Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Craft Room Makeover: The Details

These pictures are overdue. I have a lot that's overdue. So bear with me!

Here are the pictures and details on our office-to-craft-room transformation: As you can see, this was clearly a man's office. a relatively unused man's office. Which justified the switcheroo. (And to justify it being "un-used," it wasn't because Chad didn't appreciate his office. He just felt bad getting home from work and then going 'back to work' downstairs; he wanted to be upstairs with us. And I wanted him upstairs too!)

BEFORE:


and AFTER:



The wall to the right, BEFORE:

and AFTER:


This is picture hanging wire I bought at WalMart in the hardware section; on the same aisles where you get the hooks. It's less than $2 for a good amount, and I just nailed 2 nails in either side of the wall, and before I nailed them in all the way, I took my wire and wrapped it around the nail; then I finished nailing it in; I bought mini clothespins at Hobby Lobby to hang the artwork. I need to find something cute to put over the nails so that it will look more professional and PotteryBarn-ish, but haven't found anything yet.
(And the "MAKE" sign above is 4 pieces of regular sized scrap book paper, then I cut out the letters and glued them to the squares. Easy peasy.)


And the wall to the left, which is actually a little nook... BEFORE:


Looking back toward the door, see the nook?


And AFTER:


 See? We didn't totally kick Daddy out. He has his own little area, and we kept all his favorite memorabilia as well. The desk fit perfectly. And now Chad can work downstairs without feeling like he's missing out; the playroom is next door so the kids can be down here with us while we work and sew and craft away.


 Now for some details.
I did this makeover on the tightest budget ever. Like, less than $100. El cheapo.
Most everything came from yard sales, the Dollar Tree, the thrift stores, etc. I'll go through it here.

I knew I wanted Mary Ella to have a place where she could color, paint, etc. I found a Little Tykes picnic table at a yard sale for $5 a year ago and it's been on the deck. It used to be purple, teal and a very faded yellow. I used Valspar spray paint in pink and kelly green and transformed it into a craft table. (Now, I wouldn't recommend spray painting the Little Tykes stuff unless you are going to use it for something like arts and crafts; because it will peel eventually and show some dirt. But for this purpose it was perfect!)



I didn't want the spray paint on the table part to peel as she was coloring and crafting, so I covered it with this pink and lime paisley wrapping paper that Mom had given me; I used Mod Podge over the top, smoothed out the wrinkles and this provided with a peel-free tabletop! And it matched perfectly.



For the sewing table, I used my 4 foot craft table that my parents bought me for Christmas a few years back. I spread a craft table cloth over the top to make it more colorful and to provide some hidden storage underneath. The pegboard came from Lowe's (a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet is only $14.98, this piece is half of that, so 4x4. I spray painted it pink. I also bought the 'hardwear kit' for pegboards which was under $10 but comes with all different kinds of hooks. The peg board is not mounted on the wall, it's just leaned up against the wall, sitting on the table. 
I LOVE pegboard! Such a convenient place to store things! Scissors, threads, my thread rack, a clock, buckets for safety pins/elastic/extra needles/ribbon/trim. It's great.



This bookshelf is the same one that was in the office before (scroll back up and take a look if you don't believe me.) I spray painted it an avocado green (Valspar) and I mod podged the black and white wrapping paper to the backs of the shelves to add a little something. 
All the turquoise bins are from the Dollar Tree.
The purplish and white canvas bin is from Ross.



I love these glass owls. Bought them at the thrift store. They were all 70's ish - brown, orange, yellow, all detailed and everything. I went for plain pink. So cute.



Bought all glass containers and tiny metal buckets at the thrift store. $0.39 - $3.88 each. Perfect for crayons, markers, pipe cleaners, beads, fuzzy balls, etc.


I love my desk area. This is the same thrift store desk I purchased and painted a few months ago. I added a cork board and painted the border turquoise. Then I added a decorative bunting, made out of scrap book paper. My hot pink chair was an Ikea find at $22.90.


 And just in case you're wondering, I painted the room Cafe Cream; I think it was Laura Ashley paint from Lowe's. I love how it brightened up the space. 
And let me just say how much this room has made me ENJOY sewing/crafting/etc so much more! It's so great to have an actual room to go into where you can create and do what you love; before this, everything you see on those shelves was crammed into 3 bins! So whenever I'd want to do anything like painting, sewing, etc, I had to draaaggg everything out, then put it allll back up. 
I love having bins for everything. When I want a glue stick, I don't have to go digging through a box of craft supplies to have one. I actually have ONE single bin designated for all things glue - glue sticks, hot glue, mod podge, Elmer's, wood glue, etc. It's great. I also have my fabric sorted out into solids, dots, ginghams, checks, stripes, etc, which has helped make applique-ing and such so much more fun and not as messy or stressful. :)


Hope this inspires someone out there. If you have any questions about where I got something or how I did something, please let me know. Sometimes I forget to mention things.
(Cause if I showed you a picture of this room right now, you'd run away. It's bad. Really bad. There's been a lot of craftin' goin on.)

Oh, and this is what my hallway/playroom looked like while I was doing this makeover. AGHHHHH!
(That's our pet stuffed coyote, 
in case you think we are so messy 
that wild forest creatures have inhabited our home.)

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Beach: Part 1

It was wonderful. And beautiful.

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These two were also pretty wonderful. We had some moments - as expected - but for the most part, they were super kids and we loved experiencing the beach and sand and ocean with them.

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My twins also enjoyed the trip. Oh, you didn't know I had twins? One's a little taller than the other, that's all.

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Don't you love Sambo's crooked underbite? It might be my favorite thing about him.
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Speaking of Sam, he's developed quite the... ummm... personality. He's learned to scream at the top of his lungs in an angry, I'm-so-mad-I-could-spit-on-you sort of way. Most kids scream, I know that. But Sam, if you know him, has never been a particularly loud child. Even his cries sound extremely muted and high pitched. But now? Ohhhh no. Watch out. He's somehow been taught how to pitch a pretty good fit. Along with screaming, dramatic flailing and kicking, and face-down-on-the-ground pout-fests. Exhibit A:
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Classic photo.
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For some reason this reminds me so much of Shirley Temple. She was no doubt explaining to us all the reasons we should invest in a pet hermit crab. (We didn't.)
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Before we left for the beach, my kids have what I am pretty sure was Fifth Disease; a virus that causes low-grade fever and eventually a rash. I also got the virus, but only the aches/fever/chills part and not the rash. It was pretty miserable but thankfully only lasted a couple days. But my kids were a little polka-dotted on our first few days at the beach. As you probably read on Facebook, we were almost kicked out of Island Pancake House because Sam, my INFANT, did not have on shoes. That is just a crazy story in itself. But when they were looking at us like we were the scum of the earth, I seriously thought they were gonna say something like, "Um, do your kids have leprosy? Cause we don't allow that here." Because they really were soooo rashy. But no, instead, after they whispered among themselves, they inquired as to whether my son had SHOES. We were obviously carrying him, because he doesn't walk. After telling them no, they told us we would have to hold him. I immediately said NO and began to walk out, because I ain't holdin' no 24-pound baby while trying to eat my French toast. But I guess they were too afraid to lose business, so they said, "Oh... well... he will just have to sit in the high chair." Ummm, ok. Thanks. (Like, where did they THINK he was going to sit? Or did they think we were going to let him run around and put his feet in all their customers' pancakes??) I was seriously about to say, "Look, my kids have CHICKEN POX and you're worried about whether I brought his CROCS or NOT!?!" But I refrained. And I'm glad I did. Because the pancakes were pretty doggone good. But we won't be going back. (It's funny because Sea n Suds is right down the way, and their sign out front says "Cover Up Required." You ain't gotta have on shoes OR a shirt, but if you got on a cover-up, you're good.) Crazy crazy crazy.

Anyway, you can kinda see the spots on her face here. They covered her entire body. She didn't let it bother her, though. Or anything else, for that matter. This little girl LOVED the sand and the beach. She was in heaven. I wish I had video of our first evening out on the beach. She'd just run, then stop and put her hands up to feel the breeze, then run again and sing, then twirl, then run and get wet, then stop and lay down in the sand... it was so great watching her. Just carefree and innocent.
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More pictures to come in the next post. See you then!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

List form.

1. I blog in "list form" when I have lots of things on my mind rather than a well formed post with jolly pictures to share. Just so you know.

2. We've been at the beach since last Friday night. It has been so wonderful. I'll do a separate post about our trip when we get home (tomorrow maybe?). But it has been such a great getaway for our family. No work, all play. My kids LOVE the beach, the sand, the shore, the ocean, the breeze. Love it. They'd stay all day if we'd let 'em. Which is how it should be! No pool for us! (If we wanted to be at a pool all day we would've stayed home anyway.) But we do enjoy the pool as a nice way to cool off and 'de-sand' ourselves. :) We've enjoyed some good eatin' and some good go-kart ridin' and we've even knocked a big dent in our Christmas shopping. So I'd say it's been great.

3. As great as it's been, I'm so ready for FALL! Mainly because fall brings back a sense of routine, which I need desperately after a long hot summer of traveling, birthday parties, and having little to no bedtime/morning routines for my kids. I'm ready for some organization to come back into my life!

4. Speaking of organization, I've already been a busy bee making out my lists and getting my schedule into gear. I'm re-signed up for our E-Mealz (we get the Publix LowFat Meals for 2 and it works great for our whole family.) I've been stockpiling my coupons. (And by the way, I love that the Publix E-Mealz bases their meals around what's on sale and even tells you what coupons you can use to save even more!) I've got my fall books ordered ("Mission of Motherhood" at the top of my list.) I even made out a cleaning schedule for my house. Because I am that ready for some organization and routine in my life. Neurotic, I know. And a bit OCD. (Now, let's see how long it takes until life doesn't go exactly as planned in my newly ordered planner and I start pulling my frazzled little hairs out! I'm trying to prepare myself for that too. One day at a time...)

5. Our small group is starting back up and I'm beyond excited. I've spent the last 4 1/2 years getting to know some amazing, encouraging, godly girlfriends here in Birmingham, and I'm glad we'll finally be making a point to see each other again on a regular basis! We met at a 'newly married' couples Bible study back in 2007 - seems like yesterday now - and since then we've experienced all the highs and lows that life can bring - new jobs, unemployment, infertility, moves (some of them cross country, some across the world!), sickness, marital ups and downs, and the best blessing of all: collectively we have 8 (almost 9!) children between us. I'm just blessed to have met these folks and am looking forward to seeing them regularly again.

6. We've had life throw us a few curve balls in the last few weeks. Nothing we can't handle but it's funny how the Lord works sometimes. More on that when I have time.

7. FOR THE MOMMAS: I received a text the other day from one of my best friends (a fairly new mama herself) who asked me if I ever received unsolicited advice from anyone on parenting, etc. A big fat YES. I think we all have; we've probably all given it, too. But since having kids I've tried to be particularly careful about offering advice, especially unsolicited advice, to other parents or new parents. It's one thing if they ask you for advice (i.e. "Did your baby ever have diaper rash? What did you do for it?") But it is a totally different ballgame if you just thrust your information on them like you are the PARENTING MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE. All children are different and all of them will require different things. I remember crying after Mary Ella was born because she just wasn't like all those calm, sweet, schedule-oriented babies like in the Baby Wise book. And then I expected Sam to be like Mary Ella; but he was my super laid back, "sure I'll sleep now, Mom, if that's what you want," baby. All kids are different, all families and all parents are different, and sometimes even comments that are meant to be helpful are sometimes ill-received if they are not given in love and are not solicited. In other words, if I ask for your advice, please feel free to give it to me. If I don't, you can just look and stare and smile politely, and I'll do the same to you. Thank you and thank you. And all you new mamas out there and expecting mamas should know that this WILL happen to you. It will. There's no way around it. Bottom line is this: YOU do what YOU need to do for YOUR baby. That's the bottom line. And to contradict myself completely, I'm going to end with a piece of parenting advice that I usually give new moms who ask me for advice: Begin and end each day with the Lord. He offers so much more than any amount of caffeine, baby/parenting book, etc. You start and end each day like that, you can't go wrong. One of my favorite verses (that just happened to be in my devotional for today as well!):

"Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." Psalm 105:4

8. Before I left for the beach, I totally re-did my dining room. In a day. And I based the entire makeover on some fabric I saw on a particularly raunch TV show that might start with "B" and might end with "-achelorPad." The TV material is sketch but the fabric is fabulous. And though I couldn't find it anywhere, I loved the colors and went with it. And I love it. I will post pictures when I get home.

9. I bit the bullet. I have a pair of Toms. And so do my kids. I don't consider myself a trendy person by any means. Well, until now.

10. After some tedious researching and coupon-rounding-up and advice from my most trusted mama friends, (advice that I solicited, I might add), my kids finally have a new "ride" coming. As in, a stroller. And I am thrilled. Our consignment sale Combi has decided to retire; her brittle bones are literally cracking; the front safety bar is gone. The harnesses are frayed. The sun shades are slap thin. If she had an odometer, it'd read "DONE." I'll blog about that later too. Must. get. sleep.

I've made a lot of "I'll blog that later" promises, haven't I? Please remind me to follow up. I'll put it in my new planner.   :)

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Monday, August 8, 2011

WINNER!

First off, I have to apologize for not finishing out our week of crafts. I actually had the posts scheduled, then left Friday to go to Florence for the weekend, and they didn't post! So I'll get those last two crafts up tomorrow and Wednesday.

As for the winner of our rug...
(and I chose randomly using this tool below, from this site.)


Lucky #5!
 HEY RACHEL!
YOU WON!

Now if you will e-mail me with your color preferences and your address, 
I'll send your rug straight to your house.
(Or if you want the one I just completed, I'll send you that one.)

Congrats! 
And thanks to all of you for your sweet comments and your e-mails.
Makes me happy to be a resident of blogworld.
Be back in just a few with the craft room makeover rundown.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pinterest Week: DIY Chevron Print Rug and GIVEAWAY!

Chevron prints.
I love them.
And apparently, so does everyone else.
Today we're making a chevron print rug, folks.


The one above is from TheHouseofSmiths blog, and she used regular paint and foam paint brushes; she cut her chevron stripes out of one of those Cricut/silhouette stenciling machines. Which I don't have. 
So here's how you can make a chevron-print rug for your own home without hand-painting and without having to use a stenciling machine.
First off, you'll need a rug.


I bought this baby at Target for $6.48; it had been marked down from $12.99. 
It's a jute fiber rug with a navy blue border.
It's a 23 inch x 40 inch, so perfect for a kitchen, doorway, or in front of a table.

Here's what you'll need:

rug
painter's tape
scissors
2 cans of spray paint 
(one color for the background, one color for the stripes)
*you can always leave the background the way it is, too*

Instructions:

1. First, lay your rug on a flat surface; use a drop cloth to protect your floors.

2. Tape off the edges first; this doesn't have to be perfecto. Just tape them off the best you can, allowing some excess on the ends so that your rug stays secure on the ground.



3. Get your background color and spray paint the main surface of the rug. I chose a muted yellow/gold for this rug; on the first one I did, I chose a kelly green. This will only take a quick coat, though you can reapply if you want to. If you choose the yellow, it won't take much at all because the rug fibers are in the same color family. (I use Valspar spray paint; unfortunately they don't name their colors, or they aren't on the bottles, at least, which is kind of frustrating to me.)

4. Next, you'll get out your painter's tape again and cut a small strip. (Use scissors, don't tear; you'll need straight edges for this part.) My strips were around 4 inches in length. You will begin making your stripe pattern with the painter's tape.



5. Lay down one strip at a time; make sure that the point is pointing straight up to the other end of the rug; then add a second piece, which will overlap the first one at the point just a bit. It will help to get some sort of straight edge, like a yard stick or level or just a piece of wood, and place it at the top of your first point, making sure it is level with the fibers of the rug, so that all of your chevron stripes are the same height.


6. Next you'll do a second stripe with more strips of tape. You'll want to make sure you position the second stripe as close to parallel to the first stripe as you can possibly get it. Make sure the points line up, and use your straight edge again to make sure your points are at the same height. You''ll also want to note that you want ALL your stripes to be the same width; so your 'blank' stripe will be the same width as your painted stripes; make sense? Each stripe will be the same width as your tape. 


7. Now, you can either go ahead and cover your entire rug with painter's tape stripes, or, you can spray paint your first two stripes, then let them dry, then move your tape up, and so on. It will take you a while to make that many chevron stripes with tape, so I'd recommend painting, letting the paint/tape dry, then moving your strips up; you can go about your day, do laundry, keep your kiddos entertained, etc, and go outside and move your strips/paint a couple more stripes throughout your day and you'll be done by the evening. It takes about 10-15 minutes for your paint and tape to completely dry. If you try to move the tape while it's still wet, it'll most likely come apart and smear, and you won't be able to get it positioned exactly right. So just be patient and wait for drying between moving stripes and painting.
(In the second picture below, the tape was still wet. not good. See how it gets all soggy and wrinkly if you don't wait on it to dry?)



Once you're all done, your rug will look like this:

(now, you'll notice this first one I did has some minor imperfections; I used acrylic instead of spray paint and it not only took FOREVER but also proved to be not as durable.)




And here's the really great news! 
I went back to Target the other day, and they had 3 more of these rugs; and guess what?
They were marked down even more!


So today, one lucky commenter will get their OWN chevron-print rug, courtesy of yours truly.
You can even pick out your own stripe colors. Or if you want the one I started today, you can have it. (It'll be yellow/gold-ish on the inside with navy stripes to match the navy border.)

My blog is now set to where anyone can comment; so even if you don't have a google account, you can comment anonymously and make sure you leave your name so I know who you are!
On Sunday, I'll use the random number generator to find a winner! So comment away, people!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pinterest Week: DIY Wall Art

Two projects for today.
Involving burlap and wood.
And paint.
Three of my favorites.

