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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Duluth Kick in the Pants Contest and Giveaway

Hey everyone! So to say I've been slacking on the home projects lately is a total understatement.... I've been so swamped with different jobs (like this huge string art piece, I'm still sore!) that the house's to-do list is totally gathering dust.  But, as luck and perfect timing would have it, I got an e-mail letting me know that Duluth Trading Company was now giving me a "kick in the pants", with a little cash & a sweet new pair of pants to, literally, get my butt in gear. This is just the type of motivation I needed!  And guess what? You can get in on this too.. the folks at Duluth are hosting a giveaway and YOU can win $200 bucks in Duluth gear (which is all crazy comfortable work gear) PLUS $200 to spend on whatever project you need help getting done. How awesome is this?!? Ok, before I ramble about the project I'm going to work on, here are some links so you can get yourself in that contest stat: Duluth Kick In The Pants Contest. Pretty sweet deal, do it five minutes ago.

OK - so here's my issue, our back patio, is up to this day (1.5 years after moving in mind you) completely ignored. I think I used a blower on it once or twice. But there's no excuse, this area gets great afternoon sun, and is perfect for entertaining. So last weekend Ralph & I decided the project should totally be outdoor-esque, because California is becoming gorgeous outside again, & I think we want a bar. I mean, I know we want a bar.  Not a bar to serve drinks so to speak (yet, totally have plans for that down the line) but a nice balcony bar where you can sit, drink a beer, and look out into the trees. Daze out for a bit. Check this spot out, it's PERFECT:
Mmhmm.. can't you just see it, sitting there, facing out into trees... I can see it. I totally see it.
So this deck is weird. Once upon a homeowner, there was an old fashioned Jacuzzi under there. Someone was done with it, and instead of removing it, built a deck over it. I can't blame them, because that totally sounds like something I would do, haha. Anyway, we have a weird little roundy deck now. I tried to put a table on there, but I was so scared that someone would scoot a chair leg off the edge and break their brains open, so no-go on the table.  Suddenly it dawned on me, it's up high, it has a decent view (of trees...) and has some sun. A balcony bar! Here's what I mean by "view":
If you ignore the power lines (nothin' I can do there) it's pretty sweet to look out on this mini-valley and listen to the creek (Love creek!) and the millions of birds. Again, perfect beer zone. I have a one track mind apparently. 

Looking down to the left from the proposed bar, is our walkway, plants, and garden hose that I so lazily left out. What a jerk. You can see we're on quite the little incline! I've really come to love it, I feel like we are in a tree house. The banister in the lower left of this photo is where I'd love love love a bar.

Now of-course I have some inspiration photos, here's what I'm aiming at, which all have been pulled via Pinterest:
True, I don't have some fantastic city skyline, but the redwoods will have to do. Ha!  Though this is most accurate to what I mean. A long bar, facing outwards, for some good times. This next one is nice, particularly enjoying the ledge here so my booze don't go flying off into the street.  Alcohol abuse. (get it!?!). Minus the planters. they are cool but I like a lot of clean counter space:
This next one is lovely because those are the EXACT stools I have that I will be repurpose-ing (whip out the paint gun).  A little less bear though.. I'd love THAT view however, gimme gimme:
One last one, not sure if stone will work on our deck, but built in BBQ for the win! I couldn't resist sharing this puppy:
And there you are. See what I'm getting at? Bar. Stools. Beers. Facing the redwoods. That my friends will be the perfect start to what is now the brick patio makeover. It needs major attention. Last year we spent a lot of time on the Front Deck, but it's time to spread the love a bit, what do you think of this bar idea?

Anyway, Happy GIVEAWAY! Right? This is a great one and entering is easy. Hook up with Duluth via their facebook page, send a pic & a project idea and you're in the running. FIVE winners will be chosen on April 23. Oh wait, there's more (of course!) another FIVE winners will be chosen on May 1st!  Give it a shot, then you & I can both be getting our project on. What would you work on if you won? That's ten chances..

Oh - and so far, the pants have been really comfortable. I haven't started do any extreme hardwork in them yet, look for that review later. For now though, they fit like a dream and have pockets galore... just what I need!

Ok, go enter, & let me know what you'll be working on if when you win!


Pssst.. just to keep the air clear, I was compensated to promote this giveaway & post, but rest assured, all opinions are mine & are honest. I won't post anything I didn't actually like or use. Just keeping it real, friends!   

