Bassinet Bedding for Less

Sewing, sewing, sewing…I am officially sick of sewing!  Although, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, I am SO GLAD to be done.  Before tackling the crib bedding, I decided to make my own bassinet bedding.  Just like the crib bedding, I fell in love with the world’s most expensive bassinet bedding which drove me to sewing my own.  Can we say NESTING!!!!  Yup, it may be a bit early for me, but I think I am fully nesting.  It never stops!  Just ask my husband…he is convinced that his wife has gone insane!

Since planning for a little girl is, frankly, an obsession, it was quickly determined that the “Moses Basket” bassinet look was a must!  But ouch, it sure drains your pocket within one “add to cart” click!  I particularly liked Pottery Barn Kids and Restoration Hardware Moses baskets which retail anywhere between $450 – $550.  This seemed a bit out of control and I felt guilty adding to a baby registry, especially since there are so many expensive items that are a bit more important than a fabulously beautiful Moses bassinet.

So what is a girl to do when there is a strong desire for fabulous but to embarrassed to add to a baby registry?  Go used…yup, I love me some consignment or used baby items!  A very generous neighbor was looking to sell their gently used Pottery Barn bassinet for $100, including the bedding!  SCORE and exactly what I was looking for.  I simply washed the bumper set and recovered with the fabric I wanted (same as the crib bedding).  Then, the bassinet skirt.  A bit of “ruffle hell,” however, I got through it and am so excited with the final result!  Ta-da!!!  Enjoy!
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A Princess Baby Bed

As a first time mom, I have spent countless hours on the internet searching baby room inspiration…imagine that!  My poor husband is probably the most patient man alive to endure all the “Hey babes look at this…awww….OMG look at this one….do you like this shade of pink?  Okay if you had to choose between this one and that one, what would you choose?”  Poor guy…you know a man truly loves you when he can endure the emotional and obsessive roller coaster of a pregnant lady trying to decide how to decorate a baby girl nursery!  You rock babe and I love you!

Apparently I have extremely expensive taste in baby decor.  Of course I would fall in love with the $1,500 bedding set…not.even.kidding.  Obviously, spending $1,500 on a bed set for a child that won’t sleep in the crib for more than two years, is well, insane.  Not to mention, the crib bumpers will more than likely stay off for the majority of the time that baby is an infant.  Yeah, I googled baby bumper safety…big mistake.  Now I am terrified of suffocation and strangulation caused by baby bumpers.  Google can be your worst enemy!  Having a baby 1.0.

Here is the bedding set that I fell head over heels in love with…and can’t afford.

expensive baby bedding

Here is a cheaper version, however, still way more than I wanted to pay.  looked at my husband and totally was like, “Babes I can so make this myself.”  Disclaimer:  I had NO CLUE what I was getting myself into!
Emily Bedding

Homemade Princess Baby Bedding by yours truly!  Total spent: No more than $150!  Enjoy!

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I have not blogged in about a month and this project is totally why.  Oh, and I also made my own bassinet bedding…that is a post for another day.

The bedding is made with Shantung fabric in Ivory.  The bows are made from Taffeta fabric in Pink.  I ordered extra taffeta fabric from Hong Kong to match my custom curtains.  This saved me a lot of money and if you are interested in my contact’s information, please let me know.

For those interested, my homemade baby bedding can be accomplished with a simple understanding of sewing…half the battle is learning how to thread the darn thing.  Basically, you need an engineering degree for this.  Big thanks to my Pama (Grandma on my Dad’s side) for the basic sewing lessons as child.  A tip for making ruffles…make sure you purchase three times the amount of fabric to make a nice and full ruffle!  Easy ruffle tutorial here.

The Powder Room

Hi,

My name is Brittany and I am a Pinterest addict…It’s an obsession…this is not a secret!  I could spend hours on Pinterest just looking through fun DIY and decorating ideas.  Okay, maybe not hours, but for long periods of time and several times per week.  Pinterest is a fabulous place to get inspiration if you enjoy making things and getting a little creative.

