Category Archives: DIY

My Sunroom Makeover

Standard

Our house has an absolutely delightful sunroom that was being sadly neglected and under used. Here’s photographic proof:

  
   

I visualized a lovely, cozy retreat for myself with a funky vintage, shabby chic feel. Where to start? Naturally with a request to my go-to girls, the get-er-done gang: my mother Linda, my best friend since 1977 Tam, and Tam’s mother Wanda. Three days later they were in my driveway Sanford And Son style:

 
Tam immediately proceeded to chalk paint an old, brown, cobwebby desk she had dug out of her barn and this fabulous chair from my mom’s supply of vintage pieces.
 

The result:

   

That Tam is one cool not-so-shabby chick!

Mom and Wanda began working their brand of magic by bringing in pieces they had brought from Tam’s and their homes and a few gems they drug out of my garage and attic and some fantastic finds from Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, and my newfound addiction At Home. Have you been to an At Home store? Find one! Bargains galore!

The AFTER shots:

  

    
   

   

I enjoyed my special space for three hours after the Dream Team headed out on their two hour trek back to Kentucky. Angus likes it, too.
  

    

  

It’s also the perfect morning spot. 

  

Advertisements

Unwelcome House Guests

Standard

Unwanted guests (home invaders!) arrived at our house one recent spring day in the form of tiny black ants around the kitchen sink. My kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in the house, all bright and joyful with items I love and enjoy adorning the counters and shelves.

Kitchen windowEDIT

Imagine my dismay to wake up that morning to a dark cloud cast over my cheery kitchen. Okay, so it wasn’t that dark considering ants are so tiny, but you know what I mean. All I could see was lines of tiny, black ants scurrying about my sink and counter tops, no doubt being “extremely wise” (if you say so, Bible). While the best-selling book of all time recommends the ways of the ant – Proverbs 6:6-8, Proverbs 30:24-25, I personally do not hold the pesky creatures in such high esteem.

As I was hurriedly leaving for work that morning, I stopped and grabbed my spray bottle of ‘I Love Lemon’ (kitchen cleaner by Blessed Nest Natural Cleaning products that I like to make with essential oils – recipe here) and sprayed the little colony scurrying around. BAM! DEAD!

Then as a repellant, I flung a few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil* around the back of the sink where the ants seem to be entering the sink area, then I rushed out the door. I went home at lunch time and NOT ONE SINGLE LIVING ANT could be found in my kitchen! Several days later a few determined ants attempted to set up camp around my sink again. With another dousing of Peppermint Essential Oil – this time mixed with filtered water in a spray bottle, the problem was again taken care. It’s been weeks since I and my cozy kitchen have been bugged by unwelcome guests.

*I use Peppermint Essential Oil by doTerra, my favorite essential oil brand.

A pretty pictorial of Pinterest promoted painting projects….

Standard

A pretty pictorial of Pinterest promoted painting projects….

Peter Piper, where are ya, son?  Last weekend brought with it delightful sunshine, temps in the 70s, and Spring breezes.  Perfect weather for painting on my porch!  St. Patrick was surely smiling on his special weekend. I hauled out three chairs I have been waiting to paint.  I got the chair on the left from a local ‘buy, sell, trade’ website for three bucks from an adorable girl who loves ‘junk’ as much as I do. It was very wobbly. Elmer’s Wood Glue rectified that situation!  The chair on the right was hanging out in one of our closets.

Carefully wipe off all dust, dirt, oil.

Carefully wipe off all dust, dirt, oil.

I got this lovely rocking chair from the same ‘buy, sell, trade’ website from an equally lovely lady who lives close by.

I love to rock on the porch!

I love to rock on the porch!

Next, I rolled up my sleeves – well, proverbial sleeves because I was really wearing a tank top – and got to work!  Necessities for painting chairs on my porch: drop cloth, primer, paint, paint brush, wood glue, stir stick.

Read all your labels!

Read all your labels!

I began the painting process with primer – very important so your paint will stick to the surface.  Swift, even movements are important when using spray cans – no drips allowed!

Kilz Primer works nicely.

Kilz Primer works nicely.

I ran out to get more primer and this is what I came back with.

I love these bright, friendly colors!

I love these bright, friendly colors!

After I evenly covered the chairs with primer, I gave them time to dry which was expedited by the sweet breeze blowing.

All primed up and ready to paint!

All primed up and ready to paint!

I picked up a lace table cloth for 75 cents at Helping Hands Thrift Store to use as a stencil.

75 cents well spent.

75 cents well spent.

In honor of St. Patrick, I chose the pleasing satin green apple hue by Rustoleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2x for my first chair.  I chose a ‘scene’ from my lace tablecloth stencil to use on the chair seat and carefully positioned it.  Use tape to secure the stencil if necessary.  After spray painting over the stencil, leave the stencil in place for about 20 minutes before removing.

I feel so cute and crafty!

I feel so cute and crafty!

Ta da!

Ta da!

I decided to throw in a little variety and paint my rocking chair with a paint brush.   I love red! It makes me happy and makes me think of Gran as it was her favorite color. She always wore red lipstick, red glasses, red clothes, and carried a red pocketbook.  The eternal twinkle in her eye was her best accessory.  I know she would love this red paint!

Rocking red!

Rocking red!

Spray painting is much easier to me than brush painting.  I kept getting that streaky, brushy looked which I blamed on the brush.  Ahem.

2013-03-15 17.51.44 2013-03-15 17.54.51 2013-03-16 10.07.52

I surveyed the completely red rocking chair and was pleased with the paint job.  Just perfect for my front porch!

Wish you were here, Gran!

Wish you were here, Gran!

