Friday, June 29, 2012

Yo Gabba Gabba room wrap up!

I thought I would take this Friday to wrap up the Yo Gabba Gabba/  Habitat for Humanity of Greater LA kids room project!  Thanks to everyone for all of the sweet messages and comments regarding my work!  I am proud of what I was able to pull off for a super low budget in such a short amount of time (less than a day to tape, paint and dry and install).  Sure, there is a lot more I wish I could have done, if given the time.  Now I have a taste of what the folks on those HGTV design competition shows go through!

The Wildbrain Entertainment folks created the above video, recapping the project, to share with all of their fans.  When you see me in it, please keep in mind that I had been hard at work painting, moving furniture, etc in the 14 hours leading up to it being shot after a 5 minute clothing change.  It is always hard watching myself on camera and seeing this I know I sure could have used those fab hair and make up gals that glossed me up at the Today Show or Nate Berkus!

To recap the DIY projects I have already shared from this room:

One project that I haven't touched on yet is the twin sized duvet cover that I made (with the help of my friend Alison and her sewing machine).  Yo Gabba Gabba bedding is currently only available in Toddler sized, so I had to make something for the twin bed.   Thankfully there are some cool Yo Gabba Gabba printed fabrics available from a company called Hoffman Fabrics.  I picked the pink print because it was the most neutral of the designs and because I knew the girls sharing the room love pink! We used 8 yards of fabric to make the duvet cover and a standard pillow case.  Super easy...  the width of this fabric doubled and sewn together is the perfect length for a twin duvet cover.  Then we folded it over, wrong side out and sewed the top and side seam.  We left the majority of the bottom seam open to easily slip the comforter inside it.  The bed sporting these fine threads was for the seven year old and I like that it is a subtle character print and therefore works well for an older kid. This fabric was also used to make the curtains in the room.

The last remaining DIY project is the cool round painted rug in the room.  I have painted a lot of rugs before however I usually follow my tried and true method of mixing latex paint with fabric medium on a flat woven Ikea Erslev rug.  This one was created using a rug painting kit donated by a company called Vecco.  The plush rug is 5' diameter.  I watched a quick how to video on their website and then I got to work.  I started with taping a pinwheel design on the rug and then layered the flowers and diamonds using the stencils they provided.  I layered a letter F within the design because both of the girls sharing the room have names beginning with F.  I used 3 cans of Pink Fizz colored paint, 1 can of Orange Candy, 1 can of Pears in a Pod and 1 of Blue Burst.  I then used 4 cans of their sealant to set the colors.

The cool thing about the Vecco product is that when you mess up in your design you can vacuum it up and start over as long as you haven't sealed it yet.  The rug feels quite a bit rougher in the spots with paint and sealant on it and not as soft as the unpainted parts but still comfortable to walk on.  Definitely an easy project to do!

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Thursday, June 28, 2012

d.i.why not? fab striped starburst walls

I'm excited to share today's DIY with you.  Even though this was a part of the Yo Gabba Gabba/  Habitat for Humanity of Greater LA kids' room project, I think the pattern is pretty cool and something that will appeal to any age.   Originally I was planning on doing a much more intricate design (along the lines of the cool hexagon wall I painted last year or even something like one of my past painted rugs) but when I learned that I needed to start and finish the room in one day (including paint drying time!!) I knew I had to think of something that wouldn't take nearly as much time to tape out and still be great looking.

I have been obsessed with cool graphic patterns and starburst designs in particular for a while now and have created lots of projects incorporating them from rugs to crayon and clothespin wall art.  I really wanted the design to look like wallpaper on the girls' walls and I think I achieved that!

And, here is a glimpse at what the room looked like before we got started!

When I learned that pink was their favorite color I knew I had to use it on the walls.  I love pink as well!  So, Poetic Princess from Behr was my color choice.  And thanks to the kind donation from my new friends at Behr we had plenty of it!  And don't you just love the name?  In my next life, I totally want to be the person that names paint colors... We used the Self Priming Interior Flat Enamel and used the base coat that was already on the walls. I picked the paint from the chip (something you should never do) and lucked out that the color was exactly what I had in mind, pale but not too pale and no where near Pepto Bismol!  Phew!

