Thursday, December 30, 2010

A "Copper" Top

Hello all!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!  We sure did!  Somehow, Santa was able to fit an air hockey table down the chimney?!  Crazy huh?  It's in the basement, and I think the adults love it even more than the kids do :)   I'll post pics soon- I promise!  I haven't been around much this week because I'm still enjoying sleeping in, staying in my pajamas all day, and being a general lay-about :)  However, with the new year steadily approaching I figured I better post my last project of the year and start thinking/planning new projects for 2011!

A few nights before Christmas I turned this

Focus in on the coffee table.  I was too lazy to crop this photo :)  

into this. 

Because I was loving this. 

The Normandy Coffee Table from one of my favorites- Arhaus!  It's on sale for $1049 - yeah- that's the 
"sale" price!  I love this table in a major way, but I don't exactly have the beans to buy it.  So, I gave my World Market coffee table a copper top with a little paint job.  

I started by sanding with 100 grit sandpaper.  

Then I used a paint roller and a bright green base color called Jalapeno.  I used an acrylic semi-gloss primer and paint in one by Valspar.  I really didn't need to buy this much paint.  I have no idea what I was thinking?!  Maybe I can find another project to use up this bright green paint.  Anywho, I chose a green base because natural copper has a greenish patina.  

Then I used a sea sponge and added a metal and patina glaze in copper over the green base.  I didn't cover the entire surface.  I let a little of the green show through.

Then I let it dry overnight, and the next morning I sponged on a little antiquing glaze in spots.

After it was completely dry I used wipe-on poly in satin to add a protective top coat.  I did two coats, and that has seemed to stand the "hot-wheels-racing-across" test :)   

I'm really in love with the results!  It gave our coffee table a totally unique look.  Plus this was pennies compared to the Arhaus version.  The paint supplies cost roughly $50 (I had to buy the sponge and a new drop cloth).  I'm sorry I don't have exact figures for you here; I need to get better at hanging on to my receipts.  Anywho, the cost would have been less if I had bought a smaller can of the base paint I used. Although, considering how much I like to paint I'm sure this paint won't go to waste :) 

I like this new look so much better!  It's kind of a monet in a sense though because the closer you get to this table the more you notice the wood grain, but this just makes it more of a conversation piece, if you ask me anyway :)  

Any fun end of the year projects going on in your house?!  I so love Christmas break!  Pajama days are the best!  Not really looking forward to the end of break, but I am looking forward to new projects next year!  

Hopefully, I'll be back to wrap up my first not quite a year of blogging and of living in our fifth house, but just in case I'm not back before 2011 - HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Linking up to these parties over at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and Savvy Southern Style!

And also over here- 

I've entered this project in the Crafting with the Stars event over at Sew Dang Cute Crafts!  Go check it out - it's such a fun blog event I just had to get in on the fun!  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry Christmas........

.....filled with candy cane wishes.......

.......and gingerbread dreams!  

We hope you enjoy this wonderful time with family and friends!  May you find time to rest and relax!  

Even Max, the Grinch's dog-deer, found the time to take a little nap :) 

Thanks for following along with us these past few months as we begin to make our fifth house a home!  Looking forward to lots of new projects in the new year!  

Peace, Joy, and Happiness!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Game Plan

*(This is not a Christmas related post but since all of these pics have Christmas decorations in them I figured if I didn't post this now when I did it would be like the ghost of Christmas past.)

Here's what happens when you move into a new house.  Or at least what happens in our experience (and considering we're on house numero cinco in just ten years, we've had quite a bit of experience).  Before you move in, you draw up a plan of where your stuff will go.  Then on move-in day you move your stuff in according to your plan.  After you've lived in the place for awhile, you get a better feel of exactly how you're going to use your new space.  Then you make any necessary changes.  Kind of like how to create more space and make the dining room less-formal-so-we'd-use-it-more-often we ditched the china cabinet and switched the kitchen table for the dining room table.

Well, after almost 9 months in our fifth house a new game plan in the family room was born.  I showed you the family room before but it never felt "finished".  Truthfully when does it?  Well, what we really wanted for this room was a better layout as far as furniture placement goes.  We've finally (we think) come up with a floor plan that really works for how we use this space.  Thanks to the addition of my Christmas presents we've done some furniture rearranging.  Here are some recent before pics to help you get better acquainted.

