Friday, March 18, 2011

100% Proceeds to the Japan Earthquake Fund

Twenty-Percent of all my sales from Friday 3/18 to Friday 3/25 will be donated to the Japan Earthquake Relief Effort through the American Red Cross.

There are several items that I'll be donating 100% of the sale to the Relief Effort. Here are just a few of the items!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Twin Sis's Photography Blog

My Twin Sis just launched her new photography blog a few weeks ago. I think it looks awesome! She's been a photographer for several years now and does a fantastic job. I think her new website fits her fun personality well.

If you have a second, check it out! Add her to your Reader and don't be shy...give her some comment love.

Photo Editing- Easy Tricks!

So the past little while I've been learning a lot about photo editing. One of the simplest things you can do is add a photoshop (or photoshop elements) Action to your picture. It's kind of like adding a recipe or formula to a picture. You can then adjust how much of that recipe/formula you want on a photo. It's honestly as simple as pressing one button to do this.

You can download many photoshop "actions" online for free. Tonight I just discovered a whole new slew of them. My photographer twin-sister recommended The Coffee Shop Blog. And I absolutely love the Pioneer Woman's free actions.

I think one of the biggest keys to being a great photographer is to use a great lense and great photoshop actions! Editing is key in being a great photographer. I am not interested at the moment in becoming a photographer but I do think it's great to have some know-how on editing pictures well.

Here are some before/afters from my sisters new photography blog to see what I'm talking about....and p.s. if you like her new blog, don't hesitate to leave her some comment love :)

Extra Sunshine
Added Color

Friday, March 4, 2011

Nursery Cost Break Down

This room was done on a budget! I tried to use what we already owned. When I did purchase things I tried to first buy it second-hand or make it myself. I was lucky and had some pretty amazing gifts for this nursery too!

I wanted to create a room that would represent my children. I love vintage, simple, clean decor. I had a look I was going for but I didn't want to spend a lot of money. So I did my fair share of thrifting. I needed to buy a big dresser since this room doesn't come with a closet and I needed a crib for my daughter. Both big ticket items.

In total we spent: $296.25

So here's our cost breakdown

dresser: $55

dresser hardware: $18

lamp: $3

IKEA white frames: $10

Mary Poppins art: $7 (handmade by me)

basket for diapers: already owned

vintage toys: mine when I was a wee one

Total: $93

Crib: already owned

bedding: homemade gift from fantastic sister-in-laws, umm ya, they are the best!

Total: $0

Pom poms: $3 (handmade by me)

IKEA white lanterns: $8

Total: $11

Chair: $8

Paint for chair: $3 sample from Lowe's

Bookshelves: $6 (handmade by me)

Paint: $3

Books: already owned

Total: $20

Nightstand: My dad made it back in highschool

Hardware: $6

Ukrainian martroyshka: already owned

Frame: already owned (added fabric)

Temple: .25

Framed picture of the Savior: already owned

Total: $6.25

Embroidery Hoops: $8 at Hobby Lobby

Fabric: $20 but have LOTS left over

Vintage Hat stand: $5

Red Paint: $3 sample at lowes

Hats and Boa: already owned

Total: $36

And not pictured: crib and mattress...which broke on us afterall. But it's still in the cost of the room: $40

Paint for crib: $20

Total: $60

Paint for the stripes on the walls: $50

Painting supplies: $10

Total: $60

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Nursery: Dresser

The Bright, Simple, Vintage, Homemade Nursery
That is C and O's new nursery in a nutshell. And I'm in love. I can't help but walk by their room and just smile. What a cheerful, clean, peaceful, nursery.

After months of working on this room it's done. Or just about...curtains and a couple pillows will add the finishing touches. Hooray! We bought our first house this year and I'm just getty that I get to decorate it anyway I want. For months it sat bare with just a crib and a nightstand. It's not that I didn't have anything to decorate with. I just needed to brainstorm and come up with my plan.
So after a couple of weeks of planning and coming up with an inspiration board (pictures of other nurseries and ideas I loved) I painted the walls, and got busy on my thrifted/homemade room. I went off this room from The Anderson's and added from there. Wow is she talented!

So here is the "before" picture. I had already started on the taping. But you can see that the room is plain and the color is a neutral muted-green. Which was a fine color. I just needed to spice things up a bit.

The nursery doesn't have a closet. So I knew I needed a big dresser. I scored this heavy duty, vintage dresser from a thrift store. It is such high quality. They don't make dressers like this anymore.

It was a light yellow color and had fantastic hardware. I was so tempted to use the hardware. It was pure vintage-awesomeness. But in the end I went with a more clean, sleek hardware choice.

And here is the dresser refinished. I sanded it, primed it with oil-based primer, painted it white, and replaced the hardware with a more modern, sleek look.

