Wednesday, February 6, 2013

DiY Chevron Canvases

Every month or so I get my beloved Ballard Design catalog in the mail.  And every month or so I flip through, only to end up with a TON of 'wants' and not nearly enough money to purchase even one item.  To avoid this month's disappointment in the constant reminder that I still have yet to win the lottery, I decided to put my creativity to work and make my own 'want' from the January catalog.

For some time I've stared at the blank canvas that is our house and wished that I owned a painting company on the side that not only allowed for a discount in Jeff Lewis Designs paint (seriously, I die for anything JLD), but also scaffolding to use at will for the ridic high vaulted ceilings we have in the great room.  Given that I hold down a full time job and I'm a relatively new mom, each day passes with no color on the walls.  Until this past weekend, when I got the crazy itch to paint an accent wall with chevron stripes.  I was totally gung-ho about the project and the finished product I pictured in my head, until I proudly voiced my plan to my realist hubby, who quickly reminded me that a) there was no way I was coming close to reaching the top of the accent wall due to the ridic high vaulted ceiling and b) we were having people over for Superbowl Sunday, which was probably more than enough excitement for one weekend.  My initial reaction was typical for me - sulky disappointment and about 3 minutes of pouting until my brain kicked in and realized he was probably right.  So in my attempt to not let anyone rain on my 'creativity gone wild' parade, I searched the house for something I could paint with chevron stripes.  Hey, if I wasn't gonna get an entire wall, I was sure gonna get stripes SOMEWHERE.  In the hall closet I found a large blank canvas that came in a 2-pack for when I was decorating the nursery.  Then I found a smaller rectangle one and a square one (the 2-pack canvases at AC Moore are always good to have on hand).  So I got the baby down for a nap, arranged my canvases, pulled out my paints & brushes, and poured myself a glass of wine (hey, it was Saturday, I wasn't at work, the baby was down - and as proven time and time again, I do my best work with my friend Mr Cab Sav by my side - a little home Wine & Design project!!).  So, I set up shop on the kitchen floor (where the sun was shining in through the bay windows and the paint I was inevitably going to get on the floor would come off easier on tile floor than carpet).

I started by making my own chevron stencil - there are a ton of stencils on Pinterest - just put it in the search box and find whatever one you think is easiest for however your brain works.  I traced the stripes in pencil, and didn't even measure how far apart they were...imperfection is beautiful to me (or at least that's what I tell myself to keep from going completely insane when things aren't exactly the way they should be).
While most people use painters tape as guides, I threw caution to the wind and used my steady hand and just painted the outline, then once all of the outlines were done, I used my bigger brush and painted the inside of the stripes.  (Note:  the 'steady' hand became increasingly unsteady the more Mr Cab Sav helped me, and freehanding the lines took WAY longer than I anticipated, so maybe the DIYers who took advantage of the painters tape idea had a good thing going).
Anywho, here's the first picture, about halfway through my first canvas:
Once I was finished with the first canvas and was exceptionally proud of myself, I decided to take full advantage of nap time and move forward with the other canvases.  I just kept the design throughout all 3 canvases by placing them beside eachother and using my stencil to match up the lines.
I finished all 3 and allowed myself a break for the paint to dry during a little sushi date with the boys.  When I got home, I did a little touch up work (defined some of the lines, darkened some lighter stripes and sponged some white paint over the pencil marks since my original idea of using an eraser failed).  I resisted the urge to hang them up that instant, and let them completely dry overnight. 
I could barely wait til we got home from church to rush home so I could put my finished product - that actually turned out better than my original Ballard Design 'want'. 

This should keep me satisfied with my blank walls - for a week or two.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Wow - it's been a long time since I last blogged.

If you followed my first blog, "We're Having A Baby, My Baby And Me" (, thanks for liking it enough to follow me now - post-preggo and LOVING life!
This blog will be somewhat different - I wanted one central location for all things that I love (family, cooking, shopping, decorating, etc)...and this is it.  There's no theme, there's no organization - just a melting pot of me, with a dash of the crazy chaos that seems to surround my everyday life.  One thing's guaranteed -- it's never a dull moment around here...and that's sure to shine through on this blog.  For example, as I type this I have recently-pumped breastmilk in a water bottle beside me (because in my "early morning/leave the house before 6:30am-although it's already 6:47am" frenzy I forgot to grab the breastmilk storage bags).  While an innovative and a quick-thinking individual, I fall victim all to often to 'blonde moments' - and I just took a huge swig of breastmilk rather than the water I have in the OTHER water bottle on my desk. 
Happy Tuesday.

If you're new - here's a few things about me:
~I'm one of the few native Charlotteans left in this beautiful city.  Sad, but very true...
~I married a Yankee...although he's the most 'southern, good ol boy' Cleveland, OH has ever produced - I'm talkin the open-my-door, 'yes maam/no maam', koozie lovin kind.  His parents raised him right and I'm blessed to call him mine.
~I became a mommy for the first time (after 13 grueling hours of labor AND a c-section) to the most amazing and perfect little boy on August 31st of this past year. 
~I LOVE to cook.  I feel most like myself when I'm in the kitchen (usually holding a kitchen utensil in one hand and a glass of wine in the other).
~I'm sure this comes as no surprise because I am, in fact, a female, but I LOVE to shop.  Like, seriously LOVE it.  I'm prideful on my ability to find things on sale - clothes, shoes, housewares, baby stuff, purchases are usually inexpensive and ALWAYS justified. 
~I also love to do pretty much anything creative.  I do freelance calligraphy projects (I like to paint, decorate, and take the 'blank canvas' of our first house, which we purchased in March 2012 and make it our own. 

So this blog is dedicated in honor of these things mentioned above.  From being a wifey/momma in the kitchen, in the mall or on the back porch with a can of spray paint, here's a toast to The QC Momma and trying to find the perfect balance between it all.