Vendor Highlights – Crafty Bastards 2014

This past weekend I joined the massive crowd of hipsters to shop City Paper’s Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair in Washington, DC.  This was my third trip to the fair and I came prepared to be overwhelmed. There were over 150 vendors and it was crazy hot outside.

Here are some of the memorable vendors, most have their own websites and etsy shops so you can still buy some fun 🙂

Every year I stalk the Nature vs. Future booth, the detail on the jackets is amazing.



The asymmetrical designs and fall colors are to die for.  They are also some of the most expensive pieces at the show ($200-$500).  I know I’d get my money’s worth out of the pieces, I just need to suck it up and order one.



What I did purchase was a tank top and shirt dress from Red Prairie Press, a Baltimore based artist.

The tank top ($30) has a great pleat detail on the back and isn’t too low cut in front.



I can’t wait to wear the shirt dress with some leggings and a cozy sweater, its not on the website but she had plenty in stock at the fair.



There were tons of jewelry vendors, the Fernworks pieces stood out to me as being both colorful and detailed.



The pieces were great quality without being too loud.



I’ll post a couple other vendors next week as well along with the last flooring project post.

Hope you are out enjoying some Fall weather!


It’s Friday! Flooring Update

Hey Weirdos,

It’s Friday! Or as I now think of it, the start of a sweaty weekend working on the flooring install.

I also realized its now August, and I haven’t once hit the pool or beach, I have a lot of lazy to make up before summer ends.

Anyway, things are getting closer to the finish line on my little project.  My place has been looking a little hoarder like with all my furniture shoved in the bedrooms. But the cats were entertained, that’s all that matters.



I was able to finish the flooring installation in the living room, dining room, and hallway.

Here’s the living room stripped down to the concrete.




And now with shiny shiny floors!!! It took me close to 8 hours to get everything installed, luckily one of my friends stopped by help with the rest.IMG_0498

The hallway that splits the living room and dining room space.







I still have my bedroom to complete, the quarter round to install, and all the transitions to cut.  Fingers crossed this is my last weekend working on the project.





And guess which tool has been the most useful for this project?


The $2 putty knife I picked up from Restore back in the day.  It’s the perfect size for prying the carpet tacking strips off of the concrete .


Hope you have a fun weekend planned!

Say Hi to the Sun for me 😉



It’s Happening – Snail’s Pace Floor Install

I survived the great flooring pick-up of 2014, 91 boxes of laminate flooring.

The entire time I had this song stuck in my head:

After renting a Cargo van from Uhaul, I cruised down to Woodbridge in Saturday traffic to pick up the flooring with one of my friends in tow.  The Floor n’ Decor wasn’t busy yet, so I was first in line to pick-up the order, 1 & 1/2 pallets.  The guy with the forklift was skeptical it would all fit in the van. That’s the half pallet below…..


Thankfully it all fit, the tires on the van didn’t burst, and we made it back up I-95 to my place. In all it took two hours to unload the boxes with two people.  I refer to it as DIY style Crossfit.  I’d rented a dolly from Uhaul and was able to transport 6-7 boxes at a time.  Another benefit of living on the ground floor. 🙂

By the time the unloading was finished it was already 5pm so we called it a day.  On Sunday the fun began with ripping out the carpet/padding in the guest room.  Here’s what it looks like in its normal state, cat belly and all.


After removing all the carpeting, I was left with a concrete subfloor and two fun surprises.  I expected it wouldn’t be pretty, the guest room is Sadie’s favorite location for indoor accidents.  I wasn’t expecting to find mold, lots of mold.  And it smelled.









And a small crack in the concrete that ran the width of the room.



The carpet was installed right before I moved into the place, so I knew there hadn’t been any flooding or leaks that caused it.  I’m blaming my over zealous carpet cleaning to clean up after the pets.  I have a carpet shampooer that seemed to get the job done, but obviously the carpet wasn’t drying completely and mold was building up under the carpet padding.

After a mopping/scrubbing with bleach and water mix, the mold is gone and the room smells normal again.  I also decided to go ahead and patch the crack in the concrete.  It’s small, but I’d rather be safe then sorry and end up with another moisture problem.



Hope to make a lot of progress this weekend!










Design Help Needed!! – Patio Door

Oh hey, I have a blog, bet you thought I forgot about you.  The last month has been a flurry of out-of-town guests and work deadlines.  Now its springy and I feel like changing everything in my place! But one step at a time.

Last week I finally installed some new blinds, which are awesome and bright white.  Now the curtains over my patio door look even yellower and do not work.  Here it is in the background, behind the happy dogvacay guest. Most of my living room decor is grey, green, and shades of blue.



So now the dilemma, there are limited options compared to buying curtains for a normal size window.  This is where you come in, what would you do??

I can keep it simple, stay with a pinch pleated curtain and sheer liner underneath.  I do like the convenience of the pulley system but would want the thicker curtain to be more thermal.  You can really feel the cold and hot air through the glass.

There’s this option from JCPenney, regular priced at $280.


Add in a sheer curtain underneath and it costs over $400, if I don’t have a coupon code or sale.


I could also upgrade to a double curtain rod, it would give me more flexibility to change out curtains and provides more options.  It would also look more updated and less granny than a pinch pleat.



And some grommet curtains, I have these Martha Stewart thermal curtains in my guest room and they are amazing.  Beautiful quality and really block the light and draft. I could make the upgrade for close to $100.


Another option, take it more modern with a screen setup from Ikea. I’m not sure if I could get a thick enough screen to help with heat/cold weather, but it would look so pretty. I would probably need at least 4 screens across to cover the patio door. But since they don’t really fold up, they would always be blocking part of the view. It’s hard to tell how much hardware I’d need, but I think the screens would end up around $120 installed.


Last but not least, the old standby, vertical blinds.  I never thought I would think of them as an option, but it is the most common covering in my neighbors’ patio doors.  They do have more modern versions………. I can only imagine how much fun my cats would have attacking them. They would cost $140.



So what would you do?






My Cat is an A$$hole

I need to take this blog post towards a cat lady/future animal hoarder topic.  One of my cats is driving me a little crazy, but I have a plan.

Adorable little Max came to live with me in October 2013 at 8 weeks old.


The first few weeks he had my undivided attention, I was impacted by the government shutdown and a furlough kitten was a great distraction.  Things went well, he keeps my other cat Coco company and doesn’t seem stressed when I dog sit or have company over.  Poor Husker was terrified………


Fast forward to January, Max has grown into an energetic teenager.  He has discovered his love of heights and is jumping on everything.  I’ve tried to train him away from jumping on the kitchen counter, no luck.  Then two weeks ago he was climbing around in the kitchen and knocked a bottle of red wine off the top of the fridge.  Yey, wine splatter everywhere. Here’s a pic of a ceramic candle votive that bit the dust.


So I’m on a mission to keep Max entertained, and to keep my sanity.  I’m not going to drop him off at an animal shelter.  Only LOSERS abandon their pets.  When I adopted him, I made a promise to take care of him for the rest of his life, through good times and bad.

Here’s how I plan to keep from going crazy…..

Keep him busy – Devoting time to him each evening to play with him and wear him out helps keep his energy level a little lower.  He loves the cat tunnels, its the only way he’ll travel down the hallway.


Reaching new heights – His love of climbing is part of a cat’s natural instinct, I plan on changing around some of my decor and furniture so that he can climb to his little hearts content. Some Ikea floating shelves will serve to let him climb the walls. And this little door shelf should give him an excellent view of his territory.


Training – Cats can be trained, just takes patience and understanding their motivation.  Max isn’t motivated by affection, he likes cat treats.  I also have a spray bottle of water that I’m using to keep him off the kitchen counter. My stove top is flat glass, so its dangerous for him to get comfortable jumping up there anytime he pleases. He could burn his paws, or even knock over a hot pan.  I’m using this spray on my power cords and tv cables to keep him from chewing and playing with them.


If you have a pet that you are having problems with, don’t give up.  There’s little changes you can make to keep you both happy.  He’s also giving me an extra push to declutter and better arrange my bookshelves, got to look at the positive side.

He’s really sweet when he’s sleeping………..


If all else fails, just laugh. Stop taking things so seriously and enjoy the utter entertainment your pets provide. And try not to laugh at me when I’m walking him outside on a cat leash.


Five for Friday

Happy Friday 🙂 I’m working from home today and enjoying the snow views outside my windows.  My mind has been buzzing lately with which projects to tackle next, the amazing sales tempting me to stock up on winter clothes, and planning a vacation to look forward to.  Here’s a couple of my favorite things right now…..

1. One of my favorite ways to start my Friday is by reading the weekly newsletter from The Simply Luxurious Life, Shannon has a great way of including both high fashion and passionate living in her posts.  I get inspired every time I read it.

Luxurious life 1.22.14a

2. Ardex Feather Finish Concrete – Kara at Kara Paslay Designs has used this product several times to create faux concrete countertops and teaches classes on the process.  I’m eyeing the grey mix for my kitchen.  Currently my “fabulous” countertop is the original 1984 laminate with a shiny black coat of rustoleum countertop transformations paint that is showing its nicks and scratches.


3. It took all my self-control not to order this shoe immediately, featured by Capitol Hill Style Blog this week. Perfect balance of metallic and neutral colors.


4. Best Pet Cleaner Ever. Amazon reviews are amazing and after trying tons of products myself, this one is worth the money.  Every pet owner should have this on hand.


5. The key to Polar Vortex survival – don’t get sick! I love using shower tablets in the winter, they help to break up congestion and give you a little bit of spa time.  It’s hard to find them in drugstores, I caved and ordered these online from Lavender and eucalyptus smell great, the peppermint smells like your bathing with Tums tablets.


What are you stalking right now?


Pantry Cabinet 2.0

When I left off with the Pantry Cabinet project, I was successfully hiding my Trader Joe’s hoard. But there is obviously still a lot of wasted storage space. Even if I pile things like crazy…..


Lucky for me, I have crafty parents, specifically a father with his own woodworking shop.  So while they were visiting a couple months ago they took measurements for shelves to add to the cabinet.  I returned from the Holiday break with my new freshly cut oak plywood shelves in need of a paint job.


They may not be flashy, but they will add the storage without having to drill or damage the outer walls of the pantry.  I looked at options at Home Depot and Ikea, but everything needed to be drilled, anchored, or affixed.  So thanks to my dad’s skills, I had some sturdy shelves perfectly measured for my pantry with no other hardware needed.


I used the same white paint and primer as on the outside of the cabinet.


After one coat of primer and two coats of semi-gloss, and a few paw prints………I had shiny happy shelves ready to go!



I then let them dry a full 24 hours before throwing them in the pantry.


Here’s the first “leg” going in on the left side of the pantry. Once they other one is in place I just slide in the top of the shelf.  I lucked out in that everything fit perfectly, if it hadn’t, I would have sanded the edges until I had a good fit.


Look at that organizing magic!!! Here’s a closeup of the back corner of the new shelf, to show how snug it fits into the inside of the cabinet.


So pretty, so much more room for hoarding………I should have hid the junk food, only put the healthy snacks in front….. next time.


Now the pantry has gone from sad sad cabinet sitting in the rain, to a four shelf kitchen pantry with tons of storage hidden by cute craftsmanship.




Are you a fellow Trader Joe’s hoarder? Any creative solutions for limited kitchen storage?