Saturday, March 30, 2013

Creating The Perfect Backyard Retreat

We are in the process of creating the perfect backyard retreat.
Soon it will feel like we are on vacation at home!

Wait until you see the pergola!!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Shabby Chic Dress Form

Over twelve years ago I worked for The Limited and when my store closed this dress form was going to be put in a dumpster. I just couldn't see it going into a landfill. I originally thought I would try to grow plants and moss on it as a cool garden statue, but Chad hated the idea. I still think that would be really cool!
Over the years I've mostly used it at Halloween dressed up as the Headless Horseman.

note: I think this is the only picture I have left of the before of my counter tops. We've repainted the kitchen again too. Soon I'll post my kitchen makeover.

Recently I decided to make it a bit prettier. I used Mod Podge to glue scraps of text paper all over the form. I used Scor-tape to add the pretty lace at the bottom to make her a skirt. Instead of the attic her new home is in my craft room next to my treadmill. It's now pretty inspiration to get my butt in gear on it!

I found this lovely bird jewelery finding at Hobby Lobby and just knew I had to have it to make this necklace. In the fabric dept with ribbon I found the crystal and pearl beaded strand sold by the yard. Such a perfect piece to make a necklace, no time consuming work required.

Here is a close up of the satin ribbon flower I made to hide the seam where the ribbon overlaps.

The third necklace is a fun find from an Etsy shop. When I saw this Dandelion Wish Necklace I knew it would be perfect for my shabby chic dress form!

I thought I'd share my Shabby Chic Dress Form with The Charm Of Home, Common Ground,

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Home Improvment Check List

The last year has totally flown by! It's kinda hard to believe we have lived here one whole year already. We have worked so hard on making our house feel like Home. Before we moved in last year we made a list of things we needed to buy and projects we wanted to complete. It was a long list! We have done just about all of it. And added some projects as we went along. Some projects were because of discovering issues with the house, others just to make it a bit nicer.
Chad's list... painters caulk in all rooms, caulk bathrooms, down spouts replace back of house, fix garage door, replace door knobs & add dead bolts, paint all rooms, fix shower tub upstairs, remove and re-caulk kitchen counters, replace door bell, replace window locks in dining room, clean air ducts, replace air registers or maybe fix, sand & paint front columns, trim bushes, weed flower beds, paint garage floor, replace outdoor lights. I have no idea what the last thing on his list says. lol
I added door guard for bathroom upstairs to his list. My handwriting is terrible. So I tend to print in all caps in order for someone else to try to make it out what I have written.

Here is my list.. paint, granite, new carpet, kitchen dining set, formal dining room set, slip covers, area rug, shed, deck and pergola, grass, refinish floors and stain darker, picture frame molding around mirrors, new toilet seats, new door locks and keys, fence, blinds, paint garage floor, shrubs, shower curtain, dryer, bistro set for front porch, fireplace, grill, fire extinguishers, cabinets, guest room bed, ironing board, bookshelf doors, glass door, bar stools, soap dispensers, clean air vents, steam mop, vacuum.

After going through my list I don't know what my problem is!?! Seriously, I don't know why I haven't bought a fire extinguisher yet! I hope I don't ever need to use one, but I still want to have one just in case of emergency.

One thing I crossed off the list was slip covers. About 10 years ago I bought a couch, chair and a half, and ottoman from Rowe Furniture that looks exactly like the Pottery Barn Charleston collection. I decided on buying it from Rowe Furniture because A) it was about $1000 less expensive, and B) even if discontinue a piece they still keep the pattern so you can buy new slips covers. With having a six year old the washer and dyer had gotten to know the slip covers very well over the years! After getting one quote from a Rowe Furniture Dealer I quickly crossed them off my list. I know that it's been 10 years and all, but I did not expect to get a quote for so much higher that what I even paid for the furniture in the first place. It was even higher than buying a new couch, chair and ottoman. Really??? Um, yes I can continue to deal with the faded fabric.

There was so much dog hair on the floors when we looked at the house that it reminded me of tumble weeds!!! I'm not kidding! In the pictures we took you can see gray blurry areas, it's dog hair!

 Whelp because of this we did not realize just how badly the hardwood floors were damaged.

You can see where the dogs ran though the house and scratched at windows and doors wanting to go outside.

Here you can get a glimpse of one of the large kennels in the living room and the back end of a big dog. I guess I did not hold still when I snapped this picture with my cell phone.

There is raw exposed wood, big gouges, dents and scratches. Most hardwood floors have a 15-20 year warranty on the finish. The house was only 5 years old, the abuse the floors suffered in about 18 months from the renters was like more like 50 years. By the time we started to clean before moving in it was too late to get the floors refinished. There were places that needed immediate attention like the stair treads that had been chewed on.

 It takes a good week to refinish hardwood floors. We needed to get moved in because staying in a hotel for a week was not in our budget.

Then Chad found a miracle product. Yes a miracle product! It's from SC Johnson called
 One Step No Buff Wax .

You can find it at my favorite store, Lowe's. It's also at other stores like Walmart.
If it's ever discontinued I will cry.
I've not been paid any any way, shape or form for mentioning this product or stores. But my feelings certainly wouldn't be hurt if a case of it made it's way to my doorstep. ;)

 We will have to put all our furniture in storage for a week while we stay in a hotel to have the floors refinished. Someday I'd like to have it done, but Parker will have to be older. I know he has plenty more oops moments ahead of him. lol

Another thing that has gotten pushed back was replacing all the carpet. I'm not sure the renters ever vacuumed! Again I am not kidding. The carpet was professionally cleaned before we moved in. There was so much hair embedded in the carpet that it clogged the man's machine and broke it on the very first bedroom. OMG! It looked like a 25-30 pound dog. Ugh so disgusting. Well after a trip to the emergency room with Parker, my budget for new carpet was blown. Parker is way more important that carpet!
We had it professionally cleaned twice. We'll get it replaced once he's older and I don't have to worry about koolaid stains or play dough.

There are only 2 more things on my list left to check off. A glass door and a bookshelf door. Spring and warmer weather is on it's way so we'll need to get a glass storm door. I love to open the front door and let natural light flood the room. The other thing on my list is "bookshelf doors". I have not talked Chad into doing it yet. The door I want replaced swings out into the room. Last time he made a secret passage it swung into the attic space.  So I know it will be a bit more challenging to make a secret door with the hinges hidden. I'm lucky to have a husband that is super talented and handy. I've seen a bunch of companies that make them starting at $1000 before shipping. It will be easily under $150 for materials to make it.

Soon I'll get the pictures up on the kitchen remodel with granite and tile back splash. Plus we decided to change the color of the living room and master bathroom. I love the new paint colors! We've bought a new hot tub which means another backyard landscaping project is in progress.