Sunday, June 22, 2014

EASY Remove Paint From Hardware!

 Another great piece given to me by a friend has these great drawer pulls that need the layers and layers of paint removed.  I did a search and found a method that REALLY works with NO chemical strippers.  I went onto YouTube (do you ever use YouTube for instructional videos? It's a great resource for people like me who are visual learners!) and found a guy who showed the whole process so I had to try it myself.  You will need:
An old pot that you will NOT be using for cooking again
Baking Soda
That's it!
Cover the bottom of the pot with baking soda and place your hardware pieces in.  I put mine in face down just because most of the paint was on that side but it doesn't matter if paint is on both sides as this process will remove it all over.
 Next, fill the pot with enough water to cover the hardware.
 Don't stir or anything -- just simmer, for 30 minutes.
 Mixture should not boil, only simmer.  One note, check periodically to make sure the water hasn't all cooked away.  Mine did but it was okay and the pan cleaned up fine afterward but I'd imagine if it burned, it would be a bit of a mess.  I'd say check after 20 min. or so to make sure there is still water in the pan.
 Using tongs, remove the pieces and begin rolling the paint right off!  It reminded me of peeling dried, school glue off of your fingers!  In just a few minutes, I pulled the paint right off. I used a safety pin to reach into some of the crevices thinking I'd have to "pick" it out but NO, it just PULLED right out of there too!
 The end result!  
 Check out the YouTube video -- he is cleaning a really old door hinge using this method.  I can't wait to try this on other projects -- life-transforming!  LOL  
So what "tips" or "tricks" have transformed YOUR crafting life?


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Itasca M.A.R.K.E.T. 2014

Just a month prior to a local show, I decided to throw my hat into the ring.  So it's been a frantic marathon of projects . . . so much so that I often didn't even take "Before" photos . . . poo!  But is was a huge success and I plan to do it again next summer and this time I'll be working on things earlier!  I loved this old book shelf and if it hadn't sold, it would be mine LOL. After painting, I added a vintage French script letter to the top.  It was a really lovely piece!
 Like I've said before, I'm blessed with lots of friends who "gift" me with their cast-offs so literally, everything in this picture came to me free.  

 The music-inspired table went to an adorable, first-year music teacher.  She was thrilled with it and I was thrilled she got it!  It was meant to be.
 My boards were great sellers too -- I did quite a few with a "patriotic" theme for the upcoming holiday.  Now I'm working on projects for myself and my guestroom.  There are always projects, aren't there?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Music-Inspired Side Table

 I'm still working on pieces for a show that's just a week from today so please excuse the 'rough' photos -- not much time for editing!  This table is one of several pieces that were given to me by a friend.  This little table is quite old and was in need of some TLC.  After some sanding, I realized the top was not going to be nice enough as is so decided to decoupage some pages from an old music book over it.

I applied matte finish varnish over it which soaks into the old paper in random spots -- I really like this effect.
The bottom looked too plain with such a detailed top so using graphite paper, I transferred this quote and using a fine brush, painted it onto the bottom shelf, sanded lightly and then used wax to seal it.
A sweet, little side table for a music lover!
Back soon with more makeovers -- hope you are all enjoying the summer -- I'm SO happy to be working OUTside now instead of INside!

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Robin's Tale

I know a lot of people discourage birds from nesting on their homes, especially on porches.  But if you want to observe the miracle of new life, and the amazing way God has equipped His creation to prepare for, care for and raise little ones, then let the birds nest where you can watch!  This faithful mama fed her little babies NON-STOP and by the time they left the nest, let me tell you, she looked worn out! (Can we moms relate to this!?) We helped her out by leaving piles of earthworms and meal worms and fresh water in a bowl near the nest.  Each morning we'd peek out the blinds and enjoy watching the movements of both mom and babies.  And yes, dad too -- the male Robin helps feed the babies although he appeared to be a bit of a 'slacker' to me and the majority of the care was provided by mom.

While I couldn't linger on my front porch for long without catching an "ear full" from mom, the inconvenience was short-lived as this whole process took less than a month!
 As you can see from the timeline, once the babies hatched, it was just about ten days before they left the nest!  The growth in the last five days was CRAZY fast and reminded me of just how quickly the years went by as my three kids grew up. I was concerned the Robins were much too young to leave the nest but appeared to be faring just fine.  As moms, we're often afraid that our kids are too young to leave and yet, as parents, we are supposed to raise them for just that . . . to leave and live their lives and create families of their own.  But I still saw Mama Robin bringing food up into the tree so I know she's still there to help when her babies need her . . . and aren't we as moms always doing the same?  My front porch nest is empty and so is my "nest" now but a mom is always a mom, no matter how big her babies get, right?