Thursday, December 26, 2013

Custom Signs

Merry Belated Christmas and early Happy New Year Wishes to all you amazing Changing Room Champs and Chums!  
It's the day after Christmas and the stockings around here are no longer hung by the chimney with care. In fact, most of the decorations are dismantled, tinsel taken down and halls are no longer decked. 
Part of me breathes a sigh of relief when it's all over. Is that disrespectful or sacrilegious to say out loud?
This year especially. 
I just wasn't 'feelin' it'. 
It's been a long year with lots of people I know really struggling with some hard stuff and somehow the commercialism of it all this holiday made me struggle too. 
I'm optimistic that 2014 will be a year of HOPE. 

I promised to post some signs that were custom Christmas gifts for some clients this year. I only took pics of a few. 
They were fun to do and you always keep me guessing as to what styles and sayings you'll request. 
 Awwwww. So presh.
This old barn board was taken from my friend Jamie's great Aunt's 100 year old barn(?) Her daughter Kirsten surprised her by bringing it over to me and asking Ken to cut it, put it together and then have me stencil a quote that she saw on Pinterest. 
There were 6 long boards all different widths and lengths. He cut them down to this:
 Here's the stencil.
It didn't show up very clearly but the "BE THE GOOD" was in a light buff/tan and the other wording was in white. In person, it's more pronounced.

This sign below was actually a leaf from a dining room table that Haley (new friend and DIY-er) brought to me after she had painted and distressed it. She wanted to surprise her Mom for Christmas by painting the name of the lake their cottage was on. I cut a stencil for it and filled the entire leaf with wording.

This one was another Pinterest 'knock-off'. They showed it online in black with white lettering and a slightly different font. We flipped the colors and Ken built me the slatted wood frame. I stenciled it for a client who lives in Colorado who wanted it for above her bed in her master bedrooom.

 This one is touching to me and I don't even know the whole story.  My friend Peggy, who's battling breast cancer right now ordered it for Christmas for her husband. We'll go out for lunch soon so I can hear the meaning behind the two dates (I have an idea) but I think the phrase says it all. For better or for worse, right? 
All in. 
 On the back:
 This one was for the mother in law of two of my clients. A great reminder of the love of a family this time of year and always. 

I haven't been painting in my garage (other than sign making) but I will be starting back up in January. I have a waiting list right now, but hope to make some headway and crank up the heaters for some more furniture transformations.  Usually January is a slow time for me with clients, but you've already been emailing me the day after Christmas with your remodeling requests, so it might be a busy new year! Can't wait to see some of you again and meet some new Champs in 2014! 



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Laundry room-Where a little change, goes a long way.

 Here's a laundry room remodel that I helped with this past Spring. My "client-turned-friend", Lisa, asked for some help with her back mudroom/laundry  room.

 I hadn't been back there to see the implemented changes but last week Lisa needed advice regarding staging some bedrooms so I got the chance to snap some 'after' pics of the project.  She graciously let me do so even though I hadn't asked her ahead of time and this wasn't the room we were focusing on that day. Thanks Lisa!

This is her back mudroom/laundry off the garage.  It is heavily trafficked by her four darling children.  She didn't want to break the bank on an extensive remodel, but was definitely frustrated by the lack of storage and functionality of the room. We came up with a cost effective solution for each wall in the room.

We added soft white beadboard around the entire room 2/3 of the way up the wall.  This allowed us to use a deeper color on the upper walls-we chose a cobalt blue.  We had a contractor add two shelves instead of the single wire upper shelf.  Unfortunately you can't see it in this pic, but we added a pedestal base for more storage under the washer and dryer. 

You can kinda see it in the photo below:

 We mounted hooks to the top trim piece above the beadboard for storage and easy accessibility of coats and backpacks.

We doubled the hooks on this side and in the pic above, you can see the pedestal base of the appliances.  She can now store hats, mittens, and shoes underneath the washer/dryer.

