Monday, 28 July 2014

Charlie's Desk

So the Summer is here and I have a now turned Senior Kindergarten at home for the summer. Of course the report cards come home from school in June telling parents and kids alike to keep up the good work over the Summer. Keep reading and writing and practicing you sight words. I had been thinking long and hard about what we would do with Charlie this Summer to keep him thinking about these skills, but not come across as work or indoor time, or... school. He is only 5 for goodness sakes. So it hit me one day when he found a feather. "Can I have it for my collection, Mom?" Sure. I don't know where these collection all go (except for the rock one that has started onto a second window ledge). This feather though, he was going to write about. In a journal. It's perfect. He loves to talk about what he did each day, so this Summer, he can record it. Glue in pictures and "collections". And along the way, practice writing and letters. So, that's what we are doing.

I got him a book to write in, well, I had a Smash book that I only used one page of, so now it's his. I took him out to get some special tape so he can stick his treasures in it and a new pencil sharpener. He has a pencil box he loaded with everything. Perfect. Except, one day it's at the kitchen table. The next it's on the coffee table. The next it's somewhere else. He needed a place to work that I wasn't constantly nagging him to clean it all up. I took to Pinterest, got an idea, then to Kijiji and by the end of the week, we were the proud owners of a kids desk and chair for $20. Sweet. And we had a project for the weekend.

First stop, Home Hardware for black paint. Which I usually have as a staple, but was out of. Second stop, the antique store for some old comic books.

Kids Desk and Chair we bought.
Comic Books
Charlie painting the new knobs. He chose blue.

Desk painted Black with two coats of varnish.
Finished Desk. Mod Podge the comic books to the top.
Top of desk.
We gave the desk a good sanding, it was missing a knob, so we picked up 4 new knobs as well. Painted it two coats of  Black Beautitone Cabinet and Furniture paint. Charlie wanted to paint the knobs blue, we just used craft paint for that. Hit some corners and edges with sandpaper to give it a worn look.
Next, we cut up the comic books into small pieces. We found these really great Looney Tunes comic books for a $1 each at the antiques store. Charlie loves Spiderman, but they didn't have those, and I was trying to do this cheaply, so I didn't want to get new ones. Plus, this faded newsprint colour is awesome! We lucked out and found a Wile E. Coyote comic which is Charlie favourite Looney Tunes charter as well as Daffy Duck featured as a Fireman in another book which was also fitting. We chopped them up and used Mod Podge to stick them all over the top. We did the edges first, then the flat surface on the top. Once we were done, I coated the entire top in one good layer of Mod Podge.
Finally, the entire desk and chair was coated the whole thing in three coats of Varathane.
We moved it into Charlie's room and it's perfect. He loves it and immediately filled all the drawers and got started working on his journal. It's been a great spot for him to sit and work, and keep all his stuff.
Happy Summer!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Fabric Design

It's been a busy Spring! Actually I have been working on lots of Graphic Design stuff which has been kinda nice for a change. Some wedding invites, 60th Birthday invites, Baby Showers, Movie Wedding Posters. Quite the selection I must say. I also did a show that I will post about later for the Midhurst Rate Payers.
For right now though, I wanted to get this pic up as now that the wedding has passed, I can post it and know I won't ruin my gift to the happy couple.
Last year I discovered this website called Spoonflower. A super cool site that you can upload your own graphics too and then they print you design on the fabric of your choice and mail it to you. I have too many ideas in my head for this amazing service so I just kinda panicked and didn't do anything with it.
Then, this past winter, our neighbours were planning their wedding. When they asked if I could give them a hand with some of the invitation stuff, I was pumped. It has been a while since I had worked on wedding invites and I forgot how much fun they are. Especially since the invention of Pinterest! Catherine and Mike (the Bride and Groom), had this kind of rustic, outdoor, classy thing going for their theme. In my looking around trying to design their invites, I found this image of a tree. It was too cartoon-y for a wedding invite, but I saved it because I loved the image.
As the wedding approached, I found the image and remembered the fabric printing. I could make a pillow! What a cool thing and I thought they would appreciate the connection to the wedding theme. It turned out amazingly well I think.

Front of Pillow
Back of Pillow
Because of the size of the design and size of material I ordered, there was half of another print. So I cut out the Catherine & Mike heart and stitched it on the back of the pillow. The pillow has no zipper because I don't know that I'm advanced enough sewer to attempt zippers. The back is a different fabric that I found that matched the design. So there are two pieces that overlap on the back making it easy to remove the cover and wash.

So, if you are creative and like to sew, check out this Spoonflower site. So cool!