DIY Chevron Lamp Shade

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Since we spent so much time making our elephant base for our lamp, I knew that this old lamp shade was just not going to cut it.

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I found some tutorials that were helpful online, but it seemed to largely depend on what you had to start with. This lampshade was larger on the bottom and smaller on the top with several paneled sections. I also discovered that the outer fabric was attached to the inner lining at the two seems. All of those details meant that I had to make most of it up as I went.

First, I took off the trim pieces from the top and bottom of the shade. These seemed to be attached with hot glue and came off easily in a long strip.

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Then, as carefully as I could, I cut the outer fabric apart at the seams and the top and bottom of the shade.

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There was a little of the canvas material left along the top and bottom, but I knew this would ultimately be covered and wouldn’t show through.

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This gave me two pieces of fabric that I could use to make a template. I knew that it was slightly smaller than my shade since I was unable to separate all of the fabric from the lining, so I made sure I made it a little bigger than necessary. First I traced on a piece of newspaper to make a template.

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Then I used that template on my chevron fabric. Thankfully I had just enough fabric left over from the dresser to make the shade. The chevron pattern was not ideal since I knew it was going to wrap upward, but I just made sure it would look straight on the front of the shade and the inconsistencies would be in the back.

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I hot glued the fabric to the top of the shade first working around the metal frame.

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Then I hot glued the fabric to the bottom of the shade, pulling it taught as I went and trimming the excess fabric.

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Here it is so far.

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I then cut strips of fabric to cover the trim pieces and hot glued them around.

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I then used the trim pieces to cover my seam in the back and to go around the top and bottom. See how wonky the pattern is in the back? That’s why it’s the back.

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Final step. Put the shade on the lamp!

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I love how the it turned out and how the fabric ties the dresser and the lamp together!
I will show pictures of the full room very soon.

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Thanks for reading!

DIY Elephant Lamp

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I have finally finished baby b’s nursery and I am super excited about how it turned out. I will have the full reveal up on the blog very soon, but I thought I would show somee of the smaller projects that we have been working on for it first.

One of the common elements in B’s nursery is elephants and I was inspired by this tutorial from How Joyful blog and this tutorial from Must Have Wear blog to try and DIY an elephant lamp out of styrofoam. Go check them out. Both lamps and nurseries are super adorable.

Disclaimer: both of their tutorials and probably finished products are better than mine. I thought that since this was such a complicated project I would post my journey with it so that if any one is going to attempt it they could have as much help as possible.

The original lamp that served as inspiration is from Jonathan Adler and is super beautiful and super expensive. I just could not justify spending $395 on a lamp.

First things first, I found a cheap lamp at Goodwill (yay for dollar days) that was about the size that I wanted.

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I tried to find some styrofoam pieces that were large enough from what I had around the house, but ended up buying two 8 inch blocks of styrofoam from Hobby Lobby. They were pretty cheap. Oh, and I had the hubby cut off the excess metals parts of the lamp. Basically everything but the metal tube that holds the wire. So this next picture is mostly a lie.

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I hot glued the two pieces of styrofoam together around the lamp base and drew an elephant template on each of the four sides.

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This next part nearly defeated me. Apparently the way my brain works makes it VERY hard to conceptualize the process for making an object go from 2D to 3D. I could not figure out how to cut the front of the elephant without messing up the side and how trimming the side wouldn’t completely screw up the design for the front.

My wonderful husband not only helped by starting some of the shaping of the styrofoam for me, but actually did all of the shaping for me.

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First, we cut around outline with a hand saw and then went back in with exacto knives and some finer blades and tools to get the details.

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Once it was the shape we wanted, I sanded it all down and put beads where I wanted the eyes and tail.

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The next part of the process was to cover the whole thing in drywall compound, smooth it out, sand, and repeat. I probably did this 5-6 times.

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I then spray painted the whole thing white, but it still was bumpier than desired, so we used a product called Plasti Dip that gave it a slightly smoother finish.

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I whipped up a new lampshade for it (which I’ll show soon) and viola!

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View from the back.

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Little elephant friend.

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And here it is all lit up.

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I can definitely say that this project never would have happened without the amazing help I got from the hubs. I somewhat struggled with the end product not looking like the lamps that inspired it, but I think it is a unique addition to the nursery. For the record, if I had it to do over, I wouldn’t. hah. It was a lot of work and time invested. But, it provides us with the extra light that will be needed and it’s done, so I am happy with it.

