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Domestic Imperfection: December 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 In Review - The Top 10 Projects

February of this year I started Domestic Imperfection on a whim. I had been reading lots of craft blogs and thought "I do all this stuff, I should start a blog." And start a blog I did. 
I had no idea what I was doing, which was okay because I didn't really figure people would read it. And they didn't. In the month of May I got a whopping four pageviews. FOUR. Then in the month of June I figured out how to link up to parties and things started to take off. People commented and told me how awesome my stuff was and it felt great. I was hooked :) Soon after I started to notice that people made money blogging. I had no idea that was a thing. It makes sense though... doing projects, editing pictures, and writing posts takes a lot of time. I recently started working with some ad networks and making a bit of money myself. When I say a little, that's an exaggeration. Last month I made about four cents a day. I've spent some time tweaking my ads and this month and am up to about three or four dollars a day. It's not much, but I'm thrilled. Making money at something you love is the dream right? So I wanted to thank everyone for reading and supporting my little 'ol blog. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself, and the fact that you guys want to read about what I do around my house (usually still in my pajama's) is icing on the cake. 

So here is a recap of the top projects of the year. I'm listing these in order of most views, not by what I think are my best projects. That list would be totally different. 

1. Triple Book Slings 
This project wins by a long shot, it has twice the pageviews of the second place project at over 8,000. People pin the absolute crap out of it, and most all the traffic comes from Pinterest. I'm assuming that's because it such an simple and functional idea, easy to replicate in your own home. I wish I would have known how popular this post was going to be, I would have done it during the daytime so the pictures were be decent. I also would have made sure the dowels were pushed all the way into the curtain rods for the pictures. Never noticed that before did ya? Drives me nuts, but not enough to go take another picture.

2. Guest Room Before & After
This was a pre blog project, so the post is pretty much just a before and after picture. I really missed out on a lot of material by not starting a blog sooner, I could have written about the stripes, the pillows, the furniture, the artwork....

3. Dining Room Curtains and Rod
This was the first project I did knowing that I was going to write about it. I'm actually pretty proud of this one because I feel it's the most original (well, this and my blinds frame). Usually I get ideas and inspiration from the internet or magazines, but the rod solution for my funky, uneven, four bay windows came completely from my own head. I also did it on the cheap and it looks really nice. Go me.

Another pre blog project that doesn't have any pictures of the journey. It's a pretty great before and after though, and only cost 130 bucks. 
I was amazed at how much people liked this project... it was featured on a ton of websites, including Apartment Therapy. It also wins for most comments at 98 super sweet ones.
This post kicked off our kitchen renovation...the one we started in August and are still working on. Hopefully within the next few months we will finish it up...perhaps it will be my to project of 2012. Or perhaps a simple easy project will steal all it's glory, lol.
Another kitchen post, this one about our DIY counters. And in case your wondering, they are holding up awesome and I have no complaints, love them!
I just made these trees a few weeks ago, but once again Pinterest comes along and makes the easy projects popular!

9. Guest Bedroom Frame Wall
This project was an update to the previous guest bedroom post. I enjoyed making these, there were no rules and I just went with it. I didn't have a plan and liked how they turned they only cost about 10 bucks.

Not only is this toy box super cute, it has also saved my sanity... the toys now have a home and aren't all over the place. Actually, there are still toys all over the place but now they have a place to go at night. I'm surprised this isn't higher than number 10, it's a really simple DIY. 

That concludes the Domestic Imperfection top ten of 2011. Here's to 2012 being even more productive!
 (I can hear my husbands exhausted sigh from 30 miles away).


Linked to:
Southern HospitalitySaved By LoveThe ArtsyGirl ConnectionYesterday On TuesdayMomnivore's DilemmaMy Crazy Beautiful LifeDelightful OrderThe CSI ProjectThe TerpblogThe 36th AvenueFrench Country CottageHappy Hour ProjectsWhipperberryChic on a ShoestringFingerprints on the FridgeThe Shabby NestFun to Craft, Designer GardenFireflies & JellybeansSerenity NowSomeday CraftsBacon TimeSimply DesigningThe Crafty NestdelicateCONSTRUCTIONTatertots & JelloYoung & Crafty, Lolly JaneBe Different Act NormalKeeping it SimpleThe Southern InstituteDIY Home Sweet HomeHomemaker on a DimeBetween Naps on the PorchCraftOManiacSinging Three Little Birds1929 CharmerCRAFTThrifty Decor Chick, Be ColorfulSumo's Sweet StuffHome Savvy A to ZTip JunkieVintage WannabeStrictly HomemadeMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCoastal CharmConfessionsSassy SitesSugar Bee CraftsHomeworkTopsy TurvyMe and My BoysBowl Full of LemonsHome Stories A 2 ZBlue Cricket DesignRea Gun RamblingsSew Much AdoMy Girlish WhimsPassionately ArtisticGinger Snap CraftsDIY by DesignSavvy Southern StyleStuff Of SuccessIt's OverflowingRaising 4 PrincessesSome Good TimesHandy Man Crafty WomanCreations by KaraSouthern LovelyOopsy DaisyThe Thrifty HomeJunk in their TrunkFive Days 5 WaysAddicted 2 Decorating

