Thursday, May 30, 2013

bird.i.y.: giant scrabble art

we probably hang out in our backyard a good 60% of our free time in the summers. if it's friday night and not raining, we are usually out there having a few cocktails with a fire going. for a while, we hosted happy hour every friday at our house (anyone is still welcome to come over), and we even have a facebook place name to tag if you're over!! needless to say, i try to make the outdoors cute. it's a little harder with our temperamental seasons, but i work with what i've got.

i wanted to have something to hang in our yard. sure, we have lanterns and bird cages on the trees and garage, but i wanted some actual "nail it to the wall" sort of artwork. so i decided to make something myself. this was one of the more time consuming diys that i have done, but really what that means is that it took more than 30 minutes. all in all (not counting the waiting for paint to dry part), this probably took all of two hours.

so, here's what you'll need.
one strip of lumber (i used a piece that was 8" by 48")
black paint
waterproof polyurethane
paint brush
stencil paint brush
hooks for hanging pictures
exacto pen
template for your scrabble letters
oh, and a saw (not pictured)

you could probably find enough square plaques at a thrift store to make this, and then you wouldn't need the wood, the saw, or the hangers. but i wanted to find wood that was similar in color to an actual scrabble that piece of wood was $1.22, so it was pretty cheap. chris did the honor of cutting it because power tools scare me.

i told him he looked like bono with those glasses.

i had him cut them into perfect 8X8 squares. because i need everything to be perfect.

i then should have sanded them, but i was too anxious. i went straight for the painting portion.

i had printed out the letters in the word "party" on five pieces of paper. i looked up what number coincided with each letter in an actual scrabble game. i used the univers font at 500 pt. and for the number, i used the same font, but a 200 pt., and subscript. i printed them on 8.5X11 paper.

i then went outside with the paper, exacto pen and a cardboard box (to put under the paper while i cut) and began carefully cutting the stencils. i always forget about the stupid holes in letters when i try to make my own stencils. in the end, the "P", "A", and "R" all had holes that i had to tape to the wood before i painted them. however, this is kind of necessary because scrabble letters don't have any lines or cut outs in them. i think i did a pretty good job of lining up the stencils with the cut outs. am i even making sense here? if not, look at the picture below. see that big part i am cutting out of the p? well, i needed that back in order to properly stencil. so i taped it back in. now am i making sense? this is a hard diy to explain!

ok, i think you get the picture. you're all smarties!

next up, put the paper on the wood. i was very exact about this. and by very exact, i mean i measured where to put the wood with a tape measure. no, not an actual tape measure....a roll of tape (see below). and then to make sure each letter was placed in the same spot as the last, i just used the first one i did and lined each one up with that. very scientific. i hate measuring.

then i painted. most people would try to be very careful that they only paint inside of the stencil. while i was pretty careful, i got a little careless by the time i got to the y. i had to do some fix up later.

i let them dry, but not completely...because i knew i would need to fix them. i grabbed some nail polish remover and the exacto pen, and scraped away on the wood to get rid of any black paint that snuck through the stencil. it's ok if you notch up the wood a bit because you will poly it later.

patience has it's perks...but i wouldn't know (at least when it comes to crafts).

i then let them dry overnight. the next day, i added some hooks and wire so i could hang them. make sure you put the hooks in the same place for each one (i almost didn't). i used another very good measuring tool to do this...the remote control.

then you can poly them, front and back. make sure you use an outdoor poly if you plan on hanging these in your yard. this was the only brand of outdoor poly i could find at home depot. i painted the front and the sides, let them dry one more night, and then did the back.

then i just needed a cute place to put them. this will do for now. once our plants are fully grown in, i will need to find a more permanent spot for them.

the flamingos love to party!

i actually love this diy. i think it's a fun way to add something unique to your house or yard. it's cheap, it's easy, and you can choose any word you want!!


megan bird

outfit of the day(bird): i can't resist

shirt~ b. (a resale shop)
jeans~ 7 For All Mankind via b. (a resale shop)
shoes~ Target

i cannot resist taking a jumping photo when i am using the self timer on my camera. some other things i can't resist? jeans that are normally around $200, found for $16 and in my size, floral shirts with shoulder cutouts, and any cute pair of sandals that Target sells. also, squeezing ben's thighs. and Chipotle veggie burrito bowls. sometimes my inability to resist produces a fun photo or a cute outfit, sometimes it produces the cutest sounding giggles from the chubbiest boy, and other times it just makes me look like i have a tiny burrito-sized baby bump. all totally worth it, in my opinion.

