Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sweet Hannah

This little lady melts my heart.  She's just 4 months old and is such a genius already.  She rocks tummy time and talks all day.

I babysat this little gal for the first time ever on Sunday.  It was quite the experience.  Char gave me the rundown on her schedule and a brief how-to on bottle making.  My mom was going to be back from church at any time, so Char and I both figured she'd be in charge of bottle making.

Welp, we got that wrong.  Schedules changed and I was alone with Hannah and Cam for about 90 minutes.  Bottle making is more stressful than it should be and I was definitely stressing over it.

In the end, everything went fine.  I learned firsthand that Hannah is not a patient lady when she is hungry.  But once she's got what she needs, she's super low maintenance.

Since there was actually sun on Sunday, I took advantage of that and grabbed some photos of my favorite girl.  I took over 200 photos of this little lady and was fortunate enough to end up with 15 great ones.  This little girl is quite the baby model.

Look at her holding her head up like a champ.  She's not quite into multi-tasking yet.  I didn't get a head up and a smile at the same time, but I came pretty close.

It's hard work being a baby model.  At one point she wanted to throw in the towel...

But she pushed through and did a great job.  What a lovely lady.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Favorite Photo

Charlotte took this photo of me and my favorite niece, Hannah, a little after Thanksgiving.  I recently got it printed via Hipstamatic PrintLab.  Through their website, you can get square photos printed - there aren't many places that do that.  Technically this is an Instagram photo, so shhh, don't tell.

Anyway, I love this photo of this little lady and me, so I wanted to give it a frame.

This 10x10in canvas was sitting in my closet taking up space.  I had tried to use it for a previous project, but as you can see, taping off stripes didn't exactly work on the canvas texture.  To use this canvas to frame my photo, I first had to paint it back to white.  Three coats of primer later, I had a white canvas.

Once I had a white canvas, the next step was to add some color.  Since the photo is black and white, I thought the canvas should have some color.  My first thought was to paint the border to match the color of one of my rooms, but I couldn't pick a favorite.  Finally, I settled on gold metallic.  Using regular masking tape, I taped off a thin border.  Then I painted the edges and outside border gold.

Because I had to use so many coats of white paint (mostly because I'm not patient enough to let it dry completely), the paint smoothed out the texture of the canvas quite a bit.  That worked to my advantage because it gave the tape a smooth surface to stick to - which meant that the metallic paint wouldn't bleed through the tape.

This is the metallic paint I used for the project.  It's a great metallic paint and is very shiny and looks great.  It took about three coats to fully cover the canvas so no white was showing through.

Once all the paint was dry, I used double sided tape to stick the photo to the canvas.  I LOVE how it turned out.  The thin border leaves room for a white "matte" between the gold and the photo.   I also love how the gold shines.

The gold frame and black and white photo look really nice together and I'm really happy with the finished project.  Now I just have to figure out where to hang it.

My lack of space has me running into that problem a lot - where to put this, where to put that.  But this photo is important to me, so it will have a home soon enough.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Asia here I come!

As you may know, my older sister, Esther, has been living in Asia for over a year now.  We've been planning my trip out there for some time and it's finally here!  

Here's the deal - I leave later this week for a three week stay in Asia.  Since I don't know most of the people that read this blog - I won't be going into specifics until after the trip.  But! I will be blogging during my trip (though it will be sporadic).  I'll have my trusty camera and laptop almost every where I go. 

I'm not much of a traveler. Staying at home is just fine with me. So I'm determined to push myself.  This trip is once in a lifetime and I'm determined not to waste it.

My goals:

I'm a pretty big scaredy cat when it comes to new experiences.  New foods?  No thanks, I like what I like. Go to a place where I don't speak the language? Um, and risk getting lost? No thanks. 

But like I said, this is different.  I'm really excited to try new foods and go new places and do things I've neve done before. 

Bonus - I get to do it all with Esther! She's the boss so what she says goes and what she makes me try I'll try.  

Now if I can just last through the 17 hour plane ride.

Friday, January 25, 2013

My New Years Resolution

It may be a little late to start making resolutions, but I'm fine with that.  I'm still going to make one.  My new years resolution - make a book of 2012 photos.

