Thursday, December 13, 2012

Giant Ruler Growth Chart Tutorial

Lately Norah has been growing like a weed but I didn't realize it until my daycare lady mentioned she had grown about 5cm in 4 months!!! Then I realized I didn't have a growth chart set up for her...  We have 2 growth charts but one has velcro pieces which Norah loves to pull off and the other is too pretty to mark up with pen.  SO off to Pinterest I went to find something easy to make and found this pin. Which took me to Dear Lillies website where you can buy this for $49.99.

I LOVE the look of it!!!  And it would be SUPER easy to make! SO I had Ryan run to Home Depot and get me two (I planned to make 2 of these) 1 by 6's.  Then they sat in my hallway for a month.  I had planned on staining the wood with some leftover stain I had from back when I helped a friend stain her bed. (see here) However its now super cold outside and staining outside is not an option. I could stain it in the basement but then the house stinks and its not properly ventilated... so that was going to happen.  I had also planned on bringing the wood to my parents house and staining it in their garage because they have a heater in there. But I forgot the wood when we went to visit. Thats why the wood sat there for a month!!  Then last Friday I took the day off work and decided it was time to deal with it!! I sat back and brainstormed what I could do without using stain!  Then I thought meh lets try something new. So I pulled out some brown and silver paint and mixed them one a plate.

Then using a rag I wiped the paint onto the wood letting it truly soak into the wood. I tried using a paint brush but it looked bad. The rag was the way to go! It made the paint smooth and even and I only had to do one coat!!!

I honestly wasn't sure how this would end up turning out but I figured it couldn't look that bad!!! And I was right.. I LOVE how it turned out and I'm so glad I used the silver because it gave it an awesome yet subtle shine!

Then using a measuring tape, a ruler and a marker I marked the lines onto the wood.  I made the foot markings 2 inches in length and the inch markings 1 inch in length.  This took about 5 minutes to do.  Then I freehanded the numbers.  I had wanted to use a stencil for them but couldn't for the life of me find my numbers stencil... so I freehanded it!!

 And there you have it, Norahs growth chart!!  Now we just need to hang it!! I made it so it starts at 6 inches, which means we need to hang it 6 inches from the floor. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Santa Claus Parade!

We have been SUPER busy the last few days getting ready for the Mississauga Streetsville Santa Claus Parade!!  Ryan's new company (not sure if I mentioned it but Ryan started up his own insurance brokerage... couldn't be prouder! Message me for details if you need help with you insurance if you're local!) decided to create a float and walk in the parade!!  Oh boy was it work!!!  We decided on a gingerbread man theme!  So one Saturday a few weeks ago Ryan's entire office came to our house and we made a Gingerbread House float!!  Couldn't be happier with the result! It wasn't huge but it was perfect!!  We painted it a nice reddish brown and decorated it up with dollarstore decorations!  I don't have a photo of just the house but here is the float with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew!

The next task was costumes!!  As you saw in the photo above they turned out amazing!!! My sister-in-law made hers and my brothers! They were completely AWESOME!!!!  I had the task of making 4 pairs of brown fleece pants, 2 adult sweaters and Norah's little sweater as well as 4 hats.  SO I got my sew on and hammered them out in a week!  Then I had to decorate everything with large white rick rack!  In the end I couldn't be happier with the result!!!! Ryan got to dress up as the 'Baker' for the parade! 

Norah had an absolute blast!!! She waved and smiled the entire parade and was SO happy to be sitting in her wagon most of the way.

My nephew was 'Frosty the Snowman'.... Ohhh I just wanted to squeeze him the whole time!! He actually fell asleep for part of the parade... hilaroius!!!

Overall the parade was so much fun and we learned a lot!!! First off... 6,000 candy canes is NOT enough... oops!  Second off, it gets VERY hot no matter how cold it is outside when you are running around giving out candy canes dressed in fleece and too many layers!!

And to just finish off because I know everyone LOVES a good screaming child pose.... As much as Norah LOVED her gingerbread costume this time (remember the incident with the peacock costume here) she did NOT enjoy sitting on Santa's lap at my work Christmas Party the day before the parade....

