Forgotten Fridays: Copycat Bathroom Art

Thursday, August 29, 2013

So this is another one of those things I meant to post but never got around to it... and yes, I know today is Thursday. I meant to post this last week but I got too excited by the hallway's paint job. And I apologize in the advance for the cell phone photos. 

I recently added a bud vase (on clearance for $4!) with a fake succulent ($2 at Hobby Lobby) to our half bath. Originally I had on old vase that I had painted white perched on the sink but I never put anything in it. I had wanted to out a fake flower of some kind in there since I forget to water real plants. After (eight!) months of halfhearted searching I found this bud vase and added the succulent. I think the color and shape look way better than the old version and I really like the pop of green.>

Anyway this reminded me that I had meant months ago to post about the DIY art piece I made for this room but never did. Better late than never, right?

When we tackled the downstairs half bath we purchased a few frames to hang. We couldn't find enough (cheap) framed art so I decided to make something instead. I found this pin and thought it looked pretty easy to recreate.

Obviously I didn't follow the instructions to the letter but overall I don't think it turned out that bad. First I painted the canvas a soft khaki. Once that was dry I used a paint pen to draw the lines. I was actually really nervous to do this part but I figured I could paint over any huge errors.

Then I made the dots. I picked a several colors (in retrospect I'd only use 5 colors or shades of colors) that I thought would look good together and dotted away. I did go back and add dots where I thought it looked empty or a color was too concentrated. I also added branches if that area appeared a little sparse.

Here's the original next to my version.

This probably won't hang in our home forever but its a not bad for a temporary fix.

P.S. You can read all about our half bath makeover here.

Blinded By The Light

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Who doesn't like this song? Even if no one really knows what the lyrics are.

When Jon and I were painting in the hallway we noticed how gross our hallway light was. Its a bad photo but you can see how cloudy and dirty it is. It kind of looks like this. But it had a huge bubble on it where the lightbulb had gotten too close to the plastic coverings and melted it. Gross.

So I asked Jon to take it down so we could at least clean it. But we couldn't figure out how to get the stupid thing down. After a few tries we got frustrated... and decided to take a hammer to it. Poseidon and I ducked into the guest bedroom while Jon swung away. The frame still wouldn't come out... until we realized that all we had to do was stick something into between the ceiling and the frame. Then it just popped off. Oops.

Once we pried it off we discovered that we had an attic! My mom and I had been wondering about that when Jon and I did our final walk through when we bought the place.

Broken light fixture = Home Depot run. Much to my delight and Jon's dismay.

Initially we wanted to replace the tray and the acrylic sheet but we quickly discovered that the tray (the metal thing in which the acrylic light cover lays) didn't match any of the ones in the store so we think it was a custom job. Since we couldn't replace the whole thing we settled on at least replacing the acrylic sheet. $10 and half an hour later we were on way back home.

Jon used the old one as guide to cut replacement sheet down to size with a box knife. Quick and easy!

While the thing was open we replaced the old bulb with an energy efficient one. We flipped on the light and exclaimed "woooow!" We were amazed by how much brighter the hallway was.

We were so impressed Jon did the same thing to the similar smaller one in the entryway. Here's the before:

Jon and Poseidon cut it to size...

... gave the frame a fresh coat of paint...

...added an energy efficient bulb and installed it!

You can tell that new light coverings are clearer and let through way more light than before. And it looks a lot cleaner. No more dead looking bug things being illuminated. Thank goodness!

But we didn't stop there. While Jon was painting the highest corner in our stairway I asked him to clean the chandelier. He noted that the chandelier had old white bulbs instead of the new energy efficient ones. So he changed those too. Bright lights, big change! I think we said "wooooow" again. Who knew light bulbs could make such a big difference? We had actually wanted to replace that fixture because we thought it was too dim so we're definitely reconsidering that now.

The best part? We only spent $10! We already had the energy efficient light bulbs. Those were a gift from my parents when we moved in. Our only expense was the new acrylic sheet and we used that for two different fixtures. I LOVE cheap and fast upgrades and this one brightened up our home and my day!

Halfway Hallway

Friday, August 23, 2013

We're making hallway painting progress!

Big improvement over all the white. 

