Sunday, October 28, 2012


I realize this is soooo late but obviously, from my recent posts, I finally have time to blog some of the stuff I have had done for a while.

 I wanted my daughter's graduation announcement/party invites to be special and personalized so I incorporated my favorite of her senior pictures into it. I also wanted the recipients to be able to remove and keep the pic if they wanted so I made a little photo frame as part of the design.

I used a die from Maryann Designs for the inner frame which I adhered to a 4x3 inch rectangle.  The rectangle was adhered to the outer frame (which is a spellbinders die) with 1/4inch double sided tape.  It was placed around the outer edges of the patterned paper forming a little pocket. I bought the die before we got the pics so the top of her head was cut off a little but it was too late to fix at this point.

The entire frame was attached to the folded invite which was made by cutting a 4x113/4 inch piece of cardstock and folded at 3inches, 6 inches, 87/8inches. The shorter portion will go at the bottom of the invite so that it folds into itself flat. The announcement/party info was printed on light weight paper and made about 3 3/4 inches wide and 8 1/4 long. I folded it like the outer part and put just a couple pieces of double sided tape on the back to attach it.  I found that if I glued the entire thing or put to much tape it inhibited it from folding properly.

I also stamped some flowers on the edges.  I believe it was a Stampin up stamp.  I used a stampin up oval and scalloped oval punch and used my cricut to cut out the numbers to form the year. I used one of those glue pens to attach the numbers since they were so tiny.   I added a thin pop dot to the back to create a stopper for the frame.

It folded almost completely flat which made it easy to send in ordinary envelopes and with normal postage.  
I got a lot of compliments on it and most importantly of all my daughter was happy with it.  Hard to believe she is halfway through her first semester of college already!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


This is one of the more fun (but arduous) projects I have done lately.  Since I tried the chalkboard paint on an old mirror, I thought I would try to make a mug for my daughter. If you are like me and often only look at pictures for instruction.... PLEASE READ THE TEXT OF THIS POST IF YOU WANT TO MAKE ONE!!!!! Or at least follow the listed rules. I made a lot of mistakes and hopefully you will benefit from them. I totally could have avoided all the fuss if I had just looked up instructions before I started, duh...... anyway here goes.

I got the mug at target and taped off the area I wanted to paint with painters tape.
Leave a space at the top so you won't be putting your mouth on the chalkboard part. The paint says it is non-toxic but you don't want to take any chances. Also it was difficult and messy to try to paint between the handle ends so I just taped off along the edge of it as shown.
Since I had used the chalkboard paint on the mirror successfully I thought it would be ok for a porcelain mug. WRONG!!!!!
Once it dried (for two days) it peeled right off.  Of course only in some places.  I had to scrape the rest of it off not once but twice....with a craft knife......I am a very slow learner.
 I went a googling and found that you need to use a special kind of  chalboard paint made just for porcelain. Soooo I sent off for some.  I got mine from Dick Blick.  It is cheep there but the shipping is stiff.  The paint itself is more expensive at Amazon but the shipping is less.  It seems no matter where it is ordered from it is about the same overall price.
Mistake number two (or three or four but who is counting?) I used the foam roller brush that I used (again successfully) on the mirror.  WRONG!!!!
It was all bumpy when it dried which was completely the opposite of the regular chalkboard paint that had bubbles when wet but dried flat. Not very pretty huh?
Mistake number....oh crap whatever... I didn't mix the paint before I used it so it remained all shiny after it dried.  I know this because I was hoping the bumps would go away when it dried but they didn't and it stayed glossy.  This mug was then designated a butt ugly pencil holder and off I went back to target to buy  new mug.  I then went to the omnipotent and all powerful you tube and found an instructional video. Of course it is in french but is subtitled in english.  I ended up just looking at the video anyway and not reading it. It is a wonder I can walk upright isn't it?

Rule #1 Use the correct type of paint
Rule#2 Mix the paint thoroughly before you start to get rid of the shiny stuff
Rule#3 Use the correct brush

This is the recommended brush type and it worked really well for me, go figure.

I only used one coat and it covered very well.  Just be careful to get an even coat  because I had a couple drip spots once it dried and by then it was too late to fix.  

When you mix it correctly, it still goes on glossy (with no effn bubbles)but dries matte.  You have to let it dry for 24 hours.  Then bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.  Look at the difference.

