Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hey, Stranger!

Woah, Nelly! Hey, Blog town! Wowzers, its been a long time. I saw that a few people I know who blog weren't doing it as frequently and picked it back up so I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon too.
December was my last Fail. I'd like to say I've been busy all this time but with the except of the last 3 weeks or so that isn't true. I've started to just not care about the whole "no one cares about what I have to say" feeling, so we're just going with it.
Lots of things have happened over the last 3-4 weeks! Tim and I had our 5 year anniversary (whaaaaaaattttttttt!?!?!). That freaked me out. Not in a bad way but in a "IvebeenwiththispersonalmosteverydaysinceIwas19andnowwe'realladultsandshit" kind of way. People won't stop asking us when we're getting married. Not doing it, stop asking. Not because I don't love by boyfriend/best-ginger-friend-ever, but because somehow signing a marriage certificate seems to turn seemingly normal, loving couples (who have been together for years!)  into crazy people that hate everything about each other. I don't think that would happen to us.....but lez be honest many people do you know that have gotten married and said that EXACT same thing, then gotten divorced? No, ma'am, not happening. I'm certainly not trying to say that I wouldn't love a sweet ass ring or a massive party that's all about me, because that would be a lie, I'm just not interested in signing papers.
People also won't stop asking when we're going to have kids. No. Just....No. I love my nephew and my friends kids, they're amazing and fun and they say the craziest stuff (I was over at my friends house, her daughter walks up and all matter-of-factly says "Mom. Could you tell whoever is leaving the toilet seat up that they need to put it down. I would appreciate it."....shes 7...and clearly AWESOME).  But Auntie Margaret will stick to buying them sweet clothes and candy, not dealing with "MOM. MOM. MOM. MOM. MOOOOOOMMMMMM" while I'm in the bathroom. Power to all you mothers out there, because Lord knows you deserve a medal or something.
Also, as most of you know, the house I live in is on the market. This is my mother's house, she abandoned me and moved south, so I moved in here to make sure shit didn't fall down. Recently there have been offers on the house, so we started looking for apartments/houses. That was rough. We looked at like 10 places. Most of them were terrible, but two were pretty great. The first one I wanted SO bad, we didn't get it and I died a little inside (it had a dishwasher....come on!!!!). We finally found a place in the same town, almost all moved in. Its super cute and I get a washer/dryer, fireplace and sweet deck. I also have a really beautiful view of the river. Its amazing. On the down side though, moving out of the house I grew up in is depressing. There is a mirror on the wall that has been there for probably 10 years. I took it down to pack it the other day, got all depressed and just hung it back up on the wall. Not going to lie, I'm at the point in the phase where I just want to ruin all the good stuff so some stranger doesn't get to enjoy it when they buy the house. Totally normal, right?
I'm starting to get over it though.
Lets talk about fun stuff! I've made a bunch of stuff since we last talked.
Like this:
Its one those Hyacinth plastic spoon mirrors. I didn't realize I had made it too big until it was too late.....yup...2 weeks and 650+ spoons later, thats what happened. Its a terrible picture, but (hopefully) you get the idea.
And this:
Those horse shoes were hanging out in the yard for YEARS. They were all rusted, and I decided to do something fun. Fast forward 2 days and three trips to the hardware store and there she is.
There are a few other things, but I don't have pictures right now. I was so well prepared for this....  Anyway, more to come much more frequently!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I'm a little bit country, I'm a little bit.....Grandma's couch?

I raided the furniture at the Goodwill Warehouse about a week ago again. When you can buy something perfect for .99 cents....why not? This one took a little bit longer than the others and was a pain in my big ol' ass. I took a Before picture, but I can't seem to find it on my phone. Oops.
To give you an idea of what it looked like before, it was light colored wood with just a gloss over it. The top had a design with that wood vaneer crap so it looked like the wood grain was going in different directions. It looked like it had been in a basement or garage because the vaneer had started to bubble. When I sanded it down it wasnt helping so I just ripped it off and sanded the wood underneath.

I started with sanding this whole thing. You will see why it was such a pain to paint and sand in the pictures below. With all the ridges in the legs I couldn't use the palm sander or block sander anywhere but the top. I had to go at it with a single piece of sand paper so I could get in to all the nooks. It took three or four sittings to get this all done because my hand kept cramping, it was horrible. Painting it was just as bad. Ugh. Totally worth it....but what a NIGHTMARE.

