Makeover Monday: Making A Dated Mirror Modern

I love the look of ornate frames, but I VERY STRONGLY DISLIKE the typical aged-bronzey goldish finish. Case in point:

Bronze mirror before.

A bronze mirror, begging for a makeover.

However, it’s a super easy fix. Hint: it rhymes with “Schpray Schraint.”

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Makeover Monday: DIY Greeting Cards a Toddler Can Make

I’ve been meaning to post these a while back, but I figure since Mother’s Day is coming up (hint…hint), I figured this would be a timely post!

I figured out an easy way for your young’n to help make a legible greeting card for any occasion, and it’s quick! You don’t need any artistic skill whatsoever, just a little patience to let the paint dry. The pictures are from a farewell gift for one of my daughter’s teachers. She was wonderful, and was leaving daycare to pursue her advanced degree.

Tutorial: DIY Greeting Cards

Even very young children can make a legible card!

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Makeover Monday: Shade Upgrade

I’ve mentioned before that we moved into a 107 year old house last summer, right? Well, the family who lived there before did a renovation in the late 1990’s…and that’s where the house has stayed since. I’m hesitant to embark on any major updates since we’re planning to do some renovations and upgrades soon and I don’t want to make anything that will end up being ripped out in a couple of months, but there are a few things on the list that can become a project. Mostly because they irritate the hell out of me, but partly because they might end up being part of the new design. The biggest constraint is to keep the budget small…as in, miniscule. So this week’s project was a small one, but kind of fun because I got to whip out my paints and experiment….

Upgrade the Shade

Our kitchen is pretty dark and has one small window facing North. The roller shade on it fits well and does the job to give us privacy from the next door neighbors but it was NASTY. Decades of dirty dish water spray and kitchen gunk discolored it. Plus, it was  a country-cottage style that I’m not terribly fond of. So, I decided to touch it up.

Roller shade DIY: before

Years of grime and exposure yellowed the bottom half. There’s no explanation for the design, though.

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Makeover Monday: Flip the Switch on Switchplates

Paint your switchplates

For about 11 bucks and 2 hours, you can freshen up a room.

One of my favorite inexpensive makeovers to do for a room is to paint the switchplates. You know, the ugly, yellowing plastic covers for your plugs and light switches? I got this idea because when I touched up our basement, I found that we had like a THOUSAND different switchplates: aluminum, yellowing plastic, grayish plastic, whitish plastic. All of them were beat up and, well, hideous. Replacing all of them would have been pricey and unjustifiable to my husband, who, bless his heart, couldn’t care less about a little detail like that. I like the look of the oil-rubbed bronze, plus we have several light fixtures around the house in that finish. When I looked at buying new ones, the 2-plug covers and light switches were about $3 each, and the specialty multiple plug/light switch combos were $8 or more. Yeah, dumb to pay that much.

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Hi, I’m Jen. I’m a Projectaholic.

I was trying to think of new names for my stuff…you know, the social media stuff. Committedgifts is indeed a terrible name, but the only one I could come up with that contained my business name, Committed, and no ridiculous Committed1357xxysz.com. Committed makes a lot of sense for who I am and what I do, but that name as a URL was snatched up some time in the early 90’s. So I’m kind of stuck with “committedgifts”…except.

Twitter and Instagram allow you to change your username. It took the usual brainstorming tricks & techniques to narrow down what my posts are all about. I realize I’m all over the place: fitness, gardening, DIY, kid activities, crafts, thrifting, food, travel. That much diversity is kinda bad in BlogLand, but it’s who I am. I’m addicted to projects.

I kind of suspected this, but it was confirmed when I overheard the cleaning ladies (yes, we have them come twice/month, which is the BEST investment for a marriage) saying, “She’s always working on SOMETHING.” The ‘She’ being ME. I start a TON of projects. You know how it goes–you get an idea to solve a problem. You get excited that the problem can go away. You shop, prep, maybe even start, then…another problem pops up requiring your attention.

For example, in addition to my freelance work, I have about 4 personal projects going at the same time (which I agree is cuckoo):

1) Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge (I know you’ve been following along!)

2) Advent activities for the kiddo (a post to come when we’re done):

Free Advent Calendar

Use leftover poster board, Post-Its, stickers, and Sharpies.

3) 10-Minute Post-It
    I take 10 minutes, and a Post-It to sketch out whatever’s on my mind. I post to Instagram and collect those sketches (and friends’ sketches) on a Pinterest board. This is more of a side project I started to get the cobwebs out. A whole large page seems to be a little intimidating, but limiting the size and amount of time seems to make me loosen up. #10MinutePostIt

I can stop procrastinating tomorrow

I feel like this every day.

4) And of course, yesterday, I decided to paint the dining room and the socket covers so we look like we have a big girl house.

Fresh paint

Nothing looks sweeter than a fresh coat of paint.

Oh yes, and there are still Christmas gifts for friends, our annual holiday card, and probably another organizing project lurking in the darkness…So. I had to admit it. As someone addicted to projects. I am Jen. And I’m a Projectaholic.

Now you can follow me on Instagram (@projectaholic) and Twitter (@projectaholic). And you can still like Committed on Facebook. 🙂

Thriftaholism: There is No Cure

Hi, I’m Jen. And I’m a Thriftaholic.

After discovering the awesomeness that is the Goodwill in my new ‘hood, I find myself wandering over there 1-2x/week.  This is an addiction I have no desire of curing, however. I abide by a few rules in my prowling:

– Will it serve a function in our home?

– Is it reasonably priced? (Sometimes they price things almost the same as, if not more than, retail).

– Will it add clutter or will it bring joy?

I believe I’ll be posting more and more about my finds. I’m realizing that I am a staunch believer in thrifting. I feel it encourages creativity and responsibility by reducing waste and requiring some thought about how to use something in a new way.

Case in point: my new Moroccan-inspired side table.

I found this gorgeous brass tray from Turkey for $6.99, and immediately thought: wouldn’t this make a great table top?

Brass tray makes a table top.

Tray chic! Just needed a little TLC.

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Home, Sweet Homework

We are officially moved into our new house!

This truly is our “forever home,” and all three of us are almost giddy every time we walk through the door. There are tons of beautiful features, but mostly it just feels like home. Know what I mean? It was one of those this just feels right kind of places. Another bonus? Projects! Lots of ’em! I’ll be posting things here and there, since we hopped on the project train before even setting foot in the house as owners.

I don’t know what spurred me on, but I had the crazy urge to get shit DONE before we moved in. I guess I just know how crazy and messy life gets with my projects and the toll it would take on the fam (sorry, guys…it’s an addiction!) Plus, I had to promise to ONLY START A PROJECT WHEN THE OTHER ONE WAS FINISHED. This is hard. But I’m doing my best. Anyway, the first project was hiring a painter to do the trim.

Seriously, guys. It was pretty bad. Faux marbling, odd continuity choices, or total emission of paint/finishing altogether. I had 2 days available between getting the keys and getting the cleaners in, so we had to be choosy. I picked the trim in the front room, office, and sitting room. (OMG we have a sitting room! So fancy!)

Faux finish trim color.

I’m a firm believer in contrasting trim. And keeping things simple. And not this.

The pic above is just a teaser–I want to finish those a little more before posting pictures, but I thought you needed to see what we were working with.  Continue reading