Friday, May 25, 2012

Get Rid of Carpet That Makes You Angry: The Story of My Laminate Wood

When I first purchased my house, I had decided the carpet had to go.  It is a grey carpet that has seen its fill of days in this house.  Stains would not come out...carpet shampooing barely made a dent...and it just did not fit my want for the house.  However, I was gun-shy in making a big purchase decision.  This is not one of those easy house items that can be redone again and again without a big punch to the wallet.

Moving forward to 2012, 7 years later, and the carpet is still here.  Talk about not making a decision!  Well, 2012 is the year I go for it.  I follow my gut, I have confidence in my decisions and my thoughts need to turn into action. 

Actually, as great as that sounds, what really happened was one of my lovely old lady cats decided that a corner of my dining room was her litter box.  I shampooed.  I used vinegar.  I used spray that was supposed to dissuade pets from that area.  Nothing was working.  I thought about taking that section out.  Then came the epiphany mentioned earlier.  It is my house and it is time to take it back from the carpet I loathed!

My Uncle, the carpet and the cat that caused this whole thing to come to fruition.

Gross carpet that was pulled from my house.
I decided laminate wood flooring was what I wanted.  I was not going to invest in real wood flooring as that expense did not match the value of the house itself.  Plus, I read articles on laminate wood being more durable and of course cheaper.  I decided on Brazilian Cherry and found it at Home Depot for .99 a square foot.  Perfect!  I would ask my uncle to help me with the flooring!  No more thinking about it...time to believe in my decisions and put it to action!

Brazilian Cherry laminate Flooring for my flooring.
To help matters, when I went to purchase the flooring a team member at Home Depot told me he had the same flooring in his wreck room and loved it.  That sounded good and durable to me.  I purchased enough to redo my small dining room.  That along with a flooring starter kit and a $25 underlay, I was set.

My dining room with carpeting.  Those who came to play that day have been hidden with stars.  Because?  It seems like the right idea?  I have no idea.
All the furniture was moved into the living room and chaos was underway.

A good test to determine if maybe you should purge:  move one small room worth of furniture into another room.  That is a lot of stuff!
The coumpound saw was borrowed from my grandmother and the flooring project was underway.  Keep in mind, you NEED to make sure the underlay is laid with the proper side up.  Those labels are no joke.  If you do it wrong your wood flooring will eventually move.  Not that my handy Uncle would do that, but turns out my ex-boyfriend did in the office upstairs (future blog).

One day later and the flooring was done.  This is not a how-to on laying flooring.  I have no idea.  This is a how-to make a decision and make it happen.  A how-to on following and believing in your gut.  Now that the flooring was done, I also decided to re-arrange.  Finally, I also decided that replacing the baseboard was a good move.  I truly believe replacing baseboards in a house is like a cheap facelift.  It makes a HUGE difference!

Dining Room with Brazilian Cherrylaminate wood flooring.
Once this is started how could I leave the carpet in my downstairs at all.  That's right...the carpet was ripped out of the living room and thoughts towards the stairs were culminating.

Be prepared for a little inconvenience.
There is a lot of inconvenience with this process.  But again, I decided to go for it.  Pull out the carpet and pull out the baseboards.  Also, by losing the big TV in the living room (see previous blog) I would have room to rework the living room.

Living and Dining Room Pre-Laminate flooring and replanning of funiture placement.
Living and Dining Room after the Laminante flooring and furniture placement.  The drapes still need work in this picture.  No worries, they come out great!
I wanted to open up the space to include everyone in conversation and reach a more elegant and beautiful space.  The drapes still needed to be ironed and swagged, but time was short prior to hosting a birthday party for my friend.

The staircase is another story all its own as well.  That will be saved for another blog.  I love my wood flooring.  It is very rich and durable.  I love that I went with my decision and find that I smile when I walk in my house when I look at it.  I also went ahead and asked my uncle to complete the small hallway upstairs, as well.  New flooring, new baseboards and new furniture placement changed the enitre efficiency and beauty of my house.

I have kept a spreadsheet going identifying my spend as it happens.  The laminate flooring, underlay, baseboards, kit, wood glue, and labor (some cash and feeding, etc) came to about $1000 with $690 being allocated to supplies.

