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Painting Awesome: Moroccan Stenciling

21 May

It only took me 8 years to do this. SLIGHT exaggeration… I guess it was more like 3 months. Yeah, it really shouldn’t have taken that long at all. I remember telling my friend I was going to finish in the beginning of April before she came to visit. Ha! *snort* Yeah, that totally didn’t happen. I’m sorry, but stenciling is h-a-a-a-r-d.

Before more people ask:  No, I did not buy a (hard, plastic) stencil. Yes, I do know that said stencils exist. But obviously you don’t know me well enough to know that if I can get it for free then that’s the way I’m gonna go! Yes, I downloaded my paper stencil from the interwebs, and in my further defense, after doing one set of my bookshelves and moving to the other one, I found out my bookshelves are two different sizes! So I couldn’t have used a purchased and/or non paper stencil anyway. Also, I’d just like to point out that it was a royal pain in the ass to have two different sizes of bookshelves. I like to think that since the pattern is so “busy” you can’t tell that they don’t match up in size/height/placement of stencils. DON’T LOOK TO CLOSELY.

So let’s start over. We painted our living room in March… I think. Maybe? I don’t even know. Sometime in 2013 that wasn’t April or May. As I may have mentioned, we’re on a mission to rid our house of “putrid peach”. AKA the color every G-D wall is painted in our house and is unnoticeable when visiting… but drives you bonkers when you live with it. Gah. Anyway. We picked a darker taupe color and I love it. Ok to be fair I’d probably love anything that wasn’t putrid peach, but whatever. I still love it.

You can see the peach on the left by the door. *shutter*

You can see the original peach on the left by the door. *shutter* New color is the color around the door.

better pic of the color

better pic of the new color

Stevie was not a fan of us painting “her” room, since we had to move her crate into the dining room for a couple days. Note the death stare. She doesn’t like change.

I don't like change.

I don’t like change.

As we were painting the living room, we decided to paint the built-in shelves that are in there as well. Because for SOME god.forsaken.reason, whoever painted putrid peach (PP) also chose to put it on the backs of the damn shelves. The shelves that were white on all sides except PP on the back. Yeah. Horrendous, I know. So we painted them white and I had the GENIUS idea to stencil the backs of the shelves, because Pinterest told me to.

stencil time

stencil time

Now here’s where I pat myself on the back (and you should too). I took this damn stencil (ok, I copied it like 6 times, but still) and taped it on each shelf and then traced it with pencil. That’s like 86,000 stencilings. Literally.

Like so

Like so

Not exactly an easy or fun time.

and like so-er

and like so-er

I also did the bottom two shelves (you can see in the pic below), which I didn’t need to do because I was tired of painting the damn shelves actually decided I didn’t want the pattern to go down that far and so I ended up trying to erase the pencil, failing miserably, and painting over the pencil marks again. Oh well. You live, you learn.

paint time

paint time

And then I painted between all those little lines (I should point out that I am nowhere near even a decent painter, so this took lots of time and I took turns painting white and yellow, to hide the mistakes). And then I did it again. And again. And then I usually did another trip around with the white to make sure the lines looked good. It looked good from afar from the first coat, so my husband had the hardest time understanding why I continued to paint for weeks and weeks (“Is it done yet???”) but when you paint like a child, this is just what you have to do. He apparently thought I just loved painstakingly painting little lines while perched precariously on a ladder. (say that 5 times fast)

Here’s the greatest part of this post – I took lots of terrible pictures of the finished product because no matter what time of day it was, the lighting was awful on at least one side of the structure. So use your imagination.

see? one side lit up. no amount of other lighting seemed to help either.

see? one side lit up. no amount of other lighting seemed to help either.

2013-05-08 23.01.24 2013-05-08 23.01.14

no, that's not a finger print. it's probably the ghost of putrid peach.

no, that’s not a finger print. it’s probably the ghost of putrid peach.

Anyway, even though I complain a lot, I love it! And totally would do it all over again. I’ve even contemplated it for the bathroom. Hmm… I think my husband would kill me, though, remembering how long it took me to do these freakin’ shelves.

My living room is now pinterestified.

Totally a word.



Painting Awesome: MAN CAVE

8 Jan

Ok, here we go. I’m not even going to look at the last time I posted. Let’s just do this.

When we first bought our house, I told my husband he could (and should) have a “man cave”. Which then evolved into “man room” because he wasn’t too fond of the term “cave” for god knows why. My reasoning for offering this up to him was twofold: 1 – I basically get total say over decorating the rest of the house, letting him do whatever he wants in there. 2 – I had a place to put my sports memorabilia as well. Wins all around for me!

For many months he would tell people it wasn’t really a man room since it was pretty much just all my stuff in there (not true, but ok, it’s also a quasi office since there’s really nowhere else to put the desk!). But I had a vision. Oh I had a vision! He clearly just couldn’t see that vision. He was totally unconvinced that this (tiny) room would turn into a man room.

