Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cherry Blossom Tree

After the paint technique was done above the crib, I realized I needed a second focal point. I wanted something fun over my daughter's bed. Something that was similar to the artwork yet had a look all it's own.
 I came up with a cherry blossom tree limb idea and this is how it came about.

The corner where my daughter's bed fit had the cool antique window suspended as a shelf. I hung this window to be able to put things that are important to my daughter but, not have them easily accessible. A memorabilia shelf -per say.
I started by buying vinyl by the foot at a local craft store ($1.99 a foot before my coupon, yeah for 50% off coupons!!). I bought four feet of dark brown for the cherry tree limb. I really didn't need all of it, I have about a foot of brown vinyl left over. I just started sculpting and cutting. I added limbs as needed until it looked right.
Just enough ready for some pretty pink flowers.
There was no rhyme or reason to how I sculpted the tree. Just kept going until it looked right.
I took the pink vinyl (I only bought 2 feet thinking that would be ample and ended up going back for 2 more feet). I traced a flower and then cut each one out by hand. I wanted them to be similar yet not identical so they would look realistic
This is them cut out with the backing showing.
Tree ready for flowers.
I love it when my daughter wants to help with my projects. She loves that her room is getting done to bring a sister home to and is super helpful!! I would peel off the back and then she would decide where it went! You did a great job, little one!!
I finished with the 2 feet of vinyl cut into flowers and realized..I hadn't bought nearly enough. So, back to the store to buy 2 more feet of vinyl.
I love it with all the flowers!! It makes a statement above my daughter's bed and gives a focal point on this side of the room. The only thing I want to add is my daughter's name in vinyl just below the limb above her headboard. I will probably wait until the baby is born to get the vinyls done and her name is chosen so I can get both girls names custom done and to put them by their beds.
I threw my daughter's pink parasol up on the shelf to show you the kind of fun stuff that can go on the shelf.

I love how it flows below the shelf and yet sneaks above it in one corner. It makes it SO fun!
I love how the cherry tree limb pops off the fun paints!!
The cherry blossoms draws attention to the fun pink bed of my daughters just as much as the special paint treatment does over the crib.

It turned out beautiful!!
Cassy Final

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Other Three Benches Revealed !!!

You've all seen the Robin Egg Blue Bench and that was one of four benches that were done in the last two weeks. Pretty crazy, Right!! Thank goodness...I didn't have to do everything on all four of these benches. But, I wanted to show you how all of them turned out!!

This is the client's bench! A real beauty!!
This is my sister's bench! So cool!! 
My sister had bought a headboard/footboard about two years ago and she had told me,"the next time you make benches, will you help me make mine?" SO....once I was making the custom order bench (already had my power tools out) it was a no brainer.
This is my neighbor's crib bench!! Lovin' the style of this one! They all turned out different yet, SO cool!

  My neighbor even got in on the action and made a bench out of her crib because they are done having kids but, was keeping the crib for sentimental reasons. Perfect reason to make a bench. You get to keep it yet, it's something new!
Let's start with the custom order bench.
This is the custom order bench...pretty sad way to start out....being scraped and sanded. She was a beauty in the making!! I spent about 2 hours scraping paint and sanding. A little more than I expected but, it was worth the result.
The paint underneath was cool but, needed a little taming.
The client mentioned that she wanted a bench like these two different benches that she liked. One she had seen at target(it had three baskets underneath for storage and only liked that part of it) and my black/white bench I made quite a while ago. I had her come pick out the headboard/footboard that she liked and then I went to town building it! She knew that no two benches turned out alike and that's what she wanted...a custom peice for her entryway.
I built the seat out of thick boards with a skirting of 2x4's for sturdiness and used MDF for the shelf with 1x1's with "L" brackets for support. There was only so much space between the seat and the bottom to build in this shelf so I didn't want it bulky.
Every screw I counter-sinked, so it all had to be filled with wood filler. This is extra work but, I always like it to look finished. You can see here, the filler holes. Between the four benches we used an entire box of screws. These are VERY sturdy benches and will LAST!!
Primed the bench because a lot of it is raw wood and would SOAK up the paint.
Purdy...all white...but, the client wanted black with white showing through with a little distressing.
With all the detail of these benches, I opted for spray paint this time. I wanted a perfect finish.
A vinyl was customed designed to personalize the bench because it was going to be in an entryway. 
White was chosen for the color because the distressing on the edges showed the white coming through. 
Then the back of the bench was sealed with polycrylic. I had already sealed the entire bench except for the back of the seat because I was having the vinyl custom created. So, as soon as I got the vinyl....I got it sealed and ready to be taken home.
Here she is all dry and ready for baskets. 
You can see the slight distressing. This helps show off the details of the bench and add character.
Here's the bench in the entryway of the client. Isn't she GORGEOUS!! I have never had anyone ask for a shelf on the bottom for baskets but, it's definetely a WINNER!! Now she has a place for her kids to take off their shoes and store them away. I love how this turned out!!!

