An Old Rug gives a New Look

After we did our floor update last year, our living room was a big room full of cold hardwood. Don’t get me wrong, the hardwood was W-A-Y better than the gross carpet it replaced, but it just needed something….a rug.

I knew I wanted to put a rug in our living room to cozy the place up, but I didn’t want to purchase one because I knew we would be replacing the living room furniture within in the next few years. Who wants to spend big money on a rug that may or may not match the future furniture?

So, the room remained bare.

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Last week, I was moving some stuff around and cleaning in the basement and I tripped over this rug we had been given. When we originally got it, it was in need of a good cleaning and some small repair work, but I wasn’t up for it at the time and we just put it downstairs and forgot about it. But as I looked at it that day I realized, IT WOULD MATCH MY LIVING ROOM FURNITURE PERFECTLY!

REVELATION……

We measured the rug and went to Lowe’s to purchase a rug pad to help with the sliding. Sadly, there were only 2 options at Lowe’s and both of them were over $25. I opted for the more expensive of the two because it seemed like it would keep the rug in place better. It cost $29.99 (for something that you put under something else). I was not happy with that price, but knew I would need something to keep the rug from sliding all over the hardwood, especially with Cooper running around everywhere. 68eeff89-7978-4aae-adb0-202c00877223

As soon as I got home, I laid the rug pad out trying to help me eyeball how to place the rug. The pad stayed in place SO WELL that I had a hard time moving it around trying to determine placement. a29e6def-3c5f-42e3-a60e-490f1f6a44cb-2

After I had decided on a place, I went downstairs and started working on the rug. I gave it a good sweep, did some spot treatment, and then pulled up the fringe that had definitely seen better days–I think the fringe was the reason the previous owners got rid of it and knew I could make something out of it.

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This rug is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It definitely has some wear and tear to it. I think, however, it does add a sense of warmth to the room that was missing before. As we begin to look for new furniture, this rug will be replaced with something new, but as for now, you can’t beat FREE.

 

and….this rug has been Cooper approved for napping and sitting.49cfec70-534c-43d0-98be-29e2c934a762-2

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Photos: Why you need to print them.

Growing up, my family owned a photography company and we had photos taken of EVERYTHING. Not only did we have photos taken of everything, we had prints made of all of those photos….all of them.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Wow! I bet that is was a lot of photos to keep up with!”

You’re right. It was. My grandparents and parents had so many photos they were unsure what to do with them all. Even now, we have more photos than we know what to do with!

The photography business is one that has changed as technology has improved and pretty much everyone is a photographer now. I have my iPhone with me and can take a pretty good photo at the drop of a hat, so the need for photography companies has dwindled. But because of the increase in technology, more and more photos are being taken..but what are we doing with all these photos?

Are they merely in a photo album on your phone that you periodically import to your computer to free up space?

Do you upload them to Instagram and Facebook and then forget about them?

I fear this generation, who is definitely the MOST photographed generation to date, is going to end up 85 years old and not have a single photo to their name.

I get it, we take hundreds of photos and they are always accessible to us through our phone or computer, but does that replace the joy of holding photos in your hand? Definitely not!


My great-aunt just sent my grandmother a huge package of photos of my immediate family that she had found and it was SO FUN to sit with my grandma and look through the photos. Some where super old, a school photo of my grandma in about 3rd grade and some were more recent, like mine and Andrew’s wedding photos. This package had over 70 years of memories in it…in no order, no rhyme or reason, no organization.

IT WAS AMAZING!

She had written descriptions on the back of each photo-who it was, location, date. Some had lots of info, others just had a name or a date. My grandmother and I spent about 45 minutes looking at each one and just talking about time and how quickly it has passed.


