Thursday, May 31, 2012

how much is that campaign in the window?

Picture it. We were a week away from the big move. Mr. Spouse and I were dividing and conquering wedding season by attending separate showers; he in his Vineyard Vines best for a pool party, me in my 4 inch heels for a kitchen shower. Our plan was to celebrate the nearlyweds and then reunite for an evening full of packing up the rest of the apartment, just another Saturday, right?! That was the plan.

Being that I was running a smidge early for my shower, I gave myself a moment to chillax and tour the neighborhood for a bit to maybe gather some curb appeal inspiration. Such an innocent diversion, no? But as I was cruising down the lane, I stumbled upon a garage sale with this sitting on the curb:

Surely I was mistaken. Surely this campaign piece wasn't actually for sale. It's on the curb - doesn't that mean that it's sold? Not wanting to just leave a stone unturned, I waddled up to the sale hostesses and inquired about the piece. She informed me that not only was it for sale, but it was so "ugly" that she would give it to me for $60. I don't think my mouth has ever worked so fast to produce the word: SOLD. So me in my 4 inch heels weaseled that thing into my car pronto, just in time to go shower our little nearlywed with love.

Fast forward to present day when, less than 12 hours after moving into la nueva casita, I couldn't resist painting the hutch a second longer. As soon as I saw Jenn's campaign piece on LGN, I absolutely fell in love with the smoky gray enamel against the polished bronze.

I knew that I was definitely going to have to polish all of that brass goodness.

So, I began by pulling off all of the brass hardware:

With all of the hardware removed and drawers pulled out, I was ready to paint!

Just like Jenn at LGN, I chose Rustoleum's Smoke Gray not only for the color, but also for the high-gloss, laquard effect.

I used a foam roller to apply this oil-based paint and after one coat, we were looking rather phenom:

While the first coat dried, I tackled all of that brass!

I got a lot of the heavy tarnish off with a scouring pad and Bar Keeper's Friend and then refined the polish with Brass-O. Once the polishing was finished, the hutch and chest were ready for their second coat of paint! As it was a warm, dry day, both coats dried rather quickly, so I went ahead and replaced all of the hardware once the second coat dried a bit.

After the hardware was applied, I actually allowed the pieces to cure for two days. I really wanted to be sure that everything was as dry as could be before I started loading up the shelves and drawers! After the curing phase, I re-attached the hutch to the chest using pre-existing brackets and screws on the back of the pieces.

I was practically giddy with the final product - I loved the bright, shiny brass against the gray.

Now, all that was left was to load up the hutch!

Maybe I find myself walking through the dining room just to drool a little bit. Maybe. I don't know.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

change of address cards.

When making a transition to a new house, it is so easy to get bogged down in the large number of entities needing to be notified of your new address. To even live at your home comfortably, you have to speak to the water, gas, and electric companies, have your phone, internet, and cable transferred, change all of your credit card billing addresses, and that's just to get you started. Mr. Spouse has been Mr. Incredible over the past couple of weeks as he's completely handled all of our address changes with the appropriate companies without even batting an eye. Hello, hero!

With all of our "business" address changes taken care of, I got spend time doing what I love, making our change of address cards to send out to friends and family! I actually stumbled upon these cards several months ago. They are a free printable over at Anything But Perfect, and I just knew I had to use them!

They have a text editing feature so you can fill in your personal information and then print them out on heavy cardstock so you can send them as a postcard! Ours are all addressed and ready to be thrown into the mail!

I love that these "We've Moved!" cards will keep all of our family and friends informed of our new address...I just wish I could send the same thing to TXU and AT&T. Unfortunately, I don't think they'd appreciate the "cute" factor quite as much...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

moving 103.

Y'all. What a big week ahead! Our final week of school AND our final week in the a.p.t.. Mr. Spouse and I couldn't be more ready. Saying that we are beyond ready to move is an understatement. For serious.

Since we are so very close to M-Day, I have pulled my outfits for the next 5 days, and am now ready to pack up my closet.

I wish I were more excited about that fact, but I feel like clothes are the absolute worst thing to move. Can I get an amen?! Right when we started looking at movers, we heard about some local movers that actually bring a wardrobe rack into your home, load up your clothes, and wheel it onto the truck (if that's not genius, I don't know what is). Unfortunately, they were booked, so I had to start looking for a plan B. I considered a couple of things:

  • Mr. Spouse and I weren't too keen on purchasing millions of pricey wardrobe boxes.
  • I didn't want the movers to have to make several trips back and forth between my closet and the truck struggling to carry all of my clothes by hand.
  • I wanted to avoid having my clothes dropped on the way to the truck and I wasn't super thrilled by the idea that my clothes were about to be lovingly embraced by muscly, but rather sweaty, men.
As I was looking through my packing supplies, I remembered that I had this:

Remember how I told y'all in my moving 101 post to get some food service film? During our move, I've used it to wrap a layer of protection around some wall art, we've wrapped our wood furniture to avoid it getting nicked during the move, and now I've decided it will make moving my closet ten times easier. 

Crazy as it sounds, I actually decided to wrap all of my hanging clothes with a couple of layers of food service film.

I am hoping that this will do a couple of things. It will keep my clothes bundled into manageable groups that can be easily grabbed and moved.

By wrapping the film around both the hangers and wrapping underneath my clothes, we won't run the risk of anything slipping out while they are being carried to and from the truck.

The film also gives my clothes a layer of protection from any sweaty arms or dusty truck bottoms they might come in contact with during the move, which keeps me from worrying about ruining any clothes!

