Sunday, March 25, 2012

Creating Storage in a Small Space

The house I rent is a small house.  It has 3 bedrooms and 1.5 small bathrooms.  When I moved in I knew bathroom storage would be an issue.  Here is the before photo of my 1/2 bath, which is the bath in the master bedroom...ZERO storage:

After Pinteresting a bit, I came across some inspiration for storage in a small bathroom.



I picked up some Lack shelves from IKEA because they are very sleek and modern and they looked - key word here - LOOKED easy to install, and they are very inexpensive.  They were only $14.99 each and I purchased 3 of them.  2 for the half bath, and 1 for above the door in the full bath.
Here's the thing abou the Lack shelves...they don't come with hardware.  IKEA doesn't give you hardware because they don't know what kind of surface you will be screwing the shelves into.  I used my studfinder and where I needed my shelves to hang, there weren't any studs.  Also, on these shelves the screws are placed 10 inches apart or something, and in American homes the studs are placed 8 inches they won't line up with your studs anyway.  I actually think that it's much easier to put in an anchor and screw into that, than to screw into a stud....but I have very wimpy arm muscles.  Plus, an anchor will actually hold more weight.

I am not completely ignorant when it comes to hanging shelves or building things.  I grew up working in a woodshop, so I'm pretty "with it" when it comes to this stuff.  I purchased a few different screws to try: 2 kinds of drywall screws that 'say' they need no anchor, and 2 kinds of screws with anchors that I've used before.  After about a day of trying, and numerous curse words, and creating massive holes that needed to be filled to try the next screws, I will tell you that none of those things worked.
So naturally, I googled "how to hang an ikea lack shelf"...and what do you know??  Thousands of results pop up with people having the same problem!!!

The general advice for what worked was a toggle type anchor.  I went to Lowe's the next day and bought these:

These are EXACTLY the anchors you need for this shelf.  They worked perfectly and I had the dang shelf up in about 10 minutes....geez.
Here is the end result of my above the door storage in my full bath:

Here is the finished storage in my 1/2 bath:

So, if you too decide to hang a LACK shelf somewhere in your home:
A) Use a level to draw a line on the wall where you want the shelf.
B) Use the anchoring metal part of the shelf along that level line, and mark where the screws will go. 
C) Use an awl to create a large hole on your screw mark to put the anchor into.
C)  Use these exact anchors and screws from Lowe's.
With these steps you should have your shelves up in no time at all.

After I hung the shelves I needed storage baskets.  I bought about 10 different baskets and I finally found the perfect ones at World Market.  Mine are the Betty Water Hyacinth baskets.  I purchased a couple of beige canvas bins from Target as well.

I had a larger basket at home and no where to put it, so I took 2 'S' hooks and hung it to the towel rack in the half bath.  There really is no need for a towel rack in a half bath, so I use this basket for things that I would normally have on the bathroom counter.

What do you think of my storage solutions?


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Creamy Avocado Pasta

In honor of St. Patrick's Day 2012, I'm going to share a great green recipe :)

Who doesn't love cheesy, white, terrible for you, fat laden sauce on their pasta?  No one on this planet.

I came across this recipe on Pinterest that creates a creamy pasta sauce with no cheese or cream.  So it actually turns out that this sauce is vegan.  It does have fat from the avocado, of course.  But that's good fat - or at least that's what they're telling us.

This recipe takes about 2 minutes to make this sauce and you can enjoy it on any pasta, or even on rice.  You can add whatever vegetables and protein you would like, and of course you can sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top - which I did, and it was even more fabulous than it already is.

The recipe is here from
Avocado Cream Sauce

Here it is as well:
• 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted
• 1/2 lemon, juiced
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1/4 cup fresh basil, packed
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
• 2 servings of pasta 
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook about 8-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth and scrape down sides of the bowl - I used my blender.  Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy. You can add a touch of water or oil if necessary.
3. When pasta is cooked, drain in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately. 
Please note: This sauce does not reheat well due to the avocado. Please serve immediately.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Turning an IKEA LACK table into a cute upholstered ottoman

I'm still waiting on my fabric for my chairs to come in, so in the meantime, I did this little project...

I haven't purchased a coffee table for quite some time because my living room is small and it's difficult to find one that is the right size.  So I've been using a cheap IKEA LACK side table as a stand in because it's small and cheap and I had it on hand.  Everyone on the planet is familiar with this table.  They are $7, and come in lots of colors.  But I wanted mine to be cuter.  So I decided I'd upholster it.
Now, I wanted a fabric that was mostly white because my living room furniture is brown and light brown, so I needed something lighter.  But, I couldn't find any white fabric with a cute design on it.  So I made my own.

