Thursday, March 31, 2011

Closet details (finally!)

Hi Everyone! It's Holly here. Sad to report that my most favorite camera lens died this week and my lazy butt has taken a "moment of photographic silence". Hence the lack of posts... so I decided to force the Mr. into finally posting his detailed closet reno guide. But never fear, I am on the hunt for a replacement wide angle lens but will make do with my zoom lens and share some small scale projects for the present.

Without any further ado, I present Mr. Fun Lane (aka the muscle, brains, project manager, laborer and skilled tradesman behind our dreamy new closet): Sean {in the event you missed the post where we unveiled our closet click here}

Thank you to everyone who complimented our new closet. It was really a type of job that I have never completed before. I mean I’ve touched up drywall, laid down floors, wired new lights, but to start almost from scratch was a first. Much of what I learned from our laundry room remodel I used in the closet. The big difference was in the preparation. The laundry room was already a functioning room so if our re-design was a bust we could just have gone back to the original. Not the case with the closet. Prior to the demolition I researched converting attics into living space which “You-Tube” provided many examples. Once I had fell through the kitchen ceiling I knew that whatever I thought to be a good solution or deemed acceptable by code (whether for floors, walls, support, etc) I had to make it even more durable so I could sleep at night.

As noticed in the pictures, this space needed insulation, drywall, lighting, ceiling, (bead board in our case) flooring, and of course closet organizing items.
Insulation was fairly straight forward. All exterior walls needed insulation including the ceiling. Only one wall required the transferring of insulation which was really simple, and was when the fall into the kitchen occurred. The ceiling was more challenging. I added vapor barrier and drywall up to where the lights are placed and then I used the spray insulation from the floor (or kitchen ceiling) and shoveled it down the new sloped ceiling right up to where the lights started.

Once I fell through into the kitchen I decided to not focus on the insulation and moved on to beefing up the floor joist, so I could move around safely. There was 3 2inch x 6inch (small wood boards) that had one nail on each side, basically strong enough to hold the insulation and the kitchen ceiling. I added 10 2x10’s with appropriate hangers which made each joist about 6 inches apart. I also used some spare lumber to attach braises to connect each joist so it was even more stable. I also had to alter some plumbing by drilling holes into the joists to hide some exposed pipes. Once all that was done I added ¾ inch plywood (not OSB)on top.
Typical drywall set up. I did realize (maybe only on our house) that walls that should or seem to be straight are not! I had to frame out a section for our furnace vent. Once that was up I left it for awhile as I was contemplating hiring someone to tape and mud it as I really didn’t have the patience for the perfection.

The lighting that maybe looks complex was actually really easy. I just spliced wires from one light to the next and wired it up to the light that was currently in there. Having the ceiling open made it even easier. You do need some room to move around and secure the wires to the wall and to feed wires to the designated areas. I added only pot lights that were compatible with insulation this way there was no risk of a fire. I took it one step further and added a plastic cover that acts like a barrier that protects the light from any condensation build up or a sneaky piece of insulation wanting to ignite.

Once the lights were up it was time to complete the ceiling. I added big chunks of insulation (avoiding the loose insulation that literally goes everywhere) to the opposite side of the lights then added vapor barrier and then drywall. I didn’t bother taping & mudding the ceiling because we decided to use the bead board. This was also the case in the laundry room. The laundry room had a popcorn ceiling and one light. Once you put up the bead board you cannot see any imperfections (or holes made to run wires for lighting) in the drywall & as stated above I am not a tape and mud kind of guy. Let alone trying to match up bulk popcorn from the eighties to current available spray can touch up. Bead board is nice because you can mess up the drywall to install the pot lights then slap on top the bead board to cover the drywall.

On the flip side, installing the bead board can be a pain in the butt! And not look the greatest if you don’t know what you are doing. You have to know where the studs are which are tricky to find while you are holding the 4 foot by 8 foot bead board up against the ceiling. Once it’s on, I only added about six screws per sheet but also used the air stapler to clean up any areas that sagged. One good trick is to really screen each piece at the store before you take it home. Some can really get banged up at the store and only require more work once up on the ceiling.

