Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cigar Box...Girlyfied!!!

My husband is a cigar smoker...did I ever tell you that?  He's not just a cigar smoker; he's kind of a connoisseur of cigars. He has a whole man cave decorated (or maybe that's dedicated) to cigars. He's got all kinds of cigar bands in glass containers, cigar bands decoupaged on a side table, cigar boxes on all the walls, and posters of cigars. We're often looking for interesting cigar boxes when we go into the cigar store.

So not long ago my sister at The Concrete Cottage posted about a basket she stores her cords in by her bed. I steal all kinds of ideas from her. She's so a wonderful, drive your sister jealously insane kind of way...and I get so much of my decorating inspiration from her living room and blog. (I'm not sure if you're jealous of me right now or just feeling sorry for me...). So when she posted about her basket it made me think of a problem I keep having with my cords. I plug the phone in every night on my night stand but the cords never stay in place. The cats like to chew on them given the chance, so I needed a solution.  A basket didn't suit my needs; I wanted something that would sit on the night stand and hold them all in place but protected. 

Back to the cigar store...while looking at boxes for my husband I suddenly saw a solution to my problems. A cigar box. There was one that was just the right size so we scooped it up and took it home. I had my husband cut notched in one edge for the cords to my phone and my blue tooth. They ended up on the wrong side (my fault cause I changed its location on the night stand) so he added two on the other side. Fortunately this isn't an issue...and I'll tell you why later. 

Of course I didn't want just a cigar box sitting on my night stand without it being girlyfied first and I had the perfect color to fix it. 


I started with Plaster Paint in Jewel and painted two coats over the whole thing except the bottom. When that was dry I used Cece Caldwell's Simply White to dry brush and bring out detail. I wanted to make it match the paper I planned to decoupage inside.  Then I took Maison Blanche's Wrought Iron and painted the little hinges and closure. I added just a bit more Simply White dry brushing then distressed it a bit with sand paper. I finished it off with Maison Blanche Clear Antique Wax (the only wax I use even though I use several different chalk/clay paints) and a good buffing then decoupaged torn paper to the bottom.  I let it all dry and now it totally fits my personality and needs!!!

Oh, I almost forgot to explain the notching...we go visit family in Kansas quite often and when we do I always fight with my cords there.  Now I will just wrap everything up in my box for transport and no matter where the plug ins are at my parent's house the box will still work...make sense???


Now it matches my walls, fills a need and looks pretty!  Thanks, Sis, for being my inspiration once again, and for one more treasure!!!


Ok...side note...Jeannine, I know how you like the pictures bigger.  Well, I posted this originally on my app and used InstaFrame to edit my photos.  When I make the pictures large here on my computer they are WAY TO you have to look at little bitty pics.  SORRY!!!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to School...Personalized

Oh my's that time again!!!  My oldest started band camp yesterday, the uniforms have been purchased, supplies are stocked up and shoes are on the list...

This year I went as cheap as possible on as much as possible, but being cheap doesn't have to mean boring!  Since the kids have to carry three ring binders and they're the most expensive of the supplies I decided to go personalized using my Silhouette Cameo.  I'm on a roll with it lately so why not school supplies.

I let each of the kids pick their design and fonts and with a bit of tweaking in Silhouette Studios it was a fun afternoon project.  I made sure to use outdoor vinyl so they would last hopefully as long as the binder (which if you have kids in school you know means maybe a semester).  Since school hasn't started I can't tell you how well they're holding up, but they'll sure look cute/cool for the first few weeks.  We'll see if it lasts with my oldest after he starts his first week of high school.  It may be too cutsie for him...but for now it's fun and it's theirs.

Enjoy this Back to School time of year!!!

See blogs I'm linking up with here!!!
Thursday, August 1, 2013

Birthday Girl's Subway Sign

What do you get for a 1 year old's birthday?  Toy?  Clothes?  Books?  What if she has all of this...and a lot of it? 

We have lots of friends (blessings galore!!!), and all those friends have 2 or more children.  That adds up to LOTS of birthday parties and lots of gifts.  I don't like to give gifts that end up in a pile that needs to be purged out of a house.  I like to give things that will last, make memories or be memory reminders, and more.  I've done that with my nieces and nephews for the past several when this birthday came up I mulled over the gift for a while till I remembered I had a MDF board in the garage that was begging to be used for something.  It was then that I decided to make a Subway Sign for her.  I asked her mom to give me words she would use to describe her, worked it all up in Silhouette Studios then went to work putting it all together.

I started off with approximately a 14"x14" board, painted it Simply White with Cece Caldwell's chalk/clay paint, then cut the subway art out of white contact paper (which I don't recommend when using chalk paint...I'll explain later).  I used clear contact paper as a transfer paper and picked the whole thing up and placed it center on the board.  (I use contact paper vs. vinyl and transfer paper cause they're I'll explain later it's also more of a hassle when using chalk paint.)

Once it was on and lined up I slowly and meticulously removed the clear contact paper from the white letters.  It took quite a bit of time and I did it in little sections.  This is where I discovered how much residue the clear contact paper was leaving on the chalk paint.  I had to be careful where I laid my hands cause the oils from my skin were leaving dark spots where there was residue.  I could cover it in the next step, but still I didn't want to leave lots of marks.

Once all the letters were left behind I took more Simply White and painted over all the letters and Minnie silhouettes.  This seals the edges to protect from the top color bleeding through.  Plus it covered up that tiny bit of yuck from my hand to the bottom right.

Once that dried I painted over the whole thing with a mixture of Simply White and New Orleans Purple, also from Cece Caldwell's.  When it was JUST dry I pulled off all the contact paper carefully.  I didn't want to scratch the white under the contact paper, I didn't want to scratch any of the purple and I also didn't want to lay my hands on the sections where I'd removed the contact paper...remember the residue! (I forgot to get a picture of the before of this stage.)

I let the paint dry completely then waxed the whole thing with Maison Blanche's clear antique wax.  I let it dry for 30 minutes to an hour.  I was hoping that the wax would cover over the residue and I wouldn't have to worry about it...WRONG!!!  I started buffing and when I got over the letters they started grabbing lint from the rag I was using.  When I buffed it more using just my finger tip under the rag I could buff it away, but it took some work and a LOT of elbow grease.  So buffing this piece took some time and effort, but in the end the residue did come off.  I'll think twice before using contact paper on chalk paint!!!

I wanted to finish this piece off nice on the back because we'd previously tried using it to decoupage a cigar poster.  It turned out horrible so we scrapped the idea, but it was still attached to the back.  I really didn't thing a 1 year old needed a partial cigar poster...even if it was on the back and not going to be seen.  I thought I'd just mod podge a piece of scrapbook paper to the back, but for some reason they haven't made a 14"x14" piece of scrapbook paper yet...go figure!  So instead I decided to decoupage small pieces of 2 scrapbook pages that I'd torn up to the backside to cover the whole poster mess up. 

For a last little frilly touch I added a piece of cotton lace ribbon around the edges using hot glue to hold it down.  It turned out really sweet and I know my friend will treasure it for a long time.

Now I have a new project idea I can use for future gifts...until they all have one that is...

One more Piece to Treasure!!!


Look here for parties I'm linking up with!!!