Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chillaxin' in Charlotte

Many of you may have noticed that I have been MIA for a couple of weeks, and that is because I went on vacation to Charlotte, North Carolina.  ♥  

It all started when a friend of mine was talking about going to see a concert there and I, in passing, muttered something about never having been to a concert.  That's right.  25 years old and never been to a concert.  How ridonculous is that?  Apparently, it was totally absurd because she made a face at me that I am certain looks a lot like the one you just made...  :D  I got a lot of it (the face) up in Charlotte, too.  I am used to it now.  It's a combined look of fright, wonder and a uncontrollable urge to poke me with a stick-checking to see if I am, indeed, human.  No poking necessary, peeps!

So, last Wednesday, we started the long 7 hour trek with out littles (Charlie went with me, but Cayce stayed for school.. and Charlie's BFF, Eli, went).  We stopped once in South Carolina to feed the little monsters at a Burger King.  I have a cute *friends in crowns* picture, but it is on my phone and I'll be lacking the clues on how to get it from there to here.  Sorry.  We got into Charlotte at about 7:30 I think.  Then came the chore of unloading the car and getting the tiny boys into beds.  Charlie didn't sleep so well that night, but did great all the rest.  

Thursday was spent lounging around and the boys swung together in the matching swings in the back yard before we had lunch at Cheddar's with friend of Kim's.  After nap time, we did some shopping.  Target, Hobby Lobby and Ollies.  Now, all you crafters better acknowledge my awesomeness in that I only spent $10, yes $10, at Hobby Lobby.  Epic win for self restraint!!!!  I got a frame to make a memory frame for the boys; some scrapbook paper for a future room box; copper pots and a wreath for the Cottage.

                  Watching cartoons Thursday morning:  

Swinging together in the yard Thursday morning:

Strutting his stuff at Cheddar's, tummy full of lunch:

Chasing each other around the tree on the terrace:

Ready for bed on Thursday night:
Friday morning led us to Discovery Place- a children's science museum that is freaking amazing.  Loved it!  See pictures and marvel at the coolness and cuteness.

                                  Playing at the water table in the toddler area:

Filling up buckets is so amazing to babies!

He did this for quite a while! Everything on that water table is educational: 

Giant Lite Brite!!!!!!! 

Even toddlers need to know how gears work: 

He had put all the animals together correctly, but Kim and I undid them and made mutants:

Learning how to make a Kinex car to go on this ramp: 

Bad to the Bone, riding down the stairs...: 

Knock, knock on the horseshoe crab: 

Checking out the Dory fish.  He is standing on a toadstool-stool: 

Saying "Hi" to the blue macaw in the rainforest: 

   This cool gizmo thing showed them about conveyor belts and machines that do things for you:                         

Ann, I thought you would appreciate these lights.  They made me think of you:

And who would thunk it, but I got some mini time in while I was at Discovery Place!!

Friday night, INCUBUS aka my first concert.  Only two pictures made the cut.  Apparently, inebriation is part of the concert experience, so I did not wield the camera much.  :)  Most amazing experience I have had in a long time, if not ever.  It was awesome!

Saturday we did IKEA.  Ann, I am now totally understanding of your infatuation with this store and it's products!!!!  Also, kudos to you for capturing perfectly miniature EXPIDIT furniture. If you like IKEA stuff and want it in mini, totally go see Ann's stuff at her etsy shop.  Promise you, you won't be disappointed.  I spent $40 here and got some scores for me, the kids and the Christmas tree.  On Saturday evening we went to see some soccer playing, but it was way cold, so we didn't stay for long.

Sunday was lazed away in the house, followed by a trip to Monkey Joes and some more shopping.  This time at Ross.

The last two days kind of blur together for me.  I know we did some eating, some skating and a bunch more shopping.  Monday night, Kim took me Uptown and I looked like a tourist.  :D  Tuesday we went to the mall.  Happiness would have been all over me, but I went to the mall with only $9 to my name.  Sad face.

Monday Shopping:

Monday skating and park, before dinner and Uptown:

Riding his first Harley.  :D 

Look!!!! Autumn leaves!!!!  

Waiting around for some grilled chicken:

We finished the trip up with a playful morning and a trip to McDonald's with Kim's family before we left.  7 hours later, we were back in our homes.  Yea to be in your own home.  I wondered around in my underwear that night, just because I could.  :)  And I didn't use coasters.  :)  This picture here is getting framed.  They had so much fun and Charlie didn't know what to do without his bestie the next morning!!!  Good thing we see them 4-5 times a week!

A floral bedroom

I always thought that I would never use floral wallpaper in a house... but this is a great example of listening to what the house wants.  This whole house is floral so far, and the bedroom is no exception.  Then again, I always thought I would be too chicken to put lights with wires in, but low and behold!!!!  

