Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'm an idiot and a chalk wall

This past weekend we went on a cleaning spree.  Kalia had been sick pretty much since her first birthday party (her one year check up was that Monday - I'm pretty sure she caught it there - darn not first thing in the morning appointments!), so once she started sort of being on the up and up, I felt the need to sanitize everything.  And I do mean everything.  Like 3300 + square feet of everything.

Yeah, I know, still doesn't explain why I'm an idiot...I'm getting there.

We started in the living room and conditioned the leather, dusted every single surface and every single thing on the surface, cleaned the fans, the baseboards, you name it, it got cleaned.  Then we moved onto the kitchen and Chris even took everything out of our pantry and cleaned and re-organized it.  So Saturday was busy busy busy with taking turns playing with Kalia and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.  It was past 11 when we deemed the house done enough for the night and headed to bed.  Kalia wakes up at 530 a.m.(oiy!).

Sunday we started on the cleaning kick again (I know, we're totally the life of the party these days), and I think all of the cleaning chemicals and sheer exhaustion must have gotten to my brain by the time Kalia woke up from her first nap.

We took down the balloons we used as decor for Kalia's birthday party the night before (decorations post coming soon, promise) and decided to leave them in Kalia's playroom for a few days because she has a thing for balloons.  Apparently so do we.

When she woke up, we all went in the the playroom to have some family playtime (we try to make sure we both play with her at least once a day on the weekends instead of constantly trading off).  Chris decided a fun game would be to spike the balloons off of Kalia's head.  Kalia could have cared less.  Me, on the other hand, took issue (playfully!) with him spiking balloons off of my little girls head, so I decided I would spike the balloons of off his head for Kalia.

Chris, also, could have cared less.

I guess I thought I'd really show him if I spiked it closer and harder.

A balloon.


So I tossed my balloon up, and impatiently waited for it to float itself back down so I could spike it as hard as I could into the back of Chris's head.  I swung through the balloon as hard as I could and in my follow through (because now I was entirely too close), I hit my middle finger on the back of Chris's shoulder.


The conversation from there went something like this :

Chris : "Ow Kara, that really hurt my shoulder!"

Me : "FFF!!!!"

Kalia : "Baa!  Baa!! BAAAA!!!!"  (Everything she's happy at is either ba or da)
Chris : "What'd you hit me with??"
Me : (Hunched over holding me hand) "Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!!!!!"
Kalia : "BAAAAA!!!!!!"
Chris : "Seriously, what'd you hit me with??"
Me : "My . middle . finger.  I''s.broken.  Ow, ow, ow."
Chris: "Are you serious??"  takes a look at it.  "Yep, you're serious.  That sucks.  Guess my shoulder doesn't hurt so bad anymore.  How do you do these things Kara???"

Kalia : "BAAAAA!!!!!!  BAAAAA!!!"

Seriously, I am such an idiot.  The sad thing is it is typical me.  I build stuff, move trees, and think I have He-man strength when it comes to most anything, but I can't even spike a freaking balloon without breaking something.

Anyways, the point in writing that is that if I have typos, ignore them (I'm trying to type sans middle finger), and I'm behind on my posts because it takes forever to type them.  Please forgive me for lack of responses on my comments as well, I'm getting there!

Whew...that took forever.  Now, onto less idiotic a chalk wall!

That's right, my walls can talk!  Well, I guess they can't talk per say, but you can read them now!  I've wanted to do a chalk wall somewhere in the house for a long long time.  I told Chris before we were even pregnant that when we had babies, one of the walls was becoming chalk.  He said no, but eventually I broke him down (some tasks take longer to break his disapproval of than others).

The large wall with nothing on it in Kalia's playroom screamed "pick me, pick me!!!" for a chalk wall.  And I listened.

Yeah, those cleaning chemicals are still getting to me...

I'm not gonna lie, painting that huge wall that you see when you first walk into our house black, was daunting.  But, like I said, the wall told me to paint it, so what am I supposed to do?  Ignore crazy talking walls?  No way, not this gal.

I'm losing it, I know.  Must.sleep.

We sanded prior to painting.  If I had to do this over again, I'd sand more thoroughly.  It's hard not to rush through projects with a wee one in tow, but chalkboards are supposed to be like butter, and ours is a little more cottage cheese like.  Still fun, and still totally function able, but for those of you that haven't gotten on the chalk wall train and plan on it, sand, sand, sand!

You can see the original color the previous owners had this room.  Lavendar.  With a pink pool deck.  I have no idea what they were thinking.  Moving on...

I painted three coats of the chalkboard paint on.

The paint looked super streaky, but wound up drying just fine.

