Friday, July 22, 2011

The Simple Pleasures of a Child

Who would have thought with all the gadgets and toys a child could want that something as simple as a band-aid would make a child happy. Using coupons, we are able to get cute character band-aids very reasonably priced and sometimes free. This makes our two little girls extremely happy!

We were helping my mother move and Eryn (the little one) fell walking on the sidewalk and skinned her knee. No it wasn't life threatening and didn't even cause her to cry. When we got home she told me she had a boo boo and needed a band-aid to fix it. I told her I'd get her a Barbie band-aid and life was grand. She then danced around the house singing that she had a Barbie band-aid and look at her.

Isn't the life of a 3 year old grand? I LOVE that character Band-aids are something that can cause my children joy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Adventures in Dying... An Ikea Klippan Loveseat VS. ME

We purchased an IKEA Klippan loveseat with no cover on Craigslist last month. I did not or was not able to see the legs in the original Craigslist post so I was more than a little shocked to see hideous wooden legs put on the sleek, modern sofa. As you can imagine, they were removed.
Ikea is over an hour and 1/2 away from us so it took us two weeks to head to my favorite store (in competition with Target).  I unknowingly, thought I could purchase Klippan metal legs at the store and an extra cover. My idea was to buy an off-white cover (for $19) and dye it gray.  I had seen a dye job to die for at IKEA Hackers and knew I could do it.

I was unable to find metal legs at IKEA for the sofa but we did purchase these bookcase legs that are super similar in size, form and color so we thought... for $10 sure... we'll try it.
I realized after pulling the wooden legs off that the original owners put them on because one place where the metal legs screw in was crooked. They took a new screw and screwed in the wooden legs just to the outside of the original leg position.

We unscrewed the extra screws and I fixed the crooked spot by inserting a screwdriver inside it and pulling in the right direction. DUH! Super easy!

The couch was also a very old version. The date on the bottom said 1999.  We had to cut off a white gauzy cover to put the slip cover on but no worries.. It turned out fine! The kitten even got into the DIY spirit.
The wooden legs made the couch too high and therefore oddly uncomfortable. It wasn't until we put these legs on and the couch sat lower that we realized that was the problem the whole time. 

Next came the dye job. I found on the RIT website where you can dye items in your washer. We purchased 2 Royal Blue and 1 Sunshine Orange liquid dyes to mix together to get a blue/gray. We pre-washed the off-white cover and then mixed our colors together. 

You can actually pick out over 500 colors at the Color Formula Guide .
We picked out #193 and followed the directions. 

The directions state to only leave it in the dye for 30 minutes max and use super hot water. You are also to add 1 cup of salt into the tub. I stopped the washer at 30 minutes and then rinsed a second time.
After round 1 it came out WAY too blue!
I'm not sure the orange did anything at all. I re-read the directions for machine washing and the only thing I can think of that went wrong is that we have an HE front loader so it uses less water. 

We purchased a black RIT dye and poured the entire bottle in the load and tried to darken it thinking any gray/black would be better than denim blue.

It didn't do anything. When I have time I will use two bottles of black and hope it darkens it. For now, we have a denim blue couch. We go back to IKEA on Saturday to purchase the Klippan 4 seater in black and a few extra off-white covers for me to dye.  With my daughter's birthday party on Sunday I will be purchasing a pink cover for the 2 seater.

New living room/ kitchen makeover pictures to follow. Next time I try to color match and dye a cover I will use 1/2 of the recipe and use a large Rubbermaid container and boiling water instead of our washer. It was a super easy method but lack of extra water darkened the color drastically.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Let there be light.... without rust

We have had the same outdoor lights since we moved in over 5 years ago.They are also original to the house which was built in 1994 of 1995 (we're not sure).  That means the lights are way too old to still look good. Plus I just didn't like the design and the fact that over 50% of the houses in our development still had them as well.

I picked out a great light two pack at Lowe's for only $31. We purchased 2 packs and got to work.

Problem #1: the hanging bracket pushed the light too far out that it was not flush.

Problem #2: because we have brick the electrical boxes were hung sideways which gave us no room to adjust the adjustable screws to bring the light closer to the brick.

Solution: After fighting with one of the lights by the front door for an hour I called my brother. He can jerry-rig almost anything. So... he used part of the bracket from the old light and put a screw in one way and the two mounting screws in the other way. We used nuts to hold the screw in the right place and rigid so the light had something to hold on to.

Final Product: After an hour or more we had two of the four lights up. We purchased more nuts and screws at Lowes to fully secure the remaining two lights (which are still not up because I am rapidly and frantically trying to finish the kitchen)


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