Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Anthropologie Inspired Letters

I've always loved the zinc letters at Anthropologie, but never took the plunge to purchase any at $18 a piece.  I have a secret obsession with monograms and letters on the wall, so I'm actually quite shocked that I've been able to hold off every time I see them stacked up so nicely at the store.  Luckily, I've seen so many tutorials on DIY zinc letters and I finally got around to trying one out. 

I started with three letters: B, L, C.  The B for B.J., the L for Liz, and the C for Charley.  I love the cardboard letters from Joann's (you can see some in our playroom here), but  I wanted different styles and fonts so I only purchased the cardboard B and the L and C are wooden letters, also from Joann's.

Most of the tutorials that I read said to use metallic spray paint to cover them, but I took a different route.  To start, I propped the letters up on nails so I could paint the edges without the towel getting in the way. 

Next, I gave the letters one coat of black acrylic paint.

Once that coat was dry, I topped it with a thin layer of metallic acrylic paint.  I tried to be careful not to leave globs of paint and to use even brush strokes. 

As you can see, I tried various angles to capture the end result, but the lighting wasn't on my side.  I'm not sure if you can tell, but the metallic paint over top of the black paint gives the letters that rustic zinc look that I love so much about the ones from Anthropologie.  The cardboard B is my favorite and looks most "real", probably because of its boxy shape with simple edges.


This was such a simple project and very inexpensive.  I spent less than ten dollars on the letters and a couple dollars on acrylic paint.  Easy peasy.  I can't wait to get them up on the wall, mixed in between some family photos!
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Pay it Forward/Pinterest Challenge

You may remember from this post that we're in the middle of Sophia's 2nd 40 Day Challenge.  Sarah and Timmy, Sophia's parents and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, asked if I would like to do a project inspired by Sophia to donate during the challenge. It's also time for the Pinterest Challenge, hosted by Young House Love, Bower Power, Our Fifth House, and Ugly Duckling House, so I decided to combine these two projects into one.  Challenge accepted!  (Any How I Met Your Mother fans out there???)

Sophia would be 2 years-old right now and I imagine her to love all things girly.  I decided to create a small dollhouse (ish) that doubles as a bench seat.  I used this image that I saw floating around Pinterest (originally from the Land of Nod blog, as my inspiration piece.

Pinned Image

How clever to use a book shelf as a dollhouse!  I started with a white Expedit shelf from Ikea.  My original plan was to have it sit upright so the house would have an upstairs and a downstairs.  After I put it together, I decided to leave it on it's side so it could also be used as a cozy reading bench. 

I needed to create a back to the shelf so I used some thin pieces of plywood from Michael's.  First, I taped them together and then turned them over to attach the wall paper (craft paper) using spray adhesive.  Once that was attached, I used a staple gun to secure the back to the shelf.

Originally I thought about painting the outside of the house with chalkboard paint so the child who receives it could design and redesign the windows and doors.  While I think that would still be fun, I chose to create windows using washi tape instead, which can be taken off easily and rearranged if need be.  Then I used spray adhesive to attach rugs (more craft paper) to the floor of the house.  I found some metal frames in the scrapbook section of Michael's that were perfect size for dollhouse wall decor. 

In the other room, I framed a family photo for the wall.  I started with this notecard and cut out the little family.  I attached it to some craft paper and used double-sided tape to put it on the wall.  Then I used heavy duty 3M double-sided tape to attach an empty wood frame around it that I had on hand.

Then, it was time to style the house with furniture.  Luckily, my sister had some old dollhouse people and furniture that she donated to me for my project.  It was a little tricky because there's only two rooms in this house and some of the furniture was pretty random.  But dollhouses are about using your imagination, right?!  Ok, good.  So just imagine there is a couch, a stove, a fridge, etc.

What there actually is, is a bedroom...

And a playroom/dining room.

I added a pillow on the top for a comfy place to lean when it's used as a bench.

I think this dollhouse will be perfect for a little girl with a big imagination, just like I imagine Sophia. 

How about you?  Anybody else paying it forward?  Or tackling a project that you pinned?

Update:  Check out the awesome Pinterest projects created by the awesome hosts of this challenge here...Young House Love, Bower Power, Our Fifth House, Ugly Duckling House
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Small Moments

For all my teacher friends out there, this is NOT a post about writing workshop, don't let the title fool ya.  The small moments I'm talking about, are the little things around my house that I'm loving right now.  I also went to Target and Ikea in the past couple of days and I snapped some photos of things that I was loving there as well.  So let's get to it...

I snatched up this sweet red basket from Homegoods because it matched Charley's room perfectly.  Nine bucks?  Yes, please.

This is my new ceramic fox friend that now lives in our half bathroom.  He was too cute to pass up.

I'm so tire of our mail laying on our kitchen counter.  I decided to add this woven basket tray to catch all of our mail that piles up day after day.  It just seems so much cleaner if the mess is contained in a basket.  I'd like a basket for everything, really.

And now for the window shopping...

As I looked through the pics I took, I noticed a common theme.  All of the items were rustic and cozy with lots of warmth and texture.  I would like our family room to have that same feel, and eventually I'll head in that direction.  I know in the past few months I've played around with the colors and items in our family room, but do I dare say that I'm not in love with it???  When I went to the Books by the Banks Festival last Saturday, I saw Sherry and John from Young House Love speak about nine lessons they learned in terms of DIY.  Sherry said something that stood out to me and I think it's so true.  If you don't love something about your house, you won't get anywhere if you do nothing.  Anything you do to change it will get you closer to loving it, even if what you did wasn't the right thing.  So all of the little things I've done to change parts of my house are steps closer to getting me to where I want to be.  Did you hear that, B.J.?  Sometimes he thinks I'm crazy when it comes to changing things in our house. 

