Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quick update

Thank you for all the well wishes regarding my cat! Wussie-cat is home from surgery and we are all so grateful. She is currently wobbling around from her pain medication.  Drunk people=funny. Drunk pets=HILARIOUS!

Stay tune for tomorrow's post! Wednesday I am going to reveal my upstairs hallway makeover. It turned out rather well and I am very pleased with myself, hehe. Here's a sneaky peaky during the makeover.
Yeah right, like I was gonna ruin the surprise!
Thursday I am revealing my gossip bench make-over. And it involves this...
Yes--$2.00 something from Home Depot
2  completed house project posts  in  1 week. Whooboy-I am a mad woman. Someone better stop me...

I have several small projects in the works, using items I have  by re-purposing or updating.

Project 1 involves jute twine

Project 2 involves faux leather

Project 3 involves plexiglass

Are you intrigued?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Feline drama and Funky Frugal Finds#1

I had a little bit of a rough day today. I had to take my almost 18 yr. old Wussie-cat to the vet. (yes that is her name and is quite appropriate). Her face had suddenly become swollen on one side and her eye looked rather icky. I was quite nervous as to what the vet might say. And then of course, prior to the visit , the hubbs and I had a conversation about quality of life  and as morbid as it sounds we talked about the financial impact. I can't even begin to tell you how horrid I felt analytically discussing the value of my pet's life...siiigghh.

Fortunately it appears all is ok...so far. The vet kept her over night (no extra charge --yay us) and began to administer antibiotics. Her blood-work was sent out for analysis and if there are no issues she will undergo surgery tomorrow for an abscess and to remove any other teeth (what few she has remaining--poor little girl). Phew...almost. Her treatment..$324.00. Yikes!

Because of this I sought solace in some retail therapy. But seeing as how I am soon to be cash depleted it had to be frugal retail therapy. As in back alley type shopping. Since I am leery of alleys. And guys that say the goods are in the trunk  (Hey I watched Casino!) I went thrifting instead. I  actually found some funky little things. Check it out....

Cute wooden bowl ($0.45)

Magic Banana's...hahaha....no just a wooden banana ($0.57)
How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if the wood was a nut? ($0.57)
 Did you know in the  Pineapple is a symbol of hospitality? First encountered by Columbus in 1493 this was sourced back to Europe. European horticulturalists struggled for 2 centuries for a hothouse cultivar. Early colonist's would often have a Pineapple on display when guest would visit as this was the warmest welcome  a hostess could offer.
Wood pineapple tray.  ($0.75)
Wood grapes ($0.97)
Punched copper welcome sign in a wood frame. I can't wait to  do a verdigris  treatment  (that beautiful green oxidation that forms on old copper) and paint the the frame. ($1.35)
A little copper finished metal bucket embossed with stars.($0.45 )
So my "shopping spree" cost  me a whopping $5.44 after taxes. Not to bad, eh? Now I realize what I bought may not appeal to everyone. But I thought they were super quirky and cute. Definitely not your Grandma's wax fruit. Even if I decide not to use it for display, it would make for great play items for my beautiful 3 yr. old niece Lele. (Sorry no pic for privacy concerns--but trust me she is gor-ge-ous but I am kinda partial to her!) SO that is my Funky Frugal Find of the week. What about you? Any steals and deals you want to share?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pull up a chair and let's gossip

Did you know a generation or 2 ago most people had a special chair dedicated to their phone. It is called a gossip chair or gossip bench.

The days of being attached to a land line means you need a (presumably) comfortable place to sit AND to show off your phone.

To have a telephone was a sign of affluence in the 1800's. Initially the gossip benches were designed to reflect the fashion of the time. They fell out of favor for while but there has been a resurgence or nostalgia. Some designer models or antiques can cost upward of $1200. Check your local thrift store chances are you can score one for less than $50. With a little TLC, you can make it whatever you want.

Victorian Inspired
Danish Modern
Gothic Revival
Mission Style
Mid Century Modern
The Atomic 1950's
um no--so very wrong!
Wicker beachy
Simple and sweet (Love this!)
Vintage  reproduction (and this!)
Modern Country--so cute
Jonathan Adler Modern but a nod to the 1960's-very sleek

It just so happens I was perusing one of my local thrifting haunts and came across this little beauty. 

 (I know I know it looks a little rough) But I see the potential. And hey doesn't this look kinda familiar?  (Scroll up to vintage reproduction). Haha-serendipitous yes?

Nothing a little fabric, paint and some elbow grease can't fix. Stay tuned for the reveal  because it looks adorable!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Primer on Color (Part 2)

This in the continuation of a previous blog (here).

You're on a budget and experience sticker shock when you want to purchase some paint. Look no further than the mis-tint aisle. These are typically located near the paint service desk or  the end of the paint aisle.  Most of the time you can get these at <50% of the retail price.

