Thursday, May 27, 2010

Teddy's Argyle Room

After being completed for nearly a year, I am finally getting around to blogging Teddy's nursery. His bedding is Pottery Barn Kids Monkeys and I thought long and hard about what painting treatment for the walls would work to compliment the decor . I thought about polka dots or stripes or just painting the walls blue and being done with it. In the end, I decided to go with a funky argyle!

I was inspired by this scrapbook paper by We R Memory Keepers. I believe the line is is called White Out and this paper specifically might be Explore Argyle. I had already used this line of paper to make a magnet board for Teddy's room and I had already done a harlequin diamond room for my daughter a couple of years back. So, I thought 'what the heak' and decided to give it a go.

First, with my awesome sister-in-law Shannon's invaluable assistance, we painted the entire room blue. Had I thought it through more, I would not have painted the argyle wall blue, cause almost all of it got covered in a different color! To make a diamond wall you will need: measuring tape, level, straight edge, and a lot of painter's tape. I started by deciding the size of my diamond. These are 14" wide and 28" tall. I eyeballed where I wanted my center row and marked out every 14" using a level. Then 14" above those marks, I marked out every 14", but in the middle of the last marks, and then I did that below the first set as well. To keep from getting confused and to make sure I was near the mark, I had a diamond template made from a sheet of packing paper. I just kind of stuck it on the wall every now and then to make sure I wasn't deviating from the plan. Since two points determine a line (Yes!! When your kids ask 'When will I ever need to know this stuff I'm learning in math and geometry,' you can tell them about this project), once I had a few of the markings up, we started drawing lines with a straight edge. This way, you don't have to measure out the WHOLE wall. It can get a little tough at the edges since you won't have the space to make all the measurements. Luckily we had my brother-in-law Adam with us who is a mathlete. He was able to figure out a system involving making sure the angles of the little top and bottom diamonds were correct. Even if you don't have a mathlete around, with a little patience and perseverance you should be able to do it!

Next you will need a lot of painter's tape and a steady hand. We started by taping off the brown diamond. You have to do this in two or three stages, because you can't paint diamonds that are touching each other at the same time. So you will tape the first, third, fifth, and so on, and paint them. Wait for them to dry, paint the second coat, repeat until they are coated as you like, then take the tape off and tape off the second, fourth, and sixth diamond. When all the browns were done we went to oranges and so on. From the scrapbook paper I chose a section that was as many diamonds across and high as I had in my room. I cut it out and used it for reference in placing my colors.

After we had all of the diamonds painted, it was time to paint the argyle cross hatching. I wanted to stay true to the funky scrapbook paper which had the lines going from skinny to thick and crossing anywhere in the diamond, not necessarily the middle. We thought and thought about the best way to go about it and finally with a little sadness in our hearts decided that more painters tape was the best option.

We simply applied one piece of tape keeping the same angle as the diamonds and then put up another really close to the first one. But with the second piece of tape we placed it closer in some sections and further away in others. You do all of the lines in one direction first, making sure to coat it as many times as necessary before removing the tape. Make sure it is good and dry, and then repeat the process in the opposite direction.

You may notice that some of the tape looks like it has paint where it shouldn't be. I think we went through about 7 rolls of tape and ran out in the middle of the night. So we reused some of the tape from the first set of lines to do the second set of lines. It worked, but I don't think it is a step I would have taken if it wasn't necessary.

And here it is finished. I took us about 40 woman hours to complete. Whew!! A couple tips: for all of the colors except the light blue, I used acrylic craft paint...but I wouldn't do that again! I didn't realize that Lowe's paint samples come in satin finish, which is the finish of the light blue paint. I would suggest using that. It would have covered better and been the same price and had the finish that I wanted. If you want a flat finish, Home Depot's sample paint comes in flat. To do the lines, the thin painters tape works best. We also had a couple of fans blowing in the room to speed up the drying time. Also, do not attempt this project if you do not have patience. If you are the type that wants to start and finish a project in one day, this isn't for you! Because of a mistake with the orange paint color (it was too red, so we had to retape and paint all of the orange diamonds again) ... where the white cross hatch meets in the middle of the orange diamonds, there is 17 coats of paint!! So, this project really demands patience. And lastly, having an assistant to work with you is mandatory. It is so helpful to have another pair of hands, another brain to bounce ideas off of, and a great girl friend to chat with to help pass the time. Thanks Shannon, you are the best!!

Ahh...and the completed room. There is Teddy's name on the wall. I got the paper mache letters from JoAnn's and modge podged the coordinating paper on.

This is Teddy's monkey collection and my Where The Wild Things Are figures by McFarlane that my husband bought for me for my birthday one year.

And this is the message board that started the whole thing. This paper was perfect for the colors of the bedding I had chosen. I just love orange for boys! The monkey faces are vinyl rub ons. And you can kind of see Teddy's invitation for his first birthday party. It was a monkey theme, of course!

The monkey rug was from Target.

On the wall between the argyle and the curtain, you can kind of see a frame that I made with the same paper and modge podge.

I simply love the way Teddy's room turned out! I love it so much I never want to change it...and to paint over that argyle would be criminal. So now I am on the look out for twin bedding that would match his wall and so far I have had no luck. I have about one more year before he will be growing out of his we'll see what happens.

Sharing my argyle love with: the CSI Project. This week is hardware store...and most of the supplies for my argyle wall were purchased at Home Depot. My main paint is Bahr and the supply that made it all possible...Blue Painters Tape!!


Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A New Entry Buffet

Here is my second attempt at furniture refinishing! I have had an entry table for years that I like a lot. It is black with some distressing straight from the factory. It is cute...but it only serves one purpose...a holder for decorative items. Since moving to our new house, I have been at a loss for a place to store my crafty projects in progress and crafty tools that are used often enough to warrant keeping them close. So I decided I needed an entry table that served as a storage facility as well as decoration. So, I searched and searched and finally found a gal with a great shape and a great price tag.

I found her at the DI for 40$. In pretty good shape, with the exception of one drawer that needed a little assistance if anything was going to be put in the drawer. Her major malfunction... she was sporting a hideous red/orange varnish look. Now, red and rust are the two main colors of my color scheme on the main floor of my home; but not like that! So I removed the finish with paint remover (the particular one boasted of a 15 minute processing time...and it delivered!). I restained her with a water-based gel stain. I really love the color...but I can see striping from my brush-strokes. If anyone has any advise on avoiding that in the future...please leave a comment about it. I'm just a wee beginner in need of a guiding hand.

I went ahead and used the original hardware. I think it is charming. I replaced the bottom wood from one of the drawers with the help of Home Depot worker to cut the wood sheet for me. That was handy! The rest of the drawers were in great condition. But I thought to add a little pazazz to this little lady, I would give her some cutesy drawer lining... which is cute scrapbook paper Modge Podeged in place. It makes me smile when I open the drawers!!

Whoever put the orangy/red varnish on her last time did a great job applying it to her body, but dripped it all over her so stylish shoes (she sports wheels on the bottom of her legs...and they were all gummed up with the stuff). I soaked the wheels in paint remover and scrubbed them with a wire brush and poked at them with toothpicks and all sorts of things as I tried to get that gunk out of the wheels. I met with modest success...but not complete success. I think I spent about as much time working on the wheels as I did removing the stuff from the whole rest of the dresser! Anyway, now she is all moved in and a bunch of my crafting gear has found a new home!

I'm sharing this beauty with:

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Burlap Message Board

I have been up to my repurposing tricks again. Another ugly piece of "art" has been retired permenently and the frame given new life... This time in the form of a message board!

Inspired by blogland's obsession with burlap and chicken wire, I simply:
Removed the old art and glass from the frame.
Spray painted the frame a satin black
Using the cardboard that was in the back of the frame... I:
Cut burlap (from Hobby Lobby (Jocelyn says it is "High Quality Burlap") about an inch bigger than the cardboard
Folded it over and stapled it with a regular stapler
Used a stencil (from Hobby Lobby), a stencil brush, and black craft paint and my eyeballs to stencil the burlap... making sure that the paint was uneven. Then I:
Cut chicken wire about an inch or so bigger than the cardboard and bent it around and stapled it in place and shoved the cardboard back into the frame. Then I:
Spray painted some clothes pins black and cut some cute scrapbook paper to fit and adhered it to the pins. Then clipped them to the wire.

And here I am pinning up a picture of my daughter taken at preschool for Mother's Day. My board is temporarily hanging where it is now (on a hook that is rediculously high because it is used for seasonal decorations that are long). Please don't judge me on my ability to part my hair!!

I'm posting this to:

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Goldilocks Ride Finisher!

In an effort to be more active, Jocelyn and I decided we would enter a local woman's only, non-competitive bike ride that was about 3 months out and 15 miles long. Jocelyn hadn't ridden a bike for over 10 years, and even though I had ridden more recently than that, the skills we had were about the same. Never-the-less, we started training...but didn't get as much time on the saddle as we had hoped. We started with three miles at once, then upgraded to five, then seven. Finally, with only a week before the ride, we decided to try out the actual route. Wow...we were surprised by the very steep 2.5 mile stretch that started the route out! We didn't even make it to the top before we gave up and turned back. The next day, we were going to get up the hill, even if we walked the whole way. We did it, and continued on to finish 9 miles of the route. We felt confident that we would be able to finish. And we did! In all, we rode about 18 miles that day. What an accomplishment!
The route went right in front of my house and the best part of the whole ride was passing by and having both of our families out at the end of the driveway cheering us on as we passed! These photos are Jason's attempt at capturing us going by. (his test shot turned out perfect...but he didn't quite catch us).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Farmhouse Coffee Table Upcycle

I found this smallish farmhouse table at the local thrift shop a little while ago. I loved the turned legs but not the yellowish "glaze" that was dripping down them. At a $10.00 price tag I decided to go ahead and upcycle this baby! (Still not sure how so many gals in blog land find their curbside treasures)

So, I began what turned out to be an arduous process of removing the paint and stain. The finish on this piece was like armor! it just couldn't be budged. I was using a paint remover that was "safe on antiques" and took "30 minutes" to do it's work. After 3 days of working on it for a few hours each day, I gave up. Most of the paint was removed from the legs, but not all. Luckily, all of the finish off the top came off.

After adding a bit more character to the table with my awl, hammer, and a screw, I stained the top with Minwax Provincial stain and painted the legs. I used the stain as a glaze on the paint and then two coats of sealant. The sealant is water based and I was warned that you have to use very little and move quickly so that your glaze work doesn't dissolve and move around on you. So I tried to do that...but sure enough I had stain dripping down the legs. I almost cried...but since it was one of my first projects of many that I have planned, I decided that it was ok to not be perfect. My first project was fine...but I used a different brand of stain... so I am wondering if Minwax isn't the best to use as a glaze; so if you have any experience with it, I would love to hear from you!

But after all the heartache...I ended up loving this little piece of art!

Here is a closeup of a leg. You can see where I sanded down through the teal paint to the bare wood and how this exposed the white paint that did not get removed. After all the hard work trying to get the paint off..I'm glad that some remained, because I like the way the distressing turned out.