Well worth it, I think.  No, let me restate that.  Well worth it, I know.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

House Redressing Burn Out Continues

I did not get back to it today.  I worked 13 hours and am now getting to my personal hobbies.  I am too tired to work on the next chandelier for my kitchen.  It is a great piece my mom had sitting in her garage.  It is silver.  I have spray painted the chandelier Stone Texture Brown and I am still unsure.  I made the candle/light holders black, but they got dust on them.  So, some sanding and repainting is necessary. 

I currently am housing a fluorescent light fixture, which means lots of holes in the ceiling to fix.  A big job in my mind today, but I am sure tomorrow it will seem a fleeting task.  Why?  Fleeting tasks are much easier to handle mentally than one big task.

So, as said by Scarlett in Gone With The Wind, "After all...tomorrow is another day."

My tomorrow happens to include spending time with one of my closest friends recovering from surgery.  So maybe it should be "after all...the day after tomorrow is another day."

As long as it is not weeks, I am on track!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

House Redressing Burn Out

I have a lot of ideas and plans.  I enjoy making decisions, even if some go wrong.  However, today this blog is just an update that I am having a tough time making decisions.  I think I am burning out a bit after a lot of decision making and money spending.

I am getting a headache even looking online at simple decor items and deciding whether or not to purchase items.  I think this would be a time that I should take a break.  A short break, but a break where I spend an evening just watching TV or reading a book.  I constantly multi task, working on the Internet for the house, work and socializing...and trying to relax.

Maybe, tomorrow I will just take a break.  Between work, money, redressing a house, and life in general - everyone is owed a little downtime.  I took a nap after work today, but it was not enough.  I think the lesson learned here is to give yourself a little time every once in a while to veg out or laze about.  Multi tasking may result in a headache that won't go away.

If you have this headache (even when enjoying all the activities in your life) it could result in some bad decisions.  Let's see if I can take my own advise!!!

Especially, after my refrigerator just decided that the ice maker should leak...on my new laminate wood flooring in the kitchen.  My headache just escalated.  Time for a small break.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Building a Frame Out of Chair Railing

I have a beautiful Klimt "Kiss" oil painting.  A reproduction, of course.  It will work beautifully with the color scheme downstairs.  My Grandma told me when I first moved in that it was too intimate to put downstairs, so I have had it in my bedroom.

Back to the idea of my own rules.  The painting is moving downstairs.  I love it with the color scheme downstairs.  I have talked to my G-ma again and she states she does not recall ever saying that and has proceeded in trying to locate more Klimt reproductions to marry with the "Kiss".

The Kiss by Klimt before the frame is created
My reproduction has some white appearing at the top and since it is being placed in my more elegantly styled downstairs, I decided it needed a frame.  So, as usual I went snooping on the Internet for a 3' by 4' frame to encase my painting.  The frames I liked were a bit more than my wallet liked.  I got to thinking something could be created.  After wandering around Home Depot, I spoke with my very crafty mother and she thought of moulding.  In the moulding area of Home Depot, I located chair railing.  Bingo!

Chair Railing with some nice detailing to keep with an elegant look.
I love some spray paint.  I bought some chair railing for $20 and Hammered Copper Spray Paint for $12.  A wood chisel was also purchased for $8.  I spray painted the two chair rails with the Copper making sure I did clean sweeps when spray painting so I would not get drops or weird blobs.  The nice thing about using spray paint with texture is that you have room for error.

Hammered Copper Spray Paint meets Pine Chair Railing.
The wood chisel allows you to chisel away any additional ledge you may need on the back to fit the picture (and cover the white space in my case). 

Measure width by length for the chair railing.
After allowing the paint to dry and chiseling the ledge, you need to measure the angles (45 degrees).  A miter box (about $10) can be used to cut the angles.  Wood glue the corners together on the painting and attach clamps to allow the glue to dry.

Here is my framed oil painting.
Copper wire and screws (on the upper portion of the frame - far right and left) were used to hang the painting.  This was all purchased at Home Depot for about $5.  At the end of the day, I spent about $155 on this piece.  The piece itself was about $100 at an oil reproduction shop a couple years ago.

I am still debating on adding black, iron corner pieces.  What do you think?  I also think a mate may be better in this space.  The Kiss is center with the living room start but not the windows.  I may be nit picky, but I think this may clarify the space and make a bit more sense with the space available.  Still debating.  This is an ongoing process and my addiction.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Little Paint Goes A Long Way - Updating with Spray Paint

You want to make a statement really quick?  Take a look around your house.  What are the little things that you may take for granted that could make a BIG statement?

