Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bridge love

Here's a tid bit about me: I love bridges. All bridges.  I always have too. Growing up I had a giant poster of the Brooklyn Bridge at night in my bedroom.  It was beautiful!  Kind of looked like this one that I found on-line.
MyBrooklyn Bridge at night picture also went with all the different colors that I painted my room.  Yes, I was that kid that changed their bedroom color just about every year.  Plus, about every new season I rearranged the furniture.  I just loved trying new things with decorating! Still do!

So back to bridges, I decided that I wanted to draw a picture of a bridge to hang in our spare bedroom.  I had the idea in my head and figured I'd use the colors yellow, blue and gray to coordinate with the spare bedroom. I even had a yellow frame that I picked up a while back that I could pop the bridge picture in. When I couldn't take just thinking about the bridge picture, I finally sat down and started to draw.  Then I remembered something very important.  I'm not exactly an artist.  I can picture something so vividly in my head, but on paper it looks like something a child did.

As an example, here's a picture I drew of a picnic in a garden. I know it's a really bad photograph, but trust me it's a garden. There's a tree on the left side, a pond with a waterfall in the upper right hand corner and on the bottom in the center/left is the picnic.

In my head the picture was going to look stunning.  On paper, not so much. Honestly, when Mr. Pal saw it, he hung it on the fridge because he thought one of our nieces drew it.  I had to admit it was me.  Mr. Pal thought that was hysterical so it still hangs on the fridge as I hang my head in shame.

My first attempt at drawing a bridge didn't go exactly as planned.  I wasn't able to draw the bridge as I pictured it in my head.  I the support lines to be curved instead of straight.  I was having a problem getting the lines curved and symmetric on either side of the bridge, so I just drew straight lines instead.  The straight lines looked like a bridge I crossed years ago on a trip to Virginia.  It was a pretty bridge, just not what I wanted for my picture. I still popped it in the frame figuring maybe once it's in the yellow frame I'd like it, but that so was not the case.

The frame cropped the top of the bridge.  The bridge no longer looked like a bridge to me and Mr. Pal wasn't impressed.

The framed bridge sat on the floor in our bedroom for a few days, then for a few weeks and finally I had to get my butt in gear.  Notice a pattern here how I tend to start projects then give up and leave them sitting there.  I hope I'm not the only one that does this.

I decided to take a different approach to my bridge picture. My new approach was to get help.  I'm not ashamed to ask for help when I need it, and this was a time of need. I Googled a few images and printed out my favorites.

Once I picked the one that I liked I decided to trace the bridge using carbon paper and then color it in with my colored pencils.  All was going well until I colored the wrong portion. Ugh! I was never a good colorer (is that even a word?) when I was little.  Apparently I still haven't mastered coloring!

See it's the left structure where I colored in the middle section.  That part wasn't supposed to be colored in yellow because it's an open portion of the bridge.

It was back to the drawing board!  Bridge number three.  Maybe third time's a charm?  I decided I didn't want to trace the bridge. I didn't like the dark outline that the carbon paper made around the bridge picture anyway. So it was back to freehand drawing. Yikes!  I took my time this time and did use the Googled picture as a guide.

Here's the finished product.  It's not great, but I really like it.

I like how it looks like the bridge I pictured in my head and it looks nice in the yellow frame.

When I hung it on the wall though it kind of got lost.  I should have made a bigger bridge.

Oh well.  It's done for now.  Until I decide I want to change it in a few days, weeks, months, who knows!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My "Monica Closet"

 The other day I asked my sister if she had a "Monica Closet."  You know what that is right? It's a closet/drawer/room that is a disaster, meanwhile the rest of the house is spotless.  I asked my sister that because her house is always spotless.  I mean seriously, you could lick her kitchen floors. I don't know why you would want to lick the kitchen floors, but it would be safe to do so.

Anyway, I was a bit disappointed when she said no, she didn't.  The only thing is that she said her closet floors aren't super organized since it's just shoes.  Please, I wish the floor of my closet was my problem.

But no, my "Monica Closet" or should I say closets, since there's more than one, are my bedroom drawers.  They are a disaster! The rest of our bedroom is neat, sometimes there's a t-shirt on the floor that didn't make it in the hamper or a lost sock, but other than that, all clean!

We've lived in our town home for almost 3 years and I've seriously lost count as to how many times I've organized my drawers.  I think the problem is (and it pains me to admit this) I have too many clothes.  Although I'll never tell Mr. Pal that since I have him convinced I have nothing to wear ever, but I just can't cram any more clothes into my drawers.

I think the problem is that I'm going about my drawer organization all wrong.  My usual way is to fold a pile of shirts like this and stick them in the drawer.

Looks good, until I'm trying to find that perfect shirt on any given day and that perfect shirt doesn't fit right and I need to reconfigure my entire outfit and need to start with the shirt so I keep trying on shirts till I find the right one and then this happens:

Sorry the picture is sideways. For some reason I couldn't get it to flip around. ugh!


Time to get a new plan.  So, here's what I did.  I emptied each drawer at a time so I could sort my tops according to keep, donate, or toss.  Then it was time to fill up the drawers again.

Notice something different?  Yup, I changed how I organized and folded my tops.  I did the usual fold as before then folded that in half and stood my tops up.  This way I can see every single shirt I own and don't have to rummage through and make a mess!