View from the entry foyer.

View from the kitchen

View from the hallway that leads to the guest bathroom and master suite.

With no solid walls (there's an opening leading to another room on each wall) we had to put the seating area in the middle of the room to allow for easy passage ways around the entire room.  With the addition of the banana arm chairs we created a television watching/conversation area.  We moved the Arhaus chair (that we saved our pennies for and bought back in the summer) to the back right corner of the room and brought in the reading floor lamp from the hubs office to create a nice little reading corner where you also have a good view of the t.v.

At first we weren't sure about placing the couch in front of the fireplace (check here for the deets on the whitewashing I gave the brick).  While there are a lot of different ways to "create a floor plan" from the old pencil and graph paper system to free online floor planning sites, we I like the old method of just moving things 'till you like the set up.  This is not the hubs or his back's preferred method :)  What can I say I'm more of a hands on kinda gal.  

Anywhoo, we tried leaving the couch perpendicular (wow, never thought I'd use that word outside of geometry class) to the right of the fireplace with the chairs across on the left; but there wasn't enough room to walk around to the kitchen, and one of the chairs blocked the view of the t.v.  We do a lot more t.v. watching in this room than we thought we would (we thought we'd mainly use the basement for tube time).  We find ourselves in here more often, and in the basement for movie/sports watching (because the "big" t.v. is down there).  The goal for the seating area here was for every seat in the room to have a good view of the t.v. while also being great for conversation.  

This set up was the best fit for all of our wants/needs for this room.  Even though the couch is in front of the fireplace because of the raised hearth you can still enjoy the fire (which is also helped by the fact that our couch has a relatively low back).  To be honest this room would look better (aesthetically) if we eliminated the t.v. all together and just used this room as a living room, but that really isn't practical for how we live as a family.  It's nice to be able to watch (say The Nate Show) in here while the kids are playing the Wii downstairs.  It's also nice for the hubs to be able to have a guys night in the basement while the kids and I are snuggled upstairs on the couch watching a movie.  

I also love having a little reading nook in the corner of the room.  

We brought this ladder shelf up (bought from Pier 1 years ago) from the basement.  I dressed it up with old books and a few old family photos.  My favorites are the pic of my dad in Vietnam and the one of the hubs dancing with my grandma at our wedding.  

I used an old antique glass hand (that I bought at a thrift shop years ago) to display my dad's dog tag.  LOVE. 

Back to the game plan now (sorry I get sidetracked).  Anyhow, in order to have enough space to walk around the room we moved the sideboard (from Zgallerie bought years ago) to the hubs office.  Which really made more sense in this room and in his office which I'll show you again soon.  This gave him lots of storage that he really needed in there.  Here's the before. 

Here's after we moved the sideboard (where the white lamps sit) to the hubs office. 

By moving the sideboard out we were able to move the wine bar from the back left to the back right of the room.  We also decided to actually use it to store our wine glasses rather than just use it for display.  Now we're always ready to entertain!  This also created another zone in here allowing this room to really be multi-functional.  I also brought up this black side table from the basement which is a nice spot to decorate set a drink.  For more deets on the art wall I created where the sideboard used to be check here.  

The t.v. is still in the corner of the room housed in the left-behind-by-the-previous-owners-armoir that I painted.  We would like to someday replace this with something that actually fits in the corner, but for now we're making this one work (because it was free and we love free stuff). 

The black console table  (where the white lamps now sit) was another piece that we brought up from the basement (and is also something we bought at Pier 1 years ago).  Bringing in these black finish pieces (the ladder shelf, side table, and console table) works well in here and plays really nicely with the black dining chairs and barstools in the open-to-the-family-room-kitchen.  Plus it's always nice to shop your home before buying something!  

Anyhow, this is the game plan in the family room (for now).  The hubs and his back are really hoping this plan sticks :)  This works out so much better for us and for our family and friends that visit!  There's more seating and this new set up is much more inviting (in my opinion anyway).  

So, once again here's a before and after (because I live for before and afters). 



