little blue tables!

one of my favorite ways to get cheap paint for furniture projects is by checking out the 'oops' section at home depot. i first found out about it when my hubs worked in the paint department at the depot & told me about it- anytime something gets improperly mixed, they slash down the price & stick it in a little section to be found by some enterprising diy-er... ahem... someone wanting cheap paint.

i found a super cute pale blue one day on the cheap & snatched it up. i started using it on a table & loved it so much i wanted to know what color it was in case i ever wanted to get more mixed. a little googling of the color code printed on the top uncovered the truth- it was wedgewood gray by benjamin moore! it's a really lovely pale bluish gray that i can just as easily imagine covering our living room walls as i can the little side tables i was working on! in fact, here it is on the walls of a pottery barn image that i pinned awhile back:

& these are the little tables i was working on... i discovered them at a local mini flea market owned by just about the cutest little old man on the planet. when i saw they were a set of two, i couldn't resist them! he even cut me a deal because i somehow lugged them up to the front of the market to ask the price on them while also carrying a baby! hah.

 when i purchased them, they had glass cut to fit the tops, but with two small people in the house [& another one on the way!] i've pretty much sworn off glass furniture of any kind. so i ditched the glass to the recycling & that's when the wedgewood gray came out to play!
the color turned out really pretty & i was very happy with it- especially paired with my tan couch & dark brown wood lamps! the little shelves underneath were just the perfect size for our media boxes full of rarely-used cds & extra office supplies.
truthfully though, it was the petite little size of these tables that won me over. they are such a unique size & so incredibly flexible. they can go long-ways or short-ways next to the arm of the couch, & when long-ways, they provide a table top accessible by the chair next to it as well! 
 i'm thinking they could also be paired long-ways, pushed together next to each other to make one long console-style table, but still petite. i think they would be great that way behind a couch floating out in the room. here's how they look in our current living room set-up:
i haven't glazed them yet, but i think they need it. i love the glazed look!


more painted furniture!

i think i have to admit that my penchant for painting furniture is basically a full-blown obsession. i just can't seem to stop! most of all, it's a way to buy cheaper, junky furniture on our tight budget & make it something really cute & useful in our home.

hubs & i had been looking for a large 9 or more drawer dresser for our master bedroom- we'd struck out repeatedly on craigslist for anything in our price range. then, lo & behold, as we randomly wandered the flea market one weekend, we came across the perfect thing! here's my terrible-basement-before shot:

 then we tentatively asked the price & it became even more perfect! it has this cool wavy front, little feet & the original hardware. but... it did need a coat of paint. so we primed the heck out of it:
 the color i picked for it to go with our beachy bedroom was krylon jade in satin. it looks a little wild coming right out of the can, but a little smoky glaze will tone it right down perfectly! [this beastly thing only took 4 cans!]
painting in progress, with all the drawers out:
we still have to sell our old dresser on craigslist before we have room for it in the bedroom, so it might be awhile before i have the 'after' shot ready!

while we were at the beach over labor day, hubs's mom mentioned that she had a chest she'd always wanted painted... it sat between the living room & dining room holding all the magazines, crayons, cards, etc. that we usually use at the dining room table at their beach house.

so when she came home with a bag full of cans of white spray paint, hubs & i got to work!
i don't have an 'after' shot of this one either, i've got to start remembering that! just wanted to share some current projects in progress.


a little yellow table.

remember when i bought this lovely blue thrifted mirror for the entry & mentioned that i needed a table to go underneath it?
well, i found one!
& i can't get over how perfectly it fits. it holds a basket for our keys [that we still keep losing anyways], a basket for the dog's leash & collars, umbrellas, & a little shoe-putting-on stool [also thrifted! $3 at goodwill!]
but i'll be honest, when i first got it, it was not so cute. a friend gave it to me unexpectedly after i mentioned that i liked to paint junky old furniture- he had found it on the side of the road! we had to take it completely apart to get it home in the trunk, & it was obviously handmade, just a bunch of boards nailed together, really. don't you love a 'piece' with a story?

i took a terrible dusky before shot after my hubs put it back together for me [with screws this time, for stability!] & before i got to work sanding it.
at least, that's what i thought! the more i sanded, the more i realized i really needed to completely strip it down & start over. so i got to work with my favorite paint stripping product, citristrip, & let it sit for a bit. the stuff really is magical- it smells like oranges & you just glop it on really thick & then the paint scrapes off fairly easily after it has sat for awhile.

after a couple of coats of citristrip & LOTS of scraping, rinsing & sanding, it looked like this, ready for priming & paint:

i had really wanted to try out a paint color by behr called 'french gold' ever since seeing it on a dresser via lindsay at the pleated poppy. i figured since the table was small & all i was investing in it was a little elbow grease & the price of a sample can of the paint [just a couple bucks- love those things!] it was the perfect chance to try a bright, unexpected color. especially since this little table would be in the entryway, & didn't really have to 'go' with anything else nearby- it could be a bit of it's own destination so to speak.
it took a little time, but i couldn't be happier with how it turned out! i'm hoping to find some baskets that will fit perfectly on the little shelf for winter gloves & hats & such, and maybe a little bucket for umbrellas!


pinteresting: foam stampers!