In my drawer with my sweaters I had to keep my sweaters folded normally since they were too bulky, but hopefully I won't make that much of a mess.

I only organized three drawers, which are the ones that get the messiest. My t-shirts, long sleeves and tank tops.  After all that organizing, I had a pretty decent donate pile.  :)

I did have to toss a few tank tops, they were just too old and worn.  I know Goodwill won't accept anything that's not in great shape. I love that there's one near my house now in case I have a larger item to donate....or just want to shop!

After I was done with my drawers. I couldn't stop.  I turned around and attacked Mr. Pal's drawers.  Actually it was Mr. Pal that inspired me to organize his stuff.  The other morning I heard him mumbling to himself trying to figure out if he was grabbing brown socks or black socks.  After all everything looks the same color in a darkened room.

To fix that problem I dumped all the socks out and organized them by color.

No much guess if the socks match his suit!

I also organized his undershirt/sock drawer.  This drawer is fairly neat to begin with, but I just wanted it to be a calmer sight when the drawer opened.

So that was how I spent my morning!  Now, the test is really to see how long Mr. Pal & I can keep these drawers clean!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quick bathroom change

A few months back...ok, honestly, it was like a year ago, not a few months.  So about a year ago Mr. Pal & I were shopping and came across this bathroom set.  

Nice, right?!

We toyed with the idea of revamping our full bathroom since we've had the same bath set since we got engaged (2007, yeah, that's not that long ago, but we get tired of decor stuff quickly!) Here's the set we used to have.
Echo Retro Re-mix Bath Ensemble
So we checked the price of this Parisian themed set and decided it was worth it and so we bought it.  In the car on the way home we talked about possibly doing some kind of faux finish on the walls.  Maybe something to look like stone or maybe something more in the red family.  We were just so excited to paint and have a new look to the bathroom.

After dropping off our goodies at home we drove to Home Depot and started looking at paints.  Faux finishes, textures, deep colors. You name it, we grabbed it! We were so excited and couldn't wait to redo the bathroom.

When we got home with our paint chips I taped up a few of the paint chips with the solid colors and the faux finishes on the wall so we could live with them for a few days and pick which we liked best.
Well, days turned into weeks, weeks turned into get the picture right?  So those paint chips started to just blend in with what we had on the wall.  I forgot they were there until someone would come over and ask if we picked out a color.  Yeah, it got embarrassing when the same people started to ask when we were going to paint.

As for all the bathroom supplies they sat in a box on the the dining room. Great spot, right? I forgot we had them actually.  My nephew would repeatedly ask me when I was going to do something with the box in the dining room, but I was too lazy/disinterested/busy/enter any excuse here/etc.

Then, I lost my job.  Now, there was no excuse for why we weren't painting the bathroom.  I decided I was over the faux finish idea. It was too time consuming (yes, I know, I'm not working, what else do I have to do, but I tend to lose interest in things quickly, so it needed to be a quick revamp.)

In November, we were going to be hosting Thanksgiving so I needed to get the dining room in tip top shape.  I moved that box of stuff and saw that we had a whole new bathroom set.  Yay us! And, as luck would have it, I was standing in our dining room while holding up the shower curtain package.  Here's a picture of the dining room.  Maybe you can see where I'm going with this?

Yup, I loved the colors in the dining room and they looked like they'd be great as the backdrop for our bathroom stuff.

So, I picked on day to bang out this little project.  First, I wiped all the walls down with a mixture of vinegar & water since there were light stains on the walls from the steam.  Then I spruced up the ceiling with a fresh coat of white paint.  No picture since really, it went from white to cleaner white.  Speaking of which I totally love fresh painted white trim and doors.  Always makes everything look so brand new and fresh!
Then I just painted my little heart out! I did three walls with the tan color and one wall with the red/maroon color.

I love it!!!

I even have a spot to display my perfume bottles.  I love perfume bottles. I think they're so beautiful.  I'd love to add to this collection, but they can get pricey since I like the antique ones, so the addition of perfume bottles will be a slow process.

Speaking of antiques, we picked up these fleur de lis pulls at an antique dealer and added them to the doors of our cabinet.  We just had plain gold ones that were gross.  

Here's a close-up of one. I'm not sure that they are antique, but I love how they look!

Oh and here's my pride and joy of the bathroom! Is it weird to have a pride and joy of a bathroom?  Well, it doesn't matter, here is The Mat!

Yup those are wine corks and no I didn't drink that many bottles on my own...maybe half? I'm kidding!  My family & my in-laws helped out with donating their corks to me about  two years ago.  I had more than enough to make the mat. Oh, and please excuse the pieces of my hair on the floor. No matter how many times I vacuum the bathrooms my hair is still all over the place!

The mat was really easy to make.  Just slice the cork in half with a knife (be careful of your fingers! I spliced mine a few times doing this). Then lay them out in your desired design on a shelf liner. Then hot glue those suckers down!

I have to be honest though, some of them are getting a little wiggly and one did fall off. I have to re-glue, but I ran out of hot glue sticks.  But for just Mr. Pal & I it works! And we love it!
So any quick changes to any of your rooms that became a year long project in the making?