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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Super Cool Textured Wall Art DIY Tutorial!

        Hello everyone!  Sorry to be gone for so long between posts, some crazy thing have been happening with my hubbys job, mix that with crazy snow and ice weather and I am a ball of stress!  Things have finally calmed down and I am happy to present a tutorial on this painting that I displayed in my last post - 
Its super easy!  Just a little tedious.  
     Things needed :
  •  Either an old painting you wish to revamp, or a new canvas to put your painting on.  (Could also be a piece or wood or something, get creative!)
  • Paint in various colors
  • Small 6" Roller (Paint brush would work too, but I liked a roller much better)
  • 2 inch painters tape
  • Hot glue gun (Optional)
  • Utility knife
  • Lots of patience (Mandatory!)
Step 1 -
        Prepare your surface.  If using a brand new canvas, you can skip this step. :)  If using an old painting or old canvas, check it for damage.  For instance - the canvas I had was left by the previous owners of my home.  I found it out in the garage when we bought the house.  It was a pretty picture, but had rips in it! :(

I really had no idea what I was doing, but I had seen that famous DIY painting on Pinterest so many times so I figured I would try it out. (Like this - If you have any rips like I had in mine, just pull our your glue gun and glue those babys down!  Don't worry about it being perfect, that is what our next step is for.

Step 2 - 
       Priming and adding texture.   Alright, so if you had to glue up some rips, you have got some ugly scars all over your canvas now right?  Well never fear, the glue gun is here!  I just started drawing random squigglys all over the canvas.  Sometimes I would draw swirls, shapes, just whatever floated my boat at the time.  In some spots I wrote "secret messages".  I wrote the date and year in squiggles and my husband and mines initials.  You will notice your scars blend in!  Those of your with perfect canvasas to start with, you are welcome to add texture or not depending on your personal preference!  Now using a cheap paint (all the paint I used was left over house paint) prime all over it and let it dry!

Step 3  - 
       Start painting all over the canvas.  Here is where you get to be creative.  Use a brush, your fingers, a roller, I don't care.  Use whatever colors you like, in whatever strokes you like! Just cover the whole canvas.  

Step 4 - 
       Taping.  Here is where the patience comes in.  This part admittedly made me feel a little crazy.  Like it was never going to be complete.  Get our your 2 inch painters tape, and start rolling it out and cutting it into rectangles.  The easiest system I found was to get a cardboard box, figure out how long I wanted each "brick" to be, then use that measurement and make marks on the cardboard box.  That way I could quickly pull tape, stick it to the cardboard box on the measurement line, then use a utility knife to cut it.  You become quite a machine at this if you have as big of a canvas as I did.  As you cut the pieces, go ahead and stick them on.  Don't get too perfectionist here, I promise it will look alright in the end, just eyeball it.  (Make sure and cut pieces to wrap around the edges, this really completes the look)

Step 5 - 
         Final Coat.  Once you are done with that.  Stand back and admire your handiwork.  Seriously, do it!  Now paint over everything with white. (Or whatever color you choose).  I went with a roller here because it seems better about not "leaking" underneath the tape.  

Step 6 - 
        Pull of all that tape. Pull off all your hard work already?  That's right! It is the most fun part!  I didn't need to do a second coat, but if it look like yours does, go ahead and do it.  You should be left with something like this.  
Up close of the texture.  Even though it bled a little because of the texture, I think it adds 
unique character.

Completely optional - I ended up coloring in some of the squares with white just to give it an even more interesting look.  And there you have it!  Your own awesome art.  

Thanks for reading!  And as always, if you don't know how to do something
Bluff It and Do it Anyway!  :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Art Of Treasure Hunting + The Winner of My First Giveaway!

