noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Paper, Please...

After painting the walls & cabinet
Ewww, no match at all!  Teal is out!
And notice the pinkish tinge to the
countertop?  Yuck!
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm! I sincerely hope all of you have had a good enough week to make up for mine. Here it is, the middle of June, and we're still raining. Not only raining, but still cold and windy most of the time. This last week we've had several thunder and lightning storms accompanied by that frog drowning rain.   You know, that rain that if a drop hits you you're going to get a concussion?  Seriously? This is totally impinging on my painting the kitchen project! Grrrrrr.  Come on weather, straighten out your act here!  I've got things to do!

Crumpled paper bag pieces
and mod podge cuz I didn't
have glue.
One of those things would have been grocery shopping, but I did it last week.  Thank goodness! On our one good day! Trust me folks, that was a fluke. Pure and simple - it was a fluke.  I was very thankful. Hauling out groceries in the pouring rain is not my idea of fun and I was a very happy camper that I didn't have to wring out all my groceries.  That just might have sent me over the edge.  Although hubby thinks I've already gone over it, he's wrong.  I'm teetering, but I'm still up there.

Just finished putting it on and it's
still wet.
What does this have to do with today's blog, you ask?  EVERYTHING.  And I do mean everything.  The main reason I grocery shop is not to get food.  Oh heck no!!  The reason I grocery shop is to get those nice heavy paper bags that I sack my groceries in.  What would I want food for?  I've got things to do, remember?  And that means working on stuff, not cooking dinner or letting anyone else eat.  Really, people, what do I look like here, a wife or something?  Pffbbbt.  No, I've got my eyes on those brown paper bags that are heavy enough to hold a baby in (Ok, possibly a baby doll, but hey, that's a baby, right?) and lug it around.  Yes, I have plans!

Done with the first part and now
ready to dry overnight.
I've been wanting to try the brown paper bag counter top method for a while now, after seeing so many beautiful pictures on other blogs.  The first one that I saw and to this day is still my very favorite, was done by Susan from Compulsive in Texas. You can see her post right here.  I am not kidding in the least when I tell you that she did the most awesome job I've seen. I totally love it! It's beautifully done and looks so incredibly warm and cozy. I took my direction from her post and did the same process she did. Minus the stain. I wanted it; Mr. Scrappin did not, so we went without. I figured I could compromise on this since he does have to live with it too. And although I went without any kind of stain, I think it will work perfectly for out kitchen.

Polycrylic goes on milky but dries
clear.  Don't worry!
As you know, we've been painting (or trying to) the kitchen and its cabinets to spruce things up a bit.  It's coming along, slowly because of weather, but it is coming along. And I love it so far.  Problem was that those old counter tops just DO NOT match at all. Nor does the tile back splash and counter trim.  Hubby bought this place brand new and back then (in the early 90s) teal was in.  Really in.  I remember doing a quilt for my friend for her wedding in the teal and peach colors and it was incredibly beautiful.  I can even remember having a little bit of those colors in my own house back then.  Fast forward to now...and...NO.  Uh uh, no way Jose', ain't happenin' Lucy!  It has to go.  

This is the polycrylic I used.
Off came the back splash and counter trim (I did break one piece of tile in the corner, darn it) so I could start my project.  I have to admit I was a little nervous as I started this.  After all, covering something up, even if it is ugly, is sort of intimidating.  This is my kitchen, that everyone who comes here will see, and not just a little thing that I can hide if it's ugly. What if it doesn't turn out like I planned. What happens if I don't like it?  I really don't want to have to pull it all back up.  That would totally be a pain in my bazoo.  I took a deep breath; actually, several deep breaths and went to work.  

All finished!  I love it!
After I cleaned the counter top thoroughly, I ripped some paper bags while it was drying. That was the fun part.  Ripping is like cleansing the soul.  There should be a song about it.  I did all kinds of random sizes just because. Then I crumpled the paper pieces up to get some texture from them.  That was hard for me since I don't have a lot of strength in my right arm, but I did it.  Then I dipped the paper in some mod podge and smeared it all over to make sure I got every part of the paper.  You don't want to miss any spots so it stays down! Now, normally, I would have followed Susan's instructions to use Elmer's Glue...1 part glue to 2 parts water, but I didn't have any. And since it was raining and I was still in my pajamas (It was Saturday - don't judge!), I wasn't going anywhere to get any. I will do that on the way home from work Monday. So, for this tiny little counter, mod podge it was. I won't lie, it's messy. But I can do messy since I practically invented it. Hahahaha

Another view of the finished product!
This did take me a bit of time, but it was a relaxing kind of thing.  No hurrying at all. Once I got the counter top all covered, it was time to leave it alone.  Just...leave it alone.  In Susan's instructions, it says to leave it to dry overnight, which is what I did.  It's amazing how it looks when it dries. And it feels good too.  :)  Bonus!  So, this morning I got up and did my first coat of poly acrylic.  I wanted several coats since this is a counter top that is actually used (I know, who'd a thunk it?  Using a counter top in the kitchen?  No way!) quite frequently.  I figure several coats will give me the protection I need. Now, the poly acrylic that I used says that after 24 hours you can use it like you normally would, but I think I'm going to wait a couple of days before I put things back on the counter top.  Just because.  Since there are seven layers of poly, I don't think it will hurt to take extra drying precaution.  I will be doing the back splash to match the counter...just waiting for hubby to bring me the wood.

Aaannnndddd...the other side.
During this process, I sent pictures via text to my sons and daughter.  One son asked if I realized that knives are sharper than paper. Smart aleck!  I have no idea where he gets that attitude from!  Today when I sent him a new picture, he said it looked cool.  He might actually be serious but I can't tell yet.  It could also be that he's on the line with Mr. Scrappin trying to make arrangements for me to have a special stay somewhere.  Only time will tell.

