Monthly Archive: July 2012

How to give brass an aged patina

Call it luck, call it fate, call it whatever you like…

Do you ever have those moments where you happen to find the exact thing you are looking for while out shopping?  If you have, then good for you!  I, on the other hand, rarely find what I am looking for.  Whatever it is that I want is no where to be found!

Two weeks ago, on a Saturday, I decided to pay a visit to my local Antique Mall.  I had my heart set on finding a world globe that day.  Yes, I am a little late to the “globe decor party”!  Better late then never, I say!  I didn’t want just any globe though.  I set my sights quite high.  It had to have an antique look to it and it had to be pretty enough to be out on display; either on my desk or on the top of my bookcase. No plastic, tacky globe for me.

I did my usual loop of the store.  I found one globe but it was plastic.  Strike one.  I was just about to leave and saw another globe behind the sales counter.  Bummer!  It was on hold for a customer.  Strike two.  That’s ok, it was a little too big anyway.  Then the stars must have aligned for me when I had decided to do one more pass of the last aisle.  What did I see in one of the booths at the bottom of a shelf tucked behind some wicker baskets?  You guessed it!  The perfect globe for me!

Well, it was almost the perfect globe for me.  I loved that the base was brass, it was also the exact size that I had wanted, the color of the globe was antique looking and it was in great shape with only a few minor scuff marks.  And the best part of all… it was only $20.00!  What a steal for sure!

So what was the problem then? I just wasn’t loving the color of the brass.  It was way too shiny and it made the globe look so cheap.  I wanted it to look like an antique that had been sitting around in someone’s study for a long time collecting dust.  I wanted its finish to look almost like an old penny.

After bringing it home and giving it a good cleaning, I contemplated about what I would use to get the look I was going for.  Why not use my favorite Rub n’ Buff in Spanish Copper?

 

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Have you ever used Rub n’ Buff before?  If you haven’t you are missing out!  This stuff is amazing!

 

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Amaco’s Spanish Copper Rub n’ Buff

 

You can even tell by my sad looking tube of Spanish Copper above that it has been well used.

 

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You know the one important thing that I forgot to do when working on my globe? I forgot to take a before photo showing its shiny brass finish. Oops!  You can still see a little bit of its former self near the left arrow above.  Don’t you just love it now that it has received a little makeover with Rub n’ Buff?

 

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Spanish Copper gave my globe a gorgeous aged patina.  It only took about five minutes of my time to achieve this new look. Time well spent for sure!

 

 

If you haven’t had a chance to try out Rub n’ Buff yet, it is very easy and straight-forward to use.  You just do what its name implies… You rub and then you buff. That’s pretty much it!  I made a set of tips for those of you that are interested.  In case you think you might mess this up somehow.  Believe me, you won’t.  It is that easy!

 

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Two things that  I forgot to add to my list above was to make sure to give your piece a good cleaning before applying the Rub n’ Buff just to make sure all of the grimy spots have been taken care of. Also, a little bit goes a long way with this stuff. You need only to use it sparingly.

Finally, to protect your finish you may want to consider adding a coat of wax over top or if you are applying to something that will be getting a fair amount of use and handling, you will want to seal your finish with a few coats of a protective topcoat.

 

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I just love my globe now!

 

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I also picked up this little wooden cutie that Saturday as well. I was thinking about painting it white or cream but I think I may leave it just the way it is. What do you think?

 

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It must have taken someone a lot of time to carve this.

 

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I hope I have inspired you to give Rub n’ Buff a try sometime. Maybe you have some bright, outdated brass candlesticks, light fixtures, picture frames or ornate mirrors that could use a little bit of Rub n’ Buff.

So far my absolute favorite color out of the 16 colors Amaco offers is Spanish Copper. I also used it to give some interest to the hardware for my thrifty dresser transformation HERE. Other colors of Rub n’ Buff that I have collected are the antique white, the autumn gold and the silver leaf. I have used them to give some patina to many items in my home.

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

Disclosure: All of the thoughts and ideas expressed in this post about Rub n’ Buff are 100% my own and are of my honest opinion. I have not been asked to give my opinion on this product nor have I been compensated in any way.

