Thursday, April 24, 2014

Room Redo 2014- Curtains and Bed

As I mentioned earlier, I have been working on revamping our bedroom as a surprise for Handsome Bryce. Also, as I said, it turned out not to be a total surprise because I am not very sneaky. (Bryce saw a picture of these curtains which I left on the desktop with the name "Secret Crazy Curtains.") Be prepared, they are pretty crazy.

Here is the room before:
 To me, the curtains we had were fine, just resoundingly ok. The peach and green paint, were not fine though. First I painted the peach parts white, and the green parts tan. Then I needed new curtains.

I looked all over. I soon discovered that I hated every kind of curtains currently sold in stores. They were all too twee, too generic, too grandma-ish, too ugly, too cutesy, too too too mainstream!


I am a curtain hipster.

I realized that I didn't want curtains, I wanted art. The only way that would happen was to make them myself. So I bought a $5 flat sheet from KMart and did this:
 Much dramatic! So style! Wow! Soooo rinsed out to look like drab stained sheets:

Boooo! This was not what I wanted. So I took a new approach with Sharpies and alcohol.

One fortuitous thing about the dye incident was that it gave everything a blue cast and the blue could be lifted out with bleach! So I worked and worked to get this:

Then I painted highlights in with bleach. I also put bleach in a spray bottle to lighten the top of the curtain panels. This could easily have been a stopping place, but I wanted something more graphic.

I waited for the bleach to totally dry and then outlined the colors in black:
Ta da! I know this look is not for everyone. Even now I wonder if maybe I have bats in my belfry and knots in my noodle, but I love how they turned out. Handsome Bryce also loves them, which is the most important since it was a surprise for him!
Bonus! I used some silver spandex to recover a green pillow using this super easy tutorial. I also love how that turned out.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Somebody Maded a Pud!

I had a plan to surprise Handsome Bryce for Valentine's Day. I wanted to redo our cool (but unfortunately peach/orange and green) bedroom. It turns out, that is kind of a time consuming project, especially with two little kids, so I bumped it to be an anniversary surprise instead. It also turns out that two little kids have totally reduced my ability to be sneaky, and I ended up leaving clues everywhere by accident. So Bryce got surprised by the plans and pieces, but not the finished product. You can still be surprised though! I'll post finished pictures as soon as I finish painting. Here is a sneak peek at my redecorating project:

Blue Pug Sculpture

I want our bedroom to be comfortable and pretty, but still look like a bedroom where a man lives. So I have been looking for decorations that are neither pointless hoarder-items, nor floofy frilly girl-stuff. I was pretty excited when I stumbled on these dog sculptures by White Faux Taxidermy, but they were a little out of my price range and I wanted something a little more personal. So I decided to make one!

 I started with tinfoil. I made a big ball on tinfoil and shaped it roughly into the shape of a pug's head.

 Then I rolled a piece of Sculpey and fit it over my armature.

 In the background here you can see that I used pictures of Bryce's pet pug Bubba as a reference for the whole process. I used about 3 pictures, and spent a lot of time going back and forth between front view, side view, and 3/4ths view, to try and get it right. I used a dental pick to trace the features onto my clay, and carefully began adding features

Sculpey is an incredibly forgiving medium. It never ever ever dries out (until you bake it) and it allows you to easily reshape mistakes.

For my finished product I wanted to mount the bust on a stanchion. I just happened to have an old lamp base, but you could easily pick up a lamp from a thrift store or make your own base. My sister and I agreed that using the whole lamp looked a little "Lord of the Flies", so I got out a hack-saw and trimmed that baby down.

Ta da! Much more respectable! I hot glued those pieces together and then spray painted it with black primer.

 The black primer looked great, so that could definitely be an option if you wanted a more classic look.

 I wanted it to look more whimsical though, so I painted it bright shiny blue!

You should know that this is the first time I have ever tried to sculpt something to look realistic. I'm not an expert and it's not perfect, but I am really happy with how it turned out. I am a firm believer that if art is something that you want to do you should not feel discouraged because you weren't "born with that talent." I was fortunate to grow up with a Dad who is a professional artist and who always helped me to feel confident in my artistic abilities, but I think it was really the confidence my parents worked to instill, and not Dad's genes that help me make art.

I've taken art classes and throughout this project I spent over an hour, total, watching Youtube videos to teach myself to sculpt better. Aren't we so lucky? Anyone can do a search and have dozens of professionals offering training and technique tips in pretty much any artistic medium! So if you think, "I wish I could do that, but I can't." I would like to encourage you to give yourself some credit, art is a skill that is developed just like any other skill. If you want to pursue it you have the potential!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Busy April Fools

We have been pretty busy lately; so busy that I didn't plan at all for April Fool's Day. I couldn't let the day go by with no tricks though, (after all this time people have expectations my friends!) So here is an easy April Fool's joke that I am hoping will be pretty effective.

Step 1: Call your husband or wife and tell them, "Grrr! Some jerk truck spat a rock at me and got a teeny tiny star chip in our windshield. Don't worry though, it's not bad."

Step 2: Get a black dry erase marker and draw a line on your windshield. I actually did a black line and a green one, touching each other to add dimension to my fake crack. It looks pretty realistic, but in a pinch just black would be fine.
Step 3: Do nothing. Your spouse will check for the star and freak out for a tiny minute and then realize how sneaky you are!

I actually didn't even have to do Step 1 because Bryce was in the car when we got a star on the windshield, and today just happened to be the day the repair man came to fix it. We will see if Handsome Bryce can be fooled :)

Bryce was fooled! "But only a split second" This is my new record for fooling Bryce. Usually I can't trick him at all.

Meanwhile here are some pictures of fun things we have been up to:

 This is from St. patrick's Day.

McBoy closed his eyes in the first picture. I told him to open them, so this picture happened with him holding his eye open with his finger.

Yeah that sign says NOT to climb on top of trains, but when Grandma and Grandpa are around the grandkids say, "We do what we WANT!"