Tuesday, June 9, 2015

$20 Giant Wall Art (for those who can't otherwise decorate an empty wall)

I stole this idea from the internets, good ol' cyberspace.  Since I honestly have no idea what to do with a big empty wall, I figured you can't go wrong with a big-A canvas.

I found a fabric shower curtain I liked for $12, and then picked up four $2 furring strips.  I then made a critical error measuring in that I didn't give myself quite enough slack to comfortably pull the curtain around the wood.  Sigh, just give yourself a good two inches on all sides.  I got greedy and wanted the biggest possible canvas.  Not my greatest idea.

And then, of course, the handy Kreg pocket hole jig makes yet another blog appearance in joining the frame together.  And another error:  buying the crappiest, cheapest wood available.  Sigh again.  Probably worth ponying up the cash for wood that won't split if you breathe on it funny.

Anywho, once the frame was made, Chris and I carefully stretched the curtain over the wood as tightly as possible and stapled that sucker on there from behind with oodles of staples.

It could have been so much more perfect if I had just given myself a little more slack, but most people with normal brains probably won't know or care.

And here's one with a baby in it for a sense of scale.  And apparently some multi-vitamins I didn't notice.

In the end, I'm pretty darn happy with it.  It's like waking up in the freaking jungle, man.  :D

Monday, June 1, 2015

From the Chokey to a Place You Want to Be: The Bathroom Remodel

Shazam!  Who doesn't like before and after shots of home improvements?  Sociopaths, that's who.  So months and months ago, we broke ground for our much-overdo guest bathroom remodel.  Because really, it was getting silly to have plain, decor-less, brown rooms throughout a house you've lived in for years.

Here are some before-shots to give you an idea of what I'm talking about:

Nails that poked guests uncomfortably in the eyes :(

Sad little pedestal sink with mismatching soaps and construction-grade mirror :(

Tacky brown linoleum :(

Derelict lonely toilet :( (ok, not derelict)

Poor, empty walls that feel like an awkward silence :( 

Unfinished transition from overtly sexy hardwood :(

Sad bathroom is sad.  

SO, enough sad emoji, we thought, and went to work pulling up the baseboards and linoleum.  Turned out this is what was underneath.  Yes, yamahama, it's fright night.  And yes, there were several jokes about the poop hole beneath the toilet.  We're only human.   

As gung-ho as I am about home improvement projects, my enthusiasm stops at toilet removal, so good ol' trusty Christian manhandled the porcelain throne and sink out to the garage.  Gross.

And thus began an era in my life known as Tiling, Part II: The Reckoning.

See, the thing about tiling is that you think the difficulty of the job correlates to the size of the space.  Not so, my friends.  Not so.  This seemingly surmountable 3' by 8' little room proved to be a hearty beast of flooring vexation and turmoil.  And I could get into the woes of using mosaic tiles vs larger, conventional ones, but let's just not.  To heal, I just need to move on.  Suffice it to say that after   much splintered ceramic, many bruised hands (damn you, tile nippers), some tense moments involving mortar beginning to set around misaligned tiles, and some sheer grouting joy, it is done.  And that's all I have to say about that.

So eventually, work resumed on the rest of the bathroom.  Using 1x3 furring strips and 26-cent lattice strips, I nailed up some faux-wainscotting for suh-ooper cheap.  Cuz if you want anything while relieving yourself, it's the class that wainscoting brings to a modern living space.

And since the wainscoting added so much class, it made the ceiling look bare, so up went some crown moulding.  And a note about that, don't do it right after you reinstall the baseboards because you'll get all cocky and think you don't need to re-watch a tutorial about what angle to cut them.  Hint:  it's not 45 degrees like what totally makes sense.  Sigh...several day setback.  But dang if that don't look purdy transitioning the gray walls to the white ceiling.  (Side note: is it just me or is painting a way bigger deal than you always think it's going to be?  Not a fan of that portion.)

And then for my favorite part.  I got some fancy-pants moulding, painted it white, glazed it, cut it at 45 degree angles, used my trusty Kreg pocket hole jig to screw it together, and then popped that sucker on the mirror with oodles of mounting tape.

Schnaaaaazy, right?  I'll probably give the same treatment to our other mirrors but with cheapo 1x4s.

And then came the ch-ch-ch-transition piece.  Two things about this.  One, I suck at hand-nailing.  Two, I suck at paying attention to where I'm stepping in bare feet when twisted nails are poking out of an old transition piece.  Anywho, a quick stop for a tetanus booster, and I was ready to move on to the decor! (I wish I were kidding... When I lifted my foot up in horror, the whole piece of wood was  nailed to my foot.  Needless to say, loony toons screaming ensued.)

So here's the thing about me and decor.  I'm in waaay over my head.  I blame Pinterest for having so many amazing and doable ideas that they all just get stuck in the door at once, and I lay paralyzed about how to proceed.  Hence the several months involved in this remodel.  So eventually I went for the fool-proof, evenly-spaced pictures.

I used the amaze-balls Silhouette to help me make each of the three canvases.  And what's better in a bathroom than a pretentious french sign with a double-meaning about keeping your hands clean?

And then I drew a koi fish, scanned that fish into the computer, cut that fish out in vinyl to use as a template to allow me to make a, say what, ombre fish?

I got these ugly gold frames at the dollar store, painted them the same white as the mirror frame, glazed them as well, and then BAM.  Coordinating frames for $3.

And for some finishing touches, I did the same treatment to this sexy toilet box.  Perhaps too matchy matchy.  But regardless, sexy toilet box is sexy.  (ps--there's extra toilet paper in there.  I didn't want taboo, shameful toilet paper just out in the open like we're, what? A bunch of hillbillies?)

And for the piece de resistance, yeah.  It's what you think.  I tied a ribbon around the garbage can.  I was hoping it would discourage guests from actually putting garbage in there (i.e., because you don't put trash in something with a ribbon around it), but I was sadly mistaken.  Maybe if I put trinkets at the bottom... No, no, you're right.  Too much.

And oh yes, this incroyable pottery was made by none other than my super-cool mum.  She's cool like that.  I may have stolen some of them when she was in a drunken haze of pain medication after a jogging accident.  As you do.

Anywho, that completed Project Chokey.  Now to tackle the giant blank wall in the living room.  You know.. the first thing everyone sees when they walk in.  Oh, home decor, how you elude me.