  • Mr. Spouse and I weren't forced to spend a fortune on wardrobe boxes - we used supplies we already had to solve my little dilemma. 
  • My clothes won't be dropped, ruined, or sweated upon during the move. (stretch that "v". dot that "i". curl that "c-t-o-r-y")
  • Wrapping my clothes in the film to just as much time as loading them up into some sort of box. It was finished in a jiffy!
6 more days, y'all.

Monday, May 14, 2012


So we all know that I'm having a bit of a campaign crush that I'm trying desperately to contain. The stuff is so fabulous, I'm tempted to transform every piece of furniture into a campaign hack, but I fear I might end up with this:

In an effort to leave the seventies in the history books, I began brainstorming ways to mix the highly polished, lacquered look of campaign with more rustic, comfortable pieces. That's when my pal Amy over at The Blissful Bee introduced me to the Restoration Hardware industrial cart coffee table:

I'm so sorry, what?! How did I not know about this table before now? I feel like this table paired with this credenza...

...that I'm planning to create and place under our television will just be delicious. I love the contrast between the smoky blue lacquer and the rustic, industrial feel of the coffee table.

But, if you do any research about Restoration Hardware's version of the coffee table, you will soon discover that it comes with a rather hefty price tag (1,045 George Washingtons to be exact). Further, I would like to have a taller coffee table in our den that is more proportional with our couch height. Almost as soon as I found out about the table, it was blatantly obvious that I was going to have to make it to get exactly what I wanted without taking out a loan.

Luckily, several other diy-ers have also taken the plunge to create their own industrial table. I found that Ana White has one of the most nitty gritty, detailed construction plans for her industrial table that has really informed my understanding of how to construct the table portion of the cart:

Three Moms on a Mission also shared a fabulously detailed breakdown of how to make an industrial cart:

I'm also loving the results that Amy at The Blissful Bee got from her diy experiment:

While I'm definitely not ready to begin constructing my table, I have started to collect the pieces. I am in a ferocious bidding war on eBay over these babies:

I'm hoping to scoop those up when the bidding closes tonight. I also went to a local wrecker service and found two of these fantastically rusted casters that I plan to use for the short ends of the table.

P.T.L., I have a super handy brother-in-law who is going to weld posts to the casters so that they will have some height and be easier to affix to the table.

I've also made some preliminary sketches of the top and "undercarriage" of the table so that I can know what kind of lumber I will need to purchase.

I am thinking that this will be one of my first projects after the move. I might be a loony bird to try it, but I think it will be a fun experiment!

How do y'all feel about the mix between high and low? I feel like the Barefoot Contessa would be so proud, but that's just me...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

diy dreaming.

My poor little brain. It's not used to being so overloaded with information - it's happy with being a simple, occasionally exercised organ. Nothing more, nothing less. But when I have a new casita waiting to be inhabited and a school year to wrap up...mind. blown. Being that all I can do right now is dream, record said dream, and stare at said recording without taking any action as we wait to move in, I shall spill my guts to you fine people so that my noggin can enjoy just a bit of r&r. Deal?

The new house boasts a fabulous semi-great room that encompasses the formal living and dining areas, seen here under previous ownership.

While only a portion of the area is visible, go ahead and imagine in your mind's eye that the happy window you see at the other end of the space is mirrored on the opposite wall. I mean, if two, 6 by 6 paned windows don't spell h.a.p.p.y., I just don't know what does. 

As these are such phenom features in this space, I am really wanting to highlight the windows with a bold striped curtain, and I'm planning on allowing me, myself, and I to carry out the task. The striped curtain is, after all, all the rage:

I have been doing my research, and found several different comprehensive, easy-to-follow tutorials that I'm hoping to mimic. Kelly over at Along the Way used fabric medium and acrylic paint to create her curtains so that she could have the option of washing the curtains in case they ran into Kool-Aid.

Cami, at All Things Lovely, however, used your run-of-the-mill wall paint to create her curtains with equally fantabulous results.

I expect that I will end up using wall paint, rather than a fabric medium, to create our future curtains so I won't have to worry about mixing paints, applying the medium properly, etc.

How do y'all feel about painting curtains? Has anyone tried it before?

Monday, May 7, 2012

moving 102.

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to my beginner tips for moving that will hopefully make packing for your next move as streamlined as possible. Now that we are exactly 19 days away from M-Day (moving day, doy), I am going to give you my pointers for finalizing plans for the actual day of the moving.

As you start accumulating packed boxes, I would suggest taking over a room to start stacking your boxes. While it's no fun to lose an entire room to boxes, at least all of your boxes are in one space! In our case, we have taken over our dining room:

While it looks like madness, here's the breakdown: The open boxes are where we have stored our hanging artwork.

The remaining boxes are stacked according to their size and destination room. With the exception of our garage stack, you will notice that we tried to stack only like-sized boxes in each stack, which will make loading a dolly easy and secure. Further, the boxes stack height does not exceed the height of a dolly so that we won't have any tumbles!

We stacked the boxes by room destination so that we would just have to move the boxes once, rather than rolling the dolly into one room, then shifting the boxes around to their final destination.

We also left a walkway between each row of boxes, just in case we need to locate a box between now and the move.

We have started our second room of boxes (our dining room is more like a "nook"), but with the apartment over 70% packed, I don't foresee us needing any additional space for boxes.

Only 19 more days until esta es la nueva casita!