Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When Pigs Fly...

So a couple of week ago, I went browsing around one of my favorite stores: Z Gallerie.

I dont know if you guys have ever been inside Z Gallerie, but its amazing. Seriously, I go in with pen and notepad just to take notes.... sometimes, I just move from couch to couch, pretend Im considering buying one, and stare at what type of fun stuff they have on their walls in each section.

But back to the other day. I was walking around (or may have been sitting, Im not sure) when I saw this little fella.
A ceramic flying pig... and a love affair was born... I named him Wilber, after Charlotte's Web.

Sadly, at $30, I couldnt justify buying him when Im still clipping coupons at home to save $0.25 on ranch dressing.

But I never forgot Wilber...(sigh)... and hope that he never forgot me.

Enter last week when the Dallas World Trade Center held their semi-annual Dallas Gift Market. While working, I traveled up to the 6th floor temporary booths to see if there was anything to look at/tempt me in Home Decor.

And then, I saw him....
Wilber?? No... this was Abner (sorry about the name thing... It just doesnt feel right not to name something with a face :-)

The best part of the whole love-at-second-site? The price tag... $8... Why yes, I would love to adopt a pig... and home with me he went.

It was pretty cool that he was solid cast iron (and not ceramic like his cousin Wilber) but I knew I wanted to paint him... I wasnt sure about just solid white.

As you can tell, I have a problem making decisions...
I decided just to prime him and see what color spoke to me in the moment...

Dont judge me for prepping him on a DiGiorno pizza box. I needed to get my money back from that pizza somehow!
(P.S- Don't eat DiGiorno... ever.... Im serious)

So I gave him a couple nice, even, thin coats of primer...
And then it hit me... yellow... my color of choice.
When was the last time anyone was upset when they saw a yellow flying pig? Never... because just looking at this little guy makes you smile.
I couldnt quite decide where to put him, but since I was kinda obsessed with starring at him, I decided on my office.
I like how he goes with my little yellow flowers... .... and my Super Bowl 42 signed football.
All in all, Im happy with his little change into Happy Yellow. Would you guys have picked a different color?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Auction Hunters... DIY Style

You know when you have those "adult moments" all kids in their mid-20's get? The moments you still think are "cool" in your mind, but really its all about getting old and excited about really weird things??? Well Chris and I have had one on our fridge for about a month.
Yes, its a Marble and Granite auction. And it was like counting down to Christmas, adult style. Chris and I had been to these auctions before to just test the waters, but never bought anything. We both can't really remember how we heard about it in the first place (online ad, maybe?) but since they only have them about 3x a year, we decided to hop on this you since you never know when the next one is going to be (or what its going to have... it changes every time!)

So this past Sunday, we showed up at 1pm with about 100 of our closest friends/random strangers to see what the auction would have to offer.Did I mention the warehouse its held in is HUGE??? Cause it is... and yes, they have everything here... even the kitchen sink (as you can see on the right).


It was a $200 refundable deposit to register (no worries, they dont charge your card if you dont buy anything and even let you rip up the copy so you know its safe). Chris and I were granted Lucky 371...
Now for the object of our little excursion: we needed some sexy tile for everyplace in our house that doesnt have nice hardwoods (which is only like 15-20%).


My parents house in Scottsdale has some BEAUTIFUL travertine pavers in their bathrooms and entry way, so I was on the look out to see if we would be able to get something cheaper without the $4.49 Home Depot price tag.


We actually found some 6x6 and 4x4 tiles we liked...

But they were just a bit too light...



And then, I fell in love... with these 3x6 beauties.

(Sorry, I know the picture isnt the best)



450 sq ft of Noche Toros Tumbled Travertine 3x6... EXACTLY what they had at Home Depot for $4.49 a sq ft.



Unfortunately, it was number 322 out of 350, so we wondered around the warehouse with one of the tiles to see if there was anything else around that would go with it. (Just to kill some time)



Insert: the most amazing backsplash I have ever seen...

