Friday, April 30, 2010

My Weekend Project

Wanna see what I'll be making this weekend? Ok, I won't be making it, so I guess I should say what my dad will be making. Well, it involves these 2 stain grade pine panels from Lowe's. Any guesses?

Ah, I won't really make you try and guess because really, you could make a million different things with those panels.  Are you ready to see what I have planned?

A tv stand!

I designed it to match the bookcases I had my dad build.

Wow, isn't it amazing how you don't realize how cluttered something looks until you see it in a picture?

There are 2 of these puppies and right now this one holds my son's toys and the other one holds boxes that are ready for our move, but once we move, they will flank the tv stand. And let me say the tv stand aint your grandma's tv stand.  The sucker is going to be 4 ft long! My current tv is going to be lost in a sea of space, but I plan on getting a bigger tv someday. I used to think all wood should be painted back in my shabby chic days, but now I really appreciate the look of wood...well, most of the time. I would have NO problem painting 80's style oak cabinets!

Here is a close-up of the moulding at the top.

And ya gotta love those worm holes!

My dad questioned my design of the tv stand because I want moulding on the top to match the bookcases which means it won't sit flush with the bookcases, but then I found a picture of this media center in the Ballard's catalog to show him what it would look like.

I think this look gives it more character, as if the pieces were found seperately and pieced together.

I've already been searching for some baskets to fit in the cubbies on the sides of the tv stand, but it's really hard finding long and narrow baskets that are cute!...And that don't cost an arm and a leg.

I can't wait to show you the finished product in a few weeks. It's so nice having a dad who knows how to build stuff!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Party Time!!

I'm throwing a party, Pottery Barn style, and you are all invited!! So grab your flip flops and let's head down to the beach, shall we?

First, we will have a lovely seafood feast and sip freshly squeezed lemonade from mason jar mugs. I don't even like seafood, but I'll go outside of my comfort zone for this party =)

You might be wondering how I lugged all the dinnerware and cutlery by myself, but I just piled everything in this wire basket for easy transporting.

After eating, we can all brave the ocean waters...ooooor just sit on the sand and admire the ocean's beauty from afar. I'm deathly afraid of whales and sharks, so the most I will do is stick my feet in!

And don't feel bad that you forgot your towel because I brought plenty o' towels in my handy basket tote.

Now that the sun is setting, I guess I should light some of the billion lanterns I brought down to the water.

Time to chill in front of the bonfire on grass mats piled high with these sea-inspired pillows.

And of course lots of these are planted in the sand for extra lighting.

And every good hostess hands out a token of appreciation to all guests as they leave. Hopefully you will use some of these recipes when you invite me to your next get-together!

Oh, it was nothing, really! I'm glad you could make it! We'll have to do this again sometime very soon!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ABC's and 123's

My son has been getting more and more interested in learning numbers and letters lately. He likes counting to 10 - which sounds more like, "One, two, fee, five, six, ten!" or "Uno, dos, tes, cinco, diez!" - and then he claps and says, "Yay!". And when we watch Wheel of Fortune (I just *know* my spin ID will be called one of these days!), he likes repeating the letters they call out. Ok, I guess that's my cue! I was thinking about getting him some flashcards, but really, what's fun about some black letters and numbers on a white background? Bo-ring! No, my son is going to learn his letters and numbers in style!!

I started by going to Michael's and getting some papers that coordinated with his bedding.

It took 2 papers for the letters and numbers and 5 for the background. I guess my math skills are really bad because I originally only bought 2 papers for the background and had to go back the next day!

I already had some stencils, so I used those to trace out the letters and numbers. I bet the process would go by so much faster if you have a cricut machine, but I'm not one of the cool kids and I don't have one yet. Instead I had to cut them out with scissors and an Xacto knife and straight edge.

Once that was done, I was ready to cut out the background. The paper was pretty flimsy, so I used spray adhesive to glue index cards on the back of the paper and then used the Xacto knife and straight edge to cut around each card.

