Bathroom Makeover

I finally found some towels that go with my shower curtain, so I decided to go all out and clean, organize and decorate my bathroom. Its still not quite done, but it makes me happy every time I walk past it.  Now you know what makeover means, right? Before and afters! Warning: the before pictures are a little bit scary. Also, I feel like I should get some ovaries of steel badge or something for showing off my dirty bathroom to the internet.

dirty sinkMessy people? Who? Us? This is, well, bad. It also happens to be the way our bathroom has looked since we moved in. I should have made this clear awhile ago, Im a slob and a procrastinator. Im working on both issues. Hell, part of the reason I started a blog was to force me to work on both issues. But here it is. This is me. A work in progress.

before drawers

The drawers arent in terrible shape, but I was on a roll, so I straightened these up to.

undersink before

Poorly stitched together under sink picture. Mess, mess, mess, mess, mess!

medicine cab beforeNot the worst Ive ever seen, but theres room for improvement.

before picsAnd heres a not quite panorama of the rest of the bathroom. Okay, done with the gross befores, lets move on to the afters.

bathroom-makeover1
This is my view every time I walk down the hall, not too shabby.

My sink and counter area are clean and organized. Im still planning on hanging that basket that contains the electric razor on the wall right under the medicine cabinet, and Id like to switch out my current containers for prettier ones, but for now Im just happy that its clean and de-cluttered. Now whats under that sink.

Like I said before, they werent really in terrible shape before, but I still thought I could improve them. Drawer 1:  I reorganized my make up and moved my brushes to the front of the drawer so that they would be easier to access, which just reminds me of how badly I need to clean them. Oh and do you like my nail clipper collection, were up to 4 so far, but I havent organized the whole house yet. I expect to find one or two more. Drawer 2: Those plastic drawers hold hair ties, bobby pins, clips, curlers and emery boards. They were already super organized, so I didnt touch them. I removed the washcloths from the basket they were in, because it was unnecessary and I wanted to use it for something else. That first square container hold my face stuff. Lotion, sunscreen, etc. The second one holds allergy related things: Breathe right strips, menthol inhaler, saline spray, etc. That dove bar is for washing my makeup brushes whenever I finally get around to it, and the stuff towards the back of the drawer are things that wouldnt fit in the two square containers, more face and allergy stuff. Drawer 3: Didnt change much. I moved the brush that I never use down with the hair heating tools that I never use. I also threw my husbands straight razor down there, because he never uses that either. So its pretty much just the stuff we dont use drawer.

The under sink after is one of my favorites, because I organized the crap out of it. Pic 1: Ive had this under sink shelf thing for awhile, and it was sitting in the utility room unused so I busted it out. Lotions and hair products up front, and if youll look to pic 4 (lower right) I have a basket of extras in the back. Things like extra blades for razors, face wash refill, extra contact solution, etc. The drawer pulls out and has a divider (pic 3). Ive got icy hot patches and large band aids on one side and and assortment of things on the other. That apple cider vinegar is for my hair, it does wonders for getting hard water residue out. Pic 2 aka, the right side of the under sink area: From front to back extra TP, feminine products, dog shampoo, lotion and ear cleaner, bathroom cleaning products, peroxide and Epsom salt.

Medicine cabinet after. Pretty self explanatory but Ill explain it anyway. OTC painkillers, thermometer and neosporin up top, ear cleaners, allergy and cold medicine, deodorants and a container full of eye drops in the middle. floss picks, dry mouth mouth wash, contact solution, shaving cream and his mouth wash on the bottom shelf.

I finally bit the bullet and hung up some art. It makes the room look a million times better. The only reason I hesitated in the first place is because I dont want moisture to ruin anything, but its super dry here, and we always run the fan while showering, and I open the window on sunny days, so I decided to take my chances. The whale vs. squid over the toilet was a birthday present from my super talented BFF, Stacy Nguyen, and the two water colors are greeting cards that I bought at the Monterey Bay Aquarium by artist Cheryl Kampe. And dont worry, my pictures arent crooked, this picture was just taken at an odd angle. Oh, and look at those towels! Arent they the perfect colors? Not caring too much for the seashell on the toilet, it looks kind of sad and lonely, but Ill find it a friend or two eventually.

