Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Next Projects (Even Though We're Not Done With The Ones We Started)

The kitchen, bathroom, powder room, and family room have been on hold while the wood floors are being sanded, stained, and polyurethaned.  I think we have a few more days until we can walk on the floors.  They really are looking amazing, but I'll save them for another post.  

For now I thought I'd share with you the next phase of projects to start (and not complete-ha!).  We're starting to work on the second floor.  First up are my daughter's bathroom and the laundry room.  Here's where they're at right now.  

This is the bathroom.  I know, it's terrifying.  Especially when you can look down through to the first floor.  But, we have big plans. 

Here's what we're thinking.
Or this..

Now, on to the laundry room which is to the left of the bathroom. 

Scary huh?  All new plumbing and electrical, but peekaboo floors and no walls to speak of.  I don't have any grand plans in here...yet.  I know we're doing the washing machine/dryer on the right wall.  I'd like to get a counter top and maybe some upper cabinets to store things.  On the left wall we're putting this sink.  

I'd also like some drying racks like these.

So that's what's starting in a couple of days.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  I'm even more exhausted by the idea of the downstairs floors being done and having to go and finish the stencil in the powder room:(

Do you have any new and exciting projects planned?  Hopefully none as involved as mine.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Ollo Clip- A Way To Take Wide Angle, Fish Eye, Or Macro Pictures Without Going Broke

Let me preface this post by saying I'm not a techie...but apparently our plasterer is.  He recently whipped out the Ollo Clip and slapped it on his iPhone to take some inside pics of the house.  My husband was in awe and did the smartest thing he could do.  Buy me one.  

So you might be thinking "what the hell is an Ollo Clip?"  Well, my friends, it's a 3-in-1 lens accessory for the iPhone.  Obviously if you don't have an iPhone this really isn't going to be useful to you...sorry.  But if you do?  You're welcome.  This thing is awesome.  It has a large fisheye lens on one side and a wide-angle and macro precision lens on the other. 

 I've been hemming and hawing over buying a wide angle lens for my DSLR, the camera I have yet to use because it's buried in a box somewhere.  I've been wanting one to take better interior pics where you can see the whole room instead of taking random pictures to try to piece a room together.  The thing is, a wide angle lens is like $800.  Hence the reason I have yet to buy one.  I know you can rent one, but I also know myself very well.  If I rent one it will never find its way back to the owner.  I'm just that lazy.  So when I got this little gift the other day I was just ecstatic.  I normally take my crappy pictures with my point and shoot.  I suppose I could take better pictures if I knew the camera better and did some editing, but again, laziness.  And, I know that the iPhone doesn't take the best pictures ever, but having the ability to take a wide angle photo on the iPhone at a fraction of the cost of going out and buying a lens is great.  Is it better than a DSLR and a wide-angle, but it's 10 million percent better at showing my rooms than without it.  

Here's some pictures I took yesterday with and without it.  Please excuse the mess that is our living room.  Still a work in progress, obviously.  

Without lens

With wide-angle lens

So you can see the difference in the ability to capture the room.  I took these pictures from the same spot.  And, no, I didn't edit these.  They probably could look a lot better with a little editing love, but you get the point.

So what do you think?  Did I mention it's $69?  That's 3 lenses for $69.  I know I couldn't be happier:)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I've Been Featured, And Tagged!

I periodically look at my stats which are usually around the same number.  The other day, however, I noticed the number jumped dramatically, like over a thousand which is about a thousand times larger than the number usually is.  I thought for sure there must be a mistake but then noticed that Apartment Therapy was where the traffic seemed to be coming from.  Uh, ok.  I really couldn't imagine why so I took a gander.  Turns out my post about cleaning antique glass was featured.  I have to say I was pretty shocked, but totally excited.

In addition, I've been tagged!  Suzy from Saved By Suzy has tagged me in a little "get to know you" game.  The rules are simple:  Eleven is the magic number, answer eleven questions, tag eleven other bloggers, and figure out eleven different questions to ask them.

