Summer Recap 2014 : Part 3 the Guest Room

The kitchen wasn’t the only room to get a new paint job this summer. After painting the office a nice custom light turquoise, the guest room stood out like a sore thumb.

This is where we started:

DSC_0174 copyFirst I emptied the closet and painted it with the leftover ceiling paint. This was the second 2-gallon bucket of ceiling paint I’ve used up on this house and there’s more in my future.

The closet shelves needed a lot of TLC. Caulking. Scrubbing. Touch ups.

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Trying to paint the ceiling of a small space pretty much guarantees I’ll get paint in my hair at some point. I consider it a glimpse into my future with gray hair.

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Once the closet was dry I began to fill up the shelves with books and photos – some of my most bulky collections that I need to store for awhile. And the rest of the closet has Banker’s Boxes, craft stuff and my spare tables.

Then I worked my way around the room, painting over the smurf blue walls and covering it up with some Kilz primer. Then I painted the walls Frosted Jade in a flat finish from Behr. It’s just a few shades lighter than the custom color I used in the office and I really love how cool it makes the room feel.

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After moving out the bookshelves, I took out the mattresses and then rotated the bed frame back to its original position.


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While I did like the bed frame rotated 90 degrees, the head board completely blocked the window which kept out all the natural light.

The curtains, quilt, mirror and pictures came down as the rest of the paint went up.

Here’s the view from the door now:


Including just one of the Ikea bookshelves that came out of the office (the other 3 were sold):


The red leather chair covered with a canvas drop cloth made its way in:


The pillow case and twin-sheet-turned-curtain were $4 at a tag sale and coordinate nicely with the new paint color.

And this old footchest stores sheets and pillow cases as well as a handy seat for guests. The pictures around are my family frames.


I added a custom curtain rod and new curtains. It’s simply a 1/2″ copper pipe spray painted ORB and matching 1″ plastic electrical brackets. I screwed them right into the ceiling so it would hang evenly.


And under the window is a new to me desk that I talked about sanding and have left natural for now. It might get stained or waxed later on but for now it’s looking good.


I set up the spare computer and sewing machine here and will be getting the matching bench for the desk soon.

So that’s the guest room makeover!

psssst! if you missed it part 1 of the summer recap is here, and part 2 here.

Finding Your Motivation

There are a lot of times I get asked about the work I’ve done around the house – and how to stay motivated over long periods of time with so much going on.

Often I don’t really think I’m accomplishing that much. This blog is a hobby that I don’t make a dime from so naturally my attention is usually focused on my business. And although it’s been nearly 6 years of living here I’ve never done a major remodel. The kitchen is mostly the same, the only new floors have been in the bathroom and we’ve never done a major gut job – the closest was the master bath sink to replace an older cabinet.

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That shelf is actually a good example of my first strategy. Typically, I like to let ideas marinate because I’ve learned that snap decisions are usually bad ones. So while I’m watching a movie or working on the computer or avoiding doing the dishes at night I’m also thinking about what I need to tackle.

Then I research. A lot. After weeks or months of searching for materials, pricing out the project and mentally planning how it’s going to work I will finally make a move.

By this time I’m ready to see the final version so I try to make sure there’s nothing in the way of getting it done. So although I might build something very quickly the planning stage in my head takes ages.

The new lights, like the one below in the dining room, are another good example. I searched and searched before purchasing my new lights and then got the electrician to come out and install them all in just a few hours.


Another tactic I use is to determine an arbitrary order to my projects so the least fun tasks get done before the enjoyable stuff. A great example of this is my bedroom gallery wall. When I was putting together these prints I was super excited to get it installed.

Instead of immediately hanging pictures I decided to paint the walls first. After painting the guest room smurf blue then doing the ceiling I learned that scraping the ceiling needs to come first. Otherwise, ceiling dust covers the paint is never truly comes out. That thought process enabled me to first complete the ceiling, in the summer of 2012, then paint the ceiling and walls, and then I could install the gallery. Here it was at just the beginning with one print up:


The other motivating factor for finishing projects is sharing them with friends by inviting people over. And while it’s tempting to delay until “later” I’m finally, finally hosting an Open House aka a very belated House Warming party in a week!

So now alllll those little projects are going to get completed.


Photo Friday

I shared a snapshot from the sunset last week but after working on the rest of the photos: wow. Amazing

IMG_3489I can’t wait for another storm so I can get back out with my camera. Oh and we really need the rainfall here.

IMG_3482Also, getting down and dirty on the side of the road was so worth it! And I learned how to shoot through my sunglasses so you can see what I see through the other lenses:



Nixon has been especially cute this week, if not just as mischievous as usual. here he is looking at me like I owe him an explanation for… something:


And in the other chair, trying to figure out how to sit:


here’s a peek at what I’m doing this weekend:

IMG_3538I grabbed this screenshot because I think it’s a perfect snap of what I share on Instagram:


Yep – flowers, dogs and sunsets plus the rare snapshot of food, drink and people :)

I’m krazevedo on Instagram if you want to follow!




the worst DIY task ever

A lot of DIY whiners will tell you that painting is time consuming and stripping furniture sucks but for me, definitively, it’s sanding.

