Friday, June 21, 2013

{10 minute} Fabric Letter DIY

There is nothing like a little color to put a smile on your face and that's just what this little project did.  Yep, I'm smiling one because I completed a DIY project and two I have color on my walls!  It all started with in April when I finally installed my Run Strong gallery wall.  It included a few inspiration quotes and images that revolved around running.  I was was over joyed at how it turned out, but a few weeks ago I was trying to think of a way to add some color since mostly everything is white.  

Well, as I was sorting through a few things in my spare room I came across a few pieces of vintage fabric given to me earlier this year.  I wasn't sure what to do with them so I had them in my spare room and just this last week I knew exactly what I wanted to use one of the fabrics for as soon as I read this fabric wrapped letter DIY.   So the other night I gathered all of my supplied and while watching a movie I began wrapping my R. 

* batting
* fabric 
* scissors 
*staple gun
* cardboard or wood letter

I also came across this Fabric Letter DIY Fabric Art that makes using the cardboard letters a bit more interesting. I will definitely have to try this when I find a coordinating fabric to wrap around the sides.

I first started by wrapping the batting around and stapled it to the letter, though I think using spray adhesive would have worked nicely to.

As you can see it doesn't look very pretty from the backside, but the good thing is that no one will ever notice unless you take it down and show them.  I had already had a command strip Velcro attached to the letter so I made sure not to cover it so I can hang it back on the wall.

You can still see where the fabric was to short to go around the thick side of the letter, which is why at some point I will do some coordinating fabric to adhere around the edges so it doesn't look so rough.

 Ah, now isn't that better.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Simple Living part 3

Here is the last part of the Series Keeping the Balance and with it I hope to achieve a maintainable plan in creating a neat and happy house.  The one thing that I struggle with is my perfectionist personality, yes I willing admit to my slight type "A" personality that likes to have things in their place and really as a single adult with no children I don't feel like that should be difficult.  However, since purchasing a home that is almost 3x the size of any apartment I've resided in and has 2.5 bathrooms it feels a bit overwhelming to keep up with.   It's also not just myself that I'm cleaning up after, since my mom moved in with me last June and she doesn't share the same tidy-home philosophy.

For me it's been easy, because of the number of moves I've made in my 7 years living in Colorado.  I started out with a huge load and with each move I downsized, and even between moves I would sort through my items and make regular trips to the goodwill.  However, my mom has been primarily stationary for the last decade and even with the 3 moves she did make anything that didn't fit (floor to ceiling stacked) in her apartment was taken to a storage unit, and left there to be sorted through later.  Although nothing has really been done there except to add more items.   The sad part is that most of the items were not purchased with the idea of using them, but with the intent of reselling.  Let's just say that she never following though with that and she never learned to stopped purchasing items so her material items kept creating more chaos and taking up more space.  

I will say this that in the last year my mom  has  made some strides in improving on this habit.  We have sold many items and things FINALLY clearing out.    I do feel like we should be further though this battle, but there is always an excuse not to work on this process.  My mom does have many strengths that come in handy, like calling the city to take care of garbage left by previous tenants, trimming tree branches that have caused damage to other home dwellers in our neighborhood and on top she also works full time as a in-home care giver. 

A lot of her items are small and many, so what I hope to achieve is creating a numbering system to log them and then find a home for the items in the basement once they have been posted for sale.  Being that our basement is unfinished all items will need to be safely stored in sealed containers to keep them clean, and easy to reference.  I also hope to that the items will sell and well gain some much needed income to use for bills and replacement items.  I also want to schedule a day each week for us to work on these items, and have an area in the house where we can take professional-novice photos. 

Moving toward a tidy MCM Home
Life can be funny sometimes and remind you just how simple things really can be when it's the right time, and now seems to be that time for us.  We've been working on smaller projects that have allowed us to move forward in our tidy mcm home and it's filled us with such joy.

I also love that by traveling to DC and Baltimore has helped to remind me of how much I love to travel and that I don't want to spend my days cleaning my home, but that I want to spend my time with people I love and blessing them.  It's also ironic how I bless people is cleaning and organizing, which really is a passion of mine, and I'm glad to inspire others in that same direction.  

A few of the things we've done lately that has spun the wheel towards our mcm home was selling our sectional.   It's really been a process, as I started out with just wanting to sell the left side - one arm chase, but it wasn't meant to be until I was ready to part with the entire set.  So after taking new photos and updating the listing the sectional sold on May 17th. 

