Spring Pinterest Polka Dots

8 May

pinterest spring

If you’re unfamiliar with the seasonal Pinterest Challenges (first of all, where have you been?!), it’s a challenge to get pinterest users to stop pinning ‘someday’ projects and start DOING.  All you have to do is take inspiration from pinterest and put your own spin on a project.  This season’s gracious hosts are Sherry @ Young House Love , Katie @ Bower Power Blog, Emily @ Sparkle Meets Pop, and Renee @ RedBirdBlue.  I can’t wait to see what projects they tackle!

My previous season’s Pinterest Challenge projects include sketch chair art, a DIY juju, and a coffee table bench to name a few (check them all out here).

I know I posted a pseudo-pinterest challenge on Monday,

elis one

but I’m an overachiever apparently and couldn’t resist doing another project.

I’ve been loving pretty much any DIY project I see lately with gold polka dots:  Chelsea from Lovely indeed has tackled a gold polka dot photo backdrop, a gold polka dot table runner, and a suede and (you guessed it) gold polka dot mouse pad.  Cassie from Hi Sugarplum went to town on this gold dot vase.  So, I’m jumping on the bandwagon admittedly.

About a month ago, I pinned these pillows from Anthropologie

polka dot anthro pillows

When this season’s challenge came along, it didn’t take me long to decide on this.  And I did it in under an hour, so SCORE!

diy pillow settee

(Please excuse the picture quality- I forgot my good camera at Clark again so I had to rely on my iphone camera and I am not perfected in the science of iphoneography… side note to self for future iphone pics: zooming makes it grainy, zoom AFTER you take the shot.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programing.)

I already had the gray fabric, a pillow form and sponge, so all I needed to buy was a few dollars worth of copper paint.  I said it, Copper, not Gold.  Gasp! I thought the rosy quality of the copper would compliment the gray best.

diy pillow supplies

I chose to make an envelope style pillow because they’re easy to make and easy to take off the pillow and wash.

First step is to cut your fabric- this will wrap the pillow with seams only on the 2 sides.  Make sure you allow for overlap for the ‘envelope’ part (I allowed 3 inches since I was using a small pillow form)

diy pillow cut to size

Next, fold over one of the shorter sides about 1/4 to 1/2 inch, then fold it over again.  Pin and sew- this will be exposed at your ‘envelope’ opening.

DIY pillow hem edge

Once that is sewn, fold your fabric into your pillow shape.  Make sure the ‘bad side’ of the fabric is out and the finished edge you just created in folded inside so that everything’s corrent when you turn it all right side out.  I’m not a fan whatsoever of karate chopped pillows– I like them overstuffed, so I made my pillow cover 1 inch smaller than my pillow in each direction.

DIY pillow measure size

Once you sew up the 2 sides, you can turn the pillow cover right side out.

DIY pillow flipped

Now it’s time for the fun part!!

DIY pillow paint

I did a few polka dot trials on a scrap piece to figure out my technique before I started on my pillow.

DIY pillow dot trial

I put the pillow into the cover still in its plastic so that I could paint my dots without worrying about the paint bleeding through to the pillow or the back of the fabric.

DIY pillow dots

I let it dry overnight before I took the plastic-covered pillow form out of the cover and re-inserted it sans plastic.

I’m swooning over the copper/gray combo and the scale of the dots!  Yes, I’m swooning over a pillow and yes, I know I have issues.  I embrace them.

DIY pillow

Bear approves.

DIY pillow bear

Are you loving it as much as I am??

diy pillow angle pic

I’d love to see you’re projects!  Link them up in the comments, or just say HI!


Sugar High

6 May

Clark’s MLS listing is LIVE!!!  That means I have only a few days to scramble and finish everything on my To Do list before the open house Saturday!  Friday I’ll be sharing the complete reveal- are you as excited as I am?  You should be!

I’m definitely looking forward to a mini-‘vacation’ as we look for our next flip, though.  I gave myself this whole weekend off and I’m not sure my body knew what to do with itself.  Maybe after this week I’ll finally get to my neglected projects around here (I’m talking to you sexy secretary desk).

I was originally planning to save this for my Pinterest Challenge post on Wednesday, but why wait?  I might even to a second project for the pinterest challenge then too.  We’ll see.


Guess who turned ONE on Cinco de Mayo!

Eli birthday

Yup, Cutest Nephew Ever, Eli, celebrated his first birthday this weekend.  And Auntie Karen was tasked with the cake(s).

I may not cook, but I do bake every blue moon.  The last fancy cake I made was for my friend’s baby shower 2.5 year ago, so I guess it was about time.

