Callie’s New Room: Part I

It has been so long since my last post that the pictures I include in this post are soon to be outdated (some already are).  We are beginning to transition Callie from her nursery into her big girl bedroom.  Thus far we have painted the room a soft pink, added bead board wainscoting, moved in Mason’s old twin bed and changed out some artwork (twice).

Here’s what the room looked like before:

We moved the crib under the window to accommodate the twin bed.  Callie still stays in her crib without trying to escape so we aren’t in a huge hurry to put her in a bed just yet.

I spray painted the curtain rod antique brass to match the rest of the room’s decor.  It’s sort of vintage and fun!  Below is the best shot of the bead board wainscoting.  The room is a bit crowded with furniture at the moment.

The artwork in this shot has already been replaced.  Yes, I know, I change my mind WAY too much.  I am my own worst critic and many times when I create artwork on my own I don’t like it and swap it out.  I found the wooden tree on clearance at Home Goods for $15.  It was the perfect color pink for her room but it was stained and dirty so I had to repaint it (a similar shade to the original).  The flowers on the wall are from Target and I spray painted them antique gold (they were silver originally).  The name art is an old frame I spray painted and a decal I purchased on Etsy.

So after staring at my handy work in Callie’s room for weeks I saw an idea on Pinterest for vintage Barbie artwork.  I can’t afford to buy the framed prints so I purchased the 2013 Barbie calendar, cut the prints apart, framed and matted them.  The frames were $5 each at Walmart and I spray painted them antique brass.  The mattes were $3 each at Michaels.  You can see my inspiration below.

This is how the frames look in Callie’s room.  I only framed eight prints since I wasn’t in love with all twelve prints.  In more than a few of them Barbie has her eyes closed which I find super weird.  I tried to avoid framing those. I LOVE how it turned out!

So we will move Callie out of her crib in the next few months.  I have been carefully planning the furniture choices for her small room.  Below is my inspiration board for whats to come.

Yard, Yard, Yard

I apologize that it has been so long since my last post but as you can see by this post we have been VERY busy in our yard.  We are pushing to finish the front and back before the height of the summer.  So far so good in regards to our progress. Enjoy the photos!

We had the yard leveled and trenched in the winter so that we could install irrigation below ground and rectify some drainage issues we have during the rainy season.  We installed french drains and irrigation pipe in the spring and covered over the trenches.

We created a walkway in the front yard with a concrete mold and some concrete stain.

We built lattice barriers in front of the propane tank and our pool equipment so we don’t have to look at them.  Rob also replaced the pool equipment with a DE filter he found on Craigslist and poured a new pad for system (Sophie put her stamp on it with a single paw print right in the center of the new concrete).

We installed bender board for the lawn and planting areas and filled in each area with top soil.

Memorial day weekend we assembled a play structure for the kids and filled in the area with playground bark.   The structure came in literally hundreds of pieces but we managed to put the whole thing together in two days.  The kids LOVE it!

This weekend we tackled the sod installation, more planting, more drip irrigation and in the end sheer exhaustion.

This post seems so short in comparison to months of back breaking labor and intense planning.  We are thrilled with how everything is turning out.  We still need to replace the remaining fences, plant flowers and shrubs and spread bark and pea gravel.  We plan to put four garden beds in the side yard (pic above) which we will likely build later this year and plant next spring.  In the midst of the outdoor extravaganza we have also been working on switching things up in Callie’s room so stay tuned for a post on our work inside the house coming soon.

This entry was posted on June 11, 2012. 1 Comment

A Closet Makeover for Mom

Hello Everyone!  I am so excited to write this post.  Last week I re-designed my mother’s closet as a surprise for her birthday.  I can’t think of a more deserving person than my mom and she has been wanting to re-do her closet forever.  She went to San Diego this past weekend to celebrate her birthday and I pounced on the opportunity to makeover her closet while she was gone.

I conspired with her boyfriend, Mike, so that I could scope out the closet in advance and create a game plan.  Mike also left me a hidden key so I could access her townhouse while they were away.  Lucky for me I have installed four closets on my own in our house so I knew exactly what I would need for the job.

Below is a list of challenges in the original closet:

1)  Old, wooden, closet rod and shelf with single row of hang space

2)  Shoes in mismatched organizers on the floor

3)  Mismatched hangers

4)  No concealed storage for hats and miscellaneous items

5)  JEWERY STORAGE…this was my biggest challenge (my mom has a ton of jewelry, it was all over the place and not easily visable)

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So I began my plan of attack by purchasing three Rubbermaid closet organizers from  I bought the 3-6ft length since none of the closet walls were wider than 6 ft.  I used these organizers in my own home and they work fabulously.  They are configurable and therefore can be tailored to many different spaces.  I purchased the titanium finish since it looks a bit classier than plain white.

