Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ramsign Giveaway {WINNER}!!

We have a winner people!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered for a chance to win a beautiful Ramsign Enamel Sign!

We had 69 total entries including the ones sent to me via e-mail.

I used the True Random Number Generator and our winner is Entry #57!

That's you Holly from Rocket City, Alabama!

I don't have your email address Holly, so please send me an email or leave your email address in a comment below so you can claim your sign!!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Damask Screen Door

Several months ago I found an old screen door at a local Flea Market.
It was dingy and dirty and even sporting a few "vintage" cobwebs as a bonus.
Mr. Concrete was skeptical as usual, but only gave me a few dirty looks when I insisted on having it. 
He even talked the vendor into a better price! ($8, gotta love him)

I wasn't certain what to do with my fun new purchase when I carried it to the car, but it didn't take long for inspiration to strike.


This was a Pre-Blog Project (PBP) so I have no before pics of this bad boy in all of it's cobwebby goodness.
But I do have a couple "in-progess" shots.

The DAMASK Begins!!

I painted the weathered, grey wood with a sloppy dry-brush of white, then threw some black on the screen to freshen it up.

If my Script Wall didn't clue you guys in to my tendency to bite off more than I can chew, this one just might.

I can't be the only crazy home decorator who got an idea in their head at 9 o'clock on a Sunday night and absolutely couldn't wait one more second to start it!

One might argue that a stencil and white paint would have been acceptable tools for this project.
And they'd be right.
But, I had neither.
And Michael's and Hobby Lobby were closed! (and these were pre-Silhouette days)

So picture me tracing this damask directly off my computer screen, (no busted-down printer will get in my way) taping that tracing to the back of the screen door and then tracing/painting it on with the only thing I had available.

A Chalk Marker!

Well it worked didn't it?

I only had to move that makeshift print-out stencil thingy a few times, and do some measuring and taping and bending and cutting and yada, yada, yada...
I'd buy a stencil next time, ya happy?!! 

And we won't be throwing buckets of water over my chalk masterpiece any time soon, but it's held up so far.

Hey, I actually used paint on this part!

Mr. Concrete was kind enough to cut down a left over piece of bead board for me to fit in the middle section and add some interest.
My plan was to glue it in place but the fit was so perfect it wasn't necessary.

The printer actually worked for the Monogram part. I'm a lucky girl!

I added a Monogram to the bottom for our last name, put our Anniversary year in the middle and hung a wedding pic to top it off!

I've recently been tossing around the idea of adding some color behind it.
Just a hint of duck egg blue would be kinda yummy... 
or am I crazy?
And hey! Don't forget the Ramsign Giveaway is still going on through this Saturday, 7/28. Don't miss it!

I'm linking up with:


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Answering your HP SCRIPT WALL Questions...

When I posted about my Harry Potter Script Wall, I never intended it as a tutorial. 
I actually just meant it to be a fun post where I got to show you guys that my hair-brained idea actually worked!

Over the past month, however, I've received multiple comments and emails asking about the exact process I used to create the wall. 
Hopefully today's post will answer most of those questions... 

"What font did you use?"
The font is Zapfino. (you can find this answer under one of the pics in the original post)
"Where can I get the Zapfino Font?"
This one won't make you happy...
The font came loaded on my MacBook and as far as I know there is no place to download it for free.
One reader did leave a comment saying they had found it, but I followed the link they left and it has been removed from that site due to copyright infringement.

"What's the Font Size?"
85 point font.

"What is Con-Tact Paper?"
Con-Tact Paper is a self-adhesive thin vinyl, generally used as a shelf liner. It is just one of many brands on the market. You can see more about it HERE.

"Did you Hand Cut all the letters?"
No! (don't think I'd have lived through that!)
As I listed in the post, I used a Silhouette Cameo.

"What Setting's on the Silhouette did you use to cut the Con-Tact Paper?"
It is much thinner than regular vinyl so I used a setting of "1" on the blade and set my thickness and speed both to "5".

"What is the paint color on the wall?"
Cafe Ole by Valspar

"Did you have to cut the rolls of contact paper into sheets?" and "How many rolls did you use?"
Yes, I did cut the Con-Tact Paper into sheets.
My wall is 55 1/2 inches wide and the Con-Tact Paper comes in rolls that are 18 inches x 24 feet. 
For starters, I cut the Con-Tact Paper into about 60 inch lengths to make sure it was definitely long enough to cover the entire width of my wall.
Then I cut the Con-Tact Paper in half the long way so I ended up with two sheets that were 9 inches x 60 inches.
Now the Silhouette Cameo can hold widths up to 13 inches wide, but I chose to cut my paper exactly in half because I knew that I could get two full lines of script on each 9" x 60"  strip of Con-Tact Paper.

