Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Winter Pinterest Challenge: A Fabric Ottoman

Ok, today is the day - time to share our Pinterest Challenge projects!  I'm so excited to see what everyone has done!  We totally took on something we have never tried before so let me get to sharing..

At first I was totally focused on doing some sort of organization type project - since we have been all about that around here lately.  But then, we got a wild whim and decided to just try something we have never done - build a piece of furniture....a fabric ottoman to be exact.  It was actually a lot of fun, not too difficult, we learned a lot and I enjoyed working on the project together with Justin.  This was totally a tag-team effort...with a lot of the effort being on Justin's end of things :).  Someone has to pick out fabric though right?

So here are my pinspiring pinspirations...

I totally love both of these!  The first one is from West Elm and its awesome but I don't have $400 to spend on an ottoman right now.  I love the idea of using an old coffee table for the base of the ottoman done by Meredith from the Not So Newlywed blog but we didn't have a coffee table or have time to try and find something that would work for our room.   So, we just decided to build it from scratch. I feel like we kind of just made this up as we went along but somehow it worked out - thank goodness.  I would not say our method was perfect or the outcome was perfection but like I said, it was fun tackling something new together.

Here is what we did:

First we determined the size we wanted to build our ottoman...I needed visual aid for sizes and laying out tape on the floor totally helped me.

Next we purchased our materials and began measuring and cutting. We bought a heavy duty piece of reinforced plywood and measured and cut it to the right size (this was going to be our base).  We made ours 3'x3'.  We used a laser level to get our edge straight and Justin cut everything off.

Then we used two by fours and cut those into smaller square blocks to add a little extra height and stability to the legs and base and nailed those to the plywood.

Next came the cutting and glueing of the foam down to our plywood.  We bought our foam at Joanne fabrics.  We laughed because they cut it for you at the store with what looks like an electric turkey carving knife.  So when we got home the best we could mimic was a bread knife - and it worked.  After the foam was glued down we covered it with fabric batting - stapling it around the entire base and then covered that with our fabric.  I just used a staple gun and made sure everything was pulled tight and even and that the fabric was straight.  Oh, the fabric I used for this project is actually a shower curtain that I found at Target!  I loved the ikat print so I went with it and its a pretty durable fabric as well.
I think one of the toughest parts of this project was keeping Silas from jumping/sitting on it while we were working.  He was so excited and enjoyed helping.  I think all of his cars and animals also had an adventure on it during the building process.  I have a feeling this ottoman will be used for many more car and train expeditions.

Ok, back to the project - we nailed another block to the corners base to give it more height, drilled in the holes for the legs and screwed the legs in.  We were getting close to being finished.  Next, we added a piece of trim around all of the edges to just finish it out a bit.
Finally, I remembered that I needed to paint the legs - so I actually did this last, which worked out fine.  It might would have been slightly easier to do this before you screw them in.

We love the result!  We also love that it only took us a day - and that was including shopping for all of the materials.

We have small house and limited seating so adding a few more spots to sit when we have a big crowd is nice.  Our students come over a lot and usually end up on the floor so we are hoping this will give us a few more spots for group time, bible studies and whatever else. Plus Silas has been calling it his big chair so it has already gotten plenty of action.  We loved the feeling of accomplishment after we finished.  Justin declared that he was going to build a sofa next - I said maybe we should try something like shelves.  This has definitely got us ready for the next project!

Don't forget to check out Katie, Sherry and Michelle today!  They have some awesome projects they are sharing - you don't want to miss them!!

Now comes the part where you share your amazing projects too!

- If you have already blogged about it just link up your projects below! 
1.  Click on the "add your link" button
2.  Add the url of your specific post
3. Type in the name or description of your project in the "name" blank

We'd love for you to link back over to our projects within your own post- (here's Sherry's, Katie's and Michelle's)
*Also remember to link back to your inspiration project found on pinterest and to link back to the original source so they also get some love too!

We can't wait to see the amazing projects you guys have been working on!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cleaning and Organizing the Pantry

Our "pantry" was in chaos.  Well, let me back up a bit - when I say pantry I mean old cabinet/hutch.  Old house = no real pantry.  So we have improvised and use an antique cabinet for a lot of our kitchen storage needs.  Its not that big so it tends to get overrun a bit - and by a bit I mean a lot.  It was definitely time to clean this little "pantry" out and give it better function and organization.  So here we go...

