Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The rabbit trail I've been down lately

I haven't been doing much on the condo front lately; I got side tracked into Christmas gift mode.  I love Christmas gift mode.

First I made a little cake plate for my daughter, the Lady Bidango, using a small crystal vase and a small bone china plate.  Modesty prevailed, and I decided not to take a picture of it.  Who am I kidding... I just forgot.

Then I got working on a bird feeder for my tea drinking friend who lives in the country and has a bazillion birds drop by for a sip and nibble every day.  I glued some cups to their saucers for the feed, and then I tried to figure out how to hang them.  And may I just say I'm waaaay too old to try to drill through a plate to use as a base.  That was Plan A, but after two days with the drill and still no hole, I was pretty sure I was going to need a new plan.

Plan B involved finding a wrought iron candle holder at Goodwill, having His Grace cut off the actual candle holding part, having my tea drinking friend's hubby grind off the resulting sharp edge and spray painting the whole thing gold.  Then I got 'gold' bathtub plug chain and hooked everything together.  Fortunately for me, the clerk in the hardware store mis-read the price.  Anyway... here it is.  The actual making it work is my tdf's problem.

Then I decided to make something for her hubby, who loves his Coke.  Same idea as with the bird feeder, but in this case I found a small candle stand to connect the Coke bottle and the 'chimes.'  And, because the Coke bottle is full and therefore constitutes an emergency supply, the chimes are actually a bunch of church keys that I found at some of my favourite thrift stores.

Now I'm working on decorations for a women's conference I'm going to in early January in Flagstaff.  Have glue gun, will travel!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from craft land.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hold the Presses!!!!

Way way way back when I mentioned the problem of the master bath floor and how was I going to replace the tacky carpet economically.  Yesterday I was at Sun Bowl Plaza - the thrift store strip mall, and the Lutherans had two full boxes of ceramic tiles - 15 cu.ft. each, pluse 6 single tiles - $18 for the lot.  So I bought them.  I wish I could say 'faster than a speeding bullet' but that doesn't happen there.  It took quite awhile to find a guy who was young enough and strong enough to lift the boxes off the bottom shelf.  But eventually they found Jack, and now I own enough ceramic tile to do the bathroom.

The kitchen and other bathroom are done in a cream with pink ceramic, and I actually wish I could afford to get enough of this pattern to do the whole house.  It's quite gray with bits of copper in it.  It looks like stone.  Love it!

Now the question is... do I watch all those YouTube videos about how to lay ceramic tile, or do I bite the bullet and hire someone?  I will think about it for awhile.  I'm too busy overdoing Christmas decorations right now to consider learning how to lay tile.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Behold! The Garden!

And, as promised, here is the big reveal of our new garden.

Actually, I think it's a rather lovely little corner, even if the biggest plant in it is the basil I planted in May.

You might be wondering what we did with all the pavers that His Grace dug up to make this corner garden.  Check this out!

All the pots and ornaments came from various thrift stores.  I got the blue-green wall plaques for $1 each; the large clay pot was $5 and the other two were $3 each.  The blue butterfly one didn't have a drainage hole, but we discovered a masonry bit in the garage and His Grace used his new drill... presto... functional planter.  And I think the stacks of pavers actually look like we planned this arrangement from the beginning.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

We did have one garden 'ornament' that came with the condo.  Meet Mac.  His Grace is not a fan, but I think he's so cheesy he's cute.  I plan to fix up his paint job later, but I like him.

His Grace wanted hanging baskets, and I found three empty planters at thrift stores.  The two larger iron ones (There are two of them.) were $5 each, plus the cost of the coconut matting, and the strange gold bullet-shaped one was $3.  Unfortunately, I got this one before His Grace got the drill, so I just put a bunch of rocks in the  bottom.  We might drill a hole after the petunias are finished.  And the little blue on hanging on the wall was only $1.99.  It might be my favourite of all of them; the blue goes so beautifully with the moss green wall.

But the piece de resistance is the bird bath.  I know there's a 'lake' half a block away on the golf course and the birds aren't remotely interested in our little bowl of water.  This was tested and proved this summer when I put a tray of water out every day.  But I don't care!  It's not a garden without a bird bath.  But I get ahead of myself.

Our friends Richard and Nancy have these really cool glass whimsies in their garden.  They are essentially glass dishes that have been glued together one on top of the other.  I'm not explaining it well, but trust me, they're really neat.  So I decided to make one for our garden and promptly trotted off to Goodwill.  But I couldn't find the glass I needed to make my vision a reality.  Then I saw some pottery vases, and a big bowl.

