Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Disney Frozen Themed Christmas Lights!

I have a confession!  I LOVE FROZEN!  I absolutely love it.  Here it is, over one year later and I still love the movie, the characters, the music, the snow theme, the ice, Olaf, Anna, Elsa, Sven, Kristoff, Oaken, etc.  I think the movie is fabulous and funny and highly entertaining.

So, on a recent trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, my 5th visit this year, I saw this sign and thought.... Hmmmm I could turn my house into Arendelle for Christmas.  So that is exactly what I did!

This is my sign I made to replicate the sign from the Downtown Disney Marketplace 12 Days of Christmas Store in Disney World.  I made it from frames from Michaels, a poster and foam and remnant  fabric.

I then mounted a scene setter Happy Birthday banners  to simulate Anna and Elsa looking out the castle windows.  I made the castle banners which were placed along the drive way and in between the castle windows.  I then draped them with garland and silver bows.

The next thing I made was OLAF!  I love Olaf and I knew that I had to have an awesome snowman in my Frozen Christmas display.  I cut his shape out of wood and then cut his image out of the scene setter birthday pack I purchased.  I then glued the plastic image to the wood.  I made his hair out of brown pipe cleaners and his arms out of felt which I glued to straws and attached it all to the back!  He really turned out ver cute.  I placed him in the large flower planter I have which I covered in a blue plastic tablecloth.  I then cut out some snowflakes out of foam to complete the look!

I then surrounded him with snowflake lights - this is how he looks at night.  He's really cute!

This was the front door - the garland, wreath, and snowflakes light up at night.  I love coming home at night and feel like I'm walking into Queen Elsa's castle in Arendelle!

These are the castle banners I made for the driveway.  The fabric was on clearance at WalMart for $1.00 a yard and I made the banner cover out of wood, glitter scrapbook paper and pompom trim.  I really like the way they turned out.

This was a totally fun project and I have received a lot of positive feedback from passers by!  I love Frozen and I know there are a lot of haters out there who tell me to "Let It Go"!  But, sorry.  I just can't - I love it too much!  Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas week and a very Happy New Year!  Here's to a healthy and happy 2015!  CHEERS!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Merry Christmas from FROZEN's Arendelle!

I LOVE FROZEN!  I saw it the week it opened over a year ago and the obsession continues!  I am writing this from Walt Disney World in Florida and you cannot help but get swept up into the Frozen frenzy here.

A few weeks ago, WDW revealed this gorgeous holiday banner in Downtown Disney at the 12 Days of Christmas Store.  This inspired me to transform my house into Arendelle for Christmas.  It is still a work in progress and I hope to post the final pics this weekend.  But I did finish my front door!   Happy Holidays!  Frozen style!  ;-)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Carpet is Gone! Time To Paint Some Faux Hardwood Floors!

The holidays are coming.  Slowly, but surely, the holidays are basically upon us.  And so is the nagging little head that says hey!  We need new drapes, new carpet, new sofas, etc.  So I decided to tear up the carpeting.

Ok - carpet is gone.  NOW WHAT?  I want hardwood floors but I really cannot afford them.  I want those awesome, distressed hardwood floors that have been around for a hundred years!  Like the ones Paul Revere walked upon or were once in a local pub in Ireland.

Alas, my budget cannot afford any of the above so I decided to PAINT my version of these floors.  And I must admit, they didn't turn out too badly.

I swept the dust and dirt away, removed all staples and tack boards and wiped the underlayment wood down with a very damp cloth.  I used a scraper to remove any globs of paint or glue.  Then, I used a basic brown porch floor paint and rolled it on.  Then, I took a 6" wide piece of wood and used a thick black magic marker and drew lines to simulate planks.

Then, I took a small bowl and added basic black paint and added some water and a darker grey paint.  I swirled it all together - I didn't mix it together - I wanted the colors to stay separated.  Then I used a sponge craft brush and painted the paint onto the floor, let it dry for about 30 seconds.  Then I used a damp rag and gently wiped the floor to create the desired effect.  I left some darker patches and some lighter areas to create the worn, vintage tavern floors I so desired.

Once that dried, I added a coat of polyurethane gloss to make them shiny and complete!  I love the look and the price even more!  They make the room turn out exactly as I had hoped.

I shared this with...

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ugly Refrigerator Makeover! With WALLPAPER??

Ok, let me start by saying the picture above is my DREAM refrigerator.  I have always wanted the Sub Zero glass front fridge - it is just the coolest thing EVER.  (No pun intended)   Alas, until I win the lottery, that is not happening any time soon.  So this is what I ended up with - I LIKE IT!

Yucky and rusty!  

My current refrigerator works but it is UGLY and dated.  There is absolutely no reason to buy a new one yet other than I want a shiny new one.  It is kind of like when your neighbor gets a new car and suddenly you need one too!  ;-)

So I decided to fix it up!  My first idea was to paint it silver so it would resemble one of those fancy stainless steel appliances.  There is only one word to describe this idea... FAIL!  Wow this couldn't have been more of a nightmare.  Ok - now what?  Hmmmm.... plan B.    Wallpaper.  Whaaaaa?

