The Guest Room Part 1

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When we moved into our burb house, I did not plan on painting the walls right away, except the front guest room. Here is how the room looked when we purchased the house.


I am not going to talk about the paint job in the front bedroom except to say it was not my style and the color scheme wouldn’t work.  I know that the former owner worked really hard on the faux painting.

As soon as we settled in I started looking for inspiration. Here are some of the inspiration pictures I found. I hope that clicking on them allows you to go site I found it at.




green and turqoise




I wanted the bedroom to be cheery but restful.
Here is what we have finished to date:
Walls painted. I love the light blue walls. They almost feel like a spa.
Empty frames painted. I found the frames at a resale shop. I spent $4.00 total on all the frames you see on this wall. The paint on the frames is all left overs from other projects. The white plates were 10 cents each at the resale shop. I glued metal soda can tabs to the back of the plates with E6000. I love that stuff.


Painted Empty Frames
My bedding arrived. I am crazy about this yellowish paisley print. Target. Over budget. $90.00.

Yellow bedding in blue room
The throw pillows on the bed are all outdoor pillows that were on clearance at Home Depot, Lowes, and Marshall’s.
Curtains hung. Hubby and I went shopping at Ikea recently. I was thrilled to find off the shelf curtains that were 110 inches long for $34.00 a pair.

white curtains

The herringbone art project done.

herringbone art

I will be writing a DIY on this project. It was a fun evening project that cost less than $10.00 even factoring in the cost of the green tape.  ( I have plenty of tape to do several more projects.)$2.00 for the frame and the print that I painted over, Frog tape was $6.00 and I had to get one can of flat white spray paint for the frame. (I need to spray the frame again.) I had the other paint on hand.

The green lamp is in place. I think it is the best $2.00 I have spent in this room.

painted lamp4 painted lamp3



New art work. Target. Over budget. $20.00

New lamp from Target.  $23.00.  I know, I know but the colors in the shade go perfectly with the color scheme.  Over  budget.

teal yellow and green lamp shade

I am not a huge fan of the bed frame as is and it will get painted and the posts are going to get trimmed down. I found this funky curio cabinet at a garage sale for a dollar.  Here is the before.


Dirt Dobber nests and spiders were included for free.  A quick wash down, spray painted the frame and painted the back that amazing Laguna color I love.  I am not sure how long it will stay but I think it is a fun piece for now.  For a buck investment, It will not kill me to let it go down the road.

1960's perfume holder IMG_3330


I was able to incorporate the old dresser that once belonged to my grandparents, saved by my husband and completely restored.


We have ceiling fans in our bedrooms thanks to a friend of Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda.  Don’t judge us for the fans.  I think they look ok,  It is going to be over a 100 again today here in the burbs.  In South East Texas it is miserable without air moving.

What do you think of the sort of finished room?

yellow and blue retreat mustard yellow bedding mixing blues, yellows and greens

Updating a Lamp- DIY


Remember the crystal lamps I purchased, with lamp shades for $10.00 each? They part of my Goodwill purchase last week. These lamps were at one time very expensive formal living room lamps. The glass is super heavy and thick. Think old lady, formal curtains, couches you could not sit on, and trinkets galore.

goodwill lamps


goodwill crystal lamps

I love finding something like this because I plan on reusing them in a new setting, our master bedroom.  I need to add some color and fun to the bedroom, but I love the romance and sparkle of the lamps too.


I thought about spray painting the cut glass, but decided to work on the brass and lamp shades instead.  My plan was to spray paint the shades a dark blue to match the darkest color in our bedding.

A trip to Target changed my mind about the shade. I found two perfect shades for $16.00 each. Great size, shape and they have a dark blueish ribbon at the top and bottom.  It seems a little crazy to pay so much more for shades than I paid for the lamps, but I love them how the shape will update the lamps in the bedroom.  It is going to be tough to stay in the budget on this room with the burlap curtains and the lamp shades but I guess it just means I have to be very creative with decorating the rest.

This is not the first, second or third lamps we have built, redone, repurposed,and even recovered a lampshade.

We have repurposed a chandelier
Redone a milk glass lamp
Made old Coke bottles into lamps
Painted several lamps

I thought I would actually let you in on a secret…redoing lamps are relatively  easy!  Here is one of the lamps up close.

crystal lamp

Tarnished brass and all.

vintage crystal lamp

under side of lamp

The black plastic thing keeps the wire from getting cut, then there is a nut below that to tighten the lamp.

First- flip the lamp over and look at the bottom. I had to remove a felt circle in order to get to the bolt and nut that holds the lamp together. Most lamps are put together this way. They have a tube that runs through the body of the lamp. The tube has threads at either end. Take the whole thing apart. Take pictures as you go along if it is the first time you have taken a lamp apart. You will probably need to refer to the photos when putting it back together,

taking out a light socket

The socket part has a cover that will slide back on at the end of reassembly.  The inside of the socket connects the two sides of the wire with screws.  The bolt on the bottom was tough so Hubby had to use several tools to loosen it.


