Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let Me Call You Sweetheart: DIY Wooden Bedroom Sign

Hi gang! Happy Tuesday!

Today I wanted to share with you a quick project I did over the weekend. Anyone familiar with The Lumineers? No? How about the "Ho Hey" song in the Bing commercials? Whoever just said no needs to take a time out and just listen for a second ... please ...  check this out ...

Sheesh! Thank you! Now that we have that out of the way, you can all do two things: appreciate the thought process behind this project, and thank me for getting this fantastic song stuck in your heads! I tell ya, for the past few months the hubs and I can't seem to shake it, so it seemed a good place to start for wall art for our bedroom.

I thought the lyrics to this would be perfect as wall art over our bed, so I went out to the garage and found a piece of scrap wood, stained it with some leftover walnut gel stain that I used in this $3 stand makeover, and got to work laying out a design in Publisher. Once I found the fonts I liked, I printed the design as a banner and taped the pages together.

As you can see below, I laid out "sweetheart" in different font from the chorus and printed them both as banners that I taped together.

Then I colored the back of the pages with pencil, working on "sweetheart" first since I was planning to put that in white and the rest of the lyrics in black on top of "sweetheart."

I transferred the design onto the wood by laying the pages pencil-colored side down on top of the wood, and tracing the outlines of the letters. I wish I could credit someone for this - I saw it somewhere on Pinterest! It's somewhat hard to see below, but the outlines of the letters showed up nicely on the wood. 

Then I used a white paint pen to trace and color my letters. By the end of this project I was thanking my lucky stars for this little guy! It was a huge time saver - go buy one, no, seven. 

Next I traced and colored in my letters with the pen. This process was somewhat slow and time consuming, but thank goodness for the pen. I'd still be working on this if I'd had to use a paint brush. 

And when I finally finished with what I thought would just be the first step, I had a moment comparable to the Grinch's when his heart grew three sizes ... 

I loved my little sign just the way it was! As much as we loved our Lumineers lyrics, using just one word was simple, sweet and homey rustic, as I like to call it. Perfect for our wood-paneled bedroom! 

So up it went! Since my scrap wood was so thin, I wasn't able to attach any screws or wire to it to hang it from the wall. Instead, I remembered an old pin that I'd seen several times - pop tabs! I did my measuring, hot glued them on to the back, and slightly bent them so that they weren't entirely flush with the sign. 

And there's my sweetheart! 

What do you think? Not bad for my first wooden sign?

I must say, I really love it. It's the perfect size for over the bed, and it's a Sixth Street original. Have you made your own customized wall art? Tell me all about it! 

Thanks for reading! 

I'm linking up to: 

Create & Inspire Linky Party

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mmmmmmonday: Italian Chicken

And so I present to you, the beginning of a running feature. Around this house we love to try new recipes, especially with Pinterest taunting and inspiring with tasty temptations at all times. With this in mind, here on Sixth Street I'll be utilizing Mondays as a chance to share recipe reviews, hence Mmmmmmmondays!

This week's recipe is for Italian Chicken and belongs to Jill at Our Story. This pin was truly love at first sight, I mean look at that! Fresh, ripe roma tomatoes, juicy artichokes, creamy mozzarella and fresh basil - can you say delicious?

Italian Chicken; Fresh, ripe Roma tomatoes, artichokes, cheeses and basil. I made this last night and it was fantastic! :)
Photo courtesy of Our Story.

I'm happy to report that this was nothing short of that expectation. I've made it twice now and we both love it enough to adopt it into our starting roster!

What's more, this was super easy to put together. For us, the quicker the better, as most nights dinner time doesn't come before 7:30 or 8 due to work schedules, and this couldn't have taken more than 10 minutes to whip up and pop in the oven.

The only things I did differently with this recipe is to serve it over quinoa rather than noodles as Jill did, and unfortunately, I didn't have any fresh basil. No matter how you size it up, this is an easy, tasty meal. 

You can find Jill's original post on this recipe here, or pin it from my "clean eating" board here. No matter how you find it, make sure you reach out to her for the recipe! Do it - this one's a keeper!

Thanks for joining me for our first Mmmmmmmonday! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Living Room Reveal!

Can I get a drumroll?!?! Christmas Vacation-style, please?!?!

Apologies, that move is one of my weaknesses! 

 After much ado, it's finally time to reveal our newly-decorated, comfy cozy, long-awaited and desperately needed living room makeover. Do you remember the room in its original state? Vanilla, as grandma called it. Here are a few glimpses from old posts....

I hate, hate, HATE this next photo but it really does help show how far we've come. You can see the vanilla ... it was everywhere ... carpet, walls, trim and furniture. And though you can't see it in the photo, our TV and stand were in the right-hand corner of the room, opposite the Christmas tree. 

