Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Birthday...40 Blows!

I saw this idea over at Susan's blog, Poca Cosas, and I knew exactly who would appreciate a gift like that! I work with someone who is a ball of energy and spunk and can make anyone laugh and I love her to death. What a fun little gift idea don't you think? I found the painter's bucket at Michael's and filled it with Blow Pops and flavored Double Bubble. I should have used one or two more bag to make it look more full.
Forty Blows!

Featured on Before & After!

Lindsey features the best shots from any project, the Before & Afters of course! She was so sweet to feature my fireplace re-do! Go check out her blog, here, it gives you the inspiration you need to finish your next project!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pier 1 Inspired Wall Art

So, I was visiting my sister and she had bought a piece of art for her bedroom from Pier 1. She loved it, but her only complaint was that it didn't match her bedroom decor, color wise. So... as soon as I heard that the crafter in me said "Well, I can make one with your colors!" I figured before I bombed a gift for her I would practice by making one for myself. I've been wanting to put the word Create in my craft room, but wasn't sure in what form, so why not try this?

Here is the inspiration from Pier 1. (sorry, cruddy camera phone shot is all I have)
And here is my attempt at one!
I'll post the tutorial hopefully tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Before & After Fireplace

So, what do you think? We got rid of the tacky pink 80's tile that I've hated since before we bought this house! Surprisingly enough, with the right tools, a little trial-and-error, and the gumption to get rid of the awful can do it too! Now, I'm no professional. I'm just telling you how we made it work for us. This might be the complete opposite of how you are supposed to correctly lay tile, but no one lost a finger or eye, so we worked out OK.
Step 1: Go to your local do-it-yourself store and get the right materials. The people at our Lowe's were really helpful. They showed us the best materials to get, why we needed certain things over others, and were generally helpful all around. Well...except for the man who totally was laughing under his breath when we told him what we were about to do. I wish I could take him that picture and just say, "Ha! Told Ya So!"...but I won't....back to the fireplace at hand.
Ugh! Even with my decorations, there is no hope for this thing.
Step 2: You have to remove the ugly pink tile. The best thing we found to do was smash the tiles on the wall with a hammer. We bought one of those fancy schmancy 'L' bar thingamajigs. It didn't do nearly the damage that a good ole' bang with a hammer did. For the tiles on the ground, that are on the cement, we found the best thing to do was cover them with a sheet and beat the crud out of them with a sledge hammer. Seemed to do the trick! Remember your protective eye cover, those broken tiles can be sharp!
Step 3: Not always necessary, but because of how our tiles came off the sheet rock we had to put backer board up. We bought the kind that you were supposed to be able to score and snap...with no such luck. We ended up using a sheet rock knife and cutting it that way. Attach backer board to your studs.
Step 4: Now it's time to put on your tiles. It took us a while to decide how we wanted to do this. Make sure you have a good idea of where you want your tiles laid, it'll save you some cutting in the long run. We only had a few tiles that didn't have to be cut. the wet saw we went. It was fairly simple to use. We marked our cuts on the back side of the tiles, where the mesh is.
Step 5: Time to mortar. A fairly simple step. You have to apply it with a trowel. Don't skimp on the mortar, give it a good heavy dose.
Step 6: It's time for the mortar to set. We let ours set overnight. This is your time to shower, veg on the couch, and wonder why your shoulders, arms, and back are so sore! Most fireplaces have a little lip on the top to hold the tile. Our didn't. So, we just used some ingenuity to rig something up to hold it while it set.
Step 7: Now it's time to put on the grout. This is the part where we were really unprofessional. There is a tool to put on grout, and we had that tool, but it kept falling off and not getting into the cracks like we needed to. Long story short..we ended up using our hands! I told you.. totally unprofessional, but it got the job done. I'm sure some professional tile layer is shaking their head right now...but he wasn't at my house, so it's OK!

