Monday, May 30, 2011

Book of plant labels

 I've always been somewhat Type A when it comes to things around the house. A few years ago, I had an epiphany.

About what?

Plant labels. The little plastic labels that come with the plant when you buy them. In addition to being Type A, I am also really into gardening. I like to say it was was my first "home love." And because I am a gardening nerd, I actually save all of those little labels because I want to know how big the plant will get or what the Latin or varietal name is. It's also helpful if you have three of one kind of plant....and then one dies and you have to replace it. Unless Iwant a different sized plant or a different bloom color, I have to make sure I get the same variety.

(Confession: I really do know the Latin names of most of the plants in my landscape. Lamb's ear? Stachys. Virginia sweetspire? Itea. Yarrow? Alchillea. Bee balm? Monarda.)

See? If you haven't been reading my blog long and had not yet been convinced of my nerdiness, I am sure you are now. Or perhaps the following will be the killing blow.... I kept all of these plant labels, I had no idea how to organize them. I decided on a three-ring binder and I chose business card-size page protectors. Check it out....

I like it because you can see the picture on one side and the other side is also clear, so you can read the back without taking it out. I do have tabbed dividers that section them out into these categories: Annuals, Perennials, Trees/Shrubs, Herbs.

I also have one called "Eagle Creek Notables." This is where I put the tags of plants I liked that we had at our old house, but have not planted at our new house.

Also, I sometimes write other info on the plant tag with a Sharpie, such as where I planted it and what year.

I also bought a zippered case that fits in the binder. I keep my gardening receipts in if I have a plant that does not make it, I can take my receipt back to get a new one. Most of the garden nurseries around here will guarantee a shrub or tree for a year.

I also like being able to keep tags of annuals, so I can remember what kind I bought if I ever want to get them again. The plant breeders are coming out with so many new varieties. The below pic shows my front step plant choices from last year.....

And this year....

 I'll post more later on how I choose the plant combinations.

See? Totally nerdy. But at least I have a really cool plant tag book.

The DIY Show Off

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bookshelf details

I can't believe it is the week before Memorial Day weekend....this year is flying by! I so excited for this weekend (more on that later). I think of this time right before the end of the school is kind of like the build-up to Christmas.....sometimes the anticipation of Christmas and/or summer vacation is just as good as the actual thing!

We had a great weekend...I took Charlie out to my mom and dad's lake cabin and we did some fishing! The weather was great and it really felt like summer. I didn't want to come home on Sunday....: )

Here are some pics of the details up close of our bookshelves. This first picture shows the little can lights at the top of our bridge piece over the television.

Next, the picture ledge over the television. This idea we also stole from the IKEA room where we got the idea. I like changing out the photos when we get new ones made of the kids and that is Charlie's artwork, which can also be changed out.

The candid shot in the center is one of my favorites of my children! Here is the magazine shelf. We have one on each side of the TV (check it out here). I love these shelves because the covers are so artful and it's a unique way to display the covers. I am definitely a magazine-aholic!

Fred likes Time and VF...and the rest are mine. The other side of the TV has all of my favorite home dec magazines.

Last, some pics of the overhead lights. We bought these at IKEA. They look so library-like and I love the way the room looks with just the lights on. They throw off enough light  onto the floor that you don't have to have the other lights on, unless you are reading or something.

All of the lights are on timers. I love timers. I think I must have about 10 timers going during the holidays!

Hope you are having a great week!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Finished family room....before and after

I consider myself to still be fairly new at this blogging thing and for all of the things I have posted, I have not done very many "before and after" posts. I did post the process of redoing my son's room (the very first room to be painted and finished in the house). You can check that out here if you are interested.

Now that I have a few rooms that are mostly dec'ed out, I thought I'd like to share them. Family room next week.

The catalyst for the room redo was the carpet....our new house had almost-white carpet. Between two kids and a dog, it got dirty so fast. We decided to have new carpet installed in that room. Since we had to take EVERYTHING out of the room, we thought it would be a good time to restart from scratch. So, we bought a new TV and went from there. Our new carpet is one of those new speckled and shaggy berbers and I love it because it hides everything. are some before pics of our living room. It is one big room, combined with the kitchen, separated by a counter/ledge. Unfortunately, I have no true before pictures....the only pictures I could dig up include people since all of the pics were taken before I started blogging. Just so you know, I now take pictures around the house and I get a look from my husband like, "You're taking a picture of that?"


So, the paint was a very neutral tan color and you can see in the first pic, our furniture that fit wonderfully in our old house looked squatty in our new house with higher ceilings. Also, our family room is a bit smaller than our old one, so the amount of floor space our old TV cabinet took up was eating up a lot of play space for the kids. In the second pic, you can see all of the boxes of shelves we had bought that were yet to be put together.

Here are a few "during" pictures as I finished up the kitchen painting. I like bold and saturated colors.

The kitchen had been a yellowy green color. Once I did the cutting-in, Fred commented..."I didn't know our kitchen was lime green?" I had doubted the paint color a little until it was all finished and now I love it.