Connecting one sheet to another is probably the toughest job. The 4 foot section is much harder to connect; you kind of have to map out the layout so that some connections are not directly visible. It will take time to finesse the connection and line up separate sheets, but I found that using a drywall spackle and running your fingers or a screwdriver through the ridges works the best. I also use the same compound to fill the staple and screw holes. Once there are up, painting them also tends to help smooth the connections. Practicing on a small sheet that is not on the ceiling will help. I used a jigsaw to make my bead board cuts which made a very sloppy cut, but I knew I was going to cover it up with trim. You could take the time to cut it with a skill (hand) saw or table saw but you will likely cover it with molding or trim anyway.

I finally moved on to conquer my fear of mudding and taping and actually did a really good job, just made a bit of a mess continually sanding.
Floors were also simple just very repetitive. Simple tongue and grove with the floor stapler.

Trim also very easy. However ceiling molding on a vaulted ceiling is too complex for me, especially when you have outer corners. We just got a thick piece of flat trim and framed it. Using bigger trim and crown molding will allow for more wiggle room when installing (cutting) the bead board, also you don’t have to mud the drywall right to the floor.

The next steps where to paint and add all of the closet rods. (Rods were purchased at a store called Totem) They installed really easy with 2 screws on each side. We also added L shaped brackets to offer support from the weight of the clothes.

Some areas require city or code consent for converting an attic space. If you are required to get approval (permit) to convert your attic it will vary from city to city. We had to make sure everything was in place before we started. Be sure you get yours if you do require one.

I still am in a little shock over the completion of the closet. I have to give it a good stare and walk around before bed every night just to confirm it’s real.
Holly was right it did take a little longer than I had hoped it would take, but all good things come to those who wait …………………. Right???

Monday, March 28, 2011

Favorite Purchase in a loooong time

If you dropped by today for some good old fashioned decorating, I am sorry to disappoint (again)! But I just had to share a recent purchase that I am in luuuurve with.

I really am not all the adventurous with makeup, and rarely try new products so it was a bit of an adventure to put this in my shopping cart while grocery shopping last week.

{yes, I totally understand that level of excitement in putting a new lipstick in my cart is rediculous. I am weird like that}

The first thing you should know is that I'm not a big fan of lip-gloss! The gooey feel and the fact that I am constantly kissing on Wren doesn't make it all that practical. But I often feel like my lips have little color and look BOR-ING. In fact, it is quite odd, but my lips seems to even have a purple-ish hue to them which is not all that flattering. So when I saw this stain I decided to give it a shot. I am so happy I did, because it is seriously my favorite item in my make up drawer now!! It give you color without the gloss, seems to stay put nicely for me (some reviewers found it wore off quickly considering it is a stain) and is absolutely zero maintenance for most of the day. Good for moms like me who cannot keep lipstick or gloss in their purses, knowing little fingers will use it as crayons!

I will definitely try another shade or two, and maybe even an eye shadow!

*the crowd ooh's and ahh's*

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring/Summer wardrobe, part 2


That is going to be me looking out for the fedex man over the next week, waiting for some new wardrobe additions to arrive.

I have a serious love affair going on with Rebecca Taylor and her romantic, feminine clothes. They fit into my 'look' perfectly and I cannot wait for the weather to improve and get to rockin' some dresses!!

Sean has our email hooked up to his Ipod and when he got home he was a little curious as to why so many emails regarding shipping confirmations were bombarding him today. Oops!
The only logical reason I could offer is up is that I 'needed them!', oh yeah, and they were on sale. 2 of the biggest selling points in my book, in his... not so much.



Seriously, these are the things my dreams are made of!

But in the meantime I have gathered up a few other items for spring, some old, some new.

