Friday, February 13, 2015

Painting Up A Storm!

Apparently all this snow in New England has given me a bit of cabin fever.  I've been spending so much time in my nest that I'm seeing lots of ways it needs to be fluffed and given some love.  These long snowy weekends, snow days, and all the snow piles have been keeping me at home and have given me the opportunity to check quite a few projects off my to do list!  So thank you snow.  This old house is feeling the love!  This is a long post....sorry!

It started with Christmas and a few crafty projects for the girls and the house.  I had made a fun picture wall for my friend's daughter for her birthday and wanted to give my girls some of the love.  K's quote "Look at the STARS look how they SHINE for you" was from a song she danced to last year with her competition team.  She loves to dance and truly is a star whenever she is dancing.  Her face lights up every time she is heading off to the studio or just dancing around our kitchen.  "Be You tiful" was for L.  As the middle of three sisters I want her to always remember that just being you is enough.  You don't need to compare yourself to either of your sisters.  You are perfect just the way you are!  For H I made "Do what makes you Oh-so HAPPY!" and the metallic circles were a nod to hockey pucks and the beloved sport she puts on top of everything else!

I found this great old huge heavy window on a Facebook yardsale site.  I love those sites!  I decided I wanted to use it for a photo display and wanted to surprise the girls and Rod and give it to them for Christmas.  I love giving them something homemade for Christmas each year to remind them of one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes "maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!"  It was not fun to clean the window. It was kind of a wreck and had the distinct smell that makes me think it had been sitting in dirt.   When I was done washing it several times I had thought I would paint it but really ended up liking the weathered look with the brown wood around the edge.  I loved choosing the pictures to include.  Ones of our family over the years and of course cousins too!   And it was fun to wrap such a big present.  Rod shopped around for french cleats to hang it and finally ended up ordering them online.  He just put it up last week.  I love how it looks and it helps make folding laundry much more enjoyable.

Two out of my three girls were born in January.  Not great planning mom!  It's a tough month to have a birthday and an even harder one to shop for.  The kids are still playing with things they got for Christmas and are not really in need of anything at all.  H's birthday is particularly hard as she is January 6th.  The girls went back to school on the 5th and I ran out to buy her a few gifts and found the stores emptied out from the holidays, the post holiday sales, and all the gift cards folks redeemed after Christmas.  I managed to get her a few fun things to make her feel special.  I also surprised her while she was at school by moving a desk in the attic down to her room to become a vanity/desk.  She'd been using a tiny table for a vanity and her book shelf for a desk.  I thought I would need to paint the table as it had some large marks on it from what looked to be nail polish and permanent marker.  I was happy to find that a Mr. Clean Magic Erasor got everything off which left me more time for setting everything up for her.  She already had the picture wall in that corner and she uses the mirror side for getting ready in the morning and the other side as her desk to color and write and do homework.  She loves it and uses it daily!  I also gave her a coupon to help organize her closet.  The girl couldn't have been happier.  Sometimes you just need a little help from your mom to get yourself organized!  

Her big sister's birthday is a few weeks later.  She also had a vanity that I had purchased for her in the fall on a yard sale site and put it in her room right away with the plan to fix it up for her birthday.  The week of her birthday I had her clear it out and we brought it downstairs.  She picked Paris Gray for her chalk paint and helped me with some of the painting.  The vanity looks great in her room and coordinates with the duvet cover that she got for her birthday.  She also had a distinct plan for three shelves in her room over her bed (Thanks Auntie KT for picking them up for her at IKEA!)  She has a great decorating sense and who am I to get in the way of someone who knows exactly what she wants.    Keeps her room neat as a pin and has a slight "type A" personality.  She is 12 and has decided that she wants her room to have a spa-like feel to it.  

Her Auntie KT totally wanted to mess with her and move one of her EOS (egg shaped) chapsticks out
of line.  She is type A too and knew this would mess with her head!

During one of the snowstorms Rod and I decided our room needed some love too!  We have these two bedside tables that we had bought to match our first bed frame.  We loved the storage they provided and just never felt the need to spend a ton of money to replace them.  However the color of them bothered us.  We had purchased a new bed for our 10th Anniversary and have slowly acquired some antiques that match our bed without being 100% coordinated.  We like the eclectic look.  Our bedside tables had been bothering us for a while.  After painting Lindsay's vanity we decided to have a go with some chalk paint.  We chose Annie Sloan's Old Ochre chalk paint.  A nice creamy color that would go with our curtains in our room.  I painted Rod's bedside table for him and he painted mine.  Ah.  Thanks hon!  We used light and dark wax to make them a little more aged looking and not so creamy white.  

Once I start painting I have a hard time stopping.  It's like I suddenly realize how dingy and dirty everything around the new painted item looks.  Plus I also find it almost meditative.  I really do enjoy it.  Next up were the back stairs.  We have two sets of stairs in our house and they have a distinct break in them upstairs where there is a doorway.  For some reason I had painted the two hallways two different colors.  And while I liked both the colors this mismatch had bothered me for a while.  Plus the back stairs which get a lot of use because they come into the kitchen were really looking beat up.  I started with the stairs and painted the treads black and gave the upper part a nice coat of new white paint.  The banister that had never quite matched after our kitchen addition was the next target for the black paint brush.  After that I hit the walls.  There is a LOT of cutting in on stairs.  A LOT!!  I spent an entire Saturday from 8:00-5:00 painting.   And that was just the stairwell.  I needed to finish the upstairs hallway on another day.  It looks so good and I'm so happy with the change.  Now to plan my photo wall for that freshly painted staircase!  

Starting with the stairs.  I loved the cheery yellow but not the mismatched colors between
the two hallways.  Don't look too closely at how dingy that paint was!  ew! 
Ah.  A fresh clean staircase.  Shaker beige like the front hall.  Hours of work but worth it!
A little table I found on a yard sale site also got a fresh look thanks to some Annie Sloan Primer Red. This one is going to Duck Head for a spot to put coffee and drinks in the winter while enjoying the wood stove.  I painted it and Rod waxed it.  We both try to have a hand in every piece we make over for the cottage.  It is more of a brick red color in person.  I like how dark and moody the colors get once you add the dark wax.  

The next project was supposed to wait till after vacation but when I couldn't find fabric to recover my dining room chairs I just couldn't wait.  Rod cooked dinner one night and I went to town with a brush, a roller and some chalkboard paint.  First I painted the three walls in the nook right next to the kitchen.  Then we let the paint dry and we "seasoned" the chalkboard surface by drawing all over it with a piece of chalk held sideways.  Of course I had to decorate it that night while Rod was at hockey.  Couldn't resist. The entire project from start to finish including interruptions for dinner and bedtime took from 5:00-10:00 at night.  Love quick projects that are started and finished in one night.  But of course the trim in the kitchen is now on my "to do" list for after vacation...  

Gotta love a man who cooks dinner and helps with the hard
to reach parts of his wife's many projects!
"Back pack wall" which can be seen from kitchen island. 
Door to basement that you pass upon entering house and going to kitchen.
Door over girl's playroom turned art room.

Apparently I have a thing for chalkboards lately.  I'm on a roll.  I felt like we'd had enough snow so it was time to change the "Let it Snow" chalk board to something else.

This started me on a slew of chalk and valentine related projects.  I had wanted to make this sister quote below for a wall that showcases the girl's sunflower art work that they each made in 2nd grade.  I love sunflowers and my girls! Then I made the next two quotes for some friends.  I signed up for a pay it forward initiative on Facebook which I thought would be fun to participate in during the middle of winter.  You send, buy or make something for five friends that you think would make them happy or reminds you of them.  They then do something nice for 5 friends in turn.  The thought is that it keeps passing on similar to the pay it forward movement from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts drive throughs.  One of my friends has three girls like myself so I made her the daughter quote and the other has had many beloved dogs in her life.  I also got some wonderful moisturizer that my friend Mary makes from local bees wax, lavender and other natural ingredients for two friends that have eczema.  My girls love it and their hands have never felt so soft in winter.  I thought it would be fun to deliver on the day before Valentine's day all wrapped up with love....

When I was shopping for valentine's for my girls I just couldn't find ones I loved enough to spend the $3 to 8, yes 8, dollars on only to have them thrown in the recycling a week later.  I came home and made them their valentine's instead.  

Enjoy your Valentine's Day tomorrow!  And to those of you in New England brace yourselves for another storm!  Hope you are weathering all these snowstorms okay and smiling through the shoveling!  Happy Valentine's Day to my Valentine, Rod.  He puts up with me,  my many projects,  and not only takes it all in stride but is along for the ride!   Much love to all my family and friends! I am so grateful to have all of you in my life!   

We are a perfect pair with impossible names for people in restaurants to ever get correct!