The Amazing Entertainment Center… So far.

I left you guys hanging… In fact. I left you hanging on a lot of things for over a good month now. Sorry. You would think I have a herd of children, a house that’s too big to keep up with all the cleaning, and a job that is in my home and destroys said home on a daily basis.

Oh wait. You’d be right. On top of all that, the cord that connects my computer to my external hard drive is loose, or something, because it connects for a few seconds than disconnects, and it goes back and forth. So I had to go to Best Buy and get a new cord and now I have access to all my pictures again! For more than 10 seconds at a time :)

And lastly, to be honest. I have just been in a funk. I was so motivated to get shit done back in January and February; then my husband left for England; I did a lot of work around here… he came home, wasn’t too thrilled or impressed… and it killed my motivation. Ugh. And I’m at a standstill with most my projects because I need his help now, but it takes a long while to get him on that.

But when it comes to these scenarios, I think my Aunt Pam nailed it on the head. For her birthdays and Valentine’s Day, all she asks of my handsome Uncle Scott is to finish a honey-do list. Dude! Is that not the most brilliant idea you have ever heard????? Personally, I think she is one smart lady… A lot of people often think “What would Jesus do?”. My motto? What would Aunt Pam do? Much better question. And I usually like the answers that follows it.

Anyway!

I left you with this post. I showed you the samples of what I came up with:

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Ahhhhhh… that’s a beaut right there.

While the hubs was away, I did manage to finish part of the entertainment center, and my awesome cousin painted one of my walls in Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray {but in Behr’s paint- it’s amazing paint!}. I helped a tad bit.

And the wall color is perfect.

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She helps me paint all my walls, and always writes a note starting out… isn’t she precious! I especially love the giant MAR {& tiny}issa. MARissa. Ha! Thanks Bethy & love you!

It makes everything on that wall pop! The windows and door suddenly look more white {and they are far from white… they weren’t even white when we moved in!}

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I’m also excited to put up some glam decor in the area between the entertainment center and window… It’s really going to look amazing. I have a few ideas I’m toying with. But that won’t be done for a long while. Don’t look for that post any time soon.

Now moving onto my entertainment center. Isn’t she gorgeous?

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I couldn’t have been more proud and impressed with myself than I was after those boards went up! I am in love!

Wondering how I did this? Wanting to do this with an area in your own house? Well here… let me fill you in on the know-how!

I purchased:

(9) 1x6x8′ Pine boards from Home Depot.
(1) Sample paint of Herbal Tea {green}
(1) Sample paint of Beach Towel {blue}

What I also needed, but already had in my garage was:

Minwax Dark Walnut Stain
Target Diaper Cloths, White
Orbit Sander
Chip Brushes
Chop Saw
Nails
Some manly muscles!

So I started by chopping the boards to length with the chop saw. I needed 7 boards at 7′ long. The last board, I needed 8- 2 ft boards, totaling the 2 remaining boards. The reason for the 2 ft boards is because there is a giant hole in the middle of the entertainment center for the wall mount to hold the TV {because as you can see in the picture below, the mount is connected to the wall… not the entertainment center}. On either side of said hole, is 2 feet to the edge. Make sense? Good.

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Once that was done, I started painting with the chip brushes, beginning with the lightest color paint first. The green.

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I literally slopped it on. But in a very thin coat. A dry brush basically. I dabbed the ends of the brush in, got most of the paint off the brush, and then brushed it on the boards. Repeated until it was covered. With this process, you are still able to see the knots and grain of the wood thru the paint.

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Once the green is on, you repeat that entire process with the blue.

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Isn’t a beautiful turquoise color? Perfect. That’s what I was going for.

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Sorry, this picture is kinda blurry, did not realize that until just now…}

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Then, I sanded most of it off. Yup. You read that correctly. I used my orbit sander and sanded it back down to the wood grain.

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It was glorious.