I laid it all out and photographed just the metal part so that we could remember the order.


A quick sand on the tarnished parts then spray paint.  I love the oil rubbed bronze.

oil rubbed bronze spray paint

This is after one coat.


After a second coat reassembly.  The wires go in the hole at the base of this one first- not all lamps do this.  then into the metal rod, then the rod into the body of this lamp.  The base was actually three separate pieces of glass stacked.  It was tricky to keep lined up so no photos.  It took both of us.

awiring a lamp

The metal parts went back on, then the socket, then the socket cover.  I removed the lampshade bale, because the shade I bought sits directly on the socket.  No big loop over the bulb.


Ta- dah.


Here they are… now to dress the top of my dresser.

IMG_3217 IMG_3219 IMG_3221


This whole process was done in under an hour.

The Beast Gets Delivered

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I have named the entertainment center that my buddy, The Social Planner, bought, the beast.  It is a mammoth Thomasville set from the early 90’s.  It is 80 inches tall and all added together is over 100 inches wide.  It took two truckloads to get it into the garage.


This is the center section.


It was longer than the bed of the truck.


The end, display pieces were not light…as you can see from the guys expressions.

If you follow my blog you have seen progress on an entertainment center piece that was going into my friend. The Social Planner’s new home.

Once Hubby and Larry got it all disassembled and ready to paint it along with my china cabinet covered the garage floor.

The first painting did not go well.  Just like the china cabinet, it all had to be sanded down and repainted.  Hubby helped a ton with the repainting on this monster thankfully. I decided to glaze it all on the same day.  Big mistake.  It literally wore me out.  I started at 6:30 in the morning and finished about 4:00 pm.  I was hot, tired, and filthy.  I was in bed by 7:00 pm after taking two Advil. I will never take on such a large project again.  I used Bona Floor Finish Polyurethane to seal the finish because I wanted it to be hardy enough to stand up to wear and tear.  I spread the poly out over three days in order to get everything dry before I moved on to another part.  I like the shine that that the floor finish adds.  The brass hardware was sprayed with Rustoleum  oil rubbed bronze to match the hardware in their new home.

Thomasville Entertainment Center


Painted Hardware Oil Rubbed Bronze



Picking the piece up from Garagemahal and delivering it to The Social Planner’s forever home turned out to be just as much of a challenge.  This time Larry came with reinforcements.  He brought his brother in law, Ted.  The guys loaded the two trucks, tied it down, and headed out.  Unloading was accomplished without incident, but getting it into the house proved tricky.  Remember that The Beast is 80 inches tall?  So are the doorways in The Social Planner’s home. No way to get it upright through the door and no way to lay it down and turn the corner.  Back out through the back door sliders, across the porch, and after a little modification, through their bedroom slider.

IMG_2777 IMG_2779

Here it is all installed and ready to be loaded.  The bedroom looks amazing.  I love the dreamy, romantic feel of the room.  The French provincial marble topped tables turned out so well.  I love the lamps that The Social Planner picked.  They are perfect for the space.  The art is not unpacked yet, but it is going to be amazing.  The main piece will be a large watercolor painted by their daughter in law’s grandmother.  A well-known local artist.

IMG_2780 IMG_2788

Here is the beast in the room!  I couldn’t resist showing you all a peek at the rest of her room.  It is not quite done but looks awesome!  I painted and glazed the side tables to match the entertainment center.  They are marble topped beauties that she got at a resale shop for $25.00.

IMG_2789 IMG_2791 IMG_2792 IMG_2796

I love the outcome.  There are not many people I would have done this for, but I am so happy that my work is a part of their home.  I love it!  As the room gets finished I will update the photos.

Moving Update and BIG NEWS

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I started this post Monday and By George, I want to post it. Just read to the bottom where the big news is located, pretty please.

Well we have bee making steady progress on the City House as we prepare to move. We have lived in the same house for 14 years and it is amazing to me the things that we just ignored since moving in or put on the back burner when we were doing projects. I told my husband we should call this our 85% house because it seems we finish every project about 85% of the way before we lose interest or move on to another project. It has caught up with us now because all those “mostly finished” or “gonna get to one day” projects have to be done before we can start showing the home for sale. With my drive to the new job most of the work has fallen onto Hubby. So far he has replaced some Sheetrock that was damaged before we ever moved in, he has painted the garage, which had literally not been done since the home was built, and replaced leaking faucets outside. (zthe backyard in the afternoon


connecting the plumbing


He re-caulked the bathtub in one bath, fixed works in one of the toilets, cleaned up the back yard, painted some trim that had never been painted, and fixed a light switch. We have trimmed and weeded the flower beds, installed granite counter tops in all three bathrooms and spruced up the side yard. This week Baby Boy helped to move excess furniture and boxes to storage. I thought we would get the house on the market by Memorial Day… But I have big news. Giant news.