I glued everything together using Loctite Glass Glue because I had some left over from making cake stands.  It worked a charm gluing the plate and white container (which is filled with rocks for stability), the middle piece with the leaves and the blue-green vase above it and the vase to the pasta bowl.  But that middle piece with the green leaves isn't a vase; it's a candle platform thing-y, and the bottom (the part glued to the white container) is unglazed.  The Glass Glue didn't hold, so I tried again using Goop plumbers glue, and that seems to be working perfectly.

Voila!  The bird bath.  

His Grace is not as delighted with it as I am; he thinks it looks like some odd bits of pottery that have been stuck together.  Whereas I see it as some really interesting odd bits of pottery that have been stuck together (With a bunch of rocks hidden in the base for stability).  But I really need the birds to back me up in this by actually using it.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Remembrance Day

Not a post about our condo; this is a picture of my father in his WWII Canadian Army uniform, with a the poppy from Flanders Fields he sent my mother.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Wow! Some projects actually get finished!

The painting of the garden wall has been finished, but you can't see any pics yet because His Grace, Gentleman Gardener, has almost finished the digging, planting and decorating the garden.  I'm going to wait until all the white rocks have been put down before the grand garden unveiling.

The second nightstand is finished and back home where it belongs.  I never did find a pseudo-French provincial nightstand, so we stuck with the art deco-ish one I showed you earlier.  It has nothing in common stylistically with the one on the other side of the bed, other than being painted silver.  I also got the headboard painted and put back in the bedroom.

The bookshelf I was struggling with last time is done and in use.  I also got my desk chair painted and recovered.  But the desk itself hasn't been touched yet.  Neither have either dresser, but I did come up with a cool plan for one of them.

And I did find a third frame and painted it pink to go with the other bark paintings from Mexico.  I really rather like this arrangement.

His Grace's dresser has somewhat weird fabric inserts in the drawer pulls.  At the moment they're a dark brown covered with breaking plastic.  But I'm pretty sure I have enough material left over from the two bedroom chairs to use on the dresser.  Remember the fantastical bird print?  The chairs are done!

Is that not the most amazing print!  And if I use little bits on the dresser drawers, it'll look like I planned the whole thing in advance and not like I scored upholstery material at Goodwill for $2.99.

Next project will be to paint the master bath the same blue as the bedroom.  And then to find something to replace the carpet on the floor.  I've noticed that various thrift stores have odd tiles, and I'm wondering about doing a mix/match thing.

I also have another project for the bedroom.  We have some rather boring lamps that were supposed to be the same colour as the furniture, but that changed when I bought the wrong paint.  I think I'm going to try to paint them like some of the gorgeous Navajo and Hopi pottery around here.

This is the lamp.

and this is a general idea of what I'm going to try to do to it.


The vases I've seen are really beautiful, and it will be a challenge to try to get close to the skill the Native American potters have.  But I want to try.

Friday, October 10, 2014

And the progress continues... slowly

As I pointed out last time, everything takes longer than you thought it would.

But we have made some progress.  The first nightstand is done and back home where it belongs.

 Far from perfect, but not too shabby.  It has three coast of paint sprayed on, and then I used Johnson's paste wax to give the colour some depth.   

I also got the picture frames for the Mexican bark paintings done.  Pink.  His Grace really isn't sure that hot pink goes with the blue walls and the lime green bedspread, but according to BHG  it does.  Our bedroom is an adaptation of #3.  Anyway, here's a photo of the frames I've got so far.

I say "so far" because when I was showing my friend Marietta around my favourite thrift store mall, I found another Mexican bark painting and a frame, and I think things look better grouped in odd numbers.  

Another project jumped the queue on our to do list.  His Grace decided he was going to paint the courtyard fence.  The original colour was an institutional beige that matches the house (inside and out!) and every other house in on our street and the next one down.  The manor house is a row house, so we can't paint what can be seen, but we can paint the parts that face in.  We chose a mossy green to go with the brick courtyard tiles.  Our friends had their whole house done in this combination, and it is such a restful look.

 At the point the photo was taken (yesterday) only the one part of the wall had been painted.  As of this afternoon, it is almost finished.  His Grace rocks!  Once the corn crop is in, we can look at landscaping.