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tale of the Crappy $5 Table

 This isn't one of those blog posts where I show a picture of a fugly piece of furniture and then a the beautiful after picture and say "ta-da, look what I did!" That's not my style, so this is a straight up illustrated story. 
It all began one day when I found a beat up end table at a estate sale for five bucks. I've been on the lookout for some tables for awhile, we need two for the living room and two for the master bedroom. Currently we are using extra chairs as nightstands in the bedroom. Classy, I know. Perhaps one day I'll show y'all a picture when I get around to decorating the master bedroom.
 Anyway, here's the table. It's in rough shape, but pretty sturdy.

I decided pretty early on that I wanted to put some paintable wallpaper in the insets for some subtle texture. I bought a pre-pasted roll for about $11 bucks from Home Depot (or you can buy some on Amazon, they have a way better selection). I made a template out of computer paper, then traced it onto the wallpaper. 

Since it was prepasted, I just wet it thoroughly and smoothed onto my table. I let it sit overnight, and in the morning it did this...

Totally did not stick...Mod Podge to the rescue! You can use this stuff for anything.

Next I set out to prime the table. I used spray primer because it wasn't naptime and I had to be quick.
Also, if you don't have one of these spray paint trigger things, go and get one. There like $3 and save your fingers. Gone are the days of cramped and permanently indented pointer fingers (then trying to use your thumb...anyone else?).

Here it is all primed....

After priming I realized that the tiny gaps between the wallpaper and the table weren't filling in, so I caulked them to perfection.

Another one of my favorite products....these little tubes of caulk. 
Also, I know y'all are wondering what my kids were up to while I was working. This is Elijah stealing his brothers blanket, laughing, then replacing it. Over and over and over...

The big tubes of caulk just don't cut it for little projects. They are messy and if you don't use the whole giant tube (you won't) then it always dries out and I end up having to throw them away. These little tubes are more expensive, but there clean and easy and never dry out. Which actually makes them cheaper, because you get to use the whole thing. 

Back to my tale.
So I finished painting the table...

The top still looked wavy and dented and whatnot, so I knew I had to distresses it to make it look good crappy instead if bad crappy. Now I have never distressed anything before. Why would you want to? You taking something from looking terrible to awesome, and then ruin it? Actually I usually like the way other peoples distressing turns out, but I was way to scared to actually ruin something I worked so hard on. Free time is precious when you have small kids. I didn't have a choice with this piece though, so I got out my sandpaper and started lightly sanding the corners. And you know what? Damned if I wasn't enjoying myself.

Elijah too...
(look at that weather....gotta love late December in South Texas.)

I wanted to make it look even more distressed so I got out some glaze to bring out the dents and scratches. I popped that puppy open and was clear. Bought the wrong kind. 

I live pretty far there was no way I was going back to the store. I decided to improvise and use stain. I rubbed it on and wiped it off with a damp rag as fast as possible.
Nope, didn't work. Ruined it.

So I repainted it and re-distressed the top.'s not quite as much fun the second time. 
Almost done though! All that was left was to add some knobs (picked them up for $2.50 a piece at Hobby Lobby) and slap a coat of polyurethane on.

Here it is all finished! I'm really liking the distressed look...I just might do it more often.

And some close up shots..

While taking these pictures Elijah was (as usual) all up in my business. I was doing my best to take photos around him, but he was being pretty hilarious so I gave up and snapped some photos of him....
You can probably tell by his face, but yes....he was grunting, lol.
Once he had the satisfaction of having his picture taken on the toilet, then it was off to play in his toy box..
(The toy box was also a project of mine, you can read about it here.)
I decided that this table would look best in the living room (too big for a nightstand) so the current end table got moved to the bedroom, so now only Adam has a chair as a nightstand. 
So here is the previous table...
(it and the lamp were both pre blog projects)

And here is the new one! I really like it, it brightens up the room a bunch. Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of brown and tan.

