Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sneak Peak: New Trash/Recycling Bin

The space where we keep our trash can in the kitchen is being taken up by new counter space - as a solution to this we are converting one of the "new" cabinets into a trash/recycling bin.

Here is a sneak peak at how it is coming along:

Hopefully the 1st section of the kitchen will be done in the next week and I'll be able to post the full details on this and a few other fun projects.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Initial Coasters (Almost a fail)

After thinking about it for a few days I decided the trivets & bowl didn't feel like enough to give my future sister-in-law for her shower. I wanted to do something a little more personal, something that would mean something to the both of them becoming a family.

Thankfully, I found the perfect napkins to make a set of coasters similar to the ones I made around the holidays.

  • Cocktail Napkins 
  • Tile (mine are from the same box I got before the holidays at the ReStore.)
  • Mod Podge (which I STILL cannot believe isn't called Modge Podge.)
  • Foam brush
  • Sealer/varnish
  • Cork sticker thingies to protect the table from the tile (not picture anywhere... sorry!!!)
Step one, wash the tile:

Open the napkin and decide what portion you are going to use:

Then trim it to the part you are going to use and remove the back layer if your napkin is more than one ply, which it likely is.

It turns out, mine were actually 3 ply - I didn't realize this for the 1st 3 coasters, but don't worry, I actually ruined my entire first set of these and when I remade them, I made sure to remove the 2 back layers rather than just 1... more on my mistakes later.

Apply a gob of mod podge to the tile and spread it out:

Then apply your napkin to the top of the tile and coat with mod podge.

Now in the above picture, you can start to see where this project was going wrong... see how the edge of the napkin is visible all the way around? That happened for 2 reasons, first, the area I wanted to show was smaller than my napkin and second, because I didn't remove the 2nd of the 3 ply napkin.

To deal with that I made my third mistake (I was on a roll, why stop at 2 mistakes...) I applied the boarder of the napkins to the tile.

But because of the irregular edge of my tile, the perfect line of the stripes, and how hard it can be to perfectly place this light weight napkin on the tile... we ended up with this:

Ughhhh... that is not the look I was going for.

Thankfully, I started them early enough to start over... and in doing so, I removed that 2nd ply - which meant that once the mod podge was applied over the napkin, then the sealer... the edge of the napkin completely disappeared. All I had to do was apply the cork think to the back to protect surfaces from the course tile and they were good to go!

There... THAT is the look I was going for. Very simple, elegant...

I like them so much, I just might make a set for us.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm not the only creative one in the family...

Thought I'd share a project that my daughter did last year.

First, our playroom carpet, this was not meant to be ours, but my mother insisted and she was right.

Then about a year later, I found this poster at the trade show my association manages:

It now hangs in the playroom too.

These two pieces inspired my Bug Girl to pick up a marker, paint and paint brushes to create this:

It took her well over an hour, which for being 5 I thought showed amazing dedication. It has been featured in our kitchen since she created it, but I think it is time I let it go to the place she had envisioned it being, the playroom.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bucket Recycle

As we are trying to keep costs down as low as possible while coming up with solutions to each of our issues - which mostly center around storage.

We've been under using the buckets for years, they all say the same thing so getting the right thing in each bucket never happens and they all end up holding clutter.

So... I got out the tape and chalk board paint.

Covered as much bucket as possible:

Sanded the area to be spray painted:

And Spray painted them:

When I took off the tape, some of the paint came with it... usually this sort of thing would piss me off, but for some reason - I'm ok with it.

And now, the buckets can be labeled for whatever we want to use them for, which to begin with seems like one for Bug's school stuff, Baby Bear's day care stuff and something to hold the crafts that seem to overtake our home.

In a few years all school stuff can go in the kids buckets, turns out that back packs fit perfectly in them!

Now, we just have to keep plugging away to finish the kitchen, I know just where these are going to go!

Linking this old post to the Chalkboard Paint Party at The Stories of A to Z

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Curly Girl

My daughter has been blessed with perfectly pin straight hair. I envy her, my hair is mostly straight except for this strange kinky area in the back.

But she decided last week that she wanted to have curly hair... so I sent her up to the tub and grabbed some left over fabric figuring we'd do rag curls.

  • Little girl with wet hair
  • Fabric to cut into strips
  • A night for her to sleep while the hair dries and curls set

Snip the fabric in 1 inch sections:

And then rip them into strips:

Take sections of hair and wrap them around the fabric, then roll the fabric up to the scalp.

Tie the ends of the fabric together and move onto the next section until the entire head is covered in fabric scraps.

Last - send her to bed...

In the morning, remove the strips of fabric, add some conditioner and you've got a girl with curls!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Third Time is the Charm

I have had 2 attempts at using etching cream. The first time was a complete failure. The second time went a little better.

And on the third time, I made this little cutie!!!

Realized while lighting it today, that I hadn't shared it yet!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Branch Trivets

I'm going to go out on a limb here and hope that my future Sister-in-law does not read my blog... I'm pretty sure she doesn't even know I have a blog so I think I'm safe.

Anyway, my little Brother-in-Law is getting married in May, and their wedding shower is next weekend. Actually, I posted the invitations I made for her shower a few months ago.

I found this bowl on their registry and I knew I could do a little more with it:

I had these cork trivets that I picked up, pictured are 3, I ended up using 2:

I wasn't able to do a tutorial of this one, my son was my helper and that made it nearly impossible to have "help" from him, make these AND take pictures.

A brief recap:
  • Cut contact paper on my cricut in in the shape of branches
  • Applied those to the cork trivits
  • Spray painted over them with flat black spray paint. This proved to be a bit more difficult as the contact paper decided that this was the right time to let go... I had to work fast.
  • Removed the contact paper and ta-da....

They didn't turn out quite how I imagined, but I think they work and compliment the bowl.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ballard Inspired Topiary

The Kitchen Renovation finally feels like it is really underway and along with the big projects, I'm continuing to working on some of the littler ones.

I wanted one of the Ballard Style Boxwood Topiaries, but couldn't justify the $50 plus shipping cost. Lucky for me, I'm creative and was able to find the supplies to create 2 full topiaries for less than $25. (Turns out I only made 1, though I'm stocked up to make another if I decide I want to...)

Here is what I started with:
  • Topiary Forms (found them for $2 each at AC Moore)
  • Faux greenary, found at Ikea, didn't like the others I found elsewhere.
  • Moss
  • Brown paint
  • Scissors
  • Tooth pick
  • Glue
 First up, I spray painted the shaft of the topiary form brown, it was a yucky grey-ish tan before...
(I got some paint on the form, oops.)

Next I had to decide which of the greeneries I purchased to go with... I knew I could use both on upcoming projects.

I decided to go with the one on the left... I liked the varigation of the medium green to the light and the small leaf.

Then I started clipping away, not only did I have to cut each stem off, but then I cut each stem into 2 sometimes 3 pieces to get the effect for the topiary that I wanted.

Until I had a huge pile of pieces.

I took the tooth pick and pierced the foam of the topiary form, then dipped the greenery in white glue and stuck it in the hole. It turned out that the hole created by the tooth pick and the stem of the greenery were a perfect fit. I had also gotten out a pin, a few different nails incase I need something of another size, but the tooth pick worked great.

It took a lot of greenery to cover each of the balls on the topiary form, I had quite a little system going...

Next up, I had to cut the moss to fit over the bottom of the form. I started by cutting a template out of scrap paper.

I made sure to cut the moss outside, that stuff sheds like crazy and my husband would have really started twitching if I made the mistake of cutting the moss inside, again.

The moss was then tucked around the base of the form after the form was put in the pot.

And here is the finished topiary:

Edited to add:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kitchen Renovation Update

So... we've been debating kitchen counter top options and agonizing over the budget, which was $1,000. This was our breakdown:

Problems Solutions Budget Actual
Lack of Storage Adding 3 base cabinets $150 $100
Creating selves above new cabinets. Bookshelf and desk where the island cart is now. $75
Replace microwave with over the stove unit. $200
Style is Dated Painting cabinets white $60
Painting the walls light blue $20
Replacing the countertops with black laminate $200
Floor is awful Replacing with lamiante floors from Ikea $350
Total $1055
Well, no matter how we face it, it wasn't going to work. Especially after we realized how much we hated the sink and how much that would add to the budget. But there wasn't really any extra money available. Soooo... we had a yard sale. We've been meaning to do it for a while, there was baby gear coming out of every storage area we had in the house.

After a few nights sorting and a couple of ads on Craigslist and Freecycle cafe we had a yard sale and earned $508.85!!!


That added to the $980 we had saved so far, put the available budget at: $1488.85!!!

I'm not kidding when I say that the night of the yard sale we went right to Lowe's and the next morning we went to Ikea to buy all the supplies before the money was spent on something else.

How are these for a before picture of our kitchen?

We got plywood for the recycling center, trash cans for the recycling center, MDF for the bookcase and desk, counter tops, flooring, tools to install the flooring and even:

A new sink!!!

So right now, the budget is looking like this:
Problems Solutions Budget Actual
Lack of Storage Adding 3 base cabinets $150 $100
Creating selves above new cabinets & bookshelf and desk where the island cart is now.

Add a recycling center.
$100 $98
Replace microwave with over the stove unit. $200
Style is Dated Painting cabinets white $60 $60
Painting the walls light blue $20 $20
Replacing the countertops with black laminate $200 $515
Floor is awful Replacing with lamiante floors from Ikea $350 $265
Sink is shallow Replace with sink from Lowe's $100 $99
New faucet $75
Additional Supplies Paint Sprayer $75 $59
Total (Available $1488.85) $1330 $1216

So, with the majority of the supplies purchased, the next step is to actually start...

Stay tuned.
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