Friday, April 29, 2011

#332...chalkboard bunny

Tomorrow, we are having my Mom's retirement party here at our house. She is a 3rd grade teacher, and she has a black pet bunny that shares time in her classroom and at home. His name is "Bunny" and he became the mascot of our party planning decor for the event. Tyler and I decided to make a giant chalkboard bunny cutout to use as a beverage sign at the party. Here's how we made it............. 
We each took a stab at freehanding a bunny shape on a 4x4 piece of thin plywood. I drew in orange Sharpie and Tyler finalized the shape in black.
Next, he cut out the bunny shape with a jig saw

I spray painted the edges with black paint and then proceeded to brush paint the surface of Bunny with Rustoleum Chalkboard paint. I did about 3 coats of chalkboard paint, and did a test run with chalk to make sure it would erase off, and he's ready for the party!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#331...zig zag shams

Premier Prints recently came out with their zig zag pattern in a gray and white colorway, which is right up my alley. I have been trying to decide what to make with the yardage I bought, and ended up making myself some new bed shams for summer.

I occasionally like to make new pillows for my bed, as I get tired of the textiles and need a change. Pillows are about the easiest thing to sew. These sat on my bed last year.
...and these the year before

Monday, April 25, 2011

#330...states & stools

Today is my youngest sister Sarah's 25th birthday, so I thought I'd celebrate by sharing two projects that we recently completed in her apartment.

First up, she has a small breakfast bar hanging from her kitchen counter into her living room. It is perfect height for two short stools. We opted for the Marius from Ikea. I made the stools two small pads using some leftover plaid wool from my fabric stash and two 14" foam circles that I cut out from a piece of 1" thick foam.
To attach the pad to the stool, I simply used a few strips of sticky back Velcro.

The second project, Sarah tackled herself. We found an old paint by number in my attic, that I got at the Goodwill for a few dollars. 
We decided that it would be cute cut into the shape of a state, and hung in a gallery grouping on Sarah's TV wall. She selected Maine as her state of choice, and used this book to copy and blow up her shape to desired size.

She traced the state onto the cardboard paint by number and carefully used an Exacto knife and small sharp craft scissors to cut the shape out. We used sticky back Velcro to adhere it to the wall. Here is a glimpse of it hanging in her gallery grouping.

Friday, April 22, 2011

#329...backyard gravel

Our backyard work has continued. Our latest progress included painting our back fence, adding gravel to the back section of our yard that we had curbed off a few weeks ago, and grouping more terracotta cactus plantings. Here are two before shots of the area that we worked on.
....and here is the after

I got help from my friends Nancy and Jonathan in painting the back fence. They rolled, and I brushed the top and without them, I'd still be out there painting. We painted it with a Behr solid wood stain in Harbor Gray color. We have been on the hunt for cactus and low water need plants for weeks, and we finally filled and placed all of the pots we bought from Home Depot. The old stumps came from my neighbor's tree that came down after the last hurricane. They've been laying around our yard looking like trash for a few years, so I painted the tops white and we propped them up in a seating arrangement outside the cabana. This back part of our yard is the first to get shade on a hot, sunny day, so we are hoping to utilize it more this summer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#328...campaign cabinet

I bought this old campaign style chest at the thrift shop a year or so ago. I bought it because I needed some of the metal edge brackets for use on the campaign style cabinet I had built for my kitchen.

The piece has been sitting homeless for awhile, but I recently redid it for my friend Robin. I had the hardware replated at a metal shop, turning it from shiny brass to brushed nickel.
I painted it with Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray. I used a Latex Enamel and then varnished the piece with MinWax Wipe-on Poly in Satin. Here it is in Robin's living room serving as a sofa side table.

Monday, April 18, 2011

#327...styling elfa

I have several elfa shelving systems in my home, and wrote about my fondness for them here. The unit in my back TV room looked a little boring with all of the horizontally stacked magazines & books I kept on it. I got inspired by this post that Jenny did, and decided to restyle the shelves, adding more items, and more visual interest. Here is a before and after of my elfa styling efforts.

elfa before

elfa after
On a side note, also in these pictures you can see a mini Ikea hack. For our TV media console we have two TOBO Tv Units pushed together. I painted the exterior white, and in lieu of the metal legs that come with the unit, we made some wood block legs (also painted white). The metal legs were actually too tall for our space, so we had to find an alternative.

Friday, April 15, 2011

#326...chicken abode

For awhile now, I've had my heart set on getting some pet chickens. Backyard chickens are becoming very popular and I really like eggs, so I want some. My Dad grew up on a chicken farm, and he will think this is an awful idea, but I want them nonetheless. I checked out to learn more about it, and for the past few months, I have been under the assumption that the city of Houston did not allow urban hen pets. Last week for work I visited a house that had 3 hens and a really great set-up for caring for them. The home owner told me that the city does allow urban hens, just no my chicken dream is alive again! I bought this book on Amazon to learn more about it.
Once Tyler is finished with the pottery cabana, I'm planning on conning him into building a chicken coop in our side yard. Dwell magazine has some great examples of modern hen houses like this, this and this.

My next door neighbors are about to undergo a big house remodel, and since that is the side I want to put my chickens on, I will probably wait until they finish construction, as it seems cruel to force my new hens to listen to saws, compressors and nail guns all day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

#325...violet's birdie

Today, I'm going for a visit at Violet's house. She lives in my neighborhood, and I helped with her room a few months ago. I'm bringing her this stuffed birdie pillow that I stitched up for her. This birdie pillow pattern was the subject of one of my very first blog posts back in 2009....check it out here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

#324...leslie's living room

I've been helping my client Leslie add a little color and fun to her living room. It really only took a few new fabrics, and a coffee table face lift to give the room some personality. Leslie bought this vintage Henredon coffee table off Craigslist.
I sanded the top, gave the bottom several coats of navy paint, and whitewashed and varnished the top. Here is the finished result.
I also made a couple new pillows for Leslie's living room....
Instead of piping for the edges, I sewed a 1" flat panel edge, which gives the pillows a box effect.
This round bird pillow was made from a Dwell Studio for Target cloth napkin.
Last year, Leslie had a pair of the above chairs in her living room covered in this Waverly print called Chippendale Fretwork in Mineral.
Here is a peek of her new chairs and coffee table in her home.