So…the powder room…the wash room…the bathroom that everyone uses when spending time at the Olds’ residence.  I found an inspirational picture on Pinterest that looked a little something like this…
Bird Houses on the Wall

I love the bird houses hanging on the wall!  What a unique and fun idea for our country home!  Time to shop for the perfect bird houses.  Why do bird houses have to cost a million dollars?  It’s a bird house…4 pieces of decorative wood with a little roof…why why why?  My budget friendly answer: the flea market.  I found this quaint little shop at the flea market that sells all sorts of crafty things.  The owners spend all week gathering left over materials from everywhere and craft to sell every weekend.  What a fun job!  Anyways, they sold me these little gems for $12 a piece and they are exactly what I was looking for.  Old barn wood with rusted out hardware and license plates as the roof.  These bird houses went on the wall in our little powder room.

Again, I wish I would have snapped a before picture of the power room before we redid it…but I didn’t, so let me paint a quick mental picture for you.  Yucky wall paper with a floral design below the shelf molding, ugly flat paneled cabinet doors, outdated fixtures/hardware and a boring mirror.  A few updates made:

  • Added granite as sink top with vessel sink bowl
  • Added vessel faucet
  • Added new mirror (cheap from TJ Maxx – love that place)
  • Added new light fixture
  • Painted walls in neutral color
  • Added custom paneled cabinet doors
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I have future plans for the powder room. I would love to paint the bottom portion of the wall (below the shelf molding) in a rich copper color. This will provide a little contrast to my earth-tone taste but will still flow with open spaces down stairs. And, definitely the pewter hardware…so much to do and so little time 🙂

The Guest Bathroom

I wish I had totally cool before pictures for this post…but, I don’t and I am seriously kicking myself for that.  I can be an “in the moment” thinker which has it’s pro’s but also has it’s con’s.  My husband calls it the “you thought about it but didn’t want to deal with it” syndrome.  I am working on it!

The painters came today to finish up a few touch-up’s which makes me SO happy because I can FINALLY share a few more rooms.  Although there are still a few finishing touches that need to happen, such as changing out silver hardware to oil-rubbed bronze, I wanted to go ahead and share.

It was super important to me to make the bathrooms “flow,” meaning, incorporating the same tile colors but in a slightly different way.  As you can imagine, since my dumb self didn’t take before pictures, our guest bathroom was also a thousand shades of white.  If you are interested in a mental picture, check out my recent blog post about the master bathroom here.  Imagine the same concept but on a much smaller scale.  Hideous!  This bathroom is considered our “guest bathroom” because it is attached to our guest bedroom (imagine that lol).  Guest bedroom photos can be found here.  A quick run down of the changes we made:

  • Added slate tile to floor
  • Added new cabinet doors to existing cabinets (money saver)
  • Added new light fixtures
  • Extended Shower by about 1 ft for extra space (previously, if you bent over in this shower, your hiney would be out the door)
  • Tiled Shower
  • Added new shower hardware
  • Added new glass to shower
  • Added granite countertops
  • Installed new mirror
After Pictures of Guest Bathroom
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Fun fact about this picture hanging above the toilet in the guest bathroom…I made this for my hubby for our 2 year dating anniversary.  We were in college and I took a poetry class.  The incorporated poem in the picture was written by yours truly!  It is about falling in love!

No Words

When two souls harmonize
They meet at the heart
No perfect way to say it

I loved you from the start

The depths of the inexplicable
It called me by name
The ceaseless pit I looked down

It won’t ever be the same

Descending through a hollows’s shadows
I fell without a stop
The whispers of your wings

We ascended to the top

The calmness of your lips
Your pure innocuous smile
Patterns in my heart show

I’ll stay around for awhile

The days are growing older
Weeks become the past
Yearning that this moment

Will always forever last

When two souls harmonize
They meet at the heart
No perfect way to say it
I loved you from the start

Before & After: The Master Suite

There are a few things missing in this room and a few things that are not 100% complete, however, it is ready enough to share!  I am still on the search for a rug that fits our master bedroom nicely, however, this has been a bit of a challenge given the natural light in the room.  Rugs that are one color in the store always seem to look a different color in this room – such problems!  Also, my fan is almost done…this is a jerry-rig creative adventure that I will explain in just a bit.

