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before & after: my $1 stool

One of the many reason I love summer is because of the fact that I can go outside and SPRAY PAINT! Hot dang I love to spray paint! When I picked this stool up for $1 at a yard sale last summer I knew it needed a major overhaul. The seat was ripped and the frame had seen a better day. It was just so... blah looking.

For a year, it's been living in our basement (I had good intentions of finishing it). Last week, I picked up a few cans of spray paint, recovered the seat with a piece of fabric from my stash and now I have a bright & cheery new stool.
I love it's yellow & white-ness :)
It's so much better than what it used to be.

... a few tips about spray painting almost anything ...

1) Make sure your object is nice & clean. Get rid of any dust, dirt, grease or gunk. This will help the paint stick better.
2) I usually skip the "priming" step and buy a spray paint that has primer built in. Make sure it is meant for the material that you are painting (in my case: metal).
3) Do 3-4 very light, even coats of paint instead of 1-2 thick gloppy ones. This will prevent runs and will give your piece a nice durable finish.
4) Don't be afraid! In this case, all I had to loose was the $1 that I spent on this stool. What's the worst that can happen?
Happy spray painting! What have you spray painted lately?
[p.s. this post may be linked to any number of these blogs]

[SIDE NOTE:  To recover the seat, I removed the ripped vinyl/leather to find a thick piece of foam & a wood disc (which the base had been screwed in to). I added another thin layer of foam (for added "cush") and pulled & stapled my fabric around the cushion to the bottom of the wood disc. This is a similar process as you'd do to recover a dining chair. It didn't maintain its exact shape (since it was almost a boxy circle... If that makes any sense), but the added foam made it a lot softer and more comfortable. It was really just a trial & error process since I had never recovered anything like this before.]


washi tape cards

I know washi tape EVERYTHING has been done already... but I have to admit... this is the first time I've ever used washi tape on anything! I know. It's kinda crazy.

Adam and I attended a wedding over the weekend and I wanted to include something handmade with the gift we bought for the newlyweds. I remember going through a ton of "thank you" cards after our wedding so I made the bride a few "thank you" cards to add to her stash.

They were simple to make and didn't take much time at all. I really love having handmade cards on hand for when I need them so I am going to make a few more to add to my own stash in my card binder.
[p.s. this post may be linked to any number of these blogs]


recipe card shopping lists

As I mentioned in this post about my goal to never send a late birthday card again, I'm making a push to get more organized. One thing I HATE doing is making a grocery list. No matter what, I seem to miss something in my hurry to jot things down that I end up making another trip to the store.
My solution? Laminated recipe cards that double as a shopping list!

... what I bought ...

scotch self-seal laminating pouches (4"x6")
dry erase markers

... what I did ...
1) I started by formating my recipes into 4x6 sizes. I put the name, picture & ingredients on one side with the directions on another side. I used Adobe InDesign but you could use Word (or some other similar program).

2) Next, I printed color copies. I trimmed them down to size and self laminated them using the pouches I had picked up. This was a little tedious but I knew it would be worth it in the end!

Now I have recipe cards that double as shopping lists. The laminated cards also stay A LOT cleaner if you drip on them while cooking. I can't tell you how many ratty paper recipes I have in my kitchen that have vanilla extract splashed on them or greasy butter marks.

As long as I have a dry erase marker with me, I'll be able to cross things off my list at the store, wipe it off when I get home and re-use them many times!

Want some of my pre-made recipe cards??? You can download them here:
(disclaimer: some of these recipes are not mine - they were found on other blogs, pinterest, etc. I apologize in advance for not giving proper credit)

Creamy Potato Soup
Apple Dumplings
Chicken Ranch Tacos
Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches
Oven Tacos
Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers
Curry Chicken Noodle Soup (this also has a little basic "grilling check list")
Everyday shopping list

[p.s. this post may be linked to any number of these blogs]


guest post: spray paint earrings

Hey everyone, my name is Randi and I am coming here from Sowdering About to share with you a recent craft of mine.  I have been dabbling in making jewelry lately and came up with this super easy way of making some pretty neat earrings.  Oh and did I mention they were cheap?

I bought these little metal pieces from a craft store when we first moved to Seattle.  I really liked how they looked and although at the time I had no idea what I was going to do with them, I had to have them.  Plus I think they were maybe $1 for the pair. 

And they are pretty right?  

When I was cleaning up and organizing all my craft stuff (why is there so much stuff?  I swear it just multiplies), I came across them again since I had lost them for a while.  I had just finished working on my washi tape earrings, so when I found them, I immediately thought EARRINGS!  It worked out well too since all my jewelry making stuff was already out.

They needed color though.  They needed to be teal.

It just so happened that I am currently obsessed with teal and I want everything in my life to be teal.  So I took these bad boys outside to my work table and spray painted them.

Once they were dry, I looped a ring and a fishhook through them and viola!  Brilliance.

The spray paint I used was a satin finish.  They aren't super shiny, but they aren't flat either.  They are SUPER lightweight too.

Total time with drying was about 20 minutes.  Total cost was about $1.50.  

What do you think?  Do they live up to their name?  

Thanks for having me here today!  I look forward to visiting again!

Randi blogs in a blue recliner from the wet city of Seattle where she and her family live.  She blogs about her crafting adventures and parenting trials, because if you can’t find humor in your own life, then who will?  You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


yearly cards

I am the person that is always stopping at Walgreens or Target on the day of someone's birthday to pick up a card. Why do I do this to myself? In an effort to simplify my life, I am making a push to get more organized. Today, I'm sharing how I plan to reach my goal of never sending a "belated birthday card" ever again.

