A New Obsession…sort of.

I’ve always loved to do projects.  There’s simply more satisfaction in doing it yourself than running to the store and buying it.  My last project was the table that I built.  Well…the mood struck me to whip out another one, done.  Not sure if I’ll keep this one or donate it to an auction at church…we’ll see.

BMS_Table 2

I literally finished that table yesterday, and today I’ve already started the next one.  Unbeknownst to my dear husband, he’ll probably cry when he finds out what I’m up to now…good thing he never bothers to read my blog posts!  I’m going to redo our master bedroom bed and bench (and nightstands).  I ordered some fabric to cover a bench we currently have (which is all brown).  And some other fabric to cover our headboard.  I’m starting on the easiest job: the bench.  I unscrewed the top of it & will recover that.  First, I need to paint it.  I’m defaulting to my favorite new paint: Annie Sloan.  Not cheap paint, but I’ll save myself the task (and mostly the time) of having to sand & prime that bench.  Annie Sloan chalk paint is amazing, I highly recommend it.  My MBR was way to brown, and I’d grown tired of the dullness of the room.  Our walls are a light grey (Annapolis Grey by Benjamin Moore to be exact), so I wanted to lighten up the room while taking the grey of the walls into my planning. I failed to get a good shot that included the bench (prior to dismantling it & starting in on the paint), but here’s what I had to start with (you can see the bench in the foreground of the photo – or at least the top of it anyway):

BMS_MBR redo

Master Bedroom: BEFORE

This project is To Be Continued…

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I built a table!

In under a week. My first real, get-out-the-saw, cut-the-wood-yourself, screw-it-together, and paint-it table, or anything of the like really. Inspired by Pinterest, I credit my Dad for helping me to cut the wood. But I drilled every little pocket hole myself. I’m so excited about my table!! I loved it (and so did Tom) when I showed him this photo of it on Pinterest (though at the time I believe he though it was something we’d purchase, not that I’d build myself:

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I have always wanted to do something like this, so I bought the wood (my table would have 2 legs as my space was smaller than this one) & asked my Dad if he’d help while in town.  We got the saw out & did the measuring & cutting together:

startprojectBMSHe was only in town for 48 hours, so there wasn’t time for him to help me actually build the table.  But here’s step-by-step as I put it together:

You can click on all those little pictures to see them closer up…but here’s what I did next:

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And then finally, I painted & did a wee bit of sanding on it:

And the final product:

DSC_2766

Annie Sloan painting adventure #1

So I did my first Annie Sloan painting this past weekend….I’d heard about the paint & felt I must try. Why Annie Sloan? Because you don’t have to prime, sand, prep, nothin’. That’s what I’m talkin’ about as a mom of 2 busy kids…let’s get ‘er done fast & easy.

I found a storage bench on Craigslist, scooped it up & repainted it:

And the finished product (until I decide to repaint it!):

Stenciled Wall: The project that took an eternity

So, I’m finally done.  I started this project in FEBRUARY and finished it at midnight last night.  Why did it take me that long to paint ONE accent wall in our bonus room?  Because I have 2 kids that suck the energy out of me & if you think you can paint on a ladder with a 2 & a 4 year old you’ve lost your mind.  So, I must wait them out until they are asleep at 8pm.  At 8pm, I am exhausted from the days whining, fighting, coaxing, policing, etc. via that 2 & 4 year old.  So, most nights, nothing happened on that wall.  But alas, I am done & here it is:

What it looked like before:

Before

Before

My first start on the stenciling in February 2014:

Start_BecauseMomSaid

The first stencil

What it looks like this morning:

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Great Tips & Tricks for around the House

