Archive for October, 2012
Quick note: Our event in SoHo tomorrow has been postponed due to Hurricane Sandy (we’re sending everyone lots of love up there – I finally got through to my brother in Jersey City). We’ll still be at the Wilton Library in CT as planned on Friday morning (the 2nd) at 9:30am and at Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ later that day.
Dude, I did it! I semi-DIYed my very first Halloween costumes, and I lived to tell the tale. It actually wasn’t too hard (do you believe that I didn’t sew a single thing?). Holla!
- a “cowgirl hat” from a local pop-up Halloween store
- red yarn and white duct tape from AC Moore
- flared jeans from Old Navy (you know I used a coupon and bought them on discount Tuesdays)
The first thing I tackled was making a long Jessie-ish braid from the yarn and used the white duct tape to connect it to the hat. Looks pretty bad from the inside, but thankfully it’s all covered up when Clara puts it on, and it doesn’t seem to bother her (she loves her Jessie hair, and it actually seems to help make the slightly-too-big hat fit her a bit better – even though it still slides around a little).
Oh and she needed winter shoes/boots, so I found these cowgirl-ish boots at Old Navy on sale, so they’ll not only serve as shoes for the costume but she’ll hopefully get lots of wear out of them this winter. I also picked up an on-sale white button down (in the boy’s section) that she can wear well beyond this costume. And speaking of wearing-beyond-the-costume, see the jeans? I cow-patterned them up with white duct tape that I cut into different cow-spot-ish shapes. So it’s 100% removable so the jeans, the shirt, and the boots can just be worn normally after Halloween until Clara outgrows them.
As for slinky dog’s costume, I just got a quarter yard of brown felt from JoAnn (on sale for 50 cents), cut it into a small strip that wraps around Burger’s tummy, and used velcro at each side of the strip to secure it under his ribcage. Then for the “slinky” we just got two yards of silver trim (from the aisle with all the fringe and beaded trim that you buy by the yard at JoAnn). I didn’t even sew the slinky trim onto the felt since I secured it with safety pins on the outside of the costume under his belly (so they’re not against Burger’s skin, they’re on the outside of the felt sleeve). I intended to stitch it after pinning it just to see how it looked, but it seems to work as-is. Burger doesn’t exactly love Halloween costumes – he wiggles out of them in about 5.5 seconds – so I figured it wasn’t worth breaking out a needle.
Oh man, and my favorite detail is the gold fringe that I added to the bottom of Clara’s flared jeans. She LOVES it (“look how they shake mommy!”) and I’m so excited that it was only $1 worth of trim from JoAnn which I safety pinned in place (so once again, it can be removed and Clara can wear these jeans for the rest of the year). Although she loves them so much, we might de-cow-spot them and leave the fringe on for a little while… just because she gets such a kick out of it.
Here’s Clara’s Jessie hair from the back. Isn’t that long braid adorable? Oh man, I think my brain will explode when she actually has hair I can braid. Squuuueeeee!
Oh and the belt! I made that with another trim thing I found at JoAnn (it was woven leather-looking trim that was the perfect width for her pants). I secured it with a round plastic pin/button (you know, the ones people wear on their lapel that say “vote for me for student council”) but it was a clear fillable plastic button, so I opened it and put yellow construction paper in it with a star in front of it that I cut from leftover brown slinky dog felt. Since it has a safety pin on the back of it, it holds the woven trim together like a belt, so for around $4 I made her that little cowgirl accessory.
Weirdly enough, Clara’s favorite Jessie activity so far has been sliding her legs out on the floor like this in her boots (and occasionally hurting Woody, if he’s nearby). She’s got the moves like Jagger.
What sort of costumes are you guys DIYing this year? Anyone else using odd things like white duct tape when it comes to your costume? Or are you happy to buy something cute off the rack if it grabs you? I gotta admit we did that last year…
… and the year before…
… and it was tons of fun too. Hope you guys all have a safe and happy Halloween!!! And I’d love to hear (and see!) what your kiddos are going to be this year. And any grown ups in costume = awesomeville. Links, links, y’all!
Maybe we should rename our site Young Shadowbox Love. They’re just my jam. I’ve stuffed them with everything from calendars with special dates circled…
… to wedding paraphernalia.
