My Gift to you…a TP Wreath Tutorial

You cannot attend a family gathering with my relatives and not be subjected to talk of politics, religion, and yes, a little bit of potty humor. It’s a fact- almost nothing is off-limits at Thanksgiving and Christmas and this year, I will be hosting 32 family members for Christmas Eve dinner. A few posts ago, I wrote about a bathroom design dilemma where the question was begged, “what to do with the guest bathroom?” Well, below you shall find my answer. Not having time, money or energy for a bathroom update at this point – I have instead chosen to decorate it for the holidays with a nod to the ultimate purpose of a restroom.

I searched the internet for “toilet-paper roll wreath tutorials” and all that came up were these creative and quite beautiful versions:

This is an example of one of the results I found on google. This  particular wreath can be found on moneysavingmom.com
This is an example of one of the results I found on google. This particular wreath can be found on moneysavingmom.com

Not at all what I was looking for. I wanted something more organic shall we say? Do you know where I found my template? A photo on a Christmas card at Walmart. (Don’t judge. They’re rolling back prices. Plus, it’s great people watching.)

So my gift to you this Christmas is my very own DIY tutorial on how to make an awesome Toilet Paper Roll wreath for about one dollar. You’re welcome.

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You will need:

Floral Wire ($1)

Assorted toilet paper rolls

Super glue

Garland of your choosing. I had some plastic mistletoe laying around, which I used on my wreath

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I doubled up on my floral wire to make it a bit sturdier
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Once you have enough rolls on your first row, twist those ends together.

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My wreath was not nearly classy enough with one strand!

Resist the temptation to wipe your butt with the rolls. They will NOT stick together better that way.

Here’s where the superglue comes in. The second layer is built the same way, nestled inside the outer layer.

DRUMROLL PLEASE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Isn’t it LOVELY!?
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This is how my bathroom will be decorated this year. Merry Christmas!
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Krud Kutter, Take Me Away!

Blogging is a sort of escape for me. I enjoy it immensely and it allows me to focus other things besides being a wife, mother and all the other labels I’ve earned in life. Recently, though I’ve struggled to move past the sadness I feel over the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut and am left with a loss for words. Writing much of anything this week seemed an impossible task, as unspeakable calamity put my usual fodder in harsh perspective. I would never like to be one to rate a tragedy, but maybe it’s because I’m a mother this awful reality hits home the most for me.  I’m not going to bring others down by sharing my feelings on the matter. Far from it; when I feel a sense of complete helplessness, the two things that help me the most are prayer and what I like to call “creative avoidance” a/k/a, deep cleaning. One of my favorite authors Anasis Nin said it best:

“When I cannot bear outer pressures anymore, I begin to put order in my belongings…As if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects.”

The heavens must have seen my struggles, because a gift package arrived this week from the wonderful folks at Krud Kutter to thank me for a recent blog about a rust removal project where I highlighted the awesomeness that is Krud Kutter. (See Rust Removal 101) Relieved to have something else to focus on, I immediately set about testing out some of the products I received.

I consider myself a cleanly person. I often can be found cleaning; as mentioned above, it’s how I sometimes cope. That said, I was disgusted/delighted by the dirt that the Krud Kutter pulled from my grout.

Here is a before and after…

Nasty Grout Sample Before
Nasty Grout Sample Before
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Nice Grout Sample After
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Kitchen bar area soaking in Original Krud Kutter solution (about 10 minutes)
(OMD!) Oh my disgusting
(OMD!) Oh my disgusting….
I used a firm bristle brush pulled from a mop I had laying around and any elbow grease I would have needed was obliterated by the Krud Kutter’s karate power.
Kitchen Bar area after
Kitchen Bar area after

I’m so pleased, I could bathe in this stuff. No…I don’t get paid to say that. Aside from the Lord, it was my salvation in a time of necessary distraction from the troubles of the world.

Are you in need of escape too? Head to Home Depot….and for $4.97 you can pick up some Original Krud Kutter and get to work! Cleanliness is Godliness….or so they say….but I say it’s divine distraction.

Krud Kutter, Take Me Away!
Krud Kutter, Take Me Away!

Next stop….the shower grout!!!!!  Thanks Krud Kutter. I am ever devoted to thee.

Christmas Came Early….Rust Removal 101

So two weeks ago in my Christmas Wishes post, I was writing about the ultimate Christmas wish. This week, I have in my kitchen a sleek and gorgeous vintage Saarinen-style tulip table and 4 chairs, courtesy of my loving and enthusiastic husband. No ladies, you cannot have him. Christmas came early for this MCM blogger, and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Let me preface this gift explanation by saying the table and chairs I’ve been wanting run from $900/used-$2500/updated or refinished. If you were to want to purchase a new tulip table and chairs that are reproductions;  you’d be paying no less than $1000 BEFORE shipping.  So even though its torture, I am continually scrolling through Craigslist, estate sale photos, and Ebay on the look-out for the elusive fairly priced and very much in demand tulip table and chairs.  Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon an Ebay auction for one said set for a fraction of the price that I’ve been seeing them online. The only catch to this auction was that the merchandise had to be picked up locally – in Long Beach. Long story short, I am convinced that the only reasons why I “won” this auction: because I didn’t have to compete with the rest of the world, it was a Wednesday night and I’m the only crazy person trolling for tulip on a Wednesday that and they were totally meant for me. I.AM.SMITTEN. Do you want to hear something amazing? This set isn’t a Saarinen original, but it is mid-century, and it was manufactured by Frank Bros. Furniture, who were commissioned to furnish the Case Study Houses! I love vintage furniture, but I love it more when there is a story behind a piece.  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/home_blog/2009/08/the-jaunty-guy-on-the-left-in-the-above-photo-is-ron-frank-son-of-one-of-the-two-co-founders-of-famed-long-beach-furniture.html