After all the coats were dry, I primed / conditioned the wall.  Holy foreverness.  I was kind of dumb (theme of this post I think), and used a tiny thin piece of chalk to do this.  Well, like three of them by the time I was done.  I smartened up for Kalia's birthday party and bought big fat chalk, but I initially only bought the skinny white dustless chalk.  They really should call it less dust chalk instead of dustless.  Chalk is dust.  It doesn't give off as much dust as the big fat ones do, but it still creates dust, so don't let it fool you!

I attempted to erase the entire 16' wall with a tiny tiny felt eraser.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  Again.  Holy foreverness, again.  At that point I was feeling a little silly, and sent Chris this picture:

Minus taking forever, the felt eraser didn't really erase it so well either.

At this point, I think Chris was majorly regretting letting me wear him down over the chalk wall.  But after going back over it with a thin dust towel that is now our official eraser for the wall, we were both really happy with the outcome.

I didn't leave the crooked paint line as our finish for the top of the chalk wall, but I can't show you in this post what I finished it off with.  My finger hurts too badly, and this post is long enough!

The kids had fun drawing on the chalk wall at Kalia's birthday party, and Kalia and I have had fun on it since then.  Or maybe I've had fun and Kalia's had fun eating chalk.  I know, the poor girl doesn't stand a chance. Sigh...

But she'll have fun on it soon enough!  Has anybody tried those chalk ink pens on chalk walls?  I'm really curious to know how those work and if they erase well or leave etchings behind.  Let me know if you've tried it out!

So what do you think?  Well, besides I'm an idiot ... I mean of our new chalk wall, not of me!  (Dear all of my lovely family members, no comments necessary on the idiot front!!)  This was one of those projects that wasn't exactly for her birthday party, but I wanted to have done before the big day arrived.

Hope everyone is having a great week!  Happy Hump Day!

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I'm linking up to the parties on my sidebar, go checkout what everyone else is up to for great inspiration! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kalia's First Birthday Party : Chalk Signs

I showed you the fabric heart I did yesterday.  I mentioned that my vision for the fabric heart was to use it as a photo booth.

I not only wanted to capture pictures of the guests, but I also wanted them to be able to write messages to Kalia as well.  It'll be a lot of fun to look back at these years down the road.  So next up on the project list was chalk signs!

Lucky me, we had an old dresser that had seen much better days and was on it's way out to the street.  We pulled out the drawers to take some of the weight off, and a lightbulb went of in my head.  (Yes Dad, that happens every now and then).  I needed thin wood to make my chalkboard signs for the party, and the bottom of the dresser was made with thin wood.  Score!!

I took apart the dressers and drew out my various shapes onto the wood.

And then got to cutting with my jig saw.

After I cut out all of my shapes...

(no in process pictures from here on, sorry!  naptimes were flying by!), I did two layers of chalk paint over each of them.

My sister in law has a whole lot prettier hand writing, so she wrote a message for the guests instructing them what to do with the chalk signs and the photo wall.

We left out some chalk, and left my point and shoot camera sitting on the table.

I taped balloons to the ceiling so that the photo wall felt more secluded, and then added curling ribbon to the bottoms of the balloons.  So much cheaper than using helium balloons! I added the accordion scrap paper things in the background after doing some test shots and deciding the wall was missing something.  The guests did the rest.

I cut out one of the signs to look like a stop sign and hung it from Kalia's playroom with rules on it.  We've had some not fun experiences with those mats and food and shoes!

I also used a sign to tell guests where to leave the gifts.  I'll show the full decor later, but for now, here's a cropped shot of the gifts sign :

So what do you think of my photo wall?  We had fun with it, and I know those pictures will be so fun to look back at one day!

While I'm on the topic of pictures, thanks so much to Erin and Chris for gifting Kalia with photographing her first Birthday party.  They take such great pictures, and did an amazing job capturing all of the details and moments so Chris and I could just enjoy the celebration!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  More Birthday posts coming soon!

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kalia's First Birthday Party : Fabric Heart

I have about a million posts to write on everything I did for Kalia's First Birthday Party.  I kept the decor pretty inexpensive, more work on my part than actual cost.

I'm not really good on 'themes' with parties.  For a baby shower I was helping throw, one of the girls asked what kind of theme we wanted to go with (I was in charge of decorations) and I said "baby".  When they said, yeah, but what kind of baby theme, I replied with "baby girl."  For my own wedding, when the florist asked what kind of flowers I wanted, I said "pretty ones".  When it comes to parties / events, I'm not really big into themes, I just want everything to mean something and look cool.  Does that count as a theme??

But for Kalia's invites I sent out, I used pictures, so I guess that was sort of my theme.  I decided to mimic her nursery colors of both blue and pink as well, and went forward with a game plan from there.  I am a little crazy about pictures...especially of Kalia.  I have always loved capturing moments, so I decided to incorporate some of that into the party decor / events as well.

I've seen photo booths used at events before, so I wanted to recreate something like that, but a lot less pricey, and something relating back to Kalia.  So here's what I did :

I picked up a large piece of clearance fabric, and had Chris hold it up where I wanted it to go to make sure the empty wall I was putting it on didn't dwarf the fabric.