I decided to go a little fancier on this one than I do most of the time. Mr. SP&NP has been spreading out my Christmas presents over the whole month, which is frigging awesome. He knows I like crafts so he bought me a craft book (The Big Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano) for some ideas and as I decide which ones I want to do, he will get me a few of the supplies. In the book the author uses fun fabrics instead of paint to cover tables. I thought that was a good idea, but didn't want to spend a bunch of money on enough fabric to use on only one table. I went to AC Moore with, again, Mr. SP&NP where he got me a big ol' book of scrapbooking cardstock. The bigger ones are a little more expenisve ($19.99 comes with 48 sheets) but there is enough paper in there to do countless things with. I also bought myself a smaller book ($8.99) for smaller projects.

These are the ones I got:

So after I sanded down and painted the first coat on to the table it looked like this:

Blurry, I know.Not sure why. But I hope you enjoy my Spongebob drop cloth.

For the top of it, I chose similar paper from the book. This is where the Grandma's couch part comes in, but I really like it. To get the top pieces just right it took a very long time to get them all lined up perfectly so I could mark where to cut and glue them on.

There is a little ridge that goes around the top of the table. To mark where to cut I just took my finger and pressed all along where the paper would hit the side. This is thick paper so you have to use some pressure to make the indintations, but way better than marking with a pencil. To avoid confusion after I took them off the table to cut, I did mark the back of the paper as well as the table so I would know where each piece went.

Next I cut along the lines I had made, glued the back and then stuck them on. I am not going to lie to you using anything but spray adhesive here is maddness. Don't do it. I thought I would just use up the rest of my school glue and do it. Bad idea. From the wetness of the glue it made the paper curl so it was additionally diffiult to line up the paper.

Here is what the top looks like all finished!!!

I plan on using this one for more than just a plant stand because I REALLY like the way it came out.For the top I'm going to find a really heavy duty clear coat to put on the top. Because I really like it, I would probably freak out if something got spilled on it, so I will stop that from happening now and spend a little extra to coat it.  I thnk I'm going to put framed pictures or something on it. Not really sure, but its going somewhere people will see it because I'm proud of it!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Presents!!!

Christmas is getting closer and closer. What that usually entails for me is waiting untill the last possible second to get gifts for 10 people. This includes stressing out about what to get, hopping from store to store and having an anxiety attack because there are always 3,000 other people in every store doing the exact same thing I am. After a few years of that, needless to say I. am. over. it. I'm just going to make stuff this year. I can make it while I'm working or while I'm watching TV.

Because its so simple and relativley cheap to make (the one I've made so far cost me $15) I decided I would help you out with another stupid easy home made project that takes very little time and anyone who lives in a cold climate will love as a gift. I got this idea from my friend Amy who started with making blankets but has adapted this idea for a number of other things. She now makes dog beds, pillows, scarves, etc.

Tie Blankets!!! I'm sure you've heard of them or seen one somewhere. I decided to put this up because everyone seems to think that making a blanket just sounds super difficult. Its really not. The hardest part is getting the fabric to line up correctly. Well, its not hard....its just more annoying and frustrating which is why I make them do it for me wherever I buy my fabric.

What you will need:
  • Fleece fabric in any print/color and size you  would like
  • Sharp scissors
You can also get kits like this one . It comes with the fabric already cut to the same size and directions on how to make it.

As far as the fabric goes, you can get this fleece pretty much anywhere. They have solid colors at Walmart, but not a great selection. I get mine at Marden's and sometimes Jo Anne's Fabrics. For adults you can just buy the regular fleece, for kids I reccomend getting the no-pill stuff. It costs a little more but with children's blankets getting washed more often, its a beter idea so it will stay soft and last much longer.
As for sizes you can use your own judgement. I made one of these bad boys for my queen sized bed and got 4 yards of two different kinds of fabric and its the perfect size. For kids, obviously go smaller. If you're making a throw for the couch or something 1.5 yards is perfect. Keep in mind also, that you will be losing 4-5 inches on every side, you'll see why in a minute. 
As I said before, the hardest part of the project is lining up both pieces of fleece and cutting them so they are the same size. When you buy fabric they have that huge table they can slide the fabric around on. This fleece sticks to itself SO BAD which is why it is incredibly frustrating to line them up. If you ask them to put them together and cut them so they are the same size, they usually don't have a problem with it. If you have a line 6 deep behind you, be polite and do it yourself at home. Otherwise, you're paying for the fabric, just ask them to take one extra minute and utilize their table.

 As for colors, I usually put a print on one side and a solid color on the other that matches the print. Its totally up to you. At fabric stores like Jo Anne's they have about 100 different prints and colors to choose from.  If I make a big one for somone's bedroom I try to make it so it will match the walls or their other bedding.

