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Camo Utility Boxes

We are on a house painting ROLL!  Well, we were.  We got a little side-tracked mid-week this week with another project that kind of took precedence...more on that later.  Our goal was to start painting the exterior trim sometime this spring and thanks to the craziness going on, we got a head start and are halfway done.  I'll share more pictures when we're done but we started on the least seen side of the house last week and are now almost finished with the back (which includes the big car port).  This is what that first side looked like before we started:    

After painting, it looks like this:

Kids (and Toddlers) Making Art | DIY

I do not like crafting with my kids.  There, I said it.  I feel it so much I could probably have used stronger words.  I like the idea of it but when it comes down to physically getting down and dirty, nope.  But, I love my kids.  Love, love, love them with that I-will-die-for-you kind of love but crafting with them?  It a mess waiting to happen and one that I'd rather skip out on by just finding other ways of having fun.

The unfortunate part about that is that my kids love painting.  LOVE it.  I don't know if that love will transfer over to painting walls and furniture because you know one day they will get roped into that, but for now, give each of them paint, a brush, and paper and they will sit and paint allll day long.  But, like a lot of kids, they make a MESS.  Even with me right there (breathing into a paper bag...kidding...maybe) they still manage to make a mess.  You moms know.  You see me.  And I see you.  A lot of times I feel like the paint is fun to create pictures with for awhile but if they keep going, it becomes this thing where they keep piling paint on paint on paint just to see what happens and that's where things go awry.  It's like playing with mud.  They're cute at first making these pretty little mud pies and cookies and 20 minutes later, they're an entirely new, unrecognizable species.  That's painting with kids.

But, BUT, I pulled the paints out with a plan a couple of weeks ago and, not only wasn't there a huge mess to clean up at the end, but we actually came out the other end with two pictures that were worthy of a hammer and nail.

Gianna's:

Seb's:


(The twins were at school when I did this so it was just a project for the 6 and 3 year old.  Had I had four kids at one time doing this, I'm not sure it would have gone quite as smoothly.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Probably won't ever try that because I'm not that much of a glutton.)

P.S.  I didn't plan on this being something you could do while being couped and socially distanced for (possibly) weeks on end but it totally is so I'll chalk one up on the coincidence chart.


House Exterior Update | One Year In

Whew!  March 2020, you are one for the books, right?  April and May etc etc will probably get the same association.  Yipe.  I hope you're tucked away from it all!  We are just trying to lay low and distant but have high hopes that this social distancing will allow us some good family time and maybe let us get a few more things done around here quicker than we expected.  For one, we grabbed exterior paint this morning so we're planning on a few weeks (or more) of sticking close to home and painting.  There's a bright spot in everything, right?  If you haven't never considered yourself a DIYer before, Covid-19 might bring it out of you!  :)  

In other news... 

We closed on our house one year ago!  That's seems wild to me.  Like, really.  And maybe it's because technically, we've only been living here for 10 months so we haven't quite hit the year mark there yet.  If you don't remember, we closed on our house a couple of months before we had to be out of our rental.  That gave us time to scrape all of those popcorn ceilings and paint before we moved in all of our furniture, which would've made scraping ceilings 100 times harder.

I'm going to write up a picture-loaded post of the inside and how it's changed in the past year but first, we're going to start outside.  The backyard hasn't changed much (here's a little update on some landscaping) but the back patio has and all with the addition of furniture and a little feng shui.  ;)

Before:

Currently:

How to Slim Down a Shirt | A DIY Refashion

It's been a good while since I took on a refashion so I revved that engine back up last week and finally started going through my small pile of to-be-sewns...the small pile that was a large pile before I counted my losses and donated half of the clothes before we moved last year.  Can't say I miss them...

Anyway, I found this shirt on a clearance rack at Target, oh, maybe two years ago, for something like $6.  I snatched it up even though it was two sizes too big for me because I loved the print and I knew I could easily take it in.  So, it went straight to the refashion pile.  Straight to that pile were it sat and sat...

I'm pretty sure I've written a tutorial on how to do this before but I'm also pretty sure it was a maternity top and I've gained some efficiency knowledge since then.  So, round two.  One of the easiest, beginner-level sewing things to do when you're talking refashioning shirts, is taking them in at the sides to fit you.  Really this is easiest with sleeveless shirts like the one I've got here today but sometimes you can follow up and along the sleeve of a shirt to get the same result with sleeved tops.  I'll make a mental note to do one of those someday too.

There are two easy ways to do this.  1)  Use a shirt you already have, and like the fit of, as a template or 2)  inch your way in little by little until you get the fit you want, following the existing edge.  For this post, I went the template route.

Things you'll need? 
Well, I wish I could slap a "no-sew" label on this one but alas, you'll need a sewing machine for this unless you're an Olympic hand seamstress.  If you're a beginner and just want to start slow and with straight lines, this Brother* is reasonable, has good reviews, and will do ya just fine for lots and lots of sewing projects.  This one* is even cheaper but without many stitch options.  If you've got a little bit of sewing skill under your belt or just want to jump in head-first and with a good machine, this one* is the newer model of mine.  I've had my dear Brother for oh, six or seven years now and LOVE it.  I've had zero problems with it.  It sews everything I've ever made and even embroiders so I've been able to make our Christmas stockings and then monogram them all with one machine.  Two thumbs way up.
You'll also probably need a sewing scissors* (I'd write "sewing" on it so no one thinks they can use it for anything else), a seam ripper* just in case, a sewing pencil* (I always use my kids' washable markers) and of course, a shirt that's too big on you.

Here's my shirt in it's original state:

It could've had a chance at flowy if the arm holes weren't the size of Texas on me.

Hand-Painted Curtains | DIY

One of the first rooms we set straight in this house was the kids' shared bedroom.  You can see the "reveal" here.  In that reveal though, I mentioned that it wasn't finished (is any room ever finished really?) and that I still wanted to add a little bit more flavor before we called it quits.  Fast forward several months to last week, I finally got around to it.  The kids are helping me with a couple more projects right now and then I'll post another (more complete) reveal, but this here is all about the existing curtains I painted.  

I bought these black-out curtains* for their room in the 96" length and they're really great, especially for the price (I got mine via the Warehouse too so they were even cheaper!), but it turns out that they're even better if you want to add a little bit of pizzazz in the form of paint.

Here's what they looked like right after we bought them last year and got them hung:
(We used curtain rods similar to these*.)

With the white walls, they were a little too boring for a kids' room but I had plans...it just took me awhile to execute.  Before I show you what they look like now, let's go into how I did it.