Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Refinished Dresser

It’s no secret that I love spray paint, and I think I have a new favorite spray painted project – my living room dresser. When you first come up the stairs into my living room, you used to be greeted by a lovely sofa table (which I made, of course) that held a few plants, photos, keys, etc. Lately I’ve been craving more storage in my living room and decided that perhaps the sofa table was a lost storage opportunity. 


If I replaced the sofa table with a dresser, we would still have somewhere to drop our keys but also drawers to store belongings. With that said, buying a new dresser wasn’t in the budget. I managed to find a gem from a coworker that cost me $50. Definitely not the look I wanted, but I could see the potential.


J and I brought it home, put it in the basement, and I got to work. First I took off all the hardware, used wood filler to plug the holes, and sanded everything except the inside that you don’t see. Next I gave it a good wiping with a wet rag to get rid of all the dust and dried it with another rag. Once it was clean, I started painting. It took 4 coats of paint and primer in one to completely cover all the surfaces. Finally, I attached my new hardware, brought it upstairs and put it all together.

Holes filled
 
In the process of sanding

The drawers being painted


Painting the dresser
I didn't worry about the parts you don't see when the dresser's in use.

I'm so pleased with this for several reasons. First, it cost me less than $100 dollars to make. I love a good bargain. Second, it’s the largest piece I’ve ever made. Third, I love that we now have somewhere to store all out CDs and DVDs in the living room.


The top is going to be my *fake* mantel which will get decorated for the seasons, which is something else I wanted. If you want to see it partially decorated, check it out in my Painted Eggs post.

On a separate note, guess what I did today… I opened my own etsy shop. I’m really new and don’t really know what I’m doing but I’ve listed 3 items so far (bird nest pendants). I don’t expect to get rich off it (honestly I’ll be ecstatic if anything sells) but I wanted to give it a try. If you want to check it out, click here.

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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Painted Eggs

Once I started decorating for Easter with my Bunny Silhouette, I couldn’t stop. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but I did make some painted eggs to add to my plants. I saw a picture of eggs something like this somewhere in blog-land but didn’t bookmark it and haven’t been able to find it again.


Materials I used:
Foam eggs
Skewers
Craft paint
Paint brushes & sponges

First I stuck the eggs on the skewers. I debated painting the skewers but didn’t bother.


Next, I painted the base coat on my eggs. I chose to paint 4 orange and 4 blue. In order to let them dry, I stuck them in some extra styrofoam J found in the basement.


Finally, I decorated them. I used round sponges to add circles to four of the eggs and paint brushes to add patterns to the other four.


I’ve added them to some plants and it helps finish the Easter theme on my refinished dresser (a recently completed project that I’ll write about later). Please excuse the fact that the plant on the left looks like it’s dead. I repotted it yesterday and am not sure if it’s going to take.


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Friday, 23 March 2012

Bunny Silhouette

Every second year over Easter holidays I chaperone a school trip to Ontario and Quebec. We head out in less than two weeks and I can’t wait! Because I’m not going to be home I debated whether to decorate or not but, in the end, I decided I wanted a little something. Here’s an easy bunny silhouette I put together in less than half an hour with supplies I already had.

I used:
White paper and pencil
Scrapbook paper
Ink and sponge
Scissors
Glue
Picture frame

I searched a rabbit silhouette and, once I found one I liked, traced it from the computer screen onto white paper. The picture I used also had the butterfly in it so I decided to trace that too. I placed the white paper over my scrapbook paper and cut out the shapes. To add a little more texture, I inked the edged of the animals. I cut the background paper to the proper size, glued the shapes in place, and put it in the frame.

In progress...

The colours are not ones I would normally combine but I think the end result is charming. It definitely adds some spring to my living room.