Some advice when buying mis-tint paints.
1) They are non refundable
2) Have the paint department mix it well
3) Have them open the can and inspect it (no dirt/ mold or debris ). IF there are clumps you use pantyhose to strain it. NOT cheesecloth because it can transfer fibers into the mixture.
4) You should NEVER have to pay more than $10-$15 per gallon for a mis-tint. Try bargaining sometimes they will knock the price down if you purchase multiples and  just to get it off the books.
5) Have new or very clean 2 or 5 gallon containers to transfer contents.
6) You can mix in small quantities if you have several cans of paint to try and dial in the right color. Use accurate measurements/ ratios so it can be repeated on a larger scale.
7) Don't be afraid. You can ALWAYS add white or black to dial in the color you want. Or if it is to far gone you can add it to other mixtures.
8) Once you get what YOU think is the perfect shade, paint a thin film on good white card stock. Take it to a paint store and have them scan it for a exact formula replication, just in case!
9) As long as you purchase the same base formulation you can mix the paints regardless of the brand. For instance, only combine water based latex or acrylic with other water based latex or acrylic. Oil base with Oil base. Water based is easier to clean up, lower VOC (volatile organic compounds--which means it stinks less) and more environmentally friendly.
10) For the beginner--Mix like finish or sheen. Gloss with Gloss, Satin with Satin. Eggshell with Eggshell. You get the ideal.
11) If you are advanced (kinda like me) you can mix finishes and sheens. You can mix:
 Flat + Satin=Eggshell
Flat + Semi/ Gloss=Satin
Just remember this will be a CUSTOM mix and the sheen will not be easily duplicated!
12) Always properly store your paint!
13) Each paint manufacturer specs their formulations differently. If you like perfection--THIS IS NOT FOR YOU! There will be subtle differences. You may come very close to a paint chip but very seldom is it an exact match.

Now that we got the DO's and DONT's out of the the way, let's talk color.  What is it about color causes such a reaction? It is a sensory stimulus. It can be calm and soothing, lively and energetic and everything in between. Color evokes emotions. Feelings. Memories.

The good thing about paint is even if you don't get the exact response or feeling, you can re-paint. Paint hides a multitude of imperfections, is cheap, and is the quickest thing you can do to change the appearance of an object or a room.

When applying paint the first thing you notice is what is called the Mass tone. This is the color you immediately see. The color you see when the paint dries and is viewed as a whole (depending on the light in the room) is the undertone. The best example of undertone is evident as why some whites appear yellow, blue, pink, or reds appear blue, orange or purple, etc... All paint will have a mass tone and undertone. Sometimes they are nearly indiscernible other times it is very evident.

Here are some examples of mixes:
This wasn't a mis-tint but I mixed left over paint from other projects:

 1 gallon of  Oat Straw mixed with
2 gallons of Cozy Cottage


And I ended up with...
I wish I had better picture quality. It is a very creamy pale yellow (buttermilk)

Here I have Oat Straw

Mixed with Smoked Infusion (far right)

And I end up with a very subtle sage (center swathe). Grey Green=Sage
I  really  need a better camera.

This is concept of shades that I spoke about previously. Here we mixed a paint that has a high concentration of yellow with a blue-grey. The mass tone is green but the undertone is grey.

Now I am going to mix a grey. Not using back and white but using a blue and purple. I know you think  you will get blue purple. Here goes...

Mix equal parts of Smoked Infusion (Blue grey on the right) + Winter Haze (grey purple in the middle) and I get a nice pewter grey (far left). In this instance the Mass tones were blue and purple, respectively but each has grey undertones.  By combining the 2 shades the mass tone and undertone both were grey. Pretty neat huh?

While not a dramatic difference. It is different enough to be noticeable but not jarring. So by doing this I can have different colors in various rooms but it doesn't make my small place seem choppy because they are a similar color palette.

So whadya' think? Do you feel comfortable enough to try this?

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Longest Bathroom Remodel in History (part 2012)

Okay there really aren't 2012 parts to this. Just me being sarcastic ( BITTER!) about this project not being complete. I originally blogged about the bathroom remodel here and  here.

The sad part is I did the update on 11/3/11 AND the hubbs still has NOT finished the things I don't know how to do (or am to scared to try for fear of ruining stuff). I installed the mirror and the towel ring. After much prodding NAGGING he installed the towel rod and toilet paper holder. However, I could have beat him with his own hammer last weekend. Let me tell you why I contemplated homicide...

My stepdad and brother-in-law (who has his own construction business) offered to come over and finish up for me. (They REALLY feel sorry for me--I don't care I will take the project pity help). And my hubbs said..NO! WTH? Is he flipping insane?! GAHHHH!

I think I may have actually burst a blood vessel over that. You can only imagine the "conversation"  that ensued shortly thereafter. (And for you men reading this blog , you may need to cup your nether regions and anyone with a delicate constitution you had best leave the blog now.)

Here is a play by play of the bloody massacre that occurred. You were warned...

