Sunday, September 30, 2012

Using what you've got....

Sometimes, when the crafty bug strikes your 14 month old baby is hungry, your oldest daughter is working on a school project, and your "littlest-middlest" (which is what I call my younger daughter) has a sinus infection. During those times, you can't always run out to the home improvement store or the craft store and you just have to use what you've got!

A few weeks ago when Ron and I did this project above the fireplace:

We had a ton of this wood left:

Ron (aka Mr. C) kinda likes to clean up and doesn't have a crafty bone in his he was all,

I'm gonna throw this stuff out.

And I was all,

Over my dead body!

So I squirreled them away in a corner of the garage not knowing what I would ever do with em'. Till tonight....when I felt the familiar sting of needing some "crafty time". Here's what I did:

I had Mr. C cut them into small squares for me, then I painted them white. I cut some letters from my trusty Cricut in a font I liked and in a size that would fit on the block.

I lightly traced the letters with a pencil,

Then filled them in with acrylic paint.

You can either leave them "as-is" for a crisp clean look or......

You can distress the edges and flick some paint on them to give them a creepy, ghoulish look for Halloween!

I love how they turned out, and for the price of FREE you really can't beat it!

I am Mrs. Cheapskate and I approve this message.

I'm linking up to the following:

 Today's Creative Blog

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The .25 cent artwork that almost never happened

I'm one of those people that sees a cool project all over Blogland and Pinterest and I always think,

Wow. That looks hard.

Then, I read about the project and everyone says how EASY and FAST the project is.

Then, after seeing how EASY and FAST that particular project is on 10 different blogs I say to myself,

Well, if its that EAST and FAST then I'm sure I can do it.

Cause lets be real, if a project isn't easy I usually don't do it. And if you tell me straight up how loooooooong it took you, I for sure won't do it.

So I've seen these really cool tutorials about freezer paper stenciling all over the place and I've tried it on fabric (which works WONDERFULLY). It really is pretty EASY and sort of FAST. I've also seen some cool artwork numerous different places with the saying "You are my sunshine", and I filed it away in the crafty folder in my brain (do you have one of those?) and decided that I wanted to do something like that, but on the cheap.

I'm crazy cheap. In case you didn't know.

I hit up a local flea market and bought this picture and frame for .50 cents. That's cheap enough even for this cheapskate.

I removed the picture from the frame and painted over it with white acrylic paint. EASY.

I then cut out letters for the saying on my Cricut with freezer paper. FAST. At this point I was impressed by how EASY and FAST this project was going, and I attempted the freezer paper technique on the picture.This is where things went totally awry. Apparently, freezer paper sticks really well on a whole bunch of surfaces, but acrylic paint is NOT one of them.

As I was ironing the letters on, the other letters were peeling right off. What was supposed to be an hour long EASY and FAST craft turned into an epic 6 hour battle of the cheapskate vs. the freezer paper. 

I have no "during" pictures. No beautifully written step by step tutorial where it all ties in together and you think to yourself,

Well, if its that EAST and FAST then I'm sure I can do it. 

Nope. What I have is a finished project that I will NEVER.EVER attempt to do again. I'm semi-happy with the outcome (some of the letters are wonky, but if you knew how hard it was to even get them on there then wonky would be completely acceptable), and I'm totally glad that its over. I'll use the chunky frame that came with it on another project, hopefully one that doesn't take me 6 hours.

P.S. I changed the saying up a bit to fit in with the amount of children running around in this household. With three kids, I kind of felt like saying "YOU are my sunshine" would cause one of them to feel superior to the others and might leave the other two feeling like they aren't my favorite. The only time I show favortism in this house is when one of em' has some sort of ice cream or candy that I want to get my hands on. Then its GAME ON!    (I kid, I kid.)

Linking up to: " target="_blank">Beyond The Picket Fence"/>>

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fireplace then and now

Just this last week my husband and I tackled a few projects around the house that have been on the 'list" for a little while and needed to get done. You know the "list" I'm talking about...right? The one every home owner has that's a mile long and that you will never ever get to throw away because as soon as you cross off one or two items that get done, they get replaced by about 5 or 6 more. Yep...that's the one.

So one of the projects we did was to update the wall that our fireplace is located on (in our Family Room). The wall has been bare and painted the same color for over 10 or 11 years, so it was time to make a change. Please forgive this terrible BEFORE picture, it was the only one I could find...but it still gives you an idea what it was originally like.

A few years ago I decided to paint the fireplace black, here's a pic of that.

I loved the way it looked but knew it needed something else. I wanted to add interest to the fireplace to help make it more of a focal point in the room, instead of just another floating piece of furniture. At first I thought we would do rock or tile above to the ceiling, but that didn't feel "right". Then I thought maybe I would do some sort of paint technique up there but again, that didn't really make me jump for joy. Then it hit me as I was browsing one of my favorite blogs. She did a wood technique above her fireplace that I absolutely LOVED and it was exactly what my fireplace needed! Here's the DURING and AFTER.....

(Painting the wood for above the fireplace. Lots and lots of painting....)

(the wall is painted, the frame is UP!)

(All done....well.....not really. But already MUCH better!)

Here's what we did. We painted the wall a pewter/grey color, added the wood detail above the fireplace, removed the old window treatments, and added the bamboo shades. The cost: paint was $25 for a gallon (which we used very little of on this wall then saved the rest for another project in another area of our house.... which I'll share soon), the shades were $31 each at Home Depot, and the wood was around $50 (also at Home Depot). This project came in well under $150.

Of course the room isn't done yet. I'm trying to decide on window treatments, what to hang on the new wood wall, and of course how I want to decorate the mantel for Fall. What a difference changing one wall in this room made!

Linking up to:

TDC Before and After


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