Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Let Me Catch You Up

Remember the abstract wall art posting?  It was really no contest where we were going to hang it.  Above the couch in the den won!

UGH - I cannot wait to get this room completely done.  I've got the curtain rods and I've started shopping for a new couch.  I think the curtains are really going to transform the room.  I need to get on finishing E's room and then wrap this one up too!  After I get the curtains up we'll definitely be adding more art to that wall.  Did you notice the two lampshades?  We had to move the floor lamp because of all the new surround sound equipment - which I also desperately need a cabinet for.  SO MUCH TO DO!!!

I'm still loving my gold leaf pen.  I jazzed up the double mat in this frame with just a few minutes of effort!  The framed print came from Delivered by Danielle on Etsy.  She has a great shop if you are looking for wall art; she totally worked with me and came up with the color for the print in minutes with very little direction!  I think I said "Raspberry/Dark Hot Pink" and she was like "BOOM!" I'm done. Buy It. And I did.


While playing on Pinterest I came across this pic and thought "Oh what a cute chair."  Then I took a closer look.  Do you recognize any of the fabrics on the chair?

Photo courtesy of

It's got my den curtain fabric AND the zebra fabric I used on the ottoman in E's big girl room!  Love.  Paige has great taste and the cutest family - you should really check out her blog. 

Etsy wise, I'm waiting with bated breath for Lauren of Lala Design Studio to return from vacation so I can purchase this necklace.

Photo courtesy of Laladesignstudio shop on Etsy

I spotted this on a treasury list before I logged in and immediately showed Joe the iPad and said "I want this for our anniversary next year." But I'm not sure I can wait!  I'm also on the hunt for something with Evelyn's birthstone in it.  I've spotted a few necklace on Etsy I like - but not love.  If anyone spots a piece of jewelry with Citrine in it I need; let me know.   

I bet you are all wondering why I haven't said anything about the Olympics yet.  Don't worry - an entire post is coming.  And last night's men gymnastics meltdown had me downright depressed, yelling, and in bed about 2 hours earlier than normal.  I will say I was so happy for Great Britain to win a medal, and so sad Ukraine got bumped by Japan and the rock star Tokyo-Go-Go hairdo guy.

I'm off to see my parents progress on some redo's they are doing for the house.  One of which is the bathroom I used growing up.  I SO wish I had taken before pics.  Maybe mom did.  Hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Arkansas Anniversary and Gold Leaf Frame Magic

I cannot believe that tomorrow marks Evelyn's and my 1 year anniversary of our move to Arkansas (Joe moved earlier than us because of work).  It seems like just yesterday I watched the crew load our stuff in the van and having my last farewell lunch with Courtney and then hitting the road.  I still find myself saying "We just moved from Dallas" all the time when conversing with people - but a whole year?!

And what a year it's been.  I moved here with the intention that after a week we'd move into a house in Rogers.  The day before close, the owner's decided to not sell the house.  Turns out they were getting divorced and were filing bankruptcy and didn't disclose any of that to their realtor.  What a nightmare.  But things happen for a reason.  Within a week we put an offer in on the house we have now made a home.  It took a few months for me to get emotionally attached to this house, but I now have a love for it just like a member of the family. 

In my last few hours of being in our house in Dallas (don't worry, E was not present), I laid down on the floor with my arms spread wide and BALLED my eyes out and attempted to "hug" the house.  I was SO in love with our house there.  It was the first house I had ever owned.  It was the house we came home to after we got married.  It was the house Evelyn took her first steps in.  We spent a lot of time and money doing upgrades to that home. I never imagined I would feel that way again, but alas I do.  This new house will be where we will celebrate many birthdays and anniversarys in; Evelyn will have many firsts in this home; our other children will have their first steps here.  There is so much potential and endless possibilities for us here in this home and I can't wait to make more memories.

So thank you all my readers for sticking with me during our new journey as I get settled and decorate our home.  It's been an adjustment not going outside the home to a job but making this house and family my full time job.  I'm so lucky for all I have - I really have everything I wanted.  Except world peace and a cure for cancer and a Maserati. 

