Tuesday, May 29, 2012

hippie babies

I love these boys with all my heart. I'm so glad that myself, my cousin Amanda, and our bff Christi all have boys and that they're all about a year and a half apart. They are already best friends :)
Christi and I tie-dyed shirts for them and I snapped some pictures of them all rocking their cool new T's.
It was harder to corral them all than I thought it would be.


 oh well :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sunday Shoe Shopping

This past Sunday we headed off to Khol's so that I could get some new sneakers (thanks to my mom for the gift card for Mother's Day). Before we left I had Matt snap some photos of Jonah and I.
Oh, Jonah- always trying to pull my shirt down. thanks, for that.
especially when we're in public. awesome.
i love you. but trust me, I will remember this someday when you're complaining about how I'm somehow embarrassing you.
Also, that evening we had the weirdest weather I'd ever seen.
It looked like a storm was rolling in, a bad one- your typical sky full of pitch black clouds... except for the tiniest bit of sky right around where the sun was setting. So it was all dark, but with this bright golden light slowly sneaking it's way over everything. I can't explain it right, and pictures didn't do it justice, but here's a few anyway:
 Pretty awesome.

Oh yeah, and my new shoes are the lightest and most comfortable I've ever had. I still feel like I'm cheating on Nike, buttttt this might be the start of a long term relationship.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Refurbishing Furniture for dummies

Dummy? Yeah, that would be me. I saw so many cute ideas on blogs and pinterest where people had taken some ugly junk, spray painted it, strewn those items around their home, and made it look gorgeous. First of all, spray painting is not something I would have ever thought to do. It kinda bums me out now, thinking of how many awesome things I passed up because they weren't the right color, when I could have just painted them to match my decor. (then think of someone who would have appreciated it the way that it was, and that the thought of someone having painted it would make them bummed, and then I don't feel so bad. But still.)

Once I got turned onto to this painting idea it was like a new world of possibility and I started to see a lot more potential in things. I was like, "woah. I'm so doing this. spray painting is awesome!" Except it wasn't so awesome. My first spray painting project was a DISASTER. Which is why I will pass on my painting tips to you, to save you the same trouble...

1.) If the surface doesn't have any impurities (peeling paint, some random sticky gunk stuck to it, large divets in the wood, etc.)  don't sand it. It's not necessary and you will be wasting your time. Not only that, but some varnishes can take FOREVER to sand down. Unless the wood is abnormally slick or glossy, you're good. If it is, a coat of primer will help the paint adhere. Certain ceramics or plastics that are very slick, may also need a coat of primer prior to painting.

2.) If you do have chipping paint or random goop stuck to your piece and you either...
A. don't have sandpaper 
or 
B. your sand paper isn't working
use a putty knife or steel wool instead. Steel wool has numbers on the package (00-3), telling you how abrasive it is. A #3 steel wool can remove just about anything.

3.) If your taping off a section you don't want to paint (a glass pane, handle, around a curved edge etc.) use an exacto knife to get your tape edges clean.
4.) If tiny pieces of tape don't peel off with the rest after painting, use tweezers to grab these pieces since scraping them out could ruin the paint job around it.
5.) Before you paint, shake up that can WELL. You should be able to hear the mixing ball rattling in the can. Shake every 2-3 mins during painting. Shake between coats. Shake it again. :) Seriously, you don't want concentrated bursts of thicker paint coming out in mid-spray.

6.) Hold the can far enough away from the surface when painting. Usually a foot away is good, it varies according to manufacturer. If you spray too close, your paint will go on too thick.

7.) Always use long sweeping motions while painting, one direction (don't paint one coat diagonal, and the next horizontal).

8.) Don't use a continuous spray, long quick stokes across your surface is what you want, release the button after each stroke.

9.) Refer to your can for dry time. Makes sure each coat dries before starting the next. If you don't you will cause paint to pool up, and end up with drips and runs.

