Spencer’s Room Redo: The Plan

Remember when I shared my Biggest Goodwill Haul EVER?! The one where I found almost everything I needed to give Spencer’s room a big boy make over?

Well, that was 6 months ago and I have decided it’s time to get.it.done.already! So, I’m making a plan and I’m sticking to it. I’m going to work slowly over the next few weeks and give my not-so-baby boy a new room.

Some things I’ve since decided to do without, like the white lamp base (I’m thinking it might actually be better in Laurel’s room) and the orange snail chalkboard (it just doesn’t fit his personality now). But the end tables and the fabric are all going to be used.

For the last 6 months or so I’ve been collecting inspiration photos on my pinterest. Here are a few that I’ve been particularly inspired by…

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I love the colors in this baby boy nursery… the wall color, the cream and gray and the burnt orange… Love, love, love.

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Spencer has gone ga-ga over airplanes, and I was immediately drawn to these framed vintage prints.

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I think the layout of this room is interesting and the orange looks awesome with the gray. I also really love the airplane art over the daybed.

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These illustrated ABC cards would make awesome graphic art.

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And one day (maybe a little later) I’d love to build a door like this one for his closet.

Now that I’ve shared my inspiration, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty… the master plan/list of projects:

  1. Choose paint color and paint walls
  2. DIY headboard and bedding for twin bed
  3. Sew curtain panels
  4. Lots and lots of art to fill up the wall space: things like framed prints, a refashion for Robbie the Rhino, and a DIY chalkboard
  5. Upcyle an old changing table into something more useful, like toy storage or a car/train table
  6. Give a face lift to an old dresser and glider rocking chair
  7. Update existing brown throw rug
  8. Layer in lots of fun accessories

There are other, bigger projects that I’d like to do someday (like the sliding closet door), but for now I’d like to just work on the bones and build a good foundation. Which, theoretically speaking, should make it easier to do those bigger projects down the line.

So that’s the basic plan for Spencer’s room redo. I’m so excited to get started. He’s just so over being a baby and having baby things, that it’s time to get this show on the road. I’ll admit, I have so much going on that it’s going to be slow going, but at least it’s better than not going at all. Right??


Happy 2nd Birthday, Spencer!

Yesterday my baby boy turned 2. And we celebrated. Toy Story style.

There is just something really special about the 2nd birthday. I felt it when Laurel turned 2 and I’m feeling it with Spencer. It’s almost like a signal of the end of the their baby days. I mean, he’s certainly come a long way from this squirmy little dude…

And he has developed his own little personality. Talking, running, climbing. And he definitely knows what he likes.

He never goes anywhere without Buzz or Woody. Those 2 are just as real to Spencer as his dad and I… and I am completely okay with that. We absolutely love the Toy Story movies and have been known to watch them 3 or 4 times a day when we’re home sick… ahem, Spencer and I, that is. So it was an easy choice to have a Toy Story themed birthday party!

I decorated the house with all things Toy Story. Including the toys we already had, like Woody and Slinky Dog. And paper decorations from a store bought pack. I even framed the invitation I designed. My good buddy, Eric Summers drew Buzz and Woody for me!

We made cupcakes and topped them with Toy Story sprinkles.

Spencer blew out a Buzz Lightyear candle.

And we opened lots of Toy Story themed presents.

But there were other things, too. Like this big ride on John Deere tractor that my mom and dad surprised him with. It was a BIG hit… with all the kids!

After the party was over and everything had calmed down a bit, we brought Spencer over to the growth chart in the hallway. Just like we do on each birthday (and at other random times), we marked how tall Spencer has grown.

And I know it’s cliche, but I still can’t believe it’s been 2 whole years. Sometimes I can look at him and it feels like he was just born and others it feels like he’s been with us forever.

Having a little boy has been such a rewarding experience. He shows me everyday how sweet and silly and loving he is… and how completely different he is from his sister. He makes me smile and laugh out loud. He also scares the bejeebus out of me (I mean, really, the kid has no fear), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Happiest 2nd Birthday, Spencie Man. I can not wait to see how much you grow and learn over the next year!

Let the Countdown Begin

Yesterday was a special day. We got to give the kids some of the best news you can give a kid. The kind of news that makes Christmas look like any other random day.

That’s right! In just about 2 months we’re headed to see the Mouse and we couldn’t be any more excited!

We’ve been keeping this big secret for a couple of months now, when my parents surprised us with the news. (Mom and Dad are footing the bill and taking our whole family… Mark, me, the kids, and my sister!! I have the best parents!!) And we’ve been secretly communicating about it in their presence, but never spilling the beans until just the right moment.

Because Laurel is the type of kid that if you tell her we’re doing something at any point in the future, she will ask and ask and ask about it until it’s finally time to go. haha. So we didn’t want to tell her too soon. And 60 days out just seemed like a nice round number. I also made a cute little countdown to help us track the days until we leave.

