Thursday, September 20, 2012

Flower Mobile for Baby Girl’s Room


Hey, Hey, Hey Homies!    I’ve been meaning to share with you a cute little project I did a while back for my great niece, Harper Isabella.  My lovely niece, Harper’s mommy Hannah, put together such a sweet room for Harper.  Hannah shares my love of decorating, painting and crafting, and it was so exciting for me to get to visit Harper’s bedroom to see the final reveal.    And let me just say THAT BEDDING ROCKS!  I think it’s one of the prettiest baby bedding sets I have ever seen. 


The beddeing is by Pottery Barn and it's called Wildflower. Isn’t it just the cutest?    I love the coordinating flower prints as well.


Harper’s room is absolutely precious and I think Hannah did a fantastic job!   Harper’s changing table has cute, bright, colorful art hanging above it which is a great "distraction" piece.  I think every changing table needs something hanging above it to act as a distraction, or to keep the baby busy, while they are getting their diaper changed, but I do think the distraction tactic works better with a moving object.  
For example, when I designed my son’s nursery way back when, two of his walls were log, and I painted the other two yellow.  I painted the ceiling blue with clouds, and he had blue, red, green, yellow plaid bedding.  I called it the lumberjack room.  In the lumberjack room, I hung several beanie baby birds  from the ceiling using fishing line and thumb tacks, specifically targeting the changing table with a bright red cardinal.  Now, I was just trying to design a cute nursery, but I  noticed that every time I changedmy son's diaper, he was fixated on that bird.  I would reach up and tap it, and he loved to watch the birdie fly back and forth.  I also noticed that, when I changed his diaper somewhere else, he would not keep still.  That’s when I came to the conclusion that every changing table needs a “distraction” hanging over it, whether it be a mobile or some other moving object.  So I decided to make a hanging mobile as a sort of a “Welcome to the World” gift to Harper, but I didn’t really have a plan of how I was going to make it.


Sometimes just a walk though Hobby Lobby (or as I like to call it, "The Hob") can be so inspiring!  Actually, I think I get inspired EVERY time I walk through The Hob! 

I didn’t really know what I was looking for the day I went to get materials to make this hanging mobile.  I have tried in the past to make mobiles similar to the examples below, the kind where objects must be balanced so the mobile  hangs properly .....................



..............................and let me tell you, it ain’t easy!  

For Harper’s room, I knew I wanted to use her beautiful bedding as inspiration.   I thought about maybe covering some wooden rods with ribbon and then attaching flowers to them somehow so that they hang down as if they were falling, or maybe getting a tree branch, painting  it a color complimentary to the room and hanging flowers or maybe leaves from it (and maybe even attaching a cute little birdie as if it’s sitting on the branch), but I knew that balancing the hanging objects would be a challenge.  So, not knowing what I really wanted, I just decided to look around with an open mind. 

After looking at every silk flower The Hob had to offer, I just wasn’t feeling it.  One thing that did catch my eye though were these 6 foot long strands of gem garland I found hanging in the Wedding and Floral Department.  They were so sparkly and pretty, but a little on the expensive side at $10 per strand.  I thought about how to cut and modify the long strands, but still not having a definitive plan, I kept looking.

Then, low and behold, there it was!  (The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and the angels started singing...................Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh.)  I so love it when that happens.

Small Hot Pink Metal Flower Decor


The intended purpose for the metal flower was as wall décor, which is evident by the convenient little nail/screw hole visible in the photo above.    But I thought it would coordinate perfectly with the Wildflower bedding and decided it would make the perfect base for Harper’s mobile.  By using the flower as a base, I wouldn’t have to worry about balance.  A hanging mobile doesn't have to be the balancing kind, it just has to have movement.

After finding the metal flower, I went to the bead department to see if I could find a cheaper solution than buying those long strands that I talked about earlier, and  I found a much more cost effective solution .

