Friday, September 30, 2011

Brown Eyed Boy


So this is what I do with my Friday nights; I learn how to use Photoshop tools and stare at pictures of my favorite little guy.  I learned how to use the patch tool from this tutorial and get some more hints on touching up skin.  The thing I'm most proud of in this photo is that I got rid of the dark circles under Camo's eyes.  I also learned how to even up his skin tone a little.

Now, I know it's not amazing, but it is an improvement.  I really enjoy learning how to use new tools and tricks on Photoshop.  I could work on it for years and still never figure anything out, which is partly what makes this so fun.

A Beautiful Breeze

Last night's breeze was beautiful.  I finally feel like I'm breathing fresh air again.  I love having ac, but after awhile the air starts to get stale.


Charlie loves sitting at the window and watching the people walk by.  She's a people watcher.  I can always tell when someone she likes walks by because she freaks out and claws at the screen.


After realizing I hadn't taken a single photo in over a week, I decided to take a few closeups of the pooch.  Every time I look at her I feel guilty that she hasn't had a haircut.  Her beard is practically touching the floor.


Since I was once again sitting on the floor, Charlie went to grab a toy.   Gotta squeeze playtime in wherever you can.


I wanted to get a photo of her with the curtain in the background because I thought it would look nice.  Go figure, she wouldn't cooperate.  Oh well, one of these days I'll get a frame-worthy photo.  For now, I'll just be content with what I can get.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Babysitting: Take 2


We started our babysitting adventure with breakfast at the Windmill (yes, that is a real place and the food is delicious).  See those two lovely people on the right?  That's my little sister and her husband - the very lovely parents of my favorite nephew.  Frank, don't hate me for describing you as "lovely," frankly (ha) it could have been worse.


Bonding time continues at my parent's house, where Cameron decided to rob me. I don't know who told this kid about credit cards, but we need to have a talk (cough, cough, Esther).  It didn't take him long to figure out that they are more important than the iPhone (now his second favorite toy).


Cam was in prime licking position on the floor and Charlie took full advantage.  Notice that he has two cards in his hands.  Cam, step away from the TJ Maxx card.  I'm a Maxxinista and I need that card!


It's a good thing Cam likes Charlie, or this would be a problem.  He laughs so hard when Charlie "chases" him.  Anytime she takes a step in his direction, he giggles and runs away.  After a few steps he turns around to see if she is following him.  It's quite interesting to watch.





Two of my favorite pics from the day.  It's fun to watch Cam's reaction when he sees himself in the phone.  It's also fun that he's learning to make funny faces with me.  Now I'm not the only one looking weird.  Ok, he looks cute and I look weird.  Oh well.


Hats aren't on Cam's list of favorite things.  I'm pretty sure he only kept this one on because he knew it was Grandpa's hat.  Dad bought Cam a set of fire trucks/cars in Germany and Cam walked around all day saying "wee-oo-wee-oo-wee-oo."  In case you don't speak Cam, allow me to translate: "wee-oo-wee-oo-wee-oo" is a siren sound.


Even when he couldn't see, he still kept it on. Interesting fact about Cam: he named his pacifier "button."  If you are around him, be very careful about saying the B word.


I'm still not quite sure how this happened.  He just walked over and dropped it in, but I watched him do it.  Let's blame my slowness on utter disbelief, because I'm pretty sure I'm faster than a 19 month old.


Cam and I took a trip to Target to wander around the aisles.  Believe it or not, I walked out without spending a dime.  We didn't even buy this hat; it just wasn't the right look for him.

Oh man, I love this kid.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hello Yellow

Since there is yellow in my duvet cover, I wanted to get some more yellow into the room.   You've seen my yellow baskets, vase, and trash can, but I needed more.

Project #1:
My dad made these sconces awhile back (a long while) and they've been hanging in my bedroom.  I love them because my dad made them and I love the detail, but they aren't really my style.


I got permission to paint them, so I pulled out the mirrors and started sanding.  After sanding for what seemed like FOREVER, my muscles went on strike and I came to the realization that I was never going to break through the varnish...so I quit.  


