Thursday, June 28, 2012

Budget Bathroom

As stated in a previous post, I conned my way into artistic rights over a very small (and hideously ugly) bathroom.  It is a tiny space that in other house terms would be a closet, but nonetheless needed a serious face lift. 

I kid you not, this is what it looked like before I started.  The goofy paint areas are from industrial supply style paper towel holders and toilet paper dispensers.  The ugly band-aid color walls are simply the paint of choice for the ENTIRE HOUSE. 

Again, not joking, they really did paint thousands of square feet this color.

With black and white floor tile.

This space had a lot of issues.  First, the black and white tile in my opinion is just too large of a print for a 16ish square foot space.  Next, the paint is clearly hideous.  All three hideous colors.  My post before this talked about the process of redoing the light that you cannot see in this pic.  And finally, the walls that aren't brick are particle board or whatever that wood junk is that is just a bunch of small pieces glued and pressed together.

I know, I know, you would think I'd know exactly what it is after having all those construction courses this year.  The boys were cute, my attention span was short...sue me.

Back to the bathroom.  Being the new-found pinterest-er that I am, I had heard tale of a way to use brown paper bags to recover floors and walls and whatnots and such.

So I papered over a board.  And made a mess on the floor, but that clearly isn't the point.  So as you can see in this picture, I papered the entire board and stained the far half and painted the other half to see what we could do.  I really think the painted side would make a cool floor too, but it did not fit in with my decorating needs for this bathroom. 

I did this by tearing up paper pieces and Mod Podge-ing them down on the board and coating MP over the pieces to seal down edges.  Everywhere I had read online said to soak the crumpled pieces in a glue and water mix (basically a thinner version of MP).  I completely ignored this, and just used straight MP on this, painted not soaked. 

I stained this board with Dark Walnut Minwax.  I feel like dark stains really help ramp up the floor and make it look less like...well...lunch sacks.

So in the new house we found stacks of brown lunch sacks.  Turns out buying something lock stock and barrel can be fun. Anyway, so I tore up the lunch sacks and crumpled them.  Just like everything I had read online said.

Which was my first mistake, because I NEVER follow instructions.  I tore these into much larger pieces than my original board and it did NOT work as well as the little guys.  I also personally think I'd skip the crumpling next time.  It is a little tough to really get the stuff to lay down perfectly. And quite frankly, Elmer's glue and water just cannot top Mod Podge.  And that's just that. 

So, small pieces + Mod Podge + Dark Stain = Better Results.

Remember that equation, you will be tested on it later.

So this is post-glue, pre-stain, and probably drenched in glue because I did that stupid soaking thing.  Mod Podge dries way faster for the record and really makes life easier. It probably would cost you more but seriously it is worth it.

So after this picture was taken, Dark Walnut stain and high build polyurethane went down next.  Now, I had originally purchased semi-gloss poly.  Don't do that.  Get something really glossy and fancy.  Matte finishes make it look cheap.  Shiny finishes make it look far deeper and lovely.

I really used 2 coats of high-build semi gloss Minwax Poly and a coat of Antique Walnut Polyshades over that.  Polyshades is pretty freakin' fantastic being stain and poly in one.  They don't recommend it for floors and I kind of think it maybe does not dry as hard as other poly's do, but mixed with the high build I think it is fine for this particular floor.  We currently have a rug down right in front of the toilet, which solves the issue of people walking on it and wearing it out faster.

Ok so this picture is really hard to see, I understand that.  But this is the floor stained and coated.  Again, dark hides flaws, so keep that in mind.

Recap of tips:

USE dark stains.
FLATTEN the paper scraps out as much as possible, don't leave big wrinkles in there or you will have to go back and cut the out with an exacto knife and a putty knife to redo them...
USE Mod Podge.  Elmer's glue and water mixes are annoying. 
USE shiny poly.  Shiny shiny shiny.  SHINY.

And yes, I did do the paper treatment over the walls.  But that is a different blog topic for a different day.

And so goes on the continuing saga of the budget bathroom.  Using bags we had, stain we had, less than $10 in glue, and probably $5 or less of polyurethane (barely made a dent in either can of it), We made a hideous tile floor look substantially less hideous.

Stay tuned for the pictures of the final look! Pin It Now!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Words, Affected.

Getting off my DIY train for a moment, there are some things in this life that really bother me.  I understand that sometimes you are mad.  Really mad at stuff that happens, people say, etc.  But I do not think that parents always realize just how much your words and your actions affect your kid and kids around you.

I think kids are incredibly good at picking up on tension. As I have said before, I work at a bank as a summer floater.  It is by no means my dream job but it gives me something to do during my college breaks.

