Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chalkboard Paint On Your Fridge

The other day my husband, Mr. Pinterest, had a novel idea.  "Can we paint the top of the fridge with chalkboard paint and write a weekly dinner schedule on it?"  Now, I only call him Mr. Pinterest when he has these really interesting and crafty ideas.  I didn't know if you could paint the fridge but I was going to find out.

I went on YouTube and found out that there's a lot of people painting their fridge with chalkboard paint.  Who knew?  This is how we did it:

  1. Clean off the fridge or area you want to paint.  No stickers or magnets.
  2. Clean with an appropriate cleaner to get off dirt, grease, fingerprints, etc.  Let dry.
  3. Paint with chalkboard paint.  My husband used those foam brushes and painted in horizontal  strokes.
  4. Let dry.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 till you have the desired coverage.  He painted 3 coats.  No sanding is necessary after the paint dries.  Then we let it sit overnight.
  6. Start using your chalkboard.  We're using ours for a dinner menu.  Some are using theirs as a calendar.

This fridge came with our house.  Perhaps this is why I agreed to this project.

Mr. Pinterest is not a neat painter.

Rowan dug up some chalk for us.

Everything worked out nicely.  Mr. Pinterest painted the handle, too, so it would blend in.  We all wrote or drew something.  It looks like we'll be eating a giant flower on Wednesday and then we'll be having butterflies on Thursday and Saturday.  Yum!

I'm sharing this with Common Ground

Sunday, March 23, 2014

China Hutch Makeover Part 2

Welcome back!  When I left off the hutch had been painted and finished.  Now it was time to put new hardware or leave the old.

This is the original hardware.  There were also two round knobs for the doors which I decided to paint.

This is very close to my original vision.  Two little round things were nagging at me.

These are the original knobs.  They just wouldn't do.

I found these knobs at Hobby Lobby.  I love that they look like crackled glass.  Now my vision was fulfilled.

I have turned my attention to decorating a little bit.  I've had several good ideas from the recent Spring link up parties.

A white platter from a GW store.

A white pitcher with a very authentic crack and bright pink carnations.

A lovely card a friend made for me.

A miniature tea set Jace bought for me before we were married.

A figurine I had bought for my mother when I was a little girl.  Behind is a platter I recently bought at an estate sale.

 A real bird nest, which I'll describe in another post and eggs I colored.

I think yellow is so cheerful in Spring.  I put yellow roses and daisies in a milk pail with a yellow ribbon.  Organic lemons in a tureen from a consignment shop.  A citrus scented candle with a lace collar I crocheted myself.

A new accomplishment in my gardening.  Tulips I grew.  Quite pretty with the two colors.  I will have more solid colored tulips soon. The greenery is fennel which grows very well all winter.  It gives off a light lemon/licorice scent.

After all the hard work, Rowan helped set some things up for tea.

Within a day things around the hutch were already changing.  I hope you'll return to see the future changes.

All around the house we are making remodeling/redecorating changes.  Jace has been bitten by the chalk paint bug and is addicted!  He's taken a real interest and I think understands the style I'm going for.

The garden posts will start popping up very soon.  My planting date is March 25th.  I didn't want to risk planting anything on the 20th.  We always get a last spot of bad weather.  Wouldn't you know it, today and tomorrow will be cold, rainy, and windy.  Not a great start for new plants.  I am looking forward to this season of all things new.

I'm sharing this post with:
Seasonal Sundays #195 at The Tablescaper
Twirl and Take a Bow at Deja Vue Designs

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 19, 2014 China Hutch Makeover Part 1

At the end of January I wrote about finding a china hutch.  I love it so much that if I wasn't already married I'd be marrying it.  I'm nearing the completion and thought I would share how far it's come.

How many times did mother tell you to keep your shoes off the furniture!

I found the hutch on Craigslist.  A local consignment shop posts pictures of things they have on sale.  The owner of the shop told me the history of it belonging to a little old lady and was a much loved piece in her family.  The hutch is made of maple.  I was not fond of the color and Jace said it looked like 70's wood paneling.  It was still hard to sand because I was afraid I was going to make a mistake and ruin it.  In a fit of what I felt was complete lunacy I sanded most of it but left some unsanded.

I had been reading about a lot of projects done with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and it sounded marvelous!  I looked up a local distributor and Jace and I took a trip to the next town.  We were quite blown away by the cost.  In fact we left the store laughing.  $38.95 for a quart of paint and $28.95 for the wax.  $67.90.  Holy Moly!  I don't even remember the cost of the brush.  This was just too expensive even if it was a miracle in a can.  (I still shake my head when I think back and know how relatively cheap it is to make your own chalk paint.)

I came home dejected and settled on going with Plan B, regular paint.  Then I saw a recipe for making your own chalk paint.  This sounded more reasonable, but I didn't have plaster of Paris.  Jace said we did, or something that was comparable.  It was pottery plaster.  We had gotten it at Hobby Lobby for a project for homeschool.

I also had a brand new gallon of Olympic interior paint in Antique white.  I always have this paint since it is the color on my living room, kitchen, and hallway walls, although, I'm giving serious thought to going greige.  I mixed the pottery plaster and paint in a 1 to 3 ratio.  I did not have furniture wax but I wanted a more durable tough coating.  I have an 8 year old with a skateboard.  I did have a can of polyerethane on hand.  So far this makeover is costing me nothing!

 Painting went very quickly.  I noticed this stuff dries fast!  I finished all the painting in one day.

I asked my very strong and manly husband to help me lift the hutch back up.  I paid him with a kiss.  I'm getting excited at this point because I can really see the hutch turning out the way I imagined.

Just a little more paint and it's done!  At this point I had started giving it a light sanding with 220 grit paper.  Only a couple of swipes and it had a smooth velvet finish.  I did not do a lot of distressing because I'm not experienced with it yet.  I didn't want to overdo it.  I began painting on one coat of the polyurethane.  From the things I read about the wax I don't think what I did took any more time than if I had used a wax finish.

I stored the left over paint in a jar and it kept well overnight.  I'm planning on using it on a small table.  This paint really does go a long way.

 I reached my goal of being able to place my first plate for display.  I love that the shelves have built in tracks for displaying plates.

I found this plate at my local grocery store a couple of weeks ago.  I bought the last one.  I think it is so appropriate for life here on the one acre homestead.

This is where I ended last night.  This piece is such an inspiration.  Jace and I were up at midnight having a decorating explosion of ideas for other areas of the house.  I hope you can join me for the completion of this project.

I'm sharing this post with Deja Vue Design's Twirl and Take a Bow, A Delightsome Life's Home and Garden Thursday, Common Ground's Be Inspired #181.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 13, 2014 Pinterest Love and School Pictures

I am up at the crack of dawn!  In fact, it's even earlier than that.  Dawn is still in bed and won't be around for a few more hours.  You know who else is still in bed?  Rowan.  Today is field trip day and she doesn't want to wake up.  I could be upset about sacrificing my sleeping in desires because daylight savings time wreaks a little havoc in the routine.  But I'm not upset.  It's quiet.  Peace and quiet. 

Last night I started a list for my Spring Cleaning.  It grows to infinity.  Thanks to the sanding-the-china-hutch project I now have a fine mist of dust on every. single. surface.  This is not what I had envisioned for getting me motivated to clean.  However, it has its merits because it's working.  Plus the fact that we're hosting a slumber party on Saturday.  Oh yeah.  I have a terrible habit of taking on gigantic projects right before we are hosting some kind of shindig.

The GROSSEST thing I've done today is "take care of" all the roosters.  Ahem.  That's probably all that needs to be said.  We love homesteading!  Then nature got me back.  A bee stung me.  On my finger.

The BEST thing that happened to me today was finding something I had pinned on Pinterest.