Poor child.... Just for reference she isn't normally a screaming child... I just love those photos so much I have to share them!!! They make me laugh!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stairway to Heaven

Yesterday when I got home I just about had a heart attack,  I was running up the stairs to grab something for Norah. I didn't have the lights on so I could barely see and on the back of one step there was a LARGE thing... It looked like a tarantula sized spider. I froze! For those of you who know me you know I HATE spiders and what I hate more than spiders are those house centipedes with there freaky freaky legs that go everywhere and they refuse to die and they secretly plot against you on how they are going to eat you!! Ok maybe that is an exaggeration but I HATE all large crawly things!! Totally just shivered describing the bugs that haunt me!!  Anyway, I freaked out and ran downstairs to grab a shoe and turn the light on. 

WELL I discovered it wasn't a bug after all.... (silly me) it was just the paint peeling off the back of our stairs... BOOO!! Not as bad as a bug but equally crappy!!  I think the old owners of our house quickly painted the back of the steps... they looked great but its a thin coat of paint... its streaky and starting to crack/peel in areas. 

Sorry for the quality of this photo I can't find my other photo! This is our stairs... will update with a better picture later.

There is nothing wrong with them other than the peeling paint... I know I need to repaint them but that got me thinking.  Remember in the old house when we wallpapered the stairs here

I loved the look but it took a LOT of work to wallpaper those stairs.  Mostly because they weren't even.  But the problem with wallpapering our current stairs would be because of the banister. The photo doesn't show it but part of the stair goes to the other side of the banister... making it VERY tricky to wallpaper.  Thats why I hadn't even considered it before. 

While browsing Pinterest I came across this which is from Martha Stewart. I LOVE this idea!!  I know I have to repaint the stairs... why not add a super cool stencil!

I'm thinking of a nice grey toned stencil of a flower or a vine.  Something neutral... I may even add the stencil into the front hall on the walls to tie the stairs in... we shall see.  First step is getting Ryan on board with a stencil we can both agree on.  I want something neutral that adds a little fun to the stairs... maybe even a butterfly or dragonfly....

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Family Fun Artwork

We have been absent lately... that doesn't mean we haven't been busy working on MANY projects... just busy having fun as a family!!!  I have a bunch of updates I just need to find the time to write about them!!

Norah LOVES to paint!! When I pick her up from daycare in the evenings the first thing she says when she gets home (other than Daddy Daddy) is paint??  She LOVES it... however she also HATES getting dirty... my little princess!  When painting she must use a brush so she doesn't get paint on her hands and when she does get paint on her hands she freaks out until I wipe it off.  I decided we needed some art work in the upstairs hallway.  I had previously hung a few of Norah's paintings but it was sparse and I had a plan in mind for the hallway. SO stealing an idea from Pinterest I taped off the word LOVE onto a canvas and let Norah have fun painting!!  

I let her chose the colours. She was hilarious!  She kept wanting MORE paint.  When she painted with the brush she would make the noise 'swosh swosh' and when she painted with the sponge she would dab it and say 'blob paint blob paint' so funny!! 

After letting it dry I peeled off the tape and this was the pretty result!!

I opted to hang it at the top of the stairs, I need to add something else to the wall but for now this is what it looks like.  I definitely need to centre it a bit more... the light switch (which is NOT centered) throws it all off... Oh well you get the gist!

For my birthday my brothers and sister in laws took some gorgeous family photos for us!!  Lets just say we like to have fun!!!  Yes we hula hooped!!!  I knew I wanted to frame the photos and decided the upstairs hallway was the perfect spot for them.  Here are two of my favourite photos!

I have seen people make their own photo canvas on Pinterest and I decided I would try the same thing. Instead of one photo on a big canvas I wanted to do a collage type canvas.  We had this one canvas that I had previously painted... I put lace over the canvas and spray painted it. I loved the result just not the colour... too bright blue and green.. not what I was going for. So I decided it would be a good canvas to cover up!  I pulled out the Mod Podge and Norah helped to cover the canvas. She didn't like getting her hands sticky... this photo is captioned "Mama stick, wash ... PEEEEEESE!"

I used eight 4 by 6 photos that I loved from our photo shoot and Mod Podged them onto the canvas, let it dry and then did a few coats of Mod Podge overtop.  I am SO happy with the result!!!  They were hung on the one wall in the hallway upstairs along with some older Norah paintings that she did when she was super little with her fingers!

This is where they currently hang, I plan on adding Norah's future art work to this wall!! 

Then on the other wall I used some frames my brothers and sister in laws gave me for my birthday to hang the rest of the family photos!

