Monday, January 8, 2018

lemon ikea kitchen

I wanted to share a couple more photos of Mae's new kitchen! The original kitchen is a wooden IKEA Duktig set that I painted and decorated to be a little more fun. I gathered ideas online, since many people have shared photos of similar makeovers.

Here's a picture of the original one from the IKEA website:

And here's our upgraded version:

cozy birdhouse | ikea duktig kitchen makeover

I started by laying out all the pieces and deciding which surfaces I wanted to paint. I roughed up the surfaces with coarse grit sandpaper and then used a mini foam roller to apply a coat of low-odor Kilz oil-based primer followed by two coats of Clark + Kensington flat paint in the color Fountain of Youth. I like the slightly retro look of the aqua paint. I finished the painted surfaces with two coats of Minwax Polycrylic for a little extra protection. I have my fingers crossed that it holds up OK! This whole process took a long time since I had to paint front and back of most pieces and wait for each coat to dry in between! I worked on it a little bit each night for a week.

In addition to paint, I also added a backing covered in lemon-print fabric. Do you recognize the print? It's the same as my lemon dress! I just love the pattern so much and thought it would be very cute on this kitchen set. I used spray adhesive to attach the fabric to a piece of 1/8" hardboard which I then nailed to the back of the kitchen hutch with tiny finishing nails.

Dan helped me with assembly which took 2 evenings. Lastly, I drilled 4 holes and added some white knobs from Lowes to act as faux stovetop controls. Mae loves her new kitchen so much. She is juuuuuuust tall enough to reach the microwave, and she also enjoys removing the sink bowl and sitting in it on the floor.

cozy birdhouse | ikea duktig kitchen makeover

I am excited to move this set to our larger kitchen in our new home. I think Mae will love cooking alongside Dada every evening!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

avengers, assemble!

I mentioned a few months ago that Emily and Christopher had chosen "Avengers" as the nursery theme for their little boy Archer, who will be arriving in February. Emily requested another crib mobile like the Harry Potter mobile I made for Oliver (by far my most popular project to date, and one of the top Google image results for "Harry Potter crib mobile"). I was so excited that I started immediately: designing the characters, ordering felt, and cutting all the colorful shapes.

cozy birdhouse | avengers crib mobile pieces

I got Emily's input on which characters to include, and she selected Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, and Captain America. I gathered inspiration from the internet and spent a lot of time looking at stuffed animals, mobiles, and the original comics. Each character was super fun to work on. Cap's little shield is just too cute, and I giggled myself silly while adding a little belly button to Hulk.

cozy birdhouse | avengers crib mobile characters

Also, I was super proud of my idea to make Spider-Man hanging upside down! I attached everything to an empty mobile arm purchased on Amazon.

cozy birdhouse | avengers crib mobile

I gifted the mobile to Emily for Christmas. It was a bit of a cop-out Christmas gift since I was planning to make it anyways! She had also requested a car seat blanket similar to Mae's, since Archer will need all the snuggly warmth possible as a February baby! I stitched up a dino-print fleece blanket during my crazy week prepping the house to go on the market since I knew I'd be packing away my sewing machine for a little while. No photos of that project, I'll have to get one once the little guy arrives!

cozy birdhouse | avengers crib mobile

I love how this mobile turned out, and I hope Emily, Christopher, Oliver, and Archer do too!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

a look back on 2017

This was a year of milestone birthdays! Here's a look back on our notable moments from 2017:

Top Row (left to right): Mae wearing her adorable Easter dress; celebrating Dad's 60th birthday with a trip to the lake; celebrating Mae's first birthday; and celebrating Mom's 60th birthday

Middle Row: Celebrating Oliver's first birthday; a summertime visit from Aunt Colleen; a trip to the beach to celebrate GranE's 60th birthday; and a mini weekend getaway to celebrate our 5th anniversary

Bottom Row: Mae learning how to "cheers" during an extended weekend visit from GranE; Mae and Oliver on the little car ride at the amusement park; a busy little bee on Halloween, and whispered secrets with Santa!

We finished out the year with a big snowfall! We braved the nasty roads to drive and visit my high school friends and their kids Friday night, and then took Mae out to play in the snow Saturday morning. It took me a little to realize that "NO!!" meant "SNOW!", and that she wasn't just disagreeing with everything I said. It was bitterly cold (and I stupidly didn't pack her new snow suit and boots), so we bundled her up in random accessories and a borrowed coat! At least she stayed toasty warm... even though she looked pretty silly and could hardly move her limbs!

Looking forward to 2018! Should be pretty busy with a new house and the terrible twos... I've heard those are a blast!