Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Pictures from Zack's preschool field trip a couple weeks ago.

We're getting ready for some trick or treating. Zack is going to be a fireman, Clayton is going to be Bob the Builder. Pictures to follow!

In other news I recently made sweet potatoes with dinner. One of the boys (I can't even remember which one) happily yelled "COOKIE DOUGH" when he saw me set them on the table. I didn't correct them. They seemed too happy to be having cookie dough for dinner.

What are you doing today?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

DIY Mobile

I have seriously thought about making my own mobile for baby Delaney. How cute would these be?

Thank you, Martha. You rock.

Look how pretty they look in this room.

Check out that lucky girl's room reno at Life in the Fun Lane.

The only problem is Delaney's room is already so busy above the crib.


The poofs would hide her name. So I think if I do a mobile it has to be really delicate. Paper somethings (butterflies? flowers? birds?) hanging from the ceiling? Argh. I don't know! Do I even need a mobile? I don't think my boys used mobiles.

What about you? Are you in the mobile or no mobile camp?

If you would like a beautiful mobile, how about you make those gorgeous poofs (learn how to here) and show me how it turned out!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pillow Talk

Ready for a quick easy tutorial?

I'm a novice, self-taught sewer, er, seamstress. Something. So this isn't hard. In fact it's SEW easy! (sorry, couldn't resist).

I knew I wanted a little more color (more? yes, more) in the baby's room, and I can sew a plain pillow in a hot second. So when I saw this fabric (Amy Butler's Midwest Modern Line), I bought a half a yard ($4.11) and promptly made this little number.


Not bad. But I wished it had a little more something. Detail. Then I thought "If I were cool I'd be able to sew a big ruffle on that". But I don't really know how to make ruffles, I didn't have much leftover fabric, I didn't want to buy more fabric ($$) and I didn't want to take the pillow apart.

Then inspiration struck.

I gathered this adorable helper. Well, not so much help as cute kid eye candy.


I took the leftover piece of fabric (18 inches, by about 5 inches) and I cut it diagonally with pinking shears (pinking shears have that zig-zaggy pattern). Then I cut around all the edges with the shears until I had two pieces that looked like this (sorry, this is a little blurry).


I put the two wide ends together, nice sides touching, and sewed them together like this.


The wide ends aren't the same width, but that didn't bother me. I was going for something sort of free form.

Next I took one of the skinny ends and folded it in half like this ("wrong" sides on the inside) .


Then I started it in the sewing machine, sewing the fold down. I'd also tuck random ruffles in the fabric every so often and sew over them.


Until I had something like this.


Well, not something like that. That's exactly what I had.

What I was going for was a free form, ruffly flower shape, similar to the shape on the fabric. So I started hand sewing the ruffle onto the pillow in a spiral shape.


I also strategically placed stitches to keep the ruffles open, making it look more half hazard. Here I highlighted the half hazard / free form spiral.


When I had it all sewed down I just knotted the thread off.

And here's the reveal!


Pretty! I'm so happy with the result!





Close up.


This will probably fray with age, but that's part of the look! I think part of the reason I like this is because it's so similar to the pattern on the fabric. But I bet other fabrics would work beautifully too! Try it out yourself and show me the results!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

At least this should be a dramatic before and after

The blog's been a little quiet, but the RBR house is not! So far I've been focusing on the kids' rooms, but it's not the only work that's getting done around here!

Nearly two weeks ago my in laws drove out to help us put a new roof on a one-room addition on the back of our house. The roof had deteriorated badly and we wanted to have a stable covering before the weather grew more harsh. The men (with some help from me) got it done in 3 days. Now on to the inside.

This room was really starting to show it's age. The ceiling was cracked and textured. It just had to go. So last weekend Mr. RBR (with some help from me) put up new dry wall... on the 16 foot ceiling. By ourselves.

So with that, welcome to my NIGHTMARE, er... Family Room/Toy Room.


