Monday, December 17, 2012

Chalkboard and a Great Frame Find

Of course this would look beautiful painted white 
and turned into a chalkboard! 

You can paint directly over art like this, but this was sunken in the middle so I replaced it with Eucaboard.  You'll find that sold near the plywood in 4 x 8 sheets in places like Lowes and Home Depot.

Linking up to:

Coastal Charm

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Favorite Things- Craft Supplies

First off, this is a list without tons of detail so feel free to ask away if you want to know more about any of these things!  These 12 products are in my work space and get used all the time when I am creating.

1.  Gorilla Glue- I love this stuff!!  I've used a lot of it!  

2.  Glazier Points- I put lots of things in frames and buy lots of frames with no backs and nothing to hold anything in.  I use a ton of these.  You push or hammer them in, very easy unless you have a crazy hard wood.

3.  Rustoleum Spray Paint- If I had to pick a favorite spray paint, this would be it.  Great coverage and Home Depot has a great color selection.

4.  Valspar Glaze- I bought a small container of this over a year ago and have used it on a zillion things, and I still have half a container left.  Its makes things look older, wood look darker, imperfections look better, and so on!  I just love it!

5.  5 in 1 tool- Its a great tool to have around!  A good scraper, paint can opener, paint roller cleaner, and all around handy dandy thing!

6.  Beadboard wallpaper-  I LOVE beadboard and I love this cheaper, easier copycat!  I have used this on the back of a book case, as the background of a photo collage frame, as the background of numerous other things in frames and soon I will use it on cabinet doors!  Its very easy to work with!

Beadboard Paintable Wallpaper

7. Minwax Gel Stain-  This is neat stuff that takes some experimenting, but I love that it will go right over paint to give an aged look and previously stained wood and make it looks perfect!!  

8.  Rustoleum Chalkboard paint- I prefer this over the chalkboard spray paint, 2 coats has always been enough for me and I've used it a lot.  This quart lasts a very long time, so if you have only one chalkboard project ask a friend to borrow theirs!

9.  Good craft brushes- Cheap foam brushes have their uses, but I can put twice as much paint or glue on with a good brush and that means less coats!!  When I say good brushes, I mean I bought a 3 pack for less than $7 and I have used them for over a year.  They wash out better than the cheap ones too!

Product Image

10.  Elmer's Wood Filler- If you have a hole of any kind to fill, this is your friend.  It sands very easily!  I've tried a few other kinds, this is my favorite.

Elmers Quart Interior/Exterior Carpenter Wood Filler

11.  Polycrylic- I use the satin finish of this and I love the look of the finished product!  Water clean up is a biggie for me.  

12. Orange Glo Cleaner - Yes, this may strange to be on a craft supply list, but this is the first thing I grab to remove price sticker residue and grease pencil pricing from thrift stores.  

Linking to:
favorite things 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

More Christmas Decor

I did more and less Christmas decorating this year than ever before. How is that possible?  Well I got rid of the equivalent of one rubbermaid tote of decor I decided was just not going to work ever again.  I left at least one tote full of stuff in its storage spot, this will probably be what I get rid of next year.   I used lots of natural elements from my yard that can be tossed out.  It seemed easier, we'll see when it is time to pack it all up.

 The front porch is looking pretty festive!  I love it this year.  My mom found those lit packages after Christmas last year at a great deal.

One of my new purchases for Christmas decorating this year was this pine greenery and red berries.  These vases were displaced by the Christmas tree and looked naked empty.

A thrift store frame got painted and framed my wreath in the front entry.

The tree is mostly decorated by the kids, I do hang the heavy ornaments and try to spread the ornaments we have multiples of around faster than they can hang.  They seem to love to do it and I try to leave what they do.  The bottom of the tree is ornament heavy, ornaments are bunched together and the ends of some branches sag way down.  But we all love our tree, so many ornaments on there have our kids names on them.  We try to get them a new ornament every year and so does their grandmother.

I put a few Santas on candlesticks and used my big red star over the mirror and called it done.  

They bay window turned out nice.  These are some of my favorite Christmas pieces  and I think they will come back here next year.

