Monday, August 17, 2015

A 50¢ Makeover & a Lisa Frank 8th Birthday Party

A couple of weeks ago I shared this picture over on the Facebook page of a dirty little, ugly, neglected, ceramic unicorn that I bought at a thrift store for 50¢.  I asked if anyone had a guess as to why in the world I would buy such a thing.  Most people didn't have a clue why I would do that, but one person guessed right.  It was for a birthday party.


My daughter wanted a Lisa Frank birthday party this year and to help save money I usually try to be the one to do their cakes, even though I'm amateur at best.  She decided she wanted the inside to be rainbow colors and she picked out hot pink frosting for the outside.  We ordered a Lisa Frank cake topper to finish it off.  But.....I didn't bother to pay attention to the dimensions of the topper, I just assumed it would be a decent size.  Nope, it was tiny.  More like a cupcake topper.  Now what?  But one day at the thrift store I found this little unicorn and decided that for only 50¢ I could experiment with painting it and possibly use it as the topper instead.  

I took it home and cleaned it up, then sprayed it with a couple of coats of white spray paint I had.  Then using craft paints I also already had I got to work copying the Lisa Frank horse that was on her invitation.  Once I finished painting it I gave it a coat of glossy clear sealer and we ended up with this.


It certainly wasn't perfect by any means, but she was in love with it and so excited about it, especially because I told her she could keep it even after the party!  :)


I'll go ahead and share a few more pictures with you from the party while we're at it.  They aren't the greatest, I was running late and the party had already started by the time I could spare a few minutes to snap some.  I didn't want to hold the whole thing up because I was trying to stage every picture and make it "perfect", so I just quickly got a few.  I'm still sharing them though because I enjoy doing parties and accomplishing them on a small budget, and I enjoy sharing them with you all.

 A few months before her birthday we found Lisa Frank party supplies on clearance at our local Dollar General and she decided that's the theme she wanted for her 8th birthday.  We found some plates, napkins, invitations, and a banner marked down.  Later on we found a couple more matching banners at the thrift store for 25¢ each.  We even found favors and prizes on after Easter clearance that were bright and colorful as well.  She had fun picking out the rest of her party supplies from the party store.


She also decided she wanted to have a water party since August is SO very hot down here in Florida.  We prayed every day that the rain would hold off until after the party and it did, we had beautiful sunny weather and were able to do everything outside.  (This mama didn't want no soppin' wet kiddos traipsing through the house.)  We set up tables on the deck for food, drinks, and gifts, and set up chairs in the shade of our big tree for the adults.


I didn't realize until later that my camera was on the wrong setting and some of the pictures got washed out.  : (  


She had so much fun finding colorful and rainbow themed items to use.  This is the first year that she has really had a desire to have an input on her party, other than choosing a theme, and it was fun working together to plan it.




Everything looked so colorful and festive.


We found these little favor bags in the after Easter clearance stuff and they fit in with the theme perfectly.  I painted the words on with white paint to look like chalk.

We filled up one of those snap-set pools for the kids to play in, and also put a sprinkler under the trampoline which was a lot of fun for them.  There were also water guns and tubes of bubbles to blow.
We played a couple of water games, ate pizza, and had a great time.


The day before the party my two little helpers assisted with the birthday cake making.
Since she wanted the inside to be rainbow colors we bought a neon food coloring set and two cake mixes and made 6 different colors of batter.


We layered the multi-colored batter into the pans and hoped for the best.


The finished product!

We used purple frosting between the layers and then I piped the purple in a decorative edge around the bottom and also around the topper.  We found the colorful candy flowers at Walmart and used those to help bring in some more of the rainbow colors of Lisa Frank.


This is how the inside of the cake turned out and she thought it was awesome.  :)

I so enjoy planning parties and being creative to accomplish them on a small budget.  If it was left up to only me I would probably go overboard and decorate to the nine's and plan every little detail.  But my husband keeps me balanced and reigned in and has helped me learn to simplify things so that it's not so stressful for me and therefore ends up being more enjoyable for everyone involved.  :)

Little Man is already planning what he wants his party to be when it's his turn for a big party next year. He changes his mind almost daily, lol!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Kids'/Guest Bathroom Farmhouse Makeover

WARNING:
*This post is picture heavy, so fortify yourself with some coffee and snacks and settle in for the long haul.*

Ok, so......I've been promising this makeover post for quite awhile now, but one thing after another happened (or didn't happen) and it took much longer to complete than I thought, such is life I suppose.  Part of this bathroom has been done for almost a year now, but I was hesitant to share it until it was complete.  I'm happy to report that it's now complete!  Yay!!!  Like I warned you before though, it is a bit picture heavy, but I didn't figure you'd mind too awfully much since my posts have been so few and far between lately.  It was quite challenging to get decent pictures of such a small room that doesn't get any natural light, but I did the best I could and we'll just live with it.  Mmmm-kay?  :)

So here goes.