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Sunday, 18 March 2012

One Pot Lemon Chicken

I have a confession… I hate dislike cooking. Gasp. I know. Shame on me. Seriously, I think it’s boring and I’d rather eat take out any day (which is why I HAVE to meal plan, but that’s another post). Because of my feelings about preparing meals, I’m always on the lookout for easy recipes. This one came from my wonderful friend Linda (although I have no idea where she found it) and I love it! It’s simple, doesn’t have weird ingredients and, best of all, tastes delicious.


Here are the ingredients. I've given exact measurements but I don’t use them. I prefer to just eyeball it, adding more or less and sometimes substituting depending on my mood and what's in the pantry.

8 – 10 chicken drumsticks and/or thighs
 2/3 cup lemon juice
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup water
3 tablespoons chicken OXO
Oregano
Salt
Pepper
6 – 8 potatoes (I actually use mini-potatoes because I don't have to peel or cut them)
1 – 2 onions, 3 – 4 carrots, any other veggies that are going to go bad

Step 1: Peel and cut veggies into chunks.


Step 2: Dump all the ingredients in a roaster

Step 3: Bake uncovered at 375 for 1 ½ hours, stirring every half hour


Step 4: Broil for about 5 minutes to brown it up. I like to bring the chicken to the top so the skin gets crispy.

Step 5: Serve and eat. I separate mine when the kids are over but if it's just J and I we help ourselves straight from the roaster.

This recipe makes enough for J, the step-kids and myself, with enough left over for at least one of us. I know what I'm eating for lunch tomorrow. :) 

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Friday, 16 March 2012

Remote Caddy

It’s been a busy week (report cards make me crazy) so I wanted to tackle a fairly simple project. I decided it would be a good time to make a remote caddy for my table. This craft is based on a remote caddy by Gen at Color Me Domestic.

My finished remote caddy

Supplies:
Wooden box
Paint and sponge
Scrapbook paper
Scissors
Pencil
Modge Podge and sponge
Fondue skewer (yep, seriously)
Adhesive felt circles

First I painted the edges of my box. I basically painted anywhere that wouldn’t be covered in paper. I wasn’t sure what paper I was going to use so I went with a simple beige.


 Next, I worked on cutting the paper. To do this, I traced each side, cut the paper, and then continued to trim until I got it to the right size. It took a bit of patience (especially since my dollar store box isn’t symmetrical) but I eventually got all the pieces cut out.

Next, I covered the back of the paper and the box in Modge Podge and attached the paper. I used a fondue skewer to push down the edges inside the box that I couldn’t reach with my little fingers.


After the Modge Podge dried, I put a coat of it on top of the paper.This would be the stage during which I tipped over the bottle of Modge Podge that was sitting on my coffee table and it went all over my living room carpet. Just a little bit of advice – if you wipe it up right away and then scrub it with OxyClean it doesn’t leave a trace. I was pleasantly surprised!


Finally I added some adhesive circles to the bottom to keep it from scratching my table and it was finished.


I really like that all my necessities are kept neat and organized, while still being easily accessible. It’s sitting on the table beside me as I write this, holding the remote, a notepad, a pen, hand sanitizer, and a lip chap. Really, what more could I possibly need?

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Monday, 12 March 2012

Finished Entrance

I dream of someday having a house worth showing off in a tour. In fact, I’ve thought about it and have decided that I’ll have a special page for it, with a tab next to the “about me” tab. The problem with this is that my house is very much a work in progress. I’m only 30 and bought my first house almost 3 years ago. J and I are working our way through bit by bit and I love what we’ve done so far. I’m very close to having a lot of rooms finished but they still have things that I’m working on. With that said, the once part of the house that is 100% finished* is… the entrance. Exciting, hey?


This is taken from the basement, looking up the stairs. I’m very pleased with the bench I made (check it out here) and how it adds some colour to the space. Here's a better view of the bench.

Here’s another view of the entrance. Isn’t it fun? I could have put the shovel away but it’s winter so there’s no point. The message board was a housewarming gift from a good friend, which I spray painted to match the bench. You can also see the blue and orange picture I made (which you can find in progress here and finished here) on the wall going down the stairs.

And now, my favorite part… the closet.


We don’t normally use this door but do use the closet. We keep all our coats, snow pants, etc. hung up here year round. Our shoes are all on the shelves with the exception of our boots, which are beside the shelves. Most of our accessories are in baskets with labels on the front (actually business cards from Microsoft Publisher, laminated and hot glued in place). The accessories not in the baskets are my scarves – I love scarves – which are on a scarf holder from Ikea.

And there you have it – my entrance. I hope you’ve enjoyed the first little glimpse of my house and there’ll be more to come as rooms get finished… maybe even enough to have it as a separate page. A girl can dream, right?

*Not including painting and flooring. We plan to paint the entire house through in a couple years and the flooring, while not my favorite, is totally functional and therefore staying for a while.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Changable iPhone Cover

I have to admit, I did not want to join the iPhone masses. I was perfectly satisfied with my slide out, non data phone. It was pretty and purple and made me happy… until one day it wouldn’t text anymore. Oh dear. I immediately went to get a new phone and found out if would be cheaper to get an iPhone 4 than an ordinary cell (because the 4S came out and they wanted the 4 gone). Anyway, I have since become a convert. It’s a bit of an addiction. I don’t sleep with it on my pillow or anything but when I’m awake and not teaching it’s with me and turned on. The problem? While I love my phone I didn’t love the case. It was bulky and akward and the rubber stuck in my curly hair when I held the phone to my ear. When I saw these Scrapbook Paper iPhone Covers from Erin at How To Nest For Less I couldn’t wait to make one.


It was really easy! I bought a clear phone cover from a big box store. I traced the shape of it on pretty scrapbook paper and cut it out. I continued to trim little bits from the edges until it fit in the case. I then traced the camera hole and used a blade to cut it out. The edges are a little rough but it doesn’t matter because the cover hides that. It took about 15 minutes to make the first one and, using that as a template, less than 5 minutes to make additional ones.


P.S. Did you notice the watermark? I just learned how to do that tonight. :)

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Saturday, 3 March 2012

Pot of Shamrocks

I’ve been thinking about St. Patrick’s Day lately and trying to come up with some sort of decoration to make. I wanted something similar in size to my Valentine’s crafts – big enough to be intentional but small enough to be subtle. I found an idea for a St. Patrick’s Day centerpiece on Pinterest, and following it to Lulu’s Tiles. I tweaked it a little and made my own Shamrock centerpiece, which in my case is a flower pot.

Supplies I used:
Green flower pot
Foam for flower arrangements
Skewers
White paint and brush
Shamrock stencil (copied from the internet)
Scrapbook paper
Scissors
Modge Podge and brush
Crinkled paper

First I painted my skewers white. I stuck them into the foam so they could dry. I used craft paint and it dried super quickly.


Next I prepared my flower pot (which I didn’t even have to paint – score!) by cutting the foam to the right size and jamming it in place.


After that I googled “clover” and found an image I liked. I copied it into a word document so I could change the size, traced it from my screen, and cut it out to make a stencil. I did this in two different sizes.

I used the stencils to cut two shamrocks of each pattern (making sure I cut them right sides together, so when I put the pen marks on the inside I would see the nice side of my paper.


Once all my shamrocks were cut out I covered them in Modge Podge and stuck them together, with the skewers in the middle. Again, I stuck them in the foam so they could dry.


After they were dry, I arranged them (only to be redone later) and went to dig out the shredder. My plan was to shred a sheet or two of paper and use that to cover the foam. While I was in the basement getting the shredder, I remembered I had saved some crinkled paper from a Christmas gift. I tried it out and I like the look so I used that instead.


At this point I thought I was done, but something looked off. I couldn’t put my finger on it and was going to ignore it… until J commented it didn't look finished. Hmm…


I took the skewers out and cracked them off at different lengths. I also left the crinkle paper more messy and sticking out of the pot. In my opinion, it looks much better but is still lacking something. I’m thinking maybe a ribbon but am open to suggestions.



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