Perfect Sun Tea

July 31, 2013

With the heat of summer at it's peak, I thought I'd share my secrets for making the perfect sun tea.  On warm days, I think a ice cold glass of tea can be so refreshing.



When it comes to tea, I am a fan of adding sugar and trying different flavors.  The tea that you can purchase in the store is often to sweet for my taste, though.  And with this easy "recipe" I really have no reason to buy it anymore.

Trash to Treasure Mirror

July 29, 2013

I love taking something that people would normally consider no good and making something great out of it.  I have a habit of "collecting" things that I see potential in when I'm shopping...unfortunately this also means I have a "collection" of things waiting to be made into something!




I bought this mirror at Goodwill a few weeks ago.  It was originally a dressing mirror that would have been attached to a stand allowing it to tilt.  The stand must have been lost or broken, however, so all that was for sale was the mirror itself.  There was quite a bit of damage and scratches to the wood, but all that really adds to the charm once it is painted.

Painting with Chalkboard Paint

July 25, 2013

Last week, I showed you how to use chalkboard paint to turn a clipboard into a place to record your grocery shopping list.    Thank you for all the wonderful comments about my idea.  It is always nice to hear when people like something.

Today I'd like to share another tip for what to do after you've painted with chalkboard paint.


Homemade French Fries

July 19, 2013

Of all the foods that you can make at home, french fries are one of my favorites.  Contrary to what some people may tell you, with the right tools, the process of making this delicious treat isn't hard.



One of the tools that I believe you need is a french fry cutter.  Yes, you can cut the potato into strips yourself, but if there is a tool for the job, why not use it?  I use a vintage french fry cutter from Ekco, which you can still find on Ebay or places that sell used items like antique stores, Goodwill, or yard sales.  Brand new french fry cutters can also be found online or in stores.  I would recommend one that is made completely of metal (it will last a lot longer than one made of plastic) and restaurant quality (which is sturdier than basic models).   This one from Amazon looks like a great choice.

The Many Uses of a Spice Rack

July 16, 2013

I recently found a vintage spice rack with six bottles still wrapped in plastic.  I did my normal treatment of sanding, coating the edges of the piece with candle wax, three coats of white chalk paint, sanding again, and a coat of satin varnish.  I think the little wooden rack turned out nicely and will look great in someone's kitchen holding their most used spices.



But this post isn't about using a spice rack to hold spices.  It's about using a spice rack for OTHER  things.  I love finding uses for things other than their intended purpose.  It's fun to spend some time thinking outside the box about what to do with items that you find at sales or even items you no longer need at your home (that way the piece is free!).  There are so many small things in a house to store, I thought I'd give you some more ideas of what to do with empty spice bottles that you might have lying around.





ALTERNATE USE #1
Craft Supply Storage

There are so many tiny things that need stored in a craft space.  The bottles can be filled with necessities like pins, extra bobbins, and safety pins and could sit on a counter near your sewing machine.  They'd also work well for storing beads or buttons.  And wouldn't these bottles look decorative and be functional holding something like glass glitter?




ALTERNATE USE #2
Office Supply Storage

Rubber bands, paper clips, binder clips and push pins....any of those tiny things you might need while working at your desk could all be stored neatly in these jars.  Plus, the drawers underneath could hold other small items...stamps, maybe?



ALTERNATE USE #3
Workshop Storage

For the DIY-er, I think this spice rack could be a decorative place to hold commonly needed screws, nails, and other tiny objects needed in the DIY process....Who doesn't want a decorative workshop?!?!



ALTERNATE USE #4
Flower vase

Wouldn't these look great displaying some fresh cut flowers in water?



ALTERNATE USE #5
Sprinkle Storage

The jars don't just have to hold spices in the kitchen....If you do a lot of baking, sprinkles could fill the jars instead.



ALTERNATE USE #6
Seed Storage

At the end of the season, there are plants like black-eyed Susan's that have seeds that can be collected for the next year.  If you have a nice potting shed or space in your garage to be decorative, the spice rack could be used to store seeds.



If all else fails, you could always use the spice jars for the intended purpose of ..... storing spices!

Is there anything else you can think of to use this product for?

Kitchen Chalkboard Made From Clipboard

July 15, 2013


Rather than relying on your memory when it comes time to do your grocery list, wouldn't it be easier to have already written down what you need?  I like having a chalkboard in the kitchen to easily keep track of the things I run out of.  If I don't write something down when I think of it, I never remember what it was later on.







Chalkboards are so popular right now, as is "chalkboard art" with fancy writing and decorative elements.  I decided what better thing to make a chalkboard out of for the kitchen than  a clipboard?  It can be hung on the wall, is compact in size, can be decorative, and the clip works to hold coupons you might have.



To create this product, I started with a clipboard from my local office supply store.



It was very basic so I stained the back and edges to age it.    I rubbed the edges with candle wax so that the paint would sand off easily when I was done.


I also roughed up the metal clip with some sandpaper.



Then, I painted the clipboard with four coats of chalkboard paint....three was probably enough, but I wanted to make sure it had a good finish.

Using a White Paint Pen from Sharpie, I added the chalk art writing and details.  The Sharpie comes in multiple sizes from Extra Fine to wide tips and is filled with oil based paint, so the finish is durable.  I sketched out the words "Remember to buy" myself, buy you could lay it out on the computer if you are not comfortable writing it.  Since I was trying to recreate the look of chalk, I didn't try to totally coat the words....I left it looking a little more rustic...a little more like it would look like writing with real chalk.  (I picture looks like the letters are solid white, but believe me when I say they aren't!)



When the piece was finished, I sanded the edges to remove some of the paint....I wanted to the piece to look like it had been used for awhile.  I also rubbed some acrylic black paint over the metal clip to age it a little more.  (I should have done this BEFORE writing the words on, but it worked).

You also need to "season" the chalkboard before you use it.  Instructions on how to do this can be found here.



This idea could be done with any wording and used elsewhere in the house...your office, laundry room.......???



You can try this idea yourself, or if you're not "crafty," I have some available to purchase in my Etsy shop.

So what do you think....will this help you in the kitchen?

I'M BACK

July 11, 2013

You may have noticed it has been awhile since I've posted.  Life got a little busy and put me behind in my projects and posting.  I was trying to do a project, take the pictures, type the post, and get it published for the next morning, which really is not a great way to run a blog.  I noticed that I had started to not put myself into the blog like I should and the vision I have for where the blog should go started to get a little cloudy.

So, I've needed a little time to regroup and refocus.  I've been working on some projects and trying to get a little more organized.  I'll be sharing a lot of what I've been doing in the upcoming days and weeks.

I also have a new blog design coming in about a month or so.  Sophie and Rory is doing a custom design for me and I'm so excited!  I am the type of person who is never happy with the way things look for long and so this new design will be coming at a perfect time.  I've submitted all of my ideas and inspirations and will see a design in probably three weeks.

I'll be back from my "blog-vacation" in a few more days so be sure to check back.  If you are new here, be sure to check out some of my past projects!

Ballard Designs Corkboard Project

My Closet Transformation

Summer Tablescape

Organizing Family Photos

Miss Mustard Seed Inspired Sign

Transforming a Toolbox

Pottery Barn Inspired Jewelry Dish


More again soon!


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