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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Four Hour Thrifty Beachy Bedroom Makeover

Redecorate? Why, of course!

I may have already mentioned what an *insanely* busy week I have -- one without a single spare second for playing around with DIY projects, redecorating, or blogging about those things. Yet, here I sit, about to share the fabulous (if I do say so myself) beachy bedroom makeover I just pulled off in my daughter's bedroom yesterday. She's at grandma's during church summer camp (grandma lives closer than we do), and though I have SO much more I should be doing... why not redecorate something instead?

It is inevitably times when I really don't have the time to spare that I take on projects like this. It drives my husband absolutely up. the. wall. His very logical mind doesn't understand why prioritizing my tasks is so difficult for me. The simple answer is that I really hate housework and would so much rather be doing something I enjoy. Sad, but true.

Anyway, as embarrassed as I should be to share this photo with the world, this is exactly how my daughter left her bedroom:


Terrible... huh?

And this is how it looks now:



Not bad for 4 hours, eh?

We're having loads of houseguests coming through over the next few days to celebrate My Girl's 7th birthday, and this room also serves as a guest room (she has a bed up in the loft, too, where all the toys are supposed to be, which is where she sleeps when we have guests and, in the summer, whenever the urge strikes). Anyway, she's in love with mermaids and horses and princesses, all things girly and all things tomboy-ish, and is as organizationally challenged as the rest of her family, I'm afraid. If she had her way, she'd have a Little Mermaid bedroom with horses everywhere and Disney Princess decals on the wall... all of which makes my decorating OCD twitch and lurch, especially in a sometimes-guest room. It probably makes me a terrible mother that I just can't give my little girl whatever kind of bedroom she wants (and in my defense, she had a Disney Princess bedroom once-upon-a-time), but I just can't stand the commercial-cartoon bedroom theme, even for a seven-year-old.

The solution she and I came to was a beachy-cottage look bedroom. We live on a ranch in the mountains, and her bedroom branches off a traditional log-cabin lodge (with moose heads on the wall and everything) so it may look a tad out of place, but this is like a grownup mermaid bedroom... something she won't argue with, and the horses and fairies and Disney paraphernalia can be stashed up in the toy loft plastic disaster room, keeping the sometimes-guest-room free of toys and clutter, so that she can sleep, read, do homework, and relax in her room.

Part of the challenge of living here has been that we're only caretakers for the place and the house doesn't really belong to us. Our decorating options are limited, and I'm not able to be rid of the green shag carpeting, harvest gold lineoleum/sinks, or, horror of horrors... wood paneling. Gah. I sooo would love to paint the paneling white in this room, but for now I just have to do my best to draw attention away from the oh-so-retro look. I do love the wood floors in there, though.

Anyway, this is what I did in the room...

I switched out the black dresser for a junk-store makeover that was in my studio. My sister-in-law found this great piece buried in the back of a junk shop for $30 and it's been something we're working on together for her first place. She'll take it to college with her in the fall, but we're putting it to good use until then, since she doesn't have anywhere to store it. It was dark wood with white drawers, and all we've done so far is spray paint the outside, leaving the drawers in their previous weathered shape. The shutters are from ReStore and were stashed in the guest house, so I pulled 'em in to add some more white to the dark room.


This was another ReStore purchase (for $5!). A window frame with shutters that open.



I thought I'd love an aqua fabric behind this, but wasn't in love when it was done -- the color was just too bright for the muted peaceful look I was going for. For take two, I stapled burlap to the back... much better. I then dry-brushed a plain wood board and adhered it with mounting tape to create a ledge, hung a mirror and some framed sea-grass photo-look scrapbook paper. I got the glass jars in a pack of 3 at the dollar store, so I filled them with decorator sand and attached scrapbooking stickers to spell out s-e-a.



Love it! I especially like how much of the wall it covers -- hides more of the ugly wood paneling.

For the bed, I just flipped over her existing comforter so the white side was showing, instead of the quilted pastels on the other side. The throw pillows were laying around in various other rooms of the house, and the beige one is an unused couch cushion. The "throw" at the bottom of the bed is really just 2 yards of scrap fabric I found at GW for $1.


The serving tray had a big crack in the wood bottom, and it's been waiting for inspiration. In my "photo real" stack of scrapbooking paper, there was a sheet that looked like sand, so I cut the paper to size and put it in the bottom of the tray, sprinkling it with seashells ($1 for a basketfull at the Dollar Tree), and a sand-filled mason jar votive holder. Whatdya think?

Behind the bed, I hung a shelf (a cheap Ikea shelf I had stashed away), and filled a double frame with, what else, photo-look scrapbook paper of an ocean horizon, then added some candles and shelves for a little wall display in-lieu of a headboard. (There was a headboard in here before that I just took out instead of doing something with it. It would be cute painted, but that piece was already here and not mine to re-vamp, so we opted for re-housing it in the garage instead).


I left the white lacey curtains in the room, but cut some leftover burlap and hung it from the curtain rods for makeshift valances.


The rest of the wall decor was whipped up during the project (all part of that 4 hour time frame), with some craft paint and hot glue, in true Whimsy Smitten style. The desk in the corner will be replaced shortly with one I'm working on repainting, and we'll be adding a little vanity I'm re-doing for her as a birthday present (sshhh!).




Now I want to move into this room! I love the peaceful colors, and these windows get a great breeze through the room, which can really fool you into thinking you're relaxing in some beach cottage on the coast.... if you ignore the sound of the cows and goats outside, that is.

Even though I SO didn't have time for it, it was totally worth the four-hour diversion to pull this off. What do you think?

Linking to these parties:

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Monday, June 28, 2010

My First Feature

Ooooooh, I'm squealing with delight to wake up this morning and discover my crib-turned-reading-bench featured over at The Girl Creative! Go check out the other great features and link up your projects for this week's "Just Something I Whipped Up Monday" link party.

The Girl Creative

My Girl is turning 7 on Friday, and we're hosting quite the soiree this weekend -- a 'royal ball' for my little princess. I also have family coming to visit, which makes for a very busy Mrs. Smitten, but I can't wait to share all the party fun with you all. I'm just jonesin' to check out all the great projects you all are working on too (and, if you've commented recently and I haven't visited your blog yet, I'll get to it soon!), so I'm hoping I can steal away some time later for that.

Go check out that linky party and check back soon for some royal inspiration. :) Oh, and I haven't forgotten about my laundry contest a few posts back... winner to be announced later this week.

Have fun and Get Smitten!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sumo's Sweet Stuff's Flirty Apron Giveaway

I'm an apron collector and I love me some cute little aprons as much as I love to discover new inspirational and awesome bloggers to follow. Lucky me, I stumbled onto Sumo's Sweet Stuff and discovered her crafty coolness AND her Flirty Apron giveaway. Swoooooooon! Go drool over these beauties with me, would ya?

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crib-turned-Reading Bench Makeover

Now that my third baby, Lil' C, has turned two, I'm discovering the bittersweetness that comes along with de-baby-fying the house, slowly but surely. Since we're relatively sure that he'll be our last baby (at least for the forseeable future), we have no need to hold on to any of these items, but the sentimental downright mushy side of me hates to part with the last little nostalgias of baby-hood.

I had a yard sale last week where I parted with the highchair, jogging stroller, baby toys, and lots of other things, but a few pieces remain. One of those things was a mini-crib we bought for our bedroom, where Lil' C spent his first year sleeping, since sharing a room with either of his siblings when he was that young just wasn't working out. I bought the thing mainly because it's an identical match to the standard-size crib he has, and both pieces convert to bed frames -- the regular one a full size, and the mini one a twin size. I was jazzed to finally use it for this purpose until I priced out the rail conversion kit to make the change and discovered that the rails alone were a hundred bucks plus shipping. Since I picked up two awesome sets of industrial-looking bunk beds last week for $30 a piece (score!), I don't really need the twin bed option anymore anyway.

With some time and ingenuity, I know I could figure out a way to DIY the bed rails, (and I still might, if I have the need), but as per usual, I opted for a quicker lazier way to re-use the piece for the time being. Since I'm all a-flutter about the hot weather and an opportunity to create an outdoor living space, I thought I'd turn the mini-crib into an outdoor reading bench/comfy lounge spot on the patio for the kids.

