Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Playroom Makeover

After the chandelier redo, I kept the motivation going and gave the playroom a facelift to match it! I'm really happy with how it turned out. As I looked around the room when it was finished I realized that almost everything in there is handmade, which was even more awesome! Here's the chandelier again:

It all started with the canvases that Matthew and Caroline helped me fingerpaint. I wanted to put some verses on the walls that I want my kids to know, and I thought that having them help me with them was even more special. I chose the verses and then cut them out of vinyl with my Silhouette machine. I stuck the vinyl on the canvas and then we fingerpainted over top of it. When it was dry we peeled the vinyl off, and voila! The only problem was when we hung them on our boring white wall, they didn't stand out at all. So we decided to paint! My dad very generously painted the wall this bright lime green, which I love.

The next project was creating a magnet board for the wall. I had seen the idea to use an oil drip pan on Pinterest, but I wanted to make it look a little prettier. I had this green fabric leftover from making a headboard in our guest room that complemented the wall color perfectly. I laid the fabric over the metal pan and ran my fabric wheel cutter around the edge to cut it to the perfect shape and size. Then I used one of my favorite crafting supplies - Mod Podge - and glued the fabric down. To attach it to the wall we just held it in place and nailed right through it. The whole project took about 30 minutes, and cost around $12.

To the same wall I added a bulletin board, which I have plans to put a map of the United States on and mark where my kids have traveled. I also added one of my favorite projects in the room. I had seen this quote (also on Pinterest, shocker!) and loved it. To make it I bought a cheap white frame on clearance at Michaels. I used the same spray paint from the chandelier and painted the frame green. Then I created and cut the quote out of vinyl (again on my amazing Silhouette machine) and adhered it to the glass. To finish it off I did my kids' handprints on white paper to use as the background. I seriously love it! The only thing missing on this wall now is a picture of each of my munchkins on each side of the frame. I'm waiting until the spring when we take pictures again, so until then the frame will look a little lonely.

*If you are interested in making your own frame or a similar project, I sell the vinyl phrase on my website www.cupcakesandjellybeans.com

Above the toy organizer I hung Matthew's Artwork sign that I used to have in his bedroom. I still need to make one for Caroline, but she's not really making any art yet so I guess it's no rush. The quilt hanging on the wall was made for Matthew by one of the teacher assistants at my school in North Carolina. The colors match the room perfectly and it really adds a lot of color to that wall. Notice the cute little munchkin climbing up trying the get the toys out :o)

The final piece of artwork is actually the very first thing I made that got me hooked on crafting. I made it with my friend Amanda when I went to visit her in Kentucky, and it was our first experience with the magic of Mod Podge. We created a Family Rules sign the old-fashioned way (pre-Silhouette) by drawing/writing our family rules on pieces of scrapbook paper and then Mod Podging them to a painted canvas.

The last thing I did was rearrange the toys and furniture to give Matthew and Caroline their own play areas and free up some more play space. Tada! The playroom is now officially made over! The only remaining project I have to do is make a curtain valance out of the fabric I used on the magnet board. At least, that's all I have on the agenda for now ;o)

Chandelier Redo

When we moved into our house in July, we didn't have fans or light fixtures in any of the bedrooms. We bought basic fans and lights for the rooms we sleep in, but I wanted something different for the playroom. Thus began the hunt for the perfect cheap, old, beat-up chandelier on Craig's List. After a few months of searching, I finally found this gem, for only $10! Here's a look at it's transformation.

Materials Needed:
  • cheap chandelier
  • 1 can of bonded primer (sticks to metal)
  • 1 can of spray paint
  • painters tape

I really didn't know what I was doing on this project, so I did a little internet research and winged it on the rest! The first thing I did was take the chandelier apart. I removed the glass bottom and all of the glass discs on the candles. I didn't really care for the discs so I just got rid of those. I also took out the lightbulbs.
Then I primed the entire thing (even the chain!) with bonded primer. I found it easier to paint the top first, and then turn it upside-down and balance it on the candles. This prevented the newly painted side from sticking to the plastic or paper underneath. I had to do some serious contortioning (is that a word?) to make sure that I covered all the angles. It seemed like every time I thought I was done I'd find another area I missed.

After letting it dry overnight, I taped up the "candles" with painters tape. I decided that I wanted to leave them white to add a little contrast. Then I started in with the green spray paint. I again painted the top first, hitting all angles, and then after it dried I flipped it over and painted the underneath.

 When it finally dried I put all the parts back together. Then for the fun part - hanging it! Again, we really had no idea what we were doing, but Brian had just hung 3 fans with lights so we thought we'd give it a whirl. Let me tell you, this part was not easy! But it wasn't really because of the wiring, it was more because this particular chandelier hangs in a strange way with three poles attaching to the disc and chain. We had to hold it just right, or one of them would unhook and clang into one of the arms of the chandelier. After this happening about 5, 10, 15 times we finally got it hung, and by some miracle it actually works!

Because those lovely metal poles kept coming unhooked while we were hanging it, I did end up with some dings in my beautiful paint job :( To patch them up, I just sprayed some of the spray paint into a disposable plate and used a paint brush for touch ups. It looks great now! And Matthew loves his new light. In fact, we can't be in the playroom and have it off, even if its the middle of the day!

Mote Aquarium

One of the days that Brian was off after New Year's we went to Mote Aquarium. Matthew absolutely LOVED it and was literally jumping up and down saying "I see fishes!" We also saw some penguins, sharks, a dolphin, and a manatee. If you ask Matthew about that trip now, he'll tell you two things. One, that he touched a starfish and it fell down in the water. (There was a touch tank and he was a little too rough touching the starfish - hope it's ok!) Two, that the dolphin goes click click click. The dolphin that we saw kept opening and closing it's mouth and making a slapping sound. To remember the rest of the trip, we took some pictures :o)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Top 5 Moments of 2011

2011 was a great year for our family! We had so many amazing adventures with family and friends, but here are 5 that greatly impacted our lives.

The Top 5 Moments of 2011...

5. Our little boy turned 2 on May 26th! It seems like just yesterday that he was born. It's amazing to watch him grow and learn new things every day, but I do wish time would slow down a little bit.

4. We reached the light at the end of the tunnel when Brian accepted a job at the Eye Associates! Here he is signing his contract.

3. Scott and Catie got married! We were ecstatic to welcome Catie to the family, and Matthew, Brian and I were all a part of their wedding ceremony which made the day very special.

2. Our house was finished and we moved to Florida on July 1st. We are so happy to be back! It has been great reconnecting with old friends and being able to see family on a regular basis.

1. Caroline Jane was born on April 27th at 1:11pm. She brightens our lives every day, and we can't imagine life without her!