You are browsing the archive for January 2012 - Crafted Niche - a lifestye blog that shares DIY crafts, recipes and tutorials.

Cutest Lil’ Cards You Ever Did See

January 27, 2012 in Gettin' Crafty

No really… they’re cute. Like hold in the palm of your hand and smile at them sort of cute.

First and foremost – I am NOT being compensated for this post in any way. I just think they’re stinking cute and thought some of the rest of you might have a use for them!

A couple weeks ago, Home Stories A2Z said she had just ordered a set of Moo Mini Cards for FREE and only had to pay shipping and handling. WHAT?!  FREE!!!

The name was intriguing so I read on….. she explained that she signed up for an account with Klout.com, a site that measures your online influence through social media presence,  and in doing so, was offered a perk!  The perk was 100 free Moo Mini Cards… just pay S&H.  Officially intrigued, I complied, and next thing I knew, I was designing my VERY OWN cards!

Here’s the cool part… full color front and back. The smoothest finish ever. AND You can upload up to 100 different images for the fronts. So technically, every card in the box could have a different image and you’d still pay one low price… FREE. Woop!

So enough yappin… lets get to the fun stuff:

Meet my little Mini Moo’s… Moo Mini Cards to be exact. I took pictures so you could take part in the unwrapping excitement. :-)

 

 

Check out those super cute little dividers they include too!

They’re so little and cute… like a puppy. Haha  Stop rolling your eyes!   HEY!   I saw that!

So you’ve probably noticed why they are calling Moo Minis.  They are half the height of a typical card.  Just think of all the uses. Even if you don’t have a blog or business… you could design super cute gift tags and punch holes in them to attach to gifts… or about a million other things! They have a ton of templates on their site to jog your creativity.

Remember… I signed up for a free account with Klout.com FIRST and then they gave me the offer for the free Mini Moo Cards.

Want to snag your OWN Free Moo Mini’s?   CLICK HERE to sign up for a Klout account and get started.

…and if you just want to look around and check out the Moo Mini’s before you sign up for Klout, CLICK HERE.

Just in case you’re thinking – why did she want these?  Welllll I just signed up TODAY to attend a BLOGGY BOOT CAMP Conference in St. Louis, MO in April and thought they’d be fun to have on hand. This way if people ask about my blog, I can give them one of these. Fun right?  (Please say yes)   :-)    …FYI – they’re also hosting Boot Camps in Vegas, Philadelphia and Dallas this year. Check ‘em out!

Happy Friday everyone!!!

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Guest Bath Makeover – A Lil’ Demo

January 26, 2012 in Bathrooms, Building and Repurposing

If you missed the first installment yesterday, I chronicled my first adventures tiling. Safe to say, it wouldn’t have happened without my Mom.

Today’s post… I’m flying solo. Whippin’ up some good ol’ fashioned DEMO! There’s something to be said for taking a hammer to something and just beating it until it falls apart. Ha!.. and reading that back aloud, I sound completely crazy. Trust me… I’m not. It’s just a great stress reliever… until you start to worry that you’re doing more harm than good!

First thing’s first… sorry about the yellowish pictures. These were all taken at night, and with a lack of natural lighting and nothing but bulbs… wellll things just don’t quite look right!

That’s my angry face. Intimidated?  Yea… I thought so.  ;-)   And I’d like to point out… safety first! I convinced myself those glasses were channeling my inner diva. Don’t burst my bubble. They’re totally cool, RIGHT?!

The target – a TERRIBLE set of shelves above the toilet in the guest bath. In theory, the shelves are a great idea. Perfect storage use of otherwise-wasted space. My beef comes with the construction. At first inspection, the shelves look to be a bookshelf flipped upside down and SCREWED into the wall. As I tore it apart, I discovered the truth…

  1. BEFORE – Note how the top two shelves differ in appearance from the bottom two shelves. That’s where my beef begins. The bottom two remind me of one of those collapsible book shelves that fold in on themselves for storage.
  2. First I removed all of the screws on the sidewalls… all 16 of them. I was hoping that was the worst of it… but I quickly found out there was more in store. When it wouldn’t budge I took the hammer and started knocking the top board upward to free it. The side board to the right came pretty easily after that. This is where the bad news begins…
  3. Continuing with my hammering, prying and pulling technique, I removed board after board. Some were nailed together, some were screwed, some were glued, some had those twisty locking bolt things, and some even had those little wooden dowels. Seriously?! They used everything but duct tape.
  4. When in doubt, just keep hammering. I’m not kidding… I just whacked the heck out of that thing! Busted boards and all!

