Saturday, January 26, 2013

M&M Bedroom Reno: Phase 1 = Torture

M&M Bedroom Reno:  Phase 1:

It started with an idea of a dreamy, white bedroom with black and natural elements and once my big investment and inspiration piece, the Matteo quilt (which we waited months and months on it's production) happened, there was no turning back.

Quatrefoil Quilt

Inspired by a four-leaf symbol of the same name, Quatrefoil is a beautiful collection of quilted shams and quilts featuring a pattern popular during the Gothic Revival and Renaissance. The use of white contrasting thread in the quilting pays homage to the skill of the original European masters by highlighting the complexity and intricate details of the quatrefoil pattern.

Life has been a zoo lately.  This is what I've been lookin' like:

We live in a 1941 bungalow and what seemed to be a simple idea to renovate our bedroom, starting with a little paint has turned into sheer torture.  Seriously.  

There are 5 windows,  4 walls of base boards, and 3 doors in our bedroom that all have 72 years of paint on them.  Sanding, sanding, and more sanding.  I've learned to be proficient with my hand sander, patch & paint, wood fill, and frog's tape (the best), all before the painting began.... over 20 hours of sanding and prepping which equals 4 days of sanding.  Literally.

The painting began 2 days ago and after today, the final coats will be done on all but the three biggies, the doors and then done.  Of course, then, I have to paint the actual walls after I sand down the imperfections, fill cracks, and reapply texture.  There are lots of bad patch jobs, raised areas, etc.

I've learned a few things I've wondered over the years of living in this cozy, little, old house.  

Question:  Can you ever get rid of the cracks and raised areas that are in the ceiling?  YES! Can you ever get rid of the cracks and weird places in the window sills?  YES!  Just sand them down a bit, fill in with patch & paint, and paint over.  If they need texture, you can buy it in a box, add it to your paint, and paint it on.  

Hint: Pay attention to what type of texture you have.  I realized there are 3 different textures in the 6 rooms of my house.  If you are in an older home that is a middle class home, you will also find LOTS of shoty work since, most likely, the previous owners did it themselves, kind of like me ;0

I am not a fan of wall texture but, I am not of the funds or state of mind to hire a contractor to redo the sheet rock completely.  I know myself too well.  I'd have these sleek, clean walls and want them in every room :)

Of course, after I did everything I found a great tutorial on painting window sills at Apartment Therapy.  Here it is for you!

So, with all that.  I put in some hefty hours raising funds and awareness for this little event so NARAL Pro-Choice Texas can combat some seriously gloomy bills in the Texas Leg this session that will try and take us all back 40 years.  

Feel free to donate here to protect women's choice in Texas.  You would be amazed that in our huge state, there is just this one organization with 1 full time employee and 1 lobbyist that is the political arm of choice in Texas.  NARAL Pro-Choice Texas organizes grassroots and campus organizing, lobbying and legislation, electoral work for pro-choice candidates, voter registration, leadership training, public education and community outreach.  

And, as if that wasn't enough, I got talked into being in my friend Kevin's play THIS FRIDAY for FronteraFest at Hyde Park Theater.  If you wanna come, you can buy tix here. It's a small part, but fun and kooky, kind of like me :).  I turned it down at first, "I don't have time, I'm drowning in kids, work, decorating, political activism, ......." but, secretly, I was happy to put my acting shoes back on.  

The last play I was in was literally when I got engaged onstage 8 1/2 years ago!  Some of you reading this might even have been there.  I know my friend Meredith was next to camera sobbing the entire time.  And, I love her for that.  Mike had all our relatives and friends in the audience and asked me to marry him onstage after the play was over.  We used to have the video on a site which is now defunct.  Oh, how I wish I could put that footage up.  

Oh yes, I forgot planning and having my awesome partner in crime, Mike's 40th Birthday Bash last Saturday!!  There was dinner, karaoke, old school Austin bar hopping and good times with great friends.  

Thankfully, he got a cappuccino machine for the big one and so, THIS is what has kept my January sanity together.

Anyhow... stay tuned for the renovation journey ahead! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

DIY mantel focal point that lasts Christmas through the New Year!

I've always loved this Christmas photo of my Dad playing with his train and my Aunt Donna playing with her baby doll.   It just seems like the quintessential '50's Christmas photo.  They are around the same age as my kiddos.  I would guess my Aunt is 5 and my Dad is 7.

So...finally.... I took it to the pros at Holland Photo and had them create an 11X14 print and bought a frame at Tarjay (Target) for $29.99.  Total project less than 50 bucks.  

Once I had this pretty holiday focal point for my mantel, I put Christmas pj photos of my nieces and Iris and Sam that we've taken over the years in complementary silver frames.  

It induces tears instantly from me to see how the family has grown in children and just how much they have changed from year to year.  No more little plump faces and plump arms.  They truly are all children more babies.

At Christmas I had a church and small homes that were my Omie's and a few small deer.  The church and homes just scream 1950's decor.  Below is the mantel now and I intend to keep it through January because it just makes me... happy!

Happy New Year!!!