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Keepsakes

I like to make artwork out of things that aren’t really “art” I suppose it’s a bit like scrap booking, I call it Keepsaking.

 

So along with the foreign money I arranged in frames I framed another little keepsake. I was cleaning out my purse not too long ago and I found a ticket stub from Cinderella. I wasn’t overly wowed by the recent live action iteration of Cinderella (fingers crossed for Beauty and The Beast) however it has a more sentimental value. That was the night my boyfriend (ok fine fiancé) proposed to me.

 

When I found the frame for my calendar (you can see that here) I also found this rather epic frame on clearance. So I decided to put my tiny ticket stub in it.

First I had to make a mat for it though

I just cut an old mat up as a template. Then I used some washi tape to jazz it up

And finished off the edge with ribbon

Then, Hey Presto! I got myself a little keepsake for my desk at work.

Not to mention absolutely no excuse to forget that particular anniversary.

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Caulk (hehehe)

I’m finally, really, like for realzies finished with the bathroom. If you missed the first part be sure to click here. When last we left, it looked pretty good but lacked a backsplash and therefore lacked some functionality. I had to wait three weeks after painting the bathroom before I could do the tile work in order to let the surface fully cure. But yea! Hooray! The wait is over. So first I measured out and cut the tile. I took the easy/cheap way out of this by getting tiny little square tiles on a sheet. I say cheap but these were one of the most expensive things in the bathroom at $10 a sheet. Luckily it only took 3 of them and it means I didn’t have to buy or rent a tile saw.   Next we used tile adhesive to stick them to the wall and the tiny bit of counter. Unfortunately I’ve fallen flat at pictures for this step but it’s a pretty basic process that only requires one specialized tool called a notched trowel.   After a couple days drying time it was on to the grout. I’ve had the pleasure of laying tile before so the grout was the fun part. You just mix it per the instructions on the bag until you have kind of a peanut butter consistency (having an old hand mixer is really nice for this part) then just use a float to start mushing it into the spacing and scraping off the excess. You have to be careful not to work your grout too much or it will become stiff and crumble. After letting the grout sit for about 20 minutes (or however your mix directs you) you simply start wiping the grout down with a very slightly damp sponge to get off excess until your left with just a slight film. Let that film dry then just buff it off with a soft clean cloth. After a couple days of letting the grout dry it was on to the final finishing touch. All those raw edges of tile and grout needed to be polished up. Caulk will work just fine. Caulking is pretty easy if you know what you’re doing and a horrible mess if you don’t. Trust me, I speak from experience.  You simply run a small bead of caulk along the edge to be sealed then get your fingers wet and with very light pressure run it along the bead to smooth it out. After all that just let the caulk cure and use a grout sealer to protect the finish and prevent mold and mildew. Officially done! If you missed how i made my mason jar soap pump you can find it here  Don’t mind my half blue half beige outlets. But check out my new plate covers, beadboard to go with the ceiling. Woohoo fancy!

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Tiny Bows, Meet Teensey Bubbles

It all started with this sink a little over two weeks ago. If you’ve been following along on The TinyBows facebook page you’ve likely seen little updates but this is the big transformation.

My Bathroom was A color called “Swimming Pool” and done in ridiculous Gerber daisies as any 14 year old might choose. I still like Gerber daisies. Just not in my decorating choices.

I liked bright colors so much I even painted the door bright green.

In addition to the leaky sink the (oh so lovely) popcorn ceiling started to fall down about ten years ago… As you might be able to tell I just proceeded to scrape the rest of it down

So when we took out the vanity it wasn’t tiled under the cabinet, we knew this going in, the unfortunate part of this is that the cabinent was not a standard size. So we either needed to take up the flooring (not an enjoyable task) or figure out a work around. You might also note that when I painted the walls the first time around I did so directly over the wall paper because this wallpaper is like cement bonded to the wall… Unfortunately that had to go.

So after about a twelve hour day in a steam room we finally got all the wall paper off without too much damage to the dry wall and only minor heat rash and steam burns.

The hideous old brass light fixture came down for a makeover of it’s own

And a paint color was discovered. We seem to choose paint colors based on names. I originally wanted to do it the same color as my office which is called “Sigh” or possibly my bedroom “Blanket” but in the end I was out voted for the aptly named “Teensey Bubbles” from Lowe’s new HGTV Sherwin Williams collection.

We also found our new vanity and sink at Lowes. Due to the original footprint being an odd size we had to build a box around it to make the footprint match. The sides of the box will be painted and the top will be tiled and integrated into the backsplash

The ceiling got the bead board and crown molding treatment (I never want to do a miter cut again) and the door is, thank goodness no longer green.

