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Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming!

I cannot wait until this place is finally, totally settled-into! Moving is rough stuff, seriously. For the sake of motivation, I have promised myself some gifts after the last cardboard box is recycled. Firstly, one of those crazy colored orchids from the grocery store. You know the ones I mean… that are strangely, unnaturally blue or purple and for some reason draw you in. I want to see how long I can actually keep the thing alive for. Anyone want to place a bet?

Secondly, the time and supplies to take on a few projects to spruce the place up and get my creative fingers busy again. Here are a few ideas knocking around inside my head Pinterest board…

Large-Scale Paintings, Inspired By:

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

I love to paint and we have some decent-sized wall-space in the new place, on the living room and Master bedroom walls. I am ready to make some pieces that make an impact! The dark blue in the above inspiration really appeals to me, along with those touches of gold in both… sigh. So pretty.

Smaller, Unique Artwork, Inspired By:

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

Nothing makes a home feel more cozy than artwork tucked into little nooks and spaces. Besides books, which like automatically domesticate your home. And make you look smart. Anyway, how cute are those Ikea prints? Very, but they are a little too small, so I may need to make some custom-sized similar work myself. And don’t you just love Our Fifth House?

DIY Lamps, Inspired By:

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

(already made lamps here: )

Our new apartment doesn’t have overhead lighting in any of the living or bedroom areas, so as soon as I get my hand’s on some worthy second-hand candidates I need to stock up on lamps. Yes, this is the second time I’ve linked over to that gold-dotted lamp. I am seriously crushing on it. It’s so unique and original. Click over to the original links for all of the lamps, please! The lamps all look so much more clean and modern compared to the before pictures, it’s amazing!

You may recall I already DIYed some lamps I looove, so check them out!

Home-Made (and Mama-Made, So Even Better) Quilts for Kid’s Rooms, Inspired By:

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

I think a hand-made quilt is a great way to show someone you love them and really care about them. Care enough to sweat over a finickly sewing machine covered in bits of thread and interfacing. That is true love, my friend. I think quilts can also make a really lasting heirloom when done well, and making some for my own kid’s is hitting the top of the to-do list. Aren’t these three sweet? I’m definitely in the mood for stripes, but that rag-style quilt would fit in perfectly with my girl’s room!

Head-Bands For The Girl’s Fall School Wardrobe, Inspired By:

Projects Are Coming! Projects Are Coming! Links to Pinspiration | Painting Sunny

Pinspiration: Here Original Source: Here

I am definitly going to use this inspiration to engineer some child-sized head-bands with cute fabrics, before H starts 1st grade in September. I swear, our girl could never start school with enough hair accessories. She is obsessed. This is a great scrap-busting project, too.

As you can tell, Pinterest is a pretty comfortable place for me these days. Please come on over and join me for some QPT! That is “Quality Pinning Time.”

Anyone else planning at least two years out on their projects? Sentimental about sewing quilts for a loved-one, or just need some &$%# lighting around their house?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.

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DIY Ceramic Animal Hall of Fame

Okay, this post is random and yet feels necessary. And okay, a bunch of them are not at all ceramic-looking and are gold or brass… that is just the current DIY climate. Hater’s gonna hate, but sometimes when there is a bandwagon you just have to jump on it. That sounded more confusing than I thought it would.

I present to you, The World Wide Web’s Best Ceramacized Animals.

I feel pretty confident that is a word.

DIY Ceramic Animal Hall of Fame | Painting Sunny

Can you believe it isn’t all owls? I’m just as shocked. But seriously, the fat little owl is probably my favorite.

1. DIY Animal Bookend by Natalme. Seriously, that is one cute hippo and the blue is so vibrant. My little boy would love one in his room, for suresies.

2. Do a Deer by Bower Power. How could this not be included, this deer is just so damn regal. Her Sexy Rexy post should get an honorable mention, as well.

3. Horse Squared by Young House Love. Obviously, YHL gets mentioned as they are my fav blog to obsess over follow. Still, these horse heads are unique in their bright color and more abstract design. I would love to stumble upon something like the before at my local thrift store! (No idea why that rhymed strangely.)

