Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Candlestick Revamp

Yesterday I posted a few pictures of some bargain buys I found at some thrift stores last weekend.  The candlesticks were my most exciting purchase.  They were $10.00 a piece.

They are in fantastic condition...just in need of a revamp!  I noticed when I looked at the bottom of the candlestick that I was going to be able to take the whole thing apart for the paint job.

I removed all of the glass pieces and soaked them in soapy water.  The two larger pieces required some scrubbing because rust had settled in the grooves inside the middle hole.  Did I mention they are in great condition?  There isn't one chip in any of the glass pieces.

After some primer and a few coats of Rustoleum's Heirloom White spray paint, this is how the pieces looked.

I made sure to take a before picture so that I could put the candlesticks back together correctly. 

 ...and with some candles in them.  Not my first choice of color for the candle, but it's
what I had on hand.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thrifty Finds

Last weekend I had some time to hit up some thrift stores.  I found a few things I couldn't resist.

My first stop was the American Cancer Society Store and boy was I excited to find these! 

Of course, they won't stay brassy.  I will spray paint them Heirloom White.  They were $10.00 each, which seemed a bit pricey for a thrift store, but they were in such good condition, I couldn't leave without them.  Plus, the crystals are glass, not plastic.

Next, I headed over to the Hospice Thrift Store where my eye caught this mirror for 99¢.  Score!

The wicker is in great shape.  I'm going to tuck this away because I don't have a need for it right now.

I also found this wooden flag.  It was only $2.00 so if I don't end up painting and using it, it's not a huge loss.  I will probably paint it though and hang it out by the front door around Memorial Day and 4th of July.

My last stop was Goodwill.  I found this Pottery Barn hanging frame for $4.99.  It's brand new and in excellent shape.  It can be hung horizontally or vertically.  I don't have a need for it right now so I will tuck this one away too.  I will spray paint it and either dye the ribbon or replace it with another color.  I do know it won't stay white.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fall Topiary

I am super excited about this post!  I'm sure this project has been done somewhere by someone at some point...but I'm proud of my creation.  There is so much out there in the craft blogging world that I find myself copying projects rather than creating my own.  

I do like the look of a topiary and with fall quickly approaching I thought I'd try something that incorporated leaves.  Here are the materials (minus a wooden dowel) needed for the topiary.  I found the white tin vase at Goodwill (for 99¢...score!), the Spanish Moss, wooden dowel, and styrofoam pieces at Michael's, and the fall leaves at the Dollar Store.

The first thing I did was work with the leaves.  I didn't want to glue them flat onto the ball...too boring.  I needed to think of a way to create something 3-dimensional.  I ended up using a glue gun to glue the bottom part of the leaves together.  I tried using a couple of different types of glue, such as a glue stick, but it didn't stick to the material of the leaves.

Once I glued a bunch of leaves I let them cool.  If I had glued the bottom and then immediately tried to glue them onto the styrofoam, the glue at the bottom of the leaves would've melted causing them to open back up to a flat leaf (yep, I experienced that.)

The next step was to glue the leaves onto the styrofoam ball.  I spray painted the ball brown because I thought that if any of it peeked through, I'd rather it be brown than green.  I also had to put some medical tape on my thumb because when I pressed the leaves onto the ball, the hot glue transferred through the leaves and burned my thumb.  I guess I need to pick up a low-temp glue gun one of these days.

A few notes about assembling.  I spray painted the tin vase Heirloom White so it wasn't so bright white.  I also started a hole in the styrofoam with a screwdriver to make it easier to push the dowel in.  One last thing--my husband took an Exact-o knife and sharpened the end of the dowel to make it even easier to go into the styrofoam.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Something I Whipped Up: Egg Carton

Something I Whipped Up...

