I kid you not, a mortar and pestle has lived on the back of our toilet since since early August. See:
And a closeup for the cheap seats in the back:
I told you so. For the record, mostly so you don’t think I’m the weirdo with a mortar and pestle on the back of her toilet, I picked it up and the tissue cover at Home Goods shortly after returning from Haven in early August. I came back from the blogger/DIYer conference inspired to accessorize our home more. I’m a chronic under-accessorizer and was bound and determined to course correct and rectify the situation, starting with our bathroom. I thought the mortar part of the combo would make a cute little succulent pot for the back of our toilet. It just took me three months to get around to it. Truth be told, I really had no motivation to plant the succulents and accessorize our bathroom until I came across these beauties at the flea market.
They’re old trivets that were made by a shop here in Maine, Screen Craft in Yarmouth. They went into business back in 1952 and are still in business making beautiful trivets. You can find Screen Craft online here. The going rate on their new trivets is $69 each but we scored our stack of four for a whopping ten dollars (holla!). We found them at our favorite flea market during an end-of-season coastal shopping trip extraordinaire on Labor Day weekend and knew immediately. From the moment I clutched them to my chest and vowed to adopt them, I knew they should hang in our bathroom. And after careful consideration (aka…Colby holding them up in various blank bathroom wall locations while I yay-ed and nay-ed), decided for the nook above the toilet.
As for hanging the trivets, we went the super cheap and easy route by using some Velcro command strips.
And just tacked them onto the back of the trivets, pressing down firmly for optimal adhesion.
And hung the trivets in a four square grid above the toilet.
Being a card carrying member of the under-accessorizing club (we even have secret handshakes), I thought the trivets-as-art addition was a bit on the crazy town side. I wasn’t quite sure it worked. So naturally, I decided to dive deeper into crazy town (and way outside my comfort zone) and added more art, since the trivets seemed a little off balance with the big, blank space above the laundry basket on the right. I dove into our stash of misfit
toys decor and came up with a Vermont waterfall framed pic, which was a freebie from Colby’s mom, and added it to the wall.
Now we’re balanced. The waterfall art really helps balance out that empty space above the laundry basket and makes everything make a little more sense. And after actually putting tissues in the tissue box cover and planting the succulents, our toilet nook was looking a bit less naked and a lot more interesting.
Although, every time I come into the bathroom to go take care of business-es (the term we use when it’s time to let Goose outside), I get spooked when I turn the corner and see the art and accessories. Every time. Good thing there’s a toilet nearby for those pee my pants out of scared-ie-ness moments.
My favorite “moment” of the accessorized nook is the addition of the succulents in the mortar. Now that’s an appropriate way to utilize a mortar in the bathroom.
The added bathroom accessories definitely add a bit more interest to an otherwise boring nook. Our bathroom is pretty much the most finished space in our home. It is oh-so-close to done. It just needs a little bit of noodling around and a little bit of editing. Maybe I’ll lock myself in the bathroom until it’s done. Although, that might be weird. You know, when guests come over to visit and need to go pee and I’m locked in the bathroom until after I choose just the right accessories and finish painting those open shelves (which I shamelessly still have yet to do). I’m not certain our guests would ever come over again. Awkward!
Until then, I’m reveling in my small accessorizing VICTORY! Any Entourage fans out there? Do you also channel your inner Johnny Drama and shout “VICTORY” in your strongest viking voice?! And maybe throw up your hands and your head back in dramatic fashion as you yell it out for all the Viking Quest fans out there at Comic-Con?! And maybe even sport that horned hat?! Just me? Okay. I believe the term you are searching for is……anyway…one final shot of our bathroom accessories.
Pssst…So what odd object have you had sitting around your bathroom? Any mortar and pestles? Or anyone else want to join our under-accessorizers club? We’re not terribly exclusive. We meet on Thursdays. Bring wine.
For their Threshold picture frame sale. Seriously, now through Saturday (me thinks) all their Threshold frames are buy one, get one (of equal or lesser value) for 25% off. And perfect timing for me since I discovered the sale while I was on a mission for not one, but two wooden picture frames for a little living room sprucing. It was like Target was having a sale just for me!
Pssst…Next up in project world, some porch demo and work. It’s about time we got cracking on the space. We’ll be spending our loooong weekend taking down old bead board panels, repairing porch windows and maybe even painting it up. What’s on the project docket in your neck of the woods this weekend? Or are you planning on soaking in the last few days of summer?
It’s the return of the
mack map heart art. And now I have Mark Morrison officially stuck in my head…awesome. A long, long time ago we made ourselves a little set of map heart art. We’re talking this was so long ago that my mom was just about our only reader on the blog (hi Mom!). You can read the old map heart art post back here but be warned…me no bloggy well…or take pictures well. But check out that fresh bling on my finger all shiny and new! Anyway…we made a trio of little map hearts…one for my hometown of Presque Isle, Maine, one for Colby’s hometown of Rochester, Vermont, and one for the city of Bangor, Maine where Colby and I met and now reside nearby. They lived in our bathroom when it was yellow…see:
When operation paint the bathroom mint commenced, the art came down without any intentions of returning the lost
boys map hearts to the bathroom after it was painted. So the trio of frames sat around for a few months, in the corner of a room, waiting to be relocated while I was going through art hanging paralysis. Seriously…I could not decide, even if my life depended upon it, where the map hearts would hang. Would they go in the guest room turned Etsy shop space? Or maybe in our bedroom? Or in the hallway? So last week while I was scrambling to come up with blog worthy projects as we were about to head out on a Lake Champlain vacation, I overcame my paralysis (funny how “I need projects done” pressure works) and ended up hanging them in the second floor hallway. Shazam!
