My Price-less (seriously, it was FREE!) Nightstand

Cover Pic Free Nightstand

Do you want to know my favorite price?  Free, of course!  Same with you?  I like to peruse the Free section of Craigslist every once in a while.  Have you ever done that?  People give away all kinds of stuff:  pianos, boats, yard sale left overs, plaid couches, building supplies, pets, etc., etc., etc..  For the most part, I’m not the least bit interested in what I see, but a few months ago I saw this awesome nightstand posted:

Free Craigslist Nightstand Unpainted

School lesson:  The suffix “less” means “without”.  In other words, without a price.  Free.  Remember…that’s my favorite price.  Yep, this nightstand was price-less.  You can bet that I snapped it up!  Once I got it home, it went straight to the back of my garage, where all good projects go to wait their turn to become awesome.  Soon thereafter, HomeRight kindly sent me this awesome paint sprayer:

homeright-finish-max

The HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish HVLP Sprayer.  Imagine a choir of angels singing…I swear that’s what I heard when the package arrived.  Thank you HomeRight!

My free (I love saying that!) nightstand was the first project that I decided to tackle with my new sprayer.  Piece of advice…read the instructions + follow the instructions when you are tackling the unknown.  Smart people wrote those instructions, but, after reading them, I decided that I know what I’m doing.  I have painted a lot.  I mean, a lot, so I decided that there was no need to thin the paint.  Big mistake.  Once I humbled myself and thinned the paint like I should have in the first place, the thing worked like a dream.  I think it took about 3 minutes to paint the whole first coat.  Seriously, it took more time to open the paint, mix a batch of chalk paint (thinned a bit…the instructions show just how much), and walk out to the garage than it did to paint my nightstand.  I was insanely impressed!

Hold it!  I’m getting ahead of myself.  Before I started painting I had some prep, of course.  Worst part of painting furniture, wouldn’t you agree?   Actually, it was just a bit of hand sanding.  I lived through it, somehow.

Even though it is widely known that chalk paint can go on pretty much any surface, I decided to spray on some canned primer just because.  I remember watching a YouTube video years ago of Annie Sloan hand painting a dresser and she painted the handles at the same time with the same paint that she painted the dresser.  I really like the look of the handles being more of a texture, not a standout color, so I decided to also spray a coat of primer on those.

Spray Primed Decorative Nightstand

Ready for the after?  Want to see what 2 coats of paint and about 6 minutes of total spraying time with my new HomeRight sprayer can do?  Well, here you go!

White Painted Decorative Nightstand

Do. You. Love. It?  My price-less nightstand?  I totally do, but I’m not done yet.  Check back soon to see the finished product.  I also plan to share some things that I have learned by using my paint sprayer.  I’ll keep you posted.  Now, head right over to your local Craigslist and check out the Free section.  Hope you find something good!

 

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Accepting My Liebster Award…Finally!

liebster-award

I’m feeling a bit sheepish lately.  Ashamed.  Kind of embarrassed.  For the second time in less than a year, I have been nominated for the Leibster Award.  I mean, how nice is that?  In fact, the word “Liebster” is a German word meaning, “dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved…”.   Awwww.  So, what’s the problem?  Just me.  For some reason these nominations have put me into a blogging tailspin.  More like a crash and burn.  Weird, right?  I really enjoy blogging:  the projects, the picture taking, the photo editing, the writing process, the proofreading, the editing and finally, pressing the “Publish” button. But, oddly enough, after each nomination, I have put off blogging for months because, accepting the award seems like so much work and it would be downright rude to blog on any other subject without responding to the nomination, right?   Do you see my dilemma?

That said, though,  I seriously see these nominations as a super sweet gesture from fellow bloggers and I am finally ready to get on with my blogging life.  Onward and upward!

My first nomination came in July 2015 from Kimberley at Seaside Ave.  You should really go check out her blog… she writes about a variety of topics, is a bargain shopper (like me!), does homey DIY projects, has great taste and a really nice writing style.  Thanks, Kimberley!

Here are the questions that she asked me:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I decided to start a blog a while back because my family lives far away and I thought it would be a good way to share what projects I am doing with them and others.

2. What’s your favorite hobby?

I love to find items for super cheap and figure out how to make them look, well, not super cheap!  This includes furniture, accessories, clothing, jewelry, etc., etc.

3. Which blog post are you most proud of, and why? 

I would have to say my Textured Wooden Pumpkin post is my favorite, because I really love the finished product.  This was a “let’s just see if this works” kind of project that turned out better than I had hoped it would.

