Easy Spring Note Cards

My daughter called me from Boston yesterday to say, “It’s SOOOOO C-O-L-D!”.  I said, “I bet!  It’s cold here too.” She replied, “No. You don’t understand.  It’s 16 degree cold.  It’s like minus 2  degrees with the wind chill!”  “Uh, yeah,” I said.  “It’s definitely not that cold here. I bet you can’t wait for spring!”

It seems like it’s been an unusually cold winter this year, even in the south, and I know lots of us are craving a little spring at this point.  Well,  I can’t really do anything about the weather, but I figured I’d send my daughter a card to assure her spring will come;) (The warm weather is just going to take a bit longer to reach her in Boston than to reach us in Atlanta.)

So, I broke out the new Fishers X-Large Fern punch I bought at Joann’s last week (They were 50% off- $7.99)  and some chartreuse and green paper I bought to try with it.

I love the way the ferns come out with this punch.  Really nice quality!  It takes a little effort, but if you’ve used a punch before, you’re ready for that.  Still, it totally beats trying to cut out the little suckers!

I cut a few pieces of 5X7 card stock and then punched randomly.  Once I had punched a few pieces I decided to see what they would look like if I put another color underneath the cuts-and used them as a kind of “relief”.  And you know what?  I liked it.  I mean, I liked it with just the plain white underneath.  I even liked the one I did that had some of the punches going off the side of the page.  Nothing I ever do seems to be simple, but this was so simple.

I used an Elmer’s extra strength glue stick and mounted the green paper to some white card stock I had.  I like the clean modern look these have.  I used both colors and punched just the bottom of one and then all around the sides of the other.  I think I spent 15 minutes total on these cards.  I realize I could have made them a little more perfect…but honestly I kind of like that they are imperfect.  Handmade is imperfect;).

Well, it’s a balmy 27 degrees in Boston today…but whoa…only 9 in Oklahoma at OU! (I can’t even think about that wind chill.)  I think I’ll send one of these to each of my kids with a Starbucks gift card.  Which, (how lucky am I?) will coordinate with the colors.  That way they can stop on their way to class and grab a cup of hot cocoa or coffee to warm themselves up – a hug in a cup;)

Above are the four cards I made today.  I hope you’ll find a minute to break out a punch you might already have and make some spring cards.  I’d love to see what you make! So, please feel free to share your creation here:)

If you like the punch I used you can order through Joann’s here .

Stay warm everyone!  Think spring!

What is the BEST wallpaper remover?

What is the best wallpaper remover?  You’re not going to believe me when I tell you, but you should, because I have more wallpaper removal experience than any mom should be allowed to have;)

When we bought the house we currently live in, the inside was covered with dark wallpaper that we both disliked immensely…ok…hated.  We hated the wallpaper.  So, very soon after closing, we began the monumental task of soaking and scraping, and slowly worked our way through several rooms.  We tried several different wall paper removers like this one and  a wallpaper scoring tool like this one  to let the wallpaper remover soak in better, but it was always smelly and unbelievably time consuming!  Until we discovered the BEST wallpaper remover ever!  Are you ready for it?  DOWNY fabric softener!

We’ve been regulars at Home Depot since we moved to Atlanta and are on a first name basis with a couple of the guys there – I won’t say who because I don’t want anyone to get into trouble for this.  One Saturday we were standing in the aisle complaining, yet again, about taking down more wall paper when one of the guys we knew said, “Don’t waste your money.”  I’m sure we looked confused.  “Well, if we don’t use a wallpaper remover, how are we going to get all that glue off?”  He leaned in, gave us a big wink and said “Do y’all have any Downey?”  What? Was he serious?! “You mean fabric softener?” we asked.  “Yep!  That’s the one.”

Our wallpaper whisperer had been a paint and wallpaper guy for many years.  He told us Downey was the only thing he used.

