Thursday, November 29, 2012

Another Daughter, Another Room

Last year I FINALLY finished up my oldest daughter's bedroom. It was a LONG drawn out process mainly because I'm so busy that it's tough to find the time to do things around my own house, but I got it done and I'm still very happy with how everything turned out.

This past May we had baby number three. This meant we had to do some room shuffling. I had never planned on moving either of my older kids out of their rooms but our newest addition was a surprise so something had to be done to fit the baby into the mix. We never find out the sex of our babies beforehand so I had to make some bedroom decisions not knowing if we were having another boy or another girl.

I knew one thing though. After all my hard work on Devyn's room there was NO WAY I was moving her out of it! Many people suggested we put the baby in to share a room with whichever sibling it shared a gender with but the rooms are small. Really small. We had a hard enough time trying to fit all their stuff in as it was. Plus, with the 4 year age gap between middle child and youngest we knew there were all kinds of little toys that would have to be kept away from baby.

So, my son, Reid, moved downstairs to the spare room. He was and still is quite happy with this decision as it's the biggest room in the house!

This left his room for the baby. All done in blues with a mural I painted for Reid still on the wall. I figured if the baby was a boy it would be perfect; if it was a girl there would need to be some changes! In May our second daughter, Lachlyn, joined our family. I will admit, I was secretly happy to get to do another room make over and girl's rooms are WAY more fun to do than boy's rooms!

I'm just in the planning stages now. She is only 6 months old after all. She doesn't care what her room looks like. If my track record remains strong she'll be at least 4 before I get it all done!

Here is the room right now. It's not much of anything! A place for her to sleep and us to store extra stuff that we have no place for at the moment!

 (Thank you iPhone for my new Panorama abilities on my camera!)

I don't have much planned yet except perhaps the colour palette. As with Devyn's room I found a piece or artwork to inspire me and I'll take it from there. I came across this print from Children Inspire Design and fell in love with it! I love the words, the colours and the style.

So with that picture in mind I started to plan. Below is the colour palette I've come up with. Roughly. I'm open for variations of it and other colours added in. The purple will be the main wall colour and I plan on covering the mural with the same paintable, textured wall paper I used to cover the mural in Devyn's room. It was such a huge success for us that there was no hesitation on wanting to do it again!

So here's where I need your help! I've started a Pinterest board for Lachlyn's room. A place to start gathering ideas and products. I've only just started to put it together so I'd love your help in contributing to the board if you see things that you think would go well with what I've got so far. Let me know your email address and I'll invite you to be able to pin to the board as well. (Sure wish Pinterest would let you make public boards so you didn't have to go the invite route!)

I'm going for earthy, natural type things. I went really girlie in Devyn's room. This time I want something a little more toned down! I'm also not afraid of colour so don't be afraid! The furniture is currently black with a distressed finish but it likely won't stay the same past toddler age so it doesn't need to play a huge roll in the design.

Let's see if I can get this room going before little Miss Lachlyn is four!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ABC's Get Creative!

One of the top selling products we do here at Bouncing Off The Walls is Unpainted Alphabet packages. A trend that started a few years back, alphabet walls are still going strong and offer not only a fantastic conversation piece to a room  but an educational one as well. Over the past while, and when we get the time, we add new alphabet packages to try and suit all tastes. I still have a few up in the old noggin' that I will get out there for the public to see some day soon!

However, no matter how creative I think I can get with them, my customers are continually amazing me with what THEY come up with. There is nothing I like more than getting emails full of pictures from excited customers showing off what they have created with their unfinished letters. The most recent one was extremely impressive and well thought out. Take a look!

Allison bought the A to Z Alphabet Package and had me paint the button O for her. The rest she took care of herself. The letters were for her little boy's toy room and she wanted something masculine, but fun. She used paints, scrapbook paper and other items to create an alphabet that is not only eye-catching but interactive! With texture and chalkboard paint one can only assume that this alphabet will be touched. How can you not? So, she hung all the letters with two-sided mounting tape to ensure they would stay put!

The C is fuzzy, made with furry yarn! Love it! Also love the D with the burlap behind it!

I'm also digging  the N done with chalk on chalkboard paint. The S is very touchable and done all in twine (her son's favorite letter!)

The X is also covered entirely with burlap and my personal favorite? The & is done with an old, plaid shirt that her son loved but outgrew. How cool is that? Great job, Allison! Thanks for sharing the photos. It's always great to see all the different directions people can take the same alphabets!

Check out a few other alphabets that customers have done themselves.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Shop Local This Christmas!

Well, obviously, being a small business owner I'm a big proponent of shopping local and supporting other small businesses, especially during this high shopping volume time of year. With Christmas just a little over a month away (yikes!) let's think about putting some of our shopping dollars back into our own communities by buying from businesses that are right here, under our noses! You may be surprised to know just how many are out there and what great, unique items you may be able to find.

