Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nifty website for original decorating

I feel the need to share with you a website I found from a design book. For a while, we've been getting Dwell magazine. It's not something Mr. K or I ordered and it really is a mystery as to why we receive it. Maybe my Mother-in-law sent it (but this isn't really her taste or modus operandi); who knows.

Anyway, while looking through it and gazing at all the wonderful pictures and ads, I came across this ad for modern, digital canvases. The company, md-canvas, offers a wide variety of artwork that you can have printed in three different sizes to fit your design space. 'Incredibly nifty!' I thought.

After browsing their artwork, nothing really zapped me for the space I have in mind. I did, however, have a photo I took and adjusted with Adobe Photoshop Elements to look like a watercolor painting that I though would look fantastic printed like a painting on canvas and maybe framed.

Here's the shot:

And before you either break out in wild, raucous laughter or call the local insane asylum, let me explain. The original photo (if you couldn't tell) was of some exposed roots beside a trail we hiked along this past Father's Day close to my in-laws place in the mountains. I like the cragginess of them and I thought the colors would look good in my new living room (you know, the deep chocolate of my couches tied with the warm, orange-y tan of my walls), hence a picture of roots. Just be glad it's my living room and not yours. Also, I envisioned this being a fairly large print so you get the watercolor-esque detail.

Soooo, lo and behold, I find that md-canvas has a subsidiary that does custom canvas printing from your own, original artwork (or photo, etc.): Photo2canvas!

I'm in heaven! Now, to quit spending money on the silly renovation part of the room and start investing in making it look WOW! Photo2canvas has the same sizes as md-canvas and at what I thought were very reasonable rates.

Do you have a nifty design website/store/etc. find that you'd like to share? Please do!

And I promise, more photos tomorrow, since I should be almost finished with my carpet repair work!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More progress = no pictures

Sad to say, it's true. No pictures for today, but what a set you'll be seeing (hopefully) tomorrow! Even though I got some painting done today (can you say window surround and the rest of the background to the fireplace), I also got something major started.

You see, I had a beloved cat who had lasted me through a few marriages and several moves, but had a really bad habit. You guessed it: she peed outside of her litter box. That's partially why we never really used the front living room - because she had.

Well, folks, I'm here to tell you something. Today was the end of it all. I have ripped up the affected area carpet, pulled back the padding and torn out the carpet tack strips. This is in preparation to my 'stopgap' measure for that room.

You see, I plan on having the entire main floor done in hardwood. The only thing holding us back? That silly little commodity that is in such short supply nowadays: money. Within the next year and some months, I should be able to seek a mostly full time job with a fairly nice salary. *THEN* I will declare war on the interstellar fungus that has declared itself our carpeting for the past many years. Oh, it was subtle at first, lying low and acting all nylon and such.

Suffice it to say, the carpeting in our house was the original builder's spec carpeting with that oh-so-fabulous high squish padding (NOT) and has been subjected to almost 8 years of young kids. Heck, I'm almost completely worn out by now too.

Back to my original reason for doing this: getting rid of that smell. I am embarking on a major experiment to see if I can get rid of that smell and have my flooring look somewhat normal for the next two years.

After doing all that prep work listed above (a.k.a. annihilating everything she peed on), I am going to coat the entire area with Kilz, which is a primer that is also touted as being a pet odor eliminator. We shall see (picture me wringing my hands as I write this) . . .

After coating with Kilz, I will tack down new padding and I am using strips of the carpet that are left over from the original installation as my replacement. Yes, I heard you gasp in horror when you read that. I will say that where this carpet will be is along that wall pictured with the window and there will be a nice love seat strategically placed over that area, haha.

See, I'm nuts, but I'm not crazy. You'll see . . .


P.S. I'm also working in Adobe Photoshop Elements to convert some of my photos to artwork for my new, fabulous living room!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Walls are PAINTED!

Well, you're probably thinking "It's about time" and you are *so* right! I still have the ladder work (to edge the top near the ceiling) but the major work is done .
I can never remember to take these during the wonderful natural light, so here's the flash(ier) version.

View from the division of the two living rooms:
And from the front:
I checked closely and the light spot that shows in the photo above is a camera flash anomaly and *not* a missed spot (promise).

I confess, I spent the time going to Home Depot instead of doing the fine tuning work. I bought new trim for the much needed areas. I can't wait for Mr. K to work his miracles on mitering the new trim and make this baby POP! I think I'm getting giddy again . . .

It will all be better when I get the whole room finished and can look at all my hard work come to fruition - isn't that always the way it is?

Don't think I'm done with you yet, either. I've got plenty of improvement projects to keep this blog going, well, forever!

Thanks for tuning in again!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wishful thinking

I spent some of this weekend wishing I could get into the room to paint, but to no avail.

Massive amounts of time spent at ballparks for Little League/T-ball games and a Sunday spent at my in-laws mean a Monday of painting for me! I enjoyed all my 'away from painting' activities and got some good pictures to scrapbook when that portion of my renovation is finished: Yeah!

