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Mannnn….I suck at this.

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Hey y’all. I’ve been feeling really down and out about my design plan lately. Every DIY project I’ve done just isn’t doing it for me anymore. It’s gotten to the point that I’ve given up. Literally. Let me break it down:

I don’t like my table anymore.

The wood is too thin. The legs are rigged up in a bootleg fashion. It wobbles. The color is still good for me. But everything else…no.

 

My dogs ruined my rug. 

It was nice for several weeks. All I needed was a rug pad underneath to stop the sliding and give it some cushion. Then one fateful day, one dog (I suspect that one in the picture – the boy) decided to pee on the floor, getting some on the rug as well. Ugh. That just made me NOT like the rug anymore. I was always vacuuming up dog hair and NOW THERE’S URINE?!?!? Oh, hellz no. And the paint was fading in some spots. It just wasn’t what I thought it’d be. Maybe it’s my own fault for 1) not crating my dogs when I left that day and 2) not heat sealing the paint after I finished the project. SIGHHHH!!!

I started making some no-sew striped curtains. I hung one panel and HATED IT! Lord. Give me strength.

I’m living in this fabulous condo and I feel so much pressure to make it great. I’m afraid I’m not living up to the challenge.

I look at my favorite house blogs like MerryPad, YoungHouseLove, and House Tweaking and I just feel like I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. Their ideas all look so simple in theory, but in practice….it’s another thing honey.

HELLLLPPP!!!!

tm.

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DIY Painted Rug

If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen a rug or two in my boards. I’ve also been noticing several DIY painted rug projects on Pinterest as well. Sooooo, I took my tail right out to IKEA and purchased their 6×9 Erslev rug for $59. (Note: They do have a smaller Erslev rug 4×6 for $39.) I looked at the higher-priced rugs while I was there but there was nothing that could compare to getting a custom rug at this price.

To do this project you’ll need:

  • A flat woven rug like the IKEA Erslev rug
  • A quart (or so) of paint in the color of your choice
  • I mixed my paint with a fabric medium, but I didn’t heat set it so it was probably all for naught.
  • A patterned stencil (I used THIS one from Cutting Edge Stencils). You can DIY a pattern using contact paper like THIS or just do something freehand.

Here’s what I did:

IKEA rug right out of the packaging.

Rolled out and ready to paint

Okay, so I really should stop using the camera on my phone for these blog posts. Whatever. It’s just a plain ol’ white rug. Mmkay? I bought a lamp from a store that sells old hotel furniture. That place is amazeballs, but I digress. I fell in love with the mustard color and wanted to bring this color into the living room more, so I chose a Behr paint color called Solar Fusion to match.

I measured my rug to find the absolute center and started my stencil from there.

After I mixed the paint and fabric medium ($0.99 from Michaels and it looks like):

I got started painting:

I was doing pretty well UNTIL…….

I let my roller get a little too close to the rug. Oops!

Oh well, that’s going under the couch. Hehehe. So, here’s the texture up close. I really liked how some of the white still showed through, it gave the rug an aged look.

All done! Now to let it dry without my dogs thinking (A) that it’s a huge pee pad or (B) lying down on it while it’s still wet.

I had to build a blockade so my dogs wouldn't lie on it.

It made it 24 hours. Here is where I was supposed to heat set the paint with a warm iron, but y’all know I was mentally DONE with this project. It didn’t take me that long, but definitely longer than I had anticipated. Let’s just say I watched 2 episodes of Law & Order: SVU and still wasn’t done yet.

In place, finally! ManMan likes it.

I love it, but it’s a little flat for me, like, if I were ManMan I wouldn’t lie on it…just doesn’t seem comfy enough yet. It’s just a plain rug, so there’s really no pile to it. So, I think I’m going to get a rug pad to make it a little softer, that should also ensure that it doesn’t move around too much.

I’m so glad I started this blog y’all. It has really inspired me to be more creative and get things done around my house.  What inspires you to get things done around your house?

