Tag Archive: DIY

Catch Up

It happens every time. Just when I think I’m done blogging, I find myself logging back in and wanting to brain dump. So, here I am. It’s been a long time, and a lot’s going on. I miss the outlet.

My husband got a new job a few months ago. It’s an hour to an hour and a half drive away from where we live, so naturally, we’re (slowly) escalating the amount of work we’re doing to our house, because that kind of commute twice a day, every day, is just ridiculous. There have been sporadic internet real estate searches so we can start getting a feel for what’s out there, and now that I have a few favorites saved I’m impatient to be out of this house and move on to the next chapter. It’s slow going, though, because trying to accomplish any kind of home improvement as you’re paying down debt – while not accruing more debt – is a challenge. So we’re working on the free and/or cheaper projects for now. Popcorn ceiling removal (yep, still) is what we’ve been working on lately. I completed the popcorn removal in the master bedroom, closet, and bathroom in 2014, and in the past few weeks, we’ve removed popcorn in our upstairs hallway, our half bathroom, about two thirds of the kitchen, and most of our entryway. We’ve still got to finish up the kitchen, a bit over the stairs, probably the rest of our upstairs closets, our laundry room, and the living room. All of the downstairs has popcorn ceilings as well, but I’m seriously considering just installing white planks over top of it, because I am SO tired of the dust and mess. I hate to do that, though; it feels like a crime on the level of painting over wallpaper, or covering one wallpaper with a different wallpaper instead of removing it all and starting over AS ONE SHOULD. We’ll see how I feel once I get the upstairs done. Maybe we won’t touch the downstairs ceilings at all.

Anyway, so once we finish up the popcorn removal, we’ll be doing lots and lots of painting, ceilings first.

In the midst of the mess, my husband has suggested that we go back to eating paleo and improving our health. While I can’t disagree that we need to do that, I feel like going paleo before is kind of what killed any enjoyment of cooking that I had because there was SO. MUCH. COOKING. And the sink and dishwasher were ALWAYS. FULL. OF DISHES. But, he’s right, better off healthier; I might be more energetic, for starters. So we have been slowly easing back into clean eating. I am committed to going paleo, but also finding ways to make it easier so I’m not spending all of my time in the kitchen. I’ve picked up a few more paleo cookbooks – particularly the ones that promise “quick and easy” or “one pot,” and have well over a year’s worth of recipes saved on Pinterest, and I’ve started following more paleo blogs to help me find new things I can try, as well. With all of the mess from the popcorn removal, cooking has been a challenge, so we’re not 100% there yet, but we’re getting better.

2015 was just not my favorite year. January started off with a hell of a bang last year and it seems like we’ve spent this long recovering from it. I think that’s part of the reason I stopped blogging last year; so many stories but they weren’t all mine to tell, so we just focused on getting through it. Now we’re happier, the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train anymore, and it feels good. Seeing your family happy is about all you can ask for, sometimes.


The number one cause of all the stops and starts on any project is when I get a random, fleeting idea for a different project somewhere else in my house. Chances are, that little wisp of a thought will become a full blown obsession, and I cannot get back to what I’m doing until I have PINNED. ALL. THE. THINGS I can find relating to that idea.

For example, I’ve been idly considering ideas for what I might do with my entryway and stairs when the time comes. How do I let more light in? Pros and cons of knocking out this closet and using this other closet over here for coats? What if I square off this curve? I like this light fixture, need to find a way to incorporate that into the eventual redo. Carpet must go, we’ll do hardwood. Hardwood floor in the entryway, which way do I lay the planks, perpendicular or parallel to the door? Neither seems as though it would look right, what do I do, what do I do, what do I DO? WHAT ABOUT HERRINGBONE?!?! Wait, I don’t really like pattern, why am I all of a sudden obsessed with herringbone for a piece of my floor? But it could look good, maybe I should really consider herringbone? Something subtle, not too dark, not glossy, with a border around the edge, like this: herringbone-floor-border02 And then I get all distracted by Pinterest and Google image searches for herringbone wood floors and then I’ve suddenly gone a week without touching anything in my bedroom. Not to mention mental Spring cleaning – by which I mean that I am mentally, not actually, Spring cleaning my house at this time, which is SUPER helpful and productive, I know – and deciding how to celebrate my upcoming birthday.

