Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A little love

It's almost February and I want to share a little love with my readers.   Here is the love signs & Starbucks gift card I will be giving away today.  For February 2015
One winner will receive both love signs (one to keep, one to share) and I have decided to also give the gift card away as well.  The plaques will stay in state and the gift card will be mailed out.  I love Starbucks peppermint hot cocoa and once in a while I get the pleasure of meeting the Hubster for cocoa and company. 
For the signs:  I was buying lumber for other projects and I decided to cut two pieces down and use my router to do a pretty edge on the boards.
I then sprayed them teal.  Don't worry about the grass,  it will have all the top layer mowed off in the spring.  
I then went and whitewashed over the teal paint and then when it was dry I dark waxed it to give it a more weathered look.  Top picture is just the whitewashed one. 
Here they are both darkened a bit. 
I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the graphic on double sided sticky paper.  It is also made by Silhouette. (not a paid endorsement,  I just like the stuff)  I then took off the front protective paper and glittered it. 
You can see that it sticks to it really well. After the dark wax was dried,  I placed the graphic on the board and sealed all of it with a clear spray to protect the glitter. 
You can see from the back of the other board,  the look of the white and dark in contrast to where it started. 
When the kids get home I will let one pick an in-state winner and one can pick the out-of-state winner.  I hope all of you have a wonderful Valentine's Day.  Thanks for following me on my crafting journey.  I am working on a sofa table,  furniture repaints, and I am almost ready to reveal my faux card catalog.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Queen Bee

My mom purchased this piece of wood furniture for me a few months ago,  knowing I like to transform things.  
It was chipped and scuffed up,  it sat in my garage for awhile and then eventually I moved it inside my office indoors to think about what to do to it.   Before the holidays I was going to put wheels on it and turn it into a hot cocoa bar.  I got another rolling cart instead so it continued to sit.  I decided it would make a cute mini-bench. 
I started out by sanding the top a bit for better adhesion and then putting several thick coats of Martha Stewart pewter paint on it.  I did on both top and bottom but then I decided to only put the design on the top part,  this way I wouldn't feel bad about baskets underneath. 
I cut a design out with my vinyl cutter and applied it to the top.  Then,  the other day when we were priming a bunch of furniture in the front yard I put this one in the mix.  
Normally you don't have to prime a chalk paint project but,  I wanted to have a good white solid base underneath for distressing and this was an easy solution while we were already doing others. 
After the primer dried,  we painted the posts white and the seat and base in the color of ASCP Provence.  After it had thouroughly dried, I removed the stickers (very carefully!) to reveal the design. 
Here is part way.  You can see that silver popping through.  
And here is the full Queen Bee design. 
I brought it back inside after it was waxed and sealed, to see if the storage underneath would work as planned.  It does!  
I used some sandpaper to add distress around the edges and I think it turned out great.  It already has a new owner coming to get it tomorrow.  :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Innovative lighting

My friend over at The American Rust Company (a local Utah company) designs neat,  one of a kind,  lighting out of old tools and materials.  I enjoy when people are creative and come up with designs that are innovative and beautiful. I thought you might like to see some of his works.  I am not getting paid to endorse his products but someday I think it would be fun to work with him to design my own lighting. 
I will start with my favorite ones.  This old distressed wood chandelier has two pendant lights.  The photo looks like it's in a bedroom but I would love to see these type of lights dangling over a kitchen island.  
Here is one over a dining table.  Look at those cool old wheel pulleys!  The blue glass color is beautiful,  it's also my favorite color.  I am a modern design kinda girl for my own space but I appreciate the old and rustic charm!  
This old wood piece is great for a lower profile area.  Neat old farm treasures re-purposed and made beautiful again. 
Look at this neat old lantern that has been transformed into a classic bedside lamp.  I could see this in a boy's bedroom with old train decor.   I love  seeing other people create art and style out of everyday items.  If you get a moment,  feel free to pop over and check out his page. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dresser or Media Center

I started off with this good solid dresser from my cousin Sarah. (thank you)
It has great bones but no one is into heavy lacquered 70's style furniture anymore.  It needed to be spruced up!
I started by completely sanding the top back to bare wood.  I learned a lot of painful lessons on this piece,  one being using the wrong sandpaper. (40 grit,  is now banned from my house).  The lower number grit paper will help get the varnish off but it chews up the wood.   Next time I will start at an 80 grit or higher.
It looked pretty good after the first coat of stain,  the knots in the wood went bright red.  I was a little worried but after the 2nd coat of stain and then the poly,  the knots calmed down. 
On to painting.  I chose the Annie Sloan color of Old White for the cabinet color. I did a light sanding and applied 3 coats of the chalk paint.  
I wanted to do something fun with the drawers.  Instead of masking the side to a flat vertical line,  I thought the arrow shape would be a fun treat.  It makes no difference to any guest seeing it in the home,  but I love little surprises. 
I sprayed the original hardware in a black hammered metal finish.  Lucky for me it was a bright and sunny January day.  
I did add a bit of dark wax around the cupboard door trim to help the details stand out.  I think it's a very pretty piece and I am very satisfied with the transformation.  

