9.02.2014

Chalk Paint Trial - Silver Storage Chest

Happy Day After Labor Day!  (not)  I know there are a lot of Fall lovers out there and while I enjoy the change of seasons and the new clothes and accessorizing opportunities that brings, I truly detest winter.  Last winter was a horrible winter in DC so I am really not looking forward to it.  And we have had the MOST beautiful summer that almost anyone from this area can imagine.  We have had very few days in the 90s which is so unusual.  I kind of like the 90 degree temps though.  Weird, I know.  But, my youngest starts kindergarten today… {sniff}.  Makes me feel a bit old actually - no more preschoolers.  But, life marches on and so shall I!

Back to the blog business…

After years of reading about the glories of chalk paint, I decided to take the plunge.  I won some sample canisters of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint at a local craft show so I decided to give it a shot… This stuff is awesome.  I'm tempted to do my entire dining room set!  (Handy Hubby might murder me though…)

I started small.  Here's my silver chest.  Really traditional and just wasn't working for me any more.  If the chalk paint couldn't save it, it was headed to the yard sale pile.  It was a wedding gift though and it served its purpose so I didn't want to totally abandon it just yet.


First, I removed the never-engraved brass plate on top.


Next I taped off the edges of the velvet interior.  I'm thankful the interior is brown instead of bright blue or red.  Then I started painting the whole thing.  I used a regular Purdy paint brush and brushed it on as I would any other paint.  I did not sand the wood first.


Then I sanded mall of the edges down a big.  I should also note that I painted the hardware since it would have required removing the interior velvet liner. No thanks.  I just painted it.  Then I waxed it all with some regular old furniture wax (not Annie Sloan's - sorry Annie, had to use what we had around already).  And here's the result…





It's not perfect with the lamps but both are going to stay for now.  Still a major improvement from the original!

7.04.2014

Happy 4th of July!

We're getting ready for a fun night with our neighborhood block party - over 175 people are coming!  We opened the party up to our entire civic association doubling the size of our party.  



Have a safe and happy 4th of July with friends and family!!

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7.01.2014

Betwixt and Between {Rugs}

Which would you choose? Not telling you the intended space... just which do you like?
1. 

2. 

3. 

These RugsUsa.com sales kill me!  Great deals on beautiful rugs.  Usually I can't find one that I like and now I have found 3!  Argh...

Jim - This is what happens when you don't want to watch an episode of Breaking Bad.  Rug shopping.

6.23.2014

Alex's 5th Birthday {Ninja Turtle Nature Center Birthday}

My 5 year old is obsessed with Ninja Turtles (and Star Wars, Cars, and ninjas - ALL ninjas).  So no surprise that his suggested birthday party theme was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or TMNT as the cool kids say).  Of course all of the Pinterest ideas revolved around costumes and amazing TMNT themed games and crafts.  For once, I came to my senses and decided to take the easy route… I called a local nature center and booked the first date they had in May or June.  Alex's birthday was May 15th and the first date they had available was June 9th.  Lots of time to build excitement!

We are lucky to have several local nature centers, all of which are awesome.  We chose the bigger one because they have a nice party room and it's still less than $200 including the nature program and access to the exhibits.  Such a great deal!  Bonus - no 5 year old boys tearing up my house!

To bring in the TMNT theme, I bought some supplies on Oriental Trading Company and also some turtle themed crafts that I knew the girls would really like but the boys would totally ignore (I was right!).  I used a green table cloth I already had and added some of Alex's beloved TNMT action figures.



 Here's a "happy" customer...



The cupcakes were a bit of a splurge - super tasty and adorable!  Everyone loved them - especially the nature center volunteers (we gave them the leftovers).  They were made by Amanda at Esquire Confections in McLean in case you are looking.



Fun fact - I keep the candles for each year and try to use them for both kids.  The only exception was the first birthday candle (Elizabeth's was pink with flowers; No idea what Alex's was but not pink with flowers).

We started with a 30 minute nature program geared to silly 5 year olds - turtles and snakes.  All big hits.




Then we served some mini pizza bagels which were really popular and everyone ate some (including the adults)!  Then we ate those luscious cupcakes.


Alex and one of his many girlfriends...


Dang - they are cute together!

For the first time, we told guests not to bring gifts.  It was AWESOME.  Everybody was happy not to bring a gift although a few felt guilty.  My kids don't need a single thing and neither could think of things they wanted for their birthdays.  Elizabeth had kids bring family DVDs to her party to donate to a local battered women's shelter that takes in displace women with their kids.  

Each kid went home with a Magic Ink TNMT activity book - perfect for summer travels, pool breaks, or rainy afternoons!



All in all, this was one of the simplest, inexpensive parties I have ever had for either of my kids.  Everyone had fun, especially Alex which is the most important thing - of course!

I'm now addicted to having parties at fun locations.  A little more work at the front end makes the party so much more enjoyable.  I didn't do a post about Elizabeth's rock climbing birthday but if you have a sporty 8-year old girl - take her rock climbing.  She'll LOVE it!

6.19.2014

Art for the Walls {Hall Bath}

It's finished! Well… mostly.  I still need to do a little touch-up paint on the trim.  It's a can of worms though because there are LOTS of places in my house that need trim touch-ups so once I start I might need an entire day to complete it all.  Still… done enough for a long overdue post!


The final piece of the puzzle was the art.  I struggled to no end with this.  I wanted something meaningful yet inexpensive and able to stand up to the abuse offered up by an ancient bathroom with poor ventilation.

I took a bunch of pictures last time we were visiting my parents in Siesta Key at a favorite breakfast location called the New Pass Grill.  The charm is in the trash-to-treasure decor and the man pelicans and other birds walking around the place like they own it.  




These three made the final cut. I amped up the color using Picasa so they were much more brilliant and artsy than originally.  I love them!  I am going to blow them up on big canvases for my imaginary beach condo.  

The other details included the shower curtain purchased on clearance from West Elm in January.  




And a before and after photo...

Definitely more calming yet still cheerful and youthful enough for my kids.  Some people may still be holding a candle for the wallpaper.  To them I say - get over it.  It was peeling and only looked good from afar.

Here's a really rough budget breakdown:

Vanity - $600
Paint - $50
Rug - $20
Shower Curtain - $15
Ring pulls - $25
Art frames - $45
Faucet - $90
Light fixture - $100
Plantation shutter - $150

Total - $1095

Not bad considering I was really hankering to rip the whole thing apart and start fresh. I now feel I can live with it for another 5 years… maybe 3 years before I start planning the next remodel.

Click here to see other posts about this reno.