Monday, July 9, 2018

SUMMER BREAK


It's summer.  And I've been so behind in attending to my blog and returning visits.  But I can't help it.  To me, 

"It's the most wonderful time of the year"

Living here in the Midwest, this quote REALLY 
says it like it is:

"I can't wait for summer.  
I hope it falls on a weekend I'm off."

Our summers are so short . . . and our winters so long that I am going to take some time now to just soak it all in, visit when I can, post if I feel like it and just generally soak up this amazing heat wave we are in!

I hope where ever you are . . . you're enjoying the beauty of the season!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Weathered Wood and Napkin Wall Art


I love working with scrap wood to create art so I'm always happy when friends give me their 'scraps'.  These pieces of wood were given to me by my good friend, Rhonda.  She's rescued a lot of things from the 'burn pile' for me!


For this project I did a white wash on the wood using watered down chalk paint.  You don't need to do this but when working with napkins, I think a lighter background shows off the pattern of the napkins better.


After separating the napkin (I used the 'hand towel' size since one completely covered this piece of wood but you can certainly just use torn pieces of napkins as well.) plys, you'll have the very thin, printed part of the napkin.  I applied a think coat of Mod Podge to the wood, laid the napkin down and applied another layer of Mod Podge.


Sometimes your wood may have holes or in this case, a groove.  Just pat the napkin into the sunken area using a small brush to fill in. Don't worry if it tears . . . that's perfectly fine!


After it's dried, simply use a sanding block or emery board in a downward motion to remove excess napkin from the edges.


I wanted a really smooth surface to paint on so I sanded several times.  This gives a really nice, weathered look.  When you're finished, people will think you painted the flowers/pattern onto the wood!  


Print your words on computer paper and adjust size. Always choose a fairly clean, simple font that you'll be able to paint.  Insert graphite paper underneath (graphite facing down onto the wood), trace and transfer the outline of the letters onto the wood.


Once it's all transferred, you're ready to paint.  I use plain, acrylic paint and a #4 round brush.  To get nice, smooth lines, dip the tip of your brush in water, then the paint and drag your brush on paper to remove excess paint.  Simply follow your lines and then fill in!


Here's a good example of sanding down so you actually have some of the white washed wood showing through.


You don't need to seal your piece but I like to since it makes it easy to wipe off dust, etc. and keep it clean. 


For this project I used Minwax Wipe-On Poly and just applied it with a clean rag.


Ready to hang artwork for just pennies and everyone who has seen this thought I actually painted the flowers on!  Uh, no.  I'm not that talented!!



Monday, June 11, 2018

DIY Desk Decor

Since we are all just 'fit to be tied' over the changes Blogger has made, I don't expect anyone to stop back to see comments once they've posted so I'll simply be visiting your blogs in return (unless you come up as anonymous . . . still haven't figured THAT one out either!) if I'm able to see who you are in your comment.  Let's just hope they get their act together soon and realized what a crazy move that was!!

Now, on to more FUN things!
Recently I started a new job.  No matter where I work, I always feel the need to "feather my nest".  Part of my 'feathering' was inspired by Aly at Entirely Eventful Day.  She came up with a great way to create a custom desk pad that can be CHANGED out using different paper, or in my case, fabric!  

I purchased this Spray Mount by Scotch because it is removable which was key for me since I want to be able to change the fabric when I get tired of this print.   The directions say to use a heavier coat if you want it to be permanent.  Like Aly, I purchased my desk pad at IKEA.  Mine was only 6.00!  I cut the fabric to size and then sprayed the SMOOTH side and applied the fabric FACE UP, showing through the MARBLED side.  This is important because you need the marbled side up so you can operate your mouse on it.  Once it was adhered enough, I trimmed any loose threads.


My second project was taking a Goodwill Store frame and creating a tray to hold supplies.  After removing the picture, I covered the cardboard insert with the fabric. I used chalk paint and distressing on the frame, put the fabric covered board back inside and then was ready to add 'feet'.


I added these little birch tags as 'feet' for the tray using hot glue to stick them on.


My third project was to create some fun jars to hold my 'stuff'. I got these for 1.50 each at IKEA and gave them a few coats of Rustoleum Chalked spray paint.  They looked okay but I decided to distress them a bit and add some dark wax. I finished them off by wrapping some bakers string around the top neck part (guess I forgot to take a picture of that but you get the idea!).


My office 'nest' is now properly 'fluffed' and 'feathered'.


You don't need a separate mouse pad since the desk pad works as the mouse pad also!


Three fun jars to hold 'essentials'.


Add a little container of succulents and I'm all set to work.


And when I get tired of the fabric I chose . . . I can simply replace it on both the desk pad AND the tray.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Kitchen Cupboard Door Storage

My kitchen is small.  I really only have two small drawers to hold all of my 'tools' so I decided to try utilizing some of the cupboard door space to hold my measuring cups and spoons.

Once I removed the door and it's hinges, I gave it a coat of black, chalk paint.  You don't need to do this -- I just decided it's what I wanted.  You could cover it with pretty paper or all cork or just paint it a fun color.  I used molding that I already had and cut it to fit.  HINT:  Make sure it is shorter on each end so that the cupboard door will CLOSE.  You can probably imaging why I'm telling you this . . .

Also, you need to measure between the shelves in your cupboard and find the open space where your molding AND your utensils will hang without hitting the cupboard shelves.  

HINT #2:  Make sure you measure how long your cups and spoons will be and how far down THEY will hang so when you close the cupboard door, THEY won't hit the shelves.  You can probably imagine why I'm telling you this . . .


