Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Shop Update: 4 New Summer Bags

I added 4 New bags to GrayDayStudio today. They are inspired by summer and make a great light weight bag, perfect for the beach or around town and only $18!

More Colors to follow!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Before and After: Side Table makeover for only $12

I recently made over our little side table, it only took me a few days and only cost $12. Here is my Before and After post to share the process of this quick and easy makeover.

Above: you can see its original state on the left side, a very shiny mahogany finish popular in the 1950s. We have a lot of color in our living room so I knew I wanted something simple and neutral. And since we don't have a lot of black in the space- black paint felt like the right solution.

My Mom had leftover black paint, so no cost there and the knobs were $6 each from Anthropologie.

I simply sanded the table to knock down the high gloss and in some areas I sanded down to the natural wood finish in order to have it appear through the black paint when I sanded the final coat of paint. My mom recommended having a rough finish on this piece since it's very difficult and frustrating to achieve and maintain a pristine black piece of furniture, plus this way it will wear well over the years- during more moves and exposure to toddlers.

Detail shot of the knobs and the roughed finish.

TIP: To get a worn finish to a piece, simply sand the areas that would normally get the most ware- corners and exposed edges.

After two coats of paint I lightly sanded the top layer to expose the brown underneath. Then I finished the table with one coat of furniture wax.

After: The table in our living room.

And the table at night.

I am very happy with the result! It was a fast and inexpensive makeover that really transformed the piece, bringing it up to date and fitting into our space better. This project can now be crossed off my summer bucket list! Next up continuing to chip away at sanding the dining room chairs!

A Love Letter to Summer

Hi all, Happy Monday! It's officially summer and with the fourth of July right around the corner, it feels like summer is moving fast already! Sorry for my blog absence last week (if you noticed), my husband's brother and his wife were in town from Alaska and then after they left the husband worked 4 days of 13 hour shifts... that really turned into 14-15 hour shifts. He leaves at 5:30/6am and most nights wouldn't get home until around 9pm, IE: after the kids are in bed- sad for everyone involved... Thus life was a bit full on for me, but I'm looking forward to his two days off this wednesday and thursday!

And stay tuned for this week's blog posts- progress on my summer bucket list, a family post about father's day and the kids, berry picking adventures, and NEW items coming to my etsy shop etc... Have a great start to your week!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Links and Such

Hi All! I hope your week is going well!? This week I sold two of my photo booth backdrops for a graduation party given in less than two weeks! So I'm busy making 80 garlands!!! I also hope to have my new canvas bags available by the beginning of next week, so stay tuned.
Here are this week's links I've been enjoying!

recipe: golden beet and blue cheese risotto
DIY: Gold desk Ikea hack 
love this serving board
cedar swing bed, perfect for summer
DIY striped table cloth
writing books with your child
cute bowl
6 ideas for creative backyard play this summer
dip dye your own canvas shoes, or for your kid

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Concert going... Patty Griffin

As I mentioned last week, the husband and I had a little date night to celebrate our 5th anniversary. We went into Philly and saw Patty Griffin in concert. It was a very fun evening, I love hearing the stories behind her music. I've realized over the past few years that there are only a few performers I will see live... and Patty if definitely one of them! It was a chill evening and a great performance that inspired me once again to FINALLY learn how to play my guitar! (what's the hold up!?) I also realized that I've been listening to Patty since 1998, but more religiously since 2000.

Here is patty (the night after we saw her) preforming Wild old dog from her new album American Kid. The album is a tribute to her late father. I'm a fan of all of her albums, each one is full of beautifully written folk songs that send me on a little journey. If you want to learn more about Patty, I recommend checking out her live album, Live from the Artist's Den. This album is a great collection of some of my favorite songs plus I love hearing her stories.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Bucket List, 2013

I can't believe it is June already! Summer is officially here and I have a sneaking suspicion that it is going to fly by! thus the other night I began musing with the husband about what our summer bucket list should entail.  We are already booked to go camping with our friends back in Maine at the end of August... but what are some of the other to-dos on our list that will speak back to the more care free days when summer was a time of possibility, change, and potential...? Instead of what it appears to be today- the husband works long and crazy hours, while I man the home front in all of its domestic glory.  I feel like I need to make myself an upbeat summer-esque soundtrack to blast on the rare occasion I'm in the car without the kids!

So here's what I have on my list so far. (and after drafting it I'm realizing this list is not as carefree as it should be, it's more project oriented...!)

1) Get the vw bus family friendly: We've had the bus for almost a year and although she needs some bigger things done to her, there are a few basics that we can accomplish right now that will allow us to use it as a family. IE: install the bench seat we made last summer and the seat belts etc that will allow us to put two car seats in there! And then poof we can all pile in and drive around on adventures to go play in the river. (Last week we sold the original bench that came with our bus so now we can buy new chrome mirrors and headlights to replace the rusted ones!)

2) Redoing our hand-me-down dining room chairs.  They are chipping and could use a little facelift so my plan is to make them a bit rustic by getting them down to their original wood and applying a furniture wax to finish them off. Then I will cover the seat cushions with waxed canvas in either a dark navy or a teal/aqua- as seen in the above picture of the hints of color on top of the dresser. My hope is that the canvas will act as a contrast to the rustic finish of the chairs. I have 6 chairs in total- so wish me luck! (I figure if I work on them a little each day I can make progress quickly.)

3) Repainting our side table: I'm going to sand it, paint it black and add these new knobs from Anthropologie. I already have the paint, so the cost of the makeover will only be $12 for both knobs!

4) Add fresh Merchandise to my etsy shop.  It feels incredibly daunting to find time to shower let alone to make new art, but I'm strategizing how to do this. Mostly by working a little bit each day and then scheduling a big chunk of time when the husband is home- for me to accomplish a bigger task like screen printing an edition of bags, etc. It's exciting and I can't wait to share my new pieces with you!

now for the more carefree portion of the list.

5) Berry picking
6) camping in the backyard (maybe...?)
7) Installing a hammock in the backyard
8) Bike rides with the kids at the shore
9) Cherry pie- baking it, consuming it
10) taking time to be quiet in nature (silence and quiet is highly sought after at the moment)
11) continuing to fine tune our home- organizing, purging, editing
12) find a fair or festival to go to...

Let me know what's on your bucket list in the comments!?

A Love Letter to Summer

Hi All, happy Monday! Here is my first Love Letter to summer of 2013. It s a seasonal and weekly series meant to inspire as we all hunker down at the beginning of the week... I gather images together to bring a little levity to one's Monday! Stay tuned, because later in the day I will share my summer bucket list here on the blog. Have a great Monday!

Monday, June 3, 2013

5th Wedding Anniversary

Sunday marked our 5th wedding anniversary! 5 years already... a little crazy. We are waiting to celebrate sans kids this Thursday night when we will go into philly for a concert and maybe a bite to eat.
 Here's how we spent the day as a family.

Last year I gave Cameron Nigel Slater's book Tender, so this year it felt only right to give him Slater's book on fruit, Ripe. Can't wait to dive into this book! The card was by modern memo on etsy.

For breakfast Cameron made us my favorite- eggs benedict with smoked salmon, tomato, avocado, and basil!

The breakfast scene with Cameron just returning from working 7pm-7am the night before!!

Later that morning we enjoyed the sunny day and washed the bus. It was a lovely day and fun to reminisce back over these past 5 years and to think ahead to what the next 5 will bring!

8 weeks old

On Saturday our son Ansel turned 8 weeks old, (counting sat-sat) a fun little milestone for all involved. So far life with two is exciting and bone tiring. But it's amazing to see how quickly I've adapted to taking care of two. However there are nights where the husband and I look at eachother in disbelief and wonder if we will live through this, lol. 

But it helps that Ansel is a very easy baby, as most 2nd babies are due to the parents need to split their time between the baby and older sibling. Thus he falls asleep easily and is content to stare at the wall for minutes on end, etc. He is smiling a lot more this week, which is very fun and rewarding and makes his interactions with his older sister very cute and fun to watch! He still has this slightly furrowed- old man look on occasion, and the quivering bottom lip is always adorable.

And he is growing and growing and growing...! At 6.5 weeks he weighed almost 14 pounds, giving him a weight gain of 1 pound a week. His growth spurts make us scramble to keep him wearing clothes and diapers that fit. 

He is a sweat little boy and I look forward to watching him grow and his personality and point of view unfold.


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