Friday, October 19, 2012

Pumpkin Painting and Lighting Updates... Oh Yeah!

Steven has been doing a major renovation project on one of the houses on the church property.  The plan for the house is to be used as a large space for a coffee house for the youth, Sunday school classes on Sunday mornings, and also a variety of other groups who use the building through out the week (women's bible study, quilters, etc).  The whole renovation project is turning out phenomenal.  When he was looking for light fixtures for the renovation project he stumbled across a light with a fan for less than $50!  He picked up two for the Church House renovation and then remembered how much our living room fixture needed a major update.  Less than $50 certainly fits in our family budget so he went ahead and grabbed one for us too!  You would be proud of me to know that I said OK to the whole thing without even seeing the fixture in person.  He did send me a photo to my phone just as an extra precaution.  I have really learned to trust him and his taste as we have done things to our house over the past couple of years.  So I thought $50?  Why not?!!!

Here is a before picture our our light fixture in our living room.  This picture was taken almost three years ago before we had done ANYTHING to our house.  We hadn't even painted the walls (Steven did that all himself in a mad rush when I was in my 3rd trimester with Josiah).

Once we painted the walls a darker color we realized just how much we needed to update that thing!  I wish I had a recent before picture but I was too busy keeping Josiah away from the screw driver he was committed to driving through his head.  The first step was to remove the base of the existing light fixture from the ceiling:

After this step I realized this was going to be WAY to complicated to do with a very curious 18 month old running around so I got Josiah busy on a project.  We had been to the Tate Farms Pumpkin Patch the day before and I was inspired by my favorite blog in this post to have Josiah paint a pumpkin this year.  One of the things I enjoy most as a parent is starting holiday traditions with my son.  I knew he wouldn't be able to participate in carving so I really like this idea of taping off a jack-o-lantern face and having him paint over it.

Here are the steps I did for our pumpkin painting project:

STEP 1. Clean Pumpkin:  I washed the pumpkin of with some luke warm running water in my kitchen sink.  I had a sponge I was getting ready to throw out so I used the scruffy side to make sure to remove all the dirt that was stuck to the pumpkin.

STEP 2. Tape Jack-o-lantern face:  I set up Josiah to play in the yard while I taped off the face.  I used a different technique than they did in the YHL blog because I had read that post a LONG time ago and was just going off my memory.  They covered the pumpkin with tape and then used a knife to cut out the the face.  I just used good old painters tape and a pair of scissors and made the face as I went.  It looked like this:

STEP 3. Check on Steven's progress and make sure he doesn't need anything before my toddler and I get covered in paint.  Here is my stud muffin in progress.  He had gotten pretty far with us being out of the way!

STEP 4: PAINT!  We used crayola washable finger paints and I also had some cheap-o sponge brushes from a previous project.  BRAG ALERT: My husband had purchased the finger paints and sponges for my mother's day present from my son.  He had him paint a memory box with his hand prints so I could put all my special treasures in it from my son.  So sweet!  Now back to the project... Since the paints were washable I just set the pumpkin on top of our plastic storage bin for out door toys and let Josiah go to town. He took a little prompting because he usually airs on the cautious side (he is so much like his father) but he quickly got into it!

STEP 5: Let dry: Once he was done painting I put the pumpkin in the empty side of our garage to let it dry away from the elements.  It wasn't until later that evening when I reviewed the blog that inspired me when it occurred to me that the paint might peel off when I remove the painters tape.  So I went to check on the pumpkin and it was pretty much completely dry.  I peeled off the tape and luckily it wasn't a problem at all.  I was concerned about the paint being washable and staying outside so I thought about getting a glaze spray to spray over the paint.  I decided just to leave it as is and see what happened.  It has now been 13 days and that pumpkin is still going strong. Here is what it looked like that night on our porch (Please excuse our extremely weathered rocking chairs.  I need to paint them.  That will probably be a future post).

STEP 6. Reveal to Josiah his masterpiece:  We have a hard time getting him to sit still during a picture but he really liked seeing the pumpkin.  Here are a few shots I captured of Josiah+Pumpkin:

STEP 7. Enjoy the fruits of all my husbands labor!  Here is the new light fixture we have in our living room.  We feel it has REALLY improved the feel of the room.  That night we laid on the couch for a while admiring it and talking about how much we liked it.



So that's that!  Do you have any fun family holiday traditions that you like to do every year?  What were your favorite things to do as a child?

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