As you can kind off see, I have been working on a blog overhaul. Most of it has been internal, so thing are easy to find for me. Talk about BORING and tedious. Now, I am starting to focus on the blog being more accessible for you. Its slow going but here is some progress:
#1 There is more content in the sidebar and there is more to come
#2 I am organizing all my projects for you
You can check out what I have done already but just clicking on Tutorials up top.
#3 The blog is getting a new look
One of my friends is a graphic designer and I am paying her to help me. She wanted me to come up with a moodboard to give her a sense of the style and color that I want. I can’t wait to see how she translates this into a blog header!
I have brown hair now. My sidebar pic needs an update. I am kind of picky because I hate taking pictures of myself.
I am doing most of this blog overhaul myself and have big plans to show you how I am doing it…so you can do it. Blogging is a technical hobby and I have learned some easy things along the way to help you fellow bloggers make your site what you want…using a normal template.
If you are in OKC this weekend, come cheer me on. My friend and I are running the OKC 1/2 marathon. My hubbie is staying home this time so we need some cheerers…and so does all the other runners!
Organization has been the theme of our life since camp ended this summer. I got home and started cleaning out and reorganizing. It began long before the laundry room reorganization began. The laundry room/ office was a bi-product of just cleaning out one room.
This is a little quick fix that has really helped me stay organized in the kitchen. I am warning you, this is not revolutionary. There are tons of versions of these on Pinterest, but this is my version. The idea is not original but the printable is original. I went to Wal-Mart and bought this 16X20 poster frame for $6.00. Of course you could spray paint this but my kitchen is black…so I didn’t need to.
I made a document on word that looked like this.
I had it printed at Staples online. At first, I was going to print a poster. That was going to cost be $23.00. I fully realize that this is not that expensive but I didn’t want to spend that much on this project so I selected the same size (18 X 24) in an engineer print, which can only be printed in Black and White. The cost went for $23 to $1.79 I knew that I would cut down the 18 X 24 to 16 X 20 so I planned for that in my word document. I saved it as a PDF and sent it off. One hour later I got a phone call from Staples saying they were sorry, they messed up my print. I asked what they did and they said, we accidentally printed it in color, do you still want it? Yes. Here it is.
I actually wanted less red so I didn’t like how it turned out, but because I had to cut it down it gave the exact amount of red that I wanted. I used removable picture hanging tabs and stuck it on the side of my fridge.
My brain is random and sometimes I find inspiration from the silliest things. I was walking back from taking a group of kids and staff swimming and we walked on the road in our office complex where trucks and shipments arrive. Since it was Saturday no one was using this road. We walked over this speed bump.
I immediately fell in love with the pattern on it.
I have thoughts of a painted rug or painted curtains or maybe just a painted canvas for the wall. Who knew that a speed bump could get my mind thinking. Welcome to my head. Happy Olympics!! I am seriously so excited!
I have a small project I want to share with you. My friend Stephanie emailed me and asked me to recreate a new version of this print she saw on Apartment Therapy. Stephanie is having (or literally just had) a baby boy and wanted prints like these for her nursery to go over the crib.
Source: Apartment Therapy
She had a bible verse that she wanted printed so I spent some time doodling on my computer and this is what I came up with:
I made a goal a few days ago to finish the living room. I am working on some projects right now, but none are ready to be posted about yet. That is my DIY life. I will put a coat of paint on something right before I leave for work, come back at lunch and put another coat of paint on…and multi task in between!
So, while I am working on a few projects, I thought I would slow down and show you the details of my guest bedroom.
This room’s artwork is a collection of pieces that I have had for a while. When I lived in my first apartment, I as in a black and white photo phase. I love old black and white prints so I bought a few and my mom got me a few for christmas, birthday ect.. I decided to make the guest bedroom have a black and white photo feel. I actually picked the colors of the room so black and white photos would naturally fit. I did have to paint frames to make it all cohesive but I liked how it turned out. Little did I know that my black and white photos (that I got before I met the hubs) actually fit into an entire sentimental theme. As I started to pick other photos, I decided to make it all about the Hubs and our relationship. So, today I am going to share more about me, through my pictures.
