Cinco de Happiness (en Mayo)

May 11, 2012   //  Posted in: Decor, DIY, Sunroom   //  By: Emily   //  14 responses

From time to time, I do little DIYs that make me happy. Or ask for advice on completely miscellaneous projects. Or get compelled to remind you that I’m human by admitting that I’ve never once checked to see that the door to the office closed, only to find this week that it doesn’t even fit into its own doorframe. How weird.

In celebration of Mayo, we’ve been pigging out on tacos and guacamole, and did a few little projects to boot.

1. I raised the roof.

Not really, I raised the curtains in the sunroom. It was a subtle change, but it raises the height of the room which translates to “I’ve raised the roof”. Last fall when I installed muslin curtains I must have had on my super-flat shoes. They were installed to be level with the top of the window, but after gawking at them for the last few weeks while I work at the new sunroom table, I decided they weren’t hung close enough to the ceiling, making the whole room look squatty. There was an easy fix to cure their weird positioning: raise them up 6 inches. Fortunately, there was plenty of extra length to the curtains, and they were adjusted without a hitch.

Raise the roof, or just raise your curtains.

2. I passed it on.

Big thanks to The Better Half for choosing me to participate in Karah’s Pass It On Project; what a sweet surprise it was to find these tile coasters in the mail!

Cute little coasters!

In exchange, I happily picked a few friends and fellow bloggers to “pass it on” to, Cait of Hernando House and Erin of Erin B. Inspired. Both funny and talented ladies have been long time supporters of my little blog, and I wanted to give them a little love in return, so I sent off two handmade wooden picture frames with windows just a little bigger than 3″x3″. Made with reclaimed real 2″x4″ boards from local salvage, the wood is warm and rich and still very lightweight from being dried out for the last 80 years. Mailed with plexiglass and wire, they’re both perfectly imperfect but have a great history and natural charm.

Wooden handmade frames from salvaged scrap.

3. I destroyed Pete’s Harley. And I need your help.

OK, not really destroyed, but I did get a terrible amount of oil-based stain on the fender over the winter during one of my little outdoor staining projects. The good news is that he isn’t angry with me. The bad news is that nothing I’ve tried has worked to remove it (I’ve been testing products on the plastic tail light splatters, not yet on the delicate finish of the actual fender). Not acetone, not car cleaner, not car wax, not soap. I guess I still need to try mineral spirits, which is what I normally use to clean up my paint brushes, and I might try WD-40 as a final effort, but I’m thinking it’ll have to go to the shop for a buffer. Any other tips (I’m lookin’ at you, Rust-Oleum)? And how much does it cost to get a motorcycle refinished?

Bad girlfriend, dirty Harley.

4. I’ve been doing research.

There are only two doors in my home that appears to be original to the house. The rest, the bedroom doors, bathroom door,  and basement door are 4 styles of mismatched hollow economy-style models. And what’s there now is dinged, cracked, and stained at that. Two of the closet doors are totally removed and MIA. Replacing all of them has been on my list for awhile, and the planning intensified recently when I realized that the office door doesn’t even close (right, I haven’t even tried to shut it in 3 years).

Who knew, the door to the office doesn't even close.

Instead of buying new, I’m looking to find salvaged doors that match the original charm of the house. I’ve started my search, hoping to find bargain-priced originals sized to match my door frames. $15 each would do, if I could possibly get so lucky. This one here would actually fit the office doorframe perfectly.

Bargain-priced replacement door option.

We shall see how easy this proves.

5. I finally made a decision. And I’m happy with it.

I don’t usually splurge on a Groupon/Living Social deal unless I know with certainty that I can use it and make it worth my investment. We’ve eaten a lot of Sushi over the last year this way which has been fun, but California Rollin’ seems to have finally caught onto our clever way of getting 8 rolls for a $15 Groupon and changed all its rules pertaining to the deal. Shucks.

When I bought one for during the winter, I considered it an insta-win. Priced at $10 to get $20 in merchandise, I figured there’d be plenty of items for me to pick from. Fast-forward 3 months, and I had spent hours scouring for anything that I could buy that wasn’t a total investment piece (I wanted to keep my purchase close to the $20 store credit) but there was nothing I needed or wanted for the value. In the end I landed on a $29.99 woven basket which came in the mail yesterday. Good news: It’s darling. And I’ll keep it. I take back all of those frustrated comments about the site.

