Friday, October 30, 2009

last minute halloween idea

Is anyone else a procrastinator? Well I usually am! I thought I'd share a last minute Halloween idea for anyone who still doesn't know what to make. (We're talkin food!) Tonight I made cupcakes for our party tomorrow night knowing that I'd have too many other things to do tomorrow. I used a white cake mix (yes, from a box!) and added played around with food coloring to create orange. Don't ask me what combination I used! I frosted the cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Then I put some white frosting into a baggy, melted it for about 5 seconds in the microwave, and then cut off a VERY teeny tip from the baggy. Next, I made a little spiral from the middle of the cupcake to the outer edge. Then I took a toothpick and starting from the middle, made little lines to drag the white frosting with the chocolate frosting and this is how it turned out: In case you can't tell, they're spiderwebs. I got this idea from a magazine a few years ago. I prefer to use foiled cupcake liners because I think the cupcakes are more moist and evenly baked. This time around, a couple of cupcakes got squished together and they reminded me of the shapes of ghosts.
I would have done more of these intentionally if it weren't a mistake to begin with :) And this is my gumball machine that I filled with black and orange m&ms. It looks festive but you get quite the handful when you turn the dial - which is ok with me!

I'm linking up with creative cats and A Soft Place to Land. Happy Halloween, everyone :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

hidden doorways/built-in bookcases

After my post on our basement, I got a few emails and comments asking for a post on our 'hidden doorway' which is our bookshelf. Mr. Junk Style is a {brilliant} carpenter. I can't wait to build a house someday because he is full of great ideas! So this is how it looks from our basement living area:

And if you're wondering what that bar is near to the ceiling - it's a pipe! Our basement has such low ceilings and if we would have drywalled under the pipes, we would have lost another foot. So we decided to spray the ceilings black and keep the industrial look to it. And I absolutely love the look of it (although it collects a lot of dust).

Before I go on about this bookcase, it turns out that it is currently broken! It won't take much to fix it, but we don't need to use this doorway too often so it has yet to be fixed. When it is in working order, this is how it works....
As you can see, the bookcase is flush with the wall and simply looks like a built-in. However, when you pull down on the Indiana Jones Trilogy (as shown below)....

...there is a wire that runs from the back of the movie case to this thingy:

The wire lifts the 'hook' and releases that 'bar' and causes the bookcase to open!

As you can see, the other side of the doorway is nothing special. It enters to my husband (and my) workshop where he builds up all of our other bright ideas. Eventually we're hoping for the doorway to lead to a hallway and maybe another bedroom and bathroom.

My husband also added this built-in when we bought our house 4 years ago. I love it!

I'm linking up with A Soft Place to Land and creative cats! and metamorphisis monday Check em out!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

10 tasks, purdy, and shrinkage

This is going to be a random post people!!

First off, did anyone else participate in Shabby Chic Cottages' 10 tasks in 10 days? Well, I did! Thanks to the weather, I was unable to accomplish 2 of my outdoor tasks (really, thank you weather!) But everything else on my list got done! That was fun. It really boosted my energy too and I got even more little tasks done.

One of my tasks was to finish cutting in our front entryway that we just made-over. I had recently recieved a free Purdy paintbrush and roller and I put the paint brush to use. And let me tell you.... I am IN LOVE! It took me literally half the time to touch-up than when I use a cheap, junky paintbrush. I have always bought angled brushes but Purdy has such a fine tip to the angled point and yet it holds so much paint. So I would HIGHLY recommend getting a Purdy paintbrush for your next painting project. The only time it malfunctioned was when I would sing and cut in at the same time (I don't recommend doing the 2 at the same time!) For my next painting project, I'm thinking I have to touch-up every other room with this purdy paintbrush so that it looks as professional as my front entryway! Thanks, purdy people!! AND...the people at Purdy brushes wanted to let you know that they have a live web site that is giving $3 rebates for people who purchase Purdy brushes so go check it out!

The third topic I want to touch on today is something that totally gripes me. I was in the bathroom the other day when I noticed that our toilet paper rolls have shrunken considerably. I flip-flop toilet paper brands depending on what's on sale (though I try to stay within Mr. GMC's toilet paper standards!) The brand that I'm refering to shrinking is Angel Soft. I got 12 rolls that are advertised as being more like 24 rolls because they're twice as thick, but we're talking 1.5 inches off the width. Seriously, how much money can this company possibly save by cutting back on our toilet paper! (On the other hand, how much toilet paper are we even really missing by this slight shrinkage - but that's beside the point!) So has anyone else noticed this? Are there any other brands that are doing this? Am I totally way too cheap for even being annoyed by this? It's just that I have noticed a change in my grocery bill - the prices go up but the products are shrinking! It's madness!

Friday, October 9, 2009

lights out

A few hours of gale force winds one night meant no power for us for 36 hours. Wow, what a pain in the butt! We ended up buying a generater to run our sump pump and refridgerators. My 28 month old, 1 year old, and I were at a loss for what to do with our day. (I had to stay home for half a day to watch that the sump pump didn't flood our basement). Half a day without tv.... it was bad. I guess my girls watch too much tv! But actually it was the darkness that drove me crazy. Our house is in a little neighborhood and the front of the house faces north and the back, therefore, faces south. (I do have a point - being that the sun rises in the east, sets in the west!) We stare at other houses on each side of us. Our house is positioned in a way that the sun doesn't shine down on us. But, the darkness did make me appreciate the candles. We lit up the house with candles. It made me think, why not light these candles more often, just for the heck of it? It's like the phrase 'use the good china'. Really, when it comes to decorating, a good thing to remember is that while we want things to look great, why not keep it useful and comfortable. It's so much more enjoyable that way!

I got this for $12. It sits above my piano and I love it :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

ten tasks....

I am taking this challenge; completing 10 tasks in ten days. If you've got random projects you haven't started, this sounds like a good way to get them going.

Here is my list:

Item #1: Making this list (this is time-consuming in itself!)
Item #2: Paint crown molding for my massage room.
Item #3: Finish cutting-in our front entryway.
Item #4: Finish painting a chair red.
Item #5: Hang one of our latest flea market finds.
Item #6: Decorate the front of the house for autumn.
Item #7: Transplant a bunch of hostas (ooo, I so hope I get this one done)
Item #8: Make curtains for the front entryway.
Item #9: Find fabric to re-cover a footrest (and hopefully get it recovered, too)
Item #10: Finish switching out our summer clothes to fall clothes.

There are so many more projects that I need to get done along with these. But for now, I'll just cross my fingers and hope to get these done.

What is on your list? I'd love to know!