Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Stencil your Ceiling–the EASY way!

PBJstories How to Stencil a ceiling
One of my favorite additions to the nursery was deciding to paint the ceiling.  It truly brought drama to the room in a unique way, that was fairly easy to do!  Yes, I said it, it was easy to do. 
Honestly, if I was 8 months pregnant and could do it in a weekend, I believe ANYONE can do this!

I turned to my favorite company for stencils – Cutting Edge Stencils and asked them if they had any Chevron stencils.  They had exciting news that they were just launching their newest stencil which was two sizes of the chevron.  You can order your own CES Chevron stencil if you’re loving this pattern was much as me!

So now you’re wondering how I managed to tackle this insane project aren’t you. 
My first pointers:
Be sure you have one to two full days of uninterrupted time to dedicate to the project.
Take your time, and be ready to be patient.

Materials:
Chevron stencil from Cutting Edge Stencil
Painters Tape
4” Dense Roller Brush
Paint of choice (I used Modern Master’s Metallic Paint in Warm Silver)
Ladder
Music (for your entertainment)
Water (to keep hydrated)
Spray adhesive (optional – I didn’t use this)

I started in the corner and lined up the stencil.  My ceiling is a textured surface, knock down, so it did make the project a little more challenging, but again… do able.
I used little bits of tape on the back side of the stencil to help hold it up, and then used tape on the edges of the stencil as you can see the below image.
You can use spray adhesive and just spray the back side of the stencil, let it sit for a minute and then adhere to the ceiling too.  I didn’t because spray adhesive can be pretty strong smelling and needs good ventilation.  Because I was 8 months pregnant I just used tape, and had VERY minimal bleeds.

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This was my first time using metallic paint and I LOVED it!  Modern  Masters Metallic paint was really easy to roll on and left minimal stroke marks.  The quart size was about $25, and after I finished the whole project I only used about half of the jar.

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Just as with any time you stencil, you want minimal paint on your roller brush.  The more you soak up in the brush the more risk you have of bleeding with the stencil.  It’s better to go with less, and to do multiple light coats if you need. This will keep your lines sharp and crisp.

My next biggest and most useful tip I can suggest is this:
After I finished rolling each stencil I took down the stencil and put it face down and wiped down the edges of the stencil that had any paint build up.  This helps keep the stencil clean and your lines crisp. 
Then I flipped the stencil over and let the front side dry for about a minute.  Take your time and this is where patience will pay off.  This is when I took advantage of rest time and laid on the ground each time for a few seconds.  This let me relax my shoulders and neck. Honestly, I think taking this time is what saved me from getting so sore!

After about a minute it was time to put the stencil back up and move into the next area!
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I moved along the back wall of the room, moved the stencil over each time, taking my time to line each line up with each other.

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There were a few spots (along all the edges of the walls mostly) that I was unable to complete with the stencil.  This is where a little more patience comes in.  I just used painters tape and lined up the remainders of the stripes to the edge of the wall. 
In addition, the little tears of tape is where I’d mark where I needed to go back and do any necessary touch ups.  I left these pieces of tape as I did each section so I knew exactly where to go back and do touch ups when I was finished.
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The next hardest “trick” I had to realize was when I started the next rows of stencils I had to continue to line it up with the previous paint lines, and not the edge of the wall.  You’d think contractors and builders would make walls that were straight… apparently not.
Along both walls I had to follow the stencil and not the edge of the wall otherwise the stencil wouldn’t line up. 
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PBJstories stenciling tips
Slowly but surely I made way through the entire room.  Once I reached the end, the stencil wouldn’t fit up to the last wall so I had to hand stencil the last row of chevron. 
I just measured the width of the painted rows and the width between the painted rows and at each peek, made these marks and used painters tape to connect all the dots.
DSC_7520bIn this last picture you can see where two stencils lined up with the metallic paint and roller brush marks.  I just went back with the brush and painted in the opposite direction with the paint to cover these lines and blend spots together. 

This project took me about two days to do, I painted most of it the first day, and left touch ups and final paint spots to the second day.

I couldn’t stop coming into her room to look at the ceiling for weeks after I finished this project!  It made SUCH an impact in the room and is so unique I LOVE it.  Plus in a nursery, what a GREAT design and pattern for a baby to be able to look at, considering they spend all their time on their backs anyways… they may as well have a gorgeous ceiling to look at.

I cannot urge you enough to take the leap and do amazing projects like this!  I always think of big projects like this as the process may be a lot of work – but it’s a weekend’s worth of work for years and years of big payoff!  In our case, about 10 months of pay off as we’ll be moving by the end of the year probably BUT – until then I get to enjoy the work.

And seriously I WAS 8 MONTHS PREGNANT AND DID THIS – you can too! Open-mouthed smile

Please feel free to ask any questions if you’re thinking about tackling your own stenciling project!

You can see the wide selection of stencils from Cutting Edge Stencils here.
They also share amazing inspirational projects on their Facebook page all the time so be sure to like them!
While you’re on Facebook you should be sure to like my page too if you don’t already!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Baby Makenzie’s One Week Old!

It’s been one week since Baby Makenzie blessed our family!  She is such a sweetheart that continuously melts my heart and surprises me at how much I can love this new addition to our family.
She has been a wonderful baby from day one!  We had a rough couple first nights when we brought her home, but by the third night she graced us with three hour sleeping periods and has been on that pattern since.

The most sweetest thing she does is what’s called the smile twitch.  It’s a natural reflex they do in their sleep, and gives a sweet soft smile and she does it alllll the time.  I can’t wait to see her first “real” smile.

We did a little fun photo shoot today for her One Week Birthday.
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DSC_8019bHere’s a few I’ve snapped over the past week too.

In the hospital we had Grandma, Papa and big brother Jackson come visit us.  Do you know what true love is?  Because I witnessed it when I saw how sweet Jackson was as a big brother towards his new baby sister Makenize.
He adored her so much the second he saw her and has been so gentle with her, giving her kisses every morning and night.  Constantly calls her “so adorable” and “so cute”.  He shares all his stuffed animals with her and makes sure she’s okay anytime she cries.

I’ve never been more proud of my family, and my son to see the love towards our newest addition.

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IMG_0731bBaby Makenize in her going home outfit…. she wasn’t a fan at this point of the camera yet.
IMG_0739bJackson as a proud big brother.
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DSC_7953bBaby Kenzie’s first sponge bath at home. 
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IMG_0756bIMG_0759bShe is such a sweetheart she melts my heart every time I look at her.  And I’ve refallen in love with my husband seeing him be a new parent again.  It’s so much different than when you have your first. 
All the nerves and fears of how to handle a baby are gone.  My  husband was amazing the second he held her. He was confident, and loved her, and knew how to care for her.  In the hospital he was always two steps ahead of me and ready with anything I, or Kenzie needed.  I was in awe at the amazing father and husband he was.

I’ve been having a rough week with recovery from labor, and breastfeeding.  It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve had family here helping us every day, and again my husband has been so supportive and helping me in every way.
I’m taking every day by day and trying to get stronger to be  a good mom to both my children.  This past week has been amazing having two children.  I know everyone has warned me having two children is so different, and can be so hard.  But so far, it’s amazing. I have two of the most sweetest children and couldn’t be more proud of Jackson as a big brother.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baby Girl’s Nursery: The what, the where, and the goods!

Half the fun of putting together this nursery was finding unique pieces that came together so well.  It wasn’t until I started adding in accessory pieces that the pink tones even entered the room.  The ceiling, walls, and big pieces were all beiges and taupes.  I loved starting with a soft neutral backdrop and then being able to add in small pieces here and there to add in a feminine touch for her.

I wanted to do a full low down of shopping list of where I got everything in the nursery, or how I DIY’d different projects. 

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Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Cedar Key
Ceiling Paint: Modern Master’s Metallic paint in Warm Silver

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Crib: Babyletto Modo
Bedding: Custom bedding by The Heart of Hope Etsy Shop
Painting: Custom painting by Ashley Bridger Designs
Frame: Luckett’s Flea Market Sale
Ceiling Light:  Ivory Shade with Crystals Semi Flush Light from Lamps Plus
 
DSC_7886bClock: Rainbow Colors Wall Clock from Shades of Light
Baby Chair: Cream Sherpa First Anywhere Chair from PB Kids
Curtains: Steel Grey Curtains from Overstock
Rug: Modern Damask from Rugs USA

DSC_7763bNursery Rocker: Newco International Studio Recliner (I scored this beauty on clearance marked from $900 down to $250!)
Pillow: TJ Maxx Home Goods
Shelves: DIY’d using Ana White’s $10 Shelf tutorial

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Gallery Wall: Frames collected from Target and TJ Maxx Home Goods
Printables: Random sales from Zulily.com
Changing Table: Purchased from local furniture dealer, remade antique dresser
Flower Dresser Knobs: Rosy Knobs from Anthropolgie
Changing Pad Cover: Carter’s Wildlife Changing Pad in Beige

Let me know if there’s any questions!!!

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Monday, February 11, 2013

It’s almost time to do that yearly cleaning–spring time!

Have you guys started thinking about all that needs to be done around your home for Spring Cleaning?  I  sure have! It might be our warmer weather we’re having, or the serious “nesting” phase I’m going through the final days before Baby Girl is due.  But, I’ve started to put together a big long To Do list once the spring days are here.
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I’ve already started to do a few of the do’s because of the recent cold/flu season that passed I just wanted to get a fresh slate for our home as we bring a newborn into it.  I was recently sick with a pretty bad cold and after I got rid of it I just felt like scrubbing our house ceiling to ground.  Okay, I actually didn’t feel like doing it at all… but I wanted it done. I actually hired a cleaning crew that came in and cleaned our entire home.  First time I ever did it, and I went off and got my nails done during it. Not a bad day I tell ya!

Having them come in and clean our house was a nice start to a fresh clean home, but only part of it.  The other part is home maintenance that can keep your home healthy and clean for you, and everyone living in it.  One area specifically that can make a big impact is the air quality in your home!  We have forced heating/cooling in our home so we have the filters in the ceiling that you have to switch out every 3 months.  This is our first home having them, and when we moved in I was all “piece of cake I’ll totally be able to do that”.  Yah well, as I peek in the one that’s downstairs it’s covered in dust and needing to seriously be changed, I think it’s been like a year – seriously.

You guys ready for this? Do YOU SEE THAT FILTH! ugh, nasty.
Changing out air filters in your home
When those air filters become clogged and full of dust the air quality in your home will drop drastically as the clean air isn’t able to pass through properly.  This can effect your heating and cooling of your home, driving up your electricity costs even!  They’re supposed to be changed out every 3 months, last time I changed mine was …. about a year ago. YIKES.
It’s easy to do, yet one of those tasks that goes undone over and over.  We always use Filtrete Filters because of how they’re made.  A lot of my friends will use the no name pleated filters but after some quick research you’ll learn that Filtrete brand is 4 times better filters than the generic ones.  What exactly does that mean? Well it means more $ in your pocket, and better air quality for your family and friends in your home.  Other electrostatically charged filters with similar ratings (the other brands that state they’re #1 and cost WAY more than Filtrete) are actually tightly woven pleats/filters that actually restrict airflow in the heating and cooling system.  This drives your system to work harder to produce the proper air flow, driving up your bill, and wearing your system down faster.  My real estate agent actually even told us that during our tour of this home when we said we never have used forced heating/cooling. 

So what am I doing this year to help be sure our home is clean for our newborn and the rest of our family? Besides frequent cleaning to remove dust and allergens I’m forcing myself to remember to change out our Filtrete filters way more often as as they should be. 
Want to know my new secret to remembering to do it every 3 months?  One of my FAVORITE home maintenance websites – BrightNest.com. 
Bright Nest Website
If you’re not familiar with BrightNest.com I highly suggest you familiarize yourself immediately.  Not only is it full of useful home maintenance information, tips, how to’s, and articles but you can set reminders to yourself to do certain duties around the house!  It’ll alert you of new reminders via email, and also will include any typical home maintenance seasonal updates that may need to be done around your home like check your smoke detectors, checking for mold, inspecting your fire extinguishers and easy routine cleaning tips. 
Here’s a quick snapshot of their information about changing out your air filters:

Air Fliter Reminder
And see that little calendar icon and Set Reminder button? Yup that’s where the magic happens.  Just set yourself a reminder when you need to swap our your next Filtrete Filters in your home and you’ll be sent an email as the time comes.

Could I make it easier for your to have a healthier, safer, and cleaner home? Nope!
BUT – actually,  Filtrete Filters is having this awesome contest with Mike Holmes right now!  A Filtrete Healthy Home Remodel Contest!

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Grand prize winner will receive $30,000 worth of home inspections, repairs and renovations by a Holmes Group approved contractor.  In addition there will be four first prize winners that’ll receive $5,000 cash to put towards home repairs!  Contest is up and running from now until June 30th, 2013. 
How to enter:
Visit Facebook.com/Filtrete
- Explain in 1,000 words or less why YOUR home is deserving of a healthier home remodel and include two pictures to support your essay.

What a way to do some serious “spring cleaning” but to win $30,000 in home repairs to a new and improved clean home.

You can also follow Filtrete on Twitter @Filtrete, or visit their website, www.filtrete.com to receive e-newsletter updates featuring special offers and healthy home tips!

That’s right, I’m a Filtrete Filter gal!  This is a sponsored post featuring 3M’s Filtrete Air filters, but I’m also gushing about them because I love them and loving sharing products I use myself with you!
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Baby Girl’s Nursery! The big reveal!!


Where do I begin?
I have been hinting at this room for the past 9 months! You guys have been SOOO patient with me! I have been asking questions, posting teaser pictures, sharing my shopping wish list, talking NON STOP about this nursery ever since I found out we were having a little baby girl!

Well, I can finally say it’s FINISHED and just in time for Miss Baby Girl to make her appearance (hear that missy, it’s TIME FOR YOU TO COME!)

I’ll just jump right in and share TONS of pictures with you guys! Ill do a quick little shopping list with you at the bottom but will definitely be following up with a more in depth source list of where I got everything, and all the little DIY’s that I did in this room.  For now, let’s all drool over this room that is MADE for my PRINCESS !

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Source List:
Ceiling Stencil: Cutting Edge Stencil – Large Chevron
Ceiling Paint – Modern Metallic’s Warm Silver
Wall Color – Benjamin Moore Cedar Key
Crib – Babyletto Modo
Wall Clock: Shades of Light
Crib Bedding: Custom made by The Heart of Hope
Crown Painting: Custom created by Ashley Bridger Designs
Ceiling Chandelier: Lamps Plus

By the way about two years ago I first revealed this room in my “quick makeover” that I did as a guest room under a budget.  To see what it USED to look like check here!

More posts to follow up so stay tuned!

Sharing via a few of my favorite parties!
Tutorials & Tips - Home Stories A to Z
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