Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Red Bed

Back in August B.J. and I went to the City Flea, a great urban flea market in Cincinnati.  We were expecting to visit some awesome booths, eat some delicious food truck food, and maybe walk away with a couple random treasures.  What we didn’t expect to happen was find the perfect bed frame for Charley.  BUT…we did!
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It’s red, metal and perfectly vintage.  I wanted it the second I saw it.  I quickly dragged B.J. away from the t-shirt booth so I could show him this fabulousness in hopes that he would love it, too.  And, he did.  The best part, it was only 80 bucks.  For realz.
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We contemplated painting it but ultimately decided we loved the color and the scratches.  I mean, that’s what caught my attention in the first place.
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When we first put the box spring and mattress on the bed it was super high.  Like, no way could Charley get up or down by herself safely.  Our solution was to lay 10 1x4’s from one side of the bed frame to the other to create slats, similar to a platform bed.  This way, we only need to use the top mattress.  Hasta la vista eight inches of box spring. 
Now Charley’s red bed is an appropriate height and I can rest easy.  And her polka dot bedding?  So cute!  Can’t wait to show you more details! Pin It

Monday, October 28, 2013

White on White

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It was an exciting weekend at the Smallwood house!  Well, exciting if you’re into white trim and three and a half coats of paint on the wall.  Which I am.  Last time we chatted I was anxious for the painter to come get rid of the brown wood trim, and he did just that (click here to jog your memory).  He finished on Thursday so naturally Charley and I stopped at Ace Hardware to choose paint for her walls (Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore).  She was very interested in the paint chips and the paint samples.  A girl after my own heart. 
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On Friday night we prepped the space (i.e. patched nail holes) and did one coat on the walls.  Then, two more coats on Saturday and one touch up coat where I cut in on Sunday.  Needless to say, it was a busy weekend.  But it was all worth it because now it’s time for the super fun part! 
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We actually set up Charley’s new bed and dresser once all the painting supplies were cleared out.  I can’t wait to share those details with you soon!  There are so many things on my list for this room that it’s hard to focus on anything else, like grocery shopping which, ahem, didn’t happen this weekend. 
Oh! I should probably mention the super manly thing B.J. did in the room yesterday.  Our house is blessed with beautiful off-white outlets and switches (insert sarcasm here), so B.J. has been making his way through the house to swap them out for bright white ones.  He shut off the power and wired new white tamper-resistant outlets that are safe for little hands.  Although I didn’t get a picture of them totally put back together, I can say they look a lot more seamless against the white walls.  Nice work, husb.
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Stay tuned for more posts on the progress we’re making in here! Pin It

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Let’s Get This Party Started

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In t minus two hours the painter will be in this very room to get the party started.  He might not realize it’s a party but I’ll be dancing and singing when Charley’s big girl room makeover is underway.  Currently the walls are warm gray and the trim and doors are brown wood.  That combo makes for a pretty drab space because the room doesn’t get a ton of natural light.  And don’t let B.J.’s super awesome college doom room lamp fool ya, it doesn’t put off very much light either.  Speaking of which, that thing needs kicked to the curb stat.
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The painter will be making the wood trim magically turn white in this room and the guest room/new office area.  He’s also painting the ceiling in Charley’s new room.  Once he is finished, B.J. and I will paint Charley’s walls.  We decided to hire out for the trim and doors because I threw in the towel brush on that job, but the walls we can handle. 
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What used to be the guest room will now be the new office (and will eventually double as a guest room, once we get a pull out couch or a day bed).  The old office will be Charley’s new room.  Did you get all that?  Our upstairs is in serious limbo right now and our basement is suffering from the switch as well.  That’s why I’ll be singing and dancing when the painter arrives. 
I’m so anxious to get to the fun part.  I have so many ideas swirling around in my head for the new spaces.  Hopefully I’ll have an update to share soon! Pin It

Monday, October 21, 2013

Painted Pumpkins

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We’re smack in the middle of Sophia’s 40 Day Challenge which I chatted about recently (you can read more about it here).  One way I wanted to pay it forward was to paint pumpkins and donate them to a local retirement village and this weekend I did just that.  Friday evening we went to a pumpkin patch and got a wagon full of sugar pie pumpkins.
I managed to snap a quick (and super blurry) cell phone pic of Charley and Daddy holding hands. 

Then on Saturday I got busy painting.  I used Sharpie paint markers which are perfect for this sort of craft.  I found them in multi-colored packs at Michael’s.
A couple hours later my pumpkins were complete!
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I drew and painted basic silly/cute/scary pumpkin faces on the ones I was donating to the retirement village, but I did personalize a couple pumpkins for Charley’s besties.  Cookie Monster for Lola and Doc McStuffins for Anabelle.


On Sunday I boxed up the pumpkins, tied Sophia’s 40 Day Challenge tags around the stems, and delivered them to the local retirement village.  They were thrilled to receive the festive decor for their residents and I was thrilled to do this in memory of my sweet niece, Sophia.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Foliage

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Not too long ago I added some pumpkins and some DIY leaf garland to the fireplace to make it festive for the fall season.  Unfortunately, it didn’t do much good when the basket vase was still filled with spring-ish flowers.
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When I made a trip to Michael’s I picked up some brown grass and some sort of yellow-fall-like flowers.  Both packages were 40% off thanks to their fall decor sale. 
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It took me about 5 seconds to arrange them in the vase and stash the springy flowers away for another time.  Five seconds well spent.  Quick projects that make a big(ish) impact.  That’s all I’ve got time for these days.
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When the holidays roll around I always wish our t.v. wasn’t taking up real estate on our mantle.  Nothing screams festive decor like a giant t.v. in your face, right?! Pin It

Monday, October 14, 2013

DIY Scarecrow Costume

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I’m a sucker for an easy DIY Halloween costume.  When I was growing up my mom made the majority of our costumes and I always loved it.  My most vivid memory is when my older sisters dressed up as a pair of dice, each wearing gigantic boxes.  Oh the good ol’ days.
This year I thought Charley would make a cute scarecrow.  My goal was to throw together a simple version that would be comfy enough for an 18 month old to tolerate.
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I started by gathering supplies that I would definitely need and some that I’d try out.  I didn’t have a specific plan when I started but I knew I wanted some fabric patches, straw pieces and some sort of hat.  The toughest part of the whole process was tracking down overalls at a decent price.  My sister saved the day when she dug out my niece’s old pair from her basement.  I found the plaid shirt in the boy section of a discount store for 4.99 and we already owned the hat.  The wooden bird, ribbon and fabric were leftovers from old projects.  So as you can see, I didn’t spend very much on this costume.
I used fabric glue to attach patches to the knees and a glue gun to attach straw to the pocket. It turns out, what I thought would be the knee area on the pants actually fell somewhere near the bottom of Charley’s leg.  She gets her height from her dad.
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I wanted straw coming out from the bottom of the pants but I didn’t want it to be itchy on Charley’s legs.  I decided to glue the straw to a piece of felt first and then attach the felt to the inside of the pants with safety pins.  This way the felt will be against her legs, not the straw.
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Unfortunately, after one wear the straw was breaking off.  Charley would walk and I would follow, picking up straw pieces along the way.  On to plan B: felt straw.  I’ll just cut some thin strips of felt and attach it to the inside of the pant legs using liquid stitch.
Yesterday Charley got to try out her new costume at her friend’s Halloween play date.  Minus the straw trail she was leaving behind, it was a success.  Well, we didn’t attempt the hat.  It came along for the ride but never made it on to her head.  At least her pig tails stayed in and she let me draw a triangle on her nose.  I’ll take what I can get.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Paying it Forward Painted Pumpkin Style


Today marks the start of Sophia’s 3rd Annual 40 Day Challenge.  Where you spend the next 40 days paying it forward, big or small, in memory of Sophia Jane Smallwood. You can click HERE to learn more about Sophia’s story and get all the deets on the challenge. 

Last year I paid it forward by DIYing a dollhouse/bench and a lego table/bench for two patients at Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati.  This year I’ve been thinking about the older generation and decided to donate some fall cheer to a nursing home.  I’m going to paint 40 pumpkins (one for each day of Sophia’s little life) and deliver them to a local nursing home to brighten up their lobby or rooms.  Side note:  Once upon a time I painted pumpkins for a pumpkin patch in my hometown.  I’d pick up the pumpkins, paint funny faces or festive scenes, return them when they were ready to sell, and walk away with one dollar per pumpkin.  Not a bad gig when you’re a kid.

I’m looking forward to hearing how you might pay it forward over the next 40 days in Sophia’s memory!

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Two-Toned Chest of Drawers

Do you remember way back in the summer when I made a mood board for our master bedroom?  You can click here to jog your memory.  Spoiler alert.  We haven’t made any progress on that.  Not any real progress any way.  Mostly just ideas swirling around in my head. 

We have a black-brown chest of drawers and dresser in our room currently and I’m ready for a change.  I want something lighter and brighter.  I thought the white version of the same pieces would work better so instead of buying new I thought I’d try painting them. 

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I had never painted Ikea furniture before.  I often wondered if the paint would peel right off it’s glossy, faux wood finish.  The key to that not happening is a good stick-to-anything primer.  Ahem, Zinsser 123 primer.  You’d think I was getting kickbacks from that company as much as I name drop them, but no, I just love the primer and it sticks to every surface. 

Originally I was going to paint the whole chest white, but before I did that I thought I’d try out the two-toned look.  I painted the drawers white and left the rest alone. 

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I like the way it turned out but I’m not sure it’s the look I’m after.  I’ll probably paint the other dresser the same way and live with it for a little while until I know for sure. 

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I haven’t reattached the hardware yet because I think I have other plans.  It involves scraps of pallet wood.  I’ll keep you posted. Pin It

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fabric Lined Drawers

Actually, fabric lined drawer.  As in singular.  One down, five to go.  I don’t often share projects that aren’t complete unless it’s something big.  Not the case today, folks.  Let’s call it a sneak peak, shall we? 
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I’m working on making the inside of Charley’s new dresser as pretty as the outside, it’s just taking me longer than expected.  I have two words for you.  Contact. Paper.  The inside of the drawers are covered in contact paper.  Old, old, stubborn contact paper.  Not just on the bottom of the drawer, but the walls too, and it ain’t pretty.
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My plan was to rip off the old contact paper and line the bottom with fabric.  Easy, right?  Welp, an hour and a half later I had one drawer finished.  ONE!  Needless to say, I haven’t gotten around to completing the rest of the drawers.  Let’s just look at the one that IS done and pretend for a minute.
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Nice knowin’ ya, contact paper.
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Here’s all three fabrics I chose to complete this job.  I mixed up the patterns but kept the colors similar.  This way they still work well together.
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If you need me, I’ll be scrapping (and probably cursing at) contact paper.  Wish me luck. Pin It