Monday, August 29, 2016

A Mermaid Baby Shower

One of my sweet co worker's at Starbuck's is having a baby girl. I asked if I could host a baby shower with her mom. When the guest list grew to almost 90, we decided to have it at a country club, instead of my home. Now, all the food and decorations had to be transported to the new venue. Thanks to dear friends, we were able to get everything there and put into place. I had difficulty finding mermaid stuff, so I stenciled mermaids, fish, starfish and sea shells onto dollies and stuck them onto strings, that hung from an existing valance. I put a blue plastic table cloth over the valance,  (which was rust and gold) and draped it with tulle.  

Now the new mommy loves mermaids, however is not a fan of Disney's Ariel. So, when I went on line to find mermaid "stuff", my choices were small. Everything mermaid goes back to Ariel! I got out my paint brushes and stencils and started to paint.
The above table is the "message in a bottle" table. The clam shell is filled with pre rolled papers, tied with twine. The sign says "Leave a message in a bottle", next to a very pregnant mermaid. The pens for all the tables were rubber "squid" legs! I found them at Party City for $1.98!

I needed to do this on a budget, so the painting worked out great. The decorations were tied together with strings of pearls, melted marbles, sea shells and old candle sticks. I found old netting from my husband's duck hunting days and used plastic table cloths to hide unsightly pictures on the walls or the valance on the top of the 'sign in table'. Blue tulle was on sale for 4 yards for $4.00! The blue runners were $4.99 for 10 yards. 

The "mommy to be" is an amazing baker, so she made a beautiful cake. We had 14 table scapes to decorate, so I put them together (on my living room floor) then put each one into it's own garbage bag so when we arrived at the venue, we could just put them on their own individual table.

I purchased "bubbles" for each table, so everyone enjoyed blowing bubbles, especially the children.
They were .49 cents a bottle.

I was amazed at how much stuff I had in my house that looked like it had been 
dug up from under the sea!

This was the dessert table. Aside from her amazing cake (with a mermaid tail coming up out of the top) there were cookies, chocolate mint popcorn, fruit skewers with fruit dip and the cutest pretzels dipped in blue candy coating with gold fishes stuck into it!

This was the icing on the cake! I painted a 4x4 foot board (from Home Depot, $8.00) of a mermaid, and had my husband cut out the head so people could take pictures. The bottom is an old drop cloth with shells, marbles, a rubber fish and more of the blue table runner/ sparkly mesh stuff. 

The shower came off without a hitch. We had chili, plenty of side dishes, lot's of fruit and veggies and even a platter with "shark teeth" cut out of cheese(s). 
Everyone had a great time, including the hosts, which is often the hardest part!

Now we just wait for the arrival of the baby mermaid, due in November.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

 Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I just finished using Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint for the first time. I painted the top of an old coffee table, in my family room with a color from ASCP called "Old Ochre".  Once again, I didn't want to spend money $$$$$$ on a (new) table, so after researching online I found a local distributer for all the colors I could possibly need.

 The steps were easy. 
Although they say it adheres to surfaces without sanding, I still did a light sanding, using a fine sandpaper. My past experiences made me do it. However, it was a very light and fast sanding, just to give the surface a little "tooth", as they say.

The table appeared very dated.

I applied the paint with an old (used) Purdy brush, (from Sherwin Williams or Home Depot)   following the grain of the wood. It drys very fast ~ so within two hours I applied a second coat.  Follow the directions on the can. 

I am very pleased with how it turned out. 
The hardest part (and what took the longest) was deciding  what color to use.


Next step was to sand down areas (using the fine sandpaper) to achieve a distressed look.  

Third step was to apply a light glaze so it wasn't so bright. My glaze is by "Valspar", but any glaze will work. I added several tablespoons of dark brown, acrylic paint (ratio of about 1 tablespoon of acrylic paint to 15 tablespoons of glaze) and mixed well. This solution should be very glazy and when applied ~ is almost sheer. You can always add another coat after the first dries, if you think it's not dark enough.  I applied the glaze using a piece of an old t-shirt. Wet the t-shirt first and squeeze out all the water. Again, follow the grain using long, even strokes. I started at one end and slid the rag the entire length of the table. 

above photo is the after...
below photo is the before...