All I know is that this is a fairly easy process, although a little time consuming, but I love the end result.  My kitchen is starting to look warm and comfy, and like someone actually lives here and cares about it.  For a while, at least until I get all the counter tops done, I'll be saying "paper please" at the grocery store.  :)  Who knows, I might even find other things to do with them.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Like the Spice Life, Baby...

Good morning, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  And welcome to June, too.  Do you see the exclamation points after that sentence?  No?  Well, it's because here we are in JUNE, with our weather still being cold.  Makes me very, very cranky. Seriously, WHEN will it start to warm up?  This California-born girl is not handling this very well.  Seems like every year it takes longer and longer for it to get warm and then it's fall and it's not warm anymore.  I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!! Someone send me some warm vibes, would ya?  Please?

Mr. Weatherman, please send me some warmth.  I NEEEEEED it!  I truly do!  Alas, the dang weather person is not giving me my wish, so I have to do it myself.  What is wrong with this world today?  No one likes to be giving anymore.  Sheesh.  What did I ever do to the weather people to get this kind of treatment? Well, I still ramble...but, since I have to spice things up myself, this is what I came up with.  Spice jars.  I know, I know, not exactly the spice of life or the greatest  spice up in the weather, but it's something!  And heaven knows...I need something!  LOL

A lot of you can probably relate to the dilemma of opening that cabinet door to get out your oregano, basil, whatever spice or herb you're looking for, just to have to sift through 50 million of the things to find the one you want.  What - you don't have 50 million of them?  Where have you been?  Are you a pod people or something?  Seriously, WHO doesn't have a bazillion spices in their cupboard?  Sorry, I was feeling a little alone and overwhelmed there.  Anyhoo, as I was saying...the sifting, the moving, the "ah crud, I don't even have any of that" and the "why do I have four bottles of this" quandary.  It's ridiculous.

One would think that we could keep our spices neatly stored where they belong, but noooooooo.  No matter what I do, those little buggers come out at night and move themselves around in all kinds of ridiculous places and then I can't find the one I want when I need it.  Now, I've always been an organized cupboard gal, but I just don't know how the spices get so messed up.  It can't be because I continually use them so a different one makes it to the front every time. And it certainly can't be because my cupboards are messy.  They most certainly are not!  Ask anyone that knows me, they'll tell you I'm very OCD about my cupboards. Sad, but very, very true.

Last week as I was once again rooting through those darn things, looking for something I SWEAR I bought, I couldn't find it.  Turns out I bought something I already had and not what I actually needed.  Great.  Now I'm a little miffed.  Spices are not cheap.  They are VERY not cheap.  I've actually thought of selling blood or plasma or one of my grown children just so I could have money for a bottle of spice when I needed it.  Hey, I'm getting desperate!  I'm sure that's why Erma Bombeck (God rest her soul, she was a wonderful woman) said, "Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I'm taking with me when I go."

Anyhoo, as I was sitting in my craft room on the computer, I was looking around me and happened to eye these cute little jars I bought a couple of years ago for an "anything goes" project for a stamp group that I belonged to.  I had used those jars to hold M&Ms (one still has some in it).  Hmmm, I have two left (including the one with the candy, which means I may be forced to eat it).  Of course, I immediately wondered if they would be a good size to use to make myself some matching spice jars.  They are totally cute, small enough to not cause a scene, and SHOULD hold enough of something to be useful.  After all, they hold several M&Ms just fine, and we all know that spices are not as big and bulky as M&Ms.  Right?  We ALL know that, right?  HUMOR ME, HERE!

My next thought was how to label them.  I am a huge fan of the chalkboard look, and my first thought was to chalkboard paint the fronts and write on them.  But then I saw something with glass etching and went "ooohhh, ahhhhh" to myself.  Shoot.  What's a girl to do?  So, like any normal person, I took a jar to work with me and asked Shelly and Leslie for their opinions.  It's very important to get feedback.  Well, they were NO help.  Leslie said, "definitely chalkboard paint."  Shelly said, "but the glass etching...oooh."  Thanks girls..thanks a lot. Where do I find these people?  That dilemma went on for several days.  I just couldn't figure it out.  Love the chalkboard, but glass etching is so pretty.  Enter Michaels.  Shelly and I just happened to end up there (not sure how that happened) and we looked at the glass etching stuff.  Um...expensive!  For what you get, the glass etching cream is expensive.  This stuff better be good and go a long way at that price.  Then we looked at the letter templates.  Glass etching wasn't going to work for this project.  The letters were not small enough to fit a whole name on the front of the jars.  Bummer. But I will still use my little tiny bottle of etching cream for something else.  I bought a small (3 oz) bottle for $12.99.  I have an idea.  hee hee hee

That same evening, I had to go to Safeway, which just happens to be right by Staples. Well, a few stores down, but hey, who's talking distance?  Of course, Staples is one of my favorite places, so in I went.  Leslie had told me about some labels that were chalkboard labels so I thought maybe that would be less messy.  Nope. They're too big.  Curse you, too big chalkboard labels!  But then, I saw some different labels.  And they're very cute.  In the same section.  By Martha Stewart (and no, I am not a groupie, but Martha does have some great stuff sometimes). Little kraft labels, in cute little shapes.  Oh goodness, THIS WAS IT! Angels were singing and bells were ringing (technically it was the fire truck siren as it went by, but hey, ringing is ringing)!  These would be perfect!

