Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memory Prisms

My mother knows an artist who does these prisms. When my great grandmother passed away in December, my mother had these made. We gave the artist a few trinkets that reminded us of her and she made these prisms. I think they're great! We gave one to my granddad for his birthday and he really liked them as well!

Mine had a card (we liked to play cards), an amber earning (we went to the Museum of Natural History in NYC one year when they had an amber exhibit), a purple bracelet (her favorite color), a dolphin (we went to Sea World one summer), and a few other little pieces. The artist is local to Georgia, but the prisms are awesome!!! She has different sizes. This one is about 3" on each side.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Holy crap! After looking at the list, we accomplished A LOT! I mean a whole lot. We had already planned to do the floors, which were so much work, but turned out fabulous!

I did the heart frame map art to give to my in-laws. I need to think of a better name for it, but I can't think of a good one off the top of my head.

Alex's parents & sister came over to look at the floors. I added the flowers to the bathroom & created the craft room! Alex was trying to throw furniture away, and his sister said to use it in storage for the craft room. Go her! Saved an argument & the furniture! 

My parents came over to see the floors. I attempted the curtains (both the Roman Shades & the Kitchen ones). I also did the art work.

Alex's parents & sister came over again to use the pool for a few hours. I burnt myself (it was cloudy...I thought I'd be lucky and not burn...oops). Then we did the Beer Bottle-Cap Trays & the Conversion Chart.

It was a jam packed weekend. We got a lot accomplished, still have a lot to go, but it felt good to cross things off our list!

Beer Bottle Cap Tray

We've been collecting beer bottle caps for about 4 years now. We had a bucket and just tossed them in when we grabbed a beer. We've been trying to figure out a way to use them, and I stumbled upon this blog from Inspirations & Decorations. I had two different designs, and this was my first attempt with Modge Podge & Resin. I did one tray with both. After several hours - Modge Podge is the way to go. It's cheaper, dries clear, and is much easier to put on.

Where I got the Idea: Inspirations & Decorations

Time: 4 hours (plus overnight to dry)

Shopping List:
2 Trays
A whole lot of beer caps
1 Bottle of Ice Resin
1 Bottle of Modge Podge
Cheap Foam Brush
Black Spray Paint


1. Prep
I decided to start finding all of the Sweetwater & Terrapin caps first to make a Georgia tray. I've learned we drink a lot of Sweetwater & Terrapin caps bend way to easily. I was hoping to do a cool design, but because most of the Terrapin caps were too bent, I stuck with a Terrapin boarder.

I started putting them on the tray to figure out how many I needed. I did the same thing with all of the other craft beers. It's fun to see how our tastes have changed between the "Old Faithful" - Sweetwater; "Cheap" - Bud Lime or Miller Lite; or "Trying something new" - Red Hook IPA. We also drank a lot of Stone IPA, which has a lot of cool caps.

2. Paint - We painted both of the trays black and let them dry. Seeing how amazingly hot it was this weekend, this took no time at all!

3. Arrange  - So now is time to put all of those bottle caps back on the tray. There is clearly a better way to do this, rather than doing it twice (i.e. wait until AFTER you paint it to do this), but I didn't want to do that for whatever reason. Anxious maybe? So here are the two different trays.

4A. Glue Part One 
 Okay so we had  bought Ice Resin, at Hobby Lobby. I'm not convinced this is the greatest thing ever. I also bought a bottle of Modge Podge. I decided to use the Modge Podge on the Hodge Podge of caps! Okay so the Modge Podge, I poured out over the tray and pushed it around with the foam brush. I was a little nervous about the white, because well I had never used Modge Podge before! Turns does eventually dry clear. This morning we had about 1/2 of the glue had dried up. I'm very pleased with this attempt!

 4B. Glue Part Two
So we decided to use the Ice Resin on the Sweetwater/Terrapin trey. That one didn't turn out quite as good...meaning it didn't work. So I guess we need some more Modge Podge. I may change the design too...I'm not loving it.

****UPDATE: The Modge Podge eventually dried (I do think I used wayyyyy too much, but for my first experience with it, it was a breeze!). The Ice Resin never really worked. I rearranged the design making stripes (two diagonal rows of Sweetwater followed by a row of Terrapin). Next time I go to the store, I'm getting more Modge Podge to finish the tray. All in all easy peasy!

