Make Your Own Clock

A month or so ago, hubby was getting a hair cut and I decided I really wanted a smoothie. On my way to Jamba Juice, I stumbled across the Chiasso store that was in the same stripmall that I hadn’t realized was there. I was wondering around and actually found a bunch of really neat things. One thing I kept coming back to, however, was this ronaldo clock:

I loved the fact that it had the fun stripes in the “wood” and the photo frames added a level of personalization to the clock. What I didn’t like, was the $40 price tag (Items are cheaper in the store than they are online). Especially when the one in the store had screws sticking out through the front of the panels.

So I decided to do what I do and do it myself! Since I was already buying panels for my wall art project, I bought one more, slightly thinner, 2’x2’x1/4” panel, which I cut into a variety of squares and rectangles.

Which I then stained with the same Minwax Red Mahogany stain. I then printed and cut photos from our Costa Rican honeymoon to add that bit of personalization I liked about the inspiration clock. I also purchased a clock kit from the arts and crafts store. They didn’t have any with silver hands, so I also grabbed a silver paint pen (a staple from my sorority days) and colored the gold arms silver.

In another moment of inspiration, based on a passport art project from Brooklyn Limestone, I added a copy of our honeymoon passport stamp to one of the boards. A little more Modge Podge, some screws, the installation of the clock in the middle, and drawing lines for the clock later, I have an extra touch of our honeymoon in our bathroom:



I keep a list of to-do’s, both personal and condo-related that my husband and I can refer to when we forget any of the little goals we have for ourselves and the condo. Unfortunately, we continue to add things to the list at a faster rate than we could ever check them off. One of the main things that I want to do is get our place to look nice enough that I would be proud to invite people over for a “housewarming” or open house party. I had hoped that we would have been able to move far enough along to have the party at the end of summer, but considering it’s already October 2nd, I think that ship has sailed.

So I’m aiming for the holiday season.

And that doesn’t seem quite far enough but I can’t bear the thought of having been in our condo for more than a year before doing some type of party to celebrate purchasing and living in our “new” place. So that means I have quite a bit left to do.

Living Room:

  1. Purchasing the entertainment center was a huge step in the right direction here.
  2. I think that adding just a few accessories, lamps and, possibly, window treatments should have this room in good enough shape to have anyone over for fun times.

Dining Room

  1. This room is going to take some pretty drastic work. And the end to projects in other rooms, since this typically ends up being our “workspace” for lack of a better place to do bigger projects.
  2. I don’t think we’ll be able to get the crown/chair molding up in here, so I’ll settle for just painting the china cabinet black to better fit in the room.
  3. And adding lighting would be a big key for this room!

Kitchen/Kitchen Nook

  1. The kitchen is in really good shape, so I don’t have too much to do here. The one thing I really want to try is adding some type of chalkboard area, but that isn’t a necessary thing for a party.
  2. The kitchen nook, however, is completely empty, so I need to find/make the desk and bookshelf for this section soon!

Office/Guest Bedroom

  1. The desk/bookshelf/storage for this room is the main thing we have to accomplish. Searching for a black desk that will fit in the space has proven more difficult than anticipated.


  1. The bedroom would be better if we could get the bed and curtains done. But we have enough done in here that if the bed doesn’t get done, I guess it could work. It would really be quite cool if we could get that room in better shape, but I think that might be taking on more than we can chew!


  1. The bathroom is looking really good, so just a few minor modifications should get this ready for guest use.

So that’s the goal list for now. If we can really make some progress on the major items, then I might add a few minor items to try to finish off the look.

What do you think? Can I get that done in 2 months?

Upcoming Projects


We’ve got several projects in the burner and so many ideas!

Project 1:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, our next major project is going to be installing wardrobes on either side of the bed. As part of that project, we may also end up building our storage bed to fit our specifications. We want something with a shelf for a headboard and drawers underneath. Since most of the bed will be covered by the pillows and comforter, we can stain it or paint it however we’d like. Plus, it gives us time to find a fun, unique piece for our chest of drawers on the other side of the room since it won’t need to match anything else in the room.

Project 2:

There are a lot of options for Project 2, but I think we may decide to try to get the office/guest bedroom figured out. Right now it’s our messiest room, as all of the boxes that have yet to be unpacked (with only a few exceptions) can be found sitting in that room. Previously, we had thought to try to squeeze two desks into the space, one each for Dan and I. After looking around for a corner desk that would fit in the space, we had come to the conclusion that we were likely going to need to custom build something for that room, as well. But dear hubby had a fantastic idea today and I think we may be able to make it work. He noted that we had some usable space in the kitchen nook that could go toward a desk space there for me, allowing the office to just hold one desk, instead of two. Then we’ll have a bit more space for the air mattress when we have guests since that room is just definitely not that big!

Project 3:

Which makes Project 3 the desk out in the kitchen nook for me. I think this could look really cute, with fun organizers and a white board plus a desk surface that I can fold out to create a better art/craft space, as well as a good place to fold laundry fresh out of the dryer. Plus, we can put bookshelves along the wall to hold our cookbooks and our household binders, etc. I think this will be a great idea, as long as I can keep some of my arts and craft supplies inside the office to keep the nook as neat as possible and just wheel stuff out to my desk area when I feel like taking on a project.

Project 4:

And speaking of projects, the living room will need to be our next project. Since we have to get our new big screen TV off the floor! I’ve got the idea to create an “old world meets new” look with a Moroccan flair. I know that sounds like just a bunch of words compiled into a sentence, but I promise that I really do have a vision for the space. (I’ll blog more about that room, specifically, in another post).

Project 5:

We also want to really spruce up our patio to make it a bit more fun and cheerful out there. As many of you know – living in Chicago means that you can only use your outdoor space for a few short months (which seem shorter every year) so really cleaning up the space and bringing some color and texture to it will be key to maximizing our enjoyment of the space.

Project 6:

Then there is the lighting. Ever since we moved in, and perhaps even before then, we’ve wanted to subject whomever installed the lighting in our condo to severe levels of lighting torture. [I’m imagining bright lights shined in his eyes and perhaps being chained to look up at the awful fixtures for hours on end.] We hate pretty much every fixture in the place including the:

  • the ugly ceiling fan/light fixtures in both bedrooms
  • the cheap-o fixtures in the entry, hallway, and kitchen nook
  • boob-like sconces in both the living room and the dining room- which were orange when we first moved in
  • ceiling fan [no light] in the dining room where there should be a chandelier (and matching fan in the living room)
  • the randomly placed ceiling fan (which looks as though it may have been a more recent addition) in the kitchen which can’t be on when you’re cooking or you’ll open the cabinet into the fan blades.
  • the cheap-as-possible outdoor light at the back door and the decrepit light on the patio

As you can see – there isn’t much to love and there is a lot to replace. Not to mention the fact that we seem to burn through light bulbs a lot faster in these outlets than we ever have in any other light fixture. We can’t wait to replace these!

A Touch of Our Honeymoon

Shower at Arenal Nayara

Though it’s a bit difficult to see from the photos below, I’ve been trying to bring a touch of our Costa Rican honeymoon into our bathroom. The outdoor shower at our hotel in La Fortuna was truly relaxing, (doesn’t Dan look relaxed in that photo?), so I’m trying to incorporate elements of that shower into our every day lives.

As you can see, I’ve already incorporated one plant in the shower area, and I’ve tried to keep the palette of the room fairly neutral, like the stone in the inspiration photo, so that I can bring in some splashes of color and more plants. I also incorporated a waterfall so you get the Costa Rican feel, even when you’re not taking a shower, and the bamboo elements through the bath accessories. I’m also planning to add more fabric to the shower curtain to add length and bring it more top to bottom. I had originally purchased a piece of brown, linen-like fabric to put on the bottom, but after re-looking at these photos, I’m thinking it might be a nice opportunity to add a splash of color, a warm orange, perhaps?
But… this is definitely the room in which we’ve made the most progress… at least so far!