Heres how the darker teal /navy/green towels look up next to the shower curtain. Im liking it. And when you put those towels through the dryer they make the prettiest lint seriously, I almost felt bad throwing it away. And just ignore my microfiber hair towel hanging there, unless you have frizzy and/or curly hair, in which case, go out and buy one RIGHT NOW!

Maybe Ill do this thorough clean, organize and decorate all in one day thing with another room tomorrow, because just about every room in my house could use this kind of treatment. Bedroom next? Or maybe just the closet

P.S. I have 1 more card to receive to complete series A of Joe Sorrens trading cards sets, and when I receive it I have a fun (for me at least) framing project planned.

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DIY $3 Throw Pillow Insert

DIY throw pillow from $3 standard sized pillow

I tend to find throw pillow inserts a little bit overpriced for what they are just smaller square pillows. So when I found this $3 standard sized pillow at Big Lots (I hear you can find cheap ones at Walmart too) the other day, I decided that I was going to DIY my own throw pillow insert.

standard pillow

Step one: Measure shortest side of the pillow. If youre making a square pillow, this is going to be the length of the other seams.

Step two: Cut off one of the short end seams (if there is a serged seam, cut off that one).

measuring and cutting pillow

Step three: Pull out all the stuffing and put it somewhere safe for later use.

Step four: Turn pillow inside out and iron out the wrinkles. Make sure the seams are ironed flat.

emptied pillow with iron

Step 5: Measure up the long side of the pillow. If you want a square pillow use the measurement that you got in the first step. Add an inch or two for seam allowance. Tip: When measuring, dont measure from the end of the fabric, measure from the seam instead.

measuring pillow

Step 6: Mark your measurement (I used a silver sharpie, because no one is going to see it once it has a cover) and cut carefully along that line insuring that both sides of the pillowcase are lined up. Use pins to keep the fabric from slipping around if you need to.

cut pillow case

Now get out your sewing machine, and (optional) canine helper.

zuko with sewing machine

Step seven: With your pillow still turned inside out, pin the pillow about half way across, and then sew a seam halfway across the open top. Use a small stitch size.

pinned fabric

Step eight: With the top seam half way sewn, turn your pillow right side out, the excess seam allowance should fold in on its own. Now get out the reserved stuffing and start stuffing.

stuffing pillow

Step nine: Your pillow should look lumpy. Youre going to want to push the stuffing down as far as you can so that you have room to sew the top opening.

Lumpy Pillow

Step ten: zig zag stitch the opening, ensuring that the seam allowance in flipped inward.

zig zag setting

This is what the finished seam should look like. Its not the prettiest, but it wont be seen once you put a cover on it.

Finsished Seam

Final Step: Punch the crap out of your pillow, massaging the stuffing into the corners. Punch it, poke it, roll around on it, beat it against the floor, just keep going until the stuffing is evenly distributed. You could avoid this step to some degree if you have a serger or if you want to insert  a zipper in the seam, like they have on some premade throw pillow inserts.

zipper

And heres the finished product

finished pillow

Not too bad, right? Here it is beside one that I bought a few years ago.

two pillows

I think I like mine better, and I can guarantee you it was at least half the price. Now, to cover these suckers

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Weekend Finds aka Things that will be keeping me busy this Week

I went shopping on Saturday, and came home with a few things to keep me busy working on home projects this week.

This first one wont keep me busy, it just makes me happy.

I was kind of concerned that I wouldnt find a bathmat to go with my shower curtain after I passed on these two at Home Goods when I was in Phoenix.