They’re hanging out in the hallway in the empty space between the bathroom and the craft room/guest room. But before we hung the little frames we first had to do a little heart surgery…of the map variety…you know…since the hearts were all wonky like in their frames. I confess…I never taped them down in the frames. The hearts were just floating in there all willy nilly like.
But rest assured it wasn’t anything that a little double sided tape and eyeballing (centering it wise) couldn’t fix. I bought the double sided tape accidentally two Christmases ago and was too lazy to return it. But it has saved my (exaggerated) life a few times including our little heart project.
While repairing the hearts, I also decided to write down the location that we were featuring on each art piece since I never did that the first time around and kind of regretted it. Especially when several towns showed up in the center of each heart. So I penned the location that was near and dear to us on each of the frame mats. It was one of those moments in my life that I truly appreciated my neat and orderly penmanship.
Then it was just a matter of hanging our frames in a somewhat level and even fashion in the hallway. I would like to say that we whipped out the level and tape measure for hanging purposes, but not so much. We pretty much just eyeballed it and went with it. But it works for us and now we have some cheery art happening in our otherwise naked hallway. And I mean REALLY naked hallway since we’re also missing the light fixture which we took down 3+ years ago and have yet to replace it. Apparently I’m also undergoing hallway light fixture choosing paralysis as well.
Ignore the missing bathroom vanity mirror. It’s undergoing a little…okay…extreme makeover to take it from “blah builder grade” to “oh em gee this is so West Elm like”. We took down the mirror four weeks ago and still haven’t finished said project…doh! It’s a total “Dude get on that already” moment! Hopefully this week we’ll find a little spare time to finish it up and post about it. Until next time…peace out dear readers!
Pssst…Anyone else making some minor updates around their home these days? Isn’t it funny how we put off simple projects for so long (but yet find time to build a massive work desk) and how the little projects have such a big impact?!
Great…now I’ve got Aerosmith stuck in my head (you know…the song…livin’ on the edge?). But it doesn’t matter because it’s PINTEREST CHALLENGE REVEAL DAY! Apparently that was deserving of caps.
You can check out my Pin-spiration back here, or more like in-decision pin-spiration since I had about a gah-gillion different projects I wanted to tackle…cuz that’s a word. But I ultimately decided on tackling a postcard ledge project for the living room. Wah-bam!
Yeah…so you remember all those hula girl postcards I put up in the entryway? Like a few days ago? Those came down. I just wasn’t feeling it. But I’m totally feeling them in the living room on the set of ten postcard ledges that the Colb-ster and I made.
Pre-postcard ledges, the living room art situation was pretty boring.
I still had the set of falling down, fall art that I created from some yard leaves and some spray paint that I pretty much hated from day one but still kept it hanging on the living room wall until I came up with something better…six months later.
But let’s talk about the postcard ledges and how simple they were for us to make. There are many tutorials out there for building your own postcard ledges. But we threw caution to the wind, didn’t read a single tutorial, and decided to wing it. That’s what Steven Tyler would do, right?! What would Steven Tyler do…WWSTD? Haha…I don’t think that’s going to catch on…it sounds too much like a disease.
So first up, cutting the boards. We always seem to have a ridiculous amount of scrap pine laying around to use for projects, and this project was no exception. Meaning…this project was FREE. Colby ripped down some pine boards to 3/4″ x 1-1/8″ in four foot lengths, then notched them out with the table saw.
Since postcards are super thin, the 1/8″ kerf on the table saw blade was more than enough to notch the pine boards. The groove would play the role of official postcard holder in-er.
With all ten boards cut and notched, I stepped up to the plate and
batted a homerun primed and painted the ledges. It just took one coat of primer and a coat of Valspar’s Betsy’s Linen in gloss (leftover trim paint from the rest of the house) to fully coat the ledges.
After they dried overnight, it was installation time, which was a snap thanks to our trusty laser level. Seriously…we use that thing for all the time. It’s just a cheap little Black & Decker laser leveler but it makes hanging things (curtain rods, art, trim, etc.) so much easier than our usual eyeball-it method.
We went for about eight inch spacing between the ledges with the bottom ledge a little over a foot up from the back of the couch (more on our reasoning for that in a moment…stay tuned). Then it was just a matter of slapping each of the boards onto the wall with the Paslode finish nailer (a simple hammer/nails technique works too…we’re just lucky enough to own a finish nailer).
Voila…hung postcard ledges.
The only drawback to nailing the ledges directly into the wall was that we were left with a trio of nail holes in each of the boards.
