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Kid Stuff

Just a couple small projects this week. First up my childhood friend the rocking horse. I never gave it a name. Or a gender for that matter. Comment what it’s name should be, I think it’s about time it got one. 

This poor, 26ish year old horse has spent the last 14 or so years in a garage loft and it shows.

My grandfather built it for me before my legs would even reach the pegs. And my grandmother painted the beautiful designs. 

As you can see the varnish has yellowed over the years. In fact you can see where my little hands wore off the varnish so the blue paint shows its true color around the hand holds.

I wanted to get rid of as much of the yellowing as I could while still keeping the lovely paint that my grandmother did, so I just did a wet sanding with a 150 and 220 grit sanding pad 

Now it just looks a little more antiqued than before, but still beautiful. I will eventually need to replace the tail, but for now it’s found a home in our dining room for our friends children to play on. 

Next up a project from Mr. Smith’s childhood. 

It’s not quite as pretty but it’s a bit more practical. It was his childhood toy box and before it was his it was someone else’s… I’m not sure whose, but obviously it’s pretty old and it’s pretty sturdy. It’s made out of scrap, solid wood, tongue and groove. 

And as you can see here a 6 year old Mr. Smith painted it. 

We freshened up the paint a bit using the same red and chalkboard as I did on the bar. As you can see it’s also going to need a new bottom. 

It also desperately needed new casters as the bearings in these had seized up. 

New casters, new bottom reinforced with a center strut thanks to some scrap paneling and wood…
I think Mr. Smith is excited about his newly remodeled toy box…. Or at least the toys

And it has found a cozy home in the breakfast nook. 

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Hasty 

I literally just finished doing this. I’m still covered in paint and am finally out of a cross legged position only to find myself pinned down by The Little.

  
 Might as well make the most of it and do a post while I’m unoccupied. Thank goodness for mobile blogging. I was going to do a post about the ugliest cheese cake known to man. 

  
My husband got me a kitchen aid stand mixer. It’s marvelous but there is a reason I don’t do food blogs. I love to cook and it usually tastes great but that doesn’t mean it’s pretty. Thus was the story with my improvised salted caramel cheesecake. Essentially a basic cheesecake with brown sugar and a smidge of salt in the crust and a gooey caramel topping with salt sprinkled on it. 

It was hideous and only lasted two days 

On to much prettier things. 

  
Our bar is a giant white monolith and our kitchen doesn’t have much character what with being all black and white. I’ve introduced little pops of red inspired by our China which was  handed down from my husband’s great grandmother. It’s wonderful paired with my mom’s Avon glass collection she passed on to me.

  
And we have somehow managed to have a chalkboard theme in the kitchen… It’s on mugs & glasses, picked out by Mr. Smith but I ran with it and got canisters and even have the theme  in the pantry. 

  
So now that I’ve got the breakfast nook furnished and stools for the bar we’ve decided to expand the red and chalkboard theme 

  
(Ok, admittedly the nook still needs some curtains. It’s one of the only rooms that will get them.) 

After prepping the area with tape the brackets to the bar got the red treatment. 

   

  
I thought it looked better even after one coat 

  
About four coats later 

Here is a tip, if you happen to get paint on any hard surface (laminate, hardwood, tile, stone, cured paint)  you don’t want it on, magic erasers will take it right off even if it has dried.

  
After a little clean up our bar is looking pretty great. 

  
I’m going to wait a couple weeks for the paint to cure before we start doodling on it 

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Faking It

I studied graphic design for four years and used to work in a sign shop. This, by no means has made me a master at the art of hand lettering. Not to fear, there is a work around for this.

Those dreaded Target bins suckered me in again with an absolutely darling (does anyone say darling anymore) chalkboard easel and I’ve been sitting here debating what to put on it. Well, I’ll give you a hint at a future blog post as I am working on a massive cross stitch project. I decided I would open up Word and just type up something appropriate for my easel to motivate me through that particular project. Not that I seem to need much help.

I then just printed it out and made sure everything was the appropriate size for the piece. Then I took a piece of chalk and rubbed it on the back of the paper anywhere there was lettering. Essentially making carbon paper (only, obviously… chalk paper?)… I don’t think anyone uses carbon paper anymore and I wouldn’t even know where to get such a thing, but it can make things a bit easier if you’re attempting “hand lettering”… The work around for carbon paper is just rubbing graphite on the back of the paper.

Then you just place your piece of paper onto your chalkboard where you are going to want the lettering and secure it with tape. Print side up, chalk side down. Then trace over the letters with a pen or pencil or stylus, anything to apply pressure to transfer the chalk from the back of the paper onto the chalkboard.

After I did all that I did go over the transfer image with a sharp piece of chalk just to make the lettering starker. You could go over it with a chalk marker but, keep in mind that the markers usually don’t wash off chalkboards or chalk paint very well.

Lastly I just did a little bit of embellishment. A little washi tape around the edges to act as a frame/border

And a few designs here and there to dress it up a bit.

Hopefully that will motivate me to get this project done a little faster.