So, yesterday Mark and I sat both kiddos down on the couch and showed them the countdown. I asked Laurel if she knew what it was, and she said “Mickey Mouse.” I asked her if she knew where Mickey Mouse lived and at first she said “Florida!” And I asked her where in Florida and she screamed “Disneyworld!!” And then we told her that in 60 days we were going to Florida to visit Disneyworld. More screaming ensued. There was jumping up and down. And the biggest smiles ever. The kind of moments that melt your parental heart.

To help us always remember the moment, we recorded a little post announcement interview with Laurel. You can see it below.

Can’t you just hear the excitement in her voice?! The anticipation might kill us but it’s going to be a fun 2 months!! Let the countdown begin. Disney, here we come!

P.S. I’ll be back tomorrow to show you how I made the countdown!!

My Crafty Space

Evolution. Ebb and flow. Peaks and valleys. Motivation and … unmotivation.
This is the story of my crafty space.

You see, this space started its life as a formal dining room. But, we don’t actually do any formal dining. All of our dining takes place at the counter bar or at the kitchen table. We’re not really ones for dinner parties. Almost immediately I set out to rezone the formal dining area into a very un-formal crafty space.

That journey began in March. Of 2011.

It’s been a journey full of ups and downs. It’s been a constant flow of changing and rearranging. Adding to and taking from.

Most of the crafting was being relocated to the counter tops and the kitchen table.
And the master bedroom.

And this space—this poor little perfect-for-crafting space—was being neglected and filled with junk. To make matters worse, it’s open to the rest of the house (because it was a formal dining room) and it’s one of the first rooms you see when you walk through the front door.

Not the best of first impressions. So I got my act together and I cleaned it up. And I reorganized. And I’m actually really comfortable with where things are in this room. Which means I’m ready to share. So let’s bring on the pictures!

It took me a week last March to paint those stripes. I built the desk using the parts and legs from an old buffet table. I just added the extra long top and apron. Then painted the top in chalkboard paint. This is one piece of the room I’m still not completely happy with. I really want to rebuild a desk using stock base cabinets so it’ll be counter height. It’s actually on my to do list for this year.

I love those yellow chairs! I picked them up from a yard sale for $10. They are actually really comfortable and the original yellow vinyl is in really good shape. I may need to spray paint the frames soon though. Just another project added to the list.

The shelves above were DIYed using bifold closet doors and wooden brackets. Everything got sanded and primed and painted a fresh white. The brackets are screwed into studs and the doors sit on top. Just like that… tons of extra storage space.

Then I had to find room for all of the stuff. Seriously. I have stuff everywhere. So things like paint supplies, fabric, yarn, felt, jewelry and lip balm making supplies, cricuts, and general all-purpose crafty supplies found their homes on one of 2 cheapo bookshelves that flank the doorway to the entry.

Here’s the other bookshelf behind my favorite blue chair. I bought this lovely from a seller on craigslist. It’s probably my favorite craigslist purchase ever!

On the shelf I used a couple of extra brackets to act as dividers for larger bits of folded fabrics. Works pretty well.

I added little containers and such all around the room to help corral all the little bits and bobs that go along with crafting. The little clear plastic jars I found at Goodwill for 99¢ each. I just cut some scrapbook paper and slipped it inside. And, they even match the soup can organizers!

The little framed pegboard I made helps keep things I use the most—scissors and a ruler—handy, but still has room to add things as I need to. The best thing about pegboard is that you can constantly move the hooks and attachments to get a custom arrangement for whatever supplies you need to store.

There are still a few things I’d like to do before I can officially say that I’m 100% happy with my space. Like changing the light fixture, for one. It is so time for that dining room chandelier to go. I’ve had my eye on the IKEA Maskros fixture for a long time. Too bad the closest Ikea is still 8 hours away. Boo.

For now, I can honestly say I’m content with how it looks and how it functions. I feel like everything has a place and I have room to spread out and get down to the fun stuff—the crafting!!

Linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After Party!

Hall Bath Makeover

Who loves a good before and after? This girl. Who loves marking one more thing off her to-do list even more? Yeah, this girl!

Which brings me to our hall bathroom. A project that has been off and on for a while. I think I had test swatches of paint on the wall for … oh … six months or so. I just couldn’t get it together. Maybe I just didn’t like the paint I was testing. Maybe I just got busy with other things. Or, maybe I’m just lazy. Whatever the reason, I’m happy to report I put the finishing touches on this weekend and all I can say is … what the heck took me so long?!

The test swatch you see in the pictures above is not the same test swatch that has been sitting for months. I tested the new paint over the old swatch. You know, to make sure I liked it before I took the time to paint everything. Turns out, I liked it. Hooray!

The color is by Behr. And I can’t for-the-life-of-me remember what it’s called. But it’s a really pretty shade of avocado green and I love it. I love it because it’s one of my favorite shades of green. And I love it because the gallon only cost me $7.

Lesson for today: Always, always check the oops paint before you pay full price to have a color  mixed … you never know what you might find!