Multi Shape & Color Acrylic Stone Mix

And each acrylic stone even has a shiny silver back which sparkles like crazy when the light hits it……..MORE BLING FOR YOUR BUCK!    Can you see the reflections of sparkle on the ceiling and wall in the photo below?


The large package of beads included a nice assortment of colors and shapes, including lots of flowers -  which was perfect for this project.  I decided to make one strand of beads to hang on the tip of each metal flower pedal – 24 pedals total.  I made the strands in the center of the flower longer, used shorter strands in the next row out, and even shorter strands along the outer edge, just to make it a little more interesting and cascading.

TIP #1:   This project can become very frustrating if the strands get tangled, and they DO get tangled very easily.   To prevent this from happening while I was working, I hung the metal flower from the ceiling of my studio, and then hung each strand to a pedal.  I hung the metal flower by attaching a chain to the back (or in this case the top), then I hid the chain with ribbons.  I noticed the letters over Harper’s bed were hanging with adorable polka dot ribbon, so found similar ribbon to use on this project to give the décor a cohesive look.


TIP #2: When moving, transporting or packing this mobile, I would suggest wrapping each strand with a strip of tissue paper and using a piece of tape to keep the paper affixed, just as if it were a chandelier with hanging crystals. I learned this the hard way and trust me, you don’t want to have to spend hours getting one of these babies untangled.

TIP #3: Consider the height of the ceilings and the length of the mobile. In this case, I didn’t want the mobile to be too low that it hit Hannah in the head when she was changing a diaper.


This is the view that baby Harper will see when she’s looking up at it.  I think the view from under this mobile looks like a beautiful kaleidoscope. 


Well, that’s all for today folks.  I hope you like my flower mobile idea.  Remember, HomeGirl thinks every diaper changing table needs a “distraction” hanging above it.

If you like this mobile idea, please feel free to share it with your friends.   I will be taking orders for similar hanging mobiles.  And while you're here, don't forget to check out the "FIND US AT" section in the right column and LET'S GET CONNECTED!  Thanks so much for your support!!! 

Hope to see you back here soon,

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Starburst Tinkertoy Clock


It’s about that “TIME” again,  Homies!  “TIME” to “TINKER” on another project.   Get it?    Too corny?  Oh well, I do love corn.  hehe
About 13 or 14 years ago,  I bought this plain, pine clock at IKEA.  It matched perfectly with the pine furniture that we purchased at the same time, and it hung in the loft of our log cabin.   But since then, it has served us well hanging in five additional homes, the most recent spot being over our daughter’s bedroom door for the last few years.    The diva now has other means of telling time and it didn't really match the room anyway, so the clock didn’t make the cut in her room remodel and was discarded to the “miscellaneous decor” box in the storage room. 

The inspiration for this clock came from a project that I’ve been working on.......a retro kitchen/dining room…..which I'm designing to be sold.   Last year, I  picked up this awesome retro china hutch, and was looking for a dining set that I could marry it with, when I stumbled upon a great deal on a table and chair set that needed some work.  The table and chairs weren’t really from the same era as the china hutch, and aren’t even the same style, but since the table needed refinishing, my plan was to stain the top the same dark maple as the hutch, paint the table base and chairs to coordinate, and recover the chair cushions in some retro-looking fabric to give the entire room a cohesive retro/mid-century look.   I LOVE mixing up styles, eras, and colors that aren’t really supposed to go together, and making them look great together.  After staining the table top though, I’m not sure if it will end up with the retro hutch now because I found another retro dining set that will probably work better - yet another project.
Anywho, before doing anything to the table,  I decided to first start looking for the chair fabric for inspiration.  I wanted something with a cool, retro vibe like the hutch, and my plan was to choose the paint colors for the chairs and table base by pulling colors from the fabric.  I decided on this awesome outdoor fabric that I found at JoAnn Fabrics.  SCORE!


Nice and retro-looking, huh?   


Don’t they look cute together? 