10.) If you do get a drip, don't try to wipe it. Wait for that coat to dry, sand down that area, and repaint it.

11.) Only apply as many layers as you need to get good color coverage. Too many layers will leave your project feeling tacky.

12.) If you want to age wood instead of painting it, you can turn it gray by rubbing the wood with steel wool that has been soaked in vinegar. I've heard that you should let the steel wool soak for a few hours, but I only let mine soak for about 1/2 an hour and it worked fine. Rub with the grain of the wood. You won't see results immediately, let it set for an hour and check back. If you re-apply over and over without waiting, you might end up making it darker than you'd like.

13.) To give your freshly painted projects a distressed, vintage feel:
the easiest way to this is to lightly sand around the edges and corners to reveal the wood underneath. Always sand with the grain, not against it.
To get a multiple-color layered distress, apply two colors of paint. The top coat of color should be all you see when finished painting. Then sand lightly in some areas to reveal the second color of paint, and sand farther down in other areas to reveal the bare wood.

14.) HAVE FUN... there are tons of colors of spray paint to chose from and various finishes. You can also modge podge paper or fabric onto furniture. There are endless resources on-line if you are in need of inspiration.

You can also instantly change your furniture by painting or switching out the knobs:
these used to be gold.

Some of my Projects:










Sunday, May 20, 2012

labor of love.

This a story about a table, and a nice catholic lady with a van. I know that it might seem totally silly to someone who may not be as appreciative of home decor as I am. I don't care how ridiculous and overly excited I seem  in the next few paragraphs. When you see the pictures of this end table, you will totally understand.

A few weeks ago I spent the morning garage sailing with Amanda and Christi. When I went to their town to meet up with them, they weren't quite ready yet so I hit a few garage sales that I'd seen in the neighborhood. I had a goal that day to look for stuff for Jonah, and I hadn't intended to buy much else. One of the sales I drove by had this amazing end table sitting out, and I tried to myself "NO" because I figured it was probably a little more than I'd want to spend and I had already told myself to not even stop at any sales without kids clothes. I was just about to turn the corner and pass it by when I saw that they also had boys clothes (which i failed to notice before hand because I couldn't peel my eyes off this awesome table). I parked, got out of my car, and bee-lined for kids clothes. I walked right past the table without even glancing for a price tag and I was mighty proud of myself.

After grabbing a few sunsuits and polo shirts for Jonah, I convinced myself that it couldn't hurt to at least see how much they wanted for it... if it was a ridiculous price then at least I'd have some way to justify not getting it. Except the sticker said $5, and I thought "there's no way that's right" I mean, people don't sell stuff that unique. Much less sell it for five bucks. Even the ugly common tables sell for about $10. I walked up to pay for the clothes and told the lady, "and I'd also like that $5 table" expecting her to tell me it was mis-marked or something, except she said "ok." and I about exploded on the inside. So excited. You don't even know.

This is where my dream come true almost turned into a curb side meltdown though, because I realized pretty quickly that there was no way this thing was going to fit in my car. It would go in the back seat. It wouldn't fit in the front passenger seat, and it wouldn't even fit into my trunk!!! I asked the lady running the sale for a screwdriver and tried to take the legs off, but the screws were super old and that just wasn't happening. I had no one close by with a truck that I could call to help me. And having had bad experiences in the past, I wasn't about to leave it and ask if I could come get it later. I was about to just start carrying it the block and a half to Amanda's when a really nice lady in a van offered to help me. I said thank you like a bagillion times while she laughed and explained that she had been in my position before "Some things you just can't pass up" she said. We loaded the table into her van (which had like 5 rosary's hanging from the review mirror) and she drove it to Amanda's for me where it sat in the garage for a few days until Matt went and picked it up with his truck. And that's how the nice catholic van lady saved my life. I love random polite strangers.

Anywho... here is what it looked like that day:

A little rough, no?

Here's what it looks like now :)
Totally awesome.

I taped over the top and painted the base with Krylon Brushed Metallic spray paint in Satin Nickel

I enlisted some help from my brother-in-law

And then I used steel wool soaked in vinegar to age the wood on the top:


I am so in love.
Upcycling furniture is like my new calling.
I'll post some tips for aging wood, and spray painting and distressing furniture in the next few days.
I have some before and after shots of other furniture projects too!

Bird's Nest Necklace

This DIY is soooo easy, and I love the finished product. These necklaces are sweet and were a perfect gift for mother's day. I used beads that were birthstone colors, so that I could put a birthstone to represent each child in that mom's "nest". Here's how I made them:

You will need:
24 gauge jewelry wire
scissors
beads for your "eggs"


String the beads onto your wire.

Wrap the end of the wire around your beads so that they sit how you want them to look.

Continue wrapping wire from your spool around the beads until your "nest" is your desired thickness.

 Cut off the nest from your wire spool, leaving about a 6 inch length.

Using this spare wire, thread it through the inside of your nest, between two of your beads.

Pull it through the back and it should form a loop like this:

Continue this a few times (I like to make 3 or 4 loops) between each of your beads. You can do only one loop between each bead if you prefer.

You can now form a loop at the top using the same piece of wire, you will probably still have a little extra to cut off. If you want, you can use a jump ring instead of making a loop.

Aren't they so cute?!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Honesty is the best policy.

So my necklace tutorial didn't happen yesterday. and it isn't happening today either. sometimes you have those days where you aren't feelin it, ya know? I'm definitely having one of those days. We'll catch up on all those DIY's I promised by Sunday, deal?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sugar Scrub: DIY

To go with yesterday's salt scrub, here is one made with sugar. This is my personal favorite of the two, for the rich sweet small that the brown sugar gives it. Its equally as easy to make and personalize. This recipe will make enough to fill a 12 oz mason jar, and you will still have a little left... about enough to fill a 4oz baby food jar.


 1 cup baby oil
(or any of the other oils listed on salt scrub recipe)

1 cup cane sugar

1 cup brown sugar

a few drops of essential oil (or none, the sugar smells good alone)


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon into a glass container. Don't forget: don't use plastic or metal, the essential oils will react weirdly with materials other than glass.

A few pointers:
*you don't have to use the two different sugars, you could use one sugar. Just be sure to keep your scrub two parts sugar to one part baby oil.
*For sugar scrubs, water contamination is bad news bears. If you get water in your sugar scrub, fungus and mold will grow (you don't have to worry about this with salt scrubs, since salt is a natural preservative). To avoid this, store your container outside of the shower and use a scoop or spoon to take out the amount you need and bring that into the shower with you.
*Be creative when decorating scrubs to give as gifts. Here is a photo of the scrub I gave to my MIL for Mother's Day:

Have Fun!!!!!

Tomorrow I'll be sharing a tutorial for a birds nest necklace (they're adorable!) And later this week I have two before and after furniture reveals/tutorials.  If you need furniture painting, refurbishing, antiquing, distressing, or aging tips then Thursday and Friday are your lucky days! I have lots of tips from my own mistakes that will save you a lot of time and stress (and if you're like me, minor crying sessions). Redoing furniture can be overwhelming and it's a lot of trial and error. I hope my errors can spare at least one person from making the same. See you tomorrow :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

little things...

...make me happy.
realizing that Tar-jay carries my favorite tea

black and pink promo straws at DD

a sweet mother's day card from my Grandma

I'm one of those people who really loves all the miniscule details that no one else would probably notice. Sometimes to a fault, but everyone needs an OCD person in their life, right? Also, the small details eventually make the bigger picture a better one no? We wouldn't have a "big picture" at all without the tiny pieces that make it up. Anyways, sorry to get all existential on you, just some musings from my day...

a few silly things to part with: