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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