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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

5 Herringbone & Ombre -- Two Fav Fads in One

Last fall I had the chance to go to the Round Top, Texas area flea markets. I mentioned it in this post, it is where I found my blue chandelier that I put in a CB2 Basket. At the fair, I also bought a large (36" x 22") metal letter "G" for my son's room (his name starts with the letter G). I wanted to mount it on his wall above his headboard. That big metal letter has been awkwardly sitting in his closet ever since (nothing that big and sharp sits nicely). I just couldn't see it hanging over the bed by itself. Because that would be too easy. And you know how I love a good project. 

His room has lots of blue (shocker) and red in it. So I thought I'd accent the letter G by mounting it on a painted piece in those colors. I think herringbone is such a great pattern, I've been toying where to use it in the house, and this was just the project. Ombre is also a trend that I really love in home decor--pieces where multiple shades of the same color are used in a gradient. So, I put on my thinking cap (which means I lay in bed after everyone else is asleep while my mind spins up projects on a too-late-diet-coke-drinking caffeine kick).

So this is what I came up with; a 4 x 4 piece of plywood stained and painted in a herringbone ombre pattern (with a little splash of red to mix it up):

And I finished it out on his wall with a frame to hide the edges made of 1 x 2's, and mounted the significantly-sized letter G on top:

 Here's a close-up of the paint and metal, I love the details in the wood grain and the rust on the metal:

This is what it looks like from straight on. I would show you the rest of the room, but it is what we call a "work in progress". I know this piece is going to tie the whole room together when it's done.

Tomorrow I am going to Round Top again for the spring version of the flea markets, I am so excited! I am sure I will have lots to share with you. In the interim if you catch the project bug and want to whip up something like this, here's how I did it:

I bought a 4' x 4' piece of plywood at Home Depot and sanded it with 180-grit sand paper to take off the rough edges and splinters. I picked a piece that had a cool grain to it.

Then I applied Varathane wood stain in Weathered Gray. I wanted the grain to show through really well so I brushed it on, and within a minute or two rubbed it off with a clean towel.

This is how the wood looked with the stain applied an then rubbed off:

I then used 1-inch Scott painter's tape to create a box around the edges. This tape sticks really well and removes really well, you definitely need painters tape and not regular masking tape. As you are applying the tape run your fingers firmly over all the edges to make sure it all adheres to the tape. If your paint runs, there is not a good way to fix it!

I used a framer's square to measure four even sections along the bottom. When you make a measurement the tape needs to straddle the mark so that each space between the pieces of tape are the same. I only made marks on tape, never on the wood. I used the framing square and butt the tape right up against it and ran it from the bottom of the wood to the top of the wood piece. On a side note, I love this framing square, it is super old. It belonged to my Grandfather, and when he passed away, I inherited it. So now every time I use this square to make a project (which is more often than you'd think) I think of him. :-)

 This created four equal columns:

I then made marks on the left outside edge of the tape every 6 inches, and then the second piece of tape from the left and used the framing square to make lines from left to right, going down the board, every six inches, making sure the tape straddles the mark (the mark hits the center of the tape)

And then I started from the bottom of the second column. Instead of making marks this time, I used the framing square to make sure that the herringbone pieces were even across the two columns.

I repeated this up the third column, and then down the fourth column until I was finished taping the entire board. Although this seems like a lot of work I think it only took me an hour to do it.

Again go over every square inch of tape with your fingers and make sure it is adhering to the board. Look for shadows under the tape. Shadows = seeping paint! I then painted one section at at time, being super careful not to go over the tape lines to the other color. **

**Note on the paint colors:  I simply picked a Behr paint chip card from Home Depot that had 5 different shades of the same blue color on it. Then I picked the three lighter colors right above it on the paint chip rack. Home Depot mixes color samples for less than 3 bucks a color. So that's how I got perfect gradiating color! No mixing at home involved. Which is awesome when you tend to be a super big mess maker like myself :-).**

This is a shot of the piece painted with all of the blue, before I added the red stripe:

And then again with the red paint and (yeah!) all of the tape removed. It is such a good feeling when you remove tape and the paint lines underneath are super crisp. That gets projects nerds like myself all worked up in a fuss with excitement.

To make the frame I miter-cut four 1 x 2's the exact same length. To get the right length, I measured all four sides of the board (to make sure they were the same) and added 1/8" inch to the measurement. This is because I added the frame to the piece on the wall AFTER I mounted the piece to the wall.

 I found these awesome miter-corner brackets at Harbor Freight tools a few years ago that are great for making frames. It makes keeping your frames true and square super easy. I applied glue to the mitered corners, screwed the clamps to the boards tight, and then nailed the corners with my pneumatic nailer. 

I lightly sanded the frame and applied the same stain/wipe-off method as the plywood. I mounted the 4 x 4 onto the wall by using a countersink drill bit to create recessed screw holes in the four corners. I measured and put in drywall anchors into the wall that are made for heavier weight and then screwed right through the wood (sinking the screw heads) and into the anchors (again, one in each corner). Then I placed the frame around the plywood and secured it using a few finishing nails. All in all a super easy and affordable project that has made a huge visual impact in the room. 
I am linking this post with East Coast Creative.

Friday, March 22, 2013

0 Z Gallerie Wanna-be Montecito Bench

This is my knock-off Z Gallerie Montecito Bench that I made for an ottoman/coffee table for my in-the-works living room.

This is the back of the car whose driver gave me a strange look as I stood on my front lawn taking a picture of a bench.

Friday, March 15, 2013

4 Aircraft Turbine Parts to Mirror/Mantel Art

If you remember my post about my favorite place to go junking, YeYa's, I mentioned how much I love metal industrial pieces and asked myself, "Do I really need another mirror?" when I saw this baby:

 Well, I went back to YeYa's and saw this piece of industrial magic:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

1 Family Photo Posters

I am not a great photographer. I'm not the worst, but I'm not the best. When I see so many gorgeous pictures on blogs I think, "boy those are beautiful" and "gee I wish I could make my pics like that". Photoshop and I are not friends....yet. Illustrator is my friend, we work together quite nicely. Photoshop...not so much. Just haven't taken the time to get to know each other. So, my photos not-a-lookin' so good. Make crazy projects, check. Start blog and write about it, check. Become semi-literate in Photoshop...working on it!

Having said that, though, my favorite photos of my kids aren't necessarily the perfect ones. They are the photos that really capture their personality, or a memory, or something sentimental like that. So I decided to take a few of those photos and turn them into posters with a message. The idea is that as I find/take these pictures I will add to the wall until it is full. But right now, I've started the wall with 4.

Monday, March 4, 2013

1 An Ocean of Inspiration

We just returned from Western Caribbean Cruise where we took the whole family. It was a super fun albeit eye-opening experience. You know when you go to the DMV and you realize there is a whole group of people you never seem to see in your day-to-day life? That's how I felt about the cruise, same story, different segment of society. A segment of society I will call "Cruise People". And if I sound like a snot, remember it's all about perspective...many of those people thought we were weird. We got comments as we chased around one of our kids like "Wow, you have a lot of kids." And, "That's a whole mess of kids you got there."   And my favorite, "I can't believe you brought that little girl, aren't you afraid she's going to go overboard?" Because it really wasn't so far-fetched an idea if you saw they way she would run away from us as fast as she could. So you can imagine the entertainment we provided for the Cruise People. But ha ha, they didn't know what entertainment they provided for us too! So, we're even.