My mom purchased me this print of Time Square in 1939. I love NYC, especially old school NYC. I am the girl who would rather pay to go on a walking tour of fifth avenue and learn about the history of the street then go to the top of the Empire State building. (If you go to NY, I suggest doing it) The Hubs, when we dated, sent me on a scavenger hunt (by myself) that started here in the Ozarks, sent me to Kansas City, put me on a plane to NYC and ended in Central Park, finding him giving me marriage proposal. Yep, he is pretty amazing.
I purchased this Ikea New York poster soon after we bought this house. I just like the pops of color used in it.
This wall has some sentiment to it as well:
The first picture the Hubs gave me our first Christmas as a married couple. He had our vows printed so that we would always remember them. He matted them with pictures of us. Love that!
Underneath is the picture I gave him the same Christmas. The hubs had written out his whole plan of engagement on this piece of notebook paper. It’s hard to see on a blog but it has times, contact numbers, coordinated lies to keep me in the dark, how he was going to get the clues everywhere, the plan. It’s an amazing masterpiece of chicken scratch that pulled the entire thing off. I had it printed on really nice paper. I printing company did it and took away the lines on the legal paper. I framed it in a floating frame:
My mom also purchased me this fun black and white print. It fits the Hubs and my relationship because we like to dance. You might not ever see it in public, but we sometimes turn the music on at home and dance.
I needed a space filler for above the bookcases so I cute two pieces of wood the size of the dancing picture and painted it with chalkboard paint. The farthest picture is nothing special. I am looking for a picture that would fit in that frame.
Finally, the last picture that is special is a picture that The Hub’s dad drew us our first year of marriage. One week after we got engaged, the Hubs found out his father was dying of cancer. In his dad’s last months he spent time drawing. He was good at it and it helped him keep his mind off the pain. He drew us this picture of our first house. It’s not actually our first house. We were renting at that time, but this is what he pictured for us. My favorite detail is our two bike parked out front. The crazy thing is that besides the mountains, the picture of the house is pretty similar to our house now. This will always be precious to us.
Do any of you have rooms of pictures that tell a story?
In the spirit of my goal in finishing the living room I want to share a post I have been meaning to do for some time. Soon after I finished the lack bookshelves I decided I needed some Art above the left side bookcase. The television filled the space of the right side.
I added this lamp that I spray painted:
I swapped with a friend for this one. She needed a taller lamp for her son Asa”s room so I took her shorter lamp. I didn”t have a need for it then, but I figured I would. I was right and it fit perfectly for my reading nook:
Then, I needed to fill the blank space.
I had stacked some design books up to help fill the space and I figured I needed wither one big thing or two same-sized frames with some art. I found this piece of art on Pinterest.
I searched and searched to find it online and could not find the source. So, to the maker of this art (in the unlikely, but possible event you would read this) please know I wanted to purchase this from you! I finally got so sick of looking for it I decided to make it. It was really easy to do using Microsoft Word and its infamous WordArt. I purchased a 11.5 X17 frame at casino onlineWal-mart for $3.97, had the art printed at Staples on cardstock for $1 and had some sweet art for under $5.00. If you would like my version of this you can download it here. Please do not sell this. This is for your personal use only. You can see the colors I chose are different and I added a few down in the legend:
I knew that I wanted the frames to be linear. So I purchased another $3.97 11.5 X17 frame at Wal-mart. I had to think about what I wanted in this one. One day I was in our guest bedroom looking for a book and I thought it could be cool to frame a book cover. I had also seen the idea online. I asked the Hubs what his favorite classic book was and he said “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway. We had that one so I grabbed it off the shelf.
My original idea was to frame the old book cover (different from the ones above), but I couldn”t get them to fit in the frame. So, I scanned them in using my scanner/printer. When they were scanned in I could brighten the color to make it pop! I sized them down, and printed them on cardstock from my computer. For the background, I used some leftover grey cardstock from this project and I have my unique and fun art for $4!
When I posted about my new bicycles I ended the post saying that I had something I wanted to add to it. The idea was not my idea but The Hubs, which I love because that means he is into the project. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about here are my new bicycles I have spray painted and placed in my kitchen:
His suggestion was to add a black frame around the bicycles. The easiest way to do this would be to paint some trim and miter the ends to form a frame. We were staring at it last night and we both couldn’t decided if it was worth it. I am sharing this with you I think it shows you the process that goes on in my head when I decided to do a project. Here is what I ask myself: (my answers to the current question are in red)
Do I like the idea? – Yes, I think it could add a little more depth
What are my hesitations? Is it worth it? I only want to take the time to do it if its going to make the overall look better. If it looks good adding trim, but also looks just as good without it. I don’t want to do it. (Thats $5 I could use somewhere else!)
Is it needed? – I don’t know. I don’t think it needs much more, and I definitely don’t want anything to distract attention from the main attraction…which would be the bicycles. All that to say, I am not sure if its needed. I definitely have not looked at it and thought it looked odd on its own, but I don’t want to miss the opportunity to take it up a notch if that is what would be accomplished by adding trim.
Is it too time consuming? – No, I could paint it and do much-needed laundry while I wait for the paint to dry. Hanging it up would take 30 minutes.
Is it too expensive? – No, I could grab a $3 (and some change) paint sample at Lowes of the same black paint as my kitchen cabinets. I could grab a couple of peices of trim at the Re-Store for about .50¢.
Usually I can make a clear decision on something using those questions as a filter. This time around I cannot. My friend called me yesterday and asked me to come over and look at a wall in her house and help her with some ideas for decor. That got me thinking…”Why don’t I do the same thing?”. I have the great group of readers that have great ideas and opinions so I am asking for your opinion today. I am going to use modern-day technology and hopefully YOU, my readers, to make this decision. I know this decision has no benefit to you. And it’s really not that important, but your opinion matters to me, and that is important! (to me at least) I am going to use modern-day technology to help you make your choice.
Do you think I should add a frame (with wall exposed) around the bicycles like this?
Do you think I should leave it as is?
OR ,do you think I should scrap the frame idea,because you think the wall needs something else added to the bicycles. (if you vote for this, I would love for you to comment your idea)
I am also thinking about lowering the bicycles. In fact, I pretty much decided that I want to. Laziness and the desire to not put ”hang the bikes” back on my to-do list is hindering it from getting done at this moment, but it needs to come down a little bit. (Hey, I am not afraid to make mistakes as long as I am willing to learn from it and change it if I can!)
Thanks in advance for helping me out. Stay tuned, I have a blog update that I want to share with you but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Wait, I don’t usually blog on Thursdays…well, maybe thats changing!
For those of you who know the Hubs, you are probably not surprised by the title of this post. He is an avid cyclist and he is on his bike anytime the weather is nice. He even goes when its cold but not as often. Those who know me, for sure, are probably shocked. I don’t cycle. My only attempt (besides my Barbie bike as a kid and the spinning class I once took) was a miserable fail. It was a road bike and I had to clip into the pedals. I was fine around the neighborhood but when I needed to unclip…I couldn’t … and fell right over onto the sidewalk.
Our new bicycles were an impulse buy. We were on our way to dinner with friends. The resteraunt was located in our outdoor shopping center in my hometown. We walked by the store, saw them in the window, loved them, and came home with them. Here they are:
Ha! Ha! Gotcha! No we didn’t buy real bicycles! We found this great piece of bicycle art at Kirklands. When I did the laundry room renovation I decided to move our marker-board wall calendar. It started in the kitchen:
So, we had this big blank wall in our kitchen and I wanted to do something really fun.
I didn’t know what, but I had some Christmas money and was excited to go look for something. I didn’t have to! It found me! Cycling is apart of our family, so why not include it in our kitchen. (plus it might inspire us to get out and be active while we eat 10 cheesy bread sticks – like we did last night.) Here is a reminder of my kitchen:
It’s not exactly an oil-rubbed bronze kitchen. I love Oil-Rubbed Bronze, and it might be in my future kitchen,but I am not back tracking now. I decided to change the Oil rubbed Bronze bicycle art and jazz it up a little with some red spray paint and it went from this:
Isn’t it fun? It can transition if it needs to. I could move it into a kids room someday and spray paint it again if I want to! All I did was use two coats of primer and two coats of Krylon red spray paint on each side.