We all know that my kids' favorite lady is Mary Poppins. I didn't want a theme room but I did want to incorporate her into the room a bit.

I made this piece of art for them.

Mary Poppins used to look like this (don't you love that umbrella fabric?!) but the frame mysteriously broke when I was spray painting it white. Ah well. I like the new-improved Mary Poppins better anyways.

I got this lamp from a yard sale for $3. It was a gold base. I spray painted it white and recovered the lampshade with Michael Miller's "Red Joy" fabric. And what a joy it is!

And those dolls!!! Those were mine when I was a baby. Seriously VINTAGE stuff. Humpty dumpty and and Little Miss Muffit are great additions to the room. Humpty has a bell inside and Ms. Muffit has a squeeker inside. C can't get enough of them.

Ikea frames. I covered the mat's with fabric

The End.

The Nursery: The Crib and Bedding

Three of my sister-in-laws made our baby's bedding. They are all so talented and generous to us.

Becky made this amazing quilt. It's even quilted with stars. Amazing! It has beautiful fabric, binding, everything.

Sara made these gorgeous bumper pads. Seriously! She made those. Amazing.

Look at the ties. So stinkin' cute.

And Julia made two sheets. One is warm flannel from Sara's shoppe and the other is from her own quilt shoppe. They are the greatest crib sheets! They fit perfect.

And I made these pom-pom's using this tutorial. The white lanterns are from Ikea.

The Nursery: Embroidery Hoops and Hat Stand

A "Tragic" Story
So I had high hopes to find a crib like this one in Norah's Nursery. That yellow, vintage-style crib was perfect. I fell in love. SO instead of buying a new crib for C (18mo. when baby brother was born) I bought one second-hand. I made sure it wasn't on the recall list and that it was in good shape. And then I sanded it a bit. Gave up on that because sanding it took way too long! then I primed it. That was my first problem. I used water-based primer instead of oil-based. Bad idea! So learn from my mistake to always use oil based primer on wood (it had a shiny surface and needed some primer to grip onto). So I primed it with both. It took hours. Then I started spray painting it yellow and decided it was going to take about 20 cans of yellow spray paint. And I'm not kidding! At $3 a can would have cost me way more than my thrifty self wanted to pay.

So I spray painted it white instead. In the end it cost me $70 total for the crib, mattress and paint. And 2 months later it's BROKEN! It broke. Over 20 hours of work on that crib, and it's gone. Ugh. So now C is on her mattress on the floor. We're so "montessori"

But for the fun part: Vintage embroidery hoops filled with modern vintage-style fabric.
Pearl Bee came up with this tutorial. And it was an easy project! And I mean super-easy-anyone-can-do-it-No sewing required EASY. The idea came from Ohdeedoh.

I didn't want this to be a theme room but I did want to add a touch here and there of Mary Poppins. Thus the umbrella fabric.

And everyone who knows Mary Poppins, knows a proper place to hang a hat is on a hat stand! So I bought this vintage one and C and I painted it red together. We hang all of her fancy hats and fancy boa.

The Nursery: Yellow Chair and Bookshelves

Chair was from the thrift store.
We sanded it a bit, primed it and painted it yellow. I love that M was so into this painting job that she almost painted the entire chair herself. Her priming paint job wasn't the greatest but it adds great character to the chair I think. I love to see the clumpy spots and know M had her hand in it.
I made the bookshelves from plans on Knock Off Wood. They cost less than $10 to make and I love that the books are forward facing, rather than binding facing.

This blanket was made by my sister-in-law Julia. She made it 14 years ago for her baby girl and gave it to us when we had our first baby. I love it and it matches the room perfectly.

The Nursery: Night Stand

I love this room so much because almost everything in it is homemade or thrifted goodness. This was made by my dad when he was in high school. He's amazing! And it's still in practically perfect condition today.

So you want to know the sad truth? I almost had my mom sell this for $5. I don't have a lot of sentiment for "things". This had been sitting in their garage for years so I convinced her to get rid of it. Someone called my mom to buy it and my mom backed out last second. THANKS MOM!!! I came to my senses and realized (years later) that I NEEDED this night stand.
We gave it a coat of white paint, replaced the hardware the same new sleek hardware as the vintage dresser in their room and breathed some life back into this beautiful side table. And now it's such a treasure to me. How could I have thought to get rid of it?

This is one of my favorite paintings of Jesus Christ. And it adds so much peace to the room. I wanted a picture of Jesus at eye-level to the kids, so this works out perfect. The temple next to it was found at a yard sale.

I found this wooden martroyshka doll while in Ukraine. I knew I had to have it for when I had a little girl of my own one day. It's a treasure to have in the nursery. The paint glistens and sparkles and inside is the most beautiful sounding bell. C and O love to play with this fairytale Ukrainian toy.

The frame mat is covered in fabric from my sister-in-law's store