Long Time No See

It’s been a while, has it not?

Yes … yes, it has been.

My excuse?  Uhhh … well, I don’t really have one.  Other than the fact that the business part of life got to be so busy that the last thing I wanted to do upon my arrival at home was turn on the computer.  And my brain was suffering from major over-thinking due to the busy nature of the work that makes up my professional career … thus, resulting in a lack of creativity.

But, I’m back.  Hopefully.  No promises though.  Life certainly does provide it’s surprises, now doesn’t it?

There is so much to write, tell, and share … and as usual, so little time to properly categorize said occurrences into a manner in which one would like to read, but I’ll do my best. (later)

It’s already 2013 and nearly the 3rd month at that.  Holy moly.  Time flies.  When the last page of the calendar faded, Erik and I sat back and prayed for what this new year would bring.  We really can’t complain when it comes to 2012, since in the grand scheme of things, it could have been way worse, but it did certainly have it’s trials.  Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.  And then, it somehow found a way to get even a little bit worse.

But here we are! Still healthy and in love.  And that’s the most important thing to remember, in my opinion.

Anyways, this year, we have already been graced with the presence of a precious nephew, and have had an offer accepted on a house.  Finally!  Lord willing, the house will work out and we will be able to share our projects and renovations.  At this point, it’s kind of an ugly-duckling-type-situation, if you know what I mean. (Thank goodness for the contractor husband)

And on top of that, my cute contractor husband has started an etsy store.  Much to my poking and prodding.  He finally decided to post some of his work on the world wide web, in hopes that someone might find it as beautiful as I do.  I promise, I’m not biased.  You should see the table he made my mom for Christmas.  (want a peak?  okey dokey)IMG_4073 IMG_4075 IMG_4078

I’ll post more on his store later, as we are still trying to post all of the items we have available for sale … but I wanted to get the word out there asap.  There’s only two items for now, but many more to come!

So check it out, favorite his store, and stay tuned for more fantastic creations, at prices that will beat Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn in a second.

Thanks for the support!

pinterest party

yes.  you heard me correctly.  i had a pinterest party.  and it was awesome.

a few weeks ago, i invited a group of fantastically creative women over to my humble abode for a party filled with pine cones, cereal boxes, feathers, acorns, and the like.

more than one of us had pinned these lovely trees from this lovely blog, and given that i was craving a new addition to my Christmas decor, it became a match made in heaven.

the blog post above, broken into 3 parts, has a thorough tutorial on each tree she made, which made our tree making that much easier!  all the girls came with boxes of paint, glue guns, and decorative possibilities, making hosting as easy as the apple cider in the crock pot (although, i must say, my go-to-easy crock pot cider didn’t heat up as quickly as i’d hoped, making it not as successful, although it was still easy … ha).

anyway, a glittery, gluey mess was certainly made across the table while our shimmery masterpieces came to fruition.  it was a blast, to say the least!  although, i did appear to be the glue-gun-rookie, with more burns than i care to admit.  nonetheless, those burns were worth the time visiting with some friends …

My favorite tree is the music sheet tree … i printed out some copies of “away in a manger” (a personal fave) and cut it into larger strips than the blogger mentioned above used … I then used a glue stick and a few sprinkles of gold glitter on the tips of a few “limbs”.  it’s simple and sweet, in my glitter-loving-opinion.

to top off my christmas tree corner, i love the glow from my diy-mercury-glass-mason-jars.  the candlelight makes everything more beautiful.  don’t you think?

the trees were a breeze to make, although i’m already wondering how i’ll pack them away for the 11 months of the year that they weren’t made for … i’m sure i’ll find a way. right?

have any of your pins come to life recently?

metallic makes mercury

ever seen mercury glass?  i love it.  especially when in the form of a candleholder/hurricane, because the light so beautifully illuminates the imperfections of the antiqued silvery finish.  the real version, as in, authentic mercury glass, is defined by glass that is blown with double walls, where silver solution separates to two layers. while there were a variety of techniques used in creating the silvered glass look, mercury glass is considered to be one of the first examples of glass as an art form.

interesting, right?  nowadays, we see “mercury glass” as it is most likely manufactured in a plant somewhere, only to be artificially antiqued, for the sake of the “vintage trend” to which much of the US currently subscribes.  MYSELF INCLUDED.  like i said … I LOVE IT.

and last weekend, after a beautifully fall filled day, my mom and i attempted to make our own mercury glass mason jars.  again, with my mom being the master DIYer, i figured, if she thinks we can do it, we should definitely give it a shot.

as a part of our diy mercury glass research, a la pinterest, we reviewed multiple tutorials on the seemingly easy creation.  and since there are already multiple tutorials, instead of adding another one to the world of blogging, i’ll just link to the ones we used:

numero uno – dos –  y tres

Note: each tutorial is basically the same.

every blog says to get “krylon looking glass” paint.  well, we couldn’t find it.  and given that we wanted to make them that day, we weren’t really wanting to order it online.  thus, our project turned into an experiment.

instead of the looking glass paint, we just bought the metallic silver and gold spray paints at walmart.  they looked shiny enough to provide us with the mirror-like effect we were going for … so why not?

the tutorials all say to spray a half water/half vinegar solution onto the paint, wait, then blot/rub/swirl/and-so-on.  well, it’s probably because we used a different kind of paint, but the water-vinegar combo didn’t cut it.  so we sprayed straight vinegar onto the paint and it worked like magic!  it took a little more elbow grease than we expected, but after a while, we were pretty pleased with our mercury glass mason jars!

my tip for those wanting to try this themselves? make sure you can stick your entire hand inside the jar/vase you are painting.  my brain wasn’t exactly thinking that far ahead when i tried sticking my hand all the way into the jar.  sometimes, i’m not so bright.  (we eventually rubber-banded an old sponge to a wooden spoon and that worked way better than my non-jar-sized hand).

after our mason jars were completed and drying, i used the left over paint for some pine cones i found on the side of the road.  i only sprayed 70% of the pinecones and i did some in metallic silver, matte silver, and metallic gold.  i tossed them all in a bowl when i got home and bam.  pretty, easy, slightly sparkly christmas decor.

it was a successful day of diy-ing, i would say.

diy decor

When I was a kid, we called it “craft day”, when we hauled out the gigantic craft box from it’s home in the hall closet. Filled with construction paper, glittery paints, feathers, beads, and oh so much more; we had enough craft supplies to last a lifetime.  And they did last a lifetime … thanks to secret sparkly replenishment via the momma.

She was the master of crafts.  Everything had another purpose in her eyes.  How else would egg cartons have become binoculars? And meat trays become frames? Who knew all you needed to give a couple of girls was feathers and glitter … and they’d be set … for hours.

Oh, those were the days.

It seems to me that “crafts” have become all the rage nowadays, but under the guise of a new, much trendier name: DIY.  And even though I have yet to properly research the statistics, making this statement nothing more than an assumption, I bet this new craze might have something to do with a little website called Pinterest.  No?

Don’t get me wrong … I LOVE PINTEREST.  That good ‘ol time waster idea enhancer is the greatest thing to hit the web since google, in my humble opinion.  But the more time I spend on Pinterest, the more I realize the extent of my mother’s “craftiness”.  All the ideas for spray paint .. she’s done it.  I just learned how many curtain rods and chandeliers in their uber nice, rustic, pretty new home were … gasp … spray painted (don’t tell her I told you that).  And all the gifts-in-a-jar/brownies-in-a-bag ideas for Christmas?  She did that.  Like 20 years ago.  Coasters out of tiles … with stamped leaves.  Seasoned olive oil in a jar, with gold wax dripping down the neck.  Ribbon hair clips for us girls (yes, they had feathers and sparkles). Homemade wreaths for each door at each season. Yup … she did all that.  And more. WITHOUT PINTEREST.

She’s been putting sticks in a vase for years … and making it look good!  Probably before Pottery Barn started doing it.

One of the reasons I think she’s so good at the whole “DIY” stuff, is because she doesn’t mind failing.  If a project bombs, she laughs at it.  If it succeeds, she fills the house with it.  Life lessons, I tell you.

