February 27, 2013

Simple chandelier upgrade, plus 4 DAYS TIL RACE!

Got a minute? 'Cuz that's all the time you need to give your old chandelier a quick face lift! Remember all that wallpaper I picked up at the thrift store a couple weeks ago that was identical to a wallpaper I had actually pinned on Pinterest? Yea, probably not. :) Well anyways, I've been collecting some fun ideas for how to use it that I can't wait to start on, but this little idea just popped in my head this morning. I'm not sure how much time there was between when I thought about it and when I was standing on our dining table doing it, but it might be a personal record between idea to reaction time.

This one is pretty straight forward. I measured the length of the vertical center piece of our chandelier and cut a 3" wide strip of wallpaper to that length. I ran a glue stick down both long edges then wrapped the length of wallpaper around the center piece of the chandelier. Then I pressed down the seam so glue would do it's thing and keep the piece together. *I did not glue the wallpaper to the chandelier, just one edge of the paper to the other edge - this way I can remove it whenever I want.

Finished product!

Next project: lower the chandelier! That excess chain has bothered me for two years too long.

But I do like this little upgrade.:) It was fun and easy and little projects like this one make the long month of February a bit more bearable. 

On another note....4 MORE DAYS UNTIL THE BIG RACE!
This SUNDAY MARCH 3, I am running the Reston 10 miler to bring awareness to an awesome foundation called AHOPE for Children. In short, AHOPE rescues and cares for the wee ones of Ethiopia who have the least amount of hope; the precious orphans affected by HIV. Every little bit can help make a difference for this incredible ministry that relies on support to care for the growing number of children they are taking in. Besides providing medical treatment, AHOPE also educates their children so they may be productive, successful adults in their country. How cool is that?! If you have any interest in either a one time or monthly donation to AHOPE for Children, please visit my fundraiser, (below), Running for AHOPE, or see their website here and follow the Donate Now instructions. 

Thanks for stopping by!


February 25, 2013

Quickest party decorating idea ever!

Hey everyone! Hope you had a fabulous weekend! We threw a little birthday shin-dig at our house for my brother and I learned a really fun party decorating trick that I couldn't wait to share! You know those paper lanterns that are all over the place? We were given some a year or so ago by a friend and I've hung them up for every birthday party we've held here, but this time I decided to just keep it simple and kept the lanterns flat!

Don't they look cool together?! 
The big white ones on the ends were another thrift store score last weekend for less than $2 ea!
They were unused, unopened from Ikea!

The Happy Birthday banner I made for a special birthday party for my Mom 3 years ago. It has now been hung for 14 different birthdays, I believe, (including one in Florida) - and is still in great shape! Made from cereal box cardboard, silver ribbon, ivory crepe paper, and glitter glue.
Hanging it is one of my favorite birthday traditions now :)

Why bother gathering and displaying balloons when they're fun enough to kick around on the floor!
A fun treat for little ones, (and keeps them out of trouble at a party)!

Anyway, I just wanted to pass along the easiest party decorating idea I've ever stumbled upon.

Thank you for stopping by!


February 22, 2013

Fun with frames

Happy Friday, friends! I am sure you're as grateful as I am that the weekend is nearly here! I've been talking an awful lot lately about color, (sorry!), but it really is something that's at the forefront of my mind right now. I know that I like color. I know that I like neutrals. So it's figuring out how to mix color in with my love of neutrals that is fun, exciting, and sometimes challenging.

One easy way to try on color in your home is simply by adding small, inexpensive, (colorful), accents. Home decor accents are like adding jewelry to an outfit. I like to kick it up a notch with some bling when I want to make a statement! Never underestimate the impact of a long pendant necklace, (my favorite piece of jewelry)! Those small decor accents that you might overlook could really have more impact than you think! A colorful vase, a pretty candle, even books bound in a pretty hue - these smaller objects are important for completing a room, just as jewelry completes the outfit!