Apologies, as usual, for the poor photo quality... impatience and operator cluelessness is to blame.


I took the front panel and round rail off the front, which was perfectly constructed for this since the hardware for the bed base/seat actually attached to the front legs of the crib. Since I plan to use this outside, I coated it with a coat of Thompson's deck sealer, which may or may not have actually done anything since the surface was not very porous. I don't much mind if the thing gets a little weathered, though, so take that for what its worth. Again, impatience and laziness win out over preparation and forward thinking. :)

There's a funky shadow in the picture (and Suzy, the headless bulldog -- AAHH!), but its really just the crib without a front...

I raised the bed base up from its previous position at the lowest setting up to chair-height and fixed some of the nicks and scratches in the wood by filling them in with a Sharpie.

The mattress pad that came with the thing was pretty chintzy and worn out, so I topped it with some foam pieces laying around from who-knows-what and used a serrated knife to cut the foam to size.

Here's Lil' C demonstrating the bed's former use)

To help keep the foam pieces from getting ruined, I made a quick cushion cover out of a cute vinyl tablecloth I found at Goodwill awhile back. Since I recently decorated my dining room in a French country/rooster theme and the dining room looks out onto the patio where this will sit, I thought this would work perfectly, and not bad for something like fifty cents. The vinyl enclosure will keep any wet weather from ruining the padding (in theory). Of course, if you were doing this project to make an indoor bench, you could opt for any fabric that suits you.

Tablecloth and Foam piece
I then used an extremely high-tech and delicate method for covering the foam with the tablecloth: Packing tape!

I know... lazy. But in my defense, vinyl tablecloths are a dime a dozen and I may opt to switch it out for another one at some point (and I'd still like to be able to use the rooster tablecloth if I do), so this is a non-permanent slipcover. I just folded the foam up like I was wrapping a gift...

...taped the excess down to the bottom, flipped it over, found a cute little model to try the bench out, and... voila!

Now that I look at it, I bet it would look cuter if I added the little mini-crib dust ruffle that I used with the crib set (which happens to be blue and white gingham), beneath the foam bench. I'll have to see if I can find that anywhere. When I put the bench out on the patio, I stuck an under-the-bed plastic bin with a snap-on-lid beneath it, where I can stash the throw pillows and store kid books for the perfect little porch reading nook.

The kids seem to be enjoying it -- at least one of them has been on the bench perpetually since I finished it this morning, and it's now 6 p.m. here. You can't beat anything that inspires the kids to kick back with a good book, right?

Hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed my Monday Makeover!

Linking to: The Girl Creative The DIY Show Off
Making BWS tips button Sumo Sweet Stuff

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Solve My Laundry Dilemma and Win a Prize!

Photo source: Unknown.

Okay bloggy friends, time for me to beg for some inspiration from you creative souls.

Anyone else around here absolutely *buried* under their laundry pile? While I don't even pretend to be caught up with my laundry, I often think I could spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week washing, drying, sorting, folding, and hanging, and I'd still not be caught up. I have to confess that I really hate doing laundry. I'm a creative person, and there is just very little creativity involved in the old laundry routine. Bummer for the very disorganized Mrs. Smitten.

One of my biggest struggles is that everyone around here has a bad habit of tossing everything in the laundry basket on the floor, where I end up washing still clean things like towels that have only been used once, clothes that someone put on but didn't decide to wear, and a million other things. Moms, you all know what I mean, dontcha?

In an effort to tackle the laundry monster (AKA - Mt. Washmore for those of you flybabies out there), I'm looking for a way to personalize the towels in the house to assign two towels to each person that I can then wash at the end of the week. That way, in a perfect world, everyone will grab for their specific hung up towel, use it, hang it back up and... are you ready for this?... use it again, thus cutting my huge laundry monster down to size, at least somewhat. I know, this is probably just wishful thinking but... its worth a shot.

Here's the fun part. Anyone that can offer me an idea or suggestion that I wind up implementing will win a super secret thank-you giveaway prize. You know you love prizes, so bring on those laundry monster tips.