I was fed up with sanding, so I just started painting.  Screw the varnish, I didn't care if it took me 7 coats of paint, I was going to win.  If you ever see them in person, do not look too close.  It was really hard to get the paint into all the nooks and crannies. I'm really glad you can't see that part because it looks pretty awful.

The mirrors weren't really my thing, so I covered them with some leftover fabric and put them back in.  I haven't quite figured out where these sconces belong in the room, but I'll let you know once I hang them up.

Project #2:
Esther gave me this frame after she couldn't sell it in a yard sale.  I liked the details a lot.  It was pretty roughed up so I didn't do any sanding, but I did wipe it down to get out dust and dirt.  For some reason, even after wiping it 3 times, there was still dirt coming from somewhere.


Wow, can you say yellow? (Cameron can) That's what I get for not taking my fabric swatch with me to Lowes.  I didn't want to buy new paint so I decided to fix the paint I already had.  Color mixing is definitely not one of my top 20 skills, which is why it took me three tries (black then white then red) to get that canary yellow to a much different color.


The new yellow perfectly matches the baskets and it looks much nicer!  I'll give you a better look at where this is hanging later, but the bedroom is not ready for it's close up just yet.  

The blue is leftover paint from the living room and the quote is from my favorite book.  I'll give you one guess.  You're right!  Pride and Prejudice (bonus points if you actually guessed correctly).   I know it's super cliche to say P&P is your favorite book, but the fact that I've read it 4 times should give me some credibility.   I love that book....what I'm not loving is my complete inability to put letters on straight.  Don't judge me! And if you do, don't tell me!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Charlie's New Look

Charlie has her own side of the couch.  In an attempt to keep her dog hair off the couch, I keep a blanket there for her to lay on.  There have been several blankets, but all of them have been ugly. 


Mom solved this problem by making Charlie a quilt.  It's awesome.  It completely covers her side and is great looking!  Now I don't have to quickly ball up the blanket and throw it in a corner before people come over.


Even better, it has two sides.  It's hard to tell which side she likes more.


Either way, she loves it and I love it too.

Thank you, Mom!

Monday, September 26, 2011

That Turtle Has Balls

*Title courtesy of Auntie Sharon

During my weekend with Mom, I tackled the turtle.  It actually was much simpler than I thought it would be.  Though, using a staple gun was much more difficult than I thought it would be.


The first step was to pull it apart.  I found many, many, many pieces of foam.  This was definitely a homemade piece and it showed.


After sanding everything down, I painted on a coat of white to get things started.


Next step was the gray.  I had originally planned on painting the turtle white, but I was worried that the white fringe would just blend in.  It took 3 coats of gray to get everything just right.  That is probably because I don't have the patience to let the previous coat fully dry.  I'm just not patient, at all.  Just ask my fam, they know.


Next it was time to staple on some fabric.  One thing I learned about this process was not to stretch the fabric too tight.  Be consistant as you work your way around, the difference shows.  I consider myself to be pretty tool savvy, but stapling was a little more difficult than I anticipated for two reasons: 1.  It's hard to get the staples to go all the way in (unless you're a member of the WWE and then I'm sure you'll have no problem) and 2....


Some of the wood was a little funky and the staples just pulled right out.  Once I figured this out, the process went much better and faster.


After the fabric was secure, I started nailing on the fringe.  I bought new tacks and fringe from Joann Fabrics (that's also where I got the fabric).  I should have been more carefully during the stapling section of this redo because some of the staple are showing.  Oh well, now I know for next time.  I just eyeballed the distance between nails.  I wasn't being too particular about it.


I must say, this was my favorite makeover of the weekend.


I love seeing this under my desk.  Definitely much better than that old/gross/outdated/nasty/brown fabric.

I had originally picked out toile fabric for the turtle (I love toile.  I don't have any, but I LOVE it).  The pattern was blue and the background was cream.  Since the background was cream, the fringe needed to be cream and the tacks brown.  As I was putting all the pieces together at the store, I started to hate the whole thing.

It all started with the tacks.  Brown tacks just weren't what I wanted, then I realized something; it was all looking too old.  I wanted a modern look for this little guy and the toile on cream on brown just wasn't working for me.  I'm much happier with the contrast in this fabric and the silver tacks.  Much better.


I just noticed that Charlie inched her way into my "before" picture.  That dog just has no concept of personal space...and that's exactly why I love her.

Friday, September 23, 2011

No Naps!

Mom arrived for our extended weekend together on Thursday night.  The first thing we did was unload the car; five trips later, everything was in the apartment.  Mom brought sewing supplies, paint supplies, clothes and a present for Charlie (you can see her sitting on it in the background) - more on that later.


The first step on Friday was to clear out the room.  We wanted to get everything out of the bedroom so that when we got up on Saturday morning we would be ready to go!


I'll be honest, I definitely had a little heart attack when I started painting.  I know that paint dries darker than it goes on, but this went on white.  After taking a few minutes to discuss it, we both decided we liked how light it was and the work began.  It was a tough job.  It went on so light that it was hard to tell where you had already painted.


I love my white furniture, but now I love it even more.  It's nice to finally have a contrast between the furniture and the walls.


One of my favorite things about this new set up is that the old, dark bookcase is gone.  It's now in the dining room and it fits much better there.  I love walking into my bedroom to open space, instead of practically bumping into a bookshelf.

Let's take a look at some of the details...


This is my favorite part of the room.  I LOVE my mirror and I'm so glad it's not stuck in the dark storage closet anymore.  It deserves to see the light!  Also, those yellow baskets are perfect for laying out my clothes for the next day.  Best part is, you don't have to see the clothes.  Mom spotted them at Homegoods and they rock!  And the white drawer unit they sit on is a great improvement from Charlie's old crate.


I also bought this at Homegoods, but it doesn't have a place in the new set up yet because the shelf it will be sitting on has not been painted.  But someday soon, it will look awesome.


I used some leftover fabric to fill this frame.  I want to get some good black and white photos for this, but the fabric will do until then.


Say hello to my awesome curtain!  Mom made this for me.  She had the idea to make it go all the way from top to bottom, unlike the old shower curtain I had before this.  Now that I can't see the mess behind it, my room feels much cleaner.



As we were walking around Target, I spotted this little trash can for $3.  I had to get it.


This was the inspiration for it all.  The amazing bedspread.  I bought the fabric online and Mom did the rest!  It's sewn beautifully and there are even snaps in the corners to keep the duvet cover connected to the comforter.  Genius!  We used a blue sheet set from Target for the back.  The blue on the back of the comforter is the same as the blue on the bottom of the closet curtain.  The window curtains are also made from a sheet set.  Mom also made the curtains.  She was a very busy lady.

I smoothed the bed out to take this picture, then Charlie got on the bed and ruined it.  After kicking her off the bed, I forgot to smooth it out again.  Oh, Charlie.  As I write this, she is enjoying the awesome, cushiness that is my bed.



I must admit, I like that she likes it.  Anything that gets me more cuddle time with the pooch is a good thing.

It was a long weekend and we worked very hard!  I took a personal day on Monday so that we could have more time to work.  We started Friday night and were finished Monday evening at 5.  We had 5 wonderful hours to relax before Mom had to leave.  We even made it through the whole weekend without a nap!  We had one scheduled for Saturday, but we skipped it. Mom asked me if we could move it to Sunday and I said "NO NAPS!"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Charlie's Job

Charlie had a very important job during this makeover.  She had to sit around and do nothing.  I gotta tell you, she did it well.


When it came time to paint, she sat on the bed the whole time and didn't disturb us.  I had thought we would need to lock her out of the room because she would always be in our way.  My bad, Charlie.

Seriously, she needs a haircut.  You can't even see her eyes in this picture.


She spend most of her time on the bed.  After the paint dried we moved some of the furniture back into place and she made herself comfortable on the clean sheets.


Every time our attention was on the bed, so was Charlie.  We laid out the curtains to get a better look at them and no sooner found Charlie right on top.  Like I said before, Charlie puts her butt wherever she wants to put it.


She loves the new comforter.  It's cushy and soft, which is just perfect for my little pooch.  She probably wishes I would sleep on the couch so she can have the whole thing to herself.  Not on your life, Charlie.