The main cake was inspired by animal prints that I made for his nursery last year, modeled after ones I saw on Etsy.  (decorations are gumpaste and the frosting is this recipe.  There was also a penguin face on the other side that I didn’t get a pic of)  I really like how this cake came out

elis cake

but Eli’s smash cake just makes me smile

elis one

Smartie pants figured out what to do with it pretty quickly and required a wardrobe change after the mess he made (the way it should be!)

eli cake

Pinterest was a GREAT inspiration for these cakes because I was kind of figuring out the designs as I went along.  These pins were my top inspirations for his little cake:

I’m very pleased to say that all of the huge cake and Eli’s cake were gone by the end of the party- I even saw people going back for seconds!

Oh, and if you need a great stress reliever, throwing handfuls of sprinkles at a mini cake is definitely a good time.  Just sayin…

Are you planning on participating in the Pinterest Challenge this season?  I’d love to see your projects! Link them up in the Comments section!

Clark: Week 11

3 May

If you’re new to my weekly progress posts, Clark is my first ever flip house (named for the street that he’s on). Check out my previous posts here.

The end is near!!!  This is veryveryvery exciting!  Our realtor is coming over today to take pictures for the listing which will go live on MONDAY!!!  w00t!  Even with the listing live Monday, we won’t be doing any showings until the open house the following Saturday (our agents strategy to drum up interest and build antici…wait for it….pation).  So that means that I have next week to do all my finishing touches- and there are a lot.

Since I’m not doing my big reveal here until I finish a few last things & don’t want to post almost finished room pics, you just get teaser shots today.  So much finish work happened this week- this is the most exciting part for me!

With the amazing weather this week, I was more than happy to spend some time outside adding curb appeal.  The house painting is complete and I started adding a few accessories.  Yup, I went with a yellow door.  On a slate gray house it looks A.MAZ.ING. (in my humble opinion)

w11 front door

The previously untouched front garden:

w11 garden before

got a bush-ectomy, weeding, and a bunch of mulch

w11 front garden

and speaking of mulch, it now lines the 2 banks on either side of the driveway.  Lots and lots of mulch.  30 bags in the front yard!

w11 mulch

The backyard just got a lot of cleanup and throwing away trash that was piled.  Not a huge transformation, so no pics, sorry.  I figured I’d spare you the “look, I raked and trimed weeds” pic.

Back inside, the hard wood floors are ALL DONE.  Phew.

w11 done floors

The previously ignored bedrooms finally got attention.

This is all that’s left of the blood-red bedroom.  so sad.

w11 bye red

All three bedrooms got new light fixtures more appropriate for the size of the rooms (the old ones were severely undersized).  I actually reused the light that was originally in the kitchen (since it wasn’t bad, just not right for the kitchen) and bought 2 others to match which worked perfectly!

w11 bedrooms

The bedroom carpets also got shampooed.  We borrowed my parent’s carpet cleaner, but it needed a new belt before it could be used.

w11 steamer

Nothing really happened in the kitchen except cleaning, but I’ll post a gratuitous kitchen shot just because it’s a damn pretty kitchen.

w11 kitchen

Clark’s ready for his photoshoot, just not his close-ups just yet.  To get him ready for the Open House and showings, I still have to:

  • fill LOTS of nail holes in the floor and trim
  • finish the hard wood transitions at the front and side doors
  • get the kitchen sink and dishwasher hooked up (they look pretty, but don’t work yet)
  • have the electrician come look at a 3way switch that isn’t working
  • paint a few more closets and doors
  • install the shower knobs
  • clean up the basement and paint 1 last wall
  • dispose of the remaining brush from the back yard
  • clean
  • clean
  • clean

And since I never have enough on my plate, guess what time it is!

pinterest spring

This season’s challenge is hosted by these lovely ladies: Sherry @ Young House Love (who just bought a new house!!), Katie @ Bower Power Blog, Emily @ Sparkle Meets Pop, and Renee at RedBirdBlue.  (Check out my past season’s challenge projects HERE.)

Since I’m already working on a little project for a very special little boy’s first birthday this weekend, I totally have a plan to incorporate the challenge.

Ah, so many exciting things happening!

Weekend Treasure Hunting

1 May

Saturday I was floating on a treasure-hunting high.  I spent $3.  Oh but what amazing stuff I got for $3!!!  I actually wasn’t intending to go tag-saling at all on Saturday, it just kind of happened, I swear.  I needed to go to the bank, then got sidetracked.  Instead of my usual planned out tag-sale route (from listed sales on Criagslist or estatesales.net), I just started following signs around town.

