Something From Nothing and a little bit of Everything!

The art of turning "good junk" into "great design"

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
William Morris, Hopes and Fears for Art (1882)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Nautical Engagement Decorations

One of my great friends got married a few summers ago and I thought I would share some of the nautical decorations I made for her surprise Engagement Party! 

This is actually super easy to make,anyone can make this! All you need is 5 terracotta pots make sure in the store that they will all fit one on top of the other, and one saucer. All you need to do is paint the pots red and the top lip white. Add the windows on each pot. Stack them on top of one another and I made the top railing with popsicle sticks hot glued and twine! You can also put a solar light in the top but we put a candle inside and it was great!

This was also another easy project to do! All you need is a foam wreath ring, tape, paint, stencil, brush, rope and your  glue gun. Take the wreath ring and cover it with white tape. I even used wide masking tape and it worked great!  

Layout the stencils where you want the letters. Remember to leave enough room for the rope that will be going around each side of the last name. I then just sponge brushed the letters in navy blue acrylic paint. Then I wrapped the rope around the wreath on each side. I glued the rope to the wreath on the backside for more support! That's how you make a personalized nautical life preserver! 

So as it turns out we have a group of people who enjoy a cocktail or 3 so I decided to make this "LETS GET SHIP FACED" sign. It was a really big hit and took no time at all to make! 

I already had the burlap so all I did was cut it into triangles, stencil each letter on each triangle, and then I literally hot glued the twine to the back of the triangle and done!!! So easy and everyone will notice how great it looks! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Finger Painting for Adults

Remember how much fun it was to finger paint as a child, mixing colours and creating art work for the fridge?  Well who says you can't finger paint as an adult. and create original art for your walls.   My co worker introduced me to the beautiful art work of Iris Scott last year, and when she told me that there was an instructional book, I thought "Why not try something new?"  The book, Finger Painting Weekend Workshop that you can purchase on Amazon, gave detailed instructions and got my creativity flowing.

I started out by loosely following the guide to create a piece of original finger painted artwork called Lady in Leaves.
A trip to Michaels with a 40% off coupon in hand, I purchased a set of oil paints with 18 colours and was inexpensive.  Canvases were on sale in a multi pack, so no need to worry if I needed to start over.
You need vinyl medical gloves that you can purchase at the drug store as this paint is not washable. Using the oils gives you time to not only paint in layers, and mix colours on the canvas, but as it is slow drying, I have even changed my mind, and started over in sections.  Remember to have paper towels at the ready, and to wipe your fingers often in order to keep the colours from becoming muddy.  This is an important step as you layer the colurs and add the details. As I said, the book outlines step by step instructions as to how to divide the canvas and where to start.  Just dive in, and you will be amazed at how much fun this art project is.  

I didn't take pictures of the work in progress, but here is the finished result.
It is far from being a masterpiece, but I find the process very relaxing and a great sense of accomplishment having finished the project.

Typical of me, once I have done something once, I want to stretch, and see what I can create on my own. So with a photo of a field of poppies in Italy as inspiration, I painted a picture for Jordan's bedroom.  Check in soon, to see the work in progress.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dresser makeover

Well after our little hiatus we are back and although we haven't been posting we have certainly had our fair share of projects.  I am hoping that I can remember them all so that I can share what's been going on at our house.
This fall found us at an almost empty nest stage with only our middle son at home, and he comes and goes, so a lot of time it is just the two of us.  So, more time for diy's.
After Jordan left for school I decided it was time to redo his bedroom.  It had been painted grey with black stripes for his older brother, and it was desperately in need of a remake.  We painted the walls Benjamin Moore, Silver Fox and then it was time to do something with this dresser that was stuck in the 80's.

I used some leftover paint from the walls of the spare room, Benjamin Moore, Muslin, added a  little white grout, to make my own chalk paint, and refreshed this ugly old chest of drawers that I bought for $20 years ago. It was time for a facelift.  
 Originally  I thought that the TV might fit into the space when I removed the doors,  and the top, red velvet lined drawer, but it was just a little too tall. I decided to leave the top the original stained wood, and I am pleased with the overall look.  A little bit of sanding to distress and this piece was almost done.
(I  just noticed the state of this room when I took the before picture. Boys!)

I debated about the hardware for several weeks, but a trip to Lee Valley Tools and we were good to go.  I decided that the dresser could use some femininity so I chose the glass knobs for the upper drawer ( it is all one, but looks like 3) and then  did a hammered finished handle for the bottom two.

This room is very tiny.  That is the extent of the wall space at the head of the bed.  We took the closet door off years ago, and I made a fun patterned curtain instead.  Luckily it is deep and holds a multitude of items.

That is an original piece of art (and I use that term lightly) on the wall above the bed.   Stay tuned for another post.  You won't believe how I created it and you can do it too.  See you soon.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hallway Goals

This was by far my most favourite thing I had done in this house! I knew the second I saw that hallway that I wanted stripes. This project did take some time but it was more than worth it! 

Remember when I said that the house was painted all a yellow cream... well here it is again, not only the walls but also the trim and ceiling! Best part was painting everything white and not having to worry about trim or ceilings.

Once everything was painted a fresh white it was time to get started. This hallway had been on my mind for a while, it needed to come out. I had an idea of generally how thick I wanted the stripes to be. First I measured the wall starting just above baseboard trim which was 92 inches 
I ended up doing the stripes 9" each. 
92 divided by 9= 10.66
There were going to be just over 10 and a half stripes in total. Try and stick with even numbers so you have the same amount of stripes for each colour. 

This is by far the hardest and worst part of this project; the measuring and taping.
I did not use  a chalk line or laser to do my lines. I did it the good old fashioned way with a yard stick and a pencil. Why?  Because I don't have a laser and I didn't want to use the chalk in case it affected the paint.
Now this house wasn't even close to being level. There were so many times that I wasn't convinced this would work. The key is to put a mark on the wall at 9"above the baseboard. Then with a level on the top of the meter stick draw a straight line. TRUST the level and not the floor or ceiling. 
Once your lines are on the wall its time to tape. This is another crucial part, the tape has to be perfect. 
Make sure you write on the tape with an arrow telling you which colour to paint on each side of the tape. (Grey>    <White) That way you wont accidentally paint the wrong stripe.

Once you have the tape on the wall go over it with your hands several times and make sure it is secure to the wall and there are no air bubbles. Then you can start painting with a dry brush over the tape, insuring you wont have any surprises when you pull off the tape. Two coats and some minor touch ups were needed.

The paint I used for the grey was Universal Grey by CIL. This is a true grey colour and it turned out absolutely amazing!

I was on the hunt for two things in this hallway, a mirror and a map. I got this map that has amazing colours in it from a antique mall for $24.99 before I even bought the house. The mirror is from Target and was $29.99.  Light fixture from Ikea for $59.99.

I love the stripes, but I would like your opinion.  Let me know what you think of the finished project.  

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Nautical Living Room Before and After

Hey guys we are back... again! We have missed you and we are sorry! We promise we will be better this time! 

I am going to start off with posting my previous house, the lake house. I call it lake house but it wasn't on the water, it was steps from beaches, marinas, and parks it was impossible not to be inspired by my surroundings. Thats why I refer to it as a cottage or lake house!I loved the area, it was relaxing and beautiful. The neighbours were pretty amazing, which was a big bonus! I loved living there and still miss it! 
The previous owners had lived there for 60 years and had done very little all. It was dark, dirty, and in need of lots of love. I wanted to go nautical without being over the top, the house is very small so I tried to kept things simple.



Taking down the valance over the window adding Crisp white curtain from Ikea. Painting all the trim and wainscotting bright white paint from Home Depot. I used Zinseer BIN Primer first which covered the lacquered wainscotting very well. The light blue grey walls keeps this space light and airy. 

**Also spot the new door it was free I might add! I will post about that adventure another time! Oh and the coffee table I made that also! We have so much to catch up on.

The mirror and the bookshelf are also from Ikea

This little lake house stole my heart. So happy with how it turned out and how easy it was to do! Keep checking in for lots more to come of before and afters of each room!