Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Home Improvement Bug

I may have mentioned...I've caught a bug.  The Home Improvement Bug, that is!  Honestly, it's been super fun.  I *love* having projects to work on, and I feel like it's kind of a new phase in my life I think.  After learning that life is just getting harder and harder and putting in a little effort won't cut it anymore for SO many things (you know, like how it did in high-school?); having a project allows me to put in some effort, a little elbow grease and have a beautiful result that will last longer than anything else lately.  

So here are a few of my projects lately.  I already posted my dresser pictures, so these newest ones are what I have done since then!

Here is a picture of my mantle after I played around with it today.  I LOVE it!!!  I love the shabby-chic look that's in right now, and I'm experimenting with incorporating that style into my home. 

The overview:

So, this big Tiffany blue letter "L" is a project from a Relief Society craft night.  I love it!  It's a cardboard letter wrapped with string (time consuming, but worth it!) and decorated with a few simple flowers.  It makes a perfect statement piece with one of my favorite colors.

The vase was completely clear before, but I experimented with Krylon's 'Looking Glass' spray and I thought it turned out great.  Just note, the spray only works when used on the *inside* of the object you are looking to make shiny.  And the white frame I bought at DI (a local thrift store) and I sprayed it white-just need a picture.

The polar bears I desperately wanted to incorporate into the mantle, and they worked perfectly in front of the blue "L".  Everything else covered up the bottom of the "L", so it looked funny.  The bears are clear, so it works.  And they represent a tradition in Kristoffer's Norwegian family, so we love them.

I bought these candlesticks, unfinished at DI as well.  They were 75 cents each, and I painted them white, perfect!  Again, the looking glass spray, bright flowers, and a picture of us... I may need to brighten up the frame....
 This was the coffee table mid project.  You can see the color of it.  It was fine, but not what I wanted, and with such a traditional, Craftsman style build, the traditional, Craftsman style stain was overwhelming, so I painted it.  I was going to try a crackle...but I'm not quite that brave yet!
 And AFTER!  I painted the whole thing a *very* subtle blue, and stenciled the top with my white stencil I used on the dresser.  Honestly, I wasn't convinced the stenciling was the right choice until I was *completely* done.  Even about 3/4 of the way through, I kept second guessing myself!  BUT, I've told myself before...never judge a project until it's COMPLETELY done and in place.  And it turned out great.

I found this bunny also at DI (that place is a veritable *treasure trove*), and it was ceramic and old and UGLY, blech.  But, white woodland creatures are totally in (so I'm learning), so I took a 25 cent chance, bought the funny fella and layered him with many coats of white paint to soften the texture a bit, and here he sits!

I wanted to keep some natural wood tones, so I bought this 2 dollar tray, and hemmed and hawed over what I wanted to do with it.  Once I decided to paint the table, I decided to leave the tray as is.  I like that it collects a few magazines, some pretty flowers, and a tray for the remotes, oh and my bunny friend.

I'm working on getting some better basket storage underneath, but this is the best I can do for now!

I found a fabulous and super simple tutorial for making decorative pillow slipcovers.  I am not a fancy schmancy sewer, but this was easy-peasy.  This was my experiment, and now that I know how it looks, I will make MORE!  The original pillow is on the right.

And, a few items I haven't figured out what to do with just yet.  On the left are frames that were originally gold and SHINY, so I painted them.  And those darned frames on the bottom, I think I just don't have much wall space, so they've been collecting dust.  Frames are my decorating nemesis, I think.  I love them, but they stump me!

And here is my NEXT project!  A new dining room table!  This table was very kindly given to me by Kristoffer's little sister Melodie...via his mom, Trine!  It's been outside under the covered porch, and I have a plan for it:  The top is a gorgeous, real staggered wood design, so my plan is to sand the top down (which I was doing today), stain it a tad darker to make it look like butcher block, and keep the bottom a soft, warm white.  So, like it is now, but new and improved.  I love the whole butcher block/wood feel, especially for a dining room, it brings a lot of warmth and elegance I feel a dining room totally needs, but keeps it inviting with the white paint.  The chairs I will do the same stain on the seats, but paint the rest of the chair a soft.minty green/blue color.  I can't wait, it's going to look amazing!!
Can you say BUSY??  And let me tell you what I have waiting in my garage...a small, round kitchen table, chairs (to go with the small kitchen table) in need of refinishing and upholstering the seats, a smaller dresser for Owen, a headboard and footboard for Marin's bed, and a black, two drawer filing cabinet.  But seriously?  These projects are keeping me sane, with all of the difficult stuff with my dad, I have needed something to hold onto for dear life and have control over.  Hopefully it will all turn out!


Mrs. Pedersen said...

I love that monogram letter "L". So pretty!! :)

Austie Bost said...

I absolutely love these! You have a gift, my dear!!!