Sunday, October 31, 2010

Craigslist Brass Lamps

I wanted new lamps for our room. I was no longer happy with having mismatched lamps, and since we were updating our bedroom I thought it was about time we updated our lamps too.  I went around looking for lamps at Marshall's, Target, Home Goods, Walmart...I was so disillusioned.  I thought I would be able to find lamps I liked for a reasonable price.  Didn't happen.  When did lamps get so expensive?  Have they always been that way?  Seriously, one lamp was $49.99.  I definitely did not have the budget for that.  So again I stalked Craigslist like a jilted girlfriend stalks her ex.  I checked every listing under household, antiques, and general, and furniture. Finally the craigslist gods smiled upon me.  I found these lamps listed for $20, for both of them.
The ad said they were solid brass, and antique.  I called asap and went over to pick them up the same evening when Justin came home.  (And how great is my husband that he didn't even bat an eye when he came home and I told him I had to head out immediately to go get my lamps.)  I paid the nice lady $20 thinking about how I just scored an awesome deal, drove home and got to work on them right away.

I taped off the cord and the tops with painter's tape, then primed the lamps with my favorite Rust-oleum Gray Primer (I am in love with this stuff), waited an hour for them to dry and then put on the first coat of Brushed Nickel spray paint from Valspar (It was the only silver paint I had on hand, and I only paid .99 cents for it when I bought it a few months ago.) The next day I did my second coat and waited for them to dry. 

Saturday, Justin and I went out to get lamp shades (another expensive item I was not willing to pay for).  We ended up finding some really cheap lamp shades at Target on CLEARANCE for $4.98

They weren't the color I wanted, they were a yellow creamy color and I wanted white, but for $4.98 I couldn't pass them up.  And notice how I said WERE?  That's because I went to a local fabric store, Hancock's and bought some 1 1/2 yards of white canvas  and covered the lamp shades.  I cut out the fabric, wrapped it around the lamp, and got it to stay in place with hot glue.  Isn't hot glue magical?  I think so.  Once the fabric was on, hem line tape was added around the bottom of the shade (also with hot glue) to give it a more finished look.

I think they are way better than a lot of the lamps I saw at the stores, and they were less than half the cost.  Spray paint works wonders.  They went from being dated, to modern within minutes.

Two Lamps= $20
Two Lamp Shades= $10.00
Fabric= $11.00
Hem tape= $2.00
Total cost.......................$43 for both Lamps!!!


The Beatles- DIY Abbey Road Art

Levi's room is music themed, and when I think of music or bands one that stands out is The Beatles.  Who doesn't love at least one of their songs?  I showed my husband this cool piece of art I found on ETSY.

It's made out of License plates and wood.  I loved it but I did not have $1,200 to spend on a piece of art.  I don't have $1,200 to spend on anything.  I kept searching for through google to find images or art that maybe I could somehow copy in Levi's room.  I also found this picture on google and thought it would be pretty cool in a music themed room.

And after talking to my awesome and creative husband we decided to mesh the two ideas together to come up with our own unique piece of art.
I had two canvases hanging in our 1/4 bath that I had covered with fabric a year or so ago.  I basically ripped the hot glued fabric off the canvas in order to have a clean canvas to work with.
Next we printed out an abbey road stencil image from google, and cut "The Beatles" out.
I decided to glue the cut outs onto contact paper, and then cute them out using an exacto knife.  Once they were cut out we stuck them on to the canvas making sure they went on smooth without any air bubbles.
Then we searched through our stash of paint and went with the espresso brown.  We decided to splatter the paint on the canvas using a small sponge brush.
Once the paint was on we hung the canvas over our drop cloth to drip excess paint off and to dry.
When the paint was dry Justin peeled off the contact paper Beatles.
Pretty awesome right?  It was so easy, and it looks really good.  I was pretty impressed with the finished product.
Hope you like it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Check out this awesome damask dresser and giveaway

The lovely and talented ladies at TWICE LOVELY have an awesome blog post about painting a wood dresser and turning it into a work of art.
See the before:
 And now the after:
I KNOW!!! It's pretty awesome.

And you can check out how she did this beautiful transformation here, and there is also a chance to win the great projector used to acheive the damask pattern on the dresser.  How cool is that?