I'm going to highlight a couple of my favorite shops located in a variety of places in Canada and the U.S over the next couple of weeks. Check them out and see what they have to offer. Maybe that last minute gift you couldn't find anywhere else!

Let's start with cards. Do you still send them? I have noticed over the years a decline in the number cards that arrive but let's be honest - getting something in the mail that isn't a bill is nice, right? Lindy from Crafted By Lindy who is located right here in Alberta makes some fabulous cute cards. I've purchased from Lindy several times and I'm a big fan of her simple designs and bold colours. Check out her Christmas line! She also does gift tags as well so take advantage and get those while you're in her shop and know that you're supporting a mom of three while you do!

Another absolute favorite shop of mine is located in New York. Nicole from Nicole's Treats makes the best, um.....EVERYTHING! Seriously. I have a hard time even looking at the pictures in her store because I want it all. I have purchased from Nicole more than once for myself and for giving and have been blown away by her product. Even the things I thought I wouldn't like I did! I highly recommend getting one of her gift boxes to give or to divide up and use as stocking stuffers. Or, if you're like me....the treats may not make it to the stockings..... I do recommend getting your order in early with her though as she does get crazy busy this time of year!

And on that note I must go get some chocolate.....

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New! Christmas Card Holders

Ever wonder where or how to display all those Christmas cards you get? Get creative and  display them all with these wonderful, winter themed Christmas card holders. They measure 4.5" - 5" depending on the design and have 5 feet of natural twine between them with 10 close pins included for hanging cards or artwork on.

Hang a few ornaments, Christmas crafts done by your kids or even candy canes between the cards for a stunning Christmas display!

Sold individually or in a set of three get them now because they're only here for a limited time while quantities last! 

Recycling tip: Don't just trash all the cards at the end of the season! Cut out the pictures on the front and put them in a bag to go in with your children's craft stuff. They can use them for collages, Christmas crafts or any creative, crafty way! 

Love what you see? Pin it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Have You Met Bobadoo?

If you've been following our business for awhile now then you know who Bobadoo is. If not, let me introduce you!

Bobadoo, named by our son,  is our Computer Numeric Control machine, better known as a CNC machine. It's how we do all our woodcutting these days saving not only HOURS of hand cutting but also my back!  It's allowed us to create things that hand cutting couldn't allow such as larger letters and consistent shapes. To be perfectly honest - Bobadoo saved my business as I just could not keep with the wood cutting any longer. It also allowed my husband to come into the business and he now does all the wood cutting letting me focus on other areas such as the beautiful artwork! I rarely breathe sawdust anymore! Ahhhhh!

We've been cutting full time with Bobadoo now for a little over a year so I thought I'd show off some pictures!

Here he is, in all his glory! Bobadoo. My life saver!

A close up view of a sheet of letters that just finished cutting.

The letters are now cut, but they still all have tabs on them to prevent the letters from coming up and flipping all over the place or getting sucked up by the vacuum while the machine is running. No tabs = disaster! We remove the sheet from the machine then we take each letter off the wood and remove the tabs, one letter at a time!

Close up of the tabs.

After the letters have the tabs removed they are all sanded smooth with a rotary sander and organized, ready for shipping or painting!  We create a lot of scrap!

Want to see Bobadoo in action? Click here!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New! Rustic Wall Letters

These new wall letters are just perfect for a softer look, a nature theme or a nursery that has a lot of busy patterns in other decor aspects such as a patterned wall paper. These Rustic Wooden Wall Letters come in nine different colors as shown below. Available in lowercase Cheri font only they are painted, distressed to the perfect look and ready to hang with D-Ring wire hooks on the back. Mix and match the colors for a completely original look!

Hmmmm, what color would you get?
 Buy them here: Rustic Wooden Wall Letters

Love these? Pin them!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Finally! Big Girl Room Reveal!

So it's been more than a year since I last posted about my oldest daughter's room redo. It took me awhile to get it all done, then we found out we were expecting number three and we had to do some reorganizing of all the rooms, including the toy room, to make space for the new bundle that arrived this May.

Life got busy! Customer's orders come first and I'm embarassed to say that I JUST got her letters finished up for her room now. She's four! At this rate, the new baby will be a teenager before I get anything done for her!

But, it's finally ALMOST done. Done enough to show it off. There's  still a few finishing touches I've yet to do. I've been searching high and low for the perfect area rug, so far to no avail. I have the image in my head of what I want but I just can't seem to find it. Also, the light fixtures are still fish from when it was a Finding Nemo room. I would like to replace them with a nice chandelier of some sort. We also need to put the base boards back on. I wanted to paint them white, but the window and door trims are oak so we decided to just leave them.

So without further it is! Hope you like!

