Tag Archives: DIY

Green Eggs & Ham? Yes, please!

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Long and long ago, I stumbled upon a doodling technique that I kind of became obsessed with. I would absentmindedly fill random pages with these doodles. One particular day, I filled in the doodles with red and white:

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“Hmmmm,”I said to myself, “I like that. It’s very Dr. Seussy.” (And, in case you didn’t know, I love me some Dr. Seuss.) And then Crazy Me piped up and said, “Hey, what if I painted a whole wall like this?! That would be amazeballs!” Plus, I always wanted to turn our playroom into a Dr. Seuss room. So when I brought this earth shattering idea to my husband, he wisely agreed to let me do what I want. (He is a wise man.) But he also wisely suggested I do it on the shorter wall in the playroom, rather than the biggest one (which was my original plan). I promptly poo-pooed that idea. Because BIGGER IS BETTER!

But really, it was a wise suggestion, which I eventually adopted after enough time had elapsed to pretend it was my idea. And it’s a good freakin’ thing I did because these kinds of projects always turn out harder and more time consuming than you think they will, right? Of course right.

So painting one wall turned into painting all of the walls and the shelves and purging the toys and replacing the honkin’ big falling apart wardrobes where games and toys lived and replacing the light fixture and…well…you know how it is…

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So blah, blah, blah and yadda, yadda, yadda, here are the pics you came for. I will try to keep the commentary to a minimum and in the captions. Enjoy.

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The view from the doorway

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Facing the Nothing-Exciting-Here wall, where we will eventually hang a flat screen television, but it just gets to be boring for now.

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Storage bins for seating and toy storage. Let’s take a closer look at that Mom’s-Gone-Crazy wall, shall we?

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Whoop! There it is! Don’t ask me how long it took. It was basically eons. And I eventually recruited help from an amazing friend who doesn’t hate me for being psycho.

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And above the Mom’s-Gone-Crazy wall, we have the movies…

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…And some books. (So I forgot to go hunt down all of the Harry Potter books before getting this picture. Obviously, they’re being read. As they should be.) And also…

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Because Dr. Seuss.

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Facing the back wall.

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Another one of my crazy ideas. I actually made this shelf long before deciding to mega-doodle on the wall. FYI – Michael’s crates are super flimsy and probably not the best choice for creating precariously balanced bookshelves. You’re welcome.

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Facing the corner.

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Can we just take a moment to ogle this light fixture? It was my birthday present. How can you not love a light like that?!

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You can only play with us if you have a star on your belly. Just kidding. You can’t play with us.

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Facing the gallery wall. Let’s look a little closer at a few things…

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Green Eggs and Ham? Yes please!

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Personalized family string art. Go ahead and look up ribald. We won’t judge.

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And last but not least, our growth chart rulers. Let’s not discuss the photo of our youngest child, mmmkay?

So there it is. For the record, this is the first time (and probably the last) that the playroom has ever been this clean, which lasted just long enough for me to take pictures (because I banished the children) and then it was trashed again. I actually took a picture of what it usually looks like. But it was so bad, my camera ate it rather than let it become public.

Have any questions about what you see? Feel free to ask! I’d tell you that tutorials for several things will be coming…but let’s be honest. I have no plans to tutorialize anything here. I mean, it took me 6 months just to add the last few touches and get these pics up. I would love to answer some individual questions if you have em, though!

Who Can Take Tomorrow…Dip It In a Dream…

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…separate the sorrow, and collect up all the cream?

The Candy Man can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.

Welcome to Halloween 2014! A little background for those who are new to these here parts: We’re crazy. That should be enough of an intro. ;) No, really, though, we are. Or at least I am. Every year, we do a family theme for our Halloween costumes. For a little more info on that (and to see a list of what we’ve done), you can go to this post.

If you’ve browsed through my Halloween posts before, you might notice that there wasn’t one last year. And, well, that’s because last’s year’s theme was “Kids, pick something from the dress up closet, because I don’t have time for it this year.” So this year, we had to make up for it and plan ahead. The theme we picked? Willy Wonka! {Side note literary bonus…if you choose costumes from a book, you can read that book together as a family as part of your preparations. Booyah! Who needs school?! Just kidding. I do. I need my kids to go to school.}

So, without further ado, I give you six cast members from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Or as the 3 year old calls it, “Chocolate and the Charlie Factory.”

