Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What To Do With Those Cheap Door Mirrors - DIY Day


Check out A Soft Place To Land for other DIY projects! I wanted to find a way to be able to write more than a few words on a chalkboard and I didn't want to make one from scratch. Plus I wanted to put it on my fireplace mantel so I needed something long but not wide. I looked for a long picture to paint over at the thriftstore but never found just the right thing!

Then I had a light bulb moment! I'd seen several people paint over small mirrors with chalkboard paint. Those cheap $5 door mirrors were the perfect width and length for what I had in mind. Would it work?

For $5 (at Target) it really was worth a try. So I sprayed the glass with Kilz primer and waited a day. Then I applied three coats of chalkboard paint (the kind you paint on with a brush not the spray). I waited two days before I used it (did you know you should cover your chalkboard with chalk and wipe it off before using it?).

It works!

I wanted a chalkboard large enough to write passages from books and my husband wants to write movie dialogue from the Matrix and Godfather! How much fun is this going to be!! Plus, it's thin enough that you can just slip it behind or underneath something to store it when you don't want to use it!

I would not use regular chalk on this. I used a piece to prime the board and it scrapped it but these chalk markers work just fine because they are more You can find them at Michael's (use your 40% coupon) or on Amazon and ebay.

On my chalkboard this week is a bit from "Anne of Green Gables" (one of my all time favorite books).

"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?"

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Blue Toile Room

Hello everyone! I thought I'd share what I was working on this weekend. We stayed home all weekend and we got sooooooo much done! It was great!

I've been wanting to redo my guest bedroom/office space since I redid it two years ago! Isn't that terrible! I really didn't like the bedding or curtains (my husband and daughter picked them out). They weren't ugly they just weren't me and I'm the one who uses this room the most!

Anyway....I thought blue toile would be pretty and give me a chance to use my blue transferware. So I've been looking and looking for a blue toile comforter (for about a year now) but they were all too expensive! Until I happen to be browsing ebay a few months ago and found this bed in a bag toile set! I paid $60 (for a twin). It includes the comforter, bedskirt, pillow sham and window valance. Perfect!!

Now I'm able to use some of my blue transferware above the window. I used to have other dishes there.

I took these down and I'll probably just move them to another wall.I decided not to paint the walls because they're actually a vanilla color and very neutral (besides I don't feel like it).

The white sheer panel was purchased for under $2 on clearance at Target last year.

I needed a tie back so I made one! I used an old tie back (it used to belong to my daughter and had a glow in the dark star on the end). I also used a decorative furniture applique that I pried off a piece of furniture before donating it to Goodwill and some E600o glue. How's that for repurposing!

It's so perfect! There are moments when I'm really, really happy with myself and this is one of them! I just love it!

The top picture I've had forever and don't remember where I got it but the bottom picture I printed out from Vintage Printables. They have all kinds of free pictures. You can print birds, mushrooms, botanicals, eggs, all sorts of things and it's FREE! Did I mention it's free?

I'm keeping my budget around $100 for the whole room. I'll be painting my desk and bookcase and making a few other things. The bedding was the biggest expense and sets the tone for the whole room. I'll of course post pictures as I go along!

Thanks so much for the suggestions about dyeing my brown linen slipcover. I'm going to go for it! I'd like to take it apart at some point and make a toile one so if it doesn't workout there's no harm done and if it does work out it'll be fun to have a red chair for Christmas! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Making Lunch Special

I used to love watching Kitty Bartholomew's show on HGTV (ah the good old days before all the real estate shows). She used to always end by say "It's not what you don't have. It's what you do with what you do have!" That's something I firmly believe in!

If you're like my family and trying to cut back on eating out, one thing that I've found to make eating at home more of an "event" is to try to take a few extra moments and make the meal a bit special. That way you're not so focused on "oh we can't eat out". Hopefully you'll think "we don't want to eat out because it's so nice to eat at home" instead! There are so many things you can do - from having lunch outside if you always eat in to setting a pretty table or adding special ingredients - you get the idea! My blue and black transferware dishes are actually my "everyday" dishes. I like to use what I have!

Today's salad has blueberries, cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden and lettuce and dried cherries from Aldi's (my second crop of lettuce isn't big enough to harvest yet). When I went to Aldi's this week I purposely looked for some "extras" that I could use to make our meals just little more special. So I got a bag of dried cherries, a jar of banana peppers, a jar of pepperocini and a few other things. I could have just made lettuce and tomatoes but the little extras make it seem more like a salad you would get if you went out to eat.

My Kroger is pretty good about clearancing their flowers once a week and last week I was able to get some Sunflowers. Sunflowers are such cheerful flowers that I don't think it matters at all that they're a bit on the droopy side! But even if I wasn't able to buy some flowers I would have picked some from my garden. If you don't have flowers growing you can cut some branches or use some fronds from you summer hanging ferns, or use a potted plant or anything you can find that's pleasing to you (doesn't have to be a live plant). Set a pretty table for your family!