I did pick up another gallon of paint so I can at least finish the room. I will be smart and wait to do the up high stuff when Mr. K gets home so there's someone who can scrape me off the floor if I mess up and fall (fingers crossed that this doesn't happen).

My sincere apologies who thought I really going to get progress done - this is my last backsliding, I swear!

See you tomorrow night with some great pics!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Well, Mr. K is hoping that Centsational Girl will give a demo on her blog about completion. Ha! It's not her issue, but mine.

I hate painting above my head. It gives me a crick in the neck and makes my arms ache. Did I mention that I need to work out more? No progress today on the painting, but I plan on rousting myself up before the noon hour tomorrow to at least get two walls done (and I do mean done) so we can start moving furniture back into place.

I did get to peruse the Oops paint section at one of the Home Depots next to our house, so the evening wasn't a complete loss. That, and I've picked out a contrast paint to do the fireplace mantel, etc. We'll see how that goes.

Anywho, off to work on the painting, since Mr. K is up late with me and typing his heart out on his next book. Translation: he just looked over, with his MP3 player plugged into his ears and said, "I take it you're not painting."

Stay tuned, faithful readers!


It's only the beginning

Okay, I'll try for two posts today (yeah, right). I broke down and took a picture of the ugly, in-between stage of the partially painted wall.

I think I might title this picture 'Anticipation.'

Usually I at least finish to the edges, but I was so pooped and didn't feel like dragging in the ladder to reach the very top. That, and the kids finally got on my last nerve with a screaming argument, so we all took a break and went shopping for my son's friend's birthday present.

We then dropped by the local park for some fresh air and change of scenery, complete with other kiddos to divert mine's attention from each other (whew)! I sat at the picnic benches with some tiling and painting books I'd picked up at the local library (who, me, slack?).

Which reminds me: I have always used my library as my 'browsing' function for getting to look at many books before I decide that I can't live without them on my shelf. Yes, Mom, I actually do
decide NOT to buy some books (she knows how many bookshelves exist in my house). By the same token, our changing things up a bit will allow us to make the secondary living room a library of sorts and I'm going to move all our bookshelves into that room. But that's a later project, or at least after this one!

More later . . .


Thursday, June 17, 2010

I promised myself when I started this blog that I would not miss a day, but today is a toughie to say much about. That's not to say I didn't *do* anything, I just don't have any lovely pics of my WIP room to show.

I got most of one of the big walls covered and wouldn't you know I need a second coat for this round. Sheesh! That's the heartache of choosing a color that's very similar to the one already there . . . At least I got enough done that I can stand back and say, HMMM, it looks kind of pinkish to me . Cornered Mr. K when he came home and it doesn't strike him that way, so we're okay. Not that I have anything against pink, it's just not on the top of my list and not what I was looking for for the first impression when you walk into the house.

Also, tonight is band practice night. I know, I'm a geek if I'm still doing that after all these years. So sue me. It's Mom's night out once a week and don't you know I go skipping out the door on Thursday evenings!

I've got until Friday evening to finish that one wall and start working on the rest, as Mr. K would like to move some furniture into the room so we're all not suffering from claustrophobia any more. Did I mention that our house is about 1,500 square feet? And I've moved an entire room's worth of furniture to various points within the small confines so I can have some room to work? I'm sure you're starting to get the picture now.

With that, I should have some more pictures tomorrow of great progress because I know that's all you're interested in: results!

Don't forget to feel free to chime in at any time with your success stories . . .


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I managed to clean the front room carpet today (plus the other living room, hallway upstairs and one child's room and our bathroom). So, a picture of that just wouldn't be exciting in my mind. I will digress a bit and tell you that I made the family suffer through my favorite summer time dinner: grilled chicken on an Asian salad finished with my current favorite oil-based dressing. It's 'Asian Salad Dressing and Marinade' from Teresa Burns Salad Dressings book published in 1997. I looked around the web tonight and can't find it for sale new (reasonably priced, that is), but I'm guessing this book from the same author probably has it. Here's the recipe to convince you that you need her book:

Asian Salad Dressing and Marinade

In this dressing, it is the combination of sesame oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and mirin that creates the characteristic Asian flavor. Mirin is a sweet rice wine. It is found in Japanese markets and many grocery stores.

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce*

*I usually don't put in the Tabasco sauce, but I substitute a squeeze of chili paste sauce called Sriracha (it has a rooster on it and I find it at my local Safeway easily)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or jar and stir or shake to blend well.

Cover and chill the dressing until you are ready to use it. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before stirring or shaking again and serving.

This dressing will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

My other fave from this book is the Creamy Winter Special salad dressing - yum!

So, apologies to all for not posting much of my redecorating, but I hope you enjoy this dressing recipe and get to use it sometime soon!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My fun-filled day

I have to be amazed at what I got done today - for me, at least.

