Thursday, August 9, 2012

The William Morris Project: Stripping!

I FINALLY got off my bum and decided to take on the Super Glue wallpaper border.  

Remember this?

 The wallpaper border that took me 2 hours to strip away 5 feet?

I decided that my time (and shoulder muscles) were more valuable than that, so I caved and rented a wallpaper steamer for $25.

 I think this beauty was first purchased in 1932 by a Hungarian weightlifter named Franz. She weighs about 56lbs. when empty, and is nearly immoveable when filled with 5 gallons of scalding hot water. 

The steamer box (seen in the green bucket) was also missing a perforated cover, so it commenced to shoot skin-melting steam out of a single hole, along with random drips of scalding water. It was so hot, and so heavy that I had to wrap a towel around my left hand so I could grip the hose & heave the entire thing above my head (the metal box plate, not the water tank).  After holding it in place for about 3 minutes, the wallpaper simply peeled away..... taking some of the primer and a smidge of the drywall paper with it.  Can't win them all, can I?

But now it's done!  And all I have to do next is sand it, skim coat it, sand it, and paint it!

I'm actually far more excited than that sentence can begin to convey.

Because when I am done with this room?


This post is part of The William Morris Project via Pancakes and French Fries.

PS: Sorry this is late.... I've been attempting to blog via iPad, and it is not working for me at all.  Any tips?  

PPS: Too bad no one was around to capture photographic evidence that I ripped out the curtain rod with my bare hands.  Yes, that's how frustrated I was - bare hands & bloody fingertips. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Birthday Love

Yesterday was my birthday.

I always get excited when my birthday nears, but this year it was mixed with trepidation. This is the end of my 30's, and I've been feeling very "I thought that I'd be/ have/do ______ by now.".

Then a few weeks ago it changed. I stopped having those doubts, and started feeling grateful.

All those little things we take for granted - healthy children, steady jobs, strong bodies, comfortable houses- they suddenly loomed large and stopped me in my tracks.  I realized that there is absolutely nothing I Need.   That what I was hung up on were my Wants. And Wants are things that are utterly under my control.

So I spent an uneventful day appreciating what I have.  I went to work, prepared and ate a healthy lunch, did some errands - I even went to the mall and could find nothing I Wanted. Because I already have everything I could possibly Need.

So Happy Birthday to me. It was a happy day indeed.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The William Morris Project: Bright Lights Edition

Remember last week's little teaser?  

Well, here's a hint:

Don't you love the "before"?  I know, we're not quite ready for an "after", but good things come to those who wait, right?  Right.  
PS - I know you're jealous of my wallpaper. 

And a VERY good thing came my way last week. Can you guess what it is?  I know, I hate guessing games too, unless they result in international getaways or diamonds or ice cream.  You really just can't lose with ice cream.  Unless you're lactose intolerant in which case, I'm sorry for you. 

A potent combination of web stalking, being ready extra early on a work day (a rarity tantamount to an albino tiger), and luck brought this lovely to my home last Wednesday!  

 The backstory is that I actually pinned this exact chandelier 40 weeks ago.  I liked the modern lines and classic style, and the fact that it was available at my local Big Hardware Store.  But I didn't like the $179 price tag.  So, I continued to live with The Hideous Fan of Grossness while other home projects took precedence.  Then last week I noticed a handful of light fixtures had been marked down online, and while my local store showed there was ONE available, it wouldn't let me purchase it online.  I chalked it up to bad luck and put it out of my mind.  The next morning I woke up still obsessing thinking about it and decided it couldn't hurt to swing by & see if there might be one laying around.  There was!  And it was marked like this:

After I picked myself up off the floor (it was 1/3 the price of what I had seen online), I hightailed it to the checkout counter with my prize in tow.  It WAS a display model, but the staff assured me that I could return it as long as I kept my receipt. 

Return it?  NEVER!
I was a little apprehensive that Hub wouldn't like it, but he was totally on board - especially after seeing the price tag. We did end up spending another $2 for a cross bar to hang it with, $4 for the hook, and $13 for CFL bulbs.  So my lovely chandy ended up costing a grand total of $34.26.   

I know, it's a poorly lit picture, but I just can't look away from its blazing glory.

Good-bye disgusting fan!  I hope you make some Goodwill shopper very happy! 

And then.....

The knob on the garage door fell off.  And it just wouldn't screw back in securely, so of course it was time to make the upgrade (finally!) to brushed nickel... with an actual working key to the lock (up til now, we have only had keys to the back doors).  So, if we're going to do one, we may as well do the front door and rear garage door, too, right?  And choose a lock set that matches so we only need ONE key to get into the house.  What a concept!

Good-bye hideous brassy knobs with no keys.  

Hello beautiful brushed nickel with a working key.  You look lovely against that blue front door.  

And let's end with some irony: My lovely new doorknobs conspired to lock me out of the house this morning.  I thought I'd be "extra safe" last night & lock the door from the house to the garage.  This morning I hustled the kids into the garage, and grabbed a bag of trash to throw into the bin, leaving my purse, keys, phone on the counter.... and not realizing that my fancy new knob would allow me to open the door from the inside without unlocking it - BUT NOT LET ME BACK IN.  One hour, one ruined window screen, one nice neighbor with a phonebook, several clumps of hair on the ground, and $45 later, we were back on track.  

This post is part of The William Morris Project from Pancakes and French Fries.  Be inspired!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Design Help Needed

This is the window in the master bathroom.  It is currently covered by the plastic blinds that came with the house. I've kept them because they were 1 of 2 that were not hideously damaged by pets, and because this window not only looks over our front yard, but is also level with the second story of the house across the street. At 35"w x 46"l, it not exactly a small window.  The towel bars underneath it preclude any sort of actual curtain (I think.  Am I wrong?)

This window also faces East, and the sun blazes through there from about 2pm on. This makes it incredibly hot in the summer.  Because of this, could I use an outdoor fabric?  Or a blackout liner?  I would hesitate to use a less sturdy fabric because I think it would disintegrate after 1 summer. 

I am feeling paralyzed by indecision, but I see the choices as follows:

A.  Replace them with white faux-wood blinds.  This would be fine, but probably the least interesting. 
B. Make a roman shade using a patterned fabric & the existing plastic blinds. I've seen the tutorials all over Pinterest.  It looks pretty easy, but this also means I'd have to choose a fabric, and the options here are few. I had a recent, bad experience with buying fabric online, so I am reluctant to try this. (more on this after I work through the bugs of blogging via iPad.)
C. Cover the window with window film (aka clear contac paper). I don't think I'd feel comfortable with the amount of coverage this would offer.  But, I might try it because a roll of contac paper is under $5. 

So, what do I do here?  Are there options I am not thinking of?  My budget is no more than the cost of cheap, faux wood blinds : about $25 max.  Any suggestions are appreciated.