Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How I Refinished my Mail Center

This piece has been in the family for awhile. My mom had used some sort of whitewash or stain technique on it. I repainted it with latex paint.


When deciding to repaint it again I chose to strip the old paint off rather than adding a third layer and potentially having paint that peels. 

My go to product for paint stripping is Citristrip. It is a natural product that works fast and has a nice citrusy smell, although strong. It's safe to use indoors too. You know like when you've dragged your big piece of furniture out onto the deck and then the wind starts blowing in that ominous way that means rain and you then have to drag it, covered in goo, back into the house. Just saying, it would be okay if that happened. 

I brushed on the orangy goo. Wandered off to work on another project and about an hour later started to scrape off the paint with my plastic scraper. Most of the paint came off easily or with just a little muscle. Some areas needed more vigorous work. I scraped and scraped and scraped until the finish beneath was showing. Along with some really large Mary Engelbreight stickers my mom had put on. Oh yeah, that's why I just painted over everything last time. What was she thinking?


After dinner I came down to finish up scraping (the product continues to work until it dries-about 24 hours). You can use paint stripper or mineral oil to remove any excess gel when you are ready to stop too. I got the last little areas and called it a night. The next night I used some 100 grit sand paper to sand all the surfaces and smooth down the edges of the stickers that won't come off.

I painted the whole piece with 2 coats of black Glidden paint (color) in satin. I used a brush to get the inside edges and then rolled on the rest with a 4" roller. 

Once dried, I chose my dots and applied the decals to the piece. The dots help disguise the rough sticker outlines. I was going to use my Cricut to cut out vinyl dots but found these and it was totally worth it just in time saved. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mail Center


I have been working hard to transform what was the playroom into my new and larger office/studio space. (Full reveal to come in a later post.)

I really wanted to install some cabinetry but sadly my budget ended up going to soccer and braces. My space may not be as fancy as I hoped, but Bailey's smile will be cuter than ever.

In the meantime, I am using and re-purposing items I already had around the house. 

They were all random colors and different wood (some faux) wood tones. The walls in the space are a bright turquoise. I decided to unify the room with a black and white color scheme. I'm using orange as an accent color. That would be a complimentary scheme for those following along at home (see my design degree just paid off there).  

This dry sink was passed on to me by mom. When I first received it, I painted it in a bad plaid and removed the top shelf. Inserted a changing pad and it became a changing table for Anique's nursery. 

Time passed, my baby started growing up and it was relegated to the playroom to serve time collecting odds and ends and storing extra blankets. 

I decided it would be a good piece to become my new mail center. The top can neatly hold my envelopes, packing tape, scale, etc. 

Isn't it cute. I love how it stands out from the wall and compliments the other black pieces in the room.
I'll walk through the steps I took to refinish it in my next post.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Random Question: Take 5

It's time for this weeks Random Question. Please play along and share your answers in the comments.

Question: Take 5-five seconds to come up with your answers to each of these five questions....ready, set, go:
  • Favorite vacation destination?
  • Favorite holiday?
  • Favorite food that's not healthy?
  • Favorite movie?
  • Favorite way to spend $50?

My answers:
  • vacation -anywhere with a warm beach
  • holiday-Fourth of July
  • unhealthy food-Ben & Jerry's Late Night Snack
  • movie-How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • spend $50-craft supplies
How about you? What are your favorites?

Do you have any suggestions on best warm beaches? I'm ready to start planning for our next vacation.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Texture Tuesday: Orange Tulip

textured with KK_1612 (inverted and applied with Screen)

The past week or so our family has been passing a nice little bug around between us. So, this is just a quick sharing of one of the pretty tulips I picked up yesterday. Looking back through my archives, I found a definite trend toward springtime tulips. Just love their cheerful nature.

When you're not feeling well, a bright splash of color is welcome. And simple is all you really want.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Washi Doings

I have been looking for a way to store my washi tape. It had been living in a clay pot hung on the wall in a wall sconce but I chose not to re-hang the sconce when I changed rooms.
I saw some cute ideas with dowels and hooks on Pinterest but I'm trying to work with what I have on had. Ken contributed his big muscles to help pull apart some old copper pipe from a previous display and I re-purposed it into a smaller arrangement with two bars to hang my tape from.
Now I can see exactly what tapes I have and they easy to use. I see washi tape projects in the near future...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pool Party

A few weeks ago my nephew celebrated his birthday at the new aquatic center. All the cousins were there and everyone had fun floating, sliding and splashing. Non-swimmers are restricted to a small margin along the edge. Unfortunately, that meant some of my shots were blurry as I was in full zoom to capture my target kid. But you can sense the overall kid happiness right?


birthday boy

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Texture Tuesday: Perfectly Imperfect

Textured with Kim Klassen's kk_0303 and kk-Luminous
It took me awhile to find a photo for this week's Texture Tuesday. I thought of maybe using some outtakes. Goodness knows I have lots of those.
Eventually, I opened up a folder from a few years ago. One mostly comprised of raw photos that I hadn't been able to convert because I was using Photoshop CS3 and couldn't convert them efficiently. I've since upgraded but hadn't revisited my old folders. It was a trip down memory lane. Wow, have things changed.
I'm not sure who took the photo above. One of the kids or Ken most likely. There was lots of background clutter and the lighting was funky but this is probably the last photo of my grandpa and I together before he passed away just a few days later.
The photo itself may not be perfect (nor even my processing) but the memory is a wonderful one.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Randomness: Food Wish

Here's this week random question.