 

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials and Tips Party ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ House of Hepworths – Hooking Up with HoH ~ Days of Chalk and Chocolate – Link Party ~ At The Picket Fence – Inspiration Friday ~ Somewhat Simple – Blog Link Party ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ Redoux Interiors – Link Party #65 ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ What About.co – Show Off Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Chic on Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ It’s a HodgePodge Life – It’s a HodgePodge Friday ~ Beneath My Heart – Best DIY Projects of July Linky Party ~

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A Reader’s decorative books

Happy Sunday! How are things with you?

Myself, I have been busy weeding my yard and re-doing my flower beds. It definitely was time! After all of the rain we have been having this summer, my garden has gotten way out of control. I will be at it for the next little while but in the meantime I have some photos to share with you that one of my readers recently sent to me.

Denise wrote to me a couple of weeks ago letting me know that she used my DIY Decorative Books tutorial to make some books of her own. Really? Yeah!

Just from conversing with her by e-mail I could tell she was the nicest person!  I told her that I would love to see some photos of her books and would she mind sending some photos to me. She promptly replied with the message below:

 

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I can’t believe what an amazing job she did on her books! They turned out so well, don’t you agree?

Denise used the script printouts from the tutorial along with a wonderful stencil and molding paste for the raised design on the front of her books.  As well, from her photo it looks as if she mixed in some metallic paint before covering the stencil with paste because of the great sheen that her raised stencils have but I will let her answer here in case I don’t have her technique exactly right.

 

 

As Denise had mentioned in her message above, she also made a lamp with another set of books that she did! Isn’t it a clever idea that she had? So cool!  I am in love with the stencil she used and I also love how she carried the stencil over to the spines of the books.

 

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Thanks so much Denise for sharing your decorative books with us! You did such a wonderful job and you are an inspiration!

 

For those of you, including Denise, who decide to use one of my tutorials, I am truly honored that you have taken time out of your busy day to give my project a try. It totally makes my day to find out that you actually like what I have shown you enough to make you own!

So if you have used one of my tutorials, I would love it if you would send me a photo or two of your beautiful work and if you are ok with it, I would love to share your project with my readers as well.

You all are so creative and talented!

 

Enjoy the rest of your day!

 

 

 

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Easy DIY lace flower vase & 10 spray painting tips

Hello friends! I am here today to share with you my latest DIY project; this easy, inexpensive and super cute lace flower vase.

Have you ever seen these tall, slim containers at your local thrift stores, flea markets or garage sales? Did you know that you can make them into beautiful flower vases with a little lace fabric and some paint? This project is so easy even my 11 year old daughter could do it if the spray paint that I used wasn’t so smelly.img-1235

I recently picked up these two rather boring containers at our local Salvation Army thrift store for a couple of dollars a piece. I decided for this particular tutorial that I would like to work on the terracotta wine cooler on the left-hand side, so please ignore the container on the right for the time being . It will be getting a makeover soon, which I hope to share with you in the near future.

 

Here’s how I transformed my terracotta container into a flower vase.

 

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • terracotta wine cooler or tall paintable vase
  • lace fabric
  • dark gray craft paint
  • white acrylic Gesso
  • Martha Stewart’s Sharkey Gray latex paint or a light gray-taupe paint color of your choice
  • Mod Podge or clear acrylic spray
  • spray adhesive
  • white spray paint (I used Design Master Color Tool spray paint in Vanilla-This is the best spray paint EVER!)
  • ruler, scissors and papertowel
  • 400 grit sandpaper
  • painters face mask or respirator, old clothing with long sleeves/pants, goggles and latex gloves
  • glass canning jar, empty pasta sauce jar or clear glass vase
  • paint tray or paper plate, newspaper, cardboard, and paint brushes

 

Directions:

Give your container a wipe-down with a damp cloth before painting or run it through the dishwasher and leave it to dry thoroughly. If your container has any gloss to it you will want to give it a light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper before painting to give the surface some “tooth” so that the paint with stick. If your surface is very glossy you will want to paint it with a bonding primer before proceeding with the rest of this tutorial. img_4568

Mix up an even amount of dark gray craft paint and white gesso in a paint tray. Paint your container with two coats of your paint mixture allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before re-coating.

