Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Soap Dispenser

I picked up a cute little hexagonal glass jar at a yard sale a few weeks ago for ... $1.00.

Today, I picked up a nice, tall bottle of yummy smelling soap (not antibacterial, as my septic guy is saying to avoid those) for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree.

I took the cork from the glass bottle and drilled a hole just big enough to fit the pump from the soap.

I inserted the pump into the cork, poured the soap into the bottle (as in first photo), and popped that cork back in.

New fancy soap dispenser.  Sorry the photo is AWFUL!  It's night-time, and I can't get a good photo.  I may attempt some glass-etching, but I'm so afraid.  I tried that once before and the results weren't good.  Hmmm.... maybe a good ol'-fashioned Cricut label instead.

UPDATE:  New photo in daylight!  So... what should I put on this to spruce it up?  etching?  labels?  hmmmm.....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thrifting Treasures

I had a small amount of time today to hit two of my favorite stores in the local town before my youngest got off the kindergarten bus (I avoid taking any kids when possible... I've done my time taking kids before they were school age!)  

One of the stores is a sweet landmark store that is moving.  An old pharmacy-turned-gift store.  They aren't necessarily the cheapest place, but their selection is awesome.  However, with the moving sale, they're now down to 60% off just about anything.  YES!

Here's what I scored there (along with some stickers and trinkets for Easter baskets):
This was about $3.20 after the discount.  Cute but I wasn't positive what it was.  Now I think it's a plate holder for small plates.  I'll find a use for it somewhere.

This cute little bottle carrier was $6.00.  Granted the little tags are Christmasy, but they can (and will) be removed.

How adorable is this.  I have plans for this.  It was about $4, I think.  A wire frame "carrot" with faux greenery "carrot-top".  They also had a radish, but I figured the carrot was mildy Easter-y?  Easter.... Easter Bunny... Bunnies eat Carrots... Fake Wire Carrot for front door  {{see my reasoning?}}

Two mini feather wreaths.  They had a ton of these at $3.20 each... so I got the two styles they had.  What type of feathers are these?  I love them!

I probably could've bought TONS more at the gift store, but I decided to only buy things I can use now... and probably more than half of their merchandise is Christmasy.  If that percentage-off goes up a bit more, I may just go stock up on Christmas stuff next.  

Next stop:  thrift store.
This metal basket (full metal frame with a little weaving at the bottom) was $8.  Normally I'd consider that high, but I think it's the perfect size for magazines.  I'll find a location!

This little doo-dad was $1.50.  It's a wire butterfly attached to what looks like a baby-food jar with a wire hook in the back to hang on a wall.  Looks easy enough to make on your own, but for the $1.50, I decided it was easier to just buy it!  Instead of putting a candle in there, I may use it for some other trinkets or faux flowers and hang the butterfly in my daughter's bathroom.

OK... not sure what this is.  Sachet cover?  Is it supposed to hold potpourri?  I don't know... but the wire and leather design looked too cool to pass up for just $2.

This sweet little sign would've been easy to make... but again, who can pass up $1.00?  Now I'm wishing I'd also picked up the "dream" sign that was there too.....

And last, my favorite treasure... my big 36" long $5 shelf!  YAY!  I'm hoping this works in my bathroom.

Cute finds today!

An Updated Office & {so proud of my} New Shelf

Ugh... once again time escapes me.  It's just the craziest time for me... early spring till early summer.  Winding down the preschool year.  Graduation practice begins after Spring Break... let me tell you... there is nothing more adorable than 30 little four/five year olds in mortarboards singing "Kindergarten Here I Come"!!
And soccer season has begun!  Thus, as Murphy's Law dictates, we are about to encounter rainy Saturdays for the next 10 weeks.  (ba-dum-bump)  Four practices and two games a week (only two are playing a sport this spring)... I think we can make it... nothing against sports, but I am so glad that our family isn't REALLY into sports.  I like having a little bit of a life outside of folding chairs, water-bottles, snack-buddy-schedules, stadium blankets, and video cameras.  I suppose I should admit... I am not a sports-fanatic and far from being a good "soccer mom".  But my kids love it, and I love them!  (One of these days, I'll actually learn the rules to the game.  All I know is "no hands".  LOL)

A new adventure has begun as well.  My oldest daughter and myself are taking piano lessons!  I'm SUPER excited (it's been on my bucket list for years).  She was so excited after her first lesson today, she practiced for an hour plus as soon as she came home.  (Oh... did I mention the lessons are three houses away!  SCORE!)

Also, for anyone familiar with VBS... aha!  THAT has begun as well.  I help our church as the Preschool Director for VBS.  It's not nearly as crazy as the overall Director... but I do organize 150 kids and recruit about 40-50 workers.  

