Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Book Tree

There's nothing like a Young House Love and Bower Power Pinterest Challenge to get you moving on a project that's been hanging over your head.  I was actually really excited when they announced the winter edition of their fun little challenge.  Mostly because it was an excuse to do a fun project in the midst of painting {more} trim.  The trim painting has taken over my life and I want it back. 

Ever since I made this mood board for Charley's playroom, I've been anxious to get a move on it.  I decided to do just that.  My project for this challenge was to create a book tree inspired by this one floating all around pinterest.


This amazing tree shelf by Layla Grayce would set me back $850.  Um yeah, that's not happening.  Hence the word inspiration.  I've not ventured into the woodworking world so I'll tell you right now, my book tree isn't even in the same league as this one.  Mine involves paint and picture ledges. 

Here's the corner before I got to work.


I sketched a tree on a sheet of paper and then used that as a visual when I drew it on the wall.  There may have been an eraser involved.  Ok, two erasers.  I had a hard time getting a picture of the pencil drawing, but you get the point.


I mixed some left over charcoal paint from our fireplace project with some white paint until I had a light gray color.  I love the white shelf but half our wall is white so that wouldn't work.  Next best neutral?  Gray.  Painting in those lines was somewhat tedious but not horrible.  I used a one inch brush which made it easier. 



From here my plan was to find small picture ledges, like six to eight inches long or so.  I wanted to put one on each of the lower branches and paint them gray.  That way they'd blend right into the branch.  Well, friends, sometimes plans change.  I couldn't find ledges that size so I went with ones from Ikea that were 21 inches long.  I bought two and left them white. 

Without further ado...my Charley's book tree!



Obviously the shelves don't blend into the branches the way I had envisioned, but I'm really happy with the result.  Honestly, this project wasn't as time consuming as I thought it would be and it makes a big impact in the room.  Here's a sneak peak at another big impact in the room...chalkboard paint and white trim! 


Things are happening in here, people, so stay tuned!  Be sure to hop on over to Young House Love, Bower Power, Decor and the Dog, and The Remodeled Life, to see what the hosts of this fun little challenge have been busy doing. 
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Stamp Family

I'm always drawn to monograms so when I came across tables and tables of vintage letter stamps at an artifact store in Chicago, I was thrilled.  I rummaged through the piles until I found each of our first initials, an S for our last name, and the number five just because we both love it. 


(The b is not actually a b, otherwise it would face the opposite direction, but I'm okay with that.) 

I thought our little stamp family would be fun sitting on our entryway table.  I wiped all of the ink off and plopped them down on a pile of books.  I love how the metal S for our last name stands out amounst the other wooden stamps.




I wouldn't consider myself a knick-knacky person, but I do love little moments here and there of unique objects that are meanigful to us.  This family of stamps is definitely one of those moments in our house. 
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Hooked on Anthropologie

I had to stop by the mall to buy a belt for B.J. and I accidentally walked into Anthropologie.  Not really.  It was no accident at all.  I just can't help myself.  I didn't have a stroller to maneuver through the store so I was actually able to browse the sale room without getting stuck, and I'm so glad I did.  I found a brass wall hook rack that was originally $88 marked down to $19.  Excuse me, what?  $19?  Yes, please.  I had no idea where it was going to hang, but for nineteen bucks I would surely find a place.  And I did.  Right smack in our entryway.


You know, to corral keys and such.




I'm a sucker for a good deal.  B.J. told me I would buy anything if it was $20.  He's absolutely right. Pin It

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Liebster Award

This past Tuesday I was awarded the Liebster Award from Monograms 'n Mud.  It was such a nice surprise to see Amelia's comment as I was mindlessly playing with my phone while I dried my hair.



Liebster, in German, means endearing, valued, lovely, etc.  This award is presented as a way to acknowledge up and coming bloggers and to help them be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments within design that is presented on their blog.  I was truly honored that Amelia from Monograms 'n Mud included My Life in Projects as one of the 11 blogs to give the award to!  I started this blog as a creative outlet for myself, so it's an added bonus to know that I have some readers out there.  Which by the way, if you are a reader of My Life in Projects, I would be super appreciative if you'd take a minute to subscribe to my blog.  You'll find the subscribe button on the right sidebar.  It would help me know that I'm writing for more people than just my husband!  No offense, B.J., I love that you read my blog:)

Here are the rules for receiving this award:

1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about
themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, and then
create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs.

