Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DIY: Getting A Clean Paint Line

After moving into the house a few weeks ago (okay almost two months ago!) I am finally getting around to doing some of the painting and decorating for a few of the rooms. Rubes' birthday is in two weeks, and we have a bunch of people coming over to our house for her party, so I've got a deadline to get my house looking at least half-way put together.

For the past few days, I have been tackling Rubes' room: prepping for paint, taping, painting, touching up, etc. I should have taken "before" pics, but when we moved in her room was a tan color, which I didn't mind, but it had a beat up chair rail that went around it that was dark brown, scratched and you could tell it had been there a while. It wasn't worth repainting and salvaging it, so I pulled it off. What I found underneath was red and dark brown paints. That rail had not been moved for the last three paint jobs. We had to sand off mounds of old paint, and patch all of the holes that were left from the nails holding it onto the wall. I do like the idea of a chair rail, I like how it divides the wall and allows you to do different colors without it feeling too overwhelming. But rather than put up a new chair rail, I decided to put a white stripe around the middle of the room. This would break up the walls, while also giving me a place to put these super cute elephant decals that match Rubes' bedding.

But that's when I ran into my biggest concern with starting this paint job, do I really want to paint a stripe on my textured walls?!?! The last two times I have done this in other homes/apartments, I always get a fuzzy line because of the texture, and have to spend hours with a  super tiny art brush, touching up all of the paint that had bled through under the tape. But, I forged on, and decided to do it, but to find a better way to make a straight paint line on texture walls! And I totally did it! Here's the explanation of how I got a PERFECT (no joke, it was seriously perfect) paint line:

Step 1: I got some blue painters tape (I used the Scotch brand), and a long level, and then placed the tape where I wanted the top of my stripe to be (I repeated all of these steps later, when I did the bottom). To be fair, Ace helped me with this part, because it is so difficult to hold a level, level, and put the tape on the wall at the same time.

Step 2: Here's where it gets a little weird, but trust me on this one. I painted the edge of the tape, with THE COLOR THE WALL ALREADY WAS. Since I had just painted that wall a day earlier, I had extra of the paint. So I took a brush and globbed it on the edge of the tape, using upward and downward strokes. I was honestly trying to jam as much paint under the tape as I could. What this does, is fills in all of the holes and gaps where the paint would have normally bled through. But because I'm using the color the walls are already, when it bleeds through, it just matches the existing wall color. Genius!
Graphic showing each of the steps, as explained

Step 3: After painting the existing wall color over the tape, I hung out for a day and let the paint really thoroughly dry. (I didn't say that this was a super quick process!). You could probably move to the next step after a few hours, honestly, but I got busy with other things and didn't have time to come back to it later that day.

Step 4: I then came back and painted over the same edge of the tape, that I had just painted with the existing wall color, with the new color for the stripe. Since I had already gone over it with the existing paint color, there were no more gaps or divots for the new paint color to bleed into. After the new color dried, I removed the tape, and voila... a perfectly straight paint line, with no bleeding, on a textured wall.

Here are some pics of Rube's almost entirely finished up. I have a few pictures to hang on the walls, but it's like 98% done at this point. I'm proud of how it came out!

This wall clearly needs a picture, which is going up tonight! 

Rubes MUST have a fan on, or she can't sleep. Not the cutest decor, but sleep is sleep. 

I added picture frame shelves from IKEA to make the book shelves, so that Rubes can access her board books

Look at that paint line. You know it's good. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Trying Something New! (Part 1)

Something that you should know if you don't already: I'm a huge craft nerd. I get a ridiculous amount of satisfaction from putting stuff together and being creative. I'm predominantly right-brained in life, and I think that's why I get so much joy out of making things. I am really trying to challenge myself, and make/do things that I have never made/done before. I grew up with a family that sewed, and I learned at a pretty young age, but our family sewing projects were typically limited to pajamas, Halloween costumes, curtains and whatever random clothes needed fixing. I know some girlfriends that come from generations of quilters, and although I've always wanted to make one, I don't really have anyone close that could teach me. So I have decided to teach myself!

