Water Color art

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If I had to pick one favorite thing in Gunners new nursery it would have to be his “The Catch” art that hangs and keeps watch over his crib. This simple little sketch means more to me then even I knew.

When I was only 7 years old my grandpa meet us early one morning and me and my family and my oh so handsome grandfather drove across the dessert to Lake Mead just outside of Las Vegas. This was a far away adventure for a 7 year old. As a little girl I idolized my grandpa. He was the perfect man in my eyes and to be going on an adventure like this with him was pretty darn special. He had just bought a house boat and to me and my siblings it was more exciting them Disneyland!

So many memories were made on that house boat! Even when my grandpa told me I drove it like a drunken sailor and it made me cry, it was a moment I’ve never forgotten! I grew up on the lake, learned to ski at age 8, weathered countless storms, took all my childhood friends along through the years, took my boyfriend and finally my own kids to that houseboat. It was just so apart of me that when the time came, over 20 years later to say goodby to it that it felt like my heart was braking a tiny little bit.

I can still close my eyes and mentally walk every inch of it inside and out. I can feel the scratchy couch cushions and can picture the tacky fake yellow and white flowers I’m sure my grandma loving chose to spruce the place up with. And there hanging above the stairs hung this sketch “The Catch” for all those years. It was as iconic to my childhood as “Saved by the Bell!” So on my very last trip to my most favorite place I took the one thing that would always remind me of all those great memories. I’ve been holding onto this yellowed faded piece of paper for 7 years just waiting for the perfect place to hang it.

I think it was always meant to hang in my sons room. All I needed to do was to breath a little bit of new life into it…

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Sadly over the years of storage and it had become a little worse for the wear! I had my fingers crossed that a little brightening up might help! So I held my I dipped my paintbrush, held my breath and crossed my fingers and in the end I was amazed at how I turned this treasured momento into a new family keepsake! I adore how it turned out and what it represents.

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It now hangs keeping watch over little Gun! It reminds me of my grandpa, his love of fishing and my endless summers on the lake! In some small way it feels like he is watching over my little guy! I sure hope he is!

Gunners full Nursery reveal here!

** Water color pallet is from Michaels Crafts $5, frame from IKEA $17

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Gunner’s Room

I can’t even begin to tell you all how in love I am with my little guy. It was exactly how everyone said it would be and that special love affair that a mom has with her son is a real thing, people! I am smitten. I just adore my tiny little man and he’s affectionately been named “Mr. Wonderful” because lets face it… he is all kinds of wonderful!

I’ve always had the decorating for girls thing down so the thought of having to create a room for a little boy was a little daunting. I was convinced that boy rooms had to be heavily theme oriented. Sports was all that came to mind and I am far from a sports fan. I don’t know what I was so afraid of because what I ended up creating I am loving!

This all came about pretty organically. I had a few prized items I had been holding on to and I never exactly knew when I was going to use them. It was like they were meant to be in this space even before I knew this space was meant to be! One by one things came together and now my Mr. Wonderful has a cheerful space all to his own that will grow with him and not feel to juvenile.

This room used to be my youngest daughters room. Its walls were already blue so we decided to kick Chuck out and move her next door. Don’t worry, she loves her new space! I had always loved how bright this room was so we kept the wall color and had fun filling it up and working on new projects.

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The first project we tackled was painting the crib. Can I just start by saying PAINTING CRIBS SUCKS! Man did I hate this! 6 hours and practically 1 million coats later it was done. And yes! I used a safe paint. I do love how it turned out and being on this end of a project like this I can say it was well worth it!

Gunny’s darling Captain America cape that is hanging on his crib came from Klassi Kreations!

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I am in LOVE with my paper airplane mobile! I didn’t want to hang anything on the wall above his crib for fear it would come crashing down on him ( YES I’m one of those parents who thinks her kids are always one accident away from tragedy! I know! I know!) I was holding Gunner one day in his room trying to rock him to sleep when I had this idea come to me! It was perfect.  An airy way to fill the space, add some more pops of color and entertain my little dude while he gazed up from his crib.