happy thursday!

xoxo, nora bird

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

inspiration picture for june 3: lauren conrad

we thought we would start june off with a super sweet, summery inspiration. i have absolutely nothing like this in my closet, but i may just have to go shopping because i could use a dress like this and shoes like those in my life. seriously. so cute. we hope you play along! not sure how? click here to find out!

see you monday!

xoxo, two birds

love*birds: 5.29.13

things i am loving this week:
~ long weekends=short work weeks. enough said.
~ the bachelorette started on monday. i know it is horrible, but i am totally addicted to that show!
~ i recently found out that my stylist, who is on maternity leave, might come back to work earlier than expected. me and my hair are so excited!
~ today is an extra happy birthday day! my oldest niece turns twelve today. twelve-freakin'-years-old! i can hardly believe it. and it is also my mother-in-law's birthday today! so i would like to wish very happy birthdays to emma and catherine. i love you both so much!

and here are a few other things we are loving this week...

nora bird
printed jumpsuit

i'm not entirely sure i could pull this off, but i love it. the print is really cool! perfect for summer!

silk scarf

how gorgeous is this bright yellow, hand-painted scarf? so gorgeous. i absolutely adore the strawberry print.

monogrammed koozie

a chevron, monogrammed koozie is never something i knew i needed. but now i know.

gold initial bar necklace

love love love this necklace. so sweet and dainty. i would wear this every day!

multicolor sunglasses

i need this bright, colorful, funky pair of sunglasses in my life. how fun are these! and under $10. score!

Sorority Girl in the Real World

erin is totally rocking her colorful blazer in this post. i love the entire look, from head to toe (check out those adorable sandals!) she looks super chic.

follow along @mrsbeyers

this was a rough night. neither of my kids wanted to go to sleep and jim was out for the night. ben was crying and crying, but when i picked him up he was all smiles. such a faker. but it made for a cute photo!

megan bird
blush lace dress
i bet wearing this dress makes you feel like you are in a jane austin book all the time. i want it, and i want to wear it every day!

hand-painted tee
what a darling way to spice up a cute tunic or tee! i love the pastel triangles, and the collar is so fun!

lace knot & tassel necklace
i had a very hard time picking a favorite from this store. everything is so unique and romantic and pretty!! i love the mix of romance and disco in this necklace!

feather artwork
i love the detailing in this original piece. she calls it a doodle, i call it art!

orange 70s platforms! these shoes are perfection. i love the color, the chunky heel, and the cut-out detailing. (and they are my size!)

Shell Chic'd
as much as this outfit is something i never wear, it's also something i want to wear every weekend! emily of Shell Chic'd is rocking the short-alls and brogues in this weekend getaway look. and that bag...that bag! i might have to steal this whole look!

 follow along @meglets

yes, sometimes when our kids are naughty they have to wear the get along t-shirt. they hate it, but then they love it because after about one minute, the crack up uncontrollably. sometimes i think this might be a good thing for adult couples.

what are you loving this week?

two birds

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

outfit of the day(bird): what men hear

dress ~ TJ Maxx
sweater ~ Heartbreaker
shoes, necklaces ~ thrifted

last week, i was driving home from work and saw a man on a bike who had been hit by a car. i didn't see him actually get hit, but i saw him on the street, waiting for the ambulance. right after i saw him, chris happened to call me. he had some random question for me. he was late for his tuesday night golf league, and was in a bit of a rush. after i answered his question, i told him about the poor man i just saw. chris' response was, "sounds good! see you later" and he hung up.

i always assumed that chris just half listens to me at times, but now i have actual proof. there was nothing that sounded good about what i had told him.

megan bird

Monday, May 27, 2013

inspiration monday: sister coincindences

the inspiration
megan bird

jeans ~ ross
shoes ~ Urban Original
everything else ~ thrifted

nora bird

 blazer ~ vintage, thrifted
jeans ~ thrifted
shrt ~ Old Navy
shoes ~ F21

nora and i found out this weekend that we have an exact same memory from college. how we just found this out is crazy to me, but seriously, it's a little weird. like one of those time/life books on coincidences. "six years apart, two sister have the same thing happen to them. coincidence? i think not."