Okay, back to the clock.......I’ve been seeing lots of starburst mirrors/wall décor lately.  Bloggers are making them in blogland, designers are making them on HGTV, and they're all over the stores.  They all have a round center and have something extending from them in a starburst pattern.  I started thinking that the circles in the fabric looked like starbursts too.  So when I happened across this old clock again the other day, the round shape of it gave me the idea of making a starburst clock to go with the table and chairs.   Lots of people like to have clocks in their kitchen, right? 
Also, not too long ago, I was cleaning up the old yard sale Tinkertoys that someone got out and didn’t put away.  And when I was picking them up, I thought about the colors being very retro.    The colors reminded me of the colors in my Mom’s green mushroom kitchen in the 70’s.    We had this groovy mushroom wallpaper!  LOL  So when I thought about turning the clock into a starburst, to coincide with the chair fabric, I immediately thought of those old Tinkertoys.  Don’t the colors match perfectly?

So, the first thing I did to the clock was stain it with dark walnut stain to match the tabletop.    I also stained the unpainted Tinkertoy rounds.  Then, I used a Sharpie to mark where I wanted to drill holes.  


Next, I found the right size drill bit by inserting bits into a Tinkertoy hole until I found the right size bit.


Fits like a glove!


I clamped the clock to a saw table to keep it steady so that I could drill the holes without the clock moving.    The plastic thing that goes on the clamp to keep it from making round indentations in the wood when the clamp is tightened is missing, so I just use whatever is handy to protect the wood.  In this case, it was a brochure on Installing  Crown Mouldings and Trim.  Yes, another ongoing project! 


The round edges of the clock certainly didn’t make drilling holes any easier.  It was a bit challenging (no pun intended that time, I swear) getting the holes started because the drill bit kept sliding down the rounded edge.  Once the holes were started though, drilling the holes straight was the other challenge.  Whatever angle the holes are drilled is the angle the rods will stand, and obviously I wanted them all to be at a similar angle.

TIP:   When drilling holes like this (which are more than half the thickness of the wood), it’s best to start drilling the holes with a much smaller drill bit and slowly working your way up to the bigger drill bits,  to keep the wood from splitting.  I tried to rush a few of these holes by just using the larger bit, and experienced splitting.  I ended up using four different bits on each of these holes to slowly work my way up to making the holes the right size.


To complete the project, I simply inserted the Tinkertoy rods in a random pattern I liked……..


…….and since a couple of the holes weren’t perfect, which was allowing the rods to shift, I decided to glue the rods into the holes.


This was a fun, easy project and I love that the tired, plain, discarded clock has been reinvented into something cool and one-of-a-kind!   This unique clock will definitely be a conversation starter for whomever decides to hang it on their wall.

Have YOU made any starbursts lately?  Let me know what you think about this one, Homies! 

And once again, thank you for your “time.”   (sorry, couldn’t resist :-)

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Hot Pink Contemporary Pendant Chandelier

Greetings from the Home Girl!

Walking through  “The Hob”(Hobby Lobby) a while back, I got sidetracked by noticed these interesting pink painted metal ring spheres and decided I could turn them into pendant lights.  I’m currently remodeling my little diva’s room, taking it from a pastel pink little princess room to a hot pink big girl glamour room, and wanted to use pendant lighting, as opposed to lamp lighting, in an effort to reduce the amount of “stuff” sitting around on the furniture tops.  So, we needed two pendant lights - one for over the nightstand and one for over the closet/mirror area.  The other lighting in the room is a blingy chandelier and mini ceiling fan that I put together here:  Mini Ceiling Fan/Chandelier.  Since the main ceiling light has crystally bling, the diva and I thought the pendant lights should be a little blingy too.  After all, they are the jewelry of the room.


Before we move on, let me just say, this room is in a bit of a state-of-disrepair due to the holdup on the crown molding and canopy surround, but try to imagine lots of white wedding veil fabric flowing from ceiling to floor, encircling the entire bed and flanking the windows, and topped off with a 25 feet of valance made with a beautiful pale pink and white damask fabric.  Can you see it yet?  This room will be all about the fabrics….whenever I can ever get them all sewn and installed. 