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I also need to share one of my favorite pictures from the night that I caught while I was adjusting my camera settings. I mean, what was everyone doing? Really, I wish I knew what every single person in this picture was doing at this moment:
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And now on to the individual costumes and a quick breakdown.

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Let’s start with Mr. Wonka, himself. {Funny side note: Mr. LPMD is a high school teacher and he decided to wear his costume to school on Halloween. He had his pockets full of candy and while he was walking in the halls, if any student said, “Willy Wonka!” he threw a handful of candy at them and kept on walking. One student’s response was “Did that really just happen? That was epic.”} We knew from the start that finding a purple jacket was going to be our biggest hurdle. We looked and looked, but didn’t find one. Eventually I ran across a tan corduroy one and snatched it up. While debating how I should dye it (since it was dry clean only), I had a friend tell me she had painted costumes before and had good results, so I decided to try it out. I used acrylic paint and brushed it on with a paintbrush. It worked…okay. It was hard on the corduroy, because it didn’t always get down in the gaps, so it looked painted, but then when the fabric was moved, you could see the tan color showing up. It was also splotchy where I had to let it dry (so I could move it around to paint it more or so I could stop and take care of my family or whatnot) and then start up again. It also dried VERY stiff. I think if I have to do something like this again, I’ll try the dye and see how it goes.

His hat was a grey thrift store find and also got the paint treatment and a ribbon added around it. The bow tie came from some fabric in my stash and the vest was an amazingly awesome thrift store find. It started out as a woman’s 10P blouse, but the fabric was just too close of a match to pass up, so we decided to make it work for this 6 foot guy. I ended up just cutting the front panels off and safety pinning them onto his white shirt. Whew! His costume was a lot of work.

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Veruca Salt. {This is literally the best picture of me we got. Boo.} This dress was another fortuitous thrift store find. I added the black buttons and the black ribbon waistband and that was it. Yes, I know Veruca’s dress had long sleeves, but this was good enough for me.

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This here is Charlie Bucket and his valuable Golden Ticket. Super easy “costume.” Blue turtleneck. Grey corduroy pants. Golden ticket handmade by an 8 year old. We tried to convince him to be Augustus Gloop because people wouldn’t think he was dressed up, but he was bound and determined to be Charlie. Which, really, just made less work for me.

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“Violet, you’re turning violet, Violet!” The Princess was Violet Beauregarde, partially on her way to becoming a giant blueberry. With gum. We found the blouse, pants and belt all at thrift stores. I changed the buttons out to look more like the movie and we stuffed her up with pillows. Also, I had no idea she was wearing those boots until I was going through the pictures after I had uploaded them. Se la vie.

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Well hello there, adorable Mike Teavee! This kid was so excited for his costume. Especially the toy gun and the cowboy hat. True story, I could not find a yellow button up shirt for this costume. I ended up buying a tan one at {you guessed it} a thrift store and dying it yellow. In fact, the number of things I had to change the color of for all of our costumes was kind of ridiculous. So I bought the shirt, dyed it yellow, and sewed on the fringe. That was a new experience. I’ve never sewed on fringe before, but it went swimmingly. All of the accessories we already had or bought for cheap.

Okay. This next one is just…kind of my favorite. I mean, not my favorite kid because I’m a mom and moms don’t have favorite kids, but his costume. Pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

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Am I right?! Maybe I’m biased, but that there is one good looking Oompa Loompa {who also self identifies as a “Loompa Doompa”}. This kid is a singing and dancing maniac – anything for an audience. So when he found out he could be a character who sings and dances AND would get to spray his hair green, he was sold.

Okay, enough mommy gushing and on to the costume. I made the pants and suspenders from some white fleece. And by “I,” I mean I made the pants and my mother made the suspenders and attached them to the pants. I was running out of time here, folks. Yet again, I could not find a brown turtleneck. How easy should that have been? Nope, not easy. I mean, I could have ordered one from Amazon for like $13, but this is a costume. I actually had a friend call from a thrift store and tell me she found a white one, so I told her to get it for me and then I dyed it brown. I really liked that it was ribbed, because it made painting the white stripes on pretty easy. I had planned to do his cuffs (and some socks) as well, but never got around to it. So you can just ignore the bare ankles and Lightning McQueen shoes for now.