First, the mess - we had things shoved in some places and then we were not utilizing some areas that well at all.  We really just didn't have a plan or any kind of organization (obviously).  It was pretty much just a free for all.  Something I am learning through this "get organized" process is that small spaces need plans.  
I don't even know what to say, it was just obviously not working.  So first thing was first, everything was all emptied out and gone through.  There were definitely things in there that needed to be tossed and some things that needed to be scaled down.  Taking the little packages out of the bigger boxes really freed up a ton of space.  

After everything came out, all of the shelves received a good wipe down.  I also decided to line the bottom shelf.  I just measured and cut wrapping paper and then covered it with clear contact liner to make it more durable and easier to clean.
Next came the grouping of items.  I just tried to keep similar things together.  Like drink mixes, baking items, canned goods, snacks. paper goods, etc.  I had several plastic bins leftover from my big laundry organization project so I was able to just use what I already had.  I didn't have to buy any sort of organization item or container for this clean -out!

I decided to add a few labels to the bins to just help keep things neat in the future.  A simple label maker and a little washi tape was all I used.  If you are looking for just a basic label maker, mine is from Target - is was around $18, which is a super price for one of these.

Its nice to have everything cleaned out, neat and in its own place.  I feel like the space is being much better utilized now.

One small step at a time and things are getting organized around here and its so nice.  More things to come!

So are you guys getting excited about the Pinterest Challenge on Wednesday??  I can't wait to see what you have come up with!  I'm still working on getting my project completed, its organization related and I'm loving it.  Come by and link up your projects this Wednesday!!  It can be anything big or small!

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Few Living Room Updates

So I think its finally time our living room started getting some love.  When we moved in we painted and added some blinds and curtains, tossed in our furniture and haven't really shown much attention to this space since then.  It's pretty plain, and in need of color.  Of course there are tons of things I would like to change - for example our sofas, the floors and the ceiling fan.  However the budget does not extend that far so we have to work with what we have for now.  It will be a slow process of replacing some things and making some things new.  I want to start bringing in some color to the space  though so I finally picked up some pillows and accessories to begin this process...

Here's a little trek through time to remember what we started with and where we are now...

We painted all of the trim white and painted the walls.  You can't tell but the color is a much softer and calming shade called Tattered Sail by Olympic.  We brought in new shades and curtains and that's pretty much it - woooo.

These sofas are pretty comfy but boy I don't like them.  But with a two year old and lots of teenagers over all of the time, I'm really not ready to invest into something new until these have just had it.  I guess at least they are not neon purple or something.

So here we are now with a few little additions.  I'm finally playing around with putting things on the wall - it only took me two years.  I have several art and photo things I'm working on so I'll be sharing those soon.  For now, here's a glimpse of one of the items I have up so far..
I changed out the old lamp shade with a new one from Target - I love how that seemed to immediately brighten that spot up and it also gives off more light at night.  My sweet husband gave me a West Elm gift card for Christmas so I have been picking up a few things here and there like this little birdie, coasters, blue throw and ikat bowl.

I have been looking for pillows - forever.  My issue with pillows is usually the price.  I just can't get over paying $30 or more for a throw pillow, I just can't do it.  Target put a bunch on clearance last week and I snagged a few - this little geometric guy was only $7.58 - I was sold.  The white ones are Nate Berkus for Target and they were $12.  I was so excited to get such great prices on cute pillows.  

One thing about our living room that I need to start tackling is our cord issue - we have many as you can see above.  This is not jiving with my new "get organized" kick so I need to get on this.  I'll be honest though, I'm kind of dreading this project. When I figure this mess out I will definitely let you know.

So just a few little pops of color brought a lot more warmth and coziness to this space.  I'm liking it so far!  I have more plans for wall photos and artwork and some cord nightmares to face so this little room is definitely a work in progress.  So how about you guys...have any plain rooms that need some pops of color?  Do you have sofas that you loathe but are stuck with or cord madness that you dread tackling?  Share with me your living room woes!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and stay safe and warm!

