Feeling the Heat…

My husband interviewed for a position he could not refuse in December so the home that I have blogged about up until then was put on the market and sold in March. In April, we relocated from Illinois to Georgia.

New home, new “adventures”…


We were warned the heat was terrible. The heat ain’t got nothin’ on all of the critters. Giant critters.

After finding a wolf spider with a 4″ leg spread in the garage, my husband declared that we needed to burn our (new) house down…

Burn, it did. The very next day.

My kids were unpacking our dining room while standing in a sea of packing paper. My daughter flipped on the light switch and a surge caused a chandelier bulb to explode, the filament causing the paper to catch on fire. The whole room went up; fast. I started grabbing the burning papers and running them out to our concrete front porch in an attempt to keep the house from burning down. As soon as the burning handful of papers hit the porch, the wind picked up and they blew into our landscaping. Here in Georgia, they use “pine straw” for mulch. Pine straw is dried out pine needles…you can see where I’m going here…

Inside on fire; outside on fire.

I fought the fires for 17 minutes with a garden hose strung through my house. I’m happy to report, I won. I received third degree burns on my left arm and first degree on my right, but my house was saved.


That was May 1st. Five days after signing on the dotted line.

Our new home suffered $50k in damages; mostly smoke related. Flame damage was confined to the dining/entry areas and landscaping. We are VERY lucky. We get a full house repaint out of the deal which means I need to get busy finalizing paint colors. Shouldn’t be too hard with the limited choices Sherwin Williams offers. *sarcasm*

So, the blog will now be covering my new home projects with a bit of a longer list than originally intended. 

Welcome to Georgia. 

Thanks for coming along!

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WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW for those that have messaged about injuries.

Week 1:


Week 2:


Week 3:


Week 4:

(Red area is 2nd degree burn, white is 3rd degree. Red dots in white area are vessels surrounded by clusters of nerve endings which are all growing back. I should make a full recovery.)


Weeks 5/6/7:

(May need skin graft.)


Week 8:

(Hoping to not need skin graft. Healed immensely in the matter of 4 days. Other arm is all healed. Skin will remain discolored.)

From Candles to Cacti…

I have a tealight holder that I got years ago that looks similar to this…


I hate it. Can’t even give the thing away, no one wants it. They aren’t really in style anymore. What was I going to do with this thing? I hate it…

Until now.

It hit me!

Succulent tree! 

And voila!


I found the mini terra-cotta planters at Dollar Tree – 3/$1 and the succulents are from Home Depot.

Looks great! Now I just need to find a place for it.

/The TURQUOISE continues…/

I’m addicted to the turquoise; good thing I have plenty of paint left…

Remember the sofa table I said to stay tuned for? Well, here it is, in all it’s ugly glory:


I bought this beast about 15 years ago from a second hand furniture store. She’s nothing short of hideous. Glass shelving inserts and all. It’s screaming for a makeover. I didn’t presand, just painted. There was zero finish left on this thing.

Voila!


Paint applied and sanded for distressed look.

Now, to add a more rustic touch…

I built a top from 1×6 lumber. The top is 20 inches wide so I cut the pieces 21 inches to allow overhang. 

I spaced the boards with small gaps in between so they’d cover the entire top with a small overhang at each end also.

I attached the boards together with wooden slats, glued then stapled. I stacked magazines on the slats to apply pressure as the wood glue dried. (This top just sits on the top of the table. The integrity of the table is not comprised.)

I distressed the boards with a hammer and screw, scraped off chunks with a chisel and beat dents in it with a hammer before applying stain (Honey 272 by Minwax).



Once the stain dried, I just set the finished piece on top of the table and added decor! (The original glass top is intact and hidden underneath.)

An added bonus is that the slats allow me to tuck my Scentsy cord in between so it quits falling behind the sofa!

Finished product:

*** enter nosey puppy photobomb***

Before and After:

What can I paint next…

[CHALK] it up to [PAINT]

I have never used furniture chalk paint before. The expense to purchase a can is beyond ridiculous and I’m not insane enough to purchase any (so sorry if you are).

I have a few gallons of interior “oops” paint that I picked up really cheap from various hardware stores in rad colors like turquoise and sea foam green. When I purchased them I didn’t have any ideas for them but they were super cool colors that I figured I’d someday find use for. I used the green shade in my kids bathroom and it looks great! 

Here, you have to see it…


Moving on…

Turquoise has been hanging out on the shelf for months. When I scored a $20 desk at Goodwill, the first thing I thought of was that turquoise gallon at home on the shelf. The desk was either going to look super cool when I was finished slapping turquoise all over it, or, it’d look like shit. But, what the hell, the paint was $9 and the desk was $20. If it all went south, I wasn’t out much.


