Thursday, April 28, 2011

Brassy to Classy

That title makes me laugh. It's so cheesy, but appropriate for this quick project.

Our current house definitely has the smallest bedrooms we've ever lived with. They are all pretty much the same size, even the master bedroom; unless you include the master bath as additional square footage. I actually prefer smallish bedrooms because they don't allow to you to furnish the space just to fill the space. You basically have to stick to the essentials and forget about the fluff and it doesn't look odd like it would in a humongo room.

When we moved in, our big tufted headboard just wasn't working for me anymore. It just seemed too large and kinda stuck out like it didn't go with our other bedroom furniture. I've always hoped that the hubby would be willing to replace the dresser and side table, but he's actually attached to it for sentimental reasons. It's not that I don't like it, it's just never been my style. Mission style furniture just isn't my fave. But, at this point we've decided we're holding on to it until...I don't know when, and the tufted headboard; it just had to go.

Enter The Lettered Cottage. After seeing the amazing transformation Layla did on her PB inspired headboard, I jumped out of my seat and began my Craigslist search for the "perfect" headboard to replace our big ol' one.
{pottery barn version for lotsa moola}

{TLC version for a lot less and beautiful!}

My "perfect" headboard was not initially so perfect on purpose. Here were my criteria: cheap, similar shape as the PB version, needed the round finials (I don't know why this stood out for me), and cheap. After a few days of searching I found one for $20. Score! It was brass, had almost the exact same shape as the PB one, and it had the round finials. Although when I got it, one of the finials was broken. That ended up being a bit of an ordeal to fix, but that's not important. 

{imagine something like this}

Since my headboard was not already painted like Layla's and I believe mine had a smoother texture, I decided to first prime the headboard using a tinted grey spray paint primer and then painted over with the oil-rubbed bronze. Three days, two cans of primer, and one of the oil-rubbed bronze and I was done! Yippee!

{all done. bad lighting.}

{with bedding}

Thanks to The Lettered Cottage for the inspiration. I saved a bajillion dollars (actually, more like a $1000). It actually ended up being "free" since I paid for the brass headboard and materials with cash I got from selling the old headboard and I had some left over. This made the hubby especially happy. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

art for everyday of the year

I don't remember where I read about this, but a while back I somehow stumbled upon the mother lode of free art. It is pages upon pages of amazing, wonderful, unique art! The NY Public Library Digital Gallery for all this fabulous goodness. 

Who can forget this gorgeous room from the late Domino Magazine? Well, see that pretty art above the bed? Yup, that can be found in that gallery right here!


How about an old map for your living room wall? There's plenty of those.

Orbis terrae compendiosa descriptio : quam ex magna universali Gerardi Mercatoris Domino Richardo Gartho, geographie ac ceterarum bonarum artium amatori ac fautori summo, in veteris amicitie ac familiaritatis memoriam Rumoldus Mercator fieri curabat A0. M.D. LXXXVII.

It is such an eclectic mix of art as well. You can even do a search for specific items. 

 Trochilus moschitus (ruby-crested humming-bird) native of the West Indian islands.

Resplendent trogon.

Limodorum tankerwillae


Insectes : Hyménoptères, pl. 1.

Aloha oe : farewell to thee / composed by H. M. Queen Liliuokalani.

There's no reason to have bare walls now. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Open Soon

I think I've made it quite obvious on this blog that I am very fond of fabric. It's really hard for me to resist a pretty pattern. I see it as art. 

Now that I've changed my role and have become a stay-at-home-mommy, I can't as easily go out and buy all the fabric my little heart desires, for there is a budget I have to keep in mind now. Well, I started thinking about how I could change this. Here's how it worked itself out in my head (although, perhaps not as simplified)

fabric love + crafting desire - funds to run loose = start my own etsy shop!

I'm in the process of working on building an inventory of fabric (yay!), selecting a name for the shop (too many options), crafting in my spare time (and not just sewing), and creating a brand for my shop (I'm all about the details). I want to make sure that I have a lot of things sewn and crafts packaged in order to have them on hand because with a baby to care for first and foremost, I don't want to feel overwhelmed. So, I'm taking my time and making sure things come out exactly the way I want before I open shop. 

The first thing on my inventory: pillows!

{just one design I'm working on}

{colorful linen and zippers galore!}

I've been on the hunt for some unique patterns at various price points and I can't wait to get them all in the mail. Some other things I'll be adding to the shop include custom curtains, "party in a box," fabric bunting, cupcake toppers...and random other bits. It'll basically be a rotating hodgepodge of things I like to make. 

I can't wait!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Congradulations! It's definately not Wensday!*

New house with a yard = new projects galore! There are so many things that I am extremely thankful for right now: becoming a stay-at-home-mommy, seventy degree weather in February, a hubby with a shorter commute...

One of the things on this list is now having a yard and area to do projects in. I love me some good crafty projects! I can whip out my brand-spankin' new power saws (only to be used when the hubby's at home), spray paint my little heart out, sew like it's going out-of-style, and refurbish old furniture. Yay!

One of my first large projects since arriving in our new place was to find a table for our dine-in kitchen area. I now have a real dining room and separate eating area for messy meals. Fancy. Of course I was not about to go out and buy a new table. That's too easy and usually more than I want to spend, so Craigslist searching it was. After a three week search,  I finally found a table that I thought was right and not in need of too much work.

In my mind, I envisioned a cute little pedestal table. I am a big fan of round tables. I don't think I've ever owned a rectangular or square table. I found a nice, white, pedestal table from C&B. The ad mentioned it needed to be refinished on top and I was up for the challenge. 

I picked it up in the evening because that allows more room in the car since the little one can stay at home with daddy. I saw it, noticed it needed work, and then brought it home. The next morning I realized it was in worse shape than the ad mentioned; bad Craigslisters. Don't lie, please. The previous owners had attempted to paint the top before, but from what I could tell, they had not sanded, primed, or used the correct paint. Oh, and they also didn't paint the leaf it comes with. Bad. 

{i immediately started started working}

{note gashes in tabletop}

{eek. more gashes and previous bad paint job}

My plan: sand, prime, and paint the top portion of the table using chalkboard paint. The hubby at first questioned the chalkboard paint. He's now convinced. It's a nice contrast to the white parts of the table, it hides some of the deeper gashes I couldn't sand out, and it's super fun. 

{second coat of primer. my cute assistant in the background}

{looking much better already}

{first coat of chalkboard paint}

I ended up doing two coats using a nice angled brush and then three coats using a small foam roller. 

Tonight, after waiting over a day for the paint to really dry, the hubby and I tested out the table after dinner. 

We love it. We had lots of fun talking and drawing once our plates were put away and we're looking forward to when Amélie will want to contribute to the artwork. We've also decided that any time we draw on it after dinner we're going to date it, take a picture, and in a year we'll compile a little picture book. Another fun little project. Oh, and the mismatched chairs...I'm working on that. 

*During our after dinner conversation we started talking about words that are frequently misspelled. I've seen a lot of this as an English teacher! Congratulations, definitely, and Wednesday were the top three.