For starters, what about stair railing (if applicable)?  Is it really making the statement you want to make with your decoration efforts?  Mine was not.  I am working with Brazilian Cherry flooring, Tuscan paint colors and bold statements.  My stair railing is white.  Is that really the statement I want to make?  Not if I want to continue to GO BOLD.

White Stair Railing and pulled up flooring up my staircase.
After consideration I thought a great pop to my house would be a black stair railing.  Not only a pop of color, but a great way to keep the stair railing from showing dust and dirt.  Brown paper being taped off through the staircase and some flat Black Spray paint could make a nice showing.  Make sure to cover your floors, too!  The spray paint rains down.

Should have put something on the floor.  Goof Off was used to clean the floors without any issue.

2 coats of Rustoleum spray paint and a coat of gloss polyurethane made this happen.  Polyurethane protects and ensures the gloss coat I wanted.  Oil based polyurethane was chosen as it does a better job of protecting the paint job than water based.  With hands on the stair rails, I needed the best protection possible. 

The polyurethane chosen was MINWAX for its ratings and ease in applying.  A cheesecloth to apply the coat was all that was necessary.  Some time to make sure it is dry before using is certainly advised.

Another paint effort was with the gas valve cover on my fireplace.  I have gone with copper, bronze and golds downstairs.  A silver gas valve cover and key on my fireplace is obviously unacceptable.

Silver Gas Cover and Key is not going to flow with my color scheme.
A little Spray Paint in Hammered Copper sounded like a good idea.  The gas cover and key were removed pretty simply.  Then sprayed with two coats.  Again this is a two coat process.  Let it dry and then re-attach.  A $5 can of spray paint makes a big difference.

For about $35, big statements were made with really little effort.  I think it makes a huge difference and love it.  If I had not loved it, the nice thing is that I could have simply painted again.

Installing a Pendant Light Where a Recessed Light Exists

The best invention ever (may be a bit of an exaggeration)...the Screw in Light Bulb into a recessed light.  The one that is actually connected to a pendant light.  No work with electrical.  Literally, you can go to Lowes and get a fixture kit that screws in where the light bulb would normally screw in.  It has an electrical cord hanging down into a light piece. 

Then, to make matters get to pick the fixture!  20 minutes and $30 later your recessed light becomes a pendant light!

Recessed Light in Kitchen becomes a Pendant Light
Granted, I need to straighten out the cord.  But, I loved the ease of making a big change above the kitchen bar without big cost and big renovation.

Note:  My local Home Depot does not carry these items.  Just head to Lowes.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fast and Yummy Dinner: Chicken Alfredo Pizza

A little off onto another track...let's talk about cooking.  More specifically, easy cooking! 

I had a chicken Alfredo pizza in San Diego and decided this needed to become part of my cooking repertoire.  After many years of experimenting, here is an awesome recipe for a delish pizza that takes about 20-30 minutes.

Check directions on dough and follow accordingly.  Directions will handle baking setting and rise timing for the dough.

2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Whole Lemon
5 leaves Fresh Basil
Classico Alfredo Sauce
2 garlic cloves - diced
1 wheat dough by Trader Joe's
8 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Heat oil in pan.  Add chopped up chicken.  Add garlic, squeeze two halves of lemon, and add chopped up basil (3 leaves) into pan.  Cook until chicken is done (approx 5-10 minutes depending on chicken size).

Roll dough onto pizza pan.  Add about 3/4 jar of Classico Alfredo sauce onto dough and spread evenly.  Add shredded mozzarella cheese on entire pizza (if you like more cheese...add more cheese).  Add chicken onto the entire pizza evenly.  Add chopped basil (remaining 2 leaves) across pizza evenly.

Cook according to instructions on package of dough.  Should be about 10 minutes.

Let stand about 5 minutes so the sauce does not ooze out.  Slice and serve with salad...or not...serve to friends...or not...the world is yours!  Do as you please, but please enjoy!

My 1920's Re-Invented Lamps Get Lamp Shades

When you take on a project that you have never endeavored before, it becomes something a bit closer to your heart.  At least, in my opinion.  The re-invention of my 1920' Ebay Lamps came with some pressure to accessorize them correctly with lamp shades.

