Archives for category: Design

Hi all!

I hope you¬†enjoyed a Happy Labor-FREE Day. I know we sure did. Two parties in one day. This family hasn’t seen that much excitement in a while. I’m tired! For real. ūüôā

I did miss working on my current project today, as it was the first perfect weather day after a long week of serious humidity and a few days of rain. High humidity=No Painting Outside. Boo! So, hopefully it is back to happy painting again tomorrow.

Speaking of painting, here’s a sneak peek of the new color for the buffet. I finally decided! Woohoo! It’s by Valspar¬†and the finish is Super Flat, Paint and Primer in One with a similar chalk like finish so I hear, so I was willing to give it a whirl. So far I love the finish! I did actually pre-prime it with Kilz¬†because I just like to make sure to seal in the¬†stain underneath. Sometimes it can¬†alter the color even with the primer mixed in with the paint. Plus there’s something about just coating a piece in white first and you can just look at it with fresh eyes – kind of like starting with a clean slate so to speak and I rather waste several coats of primer to ensure proper sealing than on expensive paint. Nobody wants pink mixed with their gray – EEK!

Paint Color Selection & Finish:

drawer

I ended up choosing Sable Evening as the color. A very dark charcoal gray. Absolutely beautiful. The perfect color to go with just about any other color. I’m so excited to see the final product, oh wait, I mean for all of you to see the final product. Originally, I was going with a solid finish but after painting and sanding and just living with it, well, I felt like it was screaming to have more of that aged look. While in the course of refinishing and sanding my arm off, I decided if I’m going to do this as a side business, well I needed to starting adding to my tool arsenal.

I LOVE my new tool!

After reading a detailed and extremely helpful review on the pros and cons of 10 Random Orbital Sanders that were put to the test on the Popular Mechanics Website I had a pretty good idea what I was looking for. Than I suddenly remembered I had just come across a Labor Day Special for one of the 10 at an awesome price of just $39 at Ace Hardware. That was a no brainer!  I ended up going with the DeWalt D26451 Random Orbital  Sander and I have to say I love it! Talk about the stars lining up!  Granted I would have loved to have a belt sander as it is much more time efficient but in due time. You have to start somewhere, right?

Besides, it is also a¬†good middle ground tool in between a belt sander¬†and an orbital¬†sander. It does take a little more time but I have zero complaints. It is totally smooth and has a lot of control and zero dust. Would highly recommend it. No, I’m not getting paid by DeWalt either. I am just sharing the tools I use and love with you guys just because I love you all. ūüôā

d26451

So, if you too are just starting out or in need of one for a home project and you end up going to the store to price them out and you find yourself staring at a slew of semi-intimidating¬† tools with varying prices and like me almost start to develop a slight panic attack, well first BREATHE. See, weren’t you having a moment of panic right along with me. Phfew! That was intense!¬†Good news, I can help you. Well, Popular Mechanics can help you.¬†I did the hard work for you,¬†I googled and this is what I¬†came across and boy did it renew my confidence quickly.¬†This Popular Mechanics article helped me know the difference of what I would be getting with each type and what purpose they served. Again thank you Popular Mechanics, I may just have to subscribe to you! ūüôā Clearly they knew I wasn’t the only confused individual out there. Hah! Even the gentlemen next to me seemed to be confused as they were arguing about which was better. How silly of them ūüôā

So, I hope that arms you with some good info, if not at the very at least I hope you enjoy my humorous take on my little adventures.

See you soon,

-J

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From Drab to Fab in Five.

What do you do with a ginormous mirror¬†that’s caught in a serious time warp?

Well, you paint it but of course. After living with it for a few weeks trying to figure out what to do with it, I decided I just had to do something. So, with paintbrush in hand and a¬†sample of Behr’s¬†Topiary Mint, I just went at it. I knew it was asking for a white washed beach-y like finish deep down inside and¬†that’s exactly what it got.

In case you haven’t white washed it’s not to hard. There is a difference between white washing and dry brushing. Technically it is dry brushing, the average person will probably understand that white washed means it has a that worn look to it. If you are thinking of trying, I dare you. Start on something small like a mirror or a wood tray, jewelry box, picture frame, etc. Something that won’t send you into a freak out mode. hah! I always remind myself, it’s just paint, you can paint it again and again.

How I Achieved the Look

Step 1. Lightly sand with fine grit sanding block or steel wool, my preference is steel wool.

