Monday, December 19, 2011

Recycled Bathroom Art

Our bathroom is builder basic. White walls, white tiles, white white white. Needless to say it's on the list for a paint job, but while the budget gurgles it's way through Christmas I decided to put the last lot of my old fence palings to work.

There are lots of great recycled wood projects around. One of my favourites is this from House Tweaking...

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And another favorite by The Corner House ...

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Both are just gorgeous, and I'd love to something on a similar scale for the lounge room. In the meantime, here's my creation for our main bathroom...

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I'm hoping for pale aqua or turquoise walls, so I decided to stick with white wording and bubbles. It's another free hand job - a printer is on my wish list for Christmas!

Can't wait to get it up on the wall, right over the bathtub. And I have an idea for the other blank wall, but will need to uncover another cache of fence palings first!

I'm sharing at Sugar Bee Crafts and Primp Your Stuff Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Activity Jar

This year I wanted to start some Christmas traditions with my family. Our Advent calendar is full of activities rather than sugar, and will hopefully be an exciting thing for Emma and Harry to do each morning during December.

I saw this gorgeous example on the Just a Girl blog and thought it would be perfect for us.

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With the activities written on paper inside each matchbox, I can easily change activities depending on the weather or what ever else is going on (including everyone's behaviour and my own sanity!) I've made a list of which activities are in which box, and stuck the list inside the pantry. I also knew it would come in under budget - I asked around for matchboxes, had paper already lying around etc etc. Here's ours...

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Rather than a jar, I used our salad bowl! It's easier for little hands to search for the right number, and less likely to get broken (I hope!). 

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It was harder than I thought to come up with ideas - most calendars seem to be filled with lollies or toys. I wanted this to be about the things we can do together, so here's our list...
  • Decorate the tree
  • Read a Christmas book
  • Colour a Christmas picture
  • Write a letter to Santa
  • Buy / borrow, and listen to, some Christmas music
  • Make a Christmas card for Emma and Harry's friends
  • Make a Christmas treat for a friend
  • Make Christmas decorations
  • Get a photo taken with Santa
  • Hang our Christmas Stockings
  • Have a picnic in the park
  • Make a Christmas treat
  • Make a Christmas picture for someone and post it to them
  • Buy a gift and place it under a charity tree
  • Borrow a Christmas book from the library
  • Make popcorn and watch a Christmas movie
  • Go to a Christmas Fair
  • Go to the Carols
  • Buy our dog a Christmas present
  • Wrap some presents
  • Camp out under the tree
  • Drive around and look at the Christmas lights
  • Make a Christmas card / place card for Gran
  • Leave a treat out for Santa
I'm excited about starting - Emma is already asking about our tree, so December 1 here we come!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Welcoming the season...

A week or so ago I was heading out to the shops when I noticed some old fence palings on the side of the road. SCORE!

I grabbed a bundle, all the while thinking of snakes and spiders... and wondering if my mobile was in the car in case something grabbed me! Who would have thought my new found interest in scrounging would require such tough stuff! So far they've been made into a stenciled date sign for my gallery wall and some signs for Emma's upcoming birthday. With the bulk of the remaining ones I made this sign...

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This was a great project for me right now - I only used things I could find garage (nails, paint etc) - so it was great on the budget... FREE! I've seen so many gorgeous examples on other blogs and wanted to try one out too.

I don't have a stencil, or even a printer at the moment, so I just drew and painted it free hand - it's not meant to be perfect! I find the best way to do something like this is to type it into a word or publisher document, in the font that I want, then just draw it on in pencil, then paint. Look at the screen, look at the boards, look at the screen, look at the boards... you get the idea!

I wasn't sure about the black to start with, but it's grown on me :) I mostly use silver for Christmas decorating, so this fits in perfectly. So it's the first of my Christmas decorating... I know it's November, but who's checking!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm sharing at Primp Your Stuff and aka design!

Friday, November 18, 2011

From Dirty to Dashing!

I have always loved old TV chairs (they probably have an official name, but this is what I call them!), but whenever I see them they are always expensive and out of my price range. Then I found this...

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I was 'lucky' to pick it up on eBay for $10. There was no bottom cushion and very heavy scratching, but I'd replace cushions and paint it anyway right? So I knew it needed a bit of work, but when I picked it up I suddenly thought, have I paid too much??
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This thing was dirty. I mean, there were actually real pieces of dirt sitting on top of the spring cover! But it gets better! When I started to pull the chair apart there were bugs inside the cushion. BUGS. Gross crawly black ones. Thank goodness Danny wasn't around when I was doing that or he would have freaked about me bringing more 'junk' into the house!

So, I got to work. Spray painting and sewing. The wood was beyond my skills to repair, so I chose black gloss. I've never spray painted before; there were a few moments where I held the can too close to the wood and it created a paint pool. But we got there in the end...

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The chair was originally destined for Emma's room, but once I started I decided that it might suit Harry's room a little better. I'm hoping to transfer him out of the bassinet in my room and into a cot in his, so this will be perfect for me to sit in, beside the cot, on those nights when he is not so cooperative drifting off to sleep.

