Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Box of Many Trades

An antique toolbox to hold, well, almost anything.


Paint supplies. Art/craft supplies. Wine bottles. Picture it on a big, rugged farm table, with oversized napkins, and utensils wrapped with twine. Yeah?


My goal was simply to give it new life. A new, old life. But with a twist. You know, a little spice.



Each layer of color was added individually. I started with a light coat of primer. Which, almost completely soaked into the wood. Next was a solid coat of green. Once dry, I dry brushed the light blue on top of the green. Nothing specific. Nothing technical. Just wherever and in every direction. I mixed the blue about 50/50 paint and water. I used a wet rag to wipe off any excess.

The Fleur-de-lis: I found an image using Google. Printed it down, cut it out, taped it where I wanted it. Then, I used a pen to trace over the outline. By using a little pressure, it leaves a faint outline (impression) in the wood. I used a couple small brushes to fill it in by hand. I did this on both ends of the box.



I did the same process for the front of the box, to make the oval shape. I just used a small trash can as my template. Hey, whatever works, right? Once everything was in place, I sanded. Lots of sanding. I really wanted it to look rough. But, it’s actually pretty smooth. No splinters.



Next, it was time for the handle. I used some smallish rope from Home Depot. Not sure of the size, but it’s about 1/4”. I pre-wrapped it to get the length I wanted, then cut it to size. I attached it to the original handle with hot glue. Each compartment got lined with a piece of burlap. Also attached with hot glue.



Now…the numbers. I don’t know? I just wanted them. Actually, I wanted some old metal letters and numbers. Did you know that metal letters are next to impossible to come by? Really. So I chose a couple completely mismatched numbers. I even banged up the wooden #2 to give it some age.



After everything was in place, I glazed the box. The whole box! Even the rope handle. The glaze is what really brought it all together. However…I didn’t glaze the inside. I wanted the brighter colors on the inside to contrast the outside. I’ve been using Varathane Gel Stain to glaze. This stuff rocks!


So you don’t have to scroll…






So what do you think? Could you find a place in your house for this?

More Go for Your On-The-Go

A keychain sized iPhone charger? Yes please.



I think everyone with an iPhone has needed this little beauty, at least once. And at only $35, it’s almost a must have! It charges via USB. Nice.

Small. Simple. Affordable. I heart you Photojojo.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Not So Instagram-ification

From iPhone - To wall. FINALLY!!!


So I’ve had this idea in my head forever. And with a little inspiration, I finally did it. The frame is thrift. It needed some work on the corners. I recently Pinterested one of these ideas (which is what kicked me in the ass). Unlike my inspiration, I didn’t want bold, bright and perfectly straight. However, I do LOVE their frame! So instead, I dry brushed the paint onto the frame, and wiped off any excess with a wet rag.

This is the original frame.


The cute little clothes pins are paper clips. I bought them at Walmart almost 2 years ago! Yep. That’s how long I’ve been planning on doing this. sigh They got a quick coat of light blue, spray paint.

All ready for paint.


Time for assembly. I laid the frame on the ground, and dry fit the images in the frame. Once I knew where I wanted the pictures to go, I marked spots for all my screws. I used #6x1/2” screws. I wish I had searched for a better wire. But I didn’t. I wanted a thin wire that wouldn’t show up too much. This worked, but I wouldn’t use it again. Next time, I’ll use picture hanging wire. I just wrapped it tightly around once screw, stretched it across, pulled it taught, and tied it off.


Once it was on the wall, I just started clipping pictures on. Totally random. And yes, I know they’re crooked. I like it that way.



And here’s a close-up of the frame. The color of the frame matches the clothes pins. But it also matches all the vintage globes in the living room.



I love how flexible it is. The pictures can be easily changed. And they don’t all have to be square. I plan to swap out some Polaroid shots on there too. All the pictures being used right now, were taken and edited with my iPhone. And guess what? The prints were also ordered…yep…from my iPhone. I used the MoPho App. Amazing service and great quality prints! 4x4 prints are only $0.29 each!


Have you ever wondered what to do with all those pictures stuck on your mobile?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pinterest is Smoking

I’m talking about cigarettes! Boo Pinterest! Boo!


Marlboro cigarette ads. Bacardi. Really Pinterest? I’m not sure when it happened. But I’m sick of seeing it already. Here’s a simple way to block those annoying ads on Pinterest. This is for Windows users.

pinterest ad1

Remove annoying ads from Pinterest

First, you’ll need to install AdBlock. It’s just a browser extension. I’m using Chrome, so your version may look slightly different, but the process is the same. Find your version at the bottom of this post.

Open Pinterest. Find the annoying ad. Right click directly on the ad. Find AdBlock in the menu that pops us. Choose “Block this ad”. AdBlock should take care of the rest. Just follow the next step.

pinterest ad

Now, you’re free to continue to browse the pure bliss, that is Pinterest.






If anyone needs an invite, all I need is your email.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

There’s a Hump In My Burlap

Or a few humps.


Can I iron burlap? Don’t look at me like that. I didn’t know?


Well yes, I can. A spray bottle, and a towel was all it took. Okay. And an iron.


Now I can carry on with my project. Move along. Nothing more to see here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lego Table

Hey, Lego my table. <----- yeah, not funny



So many Legos. So little space. Our boy has thousands of Legos. Yes, thousands! And in case you didn’t know, building Legos on carpet isn’t very fun at all. So, I set out to build him a table to play on. Sure, I could have bought one, for some ridiculously high price. I picked up the perfect table at a thrift shop for $10.


I made my own chalk paint with some gray oops paint. Here’s the table with the first coat. I used two coats. I didn’t worry about the middle, it would be covered. And I wanted the bare wood for the glue to stick to.



Next, I marked where the Lego boards would go. Then I applied a ton some Liquid Nails. I may not have used enough. But if they come up, it’s an easy fix. Once they were in place, I taped off an area, and used some black chalkboard paint. No pictures of those steps, pretty self explanatory. Finished table below.



Originally, I was going to cut holes in the extra space on the right, and put buckets or cups in them to hold Legos. But I went with a more portable solution for the Legos. Since we had some extra space to fill, I made it a fun space.



I covered the painted surface with two coats of Minwax wax. And finally, I added some casters to the legs. Freedom to move around! I had also planned to put a border around the edge of the table. I bought some 3/4 round from Home Depot. Let me tell you, not the right choice. But I have room to add something else in the future. These pictures are all in the living room. Of course, it’s going in his bedroom, but he has some cleaning to do first. So this is how it will look in his room.



Now, the nightmare… before…


All those Legos used to just wind up all over the house! Putting the table in his room unfinished, was no help. Fortunately, they have all been contained in separate buckets for a few weeks. He’s been really good about putting them away each time. And he plays with his Legos every day! I didn’t want to do the whole this color in this bucket thing. That’s too anal. I want him to create freely, and enjoy it. So we separated them more by type. But still completely random. Except for characters. All body parts and accessories have their own buckets.


Legos come in sets. Each set builds something specific. Well, as soon as he builds it, he pulls it apart, and uses the pieces to build his own creations. We LOVE that he does this! It really encourages him to use his imagination. But just in case, we keep all the instructions from the original sets inside a three ring binder.


And the Lego community rejoiced!!! Yeah. I’m their hero.


How do you store Legos?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shrimp Pasta Béarnaise

No, I didn’t say steak.


When most people hear Béarnaise Sauce, they instantly think, steak. Yeah, well, I’m not a chef. And guess what, it compliments this pasta sauce, perfectly! Don’t believe me, try it. Fast, easy, and affordable. Great for big groups or picnics. It can be served warm or cold. Perfect with a big, juicy burger!



Like I said, I’m not a chef. This is just something I threw together, a long time ago. I’ve made it several times and everyone loves it! But that “no chef thing”, means I don’t really measure. So, just guess.



1 Box Ronzoni Garden Delight Pasta (12oz)

1 Bag of Cooked Shrimp 91-110 Count

2 Packages of Knorr Béarnaise Sauce

1 Package of Grape Tomatoes

Garlic Salt


Cut the tomatoes to preference. I prefer cutting them into thirds. I do this while waiting for the water to boil.

Follow the directions for the Ronzoni Pasta. Cook for about 8 minutes. Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, start your Béarnaise Sauce. I make both packages at once. Simply double the instructions. 

Combine pasta and sauce into a large bowl. Add garlic salt to taste. About 1/2 tablespoon. Mix well. Add tomatoes and shrimp. Mix. Serve.




Anything in this recipe can be substituted. I like these noodles because they’re healthy and flavorful. A lot of tri-colored noodles have zero flavor. I use the smaller, but not the smallest shrimp, because it compliments the size of the noodles and tomatoes. The Knorr Bernaise Sauce is simple to make. But if you prefer, you can make your own.


I’ve made this several times over the last few years. But each time, as much as everyone loved it, it was missing something. At least to me. Well, it was the tomatoes. Those tomatoes…must be something about their acidic nature that really brings this whole thing together? But what do I know? I’m a photographer.


Would love to know what you think, if you try it!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dandy - Doo

And dandelions, too.


A recent photo challenge: dandelions. Yep. Those annoying little weeds that we usually ignore. Or rush to remove. Who would have thought they could be so beautiful?









These are my pictures. But, there were dozens, if not hundreds, of amazing submissions. Where? Why, Google+, of course. I actually still have several I haven’t edited yet. All taken and edited within a couple hours.

Have you ever really, I mean really, stopped to admire the beauty of these things?