Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Knock off wood art, take 2

Hello there! First of all, thank you all for the suggestions on the kitchen post last week – I’m still reading through all of them but have a few ideas in mind from what I’ve seen so far. Also, thanks for the ideas on the family vacation spots in my last post – I’ll be checking them all out!

So I’m not a big art-from-the-store kind of girl. I love having pieces in our home that are one of a kind and better yet, reflect us personally. I’ve purchased plenty from stores so it’s not like I’m an art snob, I just prefer to create pieces that are just right for certain spots in our home.

There was a spot in the “old” family room that needed large artwork so I decided to knock off some wood plank art I saw on the Pottery Barn website:

Pottery barn art knock off

Back then (I can’t believe that was two years ago already!) I was using a lot of blue tones and some pops of red in the family room, but I’ve gone to a more neutral pallet since.

I’ve had that art hanging in the room even with the softer colors in the room and it’s stuck out like sore thumb to me. The red and aqua colors were too much, and I wasn’t a big fan of the dark wax look anymore. I wanted something simpler and cleaner, but loved the look of the wood planks.

So. I decided to repaint the whole thing, but to do that took some time (more time than I imagined). I started by sanding the whole thing down really well:

The dark wax I used won’t take on new latex paint well so I tried my best to get every surface as sanded down as possible.

The wax gummed up my sanding pads quite a bit so it was a job to get it prepped:

I wiped it down really well with a wet cloth before I started taping off the strips. I used painter’s tape to tape off each board:

Taping them off really doesn’t take that long, especially the first couple of colors. If you don’t get the line perfect early on it’s easy to paint over down the line with a later color.

The time in this process came in the sheer number of those little bitty wood pieces and the drying time. Gah. SO. many. pieces. I don’t remember this taking this long when I first made this thing!

Once you get the first color done you’ll want to be careful taping over what you’ve already painted. For the next couple of colors I used a mix of regular green FrogTape and their yellow delicate tape:

taping off planks

Both work great – I actually use the delicate more than the regular over all because it works so well. I know I don’t have to worry about it pulling up any paint.

I did have a few spots lift up but those were areas where I hadn’t sanded well enough and there was still wax. I had a few of those. ;)

A couple hours later (that drying time dragged this project out longer than I thought it would take) and five colors later and I had finished artwork in much more soothing tones:

DIY wood strip artwork

I used paint colors I had from previous projects for the whole thing – hoarding paint pays off folks! ;)

The colors are Agreeable Gray (from the powder room) for the light beige boards, Rhinestone (lightened 50 percent) for the nearly white ones, Whitestone (from the master bedroom) for the light gray, Marina Gray (from the basement, lightened 25 percent) for the mid-gray and Storm Cloud for the darkest one. I’ve had that color so long I have no idea what I first used it on. I just grabbed what I had and I love how they look together!

I plan to hang this in the family room again but with the trimwork it may not work vertical like that. I actually like it better horizontal anyway:

DIY wood artwork

I left the nail holes on purpose – I kind of dig them. I plan to take a toothpick between some of the boards to get a more even look…but I couldn’t get to the toothpicks in the kitchen. ;) More on that in a minute.

Here it is hanging horizontal just to show how it looks – I LOVE the colors! It went from country looking to a lot more updated:

DIY wood plank artwork

It’s hanging too high in this spot, but it’s the only open wall I could get to today – our house is a total disaster. I’m not like, oh, ha ha, our house is a disaster! I’m like, seriously, never before has it been like this ever EVER disaster. The reno is coming to a close this week!!

Over the past week the floors in the family room and kitchen were patched, sanded down and then restained.

This is what’s really like behind the photo:

That isn’t even the half of it. :) Tonight we can start moving things back into the room and by the end of this week all the contractors will be DONE. Whoohoo!! I’m hoping to paint a fireplace this weekend!!

So there’s how I reworked one of my DIY art pieces – it took longer than I thought but the result was worth it! It looks totally different!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Family getaway

Hello my friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend!

We were away with family this weekend and it was wonderful. One weekend a year my entire family -- parents (my dad and stepmom), the kids and all the grandkids get together. It’s a treat from our parents and it’s turned into a wonderful tradition for us.

The problem is finding a location that can fit us all. I’ve mentioned before that I’m one of seven kids – there are full, half and step and I’m the oldest of them all. I was an only child for ten years too, the oldest and only is a dangerous combination. ;)

This time there were about 20 of us – you can see why it’s hard to find a place to fit everyone. Usually we go to southern Indiana in the fall but this year we took a trip down to Kentucky to a spot our parents love.

It’s called Mountain Laurel Lake in Harned, KY and there aren’t any mountains and the lake is really more like a pond, but the name is pretty, yes? We were truly in the middle of nowhere:

kentucky fields

It was SO quiet. And a welcome change from all the activity at our house over the past few weeks.

The main cabin was the biggest so it’s where we ate dinners. The kids (OK, and the adults) loved the horses:

And there was a fenced in area for all the dogs (we are an animal loving family) and plenty of places to sit and swing:

kentucky cabins

Down some steep roads were the rest of the cabins off the lake. We couldn’t swim in it but the view was lovely off our deck:

mountain laurel lake

We sat on the deck during a massive storm the last night and it was spectacular! Actually, we were out on that deck about 90 percent of the time, day and night.

They had little boats we used to just tool around in or get to the other cabins: kentucky cabin

The kids (OK, and the adults) loved them! Since there were so many of us we were in three different cabins and this made it easy to get to each other.

My favorite part was the hike my Dad kept telling us about. I’ve never seen so many mossy rocks!:

mossy rock

They were absolutely everywhere!

Big ones too:

It was really, really beautiful. I eat this stuff up – just love it:

The bugs…not so much. I think Dad was a little over his five girls and our fear of ticks and GINORMOUS spiders on this trip. But seriously Dad. GINORMOUS.

The scenery was just gorgeous though. Dad said there are usually waterfalls coming down but it hadn’t rained much before we went on the hike:

Kentucky hiking

A few of us climbed to the top:

That’s me up there. :)

And we got a hiking selfie while we were at it:

It was another wonderful weekend with some of the people I love most in this world. The only one missing was my husband – he’s been away on a work trip to Singapore for 11 days and is on his way back as I type. We can’t WAIT to see him!!

Did I mention there wasn’t any Internet or cell phone service? Well, we would get spotty service up at the main cabin, but we weren’t there much. So we were forced to bond and the cousins had a ball together. It was nice to get away with my boy too:

family cabin weekend

The heart and soul needs weekends like this sometimes. I love our parents for making it happen for the whole family.

Do you ever get away with your extended family like this? Any favorite spots? Anyone know of a a cabin big enough for all of us within three to four hours of Indy? We’re considering Lake Michigan sometime – that would be spectacular.