Now, back to the lights, what I really loved about these metal ring spheres is that the rings mimic the pattern on the custom window shades that I made for this room.


I thought it would be a great way to repeat the circles in the room to add conformity……. circle conformity.  And when the light is turned on...........


...............look at the cool effect the rings make on the wall............


.................................and on the ceiling! 


I’m having lots of trouble photographing the exact color of this room.  The color either shows up too intense, or too dark, or too red, or too light, or too bright.  Hopefully, I’ll get that worked out before I complete the room so I can make better photographs of the finished product.   


Do the long crystal strands in the center look like legs and the other strands of shorter crystals look like arms?   Making the metal ring sphere look like a head?  I wanted to change this up a bit but the diva likes them just the way the are so I guess we will stick with this “pendant light people” version for now. 


Pretty blingy?


Groovy Circles!  Who needs a disco ball when you have one (or two) of these babies?

So……in case you’re wondering how to turn an object into a pendant light, it’s really easy. 

You start with a light kit.  In this case, I bought two swag pendant light kits at Home Depot. 


After threading the cord through the swag chain, and then through the swag hook ring, I inserted the cord through a center hole in the sphere. 


I used a large washer as a spacer to keep the small hook ring from falling through the hole where the wire enters the sphere.


Next, this little doohickey (below) slides onto the wire.  The threads on that rod (below) will screw into the bottom of the hook ring (above), which is how the light socket attaches to this sphere that I’m using as a shade/globe.


Once the wires are attached, screws tightened, and the socket is screwed into the doohickey above…………


It’s ready for a light bulb!  Wasn't that simple?


It looks stylish  and sleek just the way it is, without adding any bling.  But for this glamour room, we needed bling!!!

After ceiling hooks were installed in the bedroom, the pendant lights were put into place so that the location of the switches could be determined.  These switches are also simple to install by simply following the package directions.

Lots of bling, a few feather boas and swag light kits have transformed these metal ring spheres into unique one-of-a-kind pendant chandeliers.


I’ve also been working on building a few grown-up versions of this type of pendant lighting  to sell, by using an interesting collection of a certain vintage object I discovered in a thrift store.  I’m thinking custom lighting is way cool!  It’s easy to walk into a few stores and buy all the things you need to design, decorate or style an awesome space.  But I really enjoy a room more though when it has that custom, created, individual, one-of-a-kind feel, and these cute little pendant lights certainly reflect (a little bit of pun intended) that element.

Peace out, Homies!    And once again, thanks for stopping  by!  You really “light” up my life.  hehe  Really, though, you do!!! Pin It

Friday, August 10, 2012

Master Bathroom Chevron ZigZag Wall


Hey Homies!  I’ve been busy in the master bathroom this week.  As usual, I was just minding my own business when an idea popped into my head.   It all started when the fantabulous Designer, David Bromstad sent me this wonderful print "Daydream" (hanging above).  I was so excited to win it in at one of his recent Twitter parties, for the Before/After photos I submitted for this  Tween Spy Room remodel!!!  So, when I finally received the print, I giddily wandered around the house trying to find just the right spot to hang it - which WAS a challenge by the way because the walls around here seem to be full!   There are a few empty spots in the basement, but the kids spend more time down there than I do and I wanted my “Daydream” to hang some place where I could enjoy it often.  This is MY "Daydream"!  Then it hit me! 

I guess I should back up to the before picture.  Four years ago, we started with this……..

master bath

I initially removed all of the wooden wall fixtures, painted the dingy ceiling bright white, and painted the walls AND oak vanity a dark gray color, the same gray color found in other parts of the house and in the fabric used in the adjoining master bedroom.  


Paint alone really gave this room a nice updated feel. But I’ve always wanted to add some drama to the back wall of the master bathroom………some color, pattern, stripes, colorful art …………something.

