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    We're two avid DIY-ers raising two rambunctious boys while tackling large and small projects, living to share our tale. All with the hope to inspire and encourage others.

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    Everyone is quick to talk about the beauty of fall's colorful leaves. Seems to me the sunrises and sets are overlooked. Though I don't love the shorter daylight, I do enjoy the magnificent skies this time of year. Stop by the blog for a chance to win a $60 shop credit to @michaelellisstudios Lots of wonderful art options. You know what sucks more than removing wallpaper? Removing wallpaper and three layers of paint. PSA of the day: NEVER, under any circumstances, paint over wallpaper.

Big Time Suck

More often than not, I enjoy having a project to work on.  Using my hands, working, creating something that I can (hopefully) be proud of once finished.  Then there are times that totally suck the life out of me.  Removing wall paper that has three coats of paint over is exactly one of those times.  Throughout my 10 hour removal process, I cursed the previous owners for a) putting up this dreaded wall paper and b) painting over it and not removing before.

Wall-Paper-Removal

Using a wide metal spatula, I was able to get most of the paint and paper off, leaving the glue behind.  See how lovely the pattern was?

Wall-Paper-Removal-Pattern

In a few areas, before painting over the paper, someone spackled over low spots.  Please, I beg you, never paint over wall paper.  Certainly don’t patch areas on top either.  It’s not good.

Wall-Paper-Removal-Patches

With hot tap water, I was able to scrape most of the glue backing off easily.   The process left the walls looking like this:

Master-Bedroom-Window-Trimmed-and-Wallpaper

More spots than a dalmatian.  Why did I torture myself?  Because I’ve decided I don’t want to add wood on this wall.  And we need to texture the walls with orange peel (unfortunately, to match the other two) before trimming out the door.  Hence the scraping marathon and my claw hands.  On a more positive note, every window in the house has been replaced.  Now we’re in the process of casing and trimming everything.  I’ve got three windows completely finished.

Master-Bedroom-Window-Trimmed

To match the other windows and doors, we painted the wood accent wall trim white.  I really love the contrast between the two.

Master-Bedroom-Window-Trimmed-Detail

Our bathroom window is done, now I have to go back and touch up the wall paint.  A walk in the park compared to the scraping.

Master-Bathroom-Window-Trim-Touch-up

After a summer of outside work, it’s nice to get some things done inside, too.  Now to clear out our bedroom so I can start scraping popcorn off the ceiling.

Because misery loves company, feel free to share your worst wall paper experience.

Gimme a Giveaway: Michael Ellis Studios

Yay, it’s Friday!  To celebrate, we’ve got a fun giveaway from Michael Ellis Studios.

This shop is packed with vintage posters that have been digitally enhanced to make beautiful art.  With so many fun options, sorted categories make browsing easy.  Here are a few of my favorites from several sections.

In the Sky:

Botanical prints:

In the Ocean:

Maps:

Kids and Nursery:

The Goods:  Three winners will receive a $60 shop credit, good for or toward anything in the Michael Ellis Studios shop.  

To Enter:  Leave a comment telling us which art print(s) you’d most want to hang in your home.

For additional entries:

1.  Like Our Humble Abode on Facebook.  Come back to leave a second comment.

2.  Follow Our Humble Abode on Instagram.  Make sure you let us know you’re following.

Contest Closes: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Number of Winners: Three, chosen by Random.org.

Ships: Anywhere in the world!

Other Info: We will select the winners using random.org and announce on Friday, November 7th.

No Sew Basket

Over the past several years, I’ve seen so many cool baskets.  Metal, wicker, fabric, or leather, I like them all.  So useful, almost everywhere.  I was especially intrigued by a clever folding basket design.

A brilliant origami-esque design uses slits to hold the shape without help from other materials.  No sewing, snaps, buttons, zippers or anything of the like.  Wanting a basket to store magazines, I used iron on interface (essentially a sheet of hem tape) to fuse two pieces of fabric together and prevent fraying.

Before cutting, I created a template on Kraft paper.  The areas inside the white show one-quarter of the design.  Just flip to make the other sides.

No-Sew-Folding-Basket-Quarter-Template

With my template ready, I traced it onto my fabric, cut, and put the handle through the tabs.

No-Sew-Folding-Basket-Fabric-Front-Detail

Instant no sew basket, albeit a floppy one.

No-Sew-Folding-Basket-Fabric-Front

Honestly, it does keep my magazines contained, but isn’t anywhere near rigid enough to carry.  If you make your own, use a few more layers of fabric.  The stiffer/sturdier, the better.

No-Sew-Folding-Basket-Fabric-Inside

After this basket failure, I dug in Ben’s leather cache and found a thick, saddle/belt type leather.  He said he didn’t need it, so I made a leather tote to store newspaper.

No-Sew-Folding-Basket-Leather

Same process, but the heavy leather is perfectly sturdy and oh so handsome.  A welcome addition to our fire supply area, now that temps are dropping.

Green Velvet

Not to harp on our living room, sad little guy, but it feels lack luster and boring.  Almost completely devoid of color with the exception of plants and a few pillows.  I usually prefer a touch more color.  In addition to framing out the recently replaced windows and adding a new rug (any suggestions?), curtains are on my list.  The dropcloth panels are fine, nothing amazing, but get the job done.  All the gray on gray is getting dreary.

To shake things up, I’ve placed an order for green curtains.  Before pulling the trigger, I photoshopped some color over the current set.  Perhaps an olive toned set?  I know where I can get a similar linen.

Living-Room-with-Bright-Olive-Curtains-Mock-Up

Deeper, almost emerald could look nice?

Living-Room-with-Moss-Green-Curtains-Mock-Up

Or cheery kelly green…

Living-Room-with-Dark-Green-Curtains-Mock-Up

Then I saw these green velvet panels at World Market.

At $35 per panel, they’re cheaper than I could make.  Sign me up for skipping sewing large panels!  Seriously, I loathe sewing curtains.  Cumbersome pain in the butt they are.

Online, the color didn’t get me too excited.  So, I stopped in our store to take a look and walked out with six 84″ panels.  Including the floor model.  Cleared them out.  At home, I tossed one over the rod to get a better peek.

World-Market-Green-Curtains-Left-Side

Other than the panels being a few inches short, I’m diggin’ it.

World-Market-Green-Curtains-Right-Side

I’d say the color is less deep green than the description and more leafy green.  Very similar to my fiddle leaf fig, actually.

World-Market-Green-Curtains-Color-Closeup

I’ve already placed an order for eight 96 inch panels (need four to cover the front window) and have returned the original six.  Hopefully they’ll arrive in a few weeks and we’ll have a happy new look.  Just in time to offset the winter blues.

SnapPower

Outlet covers always seem like an afterthought.  I know they’re not something I put effort into making look good.  They’re utilitarian and not usually something we want to draw attention toward.  For that reason, we’ve always used standard white covers and switch plates.  Until now.  I know this looks like a standard cover.

SnapPower-Outlet-Covers-by-Back-Door

But, take a closer look.  That little dot is actually a light sensor.

SnapPower-Outlet-Covers-by-Back-Door-Close

Which automatically turns into a night light when dark.

SnapPower-Outlet-Cover-in-Family-Room-at-Night

The company behind this genius, SnapPower, have made a safe, convenient, unobtrusive version of a nightlight: the SnapRays Guidelight.

SnapPower-Screen

No ugly plug-in and it frees up another outlet.  Three small LED lights at the bottom of each plate are energy efficient.  Prongs on the back rest against the outlet, drawing power without using batteries or wires.

SnapPower-Outlet-Covers

It’s literally as simple as removing the old cover and popping on the new one.  Currently, we have one by the back door, another in the hall, and a third near the top of the stairs.  Our hall outlet is always in a shadowed area, so during the day it has a dim light on.  It gets brighter at night when completely dark.

SnapPower-Outlet-Cover-in-Hall

I should add another to the main bathroom to help the boys at night.  I’m surprised by how bright these are.  The night photo is an accurate display of the light given off.

Disclaimer:  I was given a few SnapRays Guidelight outlet covers to use in our home and review.  All opinions are my own.  We choose products that we use or would like to try and are relevent to our DIY/home improvement content.  Thank you SnapPower for the lovely night lights!

Apartment-Therapy-Dark-Division-Winner

In other fun news, our master bathroom was chosen as the dark division finalist in Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color contest.  We’re so excited and honored!

Last note, the Minted giveaway is now closed and an email has been sent to the winner.  Have a great weekend, everyone!  We’re hoping to install a few more windows and get ready for the steel siding.  Almost done with the exterior.  Can’t wait to wrap it up to show you!

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