The final step was the sealing of the table. A VERY important and necessary step.

 I did not choose to use the Annie Sloan Wax for the top and final coat.  The top of this table gets a LOT of abuse. We toss down the TV clicker, computers, plates and glasses (never thinking to use a coaster...) and after a little research I discovered that wax isn't always the best choice. I opted to use a product called "General Finishes High Performance". I used the WATER BASED, Satin. (Purchased through Amazon) I applied the top coat using a foam brush in the same direction as the grain. Follow the directions on the can. I applied about 4 coats. The Chalk Paint sucks this in pretty fast and I was looking for a soft "wax like" sheen. I figured I couldn't put on too many coats so each coat enhanced the finish a little more.  

Loving it!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

I left you a present.

It's time to replace the couches in my family room. We bought them a couple of years before I started home schooling our two boys. That was the second grade for our youngest and he is now 30 years old. I would say they need to be replaced. I've decided I hate shopping for furniture even more than I hate shopping for clothes. I have spent 3 weeks now, driving from store to store, trying to find what does not exist. There are NO comfortable, inviting, soft, durable, (not too expensive) dark tannish colored couches. I'm about to give up. 

On the bright side, I painted this pup from a picture I took on vacation. While his owner was explaining (to my sis) how to get where we were heading to, I started snapping pictures of his adorable, albeit guilty looking, little dog. 
I named the painting "I left you a present." or maybe 
"I'm glad you're home, someone made a real mess."

I think I'm going to do a large bear next. Here is my first pencil sketch of bear #1.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

 Here Kitty Kitty...

One of my friends from work has an adorable kitty. I painted him for her this weekend. It makes me want a cat again! He has the most beautiful jade green eyes. 
I had such issues with the grey shadows on his face and under his eyes. Instead of looking like shadows, it just made his face look dirty. 
More practice required...

It was so much fun though!


Monday, March 14, 2016

Linen Bedroom ~ The Project Continues...

The bedroom is almost complete. Gone are the dark gold walls and rust colored duvet. Now the walls are Sherwin Williams "Natural Linen" and the new duvet is beige linen from Ikea. 

I purchased the tiny pillow from "Tuesday Mornings" ($ 9.99) and the blue embroidered rectangle pillows ($19.99) from "Home Goods".   

I made the three European Shams in the background. They are ivory on one side and blue linen flowers on the reverse side. Shown above is one of the options for "mixing it up" to get somewhat of a color change.

The window seat area behind the bed has always been ignored. It's a difficult area to work with because the pillows are so high that they hide anything low. The very tall candlesticks and the  tall bird house, fill the space nicely. I think the chandelier adds a bit of romance!

Lastly I purchased the ivory light weight quilt for the base of the bed. It ties in the ivory and finishes off the look. I'm no decorator, but I love the way it turned out. 
By the way, I have NEVER had a more comfortable duvet ever. It is light weight and very cool (or warm) depending on the temperature. I bought the cheapest filler for the duvet that Ikea offered, around $39.00. It's perfect. I wanted a new, "non color" room in natural fabrics. 
I love it.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

A new project.

I've been redoing my bedroom and bathroom. Geeez what a project this has become. I repainted the bedroom "Natural Linen" from Sherwin Williams. It is no longer dark gold but now very light and feeling "cooler". The bathroom has gone to "Universal Grey" also from the dark gold color. In order to save more money, I had two very inexpensive framed prints in the bathroom that I covered with old book pages and painted. I added cardboard, tissue paper and doilies.  I grunge them both up with a black stabilo pencil and layered stencils. When I finished painting the birds I put them back (under glass) and put the frames back on. They work in the bathroom (water  closet) and I don't have to buy new pictures. Yeah! A savings! I'm now onto making pillows for the bed.

It's been quite a while since I blogged. My computer continues to give me grief since Apple changed to the new "Photos" instead of "IPhotos". It's hit or miss on getting my pictures uploaded into "files". 

Sorry this is so boring today.
I'm trying to get back into the blog.