And there you have it. Halloween 2014 in the bag. Do you do costume themes with family or friends for Halloween? Tell me some of the fun things you’ve done in the comments!

Finally Out of the Garage

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Way back in June, I shared a picture of a cabinet I had that was taking up my car’s spot in the garage while it waited for a bit of a makeover. At that point, it had already been sitting there for two months. Fast forward to October, AKA the onset of freakin’ coldness in Utah, and it was still sitting the garage taking up my car’s spot. So I finally decided to tackle the beast so as to reclaim the garage before snow hits. {And by “I decided” I mean that my husband finally nagged me enough to make me do it. Now if I could just get the claw foot tub out of there, we’d be in business.}

Just as a reminder, this is what I started with:

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And now, after much blood sweat and tears on my part {HINT: Don’t rush things, pay attention to the temperature recommendations on the dang spray paint, and whatever you do, do not, I repeat DO NOT decide you won’t need primer. Because you probably will. And then you’ll be mad at yourself and then you’ll start rushing things because the temperature is dropping because you avoided the project all summer and now winter is knocking at your door and then…well, just use a good primer, okay?}, I finally have a bright and cheery cabinet in which to store all of my sewing supplies:

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Now, I totally made a ton of mistakes along the way, and in the end, I just gave up on some things {like the blue overspray that ended up on the front of one of the doors} because I was soooo done and honestly, out of time weather-wise. It had to come in immediately or I’d be scraping ice from my windshield all winter {which, when you’ve become accustomed to a garage, totally sucks}:

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It’s not easy to see in the pictures, but I did do some light distressing by rubbing some high grit sandpaper over some of the edges. Nothing major, but enough to make it looked loved and just a bit chipped and old:

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I also replaced the knobs on the doors, but kept the original drawer pulls:

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And one last shot of the whole shebang:

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So what do you think? Have you ever refinished furniture with paint or new stain or even reupholstering something (that might be my next big project)? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

**Added to this linky party on the SNAP! blog**

Painting Ceilings

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As if painting ceilings weren’t torture enough, one day the devil woke up and said, “I have a brilliant idea! Heavily textured ceilings!”

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Evil, I tell you. So evil.

And whose idea was it to paint the ceiling anyway?! I’m going to have words with her!

In other news, if you happen to buy too much paint for a project, say…like 1 1/2 gallons too much paint…and you decide to keep it on hand, might I suggest storing it indoors at a nice room temperature and not in the garage where it has the potential to freeze during the winter, so that when you need it again a year later and you open it to use it, it is still…well…usable. Not that I would know anything about that.

In other other news, Mr. LessPinningMoreDoing vetoed adding glitter to the ceiling paint, much to the dismay of sparkly fans everywhere.

Trying Not to Bite the Dust

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I present to you PROOF that I am actually working on something and not just neglecting the blog for naught. And when I say “something” I kind of mean something big:

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Photo courtesy of my super awesome 9 year old

Ain’t that smexy?! #1 – the bandana is because I did not want to wash my hair. Again. For the third time in less than 24 hours due to sanding mud yesterday and teaching a Zumba (R) class this morning. #2 – the face mask is for the dust that I did not want to coat my lungs with. I’m high maintenance like that. #3 – the glasses are because while I was working on sanding the ceiling, the dust liked to land in my eyes. #4 – those are headphones. For rockin’ tunes. And if you’d like to come mud and tape and sand with me, you, too, can have your own super smexy getup!

Random fact: the first time I learned to mud and tape new drywall was when I was twelve. It’s no more fun now than it was then.

Someday I will show you what it is I’m working on and maybe even tell you all about it. But for now, I’ll leave you this clue: it starts with a “B” and ends with an “athroom.”

In the meantime, go cook some corn in a cooler. It turns out AWESOME and is easier even than putting on the pounds in a donut shop!

There, now I feel as though I’ve done my Pinterest duty and can go to bed.

You know what? I think I’m going to tag this post under hair because surely someone wants to recreate this amazing look, right?! ;)