Enough with the emotional outpouring and here is a 30 minute craft I did today. 

I cannot say enough about the Krylon 18 kt. Gold Leaf paint pen (see other post about it here).  I went and bought another one this morning because I know that first one is gonna run out quick. 

I've had this frame I bought at an antique mall since December.  It's rattan with a glaze on top of it and is it's natural color.  I know I want it in the dining room, but had to figure out how to make it more me.  I've been watching Design Star and decided I want to be more "Vintage Glam Chic" like Mikel instead of my usual vintage chic.  According to Hilari (also on Design Star who is a Dallas based designer) you can glam it up with gold.  I hear ya girl - so I did what you said.

My magic wand

This mini-project took about 30 minutes.  I worked the frame a quarter at a time and let it dry a few minutes before moving to the next quarter.  Definitely drab to fab in 30 minutes flat. 

I'm flying to Houston tomorrow for girls' weekend in Rita's town.  But I already have the post for Monday figured out - tune in then!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Colorful Geometric Wall Art DIY

I don't know if I've felt a bigger sense of accomplishment than I did with this painting I did this week.  I get lots of compliments on my crafts and items around the house, but there is something about this piece that I really connected with.  This project was time intensive and I did it over the course of 3 days, but was really fun. 

As you know, my walls are bare in this house.  I've been doing better and finally decided to take on another art project and really wanted to paint something.  I am a horrible artist.  HORRIBLE.  I'm not sure how because my mom can sculpt, paint, draw - all of it.  My dad also is awesome at drawing and Joe is better than both of them put together.  Hopefully it just skipped a generation and Evelyn will be A-MAHZING. So I decided over the weekend the painting I did would have to be something easy like lines. 

I found some inspiration on Etsy in the form of ikat chevron paintings - but decided everyone would roll their eyes and be like "Ugh - get off the chevron already".  But seriously - try and tell me these paintings aren't kick ass...

Table for Two, 1 of 2 paintings - Photo courtesy of jmoreman82 shop on Etsy

Custom Ikat Chevron - Photo courtesy of jmoreman82 shop on Etsy

Chevron and Roses - Photo courtesy of jmoreman82 shop on Etsy

These are all by Jennifer Moreman and here is a link to her shop on Etsy.  I love how she throws in the metallic paint to catch the light and attract the eye. 

So after I made the decision to diversify my designs I ran across this little ditty on Pinterest:

Photo courtesy of Maria Teorien's blog

As usual I made a few little improvements on the process and just started painting!

Sunday:  I went to Wal-Mart and for $4 grabbed a bottle of Rustoleum Gold Metallic spray paint and grabbed a cheap 24inx36in canvas at Joann (on sale for 50% off). Went home, went outside, and sprayed the entire canvas until the entire bottle of spray paint was gone.  I always forget how absorbant canvas is. 

Then I started taping off the canvas - I pretty much used Maria's painting as a guide.  I grabbed some 3/4ths an inch Frog Tape at JoAnn to use. 

After that, I busted out an item I've been wanting for a long time but had no reason to purchase until now..................the Gold Leaf Paint Pen.

Just the shiny package alone makes it extra special, and the fact it says "18 KT." right in the name makes me feel special.  It usually costs $7.99 at Joann, but I had a 50% off coupon (holla!) or else I wouldn't have gotten it.  I will say after using it, it IS that much better than a regular gold paint pen.  Do it.

So after the clouds parted and sun rays stopped shining on the pen and the angels stopped singing, I got down to biz-nass.  I did my same old trick where I use the same color to "seal" the paint to really get those crisp lines I needed.  So I just used the paint pen up and down across the tape to do that.  As usual, worked like a charm.

