Monday, March 21, 2011

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

Have you ever read this book? It used to be one of my favorites. I have vivid memories of sitting cross-legged on the floor at our Carousel Ct. house in front of the built-in oak bookshelves reading this book over and over to myself. Now there are lots of other versions about giving a pig a pancake, a moose a muffin, ect, but, like all things original... this one is the best.

Whenever I start a home project, I usually end up thinking about this book because I find myself being the mouse, who starts with one objective (getting a cookie), which leads to another and another and another and another until that poor little boy is exhausted by this mouse. Not to imply that John is the little boy, because this mouse is perfectly happy to tackle those projects all by herself (with the exception of a little heavy lifting here and there).

My latest project started with one objective, to purchase curtains for our office. This part was easy. I found these curtains at World Market, loved them, and proudly brought them home to hang them up.

Problem: the curtains were too short by 9 inches. Easy fix, I will just return them for the longer length. Negative. These curtains only come in one size. Which leads me to project #2: To lengthen the drapes. I went in search of an exact match of the color and lucked out with a $10 tablecloth from Target that matched perfectly. On to the sewing.

In less than an hour I had drapes that I loved that were also now the right length.

Now I am finished right? Not so much. As I stepped back to admire my lovely new drapes, I couldn't help but notice how they sort of clashed with the paint color in the office. I didn't realize it until the sun was in full-force shining in through the windows, but it was definitely not a very good match. But oh how I loved these drapes. There was really only one solution: To repaint the office. Onto project #3: Paint

I loaded up the kids and headed to Home Depot to pick out some paint samples. I knew I wanted to keep within the green family, but needed something that was less blue-green and more green-green. When we got home I started holding up colors on the walls, on the curtains, and in the hallway just to make sure that everything looked well together. While standing in the hallway, I couldn't help but notice our make-shift coat rack that was overflowing with too many coats on 4 tiny hooks. And I had been wanting to tackle that project sooner or later. I quickly abandoned my painting for the moment and skipped to project #4: To make a larger coat rack for the entryway. I went in search of something in our house already that I could just add hooks to and thus save money with "freecycling". I found the perfect decorative piece hanging in the kitchen and it was just the right size that I needed. I again loaded up the kids and headed to Hobby Lobby to find some cheap hooks that were *Bonus* 50% off that day. Sold! I chose a few different kinds because I like things that look a bit eclectic. I hurried home to complete project #4, which turned out like this.

The only problem with using an existing piece of kitchen art for this project was that I now had 2 holes and a big empty space above our sliding glass door. It just looked way too bare like that. And you guessed it...on to project #5. While at Hobby Lobby I also happened to pick up a replacement decorative item that was also on clearance and just super cheap. I got out my ladder and went about hanging it up. (Not my strong suit, and there may be a few extra holes hiding behind that new picture, maybe.) Now that once bare spot looks like this.

The problem with switching up wall decor is that you're usually left with a few holes that aren't covered up anymore from that old item. Onto project # 6: Patching and repainting those spots. 

Once that tediousness was taken care of I went back to tackle project #3 and start painting. I decided on a lovely, fresh shade of green from the Martha Stewart line of paint and got to work. *side note: I would not recommend using this brand of paint, it may be low in VOCs, but it is high in extra hours of labor and took me 3 coats for even coverage.* And that Martha, is NOT "a good thing"

It took me 3 days of painting during naps to finish up this spontaneous little project but I am really happy with the way it turned out. No longer will those clashing colors keep me awake at night. Here is the new office color.

And that is what always happens when you give this mouse a cookie. And the moral of the story is:  You can take the girl out of the Johnson family but you can never take the Johnson out of the girl.


  1. Oh I love this one! I was writing almost the exact same post last night (but never hit "publish")!
    You are such a Johnson, and it makes me smile so big.
    Love the color, and the drapes, and the 1400 other projects that you tackled just because, well, it's what we do:):):)
    Love you!

  2. I LOVE this post...and the finished product is fabulous. Can't wait to see it in person. Well done!

  3. Im not sure what took more steps the actual 7 projects or lining up this post with the correct pictures and captions. You, Rachel, are one in a million. I'm pretty sure you have more drive than anyone I know. Well done! I love the new coat rack, very creative!

    your home is so precious!

    Love you

  4. OMG you are one crazy DIY girl. And I love it! LOVE IT! Wow, I am pretty sure you have had more colors and coats of paint in your house in 6 months than I have had in 6 years.

    Great post.