I grabbed me a package (there are 36 labels in one package) and headed home. Yay, I was one happy girl!  Hubby was on a field trip so it was just me and I promptly went to the computer to play with my labels.  How fun!  I looked up some little tidbits about each spice and used them for my labels.  The font I chose was very plain; I wanted it to just attract the eye, not overwhelm it or make you squint because you can't actually read it.  THAT was fun!  Putting the labels together was easy once I figured out how I wanted them to look.  Ooh, one sheet done; time to print!  Uh, printing was A NIGHTMARE.  No matter how much or how many times I adjusted my printer, it was almost impossible to have the labels print out properly. I ended up with one good sheet, which was my last sheet.  The others were ruined. The labels would not align as they looked on the template no matter what.  I was totally disgusted.  I was even using the template program that went with Martha's labels, which was user friendly as far as making the labels, but didn't let me save them like I wanted.

Well, with that last sheet finally printed out correctly, I had no labels left.  But I wrote down the settings I had used and got more labels.  I knew they would print right now that I'd fixed it.  NOPE!  I didn't even get one good sheet out of the next pack.  As much as  I love the look of these labels, I will not be using them again.  At least not to print on.  It's frustrating.  At $3.99 per pack, I have one good sheet out of $8 worth of labels.  I'm not very happy about that.  

The labels that did work out are adorable.  I love how they look, and I love that they fit perfectly on my jars and they look like something you could get in a store. Love, love, love the look.  However, I will be hunting down some self-adhesive kraft paper in a lighter weight in order to finish the labels off, and I will be using my nestabilities or my sizzix to cut the labels out.  Sorry Martha, your label template issues are not for me; I don't feel like wasting all my hard-earned money.  Nosiree jimbob, that will not be happening.  As a side note, once I attached the labels to the jars, I did mod podge the allspice one, just to see if the extra protection was worth it to me. It wasn't.  It smeared my ink, even though it had been dry a while, and the coating of mod podge made the labels look almost dirty.  Now, I used an ink jet printer, so I'm sure that's why the ink smeared.  It doesn't dry like it does with a laser printer.  If you're using a laser printer, you should be just fine.

Anyhoo, labels are on, jars are cute, and I'm ready to hang them.  Oh, did I say hang them? Well, yes I did.  I am actually going to hang these on the wall instead of putting them in the cabinet.  I think they're fun to look at, fun to read (the little tidbits) and I want easy access. So...I will be getting one or two of those magnetic tool bars (like the ones in a mechanic shop) to hang them from.  Hubby will attach the tool bars, I will adhere the magnets to the backs of the jars and voila!  Magnetic spice rack all my own.  Even with the frustration of the labels, I really like the finished product so I am very happy with them.

Good thing...I have 50 million spices to store and, as they say, "variety is the spice of life."  

Snap lid jars (3 inch) from Darice; Kraft labels from Martha Stewart; Font is Ariel.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Olive Meets Versailles...Part 2

A beautiful number 3!
Hello, Happy Sunday, and Welcome to the Farm!  It's also Mother's Day, so I'd like to wish all of you moms out there the best day ever!  I hope you have the most spectacular day of the year, surrounded by your family as they pamper, pamper, pamper you!!!!! (Sorry, those of you that are fathers, you'll have to wait until next month.)  What do you have planned?  A barbecue?  Lovely brunch or dinner at a nice restaurant?  I'm sure that whatever your plans are, they will be superbly fun.  Mr. Scrappin' and his older brother, Mark, have decided to fix dinner for me, Christi (my sis-in-law) and their mom, Twyla.  Very nice, don't you think?  With this family, there should be a lot of laughing and teasing going on.  

Flourishes in the corners - love it!
Part of my plan for Mother's Day was to finish my little dresser/cabinet/whatever that thing is that I started last week.  You can see the beginnings of Olive's transformation RIGHT HERE.  Yes, I was wanting Olive to be able to get the rest of her beauty treatment so that she would feel so loved.  I DID IT!!!  I actually finished her!  And, OH MY HECK, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how she turned out!  She got some more dressing up after her paint and wax job, and I hope she's feeling like royalty now.  She is going in my sewing room TODAY, where she will have a spot of honor by the window.  Yay!

New knobs!  Perfect!
After I painted and waxed her, I thought about painting the handles that she came with and putting them back on.  I pondered that for several days.  I really do like those handles; they're just different than most.  But after thinking it over carefully, I really wanted a different look for Olive, so I ordered her some new knobs.  They're actually made for wood cabinet doors,  but who cares?  Nothing is too good for my little stand-by-me girl!  And I thought that they would fit her perfectly.  I got them Thursday and was so happy to see them!  Olive needed some TLC after just sitting at the end of the kitchen all week, all alone and lonely.  I couldn't very well move her yet since I wasn't finished, so she just  had to tough it out.  Did I mention in my last post that she's a trooper? Yeah, I thought so.

One drawer down - two to go
I knew that she needed some kind of creative something to spice her up a little, and I thought about the metal numbers that I had ordered a while back for a different project.  Nah, I don't want any additional holes in her and I didn't want to hot glue either. I wanted something just a little different.    Hmm...AHA! I've been wanting to try some vinyl designs using my cricut and  have never gotten around to it.  About a month ago I bought a deep cut housing and a couple of extra blades for it, so I suppose now I needed to get the vinyl.  I had been waiting on getting vinyl because I was going to do a project with my daughter for her kitchen but, alas, this was going to come first. JoAnn Fabric, here I come.  Since I don't live in the town I work in and we don't have a craft store of any kind in my town, I figured I would just stop after work.  It's almost on my way home; just a slight detour.

Front is finished!
Dilemma:  what color vinyl do I want to use on Olive? I thought about brown to bring out some more of that rustic dark wax color.  I thought about green to bring out some more of that Versailles and Olive combination.  I looked at the yellow and laughed because I loved it but it was definitely NOT for this particular project!  Black.  Black it is.  Especially when I saw that it was a matte black and not a shiny, glossy one.  Shiny and glossy just won't fit for Olive.  She's more regal and old-fashioned than that.  

Top is finished!
Now that I've got the vinyl, what designs or impressions do I want to put on her?  Something fun, but not stuffy.  After all, she deserves a break after all the hard work she's done for me.  And she'll be sporting this new look for a WHILE so I want her to be happy.  I spent last evening going through my cartridges to see what I'd like for Olive.  I chose some flourishes from the Storybook cartridge, which is a super great design AND font cartridge.  I cut out some numbers and some flourishes for her drawers.  Ooh, lovely!  Just what I had in mind!  After I applied them to her, I loved them even more.  They were perfect for what I wanted her to look like!

A view of front, side and top
Beautifully fab!  :)
I was actually very pleased with the drawers now. Great knobs, numbers and flourishes really dressed them up and made them look a little elegant, a little fun and a lot interesting. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Except now the top looked a little bland and not quite as interesting as I had pictured.  Now what?  I don't really want the same designs on the top as on the drawers because the intricacy of them would be too much (at least in my mind). I went back to the cartridge and picked another sort of flourish and cut it out much larger than the others. Perfect size for the top and I love the rounded corners on them. Then, for a little humor, since Olive has been waiting so patiently, I got out my Graphically Speaking cartridge and cut her a phrase to put on top.  I fiddled with putting it right in the middle on  her top, but I didn't really like it.  It was more stuffy looking than I wanted.  So I off-sided it, both centering and height-wise.  Just a little whimsical and off enough to be different but still fun.

Ah, she is definitely finished now, and she is beautiful! I'm so glad Olive met Versailles and that she has had such a good time being made over!

Swivel ring drawer pulls from Keystone Accents; Vinyl (Black) from Cricut Cuttables; Flourish designs and numerals from Cricut Storybook cartridge; Phrase from Cricut Graphically Speaking cartridge.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Olive Meets Versailles...Part 1

Dull, drab and scratched up
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm! I'm hoping you all have had a fabulous week, with another great one coming up!  It's been pretty busy up this way (or down this way, depending on where you live) as people start bustling about again now that the weather is starting to show its nice side. Hubby was out planting today so soon enough there will be barley and hay growing (hopefully in abundance).  Me?  Uh, no I was not outside.  You could have already guessed that, right?  LOL  Yes, in our little neck of the woods, Mr. Scrappin' does all the outside stuff and I don't (do anything).  While he relies on the weather for how our farm produces, I rely on the weather to be warm.  Different points of view here, folks.

Stained, funky top
While Hubby was out planting today, I was attempting to finish up the project I had started last week.  I didn't quite accomplish all of it, but the only thing remaining is the handles so I can complete that this week.  Mr. Scrappin' said he'd paint the handles for me, but I don't know if he'll have enough time or not.  This is the beginning of his super busy time and it lasts all summer.  I may never see him again, come to think of it.  Maybe I'd better have him do those handles FIRST!  I know, I know, he works hard on the farm but, hey...a girl's gotta have her handles!  Really, those handles and anything else I put on Ms. Olive's front will be the focus of next week's blog.  For now, let's just look at her from frumpy to fab body!

First coat of Versailles on sides
Olive for the trim
This little metal dresser thingy (I really don't know what it actually is) is something I've had for several years now.  I bought her at a yard sale for eight dollars back in 2003, if that tells you anything.  And she's always been ugly.  She was ugly when I bought her and she's remained ugly until now.  Poor thing.  I really did feel sorry for her, but I didn't really know what I wanted to do with her before now.  She's been such a handy helper, holding everything from extra scrapbooks to sewing supplies to pictures to you name it. Really, she's one of the best purchases I've EVER made.  She's sturdy, roomy and just the right height to match the top of my desk.  Yes, I've used her relentlessly and she has served me well.

Color doesn't show well in this pic, but
the contrast shows up great
Since I've been revamping my spaces to make them more usable for my needs, (translation - Hubby moving everything around in my sewing and craft rooms AGAIN) this little gal has been sitting in the middle of my craft room floor. I knew it was time to give her a facelift or some sort of beautifying surgery, but what? What could I do that would make her look beautiful?  Beautiful in a way that I'd never seen but knew she deserved?  Yeah, you got it - Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  By the way, this was only my second experience with ASCP (the first was my lovely chair) and my first experience doing it by myself.  Believe me, I was sure that Jessica, owner of Paint In My Hair, was going to come crashing in any moment and tell me I was doing it wrong.  Thankfully, she never came.  Yay!  That must have meant I was doing something right!  Actually, I remembered her telling me that I couldn't really do anything wrong, so I was hoping against hope that she was right as I worked on my little gal.

Isn't she lovely?  Dark wax
with a swirly motion!
Now, as much as I love how she's taken care of me, I'm sad to say that she did not EVER get the proper recognition of place.  She's always been relegated to a corner or somewhere that I can pile stuff on top of her to add to what she's already holding in her drawers.  I know those Sizzix dies were quite heavy when she was holding them, but she never complained once.  I *heart* her.  She's a trooper.  And I could never, ever get rid of her.  Eight dollars was a steal for her! Anyhoo, I's her turn for a nice, in-depth beauty treatment and I was happy to give her one.

