Chalkboard Holiday Art Tutorial

It has been a little while since any chalkboard art has been done round here so I thought I had better do some! There is no time like Christmas to create fun chalkboard messages. With the holidays quickly approaching, I have been working on a couple winter inspired pieces. In this post I will share some tips on how you can create your own artwork at home. I am not sure if any of you have luckily discovered Lolly Jane? It is a fabulous blog done by two lovely ladies  lots of reces, DIY projects and other fun posts. They were kind enough to let me do a guest post on their site with all of my chalkboard art tips  I highly recommend you check in regularly with their site as they are always posting all sorts if good stuff!

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Chalkboards are so popular now that you can purchase some beautiful and inexpensive ones at many home decor retailers. We are DIY people in our house to we made our own. To create your own homemade chalkboard you will need the following supplies:

  • A picture frame of any size with a wooden backing
  • Sandpaper or an electric sander if you are feeling especially brave with power tools
  • Chalkboard Paint (I use a canned spray paint version to keep things easy!)
  • Paint or spray paint in a color of your choice for the frame
  • Chalk for when you are ready to design (Basic chalk will do just fine: I get mine from the Dollar Store)
  • Coloured chalk pens if you are ready to get super fancy (Michaels has an excellent selection, all with different tips to create varying thicknesses)

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Step 1: Remove the wooden backing from the frame and sand out any roughness or imperfections. You want the surface to be as smooth as possible. I used my husbands electric sander however doing it by hand works just as well, just requires a little bit more elbow grease and muscles!

Step 2: Once you have a smooth surface, wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Then leave it for a few minutes to ensure it dries completely before applying your paint.

Step 3: Keeping your spray paint can 6 inches away, spray evenly vertically, covering the entire surface of the board. Allow to dry for two hours. Apply your second coat, spraying horizontally. This will allow for even coverage across the entire chalkboard. Two coats should suffice.

Step 4: Apply your chosen color of paint to the frame. I always like to pick a contrast color, keeping in mind the colors in your home. You want the piece to blend in nicely with your existing decor.

Step 5: Once everything is dry, reassemble your picture frame and now you have your homemade chalkboard!

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I personally love to play around with different fonts and designs so that all of my chalkboards have a unique aesthetic and are in tune with the message I am communicating. There is unlimited resources on the internet to help you achieve this. I complete many of my boards freehand now but if you are a little shy with your typography skills, here is a great technique for applying perfect lettering. Locate the word or message you would like to have on your chalkboard on your computer and print it. On the blank side of the printed paper, take your chalk and rub it along the paper, coating it completely. Turn your piece of paper over and lay it on your chalkboard, chalk covered side down. Then take a pencil and trace the outline of the letters. When you lift off your piece of paper, you will have soft outlines of the letters to follow. Simply fill them in and you have completed a successful transfer. So easy to do!

Hot Tips:

  1. Plan your layout in advance. I always try to do this by making sure everything will fit. It is beyond frustrating to be halfway through, and it’s looking awesome, only to learn that it won’t all fit on your chalkboard. One technique I often try is drawing the first and last letter of each word, and then fitting in the letters in between. It may take a little erasing here and there but will save you time in the long run.
  2. For erasing, a damp cloth works best. If it’s tiny details you want to erase or simply tidy up the edges of the letters, a wet Q-Tip works magic.
  3. Play around with direction. I have completed many chalkboards with some words vertical, some horizontal. You discover the best looking layouts simply by trying them out. I am a very visual learner so this works well for me in discovering what looks good and what doesn’t.
  4. Simplicity can be your friend. Many of my chalkboards have been beautifully effective just with one simple word. Again, the internet has a ton of ideas so do some research, and then tailor ideas to suit your message, event, etc.

You can have so much fun with chalkboards. The possibilities are endless and I love how they can add to your home and holiday decor. I hope these ideas have inspired you to create your own and that you enjoy them as much as I do. Thank you again for having me as a gust on Lolly Jane!

