Monday, March 28, 2011

The Tree in the Room

It is done! If every time you handle a brush & paint it looks like you've been in battle this project isn't for you. However, if you have some level of painting skill this is a relatively easy, inexpensive project. To do this project you will need 3 quarts of paint; 1 base color, 1 tree trunk/branch color & 1 leaf color. I purchased my paints for approximately $30 total from WalMart's Glidden Better Homes & Garden paint (hey, as often as I paint things I had to stop being fancy with the paint.) For the base color I used In the Garden from their Mixed Greens collection. You may or may not need more than a quart for the base depending on your wall, how many coats you need, etc. I primed the wall in advance and had enough of the In the Garden color for painting a 10 foot wall (there is a small window) once, plus minor touch ups and enough leftover for another project I am working on. My leaf color is Loose Leaf, also from the Mixed Greens collection. Tree color is Tierra Brown from their Savory Spices Collection. First, of course, paint one to two coats of your base and let dry. Second, paint on your tree trunk and branches. You can draw it on lightly with pencil first, if you like, however I just painted it right on. I was going for a look that wasn't too perfectly symmetrical, but not off enough to bug me. I painted two coats for the trunk, one for branches. Don't worry about making the branches perfect as they will mostly be covered up by leaves Next, begin painting on your leaves. I recommend first painting a general outline of leaves and then filling in. I made a alternating pattern of vertical and horizontal leaves in the same shape. The tree at an early stage- Make sure you step back and look at your tree frequently so you make sure it is turning out as you intend. I had to squeeze in time when I could and wasn't checking my work often enough. At this point I was very unhappy with the tree and wanted to paint over parts of it. Everyone in my family was very positive about it so I decided to leave it as it was and begin filling in leaves to see if I liked it any better.

More leaves. I was using a finer brush to outline leaves and filling in just to see how it would look. My intention was to go back afterwards with a second coat on the leaves with a different brush.

A few more leaves...

and a few more leaves....

Victory! I did add a few leaves to adjust what I didn't like, but I never actually painted over anything. Also, I never did a second coat on the leaves. My husband really liked how the green leaves looked over the base coat and said to leave it with the one coat. Since it would save me an hour or so of painting, I went with it.

The work in progress thus far. Sorry about the crummy pictures, the room is only 8x10 and it was had to get a good angle.

The Little Man likes it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

News From the Nursery

I am really trying to get as much of the nursery done as I can. There is a wall behind the crib and I was trying to decide what to put there. Lots of ideas came to mind, but none seemed right. I wanted it to look nice, but not stick out much or be too heavy, keeping in mind the fact his crib would be right there. Also, that the little man will grow and eventually try to rip whatever I put there down! The nursery has kind of a forest theme going on and I had these leftover wall stickies of tree branches from a different project and I tried putting them there. No good. So, somehow I came up up with this idea of painting a tree on the wall. It makes a big impact and can't be ripped down! I will share the how-to and pictures tomorrow. I worked on it in spurts over a period of several days and just finished this evening, so I will take some good pictures tomorrow when the sun is up.

I am also finishing up another project in there, but weather is not cooperating! I have some things to spray paint outside and every time I have a minute to spray paint it is either raining, snowing or windy.

As far as my 'progress' goes, I feel it will be never ending! I've gotten little done over the past several days other than the basics laundry, dishes, etc. My daughter had dance practice one night & the next she performed in the halftime show at a Bucks game. Then, she had a four day weekend, so we tried to spend time doing fun things with her. Here's my minimal progress update!

Tuesday, Day 4

I tried to get back on my old cleaning routine. The way this worked was I had areas of the house divided into sections and would doing a thorough cleaning of a area on its designated day-this fell to the wayside towards the end of my pregnancy with the Little Man. Anyway, Tuesdays would be the bathroom and the hallway between the bathroom and two main floor bedrooms. This actually went quite well. Bathroom was a piece of cake. It was already clean from the minor updates and was quickly cleaned. Next came the hallway. This also wasn't too bad. There were a couple boxes of toys to sort out from when I cleaned the girls room and since I have already started sorting/separating went pretty nicely. Now all that is left there is my oldest daughter's headboard. She had her own room and had a big white scrolled metal bed. I was going to sell it, but my husband told me not to. It is very pretty and he said his mom was going to keep in her spare bedroom turned playroom and then if we needed it back we could get it back from her. I'm pretty sure this arrangement was made a couple months ago and it is still here. I've decided my husband has through his next set of days off to move it or I'm going to attempt to sell it.

Wednesday, Day 5 I was so tired this day I barely remember it, other than the Bucks game. I did work on the tree in the nursery a little bit.