I looked online through tons of blogs and resources, but many were just verbal directions with a few pictures here and there, which were difficult for me to follow. I'm a pretty visual learner, so I needed something with clear steps. And then I found this blog series, from Diary of a Quilter called Beginning Quilting Series. It is a bunch of different posts that review everything from fabric choices, to cutting, to designing to putting it all together. Woot!

I am currently working on gathering all of the materials that I need to make my first quilts. I'm really excited, and I have been wanting to learn for a really long time. Plus, I added making a quilt for both of my girls to my 101 list, so I would like to cross that off my list as well.

Fabric for Quilt 1
Fabric for Quilt 2
I have been picking fabrics, which is fun, but also oddly difficult. I want to get a good mix of patterns, colors, sizes, etc. I prefer quilts with little to no solid colors, but I'm not sure I have a knack for picking prints. So far I like the fabrics for Quilt 1 better as a whole, and I think I'm going to change out the bottom fabric for Quilt 2. I don't like that it is more dull than the other fabrics, and I don't want to put anything in that I don't love. I would like to add 1 or 2 more fabrics for each quilt, just because I like color variety and finding coordinating patterns as well, I'm hoping to go tomorrow and finalize all of the fabric.

The next step is to officially decide the patterns that I'm going to make. I want to make them different, so that each of the girls' quilt is special and different from the other, but I'm also nervous about making the pattern too complicated. I think for one of them I'm going to go with just a basic block pattern (that is outlined in the Beginning Quilting Series), and I'm still working on what I'm going to do for the other.

Do you have any tips for a first time quilter or want to give me some feedback on the fabric choices? Leave me a comment! I would LOVE to hear from you, especially those of you that have done this before!

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Alright. I admit it. I suck. The last time I posted something in my blog was MONTHS ago. Here I am trying to commit to making huge changes in my life, and my accountability piece of posting here has just gone to crap. The good news is that I have been making positive changes in my life, like a lot of them! The bad news is that I haven't been sharing them. So this is my pledge to recommit to this blog, and begin sharing my journey with more regularity.

Now in keeping up with my recommitment, let me talk about what has been happening in my life since the last post. I'll do a quick bulleted update:

  • We bought a new house and moved in! We are still trying to get settled, finish painting a few things, hang up our decor, etc. but it's starting to feel like our place, finally. 
  • I have continued my quest to get healthier, and Ace and I have committed to eating more cleanly. We did a 30 day clean eating challenge, and honestly, it wasn't that hard and we felt GREAT afterwards. We are trying to commit to eating this way all the time. That isn't to say that we don't indulge sometimes, because we do, but our focus is making the healthiest choices we can, when we can. I am not exercising as much as I should, but my eating is much better. I have lost almost 25 pounds since I started getting healthy in February! Woo hoo! 
  • We flew with both girls to Washington to visit my brother and his family. They both did great on the plane, and it was so great to hang out with our family there. Ace ran a Tough Mudder race, and I think he's addicted, because he and my brother have already signed up to run another one. 
  • I also had an epiphany about myself, well my style, really. We got family pictures taken, and I put on a pretty dress, and did my hair and make-up, and felt really good about myself. Ace complimented me a few times that day, and in the evening we had a good conversation and he said, without directly saying, that he felt like I was giving up on myself and giving too much time to him and the girls. I realized that when we go out, I put so much effort into getting the girls ready, that I usually run around in workout gear with my hair in a messy bun. Not that cute. Since then, I have been working on buying myself a few new clothing items here and there, and I cut my hair so that I have to do it more often. Even if it is just putting on a blouse and some jeans, that's a HUGE leap from where I was before. Add un-frumping my life to the list of things I want to fix about myself. 
  • Oh! And I have done a LOT of my goals from my 101 List. You can check HERE for the most updated version of my list, to see what I've still got left to do!