The Art of Treasure Hunting

      Goodmorning and welcome to my blog. On this lovely morning I am going to be tell you lovely folks about the Art of Treasure Hunting!  
Garage Sales
     I absolutely LOVE garage sale-ing.   But I like to have specific things in mind before going out to garage sales.  So, tip #1 ;
  1. Have a List!   I have found this extremely useful for my Pinterest projects.  If you are anything like me you probably have a million of those neat Pinterest projects pinned.  Well I will go through some of them (Sometimes all of them if I am feeling crazy)  and write down what I would need to complete them.  (Usually everything I need could come second hand).  So for instance, want to make that cute earring hanger you keep seeing?  ( Write down a decorative frame and maybe some netting or beads.  I am always surprised how much I find when I remember to look for it! 
  2. Think Creatively!  Now I'm not telling you to go crazy and buy a bunch of junk you don't need.  But within reason, if something jumps out at you, just think for a minute or two about what you could do with it.  I've made this cheesy flow chart for your convenience of how my purchasing decisions usually go.
      So basically, this is what goes through my head everytime I am holding something at garage sales.  
Here is one of my recent finds I love.  
Here is my little wooden kitty cat.  While I was at the garage sale this was off to the side.  I picked it up and the woman who was throwing the garage sale said I could have it if I wanted it.  Said it was the only thing left after she owned her own furniture store.  Said it sat outside her business.  So first of all, it was FREE.  So my mind wheels started turning and I knew I could do something with it.  I sanded it down (paying close attention to the ears to try and make them even) and painted it white.

       So here I my kitty cat in it's new home.  I love the eclectic feel it adds to my home.  And while I have this picture, see that Edison Record tube?  Well I was at a garage sale where this lovely older couple had a very cool record player for sale.  Once I started talking to them about it, they both opened up and were thrilled to talk about their collection.  Then they showed me a huge crate they had of these old original Edison records.  I asked if they would be willing to sell one and they said no.  But at the end, he said I could have an empty holder if I would like.  So of course I accepted!  :) So tip #2!
              2.    Talk to people!  If you aren't on a time crunch, just talk with people!  A lot of times you will find more interesting things, hear stories and get lower prices!  

       Records!  Now I may be a little biased to this treasure since I collect Beatles records, but that's why I included a record clock!  Which if you like I can include a tutorial in my next post on how to make one.  Incredibly simple :)    Now for instance, at garage sales, I got that Sgt Pepper record for FREE!  And I got Abbey Road for  $1!  You just have to look through all those stacks of records and you never know what you will find!

       Now whether you are a full-on artist or not, I ALWAYS look for canvases at garage sales and thrift stores.  Canvases are SO expensive any place you buy them, so what better place to look than garage sales?  People (or children) paint things on them and then poof! There they are in the garage sale.  I have a perfectly good canvas to paint over!  Now one of my friends said "Don't you feel bad painting over someone elses art?  And I say Nope!  Not if they are the ones who were selling it in a garage sale to begin with.  So here is an example of a Pinterest project I knew eventually I wanted to do.  No doubt everyone has seen this pin  
      When we first moved into our house they previous owners left this gigantic canvas picture.  Just one of those print canvases you buy from Kohls and what not.  But they left it because it had tears in it.  How that happened I'm not sure....
But anyways,  So I set out gluing the tears shut, and beginning my paint project.  I used leftover house paint and painting tape, so a completely free painting!

      And I just love how it turned out!  So buy those canvases!  And do you see my little cow head over on the side there?  When I stood at that thrift store looking at that thing,  I couldn't decide if it was hideous or awesome.  But for only .25 it was worth a gamble.  And now I LOVE it!  It's on our eclectic wall and fits in perfect!
If anyone would like to know how to make the record clock or a tutorial for the canvas just let me know and I will make a post about it :)

And now.   Drumroll please....The first winner of my very first giveaway!

Danalee Davis!

      I have already emailed you and I hope you enjoy your prize!  :) I hope everyone is having an amazing 2014! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

DIY Penny Bathroom Backsplash

     We've all seen it.  It's all over Pinterest and all the rage right now...Penny Projects! The first image I saw was of people "tiling" a floor with pennies.  I was amazed. I needed this to happen.  But I was also a little afraid.  So my husband and I came up with a solution, a backsplash!  I really wish I would have taken more "how-to" photos but I will do my best to explain and show what I DO have.  So let's get started!
      Here is everything we used - 

  • Wall Paint
  • Paintbrush (Possibly a roller depending on your area)
  • A TON of pennies (We probably used about $35 worth for our small area)
  • Super Glue
  • Spray Lacquer
  • Something to protect your walls (We used rolls of clear plastic sheeting)
  • Drill Gun W/ Grinder Wheel
  • Level
  • Optional - New fixtures 
     So let's get started. Here is a before picture of our bathroom.  Not bad, just outdated.  We really had a perfect situation and spot for this, just a tiny half guest bath.  I knew I wanted to get rid of the big mirror and replace the lights and then the penny backsplash idea was born.  

  1. Step number one was removing everything off of the wall.  Carefully remove your mirror and lighting fixture (If you like).  Thankfully this wall was not textured, so really my prep work was almost done.  
  2. I then painted the room a lighter cream.  But the backsplash area I painted a darker brown.  I knew that this would barely shine between the pennies and I wanted it to be dark.  
  3. After everything was dry, I used my level to draw a line in pencil horizontally across the wall so I knew where to start my line and keep it straight.  This was actually the only line I had to draw, everything stayed surprisingly in line. 
  4. Next, start gluing up those pennies! Just start lining them up on your line, putting a little drop of super glue and putting it up.  Don't use a lot of superglue! It just takes a tiny dot.  Even still you will probably get that really incredibly frustrating "glue fingers" that don't fully come off for days.   We tried using Gorilla glue, but it just doesn't dry fast enough.  Super glue worked really amazing for this project.  Now before I go on, a note about the pennies.  A lot of people have asked where I got them, if I picked them out, and if I put them up there a certain direction or orientation.  The answer in short is, I got them from the bank and yes, the tellers will look at you like you are CRAZY for wanting $20 in pennies.  I didn't pick them out at all, I love the old dirty ones mixed with shiny new ones.  Now if they were so dirty they were just one big black spot I would not use that one.  Also, some one the rolls I got were brand new, all of them.  So I returned those pennies and asked for a mixed roll.  I didn't use any orientation at all, except for one row in the middle.  I picked out pennies with our anniversary year and put all those face up in one row.  Just a neat little detail if you ever notice.
  5. The gluing process will take a very very long time.  Don't let it make you crazy though.  Just do an hour or so at a time.  It took a few weeks of a few hours here and there.  But I'm sure you could get it done faster if you were more determined ;)
  6. Now is the time you are getting near the edges.  You are thinking, what do I do here?!  Well, it took us some trial and error. You need penny halves or ever smaller. The best system we found was using a clamp on the very edge of a table to TIGHTLY hold a penny so that it slightly hangs over the edge.  Then we used a grinder wheel on our drill to cut through the penny.  It took a few tries to get the hang of it, but by the end I was a penny cutting machine!  Don't forget those goggles!  You are now left with a penny half and an even smaller piece that has fallen to the floor, no doubt you will find a place for both.  
  7.     The next step is putting pieces in like a puzzle. Just find where your penny halves fit! Here you can see where we used the penny halves to create a really nice line on each side.  This really helped finish out the entire look.
  8. Don't worry you are almost done! I know you never want to see another penny and never want to mess with super glue again, but it is worth it!  Once all the pennies were up, I used the plastic roll to take around to protect my walls around the penny wall.  Then I put on my mask and goggles and used a spray can of clear lacquer and sprayed away!  Don't spray too much, you don't want runs.  If you see one just quickly wipe it away.  I did three coats of spray.  
  9. You are done!  Now just install your new mirror and new light!  For your mirror, find out where your nail will be in the wall and just remove that penny.  It's that easy!  Now stand back and be amazed at what you have accomplished.

 Thank you so much  for reading and keep on the lookout for more how-to tutorials (Next time with more pictures)  If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!  :)  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Little Unusual...My First Giveaway!

Would you like to win a $100 Gift Certificate?


