Monday, March 28, 2011

A Winner and Some Flowers

First things first. The winner for my first giveaway is:
Lucky #7:

Congratulations Darcy! I will be emailing you shortly.
A very heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you lovely ladies for entering and to all my followers for following.
The second part is just a quick little post for you. I am doing the flowers for a friend’s wedding in May. You can see my centerpieces ideas here. I took a flower arranging class at The Connection Wholesale Florist & The Flower Market in Fort Worth, Texas last weekend to help me prepare. My hands were a little busy so I wasn’t able to take pictures and I don’t think it would be very helpful to do a tutorial without them so I will just share the results.
Here is the hand tied bouquet featuring green roses, wax flower for filler and a “collar” of bear grass and lemon leaf.
I learned how to add the tied and buttoned look which is actually super easy. You just twist and wrap it back and forth and then use corsage pins stuck in the stems.

I had the chance to make a boutonniere as well. (I can never spell that word right without spell check). The dark base leaf is called lemon leaf or salal and the pink accents again are wax flower which actually comes in several colors.


And a corsage.
 IMG_5086 IMG_5088

And finally an arrangement. Sadly it got thrown across my car when somebody decided they didn’t care if I was in that lane, they were going to join me. So it is a little kerflumpled.


Did you know that Design Master Floral Spray Paint exists? I didn’t. It come in all the colors of the rainbow and really opens up possibilities. The instructor demonstrated with one of my roses which is how I got the blue one.
The class was really great. It was good to get some hands on experience with instruction and gave me just the refresher I need to be confident going into this wedding. If anyone in the Dallas / Fort Worth area is looking for a floral design class they can learn more about this one here.

Bonus! I just found out that Cassie from Primitive & Proper highlighted Mrs. T. from her Piece of Work Wednesday link party last week. Check out the 62 other great projects linked up here.  

Where this post is partying:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Adventures of Mrs. T…

Let me tell you about Mrs. T and the adventures we had together. This story will just be tutorial where I share my lessons learned rather than instructions how-to. Because really, what are the chances you will see a set of file boxes on Craigslist and want to turn them into an end table for a friend? Not very good. But there is a good chance that you may hit some of the same road bumps while repairing and refreshing your own Craigslist finds.
Mrs. T’s beginning where humble ones. She was a set of boxes intended to store scrapbook paper that her previous owner no longer loved and cast off to some stranger with $20. Here she is scared and alone the night I brought her home. Picture 002-1
She actually began as two separate pieces so I started her journey to find her true form by gluing her sides together. I smeared one side with Gorilla Wood Glue set the other side on top and weighed it down with wine bottles.
IMG_4426-1 IMG_4427
If you look closely you can tell I did this step shortly after I visited the Land of Two Buck Chuck…oh, Trader Joe’s, why won’t you come to Texas? You make me sad…

There were a few other steps where I glued major parts together and this is what I learned:
Lesson #342-389:
  • Careful what you use to weigh it down. Paint cans will inexplicable fall and pour paint everywhere. And you will be thanking the Lord for tile floors.
    • Bonus lesson: If you want to make your grout lines look cleaner, pour white paint everywhere and then wipe it back up.
  • Okay, the lamp probably wasn’t a good idea either. or the wine bottles from before. Use things that can fall and live.
  • Walk away. Just walk away. Do not plan on moving to the next step in 20 minutes even though the instructions say the glue should be set by then. The longer you let it sit the stronger the bond you will have. So just walk away…
  • If you are a nerd, using welding books will make you smile. I think it has something to do with using welding to join things together without welding. And seeing my academic pursuits aid my creative pursuits.

    This is the glue I used. And lesson learned? It works great.
    gorilla wood glue
    To paint, I used an oil based primer. I always use this primer when painting on a laminate or veneer surface. When using oil based paint, it is best to use a roller or brush that is disposable. In between coats, wrap it in plastic wrap and a Ziploc bag and then throw away when you are done! I just got this Purdy brush a little while ago. It works really great but I recommend only using it with latex paint simply for the cleaning up factor.

    All projects have an ugly stage. Lesson #401: Some projects have extremely long ugly stages. If I had to guess what puberty looked like for furniture, it would be this:

    Lesson #452: Just because $3 for a leg and $2 for a base plate sounds inexpensive, doesn’t mean it will  be. When you multiply that by 4 it adds up. So worth it though. See those great legs that help Mrs. T look like a piece of furniture? You find them here. I simply screwed the base plate (found here) to the bottom of Mrs. T and then screw in the legs. And see how they have brass tips? Well a pizza box, Frog Tape, a plastic bag, and silver Krylon spray paint fixed that. 

    Lesson #647: Wood filler is wonderful.
    When I cut the board for the top, I did a less than perfect job. I am still pretty proud of my cutting skills considering I was using a circular saw and supporting the wood on a plastic trunk. I was able to make up for my loose interpretation of square by adding wood filler to the corner. The trick with wood filler is to over fill and then sand smooth. Works like a charm. When I got done painting, you couldn’t tell I had so badly goofed.
    One side of Mrs. T was designed with slits to allow for the hook part of hanging files but since that was no longer her job, I filled them with wood filler.
    IMG_4623 IMG_4611 It took several round of filling, drying, and sanding but when I got done it was solid and smooth. You can also see where I used the wood filler to fill any gaps between my top/bottom board and Mrs. T’s original boxing.
    I choose to dress up Mrs. T by Mod Podging on some great paper and quickly learned that matching the pattern is a bear but painting under the areas where your seam will be with a camouflaging color helps keep things looking nice and neat. My Purdy paint brush made it possible to paint my camouflaging color with minimal touching up.
    Lesson learned #953: There will be less touch ups to do if you don’t try to take a picture of yourself using your Purdy brush.