Now, half of these I have this “duh” moment when I read them….like why didn’t I think of that.  I got this list in an email & to save it…I’m blogging it here.  Enjoy!
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The simplest way to slice a bunch of cherry tomatoes is to sandwich them between two plastic lids and run a long knife through all of them at once!
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Keep brown sugar soft by storing with a couple of marshmallows
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Install a regular coat rack low down the wall to store shoes safely off the floor
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Organize jewellery on a corkboard for easy viewing when deciding how to accessorize an outfit
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Create a thrifty watering can by puncturing holes in the top of a used milk bottle.
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Remove pet hair from furniture and carpets with a squeegee.
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Flip a toaster on its side to make grill cheese
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Water  straight from the tap becomes cloudy when frozen. To make ice cubes crystal clear, allow a kettle of boiled water to cool slightly and use this to fill your ice cube trays.
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Use a large muffin tin to cook stuffed peppers in the oven – it will help keep them upright.
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To prevent potatoes budding, add an apple in the bag.
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Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to the water when hard-boiling eggs to make the shells incredibly easy to peel off.
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WD40 can be used to remove crayon marks from any surface!
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To tell if eggs are fresh, immerse them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs will lie on the bottom, while stale eggs will float to the surface.
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To clean a wooden chopping board, sprinkle on a handful of Kosher salt and rub with half a lemon. Rinse with clean water and dry to ensure it is clean and germ-free.
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Use ice-cubes to lift out indentations made by furniture on your carpets.
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Prevent soil from escaping through the holes in the base of flowerpots by lining with large coffee filters
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To sharpen scissors, simply cut through sandpaper.
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Use rubber bands to help open a jar easily: place one around the jar lid and another around the middle of the glass. The rubber provides friction to prevent your hands from slipping.
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To prevent your eyes watering while chopping onions, wipe the chopping board with white vinegar (which won’t affect the taste of the onions)
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Store bed sheets inside their pillowcases for easy storage and access
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Drop a couple of denture cleaning tablets into the toilet bowl at night to clean off stubborn stains.
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Use cupcake cases to cover drinks glasses in the summer and prevent flies from dropping in
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Use egg boxes to store delicate Christmas tree decorations
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This has to be the simplest way to open those annoying blister packs!
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Use a cut potato to easily remove a broken lightbulb
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Use chalk to remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub white chalk on the affected area and wash as normal – the chalk will absorb the grease and be washed away in the cycle.
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Use a rubber band to rescue a stripped screw
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Wrap rubber bands around the ends of a coat hanger to prevent dresses from slipping off.
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Yet another use for drinks can ringpulls! Use to create a hanging loop for picture frames by screwing into the back.

I searched Pinterest for ideas on what to do for end of the year teacher gifts.  I found a cute idea here & decided that was easy enough.  I simply bought to clay pots Michael’s for next to nothing (I think they were $1.50 each).  I used Rustoleum’s blackboard spray paint to do the exterior of the pots.  Once I had 2-3 coats on the pots, I then covered the top portion with some latex craft yellow paint I had already (but can easily be purchased at Michael’s).  I then used a tape measure to mark of the inch marks on the top & used a Sharpie Pen to do the actual numbers & to finish off the lines.  I then used a chalkboard pen which I had purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts to write the teacher’s names.  These pens are nice, because if you mess up the name or don’t like how you wrote the name, you can simply wipe it off & start over.  It won’t rub off like a normal piece of chalk would, but get it wet & it comes right off.  This project was SO easy to do…and rather inexpensive.  The most expensive part was the flowers themselves. I did have to use about 6 coats of the yellow paint (to cover the chalk board spray).  And one item I would NOT skip is to spray the INSIDE of the pots.  I used Krylon acrylic crystal clear cover.  You want to use this so that when the flowers are watered, your paint doesn’t bubble.  Normally, clay pots allow moisture to come right through the clay, so if you skip this step, say bye-bye blackboard! I also added a sticker that said “Thanks for helping (insert name) to Grow” on Avery labels (front & back).  Then I used those plastic lawn stakes that companies like TruGreen or Chemlawn use to advertise their work.  I borrowed mine from a neighbor that had just had their lawn treated.  You could easily skip this step & use the chalk board pen to write your child’s name on the pot itself. Here’s the final project:

 

Teacher Gifts: End of the Year

I searched Pinterest for ideas on what to do for end of the year teacher gifts.  I found a cute idea here & decided that was easy enough.  I simply bought to clay pots Michael’s for next to nothing (I think they were $1.50 each).  I used Rustoleum’s blackboard spray paint to do the exterior of the pots.  Once I had 2-3 coats on the pots, I then covered the top portion with some latex craft yellow paint I had already (but can easily be purchased at Michael’s).  I then used a tape measure to mark of the inch marks on the top & used a Sharpie Pen to do the actual numbers & to finish off the lines.  I then used a chalkboard pen which I had purchased from Ben Franklin Crafts to write the teacher’s names.  These pens are nice, because if you mess up the name or don’t like how you wrote the name, you can simply wipe it off & start over.  It won’t rub off like a normal piece of chalk would, but get it wet & it comes right off.  This project was SO easy to do…and rather inexpensive.  The most expensive part was the flowers themselves.

I did have to use about 6 coats of the yellow paint (to cover the chalk board spray).  And one item I would NOT skip is to spray the INSIDE of the pots.  I used Krylon acrylic crystal clear cover.  You want to use this so that when the flowers are watered, your paint doesn’t bubble.  Normally, clay pots allow moisture to come right through the clay, so if you skip this step, say bye-bye blackboard!

I also added a sticker that said “Thanks for helping (insert name) to Grow” on Avery labels (front & back).  Then I used those plastic lawn stakes that companies like TruGreen or Chemlawn use to advertise their work.  I borrowed mine from a neighbor that had just had their lawn treated.  You could easily skip this step & use the chalk board pen to write your child’s name on the pot itself.

Here’s the final project: