Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bueller? Bueller? Is anyone home?

Somehow, in all the blogs in blogverse, this lil' ole one still gets some visitors, even though I haven't blogged in a year. Yikes. Thanks for the emails from some of you, asking if I'm still alive. Yes, I am. 

Coming up on 6 years of marriage to his handsome fella. 

The kids are all doing well. Arielle is in 5th grade this year. Here she is with Wheezy and Titan. 

Jasmin is in 2nd grade this year. She's still not too cool for Mom to come to her school parties. 

Ava is 3 now. No issues from her gastroschisis, which we're thankful for. She's as wild and crazy as ever. We registered her for pre-K next year, how is she old enough???

And last but not least, my youngest, Alli. She's 18 months old now. She's as sassy as they come, and I joke that if she was my first, she'd be the only one I'd have. She can be a pill most days, but I wouldn't trade her for the world, most days. 

Some days I'd trade her for a large sweet tea from McDonalds. 

We rescued a miniature dachshund a few months ago. She came from a puppy mill and spent her first two years of life in a rabbit cage, just having babies. She's super clingy and drive me insane most days, cause she's always up my butt, but she's my dog and I love her. Imagine my surprise when I took her to her pre-spay appt and the vet said she was pregnant? 

Of course, she went into labor on a Sunday. So 4 puppies, a trip to the emergency vet for an emergency c-section for the 5th stuck puppy (who we still lost), and here she was. My sister in law took the black and tan runt, and the piebald. Two other girlfriends took the other two puppies. They're all being spoiled rotten in their new homes. 

That's about it. Some random crafting here and there, still running my etsy shop, getting a few more tattoos, and trying to keep up with my heathens. That's about it folks. I'll try and get better about blogging, maybe it'll keep me accountable for the craft projects I have on the back burner. Thanks for thinking me me, folks! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ceiling tile mirror tutorial

Thank you to a lovely reader, who's email reminded me that I needed to do a tutorial for my ceiling tile mirror, so here is it. 

I found these ceiling tiles at a huge flea market thing near Dallas called First Mondays. It's HUGE. Booths and booths and aisles and aisles of stuff for sale. Some craft stuff, lots of vintage, anything you can imagine. I found these for $6 a piece, but offered her $5, and she accepted. 

I went to Home Depot and picked up some 2x2's, which I think ran me $12 for 4 of them. My tiles were 12x12, so I built an outer frame that was 36x36 (of course, this measurement is going to depend on your tile size). Next, I made a grid on the inside, so that when I nailed in my tiles, I'd have something to attach it to. 

Yeah, see that extra piece on the left? That's there because I didn't put the wood in the right place, so the middle left tile didn't have anything to nail it into. No worries, I just added another piece of wood. It's a very forgiving project. 

Now, some of my tiles didn't match up exactly. I'll blame that on the tiles, instead of the more likely fact that my outer wood measurement probably wasn't perfect. So when I had it all assembled, you could see the wood in between some of the tiles. With the tile being super distressed, you wouldn't want to just put one color in there, or it'd be super obvious that you're faking it. So I loosely mixed together some similar colors, and dabbed it in the cracks. 

And seriously, when it's hanging on the wall, you cannot tell that I had to fudge it. At all. 

For the mirror, I just bought a 12 inch mirror from Michaels (don't forget that you can use a competitors coupon!) and some trim from Home Depot. Measure and cut that wood at a 45ยบ angle. Attach with some glue, paint that bad boy, glue on the mirror. I just used wood glue to attach it to the tile, weighed down overnight with my kettlebell and my medicine ball on the corners. 

Don't feel like jacking with the trim and the mirror? I did see a square 13 inch mirror at Walmart for under $10. Grab that and slap that on instead. 

And here we are! Seriously, it might have been one of the easiest projects I've ever done. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Creating With The Stars, Round 1. Whew!

So, yours truly has made it past the first round of Creating With The Stars! Mine ranked 5th out of 12, which I'm happy with. I won't lose any sleep if I don't win the whole thing, but my goal was to make it past the first round. So woot! Mine was the "Tin Tile Mirror", and I'll be doing a tutorial here shortly. 

So now we're down to 9 bloggers, and the week's theme is "Knock Off". I think I've found my perfect project, and with encouragement from my blog star Jamielyn of I Heart Naptime, I'm getting started on it today. I have to admit, it's a little daunting. The project is due Saturday night, so one week after the first was due. But, I didn't want to start on a project if I wasn't advancing. Eek. Time to crank this out! 

