Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Wonky Wall: Living Room

I'm being haunted. Seriously. By the Ghosts of Failed Decorating specifically the ghosts of this "Wonky Wall." 

Wonky; adj: used to describe an odd shaped or strange occurrence or space often without reason or purpose

Just kidding. I'm pretty sure that's a word my parents made up when I was a kid. But it's totally true! This dumb wall has bothered me for as long as I've owned the house. I think everyone has that one space that is hard to decorate or doesn't make sense and mine is the angled wall in my living room behind the TV area. Here's what it was like from 2008-2012:


I can't ever seem to make it workt. I thought the massive painting was the best but it has never been quite right. I moved the big painting into the dining room where it looks really awesome, and have been working to get the wonky wall dressed up now that the TV stand and TV are in place and look great.

I stole some art out of my bedroom (mirror stars & Colorado art):


And for awhile it stayed like that... empty and bereft of art in the middle. Until one day... I was walking around the Target! We found some killer clearance! My sister and I found these two chevron striped wall hangings for $3.55 a piece! At first I was worried that they would be too "blah" for the space but I think they work because they don't distract you while you are watching TV. We also found they gigantic key at Target for $17.28. Totally sweet! Check em out!



In the far left corner I painted an "A" and an "M" for my sister and I, between the two of the letters I put a $5.00 mirror from Hobby Lobby I've had for a couple years but have never hung up anywhere. The letters I found at Goodwill for $0.79 and spray painted them with a left over gold I had in my arsenal of spray paint. 


Here's the final view of this section! Bye-bye wonky wall! Hello awesomeness!


I'm glad to say that for the most part my living room  project I started wayyyy back at the beginning of 2013. Yeah. It took almost exactly a year. But hey. Check out the updated list!


Living Room ReDo:
  • Consign glass end tables (since craigslist wasn't working)
  • Fix 50" TV from the rents (got new TV)
  • Sell IKEA entertainment stand
  • Build entertainment wall (new TV stand instead)
  • make a decision on wing back chair (reupholster? sell? give away?)
  • New sectional couch
  • New flat weave area rug (more durable)
  • paint ceiling (white)
  • paint walls 
  • paint molding and beam
  • replace doors


Still working on the couch situation but for now, I'd just about call this one a donesies. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sister Update

My baby sister moved in with me back in May and I only had about a month to put her room together. {Check that out here.} It worked out okay by using what I had and organizing some things as quickly as possible, but since she's lived in there we've found we have a couple areas we ought to improve on.  

Mostly: storage. and personality.

The sad thing about a manufactured home? They don't come with it "naturally." So here's her room right now:


I still love that desk I redid {here} but the rest of that area seems a waste of space. So I have a few ideas to take out that shelf and the star on the wall and instead do some sort of storage. Here's the area now:




I'm thinking to do this idea I found on Pinterest. They use inexpensive towel bars to hold scarves. My sister has an impressive collection (as you can see above) but also likes to have them displayed. Plus the shelf is pulling out of the walls because there is no stud at the right distance. It might be easier to make something like this for her:


Another problem is that she needs a taller dresser in her closet area for her clothes. I am going to try and find one at a thrift store to redo for her using the same fun coral color on her desk.

It would be nice to get her some more personalized art and a headboard.


So far I think this one is my favorite, and something that I can build on my own. Thank goodness my Dad left me some tools and saw horses! Plus I like the price. Click the {source} button underneath for all her directions. They're pretty great. I'm pretty excited about it. I might make one for my room also!



It would also be nice to find her some sassier curtains and paint all of these walls and the trim. Hopefully we can get some of this accomplished during our 2 week Spring Break coming up at the end of March. Girl is going to have to pick out some paint that she likes though! It's sort of a big deal for me to let her do that, I'm a bit of a control freak about my house, especially after having roommates who could totally care less. I've been trying to integrate her style into the house more.


