Category Archives: DIY

The New House Color. Wanna help me decide?

First up:

If you have asked to join the Whole 30 group I mentioned and have not been able to, I apologize. As I mentioned, I am not the admin of the group this time around, and, for some reason, the link to ask to join the private group does not work for most people. I have tried adding folks as a member of the group, but unless I’m personal friends with you on FB, it won’t let me. I have also tried adding you via an email invite, which you may or may not have received.

Basically, I thought it would be easy because, when I created the group for the 14 Day Cleanse back in the fall, it was, and people could simply use the link to request to join, and I could approve them.

Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward this time. I’m SO sorry for advertising something I couldn’t actually deliver on. If you’d like, you can use this link (I so hope it works; it does for me, but I’m the admin) to join the 14 Day Challenge group. It’s not EXACTLY Whole30, but there are all kinds of resources for you there from the last go-round, and I will do my best to post there as well since I’m in the midst of this.

Again, I apologize for the confusion/difficulty. I promise that, if/when I do another Whole 30, I will be sure to create a group for this blog, and be prepared to administrate it, so this doesn’t happen again.

OOOOOOKAY. Onto the business at hand.

Y’all know I love me some color. At least if you’ve read more than one blog post.

You also know, if you’ve been reading a while, that our current house color looks like this.

current house

It’s Valspar’s Ancient Bog, and while it’s certainly not a common choice, we love it.

Apparently y’all do too because, way back when, when we were building the addition to our current house, I polled you about which color we should go with (with the options being to repaint the structure–both new and old–or keep it the same dark green), and you guys pretty overwhelmingly voted to stay with the current color. Which…worked out well since that’s what we wanted to do too. We repainted the trim a lighter, crisper color and fell in love with it all over again.

Well, here we are again, trying to figure out what color to go with for the exterior of the new house this time, and I’d love y’alls opinions on which way we should go.

Of course, I have a few ideas, but this one has been surprisingly hard to nail down for me because of the accents (shutters, trim, doors, etc.), so I can’t say I’m 100% committed in any one direction.

Here are 3 colors that have caught my fancy, though:

1. White

white

This one may surprise y’all because of my aforementioned obsession with color, but my obsession with this house from @farmhouseforfour (one of my ALL time favorite Instagram accounts; if you’re not following Lauren, click away right this second and remedy that) might trump it.

Maybe it’s Lauren’s impeccable taste and the way she manages to create the perfect mix of classic/rustic/farmhouse/chic or that fact that she and her family pretty much DIYed the whole thing, but…I’m seriously drawn to her simple white + black exterior color scheme. The architectural details just shine (not that that those beautiful limelight hydrangeas do anything to hurt the curb appeal).

2. Deep Teal

riverway

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have what many will, I’m sure, think is an obvious choice for an aqua-file (with “aqua” being blue rather than water, in this case) such as myself.

This house is actually a spec home created by such decor blogging heavy-hitters as House of Smiths and Tatertots and Jello, and I’m really drawn to how dynamic the color is without being too loud or bright. (It’s SW Riverway, and I picked it up not once, but twice–once in a single sample card and once as a part of a three color swatch–without realizing it when I went on a paint sample run the other day).

As much as I love that yellow door, though, if I went this route, I would be deviating from that detail for sure. It’s just not me. I do love the idea of a pop of color via the door, though, and coming up with another non-clownish alternative has proven difficult.

3. Greige

house of turquoise

And then we have this lovely home from another big-time decor blogger–House of Turquoise.

The greige of the exterior is the perfect weathered neutral–especially against the texture of the shingles and with that pop of color from the Wythe Blue door and shutters (not a super huge fan of the matchy-matchiness of those two, but the overall effect is very soothing).

I’m not entirely sure I can pull off such coastal colors in our woodsy surroundings, but I have a feeling I would mentally breathe a great big, “Aaaaah” every time I drove up to our house if I chose these colors.

Oh, and just as a reminder, here’s the current exterior of “the new house.”

newhouse13

Just so you know, we are doing board and batten siding on the upper section, horizontal lap siding on the lower, and shingle detailing on the gables. There will also be a front porch with a metal roof (the rest of the roof will be traditional shingles). Oh! And shutters stained a light alder tone. I hope. I’ve always wanted shutters, but it kind of depends on how everything else goes down whether they will make sense with the look of the house.

The entire house will be the same color, but I love the idea of bringing interest to it with the contrasting textures of the different roofing + siding options we’ve chosen.

I just need the perfect color (+ accents) to tie it all together.

So, what do you think?
Option 1, Option 2, or Option 3? Or do you have a suggestion for me? I’m all eyes!
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The $30 Dollhouse {Before}

I’ve mentioned before several times that I’ve scored some pretty amazing finds at the Gresham Barn Sale in East Texas (I even got to meet a reader there a few years back. Hi, Michelle!)

