Adding storage by the entry

You might remember (if you’ve been following for a long time) that I listed all my house projects back in January, as per Apartment Therapy’s suggestion.  I then reviewed them in April for you too. In there, I mentioned the idea of maybe installing floating shelves at my entry.  Well here they are!

The finished product

The finished product

Can you see the ‘blob’ of blackness at the rear of the buffet? That was my decorative high heels (yes, I know, what?!) and then my wig and my hand bag.  I was not happy about all this living ‘on the surface’ – my eyes and head like big clear surfaces.

On the wall - scarves, jackets etc.  To the right, all my shoes (save a few pairs that are out of season and in storage in my wardrobe)

On the wall – scarves, jackets etc. To the right, all my shoes (save a few pairs that are out of season and in storage in my wardrobe)

So, I decided I needed to change things! First up, move the art work

You can see how the picture shifted left, leaves some perfect space for additional storage

You can see how the picture shifted left, leaves some perfect space for additional storage

A bare and nekkid corner, just screaming for some storage

A bare and nekkid corner, just screaming for some storage

Nekkid corner, you say? How about some super cheap Ikea Lack shelves?

Yikes thats a big hole for the toggle set!

Yikes thats a big hole for the toggle set!

First Ikea shelf up!

First Ikea shelf up!

Floating shelves up (for now)

Floating shelves up (for now)

Adding storage by going up!

Adding storage by going up!

Sadly, this looks simple. Truly? Not at all. The first set of Ramset plugs pulled out of the wall. (You can’t screw into a stud, as the screw heads need to be exactly 22.5cm apart to hang the shelf) I thought it was because the screws were too short to activate the ‘spring’ toggle. So I bought longer screws. Still no cigar. Then back the hardware store for the pricier toggles (which I bought on trip 1, returned on trip 2, then I bought screws on trip 3, and then we’re now at trip 4). Thankfully, these ones held, but sadly proved my super double checked measuring and leveling, ended up with unlevel screw holes, and therefore not entirely ‘flat’ shelves.

So, I’m pretty sure I would NOT leave these for a renter in my place. Which basically means I’ve screwed holes to just have to patch at some date in the future. Sigh.  Alas, it is nice to have some additional storage and more ‘clear open spaces’.  Do you need clear surfaces to feel calm?

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Brighten a buffet

Here’s my last long weekend project.

Simple instructions
1. Sand (with fine sandpaper and EVERYwhere, unlike me :P)
2. tape off the area to be primed and painted
3. Prime and let dry
4. Prime again and let dry
5. Paint and let dry
6. Paint again
7. Remove tape
8. Cry that’s it’s not pinworthy, but remember this is INSIDE your cupboards, the best place to fail!

Before (without the shelf)

Before (without the shelf)

Presanding the buffet interior, ready for priming

Presanding the buffet interior, ready for priming

Priming, coat 1 (and wised up to taping it so I'd get a nice clean finish

Priming, coat 1 (and wised up to taping it so I’d get a nice clean finish

Buffet painted!

Buffet painted! But tape remaining

Now, this is not the blog where you will think I’m super woman! Here’s proof!

Leaving tap too long results in imperfections :(

Leaving tap too long results in imperfections 😦

With the shelf back

With the shelf back

Ready for restocking

Ready for restocking

And inside?

The handbags tucked back in... these are all I own!

The handbags tucked back in… these are all I own!

9 ways I’ve used adhesive hooks

When I did my house inventory (which I will one day publish, when I work out the best things to include/exclude.  Perhaps I’ll start with clothing?), I went through receipts.  I suddenly realised how much I’d spent on Command 3M hooks: $72.88.  They are expensive, but so alluring for their ‘no damage’ mantra.  So here’s where they’ve been put into service in my place:

1. Spice storage

Spice rack with 3M hooks

Spice rack with 3M hooks

Count: 15, with more to come, since I just bought some more spices

2. Paper bag storage

More paper carry bags in the linen closet

More paper carry bags in the linen closet

Count: 1

3. Hanging binder clips of rosters, take away menus etc

The messy noticeboard - with lists and rosters

The messy noticeboard – with lists and rosters

Count: 3

4. More bag storage

Carry bags in my front buffet

Carry bags in my front buffet

Count: 1

5. Dustpan storage

Hanging up the dustpan

Hanging up the dustpan

Count: 1

6. Bra hanging

Sorry, they don’t like as nice as at Victoria’s Secret, but then again, I’m not trying to sell you my bras!

