Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lamp Revamp

The Hubs has had this floor lamp for EONS and I have always hated the brass color but used it because it was functional.

See?!?! Hideous, no. It stuck out like a sore thumb in our updated house. I decided it was time for a much needed makeover. I went to Home Depot last weekend and bought some spray paint. I like the "metallic" look just not the brass so I picked up this stuff.

Isn't it awesome and it was only $6.44! I love the name also, hammered, makes it sound so rough and tough and made me feel tough as well. I know it sounds silly but it did.

I first covered the inside (where the light bulb goes) and the knob to turn it on with painters tape.


Then I took this baby outside (it was nice the last couple of weekends-Come on Spring!!) and started spray painting it. I did a total of 2 coats to ensure it was completely covered. People say to sand your area a bit to make sure that the paint sticks to it. This is a good idea generally but I knew that this lamp wouldn't be moved or touched a whole lot so I am hoping the paint will last without sanding. And let's just be honest here...I am completely lazy and impatient for sanding. :)

The next step was to find a new lamp shade. Here is the old one...

EWWW...totally and completely outdated. The accordian style lamp shade, in my opinion, is O-U-T-out! I hit a bit of a snafu when shopping for the lampshade though; I soon found out that not all lampshades are made equal. As you can see from the above picture the hardware in the lampshade is relatively small and is close to the top of the shade. Well I found a magnificent lampshade at WalMart of all places for only $11.00. Score, well that is until I came home and found it will not fit the lamp.  

I ventured out today in search of different hardware for the lamp that will coorespond with my new lampshade. No such luck so I was forced to buy a new lampshade altogether.

I love it and truly think it is far better than the other two (the original and 1st replacement). Don't you just love the scroll detail-to die for! I am too the moon and back in love with the new lamp.




YUMMY!!! It's gorgeous! Now I need to get back to my housewife duties. Looks like we have quite a bit of clutter in our kitchen/bar/dining areas.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Neutral Ground

I have for the longest time been considering painting my home office/craft room in progress a yellow tone. I love the color yellow; reminds me of sunshine and the new birth of spring. I instantly gravitate toward it, like a moth to a flame; hence the reason our wedding had accents of yellow. It's a happy color, no?

Anyway, I haven't painted yet for fear that once I do then I will change my mind (I do so ALOT) and have to start the whole painting process over again. Have I mentioned I despise painting; I have? About 100 times? Well ok...moving right along.

So the other day I received an email from Better Homes and Gardens and it was all about neutrals. Neutral paint, neutral accents, neutral bedding get the point. I couldn't help but shout at the computer "They are crazy; beige is boring". Maybe it was all those years living in a "sterile white" apartment but I NEED no I CRAVE color. Then I took a step back and opened my mind; not all "neutrals" are beige-what! get the heck out of town! Maybe it's their pictures that drew me in closer or maybe I was truly seeing neutrals for what they really are; a terrific back drop for ANYTHING! Here are some of the pictures that caught my eye...

Gray walls with the orange accents is GORGEOUS!

And I love this combo so much. The gray with pink; I'm such a girly-girl! (squeal)

Ohhh patterned walls and look! it even has my yellow

I decided to take to the world wide web in search of more answers and some inspiration. First stop, Veranda. If you have never seen one of their magazines you are seriously missing out. It's absolutely gorgeous and high glossy pages; I just get giddy when my hands reach out and grab it. This picture spoke to me because while this is my "office/craft room" I would also like a daybed in the case that guests come to stay.

Is it possible that neutrals look better with lots of light?

Country Living

Or maybe it's all about the metallic accents that make a neutral room "pop"?

Fine Living

Or could it be one bold statement piece?

House Beautiful

I decided to keep looking and who better to turn to then Martha Stewart! Help a sister out, Martha!