 

 

If you are interested in keeping up with my chalkboards and other crafty posts, please visit my blog here. You can read about my pregnancy chalkboard announcement here or related posts on Baby Girl’s progress here. My blog, Time With Tiffany, consists of a lot of crafting, home decor and recipe ideas, a bit of fashion, and more recently, A LOT about my new baby girl. Please feel free to stop by and visit, or follow me on Instagram: Tiffany.Hayward

Festive Fridays

It’s been a bit of a festive day here at the Hayward House. Do any of you other mommas find that you still have baby brain when it comes to tasks and projects? I sure do! I managed to try and vacuum, bake, wrap presents, snuggle the baby, clean the bathroom and guzzle coffee all at once. Don’t call me superwoman yet – none of these projects are complete (except the coffees and cuddling)  and the house is messier than when I started. So much for housework! I am so excited about the wrapping paper colors I picked up at Target. My husband loves black so I feel that this color combo will incorporate the perfect amount of manliness for him without sacrificing the usual red and green cheers. I also found that using my freezer wrap paper gives a rustic vibe to wrapping other small packages. Just add a bit of ribbon and it suits the decor style in here perfectly.

IMG_7615I only have a few holiday onesies for Hallie but the one she is wearing here is pretty darn cute. Oh, and the lumberjack one too. So Canadian of her! What is that facial expression too? It’s so cute and mischievous. She is like a little elf! She is really enjoying all of the sparkly lights from the Christmas Trees. Quite often if she is fussy I prop her swing right in front of one and  her eyes just glaze right over, totally mesmerized. Works like a charm!

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I did mention that we were trying to achieve some baking here today. Well one thing we have discovered that is not quite baking, but I am totally obsessed with is Cinnamon Butter! This stuff is so friggin addictive. I go overboard with it on my morning toast because it just tastes so darn good. The recipe is super simple and makes a wonderful gift. I have the girls coming over tonight for drinks and they will each be going home with a miniature mason jar of this slice of heaven. There are plenty of recipes out there – The Food Network Website has a real yummy one that you can check out here. Once you try it you will be hooked!

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Lastly, I wanted to share with you a couple craft ideas that I will be adopting this holiday season. These gift ideas are perfect for the cocoa and beer lover (not combined, don’t worry). I found these particular examples on Pinterest and they look very easy to replicate. I want to do the Reindeer Six Pack for my husband, brother and dad. I think they will love it! No man appreciates the work put into such a cute craft but still, who can resist these suckers?! The cocoa idea is awesome too. We have a local craft store on Main Street in Vancouver called Urban Source – this place is amazing. It has all sorts of recycled materials, perfect for crafting. Last time I was there they had these plastic cylinders with lids which look identical to the ones shown here. Think I will be going back to pick up a few. This is a wonderful hostess gift for all of those holiday parties you will be attending. Hope you are having a festive Friday too, enjoy the weekend!

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Baby’s Christmas Wish List

Okay, okay… I know that a baby has no idea what Christmas is all about, or any apparent interest in related festivities. I am fully aware that heading out to the Santa Parade is more satisfying for me than for her. Despite pleading desperately with my husband, the baby does not know the difference between a real and fake Christmas tree. I know all of this. BUT! You cannot sit there and tell me a baby girl would not simply adore the items I have selected for her Christmas Wish List. Alright maybe you can, she is clueless. This kid only knows night, day, milk and shiny objects. Oh and mommy’s face! Smiles galore for me lately. After careful selection, I have settled on Hallie’s Christmas Wish List and I know she would simply adore every last one of them.

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  1. Fuzzy Snow Leopard Throw from Pier 1 Imports – Just looking at this makes me want to put both of us into our PJ’s to curl up and cuddle.
  2. Toast Suede Moccasins by Tiny Baby Soles on Etsy – Where can I get a matching pair?
  3. White Cotton Baby Tipi by My Own Little Indian on Etsy – these are the perfect setting for playtime and snuggles, and cute to boot.
  4. ‘Balthazar the Bunny’, ‘Splash the Cat’ and ‘Sophia Unicorn’ Stuffies from The Cross – I LOVE finding unique stuffed animals. These are so whimsical.
  5. Where The Wild Things Are Faux Fur Trimmed Crown by LoveCrush Boutique on Easy – Again, where is mine?

