Tag Archives: decorating

What’s pink and black white all over?

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What’s pink and black and white all over… And is now finished? Samantha’s room!!
Over the past couple of months, I have worked, and on my blog I have written about how we have made fake cupcakes, sewed a cupcake quilt, designed artwork, decorated mirrors, sewed curtains, dressed up her dresser, and painted pink leopard skin walls… All of which have been projects for my 7 year old daughter’s room.
Here is what her room looked like before…

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Here is what all of our projects look like put together in her room… I even actually hung the artwork!

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I might add a little trim to the top of her shelves, but other than that, it is pretty much done!
I have a few ideas in mind before my next project, but I promised my husband I would wash out the paint trays and brushes first! For those of you who don’t know me, cleaning up after my creativity is not one of my strengths!
By the way, happy valentine’s day!

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Pink and black curtains!!

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I am really getting close to finishing my daughter’s room…. Which is great because I started decorating it two months ago on the Christmas holidays, and it is now the middle of February! But, I have learned that taking your time is the best way to do things with the least amount of stress… Take your time and have fun!
Today I was lucky enough to have my mom over to help… It was great having some one to consult with about my “complicated” sewing decisions… As I said, my husband is wonderful, but he can only pretend he is interested in my sewing and craft projects for so long…
Here is what the curtains looked like before:

20120211-195855.jpg And here is what they look like now:

20120211-195935.jpg The step in sewing the curtains, was to decide on a design. I had bits and pieces left over from the quilt, and I bought some plain black fabric for the background. As always, I spread out the fabric on the basement floor before starting, to see what it’s going to look like.

20120211-200948.jpg I decided to keep the design of her curtains pretty simple. I figured that after I painted a entire wall of her room pink leopard skin, maybe i should keep the curtains simple.
I cut out rectangular panels from the black fabric. I tried to make them as large as possible, making sure they were a few inches wider than the window on either side. I also cut out the strips of fabric in the pink and in the zebra skin fabric the same width as the black fabric. The first step was to sew together the pink and zebra strips of fabric.

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Then, we sewed the strips together with the black fabric to complete the panel. Now for the tricky part…the lining. I splurged on buying some blackout lining, which is a fabric that is designed to block out all of the sunlight. I would highly recommend blackout curtains for any bedroom, they make a huge difference in the summer!
Anyways, because the blackout fabric was more expensive, I didn’t have as much of it to work with. So the width and length of the black fabric was about a foot larger than the lining. We pinned, then sewed down both side seams, without cutting any of the black off, which made the width of the front much more than the back. I hope the pictures will explain.

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As you can kind of see, we turned the curtains right sides out and then laid it out flat and pinned down both sides so the black was even on both sides. To add the loops on the top, we turned the raw edges in, pinned in the ribbon loops, then sewed across the top.

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To finish the bottom, we turned it up a couple inches and sewed straight across.

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Then we used the existing curtain rods to hang them. Thanks to my mom’s help, it went pretty quickly and it was nice to spend the day with her! Thanks mom!

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Painting a vase

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Yesterday, I was working on making some changes to my daughter’s dresser so that it will match her room better, and I decided to personalize the drawer pulls, which are porcelain, so I got out my porcelain paint….I will show you the type and brand of paint I use in my next post, along with some pictures, when I have finished her dresser, hopefully in the next few days.
But for now, I will show you the vase I painted with the same porcelain paints. I had some left over flowers from the mirror we decorated, so I just had to make something to hold them in! Here is what the finished vase looks like…

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There is not a whole lot I need to write here in terms of instructions, because I think the pictures will explain how to do it…
I started by painting lines…

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Then I painted a couple of the stripes pink…

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Then I painted the bottoms of the cupcakes…

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Then the tops…

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Then I started the leopard print by adding white dots to the pink stripes, and I added cherries to the cupcakes…

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Then I used a ceramic paint pen to outline and add details to the cupcakes…

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While I was painting, Samantha, of course, had to get in on the action and paint too. Here is Sam’s cup she painted. We decided that she needed to paint something in her room to hold her pencils!

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Ok, back to painting the vase. My next step was to paint the zebra design on the top white stripe…

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Then I added the black detail to the leopard skin (if you want more details on how to paint the leopard pattern, see my post called, “leopardizing the walls”)

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I repeated the same zebra and leopard skin patterns on the bottom of the vase, then I decided that maybe the cupcakes needed a thicker border, so I painted a thicker border.

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That’s it! A little trick to the ceramic painting is that when the paint has totally dried, I will go back with a pin to scratch off a few of the areas I would like to clean up.
This paint also needs to dry for 24 hours, then it cooks in the oven. It will then be dishwasher and food safe!

“leopardizing” the walls

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“Leopardizing” the walls
Yesterday, thanks to my wonderful husband, I got a couple hours to paint Sam’s wall…
So, If you are interested in turning a wall of your house into a hot pink leopard skin pattern, then you are in the right place! But, for those of you who are not interested, the same techniques can be used with different colour schemes, on multiple surfaces, or projects. I have even painted a few serving dishes in leopard skin.