Step 8: After the grout comes the sealer. Read the instructions on the one you buy. Ours said to let the grout cure for 72 hours. So..3 days later it was time for sealer. While at Lowe's the first day, we bought the inexpensive sealer for stone. After about 10 coats of it, and not seeing the color of the stone that I wanted, I went back and bought the more expensive Stone Sealer and Enhancer. After 2 coats, it was perfect!

Step 9:  The people that put the ugly pink tiles in were a tad bit lazy. They didn't cut a single tile, meaning they were unlevel on one of the sides. We didn't want to follow their un-levelness, but we had to cover up the backer board that we put up to cover up the sheet rock. So, we opted for a trim piece. We just used quarter round which is what is on our base molding.

Step 10: Step back and admire all your hard work! I love it! So happy the pink tile is gone, and feeling really accomplished. Take that Lowe's man!

Friday, July 23, 2010

DIY Coasters

Coasters are SO expensive. Really. I've had this bookmarked in my Things To Make folder for a while. I'm so excited that I finally made them. They were SUPER easy and the best part, since I had the paper, paint, felt, mod podge, and sealer....they only cost me $2.68!!! And they match my dining room art! You won't find coasters anywhere for that price. You can find the great tutorial at Sweet Charli. Thanks Kami!

Yay Headbands!

I really liked my new button headband, so I made some more! Yay Headbands!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Musical Birdies

With the help of a new bed, I'm slowly redoing the spare bedroom in our house. I wanted to be a little more bold with the wall color in that bedroom, since it is the spare and the only people that really go in there are my Mom and Sister when they stay with us! With an old wrought iron bed (pictures soon) I am going for a shabby chic look. So I wanted to repurpose some frames and art that I already had in the room that were $1.99 a piece.
I found these guys last fall at a garage sale for 25 cents a piece! Score!
So, I used my trusty mod podge and go to work applying torn pieces of the sheet music.
(Don't mind the tacky silver nail polish.. I promise it's gone now!)
After that was dry I used my Silhouette (notice a trend with all my recent projects??) and cut out two shapes of birds. I stenciled those on with some black acrylic paint and free handed some branches for them to sit on.
Silhouette Design Bird_C000019_23851
I spray painted the frames with some 99 cent spray paint from Lowe's. And..... birdie love again!
They go so well in the spare room. I can't wait to show you the whole room once it's complete!!

Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!UndertheTableandDreaming

Monday, July 12, 2010

DIY Personalized Sign

I had a spot to fill on a shelf in my living room and I really wanted to put something there with some meaning. I started looking for quotes that could relate to us, but I couldn't find anything that resonated with me. So, I decided to use the lyric from one of my favorite songs. I love it, it's the ring tone on my phone when the BF calls, and it is one of my all-time favorite bands! I started with a wood plaque that I bought at Wal-Mart and spray painted it white. I decided on how many lines I would need and found the center of my board. I marked my lines with a pencil.
I picked a font that I liked and used Ashley's Subway Art Tutorial and Jen's Beachy-ish Subway Art as inspiration. I cut out my words using my SILHOUETTE onto some vinyl. I used my lines as a guide and placed all of my letters on.
The lyrics are from one of my favorite songs "Bumblebee" by The Band of Heathens. They are a Texas Country (Americana if you're not from Texas) group, and I love them! If you click on their link, you can actually listen to the song in the playlist on the right. It makes my heart happy! :)
So after all the vinyl letters were placed I painted over it with a mixture of two blues, then went back and added a couple layers of each color. I wanted to do this for when I started sanding at the end, to give it some dimension.
Then, I let it dry over night and used my Silhouette's Hook Tool to remove each letter. Then, I headed out to the garage and used my sander to rough it up a bit. I sanded the edges and over the letters and paint a bit.
I thought I was done at this point, but the white underneath was a little too stark for the look I was going for. So I took some brown paint and diluted it with water to give it a little stain. I just brushed it on then quickly wiped it off.
Perfect! And now it sits so nicely on my shelf.