Saturday, June 30, 2012

Have you ever been Liebstered? It happened to me...

But hey, being Liebstered is pretty awesome!!

So let me clue you in...

It's an AWARD!!

Kristin from A Vintage Fairy chose my little blog to receive this Newbie award! How sweet is she!! So here's the rundown on my fancy little pink "Liebster Award"...

Award Description:
The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The Meaning; Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
 1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer.
3. Choose 5 people to award the Liebster and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. Remember, no tag backs!

Alrighty, you asked for it Kristin (pour girl has no idea what she's getting herself into!)
So down to the nitty gritty... 11 things about me!

  1. I'm a Mom to 3 amazing kiddos. Morgan (16), Kylie (13) and Connor (10, in less than a month).
  2. I've been married to Mr. Concrete (whose name has been changed as he's kinda famous... well, at least his name is) since I was 18. Almost 17 years later we're still going strong.
  3. I have 4 of the best girlfriends anyone could ever ask for! Crystal, Kristin, Paula and Sarah (in alphabetical order as to show no favoritism :) I'd lay down in front of a bus for these ladies, or at least hold their hair back as they puke. Whichever comes first...
  4. I was a night shift Labor & Delivery nurse for 8 years.(where I met those wonderful gals in #3) I worked on a unit that delivered more babies than any other hospital in a 13 state region. Just a clue, that's a TON OF BABIES!! Burn out set in for me a while back, so I'm taking a break from the hospital and enjoying working in the office setting for an OB/GYN. (his name's famous too, not sure how that keeps happening??)
  5. I have no filter. (see #4) I may or may not frequently mention your bowel movements, vagina, cervix or even, god forbid, SEX in normal conversation and not have any idea that I'm making you uncomfortable. What, not everyone talks about those things at work every day?
  6. I have small hands with short fingers. This is an occupational hazard. You might think this is a good thing. But remember, I said they're short. Really short. Now remember I check cervix's, that are far, far, far away from my short, short fingers. Like I said, occupational hazard, for the patients anyway. Sorry about this. Refer back to #5! 
  7. I have 2 dogs. Lizzie, a Mini Schnauzer and Dozer, an English Bulldog. I'd love to tell you they're just like my kids, but if I have to clean up diarrhea or kick that snoring Bulldog out of my room one more time... anyway, onto #8.
  8. He's snoring right now! Good thing I'm in the living room.
  9. I used to have a cleaning lady. I miss her. My house misses her. Anyone who stays at my house misses her. She was worth her weight in gold. I WILL GET ANOTHER ONE... someday :(
  10. I like a good glass of Wine. Or a Margarita. Or a green apple Smirnoff Ice. Or an Amaretto Sour. Ah hell, I'm not picky!
  11. I'm trying to lose weight... again! I hate it. It's icky. I need motivation. Hey, maybe I'll blog about it. How are y'all on motivation??

It would appear that in looking at what a Liebster award is, I inadvertently copied the rules from another blog, so I stole these questions from her.

  1. What is your favorite movie? Favorite line?
    • It changes, but today it's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Best line.. "Not my daughter you B$%CH!!
    2.  What has been your most romantic moment?
    • The day my husband came home on leave from Iraq and surprised me by just showing up at the door. No warning, just him!!
    3.  Who has influenced you the most?
    • My lovely friend Sarah. You can't watch her go through life without it affecting yours!
    4.  What part of your morning routine do you consider essential?
    • Umm, teeth brushing!!
    5.  What is the biggest change you have made in your life in the last year?
    • Well it was just over a year ago, but I quit the hospital and started working in the clinic.
    6.  What is your favorite quote? Why?
    • The decision to have a child is to accept that your heart will forever walk about outside your body... Elizabeth Stone. I think the quote itself answers the "why?"
    7.  What is the best compliment you have ever received?
    • That I was the perfect example of what friends are for.
    8.  When have you embarrassed yourself in public?
    • Cheerleading, high school football game. Kicked the wrong leg, ended on my A_ _! Homecoming. It was packed!
    9.  Who is your favorite author?
    • Do I have to pick just one? Fine... Diana Gabaldon
   10.  When you were a child, what did you wanna be when you grew up?
    • Something in the medical field.
   11.  What was the last movie you saw in the theater? Was it good?
    • Avengers. One word... EYECANDY!!!