Friday, January 9, 2015

A painting predicament

Last month I purchased a whole bunch of paint test colors.   I was so excited to buy little project sized paints in blues, greens, pinks and all the colors I only needed a little sample size of. 
After tax each comes to about $4 and that includes them tinting it to any color you choose.  I was super happy,  until I opened one a few weeks later.  It was completely solid!  Then I opened them all,  this is a picture of the best one. 
It just looks like it needs to be stirred, right? 
It's turned to paste.   Now this wasn't chalk paint or specialty paint,  it was just latex samples.  Then I went and checked my custom paint I had made and put in bottles,  they were completely solid as well.   I have had paint in cans that I have stored in the garage and it has lasted forever.  I am not sure why but plastic and glass containers seem to make the paint get hard in a short amount of time because of the temperature changes in my garage.  
    I am blogging about it just to let you know my mistake so if you are doing projects at home you don't throw money away like I just did.  It was only about $25 dollars but when you have a tight budget that can really hurt. 
On a good note,  I had splurged and paid about $4 for this scented paint additive before, and I tried it today.  I love Glade's scents for my home and I wanted to see if this made the paint smell as good as the air freshener and candles I use.  It does!  
I only added a couple of drops to an unfrozen sample. (it was in my laundry room, where I am going to start storing my paint from now on)  I am glad my tiredness/laziness of not wanting to go back in the cold saved this little guy.  It smells great and less like stinky paint!
   I had the hubby and kids smell the regular scent sample and the additive one and say which one they liked better.  It was unanimous.  The packaging said your project is supposed to retain the good smell for several weeks,  on walls or wherever you paint.  I will be trying the other scents in the future,  it was a really pleasant smell and I enjoyed painting much more with using it.   
   I am not getting paid to mention any of these products so when I tell you that I like them,  it is genuine!  
  I did get some work done on a dresser that I am staining/painting and I should have more photos tomorrow.  

Lots of luck with your projects!  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My dresser dreams

I have absolutely the best friends, and family that are constantly on the lookout for projects for me.  My sister Lynette was on her way to work when she saw that her neighbor had left this dresser on the curb. 
She knew I would love it, although it's missing several drawers and needs a lot of work.... I am beyond thrilled!   
I have had a plan rattling around in my brain for awhile and I just need the right parts.  I want to make a double vanity,  vessel sink!  
This is a sink of my daydreams. (not quite in black though)  I like lighter colors or stained woods for this one.  You may ask.... What do you do with the missing drawer space?  My answer is.... Covered plumbing in the back and one shelf on each side in front. 
This one used a shelf for towels and baskets on the sides to make up the missing space.  I think it looks great! 
This one leaves the bottom half wide open for towels and tissues. 
So many ideas and designs...  I would only use the bottom and middle drawers for mine.  I will remove the mid-drawer frame, put a back board in the space to hide the plumbing once it's in.   Now I just need to save up for the sink hardware.  
It's a long ways away from where I want it to be, but I think these photographs of other sinks show what this piece could be someday. 

Ottoman Tray part #2

So the ottoman tray is done!  It is a bright and shiny day today so I have it drying in the sunshine.  I did stain it twice just to get the rich deep color I was looking for.  
It is looking great,  I am really excited about it.   I tried out 2 different stains on a piece of scrap wood.  
I tried Minwax Jacobean stain, and General Finishes Java Jel stain.  I loved the better showing of the wood grain with the Minwax.  I will use the Java on another project but for this one I chose Minwax.  
The boards looked like this after my distressing and now it was time to nail them together.  I used the air nailer and my pocket square to make sure the comers were perfect. 
I got it all together and then it was time to stain.  Here is my kit:  newspapers,  gloves,  the match to the old sock,  a small paintbrush for details and a roll of paper towels. 
The little paintbrush was very handy between the boards and along the edges. 
After applying and wiping off the two coats of stain (I let it dry overnight between coats) I applied matte finish wood sealer.  I like Matte more than glossy for this just to keep with the rustic look.  I screwed on the handles and here it is! 
I am just waiting for the second coat of sealer to dry but I love it!  It looks like something expensive from a store like Pottery Barn but for a much smaller price,  I hope it's new owner loves it just as much as I do.  

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ottoman Tray

I have been commissioned to make an distressed, stained, wood ottoman tray.  Much like this one in the photo's.
I gathered my lumber and started making cuts. 
She wants it about 2ft square,  so after cutting the boards I lined them up and began cutting the trim for the top edge. 
Each corner is cut on a 45 degree angle to have nice mitered edges.  She would like it heavily distressed so this is where the fun begins. 
I took a tube sock of my hubby's and I put a couple of dozen screws of various sizes in it.  Then I shook them down to the bottom. 
After a few whacks at the wood the screws start popping out a bit.  When you hit the wood with it,  it creates little holes and dents.  These holes and dents are more common in weathered wood and we are going for beautiful but with character.  
After several more whacks the screws really start showing through. (and then popping through).  This is where this sock is done.  I usually let my girls help me as much as possible with my projects but I really didn't want to get hit with a bag of screws so I skipped telling them what I was up to.  The next part they got to help me with. 
My little fashionistas got to walk the runway back and forth on the boards.  If you want something to be a little bit beaten up,  let your kids play with it for awhile.  Since they are both lightweights, I also had to pull out the hammer for a little more effect. 
I like this hammer for the rounded and flat ends,  each makes their own marks.  I turned each board on it's side and worked the edges too.  That way when the boards are nailed together,  it's not all lined up and straight lines between the boards.  This will add to the weathered, natural look. 
I laid the boards back together to see the general look. It will show the distressing much more when the stain is applied and buffed off a bit.  That way the marks will have a much darker shade than the surface of the boards.  Tomorrow I will get it all put together and get the stain started.  See you then!