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At Last

2.28.2010
The laundry room is done.
 
Finally.
 
This might just have been the 2nd longest timeline for a room reno (the kitchen still puts it to shame), but I am so happy it it finally done.  I won’t bore you with the process (in case you missed it click here) and get straight to the before and afters.
 
Ready?
 
Ahhhh honey oak, how I love that you are in every room.
 
 
And the afters (which I might add are very difficult to take in a small room)
 
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What did we do?  Well first we got new machines by default of the old ones breaking.   This allowed us to rework the entire space and add a counter and other shelving.  And hanging space.
 
After much discussion and my bright pink getting the husband veto, the walls went from 20 year old dingy stained cream to Foggy Day by Sherwin Williams.
 
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On the other side of the room we also added another cabinet and a pegboard.  And hanging space for brooms and such.
 
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And a random shelf for random crap that belongs in a laundry room.
 
laundry room after
 
Some people might think that it strange to have a picture gallery in a laundry room.  Originally we were going to tile the backsplash with left over tile that we bought for the kitchen, never used and forgot to return.  But since we did not want the counter to be permanent fixture in the laundry room in case our washer and dryer bite the dust and we have to buy different size machines.  That would suck, but it would suck even more if we had to rip out tile and drywall as well.  And let’s face it…laundry is not one of my favorite activities.  Looking at fun personal pictures makes it just a little more bearable.
 
And then there were also the water valves I wanted to hide.
 
laundry room afterlaundry room after
 
Much better.
 
The counter followed a similar theme….cheap, cute and non permanent.  The counter also had the extra special issue of having to be higher than the actual washer and dryer because of outlets, making anchoring something heavy like granite more problematic.  Not to mention expensive. So we went with MDF.  For the whole how-to, click here.  Let’s just say that pattern involved some beer drinking.
 
laundry room

laundry room

My new drying rack inspired by Centsational Girl and with materials left over from the bed.  I love it for how it functions in the space but becomes invisible when it is folded up.  For the complete how-to click here.

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I think the chandelier gets the most comments.  As in “You put a chandelier in your laundry room!?”  Well yes I did.  And I like it.laundry room after

And we can’t forget the laundry basket storage/sorting area (which also conveniently serves as a dog storm shelter when it is thundering…who would have thought?)laundry room after

And here it is in use…because you know that I can only wash white clothes in this room now since it matches the color scheme-laundry room after

And now for the nitty gritty-

Wall Paint Color-$40-Foggy Day-Sherwin Williams

Counter Color-Free (used leftover from master bedroom)-Dovetail-Sherwin Williams

Wall Cabinet and Floor Cabinet- $175- Lowe’s

Wood Supplies for Shelving and Counter- $100

Picture Frames- $25- Wal-Mart (and some I had laying around)

Phone Enlargements-$50

Chandelier-$50- Lowe’s

Pegboard-$5-Lowe’s

Grand Total- $445

Maybe laundry might even be fun now?  No I didn’t think so.  Oh Well.

Organizing Like A Man

2.26.2010

I have been informed that not every organization project needs to involve “girly” things like pretty labels and a label maker.   Or even color coding.  Which in my opinion takes all the fun out of organization. 

But for our latest organization project we were in Man Land (also known as the basement) and all my decorating and organizing powers suddenly disappear when we walk down there and Derek is in charge.  Oh so he likes to think so.

A little background on Man Land-It was finished when we moved in and other than doing a mini-makeover on the workout room, we have not touched it so far.  Other than to dump our old furniture (and a new must have poker table) down there.  Derek has big plans for Man Land, but other projects have taken our time and money so it keeps getting further down on the list.  There is also an unfinished portion of Man Land that is really nice for storage and to keep all of our DIY supplies.

So why bother with organizing a space we are not really using?  Ummm well because this is what it looked like.

Embarrassing.

Basement OrganizationAll of Christmas waiting to be put away

Basement OrganizationThis picture pains me.  As DIYers our tools and supplies should not look like this. 

Basement OrganizationRandom Unorganized Crap

Basement OrganizationMore Crap.

So we had a lot of organizing and purging to do.

