Mamabluebird

Spring Wreath

Wreath

Remember this wreath? I loved it when I made it, but when I pulled it back out for Spring, the love affair was over, so I decided to reuse it. I pulled the ribbon and flowers off and gathered a few items to begin a new wreath.

Tools

Metallic paint and a wooden birdcage I found recently.

Painting birdcage

I thought I would paint the entire thing metallic, but couldn’t resist painting a bluebird instead.

birdcage

I think it turned out well and was really simple to make. I ended up getting the next size up wreath (12in) which looked better proportionally and my hubby drilled a tiny hole in the birdcage so I could hang it from the top of the wreath.

Bow

I didn’t love the ribbon by itself, so I added a bow on top. This is actually a hair clip! So easy!

Wreath

It makes me smile to see this little bluebird every time I come in the house. :o)


Words that Escape

I certainly didn’t mean to stay away so long. Although I certainly have enjoyed focusing on my family, I’ve come to a point where the creativity cannot stay down and the need to write and share comes right along with it. I haven’t been doing much, a few projects here and there between baby naps, but now Henry is beginning to play more and I feel inspired to play more myself.

20131128_161450

This was the most recent family picture we have from a couple of months ago. (Nora was cold.) If you are wanting to catch up with what we’ve been doing recently, you can do so on our family blog.

To ease back into posting, here are a few words that needed to be written down:

Life is moving right along
at the pace that it desires
kids are growing, playing, fighting
Feels like walking tight rope wires

Chaos, limbo always waiting
for the changes future brings
While I’m hoping, listening
yearning for my heart to sing

We’ll be having Lorelei’s birthday party this weekend and hopefully doing a little painting. We have a list, which I’ll post about soon for things we hope to accomplish around the house.


A Wrinkle in Time

Wrinkle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle was very interesting. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I very much enjoyed the beginning of the book. Their world was interesting and mysterious. About a third of the way through, it got a little freaky. Suddenly they were hurling through space and the writer was in deep description mode and my eyes glazed over a bit. Also, the book concluded a bit abruptly for my taste, but it did conclude, which is nice. No cliffhangers or anything.

I may have hoped it would be another The Giver, but it went a little too fantasy there in the middle and suffice it to say, I won’t be reading the next one. I felt that this book was more literary than “fun read” and I wish I would have read it in school and been involved with dissecting it in some sort of group discussion. I feel like I would have learned a lot.

Next up: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Don Quixote is in the list of similar buys, so I’m a little hesitant to begin The Count… I hope it’s good!

13 in 2013


We Had a Baby

image

Henry Conner was born Saturday, June 15th at 1121 am. He weighs 7 lbs 14 oz and is 20 3/4 in. We love him so much already!

Needless to say things may be a little quiet around here, but they’ll pick back up soon. :o)


Wood Plank Installation

While writing the staining post I began to link to how to install the planks and could not find good enough information to share with you. I started asking my hubby questions about installing them and he offered to write a post for me (yay!). Also, since I wasn’t planning on writing an installation post, all of these pics are from my phone and were taken just for us, so they are not fantastic, but hopefully somewhat helpful in illustrating what was done.

Hi, My name is Jason. I am the “hubby” or “hubster” that you read about quite often. There are different types of planks, but we used planking that may be more commonly referred to as “wainscoting”. I come from a family of carpenters so a lot of this was second nature to me. This may be reflected in my writing, so I apologize ahead of time.

Required Tools

  • Pneumatic finish nailer and compressor, or electric nailer
  • 2″ finish nails
  • Pencil
  • Laser level
  • Hammer
  • Circular or table saw
  • Stud-finder
  • Tape measure

Preperation

Since the area we did was an entire wall (13′ x 8′), it was quite important that all of the planks be level. If I started putting planks up and were to be off by a little bit at the bottom, you would likely be off by quite a bit at the top when you were finished. In order to keep myself on track, level lines were needed on the wall. I used a laser level to mark the wall horizontally at three different heights. I used these lines to keep myself on track as I moved up the wall with the planks. It also helps to mark out the studs in the walls. I marked each stud from ceiling to floor. When I was done, I had a grid over the entire wall.

Additionally, I removed all fixtures from the wall, including the baseboard. In this particular project, I installed light fixtures on the walls, so I was sure to run the wiring beforehand as I had to cut holes quite larger than electrical boxes in order to mount them. These cut out segments of Sheetrock are hidden behind the planking.

One thing I failed to do was check the height of the wall. You may want to do a little math and calculate where the last row will start so that you are not left with a 1/4 row at the top. To do this, you basically divide the height of the wall by the height of the plank (minus the tongue).

Beginning the planking

First Row

After the wall was prepped and ready, I spent an inordinate amount of time starting the first row. I took the first plank and placed it on the wall. I measured more than once the distance from my lowest line to the top of the first plank to be sure the piece was level with the line. I used a finish nailer and put two nails in the plank along the stud line I mentioned making. I did it this way because the planks we used were very thin and putting a nail into the tongue (as is sometimes recommended) would likely have damaged the plank. In the corner of the wall, I also put three nails on a slight angle. If the wall was built properly, a stud will be in the corner.