So first I'll answer Suzy's questions. 

1) If you could visit one place in the world, where would it be?
    I've actually done a fair bit of traveling, but one place that is high on my list of places I still want to visit is Morocco.  I love all the colors and designs and food!

2) What is your dream job?
     It would definitely be a travel host.  Traveling all over the world, experiencing different cultures and most  importantly, food.  If you haven't noticed, I'm a big foodie.  Samantha Brown has my dream job (wench!).

3) What is your favorite book?
     My favorite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  My grandmother gave me this book as a kid and I just fell in love with it.

4) Name an item on your bucket list.
     To go skydiving.  Problem is I'm afraid of heights.  

5) Do you speak any other languages?
    Sadly, I don't speak another language.  I lived in Italy for 2 years so I picked up a fair bit, but since I've been back in the States, I've lost most of it.  

6) If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
     My dream would be to live in the States for part of the year and somewhere in Europe the other part.  Probably in Italy.

7) If you could change anything about your current home, what would it be?
    I'd like it to be livable.  That would be a great start!

8) What is something you've learned from blogging?
     That I really love connecting with people.  It reminds me of  when I had pen pals as a kid.  Oh,  and how to pronounce Ikat:)

9) If you could take any type of class, what would it be about?
     In the past couple of years I've taken some classes that I always wanted to try...pottery and oil painting. I think the next class will be on how to use my Silhouette machine.  I bought it a couple of years ago and  still haven't pulled it out of the box.

10) If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be?
       How about Leonardo Da Vinci so I can finally find out who Mona Lisa was and what she was smiling about. 

11) If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
      I wish I was more patient.  I think I've gotten a lot better as I've gotten older, but I still have my moments.

Here's my tags.  Caveat: If you don't want to play along I totally pressure.  And, if you've already been tagged by someone else, well then, you're just that popular...lucky you.

1. Jules from Pancakes and French Fries
2. Heather from Interior Groupie
3. Lisa from Trapped in North Jersey
4. Janet from House Four
5. Emily from Rue de Emily
6. Carrie from Hazardous Design
7. Kelly from Refreshed Designs
8. Shannon from Bungalow 960
9.  Melanie from Plum Cushion

Yes,  I only listed nine bloggers.  The last couple I was going to choose I know for a fact already got tagged so I'll spare them my lame questions.  

And here are my questions:
1.  What is your favorite color in clothes and design?
2.  If you could look like anyone who would it be?
3.  Are you a morning person or a night owl?
4.  Chocolate or Vanilla?
5.  City or country?
6.  Twilight or Trueblood( basically glitter or traditional can't go in the sunlight vampires)? Yes  I'm 12.
7. Do you prefer a home cooked meal or going out to a restaurant?
8.  High heels or flats?
9.  Have you ever received a really nasty comment and how did you respond?
10.  Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring?
11.  What's the most adventurous thing you've ever done?

I tried to not make the questions too involved.  Looking forward to seeing if anyone participates and what their answers are:)

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Nemesis...The Stencil

Ok, so I gathered up the energy to start on the stencil.  What a giant pain in the butt!!!!!!!!  I've stenciled before, but this stencil was NOT made to go around a corner and is giving me all sorts of problems.  Without further ado here's what I've done so far.

I ended up going with the Chinoiserie one.  I painted all the walls of the powder room, including the ceiling, BM Chelsea Gray.   You may remember that this is the paint I originally used (and hated) in the kitchen.  It seems to be working well in here and I had it on hand so it was a win-win.  I used a white semi-gloss for the stencil.  Because the walls are dark I had to do a few passes on the stencil each time for the right amount of coverage.  Pain in the butt #1. 

 As I got to the end of the wall where it turns I quickly realized that this stencil wasn't having it.  I'm going to have to cut it to do the other walls and possibly freehand (yikes!) a bit in the corners.  Pain in the butt #2.  The good news is that my husband loves it.  What?  I know, right?    I tried to get him to tell me why all of a sudden he liked it.  He couldn't explain it.  I guess I shouldn't push it.