I searched Pinterest for a recipe for diy chalk paint. This is the recipe I settled on (and also the recipe I will be using for future projects). It worked beautifully.

I started by lightly sanding the desk. I know most chalk paint doesn’t usually require you to sand your project first but I wanted to be sure all of the gunk was removed before applying paint. That, and I didn’t want to do this project a second time because the first job didn’t hold up.


I removed the dust with a dry cloth then went over the desk with a damp cloth and let it dry, then I started to apply the paint. I used a brush, the Wooster Shortcut that I use on all of my paint projects. It is truly the best on the market (non compensated opinion).


I brushed on a thin first coat and let it dry. It dries very quickly. I then went back through and spot painted, only covering the places I wanted to stay completely painted, and left the spots with wood showing through so I could sand the paint off and create a distressed effect.


After I had the application I wanted, I took very fine sand paper and went over the entire desk (by hand). Very lightly on the turquoise color just to remove some of the grit on the surface from the baking soda in the paint mixture and harder on the parts I want to distress.


I did not do a top coat. I reinstalled all of the hardware, and reassembled the desk and called her done. It was a bit difficult to sand the paint down to the wood so I am pretty sure this will be durable as is. 

I have heard of Vaseline being applied to your project before painting on the spots you want to distress, but I haven’t quite wrapped my head around that technique. I hate the feel of Vaseline and I don’t want it hanging out on my furniture. Does it clean off of the project completely? If so, how? If you have used Vaseline to distress, I would love to hear from you. I would also love to hear what method you use to distress projects easily without the use of (nasty) Vaseline.

I refinished an ugly dining chair I already had to match to use with this desk. I used a canvas tote to cover a chair cushion and attached it to hide the few little holes in the black fabric of the chairs seat (I didn’t want to go through a reupholstering project too). I like the dimension the black and the decorated cushion add to the overall look. 

*Tutorial to cover a cushion or pillow with a canvas tote here: Canvas Tote Covered Pillow

Without further ado, here is the finished project:


I love this so much, I am shopping my house for other items to paint turquoise! Remember the sofa table mentioned in the Halloween Home Tour??? 

Yes?

Stay tuned, folks… 

😉

{HaLLoWeeN hOMe ToUr}

Most every blog writer does a Christmas Home Tour…let’s shake things up with a Halloween Home Tour! Sure, Christmas is great but it is not everyone’s favorite holiday!

I love ALL things fall and that includes Halloween. Here is how our house is decked out for the upcoming shenanigans.

{MaNTeL}


Every piece of this decor was found at Gordmans, my favorite store in the entire world and (luckily?) located just down the street from my house. (The little jar candle by the big “D” is from Cabelas.)

I bought this stuff after Halloween last year because I’m a cheap skate and rarely pay full price for anything.

{NooK}


This is our fall tree, for the indoors! I love the changing leaves outside so I brought them inside…on an evergreen tree! This is the same tree I decorated for Easter and Christmas!

See? Easter and Christmas! 


I love my $2 garage sale pine tree.

My sofa table helps divide my family room from the kitchen nook so she needed some decor too. She is an important focal point (which is why she is also on my list for a furniture makeover! This makeover, my friends, is coming VERY soon…like, next week so stay tuned for this amazing project).


The large lantern is from Hobby Lobby. I purchased this two years ago during a 50% off sale on lanterns because, as you know, I do not pay full price. If there isn’t a sale or coupon, I don’t need it. 

Pumpkin and candy corn bowl fillers: Gordmans

Pumpkin wax burner: Scentsy $25

Vintage camera: Antique shop find $5

Vintage mantle clock (doesn’t work): Goodwill $5

Homespun box: Craft shop find $12

Jar candle: Cabelas $12

{EnTRy / dINinG}


All of my wax warmers are from Scentsy. I used to be a consultant so I got them all at a discount.

Hayride sign: Gordmans (after season clearance) $10

Metal tiered pumpkins: Tanners Orchard

Pumpkin bowl fillers: Big Lots

Spider table cloth (over window): Big Lots

Light up pumpkins: thrift find

Signs: Gordmans

Witches: Gordmans 

Chalk banner: Walmart (birthday aisle)

Galvanized floor vase/floral stems: Gordmans

{OuTsiDe}


Great Halloween decor starts with the pumpkins. Everyone picks out their own from the pumpkin patch. We dredge through the muddy fields for hours. I kid you not, hours. Some look for the most beautiful pumpkins. My husband and I seek ou the most ugly/unique/characteristic gourds we can find. We look over every remaining pumpkin in the patch. Yep, we make a day of it, and it’s our favorite day of the year.