Re-Invention of a 1920's Lamp (see previous blog for details).

So, how to accentuate my art?  I found some great lamp shades at Lowes.  My boudoir is to be silver, black and purple (see boudoir blog).  These shades are silver when off and purple when on.  How perfect.

I love the color mix of these lamps.
I don't feel that these lamps are that perfect though for a 1920's boudoir.  They needed a little something more.  Maybe some beads on the bottom?  Crystals on the bottom?  I needed some inspiration.  I took the shades into Michael's.  Nothing.  I took my lampshades into Heddie's in Las Vegas and played with beads and crystals.  Bingo!  I thought I was looking for crystals, but really the black beading was calling me.  Not just for the bottom, but the top.

Out comes the hot glue guns and pins to hold in the beading while I confirm my direction.  Out goes the harps from my lamps as modern lamp shapes don't use them.

Now to confirm with the hot glue gun.  Get rid of the little stringies that are inevitable when hot gluing.  Send up a prayer that this will work and meet all of the goals in mind for these poor 1920's lamps.  I do not want to offend them.

I think I accomplished my goals and did these lamps proud.  Artsy, chic, over the top (a bit) and modern.  They light and they make the statement I want from them. 

When lit, these lamps are purple!
At the end of this lamp project, I have spent about $140.  About $70 per lamp with history and a story.
Don't let yourself stand in your own way.  For so long, I did not consider myself artsy or particularly handy.  I have proved that wrong and watch out amateur house redressing world, here I come!

Decorating Behind a Wall Mounted Flat Screen TV

What to do with decoration behind the flat screen TV?  Most people would leave the paint as it is and I probably would have had I not previously made a design blunder.  When I first purchased my house 6 years ago, I decided I had to have a faux Venetian Plaster wall.  I love the Tuscan look.  However, I also loved the mirror hanging above the fireplace.  So, I had the professionals do the faux paint AROUND my mirror.

BIG MISTAKE!!!  Who am I to say what my taste would be in 6 years or what technology would evolve into.  Why would I ever move the mirror?  Don't mirrors make a smaller place look bigger?  Please do not do this to yourself!  Change is inevitable.

My Faux Venetian Plaster "Focal" Wall with the Mirror.
I don't like to spend big money on big ticket items.  I have had the same, HUGE TV from early 2000 in my tiny living room taking up space, because it works.  I held a Super Bowl party at my house this year and my brother brought over his incredible flat screen TV and put it on top of my outdated TV.  I was shocked!  How could my TV's image be so different!!

Is that really my picture quality?
It is at this time that I had to do psychology on myself.  If I keep this same TV, I will never buy a new TV.  So, the next week I called a friend of my brothers who may be interested and sure enough he came and picked up the TV.  Now, I had the whole living room to move the furniture around.  Also, I now had incentive to buy a new TV.

I went out of town for a few weeks.  No worries about not having a TV downstairs.  Then...I was home for a couple weeks.  How do I not have a TV in my downstairs and I had a party coming up!  Still, I am unwilling to spend a lot of money.  I researched a deal on Ebay on a REFURBISHED Smart TV with 1040p, 240 mgh, 3D ability, WIFI accessible, etc.  This TV was a $560 Vizio TV.  I am a fan of Vizio.  So, with a 30 day return policy and many messages to the seller with fear, I purchased it.  I let my brother and uncle play with it.  Test it out...break it!

It has more than passed the test (and that of my brother's TV ability...yay!).  Now, the problem.  I want one focal wall.  To get the TV above the fireplace means...removing the mirror.  There is nothing behind the mirror but a white wall.
Behind the mirror...
I talked to several painters that did not want to try to match the finish.  I tried to find the company who did the original finish and could not locate them.  I considered putting the mirror up and slicing it for a mount.  At the end of the day, I started considering tiles, Mosaic, etc.  What to do?

On a journey to Home Depot for paint on a different part of the house, I noticed some pretty awesome copper back splash.  I went for it and took a chance.  Not so cheap, but neither was the wall.  I bought 6 pieces of copper, wavy back splash from Home Depot and double sided tape. This was about $130.

Kitchen back splash in my Living Room?

Applying this was my Uncle's job as I stood back and aimed for perfection in lining.  It took a couple re dos and leveling, but eventually got it up.  We also used a couple staples from a staple gun in the middle and then added a sturdy mount.  After spending $560 on a TV I was not going for any mount.  I ponied up and spent $90 at Lowe's on a mount that is fully tiltable and adjustable from the wall.

Who knew?  Kitchen back splash?  I watch a lot of HGTV, so why not?  Give it a whirl.  It was a $130 whirl, but if it turned out it would be great!

Kitchen Back splash is about to become the decorative frame to my high end TV!
Needs to come down a bit...
My Uncle and I proceeded with moving the mount down.  Where the holes were initially drilled some copper spray paint fixed it up.  And, now the final product!

This is not for everybody, but I love it.  Why should I have nothing behind the TV...when I could frame it?   Thanks to what I first considered a blunder, I now have an artistic piece behind my TV.  Many people at the party I hosted were impressed and asked what I used to complete the process.

More thinking outside of the box and having an "Anything Goes!" attitude resulted in a piece I am proud of and is unique.  Make your house your own and go for it!  It has been a therapeutic process and I recommend it to everyone!

 Granted I still need to work on the wires...but a plan is in the works, of course!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why not a Chandelier and a Fan Together? It Could Be Harmony!

I like the flow of air circulating in my bedroom.  I live in Las Vegas and have an upstairs bedroom.  Heat rises, right?  So, why would I want to get rid of my ceiling fan?  Well, as previously discussed, I am redressing my bedroom into a Hollywood Chic Boudoir.  How does one have Hollywood Chic without chandeliers with glossy crystals?

I started to think, why can't I have both?  I have elected to take a path that is all my own and there are no rules, right?  I began by searching on the Internet.  Lamps Plus,, EBay, Amazon, Overstock, etc.  I found a few items that could be called Chandelier Style Ceiling Fans, however I would certainly not call them chic.  Also, plaguing me is that idea again of spending a lot of dough on one lighting fixture.

There are handy people in my life.  They use drill bits, circular saws, hammers as well as the rest of them.  Why not get a chandelier and replace the current fixture with the blinged out chandelier?  Lamps Plus had a $100 deal on a crystal and silver chandelier that matches the color scheme of my plans.  So, I went for it!  Now, to take down the existing white, dull ceiling fan blades and holders.  Then on to cleaning the base and blades...prepping them for Metallic Silver Paint.

White Ceiling Fan and Blades
Prepping Tools:

Soap and Water
Area to keep items clean while drying

Key to success here is to clean the base and blades as well as the blade holders.  I used warm water and Lysol.  Afterwards I let the items air dry as to not worry about any remaining lint.  Obviously, you want to repeat the process for the flip side of the blades and blade holders.

Silver Painted Ceiling Fan Parts
Items Needed:

Metallic Silver Spray Paint (I used Rustoleum)
Drop Cloth or other protected surface
Rag (to clean up any drips prior to drying)

Key to success here is making sure that you have a space that will allow you to work comfortably.  Clean, smooth sweeps when spray painting from a comfortable distance will make sure your project does not have drips.  If you have drips, take care of them immediately by dabbing or cleaning off that area.  I like to stay at least 8 inches away from the item I am spraying while spray painting.  I also think wide and smooth, left to right strokes makes sure you have an even finish.

Patience comes in handy while you let it dry completely.  It should no longer be wet or tacky to the touch.  I am not so patient, so this was a big test for me.  I did two coats on both sides of the items even though they would not all show to the eye.  This process took two days.  If outside, like I was, make sure you are comfortable the wind will not create art deco prints on your paint with debris.

Using brown paper picked up at Lowe's, the ceiling around the base of the fan was taped up so that the ceiling did not get spray painted Metallic Silver either.  I would recommend two coats here, as well.  That patience kicks in to make sure the ceiling fan base is dry, as well.

Removing the existing fixture involves a screwdriver and disconnection of the power to the fixture from the existing ceiling fan base.  You should turn off the power so you do not get hurt (please see previous blog about re-inventing a 1920's lamp).  If you are not comfortable with this process, contact someone you know who is or a professional handyman.  Reconnect the chandelier that was purchased (best and least amount of effort come from making sure the base of the existing light fixture and new light fixture are the same diameter).  You may need to drill holes into the new chandelier base to attach.

Once power is reconnected from the Ceiling Fan base to the new Chandelier, screw in the fixture.  Test and make sure you have completed this process successfully.  I hate continuing through a process and then realizing something is wrong.  Now, I have to backtrack and undo everything I struggled to get done in the first place. works!

At this point, there is not any bling.  That is not possible!  This particular chandelier comes with plenty of crystal prisms that will eventually tie to the re-invented 1920's crystal lamps.  A tip...if you are attaching a whole lot of crystal prisms while standing on a ladder...make sure you know that they are in the right place.  I took for granted that they were all the same length and was just adding them.  This resulted in me having to remove my hard work and start over.  I was getting pretty cranky.  I only have so much patience with anything let alone my own mistakes.

Silver Chandelier Ceiling Fan with BLING
 Many people have asked me if this has resulted in the crystal prism drops knocking together.  Thankfully, no.  However, they did sway a bit.  At Lowes, they sell a $3 ceiling fan weight set that is simple to use and will assist in balancing everything out so the sway will go away.

Can I have my Ceiling Fan and Hollywood Chic Meets Today Chandelier in one unit?  Why yes, I can.  Thinking outside of the box has resulted in a very custom and inexpensive lighting piece that makes me happy.  It keeps me inspired to get the rest completed!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Story of Re-Inventing a 1920's Crystal Lamp When a Bit Mechanically Challenged

In the effort to locate Table Lamps for my 1920's inspired boudoir, I searched many days for Crystal Chandelier style lamps that would not break the bank.  My interest always surrounded trying to find something vintage and authentic, however in trying to balance that with a low price tag I was not too successful.  I took a break and added a reminder on my Ebay app on my phone to search for crystal lamps.  After a couple weeks, I found what I was looking for on Ebay.  When my lamps arrived, odd looks were sent my way.
Love at first sight.  One of two 1920's vintage lamps purchased on Ebay.
I found these vintage beauties online for $27.00 (with shipping).  They did not work and they obviously needed some TLC.  I spent an entire Friday night with some Cabernet staring at this beauty trying to find the road I wanted to travel.  Then I realized I had no idea how to rewire anything, let alone a lamp.  I could not let that stop me.

I found a seller on Ebay who specialized in lamp parts and sent a message inquiring about the recommended parts that may accomplish this now seemingly hefty goal.  You see, I am not very mechanical.  Nor am I very handy, really.  What was I thinking?  He sent a message back with some ideas and after a few more exchanges I purchased:

2 Steel Pipes
2 Harps
2 Sockets
2 Silver Lamp Cords
Lot of 25 Clear Prisms

I then conferred with my uncle and it was decided that I still needed 8 washers, 8 couplings and some extender threaded rods.  I went to Lowes, found my items and excitedly headed home. At this point, I have spent $80 on two vintage lamps and they looked no different.  I stared at my pieces spread out on the table and willed it to come together.  It was like putting together a puzzle for me without a picture other than the one in my head.  After 3 hours I had put together one lamp into my vision.  And now, the easy make it work.

Lamp One coming together, but still no light.
I have taken honors classes in high school.  I have a college degree.  I have been a Management Leader on a large property.  I have advised many companies on operational decisions.  One stinking lamp was giving me a headache.  How to light it?  I went to wikipedia for charts.  I read articles.  Finally I realized I had not taken the socket apart. 

Inside the socket it turns out are the two screws that the wires at the end of my power cord needed to be wrapped around and then screwed in.  From there I decided to put a bulb in and test this theory.  It worked!  There was light!  Then I reached for the lamp to adjust it and immediately shocked myself!  In my excitement, I did not think that there was rapid electricity flowing that obviously accounted for the light.  So, I unplugged my lamp and plowed forward.

A few more times I took it all apart and back together until I was happy with the final product.  This was not completed without another shock.  This one sent the light bulb out of my hand.  This is no joke.  You want to be an amateur and take this type of project on...keep your common sense right next to your screwdriver.  4 hours later...a lamp was reborn!

15 minutes later, another lamp was born.  Talk about a learning curve!  Now for the perfect lampshades to take my lamp to the next level.  No pressure.

Two 1920's lamps re-envisioned to meet a modern time.  Sleek, steel lines meet delicate, glass prisms.
Another blog will be coming soon with details (and I am sure some more fumbling) as I find the perfect lampshades to accompany my beautiful creations.  A minor clean up on some of the prisms and the lampshades will take the $80 re-invented lamps to the next level. 