So…the master bedroom…that blue carpet again…I can’t take it!  If you look closely, you can see a large round stain in the middle of the carpet.  Perhaps there was a round bed in this room at some point?  Your guess is as good as mine…either way, this stain is just weird and pretty creepy.  The carpet had to go…  We replaced the carpet with hardwood floors to match the rest of the downstairs.  We also replaced the blinds to match the rest of the house.  The previous owners installed brown blinds in just the master bedroom and white in other areas downstairs…WHY?  We replaced the ceiling fan with oil rubbed bronze to match the door handles and fixtures throughout the house.  Interesting note on the fan…I couldn’t find a crystal globe to match our vintage lights in the room, so we got a little creative.  I found an old, horrible ceiling light at Habitat that had a crystal look.  A little switch-a-roo and now we have a jerry-rigged crystal globe attached to the ceiling fan.  We need to install an oil rubbed bronze collar above the globe to make the fan look complete…this is a project that is in process!  Lastly, we installed vintage lights above each night stand instead of lamps.  I found these lights at a local Pittsboro thrift shop and I am obsessed!

Master Bedroom Before:

Master Bedroom Before

Master Bedroom After:
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Ahhh, so much more romantic!  Now for the master bathroom!  I think the only word to describe our master bathroom before is…white!  White floors, white counters, white walls, white tub, white shower…white EVERYTHING!  It’s like frosty the snowman threw up all over the bathroom.  Gross.  In fact, if someone wanted to completely torture me, stick me in a completely white room and I might stroke out…this may be worse than Chinese water torture.  I’m being dramatic!  Anyways, this bathroom was in some serious need of a splash of color.  How about a calming grey-blue to give the feel of a nice relaxing spa…ahhhh yes!  A few things that we did to transform this room; tiled the tub and shower, added glass to the shower instead of the random wall that looked like ginormous ice cubes, added oil rubbed bronze hardware, moved the chandelier above the tub and replaced with a new chandelier, added slate floors, added carpet in the attached closet, added granite counter tops for each sink, replaced cabinet doors to match those in the kitchen, replaced light fixtures above each sink and added frames to existing mirrors.  By the way, as I mentioned in a previous post, replacing cabinet doors instead of the entire cabinet is a much more budget friendly option that captures the look you are going for.  Also, ordering frames for existing mirrors is a fun and creative way to achieve the look you want without killing your wallet.  If you are interested, check out mirrormate.com and sign up for their newsletters as often they will have specials.  I got my frames 30% off on cyber Monday…SCORE!

Master Bathroom Before:

Master Bathroom Before
Master Bathroom After:
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There is a little toilet room that hangs off directly in front of the shower, however, I thought a picture would be sorta boring.

Here are a few pictures of our master closet that is attached to our master bathroom.  My husband replaced all the shelving himself…I love him!  Much more space than previous shelves which allows husband and wife to share a closet…if you would have mentioned this option to me a year ago, I would tell you that you are crazy!  But it works!!!
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How to throw a Man-Birthday Party!

How do you throw a birthday bash for a 28 year old man?  There are the obvious essentials such as beer, food and, well, beer… but, what do you do at a man-party?  We usually have the parentals and brothers over, cook whatever the birthday boy wants and provide lots of beer….obviously!   But this year, I wanted to do something different.  I wanted to decorate for husband’s birthday party.  We are in a new house and I no longer have a job so this was the year to do it up!  So, I consulted with my friend Pinterest.

After searching on Pinterest for about an hour, I found nothing…nothing on man birthday parties.  I could only find ideas for little man parties (you know with that trendy mustache).  I.Could.Not.Find.Anything.  Sad face!  BUT..what I did find was a method for hanging balloons on string and hanging on the wall.  This seemed like a pretty cool idea!  AND Angry Birds!  Because, what man doesn’t  like Angry Birds?  I think every person on this planet that owns a smart phone has downloaded Angry Birds and has probably beat the game.  I might know a lady that has also beat the game…I am not ashamed!