There were some boards I was absolutely in love with. Some I was nervous about. And some I thought were going to turn out disastrous. You never know. You can’t keep them all the same obviously.

But then it was time to stain. And turns out, staining is my new favorite thing! I’ve always heard how awful and dreadful it was… but I personally found it fulfilling… maybe because it was bringing my vision to life? Who knows… maybe because I’m just weird. My only suggestion… get gloves. Or your hands look like you just walked out of a coal mine, for a long time.

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I did one board at a time. Literally slapped stain on the entire board, then took a white, diaper cloth and wiped it all back off. Now, I did quite a few practice rounds and tried a couple techniques. I experimented with leaving the stain on for 5 minutes or longer and then did the opposite and wiped it off immediately. And I found that it doesn’t really make a difference with this stain color choice. But I did note with each sample I created {when wiping off immediately}, the stain turned out a different color for each sample, even though I was leaving it on the same amount of time. But I loved that! I loved the un-perfection in this perfect piece of furniture.

Then, it was time to hang my boards. The moment of truth. My daddy-o and cousin Travis were huge helpers. The day Jason was to come home felt like the final day of a House Crasher episode.. ya know the Crasher series on the DIY network? Where it comes down to the wire in the last few hours and everyone is scrambling to get things done before the home owners come home??? Ya. That was us.

But they were my Rustic-Board-Hangers. Ya… that’s a thing.

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But just a friendly reminder… this was the black wall before the new planks… the wall that showed every imperfection in the construction… and my husband even did a great job building this thing!

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One board at a time… I chose which board was next. They would pick it up and nail it in… And the process would continue. As I watched it come together, my heart leaped! I couldn’t have been happier!

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The above image makes the room look so tiny… but I promise it’s not as tiny as it seems here!

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It ties so much together! The new wall color, the other gray wall. The coral wall. The newly painted mirror, my picture frames… Everything! It was perfect. Even my babes were perfect… they didn’t even notice anything was going on around them. Just played with each other. Good girls.

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Every time I would walk into the living room, I would stop and just observe. What a difference an entertainment center can make! As I mentioned in my other post, I loved the construction, my husband did an amazing job, and the storage! It’s what I wanted… but my design element was awful. {Hey, gimme a break, I’m learning as I go here.} And now that I know what style I’m wanting for this house, it comes together much easier.

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Next step is the 3 long and skinny compartments just under the plank wall. Where the receiver, Blu-ray player, internet modem, etc is all located. Time to get those bad boys hidden because my twinnies are pulling themselves up and this current set up is just not going to work!

Stay tuned, because it’s almost done! :)  In the mean time, here’s a sneak peak!!

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Until then, Loves and Toodle-o’s!!!

A Little Face Lift Inspiration

Howdy Tipsy Sippy Friends!! Are you still patiently waiting for the second half of the pallet project?? I am too… I promise, I’ll post it asap. I’m hoping this next week I will have it completed!

But moving onto another project.. because who doesn’t like to have 5-10 unfinished things going on at once?

Remember our wonderfully built entertainment center?

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I designed it initially thinking we wanted modern. Black, sleek, & shiny. Black= Dust magnet. Sleek= too many sharp edges and straight lines. Shiny= shows every finger print, scratch, dirt, and any imperfections in the construction.

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This is one beast of a display and while there’s some major setbacks, there are some major pro’s as well.

I love the storage. It hides movies behind the top portion to keep it out of eyesight. Jason and I both don’t enjoy having movies out and seen by everyone… it’s an eye sore. So I designed a way for it to not be seen.

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The bottom portion just under the TV space has three spaces for components. We have our Blu-ray player, Direct TV box, Receiver, Wii, XBox, and internet modem. In the beginning, we wanted tinted glass to cover those spaces because I have children here. All. The. Time. And I don’t know if you know this, but all those little components have a lot of fun buttons that make noises and light up… Every fresh walking toddlers’ dream. So I knew something needed to cover those areas. And glass it was because it was clear to allow the remotes signals to pass and looked modern enough.

