Thursday, April 28, 2011

Office chair facelift

Along with multitudes of rain around here, I have also had a number of festering decor projects that have been neglected. I'll start to share in the next week. Some I have had to do just to get them out of my garage! Now that it is starting to get warm outside, playthings are taking over the garage and real estate out there is coveted. ; )

One of the latest is also one of my more ambitious projects. You may remember this chair from my Habitat For Humanity ReStore venture. Nondescript brown office chair.

Well, here is what it looked like after I took off all of the dusty, dull fabric.

You can see clearly in that shot all of the TOYS that live in the garage these days. As I said, this was quite ambitious for me, since it was a bit more involved than just recovering chair pads. There were two pieces to recover and I had to use foam on the seat and on the backrest. Before I cut the foam, I spray painted the wood with a semigloss black spray paint.

Here is my fabric. It is great for the black and gold scheme I have going on in our study.

The corners were a bit tough, but I eventually got them looking decent.

Please excuse the picture was dark outside and my garage lights are somewhat inadequate! Last, I had to screw in the backrest....

This threw a wrench in my plan, since I had to get inside the back of the backrest to screw in the screws. Hmm. Punting here....I'll let you know how that turned out. And of course, I'll take pics of my flub, too. : )

I'm thinking upholstery tacks.....

The DIY Show Off

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What's in bloom? know what they say about April showers? I've had it! We are about one inch of rainfall away from breaking not only the record for the most rainfall in the month of April here in Cincinnati, we are close to breaking the record for the most rainfall in any month in history.

Awesome! I am so behind on spring projects....mulch and windows, especially. The grass is extremely green, which is nice...but it's growing way too fast! On the upside, all of my perennials are nice and lush. Here's to some nice, dry and warm weekends coming up soon!

Here is what is blooming this week....

This is the one tulip I have in our yard. Actually, it's Charlie's. He picked it out and planted it in his raised garden bed. I'm not too partial to tulips....they are not the most reliable of rebloomers (some consider them "annual" bulbs) and deer consider them a treat. However, after observing my neighbors' tulips this spring, perhaps I should give them another chance.

This plant is new to me. It is called sea thrift. I was not even sure when I bought it last fall when it turns out that it blooms now! Nice color and nice bloom time when not much else besides bulbs are in bloom.

Last, we have these blooms on a tree in our yard:

We inherited this plant when we moved in...I think it is a star magnolia or a Jane magnolia. We transplanted it to a new spot last spring and it had a rough time during the drought-ish time last summer. It seems to be doing okay, although not a ton of blooms. If it doesn't get its act together in the next year or so....

I apologize for the picture quality! It was quite windy the day I took all of these and hard to keep the plants still while I snapped the pics. : )

Oh, and an update to the birds....the babies have hatched! They have tiny little beaks and no eyes yet.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nest egg

A few weeks ago, I noticed a bird flying away from the front door when I would open it. After it happened a few times, I decided to inspect it more closely. Up in our forsythia wreath, I spied a bird's nest.

At first, I thought maybe the bird wasn't done building and I could dismantle it.....but then I got a better look.

Oh, yeah...that's four eggs in there! Charlie and I climbed up on a ladder to check them out and he thinks it's pretty cool. No touching!!! I do think it will be neat to take out the bird's nest when I take down the wreath once those birds are out of there. Charlie will like that, too.

I guess I will be putting off those plans to paint my front door for a while until those baby birds are grown! Although, I do have a neat idea for the abandoned nest....: )

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Big yardwork

A week ago, I engaged in some heavy duty yardwork. I have been wanting to do this job for about eight months. I'm talking transplanting shrubs. It's really best to do it in late fall or early spring....and we don't have time for massive house jobs in the fall around my house! So, last weekend, it was time.  Here is the before:

My little buddy has his trucks all lined up and ready to go. Those taxus bushes were in the crosshairs. To me, in the world of plants, taxus is vanilla. Eh. So they were getting moved to the side of the house.

It had rained the day before, so my during pics are limited....I was literally covered in mud. Here is the after:

Now, they need a little pruning, but they definitely fill in the space here (picture nothing in that spot before)! I also added some hostas divided from my mom's house in front of the windows. My favorite thing about this whole project? Free.

