DIY | Modern Feather Art

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Like most of you out there I am addicted to anything gold!  I sometimes find myself standing in our garage with a can of gold spray paint in my hands just itching to “shoot” something.  I am also drawn to art!  Anything custom, weird, unique and meaningful that speaks to me and I’m all over it.  I decided to combine the two for this latest DIY art project.

I am so lucky to have a first grader attend a school where peacocks roam freely.  No joke.  Her school is connected to a working ranch and you can always find on average 10 peacocks roaming amongst the kids.  It’s the most amazing thing.  Anyhoo, my 6 year old has amassed quite a collection of peacock feathers.  I was either going to make a feather duster with them or use a couple for an art piece.  So I decided to take the less tacky approach and make a custom piece of art.

spray feather

I gave one of the peacock feathers a quick spray of gold

on paper

then blotted it onto a piece of white glossy contact paper.  It shows the detail much better than a regular piece of white paper.

simplicity

I added a word of inspiration.

gluing string

Then glued some jute string around the edges (it just adds something extra, plus hides my imperfect cutting job).

done gluing

in gold

Yes, more gold!  I gave an old crappy frame a quick spray of gold, but decided to add some black electrical tape to the edges for some funkiness.

done

I just love it and love that it has a sweet memory attached to it.  So what better place to hang this sweet custom piece of art than our master bathroom!

on display

I know it might sound tacky, but this is where I start and finish my day.  I hung it next to my favorite framed saying so I always start my day with a boost of inspiration.

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This project was completely free and took 20 minutes.  I can pass for now on making that feather duster!

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“Brass Urchin”

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I think this is probably the funniest (and weirdest) DIY I’ve done to date; but aren’t you getting used to those by now?  🙂  [Hula hoop orb chandelier] / Sharpie marker Moroccan rug] / [Embellished IKEA with stained paint sticks]

I probably don’t have to tell you that decorative brass urchins are all the rage right now.  Well I love design trends as much as the next gal (or guy) but I love to cheat and try my hand at making my own before I buy.  It’s just more fun and rewarding to me.

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So the average price for these guys is $30-$50.  Mine…$3.29 (plus tax)!  I was inspired to try DIY’ing one from this toy my kids always want whenever we go to the grocery store…

glow ball

I have bought countless numbers of these things only to find my son has chewed off the “legs” within 2 days.  So this time I purchased one for Mama to hack!

All I did to this poor toy was give it a coat of my favorite spray primer

before

primed

I let it dry for about 30 minutes then sprayed it with some gold paint

gold

Done!  Isn’t it funny?  My kids haven’t discovered it yet (probably because it’s not neon orange or yellow).

sitting pretty

done2

downshotI think I will try to make a bigger one, but use a large dog toy instead.  That was my first choice but I couldn’t fine one at my local store.

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I might just sift through my kids’ toys to see what else I can spray gold!

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Swapping out lamps

I know I’m not alone when I admit that I re arrange my house…A LOT!  One thing I especially love to switch out is lamps.  They’re easy to lift+carry and can change the overall look and feel of a room.

We have accumulated a bunch of lamps within the past year because our brand new house lacks ceiling lights!   I can count on one hand the number of rooms that have a ceiling light…dining room and kitchen eating nook (aka kids’ playroom).  That’s it. So I am always on the hunt for inexpensive, funky lamps. It’s cheaper than hiring an electrician to install j-boxes!

That being said, I swapped out my two matching eBay brass table lamps from the dining room

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to the family room…

head on

couch included

flag

downward

I “styled” (aka, threw a bunch of crap together and hope it looks good) the end table I made with some colorful cookbooks and wire basket to hold my favorite magazines.  I also clipped a sapling from the magnolia tree in our front yard and just love the waxy look of the leaves.

moo and killian

Half way through my picture-taking I had to stop and snap this.  I wonder what each is thinking.  Maybe, “Is she ever going to stop?”

So the lamp that used to be on this table was this one I ordered from West Elm.