I ended up at a great estate sale about 10 min from home, and that’s where I spend my cash.  For my THREE dollars, I got:

  • this textured “Avon” mason jar (I love the look of a mason jar above the kitchen sink with flowers from the garden.  Daisy does too.)

daisy tulip

  • an empty frame with nice details and a carved wood frame with a kinda creepy feather bird.  When I bought it, I was on the fence about the bird, but loved the frame.  Hubby totally vetoed the bird, so most likely the frame will end up with a chalkboard or something in it.

feather bird

  • my absolute favorite!!!  A vintage set of frosted colored glasses and pitcher.  I would have spent the $3 on this alone.  I would have even spent double or triple- I love this!!!  I can’t wait to serve lemonade on the patio in this set- I feel like that’s its calling.  Lemonade on the lanai.

vintage pitcher

I’m not sure how they made any money at the estate sale when they pretty much were giving things away, but yay for me!

And speaking of giving things away…. as I was on my way home grinning ear to ear about my cheap haul, I came across 2 things out at the curb.  for free.

free vanity

free light

an IKEA sink and vanity and a vanity light. I was in disbelief that these were on the curb to go that I asked a gentleman who was in the back yard and it was confirmed- take em!

Obviously the homeowner was redoing the bathroom and I got to reap the benefits.  I grabbed the vanity with my parents in mind: they’ve been commenting about needing a sink in their basement to use for light utility purposes.  The sink may not be what they ultimately want, but the price is right until they find something that better fits the bill.  I wouldn’t pick out the light individually, but I could totally make it work in a flip bathroom and again, the price was right!  It’s in perfect condition, just obviously a style the homeowners were over.  I’ll pull a ‘Tim Gunn’ and “make it work” in a future flip- I can see it already: oval medicine cabinet with vintage accents in the rest of the room.

I think I spent more in gas following tag sale signs that I actually spent on all my treasures!  I have some DIYing to do to make these amazing and show you the transformations.

I love coming home with a car full of treasures and spending just a few dollar bills!

Happy Chic

29 Apr

I had some great pictures to show you today (treasure hunting was good to me this weekend), then I left my camera at Clark yesterday with the pictures still on it.  Oh well, I guess I know what I’m posting here Wednesday!

With this flip, people keep asking me “how do you know how to do all this stuff?”  Wanna know a secret?

I don’t.

But I figure it out or make it up.  That’s why I absolutely loved this quote when I came across it on Pinterest.

passionatel curious

In other news, did you know that Jonathan Adler now has a budget line for J C Penney??  I’ve swooned over his collections for a while, but that’s all that my wallet would let me do.  Like the amazing non-budget-friendly vignette below.  I think I could die happy with that light in my dining room.  It’s only $395.  Very reasonable considering…..


But now my wallet can be happy too!  I still won’t be getting that light (sadface), but I have my choice of amazingly budget-friendly Jonathan Adler “Happy Chic” pieces.

jadler background_living

My office might need these curtains.  It might need to happen in the near future too.

jadler curtains

This lamp is kind of amazing.  If my nephew didn’t already have an awesome lamp, I’d require this in his room.

jadler lamp

But, thanks to my darling sister, and my impending 29th birthday tomorrow (yes, actual 29th birthday), I am now the proud owner of these Jonathan Adler book ends!

book ends

I was originally thinking my office would be their permanent home, but I’m rethinking it.  The white looks so good in the dining room!

images: 1/2/3/4/5

Clark: Week 10

26 Apr

If you’re new to my weekly progress posts, Clark is my first ever flip house (named for the street that he’s on). Check out my previous posts here.

Excuse me, how did week 10 happen?? Big things are happening, just not as quick as I want (of course). We were originally scrambling to get the house listed for Monday (then put the finishing touches on that week before the open house), but we’re further away than we had hoped and it’s not worth killing ourselves over. One more week won’t bust our budget, but it will give me a few moments to breathe between paint touch-ups, landscaping, and finishing touches.

It’s become standard out at Clark for each week to start with some unexpected challenges. This week, it was the deck. again.

deck before

I know I mentioned the deterioration that I discovered last week, but it got worse when my contractors came to fix it. The more they took apart, the more wood rot they found. Naturally this also quadrupled the cost I was anticipating spending on the deck.

deck rot before

Lucky for me (and Clark), I picked some good contractors and they repaired/rebuilt this guy in just a day. One day people! And under budget to boot!

deck accomplished

Now I can give a huge sigh of relief that I don’t have to worry about this little porch anymore. If this is the worst surprise expense on this flip, I’m considering it a win!