Last year my son had a marvelous 3rd grade teacher whom we adored.  Every so often we would bring her some fresh eggs, which was something she really appreciated.  We wanted to wish her well with  her new group of students and dropped these by yesterday.  I thought the package turned out cute.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

Ten Thoughts This Thursday

1.  I wish...I didn't have to set my alarm.

2.  I want...a massage.

3.  I's going to be a great fall baseball season for Nolan.

4.  I tend to my yard.

5.  I when my husband packs the kids' lunches.

6.  I enjoy...driving my car after I have washed it by hand.

7.  I recommend...trying a new hair style.

8.  I feel...lucky to be home part-time.

9.  I recommend...a fast drying top coat (nail polish) called
    Seche Vite.
10. I hope...another hawk doesn't visit our backyard this morning, 
      looking for one of our chickens.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School

Summer is officially over!  Today, we sent our kids off to school for the start of the 2011-2012 school year.  Our son was pumped up this morning and excited to go to school.  Our daugher was a bit nervous as the jump from kindergarten to first grade is huge.  She will have recesses on the playground, she will eat lunch at school, and she will have a longer school day.  I'm looking forward to picking them to and hearing all about their day!

Last night I packed up some cookies for the teachers.  Hey, call me a suck-up, but what teacher doesn't appreciate a treat on the first day of school?  I'd be thrilled to receive a goodie!

 The Big 4th Grader

The Big 1st Grader

Twirling around to make her skirt go out.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Reading Wand

My daughter is entering first grade on Wednesday.  First grade is a huge year for reading, as I remember with my son.  Sure she has learned the concept of print in kindergarten, but the whole reading takes off in first grade.  When she reads to me in bed she prefers that I point to the words instead of her pointing to them.  Maybe it's an end-of-the-day-I'm-tired-you-do-it sort of thing, but I know it's important for her to begin pointing to the words as she reads.  Soooo...I thought, what better way to make her want to point to words than to make her a Reading Wand.  Off I went to Michael's to see what I could whip together.

My initial idea was to use a dowel as a "reading pointer."  However, when I found this wooden stake I knew it would work better.  And at 79¢ it couldn't be beat.


Along with the wooden pointer, I also purchased some crystals.  What girl doesn't like shiny crystals? I started at the pointer end and worked my way down.  At first I thought of using a glue gun, but the glue dries too quickly.  Instead, I used a product called Weldbond.  I have an old pair of tweezers I use for projects like this.  The glue was pretty tacky though so I came up with a system of picking the crystal up with the tweezers and then using the toothpick to push it off the tweezers because the crystals kept sticking.

Along with the crystals I also picked up some satin flowers and ribbon because I knew I'd want to embellish the pointer.  As I worked my way down, I thought it was time for a flower, or two, or three...

I figured taking the crystals all the way down would be a bit over the top so I decided to stop while I was ahead.  It was time for ribbon.

 This is one happy girl who is excited to read...and point at the words!

Total cost of project:
Pointer = 79¢
Crystals = $2.99
Ribbon = $1.00
Flowers = $1.29

Total Cost = about $6.00

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

Ten Thoughts This Thursday
1.  I bills weren't so pricey.

2.  I want...some new MAC eye shadow.

3.  I think...I'm officially a Giants fan.

4.  I myself.

5.  I appreciate...hand-written notes.

6.  I enjoy...watching my kids play sports.

7.  I struggle...with keeping my blog up now that I am back at work.

8.  I feel...lucky to have a job that I enjoy.

9.  I recommend...jumping rope instead of jumping on an eliptical machine.

10.  I hope...I find time to relax this weekend.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Goodbye Summer

This time of year is not much different than it normally is.  Summer is winding down and the kids and I are heading back to school.  I'm usually ready to get back into the groove, but for some reason I'm having a hard time getting motivated for the new routine we'll soon be drowning in.  You, homework, soccer practice, baseball practice, and gymnastics...all while trying to maintain a clean and organized home, keeping up with laundry, cooking healthy meals, and tending to the yard.  It makes me tired just thinking about it.

I decided to get my creative juices flowing and write a poem.

