Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday Afternoon Delight: I Heart Chucks

I have always been an old school sneaker kind of girl. No TOMS for me. Give me a pair of Vans, Adidas, or Converse any day!

My affection for All Stars goes as far back as middle school. I've had at least one pair in my shoe rotation ever since! My husband and our groomsmen even wore navy Chucks to our wedding.

I know I'm not alone as I see so many awesome ways to rock a pair of Chucks all over Pinterest. So join me as I celebrate all things Chucks today!

1. Everyday Style

Red and white stripes with denim shorts from A Fashion Love Affair are the perfect match for any 4th of July celebration:

Chambray, white denim and aviators dress up this pair of white Chucks (hbhamburg at polyvore)

I love these black high tops and textured black jeans (via Pinterest)

Jillian Harris wearing a pair of leopard print pants and white Chucks. See more of her adorable style on her blog (here). 

Chunky gold accessories, layering and White All Stars = perfection (via Pinterest)

Casual chic from The Czech Chicks

How cute are these floral patterned Chucks found here?! similar here and here (via Pinterest)

2. Wedding Style

My husband was so happy to wear Chucks along with our Best Men to our wedding:

And how sweet is this vintage Peoria wedding from Ruffled?

I love embroidered Chucks that commemorate the "big day." Here's a personalized pair from The Knot:

3. For Baby

Come on now. How cute are these Chuck Taylor First Star for newborns? (here)

Or an All Star themed Baby Shower from Kate and Lola's Etsy shop:

Here's a fun All Stars onesie from Gnom Enterprises Etsy shop:

4. For the Home

One of my favorite artists at the moment is Jessica Durrant. Check out her "Chucks in the City" print and all of the other amazing prints in her Etsy shop here.

Here's an original pen and marker drawing that I made in art class (I told you I love Chucks):

I just adore this "Kickin it Old School" print by Mr Pickwicks Etsy shop:

And check out this sweet "Sole-Mates" print by Sweet Gumball Inc (here):

And there are so many more adorable outfits, custom pairs and art prints out there! Do you have a favorite?

Monday, June 23, 2014

DIY Mama to Bee Banner

I was asked by a dear friend to create a party banner for her "bee" themed baby shower. I had liked a few on Pinterest that were adorable and wanted to recreate a DIY version. You don't need any special tools, just some scissors and glue.

Here's what I used:

  1. An small pair of easy to maneuver scissors. I use Cutter Bee (very fitting for this project)
  2. A pair of scalloped edged scissors (or any other pattern)
  3. A glue stick (going old school here)
  4. Ribbon
  5. A pencil and a ruler to mark your paper 
  6. A hole punch
  7. Card stock to print your letters
  8. An assortment of fun paper. I used Honeycomb and Grey Honeycomb by Recollections at Michael's. I also bought an assortment of white, grey and yellow card stock.
First decide on the font and font size you would like to use. I used Times New Roman for a classic look with a font size of 400. I would suggest printing on card stock since the printed letters will act as your stencil.

Cut out your letters.

The next step is to outline the letters onto which ever card stock you would like to use. I chose white for my letters because it helped them to stand out against the background.

I cut the honeycomb paper to 5 1/2" by 6". I centered and glued the letters to the paper.

Next I cut the grey, yellow and white card stock to approx 6 1/2" by 7" to allow enough room to cut a scalloped edge.

Adhere the honeycomb paper to the scalloped edged card stock. Use the hole punch to punch two holes about 3-3 1/2 inches apart at the top of each piece. Once you have made your punches, string the ribbon through each piece.I used 3/8" ribbon.

I wanted to add a cute beehive detail to my banner to help break up the words. I was inspired by a banner that I found on Etsy (here). 

Fold your paper in half and draw half of a beehive with your pencil. I did this freehand. Cut along your pencil sketch.

I cut and glued grey card stock to the back and glued the beehive to scalloped edged white card stock. I also stuck little bee stickers to the beehive (here).

Here's the finished piece:

The "Mama to Bee" loved the banner so much that she used it for her family shower too! I love the banner because it was simple to make and looked so cute. Bonus: it can be easily modified to fit any party theme!

Monday, June 9, 2014

DIY Waterfall Desk Makeover

I titled this post a desk "makeover," but I think it was actually a desk "rescue." My husband got the desk from a client of his who was going to pitch it. Apparently it was rejected as a donation. Poor desk. So he rescued it from the trash and we began to fix it up. 

It was pretty beat up. The veneer was peeling, it had several scratches, and a broken drawer. I had originally wanted to stain it, but there were just too many issues. I decided to paint it. 

Since the desk was going to be used as a place for me to work, draw, and craft, I wanted a fun "pop" of color. I decided on coral after liking so many coral desks on Pinterest.

I narrowed the coral color search down to Ardent Coral by Sherwin Williams (semi gloss). We have used many paints around the house and I have found that I prefer Sherwin Williams because of their quality (no- I am not paid to write this). In my opinion, it has a nicer finish and just doesn't seem as prone to chipping as other paints. But before we could paint, we had some serious cleaning up to do (hint: removal of gum inside the drawers from the desk's original owner)!

Step 1: Sanding, sanding, and more sanding! It pays to have a contractor husband because of the availability of tools.

After removing the hardware, I used a palm sander and a 5" orbital sander on the entire desk. Be sure to wear a mask and safety glasses for this task! Tip: there will be a ton of dust so cover anything near the sanding area.

Here's what it looks like after sanding:

Step 2: Fixing the structure. Since there were some areas of the desk that paint couldn't fix, Geoff cut a few pieces of scrap wood and attached them to the base. We also fixed the busted drawer and used wood filler to patch up a few holes.

Step 3: Priming. We mixed up steps 2 and 3 so now you can learn from our mistake. I used 2 coats of KILZ Latex 2 Primer all over. Tip: using both a roller and paint brush helps to speed up this step. Just be sure that all of your paint strokes are made in the same direction.

Step 4: After the primer has completely dried, lightly sand the desk with a very fine sand paper. I used 3M Pro Grade 220. The no-slip backing is also helpful. Remember to wipe off the primer dust with a cloth before moving on to the next step.

Step 5: Paint. I had to apply 3-4 coats (using light strokes) for even coverage. Make sure each coat is completely dry before applying the next. 

Don't worry if your paint color looks lighter when wet. For example: the Ardent Coral paint color looked light peach in the can, but dried a nice coral color.

I have a few tips for painting that I've picked up from my husband and from Sarah M. Dorsey. If you don't follow her blog, you are missing out!

Tip 1: Mix your paint with a bit of latex paint thinner to help eliminate brush strokes. We used Floetrol. Sarah M. Dorsey has a detailed blog post about this here. It also shows her beautiful Ardent Coral end table!

Tip 2: Invest in a good brush. We like Wooster Pro and Purdy brushes. A good brush can last a long time and will apply the paint much more evenly.

Tip 3: Care for your brushes by only allowing the paint to cover the bottom inch of the brush and rinse the paint off in between coats (pay no attention to the poor example in the above photo).

Tip 4: Watch for drips! Keep an eye on the paint as it dries. You can use your paint brush to eliminate drips while the paint is still wet.

Enough tips, let's get back to the steps...

Step 6: Paint marker design time! When I finished painting I realized that I wanted something to break up all of the color. I found an amazing paint-marker-herringbone-design tutorial on Twice Lovely (here). I just knew I wanted to try it on my coral desk. I bought a silver paint marker at Michael's and got to work!

I used a ruler to make my lines and then drew the rest of the pattern free hand. I loved this option because it can be a little messy and still look awesome in the end.

Step 7: Clean and paint (if necessary) the hardware. I really liked the style of the original hardware, but they were also in rough shape. I started by cleaning them with a cleaner/degreaser such as Krud Kutter or 409.

Let the hardware soak for a bit, wipe off any excess "krud" and rinse with dish soap. You might be able to eliminate this step, but my hardware was covered in "krud."

Some of my hardware just couldn't be saved so I ended up priming and painting them with a couple of coats of Krylon Satin Nickel Metallic spray paint.

Step 8: The final step! I added contact paper to the drawers (after removing the gum- yuck). I found a style that I liked on Amazon ( here) by the Macbeth Collection. Bonus: they were $10.99 for two rolls! They were also self adhesive which I really liked.

I measured the inside of each drawer and added an inch before making my cuts. 

I removed the backing and set the paper in the drawer. Then I cut along the corner edges of the drawer for a perfect fit. 

Not bad for a desk that was on its way to the dump. I think I'm going to have fun drawing and creating here!

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