Funky top gone; new top gorgeous!
I actually got the idea for her colors when I took my chair class. One of the things I received when I took it was a color chip list. Annie Sloan has some pretty cool colors, by the way.  I thought maybe my little gal would look pretty cool in a couple of contrasting but coordinating colors.  The hard part was deciding which ones!  Since I was going to be moving her from my craft room into my sewing room where she was going to once again be put in charge of sewing supplies, fabrics and other important things, I decided she needed to be somewhere in my favorite color scheme, which is green.  I know, you have all heard that green is my favorite color.  Sorry, I just can't help it. The two colors I chose for her are different, but very nice, and they coordinate beautifully.  I thought she'd look lovely.  She definitely couldn't look any worse!  I told her I was going to be daring with her, and she agreed to go through the transformation.  I dare say she might even have been a little excited to shed her dull, drab appearance.

Drawers all finished!
My little friend got a thorough cleaning before I set to work on her.  After all, she needed to be ready for her makeover!  On her top and sides, I painted her with a coat of ASCP Versailles.  Oh, beautimous!  Already, she was becoming like the ugly duckling transforming into the swan!  I was going to love this!  I let that coat dry and gave her another a little later.  I painted the trim around the top with a coat of ASCP Olive.  Oh, the contrast was awesome!  I'm pretty sure she was feeling a little flirty at that point!  On the top of her, instead of being just a flat surface, it is raised somehow, like someone put a big piece of tile or something on there. You can see the ridge and the height adjustment when you're looking at her.  It's not much of a difference, but enough to make me think about how I wanted to paint her on the top.  I taped off the flat area at the edges and carried the Olive up to that point.  I liked the way it looked; just a tad bit of dimension there.

Love the contrast after it's
been dark waxed!
After I finished with her main body, I painted the drawers in ASCP Olive.  Definitely loving these two colors together.  She was going to be gorgeous!  I was really feeling good about this!  After letting everything dry, it was time to seal her or leave her as is.  I definitely was tempted to leave her as is since the ASCP can be used as a chalkboard if left unsealed after painting.  My mind was quickly changed when I remembered how long she had sat there for me, so faithfully, in that dull, icky brown peeling paint.  She deserved much more beauty treatment after all that time standing by me.  Now, dark wax or clear wax?  I went back and forth on that one for a LONG time. Dark wax eventually won out as I decided she would look just perfect in an older, more comfortable kind of look.  It did cross my mind to do a bit of distressing, but I chose not to.  I wanted her to feel beautiful and like she fit in, like a part of the family. After all, she's lived with me for nine years now; she SHOULD be family, right?

Almost finished; just need the
drawer handles done.
So...dark wax, with a swirling motion.  It's more like a worn leather look than just a sealed look. Not a distressed or just painted kind of look.  She's got a unique look that no one else has, and I love her! I love that the swirling motion I used made the dark wax show lightly in some places and heavy in others. It's a great look for her!  

I have to admit that this was one of my favorite projects to date.  So incredibly easy with the painting; the wax made it look worn, and Olive got to meet Versailles!  

Paints (Versailles, Olive and Dark Rustic Wax) by Annie Sloan Chalk Paints.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Star Sighting...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope that your week was eventful and that you were able to reign in some of the sunshine that was supposed to be making its debut in some areas.  I'm pretty sure I actually saw it once, but I could be mistaken.  What I'm seeing here is snow and fat robins. Do those two even go together?  And does that even make any sense?  I didn't think so either!  

This weekend, I have been working on rearranging my sewing room.  Kind of.  It all started out with me trying to get my hubby's man-cave started, but ended with him saying "let's just use this one for storage right now so that we can get your sewing room organized." WHAAATTTTT??  WHO turns down their very own man-cave?  And for a sewing room?  BWAH HAHAHAHAHA!  I'm pretty sure I must have misunderheard him.  That had to have been what happened.  But no, he was serious.  Me thinks he's been in the pig barn too long or got hay up his nose or something.  Not really sure what's going on there, but after several attempts at letting him know that I REALLY wanted to get started on his man-cave with my bazillions of cool ideas, he talked me into working on my sewing room.  Hmmmmm.  I hope he knows this is NOT scoring any bigger or more expensive Christmas presents, nor is it going to provide him with that long-sought-after flat screen tv.  Too bad.

So...we went to work tearing down the bed in the would-be man-cave room in order to put more stuff in there.  Interesting concept.  I longingly looked at the window that was going to have the coolest ever curtain rod and curtains, only to see a bunch of stuff accumulating there.  Sigh...this wasn't working out at all the way I had planned.  BUT, the closet in my sewing room was being slowly emptied of the miscellany that was being held hostage in it.  Amazing the things I found.  I wondered where the Uno cards went!  As we emptied the closet out, I laughed at that old Compaq computer that is waaaayyyyy out-dated and has been sitting up on that shelf awaiting...what?  Some revolution for old computers?  Uh, nooooo.  And I had forgotten how heavy it was.  Holy motherboard, Batman!  The thing weighed a ton!

Hubby helped me get the heavy stuff out and then I went to work rearranging my sewing room.  Well, I started to rearrange my sewing room.  Do you have ANY idea how much work that is?  It's definitely not a quick job.  I boxed up my cross stitch and crochet things and put them on the closet shelf (no more clean and empty shelf) so that I could get to them any time I wanted.  I rarely do them, so they really don't need to be out in the middle of everything.  Then I moved the smaller bookshelf into the closet so that it could hold my serger and two other sewing machines in privacy.  I also put my quilt tops, blocks and repair projects on that bookshelf.  When I open the closet door, there everything is, all neat and tidy in its own little designated place.  And I can see my boys' quilts that need to be worked on so they can have them back.  HAHAHAHAHA  Really?  Did I say they'd get them back?  Riiighhhhtttt.

