Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DIY: Tiny Bathroom REDO

There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint and some new accessories to breathe new life into any sad little space.  We have this tiny, tiny, tiny bathroom on our main level.  It's called a "powder room" and I guess that's a fancy way of saying tiny, tiny, tiny bathroom-with no bath. :)  This little room has seen many coats of paint over the years.  Mainly cause I just never liked anything at 100% satisfaction.  We had this house built and we are pretty sure they put in the wrong color tile, but by the time we noticed it we were over the whole process and just decided it was "ok."  Anyway, I've been trying to find paint colors that would make it look better, and just don't think I ever succeeded until now.  It's been pureed carrots orange...NO--especially since we bleed crimson and cream around here--I changed that real quick to a Cabernet-colored red which was just dark and gloomy for a tiny space--fail numero dos (#2), then when my hubs was painting my eldest daughter's room, when I was enormously preggo with her and couldn't do any painting, I told him to slap a coat of that sage green on the walls in the powder room.  At first I thought, ok, this works.  As the years went on I just was so sick of it.  It looks great in my daughter's room with all her whites and dark pinks, but in this tiny space with a brown rug, and my black and yellow accessories it just wasn't workin' y'all.  It needed to be refreshed.  Then I thought, "I just finished a project that took me a week and here I am at Home Depot buying paint????  Wth is wrong with me??"  But I digress...I found this awesome grey-khaki color that tied in well with my "mistake" tile.  It ONLY took me an afternoon to paint that little room and was thankful for once that it is THAT small.  :)  I had a few accessories I wanted to reuse, so those were in the back of my mind when I went shopping for what is now my new zig-zag shag rug.  I painted my silver mirror a bright white and at 10pm I painted a flower abstract.  I was just in the zone and when that is happening, I roll like the river.  Hoping to find a new lighting fixture soon, those shell sconces scream 2003...ugh.

Here are the before and after shots:


Before...YUCK

You like that giant hole in the wall?  That is from us ripping off the builder's crappy mirror several years ago--wow :|

 Ta-da!  I'm sure you recognize my basket storage from a few posts ago. We have a built-in linen closet in there, but those baskets make it more inviting for guests, in my opinion.
 All other art made by me with things I had and recycled.

My recycled mirror!  Love painting things I already own and love.

Flower abstract--this is so easy for anyone to do.  Loops on a plain white canvas and done. I also cut out silly flower shapes from felt to give it more texture and extra whimsy.


I hope you will find inspiration to freshen up a space you deem not so fresh. :)  It makes a huge difference to do a few little things to spruce something up.

*Side Note:  I'm getting ready to start my Re-Upholstery tutorial that I hope you guys and gals find informative and creative.  It's a big project but don't be afraid of it!  You will definitely learn a few things about yourself along the way.  :)  Tune in for that next week!    In the meantime I am sprouting a few ideas that I will try to execute and post before, during and after the great chair adventure!

Now go do something amazing!  Don't be afraid of letting your creative side shine.  It's a gift we are ALL given.  :)

~Lori

Friday, April 26, 2013

DIY: Decorative Counter top Storage!

Hello !  Again I have to apologize for waiting over a week to post another project/idea!  I've been knee, waist, head deep in my current giant project!  OY!  (those pics and a future tutorial soon to come).

This project post is about another cool idea I got when I was helping my husband go through some old things.  His mom was an avid beanie baby collector (among other things) and has TONS of those plastic display cases.  As soon as I touched them them the idea to make them into decorative storage boxes hit me. I need some organization BIG time in my bathroom.  I would show you what it looks like, but I'm just not gonna go there.

Soooo, since most of the beanies are going to our girls, rather than be sold on ebay for peanuts, I decided to get some cool scrap paper and start mod podge-ing.  :)

Here are the boxes as they were (some even have lids! kids' crayons?  girls' hair accessories? yea, you follow me.)


The paper I chose to go with my bathroom decor.

Let the gooey sticky fun begin!

Love these!!  
(Side Note:  I started using my "good camera" for this project.  I think the pics are so much better than my phone can offer.) 