So, now do you forgive me for taking a little break?

 But alas, I have done a few things.

One being that I painted another room.  Well, er... a "nook"?

This is the little office nook that juts off the corner of my kitchen.  I was ree-eea-llly nervous about painting it a dark mushroom color.  After all, there is "gunstock oak" floors, and ... dang it... can't remember the color of our cabinets, but they are a medium-dark birch wood.  With no windows in this little corner, I was so afraid it would be a dark and dismal room.

Fortunately there are two lights in here, and the pantry door (to the right, if looking in) is off-white.  I hope to bring in a few more off-white accents on the walls (and that vase!) So, I don't think it's too dark.  Is it?  
Here is what it looks like while in the nook looking out:
Cute clipboards, eh?  I love those prints, but I must admit... I cheated.

Here's what they normally look like:
Yep, mostly covered up!

Imagine me sitting in the chair at the desk.  That's where I'm sitting right now.  It's one of my favorite places in my home.  I can stay tucked away, but still have a view of the kids in the main areas.  Ha... you probably can't tell from the photo, but do you see the "mousepad" in front of the vase?  Yeah... it's my Ballard Design Catalog.  How ironic that our "wireless, pad-unnecessary" mouse NEEDS a mousepad now.  Apparently granite is not a good surface for it.  Gotta think of a cute mousepad idea....

So... back to the wall color.  Why paint it dark if I was so nervous?
Remember this room?  

This is our little mini mud-hall off the kitchen.  I painted it with an "oops!" color from Home Depot last month.  $5... and I rather like it!  Stands out quite boldly with the off-white door and sign.

So, when I found ANOTHER "oops!" paint color that looked pretty darn similar, I snatched it up.  Sure enough, it's pretty close.  (not exact, but seriously close!)

Here's why they needed to look similar.... 
office---><--- mudhall

when you stare at the back wall of my kitchen, you see BOTH rooms on opposite sides of the stove.  Now, maybe if you weren't quite so OCD like me, it wouldn't bother you to have two different colors.  But that would've driven me CRRRRR-AZY!

So, now they're all matchy-matchy.  Next problem... ugh... what to paint the KITCHEN in between??

Oh, well I guess you can also see my newest in-progress project in that last photo.

The shelf.

We tossed around the idea of board-and-batten or wainscoting, but honestly, I liked seeing more of the mushroom color.  With two off-white doors and an open doorway, there wouldn't have been much color in there!  

I know the shelf won't win any awards, but I am dang-proud of that puppy.  I bought the wood myself, cut off the 2" extra on each piece by hand (yes, normal, ancient, rusty handsaw!), installed them to make the hook bar and the shelf.... and even used those extra little pieces as supports.  Fortunately in this photo, you can't see that it's not perfect.  The wall is bent!  There is a gap in the back of the wall where the shelf should line up with the wall... it's not the wood, either.  I turned both ways and still had that gap.  So, I need to fill it somehow.  The wood is cheap pine, too, so I will need to fill in a few little gaps in the wood.  Also, I'm hoping to install a cute little trim to the edge of the shelf.  

In the meantime, it looks cute from afar!

Hmmm.... you wouldn't know by the photo that I *ADORE* Thirty-One products, now would you?  Wonder why I have so many.....

One little caveat with this design.  That little "doorstop" is magnetic.  It *should* catch the little metal disc on the door to keep it open, but the shelf prevents the door from going any closer (our door has an automatic closing hinge that we love, but when hauling groceries in, you NEED to keep the door open.)  

{{{grumble grumble grumble}}}

I guess it's not a BIG deal, but we will have to now install it on the hardwood flooring AND move the little metal disc.   Oh the price we pay for wanting this shelf.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just a little tweaking....

The cookie jar just needed a little something-something....

Just in case someone had the insane desire to put anything else in it.  LOL

I need to fill 'er up now!  And the cool thing is that if I ever think this looks "busy" in the kitchen, the letters are removable!  This is what it looked like on Saturday...

Ready for some GF Baking now!!

My poor wheat-free daughter has the unfortunate luck of having a mom with little desire to do much baking or cooking.  So, the poor thing has to deal with off-the-shelf gluten-free snacks and baked products much of the time.  Have you seen some of the gluten-free frozen breads... oh, my poor little girl. Just holding a slice of that bread can cause it to crumble to pieces.  (Yes, I do order some from bakeries from time to time and visit restaurants that make GF pizza regularly, so she's not horribly deprived.)

I have made a few things using some baking mixes, and they aren't "bad".  However, I've heard that the superfine flours make the foods so much better.  