So with that in mind, I've showed you the long, hard days and nights of floor sanding and polyurethane, and I'm pleased to tell you all the hard work has paid off. We no longer have disproportional vanilla, people! 
Take a look....

Does the blue make you as happy as it makes me? I love the sense of calm it brings to the room, and the way it makes the floors and trim pop. It's also a great backdrop for my new artwork in the room. 

I'm a strong believer in personalizing the artwork in a person's home, so all of these photos are ones I've taken on our travels. I printed them as photo posters at Walgreens (during a 50% off sale) and glued them to blank canvases with Modpodge. What's more, I spent around $70 for five large pieces of artwork. It's so nice to look at the walls and see memories. :) By the way, I give absolutely all the credit for this idea to Pinterest - Ms. Ginger over at Literally Inspired is a smarty pants! I followed her exact instructions and couldn't be happier with the end result. 

And doesn't the TV mounted on the fireplace make the room look so much bigger? I must say that I'm not a huge fan of the concept - I normally can barely sit still long enough for a 30 minute rerun of Friends, but the space feels so much more open and inviting ......

What else did we add to the room, you ask? The bookshelves on either side of the fireplace are from Target. You can find them here

We also bought the area rug there (here), but these, my friends, were the most expensive items we bought. Everything else we already had or repurposed in some way. 

I couldn't be more proud if the room had spoken its first words. Wait a minute, I think it did. It said, "welcome home." :) 

Thanks for stopping by! Please let us know what you think ... we'd love to hear from you!  

I'm linking up to: 

The Shabby Nest

Create & Inspire Linky Party


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Hard Wood Floor Revival

So a few months ago my husband ventured off for a four-day bachelor party. Yes, that's right. Four days to myself in a house that needed, or at least could use, my creative touch and personalization. It should come as no surprise to you that by day three, I was no longer able to contain myself. It didn't help, of course, that on the eve of day three I had totally discussed plans for my living room in great detail with my sister and dearest girlfriend,. And that night, a plan was born. 

We woke up the next morning, cleared out all of the furniture, and I send the following text to my husband, whose poor soul wasn't there to even defend itself: 

"I'm painting and pulling up the carpet in the living room, OK?" 

Poor guy. But have no fear, I think he would even admit that a beautiful, cozy and much-needed facelift ensued. 

Before the makeover, the living room was very .... umm ... cream. It was best described by my 97-year-old grandmother, who said it looked like "a dish of vanilla ice cream." She always says it best. And though I never thought I'd utter these words, I was sick of the ice cream. 

Enter the inspirational evening and by the next day my crew had helped me paint and tear up carpet. Unfortunately, I sometimes become so blind inspiration that I forget to document my progress. This was one of those times. But as you can see in the photo, the entire room was the color of the fireplace and trim, and to make it even worse, our carpet was off white, and our furniture beige. Yuck. 

And as you can also see in the photo, we pulled up the carpet to reveal some badly-worn wood floors that were just waiting for a little love and attention.  

There were several dark spots throughout the room, almost as if someone had spilled a Diet Coke and decided it would be easier to carpet than clean! 

So after getting a few estimates on how much it would cost to have them professionally done, we decided to save ourselves $1500 bucks and get to work. The first thing we did was rent a sander, which was sooooo much easier than I would have ever thought. 

After sanding the entire floor with three different grits of sand paper, which we were able to complete by early afternoon, we got to work on the polyeurethane and staining. 

I really didn't want to wipe the floors down with mineral spirits, but it truly paid off, so I'd recommend the same to others. Don't get lazy! Get down on your knees and make sure the floors is completely clean. It's worth it. Here's what it looked like after sanding and spirits. 

Next came the trickiest part - deciding which stain best matched the already-exposed dining room floors. Our house was built in the 40s and we already knew the floors were oak, so we were relieved to find that Minwax's Golden Oak stain was a dead ringer in the stain test...

Product Image


And so the games began. We stained every inch of the floor with paint brushes and wiped with old t-shirts...

Progress took place in the form of baby steps. 

And a few lime-a-ritas certainly helped us to get through the night!

By the next morning we were able to begin applying the polyurethane, which was also tricky, as once again we had to match the existing dining room floors - this time to the glossiness. For us Minwax pulled through once again with its fast-drying clear semigloss. 

So we began the long process of applying three coats! One...

Two ... 

Enter exhaustion... can you see the forced smile?

and three! 

Proud doesn't even begin to cover it ... 

I know every nook and cranny of those darned floors ... and what's more ... ??

In my biased opinion, we did a pretty good job! I'll be the first to admit that they aren't perfect. But someone who'd walk into my house and immediately stare at the difference isn't likely to be invited anyway!

We estimate that this job only cost us around $150, mostly due to the the rental fee for the sander. Our other costs, which were mainly polyurethane, stain, paintbrushes, etc. were minimal and completely worth a 90% savings!

So what does the room look like now? Stop by later this week for the reveal! 

I'm linking up to: