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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

DIY Canvas Nursery Animals

Hi everyone! I'm back as promised with a tutorial on how to make the adorable nursery art we did for Sarah & Shaun's nursery.  This is a really easy project, with a great impact, we were pretty proud of ourselves.  (Oh ya - by the way - they had their baby! Georgia Rae was born on September 25th, 2017.. Congrats guys, she's adorable!)

So when Danielle and I were planning different projects for the room, these cute animal wall decals kept coming back into our heads, but there were a few problems.  The colors and simplicity were great, they weren't overly cartoonish, and they had great reviews so the quality checked out.  But we both agreed we didn't want the animals just "floating"anywhere in the room (that would have worked with say, birds in flight... but standing animals?), and would rather make a focal point out of them, but how? Also - they are renting this house & not sure how long they plan to stay, so we wanted as little future tear-down duties as possible.  Then one night, while organizing my mountains of craft supplies, I saw a pile of canvases, and it hit me - why didn't I think of that before, it's so simple! Adhering these cuties to canvas not only makes them movable, but creates a larger overall piece of wall art instead of just the stickers themselves.

So we gathered up our supplies, cleared the table & popped a beer - it was craft time!

You'll need:
First I chose & laid out 9 different sized canvases from my stash, even pulling a few fabric wrapped canvas leftovers from previous projects (for more about canvas wrapping click here, it's another super simple way to add wall art to a room).  
Here they are all cleaned up, I had to remove roughly 1-2 million staples from the backs of the 3 fabric wrapped canvases.... clearly my past self did not want that fabric going ANYWHERE.....
I always keep a huge roll of brown builders paper around the house.  Not only for impromptu projects like this one, but for when friends with little ones come over, brown paper becomes our color-able  table cloth.  Add a few jars full of washable markers & let them at it! All the adults end up drawing too, so it's fun all around.  You can find it near the paint at any hardware store, or online of course.

Then we just went for it! Both of us started most canvases with a solid base coat, and then built up from there.  The paints dry fairly quickly so you don't have to wait long.  Although, catching the paint before it dries makes for some fun blending!

We had no plan, just some good tunes & a Hawaiian beer..this was Lemongrass, which.. on first sip.. is pretty gross. Then a few sips later, is good! Island magic I guess...
Playing with the yellows.... I used a dry foam brush to fade between the yellow & orange. Just go for it, you can always paint over it if you don't like the results. (which I know I did at least once....)
We tried to mix up the patterns & colors to get a good variety, but all of them go along well with other colors in the room.  Orange & yellow weren't in our original plan, but the rug, a pillow & some sunshine plush toys were orange so we knew it would work just fine.
Don't forget to paint the edges if you don't want to frame your work.
That's where we quit for the night, and left them to completely dry.  Fast forward to the big day, and all we had to do was peel our stickers from the roll, and place them on the painted canvas. Unfortunately, we were moving along so quickly, I completely missed taking pictures of that step! But, really, all it would have been was a photo of one of our hands putting it in place... you know the drill.  The comforting thing about this step is these are completely removable & re-positionable, so that takes some pressure off.
Whoah, hello glare! For the record, the stickers ARE matte finish, I'm just not the most observant photographer - clearly! You know, side note - back when I started this blog, I was using a separate digital camera, then importing the photos, etc.  And now, I'm just using my phone you guys - truth be told.  But how can I not?! The resolution has gotten so great on phones that it long surpassed my old camera so.. what are ya gonna do? 
I really love the way they pop on that Healing Aloe wall!

So that's it! It's not a hard tutorial, doesn't really need step by steps... but it was fun to take pictures of our little painting party.  I love that it's so simple - There are thousands of these wall decals out there, so this same process can be used for any room, not just nurseries.  Would make a great gift, too!

If you missed the tour of the baby room, you can see that here - be sure to check out the video about halfway in the post, it puts the room into much better perspective. 

Well thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed this project - and if you make any canvas nursery animals, be sure to send them my way! I love seeing what you all are up to. Hit the links below, or you can tag me on Facebook & Instagram as @NineRed.

Have a good one!


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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Baby Nursery Reveal! After & Before...

Hey everyone! Well, I'm dusting off my keyboard and putting my blogging sweatpants back on, finally! I'm back & I'm really excited to show you one of the latest projects we've been working on, I've had to keep ALL clues of it totally quiet since it was to be a SURPRISE nursery makeover for our good friends, Sarah & Shaun. This is their first baby, and my friend Danielle and I decided our gift would be a nursery make-over!  Don't worry, we did tons of detective work beforehand to be absolutely SURE they didn't already have something planned, and with the help of Shaun being our inside guy, we were able to successfully pull it off.  We did this room, top to bottom, in ONE DAY you guys... That was the craziest day I've had in a long time, and let me just say, I slept VERY well that night.  So originally we were going to do kind of a bohemian safari feel for the nursery... but luckily before we bought too much, Shaun told us that they were starting to pick out sheets & accessories that were more woodland, so we swapped gears...If you want to see what other ideas we had in mind, check out the Pinterest page devoted to this room.

