Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shutter Headboard Take 2: a color-dashed-weathered look

I just wasn't digging the white. It wasn't working for me. 
It seems that if shutters are used inside then they should steal the show. If this wall was a bolder color, white shutters might have looked better, they would have popped. Left white on a cream wall,  they look like a shy kid hiding in the corner of the room.

before      &       after
that's a alot of space to fill.
gallery wall, maybe?
I'm truly hung up on what to do here.


I followed this wonderful tutorial from Cherished Bliss. Click Here
Make new wood look OLD with this tutorial on how to Weather Wood. Click through for instructions  I knew mine would turn out a bit differently because, 1: my wood was painted, not raw, and 2: there was a layer of colored paint added.

being lazy, I left the shutters on the wall. our room had poster board and newspaper stuck to it for over a month. its CADD (crafters ADD) coupled with a new baby. oh, and I had to wait for warmish days so I could open the windows.

pic#2: four year old helped chronicle  this event
pic #4: the bed was moved away during sanding
(we don't want any literal visits from the sandman)
(dumb joke, but I'm laughing)

(I do not believe in making the bed)

**love ** love ** love ** how this process highlighted some of the wood's character

much happier with the color-dashed-weathered look.
our room has been so plain and uninspiring

look at the yumminess of the "water damage"    * love *
thank you, gravity

I look forward to repainting the dresser to coordinate. :)
and maybe trying again on the lamp shades, too

DIY Stain: the deal with steel wool

I'm a lazy crafter disguised as a "reuse" or "repurpose" crafter. I prefer to use what is already in my home because I loathe putting 3 kids in the van and dragging them to Hobby Lobby, or Home Depot, or the Restore. All my "free time" (when 2 of them are at school) is spent cleaning, or grocery shopping (another place to avoid going with 3 kids under the age of six), or taking my weekly shower (wait til you have kids, then you can comment on my "natural musk"). 

So, projects that are quick, don't involve buying anything, or are small enough to store on the counter as I pick away at them sloooooowly ( my husband so looooooooooooves that! lol) are my favorite projects.

DIY stain didn't quite fall into all 3 of those categories (we don't keep steel wool around regularly, if ever). After googling several homemade stain recipes, I decided that steel wool was optional enough to skip. Yes! Trip to the store avoided! But, this is only true if you don't mind a lighter stain color. 

Instead of a quickly made stain to finish up my shutter headboard (((((( I ended up delaying the project for over two weeks while I figured out ways to avoid putting steel wool into the jar. 

We'll ignore the obvious point that somewhere in those two weeks I was already at the store. 

new ingredients added to the same jar with the same vinegar
As you can see below, the tea&vinegar stain did highlight the wood's natural grain, while pretty, I was really looking for a darker overall color.  You know, like a stain.
tea & vinegar stain
Somewhere in blogland someone suggested adding coffee grounds to create a more brown stain. Yes, coffee grounds did do that....but not as dark as I was envisioning for this project.

Finally, in frustration, I found some steel wool in my husbands grill cleaning tools and after a good washing I chucked it in the jar. As you can see, BIG difference in color!

Why? why? why? is steel wool so essential to DIY stain? While researching the answer, because I really wanted to know why letting coffee and tea sit for almost two weeks wasn't creating the brown I wanted, I ran across this link: It uses sci-ency words like tannin, iron acetate, oxidize, and acedic acid. Oh, and BTW, ANY steel will work: nails, staples, steel shavings (because if you don't have steel wool around you certainly should have shaved steel! lol).

Here are a few projects I've used this stain on. I tried to compare it to an unstained or alternately stained piece.

DIY stain

Take away lesson: avoid avoidance, its worth the effort to do it right the first time. 

Fixing a Fail

What was I thinking? Can I say that I'd just had a baby and the sleep deprivation annihilated any decent taste in decorating? Yeah, I'll go with that. 

I'm almost too embarrassed to show the original picture, almost. 

Now that I'm back to normal hours of sleep I want to shake myself by the shoulders and ask: what were you thinking? Aluminum foil for a mirror-wanna-be? 

I had wanted to hide the hanging wire in the back, but I've decided that its actually kinda cute. 
(Will I be shaking myself by the shoulders later and asking myself, what were you thinking???  Possibly.)

sleeping under the stars
(all who love corny humor, smirk along with me)

Frame was wiped over with DIY stain and it helped tone down the color.

 Stained the inside of the frame, too. Adds a nice contrast to the paint.

Click here for the Twinkle, Twinkle, Book Page Stars Wreath.

I think this has gone from FAIL to fantastic improvement.
We'll see how I feel about it as my ever-so-slowly-coming-together-gallery-wall emerges.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reinforcing Sight Words with Easter Eggs

After last Easter I bought several egg dying kits for about 10 cents each (whoo-hoo 90% post-Holiday markdowns!).
My kids LOVE boiled eggs, so I make a large batch for easy snacks. Using the crayon in the package, I write different sight words on the eggs. Before they can eat an egg, they have to read the word.

***The eggs need to be cool before writing on them. Otherwise the wax melts a bit and can make reading the words difficult.***   (see picture below)
Other ideas:
letter name/sound
a math equation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc)

This is a great way to reinforce what your child is already learning.

A cheesier way to look at it is: A great way to feed their minds and their tummies. ;)

Happy Learning!

Multiplying (stuffed) Bunnies

This little stuffed bunny was so cute that I had to make more. 

I decided that this time they'd make a cute door-hanger decoration. Add some fabric carrots, tie onto a twisted dry cleaning hanger, and let the kids give them to their teachers for Easter. 

Originally it was supposed to be a Happy Spring gift....but they didn't get finished in time.

I modeled my carrots after Posed Perfection's burlap carrots. Click Here. Mine were made from newspaper, scotch tape, and painted fabric. 

I didn't realize that I'd used a Metallic Red paint to tone down the orange and it added sparkles to the finished product. A happy accident.

you can sorta see the sparkles here

The carrot "leaves" were bows made from dollar store twine and hot glued on. 

This bunny matches my re-covered glider. DD picked this one for her teacher.

 drop cloth and chevron, with cream fabric backs.

drop cloth with denim back

Here's the whole bunch, all those multiplying (stuffed) bunnies.
(they're rockin' those builder's grade faux wood doors)

For some Easter chuckles, check out these billboards from New Zealand. Easter Bunnies Billboard

Monday, March 31, 2014

Frozen Inspired Cape

My little girl is truly a girly-girl inside and out. She has adored the Disney Princesses, especially Ariel and Rapunzel, owning 3 different Ariel costumes (thank you garage sales!!!) along with several other princess dress up clothes. She has jumped on the Frozen bandwagon (like so many).

Most of her play dates center around who is Elsa or Anna, and her little brother can play only if he agrees to be Olaf.
 I love the imagination her and her friends put into their pretend play and wanted to add to it, but in an economical $45 costumes here!

A quick Google search yielded several takes on Elsa's blue dress and cape. Inspired by the variety of the recreations I was able to use items already in my fabric stash...except for the white gauze material that I picked up in a remnant bin for a bit over a dollar. (A dollar is my favorite price tag. I swear I'll buy anything if its a dollar!)

First time using iron-on hem tape and I am SOLD! So.Much.Easier! 
I totally hate ironing but it was worth it! 
This piece was "precut." Came from a fabric grab-bag off of Freecycle.
Perfect for the off-the-shoulder top of the cape.

Originally I was just going to make a simple cape with a tie or velcro closure, but my preciously persistent little girl pleaded for sleeves. I have never made sleeves in my life! No clue how to-do. But sure, why not give it a try. There was enough material to make a mistake and start over if needed but thankfully I didn't need to. Not that the sleeves turned out perfect, but they are good enough for a first attempt (with no pattern) and for a dress up outfit that will see its share of wear and tear.


This train is so much fun in the wind!

I think the off the shoulder part of the cape is annoying but she likes it. Here she is trying to convince me that it works as a coat, too, so she can wear it outside. :)

She loves wearing this while singing along with the movie. "Let it go! Let it go!" (stuck in your head, too?)