Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hand Painted Lamp Shade

I'm plugging away on Liam's pirate themed big boy room and the room is finally coming together. The comforter and bedding are a soft blue and there's going to be a lot of blue in this room so I've been looking for some accents to brighten up the room. When I saw this little red fleece blanket at Walmart for $5, I knew this was the accent color I was looking for. It's so strange for me to even write this because I don't much like red but it really was the perfect accent color in here.

Just as an aside, Liam's room has two windows but neither let in much light. Despite this, Liam will still get up at the first sign of light so I've added black out shades to his windows which make it dark in there all day long. This also makes it next to impossible to get good pictures. Consider yourself warned.

I've been keeping my eye out for a red and white striped lamp but haven't found a thing (that I could afford). Then in the middle of painting some Christmas ornaments, I noticed that the Martha Stewart craft paint I was using was a perfect match of that little blanket. Hmmmm.

I've never painted a lampshade before but I figured I could always replace it inexpensively if I messed it up too badly. This was so quick and easy, I can't believe I haven't tried this before.

I taped off stripes on the lamp using some frog tape and pressing down the edges to keep the red from bleeding through.

I didn't even prime the shade....Just got to work painting on the red stripes. To keep the bleed through to a minimum, I started in the middle when the brush was full and painted toward the outside edges.

Unbelievably, this was a fifteen minute project and only needed one coat. I pulled the tape off before the paint was completely dry and plopped the shade back on the lamp. In true Liam form, he went on and on about how nice it was that I made this for him. He is so darn sweet.

Once again, excuse the dark light in there and all that jazz.

I love me some inexpensive and easy DIY.

Sharing here and over at Serenity Now, Home Stories A to Z,  Cedarhill FarmhouseCoastal CharmBlackberry VineFrom My Front Porch to Yours,  Finding Silver Pennies, and  Savvy Southern Style.

Friday, January 16, 2015

How I Accidentally Painted My Bathroom and Other Painting Stories

A few weeks ago I painted Liam's room. After much debate (in my head....he's 3 and he doesn't really care) I found a color that I thought would brighten up his room. Now Liam's room and the bathroom were the only two rooms left in this house that had the original awful gold beige color that I hated so much.

Good bye monkeys!

Now before you get all judgy, the color is actually really gold/yellowish. It looks fine in the pictures and if it looked this neutral in real life I might have left it alone. But it was really more like this....

Exactly. For a gray loving gal, this was a real first world crisis. Every single day.

The color I chose for Liam's room is called Mountain Air from Sherwin Williams. Bought on sale, it cost around $35 for the gallon. You'll see why I'm telling you this in a minute.

It actually looked white when I applied the first coat and then darkened to a very light blue gray. I loved it. His room is so dark and this made a huge difference.

Just a sneak peak at how gorgeous this turned out.... (Excuse the blurry photos in this post but I was using my iphone)

I finished up Liam's room and took my supplies to the bathroom to clean up. I had some paint left, maybe a third of a can, and without even thinking about I started slapping paint on the walls. Yup, I accidentally painted the bathroom.

But in less than an hour I had a wall color that didn't turn my stomach. And that's why I heart paint. That's why it's worth it. Huge difference. So much brighter which makes me so much happier.

That, my friends, is why a can of paint can't be beat. For $35 and some grunt work, I completely transformed two entire rooms.

When I moved into this house the entire place, top to bottom, had been freshly and professionally painted in that awful beige gold. Going against my own advice, I tried to live with it for months, telling myself I don't hate it (Yes. I. Did) and that it was too much work and too expensive to repaint something that didn't need painting. But every time I looked around or sat down I groaned inside. I don't like beige and I don't like warm colors.

One day I snapped and headed to the paint store. After many trials and samples, (9 to be exact!) I found a gray that I love and it makes me happy every single day. You can read about that craziness here.

(Remind me to talk about that lamp one of these days, too. Digression over.)

That's why painting is so worth it. I love my house like a million times more and when I come home, I'm happy to be here. The fact that I don't leave for days on end is a story for another day called "I Can't People". (Introverts unite. Separately. In our own homes.)

I've recently opened my design and consulting business and I'm loving it. But the biggest frustration is working with people who want to avoid painting even when they don't like what they're living with. I have a lovely woman I'm working with, who would rather buy new furniture than paint her walls. "What? Just...what??" (Yes, Mary, I'm talking about you!). The walls are green. She doesn't like green. (She also kindly gave permission to share this story...I wouldn't blab otherwise. Your design secrets are safe with me..... wink, wink.) But who wants to buy new furniture, particularly expensive big pieces when changing the wall color is so much cheaper and easier?

I get it! I get it. I really, really do.