Make sure you're voting! I'll be sure to post and let you know when and where to vote. We aren't allowed to tell you the project that is ours, so it's not a popularity contest (Whew, no more high school anxiety!). The projects are revealed Monday morning, and voting closes out on Tuesday night. Wish me luck! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Creating With The Stars 2013

Holy. Crap. I woke up this morning, expecting it to just be another day of changing diapers and catching up on Project Runway and Nashville. So there I was, scrolling through facebook, and I see a post that says 

"Yay! The contestants and their blog stars have been announced! It was such a hard decision- you guys are all so talented! Did YOU make it?"

So, I click on it, vaguely remembering that I entered my plank wall on a whim, never expecting to actually become a finalist. 

And out of 361 entries....

Holy. Crap. That is freaking awesome. The other finalists are some tough cookies, but I'm just honored to be chosen. I Heart Naptime is one of my favorite blogs, so I'm super duper excited to get to know Jamielyn better. 

I remember following along with the 2012 contest, and holy cow, I'm super excited. 

Each week will have a new theme, and the star will give ideas, suggestions and encouragement. The projects will then shown anonymously, so everyone is on a level playing field, which I love. 

Make sure you follow along with the fun!

Monday, January 28, 2013

My plank wall, finally

Am I the only one who's been drooling over all the plank walls that pop up daily on Pinterest? I had plank walls pinned for forever, and a couple of months ago, showed it to hubby, totally expecting him to shoot it down (we don't exactly have the same decorating style. I like awesome stuff, and he likes the exact opposite). But somehow, we both agreed on this idea. Our finished project?

Before I started, I already knew the perfect wall for it. It's in our kitchen, viewable from the living room thanks to a very open floor plan. Most of the walls I saw online were either all white, or all wood tone. I wasn't sure which way to go, so thanks to the magic that is photoshop, I shopped them both up. 

First, I tried it with natural planks, but
there wasn't enough personality for me.

Yup, not feeling the white either. Yuck. 

So I talked to hubby about doing a mix of boards, almost like we found pieces of wood, each one a different paint/stain, and he agreed it was the personality I was looking for. 

There are enough plank tutorials online that I'm not going to walk you through every single step. Cut the wood, work your paint magic, nail it up. But a couple of helpful tips for ya. I got my wood at Home Depot, I believe it was called plywood sheeting. Anyway, it was $11-13 a sheet. Now, I will say to either A. pre-measure and make sure you buy enough wood in the first place, or B. pay attention to what wood you bought the first time so you can buy the same kind the next time. I did not buy enough wood the first time, so when I went back and got one more sheet, it was slightly thinner than my first set. But I rolled with it, and figured if I was going for the "reclaimed wood" look, then having them be different thicknesses wasn't a huge deal. You can kind of see it in this pic, the darker wood from the lower left corner, under the long, natural color plank is slightly thicker. But hey, we're going to roll with it. 

My boards were cut at 5 inches, across the 4 foot wide side (the wood I bought was 4x8). Now, it might be up to your Home Depot employee if they'll cut it at 5 inches. Their safety rules say that they can't, but after talking to a few employees, it basically came down to the employee and if they wanted to or not. 

I did not use any glue on this, figuring that if we ever got tired of it, or sold the house, I didn't want the wall to be ruined. What I did do is use screws and nails on each corner, and then I did a line of finishing nails where the studs were. Since it's cheaper wood, it did have a bit of a bow to it. No biggie. 

If you're totally organized, you could probably lay out all the wood in your garage, figure where each color should be, paint/stain/sand all the boards at one time, and then nail them up on the wall. I do not, however, work like that. I would do one line at a time, figure out what color I'd need next, and then paint/sand/stain/whatever. I did a mix of stained boards, boards left natural, some painted, some painted and sanded. Some of the boards came with some letters stamped on the wood, and yup, I left those on there. Plus, any of the wood that had knots in it I put knot side up. Again, personality and texture, right?

I do have one more thing to do to make this space "done". I bought this light fixture, and just need to have someone install it. Someone, meaning not me, since I want to move it over 6 inches so it's centered over the table, and ya know, don't want to get electrocuted or burn the house down. We're going for an "industrial chic" vibe in the house, so I thought this was perfect. 

And what's a good blog post without a photobomb by a certain husband when you're trying to take pics....


Partying at craft-o-maniac

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Did you have a good Christmas? We did. As a mom, I think I get more excited for the girls than I do for myself. 

The night before, we did our traditional Christmas Eve stuff. The girls opened a present (new pajamas), we made some hot chocolate, and then drove around and looked at Christmas lights. 

I've said it before, but I freaking love our neighborhood. At one house, there was a man and woman, dressed up as Mr and Mrs Claus, passing out homemade cookies. And at another house in the neighborhood, starting at Thanksgiving there is a mailbox for Santa, where you can drop off your letters to him. 

Santa will then write you back and drop it off in your mailbox. I love that each girl got a different letter, so it felt really personal. 

