Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Epic Garlic Explosion

I'm going to take a break from posting about my decorating progress to share a kitchen misadventure that happened this evening. I've recently discovered Pinterest through some friends of mine who don't want me to have a life, and my husband is reaping the benefits of every interesting recipe I come across on that accursed delightful website. Usually everything goes more or less according to plan, though I have to admit that I'm the messiest person in my circle of friendly acquaintances, and every time I make something I have to set aside five to ten minutes for clean up.

Today was different.

I put all the stuff together for the first step of the recipe and was getting ready to toss the ingredients and put the dish in the oven. I'll admit I was spacing out, not concentrating on the jar of minced garlic whose lid I was trying to screw on using only half my attention. Well, the jar of garlic didn't appreciate that, and decided to rebel. The spiteful thing leapt from my slippery hands and hit the ground, not breaking, but splattering everything in my kitchen with the force of a grenade going off.

I didn't even know what to do, I was horror-struck. It coated me from face to feet. I stood there with my eyes closed for about ten seconds, calmly waded to the sink, washed off my face, tossed the ingredients and put the dish in the oven. I then called my dear sweet husband into the kitchen and calmly told him to EFFING HELP ME CLEAN THIS UP BEFORE I START CRYING, PLEASE. That man is a champ, he didn't even laugh at me. He just grabbed the broom and started sweeping. I cleaned off the counter tops, the cabinet doors, the pots and pans... etc. I scrubbed the floor no less than four times. I had to do it four times because halfway through the third time my poor retarded black cat hauled ass slid around the kitchen like he was trying to run on melting ice. He's now afraid of the kitchen, I feel so bad. So I had to scrub a fourth time because he sheds when he's scared.

We got everything cleaned up, I finished the recipe, we ate dinner and watched a movie. We eventually went back to the scene of the bombing for some cookies and gooey newlywed chit-chat. And then we saw it. The husband glanced up for some reason, and with a quizzical expression, inquired, "Is that what I think it is?"

And it was.
It was a huge garlic splatter on the ceiling.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I think I'm finally finished with the library... for now.

I'm beginning to think I'm addicted to painting my stuff. You see, after my little table makeover, I wasn't completely satisfied with the overall look of my library. Something had to be done about that dark brown papasan chair.

It was just sitting there, all dark brown and passive-aggressive. Every other piece of wood furniture in the room was a pretty teal color except for the gosh darn papasan chair. It mocked me silently for about five minutes before I hauled it into my bathroom and painted all of the parts that are visible when the cushion on it. Like a boss.

I sure showed that chair who's in charge around here. And then I patiently waited for the paint to dry, hauled it back into the library, put it together, and took a few pictures that are way too dark because it wasn't daytime anymore when I remembered to take the pictures. I'm not that great with a camera anyway, if you haven't already realized.

Much better, right? I don't know if you can tell from these pictures, but I also sealed the top of the table with polyurethane while I was in makeover mode. Now it more or less matches the walls. Woo! I felt so good about finishing my library that I swept the house and made a pitcher of sweet tea before my husband came home. I'm sure that's not a big deal to most people, but I'm just now starting to get the hang of domesticity. It's a learning process, people. Cut me some slack, I'm new around here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chandelier Makeover!

In the middle of my library makeover, I decided I could no longer stand the out-of-date chandelier that was hanging in the exact center of the room, wall to wall and floor to ceiling. I'm lucky I'm so short. This is a picture of the chandelier before, when the house still belonged to it's previous owner.

Shaded glass? Bronze? It was monstrous. I hated it. So what did I do? I left it right where it was, took off the glass very slowly and carefully, and spray painted the bronze parts black. And THEN I cleaned my carpet very thoroughly because this was my first adventure with spray paint and I had no idea it could go around the paper I put down and get to my carpet anyway. I then pasted tracing paper onto the glass with wallpaper glue, and then painted directly onto the tracing paper.