Wall art for our room

Our walls were completely blank in our room.  And would have stayed that way for awhile had I not been seriously motivated and in the craft zone this weekend.  I had so many unused frames that were piled up and a Craigslist mirror that I wanted to hang.  My mom gave me some of the frames and others I had bought at thrift stores.  I decided to finally paint some of them and find some art to go in them in between stenciling our wall. I also found the perfect blue spray paint at Michael's to do the mirror.
 I traced all the frames onto paper first and taped them up on the wall where I wanted each picture to go.  That way I didn't have to nail a bunch of wholes in the wall trying to get them just right. 

 I bought the "C" at Joann's.  It is cardboard and I used mod podge and scrap book paper to cover it.
I also went to The Graphics Fairy blog to find the images of the lion, the paris hotel, and the little bird advertisement.  I found the empire stat building from google, and I can't remember where I found the je t'aime heart.
 And here's my mirror, before and after. The before color was too bland for our walls...but the blue is lovely.

Next up, I want to something with the fire place, add something more to the wall with the mirror, and get some curtains for the sliding glass door in our room.

DIY Upholstered Headboard and DIY Stenciled Wall

My weekend was jam packed with do-it-yourself projects.  I think my husband and I crammed more projects into these past few days than we have in the past few months.  On Friday night we literally worked through the night and finally went to sleep at 7:30 Saturday morning.  Which sucked a whole lot due to the fact that our 3 month old daughter woke up at 9:30 and I had to feed her.  After feeding her I decided to get back to work and make the most of the hours we had left before my parents dropped our son off from spending the night with them.

On Friday I was skimming through blogs I follow and All Things Thrifty had posted about a great bedroom makeover done by Nikki at Nature's Heirloom. After going there and seeing the amazing room transformation I was really inspired and determined to get our bedroom done.  Nikki had made her own stencil and painted it on the wall behind her bed, it looked so great. And then I read through other posts on her blog and saw where she and her husband made their own upholstered headboard.  I decided right then to run out and get supplies.  Little did I know that it would turn into a DIY marathon weekend.

First thing I decided on doing was going to our local Restore to find a door to use for the headboard. Yes a door. It's such a great idea, can't believe how perfect it was.  And our Restore had so many doors, all labeled with measurements and what type of door they were.  I ended up choosing a flat hollow sliding closet door that measured 36" wide and 77' long. And the best part was it only cost me $10.  After buying the door I headed to a Fed Ex-Kinko's Copying store to blow up a googled image for my stencil and bought some clear folders there also.

I got home and started tracing my image onto the clear folders I had bought and cut.  To cut the stencil I used a a heated multipurpose type of tool my mom had in her arts and craft supply that she's never once used.  But you can get a stencil cutting tool at Michael's or Joann's.  I'm not going to lie, this was a pretty long and tedious process, even with the heated tool.  Once I cut my stencil out I used stencil adhesive I purchased at Michael's and tape to secure it to the wall.  I chose a dark espresso brown paint that we already had at our house for the stencil and only poured a little into a clear plastic cup to make it easier on me while painting.

As you can see there is my stencil up on our bare walls, hanging above our messy bed.  I painted all of the stencils standing or kneeling on our bed, again not the easiest thing to do.

So I started the stenciling late Friday night and finally finished Saturday evening.  I stenciled a few stencils at a time and while waiting for them to dry I worked on other projects for our room. 

One of those projects was our upholstered headboard.  I showed Justin Nikki's headboard on her blog and told him what I had planned for the door.  I had already bought fabric, foam, and batting earlier this year when I had decided I was going to make an upholstered headboard.  I just hadn't bought anything to staple all my stuff onto.  I had been planning on buying a piece of plywood, but didn't want to bother with having to cut it.  And I wanted something that made the headboard look thicker, more plush or padded.  I definitely wasn't going to buy thicker foam in order to achieve the look I wanted.  Have you all checked out the price of foam??  It's insane how expensive it is. 

Justin was completely on board with the project and really took control over it.  He stapled the foam onto the door, and then the batting.  He brought the door inside and I helped him staple the fabric on.  Back when I bought all my fabric I had decided I wanted a tufted headboard and had already made buttons to go on it.  Justin and I measured out where we wanted the buttons to go and marked it on the back of the door with a sharpie.  I held the door steady while Justin drilled holes into the door in the places we marked.  We added the buttons and secured them by slipping the ends of the thread through the holes in a button and then tied them into a knot.  When it was done Justin secured the headboard to the wall using two OOK OOK Hangman 200lbs French Cleat with Wall Dogs. He bought them at Home Depot

I love how it turned out.  Seriously in love!  And it was much cheaper to make than actually buying one.  Now all I need is some new bedding...hint hint babe.

