Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dry Erase Calendar

We all love ugly duckling stories, right?

We love burlap and calendars and glossy black frames and projects we can do for free.

I had this ugly duckling that has been hanging around out of sight since high school (um, early 90s...)

I took it apart, cleaned it up, painted it black, exchanged the tacky gold-framed picture cut-outs for burlap and ended up with this swan:

Isn't she pretty?

The white paper is behind the glass, while the writing is on the outside.
That means I can erase the calendar each month and start again!

It's the same idea as this Menu Board that I did a year ago:

Love it!

I'm also loving that my boys went to the garden while they were playing outside this morning. When they came back their wagon was full of this: 

Isn't that nice of my 2- and 4-year-old to do?

I'm also loving Beth at Home Stories A to Z. Not only did she mention me in her Tips & Tutes this week, but she also featured me at Tip Junkie Decorate!

Ok, so it wasn't ME she featured, it was this adorable mobile:

Hope you can find an ugly duckling to transform today!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Inspiration Files: Kitchen Edition

I love kitchens.

There, I said it. 
I didn't until we moved to this house and my kitchen was AWFUL. Not the layout or the size, just everything else. We've deep cleaned and made do, and three years later we're still using it. 

But someday. Someday we'll be doing a full demo and starting from scratch!

In the meanwhile, I like to dream. I have files and files of inspiration pictures, so I thought I'd post one or two here and there and share what it is that I like about a particular kitchen. Or bathroom or kid space or basement or whatever is inspiring me.

Disclaimer: I'm just me, a teacher-turned-stay-at-home-Mom. I'm not a designer or a professional, just wanting to share what I like and why I like it. 


What I love:

*Classic color scheme: white cabinets, black (granite?) counters, hardwood floor--Yum! This kitchen will never go out of style.
*Layout. Not only is it similar to our L-shaped kitchen, it just looks so convenient! You know, the whole working triangle thing.
*Drawers. I'm all for nice, deep drawers that make it easier to see what's stashed inside.
*Wide plank flooring. Drool! Not in my budget, but I can get the same warmth and texture from regular hardwoods as well.
*Work stations. Either side of the sink as well as the island would be great places for making cookies, baking bread or just preparing veggies for a soup.
*Overall simplicity. I assume what's inside the doors and drawers is well organized because of the clean and simple look of the kitchen.
*Details. It might be simple, but look at the molding--crown, cabinet, trim.
*Feeling. I feel like I could live in this kitchen! It's very "me".

What I'd Change:

*Color. I would add some color with accessories--coordinated towels, color on the walls, even colorful stools.
*Texture. I'd love to slap up a window treatment. Bamboo shades, faux roman blinds, a valance in a beautiful print. Hey, it would amp up the color factor too!
*Backsplash. Subway tile or beadboard in white would look great. Maybe a glass tile with a hint of color (again!). Wouldn't a gray-blue look so pretty and tranquil next to the black and white?
*Drawer pulls. I like the ORB handles, but if I were living there, I'd want cup pulls. 
*Open shelving. The upper cabinet to the right of the sink could stand to have its doors removed and pretty dishes stacked neatly inside. Maybe a basket or two. Or use glass inserts if you don't want to lose the doors.
*Nix the micro. I know that idea isn't for everyone, but since we decided not to use a microwave about a year ago, I haven't missed it much. I'd rather use the space for a DIY hood. It would add some interest to the space. (See, if this were my kitchen, I'd move the fridge and tall cabinets to the non-pictured wall on the left, so the stove area could use more interest.)

That was fun! See you next time the inspiration hits!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Nursery Reveal: DIY Mobile

There is only one little project left and the nursery will be done!
I've had so much fun putting it together and spending virtually nothing.

I might be biased, but isn't this a sweet space?

This week I finished a fun little mobile to hang over the crib.

Is it still called a mobile if it doesn't move?
It's not a mechanical one, but I guess it does sort of move in the breeze.

Here's how I made it: 

*I found a small branch in the yard
*I spray-painted the branch silver.
(I would have preferred white but I was out and it's an hour to a store that sells spray paint.)

*I punched a million and 6 stars from random blue scrapbook paper

My 2-year-old helped.

*I tied string to the branch in varying lengths (while watching a movie with my man).

* I taped two stars together with the string squished between them
*Repeat the above step until you wish you never saw a little paper star again!
*Then I tied yarn onto the stick, tied the yarn around a thumb tack and poked the tack into the ceiling.

Little man loves it. I caught him staring. 
Right before his Momma came into view, that is!

What's that you're trying to say? 
Stop messing around in my room so I can go to sleep?
Thanks for the pretty mobile, wonderful Mommy?

Here's how it looks from Baby's perspective:

So there you have it!
A free mobile that doubles as art.

I've shown the gallery wall before, but under it and next to the crib is my favorite chair.

It's my nursing nook. ;)
A little table for my Bible and a glass of water for that 5 AM feeding,
a Boppy pillow with a PBKids cover (from my shower for my first baby),
and a set of nesting boxes with baby toys and burp cloths.

One more project, coming soon!
Then I'll take you on a little tour of this sweet little room with a couple good before and after shots. 
And then I'll consider the nursery complete. Ish...

I'm linking to:
Transformation ThursdayThe Shabby Nest


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sink Skirt

My kitchen is not the prettiest room in my house.

Check out that original 1963 laminate nastiness!
All of that will change one day, and then I swear you'll never get me out of it!

Speaking of which, I posted here last summer about some ideas and plans for our kitchen renovation. Then reality hit (again) and the project got put off again.

Some day!

In the meanwhile, why not make it a little prettier?

Ok, wow, that's not very pretty!
But that shows that we keep the trash under the kitchen sink, so that cupboard was always getting opened.
And one of the screws on one of the hinges was stripped.
And the door was wobbly. 
And I felt like sewing a ruffle.

(What?! I have three boys!)

I used a drop cloth to make a little curtain.
But it didn't like it.

So I added more ruffles!
And I love it! 

 This was super-easy and only required sewing in straight lines, no pinning or real measuring.
That's my kind of sewing!

Funny how this 'super-easy' project still managed to eat up a major portion of my day...

Do you ever that problem?


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