Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Chandelier from the Dining Room {a work in progress}

The dining room is a work in progress, as is the entire house. I'm working on making it our home by adding US to the house, but I have had to remind myself more than once, twice, three, a dozen times, it isn't going to happen all at once. The dining room isn't really a space that I planned to put on top priority of redoing. It's really a sort of mish-mash of parts until I can really focus and decided what I want for this room. The room is getting a little attention here and there. I'm going to have to stop and listen to the little voices in my head that whisper to me, "This room should be more together since you walk through it so much during the day." I keep going back to the graphic I found a few months ago.

First off, I was deflated when I got here and realized the red on the walls is more wallpaper rather than paint. I was even more surprised when I realized I kind of like it. But!... I'm still determined not to have a red dining room like we've had in our previous two houses. I will overcome the red wallpaper!

Secondly, the "Family Tree Farmhouse table" that we built two years ago had to go in the formal dining room. There's nothing really formal about the farm table (or me for that matter). The ladder back chairs went in there with it as well. Then last month, I found some chairs in a style that I'd been thinking about on Craigslist. They were a good deal for six chairs but the fabric on the chairs is terrible! Oh, it's in great shape, but it's completely not my style and not the look I want for this room. Also, the finish of the wood on the chairs is much darker than anything else in the room and clashes with the finish on the farm table (and the finish on the china cabinet which I'm still determined to paint!)

Solution for now? Cover the table with a cloth (not shown in following photo) and call it good until I get really adventurous and decide to tackle the whole room.
I've been ok with that whole line of thinking, but can you guess what really bothered me about this room every single time I walked through the dining room (and I walk through it a LOT of times on a daily basis)? I bet you know the answer without even having to think too much about it. Here, let me answer by zooming in and cropping that photo.
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Can you say cheap, builder grade? Can you say cheesy? Can you say 1989?
I tried not to look at it when I'd walk through the room. I tried shielding my eyes from the glare of when the light hit it. Nothing worked. Its brassiness stuck out like a sore thumb.

I threatened it with paint. Then, this week, I came to terms with my threats and decided to start from the top in this room. I tackled the brassiness with steel wool, primer and various craft paints. I tackled it still hanging because I knew I'd play with it too much adding color here and there to take it down and be finished all at once.

I dabbed and played, dabbed and played until I came to a finish I really liked.
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I whipped up a burlap cover for the chain and slip-stitched it in place.
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It's a good start. I think the different look for the chandelier is already changing the feeling of the room. What do you think?
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Now I just have to decide what to do next in here. Tackle the wallpaper? Tackle the china cabinet? Tackle the upholstery on the chairs? Window treatments? Ugh... a nap sounds better on this rainy afternoon!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Little Bit Crafty - Fall Banner

The only time I've touched my craft supplies in the past few months was to unpack them from their boxes and put them away in my craft room. Flo challenged us on the board we're board on to a Halloween banner so that we'd get busy being crafty. Well, I opted for Fall since I can leave it up longer. There's still time for a Halloween one, right? Yeah, ha... probably not in the cards.

Anyway, I made a small FALL tag banner and draped it across my very chalky chalkboard. I've been using that board for to do lists, so it's been in use as of late!
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Here are individual letter tags so you can see the details.
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I'm really happy with how it all came together even though the tags are so very different! The whole thing puts me in the mood for fall weather though I think I gave that glorious weather up when we moved back down south.
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Friday, September 13, 2013

Master Bath Makeover Progress

Remember back in July when I showed you Before Master Bathroom Photos and then I showed you the
Master Bathroom Makeover Plans and ideas I'd gathered while thinking of redoing the master bath.

Well, I've made some progress, but there are still several things I need to do before I show you the whole bathroom revealed.

Today, I thought I'd show you some sneak peeks which are close-ups of some of the details that I love about the makeover thus far. :)
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Before I call the master bathroom makeover complete, I need to:

- find (or make) that above toilet table that I liked so much. If I can't do that, I need to revamp my plan.
- find door handles. I have drawer pulls that I picked up at Hobby Lobby, but I can't find door handles that are just right.
- finish off the decor which means hanging things on the walls

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

You girls are so smart!

My guessing game post from a few days ago proved that!

If you didn't read that post, I had showed this photo and asked you to guess what it was.
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Jill, Jen and Flo were all correct with their guesses! It's a bamboo blind for the master bathroom window.

Remember the before photo of this window? The previous owners had black out panels covering this window.
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They also had a white plantation blind sitting in the attic that had been cut for this window and never installed. Those are the blinds all over the house.
While I believe they are really nice and look great in other places, they aren't what I wanted for this window.

So, I headed to what has become my favorite shopping place.
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G-Dub told me to start the Mini since it had been sitting in the shop while he was gone out of town. I started it and drove it to Lowe's, then sent him the pic.

I've always been a cheap Charlie and have never purchased blinds or shades that had to be custom cut. This was a first for me. I never realized they cut them box and all!  photo diyphoto-13_zpscec1588d.jpg
That was so weird to me! I measured my window and Miss Lowe's Lady took a quarter inch off of each side of that measurement, then cut the blind to length. She warned me that I should go home and NOT take the blind out of the box, but instead put the box and all into the window frame to make sure it fit. It was perfect!
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So, we (we, as in G-Dub) installed it.

I love it! I'll show you more when I show you the full bathroom reveal photos.
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It's the Cinnamon Bamboo lined shade. Perfect. I had worried about it making the room too dark, but it is just right!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Naked No More

Concrete! I'm talking about naked concrete!

I decided a catchy title might bring someone in off of their blog reader to see the whole story. LOL Tricky, huh? Maybe it won't backfire on me and get me other search engine traffic! LOL

Ok, what was I talking about anyway? Oh, naked concrete. Well, it's nice enough in it's gray sort of way. I got the porch swing made by my day repositioned on the front porch finally. I sit there and drink my morning tea after the boys get on the bus. Every morning, I look at my concrete plant pedestals and think how boring they look in their naked concrete glory.
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I've had a pair of these forever. We bought them in Tennessee when we were stationed there. They've moved with us everywhere except Korea and they've remained plain during all that time.
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I was tired of their plain gray, especially against our gray house!

So, in my true "not afraid to paint anything" form, I decided to paint them. Ok, not paint, stain. I thought some color of any kind on them would bring out their details. I wanted something that gave a feel of an aged patina. I brushed a little walnut stain here. I brushed a little watered down golden oak stain there. I ran out of golden oak stain. I searched the shelf for more and found some very old oak spray stain. Hmmph, spray stain? I used it anyway. I sprayed a little here and there. Then I began to freak out because the dark walnut looked really dark in the crevices. The sprayed stain looked really glossy! I sprayed some more water on it all and hoped it would settle down the glossiness. No real luck. I began to freak out that I'd ruined the pedestals by trying to dress them up with stain. They might have looked better naked forever. I didn't give up though, I took a cloth and wiped away at some of the glossy areas. Then I used some steel wool to sand off some of the stain so more of the bare concrete peeked through. After that, I turned out the light, left the shop and called it a night.

This morning, I was leary of turning the shop light back on and bringing them out into the daylight. Turns out that daylight is just what they needed!
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I'm happy with how they cured overnight and with how they stand out from the gray house. Now, I just need to dress the whole porch for fall!
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Want to play a guessing game?

I won't make you guess where I've been for the past month while I haven't been blogging because the answer is boring. I've been right here at our Home in the Grove. I've just been busy. Speaking of busy, this is something I worked on in the last month.
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Can you guess what it is?

If you leave a comment, it'll convince me that you are still coming around the blog. Comments might convince me to spill the beans and tell you more about the photo in the next few days.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Milestone - 100 Days Since My Last Dr. Pepper

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Any of you who know me well know that I have an addiction problem. I have been addicted to Dr. Pepper for years. Years. Can't even put a number on the years, it's been that long. I used to be a sole Sprite drinker, then the Dr. won my heart.

Also, if you've known me for very long, you've heard me say a million times that I am going to quit Dr. Pepper. I swear it's a good thing I don't have worse habits because breaking the soda habit is HARD. Hard!

I've tried in the past and have always gone back. In March, I went for the longest in a while - twenty eight days without a sip of soda. April was disastrous. The fall off the wagon was hard and syrupy at the same time.

When the end of May rolled around, I decided to recommit to quitting. I decided I'd quit and say the last one I had was in New Jersey. Then, after I moved, I'd have one. Well, we moved on June 15 and I had made it beyond that hard two weeks. I decided to go for thirty days. I plugged in May 31 as my last day on my phone app which is actually a countdown TO a date, but will also count days since. Seeing that number grow on that phone app has really helped me! After seeing thirty days, I decided to go for sixty. Then I decided I should go for another thirty, but ninety was so close to 100... I set my goal for 100 days. Today marks the 100th day without the Dr. in my life or any form of soda for that matter. One day a month ago, we were out to eat at a local BBQ place and I got sweet tea in my Styrofoam cup. I accidentally picked up Roo's which had DP in it, but that was only a small sip which tasted horrible because I was expecting tea and because I hadn't had any DP in so long. I wasn't tempted to have more which was good.

I won't say I've been saintly in the drink choices though. As I just mentioned, I have had a few sweet teas since moving back to the south. I've also dropped by the Starbucks in Target for an occasional Chai Tea latte. BUT, in the grand scheme of things, 100 days without a Dr. Pepper is BIG news for me! I'm not setting a new thirty day or X number of days goal. I'm just going to continue to watch the number grow on my "Since" countdown. I dreamed the other night that on day 68, I caved and drank one. I was so mad at myself, then so relieved it was just a dream! Maybe I'm on the road to quitting for the long haul!