Ok, for the 11 questions for the people I chose...
I should have listed one of the things about myself as "I'm LAZY". That being said, I'd like the people that I "Liebster" to use the 11 questions above.
Yeah it's cheating. It's how I roll.

I've nominated these 5 lovely blogs for the Liebster Award:
Melissa @ Daisy Mae Belle
CJ @ Juniper and Roses
Melody @ My Passion for Decor
Amy @ The Blissful Bee
Doreen @ Hymns and Verses

I had lots of fun with my Liebster Award, I hope you ladies will do the same!!

Thanks again Kristin!!!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vanity Makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I have to start this post with a HUGE THANK YOU to all you wonderful people out there in blog land. I've had so many visits, comments and absolutely fantastic features in the 3 short weeks since I published my first post! You guys certainly know how to make a newbie blogger feel giddy and welcome!!

{Now back to our regularly scheduled programing...}

My beautiful baby girl is growing up.
Yep, somehow she managed to go and turn 16 on me.
I'm not exactly sure how I got old enough to have a child who's 16, but there it is...

So, for her lovely Sweet 16, she decided there was only one thing she wanted.

A new vanity.

Now mind you, the girl's not what I'd call vain.
I think she was just really, really, really tired of doing her hair and make-up on the floor! 

Surprisingly, her only other request was that she wanted it to look chippy and old. 


She's got great taste just like ME!! I was so pleased to find she's takes after me in her decor tastes... 

So, off I went, in search of a perfectly nasty piece of junk to turn into a beautiful Sweet 16 Gift.

Didn't take long to spot it sitting there waiting for me at the D.A.V. 
Who cares about the peeling veneer and missing hardware! 
So it's got some bumps and bruises, that's why I like it!

And this is her friend I found sitting in the next room...

As this was a PBP (PreBlogProject) I apparently failed to snap a before pic of the sweet little chair I found at our local ReStore. 
You all would have loved the orange striped velour seat! Such a pity... 

With my furniture pieces all collected, I locked myself in our Safe Room (yeah, I know what you're thinking, the whole house is concrete, why an extra safe room? Married to Mr. Concrete here!! Trust me, this is the house you wanna be in if there's a tornado!) to paint away from prying birthday eyes.

And paint I did.
With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint I might add!! (Old White)
My first time.
It was awesome!!

I'm pretty sure I got a little high while I was waxing in here with no ventilation, but it was worth it. 
I had to snap a few pics even before I moved it to her room!

My 9 year old son and I snuck it in her room after she got on the bus the morning of her birthday.

I used a tutorial from One Nutty Girl to get an old farm table look on the vanity top.

{UPDATE: It's been brought to my attention that the link to One Nutty Girl is no longer working. So let me see if I can remember the technique I used on this table top. Bare with me, it's been well over a year!
I know I watered down Old White ASCP till it was just about the consistency of water. I used a chip brush (natural bristle brush) and brushed this watery mixture on going with the grain of the wood. I think I let it sit for a minute or so then started wiping it off, also going with the grain. Then once it was dry, I added a thin layer of clear AS wax and then immediately added random spots of the AS dark wax. The dark wax was added also with a chip brush with just a slight amount on the end of the bristles. Once both waxes were applied, I used a soft cloth to rub it all over the table top. You can also rub off any additional wax you don't like or add more dark wax if it suits your taste. I think I even had areas I started over on and added more of the paint mixture then waxed again. I truly hope I remembered all this correctly... eek!}

I desperately wanted this fabric for the chair, but it was $24 per yard. Wouldn't ya know it, they had just enough for what I needed in the remnant bin. $4 baby!!

Love all the little details!

These handles are so fun! Gotta love Hobby Lobby!!!

Who doesn't need a foot rest?!?