I do love the gray walls, but the artwork that I chose to hang in the bathroom was definitely lacking in color. I did bring color into the room with towels, candles, etc., but this wall needed more color.  The attached master bedroom has a feature wall with a series of gold, white, silver, black and tan stripes which I was considering repeating behind the artwork in the master bathroom to bring some color to the wall and to also highlight the art.  But I first wanted to figure out the towel storage cabinet solution before spending too much time on adding color to the wall.   At least the plain gray paint was clean, updated and modern – a fresh, clean slate.


But…..… this bathroom has been in this fresh clean slate for the last four years so now it's old again!  We’ve been trying to decide if we should do (a)  a BIG remodel to expand the bathroom to include the adjacent sitting room which would change the entire layout of the bathroom, or (b) a MEDIUM remodel which would include a new double vanity, tile floor, tile shower, and a new tub, but keeping the existing layout, or (c) just a SMALL remodel which would basically include paint, new plumbing and lighting fixtures, and maybe a new vanity. I think we can be happy with the third option for a while, keeping the white tile, changing out the fixtures and eventually getting a new vanity.

So when it hit me, when I thought the David Bromstad print would be just the thing to take this room up a notch,  to compliment the print I also thought of a special piece of furniture that I accidently stumbled upon, and fell in love with, recently.  I found this beauty in someone’s garage a few weeks back.  I went there to buy ONE  little antique marble top plant stand table for $15, and left with my mini-van packed full of treasures for $75!  This cabinet is HEAVY solid wood and the gentleman I bought it from said it belonged to his mother for a long time.  I love how the lines of the legs on the side sort of jut out….sort of like my hips.  hehe   The paint was a little chipped up around the legs, but most of the spots on the door were from something being splattered on it that  was easily wiped off.  But what I REALLY fell in love with was that HARDWARE!  I’m a sucker for cool vintage hardware, FOR SURE! 


I didn’t like the fact that I put this cabinet in storage and was in the process of trying to figure out how to “coolify” it and resell it.  Then, I decided I didn’t really want to “coolify” it because it was already so cool to me and I wanted to take it out of storage and bring it home with me.  But just like every cute little puppy that doesn’t have a home, I can’t bring them all home with me and put them in my house…..unless I find the perfect use and perfect spot for them, right?  So, BAM!  I would hang my beloved David Bromstad print, above my beloved vintage newly-designated towel cabinet (that I would now get to keep and not have to resell),which would now sit beside my beloved bathtub, which is under my beloved bubble light fixture.  Oh yeah, the bubble light fixture!  I almost forgot! 

This was a Valentine’s gift from my sweet husband earlier this year.  I hated staring up at the ugly can light over our tub when I was bathing and always dreamed of a pretty little chandelier hanging there one day.  When I saw this cute and reasonably priced fixture on Bubble Chandelier,  I just thought it would be very beautiful and playful hanging over our tub.  It immediately jumped on to the wish list around the same time my husband just happened to be looking for a gift to buy for me.  Funny how that happens sometimes, huh? (**evil laugh**)  It IS much nicer to look at than that old can light, indeed!  AND he even installed it on a dimmer so it makes a beautiful night light as well.  Oh yes, he is good.


Instead of refinishing my new old towel cabinet for the next week or two, I cleaned the cabinet inside and out, polished the brass hardware, used a black paint pen to touch up the chipped legs, shined the entire cabinet with a finishing paste wax, and lined the shelves with contact paper.


And it was good as new!  Almost!  Actually, it’s still a little bit beat up and scratched.  But just by  covering the scraped legs with black touch-up paint, and by waxing the entire piece, it was transformed into a much nicer looking piece…..without refinishing.  I actually prefer this piece with a few dents and dings.  Then I don’t have to be so careful about not messing up the new paint job, which would probably be the case if I refinished it.   I  ended up becoming so fond of this piece that it has steered me into a “mismatched”or “not-so-matchy-matchy” direction for the vanity/sinks when that day comes.  But for now, the good news is that the towel basket is finally gone, and that we have a new, cool, vintage, real grown-up piece of furniture for towel storage.