You can probably tell from these photos that the bathroom isn’t exactly huge. And it sort of lacks in the storage department. There are no drawers. Only the one cabinet.Which I don’t understand at all. Why would any contractor put a vanity with no drawers in a bathroom? And, why didn’t that cross my mind when we were looking at this house? No clue.


To help with the storage issue, I built and installed the 2 little shelves over the toilet.

I just cut a piece of scrap wood down to two 18.5″ pieces. After sanding, priming and painting, I attached them to the wall above the toilet with ‘L’ brackets.

Then, I spent the better part of an afternoon adding and taking away. Rearranging and adding back. Until I was finally satisfied with the accessories.

A small wicker basket. A glass jar to hold q-tips. Some potpourri and a piece of coral from a trip to Miami last September. And 2 cute photos of the kids in the bath.

The good thing about decorating small spaces is that it doesn’t take much to fill out …

A new rug and a basket to hold extra rolls of tissue.

A few new towels to hang on the bars.

And 2 wooden, folk art ducks I bought months ago from a thrift store to round it all out.

And because I can’t get enough of the before and after, let’s take one more look at it all together…

So much better, right?

Linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After Party!

Our Hallway Frame Gallery

Today I wanted to share a little project I tackled last year on my quest to rid the house of all the beige. (I’m still on that quest, by the way. I just haven’t gotten much farther.) It’s probably one of my favorite projects though and I’m excited to show it off.

This is the hallway. On one end, the hall closet and Laurel’s room. On the other, Spencer’s room. And sandwiched between the two is the kids’/guest bathroom. As you can see it’s not a really big space at all. It can hardly be classified a hallway, really. But it was screaming to have some life breathed into it.

So, I grabbed a roller and some paint and got to work.

The wall color is Glidden’s Quiet Rain. It was actually a can of oops paint that I snagged half off. Even though it’s hard to tell in the photos, it’s a soft grey-blue.

From the time we bought this house, it was my plan to hang lots of framed family photos in this space. I thrifted and shopped until I had enough frames, and then spray painted them all white. I played around with the layout for a while before I was happy with how it looked. To hang the photos I used a trick I found on pinterest. I dabbed a tiny bit of toothpaste onto the hanger. Then I positioned the frame in the space I wanted it and pushed it against the wall. The toothpaste left a little mark and I just hammered the nails in.

The little ampersand I bought at HobbyLobby and spray painted yellow. I love how the yellow pops off the wall color. The bottom frame I dressed up for Valentine’s Day with some scrapbook paper and a white puffy heart sticker.

Instead of doing only black and white photos, I opted to throw some color ones in the mix. I like the variety.

Even the thermostat got it’s own frame. Instead of sticking out like a sore thumb, it now just blends right in. I added a strip of scrapbook paper to the inside of the frame to give it a bit of added interest.

Here’s another frame I dressed up for Valentine’s Day. I used the same scrapbook paper from the other and added a couple of Christmas ornaments that just happen to have a lovey theme. For this one, I taped the paper to the wall just under the nail, hung the ornaments from the nail and then placed the frame on top. Because the frame is glassless, it gives a nice little 3d element to the wall.

It’s really fun having all of these memories on our walls. Like those bamboo bookmarks. My college roommate brought those back for me from a trip to China. I just used a few pop dots to stick them onto a piece of chipboard.

This is quite possibly my favorite part of the project. It’s a growth chart that I made from some scrap MDF. It’s so fun marking the kids’ heights and getting to see how much they’ve grown. Plus, it’s portable, so if we ever decide to leave this house I won’t have to leave these memories behind. Maybe for tomorrow I’ll write out the step by step so you can make your own.

I love our hallway frame gallery. I still find myself standing in there just looking at all the photos. One day I’ll add another round and fill the space in a bit more, but until then I’m really happy with it.

Soup Can Organization

Remember how I told you all about my goals for 2012? And, remember how nowhere on that list did I mention getting organized? That’s because every year I resolve to get and stay organized, and every year I just don’t. And while I crave organization and order, I’m just not that good at keeping up with it.

In my head, everything in my house is neatly tucked away. Nothing is cluttered or out of place and everything can be found easily. Only I live in reality, with 2 small kids, and that’s just not possible in my world. So I ignore the huge mess on my craft room floor and instead make something pretty. And I justify it because the pretty is also functional.

To make these ridiculously easy organizational containers, you’ll need about 10 minutes and the following supplies:

1. Empty metal cans (soup, vegetable, etc.) – washed and dried

2. Scrapbook paper

3. Double stick tape

4. Button magnets

5. Hot glue

STEP ONE: You’ll need to wash and dry your empty cans before getting started. But, before that remove the paper from the can and set it aside.

STEP TWO: Using the paper you removed from the can as a template, cut your scrapbook paper to size.

STEP THREE: Wrap the scrapbook paper around the can and stick down the edge with double stick tape.

STEP FOUR: Hot glue a couple of button magnets to back over the seam. Like below…

And there you have it! I told you it was ridiculously easy. You can stick these babies anywhere a magnet goes.

They’re pretty and functional, and they help me keep my junk in check. What more could I ask for?