But it was nothing that a little dab of DAP couldn’t hide. Just a little dab into each of the nail holes and they disappeared right into the painted wood.
The next step was my favorite…arranging the post cards.
I could arrange them all day. Goose, however, was less than thrilled.
Oh, sad moping Goose. If you ignore him for two minutes he gets all sad and whiny. He takes after his mom!
Here’s the closeup shot of the postcards on the postcard ledges.
Oh how I love those hula girl postcards! I’ve had the postcards since way back in my college days when I hung them all over my dorm room walls. I’ve hung onto them all these years (I’m really not that old, I swear) with the idea that I would use them somewhere someday. It’s taken me awhile, but they’ve finally come out of the closet.
Colby really loves the postcard ledges too. Colby’s funny. Like most guys he’s supportive, let’s me do my decorating thing, and pretty much stays out of my way. He always says he likes something (even though sometimes I swear he doesn’t). But when he told me he liked the postcard ledges, and couldn’t stop talking about them all weekend, I knew he REALLY liked them too. They’re the perfect fit for our living room…color wise and scale wise. I love how the postcards have blues and oranges running through them, tying into the aqua curtains and media cabinet and the orange lamps and pillows.
The one thing I don’t like about the postcard ledges is that awkward empty space between the top of the couch and the first ledge. But there’s a reason for that. If you squint REALLY hard you can see an unfinished, narrow, pine sofa table behind the couch. It’s just something Colby whipped up one day down in the mancave. I’m thinking I want to put some sort of vase arrangement/display thing on the narrow sofa table to help fill the empty wall space. But if that gets weird, we can always add another pair of postcard ledges to even it all out. As always, we’ll keep you posted on what we decide.
Okay, so now it’s time to link this post up to our gracious hosts:
That’s Megan from The Remodeled Life, Katie from Bower Power, Sherry from Young House Love, and Michelle from Decor And The Dog. Link up day is Wednesday, February 27th so if you tackled a project, link her up. Regardless, go check out all the oodles of pin-spiring projects on their blogs, pin away at all the goodness, and keep the vicious Pinterest project cycle turning.
Pssst…Show of hands, who tackled a project?! C’mon…I know some of you did! Tell me what you created?! I’ve gots to know!
When we last left off on the great saga that will forever be known to the world as “operation blue entry”, the only thing left to tackle on the to-do list was to add some art. Since I’m all for working with what ya got, I pulled out a few packs of hula girl postcards that have been hiding in the closet for a few years. Nothing like a hula girl coming out of the closet!
Actually, I haven’t brought these gals out since I was in college! And for the sake of protecting my old age…cough cough…twenty nine cough cough…it’s been awhile since these vintage reproduction postcards have seen the light of day.
Enter sir irony. No sooner did I decide to hang the postcards in the entry, I came across the following at a local antiques store for only $6 (originally $8 but on sale for $6):
Can you believe it! The metal sign was exactly like my postcard, except she was a little more modest in the ta-ta department. You should have seen my shocked face. Actually…it looked a little something like this (enter sub-par re-enactment of the discovery):
I know…it wasn’t pretty. Back to hanging postcards and a the metal hula girl in the entry. To hang the art I turned to the stuff that I used to hang the postcards back in college, my trusted friend and colleague, sticky putty.
I have no idea if “sticky putty” is the official name for this stuff. It’s just what we always called it in our college days so the name kind of stuck (har har…bad pun). Am I old enough to say “back in my college days”?! Me thinks not! Get worried if you hear me break into the school song while taking swigs straight from the wine bottle, and crying about how great those times were and that I’ll never get them back. Anyway…sticky putty is awesome and you can purchase it for pretty cheap in the tapes/adhesives aisle of Staples. It hangs relatively lightweight objects, like postcards, without damaging the material or the wall it’s stuck to. It even peels cleaning off of plain old computer paper. AND it’s reusable. Like I said, I used this EXACT stuff…literally…to hang the hula girls circa 2002. To use it, you just gob it on the back of the object and hang.
As for the configuration, I just slopped the postcards right up there on the entry wall between the boards of board and batten, surrounding the larger piece of art from the antiques store.
I even tucked a couple of the postcards up on the entry shelf to continue the hula girl theme throughout the miniscule space.
I LOVE the postcards on the shelf. They’re small and unassuming, but they bring some pops of color and really help tie the coral color in the basket into the rest of the room.
As for the postcards hanging on the wall, I’m not sold. I’m not 100% convinced I like them hanging in the entry. More like 53% convinced. I could go either way. I do like the larger, metal hula girl but not so much the postcards. It just seems like the wrong scale to me and that all the postcards are drowning. Not a good thing for a hula girl. They should shine and be the stars of the show, not drown.
I’m going to live with this art setup for a little while because you never know, it might grown on me. But I’m kind of thinking the postcards either need to be framed or mounted on something, or maybe I’ll even scrap the postcard idea altogether and look for a more substantial piece of art for the entry. I’m still undecided. I don’t know…what do you guys think? Help me! I’m drowning too…in indecision!