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..


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:

we did something really cool.

the hallway wall leading from the kitchen to the stairway is now a magnetic, chalk board wonderland.

we picked up these rust-oleum quarts at home depot on the way back from brewster last weekend, and a day & a half later mike had banged out the whole wall.

the magnetic primer [one coat] had a strong chemically smell, so we had to open up some windows and i took dane out for a jog then played upstairs while mike was rolling it on (with a “hot dog” roller. really, thats what its called). the chalk board paint [two coats] was odorless. both were a little messy (black drips against white trim is not very forgiving, but the trim needed to be painted anyway).

mike often second guesses my quirky design ideas [what do you mean you’re not sure about the rhino?], so i’m glad he was on board with this one. its probably my favorite project we’ve done in the house so far.

one thing: the magnetic primer = not so magnetic. we should have done two coats. maybe even three. certain magnetics will stick, some wont. no chance we’ll be hanging up paper/photos with magnets – they fall right off. some areas are stronger than others. i cant imagine how ineffective it must have been before it was “3xs stronger!”.

i didnt take many pictures of the process since i was keeping dane away from the work site. but this is the wall before. all naked and sad:

and now black and magic:

 quality control inspection:

ok, pass.

lots of other stuff going on around here. we’re trying to get the house ready for company over the holidays. tomorrow, however, we are headed to mohegan sun for a dmb show! dane is spending the night with grandma, which means it will be my first night away from him. i really can’t imagine not waking up to our 6am nursing session. i’m either going to be really sad and cry, or blissfully fast asleep late into the morning . it could go either way.

omg i don’t know if i will be able to do it!

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. 
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.

diy scrabble mugs

scrabble has always had a special place in our hearts (nerd alert) stemming from epic tournaments during killington ski trips to family holiday battles, even scrabble for two in brewster over a bottle of wine… its fun for everyone (and by fun i mean we take it REALLY seriously.. (half kidding)).

when we spotted these mugs at the brewster general store, we really wanted to buy 4 to spell “fatz”. i’m no mathematician, but 4 mugs at $20/ea = way too much money spent on mugs. i even searched for them on the inter-web & best i could find was in the $12-$15 range (x4= still too much).

so the wheels started turning and i secretly decided that i would somehow make them myself. how hard could it be? white mugs, black letters…

in the end, it really wasn’t hard. (the most difficult part was achieving this to free up two hands):

i literally just took a sharpie to cheap white mugs from michaels and, using make-shift stencils i printed on regular paper as a guide, i drew in the letters and corresponding scrabble points.

[here is where i should tell you what size and font i used for these stencils, but i really don’t remember. any standard block-like font should be ok & just eye-ball to fit the size of the mug you are using]

the sharpie totally bled thru the paper stencil a bit, so i just evened the outline free-hand & then filled it in.

finally,  baked them at 350 degrees for 30 mins (read this somewhere). i don’t think they would survive the dishwasher – i don’t even intend to actually use them – however, pebeo markers are apparently the way to go if you want to make this legit for a gift or something.

the ‘a’ is a little funky if you look at it up close, but over-all, i’m very satisfied with my $8 creation ($2/mug = drinks on me!).

my creative juices have really been flowing lately! i’ve been stealing ideas from people on etsy and have some more craft projects in the pipeline!

things i painted yellow

i like painting things. i haven’t done a lot of it, but i think about it a lot and plan to start doing more of it.
what i really like is taking something old or ordinary and making it new and one of a kind. we have a ways to go before either house feels complete and instead of picking furniture sets and accessories out of a catalogue or show room, i want to keep things creative and interesting and a reflection of our family.
i recently got my hands on the leftover yellow from the laundry room
i’ve been starting to mix in some yellows as an accent color throughout the first floor.
so i set out to paint this “and” sign i randomly got at target. these “and”s are very trendy… i have no idea why and they really dont make much sense to me, but i jumped right on the bandwagon nonetheless.


slapped with a quick coat of yellow…

and finally sprayed with a coat of clear finish…


next – a one, two and a three…

weird, right? i know. i’ll show you where these are going in my next post!

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my version of the book sling

i was caught off guard by the number of books i received as gifts for the baby on the way. i never considered them something i’d need or want, but they are obviously an important thing to have for raising a genius baby (i’m pretty sure this little guy will be leaving the womb with a third grade reading level).

so to store the new book collection i decided to take on a very simplified version of the diy book sling. there are a number of tutorials on blogs and crafty sites, so i googled one and watered it down as much as possible… ie no sewing, measuring, or power tools required.

i used a cheap burlap-y fabric, a long stick i found in our back yard, and double curtain rod brackets from lowes.

ok, i did use a tape measure once to determine where the middle of the stick was…

then i sawed it in half…. with a bread knife…

i used iron-on hem glue stuff to bond the burlap fabric so i didn’t have to sew anything and used fray guard on the edges to avoid hemming…

and there you have it

i hope the sticks hold up – you can tell the front one is bending (if it snaps, it can be easily replaced)…