There's a lot you can do with burlap. A whole lot. Basically, if you type the word "burlap" in your Pinterest search box, you'll get a neverending list of projects. 

It's cheap, it's versatile, and can be used almost anywhere, for almost any purpose. 
It'll also match just about any room. 
My project is super, super, super simple. 
It will take you, like, 5 minutes, and will cost you, like, 5 dollars.




Ok, so here you go.


Supplies:
canvas (I used an 8x10)
burlap (just enough to cover your canvas + 2 extra inches on all sides)
black acrylic paint
hot glue or stapler or staple gun or duct tape, whatever you have on hand

Instructions:
Spread your burlap out. Lay your canvas, white side down, on top of your burlap.
One side at a time, wrap the burlap around your canvas edges, 
and hot glue/staple/duct tape it down. I used hot glue. But be aware that burlap has HOLES in it, people. 
And inherent holes in your fabric = inherent burnt flesh, if you use a glue gun. 
But the finished result is cute and worth the pain. Ok, maybe not.

Then, take your paint. You can paint anything you want; initials, numbers, your last name, silhouettes, or just a random word that suits your family or your particular room or mood. 
I painted our last name, then included the "est. 2007" to represent the year we were married.
You don't need a stencil, but you can certainly use one if you want. 
To make sure it's centered, I'd suggest determining the middle letter or your word, and placing that letter smack dab in the center of your canvas, then paint outward from there. Or you could practice on a piece of paper first. But you really can't mess this up; it's a rustic-looking home made project, and people will know you didn't buy it from a store; that's the whole point: 
these type projects will turn your house into a home. 



And next, this:


I never went to their linked up page, so I don't know how they did their project, but just by looking at the picture, I think they probably had 3 boards placed together, painted and then stenciled.
I wanted this same thing but didn't have stencils and didn't feel like having lumber cut.
What I did have was leftover "chair rail" wood from my board and batten project.
And a canvas. 
And spray paint.
So I thought, "I'll try that."
And it definitely looks more home made than theirs, but as I said before, I like it that way. 
I'm not a huge fan of the stenciled letters; but by all means, if that is your style, go that route! It'll still look great, probably way better.

Supplies:
16x20 canvas
lattice strips 
(or larger sized thin wood panels, if you happen to already have them.)
glue gun
hand saw (or have them cut it at the store)
spray paint
acrylic paint

I got 5 of my horizontal wood pieces and a blank 16x20 canvas that I had in my craft room.
If I were doing this from scratch and didn't have the wood already,
I'd go to Lowe's and get a 12-foot wooden lattice strip; you can buy these for about $8, sometimes cheaper. They'll be in the lumber section, where all the strips of wood are, and they are usually standing straight up. They are about 1.5 inches in width, and I think with this project the thinner strips would be really cute; then for the text, you could write one line per strip.

Anywho, once you get your wood, have them cut it into 16-inch pieces (or you can cut it at home, super easy.) Hot glue your strips horizontally onto the front of your canvas, like so, stacking them one on top of the other. Only use the glue on the edges of the canvas, where the wood backing is. 


Then, spray paint. I used dark brown spray paint first, and sprayed a very sporadic and light coat. 
Then I went over the brown with a turquoise colored spray paint, and kind of painted, then wiped, painted, then wiped, to make it have that aged look. 

After your spray paint is dry, you're ready to paint your text. I chose to do white because I knew it'd show up the best on my darker colored wood panels.
Now, you will probably mess up on this part. I messed up like 40 bajillion times. I'd paint the letters too big, then run out of room, then I'd have to wipe it off with a paper towel and start again on that particular line; and this IS PERFECTLY OK! In fact, it'll give your wood even more of an aged and distressed look. So give yourself a break if you keep messing up the text. Take it one line at a time. You can use a pencil first, and that will help make sure you get it right; however, wiping off paint with a paper towel is a lot easier, to me, than erasing pencil marks, so if you use a pencil be sure you write it right the first time! Got it people?? Ok! Ready-set-go!



And by the way, if you are doing ANY of these projects at home, please let me hear about it! And I'll post about you and your project on this blog. I'd love to see some of your crafts and skills. (And how you improve upon my ghetto-freehanded methods! Ha!) 

Or if you've done other Pinterest projects at home that you want me to share, let me know that too!
Just shoot me an email at haleymorgan82@Yahoo.com. Be sure to include the pictures! 

Yay! Happy Wednesday.
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