Friday, August 20, 2010

Card-Making Frenzy

Well, just like the title says, I’ve been in a card-making frenzy the last little bit! Card-making was one of the first “crafty” things I got in to, and it’s still one of my favorites.

I often like to do a set of cards for friends’ birthdays. Like this one . . . OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(See that little flower element? So cute, huh?! You can make your own! Dawn over at Raspberry Suite gives a fantastic video tutorial on how to make them)

Then I like to personalize a set of matching envelopes . . .


And then put it all together to wish them a happy day :)


These are a few designs I’ve worked on during the past few weeks . . .


Some of the designs I’ve done before.

Then I just mix it up with different papers and a new color palette . . .


This one I did in honor of the upcoming Fall season. A pseudo season here in Arizona for sure. But one I like to celebrate and decorate for nonetheless :)



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I’m don’t consider myself very creative when it comes to thinking up new designs. So I like to browse the Internet for new and fun ideas. Raspberry Suite is by far one of my favorite places to stop at for inspiration. She’s super talented! Stop by her blog if you're in the mood for some card candy :)


Monday, August 9, 2010

A Kitchen Corner

If you don’t know, we are helpless renters. Someday I would love to own a home! And I will most certainly tear apart, paint, and decorate it to pieces :) But for now, I have to look for simple ways to turn our little rental house into a home (love that word) . . . on a budget of course!

Take for instance this little kitchen corner (see that AWESOME tile . . . One of the lovely things about renting. Um, you just never know what you’re going to get? ha ha) . . .


After finishing my kitchen table and chairs, I looked around the rest of my kitchen, and realized this little corner looked pretty sad . . . so I dug into my “idea” file on my computer and came across this lovely picture . . .

I LOVE this picture . . . everything about it! But I really loved those antique clothespins. Anyone know where I could find some?? . . . Well, me neither. So I just grabbed some regular old plain ones . . .


Stained them a dark walnut and plopped them into a round Bell jar from Hobby Lobby . . .

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Then I took this fun glass jar I picked up at Goodwill (I think for $2), spray painted the top a satin colonial red (to cover up the shiny Christmas red) and added some sugar . . .


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Then I found this BIG glass jar at Wal-Mart for only $10 and filled it with some faux green apples . . .

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And this is what I came up with to brighten up this sad little corner :)

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I only ended up spending $10 for the big glass jar . . . the rest I already had. Not bad!

P.S. Anyone know how to paint on glass??


I would love to know how to replicate those little numbers :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Farmhouse Table REDO




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It’s dooooooone!!!!!

I seriously can’t believe it. I’ve been staring at this table for two years, TWO YEARS . . . envisioning everyday what I wanted to do with it. How I wanted to stain the top a beautiful walnut color, paint the legs a nice antique white . . . and then . . . beat the heck out of it ;) To give it that old, beat-up farmhouse table look I was going for it.

I’ve been avoiding this table for way too long just because I knew the amount of elbow grease it was going to take. Plus the fact that it would leave my family eating off the floor for several days . . .

And you would think that in the middle of a hot and humid Arizona summer would be the absolute LAST time I would pick for finally tackling this project . . . but what can I say . . .

The girls were out swimming in the kiddy pool and there was a decent cloud cover outside . . . I was staring at the table for the bazillioneth time wondering how she would look after I got my hands on her . . . Then the wheels started turning (always dangerous for a DIYer) . . . And I started thinkin’ and scheming how I could get her out to the back porch by myself (cause the hubby was away at work). Then without too much huffing and puffing, she was outside! And well . . . that was that and away we went! :)

Let me tell you how I did it . . . .


I started out sanding off the thick coat of poly on top. This took a long time. Maybe 3 to 4 hours?? Thankfully it didn’t seem like that long. I got into my grubbies, put on my little face mask, grabbed my running playlist and went to work. And other then the fact that I was itching to run the whole time instead of sand, the time passed fairly quickly :) I used a 60-grit sandpaper first cause the poly was THICK. After it was all off, I went over the whole table with 100, 150, and a 220-grit paper.

Then I got my super sophisticated distressing tools . . . rocks, hammer, nail . . . and beat up the top.


Then came the paint and stain.

I sprayed on several coats of Rustoleum Heirloom White first on the bottom then moved to the top.

I had planned all along to use Miniwax provincial stain. But I went to test it out, and it was WAY darker then I wanted. It looked more like a dark walnut. And since the only other stain that had was a dark walnut, I had to make a quick trip to Home Depot.

I ended up coming home with a golden oak stain. I would have NEVER picked this stain beforehand. The sample was much lighter then I wanted. But I knew it would show up a lot darker on my table then the sample, so I figured I would give it a try. That’s the nice thing about a Home Depot. You can always bring back a can of stain if you use a little bit and the color is not what you were going for.

It also goes to show it’s really important to always do a test section before tackling a whole project. Stain and paint can always look different on various woods and in different lights.


So this is what I had after 2 coats of Golden Oak. The color looked almost exactly what I had envisioned! Yay! I also used my dark walnut stain around the edges to make them a worn look. Then I pulled it and my provincial stain through the rest of the wood here and there to add some dimension.

After that I sanded and distressed the legs. Again, for most of my distressing I just used a sanding block with 100-grit paper, very fine steel wool and a couple of rocks from the yard.

Then I used my provincial and dark walnut stain to darken up the exposed distressed wood. And finally I did a glaze over the whole bottom using these . . .


Jen Rizza gives a great tutorial on glazing if you want to give it a try yourself!

I had been debating a long time on what to use to seal the top. I knew I really wanted to avoid going the polyurethane route if I could. I wanted the wood to look natural and raw . . . not shiny and plasticy. So after reading this very helpful post by Kristine over at the Painted Hive, I decided to use Danish Oil (found at Lowe’s). And after living with it now a few days, I’m really happy with the results. The wood looks BEAUTIFUL! But as a mom of kids, I have to admit it’s definitely not as kid-friendly as a poly. It seals well, but it takes a little bit more work getting crayons, play do and glue off. I don’t regret my decision though. I would use it again in a heartbeat. Instead I think I’ll just buy some cheap placemats that we can pull out whenever the kids want to do crafts on the table.

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And here she is! I LOVE her!! I almost feel guilty having neglected her so long knowing now what she could have looked like.


The chairs are all done too! Yipee!!! I’ll do a post soon on how I finished those too . . .



I haven’t sealed the bottom yet cause I’m okay with the legs getting more distressed naturally. If anything, I might use beeswax on them eventually . . .

P8030010 Here you can see the distressing I did on the top. I love that I don’t have to worry about it getting all banged up. It’ll just add to its character!


And the best part is we’re not eating off the floor anymore ;)

Edited to Add: Finally did a post on my numbered kitchen chairs. Check it out!