Now, my sister's bench.
This bench is the one I helped my sister make. She calls me the master bench maker but, I didn't have to help her that much to get hers done. A lot of building the bench is taking the time to cut everything to size and then drilling, drilling, countersinking  and doing it again and again and then filling the holes. She came a few days in a row but, as I was finishing my clients bench (my sister wanted hers black as well) WELL, it sorta got primed and painted and finished while she was away. I don't think she minded!
Her headboard and footboard aren't identical but, had the same feel. The spindals are more square on the back and circular on the sides but, when it's all painted looks really similar.
Here is her bench at her house. I can't wait to see what pillows she puts on it! So cute!!
My good neighbor was watching all the commotion in the garage and was looking at all the benches being made. She had discussed with me that she wanted her crib made into a bench because it was sentimental and she didn't want to just store the crib. So, because my sister was building hers...I helped her by showing her how to build hers too. Tools were already out...the more the merrier!! It was a bench building party for like 3 days!!
When I started this bench build...I really hadn't planned to have four done but, it just sort happened that way.
Because the back of the crib had a rise in the center she decided to use that as the back of the bench and to make it a long, slenderer (spp? is that even a word) bench. She had the perfect wall to put it on. She had started accessorizing the room in a deep turquoise blue color with brown and green as the other room's main colors. She went bold and painted her bench in her accessories color. (You can always repaint....RIGHT?...that's what I told her)
Cribs have lots of hardware holes so it took lots of wood putty.
She painted it this beautiful blue color (it looks brighter in the picture than it really is) and then sanded to show some of that dark walnut original color of the crib. Pulling the brown from the room in. It turned out SO beautiful. I need to get a picture of it with her pillows on it. She's not home today or I'd run over and take one...I'll add one soon.
So, now you've seen the other three mysterious benches that I was talking about. Here they are and they turned out each beautiful in their own unique way! I love them all but, I especially love the shelf for baskets...I might have to do that style again!!

Cassy Final

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pink Line Figured Out!!

Once the pink lines (that wrapped around the room) got to the artwork (going above the crib) I hit an artistic road block.  I didn't want the pink lines to just end (they did look predictable) and I wanted the artwork to be more of a statement. So, this is what I came up with. 
I wanted a frame or boarder around the artwork. Not a physical matte/frame but, one with paint. So, I hung the artwork where I wanted it then started the taping process. I wanted the first matte to be white then a small aqua stripe. 
I used an exacto knife and ruler to cut/score the tape to get perfect 90 degree angles. 
The stripe was already white so I started with the blue. Then re-tape, re-tape, re-tape and more painting. 
I had to paint....let it dry...then do the second coat. Then it was onto re-taping for the next part. 
Don't you love all the tape....By-the-way.....USE frog's the best. It's worth the little bit of extra money so that you don't need to do a ton of touch-ups. If I would have had to do touch-ups everytime I took off a tape would have drove me crazy! Way too much work!! Tip: if you run your finger along the edge while your finger is damp....or a damp seals the edges(something in the frog tape activates with "wet" stuff or paint). So sealing it before you paint ensures a nice paint line.
I love the delicate lines around the artwork! onto the pink lines!
I didn't want the pink lines to just run into the delicate blue/white lines so...I decided I needed an end cap on the pink lines. I started looking at stationary on-line because I knew they would have corner designs with lines.  
I finally found one I liked...and used the design to make my own (free-handed by looking at the design on the computer screen while I sketched)
This was the original design but, it looked too modern and not girly enough. 
I measured the distance between the pink lines and taped two peices of papers together to make a template. 
I folded it in half and sketched one side then cut it out so both sides would be identical. 
This shows you what I planned it to look like! The same width as the original pink lines.
I taped it up on the wall and used a pencil to trace my pattern. 
I used my tape measure to make my hand-drawn line equal distance the whole way across. So, this line would be the same width as the rest of the pink lines that wrapped the room.
Then I started hand painting. It took a steady hand and patience but, it turned out beautiful. This line also took a second coat just like all the other colors.
The white stripe  now needed a little altering to make my new design look finished. I looked like it just "ran" into the paint frame/matte. I used my same template to sketch out the same sillouette and then painted the excess in the light aqua blue wall color. The top and bottom of the design had to be free-handed to sillouette the pink lines. The original template was only as tall as the pink lines so I had to free-hand the top and bottom curve...using my measuring tape to keep the white band the same width.
You can see the difference of the two sides.....I just love the right side!!! I looks so finished!! 
I did the same to the other side.  
SO CUTE!!!!!
 I love that I kept the TWO pink lines. It felt good to get it figured out!
Thanks for all the comments about keeping BOTH lines and that it looked great...even if it was predictable!! Hee Hee  
So, it feels good to finally have the pink lines figured out!! Thank you for all the comments about keeping the lines....even if they were.....PREDICTABLE!! LOL
I just kept looking at them and looking at them. I did the frame around the artwork first then it finally dawned on me that I should just connect the top and bottom lines. My first idea was to just square off the end. I I kept searching for something more decorative. I am so glad that I thought of stationary and trying to find something that would connect the two lines.
I like how the two lines each have a purpose and look SO cute! 

Yeah!!! This just makes me smile every time I look at, thank you for everyone who gave me the push I needed to get outside the box and challenge myself to think of something new!!
Cassy Final


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