-tm

My Master Closet Makeover

I haven’t had much time to finish any projects around the house lately. But I remembered a project that was already completed that I could share with you guys. My master closet makeover!!  I think it’s every girl’s dream to have a fully organized closet that’s huge and makes all your friends drool. Well, when I first looked at this condo and the realtor opened the closet doors…I think I said, “OH. MY. DAMN. This is MY closet?!?” And then I made some sort of joke about how it could be the nursery (for my unborn children O_O).

Anyway….

Here’s my closet BEFORE. Please excuse that pile of clothes and stuff. That’s just how I roll.

It's like a little room in there!

First, I had to paint it. I wanted something girly, but not overtly. I have a really masculine sense of style and I’m really trying to tone it down in my condo. So I decided on purple. But WHICH purple?!? There are SO many to choose from.

Which one do you like best?

I put this picture up on Facebook and let my friends vote on the color I should choose. Starting from the left, with the far left being number 1, most people chose number 5. I was teetering between numbers 3 and 5 anyway, so 5 it was!

Boom!

And there it is! Well, that’s one side of it. You can see purple number 5 turned out really well. As far as the design goes, I worked with a lady at The Container Store to design my perfect closet. I told her that I wear a lot of t-shirts and that I tend to fold clothes, rather than hang them up, so she gave me hella drawers to put my clothes into. I guesstimated about how many pairs of heels vs. flat shoes I had. And she gave me ample storage for that.

I don't have that many pairs of heels. Sad...I know.

I told her that I wanted a cool way to organize my jewelry in the closet as well. And she gave me this:

OMG! Rock my world why doncha?!?

The guys were really quick who installed it, too. They removed my old closet shelves and rods and painted the areas that I couldn’t paint because the shelves were in the way. So that was awesome.  Now, this whole Container Store professional install thing isn’t cheap. You can save a lot of money by installing it yourself. Keep in mind they had drills, hacksaws, sawzalls, and all that. I think if I did it myself it probably would’ve taken me an entire weekend. These guys did it in about 3-4 hours. If you have some extra money around though, I’d definitely recommend getting an Elfa closet system when it’s ON SALE! (Right now it’s 30% off the materials AND the installation—GREAT deal!!)

Do you have any other ways to keep your closets organized?

-tm

PS – I need to start using my good camera to take these pictures, huh? Whatever, YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE!!!!! O_O

Pinterest Partayy: DIY Dining Room Table

Over on the home blog,What the Graham, they posted a New Year’s Challenge where you find a project you want to complete on Pinterest, get like Nike and JUST DO IT! It took me a little longer than the original deadline to post it (even though I completed the project a long time ago), but here it is.

This beautiful table lives in my “Home Design Shizzle” Pinterest board:

I just loved the rustic, yet modern feel to it. My condo has sort of a log cabin-y thing going on, so I wanted to give it a go. Plus, if it could save me hundreds of dollars by NOT buying a dining room table, why not? On the Apartment Therapy inspiration post they used reclaimed wood so they had to remove nails, clean the wood, and debuggify it (<—y’all will learn that I love to make up words). But I didn’t want to do that. So I hightailed it right on over to Home Depot for my supplies.

My wood + my dog Armani

First, I put my 4, 8 ft. 1×10 boards down on the floor and tried to line them up on the ends.

Then I cut some 1×2 down (with a handsaw) into 3 strips and attached them with about 4 wood screws for each one.

Then I assembled THESE  $10 IKEA table legs and attached them with wire clamp fasteners I found in the electrical aisle at Home Depot.

Flip the table over and voilà, magic. I thought I wanted to keep the integrity of the wood, so here I applied a light grey stain on the top and instantly hated it.

Sooooo, I found a sample of some Behr paint I had lying around called Red Jalapeno. Still thinking I wanted the wood grain to show through, I watered the paint down and applied it. When it dried it turned into this NEON ORANGE mess. No, I can’t be havin’ that in my house. Nawl.

BOOM!  There it is honeys!! I went and got two samples of another Behr color called Delicious Berry (uhm…or Berry Delicious, I can’t remember) and I love it. I used the paint at full strength (not watered down) so there isn’t any wood grain showing and I’m fine with that. It looks really great. I love it.

So that’s it. That’s my DIY dining room table. The only thing I really don’t like about it is I picked 1-by wood, I think I should’ve gotten thicker 2-by wood instead. I’m sure one day I’ll get tired of it and want to buy a real “grown-up” table. But for now, this table is awesome.

tm.