Everyday bras in the closet with 3M hooks

Everyday bras in the closet with 3M hooks

Count: 6

7. Sports bra hanging

Sexy huh?  Hey, a girl’s gotta run!

Sports bras (and head band) on 3M hooks in the wardrobe

Sports bras (and head band) on 3M hooks in the wardrobe

Count: 3

8. Gently worn ‘house’ clothes

Again, so carefully styled so you think my home is swoon worthy (*not*)

Summer house dresses on the third closet door (plus a belt)

Count: 2

9. Jewellery storage

If your new to my blog, here’s more on how I store my jewellery.

Necklace storage

Count: 10

That’s 42 adhesive 3M hooks holding on for dear life there! That makes it about $1.70 per hook, though I do have a few still in my hardware drawer.  Seems I’m the ultimate brand ambassador (perhaps they’ll contact me and offer me millions, but I’m not holding my breath.  Though… I wouldn’t say no!).

I also have metal 9 screwed in hooks at my entryway for jackets, scarves and hats, and another 3 on the back of the bathroom door!

That’ll bring me to 54!

It seems interesting to me that there’s no pictures/picture frames using these hooks.  I have tried them in a number of locations – both on tile and on my normal wall surface with very limited success.  Naturally the humidity in the bathroom caused issues.  Then a few ‘jumped’ off the walls – breaking a frame in the process!  After that, I went the route of nailed in picture hooks for all my pictures, save for one where I used the 3M velcro strips, as I wanted the piece flush with the wall.  After some initial teething problems with the strips, they seems to be holding well now.  There’s another inventory I can bring you – all my wall art!

Brightening up a bathroom cabinet

Whilst trawling the internet in the last week, I was inspired by a project where someone backed their bathroom cabinet with a decorative paper.  It struck me as such an easy, cheap and renter friendly update.  All you need is a sheet of nice wrapping paper – mine was about $7 for a sheet.

Bathroom Cabinet before

Bathroom Cabinet before

Then I remover all my products, and the glass shelves.  I put the sheet of paper up to the cabinet to know how much I needed to trim off.  (I might have overtrimmed… oh well… what do they say about measure twice cut once?).  Then I placed a few strategic pieces of double sided tapes on the cabinet, pressed the paper in. It looked great, and took next to no time at all.

Bathroom Cabinet after

Bathroom Cabinet after

Shame I didn’t take a photo from a greater distance, the paper I chose nicely matches the colour of the mosaic tile border and floor tiles in the bathroom. Happy coincidence there.

Decorating with birdcages

When I was a teenager, I had a fascination with ornamental birdcages.  At the time, I was working in a florist, and I swooned at the lovely rustic birdcage my boss had in stock.  When Christmas came around, she wisely wrapped it up with a big bow and presented it to me.  I still have it, 13 years later (it’s to the far right in the photo below)!  Over the years, I started to seek out more birdcages.  Interestingly, they became more and more of a decor item.  Suddenly, they seemed to be everywhere!  At the height of my collection I had seven ornamental birdcages!

Birdcages in a floristry display

Birdcages in a floristry display

In 2011, I started to consider moving out of my parents home to buy my own place.  I also became a regular reader of the forums at Unclutterer.com and reading Colleen’s blog 365 Less Things  I started to question the wisdom of “collections”.  When I asked the common clutter questions, I came up short.  They weren’t functional.  And I didn’t love every bird cage.  I didn’t actively try to declutter them, but when someone asked on freecycle for ornamental birdcages, i was ready to share my ‘less favourites’.  I bundled up three birdcages that I didn’t love, and made this woman’s day.

That left me with three birdcages at my house, and one at my parents house.  My home doesn’t have a lot of flat surfaces for ‘displaying’ things, so for 16 months, I’ve moved birdcages around, trying to put them somewhere where they’ll be enjoyed, but not getting in the road with functionality of things around them (the TV, lamps, other things on shelves).  It just wasn’t working.  So I decided I’d go ‘up’!  I had a corner of my living room that was a little ‘dead’.  It had never really worked, and I decided it needed something to ‘jazz’ it up.

An empty corner, waiting to be filled

An empty corner, waiting to be filled

As you can see above, there’s definately not much happening in this neck of the woods, err living room.  After extensive consultation with Mr DIY (a close friend… who has a drill,  I don’t), we decided we’d use a wooden bar between the two walls, and then attach cuphooks to the underside.  Then with some chains leftover from the floristry display, I could hang my beloved three birdcages.

