fabrics (valances and napkins I had up for "visualization") and decided that because the length of the vertical blind track, to put a valance up there it would look horrible. So, I will keep the vanes out (I have all the worm gears, thankfully and one stem is properly installed so I know how to put everything back in as required) and just leave it as is.

I actually like it though I would rather have all the vertical blind hardware taken down, the holes filled and proper curtains and rods put up there. It's not going to happen without great expense so it is what it is.

The vertical blinds in my bedroom aren't nearly as imposing as they are here in the living room so I am not worried about messing with them. The treatment for the window in there helps soften the room up a lot. It also helps that the patio door isn't the first thing you see when you enter the room. The window and my bed overpower the ugly of the vertical blinds and I like that.

But yeah, for an apartment where you have limited ability to do as you please, the cheap-o tab tops work pretty well to add some softness and personality to an otherwise imposing feature.

Now that I have my place decorated to the best of my ability, this blog is going to be extremely sparse in updates. I use my Facebook for quick updates that don't amount to much and my journal is for my more intimate communication. Hopefully my work circumstances will change and I will be in a house by the end of summer. Until then, unless I find a fabulous something to update...this blog is all but put on the back burner for a while.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar Night Dresses For Doors & Perfect Lighting

(No I didn't watch, I just looked up some galleries of what the women were wearing.)

I have an obsession with fabric. I become more obsessed when I see things like curtains so cheap and Tuesday Morning is my downfall:

An odd application to be sure and I am lucky that previous tenants here had painted all the doors and trim white because other apartments here (that I have seen) have the original stain (medium oak brown similar to the kitchen cabinets) but I am still hating the louvered door to the laundry room.

I shortened the valance that came with the 99¢ curtains by about 6 inches and I like it now. I don't see curtains used in this manner very often but it softens up the space tremendously.

Also, though I do have the overhead light on in the kitchen for this picture, I grabbed one of my canister uplights and placed it on the microwave temporarily so I can leave it on at night and reduce the need to turn the overhead light off and on.

I plan on getting the innerds for the other lamp I bought last August (the one on the left via the link) and putting that in there, painted black with either antique gold or bronze Rub N Buff. I already have a lamp shade I can use with it. I am totally loving the idea of putting a small lamp in a kitchen using only a 15 watt CFL bulb. Saves on energy and my eyes because that kitchen lighting is so institutional.

Anyhow, between projects that I show, I often go through a process before I decide what to do. The most recent project in the works is the awkward patio door in the living room:

Those are three curtain panels (identical fabric to the one in the kitchen), hung up on little rods that hang close to the wall because of that monster of a headrail for the vertical blinds.

Well, when the vanes (the vertical blind panels) are fully pulled back, you can see all kinds of nasty with the curtain tabs and the cheesy rods. So here I am in the process of deciding what type of valance to create. This is going to be a project that may not get done until next month but with the help of some fabric (black napkins from Target to cover pillows and the tan valances from Tues Morn I got several months back as a backdrop for the shelves to the right of my computer) I can start a process to see what my minds eye is thinking.


Use the tan valances and put a black ribbon along the bottom. Tehe, I have electrical tape on it right now for the "feel".

Look for some basic black fabric.

Definately go from the 12" down to 9" in length. I can't raise anything because of the apartment's vertical blind hardware so doing much of anything else is out of the question. Move the blind rail back over to the left again so as to eliminate the overhang on the right side.

Note to anyone who decides to do something like take vertical blinds down from your rental, don't take the vanes out with the stem. You will find little plastic pieces called worm gears strewn about. Whoops.

Luckily I am very mechanically inclined but holy crap replacing each stem, vane along with the worm gears is going to be a tedious task. It's already an awkward project because the vertical blinds are meant for a 9' patio door and that door is 7' and some change. In all the years I sold windows and doors, being around the industry it's just a stupid, stupid door. They should have just put 6' doors in and called it a day. Anyhow, those vertical blinds are too wide for the stupid door making for a decor challenge.