The other big news on the decorating front is that I found some of the most amazing fabric at Goodwill for $2.99.  I want to re-cover the two office-type chairs in the master bedroom in this wild pattern - if there's enough fabric.

It's a fairly large piece, but it has two chunks cut out of it - I guess someone was after a particular part of the pattern.  Anyway... it's freaking amazing.  The reason that little pink frame is there is that I'm trying to decide whether His Grace might be right and pink is not the accent pop we want to go with these fantastic birds.  I tried painting the new frame red, and while anyone can tell you that red is by far my favourite colour... I'm not getting rid of the pink just yet.  I just like it.

I also got a small piece of upholstery material in another pattern which I will use to cover the chair I use at my desk.  Not anywhere near as spectacular as the birds, but still... it was $.99.  And it does have red highlights.

So tomorrow it's back to the courtyard to finish the wall and continue working on getting layers and layers of paint off the little bookcase I found in our garage which I need to put on my desk.  Actually, the bookcase may have been free, but the time and money that's gone in to refinishing it probably makes it more expensive that going to Ikea.  But I will conquer.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

You might need sunglasses

It's been ages since my last update, but that's because His Grace and I have been busy.  BUSY.  
  • The kitchen ceiling is done.
  • The dirty old oatmeal glop is off the ceiling in the two bedrooms.  We bit the bullet and hired someone to do that for us.  Remember it took me two days to scrape the spackle off the tiny kitchen ceiling?  Chris got it off the two bedrooms in a couple of hours each.

  • The ceilings are painted.  His Grace is my hero.  Really, he did all the ceiling painting.
  • The kitchen morning glories are gone.  Paint is so neat... you'd never know they'd ever been there.  I painted the walls a pale mossy green, and it looks wonderfully clean.
  • The vanity and linen cupboard are out of the bedroom.  His Grace and I managed to remove the vanity and to get the cupboard partly away from the wall, but we needed Chris to actually get it out of the room.  We thought of putting the cupboard in the kitchen which is why I moved the kitchen paint job up on the schedule - 'cause those morning glories had to be gone before the cupboard got moved in.  But then we decided it was too difficult to install it there and moved it out to the garage for additional storage there.

And the big news... drum roll please... the master bedroom has been painted and the bedspread has been dyed lime green using the 'recipe' I found on the Rit Dye website  - which is why you may need sunglasses.  'Cause that is one shockingly bright lime, let me tell you.  It doesn't show up that way on my monitor, but wowza!

Now for the lesson(s) learned (the hard way).
  1. It's going to take longer than you thought.  No matter how conservatively we tried to estimate the time required, it always took longer.  It actually took us at least a week to paint the two rooms.  If we hadn't been renters for the past 21 years, we probably would have it figured out by now... but where's the adventure in that?
  2. You're probably supposed to prime the gyprock on the ceiling before you paint it.  We didn't, and unfortunately the paint came off in a couple of places, especially when I taped the ceiling prior to painting the walls in the kitchen.  When it came time to paint the bedroom walls, I used a brush I used for my paintings; it was much smaller and I had much more control over where the bristles went - no need to tape. 
There's also been stuff going on out in the garage/paint shop.  I did some frames and the filing baskets for my desk a hot pink for pops of colour in the bedroom.  This was before the bright, bright, bright bedspread episode.

And I've got one night stand 2/3 of the way to silver.  His Grace was really not sure about this plan, but even he said that the night stand looks good.  I need to put one more coat of Krylon Bright Metallic Finish, and then I think I'll use paste wax to give some depth.  

As I said, I was doing this in the garage with the door open.  A neighbour was driving by and saw the headboard propped up against the wall and wondered if I was getting rid of it.  So I told her about my favourite thrift store mall.  Nice way to get to meet neighbours.

We're miles and miles from being finished, but it feels like we're actually making some progress.  There's office work to do for the rest of this week, but then it's finish the night stand and do the other one, paint the headboard, and strip and paint the bookshelf that sits on my desk.  On with the adventure!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Progress! Or... I married a handiman.

Good news on the decorating front.  Their Graces have actually made some progress.  Himself, the duke, took pity on my poor crippled hands (de Quervain's tenosynovitis - a surprisingly real name) and painted the kitchen ceiling.  We only had enough paint for one coat, but it doesn't look half bad.

Then, after a short week and a half rest, we decided to tackle something else and rip out the vanity desk and linen cupboard in the master bedroom.  Now that I have a desk of my own, I need some place to put it other than the main hallway, and the space taken up by the ridiculously small vanity and the equally small cupboard is it.