Oh my.


Oh my!


I'm pretty sure the look on Mr. RBR's face is one of love. Let's see if we can get a close up.


Hmm. Nope. I think that is extreme exhaustion.

In all fairness this is probably a "during" rather than a before. I tried to find a true "before". Here is one I took before kids (3 or 4 years ago). Much cleaner than it is now, but dated and dark.


Big changes in store here! As always it will be on the cheap.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Because I don't want to leave out my other son, Clayton, here is the little turd in the back yard. He's beautiful too!


For those who asked (or who are lurking and wondering) Mr. RBR isn't a professional photographer. He's an engineer for a large-ish furniture manufacturer. Neither of us have much photo experience.

Shortly before the boys arrived we bought an Olympus E510. It's a nice camera. But the shots still looked a little... ordinary. Nice ordinary, but they lacked punch. That is until I found The Pioneer Woman and started using her free action sets.

I know a lot more about photoshop (being a graphic designer) than I do about photography, so I started editing our digital photos heavily in that magical program. And it's really made a difference! I am starting to learn more about the camera so hopefully my SOOC (straight out of camera) shots will improve.

If you don't have Photoshop, there are free online programs (so I hear), like Picasa. Or more inexpensive programs like Photoshop Elements. Check them out!

To show you the difference, here's the before and after of Zack.

Before (taken by Mr. RBR, SOOC)
Yeah. He really took it sideways like this. Weird.

And After (edited by me in Photoshop. Rotated, cropped, color enhanced)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Love this!

I am such a flower junky. MORE FLOWERS! I am just realizing I have a problem.

I have probably 2 dozen flower brooches. Brooches? Is that right? That doesn't look right. I love their vintage-y charm. Most of them are old, but some are new. I'd love to add these to my collection. I have them on my list of "Stuff-I-want-to-do-that-I-won't-get-to-until-my-kids-learn-to-wipe-their-own-butts."

What, you don't have a list like that?

It's not that wiping their own butts is that important to eeking out a moment to craft time. It's that I think being able to wipe one's own butt implies a level of competency where I don't have to supervise them EVERY. SECOND. OF. THE. DAY. Follow me now? lol.

Look how cool! Cool for a brooch. Cool for a barrette. Cool on a handbag. Cool on a pair of flats. Just plain cool.

Tutorial here.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Sometimes there's a picture that just stops me dead in my tracks. Mr. RBR must have taken this one day while the boys were outside playing.

My beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

No Matchy-matchy!

Part of what I love about decorating right now is that collected look. A piece from here, another from there. It's what gives a room personality.

Three years ago I was in process of adopting a son and was pregnant with another son, and I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to adopt from a daughter from Korea. I hadn't really even talked to my husband about it yet. Although I had an inkling he'd be open to it.

So there I was. Pregnant. Adopting. And at an auction I saw this baby quilt and I snapped it up.


I paid $35 for this Pottery Barn Kids quilt and matching bumper (there was also a random twin bed skirt thrown in the bag. Who knows why). The people I was with assumed it was for one of my sons. Nope. I was vague in my answer, but I really knew it'd be for my daughter.

And now she's on her way. We don't know when exactly (January?), but we know who she is, we have seen her picture, we know her birthday. It's just so amazing it gives me goosebumps.

Don't give in to those urges (like I did the first time around) to purchase a big "set" of stuff that all, well, matches. It's boring, isn't it? Every single thing with the same motif? Don't be afraid to get one thing from over here, another from over there. Half the stuff in the "set" you probably won't even use anyway and you'll probably save money. And don't be afraid to buy used. That's another big money saver. But don't forget to "shop what you got"! I used this comforter in my one of my son's rooms, on the blue side.


Flip that baby over, and it looks right at home in this girly room.


And how cool is it that my actual kids aren't matchy-matchy either. ha! A Guatemalan, a caucasian, and a Korean. That's why when I saw this artwork at a garage sale last summer I had to snap it up.


It may not "go" with the monster truck theme, but it's what being non matchy-matchy is all about!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Getting There

Why yes, I did run out of Command Strips, why do you ask?


Oh right.

Oh Command Strips, how I love thee. If we would have met seven years ago, before I was married, what might have been?


Holy moly. Is it just me, or does my hand look fat and hairy here. I swear it's not that fat or that hairy.



Aren't these flowers cute? (I know. MORE flowers).
Edited to add: flowers were from Target. They are made by Umbra. I see they are out of stock, but you can google Umbra wall flowers and get something pretty similar from another retailer.


These were silver, but I painted them green. You just hammer a little tack into the wall and they stick right on. Fun!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Real Introduction

Hi there. It's me, Lisa.


(This is me in our front entry.)

Do I look like you expected?

I'm a DIY fanatic--both because of budget and the satisfaction of a job completed with my own two hands. I've always loved decorating and I love old stuff. Flea markets. Antique malls. Fiesta ware. Old jewelry. When I was about 12 years old my little neighbor and I would ride our bikes to... an antique mall. Who does that?


I know. I have been sick a very long time.

I don't think I have a style. I like sleek modern stuff. I like old stuff. I like traditional in-between stuff too. I've been told just go with what you love and it will somehow all work. I hope that's true, because that's what sort of happens around here!

Life outside decorating includes my hubby, Mr. Room By Room (Mr. RBR I'll call him). We're both 35 years old. We met on a blind date 9 years ago. We've been married for 6 years.

We have two rambunctious boys, Zack (age 4) and Clayton (age 2). We're also in the process of adopting a daughter, Delaney, (6 months).

The day my son arrived (the younger son arrived first. I know, it's confusing) I embarked on an interesting journey--stay at home parenthood! Something I didn't think I'd ever do.

Before parenthood I was a graphic designer. Most recently I designed menus for different restaurants all over the country. I still do the occasional freelance job if it plops in my lap. Usually wedding invitations or magazine ads.

But now most of my time is spent trying to scrub marker off various surfaces of my house. Including the children.

Have I mentioned I rue the day markers were invented? Rue. The day.

Life is never dull around here. Stick around and enjoy the ride.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Welcome Fall

Eek! Time to take care of this.


Fall started, what, 3 weeks ago? Embarrassing.

This'll do. For now.


I think even kitty approves. And she hardly ever approves. Of anything

Friday, October 15, 2010


What's a baby girl's room without flowers? I thought these were so cute they deserved their own post.

I gotta tell you, when I saw these pretty flower lights installed on an entire wall at IKEA I stopped dead in my tracks.

I hit the girly mother lode!

Here they are installed next to the bed.


Aren't they pretty? They make such cool patterns on the wall.



I love them! If you do too, head over to IKEA to get your own!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What's to Come

Here is what's coming up in the baby's room.


What's going up there, you ask?


My mom found two Asian paintings (not prints!)... somewhere. Who knows. I think they're Japanese. It's hard to see in the photo, but they need a bit of work. The mattes are water stained and damaged, so they need new mattes. I'll paint the frames. They they'll be perfect.


Got the letters. Just need to paint. Again. Paint, paint, paint. Paint some more. And then for a change I'll... paint.

You remember this, don't you?


I know. It's a little wild. How could you forget? The fabric is called Small Talk and it's made by Waverly. Remember how I said it'd be big dramatic curtains? Girls need drama in their life. It's just the way it is.

Oh, it's just me? Darn.

Here's where the curtains are going.


Yep. The whole wall. The entire wall behind the bed.

Next to the bed will be a vanity/desk in place of a nightstand. There will also be a chair makeover.


Eek! Do not look at the mess around the chair. Only look at the chair. STOP LOOKING AT THE MESS!

Speaking of mess--lots to do! Better get busy. Till next time.
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