I'm sharing the makeover of our second bathroom....the kiddos' bathroom, and when we have company it's also the guest bath.

When we moved in the trim was dark like the rest of the house and the walls were yellow peach orange....well, it just depended on what time of day it was really.  Sometimes they looked yellow, sometimes peach, sometimes down right orange.....like the rest of the walls in the house were.


It had an oddly placed towel bar, brass/gold colored knobs (well actually it only had one doorknob, the one for the linen closet was missing and I went ahead and bought an oil rubbed bronze one that I found on clearance.)  The tub is small, typical for a manufactured home, so we bought a curved shower rod for it right off the bat to give just a couple of more inches of room in there.


The floors had a very orange-y hue that matched the walls quite nicely really, but they drove me crazy. Especially the black "grout" lines and the off-centered way the tiles were laid (and not well, I might add.  You could see the plywood subfloor in between some of the tiles!).


The mirror and vanity were pretty much builder grade I guess you could say.  The counter top was a grayish blue, the boring sink was old and the finish was wearing off (no matter how much we cleaned it it still never looked clean), the light was brassy and boring, and it had a hand towel holder that was placed much too high.  I guess I had already removed it when I took these pictures.


Scuzzy orange flat paint that was filthy.


SO much orange!!!!

BUT......

Some fresh coats of paint, crisp white trim, a new light, new flooring, a new vanity, a new shower curtain and towels, a little beadboard, and some decorative accents later and it was all MUCH improved!



I painted the room gray, Benjamin Moore's Rockport Gray at 50% to be exact.  It took me FIVE tries to get the color right!!  I also painted all the trim a fresh glossy, off-the-shelf white to brighten the place up even more.


One of the most fun things in the makeover was the shower curtain I made.  You might remember that I shared that, and the tutorial for it, last year.  It can be found {here}.  I had an idea of what I wanted in here, but the closest thing I could find was $40 and I didn't want to spend $40 on a shower curtain so I made my own....for $14 and loved it a WHOLE lot more than the original one I was thinking of buying.  It's so unique and fun.


We changed out the vinyl floor tiles for something much less citrusy.  These tiles weren't my first choice, but the ones I loved were much too expensive, I just couldn't afford them.  So I went with these cheap ones from Lowes.  They have quite a bit of beige in them and you wouldn't think that beige and gray would pair well together, but the walls have just enough "greige" tint to them, and the tiles have accents of gray as well as the beveled "grout" lines being gray and they work together just fine.  Plus, I figure that down the road if I change my mind about the gray walls, the floors should be neutral enough to go well with something else.  These tiles were inexpensive to begin with, but then I used an online promo code and got them even cheaper.  I think I paid less than $30 for all of it.  And notice that I had Hubby lay them even, with nice straight lines, not off-centered like the old tiles were.  It pleases my eye so much better and just gives it a nice clean look.


On the left wall we added bead board that I painted white, new baseboards, and some chair rail to top it off.  It added SO much character to the room!


We also added vintage coat hooks to be used as towel holders.  Notice that they're all different?  I love to mix and match.  :)  They were a bit rusty so I coated them with a few coats of clear sealant spray to help keep them from rusting further with damp towels being placed on them, and also to keep the rust from rubbing off on said towels.  I wanted hooks instead of towel bars so that it would be easier for the kids to hang their own towels up.  We also placed them down a bit lower than you normally would so that the kids can reach them.


I found new towels that have stripes of "greige" that go really well with the rest of the room.


Above the bead board on this left wall I have a miniature gallery wall.

This one is a cell phone picture.  The bathroom is so small I just couldn't zoom out far enough with my DSLR camera since I don't have a wide angle lens.  So the quality of these next couple of pictures is a bit off, and the chair rail looks bent, but at least you get the idea.