I thought it looked pretty plain so I tried to do some stenciling on it and found that at least for me both the Pebeo porcelain paint (the regular kind not chalkboard kind) and martha stewart brand didn't work very well
I ended up using some sharpie paint pens and drew inside the stencil.  It is a little messy and I don't really like the colors - which were limited- but not bad for my first  fourth try. I don't know how the paints will hold up with washing though.
For drawing on the chalk board, I found this really cool chalk marker at Joann's. It works just like chalk in that it wipes off with a wet cloth but looks like a real marker and no messy chalk fingers. I also found you don't have to condition the chalkboard like some instructions tell you to do when you use regular chalkboard paint with ordinary chalk.   The chalk marker I used wiped off easily with a damp paper towel.
This is going into my daughter's Halloween care package along with the bat droppings and pumpkin poop.
These would make great Christmas gifts especially for teenage/college age kids.   And once you ahem...actually make them correctly, they aren't difficult to make at all.
Have a crafty day!
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012


We have had  a frat house/bachelor pad tv stand ever since we got our flat screen TV.  I couldn't find something I liked and my husband seemed perfectly happy to use the ugly black stand we got free with the TV. Take a look, but I warn you it isn't pretty.
Yuck, right? I really liked the look of painted furniture stained a dark color on top with a distressed cream bottom that I had been seeing in blogland so I began looking for an appropriate piece that would work in our space.  I finally found an old vanity for about $50.  It was just the right height and shape and was in  pretty decent condition.
The top drawers were ok but the bottom drawers needed some wood filler before I could start.

Since I wanted to stain the top I stripped the existing stain (off the top only) using Smartstrip paint remover.  I really like this product because it is eco friendly and biodegradable. I easily washed it off in the sink and it worked really well to remove the old stain.  I found it at the local Sherwin Williams store.
I then re-stained the top with MinWax Jacobean brown.  I have never stained anything so I was so scared I was going to screw it up.  My sweet husband gave me some tips and I applied it with a foam roller.  I panicked when I saw there were all kinds of bubbles in it but my hubs calmly said just brush over it with a foam brush.  It came out beautifully after about 3 coats to get it as dark as I wanted.
I started out using a clear wax on the top but it left a weird residue so I switched to the Fiddes and Sons Rugger Brown and it worked great.  The top got three coats and buffed to a pretty shine.
Next, I painted the entire bottom portion with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in old white.  I used several coats on certain parts of this because the stain kept bleeding through.  I read that when this happens you should stop and spray with shellac but I just kept adding paint.  Don't know why.
I finished the bottom with one coat of light Fiddes and Sons wax and a light layer of the rugger brown in some areas to give it a vintage look.  I also did a little light distressing with fine grit sandpaper.

 So much better don't you think! Oh yeah, I switched out the pulls that were on it for ones I got at the flea market for 50cents each.  I sprayed them with Oil rubbed bronze paint.  I am not sure I love them but for now they are ok. Furniture Feature Fridays
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Monday, October 22, 2012


I finally got around to making something out of chalkboard paint. I think I must be one of the very last people to do so. I wanted it to go on my sofa table and to greet people on the way into the kitchen with a happy message. I found an antique mirror that had a great shape but very unattractive (butt-ugly) gold color. I didn't take a decent  picture of the before but you can see it behind the candle in this pic.

I first gave the frame 2 coats of dark brown primer.  RustOleum of course. Didn't get a pic of this either but it was boring anyway. Next came two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white.
While that was drying, I gave the mirror a coat of the same brown primer (yes you can paint a mirror - who knew?) and then three coats of chalkboard paint. Two coats should have been enough but when I went down to put the frame and mirror together, I found two light paw prints and a couple of nail scratches on it.  Apparently my dog was doing some crafting while I was at work.   I used a little foam roller from Martha Stewart. I didn't want the paint strokes I got from using a brush so I used the roller. It had little bubbles in it when I rolled it on but they went away as it dried. I think a sponge cabinet roller would have been a better choice....maybe next time.  

Just in case you don't know, chalk paint and chalkboard paint are two completely different things.  If you are interested in learning about chalk paint check out Annie Sloan's web site.   Once the frame was dry, I gave it a coat of clear wax and added a little brown wax.
I then distressed it a little by rubbing the raised edges with a very fine grit sand paper.

I absolutely love how this turned out.  Glad I finally tried it.  I have another chalkboard paint (and another chalk paint project too) coming up so stay tuned....
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