Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday, Crash!

Three years later, and things haven't changed much...





He's a little special, but we love him anyway.  Happy birthday to my little Crash Monster!

Monday, February 18, 2013

DIY Stone Accent Wall

When we first saw our house in August 2011, Evan noted that the main focal wall in the living room would look great if it was made out of stone.  We agreed that it'd also help out with the house's character since it didn't have a fireplace.  After we bought the house, we looked into installing a stone wall, but most of the options were pretty steep in price.  And, being new homeowners, we really didn't have much money to spare.

The Living Room: Before Move-In
Evan and I recently stumbled upon a Lowe's display featuring a new product called Airstone.  This is a composite stone material that is light enough to be adhered directly to drywall and easily cut using just a regular hacksaw.  A whole wall's worth of the product isn't cheap, but is much less expensive than the alternatives.  Therefore, we bought seven Airstone boxes in "Autumn Mountain" and five tubs of adhesive, and decided that now was a good time to get this project done!


The stones are available in individual boxes as flat, corner, or natural edges to create an authentic look.  We wanted to cover the wall in a single column, and not wrap it around any corners.  Therefore, we bought only flat and natural edged stones.  The stones arrived in an assortment of shapes and colors, are lightweight, and are approximately an inch in depth. 



Before we got started with the stonework, we first had to prep the area by cleaning the wall and dismantling the TV wall mount.  


We wanted the electric outlet to mount over the top of the stone, so we turned off the circuit breaker to the room and unscrewed the outlet from the wall temporarily.


This wall is also adjacent to our staircase, so we cut off a portion of our banister using a sawzall to remove it from the wall.  This would allow for the stones to be installed behind the banister rail.


Finally, since we wanted the stone to begin from the floor, we pried off the baseboard from the wall and discarded it.


Now, the real work began!


I started in one corner of the wall with a natural edge stone.  To secure it to the wall, I slathered on a coat of Airstone adhesive on the back of the stone by using a putty knife.  It was very much like icing a cupcake.  



I applied the stone directly to the wall and held it in place for a few seconds.  Then, I continued down the wall using flat edged stones until I met the opposite corner.


When I reached the electric outlet, corners, or simply needed to trim a piece of stone to make it fit, all I needed to use was a hand-held hacksaw.  


I found it easiest to work on two or three rows at a time.  That way, I could ensure that I wasn't repeating the same color or shape all the time.  Some of the stones came in larger squares or rectangles that were double the size of the others.  By having many options available on the wall, it was easier to tell where those larger pieces could fit nicely.  I also kept a wet rag handy in case I applied too much adhesive and it began to ooze.



The installation of this stone wall couldn't have been any easier.  All you have to do is sort, putty, occasionally trim, and then stick each stone on the wall.  That being said, it was fairly time consuming, in that it took me eight hours to complete the wall.  Well worth it!


Once the stonework was finished, we waited for the adhesive to dry overnight before setting everything back into place. The following day, we screwed the banister back into the wall, reattached the electric outlet, and re-installed the TV mount.  All of which was done by drilling pilot holes into the stones first, and then using longer screws so that they reached the drywall and studs.


Remember the before?


Well, here's the after! 



We recently installed track lighting in our living room, so the new fixtures really showcase this wall, too.


The wall looks and feels like it is made out of real stone.  I had accidentally cracked a few pieces whenever I exerted too much pressure on its application; however, this resulted in a look that seems almost more genuine.






We don't recognize our living room now, and couldn't be more pleased with the result.  The wall is beautiful, simple, and purely cosmetic, but it might very well be my favorite DIY addition to our house.  It's the perfect accent wall.



I hope to have our living room completed within the next few weeks for the ultimate reveal.  Stay tuned!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageBurlap and DenimC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Everything Under the MoonGet Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyFunky Polka Dot Giraffe,  I Gotta Try ThatI'm Topsy TurvyJillify ItThe Kurtz CornerMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNatural NestersNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee Crafts,  Sweet Little GalsTales of a Trophy WifeTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Adorned from Above, Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingYesterday on TuesdayFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyJust Us FourMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot So Functional HousewifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaPerfectly ImperfectThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

What's Stopping You?

Many friends, family members, and readers have told me, "I wish my house looked like yours."

I don't mean to be rude, or selfish, or inconsiderate, but instead of thanking the person for their thoughtfulness, I want to tell them:

"Then what's stopping you?"

Over the years, I've heard others say that they'd love to one day redo their kitchen, or finish their basement, or create a garden.  It's always left to "someday."

Why?  Usually it's due to the lack of funding or timing.  Or both.

But think about it.  When will you ever have the money or the time to do it? You can't wait until your kids are grown, when your mortgage is paid off, or when you'll find a better career.  It'll never be the perfect time.  Your plans will turn into another New Year's resolution that won't come to fruition.

Perhaps I'm too impatient.  Maybe a little compulsive.  Or lack a general sense of self control.  But if I don't have the funds to do something, I get creative.  If I don't have time, I work weeknights and an occasional weekend.  I still have many chances to paint a room, refinish a cabinet, or sew some curtains.  All of those little things add up, and eventually I find myself standing in a home that I'm proud to show off.  And so can you!

And now, what began as a starter home has turned into my dream home.


So here I am, telling you this:

What's stopping you?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Baseball Table Lamp

I'm in the process of turning our bonus room into a man cave for Evan.  Last week, I wrote about how I created a floor lamp out of one of my old hockey sticks.  I needed a few additional lamps for the room, so I sifted through our sports equipment and thought I could do something similar with some used baseballs.  So why not?

I bought a $3.00 table lamp base and $2.00 shade from Walmart.  I made sure to buy a lamp that had a skinny enough base to fit within a baseball.  Then, I took apart the lamp's socket.


When I tried removing the socket, I ended up accidentally breaking it.  Whoops!  It ended up not being a big deal -- later on that week, I simply bought a replacement socket from Lowe's.  With the original socket removed, I was left with the table lamp base and its bare cord.


Then it was time to begin drilling holes into the baseballs.  I used a power drill and a 5/8" drill bit.  When choosing this drill bit, I made sure that it was a little wider than the table lamp base.


I placed the drill bit onto the middle of the baseball, and then drilled a hole directly through it.


This created a clean cut through the baseball.


Once done, I slid the baseball over the bare power cord and onto the table lamp base.


I needed two more baseballs to complete the lamp.  Each time, however, I made sure to drill a hole into a different area of the baseball.  That way, they'd sit on different angles.


One more baseball to go!


(If you're like me and ever wondered what's on the inside of baseballs, here you go!  Cork.  Lots of cork.)


Once the three baseballs were on the table base, I took apart the replacement socket and assembled it directly on top of the baseballs.  


To make an effective lamp, I attached the two ends of the bare cord to the socket's terminal screws.


With the socket assembled, all that was left to add was the light bulb and shade!


I decided to fancy up the white shade before I added it to the lamp.  To do so, I mimicked a baseball seam by free-stitching "seams" around the base of the shade.


And there you go!  An easy, inexpensive baseball lamp.




This lamp is perfect for Evan's man cave.  It would be adorable for a boy's sports-themed bedroom, too!





What do you think?


You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageBurlap and DenimC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Everything Under the MoonGet Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyFunky Polka Dot Giraffe,  I Gotta Try ThatI'm Topsy TurvyJillify ItThe Kurtz CornerMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNatural NestersNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee Crafts,  Sweet Little GalsTales of a Trophy WifeTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Adorned from Above, Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingYesterday on TuesdayFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyJust Us FourMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot So Functional HousewifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaPerfectly ImperfectThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

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