Saturday, July 31, 2010

Face Front Bookshelf

Another project built all by myself! 
It's kind of sad my husband can't help since he has to work so much, we had a lot of fun working together on former furniture.  But it's kind of empowering for me to buy, cut, build and finish a piece of furniture all by myself.  Going in Home Depot and knowing my way around the lumber yard. Oh ya.  (You can tell my life is pretty basic.)
It's just exciting to learn new things I guess.
So this project started because I am so sick of the mess in my son's room!  He's only 2, but the books are always strewn everywhere.  I'm glad he likes to look at them, but I've been stacking them in his nightstand and he pulls them all out...pretty much every day.  There's also a hand full of books I like to read to him, but I don't want him ruining i.e. hardback Polar Express.  So I've been wanting to build this bookshelf originally from Pottery Barn Kids for $120.00,

then a DIY plan hacked by Ana at Knock Off Wood came along a few months ago,
and now built by me!
I bought the wood at Home Depot, and it was $28.00.  I already had the screws, glue, paint, etc.
So this was costing me around $30.00 total.  Pretty good to save $90.00 on it.  It's usually always cheaper to just buy junk and refinish it, but some things are too unique and I know I'll never find them, so I think it's worth it to build it. 
So using my miter saw, I was able to make all the cuts, then screwed everything together.
I just glued and nailed the baseboard on the bottom, and chose not to cut an arch up like the PB, I didn't want crap to be able to get under it.
Then I primed with an oil based primer because that's all I had, and more durability in the end I guess.
Then I painted it green.
1st coat Olympic Cavern Moss I had from the dresser.
2nd coat was Glidden Spanish Olive I originally bought for the file cabinet.

It ended up a little more muted than straight Spanish Olive, which is almost lime.  It's the same green method I used on the inner cubby of his nightstand.
Then there were a few last details, like using a handsaw to cut the base so it could fit flush against the wall, and securing L braces so it won't fall on his head.  I chose to screw them inside the top shelf and lower, so books would conceal them.
I am loving how it fits snugly in the corner, and it's great to have all the books stored in a shelf rather than piles on the floor.
The unfinished Roald Dahl table and stools are nearby for reading and coloring.
{I need to get working on those again sometime.  James and the Giant Peach is sketched on ready to paint.}
I love this piece of furniture, and hope it does in fact solve the problem of having books all over.
I guess we'll see, but if not, at least I have 2 shelves that are too tall for him to reach, so some control on which books are strewn everywhere.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Patio Shade Sails

Our patio is nothing fancy.  When we moved, it seemed the previous owners had tried to make it a cage.
So for a while we lived like this, and it was OK, but we really didn't use the patio, because it felt small and closed off.
So I got out my husband's drill and took off all the vinyl lattice.
With the pressure treated 4x4 posts still standing, I planned my next move, to make shade sails for the patio.
After a lot of online research, I found the most affordable place to purchase shade cloth.
WHAT IS SHADE CLOTH?
It's a tightly woven mesh that is mold, tear, fray, and weather resistant fabric.  Mine was 90% UV proof.
I bought my shade cloth HERE at Home Depot, they also carry wheat, black, and dark green.  This is the best price anywhere.  It was $20 for a roll 6'x15'.  What surprised me the most, to ship 2 rolls, it was only $7.00.  Other sites charge me that much to ship 2 measly yards of fabric!

So my shade fabric came, and I decided these babies needed to be temporary, so I can take them down in the winter, or in the case of a really bad wind storm or something.

So to the hardware:
EYE SCREWS
$0.63 small
$0.97 large
In the top of each post, I drilled a pilot hole
Then twisted the eye screws in
For the hardware to attach my sails to the roof, I had to find the truss.
Just like finding a stud, I found a seam where I knew one would be, then measured 16" down the row, to where I wanted the screws.  I also drilled a pilot hole, and knew then it was in fact in the truss of the roof, then screwed in the large eye screws.

