Archive for February 2012

We’ve been framed!

Hey hey! How are ya?

I mentioned recently that we’ve had some actual progress happenin’ in the basement over the past couple of weeks. It is SO exciting!! The very first project was framing out the bathroom and storage room.

We did it that way because I was trying to figure out how big to make the laundry room. Initially I had planned to make it all one room – storage, exercise, craft stuff and laundry:

(It’s that room in the upper left corner.)

But as we looked at the space, we decided a smaller storage room would be a better idea. (I LOVE IT.)

I was still planning on fitting the exercise stuff into the laundry space, but I quickly realized it just wasn’t going to fit. And even if I did make it fit, did I really want to exercise in a teeny tiny room away from everyone else? It’s sad enough when I do it, who wants to make it worse? ;)

Sooooo…we ended up with a laundry room and only a laundry room:

basement love

(If you couldn’t tell, it’s the room with hearts in it.)

And I am SO EXCITED about it I could pass out. Seriously, Elaine Benes ugly dancing in the room excited.

It will be just for laundry and folding and hanging and dancing. Much dancing. I do believe I’m actually excited to do laundry. What the HECK?

We weren’t going to frame out the rest of the basement till next week, but a couple of weeks ago the guys who are doing most of the work called and said if we could do it last week they’d knock some of the labor cost off.

Heck to the yeah.

So now the lovely laundry room is ready for plumbing and electrical:

I’m still deciding where the washer and dryer will go. I’ve changed my mind three times now. Again, I’m thankful we’re doing this little bits at a time so I can figure this stuff out. ;)

The laundry room is slightly bigger than I had originally planned because at the last minute I decided that I wanted the door to be 36 inches wide:

framed basementWide enough for me to carry our big laundry baskets through without banging into the door frame. Hollaaaaa!!

The bathroom configuration changed a bit too, because of a support beam that was in a weird spot. Now it’s much longer than we had planned:

More than eleven feet long! I’ve already come up with a way to use some of that dead space though – the plastic shelves will be replaced with built ins and will hold our extra cleaning supplies, paper goods, all that good stuff.

We only paid our builder to rough in a partial bathroom down here – but they ended up putting in plumbing for a bathtub/shower too:

bathroom basement rough in

(The drain is covered because the only spiders I’ve ever seen down here were the week after we moved in and they were coming from there. That hole totally freaks me out. It’s been covered for eight years.)

I opted for a shower instead of a bathtub, mostly because I wanted as much room in the storage area as possible (and a shower is smaller). But also because, really, we don’t need a bathtub. Most likely the only people using it will be guests and I don’t see them taking a leisurely bubble bath down there. That would just be…weird.

A few of you have asked how we are dealing with the heat issue in the basement. When we moved in, they had vents open and we had them closed up (because we were never down there eight years ago and didn’t want any valuable heat wasted).

A couple weeks ago we got some vents from Lowe’s and cut new holes in the duct work to install them:

installing heat vent in ductwork

I used metal snips like these to cut it:


It’s not pretty under that vent but it got the job done. ;)

We would not have done this if we didn’t know the space would be finished soon. It’s already helped a ton, and we hear the drywall will help a bunch too. Someday we plan to add some kind of electric fireplace to the family room area as well.

So now I need your help! Next up is lighting – they’re coming by this week to find out how many lights and outlets we want. The outlets I’m pretty good on, but I’m struggling with the lights.

It’s a lot of pressure! I have a chance to do whatever I want and I’m kind of frozen. ;)

We’re doing mostly recessed lights of course, but from what I hear on HGTV lately (is it sad that’s my only resource??) the new thing is the smaller, four inch lights instead of six inch: image

I don’t really care because we have the six inch in our kitchen and family room and we don’t mind them all. But I do like the look of the smaller ones when I look at pics. I also like the idea of having some wash the walls with light too…

Now we’re thinking of adding the larger (six inch) lights in the main areas, and the smaller ones along the bulkhead. (We have one that runs the entire length of the basement.)

I’m also trying to figure out how many – I’m leaning towards a LOT. Can you have too many lights in a basement? I’d rather err on having too many than not enough. (Of course, everything down there will be on dimmers.) I wish we would have added a bunch more recessed lights throughout the rest of the house, so I don’t want to make the mistake of not enough again. We have the ability to add pretty much as many lights as we want -- we had a dedicated electrical panel installed so we wouldn't have to worry about over doing it.

There will be a couple rough ins for drop down lighting – over the craft table and maybe in the laundry room. The ceilings are less than eight feet down there so that will probably be it.

And switches – I want lots of them! ;) I love the idea of main light and then separate ambient lighting as well. The guys are going to love me when I tell them my plans. ;)

So that’s where we’re at right now. We need to give them a fairly concrete plan on how many and locations by the end of this week, but I can adjust details as we go.

I cannot WAIT to get more light down there! I think it will make just as much of a difference as the actual walls will. For years we’ve used random lamps everywhere to keep it bright, but this will absolutely transform the space.

