Sunday, January 26, 2014

2 year blog-a-versary & DIY projects

I'm pretty sure blog-a-versary is a word...or at least it is now.  In a few weeks this little blog o' mine will be TWO years old.  I can't believe it's been two years since I decided to take the big step into not only inundating my friends on FB with my project photos...but strangers too :)

Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself (which let's be honest...who doesn't?)...and sometimes I get sweet little comments from people who have followed my blog from the beginning or just found a post they liked on Pinterest and were inspired.  That's the biggest compliment to me.  That someone would be inspired by my crazy ideas..or my treasure hunting...or just my rambling about life...to take the time to let me know really means so much to me.

I don't do this for the money (I don't make any, ha!)  I do it because I LOVE searching for that perfect old junky thing that makes me happy...or revitalizing something that someone has forgotten and making it all mine.  They're not all winners (trust me!)...but I'm proud of the work I've done in my house and I feel like I learn so much every day from reading other blogs, checking out Pinterest and pushing myself to try new things. 

Thank you SO much for continuing to read my blog and encouraging me to keep the faith that one day my dream will become a reality...

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Now enough of the sappy stuff...here's a few projects I worked on this weekend:

I bought a new shadowbox and decided to move my vintage brooch collection there for the time being...I love having a collection all in one place to really showcase it...

It's resting on a sneak-peek of the tile I'll be using on my dresser makeover (I know I keep saying it....but stayed tuned! I'm hoping to have all of the new products I'm trying out in the next few weeks...)



Which freed up space on my bulletin board...I added some of my favorite fabric scraps along with this cute little paint chip collection...



I saw something similar on Pinterest - I cut off all of the paint colors in my house (-minus stuff I spray painted...might have to make my own paint chips for those...) labeled them by room or piece of furniture and then hole punched them...I hung it on my inspiration board for now...but if I'm running out to shop I can easily pop it in my bag.  Love it. 


I picked up this wood monogram on Etsy and gave it a quick couple coats of stain yesterday (out in the snow, no less)...I decided to hang it over my mirror in my closet...since I'm running out of wall space everywhere else ;)


 
Have a great week!
Alisa
 
PS - The Etsy sale is ending soon - 10% off all orders over $50 through 1/31/14 :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fresh Finds and a Little DIY

First of all, I'm so jealous of everyone that is off tomorrow.  I have to work and this weekend has just flown by.  I've barely made a dent in my crazy to-do list!

Anyway, enough complaining...

Last week I started working on eating better and even worked out (okay only once...but it's a start).  I told myself that if I lose at least 10 lbs I'll buy another glassybaby.  I think I'm going to start collecting them for special occasions, I love their beautiful colors (I have forever and lollypop so far). 

I have some major DIY projects in the works - I'm making progress on my 2014 List for sure.  Stay tuned...probably will be ready to post in a few weeks!

My Mom was nice enough to go with me to check out a vintage Navy desk in Frederick last weekend.  We also stopped in a few other little shops too - we found this amazing vintage blue glass candy dish...I LOVE it...




This is what happens when you bring ONE thing home, right? 

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Here's the desk...at first I was so upset...I felt like I made a terrible mistake because the desk wasn't the size I thought it was and it looked ridiculous in my kitchen...and it was super-pricey...


 
Also...a tip from me to you...test out things when you're buying them...like attached stools...especially when you see notes like this...
 



Yeah...you can't sit on it unless it's bolted to the ground...what the bleep! Well...I moved on...and bought my 'island' casters to raise it up to usable height and to help with moving it around if I need to...(thanks to the lovely gentleman at Lowes last night who actually filed down the threads to get the washer and nut to fit). 

I also switched out the rug for a smaller rug in more muted tones (found this one at HomeGoods)...now I LOVE the island...I can't wait to use it for additional prep space (I currently have about 10 inches of usable counter space).







I stuck with mainly glass and metal bowls and measuring cups to keep everything looking light. 


 
I'll miss my table and chairs but I rarely used them in the six years I've had them (and they're just in the basement if I change my mind...I could furnish a few rooms with the furniture down there...I really should work on that).
 

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You still with me?  Probably should have warned you this was going to be a long blog post...

I was looking for a box or something to add to my shelf with my Marquee Letter Knock-off DIY.  I was walking around HobbyLobby and spotted this paper mache bust / dressform.  I decided to decoupage it with the paper I found at PaperSource.




It's a really easy (but messy) process - the key is to make sure you have a good coat of mod podge on the form and on top of the paper.  I like to add another coat once everything is dry.


 
Here's the finished product, I love how it turned out :)




 
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I know it doesn't seem like I'm doing better with spending...but I swear I'm trying...
 
I found this amazing mirrored camera at HomeGoods...for $8...I mean I tried to put it back...but at that price...I just couldn't...It's so me...




 
I found a place for my disco ball (leftover from the holidays)...
 
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I found the most amazing seascape painting on Etsy...I have a new rule...if I want to buy something (that I don't need) I literally need to get excited when I see it...it has to bring me joy in that moment...otherwise...it goes on the 30-day-waitlist...
 
