Gray is the New White

Remember my wall paint disaster? It has been fixed! Our entryway and our kitchen is now a lovely shade of gray. My husband likes it — especially when it’s cased in white trim –  but he kept shaking his head saying “Gray, huh? I can’t believe we just painted gray walls.” I proclaimed, “Gray is the new white!” and then I realized the truth to that statement.

Everywhere I look, I see gray walls.

Remember Jane’s apartment in the movie 27 Dresses?

Gray can be romantic…

Masculine…

Feminine…

Or funky…

See? It’s the new white.

So now you’re wondering if I’m going to show you MY gray walls yet. Nope.

You’ll have to wait.

Wait for what?

Some stencil magic! And some trim work!
Yeah!!! You’ll see the whole process soon, I promise.

A Wall Paint Disaster

It’s easy enough to share our successes with the blogging world. I’m typically proud of the projects I have posted here for all to see…but I’m going to be brave here and show you a major mistake. I’m a teensy bit embarrassed that I even thought this would work.

My husband and I are not fans of white walls. Let me rephrase that — Erin is not a fan of white walls, and Jeff just goes with it. I’m one of those odd people who enjoys painting, so if he’s not doing the work he doesn’t have much say. :) However….we went overboard: Easter exploded in our house.

We have a split-level home. You walk up the stairs right into a hallway, which is open to our living room, which is open to the dining area, which is open to our kitchen. Also, at the moment you walk into our entry, you can see into that hallway and kitchen through a cut-out window in the wall. Our colorful adventure began when we removed the wallpaper from the tall entry walls and painted them Gaucamole (Pittsburgh Paint color). We were going for more of a sage hue, but the guacamole ended up being a bit brighter than planned although we liked it.

Then we painted the rest of the entryway and our hallway and living room a very soft yellow (Pittsburgh Paint Winter Wheat). Here you can see the yellow in our entry wall + a hint of the guacamole:

And here is another viewpoint, please ignore the random splotch that we patched and haven’t yet painted, and the baby gate I’ve been meaning to stain to match…(too many projects, so little time!):

(Photo taken at night…VERYYY bad lighting!)

We have long sage green curtains on our living room window and patio door that ties in the green from the entryway. My husband refused to allow me to paint our kitchen yellow, so those walls have remained white. And when every wall in your house is painted, the white walls look unfinished and that drives me insane.

So let’s see…..creamy yellow + guacamole green + ___________? We’ve struggled with our kitchen color choice, until I saw some pretty very light blue/gray kitchens on Pinterest that I fell in love with. I thought that could be a safe choice.

We took paint swatches home in different shades of gray and blue. The one we settled on was more blue than I originally anticipated choosing, but I went with it anyway. I foolishly thought that the kitchen was far enough away from the entryway that it wouldn’t be a big deal if we were adding another “color” to the palette. I neglected to realize the close proximity of the green curtains to this new blue wall. I painted some edges, painted around the outlets…then turned around to look at the results…and then noticed the irony of the situation that my stepson was watching the movie “Hop” at the very moment that I realized our house had become a giant Easter egg.

 

 DISASTER! Now what? Part of me wanted to start with a clean slate – Let’s paint everything WHITE again! My husband would freak.

I scoured the internet and Pinterest for some saving grace. I don’t want to scrap the yellow, I actually love that color. It brightens up our home. It’s the “other” colors we have a hard time with in an open concept area. I did some research (uhh…maybe should have done that first!) on open-concept living areas and how to paint them. One suggestion was to use a color (like our yellow) and any other walls/areas that are connected to make them a more neutral color (either the same, or use different shades/intensities).

So now I was on to something. Paint our kitchen and the entry walls the same color. Duh. That way, when you look from our entry up into the kitchen, it’s cohesive. That makes sense. So I thought maybe we should paint our kitchen green. Then I had visions of my dad coming for a visit, proud of our Packer-esque home, and trying to convince him it wasn’t some intrinsic desire to support his favorite NFL team.  Needless to say, I continued scouring the ‘net….

Then I found the ultimate inspiration!

I’m absolutely in dreamy-eyed love with this color scheme…the wallpaper…the painted ceiling, everything! The dark woods even match our laminate! We wouldn’t be able to paint the ceiling (although I love the idea for different spaces) but we already have the yellow part covered. The wallpaper could easily be redone with a stenciled wall, right? I’ve never done that but you know how I like a new project. I swiftly checked out stencils online and found my favorite here:

But I was pretty sure I’ve seen stencils at Hobby Lobby, so I checked them out first. There, they only cost $16.99 compared to the $50+ price tag online. I haven’t decided which version I like yet, but I’m waiting for Hobby Lobby to restock their shelves this Thursday!