The fabric corners hold the sails in place.  I sewed each corner around a large D-ring.  You can find them in the craft store near buttons/buckles.
Then to attach the sail to the screw/ post, I used carabiners.
This makes them easy to take down and put up.
Another little detail I included was sewing ribbon along as I hemmed all the outside edges.
These serve as ties to hold up LED christmas lights for evenings on the patio.
So here is my patio with the shade sails.
I found the best use of my fabric in being 2 triangular shapes that met in the center.  There are 2 seams in each sail, and I used french seams for durability.  Then I just roll hemmed all the outer edges.
This fabric is a tight weave, so cutting it was fine, it didn't unravel or anything, making sewing and piecing my triangles pretty easy.
It really opens up the space so we can enjoy coming and going, and makes the patio feel like a room, kind of like a tent/ canopy.
The best thing, is the fact it provides some much needed shade to play under since we have no trees in the backyard.

At night we've enjoyed having dessert with the lights on as the sun sets.
I'd like to get some hanging lit lanterns maybe, also nice dining patio set (which probably won't happen).

There is the hole in the center between my 2 triangle shaped sails.  I think I have enough fabric left to piece a mini sail to cover that hole. So maybe more updates to come.
Also, the weather latticed poles.  I thought about painting them.  But I have a trumpet vine and wisteria planted at the base of the outside poles, so hopefully we'll have flowers and greenery growing up the poles  in a while, and so painting them won't matter, although they'd look better now.  I may get to that.

Anyway, we're liking the shade sails a lot better than the white lattice cage so far, and hopefully the whole patio will only look better from here. 
(I have some more projects planned)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Run over to Just Another Day in Paradise today to see my Christmas in July Gift Idea!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Photo To Postcard and Dining Room Wall Reveal

This is really simple, and I debated whether or not it really deserved a post.  But here is a super easy, no-brainer project that took 3 minutes.
I had a scrap of mat board from this project, and a photo I printed of my mom.
I cut the scrap to measure 4.5" x 6.5" to leave 1/4" border all around.
I glued the photo to the board, so now it's stiff and able to be a free standing item on my shelf in the dining area.
The shelf in our dining area, is mainly filled with cooking/ kitchen type items.  I wanted a photo of my mom up there since she taught me to cook.  This photo is her as a young mother with my older 2 siblings, and probably our family's favorite of her.  I know it's definitely my dad's favorite photo of my mom.
So it worked out perfectly, even her and my sister's dresses are red.
Meant to be here on my shelf.

Here is the dining area (it's not really a dining room) wall.
{kind of from left to right}
photo postcard from above
crate $1.00 at thrift store
tall jar (not sure if he'll stay there) $1.25 Tai Pan
vintage flour sifter $.75 thrift store
vintage old soda bottle from my husband's grandmother's collection
(she collected all these old glass bottles over decades, taking her kids on day trips in the 1950s to abandoned ghost towns in the west deserts of Utah to go through their dumpsters looking for old glass--I need to raid the collection again I think)
square tin $.50 thrift store
Buon Appetito sign I painted a couple years ago
below: framed Smitten Kitchen prints

I keep looking at it, and I don't love the way things are organized on there yet.
Something seems weird and is bugging me.  If you have a suggestion on what it is, let me know.
I'm finding I like a mix of modern and rustic/ vintage/ retro.
This is a good example above.
The sleek, simplistic frames and floating shelf, stocked with old glass, tin, and a rustic crate.
For me the mix of old and new work and I like it.

It's probably breaking interior design rules, to mix like this?  I obviously don't know about the rules, but I do like mixing.

Monday, July 26, 2010

All Good Things Come From the Kitchen

This is going on the floating shelf in our dining room.
I've always loved this saying:
all good things come from the kitchen

Growing up, the kitchen was the center of my mom's home, where we ate, laughed, told stories, learned, and just spent time, and we still do when I go home.  So for me, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and all good things, mostly not even food, do come from the kitchen. 
I did have it painted on a shelf in our old farm house, but I sold the shelf in a yard sale.

The photograph of my little guy licking the batter was taken by Drew, my little sister's husband.