My coworkers like to call it Attention Deficit OOH SHINY! Syndrome. Which, basically? Yeah.

It’s amazing that I’ve actually managed to search out and buy the last few things I need to complete those DIY lamps I’m attempting for my bedroom – the drill bit and some cork.

Progress, I Swear

We are slowly but surely getting our bedroom back in order. This past weekend we finished – without breaking any light bulbs this time – installing our closet light fixture, continued the meticulous task of revamping my bathroom sink light fixture with spray paint, and continued cleaning. We wiped down the doors, the baseboards, the windows, the crack in the door jambs where the hinges are, wiped down the walls and shelves in the closet, and vacuumed (again.) We took Sunday off to get out and have an adventure; we took a drive to browse an antique store/flea market that we haven’t been to before in a town we nearly never visit. My husband found something to bring home, but I didn’t grab anything this time – doesn’t seem fair since the trip was my idea! After we got home on Sunday evening, we started moving some of our things out of the living room back into our room.  And…this is where we stall. The problem is the furniture arrangement in the room; there is no ideal layout that works for both of us right now.


I’ve been toying with the idea of the layout above. If I go this route with the layout, I intend to cover that entire wall with curtains, thank you amazing 1980’s asymmetry. My dresser would go on the wall directly opposite the glass door and headboard, and my husband’s dresser would need to go into our closet. My husband’s objection to this arrangement is to blocking the door: the light and access to the back porch. I’m not concerned about blocking access to the porch because we access it most often via the door in the kitchen anyway, and there’s still plenty of light coming through. We should be able to get to the door well enough to open it to let a breeze come through, as well. With this arrangement, I can create some symmetry in the room by hiding the off center window/door behind the curtains. I like the idea of the coziness that a wall of curtains might invoke with this arrangement, and I’d prefer to do the shorter wall in curtains than the longer one.

If you take the furniture arrangement above and rotate it to the right by 90 degrees, you see how our furniture was arranged from the time we moved in until we pulled everything out of the room last year. I’m not crazy about that arrangement because that way the right side of the bed lines up with the edge of the window, and the night stand covers the bottom half of the window completely. I also have my aforementioned newly framed art to hang, and the only place I’m thinking of hanging it is on that wall just to the left of the window. If I center it above the headboard, it’s not centered on the wall, and if I center it on the wall, it’s not centered over the headboard, which would make me crazy. Again, with that arrangement, my dresser would be on the same wall as noted above, across from the sliding glass door. My husband’s dresser would go on the wall that the footboard is leaning up against in the photo above. The only other place I can think of to hang the art is above my dresser, which means I’d wouldn’t mount my mirror and would need to find somewhere else to put it. That’s not a hardship, I guess I’d just rather lose the use of the door than reconsider where to hang the art.

Beyond the cleaning and the back-and-forth about the furniture arrangement, we’re also fixing one of the supports on one of the side rails on our bed, and I’m working up the nerve to get a drill bit and make lamps:

I need a drill bit. #diy #lamps

A photo posted by Michelle (@koobychelle) on

And…that’s where we are right now. Since we’ve moved some stuff out of the living room back into the bedroom, I am reminded how good it feels to declutter and find space again. Organizing is the next project! (One at a time, Michelle, one at a time…)


I have no idea what my face is even doing right now. This morning when I woke up my left lower eyelid was sore. I eschewed my contact lenses and wore my glasses today; I’m glad I did, because I’m starting to look like I’ve been punched in the face. For the record, I have NOT been punched in the face. So that’s fun. Maybe the swelling and the red and purple are just there to accessorize the massive cold sore on the top left corner of my lip and coordinate with my still-gimpy left ankle. Tomorrow I’ll wake up and my left ear will fall off. Regardless, today has not been all mysterious medical gloom and doom.

I’ve been discouraged that the kind of lamps I really want for my bedroom re-do would cost anywhere from $250 – $400 for a pair, even if I DIY them from the (expensive) vintage demijohn bottles I love but don’t yet own. I’ve been pinning bottle lamps forever but because they’re trendy now, they’re financially out of my reach. I’ve been browsing for more inspiration and thought I should get out there to see what I could find offline. After work I hit the shops, came across these two vases, and thought they would be really interesting as lamps:

Put a bird on it.

