Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Painted Floors

 Here we are, knee deep in our kitchen renovation and we're SO EXCITED!
It seems like this has been going on forever.  Progress was slow, sometimes stopped for months at a time.  We either had money and no time or time and no money.  
But now it's happening....for real!  
Our little Florida cottage was built in 1924, and most of the house is original...
except the kitchen.  The original owners renovated in the 70's and maybe again in the 80's and were big fans of linoleum. Like really big fans.
 We scraped...and scraped...and scraped.  It took forever.

 But we did it! And now we're here, with freshly painted floors.  Scraping was the hard part.  
The rest was actually fun and rewarding.

Check it.


 After the great linoleum scraping disaster of 2013-2014, and before we sanded,
we used this sander deglosser.  
It really helped clean the floor so our sandpaper wouldn't get too gunky. 
Have a pile of old rags; you'll use a lot.

squeaky clean

Kevin and I each had a sander and got to work.  It took a few hours to sand through this mess but it wasn't bad.  We knew we were painting the floors, so we just wanted them paint-ready. 
 They didn't have to be perfect.  
If we were staining to match the rest of the house, we would've rented a floor sander and took them down until there were no imperfections. 

After sanding we vacuumed the floor and wiped it down with a damp sponge.

We used Sherwin Williams Porch & Floor Enamel and it worked great.  
It went on smoothly, dried quickly, and has held up nicely so far. 
My only complaint: It's hard to clean.  The paint is almost flat, so it needs more than a Swiffer Wet Jet to get the job done.  Scuffs are hard to get out, too...
even with a magic eraser.  So I scrub it by hand, got strict on a no shoes policy, and I'm looking for a large kitchen rug.

I like these little 6" shed resistant rollers.  They're so much easier to handle than a regular sized roller.

ol trusty

I cut in around the perimeter of the hall and kitchen before rolling...just like you would do when painting a wall.

I started at the back of the hall and worked my way into the kitchen.  I kept my roller evenly coated but not too thick.  Less is more...you can always add paint. 

The transition between dining room and kitchen was tricky until I stopped overthinking it.  
I taped off a line with frog tape and painted it.  
Came out perfect!
(after the first coat I noticed tiny holes (nails, staples?) that I didn't notice before) 
I waited a couple hours for the first coat to dry before I painted the second.  
I was surprised how quickly it dried; it wasn't tacky at all.
The entire painting process only took a few hours.

I realize these aren't dazzling 'after' photos of our painted floor but this is it regardless.  
Our Dade County Pine is almost 100 years old.  It's been suffocated by layers of leveler and linoleum. It's been scraped and gouged and nicked.  
It's pretty beat up, weathered, and worn....but we love it just the same.

More kitchen pics coming soon!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lowly Worm Tutorial

My nephew, Sebastian, had a Richard Scarry party for his 2nd birthday.  So when my sister-in-law asked me to make a Lowly Worm, I was totally on board! 
 I love when there's a theme and everything ties together.  

And who's cuter than Lowly Worm??  

Since this guy came out so cute (and was easy to make)...
I thought I'd show you how it's done.


1 quarter yard of cotton fabric for each color: 
  • beige
  • blue
  • green
  • black
1 sheet of felt for each color:
  • dark green
  • light green
  • yellow
  • white
  • red
white paint pen
black Sharpie 
large paper 12" x 20" (to create your pattern)
polyester fiber fill
needle and thread
sewing machine

Here's a pic of the fabrics and felt.  I wasn't sure what I'd be using so I bought it all. 

This is where you need some (minimal) drawing skills.  I looked at pics of Lowly online and sketched my own.  But if you want, you could probably enlarge this pic, print it out, and use it as a template. The paper is 12" x 20".
I sketched in pencil first, and when I was happy with the shape, I traced it with a Sharpie.

I created a dotted line a 1/2" outside the perimeter of my drawing

and cut on the dotted line.

Draw your separating lines.  Head, shirt, pant(s), shoe...
I drew the neckline a little high and adjusted for it later on the fabric.
You'll see what I mean.

I cut strips of fabric a little larger than my template (for seam allowance) and sewed them together (beige, blue, green, & black).  I double stitched every seam on this guy to make sure he could withstand a two year old.

Fold in half, right sides together, matching up your seams.

This part is a little funky.  My seams and my template lines didn't match up perfectly so I traced Lowly's head, slid the template down, traced a little more, 
and so on until the template was fully traced.  I just judged where his clothes shirt/pants/shoe would start and stop.

It worked out that my fabric Lowly was larger than my template and I was fine with that.

When I removed the template, I realized that his neck wasn't long enough, so I just raised it a bit.  
I made mistakes so you don't have to!

Sew around your chalk line starting just below the heel and finishing just below the tip of his shoe.
Leave an opening at the bottom.

Cut around the perimeter. 

Snip around curves.

Turn it out and iron it nice and flat.

There's the opening.

Now for the eyes.  
First, LIGHTLY sketch (with a pencil) where his eye should be.  Just do one eye for now.  
Slide a square of card stock or cardboard inside the head so that your color doesn't bleed through to the other side.

Fill in the circle with a white paint pen.

Let that dry and slide the card stock out.  To get exact placement of the other eye, I put Lowly up to a window and let the first eye be my guide.  I traced the other eye lightly with a pencil.  Make sure to put your card stock back in before you paint eye #2.
I used this trick with his mouth, too.

Use a Sharpie to fill in the center of the eyes.  
The mouth is a little nerve wracking. All it takes is a light and steady hand 
and a little bit of confidence.  You can do this!
(you might want to practice on scrap fabric)

When the paint is dry it's time to start stuffing.

I used almost a half a bag of Poly-Fil.

Now you can whip stitch the bottom closed. 

Cut a strip of white felt about 3 inches tall and long enough to fit around Lowly's neck.
Start at the front and stitch in place.

Cut off any excess felt and finish it off.

The bowtie is fun and easy to make.  
I don't have exact dimensions for you but it should be about 4 1/2" wide and 2" tall.  
I trimmed a little here and there to get it just right.

Cut a little rectangle for the middle piece.

Pinch the middle in half.

Then fold the top and bottom back.

Stitch it closed.

Wrap the rectangle around 

and stitch it closed.

Stitch the tie to the front of Lowly's collar.

The hat is easy, too!  I used Lowly's head as a guide to make it.  Cut out this shape, a little bigger than Lowly's head.

Stitch around the curved edge and clip around the curve.

Turn out and fold the bottom up a little (about a 1/2 inch).  I don't have a picture of this step but you can get an idea from the finished pictures how it should look.  I whip stitched a thin yellow strip, with the bottom of the strip just slightly tucked under the hat fold, and added a little green leaf (with the light green felt). 

I whip stitched the hat to Lowly's head to secure it in place. 
And that's it!

Sebastian loves him!

Follow us on instagram @easteravenuecompany and use the hashtag 
#EAClowlyworm so we can see yours!