When I browse Pinterest, I'm continually seeing pins about how to organize photos and how to get them printed.  With the age of digital photos, many people (myself included) don't typically print all the photos they take.  I'm very guilty of this.  The majority of the photos I take are for this blog, so though they don't get printed, they do get used.  But still, I should be getting them printed.  As one pinner said "Pass down albums instead of hard drives."

There are many photos that I love and would like to show people without having to pull out my phone or my blog.  So my goal in the next month is to go through all my photos from last year and get my favorites printed in a book.

This is the photo book I got printed last year.  I did the minimum amount of pages possible.  I was surprised at how many photos I could cram into those 20 pages.

I even had plenty of room to use full pages for just one photo.

Since this was also supposed to be somewhat of a photo portfolio, I focused on photos I had taken that I really loved that were also very beautiful.  But as we know, not every photo turns out perfectly.

For my next photo book, I want to fill it with all the photos that make me smile.  Like my instagram and iPhone photos.  They may not be beautiful, but I love them.

The hardest part of getting this whole thing started is committing a) sitting down and really searching out photos and b) the money.  These books aren't cheap, but they are worth the money.

This weekend is going to be jam packed for me.  I have to pack for a BIG trip (which I'll tell you about next week) and I'm going to get started on redoing my new/old chair.  I still haven't picked a color yet, so that might be a game time decision.

Also, it's supposed to snow today.  I'm very much hoping the weathermen are wrong.  I don't want 1-2 inches.  I want 10-12 inches!  I need to get snowed in!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Things for My Future Home

During our little outing to HomeGoods last weekend, I picked up a few storage items I had been wanting.   I'm always looking for nice ways to store items -  you can never have too many baskets/buckets/bins!

I found these metals bins in the baking aisle for $4 each.  If anyone other than me bought these bins, they would probably be used to make some very delicious banana bread.  But I don't bake, so they will become storage instead. They would look very nice on open shelving in my future craft room.

You might recognize these baskets because I already own two.  I got my first two at Target for $10 each.  Can you believe that they were $5 each at HomeGoods?  It's a great deal, but now I wish I would have gotten all of them at HomeGoods!   I am glad I spotted them because I love these baskets, but at $10 a piece, I could only get two.

I got this little lady at the thrift store for $1.  She is cute and tiny (about 5 inches tall).  I really liked the shape of this bottle and plan to display it in my hutch.

This milk glass bowl was a Goodwill find.  I love the shape of it, but mostly I bought it because it's milk glass.  It needs a good cleaning, but other than that it's in great shape.  I don't remember exactly, but I think it was $2 or $3 - either way it's a good deal.

This mini martini glasses were just calling my name.  Every once in a while I surprise myself and get something incredibly girly.  These scream girly to me and I love it.  I bought 8 of them - they will definitely make entertaining more exciting.

My last Goodwill purchase of the trip was this lemon juicer.  My mom makes the best lemonade around and I plan to use her recipe when I entertain - so this little guy will definitely be needed.

You might be wondering where I have be keeping all of the things I buy for my someday-house. Well that is a great question.  I'm slowly running out of space and storage bins.  My mom was very nice and came home from her last Walmart run with two bins for me to put all my junk in.  I've already fill one.

I have two cubbies in my living room and one large cubby by my bedroom.  The large cubby is full and the bins don't fit through the doors to the smaller cubbies.  So basically, I need a new plan.  Or I could just stop buying stuff.  Yeah, that won't happen.  I'm never going to be able to afford all this stuff later, so I have to stock up while I can.

Anybody have a spare garage/attic/storage unit they aren't using?  :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Harvey and Mike - Free Printable

Have you ever watched Suits? If you haven't, you need to start.  It's brilliant.  Best show ever.  The dialogue is quick and witty.  The law suits are clever and the characters are genuine.  It's a great show.

I was feeling inspired while watching the season premier, so I started sketching out an idea.

Normally, I don't sketch ideas because, well, I can't sketch.  But this one was pretty simple and it helped me iron out the details.  Once I had the suit design down, I found some quotes from the show to go with the rest of the design.

Then I made this -

I made myself a grid in Illustrator and then, using super simple line art, drew my interpretation of Harvey and Mike's suits.  After a little cleaning up I had this -

This is one of my favorite Harvey quotes.  He's a great character.  I like the grays in this design, but it's a little dark for my taste.