Then I drew a large heart in chalk on the fabric.

I used Kalia's ottoman from her nursery to trace the circular parts of the heart, and then a ruler to draw the straight part.

After that, I took a pink and a blue paint pen and got to writing Kalia's name.  Over.and over.and over again.  I sort of felt like I was in elementary school and had gotten in trouble and had to write my name on the chalk board about a million times.

In all honesty, it took me probably about 15 minutes to write it out.  It just seemed like a lot longer than that!

The fabric needed a large frame to go in, and there is no way I'm dishing out the cash for one of those, so I made one.  I wanted the frame to have a little more detail than my normal picture frames, so I whipped out my router tool for the first time.  That thing is amazing.  So easy and so fun to use!  Here's an in action shot :

and here's what the wood looked like afterwards.

I initially glazed the frame to bring out my routing detail, but the glaze just didn't go with Kalia's fabric heart, so I nixed that.  After I nailed the large frame together, I gave her a few coats of white spray paint.

From there, I just stapled the fabric to the back of the frame.  I can't decide if I want to reuse the frame for something else, so I didn't put too many staples in it.  In hindsight, I should have either glued the fabric around it and cut it off, or just gotten over it and put enough staples to pull it tight.  The fabric wrinkled a bit more than I would have liked.  Overall though, I was still happy with the final product.

Besides this being the photo wall, we also did Kalia's smash cake using this as the back drop.

Kalia wasn't sure what to think of the 40 people singing Happy Birthday to her!  I'll have more in action shots of the photo wall coming up shortly, so stay tuned for that.

Hope everyone's had a great week so far!

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Exterior Fountain Makeover AND a Krylon promotion

I know, I know, I disappeared again.  That's because I'm now officially a Mom to a one year old, and I had about a million projects I wanted to get done before her first birthday party!  That year most definitely flew by.  I think I blinked a few times and then it was over.  Pictures of the party and projects coming soon, I promise!

One of the things that's been on my to-do list for forever has been that fountain / bird bath that sits outside the front of our nicely painted home.

It's dingy looking and I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture or not, but the undertones in it are pink.  Just like the pool deck and the front entry way used to be.  Call me crazy, but I'm just not really a pink kinda gal.

I took the easy way out, initially, with redoing this fountain.  I took my favorite Ocean Breeze spray paint from Krylon and went to town on it.  I like blue and all, but this turned out entirely too blue for what I was going for.

That's okay though, I had a backup plan.  I thought it might be a bit much with the bright bright blue and the old kind of feel of the fountain, so I added glaze to it to add back in that rustic / old vibe it was supposed to have.  After waiting 10 minutes for the spray paint to dry, I smothered the entire thing in glaze.

And then just wiped it off.

Doing this piece by piece was really a lot of work.  I kept stacking them up to make sure I still liked the end product before proceeding with the next one.

Look how much difference the glaze vs. non glazed section looks like on here :

And finally, after quite a few naptimes and getting eaten up by mosquitoes after bedtimes, I was left with this :

We coated it with polycrylic hoping that it'd keep a little bit longer in the weather, although the Krylon spray I used is indoor / outdoor.  I'm not worried about the spray paint, moreso the glaze.  I used the ocean breeze on the exterior lights in the back well over a year and a half ago, and they've held up to the Florida weather just fine.

I really like the look of it against the red colored plants in the front.  I'm sure they have a formal name, I just have no idea what it is!

I also like how the fountain color ties in with our ceiling color.  As a side note, I think we hung the pendant in our entry way too high.  Good thing Chris didn't clip the extra wire.  He does want to shoot me though for realizing this after he thought we were done with that project.  Oops!

Now onto the fun part ...the promotion!  If you live in the Tampa Bay area and would like the opportunity to win a $2500 Lowe's shopping spree, listen up!  All you have to do to win is visit one of the 15 participating area Lowe's (see more info here :, take a picture with your smartphone of you in front of the Krylon display, and text your photo to 80202.  That's it!  You can only enter once and the promotion runs through June 23rd.  Every day two winners will receive a $25 gift card as well, so the sooner you enter, the better!

For those of you that know me personally, no, I didn't get a smart phone, and no, I didn't get text messaging.  So, that's one more chance for you to win because I'm still in the dinosaur era and can't enter.  Boo!  One day I'll upgrade, one day!

So what do you guys think of my fountain redo?  Too bold or out there for you?  Anyone else have anything out of the ordinary color wise greeting passer by's?

Hope everyone has a wonderful Father's Day weekend, and if you're swinging by Lowe's to pick something up for your Dad, don't forget to enter the Krylon promotion!

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*As a full disclosure, Krylon contacted me asking me to post about their promotion.  In return, I received three cans of their spray paint.
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