It was a joyous feeling that filled my heart when the living room was empty for the first time since moving in and now I was free to begin the journey of creating a tidy mcm living room.  I had to keep reminding myself to be patient during this search so I wouldn't buy something, because I think it would work and I may love it, but I really had to love eyes light up I LOVE this piece for us to buy it.   

Surprisingly it didn't take long and to find exactly what I wanted in my space and for far less then what we sold the sectional for.  It was pretty fantastic actually, and we even made a few new friends along the way and found some new stores to check out. 

 Instagram Sneak Peak: Sofa

 As written in the journey of creating a tidy mcm living room I talked about how we scored our mcm sleeper sofa, and after a few weeks I'm still loving this piece and sit on it often.  I'm also really looking forward to doing a DIY on my $4 mcm table tripod lamp.

 Instagram Sneak Peak:: Living Room MCM finds 

I think my favorite part of this journey is that it really didn't take long.  It was almost magical - like it was meant to be for us to find these items now.  It was such a fun time to spend with my mom and even more magical when we agreed on a few of the pieces, well maybe not the tripod table lamp, but the couch - YES!  You know it's meant to be when two people who agree to disagree on furniture styles find a happy medium and my home is really starting to reflect my love of the 1950s simple living.

 I'm also really glad that we waited and for only $80 we found a great loveseat for our space that was also a sleeper so we didn't have to compromise about having a place for guests to sleep.  This was such a blessing and saved us over $500 on buying a new sofa that I really didn't love, but could have worked.  Also, I love that the bottom legs are simple screw in pegs so I can swap them out for tapered legs. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that the sofa is pretty light, even for a sleeper sofa.  A guy friend and myself moved it from the van to the house and it's pretty easy to maneuver in the house as well.  I love easy to move furniture!

I'm also very excited to have a sofa/loveseat height that works with my mcm tapered round end tables.  They are so adorable and at only $2.50 for a set of 2 was a steal. I'm also loving the scalloped edge black magazine rack that I found at the Salvo I purchased the sofa at.  I found it when we went back to pick up the sofa 2 days later. 

I'm hoping to have my gallery wall up and displayed in the next week or two, but I've been pretty hesitant on hanging anything.  I'm a command strip kind of gal, because I always end up hanging things up wrong.  This time I'm gathering some extra cardboard to cut out the frame shapes and note where the holes go and hope to purchase some picture ledges from IKEA so I can create a similar look to #3 on my design board.

As you can see my dining room is also being weeded out and the large objects are finding new homes.   My mom's had a commercial elliptical for a few years and it's been moved between my living and dining room since moving in and really neither of us use it enough to justify keeping it.  I had it posted on Craigslist a few months ago and people kept trying to talk us down so I had taken the ad down.

In May I decided to create a new listing with fresh photos and within 2 weeks the elliptical was been sold to a young medical couple who is very excited, which makes my heart happy knowing that it's going to a good home.   They were also very impressed with the quality and smoothness of the Precor, especially for our asking price. He is receiving a quality machine for about half the price new & I'm glad to bless such a lovely couple, especially one who is very grateful to have it. 

It's funny how it all happened, like an aha moment when you know it was meant to be. Now this lovely cruiser bike that I purchased on June 1st resides in it place.

What are some successes you've had with downsizing and decluttering?  Have you had any aha moments or just hit the right timing?

part 1: Fit Life
part 2: The Social Dancer

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

{Weekend Organizer} Evolution of My MCM Kitchen

I'm super excited to be showing you how my kitchen has evolved this last year and a half, and how much I'm really starting to love being there.  It's funny how simple things were with the previous owner; she had a very minimal furniture layout so the spaciousness created a very inviting atmosphere that we lost for a while, but are slowly bringing back.

 Here is what the Kitchen looked like with the previous owner. 

This is what it looks like now!!!

I'm really excited about this sunflower fabric bag and I plan to use it as wall art above the credenza.  I just need to cut down some plywood or foam core to fit an extra IKEA frame that I  accidentally broke the glass to, but it's the prefect size for this piece.  I'm thinking of painting the frame either orange or yellow to contrast with the wall.  I also plan to wrap a layer of batting between the plywood and fabric to add some dimension before installing it above the credenza.  I'm also on the look out for a unique shelving unit to hold my collection of s/p shakers and owls.

I'm excited to finally have a home where my vintage ceramic canisters can be displayed.  Now I just need to figure out what to put in them since they don't seal.  I have been using the flour canister for my coffee pods, which seam to be working well.