I think it just goes back to loving the idea of displaying things that make for happy memories instead of tucking them into a closet in a box that never gets opened. So pretty much from the second we started writing our book over three years ago I had my eye out for things that I could save and stick in a box to forever commemorate this crazy journey that we never could’ve guessed we’d ever be on. One of my favorite things to collect throughout the process were the pencils that we used to make edits on the manuscript and the giant layouts that we’d ship back and forth between the publisher and ourselves.
The pencils started out long, but over the 336 pages that make up our book they’d slowly get worn down. We’d use different colors depending on the rounds of edits that we were doing (the spellchecker would write in one color, our editor would use another color, and we’d write in a third color) and the papers would get sent back and forth looking like a fun little rainbow of chaos that only the typesetter could understand. As you might imagine, since the outline for the book was written over a year ago, and things were refined and revised over the last ten months with those crazy little pencils, we amassed quite a collection of them, many of which were worn down to half their size after lots and lots of notes in those margins.
I contemplated just putting the pencils in a shadowbox on their own, but thought it would be fun to add in some other meaningful items to remind us of this crazy book-rollercoaster, so everything from the textured wallpaper to a swatch of fabric, a random post card, and the little personalized rock that reminds us of Burger (all from secret book projects) ended up in my shadowbox pile.
I had a 6 x 6″ shadowbox from Ikea on hand already (they’re super cheap – $5 I think), so I just cut the textured wallpaper to the size of the frame to act as our background, and then used super glue to hold everything from the pencils and the rock to the fabric swatch in place.
I let everything dry in place (don’t wanna hang it up until the glue is totally cured since things have to fight gravity once they’re hanging) and then the next day I stuck it into the frame…
… and hung it up in a nice little place of honor in the hall bathroom. I thought about putting it in our hallway of frames, but for some strange reason it felt like I’d be “burying it” – so I love that it gets a little place of its own so we can gaze at it whenever we’re in that room (it’s where Clara takes her baths and sits on the potty, so we’re logging lots of time in there these days). Oh and we don’t worry about any steam getting in and hurting it since Clara’s baths aren’t hot and we don’t shower in there (our guests have their own guest bath). Whew.
Isn’t that bike towel cute? It’s supposed to be a dishtowel (I got it for John back here) but it works just as well for drying hands on the way out.
What have you guys been shoving into frames lately? Anyone else doing odd things like collecting used-up pencils and saving tiny fabric swatches? I can’t be the only one…
Quick note: We somehow made it through the hurricane without losing power, but we have relatives up in NY and NJ who didn’t fare as well. Our thoughts are with everyone dealing with the after-effects of Sandy. Stay safe everyone!
It’s Tuesday the 30th… so it’s time to share this season’s (completely unofficial) Pinterest Challenge project (not sponsored by Pinterest or anyone else, just dreamed up by Katie to make us stop pinning and start doing). Huzzah!
This time John and I tried our hand at making a large chunky-framed leaning mirror – except instead of it actually being a mirror we made it into a giant chalkboard (since chalkboard paint is probably the most Pinterest-tastic material out there, haha).
By designing it like a large leaning mirror, it can move from room to room, and it can be a place where we write sweet notes, make lists, and enjoy Clara-scribble (we secured it to the wall with leaning mirror hardware so it’s kid-safe – more on that method here).
As per the challenge rules, I took inspiration (or Pintspiration, har-har) from the projects that I linked up to in last Tuesday’s post and did my own spin. Here’s a recap of them for ya:
- Top left: this big arse chalkboard from here
- Top right: this leaning easel board found here from this awesome blog
- Bottom right: this door-chalkboard from here
And here’s how we tackled our own version. The cool thing is that we were able to use a big board of plywood that we already had leftover from building in the fridge back in November of last year (yes, it was just chilling in our basement since then). But before we got to the chalkboard paint application, we rolled on some magnetic paint (since we already had a quart of that from this project in our first house). Sorry this isn’t a full shot of the plywood board, but it’s 68″ tall and 21″ wide if that helps.
After a four coats of magnetic paint (we wanted it to be pretty strong) it was time to add the chalkboard paint. So we grabbed this can from Home Depot for ten bucks and we rolled on two coats of it. We only applied it to the front side of the board, but you can see from this pic that we actually had some fun with the back side too, but we’ll get to that in a second.
As for building this whole shebang, we set out to make it without the need of any fancy saws or tools. And because Home Depot is happy to cut plywood to size for you to make the board, and you can also get them to cut a few 1″ x 6″ boards to create the frame… this project calls for no cuts at home at all. Woot!
