The “I refuse to copy someone on Pinterest” Nursery Reveal!

Pinterest. The source of ideas for mothers, party planners, dreamers, and people with tons of free time. Also the source of the slap in the face when you realize that every creative idea you have ever had, has already been done (and in most cases done BETTER). Pinterest can inspire greatness or leave you feeling hopeless.

Enter nursery planning. Since no one knew I was pregnant for three months I had a secret board to pin all my baby ideas (we are due in June by the way). I found tons of AMAZING nurseries that I would LOVE to have. I mean seriously, search for baby nursery and your mind will be blown. I will admit the nerd in me was wayyyy too overexcited for the Mario themed nurseries.  Totally cool.

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But alas, my hubby vetoed the idea. “It has been done. A LOT.” I admit, I was annoyed. BUT he was right (for once). The mighty Pinterest abounded with tons of mario and yoshi rooms that have been done a million different ways. Clearly he considered us way too creative and unique for that. Ha. So on the search went for a cool gender neutral nursery theme that hadn’t been done, or at the very least, not OVERDONE. We wanted our first little one’s room to be as unique as us. But, I was pretty sure we were going to end up with nice colors and no theme. Then one day we happen to be watching one of my favorite movies and let’s say inspiration flew up and hit me in the face in the form of the perfect quote.

“I have just met you, and I love you.”

The perfect quote for almost every baby ever born!
Ladies and gentlemen we decided to model our nursery after one of my favorite movies: UP!

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Now, pinterest had some ideas on how to host an UP! birthday party, but no one has done the nursery thing. At least not that I could find (if you find one, don’t tell me, just let me have my moment of perceived brilliance). The only downside of no one having done this idea before, was that I had nothing to go off of. I was starting from scratch trying to think of cool ways to incorporate the movie into my design but keep it functional. I rewatched the movie from the beginning, taking notes as I went. I googled fun things from the movie and found (much to my disappointment) that the only official UP! merchandise that Disney sells is Dug and Kevin plushies. Heck, even Monsters Inc. has cooler stuff. Am I alone in thinking this is one of the cutest movies ever? Apparently.

[Side note, my mother in law was able to find a talking Dug plushie, and two up prints from somewhere. I was shocked!)

How to create an UP! room in 10 (kinda) easy steps:

  1. First up, paint the room blue. Invite your father over to install new electrical with a dimmer switch ceiling light. Watch him freak out thinking a blue room means you are having a boy. (Gender remains a great mystery to us by choice.)
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  2. Organize the closet in neutral tones. Realize that you are obsessed with organization and organization projects. Read my post about this here.
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  3. Find suitable fabric to make curtains out of. Make and hang said curtains. Make a post about these cool curtains. Enjoy that this project is helping you reach a new year’s goal to sew more.
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  4. Have a MODPODGE party! And by party, I mean create several cool things for the room using various wood items, paper, and Mod Podge while singing along to the radio. Created clothing separators and a door sign. Read the post here.
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  5. Create awesome cloud nightlights. Partially stolen from a mario themed room. Basically just hot gluing fiberfill on to LED stick up lights and affix to the wall.
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  6. Recognize that your mural painting skills are not that awesome. Order an amazing custom quote from danadecals on etsy and a large wall decal to replace the failed mural from www.ltlprints.com.
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  7. Create some custom wall art and print some borrowed amazing wall art. Buy some custom framing from pictureframes.com. Then frame and arrange artfully. Rediscover a squirrel that was a gift from a craft fair. “SQUIRREL!” Obtain and paint spice racks from Ikea and pass them off as bookcases. Stagger them on the wall so this future child doesn’t think that they are a ladder.
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  8. Design and painfully create an artsy mobile that involves way too much work. Then give up and hire someone to make it for you because you failed too many times.
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  9. Add some awesome finishing touches: a paradise falls jar for holding pacifiers, a custom made adventure book, some neat travel inspired accessories, extra storage, some baby shower gifts from crafty relatives, and two trademarked plushies.
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  10. Reveal your nursery to your blog readers, pinterest, and the WORLD! I hope you enjoy the room as much as I do. Now go have a new adventure!

The final room tour:

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Official baby guardian.
Official baby guardian.

Baby Closet Organization!

Organization is my middle name. Not really. My mom had way more sense than that.

However organization is something I love to have and work on. There is something peaceful about having a nicely organized closet. So as I searched pinterest for baby closet organization ideas and certainly had a bunch of inspiration.

6fa737f3b741135b8f61fab502850bdf FREE-Kids-Closet-Hanger-Dividers-Printables-on-lilluna.com-Now, baby’s room is little. I mean LITTLE little. As the smallest bedroom in the house it is 10’x9′. So the closet is a tiny thing too. Perfect for a baby.

I knew I needed to get clever with the storage so I went out and purchased a sweater holder, some striped bins, and a closet rod doubler. I managed to find some cheap woven baskets from Lucky Clover Trading since our local dollar store only had scary colors of plastic ones. Set it all up and with the help of my handy label gun, I had lots of storage options in the closet. Including a floor bin for “too small” items on their way out.

This is the result:

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As for the closet dividers, I clearly needed something with my theme on it. I doctored up some clipart in photoshop to create 6 different designs. Read the whole post here.

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Closet complete!

Mod Podge For Dummies (like me)

02916-1016-3ww-lA few months ago I heard about this neat product that has been on the market for ages. I’m sure you’ve passed it on a shelf or two at the craft store. For some reason I never picked it up or gave it a go. Until I decided I wanted wood dividers for the baby’s closet. I tried printing a few of those paper ones on Pinterest…..and yeah, that was not going to cut it.

So off to the craft store to grab some wooden door hangers (thinking I am going to paint them) and I stumble upon this Mod Podge stuff. Glue and sealer huh? Alright, let’s give it a go. I also find a cool plaque that I imagine I will find something to do with.

Using my handy dandy Adobe Illustrator program and some clip art from our chosen theme I create 6 dividers for Newborn, 3 Months, 6 Months, 9 Months, 12 Months, and 18 Months. I also find a poster that would be perfect for the door to the room with some slight modification. I print out all the artwork and begin tracing my door hangers onto the art for the perfect fit.

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A little cutting and I am ready to attempt this glue thing. I coat the hangers in MP, and then lay the paper on top of it. Once I get them all down I go back over the top with more MP.

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It was looking kinda lumpy so I used another piece of paper wrapped over a piece of cardboard to smooth down the edges. Once it dried I applied another layer as sealer and let that dry up. The result was pretty impressive (if I do say so myself). I cut a small slit at the top of the hanger portion to put on the rod and it was ready to go. I used the same steps on the door sign and got a similar result too.

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Hang them up and viola! Instantly themed items for the baby’s room!

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Clever Curtains

Have you ever spent hours in a JoAnn Fabrics searching for the perfect print for your project? I have.

Have you ever triumphantly lifted that holy grail of fabrics over your head, marched to the cutting counter, requested three yards, and feel your heart sink as the lovely lady says, “Sorry there is only a little over two”? I have.

Have you ever bought it anyway, desperately hoping to make it work out? I have.

photo 1That is how these special curtains started. It was stupidly hard to find a fabric that would match our obscure theme (which I will reveal soon, I promise). I pulled out several bolts and brought them to my husband for inspection. Finally we found one that would do the trick. It is a cream fabric with blue accents. Cream and brown are pretty much my base for this neutral room and I liked the pattern. Only to be told that there wasn’t enough and none of the other stores in the area had it. URGH! Well of course I bought it anyway,hoping that I could figure out some way to make it work. I also bought 3 yards of unbleached muslin to back it with since cotton by itself is generally too thin to block out much light on a sunny window.

I took the fabric home and laid it out in the baby’s room. I measured the window twice. I measured the fabric. TWICE. There was no way it was long enough to create a rod pocket. Especially after pinning for edges (I made the edge as small as possible).

I grabbed a shower ring out of the bathroom. Nope. Not long enough to have rings at the top either. I started folding the fabric thinking I would put a border of muslin at the top and bottom, but to be honest, it just looked stupid. I thought maybe a ribbon border would look better, but it didn’t either. Then I wondered if I could just use ribbon as the curtain loops. I had seen ribbons used to “fancy up” rings before so why not? Sew it on instead of tying it and it should be strong enough to hold them up. Since I was out of other ideas, I just went with it, assuming it would work.

So, I sewed. Hoping that it would all work out. Otherwise I would have goofy curtains. As much as it is a baby’s room I still want them to look nice.photo 1 (2)

The final stitches in place, it looked pretty darn good. I took measurements of how much ribbon I would need and laid it out on a ruler. Marking off even distances I laid out the loops and pinned them. I laid the second curtain on top of the first to be sure they were in the exact same place. For some reason one curtain was half an inch wider (hey, nobody is perfect).

I went back to the sewing machine and used a double X stitch to make sure those ribbons wouldn’t move a bit once they were sewn on. photo 4It was my first experiment with fancy stitches on my machine (which has 60). They turned out really secure and didn’t look messy.

The miracle, was that they turned out looking just dandy. I ironed them up and proudly carried them up to the room, hoping desperately that they would:

  1.  Fit the window from top to bottom
  2.  Slide with ease on the rod
  3.  Block out a decent amount of light that the baby can have nap time in peace.

The answers were: YES, YES, and (checked the next morning) YES!

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2015, Sew what?

