August 30, 2011

Martha as "Motha"

The new Martha Stewart Halloween issue has come out. Here are ten of my favorite things in this issue.
All photos in this post are taken with my camera of the Martha Stewart Halloween 2011 issue.

As they have done for several years, they featured Martha herself on the cover. This year, she is "Motha".

On the inside of the magazine, they show you
how you, too, can be "Motha".

Maybe I'm easily impressed but I thought the "play" with her name, the make-up and the outfit were very clever.

Here are my other nine favorite things in the MS Halloween magazine:

Front porch with mums and pumpkins
I'm buying large mums for my front porch urns on September First!
The summer plants in my urns are crispy critters now.

How to make your own large spider web

Candy apples with witch attached to the stick

Witch's broom treat bags

Ideas for table top display

Antique looking tombstones
This makes me anxious to get out my foam cutter and go to work on large sheets
of insulation foam from Home Depot.

Black added to etched pumpkin for more definition

Hurricane glass added to small pumpkins
Easy and cute but I would have never thought of that.

Yeah! They included the actual clip art for projects
featured in the magazine to just copy!
No downloading required.
The clip art you would need in order to make the projects in the magazine are full-sized and ready to be printed.
Even the moth wings for the "Motha" eyes are made as clip art.

The magazine has many more ideas and projects.
In my opinion, it is worth the purchase price.

I am SO ready for Fall to be here.
Fall magazines just seem to be jumping 
into my shopping cart.

August 29, 2011

New Blogs On The Block

Thank you to Barb and Dell blog
for honoring me with some Liebster Blog love.

Barb and Dell are two cousins who share the same
intrests in decorating, gardening and photography.
Barb lives in Minnesota and
Dell lives in South Dakota. 

Here is what Barb tells me:
What is a Liebster Blog you may wonder.  I was told Liebster is Sweetheart in German, thus...Sweetheart Blog.  It is an award meant to connect us even more and spotlight new bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

Fiona from Raindrops and Daisies sent me the Liebster Blog and asked that I send it on to new bloggers.  Fiona is from Ireland has a lovely blog and great photos. She says her blog is a bit of fun and her day to day ramblings.

Here are the rules for the Liebster Blog
1.  Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2.  Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3.  Post the award on your blog.
4.  Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the Internet - other writers. 
5.  And best of all - have fun and spread the karma!

So, while my picks may not be brand, spanking
"New Blogs on the Block"
they are ones that have less than 200 followers
that I am a follower of 
 and have caught my eye

These are in no paticular order:
(in case you are not very tech-y like me,
you click on the highlighted text to see the item I am "talking" about on the web)

The author is a mother to two toddlers
(June, 4 and Bear, 2) . 
She has all kinds of fun posts on her blog
from home projects, to things going on in
her cute family's life, and pictures of her darling children.
If you want to get to know her
(gosh, I don't think I know her name, actually)
she recently did a blog post
She did a post on an amazing joint birthday party
she threw for her many good ideas.

"Bear Rabbit Bear"
Melanie has a really cute blog background
but I am not computer savvy enough to
get it to copy and paste go over and
see it for yourself.  She has a daughter and her husband
is a youth minister so they have lots of "kids".

She hosts a blog party on Thursdays called
"Crafts for Under Twenty-Somethings"

One of my favorite posts that she has done
was their master bathroom remodel.
"The Great Bathroom Makeover"

She and her husband did what I only TALK
about doing...ripping the ginormous tub
(circa 1980's) out of the master bathroom.
"Sweetwater Style"

Mary lives in Minnesota.  She is a true DIYer
and attempts so many different types of projects.
She is a jack-of-all trades and always has
a project going.  She believes in just
putting yourself out there and trying things.

One of my favorite posts of hers is helping
a bride do the flowers for a wedding.
"Wedding Flowers For Less...Making It Happen"

"Never Enough Flowers"

Brooke posts wonderful photos of garden-themed decor
and collections of things that she finds beautiful.

Her posts are visually inspiring.  One of my
favorites that she did was showing pictures of
(normally indoor) furniture in outdoor settings.
Outdoor Furniture?

"ELA's Smile"
(sorry, could not grab title header)
ELA are the initials of this blog author.
She started her blog in January 2011 as part of her
New Year's Resolution to be more creative
and share her projects, pictures, and thoughts.
She lives with her very handsome husband
and a fat white cat.

Her photography is also just outstanding.
She has achieved her goal of being creative for sure.
Here are three of my favorite posts of hers:

This is her first post.  Be sure you go all the way to the end of it.

This is a trip she and her husband took to Dallas.  Be sure to watch
the fun video at an art museum that she included.
"Dallas Anniversary Trip"

In this post, ELA refinished a magazine rack.  It looks amazing.
"Shabby or Chic?"
I didn't want to infringe on anyone's pictures
so I did not post pictures of their projects
but I hope you will go visit these bloggers
and see their wonderful blogs for yourself.

August 25, 2011

"Old White" for a New Look

This is our first piece of furniture that we painted with Annie
Sloan Chalk Paint. The color that we chose was "Old White" in 
effort to lighten up the dark color of the dresser that we had 
previously painted black and green with a crackle finish. 

oops! I forgot to take a picture of the whole dresser before "we" started painting it.
We purchased it from Goodwill over ten years ago. 

Here you can see a closer look at the green crackle finish we put on the dresser.
I don't know how that scrape happened but the light wood showing  is what the whole 
dresser  looked like when we bought it. 

Remember the Christopher Lowell decorating show?  He had said that black bar-b-que
 grill  paint will stick to almost anything and you don't need to sand or prime...
sound familiar (like chalk paint)?  Anyway that is why our base coat is black...
it's the bar-b-que paint!  

With the heat in summer in Alabama, we like to do as many
 tasks inside (where the air conditioning is) as possible. Consequently the dining room table becomes our workshop.
Not only do we not like to get too hot, we are kinda lazy and just painted the drawers
with all the stuff  still in them.

Here is the dresser with two coats of "Old White".

To add a wax coat we used a combination of the Annie Sloan
 dark wax and plain clear Minwax from the hardware store.
At first, I mixed the waxes half and half .  That is still pretty dark.
In subsequent batches, I put more like 3/4 clear to 1/4 dark wax.

I was surprised that the crackling from the old green finish
 came through two coats of the chalk paint. 
 I like crackling so I was very happy to have it.
The dark wax mix accentuated the crackling. 

You can see the big difference between the drawer before (lower) the
dark wax was rubbed on and after (top).

I was too cheap to buy the wax-applying brush.  On the large surfaces we just rubbed
 it on with an old sock.  To get it into crevices and corners, we used a Q-tip.

I won't even tell you how long we dragged out getting this dresser done. Here is a shot
 of the waxed dresser drawers haphazardly pushed back into the un-waxed base.  

I had pulled the hardware off to re-finish it so we got good
at pulling the drawers out by their edges with our fingertips.

The original hardware was not bad looking in my opinion.

This is the hardware with a coat of "Old White" and then sanded.
I thought it looked too white.

Then I rubbed the dark wax (straight out of the can...really dark)
over the "Old White".  It's not fabulous but it will do for now.

Here are some of the interesting areas on the dresser
created by bar-b-que paint/crackle medium/green paint/
"Old White chalk paint/dark and clear wax.

Painting the dresser with the Annie Sloan "Old White" chalk
paint definitely changed the dresser for the better. The chalk
paint was easy to use and covered well. My biggest mistake was
not "diluting" the dark wax enough at first. It took time to rub the
clear wax back over the "too dark" dark wax areas...almost like
an eraser. In the end, we are very happy with the chalk paint. 

Needy For Linky Help

I adore the "You Might Also Like" Linky tool on blogs.

I have not been a blogger very long so it helps me by seeing past posts that bloggers I am visiting have done that I missed seeing.

It's great on my own blog to direct folks to other posts I have done that might be of interest to them. The linky tool has increased viewership of my past posts dramatically.

(The "stats" tab on the dashboard of Blogger blogs lets you know this kind of infomation. If you don't know about the "stats" tab,
"you might also" want to see my post about it.)

So, while I am grateful for the free (for now) Linky tool
"You Might Also Like", I don't like that the photo it often "grabs"
from the post, is the "button" of a blog party. 

I have tried not adding the buttons until I have "published" the
post at least once without the buttons but later the tool seems to go back and grab a button.

"Googling" the issue did not help either.

Link With-in company said to write them with any problems so I did (a least a month ago) but I did not recieve a response about how to change a picture in "You Might Also Like".

I have resorted to not putting the party buttons in the post and just having the link. This has fixed the "problem" but I think the hostesses would rather have their party button included.

I really do appreciate the blog party hostesses and I want to put their buttons in my post. 
I wish there was a way to have the blog party button
AND be able to select or change what picture 
the Linky tool selects.   

I'm tripped up over this.  Is there a fix?

I am linking to
"A Nest For All Seasons" Tripped Up Thursday Blog Party

August 22, 2011

Doll Bed Rescued With AS Chalk Paint

A neighbor of mine was throwing away this doll bed.
It's chippy, dusty, and has a boo-boo that has been fixed with a mending plate.

My grand-daughter, Lilly, is 2 years old and has a favorite baby doll.  I thought they might enjoy the bed if it were cleaned up and painted.

I had gotten cans of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in "Old White" and "Old Ochre" several months ago.

 The "Old White" had been used on a dresser but the "Old Ochre"   had never  been opened.  A small project like the baby bed
was a good subject to use "Old Ochre" for me to see
what it actually looked like before putting it on
something larger.
This is the bed after a coat of "Old Ochre".

The "Old Ochre" is a light tan compared to the "Old White".

After the "Old Ochre" dried, a coat of "Old White" was added.

When the "Old White" coat dried, the bed was lightly sanded
to reveal the different layers of colors.

A coat of clear wax was rubbed onto the bed also.
Unless you see the two colors right next to each other, it might be hard to tell the difference between them.

All the little bed needed now was a mattress, a blanket, and a pillow for the baby doll.

 Originally, I went in the attic to find some material from a project that fabric was purchased for but never done.  Instead, I came across this long pillow sham that I had made about 15 years ago for my, then, teen-aged daughter's bedroom.

I was hoping the pillow sham would only have to be cut shorter and stuffed in order to become a mattress.  Ooops...too wide.
I ended up cutting the back away from the front and basically made a simple pillow to be the mattress.

The excess material from the front of the long sham became a blanket for the baby doll.

The little pink pillow is the smallest one I have ever made.
I hope Lilly and "Baby" enjoy the little bed re-habbed with love. 

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