4. What’s your favorite baked good?

My first thought was brownies with walnuts, marshmallows and chocolate frosting, but then I thought about homemade bread with melted butter.  Mmmmm.  I’ll go with the bread!

5. Coffee or tea?

This one’s easy…neither.

6. If you could move anywhere, where would it be?

That dream move would be to Utah state where 4 of my 5 children plus 2 daughter-in-laws live.  Also,  my parents, 8 siblings (I know, right?!) and their families plus a whole host of aunts, uncles and cousins live there.   Yep, it would have to be Utah.

7. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

“You’re never fully dressed without a smile” 

8. What is the first blog you remember reading regularly?

Tidbits from the Tremaynes: Mandi is a hilarious writer and does amazing, over-the-top projects.  Seriously…read her blog!  I don’t know her, but I do know that she lives in Utah.  I want to be her next door neighbor. 

9. What are 11 random facts about yourself?

1) My birthday is 9/11…kind of a downer, right, but I share my birthday with my grandpa, a cousin, my best friend in high school, and my niece.  2) When I was a teen, my family owned a pizza place called Purple Pig Pizza and I ate pizza every single day.  3) Pizza is still one of my favorite foods.  4) I have been to Australia 3 times in my life.  5) At age 18, I got hit by a taxi cab while in a crosswalk, crossing a street in Australia…threw me up on the windshield and down to the pavement.  6) The taxi driver yelled, “sorry” out his car window as he drove off.  7) After being married for almost 30 years, every day I make my bed because, and this is the thought that goes through my head each day, “I don’t want Scott (my husband) to think that I’m the kind of person that doesn’t make my bed”.   8) I didn’t make my bed every day when I was single.  9) I went to a One Direction concert with my older daughter last year and acted like a teenaged girl singing along with every song.  I’m kind of a teen-y bopper.  I currently have the High School Musical 3 soundtrack playing each time I drive my car.   10) Every Friday, when I pick up my 16 year old daughter at high school, we break out singing, “Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday!”.  If you aren’t familiar with that song, don’t look it up…it is probably the most obnoxious song ever written.   11) I am currently working on an online program to finish my bachelors degree through Brigham Young University.

10.  What 5 things would top your gratitude list? 

  1. My family including wonderful in-laws
  2. My faith
  3. The blessing of healthy, able bodies for my family and I
  4. I’m proud to be an American
  5. This world that we live in is so beautiful in such diverse ways

11.   What is your favorite color?

Currently, I love all shades of blues.

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Secondly, I was nominated by Caitlin at Flannelgraphs way back in March 2016.  Her blog is a sweet blog that provides great mommy and family tips, as well as providing hope and encouragement for those who are grieving and in need of healing.  You really should check it out.  Thanks, Caitlin!

Caitlin’s questions for me were:

1. Who’s your favorite blogger?

This one is a repeat…Mandi at Tidbits from the Tremaynes.  I can’t say it enough…she is hilarious and you have to see it to believe the huge scope of projects that she takes on.  Amazing!

2. What’s the thing/person/place that motivates you most effectively?

I would have to say my home and the people in it are what motivates me most effectively.  I’m always looking for ways to make my home look nicer,  more organized, and easier for my family to live in.

3. Where do you physically do most of your blogging from (couch? bed? kitchen table? sandy beach?)?

I do all of my blogging at our computer desk in our family room.  I do like the idea of doing it on a sandy beach, though!

4. If you could have dinner with any one person, here or gone, who would it be?

My great-grandma Sadie Tolley Harris.  She died when I was a senior in high school, but we had a super strong bond.  She was sweet, and soft and hilarious and thought I could do no wrong.

5. When is your most productive time of the day?

Hmmm…this varies from day to day.  I guess that I use mornings to try to get things done, but sometimes projects scream out to me at 10pm and I dig in and get them done.

6. Watery expanses or mountain ranges?

Ooooh, can I have both?  My parents do, along with city lights at night, and that is the view that I crave.  Is this too much to ask for?  If I have to choose one, it would have to be water views.

7. What’s your favorite season and why?

I love summer because the kids are out of school and life is just simpler.  My hubby can come home early from work, load up the boat, and within 3o minutes we can be out on Shasta Lake.  It is also when  our out-of-state kids come home to visit.

8. It’s Friday night:  what are you most likely up to?

Pizza and a movie.

9.Sweatpants or leggings?

Leggings.

10.Who has been your biggest supporter on your blogging journey?

I would say that my mom is my biggest supporter.  She thinks that everything I create and write about is amazing.  Moms are great that way, aren’t they?

11.Cat crazy or doggie lover?