If you all don't go out and make your own upholstered headboard after reading about mine and Nikki's and seeing how easy it can be then I'll be utterly impressed with your self restraint.  And if you have any questions let me know.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Counting Our Blessings

I feel like I've been gone from the blogging world for so long.  It's only been a week, maybe a week and a day.  I've been busy, and Levi is the main priority right now, he's got an appointment with his Neurosurgeon tomorrow and we get to see what the next step is going to be to take care of and manage his Slit Ventricle Syndrome. It's hard not knowing when or if he's going to get sick, when he's extra tired or rubs his head all I can think about or worry about is him throwing up and feeling so terrible.  When you go through something like this it's easy to see only the negatives and complain or think that you're the only one going through something that's hard or stressful.  I know that we're not the only family who has a sick child though, and there are families with children and babies worse off than Levi.  So I have to remember to stay positive, to remain faithful, and to count our blessings.  Because we have so many.

I was blog surfing this week even though I didn't get a chance to blog myself, and I came across a little craft project that I couldn't get out of my head.  Maybe it's because I literally had all the things to pull off a copy cat one, or maybe it's because the idea was that good.

This is a Blessings Board made by Julie at Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss
It was like I was destined to do this project.  I had already re-painted an older from brown to a blue gray, and had put burlap over the card board backing that went inside the frame.  I had left the frame, the burlap, and the glass separated from each other not sure what I was going to do with them, until I saw the Blessing Board.  It was the perfect $0 project, and it's a much needed reminder of how truly Blessed we are.

What I like most about this project is the ability I have to change what it says, whenever I'm in the mood. I bought chalk markers from Michael's for about $7-$8 (they were normally $11.95, but I used a 40% off coupon.) and can easily change what's written with a squirt of Windex and some paper towels.  And I had dry erase markers on hand that worked pretty good also.

Hope you remember to Count Your Blessings also.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Souvenir from Children's Hospital

So after Levi had gotten through the ICP Monitoring and was diagnosed with Slit Ventricle Syndrome, his current neurosurgeon's partner unscrewed the ICP bolt and then pulled it out of his head while he was fully awake.  Let me tell you how heart breaking it was to hold him down with my mom in order to keep him still.  It was painful for him, and for me. In the midst of his crying and trying to calm him down and reassure him that it was over the neurosurgeon handed me the ICP bolt and said, "Here you go, a souvenir."

Well I did keep it and thought for sure Levi might want to see it one day, or at least our family, so they could know exactly what the procedure was.  Whenever I pass by the bolt I can't help but thinking how crazy it was for him to have this thing screwed into his head and then just unscrewed and pulled out like it was no big deal.  We are so glad that ordeal is over with.  But we aren't looking forward to what the diagnosis might bring our way next.

At least he's still acting like himself  =).  I love this boy more than anyone could imagine.

A Tutu and Headband For Rian

After seeing a few tutu's and tutorials on them while browsing through blog world, I decided to try to make one myself.  Not for myself mind you, but for the sweetest baby girl there ever was.  At least in this mama's opinion.

I went to Joann's and searched through their tulle.  Picked out 2 colors I liked, and some elastic. I cut the tulle into strips.  I wanted mine to be about 7-8 inches long so I cut my tulle in strips about 1 inch by 15-16 inches and folded them in half. (I know it might be long for Rian, but I want it to be something she can play with when she gets bigger too.)

I measured Rian's waist and then cut my elastic a little longer.  I just hand sewed the ends of the elastic together, and then got started on tying the tulle to the elastic band.  I put the piece of elastic around my leg to make it easier to add the tulle.

After pulling it tight I added other pieces and slid them next to each other after tying each one.

When I was almost done it looked like this...

I added a ribbon to the back of mine and tied it into a bow to finish it off.

To go along with her tutu I made her a a matching flower headband using left over felt, elastic, and tulle.
I used this tutorial for the rose.

After making the rose, I cut a couple of small pieces of tulle and two felt leaves.  I hot glued the leaves and tulle together and then hot glued them to the rose.  Next I cut a piece of elastic to fit around Rian's head, and hot glued the ends together.  I then hot glued the flower piece to the elastic, over the place where the ends were glued together so I could cover that up.

If only she hadn't fallen asleep I would have been able to use her to model both pieces.  This is going to be her "Halloween" Costume, or in our house her "Fall/Harvest fest" costume.