So I tried it in yellow.  It's much brighter and a little girlier, since this design is pretty manly.

But I didn't stop there, why would I?  I changed up the quotes and colors since I couldn't decide on a favorite.

Ok, I change my mind.  This one is my favorite. I think I'm going to print this out and hang it in my cubicle at work.  Right next to the card I have that says "You're so gangster."  Every cubicle needs a little humor! 

You can download the free pdf here.  All the designs are included.  Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pink to Gray - Frame Upgrade

Don't you love simple proejcts? I know I do!  Especially when a simple change makes a big difference!

These ornate frames are some of my favorites.  I guess I like the two extremes: incredibly simple and sleek frames  (like the Ikea Ribba frames) or very ornate frames.  Usually, these types of frames are very expensive and more than I'd like to pay.

When I saw this frame at TJ Maxx, I saw it's potential.  I don't like pink and I definitely don't like antiqued pink, but I knew this could be something special with a little help.

Check out all those tiny spaces - talk about detail! The detail is what makes me love this frame, but I knew painting it would be a chore.  So, I popped in some Mr. Darcy and got started.

I used the same gray paint I used for my walls (Gray Ghost by Olympic).  I was very surprised at how easily the paint stuck to the frame.  While painting the first coat, I was very careful to get good coverage and get paint in all the little details.  It barely needed a second coat, so that was done quickly.

It turned out exactly as I had hoped.  Now all it needs is a photo to fill the space.  I plan on finding a nice photo of my favorite niece to fill this frame - then this project will be complete!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Oh Captain, My Captain Chair

Over the weekend, Char, Hannah and I went to a local thrift store to see what we could find. For being only 3 months old, Hannah did a great job on our little outing.  After the thrift store, we headed to HomeGoods to look around. She loved looking at all the shiny objects (and so did we).

Along with a few other items, I brought home this captain's chair. It's not super my style, but I've been dying to do a project lately and this fit the bill (a $20 bill).   I plan to strip then paint this sucker a nice bright color.  Charlotte had a great idea to dip it and I'm loving that plan.

So, of course, I hit up Pinterest for some pinspiration.

These chairs from Better Homes and Gardens are really beautiful.  I love the pastel pink (who knew I would ever say that) with the stained wood on the legs.  I also like the idea of only painting a bright color on the legs, like the chair with yellow feet.

This painted captain's chair from Somerset Bay Home gives me hope that this chair might actually look nice someday. 

When I remembered that I have never removed stain before, I looked up some techniques on Pinterest.  I found this tutorial from Frugal with a Flourish - it seems simple and easy to follow.

Note to self: never search "stain stripper" on Pinterest every again.  

Somewhere along my Pinterest travels, I came across this brilliant idea from Martha Stewart.  What a great way to paint the entire chair at the same time without having to worry about it sticking to the paper.

Of all the ideas I found on Pinterest, this chair from Folklore was by far my favorite.  I like that the stained part of the chair is on the top, so it actually looks dipped.  

Now the hardest part will be picking a paint color - which means I have to decide ahead of moving into a home what room this will eventually go in.
  • Dining room?  Sure. It could work.  But will it go with my future dining room table and chairs?  Mostly like not at all.  
  • Living room? Sure.  It could work.  It would mean extra seating, which is always needed in living rooms.  Also, it could be paired with a fun pillow or end table to tie it in to the rest of the room.  Or it could be tucked into a corner to be pulled out when needed.
  • Bedroom?  No thanks - don't need it there.
  • Craft room?  Maybe.  I already have a great desk chair that is super cushiony and comfy.  Maybe if I added casters to the chair it would make it work for a craft room.
  • Bathroom? I should be so lucky.  A bathroom big enough for a random chair?  Yes please. 
  • Kitchen?  If I had room for a small breakfast table, this would be perfect.  Oooh, I like this idea.  Too bad I don't have a kitchen yet! 
You see my dilemma?  I need a good idea for color, because I only want to do this once.  Either way, I am excited to finally have a project to work on again!  It feels like it's been so long since I've done anything like this.  Far too long.

Charlie is neither impressed nor excited.  She just knows that this project means more time on the deck for her - and that makes her one happy pup.