Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our World Traveler Nursery

He's due any day now, so I figured I can finally share a few shots of the nursery :)

We went with a "old world" or "world traveler" theme for a few reasons. First, I wanted a theme that would grow with him.. what 3 year old boy wouldn't love maps and planes and sailboats? The second reason is that we are sailors, and it is a hobby we both very much enjoy. My husband also enjoys flying (full size and model) airplanes. Plus, we enjoy travelling so that's a bonus. 

I think I'll post some before photos so you have an idea of what we were working with..

Pale Yellow was just not going to work.. neither was that fan...

We chose the lower blue- I didn't want a crazy bright room!

We chose to paint the walls instead of replacing them.. we will eventually drywall everything but time and money were inhibiting factors...
So after many weekends, weeknights, shopping trips and craigslist searches, we are pretty much finished! The closet doors aren't done, so I'll hold off on photos of that for now. In the meantime..

His nursery is officially my favorite room in the house. I just sit in that chair and rock sometimes.. imagining how our life will change, how this room will welcome a newborn. 

We are so excited he will be here soon! 

Happy family time :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Adventures With Chalk Art

Uh oh. I have discovered a new time consuming hobby that I really enjoy. I blame Pintrest.

It started at hobby lobby. I picked up a chalkboard and chalk paint (less messy than chalk) for our little one's room. I wrote on it as soon as I got home and realized I was going to have to put a little more effort into it than I originally planned. So, I went to Pintrest, naturally! 

CLICK HERE for Crafty Hobby House Pinterest Chalkboard Art Page
I was so inspired, I thought I'd make a short "first attempt" tutorial. If you like to draw, this is a very fun thing to do-- but it is time consuming!

The first thing I did was practice with markers. I went online, downloaded free fonts and played around in word to get the letters I wanted. I free handed everything you see in the photos below, and was actually pretty pleased at how they turned out! Plus, it was kind of fun :)

Not too bad for a first try! I like the word "Logan" the best...

My freehand cursive is kind of awful, but it's good to practice, right?
So after I felt like I'd mastered that technique, it was on to the chalkboard!

I learned a few important lessons on my first attempt.

First, make sure to gather your items. I printed a few examples of what I thought I wanted to use for reference (bigger print is better!!). The other items you will need:
     1. Chalkboard
     2. Chalk or I used chalk paint (get one with a fine tip!)
     3. Wet wipes, or paper towels and a cup of water
     4. Toilet paper
     5. A ruler
     6. (not shown) Qtips and a small cup of water

Now the fun begins. I started with the word I knew was the fanciest. I traced out a basic "sketch" by TRYING to center the middle letter, and filled it in after. I made the mistake of filling in from the middle out. This means your hand will be touching the wet chalk paint unless you let it dry in between  If you are a righty, start right to left!

You WILL mess up. That is the beauty of a chalkboard! Tear off a very small piece of the wet wipe and VERY CAREFULLY wipe away. You will get white paint "smears" so make sure to use different sides of the wipe. Dry with a piece of toilet paper and don't try again until the board is totally dry. 

Okay the most important lesson after? Make sure you sketch ALL the words out first! I was lucky everything fit, but I should have sketched it all, THEN filled it in! On that note, I did use the ruler and put a very very faint line up top to keep me straight. And I re-wrote "home" like 100 times before I liked it! Oh- and make sure everything is FULLY DRY before moving on. I also used a piece of paper between my hand and the board, just in case. 

I started filling in the other letters.. that first "e" had to be redone 3 times also. Thank goodness for wet wipes. 

Ahh, the hardest part is done. Is it perfect? No. Is it WAY BETTER than how it started? YES :)

Now to add accents. Honestly, this is also a hard task for me, as I'm not a good "doodler". The finished product, while not very fancy, suited my needs just fine! I love it :)

Now I have to buy another chalkboard.. this has to stay up until little man is born, so I guess it's back to pinterest and hobby lobby.

So, give it a try! Start with markers and go from there! It won't be perfect.. and that's ok! I think of the imperfections as "character". 

Happy sketching!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I Heart 5th & Frolic!

So PRETTY. So, so, pretty. These cards are just gorgeous.

I've been using project life since January of 2010... when there was only one edition- cherry. Now, don't get me wrong, cherry is nice, but it's soooo dark! I like bright and airy, and it was way too dark for MY taste. I also love the rain and cinnamon editions, but they were also just a bit too dark for me- fortunately, NOW I have options :)

I have to brag a bit too.. I went to Michaels today, armed with the knowledge that Project Life items were 40% off today, and also knowing there was a 15% off sale items coupon on their mobile app... and I saved a TON of money on next year's album necessities. I'm still using and loving the seafoam kit, but I had been eyeballing 5th and Frolic, and I'm so glad I snagged the last one! I spent $57 for the full core kit, 2 big variety packs, design G pack and a corner rounder. For curiosity's sake, I went on amazon and compared what I would have spent with shipping if I could have gotten 5th and frolic online... $123! And that did NOT include the corner rounder. I love saving money :)

(BTW I think the sale ends on Labor Day!)

So on to the review. 

This line is very different from the previous ones I have chosen. (to recap I've used: Cherry, Amber, Clementine, and Seafoam) All the previous editions have pretty clean lines and graphics. The 5th & Frolic edition is very messy. By messy, I mean, the cards resemble vintage linens and library cards, complete with stains and such. At first I was a little put off by them.. but the more I look at them, the more I like it. It forces me out of my type A box and makes me look at things asymetrically. 

Oh look, pre-stained :)
Lots of ledger style cards- which I really like!
The line is also quite girly- and manly- all at the same time. Dear Lizzy (the designer) has mixed pretty vintage patterns with ledger/library style cards, hearts and trees, pennants and foxes! You could definitely use this as a heritage album, but would have to be choosy with all the pink. There are also very cute branches, trees and houses.. very heritage-ish :)

Here are the front and back 4x6 and 3x4 cards:

And here are the 4x6 "journaling"cards. I have separated them so the top card is one side and the card just below it is the other side (prints with journaling). 

They only have room for journaling on one side, which I found a little odd since I thought the purpose of these cards was to be able to add extra journaling. I guess I will be purchasing (or printing a freebie) a 4x6 blank grid card! They are still very cute though :)

And now, the everyday cards :)

Below are the title cards. Again, very different from the previous editions in that they are not uniform. Each card is unique- and there are quite a few patterns to choose from.. only 3 of each title card if that tells you anything!

And finally, the journaling cards. There are a TON of them, lots of options! There are quite a few horizontally aligned cards too, so for those of you who don't always use design A, this may be a nice kit for you!

I have to say, I LOVE the little cartoon graphics.. unfortunately, they are mostly on the horizontal cards, which is disappointing (see the branches and foxes above!).. but I like the little vertical house design for sure! Maybe it will force me to use different page protectors!

So there you have it, 5th & Frolic. What do you think? I love the light and airy feel to it... it kind of reminds me of a 1950s clothesline if that makes any sense? The patterns are soft, and the colors are sweet. I'm especially excited because this will be used during our son's first year of life :) He will have his own album, of course (I'm using Becky Higgins' sweet baby kit from many years ago to document a monthy recap of his first year).. but this will be a part of our family album! I can't wait to use it!

Happy Crafting :)