Cue painting. I know he thought he was going to get a resounding HELL NO when he told me he wanted to paint the room red, but clearly he didn’t know that I already had this vision for that room (again, I don’t know why he can’t see my vision!). Red is both a Phillies’ color and a Red Sox color, so I was fine with it (also a Sixers’ color and Liverpool color). Anyway, my point is he was totally surprised when I agreed to paint the room red.

Here’s the tricky part… neither of us have ever really painted a room before. He, I’m pretty sure, never had before, and I hadn’t painted a room since I painted my room 4 different colors (one for each wall) in my teens.

Let’s not talk about how long ago that was.

Also, my husband seems to think I know how to do everything. Well, everything he doesn’t know how to do. He gets annoyed at me when I’m like, “I have no idea what tools we need to paint!” He thinks I’m just purposely not telling him. As if that would make my life any easier?? Lol. So we decided to paint the smallest room in our house first.

Since I’m a bargain shopper to the bone, and Home Depot was having a sale on a particular paint, I was like, “It’s paint. It’s on sale. That’s what we’re getting. How bad can it be?” I was warned by at least two people not to get Behr paint. I got Behr paint. I now regret this.

Two coats in, the walls looked like this:

notice the Phillies' and Red Sox fan pulls I bought!

notice the Phillies’ and Red Sox fan pulls I bought!

Terrible, right?? It also didn’t help that my husband and I are… quite particular about things. Note the floor covered in newspaper and every surface taped. So we were clearly going to keep painting until it looked good.

Three coats in…



It took us five, FIVE coats of paint to finish the smallest room ever. I am never (ever ever) painting a room red, OR with Behr paint again.



Ok here are some before and after shots.

Before (obviously):

note the "Putrid Peach" on the walls

note the “Putrid Peach” on the walls


2012-09-29 22.02.51

2012-09-29 22.03.09

2012-09-29 22.03.24

2012-09-29 22.03.34

Holy man room, Batman, am I right?? But I totally love it. I love the idea of being able to display all sports/music-related memorabilia in one room. Oh yeah, and my husband loves it too…

It took less than a week after we finished painting for him to fill it. We did not have all of this stuff beforehand (some, but not all). My husband, who doesn’t like “things”, went a bit cray cray buying things for his man room, lol. I had to put a stop to it at some point so we can still add things to it down the road! Like the “gig” wall on the right – that’s going to be a wall of concert posters we acquire.

2012-09-29 22.02.43

Also, in case you’re wondering, I pushed hard for a futon in that room. Which meant it was my job to find one that fit in that little nook (not exactly easy to do)! I like things that double as sleeping areas, if the need ever arises for visitors. I mean, yes, we have a guest bedroom, but if we have LOTS of visitors, we can pull this out a few feet and put the arms down and it is, indeed, a bed. If anyone’s wondering, I found it online at Target! Don’t worry, I got it on sale at the time. 🙂

These pics were taken a while ago, so my husband now has a few sports-related pillows that I bought and my mom made him for Christmas. My mom made him pinstripe curtains, too! But we don’t have them yet, so they’re not up yet, so no pics of that yet.

Oh, and my husband has since declared it “The Man Cave”, like it was his idea.

Cue eye roll.


Call me, maybe?

7 Sep

Did you know that land lines still exist? As in, NON mobile phones? No, really. They do. As the rest of the world is getting cell phones and nixing their land lines, we got a land line this week. Basically, our promotional period with our cable company was ending, and it was actually going to be cheaper if we got a land line and bundled our internet, cable, and phone into one, rather than just internet and cable. This was my husband’s choice, btw.

Before the cable guy came to install it, I was like, “Um, maybe we should get a phone.” As painful as it was to go BUY a new house phone (in my family, I’m used to them just getting passed around. “Oh, your phone stopped working? Here’s one of my extras.”).

So off to Best Buy we went (that gift card still coming in handy Aunt Cheri!).

We walked around looking for a section with (non mobile) phones for a good ten minutes before finally breaking down and asking someone who worked there. I believe my exact words were, “Can you tell me where the land line phones are… if you still even sell them?” They were all the way against a back wall, nowhere we would’ve ever found them. I think they were in the miscellaneous section. Lol.

So now we have a land line… that I still have yet to hear ring (other than when the cable guy tested it)… and I’m sure I’m going to have a heart attack the first time it does. Also, my husband refuses to set up an answering machine message with me. Oh this brings back memories of the olden days! When having your own phone number was… well, like kids having cell phones these days – “necessary” and “cool”. And you recorded your super cool, probably really annoying, answering machine message (and then re-recorded it like 16 times until it was perfect).

I kind of wish we could’ve just gotten the see through phone that lit up neon. Remember this??

I miss you, see through phone.

I guess it’s not really practical when you’re talking about a phone for more than just a teenager’s bedroom. You know, mobility and such. But they do say you should have a cord phone on hand in case of a black out… I wonder if my mom still has my phone…

Anyway. I have a land line. That nobody calls. And house phones still exist (in case you were wondering).