Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chevron Accent Wall

I love a good classic chevron pattern on a wall but decided to change it up just a bit.  My inspiration came from the pattern on the pillow in the lower right corner.  It has "chevron" style, but different.

After finding this inspiration I researched all kinds of blogs about painting chevron stripes on the wall.  The one I found to be most helpful was this one (click here).
Following Suzanne's instructions I first taped vertical stripes down the wall using Frog Tape (this tape did seem to do a little better than regular painters blue tape at keeping the lines clean).  I started in the middle- taped it, then found the middle on both sides of that -taped it, then found the middle of each remaining section- and yes, taped it.  Once again following Suzanne's instructions I made marks down the painters tape every 9".  Then you simply connect the dots so to speak with your tape, going from the top of one mark - diagonally down to the next mark on your right (or left).

Once that was done, I cleaned up the points where the tape met with a razor blade 
(carful not to cut the drywall).
Then I used the razor blade to cut out the vertical tape on every other "V".  My eyes were going cross eyed a little on this part but it all worked out.

Once that was done I was ready for paint!  I started with one coat of the existing wall color just to make double sure I didn't get a lot of "bleeding" under the tape.  Then two coats of my grey color ("storm" by Benjamin Moore).  Finally remove the tape while the paint is still wet.  

Why the unfinished look?  I'm lazy and didn't want to bother painting areas that future cabinetry will be covering!  It looks terrible - I know - but use your imagination!

I know many of you are thinking that this looks like way too much work - but the taping can be done a little at a time and painting another day if needed.  I think I spent about an hour each day working on this wall and it only took 3 days.  The only sad part to me is that the wall isn't very big so you don't get to see more of the pattern.  It would be very fun on a larger wall.  

The room still needs a lot of work (mostly cabinetry) before we can call it "transformed" but this was a small step in that direction.

Friday, October 12, 2012


So this last weekend I decided to use my camera to take pictures of something other than my house!  I really have no idea what I am doing when it comes to photography but I am trying to learn.  One thing I have learned is that I need to take the opportunity to do it more!  When I bought my dSLR a few years ago I had the intention of taking some kind of photography course.  Well over two years later - I have never taken a course and probably won't for a long time (busy mama)!  The sad part is that my kids were growing and changing right before my eyes and I wasn't taking pictures of them with my camera because I didn't feel like I knew enough.  Clarification: of course I was taking pictures of them just not the kind below.  Then a friend told me about this website that walks you through how to use your camera to take better pictures in 31 days.  Click here for the website.

I haven't finished the 31 day course yet but I have already learned a lot - I don't think that necessarily means I'm already taking better pictures but I hope to get there! The most important thing is that it gave me the push to at least go out and try.  And after getting these photos I just feel bad about not doing it sooner!  

Of  course I am only showing pictures that turned out good.  I took a lot and ended up throwing out almost half - but I think even professionals have to throw out some too! 

Some tips that have helped me :
Find a good location, these pictures were taken in Midway, Utah (Huber Grove to be exact).
Search the internet for photographers in your area and see if you can tell where they have gone to take pictures - or just ask a local photographer spots they reccommend!
If the subject is dressed in darker colors their faces can stand out as the "highlight" of the picture (avoid wearing white so that it doesn't compete with the face for attention).

Go on a day that is overcast so that you don't have to worry about direct sunlight on peoples faces, or weird shadows.  If that is not possible than try to go early in the day or late in the afternoon.  I broke both those rules on this day which worked out fine because the trees provided a good canopy from the direct sunlight and I made sure their faces were in the shade.  Just be aware of the sunlight coming through the trees and the shadows.  After you take one picture, look at it to see if there is anything that needs to be adjusted or tweaked before you take a bunch more.

   Because I have never done this I knew I would be at a loss for how I should position my kids so I "pinned" a bunch of pictures and poses I liked on Pinterest and used those for my inspiration.  Basically I just tried lots of poses, lots of different spots, and I moved up, down, left, and right with my camera so that hopefully some of the pictures would turn out.  Also I did edit the pictures using my Mac iPhoto program to enhance or boost the colors or to crop the image.

Below is another great location that I recently went to to take pictures of my sister's family.  It's in Farmington on the trail that goes behind Lagoon. 

My hope is to encourage anyone else out there that is in the same position I was- frozen with a great tool but no idea of how to best use it.  What have you got to loose?!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Past and Present

 Last Year:

This Year:
I decided to change out the wreath on my front door since it looked a little too small, plus I found a great place to put the small one - you'll see that below.  I made the new wreath from an inspiration photo I had on Pinterest.
I got all my wreath supplies at Hobby Lobby.  The wood vine wreath was $6 (I actually paid $3.60 though with a 40% off coupon). The bag off moss was $6 which I just pulled apart and hot glued in place.  Finally, the pumpkins were on sale for $0.75 a piece, they are on picks so I just shoved them in place on the wreath.  A very easy wreath to make and the total comes to $15!
  Finally I added a couple of pumpkin towers by the sides of the door.  The pumpkins were orange and I painted them white, then just before the paint was dry I used a wet paper towel to wipe some areas off so that the orange showed through.  The top pumpkin is actually from all a dollar but the bottom two are from Hobby Lobby (make sure to buy them when they are half off!).  I hot glued the tower together then placed them in the urns that usually hold topiaries (see above).

I liked the pumpkin picks so much I bought extra and added them to these indoor wreaths as well!

Last Year:

This Year:
Obviously the big change is our fireplace and built-ins.

The smaller wreath from my front door now sits on the mantel and I added some other halloween touches to the bookshelves.  Not much -I know, but I used decorations I already had on hand so this decor cost me nothing!

The rest of the Halloween Decor in my house stayed pretty much the same as last year.  
To see that click here and here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

(Another) Boys Bedroom Transformation




 I knew paint would help the white trim areas stand out and it looks a lot better!  The blue paint is Benjamin Moore "Newburyport Blue."  The frames are from Ikea and the prints I found here, here, and here!   For the first two pictures I imported them into Picasa so that I could resize them to be 3600x3600 or 12x12.  The last one I was able to get customized from Etsy.

The bed sheets are from amazon, the grey quilt and sham are from Target, and the orange throw is from Ikea.  The beds themselves were a find from Down East Home, a local store.  The grey curtains were a closeout from Target, and the white wood curtain rod is from Lowe's.

 The lamp above is a pottery barn kids lamp that I found at Down East Home, I added the orange ribbon trim to the shade.  The large orange clothespin on the bottom shelf of the nightstand I found at Hobby Lobby for $4 (half off).  The airplane was a kit from a book that my boys aunt sent.  The football pictures below I found at TJ Maxx Homegoods.

 This wall is still needing some artwork - once I figure that out I'll be sure to share!

This room was really hard for me to photograph, all the pictures with the window in them turned out so dark!  I'm still learning!  The walls are dark but not so dark that it is a cave, the above picture is the best representation of what the room really looks like.  I'm loving the Navy blue and Orange combo!