Fix scratches with WALNUTS?

Somewhere in the interwebs I read that if you rub walnuts over scratches in wood, the scratches will disappear…How? Why? *shrugs* I don’t know, but I thought I’d give it a try. So a couple of days ago, I ordered walnuts in my salad and took a couple out to bring home and “walnut” my hardwood floor (do not chuckle at my money-saving methods of DIYing). See, in the middle of sliding my bookcases to the wall, I didn’t notice a small staple on the floor. It got trapped underneath and scratched the entire hell out of my floor. The shriek of horror that filled my condo….OMG. I shudder every time I pass by it. Ugh. So here’s the process:

The scratches BEFORE "walnutting." See 'em?

My magic walnuts....After I took all the *ahem* salad dressing off. -_-

In action! Just rubbing the walnut over the scratches.

AFTER!! So the scratches are still there (they didn't magically disappear) but they are hardly noticeable! BOOM!

Still don’t know why or how it works…but while I was rubbing the walnuts on the scratches, a combination of walnut oil and walnut meat (uhh, is that what it’s called?) sort of filled in the scratches. I’m no scientist (OBVIOUSLY), but maybe it has something to do with that. Either way it gets a BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE from me!  *fireworks*

Do y’all have any other wood scratch mending tips?

tm

After-Christmas Christmas Haul

Yep, it’s January 12th and I’m still thinking about Christmas. Shopping for Christmas, that is!! I ordered HELLA (read: a lot of) ornaments recently from Home Depot. This box contains $260 worth of ornaments and other Christmas accoutrement, like a tree topper, that I bought for just $58. I found that I really like Martha Stewart’s line of ornaments. They are classy and trendy at the same time—a difficult feat! There is nothing better than getting a deal on stuff you know you’re going to need in the future.

My Christmas goodies!

In addition to this box, I got loads of Christmas wrapping paper from Kohls, Target, and World Market. World Market is a awesome place for ethnic-patterned wrapping paper. I was in heaven when I went there.

The first 4 rolls on the left are from World Market. The patterns are BEAUTIFUL!!!

I also got this awesome doormat from Target that I kinda want to put out now! *giggles*

This is something I'd see at someone else's front door and say, "That's so cute!"

I know y’all are thinking…WAIT! Tracie…do you even have a tree? BOOM!!!

My 9' Foot Pre-Lit Christmas Tree from Lowe's (picture swiped from Lowe's.com)

I sure do!  I drove all the way to Lowe’s in Schererville, Indiana (about 40 minutes away from Chicago) to purchase this 9-foot, pre-lit artificial Christmas tree. Originally priced $350, I paid $78 (includes tax). It was 80% OFF!!! I really don’t know how tall the ceilings are in my condo—I tried to throw a measuring tape up to the ceiling and the highest I could get it before the tape fell over and I gave up  was 11’8″. There was still a good bit of space left so I’m gonna “guesstimate” and say I have 12.5 or 13 foot ceilings. So this 9-foot tree won’t look like a behemoth in my living area. It’ll look AMAZEBALLS.

The only things I still need to buy are garland and wreaths for my fireplace and front entryway. I saw some good garland deals at Michaels recently. And I totally think I can DIY a wreath. (I smell a future project!) I really feel like it’s craycray to pay full price for Christmas stuff. I refuse to do it anymore!!  (I’m Christmas shopping bourghie now.) All in all, I don’t think I’ve spent over $250 for ALL my Christmas decor, including a TREE!

I can’t wait for Christmas 2012!! Where have you found good Christmas deals in your area?

tm

House Tour

So…here’s my place, room by room. I can’t wait to make it more….ME!

From the dining area, here's a view of the foyer, living room, half bath (red), and kitchen.

The dining area with its fabulous exposed brick and huge windows

The stairway and the downstairs hallway

Master Bedroom (there's a HUGE closet behind those doors)

Guest Bedroom #1

Downstairs Guest Bathroom

Office/Guest Bedroom #2

Me twirling around still in disbelief that this beautiful place is MINE!

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