My Makeshift Vanity, Part 1

I’ve managed to carve out a little space in our tiny bedroom for a makeshift vanity for myself thanks to a couple Ikea pieces, some paint, and several nails.

So on to Part 1: The Mirror.

Every vanity needs a mirror, right? And my little nook majorly needs storage for my rapidly growing jewelry collection. (This is the result of being the only female in your family who will wear Very Large Jewelry: you inherit gobs of vintage awesomeness!)

We already had three Malma mirrors lying around, currently unused. And since I am on a strict budget , these were a good place to start. One of the three had already found its home on our picture wall, so Mirror #2 would be right at home near it.

So here’s the hack:

1: Start with a plain mirror with a wide wood frame. Like this:

Malma mirror

2: Measure three level, evenly spaced marks on the frame, about halfway down. Bang in a nail at each of your marks.

Malma mirror with nails

3. Hang it on the wall, using the nails to neatly store and display necklaces.

Necklace Display

TA DAAA! All done. It was free (but would’ve been a whopping $3 if we had to buy the mirror too) and took maybe five minutes. No more tangled necklaces! Still to come: the bottom half of the vanity, and dealing with a hideous old thermostat.

My Makeshift Vanity

What’s Hanging?

Seriously, though, no pun. Well, maybe a little pun.

I just recently completed our photo wall in our master bedroom (WHEW! SOMETHING ON THE WALLS!), hanging a total of nine pieces. Each is framed in black, though no two frames are the same. So what did we choose to hang in our bedroom?

Picture Wall, Numbered

1 and 2: old photos of Gramma (my mom’s mom) as a teenager, being silly with her friends. I love old photos, especially candids, and my knock-out Gram has some fantastic shots!

3: Behind Every Clever Girl is a Guy with a Beard and Glasses print from Egg-A-Go-Go. I bought this for Rich as a birthday present last year- there is a serious resemblance there!

4: Ikea’s Stockholm Blad fabric in navy; it looks like they don’t have this color anymore, but they still carry it in several others, like gray and HOT PINK.

5: A little scrap of vintage fabric showing scenes from Paris.

6: A Malma mirror from Ikea we had lying around. (Check out another of these mirrors in my super-simple makeshift vanity hack here.)

7: A beautiful image from an Anthropologie catalog, place-holding until I find the perfect photo.

8: A page from my other Gramma’s notebook with notes from her Bible readings. I found it in the back of my closet when I was cleaning. (We live in her and my Papa’s house, remember.)

9: French chocolate labels- they have beautiful artwork showing jazz musicians on them. They cover three things we love around here: chocolate, France, and jazz!

So there you have it! But what about you? What do you have hanging on your walls?

Two Month Challenge Project #2: Picture Wall

Photo Wall: Master Bedroom

We have lived in our house juuuuuuuuuuuust short of two years. Hanging on the wall in the master bedroom? Absolutely nothing. Nada. For two years. Even our friends who pet-sat noticed and commented about it!

So I went foraging through the house for picture frames to put things in and hang, with the idea in mind that I wanted all the frames to be the same color. I found a couple bigger ones in black, so I chose black as my frame color. I dug a couple ugly frames out of our going-to-Salvation-Army pile and gave them a couple coats of black satin-finish spray paint; I even repurposed an old candle base as a round frame (but more on that later).

I picked up two “new” frames from the Life’s Treasures thrift store nearby for a couple dollars, spray painted them as well, and got to hanging. (Pssst… want to know what’s in the frames? Check it out in this post.)

Before banging nails into the walls and in a rare moment of planning ahead, I laid them out on the bed first to get an idea of the arrangement I wanted, starting with the largest piece in the center. Frames that aren’t wired for hanging are hung on two parallel nails spaced a couple inches apart to keep them level and stable.

Master Bedroom: Picture Wall

Project #2 is done!


January Picnic

Because I worked a half day today, and Rich was off, and we live and Florida and it was therefore a sunny 75 degrees, Rich took me on a picnic! It was such a relaxing, lovely way to spend the afternoon.

January Picnic

Yes, that is a t-shirt and yes, those are bare feet. There are a few advantages to living in a place with two seasons (hot and hotter).

January Picnic

Two Month Challenge Project #1: Yellow Lamp

I did several projects last weekend and the one before, but it gets dark so early and I haven’t been home in any good light to get photos. Here’s the mid-point of Project #1: the dingy, thrifted yellow lamp. I started to like the original lamp color after (AHEM) several weeks (months?) of it sitting in my studio. Rich was strongly opposed to the yellow, and on closer inspection/ cleaning, I had to agree – not salvagable. It was dingy down under the paint job.

Icky before:

Yellow Lamp, Before

So I gave it FIVE thin, even coats of navy blue spray paint; here’s the classed-up after:

Yellow (now navy) Lamp, After

And a closer look:

Yellow (now navy) Lamp, After

I’ll post more photos once it has a shade and is up in the house!

My Loves

Rich and Abby

Rich and Abby, snuggling after we’d been gone a week. She was SO HAPPY we were home!

Two-Month House Challenge!

My husband Rich issued me a challenge over this long weekend:

For two months, I may not purchase anything new for the house BUT I must keep working on projects for the house. The exceptions: a $20 limit on supplies and a $10 limit on things from thrift stores/ yard sales/ junk shops/ etc. (I think those were the limits. They may be backwards.)

My challenge issued back to him: he isn’t allowed, for the same period of two months, to say “I don’t think that will work” or “I don’t think I’m going to like that”.


My projects this past weekend included hanging art in our bedroom (with frames borrowed from throughout our house and spray-painted black), hanging a mirror in the bedroom, and general tidying. Total cost? Zero dollars. Photos (and sources, links, and tutorials) to come!

New Shop Listings for the (Almost) New Year!

Just in time for 2010, I’ve updated my Etsy shop with some completely new items, including handmade, one of a kind necklaces! I crochet them freehand, without a pattern, making each one totally unique. I love special orders, too.

new listings 09 copy

Also new are thank you cards, baby cards, and appreciation cards, as well as custom bookplates. I’ll be adding more still for the next few days, so stop by often.

Come and check out all the new stuff!

Family Room, Finished and Christmassy

I just looked through my archives and realized that I never actually got around to putting up pictures of our family room since we’ve finished it. Whoops! So without further ado, here you have it: our finished family room project. We really couldn’t be happier with it!

So, to refresh, this is what the room looked like before. Scary, right?

Post-Move In: Family Room

I posted pictures after the Great Painting Overhaul of Oh-Nine, but we were still left with a giant room with a little island of furniture. The space really is enormous, and even with our two Ikea PS cabinets, a couch, coffee table, two chairs, and a piano, we still had half of the room completely empty!

Our solution was four bookcases with glass doors; an Expedit unit as a window seat; long, billowy curtains (at $15 a pair!), and a new-to-us 1960s slatted bench. The family room is now our favorite place in the house to hang out: bright, sunny, comfortable, and fun.

So here is what it looks like now after spackling, sanding, priming, painting, assembling, arranging, hanging, trimming and plugging in:

Christmas Decorating!

Family Room project, COMPLETE!

Family Room project, COMPLETE!

Before the tree went up:
Family Room project, COMPLETE!

Our resources for this project were:
1. Billy bookcases from Ikea with glass doors
2. Expedit unit from Ikea
3. Lenda curtains in white, also Ikea
4. ReSolutions window hardware for our giant, 126″ long window from Bed, Bath, & Beyond
5. Slatted bench from Craigslist
6. Red Itso storage bins from Target (although I’m not seeing the red on their website)
7. And an assortment of accessories borrowed from elsewhere in our house.