Kind of exciting news! Minwax and Country Living Magazine have asked me to be one of four artisans in an upcoming DIY Campaign! Minwax gave me a product to use from a new product line, and my project will be featured in Country Living Magazine in their September 2014 issue (available July 31st), as well as an online flipbook on CountryLiving.com. I just finished the project, and I'll be posting about it on July 31st (can't release any info before then). So STAY TUNED!!! :D
A friend and fellow blogger recently invited me to a private pre-opening "blogger" event for See's Candies from California that has just moved into town. She was part of the coordinating for the event, and invited other bloggers she knew in the area. I wasn't exactly sure what the event was going to be, but I knew there would be free chocolate. So naturally, I was in.
I always tell my husband he's my favorite. It's true. He knows it.
Since that's one of our favorite things to say to each other, I decided it was worth creating some wall art that said just that.
I'm kind of obsessed with the reverse stencil idea, so I found some sticky foam letters at the dollar store, and used that to create my saying. I put the letters on an old picture that I found at a thrift store, and then spray painted over it with Rustoleum 2x Painter's Touch Spray Paint, Sage in color. Then spray painted with some cheaper brand second-hand leftover orange spray paint (which I do not recommend - the sprayer was junk, and it kept globbing up on me and not spraying straight).
I actually made these wooden puzzles and blocks as Christmas presents for my niece and nephews (I now have another adorable nephew, Ryder, and another nephew on the way as well). I knew they were a little on the young side to care about a puzzle with their name on it, and that they probably would care more about chewing on it or throwing the pieces instead of actually putting them together. But maybe someday they'll like it, or think it's sentimental.
I used my jigsaw to cut strips of a block of wood . . .
Yet another thing you can do with wood scraps! I used the same taping technique that I used for my Stained Tree Side Table, my Dining Table, and the three small Nesting Tables - all you need is some Edge-lock painter's tape, an exacto knife, some wood stain (I used Minwax Jacobean), and a finish (I used Minwax Polyurethane Gloss finish).
Polly from Thriving Home contacted me a few weeks ago, asking if she could feature one of my tree table projects on her blog. I said of course! So she featured my Stained Tree Side Table this past Friday on their blog. Click here to read it!
I decided that if I'm gonna do another craft show (& hopefully more than that in the future), then I'm going to need some sort of sign that represents my business. It was also kind of inspired by the 8" swirly fun wooden letters that I found at Hobby Lobby.
I found this old frame at a garage sale for 3 bucks. It was just that - a simple frame, no glass, no backing - nothing inside. Just an ugly old brown frame. But not for long! I spray painted is with a Rustoleum Aubergine Painter's Touch spray paint, then sealed it with a Minwax Polyurethane Gloss finish. I cut a piece of Plywood to fit the frame, sanded it, then painted it with 2 coats of chalkboard paint. I attached it into the frame with wood glue.
These turned out to be my favorite pieces! They were my great grandmother's charming old nesting tables, and they made a great coordinating tree design set. The technique is the same I've used for other projects, such as my Stained Tree Side Table and my Tree Dining Table. A design carved with an exacto knife using edge-lock painter's tape, then I just used Rustoleum Painter's Touch spray paint (colors: Sage Green, Navy Blue, and Slate Blue) instead of wood stain, then put a Minwax Glossy Polyurethane finish on top (2 coats). Gorgeous!
So last weekend, I participated in my first craft fair. It was a small craft fair and bake sale that my mother hosted at her home in Springfield, MO. I've never tried to sell any of my projects, so I thought this would be a good time to try to do that. I honestly wasn't sure how well it would turn out - this was the first one we've ever tried to host - but it was a lot of fun and I even sold a few things!
Repurposing. Recycling. What a great idea! Why would you throw something away when you could do a couple of things to it and reuse it for something else? It not only saves waste, it creates a unique product that you can use, gift, or even sell. These lovely little glass canisters used to be glass milk jugs (as you can see in the picture above). With the help from a little purple and sage green spray paint, and some painter's tape and chalkboard paint, they became my loose leaf tea and coffee bean canisters for my kitchen - a lovely little splash of color for my countertop!
If you're in Springfield, MO or the surrounding area, come on out to a home craft bazaar and bake sale tomorrow from 9am-4pm at 2012 E. Shady Glen Drive. There will be several vendors (including yours truly) that are bringing amazing creations, from baked goods & desserts (pies, breads of all kinds, curd, cinnamon rolls, butter, etc...) to handmade crafts (pillows, crocheted items, aprons, bags, restyled furniture, wooden creations, cards, etc...), and much more. You won't want to miss this!