A friend came over to look at our home a few weeks ago. It was not a good fit for her family because she wants a big back yard, but she did like the house and told some of her friends at book club. One of them was interested and came over to look at the house.

They loved our house as much as we have. They want to buy our house! Yay. Double yay. No realtors’ comission, no keeping the house show ready for months, no worrying about the pets when the house is being shown. The couple have their house currently on the market so keep your fingers and toes crossed that this will all work out. If their home has not sold by end of July they are planning to lease their home and purchase ours anyway. Amazing right? I SURE THINK SO. Now back to my brag about how nice the city house looks in preparation for getting it on the market. Here are the photos of the clean house that should have followed the work pictures. Hooray for storage buildings. You can jam a lot of stuff in a 10 X 10 storage unit when Mr. Master Packer (aka Hubby) is packing it.

Oh! My friend who visited the house gets the pink chair I rescued from the trash as her commission. When she finds another home I have something else in store for her… she will just have to wait.

















And this is how the house looked the day before the housekeeper comes! Yippee!

DIY Monochromatic 3 Dimensional Art

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I do love finding treasures in the trash. Two weeks ago on my way to work there it was. A giant framed art piece leaning against a trash can waiting for the truck to whisk it off to the landfill. If you know me at all, you know that I stopped and jammed it into the back seat of my car. I did not have an idea what I wanted to do with this piece. I already have a huge chalkboard and recently made a paint chip piece from another large framed print. I knew something would come to me if I would just be patient. While looking through Pinterest, ran across this artwork for sale.

Truly Madly Deeply
I loved it. Our master bedroom is a little lacking in artwork. Something like this piece would be amazing, but $515.00 plus shipping is way out of my comfort zone. I thought the idea of a monochromatic piece above our bed would be restful. I have  been happily married to my best friend for over thirty years. I think that the words from the Savage Garden song just fits in our room. I knew that I had found inspiration for the rescued art piece.
I developed a plan.  Use the frame and hopefully the print, look for letters that are the correct size, map it out, glue it down, paint it then ta-dah.  Oh how I wish things went this well for me…

The plan worked perfectly until I priced out the letters. It cost $40.00 for the letters and spray paint- and that was with a coupon! I was thrilled to find that the print in the frame was glued to hardboard and was stapled into place. I really thought this would go quickly until I discovered the frame was not painted, it was covered with a sort of wallpaper like stuff that had to come off. After I determined that the frame was solid wood and worth the effort, I peeled off the paper that came off easily then got busy with a wire brush on the parts that did not come off easily. Two hours later the frame was clean.

As I got ready to put the letters down I recruited the math teacher that lives at my house to help. No way did I want to mess up a $40.00 project.  I have whole pieces of furniture that didn’t cost that much!  He mapped it out for me with a ruler. I carefully drew a pencil outline around each letter before I started gluing the letters down one by one with E6000 I already had on hand.

After the glue down process, I applied weight to the whole thing in order to make sure they were stuck to the board completly.
Next I had to fill in the holes in the bottom of some of the letters with painter’s putty. It had the nerve to turn coolish this week so I did not get the chance to spray paint the picture for a few days. It was torture to see it sitting there not painted, but I have been feeling a little under the weather so being in the unheated garage was out.
Finally, Friday after work the stars and planets aligned.  Low humidity, no wind and warm enough to paint. I chose Krylon Ivory in a satin finish.

It looked pretty rough afte the first can of paint.  Why oh why do I think I can get away without priming?

Sooo after a trip to the store for spray primer and more paint…grrr.

I ended up with this beauty.


Milk Glass Lamp


As I have been assembling the supplies for my bedroom make the city house, I ran across a milk glass lamp.  I paid $5.00 for the lamp, shade and all.  It wasn’t in great shape but It will provide me with an opportunity to bring in my milk glass. 

I just wasn’t crazy about the finish on the wood and the faux metal parts were super scratched and tarnished.  The bedroom is going to be gray, yellow, white and black.  I know that the bedside lamp is going to be yellow, so I decided to paint the wood gray and the “metal” (plastic) black. 

Sanded and ready for paint.

Lamps are not complicated.  They are all made from a metal rod with electrical wire running through them connected to a socket.  Any lamp can be taken apart and put back together.  My advice is to take pictures as you go so you can reassemble.  Above you an see all the parts from this lamp.

I really like the gray color. It came from the Garagemahal.  I

I wanted to make the lampshade colorful.  I purchased 1 yard of fabric for $6.00 at Hancock’s Fabric. I took the pleated part of the shade that came with the lamp  off.  There was a smooth plastic shade under the pleating. 

