Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Not Dead. Just busy.

Man, what a whirlwind of a summer it has been. I don't know exactly what is keeping me so busy, but it seems to be one thing after another!

My brain is bursting with blog posts, including projects I finished FOR-E-VER ago and have yet to share. Ugh! School is just around the corner- our second year of *official* homeschooling, and now I'm busy preparing for that.

Last time I posted, I was in the middle of planning my niece's high school graduation party. Well, sorry to leave you hanging, but yes, she did graduate and the party was a smash!

She just left last week for a nanny job in New York city. I always want to say "Moooo York City?!" Remember the old Pace commercial??

Let me refresh your memory:


I taught a week of VBS at our church (FIFTEEN little boys and three girls in my preschool class, gulp).

Lyla's on the left

The fancy schmancy entrance I made. The program was Answers in Genesis' "International Spy Academy." This was really fun, girls are WAY into the music and still singing it daily.

Are they adorable or what? 
I know. I am biased.

I shuttled the kids to and fro various summer activities:

Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Bioblitz Festival

Park Days

Soccer VBS

...including the most fun Madhatter Tea Party event of the year that was absolutely magical. Sharing those photos is on my to-do list as well!

We joined a gym.

Confession: Only been once since we got our membership way back in June. Yay for exercise!

But you should see my new workout wardrobe- I look so active wherever I go!

We've been really busy.
And it's so hot.
So, so hot.
I'm doing tons of sweating at home!

We had our annual Fourth of July party, installed a brick patio in our backyard, and we've been nursing a pathetic vegetable garden all summer long. Phew! I'm tired.

Patio in progress


I built a set of shelves for our living room wall. I love them.

Baby Finn finally cute his first tooth on the Fourth of July after months of teething. He is just an adorable little can opener now. Such a happy guy, we are enjoying him so much! We took him on his first camping trip and he did great.

Are they the two most handsome men or what? I am blessed, I tell ya!

My girls have had a summer of slip 'n slides and Otter Pops, naked backyard running, county fairs, and late nights. We've read Charlotte's Web together and we are finishing off summer reading with The Door in the Wall.

I'm rearranging furniture in our little house, continuing to make it work. Finn's crib is in the dining room shoehorned next to the china cabinet. Good news is, the dining room is the same paint color (Valspar's Buckskin Pony) I would have chosen if he actually had his own room anyway, so there's that.

Baby's got a gun!

A couple of weeks ago, I began another room redo. My youngest niece Ashtyn and I have begun to amass furniture and objects for her bedroom makeover. My eldest niece Brooke got her room redo a couple of years ago, with plans for Ashtyn to be next. But then I got pregnant and tired and Ashtyn's room overhaul got delayed by a year (okay, two years). I've been thrifting and yardsaling, painting and sanding, repurposing and planning to give her a shabby chic room she can call her own. Almost there!

Right now, I'm trying to get a handle on this new school year. We are adding WAY more subjects to Ava's education plan, and I think I need a little pep talk and seasoned guidance. And I"m still trying to track down a good planner. I am so not the "planning type." I take that back. I am the planning type, just not the "following through type." I love to collect the supplies, the binders, the bins, the books, the materials....but using them all is a little overwhelming.

So how about you? What are you working on to wrap up summer? We finally had a break from this 100+ degree heat with a couple of days of rain and I have RELISHED it! Windows open, breathing in the sweet smell!

I am totally in a fall mood now. Oh, and I made it to the gym!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

FREE Graduation Quote Printable and Updated Frame

It's almost graduation time! If you know any high-schoolers or college students who are walking the line soon, I have a fun printable to share. It comes in two color schemes and is perfect for gifting or party decor!

I found this quote while shopping for party decor for my niece's graduation party. I wasn't crazy about the tacky other frame I saw for sale in the store, so I updated a thrifted frame I already had on hand and designed my own "The tassel was worth the hassle" quote with a trendy chalkboard theme.

First, I wanted to share the frame project. This started as one of your classic '80's country designs. The pickled wood frame with a country blue and mauve matting that surrounds the picture of a...sofa

Where do you hang a picture of a couch? ...Above your couch? 

I think I missed that tip somewhere along the way. Thankfully.

Well, I saw passed the dated print and thought the frame was great. I gave it a complete makeover with DecoArt's new Americana Chalky Finish Paint. Love this stuff. This is not my first rodeo using this paint; I've used it on furniture several times now, and I love the versatility. I've been seeing at Michael's for some time now.

First, it got a coat of "Refreshing." It's a soft shade of seafoam green.

Once that dried, I brushed on "Everlasting," a crisp white. I worked the paint into the cracks with my brush, then wiped away the raised areas for an antiqued effect. It adds a little more depth and contrast to really accentuate the frame's detail.

Next, I used my sanding block to rough it up a little and add even more dimension. 
A coat of Soft Touch Varnish finished off this frame for a silky smooth finish. 

The photo mat got a new shade of pink and I highlighted the second mat with antique gold metallic paint. It gives a nice shimmer.

Once the frame was done, I popped in my new design and it was party-ready! 

Below are links to the 8x10 printables, designed by yours truly. Just click on the image you like for the Google Docs version and print! I made two color schemes, so choose your fave:

Thanks for stopping by! I've got a few other graduation related posts if you would like to check them out:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Vintage School Desk Redo

In preparation for my niece's High School Graduation Party, this vintage school desk was the perfect compliment to use for the party decor. My friend Tina is moving (boo!) and offered up a few old school desks from her homeschool room, free for the taking. I reluctantly declined because I have no more square footage for furniture. But then, weeks later, I realized a school desk would be perfect compliment to the
party decorations. What's a girl to do?

Well, I took the furniture, of course!!

When I messaged Tina, and she had two desks left. Phew! I just loved this one. Underneath the updated formica top and blue paint job, you could see that in her former glory, she was beauty!

I got busy with my orbital sander and removed the blue paint from the wood seat and top. I started with a heavy grit (60-120) and finally polished to a 220 grit for a finish that was smooth like butter. I gave the metal desk frame a rough sanding to prep it for paint. I didn't bother filling in the cracks in the old wood because I thought it added to the character of the desk. I even left some of the old paint on the wood to add a little depth and show it's age.

Don't you just love furniture that tells a story? All those imperfections make me wonder how many kids did their work from that seat. I almost wish that the desk had a name carved into the top, for posterity, you know?

For the paint, I went to Lowes searching for a green tone reminiscent of Jadeite or depression-era green milk glass. When I pulled out the color "Jaded Lime" from the Valspar section, I knew I had a match made in heaven! I just love this soft green; it goes perfect with the party color scheme too.

My DIY projects have been moving at a snail's pace since somebody showed up around here. He's just too adorable for words and I can't resist a smiling baby.

 Finn is already six months old!

After painting, I stained the desk and chair with Minwax's "Special Walnut." Since the wood had been replaced on the desk top, the seat and desk were two different tones; so I also gave another coat of Minwax's "Red Mahogany" on the seat to try to bring the two together. They still have a slight variance, but I think it adds to the charm.

Next, I asked my Facebook and Instagram followers whether I should distress the piece and it was almost a split decision!

The new paint looked so crisp and pretty, but some of the details were washed out. I asked my husband and he said "Distress it! It will bring out the detail of the frame and highlight the lines on the legs."

Then I had a heart attack because I get really excited when my husband talks "DIY" to me! Hehehe. 

So there she is. All pretty and renewed. My husband says we should keep it now and put it to use. I just don't know where it is going to fit!

I do know she is going to be a showstopper at the graduation party!

(oh yeah, our cat Prince had to stop by and say "Hi!" too.)

Linking up and partying here:

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