This week I took my first step in joining the two colors I am favoring at the moment: coral and aqua. I bought a few frames at Goodwill last week for less than $2 each, slapped some paint on them that I already had from my stash, and they totally added a snap of color on our gallery wall! 

Here is how our gallery wall looked since last November:

And here it is all jazzed up with some color!

Now I am even more excited to bring in the rest of my coral finds from last week, (found here)! This photo of our living room and dining room space is going to change a bit over the next month or so. Hooray for Spring and some refreshing change!

And hooray for overcoming my reservations about hammering a bunch of nails into our wall ;)
Totally worth it; like getting my ears pierced. 

To maintain an element of class and elegance on this wall, I mixed in some various metallic frames and kept the rest of the frames very neutral in black or white. I know that combining coral and aqua together is towing the line of looking like a child's nursery, so it's super important to me where and how I use these colors. 

Have you thought any more about trying the Color my World challenge? Please, oh please join! All are welcome - and if you are a blogger friend then definitely let me know you're doing it and I'll link you here on Chelsea's Garage! This post has the 'info', (it's really just a casual invitation to try out a new color in your home and share photos here on the blog)!

Have a fantastic weekend!

And Happiest Birthday to my little and only brother, Caleb!!! I am pretty certain he doesn't read this...but just in case. ;) Either way, he is dear to me and I treasure birthdays.


February 21, 2013

If at first you don't succeed...

Hi All! It has been a b.u.s.y. week, let me tell ya. I'm running my fanny off in the mornings training for a 10 mile race that's coming up on March 3, (check out this fundraiser I'm running for here or at the link to the left), and then after giving lots of attention to my kiddos, feeding them lunch, and getting them all down to nap, I'm mustering up every last ounce of energy to finish some projects in the garage each afternoon, (and that's just the first half of the day)! But it's okay. This is a phase of life I will never have again and I don't want to waste the abundance of energy the Lord seems to be supplying me with at the moment!

There's been a surprising flow of custom orders in this typically slow season of the year, but I'm also working on building a fantastic stock for the next Chelsea's Garage sale event! The date is not set and rarely ever is until about a month before, but at the moment I am looking at mid-April. Already we've got some ahhhh-mazing pieces that I am so stinkin excited about. That's what is the best part of our Chelsea's Garage sales. Every single piece is intentional; I only bring home pieces that I find beautiful, unique, functional, and totally something I'd want in my own home. In fact, at the last sale I ended up kicking myself for selling a particular piece that I suddenly realized I really should have kept! I refinish each piece exactly how I want so I can stand behind it and be proud of the work.

That's what this post is about today; standing behind each piece, no matter the size, and being proud of the job accomplished. A little while ago I posted this table that was really kind of a tester for a new paint color I was given at Christmas.

As soon as I started brushing on the paint I knew I didn't like it. But I kept going with it because, well, I thought maybe it would grow on me. As soon as I was done I knew it just wasn't me.

The whole thing looked too abrupt. The bright teal atop the bright white was not my best choice. I really prefer softer, more earthy tones. When a friend came over one afternoon and was looking around at some pieces in the garage, I heard myself making fun of this poor little table and laughing at it! Now, this table could very well sell this way. There have been a very small handful of pieces that have sold in the past that I didn't truly love...and I've learned that getting paid for a job that I'm not all that proud of does not feel good at all. I want my customers and clients to feel like they're getting a true gem with every piece of mine that they take home.

To me this was no gem, and certainly not something I would keep in our home. It's not horrible, just not my particular style.

So, I set this table up in my work space once again for a re-do. Now, I can stand behind it and feel so much better when someone deems it worthy of coming home with them.

It's not a large piece by any means, but anything that I'm going to stick a Chelsea's Garage price tag on had better be worthy of the space it takes up in my small garage! I think this softer monochromatic finish shows off the shape of the piece better. The muddy gray, distressed to reveal black undertones, gives this table a rich element of sophistication that I strive to achieve with all the pieces that I have free reign over.

This I would keep. This I might keep.:)

A couple of my little ones enjoying a leisurely breakfast in the background.:)

The low-down:
-Spray painted in flat black
-Brushed on 2 coats of Paris Grey ASCP
-Mixed about 2TBSP of dark wax with about 1/4c Valspar Clear Mixing Glaze, (mix well until you've got an even consistency), and brushed over the entire piece for a richer, aged finish
-Used a very slightly damp sponge to wipe over my glaze mixture with clear wax to even out the finish and remove some of the dark wax where it was a bit much, (clear wax acts like an eraser over dark wax)
-Used a medium sanding sponge to smooth out the table top and lightly distress the edges, then used steel wool to lightly distress the legs
-Just because I really like the element of shine on such a small piece with such pretty detailing on the legs, I brushed on a coat of polyurethane clear high-gloss. This was not necessary for the purpose of protecting this table's finish since it already had clear wax; this step was purely for the shine.:)

Thanks for reading along as I thought out loud with this one! And please know that I appreciate styles and looks that are different from my own. I know many of you may even have preferred how the table looked the first go-around! I love that - personal style should be as unique as our DNA! If you liked the table before, the color used was Annie Sloan's 'Florence'. Go grab a can and have some fun!


February 18, 2013

Color huntin'

Hey there! In case you missed it last week, I thought it would be fun to do a little color challenge with you all! See this post for all the details, (or click the color challenge link to the left), but basically, you choose one new color to incorporate in some way, shape or form into your home. Take the next couple months to think about how you want to use your chosen color, then enjoy the hunt! Early April I will invite all who have accepted the challenge to email me photos of how they've used their color and I will post all photos here! It can be one small detail in which you've used your new color or a whole room painted over! It's all up to you :)

If you are even remotely interested in trying this but on too tight a budget to shop for new home decor items, I feel you. We recently celebrated reaching our new budget goal for grocery and home products, (cleaning supplies, diapers, wipes, etc), and I'm not about to blow that out of the water with unnecessary home decor spending. It is amazing to me what you can find if you keep your eyes peeled and your heart patient. Let me show you some of the things I have found recently between thrift stores, antique shops and etsy:


This old grain sack will make an excellent pillow for our couch!
Found at Lucketts Antique Store

This coral and white stripe removable wallpaper was tucked behind a bookshelf at Goodwill. I actually pinned a very similar wallpaper on Pinterest to put up on the back of a tall bookshelf in our Living Room. The wallpaper I pinned would have cost $40 before shipping, (for a very small quantity). There were 4 large rolls priced at $1.96ea at Goodwill. I bought 2!

Six coral scalloped dessert plates found at Goodwill for around 50 cents ea. Planning to hang them on a wall in our Living Room!

Print of Boston's Louis Warf also found at Goodwill for less than $4. Love the touches of aqua and coral in this scene, but mostly I love that it reminds me of the last vacation my husband and I had together before our children were born. We had the most amazing road trip up to Boston and spent a whole week just enjoying one another and the beautiful city.

Coral table runner found at Etsy shop, Floratouch, for less than $10. Think this will really be a wonderful element to flow the color from Living room to Dining room. Etsy can be a great source for quality made items at a very decent price. When searching for something particular it can be overwhelming when you have hundreds of shops making the same thing. I always start by plugging in my max price to narrow the search. And many shops have regular sales where they mark particular items way down.

Found a few more goodies last weekend at my trusty Goodwill that I can't wait to show you soon! 

So what do ya say? Will you accept the color challenge? 
The fun is in the hunt!

Thank you for stopping by!


February 15, 2013

~Before&After~ Oval desk

Hey gang! Quick reminder that the next Chelsea's Garage sale will be on Saturday, May 4 from 10am-2pm.. This is an important event because it gives guests first picks on this fresh new stock. After the sale, any items that are left will go in my Etsy shop and get posted on Craigslist. So, mark your calendars and make a date with your friends to come by! I'll have complimentary refreshments, (because who doesn't enjoy shopping with a snack?!), and you are welcome to peruse as long as you'd like.  I am located in Herndon, VA and will be happy to give the address to anyone who needs it - just email me at chelseasgarage@gmail.com. 

Okay - This table is one of my all-time favorite transformations, which is funny because for the longest time I had absolutely no idea what to do with it. It definitely needed some TLC before I could even think about whipping out the paint brush!


So, in the garage it sat. And waited and waited. Then last week I needed to run to Sherwin Williams to have a stain matched and noticed an ad for their new Color of the Year, Aloe. I kid you not, I did not even see a paint chip of this color when I asked to purchase the quart size sample. The name alone had reeled me in. So thankful it wasn't a disaster. Not only was Aloe not a disaster, it was a home run! I have been all over looking for a soft green that isn't too blue, too yellow, too gray, too bright. Finally! What I've been looking for my whole life...;)

Ladies and gentlemen: 

I waited until I was home to pop open the lid and check out what I had just purchased, (for less than $5 - I used a monthly 25% off members coupon). Seriously, as soon as I saw this color I moved the oval table into position to start work. The lightbulb went on and I knew exactly what this table needed to be.


I am so drawn to all the details of this piece - I've truly never seen anything like it!

Surprise! It's got a disguised drawer! 
Wouldn't this be incredible as a floating desk in a small study?!
*This piece will be available at the May 4 Chelsea's Garage sale in Herndon, VA!*

Linking to:
Blue Egg Brown Nest

The low-down:
-Sanded the top surface down to the lovely natural wood 
-Painted two coats of SW's Aloe on the apron and legs
-Used steel wool to distress
-Seeled with Polyurethane clear semi-gloss

Thank you for stopping by!


February 11, 2013

Color my World Challenge!

I am completely stealing this idea I saw a year ago from Shaunna over at Perfectly Imperfect but it looked too much fun not to share! I really don't know if you who read this little blog will actually be interested in joining along so this post is just a feeler to gauge interest. No pressure, (really)!

The other day I mentioned that I will be taking the next couple months to welcome the color coral into our home. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed all the little ways one can incorporate a new color for 1) really cheap and 2) a lot of impact. It really doesn't take much! Then I got to thinking; how fun would it be to do this as a group?! So here's the deal:

Each person who wants to join in picks a color - one color, any color - so long as it is not a color that is currently taking center stage in your home. Take the next couple months to consider how and where you want to incorporate your color. It can be high impact or hardly any impact at all. How much you want to use your color of choice is totally up to you. Beginning of April I would invite all who have joined in this challenge to email me a before picture of their space and an after picture with their chosen color. This need not cost much or anything - there are some really fun DIY projects I've come across just in my own research!

Whether it's a DIY or a found treasure, here are some examples of ways to incorporate a new color:
Throw blankets:

Accent Pillows:

Drinking glasses:

Painted frames:

Area rugs:
{Be Colorful via House Beautiful}


Painted furniture:

Or even just hardware:

Dress a window:

Or cluster some homemade art:

Are you in??? If you're feeling inspired to join in this Color my World challenge, please message me at chelseasgarage@gmail.com and let me know what your color of choice is, (any color at all and multiple people may choose the same color). Then enjoy hunting for your color in this great big world!

If you did not catch the previous post, I am asking for your help in supporting a wonderful ministry called AHOPE for Children. AHOPE works to save the dear lives of those young children who are affected by and infected with the aids virus in Ethiopia. I've organized a fundraiser right now for AHOPE for Children which will go until March 3, when I will be running the Reston 10 miler on their behalf. Please share the fundraiser link with your friends so AHOPE may have the best opportunity to be supported by those who wish to help!

Link found here!

Thanks for stopping by!