This is SUCH an easy project that anyone can do.  Find an old container you've got lying around and up-cycle that bad boy! 

Coming soon---Chair Makeover and tiny bathroom re-do!  Please come back to check those out!

Create something magnificent today! 
~Lori




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DIY Cookie Recipe--Gluten free!

I love to cook and bake....like LOVE IT.  The mess is for the BIRDS, but the creative side to both cooking and baking makes me happy (or angry if something goes terribly wrong...and I've had those moments many times!)  Baking is a chemistry experiment and you really need to follow recipes to get your goodies to come out right.  There is a lot of trial and error when writing your own recipe.  I've been doing that for about a year and a half now as I try to cut the fat or sugar, but not the flavor, out of my favorite muffins, cookies, etc.

Recently I was put on a low-FODMAP eating plan to help out with a few health issues I have.  This means no gluten and that scared me at first.  I thought, "what the hell am I going to eat now???"  I love bread and I just was so worried that I would start hating food!  Well, after a LOT of research, experimenting, and 100% support from my hubs and our girls, I am becoming successful at gluten free baking!  We've had some "yuck, throw it away" moments and "this is AWESOME!" moments. :)  I know this is a DIY site and maybe you don't care so much about baking, but this IS a DIY recipe that I created and am proud of and I hope that even if you aren't gluten free, you will give it a try.  Being gluten free is helping me with my mood swings  (except for when it's that time of the month--when let's face it, no one has control over!) and all my other issues. Food can be your friend or your enemy, trust me....I KNOW.

So here it is!  Enjoy!


Peanut Butter Cookies--GLUTEN FREE and low-FODMAP

Ingredients:
1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter (I always use salted)--softened/room temperature
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I use the skippy natural cause it's smooth and not a lot of ingredients)
3/4 cup of sugar (feel free to use stevia or another natural sugar for sugar free cookies)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Brown Rice flour
1/8 cup Potato Flour
1/2 cup of Oats-gluten free
1/2 cup Sweet Sorghum flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray).  Mix together the butter, peanut butter and sugar.  Add one egg and stir, repeat with other egg.  Add vanilla and stir until combined.  In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients and add to the butter/egg mixture, stir until combined.  Use a small ice cream scoop or teaspoons to drop cookie dough balls on prepared cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 fro 10-12 minutes.  Cool on a rack and enjoy!

Grab some almond milk and dunk these yummy cookies! :)

See you guys soon with my new project that is in the works!
In the  meantime, do something creative today...
~Lori

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chalkboard Wall Art

As you know if you read yesterday's post, I rambled on and on about my hunt for chalkboard paint and the reason for all that biz is this project. :)
I went thrifting the other day and found some cute frames...in abundance.  (Someone gave away WHITE frames...still in the package from Pier 1!  YES...GAVE...AAAAAWAY!!  GASP!!  Sorry, I just don't get that.)   This set also came home with me for some refreshments. :)


Old fashioned, huh?  My favorite kind of style to improve upon is "old fashion."  The curves, the beading, the details you just can't match with the clean lines of today.  The potential is just ooooozing from them.  These are large and I was thinking that they could totally be used as trays if you add a couple of cabinet handles to them.  Would be so cute, huh?  Hmm...I might have to give that a try one day!

I am, however, using them for chalkboard art.  They were cleaned and disassembled and prepped for paint!  I sprayed the frames a couple of different grey colors (mainly because one of my cans clogged and started spitting...RUDE).  I decided to paint the lovely works of art grey too because they were stuck like glue on those boards and I didn't want to rip things up.


As I get into the chalkboard painting part, I have to tell you to do ...it....RIGHT.  When it comes to painting that stuff on glass, you must scratch it up with low grit sandpaper and wipe it off with a clean cloth.  Also, follow the paint maker's instructions.  Most of the time I learn things by trial and many errors but normally try to research things at least a little bit.  I did NOT, however, paint these the right way and even though I tried to "fix" the problem it still isn't what I had hoped for. 
See?  Yuck.