So here's a newly updated list of the things we'd like to accomplish in her room:
  • Paint all walls one color
  • Paint out all trim
  • Make new scarf storage
  • Larger dresser
  • headboard
  • personalized art/wall decor
  • new lamps/accessories
  • New lined curtains
  • Replace bulky TV (recycling place has refurbs for cheap!)



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Classroom: Set-Up & Organization

As many of you know I started my first "official" year of teaching this year, and I'm super excited about it. So I thought I'd share pictures of my classroom. Obviously it is a work in progress but it's at least a start. I teach high school English. 

Here's my desk arrangement, I don't like rows but this room doesn't allow for groupings, this allows for easy movement into groups and accessibility to students. Which is great, plus it is not traditional which works really well for me. 


Another teacher in the building gave me this beautiful couch for the room, I'm hoping to find a slip cover on sale somewhere for it, the kids love it though.  I of course have a gigantic Little Mermaid poster, she's my fav. I also got these two fancy desks for free from another teacher who switched schools and didn't want to take them. They are really nice!


Our school is really far out from any food places so I have mini-kitchen in my classroom, the students call it my "mini-bar." I love coffee! Plus I use the cabinets to store all my food, mostly soup and oatmeal. haha.


My Mom and I have been collecting books for as long as I can remember, roughly 5 years. So far there is about 400 books on this wall, I let students check them out and so far I have only lost one. They usually bring them back when I explain that my Mom and I used our money to buy them and not the school. They all have my name on them too. It's a lot of books:



For their projects they can choose to paint ceiling tiles, a box of them is $30.00 at Lowe's so I just buy a box and will switch em around at the end of the year and keep the really cool ones up.


I spray painted some random scrap 2"x4"s that were in my shed with gold and chalkboard paint so I could make some labels for my room. I try to be crafty, I have a big chalkboard "M" also. 


Teacher corner!



I'm starting a gallery wall. Theme: Little Mermaid and Colorado paintings. hehehehe.


Here's my angle from the teacher desk!


I have plans to use the school color (maroon, grey, white) grey to paint stripes around the room like those in my office. I think it will look cool and there's enough cabinets that it wouldn't take that much time. Plus it's different and quirky, like me! I tell my students that the reason I teach is because I LOVE it and because I'm too weird for any other job.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Easy & Cheap: DIY TV Console

Good news! The website that had been stealing my content finally removed all of it! No longer have to put up that tacky warning sign at the beginning of my posts! Much thanks to Crystal at Mobile Home Living for advocating for our little trailer trash niche!

For Christmas my parents got me a brand spankin' new 32" TV! The old monster was a 60" but it was broken and I never got around to fixing it. It was just too massive for the space anyway. Forever ago I found this old dresser at Salvation Army for $20.00 and thought it would make an excellent TV stand. I originally was going to paint it white but found I liked the honey wood color much better, sometimes less white is more.


My parents came for Christmas and my dad purchased hole saw adapters for my drill (even though he put it on my rug hot and it burned it. sad face.) The center of the dresser was perfect for the electronic components. I only have a cable box, Xbox, and Super NES game console from when we were kids. He drilled 6 holes for wires and ventilation. Electronics get HOT so they need that breathing room.



Running the wires was easy, I just slid them through the top holes. I didn't get a picture of it but I just bought a plate shelf from the thrift store (its a wire one that you can get easily at WalMart) and stacked the components on that. I learned from working at Circuit City years ago that it is better for the components not to be on top of each other, so I made sure to keep them separate, plus it increases ventilation.

And voila! No more cluttered up TV stand! All the ugly electronics are out of sight! I'd mount the TV but the walls aren't quite sturdy enough for me to be wanting to actually do that.


A reminder of the before:



The overall effect and another beautiful view of my new door:


Not too bad right? Looks all grow-ed up!

Total cost for my TV stand:

  •  Dresser from Salvation Army thrift shop: $20.00
  • Wire rack from thrift store (or WalMart): $2.00
  • Hole saw from Harbor Freight: $11.00
Total cost for upgrade: $33.00


Way better than the $300.00 dollar set up I originally wanted from IKEA!