I’m usually so proud of myself when I make something I pinned (and even then, I’m sort of a lazy DIYer – bring on the shortcuts!) … how much more proud would I be if I had come up with the idea all by my big-girl self?

YOU WOULDN’T HEAR THE END OF IT.

Her latest project? Oh, nothin’ big.  Just a ridiculously gigantic wine cork dart board.  With every cork strategically placed to show the logo/gimmick/quote, etc.  Can you say amazing?

I’ll post some fun pics of the “DIY” day we shared a couple of days ago … pine cones and fake mercury glass.  What first seemed like a waste of some good mason jars turned into quite the accomplishment!

final product

a few weeks ago, a talked about how much i hate sanding, when in the process of rejuvenating an old piece of furniture.  well, it’s been a couple of weeks so far and the paint hasn’t peeled off just yet!  but maybe i should wait a little longer before i claim victory over the sand paper, no?

anyways, here are a couple of snapshots from the bedroom furniture … again, i didn’t do anything fancy schmancy … but oh, the wonders that a little black paint can do to an old, ugly wood nightstand.  i finished painting the frame of our bed too, so it is finally a completed masterpiece.  (if erik were reading this, he would significantly downplay the carpentry required to make our cozy bed, but i’m allowed to talk it up, especially since the idea of building a bed is pretty much outside of my own personal skill set)

Image

since erik was gone while i was painting his dresser/nightstand, i took the opportunity to re-organize a few things on his side of the room designed to accompany us into a dreamy slumber.

and i have to give my husband some credit too … now that his side of the room looks nicer, he has done so well at keeping it clean!  i sound like a mom … but i’m sure there are other wives out there who understand what it’s like to have a messy hubs.

i found a few boxes (gray box: dollar rack at target, cigar box: from my infinite collection of old world styled boxes) to help him stay organized.  and since his form of organization is emptying his pockets and dumping what’s left of the contents that didn’t fall through his fingers on the night stand, i figured a few boxes to toss everything into would do the trick.  and wouldn’t you know, i was right!  but again, it might be too early to claim success.  however, he’s said multiple times how much he likes having a clean room; so i’m hoping the light bulb will continue to burn on this one …

sand it good … then sand some more

sandppr

source

last weekend, erik was somewhere around 9,000 ft above sea level with a few fellow backpackers on a camping trip they take every year.  ever since the date was set for their annual trip into the wilderness, I planned to use the lack of distraction {being my cute husband} as the perfect time to get my painting finished.

I wanted to finish painting our bed, his nightstand/dresser, and a wine rack.  all in one day.

I was actually pretty excited for my painting day, knowing how fulfilling it is to transform something that was once ugly, into something that is … well … no longer ugly.

watching the paint instantly cover the bruises and scratches an old piece of furniture has acquired over the years is thoroughly satisfying …

although, my use of the word “instantly” isn’t really accurate.

while I love the painting process, I HATE the prep process.  taping is fine.  and even the priming is fine.  but the sanding.  blah! I wish it wasn’t such a critical part of the process.  every time I thought I had successfully roughed an entire layer of stain off the dresser, I’d smooth away the dust to find that I did not in fact sand away an entire layer, but rather barely touched the surface.

uhhhh.  I had too many projects to complete in one day (day 2 of his trip was dedicated to organization), to waste spend so much time sanding … unsuccessfully at that! (clearly, I should have spent more time looking for my contractor-husband’s electric sander …)

I hate to admit, that when it comes to painting, I’m a lazy DIY-er.  I sanded what I could … and then I went straight to priming.  and oh, did I prime that baby! gave it enough for my black paint to grip on to.

in the end … I’d say it looks pretty good.  we’ll just see how long the paint lasts.

but hey, by the time it starts to chip, I’ll probably be ready to paint it another color … so in reality, I’m just making the job easier next time around.

pictures of my newly painted furniture to come.  prepare yourselves.  or don’t.  it’s really not like I painted anything a really fun color.  it’s all just black.  BUT, I did try my hand at a very subtle antique job on the wine rack.  could have been better, but for now, on a $5 wine rack, I’m pleased.