It's a gorgeous color and will work great on other things, but this time I am nixing the glass and since I spray painted those cardboard backings grey, I used the OTHER chalkboard color (grey-ish taupe) that I got.  I know myself well enough to think ahead and in a "just in case" mode.   Luckily, that color and the whole project came out so cute!

Go check out some garage sales or flea markets this weekend!  You might just find a few rough "diamonds" that need polishing. :)

~Lori

Friday, April 12, 2013

NEW POST! Update and DIY Curtain Tutorial!

I'm back!  It's been such a long time since my last post...SO sorry!  If you care enough to visit my little bitty blog often and have been disappointed by my lack of posts lately, I'm both happy and sad. :) :(  Life's been crazy and taking me away from my ideas and my passion to create.  Kids' stuff, birthday parties, a few road trips, lost dog, and food poisoning (that luckily only happened to ME) put everything that is this blog, on hold.  <insert gigantic sigh here>

Ahem!  Moving on and into the idea explosion I had yesterday.  I went to Hobby Lobby for one thing.  Funny how that always changes as soon as you walk in the door!  Aaaaaaall I wanted was colored chalk board paint.  I didn't have time to dive into the many DIY recipes I've seen on Pinterest, and just wanted something quick.  Hobby Lobby did NOT have ANY!  Have y'all seen it there?  I looked in all the obvious places and it just wasn't in stock or something.  So as I searched through the aisles of HL I started sprouting more ideas, or accessories for the ideas I already had.  I ended up picking up a few odds and ends and deals I couldn't refuse.  Next, I headed over to Lowe's to see if they had any chalkboard paint.  They did....but in black...ONLY.  I texted my hubs to send me the list of things that I would need for making my own cause I felt completely over it by that point.  (my phone internet speed wasn't behaving nicely either!)  When I got the list I thought, "oh hell."  If you know me, you know that I am an impatient lil' lady and I simply didn't have time to DIY chalkboard paint...I'll save that for another day.  He mentioned Martha Stewart in his text and I instantly remembered that Michael's carries her brand.  I hardly ever go there anymore because they don't have any fabric and I must always peruse the fabrics at a craft store. :)

ANYWAY...after I picked up some spray paint that I needed wanted I made my way down the aisle and wouldn't you know that I sprouted yet ANOTHER idea!  Drop cloths were at my fingertips and they were the right size (and price) for curtains!  You see, I had a little sad accident with my DIY Lori made block colored black and white curtains (no post on those yet, but I will write one when I figure out how to fix them up).
Here they are/were:

They are assembled with stitch wich and some fabric adhesive but sadly, it never fully STUCK.  I should've sewed them for extra support.  Excuse me for being tired of the whole project after a bunch of cutting, ironing, and ironing and then some more IRONING.  They recently started coming apart when I was changing out the curtain rod.  I honestly didn't want to mess with any sewing because my sewing machine isn't the best and it gets choked up all too often.  Enter drop cloths and this super cool idea I saw to stencil them with paint and hang them as curtains.  WHAT?  Tooooo easy and awesome.  To be even more awesome Lowe's had the Valspar sample paint for $3 right next to the drop cloths and I found the perfect color to match my other artwork in the room.  Happy camper am I. :)

I honestly don't trust my stenciling abilities, or lack thereof, because I've tried on smaller projects and it looks like a gloppy mess, so stripes was the design of choice.

Here's how I did it thanks to the set up help of this lovely lady's tutorial: Lisa @ Shine Your Light.  
I really just wanted to see how things went for her and see if I was brave enough to take it on.

I armed myself with:
2 drop cloths (6' x 9')
2 jars of sample valspar paint (EXACT: Valspar Late Sun @ Lowe's)
Small to medium paint roller
trash bags for protecting while I paint


I laid out all the trash bags and stretched the drop clothes out.

Next, I taped off my design.

The painting begins!

This wasn't the funnest thing in the world to do, but also not the hardest.


Awesome!  I didn't wait until they were dry to pull the tape off cause I'm impatient and really wanted to see how my skills would prevail.  I was really impressed that I had no bleeding or horrible spots.  