i pinned an idea a few weeks back that i knew not only would my big girl K love, but she'd be able to assemble & use by herself with limited help from me [which just makes her feel bigger]... foam stampers! the concept is easy: bottle caps + foam stickers = stampers! we have tons of little foam stickers because that's always K's treat of choice at the dollar store, so we just rummaged through the recycling for some juice bottle lids [a little bigger/easier to handle than little soda lids] & went to town!
 we chose a hat, a star, two hearts, some kissy lips & i cut another shape down into a polka dot:
 easy peasy. easier than easy. super simple & super fun!


stenciled shower curtain!

i'm so proud & excited to share this project with you! it's been a long time coming [& finishing!] & i just love it so much!

i'm embarrassed to tell you how long i've lived with this sad little plain white shower curtain. unfortunately, the internet does not lie. well, you know what i mean. the things you write stick around for awhile... my own blog gives me away. here's a post from april 2007, almost 5 years & 3 houses ago, where i talked about wanting to change up my plain white shower curtain. here it is in our current guest/kiddo bath:
our second bath is tiny with no windows, so i wanted to bring some fun color in with the accessories. my hubs absolutely loves yellow & it reminds me of the happy time when we first met... the only thing i knew about him at all was that his favorite color was yellow & i still wanted to marry him!

little did i know how hard it is to find yellow bath accessories without some kind of duckie theme. i was thinking more chic graphic prints. the bathroom decor actually started 2ish years ago with some bright yellow floral towels  from world market & a fun diamond print yellow & white fluffy bath mat from garnet hill, 2 of my main little decorating splurges when we first moved into the townhome.

back to the the plain white shower curtain. i played around with lots of ideas... sewing ruffles to it, sewing strips of fabric to make big stripes, appliqueing a big monogram on it, & painting a chevron or some sort of trellis/gate/greek key kind of print on it. but nothing was really jumping out at me.

well, when i saw jones design company's stenciled wall, i thought maybe i could pull it off not on a wall, but on my little shower curtain by continually cutting the shape out of freezer paper, ironing it on the curtain to form the pattern, & then painting with fabric paint!

so that is what i did.

i downloaded the stencil & cut out 102 of the shapes. [not all at once- i did a few at a time so it didn't feel so overwhelming.] i used emily's awesome tutorial to place the pattern & iron it all down. the shower curtain was originally a waffle weave, which made it really easy to line up the pattern somewhat centered & then fairly evenly towards the edges. here, i had laid it out to iron more shapes on, they were nearly impossible to see without the already-painted sections showing!
then i spread it out onto a big piece of cardboard on my dining room table one afternoon & started dab dab dabbing the yellow fabric paint on in sections with a cheapo sponge brush, really squishing the paint down in the waffle weave. i used tulip soft fabric paint, which is God's gift to crafting, in the color 'sunshine yellow.' i had one bottle on hand from a previous project & ended up using about 2 & a half of the larger bottles total. not too bad with a couple of michael's coupons! i made sure to do touch ups after the first coat dried before i moved onto the next section.

it took me forever to finish because i had to spread it out on several different surfaces several different times- i did the ironing of the freezer paper shapes on my bedroom and living room floors, and did the painting on my dining room table twice [with large cardboard or a plastic tablecloth underneath] & in the basement on my 'painting table' once.
i decided i wanted to keep a strip of plain white along the top where the grommets are, so i didn't have to worry about trying to iron the shapes or paint around the grommet edges. there was a seam there that made it really easy & i think it helped the overall curtain look much more finished:
when i reached the edge, i was usually able to cut off part of the shape & replace it somewhere else to complete the pattern:
it really didn't take as long as you're probably thinking, although between cutting out all the shapes, ironing them on & then all the painting, i have no idea how long total it took me. if you don't truly love the crafting process, maybe it is more worth it just to drop the $30 bucks for one at target. but i do looooove how it turned out & it's fun to have not only a completely specialized curtain [with no sewing, yay!] but i was also able to use the one i already had. there are, of course, a few little spots where the paint bled just a bit, but not so noticeable that i'm in a hurry to do touch-ups:
overall, i was really pleased at how well the freezer paper stuck to the curtain, but yet were also pretty easy to peel off when i was done & the paint was dry. & they didn't leave any strange or sticky residue whatsoever!
when it was all done, i couldn't wait to get all the 'sticker shapes' peeled off & get it hung up!
 super cute with my yellow damask towels:
 it's definitely not an instant-gratification craft, but it makes me smile every time i see it from down the hallway. it looks exactly like what i intended [which rarely happens for me] & i just can't tell you how much color & spunk it adds to our little windowless bathroom!
my little silver hooks were a bit sad & plain too. so they got a coiled jute treatment to add some texture up in there. took all of 10 minutes & i totally love the change. it was extremely easy since they are so flat & round! i just rolled a little coil of jute, stuck it to the middle of the circle with hot glue &  then kept coiling & gluing until the whole circle was covered. & again, i got to re-use what i already had, but make them better!
all told, i think this is definitely one of my favorite, if not very favorite, projects i've completed to date! let me know in the comments if you have questions or attempt this too, i'd love to see yours!

now, what else can i stencil?


insta-mood board!

if you have a really big pretty frame but nothing to put in it, hang it up anyway.
clip some of your favorite pictures, cards, & little love notes, etc to the hanging wire with some clothespins.
stand back, admire. love it! perfect right above a desk, or for kiddo artwork in a playroom.


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