Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fence Post Headboard

When we bought our house nearly 2 years ago, it came with a great playground in back. At least, we thought it was great. Then we took a closer look and realized that it lacked a certain structural integrity that most parents would appreciate in a playground.

So we tore it down. This resulted in leftover wood for future projects and a bad case of poison ivy for me (I'll spare you the pictures). I had several ideas of what to do with the wood and I finally got to work on a project: guest bed headboard.

I picked out 10 good boards.

I sawed off the bottom of the boards to make them matching lengths and clean up the bottom a bit.

I thought I could use the Dremel to do the cutting, but the boards were just a little too thick so I had to do it with a trusty hand saw. It was rough going at first, but then I found a rhythm and sawed through all 10 boards without too much trouble.

I hand sanded the boards with coarse sandpaper.

There were two thicker boards that were the perfect length to be my crossbars to hold the whole thing together. I put two nails in each board at each crossbar. (I didn't get a picture of this.)

The boards all had nail holes from their play set days. Even though I was going for a shabby chic distressed look, I opted to fill them in since they were large and there were so many of them.

Then came painting time.

I gave it 2 1/2 coats. Here are pictures before distressing.

Since the boards were so old, they already had a great distressed look so I just needed to do a little sanding of the paint. This was actually incredibly easy. I used the hand sander with coarse sandpaper that I used to sand the boards in the first place. I'm pleased as punch at how this turned out.

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but there is a difference before and after I sanded. It came out a nice shabby chic.

Here is the room before the headboard.

And after.

The hubby (who I kept in the dark about my project) loved it and is thankful some of the wood is finally out of our screened in patio. And I got it done just in time for my parents' visit this weekend.

In the end, I only spend $20.89 (not counting the doctor bills for the poison ivy).
Nails: $3.47
Hand sander: $4.98
60 grit sand paper: $3.47
Quart of paint: $8.97

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blush and Bashful

These beauties are my first flip flops of the season.

I had a gift card for Kohl's so I was there looking for a specific useful item. I found said useful item and was headed to the checkout when I walked past these. They stopped me in my tracks. I found two pair that I liked so I consulted by fashion sensei R and she picked these. Maybe because these are less flip floppy :)

I wasn't crazy about the look of the useful item I was there for so I put that back and spent the gift card on these lovelies which was a perfect pick because I only paid 10 cents out of pocket.

They are also the perfect blush and bashful colors so I'm ready for a steel magnolia wedding.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

DIY Canvas Print - Take 2

See Take 1 to find out what didn't work for me in making my own canvas print. Here is the successful version :)

Canvas (I used 8"x16")
Picture* (same size as your canvas)
Matte Mod Podge
Wax Paper
Paint (color of your choice for the border, black is a nice complement to a black and white print - I used the small acrylic bottles found at Hobby Lobby)
Sponge Brush
Small Paint Brush
Spray Sealer Flat Finish (found with the spray paint at home improvement or craft stores)

*Since I was up against a deadline (we were exchanging Christmas gifts at Thanksgiving and it was Sunday night that I finally admitted defeat on take 1 and we were leaving Wednesday morning which means I had to have this ready by Tuesday....), I was in a little bit of a pinch to get a large, decent print made. I usually use Adorama for my printing needs, but there was no time for shipping. I had trouble finding a local place (Walgreens, Target, Walmart, etc) that would print in the size I needed (8" x 16") so I again went to the UPS store and had them print it on cardstock. This worked out really well as I didn't want a glossy finish anyway and I was able to increase the contrast on the print after the first time as it printed a little more gray than it looked on my screen.

Trim your picture so it will fit on your canvas without the edges hanging off. Spread a coat of  Mod Podge on the canvas and place the picture on the canvas. Smooth out the bubbles with your hands. You have to work quickly here as the Mod Podge dries quickly on the canvas. Turn the canvas upside down and place some heavy books on it to give it a good bond.
Once it is dry, squirt some paint onto a tray (disposable plates work great for this). Use a dry sponge brush to sponge paint the sides of the canvas.

If you sponge on the sides of the canvas, just the right amount should sponge over onto the edge of your print. This gives it a cool look and covers up any part of the print that might not have been cut straight (if you're like me). Use the small paint brush to get in the corners and in between the print and canvas, if necessary.

Once the paint is dry, cover the whole canvas, sides included, with a coat of Mod Podge. I generally use my finger as a Mod Podge applicator, but you could use a foam brush or something similar if you'd like.