So here’s the plan to fix my major color faux-pas and make a more neutral and happy home:

1. Prime/paint over the guacamole — get rid of it completely! It will be  either Ashen Gray or Driftwood Gray (DutchBoy colors):

2. Stencil over the entry walls with white design

3.  Paint our kitchen walls either the same shade of gray or one shade darker.

4. Decide whether to scrap the sage green curtains in our living/dining area or keep em.

5. Swap out the matting on the gallery wall pics.

I can already feel the “ahhh” moment ahead of me. So excited!

Now, hubby isn’t so sure about my newest “vision”. He thinks gray and yellow don’t go together. I say, YES THEY DO!

(These shades match the closest to what I’m envisioning)

Do you need more convincing that gray and yellow work well together? Check out my last blog!

Now I just have to pick between the warmer version of gray or the cooler version to go with Winter Wheat. The problem is, in person I like the warmer tone better, and on the computer I like the cool one!

Now, please make me feel better for my terrible idea that resulted in a house fit for the Easter Bunny….

Have you ever made some major painting mistakes? How did you “fix” it?

 

Handpainted Glasses

Even if you don’t consider yourself artistic, painting glasses can be a fun and simple project. Who doesn’t want to sip their Friday evening Merlot out of a personalized wine glass?

Here’s how I tackled personalized wine glasses for my bridesmaids’ gifts.

Supplies Needed:
Glasses (purchased my goblet-style water glasses from the Dollar Store)
Vitrea 160 Glass Paint (from Michael’s) – jars or outlining tubes
Small paint brushes
Printer+Paper+Tape
Oven
Toothpick
Rubbing Alcohol
Optional: Rhinestones and E-6000 glue

Instructions

1. Clean your glasses with the rubbing alcohol and dry completely.
2. Print off your name in a fancy font, playing around with the size you want it to be on the glass. I used a script font but also embellished more swirls onto the ends of the names.
3. Cut out the name and using a piece of double-sided tape, tape the name into the inside of the glass. Make sure you round it inside just right, so that the name will not swoop down in the middle or the sides but will be perfectly straight across.
4. Using an outlining tube (test on a piece of paper first so you know how hard to squeeze!), gently trace over your name. Go nice and slow. You could also use the jar paints with a small brush.
 – I made some mistakes and smudges. Don’t despair! If it is just a tiny mistake, move on and let it dry a little bit before you go back and fix it with a toothpick. If it’s a HUGE mistake and you want to start over, wipe it with alcohol again to clean it.
5. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes.
6. Take a wood toothpick, and fix up any edges or spots where you got too much paint, or use it to clean up your lines. I learned that you can rub off the paint with the toothpick rather easily the entire time, as long as you haven’t baked it yet.
7. I went back and added white highlights to my names with another tube of outlining paint after the black was completely dry.
8. For the bases, I simply used a sponge brush and the jar paints, sponging it onto the base and up the stems. I used the toothpick trick to clean up the line where the bowl of the glass begins.
9. Using a small brush, I painted simple five-petal flowers in random sizes, leaving the centers empty.
10. Let dry for 24 hours.
11. Bake in the oven according to the directions on the paint. The trick is to put the glasses upside-down on a pan into the oven BEFORE you preheat it. When your preheat alarm goes off, begin timing. When they are done baking, open the door but leave the glasses in the oven to let them cool slowly.
– They are now completely dishwasher safe! I’m serious…I’ve washed mine many times and it is still in great shape, no chips in the paint at all.
12. Using a toothpick again, and some E-6000 glue, you can now glue rhinestones onto the glass. The trick with E-6000 is to put it a tiny dab onto the glass, let it cure for a minute, then smoosh the rhinestone onto it. You may want to practice that a few times first. The E-6000 is quite smelly (do this in a well-ventilated area) but it makes the rhinestones stay put! However, I do suggest hand-washing to care for glasses with rhinestones to increase the longevity.

Done!

Our groomsmen got a fancy – yet manly – monogrammed beer glass:

(Glasses are from Ikea, and I used Parchment font in 200pt for the monogram)

They all loved their glasses!

UPDATE 8/17/2012

Another set of bridesmaid wine glasses:

And another set for a gift:

DIY Miche Bag Covers

Last fall a coworker of mine had a Miche party. If you don’t know what a Miche bag is, it’s a line of handbags that come with a “base” purse and interchangeable covers:

My purse-wearing style mirrors my shoe-wearing style: I’m a seasonal buyer and I will use a purse until it’s dead or too winter/summery. A Miche bag seemed to be a great idea for me. When I bought my demi size, I only bought one cover, which I still love.  A couple of months ago, my step-mother-in-law (SMIL) became a fan of the Miche bag after seeing mine and got her own.

I have kept my eye out for the new cover styles that Miche releases and I haven’t been in love with anything enough to buy it. And the calendar tells me it’s Spring and that means it’s time for an update! I thought to myself, “I wonder how I would go about making my own cover?” and the wheels began to turn.

At first I thought maybe I could do a crash-and-burn 1 minute cover by simply safety pinning some fabric around my current cover. Then I had visions of walking across the street to work and my purse falling apart, because maybe the safety pins would negate the magnet used to hold the cover to the base? I decided to consult my SMIL because she is an amazing seamstress and we both thought what a genius idea!! Make your OWN Miche cover!

Then I thought “Someone has HAD to have thought of this before, right?” A quick trip down the Google highway and there it was at Make It Sparkly Mama!’s blog:

Dang it! I can never have an original idea.

I quickly forwarded the link to my SMIL. We were both excited to give it a try over the weekend. But I had 4 other projects to work on first (baby nursery artwork, bridesmaid earrings, card box, being a mommy) so I didn’t get to it. However, SMIL is an amazingly creative and crafty woman herself. She’s rather handy around a sewing machine too, so it’s no surprise that she whipped up three different versions for her Miche bag:

This one is my favorite:

DIY Version #1:

She said that she glanced at the tutorial but kind of did her own thing. Cut out a piece of card board, using your original cover as a template for the shape. Then hot glue your fabric around into the inside.  SMIL also got fancy swapping out the handles, using 2 different layers of fabrics, and adding stitching around the edges – sewing right through the cardboard! This is a fun, spring version:

The only problem she ran into was finding magnets that were strong enough and thin enough that the cover wouldn’t be sticking out too far from the base. The jury’s still out on where to find the perfect magnets.

DIY Version #2:

I finally got a chance to try my own version, and instead of making a whole new cover, I covered my cover! Does that makes sense?

Essentially, I made a pillow sham for my cover, using my existing cover as a template. After 2 versions, I think I have the hang of it. They are totally imperfect up close but look great if you don’t inspect the sewing job! You definitely need to give yourself a little wiggle room (about a quarter inch around from the template you draw), as you have to shimmy your actual cover into the “sham”.

They are totally not perfect…but I’m hoping I’ll get more inspiration to get better and better at this!

 What do you think? Are you a Miche fan? Are you willing to DIY your Miche cover?

 

 

PS. I picked a winner from last week’s drawing and I emailed you – I will wait for confirmation before I announce it! So check your email folks!

Birthday + Giveaway = A Great Week!

It’s my birth week! Birthdays = gifts!! So now you’re thinking “Wow, this chick is materialistic.” But guess what?

I’m going to give YOU a gift!!

One lucky winner will choose a custom piece made by yours truly. Custom piece of what, you ask? Well…anything you’ve seen on my site! Need a little reminder of what you could choose if you win?

Custom Earrings

 

A fabric hair flower on a clip or headband

An applique onesie or shirt for your child

One custom 12×12 canvas painting

Puffy fabric letters (a name or initials/monogram)

Here are a few other options – I have not yet posted blogs about these but they will be happening soon!

A bird’s nest necklace

A hand-painted, personalized wine glass or beer stein

How to WIN:

1. You must subscribe to my blog via email on the link to the right (if you’re already done so, you’re one step ahead!).  Please notice that after you enter your email address and the captcha, you must go into your email and click the link to activate the subscription — otherwise you will not be a “subscriber”.

2. Leave a comment below! About what? Hmm…tell me about your favorite project I’ve done, or something YOU have done that you’re rather proud of, or something you’d like to see me try to do or make a tutorial about.

3. On Saturday, April 14th, I will randomly choose a winner  (using random.org)  and email you if you have won (emails will come from fairlycrafty@hotmail.com). I’ll wait to hear back from you before announcing the winner on my blog. The winner gets to choose their Fairly Crafty piece and customize it. I will ask you for your mailing address if you win (I’m not a stalker, I promise) so I can send it when I’m done.

Who wants to win!?

I Love Friday!…and Burlap

My first memory (okay, my only memory) of ever working with burlap is from elementary art class learning embroidery stitches on burlap with yarn. I’ve only recently discovered that burlap has so many uses — not only kid’s crafts but even for weddings.

(Click the photo to follow the source)

Burlap + Ruffles

Monogrammed Pillow

Burlap-Backed Book Shelves

You Can Print on Burlap!

Ruffled Bed Skirt

Interesting Chandelier

Carrots (Because I really needed a last-minute Easter craft!)

 

A few burlap flower tutorials:

A burlap flower wreath:

Pretty Lamp

 Rustic Ring Bearer Pillow

Curtains

 

Is your love for burlap blooming now? Happy Friday!