It went with our (future) tiles PERFECTLY and I loved the intricate simplicity of it. All neutral tones and nothing too shiny.



Remembering something similar at Home Depot for $14.99 (and some quick calculations in which Chris and I guestimated we would need about 50 sq ft) I was interested to see what it would go for... total after bidding? $7.00



Chris and I didnt have an extra $350 laying around (especially since we were about to spend some serious cash on some travertine pavers), so we passed on it this time, but its always good to know for the future so we can budget for the kitchen... when we tackle that project in the next 1-2 years...



Continuing in our search to kill time and see whatelse the warehouse had, we found some interesting bullnose granite counter tops.

Solid and 7ft long... going rate at the auction? $100!!!! WHAT???? its $35-$45 a square foot at Home Depot/Lowes! Thats $490 on the cheap end!



True, we would still have to get it cut for the sink and what not (which will be extra AND install it), but if you compare $7 a sq ft to $45, I'll take it every time.



Same thing with this pretty grey marble...

(sorry the lighting makes it look weird... but I promise it was pretty)



Also $100... just silly.



Then, as if someone was trying to help me complete my travertine-kitchen-love-triangle, we found this pretty baby...

Yes, that's travertine counter top... I seriously may have squealed out loud and tried to give it a hug.



Of course I ran over and picked up one of the travertine pavers and my pretty someday-backsplash and put them all together...

Is it just me, or do you hear angels sing? THIS is what I want my someday kitchen to look like... paired with some crisp white cabinets.



But sadly, with these countertops (auctioned off at $150 per sheet), the $350 worth of backsplash, and the yet to be determined cost of travertine pavers, buying all this today was not in the cards.



But before we know it, our Lot # came up...



Spoiler alert: we won...


At $2.25 a sq ft, we saved over 50% vs Home Depot!!!!



Now the only problem was how to get it all home... We could have paid $100 extra to have it delivered, but trying to penny pinch as much as possible, we said we would attempt to get it back ourselves.



Totalling 450 sq ft in the pallet, they had 18 tiles shrink wrapped together, which made it a bit easier to load/unload, but they also weighed about 25 lbs each.



Sooooo this (see below) was all we could get in the back of my car before I started screaming "ITS TOO HEAVY!! IM GOING TO BE POPPING A WHEELIE THE ENTIRE WAY BACK!! IT GOING TO BREAK AN AXLE!!! "

**side note: apparently that wouldnt happen, but I was REALLY worried about it**


I even had to put some in my front seat...


And yes, because my Subaru is awesome, it beeps continuously if there is more than 15 lbs in the passenger seat because it wants you to wear a seat belt... ... ... apparently that also applies to super heavy pavers, which required me to buckle them in.



We could only fit in about half of the pallet in my car, about a quarter in Chris's, and had to call in reinforcements (aka Chris's dad) to get the remaining part home and reassembled in our garage.
(Please pay no attention to the unfinished projects around it... I promise I'll finish them all... someday... before Im 30....)



As far as WHERE the travertine is going??? My office!! (probably will be installed first since its already concrete and wont need any special prep work)...


Our master bath!

(This one is going to be a BIG project, especially since we are blowing out a wall :-)

So long pink tile!!!
Other bathroom!

(This one will probably take about 5 sq ft or less)

Our laundry room!

(its going to be quite a beast to move out the washer/dryer)

AND our kitchen!

(please excuse the random pre-move-in-realtor picture)

As far as patterns, we are debating a few different styles:

Im pretty partial to herringbone, but I think Chris may like the Half Basket Weave... As we were playing with patterns last night, we hit that "adult moment" again. Who ever thought this is something we would be comparing and having a serious conversation about?... ITS A BRICK LAY OUT!!



Still, I think this one is prettiest:


Which ones do you guys like? Do you like our tile selection? Is there anything else you would have bought at the auction? Anyone want to join in the future?!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Window frame turned picture frame

Ok this one happened a while ago, but its received some of the best feedback since I posted it on Facebook, so I thought I would share it here too...