1. Rented the Rug Doctor,
2. Turned in used inkjet cartridges
3. Returned the loaner car to the dealer and got mine back
4. Got cleaning supplies from Target
5. Cleaned the front room carpet
6. Fed the kids and I lunch
7. Dropped them off to their play date
8. Got my hair colored and cut and traded in my 80s do for a more modern style
9. Picked up kids
10. Went to T-ball practice for the youngest
11. Ate a late dinner out
12. Went to Ulta to get the requisite tools for my new do
13. Came home and sat down!

Knowing that the car dealer and my hair stylist are both halfway across town (and on opposite ends, mind you), I did a heck of a lot of traveling today!

I'm still on track for getting my front room painted by Friday (Mr. Kellacious's deadline) so I can put the furniture into the room and out of the overly crowded current living room it's all residing in. I can put up with it if I know it's temporary . . . but I'm going to really kick it in tomorrow so we'll all be happier when it's finished!

Thanks for checking in with me and I hope you all had an equally productive day today!


Monday, June 14, 2010

A little room history and current standing

So I spent much of today removing what I could from the front living room and shredding unimaginable amounts of old documentation. I *will* be better about culling old documents from here on out, I promise!
So, here's a reasonable approximation of what the room looked like for the past 5 years or so:

And another angle:Of course, my close friends know it hasn't looked this organized or clean since this picture was taken in 2006 (sigh). I'm the messy creative type and it's just a really bad idea to have that be the first room in your house any visitors see.

Here's an interim photo from late last night.

As it sits right now:

Aaaand from the flip side:

Please disregard the carpeting that is shot. I'm going to Rug Doctor it to the best of my ability and we're going for hardwood when the money's available. You'll know when that happens because you'll hear the 'thunk' from me fainting with joy.

So there you have it: the very definition of WIP (Work In Progress, for you unitiated).

What projects have you begun this season? Share with me in the comments section, PLEASE!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wow! I'm already behind (sheesh)

My apologies to everyone. I know it's bad form to start a blog and immediately start slacking on it. But, I did mention that I had numerous projects on my plate (I did, didn't I?) and I'm trying to document as I go (insert canned laughter here).

Spent most of today okay all of today working on my front living room of my house. It was a disaster area and a study in squalor. I have managed to box up most of my hobby stuff (mainly scrapbooking, beading and sewing) and move it into the basement. It's not set up there for work yet, but my priority is to have the main living area of my house lovely so that I might entertain guests without having to ply them with liquor so they don't notice how it looks. Many thanks to Mr. Kellacious and my son to their hard work on getting my 3' x 6' desk into the basement from that front room.

So, in the next few days I'm going to treat you to a blow by blow of the transformation of that room.

Prepare to be flabbergasted!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

I've become a junkie

With the delight many folks reserve for things like Disney Land/World or Christmas morning, I visit furniture stores. And thrift stores. And home improvement stores (like Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, you get the drift).

Yes, sad, I know. I didn't used to be this way. Until early this year, when my good neighbor J pointed out a few design blogs she said I might like. You can see them on the right hand side of this blog. As we all know, misery loves company it’s fun to share with your friends!

Now, I drag the kids with me as I peruse the oops paint sections and ponder the merits of what I could re-purpose from the thrift store. Not to mention the fun of herding them through Ethan Allen. Actually, they were really quite well behaved in that one. It was WOW! that drove them to the edge and I contemplated using bicycle flags to locate them.

For those not familiar with WOW!, it means Weekend Only Warehouse furniture and is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday and specializes in closeouts from top furniture manufacturers like Henredon. I don't think they have many locations and their website says it's under construction. Searching on Yahoo brought up Houston, Denver and some South Carolina ones.

Anywho, I just thought I'd give you some idea of my current level of obsession and point the finger give credit where credit was due for this whole mess. Thanks, J!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Greetings from me to you!

My very first post to my very first blog; how exciting! At least it is for me.

Mr. Kellacious (my loving better half) walked in just now while I was playing with layout setting and asked that oh-so-dangerous question, "Watcha doin'?" My witty reply? "Setting up my blog." "Why do you need a blog?" was his retort. I won't bore you with needless details of the back and forth that went on for the next several minutes. Suffice it to say, it ended with me saying (in an exasperated tone, sadly enough), "I don't know all the answers to what you're asking yet. I have yet to do much of anything productive except tell you I'm starting it." I can now hear the sounds of the master bathtub being filled, so he's soaking his tired bones and reading a good book while I type this. Yes, I *do* love that man!

My idea is to share various home improvement projects (of which I have several going on currently), bargain-hunting finds and AHA! tips from the dark recesses of my brain. I quit my full time job a little over four years ago and am just now finding a use for all my spare time. Did I mention I have two young kids at home, only one of which is in school full time? Yeah, spare time. That's a good one.

So, howdy to all my cyberspace friends and I hope you enjoy the ride!