I shared more Christmas decor with you here and here.  I hope everyone is enjoying the season.  I am making some gifts this year and starting this weekend, I hope they turn out, I've had my share of flops!

Linking up to:
Savvy Southern Style

Monday, December 10, 2012

Framed Letters

Lots of ideas for you here!  I've done these for customers and more are in the works.  I only use thrift store frames!   I use fabric, scrapbook paper, or wallpaper as the background.  

Linking up to:
Chic on a shoestring decorating


Monday, December 3, 2012

$2 Advent Calendar and some great ideas

There is still time to throw together a quick and easy advent calendar and begin the countdown where we are now.  This is the first year we have used an advent calendar and the boys (ages 11, 8, and 4) are very excited about it.  I decided early on this would not be about getting stuff of any kind so with lots of ideas from great bloggers, I came up with a list of activities and fun things.

The countdown system itself is 2 packs of foam snowflakes from the dollar tree numbered with a sharpie and stuck to the wall with painter's tape.  Could it get any easier?  It could be prettier, but oh well.

Here is my list:

  1. Christmas Parade
  2. Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Little Theater
  3. Take Christmas Card Picture
  4. Santa Visit
  5. Send out Christmas Cards
  6. Unwrap #6 (special sweet treat)
  7. Let's Elf Ourselves
  8. Festive breakfast- rudolph pancakes- another pinterest idea
  9. Candle Light Dinner- we may be eating sandwiches but it will be by candlelight
  10. Light Seeing
  11. Unwrap #11 - our own Christmas cookie cutters, we'll make cookies
  12. Unwrap #12- one of our own card or board games to play that night
  13. Christmas Movie with popcorn
  14. Carriage Ride- this will be a big treat!
  15. Hand out candy canes and smiles
  16. Party with Vance- we have 2 December birthdays  :)
  17. Special Christmas After school snack- I like the banana and strawberry candy cane on pinterest but a package of Little Debbie Christmas trees would work too
  18. Let's JUST Dance for Mama's birthday- we have the Wii game and its great family fun
  19. Unwrap #19- Gourmet Hot Chocolate
  20. Unwrap #20- the ingredients to make Rolo Turtles- YUM
  21. Unwrap #21- New red and green playdough - I hope I can find this!
  22. Christmas Puzzle- the one we have
  23. Let's Decorate the Driveway for Christmas with Sidewalk Chalk
  24. Let's get Ready for Santa

Each snowflake also has a bible verse on to read that will tell the Christmas Story by the end.  Thanks to Life On a Hill for that great idea.  I also dearly loved what Made By Nicole did, but we don't have enough board games that fit our age ranges for this to work.

Tree Trimmings

How many ways can I use the the trimmings from the bottom of the Christmas tree?  Well, let's count the ways....










I still have branches left, so now I am thinking outside!  These may get brittle but will hold on to most of their needles if not handled, we have a Frasier Fir.

I am you are enjoying decking your halls for the Holidays!

Linking Up to :
Coastal Charm
Southern Hospitality
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Vignette

I enjoyed turning my own thrift store finds into a Christmas vignette in my dining room this year.  This look is new to me this year.

I used our own Christmas tree clippings and epsom salt as my fake snow.  I love that the salt has weight to it and doesn't drift everywhere!  The only thing on this cabinet that is NOT thrifted is the cake stand.

I stuck some big pine cones on white candlesticks.  I was going to spray paint some when I walked in a thrift store and saw this set of three for $3.00 with a nice wide top, perfect for non candle displays.  And that long handled glass thingy is the thing dreams are made of!!  I could not believe my eyes when I saw it in a junk store, el cheapo.

I used tree clippings and real holly berries from my yard in this small jar.  I inverted a milk glass dish and used it as a pedestal.  

Up front is a very neat jar lid with no base, I bought it for $0.20 hoping it would fit a jar I had.  The other two are small glass bowls turned upside down.  Mini clouches?  Why not?

Under the glass I used 3 small glass star ornaments and real holly berries to lean them on in a bed of epsom salt.

Simple and cheap, I hope you can use some of these ideas in your own Holiday decorating.


I'm linking up to:
Coastal Charm nifty-thrifty-tuesday
Savvy southern style

Made In a Day Holiday Link Up
Southern Hospitality