Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Harry Pottery Barn Big Kid Room

Before the Kiddo was born, I had a grand vision for his nursery (and WAY too much time on my hands), resulting in a full-room mural of friendly safari animals.  

I was not counting on the safari animals sticking around for 8 years, though.  Baseball got added to the design (including an amazing but impossible to capture on camera baseball ceiling fan).  The mishmosh was messy and maddening...but nothing was inspiring enough to convince the Kiddo to paint over them.  


PB Teen came out with their Harry Potter collection.  And this year, the Kiddo just so happens to be FULLY into Harry Potter, so he was totally ready to trade sweet safari animals for Hufflepuff Badgers.

I wanted a good neutral base to accommodate his rapidly changing tastes, so no murals this time.  Instead, I went with a cozy grey that's Hufflepuff now, but can be easily be anything else later.  Finding the perfect grey is tricky - some are too brown, too dark, too blue... and what looks great in one room's lighting looks wrong in another... we got lucky with our gut-reaction pick of Steely Grey (top row, third from the left).

The old crowded Ikea Kallax bookshelves weren't working anymore.  But the Kiddo's room is really small (like, 8 x 9 -ish small), so finding more shelf space without sacrificing visual space seemed impossible.  Happily, I got an infusion of Pinterest-inspiration and decided to take the shelves straight to the wall. Something about still being able to see the floor under the shelves really opens up a room.

Keeping the standards level and even across 2 walls was tricky - a laser level was very VERY helpful.  Also, these standards are going to shoulder a lot of weight, so you really need to make sure they go directly into studs.


Then I stained some cheapy pine boards to match the dark finish of his bed.  It took 2 coats (after the conditioner) to get the color deep enough.


I always like to elevate a plain white lampshade with a little tracing art that fits the theme - this minimalist Hufflepuff Badger is total perfection.

The Kiddo's dresser was a hand-me-down from his Dad, and it's so sturdy and perfect.  Every time I decide I'm going to replace it with something else, I can't come close to matching the quality, so I just paint it instead.  The blue took SEVEN COATS to turn yellow.  And I can STILL see some blue peeking through.  Primer is your friend, is what I'm trying to tell you.

Then all the Harry Pottery Barn we ordered started trickling in, giving the room the extra boost it needed.


I really like the glow-in-the-dark stars.  Without the stars, it looked like a young man's room.  Now it's got a little magic back in.


Check out my Pinterest board for sources, paint colors and inspiration! 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Festive Felt

I know lots of people take the day after Thanksgiving to knock out their holiday gift shopping, but we prefer to stay far, far away from those crowds.  We stayed home making cute felt crafts instead.

My sister-in-law made this amazing DC landmark banner...

My husband's aunt made this darling ombre tree banner...

My mother-in-law made this awesome mod Christmas tree banner...

And I made a bunch of little cute things I saw on Pinterest

Each of mine have easy tutorials on Pinterest already (links below), but I couldn't find a great one for the woven heart without a video on there.  Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy, so I thought you guys might want some pictures for when streaming a video is just not an option.

Fold a piece of felt in half, and cut out 2 same size domes (flat edge is the fold, below).  Your 3 cuts for the woven pieces will be deeper than you think they should be.

The end of your first row should look something like this:

Keep repeating, alternating colors until the last row...

Which should go like this:




Flip this upside-down in your mind.  Sorry.

I don't know why this is sideways.  Sorry.


Here are the links to the other tutorials/inspirations!

Twirly Green and Red Cuties: http://www.fabartdiy.com/how-to-diy-3d-felt-ornament-tutorial/

Little Bear (I didn't stuff mine like she did, and just freehanded the felt cuts and the Kiddo drew/assembled the features, but she has a pattern!): http://liagriffith.com/felt-christmas-bear-ornament/

Stacked tree (hers are way cuter than mine - 3 colors of felt look better than just 2!): http://www.thisheartofmineblog.com/2013/11/26/felt-christmas-tree-ornament/

Monday, November 2, 2015

A New Thanksgiving tradition - Pie Playoffs

We are a house divided.  Thanksgiving is my husband's favorite holiday. I think it's lovely, but crushingly boring, as holidays go.

So when we hosted his entire side of the family at our house one year, I was determined to make it extra special.

I came up with the idea of the Pie Playoffs - The Very Sweet 16.  4 divisions, Apple, Squash, Nut, and a Wild Card.

And because I am an obsessive and delusional person, I decided to make all 16 pies myself, as well as every single dish of regular food.  I do not recommend this, though it does cut down on hurt feelings when someone's pie doesn't win, so there was a tiny kernel of logic in my decision to spend 36 hours in the kitchen.

Each guest got assigned an initial judging division, merging as pies made their way through the tournament.

This year, the Mr. is using the pie playoff model for his office Thanksgiving potluck.  If you'd like to add a little competitive spice to your Thanksgiving, here's a bracket you can use as a model!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Storybook Halloween!

A little off topic, but I couldn't resist...

The Kiddo's school asks that they dress up as favorite story book characters instead of their commercial Halloween costumes.

Last year, the DAY BEFORE, my sweet child decided he just had to be Paddington Bear.

I couldn't find a floppy red hat, so I got the closest thing at Party City's costume department, and some red hairspray.  The hat was made of wool, and that's kind of like hair, right?

Sorry, Mr. Bear...

Then I cut the ears off a teddy bear (purchased for the express purpose of donating his ears, I'm not a complete monster) and attached them to the brim with some liquid stitch.

I snagged some brown corduroy pants and a cozy sweater to complete the bear-look while still being comfy and easy to wear all day at school.  Of course, Paddington needs a toggle coat, too!  I found the entire outfit at a local kid's secondhand store.

I made some tags out of regular printer paper (tie the "wanted on voyage" to their backpack for extra cuteness), with holes reinforced by some cute tape.

On the morning of costume day, I drew a cute nose on the kid with brown eyeliner, and he was a perfect Paddington Bear.

* * *

This year, The Kiddo made it a lot easier on me, picking Milo from Phantom Tollbooth.

Khakis, dark long sleeve shirt, and some white shoes.  Boom.  Print out a Map of the Kingdom of Wisdom, and wrap a big watch around a stuffed pup named Tock.

 If your pup is too big, you can always use a zip tie to keep it on!

Pup is from Ikea, watch from Target's clearance section.