       Of course you would! Who wouldn't?  Why would I have a giveaway with no followers?  Well, here is the scoop. I was given a $100 online gift certificate to the amazing Louis Jane online store.  She has the most beautiful clothing and did I mention the scarves?  Unfortunately, I can't use it at the moment, so my loss is your gain.  
      I am going to give one lucky reader the chance to win this certificate.  (I realize my blog is brand new, and I have no readers.)  But guess what?  The better chance for you to stumble across it and have no competition!  
       So here is all you have to do - Enter using rafflecopter bellow and good luck!  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Fend off the Dreaded Winter Sickness

How to fend off the dreaded winter sickness.

(Or if you've already got it, how to beat it)

It begins. You hear the sniffles of your children, and you see the tissue boxes coming out at your office. It's time for the FLU. Just the word makes your head hurt. According to WebMD , 5-20% of Americans get the flu every year. In other words, you don't take precautions, you have a good chance of spending a forced sick-cation. Here are some sure-fire ways to keep yourself in the 80% this year

  1. Flu Shots - This one you can take or leave depending on your personal stance. The CDC recommends everyone the age of 6 months or older getting a flu shot. The biggest pros and cons of each side are:
    • Pros
    • According to the CDC, getting a flu shot cuts your risk of getting the flu by 70% and the vaccine protect you all season.
    • Cons
    • You could get the flu anyway and there are slim chances of having side effects or even getting other sicknesses. (Like the flu, go figure). There also people who theorize getting the shot will give you aids. So there you go.
  2. Common sense things that I will sum up in one point. Wash your hands. Clear and simple. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Okay, you don't have to wear a medical mask (Although it might help), but did you know the flu can spread from people up to 6 ft away from eachother? Just from talking, coughing and sneezing. Think twice about having lunch with any sick workmates!
  3. Keep your body healthy. Just like a dirty kitchen is more likely to pull in ants, a unhealthy body is more likely to get sick. Get regular sleep, eat nutritious food, exercise and don't stress out.
But oh no. I'm already feeling congested… Is that a sneeze coming on?

What to do if you've already got the flu.

So you're reading this article just a week too late. Well don't worry, I'm leaving a special segment just to help the infirm.

  1. Rest. If you can! I know sometimes when you are heavily congested it's hard to sleep. (Or maybe your nose keeps running when you try and lay on your side) Try a cold/flu medicine with sleep aid, and try fluffing up some pillows behind you and sleep at an incline. This will really help drain down from the head. Also, if you can, keep a humidifier running while you sleep, it's amazing for those nights when breathing in stings your raw throat.
  2. If you choose, Medicate. As previously mentioned, try a cold/flu medicine like Nyquil or Dayquil. Mucinex is great for congestion. Also, if your throat is really raw, the throat spray is amazing.
  3. Be prepared. Make one trip to the store. Think of everything you will need. This helps so much in the long run, believe me. Don't underestimate how crummy the flu can make you feel, so get it all now.
    Pick up:
    • Tissues
    • A Thermometer (If you don't already have one)
    • Medicine
    • Chap stick (Dry lips are the worst while sick)
    • Lotion (Stay moisturized!)
    • Soap / Hand Sanitizer
    • Most importantly - lots of liquid whether water, juice or tea. Try soup for an easily prepared comfort food.
  4. If you're living with others in the house, try using plastic utensils, plates and paper towels, this will help cut down on the spread of germs around the house.
  5. Stay hydrated! The worst thing you could do is let yourself get the flu AND dehydrated. Try water, sports drinks or broth. Nice warm tea helps warm your insides and relieve congestion.
  6. Look online for home remedies. Different things work for different people so don't be afraid to try! What have you got to lose? One remedy is using Honey. Quoting from How Stuff Works "A hacking cough can keep you and every other household member up all night. Keep the peace with honey. Honey has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for coughs. It's a simple enough recipe: Mix 1 tablespoon honey into 1 cup hot water, stir well, and enjoy. Honey acts as a natural expectorant, promoting the flow of mucus. Squeeze some lemon in if you want a little tartness." (Check out the link below for the article this is taken from)

Whether you are fighting the hoards of sick people or your body has already given into the flu, I hope these tips help you to have an enjoyable winter. Do you have any tried and tested tips for preventing or treating the dreaded flu? Please share below!

Thanks for reading!


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