Except now, I have this in front of our house...

Next on the list is to build a few small retaining walls and add some plants. Not free....but it will be a good project for us this spring/summer!

My favorite thing about planting around a newer construction home? This.

Hello, huge rock-shaped concrete. You were a real b&*& to dig up. was a day filled with yard work. You get a gold star if you can spot the special cargo in my wheelbarrow.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What's in bloom?

Spring is definitely underway in my yard and I couldn't be happier. First up this week, some pretty grape hyacinths.

I had these at our old house in white and I must say, they are more striking in purple. I planted bulbs at our new house last fall and it's tough to plant bulbs and get them exactly right the first time. You never know what they will look like in the place you put them until they bloom. I have had to move them in the past to more favorable spots. My thought about the hyacinths? I need MORE for more effect. : )

These beautiful blooms are from our new serviceberry trees (amelanchier). We planted these last fall and I have been so excited to see the blooms this spring. These trees will also have berries in June, plus great fall color. Their variety name is 'Autumn Brilliance.'

The next pic shows the blooms from our little sand cherry tree. I love the maroon leaves and pink blooms. This tree is in our backyard and was transplanted back there from the front yard last year.

Lastly, a few pics from my veggie garden. Not necessarily blooms, but fun to see anyhow. These are the lettuce seedlings I planted about a month ago. I started a second crop about two weeks ago to stagger the plantings for a continual supply until it gets hot here (when lettuce goes to seed).

And this pic shows off my perennial herbs. They are a-growin' like crazy! My personal fave is the oregano, the three huge bunches to the lower right of the picture.

Makes me want to start up some spaghetti sauce....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mirror update

Ever since we got our new couch, we have had a big ol' nothin' up above it. It has been really hard to decide what to put there. I've looked at countless blogs and photos online to get some ideas....and I have seen some great things!

However, it occurred to me that I had a great mirror upstairs that could use a little paint job and maybe it would fit the bill. Not that I am opposed to having great furniture/accessories in the bedrooms, but this is a bit of a showstopper and I thought it would be great above the couch.

This mirror was a find by my sister when she lived down in Mt. Adams in Cincinnati. This chandy also came from that apartment building (here). She did a great crackle paint finish on it, but I decided to paint it white. This sucker is heavy!

Here is Sweetie, looking at herself in the mirror as it's drying....

And mounted above the couch.

I have an idea for some artwork for the sides in white frames. We definitely needed something there!


The DIY Show Off

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pay It Forward

In the last few weeks, I checked out a new blog named Crazy Wonderful, by a great girl named Shelley. I have really enjoyed her blog--it has great decor and DIY ideas! It's also a fun read since I have little ones...she often posts about her life as a mom.

She did a great pseudo-giveaway called Pay It Forward. The first five commenters on her post received a lovely set of chalkboard coasters. Too cute! The catch? You must also offer something handmade to the first five commenters on your post paying it forward.....I am hoping I can drum up five commenters. ; ) Here are those chalkboard coasters...

My offering? A ribbon cuff your choice of army green or hot pink. If you're a neutral-lovin' gal, you would rock the army green. And for the fashionistas up on the latest color trends, hot pink is for you....reminiscent of the honeysuckle color that is hot right now. Here is what they look like:

If you are so inclined, I could be convinced to add a smaller white, black or possibly grey ribbon onto your bracelet. Unless I'm out of grey.  : )

So, commenters, let me know which color you prefer and I'll email you directly for your mailing address.

Thanks! What a great way to share some cute DIY things. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

ReStore adventure

It is the end of spring break and tomorrow it will be back to school. We had a great week....most days with nice weather! Today it will be in the low 80s and I have major yard work to do today. I will be sure to snap some photos.

Over break, I went down to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Cincinnati. I had never been there and since it's not far from downtown, it's not really convenient to go whenever. I did buy one thing and almost bought some pegboard that was $3 a sheet. Here are some of the interesting things I saw.....

