Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Art

I'm a bit obsessed with Pinterest.  If you don't know what it is, it is a virtual pinboard that allows you to find all sorts of inspiration off the web , categorize it and share it with friends.  I have ideas pinned (saved) for my dream home, craft projects, recipes to try, party ideas, clothes to buy, etc..  This site is definitely a good way to waste time but an awesome way to become inspired.  I LOVE it!

So I have seen a ton of artwork being done using paint swatches/chips.  You know the free little paper things you pick up at Home Depot or Lowe's?  I wanted to do some new art for the living room and decided this would be a cool and easy project.

First, I had Darren build me this huge 4' x 4' wooden box (this is the back btw).  I wanted the piece to essentially look like a gallery wrapped canvas but did not want to shell out the $90 for a canvas this size.  Especially since I am just going to glue paper all over it.  Our total for the wood was something like $20.

Oh and I must mention, that I am proud of Darren for building this for me.  He does not consider himself to be a carpenter or handy kind of guy and he did this very easily.
 This is how it looked as I started gluing and laying out the color swatches as I went.  Yes, I took a lot of swatches over the course of a few trips to the hardware store and yes, it was a bit awkward to take so many.  But we did end up buying stuff for the house every time we went, so I don't feel too bad about it.
 Here is the finished piece getting varnished.
I love how this looks and can't wait until we hang it up.  I tried to keep several shades of the same color together so there would be blocks of color and I also varied how much I overlapped them as I glued them down.  I didn't want it to look perfect and have all the pieces be the same size.  In the end,  I think it kind of looks like pixels on a computer. 

We'll see how it looks in the room this weekend.  Now onto the next piece of art!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


We (and by we, I really mean just me) are a little tired of the way our living/dining room looks.  The same artwork, furniture etc. has been here pretty much since we moved in 5 years ago, and that is just too long without a change.  The only thing that HAS changed in that time is the way the furniture is arranged (which frankly can only be in 2 different ways now) and the addition of so many kid/baby toys.

First, we bought a new fairly neutral rug for the living area.  The old one was browns and blues and it kind of dictated what you could do.  So we bought a fairly inexpensive large rug (we have 2 small children so we want to be able to toss it in a few years) that is just browns.

Our brown couches (they form a sectional when together) have seen better days, but are still basically in very good condition.  Again I think I am just tired of them.  They came with 2 medium (roughly 20 inch) pillows that were the same color as the couch.  And they were on the couch for 5 years until I finally decided to make some new pillows to help liven up the place.

I found some fun, modern fabric to make 8 pillows (5 go on the big couch and 3 on the smaller loveseat) using this awesome tutorial.  If you are frightened of zippers, don't be!  This is the best way to make pillows in my opinion.  It allows you to have a zipper (so you can take off the covers and wash them! yay!), but keeps it hidden so that the zipper pull doesn't scratch you (like my old couch pillows did).  And it does not require an invisible zipper like other tutorials I have found.

Anyways, here is the final product (all on the big couch...not how they normally lie).  Ignore the dining room mess in the back.  Working on that area after I do 2 new pieces of art for the living room. Hoping to make a new table for that area (with my father-in-law's help), get new chairs, make a big piece of wall art, and refinish a piece to use as a sideboard too. 

 I was very excited to finally get to use some that pattern!  Here is a close up of the can kind of see the flap where the zipper is hidden.  Not too noticeable on busy fabrics like this one.
 The flap is much more noticeable on the chevron pillows...the first one I did, I tried to match up the pattern and that was just a beast so for the 2nd chevron pillow, I intentionally turned the fabric for the flap because I thought it looked better. 
I'm very happy with how they turned out and it really was a quick project.  Only took me about 4.5 hours total which includes all the cutting, ironing, pinning and sewing.  Not bad for 8 pillows!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My "Things"...Ha!

Awhile back, my sister-in-law's sister-in-law (say that 3 times fast!), gave us some of her twin boys' old clothes. Included in this stash were 2 "Thing" onesies (you know, Thing 1 & Thing 2 from Cat in the Hat?). Anyways, I almost got rid of both since I don't have twins but then figured that I could do something for the kids with them.

Obviously, I did not have to do anything with Ryan's since he can fit in the onesie. But for Ava, I used the Sienna Dress pattern from Lil Blue Boo (that I have used before and LOVE) to upcycle some old shirts into a dress. I then appliqued the "Thing" onto it. Needless to say, she was very excited and told me all day how she & Ryan were twins. And everyone else that would listen (her teachers, classmates, daddy, etc.)

So here they are, my "Things". Ava is "Thing 1" and Ryan is "Thing 2."

I have such nice, cute "Things" don't I?
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