I looked up how to cover a lampshade with fabric.  There were several sites. 
 Here is one of the easiest to follow videos.
I followed the directions exactly as stated.  I drew out the pattern on some gift wrap then cut that out and put the pattern on the fabric.  after I cut out the fabric I sprayed everything with spray adhesive.  Hubby helped hold the lampshade while I smoothed out the fabric.  I touched everything up with hot glue.

I was proud of how it turned out!  I also bought the fabric for the headboard.  $5.00 a yard for  2 1/2 yards of fabric.  $7.50 for a new headboard is not too bad.  I look forward to getting it together.

My Cheapo Ways

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Eight years ago I was starting my second year as science specialist for our district.  I had spent my first year in the job convincing teachers that they could teach hands-on science, providing lessons, creating worksheets and handouts, making PowerPoints for the teachers to use.  It was the back to school staff development day for our district.  There were over 100 teachers in the cafeteria of one of our elementary schools. I asked the audience “What do you know about me?” I expected answers like you will help us… silly me.  From the back someone yelled out “You are cheap!” I laughed so hard I almost fell of the stage.  During the past year I had also looked for inexpensive ways to teach the science concepts.  I was that teacher that took in baby food jars, left over yarn, shoe boxes, coffee cans, etc.  My cabinets were jammed with things that could be used to teach the concepts but not cost money.  Let me be clear, I am NOT cheap!  I am frugal.  I have no problem spending money as long as it is something I REALLY want and it is on sale.

I hate to spend more money than necessary on things. My mom taught me well.  She is the ultimate reduce, reuse, recycle queen.  She washes out zip lock bags and reuses them.  I drive a fully paid for 6 1/2 year old car.  You have seen how I decorate my home.  I have several great suits from Goodwill and other resale shops.  I never pay full price unless that is the only option.

Last week I posted that I wanted to redecorate a bedroom in our home and my friends have already started helping me out.  One of my buddies called to let me know that there was yellow paint at Home Depot in the OOPS bin. ( the good Behr paint with primer- in a soft yellow color.)

 My social planner, Tanis, has gone to a garage sale with me, and one of my teachers brought me a Hancock’s fabric coupon.

So far I have collected

  •  two side tables- one free, one fifteen dollars

My fifteen dollar find.  Solid wood with lots of detail.
 My Free Find

  • a bookcase- free (legs for the bookcase from the Habitat sale 2.50)
  • A mirror- 2.00
  • Yellow Behr Paint with prime- 15.00
  • A huge valance that will be part of the headboard- free
  • A milk glass lamp- 5.00 ( I am already redoing this.  You will see it soon.)
  • A comforter and shams- 17.00

41.50 spent so far

    I am on the lookout for gray or yellow and gray curtains, fabric for the headboard, throw pillows, and some white bedding.  I am not afraid to think outside the box.  Ideas are welcome.

    If you have a lead on this stuff- I am all ears.

    Mirror Mirror

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    I admit that I have a thing for old mirrors.  I really love the aged quality and light that they bring to a home.  On a recent resale shopping trip a mirror spoke to me, as mirrors often do.  It was rough.  At one time this mirror had been a beauty.  In the beginning I believe it was a gold plaster frame with some sort of decoration at the top.  It was hanging on a wall in the resale shop for $5.00  The mirror was scratched and one of the plaster roses was broken.  Someone had tried to fill in with wood filler where the top portion had been.  I had to have it.  After some negotiation I got the mirror for $2.00 and brought it to the Garagemahal for a make-over.  The first thing I did was try to repair the scratch on the mirror silvering.  I don’t mind aging mirrors but this one had been scratched and left a streak across the glass where there was no mirror silver left.  I used Krylon Looking Glass paint.

    It took several coats and it is still not perfect, but the scratch is not as noticable as before. 

    I taped off the glass front of the mirror with blue tape carefully because I knew that even the blue tape would possibly take off more plaster.  I then covered the rest of the glass with newspaper.

    After I covered everything with newspaper I sprayed clear satin sealer on the frame.  It was so fragile that I thought the thing would fall apart if I tried anything before I sealed it.

    Next I gave the whole thing two coats of shiny gold paint. 

    It looked better already.

    Because I really did want to return the mirror to its aged appearance I used glaze mixed with a dark brown color to glaze the entire thing.  I let it set on the frame a lot longer than I normally do because I wanted to make sure I knocked down the shiny gold.

    The frame is very fragile so I sprayed everything front and back with a spray sealer.  The plaster frame cannot afford to absorb any more moisture.  In our humid location I knew it would need all the help it could get.

    I love the vintage quality of this frame in my bedroom.


    Finished Product- The Glazed Furniture

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    Today Hubby and the soon-to-be-newly -weds got the furniture safely moved in to the apartment. I arrived in time to see the final results. We are pretty proud of our efforts.

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