When we were looking for ideas on how to configure our new room, we went to IKEA and walked around the showroom area. We had originally thought to get just a TV stand and do something else to fill in the wall space.....until we stopped in front of one room that had a wall of shelves that looked like built-ins. When Freddie said, "I love that," I thought BINGO! One reason we loved it so much was that we are both huge book-lovers and readers. We had books all over the house in different places, so it was appealing to have a place to keep all of the books together.

And here is the after....

We bought the Billy shelves from IKEA. They come in so many different sizes that you can find what fits your needs and space. We also used an extender-shelf that you fit onto the top of the tall shelf unit to add some more height. I also installed some lights to illuminate the center bridge piece over the TV, as well as some lights that stick out over the bookshelves that illuminate the shelves. They are on timers so they come on in the evening and turn themselves off.

We also sorted all of the books and arranged them in a systematic way. If you look at the top pic, you can also see a shelf that is tilted to show magazines. I love this about our new shelves. I'll snap a pic up close and post it later this week, along with a few other details about the room, including some pics of the lights on and what they look like.

We also had bought--along the way--a new coffee table, made new valances (see those here)and bought a new couch.  It did take us a while, but we are so happy.


Friday, May 20, 2011

What's in bloom?

Woo hoo, am I excited for a nice weekend! We have finally reached the end of our rainy and chilly week here and this weekend is supposed to be beautiful and sunny. I had a dry day to plant some containers and take some pics of what is blooming right now.

My Knockout roses are showing their first blooms. I have two double pinks on each side of my front step.

Not fully opened, but lots of buds! Here is a plant that is new to me. I planted this last fall and it's a perennial...campanula. This variety is low-growing with small leaves and little purple flowers all over it.

And...I saved the showstopper for last! My clematis is in bloom on our lamppost. I am so happy to see it doing so well.....clematis needs a little time to get established and this is my plant's third year in our garden.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Big boy room start-up

So.....what comes after the cutest nursery that you spent time putting together (and registering for)? A big boy or a big girl room. I've had it on the brain a bit, since our now 2 year old baby girl is getting to be a big girl and she's about to move down the hall. Next to the bathroom, away from right next to Mama and Daddy. 

And so it goes with my dear sister, Leah, and her oldest little guy. He graduated to a big boy room when #2 displaced him. ; ) He transitioned like a champ and when my sis saw the pics of my little big guy's room (check them out here), she asked me for some ideas and help for D's room.

Here are a few before shots...

We decided to go with a navy border at the bottom with a grass green stripe...after several paint samples on the wall. I am now officially a huge fan of the little 8oz paint samples, since we changed our minds on one of the colors. Three of the upper walls are light blue and the accent wall is orange above the green/navy.

In can see the samples on the wall. The green on the wall turned out to be a litte too lime-colored, as you will see. I measured around the room with pencil marks and lined up the tape. In the past, I have used a laser level and did not have anyone to hold it (usually my helper husband) I used a tape measure and a pencil.

The green tape you see is called Frog Tape and it was awesome! Easily the cleanest lines I ever had when doing a project like this. I highly recommend it.

After painting up to the edge of the Frog Tape, I let it dry and pulled up the tape. I thought I'd have to continue the project another day....I did do all of this in one day, about 7 hours! But...I was able to add the blue painter's tape (I cannot remember the brand offhand) and put it on over the painted edges and lined up on the line....

Then, I added the green. I was really worried the blue tape would pull up the previous paint (especially without overnight dry time--or three days of curing as the tape recommended), but it worked like a charm!

Now that it's done, I can't decide which color I like the most! It's definitely a punch of color and most definitely fits the sweet little nephew.

More to come on this project....
It's a great room and they had some beautiful valances, plus some really cool prints on the wall that we used for some color inspiration. I'll post some pics of the prints later on.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall

For some reason, I seem to have been obsessed with mirrors lately....I have spent a lot of time looking at mirrors in stores and on Craigslist. I had a successful mirror redo with this baby...

I've got an art idea for the surrounding area that will materialize most likely once school is out for the summer...

And...we repainted the hall bath upstairs and took down the sheet mirror (which I donated to the ReStore). Well, I have not been able to decide on a replacement. As you can see, I took this pic in January and still we have no mirror.

I kind of like a simple white wood frame, but they have these really cool mirrors with a natural wood, bleached look at HomeGoods that I keep coming back to....I should probably just buy one.

Finally, here is a mirror for the dining room that I bought off Craigslist:

This mirror is huge. I almost could not get it in my car to come home. I bought it in March and it sat on the dining room table until mid-April. It did get some new paint then. First, I sanded it down with a sanding block.

I tried first to use one of those little samples of paint from the hardware store, but the color the paint guy chose didn't match my spray paint. So, I ended up doing two coats of flat paint, then a coat or two of spray paint.

I really like the detail at the top! And the finished product...

I've got some other things to do in that room to tie in the grey and yellow, along with some other projects brewing.

I had a busy weekend here, but so much fun and I will have lots to share this week.  : )

The DIY Show Off