So this isn't exactly a craft project, but more of an organization project . . . but useful just the same. My husband just got back into town today. He was gone for 3 days at a youth leader's conference in Atlanta. Turns out while I'm home alone, I am extremely productive! I did eat the same meal like three times (yes, he does the cooking in our household), but I was cool with it. I cleaned out and organized our garage, swept, mopped, vacuumed, dusted, washed dishes, did laundry, picked up the house, AND organized all of our cords and cables (above picture). I was a little tired of fishing through a big box of cords and cables that always seemed to get tangled up no matter how nicely you rolled them. I had saved some toilet paper rolls for various craft projects (see one of them here), so I had some to spare. Easy peasy! Organized life = happy life.
I hate mornings. I am seriously not a fan. Brannon shares that same sentiment. Yet another reason why I love him.
So I thought a little message board in our bathroom would be a nice touch for us to remind each other of something good and positive in the mornings, to attempt to overcome the intense feeling of hatred - and all of its friends.
I found a small chalkboard with a wooden frame at a garage sale. I painted the border with blue acrylic paint, to match the colors of our bathroom, then stamped the words, "just another reason . . . that i love you" onto the border, with white acrylic paint.
I found this cute little teacup for a quarter at a garage sale, which became a perfect little chalk holder - after I spray painted it a light blue. I only picked out blue chalk, so it all color coordinated.
This is one of my favorite projects. I was going to sell it, but became a little too attached after it was all said and done. Plus it looks super awesome in my living room.
I bought this table for $6.97 at Red Racks Thrift Store. What a deal! The wood grain was beautiful and raw, and I knew it was perfect for a project. I taped it off with Edge lock Painter's tape, just like previous projects, then carved a tree design into the tape.
I created a different design this time, one with a little more detail, more branches, more curves. I used an exacto knife to carve out the detail, which created a small crevice that the stain seeped into that created an amazing outline that made the design "pop". A nice surprise.
I wasn't sure which stain I wanted to use, so I tested a few on the bottom of the table. I chose the one on the far left, Minwax Wood Stain, Red Mahogany (2 coats).
After the staining was complete, I used a satin finish. A little softer than the glossy finish. It looks perfect in our living room, if I do say so myself!
My dear friend and designer extraordinaire Meg Haywood recently designed a logo for my business (as you've probably noticed at the top of my pages). She did an excellent job and I would highly recommend her for all of your designing needs!
I love furniture with a story. Or any "piece" really that has a story behind it. Not only because you know that your neighbor won't have the exact same piece that you both purchased at Target or IKEA, but because every time you look at, you're reminded of where it came from, or why it holds significance.
My grandparents had a friend make these chairs for them in 1972 when they lived in Greenfield, MO. Handmade out of solid walnut. Although it doesn't seem like that long ago, the guy who made them actually had his horse drag the walnut tree to his shop where he crafted these by hand. There's actually a set of 6 chairs, and also a rocking chair (not pictured). I think any piece that didn't come straight from a department store, factory or warehouse is worth hanging onto and restoring. My grandparents (or Memaw & Papaw, as I call them) didn't really have room for them anymore, so they gifted them to us.
They were a little beat up from being in storage and some even had some paint splatters on them. So I sanded them all down, then stained them all with a Minwax Wood Stain (color Jacobean - I'm getting a lot of use out of that one can!). The darker color just fancied 'em up a bit, and they also match our dining table (you can see that picture here).
So there ya go - a piece (or pieces) with a story.
So I never got to share this before the holidays were officially "over", but since I'm still listening to Christmas music (yes, in mid-January) and there's snow on the ground outside, I'm going to post one more Christmas-y thing. This tree is a little less "random" as it's made from all the same type of wood (just slightly different sizes to create a little dimension) and stained all the same color. It would be a perfect addition to a living room that has a more "put-together" feel, and would look great with color-schemed ornaments hung on it. I actually made it with the intention of doing a craft show and hanging handmade ornaments on it to sell. It's about half the size of the one in my living room so it's easy to transport or sit on top of a table or something. The process of this project was very similar to the bigger wood scrap Christmas tree that I made and posted - you can read about it here. Except with this one, I used a Minwax Wood Stain - Jacobean was the color. It was untreated wood, so I only used one coat because it was so porous.
So there you go. Another useful purpose for wood scraps!
So I know it's the day after Christmas, but I wanted to share this with you anyway. Christmas ornaments made out of old toilet paper rolls. How inexpensive is that? Talk about recycling... Flatten the rolls then cut the roll into several pieces (just make sure they're the same size). These are 1/2" each, but I also made some out of 1/4" pieces. I used 8 pieces for each ornament, but you can use less or more, depending on what you want it to look like. I spray painted some, and then left some the "natural" brown color. A dab of hot glue at the base of each piece did the trick, and a piece of ribbon at the top. Christmas decorating on a budget!
Can I say I LOVE WOOD SCRAPS?! You can get pretty creative with a pile of unused wood. I was actually inspired by a picture that I saw on Pinterest, although I made mine very different than the picture I saw. A friend had some wood scraps in his shed that he was going to toss, but gave them to me instead. The back post is about 6.5' tall, then using my jigsaw, I cut the front pieces to the size I wanted, tapering them to form the tree shape.
I didn't use a formula or anything to measure the pieces out - I just marked them to my taste (which ended up being: 53", 48", 36", 29", 23", 18", & 9"). I spaced the pieces out just enough to be able to hang ornaments (which ended up being about 5" apart). I nailed the scraps to the back post, then drilled holes where I wanted to hang the ornaments and screwed some 5/8" brass plated cup hooks in the holes.
It now leans in the corner of our living room, with beautiful presents under it, all ready for Christmas. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
Mmmmm... kinda strange that it's here already, but I'm not complaining. And do note that it is actually in fact 10 days until Christmas, as opposed to the 22 days when I took this picture. 10 DAYS. A week and a half. So for those procrastinators out there, I'd think about starting that Christmas shopping pretty soon. I have a Christmas countdown website on my bookmarks bar (click here) that I visit often. It has very soothing snowflakes falling in the background - kind of mesmerizing actually. So I frequently update our countdown frame in the kitchen.
A mix of Christmas-themed scrapbook paper, some die cut letters, a piece of ribbon, and an old frame got me this fun little Christmas countdown that is sure to set the tone for the season. How great is it that you can turn a piece of glass into a way-cute whiteboard?
I love Christmas. Brannon & I start listening to Christmas music WAY before anyone else we know (I mean, we're even talking about occasionally in the summer...or the spring...). So it would make sense that I love Christmas projects. It's a highly anticipated holiday around the Powers' household.
Of course, Christmas is a highly anticipated holiday in itself because of what it means - why we celebrate Christmas in the first place - the coming of Christ. And in addition to that reason for the season, if you will, the wintery Christmas season has come to hold other meanings as well. Spending real quality time with the people you love, refocusing your life on what is truly important. And then of course other fun holiday traditions such as listening to Christmas music, baking (or in my case, eating) Christmas cookies, drinking hot cocoa or wassail, sitting by the fire with loved ones in your sweatpants because it's freezing outside, decorating the Christmas tree, hanging stockings, drinking egg nog, caroling, etc... all the things that have become synonymous with the Christmas season. And this is something most everyone looks forward to.
I would even say that to Brannon and me, Christmas has become sort of a constant in our lives - something that represents "home". We've moved almost every year we've been married (we've been married for 4.5 years, so it's not an exaggerated amount of times, but I would say more than the average couple) so listening to Christmas music and celebrating other holiday traditions have come to represent a constant in our seemingly ever-changing lives. Perhaps one of the reasons that there never seems to be a wrong season in our house to listen to Christmas music.
The place that we currently live doesn't have a fireplace, which obviously means that it doesn't have a mantle - the traditional place to hang a stocking or two. So for this project, I cut an 18" piece of wood that I had in my garage, thanks to some friends cleaning out their shed. By the way, if you ever have a chance to get some free wood scraps, just say YES. You'll find something to do with them. I sanded the edges till they were smooth and then spray painted it red (you can't go wrong with red at Christmas). I used some foam stamps and white acrylic paint (both purchased at Hobby Lobby) to form the text and the snowflakes. And then measured and marked where I wanted to drill my holes for the knobs.
I found the four knobs at Hobby Lobby (for 50% off - always check their website for their current discounts) and drilled holes in the places I wanted that were just smaller than the screws in the knobs themselves. After doing this, I was able to screw the knobs in by hand and secure the back with the nut that came with the knob. I used a sawtooth picture hanger for the back and hung it next to the Christmas tree in our living room (which I will write about next - like I said, anytime you have a chance for free wood scraps, just say YES).
All in all, took one evening to throw together. It was hanging on my wall by the end of our weekly girls' craft night. Simple, quick, and easy. And a perfect project to help set the mood for the highly anticipated Christmas season.
Another SUPER easy project. And a way to reuse those old glass bottles you may have lying around... I just used a hot glue gun and some thick twine. I started at the bottom and put a dab of glue on both sides of each wrap-around. You can also do this with yarn to add a splash of color to a room!