This is a work in progress that will probably never end... I will add photos here when I get some more or switch up older photos.  I just love that my upstairs hall is fille with love and amazing memories!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkins and Peacocks

Over the weekend Ryan and I hummed and haaed about what to do with the pumpkins this year.  In previous years we have carved our pumpkins. But this being the first year that Norah can participate in Halloween we wanted her to help out with the pumpkins.  Now giving Norah a knife to carve a pumpkin would probably end with childrens aid being called!  That wasn't an option. So I thought maybe we would carve something that she wanted and she could help us take the insides of the pumpkin out.  Then I remembered that this is MY daughter... Here is why that wouldn't work.  When Norah gets ONE speck of dirt on her hands she comes running and asks to wash her hands. If she gets a tiny dot of paint on her hands she immediately has to wash her hands.  She does not like being dirty and she certainly wouldn't like putting her hands inside a pumpkin where its all slimy!  I thought maybe we'd try it anyway but figured it would just end in a big melt down.  Next year we'll introduce her to the fun times of carving a pumpkin. This year I opted for painting a pumpkin!!  On Sunday I pulled out the paints, Norahs little pumpkin and some sponge brushes (so her hands don't get mess... god forbid her hands get dirty!!)

She had a blast painting her pumpkin yellow and purple (her requested colours!)

Then it was time to decorate the big pumpkin!!  I picked up these Mr. Potato Head like faces at Dollarama and asked Norah where each should go. There were 2 sets of faces so the pumpkin has 2 sides!

She had a LOT of fun with these!!  Great alternative to carving a pumpkin. I figure if the pumpkin lasts till Halloween we'll cut him open afterwards and roast some seeds.... we'll see.

For Halloween I am making Norah a peacock outfit.  I got some blue and green feather boas from Dollarama and sewed them onto a little tulle blue skirt we already had for Norah.  I made the back feathers a little bit longer for a 'tail'.  I wanted to see how it looked on Norah however she did NOT want to try it on for mommy. This was the result.... My Not so Happy Peacock.... (Yes I'm that mom whose child is screaming and instead of taking the skirt off I run and grab the camera.... )

I tried to snap a photo of the back before I took it off but Norah just wouldn't have anything to do with it. Lets hope I can get her to wear it for Halloween.... Don't worry I have backup wings if she refuses!

This is the back of the skirt lying on the ground... see how its a little bit longer! I didn't want it too long because I didn't want her to slip!

I have made her some brown leggings that she can wear with the skirt. She'll have a brown shirt on the top and on her hat I've attached a Peacock feather that we picked up at the High Park Zoo for her. Plus we have a mask that is on a stick that she can carry around with her!  If I ever get her in the costume I promise to take more pictures!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Norah's Quiet Book

This year I am ahead of the game for Christmas... OH MY GOODNESS I SAID IT!  Yes Christmas is fast approaching and normally at this point I wouldn't even have a list of gift to make/buy yet. However, I'm turning a new chapter called "Prepare Now and PAY LESS".  I'm doing Christmas on a budget this year... not for any particular reason but I realized Norah doesn't need a million toys that she will never play with just for the pure fact of giving her something at Christmas.  Instead we're making her some gifts and making gifts for friends and family (sorry guys you'll just have to wait till Christmas to find out what we're making you).  Moving onto one of Norah's Christmas gifts this year.  I'm sure everyone has seen the Felt Quiet Books all over Pinterest lately.  I love them and everytime I saw them I was like THATS AWESOME... but a lot of work. Well I decided I would tackle that project and I must say I'm having a BLAST!!!!!  I found a BUNCH of templates online and last night I started cutting out pieces.

First up I found this awesome dress up doll template over at the template I used is here. I grabbed my felt and started cutting. This is what I ended up with! I still have to attach them to a page but its a good start!

Next up I wanted a Mr. Potato Head page.... I looked at a few templates online and didn't like them too much so decided to make my own... maybe I should have stuck to a template.... Oh well I like it! He still needs more options. I decided to make it a Mr instead of a Mrs. since I already had a dress up doll.

Next up I found this amazing template over at Serving Pink Lemonade They actually have a bunch of templates there... I may end up using more from that blog we shall see.  This page has removable flower petals with the numbers on them to teach kids the proper order of the numbers.  I used yellow puffy paint to paint the numbers on.

Thats all I have so far but tonight is another night of cutting!!! I think my next page is going to be animal oriented... I also want to make an alphabet page... stay tuned!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

This post is going to be a smorgousborg (yes thats a word) of stuff so be prepared to be tossed and turned all over the place!!!  ITS A LONG WEEKEND!!! WOOO to the HOOO!!! I am in desperate need of a long weekend... this week has been EXHAUSTING!!! 