The feeling of pride when the lamps turned on was incredible!  A totally exciting rush for someone that barely manages a screwdriver.

Redressing My Bedroom Into a 1920s Inspired and Modern Boudoir

In my quest to redress my house, I have decided that my bedroom is dull.  I don't personally think I am dull, so why should my inner sanctum reflect dullness?  So, it came to me that my inner sanctum is mine.  I can do with it what I will and display it as I please.  Why does it have to match what I am doing with the rest of the house?  Some may disagree, but since I am not a professional nor am I really answering to anyone, why should I really care?  As long as it follows a thought process of detail and creativity and a reflection of my likes...I decided to go for it.

I started by pulling items from the Internet that reflected what I thought as Hollywood Chic.  Based on these and my own sense of style, I attempted to put color boards together.  I don't actually have any software for this type of thing, so I simply started stacking pictures from the Internet into PowerPoint, so I could see how the vision was coming together.
Sample of my Powerpoint Color Board
I love the idea of a damask reading nook, as well as the elegance of chandeliers.  Over the top and completely representative of my love of Old Hollywood Chic.  The heavy silver is my nod at modern elegance.  I am naming my boudoir Old Hollywood Chic Meets a Modern Woman of Today.  The fact that I would name my room, tells you how sensational I plan on having this room become.

As a modern woman of today, I have the pleasure of Internet at my fingertips.  This includes shopping online.  I relish finding deals and have decided to mix in the challenge of recreating the items myself or with the help of family.  Searching Ebay,, Amazon and other websites has helped in locating items and getting inspiration.  I am not a big fan of paying big dollar on items when I can add my own personal touch at a lower cost. 

I have sent messages back and forth to sellers on Ebay to get assistance on items I am not so sure of using.  Don't be shy.  I have decided that if I sound silly, they can at least appreciate being reminded of their expertise. 

Is this a finished piece of art?  Not yet, but it is on its way.  Some select items have made it in the collection and I have made purchase decisions.  I will continue to Blog about this room as well as other areas in my house and creative ideas used to respect a budget and allow my own creative juices to flow.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Introduction: A Revolution in Following Through on All Things

As I approach my mid-thirties, I have contemplated the many wonderful ideas that I have had in the shower, while watching TV, while reading a book, etc.  Then I thought about the number of those ideas I have actually seen through or even started.  Daydreaming and accomplishing are two separate things and it has come to the point that I put the pedal to the metal.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly have seen things through and have many accomplishments.  Getting a college degree and buying a house being on top of the list.  However, when analyzing my personality, I find that I tend to be lazy.  The Virgo in me says: "Stop Dreaming and Do!"  The Lazy Lounger in me wants it to fall into my lap and be brilliant and finished. 

So, the point being that I have talked about redressing many rooms in my house for years.  I have talked about how great a wall knocked down in my kitchen would look.  I have talked about travelling the world since I was little.  I have recently started talking about writing a blog to share funny anecdotes, insights and random musings that sometimes distract me.

I quit my higher (ish) level position a few years ago to try something new and hit the road.  I realized I had become "comfortable" and had no other career goals.  This is unacceptable for Virgos and for me as a person.  When some major changes started at my job, I realized this was my opening to make a bold move.  So, I resigned and now travel the country (and hopefully) some of the world. 

I have seen little cities in this country with more charm than ever imagined.  I have been to towns I had never heard of with some of the most interesting history.  In short, I feel as though I am discovering America.   This has led me to become somewhat of a foodie.  How do you travel the country and not get taken in by the tantalizing offerings?

My Aunt told me to start writing in a journal, after reading my distilled water essence (not sure what it is called).  She also told me I would accomplish things with my house that I had given up on.  So, is this the proverbial kick in my ass?  Maybe.  This year I started REALLY redressing my house and am now addicted!

So, here it journal (of sorts).  This is dedicated to my adventures, mainly evolving around my house redressing (being an amateur by all means I dare not say house decorator).  Other musings will come into play as happens in life.

**DISCLAIMER**  I do not claim to be the most grammatically proficient and some may even say I should take grammar classes in writing.  This is not a blog specializing in grammar...just content.  I will make every effort to not offend my grammar-happy friends, family members and readers, but there is not a guarantee.

**DISCLAIMER**  I am a big fan of using "..." to avoid embarrassing grammar situations as aforementioned.

An example of the chaos while in the midst of my house redressing!