Woven Basket by Nkuku.

I hadn’t done much research on the product or its brand pre-purchase, because I was in a Living Social redemption panic 2 hours before it expired, but when it arrived I was excited to see that it was a legit nkuku product, which according to the website retails for £39.95, a figure that converts to about $64.50USD based on today’s currency exchange.

Sitting within my CB2 bedside table, it’ll be good for holding an extra blanket and a few books.

Woven Basket by Nkuku.

Best of all: If we have the same decor taste, I think you’re going to really like everything that nkuku sells. Inspired by African and Indian artists, its contemporary designs are super-eco, made from natural materials, there’s some really great stuff to swoon over. I’m going ga-ga for these Franjipani Floral Cups, the Ishara Basket, and the Oni Glass Collections Box. And everything else. You?

Have a fun weekend (and Happy Mothers Day)!


DIY Network: Seriously Floral

May 10, 2012   //  Posted in: Curb Appeal, Decor, DIY, DIY Network Projects, Entryway   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

Door decor happens to be something I’m wildly attuned to, that’s why I try to keep to a seasonal swap-out schedule. I like to keep things fresh. I happen to believe that this decor is a big deal, mostly because the more I focus on the wreaths I make for the front door, the less I dwell on the fact that the driveway’s slowly turning from asphalt to sand. Issues, issues.

In today’s post on DIY Network, I explore an amazing Rochester, NY shop and come home with beautiful blossoms to display. And then I make something pretty. Check out all the details for yourself!

Pretty flowers, wet hair, no big deal.

Preferred Plants rules, Rochestarians. You’ll want to make a special trip to see the store yourself. It’s located at 1300 University Ave., right in front of Pomodoro, so you can have dinner and drinks after browsing and buying too, OK? OK.

If you’re looking for more info on the store, my friend Danielle posted about it yesterday. She gets a one-up though, she caught wind that they were having a Mothers Day sale and shared a coupon with her readers. Go steal it for yourself.

And to fans in Charlotte, NC, word on the website is that you just got your own shop too. I want you to go be there. (See location info here.)

Dainty Details: Leaded Glass Assistance

May 09, 2012   //  Posted in: Dainty Details, Living Room, Windows   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

It’s been awhile since I posted to the Dainty Details series, nearly 13-months now that I reflect back on it. Initially meant to highlight some of the quaint details of the house that I adore, I’m stopping in today to show you a feature that I’ve had mixed feelings for: a faux-stained glass panel on the side of the fireplace.

Fun fact: There's a stained glass door in my living room.

Serious note-to-self: Remove that paint that somehow schmeared on the trim when I painted the ceiling in the summer of 2009. OK.

True life: I'm a messy ceiling painter.

The door that’s there does have a function. It hides all my decor junk and lots of cheap candles just waiting to be burned. I liken it to a neatly stacked pile of firewood on in the backyard, and I likey that all together that whole stack probably only cost $15 thanks to being yard sale finds.

The stash. Don't judge me too hard.

Aside from what it’s concealing, the door’s design doesn’t immediately appear to be a phony; it’s not a transparent applique that’s pasted on, it actually looks and feels like leaded stained glass thanks to defined leaded lines between each pane of plastic. Whether they’re actually holding the construct together or were just squirted on for extra detail is still beyond me, I haven’t done enough damage yet to find out. It looks pretty dingy in this picture, another sign that it’s dinky plastic and not real glass.

Fake stained glass with realistic leaded lines.

I’m bringing this up because I’ve always thought about removing the fake pane and replacing it with a similarly-sized salvaged pane, or a different pane of glass all together. My objective is still to keep the contents of the decor store hidden or at least blurred, but the green and fuchsia tones in the window never really did flow with the rest of the colors in the living and dining room, which remain olive/gold/yellow/dark wood infused.

Fuchsia is not in my paint palette.

Questions for you:

  • Has anyone else encountered panes like this?
  • I have some sources for reclaimed leaded glass, but is it a tricky install? This just appears to be pinned in place with trim.
  • Or should I leave it as-is?