 

Nursery Art: Inspired by the Bedding Set

When my friend Sara asked me to make some nursery art for her, I said “Of course!” I thought she’d find something she liked online and ask me to replicate it. Easy as pie. However, her instructions were:

Ok, so I’m wondering if you can paint me two pictures of buttons for the baby room. I can explain it better, but if you look online at Toyland by Kidsline, its the bedroom set we’re going with. They have buttons galore and I want something fun like the buttons but without all of the bears, etc.

As I’m sure some of you Martha Stewarts out there who read my blog have noticed, I usually find inspiration from something someone else has already done. (Usually=99% of the time). I’ll toot my own horn that I can replicate things but I’m a bit slower and much more critical of myself when I have to think up ideas out of thin air. Hence, every painting/drawing I’ve done I have given away to someone — if I had to see it all the time I’d criticize it non-stop!

In this case, I did have the nursery bedding as inspiration:

Sara knew she wanted two pieces of art to hang diagonally above the changing table or dresser. I bought two 12×12 canvases from Michael’s and started with a blue to green gradient on each. Then came the hard part, where my mind went blank. I had a big bag of buttons already, so I knew I’d use them somehow. The next thing I did — which should have been the last thing but I was struggling for inspiration to take hold — was put a line of grosgrain ribbon across the bottom and tops of both canvases and hot glued buttons across it (I apparently didn’t take a photo of this step so you’ll have to keep reading to see it!)

Sara wanted her baby’s name on one of the canvases, and since she gave me creative license to use whatever I wanted except the bear from the bedding, I went with the cute giraffe. I wavered between simply using paint on the whole project — painting the animals and the name — but then with the buttons on top of that I thought it would look too plain. I wanted more texture.

Enter: Scrapbooking Queen-friend-coworker. We brainstormed and I decided to use paper and mod podge on the canvases. If I could just find the right paper pattern for the giraffe, she could cut one out similar to the bedding set’s version. I searched three stores and didn’t find what I wanted, because I’m really picky and I wanted it to MATCH the giraffe:

So, if you can’t find it, MAKE IT. I grabbed my brown paper and hand-drew the giraffe’s shape. Then I took my cream paint and painted the nose (snout? what is it called on a giraffe?) and painted a squiggly-line pattern that matched the bedding set with a fine-tip brush.

I cut it out and placed it onto my canvas.

Consulted Scrapbooking Queen-friend-coworker again, and we decided to cut the words “Cute as a Button” out for the giraffe canvas and that she’d cut out the baby’s name for the other.

Mod podge, mod podge, mod podge. I think I did atleast 5 layers once all the paper was on. I also added “hooves” and a tail to the giraffe. Before the final layer of mod podge, I use black textured paint (the same paint I used for our entryway sign) to make the giraffe’s eye and smile show.

When the last layer of mod podge was dry, the canvas with “Owen” didn’t look finished. I arranged the buttons and hot glued them onto the “O”. Here’s a close-up:

Close-up of the giraffe:

End result! (I apologize for the poor photo quality – I really need to start taking my blog photos with a real camera and not my iPhone.)

Sara received the canvases in the mail yesterday and she claims she loves them! :)

What do you think?

 

Easy Drop Earrings (Tutorial)

If you are thinking about dabbling in jewelry making, start with earrings. You can make beautiful earrings in under 30 seconds! All you need is a simple set of tools and a few basic skills. Do I sound like an infomercial yet? 

I’ve given you a tutorial on how to make the cascade earrings that my bridesmaids wore:

And I’ll admit they were a difficult task (very time-consuming compared to the pair I’m about to show you). But if you are a beginner, I’d recommend something simple and pretty like this:

I recently made 9 pairs of these pretty drop earrings for a bridal party. They are wearing charcoal dresses with accents/flowers of pinks and purples.

Supply List:

Jewelry making tools – pliers, round nose pliers, and snips (mine shown here are mini tools which are definitely sufficient if you don’t plan to get too crazy with jewelry making but want a basic set)
Headpins
Earring Finding – I used sterling silver plated ones so they are safe for sensitive ears
Beads – mix and match until you find the combination you love

Tutorial:

1. Slide your beads onto the headpin.

2. Pinch the headpin as close to the top bead as possible.

3. Holding that pinch, bend the headpin over it and down, until you have a loop. No need to be perfect – you can squeeze it together later.

3. Snip the headpin on the inside of the loop. (OR you can get fancy here and try some wire wrapping)

4. Use your pliers to squeeze that loop shut as “tight” as you can. You don’t want your earring slipping off the finding.

5. Depending what kind of earring finding you have, either slide it on or open the loop and close it.

This can literally take you 30 seconds to do each earring.  For this version, I spent under $5/pair. And I’m really sad that I didn’t buy extra beads to make myself a pair. :)

Click here to see my Cascade Earring Tutorial