Saturday, July 31, 2010

More House Progress

It's been two weeks since I bought the 'flip' house (although, several times I have said "ugh!  this flippin' house") and progress is coming along nicely.  Here a few more 'before' and 'after' shots (click on the photos if you want to make them bigger):

I kept the old vanity base but ripped out the counter top and sink.  My dad helped me rip out the old vanity top but I am proud to say that I installed the new top ALL BY MYSELF!  Rosie the Riveter would be so proud!   Then, I (disasterously) spray painted the base and doors.  Whoops! The spray paint went EVERYWHERE!  Luckily, I had covered everything essential in the bathroom, mainly all those lovely white tiles.  I changed out the old handles for shiny new chrome handles that match the faucet that I am in love with!  The wall sconces stayed (they were black to begin with) but I replaced the mirror with one I found for $24.99 at Marshall's (score)!  Next I will replace the towel bar that is on the left side of the vanity and add a hand towel ring on the right wall.

The toilet will be replaced with a new one when the floor is tiled.  I just love this paint color...I had used it in one of the bathrooms in my condo and really thought it was the perfect shade of blue-green. 

Here's a sneak peak at progress in the living room:

I painted the top part of the wall Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore and white beadboard is going up on the bottom half of the wall, where the old brown paneling had been. Can't wait for it to all be up!

 Chandelier is up in the dining area!  My uncle (who's an electrician) put up new fixtures throughout the house, which definitely helps to update things!  Stay tuned for more updates as we enter week 3!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I recently got back from a trip to Montreal to visit my cousins (my mom and her family are all from Montreal, Quebec).  It was really great to see everyone but it was also nice to visit my cousin Laurence's cute little boutique called Buk & Nola.
 Walking into this shop was like a kid walking into a candy was a feast for the eyes!  They sell decorative items for the home and little gifts, cards, etc.

To my delight, Laurence let me pick something from the store to take home with me (merci beaucoup, Laurence!!).  I chose a gray and white toss pillow with a bird/branch graphic:

I really love it and can't wait for my house to be done so I can finally decorate!!  If you are ever in Montreal, you should definitely check out Buk & Nola!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What Dreams May Come

One morning back in April I had a dream (seriously, I really did)...well, I think I was somewhere between sleeping and fully awake when the thought came to me "I should buy a house to flip instead of getting a summer job".  So, that's exactly what I did.  During April vacation I saw several short sale houses and foreclosures and settled upon one in particular.  My realtor said since it was a short sale, it could take several months to get an answer back from the bank.  I thought "wouldn't it be nice, though, if we could get an answer and close in time for my summer vacation?"...and that is exactly what happened.  We closed last week and it has been full steam ahead every since!  It is a cute little 3 bedroom, one bath ranch in a really great family neighborhood.  It has a mudroom and a partially finished basement with lots of potential.  Here are a few 'before' shots:  

The plan in the kitchen is to replace the cabinet doors, add matching stainless 'look' appliances, add a dishwasher, replace the counter top & back splash, and replace the sink & faucet. 
Luckily there are nice hardwood floors in the bedrooms and in the living room.  I will have tile installed everywhere else.  The wood paneling above has already been ripped down and will be replaced with white beadboard.

The bathroom needs work!  Tile will be installed in the floor (to match the rest of the house), red walls will be painted Rainwashed by Shirwin Williams, vanity top and sink will be replaced however, I am going to keep the bottom and paint it (stay tuned)! I like the tile that is already on the wall so I will just give it a nice scrub down.  I am having the tub (which is currently yellowish) professionally glazed white.  

As I already mentioned, I have been hard at work this past week.  I've painted all three bedrooms, including the ceilings and the baseboards, heaters, and closets (shout out to my cousins Rebekah and Nathan who came to help me paint one day) and today I painted the ceilings in the remainder of the house.  Here are some 'before' and 'after' shots (click on the images to make them larger):
Paint color in the room above is called Pussywillow by Shirwin Williams.
Paint color in the bedroom above is called Dusty Miller by Glidden.

My brother did an awesome job knocking out the wall between the kitchen/dining area and the living room:
Yay Jon!  I really like open-concept living spaces, particularly for entertaining!  I think I have accomplished a lot for one week.  Here are some more images, for your enjoyment:

I feel really lucky that the dream I had last April has come into reality and will keep plugging along to the finish line!  Thanks for coming along for the journey and stay tuned for more pictures!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Birthday Boys

I know two little boys (friend's kids) who have birthdays this summer so that got me to thinking about what I could make them as gifts.  They are turning two and four respectively so I thought I would make them each a "crayon cozy".  You might be thinking (as I did when purchasing the crayons) "but why would they need this when the crayons already come in a nice, portable box?"  True, but the cardboard box tends to fall apart with lots of use, particularly the little flaps at the top used to keep it closed, and this roll-up is sooooo much cuter!  Here is the tutorial I used to make it (although I used 7 1/2 inches of elastic looped on one end to wrap around the roll instead of ribbon). 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens...