Mrs. Summer
Excuse me Mrs. Summer, a lil’ longer won’t you last?
I’m having difficulty understanding that you’ve passed.
The days of lazy mornings are put behind me now,
It seems that summer just began, however now it’s “Ciao.”
“Ciao” to sleeping in and “Ciao” to hanging out,
Ice cream cones and popsicles, all that you are about.

The kids had camps and played with friends and got to stay up late,
We rode our bikes and swam non-stop.  It all was really great.
There are so many things I’ll miss I don’t know where to start,
Oh summer, Mrs. Summer I’ll always hold you near my heart.

To be quite frank and honest, I’m holding back some tears,
Another summer’s given me more memories for years.
I do not want my kids to grow so fast before my eyes,
Our summer routine won’t be the same, I’ll have to then revise.

As my kids get older they won’t want to hang with Ma,
They’ll have their friends and other plans, from me they will withdraw.
No more going to the park, and no more riding bikes,
How did they get to 6 and 9, they were just little tikes.

Mrs. Summer I’ve enjoyed you like I do a summer peach,
But tomorrow starts another year with 28 new kids to teach.
I’ll open up my door and welcome them as they arrive,
And in the next 10 months I’ll have an impact on their lives.

I say goodbye for now and know you’ll be back soon again,
I’ll greet you with my open arms to see just how you’ve been.
Thank you for providing me with oh, so many things,
All sorts of memories to cherish, all sorts of things I’ll cling.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Diamond in the Rough

This week the kids and I stopped by the local Hospice thrift store to drop off some donations.  There is a drop spot out back, which is actually a room that is off to the side of the store where the donations are sorted through.  I always use my eagle eyes to scan for potential projects, ones that haven't made it out to "the floor" yet, while the man takes my bags and writes me a receipt.  This time nothing caught my eye...until we went into the thrift store. 

This is what I found

A pile of crap?  Well, that depends how you look at it.  When I looked closer at the pile of crap stuff, I realized it was made of plastic and not metal.  Still okay.  Then when I looked under the candle holder I found these:
Let's call these "Diamonds"

So here's the best part.  The pile of crap stuff was marked $3.00.  I thought to myself, well even if this project doesn't work out, it didn't break the bank.  The clerk rung me up and told me the grand total was $1.62.  I questioned her and she told me that anything with a green tag is half off.  SCORE!

I have been working on redecorating a wall in our front room, which you can read about here.  I needed something to put on the right side of wall frame below and these would be perfect.

The first thing I did was place all four diamonds in warm water to soak off the butterfly prints.  The paper was easily scraped off with a knife.  I carefully peeled off one of the papers whole so I would have a pattern to use.

The butterfly paper and my pattern I made from scrapbook paper.

In order to ensure that the spray paint would stick I decided to prime them first.  As for the color, I wasn't sure if I wanted to paint the diamonds a dark brown satin or metallic, so I bought a can of each.  I ended up using Rustoleum's "Unique Hammered Finish" spray paint because I thought with the detail around the diamonds, they should resemble metal.  Due to all of the nooks and crannies, it took quite a few coats of paint.  I continued to spray here and there until the entire thing was covered and no primer was showing.

Not bad, right?
My idea for the middle of the diamonds was to find 4 different pieces of scrapbook paper and put them inside.  I shopped around at JoAnn's and found just what I needed.  After tracing and cutting out the diamonds, I used Modge Podge to glue them on and was left this this finished product:

The next step was to play around with the different formations of the 4 diamonds on the wall.  To do so, I roughly traced one of the diamonds on computer paper and then cut out 4 pieces.  I taped them on the wall using painter's tape to see how the placement looked.

I ended up going with option #3.  Here is the final outcome.

Oh, oh, oh...and as for the candle holder in the very first picture?  I have plans to fix it up and use it with my Halloween decorations. 

And might I'd add the cost breakdown of this project?
Candle holder and diamonds = $1.50
2 cans of spray paint = $8.00
Scrapbook paper = $1.00
TOTAL COST = $10.50