Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blog Candy winner!

A big thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for my blog candy! I just used a random number picker to choose a winner, and it was poster #37 -- CJ! Thanks to everyone who made my blogiversary so much fun. I hope you'll all tune in to see more fun projects in the future. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

From blah to beautiful -- my entryway, before and after!

This summer I decided it was time to do something about my incredibly boring entry space. It was the same bland, boring, builder-white space we'd had since moving in 5 years ago, and I wanted something with some personality! However, I was on a very tight budget. So in May I started by looking for some furniture pieces that I could alter to fit the vision I had in mind, and bit by bit the design evolved into something I really love. Here's how we started out:

And here's the finished product!

I believe the color is called Midnight Drive from Kilz (yay, Walmart). I drew the branches onto the wall before we started painting, then painted around them (I don't recommend this strategy, by the way -- it was very tedious, but we didn't have any of the original paint color left for me to paint them on afterward). I painted the unfinished cupboards black, distressed them a little, and covered the magnet-board insets with this gorgeous paper from Crate Paper. I created magnets with my Cuttlebug and various dies so I could post a bunch of favorite family pics -- I love this, because they're so easy to change out whenever I'm in the mood for something new.

I used my Cricut (and my friend Carla's Expression) to cut the quote on the wall with vinyl (most of the text is from Jasmine, and the flourish and "home" are from Home Decor). I also created the vinyl phrase "grow" for the plain green plastic vase with the Home Decor cartridge and Design studio. My big experiment was cutting the butterfly applique with my Cricut -- the fabric is quite heavy and I found out later I wasn't using the recommended stabilizer, but it still cut fairly well and I was able to easily trim the parts that didn't cut all the way through. It was my first time attempting something so complicated (the quilt-square style of the front of the pillow with the inset applique, etc.), and I definitely have a lot of learning to do. The inset was SO crooked; it really looked awful. So with some of the scraps I sewed these fabric yo-yos to fix the worst of it. Ah, well, you gotta start somewhere! I learned to make the fabric yo-yos from the amazing Heather Bailey's blog. I also sewed the green pillow, but that was pretty straight forward.

I used more scraps from the pillows to create the big fabric flowers on the left-hand cabinet, and hot-glued them to leftover stems from some of the silk flowers I had used in the green vase. You can find a great tutorial on the big ranunculus here. The birdhouse on that cabinet was unfinished wood that I bought on clearance years ago and have just been waiting for the right time to finish it. I gave it a crackle finish and a little paper trim and fabric flower.

All the other accessories were really just gathered in from the far corners of my house. Those awesome wellies were a gift from my fab sister-in-law -- I never know how to wear them in real life because I'm such a chicken when it comes to fashion, but don't they look great here? The explosion box album on the right-hand cabinet is one I made as a make-and-take at the scrapbook expo a couple of years ago -- that was actually what inspired me to track down more of that paper to use for the rest of the projects because it fit the feel I wanted so perfectly. The wire chicken I bought at a garage sale for 25 cents.

I don't know if I would call this project completely finished -- I'm sure as I go along I'll find new lovely things to put in. I also love it because I can easily change the paper on the cabinet doors, whip up some new cushion covers, and I'll have a whole new room! So much fun.

I'd like to thank my hubby for his indulgence on this project, because I'm pretty sure this is not the style he'd choose if left to his own devices... Thanks for being so supportive, baby!