Sunday, January 31, 2010

Injecting Some Blue

I've decided that I am going to expand upon the cobalt blue I had started to collect and put it (cobalt blue) in other places in my home. In order to do that without making drastic changes and to keep my finances under check yet still have quality, here is my thought process:

First we had this weird set up over my sink:

I don't know what I was thinking. I already had two more of the trivets I purchased from Hobby Lobby (all 50% off back in summer) so switched them up to this:

So, enter in the introduction of cobalt blue (with Photoshop as my partner here) without blue taking over:

Two 6 1/4" talavera tiles. Maybe two different tiles but I liked this particular design because it does incorporate some of the yellows I have around the I am thinking this:

Or this:

We'll see. It's just a vision I have and whether or not I get around to doing it is another story all together. I love talavera tiles, always have. I just never liked them in a large display...the installations with using them as accent pieces or as a border work for me. In my case, since this is an apartment and I have a horrible space above the sink, I rent, this is a solution that is doable for now.

Well, off to veg out to the news. Hope it was a fine Sunday for all.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Craigslist never fails to amuse

I'm not much of a hunter but I love to take photos so perhaps I will go hunt down the elusive wolfebear with my camera:


Oh my. "Wolfe" even!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pelmet Box/Valance DONE!

(Edit to add before links: July 6, 2009 & January 19, 2010)

2 - cloth napkins - $3
1 - pillow sham - FREE w/duvet cover
1 - 20" x 30" foam core board - $2
4 1/2 yards ribbon - $3.75
tons of duct tape - on hand
12 thumb tacks - on hand
4 or 6 push pins - on hand
wee bit of hot glue - on hand

(Note: $40 retail curtain panel found @ Tuesday Morning for $10 and $3 Target double curtain rod for a project total of $21.75 not including taxes. It still needs some tweaks but not bad at all.)

I did not use any quilt batting and the ribbon (horizontal ribbon) on the outside is only held on with thumb tacks. It was pretty easy but seeing as I am Anal Annie, it takes me a long time so as not to mess it up. I did kind of mess up on one of the vertical ribbons as that's where I used the hot glue. Unless you knew it was there and where it is, it's not all that noticable.

With the horizontal ribbons, I was hesitant to glue them on as I wasn't sure I was liking it when I placed them there so I tacked them on with flat thumb tacks that I colored black with a large Sharpie. There are four in the center where the ribbons intersect, four on the outside at the end of the return and four on the inside to secure them.

I used a ton of duct tape to tape and stretch the fabric around. Next time I do a three panel like that, I hope to have a sewing machine and I would like to have had a better way to attach the fabric than duct tape.

Used one of the leftovers from the board as a brace on the back to make it more sturdy. I don't know how large these were done here but mine is 42" wide x 9" high and making it like she did it was a bit flimsy for me.

Attached (until I find something else) several push pins on the back but they aren't pushed through because the pin part is longer than the thickness of the foam board (1/8') so I could rest it on the curtain rod. I had to use a couple of rubber bands on the rod to steady them on the returns so they would stay flush with the wall. If I had the ability, I would have just put a horizontal brace (another 42" wide and 4" deep strip of the board) along the top and down about 1/4" to set it more securely on the rod. But the way I have it for the moment it will work. I will go through my misc crap (that junk box and the junk cabinet) and see if anything looks like it will work better.

All told it took me about 3 1/2 hours from the time I started to take apart the pillow sham to when I finally finished taking pics of it. There was a lot of tweaking during various stages because I am just that way.

I would definitely do this project again. Now if only I had the materials and the know-how to make one long enough for the 7' patio door here in the living room. A nice long (darker tan though) canvas backed pelmet box with outlined panels of orange and green. ;-) That would be a fun but very difficult (given the length) project.

A nice accomplishment and boy it feels good! I may link up to a few blog link-o-ramas now that I am completely done but I may take some more pictures if we have some sun.

EDIT: Because I am one of those impatient people that can't wait till morning to take more pics. I brought in the arsenal that is lighting around here to attempt to get better indoor shots and it's doable enough so here are three pics up close:

If you notice, those cloth napkins are really not bedroom "print" but that's okay. You really don't notice unless you know and are up close. From most points around the room, it's not a big deal.

The colors are off just slightly in the gold tones. The lighting really makes a huge difference in how it shows up between the satin-like parts and the more metallic threads. It's slight enough that it really takes a minute to see the difference. But somehow it works for me.


