Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stenciled Wall

Our family room is beginning to come together.  I stuck with a very neutral palette... brown sofa, brown and black tables, gray and tan stone fireplace, tan walls, cream curtains, wood floors, etc.  I've tried to add a little green and orange in the pillows and accessories.  

And in fact, if you look around our main floor, it's mostly neutrals:
{looking from family room into kitchen w/no breakfast room furniture}


{dining room}

So to add a little splash of color without going too bold, I decided to paint one of the walls you can see from the family room.  It's about 6 steps down the staircase as you make your way down to the basement.  

First I painted it Behr "Pear Cider".

Then I created a stencil out of an old cereal box.  I personally love the "Moroccan trellis" sort of design.  Originally I wanted curtains with this, but ended up with cheaper "henna" design from Target instead.
Then I began tracing the stencil all over the wall.
I just used a pencil, but that sort of dictated a darker color then.  (Originally I was thinking of painting with a creamy tan.)

I found some leftover charcoal gray paint from our little office nook.

I used a very thin paintbrush from one of those $4.99 packs at Hobby Lobby.
And I began following the pencil lines carefully.  As you can see above, they are not "perfect".  But wait till you see the final product.

And I kept on going....

And going....

And six hours later (yes, six long hours with a few snack and water breaks)....

I now have my punchy orangey patterned wall.  

If you don't want to spend 6 hours doing a 6'x6' wall, then I suggest making a larger pattern.  :)

As you can see, those variations in painting are not noticeable at all after backing up a bit.  

I love it....

Hmmmm..... now to decide WHAT to put on this pattern!!??  

A mirror?

Solid plaques (aka charger-style?)

An empty frame with a simple wreath?

Any ideas?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Grab-n-Go Milk

Recently on Pinterest, I've seen people use Starbuck's glass bottles as recycled drink glasses... 

as fancy drinks for Baby Showers:

or Kids' Birthday Parties:

And although all of these are adorable for parties, it made me realize how I can use this idea on an everyday basis.

I have one serious milk drinker in our family:
This is my boy Tommy (on his Baptism day on New Years Day).

I wish the other kids would drink milk, but they never really took to it.  Tommy, on the other hand, almost exclusively drinks milk.  
The problem with this is more a logistical issue.  We teach our kids to get their own snacks and drinks throughout the day (although I must admit, I need to intervene when they choose a few too many junky treats).  However, as strong as this little guy appears, a full gallon of milk is always too tricky for him.

So, typically Tommy's drink-pouring-responsibility falls on Mike and I.  I decided, though, to make some use of the Starbucks bottles I had.

I now use them to pour a few glasses each day.
Despite wanting to "dress up" the bottle, I utilize our dishwasher daily!  I was afraid that any painting of the lids or bottle would simply wash off quickly.  Maybe I'll look into permanent glass paint at some point.  

I drew the black Sharpie line on each bottle so that we can eyeball the bottle and know if Tommy used the bottle or not, and know which one to open next.  He can always take a few sips and return the bottle to the fridge since it has a lid.  

It is glass, so I worried about dropping and breaking, but quite truthfully he is eight years old now and is pretty good about handling glass.  He drinks from glasses at our meals each day.

This could easily be used for other drinks too... if you buy gallon sizes of OJ or lemonade or anything else, these little things are a great way for the kids to just grab and go... {without bugging Mom and Dad to pour another drink}.