Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Catching Up- Mother's Day, Family Thrifting and End of the School Year

Hey Everyone!

Sorry it's been awhile but we all got sick... again. This time it was just a little virus. No throwing up- which I consider a bonus really- but it was over Mother's Day. Not the greatest Mother's Day ever but I got to spend it with my family and that was awesome. Aleena made me something at school.

Have I ever told you how much I lover her teacher? She is great and has the cutest ideas. She traced the kids' hands, cut it out  and mod podged it onto a tile with felt on the back. It's my own little Aleena coaster and I use it every morning when I drink my coffee. The following week my hardworking hubby had a day off in the middle of the week so we all picked up Aleena from school and hit the thrift store, followed by a local plant nursery and Red Robin for lunch. We had a great time! Thrifting is a little more complicated with 3 kids and a husband tagging along but I did manage to find this.

Which is currently hanging out on the shelves over my sink.

It was the best make up Mother's day ever. 

The other thing I wanted to share with you is that Aleena has finished her first year of Preschool. I am so proud of her. We really saw her blossom this year. Here she is on her First day of Preschool.

And here she is on her last day of this year.

How my Sweet baby girl has grown! The time is just flying by.

We had a real honest to goodness weekend this weekend for the first time in AGES and were able to start making some more progress around the house. Hopefully I will have lots to share with you soon!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How about a Sneak Peek

at the fabric for the living room curtains?

This is the Braemore Henry Ikat in Navy which we purchased from fabric.com. This fabric usually retails for $24.99 a yard. Little bit more than we wanted to spend so when I found it at fabric.com for $18.98 a yard, plus 40% off, plus free shipping  I was willing to take the leap.I don't know how often they run their sales but when you are buying 12 yards of fabric 40% off is the way to go. I figure if we paid full price we would have paid $300. Instead we spent $137 on enough fabric to do four ceiling to floor panels in a room with  9 foot ceilings. 

Some of you are probably scratching your head at my fabric choice because this doesn't look like something I would typically pick. With this room makeover I have been pushing more for the Hubby's input (and he has been offering it more even when I don't want it.) We are putting some money into this makeover and I want it to be a room that we both enjoy. That being said- we have VERY different styles. This fabric was one of the few that we agreed on. When the fabric first came and I saw how big the pattern was I got a little nervous. I finally got around to cutting it up so I could start sewing and I couldn't resist "trying it out."

I had to stand on the chair to get it up there and I could barely reach but with this little preview I fell in LOVE! I cannot wait until I can get these made and hung. Guess I had better get that sewing machine warmed up.

Anyone else working on some big sewing projects?


Monday, May 6, 2013

Lilacs and Living Room Progress

Happy Monday! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! I was fairly busy this weekend trying to get the bigger pieces of the living room in place. Also this weekend our lilacs finally bloomed. They smell SO good. When we bought the house last year the yard was a pretty big mess. Matthew spent a LOT of time last year clearing brush and fighting poison ivy (which resulted in 2 trips to the ER.) We have two lilac bushes but last year the white one was so overgrown with poison ivy that it never flowered.

The white lilac is on the right with just 2 branches which looks funny but it has quite a few blooms. The purple lilac on the left is much bigger but it seems to have fewer blooms this year. This is the view from our back steps. We don't really like staring at our neighbor's wood pile but we don't want to plant anything else back there until we have the poison ivy under control. Sweet Hubs did cut us a few blooms though.

They are brightening up our fireplace mantle.

Since the shiny gold of the fireplace is so distracting, here is a picture of just the mantle.

This is the first time since we moved in that the fireplace mantle is decorated so I love it, plus the lilacs are making the whole living room smell so good!

On the other side of the room we finally have a desk!

I am so happy we finally have a designated desk area! We don't have a  "desk chair." We have the chairs that I refinished that sit right next to the desk so we can turn one and use it whenever we need. If we just need the desk to be a table or a serving area if we have company we just take away the computer and leave the chair facing forward.