The other key ingredient in this project was Frog Tape.  I had never heard about Frog Tape until I decided to paint my own hallway walls with gold metallic stripes and had quite a bit of dripping and feathering through the standard blue painters tape.  When I told my sister about it she said "you should have used Frog Tape and that wouldn't have happened."  So, the thing with Frog Tape is you need to be sure you are adhering it to primed latex paint that has already cured for a minimum of 3 days.  Otherwise your results will not be so successful. 

To replicate this design, here's what you need:
  • Frog Tape (depending on your walls use delicate surface or multi surface)
  • Your Behr Paint color of choice (Poetic Princess is what I used here!)
  • a level
  • scissors or x-acto
And the how to:
  1. Make sure your walls have been properly primed and cured before starting, and test the frog tape first!
  2. Start with using your level and measuring and taping vertical stripes on the wall that are 18 inches apart.  This is the most time consuming part of the whole taping process.  Because there were a few volunteers helping me with this, I had one gal using the level to measure and pencil in the stripes, another person followed and taped the stripes and then I followed with the starbursts going around the room.
  3. Add starburst pattern by taping a horizontal line across your vertical stripe and then a diagonal stripe across the center on each side.  Use scissors or an x-acto to cut the tape so that the edges are clean.
  4. Vary the starbursts from vertical stripe to vertical stripe so that every other starburst is in the center of two starbursts on the vertical stripe next to it.  ** Note, these starbursts were all eyeballed and not measured to exactly match each other.  It was all done free form  and trust me it is easy!
  5. Paint the tape edges onto the walls so that they lock in place and then paint the entire space.  I did two coats in this room
  6. Once dry, pull the tape off, do a little happy dance, and then ooh and ahh at how cool your creation is!!

Locking that tape in with paint! It was a hot and humid day and we needed to work quickly!

The 7 year old gal in the Habitat family pitched in to erase pencil marks!

I mentioned in my Yo Gabba Gabba room reveal post that I had some amazing volunteers working with me during the painting and installation day.  And all 4 of them work on the actual Yo Gabba Gabba show (3 are dancers/ costume characters and one works on the fab sets!).  I was so lucky to have such fun and awesome folks helping me paint and assemble furniture that day and couldn't have come anywhere near completing the project in a day without their help!  All four of them had such a fun spirit and a positive can-do attitude and really came to work and I was so appreciative!  They contributed so much to making this room a success!  One gal in particular, Hanh, is in charge of painting the actual Yo Gabba Gabba sets and she was awesome in giving direction to the rest of the crew on how to properly paint this room while I was muti-tasking. So, when you watch the show, know that the folks behind the scenes and under the costumes at Yo Gabba Gabba are rock stars!

To check out other Yo Gabba Gabba themed DIY projects go here.  And to see the final room reveal go here!

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Monday, June 25, 2012

d.i.why not? groovy t-shirt pillows

For regular readers of my blog you may notice the lack of a motel today... my little Monday online celebration of vintage motels will be back next week.   Instead, I thought I would start the week off with a fun DIY I created as part of the  Yo Gabba Gabba/ Habitat for Humanity of LA kids room  I created.  I love these fab t-shirt pillows with pom-poms on the corners.  And they were super easy to create!  All you need is a t-shirt, needle and thread (a sewing machine makes it a lot quicker!), and scissors.  A super easy and inexpensive project.  This is one of the projects my friend Alison and her daughter helped with.  And we used their sewing machine, which made it go a lot faster. 
I started with the fab Yo Gabba Gabba t-shirts the folks at Wildbrain supplied... I think if you have cool t-shirts that you love or your kids grew out of, those will do for sure!  A friend of mine works in the music business and when she saw the finished pillows she said she was going to create some for her office out of her old favorite concert t's!  So, this project is definitely for "kids" of all ages.
First step is to "try the t-shirt on" to the pillow and eyeball  how it fits.   I used 16, 18 and 20" square pillow forms for this project.
Then take the t-shirt off of the pillow form, flip it inside out, and sew the top seam below the neck of the shirt and side seams inside the arms of the shirt.
Cut around the stitches you have just created.
Put the shirt back on your pillow form and tuck the bottom hem in and hand sew the bottom seam. 

Pretty cute, right??? Well, I decided that just the pillow alone wasn't enough for these gals!  I wanted to make them that much groovier by adding pom poms to each of the corners.  I was planning on making them using the tried and true method involving cardboard that my mom perfected when making pom poms for the tops of my roller skates as a little girl... well, that was until my friend Alison introduced me to the greatest invention of the modern age... 
That's right...  the fab  pom pom maker by Clover!!  It comes in different sizes, I used the largest.  I watched a quick YouTube video to learn how to use it and whipped up enough pom-poms for my pillows.
 And I just love how they jazz up the girls' beds!
Great big thank you again to my friend Alison and Maddy for their help with these.  And by the way, her daughter is a budding jewelry designer (Madelyn Jade Designs) and has an etsy store worth checking out!  She definitely has her finger on the pulse of what gals young and old could use to jazz their outfits up!  And the prices definitely fit in an intern's budget...

To check out other Yo Gabba Gabba themed DIY projects go here.

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Monday, June 18, 2012

motel mondays: iowa edition

I just got back from a fun family filled trip to Iowa for a cousin's wedding.  I come from a large family and it is always a blast seeing my cousins and aunts and uncles.  Today's motel, the Strawberry Motel, is thanks to my family in Iowa.  They all read my blog and told me about this great place called Strawberry Point with a big old strawberry in town that had a vintage motel.  So, some aunts and I made the trek so I could snap some photos of the groovy sign.  Pretty cute, right?
And I love that all the doors to each room are painted a great shade of strawberry red!

And let's not forget the fab big strawberry in town!  It sits above City Hall.  No idea what the history on this beauty is but guessing it must be mid century from the looks of the building below.
And I loved the groovy concrete and glass design on the side of the building. Definitely going to use it as inspiration for a future DIY.

During a break between wedding festivities I visited a cool place in town, owned by my uncle, called Plum Creek Archery (if you are ever in Dyersville Iowa and have a hankering to learn how to use a bow and arrow you should check it out!).  Ever since I witnessed those cool guys in Bhutan practicing archery I was dying to try for myself and see just how hard it is!  So my aunt and I went to give it a shot one morning.
My first try was a little off target.  More like, on door.  Somehow I completely missed the target and managed to shoot my arrow directly through the storage room door way too the left of the targets.  Oops.
I will say it is a lot harder than it looks and I thought I was strong and fit until the first time I pulled the bow back!  Holy cow is that hard!
Happy to say I vastly improved my aim as I got fairly close to the bullseye in my next tries.  I can't wait for my next visit so I can try it again! Oh and one of the guys working there showed me a cool pink bow that he said would be perfect for me.  Definitely the girliest of all the choices, and it probably would have been my first choice.  My aunt pointed out that I was probably their first visitor trying archery out while wearing a sundress.
my cousin's son deep in the field of dreams
I grew up going on family trips to Iowa every year and it wasn't until recent years that I noticed just how beautiful the countryside is.  The miles and miles of bright green farmland set against the blue skies with fluffy white clouds are just breathtaking. When I was a kid I just focused on my dislike of the pungent smell of manure in the air but now just looking at how beautiful it really is kinda masks the smell. Not totally, but kinda.

So, it's common in my family to get married in your early to mid 20's, right out of college.  My aunts and uncles like to place bets on who is the next niece or nephew to be married.  Often, when we are all together hanging out,  they will throw out names about who they think will be next in line.  The funny thing is, over the last few years, I haven't even been mentioned as a possibility.  Perhaps they have given up hope for me?  Maybe they know something I don't? Hmmm...
I mentioned a while back that my cousin's fiance reached out and asked for my help with bargain decorating ideas for their wedding.  We had never met before this past weekend but over the last 6 months we have been communicating via text and pinterest.  I thought she should use vintage glass jars (my aunts have tons from all of the canning and jam making they do) and wildflowers along with burlap table runners over the white tablecloths.  It would cost next to nothing and look super cute!  So, the day before the wedding my aunts and I went picking flowers in the ditches and sides of road around town in order to fill the jars for the pergola they were being married under as well as the tables in the reception hall.

I'm pretty proud of how we all worked together to make it look great in such a short amount of time!  And the bride and groom loved it, the wedding was a blast, and I got to dance with my young nephews to my new favorite summer guilty pleasure song, Call Me Maybe... My 8 year old nephew is pretty skilled at recreating the moves made famous by the Harvard baseball team...

While flower picking we were joking to look out for poison ivy... well, I got back from Iowa late last night and am scheduled for the dermatologist this afternoon.  It seems I have returned from Iowa with a souvenier rash on my right arm. Oops...

Back to the Yo Gabba Gabba room DIY instructions later this week...

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

d.i.why not? hipstamatic wall art

I have to say that is little DIY project was one of my favorites in the Yo Gabba Gabba / Habitat for Humanity of Greater LA kids room!  And it was so super easy!   Certainly easier than the sticker decoupage.  I can't tell you how often friends or some folks that have just started hiring me for decorating advice are stumped by choosing artwork for their space.  Well, I think this project is such an easy solution!!  All it takes is a phone with a camera and a little imagination!

As some of you who have been reading for a while know I am very new to owning an iphone, even though I am  not cool enough for it and still haven't quite figured out and embraced all of its bells and whistles.  My friend's 7 year old had to show me how to work Siri (sadly, I am not kidding!)... Well, one of my favorite things about my phone is the groovy Hipstamatic App which was the best $1.99 I ever spent.  I love that I can take super fab photos and I don't have to spend hours using Photoshop to make them that way.  I was even more excited to find out that a company exists that specializes in Hipstamatic prints so the photos don't have to only live on my phone.  They are called Color Services and are located in Santa Barbara California and can ship anywhere!  These guys can print sizes up to 30" x 30" as long as you take the photo in the highest quality setting on your phone.  I called them and told them about this Yo Gabba Gabba/ Habitat for Humanity project and they were awesome about agreeing to provide prints.

As I mentioned before, it was very important to me to create a room that could grow with the girls and I wanted some super cool art gracing the walls.  So, I took the Yo Gabba Gabba plush toys that the Wildbrain folks sent me on a little photo shoot around LA.   The last time I did something similar was when my cousin Nate sent me his Flat Stanley from Iowa several years ago and I had a blast then too!

I took Foofa (the fab pink gal above!) to visit the famous Hollywood sign.  By the way, if you happen to be visiting LA and looking for the perfect unobstructed view of that sign, all you need to to is drive up Beachwood Canyon until it ends (right before a horse riding place) and park.  On the right is a hiking trail that offers a great view at about 20 feet up the hill.  That is where I took this pic from.  A lot of the photos were taken with me holding the doll in my left hand while shooting with my right.  Some were also taken with the help of the odd tourist walking by.  I met so many fun people that morning from all parts of the world... a family from Brazil, cool Japanese hipster kids, and some Russian gals...  Of course they all thought I was a little crazy but a few of them even asked to pose with the dolls for their own photos.

So, then I took Brobee (the groovy green guy at the top of this post) to visit the Santa Monica Pier.  Again, I met a lot of cool people that helped me stage a few of the photos.  One cute and helpful guy even asked me out while holding the doll!  Who knew that helping with this Yo Gabba Gabba project was going to also benefit my dating life?  Oh, and I didn't realize until I loaded all the pics into my computer that evening that there were a lot of guys on the beach in Speedos that day.  Yikes!  Knowing that these pics were going into a young girls' room and being blown up to an extra large size, I quickly weeded those out!

Once I chose my photos, I emailed them to the folks at Color Services and they sent me my 30" x 30" prints 24 hours later!  Everyone that saw the photos in person, including me, was amazed that the quality was so good.  I wasn't sure what to expect and was more than pleasantly surprised when I got them!  And since I was hanging them above the girls' beds, and we live in earthquake country, I opted not to frame them. Instead, I had them drymounted to foam core at my local Blick Art Supply on Beverly Blvd here in LA.  The normal cost for drymounting these would have been $30 each but they were kind enough to donate their services for this cause. 

I think shooting fun Hipstamatic photos of anything you love (pets, flowers, food... you name it!) is a great way to create cool art for your space. And if you don't have an iphone just borrow a friends for a quick photo shoot! I am totally going to use one of the photos I took at that Mike D Transmission LA MOCA exhibit I was so obsessed with and order a print for my own home.  I think it will fit perfectly within my living room!! I just need to figure out which one! Thinking this could definitely be a contender... And even some images of street art would be pretty amazing too.

In case you are wondering, I asked the folks at  Color Services if they can do Instagram prints too and they said yessirree!  But check with them first on the largest print size recommendations with Instagram before ordering.  So, go here if you are interested in doing your own!

To check out other Yo Gabba Gabba themed DIY projects go here.

Have a fab weekend and get ready for some more cool Yo Gabba Gabba room DIY instructions next week!

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

d.i.why not? sticker decoupage

In the Yo Gabba Gabba kids room I revealed last week you may have noticed some furniture pieces (3 to be exact) with crazy stuff going on... well, I got a little sticker crazy!  I had never decoupaged before in my life but I really wanted to do something fun with the Yo Gabba Gabba stickers that the folks at Wildbrain sent me.  I thought, wouldn't it be great to cover furniture with them?  And I wanted the designs to look cool from far away, where you wouldn't really know it was stickers for a kid's brand until you looked closely.  I think I succeeded and hope you do too!

I didn't have a lot of time for trial and error when getting ready for this room install so I started with a quick internet search and found a cool blog called Mod Podge Rocks.  I emailed the gal that owns it, Amy, with all sorts of technical questions related to decoupaging with stickers and she was awesome about replying quickly with answers to all my questions like - do I have to apply the glue below the stickers even though they are already sticky (yes!) and can I decoupage duct tape (no, you cannot).  Oh, and I also tweeted Rosie O'Donnell since she always used to chat about her addiction to decoupage on her talk show years ago but she never replied.  Thank goodness for Amy!

All of the furniture I decoupaged came from local thrift stores.  I completed a large square shelf unit, a play table and a nightstand.  The process I followed was the same for all.  The shelf was the most time consuming because it was the largest piece and because I created a striped pattern  where I had to be sure that every stripe of individually placed small square stickers lined up perfectly, covering the three sides.

Here's what you need:
  • Mod Podge (I used the gloss lustre)
  • Stickers (the ones I used are by Celebrate Express and Amscan, available at Party City and other retail stores)
  • Paint Brush (foam or traditional - I switched between the two)
  • Brayer (this is the rolling contraption that helps to get the wrinkles out)
  • Clear Glaze (I used triple thick crystal clear glaze by Krylon)
  • Acrylic paint (I used Montana Gold acrylic spray paint - I was told that Mod Podge wouldn't work with other types of paint)
  • Sandpaper (to prime the piece)
  • X-Acto (to trim any overlapping stickers from the surface edges)

Here's what I did:
  1. Sanded, primed and painted all pieces allowing them to dry 24 hours before starting the decoupage.  I used acrylic paint on all of the parts where I planned to decoupage.
  2. Applied the Mod Podge to the brush and the bottom of each sticker and then applied it to the piece and carefully placed the sticker where I wanted it.  For the play table and nightstand I started my design with a sticker in the center and then worked my way out into a circle and then added half and quarter circles around the larger one.  All of this was done free form with no sketching and measuring before.  Trust me, it is easy!
  3. After about 20 minutes I used the brayer to roll over and flatten that area and then used a cloth to wipe the excess glue from the piece
  4. After finishing one side of the piece I used the brayer again to roll over my design and wiped the excess glue
  5. I then used the foam brush to apply the Mod Podge to the top of the design, waited for it to dry and then did it again
  6. My final step was to add a few coats of the Krylon triple thick clear glaze. After all, these items were going in a kids room and I wanted those stickers to be stuck there forever!
  7. I then used some super groovy black and white checkered DUCK brand duct tape to trim the base on the play table and on the front of the shelf.  I did not use the Mod Podge on the tape.

I love how easy this whole process was.  I will say that I did try to decoupage Yo Gabba Gabba party napkins to one of the pieces and that was a disaster because they were so flimsy they kept wrinkling badly and ripping so I stuck with stickers for all!  And they worked perfectly!  And I think I might be a little addicted to Mod Podge now...

To check out other Yo Gabba Gabba themed DIY projects go here.

Stay tuned for more Yo Gabba Gabba DIY instructions later this week!

For those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... I created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the formerly almost 40 year old intern