Posts Tagged With: Entry Room

A Chev Ron Ron Ron

Not too awful long ago, I stole the hubs’ dresser and moved it to the entry room so it could be used as a sideboard-type-thing. You might remember that I’ve been begging him to let me paint it. Have you ever heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result? Well, I say that all the time and yet there I was doing it myself. Time to rescue myself from insanity. I decided to get a piece of 1/4 inch hardboard and cut it to fit the top and just paint that.

First I had to cut it down. We don’t have a table saw or a miter saw (which are both on my wish list) so sometimes it’s difficult to get straight cuts. My dad and my McDad both suggested that we try the same thing until we get a table saw so I was pretty excited to test it out on this project. To help with the straight cuts, I needed a few extra things

I also used a tape measure. Speaking of tape measure, will someone else please tell me that they keep a tape measure in their purse? Tell me I’m not the only one! If you don’t do it now, you should definitely get one. I love having it so I can measure random things at Menards, Lowes or Home Depot or Target or…well, you get the idea. Anyway, I measured the distance from the blade on the saw to the edge of the saw like this

Then I measured five inches from the cut line that I had drawn on my board and clamped another board there. That way, I just had to keep the edge of the saw against the edge of the board and it was easy schmeezy. Also, when choosing the board to clamp, make sure it is a low enough profile so it fits under the part of the saw that sticks out (the red part on the left of mine in the picture above)

Then just lather, rinse, repeat for the other cut and I ended up with a board that would fit on top of the dresser sideboard. Now, since it was all cut it was time to decide on colors. I knew that I wanted it to be light colors because it’s in a corner and it could easily become a little black hole. When I was painting the cabinet for my revamped creative space I decided to paint the top for the sideboard too. A couple coats of primer then a couple coats of Sherwin-Williams Pro Classic paint in Creamy and it was ready for design! I decided that I wanted to paint chevron. It seriously took me a month to work up the nerve to paint the chevron. Generally speaking, I’m a pretty laid back person. When things go wrong, I tend to not get worked up about it and I just roll with the punches. But I am totally type A for a couple things. One of those is party planning. You might remember that from Ashley’s gender reveal party where I went polka dot crazy.

The other thing is chevron. It drives me bonkers when chevron stripes aren’t even. Different widths and slanting are enough to send me over the edge. Pinterest is full of tutorials on how to paint chevron but I came up with my own because I know the people who wrote those tutorials are so much better at this than I am. I didn’t trust myself to cut tape at the right angles or anything so it took me a month to figure out how I was going to do this. Then we had a colder day where I couldn’t paint outside so I decided to paint on the living room floor while hoping that watching Nate Berkus would help me out. I started by drawing out the chevron pattern on a piece of paper (like I didn’t know what it looked like?)

I decided that I was going to do my stripes the same width as my Frog Tape and I was going to paint them in columns. I took the length of the board and divided it into equal parts that were even. So my board was 41 3/4 inches long. I couldn’t get it to divide into anything easy, so I decided that a stripe on either end that was 7/8 inch let me work with an easier number to divide – 40 divided by 10 gave me 4 inch columns. I taped off the columns on the board keeping in mind that when taping the columns wouldn’t be even

I was painting every other column where the stripes all slanted the same way. Then I started taping. I put my first piece of tape on lining it up with a corner and 4 inches up the side. Then I measured the distance where the tape lines met. The distance between these two arrows was 1 3/8 inches so I just measured up the sides in 1 3/8 increments and put the tape down.

Then instead of doing all that math on all of the sides, I took a piece of scratch paper and make little marks on there for my increments and marked them on the other columns and taped them off. Then I had something like this

Are you seeing it yet? Cause I wasn’t, but I started painting anyway. My second color was grey. I picked up a little test pot from Lowe’s since I wouldn’t need much.

I let it dry and peeled the tape and it was looking a little less chevron and a little more road closed sign

I kept going though. The second set of columns were easier to tape off. I taped over the stripes and I only had to measure on the end. The columns that had stripes on both sides, I just lined up the tape between the white lines on either side of it and painted again.

I peeled the tape after it was dryish and revealed this.

If you’re not careful about taping the second column you’ll get this, but it was nothing a little touch up brush couldn’t cure. You might also notice tat where the two lines meet (where I was careful), there is a texture line. My type A chevron personality came out and I thought I was going to have to repaint the whole blessed thing.

