Sunday, January 30, 2011

Finally Got My Daughters Media Center Done!

Somewhere buried in the outer edges of my blog is a pending project list I started last spring.
I thought for sure if I put that list on my blog that I would be better about achieving my goals.
Well it didn’t really work that way.
And every time I tweaked my layout I moved the dreaded list further down the page.  I was tired of it mocking me every time I looked at my blog.
So now it exists near the bottom,  below the feedjit list.
When Marianne from Songbird took over the Gitter Done! party this month I decided to get something off that list that’s been pending since last spring. 
You see, I had promised my daughter a new TV media stand to go with the new 50” big screen TV she won last year.
Her old TV stand I had made for her and blogged about it in this post called a Repurpose Repurposed.
This little stand was wayyyy too small for the new TV.  Here it’s shown with her old one, and it was just the right size for tucking in the corner.
I wish we had thought to get a picture of the huge new TV perched on top of this stand.
Anyway, I had the perfect piece to use for the new media center and told her “Oh no, don’t buy one, I’ll make it for you, it’ll be easy.”  You know, those dreaded DIY words. 
I suspect she cringed a bit when I said it, probably knowing full well it wouldn’t happen anytime soon.
This is a before photo of the dresser I had in mind for the new media center. 
No, your eyes aren’t messed up, it was stored on end when I took the picture so I just rotated it so you could get a better idea.
test pics 011-1
It was just a very cheaply made wood dresser I found at the curb minus a few drawers.
I actually started working on it in the spring, pulling out one of the support pieces and adding shelves, priming it, and then spray painting it black.
storage 001
You can see here I used all different scraps to make the shelves.
I even got so far as spraying a clear coat finish.
But I didn’t finish. 
I was so close!
They say the devil’s in the details.
Alas, this proved too true for me.
The backs of the shelves needed to be supported and I had to figure out how to add some trim to the front to disguise the edges of the new shelves.
The drawers still needed to be lined and knobs needed to be added.
All little details.
I can’t remember why, but I stopped working on it.
The piece actually got moved into the guest room sometime over the summer and promptly covered with stuff.
barstools 023
Then two weeks ago I uncovered it and moved it to the basement to tackle it once more. 
Because I needed to finish it for my very patiently waiting daughter, and because Marianne was giving us a great push to finally Gitter Done!
Some recent in progress photos.
I can now happily report that it was delivered to my daughter’s house Friday night.
She was super excited to have it.
(don’t tell her I posted this picture, she’ll kill me ‘cause I didn’t give her a chance to clean up!)

It was pretty dark in her living room, so I couldn’t get a very good pic.  Even with the flash on there wasn’t enough light.
This still needs a bit of tweaking to get it right; there was one more hole needed for the power cords to feed through….grrrr
And of course I didn’t think to bring my drill.
So I have to make a quick trip back to make the hole and help rearrange the components.
Once she gets it situated the way she wants it I’ll add an updated photo.
But I’m calling it done anyway!
Thanks Marianne, for giving me some extra motivation  to Gitter Done!
blog signature

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Demise of a Coffee Table-memory lane curbshopping interrupted


So today I was going to write about another memory lane curbshopping  trip.

I even had it all started in my drafts…

But when I got home from work last night I found that my precious pups have decided to change my plans and get me going in a different direction.


Poor Gail, I was on the phone with her when I got home and found this.  

I knew something was up by the little pieces of stuff on the floor…


Uh-oh I said,  what did they get into?

And then I saw…..



Note: the red isn’t blood, in case you were wondering.  I thought the same at first until I looked closer, it was the red cross that was stenciled on that end of the crate.  that was a huge relief!  First thing I did was check their mouths for any injuries. All is well.



Gail may have heard a couple of uncharacteristic expletives pop out before I got control.


I can’t remember.

Oh, I knew it was coming; they had first tasted it a couple months back, but I guess they thought it needed a bit more time.

This was as far as they got back then.


I really loved my shipping crate coffee table.

It used to look like this….


I wrote a post last year about how I curbshopped it from my very own curb.  Check it out here.

wicker chest coffee table

Just loved it! 


I love my dogs more, and they give me so much more joy than any piece of furniture ever could. 

I know that someday I’ll miss having them around to chew up the furniture.

So I’ll continue to simply refuse to waste  money on a nice piece of furniture only to see something like this happen. 