There are just so many wonderful things out there for little people. They really have it made with all of their cuddly, snuggly cozy things. I am having baby envy right now!

Cyber Monday Wish List

Happy Cyber Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. It sure was a busy one for us. We celebrated the end of November by setting up our Christmas Tree and even getting up the outside lights!  We still have some more to put up but it is a great start. I have a bit of Clarke Griswold in me and would light up every square foot of the house if we could. My extremely reasonable husband though gets in the way of that though. Inside the house is definitely off to a very festive start and I will be posting a bit more about that later. Today is all about shopping!

I am sure many of you braved the shops on Black Friday and scored some fabulous deals. A lot of people now wait for Cyber Monday so that they do not have to leave their comfy couch. Or even get some shopping done at work! I had a lengthy browse online this morning and wow, there sure are some deals out there. So many things that I have had my eye on and they are now on sale. When I say on sale I Mean it too; like up to 50% off most items! Money is on the tight side at the moment as we are watching our pennies to ensure we can have a very festive Christmas. This means Cyber Monday shopping is not in the cards for me. I did however want to put together MY Wish List of Cyber Monday goodies. A girl can dream!

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  1. Eye Club Bare Basics Eyecolor Collection – Nordstroms Online Exclusive – LOVE these shimmery shades for all of my holidays parties!
  2. Faux Fur Vest in Striped Camel – ChicWish – I already have about 4 furry vests yet just cannot say no to one more!
  3. ‘501’ Nike Sneakers in Purple & Leopard – I just love this color scheme. Super cute, perfect for the darker colors of Fall & Winter
  4. Striped Heart Tee – Cake For Breakfast – This T-shirt is just adorable. Super casual with a hint of glitter.
  5. Silver & Black ‘Fleck Yea’ Dress – Lulus.com – This is the perfect website for locating affordable party dresses. Perfect for holiday parties!
  6. Gold Glitter Teaspoons and Cake Server – Shop By Monika – Wouldn’t these be darling with your morning cuppa coffee.
  7. Bamboo Bath Caddy – Amazon.com – This girl loves a good bath. What makes a great bath? Having a spot for your book and glass of vino!

I then moved on to look at baby items that were on for killer deals this Cyber Monday and got a little overwhelmed. There are so many ADORABLE baby items on sale on al of my favourite websites. Mommas, check out Baby Gap, their sale is awesome and there are some perfect holiday dresses on there for your little ones. That is enough online ‘shopping’ for me for though. What is on your Cyber Monday Wish List?!

 

Holiday Essentials

After over a week of beautiful sunshine, we finally had a rain filled day, typical of Vancouver. It was a little blah here in the Hayward House as well. I am completely sleep deprived this week as Hallie has decided she would like to be fully awake from 4am until  6am. Oh and scream bloody murder. It’s been swell for my splitting headache that just won’t quit. She was doing really well through the night too. I think it has a tiny bit to do with her formula change – we had to change brands due to the fact that Target only had expired boxes on the shelves – wtf?! I was extremely disappointed; how are earth are you supposed to stay brand loyal when the company cannot even deliver the product? Anyways, that could have something to do with the fact that Miss Hallie is a bit cranky. So with the rain and the gloominess of the day, we decided to push through and cheer up. Time to decorate for the holidays! I dug out all of the boxes last week so that the craft room downstairs now look like santa’s workshop blew up in there. It is a challenge to do anything with a newborn, as many of you know, but I did manage to pull out some of my favourite ‘Winter Decor’ pieces.