See this blog post to see how I finished the dresser and night stand!

The little pink dress in the frame is the dress I came home from the hospital in and so did my daughter!


Tissue Pom Poms - Pom Love
Necklace/jewelry holders - My Adornables
Set of three watercolor prints - Little Piggy Prints
Wall Color - Behr's River's Edge
Bedding from Jysk

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nautical Alphabet Package

Over the past couple of weeks I've been creating some new alphabet package to sell both painted and unpainted. Here is the first one!

This nautical themed alphabet package comes painted as shown or unpainted for you to work your own magic on. With a lighthouse for the "i" and a life preserver for the "o" it's sure to be an eye catching wall of art in any room!

Available online at Bouncing Off The Walls it's one of many new alphabets that will be gracing our pages in the next while!

What do you think?

Love this? Feel free to Pin it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Not Good Enough

Not Good Enough. That is what I keep hearing from BOTH of my children when it comes to writing, colouring and drawing. My son is 5 and in kindergarten, my daughter is 3 1/2 and in preschool. They are like oil and water when it comes to their personalities and learning styles.

My son is all about the gross motor skills. He's a natural born athlete. From the time he could hold a baseball bat he could hit a ball pitched to him. He can drive a golf ball off a tee better than some adults I know. He has amazing coordination and ability with pretty much every sport he tries, but he hates colouring. And writing. And pretty much anything that requires him to sit down with a pencil in hand and put lead to paper.

My daughter is the opposite. Sports aren't her thing. She's the kid who complains of tired legs two minutes into a walk and has no interest in playing any sports. Give her a colouring book and some crayons however and you'll hardly see her all day. For three years old it's clear that she has some natural born artistic talent. Glad to know I passed SOMETHING on!

The problem? They BOTH think they're not good enough. My son had vision issues and when he was three we learned he was extremely far-sighted. Two years, glasses and an eye surgery later his vision is drastically improved. We blamed the eye problems for his lack of interest in writing or colouring. Now, I'm not so sure. He started kindergarten in September and at the time the only thing he could write was his name. I wasn't too worried as I figured that being in school would get him improving in no time. We signed him up to work with an occupational therapist because they're free and available to kindergarten kids. I have trouble trying to teach him this stuff without him getting frustrated so I figured we would use the resources available to us and go from there.

Today he is not a lot further ahead. I question a lot of things: Have we just not worked with him enough? Did his vision issues put him that far behind? Is it simply where his interests lie? (This is a kid who went to a Titanic exhibit that was in town and can now tell you everything about the Titanic so I know it's not about learning!) Socially he's ahead of the game, has a great attention span and is quite mature for his age so I know it's not a behaviour issue.

Tonight I think I may have put my finger on something. With MUCH arguing and bribing we all sat down as a family to work. My son with his dad ( I figured he'd have more patience than me!) and my daughter with me. My son has some work sheets with simple X's, diamonds and diagonal lines that he has to trace that will help him with pencil grip and control. With my daughter we just worked on her name.

Well it was a disaster. My son drew one line and his first response to his work was, "But it's not perfect! I didn't stay on the line all the way down. It's wobbly!" See picture #1 to see just how NOT wobbly and imperfect his line is. My daughter? I wrote out her name and had her copy it. She drew a perfect "D." And then started crying. "I can't do it! It looks silly! It's not beautiful like yours!" See picture #2 to see just how NOT imperfect her "D" is.

Picture #1 (His are the pencil lines over the black lines)

Picture #2 (The blue is mine, she drew the orange "D." She's THREE)

It got me thinking......did I create this? Now, I'm a self-admitted perfectionist. I'll be the first to admit that I uttered a lot of those same phrases as a child (and even as an adult my husband would tell you!) but I'm pretty sure I never put those expectations on my children. Knowingly. But what if I have unknowingly? Children mimic what they see, right? What if, in my own quest for having everything perfect I've somehow taught my children that they have to be? Even though we are always very encouraging and supportive I guess it's perfectly reasonable that actions speak louder than words.
I will also admit that I RARELY sit down and work on these things with my kids so I KNOW I haven't been putting unrealistic expectations on them!

Does my being an artist come into play here? I actually don't draw or do crafts with them much anymore because they know what I can do so they want me to do it ALL. I tell them that they should try and draw a cat for example and they'll counter with, "I want you to draw it because yours is better!" So now I hand them their craft boxes and I don't join in. I let them just have at it by themselves. I don't personally know any other artists with kids so I have no one to tell me if they've encountered the same thing.

What do you think? Do you have kids that strive to be perfect? Is anyone reading this an artist with similar issues when it comes to their kids? If you've been through this any suggestions? I would LOVE some feedback here!

To show you, here is a video of my daughter on her second "D" drawing attempt. Just so you see what I mean!