So let's get to it, shall we? 

Here are the (drum roll please) 11 random facts about myself:

1.  I despise grocery shopping but love food.
2.  I'm seriously afraid of heights.  I get wobbly knees at the thought of it.
3.  I could eat ice cream every. single. day.
4.  My first job was at a local ice cream shop, conveniently. 
5.  I talk to my sister on the phone every morning, about nothing and everything.
6.  I'm 25% Spanish and 25% Chinese and the rest German.
7.  When I was a ref for S.A.Y. soccer the kids thought I was a boy.  In their defense my hair was cut above my ears.
8.  I lived in the same apartment complex as my husband in college but we didn't know each other.
9.  I feel like I'm friends with Ellen DeGeneres.
10.  My favorite part of a weekday morning is the Today Show.
11.  I have a difficult time committing to a 2-hour movie.  Especially in the theater.


And now for the 11 questions Monograms 'n Mud asked me:

1. What is your favorite period in history and why?
The 1950's because I love chocolate milk shakes, french fries, and diners.
2. If a movie was made about your life, what actress would you want to play you?
Oh my goodness, let me think.  People say I look like Nelly Furtado and Salma Hayek, but I don't think I'd choose them.  I'd probably say Reese Witherspoon, even though we look nothing alike. 
3. Favorite dessert?
Lately it's a root beer float, but any ice cream is where it's at.
4. What is your favorite house/ home decor show?
Dear Genevieve and Secrets from a Stylist
5. What is your least favorite part about your house?
The wood doors and trim
6. If you could live anywhere, where would you pick & why?
New York City, but not for very long.  Just because I've always thought there's a part of me that's a big city girl. 
7. What is your favorite color to decorate with?
Gray.  And yellow.
8. What blog inspires you the most?
I would probably say Housetweaking.  I'm drawn to her aesthetic and style.
9. What is one thing you wish people knew about you?
Hmmm.  I'm stumped.  I'm sure people get more info than they care to know about on my blog;)
10. What room in your house are you most proud of?
Oh, this is tricky.  Probably Charley's nursery because so much meaning was put into everything.  But I also love the guest bedroom because it was a huge change without spending a lot of money.
11. What is your favorite post on your blog and why?
Maybe because it's fresh in my head but I'll say the Thrift Shop Challenge post.  It was a fun topic and enjoyable to write about.  Also, I scored a $6 ottoman at Goodwill.  What's not to love?!

Next up, the 7 blogs I selected for the Liebster Award:
*Disclaimer #1:  I know, it's supposed to be 11, but I it turned out to be a very difficult tas.  So 7 it is.
*Disclaimer #2:  I was supposed to choose new blogs with 200 or less followers, but there may be a couple thrown in there with slightly more followers than that, just because I felt they were beyond deserving of the award.
Inspired Adventures

Year of Doing

Love of Sunshine

Bean in Love

Growing Up Gillian

Hildagotrocks

And finally, the 11 questions for the lucky 7:

1.  What magazines, if any, do you subscribe to?
2.  What made you decide to start a blog?
3.  When you aren't blogging, what's your favorite thing to do?
4.  What's your favorite room in your home?
5.  Where is the one place you'd love to travel?
6.  What blog inspires you the most?
7.  When you go shopping for yourself, what's the first thing you buy?
8.  What's your favorite t.v. show?
9.  If/when you go to Target, what area of the store do you spend the most time?
10.  What is the best book you have read?
11.  What is one food you could eat every day?

Wow.  That was a lot to take in, wasn't it?!  Thank you again to Amelia at Monograms 'n Mud, I'm incredibly appreciative that you passed along the award to me.  Pop on over to the blogs I linked above and snoop around a bit!  Enjoy!

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Painted Trim: Kitchen Edition

Slowly but surely the wood trim in this ol' house is turning white.  It's like magic.  Only it's not.  Because magic happens at a snap of a finger, not from hours of painting.  But who's counting, right? 

