Thursday, November 20, 2014

Show & Tell: Time Out Chair

Good Morning!

Hope everyone is having a great week! I get to see the Hunger Games today, so life is pretty awesome. Yes. I'm one of those people. I'm a certified nerd. I stand in line for books or movies. I wouldn't have it any other way. I always have a fun time with my fellow nerds. They are my people.

To switch topics, we have a little militant living in our basement. Our four year old has been on a sassy streak, and it's been trying my husband and I's patience. She throws a fit on everything. The gloves are the wrong shade of pink. Crying. Her brother has a bigger share of breakfast. Crying or attempting to hit him. We decided we needed to be more consistent with punishing her. Especially since she tends to flaunt that her punishment wasn't that bad. She usually stays in time out longer just to spite us. She tells us as much.

I decided that a dedicated unplush time out chair was in order. I had a wooden folding chair from garage saling this summer. I had impulsively picked it up since it was only a dollar. I decided it would make the perfect chair. I could fold it up, put it away and it isn't too soft and plush.

I did some research on Pinterest to come up with a fun saying/decoration for it. I decided on this bible verse since that's really what we're trying to get across to our children. I used this method I've used in the past with graphite paper and a printed out version of the saying. I used a paint marker to fill in the lines, and a custom mixed Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. So far, it's been a bit of a miracle. I'm not sure it's really the chair or the consistency, but she has been so much better now. We do time out for 4 minutes, a minute for each year of her age.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Habitat for Humanity Salvage Art Show


This past weekend was the Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity Salvage Art Show. It's a pretty fun idea. You get a $10.00 credit to create something unique from items in the ReStore. I was looking for some projects to keep myself from working on the stuff I should work on. I decided I wanted to try something with some tinted chalkboard paint and a vintage map I had sitting around.

I picked up a table that looked like a small desk and a old schoolhouse chair. The chair had a blueish tint to the metal that I really liked. I also liked the gold tipped legs on the table. My kiddos got to help out with cleaning up each item. The table first got a coat of oil based primer and then chalk paint on the legs and chalkboard on the top of the table. Each corner had a little hole which was perfect for a stick of chalk. Then the chair got the vintage map applied with mod podge, and clamped down to make sure it was smooth. The set was supposed to have a masculine feel. Perfect for a little boy's room.

I was pretty happy with the result, and I hope it brought some money into our local Habitat for Humanity. The best part though was explaining why we were working on the table and chairs with my daughter.

All primed and ready for paint! 

My little helper!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

DIY Sunday: $30.00 Barn Cat & Dog House


It's storming outside here. We got a surprise 6 inches of snow today, and it's still coming down outside! I don't mind having 6 inches on days when we don't have to go anywhere. We spend time as a family watching movies, cooking, projects and trying to keep my two children from fighting until the death.

My husband and I knew once there was a half of foot of snow on the ground and the water in the garage for the cats started to freeze over, it was time to think of how our kitties were going to live over the winter.

We got two kittens when we first moved out to our acreage. Since my husband is a vet, I knew it was only a matter of time until he tried to bring some animal home with him. It took less than a month before he was asking to bring a kitten home. He called and left a voicemail that was like..."Uh. So there is this kitten that came in today and it's paralyzed and it's the sweetest kitten. The thing is, the two siblings have too much energy and are harassing it while it's trying to get better. So, I was thinking...." So, I went from never having a cat in my life to having two kittens named Flynn and Rider. (Any Tangled fans out there?)

A couple of weeks ago, I got a picture message of another kittens with the caption "Isn't she cute?" Actually, I initially got a picture of my husband looking at this phone with the caption "Isn't she cute?" because he couldn't figure out how to take a picture with his new iPhone. Turns out, one of the other siblings was on her way to the shelter. Now we have three kittens, Flynn, Rider and Rapunzel. No, no plans to add a Mother Gothel or Pascal to the mix in the near future. I have a mom that is highly allergic to cats, so I knew that the cats couldn't be inside. We would have to be okay with "barn kittens."