4. A Happier Ceramic Owl by A Swell Place to Dwell. This owl is bad ass now. I love the pink, too – my dream is to find some ceramic animals to spray paint, and for them to end up hot pink or coral or somewhere in between, so this one I was especially drawn too.

5. Spray-painted cockatoo by On My Honor. Honestly, I just never expected to see a spray-painted cockatoo. This one takes the prize for originality, and also for props in the picture. I love it.

6. Ceramic Owl Makeover by Teal and Lime. Yes, this one is my favorite. It looks so much like something from West Elm or Pottery Barn, I had to read the post twice. This owl has so much personality! I thought the owl craze might be about over, but this one should kick-start it again.

7. DIY Gold Elephant by The Eclectic Owl. Okay, this might be the most pinned thing in the universe it is so cool! Just wait until I get my hands on a plastic elephant. That sounded more violent than I meant. Anyway, I also love her very random collection of books put together and the fact that I believe I have read all of them at some point.

8. Updating X-Mas Decorations by Beautiful Haven. I first saw this on Better After, and while it is possibly the most random addition to this list (even more so than the cockatoo, since I’m pretty sure an elf isn’t an animal) I love how it turned out. And yes, I love that this blog is named Beautiful Haven since my own little daughter is named Haven and she is certainly beautiful. It is a cool elf, in any case. #I’mNotBiased

9. DIY Dollarstore White Lion Bookends by Sweet Suite Ten. I love projects that originate at the Dollar Store, and this is one of the best turnouts I’ve seen! They are just so perfectly spray-painted… Michelle, please come over to my house and help me with my technique?

10. Pottery Barn Inspired Easter Ceramics by First Lady of the House. I hope she runs across a bunny at some point, I would love to see how it turns out! These would be sweet in a nursery any time of year, not just at Easter. I love that duck that is lunging forward!

11. DIY Brass Figurines by Hi Sugar Plum. These are so cool, and I love how differently they each looked before! It’s like your own fancy  little zoo. On a random note, that lamp next to the giraffe is so gorgeous… I can’t stop staring.

Anyone else hanging desperately on to this ceramic animal trend? Scouring a thrift shop for a rabbit or giraffe, or just open to whatever animal may find you? Is this a random enough post? It’s a little obvious what I’ve been pinning, huh?


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Upping the Aww Factor: Colorful Cards From Kids

We may be 6 months away from Thanksgiving, but we have an awful lot to be thankful for. As we prepare to leave B-Town, we are grateful for the amazing teachers our children have had, the awesome friends who are sending us off with warm wishes, and the babysitter our children absolutely adore. Excuse me, I may be getting a little weepy.

For the past year, whenever we have had a special person we want to tell thanks, congrats, or just to share our love we have defaulted to letting the kids do it for us. There is something about a colorful messy message coming directly from some tots that ups the aww factor. It also distracts the children from crunching up goldfish crackers in an even layer on top of the coffee table.

Upping the Aww Factor: Colorful Cards From Kids | Painting Sunny

This evening, we put a few DIY cards together to say some last thank yous and goodbyes! We have actually been making a couple cards for people each week, so at this point it has been become an SOP for the kids.

Upping the Aww Factor: Colorful Cards From Kids | Painting Sunny

For tonight’s cards, I started out with two medium-sized pieces of poster board (can buy in a pack from a craft store for a few dollars). Grabbed two sheets and folded them lengthwise, then cut three cards out to make some large and square-ish shaped folded blank cards.

The advantage to the poster board is that it is affordable, large, and sturdy enough to  keep the card from being floppy. The disadvantage is that one side is shinier and slicker than the other, so be sure to let any paint or markers dry completely before handling. Ours got a little smeary, but I don’t mind it adding to the imperfectly-perfect-made-by-kids affect.

A Criminal Minds marathon was nice enough to record itself on the DVR, so last night I sat down in front of the telly and prepped the cards so they would be ready for a post-school activity today. I just grabbed a permanent marker and wrote a message on the front of each card at an angle (to add some visual interest) and a little note on the inside as well. Some of the cards were getting gift-cards taped inside, so I held a gift-card against the poster board in a nice spot and sketched a little design around it.