Well, I did it... took the plunge and am stocking the pantry for some heavy-duty GF baking now!  Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour, Superfine Brown Rice Flour, ... oh, yeah... I'm ready now.  Had you asked me a year ago if I'd ever have Xantham Gum or Sorghum Flour or Superfine White Rice Flour in my pantry, I would have laughed myself silly.  

If only I had a little energy tonight.... maybe tomorrow....or Saturday... or Sunday afternoon.....  Ok, ok... I am GOING to do this!


And.... yet another cabinet door sign!  (yes, yes again....I need help... but you just can't beat a $3 hardwood frame!)

This time I found a few doors without the middle panels.  

I took one, spray-painted with a clearance-rack spraypaint (Valspar Metal).  Then I flipped it over and added two eye hooks inside the middle.

Strung picture wire (though probably any sort of twine or rope would look cute too!)

Then I made a few cute clothes and letters on the Cricut.  Strung 'em up by mini clothespins, and ...

I don't have a nail up yet to hang it (and can't do it now since that wall is shared by my sleeping son's bedroom!)

But... I just had to show how awesome this paint is!  It MATCHES my graphite-steel LG washer and dryer!!!

I'm a little bummed that the photos are really bright due to the flash, but it's night-time and can't get any sunlight in here!  The blues/greens/plaids really aren't that bright.  Think more muted gray blue and olive green.  

The really neat thing about this concept is that you can use painted clips and use a similar frame to hold photos, Christmas Cards, paper tags (w/a letter per tag to spell a greeting), your house number, and so much more.... The possibilities are endless.  May need to make another one really soon for an often-seen wall..... maybe even in my office space?

Eighty degrees here tomorrow.  Despite having a day off, I'm thinking I won't be inside doing a whole lot of crafting.  :-)  Might as well enjoy the weather while we can.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Glass Cheese Dome + Candlestick =

A pedestal cloche!

Last weekend, I purchased a little cheese dome

Weeks ago, I had purchased a resin candlestick (black w/red)... but I painted her Heirloom White.  Do you see the chips in the back of the top?  Yep... I dropped it!  Ugh!!!  I glued the pieces, but was so mad at myself.  Using as a candlestick wouldn't have really worked now (too noticeable).

After a little primer and paint on the wood base of the cheese plate and some Gorilla Glue Super Glue.... bada bing!  (sorry so dark... sun was going down)

I decided my paint job wasn't ideal...I was impatient and ended up with a few globs and drips (not to mention the fact that the candlestick still had those obvious chips up at the top if you looked under the plate) so I decided to distress it a little... to make it look as if I wasn't the cause of the imperfections.  Ha ha!

How cute is this!  

Since it doesn't really go with my other pedestal cloches with their clean crisp chrome lines...

I decided to go ahead and find a new location.

Unfortunately the pretty yellow flowers inside the glass dome match the "not quite spring" grass in my backyard.  Ugh!  Hopefully it'll look striking once we figure out how to make that grass bright green!  LOL

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Thrifting I Will Go...

It's still early for yard sale season around here, so when I got a message that someone in my old neighborhood was hosting a yard sale.... and that she is a home stager/decorator with lots of home decorations for sale... I was there!!!  Fortunately the weather cooperated today.  Granted it was only 45 degrees at 9am, but it did improve later.

Here are a few of my favorite finds....just wait till you see the amazing deals....

Two cream colored canisters for my kitchen counter.  The one on the left is a Chris Madden for JCPenney one... just $2!!!  The one on the right was just $1!!  Don't they really stand out on the brown/black granite?

This tall bronzey metal urn was $5.00.  I like tall pieces.  The bottom showed a tag from HomeGoods for $16.99.  Right now, he's sitting next to the fireplace hearth.  Not sure where the permanent location will be...

This tall black and white ceramic vase was amazing!  Super cute in my black and white room... and just $2.  Again, the HomeGoods sticker was still attached on the bottom... $39.99 (and that's at HomeGoods, a discount store!)

See... fits in well.  Now, just gotta paint those walls....

These little pieces were found at a thrift store on Friday.  The candleholder scroll piece was $3.  The metal star was $1.

Ahhhh.... more cabinet doors... some without middle panels.  I got some ideas for these babies!  Oooh... can't wait!!!

And a cute little cheese dome.  Note this photo was taken on my "spraypaint mat" in the basement.... it's already in-the-works.  Thus the glowy flash photo... there is practically no light down there.  This was $3.00 at a thrift store.  I found another later, and balked at the $5.00 price.  Isn't that a hoot!  Had I found it first, I probably would've easily paid the $5.... but since I knew another store charged $3 for this one, I became a thrift-store scrooge.  Is anyone else like that?  Heh heh heh.

And last, but not least, a few 4" tiles... $1.00 for all four.  

Great day for bargains!