They had tons of cabinets, doors, windows, old was amazing. Here is a cabinet they had:

Some were really nice and some would be great for your garage or basement! I think the next pic shows that this is where brass chandeliers go to die.

But I very nearly brought home this little lady......

I decided against it....too many crystals missing and the wiring looked extremely sketchy!

This desk was great, but sold! Many of the really nice things they had were already sold. : ) There was a ton of tile....if you had a small tiling project, you could get some of these bad boys for 10 cents a tile.

They also had furniture....some really bad furniture, but these matching chairs had a great shape and were only $20 apiece. They would be nice reupholstered!

They had some really nice headboards, too!

I was intrigued by these booth seats. I would love to have some of these in the

And finally, the chair I bought....only $7. Nondescript brown chair, but with arms and a nice shape. Once it get it all fixed up, it will be great for our computer desk!

Last, just a little preview of other things we did this week....

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Special delivery

I got a nice surprise on my doorstep earlier this week. A package....and Charlie was quite disappointed that it was not for him. He's been known to break down in tears when a package arrives and it's not for him.

What should I find? My free Valspar paint sample!

This is a little box of fun. I registered for it here. I first read about this in the newspaper in January. They were giving away 100 free paint samples (6oz little cans of paint) for 100 days. I tried for about two weeks to get in, but it always said that the window was closed and to try back tomorrow. So...I gave up.

I had been reading on a posting board that someone had received theirs, so I decided to try again. Behold! It took me to a giant board where you can click on a color family, then pinpoint the color you want to choose. Unfortunately, the choice area is teeny-tiny, so you don't get a really good idea of what the paint is that you want to choose. Also, I was under the gun to do it quickly....I think it was in the morning and I had to get going to school that day. I ended up choosing "Dusty Aqua."

Now that I can see the paint chip up close, it is a little yellow-based for me and I probably would go with something a little more grey blue. BUT......look at all of the stuff that came with it!

Included was supposed to be a $5 off coupon for paint.....they sent me THREE. Hooray!

Also, they send you a few paint chips with complementary colors. Pretty cool!

So, I will take my little roller and slap it up on the wall--it's meant as an idea for the master bedroom. We'll see how it goes!

What a nice surprise on my doorstep that was.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's in bloom?

As we are getting into the 2011 growing season, I am going to start posting weekly about what flowers are in bloom in my garden. Some of the gardening message boards that I like post this subject line and it is fun to read about what is in bloom, especially when everyone is in a different part of the country!

To be honest, I never was much interested in gardening before I had a house. I remember telling my husband before we bought our first house, "I'm really excited to have a house so I can plant a garden." Once we had the house, I started looking at landscapes more closely and I started trying things in the garden. I took to it and here we are.

So, this week, here are some pics of what is in bloom:

Hyacinths are one of my favorite bulbs to grow. They smell so beautiful and are great as a cut flower. They also return each year fairly reliably, although they can peter out after several years.

The daffodils are also in bloom right now. I have some yellow with an orange-tinged center. The above daffodil is really pretty with creamy petals and a ruffly yellow center. My neighbor bought a gigantic bag last fall and had some leftover, so she gave them to me....bonus. : )

Monday, April 4, 2011

A spoonful of sugar

I've been looking lately for a solution to my storage woes in our powder room bathroom. It's not bad to begin with.....a pedestal sink, workable chrome fixture, nicely shaped beveled mirror. However, there is nowhere to put anything.

The price of a new medicine cabinet, especially really pretty ones from Pottery Barn, was a little off-putting. Neither Homegoods nor IKEA came through on this one. Craiglist, though, ended up the victor.

Here she is....not too shabby with a few small nicks. For 25 bones, I'll take it.

I took off the nondescript chrome knob and added some hanging hardware on the back leftover from my valances.

Hanging it level and centered took some effort, but in the end, it turned out great. I picked up a more detailed knob at the hardware store and.....

Plus, much more room on the inside for things I don't want to see regularly!

A nice, new paint job on the walls would make it look oh-so-much better, but we'll get there!

P.S.....a gold star for anyone who can find the hidden toothbrush in the above pictures.

The DIY Show Off