“Design” Circle of Life…..

You toil for days on a design project, put it on the blog and send your baby into the world.  You hope it inspires others to try their hand at the task, but all you get is the sound of cyber crickets?  Sometimes the life of a blogger is solidarity but other times you are bathed in the soft warm glow of comments, emails, Pinterest pins and Twitter retweets.

For myself, the stenciled wall I did in 2010 is the proverbial post that keeps giving.  I have received countless emails from  readers and fellow bloggers about the post gave them the push to try a paint treatment in their home.  I like to think that my blog post is part of the “design circle of life” (cue Lion King music).  Seriously, I firmly believe that by putting my effort, time and sweat (and at times blood) into crafting these projects, it helps demystify the process and inspires others to try.  In turn, those people inspire others and before you know it, a DIY revolution has transpired…..

Just call me the Ghandi of DIY (no offense intended)…..

But seriously, I was tickled when I received two different emails on the same day from Janice and Samantha telling me that they had taken the bull by the horns and attempted a Moorish tile paint stencil.  I am happy they did because the results on both turned out AWESOME.

Janice decided to use the stencil as an accent wall in her bedroom.  I love how her metallic paint plays up the sheen in her duvet and the sequins on her pillows…

Samantha of So Many Moments opted to use the Moorish stencil in her newly opened photography studio.  The stencil, while glam, provides a great boho quality to Samantha’s office that makes perfectly with the rest of the decor….

Kudos to both ladies for tackling the stencil project.  I love seeing how the same stencil completely changes the feel of a room.  With a little time and elbow grease, each got the room they wanted at a fraction of the cost of wallpaper.

Okay peeps, keep it coming!  If you have done any projects that were inspired by the blog, I want…I need… I must see them!  Shoot me a picture at lifeoutloudmail@gmail.com and you just may end up on the blog!

Check me out on Facebook and Pinterest as well as Twitter.

Boxing Myself In…..

Sometimes you have big ideas for a project.  You gather your supplies, set yourself up and diligently work at said task until it is completed.  And then you step back to marvel at your handiwork…..and realize the project you just labored on for several hours is a complete pile of dog poo….flaming dog poo to be exact.

 

Graphic Credit

 

And thus was my Saturday afternoon last weekend.  I woke up that morning with chevron on the brain.  As you all know, I have been lusting after chevron for a while now and will soon be incorporating it into my bathroom.  However, I thought it might be fun to spruce up some old metal boxes I had lying around the garage.  We needed some pops of color in the music room and it seemed like the perfect re-use DIY project since I had the spray paint and boxes.  All I needed to do was create a chevron stencil and be on my merry way right?  An hour to paint the boxes and an hour to do the stencil, so maybe 3 hours total.  Easy peasy right?

Wrong.

Well the first part of the project went fine.  I primed and painted the boxes a great orange color from Rust-oleum

 

Great orange color huh?

I let the boxes dry for two hours and started on creating the chevron template.  I downloaded the chevron stencil from Sunset.com and taped two of them together to get the size I needed. I then attached the larger stencil to a piece of contact paper and then took both pieces and attached it to a piece of heavy-duty paper.

 

Stencil looking pretty good so far.

Now with the stencil reinforced, I cut out the pattern using an Exacto knife and ruler.

 

This part took forever.....

So now I had a stencil, which only took me about an hour to do, so I was well within the time frame I set for myself, so the next step was to apply the stencil to the box and spray paint the zig zags white.

 

So far so good.....stencil is on and I am ready to begin painting....

Life is good so far……it’s still light out and I have plenty of time to let the boxes dry once I hit them with the white spray paint and place them into the room.  In my mind, I am already crafting the story on how it was just another easy and breezy day in my life of DIY design.  Yuppers, I may suck at culinary school, but I am a WIZARD at design.  As I am mentally racking up accolades in  my head, I am spraying the stencil and notice that the contact paper is starting to bubble slightly.  “No worries” I thought, I am going to be removing the stencil in a second, so it won’t matter……

 

Look closely and you will see where the spray paint seeped up under the stencil

Well as the picture details — yes it does matter.  It matters alot.  Upon removing the stencil, my little heart dropped.  My supposedly perfect chevron print was fuzzy.  Always an optimist, I simply assumed user error and thought “I must have applied the stencil wrong….let me try it on the side.  I can always repaint the lid.  That’s easy!”

 

Even worse than the top.....

In addition to the fuzzy lines, I now have this odd crackle effect on the chevron.  And even worse, you all are now subjected to my feet in the picture……

In the end, did I get my pretty chevron boxes?  Nope.  What I got was…

1)  A crash course on how NOT to create a stencil

2) A better understanding on the adverse effects spray paint has on contact paper

3) A science lesson on polymer-based oil paints and how they interact

4) The realization that I need a pedicure

But with every DIY design success, there are bound to be disasters.  I am just thankful that this disaster was on such a small-scale.  You live and learn.  And don’t worry, I painted the box white so I could try this project in two weekends.  This round may be lost, I will win the chevron war!

Powder Room Wall Graphic

When I first decided to paint the living room, I bought a wall graphic from Chiasso.com:

Cute Huh?

Photo Credit: www.Chiasso.com

 

Well a long story short, I ended up not using it in the living room and went with a wall stencil instead.  That decision left me with a rather expensive piece of very large art sitting in my garage.  I had no idea what to do with it for several weeks and then it dawned on as I was washing my hands in my rather bland powder room, that the wall graphic may work perfectly in there. 

And guess what?  It totally does!

I now have a home.....

Reflection in our Ikea mirror....

 

 Unfortunately, the powder room is TINY, so getting a full on shot of the room is short of impossible.  And I was a bad blogger and forgot to get a before picture when I started this project.  Sorry.  But you all may notice that my favorite color Glidden Seal Grey made an appearance here again also.  I painted two walls of the powder room thinking that painting all four would make the room feel like a coffin. 

Otherwise, the room came together really quickly with the majority of the items coming from Ikea:

1) Yellow Hand Towel

2) Mirror

3) Bud Vase

Overall, transforming the powder room took about $40 if you consider I already owned the wall graphic and paint.  I made the art above the toilet recycling some old canvas from our first California apartment, spray paint and spackle.  Posts of that DIY to come shortly.