Upping the Aww Factor: Colorful Cards From Kids | Painting Sunny

The kids did all the hard work, of course. I left out the cards and an assortment of washable crayons and markers and let the kids go to town. I try not to be a control freak when they are coloring these and just let them do their thing… with the exception of checking to ensure each card is getting bright colors added on each side. It’s called Quality Control, people… no judging.

I love the Crayola “My First” collection of art supplies. This isn’t a sponsored post… they are just good quality crayons and markers that are easy for the kids to hold, wash off almost anything, and the tips don’t snap off the first time you use them. Somehow the triangular crayons are just cuter.

Upping the Aww Factor: Colorful Cards From Kids | Painting Sunny

They both have a great time, and each contribute to the cards mostly without fighting about it. I always think they will boss each other around on what to draw or get mad if they scribble over the other one’s artwork, but so far the only point of contention is sharing the purple and red markers.

Upping the Aww Factor: Colorful Cards From Kids | Painting Sunny

This probably kept them occupied about 10 minutes. 10 precious, precious minutes.

Upping the Aww Factor: Colorful Cards From Kids | Painting Sunny

After the marker had a chance to dry, I just rolled up a piece of tape and stuck a gift card inside of each assigned spot. For those of you who haven’t lived in the Bloomington, IN area, Scholars Inn Bakehouse is a local coffee joint/cafe that has delicious desserts, breakfasts, and honestly really good coffee. I will miss it so much, it’s nice to know that someone else will be enjoying the local treats!

Anyone else using their children to handle their correspondence? Enchanted with those triangular crayons? Missing a local coffee shop from a past hometown? I’m looking forward to finding some new haunts in New York!

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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Operation Preoccupy the Preschooler: DIY Travel Activities

Well, we are getting close to our big move! In this case, big move = two long days in a car with little kids. and a cat. OMG.

So, I decided to take a couple evening hours this week and make up some DIY Travel Activities to keep the kids occupied on the road. While watching old Criminal Minds episodes, of course. With just a few supplies I managed to come up with four different types of activities, and some of those are multi-part – so cheers to at least 15 minutes of peace and quiet in the car!

DIY Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

The main ingredients are shown above, and I was also armed with a few basic supplies I had around the house. My goal was to make multiple activities with each of the supplies I bought. Mostly, I used:

  • Popsicle Sticks from the craft store ($2.99 for a large package)
  • 10 sheets of felt from the craft store, 25 cents each
  • Hot glue (I already had the gun and glue)
  • Printed out photographs (printed on our home computer on white cardstock we had)
  • Round yard-sale stickers (I had some leftover from a yard-sale)
  • A fine-tipped permanent marker
  • Scotch tape
  • A cardboard tube from a paper towel roll
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard cut into squares to fit the felt sheets
  • Optional: I bought a little plastic carrying case for about a $1.80 (originally $2.99)

The supplies above purchased from a craft store were all from Hobby Lobby, which is just the closest one to our house.

Below are pictures and a few notes on how each activity came together, along with a link to the original inspiration! The original tutorials from the blogs noted below are more in-depth than what I’ve written, so please show them some love and go check them out!

Project 1: Popsicle Stick Color Matching Game (almost finished)

DIY Popsicle Color Matching Game, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

DIY Popsicle Color Matching Game, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Original Inspiration from the summer popsicle activity tutorial at  at Roots and Wings Co.

What isn’t finished about these, you ask? They look so cute already! Well, for our 3 year old son who can’t quite read yet, having the colors written on the sticks is great… but having one side painted the color would be much more useful. I just have not had the chance to break out the paints from the pile of boxes! I have about 2 weeks left, so will have to get on that.

While you can’t tell from the photographs, the sticks are removable from the felt popsicle-tops. I’ll take them apart, and them the little guy will be responsible for matching them back up and sticking the sticks into the colorful tops.

DIY Popsicle Color Matching Game, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

I cut out one popsicle-shaped top out of the felt, and then used that as a template for the rest of the colors. For each color, I cut two pieces in order to make the front and back.

DIY Popsicle Color Matching Game, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Many of the tutorials online for this activity call for sewing the edges, which I have no excuse for not having done. Still, I had the hot glue gun at hand, so went ahead and glued these instead. It worked great! I put a dab of glue at the top, stick it together, and then ran a little down the sides (as shown above) then pressed the edges together firmly. Voila!

Project 2: Personalized Photo Puzzles

DIY Personalized Photo Puzzles, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Original Inspiration from the Father’s Day Craft tutorial at Impress Your Kids.

These were so so simple, y’all! A couple supplies, and they turned out super cute. Most of all, I love how personalized it is.

DIY Personalized Photo Puzzles, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

I chose pictures of things he loves (pictures of him and his sister reading in bed, or with his Dad at the park, with Grandma June, with his friend at teacher at school, of his cat, etc.) and threw in a couple random images such as a Tiger, for fun.

Above, you can see how I scotch-taped the backs of the sticks together. Then, I just flipped it over and hot-glued the picture down over the sticks careful not to get glue in bedroom the sticks too much. After it dried, I removed the tape and then used an Xacto knife to cut the pictures between the sticks until they were separate.

I’d like to come up with a nice way to store these… maybe sew a little separate for each puzzle? Or stick to the oh-so-simple snack sized plastic bags?

Project 3: Number Matching Pole

DIY Number Matching Pole, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Original Inspiration from the DIY Preschool Car Trip Activity tutorial at Simple Mal.

Again – this is almost painfully simple. We had a garage sale last weekend, so I grabbed some leftover stickers and numbered them, then wrote the same set of numbers randomly along a paper towel cardboard roll. This was awesomely easy. Thanks Mallory!

Project 4: Felt Board Scenes

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Original Inspiration from the Pinterest Board of Felt Board Stories from Marcy Bishir. Nice collection of pins, Marcy!

These were the most fun out of all of the projects. I had a great time sitting and cutting out fun little shapes in front of the TV. Some I took straight off of pictures I saw online, and others I came up with myself. Those felt squares are so easy to cut through. I would grab a full-sized sheet and then start cutting out elements and adding to it, “building” the picture was I went until I felt like it had enough pieces to be fun.

Here are some close-ups of my favs:

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting SunnyAll in all, I made 5 different “scenes” to play with. A “house” scene with a tree, lake, sun, etc.; an outer-space scene; a ” party food” scene with  pizza and cupcakes; an “ocean” scene with fish, a whale, and coral; and a holiday scene with a snow man, pine tree, and presents.

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

My strategy was to pick out a few colors I knew I wanted to leave full sheets of, as the “background” for the scenes (I chose light blue, white, green, and black). I wanted to make them firm enough for the kids to sit it on their laps and play with in the car, so I found some cardboard sheets from the back of photo frames I wasn’t using, cut them to size (shown above) and hot glued the full-sized sheets to those (shown below).

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Again, these were easy and fun and my goal is to bridge the age-gap and have scenes both kids will find fun the play with. We actually already have a “quiet box” of Haven’s that she loves, with a little felt girl cutout glued to one side and dress-up clothes of all types she can stick to the girl. It was a gift from her Aunt Norma, and we’re bringing that along to keep H amused as well.

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

This little carrying case was in the “art storage” area of Hobby Lobby, and I was surprised to see that the full-price for it was only $2.99. It expands pretty wide, too, and is so nice and bright. Since I had my Hobby Lobby iPhone app up and used the built-in 40% off coupon, it brought the cost down to just a bit over $1. This post is not sponsored, btw. For me, that was totally worth it to hold the felt boards and cut-outs. I stored the cut-outs for each scene in plastic quart-sized storage bags.

DIY Felt Board Scenes, Preschool Travel Activities | Painting Sunny

Want to know the other fun thing about this post? I got all fancy and tried the Katie Bower method for better small product photography. Seems so simple, but her tips totally helped. She is so cool.

