Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Heart This!

Hearts filled with gratitude, for safely arriving back from our 5 day quest for sunshine! So nice to visit with my Dad and step mom Ingrid, who turned 70 last weekend, Venice Florida.   Our trip was to honor her birthday, but also with cheap air fare and a long weekend away from retail and school, the stars aligned for us to go.  She was recovering from dental surgery; and was more than willing to let us jump in her car the first day, and accompanied daughter and I as we took a few short trips each day, exploring.  Over the 5 days, we got to 3 beaches, 2 craft shows,  a Rescued Big Cat Exhibit, a dolphin watch boat trip, 1 flea market and 1 sunset drum circle.  Additionally we ate seafood every night, and chilled while watching the sun set.  I felt so relaxed when I got home, resuming work with a snow storm as background was a little challenging, but doable.  While in Florida, I took a text from my gal pal Crystal, asking if I was back yet.  I asked her what crafts and shows she was working on, and she told me about the one coming up in Shelby, an indoor craft show staged in an old carpet warehouse.  So that got me researching and plotting to make some new crafts to bring.  You can see more about Crystal and her wonderful farm home here.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Some fun with Chalk and Acrylic Paints

Fun with Painting Furniture:
 Here is a project I did last fall, while it was still warm enough to sand outside.  I blame Pinterest, for this new obsession to trying a paint technique on thrift furniture finds.  I have been stalking the pins for some time, comparing the different paints, and methods with the goal of finding the best priced and most efficient.  After unloading quite a bit of furniture for a possible move last summer, I decided to look for and buy a small cubby hole desk, that could fit next to my breakfast bar, but that would be just big enough to hold a laptop and some paperwork.  Previously I had a long counter top held up by a heavy oak 2 door file cabinet and a large bookshelf; both of which were completely full of stuff I was hoarding...I just got tired of seeing the piles and it made the eat in side of my kitchen, way too crowded.

Well I located the desk on Craigslist, searching only for nearby options, and found a child's maple desk, just the right size.  I used it for a couple of months while I mulled over what to do with the finish, which was a light color, but embellished with crayon drawing motifs.  Many of the pins I looked at promoted Annie Sloan style paint, and from the posts, I gathered this was an expensive option.  But recipes containing chalk or additives scared me as to their durability and possible less than satisfactory side effects, like coming into contact with your skin!

I decided to go with a paint easily found at my local craft store, bought a small jar of a Home Decor beigey grey chalk paint.  Testing it, it definitely covered well, and I also experimented with adding a small amount of blue acrylic paint and some white to tint it for a contrasting section or two,  I can honestly say, that this was the best choice. I first washed the desk down with a little detergent, and using wood glue, applied two decorative wood accents I had laying around from my thrifting.

 Then I took the two pieces apart, and sanded them, wiping down well after.   I began painting the larger areas, first and carefully sanding and wiping, I got the effect I was looking for.    After the whole thing was painted  I applied Home Decor liquid wax, and buffed it pretty well, sanding lightly where it was thicker. I then wiped a light coat of burnt ember colored watered down acrylic, and let it stay a few minutes, carefully wiping it down also.  It gave the piece the antiqued look without ruining the color. I worked the brown especially into the sanded parts to enhance the effect. The one jar of paint and one bottle of wax covered the whole desk with a little bit left over.  What do you think?

I like the finish, especially considering what it looked like before I began. By limiting the space my clutter occupied, I am finding that the size works well for my purposes as well.

As we are experiencing a very cold week here in Cleveland, (below zero wind chills)  hubby had me check cheap air fares to Florida to visit my step mom for her 70th birthday, and of course to visit during our coldest weeks.  I found a cheap fare for daughter and myself, so we will be gone during the long MLK weekend, reporting about our adventures in sun seeking during the coming weeks.  So excited to get out of town...hope I can find my summer clothes in time.  Till then, happy painting!

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