I got a yard of white fabric and some fabric paint, and I found a pattern that I liked online.  I made a stencil from that pattern and cut it into a sponge.  Then I used that sponge to stamp the pattern all over the fabric.  This was super easy and super cheap!

After I finished stamping, I immediately washed the fabric.  Because I used a sponge to stamp the design instead of just painting, I got exactly the look I was going for.  Kind of vintage and worn looking :)

Now, I wanted this ottoman to be tufted, so I drew an X on top of the table and drilled a hole through the center, and then at the point that was half way between the corners and the center.

I got some 1 inch foam from Hobby Lobby - and I used their 40% off coupon from online.  I put the foam on top of the table, and then covered that with batting.  Then you just turn the table upside down, and start staple-gunning away.

Once you've done that you can put your fabric on.  Now I'm tufting, so the first thing I did was cover 5 buttons with white fabric.  This is super easy.  You just buy the covered button kits from your craft store and follow the directions, and voila!  If you are NOT tufting, you can just staple your fabric on at this point.

You don't want to staple your fabric on and then tuft, because then the fabric won't stretch to get nice deep tufts.  So you stand the table upright - so leaving the legs on is good - and start with the middle button.  Now, I tried using fishing line first, but it was not strong enough.  So I used some twine that I had.  Twine is sturdy and thick and doesn't stretch, so I really liked it for this.  I got a long weaving needle - again from Hobby Lobby - and used it to thread the twine UP through the center hole of the ottoman.  Then you put the button on.  Then you put the needle back through to the bottom of the table.  Then you pull HARD to make a deep tuft.  I tied the twine under the tabletop and around a piece of fabric, to keep it from slipping back through the drilled hole.

You repeat this for the rest of the tufting holes.  Then your last step is to turn the table on its top, and staple gun the rest of the fabric to the bottom, and trim!

That's it!  It really was super easy and only took about an hour to do.  I love the way it looks in my living room, and it was all done for about $10!  You can't beat that!

1.5 yards of white fabric $4
Button Covering Kit $2.50
Fabric Paint $0.99

{nifty button}

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wedding Flowers

I haven't completed the chair makeover yet because it has taken me until now to decide on what fabric I like.  I finally decided on one and this is it:

Dwell Studio Fabric

I've ordered it so it should be in soon and hopefully I'll finish the chairs this weekend :)

In the meantime I've been up to a lot of other projects.  The biggest of which was doing the flowers for a wedding in San Antonio.  Somehow I have a knack with flowers.  This was discovered when my best friend, Natalia, got married a couple of years ago.  The night before her wedding in San Diego, she appeared at our hotel room with hundreds of flowers and announced that we needed to make the bouquets for the wedding the next day.  I just kind of took charge and they turned out really really well.

Since that wedding, I have taken a floral class to learn how to make corsages and boutonnieres.

This wedding was a pretty good size wedding with about 250 people.  I made 30 centerpieces, 6 bridesmaid bouquets, 1 bridal bouquet, 11 boutonnieres, 6 wrist corsages, 2 pin corsages, and 1 altar arrangement.  Everything turned out wonderfully.  Everything looked exactly like the pictures she had sent me of bouquets she liked.  I can't wait to see the pictures from the photographer :)

One typical Adrianne story for you....

When I picked the flowers up from the florist and brought them home, I began filling buckets of water to sort them and put them into.  As I filled the first bucket of water and was placing it on the floor of my garage, I thought to myself "I had better be careful with my phone with all of this water around..."

As soon as that thought crossed my mind, my iPhone fell out of the chest pocket of my scrubs right into the bucket of water!!  I reached in to get it really fast and I immediately backed it up on my computer because I knew I might only have a few minutes to possibly do something like that.

Once the backup was complete, it started acting funny.  I put it in rice - like everyone says to do - but the phone was vibrating, and ringing, and flashing, and making all sorts of noises and it would NOT turn off no matter what I did.  So I went to bed and crossed my fingers.  Well, thank the LORD, the rice worked.  Somehow, it's been normal ever since.

But there it is...a typical day in the life.  This kind of B.S. happens quite often to me, and I am NOT deserving of it.  And usually it has some pretty significant financial repercussions.  Fortunately, the iPhone lives another day!

Here are some photographs of the flower arrangements...

If you or anyone you know would like flowers for an event in the central Texas area, let me know!  I can  do what a florist can do for about a third of what they would charge.