SUPPLIES:
fabric
canvas (I used 14x14 50% off!)
8x10 photograph
vinyl in black
staple gun
sticky tape

1. Iron fabric and attach to canvas, stretching and stapling it on the wood frame of the canvas

2. Rub on the vinyl lettering
(a little harder on fabric, but it worked)
 

3. Attach photo with sticky foam/ tape

4. Plop on a shelf and enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Owl Pattern Case

I had a space on my floating shelf in my craft room I needed to store all my huge patterns, mainly toddler backpack patterns.  I thought of different ideas, but found this metal file chest at the thrift store for $2.00.
I kind of liked the brown, but it was not going to clean up very well, so I had to paint it. I did keep the contrasting lid though.

Before and After.
So here's my process:
1. Clean with soap and water (and Goo-Gone in this case)
2. Spray with primer
3. Two coats white spray paint
4. Two coats Aqua paint on the lid only {paint semi-gloss from entry bench project}
So at this point it seemed a little blah to me.
And I've been in an artsy mood.
I decided to paint something on the front.  There isn't much room in my craft space, so every inch on my shelves needs to be storage and functional.  I love when people have beautiful shelving with pictures and art like Pink Suede Shoe HERE
It looks great I think. 
But I don't have room for framed photos or anything, so I thought I'd make this case a little art piece.
And I loved this idea of layering branches with one contrasting color from Lemon Tree Creations.
I don't have any stencils, so I just had to wing it.

SO..on with it:
I sketched some branches on the front, and painted them on with Glidden Gentle Tide, satin paint I had from painting the kitchen walls.  Compared with the darker blue, it was more green and pale.
Then I added the aqua paint for the accent branch.  But it seemed really square, and boring, so I added the owl to make it more interesting.

Then I plopped it on my shelf and loaded it with my patterns.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mantle + Another Thread Drawing

I painted my mantle a while ago, and since then have been slowly adding items.  I think I'm at a point I like it.
I did take every one's advice and lowered the mirror to sit right on the mantle.
A combination of family heirlooms, thrifted, purchased, and made items.

I found the blue vase for $2.00 - thrift store. The twigs are from my mom's house, my favorite trees in her yard are these Corkscrew Willows, with twisted branches.
I've been collecting clocks, I think this captain's clock was $12.00 - Tai Pan
White Vase- $1.00 -thrift store
Roses, front porch (yes, I have kept something alive)

Kerosene Lantern $2.00 -- yard sale
Glass Little Pitcher Thing (I'm sure there's an official name) Heirloom from my husband's Grandma
Thread Family Tree:  frame: $1.50 thrift store/ tree: scrap fabric, extra mat board, thread


For a few more details of the family tree thread drawing if you're interested:
Here's the frame I got at the thrift store.  It's solid wood and heavy, so I thought better for it to sit than to hang anywhere.

So I cleaned up the frame, and cut scraps of linen fabric the size of the opening.
I starched it to be a little stiffer, then got ready to sew/draw.

I wanted my family tree to be more fantasy like than a normal tree.  I had looked at this painting  but I thought it might look a little too-- scrapbooky is what I'd call it.  I had noticed really cool curved tree branches when I recently watched Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland, and really like them.

So I thought I'd combine my ideas.
So I did my first "drawing" in black.
But this first layer seemed a little too Tim Burton and looked borderline creepy to me.

So I thought I'd soften it up with a little color, starting with mint green:
Then I went ahead and added blue, since it's the accent color in the living room, and I still wasn't satisfied.
I sewed my signature in the bottom right corner, with the year....since I'm calling this "art".
Then sewed "family" in the left bottom corner, since this kind of creepy thread drawing wasn't looking much like a typical family tree.
So I taped the fabric to left over mat board I had from these prints.
I just taped it in the frame, leaving some raw edges of the fabric showing.

From a distance it looks cool, but closer, it looks kind of like a kid scribbled on paper, then when you get closer you realize it's actually sewn on fabric.
So I like it for now, but it's still a little creepy for a family tree maybe. 
But I guess art is like that sometimes?
Or maybe just when I try to make art.
Or maybe it is a good family tree because it's odd shaped, not perfect, some awkwardness, won't win any awards, but I still like it and it works.
Like me and my family.
Maybe one day I'll go through and sew creepy little gnome type people in the branches for each person in our family. 

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