Sticking with the shabby country feel, I covered the walls with this paper.  You can find the original black and white form at Jennifer's Printables.  I used and the re-color tool to change the black to shades of blue.  I covered the roof wall in plain heavy white card stock.  All the edges of the room will get trimmed with white trim and white baseboard.  The small dormer ended up with white painted stone, which I dusted with a combination of blue and grey pastels.  Looks cool and dirty now.  I love it.

The floor is one of those square foot vinyl tiles from Home Depot.  I used a pen to ink in the stone pattern that I wanted.  I only needed to back up and redo once after Brae kindly reminded me that people needed to come through the stair hole.  Teehee. 

I surrounded the stair hole with a small brick pattern.  There are a few tutorials on the web (one at Greenleaf specifically-if you have the link, let me know and I will stick it in here) that show you how to cut and peel up the vinyl to reveal a *grout.*  Sadly, this doesn't work so well on the tile I bought.  The goop underneath the vinyl top is white.... so I will have to put a wash over the tile when I am done to dirty up the grout a bit.  It is also extremely difficult to keep the lines uniform, but I am okay with the floor looking a little beat up and uneven.  

The furniture you see there was provided for me by Brae, partly for my birthday and partly for sheer adoration of moi.  :D  LOVE it!  I will be changing the colors on it to better suit the room, but the style is perfect. It includes a matching bed, dresser and nightstand, along with a tiny pink lamp. :)  It's thanks to her that this house will be getting baseboards, too.  Thanks, Pea!!

The window seat is apparently a common use for the large dormer, but I love it.  It is suitable for a cottage! Mine is consturcted out of cardboard base with some batting and then a wrapped and stapled fabric on it.  I used a bit of left over laser cut wood from the Spring Fling kit to make a barrier edge for the seat.  

I would love to work on the house some more, but real life and other obligations and deadlines are getting in the way until October.  Bah.  At least that's not very long, if I can get it all over with by then!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cozy Cottage Bathroom

Yesterday, with all the wind and rain, I stayed indoors and played with Charlie.  During his nap, I whipped out the wainscot for the bathroom and chose the wallpaper.  I also stoned the inside of the dormer and gave great thought to the lighting.  :)

There are no *step-by-step* pictures.  I totally spaced.  And, I am really new to the electricity part of doll house building, and was not ready to share my bumps and bruises. :D

So, the wallpaper is from Jennifer's printables.  It was originally this:

But I found that this was too colorful for what I wanted.  Enter!  I opened the page in and used the color change tool to turn all the yellow tones to a very light blue.  What I ended up with was this:  

If you don't have go to their website and download there program (it's free).  It is the best free photo editing software around.  There are several tutorials out there on the web, teaching you how to use all the different aspects of the program.  It's amazing.  :)

I also altered the paper that I will be using for the bedroom.  It was originally black:

The wainscot is made out of skinny sticks and some coffee stir sticks that I bought from Ann a few moths back.  They were all glued to a paper template so I could dry fit it while figuring out the layout for the light(s).  The paper that goes into the dormer is glued into the house, but not the dormer itself yet, since I need to grout and paint the stone still.  

I am thinking of going with either a painted white stone look or white marble.  Time to flip a coin!  The house is also going to get all white interior trim.  

The light was made to look like this one I found on google: 

I may put foil around it or something.  The Gun Metal paint I used seems too dark and not shiny enough....  not sure.

It is made out of woodsies, cut to size with an inner frame on top and bottom made out of 1/8" square dowel strip wood.  The inside of the light was painted white to reflect the light better.  I then glued a piece of acetate to the top and bottom on the inside.  A good sanding and then a few good coats of Gun Metal by Folkart.  The light bulb is inserted through the back and sandwiched in between to skinny sticks to keep it in place.  The excess wire will be covered up with the mirror and the light is currently just taped on so I can move it around later.  I am considering splicing another light in there since this one seems dim to me.  Then again, I may just go with the dim light.  :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Let there be....


For the most exciting thing yet, I just installed lights in this house.  This is my first time ever!
I love it!

The kitchen light is a modified Houseworks light.    I trimmed out all the length and painted on the shade.  :)  Looking at it now, I wish I had painted the brass parts.  :/  Looks like I 'll be hanging out in my house, upside down!

The living room light is made from scratch.  I cut part of a package of beads to get the dome and used a bead from the package for the detail in the center.  The rim is made out of embossing foil and the shade is muted with gallery glass.  The living room will also get the lamp that is on the floor, but it will, clearly, go on a table.  :P

So excited!!!!