Over the recent months, I had been trying to do better about getting photos printed and had done an okay job at it. But after last night, I spent about an hour today going through the photos I had and writing descriptions and dates on the back of each one. Currently, they are sitting in a box looking like a hot mess, but I have PRINTED PHOTOS to hold in my hand with information on them….IMG_0722.JPG

Inside this box are photos from mine and Andrew’s childhood, teenage years, college years, wedding, and honeymoon. I also have pictures of the home renovation projects we’ve done, Cooper just being adorable, and pictures from the things he and I have done together in the past 3 years of marriage. Did I print every photo I’ve taken in the last year? No, but I did print the ones I thought would be important later…a photo of us with my Grandma Katie on her 95th birthday, photos from my Master’s Degree Hooding Ceremony, last year’s Easter picture, etc. There is definitely no organization to these photos, and who knows when I will get around to it, but they are in a box that can be pulled down and looked through whenever I’m feeling like a trip down memory lane is worth my time.

Not every picture needs to be printed, but some definitely deserve to be.


Ok, so here’s where I help you get your photos printed, because let’s face it, photos are expensive! Shutterfly offers FREE 4×4 (perfect for Instagram photos) and 4×6 photos through their app.

Yes, the photos are FREE!

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(Screen shot that I took today from the app)

The app can be linked to your Shutterfly account so all the photos that you have on it (or need to upload from your computer to it) can be reached through the app. It also can link to your Instagram and Facebook for easy photo selection. Find the photo, hit “create print,” chose the free size, and hit add to cart.

As you can see, I have 50 photos waiting to be ordered in my cart. They are all FREE, I just have to pay shipping, which on this order is $5.47.


So, do yourself and family a favor, download the app, and start printing those photos, because you don’t want to miss having photos like this one at your fingertips.

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Kitchen Cabinets Finale

 

So in my last post, I walked you guys through the complete overhaul of the kitchen cabinets when my mom and I painted them white. It T R U L Y changed the entire look of the kitchen and had me wishing I had done them earlier.

But when we finished, we still had giant hole in the cabinets from where we had removed the built-in oven and didn’t have doors to cover it up.

I wanted to include pictures of the old oven, the giant spot and what our kitchen looked like for about 3 months so that you can really appreciate the process.

We had planned to create a pantry where the oven used to be and re-use doors from when we cut out the cabinets under the old cooktop stove. Andrew talked to a friend from church  and he said he could make us doors (from scratch) and that it would be easier than trying to jerry-rig the old doors to fit the spot. So we took him up on the offer and the process began!

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TA-DA!!!!

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Aren’t these doors incredible? They match PERFECTLY! Not only are they beautiful and fit perfectly, they cover up the BEST PART….the HUGE pantry thats inside!

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I was so excited to fill up the pantry with some of the things that have been shoved into other cabinets. I was not excited, however, to have to get out all the painting supplies and go through the whole process again, because everyone knows that dealing with the supplies is the worst part.

So, here we go again.

Step 1: Remove the doors and hardware.

We had Andrew’s friend go ahead and hang the doors and put on the hardware because I was not about to mess these doors up by trying to do it ourselves. Because of that, I did have to go through the process of taking everything off, oh well, way worth the hassle.

Step 2: Use wood filler to fill in holes

The guy who made the doors/pantry had to drill in the shelves, so we had some holes that needed to be filled. I used Elmer’s ProBond wood filler. It was cheap, $2.98, and worked great. Fill in the hole, scrape off the excess, and then sand down when dry.

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Step 3: Sand down the doors and cabinet box.

For this, I used a 220 grit sandpaper and just sanded enough to scuff the the wood up.  After sanding, I washed the doors and cabinet box down with warm water and Dawn soap to remove any sanding residue.  I allowed the doors to dry for about an hour.

Step 4: Prime everything.

I used a good paint brush (I suggest Purdy or Wooster brand) and a small “no lint” roller to apply the primer. I only put on one coat this time since the wood was “naked” and a light color. I allowed the primer to dry for about and hour and flipped the doors over and primed the back of the doors. While I was waiting for one side to dry, I primed the inside of the cabinet box where the new shelves had been installed. They will also need to be painted white.

Step 5: Paint everything-again.

Just like the rest of the doors when we originally painted, I only gave the backs of the cabinet doors one coat.

After allowing to dry for a full day, I flipped the doors over and started painting the fronts of the doors. Just like last time, I had to pay attention to the details and be cautious of drips and runs. I painted a coat on the doors, went inside and painted a coat on the cabinet box.  I allowed about an hour to an hour and a half and started on the second coat on the cabinet doors, again, being careful to not have any drips or runs.

