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Archive for January 2012

Patrick - Are you green with envy?


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First, I'd like to say "thank you" for the all love and support shown to me this past week! Your prayers have meant the world to me. It touches my heart to know that some of you -- complete strangers even -- have been compelled to pray for me, and I am truly grateful.

I am so very excited to FINALLY get this piece up to show you. Introducing... "Patrick."

And here is what Patrick looked like before his makeover:
I used two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Antibes Green followed by a coat of AS Clear Wax.
I then applied AS Dark Wax in specific areas to age the piece a bit.
I really like how the dark wax filled in the grooves on the top of the chest, bringing out the wear and tear. That's my favorite part! :)
I chose to replace the hardware with some antique brass pulls that I had saved from a previous project. They fit the piece just perfect and really pop next to the dark wax aging effect.
I was really excited to try out such a bold color choice and I have no regrets! Patrick is a beauty and in my opinion is the perfect mix of antique and modern.

I posted this piece on Craigslist here.
***Update: Patrick has now been SOLD***


Lots of love,
Mary


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Furniture Feature Fridays

I'm Not Sorry


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I've been out of pocket this week. And while it sounds right to say that I am sorry, I am not. It's been one of those times when my God and my family come first in my life and all other things follow, including this blog. It has been a rough week to say the least. Please, if you are a christian, pray for my strength, wisdom, and peace during a very difficult time.

"Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." Psalm 55:22

With that said, I do plan on getting back into the swing of things this week. I have some projects to finish up and I'm very anxious to show you. Thanks for your understanding.


Lots of love,
Mary

The Girls' Room Progress 1.2 - A Painted Nightstand


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I'm finally back to painting some furniture! It's been nice to break out the paint brush this past weekend and I was actually able to nearly complete four pieces! One of which I'm super excited to show you today. :)

If your new to the blog, you should know that I'm six-and-a-half-months pregnant. And I'm starting to feel the pressure of the to-do list -- mainly finishing the girls' room so that I can start on baby Daniel's room. Well here's some progress for you. I present to you, the nightstand:

This piece didn't start out so "pretty." It was perfect, however, for the cowboy-themed room previously owned by our cousin Jadon (who has since been upgraded to a young man's room). So we've re-purposed the furniture and kept it in the family! This is what the nightstand looked like before:

You may know that I was the lucky winner of one of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint giveaways as a promotion for her upcoming American tour. The giveaway was hosted by Kirsty over at Sanity and Chaos and stockist Randy from R. Lucas Scott Co. I chose Coco as one of the new colors to try out and it turned out to be the PERFECT color for this nightstand. It took just two coats of paint followed by a clear wax and then dark wax to age it a little bit.
I chose pink crystal knobs from Target (if you can believe it), which complements the Coco color well. Adilynne (our almost-four-year-old) was so excited when she saw the knobs -- just her style.
Now the fun part was deciding what to do to the top of the nightstand. I knew I wanted to do something different and when I ran across this pic online, it was perfect! I copied the design by freehand with a pencil first, then went over my pencil lines painting with a small art brush, followed by the wax to finish it off. If you don't trust yourself to freehand, a stencil would turn out nicely to place any sort of design on your table top.
Both of my girls just love birds! And I love how just a simple silhouette can be modernized with a bold, bright color.
I'll have the painting of the twin beds ready for you next week and I'm hoping to get some crown molding done soon! Again, if you missed the inspiration and planning post for this room, it can be seen here. Also, the paining of the polka dot walls can be seen here.


Lots of love,
Mary



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My Latest Craving - Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins


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This may be the pregnancy talking, but I'm just in love with these muffins lately! (I'm eating one now as I type away). I love them so much that I thought it would be nice to share the recipe with all of you. :)

It was Christmas evening and we all gathered together as a family over dessert & coffee, etc. Our Auntie Beth, who happens to be an amazing cook, brought over these muffins and I was a goner! Just a couple days later, I went to the grocery store to get my supplies. I've been making a batch every week since.

I already had a good banana bread recipe, so I just added in the coconut shavings and chocolate chips. You also may want to add an extra banana to balance out the dryness of the coconut.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 egg white
approx 5 medium bananas mashed
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup shaved coconut
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. (Flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt.)

2. Mix together mashed bananas, eggs plus egg white, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract.

3. Combine flour mixture all at once with banana mixture. Mix together and add the coconut and chocolate chips.

4. Fill muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for approx. 20min.

5. Enjoy! :)


Lots of love,
Mary

The Girls' Room Progress 1.1 - Polka Dots!