Link-O-Rama #1 - Funky Junk Interiors presents her "Saturday Nite Special"
Link-O-Rama #2 - Between Naps on the Porch takes the mundane out of Mondays with "Metamorphosis Monday"
Link-O-Rama #3 - A Soft Place to Land features her weekly "Do It Yourself Day" every Tuesday.
Link-O-Rama #4 - Totally travel to Shabby Chic's terrific Transformation Thursday too!
Link-O-Rama #5 - Finally Friday for Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Apartment Tour Take 2

Ah, the power of home decor/interior design. I was doing my cruise through my usual home sites and blogs and this entry from Centsational Girl really struck a cord with me. To quote her:

"One thing strikes me quite often whenever I swoon over fabulous designer spaces. Yes, they’re gorgeous. Yes, they’re mesmerizing. Yes, they make me long for a cleaner, more pulled together design in my own home.

Yet one thing is absent from all of those images, regardless of how perfect they are on the pages of a glossy magazine. Those images, those spaces, and those houses are just not home. A house is just four walls and a roof, but a home is made up of everything else inside."

So I thought to myself how true that is. Often I feel bad about my own sense of style. I do, however, take a step back and think that while my sense of decor is unique, it is uniquely me and that folks is what makes my apartment my home, for now.

I welcome you to take a tour of my home as seen this morning:

This is as you walk in the door. One of the challenges of living in an apartment and one that you haven't planned to stay very long is to make it your own. My biggest challenge has been the windows and patio doors. Out of necessity I have put up the old tab tops for heat and privacy issues. Being on a tight budget also plays into this as well; sometimes function wins out over form or design.

Also the budget constrains you to resorting to things you normally wouldn't do in your long-term home (I was only going to be here three months but I've been here since the beginning of June) like the lovely humidifier on a Rubbermaid container with a towel on it. The dresser was pulled out of my second bedroom/storage room (which wont be shown here) for an open house I had at Christmas as a place to put food on but with a bum wrist/arm shoulder I just haven't put it back. It really messes with your feng shui, not that I practice it but you know...

Challenges other than finances are using what you have. Most of my furniture is from my 20s (I am in my early 40s) or family heirlooms

Also, I'm in the process of finding another part-time job so I can fund the move to a house again. Living in a 1400 sq ft house, landlord/friend wanting to sell said house that was about $30,000 more than I could afford. So the futon stays (the big one is in the second bedroom being stored) and the 90s (maroon/forest green/dark blue) decor was taken to Goodwill and the thrifty, frugal and creative side is having fun. A lot of my updates have been from Hobby Lobby (most at 66% off or more), Goodwill, Ross, Tuesday Morning, Target, Dollar Tree and such. Some things came from Wal*Mart from just before I moved in but the bones and classics are mine from before.

Perhaps one of my design faux pas (make that plural) is that I see something and I don't really think "This item will go on _______ (insert location in home)." I generally do have a thought process but some things meant for one place end up somewhere else not intended. I swap things around (often called shopping the house) as I see fit though as I like to shake things up often. Or I pick out things that have a specific use but I use them in other ways. Metal "garden bowls" purchased at Hobby Lobby were painted black and hung on walls. Placemats ended up on shelves as a backdrop because I had them and didn't want to put them away. Trivets meant to put your hot dishes/pots on end up on walls or leaned in a shelf. It's much more fun to use things in ways you may not have thought of.

One thing I am not thrilled with is this kitchen. The stove burners are tilted so if you try to fry eggs, the oil pools. There is no prep space. But I am making do. I am a luckier one than many in that most of the apartments in my complex have full size washer and dryers in our units. A time saver, money saver and of course you put your stuff in where your dirt was and not someone else's.

Only a few things were "found" like three antique looking chairs I found near the dumpsters. I had never really been much of a "used furniture" person and certainly not near a dumpster but living in an apartment complex of over 200 residents opens up that opportunity quite often. I am now addicted to CraigsList though I haven't purchased anything off it. That will wait until I have a home that will be my own again.

Tiny hallways make for challenging decorating. Also, another humidifier (the other one bit the dust a while back) needed a spot so I grabbed the little antique desk I bought in the early 90s and while it's a bit wide, it hosts my other humidifier just fine.

Then you have the tiny bathroom. This I am so not thrilled with but what are you going to do? Decorate with what you have, a cheap shower curtain from Wal*Mart and call it done. One really doesn't spend that much time in there anyway so it hasn't seen much of a change since the first month I moved in.

My bedroom is still a work in progress but I think everyone's home is always a work in progress, this just happens to be in constant progress. But after having been having just a blanket on my bed while using quilts for warmth and putting them away in the morning, I finally found something to have on my bed so it looks finished. Not bad for $20 and it's not my real vision; it's better than the plain blanket that was there previously.

