Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ikea Hacks for the Bedroom or Snappy Dressers

I am currently in the planning stages of my bedroom. And I'm trying to do it as cheaply as possible. Enter the Ikea Hacks! One of the best things about Ikea furniture is that you can enter the name of the piece + hack into google and you get a ton of ideas!

Here's the Tarva:
Simple, pine dresser. To get the dresser at the top, she sawed off a bit of leg and spray painted it gold. Then painted the rest white and bought new brass knobs!

Here's another hack, but in the campaign style:
Here's another hack of the same dresser, they used wooden rosettes from Michaels as the drawer pulls.
And this is a different dresser from Ikea, the Rast, painted awesomely:
But wait, there's more! I saw this amazing lamp as well! Made from a shaving mirror and a clamp light!
And this one, too!
All this talk about Ikea has me craving meatballs. Which is not at all unusual for me...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Exposed Lath Walls or Plaster? You brought her.

Around the same time I found the above photo at houzz, my husband was working on movie that was filming at Big Red Sun in Venice, (California), and was looking at this all day:
When he came home every night to this, I think he put two and two together and figured we could just paint instead!

And maybe end up with something like this:
Although our bedroom has a flat roof, this is still pretty inspiration:
The Lettered Cottage actually tore down a wall to make a gorgeous feature wall in their dining room:
All these high ceiling make it all seem so amazing!
Another retail space with everything whitewashed. Maybe it would make my bedroom look cleaner, for once:
My only issue is the practicality of having exposed lath in a home in Southern California. We we're planning to only expose the interior walls of our bedroom, and then insulate and drywall the other two. The only information I could find on how hot/cold/drafty it would be were people saying it's gross and a palmetto bug telling me it's a good idea. Which is a nice change from him being on my channel changer.

Any thoughts on exposing and painting lathe would be lovely! Including the correct spelling!

All images available on my Bedroom Fabulousness Pinterest page.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How to Make Paper Flowers or Ahoy, Daisies!

I promised my mother I would make paper flower centerpieces for my grandmother's 80th birthday extravaganza. I've made the giant pompoms before, so I thought it would be easy, peasy! And it was, except for the thing where I had to kind of readjust the recipe.

I started with two packs of rainbow tissue paper that I bought on amazon. And I thought I would just use my rotary cutter and cut the paper into 6" squares! Not so fast, Courtney! It was not easy at all! The paper doesn't stay together and you have to really push to get through the paper and be precise. Which made my edges shaggy.

Luckily I purchased two packs! One is enough for at least 60 flowers, with a bunch of squares left over. I never used the brown and used the black sparingly.

Once the paper was cut, I divided it into piles of colors. It was easier to group them by color family. The tissue paper is really hard to separate!

Barkley was a little upset I took his spot on the bed.
For each flower, I used six sheets of paper. If I added a middle, it was usually the seventh piece. And I just kinda played around with color. Also buy extra yellow paper. It seemed I never had enough yellow or white.

Here I did four sheets of light pink, two dark pink and a yellow band.
Stack them neatly, centering the yellow.
Fold like a fan and wrap the center with a pipe cleaner. The loop is around the middle and the stem comes down. If you reverse the pipe cleaner, and use a green paper instead of yellow, it will look like leaves.
Trim the ends. This one is rounded, but you can also do triangle ends, like a daisy, or cut four slits for fringe ends. I didn't really deviate from the three ends. There were so many colors, you don't need to go crazy.

Now gently pull the yellow to the center and scrunch it. Then, separate all the layers.
When I got the layers all puffy, I kind of grabbed the bottom in my fist and squished it upwards. That seemed to make the flower more round. I had some issues with the sides separating and the flowers looking more like fluffy bow ties.
I know there are a ton of tutorials for flowers out there, but they all seemed to come together magically and be perfect. And I found I had to do a bit more scrunching to get them to look amazing. Plus, I needed to use the most amazing pirate book ever. Which no one seems to mention...