Well, I struck gold again this past fall when I stumbled upon this awesome (BIG) vintage dollhouse.

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It’s in great shape–just in need of some TLC and paint. I had grand plans of redoing it by Christmas, but all the hustle and the bustle (I typed that in an Inigo Montoya “accent,” if you must know) of the season and aaaaallll of that doll-making I did definitely threw off my dollhouse reno schedule.

I went ahead and gave her to the Della, Evy, and Nola, though, and here she sits, proudly perched in all of her mismatched glory in the girls’ shared room (which I hope to share with you in its finished state soon). Not that they mind.

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They happily bicker-play with her for whole 1′s of minutes before losing interest to devolve into full-blown cat fights (3-year-old twins, y’all. They are not for the faint of heart. Which might be why I get heart palpitations sometimes. Ha!).

No, but seriously. The girls are pleased as punch with her current look. But that’s just because they don’t know JUST how much dreamier she’ll be when I finish with her white + aqua + gold transformation. (Apparently, I’ve been spending too much time on Instagram because I had an almost overwhelming urge to insert a heart-eyes emoji just now).

An exterior makeover is all I have planned for the immediate future, but eventually I would love to go full-on crazy-decorator-mom on that unsuspecting little house. Think: wallpaper, tiny trendy light fixtures, chic fabric rugs.

You know. In all my spare time. (And again with the emoji urge–this time for the crying/laughing one).

Oh! And the best part of all for this little dollhouse is that I managed to talk the lady down from an already very reasonable $45 to $30, AND she threw in a whole shoe box full of dolls and cute furniture!

So, yeah. Consider this your sneak peek at the before of The Great Dollhouse Project of 2016 (I can only imagine I will regret naming it that, but it’s too late now).

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And consider it MY accountability for actually making progress on it.

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A Painted Scale

I don’t do much with scales that weigh humans these days, having sworn off weighing myself (except for progress purposes if I do a cleanse or some other sort of challenge) a long time ago.

But scales of the cute kitchen variety? Total sucker for those guys.

Which is why I couldn’t leave well enough alone with this plain silver one we have.

scale1

There’s honestly not a thing in the world wrong with him. But I have nothing else in my kitchen this particular shade of shiny silver chrome, so he kind of stuck out like a sore thumb, which resulted in his being exiled to the pantry.

But then! I got the brilliant (aka: super common and totally unoriginal) idea to paint Steve (the Scale; he needed a name).

And so I rummaged through my spray paint stash, found a shade I liked, and taped off Steve’s face (because nobody enjoys a blast of spray paint to the face…I hope).

scale

I would love to say that I just went to town on him and was done in about 15 minutes flat…which…is mostly true. But there was something janky about the that particular spray paint can’s nozzle, and I ended up with blue paint splattered everywhere. Still. No more than 25 minutes later, I had managed to coat my hands AND Steve in a respectable amount of somewhat evenly applied paint, and he was ready take his place center stage in the kitchen.

painted scale1

Literally.

painted scale

Now, OBVIOUSLY, this is a staged picture. We use our kitchen island for everything from eating 3 meals a day (plus about 40 snacks–I’m looking at you, twins) to crafting to school and just about everything in between. A scale–even (especially?) one as newly cute as Steve–would never survive the daily carnage.

painted scale3

But I have a great spot all picked out for him, assuming that he hasn’t gotten too impressed with himself from his brief sojourn as the carrier of the sparkly Christmas ornaments to be moved to a lowly shelf.

ANYhoo, I’m plenty happy with Steve’s transformation, but if I were going for the perfect kitchen scale, I would be all over these bad boys.

scale collage

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Do you guys have a thing for scales too? Any links for me? Don’t tell Steve, but I’m kind of on the lookout for the perfect teal scale, but I haven’t had any luck yet.

P.S. Lord WILLING, I’ll have a mini Christmas house tour for you on Monday before signing off to slip into a shortbread cookie induced coma for about a week or so.

P.P.S. In case you’re dying to know, the wooden star tree + table runner are from Marshall’s, the greenery is from Michael’s, and the colorful ornaments were a melted crayon + glass ornament craft that the kids and I did.

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Project Elephant Update: The Refinished Dining Table

I’ve mentioned several times a certain Facebook Sale + Trading site that I’ve used to clear out some furniture we didn’t need, but it’s also been really good for scoring several incredible deals as well.

Perhaps the most amazing of which was this table.

table6

Somehow, I managed to be first in line to claim it (it’s a first come, first served kind of thing), and there was much use of the crying eyes emoji by all of the commenters who came after me.

It was a really great price (and I even sold the chairs that came with it because they weren’t quite right for me, so I made half of my money back), but I aaaaaalmost didn’t get it because it needed some TLC, and, since I have those half dozen children who need TLC all day errrr’day, it seemed a bit foolhardy to take on another project.