When I started painting the hallway I discovered how hard it is! I knew that I didn't want to finish on my own so I asked Jon to help me out. Proving himself to best and handiest of husbands he agreed. So early Saturday morning (ok, kind of early) I got up and started prepping the walls. After I removed the pictures and taped everything off we got down to business. I started painting in the middle and Jon did all the edges because he's really particular about getting the lines perfectly straight. Love him. We think Poseidon helped us out since he ended up with paint on him!

Our staircase actually leads into our small hallway upstairs so some parts are two stories high. Obviously this makes it really hard to each some parts of the walls. Currently we don't have a plan on how to reach those areas so we're only painting where our ladder allows. That's why we've only gotten halfway done. So when it came time to paint the highest corner we had to get our ladder out. Unfortunately the landing was not big enough to open the ladder all the way so we wedged in between the wall and the first step and hoped for the best.

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Clearly its not safe but Jon thought it would be okay.

Either way we got 'er done. The space is now inviting and warm. Well half of it does.

But I can totally visualize how its going to look when its done and has something on the walls. I still love the color and I can't wait to see how pretty it will look when all the walls done. We just got to figure out how to reach the top of the walls... and by we I mean Jon.

Either way, its still better than before!

Poseidon's Post: Walk Time!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Poseidon is our chipin (Chihuahua/ Minuature Pinscher mix). Since he’s a big part of our household he likes to give an update on his life every now and then.

Hi guys! My days are pretty relaxing. I get up, pee, eat and then sleep until my humans come home.  Usually one of my other humans (my other mom and uncle don’t live with us but still visit me all the time) will come take me out for a quick break in the middle of the day. But then they leave and I go back to napping.

The existing part of my day starts when my humans come home. First I get eat dinner. And treats! I have to do to some tricks for them but whatever. A treat is a treat! Right? I also get a belly rub or my neck scratched while my mom plays Candy Crush.

Then it’s time for my walk! Paws down, it’s the BEST part of my day. My humans make me wear a harness. Lame. But it’s better than my old choke collar. My humans thought it was mean and they felt bad for my neck even when I was “acting a fool” and pulling on my leash. By the way, those are my mom’s words, not mine. Anyway, when they get it out I know it’s time to go out. I usually get really excited and started jumping really high until they tell me to settle down. Then I have to sit patiently while they get it on. At least they let me sit in their laps while they do it. But still, that’s really hard for me because I’m just so excited to go outside!

When they’re finally done with the harness it’s time for my leash. That part not so bad. I still have to sit but they’re pretty quick about it.

Then we go outside! I get to smell everything! I usually like to mark everything too so other dogs know that this is my hood.

We go up the street and walk by the two angry Chihuahuas that always bark at me. I ignore them most days but if they get to close and bark then I tell to back off.  We turn right past the apartment with five cats and walk in this shaded path for a couple of blocks. My mom says hi to all the other humans passing by but I’m way picker on which dogs I greet. Some of them are cool but others? Not so much.

Sometimes we switch it up and go the opposite way but I don’t like that way as much. Too much grass and not enough trees to mark. But no matter which way we go we always take the same way home. Right in the middle of the community there’s a shaded trail that runs in between all the houses. My mom loves to go that way because it’s not as hot and she thinks it’s really pretty. It even has a bridge!

When my walk is over I’m not sad because it means my dad is probably at home now and I get to say hi to him. Usually it’s my mom who takes me for walks but I really like it when my dad comes too. He lets me smell a lot more stuff than my mom, we stay out longer and I get to walk in between them.

Sometimes we get to take walks other places. This weekend my humans took me on a hike! There were tons of new smells and plants to mark!


I Can Paint All By Myself

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friday I DIY it and started to paint the hallway myself.

This was a big deal at the Stubblefield house since normally I wait for Jon to do it. Not only does he have a lot of practice he has such attention to detail that my painting skills completely pale in comparison. He actually told me once that I'm not allowed to paint since I don't really care if its not perfect. Is a little paint on the ceiling really that bad? Not to me. Jon feels differently and that's why he does the painting around here. But sometimes I can't wait for Jon...

I had been wanting the hallway painted for a while now but Jon hadn't had a change to get to it. I actually wanted it to be done before our guests arrived but we've both super busy. I finally got tired of looking at the stark dingy white walls and decided to get to it without Jon's help. Friday was the perfect day since I'm off work and have the place to myself.