This is an example of what two of the 9"x60" strips looked like after they were cut.
Each full 18"x60" section gave me four complete lines of script.

Oh, and I used about one and a half rolls of Con-Tact Paper. (probably could have been less, but this was trial and error and sometimes, I just plain screw up :)

"Did you create a stencil with the Con-Tact Paper and paint the wall, or is that actual Con-Tact Paper on the wall."
It's the actual Con-Tact Paper stuck to the wall.

"How did you stick the Con-Tact Paper to the wall?"
It is hung the exact same way you would hang any Wall Vinyl.
There are hundreds of tutorials on the internet that will show you how to Weed the excess vinyl from your image (or script in my case), and then how to use Transfer Paper to apply it to the wall.
I have a mini tutorial HERE that will show some of the basics.

"How did you apply it so evenly and straight across?"
Now that's the million dollar question!
Patience, time and a LEVEL!! (with occasional cussing... just trying to be honest :)
Being able to hang two lines at a time, as I showed above, did really help, but my four foot level was an absolute must!
To keep it even between each new sheet of Con-Tact Paper, I picked a letter (there were enough e's, o's and a's that I generally used them) and made sure there was always the same distance (4 inches) from the bottom of one letter to the bottom of the letter on the line below it.

I cut two small strips from the edge of the Con-Tact Paper (edge pieces so I knew they were straight), measured down the wall four inches and placed them on the wall creating a "line" that I set my next row of script on.
I of course used a level to make sure I put the strips up straight.
Those "strips" are represented by the "black boxes" in the pic above.
Once I had the next two lines adhered to the wall, I removed my little strips of Con-Tact Paper and used them again, working my way down the wall.   
Hope all that made sense!

"Will you come do a wall for me in my home?"
Absolutely and without a doubt... NO!
I love it immensely and would redo it in my own home, but I work a full-time job and have a family.
There just aren't enough hours in the day!
Plus, with the amount of time this took, trust me, you couldn't afford my prices :)
Update: (Mr. Concrete wanted me to add that if the price is right, he thinks they can do without me for a while... he's such a sweetie sometimes!)


I think that answers all the questions I've received about this wall.
And please don't think I had all this figured out when I started!
I went through a lot of trial and error before figuring out the best way to pull it off!

I will leave you with one tip that I, unfortunately learned a few weeks AFTER I finished this project.
And wow, it would have saved me countless hours not only with the cutting, but the weeding and with placing it on the wall.

There's an option in the Silhouette software called Weld.
It allows you to merge "selected shapes" into "one" shape.
Meaning that when you write in cursive and one letter flows into the next, you can Weld them together and they become one piece.

HERE'S a lovely video tutorial showing exactly what I'm talking about.

So I didn't know this... 
(in my defense, I'd only had the thing a few months, grrrr)
Every single letter that flowed into the next letter got cut up individually leaving a thousand tiny little pieces of vinyl that didn't want to stay where they belonged!!

If that doesn't make sense to you, you're lucky.
Just trust me, use the Weld button so you aren't as angry with yourself as I was when I found this simple tool.

Hope these answers help any of you who decide to tackle this project!
If you do, please come back and let me know cuz I'd love to see them!!!!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Ramsign Giveaway

When I started this little blog last month, I never dreamed that in six short weeks I'd be hosting my first giveaway!

Pinch me people!!!

What a lovely surprise this week when the wonderful folks at Ramsign contacted me and asked if I'd like to host a giveaway for them.

Let's see... umm, YES!!

Have you seen these signs??


Ramsign is a small Danish company that specializes in manufacturing and selling classic enamel signs.

And one of my lucky readers is going to have one of these babies given to them for FREE!!

So what's the catch?

Yeah, there's not one!

Ramsign will let my winner choose any House Number sign with anywhere from 1-5 digits (this giveaway does exclude the Name Signs & Address Plaques) and in whichever design and size they like best!

That's a prize worth up to $99 people!!

And of course there's free shipping to anywhere in the world.
That's right, this is a world-wide giveaway!

So now that I'm sure you're drooling (just like I am) over these signs, let me tell you the four ways you can enter to win one.

Entry #1: {sorry guys, this one's mandatory} You must be a follower of The Concrete Cottage to enter the giveaway, so if you already are (thanks!), just leave a comment below letting me know. 
If you aren't, you can either follow me through Google Friend Connect or via e-mail and let me know in the comments below.

Entry #2: Like Ramsign's Facebook Page and come back and leave me a comment saying that you did.

Entry #3: Leave a separate comment letting me know what shape and/or color is your favorite and how you think you might use it in your home.

Entry #4: Share this giveaway via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or a blog post and let me know in another comment below.

(Please, please, please leave me your name and/or email when you comment. If you post "Anonymously" and don't at least include your name in the comment, I won't know who you are and if you win it'll be very hard to notify you that you've won!!)