Winter decor Definition: My way of sneaking up holiday decorations without pissing off my husband too much. He is a December baby so his birthday always got overshadowed by Christmas. This is why, I believe, he does not like Christmas Jingle Janlge, in any form, until way too close to the actual big day. His rule for me is nothing before December 1st, however if he had it his way, nothing would go up until a week before Christmas Day. Not on my watch! Hallie and I have been rocking to the Christmas Carols for a good couple weeks now. All of this made me resort to Winter Decorating. This consists of lots of neutral pallets, shades of white, shimmers of gold and silver, and anything to do with Winter. This includes fake branches and snowmen of course. I have actually grown to love this tradition and may even go as far to say that I prefer this style now to the typical red and green. It feels super festive without going overboard. While playing around with some table setting arrangements, I came across my most recent holiday purchases and thought that I should probably share my current holiday essentials. Below are some new purchases that I am totally looking forward to enjoying this holiday season. What are your seasonal faves?

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Most of these items were scooped up on my jaunt to Seattle a couple weeks ago. For Baby Girl, Carters had the most adorable collections featured for the festive season. I can’t wait to get Hallie into these girlie ‘overalls’. The hat has already been a necessity from BabyGap, the Scottie Dog security blankie (Carters) is already snuggled into her arms and she is white knuckling it every chance she gets. Target was my go-to for entertaining friends. I am loving their collections from Nate Berkus and the Threshold Collection. The galvanized bucket is perfect for filling with ice and frosty beverages. The little gold ramekins are going to pair nicely with the Nate Berkus side plates and their black and gold motif. These plates were on Oprah’s favourite things list of 2014 and I couldn’t resist them. We are big appetizer people so I will be putting them to a lot of use over the next few weeks. Lastly, there are a couple items I picked out for myself (it’s amazing that once you have a baby, you immediately would rather shop in the baby section than for yourself; their clothes are just so darn cute!). Forever 21 is great for grabbing cost-friendly socks, tights and winter woolies. The socks and the toque are from there and though the quality translates to only lasting for a couple seasons, they will work just fine. Too cute for words too! J Crew has a great selection of knit sweaters, as always, and are the perfect source for finding good staple sweaters that you can pair up with everything. This Black and Heather Grey polka dot knit can easily be work with jeans, my leather skinnies, or even a dressy skirt for holiday cocktail parties. Super versatile. Last but certainly not least, Target had a pair of quilted black boots for an irresistible price. I may have way too many boots but I can always find room for one more pair.

This time of year is the best! I do love Thanksgiving but really, Christmas time takes the cake. I am so excited to have our baby girl here to experience it. This year might be a bit tight money wise but I truly do have everything I need. I am crazy in love with my husband, have the most perfect daughter in my arms, and a warm and cozy home to sleep in at night. Though I may post about the fun stuff (baking, crafting and shopping) this is the time of year to remember what is important in life; family. Can’t wait to share MY family’s holiday fun over the next couple months with you. It’s going to be so much fun!

Baby Nursery

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! Many of you are likely still enjoying it if you took an extended weekend with tomorrow being a holiday. It’s been an action packed weekend for me as I took off to Seattle with a couple girlfriends to see Oprah (Post to come soon, I promise!) but I got home last night and now it is just quality family time for the next two days. Just the hubs and I and the little lady. Oh and lunch with my dad tomorrow so that should be great! Little family catch up time is in order.

