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It’s Pinterest Challenge Time!


Get your thinking cap on and start browsing your Pinterest page for inspiration for a Pinterest project you want to get made or done! Maybe you want to finally make that t-shirt necklace you’ve been eyeing like my sister Kiki, or make a lampshade, or sew something, or cook something, or organize something…

The Pinterest challenge was started by Katie Bower of Bower Power and Sherry Petersik of Young House Love, to get them to stop just pinning awesome projects and start doing them. This time they have linked up with two other lovely bloggers: Megan from The Remodeled Life and Michelle from Decor & The Dog.

The deal is you have a week to take something that you pinned and put your own spin on it.  If you blog about the challenge be sure to follow the rules laid out by the host ladies.  Remember, your project has to be done by next Wednesday Morning, the 27th of February, 2013.

         Image      Giam Yoga Mat

Bee and I have been taking a yoga class on Sunday mornings and both of us just roll our mats and stick them under our arms like the rookie, cheap-o’s we are. Last week after class we discussed how we wish we had a yoga bag or a strap that would hold our mat. So, for the Pinterest challenge Beebop suggested that we actually pin some ideas of yoga mat straps and bags and get them made. Kind-of a “Dude get on that!”  like Sherry from Young House Love. I started to pin some ideas, and then Bb and I are going to look them over and discuss which ones we like the best and want to make. They may be the same, they may be different, guess we shall see what we end up with next week!



A Screen for Laura

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Our friend Laura lives in a newer apartment building in Chicago; her bedroom has a large opening from her bedroom into the kitchen/living space that makes it “up-to-code” because it replaces the fact that her bedroom doesn’t have a window. Not that you could climb out an opening at the top of your wall in case of emergency without a ladder…


Beebop and I offered to build a screen to go in the hole in the wall and block the light and sound that carries easily into Laura’s room from the living room and kitchen. Laura’s roommate liked the idea because in the mornings, when Laura isn’t up, but roommate is getting ready to go to work, she has to try and be really quiet in the kitchen to not wake Laura. Also, Laura and her roommate are kind enough to host our friend group at least once a month at their apartment, where we all usually end up sleeping over in the living room. Bb and I thought it would be a nice “thanks for letting us crash here” gesture to fix this little annoyance for them.

We measured the space and came up with a plan. Two rectangles attached together in the middle, either to be able to fold them to balance on the wall or two pieces to make them easy to move. The next week we went to Hancock Fabrics with Laura and she picked out a fabric for the screen. Then Bb and I went to Home Depot and got the supplies we needed to build two simple rectangle out of wood for the screen. Why two? easier to move in a car, easier to get up into the wall, and in case our measurements were off we could manipulate two pieces more than one long piece. We had decided that instead of hinging the screen we would use mending plates to attach the two pieces together, and use L brackets to hold the screen to the wall so we picked those up at the store too.


Beebop screwed the pieces together at the ends.


We bought a piece of slab foam when we bought the fabric to cover the screen with. It was too long and just slightly too wide for the rectangle we were building, I trimmed down the foam while Beebop put together the wood rectangle.



We used the extra foam to pad the other side of the screen in combo with batting.



I don’t have a picture of us covering the screen with fabric. We were a little busy. We stapled the fabric along the bottom and stretched it over the top, stapled it on the bottom again and then stapled down the sides. We folded the corners like a present and stapled them flat.

We loaded the two screen pieces in the back of my car then drove our screen downtown with us. The tricky part was getting the screen up in the hole in the wall. When we measured the wall we didn’t account for the slight slope in the ceiling and the fact that a rectangle doesn’tt fit in a slope. Wah-Wah.


So we came up with a Plan B, which I think turned out to be better option than Plan A. We decided to bump the screen down to sit on top of the upper kitchen cabinets and then we screwed the screens into the top of the cabinets with the L brackets. Because the cabinets are slightly lower than the wall hole the other side of the screen will be supported by the lip of the wall cutout.  Plan B is much sturdier than Plan A.


We, well mainly Beebop, climbed up on the counter to screw the screen into the cabinets, while on the other side we had our friends assist by making sure the screen didn’t come crashing down on the other side of the wall we weren’t working on. Which was smart, because at one point the screen did tip their way.


On the kitchen side, Beebop was being convinced to step down and let Gorman finish up. As he said, “I don’t doubt that you can do it. I know you can do it. But I’m taller than you and I don’t have to stand on my tippy toes to screw the L brackets down. Again, I believe you can, it would just be easier for me to do it, not because I’m better, because I’m taller.” He really didn’t want to sound sexist in suggesting that he do it instead of Bb, he did make a good point, he is 6’3″ and Bee is 5’2″ so…… yeah…. he made a good point.


We all hands on deck and got the screen screwed down into the cabinets. I need some better after pics, this is what I get for using my phone at night. The gap is good to have because it allows the air to move between the rooms and when Laura shuts and closes the door it allows the air to move without sucking the screen out of place, which happened when it was just balanced up in the hole. You can see the slight slant in the ceiling, where the light is visible from in Laura’s room along the top. It’s not noticeable till a rectangle doesn’t fit along it.