This was a difficult picture to get, but here's the new light.  Just ignore the ladder, unfinished stencil, boarded window and orange stained door (which is getting a darker stain) and the room looks great.  Ha!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Kitchen Backsplash

I forgot to show pictures of the backsplash that was recently done.

We ended up going with a matte white subway tile.  Simple, clean, timeless.  

I love the herringbone niche.  Is it an original idea?  No.  Do I love it?  Yes, and quite frankly that's all that matters.  Still waiting for the pot filler to be installed.

And here's a close-up of the detail.  It's not extravagant but I think it adds a little something to the look.

One of the kitchen lights finally made its way up.  This is over the sink (and I think a bit crooked...will have to remedy that).  

So, no crazy progress, but steady wins the race.  I finally got the stencil and am going to try to muster up the energy to tackle it.  I don't know why I'm dreading it so much.  Oh, right, because it's work and all I feel like doing is sitting on my lazy arse.  

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I found this on pinterest. It's from Etsy's Sweet Perversion. Obviously I'm now a fan.  I think it just about says it all.  Have a good one!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ramblings + Ceiling Light Love

I've been sick on and off for a week and it's getting old fast.  Needless to say I haven't accomplished much (boo!)  I did paint the powder room but I'm waiting for the stencil.  Yes, I actually made a decision and bought one.  Shocking I know.  They must be forging the metal to make the machine that makes the stencil somewhere in middle earth right now.  That's the only reason I can possibly come up with for why it is taking so long to get to me.  Anyway, I was going to show the paint color, but I'll wait to show you the whole thing.  It will be more of a surprise.  We also put up a light which looks very fancy shmancy (you'll have to wait for that too!).

In the meantime, here's some lights that I found in my many searches that I'm in love with. Now to find the money a place in the house for one or more of them. 

Wilamette 6 Schoolhouse Pendant Light traditional pendant lighting

Lucia Drum Pendant eclectic pendant lighting

Capiz-Shell Pendant Light  modern chandeliers

LARGE HICKS PENDANT modern pendant lighting

Harmon Pendant - Restoration Hardware traditional pendant lighting

Basil Flush Mount Light contemporary ceiling lighting

Single Sloane Street Shop Light With Metal Shade traditional pendant lighting

MASKROS Pendant Lamp contemporary pendant lighting

Mini George II Chandelier traditional chandeliers

Sunburst Light Fixture contemporary bathroom lighting and vanity lighting

Looking at these really brings home the fact that I like too many styles.  I'm an indecisive person who likes everything.  Wow that's a lethal combo.  Do you find yourself leaning towards one particular style or do you like an eclectic mix of styles like moi?  

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Got A Liebster Award!!!!

So, imagine my surprise when I got an email from Janet of  House Four saying that she was nominating me for a Liebster award.  My first thought, thank you so much Janet!  My second thought, what the heck is a liebster?  Apparantly it's an award to recognize the J.V. bloggers like myself with 200 (or 16) or less followers.  I was beyond thrilled.  Unfortunately I couldn't be too excited since I was also suffering from some type of stomach virus.  Feeling much better now and am ready to press on with my duties as a Liebster recipient ( I like a bit of drama).

So, there are five rules that need to be followed by those accepting this award:
  1. Choose five up-and-coming blogs to award the Liebster to. These five blogs must have fewer than 200 followers.
  2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.
  4. Share 5 random facts about yourself
Let's do random facts shall we?

1.  I'm obsessed with peoples' heights, specifically celebrities.  After I've watched a movie or tv program I will immediately go to  IMDB and find out how tall they are.  Why you ask?  I have no idea.  It's just one of my many bizzare "things".

2.  I was a naval officer for 3 years.  Three horrible years.  I was glad to serve my country but it just was not a good fit for my personality.  I think the Navy actually threw a party when I got out. 

