Chalkboard Calendar 2.0

Hi everyone…I’ve finally finished my chalkboard calendar in our new kitchen, just in time for the start of school next week!  No more missed hot lunches or theme days for this mom!

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This project ended up being much less complicated than I had planned…don’t get to say that very often!  I already had some dark grey chalkboard paint and planned to use our leftover wall paint to make homemade chalkboard paint with unsanded tile grout.  But the dark grey chalkboard paint was too dark for my liking so I was looking for a different solution when I stumbled on this:

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That’s right…clear chalkboard paint that can be applied anywhere!  I’d seen this before in quart sizes at the hardware store but this was in a small bottle, just the perfect size for my chalkboard calendar.  I scooped it up, along with some light grey acrylic paint and recreated my calendar.

Instead of having to paint both colours, I just painted every other square with the new grey paint, using the original colour to fill in the rest of the calendar.  Then I applied two coats of the clear chalkboard paint, let it cure for 24 hours and I was done!

It’s much less bold than our previous version in the old house, which will take some getting used to but I think I like that it’s more subtle…it just blends in better with the rest of the kitchen.  The ultimate plan is to put a border of glass mosaic tile (same as we’ll use for our backsplash) and molding to make it stand out and define the edges from the rest of the wall.

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Pinspirations: Back to School

I’m having a hard time getting myself back into “productive” mode now that we’re back from our cottage vacation but school is rapidly approaching and I have several organizing projects that I want to finish before Boy#1 starts senior kindergarten.  My goal for next week is to get over the fact that I don’t feel old enough to have a child going “back to school” and buckle down to organize!

One project I know I need to do is a repeat of our chalkboard calendar from the old house.  I’m honestly shocked that we have lasted this long without missing any appointments!

Here are some back to school Pinspirations that have gotten my creative juices flowing!

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Source:  Summit View Photos

I like the idea of these file folders for organizing different types of school paperwork.  We were so disorganized last year and I don’t know how many times I had to search for Boy#1’s newsletters to find out about hot lunches and theme days.  Of course, having our makeshift kitchen and entry way in the same space didn’t help that problem.  This year, we have a proper “command centre” and a file folder like this would work wonders for keeping the paper clutter under control!

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Source:   Better Homes and Gardens

I love this idea for organizing my boy’s clothes for school for the week and was planning on making one of my own but couldn’t find a canvas clothes holder that was cheap enough that I would feel comfortable painting it with the letters.  Plus, I have my doubts that we’d actually keep up the habit of filling it every Sunday, so instead, I’m going with something much simpler.

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Source:  Today’s Creative Life

I think this “note from home” printable is stickin’ CUTE!  The link has a free download so you can print your own!

I’m trying to decide if I’m happy for back to school…on one hand, I’m not ready for the end of school but after breaking up fights between Boys #1 and 2 all day, I’m looking forward to only have two kids home for a large portion of the day in September!

Pinspirations: A Girly Office Space

My Pinspirations post this week continues on the theme of creating a lovely home office for myself.  I’m hoping to take one or two online courses during my maternity leave so having an office where I can get away from all my boys and study on my own would be a great asset.

Since I live with four boys of varying ages, the office will likely be the only place where I can truly decorate just for me.  My hubby is pretty laid back when it comes to home décor so I try not to take advantage of that and make things too feminine.  My office/craft room will be the exception.

I’m going to use the same teal-y blue colour from the kitchen as an accent colour (because I ended up with two gallons of that paint) and I’m about 99% sure the walls will be grey.  I’m going to throw in some pops of pink too, just like this:

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Source:  Afternoon Artist

It would be so easy to DIY some chevron painted pillows in this colour palette…loving it!

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Source:  Craptastic Katie

This office/craft room will need to accommodate all my crafty supplies, and that includes my sewing machine and such notions.  I’m going to make a thread board like this with some stripes in (of course!) grey, teal and pink!  Perhaps an upcoming Mini Project Monday!

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Source:Thistlewood Farms

I love the idea of this pegboard box.  It would be ridiculous to make one big enough to hold all my gift bags and tissue paper, because that would be huge.  But I like the idea of having some multi-occasion gift bags easily on hand and always knowing where the tape and scissors are is an awesome bonus!

