Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I bit the bullet...

After years of looking longingly at the DSLR cameras online, I bit the bullet, sort of. I bought a used model from someone in town (a professional photographer actually). It's not super new model and not very many megapixels (8 to be exact). But it was fairly cheap and came with accessories including a lens, strap, battery charger and usb cable.

I just got it yesterday. I haven't even had that much time to play around with. I took a few pics, wasn't sure what I was doing with all the settings, etc. Then I read a short explanation of most of the features (thanks, Pinterest!). After doing so, I took this:



I am in love! I can already see this is going to become an obsession, from which I'm not sure I'll recover. I was looking for something to take better pictures for the blog, but now I'm scheming to see if I can get my four year old to slow down enough for me to take pictures of her. Hopefully, you will all see the improvement in blog pictures as well!

Don't settle for dull, live a refinished life!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cowgirl Themed Birthday

My little girl turned four on Saturday. We had a super fun cowgirl themed birthday party for her. I'm going to share a lot of pictures, so be aware that this is a pic heavy post!

I made a deco-mesh wreath for the front door with burlap flowers:

I decorated the magnetic photo board for the occasion:


That picture is from last year. Maddy is growing so much!

I made a rag garland from pink and turquoise bandannas, burlap, tulle and cotton fabric to hang on the china hutch:


I made Maddy a tutu overall dress combo with some of the same fabrics:


I also bought her these cute boots on clearance as well as a hat, but she only wore both for about five seconds. (go figure!)

I knew she wouldn't wear the hat very long, so I made her this hair clip as well.


Here's one of her in the outfit (minus the boots and big hat)


Then there was the food spread.


My mom made the rope sign with Maddy's name.

I may have went overboard on sweet stuff.


My mother in law made the cake, as that is her specialty.


But I did make some cupcakes with chocolate and/or peanut butter cowboy boots on top.


Yum! We had hot dogs and hamburgers for the main dish (no picture of those!) I served pink lemonade in mason jars (sorry for this blurry pic).



I also had glass bottles of root beer on ice in a galvanized wash tub, but seem to have not pictures of that. I made a bandanna banner for above the food table:


I had goodie bags for the kids. I cheated on the bags and just used paper bags I found at the dollar store that had Woody and Buzz from Toy Story on them.


I also had plastic cowboy hats for the kids that had sheriff stars on them. Whew! That was quite a lot of making and decorating. I had so much fun doing it though. I love themed parties. I may have gone just a touch over board on this one. Maddy had fun,although opening presents was a bit overwhelming for her with so many people watching. I was surprised how many people dressed up with western shirts and hats (my hubby included)! I'm glad however, that Maddy's birthdays only come once a year.

Don't settle for dull, live a refinished life!

*Planning to share at: Metamorphosis Monday; Give Me the Goods Monday; Made by You MondayTime To Sparkle Tuesday Linky Party;  Whatever Goes WednesdayWildly Original Linky PartyClever Chicks Blog Hop; Serenity Now Weekend Blog Hop

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Organizing the Chaos: The Hall Closet

Our house always seems to look and feel like a tornado destruction path lately. I seriously spent an entire day last weekend cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom and it looks like I didn't do anything at all. *sigh* I've decided part of the reason for this is a lack of organization. Stuff just gets shoved wherever.

In an effort to curb this before Maddy's birthday party (less than a month away) I'm going to try organizing the chaos as much as possible. I decided to start with the hall closet. Every time I open it, something falls out. It drives me crazy. This closet is next to the bathroom. In it was linens, games, towels, and extra stuff that gets shoved in the bottom like future gifts for people, wrapping paper, gift bags, etc.

Here's shot from the middle of the project. I had already taken the games from the top shelf and moved them into the guest room as well as moved all the extra bedding to the top shelf.


Notice the bottom of the closet with stuff falling out? Yeah, that's every time I open this sucker.

I put all the small stuff like washrags and cleaning rags into two baskets.


I was got these from the Dollar Tree. I was going to use them in my craft room, but decided I needed help here first.


I decided to roll the towels for a couple of reasons. First, they take up less room that way. Second, It's easier to pull out a specific towel without making a huge mess of the rest of the pile.

I took out all the gift wrap, gift bags, and other extraneous stuff to take downstairs. I put a few things such as the future gifts I'm hanging on to into this wire basket I had.


Extra blankets and tablecloths are on the shelf above that. I've also got a bucket I use for cleaning purposes in there and a few extra tote bags next to that.

Tada! An organized hall closet! It's not magazine pretty, but it's functional and organized. I feel so much better already! Now I have to do this around the rest of the house. I really need to tackle the closet in the bathroom (toiletries, hair stuff, bath toys and medicine everywhere!) Have you done any organizing lately?

Don't settle for dull, live a refinished life!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Blast from the Past: Maddy's Minnie Mouse Birthday

In starting preparations for Maddy's birthday (only a month or so away!), I realized I never posted her party goodies from last year. I am featuring last year's party today as one of my Blast from the Past Posts.

Maddy was (and still is) obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. So, I decided to throw her a Minnie Mouse birthday party. I  also decided to go with the traditional Minnie color scheme of red, yellow and white, rather than the pink.

Here's the invitation:

I made it using some old Creative Memories software. I used a free font from somewhere (not sure, but it might have been on Da Font) that was a Disney look alike. Had too much fun with that!