Here are some of my ideas for decorating with LOTS of balloons and Angry Birds.  And yes…I blew up all those balloons myself and didn’t pass out!
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So man birthdays and an itinerary!  The original plan was to shoot guns outside for a few hours and then come in for dinner.  However, due to the all-day-snowfest we experienced here in good ol’ NC, we needed a plan B.  Football game?  Nope…these men took full advantage of the pool table in the bonus room, with of course, lots of beer…and LOTS of chips and candy!  I spent the entire day before preparing spaghetti and homemade meatballs (arg…so manly)!  I also baked the birthday cake, lemon blueberry cream cheese pound cake!  YUM!  Preparing the food a day earlier made party day so much less stressful and way more fun as a host!  While the boys played pool, us Moms and Moms-to-be chatted it up and warmed up the food.  So darn easy and so much fun!  Yummy food, a cozy fire and warm company…it was a success!
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From Old Desk to Distressed Hall Table

I love the look of distressed furniture but have always shied away because of the massive amount of time and work that goes into this.  I have never been that  patient of a person and was not sure I had the patience for striping, then sanding, then painting, then sanding again and then painting…blah blah blah…  Plus I was not all that comfortable using stripping chemicals while preggers so an alternative was desperately needed.  So, I googled “distressing furniture” and found a SIMPLE and FAST tutorial that involves Vaseline and a little bit of interior paint.  Hmmmm…seems easy enough!

So I was given this old desk that worked great in my guest room back in our old house.  Only problem was, my guest room didn’t have enough room for another piece of furniture so this desk sat in our spare room (aka future baby room) for 6 months collecting dust.  I thought about giving it away or donating it but never got around to it.  One day I was sitting in this spare room with my mom discussing inspiration for a little boy or girl nursery and BAM…it hit me!  I swear I am like a cat…can’t pay attention to anything for more than 5 minutes before my mind wanders into a totally different direction.  “MOM I know what I can do with that desk!”  My mom has dealt with Brittany ADD for 27 years now so I am sure she is just used to it.

Here is a terrible picture of the desk before…sorry for the blurriness!  I can’t believe I found this picture from an old iPhone back-up…some things are just meant to be!
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This desk is essentially two pieces; the top part and the bottom part.  Both parts will be transformed into something totally different, but for today, we will discuss the Distressed Hall Table.  I thought it would be really cool to incorporate an old shutter as the top part of the table…so off to Habitat I went.  Believe it or not, wooden shutters can be difficult to find as many are actually plastic.  Obviously wooden shutters makes more sense for a table if you consider the stability of the piece.  Two wooden shutters for $12…SCORE!  This project only requires one shutter.

How to Distress Using Vaseline:
  1.  Choose the piece of furniture/wood/project that you would like to distress.  Lightly sand the piece by hand.  Seriously, don’t spend more than a few minutes on this step because it is a waste of time.  Your piece more than likely already has existing paint or stain or whatever that you can use to your advantage…be creative!
  2. Blow off your piece with compressed air or a lawn blower (Red Neck but works great).  Paint a super thin coat on the corners and edges of your piece a dark color (or whatever color scheme you would like).  Remember this step will eventually be the color that will show through to give a distressed look.  Let the paint dry (1 hour at the most).  Since my desk was black, I didn’t need to do step 1 or 2.
  3. Now for the fun and moisturizing part of this project!  Smear a thin amount of Vaseline along the edges and corners of your piece, covering the dark paint you just finished in step 2.  You don’t need to let the Vaseline dry because it won’t…LOL!
    1. NOTE:  The thicker the Vasleine coat you use, the more that the paint will come off in later steps…totally your call.  Thicker Vaseline layer is more difficult to work with in the end and will be much messier.
  4. Using FLAT paint in a light color (I used cream color) and a paint brush, apply a light coat all over the peice.  Remember, the goal here is to make the piece look distressed so don’t get all OCD on this step.  The less perfect you paint this layer, the better it will look in the end.  Be creative and try not to cover the whole piece with tons of paint.  Let paint dry (not more than an hour).
  5. Using sandpaper or those sand pads you can get at any hardware store, lightly sand the edges and corners of the piece (remember in step 2?).  BOOM – distressing made easy!
    1. NOTE:  You can incorporate several colors if you wish!  I did this with the shutter.  I used teal, dark brown and cream.  Just be sure to add an additional step of painting before you apply the Vaseline.  Be creative…you can’t go wrong with to many colors.