Repurposed Craft Room

As my supplies are growing, I realized I need a room. We have a perfectly good room that's only purpose was to house the cat liter box & cat food. So that needed to change. I pulled out our tailgating table (which will be moved on days we go to UGA games), rearranged a few shelves, added our UGA Wall decals, and boom! I have a nifty little craft room. To the left is the before (the liter box was over in the corner).

I did use Tilex Bleach on the floors, because they were nasty. It needed to be done weeks ago. Between the bleach, stain & polyurethane WOW our house smelled interesting! The cat already found it to be interesting :). I consolidating my sheet music into one container and had a whole extra set of shelves (the blue thing) for an extra set of drawers. I quite like it. Plus the dogs can't come in (or they stare at the cat food and slowly creep toward it to eat it. Instead they just look through the cat door we installed through the door.


My neighbor bought an old trunk on Sunday, and this was in there. How cool is this!? The second hand has a little bulldog on it too. I'm not sure if it is antique or just looks it, but with a little TLC, this is really cute! It works too, which is even better! 

Adding a bit of color

We had the green planters in our bathroom since before we moved into the house (the people before us put them in). They've always been nice, but kind of plain. Since Joann's had all of their flowers 50% off, I decided some mini-yellow daffodils would help give some color to the bathroom. I'm not in love with it, but I think they look good!

Custom Art Work

I think these will look great in the master bedroom (once I can actually get back in them again). These were super easy, and I think illustrate the plateau of my creative artsyness.

Where I got the Idea: Ready Made

Time: 2 hours

Shopping List:
Three tubes of paint
Three canvases
Masking Tape
Foam Brush


1. Prep - To prep, I laid down a painters cloth outside (again utilizing that wonderful Georgia sun). This weekend had 50% off canvases PLUS an extra 10% off everything. So I got three canvases! I painted all three canvases an egg-shell white color (the same color we're going to painting the floor boards in the bedroom). I'm 99% sure you could keep them white, I just didn't. Then let it dry.

2. Tape - This was fine and a bit nerve wracking. I decided to make tape lines point toward the middle canvas then down the center of the middle canvas (if that makes sense). I ended up doing great lines (without realizing it), if I do say so myself.

3. Paint Again - So now paint again. I used the red that we're using elsewhere in the room. The green looked a little too Christmasy, so I painted over it in a dark green (almost black). I think that color was a bit too dark. Of note: If you have a dog that likes to help...they may end up with paint on their side. Fortunately, it wipes off easily. I would imagine if you've read any of my other posts, you can guess which one was the problem child....

 4. Remove Paint - Make sure you wait plenty of time for it to dry (hot Georgia sun helps). Then take off the masking tape. This was kind of fun. :) Voila! Ignore Gus's tail and Lucy's head...

UPDATE: I still cant wait to put this in the bedroom. I'm so happy with the lines. I didn't even plan it, which was even cooler. The green is a perfect dark green which should really pop against the light green walls and the red will match the newly painted furniture!

Kitchen Conversion & Quick Reference Guide

I saw these the other day and absolutely loved them! I was too lazy to go to Kinkos, and Target wanted $12 for their 8x10 laminating kit, so I shrank them down and used a pack of 4x6 self-sealing laminating pouches.

Where I got the idea from: Another i should be mopping the floor project

Time Took: Less than 1 hour

Shopping List: 
Measuring Spoons
Command Strip hangers
Mounting Tape
4x6 printer paper
Packet of 4x6 self-sealing laminating pouches

1. Prep - I made the tables in Excel, because I REALLY like Excel. Plus Excel 2010 has nice table formats. I used the red shades, duh. So I printed these out actually on photo paper. I ended up having a box of 4x6 photo paper prints, and I figured why not! 

2. Laminate - I was worried about the laminating process, but good god this was easy! This took no time at all. I trimmed the edges so they were uniform around the sides.

3. Hang - I'd like to say I hung the measuring spoons first, but if I did I would have moved it further down. Make sure you be careful of shelves. You don't want the door constantly open, because the tablespoon is hitting against your shelf. I hung the measuring spoon labels, then hung the measuring spoons. I then put the rest of the tutorials - the conversion chart, the title card (which Alex laughed at me for), and the quick reference (meat and a few other conversions - pints & quarts and all of those sorts of things).

Making 3 Curtains from One!

This was both a great idea and a disaster. So we have our curtains in our living room - red burlap material. I thought hey! Let's buy one curtain from Target. Cut it in half to use the top half for a curtain in the kitchen and make No-Sew Faux Roman Shades! Oops...