As I was arranging, rearranging and organizing, I kept looking at Dale's quilt.  It's folded up right with Adams, and it has a seam that needs to be resewn.  This was my second quilt ever, and it was my first HAND QUILTED one.  Oh yeah, I said hand quilted. Me? With the patience to hand quilt?  Mhm. But hand quilt it I did.  Amazingly, I really DID have the patience.  For some reason, it soothed me. Except when Sarah and Dale were playing underneath the quilt frame where the quilt was sitting and decided it was really a fort.  THAT was a little stressful.  I could see all my hard work going down the drain.  But alas, the kids didn't hurt it and it did get finished.  Yay me!  Now, this was YEARS ago (as in about 17) and it was looking pretty darn good then.  I had used some of the leftover fabric from Adam's quilt for the blue squares, and the rest I bought.  

We had just finished the boys' room with new wallboard and ceiling tile so I wanted to brighten up the room a little.  I figured red, white and blue would be perfect.  And it was!  I had a lot of fun doing this quilt, and Dale has had it on his bed ever since (well, except when I took it home to repair it and haven't done it. It's getting reacquainted with Adam's at the moment...I'm sure they've missed each other). While I don't remember what the name of this pattern is, I know it has to do with some kind of star.  hahaha  I know, helpful.  I really, really want to say Texas Star, but I don't think that's it.  Anyhoo, it has a star in the name.  And stars on the border fabric.  And my son is a star, so how much more appropriate could it be?

Looking at this quilt today brought back to me the time I spent working on it.  And while it's a little faded now, it's certainly been well loved.  I just need to fix it and get it back to Dale!  He's probably very lonely without it.  Soon, Dale, soon.  For now, your mom is walking down memory lane and seeing stars.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Eat Here...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm! Here's to hoping you've all had a wonderful week, with another one coming up.  I don't think asking for two wonderful weeks in a row is a bad thing, do you?  :) We have had snow this week, which was a long time coming (although not long enough for me) and not really welcome.  It did turn out not to be as bad as I thought it would, so I am extremely grateful for that.  The only upside of snow that I can see is that I can come home from work and immediately get into my jammies with no guilt at all.  No guilt is good.  :D

Although this week was a short work week, I really don't feel like I got much accomplished.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I didn't.  By the time I came home, got into my jammies, and pulled myself off of Pinterest, it was time for bed.  No house cleaning this week; sorry peeps.  Too busy doing fun stuff!

Like many of you, I am constantly trying to "cuten" up my surroundings.  I like to have a warm and welcoming home, and there is an empty nook at the end of the kitchen that is glaringly ugly, which does NOT make it warm and welcoming.  I don't even have any curtains up (haven't for four years) and the wall is that dingy gray white.  You know, the white that used to actually BE white but isn't anymore? Never fear, this icky color will not stay much longer, but until I can paint, I will just be focusing on how to make some fun, funky and cute things for my decor.  I kind of have my own style, which may or may not be a good thing, and I like to come up with things that I enjoy looking at. 

I like different, so that's a good thing.  Not to mention, I have a seriously limited talent, so I just have to beg the art gods that something will turn out.  Really, they do not smile down on me often.  That being said, I still enjoy making my home into something that reflects my quirky personality.   This week, it's an "I really wanted to be a sign but Toodie doesn't know how to make them so this is what I ended up as" type of wall art. Poor wanna be sign; it just didn't work out that way this time.

What I did come up with was fun, funky and just plain (in my own opinion) cute.  I had some blank canvases that I had a grand plan for, but couldn't find some of the things I had planned to use on them, even though I KNOW they are around here somewhere.  Those blank canvases were supposed to be a hinged sign. And the letters that I used for this project were supposed to be a phrase.  Not being able to find the hinges and not having enough room above the window for my phrase, I decided to come up with something different and combine the two.

I took three of those blank canvases and mod podged some old torn up cookbook pages to them.  I decided I didn't want to have a smooth background so I let my paper bubble before I put the sealing coat of mod podge over it. Then I panicked.  It's pretty bubbly.  I did only adhere and seal to the top of the canvas as I wanted to paint the edges.  My husband was ok until I mentioned paint; then HE panicked.  I did the same to the letters, only I smoothed down the paper so that the letters would be an opposite texture of the canvas.

Now that the canvases were completely dry, I took my scrapbook paints and painted the edges, letting the paint brush over the sides so that it was a sort of shabby, messy look.  I did like the addition of the color, so maybe I wasn't really going to dislike the end result as much as I thought.  After I finished with the canvases, I did the same to the letters.  I gave both the canvases and the letters two coats around the edges and let them dry.  Ok, I'm liking this a little better now.

Once everything was dry, I adhered the letters to the tops of the canvases with a glue gun.  I used the low temp setting as I didn't want to burn through the papers on the canvases. Then I added utensils (except to the letter A, because I did not have an old fork to use so that will have to wait until tomorrow) beside the letters and called it good.  Still skeptical, I put them in the window and stepped back to see how they looked.  The bubbled texture of the paper on the canvases combined with the smooth texture on the letters, with that pop of color, really made me happy.  I LIKED THEM!!  YAY!  They are three-dimensional and will look great above the window.

Tomorrow I will add a fork underneath the letter A and that will be that.  All in all, for a hodge podge project, it turned out fairly well, and I do like the end result. Sometimes being quirky and coming up with something different IS all it's cracked up to be!