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This is one of those special pieces I was talking about! For as long as I could remember my summers were spent on Lake Mead on my grandpas house boat. It was my happy childhood place that soon became my teenage and adulthood happy places. I took my own kids there and we spend the hot summer months swimming, boating and creating memories. Finally after 20 some on years it was time to retire the boat but not before my siblings and I raided the place for keepsakes. This sketch hung inside the boat and conjures up amazing memories of being with my grandpa, who was my most favorite person as a young girl, and my dad! I’ve been holding on to this piece of art for years wondering how to enjoy it. Now it hangs watching over Guns crib. I kind of think of it as if my grandpa is keeping watch over my sweet boy.  It didn’t always look like this. I’ll share how I breathed new life into soon enough.

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I’ve quickly found a new hobby of collecting small toys for Gunner and I hit the jackpot when my sweet friend was getting rid of a ton of toys her kids had out grown. Plastic dinosaurs, animals, action figures, trucks, cars and other small toys fill these bins from IKEA.

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The art collage above the toys is a collection of a gifted letter “G” from a sweet friend that I framed in a shadow box lined with fabric, an adorable print from Lucy Darling prints and framed fabric. All the frames were bought at IKEA. I use 3M Command Strips to attach all my frames in my house and they work great for collages like this one. No need to worry about having to put multiple nails in the wall once you realize you’ve miscalculated and pounded in a nail that no longer works.

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Gotta love thrifting! It’s funny how your mind starts thinking differently when you thrift a lot! This beautiful old globe was a whopping $6. I almost didn’t buy it because I thought it was too pricy! Ha! Isn’t that funny! $6 at a thrift shop is way different in my mind then $6 spent somewhere else! Glad I snapped out of it and realized that it would be perfect and a steal at that price.

And everyone has been asking about the 5 inch Green Army Men! I KNOW, RIGHT!! Totally cool! Those little gems came from my friends toy stash! What a find! I am on the hunt for more and have found them on ebay.

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I had scored a huge box of vintage marquee letters and just before I dropped them off to consign I sifted through them to see if I could spell out GUNNER and low and behold I could! Glad I checked. These are stuck on with ticky-tack.

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The giant VW Bus is the crowning jewel of this entire room! A labor of love and a little self indulgence on my part. The entire room took on a non traditional beachy/water feel and I had to try my hand at adding this iconic piece into the plans. For full tutorial on how I created this piece jump on over HERE!

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I needed a little storage for larger toys and I’m not a fan of the traditional toy box with a lid. I wanted a galvanized trough but the only ones I could find at local feed stores were too big and over $100. YIKES! This was a great alternative and a splurge at $40 from HomeGoods but it will last forever!

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More fun toys from my friend and some leaning art. The “Hello Sunshine” piece was a project from Poppy Seed Projects that I painted using the same paint from the crib and the huge surf poster is from Pottery Barn.

 

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We are Utah transplants who moved here from Huntington Beach, CA. This sweet little vintage sign greets you as you come into Gunner’s room. It sets the tone for the rest of the space and reminds me of my childhood growing up on the beach!

This was such a fun room to put together. Nothing about it screams baby and that’s what I think I love! He’ll easily transition out of a crib into a bed in this space with little need to mature the look of it!

This room is for sure kid tested, Gunner approved!

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VW Bus and Moto-Saw giveaway

 

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I never knew how fun it would be to decorate a little boys room! I’ve been stuck in the land of pink and pretty and never had to venture into the realm of boy. Decorating Gunners nursery has opened my eyes and even allowed me a little self indulgence!

I have always had a small obsession with the VW Bus! My grandpa used to own a beige bus that we as kids adored. We used to camp out on it’s stiff benches and use it as as our club house when my dad had it for a weekend. I have wonderful memories of this classic automobile. It’s my dream to one day own a restored Bus but until then I think I’ll just try my hardest to infuse my love of the VW Bus onto my kids!

