Monday, May 30, 2011

While the City Sleeps ...

 We've lived in our house for about eight years. Slowly but surely we've been working on making each room our own. The last easy* room to work on was the very small guest room. Not only is the room small, the previous paint was hideous - some weird shade of blue-ish white. Here's a before picture:

After much deliberation, we decided on a comic book/superhero theme. I looked around online and couldn't find any bedding/wall art/accessories that fit my vision. We couldn't settle on one particular superhero. We couldn't even decide between DC and Marvel. So I went with a general comic book feel. Since husband was set on using our old full-sized bed in the room (instead of a twin) there really wasn't room to have a headboard. One morning, the idea of doing a comic book panel mural on one wall just hit. I'm not good at drawing things - especially on large scale, so at first I wasn't thrilled. Then, I realized that a panel featuring a city skyline wouldn't be too hard. I could sketch it on some graph paper and use my trusty ruler and level to transfer the design to the walls. Here's the original sketch:

The next step was paint. We chose a dark blue for the walls - drastically different from the earthy tones in the rest of house:

Then, the mural wall was prepped and painted Ultra-White:

Next up - transferring the design from the paper to the wall:

I used contact paper to make a mask for the moon and mixed the ultra-white and the blue to get various shades of sky:

Then it was time to prep and paint the buildings a rich black color:

Finally, it was time to paint in the windows. I thought about painting the windows white to keep a simpler color scheme, but I'm happy I ended up with the yellow:

For the finishing touches, I added brushed nickel outlet covers, curtain rod and hooks, and my husband installed a new brushed nickel light fixture. Also added black curtains and new bedding:

The room isn't totally finished - the four altered puzzles will be hung on the wall opposite the bed and I'm going to paint two 18x18 canvases to hang next to the window. I'm also going to screen print and sew three throw pillows for the bed. We also need some kind of shelving to display some collectibles (there was a painting fail yesterday trying to paint an old white bookshelf black). But, the room is ready for guests! And, here's a link to the Craftster post.

*meaning not the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Red Amigurumi Car

I started this little crochet car over eight months ago. To goal was to gift it to my nephew for his 2nd birthday. He was really into the Tonka Chuck & Friends toys, so when I found this pattern on Etsy I thought it seemed perfect:

Of course, between my work schedule and other projects popping up, the little car was put on hold. Most of the pieces were crocheted and stuffed - just needed to crochet the bumpers and the side/back windows and assemble all the pieces. I don't know why, but assembling projects like this always makes me nervous - maybe that's part of the reason why I put finishing it on hold? Thanks to this blog, I was driven to finish the thing, even though my nephew left his cars and trucks behind in favor of dinosaurs. And, here's the Craftster post.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Time at home?

This weekend - a holiday weekend - is work free for me. Thank goodness for the holiday weekend - no one wants to come to a program on a holiday weekend. If it wasn't for holiday weekends, I'd have had something scheduled every single weekend since the end of February! A few weeks ago, I decided to take some vacation time Thursday afternoon and all day Friday. My mind started racing, thinking about all the possibilities with my four-and-a-half day weekend. I can finally finish the mural wall in the guest room! Crochet! Altered puzzles! Spray paint register covers and the guest room bookshelf! The chance to cross so many projects off my lists and feel that sense of accomplishment! Heck, dh and I could actually go see a movie - like, a movie in the theater! Maybe we'll even see three! Oh, the possibilities ...

Maybe I just need to get some sleep. Lots and lots of sleep.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ugh, so happy this is finished ...

I'm pleased with the final piece, but this beaded bookmark was the project from hell!  Now I remember why I got rid of the bead loom I used to own. I ended up crafting my own makeshift loom from a piece of cardboard and a photo storage box. It worked, but it was a pain to use!

My original plan was to buy a new bead loom - after all, they are only $5-$6. And with a 40% off coupon, it's definitely worth it. Alas, as hard as I looked in every Michaels, Jo-Ann's and Hobby Lobby, a bead loom was not to be found. Then, as I shopped at Hobby Lobby last night for work, I finally stumbled across a frakkin' bead loom - two days after finishing this wretched project! The icing on the cake? The loom came with pre-sorted beads and perfectly-sized needles.

Why are the beads and needles the so-called icing? Because I cheaped out and purchased the value bag of mixed colored seed beads for $3.99. After many hours sorting the beads, I began stringing. Why are the bead so cheap? The sizes aren't uniform, and the needle I was using didn't fit through the holes of  many of the beads. Ugh.

So, after many hours - many more hours than I anticipated - here's the finished bookmark:

And, here's the obligatory shot of the bookmark in use:

And, here's a picture of the craft fail after dear husband pulled on one of the big beads:


And finally, here's the Craftster post.