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Does Choosing Paint Color Make You Nervous?

I don't know about you but I often have one heckuva time choosing paint colors.  I spend days a lot of time on Pinterest and the rest of the www. looking for that perfect color.  This may be the most ultimate waste of time because as I learned from the Kermit the Frog paint debacle, you can not trust your computer monitor to give you an accurate depiction of what a color will actually look like, ever.  Sure, it can give you an idea but that's about it.  Trust me on this one.

Paint is hard.  It makes me nervous.  What if I choose the wrong color?? OMG!  The world will coming crashing down around me!!

Just kidding obviously, but paint is hard, isn't it?  The worst that can happen is that you will have to re-paint.  Which is a major bummer but definitely not the end of the world.  So why do I get myself so worked up when choosing paint colors??

Well, first of all, I'm cheap.  I can't bare to blow $30 on a a gallon of paint only to find out it's the wrong color.  God bless the paint companies that FINALLY started making little jars of paint samples.  Brilliant!

Second, I'm lazy.  If I paint it once I don't want to re-paint it a few six months days later.

Third, I'm a perfectionist.  The color has to look exactly right or it will bug me for the rest of my life (or maybe just when I'm looking at it).

Finally, I'm an interior decorator.  My house is one huge advertisement.  People expect it to look good and if it looks good enough it might score me a new customer.

My current paint project (that is going all wrong) is our Master Bathroom makeover.  Mr. Chic did a fabulous job putting up beadboard and now it's time to choose the paint (which I've already chosen 3 different times).

Here it is....

Twilight Grey by Behr

This isn't a great picture, it looks a bit lighter than it is, it's borderline too light, from the picture I think it looks too light.  But remember, never trust a computer picture about paint!   

Mr. Chic HATES it.  He wants something much darker.  He usually is easy to please when it comes to paint colors so that is concerning.  Especially since he worked so hard doing a nice job on the beadboard, I don't want to "ruin it" in his eyes with bad paint. (more pressure for that perfect paint color!)

 I did the ultimate painting no-no and bought a gallon of paint without buying a sample!  I broke my own number one rule when it comes to paint.  I had taped the swatch up on the wall, not good enough!!

Months ago when I first started experimenting with paint color I thought I was going to go for a brighter aqua blue.  These were 2 fails that are still on my wall.  At least I only bought sample sizes.

Oh yeah, this is on my wall from my little assistant too...

It's my favorite part of the bad paint color and I might have trouble painting over it. :)

I'm beginning to think I should just stick with my neutral brown tones that are on the wall already.  I still have the paint, it would be so easy.  I got some really cute chevron towels (that Mr. Chic also hates) that look nice against them too.

Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

Does choosing paint color make you nervous or am I just some kind of paint-phobic crazy person?

Flaunt it Friday 101!

Hi there!  Are you ready to party?  I just got back from vacation but I'm already ready for the weekend!  Good thing it's time for Flaunt it Friday!!! :)

Let's Talk About Me

Hello lovely friends,  I've missed you!  I hope you all enjoyed my guest posts while I was vacationing.  There were some really great ideas shared and I enjoyed "meeting" all of you.  It was so nice to be able to help out some talented bloggers get some extra exposure and for me to be able to check out of blogland for a while.

Now that I'm back I have mountains of laundry to do, mail to sort, groceries to buy, Easter decorations to take down, yada-yada-yada.  Plus, clean the house.  We cleaned before we left for vacation so we could come home to a nice and tidy house.  For some reason, less than 24 hours after we got home it looked like a bomb went off in here. Why does that happen?? Oh well, until I get all the above done, I can't work on my fun decorating projects.  Booo.  And, since I've been gone I don't have any great projects to talk about, instead I'm going to talk about myself.

Ummmm, awkward...

I'm not really one to talk about myself much but I thought maybe you'd think it was fun.  Yeah, fun. Maybe...



Bueller? Bueller?...

Anywho, I always like it when other bloggers share a bit about themselves so thought you might like it too.
If not, no worries, these will be few and far between.  :)

Sooo, what do you want to know??  Hmmmm, good question.

Well, how about this, my real name is Kathryn, no one calls me that except when I'm in trouble.  My best friend started calling me Kathryn in college just for fun, I have no idea why but it stuck and she still calls me Kathryn to this day.  I introduce myself as Katie and I go by Katie to most.  People close to me call me Kate, and all of you guys.  (You should feel special, huh. :)


Why do I go by Kate on the blog?  Well, it was kind of random.  When I started the blog I had this cheesy idea of calling it "Kate Loves to Decorate" or something like that.  See, it rhymes, Kate, decorate... get it?  Then, I wanted my blog name to match my decorating business name so I decided that was much too cheesy.  I ended up leaving Kate on my blog mostly because Kate is part of my email address.  I didn't think it would end up causing so much "confusion and delay". (10 extra points if you can name that tv show)


I've actually thought about changing my signature to Katie on here because it has confused some of my clients.  My clients have all come from referrals of someone else who introduces me as Katie, my business card says Katie too, then they see my email that says Kate and my blog that says Kate and they get all confused.  Seriously!!


You wouldn't think it would be such a big deal but really, 75% of my clients are like "Um, do you go by Katie or Kate?" and then I'm like, "Either is fine" because really, either is fine and then I can tell they feel like they don't know what to call me because they always hesitate before saying my name and it's a little awkward.  Then I always end up feeling bad about it!

What a silly thing.  So if I changed to Katie on here would you guys all freak out??  Probably?? :)

Kate, Katie, Kathryn? (note the long straight hair)

Ok, besides having 3 names I also have naturally curly hair!  (I told you guys this was going to be tons of fun learning exciting things about me... curly hair, just fascinating!) You can't tell by my pic but my hair is way curly.  Since my youngest baby was born (you know having babies does strange things to your hair don't you?)  my hair has multi-personality disorder.  Part of it is way curly, like tight spiral curls that I would've died to have in junior high when I was getting spiral curl perms and using Rave hairspray.  Now that I have it, totally not in style.

Curly hair picture from 2 years ago, my curls have gotten multipersonality disorder
 since then and I don't have any pics of it since I always put it up or straighten it when it's down.

There are also some strands of my hair in the back that are not curly at all, more like slightly wavy.  When my hair is down the wavy hair hangs 2 inches longer than the curly hair.  It's like having two different hair styles on one head, amazing!  I wear my hair in a ponytail or some other up-do (does anyone say up-do anymore that's not talking about prom in the 90's?)  about 90% of the time due to my hair multipersonality disorder.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't hate my hair and I'm very thankful to have a head full of healthy hair, but as a woman, I've got the right to vent about my crazy multipersonality disorder hair. :)

Rocking the "up-do" (as usual)

I really like to wear it straight but my hair is pretty long.  Flat ironing every day will totally fry it because it's so curly (most of it) and besides, I am too lazy who has time to flat iron their entire head of long hair every single day? Not this mom. :)

Another fun fact about me:  I love to golf!  In fact, I used to be a pretty decent golfer and played for my high school  and college teams.  In college I played pretty much 5 days a week in-season.  I met Mr. Chic in college when we worked at the same golf course.  Our first date was a round of golf and when we started "going out" we played golf pretty much every day.  Which leads to my next fun fact... we got engaged on a golf course!

Mr. Chic had arranged for my dad to stick the ring box in the hole on the 10th green (just behind my parent's house) just before we got there.  When I putt the ball in I found it, he got down on bended knee right there on the green!  I was completely shocked and excited of course!  For us it was very special and completely romantic.

I always tease Mr. Chic because that was about the worst round of golf I had ever seen him play and he wasn't even upset about it.  Usually we are very competitive and play pretty evenly.  I was beating him by about 10 strokes and he was all smiles. :)   We don't play much any more because we don't have the time but hope to get back into it as our boys get a little older, I'm already giving them lessons in the backyard.

The local newspaper came right after the proposal and interviewed us and did a little story on our engagement, they put the below picture in the paper.  It is a very sweet memory. :)

This is a picture of the newspaper article picture so it's a bit fuzzy.

We were married 11 months later 11 years ago. :)

Well, that's quite enough about me for one blog post.  I hope you found this post to be at least slightly entertaining.  If not, I'll be back to my decorating adventures soon enough! :)

So, whaddaya think?  Should I change to "Katie" and confuse the entire blogosphere?? (more like just a few folks who read my blog) :)