I love my got milk? jug that supposed to I think be used for creamer, but it doesn't seal and since I don't drink much coffee at home it's not the best use for it.  I love that it fits my dish sponge and scrub brush and so far it's working very well.  I also added the sink stoppers to the hooks where my sponge and brush were residing. My mom even likes the new set up, which is saying a lot since we agree to disagree most of the time.

Raggedy Ann is safely being displayed in the corner to the left of the sink since there is nothing there & it looks kind of bare.   I decided to swap out the solid curtain for these sheer panels from IKEA, which I actually kind of loving.  Plus it works well with the $1 macrame, that's housing my fake plant and IKEA planter.  I also really like looking at my owl s/p shakers (currently only for display) every time I get bread.  They really pop next to the avocado green napkin holder.  I'm also really glad that my bread box once again contains bread!!  I was using it for spices and was using a smaller wood bread box for a while, but this is a bar better fit.

the beginning of a happy space 
Things really started to come together in March when I started to focus on being happy in my home.  This is a nice home and I want to treat it well, but I don't plan on spending more than 4 years here.  I simply wanted something simple that I can build equity in so wanting to make mega changes and spending money on a house I don't plan to stay longer in is really silly and unpractical.
Organizing is a passion of mine, and one of the reason's I went to school for design.  I learned a lot from my days in the field and know that there are small changes that can be made to create a welcoming and tidy home and I'm loving how close my home is becoming a happy space.  

By having a design plan it helps us to know where were going in the space so we save ourselves stress, time and money by not buying items we "think" will work and later regret.  Plus, we have it pretty easy these days in creating a plan and design board with the help of Pinterest (free) and Photoshop Elements ($100 aka the poor mans Photoshop) plan so we know when we've found the right piece(s).

---------------------insert kitchen wall elevation--------------------------------

With my design plan and elevation in hand of the window wall I knew when I saw this 3 piece dresser set at the Salvo in Camp Hill that it would be perfect. 

I mean check out the number of drawers on that bad boy.  It had storage galore and my mind started racing with ideas.  I still didn't pounce on it Saturday night, because we found out that they were having a 50% sale Monday for all their furniture and they're closed Sunday's so we decided to wait and measure just in case.  Yes, I forgot to add the dimensions of the wall and window to my design plan, so measuring once we got home was the first thing I did.    They were right on with how I wanted it to fit, and the we decided that the 2 end tables would go in the 3rd floor catch all room for now.  I think they will make nice storage for our printer + supplies and other office storage.  

I'm VERY glad we waited, especially since Monday morning we scored this 3-pc dresser set for only $40!!!  Oh, did I mention that it's by Lane Furniture, double score!  

This thrifted mid-century mod dresser post by Dream Green DIY came to mind when I saw this set to, so I plan to do a similar DIY and also add some fabric to the removable door panels in the middle before the end of summer.  It's going to be quite a task to take on, but so worth it to see this baby transform into a mcm beauty.  

The evolution has definitely been a challenge, but I'm thankful how well it's moving toward a happy space and finding the balance in my home.  

learning to be content 
I've even grown to love my wonky wall, which I've been wanting to do something with for a year now.  It was such a wasted space, but now I love the simplify of the space and that I can hang my broom and dust pan so they are easily accessible, and paired with my garbage can.  I've also found a home for some retro wall art there and my orange clock.

the kitchen evolution
 Here's a reminder of how it looks now

Things have come and gone in the kitchen, but I believe that this new layout is going to stay for a long while, as it seems to be working quite well for me.  There are no annoyances and things are tidy in their place creating an open room, which allows my counter tops to be free and clear of clutter.

At first I started by installed IKEA curtains across the entire wall, then put a bookshelf between the windows and decided to paint the walls Behr Enchanted blue, which I later regretted.  It really reminded me of California surfer blue.

After that design flopped I decided in December 2012 to swap out the bookshelf for a cubby shelf,  add art on the wall above and then added a small makeshift table in the middle.  The cubby was far more practical then the bookshelf, but it still didn't hold what I needed, and with everything being exposed (sadly this was the idea) I realized that what I really needed didn't aesthetically fit in the space.  

I also found these adorable vintage ceramic canister at the Salvo and added them to the main counter space.

This April I decided to change out the wall color and painted them Endive by Martha Stewart.  I took out the items between the window and added my vintage Formica table top to create a simple eating area, along with adding a pair of curtains to one of the windows. 

A few weeks later I added an IKEA Billy Bookcase that had been housed in the living room, before going to the dining room and now founds it's way to the kitchen so I could store more things vertically, but again it was a bit annoying having to work around the table.

I also displayed my made in the USA vintage coffee cups.