I also struck gold when I found two different jewelry organizers (one from TJ Max and the other from Home Goods) in the same finish.  These babies held a TON of earrings.  My mom was storing her earrings in a garage organizer with tons of tiny drawers.  Organized, but not at all functional given she could not see what she had at a glance.  I believe the original organizer can be blamed for the massive number of earrings my mother owns since she could never see all she had.

As far as necklaces go my mom has lots of chunky necklaces and they were stored both inside and outside of the closet.  I scoured the internet for necklace storage ideas and came across a photo of necklaces hung on a towel bar using shower curtain rings.  Genius!  Inexpensive, creative and very functional.

I have learned that the key to a beautiful closet is quality, matching hangers.  For my own closet we use slim line, no slip, hangers from Costco and they work like a charm.  Not only do they hang clothes beautifully but they literally double your hang space because they are so slim.  I purchased four boxes at $10 a piece for my mom’s closet.

As far as shoe organization is concerned I am a huge fan of getting things up off the floor.  Not only can you see them better but you have more room to double hang clothing.  To tackle shoe storage for myself and my mom I use clear plastic boxes that are stackable.  Mine were purchased many years ago from The Container Store but I got my mom’s for much less at Walmart.

It is somewhat difficult to see shoes inside the boxes and so I took pictures of each pair, laminated the photos and attached them to each box using scrapbook Zots.  I haven’t even done this for my own shoes and it turned out wonderfully so stay tuned for post on an improvement to my own closet.

On the day of the install I had both my children with me till 5 pm and still managed to get 95% of the job completed.  I would not recommend trying to demo a closet with young children present but my kids live in a DIY household and know when to stay out of the way.

I emptied the closet of all contents and began to rip the old shelf and rods out using a crow bar and hammer.  I have to admit this part was difficult as my husband normally does the demo for our projects but I managed to get them out without too much trouble.

I then patched the old holes with spackle and painted the wall where the old shelf had been.  The paint hadn’t fully dried when I began to install the new organizers.  First I hung the top rails and then I began to design the layout of hanging space vs. shelving and a designated spot for jewelry.

I switched my design quite a bit from my original plan but it was a snap with the flexibility of the Rubbermaid organizers.

Once the clothes were hung on their new hangers, the shoes were in their boxes and the jewelry was in it’s new home I was ready for finishing touches.  I made labels for the storage boxes, framed a few photos of my kids, added shoe photos to each box, and hung my spray painted Kristaller from Ikea.  Every woman’s closet needs some sparkle, right?

My mom is over the moon for her new closet.  She cried of course and I hope it saves her tons of time and effort each day when she’s getting ready.  I may have to turn this into a side business.  Does your closet need a makeover?

This entry was posted on May 2, 2012. 4 Comments

Holy Birthday Batman!

I apologize for the long delay between posts.  I have been very busy crafting for my son’s fourth birthday party which occurred this past Saturday.  Mason loves Batman and so a Batman themed party it was.  Below are some party pics and the details on the crafts I made.

I made my own cupcake toppers for the party which I do nearly every birthday.  I started by doing a Google search for Batman logos/images.  When I found a few I liked, I right clicked and saved them on my computer.  I then used auto shapes in PowerPoint to create circles in the dimensions I needed (2″ x 2″).  I have a circle craft punch so if they are sized correctly it makes cutting them out a snap.  I inserted the Batman images and added text boxes to say “Mason” and his age “4”.  I printed the finished circles on white card-stock and cut them out with my punch.

I then used a larger circle punch to cut coordinating circles out of scrapbook paper.  I hot glued a candy stick from the craft store between the circles and I had my own personalized cupcake toppers.

I browsed the internet for Batman party ideas and found a template for a child’s bat mask.  I purchased blue and pink foam from the craft store along with some elastic for the back.   I printed the template on card-stock and traced it onto the foam sheets.  I cut the border with scissors and the eyes with my X-acto knife.  I made a small slit on either side of the mask with my knife and double knotted the elastic to each side.  I also bought foam stickers from the craft store so the kid’s could decorate their own masks.

In my internet search for party ideas I came across a great idea for favors.  Personalized Batman t-shirts for the kids!  I bought iron on transfer paper (for dark shirts) at the craft store along with shirts in various sizes.  I had a big age range at my son’s party so I had to buy some toddler tees at Old Navy  since the craft store didn’t sell small enough sizes.  My BFF Tiffany at Sugar Ink Papery designed the logos for me.  If you are not a pro at Photoshop you can make the logos in Powerpoint which I did to make my husbands shirt on the fly.  I printed the logos using the instructions that came with the iron on transfer paper .  I was able to get two logos on one sheet of transfer paper.  I then cut them out with scissors and ironed them on, again, following the instructions.  They turned out so cute!  I also made a custom thank you tag for each shirt with the washing instructions on the back.  I bought children’s hangers from the dollar store to hang them up on display during the party.  The hangers also made it easy for the kid’s to take their shirt home.