I decided I wanted a little cork board at the top.  Using old foamcore, I cut it to size and painted the edges with red paint to make them look nicer than just plain, white edges.
I attached some red ric-rac using double stick tape and attached the whole cork board with double stick tape.


Some old earrings were attached with E6000 to thumb tacks to hold recipes, photos, etc.  I love this old family photo.  That's ME in the high chair with my dad, mom and brother at Christmas.


So here's one of my "fails".  I didn't take into account the large hole at the top of the cups.  When the 1 cup measure hung down, it was 1/2" too LONG and hit the cupboard shelf (which couldn't be raised or lowered -- believe me, THAT would have been an easy solution!).  SO . . . I asked my handy neighbor who has every single tool and gadget ever created, if he could cut off the handle and drill a new hole.
Problem solved :)


Now my measuring cups and spoons are all within easy reach.  No more fumbling around in the drawer to find the right ones!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ladybug Rock Crossing

The theme for my porch this summer is . . . ladybugs!  Have you gotten into the 'painted rock' craze yet?  This was my first time and let me tell you . . . it's FUN!

Here's what you'll need:
Rocks (of course)
Acrylic paint (Red, black and white)
A fine tipped brush (I use a #4 round)
Toothpicks
Pencil w/soft eraser
Clear acrylic sealer


I had a bunch of these smooth, river rocks but you can find these just about anywhere.  I'd suggest looking at discount stores like Big Lots (that's where I got mine) rather than landscaping stores where they are more expensive.  
Begin by painting the black part then fill in with the red once the first color is dry.  (Hint:  The next time, I will spray each rock with a coat of white, flat primer.  I had to paint several coats of each color on some rocks that were darker.  I think if you prime them first with white, it will be easier.)


To create the spots, I tried different methods to get a nice, round dot.  If you have a SOFT pencil eraser, that would work.  Most of mine were too hard (Guess I don't use pencils that often anymore!).  I had this pen with 'stylus' end for a touchscreen laptop etc, that I don't use and it worked nicely. It left a round 'hole' in the center but I just filled it in with my brush and some paint.  You can experiment with other 'tools' to get the spots.


I just painted the white eyes freehand, then added the black center and a dot of white.  For the small and large dots I used a toothpick.  I made the 'antenna' dots just a bit larger to make them stand out from the outline 'wing dots'.  They all got a final spray of clear, matte acrylic sealer.


For the Ladybug Crossing sign, I just used scrap wood that I white washed and sanded.  I printed my words on computer paper and placed a piece of graphite paper underneath.  Trace the letters using a pen and then fill in with a fine-tipped brush.  (Hint:  Choose a relatively clean, simple font.  The more detailed it is, the harder it will be to paint.)


This sweet little ladybug family greets anyone who comes to my front porch.


I'm not sure what my next "rock" family will be but I know I will be doing more of these! A super simple, cheap and fun craft!





Thursday, May 17, 2018

12th Tea Cup and Mug Exchange Reveal

One of the sweetest, most beautiful bloggers I know is Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose.  Stephanie hosts this Tea Cup Exchange.  Because of her sacrificial efforts, hundreds and hundreds of us from around the world are able to connect, share gifts with one another and make this world just a tiny bit 'smaller'.  This is the fifth exchange I've participated in.  If you're interested, you can find more information about the exchange HERE.
I was excited to be paired up with Cathy at My 1929 Charmer. Cathy and I not only share a love for all things vintage and retro, but we don't live all that far from each other so hopefully we'll be able to meet up one day soon.
As you can see, my cup and saucer from Cathy is STUNNING!  Cathy was so sweet and put a lot of effort into my gifts, focusing on some of my favorite colors (turquoise and red) with the things she included.  It all came in a lovely floral box too!
Just look at this gorgeous, vintage plate!!  It is SO SO beautiful and is sitting on my kitchen table.
I love stamping and making cards so I'm super excited to have this alphabet stamp set!
This little bag had adorable red buttons of different shapes and sizes that I know I'll be using in sewing and craft projects.
I just LOVE baker's twine and of course, Cathy was thoughtful in choosing RED!
And of course, tea and sweets are always fun to get!  This lovely tea and shortbread have already been used on multiple occasions -- I DID share the shortbread with my daughter and husband (just a LITTLE haha!)
Cute little (RED of course!) post it notes rounded out this lovely package from Cathy.  Be sure to stop over to Stephanie's blog on May 17 for the Reveal Party to see what everyone shared and received . . . it's an amazing array of kindness, generosity and friendship!


Friday, May 11, 2018

Vintage Doily Banner

If you're like me, you just can't stay away from those boxes and bins of vintage doilies and linens at garage and estate sales.  Here's a fun, simple way to use them up!
For this banner I actually found 6 of these multi-color doilies and two of these medallion doilies but I plan to make more of these using vintage linens and mismatched doilies as well.
I cut these in 'half'. Because they had an uneven amount of 'points', one doily piece is large, the other small which works out great for this project.
The medallion doilies were cut apart creating these smaller pieces.
I have lots of these packages of old quilt binding but you of course could use new binding.  I used single-fold, wide and folded that in half and ironed it to create the 'pocket' for the doilies.
I pinned the doilies inside the binding, tucking all of the little frayed edges inside.
Then I just stitched the binding, catching in the edges.
Since there were so many little 'frayed' edges, I used a small zig-zag stitch as I felt that would catch all of those pieces neatly inside the binding.
 I thought this added a nice, summery look to our bedroom.
I simply tucked the ends behind the sconces and used a decorative tack to center it on the window frame.
So many possibilities with all of the vintage doilies and linens out there!  Also a great way to use linens that may have stains or other damage but still have beautiful embroidery or images on them.  
What creative uses have you found for vintage linens?