I made Maddy a dress by sewing some cute jersey polka dot fabric I had to the top half of a t-shirt:


My mom bought Maddy some super cute red shoes with Minnie on them that I can't seem to find a picture of right now.

I also made Maddy's bows:


Here's one with her wearing it:


I made a wreath for the front door by wrapping a grapevine wreath I had on hand with black crepe paper. The ears are wrapped embroidery hoops:


I also made a sign for Maddy that now hangs in her room. I cut out all the parts for it with my Cricut.


I used that same free font I downloaded and my Sure Cuts a Lot software to make the whole thing. I found a mouse silhouette online as well. I spray painted the plastic frame (it was brown before) using Sunshine Yellow by Krylon.

I also made a banner using black paper plates and vinyl letters for Maddy's name:


Cheap and cute! I had goodie bags for the kids:


I again used the Cricut here for the mouse head shapes. 

I, of course, did not manage to get a picture of the food spread. *sigh* But I did snap one of the coordinating plates, napkins and silverware: 


And last but not least, the cake. I did not make the cake. I leave the cake making to my mother in law, who is practically an expert at fun shaped cakes. 


I certainly could not have done better that this. 

I am starting to plan a pink and turquoise cowgirl themed party for this year. It's over a month away, but I really want to get a jump start on it. Plus it involves things like making a pink and turquoise tutu and finding matching cowboy boots! I'll probably share some of those projects as I get them done. 

Don't settle for dull, live a refinished life!

*Planning to share at: Metamorphosis Monday; Give Me the Goods Monday; Time To Sparkle Tuesday Linky Party;  Wildly Original Linky PartyClever Chicks Blog Hop; Serenity Now Weekend Blog Hop; CSI Project

Friday, February 14, 2014

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Word has gotten out that I love funky things I can use to make stuff. A prime example of this would be my fabulous Father in law who always gets some great junk. One of the things he's given me is a huge box of plastic letter with tacks on the back that used to be used for school bulletin boards. I love me some school supplies!


I thought these would be great for making subway sign art. And I was right! I got some random boards from the el-cheapo odds and ends bin at Menards. I dry brushed the boards with white and stuck on letters! Here's what I came up with: 



These turned out so great, that I was contemplating selling them, but I hung them in the guest bedroom instead. 


Speaking of the guest bedroom, I know I said (a long time ago) that I would update the progress of this room, but I never got it finished. *Sigh* I'm hoping to do so in the next couple of weeks. You can check out a couple of projects for that room here and here.

Don't settle for dull, live a refinished life!

*Planning to share at: Metamorphosis Monday; Give Me the Goods Monday; Time To Sparkle Tuesday Linky Party; Trash to Treasure; The Power of Paint Party; Wildly Original Linky Party; What have you redone?; Shabbilicious FridayFunky Junk Interiors' Party Junk; Clever Chicks Blog Hop; Serenity Now Weekend Blog Hop

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chevron Coffee Table

I know I've been conspicuously absent lately. I just started a new and more personal venture over at Maddy to the Max about my daughter that's been eating up my time. If interested, please check it out.

Now that the plug is over, I do want to share some projects I did awhile ago but never posted. The first of these is a coffee table. I refinished the top on. I didn't get a true before, but since I only changed the top, I think you'll get the idea.

Here's the top mid-sanding. I used FrogTape's chevron Shape Tape to make a pattern on the top and painted over it with an off-white paint. I peeled the tape off, did a little light sanding and antiqued it with some stain.


Here's what it looks like now:




I love how this one turned out! I've kind of avoided doing too much furniture with chevron stripes (even though I love the look) because I didn't want to take the time to tape off the pattern with regular painter's tape. The Shape Tape did all the work for me. I will definitely be using this in the future.

Don't settle for dull, live a refinished life!

*Just so everyone knows, I didn't get paid or get any free products to talk about shape tape. Just wanted to share my experience with you.  

*Planning to share at: Metamorphasis Monday; Give Me the Goods Monday; Time To Sparkle Tuesday Linky Party; Trash to Treasure; The Power of Paint Party; Wildly Original Linky Party; What have you redone?; Shabbilicious Friday; Funky Junk Interiors' Party Junk; Clever Chicks Blog Hop; Serenity Now Weekend Blog Hop; Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday;

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mini Christmas House Tour

I was so busy with so many things this holiday season that I haven't done many projects lately. I have gotten a few done that I will be sharing with you soon I hope. I thought for now, I would give you a mini tour of my Christmas decorations in my house.


I use this window shelf as my faux mantle. I hang our stockings on it, but they are hidden a little by the t.v.


I did manage to make myself a ruler Christmas tree. :)


I love this vignette on my kitchen wall. It's hard to tell, but I sprayed the glass in this frame with Krylon's Looking Glass spray for a mirrored effect.


A rag garland I made last year hangs in the kitchen windows.

These next pictures aren't the greatest, but it was the best I could do in my dark hallway.


A little snowman with some lights in a vintage lunch box. Love it!


Here's a really crappy pic so you can see the whole effect. I love using vintage stuff to make cute decorations! I will be trying (probably in vain) to get some better pictures to show off more of my decorations soon (as in before the new year!). The lack of sunlight this winter is making it almost impossible to get good pictures!

I hope you are having a great holiday season!

Don't settle for dull, live a refinished life!