Sunday, August 25, 2013

Project on the horizon...

I am SO SO SO excited to announce...

...that there are round-edge wooden treads underneath the carpet on our stairs!!!

What does that mean, you say?

It means that we can tear up the nasty carpet on our staircase and I can paint or stain the steps!!!

I've been wanting to tear up a corner of the carpet to see what was underneath for a few months now. I think I was scared to know. Because knowing our luck, I figured it would not be what I wanted to see. Some people have plywood- which would not be ideal. And others (like us!!) have actual stair treads that have rounded edges. 

My reasoning behind this project is this: I cannot, for the life of me, keep those stairs clean and free of dog hair! My vacuum has a piece that detaches which is supposedly to be used on the stairs. Well, I tried that and it was unsuccessful. So I am at a loss. 

All of this means that there will be a rather large project on the horizon. Hopefully it can be done in a weekend. Am I being overly optimistic? The steps would include:

1. Tearing up the carpet. 
2. Removing all of the tacks and nails- I have a feeling this may be the longest step. Just from the small corner we tore up, I could see at least 30-40 tacks! Eek!! 
3. Sanding each tread. 
4. Staining or painting the treads- I can't decide which I'd rather do. If I stain them, I will have to try to match the hardwood floor color. If I paint them, I'd probably paint them black because it's my favorite color!!! Duh! And I am avoiding white at all costs. I can't imagine trying to keep that clean!
5. Painting the risers. Those would be painted white! 
6. Admire the hard work? I think that would be the last step.. 

I'm a little nervous for this one! Am I going to be in over my head? Once I tear up the carpet, there is no turning back! 

Here is a look at the carpet:

What do you think? 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Two down... 13 to go!

I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to paint all of our interior doors black... my favorite color! Well, I finished the first one and there are ONLY 14 more to go! That's totally doable, right? 

It took about an hour and fifteen minutes to completely finish one door! It took two coats of 2-in-1 paint (paint & primer in one). This is the kind I used:

I chose to do the inside of our front door first because the previous owners painted it with what looked like flat white paint- not easy to clean and, in my opinion, not very pretty! 

Here is the before:

And the after:

I'm so excited about it! Doing this one makes me want to do all the others so much more!! 


I did it again! I painted another door! Here is the before and after...



I love this one too! This is the door that leads out to the garage. It is the most used door in our house aka it gets the dirtiest! Now I just need to get a more stylish runner. Maybe I could paint that one with stripes... hmmm. Every project I complete leads to twenty more. It never ends! But it's so much fun! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Updated half wall

Not long after we moved into our house, we decided to take on the weird wall that separated the kitchen and dining area. And by "we decided" I mean that we had discussed it and one day while I was at work, Ian sent me a picture of it halfway torn down! He was feeling motivated I guess! And I was SO excited! 

It was a long process of debating on making it a bar, replacing drywall, adding extra supports in the wall, putting a new top on it, painting, etc. In the end, we decided we didn't have enough room to make it a bar area. 

This is what it looked like up until a few days ago:

The top piece just didn't look finished o me since it was so thin in comparison to the chair rail and baseboard. So I decided to buy some trim and make it look more substantial. I still have to caulk and paint it, but you can't really tell that from the pictures so I decided to go ahead and post them:

Here are some before & after shots to compare:

I think it looks much better. What do you think? 

DIY Artwork

We headed up to Puckett's Peak for the annual family gathering! As always, we had a blast and it was so great to see everyone! Typically, the time is spent tubing in the creek, fishing, swimming, drinking, cooking, marshmallow roasting, four-wheeler riding, and story-telling around the campfire. And this trip was no exception! Well... there was less swimming and tubing than usual because the water was FREEZING and the current was very strong! Other than that, all was well! 

We are very fortunate to have this trip each year and to have a place that we can all gather and spend such quality time together. Thanks Dad! ;) 

Here is a small taste of the scenery:

Up on top of one of the hills on my Dad's land, there is a spot that used to be a mica mine. I'm not 100% sure what mica is used for, but upon googling it, I learned that scientists use it for something to do with microscopes. And something else about mica allowing electrons to flow... blah blah. You'll have to google it yourself if you really want to know because I'm pretty sure you did not learn anything from me just then. If you don't know what mica is, it is a rock/mineral that is silver and sparkly. The soil up in the mountains is full of it, so pretty! The reason I like it is simply that- it is pretty! 

Isn't that beautiful??? Ha ha... you have to look past the dirt. 

I took a trip up with my grandmother and friend to collect some mica. I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted to do with it. So I was searching for specific pieces. Preferably large, shiny, clean (yeah right) flakes. And I found a lot of them! 

So I tried to clean them up some when I got home. That was challenging. I tried soaking them in hot water. Then I put them in a pot and boiled them. That helped! The tricky part is that the pieces are so fragile! I couldn't just scrub them like you would scrub a rock. I know you guys probably scrub rocks all the time... so you know exactly what I mean when I say that! 

Anyway, I wanted a square frame with a mat. So I found an ugly picture at our local Ollie's and bought that. I figured I could use it. I really didn't want to go to Michaels and buy one. In retrospect, it would have been much easier to buy one that I didn't have to perform surgery on...

Here it is before:

And here is a closer look at the mat:

I wanted one with a thick mat that was raised up. Does that make sense? That way I could put the mica on there and it not be squished by the glass when I put it together. 

Here is the surgery:

Then I took everything out. I cut a piece of black poster board to the size of the opening. I bought white and black to try but the mica looked so much better on the black. 

Then it was time to hot glue the mica onto the black poster board. The most annoying part of this step was keeping those hot glue cobwebs (the tiny strings that end up everywhere) off of the poster board. Oh and also the part when I accidentally stuck my finger in a fresh blob of hot hot glue. Ouch!!! Hot glue burns are the worst! For instance, when you touch a hot pan, you just quickly pull your hand away. Nope, not with hot glue. Your first reaction is still to pull your hand away but guess what? The glue comes with your hand... and continues to scald you until logic kicks in and you realize you have to actually pull the glue off... was that dramatic? Well, whatever. It was painful. And I do it every single time I use a hot glue gun. 

Next, I just arranged the mica randomly until I was satisfied. I was proud of myself for placing it sort of abstractly because I typically like things nice and neat and symmetrical. 

Here is the finished product:

What do you think?? 

I want to make more of them! I think they would be so pretty in a collection of 3 or 4 grouped together! 

It is only a matter of time! 

While you're here, feel free to check out my other posts here:
DIY Front Porch Sign Holder
DIY Porch Welcome Sign
Our Staircase Makeover Project (in process) plus how we updated our Oak Banister
DIY Chevron Burlap Yard Flag