The curtains truly soften the space and are much better than the 90s forest green panels I've been sporting. I've had them hung up for a while because I wasn't sure I was liking it because of the odd way it's set up to begin with. I had contemplated taking them back for a couple of reasons including financial but, I am going to attempt to stop smoking on the 15th or so. I don't have a choice unless I take those curtains back so...I am weighing my options here and I think having a cozy home is far better than (pardon me here) shitty lungs. I've done it before, let's hope I can do it again and I can look at my silly valance-in-progress to remind me why I am stopping.

I have other financial obligations I need to take care of too so the smoking's gotta go. I still need projects to do to keep me out of trouble but I do have friends that have helped me in the past that need to get repaid. The honeymoon is over with redecorating so the smoking needs to go and I can still repay debt yet keep myself from going insane. Besides, house stuff is much more fun than what I had been doing with my money in the past, drinking.

Okay then. Hope everyone has had a fine weekend.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Scarf softly draped around her neck

I can't leave well enough alone and the sides still need taming but:

Here's the before, the before-before and the before-before-before. hehe.

I was very proud of my trip to Hobby Lobby in that I didn't purchase 5 million items I don't need. I admit, I did come home with a few items that were discounted or on sale (two glass votive holders and a gold plate -cheaper than Goodwill I tell ya- that I have a smaller version of...and I finally got two art/plate tabeletop easels that I have been needing to get for a long time now) I did get the intended fabric for the valance/pelmet box/cornice in the kitchen and found a remnant of black fleece to put on the bed for Sonny so it would coordinate and so he would quit sleeping on my pillows. I really scored on the fleece - mostly for my sanity.

Anyhow, on the way home I decided to see if the window scarf (the only one) was still available that goes with the two sheers. Yep, so after I ironed all 216" of it yesterday I placed it on the rails, went to have dinner with my aunt and uncle came home and crawled into bed.

I hadn't secured it in anyway and right now it's still a bit rough but I couldn't stand that it was not draping better.

I got out of bed in just my tshirt and hunted down the bow from the only Christmas gift I got this year - the sheer fabric in it is almost identical. Took it apart and at least secured it so it was draping better. Hehe, it was about 1:00 am, standing on my bed with just the shirt and undies because I can't leave well enough alone!

I justify it in that:

#1. I originally was going to look for a black throw for the bed. I had seen a black and leapord print one on sale at Target for $12 and some change. I resisted picking that up even though it would go with the not-my-usual-style $5 leapord print lamp shade. It also would have been perfect because of my Sonny's fur since it had some medium tans in there.

#2. I didn't spend $30+ at Hobby Lobby like I normally do in a trip there. I have mentioned it in the past, I often go and end up with a ton of $3-$4 things that I frankly don't need. Since I spent about $20 I figured the $5 window scarf was okay since I semi-controlled my usual inability to control myself in Hobby Lobby and I mostly stayed on task.

#3. I knew the scarf was there and I would not "rest" knowing that it was there and it might be the finishing touch I needed to conceal the space between the mirror and the back rail.

I think I made the right decision. I still need to "style" it a bit but at least it's doable for right now. The flash shows things it shouldn't but whatchya gonna do? At least she's as styling as my dapper kitchen window.

Oh and here's Sonny, again, sleeping on the fleece I got:

Not on my pillows! YAY!

Minus the fleece, total cost of scarf and panels = $11 + tax. According to Tuesday Morning's tags, this would cost $45 at normal retail prices.

EDIT: I have to admit, my bedroom is a bit more "frilly" than is my usual. The shimmery gold panels on the window, the sheers and scarf in gold, the other golds that are around the room. I usually opt for more organic looking (woven/textured cottons similar to canvas) fabrics. I can make my bedroom a bit softer/feminine and keep the casual look in the living room. I like a place that is relaxed but I think I have started to like a bedroom with a bit more uh, glamour(?) and so far, I like it.

Hey, I am a jeans, casual shirt and my Danskos everyday kinda gal. The direction my bedroom has taken certainly is a step outside my usual.


Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage

Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous

My kitchen window is now a dapper fellow

His day look as he heads to the office:

He believes in simplicity for an evening look. And women think they are the only ones that can make a simple day look to an evening look in a manner of steps:

What he really enjoys is that his look was only $2.50!

(doesn't include the curtain rod though - that was $3 - the foam board was on hand and this time I used a combo of tape and hot glue.)

Here's a reminder of the before-before and before...haha!


Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage

Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous

Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors

Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch (Messed up my link over there. The link is correct, the title's all kinds of wrong.)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Casually dressed canopy and dollar store finds

Sheer panels from Tuesday Morning at $3 each!

Here's the before-before:

Then there's the newer before:

Finally, here's the after:

They look a hundred times better in person though.



Two more afters:

In the pics they look more yellow than they are in person.

The main part that is bugging me is the space between the mirror and the canopy rail. For grins I put up the two remaining napkins from my pelmet box to try to envision it with a shortened valance but it wasn't working for me. They had another one of the sheers and though it appeared the same, the color of it was off just enough in the store I just couldn't bring myself to getting it. Even if it hadn't been off, I don't have a sewing machine and that's not something you want to hand sew for many reasons (slippery fabric, etc). Plus you know the thread would cost as much as the panel so it wasn't worth it.

I will rest on it a few days to see if I am liking it more or not. But seeing as the other ways I have done sheer fabric on the canopy in the past just isn't going to work for this go around (the room is too small, placement of the TV and the dresser just make it too cramped), that was my only option really. Plus they only had the two. If the room weren't set up like it is and if it were bigger I probably would invest in 8 panels and put two in each corner similar to this but without the tabs and not wrapped around the bed posts.

It really does look better in person. I don't know why they look a honey color in the pics...I adjusted the contrast a bit because they looked very washed out and since it was later in the day, the light was pretty diffused as well. They look nearly perfect at night.

If I don't like it, I will keep them and put them up in the bedroom patio door when I take down the panels I have behind the vertical blinds after the main part of heating season is over. They can be used to let in light but help with a bit of privacy during the day. But so far I may just keep them as they are.

Oh and after I put them up there, the regular bed pillows seemed so blah so I added the pillows that came with the duvet. I need to get plain black fabric and cover them all. But it adds a much needed dimension on the bed after putting the sheers up.

Today I made a run to the Dollar Tree and picked up several hard backed rugs. The little rugs I had in there (I think $2-$3 each at Home Depot in May) had seen better days.

Here's Sonny sprawled out on one of them back in the summer:

Believe me when I say, they don't look anything like that today. Between me, the dog, the cat and the fact they shrank after several washings (though I did wash in cold and air dry them per the instructions) they're just pitiful.

So, they had several black rugs with the cloth banding. Shake and vacuum, works for me:

Oh how I miss the wood laminate floors of my old kitchen. That vinyl flooring is just dreadful but better than some of the other apartments in this complex.

They really make the greens, yellows and pumpkin-oranges pop in my kitchen.

I replaced the one in the laundry room that is placed at the laundry room door to catch kitty litter so Sonny doesn't track it around the house. I had a multi-color dollar store rug there and the colors were driving me batty. I also got two for the front door (inside and out) to catch the dirt and salt.

Oh and a while back, I added the valance from the kitchen curtain on the door to the laundry room. I am one of those that if it's there, I try to find a place for it. It helps hide the shelving a bit when I forget and leave the door wide open. If I can find a cheap full length curtain, I will do that instead. I just have to leave the door open so the cat can use the litter box. At least with a curtain he can come and go as he pleases and it keeps the air circulation going (gas water heater is in there).

Okay. Hopefully everyone had a fine weekend. I probably will link up to a few link-a-thons this week so see you around!


Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If I were to paint

The living room would go from this:

To this:

My bedroom would go from this:

To this:

I had to use a combo of Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro because I don't know how to use masks and such but hey, that works for me. I've never claimed to be a master at Photoshop...perhaps I should take a class.

Canopy a good idea?

But of course it can be a good idea!

Haha, don't you just love a corny play on words?

Anyhow I added the canopy to my bed today out of boredom. I had to lower the mirror and I am not sure I am liking it there but I will wait before I decide to keep it or put something else there.



I really wish my camera had the ability to take wide indoor shots. Oh well.

Sonny has approved of the canopy:

(Yes those are two separate pictures...aint he adorable?)

Oh yeah, where I'm linking to and where to check for some fabulous home decor and DIY ideas:

DIY day with A Soft Place to Land!

Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage!

Makeovers @ Sanctuary Arts at Home!

Folks, it's Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous.