crafty

fabric covered ‘c’s.. not to be confused with seas…

you know… like for cape cod.

most of my crafty projects are 100% unoriginal and copied directly from pinterest, another blog, etsy, etc, etc. but this method for the ‘c’s i dreamt up myself. so please don’t direct me to 40 other people who had the same idea, it would crush me… i swear it was all mine and i was so proud when it actually worked. unlike this project:
i swear this actually happened last weekend. this is a diy project gone TERRIBLY WRONG. have you ever seen anything go more terribly wrong than this? like ever? i won’t even get into it. pretend this never happened.
so after hitting rock bottom, i picked myself back up in hopes of having a little more luck making a fabric covered ‘cc’ to adorn the wall above the new banquet.
i made the letters using 18″ white styrofoam wreaths. i just cut a chunk out of them and voila:

the pictures can probably do the best job explaining the rest for anyone in the market for a couple pretty little c’s (i’m looking at you candance cameronchris cook, and captain crunch fanatics…) (and i’m using the two ‘c’s/fabric patterns interchangeably in this series of pictures, so don’t get confused). 
first, i traced the c on the back of the fabric and cut the middle into pizza pie slices.. i had a yard each of the dots and zig zag patterns… they were another jo-anns purchase for $5ish/yard.
i then wrapped each slice around the back of the c and secured with pins (the kind with the little ball at the end).

then the fabric on the outside of the c, i sort of haphazardly wrapped, snipped and pinned as needed to best cover the styrofoam.. and the ends i did my best to wrap like a present.
don’t worry, i’m not done yet…
for the last step i cut 2 or 3 long, imperfect strips to wrap around the whole letter, securing the ends on the back with pins…

i was so relieved this actually worked. i think they are pretty awesome errr crazy cool.

so i hung them right up, and mike got to work taking down the ugly lights.

so i’m pretty excited about this wall. remember what it looked like not too long ago?

so much crisper…

now – the latest state-of-the-kitchen:

and finally – my handsome bulldog:

enough with the scallops already

boom.
1.5 hours, 2.5 glasses of wine and one summer shandy after we arrived in brewster friday night, i had these babies hanging in all their no-sew glory.


but lets take a step back…
we took a more relaxed approach to the weekend. we had a bunch of little things we needed/wanted to accomplish in brewster, but we also wanted to enjoy ourselves and have some down-time – unlike our last few trips. we even spent some time playing in the neighborhood before we hit the road friday night. 
i don’t know why i ever put this kid in clothes. i think he’ll wear a diaper and red sox hat for the duration of the summer.

here is the scene friday night before i made the curtains. i found these red & white striped panels laying around, so i threw them up for our guests who visited last weekend. they weren’t right, but better than nothing.


and this is the fabric i got at jo-anns. yup, more scallops. but i love it. the colors are perfect. both navy and teal! it was 30% off and cost less than $6/yard. i got three (and ended up having a bunch left over). I used the red & white curtains as a gauge for how long to cut the pieces for the two panels and used the full width.. i wanted the scallops upright and not sideways.. 
at first i thought i’d need to make 4 strips – two for each half of the window area –  but thankfully got away with just using two which saved a ton of time. 

my working area was on the floor, on top of a table cloth. i first iron-hemmed each side an inch or so, then the top  – leaving a good 3 or 4 inch gap for the rod to go through. i didn’t measure anything (i have a strict no measuring after 11pm policy). i just held them side-by-side to attempt to get the lengths to match as close as possible. i hemmed the bottom last.

for anyone who doesn’t know what ‘iron-hemmed’ means… i used stitch-witchery which is a “bonding web” that can be ironed in between fabric for a super quick and easy hem. there are a million no-sew tutorials out there if you care to give it a google. its sorta been a game-changer for me. i use it to hem my pants too!

here are my curtains! quite complex looking wouldn’t you say?

the last weekend i was here, i spray painted this curtain rod which used to be in the tv room. (we have since replaced with way better, sturdier rods.. hopefully i’ll explain that process at some point as well).  so these curtains basically cost the 12 or so bucks the couple yards of fabric cost (i have an aggressive stock of the bonding tape).

here it is in daylight. 


i used twine to pucker up the middle of each panel because it just looked better. love twine. looove the twine. twine is soo fine… (i need help or sleep mostly).

i am dying to replace this terrible light with a pendant. that might happen next weekend.
much better, right?  

so that’s that. i’m so glad i busted it out friday night, because saturday my favorite thing happened.. we had visitors!

like our vip guest for the night, baby dylan. the cutest little munchkin ever.
and now i have added our recent work to the progression series. i literally can’t remember the kitchen looking all wood and yuck colored. its funny to look outside the window, too… you can see the seasons change!
crazy difference between those last two.. we are so close!
i left sunday feeling like we were finally in good shape. there is one major issue we need to deal with (not sure if you noticed the missing door to the lazy susan in the corner there… yah, its not good). and a handful of smaller issues (some electric work, vent covers, maybe some more non-crucial painting). so we’ll do some of this stuff next weekend, and then we’ll wrap it up for the season for better or for worse!
we decided to stay late sunday and leave after the bruins game. the weather was perfect and we did squeeze in a little bit of lounging. 

there a few more little projects from the weekend to share so i’ll hopefully check back in a couple more times this week. is it friday yet?

shopping for pretty fabric

this is a pretty long post about fabric by someone who doesn’t know how to sew or own a machine… or a sewing needle. ok, i have one needle but i swear i can’t remember the last time i used it. at any rate, here we go…
i don’t think this window needs a curtain – the natural light is welcome. but across from all this neutral is a big wall of gypsy teal- so something colorful above the sink will help balance things out. its also a little dicey up there since we ripped off that wavy piece of trim. so i’m planning a very simple, no-sew, valance-type of window treatment to add color and hide some ugliness. something teal or navy.


(the view across the room):

which brings me to reflect on my favorite online sources for fabric. i spent 20 minutes searching for bold or geometric patterns in teal or navy and had the most luck with these online fabric vendors:

http://www.hawthornethreads.com :
A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

i can’t remember where these are from… i saved them to my camera roll but didn’t jot down the site. oops. i like this top print a lot. the dandelions below it are cute, and can definitely be found at a number of other fabric vendors (such as here and here) and then the I. print is just meh.
G.

H.

I.

i love this first aqua, wood grain pattern. it totally reminds me of dane’s fondant ‘one‘. this would be really cool to use to cover a box or cork board or something (fabric covered cork board added to mental to-do list… i.e. i will forget all about it in 7 minutes)…
 J.

K.

L.

http://www.fabric.com :
my all-round favorite:
M.

my second favorite:
N.

O.

etsy is another place to find good fabric.. i’ve had luck here in the past.  this shop has some cute stuff.. http://www.etsy.com/shop/fancypantsfabric
after all this, i ended up going to jo-ann fabric and buying a few different patterns at the store (i hate paying for shipping… i hate waiting for shipping even more). i really want to order that peony print (M) along with the wavy teal below it (N) and the bluey-teal (that’s a color) wood grain print (J),  i just don’t have a specific use in mind so i’m going to hold off.
major tgif feelings over here… off to brewster to no-sew some curtains!

the doors

we spent the weekend in the cape again. a very snowy weekend.
(not the beach house view that i prefer:)

so we picked up where we left off with the doors. the project was simple. 5 ugly doors (2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and the door to the lower level) to brighten up.

 

it would have been nice to replace them with pretty new ones with nice molded panels, but that would have been at least a $250 – $300 dent that we didn’t feel like allocating to replace perfectly functional doors. so instead we got after it with a can of paint and a dream.

mike thoroughly sanded both sides of each door with and electric sander in the garage. next, we brought them into the kitchen, propped them up (one at a time) on two chairs and wiped them down real good to remove any residual debris from the sand job before painting (swiffer dry sweeping cloths were really helpful for this step).
for the “faux molding” i just traced the two rectangles with a yard stick and pencil, then taped over my lines before painting (we used a white semi-glass, no voc paint and 2″ thick painters tape).

i measured 6″ from the top and bottom and 4″ from the sides for the outer perimeter – then 27″ from the bottom of the door for the top of the lower rectangle, and 34″ from the bottom of the door for the bottom of the upper rectangle. i tried to line the center of the tape strips up with lines i drew. for clean corners, i had to make careful cuts where the tape met.

 
if i had to do this over, i would have measured 5 or 6″ in from the sides (instead of 4) to leave more room for the door knob – you will see that the knob hardware overlaps the line a bit.
 
i was the taper, so this synchronized nap was crucial for me to finish up!
 
once my job was done, i snuggled dane while mike rolled on the paint.

for clean lines, we peeled the tape off before the paint was completely dry to avoid chipping…
we also bought some new, middle-of-the-line door knobs in brushed nickel. these suckers are tricky to install (assessment based solely on the number of expletives overheard from mike).
it was so rewarding putting these puppies back on the hinges (which we did not replace and perhaps should have since they no longer match the knobs).
now settle in for a whole bunch of shots of the finished product:

we added the faux molding to 3 of the 5 doors… the two bathroom doors we just painted white (didn’t want to over do it). very happy with the result. sigh.
so much more going on in brewster this offseason. will have more updates later in the week!

 


fun with instagram prints

i’ve really been enjoying instagram these days. its my go-to social media outlet (i’ve pretty much abandoned facebook). i feel like my little instagram cirlce is so much more low-key and fun to share silly or humdrum family pics than facebook where i’m sure my hundreds of “friends” are uninterested.
a couple weeks ago i set out to explore ways to print some of my favorite instagrams. for standard 4″ square prints, printstagram seemed the most straightforward. i got 24 squares for $12. fine, tho i did not enjoy paying for shipping. i looked everywhere for a free shipping promo code, but came up empty handed. with all the free shipping on furniture and most any order anywhere over $50, i am bothered spending $ on a 4″ square envelope, i can’t help it. fedex delivered the prints a week later (you have to be home for the delivery – so they leave one of those sticky notes on your door you have to sign… not a big deal, but doesn’t seem necessary, you know?). i don’t know why i am sounding all disgruntled about prinstagram.. the service was perfectly fine – easy and i got exactly what i expected.

this is a long-winded intro to my little project involving the 2 pop-out image squares (weird dog and truck with eyes) from my $11.99 kohls collage kit.

i’m going to use the 2 squares and 3 frames separately and not as intended for this collage formation. i turned the squares into instragram art for dane’s room in two easy steps.

one.
paint white (i used the benjamin moore matte white that mike uses on trim).

 

two.
(after paint dries) cover in mod podge, stick photo in the middle, and cover in mod podge again.

 
i used a tooth brush
 
 
don’t panic when it looks like this – it dries perfectly clear.
 

 
 
 

 

these will go in dane’s room along side another little project in the pipeline.

ps. happy valentines day. for the first time ever, i have THREE valentines. boy am i lucky.

diy quatrefoil mirrors

why do i hate using the ‘diy’ acronym? it makes me feel corny – i don’t know..

these three narrow mirrors were given to us by mike’s parents when they moved. i knew i could find a place for them, so they have been sitting around since the spring.

now that the dining room is painted, it was time to pull them out, dress them up, and hang them on the big blank wall that is visible from the tv room. there was 2 feet of snow outside when we woke up yesterday, so we weren’t going anywhere!
mike had spray painted them last week. so my project was to add a quatrefoil decal to make them look a little more modern and interesting.

i made my own stencil by tracing 4 overlapping circles onto cardstock (using the lid of dane’s earths best formula canister – it was the perfect size!).

i traced the stencil with this oil based sharpie paint pen. i’ve never worked with this paint/pen/marker situation before, so i had no idea what to expect.

after a quick trace, i was left with some pretty messy edges –
but i was able to go along them and clean them up pretty easily with my finger wrapped in a paper towel & dipped in windex.

they were so quick and easy and turned out great (my kind of craft)!

and look good against the dark blue wall.

we hung them off-centered like this because we have an old hutch living in the basement that we will be refurbishing and putting on the other side of the wall hopefully in this lifetime.. its also nice to see the mirrors when you look through from the tv room & kitchen..

so i definitely recommend using a pen like this to add a little something to an old or new mirror. because it was easy to wipe off, it was easy to fix mistakes.. but that also means that the paint is definitely not permanent and the mirrors are not exactly wipeable (is this a word?). so how will i clean them? very carefully. for more staying power, you can use a stained glass paint like gallery glass instead (if i find these shapes are wiping off or fading, i’ll probably trace over them with white gallery glass paint). 
getting something on the wall was a big step toward finishing up this room! can you tell i am still experimenting with window treatments? ha..

n

all you need is love

its a lie. you need a lot of other things, like food, and, in this state, car insurance… you also need sleep. i have not quite gotten my fill of sleep this week. it was a whirlwind of a weekend with the concert & birthday party, right into a busy week including a monday night football game to watch (luckily, it was a blowout so i didnt feel guilty passing out before the end) and my company holiday party the following night. despite the hectic start, we have been slowing chipping away at some projects and holiday prep around the house.

1. i made a quick diy wreath with some stuff from michaels. why i didn’t just buy a wreath? i don’t know, i hate spare time? i didn’t use any glue or anything. i just wove the wire stems into the twine.

2. we ordered a “trial” photo canvas. we love it. the plan is to get at least 2 more family photo canvases in black & white and hang them in the music room. there are a lot of places that will put your photo to canvas. we randomly found canvas4life online… it was a simple process and their prices were competitive… ordered this 20″x30″ canvas, and will definitely be going back for more.

3. i also ordered a massive roll of brown craft paper for all my xmas wrapping (and all the wrapping i have to do between now & when dane goes to college). its massive. and its the best thing that has happened to shakey in a long time. he went nuts over it. it was hilarious.

4. the new pulls for our kitchen cabinets finally arrived. i have been wanting to replace these since we moved in, so i’m really looking forward to getting them all installed. (mike has tackled about 8 out of 47.. baby steps).
in other news – dane still has his endless cold. its never. ending.
(crusty nosed baby):
and the dining room still looks like this:
bonus points if you can find the bulldog:

sweater mutilation cont.

as promised, i have successfully dressed my lamps to match the jar (there is a sentence i never thought i’d write).
I was home with a sick baby today – (dane’s first fever 🙁 ) so i had some time to see what i could do with the rest of this old sweater.
these are our little bedside lamps. they are sort of awesome because you just tap the base to turn it on and off. 

my “materials” included sweater, scissors, saftey pins… #getthisgirlagluegun.
i cut off the bottom of the sweater, then turned it inside out and just saftey pinned the ends together. there was exactly enough for the two lampshades. i got lucky with how easy this was to pull off. again, a 2 minute job…

at this point, i’m just taking pictures of our bed because it is almost NEVER made.

a sweater for my sauce jar

so i was reading this blog where this girl started putting sweaters on all sorts of objects.. pillows, vases, candles, boxes…

i had just done a sweep of my closet and had some sweaters that were goodwill bound, and so i did what any rational human would do. i made a sweater for my ragu jar.

it took like 3 seconds.

snip and tuck.

a nice & easy little up-cycle. i just MIGHT attempt to dress a couple lampshades next.
they look chilly.

giraffe [head] tray


one of shakey’s first toys ever was a little giraffe who we fondly referred to as giraffe head. below is a rare shot of a new, sprightly giraffe head who quickly lost a few limbs and was later shredded to pieces in fairly short order. 
guilty
2.5 years we decorated dane’s nursery in memory of giraffe head (r.i.p.)
i had no clue what i would do with this shelf-liner when i bought it at tjmaxx a few weeks ago (i had no intention of lining a shelf) but i knew its time would come.
sure enough.. dane ate the last jar of his veggie variety pack over the weekend and i had an idea…
so i set out wrapping the cardboard tray with the shelf liner.
its pretty handy stuff.. sticky on the back but not too sticky, so its easy to work with.
i went into this with zero game plan, per usual. i just wrapped the paper around the box quick & dirty.

fun, right?

you know what else is fun?
radio flyer wagons.