Thursday, March 31, 2011

Caution: Spring Cleaning in Progress

Have you been wondering why this weeks posts are all just details of past projects, or more photos of the house?  There is something in the air around here that is telling me this is the perfect week to do all my spring cleaning.  The first sign of the robins, the sun heating the house prompting me to open wide the windows, the gophers peaking out of their holes.  Definitely time to do that cleaning.  Here is what it looks like in our house.  We wipe down all the furniture and pile it together in the middle of the room, and on top of tables and counters.

 The kids run and dance in all this new found space.  We turn up the music.  I chase them around with the vacuum cleaner and then I tuck them into bed for their afternoon nap.

 While they are sleeping I get to work wiping down baseboards, washing walls and window sills, and washing the floors on my hands and knees.  All using my own homemade cleaning formula.  Then when the kids wake up we dance and play some more and just before daddy comes home we put the furniture back in its place.  He walks in, gives us all our hugs and kisses and asks what we did today.  AAUUGGHH!

Is it worth it?  To me it is so much cleaner, brighter, crisper, newer, and smells so fresh.  To me it is so worth the effort. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fabric/Chalkboard Art Canvas DIY

As promised, here are the DIY details on the artwork found in Indianna's Play Loft.  They are chalkboards with pizazz.

 I like to use cheap canvases I find at thrift stores rather than purchase new blank ones at craft stores.  Believe it or not even the blank canvases can add up in dollars.  When I use pre-loved canvases all I do is apply a coat of primer over the image before continuing with my project.  Then I simply cut out my fabric with about 3 inches overlap to wrap around the edges of the canvas.  Staple the fabric snugly around all for sides working from the center out to each corner.  Now in order to make your fabric paintable and glossy, you paint on a layer of clear 'mod podge' or tacky glue.  Once that is dry, you trace or draw out the shape you wish for your chalkboard, and paint your silhouette with chalkboard paint.  Then doodle to your hearts content.  The layer of 'mod podge' protects the fabric so if the chalk sneaks out of the lines you can simply wash with a damp cloth. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Kitchen

Today I finished spring cleaning in my kitchen so I thought I would share some photos of my space.

 There are not many 'decorations' in this space but I think the design details we put into our kitchen eliminate the need for many accessories.  However, there are still a few spots I am hoping to fill with the perfect accessory.  The eight glass upper cabinets I am hoping to fill with unique ornaments about 6 - 9 inches in height that will be lit up with the cabinet lighting.  I am also searching for the perfect art/ornament for the large blank space below the hood fan that will add a little dimension but not take away from the simplicity of this space.

 I am loving our curved raised eating bar that comfortably seats six and allows for easy conversation.  It also works well for serving meals buffet style when we have a crowd that overfills our dining nook.

 A little change in depth in the cupboards along this wall add a little dimension to the cooking area.  The hardwood is not actually this orange but is rather very blond with lots of great color variations.  I am open to photography tips from anyone who has some to spare.

The stunning colors in this granite add so many details without adding clutter to the much needed counter space.

A little color variation in the backsplash tile compliments the granite without competing.

 A sleek simple fixture adds a little glam without bringing too much attention to the sink area.

Linking To:

DIY Starched Fabric Wall Decal

This is a very easy project using materials on hand and the best part is that it is completely removable to satisfy a decorators whims.

Lay out paper the approximate size you would like your finished decal to be.  You can see I had to tape some paper together to get it the size I wanted.  Then draw out your decal either using something as inspiration as I did, or out of your head.
 Cut out your decal and this will create your pattern. 

Lay your pattern onto your fabric and pin in place.
Cut out your fabric following your pattern.
Mix up your starch paste:
Mix 1/4 cup cornstarch into 1/2 cup cold water.  Then add 4 cups of boiling water and mix together.  Let cool.

 Because I used lace as my fabric which has very loose fibers I was able to skip one step but if you are using a cotton or tighter weave fabric you will need to paint the underside of your decal with the starch mixture.  Your starched decal will then stick to your intended surface.  I had to use pins to tack up my decal.
 Paint your decal to the wall using the starch mixture.
 If you end up with some drips and mess on your walls like I did, simply clean up with a damp cloth.

Get tired off your decal?  Simply peel up the edge and pull off.  Wipe your wall down with a clean, damp cloth.

Monday, March 28, 2011

DIY Stylish Boot Tray

A quick trip to Saskatchewan this weekend went wrong for us.  Part of the kids favorite part of visiting Grandma and Grandpa's house is swimming in the hot tub.  Grandma opened the hot tub lid and B (7 yrs old) quickly jumped in .... and right back out.  The hot tub had malfunctioned and was 160 degrees.  He got lucky with only second degree burns to the tops of his feet and ankles, and buttocks (the most tender skin areas).  Anyways, we are back home but added to my duties of mom, wife, maid, cook, chauffeur, financier, and receptionist, I am also playing nurse and teacher.

I still have managed to sneak in a little time (with the kids great help) to create these boot trays to catch all the water and muck that comes in on the shoes this wet time of year.

This project is so easy.  Simply purchase an inexpensive boot tray and polished rocks (or collect your own).
I lined the bottom of my tray with silicone so the rocks would be glued in, but if you do not have a 2 yr old to escape with the rocks as I do, this step is not necessary.  Spread your rocks over the tray.  Done.

  Tip: Hate your boots getting trashed from the sides always falling over?  Simply roll up a newspaper and stand it inside the boot.

The Girl Creative

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Decorating

Here is our back entry.  Opposite this is a mirror image but divided into 3 lockers, one for each of our children.  This bench seems to be the dumping space as we come in from the cold, take off boots, exchange after school hugs etc.  This nice creamy white bench has been acquiring quite a few marks due to use.  Today I decided to add a few touches of sunny spring to this area.

I picked up some flowering branches at HomeSense.

I created a new bench cushion for a softer landing.  Repainted an old plastic key (remember the ones in groupings of 3 in our grandmothers kitchen with the gold and orange wall paper?).  Turned my flowering branches into a little wreath.  Pulled out the target cushion I had purchased back in October waiting for the perfect spot to place it.   I am loving the cheery yellow greeting us when we come into the house now.  The only thing left to do... I think I need to paint those light colored baskets a nice dark grey with white trim at the top.

Reworking an idea

Do you ever get half way through a project and realize its just not going to work the way you envisioned it to?  I've been working on making my children's art work into a dramatic art wall.  However, after I quickly tacked a few pieces up to see if the sizes were going to be okay, I realized there just wouldn't be enough to work on this huge wall behind the sofa.  So back to the drawing board to come up with something for this wall and off to another wall will these art pieces go.  Unfortunately, not a check on my list of tasks completed yet.

The continual snow we have been receiving this week in Southern Alberta has also kept me from heading outdoors to work on this project.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Upper level Indoor Playhouse

Here is the colorful upper level of Indianna's indoor Playhouse.
 This is what you see above the railing through the opening.

 The table is tucked into the corner on the left side with room for five little guests to sit around.  You can also see the railing (so we have no accidental falls), and the curtain for some 'no boys allowed' tea parties.

On the right side is the ladder down to the lower level.  It has been extended up into the upper level to act as a railing and also so that the kids can easily step off and on while still hanging on.

Some tutorials you will see next week from this space include:
-flag bunting
-converting hallway light into chandelier
-chalkboard/fabric canvas art

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Indoor playhouse

Do you remember at the beginning of the week I showed you this photo as one of the projects I would be working on this week? 

For my daughter's 4th birthday we created this two story indoor play house for her in the 40 sq ft toy closet off the playroom using left over building materials.
Here is the lower level.

 This is what you see in the doorway opening.  Of course we removed the doors in order to create this play space.

This is the left side.

And the right side. 

You can see on the right the ladder leading up to the second floor.  I am hoping to add a few little throw pillows for the sofa and the chair and I plan to make a braided rug for this space yet.

The mirror and the crib have been repainted, and I recovered the cushions on the small chair.  Lighting was an issue down in this space as the closet light is now blocked by the floor.  We added simple christmas lights to the perimeter of this space as they are not hot to touch in case little fingers go wandering.
I will give you all the details for the starched wall decal next week.

Tomorrow I will show you the second level.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

DIY Floating Timber Counter

Because I have had a few people ask about it I thought I'd share the details of the floating timber counter we have in our powder room.  Unfortunately we didn't take too many photos during the actually creating process.

For all the details Read More.

Monday, March 21, 2011

DIY monogrammed pillow.

One project down, three to go...

Here are the details on making your own monogrammed pillow. Read More.

Projects for this week.

Here is a list of projects I hope to complete this week.  Once completed I will post all the DIY details for each one.  Is your week filled with projects?

 Finish this last pillow for the play room sofa.

 Turn this collection of my children's art into a stunning floating art wall.

 Turn this leftover timber into a rustic modern bench for the kid's bathroom.

Complete the final details of this two story indoor playhouse so I can share all the DIY elements of it with you!

The only obstacles to my ambitious projects so far is the fact that I have an extra boy home from school sick with the flu requiring some extra cuddles, and its SNOWING again in Southern Alberta making it difficult to head outdoors with my sanding project.  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Geometric pillow tutorial!

So its not the chevron pillow I was originally thinking of here but my music room is begging for a Chevron pillow so I decided on this playful geometric design more suited to the kids playroom instead. 

Want to learn how I created this fun pillow?  Follow this easy tutorial to create your own.  Click on Read More for the full tutorial.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Make your own designer fabric!

I couldn't find quite the right fabric I had in mind from my fabric stash for some new throw pillows so I set out to create my own.  It couldn't have been easier.  I started out with some creamy white canvas fabric, a ruler, and a cd writing permanent marker.  Why the CD writing marker - because their claim is that they don't smudge on cd's.  Guess what - it didn't smudge or run on the fabric either.

I then started drawing some random straight lines.

And continued to draw more random lines.

And more until I had covered my whole piece of fabric with lines.
Voila - designer fabric by Marci.

I then used the fabric to sew these great pillows.

Can you see where I am going with this couch?

Except instead of the large dot pillows I am thinking of something more like this....