Yup - beadboard wallpaper.  Why not - it couldn't get any worse, right?  Found it at Lowes.  So I removed the handles with a screwdriver - the screws were right there when you open the door on the top.  Then I primed over the silver paint and the glossy original finish.  I gave it about three coats.

Then,  I simply wallpapered it.

Once this was completed, I added some trim in the form of 1/4" birch underlayment!  I cut it into strips and used Powergrab adhesive to adhere it to the fridge.

This is PowerGrab by Loctite - its awesome!  It doesn't smell, its white, and is an easy clean up with soap and water.  It is a bit more expensive than regular tubes of adhesive but SO worth the extra cost!

In order to add a handle, I had to saw the head off of a screw and insert an anchor into the wood.  This allowed for a standard cabinet knob to be used.  I found this fancy pull at Hobby Lobby and I spray painted it metallic silver.  I love the way it turned out.  Also at Hobby Lobby, I found a large pull for the bottom door and sprayed that as well.  Once it was all painted, I added the pulls.

* * * UPDATE * * * 
The answer to why there are SCREWS in the picture above question....

In the above picture you see screws holding the wood on the top of the fridge.  When I first came up with this crazy idea, I could not get the wood to stick using the PowerGrab by Loctite.  This stuff is awesome but I obviously wasn't using enough to get it to stick.  So I stuck these drywall screws in.  Then my sister came in during the middle of this project and she put a TON of the PowerGrab in it and held it in place for two minutes and walah - it worked!  It adhered just fine and looked so much nicer than the top.  So I had to countersink the screws and fill them in with spackle and joint compound and sand them smooth.  SO much more work.  Alas, as much as I hate to admit it - sometimes a sister does know best!  ;-)  Hope this helps!

Here is the picture of the screws I used.   SO glad I didn't have to use any screws on the bottom piece - it made such a difference:

Once all the wood was adhered, I primed everything with two coats of basic white primer.  Then I used this ACE paint.  It is cabinet and wood trim and it makes everything look so bright and clean.  Since I covered over the paper and wood, it actually created a pretty durable surface so dirt and stains can be wiped away.  I am not sponsored by ACE or Loctite - actually I am not sponsored by anybody LOL - but these are the products I have found to work the best for me and so I am simply passing it along.

This ACE metallic spray paint is the BEST one I have found and I have basically tried them all.

When all was said and done,  I am thrilled with the result.  Granted it isn't as fancy as the new stainless refrigerators with electronic display panels, in the door ice and water dispensers and usb ports, but hey, I like it.  Until I am forced to buy a new one, this one will do just fine!  Drumroll please......

TA DA!  

The bubble you see in the wallpaper on the top, eventually dried and disappeared.    Thank you for stopping by!    Have a wonderful day today!  ;-)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Decorating Procrastinating - LOVE this term!

As you know, I have joined the 30 Day Room Makeover Challenge to try and combat the dreaded DECORATING PROCRASTINATING.  You know what this is - you have a project you need to do but you just don't want to even think about let alone DO it.

The above photo is the vent and lighting over the stove and I added corners, bead board and decorative molding to fancy it up a bit.  I had to repaint the old black and white harlequin blue grey and white to match the new color scheme.  As you can see, all I have to do is add the corner molding around the bottom, paint it, and paint the recessed lighting ring.  If I put my mind to it, it would take the the better part of about 2 hours.  Alas, here it sits.  Unfinished and mocking me every time I walk into the kitchen.

Instead, I have been doing fun stuff.  Summer stuff.  Here I am with Mary Poppins carpet bag from the film.  WAIT, what???  Yep - I was tickled to death to see this in person being the Disneyphile that I am.  It was one of the exhibits in the Museum of Science and Industry's exhibit, Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.  It was a spectacular day!  Much more fun than emptying a mammoth amount of Christmas decorations, WDW souvenirs and Halloween stuff out of the guest bedroom.  Clutter galore.

I first saw the term in late July on Serena's blog Thrift Diving.  She is the blogger hosting the 30 day challenge in which you have to finish one space by August 31!  I chose the dreaded guest bedroom and I am so excited to finish it - I just don't want to do the work.  LOL

Here are the before and current pictures of my guest bedroom makeover....

That is all I have done and it is AUGUST 10TH!!!!!!!  Like we are in double digits.  And, yet, this morning I went to mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.   One of my most favorite places in the world.

Maybe I will have to stop at the Grotto one more time and pray for motivation.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cancer Check-Up.... I'm NOT dying!

Hello!  I don't normally ever blog about my cancer and the journey it takes me on everyday, but today, I feel compelled to do so.  I spent the day at the University of Chicago cancer center and, if cancer has never touched your life or someone you love, you can't begin to understand how daunting it is to live with this disease.

