House Portraits for Guest Room

I have been thinking a lot about artwork for the house lately, and came up with a fun idea for our guest room.  There are two large blank walls that need to be filled with art.  I am going to do fun little ink and watercolor sketches of our family and friend's houses to fill the space with.  I'll frame them and fill the guest room with these bright and color filled little artworks.  Hopefully, everyone will feel a little piece of their home when they come to stay with us. 

Our Old Abode House Portrait
Watercolor and Ink on Paper

N&G's House
Watercolor and Ink on Paper

P&C's House
Watercolor and Ink on Paper


Ryan's Sunshine Themed Birthday

As I mentioned in the last post, Ryan just had his first birthday and we decided to celebrate with a Sunshine themed party.  I decided to go more in the direction of vintage suns vs. cartoony suns.  As you will see below, I went a little crazy with bunting and found all sorts of different ways to incorporate it into the festivities. 

Here are the invitations.  They are self enclosed to make things easy.  I used a Martha Stewart scoring board to create the 6x6 envelopes from 12x12 scrapbook card stock paper.  Because of the square size, they did cost extra to mail.  I used a clear stamp with metallic gold ink on the outside and inside of the envelope to make the vintage suns.  

envelope creating using 12x12" paper purchased at Michael's

I had the stamp and ink already in my inventory.

The inside paper is also 12x12 scrapbook paper that I found at Michael's.  I created the messaging in MS Word and printed it on 6x6" pieces of paper that I cut down using my rotary cutting board.  I used a Krylon Silver Leafing pen to color in Ryan's name.  I purchased that bad boy for our wedding invitations back in 2007 :).  It's still going strong. 
Up next...decorations.  I love bunting, as you probably have noticed in previous posts.  It makes me feel so happy when it is around.  So, I went to my handy, dandy stock of scrapbook supplies and pulled all the 12x12 paper that made me think SUN.  I got out my sweet rotary cutting board...also Martha.  Here is what I created.

For those of you interested in how to make these little guys...it was really easy, but slightly time consuming and since they are paper, not very durable for more then a few uses.  I didn't take pictures of the process, so you'll have to close your eyes [well, don't really close your eyes] and use your imagination. 

  • Take the 12x12 sheets of paper and use your rotary trimmer to cut them into 3" wide strips. 
  • Next, fold the strips in half lengthwise with the pretty side of the paper in the outside. 
  • Then, take the folded strips and place them back on the rotary trimmer.  You are going to make two cuts to turn your folded rectangle into a triangle.  Do this by placing one of the folded corners along the cutting edge and the bottom unfolded corner 1.5 inches past the cutting edge.  This will give you a diagonal cut that ends at the halfway point along the bottom unfolded edge.  Did I lose you?  It may take a couple of trys to get it just right...but once you figure it out, its a breeze. 
  • Ok, next, flip it over and do it again.  And you will have your triangle shape that unfolds into a diamond. 
  • Now, unfold a bunch of the triangles and run some glue along the fold.  I found that by doing this in batches saved a lot of time. 
  • Get your string out and place the fold with glue over the string. Press it together and let it set for about 10 seconds before moving on to the next.  Leave about a 1/4 inch between the triangles. 
I made about 200 feet of bunting and still had more of the triangles left over.  Here is where they ended up.

Bunting Wreath
I had a craft ring left over from Christmas that never got used.  I glued the triangles onto the craft wreath and hung it from the door with ribbon.  We still have it up. 

I went around the wreath twice with the triangles. 

Once you get through all the cuts, you will be left with a ton of little scrap triangles.  I couldn't let them go to waste, so this is what I came up with.
I made about 25 of these with the intention to put little photos of Ryan in the center and hang up all around.  I got them hung, but ran out of time before I got the photos glued on.

This Sun was created by gluing the triangles onto a paper plate.  I made a few of these to hang up on the outside of the windows that faced the back patio where we had the party.

We served hot dogs, hamburgers, and grilled chicken along with potato salad, SUN chips, and a veggie platter with dips and hummus served in yellow sun shaped serving dishes that were bought for $2.50 at Target (woohoo).  [I would love to show you a photo, but I forgot to snap one]. 

Instead of a cake, our awesome baker friend Tina, made the most awesome cupcakes.  She needs to open a bakery in town.

The weather was amazing.  We had 70 degrees and sunny in mid March in the Northeast.  Perfect weather for a sunshine party. 

The play list for the party was...

It was such a happy party perfect for such a happy little boy. 


First Haircut with Lots of Squirming

We've had a lot going on here at the old abode.  Birthdays, peninsulas, door makeovers, spring cleaning, and lots of yardwork.  We are busy, but a good busy. 

To get ready for his birthday party, Ryan had his very first haircut. He squirmed so much that it really didn't look like he got much done...but that's ok. 

Ryan's party was this past weekend, and that deserves it's own post including the best cupcakes made by our friend Tina.   Here is a little preview...

Nana came into town just to celebrate with us!  We had such a great time hanging out. 
Here is our update on the peninsula.  It is almost complete...all we have to do is decide on the paint color.  We'd love to hear your comments on paint color ideas!
we added base moulding and trim to complete the look

here it is from the outside
and here is is from the inside
That's what has been going on over here. Check out Ryan's Sunshine Birthday party.


Hollow Core Door Makeover

Hello there friends.  Our newest project has been such a fun one...and a huge improvement for very little cost.  Our house is chock full of those chinsy hollow core doors.  Initially, we were going to replace them with the nice white doors, but wanted to try and update the current ones first to see if we could live with what we have.  I'll walk you through the steps we took to dress up closet door in our dining room.  We love how it came out, and the only money spent was on primer (we had extra left over), wood glue ($4), trim ($25) and paint (white semi gloss left over from house trim - Martha Stewart Popcorn color matched to Behr) - and we chose to update the hardware for $8.

Before pic taken during a walk through prior to closing on the house.  You can see the awesome yellow trim paint color that was on every single inch of wood trim throughout.  Lucky.

Eric removed the door and all its hardware.  I mapped out the trim pattern on the door with a sharpie, t square, measuring tape.  I chose to do a nice and simple 4 box pattern inspired by a solid wood door in our kitchen.

Once I had the pattern sketched on the door, I took the measurements and used my miter saw to cut the trim pieces. 

I used Elmer's wood glue to secure the trim to the door.  Nail would not have worked because of the nature of the hollow core of the door.

Once the trim is on the door and is exactly where it should be very gently set some heavy flat items on top of the trim to ensure that the trim is securely adhered.  I used books and storage boxes to do the trick.

And, here she is all finished!

I am so pleased with our new glass hardware.  I love the contrast and the sparkle.

Before and After

Special notes to make it easier if you want give this project a whirl....it helps to lightly sand the door prior to priming it.  The primer was an essential step because of whatever finish was on the door originally.  It stain blocked the door, covered my sharpie marks without issue and prevented the final finish from chipping and peeling. 

 Now. I am off to work on our bathroom door next.  Wait till you see what I have planned!

UPDATE 4/27/12 ***
Click here to read Hollow Core Door Makeover Round 2