But then when I looked at it from a distance, I couldn’t see the lines so I decided to roll with it.

I mean, it was definitely going to look better than the current top

Two words: In. Love

I moved a few things to the top already, but it is in definite need of styling. I’m on the lookout for stuff, but for now I have the green bowl from Pier 1, the wine rack that the hubs made for me for Christmas two years ago, the electric wine bottle opener that my brother and SIL to be gave me for Christmas this year and the little bin where I save wine corks for  my friend Kayla. Before you think that you need to stage an intervention, that’s probably a year’s worth of corks, not a week’s worth.

See, needs some styling (and I took this picture before the white line touch up too). I also need to find some artsy thing to put there since the art I had planned ended up somewhere else. I’m also on the lookout for new hardware. Last time I was at Hobby Lobby I meant to look at their stash, but I completely forgot. Oh darn, looks like I’ll have to make another trip. C’est la vie.

Anyone else been in totally paint everything mode?  I think every day that it’s been over 60 degrees and not raining, I’ve been outside painting. I have a serious problem. The neighbors are starting to wonder. Maybe not, but they should.




Categories: Projects, Tutorials | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Make it Pretty

I told you Friday about a trip that I took to get tires put on our car after having one blow out. I also told you that there was a JoAnn Fabrics on my way home. Convenient, right? Hobby Lobby was also on the way home, but I drove by. Look at me being good and saving money. I felt so completely out of sorts after that, so I did stop at Caribou for a Campfire Mocha…I get weak in the knees just thinking about it. But anyway, I wanted to share with you my project from JoAnn.

I’ve been looking for some artsy thing to go on the wall in the sideboard corner. Earlier in the week, I had made a trip to the town closest to us that has more stores than just a gas station. I found some fabric that I thought would be a perfect wall hanging there. If you like the fabric and want your own, here’s the link to find a store in your area.

Then when I was at JoAnn, I found this frame

Factor in that this was on clearance, I knew I could make it work

Then I had to decide which way I wanted. With or without the mat.

I liked the look sans mat better, but knew it would be more work so I sent the pictures off for a couple more opinions. Wouldn’t ya know it, but they liked the more work way too. So I set off to work.The size of the frame was 16×20, but I wanted to measure just to make sure. So I measured the opening from the back and it was just a little bit smaller than 16…good thing I measured.

Then I cut up a piece of foam core. Measure twice cut once, I wanted to leave a little room for the fabric to wrap around the board and for the pins that I would be using to hold it in place so I cut it slightly smaller than the opening. An eighth of an inch gave me just enough room.

Just like when I was cutting the foam core for my fabric organizers, I used a super sharp razor blade to cut it for this too. This time, to make it a little easier, I borrowed Michael’s box cutter

I started off pinning. Back in a previous life (about 5 years ago), I used to be in custom framing. So I can tell you that this is how the pros do it. You can totally do this yourself and it will save you quite a bit of cashola. If you are ambitious enough to complete a cross stitch project and then have it framed, this is how they would probably stretch it. So much more permanent than just using sticky back board. Start off pinning one edge so you know what straight is. Then stretching as you go, pin the other three sides. Remember to pull it tight so you don’t see bubbles in the fabric.

After it’s all stretched, cut the extra fabric off of the back. The good thing about using the foam core was that I just ran my rotary cutter along the edge and cut it right off. It was almost ready to be framed. The excess fabric on the back needed to be taped down to help with the stretch a little bit. I just used clear packing tape.

The corners were folded to have a sharp edge and not let the fabric bubble…and here’s a picture of me trying to hold down the fabric and take the picture with my right hand. Oh if only you could see the other 7 attempts to get this picture.

At this point, if you’re like me, you will take all the tape off, pull all the pins out and restretch it around the correct piece of foam core. Hopefully you stretch yours on the right one in the first place. But either way, the piece gets put into the frame and then the back put on.

When I “test fit” the frame above the sideboard, I didn’t like it. It was too small and it just didn’t feel like that was it’s home. I tried one more place and it was perfect. When you come down our stairs  there is a wall. We see if every morning and several times a day and it’s been a blank slate of latte since we moved in. Before we moved in, it was this wallpaper

I think this is an improvement. What do you think?