Monday, July 22, 2013

The Lemonade Stand or When Life Hands You Lemons, Spend All Day Making Lemonade for Strangers

On Friday night, Beckett drew up a plan for a lemonade stand. It looked a little bit like something Wile E. Coyote would draw, with arrows and a checklist; it was cute. (I've asked for the drawing and he said he changed his plans, so it is lost in time, sadly). His dad LOVED the idea and took Beckett shopping and spent the morning getting supplies.

Somehow, I think, the Disney Channel is involved...

Our neighbor, Paul, the first customer:
I had not seen this pic when I uploaded them and it made me laugh out loud! I have really excellent neighbors.
An hour in, one of the boys' friends dropped by. She took charge.
And it became a dance party!

Everyone seemed pretty charmed by the boys are were more than happy to stop or smile and wave. 

Someone asked Hartwell what he would do with the money and he didn't have an answer. When I asked him, he replied, "Give it to old people." Awww, how sweet, I thought. Then, "Just kidding, the ice cream man."
Arghhh. (I think we're gonna donate some, because, that answer...)

I decided not to help with signage, so this is what you get:
Lemonade, 50 cents, no refunds, free refills.

Later I found out Hartwell did not know what a refund was. He thought people couldn't tell you they didn't like it.


Friday, July 19, 2013

New Rug or Can't See the Carpet for the Fleas

When the new bathroom was finished, the old hallway rug didn't work anymore. So I went and bought myself a new one. Flor* was having a sale! And I've had the old rug for seven years. Also from Flor, because those rugs stand up to a lot of punishment.

I originally bought it to put in the nursery. Remember one kid? Those were the days...Look at all the space for activities!
Eventually, when Hartwell was crawling, I bought a giant, fluffy rug and moved the rug tiles to the hallway. Which is kind of the beauty of the product. That, and it cleans up so easily. Here is a photo right after one of the boys stepped in brown paint and then walked through the house.
And here's the view from my bright lime hallway looking into the other hallway. It looks nice, but then I added the super pretty bathroom and it just looked sad...The lime hallway is still there and looks better in person.
See...? Much better. And you can also see where the cats tracked diamotaceous earth all over the house. Which is a natural way to get rid of fleas. Because we have fleas. Just like medieval royalty...

And the old one, now moved to the hallway by the back door because it is indestructible:

Housepet by Flor (Some colors have been discontinued...mine were maybe Frog and Guppie, if I had to guess)


*Nobody pays me for my opinions. If they did, maybe I wouldn't have fleas.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Things I Saw in Santa Monica This Weekend or Candle Sniffing with Friends

I escaped to Santa Monica for a spell last weekend...and here are the highlights/things I remembered to photograph...

Above is the wall behind the bar at The Misfit. Looks really fancy, serves chicken sandwiches.
Delicious chicken sandwiches...
And if you order a drink with "punch" in the title, it is served thusly:
Then onto Anthropologie, because I had my birthday coupon! I've been loving all things tribal lately...
One of the many candles sniffed. I believe that one was "Volcano."
There are a lot of Happy Hours in Santa Monica...we went to all of them...
See? This one at a penthouse bar with a view of the ocean at sunset.
The next morning, a giant Jinky's breakfast...Jinky's where all your dreams come true!
If you draw them on your placemat...
You can barely make out my world map...but it's there...I couldn't decide on a country, so I drew them all...

As we were leaving, we were intrigued by this little building. It's the oldest brick building in Santa Monica! We were right, it is special! Now, we need to figure out what it says...

Friday, July 12, 2013

I'm such a Charlene or: Loving knowledge because I yearn for it

MARY JO: And why do you know all the capitols of every country, Charlene? 
CHARLENE: Because, Mary Jo, I love knowledge. As a matter of fact, I yearn for it. 


I have a new favorite thing! One night I was reading Hartwell a book. It was a Junie B. Jones book and it was in Spanish. Now, I can pronounce the crap out of Spanish, albeit with a terrible mid-western accent, but I don't know most of it. Whenever Hartwell would laugh, I would ask, "What happened?"