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Source:  Pin Home Ideas

Finally, every craft room needs a nice big desk area.  I want to build a long narrow desk along one side of the room, but also have a table like this one on castors so I can move it out of the way if needed.  It would easily accommodate two people because being crafty is always more fun with friends!

Mini Project Monday: Greek Key Corkboard

I’m finding my thoughts turning towards creating a tranquil, if not girly, craft room/office so I have a relaxing place to scrapbook.  Hubby hasn’t even started to fix up the third garage that will become his “man cave” (although he has started talking about it) but I’m tired of having a chaotic office space.

Having said that, this knock-off Pottery Barn corkboard project in no way contributes towards a more organized space but I was inspired nonetheless!  It looks VERY tedious (and it was) but actually didn’t take that long to do.  It was only an hour and a half from “Here, take the baby so I can do a DIY project” to “my thumbs hurt too much to keep adjusting the pins!”

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Pottery Barn sells a corkboard just like this for the low price of…$160!!!  Mine cost me virtually nothing.  I used a corkboard left behind by my grandparents when they moved and I already had the fabric and thumbtacks in my stash.  Getting a $160 corkboard for $0 is totally worth the sore thumbs from pushing the pins in!

No-Spend July Recap

No-Spend July has come to a close and I think it was a resounding success.  I got a good number of little projects done and even a few things that I haven’t blogged about.

I tried very hard to stick to my no-spend rule, taking pains to not look at any home improvement store flyers.  I went to Value Village and deliberately stayed far, far away from the furniture and lighting sections.

I do have to confess that I did buy one thing right at the end of the month.  I bought some chalk paint to redo our kitchen table…BUT, I only bought it because after discovering that my local Walmart sells chalk paint, I have waited weeks for them to have the white paint in stock.  They finally did so I had to snap it up when it was available.

I’ve shared a number of projects, both decor and furniture.  I revamped a bookcase for our dining room, created an ottoman out of a coffee table that I picked up off the side of the road and finally finished my crate side table for our downstairs bathroom.

As I mentioned, I’ve done some things I haven’t shared here, including working on the art centre in my boys playroom and applying frosted spray paint to our downstairs bathroom window.  It looks straight into the dining room window so if you forget to lower the blind, awkward!  That problem is solved now!

I finished up a few projects for Boy#2’s bedroom, including putting my own touch on an IKEA nightstand and finishing his bedside lamp that I started before we moved in last August!

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So overall, I’m proud of No-Spend July, even if I technically broke the rules at the end.  It’s definitely going to be something I try again, maybe in December when it’s tempting to overspend to dress up the house for holiday company.

Pinspirations: Displaying Photos

My photo monogram from Monday has inspired today’s Pinspirations post.  I have SO many pictures that I’ve taken that are stored on my camera or on my computer and I need to start doing something with them all!  We’ve been living at the farm for almost a year now (crazy!) and we have one piece of art on the walls in our main living spaces.

photo1Source:  Love Grows Wild

I hate fiddling with the backs of frames whenever I want to change the pictures inside, which really makes me like this easy idea for DIY photo clipboards.  I already have some clips like this, so it would be another awesome no-spend project!

photo2Source:  Life In Motion Photography

I think this photo booth strip display is a great way to fill a narrow but tall space.  I’m trying to find where I could put this in my home and I’m thinking it will go in the office upstairs.  If I wait a few years, I can make ours exactly like the picture with me and hubby, three boys and a dog.

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Source:  The Hilliard Home

I have two old wood window frames in the barn that I bought ages ago and one of them will be used to make this project.  Getting a big print like this will be expensive but I’m going to try getting an engineering print from Staples first and see if I like the quality.

A lot of my projects lately have been focused on furniture and I’m looking forward to decorating the walls now!

Mini Project Monday: Photo Monogram

I love the $1.50 bins at Michaels.  Honestly, I’ve even gone into the store with the sole intention of shopping from the $1.50 bins.

Whenever I see any type of monogram product, I always dig through and find if they have any “A’s”…and if they do, it automatically goes in the shopping basket, whether I need it or not!

Today’s mini project combines my love of monograms with some leftover wedding prints.  I’d wanted to do an A monogram with a copy of our marriage license “mod-podged” on but it wasn’t going to work the way I wanted so I went with photos instead.

It was pretty simple but takes time to let the Mod Podge dry in between coats.  I applied the pictures to the chipboard monogram (making sure not to cut off anyone’s face!) and after it had dried, I cut the excess photo paper from the back side with a utility knife.