The screen isn’t maroon, it’s a purpley-grey. I chalk it up to bad lighting plus phone-camera pic. Here is a view of the screen from the bedroom.


Laura was pretty excited about how much darker her bedroom was with the screen, as for noise, it’s hard to tell when a whole bunch of people are talking in the kitchen and fake “testing” the noise absorption by yelling. I’ll have to ask her how her mornings have been with roommate getting up and being in the kitchen, really how it is with normal everyday noises.

Anyone ever have a moment where you ask “What was this builder thinking?” and have to come up with a fix? The opening seems like a good idea until you’re living with it as Laura can attest too.

A big shout out to our friends for being awesome, being classy, and helping us out with installation.


January Cure

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It’s the last week of the January cure! Where did January go? I’ve got to do some catch up, pull it together and finish strong.


Desk Makeover

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Our client for this project was a six year old, Little M. Little M’s mom picked up this wood desk at an estate sale. It was painted a light blue with a white drawer tower and a veneer top. It was in good shape it just needed some T.L.C. A fresh coat of paint and some new drawer knobs would give this desk a new look.



M’s room is bright pink and Beebop suggested that we paint the desk a turquoise or a yellow. She gathered some inspiration from Pinterest.

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From House of Turquoise


 Project Nursery

M and her Mom decided to go with the Turquoise and picked the color of her desk at the paint store, Poolside Blue.


It’s bright but M’s room is a bright and saturated pink, the desk needed to be a saturated color too. When we held up the muted turquoise on the swatch against her wall color it was just kind of blah in M’s room. So we set up on top of a tarp and we got to work sanding down the desk to prep for paint.



Took it apart, and got to work painting it. Because the original paint job was sanding off unevenly we primed it first with Kilz no V.O.C. paint.


After priming the desk and letting it dry over night we painted the main desk with an enamel style paint in the turquoise with foam rollers for a smooth finish.


The drawers were painted white to pop against the turquoise.


M’s mom picked up some new drawer hardware from Anthropologie that was a pretty close match to the color we painted the desk.


The drawers are white, the room is just a bright, saturated pink that is reflecting in the white of the drawers. Two turquoise handles and one white. Here is the desk all put back together and in Little M’s room.




Melted Snowmen Cookies

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Two years ago my sister (Click, and Check out her Blog) and I made melted snowman cookies. Super simple and easy to make. This chilly weather has me wishing me had some snow to justify the cold. Somehow a layer of snow makes the bitter wind and freezing temps just a little more bearable.


So these little cookies can bring some “snow” to your home, or if you have snow outside, you can have some fun making some “snowmen” within the comfort of your kitchen. There are many more specific tutorials out there, just Google it and you can find one. Here is the basic run-down of what we did:

What you need: Sugar Cookies, Large Marshmallow, white icing/ frosting, black icing , red or blue icing, orange icing

We made basic sugar cookies in the oven, break and bake. We followed the directions on the package.

When the cookies were cool we iced them with white icing, the “snow.” Our icing was a little thick, if you warm it up or make homemade icing you can make it drippy to look like the snow has melted.

Spray a microwave safe plate with non-stick spray, place marshmallows on plate and microwave for like 30 seconds. Once they start to puff up pull them out. You don’t want them to explode in there! Spray some non-stick onto your fingers to pull the marshmallows gently off the plate and place them onto your frosted cookie. You can kind of smoosh them down a little if you want.

Then decorate to look like snowmen! Add Eyes, mouths and arms or coal buttons with black, carrot noses with orange, and  scarves and buttons with red or blue or green.  We couldn’t find any black icing tubes at the store so we made our own by mixing all the food coloring colors together.

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They turned out pretty fun; it’s like an army of melting snowmen!  They are a fun activity to do with older kids, or to bring to a party as a unique and cute dessert.




DIY Lampshade Makeover

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lampshade copy

I have been lukewarm about the lampshade in my bedroom for awhile. It has gotten pretty dinged up moving to and from college a couple times; the plain white shade with the dents is not my jam.


Before following through on the bamboo covered shade I had considered some other options before now.

lamp4   IMG_2781-2

There’s this sweet little shade that had a Sharpie taken to it over at a little glass box, or this Anthropologie inspired DIY ruffled burlap shade how-to on Tatertots & Jello

A couple nights ago I was on Pinterest and came across a tutorial on House of Fifty by Janell Beals. I was clicking around, browsing through some of her projects when I came across this post where Janell covered a basic, drum shade with bamboo she had spray painted white.


Her tutorial seemed really doable and the texture of the bamboo on the lamp shade is really beautiful. You can see her finished shade on the pendant in the room here.

When I was out running some errands, I stopped by Michael’s craft store to pick up a bundle of bamboo. Once I read House of Fifty’s tutorial I wanted to just follow through on it.


I laid out my pieces on the floor. I didn’t want to cut ones that were too big, or bowed. After I measured how wide I needed my bamboo pieces to be I started by cutting them to size with a saw. The saw was not my friend. I figured if bamboo is about the size of the branches on the bushes in my yard I could use garden clippers to trim the stalks.


