Friday, September 23, 2011

He's Here!

Hudson KaiYi Lo
Born September 12, 2011
12:20 am
7 lbs 2.5 oz
20 inches long
We are in love! 
 More pictures coming soon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hudson's Blessing Ring

I first saw the idea for a Blessing Ring over a year ago on the blog Bless Our Nest.  Shannon made one for her son and I thought it was such a sweet keepsake for saving all of the cards you receive during pregnancy and after the baby is born to celebrate your little one's new life.  I bookmarked the idea to remember it for when we started our own family.  I will add all of the cards that Hudson receives throughout his first year of life. 
It is a super easy project and only requires a few supplies!  The ring is actually a silver necklace that I bought in the jewelry supply aisle at Hobby Lobby for less than $2.00 on sale.  It comes in a cardboard and cellophane package.  Make sure to get the type of necklace that is sturdy and holds its shape in a circle when it is clasped.  Mine just has a U shaped hook on both ends that hook together to keep it closed, (no clasp) which makes it easier to add the cards.  You also need 3-4 different ribbons in colors and patterns that you like or that match your nursery.  You will simply cut lengths of ribbon as long as you like (I wanted mine to hang out beneath the cards 6-8 inches) and tie them onto the necklace with a simple knot, leaving a 2 inch tail at the top.  Use a hole punch to punch a hole in the top left corner of each of your cards.  Tie a ribbon onto the necklace, add several cards, then add another ribbon, repeating until you've added all of your cards.  An optional step, that I did because I don't want the ends of my ribbons to fray over time where they were cut, is to add a drop of Fray Check to the ends of each ribbon.  You can find Fray Check at any craft store in the sewing supply section.  They even carry it at Walmart.

I love that just glancing at the Blessing Ring is a reminder to you and your child of how much they are loved and how many people are praying for them!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

PBK Transportation Art: My Version

When I first saw this artwork in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, it immediately caught my eye, and I found it online to add to my Pinterest nursery idea board.  Their version is $207 for all 3 canvases.  I would never spend that for nursery artwork.  Definitely not in our budget!  When we found out Hudson was a boy, I knew that I wanted to create a version of these canvases for his nursery.
Truman used Photoshop to create the shapes in files that my Silhouette craft cutter could cut.  I found an assortment of scrapbook paper in the colors I wanted to incorporate into the nursery and patterns that worked with the vintage theme.  The canvases were purchased in a value pack at Michael's with a 40% off coupon.  I used the font Minion Pro to cut the letters out of scrapbook paper as well.  Each canvas was painted with a coat of white acrylic paint, then I used very watered down Burnt Umber acrylic paint and a foam brush to "age" them.  I brushed on the watered down Burnt Umber paint, let it sit for a minute, then used a paper towel to dab and brush the liquid off and blend the edges.  I did a second layer of "aging" with the same process in the areas that I wanted to be darker.  After the canvases were painted, I used Mod Podge just on the back of each letter and shape to affix them to the canvas, being sure to smooth out any bubbles from the scrapbook paper.
My version came in at just over $10 for all 3 canvases!  I like my price a LOT better!  And I love that I was able to create the pieces in colors that coordinated with our nursery.  Here are the two side by side:
I am so happy with how they turned out!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nursery Progress: Refinished Dresser/Changing Table

I've gotten a few messages checking in on me since it's been awhile between my posts!  (It's nice to know I've been missed.  Thanks, blog friends!)  I'm here!  And I have lots of updates to catch up on.  I am just one week away from my due date and we have been busy preparing for Hudson's arrival.  In the last few weeks we've made a lot of progress in the nursery and it is almost completely finished.  I have a bunch of photos of nursery projects ready to post, so hopefully I'll be posting lots of updates from the couch in the next week (or maybe 2) while I wait for Hudson to make his appearance!

I knew the exact style that I wanted for Hudson's dresser/changing table and I wanted to refinish a piece with a painted vintage finish rather than purchase something new.  We scored this dresser for cheap on Craigslist and while it was very worn and beat up with lots of nicks and scratches, it was sturdy, solid wood, had a nice shape, and was the perfect size to fit on the wall where we wanted to put it in the nursery.  Here's the dresser before:
And after!
I am thrilled with how it turned out!  Hudson's daddy worked SO hard sanding, filling in the large scratches and nicks with wood filler, and painting....all jobs that I usually do when we refinish a piece of furniture.  They are far from Truman's favorite tasks, but it was a labor of love, and he did an awesome job!  I distressed the paint and added the glaze...wearing a mask, of course!

We used Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint plus primer in an eggshell finish in the color Eminence to paint the dresser and Ralph Lauren glaze in Tea Stain.  This was my first time using the Ralph Lauren glaze that I've read so much about on different blogs and I completely understood all the buzz!  It is super easy to work with.  I brushed it on with a Purdy brush in small areas, then used a damp rag to wipe it off, allowing it to stay in the cracks and crevices and leaving some aging on the edges and corners as well.  Home Depot no longer carries the Ralph Lauren glaze, but RL does still make it, so I would recommend checking with a specialty local paint shop if you are trying to find it.  In the Denver area, Guiry's carries it.  We kept the original hardware from the dresser and spray painted it with Rustoleum's Heirloom White, then I used the same RL glaze on top of the spray paint to age it and make it less shiny & new.  
I'm not going to post an actual tutorial because there are awesome ones already out there that do a fabulous job of explaining the techniques that I used.  Check out the e-book "Paint Your Furniture" from Altar'd for lots of great hints & how-to's for painting furniture.  All Things Thrifty has a great explanation of how to use the Ralph Lauren glaze that you can find here.  And feel free to e-mail me with any other specific questions!