Monday:  Took Evelyn to school, then hit both JoAnn and Hobby Lobby to stock up on paint.  I already have a lot of paint around the house from other crafts I've done as well as paint for the walls.  And I did use both kinds for this canvas.  I wasn't sure where but I knew I wanted this painting to go in the olive green den/kitchen area.  Because of this I wanted to make sure that a lot of the colors in the fabrics I'm using make it into art to help it blend.  So I mostly picked up different reds, pinks and purples at the stores that morning.  Here are 2 of the fabrics I'm using in this area:

Robert Allen Woven Jacquard Ikat Fret in Raspberry - Image courtesy of

Swavelle/Mill Creek Taraz Berry - Image courtesy of

So, I grabbed a bunch of different brushes and started painting.  I'm glad I had such a variety of colors to work with because you want to spread each color out among the canvas and not have (example) all 3 of your yellows bunched together.  It took a lot of pre-planning after each shape was filled in and sometimes I went back and painted over some colors.  I made another trip to the Lobby later in the day to pick up a few more colors like the peach, bright blue, and bright yellow but mostly just worked with what I had laying around the house.  One of the colors is my bedroom wall color; another is the dining room; another is E's nursery color.  Some are samples I got for rooms.  But mostly I just used Apple Barrel and Delta acrylic paints and did 2 coats of each - sometimes 3.  The yellows were the worst about getting an even color across the entire space.   

It was funny to look at the table and see how many paints I had already used - but then to look at the canvas, it didn't look like that many...........see what you think.

And here is a look at it after I got the entire thing painted.

I painted from around lunch time to the time I went to bed (with breaks for dinner and picking up E from school of course).

One tip I can share is to work from one corner - fanning out when picking which color goes where.  Don't start painting and say "I'll put a blue here, here, and here."  You will be repainting and repainting if you do it that way.  I'm super impatient so it was very hard for me to not do that, but definitely the method to follow.

Another tip - when doing your second coat of paint, work from top to bottom.  I had a few drips and splatters while I was painting and it always landed below the area I was painting.   

Tuesday:  Surround sound was installed in the den and took all day long so I had to wait until the evening to do a little touch up.  Joe's been working until about the time E goes to bed (quarter end) so I waited until he got home to do the big tape pulling and reveal...........drumroll please.................................

I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And Joe loved it too.  He didn't understand what the tape was all about until I pulled it off, but he really was impressed with it.  Here's the problem though, I had a spot all picked out to place it - but we like it so much we are thinking of putting it above the couch so we can see it all the time!  Perhaps I will put it to your vote.  All I have left to do is add a hanging kit and put it up.  When Joe gets home tonight I'll have him hold it in a few different places and I'll let you know! 

I'm really getting into this wall art thing - if you have any ideas of stuff to try out please let me know.  I think the next item might be something with painted pieces of wood.  I'm giddy with excitement over here - no more Dr. Pepper for this lady today ;).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

30,000 Calorie Cake

Due to network TV's summer hiatus we are able to finally catch up on entire seasons of shows.  One of these is Cake Boss - which is great to watch as a family.  Evelyn loves to see the finished cakes and is always stacking her toys on top of each other and saying "Mommy/Daddy, I made you a cake" or "Let's eat some cake!!!" (Her own play on Buddy's "Who wants to eat some cake?!"

Yesterday was Joe's 30th birthday and Evelyn wanted to make him a chocolate cake.  So we did.  I played with the idea of mint chocolate chip frosting, but I invented those Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies for him already.  Joe's second favorite sweet to eat is Reese's peanut butter cups and he loves peanut butter pie.  So I decided to go with that idea. 

Last night before we dug in I posted a picture on Facebook of the cake Evelyn and I made for him and it blew up with comments and "likes" - so I decided to share the recipe here for others to make.  I captioned the photo with "For Joe's 30th birthday, I made him a 30,000 calorie cake."  I brainstormed some other names for the cake, but like the original better. 

I totally copped out and used a boxed chocolate cake mix.  I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix and even though I substituted 3/4 Cup of milk and 1/4 Cup of Hershey's chocolate syrup for the 1 cup of water - it still wasn't chocolately enough for me.  Next time I'll do a homemade chocolate cake batter instead. 

In short, make the chocolate cake of your choice.  I split mine between 2 9 inch round pans for baking so I could stack them. 

Sidenote:  I usually use milk instead of water for any baking mix.  It makes it more moist. 

