31.1.12

Desktop Calendar Roundup: February 2012

Happy February everyone! The month of love :).

I hope this month is great for you and I also hope you like these calendars that caught my eye this month.

Click on any below to be redirected to the download.

Enjoy!


caroline johansson

Agathe Altwegg via Smashing Magazine

jennifer squires

Insight Magazine

studio of mae

love notes by lauryn

webgranth

penelope and pip






30.1.12

You don't have to be tray(ned) to do this

I have a tray table - let's call her Sally. Sally and I go way back, about 10 years or so. She used to live on the deck in my old condo but moved inside once we moved to our current place about five years ago. She hangs out in the 'family area' off the kitchen and is used daily. That Sally, she's a keeper.























But she wasn't a looker. Maybe once, but not anymore.

The grass cloth inlay was in okay shape but a closer look at the wood and it was easy to see that Sally's years were showing. Read that as wrinkles and sags (sorry Sally).




But no fear! I had some plans for our dear Sally. And they involved the price of FREE!

Knowing I had some left over ORB paint (Rustoleum's "Oil Rubbed Bronze") from when I freshened up Chef Kev's spice rack I began prepping Sally for her makeover.

First I removed the glass that covered the grass cloth and then I gave her a good wipe down. I made sure to clean well so that there would not be any old food residue which would interfere with the paint. 

I had plans to freshen up the inlay - more on that later - but did not want to lose/ruin the original (it is glued to the tray) incase I wanted to use it again. So, I had to make sure it was protected from the spray. Think of Sallly wearing little eye goggles as she got her spray tan.

The eye goggles consisted of two pieces of newspaper that I made about half an inch smaller than the inlay on all sides. I taped the newspaper down to the inlay with painters tape.

I also protected the fabric ribbon that stretched across the frame when open. I simply taped it as well so that it would remain paintless. Painted ribbon/fabric = crusty ribbon/fabric. Not a good look for Sally.

With her prepped I took her in to the garage and began to spray with the ORB. A few sputters later (after dumping random sprays all over Sally) the can jammed on me. Good times. I tried running the nozzle under hot water, wiping the tip to remove any dried clumps, and everything else one tries when attempting to unclog a clogged nozzle! 

I was chatting with my neighbour as I was doing all of this and as I picked away at the nozzle all of my attempted triggers caught up with me. Yes, I somehow managed to unblock a small bit and the built up pressure caused a massive spray of ORB all over me. My face, my chest, my hands, my clothes. OY! You should have seen my neighbours face.

Umm... no pictures of this step as what followed was basically me running around trying to de-ORB myself. I'm sure it looked something like this though (but blurred and with paint splatters)

source

Maybe the title of this post should have been "You HAVE TO BE a tray(ned) professional to do this".

Whatever. Fast forward half an hour and I was back to the ORB. And it was still jammed.

I took this as a (very messy) sign and went off to buy a new can. There goes my FREE makeover.  

And the store (Rona) did not carry it. They carried the brand and every other shade but no ORB.

I took this as a (much cleaner) sign and also decided at this point to go out on a whim and try some COLOUR! I've been so inspired by some of the makeovers I've seen on blogs and Pinterest where people take old pieces and redo them in a bright colour. They make such a statement and I've always envied how brave people are for doing them. So, I decided to take the plunge!

And I decided Sally would be blue.

Here she is at the salon in the garage getting sprayed.

Now, back to the part earlier where I mentioned I had something in mind for updating the tray. I've had this makeover on my mind for a few months and while in Home Depot awhile back I asked the associate in the wallpaper section if I could buy a few sample pieces of their instock wallpaper (knowing it could work for what I had in mind and was the 'large' size I'd need). She let me pick a few for FREE. Thanks!

So, I chose these few with the ORB in mind.

But now that Sally was blue the only one that really worked was the dark brown one with the light blue flowers/swirls (second from right). All the others were far too 'creamy' and beige for her new punchy blue!

I simply cut it down using the edge of the glass as a guide. Slipping my cuting mat under the edge I was trimming I used my exacto blade to make the cut.

I removed the tape and newspaper masks and popped in the new inlay... and here is the new Sally!

Not bad right? She's kind of fun and punchy. She brings a smile to my face and I'm proud that I went out of my comfort zone on this one!

The brown in the wallpaper really ties it together with the leather chair.

And the protected ribbon/fabric stayed clean and protected.

The good (and bad) thing about spray paint is it gets into every nook and cranny...

And (side note) this is just something that came to me but thought it funny and had to share. I randomly picked the name Sally when starting this post but now that I see her done... and the colour she is I must laugh. Here is the subconscious mind of a mommy at work. This is currently on replay at my house and I'd like to introduce you to the other Sally in my life... from Disney/Pixar's "Cars"...