We have both a heater and a heated bed for the kittens. I also picked up a heated water dish. We decided that we also wanted an insulated cat house to put the heated bed in. No point heating the entire garage when we can heat one small area more efficiently. I've also heard of people making cat houses for stray cats when it gets really cold out.

After looking around on Pinterest and Google, I came up with a plan. A dog house would be too large for the space especially with the car in the garage for the winter plus they tend to be expensive. I didn't really want to spend the time to build a wooden house. We just need something to go over the top of the heated bed and was insulated enough to keep the heat in the area. The easiest way to do this was to grab a plastic tub and sheet insulation.

Cat or Small Dog House

Plastic Tub/Tote- Heavy Duty Type
Sheet of Insulation
Utility Knife
Duct Tape

Total Cost: $30.00

Total Time: 1 hour

I looked around at a few different places and finally went with a tough type of tote/tub from our local country type store (Runnings here). Lowes also has a tough type of tote. The tough type totes have a thicker plastic and also tend to be more box shape and not dome. Having a box is easier to fit insulation around the outside. I picked up insulation that was thick enough to easily fit down in the lip of the tote.

Getting sheet insulation home can be interesting. I drove my car, so fitting a sheet the size of a truck bed can be difficult. I bought a utility knife in the store and cut the sheet in the parking lot at 9 pm while it was 10 degrees and snowing. Yeah. I looked like a crazy Lowes...again.

I cut down the insulation to fit nicely in the lip of the box. My two kiddos that decorated all the sides with chalk. Then I put the lid of the box on the bottom (which is now the top). I fit insulation into the little grooves and put a sheet of insulation on top. I then took some duct tape and sealed up all the cracks. I had one well insulated box to put over the bed. The final touch was cutting a door and hole for the cord of the bed with a jigsaw. I may add some canvas on the outside if the kitties find it fun to scratch at it and a door.

It will be well loved by our kittens until they can venture outside for extended periods in the Spring. Plus, since it's flat, we can stack other items on top and add even more layers to the keep the heat in.

To lid sitting on top with scrap insulation stuffed in the cracks.  

My little helper. He had his plastic hammer out and was going to town. 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pinterest Report: Chalkboard Lettering and Tracing Tutorial


Hope you're all staying warm! Here it went from being 60 degrees every day to 15 degrees in just 3 days or so. Where was the in between?!? This cold makes it hard to get anything big done. I am currently painting a desk in my kitchen for the Salvage Art sale for the Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity. I am hoping to share that project tomorrow (and hopefully it auctions off well!).

Since we're past Halloween, I decided it was time to update our chalkboard. A very talented lady back in Boone made some of these chalkboards for her friends, and I picked mine up second hand from one of those ladies. (I was SUPER excited to get it) I haven't really had a permanent chalkboard before I got this one, so I've been learning how to do hand lettering. I blogged before about the fake calligraphy tutorial I found on Pinterest. (Check out that post here).

I decided to try a different tutorial this month. Here is the pin I found. The gist of it is you print out the lettering, cover the back of the paper in chalk, put it on the chalkboard and trace and ta da, you have an outline for your artwork.

I've done similar things with graphite paper and hand painting lettering. (That was the pre-Silhouette I'll just cut a stencil or vinyl). So, the idea seemed like it would work pretty good.

If you're artsy fartsy, you probably could make some really cool typography on your own. I am not in that regard. So I found one I liked and printed it across several sheets using Microsoft Publisher. If you don't have Publisher, you can also use a program called PosteRazor to print across several sheets of paper. I used it here to make large cut outs for my daughter's party.

Here's what my image looked like printed out and ready to be transferred.

The picture isn't blurry...blowing up a picture to a 18 x 20 sheet will make it grainy. Also, since I didn't want to use a ton of black ink and the image was white lettering on a black "chalkboard," I loaded the image into Microsoft Paint to inverse the colors and crop around the heart.

