Monday, September 29, 2014

Glam Girl's Room Artwork, On the Cheap

I'm all about artwork that's affordable! I think it is like anything else, if the colors are right and you can think of a creative way to display it, then it's artwork, even if it was not intended for that! For this project, my daughter and I were in one of the local toy stores and happened upon this box of card stock "glitter boards" each one a different ethnicity of french women wearing these gorgeous dresses. The project was to peel tiny stickers away on the dress to reveal numbers corresponding to the color glitter you painted on each part of the dress! I literally thought, these are almost too pretty for a kid's art project... light bulb!! So we bought them with the intention of making them just that. I love when a kid's project and home decor can come together! It's like the ultimate kill 2 birds with 1 stone in the world of a decor obsessed mom. So here is what came in the kit...

You use the green tool to lift the tiny stickers that are numbered with the color of glitter you should apply to the sticky area underneath. Then you use the brush to even out the glitter. 

The amount of detail to these pictures is so amazing. And the glitter colors are mixed with several different tones of each color so that they shimmer and look almost dimensional when they are on! I could not wait to frame these!

Once they were finished I took them to Hobby Lobby on their 50% off framing sale... going on pretty much all the time! And I knew I wanted them matted in black with a simple gold metallic frame. They are only about 5x7 so the frames size could not be huge as I did not want the black mat to overpower the artwork. For the time being, I chose to hang them over her vanity in her room but I can't wait to put them in her bathroom when we move as I have a wide stripe black & white wallpaper picked out for a wall in there that I think they would be perfect for!! Did I mention we are building a house?!? Another post, another post...

I really wish I were a better photographer and especially when shooting glass as the importance of skills really come into play with the reflections and the glare but they look so cute and this was such an easy but creative way to make art for a kid's bedroom. Stella had a friend up to her room on Friday and she called me up so I would confirm that she really did make those pictures over her vanity:)! Her friend was pretty impressed even if it was just peeling stickers and applying glitter by numbers! On a side note, I got all the artwork over her bed (with the exception of the metal floral bouquet which I got when I found out I was having a girl at a thrift shop 7 years ago) at Hobby Lobby as well! They have some very cute quotation art for crazy inexpensive prices! I think I got the entire collage for less than $75.00! 

On a side note... if you follow me on Instagram I got my black and white vintage cain back chairs back yesterday from my upholstery guy. They turned out great! I sanded spray primed and painted these chairs a long time ago to add to our front room! I love the way they turned out! For the black and white striped one I bought a very very inexpensive piece of black and also white canvas fabric, less that $10 a yard, and had him stitch them together for a wide off center stripe! The other fabric was less than $20 a yard as well. All that is left to finish in this room is the rug to pull the area together and a coffee table! 

Sorry for the lack of posts in the last several months! We are geared up to get ourselves in motion again. It was a great break over the summer and the fall has been swamped with client projects which is wonderful but keeps me from posting sometimes in the rush to get it all done while the kids are at school! I mentioned in my first post after school started that ALL my kids now are in school full time and it is great for getting my work done but I will say, you send them off thinking that you have so much more time and then you blink and they are back....with loads and loads of homework!!
There are many milestones in parenting but being a mom never stops being a full time job and everything else just has to fall around it as I figure! Happy Fall btw, I have not a one fall decor out in my house which gives me anxiety.... :)  


Thursday, September 4, 2014

"Fart Zone"... Boy's Bathroom Plan

It has been a great summer! Short, sweet and relatively no working as I tried to figure out how to balance work with my kids at home! Oh yes, and this job comes with the side effect of always wanting to do my own house. So the solution to all of these "distractions" (gifts from God, when I speak of the kids, of course) is just to eliminate. So, the job it was! Eliminating the kids would have been the wrong answer :) But fall is here, school has rescued me and I am in full swing with projects!

Today I will speak of the "Fart Zone" project!
I hope you think boys, bathroom and masculinity! As I sat down to design this bathroom plan for two growing boys in elementary and entering middle school, I came cross this sign "Fart Zone" and literally I laughed every time I moved it around on my design board. My plan for the bathroom... every detail masculine! I love masculine design but it loses out sometimes in a family home as you start to design around kids and frankly most women add feminines touch to their design even without trying. I'm waiting for someone to hire me for their bachelor pad but I'm running short on single men I know! Therefore, a growing boy's bathroom will be my space to let the pattern and texture of masculine design sing! 

Masculine Design=Texture & Pattern
Color inspiration: Black, white & brown and every shade of them!
Pattern musts: plaid, check & stripe 
Textures: Wood, metal & stone

I was so inspired by the school house sinks making their comeback! I love these sinks for numerous reasons. They are spacious, there's a faucet for each boy and only one bowl to clean!! Bonus all around. I love this image of the boys sharing the sink:) This is actually a triple faucet sink which is very cool too. 
My vanity design is inspired by combining all the textures as a focal point of the bathroom. I like the idea of keeping the bathroom simple but loaded with interest. In masculine style you don't pull the interest from color and abstract shapes, it's classic with clean lines and a neutral color palette.

There were many tiles that I was inspired by in my quest for black & white and brown!  

Here is the subway tile I used in the design. Love the medium chocolate tone. 

 I also love Penny Tile which comes in many finishes, shiny and more matte finishes, and is fairly inexpensive too. 

Love this hexagon tile! Probably a more expensive option but very cool! I love the tone of the brown too. 

I love the idea of doing a classic black and white tile floor. The one I picked for the design was more the basket weave but there are checks, penny tiles, hexagons etc. They all are cool and great options. A note on mixing patterns and colors... Just make sure you vary up sizes on your tile. If you are doing a great big tile on the floor, maybe pick a small pattern for your wall or shower. With regard to shape, if you do the hexagon maybe pair it with the subway rectangle tiles rather than a penny tile that has the same circular look. 

Here are some flooring options I liked...

I love the plaid wallpaper I found. I have also seen pinstripe wallpaper that I thought "was the business" as well and very masculine. How cool would this look on the upper half of the walls or as an accent in a boy's bathroom?!

Tile showers with glass doors are expensive!! Are they really necessary in a kid's bathroom if you are trying to cut some costs but are going for a very custom look? In my opinion, no! I think tiling a ways up the wall of your focal point area... in this case, the vanity area, is a much better way to spend money showcasing tile! I found this very masculine shower curtain. It makes a statement, is obnoxious (in a good way) and is understated in color. I also love the idea of using the copper pipe to make your own rod! You can get this stuff at your hardware store and people are making all kinds of shelving, shower and drapery rods out of it! 

I also love the idea of having lockers stand in as the boring towel rack! It's also a place they can hang robes or put their individual shower items inside. I am visualizing the lockers right outside the shower. Brilliant, right?! I thought so!! 
Hope you enjoyed this testosterone infused design! Shared spaces with little boys are always fun! Its fun to take cool design elements and combine them in a way they can be both stylish and playful. After all, boys will be boys! Send me your bachelors now, will ya?! 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Say hello to my little friends.

Chances are someone you know has made friends with Alex and Ani. But if you haven't been properly introduced, then let me be the first. 

Alex and Ani is an innovative jewelry company whose mantra is providing it's wearers beautiful symbols of positive energy and empowerment. They offer an assortment of jewelry, from rings to necklaces to earrings, but I'm most infatuated with their bangle bracelets. Their designs are simple and elegant and can be worn by themselves or layered with lots of different types of bracelets. And, for those of us with infamous "man hands," they were kind enough to make their bangles expandable for fuller figured hands! 

I'm loving these bracelets and the multitude of styles, symbols and finishes you can choose. 

Happy Shopping! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The View (from 40)

It has been a summer of mini-adventures and milestones for the northern end of this blogging duo - family vacations, Bible camp, BBQs, birthdays, boating and minor home renovations. And like Laura, I too sent my youngest to kindergarten last week with feelings of "Now what?" and "What the HECK just happened?"  We are crossing the one week threshold today and my kindergartner still has a lot of anxiety walking through that door every morning. His feelings are simple and concrete: he's scared. New school, new kids and a lot of unknowns. I know that he'll adapt to his new school life like all kids do, but he wasn't the only one feeling anxious. I had a lot of anxiety about my ability to adapt to being alone! And for a minute, I think I actually wished he could stay home! Of course, the thought of home-schooling (and "new math") is still WAY scarier than being alone, so off he went. 

But my feelings of "What just happened?" continued and were compounded coming off the heels of another milestone: my 40th birthday. dun dun dun.... Yes, yes, I know what you're all thinking, "She doesn't look that old!" (That was what you were thinking, right?) But, thankfully, I am.  Thankfully? Yes, thankfully. 

I didn't put together a long list of things I've learned along the way, but I can tell you that the view, the overall view of life, family, love, kids, friendship is clearer. I've made it out of the cloud cover of my adolescence, the fog of my twenties and the sleep-deprived haziness of my thirties (and trust me, when you have a baby that didn't sleep through the night for two years, it can get very hazy!), and the view is more lovely than I ever imagined! It is so much easier to be who you are and say what you mean without apology, say "no" to the things you don't really want to do and, well, just be who you are meant to be. I'd be lying if I said being an empty nester (from 8 to 3 anyway!) and turning 40 didn't creep up on me a little, but I don't hear the haunting music or yearn to be the younger version of myself. I feel like I have a nice patina after 40 years of experiences and just enough years under my belt to look back with a little perspective. I'm thankful for the journey so far (even the messy stuff), for the mistakes I've made along the way and for all the characters I've met - especially the one I married. And the anxiety about the changes milestones sometimes carry is a welcome shot of adrenaline. 

"...if you've found meaning in your life, you don't want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more." Mitch Albom Tuesdays with Morrie.

So to my last buddy entering kindergarten, I have anxiety and butterflies the same as you about all the changes. And just because I'm not the mom who cries at drop off don't think that I haven't reflected on what the closing of this chapter means. It's just that I have the advantage of knowing that butterflies are a sign of good things to come - new adventures, new discoveries, a new view of the world. It is human to look back, reflect and maybe be a little anxious about what is ahead, but hang in there because the view continues to get better, clearer and more spectacular the higher you go. And really, who doesn't love a good view? {Erin}

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