But I really think glass would have been just a tad too dangerous… and not to mention expensive. Which is why we never ordered it.

The two big bottom drawers were just an epic fail on my end. I wanted them to be huge to hold all the giant Wii crap we have that’s bigger than any bin we could have bought… and so I designed it that way. But what I didn’t think about was how heavy that was going to be… and how impossible it would be to move those drawers in and out {especially for little kids} to get anything in those drawers. Yes, there is hardware to help it move, but the drawers are so heavy… it doesn’t really work well.

So with the help of a few others, I have come up with a new design. Here is the rough draft of the face lift:

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Now work with me here… I didn’t even bother with straight lines as you can clearly see.

So for the top half, the wall behind the TV. I decided I wanted color, pretty, & rustic. I didn’t just want plank boards that looked old. Because I love the  Rustic Glam… not plain ol’ Rustic. So in my search for inspiration, I found this:

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{Please click the above picture for the source}

Isn’t that the coolest thing ever? So I decided to give it a whirl on some scrap wood and it’s not as bright as the sample, but I’m still loving it!

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Don’t mind the dust… I’m getting to dusting soon!

For the base of the entertainment center, I’m repainting all the black that will be visible to the guests’ eyes, white.

For the three long, skinny component spaces, I plan on making a door that swings open towards the floor complete with a perforated aluminum in the middle to let remote signals pass and a knob for opening and pulling.

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{Please click the above picture for the source}

All my hardware will be oil rubbed bronze and I think it’ll be the perfect touch to the three component drawers & the new giant doors to replace the drawers at the bottom! {Was that not a lot of D words towards the end of that sentence??}

I want to take the face off of the bottom drawers and reuse them. I will cut both directly down the middle to form two of the same sized doors. I’ll be adding trim pieces in the middle of each door similar to these pictures I found:

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 {Please click the above picture for the source}

In addition to the trim work, I will also be adding oil bronzed handles as well. All doors will also have a magnetic closure {I don’t want too easy of an access to tiny grubby hands!} to help keep them closed.

I also have decided to paint my back wall with the window and back door this color:

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{Please click the above picture for the source}

With all this said, my plan is to have at least the back wall painted and 60% of the face lift done by Saturday.

Why by Saturday you ask? Because my husband is out of town on business {again} and gets back Saturday

…And while the husband’s away… the wife will play {with power tools and paint}

So stay tuned for my post following his return :) I can’t wait to show you the finished projects!

 

Rustic Glam: Wall Paint

Back when we moved into our house in 2012, it was stuck in 1990. The year it was built. Everything was added in when it was originally installed and never changed again. And I knew that when we bought the house. It has built in blow dryers for crying out loud…. ya. It was that awesome.

But we loved the bones of the place. The giant kitchen, bedroom suite, and the almost acre was what sold us on this place. But we knew we would have to update most everything eventually. The good news? It was all livable. Everything worked, it’s just everything was old and blue. They really liked blue… {Yes those are blue counter-tops}

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So when we moved in, we instantly took the built in’s down. It was too much. Even if we used them, it would make this place feel so cluttered. And the space they had for the tv fit an old boob tube that weighed as much as a small child. So we took them out carefully, and re-installed them in the garage for storage. Which worked perfect!

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The walls were also nasty. Everything was painted white except one random wall in the formal living room and the closet wall when you walked in. And those white walls showed everything from the last 22 years. So we decided step one to a homier home was to paint. I love the cool neutrals such as gray, so that’s what color we picked for the main walls. But I was dead set on red as an accent color wall in the living room. Since our living room and kitchen share walls with no breaks in between, I wanted a normal accent color that works well with kitchens.

