27 September 2012

Guest Bathroom Redo: Rope Framed Canvas

My grandfather was an artist, and a great one at that. He's done a few portraits, but most of his work was of gorgeous scenery - houses, building, lakes, cars, etc. Whenever we visited, he was always in the middle of painting a number of canvases and the walls in his home in Kensington were covered in his finished pieces. He passed away when I was in college and I made it a point to get a number of his art pieces (that hadn't already been split between his two daughters and nine grandchildren). I adore the paintings my grandfather made. While I have tons of memories of him, I love having these physical paintings to help me still feel close to him. I even have a few personal ones in my collection - one is a painting of my fifth grade school photo (the actual photo of me is unfortunate, but I love the painting) and the other was a bouquet of flowers I specifically asked him to paint. I haven't really hung Pop's paintings in our home. I have no reason for this and that's something I want to change. I want to proudly display them because I am proud of them and they mean a lot to me.
When planning the wall in the bathroom I remembered one particular painting of my grandfather's that I knew would be perfect in the space.  

One of my favorite details of Pop's paintings is that sometimes he would sneak our names somewhere into the picture. In this particular one, he named the ships after my brothers and me (they read 'Nicki', 'Dave W' and 'Jessica').  
I wanted the painting to look a little more finished before I hung it since the staples along the edge of the canvas were visible.
With a spool of jute rope, my glue gun and just ten minutes, I had a new rope frame around my canvas.

Not only did is make the painting look more complete and ready to hang, but the rope ties nicely into the theme of the guest bathroom.

Pop's painting now hangs proudly on the wall for all our guests to see. Just another tiny peek at the almost finished wall in the guest bathroom.

26 September 2012

Guest Bathroom Redo: Refinished Oar

The guest room is moving along very nicely. The room is painted, my shower curtain finally arrived, textiles have been swapped and I've already started hanging some decor on the walls. Looks like it's going to be finished sooner than expected. One of the changes I'm making in the bathroom is to create a gallery wall on the far wall behind the toilet. My idea was to hang some nice wooden and metal frames along with some fun decorative pieces.

Several years ago I bought these two wooden oars from Ross on sale for $6.99 each. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with them. It was in the beginning of my blogging kick where I started avidly reading DIY blogs like The Lettered Cottage and immediately decided that I needed to have my own little farmhouse cottage with vintage rustic decor (Hence the herb crate purchase, which by the way will be coming down from the wall in favor of a recent animal art piece. More on that later.)

When planning the gallery wall in the guest bathroom I remembered I had these oars stuffed in our basement somewhere. Since my navy and white guest bathroom had taken a somewhat unexpected nautical themed twist, I decided that hanging one of these on the wall with a few of the other things I have been collecting would fit nicely into my theme. As you can see they came with these handpainted scenic designs. Nice and all, but not quite the look I'm going for.

It took maybe 2 hours to completely sand down the oar and remove all the paint. Of course I did all this by hand because we don't have an electric sander. If we did, it probably would have taken half the time. I lucked out that Lucy decided to take a marathon nap that day so I was able to tackle it all in one sitting (with time to spare for a shower afterward, too!).

Once finished, I was pleased with how great the condition was on the bare wood oar. It was so smooth and there was little to no residue from the paint.

Staining needed to wait for another day and another naptime for Lucy. Luckily I treated myself to a three day weekend so the next day was perfect. I grabbed some stain I already owned (I have a few different colors from prior projects and opted for the 'middle' shade) along with my other supplies and got to work. After the mess of staining the wine crate, I learned that a mask and rubber gloves are a must when staining. That stuff does not come off your hands easily.

After a coat of the first color I liked how it looked, but wanted more. I decided to take a darker color that I also had from another project and do a few random streaky spots around the oar. Much better!

Once finished, I let the oar dry overnight and used a few coats of my acrylic sealer (Seen here. I love this stuff.) to set the stain. Another day and another nap (I swear now that she's walking this girl naps like a champ) gave me time to hang my newly stained oar on the wall along with some other items, which I will share more about later.

Because the oar is actually pretty light, I attached a simple picture hanger attachment thing(technical word) to the back of it, near the top.  I decided that I wanted to hang it vertically with the heaver side towards the bottom. Heavy isn't even the right word because the wood is pretty lightweight.

Here is a sneak peek at the corner of bathroom where I hung the oar. Just a sneak peek, though, because I'm not quite finished. While all the frames and accessories are up on the wall, I'm still working to fill those frames and don't want to share it all until the room is complete.
Tomorrow I'll share with you how I took a sentimental piece of art and added a little something for $0 to dress it up for the bathroom gallery wall.

24 September 2012

Pinned It, Did It: Miniature Animal Menagerie

I love Pinterest. Who doesn't? It provides you with all the ideas that you wish you thought up on your own, and allows you to 'steal' those ideas for yourself. Ok, maybe steal is a harsh word, but I think you all know what I mean. I have no shame in my Pinterest game and this project is proof of that. Plus I'm always willing to give credit where credit is due.

I pinned this Miniature Mounted Menagerie just over a week ago and I immediately knew I had to do it.. and soon. Last weekend I gathered my supplies and got to work. The great thing about this project is it cost me next to nothing and took just one day to complete. The only things I needed to purchase were the plastic toy animals (a bag of 12 animals found in the Target party favor section for $3.00) and a can of metallic gold spray paint (maybe $5?). I already had the white spray paint and the frame was from an old wooden 'paint by number' piece that my mom was going to donate to Goodwill. I snagged it knowing I could chuck the print and use the frame. Good thing I did. 

Similar to the author of the original post, I found the hardest part of this project to be cutting the animals in half. I used a sharp knife as we don't have any sort of tool that could be used. It wasn't until my last two animals that I finally found a good method for cutting them in half easier. Oh well.

A few quick coats of white spray paint on both the frame and cardboard it came with and some gold on my freshly halved zoo friends and all I needed to do was glue the animals to the framed cardboard.

I love it! It looks pretty similar to the original, although since I had a larger frame I opted to use all 12 of the animals. I have yet to hang the animals although I already know where they are going to go. I just need to take a few things down and patch up the wall space before I reveal the home for this little art piece.

Do you have a Pinterest project you just had to do as soon as you pinned?

23 September 2012

Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner Announced!

I'm so excited to announce the winner of my very first giveaway: Amy! She has won a $50 gift card to Shabby Apple. Congratulations, Amy! You will be contacted by Shabby Apple to redeem your prize. Thanks to all of you for participating!!

Even if you didn't win, don't forget Shabby Apple is offering my readers 10% off any order when you use the code 'simplekindoflife10off'. 
Click here to start shopping. But hurry, this offer is only valid for a limited time.

21 September 2012

Friday "What I Wore" Roundup

Ok, this might actually be two weeks worth of scattered outfits crammed together. Obviously I haven't taken a picture everyday, but most days I attempt to snap a shot on my way out the door for work or dinner. Here is my weekly 'What I Wore' roundup, starting with today's outfit.
Left: top, Urban Outfitters | pants, H&M | shoes, Madden Girl
Right: necklace, Forever21
Left: top, Urban Outfitters | jeans, Abercrombie | shoes, Madden Girl | necklaces, Forever21 & Lia Sophia
Right: dress, Urban Outfitters | watch, Michael Kors

Left: top, H&M | pants, H&M | shoes, Jessica Simpson (at TJMaxx)
Right: top, Forever21 | pants, Gap | shoes, Target | necklace, Anthropologie | watch, Michael Kors

Left: dress, Urban Outfitters | bracelet, Forever21 | watch, Michael Kors
Right: tank, Forever21 | feather jacket, Forever21

Left: sweater, ShopBop | tank, Urban Outfitters | skirt, Urban Outfitters
Right: top, H&M | jeans, Abercrombie | shoes, Target
The sweater from ShopBop in the above picture was actually one that I found on Pinterest. I'm sure you can tell that the left photo isn't me. Within about 5 minutes of me pinning that photo, Jordan snuck online and bought the sweater for me. Bonus points to the hubby for paying attention!
Happy Friday!

20 September 2012

Feeling Grown Up

Nothing makes you feel more like a grown up than refinancing your house. Although I guess at 28, married and with a kid, I should feel like a grown up already, right? It feels good to have this done and will ultimately be very beneficial to us financially. We don't have plans to move in the next few years so a refinance saves us a good chunk of change.
The above picture is the attorney's office where we settled this morning. I loved it immediately, especially the gorgeous front doors. I wish I had taken a picture of the floor, too. Unfortunately some of the best houses in the city have been converted into business offices. Boo!
Don't forget about the Shabby Apple $50 giveaway going on now through Friday.
See details here.
As an added bonus, Shabby Apple is offering my readers 10% off any order for the next month when they use the code 'simplekindoflife10off'. It just keeps getting better, right?

19 September 2012

More Framed Napkin Fun

Remember last week when I shared my thrift adventures with you, including how I scored these two frames? You might also remember this project where I took napkins I had found in the Anthropologie clearance room and tossed them in some Ikea frames to hang above our couch. 

Recently I decided to repeat that project, except using different colored napkins and thrifted frames instead of pricier Ikea ones. I saw these pink, orange and yellow napkins also in the Anthro clearance room - pretty much identical to the other ones, but with a different set of colors. I resisted buying them a few times, but eventually allowed myself to get them after I decided they would be a great addition to Lucy's room.

I sort of blindly chose the frames at the thrift store and held my breath when I brought them home put the napkins against them and they fit almost exactly the width of the glass. Whew! I don't know how well Goodeal does returns, so I'm glad I didn't need to try.

Obviously the frames needed an upgrade before putting the napkins in them, so I got to work. I'll admit I was a little nervous as to what I would find when I peeled off the paper on the back of the frames. I've never tried to use frames that have been professionally assembled and was worried that I wouldn't be able to put it back together again. 

I was relieved when I saw it was simple staples that I knew how to handle. 

For those of you who may not know (but I'm sure you all do), a simple flat head screwdriver is the best way to lift up these staples so you can remove your print and matt. Plus, it saves your manicure from trying to lift push them all back by hand. Verrrry important.

Luckily the finish of the frames was rough enough that I could skip sanding and get right to spray painting. Two coats of primer and two coats of semi-glossy white paint later, the frames were good as new and ready for some pretty fabric to fill them.

One dried, I stuck the napkins inside and hung them up on the striped wall in Lucy's room. 

I was careful to measure the wall and position the frames just right so that they lined up equally against the stripes on the walls. It would drive me nuts if there wasn't equal parts of the white stripes showing on the top and bottom of the frame. I know, I'm crazy like that.

They look pretty nice with the fabric pom poms above the chair, don't you think?

I have a few more touches to add to Lucy's room before I share with you all how I've updated her space to be a little more toddler-friendly. Until then, enjoy these pretty framed napkins to hold you over.

Don't forget about the Shabby Apple $50 giveaway going on now through Friday.
See details here.
As an added bonus, Shabby Apple is offering my readers 10% off any order for the next month when they use the code 'simplekindoflife10off'. It just keeps getting better, right?

18 September 2012

Guest Bathroom Redo

I mentioned to you before when I posted about my navy and white mini obsession that I was ready to upgrade our guest bathroom a bit. I wasn't quite planning to do it so soon, but before I knew it I had a can of paint and was slapping some color on the walls this past weekend. It started with wanting to swap out the textiles for a little navy and white and it quickly evolved into a full-on planned out bathrom re-do. Here is a shot showing the bathroom how it has looked for the past year or so and how it looks today after repainting the ceiling white and the walls a 'Silver Sateen' from Behr.

This is what I have planned for the space. Funny enough I was trying to stray away from the navy and white being too 'nautical' and now I have old oars, an octopus hook and a porthole ready to mount on the wall. I'm going back and forth with the idea of repainting the countertops. The ugly cream countertop with the faux brown marble look is just not quite what I have in mind for a fresh bathroom. I've been searching online for ideas to paint a countertop. It seems possible, but I haven't quite decided if I have the guts to do it. Worst case scenario, Jordan and I plan to upgrade both the guest and master bathrooms and if this doesn't work we just might be doing it sooner than we thought. The mirror will remain as I love the wall to wall look and honestly think if I downsized to a smaller mirror, the bathroom would look smaller, too. The light fixture is fine, but I'm not against swapping it out if something catches my eye. 

As you can see, I've already purchased a number of things. From West Elm, a shower curtain, hand towel, bath mat, and some ceramic trays (all three of these pictured on my navy + white post). I also found a few sea sponges and handmade soaps from Amazon. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that Jordan surprised me with the octopus hook I wantd from Anthropologie. I've also been stocking up on a variety of metal and wood finished frames and accent pieces (Homegoods, Pottery Barn, Urban Outfitters, etc) to create a gallery wall on the space above the toilet. The white towels, metal basket and glass jars are Homegoods finds. Not pictured, but I have two large wooden oars I bought from TJ Maxx years ago with no plan, but I figured I'd find a way to use them some day. Now I'm so glad I did. With a little sanding and some TLC, they will be a great addition to the gallery wall.

I'm waiting for my shower curtain to arrive before I start mapping out the gallery wall, but I'm pretty impressed with how quickly I have been whipping this room into shape. I anticipate hanging the frames this weekend and having updated pictures to you as early as next week. We may be having a guest or two in October so if that isn't motivation enough, I don't know what is.
Don't forget about the Shabby Apple $50 giveaway going on now through Friday.
See details here.