Monday, January 31, 2011

I think I'm in love with a piece of furniture

Yikes $1299!!!
If I were more handy with power tools I just might attempt to make a knock off version.

The storms a coming

I love a good snowstorm just as much as a big Nebraska thunderstorm in the summer. Here's to hoping everyone is able to enjoy the coming weather! The predicted power outages and blizzard conditions make me a little nervous though. If you can, stay inside, curl up with a cup of coffee, and a good book. Unless your like me, I cleaned out my basement yesterday so I could bring in some of the smaller pieces of furniture from the garage. I plan on spending this storm painting.

Ottoman makeover and a reason to organize my hard drives

I did a quick recover and paint makeover on this $5 thrift store ottoman over the weekend. The paint is leftover oops paint with a dark walnut stain rubbed over the top and the fabric is canvas drop cloth, 3 yards of trim from Joann's (1/2 off) and a small box of decorative brads. Total price is probably less than $10 including the original price of the ottoman.

I know I have a before picture to show off the ugly yellow and orange plaid fabric and orange finish, but after spending over 2 hours searching I have come up empty handed. I do have a new project to do...clean up and organize my 3 external hard drives!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Paint color

We have been living with paint chips on our stairway walls for a couple of weeks trying to decide on a color. I believe we will go with Sandstone Cove by Behr. That is subject to change if when we get it on the walls it is too dark. At first I was leaning towards the Cozy Cottage, but decided I wanted a gray instead of a creamy white. The walls have been a very bright sunflower yellow since we moved in 5 years ago and although I am dreading painting I am looking forward to have a new color.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just a couple current projects

A fun silhouette project for the upstairs hallway.
Recovering an old ottoman.
And...of course working on the staircase.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Both of my high school girls got all dolled up and went to Snowball this year. Snowball is our town's winter formal, it is more important than Prom. The kids wear formal gowns and tuxedos, but they do not dress formal for Prom. Let me tell you that finding a formal/prom gown in December proves to be one of the most difficult and most expensive activities on earth. We have plans to purchase next years dresses this year as soon as Prom season is over. It is always held the weekend before the kids start school after Christmas break. They both looked pretty darn amazing if I do say so myself!

Why is it so hard to hit the BUY button

We need to purchase nails for the flooring, but not just any common nail, no I had to request special nails. 3" square head nails that can only be purchased online! Why is it so hard to hit the BUY button to purchase 50 pounds of these nails? The $170.00 price tag would be the reason!! Well at least we get free shipping!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dust Corners

Have you ever heard of dust corners? Supposedly they will make sweeping the stairs easier since dirt can't get into the corners on the steps. If you have them in your house I would love to hear if they actually work or if they are just for decoration.

Here is a very sloppy rendering of what I am hoping the stairs will look like in the next couple weeks. We still need to strip a small section of banister, install the trim, construct the built in bench, install the flooring in the entry, stain and poly the stairs and flooring and then paint.

Here's to wanting a fair and just world

My heart is aching. My momma bear claws are showing. One of my cubs has been bullied and picked on, for different reasons throughout his years in elementary school. Only when he lashes out the school has decided that now they want to do something, but not to help my son, no they want to punish him for what I believe was a reaction from years of bullying. He is in trouble for what he said (and I won't go into details) both at home and at school, but the students (and teachers) who have bullied or degraded him receive no punishment. How I wish for a world where the blind eye is not turned and actions are met by consequences.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New landings and some hidden treasures

My amazing husband spent his 4 days off this last week working on the stairway project. He was able to get all of the stair treads, some of the risers, and the landings replaced. We used 3/4 inch oak plywood cut into 4" planks nailed down with antique square head nails for the landings, same as what we will install in the upstairs hallway and front entry. The squeaky, creaky, and splinter ridden boards are no longer. Even though I balked at the idea of replacing them I do love the way everything is coming together.
While removing the old boards we were able to uncover some very special treasures under the staircase. We found some pictures, although they were all curled up, very dark, and dirty, they are now something that I will proudly showcase in the new stairway gallery.
We also found a wedding invitation from 1896 and a baby card.
Here is the best treasure that we uncovered. It shows our house in its glory days. I have tried unsuccessfully to scan the image in and clean it up a bit, but if you look closely you can see a woman and two small children in front of the porch. It also gives us an idea of how the original woodwork looked on the lower porch and the windows that have been closed off. We also know now that the bay window in the dining room was an addition.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


We are discussing whether or not to put either board and batten or faux wainscoting in the stairway. I love the look of the chair rail and trim in this first image.
This is what we have settled on for our banister and trim. The posts and handrail will be stained dark with the trim and balusters staying white.
We purchased the oak plywood to create wide plank floors in the foyer, upstairs hallway, and on the landings. The idea came from this creative couples blog. We will also be painting the walls a soft gray, which is yet to be chosen. The stairway will also boast a gallery wall with different sized frames all painted black.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Stair Treads

The new treads are going in, a few risers have to be replaced that were damaged while removing the original treads. The toe kick will need to be replaced also since some of them have been damaged. My hubby has taken off the weekend to replace the lower 4 treads and the landings.
I have to admit that even though I did not want to replace them it does look 100 times better.
This is taken from the 1st landing looking up to second set of stairs.This is taken from the 2nd landing looking down.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

Gotta love finding a $40 couch that is in such great shape!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stereo Cabinet/Entertainment Center makeover

I picked up this stereo cabinet at an antique store for $20. It needed some TLC, I added sides to the drawer which once held a record player and added a shelf in the upper portion. The top was sanded down and then stained. The rest was sanded and painted (oops paint), then lightly distressed. I added the burlap to the doors, which allows me to hide the Wii, the cable box and the Xbox and still be able to use the remotes. The Xbox seems to end up sitting on the floor more often than not, I'm not quite sure why.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Foyer/Stairway Project Day 14

The stripping is coming along well, taking a little longer since I decided to strip the trim on the bottom also. I think someone before me attempted to strip the lower banister and quit. This left no varnish between the wood and the paint, which has made it difficult to get all the paint off. It took me twice as long to do the lower banister and post than it did to do the complete upper portion. All I have left is the areas that I will have to use a ladder, I left my least favorite for last. I have also started using Klean-Strip k-s3 premium stripper. It smells a lot worse than the CitriStrip but works at least twice as fast.
We have decided to replace the treads since they are very creaky and many of them have large cracks. I will be doing some shopping for those and the trim needed this next week.