DIY

DIY: Fall Leaves on Canvas

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Five years ago, Mr. CG and I toured New England in mid October.  We started in New York City, drove through Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod, and ended our trip in Boston.

Boston.  October 2004.  Ring a bell ?  Imagine trying to get a room in Boston in October of 2004 when the Red Sox faced the Cardinals in the World Series.  Ooops, didn’t see that one coming in my advance travel plans.  For hours, we dialed every hotel in town.  We lost count of how many operators said to us, “You do realize the Red Sox are playing in the World Series at Fenway tonight”.

Sinking further into stupidville with every call, again and again I replied:  “Yes, we are aware. **Sigh**  Do you have any rooms available?”  But like Mary and Joseph, we were turned away.  There was simply no room at the inn(s).  At one point, I even begged, “I have an eight month old baby.  Take pity on me.”  After several hours, and a crazy stroke of luck, we finally found the very last hotel room in town at the Hyatt.  Exhausted, we watched the fourth and final Fenway game from the lobby bar.  Reinvigorated by the beers, we became Red Sox fans.  Well, just for the night.  I’m a little off topic.  Where was I ?

Oh yes.  Throughout our New England tour, we were privileged to witness the fall foliage show.  Amazing aspens.  Magical maples.  I loved it all.  And let me just digress again.  You New Englanders seriously know how to prepare some chowda and lobstah.  I must have gained five pounds on that trip, between the New York bagels and the chowda.

While we were touring Newport (I heart Newport), we ran right into John Ratzenberger.  Wait, Kate.  Stay on topic !  Okay, while in Newport, I picked up one of my favorite Christmas ornaments:  a maple leaf covered with gold.  It was the source of inspiration for this next fall themed art project.

fall leaves on canvas

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Feminine & French Inspired Fabric Covered Headboard

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

William Hickson once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” 

This is the story of my guest studio headboard.  A few months ago, I had an idea to convert some leftover cabinet doors into a headboard by covering them in fabric and mounting them on the wall.  It was a good idea, but the final result did not meet with my satisfaction.   

So I came back for Round Two.  This time, I did it right.  With some plywood, foam, batting and a discount curtain panel, I created a new and improved fabric covered headboard for my guests.  And this time, I trimmed in with some decorative moulding.

Here’s a peek:

headboard from left side

Here’s how I created this romantic and feminine French inspired fabric covered headboard. 

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Money Saving Media Center

Monday, September 14th, 2009

When we expanded our home three years ago, we added a small studio above our garage.  We wanted to add value by building a separate “granny” unit, and also provide a place for guests.  The studio was intended as a source of future income.  With its own small kitchen, it can be rented out to a tenant, or perhaps even turned into a vacation rental someday. 

For the first two years after our remodel, this space was completely unfinished.  Over the last year, we’ve slowly brought this space up to livability standards.  We even had my folks staying with us while their house was on the market. 

Since we are expecting a boatload of family and friends through the harvest season and holidays, it was high time I provided my guests with a comfortable space.  This weekend I focused on the media wall.  Formerly plain and sad, it is now organized and media friendly.  I built my own media center by repurposing some bookshelves and adding a custom display ledge. 

Here is the Before:

studio wall before

Here’s the After:

media center afterwards

Here’s how I did it.

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