Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tri-pods and Photoshopping

So everyone on pinterest always have these tutorials on how to make photos look good. I've never really looked at one, but after working on the picture I thought to myself, "I ain't too  bad for an armature right?"
Chris and I decided to buy ourselves a nice camera and tripod a while ago. Figured we'll save the money from taking professional pictures all the time. The prof's might disagree with me... but I don't think we do such a shabby job! So I thought I'd brag a little.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nesting Anyone? How about DIY canvas paintings

So I'm getting rather pregnant. I probably should be packing my hospital bag... or finding a stroller... but of course those things don't have a chop saw in the process, so this is much more fun! I wanted to make these super cute paintings for the nursery (or as Chris and I have come to a peace-treaty of calling it the man-let cave). I came up with the idea a while ago, when I made a nursery board.
I decided to save myself some money and make/stretch my own canvases, instead of buying them. Especially since I wanted box framed (thicker) so that they would look awesome up on the wall without frames. I made them 2'x2', which turned out a lot bigger on the wall than I expected. A few 1x2's and some scrap 2x4's for the corners and I had me some frames.
A few screws in each corner and those suckers were solid. Only problem? They didn't exactly sit flat on the  wall. I shamefully didn't take pictures of how I fixed that problem, mainly because I was ashamed. Chris was surprised to find all 4 frames taking a nice soak in our bath tub, with dumbells keeping them sunk, one fine Sunday afternoon. After a good soak, I laid them on the flat garage floor with a flat large board sitting on top of them and loaded it up with lots of heavy things. Then let the heat of the Vegas day do the rest of the work. Tah-dah! Flat frames.
Stretching canvas is easy, nothing to be scared of. I've done it before with our 2nd year anniversary present.
Usually you'd use gesso to prime the canvas, but since these are more crafty type paintings and less masterpiece-ish I just used cheap white acrylic paint. And went to town drawing the animal silhouettes.
The grids make it super easy to get all the shapes and proportions right. It was really fun. I just use vine charcoal, and a little fixative when I'm done laying it out.
I painted the colors first, then went back with white paint to touch up and fill the animals in. It actually took A LOT longer than I was anticipating. I think just because the paintings were so big! 
And here they are hanging on the wall. I imagined them in a group with 2 on top and 2 on bottom (like the nursery board I made). But since I made the paintings so big, they wouldn't really fit like that. But I actually really like them taking up a whole wall. It really dresses up the room and makes it very fun!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

New House! And New Garage Shelves!

We've moved! And our new place is great. We are renting, so we'll see how these sets of projects turn out. I was afraid my creativity would be squished, but so far, I've got projects coming out my ears!

Project uno? More storage. We now have a tiny garage that we put up some shelving in. Let's talk about how this = awesome. It's so nice to have a place to put some of that stuff you need, but not very often.

Here is our lovely tiny garage. As you can see, there isn't much room for storage in there.

I used my friend Sketchup to model everything up. It really helps me when trying to figure out how many materials we will need.
We secured the horizontal braces to the ledger (back 2x4) before we hung it so that we could drill through the back way... you know what I mean? (actually we hung the ledger first, then realized we needed access to the back of the ledger first... whoops!) If you were using hangers on all the braces, then you could put the ledger up first.
The nice guys over at Home Depot ripped our OSB for us, and it fit perfectly! To avoid having to cut the OSB around the supports, we installed the OSB first.
Install the front 2x4 and the shelf is all done! Other than it wouldn't hold much. (Hence husband holding shelf up?) I'm not sure what was going on here, but it's hot in Vegas, and especially hot in a garage, so I claim our brains were getting fried.
The back ledger was next, secured to the wall at every stud with screws. Then we used hangers at the top and bottom of the supports (cut at a 45ยบ) We used hangers here, because we really don't want the supports to rip off. Since they will be getting pulled from both directions.

We now have a lovely place to put all our junk! We're thinking it's the perfect place to hang our bikes. Great right?