She definitely uses it! 
So glad I went with Contact Paper to line the drawers instead of the fabric I'd originally intended. 
Much easier for her to clean up her make-up spills.

She loves it, so I couldn't be more thrilled with how it turned out!

Happy Sweet 16 to my beautiful Morgan, (way back in March) I love you!!


I'm Linking up to:
DIY ShowoffFlamingo Toes ~ I {heart} Nap Time ~ Nifty Thrifty Things ~ Twigg Studios ~ Under the Table and Dreaming
Alderberry HillBoogieboard Cottage ~ Debbiedoo's ~ Flour Me With Love Holly's Stamping Addiction ~ Home Stories A to Z ~ Serendipity & Spice ~ You Are Talking Too Much
Cowgirl Up! ~ The D.I.Y DreamerElizabeth & Co. ~ Homework ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia ~ Not Just a HousewifeSugar Bee Crafts ~ Today's Creative Blog
Beyond the Picket Fence ~ A Creative Princess ~ Embracing ChangeFine Craft Guild ~ Fireflies & JellybeansIvy & ElephantsMy Girlish Whims ~ {PRIMP} ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ Sew Much Ado
The ArtsyGirl Connection ~ A Glimpse Inside ~ No Minimalist Here ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage ~ Thrifty Decorating
Common Ground ~ Finding Fabulous ~ French Country Cottage ~ Jennifer RizzoMiss Mustard SeedMy Romantic Home ~ Redoux ~ Serenity Now ~ The Shabby NestStuff & Nonsense ~ Tatertots & Jello

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Ugliest Footstool Known to Man!

Yep, I bought it!
And those are the words I used to describe it. I told my husband, my kids, my sister and my friends. 
Then I showed them pictures.
Some of those lucky suckers even got to see it in person!

And they all agreed with me.


No worries, it won't look like this for long. I see a beauty in there just screaming to be let loose!
That, however, is a post for another day.

Today I wanna show you proof that one mans trash is another mans treasure!

I was perusing eBay two days after I bought TheUgliestFootstoolKnownToMan, and what did I find listed as a "Vintage Retro Mid Century Modern Hassock"...??

Yep, that's it, TheUgliestFootstoolKnownToMan selling on eBay for "starting bid $59.99" or "buy ME NOW $69.99"!!!


Had mine been a dime more than the $4.48 I paid for it at the D.A.V., I probably wouldn't have bought it!

I hope those sellers find the perfect buyer who thinks this "Vintage Vinyl Hassock" is the best thing since sliced bread!!
I'm sarcastic nice like that. It's how I roll.

But, if it doesn't sell...

I kinda wanna call 'em up and tell 'em "It's because the rest of the world knows IT'S THE UGLIEST FOOTSTOOL KNOWN TO MAN!!!!"

Alrighty, rant over!

Hope you've had a fabulous weekend!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Script Wall

I'm a reader.
Long books, short books, fantasies, love stories, thrillers. I devour 'em all!
I could curl up for days lost in a good story and never consider it time wasted.
If you're a reader, you know what I mean. If you aren't... WHY NOT? 

I don't remember where I saw my first script wall.
But, I knew I would have one. 
They're like a giant book! Of course I love 'em!!

First step: Find a wall. CHECK!

Second step: Figure out how to put words on it... I considered some beautiful stencils. Thought about writing it by hand. Briefly entertained tracing a computer print out. But in the end I remembered, I have a Silhouette!! (Are you tired of hearing about this machine yet?)

That was it! CHECK!!

I decided to use my Silhouette Cameo to cut it out of vinyl. Or let me be more specific, Contact Paper. Sorry, the good stuff's just too $$$ for this cheapskate to cover an entire wall!

Just in case you were wondering, there's a misspelled word hidden behind the vase... how's that for perfection?

Cheap, quick (Ha! That's what I thought before I started!) and I get to write anything I want. WIN WIN!! 

Third step: Pick something to write on said wall.

Harry Potter!
(It was actually the only thing the whole family could agree on.)

My oldest daughter and I put our heads together and it didn't take long to decide on our favorite scene from all the books. Harry and Ginny's first kiss!! Was there ever a question? We're romantics! 


The wall is just outside our Master and it makes me smile nearly every time I see it.

Script is done in Zapfino font.

The project turned out exactly as I'd hoped. 
Well, almost. 
Let's just say it was a tad more labor intensive then I first envisioned.
Yeah, I'll leave it at that...

If you wanna try this yourself, I promise you'll love the final product. 
Being able to pick exactly what we wanted on the wall made this project so fun and the 3 weeks I'll never get back time spent well worth it. 
(In all seriousness, I'd do it again even knowing how long it took!)

Fourth Step: Freak out that it's done and I love it so much!!!



I've had so many questions about this wall, from what font I used to how I put it up so straight and even, that I've made a separate post answering all the questions. You can find those answers in my new post HERE.

I'm Linking up to:
DIY Showoff ~ Flamingo Toes ~ I {heart} Nap Time ~ Nifty Thrifty Things ~ Twigg Studios ~ Under the Table and Dreaming
Alderberry Hill ~ Between Naps on the Porch ~ Boogieboard Cottage ~ Debbiedoos Flour Me With Love ~ Holly's Stamping Addiction ~ Home Stories A to Z ~ Serendipity & Spice ~ You Are Talking Too Much
Crafty Texas Girls ~ The D.I.Y. DreamerElizabeth & Co. ~ Homework Today's Assignment: Be InspiredMy Uncommon Slice of Suburbia ~ Not Just a Housewife ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ Today's Creative Blog
Beyond the Picket FenceEmbracing Change ~ Fine Craft GuildFireflies & Jellybeans ~ Ivy & ElephantsMy Girlish Whims{PRIMP} ~ Savy Southern StyleSew Much Ado
The ArtsyGirl Connection ~ City Girl Gone Coastal ~ A Glimpse Inside ~ It's Overflowing ~ No Minimalist Here ~ The Shabby Creek CottageThrifty Decorating
Common Ground ~ Create Craft LoveFinding Fabulous ~ French Country Cottage ~ Jennifer RizzoMy Romantic HomeRedoux ~ Serenity NowStuff & Nonsense ~ Tatertots & Jello
Funky Junk Interiors ~ Natasha in Oz Positively Splendid ~ Too Much Time on My Hands

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Latitude & Longitude Signs ~ Tutorial

I'm a fan of personalized artwork, but more than that, I'm a fan of CHEAP personalized artwork.  So, when I saw L.L. Bean's Latitude/Longitude Sign's on Mandi Tremayne's blog, I was pretty smitten with them. 
L.L. Bean

Oh the fun I could have customizing them to any city or town I want, I mean come on, who wouldn't love them?  I'll take FIVE!  Then I saw the price, $34.95 per sign.  They're just pine boards, right? 
Deal Breaker!!!
Except,I say to myself,... I'm a handy girl!  I can do these on my own.  L.L. Bean can keep their signs.

Fast forward about three months and two sets of signs later, and I think I've got this sign thing down! 

~Quick pause for fun info!~  I submitted the pic below to the Silhouette Blog several months ago as they are always looking for projects done with the Silhouette to show off.  Well guess what... they featured my signs last Friday!!!! Thanks so much Silhouette America, I'm tickled you like them!!

This first set of signs above, was what I'll call a "pre-blog" project. Meaning I took a few pics for my Mom and sister to see, but really didn't document the process.  The second set is the one I'll show you from start to finish.

Tutorial Time!!

I started with a trip to Lowe's to get a 1"x8"x8' pine board and had them cut it down to 20" lengths. (Oops, I forgot, that's what i did with the first set.  Mr Concrete had a board in the garage this time just waiting for me :)  We chopped that bad boy up with a chop saw, sanded off the splinters and broke out the black paint.

Boards are painted in Valspar Dark Kettle Black
With my first set of signs, I let the black base coat dry for just a few hours and, being the impatient person that I am, couldn't wait another minute.  I went on to the next step and yep, you guessed it... in the final steps, parts of it peeled off to bare wood.  This time, I let it dry over night and no peelage (umm yes, that's a word).  I like them fine with peelage or without, but figured I'd pass on the tidbit.