    Lesson learned # 1013: If you aren’t cool enough to own those cool bench cookies from Rockler, spray paint cans can be a substitute for light weight items. Worked well while I was Mod Podging.
    To finish and protect Mrs. T, I used a combination of Wipe-On Poly and Finishing Wax.
    IMG_4767 IMG_5105-1
    I wanted the harder finish that the Wipe-On Poly gives so I put several coats of that on all surfaces and then used the Finishing Wax on the top to give Mrs. T that real furniture feel. I am having troubles with lint and the finishing wax. Does anyone have any lessons they have learned to share?

    As a recap, here is most of the products I used.
    If I could do it all over again the #1 thing I would change would be to do all of the constructing first and then paint. With snow days and multiple redundant trips to the store, I was trying to do what I could when I could but I think that really added to my frustrations.

    After following along on our journey, you may be wondering why did I name her Mrs. T? Well because she pities the fool that doesn’t learn lessons from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. Lessons learned, Mrs. T… Lessons Learned.

    And because I have to have one gratuitous pup pic, here is Desmond waxing philosophical over Mrs. T.
    And here she is in her new home!
    Mrs. T will be attending the following parties:
    DIY Club
    Furniture Feature Fridays

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    My First Giveaway!

    Tiffany from Making the World Cuter was nice enough to feature me this week in her Follow Along. I just wanted to drop a quick hello to all the new followers. I am so glad you are here! I am working on responding to all the nice comments and stopping by everyone's blogs so if I haven't gotten to you yet I should be in the next day or two.
    With this wave of great new followers I have hit 35 40! Whoop! and I want to do a simple little giveaway to celebrate. I want to give to one of you this cake plate I made with vintage finds. It measures 7” high and 11” across. The plate part of it is actually an enamel coated metal.
    image The lemon-y yellow will definitely bring some springtime fun into your decor.
    To enter this giveaway is simple.
    1. Follow this blog.
    2. Leave me a comment to let me know you want to win!
    This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced soon!

    P.S. I’ve recently made a Twitter account to go with my blog. You can find me under TheseNotions.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    I've Been Featured and whoopdwhoop Status

    First I just wanted to say thank you to Gail at My Repurposed Life for featuring my house number sign. Every week she has a really great link party (which is going on NOW) so you should check her out. She also has great tutorials on everything from furniture making to using a Silhouette and applying vinyl including some video tutorials which is on my to do list.
    Second, I wanted to update ya'll on my experiences with whoopdwhoop. I talked about the site when I first signed up and have had so much fun with it since. I have listed several vinyl decals made with my silhouette and the book cylinders I showed you how to make here. I have sent off one decal and a set of three books and with my whoops I have gotten this awesome ring:
    And I am waiting for this purse to come in the mail:
    The site is growing crazy fast so there is constantly new things to want to swap for. I am definitely loving it.

    Oh! and thirdly, These Creative Notions has gotten 22 23 followers! I am so stinkin excited. Thank you everyone! I am plotting a giveaway to celebrate but I've just got to decide what to give away. Any suggestions?

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Breakfast Anyone?

    Who doesn't love breakfast in bed? So what if it is usually brunch time before I get out of bed on the weekends.


    To get my breakfast brunch in bed, I started with one of these breakfast trays that I picked up at a thrift store and told you about here. As a refresher, this is what it looked like.


    I  primed the top with the oil based primer I use on any project involving a laminate surface. It looks like this:

    The rest of the tray received a basic white paint coat as primer.

    Then I used the same paint I used on my Mod Podge tiered table. It is such a pretty soft blue.


    I used my silhouette to make a stencil. That was my first time to use it to cut vinyl and it was amazingly easy. “like butter” I believe is the phrase.
    We’ve been doing some camera switcheroo-ing and if I took any pictures after this point, I’ve lost them so lets move quickly. I sanded to give it that worn look. I stained it. I rubbed as much of the stain off as I could. (I didn’t like it much especially on the white of the top.) Then I finished it off with Minwax Finishing Wax. which looks like this:

    I really like the finish this gives but I have been having trouble with lint getting caught in it. I was using an old t-shirt to apply and got black link all over the tray. Paper towel works great if you have an extremely smooth surface but another project I tried that on ended up with white bits on my dark grey paint. argh… Any suggestions?

    um…where was I? oh yeah, Ta DAA! I took my breakfast brunch on a photo shoot Sunday morning.


    The Desert Rose dishes were given to me by my grandma. They don’t really go with the rest of my kitchen (which is red and brown) but I love them so much. I showed you her wedding silver a while back. If you missed it you can see it here.


    I really like how painting the white coat before painting the blue allows for layers to show through when lightly sanded.


    I picked up this unusual fork and spoon set at a thrift store for $2. The set included two small glass dished with silver trim. I am not sure what the intended purpose of the set was but the glass and silver dishes work well as coasters.


    This what the top of the tray looks like when empty. I really love this pattern even though I applied the stencil a little wonky.


    And this is what happens when you go downstairs to eat your photo shoot. I feel like my toes are in danger of being licked if I don’t share my toast.
    Bring it on pup!

    If you like the pattern I used, I made it available for you to download. I made the stencil in two parts to fit my tray. You can easily modify it to fit your need. The bottom stencil can be download here. And the top can be downloaded here.

    This post is having brunch with:
    Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special
    Domestically Speaking