When the Mod Podge has dried for a few minutes, set it upside down on waxed paper and again put heavy books on it. Let dry overnight.
Spray canvas, including sides, with a clear, flat finish sealer/protector spray - two coats. This step is not necessary, but it helps to hide any imperfections in the Mod Podge layer and give the print a smooth finish.

Here's the finished product.

I am delighted at how it turned out!

I wanted a matte finish to the print so I used matte Mod Podge and a flat spray, but you can use the glossy versions if you want a glossy finish.

Monday, December 5, 2011

DIY Canvas Print - Take 1

I've recently seen a few blog posts about making your own canvas print. I love this idea and thought I would give it a try with a picture I took of my new nephew. It would make a great Christmas gift for my sister and brother-in-law.

Here's the step by step on making a canvas print via photo transfer.

Canvas (I used 8"x16")
Picture printed on plain paper (since I was using a large size, I got mine printed at the UPS store - be sure to print it flipped horizontally as the mirror image will appear on the canvas)
Gel Medium (I used Liquitex Gloss Heavy Gel found at Hobby Lobby)
Foam Brush
Water Bottle

Cut your picture to fit the canvas. I cut mine a little bit bigger than the canvas so the image would wrap around the sides of the canvas.

Spread a thick layer of the gel medium all over the canvas.

Place the picture upside down on the canvas and smooth it with your fingers. Try to get out all of the bubbles. If you cut the picture a little bigger than the canvas, be sure to cover the sides with gel medium and press the paper against the sides. Let canvas try overnight on newspaper. (I use our awesome, very country, Pigeon Roost News.)

Now for the difficult part. Use a water bottle to wet the paper and rub the paper away with your fingers. You have to be very careful because you need to remove all the paper, but not the image. This takes a lot of patience.

My image looked pretty good after getting a lot of the paper off, but when it dried, there were still paper remnants that became visible. I tried wetting the canvas again to remove the paper residue, but it was hard to get it off without also taking off the image. I put the canvas under running water in hopes of disintegrating the paper that way instead of rubbing which at this point was taking off the image, but that didn't work.

In the end, I was left with....

Not such a great gift. Thankfully, the blogosphere has more than one way to make a canvas print so on to take 2. I really wanted the transfer method to work because I think it's the coolest, but sometimes, you just need to admit defeat. Stay tuned for take 2.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


If you've talked to my hubby at all in the last, say, 5 months, you would know that he is confident. Very, very confident. You would know this because he would have told you. Multiple times. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard the word, "confident," I would be a rich lady. He even made a chart of his confidence through the years. It's trending higher (which he is sure to tell you). But I digress.

Being from the South, he likes to wear sleeveless t-shirts in the summer. This fashion choice is one that amuses my sister and brother-in-law so when we found out that they have sleeveless onesies, we knew the perfect gift for said sister and brother-in-law's little bundle of joy.

Of course we couldn't give him plain old sleeveless shirts, we spruced them up Uncle Mark style.

Word of the hubby's confidence can spread even farther now. We also made a tuxedo sleeveless onesie (for those formal occasions babies go to), and a baseball one since that's the hubby's favorite sport.

Since little baby J lives in Chicago, we got these in 9 month size so they'll be the perfect fit when warmer weather comes to town. Best gift ever? Quite possibly :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bruchhaus Baby Bash!

We recently hosted a shower for some coworker friends. They are expecting a bouncy baby boy on December 10. I had a lot of fun preparing for the shower and Stephanie, my planning cohort, did a great job with the games and cakes. I think everyone had a great time (even the single guys!). Now to the pictures!

I altered our fall decor a little bit to fit the baby boy theme.

We had a yummy hot chocolate bar with crushed peppermints, caramel, piroulines, and, of course, marshmallows and whipped cream.

This excellent pumpkin dip was fun to show off in a home-grown pumpkin.

Stephanie did a great job with the diaper cake.

And the real cake.

The happy soon-to-be parents!

Congratulations Michael and Abby!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Schrute Farms

Back in April, we planted some carrot seeds. Throughout the summer, I periodically pulled a couple, but they were always very small. So eventually, I just left them alone. Finally, this fall, I pulled up the rest and here's what we got:

They look a bit more like beets than carrots.

Since the growing season was ending, I was going to pull up the rest of the garden, but then I found this little pumpkin growing.

Hard to believe that little thing was growing in this mess! 

Here's the tomato plant that started growing tomatoes in September after the wind knocked it on it's side.

That pretty much wraps up this year's garden. I transplanted the herbs into containers and brought them inside. We'll have to come up with some new things to grow next year and give it another go.