Painted Stone!

Between the end of the school year, my children’s swim schedule and the Holiday weekend, things have been pretty crazy around here, but I have managed to squeeze in a small project.

I am not a big fan of red and brown brick tones, but I love painted brick, and the look is popping up all over Roswell, so why not painted stone?

Our house was built back in the 70’s by a builder, for his family, so it is pretty darn solid. But the stone that was used around the fireplace and on the front porch looks as though it was dug straight out of a Vulcan rock quarry and should have been used as rip rap to fill a drainage ditch.

A project just waiting to happen!

This little porch has listened to many summer storms roll in and has been the seat of numerous gatherings, but I have never liked how dark it is under there. The gray rock is just plain ugly plus the decor needs a bit of an update.

I had some leftover Kilz paint from another project and decided to water it down and paint my stone. There were a couple of inches of paint left in the bucket that I added a good bit of water too and then I just slapped it on the rock walls. It soaked in the more porous areas, and the holes and divets that the paint did not get into I just left as is. I didn’t have the time for perfection nor did I think this paint job required it.

Just this little area already has the light bouncing off the white paint into the living room!

I am so excited about how this project turned out. I will post the whole porch redo soon.

Hello Sunshine

In my last post, I created window panels for my daughter’s room (just scroll down to view). I wanted her to have a little surprise every time she opened the curtains, and I thought this half sun would be a fun message in the morning. I will follow with a tutorial on how to create ‘Hello Sunshine.’ If you are not up for a craft right now, I will be happy to make you one. The dimensions and a price will be included at the end of my post as well as a list of supplies and steps for creating your own sun.

 

The half sun is made from a piece of heavy drop cloth I had left over from another project. A piece of canvas will work as long as the fabric is not flimsy. You want it to be stiff enough to support the raffia. A hula hoop from the dollar store was used as a guide to make my half circle.

I created my own font, something whimsical and not too perfect. Keep in mind this is for an eleven-year-old girl. After cutting my letters out and deciding on the spacing I traced them on the half circle using a fabric marker.

I chose an iridescent white for my letters and a bright yellow for the sun. Because this is the first sun I am making, I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. Next time It will be easier to paint the whole thing yellow first then add the letters.

After finishing up the yellow background, I outlined the letters with gold. All the paint is Jacquard Fabric Paint. They are washable and dry cleanable. You can find Jacquard paints at Blick Art Materials or Amazon.

After finishing the paint, I added raffia trim to the bottom of my sun. The trim was measured to the desired length plus an additional inch or so on either side to fold over to the back. I used fabric glue along the edge and helped the raffia stay in place with pins while the glue dried. I keep a set of old pins that I don’t use for sewing set aside for projects like this. If you don’t have a padded table to pin into, you can use clips from the office supply store to keep the trim in place while it is drying.

I left about an inch of trim on either side to fold over to the back, glued it to the back, and held it in place with a clip until it dried. A piece of canvas was used to cover the raffia on the back so it looks finished. This was also glued and kept in place with a clip until it dried.

There are a number of ways to hang your project when it is finished. You could just simply tack it to the wall across the top with some gold thumbtacks. You could even find or paint yellow tacks so they blend in with the sun. Velcro works well if you don’t mind sticking a strip of it to the wall. My sun was going to be hanging above some window trim so I needed it to come out from the wall a half an inch or it wouldn’t hang straight. I cut some more tabs out of my fabric and glued them to the backside of my sun leaving a space in the middle for a rod to slide through. They were spaced out enough so the sun wouldn’t sag anywhere. I then slid a small rod through the tabs. This is just an old window blind adjuster that I had (sometimes it pays to be a packrat!). Two small hooks were screwed into the wall at the appropriate width so the rod lays inside of the hooks. I will go back later and paint the hooks the same color as the walls so they don’t show up.

In the evening before bed, we pull the curtain.

In the morning HELLO SUNSHINE.

