Thursday, September 27, 2012

How Do You Celebrate Fall and Halloween?


According to the calendar, it’s officially fall! I rushed the season a bit by putting up my fall drop cloth house flag and orange drop cloth garland a few weeks early. 

In my defense, it was part of a not so clever ruse. I had houseguests and wanted to pull their focus from the end of season garden (think plants ready to take the big winter dirt nap.) I am not sure how well it worked but the porch projects kept me busy and out of trouble, which is a double, win for the city at large.

Although I might be tapped out of fall and Halloween ideas for a while. Oopsie.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Living Room Before and After

Paint is the greatest DIY deuglfier there is.  It’s hard to believe I changed the whole look and feel to this room with two gallons of paint.

After



Painting the accent wall snowballed into more projects. Since I already had my tools out I painted the fireplace and shelves. I got a completely new room for the cost of paint.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Drop Cloth Garland

This year I’m going with more autumn fall decorations for our porch instead of Halloween garlands and ghouls. I’m also trying to use what I have on hand with a few little extras here and there. Not only is that greener and cheaper but it will also help me clear a bit of leftover the fabric I have stored in my craft room from my costuming days. High fives all around!

I like the garland décor I see all over Pinterest. I think strings of orange pennant flags over the windows and door will be festive. To tie the bunting flags in with the drop cloth house flag I made, I moved into an urban country chic decorating direction (I hope) and made a cloth garland from the leftover orange and drop cloth fabric. Waste not and all that.



If you are looking for a plastic free decorating idea, this one’s for you!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Barnwood Speaker Shelves

Its funny how one little DIY project like painting an accent wall turns into a tumble of DIY projects like installing a TV wall mount, updating the fireplace surround with paint, and now building barn wood shelves for the surround sound speakers. It is like eating Terra Chips around here. I can’t eat just one.

During the mounting the flat screen TV project I did as part of Husband’s birthday present, I originally wanted the surround sound speaker placement to be on the back wall around the TV for optimal sound. I realized I have more TV than TV niche wall space. Plan B: make surround sound shelves from the reclaimed wood I rescued from a broken fence.

Learn how to build these reclaimed wood display shelves. It's easy. Promise.

I feel like I should almost apologies for having a flat TV, surround sound, and TV components because in  having a TV, let alone cable and a video game system is pooh-poohed in eco circles. I’m going to address it but I’m not going to apologize for it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall Drop Cloth House Flag

This year Husband and I decided to go with fall decorations for the porch and yard instead of our traditional sea dog cemetery since our one eyed pirate dog is not here to captain the ship.

I’m starting with our garden house flag. The LisaLand flag (an inside joke that Husband had made into my birthday present) is summery and a tad worn. Normally I replace it with a pirate flag I put up for InternationalTalk Like a Pirate Day (yarr!) and leave up until after Halloween. Yo ho ho and a bottle of chardonnay! (That’s what girlie pirates drink.)


I poked around a few stores for personalized house flags and the luck of being me, the house flags I like did not have a W. Who knew our initial was so popular?

When I can’t buy, I’ll DIY! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm Canning Tomatoes!

Our almost illegal but not quite tomato plants (read the story on Lazy Budget Chef. It involves a police helicopter AND a paddy wagon) exploded into a bunch of tomatoes. We definitely met our 2012 DIY goal of growing more than six tomatoes. Yay!
 
The results are delicious.

But more than we can eat right now.

Last summer, I faced my fear of canning (don’t laugh. It’s true) and canned strawberry peach jam with leftover fruit (our eyes were bigger than our stomachs) and raspberry Moscato jam. No one died of botulism AND we had a nice stash of impromptu Christmas gifts in the pantry. I call that I double win.

You can find the recipes on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef

The use what canning equipment I had on hand method worked well enough for me to consider buying a canning kit to make home canning easier. Fortunately, my mom passed her canning supplies down to me. I was off and running. Well, actually, it is more like trotting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fall Porch Whimsy Mood Board

It takes me awhile to get excited about early fall because it means my favorite season is almost ready to hibernate but it is not quite sweater, apple cider, and cute boot season. It is a little too early to go Halloween crazy with the decorating. I’m not sure what we’ll do for Halloween. Husband and I aren’t in the mood for ghosts and skeletons this year.

I guess we should go with fall harvest porch decorations. Leaves, pumpkins, corn stalks, and country rustic autumn décor is very eco and can stay up until Thanksgiving. I appreciate that style at other people’s homes but it is not something I want to stare at for so long in my own home. I want to hang onto to bright colors and whimsy for as long as I can until the snow flies.

I created a nontraditional modern whimsy autumn porch mood board to motivate me to think fall and spark some ideas for our porch.

Enjoy.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

How to Install a Flat Panel TV Wall Mount

We have a TV niche (big, fat hole) above the fireplace. When we moved in, Husband and I hefted our TV into the niche. I bought and configured a set of interMetro shelves to store the components above the TV.

how to install a flat panel TV

The speakers for the surround sound didn't fit in the niche as I hoped. I bought two CD towers to use as speaker stands and to store CDs. We lived this way for many years.

TV niche Before
CDs? The seem so quaint now. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Paint a Gas Fireplace

 A fireplace wasn’t a Must Have when Husband and I house shopped but I secretly hoped our first home would have a fireplace. We lucked out when we found our Condo. It has everything on our Must Have and Wish Lists including a fireplace.

I still like the fireplace but I’m falling out of love with the brass accents. I would love to use the brass as an excuse to buy a new brass free gas fireplace with a clear rock insert that makes it look like fire and ice when you light a fire.

Fireplace Before

However, I can’t justify the resources and expense it takes to replace a fireplace we rarely use. Angie of Country Chic Cottage  and Cara of Moore Craft Time  issued a Craft Lightening challenge – to make something that takes 15 minutes or less, excluding the drying time for paint or glue.

I looked at my 2012 DIY Goal List and took them up on the challenge. It’s time for a quick and easy fireplace update.

How to Paint a Gas Fireplace 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Urban Scrawl Inspiration

Urban Scrawl MuralHusband and I have the best friends in the world. Our in real life group is so understanding of our devastating loss of Blitzkrieg. We got sympathy cards, personal calls, and condolences from an overwhelming number of friends, neighbors, our family vet, and the vet hospital oncology team. Every single one touched our hearts but none so much as Blitzkrieg's oncology nurse. She made and painted a plaster paw print she took of Blitzkrieg for us on her own. Tears I did not know I had welled up inside me when I unwrapped it.

Many of our friends are calling us for spur of the moment dinners and get togethers too. Thank you friends. Keeping busy helps.

That's how Husband and I ended up at Urban Scrawl. One of our couple friends invited us to join them at Urban Scrawl because they know we like local food and arty things.