So after committing to utilizing this cool vintage low storage piece for towels instead of using a tall cabinet that coordinated with a double sink vanity cabinet, I decided to hang my new artwork (which was also lacking color by the way so the wall would still need more color) over it as sort of an inspiration for me to work on myself more.  I  have a tenancy sometimes to care more about what a wall looks like than what I look like, and I actually have to remind myself to wear a little mascara and blow dry my hair every once in a while.  So this beautiful print will now serve as my inspiration to glam it up more often.  


This is certainly a big improvement over the old look, but, just as before, it was STILL a little boring looking to me.  Since the towel storage situation was finally sorted out, I was okay with finally spending the time to paint the wall with a fun design and a little more color.  Chevron patterns are really big in design lately, and I’ve been wanting to paint a chevron wall so bad, so I decided to add a little zigzag funk to all these pieces of collected love I used in this room……....the bubble chandelier, the David Bromstad “Daydream” print, and that awesome vintage cabinet.  Painting a harlequin pattern on the wall was another idea I had because of the shape of the handles on the retro cabinet, but that seemed a little more feminine than what I had in mind.  I’ve really been trying to keep my husband in mind more when designing our spaces because I tend to think too girly sometimes if I’m not concentrating on him.  So, the chevron pattern seemed a lot more masculine to me, like Charlie Brown's shirt.  hehe

When painting a design onto a wall, I always start with a sketch to get the scale in perspective.  I don’t have any fancy software that does this for me, but I always just sketch on simple graph paper using one box equals one foot as a scale.  Here’s my simple sketch for the chevron pattern bathroom wall.


When painting a pattern, I do find it important to sketch it out and also to make a notation of the part that will be painted - in this case the “yellow” part (above) is the part to be painted.  When the design becomes more complicated, it’s helpful to place a piece of tape on the areas that DO NOT get paint. 


This was an easy pattern to tape out using a measuring tape, a four foot level, and by following the measurements of the sketch.


Yellow or gold was the obvious color choice for the zigzags because similar tones were used as an accent color in the master bedroom with yellow wingback chairs flanking the bed, gold vases on the dresser, and the color yellow scattered in the art and fabric.  I didn’t use the exact golden yellow paint in the bathroom as was used on the stripes in the master bedroom because I was almost out of that paint, but what I did use was a similar color that I picked up a couple of years ago from the “oops” pile at a home improvement store for literally just a couple of bucks.  It is a Ralph Lauren “matte” mis-mixed color that I initially bought to use on the office ceiling.  I decided to change the office wall color to gold instead of the ceiling, but I didn’t want to use the “matte” paint on the walls in the office so it has been sitting unused ever since.  So the texture of the chevron pattern wall in this master bathroom will be a mixture of both a semi-gloss finish for the gray and a matte finish for the gold zigzags. 


Looking nice, huh?


So after four years, that wall finally got it’s color on!   YES!  Don’t the zigzags go well with that awesome vintage hardware? And I think that the golden yellow color of the zigzag also helps the brass hardware on that cabinet to fit in with the rest of the chrome hardware going into the bathroom.


The yellow gold color on the bathroom’s back wall also really warms that room and lures you into the bathroom from the sitting area, a/k/a the “waiting room”, located in the master bedroom, just outside the master bathroom.  


The sitting area outside the bathroom is the part of the master bedroom that we were considering renovating and expanding into a new and improved master bathroom.  But for now, it’s  just a nice place to sit and read, or a comfy place to sit and look out the window into the back yard………………….


……or merely just a nice place to sit and peer at the beautiful new bathroom wall.

This Home Girl LOVES it!

Thanks for stopping by Homies!  I hope you like the new look as much as I do!

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