Saturday, April 18, 2015

Removing Labels

 I'm working on centerpieces for my son's upcoming wedding.  My future (and adorable!) daughter-in-law wants to use jars to hold the table flowers and candles.  Since we will need over a hundred jars, removing the labels (and the goo!) has put me on a mission to find the easiest and best way to do this.  It should be noted that I did soak all of the jars in hot, soapy dish water for at least a few hours before removing the labels.  Some labels peeled right off -- others, not so much.  Nearly EVERY jar had glue residue left behind. I tried what seemed to be the most popular removal methods and here's what I found:
 Nail polish remover was the LEAST effective. The glue didn't budge with this.
 Peanut Butter ran a close second -- while it removed a little bit of the glue -- it left most of it behind on the jar.
This method calls for filling the jar with water and bringing it to a boil in the microwave.  The combination of steam and heat DID allow the label to pull right off . . . but the glue was left behind. 
 Goof Off worked well getting the glue off of MOST jars.  However, the obvious drawback here is you have to do this outside -- the fumes are pretty strong.  And honestly, while I THOUGHT this would be the best . . . there were some jars where even Goof Off couldn't remove the glue.
 A paste of cooking oil and baking soda was nearly the best solution.  This worked quickly and easily and removed the glue well.  The oil loosens the glue and the abrasive properties of the baking soda make this a good, safe method.
And the winner is . . . Baking Soda and Steel Wool!  This removed even the toughest residue that none of the others could.  It removed it quickly and with much less effort than any of the others.  I think though that combining the oil, soda and steel wool would make an unbeatable combo!
Here's a sneak peak of what these jars are going to become!  So now that I don't have to worry about killing off more precious brain cells using stinky chemicals to remove these labels . . . I'm pretty happy!  Do you have any other methods that you've tried and really like?  If so, please share them!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring INSIDE At Least . . .

 Living in the Midwest means that even if the CALENDAR says spring is here . . . you know that doesn't meant it feels or looks like spring OUTSIDE.
It means that you can be wearing flip flops and filling yard bags one day . . . and the next, both are buried in snow.

Living in the Midwest means you often have to CREATE your own spring so here's my little attempt to do that.

Nothing says "spring" like bunnies and flowers . . .

. . . or nests

I treasure this one -- my daughters found this a few years ago while they were out walking the dog.  It's SO delicate and finely woven and only measures a few inches across.  That's a real Robin's egg that I found last year in the woods.  I didn't know if it would eventually smell . . . it didn't so it's the perfect touch for my little nest.

Many of these elements are rotated in and out at different times of the year, including this ornate frame.  I just swap out the quotes/verses.

No matter what the weather . . . I'm reminded that Jesus is the Creator and Orchestrator of the seasons and the source of eternal life!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ombre Dresser Make Over

I love the ombre look so when I was 'gifted' this very old dresser, I immediately pictured it in my beachy guest room with ombre drawers.  It was in pretty rough shape so there was a bit of prep work that had to be done first.

There were a lot of chips, nicks and gouges on the drawers and the top.  I sanded first and then used wood putty to fill in all the gaps.  After drying, I sanded again.  I also decided to remove the knobs as they were wood and didn't fit with the style of the dresser.
 Wood putty has become a great friend -- it really DOES fix and hide a "multitude of sins".
 I often choose to leave pieces "as is" in back.  Often there are some really neat details that give a hint of just how old the piece is or even where it was manufactured.  This piece just had this great, old number "20" on the back so I kept it unpainted.  The rest of the dresser got two coats of Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint which was then distressed and waxed with clear wax.
 I added these vintage look glass knobs and used Arles, Emile and Provence chalk paint for the drawers.  No real recipe.  I just started with the full strength color on the bottom and kept adding white to the next layer up until it was almost completely white.
It fits so well with the theme of my room -- and you can't beat the price . . . free!