We managed to get the vanity out with no trouble, and got the cupboard away from the wall (with only one small hole).

But then we ran into a problem.  The cupboard was built in place and there's less than a 1/4" gap between it and the ceiling.  

And the carpet is more than 1/4" high - we're stuck.  

So today I called a handiman, and he's going to get it out in one piece for us.  We'll move the cupboard to the kitchen where it will become kitchen storage.  He's also going to raise the shelf in the bottom cupboards in the garage, so that we can get the suitcases stored out there instead of taking up space in the closets.

While he was here, we got him to give us a quote on removing the popcorn glop of the ceilings in both bedrooms and the living room dining room.  More than we want to pay, but worth it.  The kitchen is noticeably lighter with the glop gone.  We may also get him to put in a ceiling fan in the master bedroom while he's here.  That would help with the cooling bills.

So the ducal estate is slowly coming together.

Friday, August 22, 2014

At home during the month of ennui

... or something like that.

Anyway, I still haven't painted the ceiling in the kitchen.  And all I have to show you is that our furniture is here and our walls are pretty well full.

There's a Middle Eastern wall

and a Yukon wall

There's also a short term missions trips wall, which you can't really see because I had to move the hall table because I GOT A DESK!  I mean, an actual desk.  I have been using a tiny vanity table in the bedroom, but that was only okay as long as all I needed to do was follow my favourite blogs and facebook.  As soon as I needed some reference material, I was in trouble.  But I found a desk today for $40.  Yet another refinishing project... sigh.

So there you have it... another entry in my TADIM (think about doing it myself) blog.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Yeah, well... I can explain...

So by now you probably expect that I've finished de-spackling the kitchen and at least the two bedrooms, right?  Well... no.

I did get the kitchen ready to paint... eventually.  And now I know you're supposed to read the instruction BEFORE you start.  I didn't think to seal off the area until after I started sanding.  And actually, I didn't realize I'd have to sand until after I tried painting.  Sigh.  But this is where I got to.

You can just see the amazing morning glory stencil at the bottom of the picture.  Here it is in all it's (morning) glory.

C'est magnifique, non?  There's a story about that.  When I was cleaning up the popcorn glop, which required some wall washing, I actually wondered if they had done the stencil with water colours, because there was this brown/green stuff running down the wall.  Then I realized that the brown/green stuff was dirt... nay... filth.  When they painted the house prior to putting it up for sale, they didn't paint over the art feature, but neither did they wash the wall.  Then I realized that the same amount of filth is actually under the last coat of paint all through the house.  Which is disgusting. But that which cannot be changed shall be ignored.  Anyway, ceiling paint next week, and wall paint eventually.

But I said I could explain why I stopped working on the kitchen, and I can.  But it's as gross as the dirty wall.  His Grace discovered that we had carpet beetles!!!!  As in BUGS!!!!!!!  So we rented a carpet shampooer from Ace and did almost the whole house.  I say "almost" because I forgot the walk-in closet and the two hall closets before we returned the shampooer.  So I got some borax and sprinkled it liberally in the closets and on the mattress in the guest room ('cause I got it 2nd hand).  It seems to have worked; we're not finding any more little black beetles.  But that was hard work, and that is why, dear reader, Her Grace hasn't finished the kitchen ceiling.

Well, that and a real life project that had to be done.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Finally, Her Grace Does Something

(other than shop, of course.)

So today I determined to begin the actual decorating work.  At first I was going to sweep out the garage so that I could paint the bedside tables, but I thought no... it would be better to actually start on the house painting part first.  You know, bake the cake and then put on the icing.

So I decided to tackle the spackle.  His Grace convinced me to start small, so I began on the ceiling of the kitchen over the table.

This is me beginning the work

and this is me at the end of the day

Which doesn't show all the glop on my t-shirt or the stuff I'd already washed off my face.  This is a messy job!  Nor does it show the 1/2" popped blister on my hand.  Sniff.  But the spackle is half gone in the tiny (about 6x4) dining area of the kitchen.  Monday - assuming that I can move my arms and shoulders - I'll finish the kitchen.  And then on to the bedroom.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Random Blitherings by way of an Excuse

It's not that I've forgotten about this blog or that I'm no longer interested in decorating, it's just that His Grace and I went on a road trip back to Canada.  We left on May 21st and got back July 3rd - 6 weeks and 6,000 miles.  And 6 pounds, but that's an entirely different whine.

Anyway, we got back too tuckered to tweet, or blog as the case may be.  But not too tired to shop.  I mean... get real... it's me I'm talking about.

So, remember the purple couch and the teal recliner?  They have been replaced.

The love seat was a whopping $35 at the Lutheran Thrift Store and the recliner was marked $89, but it was 1/2 price day on some furniture items, so I got it for $44.50.  

One of the best things about this thrift store is that they deliver for $25 per load.  It doesn't matter how many items you have, it's $25 per load.  (And they hauled the teal monstrosity away for nothing!!!)  So I scouted around to see if there was anything else I wanted, and found this headboard.

I'm still thinking it may end up hot pink or fuchsia, although I'm a little concerned that His Grace might go into palpitations if I do that.  

So other than perhaps finding a book shelf or 12, I think we have all the furniture we can handle because...while we were in Canada we arranged for all our stuff that has been stored for the past 12 years to be shipped to AZ.  WE HAVE STUFF!!!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

And the winner is...

Haven't lifted a paint brush yet, but I have picked the living room colour.  It's Mushroom Risotto (and no, I didn't pick it on an empty stomach!)  

Here's the colour chip from the Valspar site.  On my screen it looks very gray, but the paint chip I picked up at Ace Hardware is very cafe au lait.  I'll try scanning the paint chip later.  

I also tried cutting out the Navajo stencil pattern I found, and it works.  His Grace tells me that he's tried stenciling before and the paint always got under the stencil and gummed up the works.  Any advice from experienced decorators appreciated.

We're leaving on Wednesday for three or four weeks ministry trip to Canada, so it will be quiet on the decorating front.  But as soon (yeah, right) as we get back, the decorating will commence!  One thing we'll be doing on this trip is arranging for the things we've had stored with family and friends in Canada to be shipped to their new home.  Yay!  Us and our stuff in the same place.  What a concept.

Oh, and I forgot to tell you, the purple couch is gone.  His Grace hated it so much - like, as much as I hated the brass and glass - that we craigslisted it out of here.  I'll look for a replacement when we get back in June.

Monday, May 12, 2014

All we need now is paint

and the corner china cabinet that will arrive from Langley later this summer.

But check this out... new dining room set and new "Navajo" patterned rug.  I went to my favourite thrift store mall 'cause there's a shop there that sells Avon, and I was in desperate need of some Skin So Soft - Arizona is DRY!  Anyway, just outside the door of that shop were some rugs for sale, and I found this one for $10.  You heard me right... $10!  Just needed some serious washing, but init purdy????

Did you notice that my Mothers' Day flowers still look great?  

And there's more news on the shopping/decorating front.  You know the plan was to recover the purple-y sleeper sofa in the living room with drop cloth material, right? Well, His Grace has finally indicated that the sofa is not only ugly, it's also uncomfortable.  Which means that I get to hunt for a replacement sofa and chair!  Awesomesauce... back to the Lutheran Thrift Store ('cause they deliver, and they have probably the best selection).

However, the brilliant drape plan is still on.  I went to Ace Hardware just up the street today and bought a small drop cloth to test my idea.  I had to go to Office Max to find full sheet labels, and it was a bit iffy running it through the printer, but I think it's going to work.  Here's my test sample done using instructions from this blogsite:  http://www.myrepurposedlife.com/2010/08/printing-on-fabric.html

And while I was at Ace, I bought the stuff I need to start on painting my night stand.  The excitement is palpable!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

But the REALLY big news is

that the Brass & Glass is semi-gone.  It's just been moved out to the lanai, but it's gone from the dining room.  And been replaced by

It's a very small maple table and chairs from the 1930s.  The table top without the leaves is only 28" x 37".  There are two leaves about 10" each that slide under the table when not needed.  I'd show you a picture of them, but they're a little stiff and difficult to move.  $100 for the set on craigslist.

And the lovely flowers are for Mothers' Day from my wonderful daughter, Bidango.

There's one more purchase to tell  you about, but that's for another day.

Friday, May 9, 2014

And the Shopping Continues

If you remember back to the grand design for the bedroom, I want French Provincial ish night stands painted silver.  Last week I went to the Lutheran Thrift Store in my favourite Thrift Strip Mall at Peoria and Dell Webb,  and found this.

