Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cutie Patootie

My mother-in-law lives in Hawaii, has a full time job and manages to whip up the cutest dress for my daughter.  My daughter wanted to try it on herself.  Don't mind the look on her face, I think she just wanted a snack.

Checking out the new duds. :) She loves pretty dresses.


She's happy about the dress, or she has discovered that indeed it's snack time.


This is her angry, "I want my snack now" face.



Can you get me in this chair Mom so I can eat my snack. And a good look at the back of the pretty dress.


A big thanks to my MIL for making such a thoughtful and wonderful dress that she can cherish even when she outgrows it. :)

xo
Cathleen

Monday, July 30, 2012

Removing old gutters

We replaced the gutters over our front porch years ago, but left the back porch gutters alone. They appeared to do the job well enough, even with pine needles catching in the gutter guard.


However, the sight of brown stains behind the gutters on the fascia clued us into the less-than-perfect performance of these metal gutters. Since our house was getting repainted, this seemed to be the time to replace these old hunks of metal.


The gutter guards were basically metal screens that clipped onto the gutters. They actually did a pretty good job of keeping stuff out of the gutters, but pine needles would eventually form a dam above the gutters. This probably trapped water on the roof, causing that brown drip down the fascia.


After removing the screens, I could see the big pins that hold the gutters in place. They're basically 5-6" nails,  with the shaft wrapped in a sheath to reduce corrosion, I suppose.


For each pin (working in from the ends, toward the middle pin), I first tried prying away from the fascia. I couldn't be too rough, because 1) I didn't want to crack the wood, and 2) I was 10' up on a ladder.


I found it easier to use my locking pliers to loosen the pins, then use the pry bar to finish the job.


Once I got the final pin out (allowing the VERY HEAVY gutters to crash to the ground), I got the wonderful surprise (not surprising given the brown drips): rot on the fascia. Actually, it was mostly the casing that was between the gutters and the fascia, so I just had to remove the rotten casing and replace it before installing new gutters (coming soon).


Joe

Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY Christmas wreaths

A few years ago I made pine cone wreaths for pretty much everyone in my family. I used real pine cones right from my North Carolina yard. I think they liked them. Now I'm obsessed with some less organic, but home made wreaths for Christmas.  I could make these all day long. Here are some that I'm really digging.

This white yarn wreath would be simple to make complete with felt flowers and faux berries.

 via

With some foam balls and yarn this wreath could be super simple to make.

via

Medallions like this are pretty easy to find. You could check your local hardware store or local thrift store and coat with spray paint.

Merry Medallion Wreath
via

A few boxes of old glass ornaments from a thrift store and you could have a very flashy wreath.

Sparkling Ornament Wreath
via

This one has to be my favorite. It looks like beautiful jewelry. And this is by far the hardest to make. It would be fun to keep an eye out for some costume jewelry to create a wreath with.

Vintage Sparkle Wreath
via


I hope it was fun to have Christmas in July!  Never too early to start thinking about home made decorations and gifts.

xo
Cathleen





Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Living Room makeover complete!

Forgive me, but I have been remiss in sharing the end results of our living room makeover! We finished up week's ago and you got to see the paint go up and the rug, but I think the photos ended there.  So alas, I'm here to show you the progress of our living room. And you know me, it's done for now, but a room is never done in my opinion. Things change all the time.  So let me now remind you of how our living room looked on the day we had our inspection. 

Here is our fireplace when we first bought our house. Yeah, pretty bad huh? 
BEFORE


Then our fireplace looked like this for a while. It got a nice coat of white paint and the walls got a dark gray/green coat of Ralph Lauren paint. Our carpet was new, but beige and it quickly showed lots of stains and wear. What a mess our living room used to be.
DURING


Here's how our fireplace area looks today. Ah, sigh of much relief. Where did all those toys go you ask? I'll show you down below. 
AFTER


Here is the left of the fireplace. Pretty boring eh?
BEFORE


Here is what we first did with it. You can see we put the TV in that corner. Which wasn't bad for a while.
DURING


Now that corner houses our computer armoire and remember all the toys that were on the floor? They are now in the bins under the big window. Yay for toy storage!
AFTER


AFTER



Here's another after shot of the much needed toy, record, and book storage. These expedit book cases really do the trick. 
AFTER


Going around the room, this used to be the view from the living room into the dining room. And look at our sweet little one year old at the time. That boy is now 6!
BEFORE


That side looked like this at one point. That was my grandmother's sofa and the yellow end tables we kept. The sofa was too allergic for my son though.
DURING

Now that space looks like this:
AFTER


Next up we have the wall that that leads to the back door. This is crappy shot, mostly of the ceiling. Maybe my son shot this one. Who knows what I was going for but it's the only original shot of this side. Nice ceiling fan huh?
BEFORE


At first we put our big black Expedit bookcase here, since it was the largest wall that could hold it. It wasn't bad and did provide massive amounts of storage. But since we decided to lighten the wall color and go with white furniture we sold it on craiglist and decided to move our TV to this wall. 
DURING


We added the TV and built the bookcases below. 
AFTER



So what used to look like this:
DURING


Now looks like this:
AFTER


Another better close up shot of the entertainment center.
AFTER



Wow, looking back at those old original photos shows me just how far this room has come. Here is a budget breakdown of all the changes we made.