But those legs! Seriously, I couldn’t pass up the stems on that table.

And now that she’s done, I’m so glad I didn’t.

When I posted the above pic and mentioned that I shouldn’t have bought her due to her fixer upper status, I got a slew of, “Don’t touch her! She’s beautiful just the way she is!” comments.

Which I get. But outside of the big ol’ gouge out of the wood, this is what her finish looked like up close.

table

And since we’re going to be eating off of her, I didn’t think it was thee best idea to mix peeling varnish with our peeled potatoes.

Honestly? She wasn’t that hard to perk up. All it took was some wood filler for that huge gouge, a quick round with an orbital sander on the tabletop, an even quicker hand-sanding of the legs, a coat of paint, and a little intentional distressing of said paint…and she was good to go!

table1

{The top is painted SW Rainwashed, in case you’re wondering; it’s the palest gray/blue/green}

It was probably 2 hours tops.

Is she perfect?

table2

{Hello, gorgeous gams!}

Nope.

And that is so the point. I love her craggy, weathered self. I wouldn’t like her as much if she were shiny and lacquered. I like my tables like I like my people. Real and quirky and pragmatic and a little rough around the edges.

table5

And you know what else I like? Having another item crossed off my latest Project Elephant list (I’ve got another BIG one to show you soon, but it’ll have to wait just a bit longer).

table4

Now, if only I could manage to make my bedroom curtains sew themselves. Le sigh…

P.S. After referring to my table as a “she” for this whole post, I really feel like she needs a name. Any thoughts?

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Transforming Lampshades from Blah to Beautiful (AKA: How to Recover a Lampshade)

I feel like the title of this post belongs on the cover of some 1940′s Gibson Girls magazine right next to: “How to Achieve the Perfect Finger Wave.”

But regardless of any retro vibes, I dare any 1940′s woman to wield a glue gun with as much modern day panache as…someone besides me.

Me? I burn myself a lot.

ANYhoo, as a quick refresher, here’s what this corner of my living room looked like not too long ago (when I shared my tufted couch coup with you).

couches

Nothing wrong with it. Nothing at all. I see my dream couch, fun pillows, my favorite chalkboard that I refuse to erase because I do not think I will ever create a better one (not saying it’s that great…just good for my limited skills).

But, if you’ve been following along for any amount of time…you might be a little thrown off by one thing: there’s not much color.

I mean, yes. There’s lots of yellow in the pillows, but the couch, curtains, and lamps are all pretty monochromatic, which is quite unusual for me.

And which I was determined to remedy.

I’ve had those lamps for years now, and I still love them, but long periods of dust accumulation (in between their yearly dusting…ahem) plus some kidhandling (similar to “manhandling” but worse) had left the white shades a little worse for wear.

Plus, they were just a little…blah (hence my throwback post title).

So, what did I do? I dug into my trusty (read: likely to swallow you alive) fabric stash, selected a winner, got my craft on, and came up with this:

lamps6

I say that as if I cranked it out during one nap time session, while “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” blared in the background, but the honest-to-goodness truth is that I limped along with 15 minutes here or there until I finally managed to finish them off and grab some pictures last night while my kiddos watched the Aristocats for “family movie night” (Shaun’s traveling, so it was more like Kid’s Movie Night/Mom’s Craft Frenzy).

They were an easy project, but just in case you’ve never recovered lampshades yourself, I thought I’d share a blow-by-blow. Because I’m helpful like that.

First up, here’s what you’ll need.
  • Lampshades to recover (duh)
  • Fabric to recover them (double duh)lamps8
  • Scissors (I’d say duh again, but I’m guessing I’ve already worn that one out?)
  • Pencil
  • Large piece of tracing paper for making a pattern
  • Clothespins or some kind of clamps (maybe; I took a picture, but I didn’t actually end up using mine; theoretically, they’re for holding the fabric to the lampshade while the adhesive dries, but I didn’t find this necessary)
  • Spray adhesivelamps10
  • Hot glue gun/glue
::STEP 1::

Place your lampshade on its side on a large piece of white tracing paper. I happen to have a huge roll of this, but you might need to tape several printer sheets together if you don’t.

lamps9

Place your pencil on the bottom of the lampshade, right on the seam (so that you have a starting/stopping point), and roll the shade along the paper, following the edge of it with your pencil to trace its trajectory. When you’re done rolling it all the way back to the seam/starting point, you’ll have a long, gently curving line.

THEN, start back at the beginning pencil point (again on the seam), and do the same thing again, tracing fromTHE TOP of the shade this time.

Now, you’ll have TWO parallel, gently curving lines.

Confession: this part made me nervous. It all seemed so vague and inexact. Turns out, it doesn’t really matter. My traced shade ended up being much longer than it needed to be, but all I did was trim down the ends because the widths were good enough to work just fine.

::STEP 2::

Place your traced paper shade on top of your fabric of choice, and then cut out the shape, taking care to leave at least 1/2″ of extra (for folding under). I didn’t measure, just eyeballed. But if you’re a perfectionist, I say measure away!

lamps11

Okay, so this picture is deceptive. Because of my aforementioned dawdling through the first half of this whole shindig, I cut out my tracing paper and my first round of fabric, and then the tracing paper got ruined by a rather impressive water glass snag + dump maneuver on Theo’s part.

So! This picture is of my cutting around my original piece of already measured fabric (hence why I am NOT leaving a 1/2″ border for folding under).

Clear as mud? Feel free to leave exasperated comment/questions full of bared teeth emojis if this is not making sense.

::STEP 3::

Match your fabric shade cover to the shape of one of your lampshades and, spraying the back of six inch sections of fabric at a time, start to smooth it over the lampshade.

Honestly? I didn’t use very much spray adhesive. Both my shades and my fabric were grippy enough that I only needed it in sparing amounts to make everything stick.

THEE most important thing here is to take your time and carefully stretch and smooth the fabric as you (slowly) go to make sure there are no bubbles or wrinkles.

It takes some adjusting, but it can be done.

lamps12

See the 1/2″ border sticking up above the lampshade? That’s what you will fold over the edge to get a nice clean finish.

:: STEP 4::

Working as quickly as possible, run a bead of hot glue in the inside edge of the lampshade borders (top and bottom) in 6″ sections, and then fold down the excess fabric, smooshing/smoothing as you go and making every effort not to fricassee your fingers in the process (not that I would know anything about that).

lamps13

::STEP 5::

To get a nice clean edge where the two ends of your fabric meet at the back of the lampshade, glue down the first, and then fold under the second before gluing it down on top of the first.

Like so:

lamps14

::STEP 6::

Step back and admire your newly awesome lampshades!

lamps2

…Upside down pattern and all. Whomp, whomp. (Okay, honestly, it doesn’t bother me too much that the flowers are reaching down rather than up, but I would say that this is a pretty strong argument for why you shouldn’t craft while making lunch for 6).

lamps4

Also? Meet my new favorite print ever.

lamps1

I’ll tell you more about it…including how you can get your hands on it…soon.

Until then…

lampcollage

YIPPEE for pretty upside down lampshades!

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Favorite Things Gift Basket for Father’s Day

Hey guys! This is a repost from a couple of years ago, but I’ve had several people asking me for last minute Father’s Day gift ideas, and this is still one of my favorite kinds of gifts to give my husband since I can easily customize it to his current tastes and interests. Hope this helps you out if you’re stumped for a Dad’s Day gift idea.

I am well aware that there are comprehensive lists floating around blog-world that provide oodles of inventive, just-right gift ideas for Father’s Day. Some of them are even broken down into categories—sporty dad! nerdy dad! likesnothingbetterthansittingonthecouchwatchinggolf dad!

So, I’d hardly be adding anything new if I made my own.

I did, however, want to share an idea that I came up with for Shaun for our anniversary, which was such a hit that I’ll be reprising it again for his Father’s Day present (and, yes, he has been warned to stay away from this post until next Monday, upon pain of no home-cooked dinner for the rest of eternity).

I’m calling it a “Favorite Things Basket”—a concept which you can probably grasp from the title alone.

Let’s face it: men are hard to buy for. Which means that I always struggle to come up with bigger items that will appeal to Shaun that he hasn’t actually bought for himself already. (Grrr…)

The smaller stuff, though, that’s much easier—which is why I decided to combine a bunch of different small things that I know he loves into one big basket:

. daddybasket

Thar she blows—a basket full of goodies for the father of my children.

Now, obviously, you can adapt this idea for your father or grandfather too, but as I said before, this basket was actually an anniversary present, so I just reworked some of the items and snapped a few photos to help get your creative juices flowing.

So, what did I include?

daddybasket3

FOOD: strawberry fruit leather, dulce de leche Haagen Dazs ice cream, Koop’s horseradish mustard (the man is obsessed with both mustard and horseradish, so it seemed like a no-brainer), onion-cheese dip, milk chocolate Hershey nuggets with almonds and toffee, and maple almond granola.

*I just realized that I forgot to add his drink (his faves are root beer and cream soda, of which there is an abundance of specialty varieties).