I get panicky about spending money, and at $20 and $15 respectively, these kind of triggered my cheap ass to have a panic attack, so I left them on the shelf. Luckily a trip to Big Lots landed me this $7 bathmat that matches my shower curtain perfectly if I do say so myself.

bathmat and shower curtain

Now all I need to do is find some complementary towels and a few accessories (and clean and organize the space) and it will be perfect. Im still considering those Nate Berkus towels, btw, Im just hoping that I can catch them on sale. Again spending money makes me anxious.

Also found at big lots, this pillow. This $3 dollar pillow. Do you know how much throw pillow inserts cost? Well, theyre almost always more than $3 dollars. Do you know how easy it is to turn a standard sized pillow into a throw pillow insert? Super easy, and Ill be showing you how later this week.

pillow in progress

a sneak peek of the pillow in progress.

starfish drawer pull

Starfish drawer pulls to replace the boring ones that we have (Hobby Lobby  $2.50 each/ 50% off sale) . I had to get 2 regular stars, because we needed 12 knobs, and they only had 10 of these. Somebodies underwear drawer is going to be star spangled instead of nautical .

Chair foam

The biggest and bestest finds of the weekend were probably these two 4x22x22 foam squares. Ive had this wooden chair frame for over two years, and have always avoided buying foam for it because its so expensive. But I finally found foam for a decent price this weekend. Hobby Lobby (its the only craft store we have) normally sells them for $16.99, but they were on sale for 30% off and the cashier let me use my 40% off coupon instead of the sale price for one of them.  $22 for both not too bad. Im waiting on another 40% off coupon or a sale to buy the fabric. I also need to study every tutorial I can find on making box cushions, because I have a feeling there will be a significant amount of  cursing, throwing things, and maybe even some tears involved. I also need to go buy an electric bread knife to cut these things down to size.

That wood frame needs some lovin too, which may be another post in itself.

Now that you know what Im up to this week, what projects do you have in the works? Also, if you know how, can you come make two box cushion covers for me?

 

 

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Playing with Color Palette Generators for Decorating

Ive been thinking a lot about what colors I want to use in my house. For now Im just focusing on the living room. I currently have a dark grey couch in there, a black entertainment center, white walls and milk chocolate colored carpet Not a super interesting/fun combination. I do however have a pillow (that I made, and plan on making another with the same fabric) and two lamps that I know I want to use in that room, so I thought it would be fun to run the colors through a few color palette generators to get a better idea of what other colors might work in the room.

Pillow and lamp

On the left is the image of the pillow fabric, and on the right is one of the yellow lamps that I plan on rewiring on a background similar to the color of our sofa.

I can tell you right now that none of the pallet generators came up with a scheme I absolutely loved, but I did get some useful ideas to work with.

    css drive color palette

 CSS Drive Colors Pallet Generator

pictaculous color generator

Pictaculous

patorjk color palettepatorjk: image to color palette generator

Kuler color palette generator

Kuler from Adobe. Go to Create>From an Image

genopal pic 2 color palette generatorGenopal Pic2Color

colr color palette generator

colr.org

colorhunter color palette generator

Color Hunter

big huge labs color palette generatorBig Huge Labs Color Palette Generator

aminus3 and degraeve palettesleft: Aminus 3 Color Scheme Generator right: DeGraeve Color Palette Generator

palette that I created in photoshop

and finally, I made this one in photoshop using the eyedropper tool, and I only noticed after the fact that it looked very similar to the adjusted Kuler palette.

Obviously I plan on using more than five colors in my living room, but I actually found the color palette generators pretty helpful in getting an idea of what to look for in textiles and accessories (and maybe even a no damage wallpaper).

What do you think of the color generators? What about my photoshop made color palette? Are there any colors you think I should add or ditch?

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Command Hooks are a Renters Best Friend: command hook window treatments

I am not receiving any compensation for writing about 3M Command products, I just happen to really love them, and Ill be showcasing some of my favorite uses for them over the next few weeks.

Just like with painting policies, every landlord/housing management office has its own rules about holes in the wall. Some dont want any, some dont mind small ones as long as theyre filled before you go, and some dont even care if you fill them. Whatever your limitations, command hooks can help.

