Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CHANGING THE FACE OF BTP...

Wait, don't go back!  I know things look quite different but you ARE at Beyond the Portico....

Good afternoon everyone!  What do you think of my new look?  I decided it was time to give the old blog a little facelift.  Same old blog with a new look.  I even added a picture of myself so you can see the chunky little face behind the blog.  It REALLLLLLY goes against my grain to post self-portraits here but I know there won't be any laughing or judging as we're all friends, aren't we?

I still have a little tweaking to do but I am really liking the change so far, aren't you?  Or, if you have any suggestions that will make BTP better, easier to read and navigate, leave me a comment.  I will be sure to take all your suggestions into consideration.

Have a fabulous evening!



Monday, February 24, 2014

THE CHAIRS CAME CLEAN, THE NEW LAMP AND SOME WEEKEND FINDS...

Ugh, it's Monday AGAIN!  Where'd the weekend go?!  It seems we have more Mondays in a week than any other day or that they come around quicker than all the rest, doesn't it?  Did I ever tell you I am not a big fan of Mondays?  Well I'm NOT!  Mondays are hectic...at least for my family.  We stumble out of bed, grumble about having to get up at the crack of dawn, scramble around to find clothes, shoes, keys, something for lunch and then almost forget to drop the kids off at school.  (Sounds like I need to be more organized, doesn't it?). Not to mention that you nearly get run over, honked at and flipped off by all the other "not in a good mood Sally's" who are running late to work.

So how's your morning been?...or should I even ask?  LOL

I do have some good news today though that might cheer you up...well, it cheers me up.  That good news is...SPRING IS ON IT'S WAY...YAAAY!!, and the two chairs I bought for $40.00 last week came CLEAN.  A bigger YAAAAAAAAY!!.
































The one had a HUGE spot on the seat (I didn't get a chance to get a picture of it to show you because the hubs wanted to surprise me and cleaned them after I went to bed Friday night).  Nearly every last spot came out of them thanks to my husband and his miracle cleaners.



























They are in perfect condition now!!

Some other good news, I finally snapped a picture of my new mercury glass lamp to show you...





So beautiful!!  I love it!  The Paperwhites and pretty candleholder are Friday night Goodwill finds.  I paid $3.00 for the flowers and $1.99 for the candleholder which happens to be Threshold from Target.  I'm pretty sure I got a good deal on that!

I had one more great weekend find on Saturday which I am super excited about...





I stumbled across this gorgeous gray and cream duvet cover at Salvation Army Saturday that might just be the solution to my bedding dilemma.

It didn't have the shams with it so I almost decided against buying it but I just couldn't pass it up for $5.00. It's like brand new and I figured I could just make or find some plain gray shams to go with it.  However, I won't have to do that because, much to my surprise when laying it out on the bed this morning, it happens to be a King size cover instead of Queen which means that I can cut it down to fit my queen size insert and use the left over fabric to make matching shams. Perfect!  I love those kinds of surprises!!


























It's also reversible...

























so I am hoping I have enough left over fabric for not only the shams but maybe a cute little striped throw pillow too.  I'm soooo glad I decided to buy this.  I think it's going to be the perfect bedding for my room! YAY!!

Well, I guess Mondays aren't so bad after all.  Have a HAPPY MONDAY everyone!!



Friday, February 21, 2014

A FEW RANDOM THINGS TO KICK OFF THE WEEKEND...

Ole', it's the weekend!! Yay.  It seems like lately I live for the weekend.  How about you?

Well, I wish I had something really important or brilliant to post about today but sadly I didn't do anything exciting this week around the house.  We have been BUSY!...(with things other than pretty house stuff).

Most of the week was spent consolidating our bills.  I know BORING!! Truthfully though, we had a lot of smaller bills that were nickle and diming us to death each month.  Fifty dollar payments here twenty-five dollar payments there...our solution...we got a small loan to pay them all off so now we have just one loan payment each month.




I feel relieved already only having to write one check each month verses 10 and the loan payment is far less than what I was actually paying per month the other way.  Anyway, not like you really wanted to know all that but what it also means is that I will have a little more cash flow for house things....at least that is what I am hoping.


I did happen to find something (2 somethings) at a local consignment shop for the dining room this week...



