Just a bit ago, we had a gentleman come in who wanted to get something notarized.  He did not have his ID and our teller did not know him, and when he was told that he would need his ID to get his paper notarized and his check cashed he stormed out of the building slamming doors and cursing, right in front of his little girl who can't have been older than early elementary age. 

Like I said, I know sometimes you just get mad, but it would be great if people could think about how it makes that kid feel.  Me personally, I am a fixer.  No matter who is yelling at whom, I consistently feel bad for whatever the situation is. And if it is something I have no ability or power to fix, I feel even worse.  I always did as a kid, and I still do to this day.

You know how when you are down, puppies will come over and put their head on your lap and give those cute pupy eyes to try to make you feel better? Kids are pretty much a similar theory.  A lot of kids, girl or boy, want to fix it. 

I think it is because it is the person you look up to.  You respect them and don't want them to be hurt or slighted or anything like that.  They are basically your hero, and you want to do something for them.

I think it is important to understand that kids pick up on everything.  The cursing, the yelling, your tone of voice, everything.  So the next time you are exploding about your day, or yelling right after something happens, or griping, think about what it is doing, and remind the child that it isn't their fault, you aren't mad at them, things like that. 

And don't practically peel out of the parking lot driving away.  First off, it scares kids, and second, it is putting your life and theirs in danger.  Control your emotions long enough to realize the extent of what you are doing, and the problems that could arise because of it.

And most of all, learn to take life in perspective.  Other people in the world wouldn't even have the chance to have the issue that you are having, and may never have it.  But you have the opportunity to take it on in the first place. Pin It Now!

Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Light Cover

I bartered with my mom to get creative rights over the smallest bathroom.  My argument was, "It's a tiny space how bad could I possibly botch it?"  And so my insanity began.

I will definitely blog at some point about the overall project, but today is one specific area in general- a really ugly in-ceiling light. 

Upstairs in the house I had seen a big roll of chicken wire.  My brain being the strange string of neurons that it is immediately thought about repurposing it into the gridwork for a faux chandelier cover for the ugly built in light.

What, you mean not everyone's brain works that way? 

So I started stringing beads, beads, and MORE beads.  This time in a stroke of thinking ahead I used silver wire to string the beads on so that I could not only do longer strands easier but so that I also stood less chance of it breaking.

I don't always have the best luck with cords you see.

So I used a combination of round clear beads in 4 different sizes, diamond shaped beads, and some enlongated white seed beads.

I did as few of strands of the seed beads as possible because lets face it they are incredibly time consuming.

I had to rig up a pretty neato system in order to make life easier on myself. 

Sidenote, yes that IS a pokeball in the background that I now use to store my beads and whatnots.  Don't judge, I am a sucker for upcycling...

And pokemon.

So as you can see I started to develop this type of design working from the outside corners in, draping multiple lengths of strands and then going back and filling in with little diamond beads here and there. 

And soon we started to get something that looked a little more like this.

Now, I would like to go ahead and say that if I had this to do over again (which I will as I think we are going to make one for the larger bathroom as well) I would paint the chicken wire white.  If you get really tired of beading and think you have enough you really probably don't and will still be able to see it.  White would have made it blend in better with the light from the CFL bulb, and probably would have saved me a lot of extra work.

However, since I seem to enjoy costing myself a lot of extra work, I am going to be making extra strands to drop from it that are on lobster clasps so that I can easily attach them.

And I still might paint some of the grid white.  Just because I can.

Now here is the cover attached to the light.  Forgive the lackluster picture quality, my iPhone did not feel like giving me anything better. 

You can see here that the grid is clearly visible, hence you need to paint yours white.  I also need to paint the sides of the light fixtures themselves which might have been better to do upfront.

But like I said, I like to b difficult.

Next up for this light is finding some non-twine chains for pulls and getting rid of the stupid yellow ones.  I also want to add a few more jewels or paint it white, paint the fixture, and call it a day!

All in all, for some chicken wire I found and some beads I already had, I think it is pretty fantastic.

Oh, and I attached it with earring hooks! Pin It Now!

Monday, June 11, 2012

An Order of Life, Hold the Melodrama

Some people did not really understand the moral of the story in Chicken Little.  You know, the sky is falling and whatnot and he is flipping out only later to find out it was an acorn? Hence the moral being, don't make an apocalypse out of an acorn...

What, you have never heard that saying before? :)

Regardless, I find in life that some people are just inherently melodramatic about everything.  They lost something, oh lord the world is ending (except for the fact that it is something that can be replaced).  Or their relationship ended, oh lord the world is ending (except it clearly wasn't meant to be or it wouldn't have ended).  These are the people that have that classic Eeyore voice and end up saying something like:

"Oh I give up" or "I quit" or "Everything I do is terrible" or "I should just die"....