I repeated this process from left to right. It doesn’t really matter which direction you go. When I reached the end of the first row, I measured back from the wall to the right edge of my last piece. That measurement is what I cut off of the next plank and used the leftover piece to start the next row. This will allow your cuts to get a staggered look (it will repeat eventually). This is the least amount of waste. Always remember to keep your cut edge at the corner of the wall. You do not want to butt a saw cut edge against a factory cut edge. I cut each piece on a table saw to make sure I had a straight cut.

The butt ends of the planks (where the two planks meet) may not get any nails. Unless you are in a very humid environment, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you fear the ends may curl, you will need to glue behind them.

Lines

Key Points

  • As you move through each row, measure along the way to make sure that you are staying on track with your level lines.
  • Be sure to check that your nails are holding. There are times that you will keep nailing only to discover that you ran out of nails 5 hits ago (it sounds the same).
  • Pay attention to your tongue and grooves. As you slide or place each piece in, double check that the pieces are actually together before you nail them in.

Final Row

As you enter the last row, you may need to cut each plank on a table saw length-wise to the appropriate height. This is where you may learn that your ceiling is not as straight as you thought it was was! You will most likely find yourself cutting each plank at a different height and that’s okay. If your last row is narrow, you may be able to nail to the top plate stud along the full length of the ceiling like you did in the corners of the wall. If you are planning to, you can replace the baseboard at this point.

That should be it… until the next honey-do list item! If you have any questions for me, leave a comment and I’d be happy to answer.

*If you are wondering how we stained our plank paneling, go here.*


How to Stain Plank Paneling

Bedroom plank wall

I am so glad we took the time and dished out the dough to do this project, but let me tell you, it was a lot of work! I think even if I wasn’t preggo, I would feel this way. I went over the cost and my inspiration in this post and the reveal is here, but I thought I’d share how I went about staining the plank paneling.

Plank details

These are the planks I chose. It tells you how many pieces in each package and the square footage it will cover, so we just did the math for our wall and got that many packages.

Plank paneling

I think we purchased twelve of these ($11 each). They had this size and a longer size, but I wanted a lot of variation, so we went with the smaller ones.

Staining supplies

My inspiration chick stained the planks after they were installed, but doing such a large area and in an enclosed space made me apprehensive of this idea. I talked to the paint chick at Lowe’s and she was so helpful! She gave me a breakdown of how to stain, since I’ve never really done it before, so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and she also gave me some great tips as well.

Here’s what I used:

  1. Stain (I heart Rustoleum after using their spray paint, so I went with them) ($10)
  2. Stain brush ($4)
  3. Gloves ($3)
  4. Respirator ($4)
  5. Plastic sheeting ($2 each)

To prep the area (my back porch), I laid out cheap plastic sheeting over the entire work space and also wrapped the railing where I would be placing the wet stained planks. My hubby set up his work horses for me which were just wide enough for an entire package of plank paneling. I laid them all out and set up an assembly line.

Staining

I stained all twelve at one time…

wiping

…and then went back and wiped them down one at a time. The recommended wait time for the stain was 5-10 minutes, so this system worked out perfectly.

plank lineup

I placed them to dry next to my work area along the railing and by the time I was done with two packages I was able to move the mostly dry planks to the other side of the porch along the house and repeat. These were “dry” in an hour and we brought them in the house and placed them in our bedroom out of the way, ready to install.

Finished planks

Here is a close-up of the finished planks. In case you were wondering, since it is on a wall and will not be used (like a table or flooring would be) we did not poly it. We really love the overall effect and enjoy the coziness it brings to our bedroom.

A couple of things I learned while doing this project:

  • Believe the square footage on the back of the stain can
  • Buy and stain one more package of plank paneling than you think you need, mathwise we were straight, but when it came to installation we needed a few more and I had to start the stain process all over again. No bueno.
  • Splurge on the $4 stain brush, it’s worth it
  • Cut up an old sheet in strips or have plenty of old shirts handy for wiping off the stain (you don’t want to go looking for more materials in the middle of this project)
  • Buy a respirator. Save your lungs and the inevitable headache. Even staining outdoors the fumes were crazy!

The cost for the plank paneling and staining came out to about $157. I hope to have an installation post up this week which will include the cost for that as well…or a baby. A baby would be nice too. :o)


Weekly Peek

School lunch

Memorial Day

37 weeks

Cousins

Motorboatin'

paddlin'

Scary hubby

Cinn Rolls

Family night out

Snack time

Community Pool

Recital Rehearsal


1. One of the last days of school I finally made it to lunch with Nora. Ice cream for a treat! 2. Memorial Day BBQ at my SIL house. Too much fun with these crazy kiddos. 3. 37 weeks. This is what you wear (over your bikini) to the pool when a maternity suit is a joke. 4. Cousins at the pool. This is where Lorelei spent the majority of the time. Two hours later she finally got in the water. 5. Grandpa took the boat out for the first time one weekend and we got to go along for the ride. 6. Nora enjoyed paddling along the back…until she fell in. Good thing we were just floatin’, motorboatin’… 7. My hubby got a hold of my phone and surprised me with some adorable pictures. /sarcasm 8. My favorite cinnamon rolls right now. 9. We went out to eat this week when nothing sounded good at home and this was dessert! Yum! 10. I’m trying to go to the pool a few times at least before the baby gets here and going will be difficult. This is what we do half the time. Eat. 11. I have to admit our new community pool is pretty cool. 12. Nora had rehearsal this week for her recital at the Performing Arts Center on Saturday. She loved being on the big stage and has decided that she’d like to do dance again next year. :o)


Dining Room Wall Art Part Deux

Key Wreath

One day I looked at the dining room wall art and thought, “I bet that stuff would come right off and I could easily replace it with something else”. It was totally true. I’m loving hot glue more and more every day.

