Baby Girl’s Nursery

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I just completed our second baby’s nursery.  My son’s nursery had a nautical theme.  This time the nursery doesn’t have a specific theme per say , it’s more of a certain vibe/feel.  I like to call it whimsical woodland with a taste of boho…if that’s even a thing lol.  I knew right away when I found out we were having a girl that I wanted the main color of the room to be purple.  I decided to do different shades of purple with a secondary color of mint green and touches of gold.  After deciding on colors I started searching on Etsy for different fabrics that I would use for the overall inspiration of the room as well as different paint colors that I planned to use for different elements in the room.

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I found this set of fabrics called Morning Song by Cloud9 Fabrics which was perfect for the look I was going for.

One of the first projects I did was this dresser.  I found it on Craigslist.  I used Benjamin Moore Forget Me Not on the dresser.IMG_3247

Before

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I spray painted all the hardware bronze.

After

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For the inside of the drawers, I wanted to do some kind of liner.  I decided to create a quilt pattern (because I adore quilts!) using scrapbook paper and then used a spray adhesive and Mod Podge to attach it to the inside of the drawers.

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I love a gallery wall.  I’ve created them in almost every room of our house as you can see here and here .  IMG_4029

For this gallery wall I painted some water color flowers in different shades of purple and had a quote printed from one of my favorite Elton John songs on Etsy.  The quote is gold leaf to bring that bit of gold that I wanted to include in the room.  I changed the quote a little from the original “How wonderful life is while you’re in the world” so it makes a little more sense for a nursery.

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One of the other projects that I made for the gallery wall is the flower initial.  For this project I cut out the letter from a large cardboard box.  I got the flowers from Michael’s  and Jo-ann Fabric.  I took the leaves and flowers and placed them on the cardboard to see where I wanted them to go before hot gluing them.  After I was happy with the placement I hot glued everything and then went back and glued more flowers in any places that looked bare.

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The other items for the gallery wall were very simple to make.  The feather cutout came unfinished from Zulily and I painted it and used gold letters I got from Michael’s to write the quote “Don’t just fly, soar”.  I got the doilies from Jo-ann Fabric and framed them along with a piece of scrapbook paper.  The fabric is in different size embroidery hoops.  The mounted butterflies are just wood circles that came unfinished. I painted them and then used a hot glue gun to attach the butterflies.

Above the crib, I made these dream catchers from doilies and lace  I found at different stores.  I used neutral color ribbon to wrap macrame hoops.  I used left over ribbon, wooden beads, and feathers that I had to make the dream father’s tail.  I found the driftwood at Homegoods.

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On the other wall next to the crib, I made two kites using the leftover fabric I had.

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These kites are no sew so anyone can make them.  I cut the fabric into small squares to make a quilt pattern and used fabric glue to attach them. The kite tails are made from paper wrapped floral wire.

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The built-in shelves were already in the room when we bought the house.  I love the storage and space they provide.

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I found all the little gold animals at different stores and on Amazon.  They were originally different colors but I spray painted them all the same gold color.

The fabric flowers were easy to make. I followed this tutorial I found on Pinterest.

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This jewelry box was originally unfinished wood that I painted and then decoupaged.

This mobile is hanging above the changing table right by the window.  When the sun is setting and hits the crystals it creates hundreds of rainbows all over the room.

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I used a metal wreath ring for the top of the mobile and then attached the strings of clear crystal beads that I had already strung.  I used my hot glue gun to attach the flowers to the ring and then tied purple ribbon to the ring that I used to hang the mobile.

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Hurricane Sandy – One Year Later

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You sit in your home and watch things like this on TV all the time.   A tornado, an earthquake, a hurricane, a mudslide, a flood.  You sit on your couch and think, “That is terrible, I feel so bad for those people.” On October, 29, 2012, the people of Long Beach, NY as well as many other towns in Long Island, NYC, and NJ became “those people.”

You stand in your kitchen cooking dinner and see images of the National Guard, FEMA, The American Red Cross, and volunteers sorting trough the remains of people’s belongings, rebuilding, and saving lives on your television.  You may send donations, you may send money, you may even volunteer your time…or maybe you just offer up a thought, a prayer, a message of hope.    You never really understand the reality of what a natural disaster actually means until you live through it.  I had been on the other side of the television many times and felt terrible for whatever it was and whoever it was having to live through the disaster.  It was a whole other world being one of the people on the television.

The weather service had predicted a hurricane or possible a tropical storm hitting us the week before.  We had been hit the year before with Hurricane Irene and the damage to the community wasn’t too bad… a few fallen trees, power outages,  a few flooded basements.  This time it was different…very different.  My town, as well as all the other zone A flood zones had a mandatory evacuation.  My husband and I as well as many other people in the town did not evacuate.  We lived in a second floor apartment and figured we’d be okay…stupid I know.  But during Irene many evacuated and nothing happened…it was sort of like the boy who cried wolf.  I was prepared…I had flashlights and candles, extra batteries, and extra water ….I even filled up the bath tub with water.  I had plenty of food and plenty of wine.  I was prepared.  Or so I thought.

The worst of the storm hit the evening of the 29th.  My sister came over to our apartment because she lived in a basement apartment and we figured it would be better on the second floor.  We sat in my apartment, watching TV, drinking wine, laughing.  The rain and wind weren’t too bad.  Then around 8:30pm, it was the peak of high tide.  Long Beach is a barrier island…we have the ocean on one side…the bay on the other.  Steve was out on the deck when he yelled for us to come outside.  Water was coming down one side of the street…slowly at first.  Then a little faster.  The water got higher and higher.  I had never seen anything like it in my life.  At that moment the power went out.  We didn’t know then but that was the last power we’d see in our apartment for a month.  The water continued to rise…it covered the roofs of the cars on our block.  We could see debris and pieces of the boardwalk floating down the street.  I felt like this couldn’t really be happening.  It was all so surreal.  We could hear car alarms and explosions all around the neighboring streets.  Our landlord knocked on our door asking Steve to go next door to help carry our neighbor who is in a wheelchair to the safety of the upstairs apartment because his apartment was starting to flood.  A few hours later the water seemed to stop rising and we finally got some sleep.

The next morning we walked outside to look around.  Everywhere, people started emerging from their houses with dazed looks on their faces.   It felt like we were on a movie set.  This could not be the town that I knew and loved.  There were cars pushed onto people’s lawns or into the middle of the street.  There was garbage and pieces of fence in the street.  I saw brick walls knocked over.  Huge sections of the boardwalk blocks away from where they originated.  I even saw someones hot tub in a parking lot.  And the sand…it was everywhere.  Piles of it…burying peoples cars…up to the windows in people’s houses.  There were cars that had caught fire from the salt water short circuiting the battery.  Several houses burned to the ground.

We headed over to my sister’s apartment to see how it fared the storm.  When we got there we couldn’t even open the door because the water was almost up to the ceiling.  We couldn’t believe it.  Nobody thought it wouldn’t be this bad…but it was.  She lost everything.

The days, weeks, and months after the storm were filled with uncertainty for so many people.  Where am I going to live?  How will I ever rebuild?  Where can I get gas for my car without having to wait hours on a gas line?  And the daily things we take for granted…where will I be able to get food and clean water?

I was teaching in a school in Far Rockaway, Queens, which is also a barrier island.  My school was flooded and we got word that we would not be able to return for a while. In a matter of hours, Mother Nature had turned my whole world upside down.   No place to live.  No school to return to.

Within hours of the storm hitting, people came to our town.  People came to help.  People came to support us.  People came to give us hope.  People came with truckloads of supplies to hand out.  People and businesses  in the community opened their doors to offer whatever they could to others when they, themselves had taken a big hit.  Food, blankets, water, a cold beer, or a hug.  People organized fundraisers and food drives to get the much-needed supplies to the people affected.  I got messages on Facebook from people just checking in to see if we were okay and if there was anything that we needed.   The kindness of family, friends, and strangers was overwhelming.

I can not say thank you enough to my family for giving us a place to stay for a month, everyone who donated supplies to my school, and everyone who sent thoughts and prayers our way.  You will never know how much it is appreciated.

Now, a year later,  things are different.  The places we once knew are not the same.  There is a new boardwalk and some of the businesses have reopened.  Some people have rebuilt their homes and some are still in the process.  But everyone is recovering in their own way, at their own pace.

“Ruin is a gift.  Ruin is the road to transformation.”  ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Everyone in this area has a story…a different experience from the storm.  The photos I took in the days after the storm are in this video…this is part of my experience.

DIY Vintage Switch Plate Covers

DIY Vintage Switchplates

Anthropologie has these amazing switch plate covers.  I love them and decided to make my own.  I ordered these switch plates from Amazon.  They were already antiqued but I didn’t want the antique white color which was more of a cream than a white.  Plus, I wanted to add a little blue and green to them since everything in my kitchen is white.

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

  • switchplate
  • drop cloth
  • white spray paint
  • sandpaper
  • acrylic paint
  • paintbrush
  • clear acrylic sealer

Here’s what they looked like before

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You can use any type of spray paint that you want.  I decided to play around with the aqua spray paint that I already had but you can use just the white.

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A neat trick I saw on Pinterest for painting only the tops of screws is to stick them into a piece of cardboard or the top of a shoe box.

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Lay out your backdrop and place your switch plates onto a piece of cardboard. I’ve got plenty from all the boxes that are still everywhere!