ME: (Standing in the kitchen, arms crossed) "Ummmm, WTH?"
Hubbs: "WTH what?"
ME: "OMG! SERIOUSLY?! are you gonna play stupid now? Or is that not an act? (Oh yes I did--I went for the jugular--I am vicious sometimes)
Hubbs:@#$%! WTF was that about?
ME: @#$% yourself! WHY WHY WHY!!! Did you tell BIL and Dad not to come over?!
Hubbs: oh...ummm
Hubbs: Well...err..I was on call and couldn't be here.
ME: (Wildly gesturing and slamming things around) SO @#$%^& what! WHY does it matter if YOU are here. I mean it is n't like you have done much of anything with the bathroom. WHEN did we start this project? LET ME REFRESH YOUR MEMORY! September @#$%^& 26 @#$%^& 2009! AND IT STILL ISN'T FINISHED!!!! Almost 3 mf@#$%^& years! THAT"S HOW LONG! THEY COULD HAVE FINISHED IT--TODAY!
Hubbs: says nothing and looks down)
ME: I am ready to beat you with your own hammer! I...DO ...NOT...UNDERSTAND...WHY you did this?!
Hubbs: I dunno (still looking down)
ME: Do you hate our house? Do you LIKE living this way? Because I sure as @#$% don't.
Hubbs: NO!! I love this house!
ME: Then the next time someone offers help DO NOT turn it down! OH and btw you no longer get to make any decisions. From now on everyone will deal with ME. They will talk to ME. I will manage this JUST like I do everything else!
Hubbs: I'm sorry I didn't think it was a big deal.
ME: (GAH! I think this is where I burst a blood vessel. I pretty much did a 2 handed palm face plant and may have actually ripped some hair out when I ran my hands through it)  I can NOT believe you said that. IT is a HUGE deal. Who on this planet has a 3 year bathroom remodel? No one--oh wait except for us. ARRRGGGG! I can't even talk to you anymore  right now! 
Hubbs: ummm....
ME: OMG! Just GO!!  Go to work. Go to the garage. Just go and leave me alone! (I turn away because I really feel like crying at this point)
Hubbs:  (heavy sigh) Footsteps followed by the quiet clicking of the door. 

So...yeah. I was a complete hysterical asshole and completely emasculated him. He was a completely insensitive oafish asshole who didn't realize what this means to me. We are the asshole couple.  It took a few hours but we finally met halfway (literally in the carport, haha),  both duly apologized and both said I'm sorry for being an ass. And both said our I Love You's. And we do love each other. But boy oh boy-- there sure is a fine line between love and hate sometimes. Just sayin'

It's all good now. Meaning me and the hubbs. Not the bathroom. It is still not complete.

The good news is it looks waaaaaayyyyy better than the original

Before (YUCK!!)

After  Not quite complete

 I swear the mirror and light fixture are centered. I guess I just shot this at a weird angle.

My cute light fixture

I bought the knobs and back-plates at Menard's for $10 total and it gives is a more custom look. Hardware is your cabinets jewelry!

Sorry-Sam-sam is my photo-bomber! I told you I liked birds so I snuck a little bird theme in here.

White subway tile and a little accent of glass mosaic.

Still need to install all the trim moldings, shower rod and accessorize. But it is oh so close to finished.....sigh

 Worlds away from the hideous ugly bath that we had before. It is very small. Probably would not work for a family with kids, but for 2 empty nesters I think it is fine! What do you think so far?

Shared on  http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2012/02/february-before-and-after-party.html 2/06/2012

Update 2/07/2012--Check out some of teaks we made here!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I've Got the Blues

I've got the blues...this weather is getting me down. Cold, gray, dreary, rainy...no blue skies in sight. I really am over winter. 52 days until Spring. Anyone else counting it down?

I've got the blues...in my music. Love me some blues, it soothes my soul, even if I am feeling blue. I close my eyes and I am transported to a smokey gin joint, where the groove is cool and the music is hot. (For some reason I always think Memphis) And then this makes me think of barbecue. I like BBQ. And food makes me happy. So then I don't have the blues no more...

Buddy Guy is an awesome blues man!

I've got the blues...in some of my wants for my garden. (Oh to be able to garden right now!) Can't you just pictures this with a swathe of daffodils?

Blue Star Columbine


I've got the blues...with my slogging muck luk boots. I ordered some but the didn't fit (which I talked about here) But then I saw these! Sooo cute! I want want want! But what if they don't fit...again? Oh the agony!

Chooka Blue Dot
I've got the blues...with my decor. I have become absolutely smitten with the Tiffany Blue color! I want this color in every room of my house! There is something just so appealing about this color. (Maybe it is the subliminal message to the Tiffany  Ring? I dunno. I just know I like it! (The color and duh! the ring!)

Does anyone else have the blues?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Out to the floral show (Sneek peek)

This blog is temporarily interrupted because my daughter took me to the Spring Floral Show at the Krohn Conservatory for my birthday. I will post more pics later. My daughter has an awesome new camera and she has some AH-MAZE-ING shots. I can't wait to load them. 
 Best. Birthday. Present. Ever!

Main entry

Butterfly chair


Tulips in bloom

Lilies smelled divine!

 Cacti  and Succulent room (Not a fan of cacti--ouch! But I like the succulents)

Orchid Room

Bonsai Room-Some of the Bonsai have been training for 40 years. Wow!


Powder Puff Tree (Seriously--that's the name)

Wasn't that a lovely little respite from Winter? yes I think it was!