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Guest Post: 10 Ways to Enrich your Bedroom

Hey everyone! Wow, what a month - I've been crazy busy... First there was the East Coast Creative project, which I found out I was a contestant on a Monday, got the information packet Monday night, which basically said "guess what, you need to come up with a project by Saturday. Go!" - That was a whirlwind, but ended up being a lot of fun. And then this week I've been commuting to San Francisco every day (from Ben Lomond, about 2 hours each way, not recommended!) for a humongous string art project (see a sneak peak here on facebook).  So imagine my delight when a reader, Kathy, swooped in & offered to do a guest post on my blog. Perfect timing! Here's a little eye candy she's whipped up for you all....enjoy & have a great weekend! I'll be back in action soon. :)
Hi beautiful people! I am Kathy Joe and my passion for home decor gives meaning to my existence. I love devising new ways to make things pretty, because it is a wonderful world out there. I am so happy to be coming over here to Nine Red! Drop me a line here.
10 Offbeat Ways to Enrich Your Bedroom via Bedspreads and more
Do you want your bedroom to be exciting and full of life? Are you put off by dull, restrained décor and feel that there is so much more to life than demur neutrals and earth tones? Well, you are right!
1 Circus Delight
Add a touch of zany wonder to your bedroom by incorporating something of a circus feel to it. The circus is in town theme does not have to be strongly laid out, rather, you can achieve the same effect with a safety net stretched across your ceiling, a large rubber ball or two in a corner (useful for yoga when they are not being decorative!) and a top hat placed carelessly on your dresser!
 2 Sleep in a Forest Bedspread
Go back to natural while retaining every vestige of modern comfort and warmth! Paint or paper your walls to look like a realistic forest, complete with woodland creatures, birds and flowers, while overhead stars can shine and twinkle down into your room. You will amazed and pleased at the effects that can be achieved with mere wallpaper and paint! Your bedspread can feature forest creatures, mythical beasts or even follow the same theme as your walls and ceiling! There is so much great variety in the bedding world that you are sure to find the perfect bed set for your room.
3 Tented Wonders
Drapes and tents transform the interior of any room, breaking up the squared, geometric lines in favour of softly swirling drapes and falls of fabric. The overall effect is to create a gentle, cocoon effect that is very desirable in a bedroom. Form the peak of the tenting over your bed to swathe your sleeping self in protective layers and comfort.
4 It Will Be All White Tonight
An all-white bedroom looks stunning, simple and breathtakingly elegant! Do take the time to match the shades of white that you buy, or else your room will end up looking bitty and grubby where off-white meets magnolia, set against egg-shell with a few dazzlingly and crisp hints of ice white! Going pure white is a great way to create an unusual and distinctive room, but some people do find so much unrelieved whiteness to be cold and clinical. For pretty and peaceful bedspreads, my favorite spot is Yorkshire Linen Co.
5 Colour Me Crafty
Plan out your bedroom colour scheme carefully. Make use of a colour wheel and choose colours that harmonise well together, while avoiding too much ‘sameness’ that can make a bedroom look dull. As a rule of the thumb, choose your main colour – be it pink, blue, yellow or white. This main colour should be fairly light and neutral. Next choose a very strong dark shade of the same colour as your accent colour. Your accent colour should be used sparingly, but evenly throughout the whole room. Next, pick a harmonising colour that is in the same half of the colour wheel as your main colour AND your accent colour – this means that you will not have an entire half of the wheel to work from, but will result in your three décor colours working exceptionally well together – try it and see!
6 Quirky Sleeps!
If you have a great sense of humour and love to laugh, then why not demonstrate this in your bedroom décor? You can find many unusual pieces of furniture and accessories that can be put to work to create a wonderfully quirky and fun bedroom – or you can make them yourself to ensure that your bedroom has the added benefit of being entirely unique!
7 Go Dotty Over Décor
Spots and dots are a great way to add some colour, interest and depth into a bedroom. They also add a charmingly child-like air to any room that is sure to enhance the joy and comfort of your décor. For polka dot wall art, I always go for All Posters.
8 Eye for the Unusual
Keep your eyes peeled at car boot sales, auctions and estate clearances for items such as this distinctively shaped bed.
Such a lovely and very unusual offering is sure to draw attention and admiration from all and looks beautifully cosy too! If you are not keen on old or repurposed furniture you can always find a carpenter who will be able to draw up your very own unique bed to your exact measurements and specifications.
9 Space-age Futuristic
The premise behind futuristic and space-age décor relies upon stark minimalism, clean sleek surfaces and curves rather than sharp edges. Shop for your bedroom furniture and accessories with these criteria in mind.
10 Your Décor Theme
Whatever you like or admire in décor is what you should think about for your bedroom, rather than being led by what fashion dictates. Choose your favourite colour combinations and make your bedroom into a haven that appeals directly and personally to you – after all, you are the person who will get the most benefit from it!