Awhile back, Chris and I answered a craigslist ad for an old China hutch...
Bought it for $40 and did THIS too it...

New drawer pulls, knobs, and a fresh coat of paint made all the difference. Trust me, its much dirtier/fuller now, but that wasnt the only thing we found in the middle of BFE nowhere (it was over an hour drive to pick it up).

The guy who we bought the hutch from also had an abandoned house on his lot that hadnt been lived in for years. I was FASCINATED by all the old things around the property and he said he would sell me anything I found that was interesting...

Enter this window frame for $5...
Based on other ideas I've seen, I knew with some $3 chicken wire I could really make this thing SOMETHING.

So I took it out into the backyard with my trusty staple gun...
I made sure the staple tongs were on either side of the chicken wire (which is VERY sharp, by the way) and stapled around the entire frame...

Nine times out of ten, I dont initially have a spot for some of my projects (I either find one after I finish or end up sell it) but this time, I had the PERFECT spot...
...The blank wall in our laundry room.
Its also where we have Gus and Rocky's leashing hanging up and I'd been waiting to find a frame or piece of art of this space.

But the window frame worked perfect!
I knew I wanted to use it as a picture holder, so since it was in the laundry room, I thought using clothes pins would be appropriate.
We've added more pictures since and even put up notes sometime, but I still love it. I also enjoy the antique look it brings too... didnt have to sand, paint, or nuttin'. Just some good ol' chicken wire from Home Depot and some hanging screws = BAM... Vintage/unique picture frame.

Let me know what you think!
P.S- For those of you looking to make your own window frame/picture frame, you can find old used picture frames at flee markets and craigslist for about $5-$20 a pop.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blinds, Drapes, Occasional Table, OH MY!!!

**For those of you coming over from a link party, the Burlap furniture make over is more towards the bottom of this post... its here, I promise ;-)***

Im a bad blogger... I'm sorry I have been so absent over the past month or so but between getting married (yay), Christmas in Arizona, New Years at the Lake (setting stuff on fire... dont worry, it wasnt the forest, promise), and my job in super-super full swing, the house has taken somewhat of a back seat.

However, the good news is that we are still making tiny renovations that are really TOTAL improvements...

Take our sad little dining room for example....
Yea.... the windows are super grosso...

This one... is yellow...
These blinds, Rocky tore down when he was very concerned about the neighbors dog possibly attacking our house from 150 ft away...


Rocky also wrecked the lower 3rd of these blinds when children DARED to be playing outside, so they dont even shut all the way...
Needless to say, this whole room was looking a little harsh...

So I paid big money to hire a hot guy to fix em...
And by "hired" I mean "married"...

So Chris went to Lowe's and got some AWESOME 2" wood blinds... I have no idea how to install them.. but luckily Chris did...
See! PRETTY!!!

Here's the full room... all fixed up...


And shut...


And a close up... because they are pretty
(and it was after saying "ohhh", "ahhh", and "work it" while taking pictures of my new blinds, did Chris ask how "permanent" marriage really is...)

A couple days later, still admiring Chris's handy work, I wanted to add a little something-something to my new pimped out blinds...

Drapes... from Z Gallerie
And I love them... mostly cause I installed them myself... (please mentally insert a picture of me standing on a chair and guestimating how high and even the rod should be... also insert %&*^$# signs for every time I cursed having to redo it)
But they are pretty... and Im a big fan of dimensions/shape in fabric... I think it gives the room a little depth.
I know that was only 4 pictures (that I forgot to edit, so everything looks yellow... its not in real life... i promise) but that hanging experience was a good 2-3 hours of my life... if you ever come by the house, please comment about how awesome they look...about 100x over... humor me, Im getting old and little things impress me)

I did all this while Chris was out of town for work, so on Saturday when I had nothing to do except clean the house (which i was definitely NOT going to do) I ran over to Goodwill looking for nothing in particular....

