This Thanksgiving I decided it would be fun to make an advent calendar with my five year old niece. She loves crafts. And candy.
The idea of an advent tree came to mind and so I picked up some square dowels at Lowe’s and got to work figuring out the measurements.
I really only needed two dowels with cuts for branches at 4, 6, 10, and 14 inches long.
Then I used some wood glue and applied it to each side (the trunk and branches) of the tree.
Since we didn’t have small clamps to hold the joints together I delicately laid a cook book on the structure to press the pieces together and allow it to dry.
The resulting bond was surprisingly strong. I then applied a little more glue to the base that Howard made with a drill and chisel and put it in front of the fire to dry.
After drying overnight, I applied two coats of white paint. I debated using green but thought white would be a good base so it would be decorated in different colors in future years if the project was successful.
When my niece saw the advent tree she was so excited to decorate it and immediate hid it from her brother until he went down for nap. When all was calm, we assembled 25 little candy packages. I used candy gift bags but cut off the bottoms and used the cellophane paper to make four squares from each bag that I turned up into little pouches. Then I tied the bags with paper tags from Staples and some ribbon.
My niece did an outstanding job of numbering each tag and hanging the candy in order on the tree. She also added a sticker “angel” to the top of the tree.
The tree was a fun activity for us to do together but I might assemble the bags in advance next year if there interest in decorating it again. Overall it took about a half hour to make the little candy pouches but I could tell that my favorite five year old was loosing interest when she asked if we could stop after the number 14.
Photo credit: Annie Morris
I’ve always been an advent calendar lover but didn’t make myself an advent tree. Instead I lucked out when the mitten advent calendar from garnet hill was marked down for Black Friday. It arrived this week and I immediately hung it on our stairs. I thought the calendar would be small enough to put over the mantel but they are much bigger than I anticipated. Either way, I think they look pretty cute.
We have plans to decorate the house this weekend. Tell me, do you have an advent calendar? And is your tree up yet?
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The final chapter of painting has come to a close. Unlike the three-coat trim here, I only used one coat of primer and two coats of paint on the window grilles.
Partially because I don’t love painting in my pj’s in the morning.
And partially because no one will notice.
Despite no one putting their nose to our finished work, we did buy some new grille fasteners because each lower window only had two clips when there were supposed to be four. So new fasteners all around since the last painting crew decided to sloppily paint the fasteners too.
Once the paint cans were moved out, it was time for me to move the furniture all around as if I hadn’t tried the table without the leaf before.
Ultimately the furniture stayed in its previous spot because it made sense before and continues to make sense for the room. Sometimes you never know. For example, the artwork that was in the room before didn’t make sense now. So we spent a good amount of time running around the house holding up artwork and trying not to scratch any of the walls.
And then the new-to-this room curtains went up. These are the shades that were previously in the bedroom here.
Can I admit that I don’t think any of these photos do the room justice? It’s so pretty now. I just stand in the doorway and stare. I caught myself wasting too much time doing this when I saw the same jogger pass by two days in the row. And I wonder how I haven’t had any time to do laundry lately….
And now it’s time for a look back. We have lived through three stages of this room. There was the way-before us photo when the house was lived in by a family with three kids.
Previous Owner’s Room
Then there was our “we’ll just replace the light fixture and live with it” renovation that got us through the first three years in the house.
And then we have the today (hooray!) finish photo.
To recap, finishes are:
- Walls: Benjamin Moore – November Rain
- Trim: Olympic – Heirloom Lace
- Light Fixture – Quiozel via Horchow
- Dining Room Table and Buffet – Cabria by Crate and Barrel
- Dining Room Chairs – Napoleon by Pottery Barn
- Curtains – Pottery Barn
Tell me, what projects are you working on these days?
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Well, I pulled the plug and decided that Benjamin Moore’s November Rain was the color of choice for the dining room. Before heading out to the store, we listened to November Rain and it almost made me change my mind since it’s such a sad song. But, I’m glad I didn’t because it ended up being a good color for the room.
Our weekend was filled with painting and more painting. Howard was awesome enough to tackle the ceiling all by himself.
And the old light fixture (here) came down.
After a few tries, the new ceiling light fixture from Horchow was up! It took a few tries to get the right size screws. I swear, it’s never as easy as it looks.
Then it was time for a little November Rain.
It took two coats of paint with some
glamour unglamorous sweat pants shots in between.
The color primarily appears to have a green tint to it in the room but it changes by time of day.
At night it looks like a pale grey. And sometimes it looks tan.
We also had to put another coat of paint on the trim. Not only because it looked like it needed a third coat but because Howard realized I used an old can of Olympic’s Heirloom Lace in a flat finish. Oops. I apologized eight times for that.
I still need to finish painting the window grates which are currently on the floor. I’m hopeful that one coat of primer and two coats of paint will do the trick this time.
The last step is to hang the curtains and artwork. I’m not planning to put the same art up on the walls as it felt a little stuffy before. I’m hoping we can make this room feel a little more casual and relaxing so we use it more.
Now tell me, does it take you a month to get your painting done too?
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged benjamin moore, heirloom lace, november rain, olympic paint | 2 Comments »
This weekend I’ll be back at the dining room project. Could we have an end in sight? Not if I can’t pick out a color first!
I’m leaning towards November Rain by Benjamin Moore. And not only because it makes me sing Guns N’ Roses each time. And not because it’s been a rainy November. Even though those are excellent reasons to pick a paint color.
Benjamin Moore November Rain
I like the color because it’s tan, no, grey, no, green, no, blue. November Rain seems to reflect the color in the space and varies with the light. It seems to be the perfect solution for someone who is completely indecisive when it comes to picking pain colors.
You can see in these Houzz photos just how different the color looks.
Do we have a winner? Let me know what you think!
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Leaves, leaves, everywhere.
I’m going to blink and wake up to snow.
Happy Friday everyone!
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So much for that weekend project I started weeks ago!
Since then, I’ve taken some baby steps to put up some more samples and (almost) finish the trim paint.
The trim has required one coat of primer and three coats of paint. I’ve been using Olympic low VOC paint in Heirloom Lace because it matches the rest of the downstairs trim which made it super easy when it came to painting the doorways. No taping required. In the future I will pass on Olympic paint and just stick to Benjamin Moore.
The amount of painting it took to get the windows done was ridiculous. I got really lazy about taping all of the glass each time and learned that cutting in with the paintbrush and then going back over the glass with a paper towel 10 minutes later gave better results.
Our dining room is in a state of pure chaos at the moment. I still need to paint the window grates, the ceiling, and the wall.
We decided the ceiling fixture that wasn’t installed all that long ago (here) should be replaced too. It was a tough decision with varying price points and long discussions of ‘it’s the only thing in the room that we have to spend any real money on‘ and ‘we don’t even use the room‘ and ‘who notices the light fixture unless it’s really ugly.’
In the end I ordered a plain fixture from Horchow. Which upon arrival did not look like the photo online.
It will be just fine though. Now if only I can stop agonizing over the color of the wall.
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I woke up on Saturday morning with itching to get at least one project on the Cape done. I had planned on a very relaxing weekend, heck, I didn’t even bring my camera and we all know that home projects require proper documentation. The chips from two weeks ago were sitting on the counter staring at me and so I pulled up my last blog post on the front door here.
was an overwhelming were a few people who wrote me to say that they strongly preferred the darker blue options over the beachy sea green that I was leaning towards. So I just tried to match the samples to the color on-screen and ran with it. No thinking. No second cup of coffee.
The color choice was Benjamin Moore’s Bedford Blue. It was not in the running the last time I had checked out the color chips. I could debate all day about shades of blue but then I wouldn’t have gotten anything done.
The color difference was life changing. The Benjamin Moore exterior paint was by far the best paint I have ever used as it went on smooth and even. No primer needed. I highly recommend it.
I painted two coats after allowing the first to dry overnight. The paint was ready for a second coat after four hours but it meant we had to keep front door wide open and it was a little chilly so I chose to paint on day two in the fall sunshine instead.
Since I didn’t bring my camera, it was near impossible to get a shot that actually shows the true blue color. You’ll just have to come and visit.
And since it was cold I failed to take a shot from the curb but did capture this image while lounging on the couch.
After two coats of paint, I had barely made a dent in the can. There was still almost a full quart left. So, I decided to paint the oars too.
Howard declared this his favorite shade of blue. And I had Madonna’s True Blue stuck in my head all day. A small price to pay for a shiny new coat of paint.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged bedford blue, benjamin moore, exterior paint, front door, oars | 1 Comment »