Supplies:

Scissors

Ruler or tape measure

Pins and clips

Paper and pencil to create your font or print from the computer

Fabric marker

Fabric paints

Fabric glue

Paint brushes

A small rod

Hooks

Canvas or stiff light colored fabric

Raffia trim

A hula hoop or something to use for a circular guide.

Letters, create your own or find a font online.

Step by step:

  1. Determine your dimensions. My sun is approximately 28″ wide at the top and 16″ long without the raffia. You could make yours smaller or larger.
  2. Find a guide to make your half circle. My sun is a little bigger than a half circle.
  3. Make or print your font for your letters. Cut out and place them on the sun and trace them with a fabric marker. At this point, if you are confident you can choose to paint your semi-circle all yellow right now. After it dries you can draw your letters. I painted my letters first. My font is a bit hard to measure. The upper case S is 7″ high and 4.75″ at it’s widest. The uppercase H is 7.5″ high and 4″ at it’s widest. The lowercase letters are approximately 3.5″ to 4.0″ high and about 2.0″ wide.
  4. After I painted my letters I filled in the background with bright yellow fabric paint.
  5. My raffia trim is 12 to 13″ long. I measured the length I needed to go around the bottom of my semi-circle plus I added an inch to each side to wrap around the back. The total length was 50 inches.
  6. I used a line of fabric glue along the edge of my sun and then added the raffia carefully pinning it along the way, clips from the office supply store also work. If you have a sewing machine you could also sew the raffia onto the sun. The glue will ensure your fabric won’t fray, but if you are concerned you could always run a stitch around it before adding the glue.
  7. Once your glue dries, remove the pins or clips and flip your fabric over. You should have an inch of raffia left over on either side. Glue the leftover trim to the back and hold it in place with a clip until it dries.
  8. Cut a small piece of fabric to cover the ends of the raffia. Glue the tabs in place and hold it with a clip. This will ensure your raffia will not unravel and it looks cleaner.
  9. Once everything dries you are ready to figure out how you want to hang your sun. As I said previously tacks or velcro will work, but mine sun was hanging over some window trim and I needed it to come out from the wall a half an inch.
  10. Cut tabs from your canvas. Mine are 1.25″. Glue the top and bottom part of the tab leaving a space in the center for a rod to slide through. Pin or clip until they dry.
  11. Figure out the dimensions for the hooks. My hooks are 28.5″ apart.
  12. Once your tabs are dry you can slide your rod through the tabs and place it on the hooks.

If you decide you would rather just have one made the cost is $45.00 plus shipping. Just let me know the dimensions you need and how you would like to hang your Hello Sunshine. Hooks and wooden dowel included.  Total dimensions of my sun are 28″ wide by 16″ long without the raffia. With the raffia, the total dimensions are 50″ wide and 28″ long. You can contact me at Creativeandthankful@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Window Works for my Tween.

My daughter’s bedroom like the rest of my house is an ongoing process. I just created these window panels for her room. She was eleven in April so I wanted something simple but a design that would still reflect her youth. I found these drapes at my local thrift store. They are a cotton-linen blend in a light oatmeal, and they are lined. The curtains were a bit too small for the window frames and too formal for Zella’s style, but nothing that a seam ripper couldn’t handle.

 

After ripping out all the pleats, I washed and dried the panels. They need a little repairing along the seams, so I ironed, pinned and stitched around the top and sides of the panels.

I created my font and cut the letters out to trace onto the fabric. There are thousands of fonts online to choose from, but I knew I would get lost in the search and waste a lot of time. Plus I wanted the letters to look like something my daughter would create, youthful and not too perfect.

Sewing markers or chalk works well for tracing on fabric. I spaced my letters where I wanted them and began tracing. The design needed to be high enough above the dresser and staggered on the two panels.

 

I chose gold to outline and fill my letters. Jacquard Fabric paints are washable and dry cleanable. I have used them on countless projects and always have good results. You can find them at Blick Art Materials or on Amazon.

I outlined my letters with a turquoise marker but didn’t like how dark it turned out, so I traced over the blue with a silver marker and still wasn’t pleased with the results. I decided to paint over the outline with silver fabric paint and was finally happy with the letters.