For our 68″ x 21″ piece of plywood we got two 29.5″ 1 x 6″ boards for the top and bottom of the frame, and two 63″ pieces for the sides. This allows for a little bit of overlap when the frame is assembled so the board looks as if it sits inside the frame (but really rests behind it). The total height and width of the entire finished project is 29.5″ wide by 74″ tall.
As for the stain, we went with our old favorite (leftover from a bunch of other projects) which is Minwax in Dark Walnut. We stained the wood before we assembled the frame because it seemed easier not to have to worry about getting stain on the chalkboard part of the board.
After the frame was all stained and dried, we just used our Kreg Jig to attach them (but if you don’t have one you could easily use metal brackets to hold them together from behind or just try to screw them together from behind without a jig).
Bam. A dark walnut frame. Without a miter saw, angle calculations, or anything else that could get complicated.
Then we attached the chalkboard part to the frame from behind. And… surprise! John got a wild hair and painted the back in Citron (a leftover pot of BM paint that we had), just because he said the bare beat-up back was bugging him. Sure, we’ll probably only see it once every few years when we carry it around the house (you know we like to move things around) but I love that man for adding that secret plane of color just because he knows it’s there. Haha.
Oh and to be clear about how you attach the chalkboard part to the frame, you just screw around the edge of the chalkboard from behind because it overlaps the frame slightly, so as long as your screws are long enough to go through the plywood and into the stained frame (without poking all the way through the front) you’re golden. I think the length we used for those screws was an inch and a quarter.
Then we just let it air out/cure for a while (chalkboard paint + stain are both stiiinky until they fully cure) and it was finally time to bring it up into the living room along the wall where we wanted to lean it. Then we just secured it to keep it from tipping over (using the same dealio that we used here). Don’t want it bonking the bean!
Next it was time to “condition” it by rubbing the side of a piece of chalk all over it and then wiping it all off. Boom. Conditioned.
Ta-daaaaa! I know in the pics it seems to be one of the only wood tones in the room, but the console behind the sofa is the same finish and we’d love to build/repurpose a cabinet for the TV in the same rustic finish, so we think it’ll be more balanced and make more sense as the rest of the room comes together. One nice thing we didn’t even think about is that the color of the chalkboard paint ties into the sofa and the beams, so it sort of “marries” the wood console and the gray items in the room. Gotta love a “bridge piece.”
I’m sure the scribbles will constantly be changing (we have a fun Thanksgiving idea to implement when November rolls around) but for now I just wrote a quote that I love up on the top. It says “the happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”
Then Clara woke up from her nap to see it hanging out in the living room and cautiously approached it. For a second she didn’t know what to think, but when we told her she got to draw on it and handed her a box of chalk…
… let’s just say she got pretty darn excited. Haha.
Here’s a video of her in action for ya:
It must be a mom thing, but I totally think my kid’s scribbles are THE BEST. I mean, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?
So that’s how it all went down. As for the money stuff, here’s a little budget breakdown:
- $0 – leftover plywood board, leftover stain, leftover magnetic paint (a guess for buying all of these might be $45?)
- $10 – chalkboard paint from Home Depot
- $16 – four 1 x 6″ boards to make the frame
- Total: $26 (this project could potentially cost around 70 bucks if you don’t have leftover materials)
And now here’s the part where we tip our homemade hats to you guys and invite you to share all of the fun Pinterest Challenge projects that you’ve tackled in the last week (right along with us, well at least virtually with us). If you’ve already blogged about it, just:
- click on the blue “Add Your Link” button with the odd cartoon head at the bottom of this post (you might have to do some scrolling, depending how many projects are added)
- add a link to your specific blog post about your project in the url field (not your home page)
- where it says “name” write a descriptive name for your project (ex: “Homemade Leaf Wreath”) as opposed to your actual name
- we’d also love if you could quickly link back over to our project posts within your own (here’s Katie’s, Carmel’s and Sarah’s) – it’s also nice to link to your inspiration project on Pinterest as well as to directly link to the original project/site, just so they get some love too.
And if you’d rather just link over to your project in the comment section, feel free to do that – or even add a link to a free photo sharing site like Flickr with your pics if you don’t have a blog (remember to set the gallery to public so we can all see it). We’re crazypants excited to see what you guys have been up to!