both of our stories go something like this....we were both a little under the influence and went to a guy's house with a friend after a party. the guy wasn't home yet, so we decided to make ourselves at home. being under the influence, we decided we wanted a snack, so we decided to make popcorn. being under the influence, we also thought it would be great to make stove-popped popcorn instead of taking the safe microwave popcorn route.

so, we both (six years apart, remember) poured a little too much oil in the pan, poured the kernels in, and then turned the gas stove top on high. being under the influence, we both (six years apart) started a small grease fire. being under the influence, we forgot about the whole 'water doesn't put out a grease fire' rule...but luckily, it was snowing outside, so we both (six years apart) carefully grabbed the burning pans and threw them in the snow. water doesn't put a grease fire out, but apparently a four foot snow drift does. 

then in shame (and because the homeowners weren't home yet), we both buried the burnt pots in the snow, opened the windows to air the smoke out, and kept quiet about it...until now.

coincidence? i think not.

two birds

Friday, May 24, 2013

bird.i.y.: geometric, abstract art

first of all, i would like to thank you for all the well wishes on wednesday. i am feeling much better! thank you all so much. and thank you megan for (wo)manning the blog on your own the last couple of days! you're the best.

this week i had a major DIY fail. let's just say that some fabric dye met one of my basement rugs and it ended up looking like this:
DIY am i such an idiot??? luckily, this was a rug that we have had for many years and i believe we bought it for around $15. and our basement is basically where our old rugs go to die (or dye?), so it really wasn't that huge of a fail. unfortunately, the project i was attempting with the fabric dye was. so, there's that. but no worries! i have something else to share.
jim and i have owned our home now for five years and have just recently started to really decorate. we have finally been hanging up prints and paintings that have been sitting around for years. we have filled most of the wall space on our main floor, but we haven't done a lot to our bedroom (which is upstairs.) and since artwork can be pretty expensive and, unless you are megan or dawn, it can be difficult to find great stuff at the thrift store, i thought i would create a little something of my own. now, i am no artist, so it had to be something fairly easy. i knew i wanted something abstract and with a bit of geometry. and since the DIY i had planned on had been a fail, i wanted to use stuff i already had in the house. and once again, i made a few mistakes (of course!) but i learned from it and will for sure try this one again. that said, here is what you will need:
~ a canvas (any size you like. i wanted a large painting.)
~ paints (any colors or media are fine. i chose acrylics and colors that would work in our bedroom.) you will for sure need lots of white paint.
~ paintbrushes (any size, but one large-ish one for sure.)
~ tape (make sure it is sticky. mine wasn't.)
~ scissors (not pictured. oops.)
~ if you are a perfectionist (i am not) you will want a ruler or straight edge of some sort. as you can see, this is also not pictured.

first step, paint your canvas with a random design. it really doesn't matter what. like i said, i am not an artist. but i do know what colors i like. so i just made a crazy, colorful design with those colors.
let this dry before continuing.
next, use your tape to make a fun, geometric pattern. this is where you perfectionists will want a straight edge. i was constantly ripping tape off and putting it back on in an attempt to make my lines straight. and, for the most part, i am okay with how it turned out. (and, for the record, i looked not very hard at all for a ruler and couldn't find one. but i went ahead anyway.)

after you have the pattern you like, paint the entire canvas (tape and all) in white.
remember when i said you wanted sticky tape? it is important if you want straight lines. my tape kept coming off and i would just press it back down and quickly paint over it. not the best idea. my lines didn't turn out as straight as i had hoped.

let the white paint dry for about three hours. then comes the fun part. peeling off the tape to reveal your masterpiece!
so fun!
making progress! see those oh-so-not straight lines! oops!

when all your tape is peeled away, and your masterpiece has been revealed, hang your beautiful art for all to admire. or, in my case, just my husband and i, since almost no one else ever goes into our bedroom!
oooooh! aaaaaaah! hey, how about another angle???
exquisite. i can really tell what the artist was feeling. 
(and yes, my bedroom is completely wood-paneled. this is where the magic happens, people.)

and there you have it! my very own, original work of art! what do you think?

xoxo, nora bird