Not so empty corner - birdcage delight

Not so empty corner – birdcage delight

As you can see, it’s certainly changed up that corner! It seems less barren and empty. Interestingly, I’ve had this idea for about a year or more, but it might seem like I’ve been inspired by my all time favourite DIY bloggers at Young House Love – see this post for what I mean. This is one item I am ever so pleased to get off my ‘house to do list’!

The world in stamps

Pinterest be damned – so many good ideas.  And this Easter was the weekend to make the excess stamps from my childhood collection, and poster I’d bought for this almost a year ago, a thing of great beauty!  I shared my pinspiration photo in my long weekend to do list post, and now for the ‘how to’ of what I did, and how it turned out!

Stamp Map of the worldA source (not the original): http://www.designpoi.com/2010/11/stamp-map/

Stamp Map of the world
A source (not the original): http://www.designpoi.com/2010/11/stamp-map/

I realised that I didn’t have enough stamps from China or Russia, or South America to cover the land mass.  So I decided I’d do all the map in Australian stamps – using all my doubles and triples.  It took a while, even with the template.

Seeing if I could use country specific stamps for each continent.

Seeing if I could use country specific stamps for each continent.

1. I struck the template A4 pages together, to make the continents. (This challenged my mind just a little!)

Opps, the Europe A4 page is landcape, that stumped me for a while!

Opps, the Europe A4 page is landcape, that stumped me for a while!

2. Then I had to cut them out – not that easy with a runny nose.  I decided I’d lie on the sofa and read a chapter or two, then cut some, then lay back down.  Seemed to work, but slowed progress down considerably.

Cutout almost complete - the islands are still attached

Cutout almost complete – the islands are still attached

3. Next, I laid out the two sheets of poster paper (which having been stored in a rolled tube, took some weights to coerce back to flat overnight).

4. I traced around my maps that I’d cut out.  I kept little islands (you know, like England and New Zealand) attached to bigger land masses, until I’d outlined everything I could.  Then I cut out the islands, and finished off their outlines.  This way, hopefully most things are in the right location, at least according to the template I used!

5.  Laying of the stamps – this took a while.  I started with the Americas – laid them all out, then shifted them out of place, and stuck each back down with PVA – perhaps not the best glue for the purpose, but what was on hand. (Then I made dinner for my brothers!)  I then got one brother to assist in stamp placement for Africa/Asia.  All in all the laying of stamps and sticking of stamps probably took about 5hrs (?!)  Didn’t help that my stash of Australian stamps kept running down and I’d have to flip through my albums to find more.

North America's close up

North America’s close up

6. The last step is to overlay the country specific stamps in the right location.  Now that I have all the landmasses collage-d with stamps, I don’t need to worry about gaps etc.  I can just find a stamp for the small countries and call it done.

World map with Australian stamps

World map with Australian stamps

With the stamps I have, I could have done the Oceania on a poster page four times the size, and still had enough stamps! But a world map is what this girl wanted, so a world map she made! I have to thank The Crafty Cow for their great template – I was stumped til I had that in my hot little hands!

I might update this post with a photo of it bluetacked to my wall – it’s not the most professional piece of art, but I’m happy with it!

Under the sink contact

A while ago I saw book contact, in the checkerboard pattern. I thought it was so cool – and I’m not sure if it was the chicken or the egg, but I also wanted to protect the base of my under sink cupboard, which occasionally get soaked when I forget I’ve been draining the Bokashi. I’d seen the same product at both Mitre 10 hardware store and Kmart. Always price conscious, I bought some at Kmart for about $5, knowing I could easily return it – days later I noted that Mitre 10’s equivalent products was $42 a roll! Who knows why or how Mitre 10 sells it at that price, but I was mighty chuffed at my savings!

Before

Before

Halfway there - Checkerplate book contact

Halfway there – Checkerplate book contact

I contacted the back half of the cupboard a while ago. I had to do it in two pieces (to get it around the pipework. I also chose to create a skirting in contact, for that little extra protection. For reasons I don’t recall, after I did the back half, I called it a day. So this weekend, I thought best to complete the job (and use up the surplus contact I had). Without the pipe having such a great impact, I could lay it in once piece, just trimming it to fit. Sadly, I didn’t have quite enough to make a skirting on both sides, but it still looks pretty slick!

Checkplate contact completed!

Checkplate contact completed!

Here's the cupboard in action - Left: trash; Middle: recycling; Right: Bokashi bin

Here’s the cupboard in action – Left: trash; Middle: recycling; Right: Bokashi bin