If you have any advice on lighting (sizes, how many, task lighting, etc.) I’d really appreciate your thoughts! Like I said, this is one area I’m not quite as familiar with, so I want to make sure we’re making good decisions. (Thanks in advance!!)

Hopefully I’ll be able to show you a new bright basement in the next couple of weeks!

P.S. A few of you have asked what floorplan program I’m using and it’s this one. It was $5 but I’ve found it to be WELL worth the money.

Ebay Find- Brass Drink Trolley {Melbourne}

This Brass bar cart/ drinks trolley is too just too good, even better if you live in Victoria, I will hopefully find one of these "wheelie beauties" in my area one day.


The look is very Similar to the one I found at Chapel street Bazaar and posted about Here.

If you need help looking for anything on Ebay feel free to email or comment (I am always happy to help).

Corkboard Makeover

I swear this Craft Your Stash thing is really working for me. 
I purchased no new supplies to makeover this corkboard, 
and I had the board itself in my stash already! 

And I absolutely love how it turned out!

I'm pretty sure I grabbed this corkboard at The Dollar Tree, but its seriously been sitting forgotten in a cabinet for so long that I can't remember for certain. Regardless, I know I didn't originally pay more than a dollar or two for it. 

Its not huge, about 12"x8.5".

But what a clean slate to work with!! 
The possibilities of what could be done with one of these is endless!

Here's what I chose to do: 
I knew I wanted to hang mine in my craft space so I grabbed some fabric from my stash that is similar in color to what I have going on in my area. I Mod Podged the fabric on to the frame one side at a time (so 4 strips of fabric total). For my short sides, I folded the fabric down into a pretty corner.

The first two photos above show the front and back of the corkboard.
The bottom photo gives you an idea of how I folded the fabric.

FYI: Using Mod Podge to adhere fabric to something can make it appear discolored.
I added more Mod Podge on top of the fabric to deal with the discoloration problem. 
I also decided to add some lace to the frame. I Mod Podged that down, too.

I knew what fabric I wanted to use to cover the cork, but I needed something to cover the edges and create a border. I sifted through my ribbon stash repeatedly but could not find anything I liked. I debated buying something new at the store but was determined to make do with what I had on hand.

Then I remembered a fun technique that's been popping up in the scrapbook community:
rolled paper!

If there is one thing I have a ton of it is scrapbook paper. ;) 
I was immediately able to find something in my stash I could use.

Rolling the paper was a new technique for me and this is how I did it:
I hung some Scotch tape along one end of a piece of 12x12" scrapbook paper then attached a small dow rod (or you could use a bamboo skewer) to the tape and paper. I rolled the paper as tightly as I could around the dow rod then used a couple of rubber bands to hold it together.

I let it sit for 24 hours to help the paper keep its shape once the rubber bands were removed.

The next evening I removed the rubber bands and dow rod. The paper was keeping the rolled shape pretty well. I unrolled it to trim it down to the width I needed for the corkboard.

I made the long pieces first, trimming them down then cutting off 3" long pieces (so my long pieces were 10"x3"). I rerolled these pieces on the dow rod (minus the tape) and used small amounts of Scotch tape to hold them together. I removed the rods after adding the tape.

I repeated the process with the short sides of the corkboard, laying the long pieces out where they would be attached to get an accurate measure of length.

After all of my pieces of rolled paper were made, I layed my fabric on the cork and put down a thin line of  Beacon 3-in-1 along all of the sides. I pressed all of my rolled paper pieces into the sides. This made both my fabric and my paper adhere to the corkboard all in one step!

So now my corkboard looks like this. 

While I'm loving the polka dot fabric on the cork, its coming across as a little loud. 
I need to lighten it up!

So I crisscross a few pieces of lace across it, adhering it to the fabric at just the ends.

I love how it looks now! Not too busy, and not over bright.

Once last touch because I can't leave well enough alone...

Using the leftover scrapbook paper from my rolled border, I made 1-inch circles with a circle punch then cut them in half to make some fun bunting. Thread it with some string and attach it to the board with some thumbtacks... Instant pretty!

Isn't she gorgeous!! 

A little bit modern, a little bit vintage. 
A lot of love!

To hang this bad girl, I used some Command 3M picture hanging strips (the ones with gripper teeth).

I had just the empty spot on the wall over my craft desk to hang her! 

Of course, hanging above my desk, the first thing I put on it was my brand new business cards designed by my gal Bev! Aren't they too fun?? She's awesome to work with!

I'm really going to love using this corkboard to hang little bits of inspiration. 
Not to mention I just love looking at it!

What do you think you would do to one of these corkboards??

Nate Berkus TV Show {News}

It saddens me that the Nate Berkus TV Show has not been picked up for another season (this season will be the last). "After careful consideration, we have decided that 'The Nate Berkus Show' will not return for a third season in the fall," Harpo Studios and Sony Pictures Television said in a joint statement. "We are grateful for the hard work and heart that Nate, [executive producer] Corin Nelson and their entire team have poured into the show, and we're very proud of what they've delivered." Via:

I am sure with Nates impeccable design talent we will still see him just about everywhere (If not more). He has a great style and a LOVE for Mid century furniture and the 'Nate Berkus Show' is haled for lifting the exposure on one of my all time favourite Blogs 'Mr Goodwill hunting'.  