As we talked through her organizational needs, she was hesitant to part with her message center so we compromised by ordering a cleaner, more seamless system from Pottery Barn.
We mounted it right to the top of the beadboard beneath the trim. (sorry-blurry)
We replaced the linoleum flooring with inexpensive Vinyl Composition Tile. (VCT)

One more BEFORE angle:

One more AFTER angle:

I'm in the middle of lots of exciting remodels right now. Some of them are ready to be wrapped up soon.  I'll be sure to post pics of the changes. 

Hoping you're not too frazzled with the last minute Christmas details.  I've actually been enjoying the countdown to Christmas this year and have finally caught up on my sign orders. I hope to post some pics of those soon too. See you back here soon. 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Annual Christmas Dessert Night

Forgot to post a pic. of this Thanksgiving "Turkey" that my Mom made for the grand kids.  She had seen it in a magazine and thought it would be a fun centerpiece! It's actually cake!! The center is cake covered with rolled out melted caramel.  The drumsticks are  Twinkies wrapped with caramel and the stuffing overflowing is pound cake cubes with green food coloring coconut! I'm sure this might have been plastered all over Pinterest as well, but since I don't allow myself that vice very often, I never saw it.  We  aren't ashamed of  kickin' it old school and finding ideas on paper! :)

 Here's Mom and Dad, a.k.a. "Mata and Pata". 

My sister Cherie surprisingly asked me to help decorate her dessert table once again this year at her church.  Even after I overstepped my bounds last year by demanding that she match the dessert she was making to my table decor. I don't think it was actually that harsh, but it has become somewhat of a household joke now. She is the first born and definitely much more mature, pragmatic and chill than this rowdy, abrasive, control-freak second born can be. It all worked great in the end and tried to be on my best behavior this year so she'd keep on asking me back.

This is an annual dessert tea that Central Wesleyan Church hosts the first week in December.  It really is a fantastic way to spend time with other women, slow down and focus on what's truly important. This year, we enjoyed a devotional time that highlighting the relationship between Mary, Jesus' mother and her cousin Elizabeth who gave birth to John the Baptist way beyond child bearing years. What a great reminder that when things look impossible for us, (as they did in Mary and Elizabeth's situation), NOTHING is impossible with God. 
Find this incredible story in the book of Luke in the Bible. 
If you don't have a Bible, would you let me buy you one? God's word (and His grace) is the only thing that is able to soften and change this impossibly prone-to- wander second born!  I recommend it! :)
 Even though I tend to shy away from the usual suspects of red and green in my own home at Christmas, I pulled out all my red/white decor that I had somehow accumulated, threw it in a pile and picked out what would work.  I had the candy stripes plates from a sale last year, along with the striped scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby.  I found the striped tissue paper in a tote of mine along with the silver napkins from the Burley Park Flea Market this summer! Score!
 I even had the water glasses I bought 3 years ago when I first was asked to do a table. Dollar General-a buck a piece. I use them every day at home. 
The centerpiece in this pic, waiting to hold Cherie's yummy dessert (yes, it will match), was given to me as a gift years ago. The santa hats are actually glittery and my MIL gave me those last year. I have about 15 but we only could fit four. I can't remember where I found the Merry Christmas printed burlap, but it was cheap!
 The HO HO HO burlap wrapped tins I found one day before the event at Target! Ironically, they had just 8 left of that style and I snatched them all up! Love these! $1.oo each in the dollar bin section!

The tables were decorated so beautifully, just like last year.  Here were some of my favorites:

 Are these blurry to you, or do I now need to wear my reading glasses when I blog as well!? UGH!
How precious is this little personal sized cake at each place-setting, perfectly matching the charger and plates? Second born perhaps?  Fellow decorator? Control freak? :)

 My friend Alison, a senior in highschool made this cake. Her Grandma decorated the table. So fun.
 LOVED this winter wonderland!!

I didn't get a great pic of it, but this was my fave. 

 This was totes adorbs too. Is that saying so 2012?

 Loved this dessert!
 Look at this: Amazing! Please tell me that this was hired out and done by The Cakery.

And yes, the dessert DID indeed compliment my table decor. Thank you Cherie!!

I feel like one of Santa's elves working on all the sign orders from you Champs. Thank you. I will post pics of some of the new ones soon, but don't want to ruin any Christmas surprises. Meet you back here soon.