The finish is absolutely shot, but that's what I was looking for.  The price tag said $34, and I figured that was okay.  Then it turns out, everything was half price, so I got it for only $17. Whoo hoo!

When I was walking back into the store after having brought the car over to the loading zone, I happened to spy this for only $6 with the half price deal.

It's solid wood with art deco feet (maybe art deco, what do I know?)  I'm still hoping to find one that's more the style of the other one, but for now it's in the bedroom.  If I do find a better one for the master bedroom, this one will go into the guest room because the set that's going in there only has one night stand.

The perfect one I found needs some sanding and priming, but I'm going to leave that until June when we get back from a working trip to Canada.  The jet lag is proving harder to overcome than usual for both His Grace and me... probably because we were super tired when we got here.

There are two more purchases to tell you about, but they can wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Decorator is In

And has been shopping... I know, I know... quelle suprise.

The first thing I found was at a thrift store just a couple of blocks from our condo.  A Navajo style rug 5+' x 8+' for $30. Which I carried home on my shoulder - I should get points for that alone.

It has a navy border with teal, brick, tan and beige.  And there are parts that look purple-ish but are actually brick and teal combined.  In some bizzare way, it actually makes the blue chair, the teal recliner and the purple couch (along with the maple rocker with the dark rust cushions that came from His Grace's ancestral home) and the orange drapes with the holes in them actually go together in a not really horrible way.  At least to my eyes, and the eyes of our friends who have seen it.  His Grace is of another opinion.

Anyway, here's a close up of the cleanest parts of the rug which I took for letschipit.com to determine the colour palette for the room.

Which gives me this.

Which actually doesn't work.  For some reason, they think the navy is black and the tan is cafe au lait and, and, and.  Not sure what I'm going to do.  I'll either have to just pick the colours that I think go with it or wait until DangerGirl gets here in July.  Or, I guess I could try with a different camera at a different time of day.  

The adventure continues.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Just a little pause

It's not that I got to the dreaded brass and glass and couldn't move onto the rest of the condo.  It just that a week and a half ago His Grace and I decided that we were going to leave the Middle East and move to AZ this summer.  And for me, that meant I had a week and a half to pack 'cause I'm flying out on Saturday with 5 suitcases of mostly stuff.  Trust me, finding artwork to put on the walls of the condo is not going to be a problem.

Anyway... I'll be the decorator in residence as of Saturday evening, although I don't plan on regaining consciousness until about Wednesday, when I may reveal the 70s wonder that is our kitchen.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let's talk about brass and glass

As I said, the one piece of furniture I hate in our furnished condo is the dining room set.  
So here it is - and you get a view of the glorious holey orange drapes free of charge:

The top is smoked glass that sits on a brass quadropod (bet you didn't think I knew that word).  The chairs are pink/beige striped burlap-y stuff sitting on those springy brass bendy forms.  

My preferred solution is to get a "new to us" set... maybe in maple.  You can see a couple of "Colonial Maple" tables in the living room, and there are three more pieces, including a dry sink for the dining room, there now.  So getting a table that goes with that would/should work.  And while I can find sets that suit my design aesthetic (like I know what that means), His Grace, the Duke is very particular about what he puts his aristocratic ... on.  Actually, the issue is that His Grace is not a tall man, and too many chairs are too long in the seat and either his feet don't touch the floor or his back doesn't reach the chair back.  So buying is not an entirely win-win situation.

But if I'm going to make the best of what we've got, I have to figure out what to do with ol' brass and glass.  Clearly the upholstery isn't a problem - drop cloth.  But what to do with the brass.  And I'm thinking of painting it using Rustoleum's oil rubbed bronze: http://www.rustoleum.com/en/product-catalog/consumer-brands/stops-rust/metallic.  I'd have to paint the light fixture too, obviously.

But what about the glass top?  Should I paint the underside of that?  The same colour?  Suggestions appreciated.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Dining Room

On to the dining room portion of the main room.  Look beyond the powder blue wing chair, the blue-green recliner and the orange drapes with the deliberately placed holes and there it is.

I have to say that the only furniture that came with the condo that I absolutely hate is the dining room set.  Glass, brass and bendy chairs.  I'll deal with that later.

But for the walls...  I found a pin about how to stencil a wall, and had a flash of pinspiration.  Which also decided me on going with a Navajo pattern in the living room.  

The walls of the whole room will be painted - probably a sand-ish colour - in a flat finish, naturally, including the small wall at the end of the dining room.  But I'm going to stencil a Navajo pattern on that wall using the same colour but in a semi-gloss finish.  It'll be subtle (I hope) but still add a bit of subdued pizzazz to the room.  

I found a great stencil pattern online - on my own, and not through Pinterest, if you can believe it - at http://www.hennydonovanmotif.co.uk/navajo_blackrock_motif.htm

It might be a bit busy even done in the same colour as the wall; I'm going to have to think about it for a bit.  But stencils are down the road apiece.  First I have walls to paint, furniture to reupholster, etc.  And I really have to do something with that dining room set, that doesn't involve junking it.  His Grace, the Duke likes it because he finds the chairs very comfortable.  So tomorrow's entry will be about what I've come up with so far, but get your thinking caps on, because I'm really open to suggestions.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Finally...the drapes

So, yes, the orange with lacey holes in them drapes have to go.  And here's the plan:
I'm going to make the drapes out of drop cloths, but to keep them from adding to the sea of beige that is the carpet, I'm going to add a band of colour about 18" from the bottom hem.

I found a great blog (through Pinterest, but you probably already knew that) called The Graphics Fairy, and they have a post on how to print onto fabric.  http://thegraphicsfairy.com/how-to-print-on-fabric-easy/ Apparently I can stick a piece of fabric to paper and then run it through my ink jet.  Is that cool, or what????  

So I've scoured Google images for jpegs of oriental rugs and Navajo rugs, since I haven't yet determined which type the area rug will be.  I'm going to print a bunch of different ones (with lots of red in them because, well, it's red) onto the drop cloth drape fabric - or cotton, if the drop cloth fabric is too thick for the printer, stitch them together and then attach them as a band near the bottom of the drape.  

I'm really excited about this, mostly because I didn't just scoop the idea wholesale from the internet.  I actually took something and came up with my own idea.  I am a DECORATOR!  Well, not really, but allow me my fantasy for a few minutes.

Next, the dining room.  Or, as way too many people on Craigslist call it, the dinning room.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Down the hall and turn left

And now on to the living/dining room, which is not - as you will notice from the floor plan - rectangular.  It may be a blank slate, but it's an unusually shaped blank slate.  Which is one of the things that appealed to His Grace, the Duke.  Having looked in the mirror on occasion, I should have realized he likes odd shapes.  Anyway... here's what we're starting with.

Yup... another blank slate.

So far, the tables at either end of the couch, with the lamps, have been moved to the master bedroom; they may or may not stay there.  And the striped orange blanket has been removed from the couch and taken to a thrift store.  Taken?  No... banished!
 And there's a tv in the corner.  To recap... white walls, beige carpet and... a powder blue wing chair, a blue-green recliner and a purpley-blue couch.  With lacey orange drapes... orange!  Can you say "coordination?"  

To begin with colour... when I look at the room I see a rather large sea of beige carpet, and y'all have to remember I've been living in the Middle East where oriental carpets - which I love - are in every home.  So I want to get an area rug to put over the sea of beige and define the room space.  I'm waffling between acknowledging where we've spent the past 10 year and going with an oriental opattern or celebrating our foothold in Arizona with a Navajo-type pattern.  (As an aside... I really want to go to the Crownpoint Rug Auction https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crownpoint-Navajo-Rug-Auction/260971383923601?fref=ts )  I suppose it will come down to what I can get early on in the process.  

'Cause the rug is where I'm going to get the colour scheme for the room.  I found this amazing website - probably on Pinterest - that lets you click on a photo and then tells you what paint colours are in it.  Yay, Sherwin Williams... what a great toy!  http://letschipit.com/   

For example, I clicked on a photo of this rug, and Sherwin Williams gave me the list of colours for the room.

If I had this rug, I'd probably paint the walls New Colonial Yellow and reupholster at least the couch and recliner in Canvas Tan.  

Which is, as of now, the upholstery plan regardless of the rug pattern, because canvas tan is pretty well the colour of drop cloths you can get at hardware stores relatively cheaply.  This is another Pinterest idea, and I wish I could find the site that gave me the idea because it's flaming brilliant.  Actually, if colour plans change before I get to this stage, I'll still use the canvas drop cloths because I can dye them using that cool Rit Dye site I posted yesterday.

So once I have the walls painted and the reupholstering done - easy peasy - I'll move on to replacing the ghastly moment of 70s indigestion that is the orange drapes.  But that's for tomorrow.