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And I found this post from my favorite bloggers ever and decided that would be fun for the accent wall. I thought having a cool design in high gloss over the flat paint would make the space, especially with the red. So I bought a can of flat red paint, and a small can of high gloss in the same color.

We painted the red… and I was just not in love. At all. It may have been the flat paint, or the red, or the dungeon-y feel. But in all honestly, I hated it. And since I knew I was going to eventually paint it again, I decided to not follow through with the gloss paint. It may have looked a little bit better, but I still don’t think it would have taken me to my happy place.

It became even worse when we added the entertainment center that my husband built {I designed}. It was a shiny black {worst of my ideas yet: shows every handprint and spec of dust ever!} on top of the dark red, and it made the room seem so dark and elongated. I just was not satisfied. And ever since, I had an itch to change it.

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I really, originally, wanted to turn the red accent wall to just another gray wall. But no one liked that idea. Everyone turned me down. And I also wanted to take out that entertainment center and replace it with something else. But that was soooo much work & money, and not to mention, Jason put soooo much time & effort into it and he did a great job! My design just wasn’t what I thought it would be… So I was really struggling with the idea of just tearing it down. And besides, I couldn’t come up with anything that I wanted to replace it with.

But. Between myself and a few other peeps, we have come up with a new solution. A solution that involves a very low budget and far less work. New and cheap and easy. I’ll take it!

Part of my problem was I was “updating” things in the house without a real idea of how I wanted the end result to look like. I didn’t take a glimpse at the bigger picture. So after some serious thinking and researching, I decided I wanted to go with a Rustic Glam style. I love, love, love the feel of Rustic Glam. The colors, the decor, the style. It makes a house feel like a home but welcomes the rustic accents perfectly.

So first step was of course paint. I started with really wanting some sort of turquoise as the accent wall. I found this picture as an inspiration:

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And I was hooked. So once again, I was dead set on this said color. My cousin had suggested a coral, and I quickly dismissed it. I’m on a turquoise kick and I just thought it would be perfect.

So, I stopped in at Lowes, grabbed a few paint samples, and once Jason went to bed {to avoid any disagreements :)}, I plopped those bad boys up on the wall. Because like my cousin said, if I put those samples up on the wall, then I have to do something with it, otherwise I would never force myself to cover that red wall of gloomy-ness.

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I took a step back and admired the three different colors. And I wasn’t in my happy place with any of them.

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The next morning, Jason walked into the kitchen and living area, and was not so thrilled. :) Good thing that man loves me…. The things I get us into… you would not believe.

If I recall correctly, his words were “What the hell is that?!” Just paint colors hunny, now pick your favorite.

I took the vote from all my daycare kids’ parents, all my school age kids, and even friends and family via the above picture message.

But even after listening to responses and opinions, I still felt absolutely no tug for any of them. And that miserable ache was starting to settle into my stomach, that same feeling I had after we painted the red.

And then. Then I saw it. A photographer had posted a newborn baby she photographed that was laying on a turquoise blanket and had a coral headband, and it went together perfectly! I fell in love and knew my cousin was right. {I tried like hell to find the picture again so I could show you… but with zero success} So I text Bethy right away and told her I changed my mind and that she was right.

Coral it was.

I got on the Sherwin Williams Visualizer , searched coral and it suggested the color Coral Reef. I instantly knew that was the color I wanted. It looked perfect against the gray that was already on my walls, and looked okay with the black entertainment center (which will also be getting a face-lift soon).

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So that day, I went to Lowes with my cousin so I could get her military discount, got a gallon of Coral Reef, and we went to work.

Beth does the trim… and will probably have a permanent job here when it comes to painting. Lord knows I am not patient enough. I can mural up almost any design and roll the heck outta those walls… but trim? Hell no. I get paint on every thing in close proximity to what I’m supposed to be painting. But Beth is amaze balls and doesn’t even need tape!! But I can hardly watch her do it… she moves so slow because she’s so careful… and I just want to take her brush and do it for her… but then we’d end up back at square 1.