I am a survivor of both ovarian cancer and stage 3 breast cancer.  It doesn't mantter how far out your survival is, you still live everyday with a bit of fear hovering just below the surface.

The majority of this summer has been spent dealing with sciatic pain and being sidelined due to this new malady and a few other symptoms which caused me to believe that my cancer had returned.  It literally sucks the life out of you!  It is hard to find joy in the little things and when people start talking about Halloween, Autumn hay rides, apple cider, Christmas parties, college football, etc.  it just adds to the anxiety.  All you can focus on is going back into treatment.  Losing your hair AGAIN, radiating that skin that is so sore and thin from the first round of treatment.  It robs you of your sleep, your appetite, you zest for life.

Today, I received good news.  As far as they can tell, there is no sign of active disease.  Whoo hoo.  You walk out of that exam room, the oncology department and out the doors of the hospital into the summer breeze with the warm sun on your face and you cannot believe the weight of the world that is lifted off your shoulders.  Sitting in the waiting room, you see people with no hair, thin and tired, worried, scared, crying, etc.  It is daunting just to be in the room with all of these people in the midst of treatment and you are instantly transported back to the time when you were in the fight for your life be it chemo, radiation, surgeries, etc.  You sat in these same chairs, waiting for test results, waiting for your first chemo treatment, your first injection, etc.  You cannot believe how much pain and suffering you can endure when you know that the gift of "cancer free" or health is on the other side.  When you're going through hell, keep on going - its the only choice you have.

Those people who sit next to me with their oxygen tanks, in wheel chairs, I just want to stand up and scream, "Its ok.  You are going to be ok.  I was in your shoes a while back and it's true, the hair does grow back!

I just feel so relieved that I am given another 6 months until my next check up!  I am looking forward to a good night's sleep!  The return of my appetite and disappearance of my extreme anxiety.  Thanks for the read - I just felt the need to let people know how my day was.  It was quite spectacular!  Now, back to projects!  ;-)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Guest Bedroom Makeover .... 30 Day Challenge!

One of my favorite blogs to read almost everyday is BetterAfter.net.  I am sure you are a fan as almost everyone is.  :-)  Recently, I saw this post and it was on a blog called Thrift Diving.  It was about ending decoration procrastination and finally getting to that room that you have been putting off for one reason or another.  We've all been there - I still am and so I decided to get involved in the next round this August!

This started August 1 and we have 30 days to complete the project from start to finish.  It seems like a long time but wow, here it is a few days in and I have made very little progress.  I'm starting to panic and we are only 3 days in... not a good sign!  :-)

I have decided to tackle the dreaded middle bedroom in my house.  It now resembles an in-house storage unit more than a bedroom.  It has become the catch all place for all of my holiday decorations and Disney items.  What a waste of space!  I have decided to tackle it head on.  Here are the pictures of the space .....

PLEASE BE WARNED - THE FOLLOWING IMAGES MAY BE UPSETTING TO SENSITIVE VIEWERS!  LOL - Seriously not kidding!  Just remember.... don't judge me please!

Don't ask me what happened to Santa's head - I have no idea!  LOL  Hopefully, I will find it before Christmas arrives.  ;-)

That mountain of stuff is actually four large bins stacked on top of one another.  I am realizing I have WAY too much Christmas stuff.  It is time to lighten the load.

More wallpaper and lace window treatments over vertical blinds.  YES, I said vertical blinds. And you can see a LOT of wallpaper.  There will be a pang of sadness as I tackle this room because my Mom so loved the Victorian inspired wallpaper and draperies.  But I know if she was still here, she would be helping me strip the walls clean to ready them for paint.  I just know how much she loved this room.

I am looking to have a dark grey room with bright white accents!  I have almost everything needed to do this room over as I have been hoarding things for a few years now.  Whenever I saw a great deal on something for the room I envisioned, I would buy it and store it away.  Here are some things I have at the ready:

This is the picture from the Craigslist ad for a bedroom set.  I purchased this and it has been sitting in my garage for a few years now.  Here are the pieces I have to scrape and re-paint!

I still love the lines of this set!  I am going to paint it white again but the paint they used is textured and they didn't do a very good job.  So it needs to be stripped down and painted again.  I am going to paint the hardware silver instead of oil rubbed bronze.  I want a more polished look.

I found this bench at a thrift store and I love the lines of it.  It is also going to be painted white and the cushion reupholstered.  The top has three marble inlays which may pose a problem but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  

I found it to be strikingly similar  to the one in this inspiration photo...

I also found this accent chair at HomeGoods that has been sitting in plastic waiting to be put into place. I can't wait until the room to be done so I can take the plastic off and have a seat.

So that is the plan for this makeover!  I am not sure I will make the August 31st deadline, but even if I don't, I will be that much further along than I would have been.  Obviously, emptying the room will be a daunting task.  I don't have very much storage space and I have a bunch of decorations for Halloween and Christmas.  I would hate to part with them simply because I don't have anywhere to put them in the off-season.  But if I stay focused on how the room will look once completed, I know I will find a way!