Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Well hello there! It's been a long while.  Recently I have been bitten by the furniture refinishing bug! Want to see some of my creations?

First let's talk about my dining room situation.  In my current home my formal dining room has been repurposed as a game room for the last year, since my fiance moved in.  We moved his arcade games (read: big, ugly, fun, monstrosities) into the dining room and my dining room furniture to my garage. Well, we have a contract on a new home that we should be closing on soon! And guess what?? It has both a formal dining room and a Game Room! Whoop!

So with my new dining room, I'll be able to put my dining set to use again.  There was just one problem, the chairs were in rough shape.  My fiance suggested trashing them and buying new ones, and we almost did just that.  I decided, however, to attempt to refinish one of them and see how it turned out.  I started with researching the look, feel and finish I wanted and tutorials on how to achieve the look.  I decided I wanted a white distressed finish, with fun printed seat cushions.  I purchased the following supplies:

1 qt Amy Howard Chalk Paint
Natural bristle paint brushes
Sand paper and blocks in various grits
1 can Amy Howard clear finishing wax
2 yards upholstery fabric

I purchased everything but the fabric at my local Ace Hardware.  The fabric is from Hobby Lobby.

I also used the following supplies that I already had:

Staple Gun

Now that my supplies were collected I began the work.  I started by removing the chair cushion.  This part is easy, flip over your chair and look for four screws that are going into the seat cushion.  Don't mistake the screws holding the chair frame together for the pad screws!  Put the pad to the side after removing it and wipe your chair down with a damp cloth, no other prep is needed for the Chalk Paint.  After shaking and stirring your paint, cover the chair with a thin coat of chalk paint. I use short quick brush strokes on the first coat. Chalk Paint dries very quickly, so in no time you'll be ready to apply your second coat.  This coat will likely be your last so be more careful on this one using longer strokes.  Allow your second coat to dry completely.

After my second coat is applied and drying, I start on the chair pad.  I don't remove the existing the fabric but some tutorials will tell you too.  I'm a busy working mom, so I choose to do things the most efficiently without sacrificing too much on quality and effectiveness.  I cut a square larger than my cushion and laid the fabric face down on the floor.  I then placed the pad on top and began by stapling two parallel sides together, carefully pulling both sides tight.  I don't worry about how many staples and how spaced they are, as long as the fabric is attached, wrinkle free and tight.  After getting those sides attached I start on corners by folding in the fabric and stapling, careful to smooth out any wrinkles.  The staple gun is your friend!!  I finish with the existing sides and set the pad aside.

By this point, your chair should be dry and ready for waxing/sanding.  The following sequence of steps will allow you to complete your project with as little sanding dust as possible (and there will be dust!).  Start by using a piece of cheesecloth in the wax, and buffing the wax into the entire piece.  After that first coat of wax, use sandpaper to smooth any painting imperfections such as drips or brush marks.  Then sand at edges and various other places to reveal the surface underneath the paint in order to distress it.  After sanding and cleaning the dust from the piece, buff in more wax with your cheesecloth.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dollar Store Centerpieces!

I recently put together a Christmas Centerpiece for my table using all but one supply from the dollar store.  I could have used all the supplies from the dollar store but I already had christmas ribbon that I got 60% off at Michaels so I opted to use that.  My dollar tree did have ribbon that would have worked just as well.  I actually did a similar version of this for fall, just using Oarngr ribbon and filling the vases with small apples, and not using the charger plate.  So the bottom is a charger plate, the vases are just the tall cylinders from dollar tree and the balls are plastic balls that come in a tube at dollar tree.  Tie three vases together and voila!  Simple, affordable centerpiece! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Photoshoot

I recently took my kids to a park to get some shots for Christmas-here are some highlights!

Cake Balls

I love these. I make them every Christmas because my Husbands coworkers always bug him until I do. Actually this happens on other holidays like Easter also.

I used to think these were too hard, they never came out right and took forever and made a mess and were a big hassle. After awhile though, I pretty much perfected my method and I can now crank them out pretty quickly and they always turn out pretty cute but better than that, delicious!