The directions he gave us were as follows:

  1. Put on a pair of heavy dishwashing gloves.
  2. Then put the hottest water you can get out of the tap into a 5 gallon bucket – about 2/3 full.   Ad several capfuls of liquid Downy fabric softener. (I use April Fresh:).  Now mix it together.
  3. Soak a large sponge in the hot water/Downy mixture and then, starting at the top of the wall, wipe over the wallpaper with a very wet sponge.  Slowly, work your way down to the bottom of he wall going back and forth horizontally in sections about 3-5 feet wide.  (We usually do about a 5 foot wide section.)
  4. Soak your sponge whenever you feel it is getting too dry.
  5. Then move to the next section of wall and repeat.
  6. When 5- 10 minutes has elapsed for the first section go back to it and start peeling the paper.  If you need to soak your sponge and put a bit more of the hot water mixture on as you work your way down the wall.
  7. Do this for the whole room.  Change the hot water mixture when it gets too “gluey”(if that’s a word).
  8. Once you have peeled the paper go back to the first section and just wash off any remaining glue that remains so the wall is nice and smooth.

We still use a wall paper remover tool like this one  to scrape some wallpaper where necessary.

Downy works GREAT – better than any of the wall paper stripping products we have tried on the market.  It also smells much nicer than anything you can buy at the hardware store. So…bonus!  We’ve been using Downey ever since that day at Home Depot and we won’t ever go back.

Give it a try for yourself! Let me know what you think!

A Farmhouse Table & Outdoor Dinner Party

A few months ago I started thinking about hosting and outdoor dinner party. Fall is my favorite time of year, and although the color in Atlanta is not what it is in my native New England, the weather can be beautiful well into November. Why not take advantage of it?  We get together often for dinner with friends and I wanted to change things up (I know…so not like me! LOL!)  We always start by hanging out in the kitchen and move to the dining room to eat because it’s the only table that can fit six or more. I started pinning photos to my Pinterest board to get ideas.

First, we needed to figure out what to use as a table. We’ve had this outdoor set for about 12 years.

It’s super heavy and durable, and it’s perfect for 4 people, but a little tight for 6 adults. (The table top also squeaks like crazy because it’s a little broken;). I also had more of a “farmhouse” theme in mind. But, what could we use?  I didn’t want to buy a new table.  Time to get creative!  We had this a 45 inch wide rectangular table in the basement that I refinished years ago, and now use to hold my painting supplies.

We knew we needed something a little bigger (to fit 6-8 people).  We decided we could use the table as a base and just make a larger table top.  Love it!  Lee found this post on my DIY Woodworking board on Pinterest to make the table.  He tweaked the plans to be the size we wanted. Here is a picture of us (aka: him) figuring things out in Home Depot.) I love this guy<3

We spent about an hour looking through boards they had in stock. They needed to be straight, not warped, and the idea girl wanted some character – knots and wood grain.

We probably went through 50 boards before we settled on the ones above. (Bless my patient husband!) We laid them out to get a sense of what it would look like.

Once we got home I spent some time laying the pieces out the way I wanted them put together for the final table top and then my hubby got to work cutting the boards and making the pocket holes with his Kreg jig. He put gorilla glue over all of the edges of the wood that would be connected with screws and then screwed the wood together.

This is the underside of the table. If I haven’t mentioned it before, my husband is an engineer. I realize there are an awful lot of pocket holes here:)…and we ran out of screws at one point…but this table top is NOT going to coming apart on ust;)

Since we were using a soft wood (pine) I decided to use a water based wood conditioner first.  It prepares the wood so that it doesn’t suck the stain in so quickly and end up being “blotchy” looking.  I did some test strips on some scrap pieces first.  Based on those tests, I was actually afraid it would resist the water based stain I selected a little too much, but it honestly didn’t. It worked out great! I would highly recommend using a wood conditioner before you stain pine, and I will absolutely use it going forward.

My husband gave the whole table top a good sanding with the orbital sander and then wiped it down really well.  This is a picture of the top of the table with the one coat of the water based wood conditioner we used in natural.

