Monday, 28 May 2012

Ok, blogging readers. No more excuses... here I am with one of my latest complete projects, made for a little spot in my kitchen that needed a touch of creative inspiration. One day, my kitchen will look like this ....

For now we're still in the 'mid-freeze' reno stage as my husband unfortunately got busy with his (real) job. So until he we can resume work on the kitchen again I'm taking it upon myself to spruce things up as much as I can in my own simple terms. Enter scrap wood. 

It wasn't long before I envisioned what I wanted this scrap board to become and as I played around with different bold fonts it took shape pretty quickly. Not only that, I came up with another new method of painting by accident. Remember mispaintsanding? (See post HOME or HOME? A Shabby Sign Process) Well, this here's called 'dry painting'. Not as original but gets to the point. I 'dry painted' my board by using a brush with very little paint so it looked weathered and worn without having to sand it! It turned out better than if I had planned it... Once the base of my board was dry I pulled out my trusty graphite paper and went to work tracing out my letters. Taking some antique white acrylic paint I 'dry painted' inside the letters for an effect that would add to the aged and worn out look as well.

Not fully filling in the rusty red I chose for the final colour allowed for the white of the letters to peek through creating a look of some wear and tear - the look I was hoping I'd end up with.

The finished product, my kitchen's very own old-looking MARKET sign, an aesthetic pull back to the days before neon lights and battery operated signs.
Give dry-painting a try and when you do, let me know how it goes! There's always a piece of old board hanging around that can be transformed into something unique for your home.
Also, stay tuned for another 'sifting treasure' moment coming soon. This sifted treasure was a garbage hunting find that, much to my husband's delight, inspired me to repaint a whole room!

Posting soon,

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Weeeeeeeeeeeeell. If anyone's paying attention to the dates of my posts, they will notice that I've extended my 'holiday' by quite a few weeks. Ahem. I got back from the beach and was an entirely different person; new perspective, new energy, new revived motivation to get 'er done. My dear blog was left on the back burner for so long that I could smell the hot rings of the element burning themselves into it. I have to say, I felt like I had so many projects on the go that I couldn't be bothered to post about them but then I had the pleasant suprise of hearing a few of you were checking in to see whether I'd written again (sisters DO count! ha!) so I thought I'd catch you up on what I've been doing with my life.
Number 1 is her...

My babygirl is quite the busy little thing, wanting to colour not with easy to clean crayons but with acrylic paint (yeah, right), kick the ball, reorganize the pantry, kick the ball on her way to the fridge, ask for juice, kick the ball, pull out every book she owns off the shelf, kick the ball... you get the idea. So it's not until she's napping or distracted with something herself do I get a chance to spray a coat of paint on an old chair, or re-frame some patterend paper for a bedroom wall. My latest COMPLETE project is this chair I've had sitting here for way. too. long. I got it as part of a 5 piece dining set and ended up with this one chair that I couldn't part with. Here's why.
The original chair... covered in animal hair (gag)
But you see the potential too, don't you?

A sneak peak at what it became!
After eyeballing the tape on the upholstery that I planned to replace anyway, I painted the exposed fabric a canary yellow I had leftover from a previous project. I wasn't sure how it would turn out because it wasn't fabric paint and it wasn't painters tape (I guess I was game for taking risks that day) but I also was planning on replacing the fabric anyway so why not? 

And it worked! I removed the tape and found these beautiful yellow lines staring at me! There were a few spots that needed a touch up but for the most part it's safe to say I love it. The cane backing is actually a grey tone to off set with the white chair and after touching up a few of the spots it turned out much better than I thought it would. I still haven't decided if I'm going to leave the detail on the top of the chair the way it is or try something creative with it but we'll see what inspires me during tomorrow's naptime. The final result... (the owl pillow was my daughter's contribution)

Right now this newly renovated chair is sitting in our living room adding a nice spot of colour. What better time of year to add pop of yellow than spring?

A painters tip Ever use store bought icing like this one from Betty Crocker?
Save the containers! They make great storage solutions for any leftover paint you might have mixed and don't know where to keep.
Let me know how you add 'pop' in your house this time of year!

Happy renovating!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

We're Home!

Man, what a great week away! You don't always know how much you needed a holiday until you're on it. We had such a nice, relaxing, no-plans, vacation and even though it was reeeally hard to leave the sand and ocean behind, there's always something about coming back to your own home with your own stuff, freshly cleaned sheets on the beds and your own shower. Here are some highlights of our trip...

Our weather was so nice swimming in the ocean was definitely
an every day occurance

Visiting Ripley's Aquarium; my husband, awestruck by the
awesomness of the tanks.