Supplies

I went to our little downtown art store one Saturday to pick up some delicious lavender and rose petal sugar truffles from my friend, Jane of Garnet Creek Road (delicious!) and found a few fun items that inspired a new wreath.

Painting the key

I decided to paint the key the same metallic color I used on the canvas art. It’s such a pretty color.

Huge Tissue Flower

My first idea was a trio of tissue flowers. It didn’t turn out so well… I cut out a million circles of each kind of tissue paper each smaller than the other and stapled it together, crumpling and fluffing them, but they didn’t give the drama I hoped for. My second idea was one huge tissue flower which gave off a little too much drama. Sadly, it looks like a vagina to me, but perhaps I’ve been thinking and reading about birth too much. ;o)

Wreath supplies

I left it there and came back to it the next day with fresh eyes. I spied a wreath I had started a while back that was also giving me trouble, and had an idea. I had leftover fabric that I love, love and I cut it into strips and had the hubster sew them into one long strip of fabric. (He is a man of many talents)

Hot glue the fabric

I then just began wrapping the wreath and hot gluing as I went. This is a straw wreath I wrapped in felt first.

key wreath

I then attached my goodies including a few sparkles.

Wall Art 2

It’s very simple, but I like how it turned out. :o)


Canvas Word Art

DSC_7468

Ever since I saw this post I’ve had it in the back of my mind to do something similar. When I envisioned the planked wall in our bedroom, I knew I wanted to put a large canvas above our bed with song lyrics or a poem handwritten on canvas. We don’t really have a song appropriate for the lyrical art I had in mind and most poems I love, he doesn’t. I did write a poem for him when we first started dating and we do have the song we danced to at our wedding, but both of those are stuck in the past describing things we’ve overcome and I wanted something descriptive of our future; something positive.

We wrote our own, very simple, vows for our wedding and because I was married before, the promises we made are really important to me. I thought preserving the words in art would be a great way to remind us of those promises.

Canvas art supplies

I gathered my supplies; a canvas bought on sale at Michael’s, metallic paint, a pencil, and a couple of paint brushes. I then realized winging it would be difficult, so I grabbed a quilting ruler and a measuring tape.

Measuring

I wrote the first line, saw how many words would fit and then counted lines from our vows. I then marked down evenly on both sides of the canvas about every two inches. After that, I placed my quilting ruler across the canvas to give me a straight line as a base without drawing lines on the canvas. When that was straight, I wrote out our vows by hand being aware of spacing and only having to erase a few words once in a while to make things fit. I did leave out maybe a sentence worth of superfluous words from my vows, but the main idea is there. I also had to keep in mind this practice round and tell myself that it isn’t necessarily the handwriting that is important, but the overall effect. I wanted simple and readable and I think I managed both.

Canvas word art


Planked Bedroom Wall

Bedroom June 2011

This is what our bedroom looked like when the house was for sale. Then my FIL got ahold of it and took out this closet and strange built in bookshelf. (I’m not sure why this closet was put here in the first place since there is a perfectly adequate walk-in closet through the bathroom, but hey, whatever floats your boat.) That’s it! That is all that was done in this room for two years. We never painted or anything, we were always doing something in another part of the house and I was waiting for us to get a bedroom set first, for some reason (not how we roll, obviously).

Bedroom plank wall

This is what our bedroom looks like now. *happy dance*

I told you of our plans to plank this wall back in March and it was quite the project for this preggo. I can definitely say it was worth the time and effort. We played around with possibly stenciling this wall instead, but I knew I wouldn’t be happy for long with a stencil and we needed to just go for it.

frosty melon

We painted the room Frosty Melon first and I LOVE it! I know orange might seem like a strange color for a bedroom, but it definitely gave it a cozy vibe and is one of our favorite colors. If you are debating on painting a room because it is an atypical color, I say do it. If it’s a color you love, find a way to make it work in the room. :o)

Bedroom plank wall lights

When we went to get the lights we had previously chosen I was unsure about them, so we chose the ones you see here and I’m glad we did. The others were dark and these bring in the cream color from my inspiration pillow giving the room some balance to the dark wood stain. I will be back here soon to share with you how I stained the planks (yes, me!) and also how I did the canvas above our bed.

*If you are wondering about that Kermit, it is my hubby’s. He has had it since he was a child and it is very special to him. There is no getting rid of it, so giving it an honored place in our bedroom was the only option.* :o)