I wanted to learn a bit more Spanish, but I didn't want to do it in the car and I didn't want to spend $300+ dollars...

A few years ago, I read an article about how memory works and how to learn a great deal of information quickly. Hilariously, I can't find the original article, but I know it was about Ed Cooke, a memory champion. A few years after that, I stumbled upon an article about a guy who learned an entire language in 22 hours. The language was an obscure African language and it didn't have that many words, but still!

How I Learned a Language in 22 Hours

The article interesting because it covers a lot about how the brain works and how we store some information and lose others. Like my phone number from when I was 6.

The first article mentions the website Memrise, which is where I've been spending my days lately. I started with beginning Spanish and have moved on to 1500 Spanish Words.

The way Memrise works is they show you a word and present you with your choice of a mnemonic device. For example, "aunque" means "although," and one of the choices was, "Although aunque is A UNiQUE word..."

So now when I hear aunque, I picture that sentence in my head! And it helps with the spelling. Part of the quizzing involves typing the words, and spelling counts!

I also started refreshing my knowledge on painter's and their paintings with Who Painted Me?

But you can also learn:
Difficult Shakespeare Vocabulary
British and English Monarchs
Japanese
Country Capitals
Who Composed Me?
and even
Adventure Time Characters

There are so many more courses to take and it's a really fun way to learn.

Also, in my time trying to figure out how to learn more Spanish, I watched Benny's TedTalk. He talks about how the best way to learn a language is simply to start speaking it. Which, I actually could do, as the teachers at my kids' school speak only in Spanish!

So if you use Memrise and follow Benny's instructions, you are well on your way to being bilingual! Or Tri-lingual, or even Adventure Time-Lingual...

*totally a memrise user (cscrabeck) and not at all paid for my words.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Skeleton of a Closet


I am in desperate need of some closet inspiration. In a fit of...anger? exasperation? boredom...there it is...I tore out my old closet. The old closet was built in the 1920's, and is not up today's mass consumerism standards.

Here's a photo of my old closet. After I demo'd the plaster, but before I took out all the lathe.There used to be a regular door that opened out, into the room, for the closet door. But then, with the bedroom door there were too many doors in one tiny room, so I removed it and hung a curtain.

 I had some espresso and frosted sugar cookies right before demo.
This is a better photo of the whole wall with the bedroom door and the opening to the closet. 
See?! Look at all that space that was basically unusable! How was I to organize anything?! You can see the little plastic drawer unit that sits inside the closet.
Here's how it looks now. I have a large Indian tapestry hanging as a door/curtain, and it's a lot messier now.  And I removed the dangling electric wires. I mean, I love the industrial look, but I do not like fires.
So, that's where I am. Trying to figure out how to finish the closet I started. Header or no header? And what kind of doors? It's a puzzler...

I could stick with the curtain look. But use a less busy curtain. The tapestry I have now is not very relaxing.

But then! Barn doors! How I love them. It might work, if I have two small ones. But my closet would never be fully open. There would always be a door covering part of it. 

I love the idea of two doors that open out. These look about the right period for my house. And they are simple and clean.

I'm gonna have to figure out how hard built-in's would be. I'm married to a virgo, they are very,...exacting...
Because this closet looks spectacular!

This closet is probably more like what I need to do. These doors look very much like the Ikea closet systems you can design and buy. Then I can just pop it in and frame out the space and I'm done!

Except that these mirrored french doors and gorgeous!

Back to what I want for my bedroom. Clean, neat, bright, organized. I still don't think the curtain is the way to go, but I found this room striking:

This Old House has another incredible built-in, and it makes me want to cry a little:

Or! I could just shove my bed into the closet and get some dressers and wardrobes.

Another built-in with french doors. I'm gonna have to keep my eyes open for salvaged french doors.
It's totally the way to go...right?
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