Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ziplining and Snowboarders

Last year D and I went zip lining- we had a great when A called me to say she and her boyfriend were buying a Living Social pass for zip lining we jumped on the bandwagon!!!  and thanks to my lovely parents- we actually had 24 child free hours- which consisted of zip lining 75 feet up in the trees, cargo net climbing, tree scaling, sleeping in (till 9am!!!), meals for two, some dancing, a comedy show,  and lots of laughs. For a split second I felt like I was a 20 -year-old again;)

I feel revived (and slightly sore from the cargo net/tree climbing)- which is the kick in the pants I need to realize I need to do some more pushups!!! The facility that we went to was Empower center in Middletown.

and sticking with the active sports-theme...I worked on my current mural project this morning.  I decided to tackle the snowboarder- who I was a little weary of (mostly because I haven't painted/drawn a person in a very long time since most of my current work is pretty abstract...

I decided to use the trusted grid technique- where you create a grid over the original image (in this case a photo image from a Google search...)

then I created a grid on the wall where I wanted to place the figure- this grid was 7x the size of the first grid.

and then I started painting....

I still need to add another coat of red to the snowboard- plus the logo that it's going to have on it- I'm pretty excited about how he came out!!! Here's a close-up....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Old Dog Learned a New Trick, and A Current Project

First off, I came home from work the other day, to this:
yes folks- that's dinner- better yet dinner made by my husband:)
(it's a tortellini salad with carrots, tomatoes, peas, broccoli, veggie pepperoni and parm- and it was yummy!)

Oh - and then he went out and bought sheets for the babes bed (they have been co-sleeping lately- quite successfully I might add on the bottom bunk- it's a double bed, which means no more sleeping with us- it's been LOVELY)
I'm not sure if it's the fact that he bought them, or the polka dots, but whenever I see them- I smile.

As for the new project.  I am working on this cool room for a 13 year old boy right now.  It's been a lot of fun so far.  He's away at camp- and I'm hoping that the whole thing will be done when he gets back- so it'll be a big reveal!
The past 2 days I've been working on painting the room- and creating a snowboarder-themed mural that is on the wall in back of his bed.

Here's a few shots of the in -progress mural:

This is my preliminary sketch, based off of a photograph of a snowboarder, and here's the shot from midday today-

Here's a little in-progress series of a cloud:

It's coming along...I'll keep you posted!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Brimfield Furniture Love Affair, New Painting, and Cookie Helper

Summer has gotten the best of me and I have been off track blog-wise- so bear with me for a quick version of catch up- I will try to make this post interesting- covering the areas of
1: Home decor/antiquing
2: Painting
3: Angelbaby cookie-making cuteness
Here we go.....

I mentioned in a previous post that D and I were taking a daytime date to Brimfield (yesterday)- and it was wonderful! We got there nice and early- and beat at least some of the scorching heat.  We decided to go on a Sunday (last day of the July show) to find some potential bargains...and bargains we did find!
#1 item on my list of hope-to-finds was a couch/settee for our dining room redo...we looked high and low, through many a vendor.  I even paid for another settee that had some potential (although needed LOTS of work)-granted I was looking for a project, but this would have been a complete overhaul/rebuild. We then continued through the end of the show to see if there was anything else out there- and literally the LAST booth on one side of the road is where I found it- and it was love at first sight- seriously...

It's a  1960's gem.  Beautiful lines- great construction, comfy, inviting. I somehow feel very connected to this piece of furniture- I really loved it. Oh- and I was able to bargain with the first vendor that I had already paid and use my original purchase $ for something else from his shop-an also very useful antique drawer thingy to hold dress-up clothes:)

My vision was as follows: I wanted  a couch/settee that we could use at our dining room table (which I'm in the process of refinishing)-to provide comfortable inviting seating for diners and various other dining room activities.  I am a big fan of being comfortable while eating- and I really prefer to sit cross-legged while doing so (I know- I'm a freak)- not that doable in a regular dining chair, so....this was my solution!!!!

The plan is:
 #1- attach smallish locking casters to the feet to give it a little more dining-height, plus, be able to move it around easily.
#2- reupholster- something that is on my in-head bucket-list, and something I cannot wait to get started on!!!!  I will be following the fabulous step by step tutorial that Jenny recently did here on Little Green Notebook.

Here are some fabric options...I'd love your opinion on a favorite!