HUNG!  This wasn't too difficult to hang on those claw rings.  Fold, bunch, clip.  I also didn't hem them, just folded them underneath so they wouldn't be so puddled.  

On a side note, as you will see in Lisa's post, she laundered and ironed hers.  I did NOT.  Mine are pretty wrinkled, but I like it.  Is that weird?  Maybe I just didn't want to mess with it cause, I am impatient.  Have I mentioned that before? :)  Like it would be hard for y'all to pick that up if you read my blog on a regular basis. ;)  Anyway, do what YOU want, because I honestly like the "imperfect" in all things in life, including these lovelies. :)
**(Excuse my ugly pictures.  I love my phone camera but I am going to be switching to my Canon professional for my future projects.  You'll thank me for it.)**


I will make sure I post more often, sometimes life just gets in the way!
Tomorrow's project post is especially cool and the whole point to my first paragraph rant about chalkboard paint. ;)  Be sure to come back to check it out!

Make something lack luster into something beautiful today. It will make you smile from the inside out!

Be creative!!
~Lori





Monday, April 1, 2013

Loving who you are.

Hello fellow DIY-ers and/or DIY dreamers. :) SO glad you stopped by!
Today's post is a little different with a few more emotions immersed into it.  An epiphany occurred within me this weekend:  you must love who you are to be loved and to be happy.  I think pretty much all my life, I have done things for the "image" and the love of someone else, and what I thought others would appreciate or like me for.  I sat and looked around my house and thought, "people who come in here are going to think this is a circus or a fun house!"  That might be true, but what hit me is that it is ME and I LOVE IT!  All of a sudden I didn't care about what anyone thought of my style (or lack there of ---in their minds).  My girls notice every thing I do and gasp in delight when the candlesticks are a new rad color or I make new chicken/chevron art for the kitchen--frankly I gasp a little too sometimes. :)  I want them to feel inspired by what I do and feel the free expression to be themselves and to love it.  I had more of an eclectic "out there" kind of style when I was single, but when I got engaged and my future husband bought a house for us to share, I thought I needed to decorate it in an adult and conservative way.  Furnish it with things that most people I knew would like.  I'm sure I still didn't do it exactly right but it was normal and sort of , well...boring.   My RE-decorating has been a work in progress and I don't know if it was having two little girls that made me realize that I wanted something brighter, or absolutely needed something that would make me smile when I woke up in the morning.  Life got so crazy, yet so happy, and I just needed to (and STILL need to) express my joy.  Luckily for me, my husband has gotten used to my crazy style and loves me for who I am.  It took me 30-something many years to realize that I too love my style and am comfortable in my own skin.  From the days I dreamed of owning a boutique and moving furniture around in my childhood bedroom, to my awful, awful mistakes in this home and other places I've lived (there have been lots of mistakes down the road)....I've discovered an inner peace.  I am who I am and no longer wish to be someone else's ideal cause honestly, I don't think anyone cares THAT much anyway!

Who doesn't like pretty things and looking at pinterest or other fabulous blogs (like this one ;) and websites for fantastic ideas, especially when you are stumped?  I think that's all you really need to do, 'look for ideas' and put your own spin on it.  This amazing concept doesn't just go with your home decor, but also your wardrobe.  I always want to fit in, but I realized I do just by being me.  I put so much stress and money into how I think things are supposed to look.  Today I will be emptying out my closet that is filled with unnecessary clothing that I thought I should get.  Time to be in my own element and wear the clothes that express who I am.  Most of my life I have felt like I wasn't your typical girl, but I always tried to be her.  It's kinda sad when it takes so long to figure all of this out, but when you do it is inspiring and stress free.  I feel so reborn and I hope that you all take a look at yourselves and realize you are all special, unique and lovely just by being you.  EMBRACE YOU!

Thank you for sticking around to read my emotional awakening.  :)  It means a lot to me that you visit my little blog.  My next BIG project is comin' atcha very soon.  Something I've never tried in my DIY life, so maybe you'll be learning something right along with me!

Take care and do something creative today!  And when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, say hi with a smile.  Feel good and carry on. :)

~Lori
 
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