 
Meanwhile...I seem to have quite the collection now...Is there a collect-aholics-anonymous out there??
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Finally...I needed a wreath for my front door since my Christmas one was overly Christmas-y.  I used to twist-ties to attach two wreaths I already had together...It's not perfect...but hey...it didn't cost me anything!


 
 Have a great week!
-Alisa



Friday, January 10, 2014

Etsy sale!

Happy Friday!

It's an icy mess outside this morning - perfect conditions for staying in and shopping online.

I'm having a sale in the Etsy shop (link to the right) - enter code WINTERSALE at checkout for 10% off all orders over $50.

Offer ends 1/31/14

Happy shopping!

PS stay tuned this weekend for updates on my latest DIY!

Alisa

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Eleven Things Volume 17

Happy New Year!

1.  I just changed the title of my last post - I realized it ended up being more about looking ahead to 2014 rather than a review of 2013.

2.  I might still go back and do a recap post of my favorite 2013 posts...but unlike all of the great bloggers out there who are posting those recaps right now (when you should)...I'm...not...ready :)

3.  I have to be honest...even though I've been 'off' work for about a week I don't even feel like I've had a vacation...I really need to work on my worrying and anxiety...#workinprogress y'all

4.  My last holiday decorations showed up Christmas Eve...as I was running around like a mad woman trying to be all Martha Stewart-like...(I also need to work on placing such high expectations on myself). 

Here's THE tree from Pottery Barn...my Dad was nice enough to help me put it up Christmas Eve in the dining room...it's a beauty.  Still not sure I can part with my charlie brown tree though that I've had for-ever...I did donate a big pile of stuff to a veterans association on NYE morning...so I did feel good about that...trust the purging will continue (along with learning about willpower and all that jazz)





5.  I ordered this garland from Amazon (Prime is so good it's dangerous)...I was expecting it to be a little more life-like but I like how it looks on top of the cabinets - I was trying to mimic the Pioneer Woman's lovely decorated kitchen...





6.  I managed to get one of my 2014 DIY projects completed right under the wire...(thanks to my father for agreeing to install them for me!)

I've struggled with this space between the entry from the living room and the basement door...(you might remember I had all of the sunburst mirrors hanging there before)...I also had a bakers rack there at one time that I kept knocking into...

I decided to go for open shelving (if you follow me on Pinterest you know that I'm crazy for open shelving in the kitchen).

I used red oak boards again from Lowe's (the same wood as my Dining room shelves)  

This time I had them cut fit the opening between the trim of the doors (26 1/2" for me). I used a gift card I received for Christmas so this project was pretty inexpensive :)

I used the same stain for both projects (you need very little so you can get away with using one of these small 1/2 pints).  I used a foam brush and wiping cloths (brush on the stain, let it penetrate and then wipe off the excess...repeat).  I then brushed on a coat of poly to seal everything in.  



I bought the brackets from House of Antique hardware...but I would recommend getting some screws from Lowe's, here's the ones we used.  Maybe it's just us but the screws that come with the brackets seem to strip pretty easily.





Finished Product:



There's just something about empty shelves...I love styling...meanwhile...I need to figure out a fancy DIY to cover up that smoke alarm...it's just not working for me...



7.  I'm pretty obsessed with how they turned out...about halfway through the installation I felt like I  made a terrible mistake because they are so high...and my two doorways are different heights...but now that all my lovely blue and silver, glass and ceramic, vintage and new are mixing together...LOVE

8.  You knew more beauty shots were coming right??  Fun fact:  I have no idea what the 2nd light switch controls...who does that??  I'm probably opening and closing someone's garage door every time I try it again thinking it will magically turn on/off a light in my house!







9.  The day after Christmas I went to Hagerstown to the outlets and stopped at a few antique malls (just two...I was pressed for time)...I found these two great ornate spreaders...




10.  My Mom and I spent the day together yesterday - we went to Old Town Alexandria...drove by National Harbor for a few photos...and stopped by Georgetown Cupcake - my Instagram was overloaded with photos of the great shops and holiday decorations.

Here's what I came home with:



Beautiful paper from the PaperSource.  No idea what I'm going to do with the paper yet but I'm pretty excited!



Gemstone beads from Potomac Bead Store


Key glitter ornament from a little French shop




My absolute favorite thing my Mom and I got on NYE - matching glittery holiday light up houses.  I love how they look like the little vintage houses my grandmother had in her house when I was growing up.  This one came from a store called Red Barn Mercantile.  

For now it has a place of honor in the dining room - next to my Lily&Val chalkboard print for NYE (www.lilyandval.com).  I attached the image using a command strip to a sheet of glitter fabric paper I found at HobbyLobby.  






11.  Finally, I stopped by HomeGoods earlier in the day yesterday (not needing ANYTHING of course)...I ended up buying these great pillows along with a new cutlery organizer (exciting!).  As you can see I'm not scared of mixing patterns (I get this combo probably isn't for everyone, but I dig it so that's that... :)








Have a wonderful rest of the week!
-Alisa