I have a love/hate relationship with paint.  I hate painting. I seriously loathe it. It makes my hands and wrists hurt. (I'm old.) I drop the paint brush EVERY SINGLE TIME. (Did I mention that I'm old?) I spill everywhere and I only seem to tackle a paint job when I have a fresh manicure. I used to have steady hands and could free hand paint, now it looks like Hellen Keller took a stab at it (no offense to the blind)....that equals more time taping etc. But so, so worth it.

Image source

But I love when things look the way I want them to. Usually, this means a coat or two of paint. Not my favorite way to spend an afternoon but always, ALWAYS worth it.

That goes for renters, too. You can always slap up some white paint when you move out if your landlord is that rigid picky micro-managing strict.  I've worked with landlords who are initially reluctant but have always recognized the huge improvement a good paint job made. Your place is your home whether you rent or own and you should love where you live. Paint is easy and so worth it. And not that expensive, either, when you get right down to it. So I get it when folks are reluctant to paint. But for the love of all things that aren't worth fighting about....just paint already.

Ranting here and over at Serenity Now, Home Stories A to Z,  Cedarhill FarmhouseCoastal CharmBlackberry VineFrom My Front Porch to Yours,  Finding Silver Pennies, and  Savvy Southern Style.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pirate Room Moodboard

Now that Christmas is over, it's back to business around here. And by business, I mean all things big boy. Potty training is an epic fail but we actually have one boy finally out of his crib and in a bed. I waited a long time to make this transition because I have good sleepers and don't ever want to mess that up.

And can I just have a small brag about how well Liam made the transition? Aside from a little "drunk on his own freedom" thing and getting out of bed early in the morning for a week or so, he's done really well.

This is, in part, due to Liam's interest in his pirate bed. Now, he doesn't have a pirate bed but that doesn't seem to matter to him. Prior to the transition I tried to interest him in designing a new room for him.

So this was yet another lesson in how boys are different from girls. My girls loved having me re-do their rooms. They picked out everything, right down to the very last detail. Liam? Not so much. He saw a picture of a pirate bed on Pinterest and that was good enough for him.

Allow me to elaborate.  This is the picture he liked.


The bed I put together (well, Handyman Tom put it together but you know....) is a plain old single bed and box spring. We don't even have a head board yet.

That doesn't seem to bother Liam in the least. Because he will correct you if you talk about the "big boy bed". Liam tells everyone who will listen that he's got a new "pirate bed". Alrighty then.

Aside from the bed, I'm working on pulling his room together. He's not much help but that's ok...He's pretty excited about whatever I actually do.

Since Liam's not all that interested in the design process (boy thing?) I started putting together a mood board to help me figure out where I'm going with this pirate themed room. I love mood boards. They totally help me pull together my vision for the space I'm working on. And with a themed room, a mood board helps me keep from sliding into a theme park mode where it's easy to go over the top.

This is the board I put together for Liam, based on what I've found on Pinterest and around town.

The whole room was really inspired by the pirate canvas that I found in the clearance section at Target for $10.48.

Liam was so thrilled when I hung this on his wall. Despite the fact that he was with me when I bought this, he remains convinced that I painted it. "You paint this for my room, Mommy?" "I love it so (tho) much, Mommy! Thank you!" Love this kid.

I found some pirate sheets at Amazon that I'm planning to use for the fabric because I accidentally bought them for a double bed and Liam's in a twin.  Since I've had trouble finding a comforter set that I like, I may turn these into a duvet cover. The pattern is so darn cute.

Truth? I've tried out 5 different comforters so far! Yes, 5! Taking indecisive to new levels but I can't seem to settle on anything. Back to Homesense this week. But seriously. It's hard to find something different for boys that isn't plaid or action figures. Moms of know exactly what I mean ;)


1. Room Inspiration from I Heart Organizing.
2. Pirate Canvas from Target
3. Blue striped bedding- Amazon
4. Treasure Map- Amazon
5. Red striped lamp- Lamps Plus
6. Striped curtains- I can't remember and I can't find a source. If you recognize that photo, let me know.
7. Pirate decals- Target. I found them in the clearance bin, so I'm not sure if they still have them any longer.
8. Navy dresser will be my own find with a paint and upcycle plan.
9. Pirate sheets from Amazon
10. Paint color from Sherwin Williams- Mountain Air.- I've already painted and this color totally transformed the room.
11.  Room inspiration from Serena and Lily

Be sure to stop by my Boys Bedrooms Pinterest Board to see some more cute ideas for the little men in your lives.

Linking up here and over at Serenity Now, Home Stories A to Z,  Cedarhill FarmhouseCoastal CharmJennifer RizzoBlackberry VineFrom My Front Porch to YoursSavvy Southern Style, and Salt Tree. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Upcycled Target Find- The Happy Hippopotamuses

I heart Target so much. No, I don't get compensated...I just heart them.  And it's because of guys like this. The happy hippopotamus couple.

Here's how this story goes....