Step 2. Give it a good cleaning to remove residue and loose oils, etc.

Step 3. Tape inside edges of mirror with painters tape.¬†You probably know about this though…but just in case.

Step 3. Grabbed my Perdy angled brush and lightly dipped the very top edge and than blotted it on something dry or you can use cap of jar as well.

Step 4. Just barely skim the surface as you get started and do long strokes. When the brush runs across the wood with no paint, time to re-dip ūüôā

You can do certain areas more concentrated but overall it should feel pretty light and airy in order to let the original grain come through. You are the designer though so do what feels right for you.

Mirror Redo.

Mirror White Wash

FROM DRAB…

Whitewashed Mirror

…TO FAB! IN 5 MINUTES


Well, it’s pretty crazy but hubby and I found out we are expecting. So, that office slash exercise room has officially begun pre-transformation into a nursery for the bebe.

I have some thoughts on color schemes for a boy or a girl. Been looking around for bedding to see what’s out there. So far, nothing has caught my eye. So far most just seems so, well, baby-ish. Nothing chic, mod, posh. So busy, so much. I have this vision in my head. I was originally¬†going to do something colorful but then¬†as I looked around my newly designed living room, I was reminded of my new taste for simplicity, vintage modern, and clean but bold with personality in lines and form. I don’t think fun color is in my future nursery plans. I am thinking something neutral but rich and posh. Modern lines, small-scale¬†retro patterns, like Thomas Obrien¬†type patterns. Browns, creams, grays. A patterned rug, a metallic lamp of sorts either in metallic silver or a tortoise-shell¬†one I have that has a marble swirl copper appearance from¬†Walter¬†E. Smithe that would be perfect. I wanted to stay away from “gender neutral” like yellow for instance. Yellow is great, just not for me. It’s just not me, what can I say. Soothing colors, with great art on the fall, something the child can grow into. That’s what I’m thinking.

What about you guys? what are some nurseries you are inspired by or you have create that have inspired others. Would love to see and hear about it.

Jamie


Is it just me, or does anyone else go through a post christmas blues phase?¬† Today I started taking down my christmas decorations <<whimper whimper>> and gosh it feels naked. Not to mention, I’m all frazzled because I had all my regular decor just so and was so happy with it and now it feels all amuck again. Ugh! Anybody? Maybe it’s just me lol. I really should have taken pictures of how I had everything because I can’t for the life of me remember how I had it – some of it I do, but not all. Oh, well, note to self for next year. I guess¬†I will at least have something to preoccupy myself this week with! ūüėČ

I did leave out a few select pieces that are great for winter decor too like my apothecary jars with cinnamon sticks, a jar of pine cones, etc. Some snowflake placemats that I just made. Wanna see? Of course I will share picks of that craft to you all. You betcha! Take a peak and tell me what you think!

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So I’m sure it’s pretty self-explanatory, but basically I just bought some burlap, cut it to the size I needed which¬†was¬† a 14″ square¬†and I found a cute snowflake stencil at the craft store and then stenciled it on to the burlap with some white acrylic paint that I already had. I¬†than¬†took a few threads off around the edge to give it a fringed edge and there you go. Easy peasy! Promise!

You just need fabric cutting scissors or heavy-duty¬†sharp ones¬†or a cutting blade and mat, some acrylic paint, a stencil and stencil brush and off you go. They are very simple which I love, and a little earthy at the same time. I had to do something to them, they were just too plain and besides, it’s still winter so there’s still room for SOMETHING seasonal lol.

Well state tune for a rearrange makeover and a few other fun things this week.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Jamie


Hi all!

Today’s project is super easy and practically free…as long as you plan ahead. I say practically because you will have to take a trip to the store for some contact paper. I actually scored some really cute contact paper at the dollar store so this project was virtually only a dollar. Pretty sweet huh?

All of us need ways to organize right? I don’t know about you but I absolutely can NOT stand clutter! It drives me bonkers! And gosh there are so many cool organization bins and whatnot that are super purposeful and some quite stylish, but sometimes they are just downright expensive. Who has all that extra money just¬†to spend on equal the¬†cost of a room makeover on storage and organization alone?….not me thank you very much.