You can see it from the dining room which ties in with the orange placemat that Lumiere sits on

You can see it from the door in the entry room where we usually walk in the house and the green coordinates with the green in the state art that hangs in there

There is only one question left. Why in the world did we wait so long to put something there? Especially when it cost so little

  • Frame – $10 at JoAnn on clearance
  • Fabric – $5 for half a yard from my local fabric store (check out this link for where you can get it)
  • Foam Core Board – $2 at Hancock Fabrics
  • Sewing Pins – $2 at Hancock Fabrics
  •     Total – $19

Less than $20 for something to make me smile every morning? I call that a win! Now, we just need to put a light at the end of the stairs, so we can see it a little bit better. We’ll get there eventually. There’s a lot to do in this house! If you’re a regular visitor to my little spot on the internet, you may have noticed that I’ve done some updating on the pages at the top. This right brained girl is figuring out this web coding stuff…who knew? At the top of the page, you can “Tour Our House”

Right now, there are three tours you can take. One of the whole house from the beginning and two shorter tours of progress in the kitchen and the entry room. As I find time in between projects here and helping plan my middle brother’s wedding, I’ll be adding the progress of other rooms to there too. Don’t forget to check it occasionally.

I hope you all have a great spring weekend! As always, I’d love to see the projects you’re working on! Post them on our facebook page or tweet them to me. Seeing other people getting stuff done motivates me. Come on, motivate me people!

Categories: Decorating, Projects | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Lost & Found – the front door

I found something! If you follow me on twitter, you may know what’s coming. I was recently testing out a camera for the hubs (he repairs electronics) and found some different pictures of the house on the memory card. I figured I’d share some of them with you in a series of short little posts. I want to start with the front door, so that’s where we’re starting.

I love the front door that was on the house when we bought it (from the inside),

but there was a problem with it. Our house faces north and when the snow and blows across the cornfield, baseball/soccer field and our neighbor’s yard, it ends up at our front door. I feel like I should give you a visual. You can look at some pictures in a post from last winter, but here’s another one. Notice that you can see grass on our neighbor’s yard and ours is covered in white?

Well, the old wooden door made our entry room very cold and this cheapskate frugal gal knew that it had to be replaced. Michael and I found one we liked and ended up having to drive 45 minutes to pick it up at a different store, but we agreed on it and that was amazing in itself. My dad, my brother and Michael replaced the door one day while I was at work. Michael called me and said “Don’t worry. Brandon has a sawsall.” He knows that worries me.

All trimmed out and ready to go

Two years later, and I still like it. Just needs some paint or something. Not quite sure what we’ll do with it, but I’m thinking we should wait until we do the full kitchen reno.

So, there’s our front door change. It’s definitely warmer than the old one. Ready for the next long lost pictures? Not sure what it will be just yet.

Categories: Tour | Tags: | 2 Comments

S’more Monday

Our dresser turned sideboard has been rearranged more times than I care to mention since we – and by we I mean the hubs moved it to the entry room on Wednesday. I loved it as a place to store my reusable shopping bags to grab on my way out the door

Turns out that once I got them all in one place they didn’t fit in the shallow drawer anymore. Sad face. Fortunately, I was able to just move them to the second drawer…that was a close one. The bottom drawer was the perfect place to organize the plates and bowls and cups and silverware for when the nieces and nephews come visit. Look at how many of them there are!

Yay for Ikea (hallelujah) plastic stuff and yay for these not taking up a ton of room in our cabinets

Wanna guess what I filled the top drawer with? It’s two things I have a completely unnatural obsession with (here’s one and the other). While you’re thinking about that, I’ll show you something that made it to the top of the sideboard. I was at Pier 1 (you know I love it) looking for some ramekins and happened across a bowl that matches the green in the kitchen and entry room (the kitchen cabinets, the curtains and the state pride canvases). Let’s hear it for cohesive design!!! I also filled it with some candy hearts so it would be all holiday-ish and go with my subway art. You might notice that there are no yellow ones and very few green ones (those are my faves).