Hehe, sometimes you also buy things you normally wouldn't. A leapord print (or any animal print) is not something I would normally buy. I needed a small lampshade for the $1 lamp base I got at Hobby Lobby and this one was right at $5 from Ross. I had found an all black shade (again at Ross for $4) that looked okay but when I put the gold curtain panel up, I just wasn't enjoying it. I liked that the background had gold in it so back it went.

But yeah, this is my home for now and I am proud of it. I definitely have a unique sense of style but, my friends, that's what makes our homes our home. Show off your home with pride. What may or may not be your taste may or may not be mine. Take some inspiration perhaps or learn what it is you don't want from other people's homes. But make your home a place of sanctuary that makes you proud when you walk in the door.

Thank you for stopping by and I can't wait to see more of your homes with your unique sense of style.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Valance/Pelmet Box Concept

Napkins that were going to be covering the pillows...that came with the duvet cover...that were going to be returned because I didn't like them on the of the pillow shams that has no place to be:

Right now I just put them up there to see if I still want to return the napkins (only $5) and actually use the material from the shams to tie it together. Hmmm.

The three don't go together per se but the gold/tan colors are similar, with some creativity Paint Shop Pro gave me this thought (because it's simply easier than drawing in Photoshop):

Wish I could get another curtain panel (they don't have one) or the valance they had (not going to spend the money anyway) so it is more coordinated instead of the napkins but I think I am on to something here. It doesn't have to be perfect, just better and best of all, inexpensive. Right there we are talking $15.50 which includes the cheap curtain rod...not bad.


Perhaps outline the top as well:


EDIT x2: Check out A Soft Place to Land for DIY Day!. (One of many link-o-ramas that I come across. So much to see. So little time!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Only $10 but needs a pelmet box

Still working on the bedroom. Yesterday I was going to go to Hobby Lobby to see if they had any major discounted stuff to start some kind of project on but knowing me a little $3 item here and a little $4 item there ends up being $30 of crap I don't need in the house. Yes, a project would be very nice right now but I have other priorities at the moment.

I scooted down to Tuesday Morning because I hadn't been there in a while and took one of the shams with me to look for two things. One would be a throw pillow or two so I can get rid of the matchy-matchy pillows and/or a curtain to cover the tacky maroon tab top I have on the window. I found a panel for $10:

Close up of the pattern (need daylight pics but it was cloudy today):

It's horribly plain as is though but I LOVE the fabric and it's close enough to the tan/gold on the bed that it works. What it needs now is a pelmet box (much more casual than that as I am not a curvy person, haha) since a valance just isn't my thing.

So, after I got that hung up with a super cheap ($3) rod from Target, I started to look at the bed a bit more. Who needs all those stupid pillows? Three matchy-matchy pillows I don't like so off they went:

I do, however, need some pillows on my futon so I may find some fabric to cover them with and use them there.

So, this last weekend I did a major cleaning of the apartment. I had to stop working where I was because of the physical aspects of it were making it very difficult on my already bum wrist, elbow and shoulder (back through my trapezius muscle). Long story short, I ended up at urgent care because of the sinus infection, my arm and a badly infected finger and she told me to lay off the use of the arm for a minimum of two weeks and consume massive amounts of ibuprofen. I did some of that. I couldn't stand it anymore so I got to cleaning. The dust was bugging me so I did what closely resembles spring took me two days and three times the amount of time so as not to mess with the arm but it's done! YAY!

One of my projects was cleaning, with Murphy Oil Soap, my big dresser:

(Sept. 16, 2009)

(Jan. 19, 2010 - and yes I have left out some of the Christmas stuff elsewhere)

Back story: My mom bought that at an auction house back in the early to earlier of the mid 70s. (Refresher of the mirror.) I have no idea how old it is and in the years I have had it (since 1986 or 1987) I have only dusted and oiled it.

So, I attacked it with a white cloth, Murphy's and as much elbow grease my arm could muster. The entire left side of that dresser turned the cloth black! The top was just typical dirt and the right side was dirty and had some black on the cloth too. The left side of the front also turned the cloth black but the black grime faded as I went to the right side. I can't for the life of me think that it was something I ever did. So, deducing where it's been over the course of close to 40 years, the black is most likely soot from a coal fueled heat source back in the day. It is an antique so that only makes sense. I used to be a slob but that could not have happened under my watch!

So Murphy Oil Soap, I love you. Perhaps you can see how much better the grain stands out now. I really need to get it professionally refinished as that's not a project I can tackle nor would I on such a fabulous piece of furniture.

Next up is to make a pelmet box and that's a project I think can be done inexpensively and it has a good purpose. Funny how when you add something to your house it somehow can mean a new project. No matter, I like being busy!