Okay. Step one: Once you get your fabric all cut to the same size, you want to cut a square out of the corner. This is going to allow you to evenly do everything and not end up with weirdly shaped corners. The square you cut out is going to be about 4.5" x 4.5".  Then go down one of the sides the square you just cut out and start cutting flaps through both layers of fabric. You'll have to double knot them or they'll all just come untied, so cut the flaps about 5-6 inchest long.  This is what it will look like once you get started:
(I had to fold it in on itself to get the picture so it doesn't look right. You would cut the square out of BOTH pieces of fabric, then cut the flaps through both as well.)

Just continue making those cuts untill you have the flaps all the way down one side. Then get to tyin'! Try not to pull too tight when you're tying them up. This can cause it to make the fabric uneven, then when you're all done there will be a big wrinnkle in the middle from the pulling. When you get to the end of that side, cut another square out of the corner like you did before, cut the flaps down the side, tie, rinse, repeat. Pretty simple.

Don't worry if you cut the flaps too short or too long. If you cut them too short and you can't tie the flaps up all the way, just make an extra snip on both sides and make it longer (you won't even notice that kind of thing when its all done, I promise). If you cut the flaps too long and they're flapping in the breeze when you're done just go through with scissors and cut them shorter.

This is the one I made a few days ago (1.5 yards of each):

Really great Christmas presents, everyone loves them. Don't tell them it took about an hour to make, let them think it was a labor of love that took you days.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Take a look, its in a book, Its Maggies newest bloooooogggggg!!!

I know, I know. Its been FOREVER since I've been on here. I've been pretty busy lazy and haven't really been doing a whole lot of crafty stuff. Then I discovered .99cent furniture at the Goodwill warehouse! For those of you that live in Maine, you need to go over there. Its in the Gorham industrial park. You can get a friggin couch for .99 cents. Also, they have tons of bins of clothes and everything is priced by the pound. I got an LL Bean winter coat there yesterday for $1.49. I can't even bring myself to go in to a regular Goodwill now becasue its pretty much a waste of money.

Anyway, on to my new project. Super easy. Anyone can do it and its almost impossible to mess up. I did this over 4 days for a few hours at a time while I had a Homeland marathon.  If you have kids, this would be a really fun project to do with them. Keep in mind, it is a little messy so be prepared to have glue covered little chillins' running around your house if you do this with them. Also, if you're like me and have pets who get hair all over everything, you may want to sweep/vaccuum the room you're going to do this in and then keep them out untill you're all done.

What you will need:
  • About 2 bottles of school glue (you could use Elmer's, but they all do the same thing, so any generic brand will work as well)
  • An old book you don't mind cutting the pages out of . This can be a novel or a kids book with pictures, any book will do.
  • A sharp knife (an Exacto knife or razor blad would work well, but I just used a super shark paring knife)
  • A cheap small paintbrush
  • A super thin tipped paintbrush (optional)
  • A piece of furniture that needs a sweet and artsy face lift
  • A mask for when you are sanding (you can buy one, but I just use a bandana
  • Plastic gloves (optional)
  • A thick marker or a short dowel. Anything round that you can roll over the pages once you glue them.
  • Clear spray paint, sealer or a hardening resin (which you use is up to you)

Step one: Sand down your shit. If it has a gloss over it, the glue won't stick properly. You don't have to go crazy (unless there is a thick varnish on it, then it will have to all come off), just rough it up everywhere you will be gluing pages to. It goes without saying, but please do this outside and with a mask on. Wipe it down with a damp cloth after to get rid of all the dust. Then bring it inside.
(This is my before picture. I had already sanded down the top and got all the nasty yellow varnish off of it)

Step Two: Take your book and your knife and cut the pages out. Start as close to the binding on the inside of the book as you can get. Then if you want to cut the pages up in to smaller sections, you can do this now. I cut each page up in to three or four pieces width wise. I did them random sizes because I wanted them to be kind of funky. If you would rather leave them whole and glue them on, you can do that too, it just depends on how you want it to look when its done. If you are covering the whole piece or you have a large area to cover, its a good idea to use a longer book like a novel so all the pages match. If you're doing this on a kids piece of furniture with pictures, you could probably just use a number of books from the same author/illistrator and they will match. I used about 150 pages to do this, so you need a whole bunch if you're doing the layering effect. Its all about personal prefrence, really. I don't have a picture of this step, but I'm sure you can figure it out.