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Mix up some Sharkey Gray paint with gesso in a 75/25 ratio. Using a slightly damp paper towel, dab lightly into your paint and then wipe the excess off onto another paper towel. Pounce your papertowel randomly over your entire vase leaving some of the dark gray paint showing through. A thin, light coat of paint will look the best. REMEMBER: You can always do touch-ups with more dark gray paint to cover up any problem areas.

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Now for your lace fabric. You should easily be able to find lace fabric at your local fabric store or thrift store. Maybe you even have a piece of lace clothing in your closet that you will never ever wear again. Why not use it to make flower vases, pillows or art for your home?

So where did my lace fabric come from? It’s hard to tell in the photo above but this lace fabric is actually a pair of sheer, crop lace leggings. No, they aren’t mine! I wouldn’t be caught dead in them!

Actually, my daughter got these pants as a part of a $5.00 Surprise Bag from Ardene’s (a jewelry and accessory store) a couple of weeks ago. I told her that there was no way that she would be leaving the house in these see-thru lace pants! I quickly tossed them into the Goodwill bag and forgot about them until a couple of days ago when I happened to come across them again. When I saw them a light bulb went off in my head. What if I used them for my spray painting projects? Hey, why not?

Just so you know, when my daughter came home last night I asked her what she thought of my new lace vase. She said that she really liked it. You should have seen the look on her face when I explained to her that I used the pants that she got in her Surprise Bag to paint my vase. Haha!

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Moving on…Next, measure around the entire width of your vase. You will want this measurement to be fairly exact. You do not want to have any overlap of your fabric otherwise your pattern will not be consistent. In my case, my lace fabric was stretchy so I cut it a little short knowing that I could stretch it across to fit around the vase.

Then measure the height of your vase. Here you don’t need to be as exact as any excess can be easily tucked into the opening or underneath the vase.

Cut out your fabric rectangle and wrap it around your vase to make sure it fits. Trim as necessary. img_4595

Take your fabric and spray adhesive outside and also put on your latex gloves and a painter’s mask. Lightly coat your fabric on one side with your spray adhesive. Wrap your fabric around your vase smoothing it as you go. NOTE:  If your fabric is not lined up how you would like it to be, you can easily reposition it or start over.

You are now ready to spray paint!

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Here is my list of 10 spray painting tips. These are tips that I have found to work well for me. They are by no means the only way to spray paint an item.

 

  1. Prepare your spray paint can by giving it a good shaking for at least two minutes.
  2. Protect your work surface by covering it with a large piece of cardboard.
  3. Elevate the item you are painting by raising it slightly off of the cardboard with scrap pieces of wood or old boxes.
  4. Put on your safety gear (painter’s mask/ventilator, long sleeves and pants, goggles and latex gloves). Be sure to work outdoors or in a very well ventilated area. Your health and safety is the most important thing when spray painting!
  5. Optional: Attach your spray paint trigger handle to your spray paint can (make sure your spray can nozzle is pointing outwards). I use Rust-Oleum’s Comfort Grip Spray Painting ToolIt makes painting so much easier and saves your fingers from cramping up!
  6. Give your paint can a shake again right before use and then test out your paint color on your cardboard to make sure it is the right color and that the spray can is working correctly.
  7. Keep your spray paint can at least 12-16 inches away from the item you are painting.
  8. Squeeze your paint handle while moving your arm back in forth in a uniform motion coating one side of your item evenly before moving on to the next. Preferably work from top to bottom and shake your paint can in between coats.
  9. 1-3 light even coats of paint will give you better results than one thick coat of paint. It will also prevent runs and drips from occurring.
  10. Leave your project to dry for at least 10-15 minutes before re-coating or handling. If it feels dry to the touch it is ready to re-coat. Preferably leave it to dry overnight before coating it with two to three coats of topcoat for protection.

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The photo above shows my lace fabric after 2 light coats of white spray paint and right before I removed it from the vase. As you can see the Design Master spray paint is very fine in consistency. Had I used regular spray paint my lace fabric would have been a lot more opaque at this point.