FUN: two different “man” magazines—one with a handy man theme and the other with a work shop theme, shooting range passes (one for him and one for a friend…because he might never go if I only bought them for him), Superman ball cap (he’ll be a little mortified since wearing logos, especially the kind that make a big deal out of him, is totally not his thing, but I’ll just tell him he can wear it around the house because we all know he’s Superman), Klipsch ear buds (he’s an audio-book junkie; I actually gave him these last year, but I took a picture of them in the basket to give you more ideas)

PERSONAL: I made him a little chalkboard sign that says, “You are my favorite thing; here are some of yours.” (Obviously, you might need to reword this if you’re making the basket for your dad, or your husband might get offended :) ).

daddybasket4

I also made him an “I Love You Because…” mug using various colored Sharpies. Then I baked it in the oven for 30 minutes (there are tons of tutorials for this on Pinterest; it’s super-easy) to set the ink.

daddybasket5

Note to self: wait to write the word “hot” until the kids aren’t watching.

I thought Ezra and Simon would never stop asking me: “Mama, why did you write, ‘hot?’ What do you mean, Daddy’s ‘hot?’”

The last thing I did was to add a playful little nod to the hackneyed classic “Father’s Day Tie” gift tradition.

daddybasket2

It’s just a bow-tie made from some scrap fabric and a little hot glue, but I thought it was a nice finishing touch. Besides, what’s manlier than orange lumberjack flannel, right?

Here’s another round of close-ups of the whole kit and caboodle.

daddybasketcollage

When I gave him his anniversary version, Shaun was a huge fan and seemed really touched that I had gone to the trouble to track down so many different things that I knew he loved. And, even though he’s already seen a version of it, I bet he’ll be just as thrilled this time around.

The best part is that most of these items are regularly available at your local grocery store or Walmart. Plus, you can take it as far as your imagination leads you. I can already picture all kinds of fun, themed versions for movie enthusiasts, NASCAR-lovers, bookworms, and so many more!

So, what about you guys?

Do you have your Father’s Day gifts all lined out yet?

And is it just me, or are men really that much harder to buy for than women?

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A painted pantry door…

First things first…

After receiving multiple comments (and even a text from a friend!) about the “lady on my shoulder” in Monday’s post, I wanted to make sure that all of you got the chance to meet my new little friend.  (Zero in on my left shoulder if you’re still confused).

32-001

Quite the optical illusion, eh? I laughed so hard when I first saw it.

Aaaaaand now back to the business at hand…which would, apparently, be asking for recommendations on the best place to send my 4th child for Poser’s Anonymous meetings.

evy collage

I was getting all set up to take pictures of our pantry door, and when I looked up, I discovered that this adorable little urchin (who dressed herself, by the way) had dragged a stool right into the middle of my shot and was doing some hardcore cheesing.

Of course, I cooperated by snapping a pic or 50 and then scooted her cute little bottom out of the way so I could show you guys what I was actually trying to shoot.

If you recall, this is what our pantry door looked like before.

old kitchen

It played nicely off of the rug, mixer, island (which you can’t actually see in this pic), and various other red elements in the kitchen.

But we’ve had a bit of a shake up in the kitchen over the last few months (I am going to try SO hard to do a complete reveal next week, but nobody hold me to that too closely, m’kay?), and the red just didn’t jive as well as it used it.

I thought about all sorts of other statement colors–canary yellow, coral, aqua…and so on and so forth.

But, shockingly enough for my color-loving self, I kept coming back to the idea of black. And I figured if I were going to paint it black, I might as well paint it a useful black. And by “useful,” of course I mean “chalkboard.”

So, the morning of the twins’ party (because, why not add one more thing to the list?), I plopped my pantry door on my island and started slapping paint on it (while my children ate Raisin Bran at the very same island about two feet away).

chalkboard door

The plan is to let the kiddos go to town on the lower portion of it and then to use the upper part for menu-planning (Ezra, who is a pretty typical firstborn, was very excited about the prospect of knowing what was on the docket for dinner each day…and holding me to it. “But, Mama, the first one says, ‘Turkey Lasagna,’ and Monday is first, so today should be Turkey Lasagna!” Ever heard of the words “not set in stone,” kid?)

chalkboard door3

I’m certainly no chalkboard artist, but I do like to play around with fonts and such, so one night, I stayed up way too late writing all of this out, and now that I’ve got it to my liking, I’ll simply erase the specific menu items and replace those each week as we go.

chalkboard door2graphic

The one thing I do want to do to jazz things up a bit is to spray paint the knob a fun pop of color. I’m leaning toward my beloved blue/green, and I’ve even got the perfect color…if I can just find it. Grrr.

Also, it might be fun to paint that little alcove something other than white to make the white trim around the door really stand out…but I’m not completely sold on this idea, simply because that hallway flows into two other rooms, and the paint transition would probably be awkward.

Thoughts?

Oh! And, in case you’re wondering about my “technique” for painting (other than the plopping and the slapping I mentioned earlier), I first lightly sanded the existing paint, and then used a foam roller on everything but the grooves (those I brushed) to apply very thin coats of chalkboard paint. It took about 4 coats, but they went on very quickly, and dried crazy fast, so the whole project didn’t take but about an hour.