And I won’t cry for my coffee table. 

It was free, after all.


And I did get another year of useful life out of it, so that’s not bad, right?

And it didn’t cost a penny, so that’s not bad either.

And you can bet the next one will be a no-cost piece too.

Just look how sorry Sandy looks about chewing up the table!  How can I be mad at that precious face?

Jan 2010 home 018

And now back to the subject of memory lane curbshopping…

You thought I forgot, didn’t you?

I had to wade through a lot of photos to find this one.

This piece here I picked up from the curb last spring in one of my favorite neighborhoods.


And thank goodness it just happens to be the perfect height for a coffee table!

I’ll have to pull it out and get started this weekend.

Gotta go..



I’m joining the party at A little Knick Knack, and also

Joining Linda’s Junkin’ Finds Friday party, cause both of these pieces were curb finds!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

CSN Stores

Guess what? 

I’m going to get to review something from one of CSN’s over 200 online stores! 

They have so many stores to choose from, like the All Bar Stools store where I fell in love with several of their counter height stools like this bayberry colored one that caught my fancy.

Loving the color!

So I get $35 to spend on anything I want. 

That is, of course, if I can ever make a decision about which thing I want.

Have you ever visited their site?

You can (and believe me, I did exactly that last weekend) spend a whole day shopping around and finding  more things you want than you ever dreamed of, and more!

I first checked out their counter height stools, mostly because my pal Gail from My Repurposed Life had recently reviewed some she got from there and she is so happy with them. 

Then I went to kitchen clocks and picked out oh, about 10 clocks I simply must have…

Like this morning birds clock, the bird on the bottom is actually a pendulum!  So sweet!

Then to tools, where I became convinced I absolutely need this pretty red 3 drawer tool box…..

And in the pet store I found some really comfy looking beds that I’m sure my dogs would fight over…

Although I have given away CSN gift certificates a couple of different times on my blog I have never been fortunate enough to win one for myself.

This time I will be able to tell you exactly what my shopping experience was like. 

That is, if I ever decide what I will buy!

Meanwhile, let me ask you this..

What would you buy? 

Have you ever purchased from CSN Stores? 

If so, which one was your favorite?

And last but not least;

How on earth did you choose!?!



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

EZ Pottery Barn Inspired Curtain Tutorial


Yippee!  The new curtains passed muster! 

You know the old saying, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again?

Well, for the record, I really do appreciate you all pushing me to go back and take another whack at it.  And I DO like the new version better than the first, and if you hadn’t pushed, the burlap would still be there and Mike would be hating it every time he stepped into the kitchen.  Which would be bad, cause he does all the cooking! (however, the burlap treatment will be re-used in another less visible area soon, so think of it as just being exiled for now, ok?)

So Thank you again for being such good bloggy friends and not paying any attention to my spoiled brat theatrics. ( I was just kidding about the hate part, really!)

AND I actually had requests from some of you for a tutorial on my Pottery Barn inspired tie curtains.


I hope this is somewhat useful, it really is a lot easier than it sounds! 


Start with a piece of already washed and bleached drop cloth.

I used one that I had prepped last summer and put away.  Miss Mustard Seed has a very good tutorial for prepping new drop cloths, be sure to check it out.  I refer to it often, she is one smart lady!

For the kitchen valance length curtains I actually had a leftover piece that was just the right size. 

One end was the factory hem so that became the bottom of the curtain.

The other side was a raw ripped edge, that is the side you want to use for the ties.

Another good thing that MMS points out about drop cloth fabric;  it rips evenly! 

VERY important to this whole process!


Determine how long you want your ties to be. 

I chose 11 inches for mine.  (mostly because It would leave me a 12 inch valance, and I was just trying to make the piece of fabric I had work)


Draw a line across the fabric at the 11” mark.


Grab a ruler and decide how wide you want the strips; I chose to go with 2 inch strips.


Snip a small starter cut every 2 inches along the entire edge of the fabric.



Now go back and rip at each cut to the pencil line.  It tears easily, so be careful not to get carried away and rip too far past!


This is what it will look like when done.


Next part takes the longest.

Start tying the knots to your curtain rod.  Choose a knot that  looks good to you.

Just try to keep it consistent. 