Thursday, Friday Days 6 & 7 Mostly just out with the family.

Saturday, Day 8 Mainly worked on nursery projects as time allowed.

Sunday, Day 9 Same as above.

Well, check back tomorrow for my nursery pictures and until next time keep dreaming design!

Monday, March 21, 2011

More Progress! Day 3

Got more done than I thought possible. The girls room is almost done. There are a couple drawers I would like to organize a bit better and a couple things that need to be moved out or in and a couple things to hang on walls, but overall an exciting improvement!

P.S. I forgot to mention my big score from Schools Day in my post yesterday! On the way to one of the schools found a pile of old windows next to the road. Went back after the performance and my husband grabbed them. There are five total, two have a broken pane, others fully intact. I'll keep you updated when I decide what to do with them. Until next time, keep dreaming design! : )

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Princess & the Diva

So...I have been very busy the past several days on top of the usual busy. Lots of things going on, both good and bad. Friday I had a mini meltdown. I was exhausted because I never get enough sleep lately and from the day before.
St. Patrick's Day my oldest daughter participates in something called 'School's Day' for her Irish dance. We drive her all over and she and her group dance at the various locations, mostly schools. We had to be at the first stop at 7:30am, plus we drop the two other kids off at Gramma's first. We normally also serve dinner at our house, but there was no way. To avoid the kids being overly upset about it, I stayed up late preparing food so we could eat at Gramma's after the dancing.
Friday I had more things to do than I could ever get done which has become a common theme. I was sincerely trying my best. Then, my oldest got home from school and was crying and freaking out because she had a loose tooth and she didn't want it to fall out before her big cheerleading celebration she was going to-for what it's worth it did fall out, but not before I felt the start of a migraine coming in.
Being in the house is more and more stressful and it is harder and harder to get ready. I am ashamed to admit that it is almost -if not- Clean House worthy. As a hard core neat freak it absolutely makes my skin crawl. At this point trying to clean is is like trying to do a rubix cube. You shuffle things from one place to the next, but nothing gets accomplished, and there is someone constantly behind you undoing what you have done. It makes me feel horrible and feel like I'm 'not doing my job.' So, anyway, as time allows, I will let you know how I attempt to resolve this. As I said, I am ashamed to tell people these things, but I feel like maybe there are others like me and maybe we can help each other.
To start off, I will let you know I generally have very little time to work on this. My husband has been working alot and at odd hours leaving me to care for the kids which takes the majority of my time. Friday I had a major stress induced migraine which carried through till Saturday. I will begin charting my progress as of Saturday.

Saturday, March 19: As I said, major migraine. Unable to do much all morning and the husband had to work at night. I was able to get some done. I worked on a mural I am doing in the nursery (the nursery is by far the cleanest room in the house, so no major cleaning needed there, just making it pretty.) I decided to concentrate on one section of the Princess & Diva's room at a time until whatever could not reasonably fit would have to go. They share a 12x10 room since the youngest had to give up her room for her baby brother. Day 1 did find me some progress there. It sounds wierd, but for my purposes I started at the wall furthest from the door. Most of this wall has their bed against it. I had recently washed all their bedding, so I got beds cleared off and made, cleared out under the bed and then got to the dresser. I completely cleared off the top. It is a tall dresser that is being used for the Diva's clothes.

Sunday, March 20 aka Day 2: Spent the morning at church and got to spend a little time on progress. Did some more painting in the nursery until the Little Man got hungry. On the girl's room I cleared out another section, not quite as large as yesterday. Today was a little more piddily. I used boxes to organize things that there are larger quantities of, such as dollhouse furn./accessories, American Girl items, Littlest Pet Shop, etc. I'd say at this point we are almost halfway as far as the appearance of the room, but there is LOTS of stuff left in that tiny room! Mondays are usually less stressful as my oldest has school, but no activities that day. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Pictures I Promised

Camera is back in service so here are the pics from yesterday. : )

A 'before' pic of the bathroom.

Another 'before' pic. The cat did not want to move. Note the blue formica counter and laminate floors that I'm fairly certain previous owners installed incorrectly. Also, if you know where I can find a replacement vent like that PLEASE let me know!


'Before' The cabinet over the sink looks roomy, but in reality only one side opens!'Before'

The door knob I spoke of.

This is when I made the final decision on paint staying.

New shower curtain and rug.

The cabinet after I started painting it. Not finished, but so far I like it. I don't know why it is so shiny in the pictures.

The wall in the nursery that is 'in progress.'

Oops! One more before pic.