Here is some Nate at his finest to cheer you up, the Tampa, Florida, home of Allison and Robby Adams, which was decorated by Nate Berkus.

'The Nate Berkus Show's' final episode will air in
May 2012.


Craft Your Stash | March 2012 Challenge

I hope you're participating in the Craft Your Stash challenge here 
at The Scrap Shoppe! 

If you're just finding out about it, you can read more information about how it started
 and how its works here

How are you doing with February's challenge
I don't know about you, but I have gotten a LOT done for February! Nearly every project I've worked on have been things I've wanted to finish making and had stashed away for, in some cases, years. And I've managed to finish them all with supplies I already had on hand! Yeah!! 

So who's ready to hear about March?

This one is for all of you hoarders out there.
And, yes, I am definitely one of them!

For March, I challenge you to craft 1 or more craft/scrap projects using whatever supply you seem to have accumulated the most of.
For me that would be a toss up between scrapbook paper and paper flowers.
I'm excited to try to create something fun with them!

March's CYS photos are due by March 31st. 
Features will be April 3rd.

Link up your photos to the Craft Your Stash Flickr group!

As you complete March's challenge, add them to Flickr!

February's photos are due by this Saturday (March 3rd).
Features will be next Tuesday!

I can't wait to see what you make!

Trimming out the drapes

Well hello! Hope you had a lovely weekend! I got a project done that’s been harassing me for months. Well, not really. It just seemed like the window in the living room that had been nekked forever was mocking me every time I walked by. And the extra fabric I bought six months ago to go on it was yelling at me to JUST GET IT DONE.

Sheesh. Chill out already!!


You might remember when I changed out the drapes in the living room. They absolutely transformed the room and brought it from the dark into the light!

Because I was trying to save some cost on the fabric, I ended up cutting each length of fabric in half and used the halves for the new drapes. (Instead of buying double the yardage, I just bought enough for one window and cut the fabric in half length-wise).

But the skinny skinny panels were starting to look pretty…well, skinny. Wordsmith, I know. ;) I hadn’t even lined them yet, so I waited on that to decide how I wanted to change them up.

I went back to Calico Corners hoping to find something that I could use on each side of the panels to beef them up a bit. I couldn’t find a solid fabric that worked, but I did find a stripe that matched perfectly:

Calico Corners fabrics

Every color in the stripes is in the fabric and I couldn't believe how well it worked! Although I must say it had me a bit out of my comfort zone. But I wanted to try a little something different so I went with it.

Six months later. ;)

Turns out my DIY craft table in the basement is a PERFECT sewing table! Up till now I’ve been sewing upstairs in the guest room because it has great light. But I use an ironing board and it’s not exactly the best set up.

This worked great!:


I only got enough fabric for one window, knowing that I would cut it into four strips – two for each window. (There were exactly four sets of the stripes across the fabric.)

I thought sewing a straight line along straight lines would be pretty darn easy, but. no.

I’m here to tell you the lines that aren’t straight will NEVER be noticed after all is said and done. I promise. If the straight line eludes you and keeps you from trying to sew, please don’t let it!!

I sewed a strip of the stripe (huh?) on one side of print fabric, then lined them all (with lining I’ve also had forever).

I tried the stripe on the outside first, but liked it on the inside of the windows much better:

adding striped trim to drapes

All of the colors on the striped fabric were a bit too much at first, so I just tucked some of it behind and clipped it back there with the drapery rings. I was not about to cut them down and resew them. SO not about to.

I absolutely LOVE the bit of contrast along the insides of the drapes:

white bookcase

The dark blue green color pops, and the lighter green beside that kind of disappears in the light coming through the window.

I still can’t believe how perfectly the colors matched!

I wanted to add a little somethin’ to the windows and it turned out better than I had even hoped:

jacobean hardwood floors

I even notice them more now – that little bit of color made a big difference!

I’ve been changing things up in here over the past year, and there’s still a few more projects in the works. One BIG, one medium one and one kind of easy one. ;)

That’s what I say now anyway.

If you’ve been around long you know I love to look back. Early last year the room was dark with lots of black and red:

Wow, what a difference a year makes!

The room looks completely different now – and the wall color and the sofa haven’t even changed. I’m LOVING all the color in this room now!:

bright living room

The floors don’t hurt one bit either. ;)

Now I just need to find a stinkin’ rug that doesn’t cost a thousand stinkin’ bucks. I was thinking a large print at first, but now I’m leaning toward something very neutral. The colors in the drapes and accessories are plenty!

Stay tuned for more updates…hopefully it won’t take me another six months. I make no promises.

P.S. I’m honored that someone thought to nominate TDC over at the Apartment Therapy Homies!:

I don’t ask this often, but I would love your vote! You can go here to do just that if you want. :) THANK YOU!