Painting the Stripes: The Finale

Last night I finally "dressed" the hallway and took some photos. It's not done by any means - the wall needs a lot more, but I dressed it with my starter pieces. At long last, here she is!

These photos aren't the best - it's hard to shoot in such an awkward space when light is pouring in the window and you don't know quite how to control your camera. But I tried.

Since the hallway is basically a path to the master suite, I hope to add more picture of us as I get them. If I can ever scrape up the cash to buy our high-res wedding images, I'll have a bunch to add! It's a sensible space to pay tribute to ourselves (ha) rather than putting photos downstairs. Also, the Westie pictures.

Here are some detail shots. I love this piece. It came from IKEA all framed for just $39. I am such a font freak, it just called my name when I saw it from across the store.As mentioned in yesterday's post, these are the $9 prints also from IKEA framed in the RIBBA frames (which are only $15 each). IKEA is the best place to go to get modern, clean frames for cheap!This is a close-up of one of the postcards in the long, skinny piece by our bedroom door. I collected a series of postcards on the San Francisco leg of our honeymoon and these three made the cut to be framed. I love the colors and the black - similar to the feel of the IKEA duo. That's the kind of art I gravitate toward - anything with a balance of black and lots of color.

Here's the view as you come up the steps. FUN!
Lastly, if you notice in the first photo there's a nice clean window treatment on the window now. I'll spare you the details of the trial and error I went through to get to the final product. This was a NO SEW project. The red ticking stripe was a Pottery Barn bed skirt in its former life. I simply ripped off one side (literally ripped) and attached the brown grosgrain ribbon and red ric-rac with stitch-witchery and fabric glue.

The process looked something like this...I ironed my fabric up real good (this is a picture of me ironing the first attempt, but just pretend I'm ironing the red ticking stripe, k?).Then I grabbed my stitch-witchery and hemmed the side of the curtain and attached the brown grosgrain ribbon. I also added the curtain rod pocket using this stuff, too. Then I used fabric glue to attach the red ric-rac. It was pretty thick stuff and there was no easy way to use the stitch-witchery for that step. Fabric glue was the way to go and it holds wonderfully.I applied it on all the "humps" so none of them would curl up once they were dried and hanging. You know how gravity can be.And voila! Here's a couple of close-ups. It's just enough to give the window some personality without blocking the fabulous natural light we get through that window.

Let me also add, that after pulling the tape off the final product, I wasn't sure I was loving the colors I chose. I sort of got used to the contrast of the white with the original wall color. It was strange to see it to LIGHT and BRIGHT. I'm going to try this on for size for a while, but it's possible I may decide to go a little darker with the darker of the 2 colors. I just want to give it a good resting time. Also in the future is painting the wall around the windows in our master bedroom. You'll see that when walking down the hall and pop of color there might really change the feel of the hallway. So I won't decide until AFTER the MB gets some color.


Spontaneity + IKEA = Fun Sunday

Yesterday morning when I opened my eyes, I thought "Let's go to IKEA." I can't totally take credit for this spontaneous idea since husband brought it up on Saturday. However, I spent most of Saturday laid out on the couch watching TV and napping with my Westie. I couldn't quite pull it together to go on a spontaneous adventure.

Sunday morning seemed like a good alternative and I was in the mood for it. We got up, showered, dressed, grabbed some breakfast and hit the road. The plan was to go and LOOK and some of the things we (I) have my eye on and maybe take a few measurements, touch the live product for quality control purposes, and plan for future purchases.

We've been trying to budget ourselves (gee, what a concept. one we've always ignored) and plan for large purchases. But when you live over 2 hours from the closest IKEA, sometimes spontaneous adventures result in spontaneous spending.

When we moved into 415, we had to sell our sectional from our previous house because it was just too big. We replaced it with 2 of IKEA's newest sofas, the KIVIK. *Note: I feel the need to capitalize because that's how IKEA does it and it doesn't look right otherwise. At the time of our initial purchase, we bought the Ingebo light beige cover ($99) for each sofa since it was the most neutral color in a fabric we liked. The cover is fine, but not quite meant for people with dogs (color-wise) and we found it began to look dirty almost immediately.

When we originally purchased the sofas, the displays had a nicer fabric on them, but it was gray and I was sure it wouldn't be the right color for our more warm-toned color scheme going on in the house. HOWEVER, my sometimes-design-genius husband couldn't shake those nicer covers and we finally broke down and bought 2 yesterday. At $249 each, they are more than double the cost of the original ones and a pretty pricey addition for our living room. Could be worse, I know (eh hm, upholstery?). Once I had resolved the color in my head my mind went all swirly with new ideas for the room. Navy and green and gray! WOO! Just stay tuned...

So we went from: to...Even better is that once the covers were in our room and on the sofas, they weren't as bad as I thought they were going to be. When I say "bad" I mean "wrong warmth level."

Also FINALLY purchased were this cute print duo (both prints were $9 total) and the ever-popular RIBBA frames in black. I first spotted these at the Tampa IKEA back in early July and I'm excited to add them to our newly-striped upstairs hallway along with this (I think):
I SWEAR to reveal the upstairs hallway once I get it dressed (Tonight?).

Can you imagine?

So a little off topic here, but I've been thinking about this all weekend and just feel I need to write about it.

As you all may know, I'm a huge fan of The Swell Season - the band that starred in the move, Once and who won an Academy Award for their song, "Falling Slowly" from the movie. (Photo from TSS's Official Photos from Facebook).

This duo is made up of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova and as sappy as it may sound, no other band has moved my soul more than these two. Every time I listen to their music I honestly feel blessed to have discovered them and have their music in my life. They are a beautiful pair and if you've not yet seen Once, I strongly encourage you see it today.

Seth and I have seen them live three times. Once in Richmond, VA, once in Boston, Mass, and once in Raleigh and the NC Art Museum which was especially meaningful since that was the location of our wedding reception. They are beautiful and emotional live and it's truly a sight and sound to behold. Hands-down, best shows I've ever seen live.

Having said that, I was shocked and disturbed by the news that someone took their life at a show last Thursday, August 19th. What I read was that the man climbed onto the roof over the stage and took a running jump off, landing 3 feet from frontman, Glen Hansard, dying instantly. Thankfully, no one in the band was hurt, save for their hearts most definitely being broken.

I simply can't imagine.

When I read the news I was overcome by some crazy desire to scoop up my favorite band members and hug them. I felt devastated for them but also for all in attendance of this show. To see someone take their life in that way, especially with children in the audience, will certainly scar all the on-lookers in some way.

The only thing I could think to do was send Glen and Mar messages on Twitter. I'm such a nerd, but they are their own tweeters so I gave it shot. Hoping that my little message among so many might reach them and have an impact. I told them that their ability to view the world as more beautiful that most could would bring them through this difficult time. I felt for them so much. As much as I was stunned by the news, I couldn't imagine what it must feel like for the band.

Please pray for them, for the family of the deceased, and for the folks in the audience who will never forget The Swell Season show they attended...but unfortunately, probably not for the same reason I can't forget them.


Let me end this post by being slightly inappropriate. Turns out my tweet wasn't ignored: And I can't lie. I was excited. Even under the circumstances.


The Stripes....they are a comin'

I've really fallen off the blogging wagon this week. I have finished my stripes, but have been hesitant to photograph them yet. When I painted the final color and took down the tape I have to admit it was sort of a shock to my system. The contrast was greatly reduced and it was so bright and light! I wasn't sure I was loving it at first.

Saturday night while the husband played poker with some doods, I got to work assembling a window treatment for the window in the hall. It seemed to be going well until I finished it and it was all crooked. This was a sew-free project and since the treatments were some left by the old owners or renters, I (stupidly) assumed they had been cut evenly and square. Wrong. So my entire project was off kilter. I should've measured, but I was so ready to put them up and see the final product. So I literally scrapped that set of curtains.

Tuesday night I started over with an old bed skirt from Pottery Barn and the same grosgrain ribbon and red ric-rac I used on the failed attempt. I think this attempt is going to be the winner. I plan on finishing the project this weekend and will have the results up in their full photographic glory next week!

Stay Tuned!!!


Follow Me Friday

This is when I ask you to FOLLOW ME either on the blog or on Twitter (or both if you are spectacularly cool). There are links to both on this here page you're reading. I know you readers are out there, but I want to know who you are!


Westietime: Frow Da Baw, Momma

I think Three gets jealous whenever Seth and/or I am doing something that takes our attention away from her. She always brings the ball over to what we're doing, drops it and then backs away waiting for you to notice it and throw it for her. Here's how she spent her time when I was painting the other night.

Hey, momma! Wanna pway? No? SEWIOUSLY? *Sniff* I'll just lay here all sad-like until you feel guilty. OR...
I'll just gnaw on the ball until you're done painting.Momma, what ARE you doing with that snappy thing? *clickclickclickclick* Oh, wait. I think I see a bug on da ceilin'.Nah, fawse alarm. Go back to snappin', momma.RARRRRRRRRRRRRRR! 'Scuse mah outburst. I a Westie, dis is how I roll.

