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Monthly Archives: January 2013

I Like Big Signs and I Cannot Lie

I Like Big Signs and I Cannot Lie

Well the pantry project got a bit sidelined for the past few days.  It’s coming along – walls painted, doors painted…..and that’s about it. Read the rest of this entry

Things as Beautiful as My Sisters (FKA – Get Inspired)

Things as Beautiful as My Sisters (FKA – Get Inspired)

It’s time for another installment of the series formerly known as Get Inspired and now known as Things As Beautiful As My Sisters. Read the rest of this entry

It Has Begun

Well, I think I’ve found my superpower.

All I did was audition for a role on Ben & Kate and it was promptly cancelled.  In the past I had to actually appear on the program (Terminator, Free Agents, Kath & Kim etc) to bring about its demise but now apparently my powers are growing.  I should probably start targeting shows I don’t like…….is Honey Boo-Boo auditioning?

In other potentially disastrous endeavors

As you know my house was a bit…iffy when I bought it.

 The chief offenders were the kitchenkitchen before

 and the main bathroom.Bathroom -- before

Both are now looking pretty good.Kitchen and Bathroom After Remodel

 Next on the list are the laundry room and its neighboring bathroom.  Both rooms have been pretty untouched since I moved in.Laundry Room BeforeOK, untouched except for paint.  Yes, I painted it that color.The other corner

See – the whole house was very dingy looking and I thought yellow would make the room brighter which it did.  It was like a very bright clown car.  A bright, cluttered clown car.

I’ve been kind of fantasizing what it might look like.  Maybe these!Fantasy Laundry Room 1organized-open-pantry-shelvingIt would definitely be organized like this!6051780719694723_Mkb7NBqi_cBut to accomplish those kind of makeovers I would really need to gut it all and try again (Seriously there are, no lie, 5 doors in about 12 feet of space.  Walking from the kitchen through to the front bedroom is like the opening credits of Get Smart).

Tragically, I have not sold enough coasters to pull that off.

So…. Plan B!

I’ll paint it, clean it, organize it and see if I can do some makeover magic on some cheap cabinets.  The goal is to make it look like an extension of the kitchen – a sort of a butler’s pantry for a house where no butler has ever set foot.

It’s gonna take a while…….

It’s all cleared out and the first coat of paint is up.

Have a great weekend everyone.  If you need me I’ll be in the laundry room butler’s pantry

Easy Little Wall Organizer

As you are well aware, organizing is my mantra these days (or it would be if I could find my mantra – I think it’s under a pile of papers somewhere)

So, when my friend Aimee requested a small, decorative wall organizer for her desk I was up for it.

Also, because “organized” means using time wisely, I thought I’d combine two projects and make her wall organizer my latest Mod Pod Rocks project!

See?  I’m getting really good at this!

I took some inexpensive (dollar bin!) boxes from Michaels, some scrapbook paper, a bit of scrap wood and, of course some poor, innocent candle and got to work.Supplies It’s a very easy project although quite specific to Aimee so I think of this as more of  a “jumping off point” idea.Useful Mod Podged Organizer

Although I’m pretty sure you can intuit the various steps of this project you can, if you’d like, see the full tutorial at MPR.Mod Podged Business Card Holder

Bathroom Makeover

I seem to be spending most of my time lately playing catch-up – restocking stores and such.  Translation? I’m still a bit in-between on new projects to share.

So I thought I’d continue the story of my fixer-upper house.

As some of you probably recall my house was built in 1940 and although it had a great floorplan it looked awful.  I have been slowly (really slowly…glacial) trying to fix it up.

I started with the kitchen which was grim but you hadn’t seen bad till you saw the bathroom.

I only have two before pictures (I think I was just too grossed out).

Here is how it looked originally (this is how the SHOWED it!  That’s not my stuff on the vanity.  Clearly HGTV was not on their “favorite channels” list)Bathroom -- before
Not pretty.

But you hadn’t seen not pretty until you looked at the shower:Shower Before

Who wouldn’t feel clean using that?

As it turned out the shower just needed some very VERY intense scrubbing to become….. sort of liveable.

But it was impossible to shake what it looked like out of my mind and, no matter what, it always appeared dingy with its beigey/dirty white tile and dark maroon trim.

So I saved, and planned and finally undertook the actual remodel.  I couldn’t change the layout much but I could upgrade all the parts.

So, once again, the before:Bathroom -- beforeAnd the after*Bathroom Remodel Vanity and Floor

I got the vanity on super sale from the Restoration Hardware Outlet (they were switching over to their current Furniture-for-Giants/Did-Somebody-Die-Why-Is-Everything-Grey? style) and a scrap piece of marble from a local yard.Bathroom Vanity up close and personalI was going for simple and kinda timeless so the shower got some nice, white subway tile with built in niches as well as some glass tile stripes for accent. Bathroom Shower Remodel(they look great except that the ONE glass tile that is crooked is EXACTLY in front of me when I’m showering ).Shower NicheI mounted the wall cabinet my dad made many years ago for my NYC kitchen: and filled it with my childhood toys.Toy Collection Because, of course, what bathroom is complete without Matchbox cars, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  and a Russian Dictator Nesting Doll Set? (honest to god I have NO idea where that came from but it just cracks me up!  When you take them all apart you get to a teeny-tiny Stalin.  Awesome!)