See that pesky board top left? It just wouldn’t quit! It was GLUED up there.

I had to use a screwdriver and tap-tap-tap it with the hammer to wedge it under the board…

…and pry it off the wall! Unfortunately the outer layer of the drywall went with it. Bah. Nothing a little spackle can’t fix!

Do you see that in the photo above?  GLUE. So much glue that it rannn down the wall. Haven’t quite figured out how to get it off yet, but it has to go. Keep your fingers crossed.

Here’s one last look at the before and after:

 

I know things look a little crazy, but I feel confident it was the right decision. That shelf HAD to go!

 

Next up… PAINT!  I’m thinking neutral… something like a greyish/tan/khaki but enough contrast to stand out against white. Can’t wait to show you guys my idea for a focal wall above the sink!

The list goes on and on… but I’m happy to finally be tackling this small space!

  • Tile floor
  • Demo shelves above toilet
  • Paint, paint, paint
  • Replace baseboards
  • Build new shelves above toilet
  • Focal wall above sink(eeek! I’m excited for this part)
  • Install some sort of threshold thing (is that the right word) for the tile to carpet transition
  • Replace light fixture
  • Replace towel racks and hooks (plastic just isn’t going to cut it)
  • Install new faucet
  • Clean shower door (I knew my Mom would want to see this on the list!)

I’ll definitely be devoting some time to this space over the next few days. Can’t promise it will all happen overnight, but I’m committed to making it a priority!

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Guest Bath Makeover – Tiling!

January 25, 2012 in Bathrooms

I need you guys to make me feel better about my procrastination on the project. Please tell me I’m not the only one! When I moved into this house I thought the bathrooms would be the first thing to get a makeover. I mean…. the guest bath had dingy ewwww-worthy linoleum and the master bath was carpeted. CARPETED!  Fast forward a year and a half and I STILL hadn’t touched them. I have plenty of excuses, but the truth is I   (a) have never tiled before and (b) got distracted by a bazillion other ideas. Please tell me you’ve lived with cringe-worthy rooms longer than you ever should have. Please….. tell me now.

My mom stopped by after Thanksgiving and spent an awesome week with me. The idea was we’d spend the week tiling and DIY’ing. The reality was we spent the first few days shopping, and then scrambled to get the bathroom tiled before she left. Isn’t that how it always goes though?  Mom was here for a full week and we really did crank out this tiling Friday -Sunday.

Here’s a shot of the bathroom from when I first toured the house in March 2010:

Teeeeeeeeny tiny!  The toilet is back in the nook (photo on left, back corner) and that tight space is LESS THAN 2′ wide! Goodness gracious. My first thought was to tear out the vanity and replace it with a pedestal sink. I was set on that idea for over a year, but then I started to worry about the loss of storage in such a small space. Plus, it’s nice to have at least a small amount of counter space for setting things on! Once I committed to keeping the cabinet, I decided the wood finish was dated and had to go. IMMEDIATELY. Hellooooo Annie Sloan chalk paint!  I gave it two quick coats of Old White and waxed it. I’m not sure how it will hold up in a bathroom, but really…. what did I have to lose?  Um, nada.You can see a hint of the newly white cabinet in the photo below:

O.M.G. I can’t believe I just showed you that. How DISGUSTING is that linoleum?!  No amount of scrubbing would have made that liveable. Yuck. No seriously… yuck. With the baseboards and vent cover removed, we had to tackle the toilet.

…this is where our progress hit a wall.

…complete stand-still.

…as in we almost quit.

…we couldn’t remove the toilet!

Ugh. So frustrating. First we had trouble getting the shut-off valve to turn on the wall. Terrified of snapping it off, Mom spritzed it with some WD-40 and we made a trip to Wal-Mart for other supplies while we let it soak in. Not sure if that helps? But we were out of other things to try. Finally it turned and we were ready to disconnect and remove the toilet. Wellllll we hit another wall.

…complete stand-still.

…kicking the wall.

…frustrated.

The bolts on the toilet base that you’re supposed to just remove and then lift off the toilet… yeah, those didn’t exactly cooperate. They were spinnnnning. No way to hold the bolts tight so we could remove the nut. Did I mention that nook is only 24″ wide?  Mom somehow managed to wedge herself back in there and crane her neck to see the bolts. Sorry… no photos of that. We were both ready to LOSE IT. It wasn’t a pretty DIY moment. :)

I did a quick google search and read about a guy that used his Dremel to cut off the bolts. Brilliant! Just so happened Mom had bought a Dremel on Black Friday and had it in her car. Hallelujah! FINALLY some light at the end of the tunnel! Basically we used the Dremel to grind off the bolt, just below the nut. It wasn’t easy… I tried… and failed. But leave it to my DIY-Goddess Momma and she’ll get ‘er dun. Yup. I just said that.