Part One: Kitchen
This part of the project was an afterthought. I bought the curtain panel to try to Roman Shades. When asked what I was going to do with the top part, I realized the bottom of the panels were already hemmed (so I could use those for the tops of the roman shades) and use the top of the curtain panel in the kitchen! It was a win win situation!

Where I got the idea: Myself & my mother

Time: Less than 1 hour

Shopping List:
Heat-n-Bond - like this but in a Wally World it's under $2
Iron & Ironing Board
Measuring Tape
Curtain Rod (we used the existing ones in the kitchen)
One Curtain Panel (54x84")


 1. Prep - Fold the curtain and cut! This wasn't done in half, I think I cut the bottom 1/3rd. The curtain I used had large stitching, so I was able to follow those lines. Thank god, because I'm horrible at these things, I've learned.

2. Hem - This was very easy! I measured down from the top to make sure everything was even and gave the curtain an even hem. After you pin the hem, put the Heat-n-Bond strips in and iron as directed. I was super excited about this one and how it turned out. Although, I do need to iron it again.

3. Hang - Then just hang the rods! I like how long they are (not done intentionally). It's very nice, because that side of the house gets the hot southern sun (because we're in Georgia and it faces South).

Part Two: Dining Room
Okay so this one WOULD HAVE turned out better if I was a little better at lines, straight lines, measuring, etc. It also would have been soooooooooooooooooooo much easier with a sewing machine. Need to ask for one of those for Christmas. Anyway, so I was going to do Faux Roman Shades. Unfortunately, my straight lines aren't great.
Where I got the idea: i should be mopping the floor

Time: 4 hours

Shopping List: 
Heat-n-Bond - like this but in a Wally World it's under $'ll need 2-3 rolls
Iron & Ironing Board
Measuring Tape and a Yard Stick
Curtain Rods (we got these for cheap)
One Curtain Panel (54x84") - the left over from the first project!


1. Prep  Okay so for these shades, if you actually measure them, I think they'll come out fine. I tried, but failed. So take the bottom section of the blinds and cut them in half. This should give you two identical pieces of fabric. Before you think about the folds, hem the edges. Make sure they are even on each side, because they will be hanging next two each other and thus identical. People will be able to see where you screwed up (hint).

The side that was already hemmed was an inch thick, so I stuck with that. Measure & pin all the way around. As you're pinning, slide the heat bond under the fabric edge. As you can see from the picture above, the corners will need extra. This was in a large part due to the thickness of the curtains.


2. Measure Folds  - My initial thought was to use tension rods to hold the curtains (I couldn't do as I Should be Moping did, because these were on doors).  Lightly fold over about where you want your folds to go. Mine were about every 7 inches apart with the folds being 2 inches wide. I used a yard stick to create a white line across the fabric. These actually came out relatively straight.

The bottom line is for the bottom fold and the top line is for the top fold (if that makes sense). Basically this makes the entire fold 2 inches wide. I think if I had JUST bonded the top of the fabric, it would have been fine. I was a bit overzealous with the heat-n-bond.

3. Iron - Because the material was so thick, I basically had to hold the iron on the fold for a good 20 seconds. This was a stark contrast to the hem I did on my pants which took 30 minutes total.  This took a lot of time for both curtains. If you already have a sewing machine, I strongly suggest using a sewing machine instead.

4. Hang - So our door is apparently steel. We broke two drill bits (and had a bit of an anger fit) trying to hang these things. We then had to rehang them twice, because they weren't measured. No names being mentioned. As you can see, they aren't perfectly even. I do feel as though I could try and make real Roman Curtains now. Especially now that I know where my mistakes went.

All in all had my lines been straight, under $35 for two faux roman curtains & a long curtain in the kitchen wasn't bad at all!

Brown Paper Flooring

Phew! I'm so amazingly glad these look awesome. I might have cried if they didn't. MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR shout out to Lovely Crafty Home for this and the instructions! You were fantastic!!!

Where I got the Idea: Lovely Crafty Home

Time: Multiple Days (break down is below)

Shopping List:
Tool to pull up tack boards
Carpet Cutting Tool (we used a diving knife...don't ask)
Elmer's Wood Filler Max
Scraper Tool
Shop Vac (vacuum will work too)
Sander - I used 120 grain sander
Brown Paper (get a giant role or 2 large ones. My in-laws had a giant role they let us have)
One Gallon of Elmer's Glue
Red buckets (for glue)
Mask (I got the cheap back for like $1)
Paint Brush (we had two good ones that we used...)
Gloves (cheap latex that came in a back of like 8 for $1.50)
Lambskin Pad with woodblock
Cheap 3" chip brush
Extension Pole
Minwax's Jacobean Finish
Sponge Pad on Wood Block

That list is really long, and I just meant to include the other tools I used. I'm going to put the instructions in phases, like we did them. This will help show the time for each step.