Total for the whole project was...
Table - $5
Wallpaper - used about a dollars worth
Spray primer - $3
Knobs - $5
Everything else I already had.

...and that is the tale of the crappy $5 table turned $14 awesome table.

The end. husband doesn't see it, but I feel like the table is staring at me...anyone else?


Linked to:
Oops I Craft My PantsFunky Polkadot GiraffeCherished BlissPrimitive & ProperSavvy Southern StyleGinger Snap CraftsDIY By DesignThe Stuff Of SuccessThe Thrifty HomeBlue Cricket DesignDomestically SpeakingSew Much AdoMy Girlish WhimsJunk in their TrunkCreations by KaraSouthern LovelySomeday Crafts, Beyond The Picket Fence, Momnivore's Dilemma, Yesterday On Tuesday, The ArtsyGirl Connection, Saved By Love , Delightful OrderThe 36th AvenueHappy Hour ProjectsFrench Country CottageWhipperberryChic on a ShoestringFingerprints on the FridgeThe Shabby NestFun to CraftSerenity NowBacon TimeSimply DesigningCrafty NestdelicateCONSTRUCTIONMiss Mustard SeedTatertots & JelloLolly JaneYoung and CraftyBe Different Act NormalKeeping it SimpleThe Southern InstituteDIY Home Sweet HomeHomemaker on a DimeBetween Naps on the PorchCraftOManiacSinging Three Little Birds1929 CharmerCRAFTBe ColorfulSumo's Sweet StuffHome Savvy A to ZTip JunkieVintage WannabeStrictly HomemadeMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCoastal CharmConfessionsSassy SitesSugar Bee CraftsHomeworkTopsy TurvyMe and My BoysBowl Full of LemonsHome Stories A2ZIt's OverflowingSouthern LovelyOopsey DaisyFive Days 5 WaysFine Craft Guild

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to take a moment (before the craziness begins) to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! 
I hope it's filled with loved ones and is a joyful celebration of the birth of our savior.

I leave you with a grainy scanned copy of our first ever Christmas card.
I now know that getting a good family photo when you have small children is nearly impossible. However, I love the honesty of the ones we got, it makes them all the better :)



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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Favorite Birthday Tradition: Mississippi Mud

Today is my birthday! I'm 27, cause I know your wondering : )

So in celebration, I thought I would share my favorite birthday tradition...Mississippi Mud. 
Pie, that is...or cake...neither really. I don't know what you would call it. Desert. Birthday desert. 

Ever since I can remember I have had Mississippi Mud on my birthday. I've never really liked cake so this was a welcome tradition. Hold the gasps of disbelief please...I don't hate cake. It's cake afterall, not bananas.  But I don't like cake either, its just...whatever. Not worth it. And in case you didn't catch that, I really really hate bananas. I don't even like other people to eat them near me. That mushy, smacking, horrible banana sound makes my skin crawl...

Moving on.

My mom always made it for me, then when I got married and moved away, my husband did. Sweet, aren't they?
So here is the super easy recipe...with pictures, of course, because pictures make everything better.

You will need...

2 cups crushed graham crackers (that's about half a box -I like the cinnamon)
1 stick butter
8oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
12oz container of whip cream (or be awesome and make your own)
3 cups milk
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding

Step one:
Crush the graham crackers. Crush the crud out of them, you basically want graham cracker dust. I used my potato masher to do this, though I also thought about using my meat tenderizer. Crush them however you want, just make sure you have a good time doing it.

Step two: 
Melt your stick of butter and mix it in with the graham cracker dust. Press it into the glass with a fork and bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes.

Step three:
take your 8oz cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 10oz of your whip cream container....

....and mix them up in your awesome new kitchenaid mixer that your parents got you as an early birthday gift.
(whoop whoop!)

Spread the mixture over your (cooled) crust.

Mix together one package pudding and 1 1/2 cups milk
(be careful, the box says 2 cups milk, but we want ours thicker).
Spread it over the previous layer, then mix up your next pudding. By the time your done with the second one, the first pudding will be set.

Spread remaining whip cream on top. 

Add some toothpicks and saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Enjoy...I know I will!

Now I'm off to a fabulous, kid free, all day date with the husband!


Linked to:
A Bowl Full of Lemons, Homework, Oops I Craft My Pants, Not Just A Housewife, Handy Man Crafty Woman, Someday CraftsSouthern LovelyHouse of HepworthsFireflies and JellybeansRemodelaholicKissed by a , Happy Hour Projects504 MainChic on a ShoestringFingerprints on the Fridge

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Ruffle Tree Forest

I've been loving all the cute little Christmas trees that are all over blogland this year, so I had to make some of my own. Most of the tutorials you find involve sewing (like at Tatertots & Jello and Shanty 2 Chic), but for whatever reason I've been feeling very anti sewing lately. Also, I don't have ruffler foot for my machine, so I would have to sew by hand....blah. I was however feeling very pro glue gun, so here is my hot glue ruffle tree forest!

I had a whole picture tutorial set up for you guys, but somehow my brand new camera (lost my other one at the zoo last month) and my pretty new laptop (other one took a dump a few months ago) have teamed up against me and started deleting random photos in the transfer process. So here are some pictures, and I'll just have to fill in the blanks with words. Shouldn't be too hard, the whole process is very simple.

First step is to gather your supplies. I used styrofoam cones, wooden finals, and mini wooden candlesticks for  the bases (all found at Hobby Lobby).  You will also need something to make the tree out of, I used leftover fabric, ribbon and some gold rope. My favorite is the ribbon, it was the easiest to do and I think turned out the prettiest.

For the fabric trees, I first cut some fabric strips (about 2 inches wide or so), ironed them in half, then added a  bit of fabric glue to hold it together. 

Actually, right after I took this picture I ran out of fabric glue (used it all for my lampshades), so i just used hot glue. 
To make the tree, all you do is start wrapping it around the cone, gluing as you go. About every inch or so, fold it back over its self ( to form the ruffle) and keep going, like so...

This takes a bit, fortunately Elijah was pretty content playing with the glue sticks and bases.

I wanted a different look for the other fabric trees, so I cut a strip using my pinking shears and glued it on just like that, no folding or ironing required.

When we were decorating our Christmas tree I found a random piece of gold rope in the ornament box, so naturally I decided to make a tree out of it...

Your probably wondering if my toddler was still happily playing with glue sticks. Well no, no he wasn't....

However, Levi (seven weeks) was behaving himself very well. He's my favorite, lol.

I wanted the bases to be different heights, so I made some cuts and glued the pieces to each other (using hot glue! If only hot glue would clean my house...)

Then I painted those suckas white, glued them and the finals to the trees and suddenly it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
(if your wondering about that epic baby picture, you can read about it here)

I love them! I want to make like twenty more for all the other tables and shelves that are feeling unchristmasy.    Perhaps that would be overkill, lol.


Linked to:
My Crazy Beautiful Life, Cherished BlissCoastal Charm, Sassy Sites, My Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaSugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, Strictly Homemade, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Oops I Craft My Pants, The Stuff Of SuccessSavvy Southern StyleDIY by DesignEisy MorganGinger Snap CraftsMy Girlish WhimsSew Much AdoBlue Cricket DesignHandy Man Crafty WomanPassionately Artistic, Someday CraftsSouthern LovelyHouse of HepworthsThe Artsy Girl ConnectionThe 36th AvenueYesterday on TuesdayBeyond the Picket fenceSaved By LoveFireflies and JellybeansKatie's Nesting Spot, Delightful Order, Momnivore's DelimmaKissed by a FrogHappy Hour ProjectsFrench Country CottageWhile He Was Napping504 MainWhipperberryFreckled LaundryThe Shabby NestFun to CraftChic on a ShoestringA little Knick KnackSassy SitesSimply Designing, The Crafty NestSerenity Now30 DaysFingerprints on the FridgedelicateCONSTRUCTIONJunk in their TrunkBacon TimeAddicted 2 Decorating, Tatertots and JelloBlissful and DomesticRustic CraftsLolly JaneBe Different Act Normal, I Heart NaptimeNifty Thrifty ThingscraftSinging Three Little BirdsMy 1929 CharmerLines Across My FaceHomemaker on a DimeDittle DattleCraft-O-ManiacSavvy HomemadeDIY Home Sweet HomeUnder the Table and DreamingBetween Naps on the PorchKeeping It SimpleThe Girl CreativeMaking the World CuterThe Southern InstituteSumos Sweet StuffBe ColorfulMad In Crafts

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