Archive for September, 2010

backsplash!

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Posted by Rebecca, September 24th, 2010

Sneak peek of our new kitchen backsplash, just to hold you over until I have time to post better pics (and grout it…)

making wall letters for kids, part 2!

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Posted by Rebecca, September 21st, 2010

Okay, round 2! If you need to start at the beginning of this post, click here.

When I chose the paint colors, I decided to use two shades of pink and two shades of brown to compliment the bedding.  I figured this was the best way to make sure the letters went well with the color scheme of the room. Had I used only one shade of each, they may not have meshed as well, especially since I didn’t have anything with me to compare pinks and browns.

I started off with 4 paint brushes, one for each color…

…but ended up using many more

I tackled the middle letter, the one of a kind ‘e’ first.  I am very thankful I decided to use this pattern only once, because it was very, very challenging. But I secretly enjoy an artistic challenge. I first drew lines with a pencil and ruler…

From this point, I thought I could just freehand a pink line over the pencil line.  WRONG.  Not only is it ridiculously hard to paint a line thaaat straight, but the pencil line could be seen through the paint.  I had to resort to taping on either side of my pencil line, basically eyeing the width of the resulting line.  The 2 lines at the very top, the shaky crooked ones, were freehanded.  The rest is being done with scotch tape…

And completed with first set of lines (the darker pink)…

It’s not perfect, I know.  And believe me, looking at it now is bothering me.  But you live and you learn, so I set it aside to dry before I crossed those lines with the lighter pink lines.  I then moved on to the simpler patterns.  My favorite, the block of colors, separated with a white line (using scotch tape)….

Then the large dots, which were done freehand…

And the lines of random widths…

But wait! I could only fit 3 colors on that little i! So I decided to line each thick line with a thinner line in a contrasting color…

Then I went back to that dreaded ‘e’ and crossed the dark pink lines with the lighter pink lines, using the tape-over-pencil-marks method I used earlier. I then free handed the pin dots in alternating dark and light brown with a very small, round paint brush…

And that that is how I did my 4 main patterns. The end? Oh no, it was not that simple and pretty. Most of the letters that were taped (all but the large polka dot patterned ones) had some form of bleed through such as this…

To touch this up, I used the smallest brush in the history of the world, pictured here with my ring finger for perspective.

I then removed all of this tape…

…and touched up as needed. Note, this is the part that requires a very steady hand and a LOT of patience. First I fixed up the brown lines… (may be shaky due to the fact that I was painting with 1 hand, holding iPhone with the other)

Then I fixed up the pink…

And finally I touched up areas that needed to be covered in white for the final product!

As a whole…


And here is the picture my sister in law sent me, after they hung the letters up in baby Brielle’s room.

Though this is a great way to save money, it is not without it’s downfalls. Each letter takes me about 2 hours from start to finish, over several days. Maybe it’s because I have OCD and wanted to make sure they looked professional, but I wanted to put that warning out there to anyone to attempts to make their own. But in the end, I couldn’t be more proud of how they turned out. Not just how they turned out, but that they came from the absolute bottom of my heart, and that Brielle will have something special, made just for her, to hold on to for the rest of her life. Or at least until she’s a teenager and decides she hates them…. but that will be okay 🙂

countertop eye candy

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Posted by Rebecca, September 20th, 2010

It doesn’t get much prettier than that, mother nature.

Displayed in Ikea’s Ikea Stockholm bowl.

sneak peek: dining room

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Posted by Rebecca, September 17th, 2010

It’s getting there!

making wall letters for kids, part 1!

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Posted by Rebecca, September 15th, 2010

Now that my niece has been born and her name is officially released to the public, I can share my little art project.  I decided to make letters for the wall above her crib. Once I knew her name, I was able to begin my planning!

I’m sure most people are familiar with the painted letters trend that has been around for several years (If you are not, here is an example from JCPenney). When creating them, I take many things into consideration… the color of the room, the bedding patterns and the overall vibe. I knew that my brother had painted the walls and that the bedding was Trend Lab’s Maya set.

The paint job…(done with my brother’s blood, sweat and tears)

and the bedding….

So I knew that for a font, I wanted something fun and childish, perhaps cartoon-like.  I’ve used a variety of websites in the past, but this time I ordered the letters from WoodenLetters.net.  I was very impressed by the amount of fonts they offered since I have font OCD. I was also happy with the variety of letter sizes.  I was EXTREMELY impressed with the quality when they arrived.  They were thick, sturdy and clean cut.  I think that if I decide to paint letters again, I will use WoodenLetters!

One more point that I forgot, I always use unfinished wood.  Why you ask?  Can’t you buy letters painted?  Yes you can, but I prefer to paint the base coat myself so that there are no surprises as far as how my paint is going to stick.  I tape a lot, use pencil, erase and touch up, so I want to make sure that I am able to do that successfully.  Plus it’s cheaper.

The font I chose is called Whimsical and I decided on 10 inch letters.  The baby’s name! ::drumroll:: Is Brielle!! Actual names are another thing I take into account.  I usually judge fonts by their lowercase ‘a’, but since her name doesn’t have any, I didn’t have to worry about that.  The ‘i’ looked cute so I was sold.  As for the sizing, the letters from this particular site are sized based on the SMALLEST letter.  I was originally going to do 12 or 14 inch letters but then the ‘B’ would have been ginormous.  The downsize meant that the letters cost me a minimal price of $2.50 each.

So I had my font, size, atmosphere… time for a design plan.  I thought of some patterns that may go with the nursery…(please excuse my colored pencil, elementary school quality, sketches…I was not planning on sharing these)

There are 7 letters in Brielle, so I gave myself the following options:

a) 2 patterns, alternating every other letter

b) 4 patterns, with 3 of them appearing twice and the middle letter having a one of a kind pattern

c) 7 different patterns

Taking into account the variety of patterns in the bedding, I knew I needed more than 2, but not as many as 7, as to not appear too busy.  So choice ‘b’ was the winner!  I wanted a mix of striped and polka dot patterns, so I went with….. top row, the 1st and 2nd patterns and the bottom row, the 1st pattern.  I decided to do the pattern in the 1st row, 4th position as my one of a kind pattern since it had both stripes and dots.  I decided to do all patterns on a white background, since the walls are a light tan where the letters would be, yet the molding in the room is white.

I then sketched out the order of the patterns to see how each one looked on each letter…

Then it was finally time to start painting! I used simple, inexpensive acrylic craft paints.  I first painted all of the letters (front, back and sides) with 2 coats of white paint over several days.  The letters are unfinished so it takes a decent amount of paint to get that solid white look.

I stuck them on a box to get the edges, look at that thickness!

Once the letters were all white, pretty and dried, I got ready for the fun part… colors!

Since this post is long enough, I will get to how I painted the patterns in part 2! So suspenseful! 🙂

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