Monday, June 25, 2012

Studio 4 Chair Painting Class Using Annie Sloan Paint!

Hi all!!  This past week I had the pleasure of attending an Annie Sloan chair painting class at Restoration Emporium's Studio 4!! 

 It was a two night class, two hours each night.  And it was a blast!  The teacher of the class is Sheila, the owner of Me and Fred G.  And she was fantastic. 

The first night we all picked out a chair from about 20 that Studio 4 supplied.

(photo "borrowed" from Restoration Emporium)

Here's the chair I selected!

 I picked a chair with a lot of weird details so I would have a lot of opportunity to work with the products in ways I'm not used to. 

After selecting our chairs, we cleaned them.  With Annie Sloan paint, there is no sanding needed.  Yes, you heard me right.  Feels so good to skip that back breaking step!  Next, we all chose our chair color. 

I chose Duck Egg Blue.  I'm in love with this color!

We spent the rest of the first night just getting our chairs painted.  I chose to put only one coat of paint on since I was planned on distressing and using a dark wax.

The second night of the class I focused on distressing and waxing my chair.  First, we did a coat of clear wax.  Next, I did a bunch of distressing.  I didn't want a TON, but I tried to distress in areas that would normally look worn on an old chair.  I got a little carried away in some places, but what do you do. :-) 

After I finished that step, I decided to do a dark wax.  As I began to put it on, I decided I wasn't going to do the dark wax all over, but just highlight certain areas with it.  I used a combo of dark and clear wax for the second coat.  I wasn't sure how much I liked it that night, but the next day I was really pleased!  I made sure to buff the wax in 24 hours after I had applied it. 

And here she is!!

All in all, I think my first Annie Sloan experience was pretty good.  I know it will be darn near impossible to go back to any regular old paint after using hers.  It was just nice and thick, spread well, didn't run, and distressed so nicely.  Not to mention that all the colors are just so beautiful!  I think I'm in love!!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my chair come to life, and I look forward to showing you all a bunch of pieces in the near future!! 

Linking up at the following FANTASTIC  blogs.  Go check them out pretty please!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Old Town Wichita, Good Finds, Baby Shower Giftwrap

I'm SO sorry I haven't been around the past few days.  This past week was CrAzY!  I had a big meeting at work on Monday, an awesome Annie Sloan Chalk Paint class on Tuesday and Thursday nights(check back tom for pics), and then a baby shower/shopping day in Wichita yesterday.  Then today I just wanted to relax and watch movies with Garret, but I got bored so here I am!! 

I just want to show you the few pics I took in Wichita yesterday.  It's about a 3 hour drive from where I live.  The last time I was there was the 4th of July several years ago when I was working for the airline.  I remember we stayed at the Hyatt right on the riverfront, had a few drinks, and watched the fireworks show.  It was so beautiful the way they were reflected off the water.  Ah, good memories.

So when I went yesterday, that was the first time I've had a car with me.  I went cruising and hit the farmers market, a ton of antique shops, flee markets, and a really cool craft supply store which also happens to stock Annie Sloan paint!!  It's called Mrs. O'Leary's.

I found this gem at an antique mall called Flying Moose.  I'm obsessed with it, of course.  I don't know if it was meant to be a cookie jar or what, but I would LOVE to own it.  Just not for the $125 they want for :-(

Dickel's bottles held up on stakes out of the potted flower.  We only recently discovered that Dickels even existed while on our trip to Nashville.  Garret's favorite singer is Merle Haggard, who sponsors this whiskey.  This pic was really taken for him.

One of the flea markets. And this is only half the building, I couldn't fit it all in one picture!! 

Old Town Wichita, home of the Saturday farmers market, and a bunch of neat stores and restaurants.

Parking sign outside one of the antique stores I went to.  So old I thought it was pretty neat-o. :-)

So, there ya go.  The few pics I took on my smash-grab trip to Wichita.  Oh, for future reference, any short day trip I take will be referenced as a "smash-grab" trip.  I'm not 100% sure, but I think a few years ago a fellow flight attendant called one of our NYC trips a smash-grab tour, and it stuck for me.  And it probably stuck because I'm a weirdo

Okay, before I go I have to show you one more thing.  The whole purpose of the Wichita trip was to go to Garret's sister's baby shower!  It was a lovely shower, with a "wild about baby" theme featuring animals.  She's keeping the sex of the baby a secret, so she got lots of gender neutral goodies.  Here is a picture of my gift. 