This would be a big, fat…neither!  Let’s just say that I had a bad experience that included a mouthful of fluffy St. Bernard fur in my mouth as a teen.  Ruined me for life!

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Wake up, wake up…are you still there?  This post is getting quite long, so, on with my nominations for the Liebster Award:

Nicki at The Peace Notes

Renee at Food + Fitness

Hayniedi at Empty Nest Remodelers

Cari at Saltwater and Sawdust

HERE ARE YOUR 11 QUESTIONS:

  • Why did you start blogging?
  • What is the first blog you remember reading regularly?
  • If you could add on one room to your home, what would that be and why?
  • If you could have dinner with any one person, here or gone, who would it be?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
  • What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done?
  • Water or mountain view?
  • If you could live in another time of history, when would that be?  Why?
  • What is the best advice you have been given?
  • Do you make your bed every day?
  • What is your favorite piece of furniture or accessory in your home?

For more information about the Leibster Award, you can read this very well-written post by Lorraine on her Wording Well blog.

Thanks again, Kimberley and Kaitlin for your “dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved…” Liebster nominations for my little blog! 

Whew!!!! Now I can get  back to blogging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Faux Textured Glass

I’m about to show you something that will blow…your…mind.

Cover Pic Faux Textured Glass

That’s right…I figured out how to make my own faux textured glass and I can’t wait to show you how.  Truth be told, I’ve been using this product for several years now:

Gallery Glass Crystal Clear

The first time that I used it was purely out of necessity.  We had a huge custom triangle-ish shaped window in our old house that had moisture damage and looked horrible.  I decided to do a stain glass look using Gallery Glass products.  Using their liquid lead striping, I created a Craftsman style border around the whole window using different shades of greens as well as the Crystal Clear.  Did I mention that this window was huge?  7 foot at the tallest part,  8 foot at the widest.  It seriously took forever just to do the border.  When that was done, I still had a huge window that looked moisture damaged.  Ignoring the instructions that said NOT to brush the product on, I poured the Crystal Clear in a bowl, grabbed a wide paintbrush and filled in the rest of the window with brushstrokes, making my own textured glass look that hid the moisture damage.  That was nearly 15 years ago and, as far as I know, it is still holding up.  Cheap and long-lasting fix!

I have a couple of other DIY faux textured glass tricks up my sleeve that I will reveal another time, but I just have to show you the technique that I dreamed up today.  The process is really simple.  (Place your mouse cursor over each image, or click on it, to see the simple instructions)

Now, for my textured pattern maker: dun, Dun, DUN… textured wallpaper!  If you know me, you know that I LOVE textured wallpaper for crafting.

After rolling over the back of the wallpaper, I gently lifted it off.  Truth be told, I had a little too much GG and the image was a bit smeary.  No problem.  I just used a paper towel to remove some of the product, then re-smeared and re-stamped.

This is what it looked like when I peeled off the textured wallpaper:

Gallery Glass textured

You might notice some little wormy looking imprints.  Of course I didn’t let them stay.  Rather than start over again, I just used my finger to smear those areas out, adding little “polka dots” all throughout the glass.  Because of past experience, I knew that those dots would blend in just fine when the product was dry.

This is what it looked like as it was drying:

Gallery Glass textured

Notice my little dots?  Don’t worry, they will almost disappear.

So……….I found out that it is not easy photographing clear textured glass.  I tried about a hundred ways to get some decent pictures for you, I really did!  In person, it is a really cool effect.  In a photograph, it is much harder to see, but here goes:

 

Faux textured glass using Gallery Glass

Faux textured glass using Gallery Glass

Faux textured glass using Gallery Glass

It worked!!!  I’m thrilled…giddy…ecstatic! Once I get it in my frame and vinyl lettering added, I will show you the final, final product.

Until then, what do you think of my Faux Textured Glass?

 

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I was featured!

Craft Frenzy Friday

 

As a follow-up, I went to and saw the following Q&A regarding Gallery Glass that I found interesting;

Q: Do you need to use a sealer over Gallery Glass® Window Color™ or Liquid Leading™?

A: Gallery Glass Protective Sealer is recommended for all projects, especially window clings and designs in high humidity areas. The sealer will resist dust and fingerprint impressions as well as protect against condensation in moist areas. – See more at: https://www.plaidonline.com/gallery-glass/brand/detail.htm#sthash.7y3GGCHg.dpuf

 

10 Minute Tidy: Scrub That Brush!

Cover Pic Scrub Brush

My kitchen sink just wouldn’t be complete without it…a scrub brush, that is.  I used to go through these babies like crazy until I got this little number from Ikea for $.50.  Fifty cents!!!  This brush has nine lives, I swear.  It’s sturdy bristles have been standing straight and tall for months and months.