When I was challenged to create a project with the Dremel Moto-Saw I automatically knew what I wanted to created. This giant VW Bus wall art idea had been floating around my head from the moment I knew I’d be decorating for a little boy. It was something I had never done before but I was certainly up for the challenge.

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The first step was to try my hand at a little freehand drawing. I found an image online and tried my best to copy it’s form. Trust me… I’m no artist but the Bus has some pretty simple lines and it’s far from over detailed so I wasn’t to worried that something good would come out of my practice draws.

 

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This is where the fun began. I picked up a thin piece of wood from Home Depot that measures 4 x 4′ and cost just under $10. With my new found confidence in bus sketching I took my time and freehand drew a bus onto the wood. This took me about an hour with lots of erasing (use a pencil) and patience. To get the curved details I used my metal yard stick and bent it and traced the curve to get the right angle. I also used paper cut out patterns for the lights and mirrors. Anything that I needed to make symmetrical for the sides I used a paper temple that I first hand drew. My goal was to make it look hand drawn and less then perfect.

Once I was down drawing it was time to put my Moto-Saw to work. I LOVE that this saw can be used in two ways. It can be stationary and clamped to a table top or used manually by hand! I loved using it manually and I was super impressed with its permission and easy to work with.

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Once the outline was cut out I could really see this project taking shape. I sanded the edges with my power sander and now it was ready to add some detail work.

 

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I wanted to add texture and help define the details so I got out the Dremel. I love this tool! I used it to carve out the rest of the pencil marking that would create the bus front. Everything started to pop once I added this step. This step would also make the painting process super easy.

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After I had cut in to all the drawings on the bus I lightly sanded the top to take away any splintering edges. I brushed off the dust and it was ready for paint.

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I wanted to still be able to see a lot of the wood grain in this piece so I opted to use a white wash technique for my paint. I watered down my acrylic craft paint first and did one coat over the entire surface.

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The parts that I knew I wanted to be white I went over with a few more coats. You can see in photo the difference between the whites. My windows are 1 coat and the others are about 4 coats.

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Next I added my green. I also added a small amount of water to this color to get a more transparent look. This is a great way to see how much grain you want. I decided it needed about 2 coats to reach the look I wanted.

For my hardware I used a paint with a metallic finish to get a fun look similar to real car hardware.

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And lastly all the groves that were carved out were defined with a gray paint pen. This really helped to finish off the entire look. The paint pen fit perfectly into the crevasses and it took me 2 pens to complete this entire project.

For mounting I used wood glue to adhere two 2′ long 1″ wide pieces of wood. I allowed the glue to dry over night and used 3M Command strips on the wood pieces to stick it to the wall. This wood is so light weight the Command strips work great!

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I love how huge this is! It really makes a statement in this fun room. I also love that it isn’t perfect. That’s the best part about art. There is something prefect about imperfect art! It’s folk art at it’s finest.

I absolutely loved working with my Dremel Moto-Saw and now one lucky winner will get to try their hand at a Moto Saw of their very own!

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You too could put this bad boy to work to create fun projects of your own. The winner of this giveaway will win one FREE Dremel Moto-Saw that comes with carrying case, extra blades, table attachments and power cord. All you need to add is your creative ideas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be announced on the Blue Cricket Design Facebook page and must claim their prize within 48 hours before a new winner is chosen.

 

** Disclosure: I was entered to win a Dremel Moto-Saw Prize package in exchange for this post. I was not compensated and the opinions shared in this post are my own.

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Favorite Things Gift Exchange

I look forward to my “Favorite Things” party every year and this year was no exception. Besides eating yummy food and spending time with some of my favorite people I always try to invite new friends and neighbors who have recently moved in. It’s such a fun way to get to know each other better and call me selfish but I love new friends!

Our getting to know you gift exchange is the perfect way to learn more about each other! I ask all the guests to bring a $15-ish gift that reflects something they love or could be considered a “Favorite Thing!” The gifts are wrapped and ready for a gift exchange style game. I have everyone put their name on a ticket and I draw a name to pick a gift. When the gift you brought is chosen you introduce yourself, and explain why the gifts are your favorite!