Shutters

Putting the table together was pretty easy!  All I needed was an electric drill, drill bits, screws and a husband!  Since the desk already has legs and a base, the only step left to do was assemble the shutter to the top.  The desk was already set up for a top so literally all we did was screw the shutter onto the base of the desk…very carefully!  Actually, I shouldn’t take credit for this as my husband did most of the work…okay all of the work!  Thanks Hun!  OH…and I added vintage crystal knobs to the functional drawer.

Crystal Knobs

Table After Distressing with Shutter Attached!  Enjoy!  I am super proud of this project!

Shutter Table

Table in Hallway

Remember that awkward wall I talked about in the “Big H” hallway upstairs?  This desk and picture works perfectly in this space!  To read about the “Big H” in our upstairs hallway and envision where this desk is placed in my house, click HERE.

DIY: Beautifying an Old and Ugly Sconce

Most of the time when browsing through the isles of a thrift store you think “seriously, not sure who would ever want that…” and then, out of the corner of your eye, you see something kinda ugly and you have that hmmmmm moment.  In this moment, you stop and stare for a few minutes, thinking, “I think this is ugly but there is something about this I kinda like.”  Hmmmmmm…

Yup, happens to me all the time.  The next thought is usually, “okay I can make this look really cool with a few minor tweaks but where on earth will I put it?”  My husband’s subconscious thanks me for this thought that he has NO CLUE that I always have because his worst fear is that the item will become the long lost project and end up in…dun dun dun…wait for it…his garage!  The “Garage” – the Husband’s room/space where his wife can not tell him “let’s paint the walls this color.  It will go great with…” or “No, that doesn’t look good there” or “Very cool but this doesn’t match….”  (waaa waaa waaa slow motion Charlie Brown)!  Yup, this is his space and wifey’s projects are forbidden to live here for long periods of time.  Fair enough!

Anyways, back to the old and ugly and outdated sconce that I found at the local “Guardian Angel” Thrift shop!  Time to beautify this diamond in the rough.  This project was super easy and inexpensive!

Sconcce
Only 3 things to modernize a sconce:
  • An old inexpensive sconce
  • Wire
  • Vintage crystals
Materials needed to transform sconce:
  • Spray paint (I used oil rubbed bronze…black also works)
  • Small piece of sand paper
  • Compressed canned air
  • Protective mask
Disclaimer:  Yes, I am preggers so spray painting must be done very carefully as to not harm little fetus growing inside of me.  ALWAYS spray paint outside in the open air where there is plenty of ventilation.  Wear a mask and spray with the wind.  Spray for 10-20 seconds and walk away.  By doing this, you will not smell the toxic fumes making it totally fine to spray paint while preggers.  Or, there is always the option to ask the hubby to spray paint for you…in his garage!  JUST KIDDING!
spray painting safelyTo prep the sconce, use that handy-dandy compressed air to get all the dust off.  Lightly sand (like seriously this should take less than 3 minutes).  Spray paint the sconce lightly keeping in mind that heavy will cause drippage.  Drippage = fail…sand and start over.  When lightly spraying the sconce, you may need a few coats.  Allow to dry for a few hours.
Spray Paint
Once scone is dry, it’s time to add those fabulous crystals to add drama.  Try and use wire that is similar to the color of the sconce (after painted).  Secure the crystals to desired place(s) on sconce.  BOOM – you are done!
Tip – I purchased my crystals from a local Pittsboro antique store.  These crystals are remnants from an old crystal chandelier.  These needed a good cleaning before hanging on the sconce.  Simple recipe for cleaning crystal: warm water, white vinegar and dishwasher soap.  Let soak for 20-30 minutes then rinse and dry…super easy! 
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The scone is ready to hang on the wall.
Here is my sconce after these simple modernizing steps.  Enjoy!
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After Sconce

Fabulously Old-Fashioned!

