Monday, August 13, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

The Pinterest bug that I mentioned in my last post has been lingering on.  After seeing sunburst mirrors all over Pinterest and on other blogs, I decided our big bare wall in our bedroom needed a big beautiful sunburst (way too many b's...sorry).  Most of my inspiration was found on Bower Power.

Actually ALL of my inspiration was from that blog.  I pretty much copied her technique because I loved how her's turned out.

For my project I used around seven packs of twelve inch wood shims.  I'm sure I got funny looks in Lowes when I picked up my bundle of 294 wood shims.  

Before glueing, I designed the entire starburst just how I wanted it.  Once I liked the shape of the starburst, I began glueing each of the shims into rays (group of 6-10 shims).  Again, I straightened those out and finished the task by glueing all of the rays together.  I used three tubes of construction adhesive.
(Note: Drew Babe sweetly let me know that I probably most likely definitely didn't need nearly that much construction adhesive.  Guess when I was squirting on the glue, I was just being overly cautious and making sure my starburst was not going to fall apart.  Live and learn.)

You might notice that all of the rays are not the same size.  I wanted to create the general shape of the starburst, without everything being perfect.

In order to give the starburst some stability and to provide an anchor for hanging on the wall, I glued a 16x16 piece of thin plywood to the back.

Once it was all together, I gave it a light sand and spray painted it with a classic starburst color.  I thought about doing a fun color or even white, but settled on the metallic gold.  It would be an easy fix if I wanted to change it later.

Since our Michael's decides to be out of everything that I need (turns out they have discontinued their frameless mirror supply), I had to order a twelve inch round mirror online from Hobby Lobby.  Even with shipping it turned out to be pretty inexpensive.

Here's how it turned out:

It definitely does its job by filling up the big wall.

Now, Drew has a mirror on his side of the bed as well :)

Has anyone else caught the Pinterest bug?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'va Caught the Bug

That Pinterest bug seems to be going around and I'm pretty sure I have caught the bug too.  Contrary to most "bugs" this one is quite amazing and ultimately, addicting.  I soon realized that I had been doing a lot of pinning, but not a whole lot of project-ing.

While I'm not the most craftiest person there is, I pinned this project because it seemed easy and inexpensive.  Here is the inspiring picture from Pinterest (originally from this blog):

Why didn't I think of this before!?!  Paint Sample Coasters!

I headed up to Home Depot grabbed a few square tiles and paint swatches, and then to Walmart for some Mod Podge and clear spray acrylic.  While the tiles in the picture have a rounded edge, I opted for a flat edge tile hoping that it might be a bit easier to work with.  I found paint swatches that coordinated with the colors that are in our evolving music room (more on that room soon!).

(Note:  I just realized while writing this post that I had picked up the same exact green paint swatch as in the original Pinterest picture.  Simply coincidence.)

To begin, I simply cut out the paint swatches (being sure to keep the name of the paint color, because I like that :), and used the Mod Podge to glue them to the tile.  I then applied another layer of Mod Podge every 20 minutes.  The finished coaster had around four or five coats of Mod Podge.

(This picture shows a glimpse of my extreme multitasking skills: working on two Pinterest projects at once!)

After I let the final coat of Mod Podge dry overnight, I applied a clear spray acrylic to protect from water/condensation.  I went with a gloss acrylic spray simply because I wanted my coasters to have some shine.

To protect our tabletops from the back of the tile, I applied (using Mod Podge) a square of craft foam from Michael's.  I tried looking for some thin cork, but at the time could not find it anywhere.  I ended up finding some cork at Michael's about a week ago, but the foam seems to work just fine.  I made sure to cut the foam square smaller than the actual tile, so it wouldn't show on the edges.

This picture shows the colors I am trying to bring together in our music room, which still has a long way to go before being finished.

This project was so simple that I ended up making coasters for our living and one for Drew Babe's nightstand where he likes to keep his bedtime glass of water.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Step Two....and Three....

of our flooring project.  Remember step one was mentioned several months ago in this post here.

It turns out buying our new floors was the quickest part of the project.  The 40 boxes of flooring ended up sitting in our music room for a while before we did anything with them.  When we finally got to the "Put in new floors" part of our "Things to Do Around the House" checklist, we decided to have our handy next door neighbor take care of the installation.

While our house quickly turned into a construction zone and a complete disaster, it was nice to have brand new floors in all four rooms in just five days.  We shoved most of the furniture and accessories into our room to make it easier for them to lay the floor.

See what I mean, it was a wreck!

Then came one of my favorite parts of the project.  Ripping out the hideous outdated vinyl floor and....

the brown carpet.  I don't think we were even a bit sad to see this go.

It would have been amazing, if underneath all the old flooring we found hardwood; but instead we found this hospital-like linoleum tile throughout the entire house.

After the carpet and vinyl flooring was ripped out, a moister barrier was laid.  Then came a slightly padded underlayment for cushion and to help with sound, since we are on a slab.

Of course, this is the only in-between picture I took, probably because it was a pretty quick process after the doorways were cut out.

It was so fun to come home one evening and see this in our living room!

Some people cautioned us about putting the flooring in the kitchen because of possible swelling from spills.  Well, Drew Babe decided to perform his own MythBusters by soaking a scrap piece of flooring in a bucket of water for several hours.  While our floor will hopefully never be "soaking" for several hours, we found the scrap piece had no swelling at all.

Myth:  Does laminate wood flooring swell when in contact with water?

Finding:  Busted!  (at lease with our floors)

 (side note:  I promise I don't usually decorate our kitchen table with swords:)

To give everything a finished look, we had shoe molding installed.  Drew Babe decided to go ahead and give the baseboards a fresh coat of paint because the shiny new floors made every scuff and nick on our baseboards stick out like a sore thumb.

Once I get the house cleaned and straightened up, I will post a complete "before" and "after" of The Martin House flooring project.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Break is Over

After a taking an almost 4 month break, I am finally back to blogging.....hopefully.  Since that last post in April much has happened both in the Martin House and the Martin life.

You might remember the project we began a few months ago by purchasing our new floors.  Because we had to cover the kitchen, spare bedroom, living room, and music room, we searched and waited for the best deal we could find; and jumped on it when we found "our" floors at Lumber Liquidators.  Well, that project has finally been accomplished and will soon be described here on the blog.

Also, during our 4 month break from blogging we've been on a few family vacations, I have graduated from Old Dominion University, and we have dabbled in some other projects around the house.  Fortunately I have been pretty good about taking pictures of everything that's going on, so hopefully it will be up here soon!

For now, I'll leave you with a sneak peak of one of the biggest Martin House projects: