Monday, October 31, 2011

Cheer me up Monday!

Get your week started right with these cute things that made me smile!

Check out my sister's new blog, Sunbeam Yellow, and this owl pumpkin tutorial she posted!

There is nothing cuter than a fat little hippo.  Almost makes me want to drop $58 on a set of two. (from Serena and Lily via Fresh Home Blog) Almost.

 This is from my local IHOP restaurant, but I love the idea of taking a regular picture, cutting out something basic and putting neat-o designed paper behind it.

 I've never been a big advent calendar person, but this one (similar to one I saw at Target) is cute with little doors that open.  Would be fun to put a Hershey's Kiss in each door.

What fun things did YOU discover this weekend?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Endless Possibilities

Who doesn't love the idea of a gallery wall?  They're pretty much all the rage now, but I love them because it allows me to hang up all the random crap I have on the wall and call it an amazing artistic feat.

Here's my ideas for what to hang on the wall, and here's a sneak peek at what I already have:
I'm in love with this idea from Carmel over at Our Fifth House and since we are, indeed, the Move-a-Lots, I'd like to put up pictures of all of our houses as we bounce around the county.

Baby Move-a-Lot drawings!  His day care teachers have all kinds of arts and crafts they send home with him.  Mostly paint smudges, but, as his mother, I love them madly!

  Some cute travel-focused hearts or shapes to frame.  Maybe places we've been, where we were all born?  Who knows!  Inspired by this at netoflak

 Wall decals!  I got a groupon for Dali Wall Decals, and I might use it to buy a neat decal to play with on my wall.  Maybe a bird escaping from a cage?
    Here's what I've collected so far:
    We love photo booths!  Starting with our early dating trip to Rome, but this one is Atlantic City, my post-bar trip.   Trying to show off my belly in the top shot, but it pretty much just looks weird.

    Hard to see - better photo in the full post, but this is the library where I worked growing up.  Photo by my friend and photographer, Richard Marheine

    A "B" which is our initial.  Terribly creative, I know

    is the "neutral" phase of the gallery wall, and we'll see how it looks before I change to brighter.  That's just a few things I've collected to put up.  Hope to show you a full post soon!

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    My New Fall Table!

    I really wish this post could discuss how fun and awesome it was to do this project, but, I gotta be real.  It's me, I'm going to mess it up.  So, here's how it went down.

    First, I decided to paint the top of the table white and leave the rest the natural wood color.  Later, I would wish I had done the opposite, but only after I had already applied a layer of primer - too late, sucka!  So, naturally, I get sooooo excited that I start this project in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room because there's no other possible space in the house that would be more convenient for a project.  I find some painter's tape and tape up what I'm not painting.  Then, I realize that I should move the table out to the patio, but that I can't get the table out there without taking the legs off.

    I got too excited

    So, I break the painter's tape and remove the legs and leave them in said inconvenient place and head downstairs with the table top.  I reapply the painter's tape, spread a tarp over the patio, and set the table down.

    Paint me!
    Following the great tutorial on Young House Love, I get some oil based white primer and give a coat to the table.  Of course, this is me we are talking about so I drip paint all over the tarp while stirring and even fling drops of primer onto the concrete while painting.  And, because I don't read directions well, instead of sticking to one coat of primer, I do two.  Hopefully not a disaster-maker, but annoying since it added more time to my project.  Because....IT RAINED FOR A WEEK AFTER THE PRIMER COATS.  I was actually lucky to even get in the primer coats.

    I got skillz with Kilz.  You see what I did there?
    Already looking better with just one primer coat!
    Back to THD to get some paint.  Now, there are a jillion shades of white, so in what is either extreme laziness, extreme indifference, or extreme time-saving, I just get a semi-gloss paint in white base.  Besides, how does a paint machine "create" white?  Mysteries.....Anyway, the table gets two coats of "white" which looks a lot like the primer, but is easier to stir and smells lots better.  I do significantly better at keeping the paint on the table and not so much on the patio.  I think it's because the white paint is so much thicker than that stupid oil-based primer.  PS, I hate you so much oil-based primer, I left you half full out in the rain.  Take that!

    Oooooo...coats of white paint.....
    With that, all that was left (other than the cleanup that still hasn't happened - eek!) was to put on a coat of Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic Protective Finish in “Clear Gloss,” which is for making it shiny and more wipeable.  Because, let's face it, I've got a toddler and I'm a huge klutz, and I'm making myself a white table.  It has disaster written all over it.  Once the shiny stuff was on and try, I put the legs back on and noticed, in typical Mrs. Move-a-Lot fashion, that I had dripped white paint past the painter's tape.  Lucky for me, the rest of the table is unfinished (kinda - Mr. M. pointed out there was a definite gloss of some sort, but it looked unfinished to me) so I just used sandpaper to wear down the dried paint.  Not ideal, I'm sure, but it works!

    The mistakes I sandpapered out of existence

    To finish, I put it in the middle of my cat fur covered, pukey dining room, and put some fake leaves from Michael's and some pumpkins we got at a nearby pumpkin patch and some candles from our "fake" wedding 4 years ago (don't ask) in the middle to make it look awesome.  So, it's an island of awesome amidst a mess, but I just like to peek in on it cause it's so so pretty!

    Here's the before:
    A definite "before shot"
    And here's the "after-the-before-but-before-the-final-after"
    Small but lovely finished product.  The table, obviously, not the rest of the dining room.
    I love baby pumpkins
    I know it all looks kinda weird in the middle of the chaos.  And without chairs.  But, I'm still working out the details.  Just happy to have actually finished a product that looks pretty nice!

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Dining Room Preview

    Just a quick little post about the dining room.  Currently, the table is being painted and I'm working on the gallery wall.  Neither project is done enough for a whole post, but here's a preview:
    Please note that a tarp never prevents me from spilling paint everywhere anyway
    This is the table with a coat of primer on it.  To be followed by two coats of white paint, to be followed by two coats of some clear stuff that's supposed to be awesome.  I am following this tutorial on Young House Love for some guidance.  Still contemplating some type of top layer or plastic or glass or something, based on the concern of my friend, the Bashionista, about little messy toddler hands on my nice white tabletop.  Hmmmm.....

    Au natural
    Another in-the-works-project is the gallery wall.  I keep going back and forth.  I love the look of these unfinished wood frames and mirror ($2.99 and $5.99 at Michaels) that I can put stuff in.  Coupled with the white/unfinished table and the white walls, it might make for a nice and neutral dining room.  Then, I got to thinking, am I nice and neutral?  No, I am not.  So now I'm thinking about picking a couple of bold colors (lime green and orange? yellow and orange? why must it be orange?) to paint these frames, and get matching curtains/chair pads to accent.  Mr. Move-a-Lot, while he cares very little for my design projects (other than the occasional veto) suggested trying the neutral look, because I can always paint later.  Harder to go from painted frames to unfinished.  Oh Mr. Move-a-Lot, you are wise.

    Hoping to put it together more soon, but wanted to let all 5 of you that read this know that I'm actually moving forward with a project.  Exciting, I know!