Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rusty little white latern, now a sexy cool black!

Just a wanted to do a quick blog today to show you another little spray paint project. I told you I was in love with the stuff.

Going in order of importance, I thought the best thing to revamp with my new love for miracle in a can spray paint was this little white latern that sat adorned on my front porch. Once a prized clearance-priced possession, now sat dirty and rusty and was not the star of the front porch anymore.  She was ready.

So I cleaned her up, removed the glass, and sprayed her down with the same Rustoleum Satin Canyon Black that I used on my basket project.

I'm pretty happy with how she looks! Hope she enjoys being top-notch on the front porch once again. Spray paint is like plastic surgery for old shabby things.

Here's some pics!!

I decided she probably couldn't handle a whole pillar candle in this heat, so dainty little tealight it is!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blanket Basket Part 2

This week was a mission of spray paint & twine. Following my previous post about the blackboard sign for my blanket basket, I was ready to get my basket ready and finish up the project. So off to my local Home Depot and found my spray paint for $5.79 and twine for $2.79. I decided to go against any temptation to go with any cheaper or on-sale spray paints and buy the one that came most recommended by my Shanty2Chic blog heroes which is Rustoleum Painter's Touch (not the Ultra 2x kind). Colour pick was Canyon Black and in Satin.

So off I went home to start my very first spray painting job. Nervous? you betcha! I had full fear of paint drips and scary looking streaks but then thought that my wicker basket was probably the best thing to start out on as it's a forgiving piece...

But before we start painting, I wanted to spruce up my blackboard sign with some twine. I wasn't overly fond of the hard edges on the blackboard so I did 2 lines of twine glued down with a glue gun. Then I removed the chain and replaced that with twine as well for tying onto the basket. Love the little bit of character twine brings!

Here we go!

Step One: TWINE! Jute twine is perfect for this project.
Step 2: Glue on twine bit by bit. No need to be perfect, twine is very forgiving!
Step 3: Spray Paint Basket (see before picture on previous post). I did one coat on the bottom, waited a few minutes, and flipped it doing the inside. Waited another few minutes and did second coats. After an hour I inspected and sprayed any missing spots (luckily they were fairly easy to spot with the contrast of unfinished wicker to black!). Wait a full 24 hours to dry.
Note: I fell in love with spray painting SO much that I'm itching to refinish some pieces in my house that need some updating. This paint is also outdoor/ my possibilities are endless!
Step 4: tie on the blackboard sign using more twine and voila! finished.


By the way, you must be wondering where I'm getting all my free time to do these things...but I honestly have spent no more than 1/2hr-1hr on any project (this one was a three-parter at maybe 20 mins each).
Yay for naptime!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Blackboard Sign for Blanket Basket

So in continuing my love affair with my fave blog, Shanty2Chic...I saw this idea and since I had a basket at home not being used, I figured this was a really cool thing to do. Only problem, is when you aren't an everyday crafter, you're missing some key items, like a stencil (Wow! they are expensive!!).  So I kinda put the idea on the backburner of my mind.
Until today. I went to go get some stuff at Dollarama and spotted Blackboard Contact Paper, the whole roll for $1 (they also had whiteboard) and then lightbulb moment...I could make a blackboard sign on the basket, which would also make the basket multi-fuctional (as I would no longer be beholdent to whatever the sign on the front said it contained!). Here I go!

NOTE: I'm still going to spray paint the basket itself (into black, just like my Shanty2Chic friends did) I just don't have the spray paint on hand to do so yet! I will update with a new pic when I do so. I may also add some embellishments if I find some I like...

Here's what I needed to do the project:
-Sign, $2 Dollarama (there are also $1 versions that are smaller and less "finished" looking)
-Acrylic Paint, $1, Michaels (colour is Winter Blue)
-Sandpaper block, Dollarama $1 for a 2pk
-Blackboard Contact Paper, Dollarama $1
-Basket, $2.99, Michaels (they were on sale, but go on sale often...if not on sale, grab a coupon on for 40% off)

Step 1:
Unscrew the eyehooks holding the chain hanger on the top of the wood sign.
Paint the wood (I only did about 1 inch from the edge, since the middle would be covered in blackboard)
Let dry.
Step 2:
Cut out blackboard contact paper, no need to be perfect...let it look a little rustic. Peel off back and apply.
Step 3:
Using the sandpaper block, rough up the edges of the wood sign to sand away some of the paint (if you are using a darker colour, this would give a greater effect...hard to see on blue paint)
Step 4:
Rescrew one eyehook with chain, thread it through the basket weaves and then screw in the other side. Chalk away and enjoy :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Family Room

Pretty much where we spend most of our time at home. I love this room.

So here's the breakdown:

-Faux Leather sofa, Sears $400 (incl tax)
-Loveseat, hand-me-down from my parents (They bought it off Kijiji for $150!)
-Coffee table, Superstore $80
-Entertainment Unit, Superstore $70
-Lamp (beside TV), side of the road (literally, our neighbourhood puts stuff out on the curb that is for give aways!). Lamp was originally $20 at Ikea.
-Art above sofa, made it myself! See instructions here (fabric covered canvas) Approx $35
-"Family" wood sign, Kirklands in the USA, $15
-Metal "Family" art above TV, $10 HomeSense
-Vase (holding sticks) $17, Costco
-Sticks (in vase) 50 cents, garage sale
-Brown curtains, faux silk, $5 Zellers clearance (rod was addition $10 at Ikea)
-Picture Frame above fireplace, $13 Ikea AS-IS section (artwork was photography of our girls done by Debi Speers and print cost $14 at Walmart)
-Vase on Mantle with blue/silver sprigs, vase was free from a flower arrangement, sprigs were a christmas clearance at $1.50 each (3 total)
-"Bliss" sign, $1.50 at HomeSense clearance (I retouched the paint)
-Candle holders on mantle, 75 cents each on clearance at Ikea (they were cereal bowls)
-Silver hammered thing on mantle, $12 Winners clearance
-Faux flowers in silver vase, $3.50, Zehrs
-Blue Side table (my pride & joy!) $50 from HomeSense
-Silver lantern, $3, Garage sale (originally from IKEA $20)
-Clock, $2, garage sale
-2 large baskets in Entertainment unit, $10ea, Canadian Tire sale
-Hurricane lamp with candle & stone filler, $4 total, Zehrs clearance
-Cushions, 2 brown were a housewarming gift, 2 blue ones came with the faux leather sofa
Approx Grand Total $758.25

I still have some updating to do in this room since we've added a new family member, as I plan to move around the artwork to incorporate a new framed pic of either all 3 kids, or just get a new frame with our boy in it!

So what's the moral of the story of this room? clearance items :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Dining Room

So after a request to see some pics of our house, I was going around taking pics today (cleaning up toys among my feet as I went) and I decided to make a blog post out of it. The reason being that to be honest, we had a very small budget for updates when we moved into this house (a mere 500sq feet larger than our last) so being frugal with my furniture and decor finds became a huge point of focus for me. Our house was beyond nicely decorated by the previous owners, so I always felt it was going to be a huge challenge for me to love it as it was staged when we bought it. All in all, we've come a loooong way. The past 6 months have brought some big updates (mostly because of my parents updating their own decor and me scooping up the old!)

I'm going to do these posts in segments, so we'll start with the Dining Room and over the next few days I'll post the rest of the house...Any feel free to fire away any comments/questions/tips you may have. Love to hear 'em!

Dining Room Breakdown:
-Table, from my parents
-Hanging Light, traded our old one for this one with my parents
-2 sideboard lamps, from my parents (jeez, there's a theme happening here...)
-Sideboards, originally from IKEA, these Expedit units were purchased off a ad for $100/both (originally $100ea) and they just happened to be the exact length of the room.
-Fabric "drawers" in the sideboard $6.99 each, IKEA (wanted baskets, settled for these, baskets are expensive at $20/piece and hard to find ones that fit!)
-Pear artwork, XSCargo $6
-Table centrepiece; $1 placemat from Dollarama, $1.25 plate (from set of 4 at Canadian Tire, other 3 are in the plate rack not seen here). Faux pears in vase $3 (vase itself was from a floral arrangement).
-Tall brown tree vase, gift from my sister (flower from Dollarama $1)
-White vase with sticks, $2 vase from Dollarama, sticks were 50cents at a garage sale
-Mirror $20 from a Winners-like store in the clearance section
-Wall sconces 50cents for both, garage sale
Approx Grand Total $191.75 (money spent)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finishing touches on my Boy Nursery

Another update post here, but I finally got the finishing touches in my son's room. It's feeling...shall I say complete?

My only thing I needed were shelves, and artwork. My mom also bought me some letters to spell out Boden's name, which I painted black and then distressed with a sandpaper block.

Artwork was provided as a gift from a neighbour, and I found the shelves off of an ad on for $7 for BOTH (they are Ikea Lack shelves reg $19.99each and the blue is a discontinued colour)! woo.

Really love how the room came together. In an age of neutrals being the trend, I'm glad I went with a punchy nautical theme for the room. Now if I could just get my hands on more shark accessories...

Dollarama Lovin'

A month or so back, I posted a bunch about some of my Dollarama finds, so today I had some great luck and decided to post my finds and how I used them in my home!

#1: Miniature Faux Pears

I JUST saw these at the Zone downtown and they were priced at $11/pkg. So yes, I was quite excited to pick up these packs of 6 for $1ea. Filled them into a preowned vase and added some twigs I had...and voila! centrepiece.

#2: Stone Bird

I had actually fallen in love with this blog's idea to use drab dollar store items and turn it into something pretty enough to put out in your home. Today I one-upped it when I came across this stone bird (as is!) for $2. It's pretty big (larger than my hand in size) and there were different varieties too like a turtle, a snail, and a very cute armadillo that I almost got...but didn't want to overdo a good thing!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Repurposed Dollar Store sign

Back a few years ago, I picked up this little Coffee 25cents sign from the Dollar store that I thought was cute. I never used it. Now my style has changed and I'm just all too aware of it's increased tacky look in my house. So I've decided to repurpose it. Ahh, favourite thing to do. Make something old new again! It was already wood and with the hanging clips on the back, my work was not too much at all!

So with very little time (between feedings, burpings, changings, chasing toddlers and the such...). I broke out my acrylic paints and painted over it in Black. Then I carefully painted out the letters in white (let it be known, NOT happy with the way the letters came out, and if I decide to paint over it and re-do, I'll make a stencil. But this works for now!). After I painted it, I added some Mississippi Mud (brown) paint in the accents. After it had almost dried, I added water to the Mississippi Mud and made a wash over the entire board, removing most with a paper towel. I did this because the white on black was too stark and didn't look like a rustic painted sign like I'd hoped.

After it had all dried, I took a sandpaper block and started working away on the edges and random places on the front (the old sign started to come through, so I couldn't work away too much of it).
All in all, I'm pretty happy with the result. Didn't actually have a place to hang it, so I put it on my eat-in kitchen shelf amongst some other little treasures of ours :)

Note: Dollarama currently has wood signs (unfinished) with a black chain to hang them with. This would be a great way to do your own, and you wouldn't have to worry about old tacky artwork showing through when you sand it!

What do you think?

Shanty 2 Chic

You know when you meet someone new, and they just wow you with their thoughts and much so you just wanna soak up time with them? well, that's how I feel about this new blog I stumbled upon today.

These 2 sisters have such amazing ideas with easy how-to instructions (incl. step by step pictures!). What I also love is how they have links to other blogs and their crafts. You could literally waste every spare moment of your day on this page (don't ask me how I know this...).

So if you get a second, check it out...I'm not being endorsed here, so clearly I'm just a fan :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rocky Road Cookies

Here's a little recipe I got from my Childrens Baking Book, me and my oldest daughter made them together, and it was a simple and easy recipe...with a creative twist on the typical chocolate chip cookie. We looooved them!

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup soft brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup milk chocolate, chopped (or use chocolate chips like me)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup white chocolate, chopped (I didn't have white chocolate, so I doubled up the choc chips!)
1/2 cup mini-marshmallows

Tools needed:
-2 baking sheets
-parchment paper
-large mixing bowl
-electric mixer or whisk
-cooling rack

*Feel free to experiment with different flavoured chips!
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
-Cream butter and sugar together using mixer or whisk
-Beat in the egg and milk
-Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and 1/2 the chocolate chunks/chips
-Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them well apart
-Flatten the batter slightly with the back of a spoon.
-Bake 5 minutes
-Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining choc chunks/chips and marshmallows, pressing them into the tops of the cookies
-Return cookies to the oven, and bake for an additional 5-6 minutes.
-Allow them to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack
Makes: Approx 14 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 11 minutes


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