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Thanks for stopping by! I'm linking to Primitive & Proper, aka design and The T-Shirt Diaries.

All Things Thrifty is having a chair party!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pinterest Challenge - Stencilled Date

I mentioned in my last post I'm addicted to Pinterest. REALLY. And it seems like everyone else, I have pinned and pinned DIY projects, but haven't quite started on... well... any! This is where the Pinterest Challenge comes in.

Katie of Bower Power, Sherry of Young House Love, Ana of and Erin of House of Earnest are hosting the Challenge; giving everyone a push to get something they've pinned finished. So here is my inspiration...

{aka}design is one of my favourite design blogs. Apart from having great taste, they have amazing ideas and lots of straight forward how to's. When I saw their stencilled date sign I pinned it, and this week I made my own!

I didn't make a stencil, I just drew it on in pencil and then painted it in silver. And to keep the silvery tone of the wood (found on the side of the road BTW!), I didn't stain it either. {aka}design have a great tutorial that's really easy to follow - I'm planning another sign for Christmas that I'll again use their instructions for (based on another pin!).

The piece makes up part of my gallery wall, which isn't quite finished. And yes, those are my fingers holding up the sign - I haven't worked out how to attach it to the wall yet!

Oh - true story. When I held it up, under our wedding photo no less, my husband Danny said 'How did you pick the numbers?' I said 'It's a date' - thought he'd get the hint right? NO! He said 'What's December 1?'. SIGH. I'll be sending him out for ice cream tonight!

Thanks to Katie, Sherry, Ana and Erin for the motivation!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Christmas Stockings

I feel like I have a million projects on the go at the moment and nothing finished! I blame pinterest. I just keep finding new projects! But finally today I have something done! Some Christmas Stockings.

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These have actually been hanging around for a while. I wanted one for each of us, big enough that I could put chocolate coins in (who doesn't want chocolate coins at Christmas time right?) and small gifts for everyone; I'm thinking matchbox cars for Harry, play jewellery for Emma and coal for Danny ; ). I tried to use things I already had in the stash rather than spending money, though I did spend a little on glitter.

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I made it up as a went along, but I think they turned out great. We usually have silver decorations for Christmas, so I think these should tie in nicely... just wish we had a mantel to hang them from! But, I did find the perfect plank of wood randomly sitting along the side of the house that I could hang them from. Here's hoping Danny doesn't have any plans for it!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Some new vintage loves...

Two special things arrived this week that I had to share...

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In the post about my vintage trunk, I mentioned I was looking for a globe. No use dilly dallying, I found one on ebay and snapped him up straight away. I think he'd look great with a larger one beside him, maybe a whole... family (???)... of globes. I can always use Danny being a Geography teacher as an excuse!

And here's my other find...

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I haven't found the perfect spot for her yet, but I'm sure I'll find it. Maybe sitting next to the chair I'm working on at the moment. Bought the paint today, and the fabric is washed and ironed, just need some kid free time to get painting!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Make It Perfect Shorts

I bought this fabric a while ago with the intention of making it into shorts for Harry, but honestly I was too scared to cut into it. It's just so cute, and just right for a little boy (in my opinion!), AND I didn't want to ruin it.

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But I'm so glad I finally did it!

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I made a bit of a combination pair of shorts from the Make it Perfect pattern book. I used the 2 in 1 shorts, but didn't make them double sided, and used the Champion Cargo pocket design (the cargos are definitely on the project list for winter, I have corduroy ready and waiting to go!)

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I love this pattern book - made all the more special because it was a gift. There are so many things on the To Do list from it, even something for me!

Now we just need more of that warm weather!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Coffee Sacks

In the October edition of Real Living magazine they made a wall of vintage coffee sacks. I was in love.
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Real Living Magazine October

The coffee sacks are from Bev's Remnant House, a small studio in East Redfern with such a variety of fabric, I could have spent hours pottering around. But with two kids in tow you do what you have to do right? Here's mine.

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I love the pop of blue in the room, and at $20, I think these are great value wall art. While I was there I couldn't resist the cushion either...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vintage Trunk

In the 1960's my Mum came home to Sydney from the UK, ready to pack up her remaining belongings and return to marry the man of her dreams. She'd been working in the university her brother / my uncle was studying in, and fell in love with one of his friends. To make the return trip she bought this trunk, second-hand, and packed all those things that were precious to her, ready to start married life in London.

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The day before she was to leave Australia it all fell apart. Her fiancee called and broke off their relationship, leaving Mum broken hearted... even to this day I know she carries it with her. She kept the trunk, often stowed away dusty and dirty in the garage; from its start in our family as a glory box of sorts (who knows what adventures it had before she bought it), the trunk has also been blanket storage and our childhood dress-up box. I can't tell you how many times my sister or I took everything out and just hid inside it. And now it's sitting in my family room...

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I've always loved it... even with it's past. It makes me think of traveling the world, or taking opportunities, even love.

