Saturday, December 31, 2011

Craft Night is Back!

It's been almost a year since I did a craft night. My last pregnancy and then getting used to having 4 kids has been a fun challenge so I haven't had much time for crafting. The crafting bug came back this Christmas when I made my SIL these super cute countdown blocks.

I've been wanting to decorate for various holidays, but the only one I've ever decorated for is Christmas. This year, that's going to change. So, for craft night, we'll be making Valentine stackers and LOVE/NOEL blocks.

(Original idea found here)

I made my stackers double-sided. They're the same front and back. Double-sided stackers: $7.00; Single-sided stackers: $5.00. *Ribbon/cording may vary.

(Original idea found here)
I also decided to have my LOVE blocks serve double duty for Christmas as well. I LOVE how they turned out! You can choose white or red vinyl. Double-sided (LOVE and NOEL): $9.00; Single-sided (LOVE or NOEL): $6.50. *Scrapbook paper may vary. Available paint will match the vinyl.

Craft night will be Wednesday, Jan. 18th at 7pm at my house. Money is due the week before, Wednesday, Jan. 11th. If you would like to make the craft but can't come that night, I will have the kits available to pick up at my house that night or later.

**Sorry out-of-staters, I do these craft nights as a way to have a fun girls night. I don't currently make or sell these kits outside of craft nights**

Christmas blocks and stockings

I made my SIL a set of red and green countdown blocks for Christmas this year. I really like how hers look, so I might be making me a new set just like them before next year!

This year, I also decided to tackle making family stockings. When I was a kid, my parents had an entire set of coordinating stockings, one for each family member with our names embroidered on them. I love mine (it has a cute little mouse in a rocking chair on it) and have wanted coordinating stockings for my family. I picked up everything on Black Friday weekend at Joanns but it took me until 2 days before Christmas to actually pull everything out and do it. They turned out great!

I ironed Heat-n-bond to the back of the Christmas tree fabric and using my vinyl cutter, I cut out everyone's names in the fabric and ironed them on the stocking fronts. Then, I appliqued around each letter and the toe on my sewing machine. It took forever, but was worth it in the end. I sewed the fronts and the backs together and then sewed matching bias tape around the edge to hide the seams. I added the faux fur cuff and a little loop to hang them from and was done. My husband took over taking care of the kids and cleaning the house for Christmas so I could sit at my sewing machine and make these beauties last Friday. It took the whole day and part of the night before. I also bought enough of everything to make more for any kids we have in the future. That way, we'll all always match!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Closet shelves!

"Shelves in the closet? Happy thought indeed." - Name that movie! While the character was a bit skeptical, I'm beyond thrilled!!!

My husband and I have been talking about turning the back wall of our bedroom closet into a wall of shelves since the space was just a clutter spot and we needed more storage. I'd finally talked him into letting me hire someone to do it in January since we'd never actually do it ourselves... Until 2 days ago, anyway! We went to Home Depot on Tuesday and picked up all our supplies, 4 melamine shelves and 8 wall brackets (with 1200lb limit!). After putting the kids in bed, we drilled and screwed until we realized we needed an offset screwdriver for the screws near the support bar. So, my sweet hubby got up early and ran to Lowes to get us one. After that, we cut some extra wood down to support the sides of the shelves and nailed them in last night. Ta-da! I love it! and personally think it makes our closet seem bigger. Maybe that's just the mess being gone?

So, what gave us the ump to get this done? I've been wanting to go through our food storage and I figured, why not do the shelves and I can go through it all as we move it to our bedroom? All of our food that doesn't fit in our pantry in the kitchen has been filling our boys' bedroom closet, so it's nice to give that storage back to them. Plus, with all the shelves in our closet, we actually have more room than we did before. Yippee! I'm in love! And, right now, my loving hubby is installing a new garage light that he gave me for Christmas! Yea for better light in my garage so I can work on stuff out there at night!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Crafty projects

I've got a ton of craft stuff and I'm not sure what to do with most of it. Right now, it's hanging out in our spare room (mostly) and I'm feeling in a dejunking mood. So, I dug through my stuff and made a few things that I'd been planning on making "one day".