1. Prep work (4ish hours - Monday & Tuesday Evenings): 
The first thing you need to do is remove the carpet. We had missing carpet from the wonderful two dogs we have, so part of the job is done. I was doing this in sections (cutting a few pieces at a time), which took much longer. HOWEVER, I was able to easily dispose of the carpet & padding much easier (i.e. sneak it in the trash can). After my husband came home from work (I took the day off, because the exterminator man was coming for our yearly check-up), we moved the rest of the furniture into the guest bedroom and removed the carpet. This made the process go by sooooo much faster!

 If you have dogs (or I would imagine kids), be prepared...the stains/smells you thought you removed...come back to bite you! Yuck - I've decided carpet is the root of all evil and just exists to trap stains & smells.

So anyway, after you roll up the carpet & pads, you have to remove the tack boards. If you purchase a tool such as this at Home Depot, it will make life so much easier. Unfortunately, we basically used a paint scraper. It's not a bad tool, it's just not made to bring up tacks. A note to the people who put in the carpet originally - you are jerks. You put nails way too close together and it is unnecessary and made it that much harder to tear up. Thank you.

Also check where you can dump carpet. Our trash company doesn't take carpet, because it's construction material. Plan to make the hike to a local landfill (costs less than $10) to dump the carpet, tack boards, & foam pad.

After you pulled up the carpet, you'll want to sweep up first (the tack board leaves a lot of pieces of wood lying around), then use a shop vac (if you have one). We used a vacuum, but I'm almost positive we shortened the life of the vacuum. Be very careful with the may end up having to get a tetanus shot afterwards. Also if you have stupid dogs like we do, be aware. They will eat anything left on the floor - staples (that held the carpet pad in), nails, bits of wood, etc. Again....I have stupid animals. Okay it was just Lucy. Gus just got in the way.

2. Fill in Wood Glue  (3 hours - Wednesday Night)
The wood glue was really not that much of a problem. We grabbed one container of Elmer's Wood Filler Max & two tubes of Minwax Stain-able Wood Filler. In retrospect, I wish we had grabbed two containers of Elmer's- oh well live & learn! So we filled in all of the cracks and edges of the wood. We used that paint scraper to smooth over the filler. It doesn't have to be perfect, because you are going to sand it. It does make the filler last longer if you occasionally wipe off the scraper. We were generous in many of the areas, because we were told it shrinks. I'm not sure whether this was true or not, but better safe than sorry. We initially were going to fill in the small nail holes from the carpet tacks, but after about 30 minutes we said screw it (no pun intended). This takes about an hour to dry fully.

So then we sanded the floors with 120 grit sander. When sanding:
A) wear a mask there is a whole lot of dust that comes up!!!

B) If you have glasses and wear a mask...they WILL fog up.

C) Open a window and don't do this at 10pm or you'll annoy your neighbors.

D) Have fun! I don't know what it is, but sanding was really fun. It went by quick too!!! You'll want to sweep then vacuum after this!

If you have time, you could go ahead and start papering the floor. Because we were doing this after work, this was all we did that night. Well that and rip & crumple paper.

We filled two trash bags of crumbled paper, and that was ALMOST enough pieces to do the edges.  Make sure you separate the edged pieces out first in a separate bag (hence the two bags). We absolutely ran out out of the other crumbled papers so, we ended up just ripping paper as we went. We actually didn't even need to crumple it after a while, because we crumpled it as we wrung it out in the glue bucket. After you do the edges, it doesn't matter if you separate them or not.

3. Brown Papering Floor (8-9 hours - Thursday & Friday nights)
This was the longest part. We definitely didn't plan that one out. So papering..yikes. Papering is NOT hard, it's just sole crushing and takes forever. The few times it was just me papering, I turned on Netflix & had Dawson's Creek playing. Alex put the kibosh on that so we watched Archer (a favorite, but you need a 40 min show or movie...stopping to hit play every 20-23 minutes is a little long.
Anyway, so back to the real stuff. We did the edges first. That didn't take too long. Alex and I moved on different sides of the room. First task is to mix the glue. We used these red buckets from Home Depot & mixed 1 part Elmer's Glue (I had to get this at Staples, as that was the ONLY place that had gallons) with 3 parts water. We ended up using pretty much the entire gallon. We used a plastic measuring cup to measure out the water & glue...mainly so we could just trash it later on.