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Once you are finished painting your vase, let it dry for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the lace. Smile to yourself at the great job that you did!

To finish off your vase you can sand any raised edges with your 400 grit sandpaper to give your vase a distressed look. You will also want to coat your vase with at least 2 coats of matte Mod Podge or clear acrylic sealer for protection.

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NOTE: The outside of this vase should be spot-cleaned only. I would not advise you to submerse it in water. For my particular vase, the inside was not glazed so I chose to add in a separate container to hold my flowers and water. I ended up finding the perfect-sized canning jar in my cupboard. You could also use a pasta jar or a tall glass vase which can be found in any floral department of any major department store. The great thing about adding a separate container to the inside of your vase is that it can easily be removed for cleaning without ruining the finish on your vase.

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Your lace flower vase is now ready for use. All you need to do is add your favorite flowers, sit back and admire how great it looks.

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I just love how my vase turned out! What do you think?

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Have you ever used lace and spray paint before to transform something in your home? If you have I would love to hear about it. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, I hope that you decide to give this little DIY project a go sometime.

 

Have a great night!

 

 

 

 

Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ House of Hepworths – Hookin’ Up with HoH ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ What About.co – Show Off Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ It’s a HodgePodge Life – It’s a HodgePodge Friday ~ Finding Fabulous – Frugalicious Friday ~ Redoux  – Link Party #64 ~ Doodles and Stitches – Fabulous Friday ~ Craft-o-Maniac – Craft-o-Maniac Monday ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Mondays ~ Homemaker on a Dime – Creative Bloggers Party ~ Under the Table and Dreaming – Sunday Showcase Party ~ Sarah Dawn Designs – Pintastic Mondays ~ Today’s Creative Blog – Get Your Craft On ~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials and Tips Party ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Days of Chalk and Chocolate – Link Party ~ At The Picket Fence – Inspiration Friday ~ Somewhat Simple – Blog Link Party ~ It All Started With Paint – Fall in Love With Spray Paint Party ~

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What I’ve been up to lately & a sneak peek

I’m back! Back to blogging that is…I missed you guys so much!

I decided to take a little break from blogging these past couple of weeks so I could work on decluttering my house as I mentioned previously HERE and to try to re-group mentally. My husband was also out of town so I was a single Mom for a good chunk of that time. It was interesting being on my own to say the least! Kudos to all of the single Mom’s out there for managing to keep on top of everything on your own!

So what else have I been up to for the past couple of weeks? Well, last weekend my kids and I decided to take a trip down south to Calgary to go to the Stampede. You can read about what the Stampede is all about here. The main reason we went there was to visit my husband who was working there. Also, this would be our first time attending this event and we were curious to see how the Stampede Midway compared to our local Midway in Edmonton.

The Midway at the Stampede is basically a gigantic carnival with rides, games, exhibits and loads of fattening foods. We were excited to attend because it’s not like we get to do this sort of thing every day as it only happens during the summer. That’s a good thing because you can spend over $200 in an hour with the cost of the entrance fee, the ride tickets, the games etc. Nevertheless, my kids and I found a few Stampede favorites which were the cinnamon mini donuts, the handglider ride, the horse exhibit and the water shooter game. So much fun!

I had planned to take my camera so I could take some photos to show you all but I forgot my camera back at the hotel which was a 45 minute drive away. Doh! Then I thought I could just use my cell phone to take some photos but its battery was almost dead! In the end I was only able to snap a couple of photos of these Tee-pee’s to share with you from the Native Indian exhibit.

 

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Oh how I wished I was prepared and remembered to charge my electronics before we left the hotel! I can be so scatter-brained sometimes. Haha!

 

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Anyway, I am now back into the swing of things blogging-wise (a word I just made up) and I have a couple of completed projects to show you and many more projects in various stages of completion.

Here is a sneak peek of a little project I worked on yesterday; this super easy DIY lace flower vase. Stay tuned for the tutorial coming up early this evening.

 

 

It feels great to be back! What have you all been up to? I would love to hear from you.

 

Until next time…

 

 

 

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Project declutter & this week in my garden

Hello there! I can’t believe it has been a little over a week since I last posted! Sorry it has been so quiet here lately. I have missed blogging so much!

