Friday, May 22, 2015

COME WINDOW SHOP WITH ME!


While running a few errands this week, so many good things caught my eye!  

First, have you walked through Hobby Lobby lately?  I was there 4,768 times through the 6 weeks of the One Room Challenge, but all of those were quick in and outs to get exactly what I needed.  When I had some time to stroll the store this week, I noticed a few amazing things I hadn't seen before.

My sister texted this pic to me the other day...way to jump on board the modern train, HL!  Bethany shared another great new look-alike designer chair here.


Gold and white striped lamps?  Yes, please!


They also have lots of colorful wood and metal side tables right now.  I'm in love with this style.


These new open frame letters are fun too.


I had to drop my daughter off at the mall for a party this week, and we walked through Dillard's on the way.  Have you seen their new Southern Living furniture collection?  



It's full of classic, comfortable pieces, with good combos of rustic and refined.




This one is the yummiest chocolate velvet...


OK, I've wanted a Pendleton camp stripe blanket for like ever.  Aren't they cute?  But wait... these are all TOWELS!  They are a very generous size, how stylish would these be for the beach or pool?


If anyone loved my green mixer as much as I do, it's 50% off right now (which makes it $179).  And, I have a feeling extra-off clearance days might be next week, so that would make it at least $50 cheaper!


Lastly, Home Depot has these cute garden stools on sale this holiday weekend.  I'm pretty sure that price can't be beat anywhere.  


Speaking of holiday weekends, I hope you have a relaxing, full of fun, fantastic one!  


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

EMILY'S 12TH BIRTHDAY PARTY, COOKIES, CAKES, AND CRAFTS!


Although my daughter's birthday was a few weeks ago, we were finally able to celebrate over the weekend.  It was a two-part affair, made up of a sleepover with a few friends one night and family get-together the next night.

For the sleepover, we kept things super simple and unstructured.  I didn't plan a lot of activities, and the girls really enjoyed just hanging out!

Since I was saving her cake for the family party, I made a fun cookie "cake" for her friends with simple sugar cookie dough, the alphabet cookie cutters that we used to use for play-doh, and icing.  


Once the icing hardened over night, I was able to stack the cookies on a tray for a cute presentation.


Just for fun, I picked up some water shooters at Dollar Tree, and they had a blast filling them from buckets in the back yard and squirting each other.  I also got some glow necklaces and bracelets that made a late-night movie a bit more festive.


The next morning, I did plan a little craft activity for the girls to work on.  I bought some frames (also at Dollar Tree), pulled out a variety of craft supplies that I had on hand, 


and let them have free reign decorating them.  


The night before I had taken their picture all together and had it printed at the 1-hour photo shop, so when they finished their decorating, we popped the photo in and they had a sweet favor to take home.


I always make my kids' cakes, and while they are nowhere near perfect, we always have fun coming up with different designs, usually centered around their interests at the time of their birthday (previous girl's cakes here and here, and boy's cakes here and here).  This year my daughter turned 12, and we didn't come up with a themed cake, but ended up decorating with her favorite colors.


I stumbled across color coated Sixlets in the cake decorating section at Wal-mart and thought they would be a cute accent.  I used this recipe for the frosting this time, and it was delicious!  The cake itself is a 4 layer made in 8" pans, and they always want the box funfetti mix... easy enough!  For an easy topper, I used some scrap paper, letter stickers, and wooden skewers.


Everyone ate everything up, and both parties were a fun success!  I hope this gave you a few practical party ideas that won't break the bank...  


*Contains affiliate links


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Monday, May 18, 2015

MAPLE NIGHTSTAND MAKEOVER


I have been so excited to share this tutorial with you, primarily because the plan I had in my head actually worked out beautifully (which despite good intentions, is not always the case)!



While planning my bedroom makeover, I knew that I wanted a matching set of dresser type nightstands.  After keeping an eye on Craigslist for a long time, a pair of these finally came home with me.  They were solid wood, well made, the size was perfect and I loved all of the storage, but the style and hardware were definitely dated.  



I don't want to hurt any feelings if anyone has a piece like this, but I really don't care for the drawers that are trimmed out into multiple sections to look like smaller drawers, like the top drawers of these were.  I think that generally dates the piece right off the bat, even if it's been painted.