Also, I made sure to “season” the whole thing with chalk to make it both quicker to take anything we write on it and easier to erase.

And my “I,” I mean these two handsome fellas.

seasoningchalkboard

(If you’re not familiar with the concept of seasoning chalkboard paint, all you do is rub the chalk on, using the length or sides of the chalk piece, then wipe/wash it off with a damp cloth, and you’re good to go!).

So, there you have it! A pantry door that hides the often messy shelves within and gives my firstborn yet another way to keep his mama in line.

Win! (?)

Any suggestions for wall colors and/or knob options?

 

 

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“Let your light so shine” Lampshade Makeover

A while back, Lamps.com contacted me to see if I might want to participate in their Lampshade Design Challenge, and I thought, “Eh, sounds like fun. Sure!”

I had something in mind for my office/craft room, which is majorly under construction at the moment, and I was intrigued by the possibility of making it a reality, starting with a blank canvas.

Speaking of said blank canvas:

white lampshade

Lamps.com sent me this pristine white lampshade, and it was my job to jazz it up any way I could think of.

Here’s what I had in mind.

lampshade supplies

Chalkboard spray paint, chalk paint pens, ribbon, hot glue. Check.

I had visions of a funky, embellished chalkboard lampshade with a meaningful message.

As you can see in the pic above, the first thing I did was to tape off the…uh…what are those metal arm thingies at the top of the shade? Anyhoo, whatever they’re called, I taped them off because I wanted them to stay silver.

Then I gave the exterior of the shade several good coats of chalkboard paint.

Once that was done, I decided that the white interior was just too stark and plain, so I covered the chalkboard painted portion with paper…

paper covered

…and coated the interior with gold spray paint.

At which point I had this:

black and gold

A little hot glue and several episodes of, “OW! Hot, hot hot!” later, I had given the top and bottom a nice ribbon border.

ribbon on

Now came the fun part. I knew I wanted to write something important that I would want to see every time I used this room. So, I grabbed my chalk paint pens and started scribbling. I would show you an in progress shot of this part, but I was honestly just trying to get. it. done and forgot all about any photographic evidence.

Also, at some point, I decided that the floral ribbon was a bit too there on its own and added another layer of ribbon—this time with a black and gold Greek key pattern.

After much tweaking (very different than twerking), I finally had everything how I had pictured it in my head.

This next few paragraphs are brough to you courtesy of: “Keepin’ it Real”—I don’t have a picture of it because, well, I didn’t want to have a picture of it, but my craft room is a total disaster. It has been the dumping ground for all unfinished projects, fabric scraps, clothes that need altering, insert-other-pile-of-randomness for months now.

So, if you see these next pristine pictures and think something like, “Gosh, with 5 small children, I don’t know how she manages to have such a clean, organized, dedicated space for her creating…”

I don’t.

Yet.

Although I am working on it. But if I had bothered to turn my camera around to show you the other side of the room, you probably would have literally gasped at the mountain of…junk (there are other words for this) that was piled on the daybed in there.

Okay, now that we’ve totally popped that unrealistic bubble of expectation, let’s look at the pretty, staged, someday-soon-the-whole-thing-will-look-like-this (for five whole minutes) reveal:

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I chose the phrase, “Let your light so shine” because, well, it’s a lamp, so it made sense.

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But mostly, I chose it because it’s actually the first part of Matthew 5:16, which says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”lampshade makeover1 wm

Let my light so shine before my kids…before my friends…before my gym participants…before the random people at Wal-Mart who ooh and aah over the twins (and secretly wonder about my sanity)…

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This is truly my heart’s desire.

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Of course, it’s not even my light to begin with. Any light I shine is simply a reflection of the Son.

Either way, I’m happy to have this oh-so-tangible reminder when I feel like hiding my light under a bushel of (remember “This Little Light of Mine” from VBS when you were, like, four?) of grumpiness or impatience or pride.

While I was in spray-painting mode, I snagged an elephant that Della got for Christmas and gave her a bit of a glam makeover. (Make sure you read this to find out how Della reacted when she discovered my theft. It’s pretty hilarious).elephant

I mentioned at the beginning of the post that this little project was part of a Lampshade Design Challenge.

Which means that, if my design receives the most votes, both you and I can win gift certificates to buy something pretty from Lamps.com. I’ll let you guys know when the voting starts and how to do it, but in the meantime, let me leave you with this encouragement:

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God has given you a unique and amazing light, and He’s done it so that you can reflect any glory it brings you back to Him because it is when we glorify God that we shine brightest.

Let your light shine, friends. I’ll be here doing the same. 

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Color Your World “Run Essentials” + the easiest DIY headband of all time.

Hey guys! I get to do something really fun next week in Dallas (Arlington, specifically). And that is my first ever color run. I’ll be running the Color Vibe 5K next Saturday, thanks to Tum-E Yummies who have been nice enough to sponsor me. 