The finished product eco-friendly, personalized window panels for my sweet girl.

Find out what is behind Zella’s drapes in my next post.

 

9 Tips to Keeping Your Cool for the End of the School Year

The biggest complaint I hear from Moms around this time of year is that there is too much to do with very little time to do it in. Honestly, why do schools pack everything in at the end of the year? Between school concerts, sports championships, field days, and the other million and one activities that school’s pack in for the end of the year, you can feel like you are just trying to keep up. Below are tips to keep organized and help you have the best end of the school year possible.

Planners and Calendars are life savers! Writing down what you have to do and keeping track of important dates will add structure to the constant swirl of crazy. If you have multiple kids or need to keep track of different family obligations, try a color coding system that works for you. For example, I have two kids, so I assign one color to each of them. So, when I look in my calendar, I know exactly which events belong to which child.

This is extremely important! Prioritizing your tasks helps you decide what is most important. Focus on the tasks that need to get done by a certain date as well as tasks that you NEED to do. Push off those tasks that you WANT to do. Sorry, but deep cleaning your entire house or trying that super complicated recipe that you found on Pintrest will have to wait till the summertime.

I know, I know! Your weekends are a time for you to relax, but if you do small tasks that can help you save time and relieve stress during the week, your week will go so much smoother. Try meal prepping your kid’s lunches and family dinner, packing bags for every sport that they have going on that week (so they can grab and go), doing laundry, running errands, or baking those cupcakes for field day. If you have difficulty getting yourself motivated to do those tasks, reward yourself between each task with something that you want to do like watching an episode of your favorite TV show, reading a few chapters in a book, or exercising.

No matter how young your child is, they can help you out in some way. Impress upon your kids that you need their help. Ask them to clean up after themselves after dinner, putting their toys away, getting ready for school on their own, or simply having them listen to you! When you let your children help you, it gives them responsibility as well as appreciation for all that you do for them!

If you do have a lot to do, at least have fun with it! Try to make tasks a family event. This will help the task be completed faster, and you can have some family fun in the meantime. If you need to bake a hundred cupcakes, have your kids help you! If you are getting stressed by all of the clutter or toys everywhere in your house, put some music on and tell your kids to try to get all of the toys put away in the time of one song. Turning it into a game adds an element of excitement for your children. It can be easy to get stressed about everything in your life, but remember to take a step back and enjoy the small activities and moments that you have with your children.

Work with your mom/parent group to trade off tasks. Car pooling, baking goods for the bake sale, or coordinating events for your children can all be divided and conquered. Working together helps everyone! Also, you can assign different days of the week to have all of the kids go to one mom’s house to give the others some alone time to relax or get stuff done. Really utilize the whole “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality.

Please, please take breaks! Every mom needs a break at least once a day. I know, as a parent, that we have one of the hardest jobs in the world because our job never ends. However, you need to take breaks whether it’s for 5 minutes or longer in order to recharge and be the best parent that you can be. If you are honest with your kids, they will understand that you need a break or a timeout. Please take time for yourself, every person in your family will thank you for it!

You don’t have to sign up or do everything! Your kids don’t need to sign up or do everything! Do NOT over schedule yourself because you will get burnt out. If you don’t want to volunteer for your kids’ field day, then don’t do it. If you don’t want to make cupcakes for the fair, don’t do it. Figure out what is most important to you and your family, and make sure that you do that stuff. Everything else is just extra.

If you need help getting everything done, get some! Hire a babysitter, home helper, or maid that can help you keep your life together. Obviously, not everyone can afford to hire help, but ask your friends/family/loved ones to help you. It’s amazing what can happen when you ask for help. Although it may sometimes feel like you are doing it all alone, there are people out there who will drop everything to help you! And when they need it, you return the help!

Although this time of year can make you want to pull your hair out and crave those summer days more than ever, remember to stop and smell the roses. Your kids will only be this age once, and one day when they are older and off to college or married, you will wish that you had these moments with them just one more time.