Sold our La-Z-boy recliner, made $250
Sold black expedit book case, made $120
Sold old TV stand, made $85
Made total - $455 to go back into the room.

New flooring from Lumber Liquidators - $300
Wall color Dolphin by Behr -$30
Entertainment center - $100
Rug from Overstock - Free
TV wall mount - $30, but used a gift card
Bought new office chair from Home Goods - $90
Total spent - $520.

Total for the whole living room. Wait for it!!   $65!!!!!!  Now that's what I call awesome!

xo
Cathleen

















Tuesday, July 24, 2012

White yarn wreath

My cute new yellow door really needed something to spruce it up so what better way than to hang a white wreath.  I found some cute inspiration on Etsy and Pinterest so decided to make my own white yarn wreath with some floral felt accents.

I went to my "go-to" store Michaels for all things crafty and picked up a foam wreath.  This is gonna sound crazy, but I found one that was cracked for $1.50, normally about $7. But with some duct tape I made it new again. Since it was green I didn't want that color to show through so I sprayed it with Valspar's gray primer. I would have preferred white, but gray was all I had on hand.



I also purchased some off white thick yarn called "Charisma"  for about $2.50 on sale. I just needed one of these to wrap the whole wreath and had a lot left over. 


I started slowly wrapping the yarn around the wreath and be careful here because it can tangled pretty quickly if you don't hold on to balled up yarn. It was pretty simple. Just wrap until the whole thing is covered.  When I was finished wrapping I went around again and made wraps about 5 inches or so apart to give it even more texture.


It shaped up quite nicely if I do say so myself.  I found the little felt flower and leaves at Michaels too, but if I was feeling really crafty I could have made these. I was too eager to get this baby hung up. :)  I attached everything with my hot glue fun and tied an ivory ribbon to the top for hanging.


Now isn't this fun yellow door just aching for this wreath?


And here she is, all hung up ready to capture the essence of the rest of the summer.  




Some farther shots of the whole door with the gray siding.  I'm so happy with the way it turned out.




Such an easy project that anyone can do and so cheap!  The total cost was $9.00. :) Now that makes me smile.

xo
Cathleen

Monday, July 23, 2012

New house colors!

Here is the way our house looked a few weeks ago. It desperately needed some new paint. The existing paint, even when cleaned was fading and had patches all over it from rot that we fixed on the siding.  The white trim and railing was dingy so it cried out for some new color.  Here is a Before pic of our house.


On the Sherwin Williams website they have this fun color visualizer tool that you can use to try on colors.  Here is the link.  Pardon my rendering of my house but my hands were a little shaky when drawing out the lines.  The color on the siding that you see is actually a little darker than the colors we chose. But we did go with the same door color (Cheerful by Sherwin Williams in high gloss) and deck/shutter colors (Thunder Gray Porch Paint by Sherwin Williams.)  We ended up choosing Gray Clouds by Sherwin Williams in Flat for the siding and pure high gloss white for the trim.  All the paint is Emerald by Sherwin Williams. 


We hired a friend Tony to paint our entire house.  Here he is painting our front door (the most exciting part of the project in my opinion.) :)


Again, here is our house BEFORE:


And here is the AFTER photo:


Here is a BEFORE of the left side of the house:


AFTER:


Another angle of that side with the fireplace.




BEFORE of the Back left of the house:


AFTER:


BEFORE of right side of the house:


AFTER:


BEFORE of front right corner:


AFTER:


I didn't get a before shot of this angle, so here is the AFTER:


BEFORE shot of front of the house:


AFTER:


I love the way the front steps came out.


That door really is so cheerful!






This is an after shot of our back storage door. The thunder gray reads brown, black, or dark gray depending on the light.


And finally our back door that used to be blue.


This is a new door that is now shiny white! :)


And once upon a time our house looked like this (about 5 years ago.) What a difference some paint, a new roof, and some landscaping makes.


Hope you like the new house colors! We are loving it and feel like we have a whole new house.

xo
Cathleen









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