I hung bath time pictures of my kiddos from when they were babies, and then a more current photo of the two of them together.  I added in pictures of each of their initials to add a cheery splash of red to the mix so that the room wouldn't be too monochromatic, plus y'all know I love me some red!  (I guess I'll have to expand this gallery wall in about 5 more months.  :D)  I already had the two smaller frames, and the three wider frames I got for 50¢ each at a church rummage sale.  The license plate in the middle is German, I found it at a vintage booth at a local quilt festival. 


The other part of the gallery wall is this little "vintage" knock- off clock I made.  You can read about how I turned a $4 Walmart clock into a "vintage" cutie and saved $56 while I was it! 
See that {here}.

Now let's look at the right side of the room.


Originally, there was a hand towel holder, the circle/ring kind, mounted above the sink on the wall, but it was too high and too hard for little ones to manage to put the towel back.  So I installed a hook lower down on their level next to the linen closet instead.  We also put in a new sink/vanity, but we'll get to that in a minute.


My 4 year old still can't reach the sink all the way and needs a stool to stand on.  I found this cute little wooden one at a local antique/junk store for $8 and I love how the wood adds a spot of warmth to the room.  If it was all gray and black and white it could be kind of cold feeling, but the wood adds a nice contrast that helps balance it out.  A coat of clear wax helps protect it from moisture damage.



The walls and trim were painted, the beadboard and hooks were up, and the new shower curtain was up almost a year ago, but the room still had the old orange-ish vanity.  I couldn't find what I wanted for a long time, plus we couldn't afford a new one for quite awhile.  But then my little Etsy business took off and I saved up and finally found {this} really cute vanity/sink combo.  I showed it to Hubby and he approved so I ordered it.  What neither of us thought about until we got it home was how the plumbing was situated.  One of my non-negotiable requirements for a new vanity was that it had to have drawers.  This was the only one I could find that I liked, was the right size, and had drawers.  But what we discovered was that the plumbing was actually situated on the right....in the way of the drawers.  But thankfully handy Hubby was able to switch them around and make it work.


I spray painted the knobs to make them match the rest of the hardware in the room and it fits the space perfectly.  I love that it's more narrow in depth than the old one.  It gives a couple of inches more room and makes it feel just that much bigger in there.  I love that the bead board insets match the bead board on the opposite wall, too.


Here's a full view of the sink area with the linen closet in the background.  You can see I replaced the brass light and painted the mirror white as well.


There's a story behind this cute barn style light fixture.  When we first moved back to Florida and were living in the rental house, the kids and I went yard saling one morning and came across a sale that had lots of things that were just my style.  One thing she had was this light fixture, but she was asking more than I could afford and since we were still in the rental house and I wasn't positive I would actually need/use it I passed it up.  Well, the nice lady invited us to visit her church and we ended up attending there permanently.  So a year later when I was ready to re-do this bathroom I happened to think about that light fixture I had seen at her sale.  I didn't figure there was much chance that she still had it, but I sent her a message to check just in case.  I couldn't believe it when she texted back and said she did indeed still have it and that I could have it for free!  (I had found a similar one, but just a single sconce, online for $143!!! )  I was so excited!  I couldn't convince her to take any money for it, so I took her out to lunch instead.  :)


Isn't this faucet the most adorable thing ever?!?  I just love it to itsty bitsy squishy little pieces!!!  And I got it for free, too!  Well....basically for free.  I make a little bit from Amazon each month or sometimes every other month and I had a few of the gift cards saved up and was able to order this for free.  I just love the old fashioned style of it. 
 (The link for it will be at the end of the post if you're interested.)


We use this little miniature galvanized bucket to hold the kids toothbrushes and toothpaste.


I even spray painted the night light to match the room, lol!

Another cell phone picture.

To the left of the sink is the toilet area. 


I hung an old soda crate on the wall to hold some necessities as well as some decor items.  Another spot of weathered wood further helps to warm up the room.  On the top we keep extra hand towels folded up, and to the right of that are a couple of reproduction metal weights I found at Hobby Lobby a few years ago.


I got the license plate at a yard sale for 10¢ and it adds a quirky splash of red to this side of the room to balance out the red initials on the opposite wall.  The crate also keeps some extra TP handy for guests who don't want to go rootin' through cupboards and closets searching for more when they're in desperate need.  :)  The other decorative piece of this display is a "jar" full of vintage clothespins.  The "jar" is actually an antique street lamp cover that my grandpa gave me.  It's open on both ends so we have to be careful when we move it to clean.