You know, those types.  I really want to smack those people upside the head.  Knock a little perspective into them.

I try to tell people around me to look at things on a "grand scheme of life" basis.  Your husband did something annoying and you wanna yell and scream and kick him to the couch. If you are talking something like ate the last of something or didn't clean something up instead of talking something serious like cheating or this or that, you probably should take a grand scheme of things perspective.

Now don't get me wrong, I think there are a lot of people (not just guys) who don't always pull their own weight in life or in relationships and that really does bother me.  The people you help move over and over again and they mysteriously disappear when you need their help.  People who won't ever help out with those around them.  It is clearly impossible to help every person every minute of the day, but within your household someone should not have to do 100% of every job.

I really wish there was a class in school that taught just how important life is.  How short it is.  And how fast it goes.  Because once you figure it out, you really can find it easier to just let things slide a bit.

We are getting ready to move, and we won't be able to dig up all the plants that are at our house.  Our yard and garden somewhat resemble tropical jungles, not because of the plant type but moreso because everything is so lush.  Though it is sad that the big willow has to stay and the tulip tree that keeps blooming in the back yard can't come, we know that we can replace these things and that they may very well bring joy to the next occupant of the land. 

Sometimes, I think you just have to remember that there are people in the world who have it so much worse than you.  My tire had two nails in it, sure, but a lot of people don't even have the money for a vehicle.  A lot of people couldn't afford to put as many miles worth of gas on a Durango (not that I can necessarily afford it, I just buy less things elsewhere haha).  A lot of people are driving older than '03 vehicles.  And my mom pays my insurance and most of the repairs.  So yes, those two nails will not be the end of the world no matter how long I had to sit at Michel Tires. 

Plus the weather was fantastic that day and we sat outside.

So if you are getting ready to pick a fight with someone, ask if what they did was really all that terrible.  If you are sad because you are leaving something behind, ask yourself if it is replaceable.  Or think about what you are heading toward. 

Your life is only as negative as you make it.  Pin It Now!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Bible Tells Me So

There are two very important verses in the Bible that I have found have made a huge impact on my life and happiness. One of these I know roughly it's whereabouts in the good book, the other I have no idea. I'm not really the type who likes to show off any fancy ability to rattle off verse chapter and number criteria, I just like to tell what I read once. My first verse is in Corinthians (one of em) and ends with "whatever you do, do it heartily". This verse stopped me in my tracks the first time reading it and really stuck with me since. One of my biggest pet peeves is to see someone doing the bare minimum to get by. I know a lot of people who get things done. Many of the people in my family move mountains when necessary and so do others in my work place. I work at a bank in the summer as a teller. I am not really in love with this type of work but it gives me something to do and buys some gas for my Durango. Barely, mind you, as my beloved Durango is a V8 and that doesn't pair well with minimum wage. Regardless, though this is a temporary job for me and nothing I'd ever be interested in, I give that job 110%. I'm incredibly fast and almost always equally accurate, and I do try to get along with all of my coworkers and customers. On the other hand, a guy that also works as a teller there completely slacks off and does not move with any speed and lately has made quite a few careless and potentially cumbersome mistakes. This kind of work ethic drives me insane. There are a lot of people both here and overseas that would love to have a job like his. Sit inside, do some pretty easy transactions, and get paid. We too often take for granted that not everyone has a job. Some people would KILL to have what you have. And what do you really gain by slacking off? I feel better knowing that when I walk out of a place I have left every bit of talent I had for that task in there and held nothing back. I think when you slack or try to cheat the system in whatever way it negatively impacts you and makes you feel the need to be more defensive or tense because you know you aren't doing right by that company. When I look in the mirror and know that I worked a little faster to help back up another teller or to get a customer out faster, it means a lot to me. If you don't give everything you have, you cannot have everything. The second verse which I have no idea where is states "give, expecting nothing in return". How many times have you loaned a shirt to someone and been fixated on getting it back? Does it really matter if you have the shirt back the next day? Would you die if you never got it back at all? When you can finally start to let go of material things like goods and money without worrying about how soon you can get them back, it changes your entire outlook on life. I'm not a person who helps others out and then tells em they owe me. If I love someone, id jump through hoops for them. When we fixate on getting back what we gave, favors, goods, etc, we miss the point that we got to enjoy the other persons time. We miss the point that we got to participate in something extremely important to them. And we get far too attached to things that just don't matter like family and friends do. It's the same for charity donations. I actually have a problem with people writing them off. It just seems insane for such good intentions to involve getting money BACK because of it. But that's just something personal that drives me insane. So whatever you do, do it heartily, expecting nothing in return. I think it will change you're life. And now to bed before the glare off this phone droops my eyelids any sooner... Pin It Now!