Before I hung it I had to fix the wall, so I used my favorite wood putty/wall putty to fix the holes. I had to use some leftover wall paint to conceal the lines and the sanded down, filled holes.
Now to hang it. The great thing is that it came with two welded pieces to hang it. The hard thing is figuring out how to hang something like this level. What is level? It was hard to tell. What I decided to do is make sure the two hooks on the back were hung level. To do this I pulled out my handy-dandy Black and Decker Laser Level.
I wanted the middle of the art to be eye level so I figured out where that was and placed the laser on the wall using the little spike that goes into the drywall to keep it on. I turned on the laser (as instructed) and let it give me a level line. Since this was the first time using it I had to check it and it was spot on. I taped under the line.
I measured the distance between the two loops welded on the art to hang it. (only one loop pictured)
I found the center and marked that distance on the tape and drilled two screws into the top of the tape on my markings.
I hung our new bicycles.
I thought I was done but the Hubs came up with a genius idea to add to it so stay tuned.
I shared on Monday that I had to modify my original idea:
To make room for three 17 X 22 mats I had to space out the pictures a little more. I tested in with my paper and I didn’t like it. It looked too spread out. So I decided to cut the Middle 17 X 22 mat in half. ( I did this before I made them) Here is what I came up with.
I actually liked it better than my original pattern. How did I hang it all up? Very Carefully….
I drew a level line at the top where the top row would be level.
Then, I hung the first row of framed pictures using a level and measuring tape. (Make sure to use the level to line up the sides too)
Then I used a large level to draw lines all the way down the wall where the top of each frame was. That way I knew the framed pictures were lined up even though the mats were in between.
I hung the first row of the drywall mat pictures
I used the large level to draw lines all the way down the wall (horizontally) where the top of each mat was
I hung the rows using the line that I had drawn.
I took off the pictures one at a time, erased the lines, touched the wall up with paint, let it dry, and put the picture back on.
The framed pictures only had a middle picture hanger which made them wobbly. After I erased the lines, I added double-sided tape for pictures on each corner to keep them level and on the wall.
Time of work: Two entire Saturdays.
The funny thing is that I got this for Christmas. If I would have had this, this project would have been so much easier!
I went to Michael’s and bought 16 .35 pieces of grey cardstock that matched my fabric (not exactly but super close). I used an extra piece of cardstock that I had to make a template for the pictures. I measured and marked on the scrap piece where the picture would be centered. Then I cut out that area. I would lay this template on top of the grey cardstock and taped the picture in the cut out.
Then, I simply removed the template and Volia…pictures are all centered nicely.
All my pictures are pictures of family that I had. I scanned most of them in and edited them to be black and white. I uploaded them to Walmart.com and added a white border to all of them. (You can do that on their site) Sent them to be printed and picked them up and hour later. Here are a few:
This is my grandmom:
This is my grandparents
This is me and my cousin who is like my sister. Can you tell which one is me? (Hint…left side weird face)
This is the hubs and his dad. (isn’t my hubbie a cute kid?!)
Here are my babies
Here is the hubs and I on our wedding day:
Choosing what was on the mats was not as hard as I thought. I created these myself using Macintosh Pages. I just recreated a quote that I liked or a verse that I liked and wanted to be reminded of. I put a background to it:
The Hubs and I collect vintage postcards of all the places that we have lived or been to. I just trimmed them to be the same size and put them on the mat:
I found a drawing of a Vizsla online and printed it out. I recolored it to look like a silhouette. This was really easy to do in my home but I would never put this online as a free download for someone. The image is not mine to sell or give away, but I can use it in my own home.
The Hubs has an English degree and He loves classic literature. I bought him some stationary that had stick figure versions of popular classics. I scanned four of the cards in and tweaked it on Mac Pages and then printed it off.
How did I attach the art ? You can see the nails above.
I just gently tapped a small silver, flat-headed finish nail in the corners of each piece of art. Using Cardstock is crucial here so it doesn’t tear. I often stop and look at my pictures. We live far away from family so this is a fun reminder of the ones we love.
