Something From Nothing and a little bit of Everything!

The art of turning "good junk" into "great design"

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
William Morris, Hopes and Fears for Art (1882)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rustic Antique Shelf

Our trip to the Cookstown Wing Ding, although it was a wet day, was very "profitable" in great finds.  My sister outfitted a spare room, for next to nothing (She really should be a guest blogger) and I found a few treasures too.   This rustic shelf came home with me, even though I had no idea where it was going to go.  I just knew that it was too "me" to leave there for someone else, so beat up and batttered, I brought it home, and it was relegated to the garage for several months until I decided what to do with it.  I looked at lots of blogs about painting old furniture and then decided I would do my own thing.
I am sure some people would have left it just the way  that it was, but I wasn't sure that that would work with the cabinets. 

With leftover paint from the laundry room cabinets, I decided to paint the entire shelf.  It appeared that someone before me had tried to strip it, but because the piece is so old, I would say early 1900's, that they didn't get all of the paint removed.  So let's work with what we have.  A quick coat of paint, and a piece of sand paper to wear back the edges, and I was really pleased with the outcome, although I still didn't know if it was going to work above my laundry room sink. 
At our house, I just need to plan a party to get things done, and a lot of minor projects were completed before our Christmas Open House.  However, not knowing exactly what to do with the shelf, back to the garage it went, until New Year's Day, when I asked Handy Husband to hold it up so we could decide if it looked ok.  A couple of heavy duty hangers later, and the shelf sits above the laundry room sink.  I really didn't need another place for "stuff"  but now I needed to decide what to put on it. 
Our son, the gardener, has decided that he would like to raise chickens, so this egg sign that I found at the Wing Ding too, and the basket of eggs are appropriate additions.  The laundry room sign followed from our other house, and I will blog about that stone picture soon.  So all in all the shelf that was marked at $34 but I got for $30 was a great bargain and now my laundry room is complete.  What should we tackle next?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Laundry Room Makeover

When we built our new addition in 2009 we added a mud room/laundry room to connect the house and the existing garage.  It was a design that took a lot of tweaking with our architect to get it right both outside and inside as the garage was set back from the existing house a little bit farther than we would have liked for linking the two.  However, after many revisions we came up with a plan that works.  With a door to the backyard, the garage and the driveway the "hallway" that the post "Ladder Rescue" highlights is just that.  It has a heated ceramic floor which is handy at this time of year with wet boots and keeps the mess from coming into the laundry area, for the most part. I do live with 3 "boys" after all.  At the top of the stairs we were able to add a generous closet which is deep and accommodates lots of shoes which is great for a family of five.
Last year I decided that I needed new laundry machines to help the environment!  Really I just liked the look of them, but don't tell Handy Husband that! although, living on a well, it does use a lot less water than our old washer.   We bought Whirlpool Duets, and I love the many features, especially the steam dryer that eliminates the need for my iron. Who likes to iron?
So the plumbing was already roughed in, and when we got the new washer and dryer, we just needed to decide what we wanted to do for  a laundry sink.  I sure did miss having this extra sink for the roasting pan and such when entertaining, and I love the deep sink that we installed.  It was a bit of a splurge considering that there are sinks that will do the same thing for less, but it does look great, I think!
After a few trips around town and deciding whether we would retrofit something to make it work, (I had turned an old buffet into a vanity at our previous house- a topic for another post) we decided to go with pre-made cabinets from Home Depot.

 We bought white cabinets, painted them in the same colour to match our kitchen cabinets, and added the same hardware that we bought at Lee Valley Tools.

 I was in an open house once where all of the cabinets, counter tops and light fixtures were the same throughout the entire house, and decided that when I had the chance to achive that cohesion that I would. ( Our light fixtures in the main part of the house are all the same, and many people have commented on that)  Anyway, couldn't justify granite in the laundry room, but the dark counter top works.  We added the same backsplash tile as our kitchen, and voila, a rejuvenated laundry area for about $1000 for the cabinetry and tiles.   Watch for an upcoming post that highlights the rustic antique shelf that is above the backsplash.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

More Buttons- Head Table Runner

My number one goal for our wedding is to make it as personal as possible. I really want to make it our own. So I decided to make a head table runner that is personalized. These are our first initials on burlap with buttons. It took about 2 days to put on all the buttons but it looks amazing. 

First start off with your burlap laid out and make sure you leave lots of space on the bottom and the top in case you want to change the length at any time.

 These were my templates for the letters that I made with an overhead projector and some cardboard. I traced the letters with a very thin marker letting me know where to place my buttons.

 Button time.

 I started placing the buttons in patches all around the letters.

 This was a great project to do while a marathon of "Say Yes To The Dress" is on. Yes this is how I spent my Friday night and some of Saturday too.

 Majority of the outline was done.

And this is it. The final product. I was so happy with how it turned out.

So at some point during this project I realized that I may not have enough buttons in the colour I need. So I improvised and spray painted the buttons.

1. Put out all your buttons on cardboard or newspaper

2. Prime spray paint all the buttons. Then let dry.

 3. Spray paint buttons in desired colours. Let dry and presto you have buttons in your fav colour!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cranberry Love

Cranberries look so amazing. I have used them in so many ways. Here are some quick cheap ways to use cranberries as party decor.

Put around 5 cranberries in each ice cube tray.

Slowly pour water into ice cube tray.

Put tray into the freezer

Now you have ice cubes with amazing colour. So simple and easy.

When the ice melts you guests will be walking around with cranberries in their glasses with beautiful colour.

This glass vase was from the dollar store for $2.00.
fill a quarter with cranberries

 Pour water into the vase.

 Top with a floating candle

Light the candle  and you have amazing colour on your table for a whopping $3.50! Can't argue with that