I gave serious consideration to using the ones on the far left as my bases, but ultimately decided they were too tall and not quite colorful enough.







Eventually I ended up browsing vases at Hobby Lobby and walked out of the store with a matched pair of navy blue bottle style vases, with a very similar shape to these lamp bases at Pottery Barn: pblamp

The vases are more opaque then the PB lamps and I’m hoping they’re not too dark for what I have in mind, and that they’ll also be tall enough. I think they’ll be okay but will need to wait for the lamp adapter kits I’ve ordered online to arrive to put everything together.

Good things about today: Getting up to the register at Hobby Lobby expecting to pay $80+ and only being charged $43. I know they always have something on sale but I don’t pay much attention; when I’m determined to get something, and I know I may not see it again later, and the price isn’t completely unreasonable, I just go ahead and get it, but paying half price for anything is always a welcome surprise. Also walked out of the store at the same time as a very nice man and his daughters. If I’d been thinking about it I would have put the vases in a cart to get them out to my truck, but I didn’t, so the man graciously held the store’s door for me, and as I was about to put the vases down on the ground so I could open my truck door, he came over to help me get my truck’s door open so I could just put the vases inside. There are a lot of ways that could have gone sideways; maybe I felt safer because he was with his young daughters. Never let it be said I am not impressed by the little things, y’all.

There’s A Reason For Everything

Back when I first started working on our master bedroom, my husband was worried I’d lose steam or get sidetracked and we’d unnecessarily spend three months camped out on our mattress in one of our downstairs bedrooms instead of being more comfortably ensconced in our own room. I don’t know what he was so worried about; we’ve only been camped out downstairs for FIVE months now.

But he was right that I’d get sidetracked or lose steam, and in fact both things happened. In July my brain went all “Yay, making the bedroom pretty, yay, making the bedroom pretty, yay, making the…OOOH, SHINY.” Kind of. I was all of a sudden OBSESSED with determining the paint color for the rest of the upstairs, but decided I couldn’t figure THAT out until I’d found the perfect backsplash tile for my kitchen. Bedroom be damned; I could NOT focus on that AT ALL until I had that backsplash situation figured out. Luckily it took me far less time to find a tile than I thought it would; only two sample orders of tile and I’ve found something I love.

I was surfing Pinterest and came across this image of The Project Girl’s kitchen backsplash:


So pretty! I ordered a sample of that one – Borage Crackle from Status Ceramics – plus a few other samples, and while all of the samples were lovely, none of them were as pretty in my kitchen as they were in The Project Girls’. Not long after that small disappointment I was flipping through the Fall 2014 issue of Kitchen + Bath Ideas Magazine and was instantly hooked by this:

artistic-sanctuary-4(The magazine has more photos of the kitchen and a better view of the tile.) Long story short, I did my research and found the tile was made by Wizard Enterprise, which does not seem to sell samples online, and the nearest tile showroom was a two hour drive away, in Missouri. Road trip! I bought several samples – some of which look absolutely NOTHING like the catalog images – but they do have a fantastic selection of blue, green, and aqua ceramic tile. I’m pretty happy with the Tranquility tile (which I am fairly certain is not the tile shown in the photo but I think it will work for me), and keep the sample of it propped up in my kitchen all the time.

So, Mission: Backsplash Tile accomplished, have I figured out what the main paint color upstairs is going to be? Meh. I have three paint swatches on the wall, any of which will probably work. And…that’s that. I was happy enough after finding the tile to get back to work on my bedroom, except that I didn’t. I’ve been puttering here and there, and cleaned up most of the popcorn debris and plastic sheets from the floor, but haven’t really made any progress, so my husband’s threatening to move back into the bedroom just the way it is, which is not a good idea because when I get that wild hair up my butt to carry on with the home improvement in there you’re just going to be in my way, dude, please do not get in my way. I did drag myself back into the bedroom, did a little more puttering and cleaning and refreshed my memory about how to skim coat the walls, went out and bought the supplies I needed, and THEN my husband says “We really need to replace all the sheetrock in that room.”


*Blink blink*

Oh, really? Ya couldn’t have mentioned that back in July? You were going to let me waste all that time and money skim coating, sanding, and painting walls you intended to replace? We could’ve moved back into our bedroom by now, you know!

The handyman’s coming by to give an estimate on Monday morning.