Fashion Friday – Gap Cords

We had a DIY family photo shoot the other day.  The weather was chilly but gorgeous.  We set up our camera on the tri-pod, set the timer and snapped away.  It was tough to get going and get everyone in place, but once the kids knew that a bag of timbits was up for grabs, they were very cooperative in showing their pearly whites to the camera.

We have hired photographers before, but always find it fun to take our own pictures too.  Even if you snap 30, you are bound to get 2 or 3 good ones.  I knew that even if we didn’t get any, we would have a lot of good laughs together.

We dressed in our new Gap clothes for these fall selfies:
fall photo 1

Not always easy to get 4 people into position, especially when one must, absolutely  stand beside mom

Not always easy to get 4 people into position, especially when one must, absolutely stand beside mom

Fun in the leaves!

Fun in the leaves!

The money shot

And we got one!

Boys

Boys

And the girl who just does her own thing

And the girl who just does her own thing.  These gorgeous little polka dot runners from the Gap lasted about 30 minutes before she stepped in dog poop. Those are the kinds of things that happen when you’re two 🙂

I am loving the fall styles at Gap right now.  The Bloor Street store is fantastic!  A couple of weeks ago they had a pop up sale with 40% your entire purchase. I love me a good sale!

What we’re wearing:
me: Gap denim jacket*, Gap always skinny cords, pink flamingo tank from Smart Set, boots from the Bay
hubby: Gap cords, Gap hoodie and Gap shirt
son: Gap straight jeans and Gap cream long sleeve shirt
daughter: Gap legging cord and shoes, Target cardigan, Levi’s denim jacket

*I have had this since I was a teenager – for almost 2 decades.  I think it has held up pretty well and I love the way that it still looks. So classic – everyone should own one of these!

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How to make your own tissue paper pom poms

Here is the latest DIY project that will be incorporated into my 2.5 year old’s new big girl room.  I had so much fun making these. In fact, I started off making just a couple of them to hang from her ceiling, but I had so much fun making them, I just kept going and going.  Who knows where this will go…

What you will need:
Pack of large tissue paper, 8 sheets per pack (the stuff from Indigo works well)
Wire or pipe cleaners
Ribbon, twine or tulle
Scissors

pom pom 1

These are so quick and easy to make. Anyone can do it.

“Where can you use them” you ask?? Make them for your wedding, your children’s rooms, your classrooms, birthday party decor, or your cheerleader Halloween costume! I recently tied a giant green one to the top of a five year old’s birthday gift. She loved it!

Start by laying the stack of tissue paper flat on a large surface.

Fold it like an accordion and make the folds 1-2 inches wide.

Fold the whole thing until you have a long strip of folded tissue paper.

pom pom 2

Take a pipe cleaner or craft wire and wrap around the middle of the strip.

Cut a piece of ribbon or twine (I used some long tulle that I had left over from my wedding) about a foot long (you can always trim later) and knot the ends to create a loop/handle.  Lay it parallel to the strip of tissue paper.

Wrap the pipe cleaner around both the tissue paper and ribbon.

pom pom 3

Cut off both ends of the tissue paper strip into points.  You can curve them as well – I personally like the way the pointy ones turn out.

Begin pulling the tissue paper apart.  Be careful not to rip the paper.  Pull down both sides and you will start to see your pom pom.

Almost there…
pom pom 4
Voila!  Instant pom pom:
pom pom final

Once you are finished, reach inside for the tulle (or ribbon) so that you can hang your pom pom up.

Heart Art

For my daughter’s new big girl room, I created a piece of art using paint chips.  I had fun doing this and it was so easy and inexpensive.

I started by collecting 40-50 paint chips.  I tried to be discreet while doing this at Canadian Tire so as not to look like a hoarder. Or a really indecisive painter.  Anyway, who really cares – they are free!

I painted a white canvas in a light, light shade of pink.  I gave it the messy, sloppy paint look.
Heart Art canvas

I then traced and cut-out heart after heart.
Heart Art 1

Heart Art 2

I discovered that I had too many hearts to fit on my canvas so I made a word memory game with the left overs.  My 4 year old son loved it while we played on the back deck together.

Heart Art 3Once the canvas was dry, I glued the hearts to it and had an instant piece of art that my daughter loves. It is going to look great in her room! I painted her walls light grey so this will add a pop of colour.

Ta da…
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A pretty DIY night stand for a pretty little girl

I am redecorating my 2 year old daughter’s room.  It is full of DIY projects which I am excited to share very soon.

I came across an estate sale near the cottage and picked up this side table for $10.  My in-laws bought the other one for the cottage, which is great, in case we ever want to have a matching pair again one day. They came from the home of an 80 year old couple. Everything in the house was very old and these tables were screaming for some TLC.

I thought it would be perfect for a small lamp and books.  My daughter will love to fill the drawers up with her important stuff.