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Next, spray each switch plate with white spray paint.  You may need 2 coats depending on the coverage you’re looking for.  The good thing about vintage is it doesn’t have to be perfect.

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After the spray paint was dry, I  sprayed a little of the aqua spray paint onto the screws and the switch plates.

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Next, I used some acrylic paint I already had to add some color to the switch plates.   Again, don’t worry about them being perfect…you can’t mess this up.  If you’re not happy with them you can always go back and spray paint them white again.

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After letting the paint dry, I sanded the switch plates.  Some of the metal and the white paint underneath should be showing.

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I then whitewashed the switch plates by mixing white acrylic paint with water.  I let it dry and decided I wanted them to be a little more white, so I whitewashed them again and let them dry.

After the second coat of whitewash, I sprayed them with a clear spray to seal them.

Here’s what I used but any clear varnish will work.

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And that’s it…DIY switch plates!

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Happy creating,

Geralyn

Sharing At:

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Chalkboard Messages

The teacher in me loves a chalkboard.  Steve was saying he wanted a whiteboard to hang in the kitchen for list making.  The boy loves his lists.  I told him instead we should look for a chalkboard, since they’re all the rage right now.  I happened to be in Marshalls on Sunday and found a chalkboard that goes perfectly in our kitchen.  It has a white shabby-chic frame around it.  Total score!  Instead of lists, I decided to use this for messages.  I absolutely adore quotes, sayings, song lyrics…anything inspiring really. I have a whole collection of them on Pinterest.  Chances are whatever I’m feeling or have going on in my life, someone has already been through it and probably already wrote about it/said it better than I ever could.

 “Derek says it’s always good to end a paper with a quote. He says someone else has already said it best. So if you can’t top it, steal from them and go out strong.” – American History X

 See, right there’s a perfect example.  I plan on changing the message weekly.  I ordered these chalk markers which are much neater than having all that chalk dust around and easier to write with.

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 So I guess we’ll have to figure something else out for Steve’s lists. 🙂

All you need is love,

Geralyn

All You Need is Love…and a Dog.

Steve and I moved into an apartment in Brooklyn in October 2007.  I grew up with dogs…and cats…and birds…and turtles…and snakes…and hamsters…and lizards…basically any animals I could talk my mom into letting me have, I had.  Steve on the other hand never had any pets growing up.  In April 2008, we decided we were going to get a dog.  Actually it went more like this… We were walking on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and I said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we were walking our dog here?” Steve agreed that it would be pretty cool and I immediately jumped on the opportunity.  And when I say immediately, I mean I took out my phone and googled local shelters that second.  We decided to go to the Animal Care and Control in Staten Island.  When we walked in there were two rows of pens and lots of barking and excited dogs.  When I walked in, I looked into the first cage and there was a little tan and white pit bull laying in the back.  She looked up at me with these sad eyes.  I put my hand up to the cage and she slowly got up and walked over and licked my hand.  She then turned right back around and walked back to her bed and laid down.  I immediately knew this was my dog.  I continued walking through and looked at all the other dogs.  I wish I could have taken them all.  We asked to see the first dog and the woman took her out and we brought her outside.  She was so happy to be outside playing in the grass.  I looked at Steve and said we had to get her!   He agreed and so we filled out the adoption papers that day.  We were so happy to hear we were approved for the adoption! They kept her another day to spay her and then we were able to pick her up. She was estimated to be about 8 months old at the time.  Daisy is now 6 years old and the love of our lives! I have an obsession with my dog…I just can’t help it.  I even named my blog after her…I’m that obsessed.  And now I’m just going to overload you with Daisy pics…because she’s just that adorable.

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She thinks she’s a lap dog!

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Daisy’s First Snow

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At the Apartment in Brooklyn

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Swimming Upstate

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I know the stereotype that pit bulls have but I honestly will probably never have another type of dog.  So many great dogs are put down because of their breed.  Shelters are filled with awesome dogs looking for a home.  If you’re looking for a fur baby, please check out your local animal shelters or online rescue sights.  In the NYC/Long Island area you can check out:

http://www.bobbiandthestrays.org

http://www.ruffhouserescue.com

http://www.forgottenfriendsoflongisland.org

http://www.nycacc.org

Your best friend is waiting.

Peace, love, and pit bulls,

Geralyn

Animal Friends

Part of the attraction to this house was the area it is in.  It’s surrounded by 27 acres of nature preserve. This includes woods, wetlands, and the beach. There are critters everywhere , which I absolutely LOVE! We’ve only been here a week and I’ve already spotted a lot of animals…most of them right up on our deck!  The first day I was here I put some seed out on the deck and almost immediately cardinals, blue jays, doves, a woodpecker, and blackbirds flew down to eat…I knew then that I was going to love it here. 🙂 I love looking out the kitchen window and seeing this!

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