Anyone else about to embark on a road-trip with kiddos? Figured out a safe and non-screechy way to transport a cat long-distance? Sit and cut out astronauts and pizza slices while you watch TV?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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Little Pink Whiteboard Project

Sometimes it’s those quick little projects that are so satisfying, fun, and brighten up my day and a room in the house, too. This is one of them. Haven has had two dry erase boards hanging above the desk in her room for years now, which are totally mismatched and she only really uses one of them. They are awesome to have around, but I wanted to make it a little brighter for her. Mom covered one in pictures and captions of Haven with her loved ones originally, so those will go back up after we get settled in our new place (Just a few more weeks! Eeek!)

Isn’t she pretty? (at least for a dry erase board…)

Little Pink Whiteboard Project | Painting Sunny

I learned how hard it is to get a dynamic photo with nice composition… of a dry erase board. Also, I should have cleaned the marker off the white surface of it before taking the picture. That’s what I get for trying to snap pics while getting ready in the morning.

Here she is before: the darker-colored wood-framed one to the right. Not the one covered in Tic Tac. To be specific. BTW, is it called Tic Tac?

Little Pink Whiteboard Project | Painting Sunny

I decided to use other whiteboard (the lighter-colored one to the left) in Lo’s room after we move, as it fits better with his decorating scheme and both kids could use one. One board is a quicker little mid-week painting project, too!

Little Pink Whiteboard Project | Painting Sunny

I started off by prepping the board to be painted. The most important part was to make sure the actual dry erase board part didn’t get painted on. I used some notebook paper and painters tape to cover the surface.

This was easy-peesy-lemon-squeezy. Yep, I just said that. I started off with a couple quick coats of Krylon spray primer that I already had sitting around, then followed it up with three light coats of Krylon indoor/outdoor spray paint in Raspberry. BTW, this is not sponsored by Krylon in any way – they don’t know I exist. It’s just what I’ve been using.

I love the color. I still have almost the entire spray can left, and am hoping to find some thrift-store ceramic animals at some point (come on, someone please donate some to our local Goodwill!) and spray them the same color.

True confession: The paint didn’t stick as well in a couple tiny spots as I would like it to have. I assume partly because wasn’t sanded (was technically a wood surface, but not very sandable. That’s a word. Also, I partly painted in the half-dark and with fluctuating temps so who knows what all contributed. It actually isn’t noticeable unless you’re holding it up to the light and rubbing it, so I have a feeling no one else will ever notice.

Well, that’s one quick little project out of the way before the move.

Anyone else spray painting in the almost dark? Going for shades of pink on their office supplies? Happy it is spray-painting weather again?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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Before the Blog – Pinterest Inspired Projects, Part III

… and now, I am happy to introduce the final chapter of this three-part series. Just like Twilight’s Breaking Dawn or The Hunger Games’ Mockingjay, I know this ending was heavily anticipated. Just agree and let me boost my ego, please.

As I shared here and then here, I put together a list of projects I had completed pre-blog and pre-good-camera and it was so unwieldy I had to break it into three different posts to share with ya’ll.

These are all things directly from my Pinterest boards – please come visit me there, where you will see my own versions and the original inspiration for projects like these, and more. Let’s explore, shall we?

Project #11: Tea Clothespin Wreath

DIY Tea Clothespin Wreath | Painting Sunny

Originally inspired by the tea! tea! tea! kitchen wreath over at KOJODESIGNS.

This is just a little bit kitschy and a little bit practical; a combination I can totally get behind. I handled the clothespin portion of the project much like the original tutorial I linked to, but for the base of it I used a metal wreath purchased from Hobby Lobby for $3 (I believe on sale). The clothespins were $1 from the Dollar Tree, and I already had the paint and scrapbook paper so this was a $4 or so project for me, total. It’s hanging up in the kitchen being all kitschy.

Project #12: Sewn Office Planner Cover

DIY Sewn Office Planner Cover | Painting Sunny

DIY Sewn Office Planner Cover | Painting Sunny

Originally inspired by the Journal Cover Tutorial over at Bloom.