IMG_2726

What you will need:
Sandpaper – 100 and 180
Hand sander
White spray paint
Mask
Light pink paint
Scrapbooking paper from Michael’s to line the drawers

What you will need: Sandpaper - 100 and 180  Hand sander White spray paint Primer Mask

I absolutely hate prepping and priming when I do a project.  Have I mentioned that before?  I want to see instant results.  Well, I certainly learned my lesson with this project.  I chose a can of white paint and after sanding the table, I began putting the paint on in thin layers.  Literally, seconds after I brushed the paint on, I could see the old wood just soaking it right up.  The same thing happened after coats 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, which gradually got thicker and thicker.  As soon as a coat went on, the red colour of the wood would show through. I have painted furniture before and I really should have known better.  I guess I just thought I would try to cut some corners this time…

IMG_2731 IMG_2728

Finally, I went and bought some primer. After more sanding, I used a grey spray primer which worked right away.  Then, another 2 paint coats on top of the primer, and the table finally looked covered.

However, I was unhappy with the way that it dried because the brush stroke lines were quite visible.  I ended up sanding it with a light sandpaper to take the ridges away and while sanding, I went down to the primer and original wood.  I decided that I loved the way the “shabby chic” finish looked on this piece. I decided to sand the whole thing to create patches everywhere.  Instant results!!
shabby chic
I love the unique shape of the drawer pulls. They are so old, yet so funky looking. I wanted to keep their original look, but at the last minute I decided that it didn’t work, so I sprayed them with white gloss paint. I also painted the back of the little cubby in pink.

before and after

In the end, the things that I would have done differently are:
1. Use a primer.  I will never again try to paint wood without a primer.
2. Use spray paint instead of putting paint on with a brush.  I am working on another piece of furniture for my daughter’s room right now which I am using spray paint for, and it is giving me a much smoother finish.

Shabby chic (pronounced: “sheek”) is a form of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their
appearance of age and signs of wear and tear or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique.
At the same time, a soft, opulent, yet cottage-style decor, often with an affected feel is emphasized to differentiate it from genuine period decor.

That was a just little shout out for my MIL, who looked at me, puzzled, this weekend when I told her about my plans for the “shabby chic” finish.  She replied with “shabby what?”

Stay tuned for more DIY furniture projects 🙂

 

DIY sandbox

My kids love sand and I’ve wanted to get them a sandbox for quite some time, but I wanted something sturdy (not a plastic turtle) and something that fit nicely in our backyard.  After searching for something suitable, we decided to DIY!

We slapped it together with some extra wood and paint that we had lying around, along with an aluminum piece from Canadian Tire for the bottom.  We made it a family affair and let the kids help paint.  I think my 2 year old still has brown paint under her toenails.

We just need to figure out a cover for it so that our neighbourhood cats and raccoons don’t make a home there overnight.

Putting the wood together

So far so good

Don't forget to sand!  I do not like prep work, I just like to get the job done, so as you can see, I started the painting process and then my husband reminded me, "you need to sand it!"

Everyone wants to help!

The final product

The final product

This was so easy to make and it has already provided the kids with hours of fun!  Now I just need to find a way for the sand to stay out of our house once they come indoors…

 

 

 

 

DIY Monday

I have been ordering fabric from US based Hartsfabric.com for a few years now.  They have the best variety of both types and fabrics and I especially love their selection of Amy Butler. The only problem is, they are based out of California and I pay a fortune on shipping and duty to Canada.  So I recently found a wonderful blog post from The Finished Garment listing a whole bunch of Canadian on-line fabric retailers.  Yahoo!  The selection at most of these stores doesn’t compare to Harts, but if you dig around and know what you are after, you’ll be in good shape.  This is where I came across Sew-Sisters Quilt Shop in Toronto.  Shipping was free and fast!!  They have a lovely selection of flannel fabrics, which is just what I was after to make some baby blankets for my BF’s new little guy, Carson.

I realize it is May, and the weather just turned from winter to summer practically overnight, and this baby will not be requiring flannel blankets anytime soon, but still, he will like these!  I loved making these for my kids.  I found that the flannel receiving blankets sold in stores are not big enough for swaddling past three months, and my kids loved to be swaddled for a long time.  My two year old still uses her blankets and they are also great for lining cribs and change pads.

Hopefully Carson will like these ones!

These double-sided baby blankets are sew simple to make (ha ha!)….

1. Get two complimenting, or contrasting, or whatever you like, flannel fabrics and wash/dry/iron them.

2. Line them up on top of each other with the insides facing out.

3. Sew them together along the edge. Leave a 4 inch opening to turn them inside out. Hand stitch the opening.

4. About 2 inches in from the edge of the blanket, sew a border.

Voila!  You have a baby blanket!

Image

Fabric shipment from Sew Sisters

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The finished edge

finished product

Final product!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo (3)

Here is one of my favourite blankets (fabric from Harts) that I made for my sister a couple of years ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy DIY’ing!