Hey Guys – my blog is still alive, I promise!  It’s been a while because life has been incredibly busy taking down Christmas decorations outside!  I KNOW I KNOW this is so tacky but seriously we have had no time…and I am waiting on a few finishing touches before I share other rooms in the house!  I can’t wait to post before and after’s of our master bedroom and bathrooms!  Stay tuned!

One of my favorite things to do is find local thrift stores, go to Goodwill or stop by the Pittsboro ReStore (Habitat for Humanity).  Simply because, you never know what you may find… I have been doing this a lot lately and have found a few treasures.  Sometimes you won’t find a single thing and other times, you may hit the jackpot.  With Habitat, I usually consult with my friend Pinterest before I set out to find whatever…usually an old window or door or something of this nature.  Here are a few treasures that I recently found!

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The weathered wrought iron thing on the left…I bought two of these from the Flea Market.  I am obsessed with these guys and plan to hang behind each night stand in our master bedroom (pictures to come).  The bird house made out of reclaimed wood, an old license plate and old hose – I bought three of these guys from the Flea Market and plan to hang on the wall in our powder room.  This room is almost complete and then I will share pictures!  The fabulous old crystal lights on the bottom right – this is my favorite find so far…  This is actually one light with two pendants that I haven’t decided 100% where I will put in the house.  A few ideas; in the powder room with the bird houses or in the future nursery?

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This old guy is an ugly green color…BUT it is wrought iron.  All it needs is a little spray paint and BOOM – he is contemporary!  The thrift store only had one of these guys, not a pair but no problemo…the sconce is large and in charge and will dominate a smaller wall so no need for two.  Add melted candlesticks and this guy is ready to be hung!  I’ll post pictures of everything once they are placed around the house.

If you like to go “antiquing” or “thrifting,” there are a few places that I recommend in the Apex/Pittsboro area.  I am sure there are more places that I have yet to discover…please feel free to share if you have a favorite place to shop.

  • Beggars and Choosers in Downtown Pittsboro
  • Antique Shops in Downtown Pittsboro (main strip)
  • Flea Market in Downtown Pittsboro (next to the Pittsboro Road House aka General Store)
  • Antique Shop in Downtown Apex
  • Habitat for Humanity in Pittsboro
  • Goodwill (Apex off hwy 55)
  • Flea Market at the Raleigh Fair Grounds (Saturday and Sunday)

Or…you could always raid your grandma’s attic or even the dumpster… I have done this before and I am not ashamed!

Another Before and After: The Fireplace

I feel in love with this house when I walked in through the front door and was greeted with a lovely open space with what felt like miles and miles of hardwood floors.  THIS room has some serious potential.  The large windows above the fireplace brought in quit a bit of light but…imagine a floor to ceiling stone fireplace!  We can compensate for less light with a chandelier.

Before:
Fireplace Before

Unfortunately, the fireplace ran by propane and we really wanted needed a real wood burning fireplace.   This meant that my husband would need to spend countless hours in the woods chainsawing rotted trees and axing them into small pieces so we can have a fire all the time.  The man LOVES using the chainsaw and I love that we always have wood for a fire.

After:
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If you are interested in reading other posts about this room, here ya go:
  • How to create Roman Shades – Back Door Window Treatments HERE
  • Decorating an Awkward Space – Under the Stairs HERE
  • Vintage Door Project – Decorating a Large Wall with a TV HERE
  • Story Behind the Picture on the Mantle HERE