My quest to find my inner crafty-girl one small project at a time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Eyes Hurt

My parents are arriving in a few weeks to transform our dining room from perfectly fine to absolutely marvelous (I hope, once I get those new sofas!) We are painting, crown moold-ing and whatever else ignites our fancy. (Maybe paint the stairwell and upstairs hall, perhaps paint the brick on the fireplace???)
Before that, I am desperately trying to find a paint color that complements our awesome dining room color of Sweatshirt Grey (totally looks better than it sounds!) Hence, the eye hurting from staring at paint colors that look different but similar enough to make it hard!

The living room is open to the dining room and while it is not totally open concept, you stare at one room from the other, so I want flow! A few months ago, I went on the search for some new paint colors and thought I stumbled upon the right color - I wanted something complimentary and grey and cool, but not too cold. I wanted the room to still feel warm and welcoming. The nice lady at the local paint store helped me to find some colors with brown in them that would warm it up a bit. I thought I had settled on Harbor Gray from Benjamin Moore. On Monday, I had it color matched at Sherwin Williams because they are having a sale and a HUGE sample was only 4 bucks! Yesterday, I added some swatches to the walls.

Eh, I wasn't sold. It feels a little icy for me. My friend, Aimee, happened to be over and I asked her what she thought. Her answer, "Are you going for a cool look?" That helped me seal the deal. While I want it to be coolish to compliment the dining room, I certainly don't want it to be cold.

So, back to the paint store today and I found a few more colors that might be a bit warmer, (with the help of another person at the paint store.) One of the colors was actually one of the original contenders that I pushed aside the other month. Oops, I guess 2 recommendations from the paint people can't be ignored. The 3rd color is a color I saw in a model home that I loved. It is reading more brown in my house than it was in that home - it definitely was more grey there.

Anyway, enough chit-chat here are some pics. I put some swatches all throughout the room in differently lighted areas. I was just back upstairs and it looks different to me already than before.
The top color is Harbor Gray by Benjamin Moore. The middle is Smoke Embers by Benjamin Moore and the bottom is Perfect Greige from Sherwin Williams. Smoke Embers is looking a little purple here but it doesn't in real life.

While I do like the taupe-y color, it is a little more brown that I want. But, I know my husband will like that one best. They look differently in the room than they do in these pictures too of course. Not sure if I am sold yet, I need to live with it for a while. I do know that Harbor Gray, the top color is out - much too cold!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back in the saddle

Woo-hoo! I tried a new project over the weekend.

I saw a coffee filter wreath on the great blog Beach House in the City and thought it seemed like a pretty straightforward project to tackle given my current laziness. Here is Natalie's version:
via Beach House in the City

And here is my version. It's not quite as lovely as Natalie's but it has my own quirkiness!

Here is a pictorial of my process. It really took about 1.5 hours. Not too bad at all. I'm not sure if you can tell, but I added a mirror to the middle for some extra pizzazz.

Ahh, it feels nice to have some accomplishment!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Ugh, I've got nothing. My house sits the same as it did weeks ago.

I feel like I always do this. I get into an activity for a while...and then I stop. I didn't want that to happen to blogging/crafting/housing. But, I am in a rut. I have a pile of things to paint sitting in my laundry room. (Sadly, I have even been to lazy to take pictures of them!) I have: several mirrors, frames, rugs, sconces to re-do but I really don't have the motivation to do them. Then, I feel badly about myself that I am not doing them. Not that people really care if I am blogging or not - it's not my job or anything, but it's public so it's embarrassing if I don't follow through. I don't want to be that girl that never follows through. But, honestly, it's only been about 2 weeks that I haven't really done anything over here! Let's not get all dramatic, Amy!

Maybe this weekend? (It is summer. I am officially off for the summer - free to spend my days with my little ladies. Maybe that's not why I am motivated?) Sadly, I don't even have any ideas of what to do with my loot in the laundry room! And, the things that I do have ideas for seem too overwhelming to even try. Like that upholstered headboard, remember that? Yeah, still thinking about it! Hubs thinks that we will fight a lot if we try - perhaps? Dad will be here soon, maybe we'll wait for him?

Anywho, (there's that word again!) there's my stream of consciousness/guilt over not  having done anything over here. Stay tuned, there might be a wave of activity now that I've professed my laziness/guilt. Look out world!

P.S. Anyone have ideas for something easy/cheap to help Stella get her groove back? (Or Amy get her craft on?)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Finally did it!

And, by "it" I mean, I hung that picture in the bathroom finally. Here is the previous post of how I made it.

It's definitely brighter than the rest of the room, but I like it that way.

And, that's all I have. I have a bunch of projects in my head and things I want to do, just not the motivation to do it. Send me good vibes!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Deal of a Lifetime!

This past weekend my parents and I scored the deal of a lifetime at the Crate and Barrel Outlet in Alexandria. I have been on the hunt for a new dining room table ever since we redid our dining room in late December. Yes, I don't make decisions quickly or easily, I get that from my mother. The dining room is the room where we eat all of our meals, where the girls do craft projects and where they will likely do homework for many years (until we transform their playroom into more of a study/work space when they are much older). So, while I wanted something stylish and beautiful, I knew I needed something durable. Aah, the great form vs. function debate! I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a super nice table and be so concerned about it getting scratched and banged up. I have to be realistic - I have a 4yr old and a 19mth old!

I looked around and really had my eye on the  Crate and Barrel Basque table: (of course the picture isn't showing up properly). But I couldn't pull the trigger because I was worried that it would be too big for my room and it doesn't extend and therefore wouldn't be great on the off chance I host a huge dinner party one day.

So, back to the drawing board. I  then decided on an Ikea table. I figured that while it looked nice it wouldn't break the bank and therefore I wouldn't be heartbroken if by chance a munchkin attacks it with markers (not likely!). (UGH! None of the pics are working properly on blogger right now. Sorry). Long story slightly shorter, I couldn't pull the trigger on that either - something just wasn't sitting well for me.

Fast forward about 3 months...My parents were in town this weekend and I decided we should go to the Crate and Barrel outlet in Alexandria. I was hoping there might be a Basque table for some reason. Well, there wasn't that kind of table but there was the Arbus table. A beautiful 54" round table with 2(!!!) 18" leaves marked ridiculously down. I mean ridiculously down! We got  it for less than 90% of the original price! Holla!!

We got it home, ran to get some chairs the next day and here it is.  Drum roll please...

I am in love. And, me being me am slightly neurotic about anything happening to it and the chairs. So, to keep it real, we have a towel covering my older daughter's chair and we don't even allow the baby to sit in one of these chairs. She is in her booster on the old chair! My parents are trying to convince me to put a vinyl tablecloth on the table, but I am not ready to go that far!

Here's a little before and after of the room.

I *think* it is finished, well, maybe!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Poofs remind me of high school

But, there aren't any Snooki hair poofs goin on over here. Wouldn't that be a sight?

Nah, the poofs I am referring to are of the crafty nature. I took a cue from Martha Stewart and created these in my munchkins' rooms.
Littlest munchkin got three. Her room is the smallest, and it seemed to lack a little personality, especially to the left side of her crib. So I punched it up a little. These are seriously the easiest thing to make EVER! I just followed the step by step directions on Martha's link.

Not only was it easy, but it's an extremely economical way to add a little pizzazz. I bought 2 packages of tissue from Target and some fishing line to hang them from the ceiling. I think the tissue was 3 bucks a pop and the fishing line was 5 bucks for the whole reel, which I can use for many more projects. So easy. Took me about 20 minutes to make 5. Older munchkin got 2  - a purple and blue and she is anxiously awaiting a third!

I'm linking to C.R.A.F.T.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


As disheartened as I was after my failure earlier this week, I had a project in the works that I was itching to actually get done. I had the idea in my head for a while and finally took the plunge last night. I was determined to paint a canvas with our monogram on it and hang it in our family room above our other shelving, almost like a small gallery wall. Here's a refresher of the area above the couch.

I got the idea for a monogram after reading this post from Hi Sugarplum! I liked this

style of monogram that Cassie ultimately chose for her daughter's room and decided to use that as my jumping off point.

Problem #1: I am not artistic so could not for the life of me draw that free hand and we don't have photo shop so I couldn't make it on the computer! But, I was determined (oh, and keep in mind, this was quite a few weeks ago!) I printed this picture and enlarged it at work on the copy machine. I then traced a round circle onto some paper and tried to trace the general lines for our initials. I didn't take any pictures of those - I was at work :)

Problem #2: It looked like crap! I brought it to the art teacher at work and begged for help. She gave me some hints and helped fix some of my lines. What I really wanted her to do was draw it for me but I was too shy to actually ask her! So, I went back upstairs and tried it again on my own. Still no pictures.

Problem #3: It STILL looked like crap! Enter my friend Maureen. I wasn't afraid to ask her for help (she is a great artist!) So, she made it for me. And it's great. I didn't need the satisfaction of doing it myself. I really needed the satisfaction of it looking great!

So, after Maureen worked her magic, the project sat for a while. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get the letters on to the canvas since I wanted the background to be colored and the letters to be white. I just decided to go for it and deal with the potential problems as they came. This past weekend I finally bought the canvas and the paint (blue, imagine that!) Last night I gathered my supplies. (See Maureen's handiwork??)

 I cut out each letter and used some Frog Tape to tape them individually to the canvas.
I splurted out the blue paint into a bowl but it looked a little too bright. Can you tell?
I just added some white Behr semi-gloss that I had and mixed it up a bit to get the color a little lighter.
 Then I started painting along the perimeter of the letters using them as a guide.
Problem #4: There needed some major touch ups because my fool proof system of just pulling the letters down taught as I painted around them didn't really work. Imagine that! As I mentioned, I am not an artist, so my free hand sucked! But, instead of getting worked up because it wasn't perfect, I decided to embrace the more organic nature of it. Again, I don't have close ups of that part!

But, here is the final product.

And here it is in place:

Definitely redemption from Monday!