Monday, June 27, 2011

Someone's Trash Became My Treasure

Hope everyone had a great week since I last updated. I had a very busy week, hence no updates in a week. I did some babysitting last week and I got some items marked off of my "to do" list. I am sooo excited to show you some of them. My staircase going to the upstairs has been a thorn in my side as far as decorating. I have been looking around for some ideas that aren't super expensive. Everything that I found that I thought would work was way out of the budget. All over decorating/do-it-yourself craft blogs people have been talking about and designing their own version of the sunburst mirror. I thought to my little self " I think I can do that and it would look great going upstairs!" I was determined that this was a project I was not going to involve poor old Miguel in. So, I pulled ideas from the various blogs and got started. I wanted to use what I had on hand so I had to improvise some. I used shims that I cut in various lengths with Miguel's miter saw and spray painted them varying colors of silver and gray. I then followed all of the blogs tutorials and cut a piece of cardboard and started to hot glue these babies to the cardboard. So far so good. Well let me tell you dear readers, all those blogs made it look wasn't for me! I think the shims were too heavy so the glue wasn't holding them to the cardboard. Ok...plan B, I will nail them. Well, that didn't work either because the cardboard was too flimsy to hold all those nails. By this point dear hubby had awaken for the day (he is still on third shift) and wanted to know what I was doing. I became VERY emotional and starting blubbering about how all the people on the blogs make such cool things very thrifty like and its always so easy so them why can't I do anything right?!?!!? I think Miguel thought I was losing it and I'm sure he was praying we would just go out and buy something for the staircase because this meltdown was so not worth saving money for. We finally decided to cut the thinnest piece of board we could find into a circle with his jig-saw. I then could go to plan C. I used the nail gun and stapled the shims to the wood. Then I glued glass beads to it and glued the circle mirror to the board with Tacky Glue. And after a melt down and three didn't fit where I wouldn't it to. I did measure people, obviously not good enough though. So we put it on a different wall on the staircase and here is the result.....
The opposite wall has vinyl lettering that says "Joy in the Journey" and has pictures of the fam. (Please ignore the frame that has no picture in it. We were trying not to put a bunch of nail holes in the wall so we decided to use the 3D commander hanger things. Everyone else seems to love them, but alas they so did not work for us and all the pictures came crashing down. This is the only one that broke, but we nailed it up there anyways so I could work it in when I get a new frame.)

At the top of the staircase, I had pictured a skinny entryway table with some decorations. I have been looking and looking at garage sales and thrift stores and haven't found what I wanted. Well, one day after garage sale'en with the sisters, Nicole was taking me home and I saw two nightstands by the curb with someone's trash. We drove on and I was talking about them. Nicole wanted to know if I wanted to go back. I swallowed my pride and said I would like to. Of course I think every car in my hometown was driving by as I was taking trash and I was kind of embarrassed. Nicole gently pointed out she would rather someone get use out of her trash then it end up in a landfill and I felt better. So, home I went with my free find. This is what they looked like when I started.....

Yep, they were rough. Not sure why someone glued cork board to the one on the right. They had several things going for them though. They were solid and nicely built and they would be the right size for what I wanted. Here is a front shot. You can also get a lovely view of a room I have never shown before....the kitchen. I believe everyone can now understand my eagerness so make this kitchen nothing but a bad memory. shudder shudder

So, I picked the big pieces of cork off the one and began sanding to get the rest off and all the glue they used to glue the cork down with. Here are my helper for this project. The sanding alone took about 2 hours. The one helper is of course little Miss Addie and the other is the girl I was watching last week for Nicole as Nicole wanted to get the baby's room all set up. And before you all think I'm into child labor, they wanted to help. =)

After sanding, I put on four coats of my free white Menards paint. In between coats 2 and 3 I went to a garage sale and they had the coolest lion's head draw pulls and I knew they would be perfect for these tables. After the paint was dry I distressed one table. Miguel came and wanted to try his hand at distressing and he did a much better job than I, so he finished it up. And here are my tables that cost me $2 for the draw pulls and a bit of my time.

I love the way they turned out and I am so happy to have my hallway decorated. So, have you found any treasures yet? Ever picked up something from the curb? Do tell! Have a stupendous day and God bless you all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Outdoor Projects 2011

Happy Monday everyone! I was outside trying to finish my compost pile that I am making out of bricks and it started storming. So.....what's a girl to do but come inside and show you what has been accomplished outside so far this year.

I was flipping through one of my free gardening magazines that I snagged at a garage sale (love it when I can find those for free!), when I saw something I knew would have to become part of the Calderons' backyard. It was a design for a formal English herb garden with brick pathways. Soon after I saw this article and asked dear hubby if he thought it was possible for him to squeeze this one little, tiny project onto his already full plate, I was driving in town and I saw a beautiful old brick house being torn down. I thought to myself "I wonder what they do with those bricks". I couldn't stop thinking of it so I called my uncle Vince who works for the city. He informed me that they throw them away. Well, dear friends...that didn't sit well with me. It seemed like such a waste. Dear uncle Vince knew the guy in charge of the demolition and gave him a call and he told me I could come get all I wanted after the crew was done for the day. So for three nights Miguel, Alex, Stephen, and myself gathered bricks and hauled them to my house. The bricks were porous so we had to buy block sealer and seal each one before we could even use them. So after lots of sealing, measuring, cutting and hauling this is the finish result......

I love it!! Miguel did such a fantastic job I think. Some day the whole thing will be filled it with herbs but we have to start somewhere so the blank spaces we laid newspaper to kill the weeds and then put black mulch over that. The middle part will have chamomile growing around the pillar whenever it decides to sprout. Ohh...and this little, tiny project took about one month. =/ (Sheepish smile) Between rain and it taking so long to seal and cut the brick it took a bit long than expected.

We also used the bricks to make path ways between my vegetable garden. Miguel has one more path to complete but I wanted to show you all so pretend it's completely finished. =)

Next Miguel is going to link the herb garden to the vegetable garden with a pathway and then next year we are going to construct an archway overhang over the pathway and grow grapes. We are also going to do some type of wall around the veggie garden and I am going to plant perennials all around it.

I also found something I have been waiting a long time for......

It's my dwarf lemon and lime trees. I was soooo sooo excited to see that Lowes did get some in so I don't have to pay $75 to have them shipped. They smell amazing and will look so awesome in my kitchen when it is finished. I love the pots they are in as well. I got those at a garage sale for $2 each and they screamed "Plant your lemon and lime trees in me!" So, I listened and did just that.

This is the view of my side garden that I put in just last year. It's doing great. If you look real close, I even have lettuce growing in it. Not quite sure how that happened, but it's good!

Everything took a little longer than expected this year but I feel like my dreams for the outside are starting to take shape. Now to just put in the stone patio, plant more trees, more flowers, etc. etc. But you know what, I love it! I don't even mind weeding most days. I love to grow things I have discovered. I sure don't garden by the book and I am sure I make lots of gardening no-no's but I am enjoying this process. So, how about you all. Did you enjoy gardening? Do you have flowers or a veggie garden? Any tips or hints for this amateur? And of course no post would be complete without my little girl. Here she is at a parade we had in town. She loved it and Miguel and I loved watching her having so much fun. God bless you all and make the most of today!