Buuuuut anyway, we were shopping, weren't we?

I love this magazine holder?  basket?  man purse?(jk) from Target.  Whatever it is, I like it.

And this yellow hedgehog candle?  I mean, come on, he's so cute.

Mmmm, grey and yellow and turquoise, how I love thee.

Glass water bottle, I hope to see you soon on my kitchen table.

Now moving on to Ikea.  B.J. and I really want to change out our light fixtures in our kitchen/eat-in kitchen area.  I love the industrial look of this one.  And it's only 30 bucks!

I spotted this blue metal cart in the Ikea catalog a while back.  I'm pretty sure Charley needs this in a couple years to store her art supplies, don't you?

Well, that's all for now.  I'll keep you posted on whether or not any of those items actually make it into my house.  If all goes as planned this weekend, I'll be back next week to share a Pay it Forward/Pinterest Challenge project.  Say whaaaaat?
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mix & Match

My sister said she was going to get rid of ALL her clothes because she tried on EVERYTHING in her closet and she liked NONE of it.  A little dramatic, don't ya think?!  But now that I think of it, I said the same thing about my clothes not too long ago.  I told her she needs to invest in some basics that can be worn multiple ways with multiple different accessories.  This way she could create a fresh new look each day without spending a fortune on new clothes.  She told me to put together some pieces and create a new wardrobe for her (and then buy it for her for Christmas, isn't she sweet:)). 
So here's the collection of basics I put together for my seester... 
Kris's Mix and Match Basics

Old Navy / Knit top / Old Navy shirt / LOFT striped t shirt / Sleeveless top, $24 / Blazer / GAP slim fit jeans / GUESS / Infinity loop scarve / Dorothy Perkins

I know it seems like a lot of black, white and gray, but I find those neutral colors to be the easiest to wear multiple ways.  Then you can spice up your outfit with accessories, like a bold scarf or a statement necklace.  I added the brown belt because you can quickly change the look of a cardigan or dress by simply belting it.  I also tried to choose pieces that could be dressed up or worn very casually.  So there you have it, a peek into Kris' imaginary closet.
Merry Christmas, Kris!  Enjoy your new wardrobe blog post! 
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Bathroom Update

I just realized that I've spent all week in the bathroom.  Not literally, but in my blog world.  Who knew this tiny room had so much to talk about?!  I just wanted to give you a little update on some other things I added to the new-ish space. 

First up, I replaced the towel rack that used to hang on the wall with one that stands on the counter.  It holds a fun zebra print towel.  I think a bright colored towel would be perfect, too, so I'll keep an eye out for one. 

Next, I picked up the wall decor that's hanging to the left of the mirror at T.J. Maxx.  I loved the inspirational kind, loving, creative, happy, etc. It was black with white print, which I liked, but I wanted to add my own touch and personalize it a bit.  I gathered some bright sharpie markers and colored in some of my favorite words that I wanted to stand out.  I chose creative, loving, kind, happy, original and genuine.  I love the pop of color and personalization it adds to the run-of-the-mill wall hanging.

It was hard to capture the whole room in one photo because the space is so small I couldn't get a good angle.  This one below will have to do.  Yes, that's me, sitting on the toilet taking a picture of the my pajamas.  Speaking of the mirror, how fun would it be painted a bright color?  Hmmm...

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DIY Magazine Rack

I love magazines and one might say I'm a magazine hoarder.  I rarely throw them out and they're stashed everywhere.  I find them so inspirational and I refer back to some of my favorites regularly.  Anyway, I always have a stack of the most recent catalogs in our main floor bathroom.  I decided it was time for a magazine rack.  I loved the idea of a wire holder mounted on the wall.  On a whim, I got this wire basket out of the guest room closet (it wasn't being used) and thought about a way to use it for magazines.  Then, I grabbed some wire from my craft drawer, and I had an idea.

My plan was to attach three rows of wire across the basket to help the magazines stand upright.  I cut the wire to size and wrapped the ends around the basket.


I had B.J. come take a look to tell me what he thought.  Sometimes I think something looks fun and different when in reality it looks ridiculous.  The verdict is still out on how B.J. feels about it (I don't think he's sure if he loves it or hates it).  We're leaving it up for now to see if we think it's so fun or so dumb.  The good thing about it is that it cost me nothing to make and everything can be used again in a different way if we choose to take it down. 

So what's your opinion?  Should we leave it?
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Chevron Love

I've been wanting to change things up in our half bathroom on the main floor for a while now.  I finally decided on adding a chevron painting that would add a big pop in the small space.  I bought a 24x30 inch canvas and drew my pattern with pencil.

I started by making a mark every four inches down the side of the canvas and every five inches across the top.  Then I decided how steep I wanted my chevron pattern to go and decided on a two inch incline.  I made marks for that part and then connected the dots.  Chevron can make you dizzy if the stripes are too small, especially on a big canvas, so I was careful to create a pattern that was easy on the eyes.  Once I decided on the measurements and wrapped my brain around where to make the dots, it was a pretty simple process.  

Next, I mixed some pewter gray acrylic paint with some black acrylic paint until I had the shade I was going for.

Then, I searched through my paint brushes until I found the one with the smallest tip.  I used it to outline the edges.  This step required a VERY steady hand!

Once the stripe was outlined, I used a sponge brush to fill it in.  I ended up doing two coats of paint on each stripe and then touched up certain areas that needed more coverage.

I love how it turned out!

This is what the space looked like before.  The towel rack was falling off the wall, so down it came and up went the new painting. 

Stay tuned for some more bathroom changes this week!

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