As a disclaimer (because I will hear about this later)- Derek is actually the clean/organized one in our relationship.  Especially the clean one.  I have a bad habit of leaving things out.  Like the clothes that I wear to work I like to stack in a pile over the course of the week instead of put them in the hamper or hanging them back up.  I have been threatened with husband hacking of the blog and an expose of my piles.  So now you know and if you ever see pictures of my piles posted you will know who is behind it.  Just saying.

In the world on Man organizing, all you need is a couple of tools- a Sharpie, some tape, and boxes for organizing (not required to match).

One of the main things we needed to organize was our paint.  We had tons left over from the previous owners, our previous house, and gallon cans that were an 1/8 full that were taking up space.  So sorted through all the paint colors that we would never use again and dropped them off at our community’s household hazardous waste site.  That took over three big boxes.

The paint that we still have in our house and were more than a quarter gallon full went into this newly hung cabinet that was harvested from the old laundry room.  Finally a place for honey oak in our house.  All the paint was properly labeled with painters tape and a sharpie.  No girly labels here.

Basement Organization

The other paint that did not have much left in the can but that we could still use for touch-ups was dumped into quart containers.  And labeled with the ever popular sharpie.

Basement Organization

Basement Organization

But how should we store all the paint, not to mention our painting supplies?  How to organize it?  Did we need to buy new shelving?  Nope.  Since the basement is also the place where we store random furniture, we moved this dresser over as our new organizer.  And added more labels.  Obviously dusting is not very manly.Basement Organization

On the top of the dresser went paint trays and my box of spray paint.  Also it is the new home of my multi-use paint (like primer, trim and cabinet paint). 

In the drawers are various categories of manly tool stuff.  This one holds sponges, painters tape and protective items like gloves and face masks.

Basement Organization

And the drawer of paint…

Basement Organization

We did buy some plastic bins to sort some of the remaining items on the work bench….

Basement Organization

And added some hooks to the pegboard….

Basement Organization

So now we can actually find things that we are looking for….

Basement Organization

I do have to admit that organizing the Man way was very inexpensive.  We spent less than $25 on materials and made a large contribution of random stuff to charity which will be a bonus on next year’s taxes. 

So you do what that means?  Time to start some new DIY projects since we can find everything again!

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Cold Feet

2.23.2010

Have I mentioned that I am just a little bit tired of winter?  

I guess I have.

But one thing that I did not go into in my past grumbling is that my hands and feet are always icicles during the winter months.  No matter how many slippers and thick socks I wear my feet are frigid.  Until now, the only thing that worked was every evening filling up the bathtub part way with hot water and dunking them.  Just a little time consuming.  Or sticking them on my husbands bare leg while we are laying in bed.  More fun ? Yes, but I bet you can guess how happy he is when I do that.

Then I heard one of my parent’s friends mention that they have like a beanbag filled with rice that they heat up and it keeps their toes cozy all night.  My mom was very intrigued (cold feet are genetic I guess) and I thought it was brilliant.  I had all these visions in my head about how I would construct it and then make an awesome tutorial to share here.  And then everyone else would be so excited that I put this new idea together in a cute fabric sort of way.

Then I googled it.

Definitely not the first person to think about this or put together a tutorial.  Rats.  Guess I have been living under a rock.

But I am happy to report that if you can sew a straight line you can put one together super quick.  Really.  No major skills required.  I put mine together in less than 10 minutes start to finish. 

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Basically all you need is a cute fabric scrap, lining fabric, some rice, some Velcro and possibly some scented oil if you want it to smell nice.  I used stuff that I had laying around except for the orange scent I found in the soap making aisle at a craft store.

Since there are so many great tutorials out there I am not going to add another one, but this one at Sew, Mama, Sew! Blog was what I used for inspiration.

In a nutshell, sew together your lining fabric on three sides, fill it with scented rice (I used about ten drops of oil) and then sew it closed.

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Then make a slightly larger pillowcase for your rice with velcro on the end.

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Smush it closed and now you have a pretty little foot warmer.

