2.28.2011

Tutorial Tuesday!

***We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to bring a special message about our American Idol Fantasy League. Click here to read all about it! We now return you to regular programming***

Hope Studios


Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

You can see my weekly tutorial for Fun Lunch here!

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios






Needed : American Idol Dorks!



Dude! Wendy from Ordinary Miracles and I need your help! We've formed an American Idol Fantasy League and are looking for some of our bloggy friends to join us - don't laugh, we're cool man...We even made our own creepy league photo:



Just so you know, the Big Guy is NOT allowed to join our league for two reasons:

1. He made fun of us.

2. He made the comment that "Paula Abdul is looking really hot this season!" (Yes, honey, JENNIFER LOPEZ is hot) Clearly, he is out of the loop and, therefore, banned.

If you want to battle Wendy and I in our (free) league, the first picks are due at 7 pm EST tonight, so email me (jsneill@zoominternet.net) so I can get you the league code and you can get to pickin'. After that, it's GAME ON!

See you in fantasy land...

Fun Lunch!

Winter is winding down and so are the fun ideas to entertain the kids. I thought I'd pull together some of my fun lunch ideas from over the years to help with the cabin fever!

Lunch Monster!



Cookie Cutters!



Lunchables!



Sea Creatures!



What fun lunch ideas have you surprised your kids with?

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2.26.2011

Stuff I Learned

Family Wall Art


Monogrammed Mirror



Slip Covered Chair



And for all you McGuyver crafters out there, you just might want to know how to Make Rope From Plastic Bags!

CLICK PICKS (this week's most clicked links):

#1 Old Shutters Headboard

#2 21 Favorite Recipes

#3 Ball Jar Lights

2.25.2011

The Wheels on the Bus... Feedback Friday


Yesterday, a friend of mine called for advice about dealing with a bus driver. She was upset that the driver had made an inappropriate comment to her child while disciplining him at his stop.

The child's mother called to ask who she should contact to have this driver disciplined and/or removed and this raised a whole host of questions...

Who does a bus driver ultimately answer to - the bus service or the school?

For that matter...

What are a bus driver's responsibilities - to simply drive a bus or should they also be responsible for discipline and/or educating children?

I just don't know - Are bus drivers trained to deal with children appropriately or just to drive the vehicle?

Any bus drivers or school employees out there who can shed some light? Any moms with an opinion? Any students with similar experience?

It's Feedback Friday... Tell me about bus drivers!

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2.24.2011

Uh Oh...

Mental Note: Don't allow your kids to watch the aerial stunt ski competition THEN allow them to ski on their own. Just don't.





2.23.2011

Painted Floor Tiles DIY


We are in the home stretch of our basement renovation and last week I devoted some time to my own little studio space! I never wanted carpet or any other type of flooring I could damage with paint splatters down there, so I knew I was sticking with concrete.

I had planned all along to follow this tutorial from DIY Network to stain the concrete floor to achieve a natural stone look. I was sooo looking forward to it! Well, my contractor forgot to tell the painters, and soon I had paint drips and over-spray all over my floor! After some tears, I decided to come up with a new idea...

What if I painted my floor with a faux finish to look like ceramic tiles? It worked! For about $30 I can teach you how!

Painted Floor Tiles (Faux Ceramic Tile)

Supplies:

1-Part Epoxy Acrylic paint (I used Behr Concrete & Garage Floor Paint in "Cold Lager" color)
3/8 inch nap roller
2-3 inch painter's tape

1/4 inch Painter's Tape (I couldn't find this and needed immediate gratification so I cut a roll of 3/4 inch painters tape in half with a saw. Not easy.)
Rag
White and brown acrylic paints


Instructions:

Begin by taping off the baseboard with wide, 2-3 inch painter's tape.



Cut in with a brush, as usual, then roll the rest of the floor (I had a long mop handle that screwed right to the end of my roller that allowed me to stand and roll). Let dry at LEAST 24 hours. I let mine dry about 18 hours and I should have waited until the next day since some of the undercoat pulled off with the tape.

I chose a mid-range color that coordinated with my carpeting, many colors are available.

Using a tape measure, begin to mark off a grid with your 1/4 inch tape. I planned for 16 inch "tiles" and simply started in the center of the room and worked my way out to the sides, much as you would when installing real tiles.



I poured my remaining paint into 3 large plastic cups (any container will work). I left one cup alone, I mixed some dark brown acrylic craft paint into one cup and mixed white acrylic craft paint into the other. I wanted 3 tones of the same color - light, medium, and dark - to create a realistic ceramic tile.

Using a thick paper plate as a paint palette, I poured out a bit of each color, then dipped my wadded up rag so that it picked up some of each color at once.

Then, I simply "pounced" the paint onto the floor. I concentrated on one tile at a time, filling the entire square before moving on to the next. Take a look at an actual ceramic tile to see what you are going for here:



See the light and dark variations? No two tiles need be alike, but if the colors are the same, they will come together to form a realistic faux ceramic tile. I usually started with a bit more dark and determined the pattern I wanted it to take and where I wanted it to originate from and travel to - then highlighted with the lighter colors. For each tile, I tried to create a different pattern and use some dark close to the edges so that there was enough contrast to notice the "grout" lines.

I ripped off my tape as I completed each 3 rows (mostly because I couldn't stand to wait to see it!). Soon, I had a "tiled" floor that cost me around $30 and took about 2 1/2 hours!


**(I did not receive any compensation from Behr for this tutorial - I just loved the paint and the results!)

Scroll down to see lots more tutorials from Tutorial Tuesday!

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2.21.2011

Tutorial Tuesday!

Hope Studios


Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

You can see my weekly tomorrow (Wednesday)...Flooring DIY.

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios






Super Duper Surprise!


