Cheap & Easy!

No. Not me. Sillies!

I am about to wow you with my very cheap and easy floor fix.

Now, before you die hard retro renovators get all bent out of shape, please know two things.

1. This is a temporary fix
2. This floor could not be saved

I have blogged twice now about my kitchen and some of the mini renovations we have done. My first blog gets the most traffic due in part to my review of the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations. I will be updating that post here shortly since it’s now been two years since I did my cabinets. But you can view that here:

So back to my kitchen floor. It was in bad shape. Like, way. No matter how often I cleaned it, it still looked dirty. It was cracked. It was ugly. It needed help.



We debated peel and stick. Vinyl. Ripping it up. But due to the likely hood of asbestos we decided to leave it be.

We will eventually have new floors in here. Maybe cork? Maybe slate? We can neither decide what we want, nor do we have the money currently, so a quick fix was definitely in order. So please keep that in mind. We KNOW this is temporary.

I am sure at one time this was a beautiful floor. But after 55 years of feet it was time. I am sure Miss Jean is up there cursing me and my pets for what we have done in just 3 years to her floors! (Sorry Miss Jean!!!)

So after using some porch and floor paint recently in both my car port and my basement I decided to give it a try on my kitchen floor. This time I strayed from my usual love of Behr paint and went with Valspar.


I chose white. Which made me very nervous. Because I have two step children, two dogs, a cat, and my kitchen is literally the heartbeat of my home. We pass through it EVERY day because it’s in the middle of my house.

The original floor was a tanish rose color I think. So I was afraid the white would be shockingly, well, um, WHITE!!!

To get a similar look to not only my original floor, as well as my counter tops, we also decided to use the paint flecks. We have used this technique in other areas and we love it. It REALLY gives you that 1950’s look. I went with browns and tans to match my counters and my cabinets.


I did very little floor prep because any varnish that had once been on the floor was long long gone. If your floor is shiny, I would HIGHLY recommend a light sanding. As for me, I cleaned the floor, patched some of the cracks, and cleaned it again. I also caulked around the plywood that someone put down after I assume an unfortunate dishwasher fiasco.


I also did a test patch under where my rug usually is. Just to see if I liked it:


I did two coats of the paint, and then I did a top coat of varnish. I would recommend you do three coats of paint. I wish I had been patient and done a third.



After you apply your final coat of paint, in very small sections, you sprinkle the flakes on:


I did all of this in one day. All products had very low odor. We did the top coat right before bed so it could “cure” over night.

Overall, I like it. Will it hold up? Time will tell. I hope to get at least a year out of it, maybe two???

And the total cost for my mini reno? Less than $150 bucks! Yes please! Cheap. Easy. And I did the entire thing by myself. So don’t be afraid!

Here are some before and afters:



The plywood section blends nicely!

UGH. What color is it anyway???

UGH. What color is it anyway???







And my floor is 100% Bode approved!!!


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Inspirations and Ideas

Happy Sunday folks! Thought I would pop in and give a master bathroom update. It’s certainly taking longer than expected. Then again, maybe we did expect this.

We both work full time and the husband works two jobs. So our schedules do not really align well for home improvement projects.

However, it looks like Spring is finally coming to Central Ohio and ending the longest winter I can remember, and well, the panic has set it.

I NEED to get this bathroom underway SOON before the weather gets too nice and takes me outside for yard work on the weekends! OY!

The demo is mostly done. I still need to remove wall paper which I shall do today. Full demo pictures will be included in a follow up post. I also want to get some paint up on the wall today before I start tiling.

What I wanted to post here today is about how ideas kind of change when you do these projects. Sometimes, you JUST have to see things…And even then, I am not sure we will know how we feel till its done.

If you will remember two posts back I posted my original inspiration picture:

Master Bath

Courtesy of Ikea. I found this picture 2 years ago and the entire thing spoke to me. Colors. Small sink. Etc. Our master bath is just 36 inches wide and 98 inches deep. Narrow! And the set up is almost exactly like this with just the toilet facing the other way.

Fast forward two years and things have changed. Slightly.

Still love the sink. Still love Ikea. Still love a gray, white color palate.

Still trying to keep my bathroom feeling vintage but a bit more modern. However, it was very important for me to make sure this bath does not collide with our main bath:


This is the tile work in my main pink bathroom. It’s gorgeous. It’s original. And it will never be removed while I own this home.

So as we moved forward I started leaning more towards a black and white subway tile theme. Subway tile is totally timeless. It fits the period of my house, and I can easily “Modernize” it a bit to fit us.

So then my inspiration became more of a white subway tile with a gray wall. Because the space is soooo small with one very small window and one singular light, I was kind of thinking the tile HAD to be white. (As if the tile police would come get me if I put dark colors in a small bath?)


So this became my new inspiration. Ahhh. The mind of a woman. It can be fickle indeed!

And then, I found some pics on line that showed a white bath with black shower. Kind of like this but with the subway tiles going the other way:

Black shower

And this:


And THAT became my newest idea. I just loved the dark/light contrast!

Then we went to Home Depot and Ikea. To actually SEE everything. And things changed again.(I know. I know!)

The first major decision we made while standing in the Home Depot tile isle was the floor. I had my heart and mind set on WHITE round penny tile. Again, because of the need to keep my bathroom feeling bigger than it was. But when I saw this tile in person with a charcoal gray grout I KNEW this was my floor:

Floor tile

In person it is perfect! It’s pricey. But, well, it will soooo be worth it. I had FINALLY found my floor and I knew it in my gut.

Then we went to Ikea in West Chester Ohio to pick up our sink. Wouldn’t you know it. The display was set against a BLACK tile. And I fell in love. Instantly. And I knew I had found my wall. And everything changed.


And if you look closely that is also ALMOST my floor. Seeing it in person helped. So we picked up the sink with only one modification. The doors of our cabinet are frosted. Not solid.

And then we decided to do a basic black subway tile. Halfway up the wall. And the top of the wall will be white. Just plain old, basic, ordinary, CLASSIC white.

So as of today, that is the plan.

But as we know, things are subject to change, depending on my mood!

Yes. I know to some of you purist retro renovators the sink is too modern. I get it. But we also need storage and functionality in this bath where we currently have none. Not one shelf. Not one cupboard. Nothing. This is NOT a half bath. This is our master. So we had to ditch the classic pedestal sink and opt for a small cabinet.

I actually think it looks like a vintage doctors office almost. Hospital even. And I am okay with that.

I will never be a total retro renovator purist. I can’t afford to be. I am not patient enough to be. No patience to scour craigslist ads, ebay, and local rehab stores for hours looking for original items. And it was never my intent.

But I still think I can honor my homes history and blend the past to the present with the end result being a bathroom that feels like it belongs AND serves the current generation of home owners.

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Something Old..Something new…

Well, Friday nights are usually a time for dates. Dinner. Movie. Clubbing. But while a large portion of the world spent last night out I spent mine at the Home Depot and Hobby Lobby. Then I spent my entire night creating art. Yep folks. My life is beyond exciting it’s probably hard for you to keep up!

Okay. To be fair the husband works at the Home Depot so besides shopping for tile I also got the chance to say hi to the man I see briefly in my home a few times a week.

So, last week as we started our bathroom demo we found a small treasure. Most people would not have been nearly as excited as I was. And I get that. But this house has not yeilded too many of them. She is what she is. But behind the soap dish in the bathroom was a wadded up old newspaper. Tam, our builder, had used it to fill the hole.

December 20, 1959.

IMG_759455 years this paper had been hiding. There was nothing exciting about it. No great news happening on that day. It was a Christmas paper full of 1959 gift ideas from the Columbus Dispatch in Columbus Ohio. But I was giddy as all get out!

Some of my fellow retro-ites will get it.

I carefully unfolded it. It was in VERY bad shape. It ripped every time I touched it. One corner had a wad of dried plaster on it. I knew I could not save it. So I just read the ads. Giggled at the 5 digit phone numbers. The t.v.’s that were cutting edge in 1959. The women’s clothing ads.

IMG_7613IMG_7617IMG_7602 IMG_7621

I LOVED this graphic below and wanted to save it. The color. The font. It SCREAMS 1950’s to me:

IMG_7596But how?