I heave-ho’d that toilet single-handedly and waddle-walked it to the shower. It might have only been two normal steps, but in waddle-walking, that’s a whoooole lot of shuffling! We figured the shower would be better place for the toilet to hang out than the middle of the bedroom she was sleeping in. That pic above shows what was left of the grinder disc on the dremel after we finish knocking the bolts off. Oh… and I should point out…. it was HOT. As in no-touchy-touchy. Mom learned that the hard way.

By this point it was dark out and our confidence was busted. We were both ready to throw in the towel, and probably would have, if it weren’t for the fact that it was already Friday night and Mom was leaving Sunday. Time to push on…

Next up: Backer Board

Mom asked for some newspaper to make a pattern of the floor. I one-upped her and gave her a roll of wrapping paper with a grid on the backside. Perfect! It made it super simple to get straight lines and mark everything out.

I’d like to point out that’s my MOM’S handwriting on template. Let me repeat… for the record – I didn’t write that.  But I did laugh out loud when I saw it!  At this point we’d been to heck and back with that toilet… we needed a little comic relief!

…and let me tell you – the templates my Mom made were PERFECT. They saved the night and totally got us amp’d up again.

We traced the pattern on the backer board outside and then used this heaven-sent scoring tool to cut the board. You think I’m kidding?  I’m not!  When God created the Earth, I’m pretty sure he made this tool too. It’s that good. She bought hers at Lowes, but here’s a link to one on Amazon: Click here to change your tiling life.

You see that?!  A PERRRRFECT fit. At this point we did a little jig. Again… not kidding. There was definitely a happy dance involved. A couple of high-fives. Some YESSSSSSSS’s were exclaimed. Feeling the rush of our DIY-high, we cut and dropped in the second board and proceeded to nail them down every few inches.

Lesson learned…. project prep will almost always take longer than the actual tiling. Live and learn, Dana!

Day two…

Time to TILE!

Saturday started with a McDonalds breakfast… coffee for me, sweet tea for Mom. We all have our weaknesses, right? Then we got to work. On the agenda for Saturday – Mortar and Tile!

Mom somehow managed to squeeze into that nook to lay tile. Gotta love her!  In the photo below (on the right), you can see a bit of the chalk line we made to keep our first few tiles straight. Looking back… I’m so glad I took photos of this process so I don’t forget all these steps!

We took turns making cuts and laying tile. I was looking cuh-razy that day though so you won’t catch me in front of the camera. Whew! Instead I ran around like paparazzi snapping pictures of Mom when I could. I love that the grey hoodie she is wearing was once mine… I think I was in high school when I bought it? It’s older than I care to admit. :-)

Nice Schnazzy purple rubber gloves Mom!

Somehow Mom stayed far drier than I. When I was on a roll making cuts, I looked down to see I was SOAKED with reddish water in a straight vertical line… big thanks to the tile saw for spraying me. BIG thanks.

It didn’t take us long to tile such a small space. We had to make quite a few cuts, but thankfully we were pretty accurate. Only a couple tiles had to be redone. Hip Hip Hooray for an experienced-tiler-Mom!

Day 3 – Grout

Mom brought a full buffet selection of grout colors for me. She’s tiled so many things over the years and has amassed quite the collection. I decided to go with a sandy neutral shade. I was afraid something really light wouldn’t work well with potentially dirty dog paws.

 

Speaking of dog paws…. Quinn and Emma were following our progress the whole way. They are so nosey curious!

Mom opted to extend her stay until Monday. Thank goodness! Then we had time to just leisurely grout on Sunday and she also made me a strap cover for my new camera. What a doll. Love that woman!

Still to do in the bathroom:

  • Paint, paint, paint
  • Replace baseboards
  • Install some sort of threshold thing (is that the right word) for the tile to carpet transition
  • Demo and rebuild shelves in nook above toilet (more on that soon)
  • Replace light fixture
  • Replace towel racks (plastic just isn’t going to cut it)
  • New faucet
  • Add fun focal wall above sink (eeek! I’m excited for this part)

 

 

I have a lot of ideas for this bathroom! It’s officially in full swing and I can’t wait to show you guys the progress along the way. I’ll do posts about my progress, but for more timely updates, be sure to check in on Facebook!

Be sure to stop by some of my favorite Link Parties for some SERIOUS motivation and inspiration. I’m continuously FLOORED by the amazing projects I see out there in Blogville. Uh-mazing.

 

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