3.  I love horror movies, especially the supernatural ghost/demon ones.  Whenever a new one comes out my husband and I try to see it (when we can get a babysitter).

4.  I have a lot of pet peeves, but my biggest one is littering.  I lived in Philly for a few years which is the capital of said offense.  I once saw someone throw trash on the ground when a trash can was literally 2 feet away.  I don't know why this bothers me so much.  Oh wait, yes I do.  Because it's TRASH.  Throw it in a trash can for the love of God!

5.  I have a bizarre recollection of my dreams which are always completely random.  I'll give you an example.  This may be oversharing and if you're easily offended (or Jules who has already been tortured with my dream playback) then look away.  I dreamed recently that I became a hermaphrodite.  Don't ask.  I have no clue why.  So as I was getting used to my new "equipment" I had the forsight to test something that I had always wondered about.  You know how men are always going on about how much it hurts to get hit in the "balls"? So I thought I'd test it out.  It didn't hurt a bit.  Men!

Hope I didn't offend anyone too much with my ramblings.  I can be a bit 39 going on 13 at times.

Before I pass on the award I should explain a bit.  I've had this blog since last March but it's only been in the past couple of months or so that I've really started to get into it.  I'm still expanding my blog roll and looking forward to adding more.  I will find you, and I will stalk you!  I don't follow a lot of blogs (yet) with under 200 followers so I'll try my best.  And, without further introduction...

2. The designer from Allumer Decor (sorry, I don't know her name).
3. Michaela from Five Kinds of Happy
4. Annie from Bossy Color Blog
5. Danylle from Nana Moon Shop

Please do stop by these ladies' blogs.  I know I've really enjoyed reading them.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Toilet Has Arrived...And The Rest Of The Fixtures.

I can't believe this day has finally come.

It's so hard to get a picture of the whole room.  I know everyone says you shouldn't use flash, but I had to in a few of these pics.  The room is pretty dark (it doesn't help that I took the pictures in the morning) and the lights aren't in yet.

The long awaited toilet.  I'm going to have to come up with something creative on the walls.  

The sink is actually a lot larger than I thought it would be.  Lots of room to put soaps etc on which is a good thing since it's a console.

Here's the fabric for the shower curtain.  It looks so good with the green gray walls.

So what do you think?  I'm pretty pleased.  Still some things left to do before I can call this room good.
-Light fixtures
-Shower curtain and some type of window treatment. 
-towel bar/toilet paper holder
-Mirror which I bought from Lowe's.  I think I'm going to paint it though.
-Misc decor

Not too long of a list in this room which is refreshing.  I'll spare you any more posts on this room until the big reveal.  Hopefully it won't be too much longer (crossing my fingers).  Now to figure out how to take better pictures because mine suck! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How To Clean Glass To Make It Sparkle

I got a tip from a friend the other day that I thought I'd share.  We bought a foyer light at an antique store that was going out of business.  It's beautiful and we got it for a steal ($50!)  It was pretty filthy though and there were a lot of nooks and crannies in the design of the glass that I knew were going to be a pain in the butt to clean.  So here's the scoop.  You'll need a bucket ( in order to completely submerge the glass), denture cleaner, bleach, and soap.  

Here's what it looked like before.

We started with a bucket of hot water and about 8 denture cleaning tablets.  Ignore the trash bag.  We didn't have a clean bucket so we just threw a trash bag in it and called it good.

The denture cleaner has an effervescence that I think helps lift all the grime.  You let this sit for about 30 minutes.  Then rinse everything, dump your water and  fill the bucket with about 1/3 bleach and 2/3's hot water.  Let this sit for another 30 minutes.

Then rinse everything and fill the bucket with soapy water, immerse for a couple of minutes and rinse off really well.  

And, voila.

Looks brand spankin' new.  There was no way I was going to be able to get all the dirt out of this thing with just soap and a sponge.

And here's the new (old) foyer light (and new medallion that my husband put up).

Do you have any clever cleaning tips?  I sure need them.  The house is beyond filthy.