We still have a few tweeks to make in here before it's "done" (ha-ha-ha - as if) but the floor plan will hopefully stay the same :)   

Have you created any new game plans in your home lately?  Any furniture rearranging or games of musical furniture happening in your home this holiday season?  We wish you a Merry Christmas from our fifth house to yours (whatever number you may be on).  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Came Early

For me anyway :)  It came the Saturday after Thanksgiving!  I mentioned we did a little furniture rearranging in the family room back when I showed you the console table Christmas vignette.  Well the reason for the "rearranging" are these bad boys or maybe I should call them girls?

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days to shop.  I refer to it as "Smokey Grey Saturday" :)   The deals are still there but the crazies are not.  These girlfriends followed me home from Pier 1 imports.  I had been eyeing these banana armchairs for a really long time (to the point of stalking).  They are normally $269 and they were on sale for $219!  The cushions are sold separately, and this brown plush cushion was on sale too, normally $40 marked down to $29.98!  At this price the chair plus the cushion was still $20 less than just the chair sells for normally!  Not to mention that this is about half the price of a similar chair that Pottery Barn sells.  I do love me some Pottery Barn, but their version was just a bit outa the ol' budget.  The banana chairs from Pier 1 fit right in though.  I'm in LOVE with them! 

I love the texture they add to the family room, and how they make the room feel a bit more casual.  I'm also a big fan of versatility so the fact that these chairs would also look great out on say a covered deck (that we want to do someday) also makes me extremely happy!  In addition being able to completely change the look of these just by changing the cushion is so right up my alley (since I change my "decor" mind like pretty much daily).  I also like things that aren't expected, and these chairs paired with a distressed leather couch are totally unexpected.  I'm not being paid to write this in case you're thinking this sounds a lot like an advertisement :)  I just LOVE my Christmas presents so much and I wanted to share the love :)  

Oh, and I forgot to mention the felt rose pillows - oops!  I picked those up a few weeks ago at Pier 1 too.  Apparently, I was a little crazy that day because even on sale they were $30 each- ouch!  More proof that I really need to learn how to use my sewing machine! 

Obviously there won't be anything under the tree for me this year :)  I'm ok with it though.  I'll be sittin' in my banana chair with a cup of coffee Christmas morning smiling from ear to ear!    

Merry Christmas!  Anyone else getting furniture for Christmas?  Or doing a little furniture rearranging?  I hope no one's asked for a bb gun - you'll shoot your eye out kid! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Deck The Walls

Deck the walls with bits of history.  Fa la la la la - la la la la!  'Tis the season right?  This is really not a Christmas post, but I figured since I was posting this around the holidays I'd add a little festive fun :)

Anyhow, before I reveal the new furniture arrangement in the family room, I wanted to show you all the new art wall.  

I decked the walls with a little history.  With our white beauty gracing the fireplace I figured a lesson in Kentucky's rich history was in order.  I didn't want to spend a fortune hunting for art that would depict this great state's history though.  So, I got a little creative or destructive depending on how you look at it :)  See, we've had this coffee table book since our newlywed days (sniffle- has it really been 10 years!), and it's been a part of "our ______ house" no matter what number we've been on.  It's filled with beautiful photographs of Kentucky taken by James Archambeault.  I've always thought that the photographs in this book were frame worthy.  I cut out a few of my favorites and created a Kentucky history lesson art wall.  (Try saying that 3 times fast.)

I mean when you live in a state with such a proud history why wouldn't you want to show it off?  This book was just filled with breathtakingly beautiful photographs, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to frame them!  I'm not the only one that thinks this place we call home is beautiful either.  Kelly Ripa had this say after a visit to the LEX.  "I just have to say, to everybody in Lexington, Lentucky," Ripa told the audience of the syndicated talk show, "you are the smartest people on the planet because that is the prettiest place on Earth.  My gosh, it's gorgeous."  So, booyah.  The hubs and I are some of the smartest people on the planet :)   

Here's what made the cut.  Sorry in advance for the glare.  This room gets so much light and the glass on these frames is super glarerific :)  I'm. not. a. photographer. 

The derby.  The greatest (and most exciting) two minutes in sports!

An old red barn.

The state capitol.  I used a backless rustic wood frame (Hobby Lobby) to frame the white frame (Target).  I like the way it makes more of a statement this way.  This small 4x6 frame looks more significant in this grouping and adds a lot of visual interest.   I used a couple of Command strips to hang the backless frame on the wall.  These things are like my best friend.  They make hanging things soooo easy!