Ok, so there it is! Until next time, keep dreaming design. : )

Monday, March 14, 2011

No Paint?!

Well, last night was long and I suspect tonight will be, too. My two youngest are really having a hard time with daylight savings and I got almost no sleep last night. On the bright side, they were groggy today so I was able to get more done than usual. I took lots of pictures......but, then my camera battery died mid picture, so will have to add those later. Aside from boring dishes, laundry, etc., I did make a little progress on projects. One thing in the nursery and some things in the bathroom. First, I got it all cleaned up. Next, I took pictures. I did this for two reasons. 1. To show you 'before' pics 2. I like to take pictures of rooms before I redo them sometimes. Why? When you see a room day after day you grow used to the way it looks, sometimes bored or indifferent. Taking a picture and looking back at it makes me able to look at it a little more detached, as if it is not my space.
I had decided I wanted to keep the purple accent, and today I decided to add a bit more. I have a small white wall cabinet above the toilet. It has two shelves and small closed area underneath. I painted the back part behind the shelves in the same purple as before & I love it! Not quite finished with it, but already a huge difference. Next, I was worried about the rest of the wall. I had some leftover paint from another project that was a light beige called cozy neutral, and I had thought about using it here. However, the color already on the walls was looking really nice in the pictures, so I couldn't decide. I took previously mentioned cabinet down and painted the wall behind it to decide for sure and ultimately kept the existing color. I put new rug in which is black. Next, I put the new shower curtain up. I was kind of apprehensive about it at first, but someone had already removed the packaging so I figured I might as well try it out. Pretty nice for $5 I must say. It grew on me after a bit and both girls love it, so it is staying for now. Hopefully in the next couple days I can find something to replace the wall art and get my husband to hang all the things mentioned yesterday. For now, I need sleep, so keep dreaming design!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bathroom Update

I am all over the place lately with designing, etc. Every time I start doing spring cleaning I want to start changing things... Of course it doesn't help that I have been exhausted. My husband's work schedule changed temporarily and I am having a terrible time adjusting. He really has been no help. He also was supposed to be on vacation this week, but that got bumped till next week. My oldest is almost finished with cheerleading, but her Irish dance has been very busy with St. Patrick's Day approaching. Friday she performed at a Fish Fry at a nearby college and Saturday she was in two parades. Today was church, followed by an hour and a half dance practice for their St. Patrick's Day show. I also am being very indecisive with the bathroom.

What it is now: While we plan to eventually add at least one more bathroom this is currently the ONLY bathroom in our house. It is also fairly small (about 8x5 though I may be slightly off. The cabinets I painted a cream color which in the very least I need to touch up. The countertop is an ugly blue formica (courtesy of the lovely previously owners.) I had painted the walls a tan and there is a section around the vanity I painted in a color called wine frost. I painted this probably about four years ago. Tub and shower wall are not in the greatest shape.

The plan (tentatively): I think the cabinets can be kept if I sand them and repaint them. At this point I am still happy with the cream color, but if it doesn't work with other choices I am open to change. I would like to leave the purple accent. I plan to purchase new knobs for the cabinets, but have not found anything I love just yet. I plan to replace the beat up old door, but plan to salvage the awesome vintage glass doorknob because I just can't part with it. As for the wall color, it is neutral I suppose I could leave it, but I really want to paint it a nice soft gray. I think. I looked at Home Depot for tile thinking I wouldn't find anything, but fell in love with some beautiful marble hextile. It was a whitish with grays with black tiles mixed in. However, I am very apprehensive about using marble in such a high traffic location. Any one with experience opinions in this?

What I have purchased so far: Oddly, I have purchased quite a bit from Target. My two year old diva had loved this black & white shower curtain they had there. One day we had run in there to pick something up after a dr. appt. & started browsing...they had one of the shower curtain left, on clearance for $5. I finally caved and let her get it. I also purchased shower curtain hooks that are from their 'Simply Shabby Chic' line. I liked them because they mimic the style of my door knob. A couple days ago I bought a towel ring, tower bar, glass shelf and tp holder from there also. They have polished chrome finish and are from the corbin collection. I also got a Pottery Barn bud vase for $10 at a thrift shop, but not sure if I will be able to use it or not.

The picture above is of the purple wall color (sorry I know lighting is bad) and the wall sconce I think is going to go. Keep dreaming design!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Back to the Bathroom

Okay, okay, that title does sound pretty bad. I will explain. Awhile back I wanted to do some work on the bathroom, but a leaky window lead me to the kitchen. Window is repaired and I am back to fixing up the bathroom! Stay tuned for my new room designing checklist challenge!