A month or so ago I'm shopping with the boys and my oldest kiddo who snatched up these Threshold Salt and Pepper shakers. How cute are these? I snatched them back and told her I'd give them to her for Christmas. (I was still low on gift ideas at this point.)

I stuck them in the basement and went on about my business. But then I couldn't stop visiting them in their little basement hiding place. Sometimes more than once a day. I luuuurved them so much, I decided to get my own pair.

Here's where the trauma part begins....don't worry....there's a happy ending. Obviously. Or I wouldn't be writing this.

Back I go to Target on my lunch (half) hour. I searched high and low but no top-hatted hippos in sight. To console myself, I bought all of these things. It's hard to stay sad long when you have a dachshund tape dispenser. And candy cane sprinkles, a wallet, and these glam cups, and some push pins.

Now, do you remember what the cashiers always ask at the checkout? These guys are so awesome. Wait for it....

Target cashier: "Did you find everything you were looking for today?"

Me: "Oh, why no. I did not. And now I feel sad." (Explains the dilemma and subsequent sadness.)

Cashier: "Let me go take a look".

Aaaaannnnd, she came back with the last pair of happy hippos in the entire city.  Insert dance of happiness at check out counter. And here again as I write this. I still bought all of the other things because I didn't want to get her in trouble for selling less. I'm a giver that way.

Now here's where things got a little strange(r). In my head, the hippos were wearing gold hats. In real life they were not. My delusions had gotten delusional.

But that's ok because I have mod podge and gold glitter and I can rock a paintbrush.

And that's exactly what happened to my little hippopotamus pals one sunny afternoon right after Christmas when the boys were being quiet. For three minutes because that's literally how long it took. Maybe less.

I didn't even wait for the happy pair to dry before I started snapping pictures of them just hanging out and making me smile.

They're so stinkin' cute that I named them Harry and Heloise.

And now that they've found a home on the media center, we're going to hang out and watch some Netflix for like ever. No salt and pepper day job for this glam couple. They're way too cool for that.

Introducing this sexy couple here and over at Serenity Now, Home Stories A to Z,  Cedarhill FarmhouseCoastal CharmSew Can DoFrom My Front Porch to Yours,  Finding Silver Pennies, and  Savvy Southern Style.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Red and White Christmas Porch

Welcome to our front porch.  It's a great place to sip tea (or wine) in the summer and perfect for decorating all year long.

As you come up the steps there's a cute little holiday sign that I picked up for a couple of dollars at our local grocery store.

To the right of the front door is a small pre-lit tree that I got at the same grocery store (Thanks, Loblaws!).

The urn was actually bronze but I spray painted it white and hot glued that cute ribbon around the top and bottom. I'm digging the red and white thing this year for sure. I added some white snow flakes from the dollar store and white and red striped ribbon to fancy it up.

We get some crazy weather here, so the gifts are bricks in boxes that I wrapped up in red and white paper.

I've spent enough time chasing porch decorations down the street...thanks very much.

I hung a white garland from Michaels around the front door and added a cluster of jingle bells at the top.

The "JOY" sign to the left of the door is a Target find. Oh, I love you. Target always seems to know exactly what I'm looking for. My wallet is not always as happy as I am.

Can we talk about this cute little wreath?

First of all, they were on sale at Michaels for like $2.99. So I had to buy five of them. I know, right??

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them but for the door, I just added the simple white and red striped ribbon left over from the wreath I made earlier this fall.

I knew it needed something but I wasn't sure what. Then I found some red and white straws in the bin that I dragged home from the boys birthday party last summer. I started twisting and stapling and came up with this cute little star.

A bonbon sticker nicely covers the staples in the middle. Functional? Check. Cute? Double check.

Speaking of the red and white wreath....It's currently hanging between the two windows on the porch.

There's a small table under the window that holds some candles and my wine tea in the summer. I set a white galvanized tub that was also left over from the boys party (I think it held drinks?) on the table, filled it with spare greenery and another red and white wrapped gift and then topped the tub with a bow.

In front of the little table are these two rocking chairs that I found a few years ago on Kijiji (Craigslist for my Southern friends) and lugged them home for $20 a piece. They've been painted with Annie Sloan's Old White.  I didn't wax them as per the instructions. You're not supposed to wax anything that goes outdoors since the sun apparently melts the wax. They haven't held up all that well and I'll need to repaint them this spring.

I made those little pillows out of dish towels and fabric glued a tie to the back so they don't blow away in the wind. I didn't do this with the Halloween pillows I made last year and wound up chasing them down the street. Along with all the other Halloween decorations. In my pyjamas. So sexy.

And that's our red and white front porch this year. Bright and colorful and so fun to come home to. Thanks for stopping by ; )

Linking up here and over at Serenity Now, Home Stories A to Z,  Cedarhill FarmhouseCoastal CharmSew Can DoFrom My Front Porch to Yours,  Finding Silver Pennies, and  Savvy Southern Style.