Hooked Up

I finally roped Anthony in and away from lots of studying and work last weekend to help me ‘hook us up’, after being super-inspired by an idea found on good ‘ole Pinterest that I’ve been crushing on for quite some time now.

Exhibit A:3799980905189354_wPBlkqtn_c One super-cute and functional hook system in an entry way by Jenna Sue at Jenna Sue Design.

Exhibit B:193584483952656126_VoO9EJt3_c Another cool and so-darn-pretty entry way by Casa de Lewis.

Our entry way definitely has the potential to sport some hooks and functionality and is just begging for some more color and character, as you can see:entry - fsbo On the count of three, everybody say “blah”.  Boring, boring, boring.  But the above inspiration in mind, it’s taken a turn for the better.  Here’s what happened:

 jan82012 001First, we picked up a 6 in. by 1/2 in. piece of wood and cut it in two to fit both walls to the right of the door.  (We found it at local lumber store after not being able to find lengths over four feet at Lowe’s and Home Depot -we needed a five foot long board.  The lumber store we went to actually had to cut our piece from a 14 ft. board since that was the shortest they had.) 

I sanded it down and filled in a couple of nicks with wood filler: jan82012 002

Then I primed and painted it (Zinnisser oil-based primer to keep stains from seeping through and Olympic water-based trim paint, the same used throughout our entire house), once again turning our living room into a workshop.jan182012 001

Up went the primed and painted board.  Anthony made sure to screw it into the three studs along the wall for maximum strength…a diaper bag carrying contents for two can get quite heavy you know.  :)  He also made sure to countersink the screws so that they’d be flush with the wood, creating the smooth, trim surface we were going for.   jan182012 003

After the board was up, Anthony filled in the exposed screw heads with spackle and I later went over them with a fine sanding block to make sure each area was smooth before I touched up the paint.jan182012 004

All that was left then was mounting the hooks.  After looking at both Home Depot and Lowe’s, I found these on Ebay for half the price either of them offered:$(KGrHqR,!pwE8Wlw5Nt(BPOrqVUpMQ~~60_12

These hooks were actually my first pick but then I read that they had to be mounted from the back; not an option in our case:$(KGrHqV,!jUE9HsbmL0iBPbk43I1ow~~60_12

So, here’s our little project corner right before naptime Thursday: jan182012 006

And here’s what the same place looked like after a little naptime drilling courtesy of me:jan182012 008

Still on the entry way agenda are replacing the bamboo shade with a colorful fabric roman shade, stenciling/painting a flat woven rug that will replace the current ‘blah’ rug, possibly (crossing my fingers it’s so) a new light fixture, and adding some art and the most awesome mirror I found at Goodwill many moons ago.  Stay tuned.

In case you’re interested in the measurements of our new little storage spot, here ya go:  jan182012 009lab

Oh, and as for what we spent:
Wood:  $4
Hooks:  $2 each plus $6 shipping = $14
Primer, paint, wood filler, drill, countersink bit, and spackle:  had on hand
Total:  $16

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How do you stash your stuff?  Are you a have-it-hidden closet type of person or an out-where-it’s-easily-accessible type?  As of yesterday each and every hook on that wall was occupied…I had to lay down the law and tell Anthony that his coats belonged in the coat closet across the way and weren’t allowed to clutter up our little nook.  It’s strictly for baby paraphernalia and/or an umbrella or two.  Obsessive?  Maybe.  :)

P.S.  Linking up at Watch Out, Martha for Martha Monday again!  Hop on over for creativity in abundance!

Unconventional Artwork

I had big plans for the shades of these two lamps.  I executed and they looked awesome…only, that was all in my head.  What actually happened is another story.

It all goes back to the curtains I whipped up for the girl’s room. 4 005

After shortening the ones I made for the window, I had a foot of so of extra fabric.  My thought was to grab some pastel pink spray paint, paint the leftover fabric, and then reupholster the not-so-perfect lamp shades, thereby putting that pattern to good use elsewhere in the room.  Out to my good ‘ole spray painting plywood I went:jan42012b 001 (Yes, the fabric was too close to the edge of the board and I knew in advance the ground would get tainted pink but lucky for me our lawn needed to be raked real bad so up with the leaves meant up with the spray paint.)

On a side note, how cool is the pattern left behind?  I’m envisioning it on dresser drawers or maybe a rug?jan42012b 002

So, I painted, it dried, I came in, and…jan42012b 004 …not what I wanted.  For who knows what reason (maybe one too many coats?) the ‘pink’ spray paint turned out ‘peach’ and too matchy-matchy with the curtains.  It definitely didn’t look bad; I was just going for a difference in color.  So I sadly put away the now peach fabric remnants for later use.

After a little brainstorming, I came up with another, very temporary idea until I can find some fabric I like to reupholster the shades.  I drew on the shades with crayon.  Yup, pink crayon.  Putting my second grade skills into good use folks.  Here’s what I used (mind you, it was what I had on hand, a.k.a. FREE):jan42012b 005sup Little Seraphia was bound and determined not to miss the action during naptime and Mommy was bound and determined to spice up these shades and not deal with a crying baby hence, my audience.  :)

First I penciled some tiny, equally distant marks around the entire base of the shade.jan42012b 007 

Then, using the ever-so-handy tray of the bumbo seat for it’s nice curves, I traced a curved line from one pencil mark to the opposite side of the shade.  (And added to my spectators as Cecilia decided she’d had enough sleep.) jan42012b 009

All the way around and now I had this going on:jan42012b 010

To create a geometric vibe, I did the same thing again only backwards, causing my curved lines to overlap:jan42012b 011

Done:jan142012 002

And done: jan42012b 013

Like I mentioned above, I’m still going to reupholster these shades because they’ve got a few little dents and scratches that a nice layer of fabric will hide but at least they have a little bit of flair while I hunt down some perfect (and cheap) fabric! 

Anybody else drawn on lamp shades or other unconventional mediums lately?  It feels quite adventurous and a little bit rebellious, don’t you think?

.           .           .

P.S.  I know I owe y’all an updated picture of the nursery and I promise I’ll getcha some…next week maybe?  Stay tuned.

P.P.S.  In the mood for a party?  I am!  Linking up with fellow DIYers over at Watch Out, Martha!

(Very) Amateur Electrician

Among the many hats I’ve topped off with has been a little title called “Electrician”, only recently though as I’ve taken to fixing/restoring a couple of lamps:1

I found these two at a local Goodwill about a year ago for $6 each, just waiting for someone to come fix their sad state of paint peelage:2

The only problem was that the paint was inside the glass bases and never have I ever messed with electrical stuff but where there’s a will there’s a way and I wanted two sleek, glass lamps so two sleek, glass lamps I was going to try to get.

So first I googled “How to fix a lamp” and came up with some helpful websites (of which I can’t remember to clue you in on in case you’re as crazy as me) and I came out with the basic gist of how a lamp was put together.  So, with my limited, newly found knowledge, I got to work.

My initial strategy was to take a picture of every single piece as it came off showing where it went so that I’d have a detailed reference to look back when putting the lamp back together.  The first lamp was a little bit of a learning experience and much more of a complicated process (due to my lack of know-how) than the second.   Long story short, I mistakenly removed the electrical wire from the long, metal tube and it involved much frustration and eventually Anthony, lots of olive oil, a wire hanger, and a mess to get it back inside. 


Once I got the glass base free, I scrubbed the paint out of the inside and referred back to my pictures to put the lamp back together (after the whole wire-in-the-tube-with-olive-oil-and-Anthony thing).5

One lamp down, one to go. 

I’m not sure if it was the frustration with the first lamp, pregnancy, or just getting plain side-tracked, but several months and a set of twins later, I finally got to the second lamp.  This time Smarty put on her pants and kept the wire and tubing intact.  Also to make things easier I nixed the camera idea and laid out each piece in consecutive order as I removed it: 4

Glass base off and scrubbed out, lamp put back together and now we’ve got two of these chillin’ in the still-unfinished-but-getting-there nursery:  7

The shades are another story for another day this week!  Hope to see you then!

Have a great weekend!

Here’s The Skinny

I’ve had these magenta cords since college, where I found them on a clearance rack in Fashion Bug for seven bucks:  jan42012 002

They had them in light pink and powder blue too so, since a deal I spotted, all three I bought(ed).  I’ve since given the blue ones to a loving home via Goodwill (a decision I now regret) and haven’t worn the pink ones much in the past few years because I’ve grown a little weary of the fit.  They originally had a six inch fold in the bottom complete with a nice little slit up the back.  Long legs over here took out the fold right after the purchase which still left me with the slit…something I thought actually gave them character whilst walking campus (“oh my, did she really just say that?”). 

jan42012 005

  Well, I came to my fashion senses and decided some time ago that they’re just a little too baggy and much too long for my more mature, post-college self.  So, out came the sewing machine and in went the legs.  Now I know I’ve posted about turning wide legs into skinnies before but this time I thought I’d write up a proper tutorial.


(Before I started, I ripped out the seams along the slit in the back and sewed it right up, perfectly aware that I was taking away the awe-inducing flash of my sexy heels…meeeow.)

So, first I brought out my fave skinny jeans and, working on one leg at a time, laid them over the top of the inside-out pink cords – making sure they lined up along the outside thigh and crotch – and traced a dotted line along the inside edge of the jeans onto the cords.jan42012 007    

Then, making sure the leg I was working on was perfectly flat on the table and folded along the outside seam, I pinned along my dotted line.   jan42012 008

I sewed two stitches, 1) a straight stitch along my dotted line and 2) a zigzag stitch along the outside edge of the straight one to insure a nice strong seam (lazy man’s serge).  I actually sewed the straight stitch into both legs, tried the cords on to make sure they fit the way I wanted, and then went back and sewed the zigzag stitch.jan42012 009Side note:  I once read that when turning boot/wide leg pants into skinnies, you should take in both sides of your pant leg for the pants to fit right in the end but every pair I’ve altered by only stitching up the inside has turned out great.

Last, I cut off the extra fabric with a pinking shears and sewed a half-inch hem into the bottoms.  jan42012 011

With a snip snip of a few threads I had new pants that would even make Barney jealous.  :)


Who knew that the colored corduroy investment I made almost ten years ago would pay off circa 2012-3?  Might have to rethink those ankle length denim dresses complete with metal buckles found in abundance at the local thrift.  They might be keeping a secret only time will tell.  ;)

Twenty Twelve in Pictures

What better way to commemorate 2012 than in pictures.  Thanks be to Dweej at House Unseen and Robin at Farewell Stranger for the great idea and for hosting link-ups so we can all peek.  If you haven’t yet reflected on the past year via blogging, you should mosey on over and join the fun. 

Since projects are my main squeeze, my monthly memories are all DIY style.  Here’s 2012:jan2 I pulled out the spray paint and covered over some shiny gold towel rings that went up in our master bath.

feb We started a kitchen remodel.  I spent most of my days sanding, scraping, and priming whilst four months into our twin pregnancy.

mar  I turned on the crafty switch and made thank you cards out of baby shower cards I received at our first shower this month.  We also found out that buttons and bows, ribbons and curls would be a very big part of our future as the two sprouts were GIRLS!

apr  Determined to cover the ever-expanding twin belly in clothes that fit and eager to stay far from frumpy, I took a stab at altering some maternity tees and after a little frustration, finally succeeded.

mayWith the girls arrival only a couple of months away , we got on the ball and started planning out their nursery, after combining the office and guest bedroom.  (Eight months later and it’s still in progress…)

jun  I pushed fashion into their destiny as I made the twins their very first maxi skirts out of the pant legs of some maternity pjs I altered.

jul  On the 9th, we welcomed our biggest project to date.  They came after seven hours of labor, weighed in at a cumulative 13 pounds, and it only took us a day to name them.  Hola Seraphia and Cecilia!

aug  We livened up our master bath with a faux roman shade.

sep We finally finished the kitchen remodel we had started at the end of 2011.

sept122012 008 I whipped up some curtains to adorn the girls’ closet and window in their (still unfinished) nursery.  We also moved the girls from our bed (a survival mode remedy after trying car seats, swings, and a co-sleeper) into a crib in our room without too much of a hassle.

nov  I spent many nap times, bedtimes, and Daddy times painting stripes in the nursery.

dec I injected some much needed color into our white, white kitchen by spray painting some kitchen basics.


Wishing you all a healthy, happy, and fruitful 2013!