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I have found warming mine in the microwave for about 2 minutes does the trick.  I also read that some people suggest to also put a cup of water in the microwave while you are warming it to make sure your rice does not scorch.  Not sure if this is true or not but I thought it was better to play it safe because while I have never smelled burned rice, I do not imagine it to be very pleasant.

Also a hint that I learned…there is a reason that it has a removable cover.  When you set it in the microwave, make sure you take off the pretty fabric so it doesn’t get all gross sitting in there.  Or maybe that it just me and it is a sign that our microwave needs to be cleaned.  Lesson Learned.

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This might be the best winter invention yet.  It is keeping my toes toasty warm as I speak type.  And it has been going strong for over an hour.  And as a bonus, the fabric matches some of the pillows in the family room so it does not look out of place.  It can just be a mini pillow. So if you are like me and  never heard of such of thing you really need to try it out. 

I know Derek’s legs are appreciating it at least.

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An Open Letter to February

2.18.2010

Dear February,

I always tell people that you are my favorite month.  You see when you are married to a huge sports fan it has potential.   Football has ended, baseball has not started (although I have been informed that pitchers and catchers have reported), and March Madness is still around the corner.  ESPN watching at the Anything Pretty house does not have the same intensity that it does all the other months of the year.  Which I have to admit is really nice.  More time for HGTV watching.

And you are the month that contains Valentine’s Day.  A good holiday filled with love letters, flowers and candy.  Or at least it used to back in the dating days.  Now it is more like a nice dinner and getting a bed built. And buying yourself “day after valentine’s day sale” tulips for $5 at Wal-Mart. IMG_0582

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But I have to admit that I am lying.  You are not my favorite.  Not even close.

Snow is no longer pretty or fun.  It is annoying.  Especially when it is not enough to get off of work but enough to make you shovel your driveway and dust off you car.  And make your dog look like this each time he comes in.

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Yeah the snow sticks to him and at this point I just tell him to go defrost on the carpet instead of yanking at his fur to attempt to get a portion of it off.  I am a bad dog mom.

I miss my garden.  And spending time outside.  And driving to work when it is actually light outside.  And BBQs.  And riding my bike outside.  And cut flowers from the yard.  And sunshine.   Sigh. 

So February I am ready for you to be over and for spring to arrive.  Even if it brings more ESPN, brackets and fantasy drafts.   Hopefully this clears up any confusion.  Sorry I lied and hurt your feelings.  Okay maybe I am not if it brings Spring any faster.

Love,

 

Jenny

Wanna Sneak Peek?

2.15.2010

it has been two weeks and many hours of priming, painting, and polying but the bed is ready for a sneak peek…..

Ready?IMG_0539

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The master bedroom is not totally put back together as evidenced by the empty picture hooks and lack of accessories but I could not wait to share how the bed came out.   Also the bedding is missing a duvet cover and pretty pillows.  But just focus on the bed right now.  mmmmkay?  After pics and a more detailed “process” post will be following shortly .

Also I am probably the only moron that did not know this, but king size duvet inserts can not be laundered even in a super extra capacity front load home washing machine.  Because it melts and shreds.  So that duvet insert that is sitting all pretty on the bed in the picture?  It is now going to have to cut into a couple dog beds.  Major Fail.  But on the bright side I have a reason to go back to Homegoods.

So what do you think?

 

See previous bed progress here and here.

A Dog’s Life

2.14.2010
This time of year is very busy around our house.  Not only is it Valentine’s Day, but it also Jack’s birthday and the 15th is our engagement anniversary.  We celebrated Valentine’s Day with a nice dinner on Friday but I bet you can guess who was the star of the show today.  I really wanted him to wear a doggy party hat but that got vetoed but all the males in the house.  Birthday Scrooges.
His day started with a bone.IMG_0122
Then a gourmet steak dinner.
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Followed by some doggy ice cream also known as Frosty Paws.
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Winter also enjoyed the fringe benefits of the festivities.  Hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day!

Modern Quilts

2.12.2010
I used to think that this was an oxymoron.  How could quilts be modern?  I admired the amount of talent and workmanship that went into them but they were honestly not my style.

Then I discovered modern quilting blogs.  And the fabric.  And the talent.  And then I was hooked.

