And We’re Off! TheCaldwellProject.com

26 Nov

Well, we have most of the kinks worked out of the new site and it’s up and running!  So go and check it out!  I won’t be making anymore posts on the wordpress site so if you would still like to follow my project progress the new site is the place to do it!  Thanks everyone! Thecaldwellproject.com

Coming Soon: TheCaldwellProject.com

12 Nov

The new site is so close I can almost taste it!  I was hoping we’d be up and running right now, but the site threw us a few curve balls, so we’ll be spending another day or two polishing it up.  I’m determined to have this site up by Wednesday!  (Oh crud, did I just give us a deadline?  Yikes!)  I’ve been instructed no more posts until the new site is ready (I’m not counting this one apparently, lol).  I have some ideas already roiling around in the head…maybe something to do with our first hosting for Thanksgiving?  Nope, no…no more!  We’ll talk soon!

Make It With What You Have

7 Nov

As I was putting my Halloween decorations away I figured a few them would still work for Thanksgiving/Fall decoration.  So I took them and started decorating my table.

I didn’t have a whole lot of time (about 45 minutes left on baby nap time) so I needed to be quick.  I looked around the house and grabbed whatever I could find that looked fall-ish.  I also looked around my craft room and snagged a few things from there too.

This is what I ended coming up with.

Everything on the table is whatever I could randomly find.  The bowl is set in the middle of a leaves wreath.  The little flowers in the trees I quickly made with some left over felt from another project.  The trees also got a wrap around the “trunk” with some left over burlap pleats, also from another project.

The large ivory pumpkin and gourd were from my Halloween display as well as the candlesticks (which is actually from my everyday decor).

The little silver pots I didn’t even know I had until I started looking around.  I bought a random box of crafts from a yard sale last summer and hadn’t really gone through the whole thing yet.  I was totally excited to see them in there.  They can be used for so many different things!

It’s all totally random but it works well enough.

Linked up on DIY Showoff.

Wood Plank Sign Tutorial

5 Nov

I got the inspiration for this idea when I saw a picture of another large wood sign browsing Houzz.com.  My inspiration photo can be found here.

When we framed our basement, we ripped out some old storage shelving, and the green planks used to make this sign were part of the shelving we removed.  I really liked the color and the naturally distressed look.  As soon as I saw them, I just knew I needed to make a sign out of them.

If you aren’t lucky enough to come across some already distressed & colored boards, it wouldn’t be too difficult to buy some 1×6’s, then paint and distress them yourself.

I think my dad, brother, and husband (who all helped with the storage room demo)  thought I was a little odd in the head.  But, I never let that sway me (vision, you have to have vision)!

I started out first by cutting my planks to size and connecting them all together by nailing them into a few 1×2’s (already on hand). I recommend using a nail gun if you have one.  It’s leaves the least amount of nail showing and preserves the look of the wood.

Our nails were a little long so we had to hammer them over on the back.

Once you’ve got your planks all together, you’ll need to create some way to mount it on the back.  I went with some eyelet screws, attached to the side of the 1×2’s, and heavy duty wire between them to hang it like a picture.

Now you’re ready to put words on you sign (or really whatever your heart desires, a pony?, a bowl of fruit?, the sun?, yeah pretty much whatever, lol).  If you are a good artist then it would be a great opportunity to showcase your art on a different kind of canvas.

I went with words because I knew I could make a stencil and it wouldn’t be too difficult.

To make my stencil I used my Silhouette Cameo.  I bought my Cameo in a bundle from Ebay that came with the vinyl I would need to make my stencil.  You could also make your own stencil if you like (there is a tutorial here and here)  but I think vinyl works the best to get your lines nice and crisp.

Once you get your stencil cut out (tutorial later on how to create a stencil with a Cameo) you’ll want to line it up on your board to make sure it’ll all fit just right.

You always want to lay things out before attaching them.  If you notice, the bottom of the C did not quite line up for some reason so I needed to cut it out and line it up manually.

Once you are sure of the layout and you like how it looks it’s time to attach it.

With vinyl, you need to put transfer paper on the top first, so that when you peel the back off it’ll still have stability and a way to handle it.

Now you can peel the back off and attach it to your boards.

Once you have the back peeled off and laid out on your boards you will want to really burnish them on there.  With the bundle I bought I got a scraper to press everything on nicely.  If you don’t have a scraper, you can find them here, or anything with a rounded hard edge should work.  Don’t use anything without a smooth edge or you risk ripping your vinyl.

Now that everything is adhered, it’s time to pull off the transfer paper.  This part takes a bit of time and patience.  If you take the paper off too fast then your vinyl will just pull up.  So take it slow.  While I pulled my paper up I also took my scraper and pressed down on the vinyl to make sure it stayed in place.

Once you’ve finally got the paper off, the sign will look something like this and you’re almost ready for paint!

paper offCover all of the space that you don’t want painted with paper and painters tape or masking tape. I even taped all my letters at the seams to make sure no paint would get under the vinyl.

You are now officially ready for painting! Just before I started painting, I pushed around the edges of all of the letters with my fingers just to give them one last good adhesion.  On my first coat I went with Krylon white paint+primer  spray paint in satin.  I wanted to make sure I got good adhesion so that’ why I went with the primer mixture first.

After that I used Krylon white in semi-gloss to do the rest of the coats.  Here is coat number two.

If you are wanting a little of your wood to show through the paint then I would probably stop there.  I wanted mine pretty solid so I went ahead and did a third coat of paint.

I let everything dry for a long while before I removed my paper.   Then this is what I ended up with.

I had a few spots where the lines were a little blurred but they weren’t too bad. You are bound to get that if you are on a very uneven surface as I was.  I wanted shading around the letters so I painted it on by hand.

Last, I wanted my edges to be a little more polished so I finished them with a clear drying polyurethane in satin.  In hindsight I think a gloss would have looked better, but the satin is fine.

Now you are all done and ready to hang your sign!  If you use planks anything like ours then that sucker will be HEAVY!  If possible try to mount it in a stud.  If you don’t have a stud, make sure that you get hardware that will be strong enough to hold it up.  I’m sure if it fell it would cause some damage, yikes!

This is one of our favorite things in our living room and it’s pretty unique too, something I always like.  So, maybe if you find some old wood laying around you can make your own sign now!

Family Room Reveal!!

1 Nov

It’s done, it’s done!

The family room is finally finished being decorated (for now at least, lol).  There may be a few things that will change in the future but for now I love it just the way it is.  See what it originally looked like here.

There are a few things which are my particular favorites that I’ll mention during the post.

So without any further adieu…the REVEAL!!

I didn’t really have a super set plan when I started out.  I had a general direction I wanted to go but things certainly switched around as we went.  It’s pretty funny that my original version was to go somewhat nautical and the final product is nothing the like, but I love it just the way it is.

Here are a some close ups.

Our Robbie Jr. the rhino from Cardboard Safari.

And my little owl friend.

I made a tail for this little white giraffe (previously a plastic toy, idea inspired by Home Stories AtoZ) and then some little muchkin accidentally broke it off.  So he will be a tailess giraffe for a little while, haha.The full view of that side.

Okay, so this sign is by far one of my favorite projects of the space.  I’m so happy with how it came out.  This is one I can chalk up to the Silhouette Cameo.  I made a stencil with the Cameo out of vinyl then hand painted the shading.

This little mouse was a thrift store find for like 50 cents.  The globe, books, and letters I already had.  I added a little flag to the globe to show where “Home” actually is.  More flags to come; for grandparents I think.  They say home is where the heart is and ours are certainly with all of them.

These bookends I have had forever.  I thought about painting them but I really like the green color on them so in the end decided to leave them alone.  You have a good shot of one of the notorious lamps here.  I really like how they turned out…even for all the grief they gave me.

Here is one of the cain chairs and panel of curtains.  I love how both turned out.  I decided to go ahead and use the Ikat fabric since I loved it so much and really like how it ties in with other colors in the room.  The curtains are made out of burlap and I just LOVE them.  They are another one of my favorite things in this space.  Did I mention I love them? Haha.These two chairs were a steal of a deal…$25 for both.  One is separating a little but it is still functional.  I have the materials to upholster the back if it ever starts to give out.You  may notice in this picture that there are two different sets of hardware.  Unfortunately the knobs that I ordered accidentally came three of one color and three of another.  I have three on at least, haha!  My husband originally hated the idea of this dresser but it has grown on him.  I love it with the new hardware especially.  Can you tell which ones they are?This vignette is going to change a little eventually.  It’s close but not quite there.  I’m not sure how to change it…what do you think?

The hanging light is a vase I found at Home Goods and I love how it turned out (so did my skeptical husband).The inside of the lamp has a goldish undertone so when it’s on it casts a golden glow.  I love how it picks up on the brass accents around the room.

Some things are sure to stay, such as my grandmother’s horse, or the mirror that I bought specifically for this spot, but I’ll have to be open minded with everything else.This coat rack is a product of inspiration.  West Elm used to have a rack, but not for sale anymore, that gave me the idea for this coat hanger.  You can see the rack on my Pinterest page.  Total cost was about $5 and that’s including the hardware it’s mounted on.  The writing has some special meaning to us. The letters and numbers coordinate with our names and marriage and birth years (with room for more ;)).

Lastly is the pillows I made to feature our doggies.  So, our pooch pillows I guess, haha.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.  I know I enjoy the real thing!

I will be posting how I did certain projects.  Is there anything you just loved and want to see first?  Just let me know!

Now, I think I need to take a week off and actually clean my house.  Blech, I can’t even think about it without cringing, LOL!!

Check out the link up with The Shabby Creek Cottage here.

One Day Delay

31 Oct

Due to the Halloween craziness and some unruly lamp making I am granting myself the liberty of  having one more day for  my family room reveal.  Everything is completely done except for my lamps.

Oh the lamps.  My first round in lamp making failed miserably and the second round was scrapped due to a mistake on my part (which I was very unhappy about since I rather liked the second ones).  I will be searching for new “lamps” tomorrow and am determined to find something.  If nothing comes up better than the second round, I may have to try and strip paint to salvage them.

In other news, I spent exactly two days on our Halloween costumes in my spare, but not so spare time.  I may have been up until 1 last night trying to finish a giraffe.

We were a family of safari animals being led by a safari guide (i.e. my husband).  Sadly I think only one person knew I was a ring-tailed lemur.  Most thought I was a cat or a raccoon.  Apparently my knowledge of animals does not extend to the masses.  I alway thought lemurs were well known, especially since a certain movie (*cough*cough Madagascar) features them.  Apparently not!

So, the morning brings on a new lamp search and hopefully it’ll be more successful than my lemur debacle.  I guess we’ll find out tomorrow!

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

31 Oct

I wish you really were more than a day away.  So fitting since I’m rehearsing for Annie!  I’ve been waiting just for this day so I could reference the play, lol!

Tomorrow will be my crazy scramble day!  I will have a quick trip to Target, and perhaps a few other places, in the morning and a Halloween giraffe that will very quickly be thrown together.

Now, no more blogging…I’m off to make pillows!