Fine Print: A few things to take into consideration:

- I tried the color-coded thing once before, but no one can ever remember their color and that just fizzled out right quick.
- Several people in our family have names that start with the same letter, so monograms can be tricky.
- I do own a sewing machine and can kinda-sorta use it, but I'm far from a master seamstress, so go easy on me, folks.

Thats it. Let the laundry inspiration begin!

Friday, June 18, 2010

His-n-Hers and Repurposed Changing Table

Owwwww! I just stepped on a toothpick, ouch-side up, and it went more than halfway into my arch muscles in my foot, where it stuck. Youch. Husband had to yank on the thing about five times to get it out, and I'm not proud to say that I bawled like a baby. No fun!

The upside, though, is that it bought be some on-the-couch-with-my-laptop time, so I can post about the super-cute 'his' and 'hers' signs I whipped up today. Unfortunately, the technique is nothing unique, considering I got the idea after I made the 'nest' wall hangings I shared in my last post, but they were fun, quick, and cheap! This one, too, has a nice price tag...

Started out with twenty cent wood plank-things (yes, that's the technical name) that I found at the discount lumber store.

Then I coated them with ivory craft paint and painted a black border around the edge.

And just like I did with the 'nest' plaques, I used my trusty Cricut and Make the Cut software to cut out "his" and "hers" in vinyl, then transferred them onto the painted boards.

Added some aqua ribbon and hung them up in the bedroom -- aren't they cute?!

Wood boards: $0.40
Paint (approx): $0.25
Vinyl (approx): $0.80
Ribbon: $1.50
Grand Total: A whopping $2.95 -- gotta love that! :)

Linking up this project to Funky Junk Interiors' Saturday Nite Special. Stop on by and check out some amazing inspiration.

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

It's my first time linking up here, but I just can't resist mingling amongst all the creative lovelies on this site! Hoping to miraculously stumble upon an old gate between now and Sunday so I can participate in the themed link-up.
Also linking to Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous, Saturday Soiree at A Little Lovely, and the always awesome CSI Project.

Decor Mamma
Visit thecsiproject.com


I also found another use for a changing table I picked up for $5 in the hope of repurposing it into something, without any real clue what I'd end up doing with it. Someday, this may have a more exciting life, but for now, it makes an excellent shipping station for getting online purchases out -- I've got my scale, envelopes, scissors, packing tape and stuff up top, then all the shipping boxes folded below. The picture is terrible, but you can get the idea. Yay for repurposing!

Okay, well that's all for now, folks. Hug those daddies in your life this weekend and celebrate them! <3>

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wall Hanging for a Buck

The first promise I make and I already break it -- go figure. Forgive me for not sharing sooner. Come have a seat on the patio with me. This is one of my favorite spots.

Anyway, as it often does, life happened, and while I had intended to get right to work creating something fabulous to kick off my blog blabber, that just didn't quite happen. While I do have bigger and better projects I hope to get to soon, we just found out the house we're living in is being put on the market, which means some serious cleaning and home staging has taken priority, at least for this week.

I do have some photos to share, but accept my apologies for their quality. I recently got a new camera that is turning out to be terrible, and I need to mess with some settings and see if I can figure out how to improve things, as its guaranteed to be operator error.

Here's something I whipped up on the cheap with just a few minutes and the help of the Cricut.

Before: Plain dollar-store plaque.

I painted it with gesso and then dry-brushed on some aqua craft paint (I cheated and didn't even take the ribbon that came with it off first -- that's lazy!).

Cut some vinyl in the font I chose (using Make The Cut software, along with the Cricut)

And transferred the image to the plaque using clear contact paper as transfer tape. It needed a little something, so I added the bird graphic with a rubber stamp... and... voila! Cute little wall hanging in a jiffy, and for barely more than a buck.

Hope it's been a beautiful weekend for you all, and welcome to my new visitors. Thanks for stopping by!

Edit: I was SO excited to discover that this week's CSI challenge was a dollar-store theme. I really wanted to participate in the Martha Stewart challenge last week but once again, life got ahead of me, so without further ado, I'm linking up to my first official link exchange and entering into my first challenge with this super-thrifty lil' darling. Check out the CSI Project page and enter your own dollar-store treasure!

Visit thecsiproject.com

Have fun and Get Smitten!