I had no idea how to make one but I knew that I had to teach myself.  So with the help of the aforementioned blogs and a couple of quilting books I muddled my way through my first two.

You might have noticed some quilts popping into mainstream stores such as Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel.  I did at least.
 



So exactly is Modern Quilting?  Well...... that is a really good question with many answers.   I personally think it has a lot to do with fabric choice, the colors and the composition in terms of design of the quilt.    But to sum it up....I know it when I see it.  And what looks modern to me might look very traditional to someone else and vice versa.

There is movement of Modern Quilting Guilds that are forming across the country which is super exciting.
If you go to the main Modern Quilting Guild website, there is discussion about what modern quilting is to different people as well as links to local quilt guilds that are starting in cities around the country (and the world).

Guess whose city was starting a chapter? 

Kansas City.

So I went to the very first meeting.  Along with a lot of other people.  And I definitely was not the youngest person there.  I was really worried that since I was such a newbie that I would be in way over my head with all the experienced quilters.  But I am happy to report for all the newbies out there that this was something that I should not have worried about.  There were people there from all levels and everyone was super nice.

I had a lot of fun meeting people with similar interests and gaining inspiration from their creations.  I also picked picked up a lot of great tips.

We have another meeting scheduled this month and I cannot wait.   Check out our website (here) to see all the creations of the members as well as their blogs.  And even to join if you are interested.

I have a couple new quilts that I am starting soon that I cannot wait to share with the blogosphere as well as all the members of the new quilt guild.  So I had better get moving.
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Dear Label Maker,

2.08.2010

Sorry Label Maker but you may have be dethroned as my favorite organizing companion.

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You had a great run with organizing lots of things like the linen closet and numerous other closets.  But in the craft room I needed a little something different.  Like these-IMG_0497

You see I have a this problem with the craft room….my attention is always shifting from one craft to another.  You were just too….permanent.  I could not commit to static labels that long.

I can change the post-it labels so quickly and easily.  They stick just like the adhesive on the top of a traditional post-it….except the entire label is covered with it.  But you can move it and change the label just as easy as switching a normal post-it.  My one hint….they are not found next to the post-its.  I had to go to the “label” aisle at the office supply store to snag them.

For example… in the closet…..I started with this. 

With the help of my Post-It Labels and some heavy duty sorting and purging, it now looks like this-

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Now all my magazines, fabric, partially finished projects and wrapping supplies are handily organized.

And you see that empty shelf?  There is a plan for that….my new craft obsession is quilting (like I happened to mention here) and therefore all my new fabrics already have a home waiting.

My other fabrics that have greater yardage are organized in a hanging system.  IMG_0378

All the cotton fabrics are hanging on the white hangers, knits and flannel on the navy hangers and the home dec fabric are on the tan hangers.

I thought about being an over achiever and measuring each piece of fabric and writing the yardage on customized dry erasable labels hanging from each hanger.  Then I got tired and decided that the color coding was going far enough to keep in semi organized.  Maybe when I am bored this summer I will take on that idea but until then just pretend I have ultra cute tags.

Next to the hanging area I have my project boxes.  These will be changing a lot (at least I hope) and the post it labels are perfect.  (Notice the honey oak is still hanging on in the closet.  That way I can remember it’s ugliness and be grateful that is gone from the rest of the room.  Or I just was so incredibly sick of painting trim that I decided that the closet did not matter)

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Hopefully this box will be empty soon as it was supposed to be a gift for this past Christmas.

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I am loving all the pieces of a project in one centralized location so that I do not lose any pieces and can work on multiple things at a time.  This just feeds the crafting ADD.

Miscellaneous fabric (like linings, interfacings, and left over batting) joins all the wrapping supplies in this organizer.

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I try to recycle magazines…but some I cannot part with and before the “great reorganization” were just stacked everywhere.  Now they are nicely stacked at the top of the closet where i can easily access them them but they are out of the way.

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The rest of the craft room also received a good organization courtesy of the post-it label.  But that will have to wait for another post.  Don’t want to provide everyone with too much riveting entertainment at once…