My first thought was just to buy a few small vintage picture frames and put the paper behind a glass frame and put them around the bathroom as decor when it’s done. I mean, we are recreating a 1959 bath here anyway…But as my creative juices started flowing I decided to try something I have wanted to do since I was like 12. Decoupage. On canvas.

Could I make this old, yellowed, ripped paper into art?

Well. I was gonna try.

Stopped in Hobby Lobby and bought the following supplies:

IMG_7655The canvases are 16 x 20 and it was a two pack for 8 bucks! Supplies cost me about 17 dollars!

It is important to note I had NO CLUE what I was doing. Really. I was completely winging it.

First step was finding the ads that I wanted to highlight.


And folks…It was VERY messy…Or maybe I am just messy. Either way, I had this glue stuff EVERYWHERE. LOL.

IMG_7660TIP: Do a dry run BEFORE you glue. I did NOT do this and had a hard time filling some of the smaller holes without covering previous ads I wanted to highlight.

It looks like crap when its done. No. Really. I was like “What the hell did I do to this poor paper?”. Survives behind a wall for 55 years and I destroy it in seconds.

IMG_7661So I went to bed…Pretty disappointed in my project. It looks like something a 5 year old did in preschool.

But then, I got up this morning to this beauty:

IMG_7662Okay. So it won’t be hanging in the Museum of Art any time soon, but, I LOVE IT! I really do! I think I will finish it with a clear coat protectant. And then this piece of art and history will go right back into the bathroom I found it in. To hopefully spend the NEXT 50 years!

IMG_7664 IMG_7665 IMG_7666 IMG_7668Tie advice…Never goes out of style…And the phone numbers…LOVE!!!

You might notice that Lazarus and Glick’s furniture featured prominently in these ads. Both of these stores were Central Ohio landmarks. I grew up hearing all about them. If you had money, that is where you shopped. They were the fancy stores. So I did a little research this morning.

Both companies were headquartered here in Columbus Ohio. Both prominent Jewish families. My husband is Jewish.

So I now feel my finished piece of art is an awesome little insight in to the 1950’s Columbus scene. It represents my history of being a life long Ohio-an while also touching some on my husband’s Jewish connection.

I grew up about 30 miles south of Columbus Ohio. My small, hometown of Lancaster Ohio did not have a mall at that time. We had a Kresge’s and  Woolworths and  Fisher’s Big Wheel and that was about it. So to do any real shopping, we had to travel up to Columbus. It was an event. I can remember my mom bringing us to the Lazarus store in Downtown Columbus to see the Christmas display. It was quite the scene. Moving puppets, lights, etc.

Most people would have just tossed this paper as junk. Out with the old and in with the new. These are the same people that destroy pink bathrooms and rip out perfectly good kitchens to replace them with granite everything and stainless steel somethings.

I suppose if that’s your thing then more power to you. New things are exciting. Shiny. New. Yep. I totally get it.

But old? Well made? Still standing against all odds? Well, there is something to that too. And there is a small army of us that want to not only preserve that, but promote it!

As I go through my retro renovation. Merging the 1950’s with the 2000’s many people won’t get it. They won’t like it. And trust me. I do understand. This style is NOT for everyone.

But I am quite happy preserving what I can of the past. It makes me feel good. I can almost feel my house smiling.

This paper survived 55 years tucked away in that bathroom. I just didn’t fee right about removing it completely.

So here’s to another 55 years Columbus Dispatch!

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And so it begins…

Our first truly major house renovation in 3 years…

Sure, we have done a ton of cosmetic things…But major reno? This is it…Complete demo and a complete rebuild of our master bath. If our marriage survives it could be a miracle.

While we are both eager…And I am pretty creative…And he works at the Home Depot, I would not say either of us are home reno pro’s…So this is a giant test indeed…

Ummm…Did I mention that the master bath is incredibly, NON mastery? At least in size…Its about two feet wide, and about 10 feet long…VERY tight quarters for two people to work.

1950s paint ad, couple painting their house_thumb[2]Fun times indeed…

So a little more about our master bath. The shower has not truly worked since we moved in three years ago. Its had numerous parts replaced by numerous plumbers…And the result is a continuous leak into our basement.

We learned when we moved in that the shower had not been used since 1988 when the previous owner’s husband passed. This was his bathroom.

I believe that the bathroom was original blue and tan. The walls were definitely blue and based off the towel bars that remain I assume the sink, toilet and other items were a peachy tan color. Then it looks like it was revamped in the mid 1980’s.

Cheap vinyl was laid. Blue wall paper was put up, and the toilet and sink were changed out.

We have not really liked this bathroom since we moved in. But it wasn’t high on our list of projects.

But the last plumber who came in told us the problem is the shower. It has dry rotted due to lack of use. So the shower had to go. Thus, we made the brilliant decision to just gut the whole thing and start over.

It is our intent to make this VERY small bathroom useful, light, and semi retro with modern updates.

As with everything we do, we will incorporate the old with the new.

My inspiration color palate for the bath is this picture I found two years ago on IKEA’s website:

Master Bath

Our bath is actually more narrow then this one…But this was my inspiration two years ago.

What will the finished product be? Not sure yet. I am designing as I go.

I am using white subway tiles. Because they are classy and never go out of style and they fit my 1959 house. This will be an ongoing project over the next few months. But I love the gray and orange and I LOVE this skinny sink. But I need to retroize it a bit.

So I am working on that.

We are going to try to do as much as we can on our own but have both agreed to call in an expert when and if it becomes too much.

I hope you will join us on this next, very scary, adventure!


Newspaper I found stuffed behind the shower stall. December 20, 1959. I was giddy beyond belief to find this. And I already have a plan for it in my new “Old” bath.

See ya again soon! PROMISE!

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An Open Letter BACK to SeaWorld

Not Retro in the least, just something that needs passed on. SeaWorld…You are killing me. Your PR people suck!!! My personal issues with SeaWorld. (They don’t have to be yours. I get it. My post. My issues): #1. They simply WONT tell the truth. UGH. I would love to hear them say WE FUCKED UP. Sorry. We will do better #2. They keep calling Blackfish a “Little” movie with little to no impact on them, yet, they took out full page ads in 8 newspapers. #3. They assume anyone who supports the movie is an illiterate crazy activist moron incapable of doing their own research and they continue to insult everyone who supports the movie… I don’t want them to close. I want them to CHANGE.

The Orca Project

LETTER of the DAY: In light of SeaWorld’s recent media push, a former casual visitor Amy Costanzo, now a practicing attorney, cc’d The Orca Project on her letter to SeaWorld executives and shares her views on the marine park’s self-serving (and costly) attempt to “set the record straight“.

Well done Amy! We couldn’t agree with you more. You can read SeaWorld’s open letter to the public HERE (published as full-page advertisements in U.S. Newspapers) and then read the response from this everyday caring citizen here:

Dear Ms. Bides, Mr. Jacobs, and all other SeaWorld employees (including Mr. Jim Atchison),

I read your “open letter” (read: flyer) this morning in the Orlando Sentinel. It seems that the American public has grown wary of you and your operations since the release of the film “Blackfish”, and rightfully so. Since you are inclined to make public statements regarding the alleged care of animals, specifically orcas, in your custody, as a…

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The Ghosts of Christmas Past…

My 1st Christmas!

My 1st Christmas!

Ahhhh…What is it about this time of year that makes you want to forget you are an adult and makes you long for Christmases past?

For me, two recent events caused me to head down memory lane a bit unexpectedly.

First one last week was overhearing a co-worker talking about her Christmas budget for her two kids. $1000.00 piece. Yeah. You read that right. These are young kids too.

I kept my mouth shut of course. For it’s certainly not my business how much someone chooses to spend on their kid. But it DID send me down a road of remembrance.

I can’t speak for the rest of you, but when I think back to my Christmases past, its rare that I actually remember WHAT I got, or how many gifts I got. I mean, I can recall a handful of items that I just HAD to have…Kind of like my own version of the coveted Red Ryder BB Gun. I think we all had at least ONE of those Christmases. (For the record, mine was a Fievel doll from the movie An American Tail. I just HAD to have it. And my mother, bless her heart, made sure I did.

Fievel Circa 1986

I am 41 years old and I STILL have that stuffed doll.

But when I think back it’s the actual memories of the day that stand out. The family. The traditions. I don’t remember much about the toys. Just the feeling of being surrounded by love, warmth and tradition.

The second event that jolted me was driving by my grandparents house yesterday. It hasn’t been my grandparents house in over 20 years. But they spent 50 plus years there and raised 5 kids in it, so to me, it will ALWAYS be my grandparents house.

It made me want to sit down and share some of my memories with the universe. For fear that they may one day just disappear.

While going through pics this morning I found this:

Christmas memoriesAnyone else remember the Sit N Spin? Man, I must have loved that thing! There is a whole lotta retro going on in this pic. The yellow Cosco Stool in the back. The vintage Christmas table cloth. The ashtray on a stand. Back when smoking was acceptable.

Christmas memories5

This is my sister. Not sure what doll this is, but she looks absolutely ecstatic to have her! Again, some retro going on. A barrel foot stool where mom stored blankets.

And then there is this lovely. I think EVERY home in the 60’s and 70’s had one:

Christmas tree 2I now own this lovely. Given to me by my mother. It has a music box in its base that plays Silent Night. It was made by my Aunt Judy for my parents sometime in the mid 60’s. I LOVED playing with the music box when I was a kid. This thing is well over 40 years old as evidenced by this pic I found this morning:

Christmas TreeThat’s me in the red and my less than enthused older sister looking on. This is the year I arrived and usurped her position of the only child. I don’t think she has ever forgiven me. LOL. (And I am DIGGING the tv!)

As I was reminiscing this morning I was also touched by the strength and grace of my mother. See, my parents were divorced when I was four. It was a nasty divorce and my parents held tightly to equal amounts of bitterness for the rest of their lives. However, at Christmas time they always managed to be civil and even after the divorce my father spent many Christmas mornings with us.

As a single mom living in low income housing, we NEVER had a room full of gifts. But it rarely seemed to matter. I loved every Christmas we had and my mom always did a great job of making sure we had enough gifts to open.

But again, it is the traditions I remember most. Christmas morning with my maternal grandparents with a simple but delicious breakfast with my mom’s world famous scrambled eggs. Okay. Maybe not world famous, and actually, nothing special about them, except that my mom made them.

And then Christmas night split between my maternal and my paternal grandparents house. Who despite being from the same generation were as different as night and day.

Maternal grandparents were more “Country” and paternal were more “City”. I loved them both.

Christmas memories7Me and my maternal Grandpa. The Wilson’s. (Dig the W on the screen door)

Christmas memories6And me and my paternal Grandpa, The Bininger’s. (Will always remember the hat!)

And then there is this guy:

Christmas memories4This is me and my dad on my first Christmas eve. And yes, I am noshing away even then. Why they gave a 7 month old a popcorn ball is beyond me but that was way back in the day before we had lawsuits and warnings about EVERYTHING. I apparently survived!

I miss this guy. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood men I have ever known. My dad left this world far too soon in 2003. And although our relationship was fraught with fights and misunderstandings, I choose to remember him this way. Handsome. Happy.

As I looked through pics this morning I couldn’t help be a little sad. Somewhere around the age of 18 or 19 the traditions changed. We lost loved ones. I got married. My sister moved away. I started my own traditions and had to combine them with my in-laws. In essence, I grew up. I became an adult.

And sometimes, being an adult really sucks.

I miss the old days. Things seemed simpler then. I sound like my grandparents did back then! But it’s true.

So this Christmas as you sit down and celebrate with your family, I hope that you will remember it’s NOT how much you spent. It’s the feeling that you provide to your kids. It’s the traditions and the moments they will remember. The people that came and went.

So many of my family have passed on. And while I am incredibly sad about that I remain grateful that my mother and father had the foresight to document my childhood Christmases via photos:

Christmas memories3Me and my daddy…He is wrapped up in my sisters Raggedy Anne sleeping bag!

Christmas memories10Me and my mommy, my cousin Heather and my Aunt Carol. Again in Grandma B’s basement!

Christmas memories12Circa 1980. Not sure what this is I have opened, but I look pretty darn happy!!!

Christmas memories2Last pic I could find. Christmas 1981. This is my sister, my step brother Todd, my step dad Yogi, myself and my mom. The start of changing traditions.

Yep. Sometimes being an adult sucks. Especially when 20 years ago seems like just last year.

Have a very retro Christmas everyone!!!!



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Master Bedroom Redoux

Part II

(You can read all about part I here:

So, I confess. I have a very restless soul. This means I get bored easily.

Careers. Hobbies. Furniture. They all fall victim to my constant need to change.

We are coming up on our three year anniversary here in our house. (TRULY can not believe that!) and it was time to change my bedroom. AGAIN.

I didn’t hate the old room at all. In fact, I love a red and black color scheme!

The old room

The old room

I hadn’t really intended to do it. I swear. It started all very innocently when about a year and a half ago the man and I decided to upgrade from a queen to a king size bed. You see, sleeping with two dogs and a cat every night was starting to cramp our style. So in came the new bed.

Well, once we had a new bed that was MUCH higher, our end tables no longer reached the top of the bed. So very very innocently I started a search last year for night stands. That’s it. I solemnly swear!

Guess what? NEW nightstands are pricey. WAY. And I was not about to pay 100 bucks a piece for them. So I started scouring Craigslist. It took me awhile. Several months. But I found them. And they were orange. BRIGHT orange.

$75 for the pair, delivered to my door. Sign me up!

IMG_7023They aren’t exactly the 50’s style I wanted…I suspect late 60’s possibly even early 70’s, but I fell head over heels in love with them. Never once did I think of painting them anything other than the orange. And I decided, over time, I would change my theme to orange and brown.

These nightstands are HEAVY. Very well made. And I am such a fan of recycling. UPcycling I suppose you can say.

Then last fall my mother approached me about her headboard. An Ethan Allen headboard that was a gift from my grandparents to my mom and dad back in 1964 on their wedding day. She was going to give it away. WHAT????

For those of you NOT in the know, Ethan Allen was a very big name in the day. They kinda still are!

Anyway, it wasn’t really the sleek mid century modern look I had hoped to achieve some day with a headboard, but, well, I couldn’t let this piece depart the family. First, it was a gift from my grandparents to my parents. It was almost 50 years old and still in like new condition. And although my parents marriage ended in divorce and my dad has since passed away, this bed once symbolized the new beginning of their lives.

Yeah. I was taking it.

IMG_7021So things kind of came together on their own after that. My new “Theme” if you will would be orange and brown. Mid century? Eh, probably not. But you work with what you have. So that’s what I did.

I first painted my red wall orange…And yes, I sung “I see a red wall and I want to paint it ORANGE…” ala “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones. Cause, that’s how I roll peeps!

The orange wall was actually several shades darker than the nightstands when I held the paint chips against it. But you can’t tell now. They LOOK very close. They aren’t.

The paint is my favorite Behr paint (Love Behr!) and its called “Citrus Blast”. For you painting novices, I had to also use a tinted primer to cover the red wall as well as the paint and primer in one. This is three coats!

I then found a brown rug at Ollie’s. Ollie’s is a discount store here in Ohio VERY similar to Big Lots (Odd Lots). LOVE them both. It was 79 bucks! (What can I say, I love a bargain!)

IMG_7030I haven’t decided yet if the orange curtains will stay or not..They are really REALLY orange…LOL. But for now they are okay.

IMG_7038I also moved in the orange chair I blogged about last summer. The one we bought for 8 bucks! It fits PERFECTLY in here and I LOVE having a chair in my room to sit down and put my shoes on!

IMG_7032Side note here, that ugly orange, gold and green crocheted blanket was also courtesy of my mother. It’s most definitely 1970’s all the way, but we wrapped up in it as kids and she was going to get rid of that as well. I gave it a new home. That painting above the dresser is also from my mom. She painted it when she was a teenager. I will eventually find it a new home as well when I find another fitting painting for that wall.

I still have my original light fixture as well. We occasionally talk about changing it, but I don’t think either of us really care so much about changing it.

IMG_7037Eventually I will get new lamps and more period piece dressers, but both of these dressers are less than 5 years old and there is nothing wrong with them. So I see no reason to ditch them yet. I will eventually reuse them elsewhere once I stumble upon my next Craigslist find.

Otherwise, I like the end product and I hope you do too!

Here is what we started with (Previous owner):

Master BeforeHere was what happened in Part I:

Master Finished 5And here is my new finished product:

IMG_7028 IMG_7041(My apologies for the fuzz on the comforter…LOL…I JUST opened it before the photo shoot!)




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