Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thirty-One Tips & Tricks

Hello there!

I'm sure that you can see by all my crafty endeavors that I'm not nearly busy enough. Ha! I am pretty busy, but sometimes you find something you love enough that you don't care how busy you are. That something in my case is Thirty-One bags and accessories. Have you heard of Thirty-One before? It's a great company that sells quality bags and organizing accessories that you can personalize. They have a lot of fabric and embroidery choices! The company is about empowering woman, and their motto is "Celebrate, Encourage and Reward."

I hosted a party a few weeks ago, and I loved the product so much that I couldn't help but want to sell it. If you're intersted in ordering or hosting a party (and getting FREE product!), please see the Thirty-One tab at the top of the page. You can do a party in your home or just do a catalog/online party.

Also, since I'm really interested in the product, I would love to host a fundraiser for your organization. I would love to donate 75% of my commission back to your organization. The remaining 25% is used to cover administrative costs (taxes and website maintenance). Contact me for more information!

Any who. 

Sometimes, I look at a Thirty-One product and I think, I love that, but I have no idea what to use it for. That's why I've decided to share a few of my tip and tricks as I come up on them. I also started pinning great ideas on a Pinterest board. (Please see the Pinterest Tab at the top of the page)

This week's tip & trick uses the Organizing Utility Tote and the Thermal Zipper Pouch

The Organizing Utility Tote is a jack of all trades. It can be used as a diaper bag or as a gym bag. Yesterday I grabbed it to take golfing. I wanted to bring some extra items like a jacket (since it was supposed to rain), sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, etc. The bag is big enough to fit all those items plus has tons of pockets on the side. 

So, as I'm packing up, I decide that I want to bring some ice water with me. I normally would throw it in the bag and it would sweat all over my shirt and eventually warm up. However yesterday I remembered I had the Thermal Zipper Pouch. It was the perfect size to grab a couple of refreshments and throw it in with my jacket. I didn't have to worry about getting my jacket wet or my drinks warm. Everything in the pouch stayed cold the entire 9 holes. And considering how slow I golf, that's saying something! So, if you need to keep a couple things cold but don't need an entire cooler, the Pouch is perfect! I found I could fix two bottles and two cans in the bag without a problem.



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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Pinterest Report: Spring has Sprung!

Hello!

Every year I get flowers for my pots as a mother's day gift. I'm so glad we started this tradition since it's something we can do as a family.

Did I say as a family? What I meant was a flower blood bath of destruction.

The past two years I had a baby then a 2 year old that couldn't really "help" but sure tried and it was so cute.

This year I had a three year old that apparently has been going to night school after bedtime since she officially knows it all!

Okay, it was still pretty cute, but it was definately a change of pace from previous years, and there were definitely some tragedy along the way. I tried to get her to use her cute small watering can and spade. Nope. Those items aren't as fun as the adult versions. The watering can was too heavy so she basically watered everything but the plant including baby brother. He didn't seem to mind the impromptu bath.

Then, she started rearranging flower pots. And by rearranging I mean she was removing flowers form the pots and putting them in other pots.

Then, she decided she needed to rearrange the handmade pots I have. I had one that she colored on her birthday last year and one that had her brother's foot print from this mother's day. At least Finn's survived the day. After breaking the pot and her trying to "fix" it for a half hour, I gave up and put Tangled on until dad got home. Sometimes you just have to know when you're beat.

This year, I added another pot to the mix (as a result of buying more flowers than I needed). I am definately going to use my My Lowes card next year. It's been a god send when it comes to getting more paint or accessories for different appliances. I also did a little DIY project.

So a few weeks ago I went to a garage sale. I happen to hit it right before it closed and snapped up eight glasses and this beat up old strainer for a buck. Score!

I remember seeing this pin ago where someone turned a strainer into a hanging pot. I thought about doing that with this one, but my Type A personality wouldn't allow me to do just one hanging pot..there has to be two. So, I decided I would do a little pot on my desk (that also doubles as a potting table).