Before I show my sweet new set in its little cozy corner of the kitchen, let’s change gears do a little Rust Removal 101. The base of the table and chairs are paint on metal, and there was quite a bit of rust on them. The tulip stems clearly needed some TLC, and I was only too happy to give it to them. Kudos to my mother, who said, “Why don’t you go to Home Depot and get some of that stuff that removes rust but is safe for the finish?” To which I replied, “Geeeeeeehhhh?” I had no idea that something like that even existed. Obdient and enlightened, I headed to Home Depot with a picture of my rust problem. The helpful guy in the paint department asked me a strange question, “Can you be gentle?” I hesitantly replied, “Yes?” not really sure what that meant. I was prescribed the following – and instructed to apply the magic potion to my table with a cloth. I was positively delighted with the results (after about an hour):

Krud Kutter - $4 bucks at Home Depot. Chuck Norris has nothing on this guy.
Krud Kutter. ($4) Cuts more crap than Chuck Norris.
2 of the Chairs Before from afar
2 of the Chairs Before from afar
Action Shot
Action Shot
I recommend gloves and a soft cloth for application
Safety first…wear gloves and use a soft cloth for application.
Worst offender before photo
Worst offender before photo
Worst offender after an hour
Worst offender after an hour
Example/Chair 2 Before
Example/Chair 2 Before
Example/Chair 2 After
Example/Chair 2 After

No, I do not work for Krud Kutter….but I wouldn’t mind being a spokesperson, now that I’ve seen their stuff in action. It actually dissolves the rust, is water-based, biodegradable and easy to use. In fact, I have been running around the house applying Krud Kutter where the shaving cream bottle left rust in the shower…and I have some vintage bar stools with rusted metal bottoms that I’ll be tackling next. If you’re looking for remarkable results and immediate gratification, this is your DIY project.

And finally, second only to my gorgeous son, this is my favorite sight in the morning:

Vision in white. Once I find bright teal seat cushions, it will be perfection.
Vision in white. I’m on the lookout for teal seat cushions…and we shall have perfection.

Aaaaahhhhhhhhhh.

Bathroom Bewilderment

The more I think about the holidays, family, and hosting thirty people on Christmas Eve for the first time in my life, the more I begin to wig out. Not about food or anything like that….crazytown (me) had the menu figured out directly after Thanksgiving. No…No…I’m thinking about how bland my guest bathroom is. I can’t help it. But when you spend as much time as I do in the bathroom -wait, eeeew I have a preschooler, not irritable bowel syndrome – you get to thinking about these things. So as we sing-songily wash “top and bottom, top and bottom, in between! in between!” (sung to the tune of ‘here comes thumbkin’) my mind wanders from sterile hands to sterile surroundings.

Case in point:

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Builder Beige with Edgar Degas print I’ve had FOREVER. There’ll be no lines for this loo!
Bland Bathroom with some MCM art glass thrown up in the window for your pooping privacy. Creative, I know. Don’t be mad. It’s genetic.
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Ah, the token Target orchid. Beige and white seems to be the only theme here. Time for a change.

Do you see what I mean, people?  SO BLAH, right? I want my bathroom to have SOME sort of personality or color, or interest or something! It’s no secret that I am incredibly thrifty, so I remembered that I have a gallon of medium turquoise paint in the garage that’s never been opened – but the thought of such a bright color scares even me, so I’m blogging to solicit suggestions. Huge growth on my part here. Waiting. Thinking. Before. Doing.

My “problem” propelled me to do some research online for inspiration. Sexy mid-century bathroom alert! This will never happen for me, but it’s fun to dream:

Here's a reno picture of the bathroom that shall never be: done by designer Gina De Pasquale.
Here’s a reno picture of the bathroom that shall never be: done by designer Gina De Pasquale.

So facing the have-not-for-ridiculously-expensive-renovation conundrum, the geometric pattern of the tiles pictured above got me thinking: What if I could find a wallpaper to give that same effect? I know….I know…most of us have learned the hard way just what a pain in the butt wallpaper can be. But what if it was mid-century-esque, slightly irresistable and eco-friendly? Houzz.com lead me to these hot names in wallpaper:

Makelike.com has some pretty cool prints that will make you feel like you’re ‘making’ in the woods. (I had to.)

see Makelike.com
see Makelike.com
Seek out Graham & Brown for more serious sh, er- sitting.

Okay, no more potty humor.

These next four are from my favorite wallpaper website for MCM. Missprint.co.uk.

To see more wallpaper go to http://www.missprint.co.uk/wallpapercollection2.php

I’m taking notes, people. Planning, scheming and dreaming. If you’ve seen an inspirational or beautiful bathroom….send a pic or recommendations my way.