I was talking with my dear friend Molly the other day about how nice it would be to keep a few birthday, anniversary, sympathy (etc.) cards on hand for when I need them. She mentioned how great it would be to buy all of your cards for a year at once and have them ready for when you need them. HOW BRILLIANT! I started working on it immediately. I constructed a list of birthdays and anniversaries and then went out shopping.

 ... what I bought ...
1) an Avery mini binder (I couldn't resist the smaller size)
2) mini binder page protectors (pack of 15)
3) mini sticky notes (I usually have these on hand but I ran out)
4) a BUNCH of cards (mainly birthday & anniversary)

... making my card binder ...
I made individual labels for each month with the persons name & birthday on it. I stuck this sticky note to the bottom of each page protecter. I then labeled each card for who it was meant for and slid the cards into their monthly sleeves (this took up 12 of my 15 sleeves).

Next I made a sleeve for anniversary cards & sympathy cards. My final sleeve was used for niece/nephew birthday cards. These are also labeled with names and already have cash in them for when we go to their birthday parties. This will also eliminate a trip to the bank to get cash on the day of the party.

Once everything was organized, I made a little cover with my rubber stamps and a leftover paint swatch.

I slid my card binder into my "mail center" (the top right cubby of our Ikea Stall - which is meant for shoe storage) and did a little happy dance.

All in all, I'm feeling so organized already. I still have a few cards to pick up (since I'm stock piling cards for the rest of this year and all of next year). Here's hoping I'll never send another late card again!

[p.s. this post may be linked to any number of these blogs]


patriotic taco dip

I know that it's a few days late, but we have our big 4th of July festivities today. Every year we go up to our friend's cabin for a "Lobster Fest." The hosts make all types of seafood, potatoes, corns, etc. and everyone else brings something to share.
This year, I'm bringing "patriotic" taco dip. The recipe is really easy and quick to whip up and you can use the additional toppings to turn the dip into something fun for any party.

Patriotic Taco Dip

1 - 8oz block of cream cheese
1 - 16oz container of sour cream
1 packet of taco seasoning
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese
tomatoes (diced into small pieces)
1 small can of sliced black olives
any other toppings you choose
tortilla chips (for dipping)

In a mixing bowl, mix together soften cream cheese, sour cream & taco seasoning. Spread mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Top with shredded lettuce & cheese. Using your diced up tomatoes & sliced olives, decorate your dip to look like an American flag. It's that easy :)

I've taken this dip to other parties where it's been a hit, so today I'm hoping my flag dip will be enjoyed by all of our friends and family. Have a wonderful weekend!
[p.s. this post may be linked to any number of these blogs]


guest post: apple hat


My name is Katie and I am a visitor from Katie’s Crochet GoodiesI crochet many items such as hats, leg warmers, head warmers, headbands, mug cozies, face/bath scrubbies, and much more! I have even started sewing as of recently! I am a military wife and currently live in Arizona. We moved from North Dakota, and originally from Washington State, so we are on to a great start at exploring the Country!

For those of you who crochet, you know how awesome it is to find free patterns, especially ones as adorable as this! 

Make sure you download this pattern and keep it tucked away for fall…or even better, a baby gift for a teacher! I have my degree in Elementary Education and I was extra excited when I found this pattern. This Apple Hat pattern is offered in multiple sizes (Newborn, 3-6m, 6-12m) By Salena Baca

Here's another picture of my finished product, modeled by the amazing My Lil Britches Photography based in Minot, ND. 

I'd love for you to like my Facebook page and stay updated on new items, pattern links, specials, and promotions! I do custom orders so contact me if you are curious about something from Pinterest!



family room reveal

When we first bought our house, we didn't fall in love with it for the way it was. In fact, we really had to use our imagination before we even stepped foot in the front door. What we fell in love with were certain elements of the house and from there we began working on turning it into our dream home. A little vision goes along way! Plus... you know... some blood, sweat & tears help too.

The room we really loved when we purchased our 1950s ranch was the family room. It is a large, bright room with original built-ins flanking a stone fireplace that had never been burned in! We were ecstatic over the possibilities this room held.

A little over 2 years later and that ruby red "before" room now looks like this:

... breakdown of what we've done ...

:: tore out the carpet (4 hours after getting the keys) and refinished the oak floors (with the help of our parents) before moving in a month after settling
:: gave everything a fresh coat of paint (walls, trim, built-ins & mantle)
:: added a pop of grey to the back of the built-ins to give them some life
:: re-tiled the flat hearth in front of the fireplace
:: hung curtains
:: built a sofa table to run under the extremely large picture windows
:: wall mounted the tv & built a custom entertainment center
:: saved up our money to buy a new couch!
:: made new pillows for the couch (using this process)
:: added some character to our sofa table with our cactus house
:: added some "air plant art" above the fireplace mantle
:: had gas logs installed in the fireplace
:: defined the whole room with Flor tiles to make everything feel cozy
:: added new knobs to the built ins to add a little more of our eclectic personalities to the space
:: built tree stump side tables
:: hung some fun art 
:: brought in some "no maintenance" plants in the form of paper flowers, knit cacti & pom pom flowers.

My advice to anyone designing a space - take your time, only add in things that you absolutely LOVE and you will have a space in the end that you can't help but be proud of.

[p.s. this post may be linked to any number of these blogs]
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