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The polka dots are done! If you missed my post detailing the master plan for this room, it can be seen here. The polka dots turned out to be a daunting task, but now that it's done I just LOVE the end result! The scale is just perfect and I'm really pleased with the color contrast between the brown and pink. Here's a look at the final paint job:

I didn't use a stencil. I just had a hard time justifying the expense for a simple circle. Thoughts of grade school and the protractor came flooding back to memory. So I gathered up my supplies.
A pencil, pushpin, and a string of some sort (I used this Christmas ribbon because it's what I had on hand). I measured out the approximate size that I wanted my polka dots and tied the ribbon accordingly.
The rest is simple, just as it looks. Hold the pin in place where you want your dot and trace your circle onto the wall with the pencil. You may need to circle the pencil mark around a couple times to ensure that everything matches up well. Also, it's important to tie the string as close to the tip of the pencil as possible so that you have more control over the pencil line. I wasn't able to capture a photo of just the pencil line circle, but here's a snapshot of a single complete circle:
The hardest part comes next.  I wanted my polka dots to be symmetrical, so I needed to measure, measure, measure! This took so much time, but totally worth the end result. Once my circles were all mapped out, I broke out my pink paint and painted each dot with two coats. I used Behr in the color "silk ribbon."
Next, I'll be tackling crown molding and the painting of the beds and nightstand. To be continued...



Lots of love,
Mary


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Homemade Laundry Detergent - Pass or Fail?


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Lately, I've been online a lot less and doing a lot more! (I sound like a Home Depot commercial). I haven't even been able to keep up with reading any of the blogs that I love, which is a bummer. There are so many projects in the works that are almost done and I just can't wait to show you! Including the first installment of the girls' bedroom progress. Yay! :)

One of the things I tried this past week was homemade laundry detergent. A friend of mine told me about this recipe a few months back. I started running low on the Gain that I had been using, so I decided that there is no time like the present to give it a try.


Source: etsy.com via Lisa on Pinterest


The recipe I started with was from the Duggar Family found here. (I love them!)
Ingredient List:
4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

I had trouble locating the Super Washing Soda locally and I'm too impatient to order online and wait. So I searched and googled for alternatives and found that baking soda is in the same family as washing soda, only with a lower PH. I read in several places that you can change the PH of baking soda and essentially turn it into washing soda by heating it above the boiling point. I also read that OxiClean has both Borax and washing soda in it. So here's what I did to alter the recipe and make it work for what I had on hand:

I boiled a saucepan of water and added 1 cup of baking soda. Warning: use a large pot with a lot of extra room when boiling the water. When you add the baking soda it will foam up before settling and if you don't allow room, this could happen! :/
On the plus side, after scrubbing off the baking soda and soap from my stove-top, it's never looked cleaner! :)

I then added this mixture to the large gallon mixture which contained all the other ingredients. I also added 1 cup of OxiClean to the overall large mixture. 
I followed the rest of the recipe instructions exactly as listed. It required me to let it sit overnight (a test for my impatience), so I gave it a try the next day.


Verdict: FAIL for my recipe alteration, and undetermined on the real recipe. 

Lesson learned: sometimes it's not worth it to try and find a shortcut. It didn't gel like it was supposed to, and when I washed the puppy's bed, it didn't come out smelling fresh enough for my standards. I haven't given up, however! I'll be trying out the true unaltered recipe using the super washing soda and will let you know of my results. (Crossing my fingers.)




Lots of love,
Mary


DIY Gold Leaf Chalkboard


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I was planning on posting this last night, but to my surprise, my husband put aside his "man card" for the evening and watched the movie The Help with me. :) 

Now onto the main event! Have you heard of the famous Miss Mustard Seed Gold Leaf Chalkboard? I was so excited to try this one out since I've been coveting the one in her staging photos for quite some time now. I learned that she had a step-by-step tutorial over at HGTV (here), so when I found the MOST AMAZING frame at a garage sale for only $5, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it! Here is my final product:

This is one of those times when I wish I had a before pic of the frame. Two of the corners were completely missing... thus the $5 price tag. I used some molding clay to first form a mold out of one of the good corners. After that dried, I used my new corner mold to create the two missing corners. Here's a close-up of the molding that I had to recreate (you can't even tell!):
I followed Miss Mustard Seed's tutorial to a "T." The only exception was when it came to painting the chalkboard center, I had no primer. Was I going to take the time to drag out my two toddlers and make the big trip to the hardware store just for primer? Nope. Was I going to wait until the next day? Nope. What to do? I saw the gold leaf adhesive spray on my counter and just went for it. And it worked! So mental note: if you don't have any spray primer on hand you can substitute gold leaf adhesive spray. :)

Lots of love,
Mary

Breaking News!