I recently found this tulip skirt on clearance for $29 at Anthropologie and while I hummed and hawed over it, I know it will be a keeper. I love pairing casual tanks and sandals with dressy skirts. This one is good because it really dresses up nicely with heels for an evening look. It will also match well with a black Theory tank I scooped up earlier this year, but I like the blouse-y feel of this deconstructed tank.

tank: Walter; skirt: Anthropologie; heels: Gucci

Many of you have asked about my shorter hair and how I am liking the change, and while it was a BIG difference at first I am slowly venturing out and trying new things. I am in LOVE with messy, curly bangs this year. Which is crazy considering I've always hated bangs and the feel of hair in my face...
To acheive a relaxed, messy curl I usually roll 2 or 3 different sized rollers into dry hair in the morning, do a few chores, blow some warm air on them and about 30 minutes later take them out. It is far less work for me than using a curling iron, and since I usually only wash my hair every other day it is no work at all on the second day.

old navy sandals

My current obsession is a pair of $29 Joe Fresh rain boots my mom and sis scouted out for me after knowing I had been hunting for ages. The color and style fit so much of my wardrobe, and I like the tie detail. They have been in heavy rotation, partly because I adore them and partly because the weather has been making them a necessity.
top: Vince; jeans: Forever21; boots: Joe Fresh

Wren also got a pair and we've been putting them to good use, jumping in pretty much every puddle we spot.
I am a huge fan, and have been for a long while, of one shoulder and assymetrical dresses so as soon as I saw this bad boy I knew it was coming home with me! I am on the prowl for a fun belt, hopefully something will turn up before the weather warms up (which should give me plenty of time LOL).
dress: Mason by Michelle Mason; shoes: Bongo
It also struck me just how disturbingly pale I've become over the course of the winter so I am excited to give a new self tanner a chance. I am going to try this L'oreal gel and see how it goes, giving me lots of time to perfect my technique before I'll actually have to share the results in public.
While some people are not into mini dresses, I've always been a fan. And let's be honest I probably only have a year or two to get away with them (if I even succeed this year, that is). But it looks like style starts much younger than I expected, and the 2 year old of the house already insists that her tops are dresses. Yikes, dad won't be too pleased with this one!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pier 1 Spring spruce up

This post brought to you by Pier 1. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have to send Pier 1 a HUGE thank you!

We have had a hectic week, horrible weather and just a lot of craziness. And as I am sure most of you can relate, a little retail therapy can go a long way! Specially when it means taking an evening to enjoy shopping on your own (seriously, that has become the biggest treat I can imagine. 2 year olds in stores with glass are a bad combo). It is now officially Spring, but I am still facing drifts of snow and colder than normal temps up here in the great white north. So thinking about outdoor entertaining was a nice diversion, even if it requires a temporary interior location.

While I may be known to stick primarily with favorite shades of white and grey, my frustration with being surrounded by both the colors weather-wise had me walking on the wild side. And I can already picture everything moved out to my favorite secluded corner of the yard.


I started planning my attack by establishing what I already had. I picked up a set of chandeliers last summer for the front door and thought it would be a whimsical touch to such a basic patio set (which we bought for $25 at an auction this winter, a cheap, yet inconvenient time to buy outdoor furniture). The rugs are all $2.99 steals from Ikea that normally reside in Wren's room and the back door.


Thanks to a LOT of inspiration from Pier 1, it now feels like the perfect place to enjoy my eggs benny on a sunny morning!


The first thing to go in my basket were these adorable, reversible seat cushions, which are a must on wood seating in my opinion!


The details are so fun and would keep any space, indoor or outdoor, from feeling stuffy!


The second item was an immediate love-affair-item. Literally. The cracking glaze and aged patina had me falling head over heels, and it really is the perfect sentiment and addition to any table for two.


Further proof that clearance aisles aren't overrated were these adorable napkins ($2.48!) and napkin rings ($1.18)


I am not usually one for dining linens but I can totally see myself getting tons of use out of these, even if they just sit pretty on the oven or dishwasher handle.


If you've ever dined at a wood table you know how worrisome it can be to set your glass on top, so I grabbed a capiz placemat to do double duty as eye candy and level resting spot for drinks.


Another nature-inspired addition was a woven basket to either cart cutlery or keep bread warm. The size of this one was perfect for what I was looking for.


While these guys might have been the last to enter my cart, they are probably my favorite. Every time I look at them I can't help but smile and hope I catch a glimpse of some magical creature resting underneath (or perhaps a caterpillar smoking opium on top... but that's a whole other issue).


They are currently residing on my new office side-table, an up-turned metal crate with an antique serving tray top. It is a surprisingly functional item and is the only table that seems to fit in both style and size for what I need so it will be staying inside...


A clothes line of book pages (that admittedly isn't all that weather proof) and a sprinkling of moss complete the tableau. It will probably be a good 6 to 8 months before I will see my lawn at the rate this winter and now spring is shaping up, but it did my soul some good just to play with the idea of heading outdoors. And to spend an evening shopping didn't hurt either...


If you are in the Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando or New York areas be sure to check out the Pier 1 Tweetups for more fun ideas on outdoor entertaining.

And if your soul could use a little retail therapy as well be sure to check out these fabulous blogs for your chance to win one of 4 $500 Pier 1 gift cards. See here for full contest rules .



little green notebook

The Nester

Good luck everyone and THANK YOU Pier 1!!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Silhouette Winner!

Congratulations Renee! And a big thank you to every who entered, and specially Silhouette for offering up such a fabulous prize. Of course, if you didn't win you can still grab the Silhouette at a a fantastic price using code: FUN when you checkout.
Drop me an email Renee and we will get your new gadget out to you!!

A little birdie told me...

The Spring crafting is still going strong at our house! You may remember that my accent color in the office is yellow and I have enjoyed finding small ways to add a punch of the cheery color. This week I decided to put some of my cloche collection to use and create a natural history display on my desk. It was a relatively cheap project, requiring only items I had around the house with the exception of some bright yellow wool.
During one of Wren's naps I stitched up a little birdie out of scrap fabric. It was a fun project, and easy to do while channel surfing.
Photobucket Then I hot glued the wool to a little branch and attached our little bird, along with a tiny nest I had in a box of miscellaneous items.
In another cloche I simply placed starfish into little bottles to mimic the pricey ones I've admired for months at Anthro. I am considering adding some silver wax to look like the metal securing theirs, but haven't gotten to that project just yet.
I also want to put my silhouette to use to make some fun museum-like tags for our little display.
another pop of yellow appears in a sweet little pot Wren found for me while thrifting. It looks like a good spot to put paper clips and pins.
But my favorite new addition to the office (besides our old dining room rug) is this funky antique office chair. It is my mission to recover it in linen this weekend, and while I am not looking forward to touching the oh-so gross foam inside I can't wait to get it transformed.
Stay tuned later today for our big Silhouette winner!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Something's blooming in our house.

I love moss. It adds some green, a little bit of interest and doesn't require any maintenance. Basically the perfect plant. And I owe a BIG thank you to a lovely lady by the name of Andrea who was sweet enough to share her fabulous take on Pottery Barn's oh-so-pricey moss letters.
Very inspiring! I immediately knew the perfect spot to add some extra flair for spring, the hallway to our laundry room which features a large antique mirror that showcases our ever changing projects and decor. So I ran off to Michael's and loaded up on letters and moss.
Moss is a little pricier than I thought and I quickly realized I would probably need several bags to do a few letters, yet I only had 1 40% off coupon. Then I spotted this moss table runner (rolled up in the bag), I believe it was about $20, but worked out to $12 after using my coupon and will last me for YEARS to come and dozens of moss projects.
I cut the moss into various shapes and hot glued it to my letter. You could theoretically cut the shape of your letter out of the sheet, but I wanted it to feel slightly uneven and irregular like a real patch of moss so I pieced it together. Then I hot glued some faux bois ribbon (circa 2007 from Martha Stewart) to hang.
I've only had time to work on the B, but will be completing L, 2 O's, and a M today.
I have also been contemplating adding a little contrast by painting the frame for a few months and will maybe tackle that as well.
THANKS again to Andrea, and here's hoping the next 4 letters turn out as well as the B, but even if they don't at least I have use for a good B (it's our last initial).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Second Chances

Remember when I found this chair for $12 last winter? Yeah, me neither. And apparently my upholsterer couldn't either. I dropped it off last April to be refinish, along with 1 other chair. Life took over, I sent him a ton of client jobs and low and behold fall rolled around before we discussed the chairs again (I wasn't in a rush, anyways...). Then my appendix blew, we went on holidays and when I went to go pick up the chairs in January I had a suspicious feeling it wasn't the same chair I dropped off over 8 months ago.
When I got home I went back to check out our old blog post and sure enough, one of the chairs I brought home was not the chair I delivered. Thankfully the chair we brought home wasn't anyone else's chair, just one that the upholsterer had amassed over time so he urged us to keep it (and it now resides in my 'boudoir'), and after digging around he found our other chair.
And now it is safe and sound back here at home, with a special spot in the family room! What an adventure it has had over the last year LOL. I had him get rid of the tufting for a modern look, and now it just needs a slipcover to top it off.

As you can see by our new chair, I am all about second chances. So if you want a second, and a third chance to bring home a silhoutte be sure to check out these fellow bloggers and enter again!
Adios amigos~

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Grey Day

It is a grey day here today. In two ways, the first being the low clouds and lack of sun...
The second being my new pride and joy:
This huge old grey trunk came home with me last week and it was one of those things that have me feeling like digging through grungy old thrift stores year after year is worth the trouble, even if this is the only thing I ever found. It is the perfect shade of grey, with the perfect amount of wear and tear. I love that it even has wheels (which made moving it by myself much more pleasant!).
Another find was this adorable little queen Wren and I found at Michael's for $1.99 while picking up some supplies for upcoming spring decor crafts.
I should have picked up a handful more for good mother's day gifts!
I hope your day is sunny and bright, but if it's grey here's to hoping it's in a good way,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Silhouette HD Giveaway!!

I have a brand new addiction here people! And it arrived just in time to find prime placement in my new office: the Silhouette HD. I am big into crafting, but rarely have a lot of time to dedicate to it, as well as hating all the clutter that come along with all the tools so this is my new best friend! It cuts everything from paper to vinyl (if you love wall words you will love this thing!), to fabric to temporary tatoos!!! Wren is a biker chica already, constantly covered in temporary tatoos so this is a great tool for me to make her some customized tats (I am already working on an 'I heart MOM' one).

With all the chaos of Sean starting a new job and our schedule flipping around as a consequence I have barely had time to get my paws on it, but was able to quickly try my hand at a thank you card.

And some new business cards. Photobucket

But I have a lot of exploring to do based on the crazy creative ideas they have already come up with on their website!

But the best part is that one lucky blog friend will also receive one because Silhouette is giving us one to giveaway (a $300 value)!! They are awfully generous over there, aren't they?!
To enter this giveaway you MUST be a follower of both our blog as well as the Silhouette Blog (click here to go there). Please leave your comment here once you have become a follower!There are tons of reader submitted ideas there so be sure to browse around while you are there.
For 1 extra entry you can 'Like' Silhouette on Facebook and leave an additional comment here telling us.
You have until 8pm pacific time on Tuesday, March 22 to get your entries in.

In case you aren't the lucky winner or want to get started ASAP Silhouette is doing a fantastic promotion during the month of March, offering our readers a Silhouette SD, one of each fabric interfacing (clean cut & sewable) and a roll of white flocked heat transfer material for $229. Also, readers that already have a Silhouette can get 25% off fabric interfacing. The March promotion will run from the 21st through the 27th, simply enter


A big {HUGE} thank you to the folks over at Silhouette and good luck everyone!!!
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