I believe that hanging window treatments, bringing in nice lighting and putting art on the walls are three of the most important things you can do to make your house feel more like a home. But for today were just going to address the window treatments. How do you hang curtains without nails, screws or at the very least thumbtacks?

Given the title of this post, I think you know the answer.

command hook hung curtain rods

Morgan of The Handcrafted Life hung these curtains using these hooks. She painted the base of the hook to match the wall and the hook portion to match the curtain rods. [tutorial]. Keep in mind that each hook has its own weight limit, and is should say what the limit is in the upper right hand corner of the package. I believe that the weight limit for these particular hooks is 3lbs each. Since there are two hooks per curtain rod, the weight of the curtain rod combined with the weight of the curtains needs to weigh less than 6lbs. If you had heavier curtains, or you were using a longer curtain rod, you could put a hook in the center for extra support.

diy curtain tie back

If you want to be able to tie your curtains back, follow Ashleys simple instructions over at Homemakers Challange, and just replace the screw in hook with a removable one.

french doors with curtains

Abby of Steals+Deals used command hooks (right side up and upside down) to hold the curtains on her offices french doors in place. For more details click here.

oddly shaped front door window treatments

Steph of Hearts and Laser Beams used a single store bought curtain panel, cut up, stitched up, buttonholed and secured in place with small command hooks to cover the oddly sized windows flanking her front door. [tutorial]

faux roman shades

Meredith of Welcome to Heardmont made these cheater roman shades using small command hooks to create the folds. Her tutorial calls for nails or screws to secure the top part to the wall, but you could probably get away with using 3M picture and frame hangers to keep your walls hole free. [tutorial]

black out shade before and after

This last one is more for function than form, but as someone who likes to sleep past sunrise, I think it deserves a mention. Lori of Family|Love|Home made these no-sew/no wall damage blackout shades to keep her kids, and by extension herself, in bed just a little bit longer each morning. [tutorial]

Blog Note: I wont be able to do any of my own home projects for a few weeks, so you can expect mostly round ups and maybe a mood board or two until mid April.However, if you have a question, tip, or submission, I would love to feature it here. At the top of this page there is a link to my submission page. Please dont be shy. I promise I dont bite.

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Small Successes and Project Plans

I got the second lamp detached! It was way more simple than I thought it would be. After a little work with a razor blade, I realized that the damn thing wasnt even glued together. I just had to snip apart some of the crappy wiring, unscrew a stubborn nut, and the whole thing just came apart. Check this out, no breakage like the first one.

lamp bottom

Im still not sure I can bring myself to drill into the lamp itself, so I think Im  going to re-purpose part of the original base.

lamp base

Im going to clean it up, paint it and have my father in law drill a hole in the side for a cord (we dont have the right kind of drill bit). Then Ill  just rewire it and screw the whole thing back together. I will post all the dirty details.

Other projects on the to-do list:

I want to turn these into lamps as well. Ill be taking them to my FIL for some help too. I really should have taken pictures of this thing disassembled so that I could better explain the changes I plan to make. There will be a hole drilled in the side of the base for a cord. and a hole drilled through that plate that currently has the candle spike on it. (yes I know that one of those magnifying glasses is missing its screw, but I know its somewhere in this house I just have to find it)

I want to use either an Edison bulb, or one of these Flame Candelabra Bulbs.

edison bulbs

I got these lanterns at Daiso (which also happens to be where I got the background paper) a few years ago, and theyve started to yellow a bit. Thats fine, because I never really like the color in the first place. Luckily the glass pops out really easily, so Im going to spay paint them like I  mentioned in my bathroom plans post.

white lanterns

My Grandmother in law got me this jewelery box 2 Christmases ago, and I have yet to really use it. Im thinking about refinishing or painting it, and doing the inset hearts a different color, removing the flower decal from the front window, and maybe changing out the hardware. I think it would make a nice addition to my night stand, since my nightstand doesnt have any storage/drawers.

jewelery box

 

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