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8/29/2011

DIY Outdoor Chalkboard

Bailey loves to color with chalk.  The only drawback is that she tends to make a huge mess in the process.  As a result we restrict her chalk-time to the outdoors (hence the repurposed children’s chalkboard easel for her room).  So when I found this gigantic, heavy-duty plastic frame at the Salvation Army for $12.00, the first thing that came to my mind was an outdoor chalkboard for Bailey (since the frame was plastic and would weather well if left in the elements).
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As usual, I loved the detail of the frame, but hated the color.  So I fell back on my old, reliable plan of 2 even coats of spray paint (this time in Sun Yellow) and 2 even coats of spray sealer.
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For the backing of the chalkboard I used a piece of wall paneling that I salvaged during the demolition phase of our kitchen renovation project.  I cut it to size, painted it with 3 layers of chalkboard paint, and then attached it to the frame with wood screws.
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I decided that the outdoor chalkboard project wouldn’t be complete without a container to hold all of Bailey’s chalk (instead of just using the cardboard box it came in).  So I decided to repurpose a clay flower pot.
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I painted one side of the pot with black paint.  Then I attached the word “chalk” to the painted area in foam letters (purchased in the $1.00 section at Target).
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I sprayed the entire pot (inside and out) with spray paint and sealer.  And then I pealed the foam letters off to reveal the word “chalk” in black.
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The end result?  A beautiful, fun, and energetic spot on the patio for Bailey to play!  And if you’re wondering how Bailey liked it…
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…she loved it!  And she very quickly got to work creating a masterpiece of her own!
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Hidden Treasure!

When we started the demolition of our old kitchen back in March we found a few treasures hidden behind the old cabinets.  I was so excited!  It was like uncovering artifacts at an archaeological dig or something! 

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Perhaps the most intriguing artifact was the 6” x 9” sign that declared “This is the kitchen of Mary Jane Lawler.  I Am the boss!  If you don’t believe it start something!” 

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Now, my mind immediately started racing with questions… who was Mary Jane Lawler?  And when was this ever her kitchen?  The previous owners (who had lived in the house for over 40 years) were named Moore.  Could Mrs. Lawler have been the original owner of the house?  I showed the sign to some of the neighbors and the best we could guess was that this must have been the case.  What a cool find!  I decided to hang on to the sign and try to incorporate it somehow into the new kitchen.

I repinned this frame tutorial on Pinterest (originally from here) and thought it would be a fun way to display the sign (among other things in the house).

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I bought an old frame the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $5.00 which I thought could work perfectly for the project.  I loved the fabric detail around the inside edge of the frame.

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I decided to paint the frame green, but save the fabric detail, so I covered the fabric with tape.  Then I gave the frame (as well as a magnet clip) two even coats of green spray paint.  I let everything cure outside for several hours.

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To my horror, upon removing the tape, I discovered that the paint had bled through to the fabric in two of the frame’s corners.  Talk about a disappointment.  I really loved the look of the creamy fabric trim and knew it would pop the way I had envisioned the end result of the frame.

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But on to plan B I went… spraying the fabric trim detail green as well. 

Once the entire frame (fabric and all) was painted and dried I decoupaged craft paper to the frame’s backing (since there wouldn’t be any glass in this frame to hold the paper in place)

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After the Mod Podge dried I reassembled the frame.  The staples which had previously been holding the backing in place had fallen out sometime during the painting process, so I secured everything in place with masking tape.

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Lastly, I hot glued the magnetic clip to the top center of the craft paper.

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I clipped Mary Jane Lawler’s sign in place and voila… a fun way to pay homage to our kitchen’s past! 

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And the best part is that it’s super easy to swap out the picture being displayed!  So, when I tire of Mary Jane’s declaration that the space is in fact her kitchen and that she is the boss, I can easily pop in a family portrait… or maybe use it to display a favorite recipe… or Bailey’s latest masterpiece… the possibilities are endless!  And who doesn’t love that?

The Lettered Cottage

8/24/2011

An Old Magazine Holder…

…can be the perfect way to contain the large amount of books that inevitably spill out all over your home when you have a toddler in the family. 