Step Three: Make your glue mixture. This is basically just home made Modge Podge. You could use the real stuff, but I'm cheap and would rather spent $2 on a thing of school glue than $8 on the real stuff. If you have Modge Podge, then skip these next steps. Dump a bunch of glue in to a bowl (I used a plastic one so I could just throw it out) and add some water until its thin. There are measurements out there for this if you want to be exact, but the world won't end if you just eyeball it. Add the water a little at a time, mixing it really well after each addition untill you get it a little runny. I added water untill it was still thick, but it would stream of of my paintbrush when I picked it up out of the bowl.

Step Four: Get to gluin'!! This is where the cheap-o paintbrush (I used one of the Crayola little kid brushes) and the gloves come in. The gloves aren't really necessary because the glue washes off with warm water, but if you're not in to getting your hands all gluey then the gloves are the way to go.  All you need to do is paint a coat of glue on the back of a page and place it where you want it. Then take that marker/dowel and roll it over the piece/page to get out the air bubbles and excess glue. Again, you can place the paper however you would like. I did overlapping pieces all over. It took a long time, about 45 minutes to an hour to do a single side, but I think it came out well and was totally worth it.

Here is a picture of the top once I was all done:

Now just keep doing that to the spots you want covered. I think it would be cool if you just did the top and then put a resin coating over it, but as we talked before its totally all personal preference. Since I was doing it all over I waited in between doing the top and the sides. I just flipped it around on the floor to do it because I did it while I was watching television ha ha. I did the top one day, then did two sides the next, then flipped it to do the other two sides.If your table has a drawer/cubbord door on it like mine, you should take those off to do this, its much easier, I promise.

Sorry its a little blurry, but you get the idea.

  After everything is all dried you can add some finishing touches. New hardware, painted details, etc. I used some cheap acrylic paint (your going to seal it after, so you don't have to worry about it chipping so its okay to use the cheap stuff. Why buy expensive paint when you can buy acrylic for $1.50? Again, I'm cheap so I would rather spend the money where it really counts) to do the trim. If you do this, that's where the super thin art brush comes in. Seriously, if you're going to do this please don't be like me and think you can do it without the right tool. Its a big ol' headache to try to get thin lines with a cheap ass paint brush. I messed mine up and it looked like Michael J. Fox did it in most places. It wasn't cute. The thin paintbrush will allow you to get thin lines without a ton of effort. .

Here is how it looked after painting the trim and proof as to why you need the proper tools. After the paint dried I cut some black pluming wrap and glued it over the black lines and fixed it so they were straight.


Step Five:  After everything is completely dried (since I did a TON of over lapping, I gave it a few days to make sure it was dried completely) TAKE IT OUTSIDE and spray over it with your clear spray paint, sealer or put resin on it. As always, if you're going to use any aerosol spray, DO THIN COATS!! We're talking MISTING it. Its going to take longer, but its going to look better in the end. If you overload it, you're going to get drips and that's not cute.  

I opted for just a paper sealer. The sealer is available at any craft store, I got mine at AC Moore for $5. You can get any brand, I've used three different ones in the past and they all came out the same. The sealer is going to simply seal everything together and make it stain resistant and keep it from yellowing. I didn't want mine to be all shiny so thats another reason I chose the sealer. If you want it to be shiny, go for the clear spray paint. If you want to be really fancy and use the resin on the top you can. This would be really nice if you were doing this to a table you use a lot (like a kitchen table or coffee table). The resin is the super thick clear coating they put on bars. It looks really nice, the only thing is that it is very, very expensive. It comes in two parts to mix together, the last time I looked it was $30 for a can of each part. It would be totally worth it and look really nice, again, all personal preference. If you use the clear spray paint or sealer you will still be able to set glasses on it and avoid the ring and it won't get stained if you are looking for a cheaper option.

Do you believe me now? Super easy and impossible to eff up. Also, super cheap. This whole project cost me $8.77. The most expensive thing I had to buy was the sealer and that was $5. The fun thing about this is that you most likely have most of the stuff laying around your house!

Now just place your awesome new refurbed piece of furniture where you would like it and enjoy!

Annndddddd here is a cute picture of my dog:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spray Painting!!

Now that my bathroom is blue beyond belief the storage racks in there don't match. One was black and the other is a forest green color. I didn't want to go through the hassle of finding other matching ones as useful as these two. And by "hassle" I really mean I didn't want to spend money. So I went to the store and spent $5 on a can of Rust-Oleum white spray paint.

Spray painting something metal is fairly simple. First, just take some sandpaper and rough up the surface. You don't have to go crazy with it and sand off all the paint, just take off the gloss so the new paint will have something to adhere to.Then wipe it down with warm water.  Please take this outside when spray painting. I know that is blatantly obvious, but when I was looking up ideas online there were TONS of people that said "I did this inside, I would recommend you do it outside because of fumes blah blah blah". Really? Please take a ride on the Common Sense Train.