Linking: Whatever Goes Wednesday

DIY Herringbone Table Makeover, Guest Post by Twin Dragonfly Designs

Hello Chic on a Shoestring readers!  My name is Heather and my little corner of the blog-o-sphere is Twin Dragonfly Designs. If you browse around awhile you will find;  crazy party ideas, tried and true recipes, epic craft projects and tutorials for just about all of it.  Oh and I have twin, four year old boys {so they're involved in pretty much everything}.
Today I am sharing my Herringbone Table Makeover.
This was a risky project for me.  Painting a white herringbone pattern onto our dining room table could have been a disaster!  But I freaking LOVE it!!!
And it can't really get any worse than this before shot, can it?
We've had this table for years!  It's been through messy toddlers times two, who have recently moved on to creative art expression with markers.  And being that we had pretty much scrubbed the finish right off of the table ~ drawings had become ingrained in the wood.
So I began by taking over the garage and sanding the crap out of our poor table. 
After sanding it to a fine finish and making the table look like new, I decided to paint a herringbone pattern onto it.  I found an image {via google images} and played with the scale until it was the size that I wanted.  Then I printed it onto card stock and cut out the negative spaces.  At this point I was like "okay, this might be cool".
I continued to paint the herringbone pattern {with acrylic paint} over my entire table.  By now I was getting a little worried.  Too much pattern and contrast?  But it was too late to turn back, there was no way I was sanding off all of that paint!
So I decided to give my pattern a distressed finish and lightly sanded the herringbone before applying 6-8 coats of clear varathane finish.
I am so glad that I stuck it out.  I love the finished product!
Adding a fun pattern is great way to update a sad looking old table and give it new life!
With over 6 coats of finish, it should withstand the creative chaos of a bevy of children for quite some time {fingers crossed they don't find the wood burning kit}.
Wouldn't this be gorgeous if you used a dark stain instead of the white paint?  Maybe in another 5 years...
We have a leaf for this table that I painted and refinished too.
I'm going to do a full dining room / kitchen reveal as soon as I mop the floors, wipe the finger/nose prints off of the sliding glass door, dust the buffet, do the dishes, clean the stainless steel appliances, throw together some knick knacks and... 
You should really stop by Twin Dragonfly Designs to see what I'm up to while I valiantly try to avoid cleaning my house!  
Thanks for having me Kate!

xo Heather

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Table Makeover, Guest Post by Brilliant Like Fireflies

Hi, my name is Courtney, and I'm one half of Brilliant Like Fireflies. My sister Kristin and I have just started up our blog and we're really excited to share our crafts, recipes and DIY projects. Today I'm going to share my DIY IKEA project.
A couple years ago I bought a red LACK side table from IKEA to hold my TV on. It has worked out well, especially since I have a small TV and only a small place to put it in my living room. But well the red was bright and fun when I got it, I would prefer something simpler and classier.

Originally the inspiration for this project came from the blog Pretty City Things, and her DIY take on her LACK coffee table, check it out below.

Her inspiration was the table below, so I kind of combined the two for my own table.

So the first step was to paint my table white, using the can of Antique White paint I used on my dresser (check it out here). It took just three coats to cover that red (yay!). See, all white and shinny!

Secondly, instead of using wallpaper like my inspiration photo, I decided to go for stencils to decorate the top. I picked mine up from Michaels Craft Store, they were from the Martha Stewart collection, and with a 30% off coupon they were under $15. I used some grey craft paint for the stencilling, and they turned out pretty well. I liked that for this part I didn't have to be exact, if they didn't turn out perfect that was OK.

After it was dry I was ready to nail in the nail heads/upholstery nails. I picked mine up at Home Depot. I used 6 containers that were each $1.88, but just covered the two sides of the table that are shown, not the two up agains the walls. It took quite a while to use a ruler and measure out where to put them all, and then to hammer them all in, but the result was amazing!
I know it isn't 100% perfect, but it looks good to me, and was just the update I needed in my living room. Here's one final before and after for you to see.

Cucumber Martini, Guest Post by Happy Hour Projects

Hello to all the readers here at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating!  I'm Adrianne, and I blog over at Happy Hour Projects.  With Kate taking a little hiatus, I thought I'd share a vacation-worthy recipe with you: the Cucumber Martini.  (Hope you're relaxing and pampering yourself, Kate - cheers to you!)

It's deck weather here, and this is a great drink for entertaining.  It will be even better when everyone's gardens are cranking out cucumbers... mmm. :)

I will give you the recipe here, and then I'll walk you through a little bit of the prep.  There are a few things you'll have to make before you can mix it up, but they are quick things and can be done well ahead of time, so that all you need to do when your guests arrive is shake up a couple and relax.

Adrianne's Cucumber Martini
  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 oz. cucumber juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
I generally recommend substituting 7-Up for the vodka and simple syrup anytime you want a non-alcoholic version of a specialty martini.  It won't be the quite the same, but it's still a fun treat. :)

If you're new to the world of specialty martinis... welcome!  There is one ingredient that pops up a lot, and that's simple syrup.  Simple syrup is equal parts of sugar and water (I make my batches one cup of each at a time), heated in a saucepan on low heat, until the sugar dissolves.  It takes about 5 minutes to make a small batch of simple syrup - your sugar will dissolve before your water comes to a boil.  I didn't photograph this step because I had some on-hand, but if you'd like photographs of a syrup I made recently to see how it looks once the sugar dissolves, you can visit my post about the lemon-basil gimlet.

Perhaps you're wondering about how in the world you're going to juice a cucumber.  You'll need a blender or a food processor for this step - to my knowledge, you can't just buy this as an ingredient.

Wash your cucumber well, and cut off a few slices to set aside for your garnish.  Then, peel what's left and cut it into chunks (this will make it easier for your food processor to handle).

Puree it.  You want it as close to liquefied as possible.  You may find that adding a tablespoon or so of water makes this process go more smoothly.  Then, you'll strain your puree to remove anything solid.  Place your strainer over a bowl (I used a measuring cup and my small strainer) and spoon your puree into the strainer.  You can press down on the puree to squeeze as much juice as possible out - if a bit of pulp comes through, that's okay.  Any pulp small enough to fit through your strainer will be fine.

I managed to get a little over 4 oz. of juice from one large cucumber, after I reserved 4 slices for garnishing, which is enough for 4 drinks.

Simple sugar lasts in the frig for months in a sealed container.  I just use a Mason jar for mine.  I'm not sure about the cucumber juice; I try to use fresh ingredients like this within three days.  But you can certainly prepare these ahead of time to save yourself the work later.

Now, the presentation for martinis is half the fun, really.  This drink is excellent with a sugared rim.  If you haven't rimmed a glass before, the easiest way to do it is to rub it with fruit and dip it.  In our case - we are using cucumbers, so I rubbed it with a cucumber slice:

And then dipped the rim in a small mound of sugar.

Now, to shake it up.  For this, I really do advocate owning a shaker tin, though professional bartenders have been known to shake up drinks using two glasses stacked together.  I'm no pro, so I use my tin.

Fill your tin with ice.  This is how you're going to chill your drink.  Now, measure your ingredients in.  I always recommend a top-shelf vodka when you're making martinis.  Effen even makes a Cucumber Vodka that would be perfect here, but I used what we had in the house already.

Now just shake it up.  I always go by the rule that it's shaken enough as soon as my fingers get cold. ;)  Now pour it...

Then add your cucumber garnish, and enjoy poolside, deckside, or anywhere you plan to relax!

Now, I need to take a moment here to dispel the notion that it's all drinks and parties at my blog, given the recipe I've shared today, and the name "Happy Hour Projects".  In fact, my drink recipes are only a very small part of what I blog about.  You see, "Happy Hour" came to be shortly after my daughter was born - when I needed some craft-therapy, but didn't have a lot of time for projects anymore.  What I focus on there is crafts and recipes - tutorial-style - that you can do in an hour or less, and many times with supplies you probably have on-hand already.  That's my real Happy Hour!

I love blogging because I love the support and friendship that's in this creative community.  Thanks so much for having me today, Kate, and we're all looking forward to seeing you back soon!

~ Adrianne

Easy Spring Wreath Tutorial, Guest Post by Craftbotic

My name is Rosie and I blog at Craftbotic about my adventures in craft, travel, literature and, well, anything that takes my fancy!  I am really pleased to be here at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, helping Kate out while she takes a well earned break.

I decided to make a Spring wreath after a different craft fail. I was left with strips of paper that, due to their Spring colours, needed to be used.  I also wanted something to compliment my butterfly message board . 

You need: a small polystyrene wreath, strips of paper, butterfly stickers/cut out shapes, ribbon and tacky glue.

Glue the strips around the wreath.

Position your ribbon where you want the wreath to hang.  Using glue and taps of paper, attach the ribbon to the back.

Add your butterflies.  I found some 3D stickers which made this really easy (Available from Hobbycraft in the UK).  You could create the shapes using a Silhouette or by cutting them out by hand.  To make them 3D, only glue down the centre and then fold back the edges.

Easy, small, light and Spring in a ring!  You can see more Spring projects on my blog.  I would love to see you there! 

 Thank you for having me, Kate.

Rosie  xxx

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