Sunday, October 16, 2016

DIY Monkey Bars


A couple of weeks ago my daughter came up to my husband with a piece of paper. On the paper she had drawn "blueprints" for a bar she wanted my husband to build. She explained that she had been doing flips off the bar at school, and she wanted him to build her a bar for the house.

Being a DIY family, my husband decided not only to make the bar she drew up but to also make her a set of monkey bars. We don't have a fancy play set at our house, but have swings, play houses, secret paths throughout our acreage. So, while the kids and I were out of town for the day, he went to the home improvement store and got supplies for monkey bars.

To create the monkey bars and flip bar, he used a mixture of solid 4x4 lumber pieces, lag bolts, and metal pipes for the bar portion. The entire thing got Quikrete-d into the ground. The play set has been a huge hit and our daughter has the calluses on her hands to prove she uses them daily. Now if there was something to help me handle the anxiety of her hanging upside down, we would be set.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2016 Fall Decoration Tour


Long time no talk, huh? Having a newborn baby really takes it out of you. The kiddos are with my husband for about 10 more minutes, so I'm trying to get a blog post out real quick here. I can't believe our Sweet Cheeks is already 7 weeks old. It went by so fast. She's smiling and doing all that cute baby stuff (and of course lots of that not so cute baby stuff too).

Anyways, the hubby decided to take a hunting trip with some buddies last week, so I decided to get a bit of fall decorating done. I kept most of the decorations I had last year. Click here for my 2014 Fall Decoration post. I did add a couple of new things this year, so I thought I would check in and share our new decorations.

The big thing I did was really quick paint a new big sign. You might recognize the wood. The reverse side is from my 2015 Christmas sign. So once Thanksgiving is over, I just flip over the sign, and there's new decorations for the corner of our acreage.

The other thing I did was cut down some corn stalks (from my in-laws...don't be going around cutting down random people's's a good way to get shot) and add the really fun sign I got from the Junk Jam this summer. (Side note: Every time I photograph my front door I groan at how ugly it is. Painting the exterior and new lights are 1# on the DIY list next summer!)

The kids painted on some pumpkins. I should son painted 5 pumpkins blue and my daughter painted one. I grabbed some corn and gourds from my in-laws and put them in a old metal picnic basket I had sitting around.

Friday, September 9, 2016

DIY Kids Wall Art


Our sweet baby girl is growing like a weed. We were working on the nursery right up to her arrival. We still have a couple of things to finish before I can do a post about the nursery, but there's one special art project I thought I would share separately. 

Right before our son was born, my daughter and I did a similar project (Click here for the post). The concept is pretty simple. You cut out some vinyl. You can do this either with a machine (i.e. a Cricut or a Silhouette), with contact paper and an Exacto knife, or purchase precut letters or a phrase. You put the vinyl either on top of a white canvas or an existing painting. Then you paint on top of the entire surface. When you remove the vinyl letters, you have a burnt out image where the vinyl was. I've done this one other time for a piece of artwork for my daughter's room as well. (Click here for the post) So, this concept certainly isn't new for my blog, but I'm particularly happy with how this version turned out.

This project is perfect for kids because they can be as messy as they like, and you still get something coherent in the end. 

For this project, I used a canvas left over from artwork I used to have in my office. (click here for that post). Before I applied the vinyl, I added some aqua and pink to the painting over the purple sections so the colors showing through would match the room better. 

I cut out the vinyl words using my Silhouette. I applied them to the canvas and then gave my son and daughter paint colors that contrasted well. I told them they could do whatever so long as they covered the entire surface. They used paint brushes, paper towels, and their hands to get the entire thing covered. In my 3 year old son's case, he also painted the entire drop cloth under the painting. 

With the paint still wet, I look the vinyl off with tweezers. If you let the paint dry, there's a chance that vinyl will be stuck to the painting. I did a bit of clean up with a small paintbrush where ever the paint bled under the vinyl.That was an interesting endeavor to find the matching paint colors for such a colorful painting.

The final step was to hand paint some flowers on the canvas. The art was ready for our wildflower inspired nursery.