We also had homemade pizza for lunch! My family has always loved Domino's. But getting pizza delivered these days is sooo expensive. I wasn't sure they were going to embrace the homemade ones. But a few weeks ago I thought I'd give it a shot and I made two homemade pizzas for Family Movie Night and they loved them! Surprised me! They've even said they like them better than Domino's! One of the best things is that you can get creative and make all sorts of pizza and make them just the way you like them. I made pesto with homegrown tomatoes last week and it was soooooo good!

So try something new. Look for recipes for things that you like to get when you eat out. Maybe you love Mexican or Chinese you can make those dishes at home. You can really make everything at home even sushi if you're willing to try!

Try putting a little bit of extra effort into your meals. I'm not saying you have to do it for every meal, I certainly don't. But if you're used to eating lunch out every Saturday (like we are) than that's a good place to start. Use what you have and be creative. So often we save the "good stuff" for guests but really isn't your family worth it. I would hope so! Try not to focus on what you don't have and can't do, but instead embrace all that you do have and make the most of it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Slipcovered Chair

Hello everyone! In my last post I mentioned that I am switching chairs around. Well I took the chair that was in my bedroom and moved it into the living room. All the pictures enlarge.

This was in a corner of my bedroom but it really is too big for that room. The chair that used to be in the living room is now going downstairs to our family room.

Here it is "naked"! I took the slipcover off. I'd love to have a red toile slipcover or maybe just a plain red slip. Can you dye linen? The brown slipcover is linen. I think if I can't dye it I'll take it apart and use it as a pattern to make a new slip.

The red toile pillow was from Goodwill!

Here's my husband's "man chair"! No silly slipcovered chair for him! Oh no, a nice big leather manly man chair. To be fair, he's 6'2" and needs a big chair to be comfortable in. Whereas I'm 5'4" and can sit in anything and be comfortable!

Do you like my new Pottery Barn pillow? Yes, I actually bought something in a store other than Goodwill! We received a $100 PB GC for Christmas and I haven't found anything until now to spend it on! Frankly I'm more of a Ballard girl than PB one!

I love it because it looks like a vintage coffee sack but it's actually a linen/hemp blend so it's not scratchy! I know people have been making pillows with burlap and they do look nice but burlap is kind of rough. Anyway, it was only $39 so I have money left over!

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading what you all have to say! Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The $7 Goodwill Chair

Some of you may remember that I purchased these two chairs for $14.41 at Goodwill last year (they had small tears in the seat). I sold one at my garage sale for $25 and kept one to use in my living room.

I was going to have a cushion made for it but something always came up that required money! The garage door broke (and I mean broke) and had to be replaced, the ac went out and needed a new motor, my husband needed a root canal AND I just broke a tooth over the weekend and need a crown! It's just one of those years! Anyway, I just decided to make a cushion myself since it looks like that's the only way this chair will get out of my garage this year! I need the chair that was there in another room. The chair dance! I'm switching chairs around in my house.


I bought a 20 inch square cushion at Jo Ann's over the weekend (They were having a Coupon Commotion sale) so I got it at 40% off and the fabric was 30% off (I only bought a yard). I sewed a very basic pillow - straight stitching is very easy to do and I'm not a sewer! So if I can do it you can too! When I have more time I'll tackle making a proper box cushion but for right now this will do just fine! (It takes me forever to sew anything the least bit complicated).

This is also a thriftstore chair the I recovered. It's going to go in my office and I'm going to change the fabric once again!

Yes, I never got around to changing the paper in the other bookcase! The weather has been so nice lately that I've been working on outdoor projects. We're supposed to have some rain this weekend so I'll probably get around to it then.

You can click on any picture to get it to enlarge. I'm glad I finally got that chair out of my garage because now I can get on with office/guestroom!

Thanks as always for stopping by! I'm still trying to get to everyone from the Thrifty Treasures post - I'm not ignoring you! I've just had some things come my way that require alot of my time right now.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thrifty Treasures & How to Make Cute Plant Markers

Once again it's time to show your thriftstore/yardsale treasures. Be sure to visit Rhoda at Southern Hospitality to see more!

I think I'll start with what I bought at Hobby Lobby this week since the prices were just as good as going to Goodwill! All the pictures will enlarge if you click on them.

I got all that for under $9!! They had a few aisles that were 90% off and I got the picture for $4 and the iron hinges for 80 cents. I rubbed a little black onto the frame so that it would work with what I already had.

As you can see, I hung it with some other crosses in our hallway.

Then at Goodwill I got these two large shells.

I've never decorated with shells until this year and I'm really enjoying it! I hope to find a big piece of coral at the thriftstore one day!

My favorite thing that I did last week was with some spoons I got at the thriftstore! I saw this idea on Suzanne's blog and she was so helpful in explaining how to do it!

You need some old spoons or knives. If you use spoons you have to pound them flat. Then you use a Steel Letter Stamping Set and hammer away!

I think these are so cute and you don't have to worry about them disintegrating in the garden. I'm sure these will last a long long time. I already made a couple for a neighbor which he loved so I think these will make great presents for my gardening friends!

I grow herbs in my garden but I always have a few in planter right outside my kitchen for easy access!

I'm going to make some for all the different variety of tomatoes that I'm growing. These were really easy to make and Harbor Freight had THE best price on the stamping set even with shipping included. My local stores wanted to charge almost 4x's as much!

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful week!