Wanna hear a little story about convo hearts? Ten years ago I wasn’t celebrating Valentine’s Day, I was celebrating Single Person’s Awareness Day. Michael and I were part of a single’s group at our church and I decided to have my single friends over for dinner and a movie. I remember sitting on the floor and reading conversation hearts. We were all picking out ones for other people (corny, I know). Michael gave me one that said “you rock” and mine to him said “clueless”. That’s when he knew that I wanted to be more than just friends with him. In reality, it was three weeks later, but oh well.

Now that I’ve bored you with that story, have you guessed what I put in the top drawer? The two things I love? Coupons and s’mores

This way I can grab my coupon binder on my way out the door when I also grab my reusable shopping bags. I moved the s’more fixins to this drawer because they were starting overflow the basket in the kitchen cabinets. My friend Allison got me a s’more cheesecake mix for Christmas and my mom and McDad got me a box of s’more stuff and that doesn’t include the stuff that I’ve gotten for s’mores. I have so many s’more things I want to make. Like this s’more pie that my mom made for my birthday in lieu of a birthday cake

Plus a recent trip to Goodwill yielded this little treasure

I’m in the process of planning our annual family dinner and I’ve decided to give myself a cooking challenge. I’m going to make the whole dinner without turning on the oven. No, I’m not having it catered. It’s going to be crock pots for most everything (and bread in the bread machine). I think I have the menu pretty much finalized. I just have to try my hand at making a couple things dairy free and since one of my brothers requested cheesecake, Ima going to try individual cheesecakes in in the crock pot (that’s why I was looking for ramekins at Pier 1).

What are your favorite slow cooker recipes? How about s’mores? What about organizing? Any tips?

Categories: 2012 Simplify Challenge, Decorating, Everyone Loves a Party | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Moving Day

I’ve been planning for quite a while to move the hubs’ dresser from the bedroom into the entry room. Gotta say, he wasn’t totally on board with the idea. Also gotta tell you that I’m pretty opinionated and sometimes pushy and after almost ten years together he has totally learned to pick his battles. Knowing that I tend to have instances of ADOS (attention deficit…ooo shiny) I’m pretty sure that he secretly hoped I would move onto a new project. Then when I cleaned all his clothes out of it, he knew he was in trouble. Then when I cleaned out the space where I wanted the dresser to go int he entry room, I think he resigned to the fact that this was happening.

When I asked him to help move it downstairs yesterday, he gave in (the term asked is used quite loosely in this sentence…I may have been a little on the not-so-nicey-wifey side). We took the drawers out and maneuvered it around our turny stairs and into place. Bella loves when we move things around so she was right there to check everything out and make sure she approved

Once the drawers were in, I was pretty enthralled with “Operation steal move Michael’s dresser”. Bristol is pretty happy with it too

You might have noticed that there is a spot on the top that isn’t painted. Ya see, when Michael packed up his stuff and he moved to Beverly Iowa his dad changed the color of the dresser from brown to black. There is a mirror that goes with the dresser and it had these little wooden pieces that went around the top. Good for a dresser, but not so much for a sideboard. Fortunately, they popped right off, unfortunately there is a ring around the top. I’m in the process of talking the hubs into letting me paint something on the top of it. Think chevron…or damask…or Greek key…or rectangles. I just have to find a way to subtly suggest painting the top occasionally without being a nagging wife. That, my friends, is going to be a fine line.


It’s staying as is for now I just have some decorating to do….and some cleaning. I have a couple things that I’m fairly certain are going here and I’m pretty excited to have a place by the back door to store all my shopping bags. Maybe I’ll remember to take them more often.

I really just like the furniture in the room. Sure there’s plenty to do (like finishing the floor) but this is definitely not an overnight project kind of house.

And before you think I’m a horrible wife who took my husband’s dresser and now he has nowhere for his clothes, I gave him two drawers of my dresser plus we have a huuuuuge closet to hang up most of our clothes (see the floorplan here). Anybody else have a stolen from your husband re-purposed furniture story to share? How about being fortunate to have a spouse who goes along with some of your crazy hairbrained decor ideas just because he/she loves you?

Categories: Best Laid Plans | Tags: , | Leave a comment

O Christmas Tree…

Real tree? Artificial tree? Unconventional tree? What’s your preference? I want to know so I’m taking a poll. Yay for me rhyming! Anyway, leave your answer here:

This Christmas Eve, I thought I would bring you into our house (again) and show you my second favorite part of Christmas decor. Michael and I both have fond memories of going out and hunting down a with our families. I think we’ve gone out hunting for a tree twice since we’ve been married. Most years we head to Menards and pick one out. In 2008 we were so busy with me working a ton of overtime, helping our friends move back into their house after the great flood of 2008 before Christmas and driving to Michigan to get a car that we didn’t get a tree until December 23rd. But hey, we still had a tree and this cheapskate frugal girl was happy to only pay $5 for it. This year, we were only a little behind the game. I would love to get our tree on the weekend after Thanksgiving, but it just didn’t happen this year but we did get it the next weekend.It came inside and we had to find a place to put it. Last year it was in the dining room, but since the dining room is now the living room and a 7 foot Christmas tree would have significantly blocked the view of the tv we decided it needed a new home. I love having the tree in the entry room so no matter where you enter the house (front door or back door) you see the tree. This being Bristol’s first Christmas, we weren’t sure how he would react to the tree. We decided to leave lights and ornaments off it for a couple days so he could get used to it.

When we knew it was safe, we got out the lights

and put them on the tree. I love it when the tree glows so I put the lights inside the tree instead of just on the outside limbs. It also helps support the weight of the lights by putting them where the branches are stronger.

Bella seemed to enjoy sitting by the tree and “helping” put ornaments on

I love getting out the ornaments and remembering where we got each one and what the mean to us. I have a hard time getting pictures of the ornaments, but I wanted to show you some of them anyway. This one always finds a spot at the top of the tree. Dad and Cora gave it to us on our first Christmas together and having the color changing really draws attention to it reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas

This is our “Our First Christmas” ornament. The ladies at church had a bridal shower for me after we got married and used Christmas ornaments as decorations. They gave us this Hallmark ornament that I adore! (Evidently, my friend Kristen aka NC Amy has this one too)

My Grandpa Dale and Grandma Sally gave us this one to go on our first Christmas tree. The angels skirt is a seashell and it’s totally a handmade ornament. I cherished it before and Grandma Sally passed away two years ago and I smile every time I look at it. I smile because she would want us to rejoice that she gets to spend Christmas with the person whose birth we celebrate.

A reminder to pray for military families who are not able to be together because they are defending our freedom to celebrate as we want to

In December 2009, we bought our house. Michael’s parents got us this ornament to celebrate our new house

We moved into our house in January 2010, so we got this ornament for our first Christmas in our new home

Last year Jeff and Jenna gave me this Willow Tree ornament for Christmas. It was so sweet last year and this year when I put it on the tree, I cried. The name of the ornament is “Comfort” and this past year, I’ve needed a lot of comfort. Bella is our independent child, but whenever I’m sad about saying goodbye to Beau and Brady she seems to know and she comes and cuddles me…so comforting.

Then there are the ornaments that aren’t as meaningful, but just plain fun. Eventually, I want to have separate themed Christmas trees (the extras will probably be artificial ones) so I’ve been gathering different ornaments as I find them on sale after Christmas. I plan for Michael to have a Star Trek tree in the Man Cave so he has these ornaments

I would love to do a tabletop tree in the dining room that is coffee related so I have these

Eventually when we have a game room, I want to have an old movie style in that room. Marilyn and James will adorn the walls. Only fitting that the tree that will be in that room would have them adorning the tree in there too.

I completely love our tree this year with all the decorations. Next year, I think we’ll put more lights on it. I love twinkling lights! So, tell me. What is your favorite Christmas decoration? And of course, don’t forget to tell me what kind of tree you have too.

Categories: It's Our Life, Let's shop!, Tour | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Home…Two Years Later

Welcome to two years later.  Today is different because it’s been 2 years. Two years of painting. Two years of shoveling. Two years of mowing. Two years of drywalling. Two years of sanding floors. Two years of hanging lights. Two years of trying to decide on curtains. Two years of rearranging furniture. Two years of building furniture. Two years of making this house our home and loving every minute of it…okay, most minutes of it. Needing to have half of the plumbing replaced in the week before we moved in wasn’t fun. Finding out that it needed to be replaced wasn’t at all fun for Michael, but it was for me. It was I-laughed-so-hard-I-was-crying fun – “I stuck my hand up on the top of the pipe and there was no top of the pipe…there was poo.” I promise I’m not a mean wife and he was laughing too.

Have you ever looked at someone’s “accomplished” list and thought “Wow! I’m lazy”. I feel like that every time John & Sherry at Young House Love post one of their lists. I have to keep reminding myself that they do this full time. But you see, I’ve never been much of a Listy McListerson so I don’t have a list. In honor of our two year house-iversary, I thought I would do a little recap of some of our Beginning and Current pictures and give myself a list of what we have done since the beginning…two years ago. I’ll do a couple rooms today and a couple rooms next week . Let’s start with the entry room, shall we?

What we’ve done so far:

  • Tore up the stained, torn carpet
  • Sanded the floor with hand sanders because we didn’t want to take off too much of the wood on our original to the house maple floor
  • Changed out all the outlets and replace the covers with pretty copper ones
  • Changed out all the light switches and replace the covers with pretty copper ones
  • Took down the ceiling fan and put up a light we got on sale (post here)
  • Ripped down the falling tile ceiling and drywalled a new ceiling in (post here)
  • Took down the lace curtains and put up other placeholder curtains (update since the picture below – I keep changing out the curtains in here for different ones hoping that something will just hit me and I’ll love it)
  • Painted the ceiling with basic Sherwin-Williams white ceiling paint (post here)
  • Repaired a lot of cracks in the plaster using lightweight spackle like this one
  • Painted the walls with Sherwin-Williams latte paint in Cashmere low luster finish
  • Put up some art that shows our hometown pride (this post)
  • Replaced the old wooden front door with an energy efficient insulated metal one

See all the posts I’ve done about our entry room with the Entry Room tag or just click here

The kitchen has gotten quite a bit of attention and since it’s right next to the entry room, let’s review that one next.

What we’ve done up till now:

  • Took out that bar that broke up the two rooms and made it feel closed off (this post)
  • Repaired the hole in the floor that was uncovered by the removal of the bar (this post)
  • Took doors off the upper cabinets to create a more open and modern feel – and to make it safer since there was peeling paint on the cabinet doors
  • Took down the English cottage wallpaper…and the three other layers of wallpaper that was under it including some butterfly stuff with gold outlines
  • Took out the cabinet that was in between the two windows
  • Took down the scalloped things that blocked the lights and the windows – I don’t love the lights that are there now but haven’t decided on our new lights yet
  • Painted all the walls with Sherwin Williams Latter Cashmere low luster paint
  • Painted the window trim with Sherwin Williams Greek Villa paint -until we do a full kitchen reno and strip all the paint off all the trim (post here)
  • Painted the backs of the now open cabinets with Sherwin Williams Parakeet paint (post here)
  • Took down curtains and replaced them with some pretty cafe style ones I made (this post)
  • Took down that snazzy under the cabinet radio to the right of the sink (that thing was melted on the bottom)
  • Changed out all the outlets and replace the covers with pretty copper ones
  • Changed out all the light switches and replace the covers with pretty copper ones

See all the posts I’ve done about our kitchen with the Kitchen tag or just click here. I also just realized that I need to take a new full picture of the kitchen. Until then, here’s a few different pictures of the changes.

I’m feeling a little bit better about what we have done and what we still need to do now. I think I might need to start making lists. Thanks for stopping by to share in our two year house-iversary fun! I hope you’ll continue to come by and watch as we renovate and rejuvenate our house. Check out how all the rooms started out on my “Tour – From the Beginning” page.

Sidenote: If you stopped by for the $10 holiday decor series post, today’s post is a little bit different. Don’t worry, I didn’t leave you out in the cold. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll want to head over to this post and see the white fluffy wreath I made from coffee filters and a $2 wreath form (that could easily be made with cardboard).

Categories: It's Our Life, Possibilities, Tour | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Challenge? I brought it!

Last Tuesday brought the Pinterest Challenge. In case you need a refresher, check out my post from last week about it. The basic gist is to find something you pinned on Pinterest actually do it. Novel idea isn’t it? I already showed you the soap pump project on Saturday, but alas I do have another project for the big reveal day. Are you ready?

I’m big about having all of the art in our house mean something to us so I’ve been looking for things for our house and it’s been slow going. It’s okay though, I’m a do it right, do it once kind of gal. In one of my marathon pinning sessions I found this

Image courtesy of Lolly Jane Boutique

Since Michael and I are from different places, I thought this would be great to hang in our house. Last Tuesday, I decided this was going to be my challenge project. Naturally though, in true Amy fashion, I changed it a little…besides changing the states (we’re not from Arizona and Louisana). Ya see, I loved this too

I contemplated having Beau and Bella walk through paint then walk on the canvas but don’t want to have my “children” taken away from me so I skipped it. I did like the idea of the bright colored canvas with a white image. See where I’m going yet?

I went to Michaels and picked up two 9×12 canvases (that’s the size to fit perfectly where I wanted them to go). I wanted to do one state per canvas rather than both states on one canvas.

Next I used the miracle of Google to print outlines of the state of Iowa and the state of Kentucky so each one was 8 inches wide which would allow a 2 inch border on the sides once the states were on the canvas. The easy way to do this would have been to paint the whole canvas and cut the state and attach it to the canvas. I wanted it to look like a piece of art so I went a little different way. I attached Kentucky and Iowa to contact paper so I could use them as a mask. I used my Dotto to temporarily attach the cutouts to the contact paper and then cut them out.

Then I realized that I put them on the contact paper wrong and I had to reattach and re-cut them.

Four states later, I peeled the backing off the contact paper and stuck the ones facing the right way to the canvases.

Then I grabbed a paint sample that I had leftover from another project – that one’s coming

The Sherwin-Williams samples don’t have a top coat so they are good for trying out a color but not for a final coat on a wall. When it came to my canvases I figured it would be okay though. Especially since I only needed a little bit and it was the color that would make things flow from one room to another a little better (check back tomorrow for how).

With my favorite little paint brush in hand and two whole states in front of me I started painting.

Once they were both completely painted I peeled off the contact paper before the paint dried fully

The contact paper didn’t form a perfect seal on the paint but I like how it has that handmade look to it. I added a couple command strips to the back and hung them on the wall and I love them!!!

They are hung on the wall so when someone walks in the front door, they are seen right away

A little bit of both of us in our home. What do you think? The possibilities for a project like this are endless. Monograms? Countries? Dates? What would you put on a canvas in your house?

Did you take part in the Pinterest challenge? I’d love to see your project so post it here! Don’t forget to check out John & Sherry, Katie, Emily & Lana with their projects too (and there are a ton of links for other people who took on the challenge)!

Categories: Projects | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

The Sky is Falling

When you first walk into a house and fall in love with it immediately, you probably don’t expect that one of the first things that you see is going to be a ceiling that has fallen in. That’s exactly what happened with our house.

The ceiling had to be redone before we moved in, for obvious reasons and Michael took on that task. We decided to do something more permanent than just replacing the squares. Bring on the drywall! First all the square tiles had to come down. In this picture you can see the snazzy English cottage wallpaper that was in the kitchen.

Next the rails that attached those squares to the ceiling had to come down

See that blown in insulation between the floor joists? We think that’s what made the ceiling fall in the first place, but at least we knew the north wall of the house was insulated. The wind blows across the corn field and neighbors’ yard and right into the front of our house, so knowing there is insulation in them there walls is great!

When you’re putting drywall on a ceiling, we recommend that you spend the money to rent one of these

Somehow, this contraption takes a big piece of drywall and puts it up on the ceiling. Michael says it’s easy to use and I’ll take his word for it. The difficult part is that in an old house like ours, the joists were not evenly spaced so when it came to actually attaching the drywall to the joists, that proved to be a little more difficult…so I’m told. What I can tell you is that when I came back to the house the ceiling looked like this (including the dust in the air)

So much better than open floor joists already! Over the next couple days, Michael thought it would be fun to play with mud

After some paint on the ceiling and the walls we were left with this

The floor is another story for another day. We’d also like to change the light in there to something a little more grand, but for now the $7 Menards find is working splendidly. That’s it in a nutshell. Drywalling a ceiling. Keep in mind that when Michael was doing that 19 months ago, we had no idea this would someday be on the internet for all to see…we would have taken better pictures. We promise to give you better step by step when we finally redo the ceiling in the living room

That room has changed so much already. That will be another story for another day too!

Categories: Tour | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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