After that, it was just a matter of applying thin coats of Mod Podge until I was satisfied that the photos weren’t going to peel up at some time in the future (I quit after two coats since this is, after all, a mini project!)!

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Link Parties:
Adventures of Mel: Inspire Me Wednesday
The Thrifty Home: Penny Pinching Party

Pinspirations: Numbered Things

I’m a little obsessed with things that come in multiples and are numbered.  I’ve already done two projects that include putting numbers on décor items:  my latest post about numbered boy buckets and the numbered bar stools for our kitchen.  This is the inspiration for today’s Pinspirations!

All three of these pins are on my list of projects to do.  The obsession runs deep, haha.

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These pillows are from Pottery Barn (no longer available though).  They were priced at $100 for all four.  I KNOW I can DIY them for virtually nothing with the help of some freezer paper and fabric paint!

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Source: Pinterest/Lolly Jane

I’m also a little obsessed with wooden crates, especially since I discovered that Walmart sells unfinished ones for $10.  I  bought some dark stain to refinish our small patio set and I think some of the leftover stain will go towards this project.

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Source:  Pinterest/Colour Saturated Life

I recently found a discarded bedside table on the side of the road and when I saw this pin, I knew it was going to get this kind of treatment.  It is destined for Boy#1’s bedroom…I’m thinking a white frame with grey drawers and white numbers in the corner of the two drawers.  Another no-spend project!

Upcycled Menu Board

I finally put the finishing touches on my menu board today.  This has been a no-spend project since last year when I actually started it!

We had a large entertainment centre that my aunt and uncle gave to us back when we got married and when we put our old house up for sale, we replaced it with a slimmer IKEA console table.  We ended up dismantling the entertainment centre because it was so huge and extremely  heavy…it was very difficult to move into our split level house and we didn’t have the manpower available to move it out.

We took it all apart but kept most of the wood, including the wood and glass door.  I had seen an idea on, where else but Pinterest, for a “white board” that was made by painting one side of a pane of glass and using the opposite side to write on.  I wanted to use the door for a menu board that I could write on.

I took the knob off the door and filled the hole before spraying the wood white.  And then it sat in the garage for a few months until we moved because I hadn’t decided what colour the glass should be.

We moved in August and I’m honestly shocked that it survived the move and months of storage intact.  I couldn’t find it for several months and was convinced that it had been mistakenly sent to the dump but finally found it in the garage.

I gave it another quick coat of white paint since it had some scuffs.  I painted the reverse side of the glass with my accent colour, which will coordinate with my kitchen chairs.  I added vinyl letters to represent the days of the week and a piece of corkboard to the bottom panel for pinning recipes to try.

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Quick tip for cutting corkboard…when you’re done cutting, use fine grit sandpaper to smooth down the edges just like you would for a piece of wood with rough edges!

The only problem I’ve encountered with this problem is that it doesn’t fit where I had been envisioning it.  It’s too small for the small wall space I had planned so I need to find a new home for it…

Link Parties:
DIY Showoff: That DIY Party
Rustic and Refined: Table It Link Party
Coastal Charm: Show and Share Link Party

Mini Project Monday: Buckets for Boys

It’s another no-spend Mini Project Monday here at Breezy Hill, which means I get to knock another half-finished project off my list!

On a whim, I bought some galvanized buckets from Dollarama a while ago…just $3 each!  I got five of them, one for each member of the family but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them.  I was inspired when I found this picture on Pinterest:

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Source:  Buzzfeed/Remarkable Home

I liked the idea of spray painting the buckets different colours but this is, after all, a mini project and painting them would take much more time than I wanted to invest on this particular project.

So I went straight for the vinyl and the Cricut machine.  I cut out the numbers, names and brackets in different colours to coordinate with our “command centre” (another half-finished project that will be featured eventually!).  Both the command centre and these buckets will reside near the garage entrance inside the playroom, so I carried the colours through both.

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I think (hope) they will make my life easier to restore order in this house whenever the boys’ things wander all over.  Boy 1 and 2 are already putting them to good use and voluntarily gathering up their toys…music to this mommy’s ears!

Link Parties:
Adventures of Mel: Inspire Me Wednesday
The Thrifty Home: Penny Pinching Party
Rustic and Refined: Table It Link Party