Sunday, March 28, 2010

fabric painted curtains

well, i don't have finished photos of the master bedroom to show you just quite yet, but it really shouldn't be much longer now (honest!).  as this project was coming to a close, i knew the room overall was missing some pattern. 

(plain walls, plain curtains, plain duvet, plain shams = boring!)

so when i saw this project and these striking curtains, my heart skipped a beat.

it reminded me of jenny's curtain's that i drooled over.

all you need for this project is your plain jane curtains, fabric paint, paint tape, tape measurer, and a sponge brush. 

i decided to do 7" stripes after measuring my curtains and doing a little math.  i taped off my 7 inches and painted alternate colored stripes. 

i went with anita's all purpose craft paint from hobby lobby.  i actually ran out late saturday night and since hobby lobby is closed on sundays i'm out of luck on finishing this project today (i discovered this only after searching every other craft store in the kansas city metro area).

here is the (half-way) finished result ...

old curtains on the left ... transformed curtains on the right.  now, i think that throw pillow definitely has to be replaced (i have another fabric in mind that i think will be just perfect).

now imagine a long pillow covered in this rich ikat fabric ...

the fabric is more than i wanted to spend but i have searched high and low and nothing calls my name like this one.  it will be my splurge of the room.

don't you just love it when things start to come together?  i can hardly wait!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

creating a headboard

as i am putting together the finishes touches to the master bedroom, i realized i've never given the full instructions on how i created my own headboard.  whoever knew it was so easy to customize your own?  (really easy, i promise!):

1.  first, determine the headboard size and create a frame.  i decided on a 52"w x 36" h size to compliment my old full bed.  the same size works for my new queen (barely) but you will want to make sure to adjust the dimensions to your own bed width.  the height of the frame is up to your preference.

i was conerned about the actual weight of the headboard and decided to frame the plywood out with 1x2's (vs. 2x4's) in order to cut back on the weight of the headboard and the stress of hanging it on the wall.  i do wish my headboard was a tad thicker but overall i'm happy because the invasion to the wall was kept to a minimum. 

if you don't have access to a table saw (or a handy father, like myself), your larger local hardware store should have the capability to cut the plywood and 1x2's down to size for you.  just make sure you are prepared with what dimensions you need.

create a frame by using wood screws to secure the 1x2's (or 2x4's) to the plywood.

2.  once you have a basic frame established, you will need to wrap it with some batting.  i found baby quilt/blanket batting at joann's to be the most cost effective for this application.  i wrapped the batting around the back of the frame and secured into place with a good quality staple gun.

3.  next, tightly wrap your fabric and secure again with a staple gun.  because i used a basic textured fabric (with no real pattern) it was pretty simple to line up without worrying about making a pattern square or straight.  be sure to pull the fabric nice and tight while you wrap the fabric around the frame and staple into place.  you don't want the fabric to be loose and gap over time. 

4.  finally, hang the headboard on the wall.  because i was conscious about using fairly low-weight materials, i was able to hang this on a wall just as you would a large painting.  i attached a picture wire to the back of the headboard and hung it on 2 heavy duty art hooks.  it has held up nicely for quite some time with no concerns.  


updated photos of the bedroom are coming up in the next week!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

crafting, baby.

my fellow crafter, taylor, brought this project to my attention recently as we were both in the market for baby gifts.  how adorable, right?!

see more photos and the full directions here. 


Onesie or T-shirt
Print out of the glasses you like (sized the size you want…mine were about 5 inches wide)
Shiny black material
Iron on crystals
Heat-n-Bond no sew iron on adhesive


Step 1: Print your image the size you want it on the shirt. Mine was about 5 inches wide. Cut the image out.

Step 2: Iron the No-Sew Adhesive to the shiny black material

Step 3: Trace your glasses

Step 4: Cut the black material (that is already adhered to the adhesive) following your traced lines

Step 5: Remove the paper lining on the adhesive

Step 6: Iron on the glasses to the onesie. I put a thin fabric between my glasses and the iron because I was afraid the heat would melt the shiny aspect of the black fabric.

Step 7: Arrange your iron-on crystals onto the onesie

Step 8: Iron on the crystals following the package directions

kari, i expect a photo soon of miss d sporting this cuteness.  ;)

and if you're in the market for a baby boy gift what about adapting the directions to make a version of this onesie (not feeling crafty?  buy this one off etsy):

i made one for my favorite little man, enzo.

happy crafting!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

the skinny on butcher block

Q:  Can you tell me a little bit about having butcher block in a kitchen?  What is the practicality of having it near a sink?  -Kate

I'm glad you asked, Kate.  First of all, if you're wondering where to find butcher block and not blessed with an Ikea in your city like me, try Lumber Liquidators.  These countertops are extremely reasonable:  $250 for 8 feet long of counter.  I went with American Cherry. 