While they were drying, I pulled out my Silhouette Cameo software and went to work.  This is the part where you can really have fun and make these a part of your family history.

Our signs are for the places we've lived or vacationed.  It was so much fun deciding which exact Lat & Long to use from our trips.  The sign below pinpoints the spot where we all played on the beach last month in Hawaii, and the Las Vegas sign is for the Bellagio Hotel where Mr Concrete and I saw Cirque Du Soleil's "O" (it was better than amazing!).  Type "find latitude and longitude" in your browser and you'll have an endless number of sights that'll help you find any Lat & Long you want. 

Actually, let me clarify, you can find almost any sight.  I was unsuccessful in finding a Lat & Long for Log Base Seitz, Iraq in my original set.  (and to answer a popular question: No, we did not vacation in Iraq.  Mr Concrete was stationed there for a year with his unit during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Does anyone vacation in Iraq right now?)  Anyway, much to my pleasure, I found that you can NOT locate the Lat & Long for a U.S. Military base in a war zone.  I'm gonna assume the reason for that is self-evident.  The coordinates I used for that sign were for a major land mark that Mr Concrete tells me he frequented.

After my images were complete, I used the Cameo to cut them out of basic white Contact paper. Contact paper can be a little frustrating to use, but it's so much cheaper than buying the good quality vinyl when you're just going to throw it away at the end of the project.  I weeded my vinyl and used transfer paper to adhere it to the now dry black boards.

They actually look pretty good at this point and could easily be used as a finished product.  I'm an over achiever though, so we're just getting started.  Oh, incase anyone was wondering, the font is Apple LiSung.

In order to avoid that pesky mess where your paint leaks under your vinyl and ruins your perfect, crisp line, I painted over the boards again in one quick coat of black. This seals the edges of the vinyl and any paint that does leak under is the same color as the base. (did that make sense?) Anyway, you get nice edges...

~Important note~  Don't start painting over the vinyl at 10:00 p.m. unless you plan on staying up a while, cuz once you start, you can't stop.  A good rule of thumb for when to apply that next coat of paint is "dry to the touch".  This rule works for between coats as well as when to peel off the vinyl.  If the paint is left to cure at all before the vinyl is removed, the vinyl will rip off the paint in all the wrong directions!  Learn from my mistakes, start early and fire up the hair dryer!!

3 coats of Valspar's HoneyMilk for the topcoat

Time to peel the vinyl!

This process can be tedious, but it's so worth it in the end!

And here they are. A finished product! Unless you're me...

Now it's time to give 'em some character!  That's right, beatings, sandings and random painting here we come!!!

There's no science here.  I beat 'em up with a board then sanded randomly through to the black and ended with some Americana Asphaltum latex paint mixed with water and brushed on till I liked it. 

~NOW they're finished!~

I'm pretty in love with the aged details.

Though not everyone is so sure about them.  My 9 year old told me, in somewhat of a panic, to "stop sanding Mommy, you're taking the paint off!"  He didn't quite understand when I told him that was the point.

Some of my kids are just worried that there won't be any more vacations if the wall gets completely full. :)

Have any of you ever tried getting a decent photo of a wall this high with a point-and-shoot camera? What was I thinking???

So thrilled this little section of our great room is finally coming together.  And, my kids can quit asking me when I'm gonna add Hawaii!!

If you've stuck with me this long without your eyes glazing over, then THANKS!!  Oh, and since this all started 'cuz I didn't wanna spend L.L. Bean prices, I should let you know what I did spend.  Sorry, I don't have the exact break down, but with all the supplies; pine board, paint, contact paper, and Command Adhesives to hang them (which was the most expensive part of this project, by the way) I spent less than the $34.95 they wanted for one sign, but I got eight!!!

Well I'm hearing Harry Potter music drifting from the other room, so that's my cue to finish this and go watch some TV.  Hope you have a magical weekend!!!


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