Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DIY Spray Painted Leaf Wreath

Ok this idea I got from HGTV Magazine... and honestly I love it.
First, can we take a moment and talk about the AMAZINGNESS that is HGTV Magazine? I get so excited when it comes in the mail that I squeal like a school-kid and have to find the PERFECT moment to go through it, page by page.  I seriously put so much stock into having a serene moment to read it, that I almost didn't read last month's issue because I could never find a moment's peace (funny how that happens with a toddler and a newborn...).

But back to this month's issue.
And this on page 35.
Yea, that wreath... killer huh?  SOO cute!  Here's a closer up pic
Actual from HGTV magazine online... link HERE
Having a crafting itch that needed to be scratched since #2 came along, I figured this little project would be perfect for me to jump back into my game, especially since it looked pretty easy.
I was going to just do the classic wreath as seen in the magazine but then I saw this little number at Michaels and thought it would be fun to add in.
Thinking it would be beautiful to have a gold-leaf "Y" in the middle of our wreath, I attempted it with a "starter kit" I also found at Michaels... .... .... this was my result.
Obviously me and gold-leaf have a few kinks to work out... either that or its stupid and is so difficult that no normal human-being can do it and the leaf is just too G-D-thin and it gets everywhere and before you know it your toddler is running around with gold in his hair like a freakin' 3ft-magical, self-destructing unicorn. (sigh) I'll try again some other time.

So back to old-faithful... spray paint... how I've missed you old friend.
I even found this great, random box in the garage that I have dubbed my "spray paint box"...  Look how everything just fits in it perfectly with no mess!  Mary Poppins Chris was happy that it kept my mess contained.
 Step 1 of this project was finding the leaves.

Since I'm pretty sure its a class 1 felony to steal leaves from a neighbor's tree without permission, there are no pictures of this step.  Just picture me, dressed in black, playing it cool on a walk with my dogs, pretending they're pooping so I can rip a couple leaves off a neighbors magnolia tree.  If anyone WAS watching, Im sure they thought my dogs had some sort of diarrhea problem with the number of times I said out loud "Poop again?"  as I bent down and yanked a few leaves off this low hanging tree.  I kid you not when I say I ran back to my house thinking I was being followed.  I now understand why people steal; such a RUSH! (jk, dont steal, stealing is bad... should I go and leave money under this tree as penance? No, then people will think its a money tree... ugh, the web of lies!!)

When I got home and off my stealer's high, I threw 7 leaves into my spray paint box.
Brooks was still down for his afternoon nap and Collins had Chris pinned down in the infant sleeper hold/dead weight on the couch so I was safe to do all this for a few minutes. These are the colors I decided to go with:
Set by set, I gave my little stolen beauties a spray down.
I ended up spray painting 35 leaves, which is what HGTV magazine called for, but of course, Brooks woke up from his nap, Collins became the hungriest baby ever, and this project got moved to post-toddler bedtime.

Fast forward a couple hours, a random Home Depot family trip, several readings of Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, and a glass of wine later, I was back at it.

Before I glued on any leaves, I couldn't decide if my Y should go above or below my wreath.
I decided on above since I wanted to be able to see the our family initial and the leaves would cover the circle anyway.

I also decided to cut my foam wreath in half so it would sit more flush to the door and did a quick, sloppy spray paint so the white wouldn't stand out like a sore thumb.
And so, I began randomly layering and hot-glueing.  Starting from the inside and working out.
I ended up going through all my leaves and needed a few more extras that I grabbed "just in case".  I found the placement I needed before painting them and assigning their colors.
All in all, I used roughly 40 leaves but I LOVE the result.
I hot glued a little twine on the back for the door hook and love how it looks.
So purdy... so Fall.
The only thing I think I would change is maybe painting the "Y" a brighter color, maybe yellow, to stand out more against the red door. But over all, it makes me happy :-)

Ugh, let's have this 100+ degree heat end Dallas!  Mama needs her baggy sweaters and XL yoga pants back in her life!

So what do you guys think?  I know the colors are different from HGTV but I almost think they are a little MORE Fall.

Anyway, Im happy with it.  And I'm also glad I did it with stolen magnolia leaves rather than thin oak leaves or some other type of leaf instead.  The magnolia leaf really holds its weight, held the spray paint well,  and is perfect for this sort of project.

