December 11, 2013

DIY Gifts: Map Artwork

Last Christmas I was going through a map phase and we opted to make map art for our family.  To personalize them, we chose to do the area around each of their homes.  

To repeat this project you will need: A printed map (ours was on letter sized paper), Micron Pen - 03 thickness, art paper made for ink (found at local craft store), & masking tape. 

Steps:  Tape Map to window.  Tape art paper over map.  Draw lines (hatch) anywhere there are buildings or open space.  Leave the water and streets as voids.  Continue until entire sheet is complete. Frame & Hang. 

We finished ours off (many hours later) with black gallery frames before giving them to our family.  Have you done something like this already?  I'd love to see what map inspired artwork you have created.

August 2, 2013

Hanging a Nursery Gallery Wall

I finally got around to doing Baby Girl's gallery wall, which was actually one of the first things I had in my mind.  The artwork on the right is a calendar print from the amazing artist Michelle Armas and it inspired the colors of the nursery and I wanted my daughter to have it in her room.  

This project should have taken about a week, maximum but I managed to do it over the course of two months.  Yep, we've been staring at newspaper squares for nearly that long.  

I don't know how other people hang things, but I cut out the frame shapes on the newspapers our local company insists on tossing in our front yard Wednesday-Friday and put up the arrangement I liked most when laying the frames out on the floor (and staring at the photos of the arrangements for a week).  I like the paper and tape route since I can mark the nail location within the frame and stud locations on the paper and not worry about erasing them later.  I also hang top to bottom and hang the biggest/most important one first so that I can move things around.

1. 2011 Calendar Print - Michelle Armas, her blog here or 2013 calendar at her etsy shop here; Ribba Frame - Ikea
2 . Zinc Letters - Gray Living 
3. Target Threshold Frame
4.  Target Threshold Frame; Spoon, antique (my grandmother kept it and it was my great-great-great aunt's of the same name).
5.  Ikea Frame
6.  'You make everything better' printable from Paper Coterie, Printed at Office Depot.  Frame-Ikea

*UPDATE:  If you hang anything above your little one's changing table, be sure to get some double sided tape or velcro to secure the frames.  My daughter decided to play with them at about 6-7 months and it wasn't fair to always have to tell her no or worry that they would land on her.

June 3, 2013

Butterfly Mobile

Time has flown since the arrival of Baby Magee!  I can't believe it has been 4 months.  A lot of first and changes have happened in our lives like I got a new job, she is attending day care, and she has rolled over. In the frenzy I lost myself a little and I am gaining balance in my life so I can be the best mom and wife possible.  So I have picked up my hobby of refinishing furniture, decorating, and doing all things blog.

First, a project I finished right before Baby Girl arrived.  This butterfly mobile only took few hours to complete and added the first pop of {and nearly only} color to the nursery.  As luck would have it, the ceiling fan and air conditioner cause the mobile to rotate since it is slightly off balanced.  Plus, Baby Girl likes looking at it when I put her in her crib.  I call that a success!

Card Stock Paper in Various Colors
10" Embroidery Hoop
Clear Jewelry String
c-hook (for hanging)
scotch tape

Find butterfly shape or other shape you like online and print/photocopy it to desired size for template and cut it out.  Trace the shape onto the card stock paper and cut them out.  Puncture hole in butterflies with pin near the center of the head (hole placement determines how they hang on the string).  Can also punch multiple holes along the center of the body to "sew" to pieces of paper together.

Cut 20" length of jewelry string for first "chain".  You will want less than this, but this leaves room to play with placement and number of objects you want to hang on each string.  Thread string through pinhole and tie a knot on the bottom side of the butterfly (can be loose at first so you can move loop/knot up or down for spacing later on).  Add butterflies and knots on string to spacing/number desired.  Repeat this for 5 chains.  

Cut four more pieces of string and tie evenly spaced on the embroidery hoop.  Tie strings together and hang hoop so that it is freestanding and level.  Tape 5 chains to hoop and play with placement and length.  Once you are happy with the arrangement, Remove tape and tie chains to embroidery hoop.  Cut excess jewelry string lengths and enjoy!

If this had been a boy, I would have done the same project with leaves in varying colors of green.  What shapes would you do?

February 20, 2013

The Modern Nature Themed Nursery: Birch Tree Mural

Mr. made it clear he didn't want an overly girly nursery and it was his study that was being taken away, so I wanted something that he would like (but wasn't too masculine--sorry hunter green and maroon didn't make the cut).  

We decided on the birch tree fad and a neutral nature base with pops of color.  I had already painted the room Sherwin Williams Modern Gray right before Baby Girl was in the picture so we kept the walls the same color and embellished the crib wall with a mural.  

Mr. did most of the painting since we were down to the wire on my due date and I was working long hours (too many) at work to wrap everything up.  We took a while to settle on the size/placement of the trees but once we did it was as easy as:

1 {tape off and paint tree trunks} 

2 {Paint Tree Branches}

3 {paint detail & fix branches you don't like w/ original wall color}

February 1, 2013

Maternity Wardrobe Musts


I can’t believe I only have three days before I get to meet Baby Magee!  I feel so blessed to be on this adventure and I pray that all is well.

When I got pregnant and started showing, I thought I had to go out and buy new clothes for my new shape.  Despite some generous friends, I still ended up purchasing more clothes than I needed and would have saved a little if I had just waited.  In the end I needed a lot less than I thought.

Use what you already have.  In the first two trimesters, invest only in items that will extend the life of your current wardrobe.  The rubber band trick and bella band almost took me to my third trimester (comfortably) and if you have leggings, just push the waistband below the bump.

Share with Friends.  I had generous friends that were my size-ish that gave me a variety of items and I still wear a few of these items today.  Maternity sizes are generous, so you never know until you try it on. Be sure to pay it forward and share your items with your friends when the time comes!

Know Your Style & Only Buy when you need things.  I bought a few items (casual dress, blouse) because I was so excited and thought I would wear the items throughout my pregnancy.   The dress ended up being too short for winter and the blouse was a little thin for comfort when winter hit and I would not own either if I was not pregnant.

Buy the Basics.  Stick to the tanks and tees and items that can be layered up with your normal clothes.  My black and gray tank tops got used just about every week at work with different jewelry/scarves/cardigans layered over them with my dress pants by the end.

Wash Often.  I only got two dress pants and one pair of jeans and survived the entire winter without wearing dresses to work.    I started incorporating laundry into my schedule instead of the once a week marathon and I felt like I had more time on the weekends.  I also heard this is something you’ll do after the baby is born anyway so you might as well get used to it.

Layer with Non-Maternity Items.  That black tank top can look very different depending whether you wear it under a dress, cardigan, scarf, that large necklace, etc.  Think of this as Kendi's 30 Day Challenge on Steroids.  Need inspiration?  There are a ton of posts on Pinterest and even if it's not "maternity", maybe you can pull it off maternity style.

Re-Organize the Closet.  Keep Cardigans, leggings, jackets, scarves, and jewelry in your main closet.  These are key throughout the pregnancy.  Banish the rest to the hall closet or out-of-season areas.  Who wants to dig through a closet that doesn't fit?

What did some of you find help when you were expecting?  I would love hear them!