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What is it you ask? MY HOUSE IS CLEAN! Yes, that's right. We had a professional cleaner come in the other day to clean the house and prepare for expected company, which forced me to pick up and organize a bit. Which brings me to my New Year's resolution: to keep it that way! My goal is to spend 15 minutes every morning, noon, and evening walking around the house to just pick up things and put them back in their place. It may seem like a simple task to most of you, but this has been hard for us to do. And with the children getting older, it doesn't get easier. I need to train myself to be a better housekeeper.




I normally don't make New Year's resolutions, because as my pastor said this last Sunday morning, "We should be resolved to be more holy every day of the year." This statement doesn't necessarily mean that we shouldn't be making New Year's resolutions, but rather it puts those resolutions into perspective. My primary duty and joy is to be a wife and a mother, which includes being the keeper of my home. Let me be resolved to be more diligent in this area every day of the year and not just around New Year's Day.

So now that I've aired out all my dirty laundry, I must know... am I alone? Or do you struggle with the same thing?
 
 
Lots of love,
Mary

DIY Rustic Headboard Tutorial


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Due to the overwhelming response from my Mini Bedroom Makeover, and the wealth of questions regarding the making of the headboard, I thought it was best to write a specific post detailing how it was made and the challenges that I encountered in the process.

Step one was purchasing my wood. I chose pre-cut 6' boards from Home Depot (we have a king size bed). These are what the boards looked like once I got them home from the hardware store.
(Sorry about the photo quality -- this was a cell phone pic.)  Please note: when choosing your boards,  the "prettier" boards in my opinion (second board from the right) bow more than the others -- although I think it's totally worth it! :)  I positioned the boards in the order that I wanted them to look on the wall, then I marked the back of each board by number order. I also put an arrow pointing in the upward direction so that I would remember the placement when I went to install the headboard.

Next was the wood staining process. I moved the boards to the garage since fumes with wood stain are extremely strong. I chose Minwax in the color Jacobean and brushed the stain on in the direction of the wood grain using a cheap throwaway sponge brush. Then after each large section, I wiped with a dry rag. I just LOVE how the stain made the wood grain pop! Ideally, I would've left them in the garage for 24 hours to dry and then add a wax finish, but because of my time constraint I rushed to install them as soon as the stain was dry to the touch. I later applied the wax finish after the install and big reveal.
On each end of each board, I drilled two equally spaced holes where I wanted my drywall screws to go. I didn't bother finding studs since the boards weren't that heavy to begin with. I've hung heavier pictures on the wall using drywall screws, so I wasn't worried in the least. I measured, then positioned and leveled the bottom board first and screwed it into the wall. It's important to note that on my first try I didn't use long enough drywall screws. This required an additional trip to the hardware store, but what project doesn't? :)  At the end of the day, 2" screws worked well for me. If you look closely, you may be able to tell that a couple of the boards still stick out a little bit from the wall. I'm okay with that and actually like it when these type of things aren't "perfect." That's what makes it unique and a little more rustic rather than a perfect, manufactured look.
I'm extremely happy with the results and would do it again in a heartbeat! It really is easier than it looks. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to send me an email here or leave a comment below.


Lots of love,
Mary



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The 36th Avenue

Goodwill Find, A Vintage Folding Chair


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Happy New Year! I've had such a wonderful time over the last few days just enjoying time with my family. We took the kids to the zoo today! It was a beautiful 81 degrees here in Arizona, but I'm not bragging. :)

I found this little beauty a couple months back for only $5 at one of my local Goodwill spots.

I fell in love with the straight lines and the muted wood tone. The best part? It's also a folding chair!
I recovered the seat cushion with a piece of scrap fabric that I had on hand.
The fabric seemed to fit the piece well -- a kind of vintage-modern feel.
Nothing was done to the wood frame. It was just perfect as-is!
I find that you can never have too many chairs around the house. This one moves from room to room as needed. So glad I found it!

In other news, I've had so many questions about the headboard done as a part of my Mini Bedroom Makeover, that I will be posting a more detailed tutorial tomorrow. Stay tuned!


Lots of love,
Mary