That's it!
You can enter up to FOUR times for a chance to win one of these amazing signs! 

Mmmm... I think one of these would look lovely with my Anniversary Year sitting on my
Or maybe a red one for my daughter's room with the year she was born.
Oh the possibilities are nearly endless!

Yep, they'd be great as Christmas Gifts too!

This giveaway will be open through Saturday, July 28th @ 10p.m. Central Time.

Good luck to all of you and I can't wait to see who wins!!!!

You can check out our winner HERE!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Meet the Family Day

A little over a week ago I received a wonderful comment from Sheila @ Blissfully Shabby
She was so sweet and told me she wanted to give me the Versatile Blogger Award.

While taking some time to decide how to write a "Versatile Blogger" post (this award is extremely similar to the Liebster Award which I recently received and told y'all about), I received another Versatile award from Maria Elena @ Our Home Away From Home, and another from ARod @ Makin My Apt a Home and then one more from Nif @ Call Me Nif.

Four of you wonderful bloggers picked my little blog and I'm so tickled and extremely grateful!

Here are the rules for this award:
                                               1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you.
                                               2. Include a link to their site.
                                               3. Include the award image in your post.
                                               4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
                                               5. Nominate 15 other Bloggers for the award.
                                               6. When nominating, include a link to their site.
                                               7. Let other Bloggers know they have been nominated. 

Well those being the rules, I guess I have to follow them.
Or not...

Like I said, I just told y'all about me a few posts ago.
I also just nominated other bloggers.
So I'm gonna do this one my way...

Let me introduce you to my family and give the random facts about them!

First up, we're gonna get the craziest member of the family out of the way.


He's a 3 year old English Bull Dog.
He's a pain.

He's dirty and crazy and exceptionally lovable!
Who knows what we'd do without him? (Vacuum less, sweep less, hear less snoring)

Then there's...

She's a miniature black sheep.
Ok, fine.
She's a 7 year old Miniature Schnauzer who hates getting her hair cut!
I hate it too!
We have to take breaks in the middle some times... and it's possible I might have taken a humiliating pic or two at the time.

Don't worry, I didn't leave her like that!
Here she is with her hair cut all nice and neat.

Eek! Armadillo!!
Guess that was the wrong pic!

It's amazing the things that wander into a basement when a house in under construction.

No need to call the ASPCA!
He buried himself.
He's fine!
Trust me, he waddled away just minutes after this photo was taken!

Moving on...

These are my fantastic Kiddos!

Many of these pics are from our recent trip to Hawaii.
They may cause uncontrolled jealousy!
Look away now!
Can't say I didn't warn you!!

Kylie & Morgan

Morgan is my beautiful 16 year old on the right.
She's extremely talented.
She's an editor for the school paper, plays a mean violin and is the most organized and responsible 16 year old you've ever met.

She also likes cookies and can't drive worth a... yeah, you get the picture.

Kylie is my gorgeous 13 year old red head on the left. (see pic above)
Also a mean violinist, and completely hilarious!
It's one of those things she doesn't have to work at, she's just funny!

This is not Photoshopped, just really weird lighting under the ocean!

See, she didn't set out to be a glow worm on the submarine, it's just how she rolls!

Then there's my baby!


He's what you'd expect every (almost) 10 year old boy to be like!
Ornery, stubborn and loves to torture his sisters!
And I'm pretty sure he's gonna be a surgeon when he grows up.
Anyone who can play that much XBOX has to have a talent with a controller.
Laparoscopic surgeon... gamer, it's all the same! (my doctor friends, please don't kill me)
Either that, or he'll follow his daddy to the military.
Boy sure does love to shoot his guns!!!

Then there's Mr. Concrete himself.

It's hard to get any pics of this guy at all, so I take what I can get.

What to say about this guy?
He's my other half, the one I tell all my stories to, he's my GUY!

I'm not gonna lie...
He also likes Piggies!
The dead kind!
I like 'em too.
They taste like chicken. (ok, that's a lie, but it sounded good)
The glow worm (a.k.a. Kylie) says they're a lot better than chicken.
She just may be right.

He also kinda likes these kids too.
Just a bit. :)

So there they are.

The FAM!!

They're a little crazy, but that's cuz they're mine!

See what happens when you have to leave paradise? Children lose all ability to take a normal pic! 
(or maybe they're just amazed at that fantastic tree behind them? 
Nah, they're just a touch crazy like their mom!)

Good thing I didn't lose that ability.
Connor and I worked for a good long time to get the "normal" masterpiece you see below.
So glad we finally got it just right!

Thanks again lovely ladies for this Versatile Blogger award.

Hope y'all enjoyed meeting my awesome, if imperfect, family!

I love 'em more than anything!

~Jeannine (a.k.a. the weird tongue lady above)