Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bedside Table Goes Green

This is a wrap-up on how my bedside table turned out, after having the piece on my to-do list for pretty much a year.

After many struggles, gobs of goo, and a broken bottom shelf, it started to look like the end was in sight.

I replaced the broken wood, and filled the cracks with wood filler, before giving it a darker final coat of "primer" (in this case, leftover "Newburyport Blue" flat wall paint, mixed with white primer.  

This, I think, could very well be referred to as this tables "ugly duckling" phase.  It's gotta get bad before it can get better, right?  Oouffff.....

The table and I went indoors for the glossy green coat--Benjamin Moore's Advance Water-based paint in "Celtic Green."  Then I added a knob from Anthropologie that is pretty sweet--made from a geode!  It looks soooo much prettier in person, too--the outside has swirls of blue and the same green that's in the table, and the center is cloudy, purply-grey quartz.

It was dark out by the time the table was dry (and unstinky) enough to put upstairs next to the bed, so lighting was a struggle.  I topped it with the piece of glass my friend had gotten cut to fit the table many years ago.  It's nice to know that I won't have to worry about the tabletop getting scratched by my books, phone, etc. every night.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Birds of Hope Wall Ornaments

My six- to eight-year-olds are working on this fun clay project.  I got this idea from I am happy with how they are turning out, and the kids seemed to really enjoy the process of creating and texturizing the birds, as well as hunting for the letter stamps.  We talked about positive messages and brainstormed ways to use the letter stamps and help our art "say something." I am letting them dry slowly so they don't warp too much, and once they're fired, we will underglaze them. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Year-long Living-room Overhaul

This is my living room a year ago.

We had just moved in and unpacked. This was it. 

I know it's only an iPhone pic, but this shows some of what we've done in the past year. 
The basic guts of the room stayed the same--the couch, two side chairs, side tables, and the floor pillow are all the same. I did, however, make some color and pattern changes that really give the room a warm, cozy feel. The rug's nothing fancy, just a Home Depot special.  But I think what made the greatest impact were the wall and window updates. The dark walls and tall curtains add height to what's actually a fairly small room. The fabric, plain white muslin, provides much needed contrast against the dark walls and was a bargain at around $2.00 a yard with a coupon.  I didn't want to spend the money on cafe clips to hang them, so I sewed loops on the back of each panel. The curtains and bamboo shades are also hung higher than the height of the window to make the space feel larger.  Even though there are quite a few different patterns, it's more unified than what I had before, because the color holds it together. 

I am still trying to figure out what this odd little area below the way-up-high cabinets requires. Not another flat, framed picture, but something...something is still missing here...

Here're the details on this little room:
Paint color -Benjamin Moore, Newburyport Blue
White curtains -white muslin, handmade by me
Bamboo blinds
Floor pillow, blanket basket, gold mirror -HomeGoods
Rug -Home Depot
Cherry and steel coffee table, stump side table-handmade by my Dad
Lamps -HomeGoods and thrift store finds, repainted
Wingback chair -recovered, Uzbek Jewel, P. Kaufman
Side chair -Craigslist, recovered in grey
Art -collected. Some is my own work, others are from people I went to school with, people I know. Some is less exciting reprinted stuff that I just happened to like. 
Antique town map - Rustology in Stafford Springs
Bench -handmade by my Dad when I was a kid 
Pillows -the feather one and grey one I made, the round pillow is from LauraFrisk, on etsy
Wicker chair -was in the house when we moved in; cushion recovered

The pellet stove is so cozy this time of year. 

I have enjoyed figuring this room out and putting it together from so many different pieces

Inspiration for this room really started with this fabric I found over three years ago. I bought it from JoAnn's Special Order department with a 60% off coupon (the best kind!), hoping to redo a wingback chair. Although I loved the motif, I was waiting for the perfect chair and space in which to use it, so the fabric sat on a bolt on my dresser for years, just looking at me. When we moved here, this chair was kindly left with the house, and I had the inspiration for this room ready and loaded to go. 

Here is a close-up of the wingback chair fabric-love the elephants and crocodiles!  
P. Kaufman Uzbek Jewel

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Falling for Value

This week the students finished up some monochromatic value-based leaf paintings. Last week we drew our outlines on black paper with glue.  There was one exploding glue incident-only slightly distracting-and we let them dry for a week before finishing our work. Tonight we tried mixing some paint use with white and/or black to fill in the spaces and create our leaves. Kids had a great time, we talked about value, and it took the whole class to finish these.