Friday, August 24, 2012

Hunger Games Shoes

As you noticed in the previous post- my daughter had her 13th birthday. *sniff, sniff* They grow so fast.

Aside from getting her a cell phone for her birthday (she's probably the only tween in the U.S. who was forced to wait until she was 13 to actually get a phone of her own-most of her friends have had phones since they were 8 years old). I know, aren't we awful parents? :::insert evil laugh here::::

Anyway...We saw these cute shoes on Pinterest some months ago and my daughter loved them:

They are Custom Converse (an etsy store that specializes in customizing converse shoes, duh). I think these ran about $100.00. Too steep for my blood. But, of course, I looked at them and thought, I could do that.

So,when I was at Payless and saw these knock-off chucks for only 12.00 I thought-YES! A perfectly cheap pair of shoes to try it on and if it doesn't work I'm only out 12 bucks.

First, I started by finding the perfect size logo that I could cut out (using an Xacto knife) and use as a stencil for the shoes (unfortunately, my talents don't extend to freehand drawing).

Then, since I was doing this at work and I didn't have a white fabric pencil to use, I used my cheapy white eyeliner to lightly trace the stencil:
After tracing on both shoes, I had 2 methods to try and fill it in-

I started with a gold marker:
Which didn't look bad but didn't pop as much as I would have liked. I wanted it to look more golden.

So then I tried gold metallic acrylic paint:
Much better. I liked the results after painting over it with a small brush in gold paint. I contemplated adding a little gold glitter to the wings to give it the illusion of movement but decided to leave well enough alone. I was very happy with the results and didn't want to mess it up by doing something I couldn't take back.

I was so excited for these shoes and I thought they were so cool. I was hoping my daughter would love them (of course, since *I* thought they were cool my 13 year old probably wouldn't). She seemed only so-so interested in them when she unwrapped them. Aside from the fact that she was too involved with loving and playing with her new cell phone, my 13 year old can't be bothered with showing emotion. If it doesn't involved a heartfelt UGH! or ::::eye roll:::: my 13 year old just doesn't do it (I've been told this is normal LOL). I always find it hilariously ironic that deep inside a teen has all these boiling, confusing emotions of heartache, rollcoaster love/hate and "do I fit it? Why don't I fit in? Does he like me? Do I like him?? Why does this happen??" and yet outside the only expressions we see as parents is, "I'm sorry, were you talking to me?" expressions of indifference:

Anyway...I digress. She likes the shoes, I imagine, because she wears them almost everyday to school:

The pics (iphone) don't really do it justice either. I think it looks really cool in person.

And the total cost for my project? Just the $12.00 for the shoes. Everything else I already had in my craft supplies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Browsing with Craig...

It's been a while since I've posted about Craigslist browsing but I do it almost daily. Craigslist is the ultimate thrift store and, just like thrifting, you have to check more than once a month if you're gonna find any treasures. It requires constant watch and attention to find that perfect piece at the perfect price. Just a week ago I found this chair and ottoman that started out at 65.00 -which I snagged for 40.00:

 It was a quality chair/ottoman though stained (no problem since I planned on cleaning and slipcovering anyway). Some people are concerned for cleanliness (bed bugs and others habits) when shopping craigslist and I completely understand that but I'm careful when I look at anything with fabric. I was only looking for an ottoman so the chair was an added bonus. A new ottoman would cost 100.00+ but I got a chair and ottoman for 40.00. Good deal. Of course after slipcovering and cleaning maybe it will be at 100.00 anyway but like I said- I got a chair out of the deal and this is better quality than the ottoman I was looking at for 100.00 (Ikea).

To give you an idea of how long it's taken me to find such a deal I have been looking for an ottoman for about a year. Luhvah has been complaining that the chair I bought last year (identical to the one above) doesn't have an ottoman to prop his feet up to really relax. I just had to be patient (and listen to his nagging for awhile) in order to find the exact type of ottoman I wanted for the price I wanted (otherwise I might as well have bought the Ikea one a year ago).

So, back to my original point (I know, I'm long-winded an amazing storyteller), you really must be patient and browse craigslist every day to find the spectacular deals. Here are just a few items I've gotten from craigslist:

This dresser-20.00
 This table/chairs-25.00

Yes, I realize I have an addiction to white. It's just sooo pretty and clean.

If you click into the links you can see that the before pics from those craigslist pieces weren't so purdy. They just needed a little TLC.

And these are no different:

This sideboard/buffet is only 50.00. That's a steal for such a vintage piece.

Incidentally, with CL you really must watch out for people's claims of "BEAUTIFUL headboard" (read: "bought in the 80's which, at one time, was the height of trendy-if you're really into black lacquer and gold brass") or "VINTAGE chest" (read: "this 1970's particle board dresser is totally out of this world man") or "SHABBY CHIC end table" (read: "hasn't been cleaned or repainted since Jesus resurrected and it's chipping pretty badly so take it AS-IS")- there really is a wide variety of what some catagorize as "vintage/shabby/beautiful/antique", etc.

And just to show the disparity between pricing on CL here's another sideboard that's listed at 1000.00:

So, you really must browse intensely for that perfect gem.

I saw this pretty dresser which reminded me of my mom (her guest bedroom is an americana theme):

The price on this is pretty steep (850.00), but there are a few people who use CL to sell repainted pieces- someone who takes a piece and turns it into something special with the intent to resell. I admit this is definitely a pretty piece. I think this would be easy to copy though if you found your own CL dresser for 50.00.

Here's another I think would be nice to copy:

It's from the same seller and it's going for 195.00. Again, I would find a dresser in the same style from CL and then try and redo it myself. But for those who want to buy a piece with no DIY these are nice ones.

Here's another cute dresser for 99.00 with a really pretty trim:

Luhvah says I have a really bad obsession with dressers. I'm always bringing home dressers to DIY. It's true. They are just so versatile. Dressers-not just for clothing anymore. I use one as a tv stand, as a catch all for decor items, as a side table, etc.

But some non-dresser CL finds:

This cute wicker chair-only 50.00.

This queen headboard and footboard would be nice if painted white or black or a pretty pop of color for a bright bedroom- it's 25.00!

The thing with CL is ya gotta look past all the gunk. To see an item for what it can be instead of what it is. Which is really difficult for some people. (Amazing considering how many woman do it with worthless men ("But inside he's just a gooey center... he's just a little boy deep down...I know he can be better...I know there is more to him than meets the eye...") Gah. I mean, really, if you can do it with those losers surely you can open your mind up to the beauties on CL! LOL.

Until next time with Craig...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mah Luhvah! A Dryer Sense of Humor

I know I've told you about Luhvah before. Like, when he cleaned the kitchen for me (no, it wasn't just that one time, he probably cleans it more than me!) or when he cleaned himself up and took me to the theatre.

Here is Luhvah:

And the reason I'm writing this post is to tell you how awesome he is (yet again).

Backstory: for the past 6-9 months my dryer has been on the fritz. It had been doing this:

That video isn't mine but you get the idea. It was driving me insane  crazier than I already am. Even with the laundry room door shut it was still loud enough to be annoying.

So, for the past 4 months I had been telling Luhvah that it needed to be fixed. I googled and found what appeared to be the problem (drum rollers worn out) and if we replaced them ourselves it would be cheaper than hiring someone (I'd even found a video on youtube with our exact model and step-by-step instructions on how to replace them.) The cost? $60.00 vs. $200.00. And about an hour's worth of our time. But I kept putting it off for some reason or another (okay, laziness).

Then, I came home one day to find this:

Some of you peeps out there might think that my husband replacing the drum rollers on a dryer is no big deal. But let me explain why it

1) My Luhvah, bless his soul, is not a handyman. He just has no interest in it whatsoever. I'm cheap but he's not and I'd rather DIY while he'd rather hire someone to not bother with it at all. As you can imagine, it causes quite a difference in opinions when it comes to household maintenance. He's just not a DIY-er.

2) My Luhvah ordered the parts, found the video, and installed it all on his own as a surprise to me. He was being thoughtful and planning. And I don't know how your Luhvah's are out there but, while my Luhvah is thoughtful, he's most certainly not a planner. He's a major procrastinator. So for him to have done all this without a peep from me was awesome and wonderful.

3) I had every intention of doing this myself one day with the help of Luhvah or daughter or a friend or the UPS guy who just happened across my neighborhood. Really, I had no nagging thoughts that maybe Luhvah would do it if I complained about it enough. Mostly because--see explaination 1.

So it was a super sweet surprise to come home to find him working on this. And now my dryer sounds like this:

(And that is my finished dryer- no knob and all) This is just another reason why I love Luhvah.

Oklahoma-True Story

I visited my home state this past month for my cousins wedding (very pretty wedding!) but we also went to visit my grandma in the middle of Nowhere, Oklahoma population under 20,000. She lives out in the country on a little piece of land that used to be called a farm (back in the days when she was younger, my grandpa was alive, and they actually had cows and grew a lot of different fruits and veggies.)

Anyhow. We stopped at a convenience store near her house and I couldn't resist getting a picture of this sign hanging in the window along with many others:

If this doesn't scream Oklahoma country to you I don't know what does (address and phone blurred out to protect the innocent).

As much as I love bacon (the meat, not the pet) I was really rooting for Bacon (the pet, not the meat) not to be found. I sat in the car thinking perhaps Bacon ran away and is living good out in the wild praires of Oklahoma with no fear of being butchered (and perhaps he was just a pet and the owners just missed their little pot belly piggie Bacon with no intention of him being anything more- but not likely in Oklahoma).

I really wanted to call the number and ask if they ever found their lil' piggy.
And now I must go because I really have a hankering for breakfast food.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Since I've been busy in the kitchen painting my cabinets I figured I would take a much needed break from the tedious painting job to tackle a smaller project--reorganizing my pantry:

While I was taking everything off the shelves I figured it was a good idea to paint and clean the area. I told myself that this would be an easy task only taking approx 2-3 hours-No biggie. (Can you sense the foreshadowing I am setting up for you by saying these simple words: "no biggie", "easy task", "smaller project"? Well, there it is.)

After taking the shelves out of the pantry I cleaned them well (with the help of my daughter!) and we painted a base coat of white paint that I already had.
And boy did those walls need that paint:


Then I had the brilliant idea to do a harlequin diamond pattern on the wall. Easy-peasy, right? Wrong.

This is where it gets bad. I attribute this to my personality-high creativity levels, low execution rates.

I was thinking something like this:

I googled  various ways to accomplish this task and came up with the idea to mark with a pencil all the mid points of each diamond (I decided I wanted my diamonds 6x9 inches after drawing various diamond sizes on paper and holding them up to the wall for depth perception). So, I started marking all the points and figured it'd be a breeze to take a ruler and connect them all. Like this:

This didn't work out so well. Whether from my own impatience or lack of attention to detail, not all of the points would line up correctly. PITA. So, I erased and started over (this was what was so disheartening-erasing so many times). I tried this technique probably 2 times before calling it quits for the night.

The next day, I google some more and found a website that said to make squares/rectangles and put a diamond in the very middle. Basically, my technique from before but one additional step would help make everything uniform. To make it easier (by now I was close to giving up) I went out and bought an $8.00 chalk line to make straight lines.

This was more of a PITA because I couldn't make a long vertical line straight enough (with the help of my husband and daughter). Most of the issues here were that we were working in such a small space that 2 people couldn't fit in the pantry in order to hold the line and snap. Bothersome.

After chalking it looked something like this (the blue lines, but all the way down the wall):

I added the red diamonds to show you that I should have had no problem adding in diamonds to individual squares. But they didn't end up lining up correctly (I swore to Luhvah, more than once, that our pantry walls were lopsided). Then I had the epiphany to use an actual diamond cut-out to trace. So I made a template from some poster board I had lying around in the exact size I needed. But I don't think I measured all that accurately and my diamonds kepts getting off center from my squares. What a headache. I ended up making 3 separate templates before I got the size exactly what I needed it to be (6x9, not 5 5/6 x 8 3/4, etc, etc)
I erased diamonds from half the wall probably 2-3 times again. By this time I was almost in tears because I just don't do well with such a required attention to detail and I realized I must be messing something up (I'm too impatient to be precise). I was at the point that I wanted to paint over all the pencil markings and eraser boo-boos with white paint and just forget about a pretty pattern on the wall. But these pics kept floating in my head:



This project started out Saturday morning and by this time it was late Sunday evening. So, I cried myself to sleep because according to Luhvah I'm dramatic like that and I told myself, "I'll think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day!" I also had figured out part of my problem was that I needed my diamonds to be level so I taped a small level to my template:

Monday morning I woke bright and early and was determined to win this battle with the diamond pattern.

Long story so very, very long...I finished. And they were a little off but not much:

It's difficult to see but you can see both the diamonds and the blue chalk marks for the squares (which, in the end, were irrelevant - no help at all).

Enough of my blathering. You wanna see the end product? (of course you do!)

It's a little askew, and I knew it about half way through but this girl just It would've required erasing (AGAIN!) and there was not a chance in hell I was doing it again I opted not to stress about it. So, I have the leaning tower of diamonds in my pantry.

I'm still pleased as punch with it. In the end I didn't need perfection because, 1) I knew I was DIY for the first time and that required some trial/error to find what worked best for me 2) it was a small space so it wouldn't be a big deal 3) It was mostly gonna be hidden by piles of food so no one would notice.

I taped off every other diamond when I was done and I painted them. Then I waited an hour, taped off the remaining diamonds, and painted.
Some of the paint bled through the tape producing lines that weren't so sharp:

That was okay. I just did some light touch-ups with a small paint brush:

And then I ended up with this:
After adding everything back in and sorting my goods into baskets and such (oh, and since I'm cheap I used what I had around the house-they didn't match-if they had it might have made for a prettier picture. But I was going from cheap peeps. You know me!)

It was a tedious job and I almost gave up more than once but I am pleased with how it turned out. And maybe if I'm ever feeling extra frivolous I will go to the Dollar Tree and buy about 10 baskets that all match. But for now I just feel like my pantry is more organized and I have tons more space. Plus, the pretty wall doesn't hurt to look at either.

Total cost for this makeover- $8.00 for the chalk line I purchased. (which didn't even help! HA!) But that's an ok investment because I will be painting stripes in my bathroom in the future so I would have had to purchase it anyway.

P.S. All the cruddy pictures are from my iphone. That's why they're so fuzzy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Kitchen project-A HOFF project

So, I've been working on my kitchen cabinets. As I've already stated in this post and this post, I hate honey oak colored anything. I call anything changed from this atrocious look part of the HOFF series (Honey Oak Furniture Flip). My kitchen cabinets were no exception. Here's a before:

I know, it's a mess but it was the only pic I could find to show you a before. I always forget before pics until I'm halfway through a project.

And here's a sneak peak of after:

There's still so much to be done but I absolutely love love love the look of them.

I still have to finish up a few of the doors as well as add hardware. I will show a finished product soon. I promise!