Christmas day started off with the girls opening up their stockings, and then moving on to their presents. The older girls are getting to the age where they love clothes, so it was fun seeing them try on their new clothes. 

Yup, she picked out that hat. Homegirl likes bright colors. 

Ava got a new hat too (I love owls!) and a new CD player, since she decided to break hers two days before Christmas. 

I had an awesome Christmas. A new fixed lens for my Nikon (a 50mm 1.8), a crap ton of gift cards to Home Goods, some new Doc Martens, and a Silhouette Cameo!

And somehow we ended up with a white Christmas in Texas! My girls lasted all of 20 minutes before they were whining to come back in.

The funny thing is that when the girls opened their new hats, my father in law was wondering when they would be able to actually wear them (heck, we were in the 70's a week ago) but they certainly came in handy today. 

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fireplace mantle make over

Yes! Finally a post from yours truly. No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Just keeping busy with a 2 month who the past couple of days, has decided that the only way she can sleep is in my arms. 

Recently, I found a website called Houzz.com, which I love. There is a section called Design Dilemma, where you can post a picture or question about your house, and designers will weigh in with their suggestions. 

I've always had problems with my mantle decor. Like, I've never been able to figure it out. There are so many beautiful mantle decor pictures on Pinterest, and still, mine just looks like a catch all for whatever home decor crap I shove up there. 

This is it at its best. Lame and usually littered with toys which I shoved out of the way cleaned up. 

So I posted my question on Houzz, and they all said the same thing. The mantle is too small and the wrong style for all the stone. I noticed on Pinterest, that whenever someone had a huge fireplace with a crap ton of stone, they all had a simple beam mantle. Found this blog post on pinterest, showed it to hubby, and he loved it. I was never able to find the thin veneer that she used, and the guy at Home Depot didn't know what it was, so I skipped that part. 

Now, apparently I've forgotten how to blog, since I didn't take half of the pics that I wanted. Lame, right?

First thing we did was pull down the top trim piece, which made a HUGE difference. Hubby and I have always hated it, but never thought to take it down. 

Then I painted the ceiling that needed it. 

And can I just say, 12 feet doesn't sound that tall, but when you're up on a ladder, painting at 4 in the morning, it's pretty damn tall. 

Next I hit up Home Depot, and found some wood that I liked. It was called whitewood and I found it in the lumber section with all of the tall, straight boards. 

I bought one 

1x10 at 6 feet long
one 1x8 at 8 feet long
one 1x8 at 6 feet long. 

I made sure that the boards were straight and had some pretty knots in them. I had them all cut to 67 inches, which would give me 4 inches of room on each side when installed on my stone. I made sure to keep my scrap pieces, since I knew that I'd want to use the scrap piece of the 1x8 to cap off the sides. Then it was as simple and making a box. After I attached the 1x8's to the 1x10 with some wood glue and screws, I measured the sides and had hubby cut my scrap piece to cap off the side. Those were around 7-8 inches. In this pic, I had the sides just sitting in there, which is why they look wonky. 

Then I beat the crap out of distressed it, concentrating on the front (since that's all you'll really see). Some spots I hit with a hammer, some with a screwdriver. On some of the edges, I let the dremmel with a drill bit gouge out some of the wood. 

Then I filled in the screw holes and all the seams with stainable wood filled, and after that dried, I sanded the crap out of it and made it super smooth and worn. 

Then came time for staining after I applied the wood conditioner. The whitewood is super soft, and I wanted to make sure it took the stain evenly. The color I used was "dark walnut". This was one coat that I let sit for a couple of minutes. I ended up doing one more coat of stain, because you can always add more, you can't take it away. Which is why I tend to err on being too light than too dark. 

While I was doing that, hubby disassembled the mantle inside. I swear, this thing was built to withstand a nuclear bomb, it took a while to pull it all apart. 

Again, there should be a picture here to show what it looked like after we pulled off the decorative pieces, but imagine a wooden box built around some 2x4's. 

Then it was as simple as sliding on the box that I made, screwing it into the box that was already there, go drop $40 on candles at Walmart, and voila! (I've seen somewhere where a lady bought cheap drinking glasses, covered them in contact paper, and they looked like candles for a lot cheaper. But I'm an instant gratification kind of gal. Plus, with it being at eye level, I was worried that it would be obvious if I tried to fake candles). 

And since we all love a good before and after shot...

I think I spent $70ish bucks on this for the candles, the wood and stainable wood filler (I had the stain and screws already). I love it, and surprisingly, it's one of the only few projects that hubby and I both love. I'll call this project 99% finished, since I need to get some wood for the fireplace, and the wood grate holder thingy down from the attic. 

Whatcha think? 

Let's party like it's 1999...