I was going to line the strainer with lanscape fabric (I read somewhere that's what you should do with these unsual planters). I went to my shed and couldn't find the roll that I swore was in there. So I looked around for something else. I saw that I had just thrown some burlap ribbon in the trash from a old "fall" display. I think burlap also works the same way as the landscape fabric. I hope.



So now I have a fun vintage planter that will hopefully let my plant live longer than plants of the past. I've had an orchid alive since Valentine's Day so maybe I'm getting better...or maybe orchids are my thing since you don't have to water them much.

 Yes, the stepping stone is still around. It's somehow managed to get more ugly with time. I just don't have the heart to throw away such an epic fail. Read about it here.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Pinterest Report: DIY Chalk Paint

Hello!

Whew. What a crazy couple of weeks! I was in a craft show last week. I’m trying to move away from baby items into repurposing furniture. I have more fun playing around with furniture, and I really don’t have any more space in my house to keep the items I’ve fixed up. It was a ton of fun to find new homes for the different pieces I had collected.

When I thought about painting furniture for the show, I decided I needed to try this new chalk paint thing that is so popular. You may have heard of Anne Sloan’s chalk paint. It’s “miracle” paint in the sense that it doesn’t require sanding or priming before using and distresses easily.

Now, if you look at buying some Anne Sloan’s paint, you better be prepared to pull your chin off the floor. It’s around $30.00 for a quart. Say, what?!? I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty penny to avoid sanding. I had thought about springing for the paint on one project, but then I saw this Pin on Pinterest, and alas, it was time to DIY chalk paint!

So, how well does the DIY recipe with Plaster of Paris work? It was every bit a “miracle” paint solution I thought it would be. Granted I couldn’t help myself from sanding. It just seemed so wrong not to. So I did a light sanding. My blue and aqua covered pretty well. I only needed 2 or 3 coats to cover a dark brown. The yellow wasn’t quite as good and required 4 coats (but it should be noted that the paint itself was a lower quality than the paint I used on the other two). One of my pieces had previously been painted yellow, so when I distressed the piece it let through a bit of the yellow. I thought that effect was pretty cool. The coat was pretty durable. I felt like it took some real elbow grease to distress.

I will definitely be using this recipe again. I just had to use some left over paint and a little bit of plaster of paris. Very cheap (like $1.00 a paint job cheap). And, if you have this month’s HGTV magazine, you can get a free 1 cup sample of Vaspar’s spring collection paint. Perfect for mixing up this recipe. Then you’re looking at an even cheaper solution! 


The paint all mixed up. I found two things 1) if you use press and seal wrap, the paint doesn't dry out over night (a reported problem with DIY recipes), and 2) while you're supposed to use a foam brush, you should plan on having a few on hand. The paint is pretty heavy and can do a real number on a foam brush.


The paint drying on my desk turned headboard. Pretty smooth finish and it dries very quickly. (Headboard is still available for purchase)

My four pieces drying (sorry for cell phone blurry picture!). Yes I'm painting inside and yes, the smell wasn't too bad. But why was I painting inside in May?

Because this was my view outside! Surprise May snow storm! My poor magnolia tree took a beating.

Finished drawer turned end table (that's a bit of mod podge inside with some fun fabric. This item is still available for purchase!
 Desk turned message board with a bit of distressing. (This item is sold as well)

 
 My favorite piece (and already sold piece). It was the writing portion of the desk you pull out. It was previously yellow, so the distressing pulled out a bit of the yellow. I tried the distressing method where you use a bit of sand paper on edges and steel wool on the main part.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

A Little Yard Work

Prior to the surprise May snow storm, I decided to get outside and clean out the old mulch and leaves. It was quite a bit of work, but the new mulch look so much cleaner. Unfortunately most my flowers did not survive the May storm. Boo. Oh well. I'll plant more in a few weeks!

Before: 



I had a little helper. She even got her own set of garden gloves with princesses on them. Her new routine is to walk on the pavers while singing the ABC's.


After: 




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