I decided to start by our bedroom and our linen closet. Ideally I would have started where we had left off from the entryway but the ceilings are super high and I don't do ladders. Its a small space so I thought it would go by fast and I figured if I messed up it won't be so noticeable. 

I cleaned the space and taped it off. The tape always makes me nervous. If you don't do it right then the paint line will totally off and I know Jon is really meticlous and careful about it so I was feeling that extra pressure to get it right. 

Taping off the linen cabinets was actually really hard. I had to bend back in there Matrix style. After I reenacted it for Jon I him he could call me Neo. 

Then I painted. I'd like to say it wasn't it bad as I thought it was going to be but it was. I was sweating up a storm doing it! I do have a newfound appreciation for all the hard work Jon does around here. Seriously, the best of husbands. 

After I was all done I was exhausted and went to happy hour. I earned that skinny margarita! 

Of course I was excited to show Jon what I had done. He didn't even notice! I had to point it out. He said I did pretty good overall but that I really got the ceiling. Oops. 

Wee Wee Take Three

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Remember the wee wee dance canvas I made for our guest bath? I made two more for a couple of friends!

One of my friends loved it and asked me to make her one a while back. Well she recently got married and moved to DC with her new husband so I knew I had to get it to her by the wedding. While I was making it my friend who in town asked me to make her one. 

Both of the ladies requested a black and white version. So I painted the canvas white. Yes, the canvas is white but its good to paint a base color to work off because I think it makes the other paint look smoother.

I was really lucky to have a coworker and her husband make me the stencil on their Cricut machine. My back plan was to cut out a template on a piece of card stock with an exacto knife. You could also draw the figures but I'm not that talented. 

I centered the stencil and then used a paint pen to color in the people. I highly recommend the paint pen since regular craft paint will run, your lines won't look as clean and it will required many coats.

Then I took the white paint to touch up the outline.

I went back over it with the paint pen to make sure the outline was as dark as the inside since I'm not really good and painting straight lines. I was waited until it was dry before going back and filling in some of the lighter areas with the black paint pen.

And that's it. I was able to finish the one for my (recently married!) friend as I was getting ready for the wedding. I finished up the other one over the weekend. Its going out to Oregon on Friday!

A Concrete Catastrophe

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

We stained the concrete in the backyard this weekend.

Yeah... we don't like either. 

The plan was to stain the plain concrete a light, warm terra cotta color to warm up the space since it was pretty blah to begin with. We had read a few home blogs and discovered that people have stained the concrete with fantastic results. It seemed like an easy and cheap project. So we went to Home Depot and picked out a color of Behr Semi-Transparent Concrete Stain we liked. 

That was a few months ago. Jon actually forgot what color we had chosen since it had been so long. Why did we wait so long? The stain cannot be applied if its over 90 degrees. So we really couldn't apply it in the height of summer. We had already done a little bit of work back there we decided to focus on projects we could do in air conditioning. Now that its not crazy hot we decided to finally apply the stain. 

First Jon cleaned the space. The instructions said to work in 4' by 4' sections. Luckily our patio floor is already broken up into sections. That way we could move all of the furniture to one side and then do it again but on the other side we it was time to paint the other half.

Poseidon watched us work.

Then we got to staining. Jon used the roller to get majority of the space and I used a paintbrush around the edges. I know the photo is of Jon but I swear I helped. 

As we were doing it we noticed the color wasn't really what we thought we had originally picked out. And we noticed it was really orange. But not in a good way. This is coming from two people who actually embrace orange is all its bold glory. We both hoped that it would dry lighter but it didn't.

Apart from the color we don't like the uneven application. Its really dark in some places and very light in others. The instructions say that two coats help achieve an uniform color but we don't to intensive the orange. 

Now we really don't know what to do. Jon is leaning towards finishing it off just to see what it would look like but I think it would be overwhelmingly orange. I want to paint it a darker color. Jon mentioned a coworker of his painted his concrete patio with a product by Rust-Oleum that left it shiny and smooth. We're thinking that might be the new plan. Maybe a dark gray or a brown with a glossy finish. I think if we chose a dark brown it will match the new flooring we'll eventually put in and make the outdoor space look like a extension of our home. The gray would define the space more and be neutral enough to appeal to buyers down the road. 

Either way, the orange has got to go. After the shutter debacle this project is our biggest mistake. At least this is an easy fix!