I did follow the tutorial I found on Pinterest, but I found that my large ape like arms made it difficult to trace the outline without removing the outline below it. I was quite the picture of grace with the chalkboard balancing on my lap, elbows and chest out trying to reach the top of the picture without wiping away the lower part. Now, in hindsight, I could have simply rotated the picture but I'm not sure about my skills writing upside down even with the outline. I ended up just free handing the bottom portion of the outline.

The best part of this entire project? I spent all that time tracing. I finished and went to hang it on the wall, and low and behold, I did the entire drawing upside down. Rather than start over, I just added picture wire to the other side. So now I can hang the chalkboard from either side and will never have to worry about having the right side up.

I'm pretty happy with the result. I may just have to try a more difficult picture for Christmas time.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Show & Tell: Chalkboard Pantry Door

Hello There!

It's a snow day here in South Dakota! The kids are at my mother-in-law's since school and daycare are closed, and I'm bundled up in warm clothes watching the snow fall. I love snow except for the cold part. Can we have snow with 70 degree weather?

This past weekend was a mini-project weekend. I hadn't been working on the house (or really anything) for almost two weeks because I was lucky enough to throw my back out. I still don't know how I did it, but I was pretty much bedridden for a week straight. I was finally ready to tackle some projects this past weekend. I am a bit bummed I'm not further on the house since I'm hosting a couple of get togethers in the next couple of weeks. Oh well. Those people will just need to deal with a half painted house. My goal is to be done painting before I put up Christmas decorations.

This weekend I focused on finishing the trim. I know I've said it a hundred times, but I really really hate painting trim. I actually did a embarrassingly long happy dance when I finished up the last spindle on the banister. There may or may not been an attempt to moon walk.

I also painted my first door. My goal is to do something to fancy up the doors upstairs and paint them white. Just like the trim, the long term plan is to eventually replace, but I'd like to do something until that day comes. You know...the day I win the lottery or am left a large inheritance from a long lost relative.

I painted the front of the door with the same method I used on the trim (lightly sand, prime, paint), but I knew that wouldn't work on the back. We have a hanging rack over the door, and until the island is done, we need that storage desperately. So, for now, I took some scrap fabric I had sitting around and Mod Podged it on the back of the door. It's a little surprise when you open the door. Not sure if I'm in love, but it's better than nothing.
After I was done painting, I decided I needed another chalkboard. I'm a chalk-a-holic. I admit it. Put a chalkboard on anything I'll probably buy it. I thought about using chalkboard paint (and I even have some in the garage) but I was afraid that since the area is going to get some high use, and probably some little kids deciding to play with it, the paint would scratch. I bought some chalkboard vinyl, and used that instead. I've used chalkboard vinyl before and it's extremely resistant.

Sad story about that stupid vinyl. I bought the vinyl thinking it would just cut it with my Silhouette and save myself a ton of trouble. Except I didn't look at the size of the vinyl and it was too wide to fit in my machine. I decided I'd cut the vinyl in half and then piece it back together on the door. Then I realized my machine wouldn't cut the vinyl since it was thinner than normal vinyl. So I ended up cutting it by hand and piecing it together. If I would have taken 2 seconds, I would have saved myself from having to piece it together, an extra hour of work and the the ugly seam. Argh. Live and learn, right?

The last touch on the door will be a new door knob. The door knobs on the first floor are these awesome 1970's overly "fancy" brown knobs. They don't lock, they're ugly and they have to go.

 I use chalkboard pens. They are so nice when you want your text to look less like a 4 year old.

 Notice something wrong about the above picture? I misspelled Tuesday. Yes. My own daughter could probably spell Tuesday correctly. I'll be fixing that one before the husband comes home, and I never live it down. Just let your eyes focus on that ugly door knob instead.

Don't you love my messy pantry, half painted wall in the back ground and clothes pinned curtains? This is the disaster I live in. All in the name of doing projects & blogging instead of housework.You're welcome.

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