Decorating with Maps: an easy project

bathroom map Every time I see a room using a map as decoration, my eye is immediately drawn to it.  No matter the room.  I think they are so very cool, especially in a boy’s room.  pottery barndecor padorange baskettwin bedspottery barn map playroomclassroom chci HGTV bedroomsweird doll my same mapIt turns out, I own the wall map you see pictured above in these last two photos.  I bought it two years ago when we decided to homeschool.  I had such grand disillusions of how I would daily reference the life size map during our geography studies.  And now two years later, still rolled up in the tube they shipped it in, while my children are in a school where someone else is teaching them, I pulled the map out to create wall art for Thomas’ room.

Sounds about right.

I figure, if God is going to use Thomas to conquer kingdoms, maybe the kid should have a map on his wall to study those lands he will one day conquer.

Thomas already has a great room for a little man:

Dude room 061

Dude room 060

I didn’t want to change anything major, just add to a few walls. Here’s what I did:

I purchased three large canvas’ to apply the maps to:blank canvas

I used basic, black acrylic paint to paint around all the edges.painted edgeNext, I cut each piece of the map down to fit the size of the canvas.  I was hoping to place each part of the map in it’s proper place allowing the maps to fit together like a puzzle.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it work due to space limitations (no big deal, the end result is still cool).

map to size cutting map(Please note my scissors read, “Do not use me for paper”.  This means I’m about to get a talkin’ to.)

Then using Mod Podge, I attached each piece of the map to the canvas’.  I sealed the top with one more coat of Mod Podge.

And on the wall they went, opposite the little warrior’s bed.3 maps 2Lastly, I hung my newest painting on another wall in his room.  I’m starting a new series of paintings, “Lambs and Lions”, great art for any child’s room, girl or boy.  Email me if you are interested.ram

A Loft for Kids

carolines spotWhen we added the third story homeschooling room, in the eaves of our house we had unused space over the girl’s bedroom.  The way we look at it, to not finish and use the space, would be to waste it.  We found a way to tie it all in, and the result is a whimsical little corner of our house just for the girls.   A loft just for them.2 girls in loftThere is a small attic door which leads from the homeschooling room into the loft, complete with railing, bridge, and trap door which Kev built.  I didn’t approve the trap door with drop down ladder in the design phase…I was vetoed.  view from homeschooling roomThey climb from the bedroom up, it’s craziness, and all I do is holler things like, “Y’all are gonna break your stinkin’ necks if you don’t stop swinging from that ladder!”climbing ladderThe view from their bedroom looking up:looking upAnd the view from the bridge looking down:looking downIt’s a fun, girly, tweenish space.
Ellabooksbutterflies and lanternsbenchFor those of you that may ask, the monograms are from Custom Cut Monograms on Etsy.  They are wooden, were beautifully laser cut, and I primed and spray painted both monograms gold.  I would highly recommend this Etsy Shop.  Have a great weekend!

2 girls in loft

Kitchen updates with Paint {and a dilemma}

fv 3When I can’t find words, I paint; and when my painting is terrible, I write.  Each serves as respite therapy for the other.  It’s weird.  We officially remodeled our kitchen 5ish years ago, but that doesn’t mean I can’t repaint stuff.  Recently, I have been painting a lot.  The walls needed some improving.  They were a plaster finish I had applied, but had never really been crazy about.  They were a little “yellowish”, and everything else was “grayish”, so I repainted.  I do not get all bent out of shape about repainting things, it’s all part of the creative process.   If I had always settled for first attempts in life, I would be bored and stagnant, and I refuse to accept either of those two things.  Lest you think I am about to start preaching, let’s get back to paint.  I repainted my walls with this delicious metallic plaster which looks like dessert to me.  Technically, I didn’t paint it, I troweled it on.  The color is “Crushed Pearl” and you can find it here.  I mixed Crushed Pearl 50/50 with a product from the same line called O’Villa Plaster.  The online customer support at Faux Effects told me not to mix those two products together, but I ignored them, and I’m so glad I did.  crushed pearlThe finish is subtle and neutral whitish/grayish.  It’s sublime.walls 2

framesNext, these chairs.  Many years ago, I purchased them for pennies.  Their carvings were interesting, and they were a random warehouse find for a good deal.  The wood finish was pretty, and the seats were neutral, so they worked.  Through the years, these chairs have been abused in every way humanly possible, and I have loved that.  My babies have spilled more bowls of baby food and spaghetti than I ever thought possible.   With each spill I would take the chair to the backyard, hose it down, and bring it back in when it dried.

But then Annie Sloan created a chalk paint color called French Linen, and I knew it was time to repaint the chairs.  And if you’re gonna repaint chairs with a color called French Linen, you might as well recover them with a fabric called French Linen.  Y’all, I have a problem.      before chair

chairarm of chairI antiqued the edges a little, allowing the warmth of the underneath wood to show through, giving it just a touch of age.  And here’s a little secret…if you hit wet chalk paint with a hairdryer to speed up the drying time, guess what happens?  It cracks.  Can you even stand it?!?!?  I used Annie’s lacquer to seal the chairs rather than her wax.  The lacquer will be more durable in the kitchen.  cracklingThe next kitchen change I made was painting my windows and doors black.

rosa's shades This single decision might have been the best.  The result is sharp and clean, and if I hate it in 5 years, I can repaint it.  I know, I know, the audacity.  And for those who may ask about the light fixture above the table, it’s my favorite in the house, but honestly it almost took down an otherwise strong, healthy marriage.  Okay not really, but I will say this one thing.  Our ceiling is slanted, and the down rod on the fixture is fixed and straight.  Oh for the love, it wasn’t pretty y’all.  There may have been some gnashing of teeth.  The fixture is Circa, and you can find it by clicking lighting

Lastly, one of my dear friends gave birth to her fourth daughter over the weekend.  She might be one of the most beautiful babies I have ever laid eyes on. 20131021-145440

They won’t give her to me, so now my conversations with Kevin disturbingly sound like this….

Poor guy. “Snip snap snip snap.”

(This post contains a video.  If you are viewing the post through email, you will need to click over to in order to view.)

The Great Wall of Prayer

full wallIt’s the two story wall that leads up to our homeschooling room.  It’s a big wall, and I was having a tough time determining how I was going to make it pretty.  It was too large of a space to leave it painted the neutral wall color throughout our house, it bored me.  I knew it needed something fun.  We ascend and descend those stairs at least 20 times a day; and on one of those many trips, it hit me.  Yep, that’s gonna be a chalkboard wall of prayer.  My husband said, “You’re weird.”  I said, “I know, I can’t help it.”CarolineWe painted the entire wall with chalkboard paint using a two story ladder, a level, an overhead projector, and chalk; and we now have a place to write down our prayers that we bring boldly before the throne of grace.  You know you can do that, right?  No tipping toeing into His presence with small requests.  You can be bold.  You should totally have a chalkboard wall too.  I’m certain of it.

We hung empty gold picture frames (I’m a picture frame hoarder), so each of us has our own space to write requests.

So now when I sit with the girls at our table, my view towards the stairs is a better one.  It makes me happy.
Homeschool Room And completely changeable whenever I want it to say something else.  I love that.  For now though, I’m sticking with asking for mercy.  Mercy And if you are ever not sure what to pray for, take it from Thomas, just pray for trains.  Always pray for more trains.
A few answers to questions you may ask:

-I used chalkboard paint from Home Depot, nothing fancy.

-I did not season the board like everyone in the universe says you must do before you use it the first time.  There were two reasons for this.  One, the wall was too big and I refused.  Secondly, as long as I wipe off the chalk with a wet rag as opposed to a dry eraser, I cannot see any “ghost lettering” that people say will be left behind.  It wasn’t an issue for me at all.

-The print font I used is called Barocca Monograms, and the fancier letters I free handed on my own after looking at a few online that I liked.  The font of our names is written in Brush Script.

I will most certainly paint another surface in my house with chalkboard paint.  I’m irritated it took me this long to do.  Be brave.  Be bold.  Go do it.  You will love it.