I even made a shirt for myself!

For the remainder of the party decor I wanted to keep costs down.  I saw this table cloth tent idea on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a shot.  It was super easy and cheap since the plastic table cloths came from the Dollar Store.  I would have liked it to be a bit fuller but the ceiling in my dining room wasn’t having it.

I bought some Batman streamer from Party City and used Batman wrapping paper as a table runner.  The balloons I already had leftover from past parties.  Mason was one very happy birthday boy!

I made a birthday banner for the party also.  Again, this is something I do pretty frequently so I have a template in Powerpoint that I modify with changing party themes.  I printed the banner letters on white card-stock and cut them out.  I then used scrapbook adhesive to attached coordinating scrapbook paper to the back of each letter.  This time I used my laminator so that the banner would hold up better in the long run.  I punched holes in top of each letter and strung them together with ribbon.  Voila, custom birthday banner for next to nothing!

Shabby Bookcase turned Fabulous Vertical Storage

I am all about free furniture so when my grandmother told me she had an old bookcase she was getting rid of I knew I could find a use for it.  The dresser I refinished in Callie’s room is very deep so I have toyed with the idea of adding a bookcase on top of it for additional storage.  I LOVE me some storage and in the kid’s tiny rooms it’s essential to maximize the vertical space.  The last bookcase I refinished was too wide for the dresser but my grandma’s old bookcase was a perfect fit and thus the DIY began.

Here is a picture of the bookcase in it’s original state.  Basic, boring, not so hot.

I decided to dress up the basic box by adding a top and some trim.  I also added trim to the bottom which you will see later.

After a light sanding with the mouse sander, I added my favorite Allen + Roth paintable wallpaper to the back of each section.

I then primed the entire bookcase excluding the wallpaper.

A few days later I painted the bookcase white (Sherwin Williams Pro Classic) of course.

I painted the wallpaper panels pink to match Callie’s dresser and give it some girly flair.  In this photo you can see the trim that was added to the bottom.  I needed to eliminate the arch so that the bookcase and dresser appear to be one piece rather than two.

I love, love, love how it turned out and it stores a ton of stuff.

Tiny Dresser Re-vamp Reveal

The dresser I posted last week is finally finished!  After a few coats of white paint (Sherwin Williams Pro Classic) and some new girly hardware it is ready to be put back in the baby’s room. Someday I may add a marble top to it.  We have several remnants of old Carrara marble we found on Craigslist a few years ago.   I am ecstatic with how it turned out.

I am currently working on a bookcase for Callie’s room that will go on top of her dresser.  Stay tuned for that post in a few days.

Tiny Dresser Re-vamp

There is a small dresser in Callie’s room that has been in my family for many years.  I believe it was my grandmother’s when she was a child.  It served as a dresser for my doll clothes when I was little and now it resides in my little girl’s room.  It needed a re-vamp as the finish was in less than great shape and the knobs were dated.  I found inspiration on Pinterest and I began working on it.  The project is not yet finished but I wanted to show you my progress thus far.

This dresser was my inspiration for my project.  I have loved this transformed Hemnes dresser from Ikea since the moment I laid eyes on it.

Here is what my dresser looked like before.

I began by removing the knobs, filling the old knob holes with putty and giving it a light sanding with my mouse sander.

I then primed the base and drawers with a spray paint primer.

Since I have been a bit obsessed with paintable wallpaper lately (see hutch), I purchased some more from Lowes to complete this project.

I then cut my wallpaper to size.  The trim pieces were purchased from Home Depot along with a miter box since that is the only way to cut trim this thin.

As you can see above I was working outside on our spa and left my materials out overnight.  BIG mistake!  It rained and my pre-pasted wallpaper was drenched and thus needed to be applied in a flash the next morning.  Some of the edges did peel up quite easily after the wallpaper dried so I did add some wood glue underneath them for better adhesion.  I have not had any issues with this wallpaper adhering in the past so I’m sure the paste was in less than stellar shape after sitting in the rain overnight.

I then began to measure and cut my trim pieces.  This was time consuming with the miter box but worth the effort.  I glued the trim down rather than nailing it because the pieces are so thin and fragile.  I used painters tape to secure them while they dried.

Now it’s time to caulk some of the gaps between the wallpaper and the trim.  I will also caulk some of the mitered corners that have gaps.  A little paint and new knobs and this baby will have a whole new lease on life. Check back next week and see the finished product.

This entry was posted on March 14, 2012. 3 Comments