One of my favorite things is to have a studio full of friends, whether it is at Birdsong, a craft day, or a kid's holiday party.
I don't always get to host a bash for every holiday, but love it when the timing works out to have everyone over.
Sugarwings and Dewdrop went to Michaels with me to fill a cart with pink and red heart supplies, I nabbed a few Dollar Store tablecloths and balloons, and we were set to go.
We made faux cupcakes by gluing a styrofoam ball into a cupcake paper, smearing it with modelling compound icing, and glitter.
Lots of glitter.
Besides that, the projects weren't organized, it was every artist on their own.
Valentine cards for loved ones were a popular choice.
Dewdrop completed this one for her mommy.
Lizele made lots of colorful hearts. She is a prolific crafter.
Besides the cart full of stickers from Michaels, I had vintagey goods out too. And had saved empty valentine candy boxes to be redone.
Sugarwings and her mommy made a mail box for her upcoming class party.
The littlest workers got a bit burned out and turned to coloring books full of ponies, then decided to work with playdough. That is always a hit with Dewdrop.
The older kids had already headed out to the creek and woods behind the house when I got my camera out. They usually make a few nice things, then head outside, not caring that it was horridly cold out there. Of course, someone always slips into the creek and needs dry clothes, but it never stops them.
I really should plan more summer time craft days, where they can get out there and enjoy the woods when the weather is better.
Before the party, Sugarwings and I made chocolate dipped strawberries to serve, and I saved the plastic containers that the berries came in. Those were ideal for sending wet modelling compound cupcakes home in. Cars might have been muddy from the creek on the way home, but at least they didn't have any pink, fake icing all over them.
I can't say there wasn't any glitter drizzled into the seats, though...
My new water jug from Victorian Trading was ideal! I filled it with ice, poured cold water over it, and it was still chilly the next day.
The pottery really keeps the water cold.
For punch in the cut glass dispenser, I mixed white cranberry/strawberry juice with a couple cans of Sierra Mist. The night before, I froze cranberries in juice to make a giant, floating ice cube to slip into the punch. Very pretty, and tasty, but so easy to make.
I'm already looking forward to the next party.
While getting ready for a Valentine Craft Day with friends and family, I scanned a few old cards to print for the group.
If you'd like to use them too, just click on the picture to open in a larger window, save it to your computer from there to print.
Here is a page of labels that I'd made for a Valentine journal class a while back. I don't know if I shared them before, but thought I'd do it again if I already have.
The treat cabinet got a sprucing up while getting the room set for our party. I taped up some vintage rose wallpaper, right over the old, green toile roses already glued to the inside of the cabinet. I'm sick to death of, ready for a change from the green, but didn't want to go to too much work. This is far from perfect, but I like the idea of being able to switch it out. And the toile roses make a nice background to the pink roses.
Like the new beverage dispensers? I splurged at Victorian Trading Co. because I couldn't resist this floral pottery one. Pink roses???? Well, of course, I NEEDED IT!!
Then, I saw the cut glass one. Elegant and timeless.
What to do???
Well, Birdsong 5 is coming up, so I bought them both. I think they will be delightfully useful. And it felt good to not be so cheap, like I tend to be. Well, they were on clearance....
And guess what? While shopping at the one and only, Victoria Trading outlet store, based in KC, I talked to the manager about being a Birdsong sponsor. She offered to have a gift for each attendee who stopped at the store that week before Birdsong. How nice of her! And my Peeps usually drop by to visit the shop while in KC on their way to Lawrence , so I think they will like it, don't you?
If you'd like to join us, we still have seats. Info can be found here.
When I was in Florida last month, Guncle Kevin had a trick to show me. He uses "Peek Polish Paste" to eliminate scratches from china and pottery. In this photo, the left side has been Peeked, and the right has not.
He quickly, very quickly, showed me how to use it. Rub it on. Rub it off, do a little scrubble and the lines disappear.
Again, left side polished, right side all scratched up. Nice, huh?
This guy is not just handsome, he is pretty handy too!
When we decided to rip out the carpet and redo the guest room floor, I also decided to get rid of most of the things in the room. It was a hodge podge of misfits, leftovers from an antique booth, stuff that never sold, things that I just shoved in there to fill the space.
This piece is a good example of the decor. It had a piece of wood on the top and a tablecloth over it and was filled with stored books.
I'd kept it for years because I felt like it had potential, but I'd never done anything about it.
A coat of white paint was a big help. But it still had a huge, gaping hole on the top.
But that was easy to fix with two 18 x 18" marble floor tiles from Home Depot. Then, I sat another book shelf on top of it after giving that a coat of the same paint.
Previously, I had this table in the space, it was okay, but not as efficient for storage. And the mosaic shelf above it was useless. Purely decorative and a waste of precious storage space.
Even in a large studio, every bit of space counts!
(I might use this table in the freshly redone guest room, I don't think it counts as a leftover, or unwanted piece, I still like it)
I'm still not done with my rearranging, but I'm liking the use of space so much more. I've redone a lot of the shelves and have the things I use on a regular basis nearer to my desk chair than before.
Hmmm, yes, I know this doesn't look very tidy, but for me, it is.
While moving things around, I found this mini cabinet I'd made from two old boxes glued together and covered in old paper.
It is going to be ideal to fill with little tidbits for crafting.
When my guest room gets all settled and finished, I'll be sure to show some pictures of that too.
When I was showing Dewdrop the paint chips for the guest room, she came up with a brilliant plan.
I should paint their bathroom pink.
The cute part was when she tilted her little head, tapped her tiny chin, and acted like she was really making a deep consideration about the color.
Which is funny, because in her mind, PINK is the only color that should exist.
And since I kinda like some pink myself, and since I'd been redoing and shuffling things around the house, and was still in that mode, I said, "Great idea!" And went for it.
And anyway, when redoing the guest room, I moved a piece of furniture to the studio, and when I redid that area of the studio, I no longer had a place for this sweet little tin box covered in old wallpaper.
So, heck, I needed to redo the bathroom to make a spot for it.
The shower curtains were due for a freshening and needed to be taken down to be washed. The room used to be grey, and the shower liner was tan, so I bought a new white liner. That alone really brightened up the space.
There is something about dull, Kansas winters that makes me want to brighten and lighten. I felt so much happier with my pretty, soft pink, sparkling walls and white shower curtain.
The best part of the pink is that sparkle. I dumped a few gold and silver glitter bottles into the paint before rolling it on. But to make it really dazzle, when the paint was still wet, I gave it a fairy dusting.
I filled my palm with glitter, and blew it onto the wall to stick to the wet paint. Perfect results! (Unless you consider what a mess the floor was, and how much of it got tracked through the house. Which doesn't really bother me. I like to leave a trail of glitz and sparkle every where I go, and apparently the dogs do too.)
And while I am pinking up the bathroom, I am considering de-pinking the kitchen. I moved one of my paintings from the kitchen to the newly pink guest bath.
The door stayed gray. I liked that neutral shade with the wall color. I almost painted it white to match the trim, but am glad I changed my mind instead of the door color.
I also left the old tins on the ceiling rustic and natural instead of painting them all white, like some already are. And not just because I detest painting ceilings, but because the roughness of the rust helps cut through the sweetness of the pink.
And there is plenty of sweetness going on. Previously, there was a similar wall of mirrors. The largest and smallest were here with two other ones. But in looking around the house, I realized that I had two more mirrors with a rose patterned frame and I switched them out and added them to the other rose rimmed mirrors.
Dewdrop hasn't been by to see it yet (as I am writing this ahead) but Sugarwings was very pleased. And I am too. It is so dainty and pretty that I no longer can refer to it as a guest bathroom, I think I'll have to call it a "powder room". That seems to fit it so much better.