Here's a nativity deco block. I found a nativity silhouette, vectorized it and cut it out as a stencil with my vinyl. I spray painted the block with frosted spray paint a bunch and then peeled it off. It looks great. Tied a ribbon around and done! The block has a hole in the side so you can stuff the block with Christmas lights to make it glow. I gave this lovely away, since the whole point of making something with my craft stash (right now anyway) to get rid of stuff.

I saw this idea for a jewelry dish back in February and went on the hunt for the perfect, cheap square plate. I finally settled for a round one and promptly lost it. I found the square plate at Goodwill a few weeks ago, brought it home and found the round plate. So, I made two, one for me and one to give away. The funny thing is, after finishing them, I decided I liked the round one better. It sits on my lovely nightstand by my bed and I use it almost daily (I love taking naps and you shouldn't wear your jewelry when you sleep, or so I hear :).

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Birthday party craftiness

My youngest boy turned 3 this month and I threw a big, dragon themed party for him.

First a mundane project: I planned on making kool-aid and serving it in my orange cooler with a towel on the floor to catch drips. My friend, Morgan told me about this drip catcher she pinned, so I looked it up and made one. Unfortunately, my cooler decided to start leaking where the spigot screwed into the cooler, so I didn't get to try it out, but it seemed to work before my cooler soaked my counter.
Also, for #3's birthday, he requested a dragon pinata. I followed my mom's instructions, found here and worked on it little by little for most of October (it seemed). My husband and I finished it the night before the party. Since the birthday boy was still awake, I dragged him out of bed before we stuffed it with candy (and made it heavy) for a picture.
It was a big hit and my older boys (whose birthdays are in July and September) are already deciding what kind of pinata they want for their birthdays next year.

The picture below is when my son was starting to open presents at his birthday party, but in the top left corner, you can see another of "my" craft projects. I say "my" because it was my idea, but my husband really did it. We decided to do "pin-the-flame-on-the-dragon", so I had my husband pick a clipart dragon and make it poster size. When I suggested he color the background (so it wasn't white), he decided to do a whole scene, complete with a castle, sun, clouds and a tree. We added a 'shadow' of the flame to show where the kids were supposed to try to stick the flames. I had it printed as a poster at Sam's Club, along with 12 flames on a separate poster. I cut out each flame and then had the whole thing laminated. It was a big hit, though my son was the only one who wanted to get the flame on the shadow. Everyone else picked other spots, as you can see. I see many birthday parties in this game's future.
The party was a hit and enjoyed by all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Master Bedroom Nightstands, After

I finished my nightstands about a month ago. So, here's the before again:

I wanted to see if I could get a nice metal look without going to the trouble of silver leafing them first, so I spray painted them with Krylond silver spray paint. After that dried, I painted the surface with black glaze, wiped it off and rubbed it in. In the picture below, the body of the nightstand is glazed, but I haven't done the drawers yet. It's a subtle, but important difference, I think.

Here's a close-up of the drawers pre-glaze and the nightstand post-glaze.
And here's my afters!
We moved them to our bedroom and stuck them in the corner soon after I finished them. I finally emptied our old nightstands and moved them out to the hall (where they still are) and put these lovelies in place a couple weeks ago. I LOVE how they turned out and can't wait to see the rest of our bedroom come together (eventually, we're s-l-o-w around here).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Where have I been?

I haven't posted in almost 2 months and here's why:

My 4 sweet kiddos take up so much time that I just haven't gotten to the computer much. Have I done projects? Yep, lots of them. I've even taken pictures of most of them. A week ago, I sat down (finally) at the computer and uploaded and resized all my pictures... just before my computer decided it didn't like the internet anymore. No joke, the internet died, but only on my computer. My husband's 2 laptops and our wii were fine, go figure. So, 2 reformats (for some reason the first reformat my husband did, didn't really work) and one week later, my huband is the best and my computer is back to normal (mostly).

So, between life, kids, hubby, and projects my computer time is almost nil right now and I'm really liking it. I will continue to try to post my projects as I finish them, or eventually anyway. I have a lot of stuff I'm hoping to do in the near future and over the next year. I found THE fabric for my living room and I can hardly wait to make the curtains. I'm also working on finishing the 1 billion+ projects I've currently got supplies for but have yet to start/finish. Here's hoping that by next November, I'll be able to say most of that stuff is done! (And maybe even blogged about...)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Furniture freebies and yearly canning progress

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a friend. "I'm helping some friends move and they've got some furniture they can't take with them, do you want it?" Like she needed to ask. A little while later, I was home with a solid wood bench and a corner bookcase and no real plans for either.

One day, I hope to refinish the bench. It had previously been used on a covered back porch and that's where it ended up at our house.

After thinking about it a bit, I couldn't find a place for the corner bookcase (also solid wood) in our home, so I listed it on Craigslist and found it a new home a couple days later.

About a week after I picked up the above furniture, a friend of ours called and asked me if I wanted an old coffee table. There's a ton of new home building in our area and he told me that he'd picked up the coffee table at a model home auction for $5 a few years ago. I offered to send my husband over with our van (I've yet to find a piece of furniture I couldn't make fit in our van) and our friend was skeptical, "I don't know that it'll fit. It's a bit big," he said. That was an understatement! It's 4 FEET square. It's huge!... but it fit. Here it is in our living room.

After staring at it and watching my boys play on and around it for a day, we moved it up to our loft. I've been rearranging our loft, since I can't leave well enough alone. I'm thinking of making the coffee table into a play table for the kids. I wanted to see if it would fit and not crowd our play room before working on it. So far, I love it. It's got just enough space under it to store 4 of our 5 kid-sized beanbag chairs and my boys have built train tracks, trios, duplos, marble runs and more on it's surface.

Now, I'm just trying to decide what I want to do with the table - a Mario table, or a car/truck/train table of sorts? Or just leave it be, since I know it's going to get beat up anyway?

I'm slowly working on my fall canning. All my fruit is prepped and I've got a couple of batches of jam/jelly I still need to get done soon. The rest of my fruit is prepped and in my freezer waiting for me to get around to making pie fillings. A couple of really awesome friends of mine came over every day I needed it and helped me prep my fruit. Together, we prepped almost 180 pounds of peaches, apples and pears over 4 days! So far, I've made apple sauce and apple peel jelly (yummy!), bottled peaches, peach jam, peach blackberry jam, peach raspberry jam, peach vanilla syrup and peach jelly, and bottled pears. Oh, and we dried some apples and pears - my husband loves dried fruit. I still have apple and peach pie fillings to make, along with my cherry stuff - cherry pie filling, syrup, jelly and jam. This week, my friend, Morgan is getting bulk fruit and I'll be helping her prep/can it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New "Nightstands" and an update

I mentioned here that I recently found new nightstands for our master bedroom. I have been looking for almost a year for matching bombe chests the right size and price for our room. I saw a couple of beautiful silver leafed bombe chests on Little Green Notebook and fell. in. love. I also really liked these nightstands from Little Miss Penny Wenny.

So, here's my before of the nightstands:

The gray one I picked up for $80. I couldn't figure out the huge price difference (original price was $180) at Home Goods. When I got it home, I discovered that the back leg had apparently broken off and been reattached with glue. It's sturdy, but there's a small, visible crack all the way around the leg. I couldn't bring myself to pay $180 for another one, so I originally picked up a square table that was about the same dimensions as the bombe chest and reasoned that I could make that work. After staring at the two of them together for a couple of days, I just didn't like that idea and told my husband I was going to take it back. He was relieved since he didn't like it either but wasn't going to say anything. He's such a sweetheart! Anyway, when I went back 4 days after getting the first one, there were only 3 left in the whole store! (There'd been more than a dozen on Tuesday.) Not sure why, or how I missed it on my first trip, but the pink one above was mis-marked to $150 - the most I was willing to cough up for a nightstand.

So, I'd love to show you my afters, but I seem to be hopping around a lot lately. I've got my 4 drawer dresser half sanded and the leg crack on the gray bombe chest filled and sanded and the original hardware holes filled (I really want 2 knobs per drawer, not 1 on my nightstands). I still have my french provential bench to finish up (haven't touched it since I first blogged about it) and I started cutting the vanity support off the first of my 3 drawer dressers that I finished the drawers for weeks ago. That's just my furniture projects!