I first consulted my DIY Mentors at Young House Love . They, of course, don't know they are my mentors, but they certainly know their stuff. They seem to spray paint just about anything from coat racks to decorative Ram's heads. Their #1 Tip: Super thin coats. We're talking a mist of paint. This avoids drips. So off I went. I took the rack OUTSIDE and laid it on some cardboard (it overlapped a little bit, as you can see in the pictures, but the wood underneath has been sitting outside for a number of years and I don't think a little spray paint it really going to make a difference). Then I got to it!

I used:

I love Rust-Oleum. Love it, love it, love it. Although, the amount of paint in this can left somethign to be desired. To get a really solid coat of paint on the rack pictured above, I would have needed at least 1.5 cans.

First Coat!!!!

See what I mean about a super fine mist? It took about 5 coats all together to get this puppy looking fresh and new.


One down, one to go!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Royal Blue Madness

So I painted my bathroom this past weekend. I am obsessed with the color and how vibrant and uplifting it is!!
Here is a quick picture of the before and after colors:

In the pictures, it looks like the color would be too dark for this room, but there is so much sunlight, its just right! I got my paint on sale at Lowe's. Its called "Magical Merlin" haha. I got the 2 in 1 Olympia Paint and Primer. I didn't want to fool with buying a seperate primer because I'm an instant gratification kind of girl. With the 2 in 1, they suggest two coats (the first one acts as the primer, the second acts as the actual paint). Also, instead of paying $24 for a can of paint plus the price of whatever primer is, I paid $26 for one can of the 2 in 1.

I washed the walls and woodwork with Mr. Clean. Then I edged out everything with this little tool from heaven:

That is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Before I found it, I trimmed out the edge of the bathroom door with a paint brush and it took me almost 25 minutes. Then I cracked open this bad boy and edged out the whole room in about 15 minutes. It has a felt pad on the back of it, and those little wheels allow you to keep a safe distance away from the woodwork while it glides like a fantastic magical painting tool. Then from there I just went to it with a roller.

After pictures!!!

Now I'm just working on spray painting the metal towel racks. Blog on that later!

Lets talk about Salt Water

Summer is coming! And me being the Pinterest addict I am, I keep seeing all kinds of tutorials about "Beach Hair" where they use the expensive Salt Spray. This stuff is great, I used to use it when I had long hair because it gives you volume and gives your hair that texture you need for a good style. You know how a lot of styles require that non washed hair? Not gross unwashed hair, but the day after you took a shower kind. If that made sense... ANYWAY. The Salt Spray product you buy at the store is about $8-$10. Thats expensive for something you can just make at home. I've found recipes to make your own. Its just a spray bottle filled with warm water, a tablespoon of sea salt, 5 sprays of spray gel and a little bit of perfume. From everything I've read it works really well. But I found an easier way.

Salt water can be used for EVERYTHING. I had a horrific case of poison ivy last summer. When I say horrific, I truly mean it. I had it for almost two months and it was honestly the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I had it all over my me. From my toes to my hands. I tried everything. I probably spent $75 on all kinds of different products to get rid of it. Finally, one of my mom's hippie friends gave me a bottle of sea water. She told me all about how she swears by it and uses it for everything. I've heard of people using it on tattoos/piercings after they get them and it cleans it out and helps it heal. I sprayed this salt water all over the poison ivy bumps on my hands before I went to bed and when I woke up in the morning it was almost all gone. I literally sprayed it all over my body to get rid of the rest of it and it worked like a charm. After about three days, I was poison ivy free!  Since then I am a hippie believer in the salt water cure all. I use it on my face when its breaking out, I put it on sun burns, scrapes/cuts. I  even spray it in my dogs mouth to help get ride of his garbage breath.

Getting back to the original point..An easier (and almost free) way to make beach hair - Grab a water bottle filled of salt water the next time you're at the beach. Before you go to bed French braid your  hair when its dry. I put mine in two, but its up to you how waivy you want your hair. Poke a hole in the cover of your water bottle so you make a little squirt bottle type deal (or you could buy an empty spray bottle, but I'm kindof a cheap skate). Squirt the salt water all over your hair. You don't have to soak it, but just make it damp enough so it will come out waivy when it dries. After you get it damp, spritz some hair spray over it. I used Aussie Flexible Hold (I swear by it). Go to sleep, when you wake up take out the braids. Voila! Waivy hair that has piecey texture and looks like you have gorgeous waivy summer hair!!

Then, after you've had it in for a while and it starts to lose its volume. You can throw in a poof and a side pony tail and it looks just as awesome!