Alright, thanks for sharing Kathy! Readers - which of these rooms speak to you? I like this last one here, the white walls with color sprinkled around the room. Or, of course, her "tented wonder" would be perfect for some summertime glamping.. am I right? If only someone else would set it up & take it down... hehe. 


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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Creating with the Stars 2014

Hello & Happy Spring! Today makes it official, though it's been feeling Spring like for a few weeks now around here, and I love it! I woke up Monday morning to quite the surprise... I had entered my Air Plant Sphere project into the annual Creating with the stars contest on East Coast Creative... and well.... it was picked! And to top it off, I've been paired up with Brooke from the fantastic blog, All Things Thrifty. Sweet!
I'm excited of course, and also nervous - this is going to be a lot of work... but I'm up for the challenge. Week #1's theme is Knock Off, naturally - since the gals over at ECC have an awesome TV show now called Knock It Off on the Live Well Network (check out episodes here!).  Here's the scoop, I'd love to share with you my ideas for what project I'll be knocking off & get your feedback, but this contest has to be totally anonymous, to keep things fair. So I'm on my own! All 12 contestants projects will be revealed on Monday and voting will be open for 48 hours... be sure to cast your votes for the best knock off project!

Thanks everyone for all the love & support - I gotta get to work - I've got a pretty good project up my sleeve...I hope.  ;)


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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

China Cabinet Makeover

Hello again! Ralphy & I have finally gotten back into painting furniture! Feels so good. While moving here was a wonderful thing, I did lose my workshop, meaning we can only paint when the weather allows. Which luckily in California, is fairly often. I've got my eye on under the house to be a future workshop, but that will take a lot of time, and probably a lot of money. So for now, we work out in the sun under the glorious redwood trees. I guess it could be worse. . .

So in our kitchen, one thing was missing. A refrigerator! Of course we have one, but the only place for it was just outside the kitchen, in the entryway, facing the living room. And when the door was open, no one was coming in or out of that room. It bugged me:
So once we had a spot across the room for it (pics soon, it's terribly ugly right now!) it was time to fill the old spot with something special. And after scouring craigslist for a bit, we found this solid wood beauty for a mere $140..
It was the perfect size!  It's more than I would usually pay for something we were going to give a makeover, but the fact that it was immediately available & the perfect size shows it was meant to be, and I forked over the cash.
I think it was painted in oil paint, the black was really pretty & very soft to the touch. Actually, the couple we bought from said it had been red, green, you name it.  But we were craving color. Strong color. Perhaps it's living in a light challenged home, or perhaps it's us craving summertime, we both knew what color we wanted. Cozumel.  No doubt....
After Ralph gave her a serious dusting, it was time to tape up the glass. Normally I'd just remove the glass, but this thing looks to be about 80 years old, and the glass was held in with teeny tiny tacks & pieces of wood that I KNEW would splinter, break, shatter, etc as soon as I took them off. So yea, taping sucks, but re-installing 80 year old glass sucks worse.  Pick your battles.
Oh look, a drawer.
PAINT DETAILS! Ok, many people have questions about the color, brand, etc of paint we'll use on a certain project, so here it is:

  • Behr Paint & Primer in one, Interior, flat finish.
  • Color: Cozumel. They don't always have a card for this color, but just go up to the counter and ask for Behr's Cozumel. They have it, and we love it.  

Halfway through painting I realized I forgot a mask.  Don't do that unless you want to sneeze cozumel, too.

We chose to not sand.  We had the primer in the paint which sticks to most surfaces REALLY  well, and we had planned to let this naturally age and show the black through.  So laziness + supposed planning ahead = long lasting paint job that always looks like you meant it. Yay! 
We are using a lovely HVLP Gravity feed gun connected to our air compressor.  I believe the brand is husky, I got it at home depot. I found the same on on Amazon right here, however. And actually that's a better price, I should of done that. But it's the same one, and I adore it.
Floetrol: Paint on it's own can be a little thick for my little gun, so you have to water it down a bit with Floetrol. I do a ratio of 1 part floetrol, to 4 parts paint. Stir in a separate cup, and dump in.  Floetrol also helps smooth out the bumps, it's kind of magical to watch. I use it sometimes when I brush by hand for the same reason, bye bye brushstrokes. Here's a Link to Floetrol if you've never seen it before.
Reeach! Can you tell I'm vertically challenged?
Lookin good! That took about 30 minutes (I knoooow!) and we let it dry while we went inside for cocktails. Luckily the hardware was already pretty nice, so that saved some cash.  Oh, guess what we forgot!? The SHELVES..... and we realized it after we put the paint away.  Though I'm so glad we did.... look at the black shelves:
I love it! So much better than a refrigerator in our hall/entryway/awkward area.. the black shelves look really nice in my opinion, and when the black coat underneath comes shining through over the years, it will compliment nicely.
View from the kitchen side of things:
 Remember before....
Then of course we had to start playing with what will go inside... the original plan was to cover the back of the glass in a cute fabric, but we fell in love with it as is. So it stays clear.
I'm really happy with how this came out! What do you think, should we have left the fridge? Haha... no.  Do you see that miniature wind chime in the pic above? It's in the lower left corner.  That... is amazingly... for our cats. Yep - we have the indoor/outdoor cats totally trained to ring a little bell when they want to go outside. Spoiled beasts.

Have a good one!


Not ready to quit reading yet? That's what I like about you... ;)

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Before and After: The Downstairs Bath Official Tour

Should we finally tour this bathroom or what? When we started the bathroom in...oh.. mid, November? The idea was for it to be a 1 to 2 weekend project.  Then of course Thanksgiving happened, and oh - all of December is pretty much devoted to the holidays, and then we were able to get back to work.  I'm pretty proud of our lil makeover, we did it on a budget ($300ish?) and changed the room drastically.   You can see the the post that started it all here or you can browse the many posts throughout the process by clicking here.  Quick refresher of how it looked BEFORE:
Keep that image in mind as I do my best to photograph the AFTER photos. I really, really love how it turned out.  I'll share two sets of photos, one in our fabulous vintage yellow light, that casts a warm glow all over the room - which by the way - makes your skin look amazing & clear. Yellow lights from now on, haha... Also - find project links under each photo. Get ready for a ton of photos...

Rather than replacing the existing stand, we decided to save a little cash & add some personality by giving it a face-lift.  This was a simple job, paint & rub in a stain.  Since we wanted a wall size mirror in here to make the space feel larger, we had a custom mirror cut & we built the frame ourselves.  Adding a mantle gave us room to put a few plants & trinkets, while providing a space for people to set things.

The towel rack used to be to the right of the toilet, which, was pretty awkward.  Adding a slim towel rack the width of the window provided ample hanging space while bringing yet another metal into the room. 

The plan was to make some art, but by chance I spotted this at Ross & knew it would fit perfectly.

A few thrift store scores in woods, metallics & browns + my ferns cozy up this space.
One more shot of that mirror.......

The floor was originally peel & stick linoleum, and once we started looking around on Amazon for flooring we realized peel & stick has come a long way! These were simple to put in, and give the illusion of a wood floor that I dream of. You can find them on Amazon here, we used 2 boxes totaling about $30.

Man that room is hard to photograph! Here are some daytime shots, it's been super rainy so it was STILL a challenge getting good light, but I didn't want to wait until summer to share this with y'all.  So here we go:

In a better lit bathroom you could totally see how awesome that rug is, I got it from an Etsy Seller (click here!). Here's a better shot:

So in love with that ceiling! The trim, was a... .let's just say, "learning experience". We used fence lumber (not treated with chemicals!) to achieve the rustic look (I'm too lazy to dismantle pallets, plus I hear they have super chemicals all over 'em), and did a simple whitewash before installing.  I'd say it cost us around $40.

I had wanted something in this blank corner since you could see it in the mirror, doubling it's blank-ness. It had to be small, it had to be light, it had to be living. Tah dah!

I'm really happy with the bathroom! I think we are coming in at around $300 total, which is pretty good considering we repainted, bought a new mirror & added a frame, built a mantle, redid the floors, added a custom whitewashed ceiling & scouted out all new accessories.  Thanks for touring!


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