At this very moment I have no less than 4 projects held up by sanding because it is the literal worst.

a. Dust gets everywhere. I do most of my projects in the evening and work in my comfortable, well lit garage. The very same garage now covered in dust. Everything from the canned food to the open dryer with clean clothes is now covered in dust. Mostly though it seems to be directed right into your open nostrils in order to line your throat and lungs in tiny particles.

b. Safety equipment. Do not put me on team safety. I literally work barefoot with saws, drag around furniture by myself on the regular and laugh in the face of an eye mask when sanding ceilings. But when you’re sanding and the dust is flying? I can barely breathe. Still, a mask and glasses are annoying and usually ineffective.

c. Numb arms. While sanding by hand is time consuming, using an electric orbital sander is nature’s way to trying to detach your limbs. Specifically the arms. It shakes so hard that my hands go numb after 20 minutes which is fortunate because I also can’t breathe so I just lie on the carpet and sound like an asthmatic.

d. Spray tan equivalent. When you’re sanding all the focus is on the wood. Are you pressing too hard? Is the sandpaper smooth and useless? Did all that varnish come off the corner? And you don’t realize, until you go inside, that every bit of the reddish or brown stain you’ve just removed from the wood is now coating your skin in a thin layer. And this is how your 1/16th Native American ancestors might have looked like.

Finally, don’t ever, ever sand if you plan to work on a computer, answer a phone or go into public in the following 2 hours. Instead block off plenty of time to shower, scrub your dermis raw and wait for the feeling to return to your digits.

In other words, I still don’t have an update because I’m dreading going back to the garage to finish sanding.

But the sander is mocking me. Laughing. I swear I heard it mutter “soon” when I used the leaf blower to clear out some dust a few days ago.

So I say to you: soon.

My week in pictures

So I’ve fallen WAY behind on the weekly photo dump, mostly because as soon as I returned from Cabo my phone died and I hate, hate how the iPhone imports photos.

No, I don’t want to use iPhoto. Just import my damn files.

Anywho, now that I’ve maxed out my storage I’m getting more diligent at downloading the photos regularly.

Here’s a glimpse of my week:

Nixon continues to sleep in the most uncomfortable, awkward positions…

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Trying to keep all the dogs off the fabric I’m working on has been a challenge.

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I’ve been painting. Again. I’m sure no one is surprised.

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I got the chance to hang out with the lovely Ana this week.

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Here’s a peek at the new bedroom paint from the office:

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The dogs are loving the bed piled high with pillows. I found them in there taking naps on Saturday:

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Oh and this weekend had the most beautiful sunsets in ages:

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I must be getting old

because recently I keep thinking about my 30th birthday (in a month – eek!) and the stuff on my mental wishlist is boring.

Like knives. I know, not exactly an exciting gift but all of my knives are hand me down, dull, pieces of crap. A nice set of knives? Swoon.

And that wireless key entry for my car. Or at this point just a car wash since I’m drought compliant which means my car is filthy.

Plus a lot of household stuff like hardwood flooring for the bedroom and crown molding. Did I mention new gutters?

My town also has ridiculously hard water. As in I need to flush out the Keurig every month because of deposits on the water reserve. So I’ve been considering a water softener system for the garage. That’s totally an appropriate 30th bday present, right?

Home Depot has had stand alone cabinets and sinks on sale lately and I’m always tempted to throw one in the basket to replace the unit in the guest room. And if kitchen faucets were not $200 each I’d have replace the silver/gold/white combo in the kitchen.

Summer Recap 2014 : Part 2 the Living Room

Okay, recap #2 is now recap #3 because it’s going to be a few more days until I get a piece of furniture delivered.

This summer saw a bunch of little changes in the living room so I wanted to recap them all in one place.  Starting at the front door I added the Lynas rug from Ikea. It’s the same look as the older one but just larger and only $5.


Then I replaced the door strike from this ugly, gunky, never could clean one, to a fresh new one. Yuck:


Did you notice that I got a new light switch? Of course not, unless you’re a stalker. It went from a single box to a double because I finally got the new living room light installed!

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It’s not only gorgeous but it throws off a ton of light and keeps a previously dark room nice and bright. It’s also on a dimmer so I can turn down the level from “surface of the sun” to “read without staining my eyes” and once more to “nifty nightlight.”

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Also this summer, I moved the white bookshelves out of the guest room, they’re now in dining room, flanking the kitchen table.


The dining nook has gone through a lot of changes but moving in these 2 bookshelves has been great. I think I was unconsciously relegating my books to the bedrooms because that’s where they lived when I was growing up. Bringing them out has been a giant “I own the whole house, bitches!” moment.


There’s a third bookcase in this set, but much smaller. It’s now under the window in the living room since I can’t put anything there that would enable the dogs to climb on the kitchen counter:


To the left of the bookshelf you can see the second wingback chair which has a completed makeover. I first removed the busted seat cover and replacing the zipper (well, Ana did the sewing!) and then restuffed the seat.


Then I went over it with the same Frosted Jade paint as I used in the guest room, mixed with fabric medium (more details on that in this post). You can see above that the side showing and seat need another layer of paint.

Behind the chair you can probably see the new curtains! The curtain rod is actually a 1/2″ copper pipe, cut to fit the window and secured to the ceiling drywall by 1″ electrical fittings. This allows the tabbed curtains to pull back and forth and the whole set up was $12 (not including the spray paint which I already owned).


I’ve kept the white Roman shade I made up for now but might change it out when the windows get replaced.

And I moved over the blue rug to anchor this little sitting area.

On the other side of the room I added a new shelf behind the couch which is perfect for drinks, remote controls and my charging station.


There’s a gap in the back to run wires and I may add another bracket to support the 8″ wide piece of common board (stained Jacobean). The wood was maybe $12? and 4 brackets were $16 from Ikea. Already had the stain on hand.

I also brought in the small shelf that I made for the master bathroom to see how I like it here holding blankets, heating pads and extra throw pillows:


And so far it’s working out well! I like to live with things for awhile to see how it fits so it might just move again.


There is one more big change coming to the living room but it’s likely a few weeks away. For now I’m enjoying the bright lights, new textured curtains and rugs and trying to keep this room clean and clear!