Monday, July 22, 2013

Bye-bye baby room

When we were two, our 1000 sq foot apartment was adequate. Two bedrooms, two baths, attached garage, in unit laundry, and walk in closets. Not too bad. Now we are three, and suddenly the walls seem closer, the carpet dirtier, the edges sharper. Moving day is fast approaching and so is the monumental task of packing 6 years of our life.

As I look around trying to decide where to start, I feel a little pang of sadness when I realized Lil' Bug's first nursery will be no more. What used to be our office/junk room, became a bright nursery with the help of my sister and good friends. I wish I could find the before picture, but its lost in the archives somewhere. So I want to share with you some of the DIY decorating moments I made before I pack them up.

 Ah, the crib. The crib that she didn't even sleep in until she was 6 months old! The dragonfly print bedding was made by my talented sister. I wanted something with a nod to our Asian heritage (she's 1⁄4 Chinese), but not overly so. I found some pagoda themed bedding in similar colors online, but wasn't willing to spend $400 for it! I took the color inspiration and pleaded with Auntie Em, and now we have a perfect bedding collection. Total cost was about $100. I made the "E" frame from the trusted IKEA Ung Drill, spray painted it white (the one that I got on sale for $19 was black), covered the backing with scrap fabric from the bedding, and hot glued an "E" from Michaels on it. Easy peasy!

As I mentioned before, we currently live in a rental. That means we aren't supposed to paint the walls. But as they say, don't ask permission, beg forgiveness! My sister and a friend helped me paint the walls, spouting something about an 8 month pregnant woman is not allowed to paint? Whatever! They painted 3 walls in a delightful turquoise blue, and the window wall has a stencil pattern (from Martha Stewart). When we told the apartment complex we were moving, and I mentioned the fact that we painted a room, we were strictly instructed to repaint the room white. So there's that...

The long wall needed a little something. I've had these 24" square canvases in the closet for 2 years because Michael's had and awesome buy one, get one for a penny sale I couldn't resist. The Martha Stewart stencil kit came with these patterns, add three bottles of color coordinated craft paint, and we have fun stenciled backgrounds. The white branch is made from sticky contact paper. Its easily removable and I think I will do something else with the pattern backgrounds in the new nursery.

This mobile is made from a wreath frame, fishing line, craft paper, dragonfly punch, and double stick tape. Inspired by all the ones I saw on Etsy ($70+!), I knew this would be an easy and cheap project. I think the total cost, including the punch, was $15. It hangs above the changing table. When I say, "where are the pretty dragonflies?", she knows exactly where to look. Too cute. 

The lamp was actually the very first thing I made for the room once I decided on a color scheme. The base and shade are both from Target, on sale of course! I've always loved the stacked acrylic ball bases because they don't take up too much visual space. Add ric-rac and hot glue and this little lamp is ready for late night diaper changes.

The lamp sits upon a small dresser I've had since my college days, back in the dark ages! No seriously, I've had it for 20 years, you do the math! I bought it unfinished for $150, which was a King's ransom to me back then. I painted it purple and green, because it was the 90's and I thought it was cool. Then I decided that a "shaker green" stain was even cooler. It stayed green for 15 years, and served mainly as storage for my handbags (before you judge, I worked at a designer handbag retailer, so I amassed an impressive collection with an employee discount!). Auntie Em actually did the last transformation into the corally-red that it is now. Its the perfect size for her little onesies, bibs, towels etc. The handbags found a new home in a giant storage bin.

Here are a couple wide shots of the room after 10 months of use. Real life happens, messes occur, clutter accumulates, but it will forever be Lil' Bug's first room.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Saving and old friend

My hubby has had a hand-me-down couch since we met. It was one of those things that he wanted to hang on to because its the last remaining thing from his bachelor pad days. I, on the other hand wanted to set up a donation pick up for the stained eye sore. After some "discussion", we agreed to try and save the old girl so she can someday live in our loft, aka "Man Cave".

I wish I had a better before pictures, but I was so excited when the slip cover was delivered by Amazon, I forgot to take them! Here's a picture of a cushion, just so you can see what I was dealing with for the last 8 years!

This is actually the better of the two seat cushions. The other is totally thread bare and stained. Can you say years of two male roommates eating fast food, plus a lazy dog? Ick.

So one love seat slip cover, 5 pillows, lots of pulling and tucking later....

Good as new! I think it'll look nice in the "Man Cave", and it saved us spending $$$ on a new one. This quick make over cost less than $100, mostly for the slip cover. I made the purple and NAP pillows for a little extra zip and comfort. Hubby is happy his old friend was saved from the donation truck.


PS: Look for the NAP pillows to make a reappearance in a future give away!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bistro Table v3.0

So, there's this table I've had for about 12 years. It was purchased at IKEA for a small studio I had for my invitation design business. I also used it in my booth at wedding expo's (what a mad house those were!). After that, it was my dining table when I was a single gal in a little one bedroom apartment. And finally it was a patio table in our California apartment. It sat in the scorching sun for 4 years before I decided to jazz it up a little. Here's the first make over, v2.0.

Sun faded and tired.  I wish I had better before pictures, but I didn't know they would end up on a blog!

A little more fun with a bright pop of color!

Fast forward 2 years, the red paint is faded, the legs are rusting, and the wood veneer is peeling up.  I had visions of making the table top a clock face, or replacing it all together with new wood.  Turns out its quite expensive to get wood for a 29.5" round table, and I don't like laying out type in a circle.  Then one night I found a fabulous site.  Its called Graphics Fairy, and she is has the most wonderful vintage images!  Inspiration strikes.

I was able do this project almost for free because I had the table (obviously), off-white latex paint, black acrylic paint, finishing wax, and sandpaper.  I did go to HD for black spray paint for the legs. Side note: Why do I always feel like a criminal when buying spray paint? Its locked in a giant cage and they ask for your birthday! Not to mention the pressure you feel to choose quickly because the nice lady is waiting for you to lock it all back up! But well worth the anxiety for the magic of spray paint!  So for about $4, I had made this, v3.0...

I love the new look. New but old! I don't know where it will live in the new house, but it will become an inside table because I don't think it can take the weather in its old age. One other quick note, I did flip the table top over to solve the peeling veneer problem. It doesn't have the cute detailed edges, but it is smooth and flat!

Need a tutorial to transfer images to furniture? I read this tutorial, but I used regular chalk and acrylic craft paint because I had them on hand. The lettering is hand painted, which didn't take nearly as long as it did to put three layers of wax on the table. My arms are still feeling the pain!

I bet you have something in your house that needs a new look. Go for it!

- Sarah