Once the second coat was on, I waited…an entire day.

Step 6: Put the hardware back on.

Make sure the paint is COMPLETELY dry.

Step 7: Hang the doors back up.

OH MY GOODNESS….this pantry is glorious and WOWZA, this kitchen looks fantastic!

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Project note:

I wanted to give you an update on how the cabinets are holding up since we have painted them: everything is awesome!

I was kinda worried that I would be paranoid about touching them or scratching them up, but the paint has held up wonderfully. Yes, they get dirty, especially the ones under my sink because I’m a hot mess when I’m washing dishes, but I just take my dish rag, wet it, and wipe down. SUPER EASY.

Kitchen |Cabinet| Makeover

Post disclaimer: You are about to see inside my kitchen cabinets. Please do not judge us on our lack of organization or poor food choices. 


 

Being a teacher has it’s perks, one of those perks-SPRING BREAK! A week off from work really is nice for a DIY-er and grad student. However, this spring break I thought I would get ahead with my grad work because I was out of projects to do that could be done quickly and relatively cheaply. Somehow, my mom convinced me that we could knock out a project I have been putting off for two years, painting the kitchen cabinets.

For some reason, the previous owners of our house had decided to paint over the beautiful oak cabinets with what I would call a poop brown. The color was bland and it made the kitchen seem really, really dark. I had been wanting to paint them white to brighten the room up, but had been putting it off because I knew it would be quite the project. However, we had just gotten beautiful stainless steel appliances for Christmas/my birthday and it was hard to see them in such an ugly kitchen.

I felt a slide show really showed the poor state of our kitchen….which, like a lot of the house, was stuck in another decade, and the update to the new appliances. 

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I did a lot of research on what other people have done when painting their cabinets and what type of products are available. Sadly, every single product had numerous good and bad reviews so, I was torn. My mom went with me to Lowes to talk with the paint guy, and I’m pretty sure I knew more than he did, so I still wasn’t sure. A family friend who is a professional painter told us to use an oil based primer and a latex paint…so we followed his advice and got that.

We used Kilz odorless oil-based primer from Lowes that cost $25.98 and Valspar Reserve in semi-gloss white for $44.98.

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I want to make sure I point out that my cabinets were already painted. Because of that, we did not have to worry about sanding down the varnish of the original wood.

Step 1: Remove the doors and hardware.

Step 2: Sand down the doors and cabinet boxes.

For this, we used a 220 grit sandpaper and just sanded enough to scuff the paint up, we did NOT sand all the way down to the old wood.  After sanding, we washed all of the doors and cabinet boxes down with warm water and Dawn soap to remove any grease and grime as well as any sanding residue. We stood them up out on our porch to dry overnight.

Step 3: Prime everything.

We used a good paint brush (I suggest Purdy or Wooster brand) and a small “no lint” roller to apply the primer. We put on two coats, allowing the primer to dry between coats: about 45 minutes to an hour. We started out priming the fronts of the doors, which includes most of the details, and the cabinet boxes. We allowed the two coats to dry overnight.

The following day, we flipped the cabinets over and primed the backs-following the same procedure as before. Except today, after allowing the second coat of primer to dry, we started step 4.

It was also during this stage (while waiting on the primer to dry) that we finally removed the OLDER THAN DIRT wall oven that was an eyesore, not to mention, didn’t work (ok, it worked, just not very well at all). We knew that if we wanted to remove it, now would be the time since we wouldn’t want to get out all the paint stuff again.

We pulled the oven out, Andrew dealt with the electric, and we took that ugly thing to the dumpster. A friend from church who had helped us remove our counter top stove and the cabinets underneath when we put in our new appliances told us he would be willing to help us use the doors we removed to make a new pantry area where the oven used to be. TALK ABOUT SUPER EXCITING!

The first photo below is the old stove top. When we bought the new range in late November, we had to cut out the cabinet underneath. We saved the doors and faux drawers to use later. The second photo really does not do the old wall oven justice on its true ugliness. The third photo shows what the cabinet looked like when the oven was removed- we will use the doors we saved and make a pantry in this spot.

