Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Nursery Tour

I've been meaning to get this post up for ages! Toma's room has been ready for months, but I kept thinking I'd put a few finishing touches (change out some of that wall art, do something to that thrift store chair, fix that one roman shade), so I held off on taking pictures until today. I spent all of 5 or 10 minutes snapping quickly because Toma decided he didn't want to sit still anymore right as I was getting started. 

So while I really wanted to take my time taking pictures and getting all sorts of detail shots... these will have to do for now. 
The wire basket from World Market is very useful for holding diapers.  The mirror was another thrift store find that I painted. The shelf is Ikea and that little crate holding toys is from a craft store. 

Notice the family photo project?
 Those are the Ikea picture ledges we used to make a wall of book storage. 

I made the roman shade with HGTV home decor fabric from Joann. I also tried something new and used black out fabric and a liner in the middle which is supposed to help block out sound and insulate the window. I also used child-safe shrouds to encase the cord.
 I'll have to do a before and after post with this dresser. I found it at a thrift store, sanded it down completely and painted it with a blend of 2 colors of milk paint. The cute knobs were only $5 at Home Goods. As you can see, it doubles as a changing table and is working out great. 
When I first got to work on transforming the guest room into a baby's room (maybe 20 seconds after I found out I was pregnant) I thought I wouldn't have much to do. But one project turned into another. Things weren't wrapped up until a couple of weeks before my due date. 

Here's a rundown of what I did. 

First up was painting the Ikea daybed. When I bought it on Craigslist a few years ago, it had been spraypainted black. I really wanted it white, but didn't feel like sanding it down. I made some DIY chalkboard paint by mixing regular latex wall paint with water and plaster of Paris and started painting. The plaster really sticks to the surface, so no sanding required! I still need to do a wax finish though.

I bought the dresser for $50 at a local thrift store, sanded it down and painted it with milkpaint and replaced the drawer pulls. 

Painted the walls and stenciled a handmade bee pattern on one. 

Changed out the light fixture with an inexpensive schoolhouse light from Home Depot. 

Made child-safe roman shades. Twice. I wasn't happy with the first fabric I used. 

Sewed a quilt. 

Made kite wall art with wood dowels and scrap fabric and sewed a cloud mobile out of white felt. 

Used black and white family photos to make photo transfer art and placed it in embroidery hoops. 

Made Wisconsin map art using wrapping paper and a shiny gold gift bag. 

Put up Ikea picture rail for the book shelves (my husband did most of the work). He also painted the trim and door a nice bright white (one door still left to paint). 

Crocheted 2 toy baskets. 

Besides shopping for the crib and accessories (that's the fun part) I think that's about it. Phew. So glad I can now sit back and relax in what is my favorite room in our house right now. 

In case you are wondering about sources, here are some I haven't already mentioned...

Bee stencil project
Wall colors Sherwin Williams Tidewater SW6477 (on the stenciled wall) and Blue Horizon SW 6497
Diaper changer cover from Target
Crib: Ikea Sundvik
Metal garden stool/side table, pillows, small gold mirror from Home Goods
Wall art is a mix of stuff including one of my linocuts and some DIY art
Kite, quilt and cloud mobile were all DIY projects that I will get around to blogging about someday

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Be Back Soon

 You might have noticed that I've been taking a bit of a blogging break lately. I kept thinking I could manage to get a post up, but I've been a little busy lately. 

Our precious baby boy arrived earlier this month. Pretty much everything has been on hold since then so that I can focus on the new addition to our family. 
So while I'm busy with non-blogging things, I do have a lot of projects to share. The nursery, for example, is full of handmade items that I started making way back in summer when I first found out I was pregnant. I think it all came together pretty well and I can't wait to take some pictures so I can show you! 

Until then, I hope you are enjoying the beginning of spring.  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Marbled Salt Dough Hearts

When I saw this clever tutorial for marbled clay ring dishes on A Beautiful Mess I wondered if a similar marbled technique would work using salt dough. 

And as I found out yesterday, it does! 

I love bake clay, but whenever I buy some, the kids convince me that they need it to make fairy garden furniture. I always give in, which means I never have enough laying around to use for my own projects. 

That's why I turned to salt dough for this year's annual Valentine craft project. 
What's not to love about salt dough? It costs a few cents to make a bunch of ornament (or garland in this case) and all your ingredients are just waiting for you in the kitchen. 


1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup warm water
red and blue food coloring

Heart shaped cookie cutter (about 3")
Gold metallic craft paint
Decoupage glue sealer in gloss finish
Paint brush
Parchment paper

Combine the flour, salt and water in a bowl and knead for 5 minutes. In the past, I've tried to speed up the process by kneading for a minute or so, but the results are dry and cracked salt dough ornaments. So take your time during the kneading phase. 

 Separate the dough into 3 balls plus 1 much smaller ball. Leave one ball white. Add about 3 drops of red food coloring to the 2nd ball and work it in with your hands until it is fully blended. Add about 15 crops of red coloring to the 3rd ball and work until blended. Add about 5 drops blue and 3 drops red coloring to the small ball and work until blended.

Your hands are going to get stained. Nothing that a several washes with soap won't fix, but if you want to keep your hands skin-colored, then put on some latex gloves before you start coloring the dough. 

Roll into strips as you see below. 
 Now twist the white, pink and red together to form a large log. 
 Then twist in the dark blue dough. 
 Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about a quarter inch thickness. 
 Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out 7 hearts. Roll out dough scraps a second time and cut additional heart shapes from that if necessary. 
Using a straw, punch out 2 holes on either side of each heart. 
 Now bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 220 degrees for about 40 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. Make sure the hearts are completely flat on the tray. 
 Using a gold metallic craft paint, paint the sides of the hearts and let dry. Nice nails, huh? 
 Now paint over the entire heart with decoupage glue sealer and let dry. 
Now you can string the hearts with twine and hang.

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