Tuesday, November 29, 2011

all things girly-girl - part six

Little Project No. 10...

By the time our peanut was born, our expectant parents’ list of the things we wanted to teach her, make for her, provide for her, had grown to be one of 1001. We wanted to not place importance on “things” however, but rather have her develop a love and appreciation for those tokens and treasures given from the heart and made by hand, or at least with the tiniest bit of creativity, and with the appreciation as to how they came to be. Joe and I both being the sentimental softies we are, believe that in addition to traditions and customs, heirlooms and cherished pieces of our history or that of our ancestors are a big part of providing us with something tangible of our roots...something we can hold on to while in keeping and awaiting becoming yet the next generation's precious piece of family history.

As probably has grown obvious by now throughout Lizzy's room redo, I find myself living my childhood all over again at times vicariously through Eliza’s. What little girl wouldn’t enjoy afternoons of playing dress-up with tea sets and hosting parties for Teddy and imaginary friends? Altho I’m not quite sure why I didn’t, I, for some reason, had that image along with countless others when we found out we were having a little girl. I remember wanting a play table and chairs so badly but Mom was a single parent, often times working two jobs to make ends meet. It was understood that you keep your wishlist short, realistic and practical...bells and whistles were often hard to come by altho much to her credit, we did have them on occasion. That being the case, and accepted with a true appreciation for all we did have, it still didn’t negate the fact that I wanted one!  In remembering that in our pregnancy, it found itself on the list of “all things girly-girl” that I would attempt to give to her at some point in time. So Joe and I being ever so slightly creative in thought with hopefully capable hands to match as only time would tell, set out to make one for Lizzy and came up with this.
Made of wood, we gave it to her for her 3rd Christmas. Of course, she wouldn’t realize or appreciate then that it was handmade by her parents, nor would she find much purpose for it then, but she would in time. I decided to finish it in paint with a clock motif and ballet slippers. It sits under her toy bag rack where we so often find her coloring or dressing her Barbies while singing up a storm to Justin Bieber and patiently waiting for me to ready myself in the mornings.
Since the time that all of the little projects began to hatch from the onset of her room's makeover, I’ve decided the green walls have run their course undoubtedly meaning, project no. 11 lies awaiting us somewhere not too far off in the distant future. Just how far off, is hard to say. Until that time tho, hopefully our little one is enjoying her new surroundings as I know without a doubt, I am.

While putting away her folded laundry one afternoon, I glanced at her bed and found myself suddenly getting sooo sleepy. Her bed looked sooo inviting and so...I placed the laundry basket on the floor and assumed a horizontal position on her bed...”just for a minute”. As I looked around her room from the perspective of her plump floral pillows, the thought occurred to me that, in the many ways Joe and I have chosen to be creative over the years, this is one that I’ve taken indescribable joy in - creating a space where our little one can play, learn, grow, dream, be imaginative and creative - where she will live out a wonderful childhood surrounded in things requiring much thought and work which her parents created for her, when and how the means available to them were there to do, and with so much love...what more could a little girl ask for? Thanks Mom ♥.

I hope you've enjoyed following a bit of a journey in the transformation of our little girl's nursery to a "big girl's room" and the many little projects and finds, of self included, along the way. Ah, having a girly-girl is so much fun! Er...or is that, "being one"?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

all things girly-girl cont'd - part cinq

Little Project No. 8...a window treatment

I had an ivory curtain on Lizzy's window while her room was still a nursery. It was a pair of cotton duck tab top panels, which I had removed the tabs from, sewn a rod pocket into, and made tiebacks for from one of the fabric patterns I had dug out of remnant bins at our local fabric shop. Pretty, and functional, they served their purpose while she was a baby. Now 4 yrs old tho, we decided a change was due in a window treatment.

Joe set out to make shutters for her windows which would serve two purposes...well 3 actually if you were to include the ‘pretty’ function! Not only was she requiring privacy, but now also, a little darkness in her room for bedtime when neighborhood kids can still be heard shrieking with delight in their play on a warm summer's night. It's difficult to explain to a small child that it's her bedtime while other kids are running around outdoors still having fun in broad daylight! I'm not that old - I do remember and it hurts!

I copied the contour from one of our vertical sign designs at www.mypaintedporch.com and of course, painted and antiqued them, as well as the attached hinges. I found glass knobs from eBay for $3 a pce, for a few projects I was working on around the house, and installed a few of those for operating the shutters. They look so sweet in her windows, from both inside and out! One window has nothing but the shutters as a treatment, as the window is quite short and long...one of those odd sizes you're continuously struggling to find a solution for, so we went full length for that window. The longer window behind her headboard would require another treatment.  Where the shutters ended only a little over the halfway point on this window, I re-used the curtain from her nursery, by doubling the panel and draping it over the rod. Using the same tiebacks from the nursery curtain but I repurposed those by installing them from the curtain rod and down and over the fabric, to gather the fabric vertically from the rod, and well...kinda love that too! Here's a bit of a peek at her shutters... 
Little Project No. 9...more than just a mirror

I guess this means the cat is surely out of the bag, as I confess publicly...I LOVE garbage day!!  It was about 8:30 am and Lizzy and I were on our way to her daycare, when driving up my very own street, something wooden lying in a heap at the curb caught my eye.  Slowing down to take a closer look, (of course :-), I could see that it was a full-length freestanding swivel mirror...just what I had been looking for for Eliza's room! Afraid it would be gone by the time I returned home, I got out and inspected it while Lizzy wondered what the heck I was up to...like she shouldn't know by now! Other than the cracked mirror and it’s ultra shiny dark mahogany finish ( both fixable), "that could work!" So I claimed it after wrestling with it for 10 minutes or more...surely enough time for all my neighbors to recognize and memorize my face in broad daylight as the now exposed neighborhood "refuse resucitator"! Hehe...they'll get over it :-)!

I had the mirror replaced by an auto service garage, and painted the woodwork in cream color, and distressed and waxed.

My dear father-in-law ("Pa", as I affectionately knew him), whom we lost two years ago, was a carpenter by trade in Germany. He and Eliza hadn't yet met when he passed, occuring just the month previous to our booked family vacation to Germany...the huge anticipated moment where Ma and Pa (not Kettle :-)) would meet their newest grandchild for the first time. Up until that time, it was so important to them both, that Lizzy have something to know them by, until that time would come.  Every so often, we would receive a surprise package of wooden pieces cut to precision, complete with sketched out plans for Joe to assemble, of something a little girl would cherish and know it to have come from her Oma and Opa.  In one of those extra special packages, was a little wooden owl rack with pegs. It was also important to us that Lizzy have something to remember her Opa by while she has since outgrown some of the others, so I painted and antiqued the owl rack as well, and mounted it on the bead-boarded side of her change table (now book/toy shelf)...where  princess Halloween costumes and dresses would hang within easy arm's reach.
The salvaged mirror now with new life as a little girl's best confidante, stands proudly in a corner of her room, next to her play dress-up attire and Opa's gift...playing host to a little girl's dreams and fantasies of Prince Charming, glass slippers and graceful ballerinas.

to be continued next week...we're almost there with project no. 8 -  table and chairs playset

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

and the winner is...

Congratulations to www.papernosh.com, the winner of our Christmas Giveaway drawn Nov 15th!
We would also like to take this opportunity to wish all of our blog followers, customers, FB fans and friends, a truly wonderful Thanksgiving (for those of you celebrating this coming weekend :-) and to all, a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, everywhere. We are so thankful to each and every one of you for your friendship as we too, give thanks for our wonderful blessings...you!
With big hugs...xxx!

Monday, November 14, 2011

all things girly-girl cont'd - part quatre

Little Project No. 6...a memory board

With all that Lizzy has come to experience and know in her short 4 years of life thus far, there are moments when you have a piece of memorabilia that you get to bring home, but which often ends up in the bill pile, or stowed away in a cabinet.  Or a schedule from daycare that lets us know what activities our kids are partaking in on any given day, with some activities dictating how little ones need to be dressed for the occasion.  So I thought filling that need, a memory board would be perfect for her room, and it is! 

In searching for an interesting frame for the board, I had gone to a local dept store to buy one new, but then found one between the display racks, which was quite large in size with the picture glass broken.  I made my way to the cash with both a new one to pay for and out of concern for little ones in the store, the broken one for the saleslady to remove from the floor.  But then, of course, it donned on me while waiting in line at the cash, “they’re going to throw this out when there's nothing wrong with the frame”!  So before she disposed of it, I asked her if I could take it for $5.  I know, go ahead, say it...I’m shameless!  To make matters worse, after bringing both home, I found the frame of the broken picture to be the perfect size once I held it to her wall! So I repainted and distressed that, and returned the other. Now you can say it! 

I had my husband cut a pce of sturdy particleboard to size, covering that with batting, stapled a pce of the leftover fabric from her pillow sham over the face of the board and onto the back, attached ribbon in a diamond pattern across the front, to the back again with staples. I then hammered in upholstery tacks at intersections, and she now has a place for displaying her special memoires and activity schedule to remind us that today, we need our swimsuit and beach towel for a morning at the waterpark!