Babygirl :) loving the sand and sunshine (water
was another story)

And now back to real life with promises of future blog posts soon!


Thursday, 29 March 2012

Whenever anyone asks me what I plan to do on my vacation I think of this picture

Do they even have to ask? :) Headed to 'the Beach' for a quality fam jam.
See you in a week!


A Homeless Table's Story

I have a hard time leaving things discarded, at the side of the road. And my husband has a hard time picking up every last thing I see - we've drawn the line at living things. So this table was a beautiful find for me and one my husband couldn't refuse!

This little guy was left at the end of a long lonely driveway in Mississauga, a throaway from some grown child, maybe, or a clutter piece. But it was easy to see the potential and with a little tlc (not even so much in the colour department) this table now has a permament spot in our home (Did I say permament? I meant... until the next treasure turns up) as a bookshelf/end table.

After replacing the front base trim for something with cleaner, more modern lines, new hardware, some simple white mac tac (drawer) and a coat of fresh antique white paint (my go to colour), it was an easy match for our cozy living room and its 18 month old friend.

Just goes to show. It doesn't always take a lot to make something beautiful again, just time and a lil' faith :)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Hand Painted Signs... by you!


Part of what I've been so busy with is working to expand my collection of hand painted signs. If you follow my blog you probably saw our new mispaintsanding technique :) newly discovered by accident! By stenciling and painting a sign, painting over the whole sign again with whatever background colour you chose, and then sanding the sign down with an electric sander, you end up with this look:
Before & After

Also if you've read my blog, you'll have learned that I tend to lean towards projects that are cheap and easy - but with great results! Well, here's one more for the list. Create your own hand painted signs with these few steps...

To begin, you need a piece of wood or mdf. I get my husband to bevel the edges on most of mine first. After choosing a final look you want to coat your board with the base color and let completely dry.

Print the word or saying that you want on your sign from the computer and centre it onto your painted board (I use a mini measuring tape to make sure I'm straight and centered) By attaching the printed paper with tape you're ensuring it won't slip or move on you while you stencil. This one is an older one I did for my nephew but feel free to challenge yourself with multiple words and different fonts.
 By slipping graphite paper underneath your word sheet and tracing along the lines of the letters, you are left with an outline right on the surface of your board.

 Next step is to pick your paints and begin filling in. This can be the tricky part if you don't have the right brushes so make sure you have the appropriate sizes for the fonts you've chosen. NATHAN was pretty simply so a standard brush worked well. 
This is the only picture I have of this sign complete so you'll have to excuse my husband's collection of beer glasses in the background :) I decided to go with an animal theme and loved it so much I made a second one when my nephew Jakob was born!

Depending on your design choice this project can be time consuming so allow yourself time for restarts and/or idea changes if you have a deadline. The final result is so neat and original that it's worth it - plus, you did it yourself!

Good luck!


Friday, 23 March 2012

DIY Flying Bird Wreath

There are so many diy wreaths out there that I thought I'd try to come up with something of my honest own making. I wanted something for the whole season not just 'Easter'. So staying away from the pastels and easter eggs I chose a symbol of Spring that I love - birds! Also my door is red... so no pinks and baby blues for me!
I wanted a wreath that was free and something I wouldn't feel guilty replacing one day. Well, here it is.

Believe it or not, this thick paper plate wasn't even my first idea (it literally had to fall out of my pantry for me to even think of it) and it worked out well as the bones of the wreath. The obvious first thing to do was to cut out the centre of the plate so you have a wreath shape.

After taping the cut line I made to get into the middle of the plate I couldn't wait to start using this awesome wrapping paper I found to wrap my wreath! I ripped strips of the paper to have a more shabby exposed look and then wrapped the wreath with the strips, starting and finishing each strip at the back with some tape.

After the wreath was wrapped I pulled out a beautiful rope I'd designated for another project (stay tuned!) and trimmed a short piece for the handle to hang the final wreath with. A glue gun made even this thicker rope attach perfectly to the back.

I had this bird pattern print out from the computer that I hoped to use. I tried variations of the birds but I just wasn't feeling it so I went with just one. And I decided to make it fly...

For the 'flying bird' I cut out one of my favorite birds from the bird print sheet (I had to flip the image to have a double sided bird) then I taped fishing line to the back of the bird, glue gunned the 'back bird' on and attached the the whole thing to the wreath by the fishing line with tape.

Originally, I had the flying bird flying solo but it looked so lonely. So I added a love interest to keep with the theme of spring :)

Simple. And free. I may switch the birds for something more 3-D if I come across anything but for now at least you know entering our home that we're happy to finally be celebrating this beautiful season of fresh air and sunshine!

What would you change?