So, quite some time ago I had this project in mind and so I started saving coffee cans to hold stuff like electric gadgets of ours – you know all those miscellaneous charger cords, usb¬†chords,¬†flash drives, camera and mp3 players¬†and the list goes on. I don’t have junk drawer storage like most people so I have to be smart about organization. Plus, I must confess, even if I did, it wouldn’t be a junk drawer cause that’s how OCD I am ok?…no judging here ūüėČ

So, anyways, what you need for this easy project.

  • A coffee can or a clean paint can ( you can also purchase these at your local¬†paint department.)
  • contact paper of choice
  • a cutting mat or scissors

Not to bad right!

So basically measure the height and width of the can, leave a about 1/4 ” or so for overlap for when you wrap it around. Line and center it and wrap it on.

The awesome thing about contact paper is that you can just peel it off if¬† and rewrap it on if you goof up and it’s not quite on centered. Make sure to smooth out wrinkles as you go, though.

The downside to using a coffee can is the little rivets show up, so if that bothers you like it did me, just put some construction paper underneath to make it flat or just go for the paint cans which are usually flat, at least the unfinished ones that I mentioned in the paint department are.

I still have a few more to make but I figured I could at least show you what it ended up looking like. I plan on adding labels to all of them that I will just design in my program because my handwriting is awful unless I have my favorite pen, which I can’t find anywhere! grrr….

Anyways, you don’t have to limit this project to just random misc. stuff! You could do this for the bathroom for wash clothes, in the kitchen for utensils, a decorative way to display some fresh-cut flowers and well the possibilities are many.

So, that’s my crafty idea for today. Hope you find it useful on organizing your spaces!

Let me know your thoughts and comments on this little mini organizational project.

Jamie

P.S. In case you noticed the awful wallpaper in the back, well, as soon as money allows I plan to prime and rewallpaper with a paintable beadboard paper. So, I will share that with you when the time comes. I’m waiting anxiously to tackle that area.


Ok all, I promised I would be back within the day to show you my recent creations from yesterday for fun christmas projects. This one is more of a winter art project, which is even better in my opion. Why you ask? Strategy!

I don’t know about all of you but I get a little nervous post-Christmas thinking about having to take all those lovely, fun, sparkley decorations down. It just feels so naked after the first week. Eeek. So, having something that can last all winter long is a perfect decor accessorizing strategy.

I did get inspiration from a local blog fan at Racks and Mooby¬†that made her own version of snowflake specimen art. I¬†told her I was so inspired by her art, I was going to attempt my own version. So, Kyra, here’s what I came up with! ūüôā

I purchased a sheet of sparkley silver foam at Joann’s for a $1 something and snagged a bunch of these white irredescent snowflakes that were clearanced for like $.30 or something crazy low like that. They orginally came on a wire stick but I just cut it off with my floral wire cutters. Easy peasy.

The frames I had already because I have an art gallery on our entry wall already so I changed out the graphic art to this new season art. I love changing things up, especially during the seasons. I did orginally purchase the frames from Target though, only to find cheaper and better quality ones made at Walmart later. Oops. That’s a whole other topic though lol. So anyway, I just cut the foam to just over 5×7 to just sit over the opening of the mat. Put a 3D photo mounting square on the center of the snowflake and stuck it to the foam. Any mounting sticker would work though or even glue if you don’t have any. Unfortunately, I didn’t know quite what I was going to do when I purchased the foam, so I just got one sheet – enough for two 5×7 openings. So, I had some irredescent blue scrapbook paper left over¬†so I just put that in the middle for now. Eventually I will go back to to the store to get another foam sheet (crossing fingers they still have some) or maybe the blue irredescent paper cause it pops grat against the white irredescent¬†snowflakes.¬†All the snowflakes were the same shape and so graphically that just wasn’t going to cut it. I couldn’t have 3 of the same snowflake in an art gallery display! oh no! So, what did I do to solve that problem?¬† I just¬†broke off different parts of the snowflake to create different variations. If you look closely at the pics you will see. Talk about an easy solution to make multiple variations of the same concept. I was pretty happy with it.

So, that’s it, took about 3 minutes to do and I love it. Like I said, I may go back and get the sparkley foam or perhaps look for the blue paper cause I rather like that too. Or, I may just leave it as is for now. Who knows. ūüôā

So, that’s my project. Let me know what you think.¬†Hope you enjoy.

Jamie

A Few Days Later:

Okay all,¬†I eneded up getting over to Joann’s last night and fixed my little project in the middle. Ah, it feels better now that it’s all cohesive. These pics just don’t do it justice, that I can promise you! I just love how they sparkle. So, I uploaded the revised version so you can see it all together in it’s glory!

J

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Hey all!

So, I don’t know about all of you but I sure do love me some good ole’ pics of christmas decor of other people’s¬†homes for ideas, inspiration and just to see all the prettiness out there, so that’s why I thought I would offer my due diligence and post a few pics of what I have up around the house. Hope you enjoy!

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repainted banker chair with blue worn finish

Revamped Banker Chair

 

So, I purchased this old antique walnut bankers chair several years back from a resale shop because I saw its potential and thought it would be a nice desk chair or use for extra seating. I had primed it last summer¬†and just never got around to finish it. Guess I just¬†got distracted with school AND landscaping the backyard AND trying to get our front bedroom remodeled…you get the idea. There is usually more than one project I work on at the same time. It’s never a dull moment in my home, that is for sure.¬†

So, instead of sanding off the old varnish and then redoing it, I just figured I would give it a nice coat of pale blue paint and rough it up a little for that so loved, but clearly over stated¬†look of “shabby chic”.¬† I mean really, I am so tired of people thinking that everything that is not varnished¬†is all of the sudden shabby chic. It cracks me up. That’s a whole other post…¬†

I honestly love very modern and clean lined pieces as well in addition to the weathered pieces.¬† I am working hard on trying to incorporate my complete opposite extreme taste in decor. With all the wonderful options out there, it’s hard to limit yourself to just classical, or just country, or just modern. I am working slowly on bringing this living room together once and for all. It’s my summer project. I do have quite a few vintage inspired art pieces which I will incorporate and¬†a quilt that¬†started back from my¬†great-great¬†grandma. It does¬†add¬†a subtle punch of color and character to the room, not to mention a splash of history. It’s pretty neat that it goes back so many generations.¬† Somehow trying to make everything cohesive will be the¬†true challenge. Trying to find ways to link it through color, style and shapes will be fun! It keeps my mind occupied and creative. Okay, maybe it won’t be finished by the end of summer, but I do feel like it is starting to evolve slowly as I am learning how to mix old with new, vintage and modern, with worn and more “feminine” pieces. We shall see.¬† I’m finding inspiration, that is for sure. So, stay tuned to see what project I can come up with next! lol


So tonight I started working on some personal business card options. One design, led to another, led to yet another and 3 designs later I am pretty happy with the outcome. Now the hard part is to choose the best one that most reflects ME! hah!

I was most definitely in a design mood today because it just came. It’s funny how some days you tap your fingers staring at a blank screen waiting for inspiration to hit and other days you can barely create fast enough to get your ideas into formation.¬† Sometimes what starts as your central idea, involves into something even better upon completion. Design is amazing like that. I love graphic design because you can spend so much time just “playing” around. Trying out different methods, textures, colors, arrangements, design motifs – the hours just fly by! The world around me just fades out and I get so engrossed…I love it!

How about you guys? What is your source of inspiration? I would love to hear about it…

Jamie


So, I have been working on putting together my very first portfolio. It is my final project for my very last class before I get my degree. Woohoo! I had been struggling to figure out which direction I wanted to go with it graphically and it was “lacking” to say the least. So, as I finished what was my original attempt…I just kept feeling like it wasn’t good enough for me. I was determined to bring a little more excitement and pzazz into the scheme of things. So, I got the itch! Last night. I did this all since yesterday, basically hard coded from scratch!

So, in the process, I learned quite a few things….and a lot of it is CSS. I tell ya, CSS can either make your life designing miserable or miraculous. lol.¬† Every time I design a site, I feel like I take leaps and bounds in learning something new. There of course is an unlimited amount of things too learn, but I figure as long as I continue to stretch myself and aim for growth, than at the very least I am still making strides forward!

So, things I learned on this project:

  • how to make a Flash Gallery in AS 3.0
  • how to overlap images in CSS
  • how to add a background image
  • how to add images to my navigational links.

I still am trying of course to work out the kinks of my flash gallery because it’s getting cut off in my HTML or something of that nature. Of course there are a few minor glitches with my links not changing in firefox so I will have to double check my code. Ah, the joys of designing!

Well, must get back to tweaking…there is always something to modify or make better.

When You Get the Itch….than go for it! That’s what design is…sometimes you have to plan and other times you just go with it….