We are keeping it real by leaving the cords and paper shredder visible but at least they aren't sitting out in the open which they have been for the 17 months that we have lived here. By visible I mean you would trip on the computer cord walking through the dining room because the cord had to go from the wall over to the table. I am so happy it is tucked away now.

I got the drawer front sanded and stained and got to put on the pretty pull. It makes me smile.

I wanted to show you a picture of at least this half of the room all painted. It's hard to photograph with the way the sun comes in. There really isn't a good time of day to take pictures but I will show you my attempt.

It feels so light and airy in here to me now. We have come a long way in just a few weeks and with minor changes.

If you go back to how it looked when we looked at the house the first time I think we have come an even longer way! Before...

And After...

Yay!!!  All the big pieces are in place so I can start tackling smaller things now like curtains and hanging things on the walls.  I actually think I am fairly close to feeling like it is "done." What do you think?

The fireplace is going to have to stay an eye sore until we can come up with a plan or win the lottery (just kidding.) Anyone have some suggestions?


Friday, May 3, 2013

In Search of the Perfect Desk

Happy Friday! I am not sure how it is May already! Time has just been flying by this year. I have been working on my "Company is Coming" list. I refinished a leaf for the dining room table and I have been searching for the perfect desk for out living room.

The original plan is that we were going to build the desk. Nothing too fancy but I have totally been crushing on this pictured since I showed it to you a few months ago.

(I would love to find the original source for this picture but I have had no luck.)

 I have several pictures pinned on Pinterest with similar tables to this. We even found plans so we could build one of our own. The poor hubs has been working a TON of overtime and there are just too many other more pressing projects that we decided to buy a desk instead. This was not an easy undertaking. I knew I wanted it to be wood and in fairly good shape because I didn't want to paint it. I wanted to have the original finish since most of the furniture on that end of the living room is painted and I wanted it to have some contrast. I also was setting our budget at $100. Even that was a little more than what I wanted to spend but I didn't want to bring home a piece of junk either. My other must-have was that it had to have pretty legs. I am a sucker for some nice turned legs on a piece of furniture!

I started scouring Craigslist and came up empty handed. I even searched ebay in hopes that I could find something local. I did find this...

Which fit all my requirements and it made my heart pound. But it was seven and a half hours away. Which would have made it's $75 price tag a lot more than that to go and get it. I have always wanted a barley twist table but I had to let this one go. No one bought it- which makes me sad! I headed back to Craigslist and found this...

Which fit all the requirements except for the fact that it cost $235. Ouch. I was ready to give up. Which is when I (finally!) found it!

 It was listed on Craigslist for $95. The top was in sad shape along with the inside of the drawer so I got it for $80.  I didn't want to have to put a lot of work into it- there are just too many projects going on right now. But the top definitely needed some love.

It took a little bit more elbow grease than I had thought it would. I had to go down to a 40 grit sandpaper just to smooth out the top. After one coat of stain though it matched the rest of the desk.

I put three coats of the acrylacq on the top and I was ready to go other than changing out the pull.

I have to say this is the first time I have ever seen a pull attached from the outside with a screw. It was so very not attractive and had absolutely no intention of being removed.  We tried 3 different screw drivers and once the top started to strip my sweet but exhausted hubby took it to the basement to  try and get it out. Which he did. Shhh- there was some minor damage to the drawer. I can fix it so I am not worried and without his help that screw was not going anywhere!

I have to show you the pretty little pull I picked out!

I got this one at Hobby Lobby. We don't have one that is close enough to just drop in and look at things but they were having a special with two dollar shipping . I can't wait to actually put it on the desk!

My goal was to at least have the desk finished to show you today. The difficulty with the drawer pull made that not possible but next week I should be able to show you it all finished and in it's new home- which will also give you a look at how the living room looks all painted!

Yay for progress!! I also looked at some paint samples for the kitchen. I will let you know if I actually pick something. Now that the weather is nice I need to set up somewhere outside so I can paint the cabinet doors. We will get there eventually. I am feeling the need to purge things we aren't using so in between projects I am piling things up for a yard sale and donating. Anyone else cleaning out or getting organized??