Tuesday, October 6, 2009

DIY Retro Coasters

I found these white, glossy porcelain tiles in the shed when we moved into our house. A whole entire box of them! So naturally I began brainstorming what I could make out of them. I saw some decopodge coasters somewhere in my endless blog stalking... and DH and I are known for our strict coaster policy..you can never have enough coasters so I decided that would be a great project.

First I put a thin coat of decoupage medium on the tile.

Then I covered it with things that I had cut out of an old dictionary. This one is for my future sister-in-law so I put an M for her name, the definition of her name, and then all the pictures start with the letter M. I also made some coasters from an old cook book.

After covering the tile I put 4 or 5 thin coats of the medium on top. Then I used very fine sand paper to smooth out the top once it had dried. I found felt circle stickers at Lowes that worked great for putting on the back of the tile.

Ta Da! So cute coasters here is the cost break down:
Tile: Free
Decoupage medium: $3.79
Felt circles: $.99
Cook Book and Dictionary from a thrift store: $2.00
Total Cost: $6.78

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yay I was featured!

I was featured on DIY Show Off go see...

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's a Jungle Out There!

So the flowerbed had become a bit of a jungle this summer. Yeah... this picture is a bit embarrassing. When we purchased the house we inherited lots of plants that we had no idea what to do with! : ) I cringe at the thought that the former owner might ride by to see what we have done with the place and fall over dead!

Unfortunately a lot of these wonderful plants have been here for some time and have become intertwined, overgrown, and some are trying desperately to escape the perimeter of the flowerbed.

Most of the green you are seeing to the left of the bunny are weeds or Japanese lanterns. I decided the lanterns, as neat as they are, were looking more like weeds and growing crazy across the whole flower bed so they had to go. I also had gotten tired of letting the irises, lilies, and daffodils soak up the sun for next spring so I went ahead and cut them off as well. I was nice enough to leave the peony (for now) that will get trimmed back in the fall. I also trimmed the boxwood and raked some of the mulch out to make room for more later.

I may call myself clever, and crafty but I am not either of these in the yard/garden. I am trying and learning and hopefully one day I will catch on. I am however, cheap by doing it all myself and moving/re purposing as many plants as possible.

So here is the end result of a long, hot, day working in the flower bed. The boxwood looks a little patchy because some large parts of it were actually growing separately from the ground. I removed those so that the main bush could fill out more.

What is in store for the future of our flower bed? Short term: get rid of the red mulch and replace it with brown. I also want to plant some low maintenance plants and attempt to move some of the bulbs around. My gladiolas and irises fell over and need to be planted deeper.

Long term goals: I would like to replace the scalloped brick edging with something more updated. Mr. Bunny you are cute but you've gotta go! I am working on growing new sage and rosemary from cuttings from the current plants so I can dig up the old ones and move/replant the new ones. The sage is actually hanging out of the bed and the rosemary has roots as thick as a small tree.

As for the rest of the front yard we also plan to plant grass where the azaleas used to be and maybe line the walk with some liriope once the weather is cooler.

So stay tuned for future updates and pictures showing improvements to the front yard.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fabulous Freebies

Check out this great blog and enter to win one on her many giveaways including a cordless hair straightener so cool!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thrift Store Find Redesign: Dresser Tray

Finally....my pics of the dresser tray are loaded and ready to go. I picked up this old plaque at The Love of Jesus for $1.00! I think the guy at the counter thought I had lost my mind for buying it and decided to give me a bargin. Anyway, this is what it looked like when I bought it....apparently someone took the important part and gave the rest away. : ) It's thick and heavy so it should stand the test of time.

After pulling the felt and metal plate off I primed the plaque using Kilz 2. Then I painted it using Benjamin Moore Super Spec semi gloss white. (both the Kilz and white paint I had left over from painting trim) After painting I hemed a piece of fabric I had left over from a previous project to fit inside the frame. I measured the inside of the plaque and had a piece of glass cut to fit at Lowes. So here's the low down on the cost of this project:

Plaque: $1.00

Paint and Primer: Free

Fabric: Free

Glass: $3.49

That makes a grand total of just $4.49! So there you have it this beautiful tray to hold my perfume and whatnot on my dresser for less than $5.00!

Here's the finished project:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Fabulous Freebie

How do you get your ugly overgrown bushes removed for free!? Yep you guessed it....Craig's List! Who'da thought someone would want to come to your house and dig up your old overgrown bushes but apparently lots of people do. I got the idea while feeding my addiction to Young House Love. They had bushes removed in the front and back yards. After I posted the "free large mature azelas" add, I had 8 people contact me wanting to come get them. The nicest couple came by and in two days they were all gone! Keep in mind we still need to take out a few more things and then grow some grass...so this is the before and after and later I will post the after after.



Stay tuned for the after after ; )

Hopefully the weather will stay relatively cool and in a few weeks I will have time to trim bushes, weed, mulch, and grow some grass. Also if you look closely we are apparently growing some plants in our gutter...oops! Too many inside projects has left our yard needing some TLC. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How to Score a Free Light Fixture

I am so excited I just finished installing my free chandelier in the kitchen! Now I am sure you are wondering how I got a chandelier for free. Well it technically wasn't free it was "free" if you get my drift. Here's the breakdown:

New Chandelier $25.00 Craig's List (That's Craig is a GENIUS : ) )
Old Chandelier sold for.....your guessed it $25.00 on Craig's List!
End result = "free" chandelier! YAY

So the only down fall is that a "new to you" light fixture doesn't come with any directions so here's how I did it.....brace yourself I will be using such technical terms as "thingy" and "do-hicky". All you electricians are cringing I know....