Truthfully, we’re a water, milk and extremely watered down 100% apple juice family. We don’t keep sodas or other sugary drinks of any kind in the house.

But we do let the kids choose something as a treat for special occasions or rewards. I honestly didn’t know anything about Tum-E Yummies before Emily contacted me, but once I saw that it had only 13 grams of sugar and 50 calories per 10.5 ounces plus a day’s supply of vitamins B6, B12 and C, I figured it was a pretty safe bet for that occasional “treat drink” (as my kids call it). Not too surprisingly, they were pretty thrilled at the prospect of getting to “test” all the different flavors.

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They won’t be running with me next week, but in keeping with Tum-E Yummies bright colors and the the rainbow hues which I will be getting pummeled with, I put  together a list of color run race day “essentials” (I use that word very loosely as I’m sure you’ll see).

essentials

1. Colorful pouch for toting snacks, lip balm, Kleenex, sunglasses, etc.

2. Water bottle, natch.

3. Rainbow socks.

4. Colorful floral nail polish stickers.

5. Silly string. (If everybody’s getting blasted with color, they might as well get blasted with this too, right?).

6. Tissues. The better to blow paint out of my nose. Ew.

7. Tum- E Yummies. I’m not gonna lie. Mama thinks they taste pretty good too, but I doubt my kids will actually leave me any (P.S. that random headband was courtesy of the twins right before I took this pic, and I didn’t notice it until after I was already editing; hey, at least they stayed with the color scheme).

8.  Sour Patch Kids. These are a major guilty pleasure for me, y’all, and there’s no way I’ll actually need a sugar burst right in the middle of only a three mile run. But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared!

9. Pink shades. I’m pretty sure I will look ridiculous in these. But in every picture I looked at, the people running were wearing sunglasses, which totally makes sense after you see just how covered in paint they are. No fun to get it in your eyes.

10. Trail mix, with M&M’s, of course. Yes, more sugar, but hey, at least this version has nuts.

11. And just in case I come down even an inch from my trail mix + Sour Patch sugar high, I can always eat a chocolate chip cookie (using my favorite recipe). I substituted peanut M&Ms instead of the usual Heath bits, and they’re pretty great.

12. White top and shorts. The whole point of a color run (other than, you know, running) is to get absolutely blasted with every color in the rainbow. So, white is the best clean canvas for showing up all those bright colors.

13. Of course, I don’t really want my hair flinging color in my eyes, so I decided to make a DIY head-wrap.

I got 1/8 of a yard of this slightly stretchy, sequined fabric (the sequins are rainbow colored in the sun), since nothing else about this whole set up had anything to do with subtlety, and I figured it was best to just embrace the flamboyance.

I had a grand plan to cut my fabric up and sew a headband, tapering the shape to fit my head. And then I tried it on and realized…it needed no sewing.

All I did was fold the edges in a little in the middle and then a little more and a little more until I got to the ends, then wrapped it around my head, tied a knot in the back, and—voila!—a DIY headband that literally took 30 seconds to make.

As a busy mama of 5, I can emphatically say, that is MY kind of project!

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(See how the thickness tapers down on the ends? I didn’t shorten the length at all, so this is just an 1/8 of a yard wide X 44” long)

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Who knows? Those “tails” may bother me while I’m running. I’ll probably do a test run (ha ha) and cut them shorter if they do, but I still love how the stretch of the fabric and the width keep my hair in place (my head must be shaped like a bullet because it tends to shed headbands within 5 minutes).

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Just a quick knot in the back, and you’re good to go! Easy peasy!

I’ll make sure to post pics after the race to let you know how it holds up.

Don’t you love it when a project ends up being even easier than you expected (practically never happens around here!).

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Project Elephant Update: The Sitting Room Reveal

Do y’all remember waaaaaaay back when I revealed my latest set of Project Elephant goals?

If you don’t (and I don’t blame you), here’s what my list looks like now with the updates:

project elephant checklist #3 updated

Despite the fact that it’s taken me forever to post about it, I’ve been chipping away steadily at all of the tasks on the list (except those darn curtains and window seat, which, honestly, aren’t a huge priority right now) and even getting some things done for the space (like this ampersand marquee light) that weren’t on the list. (Also, if you’re a stickler for details and noticed that I marked out the gallery wall but didn’t actually do a gallery wall—you’ll see what I mean in a minute—I’m okay with that because I solved the problem of the big empty wall to my satisfaction for now, and I’m just going with it).

Oh, and also remember those awesome scrolly end tables from trip down the junking rabbit hole? Well, I painted them, and they’ll be important at the end of the post when I ask you a question. So…yeah. Keep those in mind.