I cut a whole bunch of the bamboo stems, until I couldn’t cut anymore. I ran out 😦  I got as far as I could with the bamboo I had. I laid out all the pieces I cut to make sure the pieces fit together, which didn’t really help in the long run because gluing them to the lamp was different from having them laid out on a flat surface. Laying them out did help me see the different widths of stalks, or if one had a curve in part of it. It looked like House of Fifty’s bamboo was a little more uniform in shape and size which would make it a bit easier to glue all the pieces in a row next to each other, but I’m not sure where she found her’s, and I was working with what I could find in stores.


So, this is how far I got.


I sent my mother to grab another bundle of bamboo on her way home from work for me so I could finish my shade. So after round two of clipping bamboo and hot-gluing it onto the shade here is what we have:



Here is how the finished shade and lamp base look.


After seeing it on the lamp base I’m not sold. I really like the texture that the bamboo brings to the room. I don’t believe that painting it white would save this pairing either. I think the cool, modern, sleek feel of the lamp base doesn’t jive with bamboo lamp shade. I’m might look into getting a new lamp base from Target or some other store.


Where I’m At with the January Cure

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Ok, so I was up to Day 5/6 with the January Cure at Apartment Therapy.

Today is Day 11: Wednesday, January 16
Assignment: Do a Media Fast this evening

Here is the catch-up for the other days…..

Day 7: Thursday, January 10
Task: Plan Your Get-Together for the Weekend of February 1-3


I think I’m going to work on planning an “anti-super bowl party” I’m just not that into football. Beebop says she would like to watch the game because she feels its the only time that professional football players really try at a game, because they really want to win a super bowl. College footaball is fun to watch because the players really try because they want to get signed to the NFL, but NFL players don’t always play their best based on the strategy of the game. But for a Super Bowl game they are really trying. I get that. So maybe we’ll have it on but it’s not a “let’s all gather round and stare at the TV type of thing.”

62361743                                                         Photo from here

I bought a book of Tapas recipes and I think that would be really fun to do. I love Tapas; I love the small tastes of food and the pace of the meal that allows time to socialize with friends. I don’t know how well cooking a Tapas style meal myself will work, but it’s worth trying.


Day 8: Friday, January 11…and the Weekend of January 12 & 13
Assignments: Kitchen Organizing & Cleaning, Find a Recipe and Try it Out

• Buy your Weekly Flowers (and enjoy them!)

• Clean Your Kitchen and Declutter/Organize as You Go

• Find a Recipe and Make Yourself a Simple, Enjoyable Meal

Day 9: Monday, January 14
Assignment: Create a Landing Strip and Start Using it

In the Eight Step Home Cure, Maxwell notes that “you need to imagine your front hall as a big filter for the outside world”. He describes a “healthy filter for your front door” to consist of several main parts:

• A Doormat
• Coat Hooks/Hangers
• A Landing Strip

The kitchen is not really my domain. We could use some tupperware organization but on Saturday I got sick. I woke up and felt fine but as the day went on I felt less fine and more sick. I had already decided to take a pass on this challenge since it wasn’t really in my area and then I was sick. We have lived in this house a long time so I didn’t need to work on this task. I have been working on other tasks around the house, as well working on my goal project.

Day 10: Tuesday, January 15
Put some time and effort into your goal project

On Sunday I pulled myself together and went to Ikea with my family.


I got some frames for the art I got at The Renegade Craft Fair this past September AND I got a floating shelf to hang over my bed to put those pictures on. I also got a cute little fake plant to put on top of my bookcase for a little green in my room. I felt pretty productive Sunday night, finally putting those prints into frames!  Now, I still have to get everything up on the walls.

Other little projects have been getting done around the house; Here is a little updated list from Day 1:


Foyer: Closet Knobs? Paint light? Paint walls? I feel like the hallways need a fresh coat of paint

Powder Room: New Sink, Take Wallpaper down, Paint walls (white? pale green? grey?) new white outlet, rug

Living room: New sofa and love seat, accessories

Dining Room: New frame for the art (still need a new frame but my grandma rearranged the art and the painting that needs a new frame was taken down for now), take down the curtains and hang new simple curtains

Kitchen: Spot for mail, Paint, Tile back-splash in wet bar nook, wet bar cabinets, would love to rip them out but maybe new fronts.  New knobs, new counters, new light fixtures, adjust stove, is the microwave up to code?

Family Room: New art? Touch up the chipped paint on the built in, new knobs, new lamps

Back hall closet: “Mudroom” cubbies and bench with storage?

Porch: Paint the ceiling, New table, Ceiling fan with light

Outside: It’s January, but my list is new buses to block neighbors house, flowering shrubs, shade plants in bare spot, air conditioner screen and electrical box screen, fix brick walkway


Repaint? it’s not bad but would love to repaint the bookcases properly and paint the stairs too, Donate unused craft supplies

Would also love to re-carpet the stairs like Jenny did over at Little Green Notebook. 

Our bathroom needs so much help.

My room: Hang art, necklace hanger

Kiki’s room: New light bulb, hang art, get a rug

Mom’s room: New light