It’s a great way to learn more about each other and to take home something new. All night long we wrote down things that we wanted to try ourselves after we discovered what the others loved so much!

My gift this year reflected my love for products! I love finding new items that make me feel, look and smell better! Ha! I love a good product recommendation and love passing on things that I have tried and love. Here’s what I gave this year…

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N.Y.C. Cover Stick! I need a good eye primer when it comes to cover up my dark eyelids and getting a lasting look with my eye shadow. For the longest time I was buying an expensive $16 eye primer from MAC but it dried out pretty quickly and who like that! A few months ago I tried a cheap alternative and am hooked! I picked up this Cover stick from Walmart for $1.72 and haven’t looked back! I apply it to my eye lids and it does the trick! Can’t beat the price and it goes on so easily. I just swipe it on and smooth it with my finger tip. LOVE!!!!500

The St. Ives Timeless Skin is probably something I will live and die by! I heard about it from Dr. Oz ( yes, I try a lot of celebrity recommended products!) and he says it’s the best thing for all skin types! Since I’m a die hard skin fanatic I had to try! OH MY WORD I love this stuff! It’s like instant softness and absorbs in seconds leaving skin so soft and hydrated. I love that it helps with fine lines and wrinkles cause HELLO!! That’s what I’m trying to prevent, combat and avoid! AND it’s less then $5 for a 10 oz. jar at Walmart! You can’t find better value with better results then that! I’ve been using this morning and night for over 6 months and have over half a jar still. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

2252606I’m a lover of sugar scrubs and my Tee Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub is a staple in my shower! I ADORE the smell! I adore the way it makes my skin feel and it just plain puts a smile on my face. I buy mine at Ulta for about $8 but they always seem to have a buy one get on half off deal going on so even better! Tree Hut also has a variety of other flavors but I have yet to ditch the Tropical Mango! It just smells too darn good!

So there you have it! My “Favorite Things!”

Other great gifts this year that were given away were…

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One cute friends favorite thing to do is to enjoy Target with a bag of Target popcorn and a Dr. Pepper! That’s my kind of shopping! She wrapped up a bag of popcorn and a DP and included a gift card to Target for a little shopping!

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The Six Sisters Stuff Cookbook made the gift pile this year and it’s easy to see why! This great cookbook is filled with easy recipes, craft ideas and so many great photos! green-ceramic-cookware-1

I’m dying to try this green ceramic pan that’s non stick and all the rage right now! It’s nice to get a recommendation from a friend who loves it.

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The Down East half tee was a great gift! I have this little number and I too can say it’s a favorite thing! Makes layering under tanks and dresses so comfortable!

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I was raised on Traders Joe’s and so was the friend that passed on her favorite TJ’s treats along with a gift card. Trader Joe’s is new to our area so it’s fun to introduce it to TJ virgins.orchidcutout

 

Who wouldn’t love a gorgeous orchid! One lucky friend got to take home this favorite flower because of it’s long life and easy to care for qualities.

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Do we even need to ask why Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory might be someones fav! No way!!!  A caramel apple and gift card when home with one very happy friend!

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And I was sooo excited to take home Bio Oil! I’ve been wanting to try this stuff forever! The friend who brought it swears by it and says it’s amazing for your skin! Right up my ally, right!

So many other great gifts were passed along as well! Bubble bath, Lemon cookies from Paradise Bakery, weekly task board, chocolate, almond flour for macaroon making, Mad Libs game, makeup, gardening supplies, Camel water bottle, and more!

I loved hearing why these things were their favorites! It was a great night with great gifts!

 

It’s so easy to throw a party like this. You can keep the gifts general or set a theme for your party. Think of a category and ask your guests to bring their favorite beauty product, book, household item, treat! Set a price limit so everyone gets to enjoy the same value. Be sure to have them wrap the gifts.

I love hearing what everyone loves and this party added to my growing list of things I want to try! If you went to a “Favorite Things” party like the one I threw what would you have given away?

 

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