9.17.2013

Flea market finds

So, I mentioned that the Fleaology flea market was coming up HERE and I'm back to report a successful trip. My sister in law came with me and we went to several yard sales on the way home, as well. It's the first time I've been this whole summer. Gasp. I can't believe a whole summer of garage sales got away from me.

Here's the goodies:
{All these were a buck a piece and that ring is already one of my favorites ever.}

{These bookends are HEAVY, like solid brass heavy. They're also weird and I love it.}

{"Flair Squares," right? I don't know what I'll do with these, but I have 4 packages.}


{The newest scarf in my collection. I just love a '70's scarf, what can I say?}

{My new DIY Christmas ornaments. I'm going to hang the candy cane upside down so it's a J for Johnson.}

{This frame caught my eye and it wasn't until after that I noticed it was a peacock. See my other thrifted peacocks HERE. Now I think I'll keep the doily in it and just switch out the maroon velvet for...something.}

{This little hankie is going to be a pillow.}

{Vintage floral pillowcase! Hooray! It'll go into the quilt I'm gathering fabric for for Eleanor.}

{I found this little Utah cross stitch irresistible. I'm going to leave it exactly as-is and hang it on a gallery wall.}

9.13.2013

My first quilt

This is kind of embarrassing. Remember my first quilt? My only quilt thus far? It's this one. Be sure to check the date on that post. Yeah. Over 3 years ago is when I finished the quilt top. It was a present for my friend's daughter, who is now 3 and has a little sister. Sooooo...yeah. I finally got it done. Hooray!
This is the back- it's the only picture I took. There's a patchwork strip with a border and an applique in the bottom corner. I actually like the back better than the front, which helped me realize I really love more modern quilt designs. The traditional ones are beautiful and I still love them, but there's something about the modern ones that just makes me want to make one. So I am. So expect another post like this in about 3 years. 

9.12.2013

Giant script name

I had a clean slate after I finished painting Eleanor's room. It was great. I had taken down everything and I planned on nothing going back up for a little while, until I could think about things. I knew I wanted her name up on the wall somewhere, but I didn't really want to go with anything that was out there already. Then, one day, inspiration hit. I realized I wanted to cut out her name in some kind of script font in one big piece and hang bunting behind it. I really don't even know what made me think of it, but I went for it.

First, I had to think about how to get a template. I ruled out free-handing it almost immediately since I wanted it to be script and I just don't have the skills to do that, especially since there were 2 of the same letter (I figured being consistent would be a big problem). I thought about using an overhead projector and asked on facebook if anyone knew where I could get one. There were some ideas, but then a friend offered to print it on a large format printer, so that was taken care of. If that's not an option for you, I'm betting there's a way to print something that big in pieces using Photoshop or Illustrator or their free counterparts, Gimp and Inkscape.

The total size of the template was about four feet across and eighteen inches high (give or take). I taped it up in place to see how it looked and I loved it. 

Once I confirmed that the template was the right size, I took it down and taped it to my 3/8" thick mdf and traced it, then removed it. Handy tip: use a yardstick or other straight edge to correct any tracing mistakes made on a straight line.


 Then I jigsawed it out. The employee who helped me at Home Depot gave me another really great tip- he recommended laying my board on top of a thick sheet of styrofoam laying on the floor and cutting through both. I'm so glad I bought that styrofoam. Trying to maneuver this big sheet around on sawhorses and supporting the parts I had cut out would have been a real pain. Plus, now I have this styrofoam for all my jigsawing needs.

Another tip: make sure you get a jigsaw blade for cutting curves. They're daintier than ones that are for mostly straight lines and it really makes a difference with how sharply you can turn.

After it was cut, I used my Dremel with a coarse sanding drum to smooth out any rough spots around the edges, then sanded it lightly by hand. Finally it was just priming and painting and I was done!

Except for hanging it. I used these: 


and a laser level to make sure it was hung nice and straight.


And then...

Ta-da! I love it a lot.

8.20.2013

Eleanor's room- in progress. Plus, my favorite flea market!

It's been awhile. We've been busy over here, with summer playing and family coming into town and working on the yard- good stuff. As of late I've been getting back on the DIY wagon and it's kind of like, "oh yeah, I love doing this stuff!"

Eleanor turns two on Sunday and I thought as a birthday gift for her I'd paint her room. Also, I wanted to paint her room. I had this mood board (it's the last one in the post) for her and I was finally not sick of painting anymore (after doing the basement by myself, I wasn't really chomping at the bit these last months), so I picked a color and went for it. I used this room by Emily Henderson as some inspiration, too, because she is just the bee's knees. Thanks to pictures of that room, I went a lot brighter/happier with the wall color than I had planned and I do not regret it.

So here's Eleanor's room, post paint but pre everything else:
It's been hard for me to get an accurate picture of the paint color. It's called Teal Ice and is by Behr (when I sent Mike to get another gallon, he told me the paint mixing guy said, "Now that sounds like a Pinterest color!"). It's a bit brighter and a touch greener in real life. I totally love it.  And I'm so excited about the other stuff I'm planning for this room. EXCITED.

Now, about my favorite flea market. It's called fleaology and their blog is HERE- I may have mentioned them before, like here and here. Anyway, I'm going again at the end of the month- I'm even delaying leaving on a camping trip because I refuse to miss it (I missed the last one because Mike was out of town and life was crazy). I'm so excited- I'm going to be scouting out textiles, jewelery, and all the awesome home stuff. Huzzah!

5.10.2013

My grown-up rock collection

This is possibly my new favorite art. I know I said that just yesterday about the Fancy Nancy thing, but I've wanted to do this for YEARS now and it's finally done. It feels good.

Hold onto your butts (Jurassic Park, anyone?) because here it is:
{The sample I had for the upper left frame was just a tad too big, so I have to decide what to put there instead.}

It's rocks in shadow boxes! Hence calling it my grown up rock collection.

A bit of background- I got my bachelor's degree and did my graduate work in geology and I LOVE it. Seriously, it is so cool. I even worked at a nearby university for a couple years, teaching the intro to geology course as an adjunct instructor. Because I've been a geologist for so many years, I have a giant rock collection. Just tons and tons of rocks. When I was first married I kept the best ones out on a side table dedicated solely to rock displaying, but then we had our first little one and they got packed away.

As I mentioned before, I've wanted to do this for a long time. Even before we had drywall up, I had this section of wall earmarked for the rock collection and just a few days after the basement was completely finished I had the shadow boxes I had up and ready to roll, with the 4 remaining spaces being reserved with pieces of paper cut to the right size. On Monday I finally got to IKEA and bought the last frames I needed (the Ribba 10" shadow boxes, online here).

Here's how the rocks are mounted:

I took the chipboard frame backing and folded a piece of normal, 8.5" by 11" cardstock over it. I thought about painting the frame backing or cutting out cardboard and painting it white and gluing the rocks to that, but this was much easier and should hold up well.


Then I used the hanger clip to hold the paper in place. Easy. 

{Sorry it's blurry. Nighttime photos, right?}
 Then I flipped the mats around (the mats that come with the Ribba frames were a little bit off-white, but the back is as white as the cardstock I was using), centered the rock inside of it, on top of the cardstock, and just used hot glue to stick it there. Since the cardstock wasn't secured to the backing except for that little clip at the top, the whole thing was kind of floppy until I got the frame all put back together. And now they're all fine. And awesome.

See?
{Don't mind the distracting surround sound wiring- that's going to get moved up by the ceiling and out of my way.}
 Here are some close ups of my favorite samples:

     






















And since the scientist in me just can't resist, from the top left and going clockwise, it's kyanite, muscovite, rhyolite (some people call this variety "wonderstone" because of the banding) and a quartz geode.

Another cool thing- I didn't have nice slabs of all of these, until I thought of it while we were renting the tile saw for the downstairs bathroom. After we were done with the tile, I had a little fun with all my samples.

I did one other thing before I mounted them, too. A fresh cut surface of rock is very dull compared to polished rocks, but I didn't have any plausible way to polish these (in a lab I'd use a series of finer and finer abrasives on different lapidary wheels) until I realized that I could use baby oil for a fake polishing effect:

{Before and after, of course}
Anyway, I couldn't be more pleased with my grown up rock collection.