Since it is fall I decided to Fallify (once again a word) my house!!  Now in the old house I NEVER decorated the house based on the season except at Christmas and then it was a half assed attempt at 'decorating'.  Now with the new house and actually having space and a fireplace mantal I have decided to decorate the BISNAAAAAS (once again... well maybe that isn't actually a word... ) out of it!!  So not having much in the way of fall colours I ran to my favourite place in the world... DOLLARAMA!  Yes people I love the store to death! SO many things you can get for under $2!!  I picked up some fun fall branches and some other fun things for around the house.  I also picked up some small gourds that I had planned on spray painting but decided I loved the orange and yellows that they naturally were!  Here is my mantle (I have since added more gourds on the left of this but you get the gist)

I would also like to disclose the reason the books on the right side of the photo above are all over the place.... I came home one day to find ALL of our photo albums on the floor and the shelf on the floor too.  Apparently those shelves are only held in with the cheap crappy plastic tabs!!  SO when I loaded the shelf up with photo albums eventually the tabs gave way... we just haven't had a chance to get wood or metal tabs to hold the shelf up.

I picked up 3 of these bunches of branches at Dollarama, they are made out of wire and beads.  I originally had them shoved in the back of one of my plants on the mantle but found this awesome small orange vase that I have no idea where it came from. It was probably from some flowers we received at some point.  I had forgotten about it because it was so small it was hard to fit anything in but it was perfect for this!

Next up this lovely display was actually a gift last Christmas that has been sitting hidden on the mantle in the far corner since... Christmas! I pulled it out and spruced it up a bit!  Can you see the cute card in the background?  Thats Norahs bday card to me... its brown and orange... perfect colours!!!

That was it for the living room. But talking about fall... when I was painting our chairs I noticed this in our backyard!!  The mums that were planted in the planters on our back desk when we got the house have decided to bloom!!!! I'm hoping they will be in full bloom this weekend for Thanksgiving!!!

Speaking of Thanksgiving and fall! I made Apple Butter last weekend!!!!  I have no idea why I hadn't done it before... its SUPER EASY!!!!

You just peel/chop 10 lbs of apples and throw them in a slow cooker. You add a mixture of 3 cups of sugar, some cinnamon and ground gloves to the apples and stir it all together. THEN you leave it on low for 12 hours... I stirred mine periodically but pretty much just left it!!  I woke up in the morning to this (well I jarred them... but you get the point)

 mmmm Apple Butter!!!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dining Room Chairs Revealed

Last March I started transforming my dining room rooms.  The first step was to reupholster the seat cushions as they didn't all match and needed some updating to say the least. This was what I started with.

You can go here to see how I recovered the chairs to make them look like this.

Then I stopped because I wasn't entirely sure which direction to take from there.  I knew the table needed to be refinished badly and at that point why not restain the chairs too. OR should I go in a totally different approach and paint them??  So for the spring/summer my dining room looked like this. (well lets be honest, it only looks like this when I am taking pictures... most of the time it is a disaster zone with projects piled high on the table)

Now to be completely clear, there was nothing wrong with that look! I liked it... didn't have any problem with it... but I didn't LOVE it.  Also the chairs had some well worn spots that started to bug me. SO I primed them (see here) and then I painted them!! I opted for a creamy white spray paint!  I used Rustoleums Ivory Bisque spray paint!  It was actually fairly easy!!  The first coat took the longest but I had all 7 chairs done in about 45 minutes.  Then after letting it dry for 24 hours I lightly sanded down any areas I wasn't thrilled with and did a second coat which only took about a half hour.  I LOVE the end result!

Here they are at the table. As you can see the table is full of 'stuff'!

I love the look of the white chairs with the stained table.  As you can see in this picture the table top is in rough shape and needs refinishing. 

I will eventually get to refinishing the table. I have finally decided I want to keep the table the same way, I don't want to paint it or stencil it (that was an option) because I'm afraid its going to be too busy in there.  Striped chairs with a stenciled table top is a bit much.  I also love the look right now so I just need to refinish the top of the table and I'll be plenty happy with it!! 

So you don't have to scroll to the top, notice how much brighter the white chairs make my dining room!!!

This room isn't complete by any means.  I have a future plan to make a built in cabinet on the right side where the dresser is currently.  There is more than enough space to do built in drawers/cupboards below and wine rack above with glasses etc.  But that is down the road.