2015 is a brand new year. Unavoidably it suddenly showed up at the door demanding a “new you” or some sort of resolutions. Generally my resolutions run along the lines of: lose weight, read X number of books, run X number of races, and finish X number of chapters in my book I have been writing for years (its a fiction novel, nothing to do with craftiness). These have been pretty standard for the past 6 or 7 years. I generally meet about half of my goals. I finish the year proud of my accomplishments and convinced that next year I will see the magic number on the scale and finally finish that book.

Well, this year my goals came up a little different. I hesitated on my list because I couldn’t put “lose weight” at the top. No, I didn’t reach that goal last year, but I managed to create a little miracle instead. (So be prepared. I am engrossed in a HUGE project with tons of DIY in order to get this tiny bundle’s room ready for the big arrival in June.) So instead I thought of things that make me happy and how I can work them more into my life. My 2015 goals are short and more about things I WANT to do instead of what I SHOULD do:

#1: Sew more.
cs6000i__27641.1409192231.350.350Yes. It is a really vague goal but since anything is more than none I have a good shot. I use to love creating pillow cases and simple projects sewn by hand. My mother would insist I use her sewing machine and I refused to touch it. Too many switches and holes to thread the thread through. It wasn’t for me.

Last year my lovely mother-in-law gave me a brand new Brother sewing machine. I was really really excited. I would finally have my own machine that I could learn to use and get some great new things created! Goodness knows I have boxes of fabric hanging around from working at JoAnn’s for a few years. Well sadly, that sewing machine sat in a box in the basement for a whole year. Every time I said I was going to set it up I got distracted by something else. New Year’s weekend came and I finally broke open the box and set it up. Not only is it stupidly simple to use, but it has tons of stitch styles that are just awesome. I have already sewn an awesome set of curtains for the little one’s room. (Blog post coming soon).

#2 Read 20 books
Less than last year’s 30 goal (which I met) but I might be a little busier this year.

#3 Clean out old papers
This is the only resolution that I have as a should instead of a want. I have several boxes of old papers that I have been meaning to file. It is simply time for them to go!

What resolutions or goals have you set for yourself this year? And have you made any progress on them so far?

Getting Busy, Getting Lost, and Getting Married

I just realized I have been ignoring my blog for a few months (ok, half a year).

Well allow me to catch you up. I have a new job, got married, and still have been trying to be crafty. Needless to say the crafty part took a bit of a hit. I did however make a number of crafty things for my wedding. So let’s work on that before sharing my next few projects.

The months leading up to the wedding went from being fun to being stressful in record time. I blinked and suddenly I had three weeks to go. We had decided we wanted our wedding to have special elements that really represented us.

The most important fact being that we are runners. We love to run. We love to race. And we met a bus to a race. So of course we had to do something about that. Enter the race bib table numbers. I remade copies of all of our race bibs from all the races we have done together and reworked them into table numbers.

We were amazed when we walked into the venue and the tables were covered with 1,000 paper cranes for good luck. We didn’t craft those, but our family certainly proved they could be crafty too.

We made all our escort cards and even had a mailbox where people could send us “postcards” with well wishes and advice for the future. Not to mention the modification of two very stylish salt and pepper shakers as our cake topper.

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Where do we go from here? Well we definitely have some new projects on the horizon. I am working on some crafty ideas for the holidays. I have been experimenting with making lotions and may even try my hand at knitting at last! I have picked up some new colors of spray paint, and an old sewing table, so I have a feeling some more redos might be in progress soon.

Until next time!

First spring project – Repainting light fixtures

Winter. The time when we regroup, rest, and reevaluate. Our lives, our choices, and our projects.

This winter was especially transitional. I managed to murder my vehicle after it got me home in a blizzard (4.5 hour drive from hell). I got talked into a beautiful new lease car. I then got a new job that is absolutely wonderful. And as our first winter in our new home we were full of excitement for all the things we wanted to do. We even started a running list on the fridge of things we needed to tackle.

Top on my list was something that drove me crazy everyday. In the front and back of our new house we have these light fixtures. Little lamps that were rusted and weather worn. I’m probably the only person that noticed but whew they are ugly. I had been dying for months to refinish them.

I mean just look at them:

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Not a pretty sight. But with some help from my beloved we took down all the glass portions and removed the pieces. Unfortunately the fixtures were wired in and since neither of us is an electrician we had to leave them on the wall. Our solution? Unscrewing them just enough to slide cardboard under it.

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Then the spraying commenced! We used another piece of cardboard off to the side to catch any overspray. After all I don’t think gold spray would have enhanced the siding. We sprayed all the fixtures and the covers before replacing the glass.

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Once they dried enough to handle everything got tightened back into place. These fixtures which once looked ready for a junkyard now looked brand new. With a little help from this little can:

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Not to shabby for spring project #1. Six fantastic lights! Well, I also planted some flowers today…..

After:

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