This is the original picture I pinned.  I don't know the source and wish I could credit it but Pinterest is giving me a 404 error saying the page no longer exists.

Now many times I pin things and pretty much know they will never see the light of day at my house.  Many things are just too exorbitantly expensive or don't even exist in my neck of the woods.  So this image got tucked into interesting fantasy material.

Today as I was deciding where the day would go, I sat on Craigslist.  That is usually a quick browse because in my area they usually post about having free empty toilet paper rolls.  I regularly chat with my computer screen, "Why won't you sell anything good?!"

Today was different...  Today I scored.

This lovely ensemble was for sale and it was located less than 15 minutes from my house.  This is a miracle.  Now I ask you, how much do you think two, count them two, four foot solid wood with metal ladders and 3 solid wood shelves would cost?  Would you freak out if I said $15?  Well, I know I did.  I was a texting fool.  By 9:30 those babies were mine.

Homeschool affords me something important:  a lovely assistant.

She was happy to help me set this up for another little project.

School picture day.  This might be an area you don't think about when starting homeschooling.  I always hated buying school pictures.  When Rowan went to public school there was not a single school picture that came back looking decent.  It would irritate me to no end to get the pictures and her hair was all messy, sweaty, or one year she chewed on her shirt while waiting in the picture line.  Tons of money spent for bad pictures.  But now I just take pictures at home.  Any old time we feel like it.  It's also free.

And before I forget, here's where the ladders ended up.

They're in the hoop house, but I would think they'd be showing up just about anywhere this season.

I'm sharing this post with Town & Country Living.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 12, 2014 I Spent the Day Sanding

It could be another inside day here.  The wind has really kicked up and it just makes being outside kind of miserable.  I still have lots of things to do inside.  There really is always more to do than I have time for.  It should be a clue to simplify my life, and it is, but the process to get to simplicity is slow.

The Ultimate Blog Planning Notebook looks kinda promising.  I found it at Lamberts Lately through Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life.

The wind did end up remaining throughout the day.  I spent the day sanding.  I can happily say that I'm am done sanding the china hutch!  This is kind of a monumental task for me.  I was getting a little worried it was going to end up in my unfinished projects pile.  I'd love to post a picture but the hutch is sitting the wrong way.  Ah well, we will just have to wait and see the finished product.

Tomorrow we are going on a field trip for homeschool.  Very exciting activities and things to see.  Which reminds me, I should go charge the camera battery.  And I should go get myself to bed and go to sleep.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014 Clothespins and Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Today spring is here.  I don't know if it will stick around for long.  Spring is slowly clawing its way in while winter is reluctantly being dragged out.  Lots of noticeable signs of spring outside.  Along the roadside I saw the first bluebonnets blooming.  I expect a nice year for them since the winter was so long and cold.  They are flowers of adversity.  I will try to get some pictures of them.  The grass is also turning green everywhere.

Other signs of spring I noticed is how much squalor I'm living in.  This week we are working harder than usual at cleaning things out and sprucing things up.

I had to spend my morning at the Vet's office.  We keep our dogs on tie out lines so they can't run amok in the neighborhood.  Unfortunately another dog was loose and attacked our dear old Onslo.  We heard the fight right away and Onslo ended up with 2 bites.  It makes me sad because he was on a tie out line so he could not have provoked the other dog and he also had no way to escape the attack.  This is also why they are only on tie out lines when we are home.  The vet said he would be alright and sent us home with antibiotics and pain medicine.  

Today I took my basket of brand new clothespins and hung out my first official laundry of Spring.

I started working on creating decorative eggs for a nest I have. 

I think they'll look nicer with some blue coloring in the shells.

I'm not sure if I like the two on the left.  They turned more green than blue.  I'm happy with the natural spots.  I thought I might have to create speckles myself with some brown paint.

 I saw a recipe for this pie today.  The recipe came from From This Kitchen Table.  It was in a recipe exchange from Little House Living.  I've found a lot of good recipes this way lately.