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I started by using a plain white paint I had lying around (I actually used a primer). I randomly covered the walls with dots of different sizes and shapes. I could have used smaller dots, and put them closer together, but I wanted to keep the scale a little larger.

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Then, I used the same black latex paint I used for her walls to add the black pattern around the white. There are a couple tricks or suggestions I have here. I tried to keep the black random by painting all the way around some of the white, but only adding outlines to two of the sides of some, and painting a “u” outline around others. My second tip is to water down the paint a little. To make the pattern look sharp and professional (I mean, come on we need to make our leopard skin look like its painted by a pro!) be careful to keep all of the lines sharp, with no brushstrokes showing. To look closely at some examples, just google, “pictures of leopard skin patterns”

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I would also recommend taking a few steps back every few minutes. Where I saw gaps, or spaces, I added more black spots with paint.

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So, that’s basically it… Today I am going to try to do something with her IKEA furniture and curtains…don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted… I am actually getting close to finishing her room! By March break I should be ready to renovate the bathroom! (no, seriously… my plan is that on March break I am going to change the countertops, sinks and tile in the upstairs bathroom!)

Kids project -pillows

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So, what were the kids doing while I was sewing the miles of fabric for the cupcake quilt?
My daughter was given a kit for Christmas where you could make your own pillow out of polar fleece. (thanks mom!) However, some of the decorations were missing from the package, and my son was interested in making a pillow too. So, we used the pattern, to make another pillow. It is an easy and cute design. I have also seen baby blankets done in the same way.
Here is what the finished products looked like:

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We started with a square of polar fleece about four inches bigger than our pillow all the way around. I just laid the two fabrics on top of each other and put the pillow on top and cut around it, I am not by nature one who measures… But measure if it makes you feel better!

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Then, I cut out a square from each corner

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I cut a fringe around the perimeter, by cutting in at every 1-1 1/2″. You should also cut in at least 3″.

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Then, you simply put the pillow in between the two layers and tie double knots all the way around the perimeter.

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The only thing you need to be careful of is that the fringe at the front and back match up so you don’t end up with an odd one at the corner. They needed a little help at first, but if your child knows how to tie a knot, this is a pretty easy project! Here is a closer look

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Ok, I have had a little break from sewing now… We had lunch, gave the kids their showers, and baked some cookies, so now back to sewing.
Have I mentioned that I am going back to work on Monday? You will probably notice my creativity time drop off at the beginning of next week… Work has a tendency to cut into my time a little. I’m glad a have a job where I can still be creative…but, I can’t wait until summer!

Putting the cupcake quilt together -part two…

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Before I go on to the next step, I have a couple of tips for sewing with fur…
The first is to take the pins out as you sew. They get buried in the fur and lost, and trust me, they hurt!
The second tip is to test your machine first to see if it can handle the thickness of fur together with a couple layers of fabric. I use my grandmothers antique Singer sewing machine because it can handle a lot of fabric. It only has one stitch, but it is my favorite machine right now!
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My third tip is to use a large stitch, and cover your stitching using a pin or seam ripper. After you finish top stitching a seam in fur, your stitching leaves a line or part in the fur. If you use a bigger stitch length, you can use a pin to pull out a lot of the hairs that you have sewed down. If your stitch length is too small, it will be really difficult to pull the fur out. You can use the pin to pull the hairs out of all of your seams too, just use it kind of like a rake… I really have to figure out how to post using video! Hope this photo helps. If you look at the top of the photo, you can see where I have adjusted the fur.

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I think people normally sew quilts in an assembly line kind of way- sewing one seam at a time then repeating the same seam for all of the pieces, it just seems to make more sense. So I started by cutting a whole pile of pink and zebra skin strips, about 3 inches wide. Then I pinned the pink strips to both sides of each block.

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While I was working, I gave Sam a special project to work on making artwork for the walls. I gave her a canvas from Michaels, and the scraps of fabric…I will show you what she comes up with…

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After all of the sides were sewn on, I attached the top and bottom pink fabric in the same way. As you can see, I sew in a continuous seam, almost connecting all of the blocks together. It saves a lot of thread and time stopping and starting. Also, when I am sewing is one of the only times you will see me with an iron, but it does make a difference in the finished product if you press open the seams before sewing the next ones.

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I will do the zebra borders the same way… This part isn’t my favourite to sew, It is pretty tedious, repetitive, and takes forever….
After the borders are all done, we will start sewing on the details. Everyone knows that a good cupcake has some decorations, so we decided to use buttons, and some sequins for some bling-bling. Because there are 12 cupcakes, I figured I would add about 4 sequins for each cupcake. Sam picked out all of the sequins she liked from the bag of sequins (apparently we can only use pink and silver), that kept her busy for a good half hour!
To sew on the sequins, I am using embroidery thread to save time. Because I am using three stands of the embroidery thread at a time, I only have to sew one time for each sequin because it is triple the threads. The kids helped sew on a couple sequins, but unfortunately, it didn’t keep their attention for long.

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I think it will take me a bit of time to finish all the zebra borders and sewing on the sequins, so I will post again when I am ready for the next step.