My decor pieces are all from two places, beyond the patch. Walmart and Big Lots. The majority, Big Lots. Again, after season finds on clearance. 


See? Ugly pumpkins are amazing! We bought five with warts to carve our family in ugly pumpkins! So excited for the upcoming carving day!

The big spiders are a neighborhood favorite. Our front yard was a photo studio last year on Halloween! Trick-or-treaters were photographed numerous times in front of the furry creature so many times by parent request that this year, we installed two!

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{PumPkIn PaTcH} adventures

Just for the fun of it, below are a few pictures of our pumpkin patch adventures this year!


{HaPPy hAllOwEEn} readers!!!!

|When In Doubt, Paint It – Part 2|

When deciding what items in my stash to keep, throw or donate, depend on one thing: shape. 

When deciding what ugly items to purchase from a thrift shop, depend on one thing: shape. 

If I like the shape/design/architecture of any item, it’s a keeper. Anything, and I really mean anything, can be painted. Whether made of wood, glass, plastic, metal, foam, clay, porcelain, leather, etc., etc., (just like Apple has an “app for that”) the hardware store has a “paint for that”.

When setting out to create my Gallery Wall a few months ago, I lacked one necessary thing: frames. I had a few, but not enough to create any type of gallery. I needed to go shopping. Since I’m a thrifter, the local second hand stores were my go to destination. 

NOTE: I will not buy most anything brand new (unless it’s underwear) or well priced decor items from stores like Gordmans or TJ Maxx. Prices on new items are nothing short of ridiculous. If I don’t find what I’m looking for on my first trip to a second hand store, I keep looking. The project will wait until I find pre owned items that will fulfill my vision. Or, it better be a damn good priced clearance item. 

This trip I got lucky and found these beauties:


A set of two, for $3.99. Yes, they are ugly as sin but look at that detail in that frame! And, they had wire loops on the frame for hanging, rather than a hanger on the rear of the photo mat! Double score. ✔️✔️

I took them apart to toss the picture and paint the frame. In this case, I guess many years ago, the picture was glued directly to the glass. I thought about throwing the glass and all away, but in the future, I may want to use it to display an actual photo so I saved the glass for safe keeping if I need it later.

To remove the picture from the glass, I placed the glass in hot water so I could soak off as much of the photo possible, then scraped the excess with the flat back of a tablespoon. I used Glue-be-Gone to clean the paste residue and did a final cleaning with windex to make it look brand new again. Now both glass pieces and mats are wrapped and stored for possible future use.

I took the frames to the garage after I wiped them down with a washcloth and sprayed it with a few coats of (flat) off white paint and let it dry. That was it. No prep, no long processes, nothing. Just cheapy paint from Walmart – it’s magical stuff. Magical stuff at only $2 a can and in multiple fantastic colors!

Behold:

 

My spray paint technique: 

My first coat is very thin – almost like I “splatter painted” the item. I do not do full coverage with my first coat. I find the faint painting on the first coat gives the remaining coats something to “hold” onto. After the first coat dries, I spray an almost full second coat. I apply a third coat only as needed. Because of the iron material these frames were made from, I did a third coat.

The two frames and their architectural beauty really round out my gallery wall. 


Probably the best $3.99 I’ve ever spent. 😉

See the lovely 6 panel “window” frame back there? It was once a (putrid) green colored framed mirror. Thrift shop find. I paid $5. I removed the mirror and revamped the wood frame with, you guessed it, paint. I watered down a little bit of black furniture paint I had on hand and “washed” (wiped) it onto the frame with some paper towel. I went in afterward with a sponge brush to get the crooks and crannies that the towel couldn’t access. Any excess paint was simply wiped away. Some of the green shows through and it looks fantastic. (As you can see in the photo below, I beat the frame up a little bit with nails to create “worm holes” to add some character before applying the thin black paint to the frame.)


I bought this (once ugly) wooden sign at a craft fair that someone hand painted with a slogan and weird checker border. In my defense, it was cute 15 years ago. Fast forward, now, not so much anymore, so I painted it with black chalkboard paint. Now I can change the look whenever I want in just a matter of minutes with chalk!

Paint can be your best friend (it is one of mine)! It is the easiest, cheapest way to make a change; to anything (except humans and animals). Plus, if you don’t like the end result, it easy to do again. So, take a chance and go paint something. Then, share it with me so I can see! 😍

Thanks for reading (and following)!