Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Father's Day is Coming!

Quick! Run and hide!

Kidding, kidding... I haven't had a Father's Day attack me, yet!

I got a message on my Facebook page asking if I had any Father's Day gift ideas. Immediately, I thought, "Let's go to Pinterest!" but then I realized that she'd probably already checked Pinterest, and she wanted to know MY ideas.

Mr. Goats has had 5 Father's Days. I got him grilling related stuff for 2 of those (a gas tabletop grill, and then some grilling accessories), he got himself something electronic for another one (see why he got it himself? "Something electronic" from me probably wouldn't be ideal), and then photo gifts for the other two.

I am known to ALWAYS have my camera. Snapping pictures of everything, all the time. So I figured I'd put some to good use for Father's Day!

Two years ago, I got these blocks from Michael's, and ordered 7 - 4x6 photos from Walgreens. You have to have the pictures professionally printed for this because they have a protective coating (unlike when you just print them at home, where the colors can smear if you put Mod Podge on them). Then, I used an X-acto knife and sliced the picture into 9 one inch squares, and Mod Podged them onto the cubes.  This created a puzzle out of the photos!

Now, with any puzzle, you have to have a reference picture to figure out where the pieces go... You may have already realized that only 6 pictures would work for the cubes, so here's the 7th...

I got this idea online years ago, and I really wish I could tell you WHERE it's from, but I can't remember. I'm not sure if I came up with the "{dad - dy} is my friend, my hero, and my best teacher" or if I copied it. But this was the reference picture with all of the printed ones on the blocks and I mod-podged it onto a 4"x4" piece of balsa wood, and cut some slivers to "frame" it, and hold the blocks in place. This held up really well until Mr. Goats brought it home from work and left it on the workbench in the garage during the hottest months in the desert. Scroll up, and you can see some of the edges are starting to curl up.

The other thing is actually pictured above, too...

I made a Father's Day photo book!

We loved to read Quiero a Mi Papa Porque to the Big Kid alll the time, and it had things like, "I love my daddy because he is big and strong" and "I love my daddy because he takes naps with me" while these adorable animations of many different animals depicted the father and the babies doing whatever the page said. So I thought I'd take a twist on that, and make a book saying "Thanks to my Daddy". Because I didn't want the book to be about what Daddy does... but about what he's helped her to do!

Thanks to my Daddy.....

"I'm nice and clean."                           "I'm well fed."

"I have lot's of animal friends."                           "I can even pretend to become one myself"

"Thanks to my Daddy"                                         "I can walk"

"Sleep comes easily....."                                         "I'm not afraid to fly"

"Water doesn't scare me"                                        "Neither do slides"

"I can see really far"                                           "And I can hide"

"I know lots of sports/I know how to climb"                 "Thanks to my Daddy"

"I love to give kisses"

"Thanks to my Daddy...."

"I am who I am!"

"To the best Daddy - Happy Father's Day!"

"Thanks to my Daddy"

As you can tell from the pictures, they were just everyday snapshots. Nothing extraordinary. I intentionally chose some that would be kinda amusing, too, so it doesn't have to be this super cheesy emotional thing filled with exceptional photographs (The "I'm well fed" page has them both with stuffed mouths and the messy living room, eating ice cream out of the carton, messy haired kid picture. LOVE IT!).

Shutterfly has 20% off photobooks right now, too! So an 8x8 hardcover (like mine) is $15.99.

I can't share what I plan to do this Father's Day yet. Mostly because I have no frickin' clue.... but also because he's been reading my blog lately...

But tell me, what're some of the gifts YOU'VE come up with for Father's Day?

Monday, May 28, 2012

$5.14 Gallery Wall

Before we start, I want to say it's unfair of me to tell you that you can have this gallery wall for $5.14. It might end up costing you a tad more (like, an itty bitty bit)... that is, if you don't have a ton of scraps. But hopefully it'll show you a way to cheapen how you can have a gallery wall! And, if you do have scrap boards around, you just CAN get it for $5.14*!

Wait, I was supposed to start with this.

It was dubbed, "The Green Thing".... and I decided that I just did. not. like. it!

You know when you do something and you TOTALLY expect to love it? And then it falls flat? Then you try to convince yourself that you love it because you want to sooooo badly? And you can't?

If you don't know that feeling, you're not missin' out.

Annnnnd you're lucky...

Because I hated it. I just couldn't convince myself that I loved "The Green Thing," and the longer it was up there, the more my dislike grew.

I decided that it was time to start my gallery wall, so I referred to this photos for an idea on where to start.

Little did you guys know that I did those sizes intentionally, thinking that this layout would be what I would want! Oooooh, sneeeeeeaaaaaaky!

So I needed:

1 - 20x20
7 - 8x8
2 - 11x14



$45 for all the prints I wanted...


No way that was gonna happen.

So I opened up Photoshop, created a 36x48 canvas, and laid out the prints I wanted.

Pulled up and went to order an engineering print.

$4.99 for a 3'x4' print ($5.14 after taxes). That holds the pictures in the sizes I needed... Well, not really, but I'll get to my big "oops" in a sec...

I cut the pictures out with at least a 3/4" border around all sides.

Used some scraps to create 8x8 frames (well, I did the other sizes, too... but didn't take a picture)

Then I wrapped the pictures around the frames like a present. I used glue sticks to adhere the sides of the photos to the boards. I know a ton of you would have probably used Mod Podge, and would have probably put a coat of Mod Podge on the top of the photos... but I have never had luck with Mod Podging photos to stuff, and they always end up looking like a child's craft... So this worked for me!

I did this for all of the 8x8 and 8x10 pictures (remember how I said I needed 2 - 11x14s above? I somehow totally spaced, and got 8x10s... oops!)

The 20x20 got taped to a piece of cardboard, and thrown into a frame I built out of 2x2s and used some leftover paint on..

I hung the 20x20 first, and used my laser level to mark the nail spots for the 8x8s.

I had to put the 8x10s up since I did all that work, but I absolutely plan to change them to 11x14s soon.

'Til then, I can honestly say that I love this. Much more than "The Green Thing"....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Upholstery Tack Strip: How-To Video

You guys have asked and asked and asked... and I haven't uploaded this because I just... well, I'm awkward in it! But here's a video of how I used the tack strips on my slipper chairs.

Some things to note:

  • I don't think I mentioned that you get this at your local upholstery shop until the very end, so I don't want you wondering the entire time... 
  • I'm sure it's obvious, but I was just using a fabric scrap, so the entire thing isn't upholstered. This was just to give you the gist (since I don't have anything to upholster "yet" - you'll hear my plan at the end of the video :-))
  • Yes, I really am that awkward/uncomfortable in front of people in real life.. I don't think it'll ever get better, so you'll just have to hear me smack my lips if I ever make any more videos!
  • Don't ask why I said "thank you" at the end... I just... don't know...

Let me know if I caused more confusion than answers. I'll try to redo it if it just doesn't make any sense at all.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gone Grellow

Mr. Goats was asking me what I wanted for Mother's Day last week, and I couldn't think of anything. I knew we can't afford new tools, I got all the fabric that I wanted for throw pillows (whether I made them or not is a different story ;-)), the girls had everything they needed, and the last few things that I want to do for the living room haven't been decided on....

And after sitting with that question for a few hours... on my sofa... with the entire right wall unpainted, right next to me... it clicked.

"I want to finish painting the house" I told him.

Now, Mr. Goats hates painting, and he made it known that he wasn't happy with that request. But it was the only thing I wanted!

Remember this shot? I had done all of this beautiful trim work around the doorways, but you couldn't tell. And there was white drywall compound in all of the corners from when I textured the new drywall after removing the arches. All of this evidence of work being done on the house, and paint would hide it! And I couldn't paint it myself, because the ceiling slopes to 12'!

So we painted! And after 6 months, I could finally rehang my mirror cluster!!!  Now you can NOT tell that there used to be archways here!!!!

Before I get on to the kitchen, let's do a quick before pic of those doorways...

Ohhh, yes, scroll back up just to try to convince yourself it's the same house. If the dog hangin' out by the den and the massive piles of laundry in both pictures aren't enough to convince you, you're just gonna have to trust me on it!

I'm pretty stoked... in case you couldn't tell.... But let's get onto the other side of the room! The back wall of my kitchen hasn't been touched by paint (other than a few testers) since we moved in 2.5 years ago, but I wanted to paint it an obnoxious green. When that wouldn't fly with Mr. Goats, I decided that I wanted to paint it the same color as my "newly" reupholstered slipper chairs (scroll up and bask in their yummy green glory). I was nervous that two accent walls in adjoining rooms might be a bit much, but I was convinced by my purely awesome Facebook fans that as long as they "went", it's fine.

And so we went grellow!

I wasn't sure that a grellow could work in a kitchen, but then remembered that John & Sherry's kitchen is an adorable grellow,


So I was sold.

(the silverware on top of the cabinet is actually the inserts from my dining room wall art, if you can believe it. I plan on hanging it from the ceiling right there, if I don't convince myself to paint it white first...).

I was scared that the wall color would clash with the green counters, but in person, it looks just fine! I debated painting that back wall grellow, too, but laziness prevailed.

This color totally makes me grin, but I have to be honest... I'm not 100% sold. It looks great in some lights, but in others it looks funny with the grey wall and the brown of the cupboards. I've already made it known that I want a white kitchen, but that's probably not going to happen for a while... so I have to figure out if I'm going to live with this color, repaint the wall, or try to convince Mr. Goats to redo the cabinets...

The last option is what I really want, but I know that I'd have to run and hide right after bringing that up to Mr. Goats.

He will NOT be happy about that.

I am happy, though, to have freshly painted walls! How did you all spend Mother's Day!?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Project Fail: If the Table Fits

Then I'm happy for you, because mine doesn't!

Remember my crappy mock-up of the play room with a nice round table by the window seat?

(heh heh - the crappy archway's gone)

The storage table that I edited into the photo just wasn't ticklin' my fancy, and I wanted something prettier. So I took inspiration from Ry's round provence dining table, and just made it smaller.

the coloring in this photo is off... i effed up my white balance! shhhhh ;-)

And it actually turned out super cute... the thing is...

It just doesn't FIT!

Oh, ignore the kid... still in her pajamas... and with super messy hair... that's how we roll in the mornings.

So we're back to the cheap-o IKEA table (that doesn't fit, too), while I figure something else out.

The round table gets to hang out in Baby Goats' room (which she loves) now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Breaking My Own Rules

For the longest time, I've known that doing something "temporarily" n.e.v.e.r. ends up being temporary. So, for the longest time, there has been absolutely nothing on the wall above my sofa. I wanted to wait until I could either buy/make frames for a gallery wall, with some amazing lighting and beautifully edited photos.

By now, we've all seen my crappy mock-up..

Which I've started to bring to life when I recovered the slipper chairs and painted the wall blue.

Then I threw another project on my to-do list, and added a geometric design above the plant ledge and started bringing in thought-out throw pillows.

But there's still the whole gallery wall to tackle. And DIYing it will be a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a lot of frames, but I still have to buy the glass and have it cut to size, which means it's not going to be as cheap as I'd want.

And I'm just tired of there not being anything on my wall.

So here's my temporary solution.

I got the idea when I was writing a post and trying to get the link to my Squared2 post. I googled "Lady Goats Squared2", and Ana White's page came up! Her squared2 queen headboard popped up, and I thought, "Hey! That would look good in here!" (and, upon further investigation, someone else had already done this as wall art!!). Niiice! So I bought a 2x2 (and used scraps for the rest), and spent a nap building this.

I thought about painting it white, but you would all have expected that, right?

So it got 2 bottles of Valspar's New Avocado spray paint and screwed into the studs.

But let me point out a few other things about this picture!

First, I have a serious laundry folding issue.

And I got a new tray for all my coffee table books and new fabric to make pillow covers out of (the blue on the left is Waverly's "Fun Floret Spa", and I can't remember what the green one is called!). There's also the cord for the lighting on the plant ledge that's sticking up on top. Ew. The shelves will balance the wall a little (making it kind of symmetrical, without using another leaning shelf).

And I am asking you all now to keep bothering me about my temporary solution! As much as this big, green, geometric design on my pretty blue wall makes me smile, it's just not what I ultimately want.

It's. Only. Temporary!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Project Fail: When life gives you stamps....

Turn it into art, because stamped curtains kinda suck!

Ok, let me back up for a second.

Remember when I asked if I should leave my curtains white

Or try to put this swoon-worthy pattern on them?

And then how I made wooden stamps, so that I could try to block print the design?

Well this whole project got side tracked when I got kicked out of my work area, and had to come up with a new one! Well... laziness may have played a big factor, too...

I finally got the shapes all carved out and set to work sampling a scrap from the curtains with the stamps.

These were the colors I was planning to use/mix to create the pattern.

I had the old yogurt cups to mix the colors in, foam brushes to add the color to the blocks, and a fabric medium... because I'm painting on fabric...

And of course I had to keep the kid busy...

So I thickly coated the paint onto the blocks, and pressed firmly onto the fabric (the cutting board underneath was to try to contain any paint that may have soaked through the fabric).

I was just not liking where this was going. I thought that it may have been because the colors were kinda childish, and you could tell it was stamps, so it just looked like a kid's craft... but I toned the colors down as I went... and was just not diggin' it!

please ignore the quality - my camera battery died

Obviously, this scale wasn't going to work on curtains (just... too small! Even after I resized it!), but apparently I am just not good at "spacing," either! The stamp-like effect was also not working for me.

Ok. This wasn't going the way it was supposed to...

But I still had all these cool stamps (that I wasn't just going to throw away since I put a lot of time into making them!). So I played with them for a while, and decided I would mount them onto a board and make some art.

So I found a little board, and went out back. Remember the stain that I'd made with the apple cider vinegar/steel wool/tea bag/rusty nail? It had all dried up, but I added a little water to my jar, and it totally reconstituted it!

Oh my gosh, it's even more beautiful than before!

It's a beautiful, rich, deep brown with some orange to add warmth. The picture looks splotchy because of the tree's shadow, but it went on more evenly than any stain I've tried yet! And letting it sit for so long drew out the rust, making it soo perfect! This might also be amplified that I put it on some beautiful Purebond Oak.

I played with a "layout" and finally found one I liked. Didn't even bother repainting the pieces. Just left them the last colors I used. Ahhhh, laziness...

Glued it all together.

And now I just need to find a permanent home for it.