Chronicles of a Big Girl Room: Light Up Canvas Art

This big girl room makeover is taking FOREVER.  We have the furniture, finally, but no bedding.  Being a typical three year old, she is very particular about the blanket she sleeps with and wants nothing to do with "cold" (cotton) duvet covers.  I'll probably end up getting one of PB Kids chamois duvets, but it seems like a lot of money if she's completely content with a fuzzy blanket!  In the meantime, I've been trying to focus more on the walls.  So far she has the two scrapbook paper dress canvases and her PB Kids inspired Princess Dress Boutique sign, but her room has a ton of blank wall space, so it still looks bare! 
Keeping with the princess theme, (I'm slowly losing the battle of keeping it subtle and more unique by focusing on dresses...) we decided to add a castle to the decor.  After a really fun trip to Disneyland where we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, we fell in love with the castle headboards that light up!  Here's a link if you haven't seen them.  I've had a canvas lying around that I originally painted for Lila's nursery, but never finished.  Before I had a chance to do anything with it, we moved and the girls switched color schemes, so it was up for grabs for Camille's room.  Here's what I came up with:
The castle is a replica of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland.  I pulled up a picture of its silhouette online and drew it out onto pearlescent scrapbook paper.  Because the paper was only 12x12 and the castle is pretty big, I had to piece it together.  You could also paint it on, or even get one cut from vinyl if you wanted to avoid seams.  I just really wanted to use pearly paper. ;)  The castle is glued on with rubber cement.  Oh, and the damask background is what I had previously painted.  I actually drew it onto contact paper and created a stencil.  I originally had big plans for this canvas, but I think it turned out pretty neat this way.

The fireworks are white Christmas lights.  I started with a strand of 50, but ran out about halfway through, (I didn't realize how many lights I'd be using for each firework!) so I added another 100.  Another 100 was overkill, by the way. If I were to do this again I would do the math beforehand and just start with 100 total!  Anyway, to create the fireworks, I drew firework shapes on the back of the canvas and kind of just jumped in.  I poked tiny starter holes in the back with an exacto knife and then poked my lights through.  The lights kept threatening to jump back out, so I secured them with hot glue. This part took a LONG time.  I don't know if it was just the hot glue I was using or what, but I had to hold each light for almost a minute before I could move on to the next one!  I had the genuis idea (of course when I was almost completely done) of just poking the holes in the canvas and then stringing the lights across the back rather than poking them through.  It would probably work just as well... ah, well, maybe next time. :)

Here is how I dealt with the back.  You definitely need to use a deep canvas for this project to wrangle the cords.  There's probably a much better way to do this...

 See all those lights on the bottom?  Those are all the unused lights.  My husband figured out which bulb to pull out so that those aren't lit up when the top ones are on.

Here's the back up close:

And the front up close:

And the final product once again:

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!  It definitely looks neat at night.  Best of all though was Camille's huge smile when she saw the fireworks light up. :)
Linking up to... 52 Mantels shabby creek cottage Weekend Bloggy Reading

For the Harry Potter Fans...

I've probably mentioned before that my husband is the most difficult person to buy gifts for.  If he needs something, he buys it, and if he wants something, only he really knows which color, size, style, brand, gigabytes of memory etc.  Every once in awhile I get lucky and he'll mention something and I buy it before he does, but it's a pretty rare event. ;)  For Christmas this year I decided to take one of our favorite scenes from Harry Potter and turn it into a sort of love note/piece of art for him. 
 "after all this time?" "always."
Even if you're not a super nerdy, take yourselves and your two tiny children on a pilgrimage across the United States to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida type Harry Potter fan, this is still a pretty sweet sentiment. :)   
I made this using my Silhouette for the words and hand cut stencils for the trees and doe.  The font for the words 'after all this time' is actually the font used in the books (I know, it just keeps getting more obsessive! It's Adobe Garamond in case you're interested.) ;)  To make the trees, I cut tree shapes out of brown craft paper and then cut notches in the sides so they'd look like birch trees, just because I like birch trees.  I looked up a picture of a doe and drew her on the craft paper as well, and then cut her out.  I glued the tree stencils down with glue stick (I would've used spray adhesive but I was out!), painted the gray around them, and then peeled the trees off after the paint was mostly dry.  I glued the word stencils on and painted inside of them, once again peeling them off when the paint was dry, and lastly added the doe using the same technique.  I sanded the whole thing lightly to give it a slightly distressed look. 
This will go in our bedroom as soon as I decide which wall to hang it on!  Quotes, song lyrics, poetry etc. make for really personal art pieces and great gifts... Valentine's Day is coming up!
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I love you because...

Isn't this such a sweet idea??  I think I originally came across it a year ago here, and I just finally got around to putting it together.  It took about 5 minutes.  I did have to buy the frames first, but I ended up already having one, so that was helpful.  After I designed them in PSE I just printed them on cardstock and put them in the frames.  I use a dry erase marker and write the love notes directly on the glass.  It's so fun to read them to the girls each time we go in their rooms.  Lila likes to point to the frame and say "I love you cause!" whenever we walk by.  When I first read the whole thing to her she repeated "I a good helper!" in such a proud little voice.  So sweet.  I've been changing it after I know they've heard it a few times.  Luckily there's a hall closet right between their rooms, so I keep the pen and eraser stored in there for easy access.

Our hallway is really dark, so they were hard to photograph, but this is what they look like outside the girls' rooms.  I think they're a really meaningful way to fill up the blank space!  I've included the art below in case anyone wants to print their own.  I think you can just save it to your computer!

Linking up to... Happy Go Lucky Weekend Bloggy Reading

Big Photo Strips

I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted anything! There's been no lack of creating over here, just a lack of a functional computer!  I guess my four year old laptop decided to revolt against the 15,000 photos I shoved into every nook and cranny of its memory.  Sorry little guy.  It's okay though because now we have a shiny new computer!
So in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas, both of which we hosted, I decided to complete a few projects that would help fill up our blank walls!  This is one of my favorite projects I've ever seen done (I originally saw it here), and now that I've done it I'm trying to refrain from putting them all over my house!!  EASIEST PROJECT EVER!
- 2x4 thin plywood (cut in half by the nice people at Home Depot)
- Black paint (I used acrylic craft paint)
- Cute photos of kids printed 12x12 (I had mine printed at Costco)
- Double-sided tape
- Sawtooth hanger and glue
The first thing I did was to have a little photo session with my girls.  I hung up a white tablecloth on the wall (I just taped it up) and had them make cute faces while I snapped dozens of pictures.  I picked out the four pictures I liked the best of each girl and had them printed 12x12 at Costco.  I think each one was $2.99. I chose this route because they were automatically the right size and I was kind of in a hurry!  I bought my plywood board at Home Depot, had them cut it, and painted all of the edges black.  To hang them, I used E6000 to glue a sawtooth hanger onto the back of each one.  I decided to attach the photos with double sided tape because these are hung in a high kid traffic area and if one of the photos gets ruined it will be easy to peel it off and replace it!  The hardest part was probably hanging them evenly.  These photo strips are hung on the wall of the landing that leads to our basement, so the lighting is terrible (hence the dining room shot above)!  Those walls are actually kind of gray if you can believe it. :)
I'm wondering how many of these I can get away with having around the house without it looking too weird... :)
***UPDATE:  These have been up for 6 months and the double sided tape is still holding strong!  I love that it stays up so well but that I can still easily remove a picture and replace it if I need to, or remove them all for a complete update and not have to get new plywood!  I used Scotch brand if that helps, and I'm not being paid to say this. ;)*** 
Linking up to... Weekend Bloggy Reading

Bloom Designs Today's Creative Blog Tip Junkie

Important Dates Art

Well, the cupcake liner L finally had to go.  We had a wedding shower this weekend for my best friend, and it just didn't go with the decor.  As I was making burlap banners for the shower, I came up with the brilliant idea of using burlap to make an important dates sign.  I originally saw the idea here and immediately designed one on the computer, but for some reason the burlap was calling to me and I knew that was the direction I needed to go with this project.
The space for the art is 11 x 14, so I created a document on the computer and printed it horizontally on two pieces of cardstock.  I used the same technique that I do to make burlap banners, and laid the burlap over the cardstock to use as an outline to paint over.  It's really pretty easy to do as long as you use a small angled paint brush.  The whole project took under two hours!

I still miss the fluffy L, but I love how this turned out!
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Tip Junkie handmade projects Days of Chalk and Chocolate One Artsy Mama Weekend Bloggy Reading Positively Splendid

Mother's Day Canvas Handprints

I have another darling Mother's Day gift idea to share!  I loved this kit from Red Envelope, but I wanted to personalize it with my own colors.  I made Camille's for myself for Mother's Day when she was 14 months old.  I started by painting the 8 in. square canvas dark purple and letting it dry.  The handprint part was slightly stressful, but ended up working really well.  I think I practiced on paper a few times before I put her little hand on the canvas.  When it was time to do Lila's hand, I decided to wait until she was 14 months old too, so we could have both of their hands at the same age (I think hers actually happened at 16 months... oops!). 

I was so worried about the impermanence of these, but recently thought of scanning them into the computer!  If I scan them I can do fun things in Photoshop, not to mention have them saved forever.  I'm always surprised at how fast these little girls are growing up, so I love having these sweet hands to remember when they were small.


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One Artsy Mama Whipperberry I Heart Nap Time It's OVerflowing