Um.. nice 'blue'. 









Home Stories A2Z

28.1.12

Tea for the teeny one

A good friend of mine had a baby girl back in December. Being that it was her second, us on the 'baby shower committee' wanted to wait until after she arrived and do something fun... and different. We decided that an afternoon of 'high tea' was in order to celebrate the newest addition.

My task? The favours. And what better favour for a tea party than some tea!?





















Pink and girly? check. Tea bag holding? check. Tags that look like the end of tea bag? checkity check.

Interested in how I made them? This could serve as invaluable information should you ever find yourself lunching with the Queen or hanging poolside with Wils and Waity Katey KMid. What? It could happen.

First off was the contents. One of my other shower planner gals picked up the tea and chose a nice assortment of a great brand. We wanted to give them a tea that could be as good as what we had at the shower and this variety is Mighty (ha, get it?) high on the yummy-scale.
























Each guest got a selection and they were placed in to the pink pillow boxes that you see in the top pic. Which, by the way I found for steal. $5 on clearance at Michaels for a pack of 20! They were in the wedding favour section but I think they work just perfectly to celebrate a pretty baby girl.

Next up was to design and print the label tags. I designed them to look like the ends of tea bags (the part at the end of the string that hangs out of the cup). On them they say "Thank you for attending Julia's first tea party" along with the shower date.












































For those wondering, I designed the tags in my graphic design layout program - Adobe Indesign - but I'm sure you could mock up something similar in your program of choice.

Once printed, I began trimming. First the flat horizontal and vertical cuts on my small cutter. A cutter like this can be found in the scrapbook section of a craft store.





















And then I simply freehand cut the little notched edges with regular scissors.





















Then I was on to creating the 'string' part of the tea bag tag (say that five time fast - tea bag tag. tea bag tag. tea ba...). Knowing that I wanted the 'string' to have some life (more on that later) I used pink wire (again, found at the craft store for $5 - deal!). Yes, you read that right, pink! And it must have been meant to be as I got the last roll. Somewhere Molly Ringwald is smiling down. Did I just date myself? "Pretty in Pink"... anyone? <crickets>. Dang.

To create the hole I needed something small. It was at this point I decide that in the future I was going to buy a teeny tiny hole punch because this project marked the 537th time that I wished I had one. But I don't so I came up with 'plan B'.





















Yes, cardboard and a picture hanging nail. And a very complicated trades skill known as "poking nail through paper in to cardboard". True story.

After my highly technical hole making I needed to loop my string wire in to the tags.

I used to make jewellery so have some old tools from my teenage bead days. To make a wire loop you:





















a) start by bending your wire at a 90° angle (with pliers is easier than by hand)





















b) grasp the end with some round nose pliers (like the ones here - I got mine at a bead store) and begin rolling in towards your bended angle (you will be rolling counter clockwise). Only roll the pliers, hold the wire still.


c) keep rolling until you have a closed loop. You can see how nicely the loop is centered on your wire. This is the benefit of creating that 90° angle to start.





















With your loop almost closed you will want to slip in your tag and then tighten up your loop by gently squeezing the outer edges with your pliers.





















Now, back to the part about giving the string wire some 'life'. The reason I used the pink wire was so that my string wire could have some curl and 'flow' to it. I didn't want it to lay flat on the pillow boxes but rather have a little flair - as if the tag had just floated down and landed on the box.

To do that I stole the wooden dowel from one of Chace's toy flags (What? He was sleeping. I returned it before he woke up) and twisted my wire up the dowel.












































Then I slipped the dowel out and pulled/loosened the curl so it wasn't so rigid and uniform looking.

Then I used a 'glue dot' and stuck my tag to the top of my pillow box full of tea. For those not familiar with what a glue dot is you can see some here. They are basically little strong adhesive dots of glue that roll on like tape from a tape runner.

I placed the tag off centre and on an angle.












































Then I simply bent my string wire and tucked it in to a corner of the box.





















And faster than you could say 'orange pekoe' we were done!
































































The tea party was a great success and everyone seemed to really enjoy the favours.

However, no matter how cute they were, they paled in comparison to the whole reason we were gathering to celebrate...





















HOW CUTE IS SHE!? adorable. ... squishy, sweet, serene, breathtakingly adorable.

It was a great afternoon.

A few more shots of our fancy little tea party.

That's sugar in the bowl and I was oddly enamored with it. It was like candy!





I wonder if Wils and KMid want me to make their baby shower favours when the time comes? 

Maybe I should just stick to my day job.






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