My last but not least St. Patrick’s Day weekend painting project was the wobbly chair which was perfectly strong and steady after an overnight rendezvous with Elmer’s Wood Glue.  After the primer dried, I chose the black spray paint I found on sale at Home Depot. Since I achieved such fun and satisfaction with my first stencil project, I decided to create a sequel.  Pretty cute, yes?

Chair/Stencil project #2

Chair/Stencil project #2

These armless chairs are perfect for front porch picking!  Bring on the stringed instruments!

An imperfect pair.

An imperfect pair.

On Sunday, March 17, I relaxed on a completely dry chair, raised a glass (and my feet) in honor of our Wild Irish Violet – grandchild #1 – who was celebrating her 7th St. Patty’s Day birthday.  Cheers to Violet, creativity, and holiday appropriate socks!

2013-03-17 16.51.24

Slainte!

Organizing with Old Stuff

Standard

Organizing with Old Stuff

I adore antique, vintage, retro, old things.  Pieces of history with character that bring back memories or stir my imagination.  Where did this jar come from, what stories could this crate/bowl/chair/etc tell? Here are a few of my favorite old things I use in my kitchen.

Old jars hold my cupcake papers, black beans, popcorn (no microwave corn for me, please), and straws.

Old jars hold my cupcake papers, black beans, popcorn (no microwave corn for me, please), and straws. That sweet rabbit planter belonged to my Gran.

This throw back coffee can serves as the perfect container for my coffee filters.

This throw back coffee can serves as the perfect container for my coffee filters. The Bob White syrup jar is great for creamers or sugar packets.

Vintage jars are great for holding snacks. Pecans and almonds stay fresh and crunchy!

Vintage jars are great for holding snacks. Pecans and almonds stay fresh and crunchy!

This totally fab Cudahy Cheese box is the perfect place for tea bags.

This totally fab Cudahy Cheese box is the perfect place for tea bags.

My Kitchen Organization continues….

Standard

Pinterest inspired, mini kitchen projects keep taking up residence over here on the Bulla-vard.  I so admire folks who think up cool ideas that I can run with.  By using a few office products I found on clearance at Target, I was able to clear out two drawers in the kitchen!  Check it out:

Nothing unusual here, the backsides of a couple of cabinet doors and stocked cabinets.

2013-02-27 17.27.28 2013-02-27 17.31.06

Three office organizing products and some double-sided permanent tape.

2013-02-27 17.33.40

Put ’em all together and whaddaya get?  Handy storage space for items that previously resided in black hole type drawers!

Seasoning packets, garlic press, meat thermometer….

2013-02-28 19.46.38

Cookbooks, recipe cards, cookbooks, scraps of paper with written recipes, cookbooks, and some plastic cutlery….

2013-02-27 18.10.07

Wax paper, aluminum foil, Brita filters….

2013-02-27 17.42.20

This little project was much less expensive and much less invasive than gutting the kitchen and trying to find space and money for more cabinets!

Junkin’ and De-junkin’

Standard

I had such a fun “junkin'” afternoon.  I started out at Vintage 615 where I found some fabulous, vintage metal trays and a precious old doily and some of those old calendar towels like Gran always had. A nice lady there told me about two more places nearby that I’d never heard of – 2Storeys Antiques and Carter’s Creek Antiques. All three of those places just made me feel good, happy.  At 2Storeys I found a wonderful 7-Up pop bottle crate (oh the memories of emptying those out to fill up the coolers at Croley’s Corner!) and a Fire King plate to go with the collection I’m building.  Everything was reasonably cheap!

Croley's Corner Grocery Store - Eli, KY. My parents bought this in October 1977, I was in 4th grade. We moved into the apartment in the back of the store. We stayed a year - one of the best years of my life.

Croley’s Corner Grocery Store – Eli, KY. My parents bought this in October 1977, I was in 4th grade. We moved into the apartment in the back of the store. We stayed a year – one of the best years of my life.

As I find pieces, I'm adding to this set of Fire King dishes to use in my kitchen. Mom gave these to me. She found them in a home they bought in Florida.

As I find pieces, I’m adding to this set of Fire King dishes to use in my kitchen. Mom gave these to me. She found them in a home they bought in Florida.

My fabulous finds!

My fabulous finds!

I had almost as much fun when I got home “de-junkin'” a cramped, crowded drawer and an equally cramped, crowded utensil caddy in my kitchen.

Clutter!

Clutter!

I utilized some unused space in one of my wall cabinets.

Unused storage space in this cabinet?  Yes!

Unused storage space in this cabinet? Yes!

The cast of characters:

-The two vintage/antique metal trays

-Command Adhesive strips and hooks

-A couple of magnetic clips and hooks

I love these old metal trays! I think 8 bucks was my combined total spent on these.

I love these old metal trays! I think 8 bucks was my combined total spent on these.

Command Adhesive products. They're pretty awesome.

Command Adhesive products. They’re pretty awesome.

I followed the directions and put the Command Adhesive strips on the backs of my metal trays and put the little adhesive hooks on the fronts.

Do these work like the Sticking Charm in Harry Potter?

Do these work like the Sticking Charm in Harry Potter?

While the sticky things were getting good and stuck to their new surfaces, I rummaged around the cluttery drawer and dug out some items that are typically hard to find in there and, of course, were taking up precious space.  I pulled a few items out of the utensil caddy relieving some of that crampy space.

I stuck the metal trays to the inside of the cabinet doors.  I strategically organized the items onto the trays via hooks and clips.

Up and out of the way but easy to access.

Up and out of the way but easy to access.

No more digging around, searching for my measuring spoons!

No more digging around, searching for my measuring spoons!

I felt so smart when I stood back and surveyed my finished project!