And I love how it turned out! It seems so much homier than that damn red!

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Eh. Look at all those finger prints and smudges. It’s got to go, pronto!

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What’s even better??? Shortly after, I received an email from Sherwin Williams telling me the color of the new year 2015 is…. drum roll please…. Coral Reef!!!!

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Boom.

We’re just that good over here.

 

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Now that the gloomy red is gone, now is this giant mirror’s turn.

Step 3: the entertainment center. (After the New Year)

It’s gonna be awesome sauce!

Stay tuned!!

Love and Toodle-os!

Murals Painted by Muah

Hello my fellow peeps! I hope you had an awesome-sauce weekend. Ours was busy. Broden had a soccer tournament all weekend and we fit other things in between the games. He kicked ass. Scored goals all over the place, blocked numerous shots when he played goalie… even though he was the little guy on the team, followed through with shots, just kicked ass. He is an awesome player.. and I’m not just saying that because he’s my step-son.

So as I mentioned in my last post, I love painting murals. On the contrary, I hate painting walls. Hate painting them. In fact, I usually recruit someone to help so I don’t have to go at it alone. But nursery murals are great! They are so fun and I love giving expectant moms something no one else has. I am not capable of doing the real life stuff, which is what makes nursery murals so perfect. Most stuff is somewhat animated and much easier for me to do!

So I’ll start first with Kensli’s first mural at our old house. I love animals and decided I wanted a jungle baby animals theme. I had two prints picked out, depending on whether she was a girl or boy. And once we found out she was going to be a beautiful girl, I got to work. And this was the outcome:

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The animals were actually on the bedding. So that’s how I came up with them.

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And as you saw previously, her new room at the new house:

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One of my old and great friends, Holly, and her husband, Virason, were expecting a little boy and their theme was monkeys. So I looked at the pattern of the bedding and worked this out on their wall:

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They look like such fun little monkeys that cause all sorts of mischief!

One of my favorite murals I have ever painted was for a girl I danced with in high school on our drill team, Heather, and her high school sweetheart, Cory! Sweetest couple ever, honestly! They also did a jungle theme, but there’s turned out waaay better than my real animated baby jungle animals!

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I love this monkey. If I could have cut him out of their dry wall and take him home with me, I would have. I would have kept him. Really… I surprised myself with that banana flingin’ little guy.

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Another friend of mine, Mandi, whom I actually met thru Holly {the monkey mural} years ago because they are cousins, asked for a beautiful tree with owls. It was so simple, but elegant. And her husband, Ben, is such a hoot! {hehe} They are such a fun couple and it was a blast bullshittin’ with both of them when I painted.

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Another painting I did was actually on a dresser that Jason and I got to give new life too. Actually, I would have totally kept the dresser~ I loved it! However, it was passed down and had been in the family, so I thought maybe it was a bad idea to steal it.

But my friend Anna was moving and asked to keep it and the bedside table that made up the set, in our garage until she’s moved into her new place. Then she would come work on restoring it at our place since she didn’t have a garage. Well she had been going through a real bad time, so Jason and I decided to surprise her with the set already done. I fished around for what she wanted and went from there. However, I decided to add her favorite flower on top… I found this design that was so gorgeous, almost tattoo worthy! And since she loves lilies, I decided to add my own twist to things.

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The flower was painted white, but the lighting made the pics turn out yellow. Sorry bout that.

I am also working on a few canvases for another friend Jillian, that I am really excited about as well! And if I ever finish the two murals in my living room, I’ll throw those in a post as well.

I love doing them for people, but my fault is I’m incredibly slow. I think it will take X amount of time, but multiply that times two and that’s how long it actually takes. I don’t mean too, but I haven’t done enough to know my speed or to get faster. So I apologize to my past friends for the lengthy work!

Hope you enjoy! I just thought I would put all my work into one post.

Love and Toodle-os!