OK enough intro, let me show you the room!  This will be a picture heavy post, you've been warned. I know this is out of order, but I'll show the finished project first:

Do you love those animals?! I do! Danielle and I made those, well sort of - we used these wall decals from Amazon, but didn't want them just floating on the wall...  So we painted up some canvases I had lyin' around, I'll have a whole post about it later. Having these done before hand was a huge help!
Curtains are IKEA (sadly I can't find a link, they might be gone!), as is the plant hanger - and the amazing blanket was made by Ralph's Grandma Lorraine, so sweet!  And what a great match....

Sarah's mom refinished that rocker in all new fabric - what a pro! It came out amazing and matched the room perfectly. We made the chandelier above it from ripped strips of fabric.  I like that it gives a nice soft light, and is literally soft... It was so easy, I'll post a full how-to on that as well.
This bookshelf was Ikea also, it's the Kallax Unit with some simple accessories.  The doors are part of the available accessories, that magically they don't have AGAIN!  Well, they do, just not in green.  Come to think of it, we did this nursery in July or so.... which is right when Ikea goes through it's big annual change... it's making sense now... I SHOULD have built this beforehand, it definitely ate a good hour of the day.

This rug was from there too, it's NEW and called Lattjo..Ikea really pulled through for us:

Now that I've learned I can't get those curtains anymore, I'm kicking for myself for not buying myself a pair! Haha.... Ikea loves to do that to us, don't they? I love the green leaves! Here's a close up:

This cabinet was built in already. Really useful for all the baby supplies they are going to be stashing. All we really did to incorporate it into the room was paint the wall around it, and add a curtain in matching colors. It sits on an inexpensive tension rod, so we were able to have that completely made before the big day & just popped it in.  I had wanted to install all new cabinet hardware, but there are 19 handles on that beast, and this is a rental so....we chose to spread the budget around other ways.

Clearly, photographing small spaces is rough (for me at least!), so for a better idea, take a look at this video - side note, I had JUST gotten out of that chair that is rocking ghosts up in here:

And the before shots, just did a little four corner action....

 Danielle caught me bloggin'.....

Sarah & Shaun had collected a lot of baby furniture already, and with that ceiling being wood as well, it came together really nicely!  Especially for their woodland theme... plus, not having to paint a ceiling & trim was a MAJOR time saver. There were grand dreams of painting furniture at one time, but when you learn you have ONE day to do it, projects hit the chopping block REAL fast.  Before I forget, the paint names we used are:

  • Behr: Healing Aloe (S400-3) - paint & primer in one, eggshell.
  • Behr: Moth Grey (N200-1U) - paint & primer in one, eggshell.

I started writing down codes for our paint that we buy. You know why? The labels ALWAYS fade off that can, and news flash - Behr likes to change color names. For the same color! But the code is supposed to be the same so, learn from me. 

The paint is still a little wet in these photos, but it gives you an idea of the color:

 Yea.... the shiny & the streaky... it was half wet here, it definitely looked better shortly after!

Quick side note - so if you've noticed there's only tape around the light fixture, you're right - we didn't use ANY tape! Just had the help of this Shurline edger tool that you can get online or in most hardware stores.  Just be sure not to overload it with paint, you can get drips that way.  If it's your first time, play around on some test areas to get the hang of it.

Accessory wise we were pretty proud of ourselves. We scoured thrift shops, discount stores, and clearance racks for things that would work well in the room, or that we could easily make-over. Danielle was super excited to get them stocked up on baby books, she found tons at the thrift shop & scoured through them to find the like-new ones:
Bambi of course was in there... I wasn't sure if we were going to dissect the Bambi book to use as some sort of wall artwork - but once we were in the room we realized we had less space than we thought, and of course wanted to give THEM room to customize the place & grow into it. With a project this fun it was REALLY hard not to go overboard.

With the thrift shopping we really were just looking for foundation items, things to give us the headstart so we could tailor/redo/repair to go with our look. But as luck would have it, a gold lamp & a ceramic animal were found on our FIRST visit.... score!
The shade was destroyed, but I recognized the lamps label to be that of Target, so I knew any standard drum from them would fit, and it did:
This cute little baby bird light caught my eye right away, and it luckily worked!  It was lime green with a gold trim, and it took me a good 2 or 3 days to realize it MIGHT actually be an Easter Peep? (Worst candy ever)..... Whatever, cute night light if you ask me. 
Baskets are always useful, token white vase, naturally... 
So I know I've mentioned IKEA a lot and I SWEAR I'm not sponsored by them or anything (I mean, I wouldn't say no.... call me Ikea! hehe....) but they had SO many cute stuffed animals for kids! Some of these are even puppets... so if you find yourself needing a haul of plus woodland baby animals, plan that visit.
Ok one last, funny thing, from our shopping trip.. so I'm going around the thrift shop, and I don't know if I was hungry or what, but we went to the frames area... You know, to see if A) we score on some perfect wall art or B) we at least get some cheap frames to do our own thing with... and this raccoon just stared into my soul...
Danielle humored me for a minute, then distracted me, but I kept going back... "Are you sure?" I'd ask, and she finally had to break it down for me, telling me it's very different than the rest of the room's style - which it was.  So I agreed, then naturally rushed back to get it while I was being rung up.  Well I did everything in my power to make it cuter, painted the frame black, tried to get the picture OUT of it that was glued in, just to clean it up a bit.... but that raccoon didn't want to budge.  I stuck to my guns, brought it with us as a "just in-case" there's a lonely corner... 