I wanted to use paper that was thin enough to see the light through, but I wasn't expecting it to look like smoked glass after I had pasted it on. That was a happy accident. As you can see from the last picture, I was done with the part of the wall that I could reach without a ladder. My mom was bringing the ladder with her the next day I think. This project cost absolutely NOTHING. I had the acrylic paint, spray paint, tracing paper, and wallpaper glue from previous projects. The only thing I had to buy was the carpet cleaner, which I now stock up on. It's called Incredible for a reason, you know.

From Old Lady's Dining Room to Young Lady's Dream Library

Our house -- a light-filled, retro, vaulted-ceilinged number -- is really unique. My husband and I love it so much, and I can't believe I'm living in such an incredible house at my age (I'm in my early twenties, and all of my friends live in apartments or their parents' houses). My husband is almost thirty, so he should have been living in a house earlier than this. I'm joking, honey, I love you! Don't keel me! I'll post a tour of the house at a later date, but right now I want to show you my dining room to library makeover. I'll even include the shelf redo, so this is going to be a little lengthier than normal. This is a picture of the dining room before it was ours.

Cute, right? Riiight. Well I wanted a library, and I didn't want this room to just be a blank hole since we didn't really need a dining room. But for weeks I just didn't know what kind of colors I wanted in here. I finally saw this picture online:

I loved it instantly. The teal-green color just pops, doesn't it? I decided that I could substitute book pages for those leather patches and seal them with polyurethane to give them that coloring, and I'd make shelves in a similar teal color. And that's what I did.

My lovely mother, who helped me paste and seal the pages, took that picture from the floor. That's me, finishing the last wall. I think I worked slower than she did because I was reading the pages as I was putting them on the wall. I read a lot, and one of the consequences of being an avid reader is that your books get really beaten up after you read them a few (thousand) times. We only used pages from the books that I'd read so many times that they no longer had spines or covers. Here's a picture of my reading nook before I put in the table I just redid.

I made that pillow in high school out of old blue jeans. And yes, that is a picture holder propping up that book and keeping my place for me. Now I'm going to show you what I did with the shelves. My husband and I are on a tight budget because we are young and this is our first house. So I once again got some inspiration from the internet. I saw this picture, and I knew what I had to do.

Drawers? As shelving?! I'll take it!

I had an old, decaying chest of drawers, and they just happened to be deep enough to hold books. I painted them teal on the outsides and papered the insides with the same pages that I papered the library with. My darling husband then hung them on the wall. Just add books, and voila!

Beautiful, unique shelving. They don't hold all of my books, so I'm still combing craigslist for free dressers. Or do you think I should do something else? I'll try anything, seriously.

Library Side Table Before and After

When my husband and I moved into our new-to-us home, we (I) decided that the dining room needed to be a library. I mean, we're never having kids. What do we need a dining room for? We eat in our breakfast room, which is much sunnier. I'll post pictures of the before and after of the library in a minute, but I've decided I'm going to Tarantino this blog and I'm going to show you the last part first -- the library side table. This is what it looked like before I fixed it.

Ew.  The evenly spaced black lines on the top, legs, and front made it look like a not-particularly-gifted eight year old attempted to distress this poor thing. I took it straight home from the antique shop I found it in, brought it into my poorly ventilated bathroom (I'm in Texas, where nobody does crafts outside because it's too effing hot), put a drop cloth under it, and got to work. This is the finished product.

I pasted book pages on the top to match my library walls and shelves. The walls are completely covered in book pages, and so are the insides of my shelves, which are repurposed drawers hung on the walls and painted the same teal color as this table. Here's a picture of the reading nook in my library with the table in it.

The papasan was a Craigslist find, and the pillow was one I wanted from Pier 1, but waited to buy until it went on clearance. I polyurenthaned the walls after pasting book pages all over them with my mom, and when I poly the table top later this week it'll look like the wall extends onto the table. I'm super happy with this redo, considering I had absolutely no luck with previous library side tables until today. Let me know what you think!