It turned out very good.  It tasted so yummy, too.  I used pumpkin Rowan grew and Jace canned last summer.  Really easy to make.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

March 9, 2014 Spring Flowers On a Lazy Sunday

I love coffee cakes or snack cakes.  They are usually easy to whip up and small so there's not a lot of temptation for those of us (Jace) who are trying to eat healthier.  How timely for this post to show up.
Five Fabulous Coffee Cakes at The Everyday Home.

A roundup of the Spring Linky Party.  I found this at A Delightsome Life.

Today was another cloudy, cold, and windy day.  I can't bear to be outside.  I'm spending a lot of time working on things inside.  I've been doing a little spring cleaning which includes sweeping the walls and ceilings.  A tremendous amount of dust collects in those high places.  Of course the ceiling fans harbor enough dust bunnies to start calling them family pets.

I have found myself with an abundance of flowers.  This makes my day more cheerful.  I took a few pictures of the flower arranging I did.  I don't think I'm particularly good at arranging flowers but I think they will do.

A lazy Sunday when it's enough to just watch the world go by out the window.

Friday, March 7, 2014

March 7, 2014 Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

Yesterday Rowan and I went on an "official" school field trip.  We haven't done any for this school year.  We tend to work very diligently in fear of falling behind on our work.  There was the one break we took for two weeks last September and I feel like I'm still in catch up mode for that.  Once I decided to take a peek to see where we were in comparison with the public school calendar, I realized that we were way ahead of schedule for finishing this year, like a month and half, I decided we should take things a little slower and enjoy the roses so to speak.

Yesterday was homeschool day at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.  This was also our first field trip meeting up with other homeschoolers.  Not just ones from close-by towns but in our state.  Aside from paying $8 for parking, it is the big city after all, admission was free.  We spent a total of four hours looking at exhibits and watching short films.  I was disappointed that my camera didn't have the battery life I was hoping for, and was left taking the rest of the pictures with my phone.  I'm sure this never happens to anyone else.

Her favorite exhibit was Extreme Mammals.  I would really want one of these if they were still around.

Lots of exhibits showing the usefulness of different parts of the body.  You'll notice there are lots of references to evolution in all the displays.  We haven't covered those issues yet at home.  I am certainly always grateful I did not come from a skunk one way or another.  

This is a prehistoric tooth we were allowed to touch.  It has lots of grooves and serrated but dull edges.  There's a feeling one gets when touching something from so long ago. 

My very own saber toothed cat.  This display showed outlines of various animals.  We tried being hippos and bears.

Rowan loved seeing this narwhal tusk.  In fact, she thought they were already extinct.  It was a highlight of her day to tell her dad that narwhals were "really real and still alive today."
This was a lock and spear from early settlers in Texas.  I was captivated by the ornate work put into making it.  I think Rowan was laying down on a bench thinking we would never get out of the museum.

A call for people to move to Texas.


Texas innovation, oil fields, and the role Texas played in World War II.  I'm always a keen observer as to what grabs her attention.  She really liked this plane.  She ran her hands over the wings several times.  Did it spark her imagination?

A shot from the top floor looking down on a mural.

I was impressed with the quality and quantity of displays.  I thought they did a wonderful job telling the history of this state.  I even learned a few things.  I have some new ideas for field trips to expand on the things learned at the museum.  Not too far down the road from us is Goliad where a massacre took place after the fall of the Alamo but before the Battle of San Jacinto.  Even though we're not officially studying Texas History I think it's always good to know your state's past.

After the museum we had lunch at Magnolia Cafe.  A charming place to eat on the touristy South Congress strip.

Our last stop was Teacher Heaven.  I needed a different approach and course material for spelling.  This is Rowan's most difficult subject.  I found what I needed and then we made our escape from the big city and back to the safety of our little acre in the country.

I'm looking forward to next week's field trip...The Rodeo!  It's a surprise for Rowan, so don't tell.