Canvas (12x12) from Artist's Loft; Wooden letters (9 inch) from Michael's; Paper from an old cookbook; Scrapbook paint (Poppy, Sunflower and Meadow) from Making Memories; Mod Podge Matte-Mat from Plaid Enterprises.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Poor old lonely, ugly, dusty mirror
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope you have all had a good week and were blessed with fairly good weather as well.  I was so happy that we didn't get snow!  Looks like it's coming this week though.  8-12 inches predicted by Wednesday, and that's in town.  I just happen to NOT live in town, but in a snow belt, so for me, it's more than likely 12-who knows how many inches.  Ugh.  What to do...what to do...  Oh, I know!  Stay inside and work on STUFF!  You know, the fun stuff, not the not-gonna-be-fun-no-matter-how-many-times-I-try-to-convince-myself stuff.

I've kind of gotten a head start on the "stuff" part, even though there isn't any snow yet.  Oops, my bad.  Thought there was.  Hee hee hee.  So what do I have for you today, you ask?  Well, that's a good question!  I've got several different projects in line from the thought process all the way down to the just finished it process (mostly the thought process, though; I'm kinda slow that way).  You know how it is - you start with one thing and then all of a sudden your mind goes somewhere else because of a product, method, or whatever, brings a new thought to you.  Yep, that's what happens.  This project sort of came out of the fact that I got a 4-month old puppy last week.  And the fact that I didn't want to write on my chalkboard refrigerator (remember my Chalk It because I like it too much to use it for a chalkboard. THERE'S some keen sense for you.  LOL  

Nice prettied up mirror, uh, chalkboard!
Anyhoooooo, as I was getting ready for work one morning (which, by the way, is the WORST time to come up with an idea!) I had to shut my bedroom door because our new puppy kept trying to grab my nylons.  And my clothes.  And my shoes.  Dang it!  So, as I shut the door, I'm like...WHOA!  That mirror is seriously dusty!  And you can see that for yourself in the pictures here.  Eek!  How did that happen?  I'm really not a dirty person, honest.  Well, how that happened is that this mirror NEVER gets used.  And my bedroom door RARELY gets shut.  So, with the combination of the two, I completely forgot it was there.  Yes, I do vacuum around it, but it's become such a staid fixture that I don't even remember it being there at all.  Sad, sad situation and lonely, lonely, ugly mirror.

Now, I know you're going to ask...WHY do you have a lonely, ugly, dusty mirror in the first place?  Well, it's like this.  I have had that mirror longer than my daughter has been alive (I think), and she is now 21.  Ok, that's pathetic.  It's one of those cheapy mirrors that you can find at a big box store for about $5 on sale and only about $10 not on sale.  Except way back in the day, I'm pretty sure I remember paying nothing.  I actually kind of remember it showing up on the door one day and that's really about it.  It's entirely possible that it came with a house we bought when my daughter was just a baby; that's how much I remember about it.  Pathetic indeed.  I'm guessing that it's just followed me, because I cannot remember moving the darn thing!  At any rate, it's still here with me.  And it was in some desperate need of sprucing up, looking pretty, and going out!

Vintage garlic press
So, as I was hurriedly getting dressed so Baxter (the new puppy) wouldn't chew my clothes to shreds, it came to me.  The mirror HAS TO GO.  I'm so sorry to even think it, but IT'S TIME.  BYE BYE MIRROR.  Cuz, you see, this is how it is.  Remember that fairy tale...Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall...Well, no one in this house cares because you're ugly and we don't want to talk to you.  Ew.  Get away!  All day I thought about that mirror.  What could I do?  Throw it away?  I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to, but since I've had it for so long, I feel like we're bonded in some alien-like, freaky way.  No, I couldn't throw it away.  Hmmmm...seriously, WHAT do you do with one of "those" things?

Finally, two days later, it hit me.  (I told you, I'm a little slow)  Since I refuse to write on my refrigerator, which I chalk painted for just that purpose, I could make it into a chalkboard!  It will fit on my pantry door, which is a smaller width door, and will certainly spruce it up a little.  Yay, problem solved!  Uh...not so much. I had this grand plan to mod podge some old cookbook pages around the frame and chalkboard the mirror itself.  BWAH HAHAHAHAHAHAH.  Too many ridges in the frame for the mod podge to even begin to think of adhering.  I couldn't get far enough in the grooves with my pages to have them stick.  Pooh.  Ok, I'm disappointed but I think I can handle this somehow.  DING!  I'll just paint the edges with some of the leftover paint I have that matches the living room and the maple color of the fridge.  Uh...not so much.  As I attempted to do that, it appeared that I would have to do several coats of paint just to get it to cover, and then several more just to make it sort of look like it was painted, and then...well, yeah, you get the picture.  Pooh.  There is no more disappointment in me.  Now, I'm just disgusted.  And sulking.  It did not help AT ALL that I had to sleep on the love seat because my husband was sleeping on the couch because BAXTER PEED ON THE BED and it was too late at night to care about changing the bedding.  And it is our own fault because we were gone too long and did not look when we got home to see if there were any accidents.  Did I mention Pooh.  Well, guess what...We are now past Pooh to Crap. 

Vintage cup and juicer
So, here I am, laying on the love seat with my feet hanging over because I cannot lay on the arm of the love seat with my head and neck unless I desire to look like Quasimodo in the morning and no, thank you, I do not.  Well, of course I can't there are millions of thoughts going around in my head about our trip to Home Depot that pretty much resulted in my having to rethink a couple of my kitchen projects (insert sad face here); our trip to Brown's Building Supply where I picked up three antique steel knobs and wanted that project done NOW; and, of course, this stupid mirror frame fiasco.  Hmmmph.  As I'm laying there trying to remember any new thoughts for these projects so I can write them down in the morning, it hits me...UH, DORKO, JUST TAKE THE STUPID FRAME OFF!  Well, duh.