(Kravet, bansuri slate ikat linen)

(F.Schumacher, kasari ikat, turquoise)

(F.Schumacher glacier fret, mineral)

(F.Schumacher, arches print, bamboo)

(F.Schumacher, durance embroidery)

(Premier Prints, gotcha, storm)

(Premier Prints, mingei, turquoise)

Source links:

moving on to subject #2- a new painting!!!!  Here are some shots of my current inspiration

It turns out I have a thing for rocks...specifically those from the shore- after all they are perched on all of my window panes:)

so I used some Block Island rocks for this piece- it totally captures what I was going for.

and #3
after dinner tonight I had a hankering for some vegan chocolate chip cookies- so Zbooty assisted

We spent the day at the beach today with some super welcoming, and helpful-at-giving-a-tired-Mommy-a-break family friends...3 of which are sisters ages 7-10 who happen to love little ones;).  Zella said that the cookies (the ones she made in the middle row) were sister cookies:)) How sweet is that?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby Buns

So the other day I was assembling a new umbrella for our backyard double lounge...and I was quite surprised when I lifted up the back rest...

5 little baby bunnies, all nestled in a little grassy divot in the lawn- so sweet

of course they started hoping about once I lifted up their shelter.  Then I found one hiding (not so well) behind this little weed:)

so sweet- I really could not resist giving one a little snuggle.

We decided (after my husband gave me a talk about how they would be fine in their little home, and that their mother would take care of them, and how I REALLY didn't need to "mother" them) I let them be.  Their Mommy comes back to feed them nightly- The other night I looked out my studio window and I saw the Mom eating in the back yard, and the babies hopping about:) It's a been a fun week watching them grow- and you can imagine the delight the Angelbabies are getting from this experience!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Project File: Easy, Beachy Grommeted Drapes

I had mentioned this dining room project about a week ago...and I had completed two of the three window panels at that time. I was patiently waiting for an order of fabric to come in so I could share this quick fix project with you! Here's how they came out...

and here's my original inspiration for the panels- I picked up the June 2011 issue of House Beautiful and fell in love with this simple, classic, uncluttered house in one of it's features.  While I wouldn't want my whole house to be this streamlined- I loved the idea of these easy, laid-back window treatments.  The home owners said they put them up as temporary window treatments when they first moved into their home- and they just sort of stayed- and I love it! I knew they would work for our transitional dining space (a MAJOR work in progress:)
Check out the spread...

House Beautiful, June 2011, pg. 89. Interior by Jesse Carrier & Mara Miller, Photographs by Francesco Lagnese

Oh- and now that I'm looking at it- I'm realizing I was also inspired by the grain sack chair covers in the shot above (for the design I made on the panels)- I really like classic linen with the clean stripes...
they also look pretty fabulous in the image below in pinstripe fabric against the gorgeous grass cloth wallpaper in the home office...
House Beautiful, June 2011, pg 90. Interior by Jesse Carrier & Mara Miller, Photographs by Francesco Lagnese
So- here's what I did.  I had a couple yards of this fabric- by Premier Prints laying around (I had bought it at least a year ago and never got around to using it- I unfortunately have A LOT of fabric like that...) but it wasn't enough for all three panels- hence the secondary order.

I hemmed all four sides of each panel after measuring to the desired size.

Here are the grommeting tools- I had purchased a similar kit back in my teaching days- and it was thankfully as simple as I had remembered:)

find it here

This is the device that is included in the kit- purpose: to cut the circular hole in the fabric for the grommet to fit through- not sure if the linen was too thick- but it did not work...

so I resorted to scissors (not the safest bet- but it worked fine- if you opt for this method- go SLOW and CAREFUL)

then- I placed the main part of the grommet through the backside of the hole...

then put the ring on the front side- and laid it down on the metal circular guide

then placed the metal pounder-thingy through the hole and hammered away (I used a regular hammer- which worked just fine- the package recommends a ball pein hammer, $30, and not necessary)

and there you have it!

 After ironing each panel- I laid them down- and applied masking tape in various lines across the fabric,  both width and length-wise.

I used my stencil brush for this- the stiffer bristles helped control paint leakage under the tape lines.

Then I applied the paint (acrylic, mixture of white and cream)

I totally eye-balled the lines- I didn't want the panels to be totally matchy-matchy or symmetrical- and I am an instant-gratification-ADD type of gal who is not patient in projects like this....oh- and I attached brass hook eyes on the window frame to hang them from.  I like the privacy that it provides in the room now, and that there is still plenty of light coming through the top panes that are exposed.

and to take them down- you simply unhook one side- I love the laid-back feel.

Now to design the rest of the room...D and I are headed on a Brimfield antiquing-date next weekend!!!!! WHOO WHOO!!!
#1 item I'll be searching for is a refurbishable banquet/bench to go along one side of the table- wish us luck!