Be aware that the butcher block does require some maintenance.  Lumber Liquidators provided me with some literature that I found very helpful:   
Products used to seal and protect butcher's block counter tops are divided into two categories:  top coatings or penetrating sealersTop coatings such as urethanes or varnishes are more for decorative table top aesthetics.  Penetrating sealers such as Tung nut oil, linseed or mineral oils actually seep into wood cells preserving and condition it.  Penetrating sealers offer more versatile usage of Bucher's block counter tops allowing for safe food FDA type preparation, easy repairs and can be buffed to a gloss with a build up of 5 or more layers. 
I personally opted for a penetrating sealer that was recommended by a fellow butcher block owner, Howard Butcher Block Conditioner.  I lightly sand the counters with a fine sandpaper and treat about once a month.  After doing so the butcher block looks as good as new.  The maintenance takes 15 minutes and to me is worth the beauty of the tops.   

There are some general care instructions for oiled butcher block that is also in my handy dandy Lumber Liquidator literature:
Step 1  Wash the countertop with mild soap and water.  Regular liquid dish washing detergent works well.  Use a clean sponge or dish towel.  Dry the wood well with a soft cloth.
Step 2  Kill bacteria, often left behind by raw meat, with bleach.  Add one tablespoon of bleach into one gallon of warm water.
Step 3  Remove touch stains from butcher block countertops by pouring lemon juice on the surface and letting it soak for several seconds.
Step 4  Maintain unvarnished countertops with non-toxic oil treatments on a weekly basis or whenever you notice the wood drying or color fading.  Coat the counter with (warm) oil, let sit for five minutes (or 20 minutes according to Howard) then wipe away the remainder with a paper towel or cotton cloth.  Wait 12 hours before using the counter (or according to your product's directions).
A couple things to note.  As I said above, I treat mine once a month, (not weekly) but adjust this to your countertops and how they wear.

I've never personally prepped raw meat or cut directly on my tops.  I use a separate cutting board that is dishwasher safe and that I can heavily abuse with no guilt.  That said, it is still necessary to sanitize those tops.  After doing some research (undiluted) white vinegar is a common solution for disinfecting butcher block so keep a spray bottle under your sink if you'd like, for easy access.  The acetic acid in the vinegar is effective against such harmful bugs as Salmonella.  Gotta love that!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

before and after flashback: savannah

i have been clearing off my old laptop and thought i'd share with you these before and after shots from a project in savannah, georgia.  it was almost exactly 7 years ago today that my mom, mike, heather, and i began our journey on brady street.

i wish it was a time of digital cameras when things were better documented, but it wasn't.  we were working with film and processing, folks, so bear with me on the photos. 

heather and i stumbled onto brady street from a real estate advertisement and were immediately intrigued.  from the streetscape the houses were beautifully restored to their original early 1900s victorian architecture.  a local family, the sottiles, took on the block of once abondoned homes, gradually acquired ownership and structurally had each property revitalized.  from the exterior, the homes were perfection.  it was a mission not just to restore buildings, but the whole neighborhood.

the interiors, however, were another story.  each property was up for sale with the interiors raw and left up to the owners to finish.  it was a challenge we were eager to take on.

you may notice the fire damage shown in the above photo.  the majority of these properties had been vacant for nearly 10 years and condemned by the city, but the beauty and original details only found in a historic home were impossible to deny.

so ... we got to work!  my mom and mike provided the financing while heather and i acted as the general contractors, designers, demolitioners, painters, tilers .... (for a year straight).

(it was an especially gratifying project to take on after being stuck behind a desk for 2 years.)

before/after:  103 brady street image from our display board for the georgia historic society open house.

before photo: 101 brady street kitchen

after photo:  101 brady street kitchen with original (restored) cast iron sink

we were lucky enough to find a talented local millworker who made these beautiful custom cabinets and was a valuable resource for other projects down the road.

here are some additional after photos ... (i will try to locate more "before" shots to add as well).

after photo:  101 brady street with original clawfoot tub

we actually used a diy refinishing kit for the clawfoot tub which held up nicely for a several years since it was a second bathroom and didn't get much use. 

after photo:  101 brady street dining room

heather came up with the idea to do mirrored tiles above the mantel (love!).  our neighbor found the glass chandelier (either for free or for a very small price) in which we had re-wired. 

after photo:  101 brady street living room

this room turned out to be such a fantastic gathering space.  we were very proud of the paint color combination ... it took several tries to finally get it right.

"action" photo:  lexie & heather, taken right after we primed the drywall which was such a turning point in the renovation. 

most of my comments have been on cosmetic finishes but in reality that was such a small part of this project.  we began by building a strong foundation:  new plumbing, electric, hvac, insulation, drywall, fixtures, refinished floors ... and then, the fun stuff.

i think the biggest thing to take away from brady street is to never give up on your vision.  dream big ... especially when you find a hidden gem that needs a little (or a lot) of TLC.