Next I made the frosting - which I just kind of made up as I went based off of a cream cheese frosting recipe. 

Peanut Butter Frosting:
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Creamy Peanut Butter
8 ounces of 1/3rd less fat Cream Cheese**
1 stick of Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Crisco

Make sure the cream cheese and butter are room temperature before mixing.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together. (It's that easy!)

After the cakes had cooled completely I laid down one layer and sprinkled some mini Reese's peanut butter cups on top. 

Then I iced that layer with the peanut butter frosting. 

Next I added the second cake layer and frosted the entire top and outside of the cake with the peanut butter frosting.

Last, I grabbed some semi sweet chocolate chips and the rest of the mini peanut butter cups and smashed them into the sides and top of the cake.  It really was delicious and not as rich as I expected.  We enjoyed it with 2% milk!  

Joe had a great birthday and after a Chipotle dinner and some cake we were stuffed.  I still felt full this morning! 

If anyone has a suggestion for a good boxed chocolate cake mix please comment.  I need to know some others to try. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Great Find! Shapely Wood Picture Frames

E and I hit the jackpot today on our weekly trip to Hobby Lobby today.  I had been seeing cute shaped wood picture frames on Pinterest for months now and had them on my to-do list.  But for 50% off I can just buy them now!

Look, I've already snatched one, added a precut double mat and hung it on my in process art wall that goes up the stairs.

I encourage you all to run and get them ASAP because I predict they are going to run out of them fast!  Everyone please have a fun and safe 4th of July and I'll see you after the holiday!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cane Back Chair Refurbishment

At the risk of sounding redundant: a) I learned a ton this being my first reupholster on this type of chair & b) I love refurbishing furniture! 

I've had this chair since the week I moved from Dallas - last July (almost a year!).  I found it at the North Dallas Antique Mall at Forest and Marsh in the last booth I looked in.  It met all my criteria:  Comfortable, solid, beautiful, and had some texture which I like to mix in my rooms.  I had originally been looking for a Louis style chair for my living room, but I am really into cane back and bamboo textures and was sold the second I laid eyes on it.  It had been a set of 2 chairs - but someone had already bought the other one.  That's probably a good thing because if I had bought both, this one wouldn't have made it into Evelyn's big girl room.

As you readers have already figured out - I went with the mid-hue green in Evelyn's bedspread to put on the walls.  All the fabric people are referring to it as "citron"; they just love being fancy, like that justifies the prices they charge to reupholster something for you.  Anyway, I found the pink fabric I used for the seat and cording (and cording on the ottoman) for $5 a yard!  It was originally $40 a yard - probably my best bargain find ever.  It is a linen and a bitch to work with though.  Again, for $5 a yard I was on the cusp of recovering everything in my house with this fabric.  The corally-pink of the fabric was originally the color we were going to paint the walls of the room, but it was just too much pink for me.  I'm better when I accent with pink.  It also matches the mid-tone pink in E's bedspread as well. 

The blue paint I used for the chair frame is Refresh by Sherwin Williams.  It is a stunning color and I'm probably going to paint everything I can in E's room with it (Already working on a nightstand).  Doesn't it just remind you of pool water? 

The project began with some sanding of the wood parts (not the cane back) and then painting on a layer of Kiehl's.  Then I sanded with a fine grit sandpaper and did 2 layers of the Refresh paint.  I finished off the frame with my favorite Mixwax water based polyurethane:

My biggest tip - and I had to learn this the hard way - is when reupholstering something like this, work the fabric from back to front.  I thought I would beat the system and worked front to back but now see why everyone recommends it the other way around.  I just stapled the fabric onto the frame and then covered the staples with the double cord welting that I hot glued on top of it. 

I had never done the double cord welting before and it in itself was a learning experience.  I'm going to do a post on how to do your own, and it really looks great on wood framed chairs. 

I did the chair and ottoman as a place for E and I to read books; she's already dragging the ottoman over to the bed as a way to climb up and then she says "Mommy, let's read a book in my bed."  So there goes that hope.  At least it looks good, right?


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