After my “Aha” moment at Lowes I went home and sketched out what I would need. Here are the materials needed:
Piece of Clearance Drywall
cut pieces of plywood ( “el cheapo” kind because it's just the backing)
Staple Gun (I didn't even use my pneumatic. I just used my hand-held)
Picture hanging kit
small silver nails (with a small flat round head)
I decided that I wanted my drywall mats to be double the size of an 8.5 X 11 paper. (17 X 22) I knew that I would be designing and printing off my own art on computer sized card stock paper. I shared my initial plan the other day and I had already figured out this pattern:
I had to rearrange the cut out paper a little by basically spreading out the framed pictures a little, to accommodate three 17 X 22 mats. I went to Lowes and Home Depot to collect my supplies. Home Depot has a better scrap wood section so I went there first. They have this entire cart of scraps from wood people cut and didn't want. I found two large pieces of plywood for $1.oo a pop. I had them cut them into 17 X 22 sized pieces.
I then headed to Lowes where I knew the clearance drywall existed:
The sign says $2.00 but when you get to the register its only $1.00. I am not sure why, but hey, I am not complaining. This drywall comes from damaged pieces when they are unloading their large quantities into their store. I grabbed two large pieces for $1.00 a pop. (are you counting? So far I have spent $4.00.) While at Lowes I picked up a box of picture hangers. I decided to get the kind you have to nail the little nails in. I needed 18. The ones I got (not found online) there were 6 in the box so at $1.65 a pop I spent about $5.00 for that (My total is now up to $9.00)
When the hubs and I flipped house we bought contractor packs of everything. We have had enough liquid nails to last almost a year. The stash is dwindling but I had enough for this project. I also had staples and a staple gun. I was able to find some silver flat-headed nails in our stash of random out in the garage. All I had left was the fabric.
A few days later I went on a fun errand day with my friend Ashley. Of course, on my list of errands was to stop by a random quilt store that we have in my hometown. It does not compare to my favorite fabric store 45 minutes away but it has a pretty good selection of solids. I wanted my printables to stand out so I was looking for light grey solid upholstery fabric. The good news…they had two options. The great news was that one was in the clearance room. SCORE! I bought two yards at $3.50 a yard. ( The total now is at $16.00) I was ready to start!
I had to modify my original pattern when I got home. I will share why Wednesday. I want to skip that stuff to tell you how I made these.
Here is how:
1.) I went home and cut the drywall the same size as the plywood (17 X 22)
If you have a good 90 ruler like this one it makes life so easy. Mine has a little edge that helps me keep in straight. I just use it to draw the line and then run the box knife to score the line a few times. Move the scored line to the edge of your surface (sawhorse in my case) and fold the drywall together like a book. If it's a large piece, pop it with the palm of your hand. No worries, it will break on the scored line. Caution: This can be messy. Do this in the garage. Also, be careful with the box cutter.
2.) Clean up the edges of the drywall if you need to.
I shaved the jagged edge by lightly sanding the sides, and used masking tape to round it off on a few of them. The more I cut, the better I got and had great edges after the second one. I was using a heavy weight fabric so the masking tape does not show. I wouldn't suggest using a light-colored cotton fabric anyway just to make sure the ugly drywall doesn't show through.
3.) I used liquid nails to glue the drywall and plywood together
Here is what it looks like glued together:
Clamp it and let it dry. I would trust Liquid nails to hold me over a cliff (not really but its pretty sturdy). If you still have doubts you can also rest assured that the fabric will also help hold the drywall and plywood together.
4.) I stapled the fabric on the adhered drywall/plywood piece.
The front of the mat is the drywall piece (so you can “push-pin” a printable onto the front).
6.) I nailed in the picture hangers
I am anal so I measured one inch in and down on both sides of each mat. This was a little particular but it sure helped in measuring and hanging them perfectly aligned on the wall.
Here is the finished product:
Stay tuned I am going to share how I modified my pattern, how I framed the pictures in the frames, and I will show you what I chose to put on the mats. There is a significance behind each one. I will tell you that this project cost me about $66 dollars. It's about $6 over what I budgeted originally (before any purchase) but it would have been $90 to get more Ikea frames (plus pictures) and about a total $150-200 if I had to add the cost of 9 large poster frames!