If you have any questions, I would love to answer them!  Happy Fall everyone!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Big Changes for our Little House in the Big D

Hahaha talk about some suspense! Ekk!  It took me a little over three weeks but here I am, ready to announce and let y'all in on our little secret...

So it probably surprises no one that our "little" family is actually rather gigantic (both Chris and I being over 6ft tall and our children off the chart for height and weight) and thats not even mentioning the fact that there are now 4 of us.  Chris and I would both love to have a big family, so who knows what the future will bring there, but for right now, the 1450sq ft of space we have right now just is barely cutting it.

If you would like to see our current layout of our house, as drawn by a 5 year old, here ya go.
actually I traced this over some actual plans... yes, my drawing skills have not changed since kindergarden... (leave me alone! Drawing is hard!!!)
Right now, we have Chris, myself, and Collins in room #1, Brooks in room #2, and Collins' changing table/overflow in room #3.

During our downstairs remodel, hopefully it will look something like this:
The walls in our living room that separate the bedroom #1? Gone.  Half wall separating the dining? Gone.  We're raising the floor and expanding the kitchen into the laundry room and busting into room #3 for more kitchen space, an island (whoo hoo!), and stairs for upper access.  You will now enter the house from the front center, and the living room will also flow into the sunroom (we'll have to raise the floors) and that's how you'll access the backyard.  Not much is happening to bedroom #2 and the bathroom but we're planning on using that space for kids play area and a murphy bed for guests.

Here's the brand-spanking new upstairs:
Laundry obviously moved upstairs, kids bedrooms #2 and #3 will share a jack and jill bathroom.  Notice the left side of the house? yea, thats all master, baby! Chris and I, will get a master bedroom, a bathroom of my Pinteresting dreams, and a walk-in closet that will hold more than 7 shirts.

One of my best friends back in AZ's dad is an architect for the uber wealthy in Scottsdale (Blochberger Designs, check him out!) and he was kind enough to sit with us and draw up a lay out for our little house.  Basically we are building an entire house, square foot for square foot, directly above what we have now.  We are still tweaking minor little things, but this is basically it... and Im obsessed.

For those of you who dont know, the Dallas real-estate market is hot right now.  As in we-could-double-our-money-if-we-moved-right-now HOT!  Chris and I thought about it and even looked at a couple places, but with the housing market causing ALL houses to go up in price, it actually makes more sense for us to stay here in our low mortgage, add on, and enjoy our location here in the "M-Streets" and being across the street from a school (which we LOVE!).
From last fall but really, look at all this great playground equipment!  Plus a whole field to run and run and run!
This is NOT going to be a small project but I plan on posting everything about it (even the nitty gritty ups and downs and the cost) here on the blog to give everyone a real world idea about what it takes to completely remodel your house and add on a second story.
I would LOVE to answer any and all questions you have about the upcoming project!  Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me directly and I'll do my best to write up a new post next week.

AHHHH Im so excited! This is really happening!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Our Big Family Decision

Sorry no DIY or refurb project in this post, but I thought I would let you in on some news we've recently made for our family.

First of all, I hope you are all having a fantastic summer and are staying cool in all this heat!  We are doing well here in Dallas and little Collins is adjusting perfectly to life on the outside.  Brooks is one of the most caring big brothers I have ever seen and loves bringing “Ca-Ca” (aka. Collins) his blanket, pacifiers and holding his foot if he’s crying (it’s adorable).
I love watching their future forever friendship blossom and it’s with a heavy heart and mind, we have made a decision about their future, and mine.   I have decided to put my cell phone down, my e-mails away, and focus on them 100%.    Chris and I have discussed it and think that me transitioning into a full-time mom is what is best for our family right now.   
I have absolutely LOVED my time being a full-time toy sales rep and am so thankful to my boss to giving me an opportunity to have a career with as much leeway has I’ve had.  I've been able to travel all around the country (CA, LA, WI, NV, PA, and NYC just to name a few) and even the world (Hong Kong, China 2x!) and will always love looking back on those opprotunities
ate chicken feet in China....
spent many many winters in NYC for trade shows and even got to work with Mark Cuban on a couple of his Shark Tank lines
I have been in my industry for 6 years and am VERY sad about leaving, but excited about the future ahead.  As I’m sure all of you are aware, babies turn into toddlers, who turn into big kids, who turn into teenagers, way too fast.   
In addition to being MUCH more available to my kiddos, it also opens up some nap time hours to get back into blogging and DIY!  We have some SERIOUS things lined up for our little house and can't wait to share the news with you in the coming weeks.
So there you have it!  I am one HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY mama and am beyond blessed to also have such a great supporting husband to help make this decision.