Mom can't resist my cute play tactics. Or can she? *Sniff*
To be continued.... (* also, please don't make fun of my dog because she has a slight speech impediment. kthx.)

Painting the Stripes: Part 2

Last night, I put a 2nd coat on the first set of stripes. By the way, the colors I am using are from Lowe's. The "white" is "Cassis" by Laura Ashley, the second color is "Swiss Almond" also by Laura Ashley. These are Valspar Signature Colors and run about $30ish a gallon. OUCH. I'm sure I could've found similar colors in non-brand-name lines, but you know how finding colors can be. Plus, it costs more for any finish other than flat. I hope to stretch these 2 gallons of paint into other rooms or other projects, so really it's not terrible price-wise.

After I painted the 2nd coat on each stripe, I immediately took the tape off while the paint was wet. This is the best time to do it to maintain a sharp line and avoid any bleeding. My lines came out remarkably sharp even though as I was painting I could have sworn there was going to be a mess under that tape.

I like to use the Scotch blue painter's tape for delicate surfaces as opposed to the regular. The delicate surfaces tape is smoother and more flexible and creates a tighter seal. Not to mention that because it's made for delicate surfaces, I'm much more likely to leave paint ON the wall rather than ripping it off when I remove the tape.

Check out my lines, people!
Here's how the hall is looking after Day 2 of painting (Day 3 of the process).
I actually like the 2 colors that are there, but I really wanted less contrast for the hallway. My second color is lighter than what's there now, but is actually a warmer color. The existing color is flat paint and has lots of scuffs and marks. I certainly added to the mess when I drew lines for the stripes. Woops. The whole wall needed a makeover and I just love a fresh coat of paint. Nothing makes a room feel cleaner than to paint over scuffs and dings.

The next step will be to re-tape everything for the second set of stripes. It won't be nearly the process it was the first time now that all the leveling work has been done. I will just use the newly painted stripes as guides and I should be good to go. I'm looking forward to getting the next color on the wall. I'm such an instant gratification girl, it's all I can do to get through the final steps without exploding from the anticipation!

Stay tuned for the final product, but check out how pretty Three looks posing in front of the stripes. I think she'd just prefer I throw her ball, though...


Painting the Stripes: Part 1

Last night, I painted the first coat of the first color of the stripes. I started with the lighter color first and I'm glad I did. It ended up being the set of stripes that overlapped with weird spots (like at the top of the ceiling) and was easier to fudge a straight line while cutting in.

I managed only one coat last night. The existing paint is flat paint and thus sort of hard to paint over. It has so much grab and doesn't help the paint go on smoothly. I refused to prime this time to save myself a step so I'm just taking it slow and one step at a time so I don't burn myself out on this project.

The first coat went well and I hope to have the energy to start the second coat tonight. Here's my progress after part 1 of probably 5 or so. (Excuse the bad pic - taken with iPhone at 9:30pm post-painting and tired. Not so steady with the camera, folks.)


Stripin' Ain't Easy

Saturday, I finally faced my fear and figured out the stripes in our upstairs hallway. Turns out, the baseboards (and possibly the entire hallway) aren't level so that would be why my "level" lines didn't have equal measurements from the baseboards to the lines.

First, here's that better shot of our hallway I promised. It's a boring wall and since it leads to our bedroom, I wanted to spice it up a bit and make it more interesting.You can see how excited Three is about the coming change.
We purchased this great auto-leveling laser/stud finder gadget which proved to work just fine once I got my formula and flow down. My line drawing didn't go completely to waste - I used my vertical lines and hash marks to place the laser level in the wall.
I started on the small wall near our bedroom. I placed the laser level in the wall and it projected nice level lines out either side. The laser level has a piece on the back with basically the pin part of a push-pin which you stick into the wall. That's a minor downside for this particular project because it littered my walls with tiny holes. No biggie, though. That's what spackle is for!

With the level in the wall I taped on either side and then connected the sides with another piece of tape after removing the level.Once I finished with the small wall, I picked a spot on the long wall and thus began my "eyeballing" work. Since the baseboards weren't level I didn't have a good point from which to measure to connect the lines from the small wall to the big wall. So I just eyeballed with the laser level until I lined the laser line with the tape on the small wall. It actually worked quite well and once I got the hang of it, it went pretty fast. I repeated this same process when I got to the wall with the window.