Previous posts on B’s nursery are here and here, the dresser tutorial is here, and there is more to come soon!
Thanks for reading!

Gray and Chevron Dresser

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We have have been working on several projects for baby B’s room.  A little while ago I asked for your thoughts on how to redo his dresser and I got a lot of awesome feedback—thank you! I decided to go with a dark gray paint (we had it on hand from other parts of our house) and line the fronts of the dresser with the chevron fabric I had picked up on clearance.

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Here it is in all it’s before glory.
(P.S. we were given this dresser for FREE by some friends when they were moving and didn’t want to lug it with them. So that makes the cost for this whole project pretty amazing. Also, thank you friends!)

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The top was laminate, but the sides and front were all wood, so I gave the whole thing a light sanding using an orbital sander and an oscillating tool with a sanding head for the details (like inside the drawer fronts).

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Then I primed everything.
And yes, I did all of this inside because do you KNOW how cold it has been this winter?? Thankfully old sheets do a great job of catching any drips.

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I went back and made sure to give an extra coat of white to the recessed parts of the drawers so that if anything were to show through the fabric it would just be a solid white.

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Then I gave the dresser frame and the drawers (except the recessed parts) two coats of the dark gray, but apparently didn’t take pictures of that part of the process. We have this color in parts of living and dining rooms and I love how DIFFERENT the color looks in a different setting. I think the lightness of the white, gray, and blue stripes bring out a much bluer gray on the dresser.

Next, came the tricky part. I created two templates that fit inside the drawers so I would know what size to cut my fabric. When I first started tracing I was frustrated because I couldn’t seem to get a straight line with the fabric. Then I realized that the chevron pattern did NOT go straight across, but rather slanted a little. So, I just cut straight lines and let the pattern do its thing.

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I also didn’t take pictures of me fitting the fabric inside the drawers, because, let’s face it, I was fitting the fabric inside the drawers. This was definitely the hardest (and most frustrating) part of the whole process. I used an even layer of ModPodge and started from the middle of the drawer out to try to avoid bubbles and creases as much as possible.

Let me be honest with you, it’s not perfect. I think ModPodge is as frustrating as it is helpful, because I never used it for a project that I didn’t have some bubbles in. Despite working quickly and using a credit card to smooth it all out. But, overall I love how it turned out and I don’t think you notice the imperfections unless you look for them. So I, for one, decided just to choose not to look for them.

I also covered the fabric with a layer of ModPodge to seal it and keep the fabric from fraying or coming up. Ready to see it??

Gray Dresser Collage

And some “after” glory.

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Stay tuned for more projects for our little man’s space.
Thanks for being here.

Ellery Update: 18 Months

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Our little girl is 18 months old. That’s a year and half, folks. That’s cray cray.

18 month Collage

In other news, Happy Valentine’s Day.

I kind of LOVE that Ellery’s half birthday is on Valentine’s Day. It will certainly make it easier to remember a half birthday and I hope to always make the day a little extra special for her.

I know I keep saying this, but I can’t believe how much of a little kid she is becoming. I started trying to keep track of all of her new words, but she has at least one a day and it’s getting hard to remember them all. Some of her new words include: Elmo, build, hat, hooray, amen, elbow, two, hippo, giraffe, blue, cookie, elbow, and mouth. She is getting better and better at saying names, some especially well pronounce are Parker, Erika, and Wendy ( you know who you lucky ones are). She also picks up on words that I apparently say often like: um, so, okay, oh dear, oh man, oh boy, uh oh, etc. And she even attempts words that are a little beyond her like “cookie monster” and “crocodile” and it’s adorable.

Ellery is getting better and better at communicating her wants/needs and even throwing fits when she doesn’t get her way (shocker). She still loves reading books and playing with water. We have started doing some other sensory play including with beans and pom poms. She is very strong and enjoys testing the limits of couches, chairs, and anything else she can try to climb on. She has even held herself up on a bar for a few seconds.

She loves to be affectionate and gives hugs, kisses and beeps on the nose. We still like to cuddle together in the mornings, but I think maybe, just maybe, we have weaned her off of bottles! We are on day 2 of no bottle days. To me, it is a huge success since I didn’t think we were every going to get her to give them up (and not be grumpy about it). We have had a little trouble with naps about once a week or so with days that she refuses. She almost always still needs the nap and has even fallen asleep on the couch with me. It’s not my first choice as far as sleeping habits and getting things done, but I LOVE the sweet cuddles. There is nothing like having your baby sleep on you and I know that we are quickly drawing near to the time where it will be much harder to have such one on one time with Ellery, so I’m trying to soak it all up.

Oh, she has 3 new teeth! She has been working on her molars for quite some time and I checked the other day and 3 had popped through! She is still working on one more right now, but seems much happier to not be teething so much. That brings her total teeth to 11.

I have really been enjoying our days together as she grows into such a little person able to do more and more things. I really think she is the cutest, smartest, best little girl, but I am a little biased. hehe.

Baby Boy’s Striped Nursery Update

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Yesterday, I showed how we repainted the stripes in baby b’s room.
Check that out here.

Now I want to show you a few more pictures and some projects I’ve done.

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Since there still are multiple colors on the walls, I want to try to use a lot of the same colors to tie everything together.

Somewhere in the room we want to use our amazing growth chart given to us by my bestie. She hand makes them with her hubby. She’d be glad to hook you up if you live in or near NY.
(Shameless plug over)

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I made this jungle animal garland by cutting out scrapbook paper with my Silhouette and stringing it with mini clothespins on some gray yarn. I would like to use the jungle animal shapes somewhere else in the room as well, but I’m still figure out the specifics. At the very least there will be elephants because I think this is an elephant sort of room.

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The toddler bed will of course go in Ellery’s room and we will move the crib in here. But for now Elle enjoys playing on it and has already gotten very good at getting on and off of it. We figured it was a good first step for transitioning from crib to bed.

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And THIS is the amazing rocking elephant that Mike’s dad made Ellery for Christmas. We could not love it more.

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He built it AND painted it himself.

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In fact, we love it so much that Mike and I would like to try to make some of these puppies ourselves if anyone would be interested in the end product. He has the plans for either a rocking horse or rocking elephant and we could paint custom colors. Any interested parties should contact me. ;)

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This is the cloud mobile that I made from this tutorial. I used my own cloud shape and cut it out on the Silhouette to save loads of time.

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I used mostly white clouds, but threw in some blue and gray ones as well.

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The headboard shelf still works very well in this room and I’m excited for the extra storage it will provide. This is also the dresser that we will be using for out little man, but I’m struggling with what exactly to do with it.

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That’s where you come in.

I like the contrast of the wood, but this dresser has seen better days and has some scratches and things. I would love to do something like this.

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If you’re going to pin this one, please do so from the original site.

This whole nursery is darling, you should check it out. She used chevron fabric on the front recessed parts of the drawers.

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I think if I did paint it, I would love to highlight those recessed portions, and I have the chevron fabric below that I think would work wonderfully. The question is do I paint it white? Or would it look better with the same light gray of the walls or perhaps a darker gray? I need your thoughts and opinions!!!

(The picture on the left is a cross stitch that the hubby’s great grandparents gave to him when he was born. What an amazing thing to be able to pass down.)

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This is also some artwork that will hang on the wall somewhere. See, I told you, more elephants. And more clouds, they are kind of an underlying theme as well. And, if you’re really observant you’ll notice what we’re thinking of naming baby boy. Calling him baby b stands for baby BOY and Benjamin.

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The name print can be found here and is FREE and customizable.
The “I’ll love you forever” print is also free and can be found here.

Thanks for being here! And please, puh-lease, let me know what you think about the dresser. I need feedback.

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Love of Family and Home

Baby Boy’s Striped Nursery

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I alluded to this in my last post, but we have already done quite a bit in the nursery for baby boy (see previous craft room) and have other fun plans in the works.

But first, a little back story for those that don’t know…

We have two bedrooms on our main floor (our bedroom is the upstairs), one is Ellery’s room and the other used to be my craft room. When we were making paint choices for the room I wanted to have a pattern of three horizontal stripes in bright colors. I ended up choosing three VERY bright colors based partially on colors we already had.

The end result? A crazy bright room with stripes that took FOREVER and a day to do. But I loved how they looked and got so much inspiration from creating in such a cheery room.

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When we found out in December that we were having a boy this time we were faced with some decisions. Did we switch Ellery to the craft room and put baby b in her room which was blue? Seemed reasonable, but I didn’t know how keen a 1 1/2 year old would be on all of a sudden switching rooms. She was already going to be going through a lot of transitions, I didn’t want to complicate that if I didn’t have to. PLUS I was ready for a change from the stripes anyway. But the stripes took soooo much time and energy to do that I couldn’t bear the thought of just painting over them. And if we did, what color?

I won’t take you through all of the ins and outs of our decision, but what we ultimately decided was to keep the blue stripe, paint the pink stripe the same gray as our living room/dining room, and paint the yellow stripe the same white that we’ve used on all the molding/doors in our house. Consequently we needed to repaint the molding in that room anyway, so it was a bit easier to do it all at once.

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I la la love how fresh and calm it feels in there now. It is perfect for our little man.

Let’s walk through a bit of the process, shall we?
Here’s what we started with again.

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The lines were all there on the wall already, which meant no measuring this time which saved a HUGE chunk of time. I taped off the pink stripes first, making sure to leave a little bit of the blue showing so that there would be no pink hiding underneath the tape. Then I painted the blue over the tape (on just the top of the pink stripe) so that if there was any seepage it would be blue and not gray to ensure crisp lines. Then I primed with some white on top of all of the pink. Finally, I painted gray over that. And it only took 2 coats!

Already a huge difference without the pink.

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Then I repeated the steps for painting over the yellow. Tape, paint over tape with the blue AND gray, prime, and paint with white. Again, we also painted the baseboards, doors, and molding the same white since they were in need of touch-ups. OH! And the closet! The closet was the original sage green that the room AND THE CEILING were painted when we moved in. We (by “we” I mean the hubs, he took one for the team and painted the closet for me since it was too much to be in a small space with fumes like that) painted the closet white and called it good.

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The lines came out so crisp and clean it was absolutely worth the little bit of extra work painting over the tape.

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It feels like a completely different room.

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I want to show you a few more pictures and a few projects I’ve been working on for this room, but I fear that if I add all that to one post this will be way too long. So I’m going to make you wait till tomorrow. That includes the super adorable rocking elephant you see. Another of Ellery’s wonderful homemade Christmas presents.

What do you think about the new colors? Hubby admitted that the previous colors were not really his favorite, but that’s not super surprising considering he’s a man. haha. Plus, that just makes him a champ for letting me do my own thing even when he didn’t like it and helped A TON the with painting those crazy stripes in the first place.

In case you’re wondering, my craft room got moved to the basement where it is now my craft-space-in-progress. The whole basement is in progress, really, so when we have new walls and floor and all that I will show you pictures. For now it is a usable (albeit cold and not quite as inspirational) space where I can store all my stuff.

Also, if you were wondering about paint colors the blue is Atlantic Dawn, the white is Ultra White (Point Pleasant), and the gray is  Empire State, all by Dutch Boy. We love Dutch Boy paints. They should hire me to talk about how great I think their paint is. It covers super well and they have some great colors. I’ll be anxious to hear from you, Dutch Boy.

Some Thoughts on the What If’s of Life

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I am one of those people that really enjoy having background music going during most of my day. I alternate between toddler music for Ellery some soft Indie type music for me. Well, I was listening to music yesterday and the song “What If” by Ingrid Michaelson came on. I like the song and I think some of the lyrics are clever. But, I was already in a somewhat emotional-pregnancy-hormone state made worse by CHOOSING to watch or read some sad things. (See latest episode of Parenthood and a really sad story on a blog about the loss of a child.) So I started to think of some of it a little deeper.

“What if we stop having a ball?
What if the paint chips from the wall?
What if there’s always cups in the sink?
What if I’m not what you think I am?
What if I fall further than you?
What if you dream of somebody new?
What if I never let you win, chase you with a rolling pin?
Well what if I do?”

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There are a lot of “what if’s” in life. Some more serious than others. What if I really never can get caught up on the laundry? What if it just keeps getting colder outside? What if something happened to my health or my parents’ health? What if something happened to my child?

I think we all have some version of these thoughts that go through our mind at one point or another. We are not promised an easy or pain-free life. In fact, unexpected circumstances that hurt are pretty much a given. (Debbie downer much, Liz?)

It makes me that much more thankful that I am not in control, but serve a God who is and is ALL good, ALL loving, and ALL powerful.

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Psalm 33:4-7 TLB

“For all God’s words are right, and everything he does is worthy of our trust.  He loves whatever is just and good; the earth is filled with his tender love. He merely spoke, and the heavens were formed and all the galaxies of stars. He made the oceans, pouring them into his vast reservoirs.”

The whole chapter is really good. Those are just some thoughts from my day to yours.
Thanks for reading!