I wanted the table to have a light grayish-brown, weathered look – kind of like Restoration Hardware. Below is a picture of the table with one coat of the water based wood stain we used in Walnut.  There were two areas that didn’t come out the way I wanted, so I got the orbital sander and sanded the top of the table very lightly and very randomly. Then I wiped off the dust with a dry cloth and wiped over the whole table again with the (very) wet rag I used to wipe off the initial coat of stain.

Here is what the table looked like after it dried.

Sidebar – I’ve been painting some “whimsical chairs” when I have the time, and often drop into GoodWill or a local flea market to see if they have anything. The week of our dinner I found these 4 chairs at Goodwill for $26.92. (Can you believe I hemmed and hawed about them for about a half hour before I decided to buy them? Yeah…sometimes I think too much!) Although they are missing a few pieces, they were fairly sturdy. (I’ll figure out a way to fix them at some point in the future.) I figured I could wipe them down and sand the seat a little and we could use them for our dinner.

Here is a picture of the table with chairs I found at Goodwill to see if it would look ok for dinner. (I like it!)

The picture below provides a good view of how the new table top  sits on top of the old table. It is attached with blocks of wood and screws so it wouldn’t move if people lean on it – meaning all our dishes wouldn’t go crashing onto the deck;)  The engineer gets all the credit:)  I had one old chair and added the chairs from the GoodWill.  I just sanded the seats a bit so that they didn’t have the splotches of old paint on them like they did when I bought them.

We added a final chair from the kitchen to the other end of the table. (I am actually really liking this mismatched chair look!)

Here is the table set for company, including a few blankets to use in case it got cold. (In Atlanta that’s anything below 70 degrees:))

We had a lot of fun making the table together and we had a great night with friends whom we adore!  I hope there will be LOTS more opportunities to use this table!





Embossing Powder – How Did I Miss This?!

This morning I managed to drop my husband at the airport a little early, so with a few minutes to spare on the way home I thought I’d pop into a Paper Source not too far out of my way. I love Paper Source!  I can feel the creative juices in my brain start flowing start as soon as I walk in the door (and I have to remind myself not to buy everything in sight.)  I’ve been trying to find a whimsical chicken stamp (a story for another day), and they had a selection of stamps, so I figured I’d look.

I noticed some examples the staff had made with the stamps in stock and was drawn to the ones that looked like the ink was raised, kind of 3-D, very cool! When the salesperson asked if she could help me find something I asked her what they used to make the ink look raised. She said, “Embossing powder. Do you want to try it?” Well…hell…yes I do!

She took me to a table and opened a drawer filled with stamps, ink, and embossing powders in too many colors to count! She showed me how you just put a regular stamp in a clear ink and stamp the paper. Then you sprinkle embossing powder over it (like you would if you were adding glitter to glue). You shake off the excess and put it back in the container. Then you simply heat the stamped area with a heat gun and voila! SO COOL! Why have I not tried this before today??

I wear big black nerdy glasses (which I love) and they had a stamp that looked just like them – so I bought it. I also bought a flower stamp, thinking I might be able to fill the flower petals in with water colors. Of course, I had to buy the VersaMark Ink and I chose three powders that I thought might coordinate. I already have a heat gun at home- which I use for a number of things including encaustic art.

When I got home I started playing with the embossing powder right away! Beware – if you haven’t tried this yet!  It is SO easy and TOTALLY addictive! I’m hooked! Here are a few that I did today. The glasses were easy.  Stamp, sprinkle with embossing powder (used black sparkle for the glasses), shake off the excess, put it back into the little round container, and then heat the stamped area. Done! For the flowers below I did the same, using watercolor paper, and then painted inside the petals with watercolor pencils.  Now, I’ve decided I’ve got to go to ETSY and find somewhere I can buy a stamp with our name and address on it.  I’m never going to write my return address on an envelope ever again!  I’m going to emboss it:)  It’s going to look great on our Christmas cards this year.  Hmmmm….maybe gold?  If you haven’t already tried embossing powders -I hope you’ll give them a try!  Feel free to share your creations!

Copyright © 2023 · Theme by 17th Avenue

Copyright © 2023 · Amelia on Genesis Framework · WordPress · Log in