The Trustees House at Pleasant Hill.  This is my favorite!  I love the way that bronze frame compliments the colors in this photo of a spiral staircase. 

The South Elkhorn Creek.

The home where Abraham Lincoln's parents courted.  Since this picture didn't fit in the opening I used a piece of burlap for the background.  I really like the texture it adds and the way it highlights the natural colors in this photograph. 

 A couple of the photographs that made the wall weren't from the book. 

A photograph taken by a friend.  I posted about this photo here.  

A photo taken by my mom of the kids leaning over a fence at the Kentucky Horse Park.

I really love the way this art wall came out!  I love the mix of finishes on the frames.  Most of them I already had, but the few that I bought I picked up at Hobby Lobby during a half price sale and at Target for a steal! 

So, that's us giving props to the state we call home.  
Many thanks to Mr. Archambeault :) 

Have you destroyed cut out pictures from a coffee table book to add art to your walls?  Are you giving any history lessons on the walls in your home?  Am I the only one that's in LOVE with those Command strips?!  Please tell me I'm not alone!   

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let It Snow

We aren't just dreaming of a white Christmas over here in Lexington, Kentucky.

Since we're covered under this beautiful winter blanket this seems like the perfect time to share this fun snowman craft with you!  Meet Mr. and Mrs. Frosty created by my kiddos!  They made these cute snow people without having to pile on the puffy coat, hats, and gloves that are usually required when making a snowman :) 

This is a craft my kids made with the help of my mom over Thanksgiving break.  I know I should have shared this sooner.  Geesh!  I'm sorry for holding out on you!  Without further ado, here are the supplies you'll need.  

1. Small Styrofoam Balls
2. Creative Paperclay
3. Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue
4. Glass Bottles
5. Craft Wire
6. A Chopstick (or anything you have to make holes in the clay)
7. Small Christmas Decorations - snowflakes, glitter, small beads- whatever you like
8. Acrylic Craft Paint

This is a really fun craft for kids.  It doesn't take too much time so they won't get bored.  Plus it's something you'll have to treasure for years!  If you're looking for a way to keep your kids entertained during Christmas break I highly recommend this craft project.  The bonus is you can keep these snowmen out all throughout the winter for a little festive fun around the house even after the holidays are over! 

To get started, gather your supplies, then mold the clay around a styrofoam ball to create Frosty's head. 

You'll want to dab your fingers in a bowl of water to soften the clay around the styrofoam ball and smooth out any cracks.  This is my daughter's snowman head :) 

Then fill your bottle (this is the snowman's body) with whatever you'd like.  We used white and silver beads, small snowflakes, and candy canes.  You'll want to find things that are small enough to fit through the top of your glass bottle.  We picked up all of our supplies at Hobby Lobby, and most of it was 40-60% off!!!  Sorry, I don't remember the exact price of things but it's been a while, and my mom bought everything :) 

I also had the kids write their names on a small piece of paper to roll up and stick inside.  It's kind of like a time capsule now.  I just love their handwriting :) 

Once you've filled up Frosty's belly, use your chopstick to add a ring of glue to the top of the bottle.
Then put his head on his body.  

Then take a little craft wire and mold some clay around it to make Frosty's nose.  

When you stick the nose on add a little glue around the base.

Then use the other end of the chopstick to give Frosty some eyes and a mouth.  (Who knew a chopstick could have so many different uses!)  

Then let the clay dry overnight.  Once the clay is dry you can paint the face.  

And that's it!  The kids had so much fun making these.  You can dress Frosty up anyway you'd like.  We used pipe cleaners for scarves and also made a wreath for their heads with pipe cleaner garland.  

I just love "freezing" their handwriting in time :) 

Mr. and Mrs. Frosty are in the kitchen next to my Willow House Hemingway Hurricane.  I used a little fake snow and a chalkboard place card to create a sweet little winter display!  

I think these have started a new tradition here!  I may have the kids make one every year now!  They were so fun and easy!  Do you have any quick and easy Christmas crafts to share?  It's so much fun to spend a little crafty time as a family- don't you think?! 


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