I used a knot that reminded me of a necktie knot.  Start at the left end of the rod.  The second  tie will come over the back of the rod,  pull that over the rod to the front(we’ll call that the Back tie), take the first tie, wrap it all the way around the back tie and tuck it through the top of the knot and pull it to hang down in front of the back tie. 


I’ll try to get some pictures of the actual knot process and update this, but first I have to get Mike to hold the camera for me while I do it

It will end up shorter in length and hanging in the front of the over tie.

Snug it up by pulling the back tie down (it slips right through like a necktie knot)

I’m sure this doesn’t make sense, so just play with it until you get a look you like.


Tip:  try to make the number of ripped ties even.  If you have an odd one (like I did) you can disguise it, but it would be smarter to keep the number even.


Now for the dining room curtains. 

If you have curtains that are already hemmed on both ends like I did, you can add the ties to the top this way.

Rip a bunch of long strips, cut them to size (mine were approx 22”)


Fold the strips in half lengthwise. 


Sew the folded end to the top of the curtain material, leaving about 2 inches between each set.  I didn’t measure, however,  wider spacing will let the rod at the top show more, closer will make the ties cover the rod completely.

If your fabric is more than double the width of the window (for shirring) then go a little wider apart so it’s not too tight at the top.

007 009

Tie them up to the curtain rod the same way as the first set.

Or for a completely no-sew retrofit, as in this photo-


do as I did the first time and add pinch style cafe rings to the top of the curtain, hang it, then take the ties and wrap them around the rod, covering each cafe ring and then tying your knot.  It will look the same, only if you slide the curtains open the rings might start to show.

That’s it!

If you make these, please come back and show me. ok?


blog signature 


I’m linking this to Make it for Monday, at Cottage Instincts.  Cindy featured my first post about the Pottery Barn inspired curtains, so I thought I would link up the tutorial for this week. 


I’m linking this up to Meg’s Everything but the kitchen sink party at A Little Knick Knack.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Final Curtain Call

 (Edited to add: I’m resurrecting this post to join in on Donna’s Saturday Night Special Non-Traditional Window Treatments link up.)

Yes, I said FINAL!  At this point I’m so tired of curtains I don’t even want to think about them ever again. 

So….if you really don’t like this one, please don’t tell me, ‘K? (just kidding. well… maybe not)


If you missed the great kitchen curtain debate last week, you can catch up here and then here.


In a nutshell, I had slapped some burlap pieces up on a rope with clothespins and called it done for the kitchen. 

Only Mike didn’t like it at all.

And most of you weighed in on Mike’s side.

Almost unanimously.

Heck, I even had one of your husbands chiming in!

So with my tail between my legs, sniffling back my ‘woe is me' tears, I set out Saturday morning to remove the offending curtains and start over.

Ok, I know I’m not supposed to share this, but in the spirit of my blog name (you know, the confessions part?)…can I just say that I hated you all just a little bit for a moment there?

(it must have been that wench that Suzanne from Meridian Road was talking about in this recent post.  )

Don’t worry, I’m over it now. 

And really, I’m glad I made the change after all.

‘Cause you were right. 

And so was Mike.

I took my pal Deb’s advice and went for a treatment that matched the style of the dining room Pottery Barn inspired curtains I made last week. 

See the dining room curtain?


Don’t ask me why I just didn’t do that in the first place!  For some unknown reason I keep treating the kitchen window like it’s in a whole different house, instead of open to the dining room.

This one is another no-sew window treatment.  (if it turns out anyone likes it I’ll post a tutorial)

edited to add- I posted the tutorial here for those who would like to try this.

043-2 073 

I had a tough time getting photos, the sun was so bright.






I even went back and made the dining room curtains more permanent by sewing the ties to the top of the panels and getting rid of the cafe rings.

There’re a lot more strips on it now, so it looks a lot fuller.


Then I finished the job by adding some ties to the bump out window curtains too.


Now they all match. 



As much as anything ever will in my house.


So now that they’re all done I’m calling it quits on curtains for a good long while.

Oh, and in case you were wondering….

Mike doesn’t hate them.


That’s good enough for me.

Gotta go….

blog signature 

Linking up to Becky’s 100 ideas under $100 party at Beyond the Picket Fence ‘cause these were real  cheap  inexpensive    to make!

Beyond The Picket Fence


Also hookin’ up with House of Hepworths for Thursday


And since this is a textile I get to join Jamie’s Air your Laundry Friday party at Freckled Laundry!

freckled laundry