I added beadboard up to the chair rail all the way around the room and a black and white hex tile for the floor.Bathroom Remodel Tube Wall I need some kind of art or something for the wall above the tub (perhaps a badly spelled Donut Sign?) but haven’t managed to figure out what yet.  It’s only been a few years – why rush?

All in all I’m really pleased with the room.

There is another super-tiny bathroom in the house that is up next for a makeover…and a pantry….and a front path….and a patio..and…and…and……

Have a great weekend everyone!

*I realize I probably should have done a little more “staging” for these photos but what was I gonna put?  Flowers?  Artfully displayed soaps?  I can only go so far in my pretend-home-presentation…….I’m lucky if there are even clean towels within reach half the time let alone folded neatly on the vanity.

** Also, just to be clear I did none of this work myself except the painting.  I designed and bought things but left it to the pros to install….(and fix the ENORMOUS hole that was found underneath the shower floor).DIYShowOffbuttonsmalltodays creativetutorialsandtipsDiamond in the Stuff

Easy Extra Storage

Well, like everyone else I’m (grudgingly) putting my tax information together.

And I’m very happy, and somewhat relieved, to report that Cheltenham Road in its first official year of business (i.e. where that’s all I did) turned a decent profit!fireworks2OK, it’s not a buy-a-yacht-and-develop-a-coke-habit profit but it’s enough to encourage me that I have made the right choice and am going in the right direction.

However, it also made it clear to me that, though I’ve worked hard this year, I need to work harder and definitely smarter.

So that’s the goal for 2013: Nap More!  Work smarter! 

First up – spend less time looking for things.  I need things right-at-hand.

As you know, I’ve carved out a nice work room for myself Workroom Makeover Desk - Command Central but space is tight so I need to make every inch count and I noticed some prime real-estate at the end of my bookshelves.

Wasted Space Bookshelf BeforeSee?  Something could go there!

Something organizy

 So, in a very simple move I cut down and painted some peg board and viola!End of Bookshelf Storage

New, close-at-hand, hanging space for brushes, yardsticks and anything else I can think of to hang there.Bookshelf Extra Storage ProjectEasy! Simple!  Cheap!

I’ve been assured that my check from the MacArthur Foundation should arrive momentarily!DIYShowOffbuttonsmalltutorialsandtips

picket fence

Get Inspired

As you know from reading this blog my family is creative, fun and totally supportive.

When I was home recently I talked to them a little bit about both how great it is to have this business and to write this blog .  But I also confessed that sometimes project  ideas were few and blog post inspirations were occasionally hard to come by.

My sisters, Paula (charming, vibrant and extremely youthful*)  and Phebe (smart, clever, creative and equally young and vibrant) came up with a great idea.  They would scour the net looking for fun and interesting ideas and put them on a shared Pinterest board.  Then, once a week, I could do a post called…..

…..well, we weren’t sure what to call it.

I tossed out “Sister Sunday!” but we decided that might make people think it was a nun convention.

I also contemplated “Stuff My Sisters Found Online When They Probably Should Have Been Working” but, strangely enough, that too got voted down.

Finally I settled on Get Inspired!

They’ve actually provided me with a lot of choices but I just want to show three of them this week.

This tin ceiling tile end table from One Shabby Old House looks terrific and gives me some great ideas for two little end table I have:Ceiling Tin End TableAnd check out  this amazing Ikea makeover from Better After.  I have a dresser quite similar to this in my bedroom and it may get this treatment soon.Anaglypta DresserAnd finally, in the “that’s insanely clever” category this magazine holder used as a shelf from Design Sponge!magazine file shelf

 OK, I’m ready to attack the week with new ideas and inspirations.  Thank you Phebe and Paula!

*As are my other sister, Sally, my parents and numerous cousins.

 

Storage Wars

OK, I realize it’s Wednesday but I had to talk briefly about my weekend.  It was one of those where you get a million things done but don’t feel like you’re running around like a crazy person.  Do you have those?

This is seldom how my life goes and I wish I could figure out how to make it like this all the time.  I kept doing stuff and looking at the clock and thinking “how can it be only 2:00?  This is awesome!”

Actually, I had to get a lot done because the really terrific people that run Angelo Home ordered 50 of my candle blocks…..and they wanted new designs. Retro Wallpaper Tea Light Holder for CoOp 28 Vintage Wallpaper Candle HoldersI  had a lot of fun putting all these together.  Let’s hope they like them.

