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Friday, July 16, 2010

Mini Make-over: My Sister's Mantle

My sister is about two years younger than I am.

One of our first encounters:

We've always been close. It's pretty darn great. I'm the big sister, and I'm a fairly persuasive person. So, I would get my parents to get me what I wanted. And then, once all the hard work was done, my sister would shortly get whatever I just got, riding on all my hard work.

You know, standing on the shoulders of giants and all that.

My earliest memory of this is getting my ears pieced at age 5. I begged for weeks and weeks to get them. After my turn was done, my sister hopped up on the stool and said, "My turn," and that was all she had to do to get her ears pierced.

Aren't we cute all dressed up for Halloween? About a year before the earring incidenct.

She's been doing stuff like that ever since, right up to getting married 6 months after me and having her first baby six months to do the day after my first. It's been fun to do everything together.

My sister (Melissa), me and my cousin (Shanna) on my wedding day:

Anyway, all that to say that she had her four children and my four children for all of a Tuesday a few weeks ago. Yes, she is a saint. She had eight children under the age of seven for an entire day. My kids were even all asleep when I got there.

She was really, really nice when I asked her. I didn't even have to pull out my super effective big brown eyes. I didn't even have to beg or bribe her or offer chocolate or undying devotion (when I say pull out my eyes, I mean use my eyes, not pull out as in remove. You probably got that, but just for clarification).

This clearly means I needed to pay her back big time.

So, I promised I would come over and help her decorate her living room. She already has a lot of the basics, but they needed a little polishing. I'll probably show you more of her make over as we finish up more of it, but here's a little taste of some of what we did.

Her mantle had some great pieces, but it was missing some polish:
My mom and my sister did the faux painting. They are renting their place, but the landlord is a pretty laid back guy. So laid back that he hasn't ever fixed their upstairs shower and they have lived there four years. So, on the downside, broken shower. On the upside, he lets them paint pretty much whatever whichever colors they want.

It's a pretty bright green, but stops just short of neon. In case on your monitor it looks like a lime otter pop explosion, just know that it isn't.

So, Thursday night, I had David cut me out some boards of all different sizes. Last Friday I showed up with them and we got to work.

Then we taped a bunch of newspaper together the size of the wall above her mantle, then arranged the wood in a balanced arrangement. Looks a bit crazy on the newspaper, but I knew it would work.

You can see my numbered map in the bottom. I only glued one pattern paper over the numbers on the blocks, so that worked pretty well, all told.
Luckily, my nephew, Graham, who just turned one a while back, slept through most of this, otherwise DISASTER. He actually slept for most the day, luckily. I think those are Xander's feet in the above photo.

We painted the edges black, then used Mod Podge to glue some scrapbook paper she already had on hand (in some really amazing patterns in grey, black and greens) to the blocks, distressed the edges a tiny bit, and then inked them. We stuck them up with mounting tape, and arranged some things she had on hand and I think we achieved that polished look we were going for:

It's so totally her and her husband, and it's a great start to her new living room!

PS My kitchen makeover is on hold for a little bit. I think I will have a few things to show you next week though, but nothing too big. :)

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Decor Mamma
I've started a new blog: Come follow my crafting adventures on my new blog. Find me at: creativeirony.com.