Step 4: Paint everything-1st coat.

We allowed the second coat of primer on the backs to dry and began painting with the actual paint. We used a good paint brush (again, I suggest Purdy or Wooster brand) and a small “no lint” roller. We put one coat on the backs of the cabinets and on the cabinet boxes. We allowed this to dry while we went to dinner and then came back and started on the next step.

Step 5: Caulk to cover up cracks and fill in imperfections.

Once the first coat of semi-gloss paint was on, lots of imperfections begin to show. Cracks between cabinets, old nail/screw holes, etc. I used a molding and trim caulking to fill in those spots. There are lots of fancy tools out there for smoothing caulking, but I’m partial to my finger and a paper towel. Allow the caulk to dry and sand down.

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This is the brand I used, Alex Flex. There are many brands, I’ve just used this for all my projects so it’s my go to when I need to caulk something.

I added some photos of the before and after caulking so you can see the difference this step made. It made the lines and edges of the cabinets look much cleaner—click on the photos to enlarge.

When the caulking is dried and sanded down, you can move onto Step 6.

Step 6: Paint everything-again.

For the sake of time, we only gave the backs of the cabinet doors one coat. They could have used another coat to really boost the shine, but we were running out of days. My thoughts were “No one will see them unless the cabinet is open, so it really doesn’t matter.” However, the two coats of primer and one coat of paint really did a great job covering, so I didn’t feel like I was doing the job half way.

After allowing to dry for a full day, we flipped the cabinets over and started painting the fronts of the doors. We had to be a little more careful of drips and runs, since this side has more of the details in the ridges of the doors. We painted a coat on the doors, went inside and painted a second coat on the cabinet boxes. We also decided to give the ceiling a touch up because it was looking mighty dingy next to my shiny new white cabinet boxes. We allowed about an hour to an hour and a half and started on the second coat on the cabinet doors, again, being careful to not have any drips or runs.

Once the second coat was on, we waited…an entire day.

Step 7: Put the hardware back on.

I always diss the previous owners, because, well you all have seen what the house looked like as we have worked on it, but they did update the cabinet hardware to something we actually liked. This was a big deal because it meant we didn’t have to purchase new hardware. This saved us SO MUCH MONEY, because hardware prices are absurdly expensive.

Step 8: Hang the doors back up and put the drawers back in.

When starting step 7 and 8, make sure the paint is not even the slightest bit tacky. If so, it is better to wait a few more hours to insure the paint is all the way dry so you won’t mess up your hard work putting the kitchen back together.

Step 9: Sit back and revel in the glory of your hard work.

This is for sure the best step! After a week of hard work (and LOTS of waiting) it was wonderful to see the finished project. This has really changed the room completely, and I don’t feel sad when I enter the kitchen anymore.DSC_0192DSC_0191DSC_0189DSC_0185DSC_0180DSC_0187

Our pantry is not finished yet (as you can tell with the big ol’ hole in the cabinets). With it being Easter weekend, we knew our friend would need some extra time to get us penciled in. I will do an update with photos of the new doors and space!

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Side notes:

Having our screened in back porch made this job so much easier than trying to paint in the house. We were able to set everything up out there, which kept the mess outside. This was super important because we had a very unhelpful “helper” who’s tail always seems to wag in the wrong direction. He was able to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine while watching us! DSC_0157.jpg

If you don’t have a porch like we do, I would suggest using your garage or somewhere that is out of the way, because this project took a full week. No, we didn’t work a full week, but with all the wait time between coats, you don’t want to be tripping over this stuff.

Another tip, try to get ALL the doors set out to paint at the same time. This was kind of tricky because we did paint 21 doors, but if you can’t get them all out at the same time, your painting and waiting time will be a lot longer. My advice? Get creative. We ran out of space on the saw horses, so we used 2x4s over my porch furniture and on the floor to make it so we could paint all the doors at the same time.

 

 

 

Happy 2nd Anniversary Robin Lane

On February 22, 2014 we moved onto Robin Lane. We had been married almost 3 months and were in complete shock to have found such a wonderful house to start our lives in.

Here’s a flash back photo for you! On the left, us when we closed on the house and on the right, last year on the anniversary of moving in.

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Fast forward two years to February 22, 2016. Not much on the outside has changed in the last year, but we did gain a new family member, Cooper. We rescued him in December of 2015 and basically he is the sweetest thing there ever was.

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We love living here on Robin Lane and are looking forward to the projects that await us this year.

Gallery Wall

Ok, so hi again, I haven’t blogged in FOR-EV-ER because of time constraints and because we literally have been doing no projects around here. Sadly I have reached the point in the home renovations where the projects that needed a little money and a lot of elbow grease are finished and I am into the phase where the projects need a lot of money and none of my elbow grease.

Today, I thought I would share our gallery wall, that I’m sure will continue to grow, and where we got everything on it because I always hear of people needing prints made or looking for cool art pieces.

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The center photo is a canvas print I ordered from photobucket.com. We have ordered several different sizes of canvas prints from here (and know others who have as well) and they have always turned out great, shipped quickly, and are of wonderful quality. PLUS, this website runs deals ALL THE TIME. I ordered this one, which is an 11 x14 and got it shipped for $25 when they were running a sale.

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The wooden arrow under it was purchased from Hobby Lobby. Nothing special about it, I just thought the wall needed a little more dimension and another material to set it off.

The two prints on the right-hand side were ordered from a favorite Etsy shop of mine called Retro Book Art…check them out here. I have ordered many prints from this shop and I have been SUPER PLEASED with everything I’ve received. I was first introduced to the shop a few years ago when Andrew ordered me a print for Valentine’s Day.

Each “picture” is printed on dictionary paper, which adds another factor to the coolness. I was surprised when looking that the shop offers both Marshall and West Virginia University prints. I ordered an MU and a print with the outline of WV on it. Again, the pieces were well priced and shipped fast!

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On the left-hand side, we have a picture I bought, again, from Hobby Lobby. Nothing too special about it, since it was mass produced, but a good reminder, nonetheless.

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The last piece on our wall, for now, is one of my favorites. I also purchased this from an Etsy shop called Moxie Mermaid, you can check them out here. This shop specializes in water color portraits of houses. You send them a photo of your house and they send you back a hand painted portrait of your home….all for $25!!

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Anyhoo, there you have it. Nothing too special, but definitely some cool pieces that livened up the big ol’ wall in our living room.

Where do you get your custom art pieces?

Fall Forever

So something happens from October 31-November 1, that makes people go Christmas crazy, and it is something I have never understood. November is one of the best months. The days get crisper, the leaves have changed and started to fall, and time seems to slow down. But for some reason, people think that after Halloween, fall is over and Christmas is the next big thing. WHAT HAPPENED TO THANKSGIVING?

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday (other than the meaning behind Christmas and Easter). The weather, the food, the family gatherings, the food, the parade, the football, the food! Everything about Thanksgiving is wonderful. It’s one of the few times of the year the extended family makes an effort to get together, to eat, to laugh, to enjoy each other’s company. It is also the time we should make a genuine effort to show our gratitude. As Christians, we should constantly be thanking God for his grace upon grace that he showers upon us, but Thanksgiving should be the time, regardless of what is happening in life, to really show gratitude. We have so much to be thankful for.

When November 1st rolled around, people and businesses all over started putting up Christmas decorations and prepping for holiday shopping and I was over here on Robin Lane screaming….FALL FOREVER!

I love pumpkins and mums, and pilgrims, and turkeys, and leaves, and orange, red, and yellow hues. So this post is dedicated to my love of fall and to show you guys how fall takes over…literally.

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The fireplace I refinished over the summer was awesome to decorate for fall! IMG_3195

Momo’s dinette and the back porch also got some love.
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I do a tablescape for each season/holiday on our dining room table. I do one in September for fall, in general, and then when November hits, I do a Thanksgiving one.

* Click on the Photo to Enlarge It*

Fall Tablescape:

Thanksgiving Tablescape:

We will be living it up, fall style, on Robin Lane until the Friday after Thanksgiving when I lovingly pack up my favorite season and prepare for Christmas. But until then…FALL FOREVER.

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