Friday, April 30, 2010

Painted Canvas Rug

I believe in layering when it comes to decorating. But my decorating budget only allows for one little layer at a time in most cases. Reading this blog can sometimes be like watching a decorating show in super-slow motion. If you've been here long, you know I decorate one little step at a time, mostly with thrift store finds & other bargains, never knowing for sure what I'm going to find next.

Last week, I posted about my screened porch. (If you missed it you can read about it here.) My mom's furniture & the new cushions were the first couple layers. And this week, I added one more thin layer with a canvas rug.

Now, Martha has a great 13-step tutorial on how to paint a canvas rug, but unlike Martha, I have 4 kids, a husband, and a really long to-do list with no paid staff to help me, so I went with my own short-cut busy mom version. Click here for Martha's. Keep reading for mine.

I started with this $12 Heavy Weight Canvas Drop Cloth from the paint section at Lowes.

Next, I cut it down to the size I wanted & hemmed the edges. While I was doing this, I got a great idea for what to do with the leftover canvas. (Coming soon!)

I wanted some wide stripes, so I measured & taped it with painter's tape for 8-inch stripes. If you have a steady hand, you might be able to just draw some pencil lines as a guide for painting, but I don't trust myself, so I go with the tape. Keep in mind, though, that tape is not as effective on fabric as it is furniture or walls, & can seep under if you're not careful.

After the taping, I was ready to paint. Once again, I used my favorite 99-cent craft paint--in Basil Green this time. I learned right away that the paint was going to need to be thinned, so I just added a little water & it worked perfectly.

The water made it stretch so far, it only took a little over one bottle to do the entire rug, bringing the total paint cost to approximately $1.25. Ridiculous!

I did let the paint dry overnight & then sprayed a couple quick coats of Krylon Clear Coat just for a little extra protection.

And now here it is, the newest layer on my screened porch. I know there's a table out there somewhere waiting for me to rescue it & give it a new life with this rug. And when it's found, I'll tell you all about it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When Possibility Meets Potential...

What better color for my French Potential could I have chosen than "Possibility"?
With a name like that, it's so much more than white.

The painting is finished...

It's ready to go to the upholsterer this weekend...

It won't be long now!

You can read part one of this story here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scenes of Paris Paper Art

I'm crazy about French d├ęcor. It's all over my house. The funniest part about that is that I've never been to France. But that's all about to change in just a few weeks. My husband & are going to Europe. Just the two of us. And Paris is the first stop. Basically, I'm ecstatic about this & I've got Paris on the brain. And that was the inspiration behind my latest project.

My youngest daughter, Lola, has a Paris bedroom. But so far, her bedding and furniture are pretty much the only things in the room. She has needed some art & accessories since we moved in, but like everything else in my house, it's one-step-at-a-time decorating. I decorate as I find the things I like for a good price. And when I found these old pictures at Goodwill, I knew they were meant for Lola's room.

The first step in the transformation was a few coats of black Krylon gloss spray paint. (I love my little spray paint gun that attaches to any can--it makes spray painting even easier than it already is.)

After the painting, I decided to try paper crafting for the art to go in the frames. One of the best paper crafters I've seen was featured on The Martha Stewart Show a few months ago. You can view her work here. I am no where near her level on this, but I wanted to try to construct a couple of scenes of Paris for these frames. Here's Lola's bedding, which I used for inspiration.

As a collector of scrapbook supplies (I don't have time to scrapbook anymore now that I have a whole house waiting to be decorated), I had everything I needed for the project including several colors of card stock, a few patterned papers, & some scissors & punches. I started with a little sketch of each scene, then just started cutting & gluing until it sort-of resembled the sketch. I had painted the original art with white craft paint to become the background. By the time it was over, my craft table was a huge pile of paper scraps, but it was fun!

In the end, here's how it turned out.

I know sometimes I sound like a broken record, but I have big plans for this room, too. One of these days. Stay tuned! Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm linking to these great parties. Check them out!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How I Met My House

Y'all know I love link parties. And when I came across this one at Our Suburban Cottage, I knew I wanted to join it. I am running so late I've almost missed it, but better late then never, I guess!

The search for our house started about 5 years ago when my husband & I started searching for house plans, looking for just the right house with just the right features we thought we'd like to have. I could give you every detail of the long road to here, but you'd be bored to tears by the end, & I have laundry that I need to do, so here's the shorter version.

We chose our plan from an architect in Atlanta who actually had many plans we liked, but this was our favorite. I bugged them to death to give me some info on someone who may have built the house that we could drive to see, but the company was totally tight-lipped with their client list & wouldn't budge. However, the Lord knew I really wanted to see the house & He helped me find out that the same house had just been built & was going to be in a Parade of Homes in Kentucky. And the same month we purchased our lot, we were able to drive to Kentucky, tour the house, & take all the pictures we wanted. It turned out to be priceless during the building process. And we referred to those pictures what seemed like a million times. It took 9 months to build our house & although there were some stressful moments, it was not the nightmare some people have experienced. We've lived here for 7 months now, and we've enjoyed it every day.

So, I thought I'd share a few pictures of the two houses with you. It may get a little confusing, but I'm going to post a picture of the house we toured & then show you ours from a similar view. Pay attention---there may be a pop quiz!


Ours, with a front porch added. (Our side garage can't be seen from this angle):


Ours: (We chose not to do the exposed beams or the second island in the kitchen)

Theirs (Yes, that's me standing in my future kitchen):



Ours: (Still not quite furnished, but stay tuned!)








Ours: (My son didn't really like the pink)



Did I lose you anywhere? I literally could have spent all day doing this, since we have over 200 pictures of that first house. Thanks for sticking with me. And for reading this blog as I chronicle the ways I'm making it more "ours" everyday.

Living in this house & decorating it & entertaining our friends and family is definitely one of my favorite things to do these days. But as fun as all that is, it's still just a house. It's definitely a great place to raise a family & spend time together, but it's not the house that makes my life so great. It's the people who live here.

Thanks for stopping by for my story!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Front Door Chalkboard

A couple of weeks ago, I got it in my head that I wanted a little chalkboard just above my doorbell at my front door. I had the project pictured in my head & began the search for just the right metal sign that I could transform. I saw all kinds of these signs in several stores, but when I found this one at Marshall's, I loved the shape & I knew it was the one.

Cute, huh? Well that didn't even matter this time. It only took about 10 minutes to spray a few coats of chalkboard spray paint & it became my latest creation. I also added a piece of wire, twisted on the ends, to hang it.

This project was SUPER easy! And it's going to be so fun to use! It will be great for writing our house number, messages for party guests, or holiday greetings.

Here it is in action!

(There's a peek at the rest of the wicker seating I got from my mom & dad. If you missed that project, click here.)