My family and I are away this holiday weekend. We are sitting around a fire, drinking hot chocolate, and skiing our legs off, so I don't have a tutorial for you...but I have a really great one in the works that I might have time to post once we return home. What about Wednesday? It's a date!

Do you want to guess what it is while you wait?

Hint: It is a DIY and it involves floors!

Any guesses?

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2.18.2011

Urinal Dilemma - Feedback Friday


Today it is plain and simple for Feedback Friday...

Would you ever consider installing a urinal in a bathroom in your home?

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2.17.2011

More Anthropologie! Book Decor

Before I get to the cool book decor at Anthropologie, I wanted to comparison shop a bit. "French potting sink" at Anthropologie: $15,000



Industrial Kitchen Sink at Construction Junction (my local reuse center): $350



Crazy, huh?

Onward...

I loved the impact this cool ceiling-hung sculpture made when we walked in the door!



When I looked closer I realized it was made from books! The covers were torn off and the pages were bent in half in sections and wire was strung up through the centers. So cool.



Another large sculptural wall piece:



Book pages folded and layered into rosettes, with a nail driven through the centers! A bit of paint and ink on the edges give them a little more dimension:



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2.16.2011

Get Low ....



Okay, I have the perfect solution for keeping your monkeys kids off the counters. A solution I would have thought of 12 years ago if I was a good mother who really sat down and THOUGHT about why they are climbing on the counters! They were climbing on the counters because THEY WERE TOO SHORT TO REACH THE SHELF WHERE I KEPT THEIR CUPS AND BOWLS!



So, I switched the Tupperware and the kids dishes. Boy, sometimes you just have to hit me over the head with things like this...

Head on over to Tutorial Tuesday if you haven't already - there is plenty of inspiration and an opportunity to link up your own tutorials!
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2.14.2011

Tutorial Tuesday!

Hope Studios


Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

Check out my tutorial for this week to learn Shelf Decor 101.

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios


I'm featured at Hines-Sight today - pop on over to check it out!





Shelf Decor 101

Now, I'm not an expert, but I do mess around with the decor in my own home quite a bit. I was sitting around looking at my stuff last week and felt smothered, stifled by all the stuff! I wanted some empty spaces, some clean lines (fewer objects to dust around) and realized the overstuffed decor on the shelves of my media unit was overwhelming!

I decided to remove everything and start over with a clean slate. Then replaced each item intentionally.



While deciding what to put back on and what to get rid of I tried to follow these rules:

* Scale - I tried to use items that filled up at least 2/3's of the shelf in height.
Lots of little items don't equal one large item. I had many smaller things bunched up on the shelves, reasoning that they equaled one big item. They didn't.

* Limit yourself - 3 items or less per shelf, but not every shelf! I counted grouped books as one item and because one shelf was long I grouped 4 small balls.

* Be unique - look at each shelf as an individual. If I had books on one shelf, I tried not to put books on the one beside it for example.

* Line 'em up - the balls lined up are just glass mosaic Christmas balls that I pulled the loop out of the top and turned upside down. Each red bowl is too small alone, but matched up they fit perfectly.



* Books - If you have books that don't match, pull of the dust covers! Or, turn them spine side in so the white pages create a contrast. The stack of books on the left is a random assortment of travel, art, and wine books that didn't match at all!

* Contrast - I tried to take away some of the dark items and replace them with lighter objects that would show up against the black shelves. Sometimes all I had to do was move items out to the edge of the shelf to be seen.

* Top it off - Treat an open top like a large shelf. This is the perfect spot for large items, like framed art, that won't fit anyplace else. Create dimension by pulling some items forward and letting others lean against the wall. Remember lots of heights - don't line things up like soldiers.



Don't forget to come back tomorrow to Teach me Stuff for Tutorial Tuesday!

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2.11.2011

Feeding the Plumber - Feedback Friday


With all the work going on in my home during the past few months, I've had lots of guys in here day after day.

I have always fed the guys treats when they work on my house. I started this when we built our house 6 years ago and would stop by periodically with cookies or muffins as each new crew rolled in. I reasoned that if they felt appreciated they would take extra care with my home.

Today the painters are downstairs chowing down on warm-from-the-oven Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies while rolling on my Lemon Verbena paint color.

My neighbor grilled burgers for the guy who was repainting this front door over the summer so I thought everyone did this until another friend seemed surprised! So, that got me thinking...

It's Feedback Friday!

Do you make treats for the people who work on your home?


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2.10.2011

Let's Go Shopping - Anthropologie!

Look at the way they displayed bedspreads - cinched at the waist and lined up like ladies in gowns!



As Marzipan turned the corner, I heard her shout "Oh my gosh, Jen come here!" I looked up to see several paper mache animal heads (just like mine!) staring down at me! They painted some and others used paper mache made from book pages!



This ceiling art piece had such movement and looked so delicate!



Upon further inspection, I realized it was made from circles of different colored foils, screen, and bits of leather that were sewn into a garland and hung en masse. Just cut different sized circles and run them through your sewing machine, creating a long strand. Repeat 20 zillion times...



This teacup and saucer cake stand was so adorable! I would love to have this to serve mini-cupcakes for my next lunch. Rough up the surface and add a little Liquid Nails for glass and you could make this yourself!



These Vintage Silverware Garden Markers are so cute! You can find vintage flatware at nearly any antique shop or flea market and this Metal Stamp Set will make it easy to customize!



The piece-de-resistance was this lovely Fabric and Paper Gown displayed in the front window. It caused the same squealing reaction that the Newspaper Gown caused a few weeks before!



Just look at the amazing texture and movement up close.



Well, that is just a taste of our trip to Anthropologie. Next week I will detail some amazing book art decor we found there!

 

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