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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shark Tooth Beach

Last week while y'all were being inundated with Craft Room posts from Yours Truly, the kiddos and I took a break from our normal routine and drove down to Savannah with my mom for some extended family time.

Thank heaven Mom came along or I would have turned the car around before we reached Turner Field. (I realize now that parental threats of "Stop that this instant or I'll turn this car around!" were not in fact threats at all but rather desperate pleas for a good excuse to forgo the road trip altogether.)

Anyway...we left Monday, came home Thursday and managed to squeeze in two trips to the pool, a day at the beach and a boat ride to a deserted island. We had a great time, but it was not in the slightest bit relaxing. I think I need to adjust my expectations on what it means to "vacation" with two littles. The character Claire from Modern Family summed up the trip perfectly, "I'm a mom traveling with my kids. For me, this is not a vacation - it's a business trip."

So back to that deserted island thing. My wonderfully chivalrous and Elijah-adored cousin agreed to take us out on his boat one afternoon along the Savannah River. Once we got on the boat he asked if we just wanted to cruise around or go look for shark teeth.

Um, hello!? Was I or was I not the kid who wanted to be an archaeologist? Suffice it to say I had no interest in merely cruising around.

We came.

We dug.

We discovered. (Literally dozens!)

We got buck-nekid and splashed around. (Ok so, only one of us did this...)

We pooped out.

Now I'm trying to decide what to do with E's collection of shark teeth. Right now they are rattling around in a baby food jar. (Enough with the baby food jars already Katie.) I was thinking of creating something like this and putting it up in his room (using shark teeth, not cereal. Duh.) Any suggestions?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Craft Room Reveal!

Yeah! It's Friday at last. Get ready for a zillion pictures of Mom's redesigned and totally functional craft room. Of course we did the reveal Extreme Home Makeover style and had the camera out when we walked her into the room...

I think she thought we had just organized or cleaned it.

I'll give you a quick tour: The Craft Desk

Soup cans hold scissors, markers, colored pencils and brushes

Our jury-rigged paper towel holder. (Dowel rod + ribbon scraps + staples)

And yesterday I showed you how we created our own Stenciled Fabric Window Treatment

The Goodwill Gallery Wall
(most of the frames were found in our homes or Mom's,
but we bought a few at Goodwill and painted them all white to match.)

We searched high and low for interesting things to frame in the gallery wall.

This picture of my grandfather is a favorite of mine.
It's an odd size, so we bought an (ugly) piece of framed art (cheap) at Goodwill, painted over the painting with chalkboard paint and stuck the picture on top. I love it!

My sister embroidered this simple design on a manila folder as a child.
It's probably the only embroidery project she or I have ever completed.

The Sewing Desk

Wrapping fabric around scraps of cardboard is a simple way to organize and pretty it up

Spray painted diaper boxes (with a chalkboard label) became storage for projects-in-process

And remember these baby food jars? Now they hold buttons and bobbins.

So there you have it - 3 days of work and under $100. Thanks for indulging me for a whole week of crafting and projecting. I will share pictures of the kids and more poop stories next week I'm sure.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Other projects that we did as part of this room makeover are:

Linking up to Tatertots & Jello tonight...check it out to see a ton of other craft inspiration!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stenciled Window Treatment

Our budget was pretty skimpy for this makeover, so when we scored a great deal on more than enough fabric to make our table skirt, we knew we had to figure out a way to have it double as a window treatment. It was boring white fabric, so we came up with the idea of stenciling a pattern on it using paint we had on hand from the table and bulletin board projects.

Cost of fabric = approx. $10
Cost of paint = $0

Not bad for a brand new window treatment huh?

We measured, cut and hemmed (again, using Heat N Bond) our fabric first. Then we taped the stencil down (with a piece of styrofoam behind it...which paint DID seep through onto) and started stenciling from the center of the fabric moving out. We decided to use both turquoise and black paint to pull the room colors together - I was worried it would bleed together as we stenciled, but we just used two different brushes and it worked out great.

We used regular old whatever kind of paint it is house paint. Not fabric paint. It worked really well and since I don't imagine Mom needing to wash it ever, I'm not worried about it holding up.

I have better pics of it in place, but I'm intentionally holding out on you...check back tomorrow for the big reveal!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chevron Bulletin Boards

My sister (who has a now-defunct blog and is therefore unable to share her awesomeness with you herself) was dying to get crafty herself during our Craft Room Makeover. She found two plain bulletin boards (that used to hold all kinds of totally awesome notes and pictures of our high school selves) in the back of our bedroom closets and transformed them into these much trendier and way more fun to look out chevron bulletin boards.

Aren't they amazing!?

She used this tutorial to help her line up all the ziggidy-zaggidy goodness. Uncle Lee helped her do the math, which was apparently the hardest part of the whole she-bang. The pop of turquoise and white was desperately needed on this wall and they will hopefully hold all manner of inspiration for Mom soon!

Ceiling Fan Update

Another project we knew we needed to tackle right from the start was the lighting situation in Mom's Craft Room. This room had no less than five mismatched lamps (check out the before pics...five!) all trying to make up for the lack of overhead lighting.

This was the lightless ceiling fan before (ok - during...Uncle Lee had already gotten to work by the time I whipped my camera out)

Nothing a little elbow grease couldn't handle. It was actually relatively simple to remove the bottom of the ceiling fan and add a light using an $18 ceiling fan kit from Home Depot.

And by relatively simple I do mean it looked relatively simple of course. Uncle Lee did the actual "work" part of the lighting switcheroo.

Much better already right!? While Lee was busy with the power tools, Anna and I took the fan blades outside for several quick coats of high gloss black spray paint. Had it not been 98 degrees with 199% humidity that Saturday, I think the whole shebang would have been completed in under an hour. As it was, we literally let the fan blades sit all day waiting on them to dry, until we got smart and moved them inside (on a drop cloth Dad).

For $18 (the majority of the spray paint was used on a different project, so I'm not including it in my expense tally here) this was probably the biggest bang for our buck we had out of the entire makeover. It makes a HUGE difference and enabled us to get rid of two lamps that were doing a whole lot of nothing for the aesthetics of the room.

What do you think? Are you just dying to see how it turns out? Are you amazed at how many posts I've made of a single room re-do? I'm just trying to keep you entertained at work you know. : )

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

(Almost) No Sew Table Skirt

Our first order of business in the Craft Room Makeover was Mom's big ugly table. It was well on the way to acceptability with its paint job and accompanying glossy black chair, but it was still lacking. It takes up a lot of space in the room and more storage (for all those kiddie toys and scraps of paper) was a definite priority, so we decided we'd make a table skirt to give Mom lots of hidden storage.

I bought lining material from Jo-Ann's (lining = cheap) and some Heat N Bond and set about making a table skirt without making too much fuss.

The first step was measuring the material out - I saw a little trick on Young House Love where Sherry used the edge of a rug to make sure her cuts were perfectly straight - so I measured out two identical panels for the sides of the table and two matching panels that would meet in the middle of the front of the table, using the edge of a rug as a guide.

I had planned to staple the top edge of each panel behind the lip of the table, so I only added a hem allowance to three sides. Heat N Bond hem tape is a fabulous thing. Have you used it?? It is SO much easier than using a sewing machine. The roll I used to do this whole project cost around $3.50 (before using my 40% off coupon.)

You just iron your hem, slip the Heat N Bond in your little pocket and press down. About 20 minutes later, I had four finished panels, ready for stapling.

Here's the (almost) no sew part: I wanted Mom to be able to access underneath the table easily, so I decided one section of the table skirt should be Velcro'd (apparently not a word) on. Problem is that Velcro is only available in either sticky back or sew-on. I wanted both; one half sticky (to go on the table) and one half sew-on (to attach to the fabric). So I bought a roll of each and combined them. Does that make sense?

So that was it! We spent roughly $20 (on paint, fabric, Heat N Bond and Velcro...and we have most of the paint left) to take this table from side of the road cast-off to kid-friendly and craft ready. Oh and this was our most expensive project!

Great for storage AND hide and go seek!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Spray Paint: My New Best Friend

I've always been thoroughly convinced a can of spray paint can make almost anything look better.

As far as Mom's Craft Room was concerned, this chair was enemy #1. It clashed horrifically with our new glossy craft table and needed a paint job stat.

We primed using a roller and brush, but knew spray paint was our best bet for getting full coverage on the cane back and spindles.

We tried both Rustoleum and Krylon in Glossy Black. I wish I'd taken side by side comparison shots because Rustoleum beat the stew out of the Krylon. It was only 50 cents more and covered way better way faster. Just FYI.

This was my favorite project by more. Totally fulfilled my need for instant gratification. I'm eyeing up every piece of furniture we have at home now....what doesn't look good glossy black?!

Free Table Transformation

The first thing you see when you walk into Mom's craft room is the big ugly desk. So that's where we started our makeover efforts.

This desk - one that my mother literally had B Daddy and Uncle Lee drag down the street, into their house and up a flight of stairs after it was left curbside by some moving neighbors - is where all the crafting magic takes place in the craft room.

It had experienced a good bit of wear and tear in its previous life. So the first step was to wood glue the sagging trim, putty all the dents and dings and then give her a good sanding.

After letting it sit for a bit (approximately 5 minutes, even that was a test of our patience) we slapped on a coat of primer (we avoided the edge where the wood glue was still REALLY wet.)

After a first coat of black paint I was really worried this ugly duckling was never going to clean up. But three coats later it looked like maybe the plan was starting to come together after all....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Labor of Love

For my Mom's big birthday this year, my sister and I decided we were going to give her a Craft Room Makeover. (Yes, the capitals are in order. We're anticipating a call from HGTV with a TV show offer any day now.)

A little background will serve you well since I'm dedicating a whole week to the undertaking...
Mom's current craft/sewing space used to be the guest bedroom. Then she and Dad bought a condo, moved the bed and the side tables out and it became an empty room with an antique dresser.

A year later Mom found a ginormous (hideous) abandoned table down the street and decided it would make a perfect cutting table for her (not yet existant) sewing room. So now the room had a big ugly table and an antique dresser.

A few months later Mom bought a great corner desk dirt cheap from Ballard's Backroom that fit the space perfectly. Now the room had a nice modern corner desk, a big ugly table and an antique dresser in it.

Fast forward a year and Mom's room looked like Michael's, Goodwill and a pre-school classroom got together and threw up. Scraps of paper, abandoned sewing projects, clothes waiting to be altered, kiddie toys, random pencils, scissors and bottles of glue were everywhere.

I can only imagine the pains it gave my father each night as he passed it on his way to bed. (He's an "everything in its place" kinda guy.) And their precious cleaning lady had stopped going in the room altogether. Anna and I knew drastic action was required and collaborated with Dad to get Mom out of town for a whole week so we'd have time to tackle the project.

This is Mom's room on Day 1 - after several hours spent cleaning and emptying the room. Big ugly desk is front and center. I only wish you could have seen the mountain of clutter on the desk, the pile of toys in the middle of the room and the old red gingham checked curtains. It was truly breathtaking.

The Ballard's Desk - fits this short wall perfectly.

Antique dresser has already been moved to the closet.

This was our blank canvas. We gave ourselves $100 and 3 days to transform it; check back in this whole week - I'll be posting all of our projects and then the big reveal on Friday!

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