Hooray no more hideous brass fixtures

And here is the sink post painting of the kickboard and side.

So before and after, keeping in mind the backsplash isn’t done yet. I have to wait a full three weeks for everything to cure before the mastic will bond properly.

I’m so happy to have a functioning bathroom again.

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Silly Rabbit

Easter always sneaks up on me. It’s the only holiday that I “celebrate” ( I should say recognize in a completely secular way) that follows the lunar calendar. Meaning it isn’t celebrated on a specific date (for example december 25th or October 31st) or specific day (like say, the fourth Monday in November) so you never really know when it’s coming. Clearly the bunny does what it wants

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Generally i have my seasonal desk vinyets changed out a good while befor a holiday but.. Well, one thing and another I put it up Wednesday. Luckily it’s more springy than anything else. So it will stay there for a while looking slap dashed together.

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I was going to do a little tutorial on how I made the cute little ribbon flowers for it. I was actually channeling the flowers from a friends wedding last year. She had the most beautiful decor I’ve ever seen. Which considering I worked in the industry is saying something.

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Apparently she and I were on the same wavelength this week, because without her even knowing I did this little project she has offered all those flowers to me!!!!

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I will definitely be reverse engineering some for a tutorial at a later date. I also have a feeling that despite lack of storage space or a date the boyfriend ( we decided fiancé is too grown up a word) and I will be hanging on to at least the majority of them until we can have our dream backyard reception/housewarming. Though I think some will need to be sacrificed as a couple of wreaths are in order as well, you can’t just give me flowers and expect me not to make a wreath for you.

Until then back to the grind of fixing the bathroom. For progress reports follow Tiny Bows on Facebook. 

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Cheater’s Chalk Paint

Back to those darn chairs, shall we?

I love the look of chalk paint particularly when used with dark wax. I just don’t love the price tag. A quart of good quality chalk paint can cost upwards of $30 add in the cost of the specialized wax and brushes and you’re looking at a $100 project. I figured I could either do it far cheaper or fail miserably at trying.

So first and foremost I cleaned up my chairs, chalk painting claims not to have any prep work. No sanding etc. but if you are working on old dining room chairs I suggest at least giving them a scrub with some Murphy’s Oil Soap just to get the grime from years of family dinners and years of furniture polish and wax off, or not even the best paint will stick.

After that I just started painting away with my favorite primer, which happens to be a really cheap ceiling paint. Ceiling paint is very thick, and very flat so it likes to stick to things and dries rather quickly, it also has good tooth to it. Tooth is the texture that helps other things stick. It’s like painting a canvas with gesso before starting a painting.

After the primer was dry I went in with the color. I did end up buying a quart of this color (it was a custom mix to match the fabric) just because I love it so I know I’ll use it on other projects, but I could have gotten away with just one $3 sample pot. Even at a quart it was only $15.

After getting the paint done I decided to tempt fate and go for the waxing. I decided to try to tint my own wax, I used Minwax finishing wax in natural (aka clear) which is around $10 for a can and a chocolate brown paint I had lying around. I simply took a scoop of the wax and a drizzle of the paint and very thoroughly mixed the two. As you can tell my measuring was very precise.

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I just used a cheap chip brush to mush the wax on, waited a minute or two, and buffed it off. The finishing wax is technically a matte varnish so it will dry hard and help protect the paint finish on the piece. That also means you have to work in small areas at a time so you don’t allow it to dry all the way before buffing it off. The now tinted wax will stick in recessed areas like corners and carved details and any cracks and scratches that the piece has accrued over the years. You could also distress the piece before starting if you wanted it to have a little more character. I discovered that if you happen to have a patch that dries a bit too much before you get a chance to buff it, it can be salvaged. Just put some wet wax overtop of it, wait a minute, and wipe again. It will soften the dried wax and take it back up.

Keep in mind you don’t have to tint your wax a chocolate brown you can tint it whatever color you like. A darker version of the color you’ve already painted the piece would look amazing I have a feeling. Go crazy and do lime green wax on a bright pink piece. Actually I would really like to see that. Or you could tint the wax with white paint and put it over a natural wood piece to give relief to carved areas.

From this to that to finally done!

Yes I realize in the long run it is a few more steps than chalk paint but it also only cost (even with brushes) around $35 in supplies versus the inordinate amount that doing it with chalk paint would have cost me. So the pros, at least for me, outweigh the cons.