I did however want to make time today to finally share some photographs of Hallie’s room. The nursery was completed back in September though I only managed to take some decent photos last week. I LOVE her room. I could hang out in there all day. Often, we do! The inspiration came from my fondness for woodland creatures. When I started working for Anthropologie, I fell in love with whimsical characters from the forest like little owls and furry foxes. I wanted to feature these animals in Hallie’s room, but in a subtle and elegant way. I am also quite obsessed with different shades of white. These two components set the grounds for where I would start designing. Next I wanted to choose a color pallet. Many were shocked that I went for a neutral scheme and not beautiful girlie pinks, knowing that we were having a little girl. I didn’t really care. I knew I wanted the different whites I had chosen, pops of gold, and possibly one or two more primary colors. Last Winter one of our windows at Anthropologie featured hot air balloons. My display coordinator generously gave me three of these handcrafted balloons and that is where my final choice of including the color blue came from. The balloons are honestly just so darn adorable. They suit the room perfectly and when we are in the rocking chair, Hallie just loves gazing up at them. She also loves the glimmers of gold on the wall and in her crib. Certainly is her momma’s kid! For the gold letters on the wall, I bought inexpensive wooden letters from Walmart and spray painted them gold. Take special care when selecting your letters though. It wasn’t until we had them up on the wall that I realized I had chosen one ‘L’ that was a different style to all of the rest of the letters. Hello baby brain! I took know notice and probably looked at those letters a hundred times over the summer. Oh well, gives it character I suppose. We hung them with twine to keep in tune with the rustic vibe that had developed within details in the room. Gold dots also popped out of my favourite Anthropologie cushion and the fitted crib sheet that I bought off of Easy. We refinished an old dresser, sanding it down and giving a fresh coat of paint. I then added gold sleeping fox knobs, also from Anthropologie, to give it a whimsy feel and to tie into the rest of the gold in the room. I adore the animal heads I bought from Anthropologie (it’s just so easy to shop there when you work there I swear!) which we filled with rustic branches and perched them on the white shelves. Henry insists these animal heads would be scary to a baby but I know in fact it is just he who is afraid of them. Hallie will love them just like I do! We also stocked up on cute stuffed animals that also might greet you on your forest adventures. Lastly we added texture to the room with the flowing white curtains and the fluffy white sheepskin. Oh and the plush furry throw in the rocking chair. I love soft fabrics, can’t you tell! The rocking chair is a favourite as well; it was the rocking chair that my husband was nursed in as a baby by his mother. Having items, especially furniture, with a bit of a story is such a beautiful component to add to the room. I can’t wait for Hallie to grow in this room, and as she develops to start noticing and enjoying tiny little details that I put there especially for her. It’s our enchanted forest where we get to spend time together and get to know the other furry creatures that dwell there. Even our dog Karma likes to chill on the sheepskin rug while we rock.

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Must Have Baby Gear

Baby Gear

 

I was so excited to write this post because I truly love so many of these products. Okay all of them. They make life with a baby so much easier. When I was pregnant I was constantly Googling First Baby Must-Haves and Essentials for First Time Moms. It was extremely overwhelming because everyone has their opinion on what they think is best. Honestly, I think if you just randomly pick one of the many reputable options and commit to it with a good attitude, it will be your essential as well. For example, with the nursing bottles. Everyone had a different opinion on the best brand. The lady at Babies R Us said ‘let the baby choose the brand she likes’. Sorry but the baby doesn’t know how much the bottles cost. Eventually I just picked a brand of bottles and committed to it. Those bad boys are working out great and I think it’s because the baby doesn’t know any different. This exact same logic went along with many things like the carseat, stroller and baby monitor. How is one to narrow down such a giant selection? Even looking at reviews can be biased. Maybe that maternal instinct kicks in early and you simply just KNOW what to pick. I am not sure but in my case, it came down to picking something that looked good and in my price range (which happened to be on the low side). In the end I am extremely happy with the pieces I chose and am not quite sure how I would get through many days without them.

1.) Brica Rear Facing carseat Mirror – This was an item I registered for my baby shower but did not receive. I though ‘oh well’ it is probably not too necessary and never got around to buying one myself. After Hallie and I’s first road trip out to see the doctor, I immediately decided it was essential for me to see her face in my rear view mirror while driving. It was actually hazardous NOT to see her as I stressed the whole drive in wondering if the tiny seat belt straps in her carseat were choking her. Now that I have one of these mounted in the car I am so happy that I can glance back and be completely reassured that she is comfortable (and breathing). Mind you her cuteness is still distracting while driving!