Little Project No. 7...her wall letters

I had seen wooden letters online, suspended with ribbon, which I really liked the look of for a child’s room.  Of course, why buy when you can create your own, or think you can, so I printed out letters of a font to spell her name, and had my carpenter (aka Honey) cut them out of wood.  I then painted them, sanded sporadically and waxed...then finished them off with stapling pink bows to the backs for displaying.  We love these too!
to be continued next week with project no. 8 - a sweet window treatment 

Christmas Giveaway

This is our last blog posting before our Christmas Giveaway to be drawn this Tuesday, Nov 15th!! Sign up to follow us here on our blog to become eligible for a personalized Family Sign. See details at http://www.mypaintedporch.com/.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

all things girly-girl - part trois

Little Project No. 4...the rack

When my son was little, I found myself making far too many trips to the den toy basket with scattered pieces of little toy collections. I seemed to be forever finding remnants here and there left behind in play...action figures, cars, Lego, Lego and more Lego, but not just in the den or his bedroom. They somehow always found their way to the dining room table, the kitchen, even the bathroom. In an effort to establish some sense of organization for us both, I decided to stitch up toy bags. Made from muslin I had tea-dyed, sewing more straight lines on the sewing machine, following a bit of stencilling on the fabric pieces of primitive/Early American style graphics...a rocking horse, the alphabet etc., I hung them in his room from a pine shaker peg board antiqued in Trading Post Red.  Those bags were so well loved and used to no end...not to mention, looked great displayed in his room!  Altho there could be no bag big enough to house his endless collection of Lego, they did hold perfectly, his Ninja Turtles, Tonkas, transformers etc. allowing him to easily tote from upstairs to down without being confined to one area of play or dragging an entire basket behind him. Staying organized was now a breeze and he did so on his own without even realizing.  Because they were so practical, the same for Eliza would be a must!  Not really wanting a shaker peg board for her room tho and with something more feminine in mind, this was the chosen method. 
I took one of our Happily Ever After signs created by us here at My Painted Porch and had my husband add 2 pces of moulding across the top and install 3 glass knobs (e-Bay), I then painted and treated the moulding to finish it off. I love this sign...always speaks to me of endless possibilities and hope...of course, with an old world flare.

Little Project #5...the toybags

Lizzy's toybags, were made of muslin again but again, I was wanting something more feminine and shabby cottage looking with a bit of a ballerina theme...you'll find basic instructions below if you might like to attempt these or something similar!
I had found graphics online, altering a bit on my computer to include the words “Imagine”, “Dream”, “Believe”. I then mirrored the image, printed on to transfer paper from my computer, and ironed the transfers to the 14 x 18” fabric faces. I found the transfers a bit shiny and stiff, so ironed over the fabric again with wax paper for a few seconds, and peeled off. What that left me with was a vintage, aged effect with a softer graphic. Turning them outside in, I sewed a rod pocket across the top, a seam allowance along the sides and bottom of an inch or so, turned inside out again, fed a thin rope about jute thickness through the rod pockets and voila!  Except now of course, they accommodate Barbies and all things girly-girl! 

Stay tuned for All Things Girly-Girl's Little Project #6...a window treatment.  

Christmas Giveaway
Don't forget...between now and Nov 15th, sign up to follow us here on our blog and become eligible for our Christmas giveaway! See details at www.mypaintedporch.com.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

all things girly-girl - part deux

Little Project No. 2...the bed

We then bought a new mattress and support board only 2” thick, as opposed to a full size box spring of 7”, so that she would still have the ability to sit on her bed without great effort for little legs springing from the floor. I then set out to find bedding or fabrics etc. to make bedding and accessories...again, not so easy to do with one very small fabric shop with not a huge inventory to choose from. I really didn’t want to go with Disney and all of the commercial bedding that’s available out there and everywhere for kids, and she seemed not set on any one in particular, so keeping her love of pink in mind, and mine for 'feminine', we found this...
Again, with the ability to sew not much more than a straight line (but by now like no other), her pillow sham I made from a meter of a floral pattern from a bolt I found at our fabric shop. Her neck roll cushion, I made from a nursery fabric package bought at a local department store...it was the pink chenille I was after but also included a soft green ticking which is what I ended up using. I was able to still make use of a few of the throw cushions from her nursery bedding I had sewn before she was born, as they still worked for the odd accent and opted for an easy to find, ivory coverlet with matching pillow sham, bedsheets sets in solid pink, and other in solid white with eyelet hem with the intention of mixing and matching.

Little Project No. 3...a lamp

Her lamp was one I had picked up at our local department store when first decorating her nursery. The shade was a plain ivory and the base a dark wood, so I sponge painted the shade, glued on a strip of beads, painted the base a cream color, sanded here and there and was absolutely pleased with the end result. Couldn’t have dreamed it up better myself! Ha, as of course, I did!

to be continued...

Christmas Giveaway

And a reminder...between now and Nov 15th, sign up to follow us here on our blog and become eligible for our Christmas giveaway!  See details at www.mypaintedporch.com.