In today's post, I'd like to share a few of my favorite things, items that I've been digging this summer and, in some cases, even longer!

#1 Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer
I absolutely LOVE this stuff!  It goes on like a chapstick but adds just enough color to give your lips a little something!  It's a cross between a lipstick and a chapstick.  It also has a great mint flavor to it.  My favorite color is Watermelon (second from the left in the picture above). 

#2 Oil of Olay Complete Defense Suncreen
 I use a moisturizer on my face with SPF 15 in it on a daily basis but on days that I go to the beach or know I will be out in the sun a lot, I use Oil of Olay Complete Defense moisturizer with SPF 30.  I have tried many different sunscreens that are designed for the face but they are usually still really greasy.  This one is the best one I have tried.  I will still say it is a bit 'heavier' than just a plain old moisturizer but it is by far the least greasy so I give it a thumbs up!

#3 Revlon Nail Polish
I paint my nails just about every week and this nail polish is the best that I have used.  It goes on nicely, is pretty thick, and really seems to last.  I realize a lot of what makes a manicure last is how you paint your nails and what base/top coat you use, but as far as the polish itself, this is pretty much the only brand I will buy because I think it is a great product!  And I have used it for YEARS!

#4 Garnier Fructis Anti-Humidity Hairspray
I'm not one to be too picky when it comes to hairspray (I feel like they all pretty much do the same thing) but I started using this product back in the spring and it does a really good job.  It has bamboo in it which I guess is suppose to help it hold your hair while be flexible (avoiding 'helmet hair'). It does hold my hair but doesn't feel sticky or hard.  Still, my hair does get frizzy but I don't think there is any way of avoiding that during the hot summer months, even with a good shampoo/conditioner/hairspray routine!

#5 Edy's All-Natural Fruit Bars
These fruit bars are absolutely delicious!  We have been having a really hot summer here in New England so I've been eating a lot of these!  And I CAN without feeling guilty because they are fat free and only 80 calories per bar!  They are pretty big as far as popsicles go and have real chunks of fruit.

#6 Kilz Paint

When I renovated my condo a few years ago, I tried lots of different brands of paint and this one is the absolute winner when it comes to one-coat coverage.  Still, you have to know what you are doing when you paint, but if you take your time with your first coat, you really only need one coat of this stuff in most cases!  LOVE IT!  I usually bought my Kilz at Wal-Mart, which is a bonus because it is much cheaper than some of the other brands at the 'big box' stores or the specialty paint stores.  I will definitely use this paint in the upcoming weeks when renovating the house that I am closing on this week!

#7 The Office
I just have to give a shout out to my ABSOLUTE favorite show of all time!  I usually play episodes while I am crafting or doing other work because this show just cracks me up!  And who doesn't like a good laugh?

My Sister's Garage

My friend from high school and her sister have an ADORABLE little shop called My Sister's Garage in which they have allowed me to sell some of my Crafty Teacher Lady items!  I will admit that I haven't has as much time to sew this summer as I had hoped, what with the trip to British Isles, then teaching summer school, and next flipping a house (stay tuned for updates on that)! But, I have made a few more items to sell in addition to the appliqued onesies, baby dresses, pocket tissue covers, and framed prints that I already have there.  Here are some recently completed items (wristlets and headbands):

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Birthday Treat

My dad's birthday was this past weekend.  Instead of buying him gifts that he'll probably never use, I decided I would make him something I KNEW he would love...chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting (his favorite)!!  I did cheat and use a box mix to make the cupcakes but I did make the frosting from scratch.  This is THE BEST frosting I have ever tasted.  Click here for the recipe!

Yummy Yummy!  The sacrifices I have to make for a fun photo collage!


My friend's baby girl is turning one this summer (here she is in the picture above wearing a dress I made for her)!  Never wanting to miss an opportunity to give a unique and creative gift, I settled upon making this:
It is a soft baby book...but not just any soft book, it's PERSONALIZED!  I used six pictures I had taken throughout her first year, printed them on photo fabric, then sewed the book together! 
All you need to make this book:
-a packet of computer printer fabric (I bought this at Joann Fabrics)
-some thin batting to place between your fabric pages
-Photoshop or word processing document to format your pictures/words for printing
-Color printer
-Fun fabric for outer cover of book
-Sewing machine, scissors, etc. 

You can make the book as large or as small as you would like but it looks better if it is square.  I added a tab and a velcro dot on the front to keep the book closed but you could leave this out. Here is the finished product:
I absolutely love this project/gift and would say it is one of the coolest and most special items I have ever made!