There was a very ugly light fixture in there, previously it was painted to match the wall and disappear. I thought I'd paint it white, but wasn't happy with that. I bought a new fixture to hang, but decided I didn't want to spend that much. So far, my only expenditure was for a gallon of paint, a few bottles of glitter, and a $9 shower liner. The $89 light fixture gave me a pause, plus it was just too new looking for this old house.
The tin box covered in wallpaper that had been moved from the studio, made me think of these rolls of wallpaper border I had.
A strip of old paper dressed up the light fixture just fine for me.
And I'm happy with the mismatched, vintage shades on the fixture. They seem to suit my old cottage.
I think Dewdrop will like the pink flowers on the light. Of course, she'd probably rather of had pink kitties.... I can't leave all decisions up to her!
There was some squealing when I opened the text that Lori Oles sent to me and I saw this.
First of all, yes, everything she makes is just wonderful and it is hard to pick a favorite. But I just might have done it. This has to be a fave. I love it. And am so thrilled that she is teaching this project at Birdsong 5.
Layers and layers of fabric, ephemera, and lace, with a pretty (pre-sewn) pocket filled with natural elements.
I'm very much looking forward to making this one. If you'd like to make one too, please check out the Birdsong info page here.
Recently, we'd switched our TV cabinets around, this one that used to be in the bedroom was moved to the living room.
This old bookshelf that I redid had been in the living room, but we wanted a bigger TV in the bedroom, where we watch most shows, so we did a switcheroo.
Problem was- our new bed with the drawers underneath was taller than our old bed. And I couldn't see the TV (or at least anything below the top of anyone's head) from my side of the bed.
My darling, and talented son, built a box to raise it up. And remember the stained glass piece from my friend that I hung over the bed? She also had made the one leaning against the wall in the photo for me, it was on a narrow cabinet that I was taking out of the guest room (another re-shuffling is going on there).
What are the odds that it fit the box exactly??? Yep! Pure luck, it is ideal for the base of the cabinet!!!
I'm keeping extra blankets and another set of sheets in that cubby hole now.
And I can watch TV from my side of the bed.
There is a blind over the TV for when I don't want to see the big black screen. But honestly, I rarely shut it. I'm such a television junkie, the set is always on.
I don't know what I'd do without my boy, all these little redos have kept him busy. We had some changes in the laundry room too, moving the dryer, getting a new washer, adding shelves. An electrician took care of moving the outlet, and set the dryer up. But when my son saw it, he said it was too low to vent directly outdoors, and built a box (from scrap lumber saved from ripping out the deck last year) to set it on to raise it up high enough so that the vent can be straight through the wall and not have to zig zag up and over the baseboard.
Not all redos are pretty, I used white duct tape over the old deck wood instead of painting. It worked so well, I did the same trick over laundry room shelves my son made for me too. (the left corner under the shelf) And while I wasn't going to do too much to gussy up this master closet/laundry room, I did tack up a curtain over the water hook ups and some of the ugliest parts. I could paint the conduit the electricians had to use to run the power to the dryer... nah. It's a closet, this is fine.
My son is very busy right now with two other carpentry jobs, so I'm waiting for him to finish those before he lays the floor in the guest room. I'll have pictures from the chain reaction of decorating that redo has caused soon too.
Or if you'd rather see them in person? Come and visit me at Birdsong 5!
(I promise I won't make you take a tour of the duct tape projects in the closet)
Have you ever noticed that one little change means a chain reaction of other changes?
The new bed was great, I really did love it once it was painted. It saves space, it is cottagey-cute, and it has a cozy mattress.
But, not only did we no longer need the bedside dresser, the drawers udner the bed were blocked by it.
And all of my bedding was too long, and life is too short to tuck the bedspread under the mattress all the way every morning. But why have drawers if there is a blanket covering them up and you have to move it every time you want to open a drawer?
Plus, this head board was lower than the last one and the wall looked very blank.
