Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Silhouettes & Shadow Boxes

My family art wall.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, my house needs ART on the walls. Slowly but surely I am making progress.

 I was inspired to create silhouettes of my boys for wall art after viewing this "house crashing" post on Young House Love's blog  click here for full blog post.  The hardest part to making these silhouettes was getting a good profile picture of my boys.  Getting a 1 and 2 year old to stand still long enough for a profile picture can be tricky.  My secret weapon was a lollipop that I held out in front of them to hold their gaze for that nanosecond  I needed them to be still for the picture.  After the profile pictures were taken, I put them in Photoshop Elements for a little line darkening.  I did this by darkening the contrast/exposure.  I then scaled the pictures to print out for an 8"x 10" frame. I cut out the boys' profiles from my photo print and then I traced this outline onto some heavy linen card stock that I found in a slate blue.  Some careful trimming with sharp scissors and voila silhouettes were done.  I used a light blue/grey/black checked paper for the background.  I found both the papers I used in the scrapbook aisle at Micheal's.

I took the blank angled wall in my entry hall and first filled it with a table that my husband made for our last house.  The table is made from walnut and sycamore.  My husband left the wood natural/unfinished to highlight the  beauty of the wood.  This table was beautiful in the narrow hall of our last house, but I had yet to find a good home for it in our current house.  After much playing around I thought it worked best on this angled wall, which made a perfect home for the silhouettes of the boys.

My other art project for this wall was a shadow box of keys.  I had been eyeing these "vintage" keys from Pottery Barn for several months and had pinned them to my "front door ideas" board on Pinterest click here for pinterest inspiration board.  In another inspiration from a Young House Love blog post, I arranged the keys to represent our "family" in the shadow box.  The large key on the left is Dad, Mom is next, then our two sons, and finally our dog (who has to be turned sideways since he doesn't walk upright). The vintage keys came as a set of seven, so I had a couple of spare keys to display flat on the table. The frames and shadow boxes were purchased on sale at Michaels.  I used "Gorilla" glue to adhere the keys to the back of the shadow box.   All in all I love the personal touches this art adds to this space.  Has anyone else done some family inspired art lately?

Friday, December 7, 2012

DIY Christmas Wreath

Today I am excited to be linking up to the "Crafts" projects over at http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2012/12/clay-filigree-ornaments-link-party/

I made the above wreath by adding some fresh greenery to an old "has been" wreath.  Below is the old "has been".

Two coats of white spray paint later.
Add in some fresh greenery left over from my $5 "Black Friday" door garland from Home Depot.

Last but not least, I added a monogram "B" antique glass ornament that I found on a super sale at "Kohl's" for a little personalization.



Monday, December 3, 2012


We have lived in current house now for 2-1/2 years now and sadly there are still several bare walls to be addressed.  This is why I am so excited to finally have a piece of art for the dining room.  As an interior designer, I select art prints for various projects fairly often.  This piece is called "Riverbank Reflection" by the artist Robert Holman and it has been a favorite of mine now for several years.  Thanks to Mike Morefield with the "Final Touch" frame shop (423-727-8852), I now have this piece to admire in my own home.  I love the soft color blends of green, yellow, blues, and gray.  Now, I just need to get a new table and chairs, rug, a few more pieces of art, maybe a new light, and then I can call this room done (phew!).

On to another room that was in need of some art, I recently got a photograph from my mother framed for my main floor bath.

 My mother is now retired and focusing her attention to her beloved hobby of many years, photography.  Her primary interest is nature photography but she also does architectural work and candid portraiture as well.  The photograph she gave me for my bathroom is a beautiful flower. If anyone is interested in her work please feel free to email me  at baileylaura@live.com .  I found a complimentary frame to the ones I used for my butterfly prints at "Michaels". The full story behind my butterfly prints can be found by clicking here.

I am currently working on some more family related "ART" for my foyer.  I will be sharing the outcome of this project soon.  Has anyone else scored some nice art pieces lately?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Extra Touch to Personalize My Front Door Wreath

I was shopping at Kohl's this afternoon when I found these "anitqued mirror" letter ornaments on sale. I had an additional 20% off coupon which made this find even better. I thought it would be neat to add a touch of personalization to my front door wreath by adding a monogram. What do you think? Is this too much or just the right final touch?

Wreath Before Monogram

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Some Christmas Decor for Our Front Door

I am not a big black Friday shopper, but I do try to make a point to stop by Home Depot for some specials on fresh holiday decor.  For the last several years, I have purchased 99 cent poinsettias and some five dollar garland to spruce up the house for the Christmas season.  This year I picked up (7) poinsettias and one strand of cedar garland.  My total out of pocket was just $12 +tax.   I plan to keep (3) poinsettias for myself and give the rest away.  In the past the poinsettias were just available in red but this year I was pleasantly surprised to find white and pink as well .  Once I was home with my goodies and got my boys to bed for nap time I started to work on the front door decor.

I took the five dollar garland and draped it over the front door using some 3M Command hooks (I love these things!).  I had some excess garland that I put aside to make a wreath. I had an old twig and pinecone/berry wreath that I purchased years ago.  I thought it would be nice to spruce this wreath up with a bit of white spray paint and the fresh cedar garland.