Also in the same area we find a toilet paper stand.  There was no TP holder when we moved in and since the kids are small and couldn't reach across to the opposite wall, and placing it on the side of the vanity would be too squished, I opted for this stand to keep it within reach of the kids small arms.  A little galvanized basket I got at a thrift store for 99¢ helps disguise the kids's bathroom wipes on the back of the toilet.  And the trash can?  Well it's a repurposed galvanized vintage flour bin.  :)


Another cheap little makeover project for this room was the other light that is mounted on the ceiling.  Previously it was brassy and gaudy looking with a textured glass round globe.  Very 90's style.  They are/were all throughout this home and slowly but surely we're updating them as we can.  This makeover cost me a whopping 99¢!  I had Hubby remove the metal part and I spray painted it Oil Rubbed Bronze that I already had.  The globe part is actually from a ceiling fan I think and it cost me 99¢ at a thrift store.  I like how it looks like a miniature vintage school style light now.

SO......that pretty much sums up everything that was done in here on this makeover project.  Now let's take a look at some side by side before and after comparisons just for the fun of it.




I hope you've enjoyed this tour of our guest/kids' bathroom farmhouse style makeover, and thank you to my faithful readers that are still around even though I haven't been a very good blogger lately.  

August is looking to be a busy month for us with my daughter's 8th birthday party coming up soon, swimming trips to the nearby springs, visits to the big city 45 minutes away for midwife appts, and towards the end of the month an ultrasound to find out if this little person growing inside me is a boy or a girl!  I can't wait!!  :D

I hope you're having a fantastic summer!


                                                               

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Sprucin' Up the Porch

Hello my faithful readers!

Today I'm bringing you a story.  A story of a sad sad little porch, neglected and forlorn, looking abandoned for the entire year and a half that the owners lived there.    


It was home to dirty towels and knocked over chairs, stinky socks left out in the rain by little children that can't stand to wear shoes.  A plastic folding table that sometimes served as a patio table was knocked over in a storm and no one ever cared enough to pick it up again or even to (gasp!) put it back in the shed where it belonged.  


It was empty and cold and no one wanted to spend much time there.  It simply served as a walkway to get from the backyard into the house.

But...in the owner's defense, she had been searching and searching for a nice used patio set with 6 chairs to put on the deck, but after months and months of waiting for a good deal, she had just not found the right one.  New sets were way too expensive, and any used sets that did show up on the local yard sale sites were either too junky, not a style that would fit the owner's taste, OR they were located too far away to be worth it.  So....sad and neglected the little porch stayed.

BUT THEN...........

One Saturday night the owner was on her way to pick up pizza for her family for dinner and she made a quick stop at Walmart to pick up a couple of necessities.  She parked by the garden center (which she hadn't been in for months) and quickly made her way in and out so that her family wouldn't starve before she made it home with the pizza.  But on her speedy trail through the garden center and into the store she spied a cute little patio set that was marked $99.  "Hmmmmmm..." she thought to herself, "my little budget could handle $99, and that cute little set could make do until I can afford something bigger."  


So that very night she transferred some of her hard earned money from her little shop into their bank account and first thing Monday morning she headed back to purchase that little set.  She also perused the clearance plant section and bought some .98¢ plants and a $6 mixed container planter.  That afternoon while her children were having quiet time in their rooms she worked on putting the patio set together. Then that evening once the sun had started to set and the porch was finally in the shade she set to work planting all those clearance plants into pots and buckets she already had.  




She scrubbed up the plastic Adirondack chairs that were scattered around the yard and brought them all back to live on the porch again.  




She brought out one of her much loved crates to serve as a plant stand.



The little $3 yard sale chair that never got painted like it was supposed to actually looked very cute with its new coordinating container plant sitting on it.




And finally....finally the little porch was happy and welcoming and the family began to spend time out there each day, eating breakfast under the cute little umbrella, sucking on popsicles in the hot afternoon sun.  Even the pets seemed to enjoy it better.  And in the fall, when the weather turns cool enough again, the family will probably eat almost every meal out here and will immensely enjoy its new found cheery atmosphere.


The End.

** The funny aggravating part of this story is that TWO DAYS after I purchased the little 4 seater patio set for $99, a nice 6 seater used set finally came up on a yard sale site, in my local town, a nice style, decent shape, for $125.  I just shook my head in defeat.  Oh well, you can't win 'em all. **


                                                                 
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