I've got my yearly "crazy person" canning next week that I'm getting ready for so all my furniture projects are being put off so I can prep for that. I'm hoping to finish up the nightstands, and a couple other projects by the end of the month though. We'll see how fast I get it all done!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I was featured!

I was so thrilled this morning when I checked my blog and found a comment from Allison at House of Hepworths that she featured my gradient green dresser! It made my day!


Go check out the linky party. There were tons of really fun stuff this week to go along with my dresser!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Gradient Green Dresser

Last week, I decided to get the power window fixed on the passenger side of our van. It took forever and was done just in time for me to get my oldest from school. One week to the day, the driver power window decided to fail - and fall down into the door. Monsoon season in Arizona? Yep, I was at the mechanics first thing Tuesday morning. This time, they got done faster and I had time for a trip to Home Goods (nearby-ish) before heading home. I found the perfect nightstands for the master bedroom... at a pretty decent price too!

However, I came home with the feeling that I really needed to get something out of my garage and into my house, especially since I was adding 2 more pieces of furniture to an already full garage. (I think I've got about 10 pieces in my garage counting the new nightstands, plus about 6 more in my house waiting for a remake or resell) So, I pulled out my "new" mid-century retro dressers and tackled the long one. I picked them up on Craigslist a couple of weeks ago. They're Basset furniture and according to the woman I bought them from, at least 52 years old.

Here's the before of the 9 drawer dresser:

The finish on this dresser was so worn that it looked and felt scaly. I had to sand it to the bare wood to get the dresser smooth. So, I sanded with 80, 150 and 220 grit sandpaper and finished that up Tuesday night. Wednesday morning, I moved it into the house and started painting. Most of the white was done by that evening. After 3+ coats of white and 3 coats of the 3 greens, I finished up the top coat with water-based polyurethane on Thursday night. I love it! and so do my boys...

We'll be moving the dresser into the boy's bedroom Saturday night once the finish has cured a bit. I'll be selling the dressers currently in their room since I just don't have the room to keep every dresser that I've bought over the past few months.

Here's the before of the 4 drawer dresser that matches my green gradient dresser. After looking at the paint swatches against my girls room fabric, I discovered that the greens look really good with it and this one will get the same color scheme. I'm hoping to start this one either tomorrow or (more likely) on Monday. When it's done, it'll go into the spare room (future girls room) until we can make space for it in the boys room or at least that's the plan for now. If you haven't noticed, I change my mind a lot!

I chose the 400D paint chip from Home Depot's Behr paint line. The colors are Jungle trail (bottom), Grape Leaves (middle) and Grass Cloth (top). The 4 drawer dresser's top drawer will be Corn Husk Green which is a little lighter than the Grass Cloth.

I've also decided that when I use up all my water-based polyurethane, I'll switch back to polycrylic. I think I like it better.

So, the most amazing this about this dresser makeover? It only took me 2 1/2 days start to finish! It normally takes me weeks if not months to do this kind of extreme makeover, so I'm pretty proud of myself. Now I just have to catch up on my mountain of laundry and dishes...

Linking to:


beneath my heart

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Balloon Animals

My 6 year old went to a friend's birthday party this past weekend and another mother there was making balloon animals for the kids. All of my boys love balloons, my oldest in particular. After seeing that mom and asking her about it a bit, I decided it was something I could totally do. So, after the party I went on Amazon and bought a pack of balloons and an air pump. We got our balloons on Tuesday and by Friday night, I'd used all 100. Here's just a few of my earliest attempts. There were tons more all over the house that we hadn't found yet and we were popping them almost as fast as I was making them, but we still had quite the balloon clutter this week!

A rabbit:
A tiger:
A teddy bear:
I got a lot of my designs by watching youtube videos, but I also picked up a book on Amazon with instructions for some beginning shapes. I really enjoyed twisting the balloons and my 6 year old has started trying to twist some of his own. I'll be getting more balloons soon and learning more shapes and hopefully teaching my boys how to do it also.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

French Provential Bench

Monday I decided to pull out my french provential bench and pull it apart to refinish it while my 2nd son was at preschool. My 2 year old helped me by throwing things away.

Here's the before. It was the same dirty green as the rest of that set and this one sported a lovely needle point.

After pulling out all the nails holding the needlepoint on, I started peeling back layers and discovered this gross surprise. Yep, it's disintegrated foam. I'm guessing it got wet (the support straps were really stretched out!) and that's what melded everything together.
So, after putting down a plastic drop cloth to contain the mess, I pulled everything off (including about 300 nails - no joke!) and threw it away. It was put together pretty much the same as my Chinese chippendale faux bamboo chair so I have pictures of that one for reference when I put it back together.

This morning, I pulled the frame out to the garage, sanded down the paint chipped spots and painted it a satin black. Here's where I'm at right now:

Once it's cured nicely, I'll be reupholstering it and I'll hopefully be listing it on Craigslist in a few days! This will be the first piece of furniture that I've redone with the intention of immediately selling it. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Furniture in progress...

After finishing my table and chair, I decided that something needed to be done about our garage. It was covered in overspray from everything I've painted in their recently. After taking the time to clean and reorganize everything, I didn't want to do any spray painting in the garage for a while. I switched to the backyard and with monsoon season, I've been racing the rain every day that I want to paint! Ugh! Yesterday, I finally switched back to the garage just so I could finish something!

I finished working on this little kid table for a friend's granddaughter last weekend. Per her (the granddaughter's) instructions, the legs are purple and the top is pink with purple flowers. I finished it a week ago and delivered it but forgot to take an after picture. So, here's the before:
There's a couple of cars stickers on the white part, which I'm pretty sure is just primer - no paint. I removed the stickers, primed it and painted the table lavender. After that I put a vinyl stencil on top (flowers and a cute giraffe 'cause I knew she liked them and I wanted to.) and painted the table top pink. After that was dry, I removed the stencil and sealed the table with a couple coats of polycrylic. I really like how it turned out and I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture before I took it to my friend. When I get an after picture, I'll post it.

My 4 yr old keeps telling me that sometimes little boys like flowers too. He's so jealous of this little kid table I redid. Once I find a place for a kid table in my house (or make one!) and find another table, I'm seeing a Mario/Luigi table in my future. My boys love the Wii!
I've also been working on my two 3-drawer dressers. I'm almost finished with the drawers then I'll need to dig the bodies out of the furniture pile in my garage so I can paint them too.

I also picked up a mid-century retro style dresser set on Craigslist a week ago that I've added to my list of furniture to refinish. Haven't taken a before picture yet, but I'll try to remember before I start on them. I have some fun plans for them that my kids (and I) are excited about! I finally picked my colors for them yesterday, so I might push my french provential dressers to the side and work on my new dressers.

Here's my inspiration photo for my new dressers. I'd seen the gradient dressers that were her inspiration and liked them but hadn't thought to do it on a long dresser. My long one will be shades of green for the boys room and the tall one shades of pinky coral for the girls room.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Table and Chair

I finished my round, green, damask table. It looks really nice and I like how it turned out.

Here's a view of the base and you can see the black glazing I did.
I decided to give this table to my sister-in-law who just bought her first house. I hope she likes it!

So, I bought this bamboo chair the day I picked up my garage full of furniture. I decided to work on it the other day and that's when I realized this chair is OLD.

Here's the before:

Here you can see the goat hair (I'm guessing?) cushioning and the handmade nails (they were each unique and very sharp on the end!) that were used to upholster it. Since I've never seen or heard of a piece of furniture upholstered with nails before, I'm guessing this chair predates the use of staples and is over 100 years old. Anyone have any guesses?

The seat bottom was really old burlap and burlap straps woven underneath.
I took pictures as I took it apart (hence the above) and put it back together the same way. I bought some utility fabric to replace the burlap, but since the goat hair and batting was still in good condition and didn't smell, I reused it. The chair is super comfy!

I decided to paint the chair red and upholster it with this Asian fan fabric my mom gave me a few years ago. I seriously love how it turned out!
Here's a close up of the fabric:
This chair is going in my foyer next to my blue bookcase which will soon be black and gold. I can't wait to get started on it!

For kicks, I decided to look up the price for new faux bamboo chairs since they seem to be popular. The most similar to mine I could find currently sales for almost $400! I got mine for $3! I love a good deal. :)

Linking to House of Hepworths and:


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