Dirty Scrub Brush

Yeah, it is a bit gross.  Dirty.  DisGusting!   I used to throw my kitchen scrub brushes in the dishwasher but that doesn’t always get them clean.  I found a little tool that cleans small places like a whiz:  Pipe Cleaners.  I had to raid my kid’s craft supplies to get one, but it has been used for months and, like my Ikea scrub brush, holds up like a charm.

A simple, quick rubbing on the plastic base, in both directions, does the trick.   A little squirt of bleach or some other germ killer gets rid of the junk that you can’t see.

There you go, good as new!

Clean scrub brush

Pipe cleaners also come in handy when it comes to cleaning those sturdy reusable straws that are so hard to wash.  I used to refuse to allow my kids to keep them: you know those bendy straws that all kids love?   Now that I know how to clean them, I have a stash of them (non-bendy) that I use to drink my green smoothies with.  Sorry kids!

So, what is your kitchen scrub brush looking like right now?  Don’t toss it!   Grab a pipe cleaner and tidy that brush!  I know you’ll be glad you did.

 

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Spring Blossoms: Bring ’em Inside

Cover Pic Spring Has Sprung

I know that it is only March, but we have been seeing signs of Spring for a couple of weeks now.  Crazy, isn’t it?

Spring blossoms are even gorgeous at night time:

Believe me, I’m not complaining about Spring coming early at all!  This year I decided to bring springtime to the inside of my house by bringing in blossom covered branches.  I am reveling in Spring inside and outside!

Pink blossoms arrangement

White blossoms arrangement

These have looked good for a solid week!  Not bad for something that cost me nothing more than 5 minutes work of cutting, gathering, and displaying.  I’ll admit that my white blossoms kind of stink a bit, but the pink ones smell divine.  Like Spring has sprung right there in my dining room.  The scents seemed to diminish after day 3, though.  For those of you who are allergic to spring blossoms, I am SO sorry!   Maybe you can have a loved one cut and display a bunch, leave them outside and enjoy them from indoors.

After day 7, my pink bouquet is looking a little sad.  No problem, I’ll venture outside and gather more.  I’ve got an extra couple of minutes!  The white bouquet, however, looks just as good as it did the day that I brought it inside.

So, what’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?  Has spring sprung yet?  If not, you have that to look forward to…don’t worry.  It WILL come.  And, when it does, make sure that you grab some blossom-filled branches and bring a bit of Spring inside.

Cover Pic Spring Blossoms Arrangement

 

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Creative Tablecloth Ideas

Creative Table Cloth Ideas

I love tablecloths.  I really do!  Do you wanna know why?  Since dining tables are usually at least somewhat large, when you change the tablecloth, you can change the whole look of a room.  Do you believe me?  Think about what a huge difference it makes to throw a different bedspread or comforter on your bed, it’s the same idea.  Bingo!  The whole room seems to change, am I right?  Of course I am!  Changing the tablecloth could almost be akin to painting a wall.  Only much quicker, less messy and, for fickle decorators like me, much easier to change the look of a room on a whim.

I have plenty of tablecloths.  More than I should have, probably.  I’m fickle, remember?  I’ve noticed that in recent months, however, I really don’t use my real tablecloths very often.  I have gotten creative and now use drapes and shower curtains instead and, I must say that I like the look of them so much more than my real tablecloths.  Want to see?

First, my current favorite:

Decorative Shower Curtain Used as a Tablecloth

This Moroccan-looking number is the most amazing shade of blue.  I can’t figure out how to photograph the color perfectly.

Close up of decorative shower curtain

I love how the black flocked design is so bold.  Yep, I love this shower curtain…turned table cloth.

Here is a shower curtain that I bought at Goodwill for $3.  I love-a-love-a-love it!  It is practically dripping with texture:

Decorative shower curtain used as a tablecloth

Close up of decorative shower curtain

I also have some curtain panels that I like to use as tablecloths:

Here are some close-up pics so you can really appreciate the textures:

Yeah…I really like my pseudo-tablecloths.  They don’t look exactly like what I see over and over in the tablecloth departments of stores.  It’s a pretty fair bet that I’m not going to walk into anyone else’s home and see that their table matches mine.  Call me crazy.  Call me creative.  Just don’t call me late for dinner (set on one of these creative table cloths, of course!).

What do you think?  Have you ever stepped outside of the box and used something other than a tablecloth for a table cloth?