You will need:
Boxed Cake Mix (and whatever additional ingredients it takes to bake the cake)
Canned Icing
Almond Bark-Chocolate or White- is Chocolate called Chocolate Bark or still Almond Bark? I have no idea? Why is it even called Almond Bark anyway?
Sprinkles (optional-but yes you need them)
Wax Paper

*You can use whatever combination of Cake mix and icing your heart desires. My most recent batch included Yellow cake with Strawberry frosting, and Devils Food Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese icing. The chocolate were by far the yummiest!

1. Bake your cake according to the package directions.

2. After removing the cake from the oven transfer it to a bowl, be careful-its hot!

3. Cut/Crumble your cake in the bowl- yes its still hot, so be careful! I like to grab a butter knife and cut it up.

4. Add your icing to your still hot, but now crumbled, cake. Stir Stir Stir it up! It should resemble a big mess after you are done, ha. It almost looks like batter again, but is much thicker.

5. Stick your concoction in the freezer to cool. Or if you have more time than I ever do I guess you could set it out and allow it to cool, but I have never tried that because I am most definitly too impatient for that.

6. After its cooled some-it can still be warm (remember I'm impatient!), but you dont want it to be to hot to handle-pull your bowl out of the freezer and roll some balls yall. Take some of the mixture and roll in your hands until you get a ball about the size of, or slightly smaller than, a cherry cordial (you know those- chocolate covered cherry thingies that your Grandma probably loves?! at least my Grandma does...) if you have no idea what those are, then I would say they should be the same size of a small bouncy ball. This is probably the part where someone tells you how many inches to roll your balls, but I have NO idea how many inches it would be, and I never understood how you measure a ball in inches anyway. You should know that my cake balls are considerably smaller than most, I do this because its the method that produces the best cake balls in my experience. Also because I do not have a big sweet tooth and these things are SWEET and RICH and smaller is better when it comes to these- in my opinion.

7. I usually put my completed balls on paper plates and stick in the freezer in batches. As soon as I have a plate full I pop the plate in the freezer and start on the next plate. Roll all of your balls and pop them all into the freezer to let them firm up a bit.

8. Line a cookie sheet or tray with Wax Paper and set aside for a minute.

9. At this point you should get your bark and break off about four squares and place into a glass bowl. Microwave your chocolate to get it ooey, gooey and melty. I love the word melty. I start by microwaving for 45 seconds, I then stir and microwave additional 30 second increments until its smooth.

10. After you have four bars melted, grab one of your paper plates from the freezer. Preferably the very first one you put in there as it has had the most time to chill. Grab a spoon and roll the ball around the chocolate until its coated and then transfer to your wax paper lined tray.

11. Immediately shake some sprinkles on the melty chocolatey ball.

12. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. If you run out of chocolate, heat up four bars again and keep going. After you fill your tray, set it aside to allow the balls to harden. No need to refridgerate or freeze unless you have an unusually warm home, which I do not.

13. After its hardened completely (within an hour) package them up! I found small Holiday themed ziplock baggies at Big Lots (30 for $1.20-yes!) that I used to package them for coworkers. They also had larger ones (probably 2 quart size?, they didnt say how big they were so I am guessing here) that I used to package some up for my husband to take to work to share with all of his colleagues.

14. Enjoy and do not think about how many calories you are consuming :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Glass Ornaments

Inspiration via: http://pinterest.com/pin/81627811965737377/

I made these ornaments to go along with these and these to give as gifts. In every set that I made, I carried the same srapbook paper to make them all cohesive.

You will need:

Glass ornaments, the only ones I could find were irradescent, which I actually would not prefer but I was desperate. They were half off though-bonus!
Scrabook paper

1. Cut long skinny strips of scrapbook paper- use two or three patterns for more flair. You will need 10-15 strips, depending on how full you want the ball.

2. Take the tops off of the ornaments.

3. Twirl the strips of paper around a pencil.

4. Insert the pencil into the opening of the ornament and release the strips of paper.

5. Shake Shake Shake your ornament!

6. If you are using thin ribbon, tie the ribbon now, before you attach the top. If you are using Thick ribbon move onto the next step first.

7. Attach the tops. If you used thin ribbon, you are done! Go take a picture and show me my dears! If you used thick ribbon, tie it now.

Kindergarten Classmate Gifts

Classmate gifts all ready for Ruthie's friends. From this post.