Like a lot of obsessive organized people, I have a favorite planner that I used to keep track of my to-do list. I actually don’t use a calendar one, as I like to use Outlook and schedule things electronically, but despite having an iPhone and iPad, I just haven’t switched my work lists or brainstorming over to digital. I wanted something cute and that fit very well as a cover for my otherwise very ugly planner.

Naturally, I decided to sew one myself. I’m so glad I did! My planner is cute, but it was also my first project using interfacing and was a really great introduction to it. (I’ve since sewn a t-shirt quilt).

Project #13: Sewn Lavender Sachets

Sewn Lavender Sachets | Painting Sunny

Originally inspired by the Lavender Sachets over at the Purl Bee.

When I pinned this from the Purl Bee, I did not actually think I would end of making them. I just couldn’t picture buying that much dried lavender, honestly. Who pictures themselves buying pounds of dried lavender? Not this girl. Then, one day at our local farmer’s market I stumbled upon a stand selling dried lavender and the realization I could mix it with much, much cheaper rice to make it a little less costly.

These are great – so easy to sew up, it is a fun quick project and leaves you with a great smelling closet. Yum.

Project #14: Spray-Painted Big Metal Letters

Spray-Painted Big Metal Letters | Painting Sunny

Originally inspired by the Anthro-inspired Zinc Letters over at Lolly Jane.

Okay, okay – I know. Everyone under the sun has made these. Wait, that is a seriously weird expression. Who is not under the sun? Or do they mean the half of the earth that the sun is shining on at any point? That is how the sun’s rotation works, right? Ugh, now I have a headache.

Anyway, this could not be easier. Just grab one of those cardboard letters at a craft store (pay for it before leaving, though), and spray it on down with metallic spray paint. Personally, I used the silver leaf spraypaint by Krylon and it worked great but was the worst smelling spray paint ever. A year later, I’m pretty sure it made my asthma worse. So maybe try out some different paints… but the project is worth doing, even if it is a little… well… trendy.

Doesn’t it look heavy? It feels weird picking it up.

Project #15: Children’s Nightgown, No Pattern Sewing

Children's Nightgown, No Pattern Sewing | Painting Sunny

Originally inspired by the Little Girls Summer Nightgown over at Our 3 Sons Plus 1.

This is a great way to whip up some quick nightgowns for a little girl, and a fun project to share on a rainy day. H picked out her own fabrics at the store, and unsurprisingly went for anything pink and eye-searingly over the top in pattern. The original tutorial linked to is so useful, and actually easy to use as a base to make changes from.

Since it was Fall when I made these, I used a warmer flannel material and to make sure it was cut in a shape and size that fit her, I used a dress that she already had and loved to determine the shape by laying it on top of the fabric before I drew out the shape and cut it. I sewed four nightgowns in total, and made the sleeves a little different on each, just to experiment. 1.5 years later, she is still wearing them but they are just starting to look a tiny bit worn.

Project #16: Color-block Metallic Picture Frames

Color-block Metallic Picture Frames | Painting Sunny

Originally inspired by the DIY Brass Frames over at A Thoughtful Place.

When I moved into my current office at work, I wanted to spruce up the frames for the family photos in my office. After running across the tutorial linked above, I loved the idea of brass-looking frame corners and thought I could probably do a spin-off to get the look. I used antique gold colored spray-paint by taping off the rest of the frames besides the corners before painting it. Then, I went a little crazy and did some “color block” versions like the one to the left, in the photo above. I actually made about 8 of these, but it was hard to get good pics in my messy busy office.

BTW, that picture of the Hubs holding our son as a baby is my absolute favorite. I smile every time I see it. Adorbs.

Well, that’s it for this set. Will there be more? Who knows what I will uncover as we clean and pack to move. I’ll be sure to share if I do! Anyone else love a good kitschy clothespin wreath? Wish I would stop saying the word kitschy? Tricking friends by asking them to pick up fake metal objects?

Please come hang out with me on Pinterest, too. I spend way too much time over there…

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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On The Right Track: DIY Train Board (Video Tutorial)

Beyond excited = me sharing this, finally! Our son Lo’s birthday was this past December, and I spent the week beforehand in a mad rush to finish this DIY train board in time for his party. Well, it was sort of finished… all but the sealer that would make it possible for him to play with it without destroying the paint in 2.1 seconds. Living in Indiana, naturally the weather didn’t warm up enough to seal the table with any sort of ventilation until… 4 months later. This was not instant gratification.