Random Question:
What is one food you don't like that you wish you did?

I wish that I could like oatmeal. Really and truly I do. It is scientifically shown to be good for you. It's low calorie. And there are so many ways to make it. Things to add to it. Fortunately, my kids like it so I can try new recipes on them.

However, I just can't get over the texture. I don't even like it in cookies. Cooked it's even worse.

What about you? Is there a food you wish you liked? Please share in the comments below.

DIY Chicken Wire Bulletin Board

I recently started the process of transforming the playroom into a studio/office space. It's twice as big as the room I was using previously. I'm trying to use space more wisely and make the most of vertical space as well.
If you are a crafter as well, you may also find that you manage to accumulate a lot of "stuff". Items and bits that may have potential some day in the future. I gathered up some pieces and put together a nice little bulletin board.
Chicken wire from an outdoor project years and years ago. A thin poster frame whose glass was broken in a move. My handy dandy staple gun.
I stapled the chicken wire to the back of the frame and used wire cutters to clip any wire that was overhanging the edge. And that was it, a lightweight bulletin board ready for clips.
I used bright colored plastic-coated paperclips to attach my cards to the board but you could use other types of clips as well. It's flanked by my magnetic boards from Ikea.
I'm so happy to have a space to display my cards. They've been stuck in a drawer for years. I collected the set from HOW magazine. Yes, their a little offbeat but I love them.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Etsy Favorites

Are you as big a fan of Etsy as I am? Maybe some of you are on Etsy yourselves sharing your beautiful creativity?

Here are a few of my favorite things I saw this week. The links are below so you can share in the goodness. Have any favorites of your own? Please share in the comments below.

1. I can totally relate to this tee.
2. These are some of the coolest hose I've seen.
3. Too cute. This is in my favorites and is going to be on my Mother's Day wish list
4. I love, love, love this pillow!!!
5. Loving this vintage camera screenprint

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Love is In the Air


I've spent the past few years trying to find my photographic style. I've tried all different subject matter, styles, read lots of photographic articles and watched tons of YouTube videos.

I'm sure I'll continue to evolve my style as I learn new things. Learning and trying new things is one of the best things. However, here are some things that I have discovered.

  • I prefer to take photos of people. (Not landscapes, still lifes, etc)
  • Seattle's rainy winters are not a photographers best friend. (rain = frizzy hair, red noses, cold kiddos, rushed sessions)
  • I love, love, love taking photos of couples in love. (That's lot of love)

If you follow me on Facebook, you have seen a few shots of this couple. Here are some more from their session. I love when I'm able to capture the couples special interactions, when they have relaxed and are able to reflect back their true relationship.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Texture Tuesday: For the Love of the Beach

Textured using kk_may, kk_enlightened, kk_3003
During our trip to southern California we took a morning away from Disneyland to go to Santa Monica to play on the beach. Both of the kids enjoyed playing in the water and Anique drew her name in the sand.

In the picture above she is working on the "I" while her brother is playing in the water in the background.

I love the beach for the peaceful sound of the water, the warm sun and toasty sand under my feet.

Anique is my water baby and could play in the water and sand for endless hours if we let her. She is the same way at the pool, she'll swim and dive forever. Long after the other kids have gotten bored and gone in search of other entertainment. Ken and I find this rather amusing since as a baby she would scream all the way through bath time. It's strange how kids change as they get older.

The weather if finally starting to warm up and dry out here in the NW as well and soon we'll be able to play on our own beaches. Although the water is quite a bit cooler.

Just Beachy

We are back from vacation. I had lots and lots of time in the car to think about all the projects I want to get done. Time to think about organization, spring cleaning and life plans. I'm feeling energized and purposeful right now. And time to think about exercise. Nothing like a trip to the beach to remind you summer is coming fast.
I had several canvases that had been background painted and were waiting for inspiration for completion. Inspiration finally struck. If I can't live at the beach then I'll just keep a little around home.
Have a Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Randomness: The Real You

I'm introducing a new feature. My goal is to ask a random question each Sunday. I'll share my answer and hopefully you will share yours with me.
You can respond in the comments section or link up to your photo or blog page answering the question. Please link back the post directly, not your home page.
Okay, here goes:
Question: When you're wearing it, what type of clothing makes you feel the most like the real you?

The photo above is a good representation of the real me. (Pardon the finger blur in the corner. Bailey took this with a cell phone.)

I'm am truly a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. I'm all about layering lightweight tees over tanks.(I have tanks/camisols in several colors. I have been known to have cheesy tees. The one above is a Marvel shirt with several characters on it. Yes, it's geeky but so comfy and me.

I don't have a favorite brand right now. I'm a little on my heavier side so I look for something slimming and still comfortable. Yes, I do dress up for work and when going out, but for everyday me, this is it.

What about you? What makes you do you wear when you want to feel the most like the real you? Please share. (Pretty please.)