There was a slight overhang with the index card, so I just trimmed it off and you can't even tell that some are a little bit smaller.

Next, I used some distress ink on the letters/numbers and on the edges of each card.

Believe it or not, I have never used this stuff before and as you can see in the picture below, I went a tad bit overboard on some of them. Thank goodness I had extra paper and index cards!!

My next plan of action was to stain some clothespins that I got from the Dollar Tree Store. There were 36 in the pack which was the *exact* number I needed (26 letters and 10 numbers - and you thought I was off my rocker!).

I used Minwax Early American stain. It's not a perfect match to his crib, but it sure looks better than what I started out with!

While those were drying, I glued the letters and numbers onto the cards. I made sure to leave a bigger space on the top of each card so that the clothespins wouldn't cover up the letters/numbers. After they were glued, I simply attached them to a string of jute and they were good to go! Now I just need to find a place for them that is out of reach of his sticky little fingers, yet a place where he can still see them. This may be a challenge!!

I hung them up temporarily so you could see what the finished product looks like...

But for now they will just sit tight in this basket, probably until we move. 

This project was so easy to make - a little time consuming, but easy.

Wouldn't it look so cute with pink papers for a girl? Or if rustic isn't your style, you could use binder clips to hang the cards on some type of wire cable like this one from Ikea.

The possibilities are endless!!

I'm linking up to this party

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April Showers

I don't know what the weather is like where you live, but here in Sacramento it's been sprinkling on and off. It's the perfect excuse to pull out the Disney movies (ahem, for my son, of course) and snuggle up on the sofa. But first I had to take a few - ok, a LOT - of pictures of the flowers in the backyard. They just looked so beautiful covered in raindrops.

I hope you enjoy!

Mail Holder

To all rusty, junk lovin' people, you may not want to read this post. You have been forewarned =)

Do you remember the old rusty mail holder I got from Denio's this past weekend? 

I was really debating about what to do with it because I loved the rust and the patina, but I wasn't crazy about the color.  As you may recall, I was thinking of painting it a glossy red, but I just couldn't bring myself to completely get rid of the rust, so I compromised.  I decided to do a green wash over it so that the rust would show through, but the color would be a little different. Can you guess what color I decided to use?  Behr's Lucky Bamboo, of course! 

 I added a bit of water to it to make a wash then applied it on the inside of the lid to test it.

When I wiped it off, it pretty much *all* came off, so I ended up using straight-up paint with no water. This is what it looked like with one coat.

It was a little more like the color I wanted, but not enough, so I did another coat.  At first I was dry bushing it on, but that left streaks which was so not the look I was going for.  Since I wanted the rust and some of the original patina to show through, I pounced the surface with the brush (like what you would do if you were stenciling) and then used a paper towel to give it some visual texture.

Here she is after the second coat.

Please note that you can still see some of the rust. I don't wanna give anyone a heart attack here! =)

To further age it, I applied some dark walnut wood stain to make the colors richer and I used a q tip to apply some green paint to the letters so they would stand out. You would think I would be pretty much done at this point, but did you notice the little area under the word 'MAIL'? Yeah, it's pretty much screaming for some attention. I'm assuming that's where the address goes. If not, that's just too bad, 'cause I'm puttin' an address there anyway! =)

I made up an address (I swear I don't live at this address, so if you want to stalk me, you *will* get lost. Hehehe), and I printed it out on brown packaging paper. But to avoid the mistake I made with my mini picture frames, I went ahead and taped the brown packaging paper to a piece of printer paper so that it wouldn't get jammed.  After cutting it out to size, I used some brown paint, dark walnut wood stain, and a toothbrush (don't worry, it's a toothbrush I use *only* for painting and *not* to brush my teeth!) and I splattered some paint and dripped some stain on the paper to make it look old.

Are you ready to see what she looks like now?

I left the inside unpainted because it would have been a pain to paint and I wanted to leave a little bit of the original patina.

I'm still trying to decide how I feel about this ol' rusty mail holder, but I think it'll grow on me eventually =)

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