I love the gray and brown tones in this picture or do I love the organization the best and not necessarily the colors.
There it is again, the gray with pops of orange but I am still not convinced on neutrals until I see this...
Oh Martha! This is exquisite! Browns, khaki, white accents and the pink/fushia accents as well. This may be the look folks. Or maybe something in between this picture and the one above from BHG (gray with pink) or maybe stick with yellow but in accents and add in the gray color (like above) or...or...or...

See what I mean, I have such a difficult time making decisions. So many different elements and colors appeal to me and I think I am petrified to make the wrong choice but is there ever really a wrong choice when you follow your heart? Can a girl who is in love with just about everything she sees make a "bad" choice? This chick's head is swimming with possibilities and the excitement over neutrals. Yes, I said it....I'm starting to think that neutral is anything but boring!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mm Modge Podge

I've never used Modge Podge before but I figured it was about time, don't you. A few months back I bought 2 big M's (2.99 ea) at Michaels and I was going to spray paint them black and put one on my bathroom shelves (when they are finally built) and the other in another space to be determined later. I also found an "M" magnet (.79) at Michaels last weekend but it was quite beat up. I am in love with monograms but who isn't, right.

I decided to bust out the Modge Podge and tackle my fears head on. I took my magnet and 1 of the big M's and set out on the dining room table.
Crucial supplies:
scrapbook paper
paint brush
Modge Podge
exacto knife
object, in this case the "M's"

Yes! Skittles are critical here...or at least they are for me. I was taking on a new adhesive product that I have never worked with and it called for a little candy and happiness in case this was a big fat flop!

First I put a thin layer of Modge Podge on the "M's" and then I layed my scrapbook paper over top. I pressed the paper into the glue and smoothed out the ripples. Then I plopped myself on the couch and ate Skittles (you can choose any other activity in this place) while the glue dried. I gave it about 20 minutes just to be safe.

I then flipped the object over so the scrapbook paper was facing down and began carefully taking my exacto knife to the edge of the paper where it meets up with the object.
Here is the "m" magnet on our fridge; right below the picture of our dog, Maude. How fitting, right!

The other one I tried to put on our hutch-not great! Then I tried it in the kitchen on a side countertop we have-still not great! Then I remembered that the CD/DVD shelf has a major gap between accessories since I took the Christmas stuff down and I decided to prop it against the clock. Perfect! Now I just need a couple low candles or tealight holders and this will be done.

It's a little rough looking but hey it was my first time so I am going to cut myself a little slack here. Besides if everything was always perfect I think I would get bored. So what do you think? Isn't Modge Podge the greatest!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Slow-cooker Stew for the Soul

When it is cold outside there is nothing more enjoyable than warming my heart and soul with a big helping of stew. It's been raining for what seems like years and looking out the window into drizzly weather is quite depressing. I needed a little pick me up and I knew that this would be just the ticket!

1 lb of beef (stew meat)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped into 1 in pieces
3 large potatoes, little larger than bite size (this is a hearty stew afterall)
1 can of beef broth
2/3 cup of BBQ sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp of oregano
2 tsp of thyme
salt and pepper to taste

First put broth, BBQ sauce, garlic and oregano into the slow cooker. Then add in the meat, potatoes and veggies and toss to coat. Put the lid on (set it and forget it-ha ha) and cook on high for about 6 hours.

When it is complete put a big heaping spoonful (or 2) into a pretty bowl, salt and pepper to taste and slice a nice rustic piece of bread to accompany the dish. Bon appetite!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spread the Love

Again, under normal circumstances I would normally not celebrate Valentine's Day but I just couldn't resist making a wreath for a dear friend and her beautiful daughter. They like to decorate for every holiday and I love their spirit so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and create a new craft for their viewing pleasure.

I started with a grapevine wreath (3.99 at Michaels), some glittery heart picks (1.00 ea pkg at Dollar Tree) and some foam words (1.00 at Michaels).

I initially thought to cut the sticks from the foam hearts but as you can see it still left a stub because I couldn't get close enough.

I then thought maybe I can just pull them out of the foam hearts and voila! It worked! I just carefully wiggled them and then grabbed the heart and the stick and pulled in opposite directions.