So what have I been up to? I’m a little embarrassed to tell you this, but I actually have been busy decluttering and cleaning my house. Seriously, it was time! Things had gotten so out of control that I just couldn’t stand it anymore!

Since I started my blog almost five months ago, all of the tasks associated with blogging (creating a project, shopping for supplies, taking photos, finishing a project, writing a blog post, sharing a project etc.) have been taking up a lot of my free time. I already knew that having a blog would be a lot of work. It is not like I went into things blindly. In reality, it’s hard to know just how much time blogging really takes until you really get into the thick of things! I am not complaining mind you. Even with all of the work involved, I have no plans of stopping. I really love doing what I do! Besides, if I hadn’t started my blog, I wouldn’t have anyone to share my projects with and I wouldn’t have met so many wonderful people who visit me here on my blog or on my Facebook page. Kudos to each and every one of you!

Anyway, I digress. Back to my messy house! Because I have added these extra things to my to-do list, I have been finding it difficult to keep up with everything. Also, more things have been coming into the house than have been leaving, so the clutter is starting to pile up.

Lately, even my family has started to take notice that our house is becoming cluttered and disorganized. My sweet husband usually ignores my half-finished projects on the dining room table or on the family room floor, but in the last couple of weeks he has been complaining. This is not his style at all! He has been saying things like, “Carrie, when are you going to move the “&%$%#@” off of the chair already? or “Carrie, what is all this stuff all over the floor?” Of course, I reply, “Sorry honey, I plan to move it right after I finish xyz, I promise!” Of course I get sidetracked and it doesn’t get cleaned up which makes my husband frustrated to no end!

So what’s a girl to do? She (namely me), is to put aside her projects for the time being and clean up to make her husband and kids happy and restore order in the world once again.

 

To face my messy little problem head on, I have now implemented “Project Declutter”.

 

 

Project Declutter

 

The Plan:

  1. Work on decluttering one room at a time
  2. Sort items into Keep, Toss, Sell, and Giveaway piles
  3. Immediately remove items from the home that are in the Toss and Giveaway piles
  4. Plan a garage sale or sell items on Kijiji for the items in the Sell pile
  5. Find a home for the items that are keepers
  6. Make a list of unfinished projects around the house and work on getting them done
  7. Enlist the help of my family to maintain an clean and organized home
  8. (This one’s for me) Work on only one project at a time and keep the main family areas project-free

 

Have I missed anything, do you think?

 

What have I accomplished so far? Well, I have managed to re-organize the majority of my craft supplies and my kids and I went through their rooms and purged a bunch of things that they had outgrown or hadn’t played with in a while. I am happy to say that today I loaded up 6 full garbage bags of junk into my car, which I promptly dropped off at Goodwill. I think it’s a good start and it feels so great to get rid of the clutter. I can feel the stress lifting from my shoulders as we speak!

If you run a busy household like I do, perhaps have a full time job as I do, have a blog and have kids, or even if you don’t do all of these things; how do you manage to stay organized? How do you also keep your house clean and manage your blog successfully all at the same time? Do you have any tips for a “newbie” blogger like me?

OK, maybe you don’t have a blog but your are super organized person; do you have any organizational tips that you can share with me?

 

Thanks for listening to me vent a little guys. I really appreciate it!

 

Just so you know, I may be a little busy in the next while working on Project Declutter so you may see slightly less of me than usual around here. I promise you that I plan to get this done asap! Please don’t think I am ignoring you if I don’t respond to your comments right away! I do read each comment I receive but it just might take me a little longer than normal to respond. As for the things I already have on the go, I have many more projects to share with you as soon as I can find a little time to work on them. I also have a few pieces of furniture that are close to being finished. Gotta get er’ done!

 

Wish me luck!

 

I thought I would leave you with some photos taken in my garden this week. Flowers always make me smile. I hope you enjoy them too.

 

 

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Sarah Bernhardt Peonies

 

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Sarah Bernhardt Peonies

 

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Flower: Coppertina Ninebark shrub

 

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White Asters

 

Until next time,

 

 

 

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