Here's the old, very square chandelier.

So after removing the old light this is what you are left with. All lights come with the bar thingy you see in the middle some lights mount to this and have to have specific holes for the screws BUT if not I just leave the old one up there and use that to save a step. That is what I did here.

First I screwed in the long middle threaded stick thing. : ) (I warned that I would be using very technical terminology)

Next, I took the wires from the new chandelier and threaded them through the stick thing.

At this point my arm was about to fall of from holding the chandelier up so I screwed on the piece that the chain and chandelier hangs from.

Most lighting comes with two wires white and black. It's an ingenious concept white goes with white and black goes with black! However my chandelier had two silver wires. (huh?!?) Yeah.. so it was trial and error I hooked it up and tested it and I got it on the first try because I am cool like that. ; ) Make sure to twist the wires to the right (righty tighty) so that when you put the wire caps on you don't undo what you have already done.

After capping the wires shove them up in the hole out of the way. Make sure you left enough of the stick thingy below the bar thing (see above) so that the piece that holds the chain/chandelier comes far enough down out of the hole for you to be able to attach the nut that holds the pretty silver cover on. I didn't.....so I had to go back and fix it before doing the step shown here. : )

Add light bulbs...I am assuming you can handle that one on your own : ) ....
and ta-da! Brand "new" chandelier for "free".

Faux Tile CHEAP! and Clever ; )

What we did:

First we painted a "grout" color I chose an off white

Then when it dried we measured and marked for the tape. We measured the height from the cabinet to the counter and then halved it. That is about where you want the "tile" points to meet.

Then the instructions I found said to use the measurement you took as half the height and mark along the top under your cabinets. (This didn't work out perfectly for us so we had to kind of eyeball some of it) Do the same across the bottom. Your tape will go from the first top mark to the second bottom mark (skipping one). We taped all the diagonals in one directions then went back and did the opposite. The ends will have a shorter piece of tape that goes from the second top mark to the middle point (height wise).

Just to break it down for you:

Our height from counter to cabinet was 1ft. So we marked across the top and bottom every 6". Our lines intersected at 3", 6", and 9". This happened naturally if you tape like I said above. Some of our lines got off so the tape didn't always land right on the mark but if you eyeball it it will come out looking good.

The hardest part is the taping...DH works in building construction so he's good with measuring and numbers. To paint I used a light tan base coat and used a sea sponge with lighter and darker colors to create texture. You have to be real careful not to get a sponge paint look; I put two colors on at once. I used an eggshell finish and faux rock switch plates to make it look more like tile.

This is hard to explain in type so please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions: allisone.bryant@gmail.com

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Half Bath Remodel

It's been a busy weekend. Evan and I are remodeling the tiny half bath under the stairs. The project began weeks ago when I removed the wall paper and painted. I also replaced the light fixture. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself....first things first I decided to remove the vanity so we could put in a pedestal sink. Back then the plan was to leave the linoleum to buy us time until we decided to tile. Well after removing the vanity there was a nice rectangle hole in the floor where it used to be. So plans were revised....remove the linoleum, lauan, AND 50,000 staples then go ahead a tile. Oh and did I mention in order to do that the trim had to be removed as well? So I ripped off the trim, and the linoleum, AND the lauan. SURPRISE! you guessed it more layers! This time it was linoleum and plywood. So out it goes! That layer put up a fight and didn't want to come out. A piece was stuck between the wall and the toilet water supply valve (and it remained that way for about a week). After a visit home and some borrowed saws from the FIL we got that stubborn piece out and there it was....the subfloor YAY!!

Finally this weekend tiling was underway. We got up on Saturday and second guessed our abilities so we called a handy friend of ours who came over to help. (We ended up monopolozing his entire day...what a good friend) We layed 13x13 tile on the diagonal using a score and snap to cut. This is the cheapest tool you can buy to cut tile but it's a lot of work and takes more time so next time we will most likely rent a wet saw. Anyway, the boys laid the thin set and the tile while I stayed out of the way (did I mention it's a tiny bathroom?) and cleaned out the closet in the family/sun room so we could install shevles (our other weekend project).

Today we headed to the home improvement store once again to pick up trim for the bathroom, plywood for the shelves, and look at pedestal sinks. That's when we realised like every project, the sink wasn't going to be as easy as we had hoped it would be. We didn't take into account that the studs need to have a support beam between them where you hang the sink. There is a posibility that it's already there (cross your fingers), but if not it means cutting out a chunk of the dry wall installing a small piece of wood between the studs and then patching the drywall. We are not at all confident in our dry wall repair skills so we are hoping that the former is true. I will keep you posted on that one.

For now I am busy cleaning up grout and helping Evan finished up the shelving in the family room. As soon as the projects are complete I will post pictures, discriptions, and the cost of everything we did. Stay tuned!