If you recall from the “imperfect room reveal” that got this particular Project Elephant list rolling, our upstairs sitting area was perfectly fine, if a bit lacking in pizzazz. But I wasn’t quite ready to call it good. After a bit of tweaking, though, I’m really liking the changes.

Let’s start with a few befores and afters, shall we? Those are always fun.

Here is the straight on view towards the dresser before I painted or styled it.

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{eh}

And here’s the after:

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{Hello, color!}

Wanna try that again?

Before…

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Aaaaaaand after:

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And, now, doing a 180, here’s a before shot from the opposite direction toward the book shelf.

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And here’s the after:

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{Grrr… I just now  noticed that my kiddos messed up the spacing between the books before I took these pictures}

I went ahead and painted the trim around the book shelf the same blue as the dresser: Benjamin Moore’s Pacific Palisades (which I had matched at Sherwin Williams). I love how it makes the trim pop against the wall and ties together the room a little more.

Another thing that helps make the room feel more cohesive?

Pillows. Specifically the teal pillows that play up the blue of the dresser and the trim perfectly.

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{See him peaking out from the behind the bird pillow?}

I made them with this Premier Prints Cameron Aquarius slub fabric that Online Fabric Store was nice enough to send me. They actually provided me with the pillow forms too as well as several other gorgeous options (I got to choose, so as you can imagine, I had a field day with that one) that you’ll be seeing more of as I complete a few more fun projects I have planned for them. You should definitely head on over and check them out. But I warn you, if you’re a fabric lover, and you don’t have a few hours to spare, don’t go right now. You just might end up frittering away half your day browsing through all of the eye candy. (You can see some of my faves from my vibrant home decor fabric post).

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I love the subtle wood grain-esque pattern up against the large scale geometric print of the rug.

You know what else I love?

The fact that this…

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Now looks like this:

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What a difference a few accessories make, right?

Especially this little guy.

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His name is Ramsey. : )

And now it’s story time. I went to Goodwill last week looking for a frame to transform into a piece of chalkboard art for the baby shower I’m hosting this weekend. But I left without one because, even though my Goodwill is still crazy reasonable compared to most, their prices have been creeping steadily upwards for the last year or so, and I couldn’t find a single decent-sized frame for less than $9. What?? (I mean, we’re talking about prints of Raggedy Ann in a plastic frame, y’all).

I did, however, spot Ramsey languishing between a piece of 1983 kitchen art with ducks on it and a half-used candle from 1965. I didn’t even look for a price tag because, hey, I know this Goodwill, and he was going to be $1 tops. But then I got him to the register, and the girl couldn’t find a tag, so she said, “Um, that thing is $2.” I just stared at her. Because a) hello, “that thing” has a name? and b) $2????

In case you think I’m being chintzy (all right, I am being chintzy), I’ll have you know that Ramsey did not start out pretty and smooth and shiny gold. He was chippy and a weird, mottled shade of muddy copper. So, while yes, $2 is a fine price for a random decorative thingamajig elsewhere, my Goodwillhad no business even attempting such a racket.

Anyhoo, when I didn’t respond, she went on ringing up the rest of my purchases (which included a HUGE awesome lamp + shade for $4; can we say random pricing at its best?) and eventually came back to Ramsey. She cast me a sheepish glance and muttered, “Um, actually, I think he might have been a dollar. That okay?”

And I nodded regally, taking care to conceal my smirk of triumph.

Oh, and since I’m on such a big before and after kick, let’s take one more quick gander from yet another angle.

Before:

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And after:

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I think my favorite addition to that side of the room is that gold chair (remember?) and pillow that I made from Amy Butler’s Passion Lily fabric.

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Another fun detail?

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The knobs I scored at Hobby Lobby to really make that gorgeous deep teal of the dresser pop. They were $2 each, and I needed 7, which (in combination with the amount of paint that I used from the gallon of Pacific Palisade I bought) brought the grand total of my dresser revamp to about $20, with $14 of that going to the knobs. Not as cheap as it could have been, but they really do pack a punch in terms of impact.

And now we really need to talk about those end tables. (I told you they would come up again).

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I love how the gold warms up the room, but obviously, I don’t love how  they look without anything in the center of them.

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{Kind of weird, no?}

I mentioned that I might be able to get the glass for them if the lady that sold them to me can find it. So, there’s an option. But I also think it might be fun to put a cushion in the center of each and make them into table/stools. Obviously, with all the color and pattern I already have going on in the room, I would keep the fabric neutral. Maybe a burlap or an oatmeal-colored linen to contrast with the shine of the gold?

I’d love to have you weigh in on this one? What’s your vote? Glass or cushions?

What do you think of the rest of the changes? I’m really happy with how much more finished everything looks, not mention all the happy colors. I literally grin every time I walk up the stairs now.

P.S. Did you notice I didn’t show you the side of the room with the window seat? That’s because it will be getting its own post soon(ish).

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