Lo really liked his little round-a-bout Thomas train set (seen below in top-right corner of the pic) so we knew we wanted to expand it at some point. We hit up Amazon for a Melissa & Doug track set that came complete with another train, and is compatible with both Thomas and Brio train sets. M&D always saves the day…

Check out this beauty!

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny

The kids have so much stuff, we like to brainstorm gift ideas that capitalize on something they already have. Instead of more toys, they end up with better versions of what they had. Well, last Fall Young House Love posted their own DIY train board and the little idea particles in my brain sudden came together. The idea of making the table flat, so it can more easily slide out of the way? Genius.

YHL was the most spot-on tutorial and inspiration for me, but some other Pinterest-worthy ones are at Bits and Pieces of the Better Life and little house blog.

Want to see it in action? It is holding up great, and the kids play with it almost every day… and I put that fine art degree I’m still paying off to good use. Gotta get my money’s worth.

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny

Here is the “before” picture. I assume it was part of a kitchen counter, maybe the top to a kitchen island? I discovered it in the old-kitchen-construction area at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for something like $12 as I recall. I love that place so much! I gave it a quick rough-up with very grainy sand-paper.

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny

This blog has helped me to test my comfort-level a bit, but I am still camera-shy. Irony being ever-present in my life, my husband really enjoys photography and actually does videography work occasionally. It comes in very handy sometimes, but means I’m frequently ducking behind a potted plant.

Well, he must have psychically realized I would soon have a blog, and as I worked on this project he filmed it for me. Let’s all ignore the fact that I am basically in PJs and might not be wearing any makeup. Yikes.

You can briefly see where I sketched it out on paper beforehand, and how I filled in the areas.

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny

As you can see from the video, I sketched an outline on the board of what landscaping I wanted. I used acrylic paints, brushes, etc. I already had on hand. If you’re doing this, you can find really affordable options at most craft stores, and for this project could get away with only a few colors. I was going for a slight hint at realism, so did a bit more blending of colors.

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny

To finish off the edges of the table, I used painters table pressed down very tightly over the edges of my painted area, using plastic trash bags to cover the main surface (as seen above). I then used the color Seaweed by Krylon Indoor/Outdoor paint in gloss finish. It is a very natural looking color, so fit the bill.

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny

See the damaged area in the middle of the table, pictured above? Well, that’s what I get for letting him play with it before it was sealed. There were quite a few scratches in the paint, so I busted out my blue and green paints and did a quick touch-up and let it dry for about 20 minutes.

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny

I used Old Masters Interior Water-Based Poly-Urethane in Semi-Gloss for the sealer, which was highly recommended by my paint guy (at our local Bloomington Paint & Wallpaper store). He said it was safe for something a child would frequently touch, and pretty much fume-free when applying. I was really impressed with how true that last part was. Painted it right in the kitchen (not while cooking) and it was fine! It only took maybe 1/10 of the quart so I have a lot left for future projects. I applied it with a foam mini-roller.

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny

The directions recommend letting it dry two hours after each coat, applying three coats, and lightly sanding it with low-grit sand-paper between coats. I was nervous when sanding, but it turned out just fine.

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny

Here she is without the train parts, all finished!

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny

My favorite part is the ocean, for sure. The little white flecks along the break-line just bring the whole thing together. I would totally take a train ride along this coast!

DIY Train Table | Painting Sunny … and the classic helicopter view. The track just barely fits on the board, but stays put pretty well considering we chose not to permanently attach it to the board. It can be put in several configurations, so we wanted to keep our options open.

Any other must-see train tables and boards out there? Preferences on track brands? This seems to be a BIG deal on the internet, with Brio and Thomas having die-hard fans. The Melissa and Doug version being reversible and the much more reasonable price bought my loyalty! I’m thinking a play-kitchen will be next on the kids big-gift list…