After about 7,459 hours, I finished. I have a bruise on my left forearm from where I stored the roll of tape while I was working. My sweet husband went and bought the paint for me while I was taping so at least I didn't have to leave the house all day Saturday. Or shower. Until 8:30pm.

Here's how my hall looks now.I tried to start painting last night but that lasted all of 15 minutes when my tired arms and body asked me kindly to STOP WORKING. Plus, we had just had a yummy steak dinner and birthday cake so I don't know what I was thinking.

More to come this week on the wall. Also, realizing that I must tape a second time after the first set of stripes dry was a little unsettling. At least it won't be as hard since no levels or pencils or rulers will be involved.



I love these plates and platters from West Elm. I don't want to use them, I want to hang them on the wall and love them as art.

Please excuse my boring blog

UPDATE! She's done changing! What do you think?

For she is changing clothes. She's just very picky. Also, cheap.


Going Striping

Not "stripping" - get your head out of the gutter.

My latest project in the house is striping our upstairs hallway a la the Youngsters over at YHL and Michelle at 3 Men and a Lady. Here's a peek at the Youngsters half bath: and Michelle's amazing entryway (she's a goddess for striping curved walls - but it paid off big time! Last night, I started drawing the lines with a pencil, but was stopped dead in my tracks when things weren't exactly lining up at an angled corner. Sorry for the awful picture, but hallways aren't exactly exciting photo material when you're touring your newly purchased home, so I don't yet have great pictures of this area. I'll update tonight with some pictures of the hall and wall. For now, here's how the hall is oriented: You can sort of tell that after you climb the stairs, you double-back to go down the hallway (on the right alongside the railing) and at the end is our master bedroom. It's sort of a blank space with a large expanse of wall and I thought striping it would be fun. I've done vertical stripes before using one color but alternated high-gloss and flat stripes. It's a gorgeous effect for a dining room, but a little too stuffy for my hallway.

Here's how I got started (a little different from some on-line directions, but it made me feel better to work with so many level lines):
1. Measured from the top of the baseboard to the ceiling (102.5" or 8.5').
2. Decided on 10 stripes simply because it was an easy measure at 10.25" each. I didn't want too wide of a stripe, but not too narrow either.
3. Drew one vertical level line from baseboard to ceiling with a pencil.
4. Starting at the baseboard, measured 10.25" up the line marking with pencil as I went.
5. Using pencil marks, drew horizontal level lines just the width of the level so I could get a visual of the stripe width before I committed and started the great task of drawing lines all the way down the wall.
6. After OKing the widths, I continued the pattern of lining my level up with the previously drawn line, ensuring I was level and then extending that line all the way down the wall.

Looks good! Until...

Right before the hallway meets our master bedroom, there is a small portion of wall that angles into our bedroom to make up one side of the doorway (that's really hard to explain). The point is, I had to basically repeat the above process but when I started drawing the horizontal lines, they did NOT match up with the ones on the long wall. So I measured the height of the long wall line near the corner of the angled wall, and it had magically grown half an inch (!!!). ARGH. Oddly, all looks fine, though.

So in a small area I tried measuring 10.25" in 2 places and then connecting the dots. Of course that works, but then that line is not level! WEIRD!!! So I'm sort of stuck and can't figure how to to remedy this? Chalk line? Do I need a level square? I hate using laser levels so that's out!

I'm sure I'll figure it out - I'm not overly concerned about perfection, I just don't want any obvious flaw to stick out when all is complete. I'll post pics of my progress later. If I'm lucky, this will be the project I tackle this weekend so I hope to have finished product pics up, too!

Here are more of some of my favorite striping projects I've found online:

How can you not love this striped nursery ceiling from Kristen over at KFD Designs. Her furniture painting is to die for, too!
And this is a delicious gem I found randomly. I love how the headboard looks extended just by doing lighter shades of the colors in the stripes. The colors are phenomenal (www.sheltonmindel.com):
I've been toying with the idea of doing muli-directional stripe in the hallway, too. If not directional, then maybe multi-width. Here's a fun sample along with another ceiling stripe extended from the wall stripe. So fun! (thecultivatedhome.com)
And this last one is more in the color family I'm thinking of using in our hallway - except WAY less saturated. Think off-whites with a slight hint yellow. (Photo from: "Style to Go: Decorating") Not totally decided on color, but heading to Lowe's during my lunch break to seek out a possible leveling solution and to hunt for more paint samples.