Meanwhile, Danielle was planning to re-purpose a picture frame they already had, that had 5 or 6 photo spots in it.  When we got there and she wanted to put it together, the frame was GONE. Turns out, they got rid of it LITERALLY the day before we did this - so guess who came to the rescue? You know it - raccoon frame! Ah..... I just love when that happens....
The rest of it all came together naturally, luckily they already had a few light cord sets with paper ball lanterns on them, which are simple & give a really warm light to the room. We had taken inventory and measured the room MONTHS beforehand, and I'm so happy that it wall worked out in the end, and that we were actually ABLE to pull it off in. one. day.  Great work Danielle!

As for their reactions? Speechless! Shaun already knew we were doing it but hadn't seen a THING...Sarah knew nothing, though later said she suspected SOMETHING but nothing like this... they walked in the door, there were tears... hugs... and then soaking it all in.  Lots of oo's & aa's... We should have gotten a video but we were too in the moment! They loved it, which was a huge relief for Danielle & I!

Congratulations Sarah & Shaun on your first baby, Miss Georgia Rae, who's due to arrive literally any day now.  Thanks for letting us invade your space & let loose with our creative sides, it was fun!

And thank YOU dear reader for reading to the bottom of this post! You my friend, are something special.

Back with a few tutorial posts soon for some of the projects you see around this nursery.


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*Full Disclosure: If you decide to purchase items from links on this page, Amazon will send a small commission to support this blog at no additional costs to you. This helps cover the costs of keeping this thing up & running. Thank you for your support!

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Back with a Book, Baby!

I'm back! Do you even remember me?  Ha-ha, I hope so - I know it's been SO long, and I really am sorry about that gap, but I hope that my announcement excuses me just a teency bit.. So, some exciting news, it looks like.... I wrote a book?!?!  Just about a year ago, just as I was hanging up my hammer for the season, I was approached by Interweave (an awesome craft media company) with their idea of me writing a how-to book on string art.  I was so flattered, honored... and REALLY intimidated! I'd never written a book, but they reassured me they'd walk me through it, so I said yes...  And here she is, the finished product, over a years worth of many peoples hard work;  DIY String Art by Jesse Dresbach:
What do you think? It really didn't feel real until I was editing the preview of the book... and then it really hit home when I had the physical copy in my hands.  I'm really proud, I learned a TON, and I couldn't have done it without the help of so many people at Interweave, especially my fantastic editor Stefanie... she was in charge of taking my giant pile of directions & patterns and transforming them into a beautiful book that actually makes sense.  And man, she nailed it.. (pun intended, ha!)  So before I get into a few preview shots of what's been my last year, here's an amazon link to the book for those who have been asking about it:
It's also available on the Interweave website, as well as many booksellers & other fun retailers out there.  Keep an eye out! I appreciate everyone's support (and major patience!) on this journey.

So there are 24 designs in the book, and I did almost all brand new ones. I had to keep a few of the classics that people have asked about how to do (Retro Sea Snail and Retro Crescent Moon have been  MAJOR pattern requests!).  Take a look at a few faves:
The geometric fox was a new one, and instantly a favorite.. so fun to make!  This book project totally reinvigorated my string art love, allowing me to get really creative and branch out.   In the book you get all the patterns of course, and tons ( I mean TONS) of directions & support.  All nicely laid out into sections:

Here's a peak of the table of contents listing the projects:
And for wonderful book eye-candy time, here are few of my favorites from the book:

You can see some of the harder to explain-with-words projects get a little step-by-step picture action like our friend Ginkgo up here.  But once you get the hang of it, I'm confident you can tackle all these projects... and you'll be a pro in no time! :)

Well that's what's been going on in my life, hope you all have been busy with fun projects & gearing up for summer! I'm happy to get a lot of my free-time back, and I definitely look forward to posting again.  As I've mentioned before it might not be as regularly (see my gripe-fest at the end of this post) - but it will definitely be more than every 18 months! Whoah, time really flew there...

For the in-between snippets you can find my social media links below, & a huge HUGE thank you, for hanging in there with me.


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Thank you for visiting Nine Red .com

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