I had this piece of stained glass made by a friend framed to hang over the bed, and that took care of the blank wall.
I found a white quilt and shams on sale at Target that fit exactly without tucking in under the mattress.
And best of all, I thought of using shelves on the wall in place of end tables. (they aren't lopsided, that is just a camera angle)
This smaller one is from Hobby Lobby, it is black metal and I painted it with leftover paint from the bed. We screwed the power strip up under it to plug in the lamp and my iPad chargers. The outlets are nicely hidden unless you are looking up from the floor.
For the other side, I needed a bigger shelf and couldn't find what I wanted. Till I noticed this old, broken drop leaf table out in the garage. My son took off the leaves, added iron brackets, and it was just what we needed for the wall space.
I've been really happy with both. And what a perfect fit! The two shelves, plus the bed are the exact size to fit the space. Wow, what luck.
But there was one more change chain reaction yet to fix....
We needed a new mattress. So, headed to Nebraska Furniture Mart to test a few out. While there, my husband spotted a bed filled with drawers underneath and he had to have it.
Now, he is NOT a shopper. We almost ended our marriage once at that same furniture store over a recliner. It is now and forever known as the Crying Chair. Long story, but basically, he hates to shop. He walks in, glances about, buys stuff, and leaves as fast as he can.
He prefers letting me make choices 99% of the time.
When shopping for a mattress, though, he had to go along and approve the fit. and we discussed that it had been a good life together, and if Nebraska Furniture Store succeeded in ending our marriage like it tried to do before, we knew that we'd at least had almost 30 years of happiness together.
Bravely, we decided that we could face the challenge. It was a quick trip for a mattress, right?
Then, he spotted this bed. When he does shop, and sees something he likes, he never hesitates, or looks around. He likes it, he buys it. And when he saw this bed filled with storage options, he thought it would streamline our lives.
I thought it was DARK. And too new. But figured, hey, it's his house too. I wasn't going to let the Crying Chair incident repeat itself. We bought the bed.
I repainted it within minutes of its arrival to our home. And found these great handles (at Hobby Lobby) to replace the heavy ones that came with the drawers.
Everyone raves about chalk paint, so I thought I'd give it a try. Hobby Lobby now carries this brand, it is $8 for a little bitty jar, but I made multiple trips with a 40% off coupon to get enough to tackle the job.
I'd heard that you don't have to prime, it covers well, uses very little paint, and is easy to sand through to see the previous layers of paint.
Well, yes, I was able to paint without priming. (But a coat of primer and a coat of paint is an equal amount of work as two coats of chalk paint, and cheaper)
But- the coverage was not good. I had to go buy more paint. It took much more than I had planned.
And- I took a lot of care, layering colors, thinking I could sand through them for a varied look. Nope, when I sanded, I hit wood. You could not see the layers of colors underneath. I had to dry brush the colors over the white to get the look I wanted, after doing all those layers, and sanding.
Also, chalk paint simply must be sealed. You either wax it or use a sealer like Polycrylic. And I don't think everyone realizes that wax is not permanent. Just like on floors, it wears off, you need to re-wax. So, I chose the Polycrylic top coat (water based).
If I'd used a bonding primer, painted it gloss white, and drybrushed acrylic craft paint over that, it would have cost much less, I wouldn't have to seal it, and it wouldn't have taken as long.
For the exact same look. Oh well, I'd been wanting to give chalk paint a try. I won't be spending that much on paint again. And I like the bed now, so all is well. Lesson learned, and it still looks pretty.
My Handsome Husband also made another purchase that day. After buying the oak bed, and walking out, he saw this velvet bench and said it would be ideal for the dogs to be able to use to get up and down with.
I think I might just have to take him shopping more often, whether he enjoys it or not. He is pretty good at it! I love the new bed and bench, (after they got lightened up).
I'll show you details of the rest of the room next time. We had to come up with a plan for bedside tables, because what we already had blocked the drawers on the new bed.