 

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Making a Profit With Fundraising Gift Baskets

Cover Pic Fundraising Gift Baskets

Fundraisers…got to love ’em, right?  As a parent of 5 I have participated in LOTS of fundraisers over the years.  Just last night was our high school choir’s Spaghetti Dinner and a Show fundraiser.  Students (translate: moms) were allowed to bring gift baskets to raffle off and 100% of the money the baskets sold for would go into their student trip account.  I must say that I have a love/hate relationship with silent auction gift baskets.  Oh, I get all excited about coming up with fun themes for gift baskets and then go overboard trying to shove as much theme related stuff into the perfect basket and making it look all cute and desirable so that EVERYONE wants to buy my gift basket.  Can you feel the excitement?  Then comes the hate part where I realize that maybe our little community can’t really afford to pay the big dollar amounts of what these baskets might go for somewhere else.  Next, comes regret as I realize that I spent a huge chunk of time and money running around and fancying up so that just a few dollars of profit could go into my daughter’s choir account.  The hate part?  That is how I felt last year after our gift basket silent auction.  The love? That is how I felt after our fundraiser last night.  Hang on and I’ll tell you why:

Last year I spent hours and hours putting several baskets together.  I layed awake at night coming up with great theme ideas.  I hunted and hunted for baskets until I found these babies.  I really liked their shape, but hated the ugly orange stain so before I could even start filling, I had to paint them.  And distress them.  And stain them.  Whole day project.  I don’t have any good pics of the finished baskets, but you get the idea.  Here are last years assembled gift baskets:

Yeah, I told you I get all carried away.  Who brings 6 gift baskets to a fundraiser?  Here they are, in the back of my car…can’t you just feel the excitement?

Fundraising gift baskets

Last year’s basket themes were, Everything Chocolate, Spa Night, Beauty, Baby Girl, Valentine’s Day, and USA.  Overachievers unite!  The result?  My daughter got about $120 put into her trip account.  The downside?  I probably spent about $80 on supplies, plus days of my time.  Big downside!  I had one guy follow me around all night begging me to accept $15 for my beauty basket so he could buy it for his wife who really wanted it… and had put in so much time and effort for the spaghetti fundraiser… and was pregnant.    Ok…fine.  Whatever!  I only had about $25 into it.  No big.  I determined then and there- never again!

Fast forward a year.  The hate part was fresh in my mind as our annual fundraiser came closer.  Last week I was bagging stuff to donate to the local thrift store and came across some Hawaiian shirts my boys no longer wanted.  I also realized that I had a couple of really nice purses heading to the thrift store and decided to hold them back as well.  Ta da!  Gift baskets!  The excitement came back.  For just the cost of a couple of thrift store baskets and the addition a few other items I had on hand, my baskets were complete.

Before putting the Hawaiian shirts in the basket, I laundered and ironed them and made a tag, showing the shirt sizes and brand labels…

Gift basket tag

… and then I added a beach sign that I had made a few years ago and threw in a box of Hawaiian Punch fruit snacks for good measure.

My purses gift basket was just as easy and cost me only the cost of a thrifted flat wicker basket.  I don’t know if you have ever noticed this, but garage sales and thrift stores seem to have an abundance of purses.  I only purchase them if they are in perfect condition and usually only pay a dollar or two for them.  Often the original tags are still attached.  I think that us women like the idea of having more than one purse, but in reality, it is really a pain to transfer stuff to a different purse, so we use the same one most of the time.  I just grabbed a few purses that I had on hand to create a raffle basket.   Don’t worry, I still have plenty of purses left.

Bottom line?  My purses sold for $40 and the Hawaiian shirts sold for $30.  In our little community, even!  $70 has been added to my daughter’s travel account and it cost me less than $5 total.  That’s righ, $65 profit!  MMAnother bonus:  I spent less than an hour total preparing and assembling.  Bingo!

Do you have a gift basket fundraiser coming up?  Look around your house for items that have been minimally used and/or are no longer loved by you or your family.  We are talking tip top shape, people.  This is not the time to pass on junk!  Some little girl would surely love a basket filled with no longer hoarded Beanie Babies.  You know the bins and bins filled with Matchbox cars?  Grab 20 of them and display them well.   The drawer full of scarves that you never, ever wear?  That works, too.  Craft supplies that you have never used?  Fishing lures?  Teddy Bears?  Board games and puzzles that never got opened.  What is the bottom line for turning a profit?  Don’t spend the big bucks.  Use what you have and then fill in the rest.

What is lurking in your closets, drawers, under beds, or hidden away in the garage that could make a fabulous gift basket or two…or six?

 

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