Can you guess what they are?  You guessed it...Upholstered, skirted chairs. As you can tell they are used and they do have a few stains but my husband has some industrial strength/professional cleaner that should get them right out. I only paid $40.00 for the both of them which you know is excellent if you have been pricing upholstered chairs lately....THEY ARE EXPENSIVE!!

I got one more thing this week...It came in the mail...

























From Susie Harris!  Remember I won her giveaway?  Well, technically I won the giveaway but the canvas is actually going to my sister, who is going through a very tough time in her life right now.  However, I couldn't just forward it on...You know I HAD to open it...I couldn't help it, it was BEGGING me...

























I LOVE IT!  Plain and simple but says a lot.  I think every woman should have one of these hanging somewhere where she can see it everyday.  It is very well made and the canvas material was very soft and of good quality.  Just a little plug for Susie, she is very talented and makes and sells all kinds of quality hand painted canvases and signs.  Head over to her blog HERE and check her out.  She has a gorgeous home too!

Anyway, as promised, I rolled this sweet little canvas back up and forwarded it to my sister...

























She should get it tomorrow.

In other news, I attempted to fade my bedding last weekend (though I have no pictures to prove it), and you are not going to believe this...After first washing it in hot water then soaking it in a bathtub full of hot water with a box of Rit Color Remover and 3 cups of bleach for 5 hours, it DID NOT FADE...at ALL!  I couldn't believe it.  I still cannot believe it!  Not one ounce of color came out of that bedding!  I can't understand it.  I am the kind of woman who has bleach accidents, bleaching things that I never wanted bleached. Wouldn't it figure that when I actually want to bleach something on PURPOSE it doesn't work! Hmmmm, who would've thunk it!  I guess I will just have to live with the bedding like it is or find something else.  My guess is that I am on the lookout for different bedding.






Lastly, there are still no pictures of my new mercury glass lamp to show you and I still haven't posted about my dining room curtains that I mentioned WAAAAAY back in December and which I promised to give you all the details about, but I will get to all that someday.  Until then, have a fabulous weekend!




Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day & some rooms I LOVE!!!

Happy Valentine's day all.  Have you gotten your sweetie anything SWEET to celebrate this wonderful day? I haven't as of yet.  The hubs doesn't want flowers and can't eat sweets right now (or anything for that matter) as he just had major surgery on his mouth yesterday (I will spare you the gory details). I think I am going to get him a book or something tonight.  He loves to read about as much as I love to decorate so I think a book should be a fitting Valentines Day gift for him.

I didn't want flowers or candy either (on a diet) so he got me the mercury glass lamp I have been crushing on from Lowes. He's soooo sweet! I just love him to pieces!! He had a $10.00 off coupon that was about to expire so he saved some cash as well.  Smart man, isn't he?  I'll show you pics as soon as I take some...PROMISE!!

In the meantime, I thought I would show you a few gorgeous rooms that I LOVE...after all, it is VALENTINES DAY, right?  These are my all time favorite rooms from my "Rooms I Love" Pinterest board.

BTW, if you would like to follow me on Pinterest click this link Follow Me on Pinterest or click the link on my sidebar.  I  have TONS of great pins for you to drool over, including mouth watering recipes, crafts, DIY projects and a bazillion gorgeous inspiration rooms.

Now let's get to loving on a few rooms, shall we...


rooms with two sofas - Google Search
Source
If I could, this is how I would do my living room.  Unfortunately the hubs thwarted my plans to buy white furniture...Some day though, some day...

I can dream, can't I?


StoneGable: FALL HOME TOUR
Source

This is Yvonne from Stonegable's dining room.  It's larger than mine but I could just picture my dining room looking like this.  I had a Duncan Phyfe style table at one time but unfortunately it was a little too big for the room and the top had some major problems.  Some day though my dining room will look like this!  Of course that will probably be once my eight year old, MESSY, DIRTY HANDED little boy grows up.

Now let's head upstairs, shall we...these stairs...I love me some leopard print...don't you?


animal print stair runner - Google Search
Source


to this gorgeous landing....


Love the composition.
Source

I can just picture this gorgeous dresser (or one like it) and this whole set up perched on the landing, at the top of my leopard print stairs and outside my (this) gorgeous master bedroom...


Greenwich Residence - transitional - bedroom - new york - Tiffany Eastman Interiors, LLC
Source

Be still my heart!!!

Okay, so I know you all must think I am out of my ever loving mind as truly these rooms are not attainable for people like me, with a house like mine, but as I said, I can dream.  Besides, the best, most romantic love stories are played out in our dreams now aren't they?

I say dream big or go home!!  LOL

Anyway, hope you enjoyed sharing in this little romantic Valentines decorating soiree of mine...

Have a fantastic weekend and very sweet, romantic Valentines Day with the one you love.



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

COPYCAT MIRROR HOW-TO...

Hi'ya. How are you all today?  Great I hope!  Me? I'm wonderful...thanks for asking. LOL.  The sun is finally shining and we are looking forward to slightly warmer temperatures...possibly in the 50's...by the weekend.  YAY!!!

Did you all like the little copycat mirror project I showed you last week?  I know it's not a fancy store bought mirror but I think it turned out pretty good and I really like it.  What I like most is that it didn't cost me a boat load of moolah.  I spent a few hours and a little over $10 to make it and that's with buying two different cans of spray paint.  Had I got it right the first time, I would have spent much less time and money.





As promised, I am going to do a brief...somewhat scattered and incomplete (because I didn't get enough pictures) pictorial for you today because I know you all have a ton of time on your hands and are just dying to make one of these for yourself.  Right?  Right!

First, a little supply list...You will need:

--2 white foam core poster boards (I used black because they were out of white but I had trouble seeing my pencil lines...DUH)
--1 12" round mirror
--4 long strands Mardi gras beads or other embellishment
--1 can silver spray paint or color of your choice
--Xacto or utility knife
--Hot glue gun and glue sticks
--Pencil
--16" long piece of string

Breakdown of cost:

$2.50---2 Foam core posterboards (Dollar General)
$1.00---12" round mirror (resale shop)
$1.00---Mardi gras beads (resale shop)
$3.75---Rustoleum spray paint (Wal-Mart)
$8.25


Now I will just tell you that this took some major time and some math skills to figure this design out to get eight even sides.  I ended up freehanding most of the curves...but don't let that scare you.  If I can do this YOU can too!!!

You will want to begin by drawing out half the over all design on one of your poster boards.  First, find the center of the long side of your board (which is usually 15 inches) and make a mark.  Now use your pencil and string like a math compass...Tie the string around your pencil making sure to leave a 15" tail.  Now place the end of the string at the center mark on the bottom of your board and the tip of your pencil on the left edge of your poster board.  Keeping the string taut draw a curved line all the way over the right edge of the board making a half circle.

You will do the same thing for the inner half circle at 7".  Once you have drawn your two half circles your postboard should look like this...


























The few inches at the top will be reserved for another piece of this twisted puzzle so cut that off and put it aside for now...

Next, you are going to make a "starburst" template.  Fold a piece of cardstock in half length wise.  Draw your template along the fold and cut it out (I've shown the measurements for your convenience)...



Oops, the measurement on top of the "seven" shape should read 2 7/16".
























Place the template on your posterboard at center between the two half circles and trace.  Once traced, position the template over one space to the left and trace again.  Next, move the template over one space to the right of the center and trace...


























Next, move your template again to the far left or far right side and trace...(you will only get half the design on the ends...



























Now comes the tedious FUN part, cutting everything out...I have placed X's (for your information) in the areas that need to be cut away...Do not cut too close to the points connected to the center circle (noted by my arrow below).  You will want to leave a little of the poster board around them.  If you cut too close your center circle may come out...YOU DO NOT WANT THE CENTER CIRCLE CUT OUT!!!! The center circle is what your mirror will be glued to.




Whew, your half way done!


























Now place the posterboard that you just cut your design out of on top of your other posterboard. Trace the entire design and then cut everything out.


























With hot glue, glue the two posterboards together along the center to make a big "circle"...



























I had already started the next step before taking the picture above...OOPS...but the next step after gluing your two halves together is to cut out your cross bars (which are cut from the reserved top piece of each posterboard).  You should get four  1" x 11 3/4" curved strips from each (giving you a total of eight strips)...









Once all your strips are cut out, weave up and under between the legs of your main design, gluing the points of your strips together as you go until all eight strips are placed and glued together...


























You're done!  Welllll, almost...

Next, before spray painting, you will want to coat all the exposed foam edges of your design with a coat of craft or latex paint...


























DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!!  This step is VERY IMPORTANT because spray paint will MELT styrofoam. Regular paint will not so coating the edges first will add a protective barrier from the spray paint....wouldn't want to get this far only to have it all melt away!!

Now you can glue your mirror to the center of the smaller circle and add your embellishments, then spray paint or you can spray paint first and add your mirror and embellishments afterward.  That is up to you.



























If you add the mirror first you will have to cover it when it's time to paint.

Once it is dry, glue a picture hanger (or can tab like I did) to the top center of the back of the smaller circle and you are ready to hang and enjoy...




























Well there you have it, a few time consuming, not so easy steps to making your very own copycat starburst mirror.  Nah, it's really not that bad, and kind of fun too; besides, I have given you all the measurements and directions so you can whip one of these out in no time!!!

If you do make one of these, send me a picture or leave me a comment.  I would love to see how yours turns out!



Friday, February 7, 2014

HOUSTON, WE HAVE TAKE OFF...

Sorry this post is so late in getting to you.  Just as soon as I was getting ready to hit the publish button this morning the internet went down and has been down ALL day.  It just came back up a few minutes ago...

BUT,  I'm finally happy to be able to say....Houston, we have take off...the internet's a go and the DIY copycat mirror is a go too. Plan B worked...most of it!
































Plan B was to add some beads or pearls around the mirror to beef it up and then repaint everything.  I found some long strands of Mardi Gras beads at the resale shop yesterday and glued them around the edge of the mirror. Looks much better than the rope!




























I then gave everything a new coat of paint...







I used Rustoleum Metallic in Chrome but this looks more pewter instead of chrome. Then I dry brushed on a little gold metallic in a few places to add some dimension. It's okay I guess, but I really want a silver finish.  I could have bought plain ol' silver spray paint from Wal-Mart but I know from past experience that most of the silver spray paint in our local stores has a bluish tinge which I don't want, and which is why I originally went with brushed nickel and then tried chrome.



























As soon as I can get to Lowes or Michaels I plan to pick up some GOOD silver paint and give it a try. Until then I guess I will just have to live with this...

























I guess it's not TOO awfully bad....

At least the overall design looks similar to my inspiration mirror...





















I might even like mine a tad better because it did not cost me over $200.00.

If you are interested in making one of these for yourself, I hope to post somewhat of a brief tutorial on it soon.  Until then...

Have a fantastic and WARM weekend!!



Thursday, February 6, 2014

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM...

So, the DIY starburst type mirror I started on Wednesday is NOT finished as promised....boooooo!!!

The design turned out great but the brushed nickel paint I got for it is not right.  It's too dull and just very unappealing.  Then there is somewhat of a bigger problem in the area around the mirror.  I wanted to embellish it a little to give the mirror more presence but the rope I used was not right.  When I took the rope off, it left some glue behind and a little damage...























Whaaaaa!   However, I have a plan....I always have a plan....SO, stay tuned.  See you tomorrow...HOPEFULLY!



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A LITTLE SNOW DAY PROJECT...

The snow started falling yesterday morning at about 11:00 a.m.  By noon the boss said to go home.  Yay! It's a good thing because the roads were already horrible.  I figured this little bit of extra free time I gained would be the perfect opportunity to get started on a little copycat project I have been wanting to do so I stopped by the store on the way home and picked up some supplies...I guess the roads weren't that bad, YET...hehe.

Anyway, I have had my eye on this mirror for a long time for above the mantel, but it's EXPENSIVE...


Wildon Home ranges from $180-$350



Kirklands has one similar in a different finish that is somewhat cheaper...$129....


Minogue Mirror--Kirklands



BUT...there is also the problem of size.  Both these mirrors are 40" in diameter which would just barely fit between the two sconces above my mantel.  While I want it to be big, I think it would look somewhat awkward being THAT big.

However, I really, REALLLLLLY want a mirror like this.  My solution....


























Make one myself...

One that IS the right size and the right price!

Come back tomorrow afternoon to see how this little copycat DIY madness turns out...

See ya then,

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