As the porch was happening on one side of the house, other things were happening on the other sides. House painting!! and it’s almost done! The painters are hopefully finishing up by the end of the week and Clark will no longer look like an ugly step-sister. It’s so amazing what some paint can do!

clark paint

Back on the inside, I’ve been busy. Very busy. But since the end is near, I’m not going to show you all the full room transformations until they’re all done, just little snippets. I have to tease you a little, right?

The kitchen backsplash got installed and grouted. And I discovered how tiring leaning over a countertop for several hours can be. Totally worth it though. The best compliment I’ve heard about this kitchen is from Hubby- he said he’s jealous that this kitchen isn’t in our house (as in the house we live in, although Clark is technically our house too).

w10 backsplash

The living room got a second coat on the ceiling, 2 coats on the walls, and an almost complete wood floor. Almost because I ran out of usable wood and need to go buy a few more boxes.

w10 living room

Last week, Hubby left this gift on the floor, so I had to make sure to document it before I covered it with the new wood floor.

floor face

I finally got started on the bedrooms too. Bedroom #1 has a painted ceiling, closet, trim & walls. The radiator still needs to get painted and the carpet needs a good cleaning.

w10 painted room

Bedroom #2, the “master”, got painted trim, ceiling and the start of the walls.

w10 painted master

We also got a lot of help this week. My parents and Hubby’s mom kindly chipped in some of their painting skills (THANKS!!). None of them would win the award of “cutest helper,” though (sorry Dad). That award goes to my nephew Eli.

eli paint

He knew exactly what to do with that brush. He was wiping it on the wall and then fake dipping it into paint. The kid’s very smart for a 1 year old. Cutest. Nephew. Ever.

And if you ever wondered what to get a flipper for her birthday, tools are always a good bet (or if you’re married to me, jewelry or something pretty for our house…. just sayin…). My mother-in-law knew just what I needed (to remove an old lock box that no one knew the origin of).

bday gift

Now I just have a lot of finishing to do. A lot. Paint touch ups, clean ups, recycling boxes, minor landscaping, final plumbing and electrical fixes… you get the idea.

The end is in sight and I’m so excited!!

Mirror Mirror

24 Apr

Clark‘s pieces are all coming into place- He’ll probably be at 95% at this week’s update Friday, and I anticipate ONE HUNDRED PERCENT by next week’s update.(!!!!)

Last week, I mentioned the medicine cabinet was a bit of a headache.

med cabinet 1

I had hopes of putting a new, more modern styled medicine cabinet in, however my plans were foiled by the hole in the wall.  The hole was a very non-standard size and I realized it was impossible to find a new recessed cabinet the same size.  I toyed with the idea of just covering it with a flat mirror, but this is the only storage in the bathroom.

med cabinet hole

I bought a medicine cabinet, but soon realized that to open up the hole further would be a HUGE undertaking.  poo.  Unless I wanted to totally open the wall (hint: I didn’t), my only option was to revamp the existing medicine cabinet.

She needed some love, but wasn’t beyond help.  The worst problem was the mirrors themselves.  The mirror finish on the back was peeling and scraping off at all the edges.  Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of a deteriorating mirror?  Let’s just say, you’ll have to take my word for it.  The rest of the cabinet needed some cleaning and serious de-rust-ification (technical term, I promise) to make it like new.

med cabinet 2

med cabinet 3

After a quick Google search, I found a glass store 5 min from the house that would be able to replace the mirrors and transfer the sliding hardware to the new mirrors for $100 (less than a new medicine cabinet= win).  The silver frame wasn’t irreparable, but I thought it might look like a clash of styles in this bathroom, so you can probably guess what I did.

med cabinet 4

Both the inside and frame got primed, then sprayed a nice, clean semi-glosss white.

I already had both cans of spray paint, so the only cost for this project was the new mirrors.

med cabinet 5

The glass shelves inside were also in good shape and only needed a whipe-down.  I also attempted to preserve a little bit of this cabinet’s history by taping off the sticker/logo before painting so it would still be visible.  This is clearly the original medicine cabinet to the house (which was built in 1957), and I’m a sucker for stuff like that.

med cabinet 7

Even though I was intent on replacing it, I’m very pleased with the end result of Clark’s medicine cabinet.

med cabinet 6

Now that the bathroom is almost all back together, you’ll have to wait until the final reveals to see the full space.  (spoiler alert: it’s awesome)