This morning, that's exactly what I did.  I took that stupid frame off.  Oh, excuse me, I misspoke.  I RIPPED THAT STINKIN' FRAME OFF WITH A VENGEANCE AND IT FELT GOOOOOOOOD.  Yes, I mean that as evil as it sounds.  I ripped it off and I won!  I did, however, leave the backing on as it stuck out around the edges of the mirror itself about 1 inch.  That way, when I picked it up to move it, I wouldn't cut my hands on the raw edges.  Genius, I say.  The only thing to do now was to take the mirror outside and paint it. This time for paint I was using the spray chalkboard paint so I knew the mist would be in the air and I wanted a well-ventilated area to paint.  Outside was perfect.  How much more ventilated could you get?  I am so smart sometimes, I scare myself!  Following the super simple directions on the can, I sprayed away.  On this mirror, I did three coats, but that is just a personal preference.  The directions say one or two.  I did wait about 25 minutes in between coats (again, just a personal preference as I wanted to see if I'd missed any spots while it was drying) and, about 20 minutes after the last coat, I brought the mirror back inside.  I had set up two bar stools to lay the mirror on, and I just let it lay there and dry about an hour more.  You don't really have to wait that long, but I wanted to make sure there was no tackiness to the paint as I wasn't finished yet.

After the mirror was dry, I grabbed some of my trusty cardstock from my craft room.  I had a kitchen-themed paper that I thought was going to be perfect for this project!  And I think it is.  :)  The best thing about that was that the mirror was 12 inches wide so there was no cutting or measuring so it took little to no time to get the paper adhered.  My first thought was to use mod podge to adhere it on, but I decided that I didn't want to have any glue residue on the blackboard so I used some double-sided tape instead.  The tape I used was about 1/4 inch wide, but any size will do.  Simple and quick, and no messy residue.  Loved it!  I really liked the result, but still felt like something was missing.  You know that feeling...looks great, but could look just a wee bit better.  Back into my trusty craft room I went and found some thin ribbon that was green with gold edges.  Perfect!  I adhered that to the tops and bottoms of each paper, and also to the dividing line between the two bottom papers (I had added extra to the bottom as I wanted a larger area covered).  Loved it!  The result was just what I was looking for!

Then, because I just can't leave well enough alone, I went into my kitchen and grabbed a few vintage utensils off of the wall.  Yes, I said off of the wall.  I have had them hanging there for a while (ok, several years) but they just get hidden behind the dish drainer and can't be enjoyed.  I thought maybe they would be a nice addition to my chalkboard.  Simple, but visible.  You can't go wrong with that, right?  At least, I hope not.  In any event, I thought they were really cool looking so on they went.  :)  And, for one of the very few times that I've been absolutely in love with what I've done, I WAS ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE.  This turned out so much better than I thought it would, and tomorrow it will be attached to the pantry door.  

My lonely, ugly, dusty mirror was no longer.  Now, she has been all prettied up and is going out!  Out of the bedroom, that is, and into the kitchen for everyone to see!

Mirror, Mirror, on the Door - You aren't so Ugly anymore!

Chalk Board Spray Paint (Black) by Rustoleum; Double-sided cardstock (So Delish~Spice Rack and So Delish~Everything But The Kitchen Sink) by TPC Studio; Ribbon by unknown source.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sister Scenario...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I trust your year has started out on a fairly good note and that so far January has been good to you.  It has been a good start here, so I'm hoping for the same everywhere else.

With the new year, we've got all those fun ideas and resolutions on our minds.  At least I do.  There's a lot of organizing, cleaning out, crafting, etc., to be done and I probably should get a start on it.  But I don't want to.  Really, I don't.  It makes me nauseous just to think of it.

Although I am all in favor of a clean and organized house, it's much more fun to craft; however, how can I do that if I don't have a clean and organized house? It's a vicious circle and, in my opinion, a very unfair one.  Who invented that stupid circle anyway? And why?  

Since I did a LITTLE cleaning up today AND a major organization project, I think it's only fair that I get to share a craft as well.  After all, turnabout is fair play (I suppose if you're a circle).  I've been working on some more of my unfinished projects, but the one I'm sharing today was already finished.  It's one of my favorite scrapbook projects EVAH.

My little granddaughter, Addisyn, has two big sisters, Tiffani and Cierra, who just adore her.  I'm pretty sure it goes both ways since little Addie smiles and laughs a lot with them (at them?).  They're always playing with her and having fun, although there was this one time when Cierra got a taste of what it's like to feed her.  The pictures were sad.  Food on her face sad.  And food in her hair sad.  Poor Cierra, that's all I can say about that.  

Momma Keri took these pictures of the girls and, as usual, I stole them right off the computer.  hee hee hee I'm really good for that.  In fact, it's my job.  She knows I do it; that's why she posts them.  Since I don't live by them, I'm very grateful that she does.  These two pictures just brought joy to my heart.  The way they are all looking - so content and happy - that's what a Grandma wants to see.  :)  I can see so clearly how much Addisyn loves her big sisters and how much they love her.  

When I first saw these pictures, my heart just melted.  And then I started thinking of all the things they'll do together in the future; things like my own sister and I did when we were little.  Playing, talking, sharing secrets, reading to each other, supposed to be sleeping but not...  It's ok to say that; we're grown up now and we can't get in trouble anymore.  :D  I have some precious memories of my sister and I, and I know that Tiffani, Cierra and Addisyn will have some of their own.  I can't wait to hear about the fun times they have and the secrets they keep.  Like only sisters do.

Momma Keri is going to have some interesting sister scenarios as the girls grow. She just may need  Calgon for some of them!

8x20 Scrapbook Canvas and Templates from Heritage Makers.