 Next grab your gloves (although we stopped using gloves eventually and just used our hands), use a good paint brush and lightly paint the floor section you are about to work on with the glue mixture. Then dunk 4-6 pieces of paper in the glue, swirl them around, and then wring them out well. This gets them nice & soaked, but not enough where you are going to have to worry about bubbling. Use the edge pieces to go around the room like so.

The easiest way to smooth out the paper is to smooth out an edge and then push the paper out towards you. If the edges end up bubbling, it's not the end of the world, if you are going to but in quarter-round molding (which I suggest you do).
Once you get the edges done, continue papering yourself out of the room. I started in the closet & Alex in the far corner and we moved from there. The area by the door where we have carpet is less than great, but that's why we bought a threshold to cover that up, until we do the hallway! If you see pieces that are bulging, now is the time to fix them. You can either try to peel up the pieces or use an exact o-knife to pull up the area. You'll be glad you did!

The floor is very rough like this, but looks very cool. Don't worry about the different shades. The glue will just dry differently. We did 6 hours of floors Thursday night. At 11:45 decided we needed to stop since we had work the next day. We had about 2 1/2 hours left Friday evening. Note: This time frame is with TWO people doing it...with're in for a much longer time. We have a fairly large master bedroom.

 Also of note, we are repainting the floor boards, so we didn't tape them off. Here's a close-up of the texture on the floor. It looks really cool - veiny & marbley.

We let the floors dry over night and started about 9 AM with the stain Saturday morning.

4. Stain (45 minutes to apply; 48 hours to dry)
We learned a lot of lessons with the stain. First, if you apply with a heavy hand you will absolutely want to wait 48 hours. Lovely Crafty Home said 24 hours, the varnish said 72hrs...we found it was about 48. We used two quarts of Minwax's Jacobean Finish.
We initially had two sets of everything, but had issues putting on the stain paid on the second extension we nixed the idea and returned the second set. I recommend getting two chip brushes to do the edges, but only one extension pole. It doesn't take that long to apply and will save you a lot of money. So we have the Lambskin Pad with woodblock, a cheap 3" chip brush, the finish, an extension pole, and a paint tray.

Apply the edges pushing out towards the center of the room. If you happen to have a heavy hand (no names mentioned), be sure to have a heavy hand when you switch to the extension pole (hint hint). The stain is pretty smelly. I think it's more smelly than the polyurethane.

We had a fan going in the bathroom, but that just seemed to push around dust that fell from the ceiling fan (Note: DUST THE CEILING FAN BEFORE YOU DO YOUR LAST VACUUM!). Again, the stain did not take long at all to do. We used broad strokes. I tried to warn the person who did the stain to swirl around the stain to make it all didn't happen too well. The circles are a little hard to do, but be sure you at least blend everything together. Again, you'll be thankful later you did!
The closet is above and a majority of the room is to the right. Here's the closet, which looks really good. And the finished floor looked great. It isn't quite as dark once it dries. Waiting 48 hours took the tack away that Lovely Crafty Home mentioned. It did eat up two days (which I went a little crazy with other projects). Doing it again, I'd plan to do the stain on like a Wednesday night, that way by Saturday morning I could start doing the varnish.

5. Varnish (10 minutes to apply, 45 minutes to dry...times 12 coats)
So once the stain dries you'll need to put a whole lot of layers of varnish on. We used the more expensive stuff, and needed to buy a second can. Yikes! I did get Free Braves tickets for spending over $100 at Home Depot this weekend...that was a win! So Yes, Varnish. This is easy again. We opened the windows (turned off the fan), and didn't have any problem with the smell.
The varnish went on easy and the brush goes on easily as well.

We used a sponge this time (found right next to the lambskin pad). We have 4 layers down and have a few more to go tonight. It dries in about 45 minutes, so the layers go pretty quickly. I'm not sure I'd sand the floors yet, but it's nice to be able to walk into the room again! 

6. Molding - We haven't done this yet, but we did buy quarter-round molding from Home Depot and will be painting that. I'll have pictures later. 

I absolutely love the floors and thing they are really really neat!Everyone who sees them loves them! The edges did bubble a bit , but I'm not going to concern myself too much with that. We'll smooth it over with the molding. We did use 3 gallons of polyurethane though...I'm not sure if it's just because it's a large room or we wanted to be extra careful.