So, three coats of white paint later, our kitchen went from this...


to this.


As you can see, I chose to paint the wood around the actual window, unlike the bay windows.  Don't worry, I'll be slapping some more white paint on those windows as well. 


The chalkboard door and pantry door went from this (don't mind the festive before shot)...


to this.



I can't get enough of these before and after shots.  They seriously provide just enough motivation to keep painting.  So that's what I'll do.  Tomorrow.


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Monday, February 18, 2013

Chicago Weekend


B.J. and I spent the weekend in Chicago visiting our close friends, Ben and Christina (we miss them already). It was my first time being away from Charley for more than a night so the five hour drive home wasn't as depressing as other times, simply because I knew I was getting closer to squeezing her to pieces. Our weekend away had the perfect mix of relaxation, fun restaurants and delicious food, mani/pedi/shopping girl time, an 80's cover band, and their favorite neighborhood dive bar (think MacLaren's Pub from How I Met Your Mother), just to name a few. Any time I'm visiting different places, I want to remember the little things that inspired me along the way. Here are a few things that, for one reason or another, caught my eye.

{A light fixture made from bike rims at a local coffee/bike shop}

{The most delicious maple cinnamon latte that I need to recreate somehow}

{Lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry compote and lemon curd}

{Inspiration for our front door}

{Stacked books at Anthropologie~I just love books, piles and piles of books}




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Friday, February 15, 2013

Classroom Tidbits

I thought I'd share a few things around my classroom that my kindergartners have really been engaged in lately.  If you're not a teacher these things could certainly be fun at home with your own kiddos. 

Tidbit #1:  The "Can You Build It" Book.  I pinned an image of a book similar to this but unfortunately there wasn't a link to share with you.  Our book has images of local structures for my students to replicate in the block station.  They were so excited to see photos of all the places they had been or heard of in our city.  It's definitely been getting a lot of use from the architects in my room.





Tidbit #2:  The Observation Window.  These wicker chairs are dedicated to sitting down and observing the outside world.  My students LOVE this window.  They have binoculars and their thinking notebooks and pens at their finger tips so they can sketch and write what they see.  In fact, on any given day there will be three or four students who come to morning meeting, notebook in hand, ready to share a poem they wrote at the window. They simply list their observations and it sounds so poetic, especially when a 5 year-old reads it aloud. One student a couple weeks ago wrote:  Gray sky, dark morning, light mist, snow on the ground, no birds.  We all snapped like they do at poetry readings when he was finished reading.



Tidbit #3:  The Shell Sorting Discovery Station.  We've been talking about attributes and properties of things so I put together a new discovery station.  There are metal trays to sort on and wooden sticks to create different sections, depending on how many groups they want to sort the shells into.



Tidbit #4:  The Editor's Office.  This area came about for a couple of reasons.  My students are really interested in how books get published and how illustrations get into books.  We're in the process of investigating that right now.  We've talked about what editors do so I thought setting up this space would be perfect as they edit their own writing.  Once they're finished with a book during writing workshop they are free to visit the editor's office, put on a pair of glasses, and check for capital letters, spaces between words, punctuation, etc. 


More often that not, it's the littlest things that motivate kids the most.  Have a great weekend!







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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

DIY Valentines


I love handmade valentine cards and I look forward to making many with Charley as she gets older.  Obviously she wasn't hand making her own cards this year, so we put her hands on the cards instead.  If you can't tell, her hand prints are supposed to be in the shape of a heart, but I lost track of placing them perfectly when we were actually in the process.  I was more concerned with getting her hand on the paper before she used the paint as hair gel or ate it for a snack.  Mission accomplished.

I started by typing a simple valentine message on a word document and printing it out.   Then it was time for the fun part.  I painted one hand, stamped it on the page, cleaned it off, and went on to the next hand. 







Cleaning up was Charley's least favorite part of the whole craft.


When both hands prints were successfully on the paper, I drew a heart around them with a Sharpie marker and waited for it to dry.  Then, I scanned it onto the computer and printed them out onto card stock.  I cut them down to 5x7 cards and used scalloped scissors along the top and bottom. 


These were super simple to make and most importantly we had so much fun making them together.  Happy Valentine's Day!  XOXO


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