2.) Crane Humidifier ‘Tear’ – I bought this guy at Babies R Us mainly because it was so darn cute but also because so many New Mommy Blogs insisted it was essential, especially when they get sick. Hallie is now just over 2 weeks old and already has a stuffy nose (WTF?!) so I am going to start using it in her room tonight. Hoping it will help her poor little nose. It sure helped me in the last trimester as I got very stuffed up, as many very pregnant mommas do.

3.) Medela Electric Double Pump – Ahh the breast pump. We did not get along. Some things are just not meant to be. I am loving pump free life though, I must admit that. For all pumping purposes though, this one wins hands down. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and who does not love the fancy backpack that it comes in. Super handy. The price is high but if you are going to be pumping, I recommend this one. Throw it on your registry and maybe a few friends will go in together!

4.) Amerigo Stretchy Baby Wrap by Mamankangourou – Hallie and I are still getting used to this wrap but we love it! The fabric is super soft yet sturdy and the navy and stripes actually look kind of cute. I have not checked out the DVD yet with all of the positions so we have just tried the little newborn snuggle. It works great though! Hallie just snuggles right in and I am able to use my hands, baby free. I can do wonderful things like sterilize bottles and even type on the computer! Two of my priorities right now, honestly hah. There are many options out there (Moby, Boba, Happy Baby Wrap) and I am sure they are all wonderful and functional in the same way. Go out and get yourself one (commit to a brand remember?!) and make life easy. I even tried to make one; turned out perfect but for the cost of the fabric, it cost the same to buy new. I guess I should also be honest here and say that I bought mine off of Craigslist for $20.00. Baby stuff is all the same: You NEED it and then as soon as you don’t need it, you want to get rid of it ASAP. Check out your local online consignment like Craigslist and I am sure you will find one dirt cheap.

5.) Phil & Ted’s Carrier Bag – I was against many baby bags from the start. Many of them I found to be a little sore on the eyes. I wanted to get a nice Lululemon bag that I could use for everything. I always believe if you need to buy a super functional bag (like said baby bag) get one that will look good with whatever you are wearing. I showed Henry the Lululemon bag I was after and he quickly squashed that bug. Guess $200 was too much. We swung by Target just to check things out and agreed on this bag. The Phil & Ted’s brand is durable and because it is black, will look okay with everything. Also it appears to be very unisex so Henry has no objections carrying it. You might laugh but these are important factors to consider! Well they were for me =). This bag has perfect compartments, side mesh pockets for water bottles, secret mommy pockets for all of my lip glosses (because I need to carry 20 of them for some reason) and a convenient changing mat, already put to use about ten times. I love this bag and am super happy with it!

6.) Tommy Tippee Travel Bottle Warmers – For Formula, these are awesome. You have to be quite careful with how long you have formula made for or how long it is out of the fridge, depending on if it was made from powder, concentrate, etc. These are fantastic for taking a couple bottles on the road with me so that little Miss can get her lunch no matter where we are. The velcro strap handles are great too if I can’t quite fit them into the diaper bag and need to fasten them to the outside or even to the stroller.

7.) Lastly, my pride & joy…. the stroller / carseat – Graco Click Connect Mode Travel System. This product is awesome. It is a stroller with toddler seat / bassinet and has the infant carseat. It was so easy to assemble and literally clicked together, hence the name. It is sturdy, light, and steers beautifully. The carseat is nice and compact, and the stroller folds up and down very easily. You can do it with one hand, often the case when carting around your fussy newborn. This stroller looks good and feels good, what more can mom and baby ask for?!

These are my favourite products right now for Hallie and I. They work with our lifestyle perfectly and make my life very easy. Happy mom happy baby remember? By no means am I saying you should go out and buy these. If you do, you will probably quickly realize why I love them so much. There are tons of similar options out there that will do the same thing. Again, just pick something, commit to using it and I promise, you and baby will love it. Don’t get overwhelmed by the millions of choices of baby crap that you can buy. My girlfriend said it best. ‘There is so much crap to buy for a baby. It’s all expensive and half of it you don’t need’. So be wise and savvy with your choices mommas!