Not to toot my own horn, but I think it looks pretty stinkin' cute.  This is my go-to gift wrap for baby showers.  I just change the colors depending on if it's a boy, girl, or surprise!  You can buy a basket new, or repurpose some of your old ones.  Just make sure it's nice and clean, obviously since it might end up in a baby's room.  And the links I get are $4.00.  I don't use all the ones that come in a package, I just use enough to trim the front of my basket.  Then I save the rest of them for the next shower.  So really, it's only about $2.00, less than some bows!!  Hope you guys and gals like it!

Welp, I'll be back tomorrow with my pictures from the Annie Sloan chair painting class I took at Restoration Emporium's Studio 4 last week!!  Have a great Sunday night!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My DIY Dad

Today is Father's Day, and in honor of my dad, I want to tell you a little bit about him.  His name is Mitch, and he's an electrician.  He is also the ultimate DIYer, which is probably where I get it from.  My entire childhood he was always down in his workshop tinkering around with something.  If mom wanted something built, he'd find a way to get it done.  I remember being just a little girl playing with my fake tools, and he working with his real tools.  And then as I got older, I'd want to build things with him.  If I wasn't really able to help, he'd set me up with something fun he knew I'd like to build.  Most of my projects didn't turn out great, but he never discouraged me from trying.  Just like always, even now he still has two or three projects going on at once.  And if I call him for help with a DIY project of mine, he usually can come up with a solution.  He's one of those people that can make something out of nothing....and make it look good!

My dad is not JUST a fantastic DIY guy.  He's also a loving, caring, good hearted man who has been there for me through it all.  From the time I was born, through today he's been a big part of my life.  When I was a kid, I was always by his side.  (Reference the blog post Mom Knows Best to fully understand how much of a daddy's girl I really was).  He went to every softball, cheerleading, dance, theater, choir practice or concert I had.  He has supported me in every decision I've made, good or bad.  And tomorrow I will get to take him to dinner. :-)

Today, I called him to wish him a happy Father's Day, and guess what he was doing?  Helping a neighbor paint their house.  It's a day all dads are supposed to relax, but it doesn't surprise me that he's out helping someone with their own DIY project.  That's just the kind of great guy he is.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!  I love you!

(Dad and my niece Charley)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DIY Vinyl Chalkboard Projects

Hi everybody!!  Today I want to share some DIY inspiration using vinyl chalkboard material.  I recently purchased two rolls of vinyl chalkboard sticker.  I bought one black and one brown roll to match color schemes in different areas of my house.  When I went out and bought my vinyl chalkboard rolls, I also bought this punch. 

It was originally $17.99, but I used a half off coupon which kept it affordable.  And I have certanly put it to use!

So far, the only thing I've used the vinyl for is making labels. I made a ton of labels for all the jars in my kitchen. Instead of buying matching cannister sets or jar sets at the store, I purchase mine at garage and estate sales. I've spent less than $10 on over 20 jars. They don't all match, but they work great for me. I have so many different shapes and sizes that I have a jar for everything! I have a lot of fun searching for these jars too, it's almost turned into a weird hobby. :-)

Here's a pic of them.  It's a pretty horrible photo because that cabinet faces glass double doors.  Sorry!

And just an FYI, some of the items I put in my jars had cooking directions on their original package.  I cut the directions off the package, and tape them to the bottom of my jar just in case. :-)

So back to the point of my post...

After I made all my labels, I still had a TON of vinyl left, so I sought out some inspiration for what I could use it on.  Here is what I found!

This fantastic office area idea comes from The Shabby Nest.

This is from Under the Sycamore. How cool!

And check this one out from Fancy Frugal Life!

This awesome clock from Dukes and Duchesses is actually made with chalkboard paint, but you could still do vinyl too!

The use of labels here is really cool from Bungalow.  It's neat because you don't ruin your nice pitchers by using paint, you can just peel these labels off whenever you want.

These four were Pintrest finds that didn't have a link back to their orginal sites.  Of course, the first one is my favorite!!