I'll try my best to be back before the end of the week to share our big, upcoming news, but trust me, its a doozy... Any guesses?!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Dual Tone Blue Dresser

So here's a quick little project that I was able to do after the little ones went to sleep at night.

I got this awesomely-cool looking dresser, (yes, dresser, not a filing cabinet) off a Facebook yard sale group for $40.
Solid wood and in really good shape, I thought it would be a great match for B's room and the Texas flag desk I just made (as remembered here)

I still had a lot of the "Napoleon Blue" Annie Sloan chalk paint left, so after removing the drawers, I started to paint the outside shell.
Have I mentioned how much I love Annie Sloan chalk paint and not having to prime a piece?  Because I do.  I LOVE it... It makes me all happy inside, not having to spend the extra time or money pre-painting something is a good reason why I keep coming back to it, even when its a bit more expensive ($42 for a pint)
 After one coat, we were looking pretty good.
 When the second coat finished, I had debated painting the drawers, or at least spray painting the handles, however I decided to put the drawers back in and see how they looked unchanged.
Actually, I really like it.  A lot.  It kinda gives it a bit more of an industrial look and keeps it looking a little more unrefined even with the fresh paint.
Plus, the wood grain is pretty and I like how the handles don't distract from the wood.
 Here's the before and after as a quick reference.
Sadly however, I clued into the fact that this dresser is 60" tall... Brooks is big for an almost-2-year-old, but not THAT big, and it wouldn't really didn't have another spot for it in our tiny little house.

I ended up selling it on Craigslist for $250, so $210 profit plus less than an hour to paint (20 min each coat) isn't too bad of a turn around.  Money for more projects?  I think so...


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Texas... kids desk redo!

In addition to Brooks getting a new little brother, I found a small little kids desk on a Facebook yard sale page that I thought would be just perfect for our new "big" boy. 
 He really needed a space to color and have a him-sized area, other than his highchair.
 The top was in pretty rough shape with all sorts of marker and crayon stains, but it was still a nicely made, solid-wood desk, so naturally, I thought of painting it.
 I was thinking maybe thick, navy and white rugby stripes, but decided to try Pinterest to see if anything tickled my fancy.

Sadly, nothing was really speaking to me, until I saw this:
"America,... **ck yay!" - Team America: World Police (2004)

 I showed the idea to Chris, who liked it, but then had a better idea.  "Why not do a Texas flag?".

Yea, why not? We already have a superiority complex living in Dallas, let's deck out our son's desk to make it official?! - (said the Arizona/Oklahoma/Connecticut transplant)
I kid you not, this is a "thing" here...
So the next day, during nap time, I started by giving everything 2 solid coats of primer (those marker stains were stubborn).
I was unsure how I was going to do the star, since I needed it to be 6" and wasn't sure if I should stencil something or find a sticker, or what... I ended up getting REALLY lucky with a Google search and after cutting it out and painting the seat "Pure White" by Annie Sloan, I drew my around my stencil.
To-Da, indeed.
I then spent the next 4 hours 20 minutes carefully edging my star with the finest small brush I had... honestly, it turned out pretty good.
Next was tackling the layout for different color portions of the flag.  Sad to say, this involved some math (measuring the desk, determining the ratios of the flag, etc).  So, naturally, it took up the bulk of my time....
However, once I started to get everything painted ("Primer Red" and "Napoleon Blue", both by Annie Sloan) it really started to come together.
All that was left was to wax...
PS - after I took this picture, I determined that the Annie Sloan brushes are not for me... They were too streaky and uneven so I went back to using my fine, "great" quality brush for painting and a paper towel for waxing... MUCH better finish!
After all was said and done, I was in love.
 We put it in Brooks' room between the closets, and it looks like it was just MEANT for the space.

 So much, yes.
 And Brooks?  Well, he is a big fan.
Its crazy to think he is almost 2!! And enough of a "big boy" to get his own desk... Love that little man.

So what do you think?  Here's the before and after.
It feels good to be back "project"ing again!!  I would love to hear your thoughts on this piece!