Retro Metro Subway Art Candle HolderBut the title of this post is Storage Wars and I wanted to share my new favorite storage boxes (perhaps not the most scintillating blog post idea I’ve had but I hope it’s useful)

I’ve been on some kind of personal quest for the Perfect Storage Box for quite a while.   I needed durable, versatile boxes that could hold a lot, travel easily and use space wisely.  For years I’ve made due with a kind of hodge podge of unsatisfying boxes but I have found…..THE ONE!

They are called Really Useful Boxes and here is why I love them.Wide Range of Really Useful Boxes

  • They come in a bunch of sizes.
  • They are super sturdy.
  • They lock tightly, stack securely and…..

They don’t slope on the sides!!!!11 ltr Really Useful Box

When packing for a craft show I always got so annoyed with the sloping sides of other boxes.  It wastes space and,because they are wider at the top than at the bottom, I’m forced to layer different things together in each box so I’m always digging through boxes looking for things.21 ltr Really Useful Box with trayAlso, with my small Honda Fit where packing space is at a premium these guys fit neatly next to each other – once again no wasted space.

As an added bonus I like things that pull double duty.   So, since they boxes lock together pretty snugly when stacked, once I’ve emptied them of their contents they work beautifully as the riser supports on a craft show table.Storage Boxes as Craft Table DisplayCraft Show Table set up with levelsPlus the company recycles and the boxes are recyclable.

I confess I went a little berserk and bought, like, a million of them in different sizes.

I will now always be completely together, organized and calm!

I found the best selection at Office Depot (they have buy two get one free sales on them) but they are available all over the place or via the web site.

No, I am not being compensated for this praise-singing.  Just wanted to share a useful product.

Honey I Shrunk the Dresser

My mom, among her other amazing hobbies and skills is waaay into miniatures.

She has a large, very cool, and elaborate dollhouse complete with electrical wiring, tiny wallpaper, real wood floors etc.

Unfortunately, a few years ago the doll family experienced nature’s wrath when a pipe leaked and flooded it (an actual pipe not a dollhouse pipe…the dollhouse isn’t plumbed although I’m sure that’s on the to-do list).  Since then she and my dad have been putting it all back together.

When I was at home recently my sister Phebe spotted a miniature dresser and had the terrific idea that I could do one of my furniture make-overs on it and give it to my mom for Christmas.

Genius, right?!

So I bought it and immediately…..didn’t do it.

But now I’ve done it!  Merry Christmas mom!

Here is how it started out.Miniature Dresser BeforeI decided to do a mini-version of my postcard dresser.  So here is the grown up versionVintage Postcard Dresser Makeover And here is the shrunken take:Miniature DresserDresser with QuarterI think she’ll like it!

As soon as I mail it!

And for those of you who are worried – she doesn’t read the blog unless my dad shows it to her (mom is not a computer gal) so AS LONG AS DAD DOESN’T SHOW THIS POST TO HER I’m fine.

Speaking of Christmas gifts…….

My sister Paula is a sweet, kind, patient and very funny person.  She is not particularly snarky however.

Each year she gives calendars with a carefully thought out theme – tailored to the gift receiver.

Previously, I’ve gotten funny ones, furniture repair related ones, acting/theatre related ones.

This year she gave me this:Worst Case Scenario

It took me a minute to get it but then I did. …..

She’s being snarky isn’t she? This is a snarky gift, correct?

OK….

Sad.  My older sister is becoming snarky in her dotage.

Happy Holidays!todays creativecraft o maniac

Diamond in the Stuff

Vamping!

Happy 2013 everyone!

I took a little post-holiday pause.  I didn’t actually mean it to be as long a pause as it turned out to be…..basically, I just didn’t want to make anything for a little while.  I was made-out.

But, I’m slowly getting back into the swing (I have to – I have orders due).  However I’m a little bit between-projects so I thought I’d do a review of my more popular posts from 2012 (otherwise known as “vamping).

My Paint Chip Calendar made a lot of people’s “to do” list – including the way cool folks over in England at The Money Saving Expert who made it one of their Top Three Festive Fivers!Easy Project Use Paint Chips to make a CalendarAnd everyone seemed  relieved when I finally got my workroom all finishedWorkroom Makeover Desk - Command CentralSo far it’s working out great and I have a few modification ideas in mind for 2013.

My tutorial about how to build some craft show display towers seemed to make people laugh at me strike a chord with my fellow craft show participants.Vendor Display Booth for CheltenhamRoadMy, You’ve Got Mail,  Post-Card Dresser proved to be a popular idea and made the most “pinned” project I’ve done to date.  Vintage Postcard Dresser Now….if someone would just buy it (it’s sitting in my dining room).

And my Paris themed coffee table makeover seemed to put people in a Continental state of mind.Paris Subway Art Coffe Table 6 finiAnd finally, we briefly interrupt this blog for a moment of sincerity.Thank You

I just want to say thank you so much to all of you (and especially my family) who read, comment, pin and link up here.

It can get a bit lonely sitting around the house making stuff and I’m so appreciative of the community we’ve developed.  Your comments crack me up and your kind words about my various endeavors really keep me going!  Thank you very, very much.

OK, onward into 2013!

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