And found this hunka-hunka of wooden glory...
Seriously, when was the last time anyone saw a hexagon occasional table? You dont... they dont exist... they are like magic unicorns of the furniture world...rare and exotic... especially ones made out of solid wood, not just plywood...

$10 later, he was mine (yes, its a "he")

So I put him in the car, wrapped him in a seat belt (he was too big to fit in the back of Chris's car, so DUH he needed a seat belt) and set up shop in the back yard
I knew right off the bat I wanted to turn to my trusty Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint for the hardware, so I began stripping him down...
It's naked time!!! (bonus points if you can name that movie)
Now that all the hardware was gone, I turned my attention to the part that made me buy the piece in the first place... a re
movable back
Yes, this part is just plyboard, but I definitely have plans for this later...

Unfortunately, due to the years of wear and tear (and Im sure the VERY nice people at the Goodwill), my poor little boy had a broken foot.Awww sad face....
But since Chris seems to have absolutely EVERYTHING in our garage, I found this stuff and went to it... Totally guessing as I went along.
I was actually so proud of myself for fixing the foot, jumping up and down, giving my self high fives, that I forgot to take a picture of it all fixed... please imagine the best looking leg you have ever seen, then picture it on this table, and thats what it looked like...

After I gave the whole sucker two coats of sweet-lovin' primer, I painted my boy Swiss Coffee because goodness knows I like me some white... .... .... on furniture... ... ... ... im not racist....)
While that dried, I turned my attention to the removable back panels. I knew I was going to cover them in some extra burlap I had, but gave them a quick coat of white just to make sure it would still look classy in case some peaked through.
I then whipped out my favorite electric toy... my Power Shot Pro Stapler (get your mind out of the gutter)... and began to wrap it up.
See... not too shabby.
I rescrewed the panel back into place and flipped it over....
ohhhhh yea.....

What do both doors look like?... awesomeness times two

If you notice from a couple pictures up, the top of the table had this awesome hexagon outline to it.

Keeping with the burlap theme, I thought it would be cute to do the top in it, so i turned once again to my favorite staple gun...
Eh, looks ok... might as well go for it...

Two HOURS later... this is what I had.
From far away, not bad... but upon looking closer...
It looked like "poop" (my grandparents read this so I gotta keep it PG in here)... ("poop" is a PG word, right?)
Yea, definitely not happy with the way it turned out... I pride myself on good, quality work and this was NOT it.

Frustrated and running out of light, I brought him inside.
And stripped him naked, again.

Sorry there are no pictures of me with pliers yelling obscenities at a piece of furniture, but you get the idea.

Even after taking everything off, the staple gun pretty much ruined the burlap and I had to re-cut all new pieces.
I wish I could have just said "ta-da!" and left it like this, just sitting on top, (which after what felt like 80 hours working on this project for one day, I almost did) but I found some super cute decorative tacks from one of my many trips to Joann's and decided to try and use those to see if I could get better results.

Low and behold....
MUCH BETTER!!!!

Ugh, I LOVE it!!

The lighting in the living room was a bit dim and the pictures didnt quiet look right with the flash, so I moved it into the hallway for this sexy shot of the whole boy put together.
Yea, not too shabby.

I thought about selling it, but I actually found the perfect spot for it in my office.

I have it wedged back in the corner a little more, but pretty flowers and the burlap really work in my sun-room office (P.S- Shout out to Chris's mom for the pretty yellow orchid she gave me for my birthday!)

All in all, not a bad little weekend project. I love how the oil rubbed bronze hardware and dark decorative tacks totally go together.

Just shows what can be done with a $10 piece from Goodwill! I love finding fun, cheap, yet amazingly awesome stuff that I can make my own!

Let me know what you guys think! Do you like it white? Or would you have painted it a different color? Do you like the burlap behind the doors? I would love to know what you guys would have done with this piece!!
Before/After


Where I'm partying this week: