Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I have been working on LM's room for a good while now. She has a new bed, new paint on the wall and a new closet system. She originally said she wanted a pink and brown room so I brought home 32,ooo different pink paint swatches - none of which met her approval ( some design clients can be soooo difficult!) Then her friend S had her room painted tan- I later found out that the reason it was tan was because she couldn't make a decision and her mom had the painter paint the room the same color as the rest of the house. I guess all 8 year olds are difficult clients. So LM wanted a tan room. I painted the room tan (Pony Express by Olympic @ Lowes). I actually love the color.

Still trying to work in the brown (tan) and pink color scheme, I put together her bed with hot pink knit sheets ($9.99 @ JCPenney) and a pink duvet cover she has had for a while. White furniture, brown curtains and lots of pink accessories completed the look. Or not.

I just couldn't put my finger on why I wasn't happy with the room (and why I haven't shown photos of it yet). Then the dog tinkled on the pink duvet and I had to wash the cover and the comforter. I hadn't put the pink duvet cover back on when my mom changed the sheets for me (thanks!)- changed them back to the hot pink sheets and just pulled the white comforter over the pink sheets. Then it hit me..... The GO rooms at the Flamingo. They pop. They are brown and pink and white and so crisp. They are my new inspiration for the room (sans the flat screen). I'll be working on tweaking the room so it also pops like I want it to.

And yes, we spend way too much time in Vegas...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Enjoying the outdoors...

It's that time of year when we can enjoy some meals outside. Not too cold or too hot (as will soon be the case here in Arizona). I set a pretty table for breakfast tomorrow so we can enjoy our breakfast on the patio. And I did it all using things I already had. :) My mom made the quilt that I keep on this table. I love the colors in it - they're so cheerful. I cut some branches from a bush out front and put them in one of my faux mercury glass jars. I love the look - and it's a quick, frugal way to add some greenery to any table.

A basket full of muffins wrapped in a crisp white napkin. (I took all the food in for the night after I snapped these pics.)

The little bird hanging on the spoon of the jelly jar was given to me by my mom's cousin. It's actually supposed to hang on a branch but I love how it looks with the jar.

We have had this wrought iron table for 14 years. We got it right before we were married. It has been through 2 moves - one across the country - and refuses to die, or rust, or anything else that would justify me buying a new table and chairs.

I love to eat outside and breakfast is always a good time to do it at September Acres. It's very leisurely and by July it's the only time we can get out for some fresh air if we're not in the pool.

Do you like to take your meals outdoors?

I am linking up to Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, Centsational Girl's Home May'd Spring Summer Link Party & Swing into Spring @ DIY By Design.

The Lettered Cottage

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DIY Mercury Glass, Part One...

I have tons of jars and clear glass vases. I use them for many different things. The obvious: storage (jars) and flowers (vases). And the not so obvious: gifts and pen/pencil holders (jars) & decorative containers (vases). But like I said, I have alot of them. I was watching The Nate Berkus Show last week and someone was on talking about 'looking glass spray' which she sprayed on the glass in frames to make a mirror and also in clear bowls and vases to make faux mercury glass. So I went on a 'mini' search for looking glass spray. I didn't want to trudge all the way out to Lowes or Michaels so I headed over to Ace to see what they had. The young man who helped me said that a couple of days before another lady was in looking for the same thing (we live in a small town, who is this woman? Maybe I know her!) and he guided her toward the metallic spray paint. There was one can left when I got there so I bought it and brought it home to give it a try.I painted the inside of one jar and one vase and let it dry. The painting literally took less than 5 minutes. It took about 30 minutes to dry. I am not totally wild about the jar but I am sure I'll find a use for it. I love the vase although I don't really think it resembles mercury glass. I spent about $6-7 on the paint and I had the jar & vase so it's a really frugal project. I think you could do any color paint for a different look.

This weekend I'll check Lowes & Michaels for looking glass spray and try it on something else. If it's worth a post you'll see it. UPDATE: No looking glass spray at Lowes or Michaels. I checked another ACE and no go. I hear they have it at Home Depot & hope to get out there very soon...Update #2 -still no luck on the looking glass spray. Will be on the lookout next time we're in the 'big city'. I know I will find it and will be so happy to finally use it. :)

I love the look of the paint on the inside instead of the outside. There is still that shine of the glass with just a bit of color. I am eager to try out some different colors....

I am linking up to Glitter Blasted Linky Party @ Infarrantly Creative, Thrifty Decor Chick's Spray Paint Party, How To's Day @ The Lettered Cottage, Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, Just a Girl's SAS Day , Metamorphisis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch @ Tuesdays Treasures , My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia & DIY by Design's Swing into Spring.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Guest Bath Reveal...

We finally re-did our guest bath. It's the only room in the house that hadn't been painted or otherwise changed since we moved in almost 12 years ago. The room is very small. Most people have closets bigger than this room. So no matter what we did to the room it wouldn't make a huge difference. Or so I thought... Here are a few before pics.

Kind of yuck and all over the place. The polished brass fixtures were really not my cup of tea.

We headed to our favorite home improvement warehouse. Otherwise known as Lowes. We have a Home Depot as well but I just generally like Lowes better. Plus it's a bit closer to home (less than 1/4 mile really!) I am glad we went to Lowes because we did get some great buys.

We replaced the vanity top with a carrera marble top. It's what I had in my head but figured it would cost more than I wanted to pay. But we lucked out when my husband found the top in the size we needed on clearance for $82! (Regular price $230). The only problem was that we didn't see a side splash. We planned to just buy the smaller top that was on clearance for $17 and have our friend E cut the back splash to size. As I was perusing another clearance shelf I found a towel ring for $10 AND the side splash we needed for .......$2.25!!

We splurged on the cabinet over the toilet ($98) since we saved so much on the top. We didn't get a new toilet or tub - they are both cream and will do for now. I have different shades of white in the room so it's working. You can see the bead board in the mirror. This was the biggest look changer out of everything that we did. It was one of those spur of the moment decisions. We were headed to mill work to pick out the new baseboards and the bead board was at the end of the aisle - just waiting for me! It was a great decision and we ended up spending $28 on the bead board and chair rail.

I am.in.love with this shower curtain ($20 @ Walmart!) It is a linen like fabric with a black and gray paisley type print - it kind of looks like it is embroidered. It was not at all what I was looking for but I liked it and figured I'd give it a try. I am glad I did.

I love this new faucet (about $60 by Delta). I just love the high spout. We went with polished chrome instead of the brushed nickel that I love so much and I am really happy we did.

I love the way the 'fresh towels' sign looks in there. You can see how I made the sign here. One thing we didn't do it paint the walls. The main reason was that I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I have seen so many people mix different whites and I thought I'd try it. I actually like it and am in no rush to pick a new color. It doesn't look quite as pink in real life.

Another look at the pretty top and faucet. Love.

We painted the vanity white (Olympic Low VOC paint from Lowes- in ultra white - right out of the can- no mixing involved. And I had some already!) We don't have any knobs/pulls yet because I haven't found anything I love and want to pay for! I know that will really finish the look but I will keep looking until I find just the right thing.

These small baskets came with the cabinet and I love them. I made the little tags with black & white card stock and stamped them with a 1,2 and 3. They just add a little something.

We ended up spending about $350 and one weekend on this project. The difference is amazing. I never thought this little space would ever be able to look much difference than it did in the beginning. I am glad I was wrong this time.

Linking up to Pink Postcard's Transformations and Treasures, Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, Feathered Nest Friday @ The French Country Cottage, Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch, Tuesday's Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia & Swing into Spring @ DIY by Design.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The middle of nowhere...

LM's class had a field trip today. We were literally in the middle of nowhere. We drove through wild, wild west towns on Route 66 like Hackberry, Valentine (you may have actually sent your Valentine's here for postmarks at some point) and Peach Springs. The little towns lead you to Grand Canyon Caverns. The caverns are not actually in the Grand Canyon but about 40 miles away. The opening that brings air into the caverns is at the Grand Canyon.

The Caverns are the largest dry caverns in the United States. It is a beautiful sight once you reach the bottom. It is always 56 degrees F down there. 'Down there' is just over 200 feet. You get down there via elevator.

The three third grade classes in LM's school went to the caverns today via school bus (always fun for the adults, right?) I chaperoned along with some other parents and got to ride on the bus. When we arrived the 3 classes split up and went down to the caverns one at a time. While we waited we ate lunch and spent some time in the gift shop. At 11:30 it was our turn for the tour.
It's beautiful down there. We were guided around by a neat tour guide who was really good at explaining things so a third grader would understand. It was a hike moving around the caverns - up and down hills and stairs. The walk is a total of about a 3/4 mile. I was really interested in finding out that the caverns holds enough food and water for 2000 people to survive for 2 weeks.

So I wasn't terribly concerned when the elevator broke. At first I thought the tour guide was joking but come to find out he was dead serious. After about 20 minutes it was determined that we would need to go up the stairs to get out of the caverns. I use the term stairs loosely. These are not the stairs in the stairwell of the Marriott (I wish!) but more like the steep stairs on a Navy ship. The 'railing' was a 3" round tube that overlooked the elevator shaft.

We were able to successfully get about 23 kids and 5 adults out of the caverns rather quickly - just over an hour I think. Remember, we were 210 feet down. The kids were great - only one was a total basket case and really scared me. He was in between LM and me. She did a great job encouraging him, telling him to hold on and only look up.

The boy sitting next to me on the bus said he was really scared and wanted to cry but knew if he did he would upset the other kids so he didn't cry. I told him that I felt the same way and was really proud of him leading his group out. It really was very scary and I was so happy when LM got to the top safely.

Some of the kids have said they will not go on a field trip again. Some are never going on an elevator again (although we were not stuck in the elevator, thankfully). I am thinking that I don't want to go on ship stairs again!

I am in the middle of a few crazy weeks. No fun projects going on right now. No painting. No fun things to share. But school is out on the 19th and I plan to start working again. I have bathroom pictures to share. If I get a chance I may share before the 19th. I put the 'fresh towels' sign up and it looks great. I hope you will stop back by to see it...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fresh Towels...

Friday afternoon we decided to spruce up our guest bath. Very spur of the moment. Sprucing up meant the following:

  • Painting the vanity

  • New vanity top

  • New faucet for vanity

  • New medicine cabinet

  • Bead board

  • New base boards

  • New shower curtain

I still need to get the new hardware for the vanity before I unveil the project. I do want to show you a little sign I made for the room. When we took down the old medicine cabinet I noticed the shelf (wood) easily came out. So I kept it thinking that surely I could do something with it. Then I thought that it would make the perfect sign. I painted it white.

I then printed the words 'fresh towels $1' on the computer. I traced the words with a pencil on the back of the paper then placed the paper on the wood and traced the front of the letters making an outline of the words on the wood.

I colored in the words with a black sharpie - I was out of black craft paint so I decided to give the sharpies a try - they worked great!!

I sponged a little brown ink (right from the ink pad) onto the board and then stamped the flourish stamp in the two top corners. Sandpapered the edges. And that was it. I am happy with how it turned out. It's just what I had in my mind.

We are down to less than 3 weeks of school and all the craziness that goes with that. We had our last PTA meeting today but still have to meet with the new board one more time to go over some things. Along with that the next three weeks include: 1 hockey tournament for LM, 2 hockey tournaments for the hubby, 1 first communion retreat, 1 first communion, 1 field trip, 1 field day, Teacher appreciation lunch, End of year awards ceremony, out of town company for the first communion and the usual, everyday things I need to do to keep things running at September Acres. I am thrilled that school will be out soon but I am going to be exhausted getting there. So I will be away for a while getting things in order and having some fun. I look forward to revealing the new bathroom re-do when I get back. I know you'll love it as much as I do.

I am linking up to Frugal Friday @ the Shabby Nest,Show & Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home, Transformations & Treasures @ The Pink Postcard,Tuesday's Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia & Swing into Spring @ DIY by Design.