First I layed out the foam words to get an idea of spacing and then I just started hot glueing the foam hearts onto the wreath in a random but still cohesive fashion.

Then I hot glued the words on. At first the whole phrase was going to go from left to right but I decided it looked better top to bottom. See...

So what do you think of the wreath? Easy enough, right! Also I am playing around with a new program for my pictures called Picasa. I found out about it from here. Centsational Girl is truly sensational and she is full of tons of information. I want to be her when I grow up :) So if you start seeing some funky images on this blog it's probably me getting carried away with Picasa and just reign me in.

Here are some other Valentine's ideas floating around for your viewing pleasure. All were found at Better Homes and Gardens.

I'm not sure what it is about gingham that makes me all gushy inside but it's simply divine! I love it!

OMG! (Squeal) I love these too!

And this idea of making floral centerpieces from old paint cans or pails is genius! I think I may try this for Easter!

Enjoy your Valentine's Day weekend! Loves to all!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

For the love of chocolate

Valentine's Day is just right around the corner and I normally do not celebrate for a few reasons which are neither here nor there but I do love to bake for any reason whatsoever. With that said, I decided to bake Oreo Truffles for my girlfriends but here's the best part...there is no baking involved! Score! And there is only 3 ingredients needed! Double Score!

First you take a 3/4 package of Oreo's and crush them into fine pieces. Then mix the crushed cookies into 8oz of cream cheese, softened.

Roll into bite size balls. Then in the microwave melt 2 pkg of Baker's chocolates or 1 1/2 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips (your preference) for 30 seconds, stir and repeat at 15 second intervals until your chocolate is completely melted. Do not overcook or burn; trust me it doesn't smell pretty and it definitely doesn't taste good either. You can also use a double boiler (I don't have one-sad!) or rig one with a bowl over a pot of boiling water; I used the microwave this time to save on clean-up.

Dip your Oreo cream cheese balls into the chocolate; you can use a couple of forks (carefully) to move them around so that your fingers aren't covered in chocolate. Hey you may love the fact that your fingers are covered in chocolate but not me; I would be too tempted to lick them and that is just unsanitary.... unless I keep them all for myself. Hmmm...wait, NO!

Once your creation is dipped in chocolate, place them on a wax paper covered baking sheet and sprinkle with the topping of your choice. I was going to use red sprinkles in honor of the upcoming holiday but after raiding the pantry I only found green so I left mine plain. After you apply your topping (or not) then put the baking sheet into the fridge to cool the chocolate.
Please make a note not to let your chocolate cool in the process of rolling in chocolate; it must remain very warm or your candies will look like this...

EWWWW! Not pretty! But The Hubs will eat them

Now that they are cooled carefully place them into the wrapping/packaging of your choice. You don't want to handle them too much because the chocolate will melt from your body heat.  I hope my girlfriends love these candies!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Completed Hutch

This beautiful piece of art has been sitting empty in my dining room since Christmas! Can you believe it?!?! Don't answer that....


The Hubs stained it my favorite color (of course)-isn't he the best! And has been (I think) making hints at getting this integrated into our house/life by putting a couple pieces of glassware in it. He was too subtle; I need a major knock to the head and a big neon, flashing sign with arrows. Seriously it took him saying "Cass, are you planning on keeping those glass containers". I was like what containers and a funny thing happened...I looked up and actually took notice that at least a month ago he put my decorative martini glasses in our cabinet. Wow, buy a girl a clue!

So I emptied my "fancy" glasses from another cabinet and arranged them into the hutch for safe keeping. What a shame that I had let a gorgeous piece of furniture sit completely empty for so long. I exerted less energy to put my glassware into the cabinet then I did to paint that silly canvas on Sunday. Can you tell I am still fuming a little over that. Anyway I digress, sorry.


This piece, I am sure of it, will change constantly. I will update it with new decor items, maybe even decorate for specific holidays and I know I want to put some beady garland at the top by our family name sign. What do you think? Isn't she loverly!