Thanks to the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and a family full of book lovers, Bailey has amassed more books than she’s likely to ever read.  And she just loves to drag her favorites all over the house with her.  So, needless to say, we had a pretty decent pile of books in both the family room and living room… and no good place to put them.

So, when I stumbled across an old magazine holder at the Salvation Army for $4.00 I knew I had found the answer (at least in the family room).  It had a dingy brass frame with dark drown wooden sides, but (as with pretty much everything else I buy at a thrift store) I knew a few coats of spray paint could bring it back to life.  (Unfortunately, I forgot to take a before picture so you all could see just how lovely it originally was… please forgive me)

So, I took it home, cleaned it off, and began spraying (this time I chose Cherry Red)!  I gave it two even coats of spray paint and then one even coat of spray sealer (to make sure none of the paint would scratch off on our new bamboo floors… read more about them here and here).

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By the way… isn’t the clover-esque pattern on the sides cool?  I absolutely fell in love with it the second I saw it.  But then again, maybe I’m just biased because my hometown is named Clover.

Anyway, once everything dried I loaded it up with some of Bailey’s books that most commonly find their way into the family room.  And then I placed it next to the chair (that I reupholstered a couple of years ago) in the corner of the room.

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I think it should do the trick!  At least until Bailey notices it that is.

But on to a different subject… looking at that last picture makes me really want to pull out the hammer/drill and start rehanging our pictures and paintings!  I can’t stand the bare walls!  Everything’s still tucked safely away until after our big family room/kitchen renovation project is 100% done… which hopefully will be soon! 

It’s been quite a while since I have posted pictures of the whole kitchen/family room renovation project.  I’ll try to post some soon along with an update on the short list of things we still have to do.

8/23/2011

DIY Marker Board

So here comes yet another post about how I stole an idea from someone else.  What… there’s no shame in it!

Craig had been saying for a while that he wanted a marker board in the kitchen to keep up with the shopping list, appointments, and other random notes (in an effort to cut down on the ever-expanding pile of sticky notes on the new countertops).  Luckily, I stumbled upon this simple solution (originally from here) a few days ago after joining the Pinterest bandwagon.

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I couldn’t believe how easy it was… frame + craft paper + dry erase pen = marker board.  So I decided that I would have to copy it (with a couple minor differences of course).

Unfortunately, the wall in the kitchen where we decided to hang our marker boards wouldn’t accommodate 12 x 12 frames in the arrangement that we wanted (four frames hung two by two).  So we instead bought four 8 x 12 frames.  Then I cut four sheets of 12 x 12 craft paper down to 8 x 12 so that it would fit the frames that I bought and into our printer.  The next step was to use Microsoft Word to type the templates for the four marker boards that we wanted (To Eat, To Buy, To Do, and To Remember)

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After printing it was time to assemble the frames and hang the new marker boards.  Thankfully, Craig and his trusty tape measure were there to assist.

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Now we’ve got a super easy way to keep up with everything, which means no more pile of sticky notes… what a shame.  I sure will miss those sticky notes.

8/21/2011

A Play Date With Maelen!

We were so excited to have Maelen over to play while her parents (Misty and Rob) were throwing a 50th anniversary luncheon for Rob’s parents. 

The girls enjoyed lots of playtime in Bailey’s room…

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…coloring on Bailey’s newly updated art easel..

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…crafts time (making an anniversary card for Maelen’s grandparents)…

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…ice cream cones on the patio…

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…and golf ball hunting in the back yard (in preparation for next Easter).

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What a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon!  They are BFF’s for sure!

8/19/2011

The Princess and the Frog!

No… not Disney’s The Princess and the Frog

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The Leonberg princess (a.k.a. Bailey) and the frog (a.k.a. Kermit… our 3 1/2 year old White’s Tree Frog)! 

It was most definitely love at first sight for this girl!

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But alas, Bailey was never truly able to show him how she felt… how much she loved him.

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She was forced to admire him from afar.

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That is… until now! 

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And I think Kermit got just as much enjoyment out of it as Bailey did!

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