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. 


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Gone Junkin': Brookings Junk Jam 2016


It's been quiet on the blog lately, because it's been very not quiet at our house! Our baby girl, Hattie, made her appearance last week, so it's been a beautiful mess around here. Not only do we have a new baby in the house, but two kids were starting school too. In fact, my husband had to leave the hospital to take our daughter to her back to school night. So, forgive the tardiness on this post!

Before Hattie made her appearance, I got to attend Junk Jam here in Brookings, South Dakota. There were a ton of fun booths. If you frequent the blog, you know when I lived in Iowa, I used to frequent these type of sales. I was super excited to see one being held so close to our home in South Dakota. There were some local vendors present that I have previously featured on my "Small Buisness Saturday" feature, but there were also some new vendors I have never seen before. Here are three of my favorites.

The event was organized by Funky Junk. They had a great booth with both finished signs and furniture and some untouched vintage finds. I also picked up a new "blessed mama" shirt that fit my pregnant belly. It was a huge hit at the OB office. You can visit Funky Junk's Facebook page by clicking here.

Another booth I am in love with is Dusty Decor by Tamara. Her furniture painting was on point. I loved the colors, and the finish was super professional. I loved LOVED this bench. It was already snagged by another customer, but I did leave with a super cute Fall sign that I'm looking forward to hanging on my front door once the leaves change color. Check out her Facebook page by clicking here.

 The show had a good vibe with food available for purchase and a band playing while you shopped.

The third booth I just loved was by Renewed out of Orange City, Iowa. Their stuff was really unique to a junk sale. There was a good mix of vintage finds, painted/finished furniture and some truly unique automotive themed projects. I just loved the car fronts. I'm thinking one of these would be super cool in my dad's new shop. The mustang front had real working front headlights. Check out their Facebook page by clicking here.

It was a great event, and I hope they hold it again next year!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ugly House: New Office Reveal

Good Afternoon,

To answer your burning questions, no baby isn't here yet. Also, I have not finished the nursery. However, I did finish my new office area (with much, much help from the husband), so we're getting closer to converting the old office into the nursery. Baby has a schedule induction in a week and a half, so we're going to finish that nursery this weekend!

To give some background, here's my old office after I completed painting, making a new desk, etc. I liked my office quite a lot. There was plenty of room for all my craft stuff and my work related items.

However, to be honest it became the dumping ground of the house. Oh, people are coming over? Grab a laundry basket, pile all the random stuff from around the house and put it in the office. When we started round two of renovations of our upstairs, the office became the storage garage for all the random stuff that we needed to move out of the living room/kitchen/hall closet. So, for a few weeks my office looked like this. It drove me insane.

We had thought about bunking the baby with the sibling of the same sex. After all, my husband roomed with his brother when he was a kid and both of them turned out somewhat okay. The more we thought about it though, the more we realized that especially in the infant stage, we really needed a separate room for all that baby gear. Plus, sleeping babies and crazy loud siblings aren't the greatest mix. I started to think about my different options and decided that creating an office space in a little used play area was the best use of space in our house. The kids never used the area to play. They would just grab toys and take them into their rooms or upstairs. So we downsized the toys, moved around some things and we had a empty(ish) area to build an office.

I have a lot of craft stuff. I use most of it, so I couldn't see myself downsizing my stash too much. (That being said I probably filled over 5 garbage bags when I was moving the stash, so did a fair bit of downsizing) So, having storage options was a must. We also didn't want to break the bank creating the office space since we are in the middle of renovating upstairs. We decided stock cabinets were the best option for my office. So, step 1 was painting the walls of the basement a man cave friendly color, and step two was painting the stock cabinets we picked up at Lowes.

Half of the basement is a family room/man room area for my husband's leather chair and hunting pictures, so I had to pick a color that I liked, meshed with the rest of the house, but still fit in with the wood and leather. My solution for that problem was "Perfect Greige" by Sherwin Williams. I paired with that "Bunglehouse Blue" also from Sherwin Williams for the cabinets. I feel like both colors blend well with his rustic manliness downstairs and my farmhouse feel upstairs.

Using stock cabinets wasn't overly difficult; however, you do quickly realize you get what you pay for. It's worth it to invest in some better screws to reassemble the doors (the ones that come with strip very easily). You will probably need to do quite a bit of sanding to smooth out the rough finish. I removed all the doors and drawers and used my paint sprayer to paint. Then I just painted with a roller on the boxes. During an evening with a two hour tornado warning (!), my husband and I hung all the cabinets.

We priced out getting a regular laminate countertop, but for a bit less, we could make our own. We used plywood as a base and then used poplar in a unique design on top. Once my husband cut all the pieces and wood glued them to the plywood, he sanded the ever living heck out of the top since the pieces didn't all quite sit flush.

Lots of clamps, heavy paint cans and weights to hold down the boards as the glue dried.

Before sanding. You can see the tiny lip that appeared between some pieces.
After sanding everything was nice and level.

I stained the top using "Dark Walnut" from Minwax. We did a very small bit of wood filler in between each board, but I would probably skip that step if I did the project again. The wood filler doesn't take stain well (even the kind that claims you can stain it) so I had to go back through and touch up everywhere that was lighter with some oil based brown paint or more stain.

See that light spot right at the top? That's the wood filler not taking stain.

The final step was a couple coats of Waterlox (just like our countertops, which you can read about here).

I'm quite happy with the final product and it has tons of storage. I organized everything with plastic bins and chalkboard vinyl labels, so I can easily see what I have. My husband rolled his eyes that my office for "work" was 90% cabinets filled with craft supplies. But hey...he's got all that hunting stuff, so I don't feel so bad about my wall of cabinets.