PS - don't forget about the Pinterest Challenge going on now!  Link back up next Wednesday, Feb 27th!  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter Pinterest Challenge: A.K.A. - Is this real life?

Ok, so I don't even know how this happened you guys - but yours truly is co-hosting The Pinterest Challenge - Winter Edition.  What?!!?!!  - yeah that was my first response too.  Seriously, I am super excited and over the moon about being asked by the amazing Katie & Sherry to be one the co-hosts.  So, yeah that's me down there along with Michelle (the other co-host)- who is also extremely fabulous- and we are pumped.  Not only do I love both of their blogs (and have now found a new favorite blog by Michelle) but Pinterest is pretty much addicting... so I'm all in.  Oh, and as far as "winter" goes, we may be quickly approaching March but it snowed in NC last weekend people and that's a sure sign of winter here - so we are going with it..its winter.

The Pinterest Challenge (not sponsored by Pinterest or anyone else) was created by Katie to give us all a little kick in the booty to stop pinning and start doing!  Lets be honest, we all have probably pinned thousands of awesome ideas but have maybe attempted about 3 of them - whoops.  I simply love this challenge and have had so much fun participating in the past.  So far I have made a little striped silhouette and re-purposed an old board into a kitchen chalkboard.

The fantastic projects on Pinterest have also helped to spur on my big "get organized or get out" kick that I've been on lately.  There is so much organizational goodness to be had - and I go crazy pinning anything organizational related.  Lately, I've been organizing my junk drawer, our beside drawers, our mini office space and our laundry room.  So I'm thinking this time that my project will have to do with - you guessed it - organizing - since its where I'm at right now....and I'll leave it at that (I might still be narrowing it down).

So here are some challenge details -

 - Find a project you have pinned on pinterest - it can be anything!  Big or small it doesn't matter - its all about doing.

- Now, slowly step away from the computer and get to work making your own version of your pinspiring project! Make sure you include the pin and original source so the creator will get credit as well.

- Come back next Wednesday - February 27th and share it with all of us!  Then, we can all get even more pin-tastic ideas to pin and do!

Sound like a plan?! Yay! The challenge has been officially issued. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!  Sherry, Katie, Michelle and I will be sharing our projects too so make sure you come back and link up with us!  Have fun!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Repainting the Kitchen a Minty Green

Over the past several weeks I have been mulling over a new kitchen wall color.  Call me crazy, but I was just ready for a change.  The previous blue is a color that I love, and even though we have only been here two years we have actually had this same blue color in our kitchen or dining room for the past 10 years (in other homes).  When you like something, you like something- but....I was finally ready for a change.  The change isn't huge - but to me it was.  Honestly, I bet some people wouldn't even had noticed.  It has taken me a few days but I can say that I looooooove the new color.  It's a little minty green color by Olympic - Misty Lake to be exact.

In case your forgot - here is a side by side of this old kitchen space, the blue color and now the new minty shade.

 I think one of the reasons I really love it is the almost neutral factor it has.  Even though it is a color it still reads neutral to me.  Lots of other colors go fantastic with it.  

I used the Olympic One paint this time.  Its a primer and paint in one and for this project I only had to do one coat - so I was pleased.  I wasn't trying to paint over red or anything dark so I'm not sure how it would do when using it over those colors but it was great at painting over a similar shade.  Since this kitchen area only includes three half walls a quart of paint was all I needed.  So one quart of paint, one coat and about one hour equals a new kitchen color - I'm good with that.

We also spent some time over the weekend enjoying Silas' first real snow!  Of course, he loved it.  It was so fun for us and it was gone by the next day.  Is it me, or have we had the craziest weather this year?

It took me several weeks, lots of paint swatches and several color samples later to finally settle on the right minty color.  I was actually really surprised it was an Olympic color - I surely thought I would love a Martha Stewart or Benjamin Moore choice - but this color just stood out to me for what I was looking for.  Whenever you aren't sure, grab a color sample and do a test run.  They are well worth the $3 or $4 to make the right choice.

I love how a little paint will just bring a room back to life.  I'm loving this newly painted space.  Anyone else mulling over paint colors?  Share with me what you are painting, I'd love to know!

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful week!

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