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I spent ages thinking about what to do with it. Should I paint it? Re-cover it? In the end I decided that less is more, and I gave it a good clean and then painted it with shellac. The polish brings out the colours - I love the honey tone of the 'bones', and the canvas has a greeny-blue undertone that shows its age. It's beaten up and I like it.

I have the perfect setting in mind for this. A vintage globe, maybe an atlas...

I'm doing my first ever link at Primitive and Proper!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vintage Pillow Case Smock

A few weeks ago Mum passed on some old linen she had sitting in one of her cupboards. There were lots of old fitted single bed sheets, which will be great for when we get to night time toilet training, and thinking that was all that was in the bag, I shoved it in the cupboard for another day. Luckily ( that's what i tell myself ;) ) Emma pulled everything out of that cupboard and I found a few pillowcases in the bottom of the bag that were just calling out to be re-purposed.

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I started off making this Raggedy Ann and Andy pillowcase into a dress, but decided it would be even cuter as a top / smock. It's so soft, and the print is so cute; I think this first one is just gorgeous.

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I'm thinking about whether to secure the ribbon at the front and back so it doesn't slide around on the ribbon. Not sure... we'll see. I kind of like that I can move the bow to the front of the top or more on the shoulder, which I couldn't do if I secured it. Will have to see what it's like after a trial run wearing it.

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So there's another spring project ticked off the list. Now we just need better weather!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Getting Ready for Spring

I finally finished Harry's Oliver & S collared shirt, just in time for Spring. He looks like such a little boy in it, I can't believe it's already been six months!

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(look at those chubba legs!!)

I do love the pattern, though it did challenge me in a couple of areas. The collar - I could have strangled myself with it several times, but it does look good now it's done.

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And then there were the curved edges. I wasn't sure about these for a boy, and given they were fiddly I wouldn't do it that way again. But again, now its finished, it looks good. I can just see Harry in this and jeans, or some dark grey shorts. And I'm thinking I'll use the pattern for Emma too, in the right fabric I'm sure it would look girly.

I have two other spring sewing items to finish off, hopefully tonight. And then I need to get on with something for me!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Library Bag for Emma

Every Monday fortnight we've been heading to our local library. Emma spends half an hour or so picking out books and DVDs to borrow, which I'm hoping will be the start of a life long love of reading. It's also a free activity that's been great during winter. So far she's been really excited to go, and there haven't been any tantrums about giving the books back at the end of the fortnight (touch wood).

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To add to the excitement, I decided to make her a little library bag. It's a messenger style bag, and while there are heaps of tutorials on the net I decided I would just give it a go myself!

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I lined the bag in purple polka dots, and put a small pocket inside for our library card and the receipt that reminds me when I need to take the books back.

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I attached the strap on the outside, thinking that as she gets bigger I can just take that one off and put on another, longer one, if I want to.

Love the Ikea material again, it will probably be making one more appearance in a yet to be decided project (I have just a little left!).


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Memory Mirror

Something I'm starting to develop a bit of an interest in is home decorating. Maybe it's living in a new house, getting sick of blank walls, or feeling like I want a grown up home, I've been itching to make our house feel like 'ours'.

And I've found some amazing people doing some very creative things. Right now my favourite is Centsational Girl, who shows her gorgeous Op Shop finds and how she renovates them.

So it's with this in mind that I finally made a start on this mirror.

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The mirror is one of the very few things I have from Dad's family home. His family had a fibro holiday house by the beach and when he married Mum they moved in. The house was filled with odds and ends furniture, including a wardrobe with this mirror in the centre. I couldn't keep the whole thing, but decided the mirror would one day make a nice momento. Underneath that terrible mint green was an interesting teal colour that almost caused me to give up (you can see it on the edge of the mirror in the pic below). And to the relative who painted on the actual glass... ARGH!!

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And here it is now...

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I'm really happy with the outcome, especially for my first project (looking at the photos I am reminded again about getting a good camera, maybe one day). It's not on the wall yet - I think Danny is a bit scared to touch it given the sentimental value. I let a little of the old paint colour and wood show through, 'distressed' I think it's called. Can't wait to have it on the wall, I think it's a project for the school holidays.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fathers Day - Freezer Paper Tees

This year for Father's Day we were on a tight budget. I mean really tight (I am also harboring a tiny grudge from Mothers Day, but that's another story ;) ).

So for Father's Day, I made Emma and Harry some Dad love t-shirts and photographed them wearing them. The photo-shoot was hilarious (read : insanely difficult) - when one smiled the other frowned (or worse still cried), so they got individual photos instead. I framed the photos for Danny to put on his desk at work.

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Freezer paper t-shirts are so easy! I followed this tut, though there are a million around.

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  It was so cute seeing them in their t-shirts on Sunday morning. I have two more cut and ready for 'painting', I just need five minutes!

My other project for Father's Day was something I salvaged that relates to my Dad. I have a post about it in draft, I'm just waiting to get the perfect 'after' photo. It's taken up most of my time - I've never done anything like it before, but I have to admit that I have caught the bug and there are other projects like it just waiting for me in the garage!

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