The person who pinned this one suggested it was a baby jar turned spice jar.  I though that sounded pretty clever!

What vinyl chalkboard ideas do you have? I'm always looking for more new and exciting ways to use my craft supplies!  Feel free to leave a comment below with your ideas, or with a link to a chalkboard project you have done!!

Linking up at:
52 Mantels

Live Laugh Rowe

Homemaker on a Dime

Brassy Apple

Vintage Wanna  Bee

Coastal Charm

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bird House Love!!

My "real life" job is to work as a hospice nurse assistant.  Today I went to a nursing home to visit a patient who has a room with a beautiful view of a garden.  He is always watching the birds fly around the garden when I come to visit.  Apparently one of his family members noticed too, because they brought him a bird feeder to hang outside his window.  I helped him hang it today, and it inspired me to write this post about bird houses!

There is something charming about bird houses and bird feeders.  I've never been much of a bird watcher myself, but Garret is always pointing out different birds and telling me interesting facts about them.  I'm starting to really enjoy all the beautiful birds in our neighborhood.  We have a ton of robins here, and my two little nieces even found an egg in our yard around Easter.  They were so cute, they thought it was from the Easter bunny. 

Because of my new interest in birds and bird houses, I got online and started browsing for unique and interesting bird houses and feeders. I found a bunch of really neat ones on Pintrest, and several at  Here is what I found!!

Look at these two cuties!
bird bird house

The slinky feeder!

Jail house rocks!

My kind of bird house!! 

 Typography bird house!

Moon feeder. So pretty!

A suet bird feeder.  I have one of these!
Hiatt Manufacturing Weather Guard Suet Fdr Red
What a beauty!
Artline Large Plastic Gazebo Bird Feeder

Love the stone around the base!
Home Bazaar Covered Bridge Birdfeeder

A lantern bird feeder!  Love, love, love!

Outside-Inside Hurricane Lantern Bird Feeder

Maybe I should put a DIY bird house or bird feeder on my list of things I want to make!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dreaming of a Sprinkler System

This has been a year of firsts for us as new homeowners.  First time I get to paint the walls any color I like.  First time I get to park my car in a garage.  First time I have a master bedroom with a giant closet and bathroom!  But with all the good firsts, come the bad.  This is the first time I've had to take care of a lawn. 
I have talked before about me and Garret's lack of knowledge about lawn care.  Remember?  We went to the local lawn and garden store and walked around aimlessly because we didn't know where to start.  The employee helping us even asked how big our lawn was and we had no clue what to tell him.  Well, the employee got us all set up and gave very easy directions on how to use everything.  But my yard still looks like this!

And the reason? Because we don't irrigate it properly.  I think I'm just too lazy.  When I look back on our home buying process I remember we looked at some houses that had lawn sprinkler systems.  Why didn't we buy one of THOSE houses?  Moving the sprinkler heads and hoses all over the yard is such a pain!  That's another thing.  We don't have the right irrigation supplies for the size of our yard.  It takes me all evening to irrigate our lawn because we only have one hose.  And the other problem is, I don't know how long I'm supposed to irrigate.  Ten minutes?  Half an hour?  Longer?  Clueless.  I would honestly choose buying a timed sprinkler system over new bedroom furniture at this point, and that's saying a lot considering how badly we need furniture.  Garret and I are so sick of messing with the lawn that Garret jokingly asked how I felt about just making our yard all gravel.  Not funny! 

The sad part about all of this is that it's only the beginning of June and it hasn't even been that hot yet.  So I recently added lawn supplies to my shopping list, and started my research on sprinkler systems.  Hey, a girl can dream right?  And as I started my research I found that sprinkler systems are actually affordable.  I went to Irrigation Supply Depot online and they have everything you could ever dream of.  From plain old garden hoses, all the way up to sprinkler systems.  I found they have a six zone sprinkler system set for less than $900. They quite literally have all the lawn supplies you could ever need.  If you are in the market for a sprinkler system, I highly recommend checking out Irrigation Supply Depot. They have fantastic customer service, and will answer any questions you might have.  

Well, we'll see what happens!  I'm going to make it as easy as possible for me to take care of our yard, and maybe I can turn that brown grass green. Look out lawn, here I come!