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I love the way this looks, but I was only able to afford one lamp so the end table on the other side of the room was without one.  It looked pretty unbalanced.  So swapping out the dining room lamps for this one made perfect sense.

And here is what it looks like now in the dining room…

dining rm

buffet

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plates

Swapping out one lamp completely changed the feel of the room.  It went from a bit formal to casual and relaxed.  That’s what I love most about shopping the house…it’s free and (almost) always ends with a happy result.

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Entryway

I’ve been holding off sharing any room updates lately because it seems like EVERY room in this house is in a constant holding pattern.  The entry way was one such space until I had that “Aah Haa” moment last week and simplified the whole thing.

This is what the entry way looked like recently…

entry

All I can say when I look at this picture is, “Less is always more, Amy!”  So that’s what I did….I stripped everything away and started over.  Enter yet another piece from my husband’s bachelor collection…the mirror that is supposed to go with a dresser.  That dresser is currently being used as a sideboard in our dining room.

Here is the simplified version of our entry way as of last week…

straight on

I was a busy bee patching all sorts of holes in the wall (from tiny nail holes to humungous drywall anchor screw holes), then I found two studs to add yet two more screws in order to hold this H.E.A.V.Y. mirror!  My 3 year old son is turning into quite the helper as he kept asking me if he could hold the mirror for me.  He’s going to make one awesome husband someday!

Here are a few more pictures of the first space you see when you walk into our home…

view down hall

Technically our home is a shotgun house.  You could literally fire a shot from the front door and it would exit the back door!  To break up the brown tile, linear feel of the house I bought this faux cowhide rug from Rugs USA.  I also added the fiddle leaf fig tree (Home Depot, $60) in the dining room to break up the long feel of the house.

top shot

I still have to finish my paint stick embellished IKEA unit, but what is finished is still holding up just fine!

lamp

close up

The starburst mirror you see in the mirror’s reflection is one I made from balloon sticks, IKEA mirror and decorative trim.

peace

This piece came from Joss & Main and I love having it right when you walk in our home.  I know what it stands for, but my daughter made me smile when it first arrived and she said, “Mama I make that sign with my hands all the time in school!  It means, ‘shhh!!'”  Out of the mouths of babes.  🙂

horse

This lovely came from Home Goods.  I guess I’ve developed some sort of animal head fetish because this guy is one of six I have scattered around the house!  The hubs just doesn’t get it.

distance

up shot

There you have it!  Short and sweet today.  I promise to have a few more room updates coming soon.  There…once it’s been written it’ll get done.  🙂

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Board+Batten

NEWSFLASH…I am officially on the board and batten bandwagon!  (try saying that fast 5 times) I have loved the look of it for quite some time now, but have never been 100% motivated to install it yet.  Until…I found the perfect, non visible to many visitors, small space…the kids’ bathroom.

These are a few pictures that I have had pinned for a while now that I referred to for the design.

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And my all time favorite

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I decided to experiment on a small wall in the kids’ bathroom.  That way I can work out all of the mistakes in a room that my little ones only see.

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I had a furring strip in the garage and cut it the right size and wedged it in between the wall and door trim.  Then I secured it to the wall by screwing 4 screws through the furring strip and into the studs in the wall.  I’m sure this is overkill, but I plan on attaching towel hooks for the kids and know they will pulling and tugging so I don’t want this things coming out of the wall.

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I then attached the vertical pieces to the same studs.  This is a point of discussion out there…to angle the bottoms or not.  I decided to go for the angle and cut each at 45 degree.  I still have a lot to do, but am happily surprised at how easy this is.  To install the top board and two vertical pieces took about 45 minutes.

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I still have a lot more to do -install two more vertical pieces, holes to fill, and paint.  I am hoping this project won’t linger like my other half-completed projects.  I’m hoping not!

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Kids’ Chore Chart [and soup can DIY project]

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I’ve heard all the cliches / sayings / advice about organization….”an organized home is a happy home,” “an organized home is a stress-free home”…blah, blah, blah!  Well, I hate to admit it, but it’s so true!  Add two very active children to the mix and the organized home quickly took a back seat for many years.  Well, I think it’s safe to say that we all have our limits and I reached mine not too long ago.  No breakdowns.  No tears, just sick of picking up the same toys over and over again and cleaning out my daughter’s backpack and lunch box for the billionth time.

It is a personal decision whether you require your kids to do chores or not.  My husband and I fall into the category of “everyone pitches in.”  So to save some of my sanity (and time) I made my kids a chore chart.  (*Note:  I cannot remember what site I downloaded these printables from so if you do know, please let me know so I can properly credit them.)

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I purchased 2 plastic frames from Michael’s and four dry erase markers.  I added each kid’s name to the chart and slipped them into the frames.  All I had to do at this point was figure out chores for each kiddo.  My 6 year old daughter was easy:  dirty dishes in sink, pick up room, homework with a good attitude, clean out backpack, clean out lunch box.  My 3 year old son is just figuring the chore / reward thing so I kept his simple: dirty dishes in sink, pick up toys.

To reward their good work I came up with a system: complete 1-5 things = $0.50 | 6-10 = $1.00 | 11-15 = $2.00 | 16-20 = $3.00.  I tally up the number of things they did Friday night and give them their allowance.  I’m amazed that it is working and my kids aren’t whining (too much) about helping out.

side view

Now for the DIY project!  There are a ton of tutorials out there that show you how to create these decorative luminaries out of soup cans.  As you can see, I used mine as marker holders instead.

Sorry I forgot to take pictures during the process so I’ll try to describe the process (it’s so easy!)

  • Obviously you need a couple empty soup cans, washed thoroughly and labels completely removed
  • Fill the soup can with water and stick in the freezer for at least 2 hours
  • Remove from the freezer and grab your hammer and nail
  • Start nailing your design onto your tin can (*note: I free handed my designs, but you can always lightly sketch any design you want)
  • Once you’ve completed your design simply let the remaining ice thaw
  • You will most likely be left with a bulge on the bottom of your can.  Don’t freak, it’s just from expanding in the freezer.  Just take a hammer to it and it’s gone.
  • Now punch two holes at the top of each can for your handle (I’ve seen some people use thin wire, but I like the look and feel of jute rope)
  • I spray painted each can a bright turquoise and done!

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tinkerbell close

My daughter wanted Tinkerbell

dinosaur

My son wanted a dinosaur

So I’ve managed to create ONE organized space, next is to tackle this unbelievable mess lurking underneath our staircase…

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I will be repeating this to keep me motivated: “An organized home is a stress-free home!”  🙂  Stay tuned!

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Organizing my daughter’s closet

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Kids and clutter go hand in hand right?  It’s nothing new.  I don’t think any expecting new parent (including myself) had any clue just how much blinky, talkie, fuzzy, plasticy stuff would invade our lives once we had kids.  The stuff is never-ending and can be overwhelming at times.

Being the lover of all that is IKEA we had an Expedit shelf on hand.  I think within 6 months of moving in to our house this thing had been moved to just about every room.  The best and most efficient use of it though hit me when I was picking up my daughter’s clutter (for the 1,875th time).  I was just about to toss her Barbie bath tub into the closet when I had the idea of using our Expedit to organize her toys.

Thankfully I was able to shove it in her closet without damaging any walls. It was meant to be.

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I used these red boxes (also from IKEA) to hold her dolls, doctor set, doll clothes and purses.

aerial view

I whipped out my chalkboard labels and got my girl organized!

angle

closet

To free up floor space I purchased these hanging closet organizers from Land of Nod to hold her growing shoe collection (the apple doesn’t fall far from that tree!).  The green boxes hold games, crafts and electronic toys.

angled view

To add even more fun to that side of her room I purchased these gold vinyl dots from this Etsy store.  Her closet has become the happiest spot in the whole house, although sometimes I think her closet looks like it has a case of the measles.  But, happy nonetheless.

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