I just used some green floral wire to attach the fresh cedar to the existing wreath frame.

The last touch was to add some white lights to make the door sparkle in the cool evening air. Has anyone else found some bargains on Christmas decor this year?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reclaiming My Iron

As a do-it-yourselfer, you sometimes use items for purposes that you had not originally intended them for.  A good example of this is my iron (yes clothes iron).  Typically you think an iron should be used to get wrinkles out of clothes, but they can also be used to "melt" the outside edge of laminate to a countertop.  When we renovated our first kitchen in our condominum (see picture above), I did just that.  You can see more on our first kitchen renovation by clicking here.  We installed pre-fab countertops that we found at Home Depot.  The instructions for the edging piece was to use your iron to adhere the laminate edge.  The edge adhered well, but there was a black yucky residue left on my iron. 

With some shame, I am  just now getting to the "gunky yuck removal" (sadly, about four years have passed). In my defense, I didn't really think there would be anyway to get this stuff off.  For those who may be concerned about the appearance of my family's clothes, I have been using the iron without issue.  The residue was so well baked on that it didn't come off on our clothes, but recently this has been bothering me, and being too cheap to buy a new iron, I finally took the time to work on this.

In comes my " Bar Keeper's Friend" to the rescue.
The end result......is a shiny (mainly) residue free iron once again!

Just a little elbow grease and this cleansing scrub and I am once again back on the road to household-chore redemption (we won't mention the dusty bunnies that I have yet to defeat).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Making Room for the Boys!

Photo Courtesy of Beth Duncan
I just found out that a friend/past co-worker is now expecting her first child (congratulations Michelle and Nathan).  In honor of such great news, I thought I would share some design ideas from my little ones' nurseries. 

Instead of a traditional changing table for my first son, I opted for a double dresser.  The height is perfect for me and the storage is beyond valuable.  The dresser is a find from the local "REAL WOOD" furniture store.  The alder wood dresser was purchased unfinished.  Gratefully, my Dad finished the dresser in a walnut stain for us.  The blue ceramic lamp was a bargain find at TJ Maxx.  The tree wall decal feels like it is sprouting out of the changing pad on the dresser.  I found the removable tree decal on sale at Kohl's.

One of my first sewing projects was roman shades for this room.  I found some leaf motif fabric to tie into the tree wall decal.  I added a chocolate polka dot border to frame the shades.

Fabric Detail, Roman Shade

I wanted to spell out my son's name above his crib. I found these stitched leather frames on a 50% sale at "HOBBY LOBBY". I also found some cardboard letters and type-print scrap book paper there. I wanted the letters to seem as though they had been thoughtfully "pulled" from the alphabet of type.

I liked the letters from Noah's room so much, that I decided to repeat this idea  for my second child.  Instead of individual frames, I opted for one long rectangle with multi-colored letters.

The kites on the wall were inspired by a "Pottery Barn Kids" catalog.  The catalog featured kites suspended from the ceiling to highlight their "Curious George" bedding.  I ordered the "PB Curious George" crib sheets and made my own fabric kites.  I attached the kites to the wall with "3-M Command Strips".

Some consistency in both nurseries is the wall paint and crib.  The paint color is "Crocodile Tears" by Olympic paint (purchased at Lowes).  The crib is "Graco's" Lauren crib.  I have the espresso finish in Noah's room and the black in Samuel's (the finishes look practically the same).  I can highly recommend this crib.  The crib converts to a toddler bed (this is what Noah is currently using) and eventually the back piece can be used as a headboard for a full/queen size bed.  At just a bit over a hundred dollards this crib is a great value.

I am currently planning ways to modify my two year old's room into more of a toddler space.  I am sure that I will post updates as this happens.

Garden Wrap Up

Well it is the middle of November, but my little garden is still sharing some surprises. Saturday I found that some of the carrots I planted from seed where ready to be harvested (one more ready than the other). Also, my mini sweet pepper plant finally yielded some goods a couple of weeks ago; sadly it has since been killed by the evening cold snaps.
In honor of my recent harvest items, I thought I would do a quick recap of all the veggies I was able to grow in my first little garden:

Romaine Lettuce
Sugar Snap Peas (delicious)
Tomatoes (lots and lots of them)
Cucumbers (only a couple)
Mini Sweet Peppers
and finally Carrots

I am already looking forward to planning and planting next year's garden.  I would love to hear  suggestions on other "easy to grow" crops that I should try.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Easy Trick or Treat Bags

I was looking for some inexpensive trick or treat bags for my boys that would be easy for their little hands to carry and yet big enough to hold a good stash.  There are several options out there, but a trip to my local "Hancock" fabric store inspired me to make some.  I picked up some pre-cut felt squares that were 5 for a dollar.  I used my embroidery machine to add names to the bags and then simpley sewed them up inside out, leaving the top open.  I used some black ribbon I had left over from another project for the handles.  The last detail added was some cut out angles along the top with my pinking shears for a playful touch.  The boys seem to like them and for only 50 cents a piece and about 45 minutes of my time, I am also happy.