So, although I knew they would definitely be getting a paint job, I set out to try to do something about that top drawer.  I looked into replacing the drawer front, but they are dovetailed and the drawer would need to basically have been re-built.  Above my skill level.

It seemed as if trying to fill in the grooves was going to be my best option, but I still thought it would be risky because I didn't want any sign that I had "tried" to fix them.  

After reading this post from the amazing Jenny a long time ago, I filed what I learned away thinking it might be useful for a future project. The thought of trying to fill in the grooves brought that old post to mind, and I decided to give Bondo All-Purpose Putty a try.  



It was fantastic!!  Here's what I did:

First, a disclaimer.  This stuff has a VERY strong smell.  It reminded me of the nail salon when I used to get acrylic nails, times 1,000.  Seriously.  It would be best to do this outside if it's a project that can be moved out.  I made the mistake of applying my first layer in the kitchen late one night, and the next morning the smell was still very prevalent.

First, I removed all of the hardware and sanded the grooves to rough up the surface.  


Bondo consists of two parts, the putty and a hardening cream.  Following the directions, I mixed a small amount of putty with the appropriate amount of hardening cream together with a plastic putty knife in an old pie tin.  This starts hardening within minutes, so truly only mix a small portion at a time.  When it starts thickening you can't work with it any more and need to mix a new batch.

Using my putty knife, I quickly applied some of the putty mixture to each groove.  I tried to work carefully and get it right where I needed it, not overfilling because it doesn't shrink as it dries and any excess will just need to be sanded down.  I didn't totally fill each groove on the first layer, I wanted to make sure there was a good base so I only filled it about half way with the first application.  



It is truly hard-as-a-rock dry in 15-20 minutes, so I added another layer and just slightly overfilled the groove so that I would have a level surface after sanding.  I tried to follow the contour of the top and bottom edges that sloped off as much as possible too so excessive sanding wouldn't be needed along the edges.  



After everything was filled in well, and sufficient time was given for the putty to fully harden up,  I started sanding down the flat drawer front with my palm sander.  I think the Bondo is actually harder than wood, so it takes a bit of time and effort to sand smooth.  I was careful to keep the sander moving across the Bondo and the wood parts of the drawer so that when the Bondo was sanded down it would be completely level with the wood.

After the flat front of the drawer was smooth and level, I used the edge the sander to create a crisp edge and form the contoured edges.  



A huge key to this project is sanding well so that the edge of the Bondo will be perfectly seamless with where it stops and the wood begins.  Once painted, you want that transition to be completely undetectable, and if not sanded enough the seams will be visible.  



When finished with the Bondo, there were still a few tiny holes (like air pockets possibly) that showed up in the surface after sanding.  I just used regular wood filler to fill in those spots and once dry sanded it smooth again.



I also used the wood filler to fill in the old hardware holes, and the hardware had been screwed in so tight that it left impressions in the wood when I removed it.  So, I skimmed filler over those spots as well, along with a few knicks and scrapes on the base cabinet.  All of that got a good sanding when dry as well.



After wiping down everything to remove all of the sanding dust (I use regular baby wipes, they work like a charm!), it was time for paint.  I thought about replacing the bottom piece of scalloped trim with a new straight edged one to update it even more, but in the end decided that I liked that detail so I left it alone.


I primed everything with 2 light coats Kilz spray primer.  However, I did have some trouble with the wood bleeding through in a few spots, so I used some brush on primer in those areas as well.  Then, I used my fabulous Home Right Finish Max sprayer to apply a few coats of Behr's Decorator White in satin.   

These lovely brass ring pulls from D. Lawless Hardware were the perfect finishing touch.  Even though I filled in the original holes, the inside hole ended up being right where I wanted the new pulls to go.  I was nervous about drilling through the Bondo, afraid that it might chip or crack, but my husband said it was a breeze and had no trouble at all.   



I love the classic simplicity with a bit of a twist in the scalloped backplate.  D. Lawless Hardware is a small business that has a wide variety of hardware selections, the owner is incredibly nice, and I received my selection super fast. 




I love this side by side before and after... pretty dramatic transformation!  


Linking up with: Miss Mustard Seed

D. Lawless provided the hardware for review for this project, but all words and opinions are mine.  This post contains affiliate links.

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